Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nail Polish and Other Unimportant Details

I have a super long list of things to do, many of which involve my sewing machine.

So, obviously, I'm focusing my attention on less important things that really don't matter at the moment.

Like nail polish.

I don't do my nails very often.  When I was little, I used to paint a different color on each nail- that was The Big Thing in middle school.  I've only ever gotten a manicure twice in my life- senior prom (when I got my one-and-only pedicure, aka the best thing ever invented) and just before BM MrsL's wedding.  For prom, I got a French manicure, but for MrsL's wedding, I tried something a little different.  I don't have any pictures of my nails from that wedding, but I've since re-created the style myself.

Showing off my nail polish skills.  Also my ring. // {personal photo}
Have you ever seen this before- one finger painted a different color than the rest?  When I got it done for MrsL's wedding, the girls thought maybe I was "trying to send a message" because Mr. Geek and I weren't yet engaged, and that particular finger was the one that got the different color.  I swore up and down that this was A Thing and I swear I wasn't trying to send any messages!  (OK maybe I was.  But it's also A Thing!)

image via Courtney L J
image via The Dating Divas
image of Beyonce via BellaSugar
See, look- BEYONCE does it.  It's totally A Thing!

I'm not entirely sure I'm going to pay for a manicure on the big day, mainly because I'll have a million other things to do (because I'm worrying about nail polish right now instead of working on those things) but I'll certainly paint them myself- or maybe my sister will do it for me!  And then I'll paint hers.  Slumber party!

I really like this trend, and yes, okay, painting your ring finger a different color definitely accents an already-special finger.  Now the question is...what colors?

I'm thinking maybe I'll go super bright and use orange with green on my ring finger- those are our "secondary" colors that aren't getting a whole lot of airtime compared to the purple and red.  Ooooor I could do orange with red on the ring isn't quite maroon, but it would be a nice nod to my alma mater!  Or green with purple...or purple with red...or orange with green...or...or...or...

Are there any nail polish trends attracting your attention right now?  Do you prefer to do your nails yourself or have them done?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, May 28, 2012

Throw Away Your Television

We talk a lot about wedding preparations in the blogosphere, but we don't often talk about marriage preparations.  Ironic, isn't it, when a wedding lasts only a day and the marriage lasts for the rest of your life?

One of the things the Catholic Church does really well (in my opinion...biased?  Maybe.) is marriage preparation.  Some people view this as a series of tedious hoops to jump through in order to reserve a pretty ceremony location.  If you go into the process with an open mind, however, the Church's marriage preparation requirement really does prepare you for what marriage really is, and gives you the tools necessary to create a healthy, lasting marriage and family.

Jesus performed His first miracle at a wedding feast in Cana- turning the water into wine (and not just any wine- really good wine).  As such, the marriage preparation requirement is called Pre-Cana.

The exact requirements for Pre-Cana are different for each diocese, but in general, you are required to meet with your pastor at least once, meet with the priest marrying you a few times (which might be the same priest, but for us, it isn't), and attend a Pre-Cana class.

Our diocese offered three versions of the class- a weekend retreat called Engaged Encounter, a series of 2-hour classes, once a week for 6 weeks, or a "One Day Extravaganza" (my nickname for it) called the Conference for the Engaged.  Confession: we chose Conference for the Engaged because it was the cheapest option and was only one day :D

CFE was a wonderful experience, which I attribute to the fact that we came into it with an open mind.  We didn't have any preconceived notions about what would or wouldn't be said; we were there to listen and to learn.  We arrived early, chose a table at the very front of the room, and took notes through all of the talks.  (Okay so I took notes...Mr. Geek just listened.)  The conference was run by 2 married couples, a priest, and a family counselor; through a series of witness talks, activities, and a video, we covered a lot of topics, and learned a lot of helpful information.  I'll be blogging about many of the topics we covered from now until the wedding, scattered amongst the wedding-planning posts.

Also, there were donuts.  Donuts = pleasant experience.  // {personal photo}

One of the most interesting talks was called "Compatibility and Love" and talked about how commitment, compatibility, and love are not things that happen to us, but, rather, they are choices we must actively make throughout our relationships.  You can chose to be compatible with each other.  It sounds kind of counter-intuitive, but it's true- compromising on things and accepting each others' viewpoints, even when they're different, are all active choices we make in order to remain compatible- in order for the relationship to keep working.  We believe that love is not just an emotion- it's an action.  A couple does not simple "fall out of love"; if a relationship fails, it's because the couple stops actively loving each other, stops trying to remain compatible, stops working on the relationship.  Sometimes marriage is hard; sometimes you don't always like each other.  If you go into marriage knowing that love is more than just the feeling of butterflies in the pit of your stomach, more than just sexual compatibility, and more than just having certain activities or hobbies in common, then you'll be prepared when problems arise to know that, even though there may be fighting and hardship and pain, you keep sacrificing and working and trying until the problems are resolved.  And when one problem is resolved, another might crop up- and you attack it again, together.  These concepts seemed...well, not altogether foreign to us, but we'd never heard them phrased quite like this.  I think we both came out of this talk feeling a new resolve to always work for our relationship, even if it's not always easy.

