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I could try to describe our night on the groovebomb last night, but I think these pics tell the story quite well (Thanks Holly for bringing your camera!)

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{Michael tries to eat my head outside of C Bar.}

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{I decide to let my inner kitten out to play.}

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{Kira and Chris look adorable.}

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{Morgan and Amanda aka Awesome Cheese Chick.}

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{The party gets started on the groovebomb.}

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{Jaime and me chilling on the Groovebomb}

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{Adrienne and Pedro}

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{Pedro going for a swing on the bus.}

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{Carson looking fly.}

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{Trisha decides to take advantage of a human couch.}

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{The wonder twins share a mind meld moment.}

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{Zoey gets all acrobatic on Morgan.}

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{Holly looking smashing.}

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{Michael gives Morgan a lap dance.}
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{which I, apparently find amusing.}

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{Jaime gets his groove on.}

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{ i just can’t tell if Zoey had a good time…}

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{Whiskey in a jar, eh, Natalie?}

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{Secret shot.}

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{Michael’s going in…}

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{Natalie goes for a swing.}

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chinese lantern This is one of the lanterns that Kira and Chris brought back from Vietnam. So pretty! We’re going to borrow them for decorating the dinner area.

Other Vietnam fun stuff:

jack's suit

Jack’s teeny tiny little suit. Isn’t it adorable?

Morgan holding Jacks suit 2

Here’s Morgan holding the suit so you can get a sense of how little it is.

Also, for those of you getting ready to organize your wedding weekend, here’s the basics you’ll need to know in order to camp at Horning’s with us or get a hotel nearby. We can’t wait to see you!

Okay, so the dress I picked out from a picture on the internet did not so much translate into an actually flattering dress when Kira had it made by the Vietnamese tailor and tried it on. I’d show you the picture she sent as proof but she would kill me.

After calling me in a panic at 1 am (it was 10 am where she was) to discuss the situation, she sent me a pic of a dress she thought would fit all my criteria, but be more flattering, more forgiving of the fact that we are all in our 30s and ain’t none of us skinny models anymore, and would just generally work better.

I couldn’t actually look at it when she called (computer at home is not working so well), so I spent a sleepless night tossing and turning in anxiety. Kira couldn’t afford to stick around this little town in Vietnam too much longer, and she was already doing us a HUGE favor by arranging to have the suits made and the dresses made. If I ended up not liking this dress she’d found, we’d probably be back to my looking at department store dresses online, which would be more expensive and not necessarily guarantee a flattering dress.

Morgan had to listen to me wailing, tipsy, at 3 am, about how it was all a disaster and we were never going to find a dress that everyone would like, and…

Well let’s just say its speaks more to his character than to mine that he is still willing to marry me.

So. The picture she sent me turned out to be this dress:

alt-dress-option

My initial reaction was, “Wow. Simple, summery, elegant, thai silk, wrap dress. Brilliant. Just brilliant. This is like a shorter version of the dress I’ve been drooling over (but can’t afford) for my wedding dress.”

and then, “Now I wish I got to wear a bridesmaid dress so I could get one of my own.”

And then, “Oh CRAP. What if the girls don’t like it?!?!”

I sent it out with an urgent message for people to give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Holly and Briana both like this dress MUCH better. Phew. Holly said “YAY! Halter!” and Briana said, “Yay! Thai silk!”

So, then I got to thinking (and this is where its a good thing that Morgan never reads this blog because I’m about to ask you to keep a secret):

Why can’t I just have them make me a longer version of that dress in white with a peacock blue sash to match the girls’ dresses? It will be much cheaper than the dress I keep mooning over in the window at Lena Medeyoff’s on 23rd. And the dress is SO similar… with a few additional details that I think will make it even easier to wear and more figure flattering.

Still. Its a huge leap of faith. I mean, buy a dress sight unseen that will be made on a continent 18 hours away and shipped to me? Am I NUTS?

But. Then this little voice whispered in my ear, “That’s what getting married is. Its a leap of faith. Go for it.”

