Photo booth turned stop motion film.

Annnnd...loved this so much I had to post it. Via A Practical Wedding, who writes:
4) Cara and I (and um, Alyssa) want to reassure you that this is not one more thing you have to live up to*. No, no, no. It's just a snippet of surprising wedding magic, shared with Team Practical, since you're part of the support that makes such magic happen. Happy Friday, kids, and kisses from Brooklyn.

*But if you're at that point of madness that comes at the end of wedding planning where you're slamming your head against the wall shrieking that you're pretty sure you have to have a videographer shooting on Super 8 even though you never wanted a videographer ever (Been there. Stupid blogging industrial complex) this one's for you. Read: you TOTALLY DON'T.

We moved!

Last week, I cooked a Thanksgiving dinner (started at 1pm, served at 7pm) at my mom's behest, she had college friends visiting the U.S. for the first time and we wanted to show them a big 'ole American tradition. It turned out pretty well, I think, I got a kosher turkey from Whole Foods and also made mashed potatoes, stuffing on the stove, cranberry sauce with fresh cranberries, and an apple pie. I think it turned out pretty well, my mom's got the pictures so I'll post them if she sends them to me.
me: What do you think? Compared to last year, when you bought everything and told me the night before you wanted me to make a turkey?

mom: Oh, we did a turkey last year? Yeah, this year's is definitely better. I'll remember this one, I don't even remember last year's.
I also made gravy, from the drippings and everything! And it wasn't lumpy, the texture looked great! Unfortunately I didn't make the connection that with a kosher turkey (brined) we could probably skip the 'rub turkey all over with salt' step and so the drippings, and thus the gravy, were unpalatably salty. Oh well, that gave our arteries something to be thankful for, right?

[edit 12/18/09: my mom sent me pictures! Here's the feast, with one of my mom's only-use-on-special-occasions dining sets purchased in Thailand]

We then spent the rest of the long weekend moving. Fun! Many thanks to my sister for her help with driving, I'm a total wimp about driving but she's the complete opposite. The van we'd booked for Saturday fell through, so there were many...many...trips.

On the plus side, the previous tenants did an immaculate job of cleaning and we're all set up with the basics now largely out of stuff scavenged from my parents' basement (homeowners! keeping entire apartments' worth of furniture in storage!) and a bed frame that we built! As in, it used to be pieces of wood and a pile of screws, none of it from Ikea, and now it looks just like it does in the picture and it's a piece of furniture we use daily and hasn't fallen down. I love having a cordless drill!

Anyway, the point of this whole ramble is that now I have the project of setting up the apartment beyond functional basics, I'll probably be pretty light on wedding planning related stuff until late January, I suspect. Keep the links and ideas coming though, loving the stuff that people have sent me but I haven't posted about yet. I might pontificate on the whole living together for the first time thing if I get in a self-important mood.

Hypoallergenic Flowers

Via Molly: paper flowers! Paper Source has a ton of kits but they aren't very user friendly. Molly sent me the following 2-D alternative:

(By David Stark)

This brilliant idea spawned a search with the following results:

(very doable paper flower tutorial from dozi)

(not martha's MS pom pom as centerpiece, lit from inside with little LED lights)

(more tissue paper flowers from not martha)

Apparently the Martha Stewart pom poms can be mostly assembled and stored flat and just fluffed up when needed, so this is almost a definite project that will be happening. [edit] Another tutorial on these same MS pom poms from Nothing But Bonfires.

I also found these excellent alternative bouquets:

(vintage button and felt bouquet from Princess Lasertron)
(she sells kits in her etsy shop)

(another button bouquet from Lil Fish Studios)

Printable invitations

I haven't done any research on the cost of getting invitations printed, though I'm sure the upper limits = ridiculous. I'm very taken with the idea of printable designs, though, like those of Printable Press or pretty pretty paper.

Dan's got a typewriter, might be cool to use that somewhere

Planning consultations by phone

I know I've got Mama G to rely on, but I imagine that this could be a pretty useful service (emphasis mine).
Some of my particular perspective on weddings comes from having spent a chunk of my early professional life planning very large events. It's why I'm over gift bags, for example. Tons of work, tons of stuff, and 90% gets thrown out. Ugh. But, because I planned events for a living, I think that part of the stress around weddings is that event throwing is an actual skill, and when your asked to do it with no staff and no experience, it's a little effing stressful.
Well, into this void walks Silver Charm Events new Charmed Circle. Liz, the planner behind it all, is offering consultation phone calls (*affordable* consultation phone calls) to help you hammer out details, and answer your questions... like, where can I get an affordable venue in LA? And, I'm buying my own wine, about how many bottles should I buy? And, and, and. All the little things you want to ask someone but don't know who to ask? Liz! Consultations start at $25, and with a price like that, how can you go wrong?
On the other hand, I did find three NJ and one CT bridal magazines at a Hudson News in Penn Station. I guess us Jerseyans just need extra handholding.

Spirograph wedding

The first post of the new column at DesignSponge, "Beyond the Big Day." Cute and quirky, to be inspired by the spirograph, and I like seeing how the theme is translated for the different parts, though the photos feel just a little bit too obviously styled to me.

(So simple and clean-looking! We'd definitely be able to manage flowers at this level.)

(I really like typography as graphic design, I think.)

Wedding Pie

Of all the unconventional things we'll be doing, I wonder how high this'll be on people's list of things they're secretly appalled by. Although, most friends that we've told about this particular idea have at the very least been amused, so at least there's that.

