Monday, November 30, 2009

Sand Ceremony Set Up

As you may remember in the last post on the sand ceremony DIY project, I was one short on the crystals for the sand cermony vases.

After hitting up Michael’s once again, I picked up the extra crystals I needed to finish the vases for the sand ceremony. I combined the sand vases with the extra pomander I made and some blue and green marbles and here you have our simple and cute sand ceremony set up.

I like that the pomander adds a little more color & carries on the DIY floral theme from the aisle. All that we need is the green and blue sand!

Anyone else out there doing a sand ceremony?  What other ideas are you using in place of the unity candle?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

My dad last Thanksgiving with Gypsy and my aunt's dog Taylor

I hope everyone gets to enjoy this day with those that they are thankful for. I know that after marriage (or possibly before) couples tend to have to split the holidays between their respective parents/families. I really lucked out because Chris' family doesn't really celebrate the holidays, so we spend them with my family.

Do you have to split holidays between your families? If so how do you decide which holiday you spend with which set of parents?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wedding Playlist

I’m actually jammin’ out to my wedding playlist on my iPod as I write this post (at work, shhh! don’t tell). Yep, I’m at work the day before Thanksgiving, but I will be taking Friday off so it’s all good. I’m lucky to have a job where I can listen to my iPod for the majority of the work day, with the exceptions of meetings and conference calls here and there. So after getting engaged...scratch that, let’s not lie, I created this playlist months before Chris proposed. It contains some songs that are must plays at the weddings, and some other songs that just make me think of love (but don’t need to be played at the wedding). Our next vendor search will be the DJ so I thought a post about wedding music would be appropriate.

I’ve read that it’s best to not give your DJ a long list of songs that need to be played. That they, if they are a good, quality DJ, will know what to play to get the crowd on the dance floor. We will create a short list of songs that we DO NOT want played (which we haven’t’ thought of yet) just to make sure that songs like the chicken dance don’t make it into our reception. Not that I have anything against the chicken dance, but I think it’s better suited for a younger (much younger) crowd.

Although we won’t have a full list of songs to give our DJ, I think a sample set of songs would be wise when meeting with potential vendors. This way the DJ can get an idea of the types of songs/genres that we like and base the reception music around that.

What is currently on my wedding playlist you ask? Well it starts out with first dance song “Good Morning Beautiful” by Steve Holy.

This song came to mind when we first began dating. Since Chris and I lived in different cities, we communicated mainly through emails and texts. It would always make my day when Chris would start the day off with “good morning beautiful”, and after listening to the words of the song I knew it would be perfect for our first dance as husband and wife.

Some other songs on the playlist include songs that we will be using for certain parts of the reception:
- It Takes Two by Rob Base (for the bridal party entrance)
- The Take Over, the Breaks Over by Fall Out Boy (for the bride and groom entrance)
- Unforgettable by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole (for the father /daughter dance)
- Your Still the One by Shania Twain (for the anniversary dance)

Some songs that we want played randomly during the dancing:
- Dollar Wine by Colin Lucas (for my dad who was born in Trinidad and Tobago where steel drums were originated)
- Get Low by Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz (a shout out to my college roomies who are both in the bridal party)
- September by Earth, Wind & Fire (who doesn’t love that song?)
- Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot (cause, it’s true, I got back)
- Celebration by Kool & The Gang (these types of songs will get the older crowd out on the dance floor)

And other songs that just make me think of love:
- I’m Yours by Jason Marz (which may be our last private dance while the guest line up for the send off)
- Kiss From A Rose by Seal
- Real Love by Regina Spektor
- Baby Love by Nicole Scherzinger
- 1,2,3,4 by the Plain White Ts
- Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
- Love You I Do by Jennifer Hudson
- Spend My Life With You by Eric Benet
- Everything by Michle Buble

I can’t wait to party it up on the dance floor!

What type of music are you planning on having played at your wedding?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sand Ceremony Vases

With an outdoor ceremony, it would be pretty stupid to try and do a unity candle, so we went with the norm and decided to do a sand ceremony. I picked out 3 vases during a sale at Michael’s for our sand ceremony. I also picked up some crystals that were on sale to decorate the vases for a little personal touch.

I’m not the craftiest person, so I had no clue what the difference was between “hotfix” and “flat back” crystals. I later found out on the Knot DIY board that the hotfix will create a type of adhesive when heated. I attempted to heat them using the embossing gun, but I heated my fingers/tweezers more than the back of the crystal. It did heat up enough to stick, but it didn’t look like it would stay. Maybe it would set after cooling and stick? Well I figured that super glue would do the trick, so I got to work super gluing tiny crystals in the shape of our initials onto the vases.

