Thursday, February 24, 2011

Gift Expectations

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . Just kidding! But wedding planning does make you think like that sometimes, doesn’t it? For realsies.

Anyway Hive, here’s a weird story for you. This was all back in Mid-December, by the way. Sure, it was a little while ago, but just go with it. (source)

I live with the Giraffe parents, and we get a local newspaper a few days a week, and the Chicago Trib on Sunday mornings. Shortly before the holidays, we received our paper and rubber-banded to the outside of it, was a half sheet of orange construction paper.

When we opened the paper, that was clearly cut (possibly with kid's scissors) in half. It said in marker “Merry X-Mas”. On the side, also in sloppy marker handwriting was a name, address, and “NO checks.” There were also two snowflakes drawn with blue marker, I guess that made it festive.

Okay, wait, what? Clearly our paper person was expecting something from us for the holidays. I think this is weird. It would be one thing if we had made our own decision before they left us the note, but we didn’t. I also think it’s weird because, my family has never once even seen our paper delivery person. They drop they paper off super early. What it seemed like to us, was that this person whom we’ve never seen, talked to, or received any other notes from before, was expecting a gift from us.

I’m sure you guys know where I’m going; this is a wedding site, after all ;-).

What about wedding gifts? Do we/should we expect them?

Until I got into wedding planning, I had no idea how expensive weddings can be. I now try to follow the rule of covering your plate, but I realize this doesn’t always happen. The last wedding Mr. Giraffe and I attended together, we gave a gift of $50 for the both of us. I doubt it covered both our plates, but Mr. G was still in school and I was making $80 a week at the grocery store. We really couldn’t afford much else.

Here’s where I stand I guess, to be honest, a little bit of me does expect gifts. This could be because people have been asking where we’re registered. I mean, hey, if you get us something I’m not going to complain! (source)

On the other hand, my friends are all in their early 20s We have no money, I get it, I’m there too. (Although I would have money if it wasn’t for this wedding hehehe, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!). A lot of my friends are making minimum wage and have rent and food to worry about. I’d much rather them show up to the wedding sans gift, rather than spend money they seriously need on us. My wedding isn’t a business; I mean, I like gifts as much as the next person, but I don’t expect my friends to buy me all that Le Creuset cookware. Yeah, it’s on my registry, but that’s because I’m saving up for it myself. I’ll hopefully be using my ‘registry completion’ discount in the future.

I also realize that some people (actually, a lot of people) will be traveling from out of state to sweet home Chicago. Traveling is a lot of money, yo! (I know that is expensive for serious seeing as I just bought a plane ticket to fly Mr. G out for his bachelor party camping, hiking, skiing week about 15 minutes ago). It's hard to expect people to buy you gifts when they're using their money to come out for you in the first place.

Bottom line? I want friends and family to be part of our day. Them being present (ha!) for our wedding means a lot more than any gift the could get us.

. . . unless, of course, it's the matching Snuggies we registered for, because I'm sure those would mean a lot.

What about you, hive? What are your gift expectations?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Like the Fourth of July

Yes, I'm continuing with my Katy Perry references. Don't judge me ;-).

Hive, hive, hive, I've got some news for you all. You see, ever since I shared my big news that Daddy G (who works for Melrose Pyrotechnics) surprised me with the fact that we'll be having fireworks at our reception, it's all I can think about.

Picture fireworks right now. Did you do it yet? Amazing. Now picture them at a wedding reception. Double Amazing, you say?

Well, that's what I said too, and then I realized that my imagination couldn't do it justice. I could let you enjoy all of those pretty images in your head, but instead I just have to show you what I'm looking forward to. No, the fireworks in these photos weren't done by my dad, but they are amazing and I can only hope for something this epic on my big day.

Enough talking; on to the goods!source

What are you guys looking forward to on your big day?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Space

Mr. Giraffe and I are currently in the middle of a fight. Just thought I'd let you all know.

What is the fight about, you ask? Who knows. I'm pretty sure it was not a big deal and then got completely blown out of proportion and then, due to us being at least a little immature, we're now in deep freeze mode and being frosty to each other.

She's clearly thinking, "He forgot to order the centerpieces!"

Does this bother me? I mean, does it bother me that we fight? No, not at all. Everybody fights. I think anyone in a stable, long term relationship knows that relationships are, indeed, work and to make them strong and lasting, communication has to happen. Of course, there are those time where communication isn't quite clean and lines get crossed and then misunderstandings happen. Totally normal, I get it; no sweat of my back.

