Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Paid Someone to Make Something I Could Have Made. Gasp!

I had big plans for my garter. I wanted it to be cute and Texas A&M-ish and pretty. I had seen some Aggie garters at bridal stores, but with prices in the range of $40-50 I wasn't thrilled. So I did what I usually do in situations like this, and I decided to just make the thing myself.

I knew exactly how to do it, I had some tutorials saved, and my sewing machine was ready. It was just a matter of buying the materials and spending an hour or so doing it.

And then one day while perusing Etsy I did a search for "Texas A&M garter." And I found these:

These were all between $10 and $35. So I did something uncharacteristic for me, and I decided to just buy something rather than making it myself. I could make my own garter, but I just don't feel like it, and these are just as good. I picked one based in the seller's good ratings and the pretty ribbon (I've always loved that ribbon with the loops on the sides! Anyone know what that kind of ribbon is called?).

That pretty set of garters is on its way to me right now, and I can't wait. Plus, I get TWO garters (one to toss, one to keep) for way less money than just one garter in bridal stores. And I didn't even have to get out my sewing machine.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Yes. We are doing the dreaded garter toss. I realize most of the wedding-internet-world thinks its outdated and trashy, but I've never been to a wedding without one, and Jeff has fond memories of catching one when he was like 14. So yep, I'll sit down on a chair and he'll take it off and throw it. And it will be fun.

So yeah. That's the story of how I paid someone to make something I could have easily made myself. I feel a bit like my crafty-creative identity is in jeopardy. I promise I have more handmade DIY things coming up, so don't stop reading Spirals and Spatulas just yet, mmkay?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shoes: It Takes Two

It takes two shoes to make a pair.

For me, it apparently takes two pairs of shoes to find the right one.

I originally bought these:

Chinese Laundry. Pretty. Champagne colored.

And I loved them. And they loved me. And all was well in wedding-shoe-land. But you all know what happened eventually on the morning of my first dress fitting...

So I was stuck needing a new pair of shoes. And they had to match my dress. And they had to have 2'' heels. So I did what any bride who just found herself shoeless would do, and I pulled up on my computer. Let me say this about Zappos: Shipping is FREE. Shipping for returns is FREE. You can buy and return as much as you want and never actually lose any money. Genius.

As if Zappos wasn't cool enough already, they let you search by heel height (also genius). So I selected Ivory 2'' heels and did a search, and lo and behold...

Nina "Culver" in Ivory Satin

I love Nina shoes. I wore some to prom in 11th grade, and I've been hooked since then. They're comfortable, and they fit my foot well. So when I found these, it was like little choirs of angels were singing in my head. I said a little prayer that they were a teensy bit darker in person to match my dress, and I put a size 6 in my shopping cart (as well as a 6.5 just in case - hello free returns!).

A few days later I had my shoes. And they were perfect. And then I went and tried them on with my dress, and they matched perfectly. And now they're sitting in their box in my closet just waiting for their big debut. Oh, and the Chinese Laundry shoes...I still love them and I don't want them to feel left out. So they'll be around at the Bridal Luncheon. And possibly the Rehearsal Dinner as well.

Shoes? Check.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Look What I Made!" - Reader Frame Edition

So we've got this wedding coming up (duh.). And the wedding has a ceremony (duh again.). And because the ceremony is a Catholic one, it comes with three readings. And because we have readings, we need readers!
So we thought for like two seconds and decided to have a couple of our uncles do the reader duty for our ceremony. But I wasn't satisfied with simply asking them to do it (you know, because I'm Katie, and I'm ridiculous like that), so I made this:

Sorry for the awful picture...for some reason I insist on crafting and blogging at night when there is no natural light to take pictures with.

Okay this picture's a bit better. Please excuse my nasty split ends.
It says "Uncle Chris - Will you do a reading at our wedding?"
(then the reading)
"Love, Katie and Jeff"

To make it, I just printed out the text on some cream cardstock, then affixed the reading to some black cardstock, snip-snip-snipped, glue-glue-glued, and ta-da! Oh and yes, I did chop up a Bible for this project. I wanted it to look like a Bible with all the verse numbers and stuff. I have many, many, Bibles, and I just carefully cut out of one of the cheap paperback ones. Is that wrong?

Here's a close-up:

Yes, we picked the cheesy Corinthians reading. But it's okay, because Verses 7 and 8 were sometimes the one thing that got us through the years we spent doing the long-distance thing, so it's meaningful-ish. Jeff can't come to my Senior Prom? Love bears all things. Jeff can't come back to Texas for a whole three months? Love endures all things. Is this long-distance stuff going to be worth it? Love believes all things. I can't tell you how many times I repeated those two verses to myself. I had them typed up and framed by my desk in college.

