Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Rehearse Eating Dinner? Yes!

One of the things I'm looking forward to most with this wedding, besides actually getting married, is all of the eating activities. There are all types of excuses to scarf down food. Besides the dinner at your reception, you can fill up on good food pretty much from throughout the entire wedding planning process. Engagement dinners, multiple bridal showers, bridal luncheons and of course, the rehearsal dinner. Ah, the rehearsal dinner. I don't know why most people only have one, I think I'll need a few rehearsals to perfect my yummy face.

Early on, we considered having it at a great Mexican restaurant a few blocks from Mr. Warbs' parents house. Since they're regulars, the owners gave them a really good deal that included pitchers of margaritas, beer and platters upon platters of food. My kind of party! But, it wouldn't have worked out logistically. The Mexican restaurant is in Whittier which is nearly 60 miles away from Malibu. So our options were to have the rehearsal dinner Thursday, have the actual rehearsal on Friday and the wedding on Saturday. There was way too much back and forth involved in that plan. We could also have had the dinner a couple of weeks before the wedding, but that just seemed odd to me. It just made more sense to have the dinner in the Malibu area. No enchiladas for us.

We checked out a few over priced restaurants before we settled on Buca di Beppo. Family style Italian food. For those not familiar with Buca, their food portions look like this:

Yum. Get in my mouth!
Image via ashleysbrideguide.com

Those are huge plates! Although you can get individual plates, most of the food is made for sharing. I'm a big fan of family style dining, because its bound to get everyone talking which is sometimes a problem at these events. "Hey, hand me that plate of chicken parm over there!" "Aunt Sally, stop hogging all of the lasagna!" Or something a little more friendly.

We figured that with the huge portion and our small bridal party, we could really get the most for our money. And our stomachs. Remember, we're big eaters. We've dined at the restaurant enough times to try a fair amount of the delicious menu. In my opinion, it's one of the better chain Italian restaurants. I love the stuffed shells and baked rigatoni. And pretty much everything on the menu.Yum.

After perusing their website, we found that they regularly accommodate large parties of 20 or more. They host all kinds of wedding events, even bachelorette parties.It was pretty easy to make the reservation with their catering manager, who advised us to select the menu before hand to cut down on costs. She also gave me an idea of how many servings a dish yielded so we could determine how much food we needed. For example, a large order of garlic bread serves 16 people. Super helpful! The best part is that the restaurant is only ten minutes away from the hotel, so we don't have to worry about too much driving. We're pretty confident that it's going to be a hit!

What kind of rehearsal dinner are you having? Formal or casual?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Two Warblers, One Suitcase

In celebration of Gobble Gobble Day, Mr. Warbs and I drove up to Las Vegas to eat turkey and break in my sister's new house. Oh yeah, and to gamble. It's Vegas. The day before we set out, I found Mr. Warbs packing some clothes in my suitcase. His clothes in my suitcase. Now, we share a lot of things, but for some reason, I was really bothered by this. Our conversation went like this:

Me: Um, that's my suitcase.
Mr. Warbs: Yeah, I'm just packing some stuff.
Me: So, I don't get to use my suitcase?
Mr. Warbs: Yes, there's plenty of room in here for your stuff too.
Me: What?
Mr. Warbs: We can share.
Me: ...

I consider myself to be a logical person. I can see the logic behind only taking one suitcase for the both of us. Since we weren't going to stay very long, it made sense. There was enough space for both of our clothes and toiletries. I even managed to stuff a couple pairs of boots in there. But, the idea of sharing a suitcase weirded me out. Instead of my suitcase, it was now our suitcase. It made me feel like I was losing my individuality. I know that sentence was about a hundred times more dramatic than it needed to be, but that's how I felt. Having my own space in our apartment and having something that I can call mine alone, is important to me. I love Mr. Warbs more than the sun, but I need to have my own things separate from us. I'm afraid that we might become a super "us" and our individuality will be sacrificed. I've seen couples that are so co-dependent on each other that they don't function well when they're apart. I don't want that for us. I guess I've been on my own for so long, it's going to take some time to get used to sharing everything. Since the Suitcase Incident, I've had a weird feeling about it and my strong reaction to it. I kind of feel like a crazy person.

