Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

Hive, I think I owe you a lot of updates on things that took place in a short span of time on a lot of things I left hanging.

For one, I babbled on about the story of how Mr. Porcupine got my engagement ring, but I didn’t show you all some pertinent picture evidence that it even exists. Also, my wedding band came in fairly quickly so here are both of those babies.

In person they look strikingly alike. You can’t tell that one is white gold and the other is platinum. I just need to get my engagement ring re-sized. We have to go to Baltimore to Smyth Jewelers to do this. If we get it sized elsewhere, it breaks our warranty. You see, my engagement ring is a size 5 1/2, even though I am really a 5 ¼. I’ve just sort of been making it work all this time. I ordered the wedding band in my actual size of 5 ¼, and the rings aren’t lying flush together. The engagement ring is sort of ballooning away from my finger noticeably. Who would have thought that a tiny little measurement difference like that would make such a blatant difference?

It’s all fine and good because we have two upcoming trips to PA, so we have two opportunities to hop on over to Baltimore to size my ring. We scheduled a menu-tasting which has helped a bunch with my wedding funkalunk. The tasting is actually on Mr. Porcupine’s birthday! So, we will turn a trip to PA into a wedding task/birthday extravaganza. If there is time we also will meet up with the Rabbi conducting our ceremony, and I might squeeze in a hair/make-up trial. If we can’t find the time I still have December.

Lastly, the rehearsal dinner problem is solved! Mr. Porcupine’s parents found a place. We will have the rehearsal dinner at the Press Room, which has a pretty unique "newspaper theme" to it. We’re not set on the menu yet, but the American-style food options sound great. Best of all it will fit our large group! I love that the party room is called the Publisher's Room, since I work in publishing. Now, let’s hope they don’t go out of business too!

The moral of the story is it all works out. Things start coming together whether or not you think they will. Sometimes it's best to just go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

That Big White Dress

I debated over whether or not to post about THE dress. Mr. Porcupine reads all my blog posts, and he is just a bit too curious for his own good. So, Mr. Porcupine, I am probably sitting on the couch adjacent to you as you are reading this. Put down the laptop and walk away now, or I will not feed you dinner for the next month. ;)

**all photos are personal except for where it is noted

The second reason I was unsure about posting is that my dress story is pretty boring. I searched the interwebs for months before trying on my first dress. I went to only two stores. On the second visit the third or fourth dress was it. And, then, I was done...

I didn’t try on a single wedding dress for almost 6 months after getting engaged. Overall, I was dreading the task. I hate, hate, HATE dress shopping in general. My body is weird, and I always have a hard time finding a dress that fits me right. I’m usually a size 10 or 12, but since I’m short the length is ALWAYS wrong on me. I was also unsure about doing a traditional long gown. I was convinced it would dwarf me.

My internet search obsessions were as follows, in order of preference:

Image via Mori Lee

I obsessed over these dresses for what felt like forever. There were a few more in the mix, but these were the main contenders. I especially drooled over the Mori Lee gown with all of the intricate ruching.

Of course, the first shop I went to in New York had none of the dresses I had laboriously searched for. My mom and two of my bridesmaids that were along for the ride that day pulled some dresses similar to what I had printed out. I soon realized that the A-Line look I loved was indeed dwarfing me. I’m not even kidding when I say that the ratio between my knees and my ankles is ridiculously miniscule. The slight puff of the A-line was making me look like a little girl playing dress-up (and I plan on wearing flats or low heels because Mr. P is not that much taller than I am. I think I’m allowed 1 teeny vain bridal moment).

Nothing caught my eye except for one dress, the ever popular Adorae by Sottero and Midgley.

Yes, I’ve chopped my head off again due to my horribly wonky-eyed goober facial expression.

Everyone loved it, but I had a weird kind of feeling about it. I liked it the best out of everything else I tried on, but that wasn't saying much. It didn't feel like me. It felt way too glamorous for the rustic-chic feeling I want for our wedding. If I was having a different type of wedding then maybe it would have worked out. I also felt really hippy in it when I saw the photo of myself. Granted, this is the worst angle EVER to take a photo, but still a problem.

A few weeks later my mom, sister, and I were off to another shop. I pulled a bunch of random dresses that I hadn't previously noticed online. They didn’t have my Mori Lee obsession in stock, but I pulled a very similar dress hoping it would appease me. I tried on a few dresses that, again, just weren't doing it for me. I also tried on the awesome short Justin Alexander gown that I can’t wait to see Miss Kettle rock! Unfortunately, I’m way too short for the teacup length. And, then, I pulled on a simple WToo style that I had blindly grabbed off the racks.

