Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To Plan a Wedding...Flowers!

     When I first met my husband, Christopher, we soon discovered that we shared a lot in common, such as our love of the color green, reading The Hobbit, and writing poetry. Also, we shared a favorite flower: the beautiful Sunflower. Since we met, he has given me bouquet after bouquet of lovely sunflowers, and it has never crossed my mind that the sunflower shouldn't be the one that we choose for our wedding.
      When we eloped in the August of 2009, I purposely chose a simple location: the Justice of the Peace. Also, I purposely refused to have a bouquet, a fancy dress, a first dance, music, personalized vows, professional photos, etcetera. I always told people that it WASN'T our wedding, simply a marriage ceremony. I wanted to save my wedding for a time when we had the extra money, the ability to be together for more than a weekend, and when we lived in a location that allowed both sides of our family to attend. Now, I am having a blast planning the details with my husband, mother, sisters, and friends, and I am ready to have the wedding of our dreams, for a realistic cost that won't break the bank or put us in debt!
     Now, more about the flowers! The sunflower is native to North America, and is not only beautiful and decorative, but is highly USEFUL as well, providing us with yummy seeds and healthy oil. The myth that a sunflower follows the sun with it's "face" is untrue, stemming from the fact that sunflowers in a field all face the same way. Actually, the truth is that they all face EAST as they grow, which is very interesting. There are many varieties of sunflowers, all of them cheerful and lovely to behold.
    I know that I want the wedding ceremony to take place in a natural setting, somewhere out-of-doors in the fresh air, that we won't have to decorate or alter. The idea is to find somewhere beautiful, natural, peaceful, and happy, a place where we can feel a part of the world around us, and each other.We never liked the idea of an indoor ceremony, because, to us, no ornate ceiling could be as beautiful as the open sky, be it clear or clouded, and no windows and walls could be as breathtaking as trees and fields and the glory of nature. Using an outdoor ceremony, the need to decorate with masses of flowers and ribbons would be obliterated, and the only flowers that I would need for this chapter of the wedding would be in bouquets, for my bridal party and myself.
This Photo is Inspiring!
        My only debate for the bridal bouquets is whether to bind together a grouping of smaller sunflowers for the ladies to carry, or if they should carry one larger flower. I have seen both ideas online, and both are very attractive options! I am leaning toward one, giant, beautiful sunflower for each member of the bridal party, and then making my bouquet out of many smaller ones, cascading together. I love the idea of only using sunflowers, keeping the color palate simple, yet stunning, and really letting the beauty of one flower that means a lot to us both, shine through.
       I was pleased to find websites that would allow me to order bulk sunflowers, leaving me enough to craft arrangements for the reception from. Ideally, the reception will only have 25 to 30 guests, and only a couple of tables. We really only want our closest family and friends, there is no point in pretending for a day that everyone we know, who can't care enough to be there for us in our daily lives, should be there for us on the most important day of our lives, I wouldn't be comfortable with that. Plus, by limiting the guest list, we can really go all out, and have an elegant, lavish event for the people who love us! Quality, I think is more important than quantity.
        A smaller reception will allow me to really deck the place out with sunflowers, and one-hundred stems will go a lonnnng, lonnnnng way! I plan on using GROUPINGS of vases on each table, of different shapes and sizes, with a group of sunflowers in each one.
kind of like this, but with more vases
   Keeping the flowers simple will allow me to be able to DO MY OWN ARRANGEMENTS and I will be able to BUY BULK FLOWERS, therefore, saving me quite a lot of money in the long run. Average wedding flower costs are nearly $700.00, and that is NOT counting the reception flowers. Crazy, right? I can't imagine investing almost a grand in decorations that will be dead in a few days anyway. Doing the flowers my way will run about $200.00, for the ceremony, reception, delivery charges, AND incidentals like vases and ribbons and floral binding tape. I am feeling good about this!
So, opinions?
What is your favorite flower?
What do you think of my bouquet and centerpiece ideas?
I'd love you feedback, dear readers!
Please keep reading as I plan Billijean and Christopher's Dream Wedding 2013! This is the second article about the planning process ^_^
Also, if you haven't yet, "like" Pink Forsythia's Facebook page at : http://www.facebook.com/pinkforsythia 
Thanks for reading!


