Sunday, October 31, 2010

Something Old

We all know how the saying goes: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. While there are some obvious items for my something new (dress, hairpin) and I love my somethings blue (shoes, earrings), I haven't nailed down my something old or borrowed yet.

Sadly, I will not be able to share this momentous occasion with any of my grandparents, as they have all passed on. There will be a memory page in the programs, but I knew I wanted to incorporate their memory with something more.

Picture of me and my two grandmothers at my first tap recital. Mom Mom is the one I am looking up at.

Thankfully my mom still has several pieces of jewelry from her mom (my grandmother more affectionately known as Mom-Mom to all of her grand kids). When I mentioned to her that I would love to use a piece of Mom-Mom's jewelry for my wedding bouquet, Mama Elephant came to the rescue with this brooch. (Doesn't it look very similar to icon of our very own Miss Brooch? minus the green)

Is that Gypsy looking on?

I love it! My plan is to have it pinned to the front of my bouquet similar to this.

Did you incorporate any family jewelry pieces into your wedding?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hive Help for Mr. E

Hey Hive!  I need some help for Mr. E.  Back in the day, I mentioned the ties we selected for the Dads, Groomsmen and Ushers, but we had yet to pick one for the groom. 

We did end up finding another slate tie for the best man, but still kept the navy one.  We thought this could be a possibility for Mr. E.

The only reason why I'm not gung ho on this look was because I didn't feel like Mr. E would stand out enough. 

During another shopping trip I found a blue and green tie (very similar to my original inspiration picture) and picked it up.  60% off? Yes please!

Mr. E is happy with either tie, but do you think maybe I should keep looking?

Which do you like best?
Option A (similar ties)

Option B (stand out blue/green)

Option C (keep looking)

If you have seen another tie (possibly online) that you think would look killer with the ties for the groomsmen, let me know!

Another Reason for a DOC

Another good reason to hire a wedding planner or day of coordinator?

Halfway through our engagement (almost a year after booking our venue) we were notified that the event coordinator at our venue had resigned. I have heard of other instances when event coordinators have left a venue after a bride has booked her wedding, but I didn't think that it was going to happen to us.

The main reason I did not freak out upon hearing this news?? Kathie Seeley of Grand Events.  Mama E, Mr. E and I decided early on in the planning process to hire a planner to help us during the planning process and alleviate stress the day of the wedding. Kathie was the first vendor we booked!  She has been there from the beginning - she knows all of our plans/DIY projects, has copies of all of our contracts and will be the one in charge of everything the day of.  I like knowing that I will not have deal with any vendor calls on our wedding day.  I know that she will have our vision nailed down, and will be able to instruct the new venue coordinator to make sure that our wedding will be exactly what we're working so hard to achieve.  She has already saved us money by her extra research on our DJ & lighting package, and will be doing all of the flowers (in our budget) as well.

On a side note, ALWAYS get things in writing!  When I got in contact with the new coordinator at our venue, many of the prices had gone up.  None of these things (price per person on appetizers, price to open all the taps of beer, etc) are in the form contract that we signed with the venue.  The contract is mainly for the minimum, the deposits and the percentage of tax and service charge.  Thankfully I kept all of the email conversations with the prior coordinator where those prices were mentioned and the venue is happy to honor all of her commitments.

Will you be using a planner or DOC to assist in your big day?

Monday, October 25, 2010

The most expensive dress I will ever wear

That's right Hive, it's my wedding dress!!! I know you have all been on pins and needles waiting for this post ;) 

Mr. E is not a reader of this blog, but just in case..

OK, I think we're safe to proceed.

I'm so excited that it's in and it fits! After a handful of  dress shopping trips, I ended up with a dress I tried on in the second store. I lucked out and purchased my Mori Lee #2306 at another store during a trunk sale to get an additional 20% off.

Hopefully this means those weird wedding dreams of my dress coming in as a short blue tulle party dress will stop.

The front

The back...need to work on toning up my back

I LOVE the front with the beading and ruching

Beading on the bottom of the dress, and check out those sassy blue shoes!

And one more shot from the side

How long before your wedding did your dress come in? If it was a couple months (or more like mine did) was it hard for you to not want to put it on and lounge around like they did in the Friends episode?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bees Then And Now: Elephant Back In The Day

Man o man!  When I heard about this Bee series the first thing that flashed through my head was my hair.  Maybe that sounds a little odd, but I went through so many hair styles in high school it wasn't even funny.  In fact one of my friends even signed my yearbook "Elephant, I enjoyed watching you change hairstyles constantly this year..."