What do you think Hive? Have you ever struggled to maintain your individuality in your relationship?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Remember the frustration I felt shopping with my mom for her dress? Well, it was all for naught because she found her dress! Without me. I guess shopping with me put too much pressure on her shoulders. Sometimes it's better to just step back and trust the woman who brought you into this world. I received an excited phone call from her over the weekend. Not only did she find her dress, she also found dresses for my Special Ops Flower Girls (shhh we're working on something). Sweet. Now that all of my ladies have their dresses, it's the guys turn! Good luck Mr. Warbs!

I have no idea which store she purchased these dresses from. When I asked she could only say, "Um...it was a store next to Target." Only my mother. Here are the dresses! Sorry about the photo quality.

Flower Girl Apple, Mama Warbs and Flower Girl Lala

Mama Warbs dancing around in her pretty dress

If you can't tell Mama Warbs' dress is burgundy with a black overlay. She got her short hemline too. Sassy. I'm happy with all of the dresses. I was slightly worried about the pink dresses at first, but the girls are so young I think they can pull it off. To be completely honest, I'm at the point right now where the less decisions I have to make the better. Seriously. Wedding planning has taken it's toll on me. Five more months!

 Flower Girl Lala tried alternative dress styles. She was denied.

How involved were you in picking your attendants' dresses? Were you peeved or happy if the decision was taken out of your hands?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Favor Indecision

When it comes to wedding favors, Mr. Warbs and I come from different camps. I think that it's nice to give our guests something to remember our wedding by. He thinks that favors are unnecessary because nobody ever keeps those things and we can put the money towards something else. I do agree that most favors are disposable and probably do get thrown out. I've only been to a few weddings and I definitely didn't keep the favors. Hell, I don't even remember what the favors were. Mints? Candy? Beats me.

So, if we're going to give our favors, we want them to be something that our guests can keep for a long time. And since we're having a loose bookish theme, it would be great if the favors could have a literary theme. I thought bookmarks would be cool. Cheap, compact and they're even in our wedding colors. Win!

Image via Hot Ref

But, as much as I love bookmarks, they do tend to get lost easily. Or maybe that's just me? Let's just say I found an old bookmark I got three years ago in one of my young adult books. Google led me to some other pretty awesome ideas of couples giving books as wedding favors. 

The couple gave a copy of their favorite book to guests.
Image via theknot.com / Photography by Julia Newman Photography

Image via Elizabeth Anne Designs / Photography by Zofia Photography

I even found a link to my old boss' blog! 

Each guest got to pick their own book. 

Books as favors that also served as place cards. Genius.
Image via Amorology / Photography by The Image Is Found

mage via Amorology / Photography by The Image Is Found

How awesome is this?
Image via Amorology / Photography by The Image Is Found

I think books would make for some pretty awesome favors. My mind is already running through which books to pick for each guest. But, if we end up going this route it could get pretty expensive. As much as I love this idea, Mr. Warbs brought up a good point. The money could be used somewhere else. I do have some other ideas that I'm still tinkering around with (cheesecake anyone?), but for now I'm stuck on books. 

What are your using as your wedding favors?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wedding Nightmares

Alternative title: Impending Doom

I had a pretty scary dream last night. Even scarier than my regular nightmares which are usually one of the following: I'm being chased in slow motion by Freddy Krueger from the movie Nightmare on Elm Street or I'm one of the people from the movie The Human Centipede. I've never even seen that last movie, but after hearing the plot described I began having recurring nightmares. If you've never seen it either, do yourself a favor. DO NOT look up the plot or photos online. You've been warned.

