so thankful for so many wonderful friends, relationships, opportunities, and experiences. updates to come. i’m a very lucky lady.
My last post has brought in a wave of support and encouragement, and whenever I become cynical about the internet community, it’s nice to have the reminder that people use this medium to extend grace to one another.
I’m off for another busy day, but tomorrow I’m hoping to offer some of the words of wisdom that have been shared with me in my times of uncertainty. It’s funny how life is so full of ebb and flow- one moment I’m stressed about money, and suddenly we find out we’re getting an unexpected refund check from the government. I feel somewhat useless at work, and suddenly patrons of the restaurant seem to be all the more enthralled with what I do. My workouts and yoga sessions have been so productive and centering, and I’m so thankful for a body that sustains through my crazy days and beyond.
Still no good pictures of the haircut. It’s already grown out so much in 3 weeks, it’s crazy.
Lee passed his motorcycle exam with the highest score in the class. I’m so proud that he’s found a passion in riding.
I’m acutely aware this week how much I enjoy laughter and making people laugh. It must be one of my love languages.
Life has been crazy. I’ve decided that it’s always going to be that way, thus it’s no longer even worth mentioning, but every time I sit down to write, I’m overwhelmed by how much has happened since my last post, and that of course leads me to question why so much time has passed between entries, then I remember how busy I/we have been, and then I start every post with a deep breath and the admittance that I haven’t written in so long because I’ve been so busy. Run-on sentence on purpose.
So, after all the busy talk, here we are. Reaching the end of Lent, the eternal season it seems, I’m at an intersection of life. I attending an exceptionally moving service with the Church of the Common Ground on Palm Sunday, and it’s been at the forefront of my mind since. I feel a stirring to really dedicate myself to the needs of others, but I’m bound by my financial responsibilities to my family and my (seemingly insurmountable) student loans. I’m ready for a change, but I can’t see how that is currently feasible. For the moment, I’m trusting that I’m still influencing people for the better in my current occupation, and I’m offering my volunteer services wherever I can. I’m just ready to engage, I’m ready to be changed, I’m ready to make a difference, and I feel like that part of me is slowly falling away in favor of cynicism and emotional exhaustion. I’ve always been a passionate person, and I’m so ready to renew my dedicate to causes that inspire and rejuvenate me.
In related news, Lee and I have been very focused on how we’re treating our bodies- physically and emotionally. We’ve been much more attentive to what and how we’re eating, and I’ve been going back to the gym in a healthy and encouraging way. I’m so proud of the progress we’re making, and it’s nice to have a partner for encouragement and support. Plus, we have significantly cut back our drinking for Lent, and it’s amazing how much of a difference that can make.
I feel like this season has really laid the ground work for some big life changes, and I’m eager to see where we go from here. Lee is almost done with his second year of grad school, and although the summer schedule continues to fill up, I’m looking forward to more time spent enjoying our first year of marriage. It will be 6 months on the 15th, and I’m really not sure where the time as gone. Alas, the busyness. It’s so sneaky with my time… Plus, we’re trying to be better at managing our money, what little we have, and we’d really like to start making serious strides toward mapping out our future. It’s scary and exciting, but I’m so thankful for such a wonderful partner.
We did manage to steal away to Asheville, North Carolina for a few days last month, and it was great to spend time with some of Lee’s friends from college. We were inspired to start brewing our own beer, which I think will be a really fun project for the summer, and we got to take home a few bottles of a Pilsner made by our friend, Jacob.
I’ve become strangely addicted to the Frozen Yogurt craze that hit Atlanta about a year ago, but it’s just so darn good, I can’t resist.
We’ve also discussed our excitement over the impending “festival season” that begins this month, and I’m even stoked about outdoor markets. And lots of summer dresses.
I’ve done a small bit of vintage shopping recently, and in addition to some awesome home decor, I splurged and bought a pair of vintage german above-ankle boots for myself, and an amazing Levis jean jacket for Lee; the jacket was perfectly worn in, and just big enough to wear over a sweatshirt in the winter or by itself during the summer. Stay tuned for many pictures of us wearing our new finds.