So. I decided to do it. But it meant that I had to get measured RIGHT AWAY. Fortunately, I work in a theater. So I popped down a flight of stairs to the costume shop where the Paula and Fuschia were able to slip me into a dressing room, take incredibly detailed measurements on this little chart they have, and get it all done in about 5 minutes.

Emailed it off to Kira and felt a huge weight lift. Considering that I have been looking at and thinking about wedding dresses for a year or more, it feels strange to have it be all decided and done. But good too. Like, I can’t back out now.

So. SHHHH. Don’t tell Morgan that Kira’s getting my dress made. It will be out little secret okay? I have no idea what I’ll tell him.

After in depth conversations with all involved, trying to balance the advantages of custom with the cost effiiciencies of department store stuff, here’s the new plan (and I apologize for any of you reading this who are completely disinterested in the fine detail of fitting 6 very different women into the one workable dress… there will be more fun posts about music and food later, I swear).

Anyway, everyone likes a dress that basicly looks like this:
watters-2542-1

Wrap top, sash belt, knee length, a-line, with a chiffon overlay and a silky underlayer that peeks through. My sister would prefer an empire waist, which is totally doable and may work better for Holly and Nina too.

And, if we can get our act together fast enough, the really wonderful news is that Kira can potentially get this dress custom made for us in Vietnam for a very very reasonable price (like, under $100).

Which would be totally and completely awesome, since it would accomodate my general preference for something custom and handmade over department store while still keeping the price down to reasonable levels in these crazy economic times.

Yes, I’m outsourcing. But to a very nice little Vietnamese lady (gentleman? Kira didn’t specify) who will be utterly delighted to do the work. And at the price we’ll pay, if it genuinely doesn’t end up being one of those dresses that people can “definitely wear again,” it won’t matter as much.

The caveat: Kira won’t be staying in the town too much longer so we’ll have to really get a move on getting everyone measured if we want this plan to work out.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed that it does. Its 8 am over there now, and I’m sure that Kira is just waking up to an incredibly long, TMI email from me right now (sorry Kira!).

Here’s to hoping it all comes together!

The price is good, its more stylish, its anthropologie so you know it will be good quality, and its drapey which equals flattering. Thoughts?

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See the detail here.

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This? In Peacock dupioni?

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With a sash?
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From this lady.

Some Bridesmaid dress ideas. What do you girls think? What will be flattering on you?
516935_fpxtif Available online here.

update: This one doesn’t actually come in Laguna blue despite the website’s claims to the contrary. Bastards.

494345_fpxtifLonger, more a maxi dress. But is it too “flashdance?” Link here.

Update: Pay no attention to this one. Decided it’s definitely too flashdance. Plus Holly says it will be too hot for a dress that long.

_5741174I think this one’s GORGEOUS but a bit pricier so I don’t know- girls?

_5588007This one matches the suit lining, I think, but…stretch satin? Is this flattering? Details here.

Update: Briana likes the stretch satin…But I’m worried about anything that stretchy that you don’t get to try on in the store…

_5796942This one’s a different look, but oh my gosh does it look comfortable. And forgiving. Take a closer look at the front knot detailing- its kinda cool.
Details here.

Update: And this one, I just apologize for. Apparently I was having a fat moment. NO need to inflict it on you.

bringingclassybackThe last time Kira was in Thailand, she had some local tailors make custom 3 piece suits for Morgan and his brother Carson (pictured in his three piece suit on the roof of Artists Rep).

This inspired Morgan to organize a three piece suit fashion show as his Self Expression and Leadership Program project (one of the workshops presented by Landmark Education– a FANTASTIC program we’ve both been through). The picture to the left was taken to promote that fashion show by our friend Chris McCollom, a phenomenal photographer.