The couple shared with us some things that they did to work at being compatible in the early days of their marriage.  When they first got married, they made the decision to get rid of their TV.  For about 3 years, they did not have a TV in their house and therefore could not arrange their schedules around the shows they wanted to watch every night of the week.  This meant that their first priority had to be each other- they couldn't retreat to the comfort of the remote control when they were bored, they had to spend time talking with each other and spending time together.  As an added bonus, it actually strengthened their relationships with their friends; if he wanted to watch a sporting event, he had to go out to a bar with his friends, or if she wanted to watch an award show, she had to go to a friend's house.  They have since purchased a new TV, but the habits and communication they established during those first three years have remained; he still prefers to go out to the bar with his brothers and friends to watch the game than to stay at home on a Sunday afternoon by himself.

TV isn't really a big deal to Mr. Geek or me.  We both have shows we enjoy that are currently on the air, but neither of them watches these shows regularly.  (I'm a few episodes behind on "Glee" but it doesn't bother me- that's what the internet is for.)  However, this talk inspired us to talk about things we want to maybe get rid of in the beginning of our marriage to ensure that we develop and maintain healthy communication habits.

As geeks, we're both in love with our smartphones.  Carrying the entire internet around in your pocket can get kind of addicting; I can spend hours playing Draw Something and he can spend an entire evening reading articles on his Google Reader.  Sometimes we'll find ourselves sitting next to each other on the sofa for hours, absorbed in our technology, not saying a word to each other.

CFE was held in a Catholic school auditorium, and no one's cellphones seemed to work.  The moment you walked outside, however, you had perfect service.  I figured maybe they had jammers installed in the school so high schoolers couldn't text during class or school assemblies.

"When we get married," I joked, "we should have a cellphone jammer in our apartment."

"You need your phone in your apartment, though," Mr. Geek pointed out.

"Well, we could use geo-fencing to keep it to just the bedroom," I said.  "The moment you cross the door way, you lose service."

After we heard from the couple who got rid of their TV, I thought about this solution more seriously.  While installing a cellphone jammer in our bedroom would be way too complicated- and, likely, expensive- that doesn't mean we couldn't have some sort of rule.  No cellphones in the bedroom!

We've talked about it some more and arrived at a solution that we think will work for us- no cellphones in bed.  This means that, when we're getting in bed for the night, if the phone rings, you have to get out of bed to answer it.  If you want to text somebody, you have to get out of bed to do so.  If you want to check the score on a football game or update your Facebook status or read one last article on Cracked, you have to get out of bed.

I've read that some couples have very strict "no stuff in bed" rule- they require the bed to be used only for sleep know...that other thing that happens in bed.  That would preclude us from watching a movie together before falling asleep or reading a book or playing X-BOX.  Banning just cellphones will force us to be present to each other, even if we're just trying to fall asleep.  Hopefully, if one of us gets a phone call (and it's not an emergency), we won't want to get out of bed, therefore the call will go unanswered and we won't choose technology over our spouse.

Were you required to attend any marriage preparation classes before the wedding day?  Did you hear any particularly interesting stories or pieces of advice during those classes?  Would you ever consider getting rid of your TV to improve your communication habits with your spouse/future spouse?  Would you ever consider banning cellphones from an area of the house?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Can We Register for Video Games?

When we first started talking about where to register for gifts, Mr. Geek jokingly asked me that question.

"Actually," I replied, "that's not out of the question."

His eyes lit up- he wasn't expecting that.  He thought wedding registries were only for kitchen supplies.

When we get married, we'll be forming a household for the first time.  Sure, we've both lived on our own before, and as such we've acquired hand-me-down and Wal-Mart-quality stuff, but between the two of us, we don't have all of the "necessities" required to truly have a grown-up home.

Okay, okay, is a KitchenAid stand mixer actually necessary to have a home?  YES.  No.  But things like a nice vacuum cleaner could be considered necessities.  Or a full-sized ironing board- I don't have one of those.  And the only bath towels I have are Miss Geek-sized, and they have my monogram on them- my maiden-name monogram.  So upgrades, and, in some cases *cough*STAND MIXER*cough* straight-up new stuff, are "necessary" for us to begin our life together.  No one can create a home from scratch- "it takes a village to raise a child," and such.

Spoiler alert- this is why we have wedding registries.