Sunday, October 21, 2012

To Plan a Wedding…

On August 1st, 2009, I eloped to Las Vegas with the love of my life, and we began our “happily ever after”. After a few years of dating, Christopher and I joined the US Navy, together, and decided it would be silly to let the military drag us to separate corners of the earth, where we would be, undoubtedly, very unhappy, and so, in order to stay together, we decided to get married.
However, each of us was still in our A-School training at the time, myself studying Korean at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, and Christopher studying medicine at the US Navy Corps School in Great Lakes, IL. We only had weekends off at a time, so we decided to meet in the middle, at a place where, in one afternoon, it was possible to procure a marriage license AND get married, LAS VEGAS!
We booked a gorgeous suite in the glamorous Venetian Hotel, in my opinion, the best hotel in the city. We had 36 hours together, and we made the most of all of it.
Outside of the Venetian
We look so young!!! I was 19, and he was 20 ^_^
We stayed our two nights at the Venetian Hotel, VERY classy
Christopher at the Fountain
Faux-Venice has GONDOLAS
Me, So Excited to be in Vegas
Venetian Interior
Lovebirds <3
We Married at the Justice of the Peace
Right After
A Beautiful Fountain
A Pretty Place
Our Venetian View
Leaving Vegas

I agreed to elope with my husband not only because I love him completely and wouldn’t want to be separated for longer than we had to be, but also because he promised me that later, we could have our wedding.
That is why now, I am beginning plans for the wedding that we never had, to be held on our 4th anniversary, August 1st, 2013. Later is better than never, and I am glad we eloped when we did, our Romance has the best of both worlds!
Later articles will highlight the “wedding planning” process…My goal is a small, intimate wedding for only the people that matter the most to us, with a beautiful, poetic out-door ceremony and an elegant reception…Also, fantastic photos are what I am most excited for! I am going to be injecting our personalities into the planning, and this may well be the most important thing that I ever plan.
I hope you keep reading Pink Forsythia, and like the Facebook page, at http://www.facebook.com/pinkforsythia ^_^
Thanks for Reading!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Postcrossing: A Phenomenal Experience

Hello, readers! I have been wanting to talk to you all about my latest and greatest hobby for some time, Postcrossing. I was introduced to it this past summer, by a few friends from college, and now, I am hooked! Quite the phenomenon, Postcrossing has been sweeping the globe since its start in the July of 2005. Now, there are hundreds of thousands of participants, and it just keeps on growing.
You might ask, “What exactly IS Postcrossing, anyway?” Well, I will tell you…
BUT, before I do, answer a few simple questions:
1) Do you like to receive mail? I mean REAL mail, not junk mail or bills…REAL, unadulterated, PERSON TO PERSON mail?
2) Are you interested in travel, other cultures, or other people?
If you answered yes to both questions, POSTCROSSING could be your new favorite hobby and obsession!
Postcrossing, as I said, was established in 2005, and is based on the website www.postcrossing.com. Postcrossers, as people who utilize Postcrossing are called, make free and easy accounts on the website. From there, the program is basically a postcard swap. You request an address, and send a card. For every card you send, you get one back from a random Postcrosser around the globe!
According to the website,
The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive at least one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.
Why? Because, like the author, there are lots of people who like to receive real mail.
The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises - and who wouldn't like that?
I have found Postcrossing to be easy to do, affordable, and ultimately, extremely rewarding. Not only have I received dozens of great cards from around the world, complete with interesting messages and fantastic stamps, but I find myself getting excited about picking up postcards to send, and I love going to the Post Office to buy the cool stamps that come out!
The Basic Steps to Postcrossing according to the website:
  1. request an address from the website
  2. mail the postcard to the address
  3. wait to receive a postcard
  4. register the received postcard in the system
The first step is to request to send a postcard. The website will display (and send you an e-mail) with the address of another member and a Postcard ID (e.g.: US-786). You then mail a postcard to that member. The member receives the postcard and registers it using the Postcard ID that is on the postcard. At this point, you are eligible to receive a postcard from another user. You are now in line for the next person that requests to send a postcard. Where the postcard comes from is a surprise! You can have up to 5 postcards traveling at any single time. Every time one of the postcards you send is registered, you can request another address. The number of postcards allowed to travel at any single time goes up the more postcards you send!
I love getting cards from interesting people of all ages and backgrounds, and I have been sent everything from poetry and doodles to journal entries and recipes. I also love when a card I get is registered online, and the thank-you notes they include with the registration are the best part of sending them! Who wouldn’t be like a five year old on Christmas to open the mailbox and see new postcards sitting there? Getting the mail is now one of the highlights of my everyday routine ^_^
I even made a schnazzy binder for my cards, with plastic protectors, so I can see the front and back of each one…It would be a shame to cover up the pretty pictures OR the handwritten messages, so my binder is the best thing for postcard organization.
To view my user profile, and get an idea of what your could look like, follow this link: http://www.postcrossing.com/user/pinkforsythia
My sisters and mom are now Postcrossers too, and they love it as much as I do! The thing to remember is, you have to SEND postcards to RECEIVE postcards, it can take a week or two for you to get your first one in the mail, but once they start coming, you will be glad that you signed up!
Once again, thanks for reading, and HAPPY POSTCROSSING!
P.S. Current Postcrossers feel free to comment! What do you love best about Postcrossing???