Monday, August 2, 2010

love in the bloom: bridal deets

Allow me to set the stage: it was about 2:30 in the afternoon when the photographers arrived at our suite in the Indiana Memorial Union. Our hairs were did, our make-up complete, and we were all lounging about making death stares at the TV. By we I mean my mom and bridesmaid M -- T, because of my inability to understand hairdresser talk, missed her original appointment and was being hustled through back at the salon. Crisis Number One.

Or really Crisis Number Two, because Number One was the weather. The whole week in Bloomington it had been raining. The humidity was high and the weather report suggested more of the same. But as we watched the endless loops of The Weather Channel, our hopes diminished until I got a text from a friend: "Radar looks great!" With that vote of confidence from someone not utterly hell bent on having an outdoor wedding, we made the call to have it all outside!

So there I was, lounging, as I said, and secretly nibbling on gummi bears. I have evidence.

I already had on my feather hair piece, from Sweetpea and Fawn. I also had the courtesy to match the room's wallpaper.

Of course all of my other pretty things were ready for their big moment too.


As I sat there, chowing down on gummies, the moment was drawing closer and closer: putting on the dress.

All photos by Heidi with Our Labor of Love

Monday, July 12, 2010

name, last

I've been married for a month and I still have no idea what to do about my name. Here's where I am:

I like Kirk's name because it's unique and would therefore make me unique. If I ever want to be famous (duh I want to be famous), I would monopolize the name on Google!

I like my name because it's somewhat common. I have a certain amount of anonymity. I never appear in Google searches because there's some writer who has my name, an artist.. I am buried in the depths of Google!

My name is alliterative. His is not.

I have two sets of double letters in my first and last names!

If I were to take his name and have two middle names (original middle and maiden), my initials would be C.N.C.N. Which is cool.

I work in the same small industry as his father. So far I fly under the radar of that, but if I use his last name, the associations would be constant (and possibly problematic).

I want people to know we're married. I like the unification of one name.

I don't want to be Mrs. Kirk Lastname. I know it's traditional etiquette, but it really bothers me. It's devoid of all personal identity and therefore icky to me.

Was changing your name an instant decision for you or something you agonized over?

Friday, July 2, 2010

new blog!

After the wedding planning blog, there comes the lifestyle blog.

I've started a new blog to cover all of my married life adventures. I will continue my wedding recaps here, but if you're interested in non-wedding me, head over to There Comes a Yes!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

honeymoon tips

Whether you're going to the desert, Europe, or just the next town over for your honeymoon, I have a few tips to make your trip fantabulous.

1. Tell people you're on your honeymoon.

We almost didn't do this. When we arrived at our hotel, it was still three hours before their usual check-in time. We had been traveling for six hours; we felt super gross and just wanted to get in a room. So Ribs very politely mentioned to the woman at the front desk that we were on our honeymoon and if there was any flexibility, we'd appreciate it. She told him he should always note if it's a honeymoon or anniversary (FYI!), gave us a card for two free cocktails at the bar, and asked us to wait a little longer.

We waited about twenty minutes with our cocktails in hand when the woman came back and said we had been upgraded to a suite and the room was ready. Booyah!

2. A point and shoot can take good pictures.

I don't have a DSLR camera. Instead, I own a Leica D-Lux which is really just a designer version of a Panasonic Lumix (same manufacturer, different badge). It's a fantastic little camera with some manual settings.

All I do is turn off the flash and mostly use its "aperture priority" setting. I don't have to worry about exposure in this mode, but I do get some control.

If you have Photoshop or download a trial of it, you can download the Pioneer Woman actions. I used the 70s action on all of my photos for that dusty, vintage look. I did not manually alter the pictures beyond what the action did!

3. Your phone takes good pictures too.

I forgot my camera sometimes, so we took a lot of pictures using our iphones. All you need to make the pictures look stellar is an app called Camerabag. My favorite filters are Helga, Colorcross, and Instant (a Polaroid imposter).

4. Be Seriously Lazy.

I'm impressed by the go-getter type of honeymooners, but personally, the lack of a schedule was so refreshing. Planning a wedding and having a full time job is a struggle. So doing absolutely nothing with your new spouse, starting happy hour at 11 a.m. because dammit you can -- beyond the best thing ever.

