Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Honeymoon Musings

Alternate Title: Be Still My Beating Heart

Mr. Kettle and I have been discussing on and off plans for our honeymoon. It's been a pretty big deal in our house because our choice to go on a week-long honeymoon right after our wedding affected lots of other decisions in the rest of our life.

We want to do this honeymoon right. We want romance, relaxation, and a trip to somewhere that will be warm in February while also some place neither of us have visited. We've come up with Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

Seeing as how Mardi Gras is such an important day in the course of our relationship, I thought it would be fun to extend the honeymoon to include a stopover in New Orleans for the holiday.

That would mean a flight to an island the Monday after our wedding. Staying there til Sunday (6 nights, woot!), and then flying to New Orleans and staying there until Wednesday, when we would fly back to Chicago and officially start our married lives.

For both of us, that's not too much travelling. It could prove to be too much money. Also Mr. Kettle isn't sure if he wants to use up almost all his days off just for our honeymoon. We're still discussing it, but I've realized what I want. And that is a honeymoon on an island followed by keeping our promise to each other to spend Mardi Gras 2012 together as a newly married couple.

I didn't even realize at first that Mardi Gras was so close after our wedding. I think it's perfect and I wish I could go back in time to tell Mardi Gras 2011 me that it would all turn out just as Mr. Kettle drunkenly promised.

With this idea now firmly planted in my head, I went online to begin checking out hotel prices in Hawaii. I figured I'd start with the most expensive option and work down from there til we found something that could work for our projected budget.

But then, I had the most unexpected moment I've experienced since getting a beautiful pink sapphire ring put on my finger. My heart skipped a beat. I've been trying like the Dickens to avoid any connection between our wedding and Valentine's Day.

But our honeymoon and Valentine's Day? Oh hell yes. I went to check rates at all three Hawaii Hyatts and my pulse quickened when I selected the start date the day before Valentine's Day. As a woman who loves her some holidays, I would be over the moon to have my honeymoon include both Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras. Those are two of the year's biggest holiday celebrations that don't require you to love and dine with family.

I could spend those newlywedding it up with my new husband. Lounging on the beaches in Maui, sipping hurricanes in New Orleans. Him having a great opportunity to play his sax and sit in with a band. I've demanded he bring his horn to our honeymoon because I'm clairvoyant and I know it will be used. How awesome is that? Oh please oh please God, make this happen for us!

Image via Honeymooners Review
Image via Destination 360

Monday, September 19, 2011

Figuring Out Flowers - Our First Florist Interview

Our first interview was so lovely! If y'all know me by now, y'all know I was ready to sign that day and forgo the other meetings. But, as usual, Mr. Kettle and Momma Kettle encouraged me to go to the other meeting I'd setup in order to "explore my options." Whatever, we'll go to the meeting and see what the other people have to say.

This first meeting was with The South Loop Floral & Events Gallery. They really have some beautiful stuff there.

I woke up late and still had to go pick up Grandmother Kettle. We didn't get there until about 5:45. The appointment was at 5:00. On-time fail. When we arrived, Momma and Mima Kettle were both there, discussing some things with the florist. They hadn't gotten to into though because they were waiting for me.

We dove right in and discussed so many things. I was in love in roses. I still am. There's just one hiccup. My desire for a sea of roses for the wedding...?

Image via eFoodAlert Blog
Yeah, well, that didn't seem to be a real possibility because roses apparently cost double around Valentine's Day. And here I thought they'd be easier to acquire because growers prepare for the need for larger numbers of roses. I wasn't too keen on paying double just to have all my roses, so I started looking through books to see what other flowers struck my fancy.

All I came up with at first were beautiful-but-out-of-season-and-therefore-also-expensive tulips. I know I tend to have expensive taste, but darnit, this was not a good start. Everything I looked at that looked similar to a rose but not quite turned out to be a rose just opened all the way, or just from a different angle. I finally buckled down and forced myself to be open to more options.

Mima Kettle had graciously offered to pay for the bouquets, bouts, etc. for the wedding party. This is because she's amazing! She likes the look of roses too and once she said she thought they'd make a good base flower, I immediately felt better. I didn't feel like I was starting from scratch with my inspiration for flowers. That made it much easier to find great flowers.

Fast forward to four hours later. Yes, you read that right hive. We were at the florist for 4 hours. Those people must've really wanted our business if they sat there talking flowers with us for 4 hours!! We talked bouquets, bouts, corsages, ceremony decorations, receptions decorations, aisle runners, and we had come to pretty firm decisions on them all.

I won't go into all the details here, but I will tell you what flowers I ended up choosing. I thought I'd go into there, pick out a couple of their pre-arranged setups and move on with my day. I should have known better because nothing we've done with this wedding has been off the pre-prepared menu options.

Image via Keisha's Creations Blog
The ivory-colored roses in this bouquet are called Vendella roses. Those will be our base flower for all the ladies' bouquets (including mine) as well as the groomsmen, bridesmen, and groom's bouts, and the reception table decorations.

Image via BuyFlowersOnline
This bouquet features green roses. I wasn't too keen on the roses at first, but I've been dying to find a way to get some green into this wedding. This will really look fantastic next to the other ivory, white, and purple flower options coming up. This flower will be in all the bouquets except mine, the best mens' bouts, and in the table decorations.