I suppose that’s about it. This week is jam-packed with Holy Week activities, a birthday celebration on Saturday night, 6am sunrise service, the baptism of a great friend (Heather!!!) on Easter, and Lee’s first participation in a baby baptism. Plus work and school. And eventually those dishes that keep staring at me….
Oh! And I got a haircut about 2 weeks ago!! It’s pretty major, and I did 4 donations for locks of love! Picture in the next post; after-gym hair is probably not how my stylist would like me to publicize my new ‘do.
Love to all, and peace in this last week of Lent.
Today, Lee and I slept in and had “Pizza Monday.” Pizza Monday- where we order pizza. on monday. ‘Twas glorious.
After Lee took off for a few meetings, I went for the ultimate rejuvenation- a trip to the thrift store! One of our local spots offers a 50% discount every Monday, making me one happy lady. I had some absolute FINDS today, and I’ll hopefully post some pictures of my spoils tomorrow. Nothing inspires me more than a trip to the thrift store. Last Chance Thrift, my destination today, does not have any selection to speak of when it comes to hats or sunglasses, or most accessories now that I think about it, but you can get your fill of vintage skirts, dresses, and- as Rachel calls them- “old lady blouses”. My personal favorite. The blouse reigns supreme in my household. Or at least it’s second to Lee’s impressive collection of very similar flannel shirts…
After that, I came home ready to clean! I did the dishes while listening to the Bob Dylan station on pandora, and then Lee and I decided to take advantage of a beautiful day off by going to the park! We drove Opie a few blocks down to Freedom Park and after futile attempts to comvince him he needed to stay on his leash, we let him roam free. He was ecstatic, and I have the pictures to prove it. Lee and I brought books, but we spent most of our time calling Opie closer to the blanket or laughing at his adventure-pug-ness. He’s currently passed out on my leg, which leads me to believe he really enjoyed his outside time.
After the wind became too much for my fingers, we headed to Kroger to pick up some simple dinner supplies, and I made spaghetti using canned tomato sauce made by our friends from Asheville! Lee and I took a trip last year to help some friends start a small farm, and we have a few jars as the fruits, literally, of our labors.
I am constantly amazed by this beautiful life. We are so, so blessed. I hope to never forget these small moments.
With today being my first day off in a week, we decided to sleep in and eat leftover chinese for breakfast. By Chinese, I mean I ate white rice with liquid aminos on it.
Mondays are usually my lazy days, often peppered with trips to half-off Monday at my favorite thrift store. Yes, the entire store is half-off. It’s amazing. Today, however, Lee and I have been marathoning Sons of Anarchy (our most recent Netflix addiction. If you’re not into the rougher side of life, I’d avoid it, but we love it. Exceptional acting, great plot, really solid.) and planning for our special date later this evening. While Lee runs off to a meeting, I’m looking at menus around Atlanta and trying to decided where to dine tonight. I’m thinking Sotto Sotto or Soba in East Atlanta, but I’m not committed yet. Is it bad that my favorite dates are the ones where we bring dessert home and watch a movie while drink Port?
Since I took a break from the blog, here are a few highlights of the past few months- a whirlwind tour, if you will.
(Me in front of our friend’s booth. CHECK OUT The Peregrine Consortium [their interview with Scoutmob] or their Etsy site for all things cute and made with love. Their artistic voice is perfect for 2012- modern with a retro vibe. They’re awesome.)
In November, we attended one of our favorite Atlanta festivals- Cabbagetown’s Chomp ‘n Stomp! It’s a chili cook-off and bluegrass festival with a great artist market and great food trucks! We had our first experience with Chicken and Waffles!!
I, once again, managed to wear the same purple hat and corduroy jacket I’ve been wearing since 2007. Classic.
In December, as per my family tradition, we cut down our own Christmas tree! This is my family’s 16th (whoa!) year of choosing and cutting down our own tree, but this year was extra special because it was our first tree as husband and wife! Also, I think it was 70 degrees that day. And super sunny. Note the squinting.
‘twas a wee tree. But a perfect tree.
We also celebrated our 2 month anniversary with a walk to get vanilla malts (one of our favorite indulgences.)
We also spent lots of evening at home, cooking dinner and drinking some of our favorite fall/winter beverages.