Not to mention that Mr. Giraffe and I both have strong personalities. You put someone as stubborn as Mr. G, next to someone who is as "my way or the high way" like me and we're bound to butt heads. It happens, no big deal.

Fights happen, arguments happen, and I'm sure there are plenty of relationships where maybe it doesn't seem worth the work to make it past the bumps in the road (or giant hills, if the case may be).

In my world, an argument with Mr. Giraffe is essentially meaningless. This doesn't mean I don't like to work things out and (of course, maybe more than anything else) make my opinion heard, but, honestly, arguing is a lot of work. It's tiring. In the grand scheme of things, never once has a disagreement with my main squeeze changed my view of our future together. Even when I'm rolling my eyes at the kid and getting annoyed, I still want to get married, have a million babies, and grow old and wrinkly together.

So why am I telling you guys this now? Well, here's the thing: Mr. Giraffe and I deal with arguments and the anger that comes with them differently. I get angry, pout (usually a lot), and then subsequently get over it.

Mr. Giraffe, on the other hand, needs space. Whenever he gets angry, directly afterwards, he wants to be left alone. He wants his space, he doesn't want to be talked to, and he doesn't want to be bothered.

I get it. Of course, 5 years ago, I didn't get it and him walking away from me after an argument made me more upset and just made a whole mess of everything. Now, he tells me he needs space, and I give it to him. Then we move on and have happily ever after.

This is where I'm thinking trouble might happen. My freshman and sophomore years of college, Mr. G and I lived on floor 11 and 12 of the same dorm. In the same way a new relationship infatuates you with one another, we spent probably every waking minute not in class together. We still had our separate spaces, our separate dorm rooms, though. Junior year, I was in an apartment and he was in a dorm. My senior year we lived in a four bedroom apartment with two other room mates. We spent nearly all our time with each other (and sharing a place is seriously awesome), but we still had our own rooms.

Now, I live with the Giraffe parents to save money, and Mr. G lives in a 2 bedroom apartment with one of his brothers. Once again, we each have our own space.

In three months from now, we're not going to have our own space. We're going to live together. We're also going to have to share a bedroom (which, secretly, I kind of want my own). We're going to have the same bathroom, same kitchen, same everything.
. . .
More importantly, where will I put all my stuff?
How do people do this?

Like I said, we argue sometimes, which is fine, but how to people work thorough their issues if they can't even get away from one another?

More importantly, why does everyone assume once I get married, I'm going to spend all this time with Mr. G? I mean, I love the guy of course, but I do have my own life.

So married/co-habiting bees, please let me know all your secrets. How do you manage without your own space?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

See you somewhere else, Little Ones!

Before I say anything else, I have to tell you all that I love babies. Love. Them. (source)

Oh man. I die. The cuteness overload? I can barely handle it!
Whatever - I had too. It's just that cute.

To most accurately describe my feelings on babies, I could just say that I want to rake them up like fall leaves and just dive into the middle of that baby pile. Word.

Anyway, Mr. G loves babies as well and I can't wait until a few years from now when we can have a whole mess of our own.

Keep in mind, I consider a baby anything from like a newborn to two or three years old. It's children from the ages of like 5 - 15 that I have a problem with. I have no family members younger than 21 so I get all akward around that pre-teen age (like Mr. G's little sister) because I don't know how to act around them.

I'm rambling, I realize that, I'm too distracted by those adorable photos at the top of the post. What is my point, exactly? My point is that while babies are the cutest thing ever, they can also be a pain in the butt - specially when you think of them at a wedding.
No body wants a crying baby at their wedding.

I know many bees have blogged about this, and it is a tough decision. I mean, how to you make the choice whether or not to include little ones in your big day?

I mean, it's got be be hard to purposely leave family members out of your wedding just because they're young, and you also run the risk of offending your parent-friends by telling them to leave the tots behind.

Where do Mr. Giraffe and I on this issue? Well, I'm not sure, but luckily, we don't really even have to make the decision.

I know, you're all ready jealous.

Here's the thing. Mr. G and I are in our early 20s and our equally as young friends really haven't started having kids yet.

Out of all of our guests, there is one girl with a three year old, two families with a 12/13 year old (one being my Junior Bridesmaid/FSIL), two families with a 16 year old, and one 6 year old.

