Thursday, September 30, 2010

Towels, and spoons, and tongs, Oh my!

A few weeks ago, Nick and I started the registry fun.  I had heard a few horror stories of the fights that registering could cause so I was a little fearful going into it.  We had gone back and forth on where to register but Nick was set on registering for tools and I'm not gonna lie I like a good power tool too so a hardware store was a must.  We started at Lowes only to find out they stopped doing registries several years ago.  Our next stop was Home Depot.  They still do registries and we began registering there.  It was a bit anti-climatic as they don't have scanners and you just have to write down the SKU for everything you want and you can't view the registry online (which we didn't find out until after we had written everything down).  It also turns out that Home Depot really isn't convenient for either of our families and since it wasn't online we decided to try plan C and register at Sears instead. 

Other than that our initial debated was between Target, Macy's, Crate and Barrel, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  We wandered around Macy's and really were not impressed and felt like much of the "essentials" were a little over priced.  Not to mention I was pretty sure I would be disowned as a "Kingma Girl" if I actively promoted business to the "store which shall not be named."  You see my Mom's side of the family has a long standing tradition as a Marshall Field's family and I have many fond memories spent there with my grandma as well.  But ever since Macy's aka "the store which shall not be named" took over Marshall Fields we have severed our ties so creating a wedding registry there just didn't seem right.  The only problem was they sell Fiestaware.  These beautiful dishes:

I already have a set my parents gave me when I graduated from college and I dearly love them.  We decided we wanted to add to this collection as our everyday dishes.  I wasn't sure what to do until someone told me they thought Kohl's had them.  So Kohl's it had to be.  Registering at Koh's was a lot of fun, but turned out to also be very exhausting- who knew wandering around a store not actually buying anything could make a person so tired?  Nick may disagree but it was also a lot easier to agree on things than I had anticipated so no nasty fights :)

We wanted to register at one other place to provide some variety.  We perused Bed, Bath, and Beyond and felt it was very similar to Kohl's so we took that off the list which left Target and Crate and Barrel.  I don't know as though we ever really talked about which one made more sense, but I heard about this event

Which was basically an opportunity to have Crate and Barrel all to yourself (ie you and several other couples) so you can register.  The best part is they provide food and beverage and a free gift!  I asked Nick what he thought and we decided to sign up.  Decision made Crate and Barrel it was.  Sorry Target I still dearly love you but how could I pass up panini's and mimosas?? So this past Sunday we got up early before Crate and Barrel was open to the public and enjoyed a lovely tour of the store, followed by some yummy breakfast.

Then it was off to registering

And having a little fun in the process

And we even took home these lovelies as a free parting gift

lovely heart shaped champagne flutes!

not really our style but who doesn't love a free gift?

So there you have it our registries are complete (at least until next seasons fashions come out and we have to update them)!  I think we did a pretty good job being practical while still including some things that would just be nice to have.

Can you guess what the post expensive thing on our registry is?  Hint: it is not as I would have guessed a power tool, and really I am not even sure why this item is so expensive.

Well it is this little doozy

that we registered for on a whim only to find out when we got our print out of our registry that it costs....are you ready for this??

$270.00!!!!!  Yes that is right you can make yummy margaritas in your home for a mere $270 big ones...seriously what makes this so much more expensive than my $25.00 blender. (also funny side note it is technically called "Margartiaville Frozen Concoction Maker"...just call it what it is people!)

I have informed Nick that if we get this and nothing else we are returning it to purchase pans so if you decide to purchase this for us please do not be offended if we return it for something that is well...much more practical (but we will only do that if we did not receive any other practical gifts :) )

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Adam Sandler...what???

So I had my first weird wedding dream last night.  I have been warned by many a bride before me that this was inevitable. Nick has already had a few himself but last night was my first foray with this wedding side effect.  And let me tell you it was very bizarre!

