Monthly Archives: February 2011

Centerpiece Gridlock

I always had a definite vision when it came to our centerpieces: simple, incorporating white and yellow flowers with something gray, relatively inexpensive, and with a vintage-modern look and feel. But in the beginning, I seemed to be all over the place when it comes to actual execution. Starting just a few weeks after we got engaged, I began gathering my glass-vessel collection from are thrieft stores – a motley collection of decanters, non-vasey vases, glasses. I already had several jars and bottles on hand that could be used, as well. By early February, I’d pulled together enough for about four tables, with six more to go. The original plan was 3 vessels per table with 2 smaller vessels to hold candles, or 5 vessels for flowers if I ultimately decided to omit candles. (I’m still on the fence with candles, by the way.)

But it soon became apparent to me that I didn’t adore the all-clear-glass look. It seemed bland, with not enough color interest to satisfy me. I started collecting photos that I was drawn to, to see if I could sniff out a pattern.

Image via Style Me Pretty/Photo by Hawes Photography and Design

Image via Green Wedding Shoes/Photo by Jagger Photography

Samantha Luck

Image via Something Green Events/Photo by Martha Stewart

Image via Elizabeth Ann Designs/Photo by He & She Photography/Wedding by Carter & Cook

It was clear (heh) that I was drawn to the blue glass and soft colors. One problem: Blue wasn’t one of our colors, nor was anything pastel. Initially, I thought it would be sweet to paint the inside of the bottles a nice pewter gray – and then totally smart MOH Ginger pointed out that they probably wouldn’t stand up to standing water. I ran through some other options, as well – wrapping the bottles in some layering of paper, burlap, lace, ribbon, etc.; painting the outsides of the bottles; doing some sort of stenciling.

And finally, I decided on another type of visual interest: actual antique bottles and jars. It struck me that what drew me to each of these photos wasn’t even necessarily the color (although it was all very beautiful) – it was the unique aspect of having the different lettering and tints and aging of each individual bottle.

So now there was yet another to-do on the list: Ferret out as many old bottles as I could for as low a coast as possible.

What kind of agony did you experience over your own centerpieces? Was it difficult for you to settle on a concept? And what finally drew you to your ultimate choice?

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Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Turns out I’m really bad at sticking to things that I love. I push myself hard on the difficult stuff, and abandon the enjoyable things.

Like, for instance, blogging.

Last time, I started to cover all the wonderful things happening in the world of wedding planning: the venue, the dress, the officiant, the DJ. Since then, we’ve also booked our caterer (estimated cost: $5100 for a five-course buffet; coffee and iced tea; all rentals including table service, linens, and chairs; and services comparable to those of a wedding planner, with a very concrete “give it to us and forget about it.” I’d say it’s money well-spent just for that alone!).

AND… we did our engagement photos and I picked up and paid off my dress!

Our favorite engagement shot

Did I mention just how much we loooooooove our photographer! Such a sweetie, and so talented – and a great price, to boot! I also secured the hair and makeup (estimated cost: $260 for airbrush makeup and hair styling) and we booked our room block for out-of-town guests. Another friend offered to give us her employee rate for an awesome room overlooking the Gulf on our wedding night. Wahoo!!! And tomorrow, I meet with a friendor to start the invitations.

I guess you could say we’re really rocking and rolling.

One of the most exciting pieces of news to come out over the past couple of months, however, is …

drum roll

I GOT A NEW JOB!

If you know me personally, you’d know that I’ve had ups and downs for the past 2 years at my current job, which I’ve held for 5 years in this position, 6 total with the company. I’ve been through a lot there. I hit some very rough patches through which my boss hung onto me , when he very well could have let me go. I was promoted twice, and given raises that I didn’t even ask for. I was given an office (my very first, so it was a big deal to me) and began supervising people. I hit my professional stride. We won awards. It’s been awesome.

But I started to get that itch a couple of years ago, and have been looking on and off since then. I would apply to things that sounded appealing here and there, and even got a few interviews. But, much to my frustration, nothing panned out.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call from a staffing agency that had gotten ahold of my resume and wanted to put me in front of the CMO of a local firm looking for a marketing manager. Not being familiar with the whole staffing agency setup, seeing as how I last secured a new job wayyyyy pre-recession, I at first thought it was  a scam. Then I thought it was too good to be true. But in the span of a week and a half, I had a telephone interview, a face-to-face interview with the CMO and CEO, and was offered a position making a good chunk more, with plenty of responsibility and lots of fun new stuff to do and learn. Oh! And an incredibly spiffy office to go to every day, with natural light everywhere and tons of plants and fancy chairs.

Yeah, I’m pretty superficial, because that last part is definitely the most exciting 🙂

I put in my notice with my boss yesterday, and it went really well. He’s trying to keep me, but it’s time to move on. I will say it’s extremely gratifying to have him fight for me, and it really shows me how far I’ve come there. Four years ago, he might not have tried so hard. I’m so grateful to be able to leave on good terms (and, with the economy today, on good terms).

It’s also amazing to me that I’ve gotten such a good job when I already have such a good job, in this market, without even having applied to this new position! Two years ago, somebody told me to write down all the characteristics of my dream job and put it out into the universe. I listed, among other things, plenty of responsibility with the freedom to bring up my own ideas, no managing others, plenty of writing, better pay, and a nice office. It included things I already had at my soon-to-be-former employer, and some I didn’t. Over the past couple of years, more things have been added to that list – a small company, a laid back environment, stability and diversification. I can safely say that this new position includes almost everything on that list – and it only took two years for the “universe” to respond. As a friend said last night, two years may seem a long time to me, but it’s a blink of the eye in the scheme of things.

Thanks, friend 🙂

If I had seen this job posting, I wouldn’t have applied to it in a million years. I would have judged any number of things about it and me – it called for a minimum of an associate’s, so it probably doesn’t pay well. It asks for experience in a number of programs and services I have no experience in. It’s in marketing, and even though I feel like my experience would play very well into that role, no employers think that. I would have totally sold myself short. But at the same time, applying all along the way led to my resume being posted on the right site, at the right time, for the right staffing agency to find it to put me into the right position.

I’m immeasurably grateful, and still half in shock that I’ve been given this amazing chance to move forward and face new challenges.

Plus… yeah, I’m really excited that this pay bump means we can probably book a videographer, and while we’ll stay in the same general budget range, we’ll have MUCH less stress meeting that budget. Again, something not everybody has these days when it comes to weddings, and something that I am so, so grateful that we don’t have to worry about right now.

I’m really going to try sticking with this blogging business! Next up, I promise more details about the wedding 🙂

Until then… ❤