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Mrs. Kuz 2 B!

An Antique, Down-Home Wedding – Our Way

Tips for being engaged…the sane persons edition

So as I was cruising wedding porn (the updates from sites sent to my inbox) the other day, I got a few “tips” for engaged couples.  Now we have been engaged for over a year.  I’m not sure I need any tips on being engaged.  Tips on actually doing things and setting up a timeline, yes, but engaged, no thanks. 

One of the tips was “dedicate a wedding free night.  Talk about the dog, weather, whatever”.  HA!  Now I know things are going to be getting more hectic in the months to come, but honestly, I don’t want to talk about the wedding 6 days a week.  The more I look at it, timing should be the other way around.  I declare a new set of “tips”.

1)  Declare 1 night a week wedding night.  This is when you go over ideas, ask questions and decide on things together as a couple. 

2) Keep remembering this is our wedding.  Don’t be selfish…if you are, see #4 

3) Men have opinions.  Even if he won’t say his opinion unless asked, always remember he does have an opinion.  Bribing him with things sometimes helps…beer also helps get these opinions out of his head and through his mouth to your ears.

4) Don’t be a selfish bridezilla.  If you are being a bridezilla, don’t get offended when people call you bridezilla…or other names that shouldn’t be printed here.  (I have family who read this, plus one of my goals is to cut down on the swearing).

5) Dont’ feel like you have to do EVERYTHING together.  You’re still separate people. Besides any people who spend that much time together will go crazy and maim each other, and you don’t want Quasimodo waiting at the end of the aisle.  (just joking Quazi!)

6) For the brides…It is fun to grab everything any anything that has to do with weddings…at first.  I am pretty sure I stopped buying wedding magazines after 3 months be cause THEY ALL SAY THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER!  Same with wedding websites.  Corporate crap, I say. (see also-wedding shows.  Go to one for the experience.  Not much to do after that.)

7)  This is your wedding (hopefully the only one you will ever have).  Don’t let tradition (or parents) or crazy websites, tell you what you can’t do or have.  If you have no clue what you want, try blogs or Weddingbee.  Personally I’d stay away from commercial spots like The Knot, Wedding Channel, and such…they really pissed me off most of the time.

8) My biggest tip…do things whenever and however you both want.  It’s never to early to think, so if you do go to a bridal show and there something there you want, you have researched it and it’s within your budget, for all means go for it.  Knowledge is POWER!

Your welcome in advance.

Enjoy your engagement!

 

 

Tasty sips

I haven’t been to many weddings.  When I started planning this shindig, I did A LOT of research.  I asked browsed The Knot, I asked Mr. Kuz, I went on Weddingbee (then I figured out what a crock The Knot is)  I asked more of Mr. Kuz, did some google searches.  I finally got the ideas of what a wedding was, but a common thread on all of those websites was Don’t Have a Cash Bar!  You can’t ask people to buy stuff at a party that you are hosting.  ( BTW-I was never a big fan of those “selling parties”?  I hosted one and I said never again).  Our options were no drinks, just beer, just a signature cocktail or full bar. 

Mr. Kuz and I both come from families who enjoy their drink.  The difference is my family is all about the liquor and the Kuz family loves their beer.  Don’t get me wrong, I love beer too!  It can make a lot of thing better (or at least seem better temporarily), but whenever I feel the need to have a good drink or feel festive, the whiskey makes a strong appearance in my hand.   I never really drank beer until I met Mr. Kuz!

This being the problem, the solution is we will be having a full bar to help both our families enjoy in the festivities. 

A basic mixer bar can be set up with just a few liquors:  Whiskey, Vodka, Rum, Bourbon, and Gin (yuck!)  We do not plan on having any type of booze for shots, so this will do.  Get a few sodas and juices for mixing and there’s your simple stocked bar!  Don’t forget the ice.

The next order of business are the “special drinks”.  Being from Wisconsin, my family loves a good Old Fashioned.  I am thinking about making some homemade mix from scratch before hand and using that, but it might become one of the DIY projects that doesn’t get done.  I know this needs to be there because, well, I want it there.  I can get a few treats on my wedding day, right?

