Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sad Face

Remember when the Architect and I sent out our beautiful save-the-dates? We put so much work into those babies, and we were so excited for all of our guests to receive them in the mail. Well, a week went by, and we started hearing from some of our guests that they had received the STD postcards in the mail, and they LOVED them. Yay! BUT... we also heard from some of our other wedding guests that the cards still hadn't arrived. Boo.

So, we chalked it up to the holiday mail rush, and we waited another week. And still, a whole pile of our guests hadn't received their cards. Sad face. I was so upset, since we had put so much work into our STDs... AND the Architect had hand-addressed each and every one. But most importantly, we were really worried about our wedding guests out there who we don't speak to on a regular basis... those people who would need to receive the STD card to know about our wedding plans, since we hadn't blabbed about the wedding to them already for hours on end.

After two weeks of waiting we decided to send out an email. Sigh. The text of the email went something like this:

Dear Family & Friends,

A couple of weeks ago we sent a save-the-date card for our wedding in the mail to all of you. While we are excited to hear that most of you have received it in the mail, we are sad to hear that some of you have not. We are sending the card along as an attachment to this email, so that those of you who did not receive it in the mail can see it now. Please visit our wedding website to learn more about our July (xx) wedding in Northeast Harbor Maine:
http://www.xxxxxxxxxxx.com/wedding (not our real website, clearly)
Also, if you did not receive a save-the-date card in the mail, please send us your current address, in case we have it wrong in our files.

Thank you, and we're looking forward to seeing you all in July!

-P. and E.
After we sent out this email, we were at least sure that all of our guests had received a version of our STD. And lo and behold, a number of additional guest fell out of the woodwork who also hadn't received their postcards in the mail. Most interestingly, of two of the Architect's cousins who share ownership of a 2-family house in New York, only one had received the card. That's right -- upstairs apartment got the card. Downstairs didn't. In the same house!! Ummm... how on Earth does that happen, United States Postal Service???

Our best guess right now is that an entire bag of mail just fell off the back of the mail truck. And BTW, we are now going on a month since we sent out our STDs, and none of the missing ones have reappeared in the meantime. The missing STDs have literally fallen into the black hole that is the mail :-(

Did any of you have any frustrating experiences with mailing out your STDs or invitations?

Monday, December 28, 2009

In Which the Astronomer Gives a DIY Tutorial

Whoa. Look out internet! As I have already alluded to many times before, the Architect is the creative one in this relationship. While I often offer some design input (ok who am I kidding -- A LOT of design input -- what else would you expect of a super type-A bride), it is the Architect that has turned all of my design ideas into reality. He designed our wedding website and our STDs... and before this whole story is through, he will also be designing invitations, programs, and menus, amongst other things.

However, if I do say so myself, a younger version of the Astronomer was once pretty freaking good at arts and crafts. And really, what else is a wedding other than a big old excuse to drag out all of those rusty arts and crafts skills to work on some of those wonderfully inspired DIY details? (Well... maybe there is also that whole aspect of pledging your eternal love to the man of your dreams...)

But anyways, what I am really trying to tell you here, is that this weekend I finally bit the bullet, and decided to work on my very own DIY project. See... we've been on the road for the last week. First the Architect and I spent Christmas in North Carolina seeing my grandma and the rest of my dad's family. Now we're back in Boston for a few days catching up with family and friends before we fly back to Cali next weekend. Quite the travelers we are! As part of our visit back to Boston, we met up with the Architect's mom and his step-family yesterday to celebrate a belated Christmas and exchange gifts. This presented the perfect opportunity for the Architect and I to ask our potential flower girls (the Architect's 2 step-nieces) to be in our wedding. I wanted to ask the girls in a way that they couldn't possibly say no... and what little girl could say no when presented with gift certificates the the American Girls' Doll store? So gift certificates were purchased, and the next thing to do was to make some cute cards asking the girls to be in our wedding.

...and here they are:

I started with some sparkly pink paper and little pearl stickers:

I then cut the paper into two pieces -- one card for each girl:

Now the hard part -- I wanted each girl's name to appear in pearls on the front of the card, but I needed a way to trace the names onto the card. (B/c you really don't want to see my handwriting.) This is where I cheated on my DIY project, and I asked the Architect for help. He suggested that I print out each girl's name in an appropriately sized font and then transfer the name by penciling the back of the printout. I would then write over the name while pressing down into the card, therefore transferring the graphite onto the card. A little confusing? Here's how it worked:

Printouts of the girls' names

Pencil on the back of the printouts. I then flipped them over, and wrote over the names in pen, while pressing into the card. Et viola! The names appeared in very light pencil on the front of the cards.

