Thursday, April 30, 2009

More hair wear

So cute, fun and festive!

Maybe I should have the wedding entourage wear these, rather than carry flowers?

Anyone every DIY something like this? It seems like it wouldn't be too hard...

Then again, I'm all about getting other people to do things for me, and they are certainly not expensive.

A day at the beach

To go with the beach flags...

From here, via Gangsta Bride

Beach blankets and pillows!

I love it... so cozy and relaxed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My year of careening crazily

Have you ever had a year when everything changes completely?

A year ago, I was a wandering graduate student in the Himalayas, wearing the same three pairs of hiking pants over and over. I had a lovely boyfriend back in the States, with whom I talked regularly, but my life felt pretty footloose and fancy-free (on a good day; and nauseatingly unmoored, on a bad one.)

Now, everything is changing utterly. I moved back to the States, stopped wandering through villages and subsisting on rice. We bought and moved into a house - our first time living together.

After spending all of this century (!) as a graduate student (yeah, since fall 2000), I am about to move to the other side of the desk, to resume getting a paycheck, to start paying back my student loans.

In the next six months, I will become a professor and a wife. After so long as a student and a singleton, it makes my head spin.

Symbolizing these transitions, I have purchased the two most expensive items of clothing I've ever owned in the past six months.

One, as you would suspect, is a gorgeously flowing white gown, about which I will say nothing else, as Mr. Barefoot turns out to be secretly following my blog.
(Hi ya!)

The other is also flowing and gorgeous, but in navy twill. I looks something like this:

I'll wear it on May 17, exactly 5 months and 1 week, before I wear my other insanely expensive piece of clothing.

How's this for a bridesmaid's look? A number of my friends have, or have worn such gowns, so I'm thinking it could work.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Veggie love

From here, via FFFFOUND!

Having been a vegetarian for more than twenty years - and having convinced my family to stop eating veal when I was just seven years old - I never considered serving meat at my wedding. We don't serve meat at dinner parties, so why would we at the Dinner Party of the Year? I don't want to go to a party where I can't eat the food (though people keep warning me that I won't have a chance to eat at the wedding. This one gets cranky without food, so I will have to find time to eat).

Earth Friendly Weddings
takes up the issue of vegetarian weddings today, asking "Can a Vegetarian Meal Ruin a Wedding?", with a comment from Yours Truly. My take on it: Serve what you'd like to eat, thoughtfully prepared for your guests.

I do enjoy fish (yep, not a perfect vegetarian, and believe me, I've been taken to task for this many times over the years. Why vegetarians are expected to by completely consistent paragons of virtue is beyond me...), so we may serve some seasonally, sustainably caught fish. Or not.

Our caterer does amazing things with vegetarian food - I'm pretty sure that everyone will be so busy enjoying the food that they won't pause to wonder where the chicken or steak is.

Beyond the amazing flavors and textures of vegetarian food, it also costs less. The per-head cost our caterer quoted for an all vegetarian meal (no fish) was significantly lower than her lowest per-head cost for a chicken meal. We will be able to offer more dishes for the same price per head, if we don't serve meat. The dinner will actually end up looking more lush and magnificent, with a greater number of choices!

Serving locally-sourced vegetarian food helps reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of the wedding. To take just one example, three times as many fossil fuels are required to produce a meat-based diet, as compared with a plant-based diet. (more info here).

For vegetarian cooking at home, I love:
Our weekly CSA box from Farm Fresh to You includes a batch of recipes for using seasonal vegetables, too.

From here, via FFFFOUND!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thanks, Jen Elisebeth!

I am so excited to have WON something!!!

Jen Elisebeth generously offered up this book, which she had used to plan her wedding, and I was the lucky winner! Ya-hoooo!

The book arrived in the mail last week - I'm a bit late posting on this, what with Passover, and Easter, and Tax Day all following in quick succession - but I definitely want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Jen Elisebeth for passing on this great resource and sharing the love.

