Monday, May 31, 2010

Who am I, and what am I supposed to do with all these rings?

We returned from our honeymoon to Quebec City and Montreal yesterday evening thoroughly exhausted by our week of post-wedding vacation. Another lesson learned: you don't know what you'll want to be doing the week after your wedding until you get there! I'm still glad we didn't go to Sandals or anything like that, but, next time I'm planning a honeymoon, remind me to build in a few quieter days in a town I don't feel the need to explore so much. I am SO GLAD to be going back to a short work week.

Anyway, I'll cover all that honeymoon stuff in another post. I wanted to write tonight about the start of what will assuredly be a long process: that of figuring out what the hell to call myself and what to have others call me. (Also, how to juggle my various rings!)

Once I finally got back to my apartment on the day after the wedding, it wasn't long before I logged onto Facebook to change my status to "married" and tack on Jon's last name to my own. That second part was perhaps a bit rash, given my confusion on the name issue, but, hey, I was excited! I figured I could go by whatever I wanted to no matter what Facebook said, and that this was merely a standard Facebook-era acknowledgement of a marriage. As we opened gifts later that evening, we received many checks made out to "Mr. and Mrs. Jon Ross" or "Jon and Kathleen Ross." That didn't much bother me, except for the fact that they all had to go into Jon's bank account... boo! On Monday when we arrived at our hotel in Quebec City, there was a note in our room addressed to "Monsieur & Madame Ross," which was pretty badass, I have to admit. (I think it was the French.)

Beyond that, there wasn't really any name business to deal with early in the week -- we primarily had to worry about not offending anyone with our nonexistent French skills. Even so, the issue stayed on my mind.

We got to Montreal on Friday afternoon, and as Jon checked us in, the lady at the desk asked me for my name so it would be in the computer as well. "Kathleen," I told her, and she responded by asking for my last name. "Uhh..." Big awkward pause. Jon looked at me... "Ross." Jon snickered and nudged me with his elbow, and I sort of shrugged as that same icky feeling I had at the marriage license counter came over me. Kathleen Ross. It just doesn't feel right. I imagine there is a standard set of growing pains that accompanies the name change process, but I'm not sure where that ends and my actual discomfort with a new name begins.

I've already said that at my current job I won't change anything. I certainly don't want the IT hassle, or the confusion from coworkers who might think I'm someone different. (If anything, I'll do what I did on Facebook and add "Ross" to my email signature or something.) But, that moment at the reservation desk made me think harder about what I'd like people to call me, now and in the future. Frankly, I think I'd still like to be Kathleen Poe (but I'd sort of feel like a tool changing it back on Facebook). Mrs. Ross sounds weird as hell, but I get that it's one of those things you say to women who just got married. I think Kathleen Ross is even weirder than Mrs. Ross, because it's more clearly referring to me than to someone's mother.

The paperwork is already working its way through the system, though, and if I want to legally remain the same as always, at this point I'm sure the process would be a ridiculous pain in the ass to halt or turn around. No biggie, I can just go by whatever I want, no matter what my drivers license says, right? All well and good, if only I knew what I wanted. I get the sense that it will indeed be a process -- though I'll still be Kathleen Poe at my office, when I eventually change jobs, I may start going by Kathleen Poe Ross. I've always said that Poe is a crappy middle name, but I know that Virginia is still there in the middle of things and Poe Ross is a kind of compound surname sans hyphen.

As you can tell, it's complicated. Nearly as fraught is the conundrum of what to do with my rings. I started out traditional style, with my wedding ring then my engagement ring on my left ring finger. After two days straight of being on my feet and entertaining folks and then a long day of air travel, I decided that my fingers might be better suited to a somewhat unorthodox reorganization of rings -- engagement ring (the skinnier band) first, then wedding band. A couple of days in, it seemed to me that the two rings weren't cooperating together, so I bumped my college class ring from my right hand in favor of my engagement ring. I rocked that look for a few days but then decided that it felt odd to have such a tall ring on my right hand, so I went back to the first traditional arrangement. That's where I am at the moment, but who knows what I'll feel like tomorrow!