I then stuck down the little pearl stickers over each girl's name:

Pearl stickers (and gratuitous ring porn).

And here is the final product:

Not too shabby, eh? The text inside says "Will you be our flower girl?"

Did you do anything special to ask your flower girl(s) to be in your wedding? Any other not-so-crafty people trying their hand at a DIY project or two?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Moment of Weakness

Please help! I am a self proclaimed decisive person, but I am currently doing the unthinkable, and I am rethinking my plan for my wedding attire. Specifically, I'm rethinking what I'm planning to wear on my feet. And it is all my aunt's fault. See, I have an aunt who has an entire closet full of Loubies and other beautiful expensive shoes. And that aunt. Yes. THAT aunt, has just offered to buy me a pair of shoes for my wedding. It is something that she wants to do. And who am I to get in the way of the wishes of a kind woman? A woman who I am related to. A woman who has no daughters of her own to bestow her generous gifts of leather and satin heels upon.

Oh yeah... just one small problem. See? I already bought a pair of shoes for my wedding. I bought them over 6 months ago, pretty much as soon as the Architect and I were engaged. I love my shoes. They are simple, yet pretty. They have a perfect 3-inch heel, making me 5'8" to the Architect's 6'0". They have a thick heel so that I won't sink into the grass as I walk down our unpaved aisle. They are also rewearable. I love that my shoes look just as cute with a pair of jeans as they do with my wedding dress, making them totally worth the $120 that I spent on them at (you guessed it) J. Crew. Here they are:

Pretty, yet practical wedding shoes. I was IN LOVE with these shoes last summer. And really, I still am in love with these shoes. ...Except... My aunt wants to buy me a pair of wedding shoes. Whatever shoes I want.

And this realization has opened up my mind to delusions of grandeur. Delusions that look like this:

Source - $590 from Giuseppe Zanotti

and this:
Source - $300 from Kate Spade

and this:
Source - $300 from Kate Spade

So I am coming to you to ask for help. What do I do? Do I do the responsible thing and say, "Thanks awesome auntie with the amazing shoe goodness, but I already bought a pair of wedding shoes, so I am regretfully declining your offer." -OR- Do I say "Yespleasethankyou! I would love a pair of beautiful expensive shoes that I would never be able to afford otherwise!"

Who am I kidding. I know what I should say. I just need the strength to do it. Have any of you had to turn down any generous offers for your wedding? How did that turn out for you?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Yay for STDs -- Part III

Ok kids. I've left you waiting for long enough. It's time to show you our STDs.

Remember, we wanted the front of our STDs to have an image of our hands... so we set about having a little photoshoot of our lovely digits. Of course, we were kind of dumb, and didn't plan this out very well. We had no one to snap the pictures for us, so we decided to just prop our camera up on a shelf, and use the self-shoot mode for our pictures. We also wanted a black backdrop, but had nothing resembling a black sheet in our house, so we decided to improvise instead. We draped one of the Architect's black blazers over a folding wooden chair, et voila! Instant backdrop. The only problem was that the backdrop wasn't really big enough. All of this led to some pretty silly attempts at taking photos of our hands. Wanna see?

Attempt #1 --
Not too bad, but our hands are really off center in this shot. This is one of the many problems that we ran into thanks to not finding a friend to be our photographer for the day.

Attempt #2 --
Eek! I didn't know I could contort my wrist like that! I think this is one of the pictures where the Architect grabbed my hand saying, "No! Hold your hand like this" right as the camera decided it was time to take a picture.

Sometime in the middle of our "photo shoot" I may have fallen over on the floor laughing so hard that I was crying (and maybe almost peed on myself). The Architect was just getting so frustrated with the process of taking our own pictures, and the camera kept going off at the most inopportune moments. Really, though, I just wanted to show you our setup in this picture. To the right of that uncontrollably laughing girl, you can see the chair with the blazer draped over it -- our wonderful makeshift backdrop.

Attempt #952 --
Ok... getting a little better. My wrist is still bent in a pretty unnatural way, and we placed our hands too high, so that you can see right over our backdrop in this picture. But, we're getting there.

Attempt #1004 --
Finally. Perfection. Almost. Nothing a little Photoshop couldn't fix.

So after about an hour of taking self-shots of our hands, and a little bit of that special magic called Photoshop, courtesy of the Architect, enter our STDs!

