Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Men Are Like Trolleys

I have a confession to make. I’m in love. WITH TROLLEYs. Whenever J sees a trolley he yells “JILL a TROLLEY!” and I swoon.

When I was in college my girl friends and I were yapping about a boy (actually a boy I USED to be engaged to) and this priest was in the room listening to our babbling and he said to us “I’ll tell you what girls, men are like trolley’s a new one comes along every 15 minutes”. We thought this was absolutely hysterical. Like roll on the floor quote it incessantly funny.

And then we recounted this story to a sweet and humble and very holy mother that we’d met, and SHE said “yeah girls, but one you’ll ride your whole life”. As if the fits of giggles were bad when the PRIEST said that, well when this sweet woman accidentally fell into the most unintentional double entendre we’d ever heard, we laughed until we cried… and some of us might have peed our pants… it was like laugh until milk comes out your nose funny. The comment was funny. The look on this poor woman’s face was PRICELESS. 6 years later when one of us quotes it we die laughing like it was the first time.

I’d dreamt of having a trolley at my wedding since that day. I knew there’d only be a handful of girls there that understood the hidden meaning. I knew that the “congratulations on finding the one you’ll ride your whole life” comments would sound completely inappropriate to unknowing ears. But I HAD to have a trolley.


Then I discovered how much these sweet rides cost.

$500. 1.5 hours.

OMG. Are you kidding me? That’s like $5 a minute. I don’t think so.

So. On to plan B.

I have a beautiful car. I call her Saucy. And I love her. So that’s what J and I will be driving around in on the day of the wedding. Yes, it feels a little “every day”, since I drive her EVERY DAY. But the price (free) can’t be beat!

Anyone else just using their car on the day of the wedding?

Monday, February 22, 2010


How did that happen?!?!?!

I'm not freaking about being married to my fella.
I'm not freaking about getting everything done on time.
I'm not freaking about having enough money for our honeymoon/rehearsal
dinner/photography/videography (the jerk that rear ended us on the interstate will be paying for those things... well his insurance company actually)

BUT I am TOTALLY freaking about losing weight and fitting into my dress. Like seriously. I'm talking nightmares and cold sweats. I know J loves me as I am, but I will love our pictures a whole lot more if I can lose like a ma-ga-zillion-trillion more lbs. I've already lost 20. That's only a mi-ga-zillion-trillion left to go. ;-) Dear God, please help me!!!!!!!!!!


Fun With Guns

So we’ve done it. We’ve completed the wedding task I’d been dreading the most. REGISTERING.

First stop, Target. We sat Dad in the snack bar and J had to get a few groceries so Mom and I got started on our own. We scanned the heck out of that store! I would ask my mom what she thought about a certain item and every time her reply was “Scan it”. hehe! We found some lovely things at great prices. BUT we were treated like we were an inconvenience to the Target staff. I even had to ask them how to use the scan gun. I felt like saying “I’m asking 200 people to shop in your store, BE NICE TO ME”. Eventually J joined me and Mom joined Dad. J was a little half hearted about the small appliances and baking sheets so I asked him if he wanted to use the gun. Good thing I was pretty much done, because once I gave it to him, it was the point of no return! I practically had to pry it out of his hands! Haha! What did he scan? A $250.00 surround sound thingy. Boys.

Next stop, Bed Bath and Beyond. Mom and I went to BBB by ourselves and left the boys at home. I’m sure they watched sports and did other manly things. As shoddy as the service was at Target, the staff at Bed, Bath, and Beyond made us feel like royalty. Seriously. They knew what they were doing. They told us that if we had any questions or needed any information on a product to just ask. When I did have questions, they were knowledgeable about the products and offered great advice as to why one product was better than another. Now I understand the “beyond” in their name, they really went out of their way and I will do WAY more shopping there from now on. Our consultant, Mike, even had our registry printed out and ready to go by the time we were done. He plopped it down on the table and mom and I lost it in a fit of giggles. It was EIGHTEEN pages long. We’d scanned pretty much everything in the whole stinkin store. EVERYTHING. I didn’t even think we NEEDED very much.

