Debbie's Doings

When two people sing together, they're in love; when two people dance together, they make love.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life Gets in the Way Sometimes

Just as this title says, life certainly finds a way to get in the way of the best-laid plans. This is where we are right now.

It's two days before Jeff's show opens and I'm running tech for the show. So we're pretty much never home. I spent my day off yesterday taking care of my sick dog and finishing up Jeff's costumes and props for the show. Then I spent 4 hours at dress rehearsal last night. Can you guess how I'm feeling right now? :/

It's exhausting. Poor Jeff is up and at work at 6:30 am this morning, he won't get off until 5 at the earliest and then we still have rehearsal again tonight. So pretty much, we have no time to work on any wedding stuff, even if I wanted to. Which right now, I sort of don't want to. So what I'm really saying is, life has gotten in the way of wedding plans and projects, so we're taking a little vacation from blogging about the wedding since there are so many other things crowding in right now. I'm looking forward to the play being done and us getting our evenings back. In the meantime we're waiting on our guestbook poster to arrive in the mail and I've just gotten the picture of Jeff as a wee lad to edit for our bathroom decor. My dad already sent me a picture of myself as a little girl and this should be an adorable little touch to our wedding decor.

We did go out to Founder's Park over the weekend and talked about the wedding as we walked through the spaces again. I love Founder's Park and am so excited about getting married there. It's going to be beautiful there (as long as it doesn't rain!). Here are a couple pictures from our visit back to Founder's Park.

The wrap-around porch of the reception space- Jaycee Room

I'm loving the wisteria here...we're also hoping to put up twinkle lights.

Roses in bloom outside the chapel. Gorgeous.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Part 2 of my Crafty Weekend

Last weekend I was very productive and got several projects out of the way.

When we leave the church after getting married (yay!), I wanted something nice that wasn't throwing rice. Or birdseed...I can just imagine it now. Getting a handful of birdseed lobbed at me doesn't sound like fun. Plus it'll be summer and possibly I'll be sweaty, which then means that the seeds will stick to me and get into crevices. Sounds fun? I don't think so.

Image via: Wells Brothers Blog
I can imagine flinching all the way past everyone and wishing it hadn't happened.

There are other options, of course. Confetti is a relatively new one in the wedding world (or at least in the Midwest).

Image via: Camille Styles
I don't see confetti as being particularly good because we're in a public park and would have to clean it up. I don't want to wish that on my worst enemy and certainly not on my friends!

Releasing butterflies, balloons or lanterns are also other alternatives. Logistics on this is too much to work out though, and I sort of freak out about butterflies sometimes.

So we're not going to have people throw stuff at us.

Image via: Austin Wedding Blog
We're going to do ribbon wands and bubbles. I wanted ribbon wands because they look so pretty in photos without ending up with things stuck to me. Jeff wants bubbles because they're fun. So we're doing both!

Image via: Pinterest
Keeping with our theme of bright colors and love birds (a little nod to our cake topper Jeff made), here are our ribbon wands and bubbles for the recessional.

personal photo
There are 25 ribbon wands and 48 bubbles. I have to say that my $ .50 ribbon from Spotlight and my hot glue gun came in really handy here. I'll probably need to do more ribbon wands, but I'll wait to see how many RSVPs we get back.
personal photo
Having these little projects out of the way now for the wedding is really helpful. I can check these off my large to-do list and think that we're just a little bit closer to our big day now. Yay!

Did you decide on a traditional send-off? What non-traditional send-off would you choose to do? I am sure I have forgotten some other ways to celebrate after the wedding though!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crafty Weekend

We hit double digits over the weekend and apparently that inspired me to be really productive and get my butt in gear when it comes to our DIY projects. Things have been piling up and waiting for me to sit down and actually accomplish, so that's what I did. One of the first projects I thought about doing when we started planning this wedding was a chalkboard menu like this one:

Image via: Style Me Pretty, Photo via: J-Anderson Photography
During one of my more regular trips to the recycle center and resale shop in town, I found a painting that had the perfect frame for our menu:

Personal photo

I then had Jeff cut me a piece of wood to fit the frame and then I used my handy-dandy chalkboard paint (I love this stuff so much...I think I might be able to convince Jeff to paint one side of our fridge with it someday).

