Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Adventurer....

In setting a wedding budget, it is paramount to first decide priorities. What are we willing to splurge on? What is non-negotiable? What can we cut costs on?

Until the last couple of weeks, my ideas were just a disconnected jumble. My whole thrust was saving money in every way possible (which really isn't all that fun if you ask me). Where's an inexpensive venue? Where can we go for a honeymoon that will be nice and low-cost?
Ah the Honeymoon. This was quite the pickle. We talked about staying in the US to keep airfair costs down. Staying in a boutique hotel somewhere like Seattle that is beautiful but low-key. Nothing really seemed to fit. We had some fair ideas but nothing that got us excited.
The whole time I had been feasting my eyes on images of resorts in the Maldives, South America, Greece, etc. just thinking 'if only...'
When I came upon a certain boutique villa hotel on the island of Santorini, I was stuck. I couldn't think anymore of our cost cutting honeymoon alternatives.
Beautiful Aenaon Villas: a series of sugar cubes descending contrastingly down the mountain between Imerovigli and Oia with stunning views of the Aegean Sea, caldera, volcano, and sunsets galore. Only seven villas, each with a white cloud of a bed and private veranda.
My darling was similarly smitten with the place, leaving us with a decision.

The decision was made: Our #1 priority for our wedding will be the honeymoon.

I've rolled up my sleeves with renewed enthusiasm and vision to plan the ultimate, low cost, DIY, upcycled/recycled wedding that will leave the majority of our wedding monies for our Greek boutique honeymoon.

Life of adventure, here we come!

Behind the title:
My mother and I were discussing the men that me and my sisters are involved with, each of them fitting perfectly with the kind of lifestyle that my mom and I picture working best for each of us. They really do fit who we are: My older sister with The Entrepreneur, my younger with The Prince. It was easy for me to fit my sister's men to their roles/titles but I was stumped when it came to me and my darling. I left the conversation to climb into bed for the night still wondering when my mom texted me: "I like it. The Entrepreneur, The Adventurer, and The Prince." And that is exactly so.

Wedding Idea of the Day:
Send paper airplanes made of old charts and maps sailing as the Bride and Groom make their exit (instead of rice or seeds)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pitching in

In researching costs for my wedding and trying to create a budget, I have been thinking alot about what a girl at my Chiropractor's office told me last week.
When the topic of wedding plans came up she asked me, "So how do white people do it? Mexicans have sponsors for each part of the wedding. Someone will sponsor flowers, someone catering, someone honeymoon, [etc]..."
How wonderful to have this (perspectively) huge expenditure be carried for you by your community.
Facing so many high cost items (invitations, postage, venues, dresses, rentals, airfare, hotel...) has already proved to be VERY daunting. Especially not knowing how much help we are going to get from our parents. It's my own fault for not knowing. I haven't asked. It feels like a touchy subject.
I read in The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Wedding that the FIRST THING you do when you are engaged is to sit down with your parents and find out how much they expect to contribute and begin setting a budget.
Welll.... maybe my perplexing pickle is due to my divided family. I was raised by my mom and am still in fairly close contact with my dad. Is it still my dad's responsibility to cover the wedding costs according to tradition? Does the responsibility fall to my very hard working but currently scantily employed single mother? Does the unshouldered burden default to my fiance's parents? Is the full load of the cost to fall to me and my fiance?
These things I do not know.
These things I have kept to myself.
These things I have been too uncomfortable to ask.
That is my difficulty in setting a budget.

I keep thinking that if my community was divying out and sponsoring costs, this planning experience would be substantially more pleasant.

And yet... as a testament to the wonderful company I keep, a girlfriend approached me and asked if I would do her the honor of accepting her help with the flowers for the ceremony and reception. I enthusiastically accepted her assistance and later discovered that she also means to cover the entire cost of florals. I will not be able to express to her the great relief she has bestowed upon me and the humble thanks that is owed to her.

So maybe there is a community out there for me after all.

And the truth is:

"Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you." I Peter 5:7
"Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

Wedding Idea of the day:

Alternative guest book: Silhouettes and finger print ballons! Use whatever colors of ink you want. You can have peaple write their names in their finger prints too.

Source: flickr.com via Caitlin on Pinterest

Monday, May 7, 2012

All on Wedding

Wedding pin of the day:

Pinned here I love the look and feel of this barn! So simple and family.

Wedding idea of the day:
Buy vintage stamps for a stamp montage on invitations.
Champion Stamp is a good resource for stamps.

