Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm So Over This

Alternate Title: "Why Are We Having a Wedding Again?"

Or, "Man, I'm Tired"

So, I'm kinda over all this wedding stuff. I mean, yes, I am excited to marry Mr. M and be his wife and all that. And, I'm excited to see all our friends and family. And I'm most excited to wear my pretty dress. Just kidding...not really.

But, I'm soooooooooooooo tireddddddddddd of making decisiooooooonnnnnnnnnnns [that's my whiny voice]. Like, for instance, what to name our tables. We could number them...or we could name them after cat breeds...or we could name them after Harry Potter things (like the Shrieking Shack and the Whomping Willow, and wouldn't it be fun to put people at the Slytherin table???)...or we could name them after trees, since we sorta have this tree theme going...sort of.

 The Whomping Willow via Harry Potter Lexicon

The Whomping Willow is a tree! OMG, also, I feel like I have ADHD all the time, and like I'm hopped up on meth too, not that I actually know what meth is like, but I can imagine. In my mind it's like "buttons, seating chart, hair, make up, rain, rain, tent, freaking tent, coffee, fall, leaves..." and on and on and on all freaking day and night long.


And then, favors. I mean, honestly, does anyone coming to my wedding really want a favor? I would be fine if I never, ever got a favor at a wedding again for as long as I live, to be honest. I mean, they are cute and all, but one cares. Right? Or do people talk smack about you if you don't have a favor? "OMG, I can't believe the Magics had cake, brownies, and s'mores, but couldn't even be bothered to get their guests a freaking favor!"

Also, I can already tell the seating chart is gonna be a freaking disaster. Has anyone ever assigned seats totally and completely randomly? Or, like, completely for your own amusement? Like, seating exes next to each other "on accident," or assigning those family members at war the same table? I'm just kidding, I would never do that.

I'm also not exactly sure why other stuff is still going on. For instance, work. Laundry. Tropical storms. I don't have tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime [whiny voice] for this mess. I need to make some lists and then not actually get anything done on the lists.

I swear I'll be into it again in a day or two, but right now I am so FREAKING over it. Have you ever felt over it?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Expensive Gauzy Headpieces

I don't think I've told you about my veil yet. You’ve been waiting, I know. I’ve actually had my veil forevah-evah…I bought it before I bought my dress. Allow me to explain.

I tried on the dress that is The One, which I haven’t technically revealed to you fully yet, but did give you a partial view. OK, fine, here's another snippet. 

Crappy photo of lovely dress and Barbie veil, courtesy of Yours Truly

I hadn’t bought the gown yet, or even fully committed to it, but I had tried on veils with the dress that would become The One, and I knew that the veil I wanted was a Barbie veil. That’s not the actual name for it.

I guess cathedral veils are really in these days, but when I tried those on, they made me feel like, um, what’s the expression? A wolf in sheep’s clothing? No. A whore in church? Eh, closer. It made me feel, basically, like I was pretending to be something I wasn’t.

But then I tried on the Barbie veil, and it made me feel happy and floofy and like dancing! People also kept trying to put it lower down on the back of my head, which I guess is more classy or something. I was like “Heck no, y’all, stick it up there near the top for maximum floofiness!” And then they had to listen to me because I am the bride.

Image via Wow Dolls

I went to a Brides Against Breast Cancer event, trying to find The One. The dress was not there, they had had it, but sold it in Ohio or something. But then I tried on some veils, and they had a Barbie one for sixty bucks! Which I still thought was outrageous, but the new one I had tried on previously was 220$.

I bought the veil, which is an elbow length two layered double ribbon edged veil. It was too white for my dress, but the lovely ladies at Victorian Rose (where I bought my dress in Raleigh) tea dyed it for me for free, and now it matches perfectly! 

And that’s the story of how I got a veil before the dress. Did you buy anything “out of order”?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Magic's Top Ten Magical Tips to Stress Free Invitations

(This is a Harry Potter reference laden post. Just thought I'd warn you, in case that's not your thing.)

10. Ask your house elf to do the invitations. House elves are super competent and love to be helpful. I’m not insinuating you should get a slave to do it, though. Everyone knows you’re supposed to pay your house elves nowadays, duh.

Image via Wizarding Life

9. Use those magical office assistants that Professor Umbridge had assembling that Anti Muggle Propaganda. They were super efficient and would probably prefer working for you anyways.

