Archive for June, 2009

Because it may take me a while to get to recaps…

Posted on June 30, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Lest you think I have abandoned my blog responsibilities (a hilarious thought, really, since this is all completely optional and unpaid), hop on over to my new blog where I will prove that I have not dropped off the face of the earth… or that if I have, I found a place with an internet connection.

You will discover a) life doesn’t change much after you’re married, at least wherein fighting and relationship drama is concerned, and b) I really like my dogs and spend entirely too much time with them.

Please join me!

{And yes, I will get to recaps soon, but first I have to pick a few photos to turn into prints to give as gifts at our hometown reception this weekend.  Have I mentioned just how shitty I am at anything requiring decision-making?  Yes, I have. Also, here.  And here.}

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Aw, heck, now what?

Posted on June 22, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Fabulous photography rocks.

1454 BW

All photos by Angela Herzog Photography

Too much great photography, though?  Makes my stomach hurt.

We started with more than a thousand images which I narrowed to 120 of my favorites.  After editing, I had 408 really great photos.  Really.  I love them with all my heart.

Um, but now what?  I don’t know what to do next. And trying to figure that out is making me breathe funny and feel hot and overwhelmed.

I do know that I need at least one album PDQ (by the week of the fourth) and a few photographs to give as gifts to our families.

Should I divide the photos into folders like “Ceremony” and “Reception”?  Or “Favorites” and “Super Favorites”?  Should I try to tag photos rather than copy or move them?  Should I use other groups like “To Print” and “For Blog” and “Just Because I Like Them”?

And how do I organize the photo book?  Since I’m also doing a slide show, I’m leaning away from a chronological book, at least for now.  Maybe I need to divide my favorite pictures into “great” (like the one in this post) and “iconic” (like the one of the hubby and I smooching under a really big tree).

Perhaps if I took more pictures in my regular life, I’d be better able to handle this, but my lifelong photo skills are limited to dumping photos in folders dated by month.

Please, share some advice, ol’ buddy ol’ pals o’ mine!

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Our fabulous photographer

Posted on June 21, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Have I ever told you how we found our photographer?  No?  Well, here goes….

Not long after we were engaged, I found an old box of photos from earlier times in my life (which is a euphemism for my first wedding/ marriage, because I’ve decided it’s time to stop talking about it so much now that the chapter is finally, blessedly, peacefully closed).  My fiance found me sitting on the floor in tears while I struggled to deal with the rush of memories taking over my heart.

Until that point, I didn’t care much about photography, figuring the best experiences were meant to be enjoyed, not captured, and the best memories would always be in my head.  But then I found a picture of my now-deceased grandparents dancing.  And I remembered the long-forgotten drama that raged around our choice of centerpieces; saw myself in all of my youthful naiveté; found my favorite picture of my favorite kid.  I realized that someday I’d want to share my story – the whole story – with my children, and I’d want to show them these pictures as evidence of the life I lived before I met their father.

With newfound appreciation for the merits of photography, I set about finding a photographer stumbled upon a listing for a photographer on Craigslist.  She was looking to expand her portfolio and so offered reduced sitting fees (of course that caught my attention, don’t you know me well enough to know that yet?); I was looking for an inexpensive way to remedy the fact that my beloved and I had perhaps one good (non-goofy) picture of us both. 

When I jumped over to her website, I was stunned.

The colors!  The richness!  The expressions!  At the time her portfolio consisted primarily of children’s pictures, but I figured if she could coax such stunning photos out of kids too young to know how to pose, we had a chance.  I’m a notorious eye-closer (you should see my prom pictures!) and we’re not really a lovey dovey couple.

You can see the results here


I’d also like to mention that we weren’t getting along particularly well that day.  We were running late, I couldn’t find a thing to wear, and, well, we just didn’t get along very often at the time.  We’d never spent time in front of a photographer and only the promise of a cold beer got us through the discomfort.  I wondered – even during the shoot – about the point of engagement pictures, the vanity inherent in hiring someone to take photos of you.  Would we even use them?