Those are my tips for a well-documented, well-rested honeymoon! What would be your tips for soon-to-be honeymooners?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

old hollywood honeymoon: joshua tree

We really did almost nothing during the honeymoon but lie around by the pool, which was intentional and fantastic. But I knew I'd feel guilty if I didn't venture outside of the lush confines of the Viceroy and actually see some of California. This was, after all, my first trip out west!

Our original idea was to rent a car for just one day; we would drive out to the Joshua Tree National Park for a morning hike and then come back in the afternoon, get some In-N-Out Burger (Palm Springs proper did not have one, for shame) and spend the rest of the day being lazy, as was our way. Well the daily highs were 105, which is okay in the shade, under misters, or in a pool, but not so great when you're tromping around the actual desert.

So we hopped on from our phones to rethink our options. The number one rated Palm Springs activity was something called Elite Land Tours. We made reservations for a nocturnal tour of Joshua Tree.

We were picked up the next evening at the hotel in a gleaming white Hummer. It was just Kirk and I and our guide, an extremely knowledgeable and chatty man who came with snacks. Snacks! Everyone loves snacks.

We drove out to Joshua Tree which involved going past this spectacular valley filled with windmills and then crossing the San Andreas Fault. After about 20 more minutes of driving, our guide suddenly turns off the road onto what I would've thought was unnavigable. We were actually taking some crazy back roads into a more pristine portion of the park. Quite the adventure.
On top of Eureka Peak

sunset at joshua tree

The first thing we did was hike to the top of Eureka Peak, which at sunset, provided some tremendous views of the surrounding desert. Also notable, the temperature at this elevation dropped to 60 at night! I was freezing my tail off.
not a tree
moon and tree(s)

After snapping some pictures, the guide drove us to our next stop: a wide expanse of Joshua trees and rock formations. We hiked around, saw a rattlesnake, and then as it became dark, we looked for scorpions! Our guide gave us black light flashlights that illuminate scorpions, making them look like glow in the dark toys. Hiking some more, he showed us the oldest tree in the park. (Interestingly, Joshua trees are not at all trees, just plants!)

The tour was pricey at $220 for both of us, but when we calculated what it'd cost for us to rent a car and just the one-on-one tour guide experience, we really felt it was worth it.

Next, we eat. A lot.

Monday, June 21, 2010

old hollywood honeymoon: the viceroy

We're back from the honeymoon! It was the most relaxing and lazy trip I've ever taken. We're having difficulties adjusting to "doing things."

So Palm Springs. About a month ago, I started to really worry about the honeymoon: after all, who goes to the desert in the summer? I thought we made a huge mistake. Well, that was needless worrying because Palm Springs is simply amazing in June! The daily high was around 105, which sounds brutal, but without humidity it is solidly pleasant in the shade of a cabana or floating in a pool.

We stayed at the Viceroy and got 25% off our room rate, food, and spa services. I was absolutely in love with their Hollywood regency look.
The grounds were gorgeous too.

We barely left these spots the whole trip.
Service at the Viceroy was impeccable. There was always a friendly face coming by with drinks to the pool, feeding me way too many sweet potato fries and mojitos.

With a view of stunning mountains, I did not miss a lapping ocean at all. Next up, we went to Joshua Tree National Park and sampled a few restaurants!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

off to indiana

If you're reading this, it means I'm currently in a Mazda somewhere on I-70, eating Swedish Fish or licorice, singing along to the Eagles with my almost-husband. If we're not singing, we're likely debating the nuances of a Jon Stewart rant or wondering aloud what the Kitty is doing. We're going places.

We have a packed four days ahead of us -- first meeting with our officiant, my one and only hair trial, reuniting with friends we haven't seen in months or years, and the last minute details every couple deals with before their wedding. While the stress of planning may be high, I feel so calm and okay knowing what lies before us.

Marriage was always the inevitable for us -- I knew this as soon as I met Kirk. I think at the very beginning of our relationship I resisted believing this because it felt too easy and too right. Three years later I know it isn't easy, it's just a willingness to change for each other, to understand each other, give when the other can't, and take the moments as they come.

These are the days we'll string along forever, knowing happiness isn't a permanent realization, but just a series of small pleasures and glances, kind words and embraces, laughing at jokes we'll soon forget and being with people who love us madly. Planning this wedding has given me new friends and new moments to tuck away, with only more to come.

For now, we're driving. It's a long road, but it's love all the way down.

Another Miss signing off,