Now we do have some wine drinkers too!  As part of our ceremony we are doing a the wine box commitment.  We each write a love letter and seal it in a box with bottle of wine.  On our 20th anniversary, we open the box, drink the wine, and read the letter.  It would make sense that we have wine at the ceremony.  We are making our own wine for toasting at each table.  For those not brave enough to try our home brew, we are having some good boxed wines at the bar.  Yes I put good and box wine in the same sentance.  It can be done!

One more thing I want to add it a bottle of The Knot.  I’m not talking about the website (as if they could bottle that), but a wonderful Irish whiskey.  I love the idea of  celebrating tying the knot with a bottle of The Knot. 

Now all we need to do if find a couple bartenders!

The Lull: not such a bad thing!

Hello all!

It’s been way to long since I have put up anything on here and honestly, it’s been awhile since I have done anything wedding related.  This may be for several reasons:

1) We are in the “Lull”.  We have all the major stuff done that needs to be done.  All vendors are booked, dress is bought, any major decisions that effect other decisions are made…nothing really needs to be done.  There are plaenty of things that can be done, but I am a world champion procrastinator.  (I tell myself that I work better under pressure)

2)  We have a long engagement.  21 months is way too long to keep thingking the same things.  Also, I want to avoid over analyzing things…things causes changes and that costs more $.

3) I am a pretty decisive girl.  I know a lot of what I want and I have setteled on it…Mr. Kuz has had his input and we are both happy with how our wedding is shaping up.

Now the more I look at it, a long engagement is the way to go.  You get to have a lull!  And it couldn’t have come at a better time.  From the last part of November through New Years is always packed for us.  We both have big families and friends (hence the 460 person guest list) and our Christmas celebrations start during the first week of December and go through the second week of January.   Weddin gplanning is going to fun again after a break.  Now we get to do fun stuff like register and go to tastings!

Old dogs learning new tricks

Most academics say that the majority of learning takes place at a very young age…like under 5.  This is also when you retain most of that learning.  This is why they recommend that if you want your child to learn a second language, start ’em early.  It isn’t like most college info that only stays trapped in your brain long enough for you to pass the final.

That being what it is, I still like to learn new things, and this wedding is the perfect excuse for it!

Lesson #1: LEARNING TO SEW AGAIN.  I have broken out the sewing machine I was afraid to run, and began just simple stitching projects on the little things…like can koozies or garters.  A few of Mr. Kuz’s work pants and shirts got thrown in there.

Lesson #2: CALLIGRAPHY.  I love working on this!  While in high school, I was continually recognized for my (very) bad handwriting.  There were times I couldn’t read what I wrote.  So study hall time was spent re-practicing my penmanship until I was satisfied that it was pretty.  I found my biggest problem was slowing down and finishing a letter.  I still catch myself writing fast and, yes, it looks very bad.  But this was a big accomplishment to me.  Now I bought a simple set online and am practicing again, but with all kinds of fun fonts!  And it fits in perfectly with the kind of wedding he are having.

Lesson #3: BOUQUET ARRANGEMENT.  When I was a kid, my grandma got into the craft fairs.  She always had he work room full of silk flowers that could be made into all kinds of crafts and arrangements.  I took many a silk arrangement to the county fair through 4-H.  Now, with our decision to go with silk flowers (mainly because we are not doing a lot of flowers, real ones are hard to get during the freeze season here, and silk are less expensive), I get to revisit my creative inner  4-H self and put together arrangements that might look like they were made for a wedding.  Most of my other projects were in baskets that sat around to collect dust (and look pretty).

Lesson #4: NUTRITION:  Ok, I’ll be completely honest here.  Like every other bride out there, I want to look my best on our wedding day.  That means to me loosing a few pounds and looking fit.  I know the actual weight number does not matter. I will be happy mostly with toning up and feeling healthy.  For the first time, I am taking my nutrition seriously.  I am going jogging in the morning, attend fitness classes several times a week, write down everything I eat,  and think about what I put into my mouth. You are what you eat!  It was hard at first, but after a couple of weeks it becomes second nature.  I am learning what it really takes a body to perform. Do you know a person has to burn 3500 calories just to loose 1 pound?  That bag of Combos doesn’t look as appetizing when you realize what you have to do to burn 3500 calories.

