Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ms. or Mrs.?

On my morning commute the other day, I was reading the Boston Metro and came across an article titled Take your husbands name- and lose money. It was just a quick article, which warns that taking your husband's name will "harm your career".

The article goes on to state that women who take their husband's last name are judged as "more dependent and less ambitious" and "less intelligent and competent" than women who keep their maiden names.

It quotes a statistic from a study in the current issue of Basic and Applied Social Psychology, stating women who take their husband's last name earn nearly $1,500.00 less per month. I wonder what types of women were polled in this survey which came up with these statistics. I feel it is more common in certain industries to keep your maiden name. I know many lawyers that feel that they have spent so much time building a name for themselves, they decide to either keep their maiden name, or at least keep it professionaly. I think it would be interesting to see if it has different effects in different fields.

Has your career made an impact on your decision of whether or not to keep your maiden name? Do you think people would judge you for taking your husbands name?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Special Delivery

When Mr. Newport and I were first talking about marriage, I was pretty sad at the thought of no children in our wedding. There just weren't any kids we were super close to at the time and we didn't want to choose random kids to be in our wedding.

Source (If you can't tell, the bib says "I heart my auntie")

The week after Sister Newport got engaged, Brother Newport who lives in another state called the family to let us know Sister Newport would have a little ring bearer or flower girl in her wedding (and yes, that is how he announced his baby to our family). It was an amazing surprise! At that point we weren't engaged, but I knew it was coming and I knew it meant we'd have a special little person in our wedding, too. It just so happend that a few weeks after Mr. Newport proposed, our little flower girl was born on Halloween. Exactly five years from the day Mr. Newport first asked me out. October is a good month for the Newport!

Brother Starfish asked me to be Little Newport's god-mother. Little Newport is one of the loves of my life. I'm so excited to have not just a flower girl in our wedding party, but to have the specialist little girl in our lives walk down the aisle in front of us. Or knowing her...she may be running down the aisle!

And while she is running down the aisle, she will be in style! I found the cutest dress at the Stationery Studio. I originally wanted it in navy, but it literally was discontinued the week I placed my order, after having been available for a year and a half. But that's probably a good thing. I'm excited that Little Newport will be in white, and her parents will be in navy. I hope my photographer gets an awesome family photo! Are you having any kids in your wedding party?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bridesmaid Surprise Savings

So recently, I updated letting you know, that the girls had found their dresses. What I forgot to mention was the fact that right before we placed the order, we got a great surprise....

Sister Newport and Bridesmaid L (in one of my favorite dresses)

Our bridesmaid consultant at Flair called to get the last bridesmaid's measurements and surprised me by saying the fabric I chose was being discontinued. Normally this could be a bad thing, but she said we will have enough time to get the dresses ordered, and they will now be at an even bigger discount!

I'm more excited that my bridesmaids are saving money than if my own dress were getting a discount! I feel guilty having my friends spend so much money on me, so it was awesome to get a surprise savings.

Did you have any great surprises with cost savings during your planning?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beef or Chicken?

We recently had our food tasting and let me tell you, there were a lot of unexpected surprises that day. For one we started the morning on an impromptu wine tasting in Sakonnet on our way to Newport.
Going to our tasting, I was pretty sure of what we would pick, at least for the entrees. The ABC has 3 different packages. Within each package there are set entree options. So no matter what you pick, the pricing is the same. So when I saw Filet Mignon was an option, I knew for sure it would be on our menu. I love a good filet!
I also knew we would get a chicken option. Most of my family members are picky eaters. So this again was a definite on our menu. The ABC has two chicken options, chicken picatta or marinated and roasted breast of chicken with mandarin sauce. Chicken picatta seems like it would be a much better choice. I'm a reformed picky eater, so thinking of my own tatse buds I thought there is no way I would have wanted the chicken with any sauce. I used to like really bland food. Picatta sounds like a safer choice for picky eaters.

When it came time to set up our tasting, we were to give the ABC four options we'd like to taste. We opted for the two chickens, the filet, and a new york sirloin. Mainly because we could try up to four options.

New York Sirloin
Filet Mignon with twice baked potato
Mandarin Chicken

Chicken Picatta

After tasting the food, I did a 180. Mr. Newport loved the New York Strip and I loved the Mandarin Chicken. Not what we expected, but we are really happy with our choices.

We also surprised ourselves by deciding to include a pasta cource. I was having trouble deciding if we should include an extra hor' deurves or the pasta course. Mr. Newport and I were leaning towards the hor' deurves and our Moms liked the idea of the pasta dish. After trying the penne in pink vodka sauce, we were sold. It was one of my favorite parts of the tasting! We ended up with choices we weren't expecting, but happy with what we chose. Did you serve all time favorite dishes for the wedding, or go with something you weren't expecting?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

See you at the Alter

Every blog I read seems to have a first look now. And they always end up with amazingly cute photos. There are some big advantages to seeing each other pre-ceremony. I started considering the advantages and came up with a few.

