Customized Bride

Planning our wedding one custom at a time

Ah, the magic of Facebook. Love, revisited March 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 5:12 pm

So, lately I’ve dug up two old boyfriends on Facebook (ok, so one dug me up and I randomly ran across the other one) and it’s got me a bit retrospective. I’ve never been a big dater – I’ve had a total of 5 boyfriends in my life and, looking back, I am so amazed by how much each one taught me about myself. One taught me that smarts are important, one taught me what it’s like to love down to the very fiber of your soul and then learn how to let it go, one taught me that you can’t fix someone that’s broken; they have to want to fix themselves. (Fix You by Coldplay is a hopeless fantasy, IME.) My ex taught me the value of other human beings and to not be *so* solitary and sensitive.

It’s really interesting how the people you touch really become a part of you, whether or not you really want them to,  and even if you don’t know it at the time. And even though I’m not with them anymore, I still smile when I hear the right song, think of the right movie, or see a thunderstorm. And I always wonder about them when coming across these reminders, even though it’s been 15 years since I last talked to some.

I think what I’ve learned the most is to love the people you come in contact with. Even if they don’t become your best friend or soulmate- even if you never celebrate your 72nd wedding anniversary with them, you still will affect them. And you still have the choice to leave a mark that can result in a smile when they hear that certain song, or visit that certain place, or catch the right movie on Comedy Central in the middle of the night.

So, life’s lesson from my life’s few loves: be kind to one another! You never know what you’re going to mean to them.


Married since 1937, epilogue March 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 8:58 am

For those of you that might have read my post on the couple that had been married 72 years when the husband passed away, I just wanted to follow up and let you all know that his wife passed away this weekend. Just 34 days after he died. Isn’t that something?


Back to planning March 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 10:37 am

Hi all! I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and life has just gone completely crazy for a little bit there. Sometimes with balancing two jobs, taking a college accounting class, moderating the Lush Cosmetics forum and trying to maintain my life’s relationships, my little blog kind of gets put down to the bottom of the pile. I think I have like 1000 wedding blog posts to catch up on in my google reader!!

But I realize that time is coming up short, even if we are planning a fall 2010 wedding. No, we still don’t have the date! But we have narrowed it down a bit. I am working on a blog post for tonight, so please bear with me as I promise to get back in the swing of things 🙂

I hope you are all well and welcoming spring. In Wisconsin it’s supposed to snow this weekend! Am I allowed to cry? 😉


Engagement Photos? February 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 8:00 am
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I am just not sure about the whole engagement photo thing. Is it something we should invest in, or should we just save our money for the wedding? I think engagement photos can be a lot of fun (especially considering they’re so much more relaxed than when I got married the first time 11 years ago) but for some reason I just don’t feel like they are a very high return on investment. I think I’d rather save the money and hire a more expensive wedding day photog, but I am just not sure….

Do you think engagement photos are a true necessity, something nice or a waste of money?


Matryoshka <3 February 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 9:13 am
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I have always loved matryoshka dolls. (Funny how in some ways I really do think I was engineered to fall in love with a Soviet.) When I was a child, a family friend of ours had a set of authentic matryoshkas and when we would visit I would sit and take them apart and put them back together for hours while my parents visited with their friends. I just love them. I was thinking about including a matryoshka somewhere in our motif, but I think it might just be ethnic overkill with the pysanky going on already. Plus, they are really Russian, not Ukrainian. And ask any Ukrainian– there IS a difference!

And somehow, it seems that they have suddenly become popular in the past year or so! Suddenly my beloved matryoshka are everywhere and I am *loving* it!

