Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Having some trouble with the site right now...

Be back with some more posts as soon as I get this figured out.


Monday, August 30, 2010

Sweet Sounds of Love

I'm a sucker for a good love song.  Bring on the cheesiest, most toothache-inducing songs, because I'm your girl--my knowledge of sweet ballads is pretty lame most of the time, except now.  

Because now that we're planning our wedding, it's time to put my evil powers to good use!  I've had a playlist on my iPod titled "Sappy, Sickly, Sweet," for a while now, it's where I keep all my favorite tracks.  And I love how it's become nearly a soundtrack for the past few years of our relationship--whether the Bear likes it or not.  Hopefully he likes it, because he asked me to send him some music, and I did.  I sent him a bunch of albums he's going to like, and then, I burned some of this playlist because I'm bringing back the mix tape!  That is what I call killing two birds with one stone:  I get to 'research' all the awesome love songs I want, and he gets his music.  Win-win.  

Here's the first "mix tape" I made him, just about each one has meaning to us. 


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Taking it From The Top

I had a moment a few weeks ago, and then I calmed down a bit.  It's not that I'm tight fisted when it comes to money, and it's not that I'm horribly neurotic, I swear.  But try as I could, I just could not shake the feeling that we needed to change something with our wedding, stat.  Somewhat serendipitously, I took my mom and Thia to our venue to check it out.  The vineyard was even lovelier than I could have imagined, so what happened?  

Well, I went home and I cried about it for a minute.  I decided I wanted to stop all plans and really give myself some time to get to the root of the problem.  Then I looked at our budget, estimated and actual, and I cried again.  Was it just the money that bothered me?  No, for the record the money didn't bother me, it terrified me.  Was it the distance?  Absolutely not.  Was it the fact that I didn't feel that anyone outside us actually supported the idea of us getting married so far from home?  Sort of, once Bear left, I was on my own to defend our choice.  But more than anything, more than money, more than support, I needed simplicity.  I craved it.  

So I set out to find what I needed--not what I wanted.  I let go of perfection.  And I began looking for a place that was beautiful, closer to home, and significantly cheaper than our original plan, in order to simplify everything.  

What did I find?

You'll have to wait to find out.  

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Friday!

Hooray for the weekend!  The end of Summer is approaching fast, I hope to make the most of each and every single weekend.  Kicking off my Friday with a half day of work and an evening with my friends.  And tomorrow?  Tomorrow is my Cuz's first dress fitting at Kleinfeld!  Holy smokes, time has zipped by us.  Last on the list is a bachelorette party for our friend, Joy!  I can't wait!

Looking forward to some crazy bachelorette fun and a big juicy pair of these:


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Color Conundrum

After seven months of planning the wedding full-force, it was time to start tackling the colors I planned to use. Sure, we weren't set with a venue but I couldn't let that stop everything! The color palette was hanging over me, and I felt like I needed to get something decided but it was tough!

When I first envisioned the wedding I saw something romantic, elegant, and simple.  Here's my first inspiration board:

Then I added a pop of red to the mix, by way of fresh cherries.

Image via / Styling by Rebecca Thuss

Then I started thinking about a little "gilded" romance.  

So I should have been good to go with our color palette. And I thought I was. 

Colors shouldn't have been an issue, except that I never bothered to take the guys into account.  Call me neurotic, but I was bothered by the way their blues fit into my color palette:

I liked was playful, fresh, and cute.  It was pretty darn perfect for a Summer celebration, especially a celebration held over Independence Day weekend.  But it's not really what I was going for at all.  To me, the blue and gold colors didn't mesh well with my softer palette that originally intended to use.  I knew that there had to be a color combo that would work, I just had to find it.  

So back to the drawing board I went!

Did you have trouble settling on a color palette?  Was there anything about your wedding in particular, that made you think twice?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bridal Hoarding - It's Real, Look it Up*

Bit by bit, piece by piece, I've started collecting items for our decor.  This is a little tricky since I only have a loose idea of what I want everything to look like in the end.  But I can't help myself.  I am slowly turning into a bridal-hoarder. 

The hope is that I will not have to worry about finding these sweet little details at the last minute.  And there's nothing more eclectic then buying items from here and there as time passes, since that's pretty much what "eclectic" means.  This has also saved me a ton of money.  Because since I started early I still have the ability to wait until things are on clearance--see that red sticker on the frame up there?  Clearance tag!  I think that frame was marked down to $4.  Score!  That lantern right there?  I bought it for less than $8, after I found an imperfection.  The plate?  $3, also from the clearance section. 