Postcard front

Postcard back --
Actually, this one is a little different from the postcard back that we ultimately went with. This is the version that we designed in iPhoto. When we decided to go with MOO in the end, we had to sacrifice the use of different font sizes, so "We're getting married" appears in smaller text on our actual STDs.

The Architect painstakingly addressed each and every one of our STDs by hand. Being an architect, he has excellent handwriting -- way better than mine -- so I was off the hook for this task. Once the cards were all addressed, we threw a little return address sticker onto each of them (we printed these with our handy-dandy label maker -- pretty much the only "crafting" tool that I own, if you can even count it as such). Then it was off to the post office, and our cards were off to their many destinations covering a multitude of states and 5 different countries -- the U.S.A., Canada, Japan, Sweden, and Singapore.

This is what our dining room table looked like over the several days that it took the Architect to address all of our STDs. Ok, actually, at times it looked A LOT messier than this, but that's our little secret, right?

Our pile of STDs, all addressed and ready to go. Mission accomplished... only 3 weeks later than originally planned. It pains me to cover up the Architect's impeccable handwriting here, but I'm sure our guests would prefer that their addresses not be plastered all over the internet.

Did you design postcard STDs? How did yours come out in the end?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yay for STDs -- Part II

When I last left off we had thought a bit about what we wanted our STDs to look like, but we hadn't gotten any farther in the design process yet. It wasn't until October that we finally got back to work on these puppies. At that time I placed a self-imposed deadline of getting the STDs done and in the mail before the end of October -- Thanksgiving at the ABSOLUTE latest. (I'm sure you can see where this is going from a mile away. We definitely did not get them out on time. Oops!)

I mentioned before that we wanted to do STD postcards, so one of the first things that we did in tandem with designing the STDs was to research our printing options for postcards. Here are the 3 options that we researched, along with a list of their pros and cons for your reading pleasure:

(1) MOO Cards

From the MOO website we could easily order free samples of MOO's postcards and other products. The samples came in the mail within several days, and we found that their products were very high quality. The paper was thick, and the front of their postcards were nice and glossy. We could easily submit any image that we wanted for the front of the postcards, and we could design the back of the postcard from a number of different templates. As far as cost goes, the postcards would come in at under $1 a piece, which fit nicely within our budget. Also, we found a 15% off coupon for first-time MOO customers, which would reduce the cost even further.
MOO's postcards are only available in multiples of 20, which was somewhat constraining for our order. (We were hoping to send out 68, so we would have to order 80.) Also, MOO did not allow for a ton of flexibility for designing the text on the back of the postcard. We could only use a single font (from a choice of 3), there was no option for boldface or italicized text, and we had no control over font size. Deal breaker? Maybe.

(2) iPhoto / Apple Store

Ordering postcards through iPhoto offered us the most flexibility in terms of design. It would be easy to choose fonts and font sizes for the back of the card, and we could design the front of the card using whatever image we wanted. The cost came in right at $1 per card with no coupon codes available (why, oh why, Apple store do you never have sales??), making this option slightly more expensive than MOO, but still within our budget.
We really wanted to see some sample postcards from Apple, so we could check out the paper quality. We contacted Apple through their online help, and we were told that samples were not generally available. We were told that we could instead go to our local Apple store, where they might have some samples. We went ahead and took them up on their offer, and headed over to the Apple store one Sunday. They did indeed have some sample postcards in the store. (Yay!) Unfortunately, the paper quality and thickness definitely left something to be desired when compared to the MOO postcards. (Boo!)

(3) VistaPrint

VistaPrint was definitely the cheapest postcard option. Their website quoted a price of $25 for 100 cards, although I have heard of people getting their postcards practically for free by taking advantage of one of the many promotions that VistaPrint runs.
We never ordered samples of VistaPrint's postcards, after I read a number of reviews that implied that the quality of their product was definitely lower than that of Apple or MOO. We really wanted our postcards to hold up in the mail, so any postcards that weren't printed on some nice thick card stock were definitely no-gos.


So what did we choose in the end? It ultimately came down to whether we preferred thicker, higher quality postcards, or more design flexibility for the text on the cards. We finally decided that we could work within the framework offered by MOO, as long as we were clever and used all capital letters where we would have preferred a larger or thicker font. So MOO it was... and really, how could you say no to a company called "MOO" anyways.

And just in case you thought I wasn't going to leave you with any pictures in this posting... here is a quick teaser:

Did you research multiple different printing options for your invitations or STDs? Did you find any great deals out there? Do tell...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yay for STDs!!