As I told her in an email, we're just about to ask a couple friends to officiate. Actually, we've been meaning to do this for weeks, and it keeps getting postponed. I think it's a little anxiety-provoking, really. It's asking a lot of someone. I'm sure that having a book to guide us through the process of planning our ceremony will make the friends/ officiants much more comfortable. Hopefully, we'll get them squared away soon.

Jen Elisebeth offered the book with the caveat that who ever won it would have to host their own giveaway after they were finished with it. So if you're still reading in six months, stay tuned for a great giveaway! :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another small step in the wedding direction

And I do mean small.

I went to Mercurio Brothers, the local and shockingly reasonably-priced letterpress print shop, with Dr. Cowgirl the other day to get some information about invitations. I collected a bunch of samples, brought them home to Mr. Barefoot, and we reached a decision.

On the design of the invitation? No.

On the wording of the invitation? No.

On the number of invitations needed? No.

All those still remain to be determined.

However, we did decide on the type of paper we want to use.

We chose
Somerset 300 gm Cotton ... our most popular cover stock for wedding invitations and is our #1 recommendation. It is thick and spongy, which are good qualities for letterpress. [] Soft (natural) White (more like an ecru).
Unbelievable. I have never before been this consumed by minutia. The wedding is drawing out all my obsessive tendencies (which were quite latent until now!) in a bizarre convergence of my party-hosting anxiety and my dissertation avoidance. Heaven help me if I didn't have the dissertation to draw the major part of my attention - I'd probably be parsing the relative merits of different type styles. (There's no saying that that won't happen over the summer. eek!)

Anyway, Dr. Cowgirl and I couldn't resolve those larger issues about our respective invitations, because we were going to treat ourselves to a facial and a massage, respectively, at Spa Week (or month, at our local spa) - $50 treatments at a spa near you! Check it out before time runs out!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

From here, via FFFFOUND!

Now, go play outside!

I'm getting on my bike!

Audacious wedding planning

That's what Meg, at A Practical Wedding, does.

That's what Sara, at 2000 Dollar Wedding, did.

And Jamie, at a Desert Fete, did.

And East Side Bride.

And lots of other amazing folks that I don't know about, but definitely would like to...

And apparently, that is the secret to success in blogging and in life.

Now it might seem over-reaching (audacious, even!) to compare planning a wedding to overcoming racism or running a country, but I contend it's equally important, in its own quotidian way.

In the way that New Year's Day sets the tone for the year ahead, the wedding establishes the tone of our lives together. The reception is the couple's first act of hospitality for their community together - the community that has supported them to this point, and will continue to support them.

So when we're setting that tone, shouldn't we do audacious things, things that "can't" be done... like
What's audacious about your wedding?

(In my case, it's #1, and hopefully #3 & #4, as well as getting married on the beach!)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Tranquil Setting

via SMP, by Elizabeth Messina

This is exactly where I want to get married. We've got the beach.*

We weren't planning to do much in terms of decoration on the beach: maybe a few chairs for folks who can't stand very long, maybe a few rugs or blankets for people who want to sit in the sand.

I think flags like these would be perfect for identifying the spot where people should gather.**

*Wikipedia warns "There is a risk of shark attack, however."

**(with their shark repellent, of course.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Guestbook to Save the Planet: Vintage All the Way

Further uses for vintage post cards...

Like Perfect Bound, we will use them for our guest book

After writing messages to the future, guests can drop their cards in a vintage toy mailbox, from ebay.

Or a full-size vintage mailbox, which can later grace our house.

I think we can use one of these as a card box, too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Love and Forgiveness

from Modern Love in the New York Times

What a sweet, powerful piece! You must go and read here.

Inevitably, we are different from our beloved, sometimes dramatically so, and these differences tend to get exacerbated under stress - like that of planning a wedding, or traveling abroad. As the author says:
I tend to dash into traffic, thinking I can surely make it to the median. My husband, who was the captain of the patrol boys in the eighth grade, has a tendency to hold out his arms at the curb: stand back!
When such different temperaments come into friction, sparks erupt.

