The Week-After-Moon: I Don't Know Where to Begin

I think my ideal honeymoon would involve a three week European tour filled with a combination of exploration and relaxation. This, however, is not possible for us at the moment *makes a sad face*. We have neither the available time off, nor the funds.

Despite foregoing our dream trip, I really want to take a smallish vacation after our wedding because 1) we haven't been on vacation in over a year and 2) after all the events of this year and the stress of the wedding, we need one.

I guess we would be open to a trip to Mexico, but I've been there, done that, and it's kind of scary over there right now anyways. So now, I'm trying to come up with some possible locations in the US (or close vicinity) to throw into the suggestion pot (Mr. Beagle is coming up with his own possible travel locations... you could say I'm just cheating by asking for your help :) ).

So here's what we have in mind: It will take place at the end of October/beginning of November. We will probably only have a few days to a week available, so we would like to spend as little time traveling as possible. We're not interested in Vegas and skiing might not be a good idea either (me = klutzy). We're open to cold or hot weather locations, but please bare in mind that we're from Texas....the coldest it gets here is maybe 30 deg. F, for like one day. We would like something that includes relaxation and sightseeing so that we can do either if we choose. Oh, and we would like to get out of Texas.

Where did/will you go on your honeymoon? Where would you suggest we go?

Alternative Groom's Cake

We've decided on our wedding cake (yes... there will be a post on this soon), but in the south, the groom usually has a cake too. From my experience, the groom's cake is usually chocolate..... but Mr. Beagle hates chocolate.


In some cases, the groom's cake also represents his hobbies/likes/interests.

While the idea of representing Mr. Beagle through a cake is nice, I have no idea what type of cake I would get for him. He doesn't have a sport he follows regularly, he's not a "gamer", he doesn't have a favorite team and frankly, he doesn't really like sweets anyways (weird, I know). So I think in lieu of a typical groom's cake, I'm going to set up a platter of these:

Bunuelos. They are a thinly fried "bread" that is topped with sugar and sometimes honey. Although Mr. Beagle is not big on sweets, he loves these. He will often recall the bunuelos his grandmother made, which were very delicious. Although these may not compare to hers, I think he'll like the gesture.

Are you having a groom's cake? What traditions are you putting your own spin on?


The Other Ring

I'm not talking about my wedding ring, nor am I talking about Mr. Beagle's ring (both of which I will blog about soon!). And no, I have never been engaged or married before.

I'm talking about the other ring... my stunt double ring if you will.

Let me explain. My engagement ring and wedding ring are more or less a set. Even though they weren't sold as a set, they match nicely and look great together. The problem I have is that, although I love them, there are certain places and situations where I don't want to where them. As beautiful as they are, I would hate to hurt them, or worse, endanger their lives. While I work in an office most days, there are times when I am required to be "in the field." The "field" is not a place where I want my precious jewelry going, so I decided to invest in another ring.

Now, I know it may sound ridiculous and even frivolous to have three rings, but I am certain they will equally get the love and attention they deserve. I suppose that I could just remove my rings when I know I'll be in situations where my hands might get dirty. However, I am horrible with losing things and I'm scared that continually taking my rings off might lead to that. I have also gotten so used to wearing my engagement ring over the past year (which is really weird because I never wore rings at all before our engagement), that I feel really odd when I don't have it on. If I'm missing it, I often look at my left hand and freak out for a second until I remember not putting it on.

So, for all the above reasons, I purchased this:

It's a 2mm, white gold band and it was a relatively inexpensive (like under $50) purchase. It fits all my requirements: simple, cheap, comfortable, and it won't get in the way of doing things. I love it! And as an added bonus, it sentimentally reminds me of the rings my grandmothers wear/wore.

Am I the only crazy person that bought a ring specifically for work?


Bridal Blues

I've talked about my fear of PWD and how I plan on handling that bump in the road when I get there. However, recently, I've been experiencing feelings I hadn't expected. In a nutshell, I've been feeling really down about the wedding. I know some of it (okay, a lot of it) must come from my mom's passing, but I think there are other factors also.

Mr. Beagle and I will have been engaged for 16 months when we get married in October. When I first started planning, I wanted a longer engagement to prevent getting over stressed and overwhelmed. In many ways, it's been nice planning at leisure, but it's starting to get old. Really old. The excitement I first felt about many of my projects is gone. The thought of having to entertain people in three months is daunting. I want it to be over. Now.