Finished chalkboard
Once the paint dried, I was able to cure the chalkboard paint by coloring the whole board with chalk and then erasing it. Here is a mock-up of our menu I did tonight to see what I could do with it. Don't know if this is the final incarnation of it, but it's a start!

Also this weekend, I ordered our fingerprint guestbook from Vistaprint.

Image via: One Fab Day
I downloaded this free template, added some text to it below the tree and then ordered a large poster size. We'll set up a few different ink pads, instructions and then after the wedding we will hopefully have something like this to frame:
Image via: Bleu de Toi
I already have a frame for it...something I picked up from the car boot sale last week. I also got our little bubble containers in the mail this last week and Jeff cut all my dowel rods down for ribbon wands, but you'll have to wait for another post to see those beauties. For now, I can check 4 projects off my list of things to do. Phew. That's pretty productive since I took time out on Saturday to do this at home (which included dancing around and singing to Christmas music while decorating the tree, of course):

personal photo
So what did you get up to this weekend? Did you ever get hit by a spurt of creative energy and knocked a lot of things off your list? Doesn't it feel nice to get things done for once? lol.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Having a Laid-back Reception

As the wedding draws nearer (100 days!!!), I keep thinking about our reception and how I want that to happen. Keeping in mind that Jeff is a really shy guy and prefers to live without the hoopla and social aspects of being a human, I keep thinking about our entrance and what traditions I want to keep for our reception and which ones we can live without.


First dance...this was not optional for Jeff. I am getting a first dance with him, period.

Father-daughter dance...since Jeff isn't involved in this, there was no discussion about it. :)

Speeches....I'm looking forward to these and at the same time I am slightly scared as to what might get said! haha.

On the Fence:

Bouquet/garter toss...originally I was against these, but some people have mentioned how they are looking forward to this particular tradition, so I'm considering it still. I'll make a garter in case Jeff decides he does want to do this one, as well as a second toss-bouquet.

Announced entrance...I thought I wanted this, and after watching videos of it from other weddings and reading about it I am feeling that it is really contrived and would be uncomfortable. Our wedding party is so small and Jeff would be overwhelmed by this a lot. I'm thinking that around 5pm we just get someone to announce our first dance and then we'll do that and then have dinner. No fuss, no muss.

Having a DJ for the reception...we're having a friend set up a sound system with a jukebox, so no official DJ for us. I have thought about getting a friend to announce some things, but if we nix the grand entrance then there's no point really to have a DJ. We can just use our theatre-trained projection to get people's attention for something if we need to! It's a small reception room anyway.

I guess what I'm getting at is a lot of the stuff that focuses on the couple and deals with performance, I'm not sure about and feel like our relaxed family-style reception would not hold up to an evening full of obligations. I want to be able to dance with my husband once, eat food, visit with friends and family and generally enjoy my evening.

Were there any things that were nixed when it came to traditions? Would you get rid of aspects of the wedding to soothe the shy partner in the marriage?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Pre-Marriage Course

There's a strong traditional gene in my system that I've not quite been able to get rid of. I thought I wasn't going to want these kind of things over the last few years. I enjoyed my twenties. Single life in South Korea was pretty cool. Then when I turned 27, a switch flipped and I started to realize that I wanted to settle down, be married, have a family and all. I didn't know it at the time, but things were working out for me to find that person I was going to spend my life with.

After we got engaged we made sure to let everyone know and that included going to the church Jeff had been attending for a few years to share the news there. Personally, I had issues with that particular church, but knew the people there were good. That Sunday we told people, including the pastor who helped lead Jeff to Christ a few years back. The pastor then mentioned that the church was organizing a pre-marriage course for engaged couples to start in a few weeks and would we be interested in it?