The author explodes with frustration, but then:
Sure, I had tried to do this many times before in our years together, tried to imagine how he felt, but this was different. I was him. And I thought, how awful, how terrible this is, being him. All of my own indignation and all of my poor hurt feelings that had built up through the years were vaporized.

I knew, despite the good and joyful nuggets of our daily life, that it was a difficult — harrowing — proposition for him to live with someone who is so voluble and indiscreet and extravagantly enthusiastic, someone who is always saying “yes, yes, yes!” What a burden it must be, I must be, for someone who is quiet and private and focused, someone so careful in his deliberations.
What a profound realization, knowing that
the temperament of my husband, the temperament of that patrol boy, is my salvation. It is beyond the call of duty and maybe even love that he makes the effort, time and again, to keep me from running into traffic.
I wish such generosity and insight for all of us.

Another way to gain perspective

Meg at a Practical Wedding is have been providing genius savvy and sane advice for maintaining pure vision in the face of the Wedding Industrial Complex.

I found another antidote the other night.

I stumbled on this show, Platinum Weddings. Ever curious about how the other half lives (make that the other 1%), I watched. And realized that I really have no interest in five-foot-tall floral arrangements with blooms flown in from Brazil and Australia, or a wedding on a golf course, or acres of ivory draping on the walls.

Nope. Just not me. phew.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snooty Snoot Salon, Redux

or, Yes, the Economy is Really That Bad

Back in January, when I had been engaged mere weeks, I went on a wedding dress shopping expedition in San Francisco with three friends, two of whom are also getting married this year. A Saks sample sale was the catalyst for our foray, but we checked out a whole range of places, from Jessica McClintock, where dresses started at $99, on up.

Walking down the street, we passed the lovely windows of a fancy national bridal salon, which we'll call Snooty Snoot Salon, and spontaneously rang to see if we could come up. At that point, I was an absolute wedding neophyte. I still thought $1000 was a lot of money for a dress, and I didn't know that bridal salons are are not enamored of spontaneity. Had they told us to come back when we had an appointment, that would have been fine.

Instead, they grudgingly invited us up, and seemed a bit taken a back when four grad students tromped into the store, looking like, well, grad students. Our appearance did not suggest that we had tons of money to spend - because we did not. The consultant seemed to further regret her decision when I revealed that the top of my price range barely overlapped with the bottom of the price range of dresses in the store. Having never investigated wedding dresses before that day I had no idea how expensive they can be.

My wedding date was the third strike: "You're getting married in October?!??! This October??!!! You're really a bit late to be looking for a dress. Thank goodness you came in TODAY!" [Lady, I couldn't have come in any earlier, because I wasn't planning to get married, before now!]

So we didn't exactly hit it off. I tried on a few of their inexpensive dresses, and with every dress change, the consultant cooed about how 'slimming' the dress was. Since I didn't feel the particular need to be 'slimmed', 'slimming' began to feel like code for "you big fat cow." [For the record, I'm a climber, a yogi, a bike-commuter, and a hiker. I'm no toothpick, but I'm of quite average size. I hate the cultural construct that tells women to virtually disappear by losing so much weight before their weddings, suggesting that we will disappear altogether once we are married.]

Every opinion or idea I ventured about my wedding or my potential wedding dress was quite incorrect, according to the consultant. I think it's fair to say that I was not her favorite customer ever.

I was quite surprised, then, to receive a phone call yesterday from the same consultant, informing me that if I hadn't bought my dress [which one would think I must have by now, since Jan. was already too late for an Oct. wedding], I might be interested to know that Snooty Snoot Salon is having a 15% off sale, and I was welcome to come in.

It's rather alarming to hear that the economy is so bad that they are courting customers they had no use for four months ago.

Fortunately, I've already found a perfectly lovely dress, for an eminently reasonable price, at another shop in downtown SF, staffed by kind, charming consultants.