We've had quite a frustrating week with the post office thanks to some really slow mail service during the holiday season... BUT it finally seems that a majority of our guests have received something special in the mail this week (and who am I kidding, most of the rest of our guests don't even know that this blog exists), so I finally get to blog about our STDs!

No... not that kind of STDs. Duh. I'm talking about (S)ave (T)he (D)ates of course. Now that our wedding website is up and running, we finally sent out our STDs... so that we can spread our infectious love to our guests. Ewwww. Yes, sorry, I totally went there.

Ok... so if you can stop giggling like a 13-year-old, I'll show you what we've got. First some inspirational sketches, courtesy of the Architect of course:

The Architect showed me these drawings way back during the summer, and at the time both of us really liked the idea of making a postcard STD that looked something like the sketch up top. Our hands would be shown (perhaps in black and white?) on the front of the card. On the back of the card we would remind our guests to save the date, and we would include a link to our wedding website telling our guests to please book their hotel rooms in a timely fashion if they were hoping to attend our wedding. (Summer is tourist season in Bar Harbor, duh. So... if you don't book a room early, you may find that there are no rooms left to book.)

We then filed our idea for our STD postcards under "Save for Later" as we spent August traveling across the country to our new home on the west coast, and the early part of the fall on getting settled in. We finally got back to work on the STDs in late October...

...and I will tell you all about that next time.

To be continued...

What inspired you in creating your save-the-dates?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Makeup Trial (Or: Why I Heart Sephora)

I am one of those people who doesn't really know what she's doing with makeup. On an average day I put on a tiny amount of brown eye liner, a little mascara, some bronzer that I bought about a bazillion years ago at The Body Shop, and some chapstick. Makeup look done. Despite the fact that I am fairly makeup illiterate, I decided a while back that I would definitely be doing my own makeup on my wedding day. I have a couple of reasons for this. First of all, our wedding is in a not-too-big town in Maine, and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to find a really great makeup artist for the big day. Second of all (and more importantly), I feel like it's kind of a waste to spend a whole ton of money to have someone else do your makeup just for your wedding day, when you could spend that money on some really nice makeup that you could keep for yourself and continue using over and over instead.

And that made the decision for me. I would buy myself some nice new makeup. (Or in actuality, my sister would buy me some new makeup for Christmas as a gift.) I would then be able to use my new makeup on my wedding day... and on any other day that I wanted, since it would be mine to keep :-) So... this past weekend my sister and I headed out to the mall to pay a visit to the friendly makeup artists at Sephora so that I could find my "bridal" makeup look.

Like any good bride, I went with some inspiration in hand:

Oh Leighton Meester. Your character may be kind of a bitch on Gossip Girl, but I think you're gorgeous anyways... and I love your makeup here. Can I have glowy cheeks too, just like you? Please? Thank you!

...and Jessica Alba, your makeup also looks sparkly and radiant. I like how your eyes are a bit more dramatic in this picture than in the previous one of Leighton. Maybe we can make my eyes look like this too. Mmm kay?

I showed these two pictures to the makeup artist at Sephora, and she got right to work. She was also really good about explaining exactly what she was doing as she applied my makeup, so that I would be able to recreate the look at home. And now, here is my transformation from regular old ho-hum to stunning Leighton Meester / Jessica Alba lookalike (or something like that)...

Here's the "before" picture:

Ick. The Astronomer with no makeup on!

...and here's what I looked like a couple of hours after the makeup trial, when I finally managed to get my hands on a camera:

My makeup artist gave me a cute little form, listing the names of all of the products that she used. The form also showed pictures reminding me how to apply the different products. Meet Sephora Sally. Doesn't she look just like me?

Here is the list of all of the products that were used during my makeup trial. My sister bought some of them for me for Christmas... plus a really great set of makeup brushes that I am super excited about. (I currently apply my eye makeup with my fingers, so this seems like a giant step up!)

- Smashbox luminous tinted moisturizer
- Smashbox flash artificial light
- Smashbox HD concealer light (for those pesky under-eye circles!)

- Smashbox eye shadow in walnut and shell
- Smashbox primer for eye shadow (this stuff was awesome!! It made my eye shadow stay put for hours, and I never got any pesky creases in my eye makeup in all that time.)
- Makeup Forever Aqua eye liner in colors 0L (for the liner) and 23L (a lighter color for highlighting the inside corners of my eyes)
- Korres black mascara

- Smashbox blush in "paradise" (We ended up buying NARS blush in super-orgasm instead, since I still felt like my cheeks needed some extra "oomph" in the pictures, and the NARS blush has a lot more shimmer.)
- Smashbox suntan matte bronzer

(My makeup trial didn't include lips, since I'm planning on just using some lip gloss that I already own.)

