Thursday, March 31, 2011

Clean Cup! Move Down!: Presents and Partings

After the food, and after the games, it was time for me to open presents.  I'm going to apologize in advance here, but since I was the one doing the unwrapping, I have no pictures of this part!

We all sat down, and the unwrapping began.  I've never been one of those people that's totally comfortable being the center of attention, and opening gifts is one of those things that makes me squirm a little bit, because people are going to see your reaction to their gifts (which is, of course, the whole point).  I am also one of those anal present-unwrappers that prefers not to rip the paper if it can be helped;  I spend a lot of time finding paper seams and carefully unwrapping the gift.   No, I don't know why--it's just how I do. 

I was so fortunate to be showered with so many amazing gifts, some of which were a new toaster (so desperately needed), an electric carving knife, a silver sugar bowl and creamer, a tea caddy, cookie press, color-coded cutting boards, and all kinds of other kitcheny goodness. 

Although Mr. Goodlaff and I really enjoy all of our new gadgets, the best part about the whole shower was the people present, and not the presents they brought.  It was incredibly heartwarming to see so many people from different parts of my life (family, friends, co-workers) come together over me, and I really had a great time. The hats were fabulous, the food was fabulous, the decor was fabulous, and the company was unparalleled.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Clean Cup! Move Down!: Let the Games Begin

Mama and Sister Goodlaff set the date for my shower several months prior to the actual date, at which point, I had just one stipulation: no lame games.  Now, I know everyone's definition of "lame" differs, but as far as I was concerned, any games involving cotton balls were completely off the table. 

After several weeks of hunting, Mama Goodlaff came up with a few games, which she ran past me: Mad Libs and Spice of Life, both of which passed muster.  In the days leading up to the shower, I discovered that she'd left off one essential shower game: Toilet Paper Bride.

Let's return once again to the definition of "lame." I would not consider the TP Bride game "lame," but perhaps that's because I wasn't going to be the one wrapped in toilet paper?

As you can see, BM Sunrise does not agree:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Cameo Appearance

Perhaps you remember my gigantic Cameo conundrum? 

The first necklace I bought was way too big, and though I wasn't sure that lightning could strike twice, I knew I wasn't ready to give up on the cameo idea.  I had to try again.  Back to Etsy I went, still in search of a blue cameo that wasn't the size of Lake Michigan.  And what do you know?   I found one!  A set of six blue cameos for $2.95, and two cameo settings for another $2.00, and I was back in business.

See? Much, much better:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Clean Cup! Move Down!: Tea-ing Off

After the disappointment of finding out that some people couldn't come, I needed to cheer up, and fast!  Luckily, Sister Goodlaff had put together such an incredible ambiance that I couldn't help but perk up. I got to Mama Goodlaff's house about an hour before shower time to observe the perfection before it became, um, loved, and make sure that I was on hand to greet guests at arrival time. 

Rocking my party hat, my new dress, and new shoes, I had a lot of time to walk around in a room transformed by Mama and Sister Goodlaff into a shower that dreams are made of.

At this point, I'm sure you're dying to see the details, so without further ado (you know there will be a ton of pictures below the cut, right?  Consider yourself warned!):

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Clean Cup! Move Down!: Bridal Shower Blues

The morning of my bridal shower, this was the first thing I saw:



Okay, so I live in the foothills, and yes, we get snow every year.  It's not usually a big deal.  One big snowstorm every winter, everyone freaks out, and then it's back to normal.  But this year...oh, man.  This year we've been walloped; with all the snow and rain, we've seen the sun for maybe three or four days this entire month. Now, I love snow, but on my terms: good book, fireplace, warm blankets--you get the idea. 

You know when I don't love snow?--on the morning of my bridal shower when I know it means that people I was looking forward to seeing won't be able to make it, due to the aforementioned snow. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bridal BINGO!

Until Saturday I was still without Something Old and Something Borrowed, but no more! My bridal bingo board is finally complete, as is my wedding day outfit!