This was a sweet potato hash that Lee sauteed in our brand new cast-iron skillet. It was absolutely delicious with J.K.Scrumpy’s Hard Cider. Run, don’t walk, to get it if you’ve never indulged. It’s perfect for cold weather… or warm weather…
We also celebrated my sister Rachel’s 22nd birthday, and got a new vacuum!
Mr. Pug was not happy about that last bit. But we did take lots of naps, and I think that made up for the vacuum. After all, naps are Mr. Pug’s favorite thing. After people food.
That’s my family!
We’re busy bees, but looking back through these pictures make me realize, once again, how lucky I am. We have such a great life, and we have so many plans ahead of us. I’m going to go study some wine (I’m currently looking into a level 1 sommelier certification) and hopefully decide on a special date location!
So, who are we?
Hannah and Lee are a newly married couple living in Atlanta, Ga.
This is us. Yep, that’s a mighty beard.
This is us with our pug. A regal gentleman, indeed.
Affectionately known as glamor pug. (yes, we do have photo shoots with the pug.) His name is Opie. Or Mr. Pug. He answers to both.
We are both very involved with our church- check them out. A wonderful community of people like I have never known.
Hannah has a background in Musical Theatre, while Lee spends his time in Graduate Religious Studies (he’s currently a student at the Candler School of Theology.)
We love to eat well, drink well, and love well. We love music and being creative and helping people. We also love living in Atlanta! It’s a great cultural hub, and we love living in such a diverse and ever-changing city. Hannah loves thrifted and second-hand goods, clothing included, and Lee spends most of his time in flannel.
(On our way to get our marriage license. Very excited.)
That’s us. At least, that scrapes the surface.
A new year, a new blog!
… Not really a new blog, but a new perspective on the blog. I don’t really like the idea of resolutions for a new year, but I really like having goals. So, one of my goals is to jumpstart this ol’ blog and keep it going. My original blog concept was about getting married and everything involved with that process. Well, we checked “marriage” off of our to-do list, and now we’re 3 months into married life. Honestly, it’s pretty awesome, but it’s also pretty busy. So, in order to organize ourselves and to let people see how we’re doing , I pledge to maintain our life blog! Plus, I think years from now we will appreciate having our memories so easily accessible. Feel free to take a peek at our journey- we’re pretty swell:)
This are moving right along in pre-wedding world; I can’t believe we’re almost 2 months away!! Times flies, my friends, and I’ve been planning and not-planning (on purpose.)
Not having ever thought about my own wedding before actually planning my wedding means that I inundated myself with images, blogs, advice, how-to’s, and pretty much anything I could get my hands on. Honestly, I was burning myself out. However, I’m in a great place now- I’ve seen a lot, I’ve thought a lot, and I’ve talked a LOT. Me? Talking a lot? Never.
That being said, I’ve gathered from a lot of different sources, and I hope to make our wedding a fantastic celebration of us and our lifestyle!!
Me: knee-length dress. SUPER CUTE!!! It’s 1960’s, authentic vintage, absolutely adorable. Lace overlay, empire waist- what more could a girl want?
Ladies: vintage late 50’s early 60’s dress- cocktail/ tea length of various types. Every one will be different to represent different personalities!
Gentlemen folk (including Lee): Grey suits, braces (see: suspenders) and wingtip shoes. So classic, so handsome, I just can’t handle it.
Everyone else: Dressed in whatever makes them feel the most attractive and fantastic! I would love for everyone to consider it a vintage dress-up afternoon party, but we’ll see how far people take that. I’m thinking the cast of Mad Men goes on a fall picnic- casual, classic, fun, fabulous.
Decor: Vintage/ rustic. Mason jar glasses, lace, antique bottles, lots of white and off-white flowers, and any other knick-knacks I decided to throw in at the last minute. Maybe white Christmas lights for fun.
Food: BBQ goodness. Not too messy, but some Southern food done right.
One word: PHOTOBOOTH.
Drinks: of course.
Dancing: ummm yes. And we’re planning such an epic playlist, we’re going to need 2 receptions to go through all of our genres.
Fun: Without. A. Doubt. If nothing else, people will have fun.