Has anyone else out there had a makeup trial at Sephora? How did it go? ...are you planning on DIY-ing your wedding day makeup, or are you hiring a professional?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Look what came in the mail this week...

A pretty envelope:

From my best friends who love to lighten up my wallet:

And what's inside?


Clockwise from top: Champagne (silk taffeta), Barely Peach (silk taffeta), Champagne (silk tricotine), Light Caramel (cotton cady)

My thoughts after seeing the colors and fabrics in real life are: "Barely peach" is definitely too pink for our wedding, since pink is not at all a part of our color palate. Bummer. "Champagne" in the silk tricotine fabric is quite light and could be mistaken for white, so that one is out as well. That leaves "light caramel" in cotton cady and "champagne" in silk taffeta as the two bridesmaid dress colors and fabrics that we will be going with. I am really excited about dresses in these two neutral colors, which my girls will then fancy up with gold heels, gold- and jewel-toned jewelry, and brightly-colored bouquets (featuring lots of -- you guessed it -- orange lilies).

The winners! -- "Light Caramel" in cotton cady, and "Champagne" in silk taffeta

It feels so good to check this item off of my to-do list. Now it's just up to my girls to go out and buy their dresses.

Have you checked any important items off of your wedding planning to-do list lately? Which ones?

Friday, December 11, 2009

An In-form-ative Form

Tee hee. I love a good play on words, if you couldn't tell :-)

Before I move on, I want to show you one more piece of our wedding website that I am very excited about... and that I had pretty much nothing to do with. I have already told you that the Architect is the design genius behind our website, so really, the credit is all his anyways. But... he decided that he had to show off just one more time during the design process, by putting together this lovely form for me:

Click on the image below for a larger version

See... there are literally hundreds of hotels, motels, inns, B&Bs, and rental houses to choose from in the Bar Harbor region, so we sort of expect that our guests are going to be scattered all over an area covering many tens of square miles. (We have put together room blocks at a couple of hotels, but I'm still pretty sure that a large number of our guests are going to find their own accommodations.)

Seeing that 95% of our guests are from out of town, we would still like to treat them to things like out-of-town bags, and complimentary transportation to our wedding. (Don't worry, I will blog about all of this later on.) So... it would really help us if we knew where our guests were planning on staying. As an added bonus, this information will also allow us to hound some of our procrastinating guests, who may have the tendency to wait too long to book their hotel rooms.

Rather than calling or emailing each of our guests to figure out where they are planning on staying during the weekend of our wedding, the Architect pointed out that he could easily create a quick response form for our website, where our guests could reply to a short questionnaire about their chosen accommodations.

It took the Architect about an hour to put together the form with some software that comes with his website host (and then at least another hour to deal with all of my "minor" tweaks)... and then he put together some snazzy html to imbed the form into our wedding website. The responses to the survey will now automatically download into a spreadsheet that we can check at any time.

Et voila!! Done and done.

Now, while our invitations won't be going out for a number of months, we will still be able to gauge which of our guests are planning on attending our wedding, and how far they have come with their travel plans. This is especially important since our wedding is taking place smack in the middle of tourist season in Bar Harbor, and summer hotel rooms tend to book up way in advance.

Destination wedding brides, how are you keeping track of your guests travel arrangements (if at all)? Are you doing anything to encourage your guests to book their travel and accommodations in a timely fashion?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting Bedazzled

I know I told you that I didn't want a wedding dress that was beaded, jeweled, sequin-ed (totally not a word), or in any other way bedazzled. (BTW, sorry I haven't told you more about my dress yet... Those posts are coming soon, I promise. Well... just as soon as I can figure out how to keep the Architect's prying eyes away from this blog.) But anyways, I am trying to make a point here... Just because I didn't want a bedazzled dress, doesn't mean that I don't want me some bling on my wedding day.

I would really truly love to wear one piece of statement jewelry on my wedding day. (That is, aside from my beautiful ring!) In my case, I have decided to stay away from necklaces... but I would really love to wear a big pair of blingy earrings instead.

Here is the first pair that I saw, that I instantly fell in love with:

Unfortunately, I quickly found out that they cost a whopping $175, so I continued on with my search in the hopes of finding something just as beautiful, but not so expensive.