I tried it on minus the flower, and my consultant quickly wrapped a sparkly belt around me. After the belt went on, I am not even exaggerating when I say, everyone in the shop stopped, stared, and started commenting on how that was MY dress. One girl approached me for the style number because she was off to another appointment, but had to try the dress on. It was completely bizarre and surreal. I am really NOT that girl. I never imagined I’d have a “this is the dress moment,” but I did!

I was a little hesitant to buy the dress without ever trying on my little Mori Lee baby. But my consultant was awesome. Earlier, I had tried on a very similar dress to my Mori Lee obsession, which I had hated on me. She assured me that the Mori Lee I had coveted was so similar that I would have the same reaction to it. I quickly realized she was right. Why turn away from a dress I clearly loved for a style that I continuously noticed wasn’t working for my body type?

The final product will look very different from the stock photo.  Along with the belt addition (which ironically is by Mori Lee), I plan on making the top dip into a sweetheart neckline. After the consultant assured me all these tweaks were completely possible I tried on a few veils. I chose one with a few rhinestones sewn into it, and about a half an hour later the store had my mom’s deposit! The best part is that the dress alone is under $1,000! The accessories and alterations will bump it up a little, but the price was exactly in the budget.

I managed to get one semi-decent photo of the dress, and a close-up of the belt that won me over.

I have no idea why I look tan here, but I hope that happens on my wedding day

Was your dress hunt easier than you anticipated it to be? Did you end up in a dress different from what you imagined?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Where do I stick the religion?

Mr. P and I are Jewish by birth. How we practice Judaism, however, doesn’t exactly fit nicely into a box that can be defined. We celebrate pertinent holidays, but sort of do it “our” way (maybe we break the Yom Kippur fast a little bit before sundown). Although I identity myself as being Jewish, it doesn’t hold a huge weight over my life. I would say I am more “spiritual” than anything else. I believe in some of the laws of Judaism. Others, I have a hard time putting myself behind. I believe there is SOMETHING out there, may it be God, Allah, or Aladdin- I don’t know. I also think there’s a place good people end up. It's too depressing for me to think there is nothing out there in that great beyond.

Regardless of my own religious opinion of things, there will be many Jewish traditions that will show up in our wedding. Mr. P grew up a little more “religious” then I did. He wasn't Orthodox, but was raised somewhere between Reform and Conservative. He didn’t live in a kosher home or strictly celebrate the Sabbath. But, he did go to Hebrew school, learn Hebrew, have a Bar Mitzvah, and quit it on the bread products during Passover. I grew up in a much more lax household. I didn’t want to go to Hebrew school as a kid so no one forced me to. I never learned Hebrew. I never had a Bat Mitzvah. On Hanukkah we added some "Christmas touches" (minus the tree, holly, and baby Jesus). Our family (still to this day) gets together, eats a big dinner with latkes, and exchanges a lot of presents that we unwrap together. There’s nothing really religious about the whole affair. It’s more like a good reason to get us all together.

To be honest, I don't know things that I “should.” I always had a vague understanding of Judaism. I know a lot more about the traditional aspects of Judaism than I do the religious ones. I never really thought about the religious side of how my wedding would go. I could honestly get married by a Justice of the Peace and be cool with it, but given Mr. P and our families' wishes I am on board with incorporating our faith. We will be getting married by a Rabbi, have a chuppah (a canopy you get married under) at our ceremony, and say the traditional blessings.

Recently I have been on a hunt for chuppah inspiration. A chuppah, in Jewish tradition, is a symbol of the home a couple will build together. It is simply four poles (or people) holding up a cloth that the couple gets married under. Traditionally a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) can serve as the cloth covering. Being less traditional (and religious) I’ve been thinking of using some blue fabric draped over the top to incorporate our color palette. We have the necessary poles, which my future in-laws acquired from a couple that moved out of the area. They didn’t want to schlep their chuppah along with them. It is made up of four white birch “poles” in potted plants that our florist will fill with some branches and blooms.

A traditional chuppah in a temple ceremony
Via Wikipedia

Love the intertwined branches in this one

Super simple chuppah via Sukkahsoul

Closest to my idea via

I still haven't quite figured out how to bring it all to fruition. I figure I need to get measurements of  the distance between the poles and get to a fabric store. I am a failure at anything involving sewing so I am hoping it comes together easier then I am imagining it will. At least the poles, which I would think are the most difficult part, are already set and ready to go.

