Sunday, August 30, 2009

Crazy Bridezillas

I’m not going to lie; I am sitting here on a Sunday sucked into a bridezilla marathon on WE TV. It’s like a train wreck that I can’t turn away from. I can’t believe that some brides are this crazy and demanding and down right rude to their loved ones. How do their families deal with their attitude? Especially when it’s going to be on TV for others to see?

After Chris proposed and we begun to talk about wedding plans the topic of stress came up. I know that I can get stressed out at times and I knew I didn’t want to become a bridezilla. Chris made me a promise that if I ever get to a stressed out point that he would take away my phone and all wedding planning materials and we would do something that has nothing to do with the wedding.

Even though I hope to never get that stressed out, I think it’s a really good idea to set aside a day here and there to just hang out with Chris – no talking or thinking about anything wedding related. Hopefully his busy schedule with class and work will allow for a date night here and there.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Are you ready for some football??

You may be wondering what does football have to do with our wedding planning? My answer is “not much at all”, but with the real seasons of college football and the NFL just around the corner I thought I would mention how in a way it does tie in with our planning.

First things first, I’m a huge football fan! It may have started when I was younger and would watch games with my dad. His group of friends would switch off who would host Monday Night Football watching parties, and I always loved when it was dad’s week. Mama Elephant would make some tasty treats for the guys, and I would sometimes sneak down to our landing and watch the game with them. Unlike your average couple, I can honestly say that I’m a bigger football fan than Mr. E. He played in middle school and high school but never really got into it. Thankfully he doesn’t mind that my fall weekends are filled with football, and he actually cheers for my favorite teams right along with me - the Texas A&M Aggies and the Philadelphia Eagles.

When we were planning the colors of the wedding we knew that we wanted blue to be the main color. One accent color that came to mind was silver, but that was quickly nixed when I thought that people may think it’s a Dallas Cowboys themed wedding (whose colors are blue and silver). Although Mr. E’s older brother would have loved that, there’s no way those colors could show up together at the wedding for an original Philly fan. (For those of you that aren’t big football watchers, the Cowboys and the Eagles are big rivals). I’m glad that we are going with blue, green and an accent of yellow for the wedding!


As I mentioned earlier, my fall weekends are filled with football on the TV. Even if they are teams that I don’t really follow, I’ll still find myself watching. With the paper projects I have in mind, I think it will be a great time to get them done. I can just turn on a game and work on programs, escort cards or menus.  We'll probably set up an assembly line to put together the invites while watching football.  See, football weekends are a prime time to knock out some DIY projects! And even if I don’t have a project to work, I can sit on the couch and read Weddingbee while the game is on.

Even Gypsy is an Aggie Fan

Are you or your fiance a football fan?  Are you incorporating your favorite team or Alma mater into your wedding?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Floral inspiration

When meeting with our planner to sign our contract, she asked a ton of questions to get a better idea of what we want in a wedding. Two questions that stuck out to me were: “If you had to rank the different aspects of your wedding, what would be the top three? And what would be the bottom three?” Without hesitation, I said that the most important thing was photography and the least important was flowers. (It did take me a little while with help from Mr. E to come up with the rest of the top 3 and bottom 3). I’ve already mentioned our amazing photographer, so let’s talk about the floral aspect.

I was never a huge flower person, which is funny because Mama Elephant LOVES to have fresh flowers and plants around her house. I always tried to get out of watering those things! When I started dating Mr. E and we reached one of our first special occasions (my birthday) I told him I didn’t want any flowers. Honestly, I think they can be pretty and smell great, but they always die so quickly and therefore seem like a waste of money to me. The only times that Mr. E has sent me flowers were for Valentine’s Day (each one that we’ve spent together) and I did feel special when they arrived at my office. Those star gazer lilies lasted a good couple of weeks! Which I have no doubt had to do with the company that Mr. E ordered them from since they come pre-bloom.

As you may have guessed from my DIY posts, not all of the flowers will be real (another attempt to save some money). I have already made the flower girl pomander out of silk flowers and will be making the aisle pomanders out of tissue paper for the ceremony.

Figuring that we would need at least some real flowers for the wedding, (although I have seen tons of beautiful weddings without any expensive floral arrangements) I started to search the magazines and websites for inspiration pictures. I’m picturing blues, greens and a little yellow for the bouquets as well as the centerpieces, and have become a big fan of the hydrangeas. They are very pretty, and you get a lot of flower for one stem (which may or may not cut down on the cost of making full arrangements).

