Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Ol' Dot Com

I wasn't originally going to have a wedding website. What did I need one for? Ohhhh, so people could find our registry? Did someone say...presents? In that case, I definitely needed a website. When we got closer to sending out our Save the Dates, I looked into free wedding website templates through The Knot and the like, assuming I'd just find a template that was plain yellow and call it a day. I didn't necessarily want or need something extraordinarily pretty or well designed. But I thought it would be nice to have the website match the wedding color scheme, at lease a tiny bit. After scrolling through template after template of swirly designs, beach backdrops, and flowery patterns, I stopped looking. What was the point of putting so much effort into making the save the dates match our color scheme if our website (our other first impression) was just going to have some random firefly motif on it? And that's when I discovered Google Sites (I swear I'm not being sponsored by Google. Why would they care about me anyway?).

That being said, Google truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Google Sites is actually up on the Google menu along with Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Reader, the other loves of my life. Go look, I swear it's there! It's basically a total n00b version of creating your own website from scratch. You don't have to know anything about HTML (though you can edit it if you're so inclined) and you can just use their page templates. The best part? I could customize the colors (yay, yellow!) and also upload photos to use as my background (yay, polka dots!). Wanna see the home page?

All screenshots by me
Click to enlarge!

I found a photo of gray and white polka dot cardstock on Google image search and tiled it for the background. How tackily resourceful. The edit screen was very simple and user friendly, especially if you're comfortable with web publishing to begin with. I admit that I used some tricks I learned on the job, but I've only been in web publishing for a little over a year, so I am by no means an expert.

Click to enlarge!

I added the navigation bar, which allowed me to add other pages like our music request page, bios of our wedding party, and of course, some info about our registries (which is actually empty right now because we, um, haven't registered yet). I also added a countdown widget that counts down the days until our wedding! I was pretty proud of myself for that one. I was even prouder of myself for adding the music request form widget:

Click to enlarge!

I just searched around to find a widget that would allow site visitors to leave a message that would be automatically sent to my email. Then I was able to personalize all of the fields to make them pertain to what we were using it for (song requests!). Here's what it looks like in the edit screen:

Click to enlarge! 
See, it's not scary! It looks like MS Word, sort of!

Here's the wedding party page, where I wrote a little bio about each member and how Mr. Unicycle and I know each of them:

Click to enlarge!  

I even figured out how to include a slide show of Unicycle pics, because as I said on the homepage, we are narcissistic:

Click to enlarge!
If you're curious what word I keep blurring at the top left of each screenshot, it's our super cool couple name. That's why the title is in 3rd person singular instead of plural. What, doesn't everyone have a couple name?  

The last thing I had to do for our wedding website was buy a domain name. If you're a complete cheapskate like me, you're probably thinking this is an unnecessary, frou frou expense. Trust me, I thought so too. But since the URL generated from Google Sites was so cumbersome--https://sites.google.com/site/[ournamehere]--I decided to look into the cost of buying a domain. We'd only need it for a year anyway. And it turns out anyone can afford one! We used Go Daddy and splurged on a dot com address. I believe it was about $2 for a dot info and $10 for a dot com, so we payed the extra $8 for a more recognizable domain extension. Plus, you wouldn't be interested in reading a blog post called "The Ol' Dot Info," right? 

Image via GoDaddy.com
Even I'm not immune to this marketing campaign.

Mapping the Google Site I created to our custom domain was a little tricky, and to be honest I can't even remember what I did. I found a tutorial on a geek forum somewhere and just did what it said, and after a few attempts, it worked. On caveat: you can't get to our site without typing in the "www." at the beginning. Apparently you have to purchase the domain with and without if you want it to redirect. And $20 was just too much money for these cheapskates.

Did you make a wedding website? Do you think I wasted my time and money just so I could make it match the wedding scheme?

Monday, November 28, 2011

4 Things I'm Glad Are in Style

In the Bees are Thankful post, I admitted to being thankful that tights are in style (among other things). I thank da lawd daily that tights are in style, because I like to wear dresses every day, whether it's cold or not. That got me thinking about other things I'm glad to hop on the bandwagon for. Jeans tucked into boots--sooo practical when it's wet out. Scarves--they keep me warm in the office on the daily.  Headbands--my bangs can't be trusted to behave very often. Sure, I could wear these things even if they weren't in style, but would I? Would I even think to wear a scarf indoors if hipsters hadn't proclaimed it cool? Probably not--you don't see me wearing snowpantz to work, no matter how cold my legs get under that desk.

