Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saving Vases

Mr. Goodlaff and I got engaged, picked colors, and then (cue mystical psychic voice) I had a wedding vision. Cobalt blue vases, green and yellow flowers, white tables, indoor garden, pops of color. Yes!

I just wasn't sure it was going to work.

See, I need visuals.  During the dress hunting process, I photoshopped together a picture of my dream dress, and though it was completely craptastic, it gave me an idea of the hoped-for result. The centerpieces were no different, so Mama Goodlaff and I ventured to our local craft store and came up with this:

Seeing it come together made me feel like a giddy mad scientist.  Vision confirmed, Mama Goodlaff and I got right to work.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Veil Mail

Okay, Wedding Day attire status check.  Dress? Check.  Shoes? Check.  Anything beyond that?  Check-minus.

It's time to start seriously accessorizing.

I've known for a long time that I'll be wearing a birdcage veil: short, cute, incredibly chic, and not at all fussy. I started looking at veils online a few months ago, but the other day, as I was sitting at home--sick--I decided that it didn't look that difficult, and that I could probably make my own.

Copy Cat Crafting: Faux Curled Rosewood Wreath

Every now and then, I have a brilliant, original idea.  Usually, though, I tend to steal ideas gather inspiration from others.

Several weeks ago, I stumbled across this project on one of How Joyful's Tutorial Love Fridays.  My first thought was that the Faux Curled Rosewood Wreath looked pretty, but like a pain in the ass. Naturally, I decided to try it.  I started working on it almost the next day, but it's taken me a while to finish it (partly due to the holidays and partly because of my short attention span).

Here's what I've been working on  forever for a while:

The tutorial is available via the link above, so I won't rehash all the gory details.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Gentlemen, Mark Your Calendars

It has been a busy week in the Goodlaff household!  I have so many wedding-related goodies to share with you, but first, a huge piece of news: our Save the Dates are out!!  Currently winding their way through the mail system, the Goodlaff Save the Dates are beginning to pop up in mailboxes all around the country (and Australia too!).  So exciting!

Mr. Goodlaff and I decided a while ago that postcards were the best option for Save the Dates--they are simple, effective, and extremely budget-friendly.  I started designing them months ago (hello antiquated version of Photoshop), and true to form, got a bit frustrated with the design and abandoned them for other shiny, non-frustrating projects. Fast forward a few months and suddenly we had to get them out, like, yesterday...Time to buckle down.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Meet My 'Maids!

I know for some girls, choosing a bridal party can be a trying experience.  I was incredibly lucky in that the selection process (if you could even call it that) for my side of the Goodlaff bridal party was easy. Let me introduce you to the Goodlaff Girls:

Sister Goodlaff, my Maid of Honor:

Choosing my MOH wasn't at all hard.  I have one sister whom I've known (and tortured) all her life, and I always knew the job would be hers if she would take it; we are complete polar opposites, and we don't always get along, but I still love her anyway.  She was so thrilled with being asked to be my MOH and immediately jumped right in, and started researching her official duties.  I like to think the wedding planning has brought us a little bit closer (she calls me once every month now, instead of every three or four months!).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tick, Tick, Tick...

I looked at the calendar today and got a bit of a shock: the Goodlaffs have barely more than four months until our wedding. 

*cue mini freak-out*

I know that we have a lot planned out, and that everything will get done, but right now, it feels like there's an overwhelming amount of work to do and not a lot of time to do it.  We have lists.  We have lists of lists.  We have books of ideas and inspiration and game plans. But I know that there are things we need to do that I haven't even thought of yet, that I can't even conceive of yet, and that's a little bit unnerving. 

Sometimes I wish I didn't have to go to work every day. I could easily spend 24/7 planning this wedding, but until we win the lottery (it's gonna happen this time--really!), that's not really possible.  I suppose that's the challenge of planning a wedding on your own without a wedding planner to handle every little detail; it's all about balance, and looking at the calendar has me feeling just a little off-kilter right now.

I'm pretty sure that no amount of planning will prepare us for what's coming these next few months, and though I can't say with any kind of certainty that we are ready for it, I can say that we are going to meet the Goodlaff wedding challenge head-on.

When did your wedding countdown start to give you the jitters?

Friday, December 17, 2010

An Awkward Beginning

The story of how Mr. Goodlaff and I met depends on who you ask to tell it.  Ask Mr. Goodlaff and he will tell you we met at work, plain and simple: we were set up, it was awkward, and that's where all this trouble began.

Ask me, however, and I will tell you a different story.  History is written by the bloggers (I think that's how it goes...), so herein follows my accounting of the beginning of the great Goodlaff love story.

One day I'm sitting at my desk, freaking the hell out because that's the nature of my job, and I get an email from Mr. Goodlaff totally out of the blue saying that one of his coworkers volunteered him for elections work, and though he'd really rather not, he guessed he would help if he really had to.*  Cranky, irritable, and suffering from a lack of sleep, I thought to myself, "Who IS this guy and what the hell is his problem?" and told him something along the lines of "don't worry your pretty little head, you're off the hook."