1. More intimate moment. Seeing each other for the first time without a crowd of people.
2. Relieve my nerves. Mr. Newport calms me down and I feel like pre-ceremony, I'll be a mess. Seeing him pre-cermeony would probably make me feel more relaxed.
3. More time for photos.
4. Elongate the wedding fun with each other. Sister and BIL Newport got ready in the same location, it was a fun morning.

All photos from the Snap! photography blog

So there really are some great reasons to do a "first look" pre-ceremony. The pictures above were good enough reason alone to do it. But inspite of these great advantages, we are opting to skip the "first look".

Why? I'd really love to spend the morning taking photos complete with a photo shoot like Sister and BIL Newport, but I'm really looking forward to walking down the aisle and seeing Mr. Newport for the first time that day. He is too.

It's like in 27 Dresses, how Jane's favorite part is watching the groom's face as the bride walks down the aisle. Everyone's eyes are on the bride, but she likes to watch the groom's reaction to the bride. I honestly always look at the bride, but for our wedding I'd love to see Mr. Newport's face for the first time, as the excitement builds up, as I take my last walk as a single girl.

Are you doing a first look? What was the deciding factor?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Finding the Florist

When choosing our florist, I tried not to be super specific about every type of flower we use. I know it can help to be a little flexible, especially when you are on a budget. I did my research and I learned that Hydrangeas are in season in October, which is perfect because they are one of my favorite flowers. I also like the classic feel of roses, which happen to be in season, too. Other than the two main flowers, I didn't want to be too picky with the types of flowers. Instead, I took the advice of Nancy Liu Chin of Nancy Liu Chin Designs. She recommends describing characteristics of what you want the flowers to look like. I told the final two florists we were deciding between that I like white, soft, romantic, and classic flowers.
I then created a checklist of the flowers we need. We aren't doing floral centerpieces, so this trimmed the list a bit.

Personal Flowers
- Bridal Bouquet
- 7 Bridesmaid Bouquets
- Groom's Bouttenierre
- 7 Groomsmen and Father's of the Bride and Groom Bouttenierres
- Flower Girl Item
- Corsages or Pins for the Readers
- Items for the Mother's of the Bride and Groom

Ceremony Flowers
- 2 Altar Pieces

Reception Flowers
- Transferring the Ceremony Flowers to the Reception Site
We originally told the florists we weren't doing anything for the ceremony, since we are on a budget, we think the church is beatiful on it's own and they have strict decoration requirements. But Newport Mom loves flowers and felt we needed something. We decided to do statement pieces that will work for the alter and the reception's cocktail area.

Other than giving the florists the two flower types, description words, a list of needs and showing them a few photos, their wasn't much else I conveyed. I didn't show them exact bouquets to make, but I did show inspiration pictures. I feel like it's a creative industry and since you don't tell an artist to copy someone else's painting, I didn't want to tell the florist to copy another's.

The two final florists were given the same information, but one definitely was above the other. I actually really enjoyed the meeting with our first florist. She was extremey nice and was willing to work with all of our ideas. She was little out of our budget, but because we really liked her enthusiasm, I kept her in the running.All photos from The Knot

At our second meeting, we again gave the same information, but the florist explained things I wouldn't have know about my inspiration pictures. He explained why some things may not work, and gave suggesstions of alternatives. I may not have agreed with everything he said (Sister Newport and Newport Mom was things they already told me), but I did respect his honesty and proffessionalism. He did say he would do whatever I like, as I am the client, but wanted to give me a better understanding of things. He also wanted to include florals with our centerpieces. We are doing hurricane vases with candles, sand and starfish, with votives all around. He said he would throw in rose petals to surround our centerpieces to add to the look. So this was an extra perk and we a still are coming in at our budget.

We obviously chose the florist who was more creative , honest and willing to work in our budget!

Did you go to your floral appointments with a specific look in mind? Were you open to suggestions?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's More Exciting?

What's more exciting than planning a wedding? Planning a life together!

For a year and a half, Mr. N and I have been planning our dream wedding. I have been oohing and ahhing over wedding dresses, venues, photography blogs, wedding blogs, all things nautical, cakes, stationery, diy projects, decor, and everything that goes into planning a wedding. I didn't think anything could be more fun.

Then, about a quarter through our engagement, Mr. N and I started to look for a house. We looked for almost a year before finding our dream home. To be honest it was exhausting and I much prefered planning the wedding, until in fact we found the dream home. Now my mind has shifted from wedding plans to life plans.*
Suddenly the registry is one of my favorite parts of planning!

Did you simultaneously go through two exciting life events at once? A baby, graduating school, a new apartment, new home, etc.???

*Don't worry, there are still plenty of wedding plans and projects to may just be at a slower pace!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thank You Notes & More!

One of my favorite engagement gifts was a book on writing notes, which conveniently included thank yous, from Sister Starfish. It's from the Hallmark "Gift Books" collection called On a Personal Note: A Guide to Writing Notes with Style, by Angela Ensminger and Keely Chace.

photo credit: Brooke Photography

I like the authors' attitudes towards thank yous. In the chapter introduction they explain that "great thank you notes tell people what they did- as well as how and why they did it-matters to us." It's a great way to view them as many people think opf the thank yous as a daunting task. to be honest, I love writing notes, but I think after such a huge occassion that has taken quite some time to plan, writing notes is probably the last thing I'll want to do. So it's nice to remember the importance of the note because the person probably did something really nice that made you happy.