I've officially reached a point where I am burnt out (and could really use a nice, relaxing vacation *hint, hint, Mr. Beagle*). I'm starting to understand just how important that honeymoon or minimoon is after you get married. You need a break to recover, just breath, and not think about anything wedding related. I think reflection is good, but there definitely needs to be some down time in between.

This brings me to my last thought: I love being creative. The whole reason behind all the DIY projects was because I truly enjoyed it at one point. I want to get back to that point, desperately. And not just because I have a looming deadline. :) I have big plans for this weekend that involve good music, some NPR podcasts, maybe a little Harry Potter, and crafts, crafts, and more crafts. Stay tuned for more wedding projects coming your way!

Have you hit a wall in your planning? How did you deal with it?


Bouquet Preservation

I haven't really decided what I'll do with the bouquets I'm making for my wedding. I'm not sure if I will display them as is or if I will disassemble them and create something new from the remnants. While searching through wedding blogs recently, I somehow came across these gorgeous paintings that are made from pressed bouquet flowers from Curly Art:

If I was having a real bouquet, I would love to do this! I think it's a great way to display your bouquet in your home after the wedding. They're so unique and you could even customize it to match your decorating scheme. :) What did you do (married bees) or are you doing with your bouquet after the wedding?


The Name Game

I think before Mr. Beagle proposed, I always assumed that I would just take my future husband's last name and, in the process, drop my last name. I hadn't really thought of the seemingly endless possibilities of creating a new name or keeping my own or even combining both of our last names.

Then he proposed. And during one discussion soon afterward, he told me that he would be perfectly okay with, even be greatly supportive, if I decided to keep my last name. (Um, how did I find this guy... isn't he great?)

The more I thought about it, the more I liked it. My father had two girls and he's the only son of my grandparents that had children of his own. I liked the idea of carrying on my name and representing my lineage. I've been known as Miss Beagle for almost 27 years now and changing my name- essentially becoming someone new- started making less and less sense.

For the same reasons, I understand why people do change their names when they get married. A marriage is a new direction for two people and from that point on, one union is formed. It's romantic and symbolic to share a last name. It' also nice to have the same family name as your children.

On the other hand, I love Mr. Beagle's last name and I really liked the idea of adding it to mine. I didn't want to drop my middle name, which was also my grandmother's name, to add his last name. So after much thought and deliberation, I've decided to hyphenate, so that my new name will be: first middle mylast- mister'slast.

Surprisingly,(or not) I've been criticised quite a bit about this decision, but not by the people who are close to me. It's the people who I don't know very well that usually ask "why would you do that?" when I explain what my new last name will be. I wouldn't think that hyphenating is that odd or unusual in today's society, but what do I know?

What have you decided to do with your last name? Is you SO supportive or argumentative toward your decision? Has anyone else experienced outside criticism?


Unveiling the Veil

When I started looking for veil inspiration, I wasn't sure what I really wanted. I had tried on a few veils while dress shopping, but nothing really caught my eye (and at $$$, I wasn't really into buying a veil anyways). While I was shopping at JoAnn's one afternoon, I decided to stop by the pattern section to look for veils. It turned out that the patterns were on sale for $1.99 and I ended up finding one that I thought looked okay.

"F" is the pattern I decided to use, minus the bow. I also decided I wanted a two-tiered veil instead of one-tiered and I wanted to add lace trim. Before I go into the details of sewing a veil, this is a list of supplies I bought (from JoAnn's, all on sale):
  • Pattern: $1.99
  • 6 yards of ivory bridal tulle (based on pattern): $12
  • 4-5 yards of ivory lace*: $15
  • Clear thread: $2
*Had I bought just lace trim, I probably would have spent less. However, since I have so much leftover (~5yards), I will use the remaining lace on another project (not sure which project just yet).

Cutting the Tulle and Sewing the Veil:

The main reason I bought a pattern was so that I would be able to get the shape of the veil that I wanted. I layed the pattern on the floor over the first 3 yards of tulle (this was the first layer of the veil) and cut the fabric accordingly. After the first layer was cut, I repeated these steps for the second 3 yards of tulle.