I’m in love with this picture as an idea for the shorter centerpieces

And some pictures of blue/green bouquets ideas.

We’re kinda stuck on some ideas for taller centerpieces. I don’t want to run up the tab on taller arrangements, but believe that they will make the pin spot lighting on the tables worth it.

Were flowers a top priority to you when it came to wedding planning?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Check: Photographer

We signed with our photographer yesterday and can't wait to work with Lynn Michelle!!!! Mom and I went yesterday and sat with her for about 2 hours customizing our package, signing the contract, writing the check, and just talking about anything... she is so easy to talk to!

Chris and I will probably do our engagement pictures at the beginning of next year, when it hopefully isn't as hot as it is right now! Until then, I'll continue to stalk Lynn's blog for posts on her photography :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

A way to line the aisle

Once we decided on the venue and the outdoor ceremony, I started to think about cute ways to line the aisle. We're trying to cut down on the flower budget, so that cuts down a many of the aisle options. While doing my normal "lurking" on the Knot boards I saw some pictures of tissue paper pomanders that looked interesting, but thought to myself "that looks a little hard". Thankfully I came across the wedding planning bio of FutureMrsDudley55 on the DIY boards of the Knot, and she gave awesome step by step picture instructions for tissue paper pomanders. Here is the picture detail of my first attempt.

Materials needed:
-Styrofoam ball (I used a 5" ball, with a 40% off coupon at Michael's)
-Ribbon (left over from other DIY projects)
-Tissue paper (for the trial run I just used tissue paper found at the front of Michael's)
-24 gauge floral wire
-Hot glue and glue gun

1) First off I punched a hole through the styrofoam ball to insert the ribbon (similar to what I did with the silk flower pomander for our flower girl). I knotted the ribbon at the bottom, which would later be covered up with flowers.

2) I cut the tissue paper into little 4" x 3.75" sections, and used stacks of 6 sheets for each flower

3) Next up I folded the 6 sheets in an accordion style, then folded in half. Once folded in half, I rounded the edges to make it more flower like.

4) After that, I cut some of the floral wire (they suggest wire cutters, but my scissors did the trick) and twisted it around the middle part of the tissue paper to make the stem.

5) From here I started to pull apart each of the layers and fan them out to look like a flower.


6) I found it easier to make a bunch of flowers, and then stick them in the styrofoam instead of one flower at a time.

7) Here's the beginning of the filling the styrofoam ball. I would punch a little hole with the end of a paintbrush and then add some hot glue, just for added measure. I would stick the "stem" into the hot glue hole and push down to secure.

8) And finally here's the completed project! I really like it and think that it will add some color to the white chairs the guest will be sitting in. Even though I finished this mostly in one night (I got too tired to finish that last little bit, so I did that during lunch today), I'm glad that I have enough time to spread these bad boys out!

We will alternate between blue tissue paper/green ribbon & green tissue paper/blue ribbon.

Are there any other brides out there making tissue paper pomanders?  How will you line your aisle?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vacation with a little wedding connection

This past weekend Chris & I headed up to Hot Springs AR to celebrate his birthday. We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast called Lookout Point Inn which is owned by my former pastor and her husband, the same pastor who will be officiating our wedding in 2011!

We had a wonderful couple of days, walking around historic downtown, hiking in the national park, a couples massage and mini golf.

It was a wonderful time away from work, and I'm so happy Chris was able to meet Kristie. We'll be back up there next year for some pre-marital counseling.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When you know (really know), you know

Before Mr. E and I even got engaged, I had been following the blog (or stalking the blog) of a wedding photographer. I loved her pictures, especially the detail pictures, so as soon as Mr. E popped the question, I set up a meeting with her. She met with us as well as Mama Elephant to go over her packages, show us some of her albums and tell us about herself. She was on the higher end of cost side, but I knew that pictures would be the most important thing to me so I was willing to shell out some serious change. We left the meeting thinking she was the one...

Fast forward a couple of months, after we had moved the date of the wedding back a year, and I didn't see any reason to book her until later on (mainly so we could spend the money on more important deposits like the venue and wedding planner).

As a daily reader of the DFW Knot boards (which is a wealth of information when it comes to wedding planning in my area as well as a source of real life bride reviews of vendors) I started to notice certain names mentioned when people asked for photographer recommendations. Lynn Michelle was a photographer that girls either used and loved, or wish that they could have had the budget to book her. You may remember the name if you followed Mrs. Hydrangea, Lynn took her boudoir photos.

