Friday, May 29, 2009

Cowgirl (type)Style

You all remember Dr. Cowgirl, whose inimitable style sparked a thousand clicks (well, at least a couple dozen), right?

Well, she's designing her own Western-inflected wedding invitations, with assistance from our favorite print shop, for her August shindig in Idaho. I can hardly wait!

She felt that the invite was not quite right, so I offered to seek out some Western style fonts to spice up her invitation.

Since she might not be the only one designing her own invite, or working on a Western theme, I offer the fruits of my labors here. These are some of the best cowgirl-style fonts I found, all freely-downloadable, except for the last one.

Tanglewood (#24)


A bunch of Western fonts here


Old Towne


Available here for $50 (along with a bunch of other western style fonts).

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dear Yelp!

Dear Yelp!

You are such a godsend. What would I do without you? You introduced me to a great salon, led me to a good, fast and reasonably-priced pedicure, showed me the best sushi in my neighborhood.

And now you've introduced me to a fabulous DJ, who doesn't advertise, and got right away the fact that "basically, you guys just want to have an awesome dance party, right?"

When he said that he likes to meet potential customers in person to make sure that they're not going to expect him to wear a tux or play the Chicken Dance, I was in love. We talked to a lot of people, and he was the one who tuned in immediately to what we want - going so far as to glance at our playlist, and then spin a mix that included songs we love but had neglected to write down.

We're so excited to have a fabulous dance party with DJ Jeremy, and we couldn't have done it without you, Yelp!

Thanks a bunch!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do I dare?

Do I dare go for this wild and crazy Alice In Wonderland theme?

As Credit Crunch Bride says:
It excuses all sorts of ridiculous randomness, wonky home-made cakes, mismatching decorations and strange behaviour. In fact, it encourages it.
Yes! A theme that encompasses goofiness and has room for things that aren't perfect! This is the sort of theme I could embrace.

Other necessities for an Alice In Wonderland theme:
  • Croquet (Mr. Barefoot's fav lawn game!)
  • Stopped clocks (We have a plethora, along with chronically slow watches (all mine))
  • Rakish top hats (some of the faculty members wear these with their academic garb - perfect)
  • Door mice and rabbit holes (should be plentiful at an outdoor site)
  • Cheshire cat-like grins (hell yeah! we're getting married!)
Plus, all sorts of goofiness and bizarre conduct can fall under the umbrella of 'playing into the theme'...

A non-theme theme. See more wacky and whimisical brilliance here.

Notes from the field: a progressive dinner

When we last left Data Monkey and Mountain Man, they were departing from their wedding ceremony in the redwood grove amidst a swirl of bubbles. So beautiful!

The guests adjourned to a patio near the redwood grove for drinks and nibbles, while the nearly-married couple had a moment alone. I believe this is originally a Jewish tradition - well worth borrowing, given the general excitement and busy-ness of a wedding day or weekend.

The next phase of the evening took place in the Meadow, requiring a short walk through the beautiful Pema Ose Ling grounds. (I stopped by the car to trade my heels for flip-flops at this point). We strolled past the temple that housed an enormous statue of one of the great teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, and arrived at an al fresco dinner, where we re-met the couple.

The adorable newlyweds shared a sweetheart table, surrounded by round tables of eight to ten guests. Dining while the sun set on a warm spring evening was pure delight.

And how 'bout that lighter-than-air veil, and lace-up corset back of the dress??? Pure poetry!

The final stage of the progressive dinner took us back to the dance hall, next to the patio where we began, for cake cutting, and cutting the rug.

(here's another look at that spectacular veil!)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Text from a Dead show

from here, via FFFOUND!

Mr. Barefoot: Asked ___ about wedding officiating ___ said yes yeah!

Me: oh wow! thats sooooo exciting! give ___ a big hug 4 me. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

(so that's half the deal. now I'm supposed to ask a friend, and we'll have them co-officiate. with the sound of the waves in the background.)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Notes from the field: ceremony in a redwood grove

As you may recall from a week ago, I was privileged to attend an amazingly fun wedding in the Santa Cruz mountains, completed with bocce, Buddhist prayer flags, and a bonfire. I'm back with some pictures... clearly, I won't be competing with the pros anytime soon, but these give you a feeling for the loveliness of the site.

