Good to the Last Crumb: Reintroductions are in order…

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Oh Hive, it has been too long!  Let’s get to know each other again eh?

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Hi Again! Image courtesy of BlueRue Studios

I was introduced as Miss Scone back in January 2012, I kind of like to bake so I was a wee bit excited to share my favorite recipe with you.  Sweetie Scone and I met online and somehow she mysteriously broke down the walls I had so meticulously maintained.  AND then she asked me to marry her while we were hiking but we weren’t quite ready to make it official because we hadn’t reached our goals and, you know, picked out our rings.

Research is my friend, no seriously it is fun for me… so anything that required a signature was evaluated on a pretty specific scale that included a lot of measurables.

Throughout my life I have learned that I may or may not have an issue with taking on major projects simultaneously so I shared a few tidbits here and there, getting married absolutely did not limit this problem to one portion of my life instead I embraced it with open arms… Completing a half marathon, planning my 10 year college reunion, getting married, and then if that wasn’t enough for a 2 month time frame we decided to add in moving cross country.

There is also the whole gay (lesbian if you must be technical) thing, trying to hash out where we could legally get married, if it was worth it to legally get married, reaching out to vendors, balancing how people perceived our relationship, I might have even enthusiastically shared our amazing video (the password is wedding).

Things weren’t all sunshine and rainbows, I lost my job, dealt with really sexy things like dandruff, feeling a bit down on my body, and being disappointed by vendors…

Before we get back to recaps I still need to talk a bit more about details, the dress, calligraphy, party people, weather, travel, the week before, last minute adventures, AND some serious changes in law before we return to your recap programming…

PS – I missed you so much and there is so much to catch up on!!!!  If you feel the urge to check out more detailed inspiration and vendor selection posts there are a few of those from my early blogging days so check them out and let me know what you think😉

Good to the Last Crumb: Highlights and Matters of Marriage

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Hellooooo Hive!  There are so many things I need to update you on and so much territory to cover before Recaps OFFICIALLY kick off, but we have this really wonderful video that our AMAZEBALLS videographer put together for us and I can’t hold out any longer…

Be forewarned, this is not your typical wedding video and it is not safe for work if you are prone to tears (you may or may not get to see my ugly cry)…the password is wedding

Video courtesy of Alea Lovely and reposted with permission

Marriage matters immensely to us, and we were beyond blessed to have Alea Lovely in our corner to capture memories, feelings, and perspective.  When Alea approached us about going with a different format we knew it would be good, but we couldn’t comprehend that we would love it so very much.

On top of this wonderful video we have all of the raw footage so I will be playing with it over the next couple of months and you will get to see different variations here and there…

Do you have a videographer capturing your love and emotions?

On the other side

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Hello Hive!!!!

Last Sunday when it was hotter than “he double hockey sticks”, Sweetie Scone and I walked the walk and talked the talk.  After 3 years of unengagement, 2.5 years of official engagement, 1785 miles in each direction, many tears and much laughter (they happen at the same time for me no matter how hard I try), we were surrounded by our closest friends and family as we said our vows.

 

Just before I walked down the aisle, image courtesy of Sister Scone (aka seeeeester)

 

AC + “I DO” = Smiles this big!  Image courtesy of college roomie!

I cannot thank the HIVE enough for all of your support, suggestions and stories.  I have gained so much inspiration, courage, and calm from everyone!  To Sweetie Scone, the last two weeks were awesome but I am SOOOOO FREAKING EXCITED for our future together!  To our friends and family, thank you for all of the love, support, and sweat that poured out for us (because ummmm it certainly wasn’t Northern California weather ;)!

And now on to document projects, adventures, and the week leading into all of the hoopla!

Nailed!

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If you haven’t picked up on my lurrrrve for Pinterest, I will just say that it may be a little problematic… Unless you find fantastic nail inspiration on there…

Image courtesy of Make Up Alley

This picture immediately made me think of that fantastic little belt I was sooooo lucky to have made for me… I decided if the nail salon was willing to do it that I.MUST.HAVE.THOSE NAILS for my wedding!

Yesterday I headed into the nail salon for my wedding nails and I am still freaking enamored with them…. And I am not normally a nail person…

Would you like to see my nails?

(personal image)

(personal image)

(personal image)

And so with nails done, family arriving into town and only 1 project remaining we are OFFICIALLY HEADING INTO OUR WEDDING WEEKEND!!!!!!!

Would you consider trying something new with your nails for the wedding?  Was there one thing that made you realize you were in the FINAL countdown?

Lessons Learned: Invitations

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Let’s start with the first lesson I learned.  Microsoft Word was not created with Invitation Design in mind, to use this program you need to get a wee bit creative.  I created the lines/images/shapes, would add text boxes in to format the wording, saved it as a word doc, saved it as a PDF, if needed I would then crop the PDF to the correct size, and/or I would draw a thin box around the image that was “supposed” to be the right size.

Make sure if you choose to print full bleed that you a) leave some extra space on the edge of your design, b) that you actually know what full bleed means (I kind of guessed, I still am kind of guessing to be honest😉, and c) that you know the printers sizing specifications.

After you have designed your suite pay a few dollars to have a sample made.  It WILL.SAVE.YOU.TIME.MONEY.AND.HEADACHES… Can you tell that I might not have done this?  There are many things I would have caught had I done this, like…

Let’s start with the arrows, see how there is not proper spacing between the pieces, so they look a little jacked? Or maybe we should looking into the “circle” a bit more… the color that is in the interior part of the heading is just off enough to notice, because of how I had sized everything and printed (full bleed) the boxes aren’t the same size even though they started off the same size.  Oh, and do you notice how the brackets don’t curve in at the top of the documents?  Yeah, that was another full bleed issue.

Had I done my homework and printed a sample set I might not have had a 2 month delay between ordering pieces so the invitation suite could be completed (long story and not my favorite experience).  That alone ended up making my invitations a month late (thank goodness for cushion time).  My invitation pieces might have lined up a bit more like how they were supposed to:

Here is a good one: KNOW YOUR EXACT INVITE LIST BEFORE YOU ORDER INVITES and order 10% more.  We were a little wishy washy before we ordered and when push came to shove we needed about 10 more invitations… those 10 invitations cost almost as much as the set of 100…Just sayin’.

Another little gem, there might be some overages but don’t count on them.  We ended up with drastically different overages.  Some had 30 extras, some had 5.  I had zero expectation there would be extras…

Triple check the proofs that are e-mailed (or pop up on the screen).  I had a “lovely” exchange with a customer service supervisor because when I finally had the right info to order the rest of my invitation suite I kept everything the same as the original order (that included rounded corners), she sent back a proof with square corners… yes, the RSVP’s arrived with square corners, my corner rounder doesn’t make the same corner as the printers so they had to reprint them.  But that wasn’t until after I was scolded for not triple checking their work…

Chat with a local printer, I wish I had.  For our invitation suite I decided to go with CatPrint because they have custom sizes that would fit into the pocket folds we made… That was one of my least favorite decisions, their printing was not necessarily speedy, their customer service was lack luster (aka I got yelled at for their error), and while I like the end result I am not in love.  I couldn’t touch the paper to feel what it would feel like.  The customer service manager that was so good at scolding won’t accidentally bump into me on the street, to her I was a voice on the phone that pestered her, nothing more, nothing less.  The shipping times can really add to the timeline… and I can go on.  I know there have been many a bee that had wonderful experiences with CatPrint (heck that is how I learned about the company), sad to say I did not have one of those experiences…

For the quick and dirty list here it goes:

  1.  Maybe use a design program other than word
  2. Order samples
  3. Know what full bleed means, and know if it’s the best decision for you
  4. Have an exact, unchanging guest list
  5. Chat with a local printer/print shop
  6. There “might” be overages but don’t count on them

Did you learn any good tidbits from your invitation process?

Dressy Details

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Remember when I was talking about the hunt for a dress?  I was holding out on you…

The very first item for the wedding I purchased was this lovely from an Etsy Shop, Heart of Light

(Personal Image)

Clarity of picture does not seem to be the strong suit here… Rachel is the master mind behind Heart of Light, most of Rachel’s other designs are monochromatic, they are pretty fantastic.  We knew immediately that we wanted a colorful wedding so I messaged her to see if she might be willing to make something custom.  She was!  Rachel and I e-mailed back and forth and determined that these colors might be pretty great together…  Did I mention that the belt and the dress were purchased more than 1.5 years apart from each other?

When this detail arrived in the mail, I was definitely a fan.  When I showed this belt, on it’s own, to family there was a mixed response… Word to the wise: include details in the whole picture, don’t make the detail the whole picture (does that make any sense?).  After the first few responses I stopped showing it to people and hid it away until I could show them a little something more😉.  There is a small caveat, it appears that Rachel has not reopened her shop after her wedding last summer (2011)…

That cream colored dress behind the belt just happens TO.BE.THE.DRESS.I.WILL.GET.MARRIED.IN (she squeals)…  I will tell you all about that beauty after the wedding… Until then I will tell you that every person that has seen the whole picture of me in the dress with the belt has loved it.  Not everyone can visualize, and maybe I was given some lip service (but I am thinking they were genuine).  Now, I have not been going around showing this picture willy nilly to people.  My parents have seen me dressed up, I have shown the image to people who cannot make it to the wedding (but I love dearly), and a couple of our vendors (including the florist because she has a hand in my overall “look”)…

Sweetie Scone has not seen the dress (but she has seen the belt😉.

What was your first wedding purchase?  Did you go out on a limb?  Are you keeping your attire a secret?

Signed Sealed and Delivered

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Hi Hive!  I am a slacker that has been holding out on you!

After hunting, searching, and trying desperately to find invitations we liked and that we could order I gave up…  So the next step was obviously to play with microsoft word and design them right?  After struggling with wording, forming the pieces to the invitation puzzle, ordering all of the pieces, and having a calligrapher spell it out nicely I would like to introduce to you:

The Scone Invitations

It was definitely not a perfect process so there will 100% be another post about the errors (because there were many) of my ways… But these are our invitations on the way to their final destinations…

(All Images are Personal)

Did you find anything you could order?  Did you have a fantastic invitation designer?  Were you lucky enough to employ yourself with the invitation design process?

Preparing for the Second Summer Tri-Fecta: All Dressed in White

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Getting ready to wear white! That was high on the last minute preparations… sounds funny right? Part of our reunion traditions are to celebrate and honor the women’s suffrage movement, we do so by wearing white in our “Laurel Parade”. This doesn’t necessarily relate to anything wedding, except I know many people are on the hunt for white outfits for bridal showers or rehearsal so I figured I would share my whirlwind white shopping adventures.

It is hard to find a white outfit that doesn’t make me look and feel like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man, if you struggle with the same affliction I hope this is helpful.

The first dress I tried was this gem from Target, I made the fatal error of not trying on the dress in the store. When I got it home and tried it on I laughed and decided to immediately return it.

Image via Target

This prompted a whirlwind 30 minute, 2 store shopping trip between Jones New York and Ann Taylor Loft. Upon entering both stores I literally picked up every white dress/pants/skirts/blouses that were even remotely interesting (i.e. not a white trash bag), in multiple sizes. I proceeded directly to the dressing room. Here are the results from Jones New York:

White Dress 1

White Dress 2

They were definitely better than the dress from Target, but I was having a really hard time dropping $75-$100 on a dress I might wear once that I wasn’t totally in love with… so I headed to Ann Taylor Loft Outlet to try my luck there.

When I walked into Ann Taylor Loft I picked up every white item of clothing they had, the sales associate got really excited when she was taking me back to a dressing room and asked “Are you getting married?”. Made me realize that this must not be too out of the ordinary…

Here are the two outfits from Ann Taylor Loft that I remembered to take pictures of:

White Dress 3

The Winning Outfit!

I ended up going with separates, I knew that I would wear the blouse again and figured there was a higher probability that I might wear the skirt again as well. Are you on the hunt for a white (non-bridal) dress/outfit? Do you find shopping for a white outfit to be a pain?

The second summer tri-fecta: Reunion

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A long long time ago, I agreed to co-plan my 10 year college reunion. A few months back I was thanking my lucky stars that many of the wedding plans were mostly finalized because reunion was requiring more focus and attention… The last month was a challenge, and while I was at reunion I said on multiple occasions “I love our coordinator” or “I am so happy we decided to have a DOC for the wedding!”. There were so many challenges, feeling the challenges at reunion was one thing but Sweetie Scone and I both realized how lucky we were that someone else was going to be there for us when our wedding rolled around, so that we can be present and enjoy our wedding.

Our Class Board right after our Class Meeting

(Image via Mount Holyoke Class of 2002)

Laurel Parade, Personal Image

I am happy to report that I survived reunion! Mixed in with the reconnecting, pulling things together, following state laws (more Massachusetts drinking laws!!!!), and supporting the Alumnae Association there were some pretty major bumps/lessons/celebrations. (It would seem that May was full of lessons for me that I am passing along to you, ignore me if it bores you or laugh at me for learning silly/no-brainer lessons)…

  • Sometimes your body gives you a gut reaction, LISTEN TO IT! When it tells you that people won’t follow through, your body is probably right. Even if someone is volunteering, even if they are amazeballs people in general. If you have a gut feeling along the way, GO WITH YOUR GUT! Work with people that at the core are willing to partner with you (be it friendor/vendor/partner)
  • When someone “says” they are just leaving and will be there soon they are lying… In reality it means “oops” (or some other expletive), dropped the ball (this happened a couple of times, the hardest to cover up was the caterer that showed up 1.5 hours late – thank goodness for having food sources from multiple places and an awesome dinner chair!)
  • Even when things are positively not working out how they were supposed to, find a way to have fun
  • It is ok to ask for help! Better yet, when someone offers to help, accept the blessed help! Thanks to Sweetie Scone I think I learned the lesson, by Saturday night I was totally ok with this one (Thursday, I wasn’t quite there)
  • Major events are always about community, people are there for their own reasons too (for sure), but they are also there because they want to be part of the communal celebration (reunion, graduation, marriage, etc…)
  • Sometimes when you are surrounded by so much awesomeness you get a little bleary (ooops, maybe that is just me)
  • When you lose your keys, driver’s license, debit card, and a ridiculous number of receipts it is ok to announce it… it is even better to allow your better half to poke fun at you in front of 100+ people (these keys also had the ability to unlock the booze for the nights party so it was muy muy importante!)
  • Accept praise, this is incredibly hard for me, it makes me blush… but when people thank you they are thanking you for a reason. As women it is important that we do not minimize our work (oh the women’s college is coming out right about now)
  • Soaking up the awesomeness of old friends does pretty amazing things for the soul
  • Watching my future spouse be redonkulously awesome, helpful, fantastic not only reaffirmed our impending marriage but it truly warmed my soul when my classmates a) mistook her for an alum or b) said she is absolutely awesome and said they knew why I was marrying her
  • If you are having a destination event and flying in it is very important to have some time on location to get everything together (24 hours beforehand is not quite enough – probably applies if you are driving or boating in too)
  • Celebrations are a great time to practice drinking (if you are a light-weight drinker, like me, and you happen to be getting married at a brewery it is even more important)… I had a great “training” session at the party
  • Giving feels pretty amazing, on Sunday morning we had a crazy amount of drinks/beer/wine/brownies/donuts/fruit leftovers…We opened up a pseudo free-store for alums and they just weren’t taking enough… our dorm happened to be right next to where the graduating seniors were lining up (amazeballs Sweetie Scone had a genius idea to hand out goods to seniors as they walked by)… we handed out whatever might be helpful to them on their way to a very sunny and warm graduation ceremony. It made me bleary (gahhhh the happy blearies strike again!)
  • When anyone tells you not to do something (like plan a reunion or do something meaningful) because it is too close to your wedding, DO.NOT.LISTEN… do what is in your heart AND what you and your future spouse agree on. Had I listened to the nay sayers (and there were many), I would not have learned so many important lessons. I would not have gotten to experience a weekend filled with empowerment, togetherness, passion, laughter, tears, anger (there was some of that too), and forgiveness. All of the good outweighed the bad on a scale that is not even measurable.