Take a look at some of her work.

 All images found here on her blog

I love how she is able to capture everything that we want: the details, the emotion, the posed, the candids and the artistic.  I knew that photography was a decent percentage of our budget so I decided to take a look at her website and blog. I was amazed that her most expensive package (which can be customized to take out things you don't want or add things that you do) was only a couple hundred more then what we were planning on spending with the first photographer. The big difference was the amount of "extras" we would get with her package, such as:

-2 more hours on the wedding day
-A 3rd photographer
-Rehearsal & Rehearsal dinner coverage
-A canvas wrap of our favorite engagement picture to display at our reception
-Fully edited pictures on a CD with shared rights so we can print them as we like

Lynn's work (which happened to be at our venue) was featured in and on the Knot (Source)

After telling Mama Elephant and Mr.E about this awesome new photographer, and explaining all of the extras that we would get for about the same amount we were already planning on spending we set up a meeting with Lynn. We showed up at 5:30 and didn't leave until about 7:30, and it didn't even feel like we had spent 2 hours with her! Lynn was amazing, her personality clicked with all 3 of us. She showed us a ton of pictures and albums and books.

Knowing that we were already booked at the Tribute, she pulled up past weddings that she has shot there, as well as an album from the wedding that she shot which was published in the Knot Texas magazine. She kept it real with us, telling (and showing) us that her skills have evolved during her past 12 years of shooting. She gave us a tour of her house which included a home studio as well as a couple rooms dedicated to her boudoir photography. We walked out of her house knowing, really knowing, that she was the one to photograph our wedding!!

When planning, did you ever change your mind after being set on another vendor?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Save The Date Mock Ups

We decided that we'll send out save the dates (STD) since a decent percentage of our guests are out of town. I previouly mentioned the magnet that Mr. E designed for our STDs and now I'll show the mock of the card that we will be sending it in.

It's pretty simple, using the same scrapbook paper that we're using for all of our signs around the reception. The card is made from 12x12 blue cardstock cut in half. I trimmed the width from 6 inches to 5 and 1/4. The matting under the text comes from the same 12x12 green cardstock that created a mission for me when doing the mock up of our invites. I measured the 3 different mattings and found that I could fit 2 cards worth on one sheet of 12x12. I made tracers to make it faster to trace and then cut out.

Tracing and cutting these bad boys took some time. After the hard part of tracing and cutting all that was left was to glue down the text parts and then cut little slits for the magnet.
Here's the front with our monogram designed by Mr. E:

And here's the inside. On the left will be the hotel information for our guests. The right holds the magnet and a our website information.


Of course after making these I remembered that postage costs more for square invites, but I like them too much to change them - at least for right now. Talk to me again after we have to shell out the extra money to the post office lol :)

Did postage have any factor in the shape of your save the dates or invites?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I haven't decided if the length of our engagement is going to be good or bad when it comes to changes....

Originally we we're planning to do a buffet and a candy bar. Chris and I got to thinking about a splurge that would make our wedding memorable and looked into a photobooth. The photobooth holds a special meaning for us since it was the first pictures we took together and that strip still hangs on fridge. All of these things would be wonderful, if it weren't for the size of our venue. It's not the biggest venue (which isn't bad because we're looking to keep the guest list between 125 and 150) and when we stopped off at their bridal open house this past Sunday, I really took note of the size. Looking around as the room was partially set up for a reception made me realize that there's really not a way to fit the buffet, candy bar and photobooth in that room. I emailed our planner on her thoughts and she said we would either need to go to seated dinner (a little too stuffy for our taste) or move the candy bar into the foyer area. I feel that moving it out there will result in less people going to it, and therefore leaving us with a lot of candy to take home.

Chris and I talked and we decided that the photobooth (if we can squeeze it into the budget) would be way more fun then the candy bar and would be a lasting memory that people can take home with them. If we still wanted to do something edible, we could always box up a little chocolate or cookies (we really love cookies) and leave it at each place setting for people to take home. The more I thought about this, the more I liked it. This way we could also add a little more blue and green to the tables without jacking up the flower budget. One of my bridesmaids Corinne totally agreed. As she put it, the candy bar and photobooth would be spending too much on the guests (although she loves her some sweets). The small package on the table would suffice and still allow us to use our monogram stickers or luggage tag thank you ideas.

On a side note, at the bridal open house there was a centerpiece idea that I fell in love with (and it didn't hurt that it was in one of our colors). What do you think?

