Friday, August 28, 2009

Bi-Coastal Planning

Photo by C. Elizabeth Bors

Whew--it has been a busy couple of weeks. Firstly, Alex and I were in Fowey with her family enjoying the festivities of Royal Regatta week. Then we caught a train back to London on Monday to fly out to California on Tuesday--now we're with my family celebrating being home!

While much revelry took place in Fowey (as you may have guessed from the pirate costumes), we did tick off a few wedding "to-do's" from our list. Alex and I checked out the Fowey Hotel and Marina Villa for possibly ceremony locations and settled on the Marina Villa. We sat down with her folks to talk about our visions for the big day and crunched some numbers. We ate some really good food provided by family friends, Becky and Sue, and decided, yeah, we want them to do our wedding buffet and emailed Alex's aunt about baking our traditional wedding cake. Plus, we inquired about making reservations at various places around town!

Pinky Murphy's

Pinky Murphy's for post-wedding breakfast, the Dwelling House for pre-wedding tea, and the Old Quay House for our honeymoon suite. A busy week, but it was great to start laying some of the groundwork for the UK ceremony while we were actually in Fowey. As you've read, we've booked the registrar for April 17, 2010, and now we are setting the final details with the Marina Villa for the ceremony. Things are starting to fall into place!

Now that we're in California for a little bit, we've been kicking around some ideas for both the UK and CA weddings. So far, we've bought our first wedding magazine, The Knot, where I've dog-earred at least 7 pages already for dress ideas AND we've had engagement photos taken by none other than the wonderful Wyatt Olson!

With all that, we're off for the weekend, with much wedding conversation expected to ensue. So much to write about--can you tell I'm getting really excited?!?--and more formal posts as each of the details lock into place. Have a great weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Wedding Date!



April 17, 2010 Lovefest is getting civil partnered.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Match Made in Piracy

Fowey Royal Regatta week, folks. Last days of our Cornish (pirate) holiday!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Venues: Fowey Hotel and Marina Villa

Yesterday was official round one of visiting possible wedding locations in Fowey. First up was the Fowey Hotel--Alex and my top pick from viewing them online (and, of course, growing up around them for Alex).

The walk up there was beautiful--just up the road from the Crisp house--and Candace gave us their wedding packet, showed us the restaurant and honeymoon suite. The Fowey Hotel just got their wedding license a few months ago so they've only had one wedding so far. We liked it, but feel like there are more downsides than up: only 70 people max, must book out all the rooms if we want an evening wedding, OK menu selection, and the room must be re-set for dancing later in the evening.

What we're keeping in mind: the honeymoon suite. The corner room has one of the best views in Fowey with a balcony for two.

Next up was the Marina Villa, where Andrea had already briefly spoken to the manager, James. We had a lovely chat with James, viewed the restaurant and balconies and got a little excited about the purple decor.

As Marina Villa is much smaller, we weren't too surprised that their maximum number of people was 40. Still, after witnessing J&E's civil ceremony (small, short and to the point) a smaller ceremony followed by a big party somewhere else could be a possibility. Also, we may be able to get a discount on room prices for guests in the nicest hotel in Fowey.

It is Fowey Regatta Week, however, so wedding ideas are dropped in between floral dances and carnival. We also want to look at a few more venues to see if we can find a place that'll hold our potential guest list of just over 100 people: Fowey Hall, the Yacht Club, the Sailing Club and the Eden Project. Ideas are brewing and hopefully we can have some chats this weekend about picking a venue--fingers crossed!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Brighton Finds

A weekend in Brighton with the lovely and newly civil-partnered J & E (Alex's sis and now sis-in-law!) proved wonderfully delightful for wedding ideas.

First, Greshman Blake, bespoke tailors. J got her wedding outfit from there and Alex is definitely pining for the same. We've been to their shop in Brighton a few times now, but after purusing their site just now, found out they have a by-appointment-only, London shop too!

Let's hope, though, Alex doesn't want the shotgun to go with her wedding outfit, too.

Next, the Lanes in Brighton are full of jewellry shops and on a last-ditch whim on Sunday, Alex, Christy and I found ourselves staring into the windows on an antique jewellers--and found a design we really, really like. Both of us. BOTH of us. It's exciting.

Of course, it being a second-hand ring, there was only one. Hence, it's just an idea, but a really good one. And one that we can take to preferably eco-friendly, conflict-free designers (Brilliant Earth, Green Karat, Leber Jeweler, Dawes Designs or the like*...) and use it as a possible starting point for a custom design.

And last, but not least, J&E passed on A Very Pink Wedding: A Gay Guide to Planning Your Perfect Day. I'm not sure they actually read the whole thing, and it may possibly be stressing me out a bit, but hey, it's nice to have a book for your kind of wedding.

Now I'm crossing my fingers Fowey will be as fruitful, but with wedding venues and dates this coming week!

*Hat tip to Robyn. It's no coincidence that she's born on Earth Day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Eco Save the Date Cards!

OK, OK, I'm a little ahead of the game. You know, being without a confirmed wedding date or booked venue yet. But hey, I can still randomly search for way cool eco-friendly stationary on Etsy, right?