Image via Only Roses
This champagne rose will be featured only in the corsages for the Hostesses (aka female ushers, still sorting out their title).
Image via Landscape-And-Garden
These white cymbidium orchids will be appearing in my bouquet, in the mothers'/important womenfolk corsages, fathers'/important menfolk bouts, and in the groom's (increasingly extravagant) bout.

Image via Fifty Flowers
 This green cymbidium orchid will be seen in the mothers'/important womenfolk corsages.

Image via Hydrangeas Hydrangeas
These green hydrangeas will be making an appearance first in the ceremony decoration bouquets that will serve as a sort of altar. That arrangement will be doubling as the table decorations for the two parents' tables at the wedding. They will also be in the table arrangements for all the reception tables.

Image via Pictures 13
 These white freesias will come into my bouquet, the groom's bout, and the table decorations for the reception.

Image via 1 Stop Florists
White lilies will be just like the green hydrangeas and will be in the ceremony decoration bouquets that will serve as a sort of altar. That arrangement will be doubling as the table decorations for the two parents' tables at the wedding. They will also be in the table arrangements for all the reception tables.

Image via pBase
This lovely bright flower is called Status. In purple, these little babies will be everywhere! They will serve as filler in basically every floral arrangement in the wedding.

Now, I have an obsession with greenery and twiggy-looking filler, so we'll be having some sort of wintry greenery (that's yet undecided) that will serve as the greenery in all bouquets, bouts, and corsages. Also, the reception table decorations will have both bear grass and curly willow. Lastly, I want some sort of berries in there. Don't ask why, I just do. I didn't want red though, so we got another pop of green!
Image via Lubz's Floral Design / Calla lilies are not my thing, but this is a great bouquet that shows all the unique things you can do with bear grass.
 I had the following picture in my floral inspiration post. It was very hard to find a lot of photos online of what I wanted. Most have the curly willow outside the vase, not inside, like how I want it.

Figuring Out Flowers - My Inspiration :  wedding chicago flowers Cen101 cen101
Image via Flower Girls of Tulsa

Image via Pen + Posy Blog
Beautiful winter greenery options, though I was looking for something that looked more like a Christmas tree...

Image via Save-on-Crafts
Green berries! I think they will look lovely in the bouquets, bouts, and table decorations.

 After typing out all these flower selections, I'm starting to see how we could have been at that florist for four hours. 4 hours!!! So much time. But there are so many people in our wedding party, figure out the different combos of flowers took one hour by itself.
The price quote they gave us was well within the budgets that we all had in mind, which was awesome! I'm glad I compromised and included more flowers than just roses. This first florist worked so hard, they are going to make the job of the second florist so much easier.

To sum up the day, here is a cartoon I drew just for you hive.

I don't know if it would be better to go in to the second florist with a fresh slate or to go in armed with my hard-earned flower decisions. I don't want to be closed off from more inspiration, but I also don't want to spend another 4 hours of my life, Momma Kettle's life, Grandmother Kettle's life, and Mima Kettle's life sorting out flowers again. We'll see what happens Thursday, I guess.

How many florist meeting did you have? Did you flower choices reflect your floral inspiration?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What's In A Name? Wedding Party Edition

Hive, I've got one very large and mixed up wedding party. I've got through it all before, but it's about to happen again. Bear with me.

I have a maid of honor, a best man, 6 bridesmaids and 2 more guys standing up with me.
Mr. Kettle has a best man, a maid of honor, and 8 groomsmen.
We have 2 jr. bridesmaids, 2 flower girls, 2 ring bearers, 2 ushers, and 3 hostesses.

There's been some discussion of what to call all these non-traditional wedding party members. My dad just calls them all bridesmaids and groomsmen. That doesn't sit too well with my 3 guys standing up with me. They're not bridesmaids after all.

Momma Kettle and I had a conversation about it that went something like this:

Another personal cartoon of questionable quality. Eventually I'll figure out the best way to color/photograph these.
We immediately saw that we didn't really see eye to eye on what to name all these members of the wedding party. We have to come up with a pretty firm way of naming these people so it will be the same in all our wedding literature. I'm thinking about wedding newsletters and of course the actual programs for the wedding.

Plus, I'd like the next time Daddy Kettle brings up my people, he doesn't call them something that makes them not want to admit participation.

I'm pretty sure we're definitely going to call our four main people best men and maids of honor. We'll just each have a best man and maid of honor. No one seems to be struggling with those titles.

But then there are all the others. Bridesmaids and groomsmen are easy enough. But should I really be calling my guys "bridal attendants"? And why would anyone call them "honor attendants"? Doesn't that take away from the maids of honor? Maybe I should just call them "bridesmen"? I dunno hive. Help please!

And then there are the ushers/hostesses. It would be easier to just call all of them ushers. Growing up in the churches we both did, ushers are a part of church service and they can be guys and girls, but in the wedding world, aren't ushers traditionally guys only? Should I just leave them as hostesses and ushers or should I call them all ushers?

I'd like to settle this for once and for all. I don't want to make people uncomfortable with their titles. Maybe there's some way to just generalize it and call them "Miss Kettle's Wedding Party" and "Mr. Kettle's Wedding Party"?? I'm going into title overload here. I'm sinking and could use some good old hive logic!