Where Am I?

September 13th, 2008

I just glanced at the date of my last post, and was shocked to see how long it has been. I’ve just been fooling around with things like learning to resize photos so they will fit on a blog or web site and other technologically challenging things.

At this moment, my husband and I are in Colorado Springs visiting our daughter (the Starry Eyed one) and her husband (Future–now Current Son In Law). And I’m glad to say that after celebrating their 1st anniversary, they still seem to be in love! And I truly hope that love grows with each passing year!

Colorado Springs is a very lovely city. I love to wake up and see that Pikes Peak is still there! Today was rainy all day and the clouds and fog covered the mountains. And I thought–how like life. Sometimes the troubles and “clouds” of life obscure the strength of our life–in my case, God. But even though, I don’t see Him through my circumstances of that moment, it certainly doesn’t mean that He is not there. In fact, He is always there. As thoroughly unmovable as that majestic mountain.

Ok, enough philosophizing for today. I hope to get back to my wedding blogging soon. My daughter and I are checking out a couple of wedding venues here in the Springs, so I hope to have some information to share in case anyone is looking for a wedding location here. The mountains make a lovely backdrop!

Slide Show of My Daughter’s Wedding

August 27th, 2008

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get pictures on here. Actually, I know how, but when I try to upload a file it tells me that it is too big. I don’t know what to do about that. I guess I’ll work on that later.

In the meantime I have added a link to the slide show that our photographer, Joe, from Josephotography put on his web site.

Joe was a great photographer. He and another photographer spent the whole day with Starry Eyed Daughter and Future Son In Law and the wedding party. They started in Forest Park (St. Louis), went to the Arch grounds, and ended up at Quail Ridge Park in St. Charles County where the wedding took place.

They had to have their pictures taken before the ceremony, because the wedding and reception were in the same place. And the wedding wasn’t until 7:00 because it was on a Friday night, and we had to allow for the people coming a distance after work.

But they wanted to have the pictures taken in St. Louis, so that was the way they had to do it.  Joe arranged for them to meet before the others got there so he could take pictures as they saw each other for the first time.

I think over 800 pictures were taken that day! But you know what–when its all over, that ‘s the only thing you have left. I wish I could show you at least 650 of the pictures, but these on the slide show are a good representation.

When you have finished watching the slide show, check out the rest of Joe’s web site. He’s a great photographer and a really nice guy! Allison and Mark had a lot of fun with the picture taking.

By the way, the maid of honor is my younger daughter, Darling Dancer, the bridesmaids were good friends, the best men (they were all best men!) were brothers of the groom, and the flower girl is my husband’s youngest grandchild.

If you are looking for a photographer for a wedding or any occasion, and you live in the St. Louis, St. Charles area of MO (or maybe anywhere–I don’t know how far he’ll travel) call Joe for an appointment to see his photos.

Lazy Days

August 20th, 2008

FlowergirlsSorry, I have not written in a while. I’ve been trying to help my younger daughter get ready to go back to her second year of college. Unfortunately for her, she inherited my ability to procrastinate! I guess that could be a whole new blog!!

But, now she is back and getting settled in. And I am spending a few days with my mom and sister. Just some girl time. It is nice. But why is it when you go home to your mom’s, you revert back to feeling like a child?

So right now, it is a very lazy day. It is raining very softly, and we are just sitting around enjoying having nothing to do.

I’ll be going home in a couple days and will get back to work. I’ve put more pages on my web site and am now going to figure out how to put some pictures on it–so pretty soon I will be giving out the address.

One more thought–if I was still teaching, I’d be back for my first week of school:)

Choosing your bridal party

August 10th, 2008

BridesmaidsOne of the hardest decisions for both bride and groom is to pick the special people who will make up their wedding party. This is an especially hard decision if they have more than one friend!

Of course, the first priority should be siblings. If the bride has a married sister, she could be the matron of honor. An unmarried sister would be the maid of honor. Additional sisters and friends would be bridesmaids. Or it you have a very special friend, she could be the maid or matron of honor. The tricky part is keeping your wedding party at a reasonable number.

The groom usually chooses a brother or best friend to be his best man. Additional friends are groomsmen and ushers. Groomsmen can also double as ushers.

Additional friends can be used as greeters and guest book attendants.

One thing to keep in mind–the more people in the bridal party, the more expense involved. If you are trying to conserve money, you might encourage your bride to limit her wedding party to her very best friends. However, realize that she probably has best friends from every stage of her life since elementary school.

To look symmetrical the number of bridesmaids should equal the number of groomsmen. So hopefully the bride and groom will have the same number of best friends!

There have been situations I’ve heard of where the bride has a male as an attendant and the groom has a female. I’ve never been to a wedding like this, but apparently is has been done. Maybe some of you have seen that.

