Sunday, January 23, 2011

it's my dress in a box! ( a bag, in a bag, in a bag)

Yesterday, eight months from the first and last time I wore it, I finally picked up my wedding dress from the cleaners/dress preservation place. I dropped it off there July 17 -- took them long enough! Not that I needed the dress for anything, but I was still happy to get a call from them last week telling me it was ready for pickup and hadn't been lost or destroyed in some freak preservation accident. (Apparently the boxes were on backorder, hence the delay.)

Picking up the dress took about 20 minutes because the sweet old lady at the cleaners wanted to unpack and show me the dress and then verrrry carefully seal it all up again. She even used a vacuum thingy to suck the air out of the second plastic bag and a flat iron to (sorta) seal it shut before she handed over the box. Intense!

When I got home, I opened it all up once more to take a better look at it -- and also so I could share it with y'all. I didn't really have any idea what preservation entailed (and I still don't entirely) when I got talked into it, but I figured I should do my part to protect the investment my parents made in buying my lovely dress. All I know is that it's nice and clean now, and that it won't turn yellow.

Now my dress lies cushioned with acid-free tissue paper in a presumably acid-free zippy bag in a box made from a special kind of plastic. Some boxes have a little display window, I hear, but mine doesn't. The cleaners wrapped all that up in three bags -- muslin, heavy plastic and one that felt like a normal dry-cleaner bag -- though I don't think I need to keep all of them.

one, two, three bags

box in a bag

Once I got through all those outer layers and opened the box, I found a pair of white cotton gloves inside the zippy bag. If you're going to touch your dress, you have to put these on so you don't get any body oils on the dress that might oxidize over time and cause stains. Again: Intense!

safety gloves!

After a full five minutes of dealing with all this packaging, I made it to the dress. It's beautiful, even all folded up! The veil is rolled up in tissue paper (helpfully labeled "Veil"), and the dress is folded over on itself probably two times under there. There's a lot of skirt to deal with! Although, the fact that they removed the crinoline in order to preserve the dress (which I'm assured will only be like $25 to add back, should the dress be put to future use) certainly means there's a lot less dress to fit into the box.

There were some stains that the cleaners couldn't get out, but those were mainly at the bottom of the skirts -- no surprise there, especially since I didn't have a bustle and just swept the ground behind me all day and night. Happily, I didn't spill any Cheerwine on myself while dancing, which would have been disastrous. Other than the stains at the hem, I know there was a tear or two in the lining of the skirt (one of which I remember happening during the ceremony) and I'm sure there must have been a snag or two in the tulle from the twigs my skirt kept picking up while we were taking pictures during the cocktail hour. Of course, I won't ever see these things unless I take the whole dress out of the box, which probably won't happen until I have someone else who wants to wear it (friend, daughter or other) because lord knows it would be smooshed back into the box all covered in cat hair.

So anyway, I don't know if any of you ever wondered what the dress preservation/storage situation was, but hopefully this post tells you a little bit about it. Regardless, it was nice to see my pretty pretty dress again in real life, as opposed to just in photos. Such lovely memories!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's raining weddings

There comes a time in every twentysomething's life when everyone and their mother is getting married. The lots-of-weddings era officially began for me in 2008, when I was a bridesmaid in one of my best friends' weddings. As it happened, that year in weddings was actually kicked off by that bride's mother -- seriously -- who got remarried.

I had three other weddings that year, bringing the total to five between April and the first weekend in October. 2009 was even more packed, with six weddings* from mid-May to mid-October. By the midpoint of our own wedding planning, we only had two weddings -- ours and my Bride Buddy's, the week before ours -- for 2010; after the holidays, though, two more were added to the docket. Still, only four weddings from April to August in 2010 was a comparatively light load. (Since one of them was my own, I'm very thankful for that.)

2011 is shaping up to be another crazy, crazy year o' weddings. As of tonight, I've got seven weddings on my calendar from mid-February to mid-June. Three weekends in May are wedding weekends, and the non-wedding weekend falls on our anniversary. (Convenient!) The last couple to get married of the current 2011 bunch has been engaged since June 2009; my friend who just announced her Memorial Day nuptials got engaged last weekend. So, who knows -- my year in weddings could get busier still!

While it's definitely easier to attend a wedding than plan one, I want to make sure I budget my vacation time and attire/travel/gift expenses for these events wisely. I've already bought one present (in an attempt to spread out the credit card charges) and signed up for that Williams-Sonoma Reserve hooha where you pay $30 to get free shipping for a year -- I'm already certain that was a good investment. Now I just need to drop some of the extra pounds I put on over the holidays by the time May and June roll around so I can put my rehearsal dinner dress to use again...

*although I tend to have a good memory for this sort of thing, like any good packrat I actually have a scrapbook that serves as a record of all the friend and family weddings I've been to since 2005, when the first of my high school buddies got married. It was actually a great resource to have on hand when I was figuring out my own ceremony and invitations.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

snow days

obligatory snowman - good one, huh?

Depending on where you are in the world and what/who you pay attention to in the media/on Twitter, you may or may not know that Atlanta got hit with about six inches of snow Sunday night. Snowlanta! Snowpocalypse! Snowmageddon! SnOMG! Schools and lots of offices (among other things) have been closed all week because the roads are covered in ice and Atlanta has like eight trucks for salting and/or plowing. The joys of living in the South!

Although the archetypal snow day is a thing of the past thanks to telecommuting, Jon and I managed make time for playing in the snow a bit while working from home the past few days. I mean, the dog has to go out, right? Here are a few snapshots of the snowy scene in and around our neighborhood (which is apparently a quaint ski village, if that fourth photo below is to be believed):

It's been nice to be at home these last few days, especially when home is in one of Atlanta's most walkable neighborhoods. Even if we can't drive anywhere, there's a lot of fun and tasty stuff we've been able to get to on foot. We'll be back to the grind tomorrow once the ice melts, but at least the weekend is near!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm dreaming of a Blurb Christmas

In a highly original and utterly predictable move, Jon and I gave our parents Blurb-made wedding photo books for Christmas. (It seems like all newlyweds do something like this, doesn't it? It's practically inevitable. But hey, wedding photos make for lovely mementos.) Our wedding was early enough in the year that our parents could have easily pulled together their own photo albums before the holidays, but I held our discs captive to prevent that from happening. Muha!

By now you've probably seen most of these photos, but I wanted to share this book anyway. I know that our photographers typically use about 60 images when they make an album, so that's the number I kept in mind as I selected pictures. I'm really happy with how it came out! Click on the preview below to flip through.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010: my year in Facebook photos

While I was out in Idaho for the holidays, my brother-in-law challenged me to put together a 2010 retrospective composed of Facebook photo highlights: one picture from each album I posted in the last year. Easy, right? It was actually quite difficult to boil down some of the larger albums that encompassed many events and months to one photo. I also realized that there was a lot I didn't document on Facebook (though some of my friends took care of that) -- mainly our wedding showers/parties that I covered pretty thoroughly here. (As I recall, I was trying my damnedest to be tactful, given that Jon and I have many hundred Facebook friends who were not being invited to our wedding.)

I made (or added to) 22 albums in 2010, so here are my 22 favorite shots that should provide a good overview of what went on in my life last year. All photos were taken by me (or Jon, if I'm in the photo) using my dad's Nikon DSLR (some day I'll have a fancy camera of my very own!), my Canon point-and-shoot, a Polaroid 300 and the Vignette app on my Droid Incredible, except for the two from Our Labor of Love and one from Smilebooth -- those should be pretty obvious. Here goes!











Looks like 2010 was a pretty good year, doesn't it?