Monday, October 27, 2008

Possibly the awesomest proposal EVER

I love proposal stories. Econo Boy popped the question in the most romantic way I could have imagined -- by taking me away to our favorite B&B, somehow managing to sneak along two dozen roses and a bottle of champagne, and laying a trail of flowers out to the B&B gardens after breakfast. Part of me suspected that my practical sweetie might one day propose by suggesting that we take a look at the tax codes and figuring out which wedding date would maximize our tax savings, and so this surprise champagne-and-roses proposal completely swept me off my feet.

So I'm a big fan of the traditional down-on-one-knee proposals. But I also love the more unusual ones, and when I read today's entry in Manolo for the Brides, I got a big goofy grin on my face. It's about a guy who proposed to his girlfriend by hacking a role-playing game called Chrono Trigger.

Confession time: I'm a video game geek. Back when I was a kid, my brother and I saved our pennies to buy a Super Nintendo and then a Playstation, and Chrono Trigger was among my very favorite games. So this proposal spoke to a very deep place in my heart. All the best to my fellow video game geeks!

Now, if only I could get Econo Boy to let me register for a PlayStation 3 ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Color scheme?

Does our wedding need a "color scheme"? I'm still undecided on this question. On the one hand, the whole idea of "wedding colors" seems a bit silly -- the last thing I want is to start down the slippery slope of agonizing over the difference between "lilac" and "lavender." On the other hand, choosing three or so "wedding colors" would be enormously helpful in narrowing down our options for flowers and other decorations. Plus, I'm not that gifted in the design-type areas of life. Deciding on a color palate could very well save my poor bridesmaids from a clashing color situation.

There are a couple of things I know for sure. First, I want the bridesmaids' dresses to be navy. I've flirted with other ideas (lavender, sky blue, patterned), but I keep coming back to navy. It's classic, flattering to many skin tones, and maybe even re-wearable (I know, wishful thinking!). I also know that while brown may be a popular accent color I really don't want it in our decor. I am not a fan of brown and blue together -- the super-popular combo of Tiffany blue and chocolate brown never fails to give me a headache. (If these were/are your wedding colors, please don't be offended -- just remember that we are both entitled to our opinions, and also that I don't know what I'm talking about.)

But even with a good starting point, figuring out what color palate to use is surprisingly tricky. Color combinations that I like for my wedding party don't work when I picture them in a table setting, and vice versa. So far, here are my ideas on color schemes.

* Navy + other blues + ivory
Pros: Monochromatic is easy -- the tables would look chic and classic.
Cons: Monochromatic is also a little boring. I've seen lots of photos of bridesmaids in navy carrying blue and white bouquets, and I have to be honest, it doesn't do much for me. It's nice but a bit too bland.

* Navy + lilac + dark pink
Pros: I love purple flowers, and I think a bouquet with various purples and some pink in it, like this one, would really pop against the navy dresses.

Cons: Would a combination of deep, cool colors (navy and purple) look too dark and somber? Also, I'm not sure what I would do with the tables -- maybe ivory linens with navy napkins and a few purple accents? Or just be lazy and go with navy/ivory inside?

* Navy + bright pink + yellow
Pros: I love the thought of my navy-clad bridesmaids carrying something like this:

Bright, gorgeous, and fun!
Cons: Absolutely no idea what to do with the tables. I love the idea of pink in the bouquets, but in the centerpieces or table settings I'm not such a fan.

Any ideas?

Monday, October 6, 2008

My new internet obsession

For a while there, every time I turned on my computer, I couldn't resist looking at wedding gowns. Now that I've put down my hefty deposit on my gorgeous La Sposa, however, I've quit gown-surfing cold turkey. Instead, I have a new obsession: invitations.

I'm kind of a stationery addict. I absolutely adore Crane's, that grand old stationery store (I always hit up their sales for lovely thank-you cards), and when I was a kid I requested personalized stationery for Christmas or my birthday several times. I didn't have anyone to write to, but that wasn't the point. Eventually I printed my own on our crummy Canon inkjet, but it wasn't the same.