So the consensus. It wasn’t so bad. If you’re looking for places to register, forget the clichéness of it and get thee to Bed Bath and Beyond. (Especially the new on Manchester Road in Ballwin, MO… ask for Mike). I’m sure you’ll go to Target too, I don’t regret going there, but I do think they could use a lesson from Bed, Bath and Beyond when it comes to customer service… at least their return policy has improved. And by the way. If you’ve had a good experience at a Bed Bath and Beyond you can call 1-800-Go-Beyond and brag on your consultant… they’ll get some sort of bonus.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Mother’s Fake Jewels

You’ve all been gracious counterparts in my quest for the perfect earrings. We’ve looked, together, at every store/blog/etsy shop for these elusive, magical earrings. The earrings that would take me from being a bride to being a B-R-I-D-E.

Ah, come on. They’re just earrings, right?! Haha! For some reason, they seemed important. It seemed like they could make or break my whole ensemble. (Once again, what will I obsess with after the wedding is over? Maybe I’ll STILL be obsessing over the earrings, who knows!)

If you’re just joining in, you’ll need to be caught up to speed.

I wanted earrings that were blingy, had a pearl, and in some way resembled my awesome e-ring (which I realize would only be noticed by me and my mom). I found a gazillion “close but no cigars”. I figured I would just have to compromise on one of the must haves on my list.

But as I entered my Mom’s room the first night I was in St. Louis, my eyes were immediately drawn to a pair of earrings on her vanity. It was “them”. THE earrings. The mystical, magical, clandestine earrings I’d been obsessing over.

They had pearls. They had bling. AND they resembled my e-ring. And went perfectly with my BFF's tiara.

I picked them up and said to my mom “WHAT are THESE?”.
And she said “Oh yeah, I was just digging through some of my jewelry and thought you might like them”.
I said “LIKE them? They’re PERFECT”
And she said “I thought so too!”

Turns out she wore them at her 35th wedding anniversary party (look close, she’s wearing them in the picture of her and my dad on THIS post)

Another something borrowed, which makes me feel grateful and sentimental and connected to a silly tradition that's bigger than me and my wedding.

Sorry, ladies, I couldn't get a good pic of them.

Wedding Crashers Numero Dos

I’m home from a glorious 10 day trip home to St. Louis for wedding planning…. Um I mean for work. Yes. My employer sent me to St. Louis for work. Hehe.

-First things first. We had an appointment at our reception venue for a menu tasting. It was during another wedding, which I thought was simultaneously really weird and really cool. The poor bride kept looking up to the balcony where we were eagerly leaning over the ledge (not so) subtly stalking her wedding.
Mom, Dad, Jody and I had an absolute blast. We ate dinner in the balcony and loved everything they served us. We expected plan ole` wedding food, but we were all pleasantly surprised. We had chicken marsala, which we’ll likely choose as one of our meat selections. And roast beef, which three of us thought was a little dry and one of us LOVED.

The room was BEAUTIFUL… even though it wasn’t decorated to our tastes. (Come on, fake roses in glass vases AND white feathers?... Didn’t seem to mesh).

We spent the whole night thinking about our wedding. Dreaming about what our night would be like. If we have half as much fun at our real wedding as we did crashing this one, I think it will be a success!! Its weird to think that the next time I'm in that room I'll be the Aluminum WIFE!!Can't wait! :-) Here I am with the Aluminum Dad, the Aluminum Groom, and the Aluminum Mom.

Let Them Eat Cake With Expensive Crystal Banding...

As I've mentioned, the cake was not a top priority of mine. A basic cake came included in the price of the reception venue. I wanted to be committed to the basic cake, I knew it technically wasn’t “free”, but I didn’t want to have to fork out too much extra moolah for it either. … I mean, ya get a couple pictures of it and then it gets EATEN.

That being said, I met Sylvia Weinstock once at a bridal show and fell in love with her AMAZING non-budget friendly masterpieces and had to have one.

I watched a Cake Boss marathon once. I fell in love with Buddy’s AMAZING non-budget friendly creations and had to have one.

I did some google searches (how did brides plan a wedding pre-google?!?!?) and I fell in love with THIS and REALLY had to have one.


As much as I loved the fantastic details of Buddy's and Sylvia's cakes, it was the glitzy-ness and the simplicity that I fell in love with on this one. I thought it was “the one”. Then I did a little MORE research and discovered that for the price of glitzy-ness and simplicity I could practically buy a whole other cake!!! Wow! That crystal cake banding is a fortune. Like $75 a yard! Wow! Talk about a budget buster! If you’re not concerned about breaking the bank, or if you’ve made the cake a priority in your budget, you can check out THIS crystal cake banding. It’s gorgeous and you’ll have a stunning cake.