*Editor's Blogger's Note: Here's where our accounts really differ.  Mr. Goodlaff glosses over this part, and to this day insists that his email was not the passive aggressive missive that I took it to be.  I still maintain he was cranky and that my interpretation had nothing to do with the fact that I hadn't had a single day off in a month...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake

Before I began exploring the wonderful world of web-based wedding inspiration, I spent my time (and money) looking through countless bridal magazines.  Helpful for about the first month, they soon got old, as I realized I was reading the same article over and over again. And still, I bought them. 

At first I flagged relevant pages with post-its, afraid to mangle the pages with my scissors.  After I made my own wedding planner, the gloves were off and the scissors were out, gnashing apart the pages of my once-sacred bridal magazine collection.

In one of my discovery sessions, practically crammed into the binding of the magazine to make way for yet another full page ad for bridal gowns, was a riveting report on the newest cake trends (so riveting that it was about an inch and a half wide!).  The trend that caught my eye? One tiered cakes.  AKA, the cake bar.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Place for Guests to Park It

Our venue comes with perfectly good, perfectly free chairs.

Sigh. They may be usable and free, but they are completely mis-matched and on the ugly-ish side of the folding chair spectrum. Free chairs: I know, I really shouldn't be complaining. But the reality is that these chairs were messing with my grand wedding vision, and having just managed to even form a vision, I was a little upset at it being so easily (and quickly) disturbed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

You're Getting Married?!?!?!

The most common response when people find out you're getting married?  "So, tell me about the wedding..."

At this point, I turn into a shy middle school-er, bumbling my words and saying "um" more than any other word actually found in a real dictionary. "Um. Well, it's kinda, sorta, um, yeah...I mean, we're going for a...uh, yeah, you know..."  I realize this is not the typical bride's response, and that I should be able to describe, down to the last ribbon placement, the entirety of the wedding, reception, and beyond.

And I do have all of these decisions and plans made! I guess it's that I just don't really know where to start...  Do they want to hear about the dress? The table settings?  The ceremony? The venue?  The flowers?  The cake?  Is it better for people to walk away from me with their eyes glazed due to the sheer amount of details I've shared, or unsatisfied because I can't clearly explain my vision?

I should just carry my inspiration board around with me.  It would make life a lot easier, you know? "Want to know about my wedding? Here, look at this!"

Oh dear, you want sources now, don't you? (Somebody remind me never to do one of these again--tracking these links down took about an hour of my life that I'll never get back...)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The One That (Finally) Was

I've told you all about the ones that weren't, but now it's time for me to show you the one that is!

Two months finally came and went and one Friday night I found myself on a plane bound for Burbank Airport.  It was a dual-purpose trip: first and foremost, it was a celebratory birthday visit in honor of Goodlaff Bridesmaid Sunrise. The second purpose was my much-anticipated trip to Dolly Couture to finally try on the dresses I fell in love with!

Saturday finally came and Bridesmaid Sunrise, Bridesmaid Cosmo, Sister Goodlaff, and I met in front of Dolly Couture's gorgeously-retro storefront:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sticks and Stones

Not to be a Debbie Downer or anything, but sometimes wedding planning sucks.

I've mentioned before that there's drama in my family.  Suffice it to say that some members of my family used to be in business together and now they're not.  Where there used to be a big, relatively happy family, there is a lot of acrimony, a lot of anger, and a lot of silence.   Though I've tried to stay out of the fray as much as possible, when people you have known and loved all your life are firing grenades at each other, you are bound to get caught in the crossfire. 

One of these "grenades" came in letter form a few years go.  One family member sent a letter (by certified mail to ensure delivery) to another family member proclaiming: "you all are dead to me."  Being a member of the group that was now dead, I can tell you that it's hard not to take something like that personally. Tired of the conflict and the constant barrage of artillery, I gave up standing in the middle of the battlefield and chose to join in on the silence. 

About a year ago, Mr. Goodlaff's paternal grandfather passed away, and seeing him grieve for his loss brought up a lot of feelings for me.  I had family--alive and well--that I didn't speak to, and there he was, never being able to speak to his grandfather again.  After a somewhat tentative reconciliation, I was back to speaking with most of my family members, save the author of the letter.  Although I'm happy to be once again in contact with this side of the family, I'm left with an incredible amount of hurt and confusion over how family members can behave so cruelly and wondering how I should move on and rebuild relationships with these people, knowing what I know now.

Through this whole planning process, I've had this weighing on me.  This situation spills over into many aspects of wedding planning: the guest list, the seating chart, the flowers for family members, the family pictures.

I've recently been asked if I will be inviting the author of that letter to the wedding.  The answer is no.  To me, there's really no going back from "you all are dead to me."  Once those words are out of your mouth, you can't take them back--the reality is that the words hurt more than sticks and stones ever could.