Last night's dream was about our wedding. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. In the dream we were all running around trying to get ready for the big event and all of our vendors were MIA. Our photographers, florist, make-up artist and hair stylist abandoned me. A bride's worst nightmare right? Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The dream got weirder. My MOH disappeared, and by disappeared I mean he vanished right before my eyes while I was talking to him. Mr. Warbs and I got separated by a huge shrub maze that materialized right in the middle of our venue. It took us forever to find each other again and when we did, I discovered that a handful of my teeth had fallen out. At that moment I looked down at my watch to see that we only had half an hour before the ceremony was supposed to start. No way was I walking down the aisle with no MOH, no flowers, no make-up and half my teeth missing!

Now, I've been known to have some strange dreams, but that freaked me out the most. I've had the teeth falling out dream enough times to know that it's supposed to mean I'm afraid/I feel like I'm losing control. I'm actually surprised that I haven't had this particular dream before. From day one I've been trying to control every aspect of the wedding. We're not having a band or DJ because I want to control the reception music. I fought pretty hard to control the food, but ultimately let Mr. Warbs handle that. There are tons of other decisions that I've made regarding the wedding that I labeled "creative projects", but now I've been wondering if I was just being  a control freak.

It's very hard for me to just let go and not worry about every little detail. The truth is, I can't control whether the photographer, florist or other vendors show up. I can't control whether or not my MOH suddenly disappears, other than setting up strategically placed cheesecakes around the venue to keep him reeled in. I'm going to have to accept that those are all possibilities. Sure, we can look for responsible vendors and research weather trends until we've gone cross eyed, but...things happen. In the grand scheme of things, your wedding day will probably not be the most important day of your life. It's a day of celebration, but those days after your wedding, also known as your marriage, will hopefully mean a lot more.

Are you having trouble giving up control in your wedding?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DIY Mason Jars

We've booked the venue, photographer, videographer and all the other big details. Now that we have some downtime before the big day, it's time to get started on the DIY projects! Early on I fell in love with the classic look of blue mason jar centerpieces. Perfect for our outdoor wedding. But they're extremely rare and tend to go for about $8 or $10 per jar. A cheap bride's best friend, also known as Google, helped me find an easy way to get the same look for a lot less. Stain the damn things blue with glass paint! If you are a broke bride or are just feeling crafty, here's how I did it.

What you'll need:
-Mason Jars (Purchased at Walmart for $10)
-Vitrea 160 in Turquoise (Purchased at Michael's for about $5. I also got the Indian red color to play around with)
-Vitrea 160 Paint Thinner (Also purchased at Michael's for $5)
-Fan Brush (some people have used sponge brushes, cheese cloth and rags)
-Tupperware (Preferably stain resistant!)

Close up of the paints and thinner

Depending on how many jars you want to stain, you won't need to use a lot of paint. In order to get the transparent look, you need to use more thinner than paint. Since I stained twelve jars, I used a spoonful of paint and three spoonfuls of thinner. I mixed them together in a tuppereware bowl. If you're only staining a couple, I would recommend a pinkie size of paint and three times as much thinner. So basically a ratio of 25% paint, 75% thinner.

I placed my jar in a separate tupperware bowl because I don't like making messes. I also found I could use the excess paint, a plus! I lightly dipped my fan brush into the paint and went over the jars in long strokes from top to bottom. Almost immediately I noticed some streaking, but I don't think that's avoidable. I tried using a rag and got the same results. Just try to brush evenly. Don't fret if you still have lots of streaks! I'll tell you how to fix that later.

My first one was kind of bad. I got better though.

Since red is my all time favorite color and one of my wedding colors, I tried the red paint on a couple of the jars. I didn't like the way they came out though. I don't know if they needed more paint, or what I just didn't like them as much as the blue. Oh well, trial and error.


The finished pack. I'm trying to hide the red ones in the back there.

The next step was easy. I let the jars dry for a full 24 hours and in the meantime proceeded to read Christopher Pike's latest vampire book. Vampires are never going away people. The next day I placed the jars on a cookie sheet and let them bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 325 degrees. The heat helps set the paint and gets rid of the streaks. If after everything you still notice streaks, I wouldn't worry too much. Once you put flowers and water in the jars, no one will even notice.