My current favorite is an image file for emailing and printing, no stamps necessarily neccesary:

By savethedate

Their slogan: digital save-the-date = save money + save the trees. Me likey.

Savethedate is also part of a group called TeamEcoEtsy; give 'em a search!

Now I just want Alex to wake up (she's nappy, my sicky lady) so we can oggle over things we can't buy yet...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hen Night! (i.e. Bachelorette Party!)

I didn't think I wanted a joint hen night with Alex. I'm still pretty sure I want us to have our own bachelorette parties in California with our own girlfriends. But last night changed my English-wedding-themed tune.

Alex and I went out on the town last night with friends Cate, Lish, Cat and Jo. We were supposed to go to a Brandi Carlile concert, but it was cancelled due to a power outage, so off to SoHo we went! A crazy-but-not-that-crazy night on the town brought us to Holborn where after turning the corner from Bloomsbury Square I was faced with a classic American neon sign reading: All Star Lanes. We were there to bowl.

Four Anchor Libertys, four Blue Moons, one Brooklyn, two Pin-Up Girls*, one milkshake and one bowling game later we all decided this had to be the place for Alex's and my joint hen night. Together. Eating. Drinking. Bowling.

Cate, "See, this is how it'll go: a few drinks at a cheap pub nearby, two games of bowling, two cocktails, maybe a round or two of shots, some dancing and maybe a little karoke. It'll be brilliant!"

Now that sounds like my kind of night out! And it's added to the list of things to plan--I can't wait!

*Pin-Up Girl = Wyborowa vodka, raspberry liqueur, lemon juice, bitters, basil, blueberry
syrup and prosecco = Amazing!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Champagne Diamonds

Not gonna lie, I have started to become distracted lately by shiny things. Sparkly, diamond shaped shiny rings to be exact. Don't get me wrong: I love our engagement rings. But, we agreed simple on the engagement rings and fancy on the wedding rings and like any bride-in-waiting, my left finger's starting to twitch.

It seriously didn't occur to me until recently to start looking for what I actually might want in a wedding ring, especially one with any rocks involved. That changed on Sunday when we were in Old Spitalfields Market in East London and happened by a jewellery stall with a sparkling, square cut "champagne" trio of cubic zirconium set in silver that just happened to fit me by Amanda Mansell. The style was all wrong on me, but the color. The color stuck with me.

Then I was in Liberty today with Christy and figured, what the hey, I might as well try on some of these fancy rings they've got here. I am ENGAGED after all--when do I have a better excuse?

So I did, and it was gorgeous. And guess what? The first ring to catch my eye: a ring of champagne diamonds. Sadly, I can't find pictures online of either ring, but I figured this would suffice to get the point across.

I think Alex and I should try us on some rings. Mission: find a recycled champagne diamond, a designer, a setting, and ring to "match" for Alex--all on a budget. Go.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wyatt Olson Photography

In the mix of academic craziness, dreaming of our weddings has become a common pastime. And sometimes, we actually come up with good ideas. Like lying in bed wide awake one night after discussing Yreka (+ field + barn?) or Ashland as possible wedding locations for the California wedding, I realized that if we had our wedding close to my hometown, people I know and love and have grown up with could be the ones we go to for various wedding needs. Like a photographer. Like Wyatt.

Wyatt Olson is the little brother of one of my bestest friends, Gerard, and whom I've known since he was about 8. (This is when I wish I had a really embarrassing photo of him, but digital just wasn't around like it is now.) Anyhoo, when their sister, Erica (I know, I know, so many Erica's) got married a few years ago, Wyatt took their beautiful wedding photos. Since then, I understand he's built up a little business for himself (yes?): Wyatt Olson Photography.

After finally getting myself to sleep after the excitement of realizing we could ask Wyatt to take our photos, I emailed him the next day to ask if he would mark us on his calender for mid October 2010--and he said yes! And, he'll also take some engagement photos for us this August when we're home visiting--awesome bonus!

So despite that fact that we haven't booked any place for either wedding--and we don't have a photographer for the UK wedding which just happens to be six months sooner than the CA wedding--I'm am nonetheless totally stoked to have a family friend whom Alex and I both adore taking our photos for us!

Wyatt & his other bro, Dylan, stopped by London!
Wyatt and Alex on the London, May 09

I also have a feeling this is just the start of the wedding plans falling into place... crossing fingers! Thanks Wyatt!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Can't Wait Until I'm Married...

... so Alex and I can wear these awesome buttons!

It's a crazy time of exams (Alex is half way through her exams: written done, practical to come) and essays (3 down, 1 to go; due Monday)--and these buttons just make me smile. I keep imagining all the different reasons, occasions, and outfits with which we can wear these! And I'm going to email ButtonEmpire on Etsy right now to see if they can do the "The Dynamic Duo-1 Inch Buttons For Married Cool People" for two nerdy/crafty ladies! Cross your fingers for me!

(Translation side note: In England, buttons are called "badges." I'm still getting used to it.)

UPDATE: Amy from ButtonEmpire sent an awesome reply to my inquiry, set up a listing for my order, and I hit the "Commit to Buy" button. Now they're on their way to California with an additional surprise!