I'm sure the proverbial shit will hit the fan over all of this, and I have no idea how this branch of my family will react.  There's a chance they will boycott the Goodlaff wedding, and I will just have to accept that.  The fact is, I don't want anyone at the wedding who wishes me and any part of my family ill (or dead); a wedding is supposed to be a joyous occasion and not a day for the next great Shakespearean tragedy to play out, live.

So, though it's really difficult, I'm going to stand my ground on this one and hope that everything will work out for the best. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Putting My "Wed" Face On

I'm not what you would call a makeup expert.  My morning routine consists of lotion, eyeliner, brow liner, mascara, and a bit of bronzer or blush (depends on my mood) for color; I'm usually done in about three minutes.  No fuss, just the basics.  On my wedding day, though, I want to look better than my best, which means a full face of makeup. 

Lately I've been watching a lot of Wedding Day Makeover on TLC and after seeing all the before and afters, I began kicking around the idea of getting my makeup done for the wedding.  I could just sit back and let someone else do the smoky eye or put on the blush--sounds good to me!  So, I started researching makeup artists in the area.  

Can you say highway robbery?  Holy crap!  I was shocked by the amount of money they want to charge for their services. I just can't see how it's worth $180 for someone to apply my eyeshadow (though, to be fair, this was the highest price I saw). I know that most of what you pay for is their expertise and time, but still...

Thus began the great Makeup Debate:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dreaming of Disaster

It's official: I've had my very first wedding-related nightmare. Honestly, I'm surprised it took this long for me to get there--now the flood gates are wide open.

Here's how it happened:
I'm standing in the middle of a Jamaican hotel room, freaking out because I haven't found a makeup artist for my ceremony the next day.  As luck would have it, one of the hotel staff members happened to be in the room, listening to me.  She left the room and came back a few minutes later, telling me she'd found a celebrity makeup artist willing to do my makeup at $8 an hour.  Sold! 

At that point I decided it would be a good time to pull my wedding dress from the closet and steam it to get the wrinkles out, but what I pulled out of the bag was nothing like the wedding dress I'd picked out.  It was an off-the shoulder, pewter-gray dress made of shiny crinkled fabric, with an empire waist.  It had sleeves that someone had cut off any run-of-the-mill white cotton long sleeved t-shirt. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Writer's Block

I'm not feeling particulaly wordy this evening, so I'm hoping you'll take the following picture and give me credit for writing a thousand words...

Engagement rings and pin cushions do mix!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Making a List, Checking it Way More than Twice

Christmas is a little less than a month away, which means that the Goodlaffs are getting late-ish in sending out our Save the Dates.  If we wait any longer, they may mature into actual invitations.

You know what you need before you can mail out Save the Dates?  A guest list.  And addresses. 

It's not like we've been purposefully slacking off on this: Mr. Goodlaff and I have had a (revolving) guest list for about six months.  When we began, the list was smaller than it is now, but then there was the inevitable "Oh, you can't not invite Suzie Lou," and the "we were invited to their son's wedding," or the "they probably won't come, but..."  Suggestions were made and so were changes: additions, deletions, re-additions.  We went so far as to make a back-up list of people we would like to invite if our budget and numbers will allow it.

Like Santa Claus, Mr Goodlaff and I have been checking and re-checking the "nice" list, wondering what exactly allows someone the privilege of a Save the Date and an eventual invite to the wedding. Does the fact that someone is a blood relation guarantee they get an invite? How about friends you haven't spoken to in years? What about your parents' good friends that you've never met? 

I wish I could say that we discovered the secret to guest list success--we didn't.  Maybe the Holy Grail of wedding planning is a formula for guest-inviting etiquette, complete with charts, graphs, and FAQ's. All decisions could be blamed on and complaints referred to this magical formula! 

If only. 

But seriously, deciding who to invite is no picnic. Mr. Goodlaff and I have huge families to begin with, and (lucky us!) with big families comes big family drama on both sides.  Will inviting Guest 1 upset Guest 2?  Will not inviting Guest Z offend Family Y?  Are we going to need to have bouncers at our wedding because there's the possibility that someone may throw a punch? I bet it's easier to get a Visa for North Korea than it is to figure out who to put on the guest list for the wedding,  and if, on the big day, the guests will be able to behave themselves.

I wish we could invite everyone we know, but with the Goodlaffs footing most of the bill for the wedding, it's just not something our budget will allow. Daddy Goodlaff graciously offered to help us save on catering by not attending, but Mama Goodlaff gave him the evil mom stare and told that wasn't an option.

This week we will get those last few addresses plugged in to our spreadsheet and finalize our Save the Date design.  Soon they will go to the printers and hit the mail and then there will be no turning back! 

What challenges did you face in constructing a guest list?  Did you set any limits on who you'd be inviting?