8. Use the Hogwarts owls instead of collecting addresses and using stamps. They are free for any student to use, so you’re either gonna have to get admitted to Hogwarts or use your invisibility cloak and the Marauder’s Map to sneak in. But there are hundreds of owls there, so just give as many owls as you need the invitations and tell them who to find, and sit back and relax, knowing that delivery is secure.

7. When you run out of supplies, like twine or stamps, just use a summoning charm to get what you need. “Accio A4 envelopes!”

6. Get someone to teach you how Voldemort did that Dark Mark in the sky thing. Text all your family and friends to look in the sky at 10:00pm on Friday night, and cast the details of your wedding up there, with the last line saying “We will await your reply by owl or Patronus.”

5. When people don’t RSVP, just poke your head in their fireplace and ask them if they are coming or not.

Image via Cyborgmantis

4. Get the criminals in Azkaban to help out. They most likely did something super bad to be in there, but can do something more productive than just having their souls crushed by Dementors. There should be a rehabilitation program where they can contribute to society by measuring, cutting, folding, and assembling invitations.

3. Put all your eligible guests into categories: Mr. M's family, Miss M's family, Mr. M's friends, Miss M's friends, people we don't know but are somehow on our list anyway. Throw all the names into the Goblet of Fire and wait until the winner from each category flies out. Hooray! Now you only have five guests. See #8 to let the lucky winners know they are invited.

2. When you are halfway through the invitation process and have watched five Harry Potter movies, drank three bottles of wine, spent countless hours tying twine and sticking stamps, and have finally realized this whole thing was a huge mistake, grab a Time Turner, go back in time, and send an evite.

1. As soon as you get engaged, just go ahead and ask a Death Eater to perform the Cruciatus Curse on you. Remind yourself, “That’s what the entire invitation process will feel like.” Decide to just make an Unbreakable Vow with your partner that you will love them forever. See? Married already. Dunzo.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lookin’ Scary

Recently, I went to get a makeup trial done. On the advice of my hair stylist, I went to see her cousin
who works at ULTA but also has done bridal makeup for years. I talked to her cousin on the phone and she was super polite and upbeat, so I had a good vibe.

I made an appointment for a trial during an event they were having. That seemed like the easy,
affordable way to go, but wasn’t the best idea in the end. Each makeup artists was only allotted 30
minutes per customer, so it felt kinda rushed. Plus, we weren’t really supposed to be talking about bridal makeup…it was a covert operation. So I couldn’t really go into too much about what I wanted, which is really something like this:
Carrie Underwood / Image via Zimbio
When all was said and done, I liked the foundation fine, and the blush was OK, and the lips were
good…but the eyes were bad. My immediate thought was “I look like a zombie.”
The Walking Dead Season 2 image via Backseat Cuddler

Now, to be fair, I’m not used to wearing a ton of eye makeup…in fact, these days, I rarely wear any
makeup at all, because it’s hotter than a nanny goat in a pepper patch outside. But, when I go out, I
wear brown eye liner, some neutral eye shadow (cream, brown, green), and some brown black mascara. I think I look pretty good. 

This is me with day old makeup. I look very much like, well, me!

But these eyes were intense. She used grey eye liner and pinks for the eye shadow. I feel like the
pink eye shadow contributed to the blood thirsty zombie look, because I’m not really tan (I don’t do
that anymore, I wised up about five years ago, sunscreen FTW!), so the paleness and pink made me
personal photo from my iPhone
I swear it was scarier in real life. I know, I know, you need more makeup for photos blah blah blah. I'm not into it. If you don’t believe me, you can ask Mr. M. He came home from work and said “Whoa.” And not like “Hot damn, whoa” more like “Ew. Whoa.” I was trying to be positive and said “I got my makeup trial done today!” and he said “I can see that.” A few minutes later he said “You look scary.” And probably the absolute last thing I want to do on the wedding day is scare my groom. I mean, I’m just sayin’….

So, my MUA had texted me to see if I liked it, and I responded that I liked the foundation and lips, but
wanted to tweak the eyes. It’s been a week, and no response back. Do I:

1. Text or call her again.
2. Find someone else (anyone know a good MUA in RDU?)
3. Just save the money and do the makeup myself.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Bee's Life - Magic Style

How did I find Weddingbee?

