November 23, 2009

Engagement Session Outfit

I am getting super excited to have my engagement photos (finally) taken next weekend with the great Seth Kammueller. Amidst the anticipation of the event and the process of narrowing down a place to hold our engagement session, I didn't leave much time for planning what Cape Cod Groom and I were going to wear.  Thus, we went shopping for my fiance and easily found a nice button down shirt and sweater at Express to wear with his Seven jeans and converse (he insisted), but I was a bit more difficult.  I knew I wanted a look that was classic and feminine, so I headed to my favorite store for all things girly: J. Crew. Because it's fall here in Chicago, I needed something that would keep me warm without looking bulky, so I also wanted a sleek layered look. I found this pretty blouse at J. Crew, and then a gorgeous long cardigan at Martin and Osa, another one of my favorite stores.

I bought my cardigan in a dark grey color below, which I think is really flattering against the pale pink blouse.

I love the way the ruffles of the blouse peek out from the top of the cardigan against my neckline, which is also nice because I don't have to wear a necklace. Other than my engagement ring, however, I still wasn't sure what to wear for jewelry, until I saw an amazing champagne pink pearl bracelet at JCrew, which compliments my blouse perfectly.

I didn't get this exact bracelet, but one in the same color and similar style (they didn't have any pictures of the one I bough online), so you get the idea. I also remembered that I have a pair of champagne pink pearl earrings that my mother gave me for Christmas last year, which I think will coordinate exactly with this ensemble.

I'll be completing my look with a pair of Seven jeans and my dark brown Zara suede boots.

I know many couples wear two different outfits, and I debated about doing that as well, but I'm not sure if it's worth the effort, especially since I love this ensemble, though I do have another look I could change into, just in case. I also thought about wearing a LBD with heels, for something more dressy, but then decided I would probably freeze.

How did you decide what to wear for your engagement photos, and do you think it's worth it to do an outfit change halfway through for a different look, or just stick to one outfit you really love?


November 21, 2009

Going Against the Grain: A Guest Book Box

My fiance and I decided to forgo a traditional  guest book, and instead we ordered a guest book box from Etsy vendor Just Wright Boutique, which I previously wrote about. The seller was very accommodating and easy to work with, and we chose the floral design below, but in navy instead of pale blue, to coordinate with our wedding colors.

What I love most about the guest book box is that you can order inserts that allow guests to write a message to the bride and groom and draw a picture of themselves (see insert option in the lower right corner)!

I think this is a fun and creative alternative to a guest book and I hope my guests get as much of a kick out of it as my groom and I do! Hopefully people won't think it's too weird and be party poopers by refusing to draw themselves . . . What do you think? Would you be into this if you were a wedding guest? I'll let you know how things turn out after the wedding!


November 18, 2009

I'm on Weddzilla!

I have some very exciting news to share with you. I have been chosen to become a Featured Bride Blogger at the Weddzilla blog! You can check out my introductory post here.

This is also big for me because at Weddzilla we are introduced and go by our first name.  In case you haven't noticed, I've never shared my real name on this blog or my Twitter, nor posted any personal photos of myself (other than my hair).  That is not an accident.  The reason is that in my profession, I work hard to maintain my privacy, and I have been very hesitant to reveal too much about myself.

So here's the big reveal: my first name is Morgan. Weddzilla also required that I share a picture of myself, so I chose one that gives you some idea of what I look like, but hides most of my face.  It is a picture that Cape Cod Groom took when we were on the Cape a couple of weeks ago.

Overall, I still haven't decided what to do about revealing more of myself on this blog. We're getting our engagement photos taken in 2 weeks, and I'd love to share those and post pictures of our wedding as well, as I know people would enjoy seeing them.  On the other hand, I'm not sure if I'm ready or willing to "come out of the closet" yet, so to speak :-)

This led me to wonder if anyone else out there has had any hesitation about revealing yourself on your blog or website, for either personal or professional reasons? If so, how did you deal with this struggle and what did you ultimately decide, and why?

November 16, 2009

Going Against the Grain: Bridesmaids Dresses

After my last post about eschewing tradition and doing what makes you as a couple happy when planning your wedding was well received by other brides experiencing similar challenges, I wanted to share more non-traditional wedding plans that I have with everyone. This will be my first post in a new series I've felt inspired to begin, called Going Against the Grain.