On to the dream (or at least the parts I remember):

I woke up in my parent's house in my bedroom as it was when I still lived there in my little twin bed the day after the wedding.  Nick was no where to be found but there was a small stack of pictures from the night before.  I started flipping through the pictures and to my horror my dress was AWFUL!  It was very very poofy, with a lace jacket and a weird 4-tiered veil...gross.  I get up and go searching for someone to explain all this too me and who do I find?  Adam Sandler, Matt Lauer, and Molly Shannon (I really have no idea what the 3 of them have in common).  All were apparently guests at the wedding and were still hanging out.  If that wasn't odd enough I then see approximately 50 children playing on a slip and slide in my parent's backyard.  Turns out Adam Sandler is a counselor at the YMCA camp and he couldn't get off work to come to the wedding so he just brought all the kids with him!  The last thing I remember is having an intense conversation with my good friends Matt and Molly about how rude it was that Adam thought it was ok to bring all those children with him, but if they were here we might as well join in the slip and slide fun. 

I guess it was more of an after wedding dream, but weird nonetheless.  I really have no idea what that means or if I really want to know what it means.  I thought I would share so all of you could enjoy my craziness as well and if you are lucky there will be more where this came from. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Traditional with a Touch of Country

 I bet you can't guess our colors!  I know some of you have been waiting for this announcement for quite some time.  We have decided to go with a royal blue and various shades of green with grey accents.  A little something like this:

Those aren't the best so to give you a better idea I put together a little inspiration board below. 

Blue and Green 2

I know the bottom picture isn't even close to the right color blue, but that picture is less about the dresses and more about the boots.  Like I have said before Nick and I are pretty traditional when it comes to our wedding tastes but for those of you that don't know, Nick is a little country and by that I mean a lot country.  He would wear cowboy boots with everything if I would let him and would be much happier on a farm than in the city.  And honestly I am a bit more country than I often admit.  So while our wedding will be rather traditional we have decided it will have just a touch of country.  I can't promise the bridesmaids will be in cowboy boots but the groomsman will be for sure!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Imperfection is Perfection

I saw this commercial the other day and couldn't help but smile.  Aside from the absolute adorableness (I think  I made that word up) of the couple it really made me think.  Not many things in our planning process thus far have gone perfectly as planned.  We switched dates at least 12 times, decided not to go with our first church, still haven't decided on a reception venue and I don't think I need to rehash all the things that went "wrong" the day we got engaged.  I think this commercial is a good reminder not only about wedding planning but also life.  If everything went smoothly and as planned it really wouldn't be as much fun!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The hunt for the perfect photographer

I LOVE LOVE LOVE wedding photography (well really most any photography) and secretly wish sometimes I had the talent and skill do be a photographer myself, but alas.  This decision ranked right up there with church and reception site.  Even before we were engaged I would spend my free time perusing photographers blogs and websites just looking at the beauty they capture with a camera, so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted.  I had a few very specific requirements that were must haves but other than that I was just hoping I would know the perfect photographer when we saw them.  Requirement number one was that a DVD of images with copyright privileges must be included in the package.  We were going to be spending a lot of money and they are pictures of us after all so why shouldn't I have rights to them?  The other requirements were 2 photographers, unlimited time limits, and locations.  Nick and I really want pictures that tell the story of our day and to make that happen we felt it was important to have more than one person who could shoot the entire day from different vantage points and we didn't want to be stuck in a position of missing something important because we only have the photographer for 6 hours.

Too much to ask?  I didn't think so.  Well it turns out that it was a little harder than I had anticipated.  Not that we couldn't find a lot of photographers who were willing to give us those things it was just that most of them were going to cost more than the ENTIRE reception and that just wasn't going to fly.  Then one lovely Sunday afternoon we went to a wedding show with our friends Justin and Diana who are getting married in May.  This was a crazy insane afternoon and as overwhelming as all the blogs and my friends had warned me.  We talked to lots of photographers and looked a even more wedding albums.  We came home with a giant stack of brochures from at least 30 photographers and this was on top of all the websites I had bookmarked.  It was a little to overwhelming to take on at first so we put it off for a few weeks.  We finally managed to narrow down the list to about 3 that were reasonably priced and offered what we were interested in and scheduled meetings with those 3.  Through the whole process there was one couple that just stood out.  We chatted with them a bit at the wedding show and then again when we met with them.  They sat with us for almost an hour showing us as much work as we wanted to see including more than one wedding from start to finish (which I would highly recommend you get from any photographer you look at).  We met with them first and I think if Nick and I weren't such thorough people we probably would have just signed the contract that night but alas we are and it is important for us to explore all our options.  So we met with the other two photographers, one of which could have been a maybe the other was an absolute no but through it all the first meeting just stuck out and to top it off they were the best priced!  So we signed another contract and wrote another check to Lawing Photography.  They don't have a ton of work on their website but there is enough to give you a sense.  They are just the right amount of fun and artsy without being too out there and still giving us the touch of traditional that we were looking for.

