Oh, Holy God:

 

I have four days before our wedding.

Yesternight’s Workout:

 

Oof.

It’s been a while.

We’ve been kinda sporadically doing Crossfit,
what with crazy 12-hour workdays and all.
I’ve been doing my own workouts every day at the office–
tricep dips, knee balances on the yoga ball,
pushups and situps and handstands when no one’s looking…
But I really miss doing Crossfit regularly.

 

x4

(Rotating stations for first three exercises)
5 pistols (each leg)
10 20# KB Swings
45 Single-Unders (for the life of me, I can’t get the rope to go fast enough for a double-under)
10 toes-to-bar
20# KB 100m Relay (FUN! And soooo tiring!)
5 Single leg balance extensions (each leg)

 

That last one is *awesome* because it challenges
your balance, coordination, and it strengthens your back muscles,
which we all need.

 

I had a breakthrough in handbalancing on Monday night,
which was good, since the rest of class was PAIN and JOINTS and PAIN:

I finally got a solid one minute belly-to-wall handstand,
AND I was able to kick up into a handstand and forward roll out of it,
on my own!

*phew*

Thought I’d never get through the mental block I was having for that latter bit–
I’m always afraid that I’ll fall on my face,
break all my teeth,
and end up dead and homeless.

(All disasters end this way for me: Bounced a check? Dead and homeless.
Didn’t get a lunch order right? Dead and homeless.
Forgot to feed the dog? Yup. Death and also homelessness.)

 

I’m sorry I haven’t been around much, lately.
The new job, which I am grateful to have, mind you,
is eating me alive.

Usually,
by the time I come home,
I just head straight to bed.

I’ve been forcing myself to work on wedding stuff when I get home,
which means I haven’t been enjoying it very much–
instead of being a welcome, creative escape,
it’s become just another thing that I have to do,
just another task that is keeping me from collapsing into bed.

I miss my friends.
I miss my fiancé.

We cram everything into the weekends now,
which also diminishes how enjoyable those are.

I’m not going to lie–it sucks.

However,
our friends have been amazing with the wedding stuffs–
coming over on a Saturday last month to help cut out dozens of felted leaves,
helping me think through logistics and delegation,
flying to LA before the wedding to help with anything that needs helping,
taking over tasks–we are surrounded by truly incredible friends.

I just wish I had a little more time to be with them.

 

This gig ends in May.
I think some serious changes will be afoot for me after that.

And that’s a good thing.

Today I:

 

Feel completely and totally behind the ball.

Knowing that I’m not
(we have our site, our photographer, our rentals, our officiants, and I’m starting to work on my dress with the Amazing Amanda)
doesn’t really help,
because I feel like I should have EVERYTHING DONE.

I kinda figured this might be my particular problem.

*le sigh*

Back to it, mates!

It’s a Good Life:

 

Every once in a while,
I am just struck by how lovely life can be.

In spite of how hard bits of this week were,
there was a moment Saturday night,
when The Boyo and I came home after the 20th Wedding
(Titus and Staci Gee!),
collapsed on the floor,
Corgi between us,
and there was just this…contentment.

There was a Christmas tree.
A warm house.
A boy.
A girl.
Their dog.

And it was good.

 

The Best Dog in the World.

Looky who I found wandering around Disney!

Staci's Bouquet

Number 19:

 

The Roommate,
my friend,
my chosen sister,
Jessie Jones,
got married on Saturday.

 

There were wine bottles
and Jurassic flowers
and roses and peonies
and a very small dinosaur on her bouquet.

 

Photo Courtesy of Amanda Rouse

"Rawr" means "I love you" in Dinosaur.

 

Jurassic Bouquet - Photo Courtesy of Laura Jane

Protea, Thistles, Peonies and Roses, Oh My!

 

There was a brief rain shower,
during which we all stayed blessedly dry.

There was laughter and dancing
with far away friends,
home with us just for a little while,
and two of the best toasts I have ever heard–
they couldn’t help but be that way
because?

Jessie and Mike have made their lives around people who are wonderful,
just as they are.

 

Mr. and Mrs. Greenholt - Photo Courtesy of Amanda Rouse

Mr. & Mrs. Greenholt

 

Making a wedding happen is always hard work–
I’m home sick for the second day in a row because of it.

But every once in a while,
I get to be a part of a day that is so special,
I would do it all over again tomorrow if I had to.

 

Mike, Jessie.

I love you both.
Thank you for Saturday.
May God smile on all of your days together.

 

ps (i miss you, jess.)

 

Jones and Rea - Photo Courtesy of Laura Jane

The Pink Hair. The Redhead.

Advice from a Wedding Coordinator:

 

Caveat:

I am a Wedding Coordinator.
This year will close out with my 17th wedding.
These posts are not meant to be rude or condescending (pinky swear!);
I just want to share a bit of what I’ve learned along the way.