BUT if you’re looking to plan a platinum wedding on an aluminum budget, like we are, get thee to the nearest fabric store. My mom and I found THIS ribbon for $19.99/yard.

Still awfully expensive considering we’d need 3 yards just to go around half of our four tiered cake. THEN we found out that JoAnn Fabrics offers a 50% off coupon in the Saturday morning newspaper (sorry ladies, I looked for one online but couldn't find one... check your newspaper's circulars). So for $10/yard we could have the look of the glitzy cake for 1/8 of the price! Woo hoo!!! But, just to make life complicated, we also found THIS sequins ribbon for $4.99/yard ($2.50 with the coupon). It sparkles WAY more, but I am a tad afraid it looks too much like a dance costume. What do you think?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let the Games Begin!!!

Here are our plans for cramming as much wedding planning as possible into our business trip home!

-We have an appointment at our reception venue for a tasting. I believe it’s during another wedding, which I think is simultaneously really weird and really cool. Jody was a tad disappointed that he missed out on our wedding crashing experience, so I’ve been referring to our tasting as the “wedding crashing”, he probably doesn’t even know we have a real appointment. Ah the deceit. Hehe! As you know, I like seeing our venue in action and he likes pretending he’s Vince Vaughn (minus the not so exemplar behavior!)

-We also have an appointment with our bakery. I keep telling my mom that the cake isn’t a huge priority. She bought us an AMAZING A-MAZING crystal cake topper for Christmas, I don’t mind having a simple cake and let the cake topper take center stage. I told my mom to remind me of that when they start parading a bunch of “Sylvia Weinstocks” in front of me. Simple. Elegant.


-I’m currently trying to schedule an appointment with Scott the photographer and the fill-in-lady Denise. I think it’d be great for all of us to sit down and talk about expectations and so on. I’m trying really hard not to be prissy about that, but the pictures are SOOOOOOOO important to me. In fact the more I look up wedding photographers, the more I think I should devote more time to starting my own company. Here are a few images I shot of friends’ weddings. What do you think?

-Also, I need to look for those pesky earrings. Although a friend found me a pair that are beautiful! From Kohls. These might be frontrunners! :-) Thanks, Kathy!!


-And finally. Mom and I are registering. Yes. Mom and I. J doesn’t mind shopping, but his opinion is “we already HAVE flatware”, whereas my opinion is “I’m a bride and I want NEW flatware… besides don’t you remember I had to throw several pieces out after you used them to stir a can of paint?!”. ;-) I thought my mom would be good to have with me, since she’s been a wife for almost 40 years. She has a better insight as to what I’ll REALLY use and what will end up in the basement. (PS. Thanks for being such a great inspiration Mom and Dad!)

T-Minus Four Months

So we are t-minus four months until wedding day. Since I live 10 hours away from where our nuptials will take place, I try to cram as much as possible in to very short visits back to St. Louis. Thankfully, my wonderful employer is sending me to St. Louis to produce a show, I’m leaving tomorrow and I’ll be gone 10 days! Yay! And guess who my wonderful employer is sending along as the director of the show?! My beloved!!!! Double yay!! (Technically, he’s the real producer; I just take notes… triple yay?)

So we have two weekends in St. Louis. That’s 96 blissful hours of pure wedding planning! (Not to mention the 5 days in between those two weekends which will give me some added time with my wonderful folks!)

I am really getting such a kick out of being a bride. I kind of understand why girls cry after the wedding is over. What will I google!? What kind of blogs will I read? What kind of blogs will I WRITE? I’m already a little nostalgic about my wedding and its still FOUR months away. I really hope these feelings make me cherish each second of my wedding day. Not get all fussy about things not going perfectly. Who cares if it rains (eek!). Who cares if the flowers aren’t perfect or the cake is lopsided? What’s important is that I’m marrying the love of my life! Right? Now, please keep reminding me of that as the wedding gets closer! Hehe!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sniff Sniff

I just got a response for my application to be a Weddingbee blogger... one of the most illustrious wedding blogs out there. I'm on their website practically every day stealing inspiration from their cluster of brides to be.