If you've made it this far, I applaud your endurance. Married folks, how long did it take you to adjust to your name changes and new jewelry? If you didn't change your name, did you just cruise along as normal with no mental anguish? Are you a rebel who puts her engagement ring on her finger first? Heavens!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Our reception photos are up on the Smilebooth website!!! Hilarity ensues...

Click here to see more...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

mini photo recap!

Here are a few photos from the events of last weekend to tide you over until I get back from the honeymoon and/or the Smilebooth photos are posted. All of these are either my own pictures or come from friends and relatives (via facebook). Thanks to Emily, Allison, Dante, Janet, Aunt Retta, Abby and Lindsay for these!

Bridesmaids' dinner @ Fritti, Thursday evening

Getting nails done @ Sugarcoat, Friday morning

Rehearsal dinner @ Canoe, Friday night

High-school buddies stonefacing at the
post-RD shindig at my folks' house

hair @ van michael, Saturday a.m.

makeup in the dining room

getting my shoes on in the church parlor

me and the mamas!

Starting down the aisle!

wedding party pics in front of the church

Look, we actually got to eat at the reception!

first dance

fun in the Smilebooth

afterparty at the W

grad school buddies at the farewell brunch at my parents' house

Much more to come, eventually!

Monday, May 24, 2010

We're married!

Obviously there is much more to come, but I just wanted to say that this weekend could not possibly have been any lovelier than it was. Our coordinator was a rock star, the weather was perfect, the DJ killed it on the dance floor and the food was ridiculous! We had a great crew of family and friends who turned out, and we all laughed, cried happy tears and got down with our bad selves together. Oh, and the whole crowd got up to a lot of Smilebooth debauchery. Look out for that shortly...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What was it I needed to do today...

Oh yeah! Wedding. DURR. I put this in many months ago and totally forgot I had done so until my phone buzzed midday Friday... I love that the only time I have ever used this function on my phone is for this not-very-easily overlooked event.

Quick recap of Friday: so much fun! Oh, and Thursday was too. Bridesmaids dinner at Fritti for delicious pizza was a smashing success, as were my bridesmaid gifts (to be revealed in a later post). So, Friday started with getting our nails done en masse at Sugarcoat, which I highly recommend if you're in Atlanta. One of my bridesmaids had to work so had gone Thursday night and left a bottle of champagne for us, so we started out the day with champagne at like 10:30 a.m. After that it was back to our apartment for me, where I finished our slideshow and burned it to a DVD, printed out new seating labels for table changes, and gathered up all the various presents yet to be wrapped. Back at my parents' house I wrapped said gifts and got all gussied up for the rehearsal, which was quite fun I thought, then we had a ridiculously delicious and love-filled rehearsal dinner. We came home to a crowd of family at my folks' house, and I gave Jon his awesome present (more on that later as well) and we practiced dancing a bit before he headed home with his brother and cousin. That covers the basics, I think!

Anyhoo, now it is well past midnight and I've had a moonpie and a glass of milk and am off to get my beauty rest. Hair appointments start at 10 a.m. It seems like tomorrow will be a long day, but I'm sure it will just fly by! See y'all on the flip side...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Since I left the office on Tuesday, things have been pretty go-go-go... fortunately, that slows down this evening with the bridesmaids' dinner. I seem to be getting progressively less busy, or at least progressively less scheduled, as the days go on.

Yesterday the shit sort of hit the fan in terms of the guest list when we had a spate of cancellations, but it's really not so bad. My family has a huge holiday party every year and Mom says she gets so many calls the day of that she thinks no one will show up, and then sure enough about 300 guests pass through the doors that night. This is a little different than that, since we're paying per person, but the emotional impact is more deeply felt than the financial one, I think. Anyway, as soon as we figure out exactly who is/is not coming, and who of our local friends will be able to bring a date to enjoy the paid-for food and drink, we'll have to shuffle around the seating a bit.