Then I got the proofs.  We looked happy.  And silly.  And, well, GOOD.  JandMLaughing

There were times during our engagement that I couldn’t imagine being happy and silly and fun again, difficult times when I wasn’t sure we were on the right road.  That picture sat on my desk,  and I’d look at it and think, “Yea, that’s right!  I do look at him like that; we are that good together sometimes.”

And when things were good, and I was dreaming of babies and vacations and days spent doing anything other than painting, I’d smile at the thought that our grandchildren would find these pictures and think, “They were so young!  Don’t I look just like her/ him?  Weird!”

And, of course, you all know by now that I used the heck out of our e-pics as the easiest STD’s ever.

We can all take snapshots, but it takes skill and talent and practice to capture someone’s essence in a one-second glimpse into their lives.  Angela captured ours so effectively there was never any question we’d hire her to shoot our wedding.

All photography by Angela Herzog of Angela Herzog Photography ( unless otherwise noted.  In later posts, asterisks (*) indicate that post-processing was done by me, and thus, should not be held against her.  Why? Because I opted to save her the post-processing.effort. on pictures I’d need only for this blog.

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To prove I’m not a faker…

Posted on June 18, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I have this little joke going in my head, a joke that started way back when the first reader called me out on not posting pics, and continued when it was pointed out that I wasn’t doing any wedding planning, or DIY’ing anything, or really doing much except talk about my relationship with my fiance.

The joke is that I could totally be a faker, acting as if I was getting married but secretly a teenager with no hopes of dating or a retired teacher with free time on her hands.  Okay, so that sounds more creepy than funny, but it still makes me laugh.

I’m not, though, and I have proof, courtesy of my fabulous photographer Angela:

Although, I suppose that could just be a picture of me putting on makeup wearing a pretty fabulous veil (courtesy of the lovely Kasia) just to fake you out, so here’s another one….

Dress – check.  Veil – check.  Lovely MOH in the background getting ready – check.  See?  I’m for real!  But lest you STILL not believe me, I’ll offer one more:

All photographs courtesy of Angela Herzog Photography:  Please don’t link or copy without crediting her.

You’ll recall my mention of boobage, and of alterations, and surely you recognize that the badly made bed is of my own doing, right?

{Heh, heh, I’m still cracking up at the possibility that I’m a faker. LOL.}  Believe me?

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Photo book experiences?

Posted on June 17, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

In preparation for our hometown reception over the fourth of July weekend, I’m checking out options for printing a good quality but reasonably priced photo book… or five.


I’ve picked through a thousand SOOC (straight out of camera, for those of you who don’t follow Mrs. Avocado’s blog) photos and chosen about a hundred favorites, and our photographer is editing them as we speak.  I want to put together a wedding scrapbook for our peeps who couldn’t make it to the actual shindig to peruse plus a couple of keepsake albums for each of our parents, all in less than a few weeks’ time.

Oh, and did I mention they need to be reasonably priced?  We’re suffering through the post-wedding broke-ness.  Big time.

I’m also toying with the idea of excerpting blog posts (yes, from this blog) and turning them into a book just for he and I… since there’s no way it’d pass the cheese test and be left out in public.

I’m not particularly graphically inclined, so while I can cut and paste and crop with the best of ’em, I have absolutely positively no eye for layout.  A not too cheesy template is necessary, fo sho.

Help a girl out?  Have you used and liked any of the following:

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Post-wedding paperwork

Posted on June 10, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

{And before you ask, yes, I promise I will post pictures — real pictures! — of our wedding just as soon as I have some and get my mind around how I want to tell the story.  Really.  I’m not planning to accidentally forget to give you proof that we did indeed have a wedding in spite of my procrastination and general unwillingness to do anything ahead of time.  Pinky swear.}

So, along with the name-changing party going on around here (I’m trying to put a happy spin on it), we’re also buried under a mountain of post-wedding paperwork.  Rather, I’m buried since we long ago agreed that I’m the Paperwork Doing part of this couple and he’s the Dealing with Plumbing part.  Fair, I think, though I still reserve the right to be resentful sometimes.

