Saturday, June 26, 2010

Invitations: Check

When we decided to do e-vites I mourned the loss of pretty paper, the loss of receiving snail mail RSVP's, and the loss of dwelling on tiny details like ribbons and stamps. To be honest, the period of mourning lasted for a long time. To be really honest, it only finally ended yesterday when we sent out our slightly tardy invitations. I just simply cannot be sad about the above losses when I see our final product. It makes me so happy.

So without futher ado I present you with the Veggie Wedding Invitation Video. Thus far, it is the crowning achievement of our brief cinematic career:

And of course our Paperless Post invitations:

I really wanted to embed the video on the actual invitation that people received in their in-box, but wasn't able to find a company who could do that (definite business opportunity for some techno-savvy person out there). So we ended up embedding the video on the front page of our wedding website. Not ideal, but since people will need to go to the website to figure out their accommodations and to get directions, we figure everyone will see it at some point.

I am so happy with the way the video and e-vites turned out. I just couldn't contain myself. The first thing I did when I got to the US (after sleeping for approximatel 13 hours) was iron out the final few details with our venue so that I could confidently send these puppies out. And guess what? Only 15 minutes after we sent out our invitations we got our first RSVP. One day later we've received 24 responses out of about 200. Oh my gosh. People are coming to our wedding. Like definitely coming. It's all beginning to feel very real.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

On A Jet Plane

By the time you read this I will be somewhere over the Pacific on my way back to the U.S. to begin the 8 week countdown to our big day. After about 30 hours of travel I will touch down in Washington D.C. only 4 hours after I take off from Auckland. Weird. Mr. Veggie needs to stay behind for a little longer because of his studies so he'll be staying here and we'll be apart for 6 weeks. Bummer. And then, when he gets to the states, it will only be 2 weeks until we get married. Weird.

The last few days have been busy. With farewell celebrations...

Monday NightPotluck Dinners are the best.

Tuesday Night

No, Ladies nights with clothing swaps, wine, and chocolate are the best. Note: Don't go to a clothing swap the day before you need to pack for a long trip. It will just make your life more difficult.

Wednesday Night

Wrong Again. Quiet nights alone with Mr. Veggie are the absolute best.

Packing lots of clothes and a few wedding details.
Lamp in a box.

Dress in a bag. Are you o.k. in there? Can you breathe?

And the thousand other last minutes things that come up when you're about to make a big trip.

See ya New Zealand! Next time you see my face, I'll be a wife. And hive, next time you see my face I will be in our nation's capitol. Talk to you in a few days when I've recovered from the jet lag.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Registration Hesitation

Mr. Veggie and I have been a bit slow boarding the registration train. Well let me re-phrase. I have been aboard the train for ages now, not only aboard, but driving the train full-speed ahead. Presents? For me? Oh Yeah! Mr. Veggie has been standing in front of the train, chained to the tracks like any good protester, both hands extended, trying with all his might to stop the train from moving.

There are a few (very legitimate) reasons for Mr. Veggie's protest. Numero Uno: We live in NZ. Our guests live in the US. We don't want to have to pay to ship things that are heavy, bulky, or easily obtainable here in NZ. Numero Dos: We need money, not stuff. Numero Tres: We are stating a non-profit and need funds… so I guess that's the same as number two, we need money. Numero Cuatro: We don't want to support consumerism simply for the sake of buying some doo-hickey on our behalf, especially if that doo-hickey has a huge ecological or social footprint. Mr. Veggie's thought was that if we really wanted money only, than we were sending a mixed message by creating a registry.

I shared all of his concerns whole-heartedly. We definitely would prefer cash, and of course we would prefer our gifts to be ecologically and socially responsible and easy to ship. But instead of looking at the registry as way of promoting reckless behavior, I saw it as a way of promoting appropriate behavior (kind of like sex education in schools, "no glove no love"). If we only registered for items that we really needed, that were easily transportable, that we both thought were reasonable, wouldn't that encourage our guests to avoid any legendary wedding presents bound for re-gifting?

Mr. Veggie wasn't sold, but eventually my charming nature and wit won him over and he agreed that a registry would be o.k., as long as we both agreed on the items and stressed to our guests why we would prefer cash gifts. But then the question remained, where would we register? Oh yeah, and what would we register for?

Several friends gave us suggestions for "green" registries. We checked out 3R, Gaiam, and a few others that I can't remember off the top of my head. They all looked great, and had a few things each that we might register for. Then I had an idea. "Wouldn't it be great if there was a registry where we could choose things from all different stores, and add our non profit to it, and ask for things like airline gift certificates, and ask for contributions to our travel fund and house fund?".

Apparently someone else thought it was a good idea too.