This is why we have WEDDINGS, actually.  It's not just about wearing a pretty dress and meticulously choosing table linens and buying enough alcohol to keep your 300 closest friends entertained.  We have weddings because we're letting our community know, "Hey, we're getting married.  Can you help us out with that?  In return, we'll give you cake."  So that community witnesses the wedding vows, eats the cake, and provides the love, advice, support, and, yes, stuff, that the couple needs to start this family, this household.  People want to give you stuff on your wedding day; most people consider it downright rude to show up to a party- any party- without a gift of some sort, be it a bottle of wine, a bag of chips, a birthday gift, or a card with well wishes and perhaps some cash to get the new couple on their feet.  (Is that just a Southern thing, maybe?  The concept of hostess gifts?  Yes?  No?  Bueller?)  A registry makes it easy on the guest- takes the guess-work out of gift-giving, because it shows exactly what the couple still needs, and ensures that the couple doesn't end up with, say, two of the exact same kind of ice cream maker.

Unless, of course, you're like BM K and her fiance, who registered for the exact same ice cream maker at two different stores, and therefore received 2 of the exact same ice cream maker.

They really like ice cream.

Anyway.  If, like I was, you're hemming and hawing about the inherent selfishness of a wedding registry- if you feel uncomfortable telling people what to buy you- think about it the way I've described it above.  Nobody HAS to buy you anything, but most likely, they'll want to, so rather than making them ask your aunt to ask your mom to ask you if you have a coffee maker yet, utilize some not-so-modern technology that makes a list of stuff where that stuff disappears from the list once it's purchased.

And now, on to the good stuff.

We decided, to keep things simple, that we would do two registries: one brick-and-mortar store (that also has an online option) and one entirely online registry.

For the brick-and-mortar, we chose Bed Bath & Beyond because they're everywhere, they have everything, and they tend to be reasonably priced (plus they give out coupons like candy).  For the online option, we chose an Amazon registry, because it will essentially assemble a list of items from any store on the web and still function as a registry (ie check stuff off as it's bought).

Because I'm a little analytical, I wanted to make a list.  I knew that if we just showed up at BBB and asked for a scanner gun, we'd scan literally everything in the store and be pleased with ourselves.  We sat down together and thought about stuff we needed- and I thought about my dream kitchen- and assembled a list of items that needed to go on the registry.  Then we pulled up the BBB website and priced some of these items, and looked for them in other places, too.  If BBB had the better price, we decided to register for it there.  If a ( in, manufacturer's) website had the better price, we put it on the Amazon registry.  Plus, things that we knew we wouldn't find at BBB went on the Amazon registry.

What could possibly not be found at BBB?

An XBOX Kinect!  [Will anyone buy this?  Probably not.  Would it be cool to have?  HELL YES.  Will we be sad if we don't get it?  No.  That's why it's labeled "nice to have" on the priority chain- not a must, but it would be pretty cool.]

image via Amazon
The Fleur de Lis china from Anthropologie.  That's what's so awesome about the Amazon registry- we can register for fine dinnerware from Anthropologie.

image screen capture via Anthropologie
 Light saber chop sticks from Think Geek- because THEY'RE FREAKING LIGHT SABERS.  Does this really need an explanation?

image via Think Geek
After we'd made our Amazon registry, we took the rest of our list to BBB.  Compiling this registry actually took two trips- the first night we went in, we didn't realize we'd arrived less than an hour before closing!  Our consultant was super sweet; she explained how the scanner gun worked, gave us a bag of free goodies, explained their incentive programs with certain brands, and gave us advice for how to populate our registry- register for approximately 3 times as many items as guests to give people options, fine china is a good thing to have, register for cookware as separates and you'll be more likely to get the whole set...and then she let us out into the wild!  She would check in on us every now and then to see if we were finding things and, of course, to push certain hot items- but thankfully she wasn't too pushy.  I had my eye on a cookware set by Rachael Ray that wasn't available in store, so she added it to the online registry for us while we walked through the store!

Unfortunately, I was a bad blogger bride, and didn't take any pictures of this process.  Sorry.  But believe me when I say that Mr. Geek really enjoyed the scanner gun- I mean REALLY enjoyed the scanner gun.  He actually really enjoyed the process of picking out kitchen stuff, too, because with each gadget, he'd ask, "Ooh, what are you going to cook with that?!"

