Monthly Archives: December 2009

Cha-Ching!

Is that a register I hear?  No, no, no.  It’s just the Libraries filling out their registries!  True, the scanners didn’t make a cha-ching sound, it was more like a high pitched beep from the one at Target, but it would have been very appropriate if they did.

When it came to starting our registries, I showed no shame and wasted no time.  Mother Library thought I was nuts.  I think it took us the first week of engagement to decide where to register and we were off!  Of course, with two and a quarter years of engagement staring us in the face, there wasn’t much we could add to them besides basics that would never get discontinued, like backing sheets.  Not so exciting, but it was a start.

A few months ago, I began to really rummage through Crate and Barrel and Target‘s websites to see what was available.  I. Was. Floored.  There were so many options for dish patterns, towel colors, even types of spatulas.  How did I know what to pick?  I knew some brand names and stuck to those, but I don’t pretend to be the expert when it comes to kitchen electronics.  If I see something on Top Chef, I’ll be able to tell you how to use it, but I can’t say what brand is the best.  I just kind of flung up my hands, read the reviews, and called it good.  It became my tradition to work on adding to the registries when I was on the train between Maine and Massachusetts to visit Beck during summer vacation.  I would have him on constant alert when I added something new, and we would add to what we wanted/needed together.

Mr. Library had voiced some interest in using the registry guns (really, who wouldn’t want to?  They are so much fun! ), so we made a plan that while he was available during winter break, we would go to the stores and see what was to be had.  Seeing objects in person can make such a difference.  Saying something is three inches tall means nothing to me; I want to see it!  Our opportunity came when Mr. Library had to work on one of his theatrical productions on his birthday, which meant that we would be near a Crate and Barrel!

We had success!  Well, kind of.  Instead being as excited as we were, the saleswomen looked at us and repeated a few times that this store was closing in a few weeks and that their inventory wasn’t what we would “really need” for a wedding registry.  Meh.  Whatevs.  Give us the gun and let’s get to it!  We ended up walking around, scanning things, for about an hour.  We found different pieces we already had on the list and a few more to add.  No stress, no hair pulling, no pouty faces to make one of us agree.  We totally had this wrapped up.

A few days later, we did the same thing at Target in Portland.  We ended up changing our towel colors (someone should label the turquoise towels as SUPER BRIGHT! on the website just to make people aware) to something a little more calming, added a couple kitchen appliances, and called it good.  And I think we’re done.  We are awesome.

Have you registered yet?  What has your experience been?

Advertisements

Scaling the Top

Before we checked out bakers, chomped down on samples, and chose the best possible options for flavors, we picked out our wedding cake topper.  Putting the cart before the horse, perhaps?  Meh.  Thus is our wedding planning process.  Bring it!

(Source)

First, let’s talk about people.  No, not like gossiping, but like deciding between a topper with people versus a topper with a letter, animal, crown, etc.  Mother and Father Library had used a hybrid of sorts, pairing the classic two person topper with a stained glass archway made by Mother Library’s oldest sister (Cousin/Bridesmaid As’s momma!).  FMIL Library and FFIL Library also had the classic people topper.  As much as I like tradition, I couldn’t see myself with the people.  None of the people looked like Mr. Library and I (if they tried to make a bride with my chestial proportions, she would fall face first into the cake!), and they weren’t all that personal.  Next!

(Source)

Second option:  letters!  Here are two good ones:  N. O.  Or perhaps O.C.D.?  Having a giant H on the top of our cake didn’t appeal to either of us, and while including our first initials would have been a little better, that bugged me too because it would have been like all of my initials, only in the wrong order (real: EBH, on cake: EHB).  No thanks.  OCD wins.

(Source)

Third option:  flowers.  Ah, the totally popular flower route.  They are pretty, they go with the already coordinated colors, and they don’t take a whole lot of thought on our part.  But it went back to the personal thing.  While they are nice, the flowers didn’t capture “us.”  Mr. Library… yeah, he’s not a flower guy.  He has good taste in bouquets, but he’s not one to request them for himself.  Plus, what if my wedding flowers turned out to be poisonous?  Because we love our guests so much, we vetoed this one as well.

Fourth option:  something less traditional, theme-coordinated, and non-poisonous… porcelain!  (Insert screeching sound here)  Wait… really?  When did that become an option?  Um, when we shot down every other commonly found option, that’s when.  Again, there were a lot of people, but there were other options, like animals, sculpture-esque statues, funny ones, and love symbols.  Mr. Library and I searched high and low, and taking inspiration from our bird motif, we looked at different bird ones.  Finally, one miraculous afternoon in my Providence apartment, I found our wedding cake topper and promptly sent the link to Mr. Library.

*personal photo*

Of course my bedspread doesn’t do it any justice, but trust me.  They are adorable.  Classic, timeless, and personal to us.  Bingo!  We have a winner.  They are a bit larger than I thought we would have, but hey, our baker had no problems with it.  So mission complete!  We had our cake topper.  Now onto the rest of the wedding decor…

Are you going with a cake topper?  How did you decide?