So right now I’m using my day off to research hotel prices and bridesmaids dresses, and I’m eagerly anticipating my date with an oyster house tonight! That’s completely straightforward, by the way. We’re having seafood tonight. I’d love to have a fancy phone that let’s me upload pictures to the interwebz without self-destructing, but maybe later in life…
You know, it’s really difficult to make time to blog. I never kept a journal, so this sort of recap doesn’t even have a pre-internet comparison. I’m finding it really tough to juggle everything and then take time at the end of the day to write about everything that you’re juggling while you’re juggling it. It’s lots of juggling. I was never good at (actual) juggling. Go with my train of thought here…
Thus, it’s been a while since I updated. I’ve been slacking on my juggling. But I’m back!! Updates! Our save-the-dates are in, they’re unbelievable, and I can’t wait to send them out!! I’ve included this blog on the S-T-D’s (laugh if you must) and I figured it would be pretty boring for new readers to be a month behind. So a quick game of catching up is in order. First, Lee and I are still pursuing getting married at our church- St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal of Atlanta. It’s a wonderful space with a kind and supportive parish, and we’re happy to be counted among the family there. We’re still set on October 15th, no worries, the date won’t be changing, God willing, and we’re thinking early afternoon service. We’re still shooting for a rustic, vintage, love-filled ceremony and reception.
Other than that, I feel like everything else has been on notice. It’s subject to change at a moment’s notice. And often, it changes back. And back. You get the idea…
I must admit, my wedding dress is currently under my scrutiny. Not that I’ve seen the dress. Not that Shelley, the designer who has graciously offered to custom-make my dress, has even starting sketching. Not that I’ve purchased one and and deeply regret it. I was just so sure of what I wanted, and then I saw this blog. Go ahead. Click on the link, if you dare. Here’s a preview of the dress that’s leading me astray.
It’s utterly divine. It’s vintage, elegant, classic, cute- everything I want in a dress.
But, it has sleeves. Long sleeves. Full sleeves, even.
And that was not what I had in mind.
In fact, Lee and I have had many conversations about what kind of a dress we want- what would be appropriate in a church, what would work for my body type, what would make me feel most beautiful. And, my tattoos play a big part in that discussion.
I mean, there’s no getting around them. They’re a part of me. And that offends and perplexes people. And we thought about excluding them from our wedding… And then we said, “forget it.” We decided that we wanted to go “guns blazing” as it were.
Thus, I am torn. And in writing this out, it seems rather trivial and silly to even talk about. But when you’re planning a huge party around a bunch of silly things that have snowballed into what we now know as a wedding, they all seem equally silly. Or serious. Whichever. So I’m in dress dilemma, but we’re still about 6 months out. 6 months on the 15th- lookout! Plenty of time for whatever might happen.
I’m also compiling an EPIC playlist for the reception. Send me your suggestions- I’ve already gotten some fantastic songs from some fantastic people.
Plus, we’re sending out correspondence this week!! I’m so excited! Thanks for being on the journey with me.
Let’s look at pretty wedding-y things! Help me out if you can credit any of these lovely pictures!
I’m in love with where these pictures take me emotionally. I’m loving this planning period, and I’m excited for what’s to come!
Lee and I decided long ago that the theme of our house (and life) is “beautiful hodgepodge”. Our ring was titled “Rough Elegance”. I think it’s completely appropriate.
So, wedding thoughts.
I hope this is entertaining/ engaging for anyone else. I’m enjoying being able to collect my thoughts and I feel Lee needs a break from my constant wedding questions- I’m not worrying, but I want to be prepared for as much as possible. The sooner the better. Lee would say I’m worrying. I beg to differ.
I’ve been collecting some really great images for my inspiration board- here are a few as a sneak peak:
What do you think? The most important thing is for the wedding feel genuine and like us. We don’t have the desire, or the money, to organize a huge banquet and have dinner served on china, and have everyone in their most formal attire- it wouldn’t be true to us. Plus, the wedding industry is just that- an industry. It’s designed to suck people dry of their savings. Where do people get all of this money?!? I don’t understand. Truly. How do people afford matching linens and wedding planners and photographers and food and matching tuxedos… it’s just too much for me. I can’t conceptualize working on such a scale.