For a Beach Wedding: Things I didn't know I needed #3

Since our wedding is here

I guess we'll need these

And probably these
via My Mom's Blog
(no, not my mom's)

Thank goodness there's a whole blogosphere to help me remember the things I would never think of.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Take Your Wine Bar and Lazy Susan, and Skeedaddle

I came across this purportedly cost-cutting article via Another One Bites the Dust. All I can say is thank goodness I'm getting married on the west coast and don't have to deal with this sort of snobby New Yorkers (yes, there are definitely snobby people everywhere, but blessedly few in my social circle. Maybe because we're all impoverished grad students.)

This article seems to adhere to the brilliant line from one of the commentators at A Practical Wedding that weddings often turn into a game of "Let's Pretend We're Rich." NY Mag seems to feel that everyone is obligated to play, and wins only by convincing their guests that this is the case. Any sign of thriftiness is a sin and should be shunned. The only way to stay within budget is to pull one over on guests in such a crafty way that they won't realize that we're not rich.

Another One Bites the Dust took umbrage with this line:
No matter how tight your budget, do not have a cash bar. A wine-only bar’s thriftiness is just as obvious.

Whatever. If our guests are drinking our carefully chosen wines, I hope they'll enjoy, and not wish that is was something else.

I drew the line here:
Draw the line at family-style service. What’s next, wine bottles on a lazy Susan? Honestly, you’re better off eloping.

Now there's a serving idea! Common at Chinese weddings, I imagine, where the condiments and dishes are placed on a central lazy Susan for everyone to reach.

Thanks for the advice, NY Mag. We'll have to cancel our contract with our site and lose our deposit, since the only food service options they offer are family style and buffet (which I'm sure you, NY Mag, think is even more declasse). hrmph!

We could also debate the value of this line:
If the florist tries to charge you for the arrangements in the bathroom, don’t bite your tongue.

Um, flowers in the bathroom? Really? Maybe we'd save some bank if we didn't put flowers in the bathroom, rather than arguing with the florist about whether we'll be charged for them.

Hmmm... I wonder what NY Mag would have to say about the unisex bathroom (singular) at our site?

Egad, the more I read, the more incensed I am.
Don’t get a fresh-from-ICP artist to shoot your wedding. You’ll regret it, always .... You could opt out of the engagement shoot and save about $500, but that’s when you’ll realize if you love your photographer or if you’ll have to prepare for more of this kind of creepiness later

Huh. "Opting out" of the engagement session suggests that its mandatory. Isn't purchasing a service from a vendor more like "opting in"? We never considered having an engagement session, especially since we don't know anyone who has done this. I asked my married BFF about it, and she looked at me like I was from Mars: "what, you're not movie stars!" (Which is not to say that you shouldn't do an engagement session if you have the time and cash. I'd love to have some nice photos of us - but we have neither time nor cash right now.)

NY Mag crossed the line when they crossed Miss Manners:
avoid engraving, letterpress, and shapes that don’t fit into regular envelopes. And, print all of it at once. Skimp tastefully. Example: A save-the-date magnet isn’t the best idea.

As we have learned from Miss Manners, handwritten or engraved invitaions are the most proper. We do want the guests to feel warmly invited and welcome, even if they're only going to get to drink wine, and may be called upon to pass serving dishes to the person on their left.

The magnets? I love 'em! Our fridge is covered with save the date magnets from our friends.

So save yourself the time and angst. This is one article on wedding budgeting that you can avoid.

The bottom line is in the article's final line:
A great place to start: Event-design companies FĂȘte and A Wedding Library offer free one-hour consultations. Go, and don’t waste a minute.

Nice advertorial, NY Mag. I wonder what these event planning companies paid for this sort of free publicity???

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


That looks like a wedding cake to me!

From aptly named Love at First Bite, from which I brought Mr. Barefoot cupcakes for his birthday after we'd been dating a few months.