The ceremony took place in a redwood grove - such a perfectly peaceful setting. I'm a little envious. We considered holding our ceremony at a redwood grove, but the designated sites at Muir Woods, where we hiked the day we got engaged, accommodate only 30 people. (But - wow! - what a glorious site!)

In any case, the redwood grove at Pema Ose Ling was lovely, decorated with flowers and colorful paper lanterns.

A harpist provided the processional and recessional.

An effervescent minister, who clearly knew the couple very well, led the ceremony. Two of my favorite moments were the passing of the rings throughout the assembled friends and family, so that each person in attendance could bless them, and the Blessing in Seven Parts, offered by the parents of the bride and groom.

And the bubbles! Perfectly ethereal!

(and, PS - Data Monkey and Mountain Man: I'm definitely looking forward to your annual vow renewal/ wedding redux parties!!! That was too much fun to do just once!)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flip flops for One Measely Buck-a-roo

If you're thinking of offering your guests flip flops for their weary dancing feet, you might want to head over to Old Navy on Saturday, May 23.

They've got flip flops for $1.
Each person can purchase 5, so take your fiance, best friend and posse of bridesmaids!

Even if you can't make it on Saturday, solid colored flip flops are only $1.65/each when you buy 3 or more! Get extra coupons here.

I'm thinking that most everyone will bring their own flip flops since they know we're having a beach wedding, but it can't hurt to have a few extra on hand - the ones I stowed in the car at the Santa Cruz mountains wedding a couple weeks ago totally saved my feet.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sometimes, you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't

Just popping in to let you know that I seem to have run out of words this week. (I know that, by saying that, I have proven that I still have a few words left, but mostly they seem to be used up.)

Graduation weekend was fun, exhilarating and exhausting. I have been quite a solitary being for the last several months, as I've tried to pound out my dissertation in the shortest time humanly possible (only to miss the May filing deadline. argh!).

To suddenly join a weekend-long whirl of parties - followed by a half-day retreat at my new job - was a bit of a (delicious) shock to the system. I think all my words went into the conversations that have been held in abeyance these last several months. The rest are going into the revised chapter due to my advisor by the end of the month.

I've kind of lost the thread on wedding planning, too. Once we secured our DJ (which I need to write about) and started working with the lovely Kimi (who was featured in one of the first wedding blogs I ever read, and immediately caused me to fall in love) at Printable Press on our invitation designs (oh yeah, I owe her an email), the wind kinda went out of my sails.

We have all the big things in place... well, except for the ceremony that we're writing ourselves, and the officiant(s), and the wedding entourage, and the dinner menu, and the rings (which I am petrified of forgetting), and a zillion other things that I surely have forgotten.

But for now, my words are dedicated to my chapters. (hmm, looks like there were a lot more words lurking around than I suspected!)

I'll be back soon, I promise, with photos and the rest of the story of the wedding of Data Monkey and Mountain Man.

'til then...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Honeymoon giveaway! Enter today!

It's funny how the universe responds to our desires. It just might grant you a free honeymoon!

The back story: last week, I woke up thinking that it would be fun to have fortune cookies at our wedding. It's always amusing to see what fortune cookies predict, and it could be a good icebreaker for our guests.

And, fortune cookies have personal significance: a couple years ago, when I was just getting to know Mr. Barefoot, I was eating fortune cookies with my then-roommate, and got one that said something like "you or someone you know will be married within the year." We both thought it was hilarious. The thing with Mr. Barefoot was getting pretty serious, pretty quickly. Superstitiously, I wrapped up the fortune cookie and stored it in the freezer. I re-discovered it while cleaning out the freezer and preparing to vacate that apartment to move in with Mr. Barefoot in Dec., and he and I ate the oracular (and somewhat stale) fortune cookie.

What does all this have to do with honeymoons??? Well, that day I woke up thinking that it would be fun to have fortune cookies at our wedding, I received an email from Fancy Fortune Cookies, telling me about their Honeymoon Giveaway, and asking me to host the contest on my blog. What a coincidence!

Here's the deal:

Click here to enter TODAY! The contest ends at 11:59 P.M. ET, Weds. May 20. (I got a bit distracted by graduation, and wasn't able to post this as soon as I would have liked.)