Enter Wishpot. The answer to our prayers (well prayers might be a bit dramatic - let's go with desires). We have added it to our wedding website with a note.
And guess what? People have already started buying us stuff! Presents! Green, small, light, presents! All for us! Woo hoo!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Paperless Post Preview

Sorry I've been a bit absent on the blog front lately. T-minus six days until I fly to the U.S. for the summer of wedding-palooza and the past two weeks have been full of pre-trans-pacific events. Some of which included tying up loose ends with my job, seeing friends for the last time as a single lady, and... buying a house - if you can call a gutted 1910's villa wth no kitchen and bathroom a house (yay!). And of course there has been heaps going on in wedding world as well. Some stressful, some fun.

One of the fun things has been the chance to test-drive Paperless Post, the medium through which we've decided to send our e-invitations. I wanted to play around with it and make sure it really worked before committing to it fully. I also wanted to send our moms something nice to invite them to be our officiants. Skype or email seemed to casual for such an important request, but snail mail was not an option since it would take over 2 weeks to arrive. Not sure whether the timing of it all was a factor there so much as my lack of patience.

Anyhow, I played and played for hours on the PP site and this is what I came up with for the moms.
Envelope Liner. Of course.

Front Side. Featuring the beautiful MIL Veggie and Mamma Veggie with us wee veggies.

Back Side.

Overall I was super pumped about the design I came up with. But, there were a few bumps in the design process. First is the fact that the PP site takes ages to load. Broadband hasn't hit our part of the world yet, so I realize our connection is slower than most, but there must be a better way to run this site for faster loading. Also, despite the insane amounts of options when it comes to envelope liners, I was disappointed by the limited amount of fonts available. I love me a good font. They offer about 20 total, not nearly enough for me. But, having said that, I have come up with a creative way to usurp this font blockade for our actual wedding invitations (oooh... a cliffhanger).

I sent off the officiant invites to the two moms with high hopes and heard back from Mamma Veggie within two days. She loved it. Of course she would be our officiant. Hooray. After 3 days I still hadn't head from MIL Veggie, so I sent her an email asking her what was up. Turns out she never received it. PP has some good systems set up for this kind of snafu, where you can track which invites were undeliverable, which ones got delivered but not opened, etc. It even resends unopened invited automatically every three days. But somehow, even though it was showing up as "delivered" it wasn't showing up in MIL Veggie's inbox. Lost in the mail? Not sure what was happening there.

I got another chance to preview PP a few days later when I got this in my inbox:

I was a bit overwhelmed. It was very sweet that my sisters and mom were throwing me a shower, and I felt loved just for that. But what really got me was the fact that they were trying to be as eco as possible while doing it. Not because its what they wanted, but because they knew it was what I would want. They used PP invites instead of paper, which showed huge restraint for Veggie Sis Kale who loves paper products. They also carefully worded an email to those who asked about gifts. This email was such a nice added extra touch because it showed us their appreciation and understanding of what we want our wedding to be about. In the email they wrote about our ethos as a couple, our budding non-profit, our feelings that gifts were unnecessary, and our need to transport any gifts many thousands of miles. They encouraged guests to keep those things in mind as they thought about gifts.

Which brings me to my next post. Gift registry. Or the lack there of.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Looking for a no-fuss way to drop some pounds before your big day? Why bother with exercise and a healthy diet when, with this fabulous product, you can simply absorb the fat away! Also available in blonde, brunette, prematurely grey, and receding hairline formulas.

OK, that last part was a lie. There are no other formulas. Now you all know our secret for staying so darned sexy.

Don't worry Redhead's, I wont be trying to ingest your product. Although a product that is all natural and also promises to reduce odour (with a "u") is pretty tempting. And I'm sure Mr. Veggie wouldn't mind the reduced risk of flare-ups. They've been happening more and more frequently as the wedding approaches.

By the way, I'd like to thank you for your corporate sponsorship of New Zealand's "hug a ginger day". I'm assuming you're the ones behind it, right?

Oh, and Redhead's, I find your sexy packaging and very small "not for human consumption" label (hidden away on the back side of the bag) a tad misleading. I was almost duped by the seductress on the front into thinking that I too could have fantastic cat-eyes and slim shoulders. But then I read the fine print. If only I was a BBQ Drip Tray. Darn you karma for making me a human. Maybe next time.

Who can I thank for this wonderful product and the hilarity it prompted? Ah yes. Thanks again Australia. Another fine contribution to the world from our neighbors to the west. Hmm…"all natural", "made in Australia"…do you think any kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, or platypi were harmed in the making of this product? Likely, very likely.

* I am not being paid by Redhead's for this product placement. Although, if you're out there Redhead's, I am available for print ads, and t.v. commercials (my American accent probably wouldn't go over so well on radio).