However, I think Mr. Barefoot would like something a little more traditional.... maybe we'll get this for the "groom's cake."

he, he! And then we'll have this chocolate confection as the 'bride's cake.'

Super spectacular, from Edith Meyer, organic baker.

But what I'd really like is a luscious tiramisu

or amaretti cake, from organic Crixa Cakes.
Must get over there to taste right away!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All You Need

Get it here.

Placecards to Save the Planet

What am I going to do with the extra 108 vintage California postcards left over from our Save the Date cards (which are finally out! yay!)?

In keeping with my theme of re-use, I think they'll make great place cards.* We'll hang them up with wooden clothespins from the 99 Cent Only store like this.**

Put guests' names on the back, maybe with a little message...

The Knot

Or hang them from a cool mobile (which I think we could make or find used)...

I love this Calder-esque option...

And the guests will have fun finding their cards,.

From Style Me Pretty

Ooo! I think I've still got my old traditional blue & yellow CA license plate. Perfect touch!

*What are escort cards, anyway???

** My feeling about place cards: I don't want anyone scoping about for a place to sit,*** or feeling left out of the 'cool table'. Therefore, everyone gets assigned seats.

***Too many bad memories of the 'salad bar scope' in college.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Things I Didn't Know I Needed #2

We haven't made a gift registry yet. We haven't even thought about it (much). Though we've both been living on our own for a long time, we've both been students much of that time. When we moved in together, we discovered that we had duplicates of lots of things - but that a lot of those things were pretty crappy. And then there are major gaps: dining room table, anyone?

I imagine our registry will be pretty eclectic, aimed at filling in gaps and upgrading (cookware, especially) to things that will last a lifetime. (wow. I don't think I've ever typed or said that phrase before!)

Here are some current contenders, awesome gadgets that I didn't even know existed until recently.

Apparently, a mandoline makes the slicing of veggies, and therefore food prep, infinitely quicker.

I love, love, love seltzer water, or spark, as the Flower Boy calls it. But I hate, hate, hate the waste generated by oodles of plastic bottles, so I rarely buy it. I mainly drink it overseas, where you can get it in reuseable glass bottles. But if we had a seltzer water maker, I could drink bubbly to my heart's content.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hop to it!

from here, via FFFFOUND!

Hoping your day is full of snuggly bunnies, butterflies, organic fruits, and other spring goodness!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Handy Eco-chic Planning Guide

(Cute and springy from Stewart + Brown,
purveyors of organic cotton and other sustainable clothing.)

This planning guide incorporates environmental and sustainability concerns into questions to ask vendors.

Also includes Day-of reminder lists.


Friday, April 10, 2009


... all of us are free, we are enslaved.

...all of us are fed, we are hungry.

.... all of us are housed, we are homeless.

... all of us are shod, we are barefoot.

... all of us are free to follow our love, we are alone.

from here, via FFFFOUND!

I went to a Passover Seder at the home of my BFF the other night. Though I'm not Jewish, she always includes me in a Seder. Passover has come to be one of my favorite holidays for its emphasis on freedom from bondage, inclusion of everyone who needs a place to go on Passover, and learning from history.

Each year, I get something different from listening to the Haggadah, the ceremonial re-telling of the story of the Exodus from Egypt. This year, the fortunate confluence of Passover with the legalization of gay marriage in Vermont and Iowa led me to reflect on how the value of my impending marriage is lessened, until this right is available to everyone.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cowgirl Style

Remember Dr. Cowgirl, on whose dress you voted? She ended up with a lovely halter-tied, bead and lace number from Mori Lee. Very Anthropologie.

In keeping with the Idaho ranch setting of the Aug. wedding - in the shadows of the Tetons, no less - she's going for a look like this. It's gonna be spectacular!

via Bird in Hand Photo

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hat Attack

Or should I say, Envy Attack.

I just saw this lovely

at Elizabeth Dye, after following the link over from East Side Bride, who hinted she might be making a big, fluffy shrug, like this

which is my latest object of devotion. I'm desperately craving a big fluffy shrug to warm my shoulders against the cold ocean breeze.