So we want an environment where people can celebrate, meet, get to know each other, dance, eat and drink, enjoy life, laugh, love- all of that mushy stuff. But I feel like the mushy stuff is very us. That’s how we strive to live everyday- in celebration of life and love. And we want that to carry over into a wedding day full of joy. That’s my favorite word right now- joy. It’s more than happy, it’s an inner, all-encompassing, feeling. It radiates, it makes you smile, it’s silly and yet grounded. So that’s what I’m going for, and I’m sure Lee would agree.
In related news, I’ve seen the save-the-dates, and they brought tears to my eyes. They are stunning and I’m so excited to send them out and share them with everyone.
For anyone eagerly anticipating our “let’s make things for this wedding” parties, here are some ideas I’ve been seriously considering:
-Centerpieces made of vintage or vintage-inspired bottles; brown IBC rootbeer bottles, ginger beer, beer beer, Coke bottles. We could throw in a few mason jars here and there, but I would really like to have as many as possible for guests to drink out of and then take home if they’d like.
-Flowers from the local farmer’s market. I’ve checked, and I only need to pre-order a week in advance. So I’m thinking all off- white like calla lilies, baby’s breath, daisies etc. I don’t want anything crazy, maybe a few flowers here and there, but certainly not huge bouquets.
-Glass jars and paper lanterns hanging in the trees for post-sunset lighting.
-Huge idea!!! Could we organize ourselves and the space enough to have people camp overnight? We could clear some area for tents, but we could also have sleeping bags and quilts and a beautiful sleepover. Thoughts? How would people feel about that? Would it work? Could we pull it off? I genuinely don’t know, but the prospect excites me.
Keep those ideas coming!! I’m really excited about everything that’s happening, and I’m feeling very inspired and at peace with the way things are beginning to come to life.
I leave you with a divine october wedding that happened last year- 10/10/10. Tamera is a blog hero of mine- she’s super cool with a vintage flair and a completely unique voice and vision. Check out her website verhext.com to read about her struggle to keep her wedding as true as possible. Plus, she has an AMAZING style, so check that out as well. The preview of their wedding can be found here on 100layercake.
I love being on a timeline, but sometimes it’s very intimidating when I log onto our wedding website and the first thing I see is a countdown to the wedding day. As if to remind me that there are things to be done. DO EVERYTHING NOW, HANNAH AHHHH! It’s a little unsettling.
However, luckily, there is still plenty of time for things to change, things to happen, things to come together, and unfortunately, for things to fall apart.
Some things have already resigned themselves to the latter category. The save-the-dates that Lee and I fell in love with will no longer be ours. Sad, right? The etsy seller has been absolutely RIDICULOUS in responding, or rather not responding, to my order, and I decided that it wasn’t worth the stress of attempting communication only to be left hanging. However, in the most amazing blessing, my good friend and excellent artist Samantha has offered her talents for our paper goods!!! Please check out her brand new etsy site here. She is so fantastic, and my heart is so aflutter with the opportunity to once again recognize and celebrate the talents of a friend for our ceremony!!! This is exactly what we want!!
So, save-the-dates will probably not be out by the end of February, but that’s ok. Like I said, there’s still plenty of time. Until then, just write it on a post it- hannah and lee are getting married. 10.15.11. don’t forget! Tie a string around your finger.
In other news, I am so thankful for the outpouring of support from our friends and family- people are really surprising me with their generosity and willingness! Plus, this sounds crazy, but I had no idea so many people would be so happy for us! So thanks to everyone who has offered themselves in some way- we are blessed with beautiful people in our life, and I’m so thankful. That being said, if you’d still like to help, I would still love to have you join the party! I have SO many fantastic ideas in the works- a ladies craft party to make centerpieces and fun decorations, a la old timey knitting circle (!!!), another dress boutique adventure, an engagement picnic- the list continues. Plus, I’m also starting to collect ideas for traditions we’d like to incorporate, so ideas are welcome on that front.
Another big project I’m taking on is an “inspiration board”- a collection of images that reflect a color scheme and mood that I’m striving for in terms of the wedding. Some beautiful examples can be found on snippetandink.com like this one:
or this one:
Although both of these are similar to what we’ve envisioned, I think it would be best for me to make my own that’s just right for us. Like goldilocks. And her porridge. And her bed. And sleeping in a bear’s house…
So needless to say, I’m CONSTANTLY looking at indie wedding websites, looking for ideas, anti-ideas (things I know for a fact I don’t want) and overall inspiration. Hannah and Lee inspiration board to come.
