Friday, April 29, 2011

"My Dad Knows a Guy..."

One of the most commonly uttered phrases of the last year or so is this: "My Dad knows a guy that (insert whatever here)." For example, early in the planning process, Mr. Goodlaff and I were DJ hunting.  It turns out that Daddy Goodlaff knows a DJ, who gave us a really good quote for his services because he knows my dad (unfortunately, he couldn't beat the price given to us by the DJ we eventually chose).

Daddy Goodlaff knows a beer distributor (kegs at cost), a wood-supplier (wood for the arbor free of charge), a metal artist (cake topper), a videographer (free for the price of dinner) and a screen-printer(materials only). He knows someone at the rental car company (knocks $200 off the rental company's price for our honeymoon car).

I always knew that this was the case, but wedding planning has reinforced that Daddy Goodlaff pretty much knows everyone on the face of the planet. And thank goodness he does, because we have been incredibly fortunate to be able to use Daddy Goodlaff's connections to help us pull off our wedding, in some cases getting prices way better than what we thought we could get!

In addition to Daddy Goodlaff, our friends have found us a travel agent and gotten us connections at a few local hotels.  Our photographer and our florist are both friendors.  I previously worked with our caterer through a work function, and our cake artist baked my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary cake.  We have been so fortunate in this whole planning process, all because of "I know a guy..."

The lesson here?  Don't tune out when someone says,"I know a guy..." Talk to your family and friends, and even friends of friends during your planning process because you never know who you know and how they might be able to help you.  You may find an amazing gem of a vendor right under your nose!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Minion Craft Nite III

A week ago Tuesday was our third and final Minion Craft Nite, and as usual, my minions (Mama Goodlaff, The Enforcer, and BM TCollins) were incredibly productive.  We knocked out the final stages of a few projects. 

Remember the pinwheel escort cards? They have stems and guest names now!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hoping Someday I Can Read Again...

As I wrap up wedding details, I've been thinking about the things I miss doing--things I've had to put off for months and months while doing wedding planning.  Don't get me wrong--wedding planning has been fun, and I've had a ton of opportunities to craft--but I kind of miss normal life.

Here's what I'm looking forward to, post-nuptials:

Reading non-wedding-related books again
Moving to Seattle
Shopping for things that aren't wedding-related
Chopping off all of my hair
Eating at the dining room table

And so on, and so on.

I've always heard that pregnant ladies, at the end of their nine months, just can't wait for it to be all over and done with.  That's not to say that planning a wedding is anything like having a baby, but I really am ready for the big show to start.  I can't wait to see all our plans and ideas come to fruition and to stop stressing about little details and drama.

T-minus four days!!!

What are you (or did you) looking forward to post wedding?

Monday, April 25, 2011

All the little details

Details, Details. This last week is all about the details. Our to-do list is long and each item crossed off brings a huge sigh of relief. Here are just a few of the little things I've been working on:

Dee's Flower Girl basket:

Zee's Ring Bearer pillow:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Arbor Day

Early on in the planning process, I assigned Daddy Goodlaff the task of building us an arbor/archway to stand under during the marriage ceremony, because no one in my family can escape the crafting project assignments! So, even though Arbor Day is officially a week away, the Goodlaffs celebrated a bit early by visiting Daddy Goodlaff to see the magnificence of the arbor he built for our wedding ceremony.
The inspiration for our arbor?

Gilmore Girls, anyone?

I loved the ever-so-slight curve at the top, and the openness of the design, and based all future searches off this small arch idea. I drew inspiration photos (badly--I'm no artist), handed them over to Daddy Goodlaff with the ever important dimensions, and left him to it. Check out all his hard work:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No More Questions

"What about this?"
"What do you want to do for tables?"
"How about breakfast?"
"Where are you getting ready?"
"What are you wearing?"

Unsurprisingly, I had a bit of a temper tantrum the other day.  I've been asked so many damn questions about what I want, and how I want things, and what we're doing, that I could just kick something.  The frustrating thing is that I don't have answers to some of these questions, so my answer is often: "I don't know," which just makes me more upset because, by now I should really know the answer to these questions.

I'm at the end of my question-tolerant rope.  The last weeks of planning a wedding are like having about 30 toddlers constantly asking questions--a chorus of the five "W's": Who? What? Where? When? Why?  So during my temper tantrum I told my co-workers (only half-joking) that I want people to leave me alone and stop asking me questions; I've had it up to here with questions.  "No More Questions," I kept repeating over and over.  I've decided it's my new motto, which I have since explained to Mama Goodlaff, The Enforcer, and BM TCollins as well.