One thing the couple might consider is coming up with a special way of asking friends to be a part of their big day. They might ask them over dinner or coffee or with a card that states why that friend is special to them.

And hopefully, those friends not asked will not be too upset!

Can You Top This?

August 6th, 2008

Since starting this blog, I have been hoping to collect some unique wedding ideas. Well, I certainly saw a unique idea this morning on the Today Show.

The ceremony was conducted while the bride, groom, and minister were standing on top of the wings of 3 separate biplanes as the planes flew in formation. It was amazing. They started the ceremony on the ground, then strapped themselves onto the 3 planes and took off. They finished the ceremony with a ring exchange and kiss back on the ground!

I would imagine that finding the minister willing to perform this ceremony might have been a challenge!

Wedding Consultant–To Have or Not to Have

August 4th, 2008

Someone you should consider hiring to help with your daughter’s wedding is a wedding consultant.  Wedding consultants provide services ranging from help with the wedding day all the way to planning, arranging and managing the whole affair.

You and your daughter need to decide how much help you will want.  Quite honestly, the idea of handing the planning of the wedding over to a consultant did not appeal to me or Starry Eyed Daughter. 

She and FS n L had definite ideas about what they wanted and did not want anyone “telling them what to do.”  And I had loved weddings since I was a little girl, so I was quite happy to avoid the extra expense of a wedding consultant.

Everything was proceeding on schedule.  We had the location, the photographer, the caterer, the dress…everything seemed under control.  A couple months into the engagement, Starry Eyed Daughter and I attended a Bridal Fair.  

There were only a few vendors that we were looking for–florist, cake maker, videographer.  We happened to stop by a display, and my daughter began talking to a woman who used to work at the high school she attended.  

She now had her own wedding consulting business.  We chatted for a few minutes and then continued through the bridal fair.

A few weeks later I suddenly became gripped with fear.  How could I pull this wedding off smoothly? I got nervous just having the entire family to the house for holidays!  What was I thinking?

So, unbeknownst to my daughter, I called the wedding planner and met with her and her partner.  We discussed her services which could be as much or as little as I wished.

Since by this time we had most of the vendors, we did not need much help with that.  But what I hired her to do was help me with making the timeline for the wedding day and to be there to make sure everything got done correctly.

The wedding was going to be outdoors in a park with the reception to follow in the park lodge.  The only thing provided by the park were the facilities and tables and chairs.  So I was concerned about pulling everything together.

Debbie and Dania from For All Occasions Events were wonderful.  They listened to our ideas and gave good suggestions.  They were very reassuring that we would have a beautiful wedding.  They help Starry Eyed Daughter get everything into the schedule for the wedding day–including an afternoon of picture taking, and they saw that the ceremony and reception came off without a hitch.  

One thing I learned–have someone besides yourself do the decorating on the day of the wedding.  My sister in law was making the flower arrangements so she was there to help.  My sister and her daughter also helped.  

But, because I didn’t think it would take as much time as it did, I had not written down or given anyone directions for how it should look.  Only in my mind was it recorded.  And I had turned down the help of a couple good friends because I thought I had enough help.

Therefore, I spent too much of my time that day with decorating when I could have given others the information, supplies and let them do the work.

When my Darling Dancer Daughter gets married, I will spend the extra $$ to hire Debbie and Dania to do the decorating.  It would definitely make for a less stressed out mother of the bride on the wedding day!

Engagement Portrait

August 1st, 2008

One of the most important choices you will make for your wedding is the photographer. Make this choice carefully. Ask your friends who have had weddings recently, go to an area bridal show, and look up web sites of local photographers before deciding on your final selection.

After the wedding is over all you will have are the memories and the pictures! I will be discussing photography in another post. This one will concern the engagement picture. Most photographers have package deals, some of which will include an engagement sitting. So you might choose the photographer first and then have your pictures taken.

Or you might go to a portrait studio in a department store or mall and have your picture taken.

The engagement picture will be used to announce your engagement in the local newspaper. Some couples now use their engagement picture with a signature frame as a guest book. This is a cute and practical idea because they can hang the picture in their new home and have a reminder of the special people who shared their wedding day.

I just checked out the web site www.ourweddingcast.com.  Using it you can send out e announcements of your engagement, including a slide show of the proposal.  They have other services available also. 

Just Had to Mention This

July 31st, 2008

I just have a few minutes before I have to leave for my Mary Kay unit meeting, so I grabbed my computer and logged on to my blog.  I was looking at the adds that Amazon.com just put on my blog, and I saw one I just have to comment on.  “Power panty with tummy control.”

I don’t know if it will be there as you read this, but that just cracked me up when I saw it, and I thought I’d share my thoughts with you.

Before my daughter’s wedding, I was struggling to lose just “a few” pounds and a friend whose daughter had recently married said, “If you can’t lose the weight get one of those body shapers.  You’ll still have fat, but at least it won’t shake as much.”