Some of our favorite items off the BBB registry include:

THE STAND MIXER.  Honestly, if we don't receive any other gifts- if all of our guests contribute $1 to a pot to buy us this- I will be a happy camper.

image via Bed Bath & Beyond

The Keurig.  Almost every morning, when I call Mr. Geek from work to say hello and ask if he slept well, the conversation ends with a heavy sigh and the observation, "I can't wait till we get that Keurig..."

image via Bed Bath & Beyond
A vinyl shower curtain printed with a world map.  Is it weird that I'm excited about a shower curtain?  Whatever, it's awesome.  We picked out bath towels and bathroom accessories in the various colors on the map- pink, green, blue, and yellow.

image via Bed Bath & Beyond
Getting excited about a shower curtain might not be weird, but I'm pretty sure that getting excited about a vacuum cleaner definitely is weird.  DON'T JUDGE ME.

image via Bed Bath & Beyond

Where did you register?  Are you using the amazing Amazon Universal Registry?  What item are you desperately hoping gets purchased?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bow Ties are Cool

Confession: I haven't actually made it to Matt Smith's Doctor yet, I'm still on David Tennant, WHOM I ABSOLUTELY ADORE.  Cut me some slack, I just started watching the good Doctor a few months ago.


So you may remember that in an earlier post I mentioned that we were looking at bow ties for Mr. Geek and his groomsmen.  Originally, I brought up this idea because it looked more "day time" to me than any other style of tie.  ("How does something look 'day time'?"  WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME DIFFICULT QUESTIONS?)  This was one of the few discussions where Mr. Geek didn't have much of an opinion- we looked at some inspiration pictures together, and he said, "Sure, I could wear that."

And then I found this tutorial on Adore by Chloe for homemade "fake" bow ties.

I can do that!  I can totally do that!

Remember how I said my attendants will be in purple dresses?  (And my honor attendant will be in a red dress?)

Well, Mr. Geek's attendants will be in red bow ties.  (And his honor attendant will wear a purple bow tie.  JUST KIDDING.  I thought about it, briefly- asking her to wear a bow tie like a necklace- but I'm thinking now she'll have a purple pashmina.  More on her outfit later!)

While I'm at it, I'm making Mr. Geek a purple bow tie, too.

And little white bow ties for Mr. Geek's two tiny attendants (neither one of which will actually be carrying the ring, so we can't quite call them "ring bearers").

And purple bow ties for the FOB and FOG.

And purple bow ties for our ushers (I'm making 4 of these, though I'm not sure if we'll have that many ushers).

Crazy?  Who's crazy?

In all seriousness, these little puppies aren't that hard at all.  I'm almost done!

I won't recreate the step-by-step from Adore by Chloe, but I will show you some pictures of the work-in-progress:

**all images in this post are personal photos**

stitch stitch stitch
oh noes!  sewing through all those layers bent my needle :(  I did this twice before I learned to just hand-sew at the last step
taking shape as a bow!
Okay some of them look a little squished and wonky >.<  it adds character!
I'm deviating from the instructions a little- I'm actually stitching the middle section around the bow first with space in between so I can slide the collar part in through the back.  This way, the bow isn't attached to the collar and the boys can slide them around as they adjust the Velcro closures.  (This all makes more sense if you take a look at the tutorial.)

The six purple bows shown above are for our dads and ushers; I've actually already finished all the other bows, too, and now I just need to sew the collar pieces, put the bows on the collars, and add the Velcro.  Almost done!

Are you sewing anything for your wedding?

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, May 18, 2012

Planning for the Happiest Honeymoon on Earth, Part 3

Previously, on Our Geeky Adventure:

-We're kind of crazy, apparently, because we're going to Disney for our honeymoon
-But we're not that crazy, because we're using a travel service
-But really we are crazy, because we're driving the whole way

After consulting The Unofficial Guide, asking friends and coworkers, and weighing our priorities, we decided we wanted to go ahead and get the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.  [That link takes you to the official Disney website which explains what's included in this plan and how it works.]  I'll save you the gory details of this particular decision-making process...we have heard that this dining plan gives you way more than enough food, but we figure it's better to have too much food than not enough, and we'd rather have one less thing to need cash for while we're there.

So where will we be spending those dining credits?

Once again, The Unofficial Guide proved invaluable in deciding on Disney restaurants.  They rated the food and ambiance at each restaurant, and even gave recommendations for what to order.  Since Mr. Geek and I had been to Disney before, we'd already eaten at a few places, and decided we wanted to try something new.  The Unofficial Guide also gave recommendations for which places need reservations in order to get a good table at a decent hour, so we made a list of all the places we definitely want to eat at and when, and gave that list to Kim from Dreams Unlimited so she can make our reservations for us.

Sunday: Dinner

Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom // via InteractiveWDW
 We'll be arriving in Orlando on Sunday, checking in to the resort, and basically taking it easy all afternoon.  We'll probably grab lunch at the on-site restaurant at the resort, then head to the Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day to meet some characters and do a little shopping and maybe take a spin on the Teacups.  Sunday will be the most easy-going day of the honeymoon, and I want us to dress a little nicer than shorts and t-shirts, because we're going to have dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table!  The "Character Dining Experience" means we'll be dining with the princesses, and the package includes professional photos!  Cinderella's Royal Table was definitely the top of our list for must-visit restaurants, so the first night seems like the perfect time to eat there!