I'm about to go drop off the welcome bags at the two midtown hotels (I got the one by my parents' house this morning) and then I'm doing a couple of airport runs. I just slathered myself in sunscreen because I don't want to get a trucker/farmer sunburn (no tan for me) while I'm spending all this time in the car!

Yesterday it still didn't seem real, like this wedding week was here after all. But now that people are in Atlanta who have never been/would not normally visit, it's starting to sink in... I feel like the wedding itself will be some sort of out-of-body experience, but I think I'll have a handle on the situation by then. The wedding rehearsal should accomplish that!

I'd better head out, but I hope to be able to check in again. Until next time...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It's go time

Today was my last day in the office pre-wedding, and thank the lord for that! I was getting a little bit frazzled trying to keep all the wedding emails flying around from totally usurping my workday. I managed to get done all that I needed to before I left, so now it's all wedding all the time. Until Sunday, after which it will be all honeymoon all the time. Ah, the bliss of being away from the 9-to-5!

This evening, Jon and I went over to my parents' house after work to take care of a few things. Jon was going to do a trial run of setting up the projector and running a slideshow, except that we didn't have a cable to connect the projector to a mac. Oops! Meanwhile, I finished tying the programs together with the same black-and-white twine I used on my invitations. After that, Jon headed home and I went with Dad to our last of four dance lessons together. At this point it looks like Dad and I will manage much better than Jon and I will... we really need to make some time to practice!

Jon's folks and brother arrive tonight, and the first wedding party and extended family members start arriving tomorrow. I've got a lot of running around to do in the morning, but once I pick up my college roommate from the airport around 3:30 or so in the afternoon I should have it all done and be able to visit. So far I've been kicking ass and taking names when it comes to my wedding task list, so let's hope that continues.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Sunday night

...was spent turning this:

into these:

I don't know about you, but I would be pleased as pie if I got one of these bags when I checked into a hotel. I think we do a fine job of setting the tone of the weekend and establishing a sense of place, no? Now all I have to do is type up a bunch of directions and some restaurant recommendations, print them out and stuff them in with everything else.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

a good sign

On Thursday before Jon and I went to the Josh Ritter show, we stopped by Target for some odds and ends, then hit up Willy's in the same shopping center for a quick burrito dinner. The weather was lovely, so we sat outside as we ate and took the long way back to the car once we were done.

As we walked, I went to hold Jon's hand but pulled away when I felt something cool and sticky. "Ewww!" I yelped. A rogue grain of rice from Jon's burrito had hung onto his lap and then transferred to the back of my hand. When I saw what it was I cracked up and called Jon gross, then took aim and flicked the rice off my hand at him, hitting him smack in the middle of his right cheek, much to his surprise. "Score, a direct hit!" I exclaimed before doubling over in laughter, while Jon just stood there, shocked.

A moment or two later, once we got going again, we passed two teenage boys who had observed this scene sitting on a bench next to the sidewalk. "How long have y'all been together?" one of them asked. A bit taken aback at the random inquiry, Jon and I looked at each other before both replying "About three years?" and sort of kept walking. "Y'all are a great couple," he said. We may or may not have said thank you, I don't remember; but we were smiling at the odd compliment from a stranger. As we rounded the corner, the guy said "Y'all should get married!" I turned around and said "We are, next weekend!" before we disappeared behind the building into the parking lot.

How random is that? Totally. Who knows why that kid felt the need to say those things to us, but it felt like a good omen and, like meeting Josh Ritter, added to the building excitement and positive momentum as we head into the wedding week.

Anyway, it's a sort of funny story, so I just wanted to share. Off to bed to rest up for two more days of work before the fun begins!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Regretfully declining...