After a morning full of wedding question answering (people are not listening to me!), I came back from lunch yesterday to find this on my desk:

The most beautiful Barbie Bride cake, ever, touting my new motto!  There's really nothing better than a Barbie Cake to lighten my mood, and I just had to laugh at the surprise my co-workers were able to spring on me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

License to Wed

I believe I let it slip a few days ago, but Mr. Goodlaff and I went into the County Recorder's office last Friday to get our Marriage License so we could make this whole thing legal. I've mentioned before that I work in Elections, which just happens to be the sister office to the Recorder's office.  What does this mean in the grand scheme of marriage license issuance?

It means we should have gone to another county in California where no one knows us, that's what!

Mr. Goodlaff and I were calmly sitting there, dealing with paperwork, when:

Paparazzi! The ladies in the Recorder's office were instructed to call Elections when we walked in the door, and soon after, the camera came out.  It's not because of me that this process is documented, but my um, helpful, co-workers.

Pictures aside, the process was relatively painless.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


If you are lucky enough to have a Total Wine and More in your area and are looking to purchase vino for your wedding, run, don't walk there as fast as you can because total bliss awaits you. It's a happy place--a clean place--and the people actually know what they are talking about and can explain things to you without using wine buzzwords to make themselves sound knowledgeable.

This weekend, in addition to multiple birthday celebrations for Mr. Goodlaff, we went with FMIL and FSFIL Goodlaff to our "local" Total Wine store in Rocklin to pick out the wine for the wedding. We walked out with five cases (a mix of sixty bottles) of what we both hope and know to be really great wine! Now, I went to school in Sonoma, so you would think I would have learned more about wine than I did, but sadly that's not the case. I pick wine by price first and a pretty label second. Sometimes it works and I find tasty wine, other times not so much.

What was great about Total Wine was Michael, the Assistant Manager who helped us. We walked in with a vague idea of the amount of wine needed and a semi-budget, and instead of scoffing at our $0-10 a bottle figure, he took us around to all the wine sections, asked us about our wine preferences, and recommended wines based on what we said we liked. He kept us under budget, pointed us in the direction of some of his favorites in our price range, and helped us fill our carts.

All in all, Michael probably spent between 20-40 minutes helping us choose our vino, and we never felt rushed, nor did we feel embarrassed because we didn't have $30 to spend on each bottle.

We walked out of there with so much more than a white wine and a red wine.  Our cart held:
Sauvignon Blanc
Pinot Grigio
Cabernet Sauvignon
Blended Red

Rounding out our drink menu is the choice of beer, champagne, lemonade, soda, water, and coffee! Yum!  I really can't say enough good things about our experience there, and it's such a relief to have a partially stocked bar for wedding day!

How did you stock your wedding bar?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Order in the Court

Because Miss Goodlaff's hair trial is about to begin!

Friday was a really busy day for the Goodlaffs, but it was especially busy for me.  Our marriage license has been procured, and our flowers are finalized and ready to be ordered. And finally, after months of growing out my hair and looking at inspiration pictures, I had my hair trial. 

I decided pretty early on that I wanted an updo, and fell in love with the soft, romantic side chignon.

 In November TLC ran a short series, Wedding Day Makeover, and my desired wedding day hairstyle was set in stone when I saw Veronica's chosen hairstlye.  I DVR-ed the episode (still have it, too) and took pictures from the TV screen, that is how dedicated I am to this one have-to-have-it hairstyle. After my screen to camera pictures turned out crappy, I googled it, and lo and behold, Veronica's photographer, Stephen Knuth had posted pictures of her wedding on his blog.

So here is my be-all, end-all wedding hair inspiration:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Minion Craft Nite II

You would think after the glue and tissue paper torture I put them through last week, my minions would have stayed far away from Casa Goodlaff, but not so! Mama Goodlaff and BM TCollins came back for more wedding craft fun, and what's more, Mama Goodlaff wrangled up one more set of hands! The newest member to the Goodlaff Craft Support League is The Enforcer.

The Enforcer is Mama Goodlaff's good friend and co-worker (and one of the sweetest, most thoughtful people you will ever meet), and has agreed to be our Day-Of Coordinator, which is beyond awesome!  She will keep us all in line and on time, and if any of our guests decide to cause drama (completely possible given the situations with some of our family members), she will nicely tell them to cease and desist, and if they won't behave, she will have the happy task of removing them.  Having The Enforcer in charge will mean that Mama Goodlaff and I won't be completely crazy with details on the day of the wedding...maybe.

So there we were, four little crafters all in a row. The day's agenda included pinwheel creation and Kabuki Streamer construction, and after I cracked the (crepe paper) whip, the ladies knocked it out!