Of course this will be a complete waste if I don't end up using any of it.  But I'm optimistic.  My hoard includes a bunch of pretty frames, interesting pieces of milk glass, and couple ceramic vessels for flowers.  I'm determined to make this work, I just need to settle on a design!  

*I have no idea if "bridal hoarding" is an acutal condition.  And no, I haven't looked it up. 

Have you considered collecting decor for your wedding in advance? Are you a bridal hoarder, like myself?  If so, I want to know about your favorite item!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Search Begins

As  a child, I would sit and sketch the most gorgeous outfits, dreaming that I was a fashion designer with the most amazing wardrobe in the the world.  Admittedly, many of those outfits consisted of mismatched fabrics, spandex biker shorts, enormous fabric daisies, and floppy hats with the brim flipped up in the front.  Thank you Blossom, thank you Fly Girls, and thanks to all the ladies of Saved By the Bell.  

Fashion design never panned out for me, but I still love design, I still love fashion.  And what does this have to do with weddings?  

In all the time spent designing the coolest and most gorgeous outfits ever, I never once, created a wedding ensemble.  To this day,  I have no idea what I want to wear on my wedding day.  There's so much pressure to find the one dress that brings you to tears.  The be all and end all of dresses.  And I don't understand that. For me, there's always next season.  If I don't like the fabrics or patterns of the Fall doesn't mean that I won't be obsessed with the looks of the Spring. 

Essentially, every wedding dress is variation on theme; a white dress, made to be worn once.  One of these variations has to work for me.  

And so, I'm going to bite the bullet and just start trying dresses on.  I am going in with an open mind, but not too open because I could end up with a serious case of bridal overload.  I have a few criteria to use:  fitted, no beading, low back (or interesting back detail), and straps.  Of course, there is plenty of leeway here, but these are some of the characteristics I've really liked so far. 

Lucky for me, I have New York City in my backyard (more like a short drive away).  I've already had one appointment (more on that later), and four more coming up in the weeks to come.  This should be fun, right?  More like torture?  Okay.  It may in fact end up more like torture, but I think this is the kind of torture that I can handle just fine. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Inspiration - Gilded Romance

I came across the most beautiful hardcover books designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith via Design Crush and it got my (wedding)wheels turning.

Image via / Cover Design by Coralie Bickford-Smith

The gorgeous new cover art for the classic novels of F. Scott Fitzgerald totally captures the opulence of the Jazz Age, and combines it with a really delicate aesthetic that would be perfect for a wedding. Translation: I need to add every single one to my collection! 

And so, I decided to create a sophisticated inspiration board  as an ode to the new objects of my desire.  Will I use this for my own wedding?  Maybe some of it, but hopefully someone else will!

Here's what I came up with: 

(clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, )
Row 1 via: / / AudreyHepurnComplex 
Row 2: / / RetroPrint
Row 3: / / MarthaStewartWeddings.Com 

Bold and sophisticated black and alabaster contrasts the softer, more romantic shades of blush and gold: simple invitations with gilded accents, the classic champagne cocktail, and garland made of vintage jazz music.  My inner magpie is drooling over the shoes since I am a sucker for the sparkle--what a sweet and unexpected addition to a wedding day ensemble.

This, my friends, is a step in the right direction (I think).  We are getting closer to a color palette I can live with!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy Friday!

August is the month for birthdays in my family.  I have two sisters and we're all born in August.  We'll be celebrating Lil $is's birthday on Saturday and Big Sis (Big C?) next week.  Diets be damned!  There is no avoiding cake and refreshing beverages. What this month lacks in caloric modesty it makes up for in sheer fun.  I couldn't think of a better way to enjoy the dog days of Summer.  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Can I Register for a Lomo?

Because I really want one.

Image via
No?  How about a pony?

Image via MiddleoftheRoad / Photo by Saddle Mountain Rider

I've always wanted one of those too.  At least more than I've wanted serving dishes and salad bowls and such.  

A couple weeks back my mom asked me where we planned register, and I told her I wasn't sure but I didn't only want stuff for the house.  Bewildered, she stopped and asked me if I was crazy.  Then without skipping a beat she asked me what color towels we wanted.  My mind went blank.  White?  Yes, white.  "Mom, we'd like white towels." Of course she thought that was a bad idea too, but I recovered quickly with "  We'd like blue towels?"  Satisfied with that answer, she left me alone.  Hopefully Mr. Marmalade will like the non-white towels.  

I know that registries serve a purpose and maybe I'm saying this a little prematurely.  But why can't we register for things we want? Not just items for the home.  I've heard of sites like Honeyfund that allow you to register to help pay for your honeymoon.  Or the Alternative Gift Registry, where you can "register" for non material items or ask your friends to donate to your favorite charity. Those sound like wonderful alternatives!