Anyway, we gave that frame to Uncle Chris while he was in College Station for my graduation, and he said yes! and Jeff's Uncle Bill said yes too, so now we have our readers!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Dress Fitting That Went Horribly Wrong But Turned Out Fine

Sometimes everything that could possibly go wrong does. That's what happened at my first dress fitting.

But luckily, everything somehow ended up just fine...let's chat about it, shall we?

(Jeff, don't click the link, mmkay? I mean, I'm fine with it...but you're all set on not seeing the dress...)

Monday, May 17, 2010


My mom has four little brothers. The four brothers have four wonderful wives (my aunts). Those four great women offered to throw me a little shower in the Dallas area, and I was thrilled. The shower was actually on April 10th, but I just now got some pictures from my mom. Sorry for the delay!!

My four aunts, a cousin, my sisters, me.

They hosted a luncheon at Mama Emilia's, an Italian restaurant in downtown McKinney, Texas. The food was soooo good, and we got our own cute little upstairs room. About 25 of my closest family members were there. It was perfect.

Left to Right: Jeff's Grandma, Jeff's Mom, Me, my Mom, my Grandmas

Three generations of rings!!

Two of my bridesmaids made the four-hour drive with me (thank you girls!!!!). My sisters (also BMs) met us there.

BM Kristen, BM Pilar, Me, MOHsister Kristen, BMsister Karoline

The bridesmaids, the moms, and I all wore our bridal party pins from Hobby Lobby. They were a big hit! It was really helpful for everyone to know who everyone was, and people kept asking me where I got the pins. Plus, I felt special wearing my white dress Bride one! :o)

After everyone arrived and said hello, we went around the table and everyone said who they were, how they knew me, etc. Then we ate some yummy Italian food. It was really good. was time for opening the gifts!

I was a bit worried about the present-opening part. You know, being the center of attention and all. It's not my thing. But, it turns out it's not hard AT ALL to be excited when you're opening amazingly generous gifts, and I did just fine!

Aggie tumblers! We had four Texas A&M ones and four USC ones on the registry. It was kind of like a little contest between Jeff and me to see whose school's cups were purchased first. The Aggies won, of course!

This is the face I make when someone gives me TWELVE WHOLE PLACE SETTINGS OF CHINA! Yes, my grandma bought us all of our place settings. Oh. em. gee.

Fondue set. Yesss. I knew I could count on my 9-year-old sister to get me something as awesome as this!

I wanted this really bad. BM Kristen must have noticed. Hehe.

KITCHENAID MIXER!!! Thank you Mommy!

I was really, really excited about that mixer. Haha.

My Aunt Tracie made the cutest ribbon bouquet out of all the bows. I'll be saving ribbons from the other showers and giving them to her to finish off the bouquet!

After all the opening and squealing and hand-clapping and such, it was time for CAKE! This cake:

Beautiful, right?

The cake had a strawberry-champagne filling. I thought I might die of happiness. These ladies obviously know me well!

It was a wonderful day. I felt so loved and supported, and I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who came that I finished my thank-you notes within 48 hours. Sometimes being a bride makes me absolutely, incandescently happy, and that shower was one of those times.

Anybody else dying to own a KitchenAid mixer? What's your dream gift?

Caps and Gowns and Moving and Things

First of all, oh my goodness we have so many things to discuss!! Coming up soon on Spirals and Spatulas:

  • Showers (two of them!!)
  • Writing our ceremony (priests and deacons and cantors, oh my!)
  • Becoming a Maid Matron of Honor (matron? seriously?!?!)
  • The Great Shoe Crisis of 2010 (and its peaceful ending)
  • Dress fittings, and the most intimidatingly wonderful Make-up Artist ever!!!
Anyway, the more important thing is this: On Friday I put on a cap and gown and I walked across a stage and just like that, I was a college graduate. I celebrated with Jeff and my family, I finished packing up my apartment, and I moved back to my hometown for good.

Gosh I look funny in that graduation robe.

Graduation caps make my hair look weird.

With my Dad, Aggie class of 1983!

After years of hard work and hundreds of great memories, I'm now the proud owner of a brand new diploma and a "Association of Former Students" bumper sticker. It's a great feeling to see your efforts pay off, and it's even greater when you have a really supportive family that comes into town to celebrate with you. I felt so loved as I walked across that stage.