So for those of you keeping score that is officially 3 decisions crossed off the list!  (I told you I liked to cross things off lists)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Life Goals

About two weeks ago I posted this post "The Meaning Behind '26 to forever" where I referenced some goals that I had set for myself for my "new beginning" in St. Louis.  The thought behind the goals was a way to for me to stop just talking about doing things but actually start doing them.  Some of them are admittingly probably a little far fetched and need some refining but they are things I have talked about wanting to do for a long time and just haven't actually done.  So what are these goals you ask?  Well here is the original list (in no particular order)

  • Workout more
  • Eat new, different, and healthier things
  • Learn something new
  • Get involved in at least 1 charity as a regular volunteer
  • Try new things St. Louis has to offer
  • Live more frugally and reduce my debt
  • Get more involved in a church 
Now for all of my friends out there who talk about goals ALOT I know these are far from being SMART goals and probably made you cringe- it is ok I cringed a little too when I wrote the first one! For those of you that aren't nerds like us SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound.  My plan in the next few weeks is to post about each one of these goals, the rationale behind them and start to break them down to be SMART and maintainable goals and to fill you in on the progress with each of them.  Then ideally I would like to post at least once a month on my progress.  I will be back soon with another life goals post but for now if you have any thoughts or ideas on any of these I would be happy to hear them! Or if you have anything else you would like to throw into the mix feel free.

And don't worry I will be back soon with more wedding posts :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The search for the perfect dress- Part 1

side note: sorry for the lack of pictures in this post it is a bit boring, but given the subject matter, pictures on this topic will just have to wait to make an appearance on the blog until after the wedding!

This weekend Nick, my sister, my bro-in-law, my niece and I traveled to Wilmington, Ohio to visit my aunt and uncle.  This annual trip is usually spent going to an interesting Ohio festival (I swear the state has more weird festivals than any other state), shopping, watching football, and relaxing and this year was no exception, the shopping was just a little bit more exciting.

Saturday we left the boys in front of the TV for a day of college football and my aunt, sister and I were off the the Reading Bridal District in Cincinnati.  I had no idea there was such a thing as a bridal district, but alas there is.  My aunt Jennifer bought her dress at Bridal and Formal and had a wonderful experience so that was our first stop.

After I filled out my information card I was greeted by JD, a very friendly young man who explained the layout of the store and the process and then turned me over to a consultant.  The process was to start looking through the dresses and pick out 7 I would like to try on. Then my assigned consultant would take me back to the dressing room and we would start trying them on.  The first thought that went through my head at this point was, "Are you kidding me!  We were in a room with THOUSANDS of dresses and you want ME to dig through these racks and pick out 7??"  In fact I was just a little annoyed.  I thought wedding dress shopping was supposed to consist of my describing what I was looking for and some nice consultant bringing me dresses. But because I am compliant my aunt, sister and I began digging through racks of dresses.  We fairly quickly came up with 7 that looked like they would be worth trying on.  At this point I met Tracie who hauled my 7 dresses into the dressing room.  First she quickly pinned my hair up into a very cute updo and we started helping me into the first dress.  I put it on and immediately hated it!  I have to be honest I was a little worried about dress shopping for this very reason.  Don't get me wrong I was excited to get dressed up like a princess all day but I was worried I would never find the dress.  I had been told by countless brides they bought the first dress they tried on and I hated the first dress I tried on...was I doomed to just finding the dress I could live with?

Luckily I could not have gotten a better consultant.  Tracie agreed completely that it wasn't the dress for me and flipped through the other 6 dresses we had picked out and pretty much said we were completely off base and off she went.  While she was gone we tried the other 6 on agreeing with Tracie that all of them were just wrong!  She came back with a few more dresses that were nothing like what I would have picked out but all the sudden we were on the right track.  I tried on several more dresses and we were getting closer. Tracie was an absolute sport with me and my lack of ability to verbalize what was wrong with each one, except for the disorganized dress that is! 

Side note: I tried on a dress that was well disorganized with lots going on.  My sister and I explained that we didn't like it because it was disorganized.  Apparently they had never heard that term used to describe a dress and everyone was quite amused by us!