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Arrow and Apple
I want these tights! All of them! At the same time!

Then I realized there were a number of wedding related trends that are making my life easier as well. Paper flowers, for example. Okay, they might not be making my life easier per se, but making my own flowers will save me a bundle. And I don't have to worry too much about how weird it is to have paper flowers because, well, it's not that weird anymore. In fact, it's downright overdone in the wedding blogosphere.

I'm also excited at the ability to have mismatched bridesmaids. I don't really care either way if my bridesmaids match. I think matching 'maids look great, and mismatched 'maids look great too. I'm easy to please, really. But finding mismatched dresses is so much easier (for me) because all I said was "find a yellow dress" and suddenly all stress and agony is transferred over to the bridesmaids. Sucks to be you, bridesmaids. Especially since you probably really don't want to own a yellow dress.

Image via The Outnet
I hope someone picks this one.

Thank Kate Middleton that sleeves on wedding dresses are coming back in style. I really just don't look good in strapless dresses. It's not even about chubby arm syndrome, because I'd be happy in a dress with straps or even cap sleeves. I just need something up there to keep me from looking like I just wrapped a white towel around my bod post-shower, ya dig? Now that the Duchess brought them back into vogue, there are tons of options for be-sleeved wedding dresses. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Image via CBS News
In case you forgot what it looked like.

The colored shoes trend is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because I never would have thought to wear bright pink shoes to my wedding. If I'd gotten married in the 90s I would have worn white shoes and liked it. But now there's an entire rainbow of possibilities open to my feet, and I'm prepared to hop on board. This trend is also a curse, though, because I'll be damned if I can find the correct, perfect, most beautiful pair of bright pink shoes. Every pair I look at is too high, too low, too light, too dark, etc. etc. I've found several pairs of white shoes I like, but I can't bring myself to buy them because they're not pink! So I guess this is more of a curse. Maybe colored shoes will go the way of mustaches on sticks.

Image via Wedding by Color
These are cute. But I don't know where to buy them.

What trends are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Bridezeela Transformation: 4 More Symptoms

If you haven't seen me since I got engaged, you probably won't recognize the monster I've become. Just kidding. Sort of. Wedding planning has changed me in a number of surprising ways, in addition to my sappiness. I didn't think being engaged would make much of a difference since I was already pretty wedding crazy before, but it turns out that making it all a reality instead of a hypothetical fantasy makes a big difference.
  1. In addition to crying like a friggin baby at heartfelt commercials and Kim Kardashian, I've also become oddly obsessed with being an adult, a grownup, a "real person." Red wine at dinner? Fill 'er up! 401K's? Tell me more! Cheesy Hallmark movies about idyllic families creating lasting memories? Can't get enough. Falling asleep at 10 pm? It happens to the best of us.

    Image via XKCD

  2. I joke a lot about how much I fear babies, and I love nothing more than pointing and laughing at ugly ones (poor taste? Whatever, that's what they get for pooping on everything). But now that I'm getting closer to being someone's wife, I don't mind the idea of also being someone's mom quite so much. Those cheesy Hallmark movies are getting to me. All I want is to create lasting memories with my well-behaved children! Is that too much to ask?

    Image via Martha Stewart
    How can you not laugh at this constipated face?
  3. I'm now an incredibly selfish person. When a friend tells me about her new haircut, I think "I still haven't booked a hairstylist for the wedding." When someone asks what I've been up to lately I think "Are you kidding me?? I've been wedding planning duh!" All I can think about is what needs to get done for the wedding, and all I can talk about is all the exciting things I've done for the wedding. I need to keep reminding myself that no one--literally no one--cares as much about my special day as I do, but it's a tough lesson to learn.
    Image via We Heart It
    Ouch. Reality check accepted.
  4. Because of the reign of terror that is my ruthless to-do timeline, which I've lamented several times already, I've reverted to my college habit of slaving over lists and checking off tasks I've done. My time is always blocked out ahead of time for pre-selected wedding tasks, so I'm unable to spontaneously go grab a latte or catch a movie. I. Must. Make. Tissue poms. Yes, stupid decorations for my reception, which is a good 7 months away, take precedence over everything else in my life because the dang timeline says it should. The timeline I wrote myself.