Monday: Lunch

Yak & Yeti // screen capture taken from Disney's website
 We plan to spend the first half of day 2 at Animal Kingdom, ending with lunch at Yak & Yeti.  The menu is Asian-inspired American food and, as with everything Disney, every little detail is perfect.

Monday: Dinner

Hollywood Brown Derby // via
 We'll spend the second half of day 2 at Hollywood Studios, capped off with a late dinner at the Hollywood Brown Derby, a replica of the real celebrity hangout, down to the caricatures that cover the walls.  Can't wait to try the original Cobb salad!

Tuesday: Lunch

Biergarten Restaurant // via
 Tuesday we plan to spend most of the day at Epcot, so of course we have to eat lunch here!  Mr. Geek has actually eaten at the Biergarten Restaurant in Germany but he loved it so much and it comes so highly praised that we just can't pass it up!  A nice big buffet lunch of German favorites will give us the energy we need to finish the day in Hollywood Studios.

Tuesday: Dinner

Yachtsman Steakhouse // screen capture taken from Disney's website
After squeezing in a few more roller coasters, we're going to head back to the resort to change into something a little nicer than whatever we spent the day romping around in, then zip over to the Yacht Club Resort for a nice dinner at the Yachtsman Steakhouse.  I probably don't have to tell you that the big draw on this menu is the steak :D

Wednesday: Dinner

The Crystal Palace // via
 Wednesday will be spent at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter :) and whatever time is left in the day will be spent back at Magic Kingdom.  We plan on popping in for a late dinner at The Crystal Palace featuring a "Character Dining Experience" that we're very excited about!

Thursday: Breakfast

Trail's End Restaurant // via
 We're going to start Thursday early with a breakfast buffet at Trail's End Restaurant inside Fort Wilderness Resort before heading back to Magic Kingdom for the entire day, to make sure we get to ride absolutely all of our favorite rides.

Thursday: Dinner
Disney's Contemporary Resort // photo via
 We'll relax after a long day at the Magic Kingdom with a nice dinner at California Grill inside the Contemporary Resort.  I'm really looking forward to the California-inspired menu featuring seasonal, local produce.

Friday: Lunch

Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano // via
 Friday we'll be back at Hollywood Studios in the morning with some fun, Disney-fied Italian food for lunch.  I've heard the pizza here is really good!

Friday: Dinner

Les Chefs de France // screen capture from Disney's website
 Finally, our last Disney dining experience will be at Les Chefs de France in the France pavilion of Epcot.  Hopefully, Remy, the little mouse from Ratatouille, will make a visit to our table while we're there!

Phew!  That's a lot of food!  Where are your favorite places to eat in Disney World?  Have you ever used a Disney Dining Plan?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Planning for the Happiest Honeymoon on Earth, Part 2

Previously, on Our Geeky Adventure:

-We're not beach people
-Wedding planning is kind of an involved process.  So is Disney-planning
-Dreams Unlimited is kind of the best thing ever invented. ("I thought that was Weddington Way?"  Okay so they're tied for the best thing ever invented.)

Because airline travel is expensive and, well, miserable, we've elected to drive from the wedding to Disney and then back to NOVA.

Wait, what?

Yes, we're going to drive the whole thing.

First, I'll be driving the 13ish hours down to Alabama a week before the wedding, hauling all the last-minute wedding stuff in the back seat of my car.

screen capture from Google Maps
Alexander City is about 8.5-9 hours away from Disney, depending on the route, so we'll be driving about halfway the night of the wedding (a feat made possible by our afternoon reception!) and the rest of the way the next morning.  Mr. Geek has yet to find a hotel for the wedding night at this halfway point- or to figure out exactly where we want this halfway point to be- but we've still got time.

screen capture from Google Maps
And then once we leave Disney, we'll be making the 15ish hour drive back to Herndon, breaking up the trip by spending the night in Savannah (and hopefully eating at The Lady and Sons!)

screen capture from Google Maps
While we have yet to figure out hotel situations for the halfway-to-Disney and the halfway-home nights, we have figured out where to stay while we're at the Mouse's house.

How did we make this decision?  With a little help from one of the best books I've ever read.  (Okay, one of the best non-fiction books.)

screen capture taken from Amazon
This book...oh this book.  It's amazing.  They have tested and reviewed every single detail of a Disney vacation.  The segment on resorts alone covered more details than I ever imagined necessary- they formulated their own test for pillow fluffiness.  PILLOW FLUFFINESS, Y'ALL.  Maybe it's because I'm an engineer and appreciate a good set of metrics, but this made me so happy.

