Friday, October 28, 2011

Last-Minute Dress Decision(s)

Today marks the two week point for the Ferris Wheels, and I gotta be honest that it feels crazy-making to know we're so close yet there's still so much that needs to get finished.  Some of those last-minute tasks make sense:  escort cards (because we're still trying to finalize our guest list), seating arrangements (because we're still trying to finalize our guest list), and baking stuff for the dessert buffet (because there's only so long that a baked good will last).

Then there are other tasks that I really wish had been completed earlier, but for one reason or another they're still up in the air like the videographer (because we didn't decide until the last minute that we even wanted one) and wedding party gifts (because of various snafus in the production process).  But perhaps the biggest last-minute project(s) has to do with my dress.

When I bought the dress, I didn't pay much attention to the train because that just wasn't on my priority list.  Well, now that I'm having to make final alterations decisions, apparently I have to decide whether or not I want to keep it.  My primary concern about the train is how it will fit with the limited amount of space in our ceremony venue.  If you don't recall, the ceremony room looks like this.

{Mr. FW and I will stand in that window along with our wedding party, the area leading to the window will be the aisle, and limited chairs will be squeezed in there as much as possible.}

And now here's a picture of how the original train length looks on me.

One thing's for sure: the train as it is will absolutely not fit well in the space.  For.  Sure.  Plus the alterations woman told me that, no matter what, she recommended reducing the length of the train because it's currently disproportionate to my height.  This is not something I'd ever considered before, but I suppose it makes sense.  

So I think my options are thus: 1) reduce the train, hope it fits in the ceremony space without looking stupid, then bustle it for the reception; 2) leave it bustled throughout the day, no need to worry about whether or not it fits in the ceremony space; 3) chop it off - no train, no bustle, no hassle.

For your reference, here are some pictures the seamstress took of a potential bustle for this dress (not necessarily the one I'll go with, but it's an option).

I feel torn, Hive!  If I'm being really honest with myself I can admit that I kinda like the idea of chopping off the train.  But as soon as I think that I tell myself this is probably the only time in my life when I'll get to drag around a bolt of extraneous fabric attached to a garment I'm wearing, and I question whether I'd actually want to give up that experience.  Plus - the bustle is just 'meh' for me.  I don't necessarily love it.  

So I'm looking for the invaluable insight that only a group of similarly wedding-obsessed people can provide!  Given what you know about me, my style, and our ceremony space, which train option do you think I should go with?

(insert poll)

Option 1: Let it flow then tuck it in.
Option 2: Bustle me all night long.
Option 3: No bustle, no problem.

Can't wait to see what you think!  Have you given any consideration to train changes you might want to make for your dress?

(And also, in case you were wondering, the other last-minute dress decision has to do with whether or not I'll be wearing a shrug with the dress.  I really want to, but as the days tick by without a good option on the horizon, this decision might just be made by default.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Feeling Real Now, Folks!

Yep, today Mr. FW and I made the arduous ten minute trek to City Hall, and we completed the shockingly easy task of applying for a marriage license.  As we walked up the front steps of the building I recalled that the last time I was actually inside the City Hall rotunda was a few years ago when one of my friends married his husband during the brief period of time when gay marriage was legal in California.  On that day the entire building was full of lights, cameras, press members, happy couples, and excited guests.  But today the place was silent, with only our voices echoing off the marble.

There were no signs directing us where to go, so we wandered around until we found the unassuming corridor with the door marked 'County Clerk.'  We actually arrived on time for our appointment, and if you know me at all, you know what a miracle that is.

Mr. FW lovingly offered to fill out the form for us since I was pretty busy snapping pictures of the whole process.  My favorite part of the license application was this: "At the time of application for a marriage license, one or both parties to the marriage may elect to change the middle or last names, or both, by which that party wishes to be known after solemnization of the marriage...  Parties may adopt any of the following last names: the current last name of the other spouse; the last name of either spouse given at birth; a name combining into a single last name all or a segment of the current last name or the last name of either spouse given at birth; a hyphenated combination of last names."

How incredible is that?!  I love the flexibility that California law allows for both parties when it comes to changing names with the marriage license.  (Also, I know I haven't posted about mine and Mr. FW's thoughts when it comes to name changes, but I will later if it interests anyone.)

A few minutes later and our form was all processed and ready to go.  We were given the information about what our "officiant" (aka deputized sister of the groom) needs to fill out, which we promptly forgot and will have to research again later.

And that was it.  So quick and so simple, this legal process to get married.  Mr. FW commented on our way out that, for how easy it was to get a marriage license, it somehow makes it even more sad and ridiculous that not everyone can get married - in this state or so many other places.  And I certainly agree.  *sigh*  Maybe one day...