I’ll leave you with some images that I’ve been loving on some of my favorite websites, and again, most of them aren’t cited. Please don’t sue me.
Adorable, right? I love this idea for an engagement shoot, and there are many more awesome pictures like this on hifiweddings.com (one of my favorite sites)
AGAIN! The banner! Love it! We’re making it happen, ready your sewing machines!
I’m so obsessed- banner and bride with glasses. Sign me up!
Look out groomsmen, this is in the running for your look! (Groom in brown?! Can it be done!?)
thanks for reading, and thanks for everything.
So, although the wedding world is vast, my week has been pretty relaxed. Lee and I have put together a guest list, tentatively speaking, and we’ve chosen Save-The-Dates (they’re adorable!!) My hope is to have them sent by the end of February, but I’m waiting on an Etsy.com seller to respond to my inquiry. One of the most important aspects of the wedding is the make sure that everything is as handmade, either by ourselves, friends or family members, or independent artists, as possible. It’s become really important to us that our ceremony and celebration reflect who we are and what we believe as much as possible, so we’re trying to keep it “in the family.” On that note, I have exciting news!! After my David’s Bridal episode, I was graciously offered the services of a costume designer who is willing to CUSTOM MAKE A DRESS. JUST FOR ME. AHHHHH! That’s the most exciting news, am I right? Essentially, it’s everything I want- direct influence on a crucial aspect of the wedding, handmade, the chance to support an artist- it’s perfect. Plus, It saves me from having to compromise on what I want because o the convenience of a store-bought dress. Perfect. yesyesyesyesyes. Also, I might like to be in control. Maybe. In control as I can be, certainly. Now, a question for those following my journey. Gifts. (yes, I know that’s not a question.) Should Lee and I register? We’re pretty thrift store, second-hand, re-purpose till the end, kind of people, and I’m not sure we’re the “registering type.” Of course, we know that people will want to celebrate with us and express that with items to help us into our married life, but how should we express our personal taste and not impose on other people’s generosity? In truth, I would love a gift certificate to the thrift store, but that’s just me… We’ve heard a LOT about smartypig.com, and we’re thinking about pooling any monetary gifts into an account for traveling and perhaps a future honeymoon- is that selfish? Should we do minimal registering and a smartypig account? Or should we setup a smartypig account to help cover the costs of the wedding? Or should we just accept checks at the wedding with a note to our guests about how they’re contributing to our future plans? I’m torn, and I would love some advice. Here are some absolutely adorable (wedding-themed) photos I’ve been loving this week (none of these are cited, please don’t hate or sue me):
I LOVE this triangle banner- who wants to help me make a bunch of these??
Last week, I did something I thought I would NEVER do. I tried on a wedding dress. And not just one, mind you, but several. Let’s go back for a second, shall we? Think of yours truly. In a huge puffy white dress. Like a giant upside-down cupcake. Maybe with a crown. To me, it’s horrifying. It fuels that wedding day mentality that “I’m a princess, it’s my day, everyone bow to me.” Gross. And not that I think that big poofy dresses are necessarily hideous or that it’s not right for some other someone out there, but for me, no. No thank you. No way. Remember the Scene in The Adams Family movies where Wednesday is forced to smile at summer camp? That’s how I would feel. I’ve even asked Lee if I could wear a black wedding dress… He said no. And it’s not just my skewed self-perception. My friend Heather, who accompanied me said that if I walked out wearing a poofy dress, she would quietly chuckle in her seat. To quote Heather, “by quietly chuckle, I mean roll on the ground laughing.” So needless to say, I was not too gung-ho about puttin’ on the ritz. The adventure begins with my family running late (surprise) so with chick-fil-a in hand, because we had to get breakfast, we pack into the car and my mom floors the gas as we rush to get to the salon. By salon I mean David’s Bridal. Yes, I went to a David’s Bridal. As soon as we arrive, we realize that we were not the only family looking for fun. We are greeted by an EXTREMELY enthusiastic middle-aged woman with a very thick Southern accent. It was obvious that she had no clue who to address- she kept darting her eyes back and forth trying to decide who might actually be trying on dresses. Other than my brother Noah, who is 13, it could have theoretically been either me, Heather, Rachel (my sister), or my mom. One of us finally spoke up, and this woman’s hand darted towards mine. Oh boy. Yes, I’m the bride. Yes, I would love to come with you and fill out paperwork. After being told to wait to the side, we all watched as a parade of women adorned with huge rings perused the selection of dresses with an attendant. I decided not to take off my coat. Or