Wedding Lasso, Arras, Biblio

In lieu of a unity candle, Mr. Beagle and I have decided to incorporate an aspect of his culture into our ceremony.  In Hispanic culture, there are three traditions during the ceremony that represent the couple's new unity. 

The Lasso:

It is essentially a large rosary, usually beaded or made of satin, with two loops so that it can be placed around the bride and groom.  The lasso forms the shape of a figure eight/ infinity which represents the couple's unity.  It is placed on the bride and groom after they say their vows and is taken off just before the end of the ceremony.  A prayer and/or reading usually accompanies the lasso portion of the ceremony.

The Arras:

These are thirteen coins, which are often gold or silver plated, that are presented to the bride by the groom.  Traditionally, they represent a dowery which symbolizes the groom's commitment and promise to care for the bride; her acceptance represents a promise to take care of the groom.  The number 13 represents Jesus and his twelve apostles.  Each coin is also said to represent on of the following: Love, Trust, Commitment, Respect, Joy, Happiness, Harmony, Wisdom, Wholeness, Nurturing, Caring, Cooperation and Peace.  They are usually placed in some sort of container. (The top left coin shows the design on the top of each coin, which is varied through different cultures).


(Mrs. Petunia and Mrs. Hydrangea also posted about the Arras ceremony and Mrs. Joey posted about a similar tradition:  the Arrhae).

The Biblio:

A bible is sometimes presented to the bride and groom, which becomes their family bible.  It symbolizes that their union is also with God and his love is their foundation. 

Each item is usually presented by a Padrino or Madrina (Godfather or Godmother).  These are people who have played an important role in either the bride's or groom's life.  They provide support to the couple throughout their marriage.

Because this tradition is honoring Mr. Beagle's culture, we have decided to select Padrinos/Madrinas from his side of the family.  Originally we thought we would select people from both of our families, but I felt that, although my family members would be honored, his family would appreciate the role more because it is an important aspect of their culture.  We are borrowing the lasso and arras from Mr. Beagle's parents and the Madrina who will be presenting our biblio is gifting it to us (I'm actually a little excited about receiving a bible that will be our family's!).  I am going to try to find a container for the arras that we can later use in our home (and might even double as a ring holder).  I've been looking for an excuse to get one of these....

What traditions are you incorporating into your ceremony?  If you are using one of the above, what readings or prayers did you use?


Old & Borrowed

This past weekend, I traveled to Fredericksburg with my father and sister to visit my Opa and Oma (German for grandfather and grandmother).  Although the main purpose of the visit was to celebrate Opa's birthday, I secretly had other intentions.

Before my mom passed away, we had talked about what kind of jewelry I would wear with my dress.  We talked about me wearing the same jewelry she wore on her wedding day.  One of the items she wore was a bracelet, which she borrowed from her FMIL, the Oma I visited this weekend.  So, as we sat outside Sunday afternoon, I asked Oma if she still had the bracelet that my mom wore a little over thirty-two years ago.  She did and she was happy to let me borrow it for the wedding.  She told me it was originally her mother's bracelet, but she wasn't sure how her mother came into posession of it.  She even had the original box it came in.  I love the picture that was shown on the inside of the box top:

The bracelet is gold and even though it is a little scratched, I like that it shows it's age:

The second piece of jewelry my mom wore was a locket that belonged to my other Oma, my mom's mom.  My mom inherited it when her mom passed away.  Unfortunately, I never asked my Oma or my mom the origins of this necklace, so I'm not sure who gave it to Oma or why she received it.  It has her initials engraved on the top:


My mother and I share a middle name, which was also my Oma's first name. I think I might put a picture of both of them in this locket to keep them close to my heart.

I feel so lucky to be able to wear two items that are meaningful pieces to both sides of my family.  And now they are even more sentimental to me because my mom wore them first:

Are you wearing any heirloom items on your wedding day?  If not, what other meaningful items will you be carrying with you?