I don't remember. I'm telling you, my memory is total crap. I know I found it after I was already engaged. I'm not sure how I didn't find it sooner because I sure as heck was Googling wedding related things for years before that.

I think what had happened was, I was searching for something wedding related online, and the majority of searches came up with Wedddingbee results, because let's face it, us bees are some creative and awesome brides. At first I was like, "What the heck is a Miss Cheeseburger?" In fact, I think I decided this site was for wackos (sorry!) and vowed to stay away. But Google kept punting me back here and I was quickly hooked.

I loved both the blogs and the boards and read and posted a lot on both. And I knew right away I wanted to be a Bee, so freaking bad....

My Application Story

What's a Blog?
Once I realized that people actually blogged about their weddings, and then figured out what a blog was (I'm technologically impaired), I got myself one faster than you can say "Accio Blog." I had always enjoyed writing fictional stories as well as personal pieces, and had started writing before about my life in general, but it always petered out because I didn't have a focus.

This wedding blog served a couple of purposes for me. One, it gave me an outlet for talking about my wedding plans, fears, and freakouts without subjecting actual living humans to listen to me. Did you know that not everyone likes to listen to me talk about wedding stuff? I know...crazy, but true. So this was good for me, and for them. Two, it got me writing again, which has been really fun and rewarding for me. I needed a hobby other than reading the Harry Potter series on a loop, over and over again.

Blogging with Intent
So, I started my blog for the purposes listed above but I always had the intent on planning to be a Bee. I'm somewhat competitive, I guess, and I just wanted to be a Bee so FREAKING BAD. We got engaged in December 2009 and I started my blog in March 2010. I looked at the Weddingbee applications and got a sense from the other blogging bees what a "good blogger" was.

I realized that it's important to post regularly (about three times a week). It's important to engage the reader, by asking a question or otherwise soliciting comments at the end of a blog post. Use photos and source them properly. And it's important to have a "voice," whatever that is. So I tried to do all those things.

I read some of the A Bee's Life series and freaked out about the application process. Someone said they had a nine page application, and that some applicants made powerpoints and slide shows! I was like "Whoa, these girls are crazy...ok, what can I do?" Again, I'm technologically impaired, so I just made my application as humorous as possible, and when asked why I wanted to be a Bee, I wrote a song to the tune of "I Wanna Be a Billionaire (So Freaking Bad)." Here's a snippet:

I wanna be a bee-ee-eeeee
so freakin’ bad
Blog about the wedding plans I have
I wanna be on the cover of
Brides magazine
Smilin’ next to Pengy and Mrs. Bee

Oh every time I close my eyes
I see my name on weddingbee’s site, yeahhhhhh
My cute lil avatar tears up my eyes
I swear, the blog world best prepare
When I’m a bee up there

I have no idea if this made me lame or awesome in Pengy's eyes, but she put my app through to be voted on. ( it probably wasn't this song that was the deciding factor....)

And then I got the email that I was going to be a Carnival Bee and I FREAKED OUT and lost a bunch of sleep over whether I should be Miss Magic or Miss Sparkler. #firstworldproblems

What It's Like Being a Bee

The Pressure
OK, so I used to think it was ridiculous when bees would talk about how blogging is such a responsibility. "You already had a blog before you became a bee," I thought. "Now, you're just supposed to keep blogging like you've been doing. What's your damage?" Now that I'm on the other side, and especially now that I am much closer to our wedding (77 days!), I get it.

I immediately felt a lot of self-doubt and pressure when I first got accepted. Of course, this was all self-imposed. No one said "Magic, you suck, you're the worst bee ever," but I'm not gonna lie, I was a tiny bit scared it would happen! I felt pressure to write often, to be a DIY goddess, and to churn out a beautiful wedding...which I wanted to do anyway, but before I didn't have all you people reading about it!

Yeah, obviously, I wanted to be a bee to have more readers and comments and stuff, but I didn't anticipate the (totally self-imposed and possibly paranoid) pressure. If you just have your own blog and sink into a funk and don't feel like writing for a few weeks, or just aren't feeling inspired to write, it's no biggie. But being a WB blogger made me feel like I should write more, and write awesomely, even when I wasn't feeling inspired or was too busy with work / life / laundry.