Lesson #5: JELLY:  One of our favors is going to be small jars of homemade jelly.  I have canned most things for years.  When I met Mr. Kuz, I was introduced to pressure canning, which I still will not do without him around. I don’t have enough experience yet to not possibly blow myself up.  But I also never made canned jelly.  I have made TONS of freezer jam, but never jelly.  We weren’t that fancy.  But jelly opened us up to a lot of new flavors…apple, peach, cider, grape, plum…anything can be made into jelly.  I did try a sample of apple…was afraid…it passed the test. YAY!

Lesson #6: TECHNOLOGY: I got to make a wedding website, I got to start-up a blog, I began using apps on my phone, I created budget spreadsheets…I was using the tools I already had in new fun ways!  Buttons I never knew existed are now part of my daily routine. 

Other lessons:  There are million other little tidbits of (useless) info I have retained while planning this wedding.  Weird facts that no one else really finds interesting, how to budget (and stick to it), the difference between quality products and cheap crap, how much family each of us really has…endless!

Any new things you are learning, for weddings or otherwise?

mmm…Cake!

Channeling Homer Simpson there.

We were not planning on having cake.  We are not cake people.  We are not sweets people. 

ICE CREAM!!

We ARE ice cream people.  Our solution was just to have a small cake (that was being given to us by a friend who makes amazing cakes) just for pictures and cake cutting.  The rest we were just going to do sheet cake and maybe some pies and torts.  And don’t forget the ice cream bar.  With lots of toppings. YAY!  And then there is always the cake and ice cream route. 

We really wanted to do ice cream cake, but that might be difficult and out of our price range for 300 people.  Maybe I’ll surprise Mr. Kuz with a little one as a groom’s cake.  Don’t tell him!  (and don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read this blog.)

Another thing about this cake situation, it’s crazy expensive!  I just want something that tastes good (and goes with ice cream) and looks like a wedding cake.  I stumbled across some prices at a recent wedding fair, and it was in the $1200-$1500 range for a simple cake for 300 people…that’s half our food budget…are you NUTS!

 When my parents were up visiting last weekend, my dad asked the question of our cake.   He remembered the lady that used to make all the cakes for our family when I was growing up.  She makes then right out of her house, very reasonable priced, and delicious!  Dad called her, she gave a price quote of 1/4 the usual price of wedding cakes, and dad said book us.  Long story short, my dad hijacked our cake!  But hey, as long as he wants to pay for it, more power to him.  Like I said, cake was not a top priority for us.

Our only problem not is delivery.  Alice Ketter Cakes is about 5 hours from our venue.  I have heard that her cakes can be frozen and then later thawed and assembled easily…I hope someone can follow directions and but that bad boy together when we need it! 

Now I get to go and do more internet research (also known as stalking wedding websites) to look at cake ideas!!  Such a shame I “have to” do that. 😉  I thought I was going to not be able to look at cake pictures, and since I didn’t want to see something that I can’t have, I made sure not to look at them. 

Excuse me I have to go look at cakes now!

Engagement pics=E-pic=Epic

It will be epic… Only in my mind.

Just a quick post to see who out there has good suggestions on how to get pictures taken of yourself without looking:

1. Goofy

2. Stupid

3. Posed

4. Awkward

As a testament of all these things, I will not be putting any pictures of us up…if your really curious, facebook me.

And many other ways to look bad.  I am not a person who likes to have their picture taken and neither is Mr. Kuz.  We both have very awkward smiles.  I love Mr. Kuz’s real smile that comes out when he is really laughing at something.  There is also the drunk smile that is cute…but point a camera at him and tell him to smile just gets generally scary results. 

I’m no picnic either…I can never stand right so my “good areas” are showing (I dont’ have a side, but just certain areas I like), I always looks posed and stiff, and lately I either close my eyes at the flash or I smile so hard that my eyes squint shut.  This is a practice makes perfect thing.  Me and the mirror are going to be good friends until I figure this out. 