When I visited Disney in high school with my family, we stayed at the Polynesian resort.

screen capture taken from Disney's website
Mr. Geek has been to Disney a couple of times, and he *thinks* they stayed at the Dolphin...but he has a pretty crappy memory lol

screen capture taken from Disney's website
Both of these resorts fall into the "Deluxe" category- meaning they're really expensive.  Really, really nice, but also really expensive.  After consulting The Unofficial Guide and discussing our priorities, we decided to go with a "Moderate" resort.  "Deluxe" resorts offer more space in the rooms and more amenities; we figure space is only really an issue if you're there with a family, and we definitely won't be using things like onsite gyms while on our honeymoon so the few extra bucks in our pockets will mean we can buy more souvenir trinkets!  We did temporarily consider the "Value" category, but were quickly dissuaded after talking to people who had stayed there before.  Basically, they said the "Value" resorts were the Disney version of Motel 6- a lot nicer than Motel 6, but still...not necessarily honeymoon material.  Also, apparently, unless you specifically need a handicap-accessible room, it's pretty impossible to get a room with a King bed at a "Value" resort, and, well, 2 double beds just doesn't feel very romantic to us.

We have a category, but which resort?

Based on The Unofficial Guide's ratings for the quietness of the rooms, the location of the resorts in reference to the parks, and the theme and appearance of the resorts, we narrowed the "Moderate" category down to three choices.

screen capture taken from Disney's website
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort is set up to feel like, well, the Caribbean.  The resort is comprised of a series of buildings centered around Old Port Royale, named for an old Spanish fortress that serves as the setting for Pirates of the Caribbean.

screen capture taken from Disney's website
Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter is set up to feel like- you guessed it- the French Quarter section of New Orleans.  Much of the outside decor is themed around The Princess and the Frog, including a certain gator with a passion for jazz.  The buildings and rooms at this resort are just so...quaint!

screen capture taken from Disney's website
Finally, Disney's Port Orleans Resort- Riverside is set up to feel like a quiet bayou refuge with buildings themed as "mansions" and "cottages".  Although it would seem that a resort on the "bayou" wouldn't have rooms with the same quality as those in the "French Quarter", The Unofficial Guide assured us that the rooms in both resorts are exactly the same, regardless of what the building looks like- and that Riverside actually has quieter rooms than French Quarter because it is nestled farther down the river.

So which did we choose?

Don't worry, I won't make you wait for another post to find out.  We chose...

screen capture taken from Disney's website
Disney's Caribbean Beach!  All three of these resorts had some serious positives, but what really sold us on this one was The Unofficial Guide's proclamation that this resort has the quietest rooms out of all three choices, especially if you stay in one of the buildings farthest from the Custom House which houses the check-in desk.  This resort has special pirate-themed rooms, but we figured that's probably more exciting when you've got kids.  The decor isn't what drew us to this resort- I mean seriously, these bed spreads aren't winning any design competitions any time soon...

picture this with just a King bed // screen capture taken from Disney's website
...but let's be honest- the only thing we'll notice about the room is the quality of the mattress ;)

Uh...I'm going to pretend like Mr. Geek wrote that part.  Yeah, let's blame him.


So what do you think?  Which resort would you have picked?  Have you ever stayed on-property at Walt Disney World?  Where did you stay?

Much love,
The Geeks

Monday, May 14, 2012

Planning for the Happiest Honeyoon on Earth

You'll recall from my last (real) post that we've decided to go to Walt Disney World for our honeymoon because we are equal parts adorable and crazy.  Effectively planning a trip to Disney can be almost as intense and time-consuming as planning a wedding; I couldn't let go of the reins (or the money, for that matter) to hire a wedding planner, but I had absolutely no problem working with a travel agent.  Mr. Geek's parents had used a travel agent to plan their family vacations at Disney, and at first, we'd considered using the same agent.

Then I heard about Dreams Unlimited.

via Dreams Unlimited website
I was asking for travel agent suggestions from people at work, and several people recommended this website.  At first, Mr. Geek and I were wary of the fact that this was a website- we wanted to meet with someone in person to discuss our options.  However, the more I read about Dreams Unlimited, the more we realized that visiting someone's office wasn't really necessary- besides, finding a time during regular business hours when we're both free is about as doable as finding The's possible, just not easy.

screen capture of The Lamp Post Station from LOST // via
So, just what about Dreams Unlimited makes them so attractive?

Well first of all, they have this nice little graphic on their website:

This means we can be assured that the rates they find for us are, you know, real, and the fine print won't change on us when we show up in Orlando.  It also means that they receive a commission directly from Disney and their services are completely free of charge for us.

I'll refer you to their FAQ page for the rest of the attractive details, but suffice it to say that they are constantly checking the discounts Disney puts out to see if any can be applied to our reservation to save us every bit of money they can- that way all we had to do was fill out a nice little survey with the pertinent details like when we want  to check in, how long we want to stay, and which resort we want to stay in, then focus our attention back on wedding planning and let Kim Harkness, our fantastic agent, do the rest for us!