As for us, our license is good until January of 2012 so let's just hope we can pull off a wedding sometime between now and then!

Was anyone else amazed by how easy the marriage license process was?  (I think I remember my mother telling stories that, back in the day, they required bloodwork in order to secure a marriage license.  Sheesh!  So, so glad we've moved on from that.)  :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

History, and Old School Photoshop

You know how I said that my mom and I were going through her wedding stuff this past weekend?  Well as part of that conversation I found out the most fascinating thing about her wedding photos - something I'd never noticed in all my years of casually flipping through her wedding album every now and then.

She showed me this picture:

And she focused my attention on one particular detail.

Notice anything about this close-up, besides the fact that my mom is absolutely gorgeous?  Anyone thinking that her eyelashes are amazing in this picture?  Well, they should be.  Those lashes were given the old school photoshop treatment.  If you don't have the slightest clue what that could mean, then you're in good company because I'd never heard of this particular technique either.

It means that those lashes were actually painted onto the printed photo itself!!  Can you believe that?!

I was completely floored when she told me, but as I flipped through her album looking for additional evidence of old school photoshopping, I saw it everywhere.  There were pictures where the photographer painted in sections of my mom's hair because the tip of her ear was peeking through, and multiple examples of him painting in eyes on my father because my dad was squinting in many of the photos.

It's incredible to me that I never noticed this before, but I guess it's proof that no one scrutinizes your wedding photos like you do.  That's certainly a good lesson for a perfectionist like me.  It also made me really happy that there are more advanced photo manipulation techniques available to modern photographers.  Of course, the minute I have that thought I flash forward to the day we'll flip through our wedding album with our kids and they will scoff at how dated those now-so-modern Photoshop effects are.  Ahhh, the neverending march of time (and technology).

Was anyone else aware of photographers painting/drawing directly onto printed images?  I'm curious how widespread this practice was.

A Little Piece of History

This past weekend I flew back to Georgia to spend a weekend with my mom, brothers, and my grandparents.  In all the crazy hustle and bustle of last-minute wedding planning (24 days and counting, gah!), it was nice to get away from the stress for a bit and reconnect with family.

While I was home there was a lot of wedding talk of course, which spurred my mom to pull out some of her own wedding stuff.  As soon as I saw her veil and headpiece in the dress box, I couldn't resist trying it on.

Here's my beautiful mother wearing her veil over thirty years ago.

And here I am - proving that this look was much better on her than it is on me.

The headpiece may not be the right style for me, but I actually liked the edging on the veil and I started to wonder whether I could find a way to re-purpose my mom's veil as my veil.  So I gathered it up and held it in a way that kind of imitated what it would look like if the veil was attached to a comb rather than the lace headpiece.

It has a little more body than I might have chosen otherwise, but the history and symbolism of it being my mom's veil way outweigh any tiny preference I have about length or puffiness.  The only question now is whether the color is a close enough match to my dress.  In the overhead lighting of the house it looked as white as the day my mom wore it, but in the bright SF sunshine it was looking a bit more cream.

I have my first dress fitting today, so that will give me a chance to see if the coloring will work.  If it does, then you can pretty much bet this will make its way onto the "must have" project list.  I'm not-so-secretly hoping that it does!

What little pieces of history will you be incorporating on your wedding day?  And does anyone have any tips for me about how to attach tulle to a comb?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Identifying the Yummies

After this wedding, I'm pretty sure I'll never want to create any sort of signage/labels/tags ever again.  Because let me tell ya, our guests are going to be the most fully-informed, non-confused, wedding guests ever.  As things have gotten down to the wire we decided to nix a few of the signs on our list because, in all of our wedding brain craziness, we came to our senses and realized our guests could probably figure some stuff out on their own (like, say, where the bathrooms are or how in the world to navigate the fifteen feet between the elevators and the ceremony space).

There were some signs that were always non-negotiable for us though, and those were the ones that were meant to be functional while also adding some crucial design flare (and, let's be honest here, that would make for some incredibly cool detail shots).  Labels for the dessert buffet and the candy buffet definitely fell into that category.

As is probably true with all good design, these little devils look much more beautifully simplistic than they actually were to create.  We're so proud of how they turned out, though, and are immensely relived that they're finished.  So relieved, in fact, that I forgot to take pictures of the dessert buffet tags before we packed them away, which means you'll just have to wait for the pro pics to come back to see how those turned out.

But... here are some pics I did take during the process of attaching the candy buffet labels to our jars.  (And in true Ferris Wheel fashion, the ribbon I used for this has been discontinued and I ran out halfway through the job.  So cross your fingers that our feverish internet search actually yields the right replacement ribbon!)

Now, on to the pictures!

 Any chance that you'll be over-informing the guests at your wedding?  And admit it - you like pretty signs too, right?