They said they are not accepting bloggers who blog on other sites and since I blog for Dream Weddings on a Budget, I will not be accepted. I have to say, I'm kind of on the verge of tears. There's something notable about blogging for Weddingbee, like I'd REALLY know that my dad isn't the only one that reads my blog. :-(


Oooh La La

Why is it that every day I come across some wedding related beauty that I can not live without? As I was perusing Weddingbee today I found Miss Button's blog and subsequently fell in love with THIS idea from Etsy seller Megan Hamilton...

Custom sketches of your wedding dress? Hel-lo, explain to me HOW I can live without one!! What a beautiful and significant heirloom. A custom piece of art to remember your special day. I'm SOLD.

Unfortunately my dress is having some custom nips and tucks done to it so I can't submit mine until mid April. And while I'm on it... MID APRIL!!! That feels so far away. Yes, I am a member of the microwave-give-it-to-me-now culture, patience schmatience and I want to see my dress NOW! haha!

As I wait I have reoccurring dreams that my dress somehow ends up as a train wreck. Like blue sequins COVERING IT. Yes. Blue. Sequins. "I'm sorry, Miss Aluminum Bride, there's nothing we can do about it, you should have specified what color beads you wanted... how were WE supposed to know that blue beads wouldn't work with your theme?". I woke up sweating.

Or how about this one. The dress comes in 7 inches too short. Yes, I saw that happen to a girl on Say Yes to the Dress, and as J always reminds me, I ALWAYS dream what I see on TV. Weird. I know. What would I do? As I said the dress is having custom nips and tucks. In my dream I squat down and walk like a sumo wrestler down the aisle.

Sigh. I know everything will work out. But until then I will worry.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

O Earrings, Earrings! Wherefore Art Thou Earrings?

I know this isn’t the end of the world. I mean, seriously, there’s some major bad stuff happening in the world right now. God bless those in Haiti that are still missing loved ones and will have to rebuild their lives from the ground up. God bless those everywhere that are experiencing hunger, abuse, oppression. Please don’t think my bridezilla-ism causes me to forget that the world is bigger than my wedding…

BUT, I am a bride to be, so I'm going to take a second to fuss....

I can not find bridal earrings ANYWHERE. I have a VERY particular pair of earrings floating around my cluttered little brain and I can’t seem to find them. Maybe they don’t exist. Maybe they are merely a fictitious figment of my wedding obsessed imagination.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

-A decent sized drop earring
-NOT a chandelier as I worry that chandeliers will be too 2010.
- Not too big.
-Not too small.
-Plenty of bling.
-With a pearl or two to set them off.
-I would LOVE LOVE LOVE it if the drop part of the earring had a big stone surrounded by little ones, like my beautiful e-ring.
-AND I don’t want to spend a fortune. Maybe like $50 or so.

My dear friend and BM extraordinaire Jennifer has graciously lent me her tiara to use as my something borrowed. I’m absolutely overwhelmed at the sentimentality of sharing something so beautiful with a friend I’ve had LITERALLY since birth (our moms met and became bff’s when they were pregnant with us!).

So the earrings I choose must compliment the beautiful tiara. Please, fellow brides to be, do you have ANY ideas??? They’d be some sort of amalgamation of these:

(ALMOST perfect, but no pearl)

(REALLY almost perfect, but just a wee bit too small and a little weak on the bling)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Crying in the Corner

So in the midst of my fore mentioned ridiculously hectic week, I received a call from my wedding photographer, Scott.

Scott is a dear friend. I worked as his assistant for a summer during college. He taught me more about photography than I could have ever learned in a classroom.

When J and I first got engaged Scott was one of my “must haves” when thinking about our wedding. I was thrilled when he said he’d photograph it. I’m extremely picky. In fact, whenever someone asks my mom who will be photographing our wedding she says “don’t you feel sorry for that guy”.

Well, apparently Scott found out that I’m rather hard to please because the phone call in the midst of my hectic week was to inform me that he could no longer photograph our wedding. Our wedding which takes place in FOUR months. Our wedding which has a UBER tight budget. OUR wedding, where a picky photographer and a picky videographer get MARRIED. I was devastated. Thankfully I was too busy with work to focus too much on the grandeur of this announcement at the time. But now it’s sinking in.

