The Wedding Planning Book to End All Wedding Planning Books

Early into the planning process I stumbled upon A Practical Wedding, a wedding blog that differed from any other. And I'm so glad I did. You will be too once you read it. It offered a refreshing, down-to-earth perspective on wedding planning and marriage in general. Not surprisingly, the blog evolved and its creator Meg Keene recently published a book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration.

I wasn't planning on reading any wedding planning books nor am I planning on reading any more but thank goodness I read this one! You know the feeling when you're reading a book and you can't help but talk during the process? Well that's what reading this book was like for me. Kind of like this:

"Oh my god yes! I totally agree!"
"I thought I was the only one that thought that! It's so nice to hear I'm not crazy!"
"Seriously, who the hell cares about the effin' chairs?!"

Basically, Meg took a very unique approach when it came to writing a book about wedding planning: She was actually NORMAL about it. As in, she reminds us all that the whole point of planning a wedding is the getting married part, not the part about how great your reception is or what your centerpieces look like. So if you are a clueless yet sane bride wanting to plan a meaningful celebration, read this book ASAP. She gets down to the nitty gritty and helps you figure out where to start in an easy-to-understand step-by-step process.

Thanks to movies and media, the prelude to the wedding planning process — the proposal itself — has been exaggerated to such great lengths that it has made most of us forget the point of it all. Meg's insightful and empowering words shatter the typical stereotype.  I absolutely LOVED the quote from the book discussing this topic:
"It's exciting to decide to get married. And scary. But the moment of the proposal is just that: a moment. It moves you to the next step of the process; it's not the be-all, end-all. So maybe you have a fancy candlelight dinner followed by parachutists delivering you a pear-shaped, seven-carat diamond. Or maybe you decide to get married one Sunday morning over the newspaper and a cup of coffee. Either way is fine. The point is that you decided to spend your life with someone you love."
And that ladies and gentlemen is just a small piece of the wisdom you'll find in this book. Another favorite tidbit of mine featured in the book: the genius and oh-so-true tips from Kayce Hazelgrove of and titled "The Six Stages of Wedding Planning." Kayce takes you through the various stages of emotional highs and lows of planning a wedding. 

"This stage is marked by feelings of bitterness and frustration. You may feel as though you are failing in some way. This can cause you to swing between feeling angry over all the expectations being placed on you and despondent over your inability to live up. You may find yourself resenting others with friends and family who own a barn, can DJ, or have the enviable ability to craft masterpieces out of bits of random fabric and paper." 
Now I'm not sure if any of you guys planning a wedding out there have felt this way, but I certainly have and reading this book was a nice affirmation of 1) I'm not a crazy person and 2) knowing that it can be done in a sane and gasp! maybe even fun way. As Megan of puts it:

"It’s like having a very cool older sister who went through all this already to help guide you on what is and what isn’t important."

I couldn't have said it better myself. Buy this book and read it now. You'll be thankful you did.

P.S. Listen to Meg's interview discussing the book on NPR's Talk of the Nation here.

Polish Wedding Traditions

I've mentioned some tips about the must-haves for a big, fat Polish wedding in this post and additional ones here, here and here. But it seems I am constantly learning about different Polish wedding traditions and their meanings.

Thanks to some Polish friends of ours I recently found out that the bread, salt and vodka ceremony (earlier I thought it was wine, apparently in Poland it is straight vodka) has an additional meaning  behind it. During this tradition, the bride and groom are presented with a loaf of bread and salt from their parents as well as shot glasses full of vodka. What I didn't know is that out of the intended two glasses for the bride and groom, one glass is filled with vodka and the other is filled with water. According to my sources, the person who picks up the vodka-filled glass and downs it with a straight face symbolizes that that person will be the strong one in the marriage. Interesting little tidbit. Have any of you heard this before? I love that there are so many traditions to a wedding and many meanings behind all of them. I for one, am terrified of picking the one full of vodka because I highly doubt I'll be able to keep it together and not make a face. I'm actually more terrified of me spitting out a mouthful of vodka onto two unhappy sets of parents and a stunned new husband. Haha can you imagine? Oh dear maybe I'll just pre-plan mine to be the water one and take the safe choice...

Imaga via

Disco Polo Friday Returns

After a few weeks without disco polo Fridays, it is making its triumphant return. This isn't traditional disco polo as it's not even a Polish song, (but try telling that to all the Polish folks beltin' out "one way ticket" in heavy Polish accents though haha) yet it's definitely one we rock out to at parties. Enjoy!

Honeymoon Plans

Wedding planning is getting into crunch time, which means it's also time to plan another super-fun wedding-related event: THE HONEYMOON!!

Aside from the bachelorette (which I am so excited for!) the honeymoon is definitely one of my favorite aspects of wedding planning (aside from the wedding itself naturally.) I can't wait to explore an exotic foreign land with my future hubby! We've narrowed down our honeymoon choices and I really gotta get started on the whole planning aspect and reading this list of great places to travel has definitely gotten me in the travel-planning mood :) My home country of Poland even made the coveted NY Times list! #43 Feelin' some homeland pride!

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Wedding Hair & Makeup: Freakin Kidding Me??

Friday, January 6, 2012 | | 0 comments

So as with most things wedding-related, hair & makeup is absolutely, utterly, ridiculously overpriced. Yes, I want to look good on my wedding day but I am not willing to pay an arm and a leg for it! Unfortunately for me, it seems the Bay Area has some of the highest prices around for this stuff. I've never gotten my makeup done professionally before so I figured my wedding day would a be a special occasion where I could splurge, but for $600 just to put some crap on my face?! Um no thanks. Unless that's liquid gold going on there, it is totally not worth it. So alas, the search for a reasonably priced hair/makeup person continues...
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