Girls love accessories, and this girl is no exception to that rule, so when all of my pieces were done (or in draft form), I couldn't resist the overwhelming urge to put it all together and make sure the outfit worked. Boy, did it ever! With gown, veil, necklace, hair flower and shoes on, I looked in the mirror and saw a bride, but though all of my accessories were great, I was still a bride without earrings. I sighed and decided we'd just figure it out later. Luckily, "later" turned out to be the very next day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our Ship's Come In

Something very important and very exciting happened last week: Mr. Goodlaff and I put down a deposit on our Honeymoon! I wish I could properly convey how massively excited I am for our trip, but there just aren't enough exclamation points in the world to do the job.

What, you may ask, are we doing?

Well, this fall, about 4-5 months after our wedding, Mr. Goodlaff and I will be taking in the sights on a Mediterranean cruise. Spain,  France, and Italy are on our itinerary, and we are also hoping to squeeze in a few days in London (fabulous, old churches for Mr. Goodlaff and dead writers (Shakespeare, Austen, Byron, Keats, Eliot, Bronte!) for me). 

Monday, March 21, 2011

How My Hair Flower Garden Does Grow...

Last Friday was a red letter day in the productivity department at Chez Goodlaff. I managed to, within the space of three hours, craft a new hair flower, make a rough draft of my veil, and finish my wedding day necklace.  I was like the Energizer Bunny of wedding crafts--and I liked it!

I have so, so much to share with you, but one thing at a time, eh?

If you've been paying attention, you're probably asking yourself, "Miss Goodlaff has made yet another hair flower?  When will it end?"

Right now, my friends, right now.  See, I've finally got it right. 

After finishing several of the chiffon hair flowers, first in blue, then in white, I still wasn't completely sold on the look.  The edges of my chiffon flowers frayed and made the overall look messy, instead of light and fluffy.  

I found myself looking at flowers like these:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unconventionally Useful

Sometimes, we use things for something other than their intended purposes.

If there's one way I'm sure that MS Excel was never meant to be used, I'm sure this is it. Now, I'm going to get a little personal here (talking about monthly Aunt Flo, personal), so if you're squeamish, a boy, my mother, a relative, a soon-to-be relative, or someone who doesn't really know me that well yet, you may want to turn around and look over some older posts.  If not, consider yourself warned and proceed with caution.

There are several things in life that I'm certain of: I will never look good in khakis, I love food too much to ever be as skinny as Sister Goodlaff, and wearing white (on any day) is just inviting trouble. Given that these are some of my fundamental beliefs, can you see how I'd be nervous about wearing a white gown on my wedding day? And the absolute last thing that any woman wants to deal with while wearing her wedding dress is her "monthly gift."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's Hip to Be Square: Goodlaff Invitation Reveal

Hopefully by now most, if not all of our guests have received their invitations (and should be sending in their RSVP's--yes, I'm looking at you), so it's finally time for the big reveal! Behold, the Goodlaff invitations: 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Time Out for Tutus

Mr. Goodlaff's niece, (and our flower girl) Dee, turned three last Tuesday, and having recently discovered her inner princess, I knew that what a three year-old princess needs most on her birthday is a tutu--that's right, a big, fluffy, girly tutu.

Dee is a tiny little thing, and being not too familiar with sewing children's clothes (or any clothes for that matter), I had a heck of a time figuring out how big to make the tutu.  My first draft came out okay, and used elastic, but it really lacked the finished quality I was looking for.  I started off using this tutorial for a no sew tutu, where you tie strips of tulle directly on to the elastic, then I put a satin ribbon on to finish the waistband:

In the middle of the tying process...

All done!

It was an okay attempt, but I really wanted a more professional looking result, so I ripped it all apart and decided to forge my own tutu, sans tutorial.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Time to Accessorize

My wedding dress came a few months ago, and when Mama Goodlaff and I were playing dress up, we both realized something:  I would need one hell of a statement necklace to go with my gown.  As I looked around at necklaces, I found myself drawn, time after time, to the same design:

But these necklaces were a little too classic, a little too chic, and a little too, well, white.  I knew I wanted  a bit of color, so I went looking for another "something blue" to match my shoes.  And what did I find?