     How have you changed since getting engaged? Are they good changes or bad changes? Married peeps: Did tying the knot change you too?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

These Shoes Have Soul (Dad Joke Alert)

Shoes are important. You literally can't leave the house without them. If I'm going to listen to Coco Chanel and take one accessory off before leaving the house, shoes can't be that one thing. Shoes make women feel sexy, even if they otherwise wouldn't. Shoes fit whether you eat that last cookie or not. Shoes help make me taller so I can reach that top shelf (alright fine--that middle shelf. I'll never quite reach the top). I wrote an entire short story in college examining the social constructs surrounding high heel-shod women, sexual repercussions, metaphors, isn't it ironic, mumbo jumbo BS etc. that seemed very deep and intellectually stimulating to my post-adolescent, idealistic brain. But no one rhapsodized about shoes better than Kelly.

When wedding planning was new and exciting, I pinned a bunch of shoe ideas that appealed to me, even though the pics I pinned were not actually shoes you could buy. Like these:

Image via Oh Happy Day

Image via The Knot / Shoes by Christian Louboutin

I loved me some sparkles. Which is weird because I was so turned off by wedding dress bling. I tried on a bunch of sparkly shoes at DSW and didn't like how any of them looked on me. I realized my affinity for sparkly shoes might be similar to my 2009 obsession with damask. Then I decided I wanted a pair of open-toe heels with a bow on top, because my most flattering pair of heels looks like that. So I did some innanet research and came up with a bunch of cute shoes to pin. I ordered 4 pairs from Zappos the other day (free shipping pwns everything) and they arrived a few days later! Ready for some gratuituous shoe pr0n?

First, the box. I felt like a real Weddingbee blogger when I restrained myself from busting into it until I could wrangle my camera. Well, I did bust into it a tiny bit.

Personal pic
Pair 1: RSVP Raina
Image via Zappos

These shoes were my favorites based on their online pics, and I was starting to lean toward hot pink shoes after seeing Mrs. Turtle's hawt shoez. Plus, I could inject a tiny bit of pink into my wedding, which I had originally wanted. And here they are IRL, and with feet in them:

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The pic from Zappos actually shows the true color the best...and I HEART IT. They looked the best on, and they were everything I wanted in a wedding shoe. The only problem is that they were too big, so I couldn't walk in them without them slipping off. I ordered a half size up because I was paranoid, and, well, that was dumb. I'm worried about them being uncomfortable too.

Pair 2: Nina Forbes
Image via Zappos

This color bored me, and it wasn't right for a summer wedding. The shoes in general bored me all around, and I could barely squeeze my feetsies into them. Next.

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Pair 3: RSVP Brylee
Image via Zappos
These shoes looked promising, and if I liked them I was planning on ordering them elsewhere in a different color. (I used Zappos because of the free shipping and return shipping, remember?) But unfortunately, I wasn't sold on them. They were also a little boring, and they showed an odd amount of toe. TMT (too much toe) is not what I'm going for on my special day.
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Pair 4: Nina Electra
Image via Zappos
Sexay! I love love loved these shoes! They were shockingly the most comfortable of the 4, and they were yellow, so I could match the wedding (I've already told you how hard it was to find yellow shoes before). The only problem is that the sides of my feet spilled over the soles like some sort of gelatinous foot muffin top (I guess maybe you can't have that last cookie after all?). Perhaps I have a thus-undiagnosed wide foot?

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They even came with their own feet.
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Another Myspace mirror shot 

So, I've got some life or death decisions to make here. Should I order the Raina in half a size down and get the color I love in exchange for comfort? Should I stick with the muffin top-inducing Electra and have my shoes match my wedding? Or should I keep looking because there are plenty of other shoes in the sea?

Make my shoe decision for me:
A: RSVP Raina in pink
B: Nina Electra in Yellow
C: Keep looking
D: Reconsider one of the other 2 pairs.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Color Scheming

I'm not sure I realized that weddings had color schemes before I discovered Weddingbee back in the day. My memories BWB (before Weddingbee) are a little hazy, but I'm pretty sure I just thought all weddings had a lot of white. Silly Unicycle.

