Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bridesmaids Dresses: what I like

One of the brightest traditions of American wedding is having a "court" - wedding party. Usually all bridesmaids and groomsmen in the wedding party are wearing the same outfits. Every girl in the party is wearing the same dress, and of course, not everybody is happy. Hence, the movie "27 Dresses".

I thought having my girlfriends wearing the same dresses would be very cute. But after thinking about fitting all the girls in the same shape and form, I felt this would be a little unfair. It is my special day, but I do want all of my friends feel beautiful and special too. Besides all traditional bridesmaids dresses are kind of plain to mine and my girls tastes.

So my bridesmaids will wear similar dresses - similar color and fabric, but not the same. See, I am not brideszilla!

This wedding party is very close to what I picture so far:

Photos by magnificent Jessica Claire

Update: one more example!

This wonderful implementation is via Emily Photo

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Reading is like living a double life

I love to read. Most of my middle school and high school summers I spent under an apple tree on an old coat (serving as a mat) in my grandma's garden. I actually don't read, I "watch" what happens with the main characters in the books. "Watching" is possible if the book is well written, of course.
Here are the latest of my "second life" journeys:

1) Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand - I have been reading it almost constantly since last September and just finished it - the slowest read of my life, but also, one of the most mind-opening, thought provoking, implacable in language, full of discoveries. About life, goals, happiness and love. Simply one of the best books I ever read.
2) Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - I always thought that it would be very interesting to travel in time, but after I watching "Back to the Future" I realized that we could alter our present if we do something in the past. The author of this book explores a different idea: what if nothing can be changed in the past or future, and you can only watch what happens, you don't have the control over "when" you are traveling: how are you supposed to live your live, have a family when you are time traveling?... Interesting!

3) Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee - a story about a foreigner fitting into American culture, Wall Street and figuring out how much of her own Korean culture she should really reject and how much IS she really different from her family. The storyline is not that twisted, but if not for life's wisdom, this book is a good read for its language and the way the story is presented. In the introduction of this book I read that the author is a fan of Russian classics and uses traditional to Russian literature way of unveiling the story - in each scene the reader learns about his and hers feelings and thoughts. No wonder I liked the book so much!

4) Anna Gavalda's "I wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere", "Someone I loved" and "35 kilos of hope" - this new french author's creations remind me the ones from my favorite Russian author Victoria Tokareva - simple truth of life through the finest lace of the language.

What are yours latest best reads?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Birthdays Are Made From

Birthdays are made from rays of love from parents, teasing from brothers, happy tears of grandmas, cards from the most special, most wonderful husband-to-be with flowers in 8 in the morning, visits from future newest part of the family, calls and emails from the closest friends, and finally a cozy gathering of friends around the picnic table on a golden from the sun May afternoon.
Complete and blesses with so much goodness I enter the new year of my life. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Simple Pleasures of Home on A Saturday

I love the home we made of our apartment. Here are little things that make our home so cozy for me:

Our new white & fluffy blanket:

Colorful balcony rug and brand new greenery outside:
We found a color match for our red chest at the end of the bed...
These curtains immediately played up the presence of the chest in the room!

Ok, back to wedding planning: bridesmaids dresses, cakes, officiant (!). Happy beautiful long weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A special day for my friends

Wednesday was the wedding anniversary of one of my closest friend's.

Kostya and Ania's wedding was very sincere and fun - just like they are. It was one of those weddings when both families and friends really enjoyed meeting each other. Lots of good memories!

I just thought that next year there will be an new date to celebrate in our own soon to be family. :) The new date that will set a new tradition. I am conservative in nature - I like change, but it does not come to me easily. Traditions I enjoy very much, because they repeat. :) Since you know what to expect from a tradition, there is opportunity to savor one or the other particular moment of it every time it comes.

I hope our wedding will be the one to remember for all of our guests, not just for us.
This is a couple of weeks old snippet of my favorite tree that grows in front of my office. Love this time of the year and this tree! It is nature tradition and I anticipate it every time it comes. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Our Engagement Session

Since I compiled my to-do list, I have been really tackling it. Save The Date cards arrived, ready to be shipped, the guest list is getting filled in with addresses, bridesmaids dresses are being discussed. We have met with one entertainer, chose our chair covers and table cloths. So, the list is at the stage of execution, and this is good. It keeps me calm. :)

Our exciting item that also got completed within this period is Engagement Session. Let me just say that I am very excited and inspired by the result. Watching more engagement sessions and weddings posted on Yuka Photo Art blog is always a delight - so stylish, creative, sophisticated! Yuka is also my friend, so being photographed by someone with whom you share teas, coffees, margaritas, talks, bike rides is twice as special. But receiving the result of magic with you, as the main character in it, feels a little surreal. Yulia, thank you SO much for capturing our pre-wedding state of being in such a unique and intimate way! It is truely very special and magic! Here are several shots from the session:

Here is post on Yuka Photo Art blog about the session: ELENA & ANDREY :: ENGAGEMENT
Here is the Slideshow

A few words to those who are preparing for their engagement sessions:
1) Prepare
2) Think of a couple outfits - use bright colors (of course if you only like black - than you should go for it). Bright colors make elevate your photos from cute to beautiful.
3) Girls - find a pair of out of ordinary heels. Even if in reality you can not make a single step in these shoes. Even if you are toller than a teleghaph pole in them.
4) Is there any THING that simbolizes your relationship or your character? Suitecase? Books? A Skate board? - Bring them along.
5) If you have a chance, ask a profesional to do your hair and make up. Or do those yourself.
6) Prepare to raise early for best lighting. Like 5 am early.
7) Set a side at least half day for the shoot. It will take at least 4 hours.
8) Enjoy the process, make a special day out of it.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

4 Months Till The Wedding: to-do list for crunch time.

It is 4 months till the wedding and I want to make this month a "crunch" time. So there is no crunch time later.
Here is our short list of things to do:
  1. Bridesmaids dresses (I think I found a painless solution - I'll share a little later);
  2. Send out "Save the Date" cards - this is almost done;
  3. Engagement photo session with Yuka - this coming weekend (!);
  4. Choose a videographer (this is going to be tough based on our (ok, ... mine) requirement to the quality - should at least be at the same level of craftsmanship as Michael Jackson's "Do You Remember The Time" music video - :);
  5. Music, entertainment - tamada (the officiant of the ceremonies and the order at the wedding in Slavic countries);
  6. Officiant of the ceremony (there will be nothing to celebrate without this person);
  7. Cake - has to be as tasty as it is beautiful;
  8. Book wedding night suite - this is almost done;
  9. Honeymoon!
With this aggressive plan we will get the big items out of the way to concentrate on the little details next month.

Hopefully with our agenda, we will never get to the following state of planning (the source is hyperlinked to the image itself).

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 1, 2009

It is May! And it is spring... now for sure!

May is my favorite month of the year. Not because my birthday is in May. (But it might add a little of the charm, of course. :)) I love May because of the blooming, the smell of fresh grass, first thunderstorms, first really warm evenings, first barbecues and the idea that the summer is still ahead.
Just couple of weeks ago I made Andrey wake up with me at 6 am on a Sunday to see this:

Beautiful, but still no color.

But, we did notice the tiny leaves on the trees:

An look at the same tree just a week later:
So much more color everywhere!
I am very happy to be in May and excited for more nature inspirations to come.
Happy May!