So seeing this ad made me laugh and decide to pass along those words of wisdom.  Did I lose those “few” pounds?  No, the body shaper was definitely easier:)

Set the Date

July 30th, 2008

Probably the next thing that the future bride and groom need to do is set a date. Weddings can be planned in a short amount of time. I had a friend whose daughter had a wedding 3 weeks after deciding to get married. WOW! Talk about a whirlwind!!

But 6 months or more is preferable. I think 9-12 months is ideal. However, it is not uncommon for an engagement to last longer than a year. Especially if you have your heart set on a very popular wedding or reception venue.

Each season of the year has its own beauty in terms of colors, flowers and decorating for the wedding. June has always been the wedding month. May is also very popular. And September and October are quickly gaining on May and June in popularity.

A couple things to consider: the more you want a certain day and month, the more other people will probably want it. A Saturday in June or October may be harder to book than a Friday night or Sunday afternoon in either month. Also, consider a less popular month. Many wedding vendors will actually give discounts for less popular dates or times. That is something to check out.

My daughter wanted a particular park for her wedding. I had never heard of the park so I didn’t think there would be a problem reserving it for a May or June wedding. So I called immediately and found out that it was booked every Saturday from early May to late October. So they chose to have their wedding on Friday evening.

By choosing a Friday, we actually paid less for the rental fee and had no trouble getting the photographer, florist, caterer and cake maker that we wanted.

So, choice #1 in a long line of choices that need to be made–date and time of wedding.

Platinum Wedding?

July 29th, 2008

The next step is to discuss budget. This discussion should be held with everyone who is going to be contributing to the financial support of this big day!

Traditionally, the wedding was funded by the bride’s parents. However, it is my observation that now, in some cases, the bride and groom and the groom’s parents contribute their 2 cents worth (figuratively speaking, of course).

How or why this is done should be determined by your unique situation. The default setting is the bride’s parents pay for most of the expenses.

If the bride and groom are self supporting and have jobs with good incomes they may pay all or part of the costs. An advantage to this is that they don’t have to justify expenses to the mom of the bride (or more importantly the dad of the bride). They can make their own decisions with little input from others.

A disadvantage of this is that they don’t have to justify expenses to anyone and they can make their own decisions with little input from others:) It is not a good idea for a young couple just starting off to go in debt for a one day experience. So if the couple are good money managers and make a comfortable income (with seeming future job security) let them do as much as they can or want to.

The parents of the groom usually contribute or pay for the wedding if the parents of the bride are financially unable to provide. Or if the parents of the groom think their son and his Starry Eyed bride should have a grander wedding or reception than the parents of the bride are able or willing to provide. Or if they want to have something that the bride’s family does not think is necessary.

An example of this might be alcohol at the reception. If the bride’s family does not drink alcohol and the groom’s family does, they might provide beer or wine or an open bar for their friends and relatives (of course, the bride’s friends and relatives could also partake if they so desire!) at the reception.

Even if the bride’s parents are picking up the tab for the whole deal, there are a few items that the groom, his parents, and his bride traditionally pay for:

The parents of the groom traditionally are responsible for:

1. the rehearsal dinner, including food, invitations, decorations, and entertainment

2. their own attire and travel expenses

3. a wedding present

The bride traditionally pays for:

1. the groom’s wedding ring

2. a wedding gift for the groom

3. her hair and makeup, and the hair and make up of her attendants

4. gifts for her attendants

5. sometimes accomodations for out of town bridesmaids

The groom’s traditional expenses include:

1. the marriage license

2. the bride’s engagement and wedding rings

3. the honeymoon

4. a wedding gift for the bride

5.the bride’s bouquet

6. gifts for his attendants

7.corsages for the mothers and grandmothers

8.boutonnieres for men in the wedding party

9. sometimes accomodations for out of town groomsmen

10. fee for the officiant

Budget planning is an important first step. Sticking to the budget is even harder and more important!

A suggestion for Starry Eyed Daughter and Future Son in Law would be to sit down together and decide on a wedding theme or concept. They might even look into different wedding and reception venues to get an idea of the basic costs involved.

Then they could ask the bride’s parents how much they would be willing and able to spend to make this dream come true.

The bride’s parents, after careful consideration, would reply with a dollar amount they are willing to spend (i.e.$100 or $100,000 or somewhere in between) or with what expenses they would be able to pay for (i.e., wedding dress, reception decorations, and food, etc.) Or they might enthusiastically say “Go for it–we’ll foot the bill!”

If their enthusiasm does not quite cover all the wedding expenses, then discuss plans with the groom’s parents. If they are not the traditional sort, they may be happy to pay a portion.

An important thing to keep in mind while wedding planning–you can spend a ton of money on things that no one notices or remembers. And you can have a lovely, memorable day without selling your soul to the credit card companies:)