Enter issue 1: I never wanted to get married without doing such a class, but I was already living with Jeff and knew the stigma associated with that. I didn't want to go into a small group meeting and get condemned for my choices and feel worthless, so I hesitated. Eventually Jeff and I decided to give it a go on the condition that if the leaders got judge-y about our living together, we were out the door. It was our choice to live together before getting married and I don't judge anyone else for doing or not doing so, I just didn't want to be judged for it myself.

Thankfully, no one judged us and they respected our choice and didn't pressure us to do differently.

So throughout the 8 weeks of this class, we worked through some serious issues and talked about serious stuff that perhaps a lot of people don't discuss before they get married. It's been tough sometimes and I've cried more than once, but it's been really good. Here are a few highlights that I like to think about now that this class is finished:

1. We both have admitted problems that have come down through our upbringing and family history that could affect our own family. Having all the dirty laundry out in the fresh air means we can help each other when we struggle.

2. We were able to put into words what we want to accomplish with our life together: namely that we want to raise a Godly family and provide a safe haven for those we love. This was a pretty big revelation for us to work out since both of us struggle to work out our purpose in life.

3. We have set down specific goals in the next 10 years of our marriage of where we would like to be and how we might accomplish those goals. Namely, starting a family, Jeff transitioning to working from home half of the year to build things and work creatively from home when I go back to work (after school age is reached), paying off our house and buying property somewhere to build our own place. Honestly, it might take longer for us to reach these goals, but they are all really important to us and having them written down will allow us to remember what they are and try to make them real.

4. Last night was the wrap-up of the class where we gathered one last time to share what we've learned through the class with the church pastor and his wife. After sharing and talking more, they wanted to pray for each couple that was there. Jeff and I were first. Before we went to this meeting last night, we had a final discussion about a sore topic that has been brought up through this class, and subsequently by family members. Basically Jeff and I had completely opposing views on this subject and I was adamant that I wasn't going to change my mind. Jeff has been fighting internally all week about it at work. Last night I said I would do what he wanted because I love him and want him to feel safe in our marriage. If doing this one thing would do that for him, I would do it. Only for him. So we went into this meeting with this sore subject still festering a bit.

When everyone gathered around us to pray, the pastor's wife share prophetic images with us that she had gotten this week while praying for us. I will readily admit, I struggle with the more evangelical aspects of Christianity and this church that we attend sometimes is full of it. Speaking in tongues, prophesy and overly-emotional services...the whole shebang. So I wasn't really sure how I felt about prophetic imagery and whether it was going to be applicable. But it was. Mine didn't get me crying, but Jeff's sure did. It spoke of all the things we're dealing with that no one else knows about and all our concerns for our marriage because of the background he's coming from. I cried pretty hard when she was sharing that and for the rest of the night as we prayed over the other couples and wrapped things up, Jeff held onto me tightly. No, it doesn't mean our problems are magically solved and the issue that I've agreed to may still be a sore spot for me for a long time, but it doesn't matter. Jeff loves me and I love him, we've chosen each other and chosen to enter the covenant of marriage together. This class has helped us solidify our love and respect for each other as friends and future-spouses. It's been tough at times and a little ridiculous too, but completing the eight weeks of this class will give us a lasting headstart on our marriage to come.

That marriage starts in 103 days!

Did you and your spouse go through a pre-marriage class? Would you if it had been an option? How did you talk about all the big issues if you didn't do counseling before marriage?

Monday, November 12, 2012

A Roomful of DIY

I'm beginning to realize what my house is going to look like until the wedding.

Image via: Feng Shui Basics
I'm sitting here in the spare bedroom and all around me are bits and pieces of our wedding. My dress is nearly completed, but still sitting out so I can hem it. Jars are sitting patiently on a box waiting to be painted before stored for the next three months. Picture frames are waiting for pictures, a board is waiting for chalkboard paint, another picture frame is waiting for me to print out our fingerprint guestbook poster, my necklace is sitting on my sewing table because it has no home and baskets and jars and tulle are scattered about willy-nilly. It's ridiculous, I suppose. I need boxes to help this tragedy that is my sewing space and Jeff's drum space. I really do. Maybe I should go get some banana boxes tomorrow and spend a couple hours putting things away and organizing it somehow. Oh yeah, and I might have about 50-odd paper lanterns winging their way to me if my Trademe auctions go well this week (Trademe is like Ebay, but it's in New Zealand).