scarf. Or look of disdain. We were then approached by the very same woman, and because she didn’t recognize us, we heard the same speech we’d heard 30 minutes earlier. Goody. It was becoming apparent that we had been lost in the shuffle, and after an hour of waiting, we were finally show to a room. Then, a light shown down from heaven. My attendant, Kendra, happened to be super cool and completely understood my list of don’ts. (It was quite extensive.) I had a vague idea of what style would compliment my figure best, and with some input from the ladies around me, we pulled some dresses and got started. Now, I’m not going to post pictures on the internet, because my hair looks disheveled and I was forced into a awkward undergarment to, I suppose, facilitate trying on multiple dresses. It did not create the most flattering of looks, and some of the pictures we took happen to be ghastly. But, much to my surprise, all but one of the dresses looked great. Really great, actually. Were I poised and ready for the wedding, I could have purchased any one of the 3 dresses we chose as “finalists”. And coming from me, that was a HUGE shock. I was expecting to feel like the elephant in the room- an elephant wearing a white dress trying to stuff herself back into a dressing room. But I started noticing that other women trying on dresses were watching me out of the corner of their eye. Relatives of other brides started complimenting me and waiting for me to try on the next dress. One woman was even taking pictures every time I came out on to the platform. What is this madness? I started to loosen up and embrace my physical imperfections- I looked happy and the dresses I’d chosen showed off my “womanly curves”. I was genuinely enjoying myself, and I could tell the people with me were having fun as well. I guess the biggest thing I learned was not to let my cynicism get the best of me. You might expect me to roll over and say I loooove wedding dresses and surprise I decided on a ball gown! Not true. I realized that I’m getting married, I’m not being forced into a dress or a lifestyle that isn’t true to my own. I can choose my own dress, I can make my own experience out of what I’m given, and I can make that a beautiful thing. I don’t have to be/do/say what people expect because they’ve “heard this story a thousand times.” This is my story. But, it isn’t over. We still have a little more than 9 months till this wedding, and I plan on visiting at least a few other shops before I make my final choice. Where else should I go? What other tips and tricks are floating around in the cyber world?
If you’re a frequent visitor (joke) to this blog, you’ll notice that with this post I’ve brought a few changes- yes, the layout is different, but most importantly the message, the mission statement, of the blog has changed. After reading some words from a friend, I realized how monumental getting married will be for me. Not just because getting married is a big deal, not just that my last name will change, not just that I’ll be getting a tax break, but because this was not part of my plan. This is not what I had in mind for my life. I was not a “fairy-tale-dreamy-wedding” kind of girl from infancy. I’ve, in fact, been very vocal about my opposition to getting married, and frankly I was a little repulsed at the entire wedding industry.
But here I am. Getting married…
Being at this juncture in my life has forced me to re-evaluate my views. And honestly, they haven’t changed that much. Yes, I’m glad to be getting married to an amazing partner whom I consider to be my soulmate, but like at so many other moments in my life, I’m taking the road less traveled. I’m choosing to be different. I’m actively resisting a mentality and a societal norm with which SO many women have become obsessed. And it’s difficult. And I want to talk about that struggle. I want to be as open as possible about my choices and my thought process and my struggles through this season of my life. And I would love to have some voices in the conversation with me. I would love to hear what other women I know have been through, are going through, don’t want to go through- I think if we can honestly discuss the elephants in the room, maybe we have a better chance of eliminating the feelings that have oppressed us. At least in terms of weddings. But maybe one small step towards wedding freedom will eventually lead us to… who knows? Maybe not hating our bodies? Maybe not forcing ourselves into silence for the sake of being considered “demure” or “proper”? Maybe, even better, we could allow ourselves to choose to be quiet and listen to what we’re really feeling? (too much? too touchy-feely? eh, I’ll go with it…)
So join me, read, comment, don’t comment- whatever floats your boat. If it gets you thinking, I’ll take it. Plus, goodness knows you can’t shut me up too easily…
This is the mix I’ve been listening to today as a continuation of my exploration into new musics. Ha, musics. With an s. Today I’ve also given myself a healthy dose of NPR music, but if anyone has any music suggestions, please send them my way. I like this season a lot. I like how it sounds and how it feels musically.