Friday, March 11, 2011

March, Not April Showers...

A few days after we sent out our wedding invitations (I'll reveal them next week--promise!), Sister Goodlaff mailed invitations to my bridal shower in a few weeks.   Two days later, we had Snowmageddon 2011 (total chaos--my work was even closed!), so mail was delayed, etc, etc, and even though everyone else was getting their invitations, mine was nowhere to be seen; at first, I blamed it on the snow. Weeks passed, and as day after day's worth of mail showed no sign of the bright pink envelope I was waiting for, I began to despair--surely I would be invited to my own bridal shower?

It turns out I was, but Sister Goodlaff was so confident that she knew my address that she sent it without checking to see that my address was correct.  It wasn't.  But it's all good, because my invitation came on Wednesday, and since the invitations are fabulous and Sister Goodlaff spent a lot of time working on them, I just have to show them to you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Time to Suit Up

With fewer than two months to go, there was one really big detail that we still needed to take care of: Mr. Goodlaff's wedding day attire.  With me in a poofy, white gown, he can't really stand up there in sweatpants and a ratty old shirt, so he needed to procure an outfit suitable for saying "I do". 

Early on we discussed tuxedos.  I was really hoping he'd decide to wear a white tux  (like Daddy Goodlaff did!), but Mr. Goodlaff nixed that one almost right away.  Tuxedos felt a bit formal for our afternoon ceremony, so we looked at our alternatives, and Mr. Goodlaff ultimately decided that a nice black suit would suit him just fine (heh.).

Last weekend, we decided to go to Men's Wearhouse to find Mr. Goodlaff's wedding suit, but we never actually made it there...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Maybe I'm being too cautious; maybe it's paranoia; maybe it's the horror stories I've heard from other brides.  Whatever is the root cause, here's the result:  I don't talk about my wedding on Facebook.  Right after Mr. Goodlaff proposed I changed my status to "Engaged" and that was probably the first and last time that I will post anything wedding-related before we're married.  No status updates venting about wedding planning, no mentions of time, place, or date. My Facebook is a wedding-free zone.

Here's why: 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Ready For Our Closeup

A package came for us in the mail last week, and though the box was a nondescript cardboard, it's what was inside that counts.

Our engagement pictures are here!  Niki of Niki Ross Photography, sent us a few prints and a DVD of all our pictures taken (both edited images and unedited images) and we are thrilled to pieces to have them.  She sent us six prints of three different pictures on different kinds of photo paper: matte, metallic (loved it!), and regular photo paper, as well as a specially packaged DVD.  Look at that cover!  It's beyond awesome.  Our engagement photos have their own, personalized case that truly is a keepsake in and of itself. 

But the best part, of course, are the pictures, so without further ado, here are a few of my favorites: (Warning! Picture heavy!)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Say Cheese!

Way back in April of last year, when Mama Goodlaff, Sister Goodlaff, and I attended the Folsom bridal fair, I fell in love with this:

The much-vaunted photo booth!

I have quite a few strips of pictures from my younger days: four frames of as many goofy faces as could cram into the tiny booth, smiling, laughing, and trying not to fall out of the mirrored picture frame.  When I saw the photo booth vendor at the bridal fair, I was beyond excited.  The thought of having one at the Goodlaff wedding was so tantalizing, and I just had to learn more about it. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pancakes Makes Perfect

One of Mr. Goodlaff's favorite things is to "wing it."  I am a planner, descended from a long line of planners, and Mr. Goodlaff simply is not (which is not to say that he can't plan--he just doesn't).   If it were up to him, we might be foregoing the dress rehearsal, and "winging" the ceremony. 

No.  Just no.