I put a lot more energy into my posts now than when I did before. As a result, I am on the Boards way, way less...I was a pretty active Boards user before I became a WB blogger. Honestly, I can't even keep up with my fellow bloggers' posts lately...that stupid laundry gets in the way of everything!

The Perks

But...being a bee is awesome. I love having more than five people read my blog and comment on it. I love sharing my story, and hope that it's helpful, or at least entertaining. I enjoy reading comments and getting feedback, which I definitely take to heart. And I love, most of all, the sense of camaraderie between everyone here on Weddingbee. This is such a wonderfully positive online community, and it really makes me feel happy and special and all warm and fuzzy to be a part of it.

Advice for Potential Applicants

First and foremost, write well. If you're not a natural writer, be willing to write, edit, and rewrite.

Be yourself. If you aren't DIY girl, no biggie. If you're getting married in an ice castle, swell. Be yourself fully, and if yourself happens to be a little unique, that'd be cool, too. I totally was hoping being in my 30s would get me bonus points for uniqueness, but then Sloth and Lox came along before me. I don't think uniqueness boosts you up to the top (especially if you're writing is not good), but it definitely doesn't hurt!

Blog for as long as possible before you apply. That way, Pengy and everyone else gets a good snapshot of how you write, and you get a lot of practice in fine tuning your style. Blog three times a week, ask questions to your readers, include photos (your own and others) and source photos properly.

Apply as early as possible, so if you get rejected you can work on your writing and reapply.

Have fun with it! Good luck!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Expletive, Expletive, EXPLETIVE Tent

Insert your favorite expletives above.

I don't know what the %#@! problem is with tents. They are super pretty, right?

Image via Perfect Wedding Guide / Photo by Karla Fountain Photography

Image via The Merriment Blog

But for some reason, we are having a really, really difficult time conceptualizing this whole tent thing. Hence the use of multiple expletives...often.

I feel like this is a math problem that I am trying desperately to solve, but I can't because math is stupid and sucks. But I'm wondering if I maybe explain the problem to y'all, maybe one of you will be blessed with the intelligence, experience, and rational thinking skills that I seem to lack in response to this #^%$@! $#@!%^& tent problem.

Here's the situation. We have rented a place called The Barn at Valhalla. It consists of a structure referred to as a "barn," but it's not really a barn, and if you refer to it as such it will piss Mr. Magic off to no end. (I know, there's already a lot of factors in this problem, right?!?) This structure is not big enough to seat everyone for the reception.

How big is it, you [gutter minded girls] ask? Well, it's, like, this big...

Ok, fine, I'll give you some not exactly precise measurements in just a minute, but first, let me just explain that there is the inside part (see?) and an outside covered porch on either side (you can only see one of the covered sides above), and then an uncovered porch (that's it on the right side of the photo).

Image via Duffy Gilligan, Owner of The Barn at Valhalla

Note that the 50 x 30 for the Main Hall includes the space for kitchens and bathrooms. Below are my crappy diagrams where unusable space is blacked out. The first one is the sunny day plan.

We could also put a couple more tables on the dance floor and then break them down...but that seems like such a pain.

Here is the rain plan. 
 So, this one has all the guests seated in the tent. Dancing and stuff would be in the barn.

[Ugh, I feel so stressed just writing this blog post.]

Ok, so, we obviously need to rent a tent in case it rains, and probably a 40x60 tent (I have been advised that size is best, and that size is bigger than the one in the above rain plan). 

But, here's my big question. Do we just commit to using the tent rain or shine, as it will be more roomy and will give us more piece of mind...or do we use the tent only as a rain plan? If you are thinking the latter (which is somewhat more cost efficient...might save us 500-800$...which in the big scheme of things is like a drop in the bucket...might as well go ahead and rent some pink ponies while we're throwing this big huge freaking wedding...), let me tell you that first we put down a deposit, but then at most places we have to cancel the tent order one whole WEEK before to avoid paying the rest of the cost (we still lose our deposit). So, in some ways, it makes more sense just to spend the money, embrace the tent, have plenty of space and peace of mind.

What do you think we should do? And, what would you end the phrase "Expletive, Expletive, EXPLETIVE __________" with?


Embrace the Tent. It will be Gorgeous!

Reserve a Tent but Listen to the Meteorologist a Week Before, They are Always Mostly Accurate

Elope. Wedding Planning is for the Birds.