Anyone have any chuppah-constructing tips? Anyone have a weird half-in/half-out relationship with your faith?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Soooo, how'd ya meet?

Everyone loves that question. Sooooo, how did ya meet? Mr. Porcupine and I used to get that a lot. Almost 5 years later, and that question has sort of worn off, but I'm sure you guys are wondering.

It was my junior year when we first "met." I had just left the first of many sorority rush events (*ahem* I mean "recruitment" since the word rush was banned from our school, yea...) and I was sweaty and disgusting. I remember our recruitment shirts that year- they were black and it was one of those hot September days that haven't yet realized that summer is over.  Me.No.Like. Hence our March wedding.

My roommate and I stopped to speak to one of our sorority sisters who was one of the RAs of her dorm. A few of her residents came downstairs, and a friend of hers brought his dog over. Mr. Porcupine was one of those residents. He and his roomie stood around petting the dog. We all introduced ourselves. Then, we left. Exciting, I know. Why in the name of Charlie Chaplin do I even remember this?

Fast forward a few weeks later and Mr. Porcupine's good (female) friend decided to pledge my sorority (*ahem* I mean, decided to go through the "new member orientation process".... pledge, another banned word). Said friend became my sorority little sister. Yes, I know if you weren't in a sorority this sounds plain ridiculous, but I swear it seemed completely normal at the time. Now, when I slip and call her Little, people are all like buhhhh what is this "little" you speak of?

After my little started "new member orienting," aka pledging, Mr. Porcupine started to basically act like a JERK to everyone in the sorority. He will vehemently deny this, but it's true! We were all convinced he was jealous that his bud was not around as much anymore. I immediately decided to dislike him and ignore him when we would pass each other in the Communications building of our campus. I was also very mature in college, did I mention that?

Soooooo, we did that for awhile.

**all pictures are personal photos

Said little (who is actually average person sized) with Mr. Porcupine and I after we got together

Fast forward 1.5 years and my little brings him to my senior year semi-formal as a guest (as a friend, not as a romantic interest or anything- no dramz here), and Mr. Porcupine ended up hanging out with me most of the evening.  Fast forward a few more months, and we ended up meeting up at our college's sacrilegious weekly Friday happy hour (and by college's I mean the bar's down the street where everyone from our school went). From there we started "dating" aka no one I know "dates" in college, you "hangout" because you're too broke to join the real world of dating (which apparently exists).

A month later, before I left for spring break with some sorority sisters, I asked him what was going on. Were we a "couple?" So we decided to make it official, and the rest, as they say, is history. Actually before history began I got a fever, threw up the entire night before leaving for Acapulco (great start to a relationship don't ya think... "helpppp, I'm violently puking"), and wanted to die the first few hours we landed in Mexico.

Our first real "couple photo" upon my return from Mexico

I graduated that May (Mr. Porcupine still had a year to go) and moved home, which was only 45 minutes from our school. We did the "semi-long distance" thing for a year, and then, after he graduated, got our first apartment together. Now we're up to our second place and planning our wedding (for 1 1/2 years)! My, how time flies, and then starts trolling extremely slowwwwwly.

Was your "how we met" story one for the books? Or, did it just sort of happen?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Well Lookie Here, I'm a Bee??

I'm a bee? Say whaaa?? I am still in mass confusion about this. I was convinced my little redhead (okay, that's a lie- my head's not quite that little) would get lost amongst the many applications. But, then, one crazy busy day at work, I looked down at my Blackberry and blindly scanned the e-mail that said I was a Bee in a sleepy haze of confusion.

My brain did something like this: "think you'd be a great addition to the team." = Huh, when did I join a league? I'm on a team? What kind of weird spam is this?

Then the end-of-workday haze cleared and I scrolled back up to the "FROM" line, and it all made sense. I hope you guys are ready for me, because I'm a bit of a nut. I would say crazy, but I don't think that's politically correct anymore.

I had to pick the porcupine (after much difficult life decision deliberation), because a) her hairdo resembles my fro in its natural form (thank you hair gel/hair straightener gods) and b) like this little dude I may look sweet, but I definitely have a prickly side to me. I can't help it. It's the Brooklyn in me!

So, who the are these kids, you ask?

Just another day in the life...