What you can win:

A three-night Dream Honeymoon for two (worth $2500) at one of Sandals' tropical resorts. Sandals has been voted World's Best Honeymoon Resort for the past eight years in a row. Imagine scenic settings where the ultimate of everything is within your reach. Including the most luxurious rooms and suites with exquisite views, along with thoughtful amenities. Each Sandals resort features a wide choice of international gourmet dining experiences, complimented by free-flowing premium spirits, served by a staff whose greatest pleasure is making you smile.

Fine print:
The drawing for the giveaway will take place on or about May 22nd, 2009.

There is a $25.00 fee applicable per room per night that the winner must pay to redeem the 3-night stay at the Sandals or Beaches resort. Although this means the grand prize is not technically free, paying $75.00 for a 3-night stay for two at an all-inclusive resort is a pretty great deal!

One more thing: the blogger who gets the most brides to enter the contest, wins an iPod Touch or a Flip Video MinoHD camera. So please go and enter!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Party practice

Mr. Barefoot figured out that part of the reason throwing the Big Party in October is stressful is that we don't have much practice in doing so. In some glorious (imagined?) past, elegant orchestrated parties might have been common. Surely it was easier with stay-at-home spouses or even household help to do the cooking and cleaning. Lacking either of those, most of our events tend to be simple wine & cheese or cocktail parties, with a few yummies hastily grabbed from Trader Joe's.

This weekend, we're taking it up a notch - with catered food and decorated cakes (yes, plural!) and bubbly - for our celebration of my almost-graduation. (I'll be finishing up this summer - the end is definitely in sight.) The whirl of parties starts tonight, my folks arrive tomorrow, and I get to wear my lovely blue flowing gown on Sunday!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

For the Mother of the Bride?

My mother has been asking with increasing frequency and urgency what she should wear. I've been putting her off because I honestly have no idea! It's a fine line to tread between refined elegance and looking matronly.

Though I have strong opinions about fashion, some days I have trouble dressing myself. At those times, dressing - or guiding - a whole wedding entourage feels like a bit much. But then my control freak/ wannabe fashionista tendencies kick back in, and I realize that if I have strong feelings about the 'look', I've got to speak up.

These two looks offer the simple elegance that I think would flatter my mom (unfortunately, I saved them ages ago, and have no idea where they're from.)

Anyone have a good source for stylish Mother-of-the-Bride dresses? Bonus points for natural fibers, US-made or eco-friendly dresses!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Where are the men?

A friend - not currently a bride2B - who knows of the existence of my blog, asked last week:

Where are all the groom blogs?

Damn good question, when you think about it, since the internet tends to be dominated by men.

Often prescient, my friend was ahead of the curve again.

On Sunday, the NYT revealed the existence of a few groom blogs. It's funny, really, when there's a huge diverse blogosphere of wedding blogs written by women, that the Times chooses to focus on the few blogs written by men. An example, I think, of how an activity gets greater social-cultural recognition once men start doing it (see: grocery shopping, cooking, gardening).

My prediction: once male bloggers and marketers realize how much of the wedding planning industry has moved online, and how much more guys are getting involved in planning their weddings, there will be a gold rush. Stake out your territory now, ladies.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Quick, who's got an opener?


Remember this green shrug from Kristi & John's Crafty Rainy Day Wedding featured on the Offbeat Bride?

It got me kind of obsessed with finding the perfect cozy colorful little thing for covering my shoulders as the evening chill falls.

Gorgeous custom designs are available from Holly Stalder

Priscilla of Boston, via Diagnosis Deferred

I like a hit of color, like this dramatic bolero from Countessa

I keep thinking of something wispy and fluffy and blue, like my favorite shrug EVER that so far seems destined to remain a dream. I'll keep checking the English Dept. to see if Elizabeth Dye offers more of these...

From Couture Candy.

I have yet to find the exact perfect shrug. Could this be a little like looking for a dress?