So many projects need my attention right now and I will slowly get them done, but in the meantime, I feel like I'm threading my way through the eye of a needle just to get to my worktable. Sigh. I think this means I need to clean instead of work on my dress tomorrow.

How do you keep up with the wedding clutter? Where is it all going to go when it gets closer and there is three times as much stuff? Yikes!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Getting Dolled Up: Jewelry Edition

One of my least favorite things to think about for the wedding is concerning jewelry. It's not that I don't own or wear any because I do own plenty. I don't wear it very often and it's usually the same few pieces that I do wear. But my issue is that my taste in jewelry is a bit chaotic. I buy what catches my eye and rarely have items that go together. So when it came time to decide what jewelry I was going to wear for my wedding, I knew it wouldn't be anything I already owned and then I was stumped.

Then Etsy came to the rescue and I loved looking for necklaces and earrings to wear. I thought I was going to go the route of delicate silver, like this:

Image via Etsy: Flight of Fancy Jewelry
 Or this:
Image via Etsy: Flight of Fancy Jewelry
Then I thought more about it and thought I might want pearls. I don't own any pearls and I thought that the brides I did see wearing them looked timeless and beautiful. So back to the search engines I went. Then I fell in love with this little bad boy:

Image via Etsy: Favorite Jewellery
Oh be still, my beating heart!

But the price of $48 plus shipping was too much for me to seriously consider. I just couldn't do it. So I put this chain of thoughts back on the shelf to figure out later (I mean, I still have 3.5 months to figure this out). Then yesterday I went to town to take care of a few errands and while walking around downtown Nelson, I noticed a jewelry shop was having a 50% off sale. It was a bead store and I had never been in there before. I never went in before because I have a terrible habit of buying beads for jewelry-making in the same manner I hoard fabric for's too much to resist most of the time, so I just avoid it. I walked around, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of beads in this place. It was ridiculous. Then I noticed that they had a lot of necklaces hanging up as well and starting browsing through those. That's when I found it. My wedding necklace cost me only $9.50 and is perfect.

Personal photo
I am really thrilled with this necklace. I could wear it again and while it's not pearls, but rather is seed beads, it's got what I want in a necklace. I'm not sure you can tell, but there are white, clear and beige beads here, so it goes really well with my dress. Now I have to figure out what earrings I'm going to wear.

Did you struggle to figure out what jewelry to wear for your wedding?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Minimoon and Honeymoon

When we set out to get married, Jeff and I talked about taking our honeymoon back in the USA so we could see people who couldn't come to our wedding as well as show him the country I grew up in. But how are two people who barely make minimum wage supposed to afford a trip to the US? Well, scrimping and saving is one route we're going, but we've also registered for a honeymoon registry. After some research, I created a registry with The website was really straightforward and allowed me to customize our registry to our needs.

Image via: Sand Dollar Travel
We were able to set it up for people to gift to us from the US or from NZ, or anywhere actually, through my Paypal account and NZ banking. I'm really happy with what we set up and hopefully people see this as a way to support our marriage (if they want to gift anything to us) without us ending up with household items we might not use. So our honeymoon won't be happening right after our wedding, but will happen in August 2013 for a few weeks. I'm so excited to share the US with my sweetheart! We're going to road-trip from Colorado to Atlanta after a stop in Los Angeles for a couple of days.

On the subject of our minimoon, I have even less information. The reason that is the case is because Jeff is planning a little escape for the remainder of the week after our Tuesday wedding. I have no details and no idea what he's planning. It will be interesting to see what he plans for us all by himself. I did tell him that I absolutely must be able to sleep in a bed- no camping!

Are you planning a later honeymoon after the wedding? Would you trust your partner to plan a honeymoon alone? Will the suspense kill me before we get married? (Probably...)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Making the Dress: 3 Incarnations

One of the biggest challenges in making my own wedding dress is the transition from imagination to reality. What I liked when I tried on dresses wasn't necessarily going to be possible for me to do. What I thought I wanted ended up looking awful when I tried to make it. This is the primary reason why I wanted a dressmaker's form to try out different possibilities for my dress without the sewing and picking out of stitches when I rejected something. Being able to visualize before I went to the sewing machine was extremely helpful as you will see.