Cleaning up for my college roomie's wedding

We're two wackos who found each other in college right before I graduated (even though we had already known each other for 2 years). I'm a sarcastic New Yorker and he's a friendly Pennsylvanian. I'm obsessive compulsive and he's laid back. (Isn't that how it always seems to go?) He's a sports fanatic and I'm a celebrity news junkie. Our shared love of all things buffalo wings, lazy movie nights, Mexican food, obsessively making plans way too far in advance, and cheap wine keep us together.

Oh, did I mention we also share the wacko gene.

Our trip to Mexico in 2010 at a "tequila factory"
(lies, it turned out to be in a mall)

Because I like to be ironic (but hopefully there's no rainnnnnnnnn on our wedding day), we're getting married in Lancaster, Pennsylvania: home of the Amish, in a converted barn with an attached rustic ballroom. Not like I'm a stereotypical New Yorker or anything, whose lungs hurt when breathing in country air...

We have a great big eclectic wedding party. Think sorority girls meet "I Love You Man" (the movie). I've never been a big "wedding head" (but, why, yes it looks like I'm here blogging about my wedding), but have learned to embrace planning (and Etsy). We have accomplished a lot that I can't wait to blab your ears eyes off with, and also have a whole lot more to do. At this point- with 7 months to go- I am looking forward to just being able to dance to Lady Gaga with a glass of champagne. So let's go kiddies!!

**all pictures are personal photos**

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The non-crafty crafter wannabe

I want to be crafty, I really do, but I am a crafting failure.

I love DIY-weddings, but over the years I have learned that I'm not the best at DIY projects. In my head the ideas always sound great, but then I begin the project and lose my brainz.

During my sorority days crafting took up far too much of my time. There is something about being in a sorority that makes girls do things like paint giant wooden greek letters and create sorority family trees on faux tree bark. More times than I care to remember, I would begin a project, gladly going along my merry way, and then hit a snag. I would try to overcome this snag and cause another even bigger snag. Slowly, one by one, I would feel each little nerve ending in my brain POPPING, until finally it would lead to a fit of rage, ending with me throwing the craft across the room. Not.Pretty.

There are a lot of things I would LOVE to craft for the wedding (invitations, place cards, centerpieces, bridal party accessories, etc.), but I have decided-for the sake of my sanity, to narrow it down to crafts I KNOW I can do. The last thing I want to do is inflict torture upon myself when planning what is supposed to be a joyous day.

On a trip to Michael's a few weekends ago, I poked around the store to get some ideas. One of the things I plan on DIYing is our favors. I decided pretty early on to give homemade fudge as a favor. For reasons related to Ben & Jerry's, my brain relates fudge to NYC, and I am trying to string some of my NYC pride into our Lancaster, PA wedding.

Image via Bestuff

Plus, I make really good fudge, and growing up my mom's go-to for the monthly school bake sales was a batch of chocolate chunk fudge. I just need to find something to put the pieces in. Another semi-easy DIY task for my non DIY-brain. (Stick this sticker on the center of the box and repeat).

*Personal Photo*

I loved these cute little monogramed boxes at Michael's, but wasn't too into the price since we would have to buy a few of these packs. Even though I wasn't ready to buy, I definitely love the idea of a cute little box of fudge with a peacock feather strung onto the top. And, best of all, I can accomplish the DIY aspect of it (I hope).

A few Google searches brought up some cute options.

Image via Blisstree

I love these Tiffany inspired boxes, because of my sick love of all things Tiffany, but I don't know if I can think of a good reason for how they fit into the wedding.

Peacock themed box via David's Bridal

This peacock box is pretty self explanatory. We will probably end up with something like this when it's all said and done.

Do you wish you were a better DIY skilled bride? 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Weekend of Wedding Tasks

A few weekends ago I embarked on a whirlwind of weddingland tasks. (How many "w"s are in that sentence?) To start, Black House White Market was having an awesome sale and I found a great dress for one of the 342 weddings I will be attending in the next year.

*All pictures are personal photos*
Please excuse my chopped off head... I was 
making a horrible one eyed goober wonky face

This is pretty good for me, considering I usually wait until the last minute humanly possible to buy a dress before an event, pick the first thing I find that I halfway like, and then look back at pictures and hate my procrastinating self. The best thing about this dress is that I can just keep adding a new belt for every wedding I go to. Buying 342 dresses gets too expensive, sheesh. Belts, however, are the broke girl's budget friendly option.