Easy peasy, right? The three year old is out as is the 6 year old. The 13 year olds can come because there's only two of them and they're both close to the families (or actually in Mr. G's immediate family for that matter), and I love that 16 year old like a little brother so he's totally in.

All other guests are 18 or older. I love it! This works out so nice for us. With the exception of two families, Mr. G and I don't have to go through the daunting task of telling every one to leave their little ones at home. How awesomely lucky is that?

Anybody else not invite kids by default? (And be honest, how lucky did you feel that i happened that way?)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Boom Boom Boom, Even Brighter than the Moon

Yes, that title is Katy Perry reference, but I had to find something to accurately describe my excitement. Actually, I can't even find words for my excitement.

You see, I got some big news today hive, big.

To understand this though, I have to give some back story.

See, Daddy G, who is awesome on all accounts, has a very unique job for a living. How unique you ask? Well, it's a little something like this:


That is correct! Daddy G does fireworks for his living. That's what he does, that's his job; he's kind of a rock star. He works for a super rad company called Melrose Pyrotechnics. I know, a lot of folks don't know there are such things as fireworks companies, but there really are.

For all you other Chicago locals out there, I'm sure you've seen Daddy G's stuff around. Navy Pier, Taste of Chicago, the White Sox, the Chicago Bears, Millennium Park? Yup, that is Daddy G. For serious. I know, it's super cool and I've spent my whole life watching cool and hip fireworks. It's pretty awesome. Here, take a look yourself:
I'm pretty sure you might know where I'm going with this...

My dad gave me the surprise of a life time when he just told me that I'd be having fireworks at our wedding reception.

. . .Wait. What?!

I stopped, confused and excited. After freaking out with excitement, I asked Daddy G "What?!" about a million times. He then went on to tell me that he contracted our reception venue two days ago to get the okay. I then called Mr. G with the big news and he is just as excited as I am... and then I called bridesmaid Marie too because I'm pretty sure I have to tell everyone I know.

I guess Daddy G planned on waiting until the last minute to tell me, but Mama Giraffe told him that he should tell me now so I could get excited and tell all my friends so that they could get excited too.

Word, Mama Giraffe, word.

Anybody else have a super awesome wedding-related surprise?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Invitation Inspiration: Stripes

So we've talked, and you guys might have thought that I gave you all the inspiration I had, but you all are wrong! There is even more invitation inspiration to share! I already mentioned traditional, floral, and ampersand themed invitations, and today we're on to something always cool and fun, the striped invites.

These suckers are surprisingly fresh, with a little touch of prep, wrapped up in a whole lot of awesome.

Now, I know you're not all here to listen to me talk about how nice these look; you're here to see the photos! So here you go, enjoy!

I feel like this wedding should rent an ice cream truck for the big day. (Love those summer colors!)
I know this is a Birthday Party Invitation, but I can picture it being used for another Big Day.
This may be one of my fave invitations of all time. The soft and summery colors, the retro feel, the 45° angle of the stripes, and the buttery background color all work together so well to make something awesome.

I don't know if its the preview or not, but how funny would it be to see an invitation that literally says "wedding invitation" ?
I love how stripes can look super contemporary.
Stripes on an angle are some of the best stripes!
It's so exciting to see a whole striped suite together!

There you have it, hive, more stripes than you know what to do with! But seriously, I love them!

What about you guys? Anyone choosing a stripey invite?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Invitation Inspiration: Ampersands

Okay, okay, I know that typically when you think of wedding invitations, you think "modern", "formal", "floral", "beachy", "monogram", or "vintage".

I mean, I all ready mentioned traditional and floral invitations, but today I want to share some invitations that don't really fit into a typical theme.
I've told you guys, there are few things I love more than the ampersand. I love them, I collect them, and every time I see them, they just make me smile. A good looking ampersand is all kinds of hip and cool and pop and fresh.

Little did you know, the beautiful little & sign can make wedding invitations even more beautiful. Here, see for yourself! (Hey, stop dooling!)

A giant ampersand is a good ampersand.
Seeing all those ampersands work together just warms my heart.
A suite based around an ampersand in Helvetica?! Ohhhh perfection.

Can you see all those yellow ampersands? Loooove!

I know, I know, you can barely get over all the ampersand-goodness. Oh, what's that you say? You want more? Oh, okay, then! Here we go!
This one might be my favorite.
Okay, I lied. This sucker is my favorite.
No, no. This one for sure. A blind embossed ampersand? What a good idea!
Are art deco ampersands the best ampersands?

