Found My PERFECT Dress

Posted by Ashley at 9:54 PM

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Too bad it's only available in a 1941 or 1942 Sears Roebuck Catalog. It cost $6.98.

(My apologies for poor quality here.)

It's perfect, isn't it? The simple pleated skirt, wonderfully flattering blouse, the elegant sleeves, and my goodness, the wonderfullness that is that embroidered cummerbund waist.

In browsing wedding dresses online (I'm totally in the pre-planning-dreaming stages here), I've realized that while I thought I wouldn't care what I wore as long as the reception was fun and we had an awesome photographer, I have been totally unimpressed with wedding dresses. I don't hate them all, but nothing has grabbed me. Nothing looked like what I wanted (not that I could have defined what I wanted--I'm one of those "I'll know it when I see it" shoppers). But this dress. Oh, this dress. This dress confirms, once again, that I live in the wrong decade.

I love this dress so much, I might actually consider paying a seamstress to recreate it. Too bad it won't cost $6.98.

Money. Damn.

Posted by Ashley at 12:30 AM

Friday, December 12, 2008

So apparently, weddings cost money. A LOT of money. Apparently, the average American wedding costs somewhere between $24 and $26K. And I thought staying under $10K was too expensive...

Obviously, since we've still got approximately 708 days until our wedding (not that I've got a timer set, or anything), we've got plenty of time to plan, and let the novelty of monogrammed champagne glasses wear off. This is a good thing. I love monograms.

On the day after our wedding, Dustin will have only been teaching for about 11 months (this is assuming he gets a job immediately after graduation). I'll be close to finishing my Masters thesis, and I may or may not be entering the workforce soon after. $10000 could pay our rent for a year. It could pay our car insurance, our grocery bills, our health insurance.

The question is, now, do we want to spend $10000 (and probably more) on a wedding ceremony and reception, or do we want to save it for our honeymoon and our student loans?

Right now, catering and photography looks like it will be the most expensive things (I'm excluding our honeymoon in our budgeting here). I'm refusing to skimp on our photographer. Other than marrying Dustin, the pictures are the most important thing to me. I'd originally wanted a plated, catered dinner, but now I"m considering ordering in pizza and beer and calling it a night.

Is there anyone who's had a fun, pretty wedding for $5K (or less!!)?

Be Our Guests (Info for you!)

Posted by Ashley at 2:37 PM

Saturday, November 29, 2008

For our moms, dads, brothers, and grandparents:
Here, you'll find some helpful links for your week in Asheville:
Things to Do:
Click here for suggestions from Asheville's official tourism site.
Where to Eat:
Click here for suggestions from Asheville's official tourism site.
Places to Sleep:
Click here for suggestions from Ashevills' official tourism site.
Greybeard Vacation Realty: Dustin and I are using this office. They have daily and weekly cabin rentals, at lots of available prices. Cabins tend to fill up fairly quickly for Thanksgiving week, so don't wait.
Carolina Mornings: Another cabin rental place we liked.
1889 Whitegate Inn: We *loved* this B&B, but just couldn't swing the rates for a whole week.

For our extended families and friends:

Because we are limited by our schedules and income, Dustin and I are planning a very intimate elopement in Asheville, NC with our immediate families and grandparents. We would love to be able to afford a huge wedding with everyone and their kitchen sinks in attendance, but we are simply not able to afford that kind of a celebration (maybe one day!). We'd love to celebrate with you in a small way, though, so give us a call, send us an e-mail, and find us on Facebook. We'll cook dinner for you. Ashley makes a great bowl of pasta, and can pop open a bottle of wine like nobody's business.


Posted by Ashley at 2:04 PM

Once upon a time, I took a photography class. I think I only produced three or four really good prints in the whole class, but it remains one of my favorite undergraduate experiences. It also makes me wish I had a darkroom. Or that I knew how to use (or even had a copy) of Photoshop.

Even though we've got another year before Dustin and I get to live together again (he's finishing school), I have all these visions in my head of what I want our home to look like. Matching desks in an airy office. A yellow kitchen with bright red detailing. A cozy sleigh bed covered with one of my grandmother's handmade quilts. And throughout the house--beautiful artwork decorating our walls and mantels. (Oh yeah, in this dream abode? Fireplaces.)

Sally A. and her husband, Dan are giving away prints of their photography (and they are both immensely talented). I first encountered Sally through her blog as I was reading about healthy living. It was Sally's blogging about her food allergies that encouraged me to look at my weight loss not as a diet, or as a deprivation, but as finally treating myself well. It's only by adopting that mindset that I've managed to not be frustrated with myself at the smallest "mistake."

On her blog, Sally is (in addition to speaking sagely about her experiences) giving away this print:"Strolling Man," by Sally Parrott Ashbrook

And I absolutely love it. I don't know if she waited for the man to walk into the sunlit bit of the sidewalk or if that was even the intention, but the composition is perfect. I feel like I'm being allowed to spy on this man, just for a second, and even though I don't know a thing about him, there are several handfuls of stories to be made about him.