Ok, envy, greed, sloth (blogging instead of working), even worshipping false idols (hats, shrugs), all in one post... this wedding is not bringing out my finest qualities.

Perhaps I should've given up something for Lent, or rid my house of leavening and bread for Passover. Spring is definitely a time for re-committing to the righteous path.

Hair apparent

Ooo! Love these affordable fascinator/ veils from Kasia Fink!

Really adorable, as you can see at Budget Savvy Bride.

I was already to go, and then I saw this

at 5eizen

and this

From the same place.

Would that I were a multi-headed hydra and could wear all three!

Update: I went with Kasia Fink's fascinator because it was beautiful and affordable, and I was excited that she was just launching her own business. She's been a delight to work with via email, and I can't wait to get my lovely headware. Really, there should be more opportunities for wearing hats & flowers & feathers in daily life. Huge hats are de rigeur at daytime weddings in Europe - I'm definitely encouraging my guests to go for the gusto with hats!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Barefoot Life List

Inspired by Mighty Girl, I decided to write down a current life list. I'm a big fan of lists, and I usually have several mental ones running.

Mr. Barefoot and I have tandem lists for the summer that include conferences, weddings (not ours), hiking, climbing, backpacking, and maybe a trip overseas (ya gotta love the academic schedule! However, my list also includes prepping to teach to new classes next fall, and completing my dissertation, so it's not all bubbles and campfires.)

Prior to this summer's list, I had a list called the Big Five. The goals were so monumental that I didn't need anything more on my Life List until I got them done. To wit:
  1. Finish my PhD
  2. Get a job
  3. Get a house
  4. Get a spouse
  5. Have a baby (or get a dog)*
#2 & 3 have been accomplished. #1 & 4 are well under way. That leaves #5... we're saving that project until the rest are complete.

Thinking more expansively, some other things I'd like to do in this life are:
and so many more... This will have to be a work in progress.

What's on your Life List? How does getting married change it?

*Not that I'm equating the two!

Monday, April 6, 2009

In praise of WILB

Leave it to a social scientist to give you a fancy acronym for internet surfing.

Researchers at Australian University have identified Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing, or WILB, as a source of - get this! - increased productivity when confined to 20% or less of the workday.

Seventy percent of the office employees studies used the internet for personal business during the workday. Of those, 9% were more productive than workers who didn't surf.

The researchers defined WILB as "browsing the web for information and reviews of products, reading online news sites, playing online games, keeping up-to-date with friends activities on social networking sites." Though they singled out Facebook and Twitter as possible sources of improved productivity, I'm pretty sure that reading wedding blogs and websites falls under "browsing the web for information."

They noted that workers need micro-breaks to re-set their concentration. This restoration of concentration could lead to improved productivity.

There you have it: your free pass for reading blogs! Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday brunch?

Brunch is my absolute favorite meal: waffles, strawberries, mimosas, omlettes, lox, home fries and salsa:
such great combinations of savory and sweet that you don't get at any other meal. Plus endless cups of coffee, and (usually) endless hours to while away with conversation and the newspaper.

So why anyone would question whether brunch is appropriate for a wedding is a bit unfathomable to me -- maybe people are less likely to drink and dance in the noonday sun.

But the idea of hanging out with friends the day after the wedding is pretty irresistible to me. My model is my friend Tina's wedding last Nov. The day after the wedding, diehard partiers lounged in the deep shade of sprawling trees at her father's farm.

We're still working out our Sunday morning plans, but they'll definitely involve plenty of french-pressed coffee and sunglasses.

Whatever we decide to do, I know what I'd like to wear...

so sweet. from Sunday Brunch, via The Sassy Kathy

Friday, April 3, 2009

Darling dresses

from Saks

Totally perfect! But at $320, perhaps a little steep for some of my gals.