That said, our venue is occupied the night before the wedding (by a Junior Prom, of all things), so we will be unable to do a rehearsal in our venue until the morning of the wedding.  Timetables on paper tell me that this will be possible, but it's still a daunting thing to know that we won't get to play wedding until a few hours before we're actually married.  So what's a girl with no wedding-eve rehearsal to do?

I pondered on the topic for a while and eventually came up with what I though was the Best. Plan. EVER:

A rehearsal breakfast.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mommy, Where Do Budgets Come From?

This may seem strange, coming from a hyper-organized bride like myself, but I'll let you in on a little secret:  I'm terrible with money; I loathe budgets; numbers scare me.  Now, I'm not in debt, and I'm not broke.  I just can't be bothered to balance my checkbook.  And I'm a terrible saver. Balancing the books just isn't my thing, so when it came to budgeting for the wedding, the Goodlaffs encountered a few challenges.

When Mr. Goodlaff and I started planning, we came up with a budget.  About a month later, we realized that our budget was created in fantasy-land and not really constructed using any knowledge whatsoever of what weddings actually cost.  Case in point: the actual amount for catering plus venue rental was almost 70% of our initial budget. Oops.

This is not to say that we couldn't have stuck to our (completely unreal) initial budget, but we were hoping to have a certain kind of wedding that we had no hope of achieving without further loosening our purse strings.  We were willing to make adjustments to include a lot of those elements that we really wanted in our big day (like a wedding cake, which, had we gone with the original amount, would never have happened).  Our new budget isn't a specific number, but is instead a general budget realm, that will eventually cost us less than the base model of a new Honda Civic.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Tossing Money Away: A Tutorial

I will start by saying that I'm sure there are about a dozen better/easier ways to do this project; I considered at least seven different construction techniques before settling on this one, which may or may not have been correct.  You might look at this and think to yourself, "Why on earth does Miss Goodlaff insist on doing things the hard way?"  Answer: that's just how I roll.

Okay.  So.  After I made my flowers, I needed to assemble them into a bouquet. Here's what I used:

Our local craft store, much as I love it, is sometimes lacking in selection, so I made do with a Styrofoam cone and half-dome, ribbon in our wedding colors, and some greenery and small white flowers to add a bit of interest and filler to the bouquet.  I also used the stems from gerbera daisy flowers (used to make my spring wreath), cut into six-inch lengths.  A bit of florist's tape, a hot glue gun, and the stem from the greenery for core support rounded out my supply list.

First, I arranged the flowers on the Styrofoam half-dome.

I took the Styrofoam cone and shaved it down until I had a one inch wide, six inch long cylinder.  As a side note, Styrofoam shavings go everywhere--if you do it this way, lay down a mat or something (I wish I had, because the Goodlaffs desperately need to vacuum now...). At some point I decided that gluing Styrofoam to more Styrofoam would be a little less than sturdy, so I took the wiry part of the greenery stem, and poked it through the center of the base, leaving just enough to go into the Styrofoam half dome holding the origami flowers.  Like so:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Just Tossing Money Away

A few weeks ago I stopped by my bank and asked the girl behind the counter for thirty brand-new one dollar bills.  After she figured out that I wasn't actually kidding, she told me that they didn't have any, but offered to go through all the money in her drawer and pull out thirty bills in the best shape that she could find.  Now, I know that I've made cracks about living in a small town, and I can tell you, it's not always fun residing in the middle of nowhere.  That said, sometimes living in a small town rocks--like when you ask the bank teller for new bills and she takes the time to sort through hundreds and hundreds of dollars just to get you thirty crisp, fresh(ish) bills.

I'm not usually that particular about my money (in fact, I rarely ever carry cash), but in this case, I needed the nicest bills I could find, because I was going to do a little bit of money origami in order to make the flowers for my toss bouquet.  You may remember that Mr. Goodlaff and I are foregoing the typical bouquet toss in favor of a more inclusive, money bouquet toss, and since money flowers don't grow on trees, it was time to get folding. 

First things first:  I did a little research to find online origami money flower tutorials and came up with three candidates: