Friday, February 27, 2009

A new outlook

We're off on a last minute trip to the beautiful mountain city of Asheville this weekend. We'll be staying at my co-workers sweet house, where we can expect views like this. 

Asheville is our fav local vacation. The downtown is walkable, historic [hello Biltmore, the largest home in AMERICA built in the late 19th c.], full of microwbreweries, organic eats and great barbecue. The surrounding landscape is a natural adventure of hiking, boating, etc. It was the only destination we considered for a destination wedding.

Of course, with my luck, it'll actually be more like this [SNOW is forecast for our beloved Southeast on Sunday. WTF? It's MARCH people. The month of the Other White Fluff: Dogwood blooms.]. Oh well, at least the place is equipped with a real wood burning fireplace and a hot tub. And the last few chapters of Gone With The Wind. 

Grace Bonney [of Design*Sponge fame] is looking for recommendations for her honeymoon. Maybe it's just special to us, but Asheville is srsly romantic AND fun, including plenty of glamping opportunities

Glamping is definitely a honeymoon option if we decide to stay domestic thanks to the NYSE. It would be great: Mr. B could FINALLY use his backpacking pack [after a year of non-use] and I could tell my cool indie friends we stayed in a yurt. A win-win if you ask me!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

True Southern style

Check out this fabulous, Southern-with-a-twist, high society wedding shot by our photographer Alea Moore this past weekend. I can't decide about the last two images, awesome or travesty? TBD.

Starting off with a darling ceremony in Magnolia Hall of Atlanta's historical Piedmont Park's [yeah, it was in the 40s, why do they not look cold??].

And then next door for the reception at the ultra exclusive Piedmont Driving Club [or the PDC as we prefer to call it]

Their cake? Why, none other than the official donut of the South [excluding the beignets].

And to fuel the late night revelry, a short order hash brown bar from Atlanta's own Waffle House [where ever party should end up].

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The force is strong in that one

I promised Mr. B if he was really good all weekend while Momma Bird and Sister Bird were in town, I would surprise him with a special treat. And he worked for it, flying Momma Bird out here, cooking breakfast for the girls and making it through the entire C&B registry process all with general pleasantness and good cheer. 

So, all day on Sunday, I indulged Mr. B's inner Fan Boy. We started out by watching one of the Star Wars movies, and then I took him to see the new movie of the same name at our local vintage theater [literally the building next door]. 

This complimented our recent viewing of Trekkies, the RIDICULOUS documentary about Star Trek fans. Though I couldn't stop wondering if this was just a really well done Christopher Guest movie . . . scary. 

[Do be sure to watch this clip, THIS IS NOT A JOKE]

I have to admit, Fanboys was pretty hilarious. And for someone who's retention level of the famed trilogy is right around this level, that's quite the endorsement. 

Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it) from Joe Nicolosi on Vimeo.

It was certainly worth it to wade through the corny 'force-be-with-you' jokes and way-over-my-head references just to see the incredible sparkle in Mr. B's eyes. And to do the opposite of wedding planning, for real.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Viva la Barrel!

ZOMG, so exhausted. Momma Bird was in town [Sister Bird too], and following the lead of Sam Livalittle, we got the quite a bit sussed out. We spent 68 hours pouring over inspiration boards, idea folders and month by month calendars. Bottom line: Momma is officially On Board with the details I/we've brainstormed and that is a good thing.

But the most MAJOR accomplishment of the weekend, was the start of our wedding gift registry. And thank the lord for Crate & Barrel, otherwise, I would continue serving Thanksgiving dinner on this ungodly collection of mismatched plates in perpetuity. 

Terribly fashionable southwestern dishes, circa 1993.

These I actually like, but it strangely they keep disappearing. I think they are catching the ugly from the other dishes.

WTF, animals? At least they were free.


It was magical. List in hand, Momma to advise, and Sissy to hold the Starbucks, I gave Mr. B the Gun and off we went, tagging willy nilly. And we did a great job of staying in the lines; everything is white porcelain, glass or wood. Clearer heads prevailed and I stayed away from the uber trendy. 

So in eight glorious months, I can retire the hodge podge in favor of clean, classic, white Aspen:

And just like TTO, I was sure that I was going to skip china. But it turns out that my mother still has yet to inherit her mother's mother's china, so I may be waiting another few decades for that. In the meantime, I discovered these:

Nothing fancy or expensive, but man, these will make fantastic Fancy Occasion dishes. Hallelujah! I seriously can't sleep at night thinking about the gloriousness that might be coming our way. And don't even get me started on the combination slow cooker/rice cooker brilliance!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wedding, I'm done with you for a while. We need some time apart.

Yesterday, I made some major decisions and was so relieved. I had researched all of the following elements endlessly and decided to just bite the bullet and just book these services! After all, I leave next week for Hawaii and will need to focus on finding gainful employment, not on finding the perfect ribbon.