The Party After the Party

With time flying by, we are rushing to get all the details for our wedding day lined up and in order. At this point, we are still trying to figure out what we want to do after the reception. We will be making our grand exit around 10:30, so it won't be too late. At this point, we have no set plans for a day-after brunch and we won't be leaving for our honeymoon until the following week. Taking all this in to consideration, I'm wondering how tired we are going to be, and whether we want to hang out with each other or enjoy the company of our friends and family from out of town. Then if we do plan a little "after party", where do we have it?
Mr. Beagle and I are pretty laid back, so I think we can pretty much agree that the downtown scene is out, but I wouldn't mind have a little gathering at our home or the neighborhood bar. A casual, relaxed atmosphere seems fitting.
Then, today, I read this exerpt from A Practical Wedding, about the pros of having a morning wedding:

"Afterwards. The strange thing is that when people voice concern about morning weddings, they normally ask you, "Well, what did you do afterwards?" Here is the scoop. Afterwards is *the best part.* We drove away from our venue, waving like crazy, at 2:45 pm. You know what we did? We went back to the hotel room we'd splurged on. We lounged around. We talked about the wedding. We giggled. We looked at our wedding rings. We blissed out. We went shopping at a used bookstore and bought books for our honeymoon flight. We went out to a really nice dinner, and I wore my wedding hair flower. We drank mojitos. We went to sleep. We woke up not-hung over. The after-the-wedding is the best part of getting married in the morning. Think about it this way: you're marrying your partner because you like spending time with them. Morning weddings give you lots of time to hang out together, married, on your wedding day. And then you wake up sober and happy. What could feel better than that?"

Although we won't be having a morning wedding, I'm torn between continuing the festivities with our loved ones and spending time with my husband :) on our wedding day, the day that only comes once.  Hmph. 

Are you having an "after party" or are you leaving the party to hang out with your new Hubby/ Wife?  Newly weds, what did you do and do you regret it?


And Then There Were Three

Or I guess it would be four if you count my other ring.

About a month or so ago, Mr. Beagle and I finally completed our shopping for wedding rings. His requests were simple: inexpensive, no diamonds. We browsed through some jewelry stores, but the white gold rings were more than he wanted to spend and the tungsten/titanium rings seemed overpriced. After I saw Miss Lab's post on online ring shopping, I decided to peek around on Amazon to see what I could find. Finally after an hour of searching I placed an order for a titanium ring. A few days later, Mr. Beagle's (<$100) wedding ring arrived in the mail. :)

Unfortunately for Mr. Beagle, shopping for my wedding ring was a little more involved. I wanted a white gold ring to match with my engagenment ring.  I was really unsure about what other requirements I was looking for in a ring.  After many trips to jewelry stores, we finally ended up at the same store where we bought my engagement ring.  An hour later, we left with my ring and by the time we got in the car to drive home, I was pleading with Mr. Beagle to let me wear it.  Alas, he said no. :)

And now for some pictures:

Will your rings match?


The Invitations: Part I- Lessons Learned

As I write this post, our invitations are on their merry way to our guests, anxiously waiting to be opened (or maybe that's just me that is anxious). In the mean time, I thought I would fill you in on our invitation deets:

I ordered the invitations and rsvp cards, and respective envelopes, from the White Aisle. Rebecca was really sweet and was super easy to work with. I'm extremely happy with the way they turned out. To save some $$, I decided to make the remaining enclosures... and this is where my problems began.

Lesson #1:
Originally, I had planned on drawing a cutesy map like one of these:

This turned out to be a big fat fail and was not coming together the way I had originally hoped. Although I'm not really sure what my original hope was. I went into my invitations with little idea of what exactly I was trying to put together, it was very hard for me to come up with a design that really meshed. Finally, after many hours of trial and error, I designed a mini-map using a combination of Autocad and Photoshop. On a side note, I would like to add this: these two ladies are tremendously talented. Map making = lots of time consumed.