In all seriousness hope that all of you who are working hard to be your healthiest selves for wedding day have come across some better ideas than this. If so, I'd love to hear how its going for you. My efforts have been bit lackluster of late and I could use some motivation.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Eco-Thrifty Lamp

When I first decided to blog about our wedding I titled my blog Eco-Thrifty Bride. Lately I've been despairing about why it is so hard to find products, services, and vendors that can accomplish both. Just like "wedding"; "eco", "organic", and "green" are words that, once mentioned, throw up a red flag that signals a substantial price increase is impending, whether it is warranted or not. These price increases stem from a classist, elitist sentiment that "eco" products are desired by and produced for the wealthy. An assumption that self-perpetuates when such products are priced at a premium, thus denying a vast segment of the population access to products and services that healthy for both people and planet.

Well let me tell you a secret hive. You don't have to be rich to be green. You just need to be a little creative.

Case in point: lighting for our venue.

What I was after was unique and beautiful lighting option. I found Eco (at a cost of $379 NZD) and Thrifty (made of plastic and shipped many miles).

Eco v. Thrifty

And then I thought to myself. "Veggie. You have a lot of time. You know creative people. Let's see what you can come up with". And I gathered some amigos and got to work.

I looked at a picture of the David Truebridge design I most admired and made a template for one of the pieces. The trickiest part of this was knowing how big to make it. I guessed 16cm, about 6 inches. Why? I dont know. It just seemed to look pretty good. The next trickiest part was knowing how many to cut. We thought it looked like it was made up of two halves, each comprised of one central flower, surrounded by five other flowers. After careful deliberation we decided on 60, 12 flowers of 5 petals each.
Teresa looks happy, but really she is grinning in the sheer agony of the hand cramps that ensue after cutting 30 flower petals out of corrugated cardboard.

It was a lot of tracing and a lot of cutting. Which brings me to another point. The Truebridge lamps are made of wood, but not possessing the skills to cut wood, nor an eco-friendly supply, we chose to work with a slightly more availble and maleable material, cardboard.
Dang. That was a lot of cutting. I hope 60 was enough.

After we had cut all of our pieces, we assembled them into 12 flowers, and sat and looked at the picture again.
Juan is an engineer. Even he was confused. Mr. Veggie is laughing because we got him to say "cinco". Don't know why that's funny? Ask a friend from Spain to tell you the rhyme they say when someone says "cinco".

We persisted and eventually the globe started to take shape.

Here we are celebrating the realization that 60 was in fact enough petals, and we don't have to cut any more. Mr. Veggie is not as excited as we were. He obviously was not involved in the cutting of the petals.

And then we were done.
Hooray! Que Guay!

Here is our final product in action:
From CFL to OMG.

I love how our prototype turned out. There are a few things that I might do differently in the next edition, but overall this project was a win! Total cost was $10 NZD for a package of brads (those gold little attachment thingies) and about 3 hours of our time. Eco thrifty success.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Taming the Train: Part Deux

When last we left off I had a train the size of a small vehicle prominently protruding from my derriere at precisely the level and location of my butt hole. It works for some I'm sure, but it wasn't working for me. I also happened to have a dress that was too big in the boobs. Honestly this has never happened before, and will probably never happen again. So I grabbed a good friend/neighbor/seamstress and we came up with a plan. Here is the end result:
Me working it with the newly "french bustled" back (train at maximum length here, approximately 6-10 inches from the end of the dress).

Much like Ms. Paisley (except without the rad hatchet-throwing resumé) when I see these pictures I am astounded at the sheer breadth of my shoulders. Go-go gadget surf paddling guns.

Me working it some more with the bustled "french-bustled" back.

Me trying to work it with a dress that fits in the waist and boobs, but getting upstaged by some very cute kids. Hey you. Yeah you, adorable polite kids with the incredibly cute kiwi accents. Get outta my shot. There's only room for one star here.

Sorry for the low quality pics. Mr. Veggie took them in said friendor's living room while trying to kid wrangle. Yeah, he saw the dress. I really can't keep anything a secret for too long. It was bound to happen some time, so at least I could make use of it by having him take some pictures.

I am thrilled with the way Dominique (mom of cute kids/seamstress/friend) altered my dress. Tucking the train under the layer of fabric was an easy fix (I'm taking her word for it) and made a huge difference in minimizing the length and pointy triangle-ness of the train. She did such a good job fitting me too. I loved my dress before, but now having it fit just right makes it perfect.

And what did she charge me for such expert crafts-womanship? An hour for hour exchange babysitting the above children. That means for getting all of my alterations done, I am paying with just 4 hours of my time that will be spent with some rad kids. I immediately told her that was crazy and that her skills as a seamstress were worth twice of what mine were as a babysitter. While this left her a little worried about leaving her children in my hands, I eventually got her to agree to this deal, plus a bottle of wine from me. Hooray!

Have you altered you dress in a significant (or insignificant way)? Are friends helping you make your day happen? Do you ever get upstaged by cute kids (or do you just lure them in the opposite direction with candy and soda)?