Image from Martha Stewart Weddings
I played around with floral and airplane stamps of different values and colors for some custom combos that make up 45¢ worth of postage and how much each combo will cost per envelope (This is assuming that my invitations are within the weight limit of regular 45¢ postage) I hope I can work this into my budget!! This is what I came up with:

Which one do you like the best?

My wedding update:
The first venue we visited was the Ashton Depot in downtown Fort Worth.

Pinned here

It is an old train station that was restored. We were disappointed by how little 'oldness' was left in the restoration. We don't feel that they kept the integrity of the original building and purpose.
Consensus: Amidst little things about it that we didn't think were right for our wedding, our decision was mainly beased on that it is too all inclusive for us. We are looking for a blank space with indoor/outdoor options that we can budget and DIY to our heart's content.
We have a great lead on a venue that I have been to before but has just expanded, adding another event space that looks like it could be just what I imagined! :) Hopefully we'll be able to visit it this weekend.

My research project right now is to find hors d'oeuvres that will represent the foods that we each like best. I like potatoes. He likes bacon bleu cheese burgers. We both love cheese.

Something else I've been mulling over, is how to cheeply get/build farmhouse tables for the reception...

Pinned here
Any ideas on that?

Friday, May 4, 2012


My 5yr old nephew got a MONSTER sunburn.
His parents are out of town and my mom is babysitting so I went over there on my way to work today to help her treat it.
It is very blistered and the whole area is very rough.
I learned a natural burn treatment from a friend of my sister. I call it Indri's Treatment. My sister lives in a girl's boarding house in Boston, Mass with girls from all over the world. One evening she had a votive candle go crazy on her desk and in her haste to blow it out had wax splash all over her face and eyelids. Indri, (who is from Indonesia) came to her aid gathering ingredients from the other girls and treated the burn. It was 3rd degree and blistering badly. After the treatment, prayer from me and my mom, and a night of sleep, my sister woke up to the skin on her face almost completely healed and softer than it ever has been.

This is what Indri did:
1) Applied an egg yolk to the burn and fanned until the egg had warmed up
2) wash off with cool water
3) Applied thin slices of cucumber and fanned until they became warm and removed
4) Applied plain greek yogurt with honey and fanned until the yogurt was warm
5) wash off with cool water
Then my sister applied some burn ointment from another housemate who is from Russia.

I scaled the treatment up to use on my nephew's entire torso and down his arms a little bit.
He doesn't like gross things touching him so he was unhappy with thought of those food ingredients being all over him (except he thought the cucumber was a little funny).

Applying Cucumber slices

He wanted a picture so he could see what he looked like with cucumbers all over him
 After 'Indri's treatment' I applied Burt's Bees After Sun Soother.
I rushed off to work after so I haven't seen how his burn has improved, but he seemed happier when I left.

Here is Indri and my sister:

Thank you Indri! :)

Update 5/7/12
The treatment worked great. My nephew was happy and playing all day (still couldn't wear a shirt but he didn't care). He slept deeply  through the night, whereas the night before the treatment his burn was too painful for him to lie down or even to lean forward on pillows so he sat up and slept fitfully and very little. The blisters started to drain and heal the next day and he didn't complain about pain at all. I was even able to give him a haircut which is laborious on a good day. :)


click for larger image

I got my ring cleaned! It came back so much shinier!
We're thinking about leaving the wedding band on (they are sautered together) and adding our own wedding band but I'm not sure what will go well.
The Gemologist that looked at it when we took it to the jeweler said due to the age, wear, and number of times the ring has been worked on, it should not be worn all the time. With care though, it should last another 10-15 yrs with mostly continual wear. She recommended that we get a band that can be worn alone when I am doing something that I should not expose my engagement ring to so I don't ever have to go without a ring.

I like this band from Cathy Waterman but (even if money was no object) I'm not sure how well it would go with my ring. I don't want it to look out of place.
What do you think? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First venue visit!

I made an appoinment for this weekend to visit our first venue.
I was so flustered I could barely form coherant sentences! I couldn't even remember my own e-mail address!
I think I'm excited and nervous to actually be PLANNING MY WEDDING!!!
By Saturday I should be able to pull myself together so I don't faint, stutter, or twitch nervously at the venue. My fiance's steady arm around my waist will help wonderfully I think.

Whew! I did not expect this nervous manifestation of emotion! (I'm still shaking a little!)