Yeah, they look terrified, don't they?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Repondez S'il Vous Plait

Our RSVP due date has officially come and gone, and though we have a few stragglers, most of our replies are in and our guests accounted for. It's strange, in a way, to look back on the last few weeks' roller coaster ride, starting with "yay, we have mail" and ending with "why is it so hard to return a damn card?" and finally have a real picture of our wedding guest list.

This hasn't been an easy process. Sending out invites and getting responses back is worse than wrangling cats and coming up with a guest list is like having to choose amongst your children (or, in my case, my two goldfish, as I have no children).

See, in the first months of planning, our fantasy number was 80 guests. We started counting family and quickly whipped past that number. "Okay," we said to each other, "how about 120? That sounds reasonable."

With Mr. Goodlaff and I paying for the wedding mostly on our own, we had to be incredibly mindful of our budget and therefore our numbers. We both have large families (and when a wedding comes around, everyone wants to be your friend), and unfortunately we had to draw the line somewhere, which means some people that we wished could be on there, were left off of our list.

Finally we were able to come up with a list of around 120 people, and we sent it to our parents for approval. When the list came back, we had 143 guests. While addressing envelopes, we realized we had forgotten cousins and spouses and coworkers (I love you all, I swear--I just temporarily forgot you existed!), and the number of people that were invited to the Goodlaff wedding was a whopping 176.

Yeah, that's almost double our original number.

As the RSVP's came rolling in, every card that came in marked with a "no" was both a disappointment and a relief; we were sad that our loved ones wouldn't be there, but glad our numbers were that much lower. Today, with only fifteen people unaccounted for, and our numbers look really good.

What's clear from the responses is that the Goodlaffs will be surrounded by a lot of love on our wedding day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting Crafty With a Little Help From My Friends...

At this point in the planning process, it's becoming less about planning and more about doing.  My ideas are now having to come to life and projects I've put off for a long time can't be put off any longer.  Case in point: the yellow votives for our tables. 

Months and months ago I searched high and low for yellow votive candle holders.  Did I find them? No.  I looked everywhere.  I found amber glass votives, and white glass votives with yellow candles.  To be fair, I did find the votive holders I wanted, but they were in Australia.  The cost, coupled with the shipping, was just too much.

No biggie, I thought, I will make the candles I want. 

In order of appearance: candle #1 is what I wanted the votives to look like (nice and bright, but frosted for a soft glow); 2 is half acrylic paint (disaster), half yellow glass paint (streaky); 3 is frosted, then painted with yellow glass paint (not frosted enough); 4 is layers of torn tissue paper; 5 is a single layer of tissue paper; 6 is one company's definition of a "yellow" glass votive. And yes, that is our Wii Fit Balance Board serving as a modeling platform--as you can see, it gets used a lot.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Blinded by the White

What is it about weddings that makes a bride want to look her best?  Oh, I don't know...maybe the fact that more pictures will be taken of her on this one day than any other day in her life?

I can tell you, trying to look perfect for the wedding could be a full-time job in and of itself.  I have already begun field-testing contact lenses, which has been going, for the most part, well (although a few days ago I had a contact in backwards for about an hour and a half before I finally fixed it--it's a learning process).  I have gone to the dermatologist and gotten a cocktail of creams and medications to fix my skin so I look lovely and acne-free on my wedding day.  I have picked out the perfect shoes, dress, and jewelry to make me look oh so lovely, and one of these days, someone will finally give me my swirly cloak of bridal glow, which will be the cherry on top of it all.

But there is one more thing I need to achieve bridal portrait perfection...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Cockatoo Veil

A while ago I decided to make my own veil. I bought all the fixin's, looked at inspiration photos, picked a design, found a tutorial. ThenI did nothing for several months. It's not that I was afraid to tackle the project, I just figured it would be so easy that it didn't require a lot of my time or immediate attention. Heh.

The day before my bridal shower, I sat down to knock out this supposedly easy project. Using this tutorial from Project Wedding I sewed my veiling to combs, popped it on my head, and....

We're twins! 

Ugh. I looked like a cockatoo. Instead of gently molding to my head, the veil stuck straight up in the air, making it look not so much like a veil, but more like a windshield.

Needless to say, I was displeased.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Race to the Alter

I am no longer in possession of my wedding dress. And that's just a little scary. 

Ok, not so scary. 

My dress is finally being altered! "It's about time, Miss Goodlaff", you're probably thinking to yourself.

Well, as with most wedding-related things, there's a story here. My dress altering story begins the day I pulled my fantastic custom-made Dolly Couture wedding dress from the box and found that while delightful, the skirt was massively poofy...  The dress had too much skirt, and that's coming from someone who has wanted to live in tulle-laden ballerina land all her life (some of us never grow up).