I can't believe it worked! I never would have thought to do this on my own, but if you ever pick up a wedding magazine or check out a blog in the wedding planning process, I guarantee you will run across someone telling you to send the president a wedding invitation and you'll get a congratulatory letter in return, which is a pretty sweet memento to have. At some point I googled something like "wedding invitation white house" and found a lot of threads saying that people who sent invitations to the White House never received any acknowledgment, or that they heard there had been cutbacks in the White House Greetings Office. (Yes, such an office exists, and they apparently will greet you on many occasions!)

Given what I read online, I wasn't really expecting anything from Barack and Michelle, so this was a pretty awesome envelope to find in the mailbox. Badass!! Perfect timing, too. One week to go!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another evening with Josh Ritter!

You may recall that my first Josh Ritter concert last year was a rather eventful one that kicked off all this wedding madness. Well, Josh passed through Atlanta again last night with his band, providing a nice sort of bookend to our engagement. Around 9:20 or so he turned up on stage looking like an ice cream man, complete with white bow tie (and cummerbund... fancy ice cream man).

Given the material on the new album, much of the concert was pretty low-key, but there were a good few rockers in the 2-hour show as well. They didn't play Kathleen but they did play Snow is Gone, which is a close second in the race for favorite. Also, please note the shorts-suit on the bassist at right.

Josh hails from Moscow, Idaho, where Jon spent his late-junior high, high school and college years, and where his folks still live. Josh mentioned Moscow once during the show (and Jon totally missed his one chance to holler out "Go Bears!" for Moscow High School) but demonstrated Idaho pride throughout by displaying the state flag onstage. Jon also displayed some Idaho pride by wearing his (University of Idaho) Vandal Marching Band t-shirt, even though he's giving the state flag the weakest thumbs-up I've ever seen:

After the show, we hung around in the lobby hoping that Josh would come out and say hello. There were probably 20 folks there for 10 minutes or so after the venue cleared out, which soon dwindled to about a dozen, then five or six fans. The merch guy told us that he hadn't seen Josh come out after any shows yet, so it was probably pointless to wait. Some family of the band came out of the hall, and moments later some folks who had gotten a poster signed by Josh and the band. The ticket-scanner/bouncer guy with a big flashlight in his belt disappeared back into the hall, and I told Jon I wanted to wait until we saw him again, just to be certain.

Our persistence paid off, because when bouncer/flashlight man came back, he motioned to the five of us still waiting in the lobby to follow him inside, where the band was breaking down the equipment. He had us stand by the railing at the edge of the floor section and disappeared backstage, emerging shortly thereafter with a jovial Josh at his heels.

Jon and I were first up in the line. Josh extended his hand to Jon as he introduced himself, and when I introduced myself he wrapped me up in a big hug, confirming my suspicions that he is a very friendly and generally wonderful fellow. I told him that we had gotten engaged at his last Atlanta show and would be getting married the weekend after this. His eyes widened and he congratulated us both with more hugs. Hooray! After that we talked about how Jon is from Moscow, where his folks live in town, people they know in common, when the last time we were in Moscow was, where the wedding is, etc. Josh told us he had just celebrated his one-year wedding anniversary four days earlier (to the girl who was the opening act, I later learned -- Dawn Landes) and that it was a great thing, that he thought marriage probably made you smarter. As we prepared to take our leave and let the others have at him, he told us best wishes many times over, and gave me a long, tight hug. (I am a big hugger, so this was extra awesome in my book.) I told Jon later that we should try to hang out with Josh and Dawn next time we're in Moscow over the holidays. (Ha!)

In the midst of all of that, I asked if we could take a picture together, and Josh happily obliged. I handed my camera off to a dude who was waiting behind us and went to stand on the other side of Josh, but Josh told me I should be in the middle because I was the prettiest. Whether or not that is the case, this picture will surely refute his claim, because my eyes are lazily half-closed and I look SO UNFORTUNATE! You can't really tell at this size though, so it's OK. I'm just kicking myself for not asking for a re-do when I just knew I had blinked at a bad time! Boo.