Meanwhile, I love this delicious sweater hack. All the instructions for this amazingly gorgeous project are at Mighty Girl.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Six minutes of enlightenment

I dare you to keep a straight face. I don't think it's possible.

via Adventures of a Barefoot Princess.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Notes from the field: bocce, a bonfire, and Buddhist prayer flags

I'm just back from the lead off to a marathon season of weddings, that culminates with ours in October. I dunno what's in the air this year (new administration? end of the decade? milestone birthdays? graduations?), but no fewer than eight couples in our extended social circle are getting married this year, and we're going to a handful of them. (We had to skip the Dutch/ Indian wedding in the Netherlands in early June because of plane fares. The rest are, fortunately, more local.)

I want to capture some of the highlights of this weekend's wedding before I forget. Pictures coming soon...
  • The setting: This is one of the most important things to us, and clearly was to my friends - let's call them Data Monkey and Mountain Man - as well. They chose a spectacular Buddhist retreat center in the Santa Cruz mountains for a weekend-long celebration. Redwood trees, a firepit, hiking trails, a pond, Buddhist prayer flags, rolling lawns - just spectacular! Perhaps the spiritual Buddhist vibe of the place contributed to a serene, peaceful feeling. Plus, we were blessed with sunny, warm weather this weekend, making the setting all the more spectacular.
  • The festivities: Friends and family who arrived on Friday were treated to a Moroccan dinner, lawn games, a couple kegs, and a bonfire. When we showed up midday on Saturday, Mountain Man was organizing a croquet game. The game went on until 3:00. The ceremony started promptly at 3:30!
  • The lodging: Camping and cabins on-site meant that everyone could hang out and get to know each other, change from casual clothes to fancy ones easily, and enjoy the setting. Plus, no worries about driving at the end of a late night. For our wedding, we've got on-site hostel accommodations for about a quarter of our guests. I wish there were a way to lodge everyone nearby, because it really added to the communal feel of the event.
  • The vibe: When we showed up, two hours before the ceremony, Data Monkey, the bride, was driving around the site, attending to some last minute details in jeans and a t-shirt, looking completely at ease and happy. I wish I had a photo of her when we first met up - she was so joyful and peaceful. I've got to seer this image into my memory - this is how I want to be on my wedding day. (However, past performance is a likely predictor of future results. I need to work on the grounding and focus in the next five months.)
  • The flowers: Data Monkey bought $100 of California-grown flowers at Trader Joe's the morning of the wedding! Friends and family helped her put them in vases that she had borrowed from another recently married friend. The flowers were gorgeous - so fresh, vibrant and seasonal. Data Monkey had planned to order flowers from California Organics, but they were unable to deliver because of the Mother's Day holiday. TJ's flowers were a great choice!
  • The decor: Tons of colored paper lanterns lent a festive air, along with the bright flowers and votive holders filled with brightly colored candies (Skittles and M&Ms - a huge hit!). Small potted plants - rosemary and succulents - decorated each dinner table. The couple encouraged guests to take home the flowers and potted plants. They offered us the paper lanterns and a bunch of small vases to use at our wedding. One more item off the wedding To Do list!
  • The favors: This is the endless debate on the bridal blogs. This couple had favors that were useful. Because there were no servers at the buffet dinner, the couple put corkscrews at each place-setting, and bottles of both red and white wine on the table. That meant the guests could help themselves to the wine, and have a memento of the wedding. And, being huge readers, they created bookmarks with 101 recommended books! So cute!
  • The dress: Wow! A lace-up corset top creates an incredibly flattering shape. Just wow.
More on the ceremony, the dancing, and the honeymoon coming soon...

Friday, May 8, 2009

A scouting expedition

As a graduate student who does ethnographic research, I know the importance of getting out into the field to observe how particular settings influence people and behaviors.

This weekend, we're going to attend our first ethnographic field study - ah, I mean wedding celebration - since we've been engaged. We went to a wedding back in November, right before we got engaged. I wonder if Mr. Barefoot was scoping out the details back then, before I knew what was coming.... I suspect that being in the midst of planning a wedding changes how one observes everything.

The location sounds amazing - a redwood grove three hours south of San Francisco, at a Buddhist retreat center. There will be croquet and bocce, camping, feasting and dancing under the stars! I can't wait!

Even more than coffee...

Mr. Barefoot is uneasy about his position in my life vis a vis coffee. He's worried that in the clutch, I'd choose those two crucial cups of life-giving java that I blindly grope for every morning. (The crazy lark wakes up with a smile on his face and a bounce in his step, ready to head out and conquer the world! I love it... from the depths of my groggy haze.)