I am not one of those brides that ever expected her bridesmaids to wear the exact same dress, so I guess even in that I was being non-traditional.  However, bridesmaids wearing different styles of dresses has become much more popular and common, and my initial plan was to have my bridesmaids wear a dress from JCrew that was the same color/material, and they could choose the style they liked best, since they were purchasing their dresses themselves. 

Given that I wanted to keep costs down and keep things simple, I figured that this should be no problem as I am only having two bridesmaids anyway, my sister and my future sister-in-law.  I discussed potential dress colors with my mom and bridesmaids, and then decided upon having the girls wear navy dresses, as this would be the most flattering color on both of them, who have very different skin tones.  After browsing online with my sister-in-law, she decided that she liked a strapless style in silk taffeta, which we thought would be a good material for a winter wedding. She promptly ordered it, and was happy with her choice, so things went smoothly there.

My sister, the MOH, was a different story. She was adamantly against strapless, as she has a larger bust, so she ordered a wrap style.  The first one was too large, so she exchanged it for a size smaller, but then still found it very unflattering and "tent-like."  I thought the dress was adorable, and was disappointed that she was unhappy. 

She also ordered another style with spaghetti straps, and was still unpleased. At this point, we were both getting stressed out, and I was worried that there was very little time left to order more dresses and return them.  I decided to browse the selection at Ann Taylor, which we had originally looked at, but didn't have any navy dresses.  They had some new dresses in stock, and even had a navy color, but it was not exactly the same as the JCrew color.  It wouldn't be fair to ask my SIL to return her JCrew dress since she loved it, so I lamented over what to do.

Part of me wanted to be a b*%ch and tell my MOH to suck it up and keep the third JCrew dress, because I didn't have the time or energy to figure out an alternate plan with everything else I had on my plate now that we were towards the end of our planning process. But then I felt guilty because I am not paying for her dress, so she has a right to get something she wants (though I know most other brides would disagree).  Ultimately, I found a dress in silver (another one of our colors) silk taffeta at Ann Taylor, and my MOH decided to order it. She ended up keeping it, finally!

In the end, I think it will actually be cool to have the MOH stand out and to have one girl in navy and one in silver. I could have gotten all bridezilla and freaked out about this, but I'm glad I decided to keep my cool and not stress too much over having everything be "perfect." I always said I wanted to have a unique wedding, and here is another way I'm getting one :-)


November 14, 2009

This Is YOUR Wedding: Do Things Your Way

The entire wedding process that I've been going through for awhile now has really given me some perspective on values, traditions, and expectations.  While a lot of brides just go about planning their wedding with traditional events and milestones (the bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner etc), I'm not really one of those brides. Deviating from the norm in any way, though, really seems to surprise people, or make them think that something might be wrong with you.

Case in point: A lot of my friends were shocked when I told them I wasn't having a bridal shower.  The reason I decided not to have one is because my fiance and I already live together, and we have too much stuff crammed into our two bedroom condo as it is. Adding tons of kitchenware did not seem practical, especially when we had to already give away goods to consolidate our collection after I moved in with him. We do need a few more expensive items, such as a good mixer, that we were not going to get at a shower due to their price, so having one didn't make much sense. Why not have an alternative bridal shower, like a lingerie shower you ask? Answer: most of our relatives in the area are older, stuffy conservatives (no offense) and it would not be very fun way for me to spend the day.  To make up for the lack of a bridal shower, my fiance's mother is generously taking us shopping this weekend with the money she saved from not throwing a shower, to buy a few new items that we do need, like the mixer.

Instead of a shower, I'm also having two bachelorette parties, which I think is WAY more fun. I didn't initially intend to have two parties, but given that I grew up in New England, went to college in NYC, and now live in Chicago, my friends tend to live all over the country, and many could not make it to my Midwest party. So I had a fun, low key bachelorette weekend with my Chicago friends, as we took a road trip to coastal Michigan, and rented a cute beach cottage.  It was early October when we went, and we had a great time enjoying the fall colors while pumpkin and apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze (seriously), and getting mighty tipsy at all of the lovely wineries and vineyards in the area. 