In summary, it was an awesome evening! It was so nice to get out of the house, away from the computer and the thank-you notes waiting to be written and just have a good time seeing an excellent concert together. I can't wait until Josh comes back again!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


So, my mom went back to Bridals by Lori today to retrieve the extra fabric from my dress that the seamstress had forgotten on Tuesday to give to the florist (for to wrap my bouquet in). While she was at it, she picked up the dress and brought it home.

This, even more than having a fitting where the dress finally fit me, signifies that yes, there really is a wedding next week, and yes, it features ME as the bride. The dress is now hanging on the back of the door in the downstairs hall closet in my parents' house. Not in some big storage room with hundreds of other plastic-bagged poofs of white, not waiting to be hemmed or taken in, but at home waiting for me to put it on for the big dance, as it were.

DUDE. Nine days.

Who should I believe?

Nobody, at this point... next week I'll start taking forecasts more seriously. Although these three don't even come to a consensus about the weather for the day after tomorrow, my bride buddy's wedding day. Oy! Here are a couple of looks at our extended forecast:

1) -- Boo!

2) -- Boo!

3) -- Yay!

At least they can all agree that there will be at least some sun and the temperatures will be in the 80s. Oh, and it will be humid. This is Atlanta, after all!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Old-Timey Tuednesday: SERIOUSLY old-timey!

This edition of Old-Timey Tuesday/Wednesday takes us way, way, way back into the early years of the last century. The picture below is of my great-grandparents on my dad's side, his mom's folks, in their wedding finery:

Zola and Henry Wilkening

The photo isn't dated, but Dad estimates, based on when Grandma Dot and her older brother were born, that Zola and Henry were married sometime around 1913. Nearly 100 years ago now!

I'm intrigued by her wedding dress -- the layers, the wide sash, the way it appears to wrap like a robe almost. He looks quite dapper in his suit and side-button shoes. They're not smiling, but they're not stonefaced or stoic either; there's a contentment and a frankness in their eyes, at least as I perceive it. I can see Grandma Dot in their faces, and my dad, and myself -- I've got the same deep-set Wilkening eyes.

The setting of the portrait is pretty interesting as well. One person leaning on a chair is pretty standard in portraiture, but the painted forest backdrop? The bearskin rug at their feet? Too awesome. And yet, it looks totally normal.

Better already!

So, after a couple post-lunch hours of intense focus on my newsletter, I no longer feel as though I am gasping for air in a sea of incomplete tasks. Things are looking up already! At this rate I should have all the big things out of the way by the end of the work week, which is a huge relief.

After last night's long rambling post, I thought some pictures might be in order today. [Sidenote: TOTALLY FORGOT OLD-TIMEY TUESDAY! I'll fix that when I get home.] Let's take a look at some of the things I've crossed off the list recently, shall we?

Here we have (1) table numbers and (2) the guest book!

Until last week I had thought I would be buying table-tents from Paper Source and praying that my printer would tolerate a 5.5x17 piece of paper. Then I saw this post on Weddingbee and found out about these awesome 99-cent frames at IKEA. A quick calculation revealed that 26 frames would be cheaper than three packs of table tents, so I went by IKEA after work to make the purchase. The next day I brought a frame into work so I could be sure to choose the correct font sizes for the inserts and then took it to Paper Source after work to match some paper to the frame (the normal printer paper clashed a bit). I spent Friday night unwrapping frames, printing and cutting down the inserts and assembling, and I had 24 table numbers and a sign for the guestbook after just a couple of hours. Hooray!

There's not much to say about the guestbook except that a) it looks great! and b) it's definitely tinier than I thought it would be. Not that it doesn't say loud and clear that we were ordering a 7x7 book, and not that I can't measure or approximate 7 inches for myself, but I was still surprised when it arrived. We have at least 16 completely blank pages and about 30 partially blank ones like the one at right, so I think we should have plenty of room for everyone to sign and/or leave a note. (We opted for the premium paper in the new lustre finish, and it looks super nice. Blurb also goes so far as to recommend the best types of pens for writing on this paper. Helpful!)