A few weeks after getting the dress, I called a local seamstress, who came highly-recommended by one of my favorite local fabric stores. She told me that she would give me a call when she would be back up in town (the second week of March), and that we would have plenty of time to do my alterations in the six weeks prior to the wedding.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It's Hip to Be Square: Goodlaff Invitation Production

Welcome to your behind-the-scenes tour of Goodlaff Invitation Production!

I used Adobe PhotoShop to do the design work for all of our paper products, including our Save-the-Dates and our invitations.  Apparently, PhotoShop is mostly for editing pictures and not really meant as an invitation design suite--something about lines versus pixels (No worries, I don't get it either...).   Still, PhotoShop was the tool I had, so it was the tool I used. And I have to say, our invitations came out lovely!

After the Goodlaffs chose a shape, it was time to work on the design. In perusing invitation designs, both Mr. Goodlaff and I wanted a card that conveyed the type of wedding we were going for (fun, classy, fresh), without being too stuffy.  I knew I wanted to keep the invites in the same theme as our Save the Dates, so the easiest thing was to carry over the fonts and colors that we used on our postcards and incorporate them into the new product.  I ended up using Jane Austen, Swinging, and Nymphette, all from, plus Daun Pehn for the print portions, and we sent all the files to our local Auburn Printers to get them printed.

Can I just take a moment to say how incredibly awesome it is to have a printer that will work with you?  We ended up having a total of four printed pieces: the 5.75" by 5.75" card with the invitation itself; the 1.5" by 1.5" monogram for the front; the RSVP postcard; and the 4" by 4" information/directions card. Auburn Printers was able to cut all of our pieces to size, which easily saved us a day's worth of work (at least).

Assembly began one Saturday morning/afternoon, with much fanfare, and ended with one of us sustaining a few injuries.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

An Open Letter to RSVP-er's Everywhere

Please enjoy the following rant while my sanity slowly crumbles.

There are things in life that are difficult.

Sending in your RSVP to a wedding is not one of them.

Dear Wedding Guests:

Hi there!  How are you?  Good, good, I'm glad you're all well.  Any broken arms? Broken legs? Broken mailboxes?  No?

Well, that's good.  I was getting worried there for a second.

I don't know if you remember, but a little over a month ago we sent you an invitation to join our festivities in May. Oh, you got it! Wonderful! Inside that invitation was a card asking if you'd be attending--hopefully you noticed it. All you had to do with said card was write your name, check "yes" or "no", and tell us the number of people coming (or not). You did not have to write in code or learn another language to be able to respond, nor did you have to affix postage as Mr. Goodlaff and I generously footed the 28 cent bill from the United States Postal Service.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Final Countdown

Today is one month until our wedding. The excitement is building! And I'm desperately trying to ward off the wave of panic and hysteria sweeping in.  One month from today I will be a wife. A wife!

Omigod, there's so, so much to do. Where did all that time go?

Let me tell you: right now, being inside my own head is almost unbearable. I've always been a stream-of-consciousness thinker--ooh, shiny!--but right now there are about seven thousand things crashing around inside my brain, clamoring for attention. I'm not gonna lie: some of those things are being moved to the bottom of the list of things I care about.

Here's a snippet of my brain for about twenty seconds this morning: Yay! I'm marrying Mr. Goodlaff!  I need to make sure the wedding has the best possible chance of being a success: favors need to be finished, thank you's must be sent, decor is finally all purchased. The seamstress needs to give me a call.  Why hasn't she called yet? Why aren't people sending in their #£<\@!?$& RSVP cards (is it really that hard?)? I'm marrying Mr. Goodlaff! I haven't been too good about breaking in my shoes; is this what insanity feels like? Should I get a wedding manicure? I want a sandwich. Where did the time go? I wonder how soon after the wedding can we move to Seattle? I'm getting married!  asdk;lhjsdfh;lahsdfh;lj;lkf'alsdffahhhh.......

As you can see, the sanity is pretty much gone, and I have to admit, if it's not wedding related, I probably couldn't care less about it--whatever "it" is. I officially have bridal brain.

On a positive note, my sanity will be restored in approximately one month.  Um, okay, so I never really had it to begin with, therefore it's not really coming back, but at least I will be able to think of things other than shoes, decor, rings, white dresses, and tulle soon!

I really am beyond excited to marry Mr. Goodlaff, and I can't wait to dig in and make this final push.  We still have so much to do (like write the ceremony?), but it's so fun seeing it all come together knowing that everything is going to be so awesome and at the end of the day, I will be marrying my best friend. 

Wish me luck as we begin the countdown to our wedding!