Round Barn Winery in Michigan

I'll be having another bachelorette party in Boston the weekend prior to my wedding.  This will probably be a more traditional, crazy party given that my East Coast friends are a bit wilder.  To further go against the grain, I'll also be including a few male friends in this party, because why exclude close friends from your celebration just because they are the opposite sex? In the end, while it would have also been fun to have one large party will all of my friends present, I really like the idea of having two very different parties, and getting the best of both worlds!

Boston Skyline

Another way in which I'm having a non-traditonal aspect to my wedding is my rehearsal dinner.  In the interest of saving money, my mom, sister and I initially discussed having the rehearsal dinner at home, with my mom cooking all of her scrumptious New England delicacies (calamari, lobster balls . . . mmmm).  But after we created a head count for the event, my mom felt cooking for that many people would be too overwhelming with everything else she had going on the day before the wedding.

But I didn't want to hold the rehearsal at a restaurant, since this would be the first time certain members of our families had met, and I wanted people to be able to mingle, chat and relax, instead of being isolated at separate tables.  So, we decided to still hold the party at home, but get the majority of the food catered, while my mom would still cook the appetizers that we all love. I'll be making a hot mulled wine as the signature drink (more about that to come) for the event, and we're going to put a single long table in our living room, so everyone can sit together in front of a roaring fire and chat over good seasonal eats. 

These are just a few of the issues I've had with the expectations and traditions that come with being a bride-to-be.  I plan to blog more about other ones in the near future. What do you think? Has anyone else been struggling with tradition as much as I have? What traditions are important to you to hold on to, and which ones, if any, have you eschewed in favor of doing things your way?


November 11, 2009

My Rehearsal Dress

As you may know if you follow my blog regularly, I went home to the Cape to get some wedding planning done last week. I'm happy to report that it was a very productive visit and great to spend time with my family! One task that got accomplished was picking out my rehearsal dress with my mom, who also got a rehearsal outfit.

Even though we are having our rehearsal dinner catered at a family home instead of going out to a restaurant, we decided that we want to have a more formal dinner. Plus, we are planning on going out afterward to a local bar to meet and greet all of our out of town guests (which is the majority of our guest list), so I wanted to wear something nice.

Since I'm having a winter wedding, I didn't want to wear a summery, all white dress to the rehearsal. I settled upon this dress from White House Black Market, which I liked because it was incredibly slimming and still has a bit of white at the bust to make me feel like a bride.

I also really liked the top because it has a vintage-looking crystal brooch, which I'm having on my wedding accessories as well (clutch, bracelet, shoes), so it fits perfectly with my wedding theme!

How did you decide what to wear for your rehearsal? Was it specific to your wedding theme or a rehearsal theme, or did you just wear whatever you want?


November 10, 2009

Over the Top!

A quick thanks to my gal at Westside Wedding for sharing this award with me!

For the Over the Top Award you are supposed to answer the following questions with one word answers and then pass the award onto six fellow bloggers.

Here we go!

1. Where is your cell phone? Around
2. Your hair? Blonde
3. Your mother? Amazing
4. Your father? Awesome
5. Your favorite food? Sushi
6. Your dream last night? D/K
7. Your favorite drink? Sangria
8. Your dream/goal? Graduate!
9. What room are you in? Bedroom
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Fire
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Happy
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something you aren’t?
15. Muffins? Yummy
16. Wish list item? Vacation
17. Where did you grow up? Chatham
18. Last thing you did? Biked
19. What are you wearing? Nada
20. Your TV? 50"
21. Your pets? None
22. Your friends? Crazy
23. Your life? Blessed
24. Your mood? Relaxed
25. Missing someone? Nope
26. Vehicle? Subaru
27. Something you’re not wearing? Clothes!
28. Your favorite store? Anthropologie
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? D/K
32. Your best friend? CapeCodGroom
33. One place that I go over and over? Work :-(
34. One person who emails me regularly? CapeCodGroom
35. Favorite place to eat? Wakamono

Giving this baby to:

November 9, 2009

Another Award!

Thanks to NuFlair for leaving me this Portuguese award and making my day! This is more simple than some of the other awards because all you have to do is thank the person who gave it to you on their blog and then pass it on to other bloggers!


I'm giving it to:


November 6, 2009

A Sparkly Send-Off

As sparkler send-offs are becoming ever more popular, and my fiance and I are planning to do one at our wedding, I decided it would be a good idea to post my take on this part of our wedding.