There are things that I find common sense at this point,
which aren’t to a lot of folks because, hey, most of us
only plan one wedding.

So, from Becca’s Basket of Common Sense,
“The Comin’ to Jesus” Post.

 

 

Your wedding will cost more than you think.

What number are you thinking of?
Got more than 100 guests?
 

Yeah.

Double that.
 

Now, now. It's gonna be all right.


 

See,
weddings are *like* great big parties,
except they’re not.

Weddings involve photographers,
and venues,
and large groups of people,
and the smooshing together of two (or more!) families,
and the solemnity and joy of two people pledging their lives to each other,
and the traditions and expectations of everyone you have ever known,
and the wrangling of small children,
and the feeding and drinking of all of these groups.

Are there cheaper alternatives?

Hell, yes.

There’s the county courthouse,
for example.
 

Seriously, though,
there are cheaper ways of doing things:

1) Potluck reception.
(but remember that hot food needs to be kept hot,
cold food cold–there are expenses here, too)

2) Skip the flowers.

3) No booze.

4) No dancing.
(This avoids the cost of renting a dance floor, and/or hiring a DJ)

5) Non-professional photographer.

6) Costco cake (not a bad option, actually).

7) Afternoon wedding so you don’t have to worry about lighting or heating.

8 ) Have a long engagement in order to save up for the wedding.
(If that’s not feasible, how about getting married in a civil ceremony,
and have the Big Bash later when your budget can handle it?)

9) Cake and punch only reception.

10) No reception.

11) DIY DIY DIY DIY.

12) Call in favors–do you know someone with property who can rent it at cost? How about someone who rents chairs and tables? If you *know* people, you can often get costs seriously reduced.

Getting married outside in a public park saves a ton of money–
but what about inclement weather?
If it’s an evening wedding, you’ll need to rent heaters and lights.
If it’s a day wedding, you’ll either need to have shade on site,
or you’ll need to rent a tent.
Do you want folks to hear your vows?
You’ll need extension cords, speakers, and a mic–which many cheap outdoor sites do not provide.
Does the site provide adequate bathrooms?
If not, you’ll need to rent port-a-potties.

 

 
But above all?

Shrink that guest list.
Below 100.

In California,
specifically Southern California,
I can almost guarantee that if you have a guest list of over 100,
you should expect to pay between $8,000 to $10,000 for your wedding…
IF you’re doing stuff on the cheap.

Average wedding cost for this area?

$40,000.

Everything adds up–
most couples completely forget about the costs of purchasing or renting tables, chairs, tablecloths, napkins, silverware, plates, bowls, cups…

Even if you went to Smart and Final
to purchase disposable paper plates, cups, and plastic forks,
you still have to purchase at least twice the number of your guest list.

(Unless you tell your guests up front
to hang onto their disposable plate because they can’t get another
because there *aren’t* any more. UGH.)

I did flowers for one wedding
where only crudites, cake and punch were served.
Cheap solution, yes?

Except…
There wasn’t enough cheese and crackers for
even one serving per guest.
Folks who didn’t arrive to the reception site first
didn’t get anything to eat until the cake was cut–
an hour into the reception.

A lot of people left early because of this.

My point is,
even if you’re just serving cake and punch
(and boy, please put that on the invite,
so your guests know to not come hungry),
expect it to cost more than you think it will.

Ask friends for favors,
ask them if they can use their varied talents to help you and your fiance/e.

I’ve been doing flowers and coordinating weddings
at cost for friends for seven years.

The Boyo has designed wedding invitations at cost.

One of my friends made a dozen small cakes in different flavors for
LauraJane’s nuptials.

Another friend is doing photography for The Roommate.

But?

You cannot expect your friends to cover those costs *for* you.
(If they volunteer to do so, well and good.
But please please please don’t be the person who expects this.)
Flowers still cost money (if I’m lucky, I can keep it between $500-700 for a small bridal party, and little centerpiece decor–but if you choose to get married on a holiday weekend, flower prices double and sometimes triple).
Photography is eight hours on-site, and countless hours of post–
if you want prints of *anything*, that gets hella expensive in a hurry.
The ingredients for enough cake to feed over 100 people aren’t cheap.

It’s also polite to pay transportation costs for those who are volunteering their services to you. Not required, but polite.

 

You absolutely can get married on a tight budget in California.
Absolutely.
However, you will have to give up a great deal of “extras” in order to do so.

I know this is a stomach twister,
but I am not exaggerating:

A wedding on the cheap in Southern California for over 100 guests
is going to run you around $10,000.

 

For serious.

*glurg*


http://www.bhldn.com/

Anthropologie!

Wedding dresses!

 

Wildly unfair!

Today I:

Got inspired:

1) Marina Bychkova of Enchanted Doll
(caution: the nude doll gallery on her site may be slightly NSFW)

I collected porcelain dolls when I was little,
but they were *nothing* like these tiny wonders.

Her artistry absolutely takes my breath away–
the tiny, meticulous details of the casting process,
her ethereal painting style,
the minuscule, faerie-fingered-embroidery and beading,
and the SHOES,
oh Lord,
the SHOES…!

To get the tattoos on her dolls,
she actually carves the design in the porcelain,
and then fires the paint into that design–
brilliant!

I can spend hours browsing her gallery
and reading about her creative process on her blog.


(I might do a watercolor inspired by one of her dolls…)

2) Style Me Pretty

One of my favorite stumbleupon sites–
always fresh, chic, interesting ideas to play with for future brides–
both in general and floral design.

They tend to be a nice balance between the amazingly awesomely wackadoodle OffbeatBride, and the boring, bleaaaah of The Knot
(tho’ i think they could still use a few more tattooed/pink haired/
colored dress brides, but hey, that’s probably just my hair dye talkin’).

And…
they create inspiration shoots with things like this:

*lurv*

3) Lawrence Yang, whose use of colors and blending kinda
make my heart hurt a little, they’re so nifty…

Honestly,
the last couple of weeks have been SO INSANELY BUSY,
I haven’t had the time or energy to devote to painting,
or even to my simple bleach-pen t-shirt designs…
There was the Kansas City reception of McGranaghanClanness at the end of July,
(i was only two sheets to the wind, i swear!
the humidity just makes me look…um…nevermind
),
I started my salsa performance class at my dance studio
(serious hours of practice and anal perfecting of
*everything* are staring me in the face),
then Santa Margarita with The Boyo for CORGI SNORGLING:

*snorrrrrgleeee*

I’m going to Oregon this weekend with The Boyo for his mom’s gradjitation
(she got her Master’s in Special Education–go, Wendy!!!),
and then it’s my birthday weekend,
then moving Boyo out of the shitholefromhell apartment,
then picking up Her Fluffiness, Nami the Corgi,
then
then
then

OY.

It’s probably a good thing I don’t have a job right now!

(In all actuality,
I probably need to give myself an hour or two per day to just sit and focus on art–
watercolors,
t-shirt painting,
sewing,
all the little things that have been poking me to get created…
sometimes, it’s hard to remember that creating art is just as vital as
cleaning my room, if not more so…
God bless those Puritan Workhorse genes…)

When Wedding Coordinators Dream:

preamble:

I coordinated a wedding for my friends Jack and Linnea last weekend,
and it was *awesome*–
really cool folks,
never even had to raise my voice to make sure things got done.

Hence the freakiness of this dream.

___________________

There is an open field,
with one lone oaktree in the middle of it.

In the vague way that dreams have,
there is also a building where the guests for a wedding are being seated.

I am backstage,
doing what I do–
getting people into places so they can saunter down the aisle.

Only…

It’s Jack and Linnea.

Again.

And this time,
their wedding party consists of very beautiful,
very horrid people
who don’t listen,
and don’t get ready on time,
and in general,
are just lousy.

I try to get their attention calmly,
but for some reason,
the noise level is so high,
and everything is so chaotic,
I begin screaming my head off.

And even while screaming,
no one hears me for a good long while.

I feel I have to explain myself,
say that I don’t like screaming,
which meets rolled eyes and “puh-leeze” expressions.

I finally manage to get the truculent bridal party into place,
and herd the parents and grandparents down the aisle.

Where they break out into a horrible bar song
about being from somewhere in Topeka.

As they’re doing this,
I look back,
and see the bridal party on stilts.

With trapezes.

There may have been a monkey involved,
but I’m uncertain now.

All of this music is blaring from hidden speakers on their now-spangly wedding outfits,
and all of the women are wearing enormous, Ziegfield-follies-sized feather headresses,
which are molting all over the guests…

One of the pyramid-stilt-trapezes comes narrowly close to hitting me,
and then my phone begins to ring.

Which is the faux pas of the century for me,
since I always turn it off at weddings,
and as I fumble with it,
I realize it’s friend Regan,
calling about a shoot tomorrow…

and I wake up.

Totally and completely relieved
that I didn’t,
in fact,
lose it at a wedding.

Today I:

Recovered from a head cold with the liberal application of bagel-creamcheese-and-apricot jam

Emailed a site coordinator with a bucketload of questions

Got said questions answered

Soothed a few frazzled Bride and Groom nerves

Rewrote my resume and cover letter, shipped it off to a job

Checked my bank account and maybe cried a little bit

Cleaned all the things (‘cept for a truly nasty pan that was hiding in the stove)

Thought about going running

Dinner and Buffy instead.

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