It’s All in the Cards

I have talked about our card holder before, about how I wanted it to go with our theme by being a birdcage, but that it had to be something beyond what was available in mass quantities at the local Walmart.  I found what I was looking for on eBay, ordered it, and waited.

And waited.

And finally, one the day I totally forgot to think about it, it came!  I tore open the box and saw our beautiful new birdcage.  After showing it to Mr. Library without having done anything to it, I ran to my room to grab the flowers I had purchased at Michael’s to add some pizzaz to the top.  As amazing as the birdcage is, the need for flowers or a coordinating color was there.

I began by cutting off all of the flowers and leaves at the lowest possible point at which they connect to the stem.  I didn’t want them to be too long, but I had to have something to work with!  I then experimented with the arrangement and decided on clumping two of the blue flowers on one side and putting the single blue on on the opposite side for a little balance.  I add the leaves, wound them together with small gauge craft wire, and…

Ta-dah!  Our one-of-a-kind card box!  What do you think?

I was and still am so happy with it, but something Mr. Library said made me think.  How will people know it is for cards and not just decoration?  Mr. Library didn’t seem to know when I asked his opinion on it during the purchasing process, so I am betting that there are others who may be coming to our wedding who could make the same mistake.  So in my bird-labeling frenzy, I made the label to go on this lovely cage.

The plan is to hang the card with some of the ribbon we got at Michael’s, probably the color we plan on signifying for the people who order chicken (more on this later).  Of course, we could always ask one of our dear friends to hold the sign in front of it for the entirety of the reception… cool wedding job, no?  No.

What pieces of your decor have you made your own?  Are you using/creating a card box or basket?

Place Cards are for the Birds

How I love, love, love our place cards!  It was one of the first decisions I made for the wedding after Mr. Library and I determined our motif.  I actually found the idea in a copy of Family Circle Magazine while waiting for a doctor’s appointment and loved it immediately.  The problem was, by the time I remembered to look for the template online, it had been taken off and I couldn’t find it anywhere.  What was a bird-crazy girl to do?

Go Google Images!  What a lifesaver!  I found this picture, and an old (not working) link to where the template was.  Hey, with a picture of what the birds could look like, I could make the rest happen.

After a few hand sketches, I came up with a template and bought little pads of multi-colored blue paper at Walmart.  I traced about 120 birds (a few extras just in case I screw up the labeling, which is liable to happen) and cut them out as I substitute taught over winter break (hey, it was a study hall!  What was I supposed to do?  Just sit there?  Nah.).  I got a few laughs out of some of our old high school teachers and it was definitely a nice talking point for some of those awkward teachers to whom you just don’t know what to stay.  After they were cut out about a year and a half early, I put them away in a dark box and promptly shoved them into the back of my mind.

Enter yesterday.  I remembered that people had verbally RSVPed to the wedding over the holidays, which meant that I could start labeling some of the place cards.  I was eager to try out my new silver pens and get going on some projects.  Though this sounds a little egotistical, I do have nice handwriting, so I played around with some letters to see what I wanted to do.

Ladies (and perhaps a few gentlemen), here is the result:

Not too shabby (and how cool does that “Mrs.” in front of my name look?!)!  I love how the silver pen looks on the cobalt blue background and how the birds have just enough room on them for our guests’ names and table assignments.

I made a flock, really.  Because I had so many extras ( I had to count out birds for the people who haven’t RSVPed seven months ahead of time), I found a few more uses for our flock:

The label for our card birdcage (because some people may not know what it is for… like Mr. Library originally)

and the sign for our wedding tree, whose idea was taken from Miss Poodle’s post a few days go.

I’m loving the dots on the outside of the thumbprint sign, so I think I might go back and add it to the “Cards” label as well.  It might be a nice continuation throughout the reception and ceremony decor!

What do your place cards look like?  Do you have a theme, or are you using a more classic look?

Major Michael’s Merriment

This is long overdue, and I know it.  Remember that time I told you about the major scores Mr. Library and I snarfed up at the Michael’s sale a few weeks ago?  Well, gather ’round peeps and let me tell you about our two hours of open minds, open baskets, and open wallets.

It started out innocently enough.  I told Mr. Library about a week before that Mother Library had gotten a really nice 15% off coupon to Michael’s, and that I had every intention of using it for wedding supplies.  Mr. Library, being the supportive and very laid back man that he is, agreed to come along and at least hold the basket.  My friends, he did far more than that!  Once we walked through the doors, my eyes grew to the size of two ostrich egg yolks when the first aisle’s contents were in sight.  Bonjour Martha Stewart scrapbooking supplies!  Would I like to have some of all of you?  Why, yes!  Thanks for asking!  Mr. Library is very good at stopping the “I must have all of you” bridal blitzing and calmed me down enough to make me see that 1) we couldn’t afford all of it and 2) we didn’t need all of it.  Well done, Mr. Library.  Well done.

I didn’t end up finding everything I was hoping for, and I am sure I forgot to look for some things, but all in all, we got some super savings.  We got all of the paper for the flower seed cones,

all of the ribbon for the place cards and OOT bags, plus a set of silver pens that I am now in love with, glue dots, and a heart-shaped hole punch,

some supplies for the kids’ table buckets (look for a post on this soon!),

(Honestly, who doesn’t love coloring and stickers?)

and two parts of the bag I will be making for our PoDs A for the ducks.