On our way home from a weekend spent eating and drinking our weight in calories we stopped to see a movie. While meandering through the mall to kill time before it started, Mr. Porcupine and I stumbled upon a Kay Jeweler. One really good salesman later, plus a labor day sale, ended with us having walked away ordering wedding bands!

Turns out, the reason the platinum/gold combo was looking so strikingly horrible was because my ring was SUPER dirty. Not just a little dirty, but more like I fell in a pool of molasses and when I made it through to the other side rolled in a pile of mud dirty. The salesman quickly ran it through their jewelery cleaning machine so that I could get a better idea when comparing wedding bands to my engagement ring. It came out looking like a BRAND NEW ring!

Suddenly the white gold paired up with the platinum looked just fine. I wish I would have thought to snap a picture of the rings together, but we were too caught up in the whole process. I will have it in a few weeks. First, it needs to be sized properly and re-tweaked. Until then we were able to walk away with Mr. Porcupine's band.

He went with a tungsten band that has some etching in the middle. It's a little hard to see via craptastic Blackberry photo. I was surprised that finding my band was quick, simple, and painless. After our Zales fail I didn't have high hopes, but the salesman at Kay saw my engagement ring and knew just what wedding band would match instantly.

Mr. Porcupine was Mr. Indecisive. He kept going back and forth on how many millimeters he wanted the band to be, if he wanted it all black, if he wanted it made in tungsten or gold. It took awhile, but the choice is made, and we have another thing crossed off the list without even expecting it to happen.

Did you make any wedding related decisions on a whim? Was your wedding band hunt easier than anticipated or harder than you imagined?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Paper vs. Chalk

I love all things paper. When I was a kid I was always way too into my back-to-school supply shopping; I love roaming around the stationary/journal section of bookstores; and I still prefer a paper list to a digital one, but paper products can be pricey! When it comes to the wedding I have been looking a lot into chalkboards. It goes perfectly with the rustic feel of our venue.

Image via Wedding Chicks / Photography by Emily Faulknor
Image via Something Blue Brides / Photo by Heather Neckers

Image via The Knot 

We are definitely going to have a menu chalkboard. Since all of the dinner choices will be decided upon when invites go out there will be no need for menu cards. A chalkboard menu displayed at the venue entrance will do the trick at refreshing everyone's memory on what they are about to eat. We are still undecided on the chalkboard seating chart.

I can already hear my grandma: What's this smudge?? *licks finger and erases everyone at her table*

How are you planning on wrangling all the different paper aspects of your wedding?

Peacock Purpose

My friends, family, and bridesmaids keep asking me what is up with the peacock thang? I am not overly into "themed" weddings, but I have been incorporating peacock accents into the wedding. But, why?

Well, the answer is simple... I don’t know.

After getting engaged, picking a venue, and beginning to iron out the details of our day, Mr. Porcupine and I easily agreed on doing a “blue thing.” We both love blue. Mr. Porcupine objected to “girly” colors- whatever those may be. Since I never thought much about my own wedding I was cool with that. I don’t want a pink wedding (one of said girly colors Mr. Porcupine objected to), and I always flock to blue. Easy, simple, done.

Then I started my foray into wedding blogs. Peacock weddings were popping up everywhere. The blue/green-ness (and yes, sometimes purple- but I’m skipping out on that color) matched up with the colors I love to wear. Even though I will be WEARING a white dress on the big day, I still flock to a blue color palette. It’s bizarre. If you look into my closet you will see far too much blue. Sometimes I come home with new clothes, hang them in my closet, and curse at myself for buying something seemingly the same exact color as 90 other things in my closet. Apparently I also have wardrobe memory loss.

So, why peacock? I dunnoz, I LIKE IT! Sometimes planning a wedding makes people too obsessive with finding the freakin' meaning in all the details. Yes, I want a meaningful wedding, but everything doesn't have to go with a story. (Once upon a time Miss Porcupine met Mr. Porcupine while walking through a beautiful field. In the yonder distance they saw a peacock strutting its stuff down a hill. They knew right then and there they were meant for something huge....err no). Sometimes you forget that a wedding is also about having fun, and celebrating the start of a new family. You can't find more meaning then that.

So, we’re doing this peacock thing. Because I said so. Because it's fun! It will look darned pretty, and everyone will like it. And, if they don’t, I will never know, because I certainly don’t think anyone will tell me to my face. Winning all around.

Did you pick your wedding colors or theme on a whim, or do they hold more meaning to you?