Our Wedding

Posted by Ashley at 7:55 PM

Monday, October 13, 2008

We're getting married on November 22nd, 2010 sometime in the early afternoon.

We'll be getting married in Asheville, NC, next to a mountain stream at Hidden River Events. After the ceremony, we'll share a dinner a few bottles of champagne at a yet-to-be-determined location in downtown Asheville. On Thanksgiving Thursday, Dustin and I will be hosting a wonderful dinner for our new family.

Before the wedding (and after), we'll be living in Oxford, MS, where Ashley is earning her Masters degree in 20th century American Literature, and Dustin will (hopefully and prayerfully!) be teaching English to rowdy high school students.

All the other stuff? We'll get there. We're loving being engaged, and throughout all the chaos of planning a long-distance wedding, we're trying to remember that being married is more important than getting married.

Click here for a list of our vendors.

Our Engagement

Posted by Ashley at 7:50 PM

A few days ago, the person I love more than anything or anyone else in the world asked me to marry him. And I said 'of course.' This is our story.

A few years ago, I took a Shakespeare class. It's required for English majors at Augusta State University. A guy sat a row over and a few seats back from me. Even in the winter months, he wore the same pair of green khaki shorts, Corona flip flops, and his fraternity jersey. It turns out this guy would be my husband, but I didn't know that then. In fact, I thought he was just another obnoxious frat boy. He thought I had awesome hair, but I never caught him checking me out (maybe I would have liked him better if I had).

A few semesters later, I went into Best Buy to get a Thelonious Monk CD. There, in media, was that same goofy looking frat boy. He took a while to say anything to me, and when he did, he just asked me if I was finding everything all right. How dare he not remember me! How dare he not talk to me! Until he did remember me, and he did talk to me. For several, several hours. As I walked out of Best Buy, he called after me "I'll be here tomorrow!"

We met each other at several jazz concerts sponsored by our university, and I quickly encouraged him to ask for my number. Our first date was at a bar, and I knew Dustin and I would be good friends when he ordered my two favorite beers, in order, without talking to me first about beer. We talked and talked for several more hours, and our second date (and first kiss) was the next day at his house, watching movies with some of his friends.

We dated more, hung out even more, ran up our cell phone minutes, used a lot of gas, and left a lot of "happy-end-of-date-tips" for grateful waiters.

He moved in with me, and we lived together for about a year before I moved to Oxford, MS for graduate school. (Dustin's staying in Augusta to finish his English Ed. degree.) I came home for Thanksgiving break, having already talked with Dustin about getting engaged sometime later in the year (I was sure it would be a Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve event). We drove around Augusta a bit, looking at some of our haunts. He took me to Augusta State again, where we met and to the ampitheater on campus, where we had a great picnic date. He got down on one knee, and I joined him sitting on mine. He pulled out the Norton Complete Shakespeare (the same book he used for our Shakespeare class), and said that ever since I was a little girl, I've looked for happiness in books. He opened the volume to reveal he'd totally desecrated the book by hollowing out a space just big enough for a ring box. I started crying.

He asked, I said yes.

Our Vendors

Posted by Ashley at 7:46 PM

These links will take you to the people that are making our wedding happen, for better or for worse!

Our Ceremony location: we've chosen to get married by the river at Hidden River Events. Dr. Jeanne Sommers owns this venue, and is also our officiant. She's been a peach to work with, and Hidden River is really everything we were looking for in a venue.

Our Reception Dinner: coming soon!

Our Photographer: coming soon(ish)!

Our Outfitters: coming at some point in the future!

About Us

Posted by Ashley at 7:05 PM

I'm Ashley. Dustin thinks I'm cute. I'm currently a MA student at the University of Mississippi, and I have to stop and think how to spell Mississippi every time I write it. My interests include but are not limited to: blogging, reading fiction, drama, and poetry, writing plays, learning to cook too many local and organic veggies for Dustin's liking, baking, knitting, caring for two crazy kittencats, wishing I knew how to paint, organizing, and shopping. There I said it: Shopping.

I'm Dustin, and Ashley thinks I'm cute. I'm 25, crazy about the gorgeous lady above, and tech savvy. I just completed my BA in English with Secondary Education, and am on the job market in North Mississippi. I'm not on the force anymore, but I used to work for Geek Squad, still wear the orange and black with pride. In my spare time, I tinker with computers, help others figure out their tech headaches, game, and most importantly, wash Ashley's dirty dishes. The most enjoyable part of each day is poking fun at my lovely lady--she has no idea when I'm going to propose, but wants it more than anything in the world! I've absolutely nothing left to make fun of her about, except for her ridiculous level of giggling when she talks about our wedding.

Together, we're AnD. Ain't we cute?