One of the most helpful parts in the chapter is the breakdown of the note. The authors break down the structure of different types of notes, including thank you notes. They break the note down into 6 parts.

1. Greet the recipient
2. Express your gratitude
3. Elaborate
4. Compliment and look ahead
5. Restate your gratitude
6. Give your regards

photo credit: Nashan Photographers

They also give great adjectives to describe the gift. I find this helpful because when I have to write multiple thank you notes, it can get repetitive. It's nice to have a resource to and change things up. If my writer's block is really bad, I turn to their sample notes for some new writing style inspiration.

And if that doesn't help, they even include questions to get ideas going. A couple I find helpful include "How did you feel when you opened the gift?, If it is a gift of money or a gift card, how do you plan to use it?"

The thank you chapter is broken into three parts: gifts, support & kindness, and social events & hospitality. So far, I've nly used the gift section for engagement gifts, but I know the next two sections will be helpful when thanking our families and wedding party for their support and the vendors for their services.

photo credit: Lara Swanson Photography

The best part of the book is that it expands beyond thank you notes. It includes all types of notes from business to congratulations to sympathy and more.

It's great because I know I'll use this gift long after our thank yous are sent out.

Did you find any great resources to help you write your thank yous?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dancing with Dad

I've been searching for awhile for the perfect father daughter dance song.

I love Cinderella, by Steven Curtis Chapman. It's a really sweet song about a Dad who's little girl is growing up. The song kind of emphasizes living in the moment and sharing one special last dance.

Rascall Flat's My Wish For You is another favorite. I recently fell in love with country music and want to include a bit at the wedding. It's such a perfect song forr either the father-daughter or mother son dance. It is about the wishes a parent has for their child (actually it isn't technically for parents, but that's the what I think when I hear it) . I think the lyrics are so perfect. FMIL Starfish thought so too. She told me that she was thinking of using it for the Mother-Son dance. Which is pretty awesome because I love this song and it's perfect because my future in-laws introduced me to my love for country music during our last vacation together.

My new love for Country led also led me to Tim McGraw's My Little Girl. It's a really sweet song about a father remembering special moments with his daugther, while trying to let go. Kind of perfect for a wedding!

And surprise, surprise, going with the country theme...I fell in love with Heartland's I Loved Her First. I feel like this is the ultimate father-daughter dance song. I've heard it at multiple weddings and it always gets me al ittle teary eyed. This probably would have been my first choice, but Sister Starfish danced with our dad to it last year at her wedding. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if I used it again, but I want to have my own special song to dance with Father Starfish to.

Lastly, I recently heard Edwin McCain's Walk With You. If you haven't heard it yet, you should check it out. It's about a father walking his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. It's possibly my new favorite.

I've been debating which song to choose, and then I realized I should let Starfish Dad choose. I'm planning to make him a CD with my top songs and let him choose.

What song did you pick for your father daughter dance? Any amazing ones I'm missing on my list?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dresses for the Girls, 2

After narrowing down a few ideas for the bridesmaids dresses, I decided I was in love with the simplicity of the Alfred Sung D446 on the Dessy website. Which is the dress on the right.

I called up every store in MA and RI that carries Alfred Sung. At the time, the Spring collection just came out and I could only find one store that carried the D446. So I booked an appointment at Flair Bridesmaids.

Well apparently I know nothing about fabrics. I had decided early on that I want the girls in a casual and comfortable fabric, nothing with a shine (I have it stuck in my head that shine equals fancy). So when I got to Flair I was surprised to find out that the D446 only comes in a shiny fabric called Dupioni. If I had clicked on the swatch on the website, I would have easily realized that this was a fancy fabric.

When I looked through the store, it seemed like everything was in fancy fabrics. But I explained to my consultant, Leah, the vibe and feel I was looking for. A bit casual, navy cocktail length, something that looks very "Newportish". Leah came up with a few options, some shiny, some not. I had Sister Newport act as a model and try on quite a few dresses. I ended up liking a few, but the one I loved was a dress by Coren Moore. It is absolutely perfect!

The Newport Girls will be wearing the Coren Moore "Courtney" dress in cotton sateen. To have my MOH, Sister Newport, stand out a bit she'll be the only one with a sash. I can't find an exact match, but here it is in silk. After narrowing down the choices, the Newport Girls and I booked a second appointment for fittings. Luckily they all loved it, or at least that's what they told me...... but seriously I think they really do! Which is so awesome. I was really stressed about finding something that they would all feel comfortable and look good in. I was so happy after each bridesmaid tried it on, it was super flattering on everyone! A couple even said they will wear it again and will have to schedule with each other so they don't all show up at the same event wearing it.

Did you stress about finding the perfect bridesmaid's dresses? Did your girls end up happy with your choice?