I'm not saying that we won't register for our own KitchenAid Stand Mixer, because I'm sure we will.  But why do our registries have to be so traditional even when our weddings or even our relationships aren't?  It just doesn't make sense to me.  I'm sure we'd be thrilled with whatever we recieve for our wedding, if people decide to get us anything.  But if we're supposed to take the time and create of list of things we "want" for our house, doesn't it stand to reason that we should be able to register for things we want for ourselves without running the risk of being called tacky?

 Before I go, here's some food for thought:

His and hers beach cruisers?  

Image via

Come on.  That's a bad ass wedding present. 

Did you register for for non-traditional gifts?  If you did, how was the received by your friends and family?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Grow With Love

One of the most common questions about my wedding day look was about my hair, people kept asking me if I was planning to grow my hair out. Were they trying to tell me something?     

I hadn't thought about it too much before the questions started coming but I realized that yes, I'd probably have to grow it out since I had no idea what I wanted to look like on my wedding day!

But I didn't really want to grow my bangs out. If you've ever worn bangs, you already know that growing them out is a difficult proposition filled with many, many awkward hair phases. 

Here I am a couple months ago.  BM Lil $is gets full credit for this one.

Try and try as hard as I could, I just couldn't quit those babies!  I felt more like me with a little fringe hanging over my brows.  And why not?  They're cool and classic--

Image via 

(There you go, definitive proof as far as I'm concerned.)

My relationship with bangs has been hot and cold, my whole life.  It all started when I begged my mom to cut them for me and she refused.  So at the ripe age of 7, I took the matter into my own hands and had the world's shortest bangs for a while and I loved them! I've had some kind of fringe ever since! Not to worry, these days I leave the fringe for the professionals (except for that one time, right around my 25th birthday *shudder*).  Live and learn.  But do I want to rock bangs on our wedding day?  Mmm...I don't think so.

Image via  

As much as I loved my bangs I wanted to see what I looked like without them--it had been so long!  And yet I cut them again and again and again. Finally, I went four whole months without a trim and my poor forehead felt nekkid.

Image via IMDB.Com

I've finally made some progress.  My Winter was dedicated to fug: big sweaters, super pale skin (daily sunscreen = pale Miss M), and bobby pins galore to let my fringe grow. That "sacrifice" has led to some growth! It's not much progress, but it's pretty good!  

If I can control myself until the wedding I may end up with a style sans bangs!

Are you going to be sporting "bridal bangs?"  Or did you grow them out?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday! Movie Poster Inspiration

(image via JustJared)

I'm loving the movie poster for The Romantics, the bold typeface and color combination is altogether modern and sweet.  It would make for some gorgeous wedding stationary.  Actually, it reminds me of something like this:

All wedding thoughts aside, I'm actually exited to see this movie.  Sure, it takes place at a wedding, but it's certainly not your average "love story" unless your average love story involves self reflection and cynicsm (hmm...).  Any movie that reminds me of The Big Chill and combines the acting prowess of Candice Bergen with Anna Paquin AND Adam Brody must immediately be put on my "see this in the theater" list (as opposed to the other lists like, "rent and watch at home," or "wait until it's on TV and there's nothing else on" and so on). 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Budget, Part 2-- My Heart Speaks Up In Defense of Our Wedding

 Saltwater Farm Vineyard - August 2011*

As luck would have it, I didn't have to wait long to speak with Mr. Marmalade after my outburst.  Funny how things work out that way.  Sure, I didn't want to waste the little time we had to speak by going over our wedding, but it couldn't be avoided.  So, he figuratively talked me off a ledge from thousands of miles away.  I hung up the phone and tried to process the conversation, which only got me started again; the room began spinning a little, my heart skipped a beat, my brow furrowed (worst habit ever, please please let me break that habit soon).  

So I talked to some married friends at work.  Then I talked to BM Cuz.  And when the workday was over, I went over to my aunt's house, and I talked/cried it out with her.

Everyone had the same general conclusion.  "You need to have the wedding you are planning.  You aren't going overboard.  It's okay to spend money on this.  You will tighten your belts again and again, but you will never regret spending money on your wedding."

 Chardonnay Grapes, Saltwater Farm Vineyard - August 2010*

So, we are not eloping.  And here's are my conclusions:

1.  When it comes to almost everything related to our wedding, I used the word "our."  But when it came to my doubts about spending, I used the word "me."  This "me-fest" had to go.  It's our wedding.  If we decided to spend money on OUR wedding, what right do I have to say no on my own?  We chose to have a wedding, so any change in plans had to be decided together.