 My idea was not to take pics of our faces, but I don’t think the family would like that one too much.  My other solution would be to get slightly tipsy before our shoot to relax a bit (and this is already planned out for the wedding day…There is no way I am going down that aisle completely sober), but our shoot is scheduled for Saturday morning…not the best way to start a day. 

Any tips?

The countdown begins!

So this weekend we passed the one year away mark!  This means a whole lot of fun is to follow in the next year!  For one thing, I can start saying our wedding date without have to add 2012 on the end.

Yup- This pretty much sums it up

It really kind of hit my that only a year from now I am going to be a married woman…I may have had a small panic attack.  There’s so much we have done already, but there is still so much to do!  The good thing is most of these to do’s involve decisions, and not a whole lot of running/shopping/DIYing.  (don’t worry, there is still plenty of that left)

My biggest shocker came from Mr. Kuz.  I love that he is so involved in this wedding and that it will truly be “ours”.  I definitely hate the term “brides day”.  It is our wedding, we are marrying each other, he will absolutely be a part of it, so it is our day!  OK, enough ranting. 

Mr. Kuz has started planning the ceremony!  This is one aspect of the wedding that I was very unsure about because I haven’t been part of or attended that many weddings.  When I just casually asked about something involving the ceremony, I got a slew of ideas and what exactly he had in mind for the ceremony.  He knew who was walking who down the aisle, what he wanted to say, what we are doing for our unity ceremony, what is happening with the parents, music, length…etc.  I was blown away…and more than happy to just go with it.  This means one many less things for me think about and plan. 

I also had someone ask me the other day (a dude) why we need centerpieces?  He suggested just put a bunch of beer in the middle of the table.  While in the midst of breaking down laughing and suggesting other brands of beer that would fit our color scheme (we may have been drinking a few of those said beers…hey! I was a good weekend to be from Sconnie!  Go Brewers, Badgers and Packers!), Mr. Kuz said it was important to him…I love this guy more everyday!  I have never before heard a guy say how much centerpieces were important to him.  Granted I came up with the centerpieces, but he helped me find the parts to put them together and suggested modifications.  Cool!

Anyone have an involved groom or do a lot more brides still have to make all the decisions?

MIA=’Maids in Action!

This is a post where I blatantly get to brag about my awesome wedding party…mostly my bridesmaids. 

Even though we are over a year away from the wedding, 4 of my 5 ladies have their dresses!

When I was thinking about our wedding, I knew fall was the time of year, because:

1) We have a lot of people travelling, and winter in Wisconsin doesn’t always equal the best driving conditions. 

2) Spring is way too busy for anyone even remotely working in or near a farm.  I work for a farm supply company, and we are having our reception at a working crop farm…no way Jose!

3) Summer is too hot.  As I’ve stated before, there is a reason I still live in WI.  I love cool weather. 

  But  mostly because of the beautiful natural colors and the cool, crisp air.  Mr. Kuz was in his brother’s August wedding 9 years ago and more recently in a July wedding.  It was just too hot.  I’ve seen pictures from the August wedding, and there was not a happy Mr. Kuz in many pics.  Tuxes have got to be  just as hot to wear as a 30 pound wedding dress!

In order for everyone to be comfortable, I wanted each bridesmaid to have a great dress!                       My Criteria was:

1) Comfortable – because that’s the most important…nobody’s happy if they aren’t comfortable. 

2)Reasonably priced – some of my ladies are just getting started in life (BM Lil’ T), or have a lot of responsibilities (see: MOH Big T’s kids, or BM R’s kids + job), plus this crappy economy we’re in isn’t helping too much.  Plus this whole wedding is going in on a strict budget.  I can’t justify spending over $100 on something you will never wear again.  That takes me to #3

3) See if the dress would be something you could wear again!  Which got me to thinking on #4

4) Black!  Black goes with everything.  Black can be worn again.  Black is elegant.  Black it is.  

5) But I love color, too!  And because I love color, I needs to be able to attach a sash or ribbon or a slip or something.