So just what are those pertinent details?  You'll have to stay tuned to find out!

Have you ever used a travel agent to plan a vacation before?  Did you use one for your honeymoon?

Much Love,
The Geeks

**I was in no way compensated for this review of Dreams Unlimited.  Just wanted to share my enthusiasm for an amazing service!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I realize there was no post yesterday.

There will also be no post tomorrow.


I'm on a business trip at the moment, returning today, and simply have not had time to blog!  Does that make me a bad bride? :(

To tide you over, here are some wedding-related blog posts from people far more interesting than me:

Saying Yes to the Pants by Miss Treasure on Weddingbee
             -This isn't so much a post as a link to a hilarious video

Those People are Models on Offbeat Bride
             -Those achingly beautiful, perfect couples on your photographer's website?  They're probably not a real couple, they were probably hired for those photos.  Those gorgeously styled shots where everything is in its place and no one is stressed out in the slightest?  That's probably not an actual wedding, but a styled photo shoot.

Something Like Zen on A Practical Wedding
              -Hey guess what- wedding planning is stressful sometimes!  And you might have to ask for help!  AND THAT'S OKAY!

Monday, May 7, 2012

All Children Grow Up. Except [Two].

What's the most common question a bride is asked halfway through the engagement?

"How's the wedding planning going?"

This is a rather dangerous question to ask.  I'm sure the asker thinks it's a polite, generic question asked in an effort to feign genuine interest in the millions of details swirling through a bride's brain at any given moment.  The asker probably assumes that he'll receive a simple, "It's going well," a smile, and then he's off the hook and can move on to the next question.

Well, folks, I'm here to set the record straight:

Halfway-ish through the engagement, if you ask me "How's the wedding planning going?" you'd best be prepared for a good half-hour discussion on the mathematics involved in selecting bridesmaid dresses, the frustration of coordinating a kind-of-destination-wedding, strategies to find what you're looking for at an antique store, and tips and tricks for sewing bow ties [more on that later!], among other things.

I say half an hour because that's about how long I can go without pausing for a breath, at which point you can make a speedy escape.

Unless, of course, in your naivete, you contribute your thoughts on any of these topics, affording me the opportunity to inhale quickly before diving into my next lecture.

In an effort to save you some time, I've come up with a list of questions you can ask a bride nearing the halfway point of the engagement that won't commit you to any more than, say, 5 minutes worth of an answer.  The trick is to be specific, and stick to topics you're at least vaguely interested in.

-What does your dress look like?
-What are you colors?
-What shoes are you wearing?
-Have you picked a song for your first dance?
-Have you picked a hair style?
-Are you wearing a veil?
-Where are you going for your honeymoon?

That last one is really the best question, because everybody likes hearing about other people's vacations- it's a great opportunity to talk about your own favorite vacation spots or offer advice if you've visited the locale of choice.

So, ladies (and gentlemen?), go ahead- ask me.

"Where are you going for your honeymoon?"

I'm so glad you asked!

We're going to Walt Disney World!

Because we are, in fact, just a couple of kids.

Except Mr. Geek doesn't freak out when I try to kiss him // via
I know, I know, Disney will NOT be a relaxing vacation, but Mr. Geek and I just aren't beach people- we both burn rather easily (especially me) and if we went to some sort of all-inclusive resort type place we'd probably spend the whole time just drinking at the pool, which we could do anywhere, really, without having to go some place expensive.  So while Disney won't be a laid-back, lounge-all-day honeymoon, it will be a lot of fun, and the kind of magic you can literally only experience at Disney.

We've been talking about a Disney honeymoon for as long as we've been talking about getting married, and that's...a long time.  To be honest, I'm not sure why we originally decided on it.  I know at one point we'd been tossing around the idea of going on a cruise around the Mediterranean, and I found one that lasts 30 days, which we both agreed would be pretty impossible to swing for a honeymoon (though it would be AWESOME).

Interesting aside: back-in-the-day, that's what a honeymoon was- a journey of a month or even longer during which the couple really got to know each other for the first time.  Wealthy couples, anyway- not-so-well-off couples didn't take a honeymoon at all, they just moved into their new home together.  Wealthy brides were also the only ones who wore white dresses, too, not because it symbolized purity, but because white fabric was expensive and keeping it white was even more expensive, and therefore it was a status symbol.  But I digress.

So, yes, DISNEY.  Are we crazy?  Perhaps.  Will it be expensive?  Hell yes.  Will it be worth it?  ABSOLUTELY.