Tracie kept bringing me back more dresses and finally I put one on that was just it!  Again it was absolutely nothing like what I had envisioned or would have picked out on my own but it was spectacular!  Tracie then took me over to get some matching jewelery and of course a veil.  It was when she stuck the veil in my hair that an indescribable feeling washed over me and it finally hit me... I'm a bride!

Now I loved this dress but I wasn't 100% sure and not only did I still have another appointment that afternoon, but I also had plans to go shopping with my mom and Nick's mom in St. Louis. So I took off the dress and we headed across the street to another store.  This experience was nothing like my experience at Bridal and Formal but I did end up finding another dress that I also really really liked.  Sarah sneakily took a picture on her phone and we headed back across the street to Bridal and Formal.  I wanted to try on the first dress again and see if they had the dress I liked from the other store so I could try them on in succession. Also in all honestly I missed Tracie!  She was so "tell it like it is" but in a way that made you feel like good about yourself- she really was the perfect consultant (can you tell I can't say enough nice things about her)! Tracie found a dress very similar to the one I tried on at the other store and I tried it on followed by the first dress. This helped a great deal but we shall see.

All in all it was a fabulous day and what they say about putting on wedding dresses really is true...I've never felt like such a princess! I have plans to go shopping again in October with my mom, Nick's mom, and my sister so stay tuned for "The search for the perfect dress- Part 2"

Friday, September 3, 2010


We have made a decision-Hallelujah!  Actually are you ready for this??  We made 2 decisions.

So without further ado we have a date: 9/3/2011 exactly 1 year from today.

The other decision is we have picked a ceremony location.  Nick and I are both preachers kids and grew up in the church.  While I love looking at pictures of weddings in beautiful gardens, fields of flowers, or contemporary loft spaces I always saw my wedding in a church.  We did briefly discuss other options, but I think for both of us a church wedding was exactly what we wanted.

The problem was which church?  Because we both grew up in the church and our parents pastor in churches we had at least half a dozen churches to pick from.  This decision wasn't quite as easy for us. Do we get married in St. Louis? or maybe the Quad Cities at the church I grew up in, or Nick's Dad's church?  and if we get married in St. Louis which church?  Of all those decisions the decision to get married in St. Louis was a fairly easy one for us.  St. Louis is where Nick has lived for the last eight years and I have spent at least some of the last four years here so this really is our home.  I also was not thrilled with the idea of trying to plan a wedding long distance.  So St. Louis it is. 

Once we made that decision though, we still had to decide where in St. Louis.  We have been attending a wonderful church for the last several months where we love the service and the pastor so that was where we started.  They were originally booked for all of May (when we had originally planned on getting married) so we started exploring other options in St. Louis.  We called a few other Methodist churches in town but many of them were not willing to let Nick's dad officiate which was a deal breaker.  We also looked at the chapel on Wash U's campus which is a beautiful chapel and coincidentally where my graduate school graduation was held, but it was a little more expensive and a little less flexible in terms of ceremony times.  At this point we decided May wasn't really the best month after all, for lots of reasons I won't bore you with and decided to explore September.  So our first church was back on the table, but in the meantime we had kind of fallen in love with another option.  After lots of back and forth and conversations with both locations we made a decision...

We have decided to go with the beautiful Salem United Methodist Church. 

Salem UMC-Ladue outside

Salem UMC-Ladue Sanctuary
This isn't the church we have been attending or plan to join, but for a number of reasons this church just felt more right.  We love the church that we attend, but it is a huge church and the sanctuary is very large and a little less traditional feeling that this sanctuary.  Also because the church is so large all of their pre-marital counseling is done in small group class format which neither of were 100% thrilled with.  We didn't however, open the phone book and just point to a church and say this one- we have a very random connection to this church.  The associate pastor's parents live in the town that Nick lived in when he went to high school and attended Nick's dad's church so they know her family well.  I felt instantly comfortable with her when we met her last week and she is very open to letting Nick's dad officiate as much of the service as we want which was a definite bonus for us.

That was probably much more information than you really cared to have but I thought I would give you a little insight into why it took so long to make this decision.

Two big decisions now out of the way and we are close to making two more decisions soon so stay tuned!  I am also starting the hunt for a wedding dress this weekend so I am sure there will be lots of fun details on that trip early next week but for now I hope you all have a fabulous holiday weekend.