2.  A big wedding is something he wanted from the start, more than I did.  He wanted to have a day for us to share with our friends and family.  He was looking forward to it.  He deserved it. So why couldn't that be enough for me?  I think, deep down, once I got past all the panic, the thought of a big wedding grew on me, and I wanted it too.

3.  Our wedding day is bigger than us.  We will celebrate our union.  What I didn't take the time to think about was how our families felt about it.  Contrary to my pessimistic part I, this mattered a lot.  Our families deserved this just as much as we did.

4.  We aren't going crazy and spending ourselves into debt.  Weddings are expensive.  There are few that have planned or have been part of a wedding in the past few years that would argue that.  We set the budget, and I've stuck to it.  I had to accept it for what it is and stop being such a cheapskate.  

Truth be told, I hate spending money.  It makes me nervous, but it was time to get over it and stick to our plan.

5.  The toughest realization (the one that still hurts), was that our dream wedding venue and our "dream" wedding, wasn't in the cards for us.  There were way too many factors that go into planning a wedding at a venue that is not "all inclusive."  My aversions to what I considered to be a "wedding factory" got the best of me, and I was wrong.  I needed to keep things simple and consolidate as many vendors as possible so that in the event that Mr. M's plans changed, I'd be able to take it in stride.  And to be honest, more than the money or anything--the thought of changing our date and losing our deposits (or worse losing our vendors) kept me up at night.  I'd spent way too long worrying about the worst case scenario.  

So with a very heavy heart, I had to let go of our seaside vineyard.  

Saltwater Farm Vineyard - August 2010*

There were still plenty of changes to come for us. But letting go of our original plan was the right thing to do. I don't know how I would have made it through our long engagement without that piece of mind.  

And with that, we were back to the drawing board!

Did you have to make a major change to your wedding plans?  What kind of change did you make, and do you feel it was the right choice in the end?

*All images in this post belong to me.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Budget, Part 1-- My Head Tries to Talk Some Sense into Our Wedding

A few months into planning our wedding, I had a major crisis.  Call it a crisis of conscience, call it an anxiety attack--call it what you will.  My panic caused to me reexamine what was essential to our wedding.  So join me as I look back on my wedding "epiphany," and how I nearly cracked to get there...

I came across this gorgeous wedding by Maggie Harkov via Brooklyn Bride and my jaw dropped.  This wedding is all at once sophisticated, sweet, simple, and elegant.  It's everything I want our wedding to be.  But there's one huge difference staring me in the face--

All images via Brooklyn Bride / Photos by Maggie Harkov

we're not eloping and nothing about our wedding is simple.

This beautiful City Hall wedding tugs at my heartstrings.  I need the simplicity of it.  I want it.  There is something that keeps pulling me back to a teeny tiny wedding at city hall.  These gorgeous images certainly have something to do with it.  But there is so much more.  

The wedding we're having is all wrong.  It's keeping me up at night. goes: 

I don't feel like I am at a place in my life where I should be spending thousands upon thousands of dollars on anything.  Not even the celebration of our marriage.  When I think about the amount of money we are planning to spend, my head starts to spin a little and I become overwhelmed with guilt.  I've worked really hard to get myself on track financially over the past few years, and it's hard to reconcile the cost of this wedding with anything that remotely resembles fiscal responsibility.

Yes, there is so much more to a wedding than money.  When will we ever get to be the center of attention again?  When will I ever get to be a bride?  When will we ever have our nearest and dearest in one room again?  The thing is, I don't feel like I want that attention.  I don't feel like a bride.  I'm not good at taking compliments or letting anyone take care of me.  And, this may sound like sour grapes (it's not), but I can't help but wonder if our wedding would matter as much to our guests.  It sounds silly, it really does. Because when I look back at all the weddings we've attended, and I remember how how happy we were to share those special days with the couple.  But for some reason I can't see it for us.  

And I can't for the life of me come to any conclusions of what I want our day to be like outside of the words "elegant, simple, and joyful."  Wouldn't we be just as joyful in a courthouse?  In the end, wouldn't we be just as married?

Is it fair for me to plan this huge wedding without input from my husband to be?  Is it fair for me to plan a big celebration when in all likelihood, most of his nearest and dearest will not be in attendance?  Is it fair to ask our vendors to change our date, repeatedly?  Would they even do that for us?  Are we setting ourselves up for losing a ton of money by planning a wedding without a schedule that's set in stone?

I don't know.  But this has been gnawing at me since day one.  Let me apologize if anything I said above has offended anyone--I don't want to go back and edit myself outside of spelling, since it was really just a train of thought that I had to put out there. So let me just say, that if I offended you, I'm sorry.  But I'm still working through this.  And obviously, this would be something to talk to the Mr. M about when I hear from him again (though I feel terrible for even bringing this up, and I wonder if I'll have the guts to say anything).  