From top down, left to right:

1. Lavender Nesting Dolls from Handle & Spout 

2. Tshirt from Etsy’s MaryInk 

3. Matryoshka Pouch from Etsy’s simbiosisbyjulia  

4. Matryoshka Notebook by Etsy’s bismo080 

5. Custom Rubber Stamp by Etsy’s babyjewels 

6. Matryoshka Hand Carved Stamp by Etsy’s craftpudding 

7. Matryoshka tea towel by Etsy’s SweetPeaandCo

And then….. for the nerds out there like Sergei and I, these nesting dolls are just awesome!

star wars dolls

star wars dolls

Star Wars Matryoshka from Neatorama


Matryoshkus Blanco by ArtLebedev

And then I just have to post this one in full size because it’s so beautifully detailed. It’s a template for printing paper and stickers, etc., from A Print A Day (And at $3.99, you know I ordered one!) Coupon January 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 1:21 pm
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OMG – See Jane Work has come to my rescue! In my previous post I mentioned my cheap, yet fashionble idea for a wedding planner- namely ordering SJW binders and filling them with the yummy Russell+Hazel wedding planner sheets.

SJW has answered my plea for a good deal and now has a 25% off coupon, good until January 31st. Just enter 25off09 at the checkout.  WOOHOO!! Now do I want one in ‘grass’ or ‘moss’……


Ukraine? January 13, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 3:02 pm

I am finding out that not everyone knows where Ukraine is located. That is understandable, and as this is a blog about a Ukrainian American and his bride, I figured I’d give y’all a bit of info on Ukraine. (And for those that don’t want to hear me yap about a foreign country, but still want the info, the wiki is here.)

Urkaine is a part of the former Soviet Union. So yep– I’m marrying a Communist, it’s true. Although he’s been slightly reformed. (But boy did he look cute in his Pioneer day pictures.)

Official Language: Ukrainian. Yep, they even have their own language, although to my ears it sounds very close to Russian. Russian is commonly spoken in Ukraine, a holdover of the Soviet years. The Ukrainian language uses the Cyrillic alphabet (same as Russian), so don’t even think about trying to read it, but at least it looks pretty. And it sounds pretty- if you’d like to hear some basic Ukrainian phrases, you can go here.

Ukraine is in Eastern Europe, here:

It is an ancient area with a long history, including COSSACKS!

Sergei’s great-great-great grandfather? The world may never know…

In case you don’t know, Cossacks were horseriding asskicking warrior thugs of the 15th-18th centuries. You did not mess with these folks. Their historical influence on shaping Ukrainian identity is demonstrated by their inclusion in the Coat of Arms of Ukraine:

See that dude in the baggy pants and the RIFLE on the right? He’s a COSSACK! That funky fork-looking thing in the middle is the trident, which has been a symbol of Ukraine for centuries, and no one really seems to know why. Not that it matters- you can’t debate that trident=teh kewl. On the left is a lion, which kicks almost as much ass as a COSSACK! but not quite. (Wouldn’t COSSACK! be a great 1970s style disaster movie? But I digress.)

The flag of Ukraine looks like this:

It’s not really clear, but it looks like traditionally the blue stood for the sea (or apparently the sky- see this post’s comments- thanks Mariya!) and the yellow stood for the fields of wheat. Ukraine was at one time known as the “breadbasket of Eastern Europe.” There’s lots of farming, and it has traditionally been known for it’s harvests. Well, that and Cherynobl is in Ukraine, but again, I digress.

The capitol city is Kiev, which is also where Sergei grew up. It has about 2.7 million inhabitants and is located on the Dnieper River. We will be visiting Kiev on our honeymoon! I can’t wait to see where Sergei grew up, and hopefully to see some really old stuff. I love history, and Kiev is over a thousand years old. It was blown to bits during WWII, but I still look forward to seeing such sites as the Vydubychi Monastery, the Golden Gate, Independence Square where the 2004 Orange Revolution took place, and last but not least….. LUSH KIEV!!!!!!!

OK that’s enough about Ukraine for the moment. At least now you’ve got a bit of an idea about where Sergei is from. I’ll be adding more about culture and customs (especially wedding customs!) of Ukraine as this blog progresses, so stay tuned!