Amazing for sure. I can barely stand it, they're so awesome. I think I may have finally figured out a good direction for our invites to go. Whoooo!

Okay, admit it, who loves a good ampersand themed wedding invitation? Has anyone else used them?

Invitation Inspiration: Floral

I let you all know how much I love invitation inspiration, and I started off with sharing traditional invitations (that were way more well received than expected, thanks guys).

I don't think that Mr. Giraffe and I really want floral themed invitations, just because we're not really having a floral-y wedding. Who knows though, I love floral invitations and everything about them. They can be super classy, or super modern, or really both. Originally, I was kind of against floral invites because I thought they were kind of cheesy and predictable, but I was soooo wrong!

See, I can admit when I'm wrong (sometimes), so get ready for some amazing inspiration. First, here are some more traditional (but surprisingly hip) floral invitations.source

Definitely traditional

I always thought I was more modern person, but that third invite really appeals to me. I love the mix of modern and traditional.

Anyways, here are some modern floral invitations for you all to drool over.

Talk about a pop of color!

Every single thing here is perfect. Just perfect. I love it.

Once again, just lovely. Believe it or not, the backs here are fabric covered and those big flowers are fabric too. Amazing.
Kate Spade: more than just purses and fancy China!

Love the gray and yellow.

So, hive, are you in love? Yeah, me too. I can see why so many people lean towards floral wedding invitations. Classy, hip, and all around awesome.

What do you say team: floral traditional or floral modern?

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Two Digit Freakout

Hive, today is a big day. A big ohmygoshI'mgoingtofreakout day. It is officially 99 days until our wedding.

Oh, I'm sorry, did you miss that? I said 99 days!

We've been engaged since October 2008, so you all can image that I never thought this day would be here. Mr. Giraffe and I have plenty of time to do things. . . or not! Ahhh! We've been counting down in three digits for a long time now, and I never thought that would change.

Also, coupled with this two-digit-crazziness, is the fact that something completely unexpected happened to me. I swear, I never thought I'd be this person, never in a million years. You see. . . I'm kind of over wedding planning. I hate to say it, but now that we're so close and the day is getting closer, my priorities have kind of shifted. I still want to do a whole bunch of DIY madness before the big day, but now I'm starting to look more and more towards my future life with Mr. Giraffe. The idea of actually being a wife is kind of exciting and scary.

Right, where was I? Oh yes, wife=awesome, but there still is a ton to do! For realises! (And I still have a toooooon of things I want to share with you all). Blogging about this makes me feel like I can be held accountable for getting things done, so I'm going to lay it out there for you all. (source)

Hive, I have to admit I'm a little embarrassed there's so much to do. Don't think any less of this ol' Giraffe, okay?
  • Start designing Invitation Suite (firstly - decided on a design/style/inspiration/something).
  • Book transportation.
  • Order Mr. Giraffes & guys tuxes/suit/something for them to wear
  • Pay Feb amount due for honeymoon (Second/Last payment due in March).
  • DIY Tissue packs for ceremony.
  • Decided on music.
  • Hire Musician.
  • Meet with pastor.
  • Fill out info sheet for church
  • Design/Print/Assemble programs.
  • Buy paper for said programs.
  • Parent gifts?
  • Groom gift?
  • Wrap wedding party gifts (photograph for blog first).
  • Seating Chart?
  • Escort Cards
  • Cocktail hour entertainment
  • Signs for Photobooth
  • Meet with Country Club over table/linens/Set up
  • Food tasting/Decide on a Menu
  • Find/Buy scandalous honeymoon attire
  • Make a doctor's appt to get on birth control or muster up the courage to buy some over the counter at the store
  • Photos of use - order and print e photos to display
  • Spray paint frames for photos
  • Send florist $$ and photos of centerpiece mock up
  • DIY tip envelopes for vendors
  • Decide on/Buy/Create wedding favors
  • Table numbers? Start/figure out what to do with them
  • Final $$ to photog, videographers, reception, church, and other people I can't think of
  • Shoes - find super glittery danceable gym shoes for reception
  • Finalize menu/$$$$/take care of rehearsal dinner
  • Find/buy/steal new dresses for shower & rehearsal dinner
  • blog about all above topics
  • Quit job to wedding plan full time for the next 99 days (who really needs health insurance?)
Oh man, if making the list makes me tired, then I am in for a few long days, I think.

So, hive, what do you think? Is it possible to get even some of these things done?