Whenever wedding planning starts to feel stressful, or we go for a week without seeing each other because we're both so busy and therefore lament the fact that November feels so far away, we cheer ourselves up by chanting DISNEY DISNEY DISNEY and bouncing up and down.  (Okay I bounce up and down.  Mr. Geek isn't really one to bounce- he's never been a pre-teen girl and therefore doesn't have much practice.)  This has become our simple way of saying, "Yes, this wedding stuff is kind of ridiculous sometimes and we really just want to be married already, but all of this will be worth it when we get to spend a week in the happiest place on earth.

Where did you go for your honeymoon?  Would you ever consider such a labor-intensive honeymoon, or are you more of a sit-in-the-sand-with-a-drink person?  Does a theme park full of rowdy children just not scream "romance" to you, or do you see the adventure in it like we do?

Much love,
The Geeks

Friday, May 4, 2012

We Have a Winner!

Previously, on Our Geeky Adventure:

-I tend to fall in love with dresses, even if they're not for me
-My wedding-decision-making process is really involved
-Weddington Way is the BEST IDEA EVER.

So, with the help of my sisters, I narrowed down my list of one million six possible bridesmaid dresses to four possible bridesmaid dresses.

Alfred Sung Styles D502, D448, D520, D524 // via Weddington Way
Then it was time for the rest of the girls to cast their votes- literally!  As I described last time, the girls each registered accounts on Weddington Way, logged on, and ranked the dress options from most-awesome to least-awesome, and I tallied the scores.

How did I do that, exactly?

Super complicated Simple!

Every time a dress was ranked in 1st place, it received 3 points; in 2nd place, 2 points; 3rd place, 1 point; and if it came in last, it didn't receive any points- I was hoping to ensure that the winning dress was never ranked last for anybody (in other words, that nobody hated the winning dress).

How did they stack up?

all images via Weddington Way
So imagine 6 girls in purple and one in red, all wearing silver shoes of their choice, jewelry of their choice, and hairstyles of their choice.

Very Audrey Hepburn, don't you agree?  Like I said, I'm not going to tell the girls how to do their hair, but for some reason, I feel like a beehive-ish updo would look great ;)

What do you think of the winning dresses?  How would you have ranked the choices?

Much love,
The Geeks

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Choose ALL the Dresses!

Previously, on Our Geeky Adventure

-We picked a large(ish), lopsided bridal party
-I'm not quite trendy enough for mis-matched bridesmaid dresses (although I am kind of trendy)
-I really, really want the ladies standing up with me to be able to wear their dresses again (or at least like them)

So, we wouldn't be getting bridesmaid dresses from David's Bridal or ModCloth.  Where oh where is a bride to turn?


Believe it or not, I first discovered Weddington Way as an ad on Facebook.  From the moment Mr. Geek and I changed our relationship status to "engaged", I was being inundated with ads for wedding-related things, and this little site was particularly persistent.  Against my better judgement, I clicked on the link and browsed around their website.  In their own words,

above screencaptures from Weddington Way
This seemed like a glorious invention!  Who came up with this idea?  THEY DESERVE ALL THE AWARDS.

So, I started browsing!  I filtered by color, price, and length, then clicked through the hundreds of dresses that matched my needs.

Screencapture from Weddington Way
I narrowed these hundreds of dresses down to 6 options:

Alfred Sung Styles D461, D502, D447, D448, D520, D524 // via Weddington Way
As with my ModCloth experience, I found myself wanting ALL of these dresses for my own personal closet, never mind my bridesmaids'!  Therefore, I knew it was time to bring in some outside help.

I sent an email to my mom and sisters with a list of boutiques within an hour radius of my parents' house that sell Alfred Sung dresses, and asked them to try on these styles, take pictures, and give me honest feedback.  If any of these dresses made them say, "Ew, there is no way I would ever in a million years wear this dress, I don't care if you are my sister!" then they would be removed from the list of contenders.  Conversely, if any of these dresses made them say, "OMG who cares about a wedding, I want this dress right now to wear whenever I want!!" then they would be given special consideration for the final decision.

So, which dresses survived my sisters' rigorous trial runs?

Alfred Sung Styles D502, D448, D520, D524 // via Weddington Way
At this point, I created an account on Weddington Way, saved these 4 dresses to my favorites, invited my ladies to join the website, and asked them to rank the dresses in order from most awesome to least awesome.  I told them they could visit local boutiques to try them on, use Weddington Way's Try-Before-You-Buy program, or just rank the dresses based on how they look on the screen.

So, which dress won the voting round?  You'll have to tune in next time to find out!

Did you use Weddington Way to shop for bridesmaid dresses?  Which of these dresses would you have picked as your favorite if you were in my bridal party?  Do you think any of them are worthy of the title "re-wearable"?

Much love,
The Geeks


*This is NOT a sponsored post.  I am not, in any way, receiving compensation from Weddington Way to post this information.  I was simply very impressed with the browse-favorite-vote-buy system this site uses, and wanted to share with you how awesome it is.