Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dress Success

I am happy to report that the wedding gown I ordered online from overseas arrived safely a few days ago and it's not bad! I was surprised to find it on my front porch inside a small plastic DHL shipping envelope (no idea how they got it in there!). Needless to say it has some wrinkles but with some breathing time and a few simple fixes it will make the perfect, slightly off-beat wedding dress.

For other people thinking about ordering online from a place like my advice would be to know from the get-go that you are still going to have to bring it to a tailor for alterations. I knew that even when you provide your measurements online, there is nothing like being there in person to see if it really fits. I dropped my dress off today at a local tailor who got great reviews on She's going to hem it up, fix a funny pleat, and will even make some straps for it (at my request) using the excess ribbon from the lace-up back.

There may be parts you don't like. As with the “real” version of the dress, I'm not impressed with the flowers on it. Even if I had purchased the $1,000 version of the dress I’d seen in the store, I had planned to replace the flowers with better quality handmade ones from and that is still the plan.

I also noticed that because the makers of these dresses are basing the style and color on a photograph of a designer dress, there will be differences, particularly in color. In my case it worked out serendipitously. The designer dress I liked in the store was ivory and champagne/coffee color, but in the picture online and in the dress I received, the dress is white with a yellow/gold bottom. For me, these colors are actually better since yellow goes with the dresses we got for the bridesmaids and fits my summer wedding. However, if I had had my heart set on ivory and champagne, I would have been disappointed.

If you are flexible and willing to accept/make some changes to a dress, this is a great route to go and an alternative to bridal boutique shopping. It saved me a lot of money (in the end I anticipate saving 50-60%), it was faster than going through any bridal shop (took 6 weeks), and the money I saved by not buying the expensive dress can go in part towards making some customized changes to it (straps, flowers, etc.) that will make it truly unique.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baby Talk

Everyone who has been engaged knows that when people hear you are getting married they don't just stop at asking you a million questions about your wedding...they move onto questions about your life plans: "So, have you two talked about when you're going to have kids?"

I hear it from family, the dentist, hairstylists and strangers. Maybe other people don't mind being asked this question because they have the answer everyone wants to hear, which is: "We'll enjoy being 'newlyweds' for a couple years, then have babies." The problem is, Tommie and I are far from "newlyweds" (being together for 200 years) and our plan for kids is adoption. Try explaining all this to your dental hygienist as she flosses your teeth.

I'm getting used to the strange looks I get, the assumptions that I can't have kids of my own, and the insults. What begins as an inadvertent insult to me: "Well, it would be a big mistake not to have at least one of your own children and miss the experience" turns into me inadvertently insulting them because I have to explain that I honestly could care less about the experience. In the end, the other person doesn't understand me so they just recite the Nike slogan, "Just do it!" and I have to smile and pretend I will because that's easier for them to handle. But the truth is I have always wanted kids, just not my own.

People want to know why and I don't have one definitive answer but I can think of two videos I saw as a child that helped shaped my decisions. The first, The Miracle of Life confirmed that childbirth was actually more disgusting than I could have imagined. On the most basic level, childbirth makes me sick. More power to all the women who are brave enough to go through it but it's not for me. Maybe I was supposed to be a dude, maybe I was supposed to be an inanimate object like a rock, but instead I was born a woman with the brain of a man or a rock and the thought of another living being growing inside one's stomach and coming out their crotch sounds like the worst thing that could ever happen to a person.

The second video was a news special about China's one-child rule and how so many baby girls were being abandoned in that country because if they had to choose one child, families would rather have a boy. This confirmed that I would much rather help children that are already alive. There are millions of children in every country that need loving homes. On top of that, we are living in a world that is dangerously overpopulated as it is. Why should I add to that problem?

When I think about having my own child, I want to curl up and die, but when I think about adoption I get excited...the way I imagine most women get excited about the thought of having their own. I have no doubt in my mind I would love an adopted child all the same (possibly even more because they didn't tear out of my who-who). I know it sounds strange to most women because it goes against that instinct to carry a baby, but I wish some people would stop to think that maybe some women don't feel the same way they do. Just because I have a uterus doesn't mean I have to use it or that I want to use it. This blog post is for other women who feel like this, of which I realize there are few, and for the people who struggle to understand them. It's not that difficult in my view...ultimately we all want the same thing, we just go through different means to get there and I'm okay with that.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wedding "Flowers"

I’ve been thinking a lot about flowers lately. Spring time and an impending wedding will do that to a person. From the onset, I’ve wanted to take some creative liberty with my wedding "flowers.” I plan to do potted centerpieces (such as aloe, sempervirrum, and succulents) at the reception to tie in to our west coast theme and also to be more environmentally friendly.
As for the bouquets, I am having a young woman (whom I found on my beloved Craigslist) put together an odd assortment of flowers for me. They'll consist of orange Dahlias—because Tommie and I love how full and pretty they are; Craspedia (aka “billy balls”…don’t snicker)—because they are fun and remind me of yellow paper lanterns; and dried lotus pods because I used to see them growing out of the lily pads in Balboa Park like rusted watering cans, and I just think they look cool. In my head I see these things working together…being bold, bright and contemporary while also being rustic, and not very “floral,” therefore not in competition with the natural beauty of the gardens around us.

Here are a couple inspiration bouquets I came across (photos from The Full Boquet). These boquets make great use of orange dahlias, billy balls and lotus pods, though none encompass the three together.

My Craigslist florist told me she is genuinely excited to finally have an opportunity to put together a non-traditional bridal bouquet. I hope she still feels the same when my dead lotus pods and billy balls arrive.

Friday, April 1, 2011

This Isn't Funny

I wish the weatherman was joking when he said we'd get snow on April 1st, but I woke up to the sound of sleet tapping against the window and I was not amused. I pulled my snowpants out of the storage bin that I banished them to in March while groaning and cursing. I can feel my mood souring with each cold day that passes and I don't think I'm alone. I think we will all be elated when the first string of warm sunny days arrives. If indeed it ever does...