Monday, March 7, 2016

On "The Dress"

The Big Picture:
     Do you have a favorite dress? No, not a wedding dress in a magazine, I mean a favorite you own. That dress you always grab when it is a 'dress day'. What do you like about it? Is it the way the color flatters you? Or how the fit and fabric feel? Or the way it enhances your assets? That thing you love about your favorite dress should be the starting point when looking for your wedding dress. Dresses aren't your thing? Explore other options; there are no hard rules. You want to be comfortable, look beautiful, and still be you. 
     Remember this is a thing you will wear all day: inside, outside, standing, sitting, dancing, kissing. If you are buying a dress new 'off the rack' try moving in it. Make sure you can sit if you are tired and get low if you are dancing up a storm.  
     I know it sounds obvious but think logically about when and where your wedding will be. If you are having a mid-summer beach wedding a long sleeved corset ballgown might be less then ideal. If you are having a winter wedding a short skirt might be a challenge. You can make anything you want to work, you just don't want it to be to much work. 
     Final general note: This is a dress not a car. No matter how much money you have, and how beautiful the dress is, it is a one off purchase. Chances are slim that you will ever where it again, so there is no reason to blow 25% or even 10% of your wedding budget on it. There are plenty of beautiful dresses in all sorts of price ranges, new, used, or otherwise. 

     Interesting resources: 
Beautiful unique dresses at prices compairable to more genaric stores like Davids Bridal
All sorts of preowned options, with a wonderful 'dress altert' feature if you are looking for something specific.
Again a great resource for not quite new dresses.

My Picture:
     I went to a lovely boutique and tried on some stunning dresses, all of which were about as expensive as our entire wedding. They were works of art. And I couldn't sit or dance in most of them. That to me is just silly. Luckily I have amazing friends who are so talented and are making my dress as a wedding present. I cried I was so honored. But not everyone is so lucky to be able to curate the dress of there dreams, made with love, and I know that. But I also know that those wonderful ladies and my self are broke recent university graduates. This dress will not be made from the finest silks of the world, diamond encrusted, and pearl beaded. I'm about to start an unnecessary tangent about consumerism... Stoping before I start. My point is take the resources you have and find a way to have the dress you want. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

On Mental Health

The Big Picture:
     Life can be stressful. Planning a wedding can add to that stress. Deep breathing. 
A day meant to celebrate should not make your life miserable. If you are high-anxiety person (like me) consider getting a wedding planner. If money troubles send you in to a panic attack, go super simple, or elope. Hate public speaking? Why not due a private ceremony and then a bigger reception so the all eyes on you part has less eyes. No matter what your situation there is a way to make your wedding, and planning, enjoyable. 
     An easy way to cut down on stress is to start the planning process early, and casually. Don't pay any attention to the "wedding planning timeline" stuff you see. Well... If you want a dress from a big name designer, a super popular venue, the best caterer in the county, or other things along those lines then those timelines are probably about right. But if that isn't you then the timeline you use is unique to your situation. As soon as is comfortable laying out your ideal "when to get what done" list is good to keep organized, but don't let that list be a source of anxiety.

My Picture:
I let that list be a source of anxiety. I came up with a timeline  and when W and I didn't stick to it I felt so overwhelmed: I took the list as law. That was silly. Poor W just didn't get why I was so stressed out about the planning. He saw the things we had discussed and agreed apon as "done", while I was in my head like "But we don't have this confermed, or this booked, or these details decided!!!!" The reality of the situation is there are only so many things you can prep ahead of time and it will all work out. I now use my list like a reminder sheet more than anything. I was lucky to have W give me a little perspective on what we can do this far in advance. Also I realized that what is necessary in our little town is different than what all of the magazines tell you about. All of the appointments and pre booking and confirmations months in advance just don't happen here. So be prepared, but over-preparing will just burn you out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On Health

The Big Picture:
     Everyone wants to be healthy. Ok, I prefer to stay away from absolutes... Most people want to be healthy. Being healthy, body and mind (that will be the topic next time), is important as an individual. So many people, and often brides want to loose weight, gain weight, look a certain way, for no reason other than asthetics, and maybe the misconstrewed notion that that is what happyness looks like. A weight, a particular look, is an unachevable goal. You are you, you will always be some variant of you. Being your best you, healthiest you, now that is a goal worth striving for.
     As a couple you now have someone else with an interest in your health and whos health you care about. As a commited life partner... Shoot gets real. Together, forever, in sickness, in health, good, bad, ugly! Life can be hard enough when everything is going just fine. Living a healthy lifestyle is like saying to your partner "I'm putting effort in to making our life the best it can be for as long as possible." Having someone say that to you... is amazing. 