When I first discovered all the beautiful inspiration boards on Weddingbee and other wedding blogs, I realized I needed to come up with a color scheme for my wedding, stat! Never mind that I was 20 years old and nowhere near engaged. First I decided on yellow and pink, because pink was my old favorite color and yellow was my new favorite color. I even had an accordion binder I used for school that was pink and yellow already. Perf.

So why'd I change my mind? Well, I was going to say that I realized this color scheme was too tacky, but after putting together this inspiration board, I realize it's actually quite lovely. And I want it. However, I don't want to force pink on Mr. Unicycle, so I moved on.

My next thought was to nix the pink and add black and white for some easy neutrals. I decided to add damask to the mix because it was having a moment at the time. It was kind of like 2009's version of chevron (yeah, feel free to mock me for agonizing over my color scheme 2 years before the proposal).

Mrs. Star's wedding convinced me to switch from damask to polka dots, since I had actually always liked polka dots, and I realized I only liked damask because it was trendy at the time. But theeeennnn I saw a polka dotted bumble bee child's birthday party on a blog and realized it looked exactly like my dream wedding...which looked like a bumble bee child's birthday party. And so black got the axe.

I'd seen a lot of yellow, white, and gray weddings around the blogosphere, and I really liked them, so I made the easy decision to replace black with gray. While it would have been infinitely easier to find black and white polka dot things than gray and white polka dot things, at least my wedding won't look like a kid's party. Though now that I'm a bee, maybe I should have left it!

How did you decide on your wedding colors/theme? Did I put too much thought into this?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

8 Ways to Turn Wedding Planning into Date Night

In my last post I mentioned that I was going to try implementing a self-imposed wedding-free date night rule for me and Mr. Unicycle. I thought about it for like a day and then I was like "Grrl...it's too hard." When you only see your fiance 3 times a month on average, it's hard to not want to hammer out a bunch of wedding junk every time you see him! So I gave it the ol' college try, but in the end I decided to make lemonade out of the sitch.

Image via MTV
Not this sitch. Well, maybe.

That's right, I'll turn wedding planning into a date! Genius, right? Multitasking at it's finest. Here's what I came up with:
  1. Picking Music: Grab your laptops and each spend a few minutes queuing up a bunch of songs--on YouTube, your personal music library, wherever. When you've both chosen a few, take turns playing a song from each others' lists and get yo' freak on (that means dancing, right? I'm kind of not as hood as I pretend to be). Pick slow songs, fast songs, meaningful songs, and even songs that you would never actually play at the wedding. Don't forget to drink wine while you do it.

    Image via Madame Noire
  2. Scoping out DJs/Bands: Some wedding DJs and bands will play gigs at clubs or bars, so put on your clubbin' outfits and get jiggy with it to your potential future wedding musicians over a few brewskies. A lot of big DJ companies also have open houses where you can meet DJs, hear their sound systems, and nibble on free hors d'oeuvres. (That's the first time I've been able to spell that without looking it up!)

  3. Tastings: Whether it be cake or dinner, any kind of food tasting constitutes a date in my book. Make it a triple date by inviting the 'rents or the bridal party and a good time will be had by all. What's better than eating a delicious repast with your sweetie while criticizing every single bite? Nothing.

    Personal pic
    Like this, but with real food.
  4. Dance Lessons: A lot of dance studios offer a free dance lesson to brides and grooms (because they want to rope you in for more!). Take the free lesson, and if you get roped in, then just think of it as a series of future dates. Even if you don't want a choreographed first dance, there's nothing wrong with learning a few steps to help you avoid the jr. high sway.
  5. Scoping out Transportation: Looking to book a limo, trolley, or other transportation for your wedding day? A lot of big limo/car rental companies also offer open houses where you can view their fleet, and many have classic cars for your man to ogle while you take mental notes for the wedding day. He'll think you're doing him a favor.
  6. Man-Friendly Craft Night: Just look around the Bee for about 5 seconds and you'll realize that crafts pretty much come with the territory when you're planning a wedding, whether you're crafty or not. Get him involved in something he might actually enjoy, and craft together while you watch a movie. Note: this is not the time for Martha's tissue poms. I'm thinking more along the lines of anything involving wood, metal, tools, or Legos. I've got a Lego wedding craft up my sleeve to keep Mr. Unicycle busy. Stay tuned...