See, Scott was planning on photographing our wedding with his own private company. He also shoots for a big name portrait studio in St. Louis. Despite Scott asking specifically for that day off, the big name studio tyrant is forcing him to work. Scott has found another girl to photograph the wedding and has said that he will be able to shoot the ceremony. Unfortunately, I have to say, I feel like I’m totally getting the shaft. I guess I should be grateful that he’s found me a backup, but I’m hesitant since I’ve only seen a couple of her images, and that I don’t have a personal relationship with her, like I do with Scott.

So, I’ve been tooling around online looking for a new photographer. And guess what? They’re EXPENSIVE. The cheapest decent photographer I found charges TWICE as much as Scott for HALF the service. The more I think about the whole ordeal, the more I want to sit in a corner and cry.

I have my mom’s voice echoing in my head “everything happens for the best”. I’ll keep repeating that to myself and go with the replacement.

Meanwhile, here’s some of Scott’s work for you to feast your eyes on…. and if you can't find me, I'll probably be in the corner crying...

Excuse Me Ma'am, I'd Like To Return My Honeymoon...

All Photos Courtesy Traveler Photos on Trip Advisor

J and I were at Sam’s Club over the weekend. As we walked in we were cattle prodded to a section of the store where a woman was selling trips at a really really ridiculously cheap price. 5 days 4 nights in Cancun for $149 per couple. WHAT?! We would have to provide our own airfare, but we figured that would be about $300 per person… so for $750 (plus food… which we’d buy even if we were just in Birmingham) we could be swimming and sunning and enjoying our marital bliss while sipping mai tais in Cancun. Sounded good to me. We asked the girl a mazillion questions trying to figure out what the catch was. Surely we’d have to sit through a time share seminar. Nope. Or maybe there were bugs in the room. Nope. She assured us that the only “catch” was that we had to provide our own airfare and that she’d be gone by Sunday. Of course we were still skeptical, but when she told us that there was a 100% money back guarantee she had us sold. If we changed our minds we could bring our receipt back to Sam’s and get a full refund. No questions asked. Yes siree…

So, we bought ourselves a $149 honeymoon and high tailed it to the closest internet connection to find out if we got ourselves a good deal.

First place I checked was Trip Advisor. My “go-to” website whenever I take a trip. I love that the reviewers can post their own pictures, what a good way to get an idea about what the resort or hotel REALLY looks like. Sans Photoshop and airbrushed models. The reviews weren’t great. But I’ve found that most reviewers are hyper critical about things that wouldn’t bother me. The pictures were fine. Not the most gorgeous beach resort I’d ever seen but for the price we were willing to overlook that. Then we read that the beach resort wasn’t really on a beach, more of a rocky hill near the ocean, or a boat dock. That frustrated us. And then after a wee bit on Trip Advisor we discovered that flights out of Birmingham were really $400 rather than the $300 that we thought they might be. The reviews and expensive airfare meant two things.

#1. It wasn’t nice enough for the most spectacular and romantic trip of our lifetimes
#2. It was too expensive for a “hey, let’s go to Cancun” spur of the moment trip

Which meant the very next day we were back at Sam’s Club returning our honeymoon. Ya know what they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Oh well. On to bigger and better.

I'm Baack

Wow! Sorry for the hiatus. I was CRAZY busy at work this past week. I mean CRAZY. J and I flew to San Francisco for work and then had to take the hours and hours and hours worth of footage we took there and turn it into a television show in a VERY short amount of time. Which meant that we stayed at the television studio until ALL hours of the night. BUT as a result we ended up with an amazing show… if I do say so myself.

But blah, blah, blah enough excuses. The point is, I can stop thinking about work and start thinking about the WEDDING again! Haha!

I think I might have mentioned this before, but I believe that Wedding TV is an insomniac’s best friend. It’s not often that I can’t sleep, but sometimes I’ll hit a Starbucks a little too late in the day and I pay for it ALL NIGHT. Last night was one of those dreadful nights. So I snuggled up with my favorite blanket and a DVR full of Platinum Weddings and Say Yes to the Dresses. And I started thinking, “this is a GREAT time to be a bride”, I mean seriously girls, we’re really lucky. There is so much great wedding related media right now. Amazing websites. Great TV shows. This is a time when wedding photography and videography are at their best. Dresses are gorgeous. Trends are palatable (ie. No puffy sleeved monstrosities). Yay for us! Yay for 2010!