On Wednesday, I walked into a bridal shop and asked a woman about veils, flower girl dresses, necklaces, shoes and headpieces, all in the span of about one minute. I think she may have suspected that I had either downed 2304923 cups of coffee or was on speed. This is when I realized that I was turning into...not Bridezilla...but the OCD Bride. Enough! I want my personality back!
Voici, my accomplishments of Friday:

1) I bought my veil-- it is long and very, very glamorous! I purchased it from White Swan Bridal in Vienna, VA. I'm not re-veiling what it looks like though (get it? re-veiling? I crack myself up).
2) I booked my florist. This has been in the works for many months now, but we've finally engaged the service of Melissa Sylvain, owner of Sylvain's Florist in Reston, VA. I'm am going to have a beautiful pale peach, pink and ivory bouquet with some sort of gorgeous ribbon yet to be determined. The bridesmaids are going to be sporting red dahlias, red roses and red lilies with a rich ribbon (I'm thinking velvet). At our reception, we'll have dendrobium orchids and curly willow on each table, we think!
3) I booked my photographer. I'm going with Bella Photography. Their concept is pretty cool- the company first sets you up with a consultant, who interviews you, collects vital information about your style and then helps you to make decisions about which package works best. At that point, you go online to rate up to 200 photos, which will help the consultant match you with a photographer. Bella is a national company, so they could theoretically bring a photographer from New York City to DC at no extra cost to the couple, if that NYC person's style was the best fit. Bella exclusively employs 300 people in the DC area alone and so if your person gets sick, there is always a backup. Also, they give you ownership of all your photos and you don't have to order through them- they give a you a CD that does not have watermarked pictures. Also, if a couple can't afford to buy an album at the time (hello! that's me!), you can order it years later. Finally, it only takes 28 days to get photos back! I'm hoping that this works out because pictures are important. Just in case, I'm going to encourage lots of outside picture taking of family and friends! Below is Princess Sophia of Spain at her wedding! 4) I ordered a cake. Pastries by Randolph makes SUPER delicious cakes and has fantastic reviews. Each tier of the cake has five layers and four layers of frosting, so it's very moist (ugh! hate that word.) Their prices are fair and they make very pretty cakes as well. I like the idea of integrating a cascading ribbon into the cake as well- perhaps I'll use the same ribbon as my bouquet? Hmm! Mom likes the separated tiers, so seperated tiers it is. I think we'll have some flowers in between. I toyed with the idea of cupcakes, but I think I'll encourage someone to get them for some other pre-wedding event!

5) I chose invitations. Although we were initially deciding between William Arthur and Crane paper, we decided that they were too expensive, so we're going to order from Invitations by Dawn. Since they are an online company, we requested a sample to make sure that the quality and thickness of the paper is up to snuff. I love traditional stationery and the invite we've chosen is actually quite beautiful and the most old-fashioned, of course!

OK, that's it. Now I'm happy:
(my little niece! love her!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

This is why I need an iPhone

This couple did their engagement shoot in Paris, like right in front of Eiffel's Tower. Thanks Wedding Cabaret for digging it up! Photography by this Frenchman.

Fie on you, nouveau bridal culture!

Wow- what a cool guestbook tradition! At the wedding, I suggest that you place a card in front of the book that explains the Anderson tradition. So neat!

I've seen some cool guestbook ideas: using a silver pen to sign an old, cool Beatles record; having guests sign a picture book that features photos that are in theme with the wedding (a book of old ships at a nautical themed wedding, for example); providing quilting squares for each guest that are later made into a wedding quilt...the list goes on.

I'm not sure what I'd like to do. It might be fun to have both the traditional book and something more creative. How about providing a poloroid camera so that guests can take pictures of each other and write fun messages on the bottom? Or maybe we can have people write out their messages with cut-out individual letters like a ransom note. Haha!! Talk about weird.
(This one is from the Ransom Note Generator- such an awesome tool.)

It has occured to me in the last week that everything does not need to be creative or insanely different- what makes it different is the bride and groom and their families and friends! While I'm having fun thinking of new and inventive ways to put my personal signature on this affair, I am also looking back to traditions of the past and honoring the old-fashioned and somewhat antiquated wedding customs. I am excited to have the cascading bouquet of my mom's era, the H hankerchief of my grandma's era and military uniforms of many eras goneby!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I imagine for most people the wedding guestbook is pretty close to an afterthought. Something to pick up last minute because 'it's supposed to be there'. Or some choose to have guests sign the big engagement photo to to justify why we all have an engagement shoot [we're doing it of course, but what the heck are we going to do with the pictures?? Good question.].

But for me, the guestbook is one of the only traditions I find worthy of not ditching [buh bye garter/bouquet toss]. My grandmother [seen here] started a guestbook on her wedding day back in 1946 and so much more than that ever since. She used it to record our recovering mormon family's births, marriages and deaths in leu of a bible. And has had guests at all family gatherings and holidays record a short message.