Instructions for sewing the veil can easily found in Mrs. Taffy's tutorial (they are the exact same as the pattern instructions). For two layers, simply pin the two layers of tulle together and sew according to Mrs. Taffy's instructions. I decided to wait until the end of this project to sew the veil onto the hair comb.

Sewing on Lace Trim:
Unfortunately, the JoAnn's that is close to my house does not have a large selection of lace trim. (I wish I would have gone to the north location first, because they have a good selection of bridal trim). Even though I didn't find trim that I liked, I did find lace by the yard that had a nice edging. I bought enough yards (see above) and cut off the edging from the lace.

I put my dress on and I held the veil to my head at approximately the place I wanted to place it to figure out if the length was right. I thought the veil was a little long, so I placed pinned the tulle about 8" from the bottom edge of the veil, using the edge as a guideline. I found that sewing on the lace worked best if I spread the tulle out on a flat surface. I sewed lace on the bottom layer first. After pinning the lace on the veil, I sewed through the top-most embroidered sections of the lace like this:

When I got to a place where I needed to start a new length of lace edging, I overlapped the edges and pinned them like this:

I then continued sewing though the cross section of lace and onto the new section. I came back later on and sewed the two sections together and trimmed any remaining ends on either lace section. After the bottom tier of the veil was finished, I proceeded to the top tier. I hung the veil from a bookshelf (so that the tiers were hanging down), and started pinning lace edging to the top tier of the veil. I pinned the lace on the top tier so that it started at the same point as the bottom tier. I then gradually moved out so that the lace on the top tier fell just above the lace of the bottom tier.

I sewed the lace to the top tier using the same process I used to sew the lace to the bottom tier. When I was finished sewing on all the lace, I carefully trimmed all the tulle below each layer of lace edging. I then added a hair comb per Mrs. Perfume's post.
The finished product (sorry for the fuzzy pics):

Are you making your own veil? What does yours look like?


A Post for My Mom

Momma Beagle is the sweetest, kindest, friendliest, and loveliest persons you could know. I only hope that one day I will become half the woman she is. Over the past 5 years or so, she has become one of my best friends. My love for plants, sewing, music, and, of course, crafting all stem from her love of them and I would like to think that most of who I am today is because of her. I could go on and on about what a wonderful person she is and how much she means to me, but I think this picture just about sums it up:

Momma Beagle, at her 30th Wedding Anniversary Party

Sadly, Momma Beagle has not been able to participate in this last leg of the wedding planning. I mentioned briefly that I would be blogging for a wedding website, but she hasn't had much time to follow it. She has dealt with illness most of her life. And although she was able to be present for some key wedding decisions in the beginning, health problems have prevented her from playing a more active role these last few months. I made a point to discuss all the ideas I have in my head for this wedding with her. Sometimes she thinks I'm crazy for trying to accomplish so many details by hand, but I think she likes all the details just the same. It feels like she's been absent, by no fault of her own, during the planning process, and "getting married" has been a bittersweet experience for me.

For a while, it was questionable as to whether or not my parents would be attending my wedding. A few weeks ago, Mr. Beagle and I started seriously discussing and mapping out an earlier ceremony so that my parents, more specifically my mom, would most certainly be present. This was so important to me and I wish I would have started planning earlier.

My absence here on Weddingbee for the last week and a half or so is due to some unfortunate circumstances. My mom will not be attending my wedding. After six months of a rigorous battle with leukemia for the second time, Momma Beagle passed away on my parents' 32nd wedding anniversary.

For many reasons, I am heartbroken. She was so determined to overcome yet another health challenge and I don't know anyone else who could be more hopeful and positive about their hardships than she was. I have lost a best friend, a mother, a shoulder to lean on... the list could go on and on. There are positives that have come from this whole experience: she is no longer suffering or in pain and as a family, Papa, Momma, sister Beagle, and I, have become a stronger unit.

I am comforted that even though she won't be physically present, she will be there in spirit and in my heart our wedding day and I am brainstorming ideas of how I will honor and remember her.

I have no question for everyone today, only this request: Tell your mom or your dad, your sibling or your friend, your fiance our your significant other just how much they mean to you. Momma Beagle and I were fortunate enough to share this with each other and I only hope the same for you.