I knew that Etsy would be a good place to look:

Pair #1 from LuxeDeluxe -- Cost: $40

Pair #2 from Precious Meshes -- Cost: $58

And then of course, my friends at J.Crew also had a lovely pair of earrings that also wanted to play a round:

LinkThe Infinity Earrings-- Cost: $65.

So lovelies... any thoughts? Which ones would you choose? Have you had trouble deciding on your wedding day jewelry, or was the choice easy for you?

Monday, December 7, 2009

What to wear, what to wear?

The Architect and I will be heading home for the holidays in just two short weeks. I'm so excited to spend the holidays with our family and friends! ...and while we're at home, we will also have our engagement session with our uber-talented wedding photographer, Ashley O'Dell.

I've been procrastinating on this, but it is now definitely crunch time, so I need to choose an outfit for our pictures. Of course it is probably going to be COLD in Boston in late December, and we are planning on taking our photos outside. (Ashley thinks that an engagement session in the snow would be awesome, so we'll see if the weather wants to cooperate.) This certainly calls for a cute winter coat and some winter accessories -- scarf, hat, and gloves or mittens:

This is not my coat... but it is pretty similar -- mine has a double-breasted set of buttons on the front and no hood.

As far as what I wear under all of my winter layers, I'm thinking of going in 1 of 2 different directions.

(1) Jeans, boots, and a warm sweater:

Something along the lines of this look à la Katherine Heigl

(2) Tights, boots, and a sweater dress:

Gwyneth is just too adorable, no?

Before I tell you which of these 2 looks I am leaning towards, I would love to get your opinion. So... any thoughts? Which look would you go for?

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Yes... I come from the state where this word -- wicked -- is generally used far too often as an adjective to describe an adjective.

Huh? Am I confusing you?

Let me explain...

You buy a brand new pair of gorgeous heels, and, while in Massachusetts, the correct reply from your best friend is, "Those shoes are wicked awesome!"

...and of course there's that well-known Boston area music store whose slogan is: "For a wicked good time".

But this posting actually doesn't have anything to do with New England slang. Instead, I want to talk about the musical called "Wicked". Remember when I told you about the time when the Architect surprised me with tickets to see "Wicked" on Broadway and then proposed to me later that night? Well... as a result, I am now totally head over heels in love with that musical. It also doesn't help that they covered my absolute favorite song from Wicked, "Defying Gravity", on Glee a few weeks ago. (Any other Gleeks in the house?! Holla!)

(I spontaneously burst into tears pretty much every time I hear this song.)

I totally love Wicked... and I would really love to feature some of the music from this (wicked) amazing show during our wedding as a tribute to our engagement story. Unfortunately, many of the most beautiful songs from Wicked are just so sad. Even the song "For Good", which is about lifelong friendship, is ultimately about letting go of the people we love most. This is definitely not exactly the right message for a wedding.

So my question to all of you is this: Can you think of any good ways for us to feature music from Wicked in our wedding? I would love to use the music for a first dance or maybe our processional or recessional... but I just can't justify using a heartbreakingly sad song for anything wedding-related, even if the song is also breathtakingly beautiful (and also meaningful to us as a couple).

Have you struggled to include music in your wedding that is also wedding appropriate? Do you have any good advice?

Some More About the Wedding Website...

I'm really sorry that I can't share any good tutorials on how we created our wedding website. Unfortunately, like I told you before, the process was pretty much trial and error, so there's not a lot of wisdom that I have to share...

Still, I would love to tell you a little bit more about the website design process. In particular, the Architect really wants me to show you some of his original inspiration. The Architect is excellent at sketching. (I think that is a prerequisite for his profession. No?) So... he started off by doing some drawings to come up with an overall concept for the website.

I gave him some input early on and told him that I definitely wanted the orange garden lily to play a role in our website, so this is what he started with:
(That is supposed to be the garden lily BTW. This one is a very rough sketch.)

Next up was the design concept. The Architect wanted to have a simple Flash frontpage where the lily would draw itself on the screen, and then you would have the option of entering our website:
This is what it ended up looking like (using Flash) as a first draft:

I wish I had a movie of the Flash intro, but basically, the thick line draws itself on the screen from the right side to the left side of the monitor. After the outline of the flower has been drawn, the thinner-line detailing then fades in. Here's the final version, with the colors changed and some of the lines cleaned up:

At any time during the Flash intro you can click on our names to enter the website itself. From this jumping off point we designed the entire rest of our wedding website... and hey, it only took 2 months of round-the-clock effort ;-)

What is your design process? Do you use sketching to help focus your ideas (wedding-related or NWR)?