Whether or not you change your name, there are records to share, beneficiaries to update, and insurance policies to adjust.  We all know that I’m no bastion of organization, but I don’t have to be.  Trent over at The Simple Dollar has an astoundingly comprehensive Information Disaster Plan.  Build the plan and you’ll soon discover what needs to be done post-wedding.

So far, I’ve updated the beneficiary on my life insurance policy, scheduled a meeting with the mister’s insurance agent to add me to his auto insurance, made plans to make him a secondary account holder to my savings and checking accounts (I have a billion of them), added him to my health insurance, ordered new insurance cards, scheduled physicals and dentals for both of us.  My withholding was already at the married level, but his needed to be adjusted.  None of that had anything to do with changing my name (which I’ll blog more about, don’t you worry).

We haven’t yet decided how (or when) to merge our finances, so in the meantime, adding each other to every account ensures that we don’t run into problems if either of us suddenly wins an all-expense paid vacation and can’t log in to the accounts (or goes to jail and needs bail money, but that’s not as fun to think about).

Do you have an information disaster plan?  How are you handling post-wedding paperwork (or planning to, if you’re not married yet)?

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A second (third?) dress…?

Posted on June 10, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Argh.  You might recall that I bought two wedding dresses and way back when, y’all helped me decide which one to wear to our wedding.  It was perfect.  I loved, loved, loved it, and was secretly looking forward to wearing it again at our hometown reception.  I mean, who doesn’t want a second shot at wearing a dress that makes their waist look tiny, tush look proportionate, and keeps the boobage under control? Plus, the bustle swished around my legs like frothy water.  I felt like Ursula the Sea Witch, but in a good way.

Happy sigh.

However, our hometown reception is in Southern New Mexico near the height of summer — July 4th weekend.  Aside from the fact that my beloved dress is way too much for a casual reception, it’ll be WAY too hot to trudge around in it for a whole evening.

I have to find another dress.  You all gave Miss Mary Jane such great suggestions that I thought I’d ask you for help as well.  Here’s the catch: I’m short (5 foot) and busty (30F), and our reception is in about three weeks.  I’d love something as equally sassy as my wedding dress.  A short dress would be nice and cool, but (much like a six year old) my legs are perpetually covered in bug bites and scratches, so maybe a long dress would be better.

Ooh, and if I could wear one of my mom’s boleros with it, even better!

I’m not even sure it has to be white, or short, or formal.  Heck, I have no idea!  What do you think?  Got any ideas?

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Adventures in Name Changing, parte dos

Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: reality |

No, I haven’t yet straightened out the DMV situation.  That’s a story for another day, hopefully when it’s actually straightened out (I just love a happy ending, ya know?).

No, this post is about how name changing affects your life in much more insidious and PITA ways: email accounts and blogs.  I posted a while back that I reserved a new Gmail account in my new name.  Seemed like the right thing to do, since my current personal email account includes my maiden name.

I HAD NO IDEA HOW MANY PLACES THAT PESKY LITTLE EMAIL ACCOUNT WAS USED.  Seriously.  Bank logins, insurance accounts, benefits websites, online magazines… and blogs.  Oh, the blogs.

See, you can’t switch the primary email address on a Google account.  Say what?  Yes, let me repeat: you cannot change the primary email address on a Google account if that email address is a Gmail address.

Editing Your Account: Username

You can’t change the email address on your account to an existing Gmail address, but we invite you to add a new Gmail address to your Google Account.

If you use Gmail with your Google Account, it’s not currently possible to change your Gmail username after you’ve registered. You can, however, create another Google Account with a different Gmail username.