I'm beginning to have a vision of the Wedding Crew. We've decided to involve a bunch of people, in various roles. I think we'd all look a bit more organized and coordinated if we had similar dresses and colors, so I've been hunting for reasonably priced cocktail dresses that would echo the v-neck and ruffles of my gown, in bright punchy colors.

Calvin Klein, from Bloomingdales. So cute, and only $130! That will make me popular :)

Bloomingdales, my go-to place for party dresses, has Amsale dress I've been looking for. I love the color and flowy-ness of this one.

Another possibility, also from Bloomies.


Eds. update: My BFF thinks that these floaty no-waist dresses will make her look pregnant again, which, after 2 kids, she has no intention of being! Mmmm... yeah, that was my lame-ass way of asking her to be in the wedding: asking her what sort of dress she'd like to wear. We both knew that she'd be standing beside me - we've been friends for more than 20 years (um yeah, I'm that old) - but I wish I'd done something a little more special. There's still time, I suppose. Thank goodness I didn't settle on one of these dresses!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Does your life have an Emcee?

Maybe your life is more grand and organized than mine.

Maybe your butler announces your arrival at home.

Maybe you are proceeded wherever you go by a man with a microphone announcing "And now, let's welcome Lacey as she sits down prepare a report!"

But for me, such drama seems a little over-the-top.

So why would I want an emcee announcing my every move at the wedding???

I want my wedding to be a fancy, wow-she-cleans-up-really-well verison of my regular life, which decidedly does not include a butler or an announcer.

As you might have guessed, we are in the considering-musical-options stage. Our first idea was to have a friend's band play - how fun! how local! how keeping-it-in-the-family! We didn't know if we could afford them, but the point turned out to be moot: they'll be touring the East Coast in Oct. (So be on the look out for Poor Man's Whiskey if you're out east, or anywhere else, for that matter. We recently saw them at the Great American Music Hall in SF, and they were a BLAST!)

Ok, on to DJ options. Mr. Barefoot did some web research, consulted Here Comes the Guide, and presented a list for my consideration. I found several of them too cheezy to consider further - what is all this talk of emcees stage-managing every moment of the event? One wanted us to fill out a minute-by-minute chart of where the guests would be and what they'd be doing, so that the DJ could "keep them moving" on to the next part of the event.

I know that day-of schedules are the sort of thing that bridal mags and The Knot et al advise you to do, but we're much more ah... organic (some would say chronologically-challenged) than that. I don't prepare a minute-by-minute schedule for a cocktail or dinner party, so why would I make one for my wedding? (Maybe I should. If I'm over-looking something on this account, I'd be grateful if you'd advise me.)

Refusing companies that required detailed schedules, or gave any indication that they might play the dreaded Chicken Dance, or even hinted that they might announce a garter removal or bouquet toss, narrowed down our options considerably: to 2.

If anyone out there has a good line on a non-cheezy DJ or a cool affordable band in the Bay Area, do be so kind as to let me know.

Flowers and branches and yellow and blue

Yes, these are the colors! With a bit more blue. Like this...

Yellow flowers, blue vases -I'm really liking the contrast.

And like these flowers seem pretty perfect for our season and locale:

Love the lavendar! All four above from Style Me Pretty

Thanks to these stellar tips on how not to get screwed by a florist, I'll know what to say when I eventually go to talk to someone.

Especially key:
5. Have a fairly solid idea of the blooms and styles you want. DON'T be talked down unless a reason sounds completely legit. Stuttering, "well," and other insincere answers means that you might need to find a different florist.
I'm thinking of going to San Francisco Flower Mart, and trying to DIY. I have no experience with this, but I'm inspired by these folks, who created this beautiful centerpiece.

I've ordered a bunch of blue vases... and -- ooo! wheat sheaves look nice, too. Also fits a fall harvest sorta theme. (But I'm pretty adamant that there will be no pumpkins. Just too, too.)

And then I really love the branches in vases. Manzanita grows all over Marin, and is such a pretty tree. It looks great with the candles, here, or maybe we could put white lights in the branches. Too Christmas-y?