    Image via Times Union
    This probably won't happen.
  7. Engagement Pics: This might be a stretch, but I like to believe Mr. Unicycle had a good time during our engagement session. We spent the whole day traipsing around the city, kissing each other and whispering poop jokes in each others' ears when we were trying to keep a straight face for the camera. That's about as romantic as it gets, people.

  8. Planning the Honeymoon: Sit down one night with a bunch of travel brochures (oh who am I kidding--the internet) and pick out all the fun things you're going to do on your honeymoon. Have fun daydreaming about lazy dayz on the beach, romantic tours through historic areas, and exotic meals at local restaurants. Just don't let him get so excited about the honeymoon that he forgets about the wedding.
What other ideas do you guys have for making wedding planning fun for both the bride and the groom? Have you tried any of these? Don't you love seeing Mr. Unicycle drink out of that heart straw?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Big Newz

Hey reader(s)! I just wanted to let you know that I got some very exciting news last week: I was accepted to blog for Weddingbee! My first post went up today and I'm so excited about it! I'm going to keep blogging here, and my posts will be syndicated over at Weddingbee, so feel free to read in either place. I might be talking about other Weddingbee bloggers, mentioning their posts, or using Weddingbee lingo that doesn't really make sense out of context, so I wanted to give you a heads up so you wouldn't be confused (even though I love laughing at confused people).

My Weddingbee moniker is Miss Unicycle, so you can follow along with all my posts there!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Put Your Dukes/Paws Up

Before I was engaged, I heard time and time again that brides and grooms get in tons of arguments during the wedding planning. Apparently you're supposed to plan "wedding free" date nights where you're not allowed to mention the wedding (uh, not even once...?) and give your guy a free pass to not give a damn about wedding planning because, after all, it's your day. It's your special day.
Image via Etsy
I think I need this so I can remind people what friggin day it friggin is.

I figured Mr. Unicycle and I would end up fighting about this eventually, since we fight about pretty much everything, but I really couldn't visualize what these fights would sound like. How could people argue about wonderful things like poofy dresses and cake flavors? Would he put up his dukes when I suggested something outlandish like lavender flavored cake? Would I slap him around when he insisted on red velvet?

I get that men generally don't care about weddings, at least not the petty details like what kind of flowers to use in the centerpieces or whether to wear a veil or a fascinator. And I admit that I do love pretty much everything about weddings (duh, I'm blogging on Weddingbee). I even understand that with Mr. Unicycle being in his second year of med school, he really isn't available to help me plan, whether he wanted to or not. So really I should just plan this wedding by my lonesome and smile the whole time, right?

Personal photo
I effing love weddings. So much.

Uh, except there are a ton of things that I need Mr. Unicycle's help with. I mean literally: I need his help tracking down his friends' addresses, building PVC frames for our fauxtobooth backdrop, booking vendors, deciding on invitation wording...the list could go on and on. I feel the need to consult with him before I spend a massive amount of money too, not because I need his permission, but I guess because I need someone to assure me that I'm not being ridiculous and impulsive. (I almost just bought a pair of wedding shoes for $100 on a whim, even though I have barely even started looking. Somebody stop me.)
Image via Zappos
These aren't them. These are even better, even more expensive shoes.

And then there's this little thing called the bane of my existence--I mean, the "to do" timeline. I made a list of tasks that need to be accomplished before the wedding day and assigned each of them arbitrarily to a different month. Every month passes with a few tasks left undone, and it drives me nuts. Like, actually freaking nuts.

Personal pic
Really freaking nuts.

So nuts, in fact, that I've started yelling at Mr. Unicycle about all the things he hasn't done yet, even though he doesn't even know what I'm talking about half the time. (You should have been there for the "what the hell are Moo cards?!" conversation.)
This is what Moo cards are.

So yes, Mr. Unicycle and I have been fighting about the wedding, which means we're normal. We're not boxing each other over cake flavors yet, but then again, we haven't met with the caterer yet either. So I suppose it's time to implement a wedding-free day every week, eh? How will I ever stop thinking about my G.D. timeline for an entire day?

Do you think wedding usually cause a lot of fights? Am I being a bridezeeela or just neurotic?