Don't believe me?  Here are a couple of the various Elephant styles (I apologize in advance for any wonky edges, most of these pictures were taken from my old scrapbooks)...

Love how I'm rockin' those glasses on the left?  I picked those up in London and thought I was so cool!

Senior Year Photo

See what I mean?

In high school I was part of the "smart jocks" (term not coined by me) group.  My friends and I played sports (I was on the Varsity track team all 4 years) and took Advance Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, I actually graduated #7 out of my class of 650 students.  I'll admit that my "love" for studying in high school did not carry over into college.  Parties and business frats got in the way ;)

Track memories

High school is also where I met my best friend, MOH Navy. We were paired together (based on our last names) in an athletic program the summer before sophomore year of high school.

You're probably thinking "funny pictures, but what about the Elephant high school love life?"  Well I didn't really have much of one (sad face).  I had a major crush on a guy through middle school and was beyond excited to go to homecoming with him Freshman year.

Besides that I didn't really date much in high school, instead I enjoyed hanging out with the guys on the track team. I had a good amount of guy friends and I really loved that, but there was a small part of me that was sad I didn't have a high school sweetheart.  I focused on school and track, and just looked forward to college, where I thought I would meet, fall in love and marry an Aggie upon graduation. How cute would it be to have an Aggie marroon wedding?  OK maybe I'm not that hard core, but I definitely would have added A&M touches here and there.

As you know by now, that didn't happen.  I had one serious boyfriend in college, but that didn't last.  Although things didn't work out the way I thought they would have, I cherish the path my life has taken because that path gave me wonderful friendships and has lead me to Mr. E.

Are any of your bridal party members high school friends? Any one else rock a bee hive?

Friday, October 22, 2010

6 Months And Counting

Really?  6 months??  I remember when it was 24 months until the wedding, and now we're at 6 months?

Where does the time go?

I feel like I've just been chugging along on this engagement train-  doing projects when I felt like it, booking all of our vendors well in advance, checking things off the list left and right.  I really have been cool, clam and collected.

That was until this week.

The realization that the wedding is pretty close has started to set in.  It's been so long since I have signed the contracts or talked to most of the vendors, and I feel like I need to send some "hey, remember me?" emails.  I freaked a little about our guest list, but realized we won't have a better idea of a head count until those invites go out.  We did invite a little more than our ideal number (but less than our venue's capacity so there are no worries about actually fitting everyone in the room), but I'm sure it will all work out one way or another.

Today BM Aggie and I are going to order the dresses for the bridesmaids and then do lunch.  I can't wait to see the dresses when they come in.  We had a change up in the strapless dress.  Instead of the low back on this one...

Modeled by BM Philly

2 of my best friends will be wearing this new strapless out from Bill Levkoff, #682.  I'm almost tempted to get one for myself because it's so cute!

Another item that I have been putting off, but now seems like it needs to be done, is figuring out what the guys will be wearing.  Why is it that the outfits for the guys are such a back burner item?  This task has been dependent on Mr. E's schedule, which will be changing up as of tomorrow.

I can report on one minor check.  Last week we headed to the linen store to pick out the linens for our sweetheart and cake tables.  My flash picture doesn't do it justice, but with the lights down and pinspotting this overlay simply shines!

Did you have any minor (or major) freak outs as you realized that your wedding was getting closer?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Secret Life of Bees: "Miss Elephant, Come On Down"

Who doesn't love a juicy secret??  Well my "secrets" aren't really deep dark secrets, more like 3 fun facts that I've never shared with the Hive.

1.  During the summer after our sophomore year in college MOH Navy and I studied abroad in Mexico.  It was for an International Business certificate, therefor the fact that I took 3 years of Spanish in middle school and high school and retained about 2% of it did not factor into my grade.  On our last night there (July 4th), myself and one of the guys from our college were entered into a dance contest, during which he broke the strap of my top.  I think that little "tease" is what resulted in our win.  We won a case of beer and free t-shirts, which I  used to cover up.

That's me trying to hold up my top and keep dancing

2. When I moved from Philly to Texas, I jumped on the Dallas Cowboy bandwagon.  It wasn't pretty.  I was wrapped up in their Superbowl wins in '93 and '95.  Who doesn't want to cheer on a winner?? Thankfully, I saw the error of my ways, went back to routing on the Eagles before college and have been an avid fan ever since.