Now, finally, here's my chance to have my own gorgeous personalized bits of paper! I quickly informed Econo Boy that the invitations, like the gown, would be my domain. (He wanted to buy plain ecru cards and print them on our crummy HP inkjet. "It will convey the same information," he said. Econo Boy is always ruining my fun by being concerned with things like logic and functionality.) But a visit to Crane and Company killed my dream of ordering my invites there -- over $1000 for just invitations and RSVP cards, folks. Much as I love stationery I just couldn't justify spending that kind of money on an item that (let's be honest) will almost certainly end up being thrown away by most of my guests.

So I'm looking for something with a vintage vibe, preferably with a subtle floral design. I'd like to spend $4 or so a set (a set being an invitation, an RSVP card, and all necessary envelopes). And I'd like the color theme to be blue. So far, here are my candidates!

Two Econo Boy-approved favorites are from the amazing Wedding Paper Divas:
I also love the invitations at The White Aisle, including this one (which can be ordered in blue).

Finally, a Weddingbee reader alerted us to Glidewell Press, a printing company that does affordable letterpress invitations. (Letterpress is a printing technique that presses the ink into the cards for a very cool, old-fashioned look. Gorgeous but normally quite expensive. The rest of the invitations I've posted here are flat printing.) I'm a big fan of this design:

But I could probably only afford to have it done in the single-color option -- would this look OK if I did it in all navy or all sky blue?

Tell me which one's your favorite and why!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Sale of a favorite blog

One of my favorite wedding blogs, Weddingbee, is now absent from my blog list. The founder has sold the site to eHarmony.

That kind of bugs me, and I'm not the only one. A major reason many Weddingbee readers are uncomfortable with the new ownership is that eHarmony does not match same-sex couples – only heterosexual couples. That in itself is not so upsetting to me. My capitalist little heart says it’s a totally legit business strategy to go after one particular market (in this case, straight couples looking for long-term relationships), and I wouldn’t get mad about a dating site that catered only to same-sex couples.

What does bother the heck out of me is that eHarmony founder Dr. Neil Clark Warren has very close ties to Focus on the Family, to the extent that eHarmony once billed itself as “founded by Neil Clark Warren, author of Focus on the Family’s relationship books." As recently as 2005, eHarmony sent Focus on the Family-published literature to its new members. Also, there is a fair amount of anecdotal evidence from the interwebs to suggest that eHarmony has been resistant to suggesting interracial matches, even when members indicated that they preferred dating people of other races.

Yikes. I won’t get in to my reasons for not liking FoF here – they’re pretty much what you might guess. (Short version: I’m a Methodist and I resent FoF founder James Dobson for giving a bad name to Christians, not to mention the state of Colorado.) What’s important is that I don’t really want to help generate revenue for a company that seems so buddy-buddy with an organization that stands against what I see as simple justice and equality. The whole "not matching same-sex couples" thing took on a new light when I read about the FoF connection.

Many of my favorite bloggers have chosen to stay, and I find their arguments for staying pretty compelling – if everyone who supports marriage equality left Weddingbee, it would go from a vibrant, diverse community to a much less diverse (and much less interesting, IMHO), place. And eHarmony would be able to justify its policies by telling itself “well, we’re still making money even though all those folks left, guess they’re not that important.” Maybe, just maybe, having an eHarmony-funded blog where gay and lesbian couples are celebrated would begin to change the company’s attitude. At the very least, it would be cool to see eHarmony’s money used to support a site where beautiful photos of gay and lesbian weddings are pinned up for the world to see and admire.

But I am still on the fence about whether I’ll be reading Weddingbee regularly from now on. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the blog, I love the bloggers, and I love the boards where brides can get help and advice from others who are in the middle of this stressful planning process. And if some of my favorite bloggers will continue to post about marriage equality and show off gorgeous photos of gay weddings, I want to support them. But I don’t know if I can live with the thought of Neil Clark Warren making money off my web surfing addiction, even though I know that my clicks generate only about 1/100 of a penny in ad revenue for the site. And had I been one of those bloggers, I really don’t think I could have agreed to volunteer my time to make money for eHarmony and its founder (the Bees aren’t paid as far as I know).

So I’m undecided about my future as a Weddingbee reader. I've removed Weddingbee from my blog roll and instead added the personal blogs of some of my favorite Bees. But mostly I’m just bummed that such a cool site was bought by such a sketchy organization.

This post was edited to remove earlier factual errors.