My Picture:
     I'm in my last year of university and it is amazing how much my body has changed. The change hasn't been fast by any-means: fist flexibility, then cardio (which has never been my strong suit), and recently my strength, one by one they have all dwindled. The lack of strength is what finally shocked me into action. I've always been strong for my size, not she-hulk, but enough that it was my  secret wepon.  Over the last six years I have consistantly exersized my brain and slowly neglected my body. I'm blessed to have a figure that distributes fat evenly, and honestly I have no problem being curvy; I could nevery be a skinny person, I have to large of muscles. My dessire to change my physique is simply because I am not able to do things I once could. I'm not my best self. I want to start my marrage as healthy as I can.
     I think it is important to note that I love my body, it does so much for me. I also don't have any real issue with the way I look.  Sure I do have goals I'd like to reach and things that will never change that aren't my favorite, but I am comfortable in my own skin.
     I plan on being more active and trying to bring more moderation into my diet to acheive this. I want to use this blog as a motivator for me to stick with my plans to get healthier. I hope to be an example of a real person making real changes in their life. 

That said, below are some pictures of what I look like now. I'm posting them mostly for me, so if fat shaming is your gag then don't even bother looking. I'll keep you posted on what I'm doing and how well I am or am not staying motivated. 

Please ignore the serious face I was looking for the flashes on the camera.
These photos are not for public or corperate use.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


The Big Picture:
You can't do it all.

My Picture:
     I'm trying... I still have six months to go, but I'm telling you it is just not possible to do everything.
To be fair I'm not actually trying to do it all... Just the Save The Dates', invitations, flowers, decorations, hair clips for the bridesmaids, and the meat. Already I see the writing on the wall... If I get the flowers all done it will be a miracle, I'm going to have to delegate some of the decorating, and as for the meat... I might just give up on the idea of home grilled anything. But that is ok because I'm loving every minute of it.

More of a Big Picture:
- DIY the things you actually like to spend time doing. I love paper crafts and design so I decided to do those things. 
- No matter how big or small your wedding is DIY takes time so plan accordingly.
It's not always cheaper. If you have the supplies then it probably is, we are saving a bundle on invitations and save the dates' because we have all the paper products and cutters. But If you have to go out and buy supplies then that, plus your time, means you are probably not saving anything. This is the case for the hair clips I'm making my bridesmaids. I've spent enough on supplies that I could have easily ordered something from etsy, but that is ok because the whole point was that they are my gift to them and I wanted each to be custom and imbued with love. 
- If you can make it work, it is so rewarding to know that your hands made this special item.
- You don't have to go-it-alone, recruit help. I'm lucky enough to have friends that volunteered to give me a hand with the flowers; even if they only make one, that is one less that I have to make.

DIYing Right Now:
     What I'm working on at the minute with the DIY stuff is flowers and decorations. All the Save The Date work has been completed [hazah!]. If anyone is interested in a more detailed how to just let me know.

Our finished stack of hand designed and drawn, home printed, hand cut Save The Dates! 
[sooooo many!]

Beautiful flowers out of love poems.

Strings of paper cranes, each folded with love, and strung with only dollar store supplies [that for some reason cost $1.50?].

Friday, January 15, 2016

On This Blog

The Big  Picture:
     Everyone needs a place to gather their thoughts, process, and synthesize what they have learned in life. For me that place will be this blog. I have been engaged for over a year now and with a wedding in about six months (!!!) I have a lot to process. I have also, over the past year, come across some useful resources and come to some wonderful realizations; since I am the first of my close friends to get married I have no one to share these insights with, hence the blog as an outlet. While the main inspiration for this blog is wedding topics really it will be a grab bag of life topics that have come up in the wedding planning process.

My Picture:
     I'm a student in my last year of undergrad and therefor planning this wedding while in school with an international boarder between me and my venue, home, and fiancĂ©. I've been with W, my fiancĂ©, for more than eight years. I work on a farm in the summers, hence the blog name. I'm a huge nerd, specializing in marine biology. Also, I have terrible spelling and grammar, so please forgive the occasional missed edit.