Sources Cowboys, Eagles

3. If you haven't already guessed from the title, I was called to come on down on the Price is Right (just like Mrs. Deviled Egg).  Mama Elephant and I headed to California for spring break my freshman year of college and my Aggie wildcat sent me down to contestant's row.


Don't you just love how excited I look?  I don't know what I would have done with those sleds in Texas. Sadly my bidding was not on point, and I never made it out of contestants row.  I did leave with 2 shop vacs and a telephone.

Well those are my secrets, are there any you would like to share?  Are there any Price is Right fans out there??

A Bee's Life: Elephant Edition

Keepin' this series alive! It helped me out, so hopefully I can return the favor for another reader.

How I found Wedding Bee:

I actually stumbled across the Bee back in 2009 thanks to a bride on the Dallas Knot boards who posted about her feature in Real Weddings.  I started reading and could not stop!  I read all that I could: archives, current bee blogs, the boards.  I was so fascinated with all the Bees (although it took me a little bit to figure out exactly what those icons meant) and the community I decided to join in on the fun times.

Applying to Weddingbee:

Truth be told, I was not a huge blogger.  In fact I had never really heard of or read blogs until the Bee (with the exception of one friend who kept a live journal back in college).  Once I caught onto this site, I thought that it would be so amazing to blog for it.  I started my own blog to keep my out of town bridesmaids up to date on the wedding plans, but secretly with the intent to apply for the Bee in the back of my head.  Our engagement was long, so I blogged for a good 13 months before I hit that magical eight month mark—the earliest you can apply. 

I was scared to apply.  Boy, was I ever! While I believed that my writing had developed over that 13 month period, I have a huge fear of rejection and didn't know if I could handle the 5% acceptance odds.  I really have to thank Mama E, Mr. E and BM Philly for giving me that little push to take the chance.  I applied on the 2nd day of the 8th month (technically 8 months and 3 weeks before our wedding), and waited.  And waited.  And waited a little more.  In that waiting time the new Safari generation was announced and I was even more anxious.  Those icons were too cute! 3 weeks went by, and I started to wonder.  I knew it took time to review the applications, but I was so ready for the news - good or bad.  I went back and re-read the Bee's Life series to see how long it took for bees to get their acceptance email.  (I'm a reporting nerd, and even made an excel spreadsheet that showed how many times each bee had applied.) Finally on that fateful Friday afternoon I checked my email and could not believe that there was an email from Pengy saying I would make a great addition to the weddingbee team.  I actually read through that email a dozen times before I made any calls, just in case my eyes were playing tricks on me.

Blogging for the ‘Bee:

Blogging for the 'Bee is something you have to love and want to do, as it is definitely a time commitment.  Thanks to many months of blogging prior to applying, I had more than a handful of archives that would post before I was current.  Whenever an idea for a blog would come to me (at work, out shopping, watching tv) I would start a draft & write down my thoughts.  I would finish it off and then re-read it 2 or 3 times prior to posting.  I tried to take my camera wherever I went, and made sure to document any DIY projects because I always have more fun reading about projects and seeing the steps.  It is always so exciting to see that little elephant icon pop up on the Bee, and even more exciting to get comments!
Tips for Becoming a Bee:

Don't try and write what you think people want to read, write what is true for you.  I was afraid that my wedding wasn't original, unique or special enough to be a bee, but I wrote what was true.  I love that each bee (just like every bride) has a wedding that is unique and special to them.

Find your voice. I know it's been mentioned before, but it never hurts to say it again.  Write how you normally talk.  If you tell jokes, or talk with a little sarcasm, then write like that.  If you don't, don't try and write as if you do.  Trust me, it will come more naturally if you are just yourself.

If at first you don't succeed - try, try again.  While I was waiting to hear back on my application, I read through all of the prior Bee's Life posts and noted how many of the bees did not get accepted on their first try.  I mentally prepared myself for rejection and made a deal with myself that I would at least apply one more time.  I was very lucky to get it on my first try, but there are several bees that we never would have enjoyed if they stopped after that first try.

And because I LOVE photos in posts...(with random links to wedding planning)

Our top tier of our cake will be strawberry with strawberry filling, overload that I am so looking forward to!

MOH bonding - The tradition of dunking our Aggie rings

I would love to hit a jackpot to finish paying for this wedding!

Read up on all the other bees’ experiences in A Bee’s Life series here!

To Infinity...and Beyond!

Side note, I always seem to think of Toy Story whenever we head to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Anywho - Bed, Bath & Beyond was an easy pick for us when we were deciding on which stores to register at. We became quiet familiar with the BB&B registry system in 2009 with 5 weddings to attend, and who doesn't love to use those 20% off coupons and get more bang for your buck?

