Wedding Update.

At first, I was tearing through this planning stuff like it was going out of style. I'm in a lull, but don't worry. The pace will be picked up, stat.

Nine months and 27 days until the big day!

What I have/know so far

First dance: "First Day of My Life" Bright Eyes. This was the very first thing we knew, or should I say, Michael knew. It took him almost a year to propose after he told me this song had to be it after we got back from Sarah and Justin's wedding last May; I should have taken that as a sign he actually did want to get married, but I'm nothing if not insecure about stuff like that. (It was also the song he was playing on my iPod at Turtle Playground when he asked me to marry him.)

Ceremony/reception location: The Vault Room at the City Museum in St. Louis

Wedding officiant: Someone from the Ethical Society

Florist/flowers: Rich West Designs; blue-purple hydrangeas, dark pink mini calla lilies, purple heather, pale pink lisianthus or cherry blossoms, magenta dahlias, green cymbidium orchids

Gown: Grace by Maggie Sottero in ivory/gold, purchased from I Do I Do Bridal in Chesterfield. Michael, do not Google this.

Invitations/Save the Dates: My friend and graphic designer extraordinaire Jamie is going to make these for us. We're going to ArtMart this week to find paper stock and decide on colors. I want something very modern but simple -- squares with pencil-drawings of long-stemmed flowers with whimsical petals and a charming serif font. I'm not sure I've ever used words like that before in my life. This is what wedding-planning does, people, and it's not pretty. But it is swoon-worthy.

Caterer: We think we're going with Butler's Pantry's cocktail hors d'ouevres and premium open bar package: manchego cheese with grape clusters and strawberries; market selection of fresh crudites served with a curry dip; trio of brushetta spreads (olive tapenade, tomato feta and crushed white bean) served with grilled ciabatta bread; tandoori chicken brochette accompanied with a sweet chile glaze; skirt steak quesadilla drizzled with a ranch sour cream; gulf crab cakes presented with a creole shrimp sauce; new potato baskets with bacon and chive mousseline; and petite bistro sandwiches (smoked turkey with apple & havarti, maple ham with lorraine swiss, top round with cheddar & caramelized onions)

Yet to be done

We're looking at Cary Klein Photography, Signature Studio and CLC Photography. We're looking for photojournalism style who will make us feel comfortable. I love the candid thing, but I know we'll need some traditional shots, too. I've worked with Pam from Signature before, and she's awesome. She's offering us an a la carte package that will include all-day shooting and a CD of the hi-res images for us to print off. We're not so keen on the huge, expensive albums and would really like to own the images for the future.

Engagement photos:
If we go with Signature Studio or CLC, we'll take our friend Lauren, photographer extraordinaire, up on her offer to shoot these. Cary Klein's packages include engagement photos, though.

Ceremony musicians: There are a few reasonably priced string quartets in St. Louis, so one of those.

DJ: I really like Millenium Music because they will acquire any song you want if they don't already have it. The next best thing to me simply plugging my iPod into some speakers, which I was considering before I realized we really do need someone to point out the important moments, like cutting the cake and all that.

Cake: I've heard Sugaree is the best but somewhat pricy. I also like the Cakery Bakery and Cake Studio. Yeah, because of the name.

Bridesmaids gowns: Not sure yet, but the girls all seem to like Bari Jay's gowns. I've heard there are some great discount retailers on the Internet, so if we can determine the right sizes, colors and styles, I'll just have them order from the websites.

Groom/groomsmen attire: I'm not sure what Michael wants, but I prefer ties to bow ties, and I don't care for vests all that much. I know suits are not considered formal enough for a wedding, but I'm not sure I care that much. I do know my dad is planning on wearing his tux; it might be weird if the guests are dressed more formally than the bridal party.

Shoes, jewelry, lingerie, etc.: No idea.

Transportation for bridal party: This will be DIY, as we're getting married at the same place as the reception. I'm not sure how we'll arrange the out-of-town guests' transportation; perhaps the hotel we book will offer something like a shuttle.

Hair and makeup: Probably The Face and the Body, if only because I go there so much myself and trust the service. My hair is getting so long! I'm thinking having it half up and half down -- my ears need to be covered for sure.

Rehearsal dinner: Whatever Michael's parents decide. They have great taste in food, so it should be great!

Hotel for out-of-town guests: Probably the Renaissance Grand St. Louis, the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at Union Station or the Sheraton City Center St. Louis.