I walked away from reunion with so much love in my heart; a renewed commitment to my MHC sisters/women/education/ and people at large; a continued desire to do better as a person; and even more appreciation for community. To the Class of ’02, you truly inspiRED me, thank you! To everyone else, I hope these lessons are helpful. Is anyone else planning/coordinating another large event close to your wedding?

The first summer tri-fecta: Movin’ in May

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Hi Hive!!!!!!  It has been way to long, May seemed to eat me alive and it is just now spitting me out!  I apologize for being MIA!

May was all about movin’, thankfully not the kind that requires boxes!  The month started off with serious motion, my first half marathon.  Now let me prepare you, I was undertrained, unprepared, but still committed to finishing the race.  With my trusty, awesomesauce friend to prod me along we started off like this:

Awesome friend A, my partner in crime for this race!

Before the Half, Friend A and me ready to hit the pavement!

A view of all the runners ahead of us

The first 4 miles were pretty great, our time was looking good and then my body started acting the fool because it wasn’t 100% ready to rock and roll so the last 9 miles were not so great… But I did it!  I finished my first half marathon before the wedding!  I am even more committed to actually rocking a half marathon out with gusto (and I kind of owe a solid race to my friend that stuck by my side).

Finishing it up

(All Images are Personal)

Some of you may remember that I am working on my fitness (in the procrastination station kind of way).  This race pushed me to get my fanny in gear, it also illuminated the main muscle groups that need some lovin’ at the gym (calves, abs, thighs for me).

If completing a major race sounds like a fantastic idea before your wedding here are my recommendations:

  • Commit to some serious training time – not just running, make sure to include weight training too!  Find your weaker areas and strengthen them, it will help you feel like a human later (I promise… laughing made me cringe for a couple of days after the race)
  • Don’t let the idea of running X miles scare you, even if you aren’t as well trained as you want to be.  It is about putting one foot in front of the other.  (seriously, I wish I had gotten over this before training, would have been sooooo helpful)
  • When you finish the race and the first person you see is an ex from long long ago, do not I repeat do not use expletives (I didn’t curse at her, but I sure did say “how the bleeeep are you?”, in front of a small child – blushing)… taxing your body has a way of removing your filters, remember my fantastic example.  You are welcome for the heads up.
  • Make sure you are fueled up, but eat a breakfast that is normal-ish for you.  I did not follow this advice, I ate solid protein and carbs but waaaaaaaay more than normal for me (normal for me is 200-300 calories… I had maybe 600-800), it seriously impacted my performance.
  • Be prepared to have your preconceived notion of what/who a half-marathoner is be blown out of the water if you take the plunge.  An 86 year old man celebrated his birthday on the course, a handi-capable man easily put me to shame, and there was more than 1 plus size woman busting a move.  Running does not mean that you have a perfect body, it means that you are willing to challenge your body to go the distance.
  • Don’t stop moving after your race, I signed up for a month of bootcamp directly after the race and I think it definitely helped me continue moving in the right direction.

Have some fun!  I know that this may not be the most all encompassing running advice and I absolutely am not an expert (so please refer to an expert for full on training advice), these are tidbits I snagged on my first pass at the life of a half-marathoner.  Are you going to take the plunge and complete a half marathon or a full marathon before your wedding?