I like that it gives height to the tables, and we could supplie the stones and smaller vases ourselves if it saves on the floral budget. Our venue supplies for free votive and tea lights in our package.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What you can do with a little time and effort

This weekend I tackled the pomander project. Mr. E's niece, who will be 3 by the time the wedding rolls around, will hopefully be our flower girl (depending on her comfortable level with crowds) and I thought that a pomander would be perfect for her to carry down the aisle. Pomander made out of real flowers can be quite costly, and with a 3 year old I highly doubt the real flowers would make it through the day so I decided that fake flowers would be the way to go.

I collected my supplies over 2 days, and technically 4 stores (gotta make use out of the 50% off coupons that we had at Michael's). I picked up the following items:
5 in foam ball = $4.50
3 clearance stems of blue hydrangea at Michael's summer sale, $1 each = $3
2 stems of light green flowers (only used one, so I'll be returning the other) = $1.50
Mini glue gun (50% off coupon) = $1.50
18 mini glue sticks = $3
3 stems of blue hydrangea at Hobby Lobby $5.99 each (sale for 50% off) = $9
Ribbon left over from invitation mock up = Free

Total = $22.50 plus tax. Could have been cheaper if I borrowed Mama Elephant's glue gun and sticks, but I was too lazy to drive all the way to her house lol.

After picking up the $1 stems at Michael's I went to 2 other stores trying to find more, and sadly they were all sold out. I knew the 3 I had wouldn't fill the ball, so I stopped at Hobby Lobby and bought 3 there. Thankfully they were very close in color, and 50% off was better than the normal $5.99 per stem.

I started the project by pushing a hole through the middle of the foam ball with a screwdriver… too bad our screwdriver wasn't long enough to make it through the whole ball (my bad) so I went back with a long paint brush and completed the hole throughout the ball. I pushed the ribbon into the whole, doubled over so that our flower girl will be able to hold it. I didn't want any ribbon showing at the bottom so I tied a knot on the bottom, and then cut off the excess.

Once the ribbon was secured, I could start on the hydrangeas. I cut off each petal, leaving a little bit of stem in order to stick it into the foam ball.

I punched a little hole with the end of a paint brush, would fill it with a little hot glue and then stuck the stem in. I continued this process working my way around and down the ball. This took about 5 and a half stems worth of hydrangeas, and I had already cut off the other half so I went back and filled in any little space of white I could find. After the hydrangeas were attached, I sporadically went around and glued the little green flowers to give a little contrast to the dark blue.

This wasn't a fast project, but I did finish it in one sitting of He's Just Not That Into You on DVD. I love how it turned out and am tempted to do something similar for our aisle, but may go the cheaper route and do tissue paper instead of silk flowers.

After looking at it, and considering the height of Mr. E's niece, I'm probably going to shorten the ribbon before the wedding day.

Did you use silk flowers for any of your wedding projects?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

In it for the long haul

Well we're only 4 months into our 25 month engagement and I feel like I've hit a lull. I'm still super excited about the wedding and planning, but I feel that I've done all the mock ups for the DIY paper goods that we plan on doing. Now that I'm happy with the "final drafts" I don’t really have anything to do until the time gets closer to actually start assembling and mailing out the save the dates, which we can't do until we take our engagement photos... which kinda requires us to book our photographer, LOL. There are some things that I could work on, like the silk flower pomander for Chris' niece (probably going to do that this weekend & check out Hobby Lobby since their stems are 50% off) but I don't really feel like I'm in the rush to get it done. And why should I be? We still have well over a year to complete things.

Maybe I will get some good ideas from the Modern Bride magazine that should be coming in the mail soon. Thanks to my amazing MOH, Kristen I will now have a subscription to Modern Bride to help me out during this long engagement! I thought it was so sweet of her to do that for me! It's little things like that that show you how wonderful your friends/bridal party are.

Speaking of bridal party, one of my bridesmaids (BM) Colby has found a really great site for BM dresses! She took the time to go through a lot of dresses and send me links of styles to get my opinion on them. I'm so grateful that she's already looking into this because it's one less thing that we will be able to check off the list. As I told my BMs, I want them to feel pretty on the big day, and where what looks good on them. So the only requirements that I have for the dresses are that they are all the same length and the same shade of blue… other than that, it'll be up to them to pick the style that they love the most. We're thinking of adding the green into their attire by adding a green sash, or a green necklace. We'll also probably have green and yellow mixed in their blue flowers.