A typical entry features my youngest aunt describing her 10th birthday where Sister Lenny gifted her a chicken. You can also see evidence of my mother meeting her future in-laws. Family lore states that my grandfather thought highly enough of her to appraise her like one of his horses: "Well, she's got good teeth". This book literally connects me to the meaningful events and people that came before, and I couldn't imagine a more special tradition to continue.

My grandmother's appears to be a hand-bound book with a wooden cover. I'm all about the DIY, but this is one I'll leave to the pros.

And boy, did I find a pro! Esty seller Lacuna in Portugal makes these STUNNING books out of antique wood with heavy recycled paper.

And, if you're into Tim-Burton/Nightmare-Before-Christmas-esque calligraphy, you can have your names and wedding date engraved on the front!

Not sure if I should wait to get it as a bridal shower gift, or just run out and get one right this second.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's French, how can it not be romantic?

Today, I thought I'd show y'all an AMAZING wedding. It's actually my friend Laura who lived in the dorm room next door freshman year [gah, I still remember them blasting the 1812 Overture during naptime.]. Would you believe all she ever dreamed of was moving to France and becoming French?

Well, it came true. In December, she married a Frenchman in Bordeaux.  

All photos by Slyvain Norget, and a big thanks to Facebook for allowing me to stalk my old friends.


It's easy to get all caught up in the details of planning a wedding and therefore also easy not to focus on the fact that a marriage is actually going to take place and lots of things will change! Mr. Livalittle and I have been given many, many pre-marital counseling books to help us prepare for this next huge step in our lives. See our library below:
This was the first we looked at- before we even got engaged! I guess that we're just very logical people and wanted to make sure that we could answer these before getting started in this whole process. We could- phew! Mr. Livalittle's mama gave him this one long ago.
Here is another one- much funnier and more of a workbook. A good one! This one was given to us by my eldest brother and his lovely lady, who also happens to be my matron of honor!
Although some of the questions in this book are quite obvious, there are some helpful things for both the bride and the groom to ask each other, their families and their friends. This was also given to us by my lovely aunt.

I hear this one is great, but haven't read it yet. Brad and I both have a copy and will fill out the sections prior to our counseling sessions. My aunt, who will be officiating our ceremony and doing our counseling, gave us this book.

A fantastic book- the best I've read so far. Mr. L is also currently reading this one. I've already applied it to our relationship and others' relationships. The basic thesis is that people communicate in different "love languages" and that in a marriage, you need to learn your partner's language and your own. The "languages" are 1)words of affirmation; 2)acts of service (making dinner, taking out the trash, etc.); 3)quality time; 4)gifts (can be small tokens); and 5)physical touch. I highly recommend the read! We received this from Mom and Dad.

And finally, thank the good lord no relative or friend has purchased this book. Oy. I'm not mature enough to handle receiving this book in front of people who are related to me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidential style

Speaking of President's Day, there have been some utterly fantastic daughter-of-the-presidential weddings over the years.

Oh, and did I mention that three of them wore Priscilla of Boston? Amazing!

First up for famed designer Priscilla Kidder was Luci Johnson in 1965, while an estimated 55 million watched on TV. Now that's a train(?)!

And with a change in administrations came Julie Nixon in 1968. Love the puff sleeves.

Then came sister Tricia in 1971. This one takes the bold step of exposing the shoulders.


The squeaky wheel gets greased

Unlike so many of us, Mr. B got President's Day off. He had a fun filled day of not showering, playing catch, watching the West Wing, bowling, and did I mention not showering?

So can you imagine my surprise when I came home to flowers, candy, dinner and a DIY project he did all for me?

Mmm, BIG box of chocolates. Plus little box. Plus Valrhona.

A tear-off calendar of our wedding plan!

Not exactly like this, but pretty darn close.

Well, to be honest, I should have seen this coming. 

See we had a quiet, lazy, do-nothing Valentines Day. I mean, every day is Valentines Day for us, right? Plenty of love, without the need for senseless Hallmark cards. And I was totally on board. 

Until Sunday. Reading blogs and hanging out with friends, I realized we were in a serious romance rut. And I sort of made it known through my usual passive aggressive grumpiness and public sarcastic ribbing.

It took me a good 20 minute conversation before bed to really clearly define A) what was bothering me and B) how it could be remedied. He butted by saying that he had paid for my (fantastic Indian explosion) dinner on the evening of Feb. 14th. I rebutted that there is a difference between planning and executing a nice date, and deciding to 'go get dinner' and then picking up the check like we did on Saturday.

Interestingly, our conversation actually had a resolution: a solid, workable definition of romance! I really didn't want to be the one whining about not getting a box of chocolates and not stepping up to the plate myself, so I made a point of getting Mr. B to pin down an idea of what he would consider a romantic gesture. And ultimately, both of our ideas came down to the same principle. 

For us, romance can be defined as: doing something nice with the thought of your recipient's enjoyment in your mind. It's a gesture that says "Hey, I'm thinking of you!" 

Simple, easy, organized. Mmmm, this girl loves putting a system to romance. And it pays off!