Her favorite color is light pink, so why not spice it up with some hearts (oh so wedding appropriate) and a pink princess crown?  I love it!  I cannot wait to work on this bag some more!

I have only used the hole punch and the silver pen so far, but I cannot wait to put the rest of the projects together.

What projects are you planning for?  Have you started any great DIY projects lately?

Transitioning into Transition

The holidays are filled with transitions this year.  Yes, I mean traditions too, but this year is my last as a single person.  This time next year, Mr. Library and I will have celebrated our first Christmas together as a married couple.  It’s both super exciting and scary at the same time.  We are transitioning into the land of transitions, where all of our “my”s and “yours” become, for the most part, “ours.”

Picking out the Christmas tree with my family

I am so excited to transition into marriage with Mr. Library because he is the one who is always there for those crazy, tale-worthy journeys that end up with the best stories in the end.  We have been dating for nearly eight years, have seen each other through those awkward middle school years, the high school highs and lows, the long-distance college degrees, and the stress of graduate school (plus a three month separation thanks to the lovely folks at the A.R.T. who think it is completely necessary to study theatre in Russia).  We’ve been through a lot of transition.  And I do mean a lot.  Been there, done that, got all five schools’ t-shirts (or six if you count Russia.  Honestly, who sends people there for theatre training?)  Marriage will be another adventure we will learn from together, something we will laugh about, cry over, make silly faces during, and come together as a team.

So with such an optimistic outlook, why am I so scared?  Well, I think it’s perfectly normal to be anxious over a radical change.  Whoever coined the phrase that “change is good” must have had a terrible life before something really great happened to him/her.  I’ll say it:  most of the time, change is scary and can suck.  Graduating from college and grad school, while extremely helpful in life, sucked.  I went from living with some of my best friends to living no where near them.  Moving to college and grad school (in the beginning) sucked because I was leaving the safety of Mr. Library.

Now, I am no where near saying that the transition into marriage is going to suck; I’m just saying little parts of it might.  For example, while hanging out with Mother Library this (snowy) afternoon, she decided to let me in on the plan for my Christmas ornaments for next year.  We are the kind of family who has specific ornaments for each person, usually signifying something special to that person during any given year.  I had asked what would happen to them when I got married, and no one really wanted to talk about it.  Now that Mother Library was willing to chat, I listened as her voice got a little more choked up with tears as she decided where my ornaments would stay until next year when Mr. Library and I get our own place.  It just reminded me of all of the things I am going to miss.  I will miss just being able to hang out in my family’s livingroom watching Ellen with Mother Library, my crazy cats sitting on everything they are not supposed to, and asking my sister for clothing advice.  I will miss the comfort of my bedroom and the predicable creaks my house makes when the heat comes on (though it took a very long time to get used to this one.  It can sound like someone is walking up the stairs!  Not so good when you are home alone.).

For everything I am excited for, there is something I will miss.  I guess that’s the give and take of getting married.  You give away the idea of being a spinster with 1,000 cats, you take a little comfort in knowing that someone with opposable thumbs can help you and love you throughout life.  So here is to a life with thumbs, with some cats (but not 1,000), and to getting through this transition together!

How are you tackling the switch into being one total unit?

Happy Boxing Day!

And merry Christmas, and happy Chanukah, and kickin’ Kwanzaa as well!  I love the holiday season, and December 26 is no exception.  Not only is it the day Mr. Library came into this world (happy birthday, Mr. Library!), but it is Boxing Day!  Never heard of it?  Well, you probably live in the United States and do not have a close association to anyone working in the mail service.  Never celebrated it?  Well, you probably haven’t thought about whose hands your wedding presents might be coming from!

(Source)

Mr. Library and I are celebrating his birthday in Cambridge this year because of an obligation to one of the plays he is working on in grad school.  We came down today (what a bright and early start on his birthday!) and plan on going back tomorrow.  It’s not the ideal way to go about one’s twenty-fourth, but there could be worse things!

But Ms. Library, you ask, what on earth does this have to do with being nice to your mailman?  Yes, yes, we’re all excited that Mr. Library is the age at which he will marry you, but come on.  Get the the point!  Okay, since you asked so nicely.  Because we are in the city, we have access to one of the stores we have registered at:  Crate & Barrel!  We don’t actually have a store in the somewhat behind the times great state of Maine, so we are taking advantage of the time we have in Cambridge during vacation and getting the registry done!  Well, for this store at least…

So what’s with the mailman love?  Boxing Day is meant to thank our letter (and package) carriers for all of their hard work throughout the year.  Since our mailman will probably be handling and delivering some wedding gifts and supplies, I wanted to thank him preemptively for his good deeds.  He has also gone out of his way to help my family this year, like when he helped Mother Library and I push our snowblower off from a patch of ice and into our garage.  On December 23, he found a fresh tin of homemade sugar cookies with a nice note of appreciation waiting for him in our box.

So here is to all of our mail carriers out there; may your job be easy and we brides and grooms thank you for all of the deliveries!