Step 1: pinning the pleats for the bodice.

Step 2: Oh so many pins!

Step 3: Incarnation 1 of the bodice...too messy.

Step 3: Incarnation 2 was too fussy.

Step 3: Incarnation 3 was simple and just right.

Step 4: Sewn up and back on Betsy for a final inspection.

Step 5: I cut the back pieces short before I gathered or I guess I am not doing that!

Step 6: A zipper will go in after Christmas.
Next up is the skirt of my dress. I'm surprised that I have ended up going the route of a simpler dress. I thought I wanted a more complex bodice, but I couldn't get it to look right. There is still going to be a lot going on with this dress once the lace is added and the skirt is raised to reveal my crinoline, but all in all, I'm really happy with how it looks. It also gets Jeff's approval as well. I ended up adding a second layer to the bodice to hide the floral print of my corselet so it's a little thicker than I had planned on, but still lovely. Also, I hate sewing french seams, but damnit, they make the inside of the dress so much cleaner!

Image via: Coletterie

What do you think so far? I'm feeling pretty confident about my dress-making skills now but now I struggle to think that I will be wearing this on MY WEDDING DAY. It's a weird thought for me, I suppose. Did anyone else struggle to make it feel "real" for your wedding? Is it just a phase and it will pass and I'll feel like a bride sometime?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

DIY: Cake Topper

As with most things for our wedding, we are DIY-ing a lot of it. Mostly because we can. Partially because it's cheaper that way. Both Jeff and I are very creative and with our different strengths, we are making this house awesome. Ergo, our wedding will be awesome. Perhaps more so because of our super-sweet cake toppers we're doing!

The inspiration came from Pinterest, where I fell in love with these wood-burned, rustic elements for the wedding:

Picture via: Bragging Bags on Etsy
(Note, I JUST now followed the picture I saved on Pinterest and it led me to the Etsy shop where these are sold...maybe I should actually follow through all the links I have saved on there!)

With Jeff's woodworking skills (seriously mad skills: there's the two sets of kitchen shelves he's made me, rolling pin, TP cabinet in the bathroom, TP roll holder, coffee table, back door, potting get the idea) I figured that wrangling up a couple of love birds for our wedding cake wasn't going to be a problem.

I sketched out what I wanted, then he had me draw a mockup on cardboard to scale so he could cut out the birdies. He is also a scrap wood hoarder (well, he hoards more than just wood, it's pretty much anything that could be reused for something else, he keeps) and found a thin piece of wood that he could get both birds out of. Here's what we've done!

First bird cut out: Note that I can't change the order of these pictures on here...sigh

This is what we started with

We decided to letter both sides of the bird so you could read it no matter where you were around the cake

This will not be a

With the stake to stand up on our cake.
So one is finished and I'm just waiting on the other one so we have a pair of love birds for our delicious grasshopper cake. Total cost for this project was nothing except one hour of our time.

So what do you think? Is is a good cake topper or should I have just spent the $30 to get them from Etsy?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Confession Time

When it comes to wedding stuff, I am pretty cool about it. I don't buy every bridal magazine in the shop (I have none, actually). I don't spend every waking minute of my day doing/thinking about wedding things. I do however have a new weakness.

Image Via: TLC
This show is about brides who go to this really swanky dress salon in NYC in search of THE wedding dress. It's over-the-top, ridiculous and full of just enough crazy to be entertaining. I would never apply to be on this show as I would never be able to afford any dress in this store. Ever.

But I'm a sucker for TLC shows and fondly recall watching old episodes of makeover shows when I was last home for a few months. For now, this show has episodes up on youtube that I can watch and think silly thoughts as these ladies search for their perfect dress. Where's my perfect dress? Why, it's the one I'm making.

Does anyone else have a guilty pleasure that has appeared since getting engaged? Anyone willing to share theirs? :)