I first saw this on The Seasonal Cook but I think Dan independently suggested it as well because he loves pie (what a wholesome All-American boy kind of thing, right?) and to save costs on crazy expensive wedding cake that doesn't taste that great anyway. We're thinking more of a pie tower, with just a small, one-level cake at the top to hold a pair of toppers and for the few people who do actually like wedding cake.

I would love for nearby friends and family to contribute homemade pies, or we can probably get a bunch from Costco or something like that pretty cheaply. Maybe I should create the label 'pleas for help' to help people help me.

[edit] Mama G had the following excellent idea: "little place cards with the type of pie and who baked it (Apple Pie – Old family recipe – baked with love by Grandma Mary)…recipe cards to add to your collection"

Dream Vendor: Saipua

Saipua is based in Brooklyn so they're nearby, but probably not feasible because what with Dan's allergies and all, flowers probably aren't going to rank too high on our list of things to plunk down money for.

If I were rich and marrying someone without pollen allergies (or marrying someone who is both rich and pollen allergy-free) I'd book Saipua in a heartbeat, though. Sarah's arrangements are always looking. Normally I think using 'organic' as a descriptor is pretty meaningless but I can't think of another word.

Maybe they'd be willing to do just a bouquet and I'll have the photographer and/or Amy takes tons of pictures of it. I don't know about the whole bouquet thing overall, right now it gives me a vague sense of touching on the whole purity thing again.

I also hope she starts up the 'weeder's digest' column in DesignSponge. Her post on DIY wedding flowers here, summed up as 1, keep it simple, and 2, choose one flower.

Flower laboratory

Via DesignSponge. I had that post bookmarked as general floral display inspiration, but they'd make cool centerpieces too. Of course, we've got the problem that nature's constantly trying to kill Dan, so...

Unusual wedding bands

I came across this TimeOut slideshow in the course of legitimate working at work, actually. A surprisingly good roundup of cool rings. My favorites are:

(more band-y but still cool)

Similar to the Entwine/Interlock are these from beyondtherockz at Etsy, both $70 in sterling silver, but I've asked and you can upgrade to 18k gold for around $400 depending on the metal market at the time.

(I figure this one as a 'for her')

(and thus, 'for him')

I like the symbolism, not as much necessarily the knot or being tied but how there's no end to the pieces, it's a continuous loop.

Poofy short dresses

Via not martha's Planning to Elope blog, which is what turned me on to a short dress in the first place.

Random memory: Lauren K going to senior prom in a short dress. I think someone had said to me some time before, "Well of course you'll want to get a long dress for prom!" so that just never really occurred to me at the time. Good on ya, Lauren K. (I remember Laura B had a Spanish rose thing going on, so that probably meant a shorter dress too, but I just have a distinct memory of being a bit taken aback and secretly impressed by Lauren K) Anyway:
  • massive thread on Kvetch (since 2006!): I need to read through all of this, many photos are included so it'll be a great source of inspiration pictures
  • Dolly Couture dresses: love, love these.

(really like the sleeves and the crossover in the front, though a bit older-looking)

(strapless just isn't going to happen, but look at the poofy and the flowers!)

While these are not > $1000 which mean budget in the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC) terms, they're still hundreds of dollars. I was going to set a cap of $500 and look into how hard it is to get these sorts of dresses re-dyed, but then I remembered how I wanted to try my hand at sewing my own, and also to get a non-white dress because eh, the whole white = purity = no more purity post-marriage.

I am taking a sewing class right now and so clearly, my sewing skills are serviceable but not great. It might be fun to try, at least, or maybe design and get partway there myself and then try to find a seamstress willing to work with me on the whole fitting aspect.

I think I want red and gold brocade or silk, to reference the Chinese heritage. Also, there's a reason East Asians love red so much--our skin tones look pretty great in it, you know. It's gotta be for-real wearable again so right now I'm thinking a sleeveless v-neck red dress with the red/gold on the bottom hem and around the waist and neck (all over just might be too much...though depends on the fabric, really) with a little jacket that has about the length of the sleeves in the Beverlywood for covering up. Maybe with a mandarin collar, I've got a short neck than I'm constantly trying to give elongating illusion to, but it might be ok depending on the neckline. Then with two pieces together it'll be dressier and separately they can be dressed down more easily.

Also definitely would have to have pockets. Pockets in dresses and skirts are the best trend of the last few years.

Dream Vendor: One Love Photo

Meg of A Practical Wedding's love song to them here. But really, you could just look at their portfolio for 2 seconds and see how they're amazing. Somehow they manage to capture moments and convey emotions more genuinely than any other photographers I've seen (so far--if anyone has an East Coast equivalent that's just starting out and therefore would have lower rates, I'll give you my firstborn in exchange for contact info. no seriously).

Stacie + Geoff by Sloan Photographers

I fell in love with these photos so hard that I created the 'wedding inspiration' label in my Google Bookmarks for them...back in February. That was a long time ago, yes.

The First Post is the Deepest...

I think Dan and I actually both do not like that song.

In any case, in brief, here are the aims, in no particular order:
  • reject any traditions that offend my feminist ideals (I ain't no object to be passed from one man to another, thanks very much!)
  • not spend a ridiculous amount of money
  • round up close but far-flung friends to spend time with them
  • have an above life-average amount of fun in the preparation and execution 
  • and a below life-average amount of stress and fighting
  • reflect us as individuals and as a couple and not what other people think and/or want
  • all while not permanently offending or being a source of snide remarks from extended family for the rest of our lives.
I'll add more as I think of them.