Last (for now) but not least, we have (3) the honey-jar escort cards/favors!

Last night between my dress fitting and dance lesson with dad, I slapped these stickers on all of the little honey jars, and they too look great. (At this point they're just favors, since I haven't printed out the labels with names and table numbers on them yet.) If any of y'all need to make stickers for favors, I highly recommend I ordered 300 labels, which allegedly were in rolls of 150, but I got through almost all 228 jars on the first roll. Ah well. I counted last night, and 147 of these will be used to tell folks at which table they are seated. The rest will be up for grabs at the reception and farewell brunch.

That's all for now. Check back later for a belated Old-Timey Tuesday and more last-minute chaos!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

losing my mind...

If this past weekend didn't mark the start of the TOTALLY OVERWHELMED stage of almost-there wedding planning, surely yesterday and today at work have cemented my entry into that phase. Good god! So much deadline pressure, so many things to juggle... I'd wish the weekend would arrive sooner were it not for the newsletter I have to start from scratch, complete and distribute by the time I leave work for the wedding next Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Not only has work been crazy, but I've been running around like a crazy person in all the time I have outside of work as well. Fortunately this has resulted in many things crossed off of various and sundry lists, and my great hope is that all this exhausting productivity will mean that next Wednesday morning, when I don't have to go to the office, I can just sleep in and take it easy.

So what all have I been up to? Well, you saw pictures from my hair and makeup trials on Saturday. In the past few days I've also had my final dress fitting, taken separate dance lessons with Jon and my dad, purchased snacks for the hotel welcome bags, written a lot of thank-you notes, made various returns and exchanges, finalized the wedding program and sent it off to the printer, finalized the menu for the bridesmaids' dinner, arranged seating, made table numbers and affixed labels to all 228 mini jars of honey we're using as escort cards and favors. I didn't get home tonight until 10:30 p.m. Aggghh! Jon has been doing a lot as well -- working on the slideshow, making a list of dinner music, bagging up the packing peanuts Macy's is so fond of using -- but seems to be doing less of the running around town than I am.

I'm feeling pretty tired and scatterbrained, overall. I hardly believe my calendar when it tells me that Thursday next week is the bridesmaids' dinner, Friday the rehearsal and Saturday the wedding. I still feel like it's March rather than May. I put on my dress this afternoon at the fitting and, for the first time, I could walk in it without having to hike it up. The length and the fit were tailored to me; the dress is mine now. It didn't feel magical or anything -- I imagine that will happen on the day of when my hair and makeup are done and I'm glowing with excitement, surrounded by my best friends and family. Instead, coming off of a stressful day at the office and looking a little worse for wear, I noticed little tiny things about the alterations that shouldn't bother me. I felt short without the benefit of the alterations platform and at least 6 extra inches of dress hanging over its edge. We all agreed that the dress looked good, though, and that there wasn't any further need for alteration. Another check on the list.

Next time I see my dress, I pledge to be in a better frame of mind. Maybe getting over the hump of the week will do the trick. Anyone have good advice for how I can focus and power through these last few days of work before I take off, or is it pretty much a lost cause? Did any of you already-married people feel underwhelmed by your fittings but overwhelmed by most everything else? I'd love to hear your thoughts. For now it's bedtime -- maybe a good night's sleep is all I really need.

Monday, May 10, 2010

You can plan a pretty picnic but you can't predict the weather

Over the weekend we edged into extended forecast territory for the wedding day. Saturday I got my first glimpse of what predicts May 22 will feel like (I think it involved some rain), and by today it had improved a bit. I also got a look at the days surrounding the big event. On Wednesday, I'll be able to compare that with's 10-day forecast. Here's what AccuWeather's 15-day outlook says, for now:

Wahoo! Not bad. Ideally it might be less humid and a couple degrees cooler, but by late afternoon and evening I'm sure it will be just perfect. Let's hope this forecast sticks around!