In other news, Lee and I survived the snowmageddon. Much hub-bub in Atlanta, but we managed to stay content in our new house and I was even back at work on Wednesday.
I also catered a wedding on Saturday, and though I’ve been catering for a number of years, the job is quite different now that I’m planning my own wedding. I notice details that I woudn’t have before, things appall now that wouldn’t have even been on my radar before, and I pay much more attention to every aspect of the reception. Particularly, and ironically, I’ve become quite opposed to the idea of having a company cater your wedding. I work with people who are jaded and tired of weddings in general- to them it’s just another job- and yet I can’t help but consider myself to be part of something more than just a job. Away from guests, the staff complains about having to smile, about the guests taking too long to leave, about the musicthehourstheworkthehoursblahblahblah and I seem to be the only one interested in sharing in the joy of the day. I wonder if the bride and groom even notice the staff or if we are just a necessary evil for the end result of one less worry on wedding day. And I shudder at that thought, from both angles. I don’t want someone at my wedding who resents being there, and I don’t want someone and their effort to go unnoticed.
People have given me a crazy eye when I’ve expressed interest in being as hands-on as possible, and I’ve been told it’s insane not to have a wedding planner to take care of everything for you. But I know what I want, and I know who we are, and it would be out of character for me to stand by while things are done for me simply out of convenience. I want to look at the grill and see a face smiling and celebrating with me. I want to look at my family and friends enjoying the homemade buffet line and know that every hand that prepared food is with me now reveling in the day. If it takes a little more work, ok. If it’s stressful at times, ok. If I’m in a wedding dress on October 15th putting out napkins and silverware before the ceremony, so be it.
I’m putting on my big girl pants and I’m ready for the challenge. I’ll be decorating and crafting and knitting (though I don’t know how yet) and organizing and planning till my last minutes, and I hope to have some friends and family help out along the way. I think it’s worth it.
Also, i like this picture. And I don’t even really like cats.
Oh the blogosphere, it’s been a long time coming… and I suppose we’ve met before, lest we forget the day of angsty livejournal posts, but here we are. A new beginning.
I’ve decided to open up my story to be told in real time on the internet. Hopefully I’ll pull out something terribly funny or inspiring, but let’s be honest, that’s a little ambitious. This is my first post- I’m lucky to make it out of this thing without sounding too loquacious. Good luck. So, with my dictionary.com widget for spelling corrections and nothing else by my mind to guid me, here it is. Here we are.
This is me. My name is Hannah. I’m engaged to the best gentleman I know, and we’re getting married in October. His name is Lee. This is us. On the left.
We live in Atlanta. This is our delightful red house.
I hope to track my wedding planning adventures, and I’d love to get feedback and advice from anyone out there with something to tell me. I’m also a cheesemonger, so I’ll probably be generous with information and tidbits about cheese. You’re welcome. I have a degree in Musical Theatre, and I love Yoga and Pilates. I love making people laugh and helping those in need. I recycle and re-purpose as much as possible, so 90% of my wardrobe is either from the thrift store, borrowed indefinitely from a family member, or has been in my closet for a good number of years. Yes, that characteristic also puts me in the “packrat” category. Don’t hate. I love beer, thanks to Lee, and our favorite bar is Manuel’s Tavern. We’re there a lot. I don’t own a t.v. on purpose, and we’re Episcopalian. I have a crazy family, you’ll want to hear stories about them, but we’re dysfunctional and we make it work. I’m learning what it means to be an adult. I like what I’m learning.
That’s me in a first-post nutshell. If you’re only here for wedding details, you won’t have to wait much longer, I promise.