Lesson #2.
I had the mind set that, once I finally received my invitations, putting them together would be easy as pie. This was wrong. I think part of this stems from the fact that I didn't really want to put that much effort into the invitations in the first place. In the beginning, I really didn't see the importance of spending lots of $$ and time on something that people would most likely discard. However, once I received my big box of invitations and rsvp cards, they seemed too neatly packed to just stuff in an envelope and send. (I may have also felt to live up to since my paper was going to be streamed live on the Internet). Thus, a vision was created and molded. Something that took a long while to perfect.

Lesson #3
The assembly process was extremely unorganized. Because I had taken so much time designing a map and a vision, I was rushed to get these puppies out the door. In fact, most of my Labor Day weekend was spent assembling them. Instead of pre-cutting all my supplies, I intermixed cutting and matting and stuffing- making the process much longer than it should have been. I also underestimated the amount of supplies I needed, which meant I had to take several breaks from the assembly process to get more.

And so, after many trips to Joanns and Hobby Lobby, hours of cutting and matting, an entire Friday spent addressing, my invitations were born. Stay tuned for later this week/early next week for the final result!

What lessons have you learned from your DIY projects?

Letting Go

Confession: I have a really hard time asking for help. I think I can do everything on my own (and by "everything", I mean everything) and even when help is offered, I usually, politely, turn it down. I would like to think that this is because I don't want to burden anyone with mindless wedding tasks that I'm scrambling to get done (thank you, procrastination). However, I think the underlying issue is this: somehow I think that my projects will only get done "right" if I do them myself. All by myself. Alone. (Now that I've put that out there, I'll admit, I feel a tad bit embarrassed).
Maybe I think they'll be less DIY if I don't actually do them alone, maybe it's genetics (hehe...I've noticed Papa Beagle has the same tendencies :) ), either way, if I don't learn to "let go" asap, I'm going to enjoy many sleepless nights over the next 6 weeks. I'm working to get over the fact that not everything may come out perfect (or at least perfect in my mind) because these people that are offering to help, my friends and my family, actually want to be a part of this big party we're throwing next month. And when I think about it that way, it kind of softens my heart a little; it makes it just a tiny bit easier to hand over a project to someone else.
So this past weekend, when FMIL Beagle, offered to help me assemble our invitations, I let go of my need to do it alone, and accepted her offer. As it turns out, we actually had a good time- we got a lot done, we chatted, and it wasn't as painful as I anticipated.
Am I alone on this boat? Is anyone else having a hard time asking for or accepting help from their friends and family? Any tips for a newbie?



Cabo, here we come (in 8 weeks :))!

Mr. Beagle's parents (my future in-laws!!!!) have graciously gifted us use of their timeshare.  After the mister and I browsed through a few different locations, we decided on the timeshare in Cabo.  Mr. Beagle expressed interest in going somewhere outside the U.S. and somewhere with beaches, so this seemed to fit the bill.  Although I have been yearning to visit New England, or somewere with mountains, or the entire state of Washington, I'm compromising on this one.  And actually, Mr. Beagle's excitement that has spawned from choosing a local is quite infectious.  I'm sitting here with a big fat grin on my face just thinking about it.  :)

Some other reasons that contributed to our decision are these: I know that after the next two months of rigorous planning/creating/DIYing/organizing/last minute projects we will need a week where we can do absolutely nothing.  With our funds depleated from this big party we're throwing, we also needed a place that was economical.  As much as we would love to vacay in Europe (or New England, mountain-land, or Washington), I would feel really guilty and upset if we didn't have the energy to sightsee and thuroughly explore.  For some reason, I don't feel like we will need to do this in Cabo.  I think the scenery along with a white sandy beach at our feet will keep us occupied enough during our honeymoon.  We'll save that adventurous vacation for another time*.

What factors are you using to decide on a honeymoon?  Are you taking your dream vacation?

*and thanks for all your suggestions, I definitely look forward to visiting more than one of these in the near future.