Horrible picture, but it's all I have.
PS - Note the wedding reject shoes making a graduation appearance!!

I managed to graduate in three years, with two majors. Because this is the internet and not real-life, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I don't tell people about it because there's a fine line between being happy for yourself and just bragging and I don't quite know how to get around that line in conversation. It's just not something I'm comfortable discussing with friends/family/acquaintances. But this is my blog, and honestly, I worked really hard for that 4.0, and it's important to me. So yeah.

And because I think I look AWFUL in graduation garb (seriously...I've been dreading wearing a cap and gown again ever since I graduated from high school), I'm going to share with you the pictures from my Texas A&M Honors ceremony the day before graduation. You know, just so you don't think I look like a black elephant all the time.

Ahh family. This is only like half of the people that were there! I have a huuuuge wonderful extended family.

"Now we've both graduated. I think that means we're allowed to get married."

Isn't my Grandpa the cutest???

Anyway, I'm so happy to finally be in the same city as Jeff. With the exception of two months in 2007 and 2008, we've never been in the same location at the same time, so this is really exciting. Also, I'm now living in Houston, which is where the wedding is, so it's going to make the last couple months of planning so much easier!

Get ready for lots and lots of wedding posts coming your way...with barely over two months until the wedding, it's crunch time!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gosh... my bridesmaids are SO pretty!

Okay, so remember how I decided that my bridesmaids could wear whatever they wanted, as long as it was navy chiffon?

(the dresses...all from David's Bridal)

It. worked. so. well.

We piled into my car and made the 90 minute drive to Houston for the bridesmaid dress choosing extravaganza (because of course, we don't have a Davis' Bridal or an Alfred  Angelo or anything of the sort here in College Station). We had an appointment right when David's opened on a Saturday. Appointments are a must. DO NOT go to David's without an appointment. Unless it's like a Wednesday afternoon or something. I got to see my lovely consultant Mari again, and she pulled every chiffon floor-length dress out for the girls to see.

My littlest sister is junior-bridesmaid-sized, so we picked hers out first. My other little sister (and MOH) already had hers picked out, so we had these two done pretty quickly:

Of course, they'll be navy is real life...

Aren't my little sisters the cutest???

That left four girls, and four more dresses. I told them they could do anything. Four different, three and one, two and two, etc. Basically, I just wanted them to wear whatever they felt pretty in. There's nothing worse than being watched by they judging eyes of two hundred wedding guests  while you wear a dress that you think makes your butt look big. At least, that's what I hear. :)

Our lovely assistant Mari brought out all the dresses available in navy chiffon, and everybody ran in and out of dressing rooms trying on the various dresses.

How many bridesmaids can we fit in one dressing room?
It's a good thing these girls are friends.

Everybody pitched in to help zip zippers, check sizes, hold up hair, and look on scrutinizingly.

Once everyone had tried on all four options, we had a brief moment of consideration, and the girls made their choices! They ended up each picking a different dress, so my six bridesmaids will each have their own personalized look! I was secretly hoping it would end up that way, so I'm pretty happy about the whole thing. :)

Here they are, each in the dress they picked (once again, not the actual colors...they'll all be navy like the third-from-the-left):

THEN, those tricky bridesmaids made me get in a wedding dress for a picture. I grabbed the only size 0 in the store, and Mommy joined in.

I took it off so quickly...I felt like I was cheating on my real dress. I told that to Mari and she laughed at me a lot.

And of course, what Texas bridesmaid outing would be complete without some Mexican food for lunch? Cilantro Cocina was our restaurant of choice. Mmmm melty cheese.

So basically, the bridesmaid dress trip was a huge success. I would so so so recommend letting your bridesmaids have some choices  about their dresses. There's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all dress, and I'm so happy that each one of my bridesmaids will feel pretty on our weddng day.

The dresses came in recently, and everyone is happy with their dresses! Of course, they'd probably tell me they were happy even if they weren't, but I'm pretty sure they're genuinely happy, not just fake happy. I've seen four of the girls in their dresses, and all four were absolutely stunning. Is it possible for the bride to be overshadowed by her beautiful bridesmaids? Anyway, it makes me happy that they're happy.

The dress shopping trip is one of my favorite wedding memories so far, totally because of my wonderful bridesmaids who made such an effort to be there and be happy and be honest about their dress opinions. Those six girls are so important to me, and I'm continually overwhelmed by how sweet and supportive they are during this whole wedding planning process.

Thanks ladies. Y'all are the best.