The fashion show didn’t quite work out according to plan, but our mutual love affair for three piece suits has not faded. After all they are so elegant- what man doesn’t look effortlessly charming in a three piece suit?

kiraandchrisinthailandSo when Kira headed back to Thailand and Vietnam (she’s there now, check out the pic of her and her boyfriend Chris in utterly gorgeous tropical splendor) she offered to arrange for all the groomsmen (and woman) to get custom (also called “bespoke”) suits made while she was there.

Why get suits made instead of just renting tuxes?
Well, beside the obvious idea that every man could use at least one well-fitting suit in his life, it turns out that you can get custom suits made in Vietnam for under $100. So for less than the cost of renting a tux you can get your own suit, cut to your exact measurements. Pretty fabulous, eh?

image989The plan is to get suits in brown, but to keep things fun and special, imagesto have the inside of the jacket lined in peacock blue thai silk and the back of the vest lined in goldvionsetie-165x170the bright orange thai silk. If you’ve received a wedding invitation, these should be familiar colors. Our hope is that as the groomsmen get hot (it is, after all, a June wedding), they will shed their jackets and reveal the colorful backs of their suit vests.

This week we’ve been arranging to get all the measurements done for all of the groomsmen. This is slightly more complicated than it sounds, because Vietnamese tailors need the measurements in centimeters instead of inches, and we had to download a special expanded measurements form from princehenry.biz that even asks questions like “how sloped are your shoulders? Do you tend to lean forward or backward when you walk? Its crazy. It was also a bit of a challenge to find someone who would do the measurements if they weren’t going to be making the suits. But we found one. So,

Morgan and his friend Trish (the groomswoman mentioned above) went on Thursday to the European Master Tailor, a charmingly accented gentleman who had tiny shell encrusted whale figurines decorating his tailor shop, and got measured. The “Master Tailor” has his shop in, of all magical places, Morgan’s Alley, right along side Portland’s only custom millinery shop (she makes bespoke hats- who does that anymore?) and a shop selling art and jewelry made out of blown and fused glass.

Saturday, Morgan’s mom Debi came down to visit and we took my son Jack to get measured. He looked so solemn and proud getting measured. We took some pictures and I’m going to try to post them when I find them. Afterward we teased him that he was not allowed to grow for the next 4 months now that he’s been measured.

This is actually a real concern- he’s just recently outgrown all of his school clothes and I’ve been sending him to school in SWEATPANTS.

I cheerfully told him he’d have to wear rocks on his head for the next few months and sleep in a box so he won’t grow. His response was typical:

[eyeroll]
[sigh]
“Oh, mom, stop. You’re not gonna make me sleep in a box.”

Afterwards we went out to Horning’s Hideout to show Debi the wedding location. It was great fun to tromp around in the mud and imagine what it will be like when the wildflowers are blooming and all the foliage has come back to the trees. creekside15Or, at least it was fun until we got stuck at a place in the creek where there used to be a bridge (it got wiped out in the post snow floods). Morgan and Jack nimbly found fallen logs to run across to get to the other side. Not wanting to prove myself the wuss I really am, I gamely tried to do the same- and ended up up to my waist in the creek when I slipped off the log!

Fortunately the creek was neither very deep or very cold. It still made for a very WET ride home.

And a good reminder that something like this:
sam-edelman-gilda-gladiator-sandalis probably going to be a better choice for wedding day footwear than this:

black-heels

For you as well!

TAPWATER "Smiling Balloon"

This is Tapwater– they are the band that’s going to play at our wedding. They’re friends with our friend Lisa, who knew them down in San Diego and they moved to Portland last summer.

Lisa asked them to come play at Kira and Morgan’s 31st birthday party, out at Kira’s boyfriend’s organic farm.

Here’s a picture of them playing at the farm:

tapwater

We all had such a blast dancing to the music. Plus, their instruments include a stand up bass, a steel drum, a fiddle, some regular drums, some guitar-y stuff, and, if I’m remembering correctly, some kind of brass instrument.

Its like all of the world’s coolest instruments in one band.

Now, I wonder if they have time to learn all the lyrics to Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors…?