Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Wigging out

I was not thrilled with my hair during the early part of the day when the most pictures were taken (and especially during the ceremony -- the most important part of the day!) but this video makes me feel just a little better....

If the video is real (and it could very well be), I feel terrible for the person but it also epitomizes the one thing I HATED about wedding planning -- you get so crazed (or at least I did) about getting everything perfect and right and nice that you go to extreme lengths to ensure that. Me being the constant worrywart, I would always jump to weird conclusions and worst-case scenarios and stress myself out. Looking back, there were definitely instances where I really wasn't thinking or using common sense (much like the bride in the video). I'm sure I was also a b* more than once (haha, what an understatement!) to more than a few people throughout the process (though I have to say I was pretty good the day of). And that's one of my biggest regrets -- I wish that I wasn't so controlled by the Monster. It's like wedding planning turns you into this zombie (it's all that's on your mind for about a year)-cum-psycho (you go crazy, as I mentioned above). Anyway, I am nearing the end of my wedding blogging (lest I become more crazy) but I will not be silent! I will reveal what new things I've been obsessing over soon.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Did you know? redux

Some other things I forgot to mention the first time around:
  • When making the tags for the favors out of the shrink film, we began by printing it out on Dear's father's inkjet printer. Because the printer was one of those huge sale items from a previous year's Black Friday, the ink died on us after only a few were printed. It was an interesting effect with streaks of orange and yellow and after baking it, the color didn't darken to the same shade of red like I hoped. Thankfully, BM printed out all the rest on her printer without a problem. Woo hoo!
  • I spent hours creating an integrated JR monogram but it was used just once, on the website announcement enclosure cards. Even though it was a great idea (in my most humble opinion), I had trouble deciding how to use it with the double happiness symbol. I thought to overlap the JR over the double happiness and to make the JR a bit transparent so that you could tell it's a double happiness underneath but it didn't come out very clear, especially when I shrunk it to a size that wasn't gigantic. I even had a custom stamp made of the JR but couldn't find a good use for it anywhere. :(
  • We bought an easel, posterboard, and some map pins thinking that we'd stick the leaf placecards on the boards so that they wouldn't be laying flat on the table (I thought that would take up too much room and there would not be enough space for everything). It turns out that there was plenty of room and that our easel was a little too small for the large pieces of posterboard. Our wonderful ushers probably also had trouble sticking the thin pins into the board. In the end, they laid most of the leaves on the posterboard and they made a good backdrop for the colorful leaves. The easel was completely assembled and the original packaging is nowhere to be found -- now I don't know what to do with that easel!!
  • We planned on assembling bathroom baskets for guests (filled with things like mints, lotion, band-aids, tissues, etc.) but we ran out of time and the thought of putting anything down in those bathrooms disgusted me so much that I would have wanted to throw out everything afterwards so I'm glad we didn't waste time and money on this. We did, however, buy some handsoap that never left the house and we are able to use otherwise.
  • We also created goody bags for the children (some of Dear's younger relatives seek much attention) to keep them entertained (they can be easily bored). We got some colorful plastic lunchbags from Target, put in some stickers, an activity book, and snacks like Goldfish and Mini M&Ms so that they would not go hungry if the banquet started late. Problem? Dear forgot these at home.
  • Dear's second cousin helped us gather thousands of acorns for us to use as decoration in some way. We thought it'd be a centerpiece on the welcome table and even got a tall, footed jar from Target's clearance section to hold all of them but Dear forgot to bring the entire thing. We had also wanted to put a pillar candle on top but never got around to buying one that was big enough. More wasted effort: the first gathering was put in Ziploc bags, which trapped all the moisture and made the acorns moldy. I thought we could still use them by just washing them in water with some bleach. After much intensive labor bent over these acorns, scrubbing each individual one and then laying out each one to dry on newspaper, I sorted whole ones vs. separated tops and bottoms, then packed everything up into the non-airtight Chinese takeout containers. Come September, half of the containers molded again and I just threw those out. The good thing was that we still had enough to fill up the huge jar and we can perhaps use that to decorate our apartment in some way. But lesson learned -- if you want to use acorns as a decorative element (good for fall theme, plus it's free!), just store them loosely in something breathable, like a cardboard shoebox or an open plastic bag.
And while I'm on the subject of editing myself, my previous comments about changing my name and being addressed by my husband's name may have been misunderstood. Some of my friends have addressed me with Dear's last name and I don't really mind (so don't feel bad if you've committed this sin -- hahaha) but in my proofreading/point-out-the-flaws nature, something just eats at me b/c I have to have things as correct as possible. I've always been a stickler about my name (I can't tolerate any shortened versions of it nor any nicknames) but I guess I just need to let go sometimes. Maybe it would be easier if I just had one name, like Madonna or Prince -- I am just R____. [was this enough of an apology for possibly insulting ppl who've addressed me by my Dear's last name?]

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

On registering

We're finally starting to settle into our apartment and only now have I begun to realize the usefulness of registering (not that everyone followed what was on our registry) and the uselessness of Crate and Barrel. About this time last year we were suckered into the great marketing that C&B has -- you can set up your registry at these special hours when the store is closed to everyone but you and other engaged couples looking to register. They also promise food, free champagne flutes (kinda ugly, in my opinion), and they have these clever postcard ads that stick up in your bridal magazines to remind you of this great offer. And when you return from the event and look through the booklet they created with pretty photos and a list of the supposed essential things that you must register for, you crave all the other great things they feature. Fast forward to a year later and you realize how you don't need five different types of platters in all shapes and sizes, that cute placemats and table linens are nice but not necessary, and that you can even get by without a pitcher or cakestand. What you do need is not really carried by C&B -- iron and ironing board (especially crucial for me this week where instead, I pathetically ended up buying a new shirt instead of ironing the ones that I already have), can opener (I have no idea how to use the can opener on Dear's multi-tool), vacuum cleaner. What C&B does have, is overpriced (albeit somewhat nice) stuff. Even if we combined all the gift cards we got and returned some of the stuff people gave us, we still wouldn't be able to get the bed that we like, nor the dresser, nor the couch. Of the stuff that C&B does have that we want/need within a reasonable price range, I've come to realize that their selection isn't the best out there. For instance, we didn't add the rice cooker from C&B's registry b/c I really don't think Krups makes a better rice cooker than the ones you see in Asian stores. After all, who eats more rice, Germans or Asians? The same probably goes for the blender/food processor and ice cream maker we got. In fact, the people who gave us the ice cream maker told us to take it off our registry because they bought it for us elsewhere (undoubtedly for cheaper). Similarly, the All Clad set that we ended up getting ourselves was deeply discounted through a combination of coupons and savings through Macy's.

The caveat to registering is that there's so much stuff out there that amidst all the wedding planning, would you really have time to research which is the best iron/vacuum/rice cooker, etc. that you want? A part of me, when at C&B, thought 'Well I don't have the time to do the research, C&B probably took the time to only stock what they truly felt is quality' (sounds totally naive and ridiculous in retrospect).

Is there a perfect registry out there? I really wanted a sewing machine and some power tools but no one registry (except maybe Amazon) had both those types of things and I didn't really want to have a list of registries the size of the guest list. If I had to do it over again, I would probably register at Bed, Bath & Beyond (heard they have a great return policy, like letting you keep the cash when you return something), a department store (like Macy's, for linens and such), maybe Target for their variety of stuff (like appliances and other household stuff), and I would have fought against putting so much kitchen-related stuff on the registry. And I really would have refrained from registering at C&B!