Which online weather source do you trust most?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Makeup! Hair!

Today has been a big day. The morning was filled with errands, the evening will be filled with a concert and a bachelorette party for my bride buddy, and in between I had both my makeup and hair trials. I need a nap!

Anyway, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking here. I won't share the picture the makeup artist took of me in her kitchen, because (due to the light) I look like a pair of eyes and lips on a canvas of blinding white. I snapped this picture right before my hair trial started:

Not too bad, right? I think she did a great job. Might have her lay off the eyebrow-coloring, but otherwise I'm down. She works with airbrush makeup, and it basically just feels like you're sitting in front of a fan as it goes on. It's quite pleasant and light!

Now, onto the hairdo. I brought in a bunch of pictures from blogs, all of which were variations on a theme: low, bun-like, perhaps off-center. Elle, the girl who cuts my hair, totally nailed it! Not that I had any doubt. But it looks totally awesome. Check out the side view:

The flower pins are from handle & spout, by the way. Here's the back:

And here I am from the front -- you can sorta see the back of the other side in the mirror.

Back at the homestead, and after a few stops on the way home where I got a little windblown, another look in the mirror. It held up pretty well, although Elle didn't spray/pin as much as she will on the day of.

And one last look at the makeup. Still looking good after a few hours!

Overall I'm pretty satisfied! What do y'all think?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

it's all coming together...

At this stage in the game, we're coming home not only to wedding presents every day, but also to wedding essentials and accoutrement that we've ordered. I'm particularly excited about this package:

Though I won't lie, I'm sort of bummed that this case of MoonPies has basically the exact amount I need for my out-of-towner bags. This definitely did not work out as I hoped! I should have rounded up.

Tomorrow I'm expecting another pair of potential rehearsal dinner shoes and our finished guestbook! (So speedy!) I'll report back on those in the next couple of days...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hostess gifts!

Over the course of our engagement, we've had four showers and a cocktail party in our honor (well, two of those showers were just for me). Crazy, right? Lots of showers bring lots of presents, but they also necessitate a lot of hostess gifts. I'm pretty pleased with the presents I came up with (and their prices), so I wanted to give y'all the rundown in case it could help generate ideas!

Shower no. 1
Theme: Christmas ornaments
Hosted by: one of my longtime best buds
Hostess gift: A nice bottle of champagne
Cost: about $30 from the liquor store by my house

Shower no. 2
Theme: General (this one was mostly my parents' friends)
Hosted by: two couples of family friends that we know from church
Hostess gifts: silver picture frames from Pottery Barn for pictures of their grandbabies (each couple has a new one)
Cost: $34 from Pottery Barn

Shower no. 3
Theme: Lingerie
Hosted by: two of my best friends and their mamas
Hostess gifts: Hanky Panky thongs for the girls; lovely candles for the mamas
Cost: $18 apiece for the thongs from Bloomingdales; about $29 each for the candles (including a 20% discount) from a local boutique

Shower no. 4
Theme: Stock the bar
Hosted by: another best friend and her folks
Hostess gifts: Slang pint glass (her nickname is Ho) and polaroid magnet frames for friend; a lovely chardonnay for her parents
Cost: $19 for the glass etc. from Urban Outfitters; $36 for the wine from Whole Foods

Cocktail Party
Theme: Cocktail party!
Hosted by: six sets of my friends' parents
Hostess gifts: Sweet Kathleen's cookbook (found via Bake it Pretty) and a bottle of Smoky Jon's barbecue sauce (found via Google). Get it? Kathleen and Jon? This gift had something for the ladies and something for the menfolk, at least if you're being stereotypical about it, which I liked since couples were hosting.
Cost: $28.88 apiece (including shipping and the extra bottles of sauce, which only came by the case)

What are some of your best hostess gift ideas?