If you don’t use Gmail with your Google Account, you can change your account username to another email address at any time. Your username is the full email address you used to create your account.

So, bummer.  And I have yet to figure out how to make all of my blogs and such associate with the new email address.  In the meantime, I’m going to get a drink.  We’re bringing back cocktail hour in the Cheese household, at least until this whole name-changing situation is under control.

Oh, one more warning: when you change your name at the DMV in most states, they take away your old license. So until you get your name changed at your bank and get a new check card, etc, you might run into problems when you try to use your old card.  Ugg.  Grab some cash or get a temporary ATM card, okay?

{On the bright side, saying “my husband” a thousand times while doing all of this is kinda nice.}

Has anyone out there done this whole email switch from one Gmail account to another successfully?

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Okay, so this isn’t exactly a contest…

Posted on June 8, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

… but there might be something in it for you.  What do you call that?

I’ve moved from unearthing-my-office-from-wedding-paraphernalia to unearthing-my-laptop-from-wedding-links mode.  It’s oddly freeing to let go of inspiration photos for invites or lighting or veils… but I don’t want to just delete them.

Let’s be clear: I lack the organizational skill (and, well, the willingness) to properly attribute inspiration photos.  If I found something I liked along the wedding-planning-way, I right-clicked and stored the image. That’s it.  So I can’t post them publicly and I’m not going to spend the time to hunt down the sources.

I will, however, zip and share the entire file with you, my dear readers, if you agree to the following conditions:

  • You will not ever, ever, EVER source any of these images to me or my blogs as a roundabout way of dealing with attribution.
  • If somehow one of your images is in the file, you won’t hunt me down and make my life miserable.  I apologize in advance for my crappy organizational skills.

Below are the general categories into which I dumped images.  If you want the file, speak up in the comments.  I’ll zip and email to you as soon as I can.

Attire – me

Attire – men




Food & Drink


Reception Decoration



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A contest…

Posted on June 5, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

… my first ever (not counting the invite design bleg for help).  I’ve unsubscribed from wedding blogs and finally cleaned up the huge rat’s nest I call my desk, filing or tossing wedding DIY paraphernalia, but I am left with a stack of wedding-related books that need a good home.

So, we’ll do this the easy way: leave a comment with your preference, and I’ll choose the recipient based on whatever makes sense to me at the time.  Perhaps the first to speak up gets the book.  Maybe, if by some strange twist of the universe lots of folks want the same book, I’ll use  If you’re a Weddingbee reader, don’t wait for this post to go up there, as it won’t.  Self-sponsored contests stay on our own sites.

Up for grabs:

Joyful Wedding, A Spiritual Path to the Altar by Susan Piver – Um, nevermind, I’ve decided to keep this one because I just found a list of “hard questions” to be discussed between you and your mate, and I suspect we haven’t hit them all.  Oops.  But if you’re looking for a straightforward spiritual guide (if such a thing exists), this is it.

Wedding Goddess, a divine guide to tranforming wedding stress into wedding bliss by Laurie Sue Brockway – okay, so it sounds a little hokey, and I didn’t rely on it very heavily, but a few of the really necessary guiding lights I used came from this book: engagement is a transition so use it to learn, for example.

The Wedding Book, the big book for your big day by Mindy Weiss – This book rocks, especially if you’re just getting going with the whole wedding planning thing.  It’s like the encyclopedia of wedding planning books, from an author who knows of what she speaks.  At just under 500 pages, it’s a heavy honker to carry around, but I found it a great reference each time my wedding planning phase changed (from guest lists to invites to attire to menu to seating).

Emotionally Engaged, A bride’s guide to surviving the “happiest” day of her life, by Allison Moir-Smith, which I reviewed and recommended in this post.  Love it.  Love.

I’ll do this again as I find more books in weird spaces (it’s an f’d up scavenger hunt around here, remember?).  Thanks for being my readers. (Aw.)

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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