Overall, I had mixed feelings about the sparkler send-off.  On the one hand, I love the way it looks in pictures and think guests will have a lot of fun with it, especially some of my more rowdy friends. I also love that they are super cheap, so they fit with my budget wedding.  For not much money, I think we will get a lot of fun and some hopefully awesome pictures out of them.  My fiance is also very excited about them, and by really excited I mean that he stated that he thinks they are "really cool," which is the most enthused I've seen him about any aspect of this entire shindig.

Conversely, I have the fear of fire being haphazardly waved in the vicinity of my dress, especially by a bunch of people who have been drinking for 8 hours, since we are doing our send-off at midnight. However, I do realize that with proper use, proper being the key, I should not fear about me or my precious dress catching on fire.  I'm also a bit concerned about the set up of the whole thing, and getting everyone to coordinate lighting them simultaneously.  However, I think having a smaller wedding will be an advantage in this situation.  So, I decided to suck it up and order them from Sparkle, and now I'm getting really excited about incorporating them into the wedding. 

My next issue was how to present the sparklers at the reception.  Although I was tempted to buy a cute monogrammed bucket off Etsy, I decided to be more frugal and am going to use a couple of Bell jars that we have laying around in our kitchen.  I will snazz them up a bit with some ribbon I ordered for another project.

And if I'm feeling really crafty, I might even make some cute tags for the sparklers, a la these (though I'll probably just end up making a simple sign): 

Still, despite all this planning, I just hope everything goes smoothly with the sparklers and I look as happy as all the brides I've seen in the photos.  Has anyone else used sparklers at your wedding, or been a guest at one with a sparkler send off? If so, how'd it go?


November 4, 2009

My Hair Trial

As promised, I took pictures of my hair trial with the fantastic Jessica DeGravio of Shampoo Salon in Dennis, MA.  This was the first time I had met her and I was nervous about using someone I didn't know for such an important part of my wedding.  But all my fears were assuaged once I saw the final product.  She was so helpful as I really had no idea what I wanted, other than something pretty and natural.  We decided upon a loose wavy updo, and I love the way it turned out.

I still haven't decided upon flowers yet. I told her I was debating between a giant flower clip from Etsy and fresh flowers from my florist. She ingeniously decided to make "toilet paper flowers" by bunching up toilet paper to look like white flowers and putting them in my hair (sadly I don't have pictures of this). I liked how it looked, and now I figure, if I like how toilet paper looks in my hair then maybe I should go with real flowers after all! We'll see . . . Did anyone else debate about what to put in their hair as much as I am?


November 1, 2009

Yay Awards!

Sorry I haven't been blogging much this week folks. As you may know, I've been on the Cape frantically doing all of my wedding planning. I have gotten a lot done so far and I can't wait to share it all with you when I return to Chicago tomorrow night!

But for now I have to give a shout out to my girls at Cupcake Wedding and A Chocolate Lover's Confessions for passing on another blog award to me.  The rules are that you must provide 10 interesting facts about yourself and give the award to 10 other deserving bloggers.

This is getting challenging as I already had to provide 7 facts before for another award, but here you go:

1.  I love sushi, and my favorite sushi restaurant in Chicago is called Wakamono.
2.  This past summer I became a vegetarian, though I still eat fish occasionally. Bad me.
3.  I loathe beer, and one of my favorite drinks is sangria.
4.  I adore the movie Love Actually and watch it every holiday season.
5.  My fiance taught me how to drive a scooter this summer, though I still haven't taken ours out by myself yet. The streets of Chicago are a bit intimidating.
6.  I double majored in college, and my 2nd degree was in history.  I focused on World War II, and know a lot of random facts about it that I will (probably) never use in my life.
7.  I basically like all types of music except country.
8.  I am 4 years younger than my fiance. 
9.  I love watching lectures on TED. If you aren't familiar with it I highly recommend it.
10. My goal is to get done with school by the time I'm 30. *fingers crossed*.

And I'm excited to pass this award onto these 10 bloggers:
1. Bicoastal Bride
2. Sassy Bride on a Mission
3. Pink Love Bird
4. Carolina Bride
5. Running to the Wedding
6. Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bridezilla
7. Girl with a Ring
8. Thoughts of the All Consumed Bride
9. Handcrafted Hitching Post
10. The Bowie Bride
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