Enough.  My thoughts are racing.  Need to take a time out. 

Present day Miss Marmalade here!  Looking back on this post was tough, I wrote that post in a pretty frenzied state. But I'm really happy I thought things through before they got out of control.  

Has anyone ever had to take a moment to pause your plans and really come to terms with what you want and need from your wedding?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Sweet Pop of Color

There are a couple (or many) words that embody what I would like our wedding to feel like:  feminine, romantic, classic, effortless.  When I started planning the wedding, I took the time to create an inspiration board to represent what I wanted our wedding to feel like, overall.   

I present to you my original inspiration board:

It was so pretty but it needed something.   I quickly realized that the one thing that was missing was a bold accent, something loud, something more "me."  That something was RED.  

Oddly enough, I never considered including red even though it's our favorite color--yes, our.  Now, I don't claim to have interior decorating skills (wish I did), but the colors of my bedroom are crisp white and sea glass and with touches candy apple red. Instead of trying to look for inspiration I quickly realized, that the best thing is to go with what you know.  Don't think too much and just choose what feels right.  To me, that was something as simple as being inspired by the color palette in my favorite room.

The only thing is that when it comes to a color as bold as red, it's easy to get carried away.  Red is a color that makes ME happy but it's also associated with passion, aggression, danger--not really a sweet, feminine, elegant color for a wedding.

So I did what any bride to be would do, I consulted Martha.  And look at that!

And this:

Yes! Back on the red train!  

Cherries are red in a very sweet (sweet? heyo!) and subtle way.  They are organic, so there is a natural variation in color that I love.  And they are actually quite beautiful and elegant.  Oh and did I mention that they are in season for the Summer?  Because they are, and what could be more perfect than taking inspiration from the season?

Now I just needed to figure out how and where to use them!

Was it hard to decide on a color palette for your wedding?  Did you use the season as a guide?  Or any of your favorite things/places?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bridesmaids Dresses Are In!

Our dresses are in!  Cuz was a little anxious to see what they looked like when they arrived.  We'd only seen them in plum, and although we loved the color, it wasn't right for her wedding.  So she went with her gut and ordered our dresses in wine.  

Here is the dress in plum:

Bill Levkoff #521

Side note:  this is a picture of #521 from Bill Levkoff's website.  Do you get the feeling that this is some kind of joke in the bridal industry?  When selecting which images to use on the website, do they purposely pick the one that looks absolutely nothing like the actual dress?  Just wondering, because we'd seen this dress online and it was never a possibility until we saw it in the store.  Hint hint, WIC.

 Okay, well maybe the dress isn't all that different on the site.  I guess there's something about tying the sash in the front versus tying in the back--makes a big difference.  Plus, we couldn't see the detail of the pleated bodice on the site.  

I digress, here is the dress in wine.  It fits pretty well, but it will need a couple alterations.  It's still comfortable, gorgeous, and after the seamstress has her way with it, it will easily pass the Running Man test.  Oh you haven't heard about the Running Man test?  It goes a little like this: put on a bridesmaid dress, zip up, and bust a move (drop it like it's hot, shake a tailfeather--there are many scientific variations).  If the dress is still in place and in once piece, you've found yourself a contender!  And an example of the highest caliber party dress. 

Here it is:

  And again:

What's that?  Why are my arms outstretched?  Um, I don't know.  Think it was for balance, since I was standing up on my toes.  Ever since I could walk, I would parade around on my tip toes when I played dress up, twenty some odd years later, the habit is here to stay. My expression is still that of an exicted toddler, the hearts are up there to save me the embarrassment.  Sorry folks!

Now I need to drop this hot number off for a little nip tuck!  Easy peasy. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy Friday!

I am on on the lookout for a cute correspondence set.  Once upon a time, I had a great big pink set with coordinating floral envelopes.  I imagined it was a set that Anne Shirley herself might have picked out and kept in a secret place, only to use for special occasions.  Writing to Bear certainly qualifies, don't you think?  Maybe a little spritz of perfume a la Marty Maraschino?  Okay, now I'm getting out of hand here.  Correspondence set--yes.  Perfume on the pages--too retro even for me.  Plus, if I was following the example of Ms. Maraschino I'd be writing multiple letters to multiple soliders, and eventually I'd be dropping out of high school just to enter beauty school and then to drop out again at the behest of Frankie Avalon aka the "Teen Angel."  Oh hell no, I'm not going down that road... 

(need source)

Back to what I was saying:  have a great weekend!