I actually set up the registry at a bridal show (to get a free pair of salad tongs) last year but never added any items - I really wanted to include Mr. E in this wedding experience. We headed to the store on a weekday, so the store was fairly empty, and we were able to get assistance right away.

Mr. E waiting for the guy to get the scanner

We selected some "casual china" from the book and then were on our own to scan our little hearts out. I must admit, Mr. E became quite the scanning pro during our time there.

Mr. E showing off his scanning skills & our bathroom set

We selected items for the bathroom, future bedroom (after the wedding, once we get into a new house we will be upgrading to a king size bed. Can. not. wait!), kitchen, entertaining items, dining and more.

The bedding we selected for the future master bedroom

We were in BB&B for a little over an hour before we realized we were cutting it close for our cake tasting (more on that later). We did some rush scanning in the kitchen utensils and figured we could either go back later or update it online.

Would you like to see some other items on our list? I'll take that as a yes :)
Following pictures from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Colorwave Blue Dinnerwear by Noritake - LOVE the "casual china"

Over and Back Divided Rectangular Platter - Perfect for different dips when hosting a party

Occasions Cancun 9 oz Margarita Glasses - We love to get our drink on

Cuisinart Contour Hard Anodized 13 - Piece Cookware Set - Oh how we need new pots and pans. The ones we currently cook with are from my college days.

"L" Monogram Coasters - Corny, I know but I really was excited about registering for items with my new last initial.

Did you register in the store or online? If you went the store route, did you take your FI with you? Were you surprised to see a couple items on your list that your FI added while you weren't looking? I know I was ;)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Sounds of the Islands

Last year my family and Mr. E took a trip to my dad's home country of Trinidad and Tobago, which is a set of 2 main islands (and several smaller landforms) in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. This was the first trip ever for Brother Elephant, me and of course Mr. E.

The Whole Elephant Family

Arriving in T&T

We had some quality relaxation time on the beach. 

We were able to try regional drinks (Sol) and food (like Roti and Conch & Dumplings).  It may look weird, but that Roti tasted so good!!! You may be able to see the awesomeness of Roti from that pic of Brother Elephant and Mr. E chowing down.

We toured both islands learning so much about Daddy Elephant's childhood and culture while enjoying family time together.

While we were there, we heard a lot of steel drum music which originated in Trinidad and Tobago.

Little kids practicing the steel drums

I thought that it would be awesome to somehow incorporate the steel drums into our wedding as a nod to Daddy Elephant's heritage. Early in the game I requested a quote to have a local group play at the cocktail hour, which ended up being a little out of our price range. So I tabled that idea for a later discussion.

As the months rolled by, I thought more and more about it, and thought that having the steel drums for the ceremony would be something that all of our guests would remember and could be a surprise to my dad (a small token of thanks for all of his monetary help for this wedding). So I reached out to Island Boogie and found out that their price was very reasonable! Here is a you tube video of some common wedding songs played on the steel pan.


I am so excited to work this into the budget and surprise my dad on the big day... let's hope I can keep this secret better than I do with most of Mr. E's Christmas gifts!  Last year was a major fail as I couldn't keep the secret and gave him his gift the day after Thanksgiving.

Are you planning any music forms for your wedding that incorporate your heritage?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Avoiding a breakout

I have a love hate relationship with my face. Most of the time I love it, but there are several moments when I hate it, and those moments always stem from a break out.

I've tried different products to prevent breakouts including the ever so popular Proactive system, and they all seem to work for a little bit and then it's breakout city.

Now, I must take some of the blame (or all of it, but I like to go easy on myself) because I start off great with the daily regimen and then slowly start forgetting at night and sometimes skipping over a couple steps when getting ready in the morning.

I got tired of the high cost of Proactive (I was never a fan of the automatic deduction, especially when I would be sent another set before I was even half way done with the current set of products) and started to see the commercials for a new 3 step Clean and Clear product and thought I should give it a try.

I tend to not have one major big breakout, but more of a smaller almost rash type of breakout. The clean and clear didn't seem to do very much for me either.

When we got my make up for our first set of engagement pictures done at the Clinique counter, I decided to buy some of their acne solutions as well as their dark spot corrector.

And here are a couple before and now shots. I've been using it for 5 months now and feel like it's really making a difference.

I hope to see more improvement by the time April rolls around.

Did you switch to any new beauty products in preparation for your wedding? How did they work for you?