This is what I had in mind:

Please excuse my crude editing skills

So my ladies went with that criteria!  And did AWESOME!  MOH Big T found a tea length dress in her mother’s closet that is beautiful.  BM A is borrowing hers from a friend.  When we went shopping for my dress (more on that later)  BM R found her floor length black dress for $10…TEN FREAKIN DOLLARS!!  We can add a flower or ribbon to the back.   BM ‘Lil T already had a tea length dress that has a black sash on.  We just have to alter it a bit and put a copper sash in its place.  All that is left is BM M.  She is also the only one who doesn’t live within a half hour drive, so a long distance shopping trip is on order!

Our wedding is still over a year away and I can’t believe how on-top of things my ladies are!  I hope this means they are just excited as I am about this!  I really thought dress shopping was going to be worse than pulling teeth, but this has been one of the easiest projects so far!  Next up is finding a happy medium for dressing the dudes! oh Boy!

So tell me what ya want, what ya really really want!

I really want a photo booth!

This is really my one indulgence for the wedding.  Everything else we have found at a great deal or we are doing ourselves. 

When I started doing the budget for our wedding, I knew that most of our money was going towards great food and drinks(because in good Ol Sconnie people remember weddings for the food…and drinks. I love WI!) and I wanted excellent photography.  The quantity of photographs really didn’t matter to me, but the quality and the creativeness was a must.  Since we are doing a lot ourselves, I wanted to capture all the details of the day, because I am sure it will fly by without us being able to appreciate it all.  Jamie Gellings photography is just that.  Check these out!

These candid type shots are great.  I can only imagine what they are laughing about.

 
This one is just gorgeous.  I love the feel of it and the artistic capture.  

I love black and whites!

This is what I really love.  This chick is everywhere!  I know we will look back on pics like this and remember a whole lot of stories just from one picture of a detail. 

Love this one.
Since we do only have one shooter and over 300 guests, I am guessing we need more photos!  I know Jamie is going to be awesome, but there is only one of her and being a bit selfish on our day, I kinda want her to myself for some time. Besides who could say they had too many pics from their wedding day? 
 
Sooo, enter a photo booth!  While we use Jamie’s amazing talents during our cocktail hour and on the bar hopping portion of the day (because that’s how we roll in Wisconsin!), the photo booth can be set up at the reception for people to use.  Since this is one of the last big weddings for Mr.s Kuz’s family for a while (most of his cousins are already married) and one of the first for my family (some of my cousins went the Vegas route…I don’t know what the others have planned) I really loved the idea of having pics of all our friends and family for years to come.  It’s like having a family album in a snap!  What they do is sit in the booth, take the picture, it prints out a strip of 4…they cut it in half, we get 2 in our album and they get to keep 2.  Just look what comes out!
 

 I love the classic look of their photo booths

These are all from a fantastic company out of the Twin Cities called Photo Booth Memory Weddings.  What a wonderful company to work with!  And it’s all-inclusive.  The best part of it all is they use the Black Diamond Chemistry developed by Ansel Adams.  This is the old school and true pictures.  You know when you look back at your grandparents pictures and they are still as perfect and crisp as the day they were taken?  That’s what these are…pictures that will last forever.  They print out automatically…no going to a website and printing them out later.  This is definitely a plus for our guests.  Not everyone is that tech savvy. 

And since Photo Booth Memories are sooo affordable (they offered 1 hour free if we fed their workers!  Gotta love that!), they are going to stick around for the entire night!  I can’t wait to see what comes out of this photo booth when the drinks start to flow.

The one problem with our indulgence is that’s exactly what it is…an unesscessary indulgence.  It cold be one of the first things to be cut if cuts need to happen.  I’ve written before about how strict our budget is since we are paying for this shindig ourselves.  Mr. Kuz loves likes this ideas, but told me that it’s only a possibility.  So now I am trying to cut costs in as much areas as possible…I’ve found alternatives for some of the centerpieces, found an awesome dress for a deal, and we scored great attire for the guys! (More on this all later.)  I’ve even been taking a few more shifts at the bartending job.  I just keep thinking a little bit adds up! There are thousands of alternatives out there that no one has thought of; well, I’m sure someone has thought of them, but brides love to think they came up with something new and original on their own after the millions of weddings that have already happened. 

I can’t wait to see what happens!  Anyone use a photo booth at their wedding?

Photos courtesy of Jamies Gellings Photography and Photo Booth Memories.

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