Wedding night: We might go with the Cheshire Lodge, if only because I've been talking and talking and talking about it since we first starting dating five years ago because it has Olde English Charm and fantasy rooms. Really! I love the idea of fantasy rooms, and let's face it, when else would have an excuse to stay in a themed room?

Honeymoon: Probably an all-inclusive, adults-only Funjet trip to Mexico (El Dorado Royale, Secrets Excellence, Royal Hideaway Playacar), Jamaica (not sure), Dominican Republic (Paradisus Punta Cana) or Antigua (Sandals)

06-17-2006 1:32 PM - comments (2)

Up All Night.

I'm all alone, for the first time in a while. It's hard to sleep when you're gone, so I'm keeping myself up all night, watching the same old shows and movies I've seen dozens of times and eating sugary snacks, all to put off crawling into bed.

And in this sweaty, awful weather, where I'm down to my Batman t-shirt and catnap boyshorts, I want it to snow, now, serious piles of it, and where are you? You make me miss winter. How did you manage to do that?

06-17-2006 1:47 AM - comments (0)

"I Don't Care if I Ever Get Back."

There was a cute story about Bernie Williams' 2000th game in the Times today.

I'm a Cardinals fan, but in my heart, I'll always be a Yankee. Some of my best memories take place in Yankee Stadium: My mom sitting in the winning seat that meant an all-expenses paid trip to Walt Disney World and yet another go-around at the Carousel of Progress, my very favorite "ride"; excitedly grabbing the binoculars whenever Don Mattingly was at bat; my dad teasing me about my weird mustachioed crush and then making up for it with a larger-than-life tub of pink cotton candy; leaving a game after a thrilling win and passing by a serene saxophonist playing "New York, New York" and feeling oddly at home; and yes, watching a rookie Bernie Williams some 16 years ago, looking like a little boy with his comical goggles in the awe-inspiring expanse of the outfield, begin what would ultimately become a (quietly) meaningful career.

I love going to Cardinals games and watching the kids with their parents, wondering which moments will defy the odds and become memories that stubbornly cling to the hippocampus. Will it be Albert Pujols firing off a walk-off homer deep into left? Will it be a blistering throw to first by Scott Rolen? Will it be the way David Eckstein throws himself into every play and every at-bat? How about the smell of charbroiled Hardee's burgers wafting through the nosebleed section? The unfailing elegance of the Arch at night? The three uninterrupted hours of jubilation and brotherhood that permeates the sea of red?

I'm just crossing my fingers it's not that sinking moment in the ninth when Isringhausen walks in the winning run.

06-13-2006 3:02 PM - comments (1)

Throwback to the Future.

I'm not sure I've ever heard a song like "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley. I know I'm late to the game, but wow.

06-04-2006 3:53 PM - comments (0)

And You Are...?

Some of the Googlism entries that cracked me up:

rachel is recommended

rachel is out tonight

rachel is finally back

rachel is my heroine

rachel is a lesbian sex goddess

rachel is born

rachel is just a scatter of mobile homes and there is nothing much to see or do here

rachel is the "twin peaks" of the desert

rachel is at a turning point in discovering

rachel is a 3 year old jennet that was bought as part of our donkey purchase program

rachel is still weeping

rachel is still weeping

rachel is weeping for her children

rachel is coming out of the bathroom after a shower wearing only her bath robe

rachel is at your service

rachel is put into several foster homes

rachel is mean to liberals rachel makes me sad and mad rachel is stupid too much harsh language other

rachel is on the "extraterrestrial highway" and located 40 miles west of the junction of sr 318 and us 93 in western lincoln county

rachel is here to prove it

rachel is more prettier than her rachel looks more natural than that sucks britney britney also always wear a sucks

rachel is a means of receiving the healing grace of god

rachel is put in foster care because her mother tries to "get the devil out of her" and ends up in a mental institution

rachel is pinup

rachel is expected to set an exemplary role for her five siblings and for the community

rachel is handcuffed

rachel is undecided

rachel is always giving 110% in all fundraising efforts

rachel is a great fan of robot wars

rachel is a magic creature

rachel is first ambassador for true taste

rachel is nice rachel is nasty rachel is nice rachel is nasty rachel is nice rachel is nasty rachel is nice rachel is nasty rachel is nice rachel is nasty

rachel is now #2 on the transplant list

rachel is now and then also featured on the frontpage

rachel is worth watching

06-02-2006 4:08 PM - comments (0)