Maybe this will ease his concerns.

From Storey Shop, via Esty Wedding.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mountain engagement shots

Holy cow! I love these engagement shots from Jill Thomas Photography, via Green Wedding Shoes. These are from Utah, but the scenery reminds me a lot of the East Side of the Sierra, "our" favorite place. I would love to kidnap our photographer and get some shots like these over there...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Governor Baldacci, My Maine Man!

Hooray for Maine!

Maine and New Hampshire took steps toward the approval of gay marriage today, bringing to five the number of New England states that have moved to legalize marriage between same-sex couples in the past five years.

Governor John E. Baldacci of Maine became the first governor in the country to sign a gay marriage bill into law without being spurred to action by a court decision. In New Hampshire, legislators took the last of several votes approving a gay marriage law. Governor John Lynch, a Democrat like Baldacci, will have five days to veto the bill, sign it, or let it become law without his signature.

Read more here.

Whassup, cutting edge California???

And whassup with the owner of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People being against equality???

Introducing DJ Tio

Getting a handle on the right sort of music for a really fun dance party that would appeal to friends and relatives of all ages, hailing from all over the world, was not as simple as we had hoped. A post I wrote about a month ago generated a bunch of good ideas (Thanks, Un-bride and The Flashdance!), but ultimately, these led to dead ends.

Back to Yelp! and its list of DJs. One of them called me "passive aggressive." Ugh. Out.

Then there was the Disappearing DJ: the one who was available on Friday, but was no longer available on Monday. His explanation: "I've decided to go a different direction with my availability on Oct. 24th. I'm sorry for the inconvenience." That's ok. He lost me when he air-guitared the first few bars of a Journey ballad, in response to my question about how he'd get people dancing if they were lagging. "Don't Stop Believin'" is his 'can't fail' song. I'm not sure it's so big in our crowd.

When it looked like our options were dwindling, I emailed my brilliant uncle in Connecticut. Tio once gave me a piece of advice that has guided my life: "Find work you love, and you'll never work a day in your life." The tricky thing about this strategy, as I have learned, is that it sometimes takes you for a bumpy ride. But if you can both hold on and flex with the curves, the trip can be exhilarating.

Tio's love is music. He's been a radio DJ all over the place, including Sirius Satellite Radio (unfortunately, the merger with XM caused them to cut a bunch of DJs. Including Tio. Ouch.). He agreed to advise us on music, and spin live at the wedding! I don't want to him to be working the whole time, so we will still hire a DJ. But now I know we've got some great backup, too.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


This shrug from Elizabeth Dye...

hinted at a month ago, has come to life.

And continues to haunt me.

Is it possible to be haunted by fashion?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fine dining, finally

For five years, I lived in an apartment without a dining room. Entertaining was limited to brunch in the backyard, because the picnic table could seat more than the tiny cafe table in the kitchen.

I finally got a dining room in Dec. when I moved into an actual house with Mr. Barefoot.

However, years of the peripatetic student life had left us both with only a few sticks of furniture. And certainly no table with presence enough to fill our sunlit dining room.

Enter the Wooden Duck's moving sale. If you need furniture, and you're in the Bay Area, you can't get there soon enough! Did I mention this stuff is HALF OFF?!?! Beautiful solid wood, sustainable furniture for half price - or less! They were selling a bunch of pine chair for $30 each.

The Wooden Duck makes beautiful furniture from recycled, reclaimed wood. This is solid, high quality stuff that will last forever, and no forests were destroyed to make it. Plus, the aged wood has a special patina, and suffers less from shrinking and warping.

We found the most beautiful coffee table made from a huge slab of polished, recycled walnut, complete with sanded knots and burls, and a raw edge. It has such great organic style.

(like this, from here, as there are no images on the Wooden Duck's website.)

But even better is the dining table, made from recycled Douglas fir, probably from an old barn. This thing is SOLID. The tabletop must be two inches thick.

We picked out a bunch of simple, solid reclaimed teak chairs to go with it. The chairs, along with the sideboard, are going to get stained to match the table. All of this stuff was half price!

I can't wait until they're delivered.

Friday, May 1, 2009