Baking jars

I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. Like I said before, the streaks that I did notice were pretty minuscule at this point. After the cooled off, I filled one up with water and arranged a grocery store bouquet. I kind of wish I had thought to buy the actual flowers we're using for the wedding, but I was happy with the way these turned out. This was by far the easiest wedding project I've ever tackled!

Voila! "Vintage" blue mason jars!

*All photos are personal

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Other Mama

I detailed here my experience shopping with my mom for her dress. We bickered, laughed and gave each other headaches. And in the end we left empty handed. Well, this time it's time to talk about the other mama: my future mother-in-law. While out with her sister, she found a dress she liked at David's Bridal. I got an excited phone call about it and told her if she liked it to just go ahead and buy it. She said the color was a nice burgundy, the dress was knee length, had  a jacket and was perfect. In my head I was thinking "Yay! One less thing I have to make a decision on!" But she would not buy it without showing it to me first. So we made plans to go see the dress together the next day. I figured we'd see it, I'd give my stamp of approval and she would buy it. Simple right? Well, the next morning she called me and said she was worried that the color was too dark of purple. She said it was almost black actually. Wait, wasn't the dress supposed to be burgundy? And didn't she love it less than 12 hours ago?

Turns out that both of my mamas are indecisive. And my MIL in particular doesn't see colors too well. Yup, she's legally color blind. A little detail no one had mentioned to me before. Whoops! When we got to David's Bridal I was very relieved to see that the dress was just fine. Did I care that it was purple and not burgundy? I honestly did not, I was just happy she was happy with it. In my opinion, she created my future husband so she can do whatever she wants. Even after I gave my blessing, MIL Warbs still wasn't sure about the color. After going back and forth for almost an hour, I finally had her try it on. It fit her perfectly and she decided to buy it. Hallelujah! One down, one to go!

 Screen cap image via Davidsbridal.com

Did you help your MIL pick out her dress?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kate Spade is a Temptress

Alternative title: How I Ended Up With Two Wedding Shoes

Like pretty much any woman who has ever existed, I love shoes. Heels, sandals and fancy sporty shoes. Designer shoes to Payless shoes, I love them all. Lately, I spend most of my time online looking at shoes that I can't afford. Or you know, couldn't possibly walk in.

I would break all sorts of body parts in these babies.
Christian Louboutin "ballerina" heels / Image via Glamour.com

A couple of weeks ago, my favorite shoe site, Kate Spade hosted a "Friends & Family" sale. 30% off EVERYTHING in stores and online. I think I literally squealed in my chair. Mr. Warbs looked kind of worried. A Kate Spade shoe sale meant that I could now possibly afford to buy the shoes I'd been coveting for months:

Kate Spade's Charm, in all of it's glittery awesomeness
Screen cap image via Katespade.com

Even at 30% off, they were still pretty expensive. I started to feel guilty, especially considering we still had a ton of wedding stuff to pay for. And of course, I already have wedding shoes! What was I thinking? As I was talking myself out of it, Mr. Warbs took the decision out of my hands! He booted up his computer, searched for the sale and promptly bought them. The following Friday they arrived and I swooned. Other than getting glitter everywhere, they're amazing shoes.

So now, I have two completely different pairs of shoes for the wedding. The Stuart Weitzman Turalus are amazing and really suit my dress. But a part of me always had doubts from the beginning that they weren't "the ones". The Kate Spade Charm shoes don't really suit my dress or theme of the wedding (our colors are red and gold), but how can I not rock Kate Spade shoes on my wedding day? I know I can wear both, but I don't want the hassle of changing shoes in the middle of the wedding. I know, I'm crazy. No one should be this conflicted about shoes. So, how about you vote on my poll and make my life shoe decisions for me?

Personal Photos

Which Shoe Should I Choose?

A) Wear the Charms!
B) Wear the Turalus!
C) Wear both!

Help me out here, Hive!