I made it through the “L” (the beginning letter of my first name) with blue crystals and almost all the way through the “C” (the beginning letter of Mr. E's first name) before realizing that I would run out of green crystals. I was 1 (ONE) little crystal short!

So I’ll be heading back to Michael’s to pick up another pack of crystals to finish the C. Since it comes in a pack of 42, I’ll have to find something else to do with the remaining 41, lol.

Did you ever run out of material while working on a DIY project?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Engagement Story, Part II

That morning, Sunday, March 29, 2009, Mr. E said he had to go into work a couple of hours, which isn’t weird since he does work on weekends the majority of the time. I did think that it was weird that he was going to work in jeans and a t-shirt since he normally wears dress pants and button down shirts, but he explained that he was just cleaning up some stuff in the back room so customers wouldn’t see him. I noticed that he was taking a roll of wrapping paper and his carry on bag with him, so I asked if he was going to wrap my anniversary gift while he was at work and he said yes. So off he went, and I continued with my normal Sunday routine

He returned from work, we got ready and met our parents over at the steakhouse.

We had a wonderful meal and before dessert (which was a surprise for Mama Elephant since her birthday was 2 days later) we decided to exchange gifts. I went first, and gave him a card and his gift which was an iPod touch, iTunes gift cards and a case.

Now it was my turn, and I was super excited to see what this “big surprise” was he kept talking about. The first package was the iPod armband that I had hinted out for working out. Next was a very thoughtful scrapbook he had secretly made (with pictures from my laptop) of our two years together. I cried when I got to the last page with was a love letter about how I have changed his life and to get ready for the adventures on the high seas (which I didn’t get at the point, but later would when he explained that he intended to give me the book on the cruise).

For the last box, Mr. E told me I would need to stand up, by this time I knew what was happening and couldn’t stop crying (I’m getting teary eyed as I write this).

He helped me open the box, which contained a custom soup can (to go with our running joke of him getting me soup for Christmas) with a label with his last name that read “Asked your Dad and he said yes, asked your Mom and she said yes, asked my parents and they said yes, asked Aunt Bunny and she said yes. Now I'm asking you....."

He dropped down on one knee and said "I'm going to make this easy on you, will you marry me?" With tears in my eyes, I said "Yes!"

I hope I can prevent that ugly cry face at the wedding

We celebrated with champagne and dessert with our parents, and then made a LOT of calls to friends to share the great news!

We actually drove over to our friends BM Aggie & Groomsman Runner’s house to celebrate with them and ask them in person to be in our bridal party. It was a wonderful night that I will never forget!

I'll have to get better at those ring shots

Was your engagement in front of strangers?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Engagement Story, Part I

I haven’t gone into detail about the night that Mr. Elephant proposed, but I know that’s always a fun story for me to read when it comes to other people’s engagements. So here’s our story:

About 6 months into our relationship, Mr. E and I started talking about marriage and our future together. It was never very deep conversations early on, just comments here and there about our wedding, a house and later on kids. As we got closer to our 2 year mark we started talking about it more seriously. We stopped by jewelry stores while in the mall to look at different types of rings that I liked so he would have an idea when it came to picking out mine. We noticed things at our friends weddings that we would want to do in our own.

I thought that he might surprise me for Christmas of 2008 with a proposal, but it didn’t come. I believed him later when he said he wouldn’t do it on a holiday because that was not him, so the thought never crossed my mind as Valentine’s Day 2009 came and went. I figured it would come when he was ready and that by not getting my hopes up, I wouldn’t be disappointed.

Fast forward to the end of March 2009. My dad was still working on assignment in Atlanta and was coming back to Texas for a visit. Since Mr. E’s parents wanted to eat with my parents again, we thought that it would be a good time to do so. Since our 2 year anniversary would be the day after we got back from our big trip to DisneyWorld followed by my family reunion 7 day cruise, we decided that we would exchange our gifts for each other at the dinner. I figured that it would be to some normal restaurant like their last meeting at Red Lobster, but Mr. E suggested the Rafrain Brazilian steakhouse where I took him for his birthday the year before.

The first parents meeting at Red Lobster

I thought wow, that’s kinda fancy for a parent meeting, but ok if you want to. We had just recently purchased a new suit for Mr. E for the cruise we would be going on in April, and he suggested dressing up so that he could “break in his new suit”. Hmmm, dressing up for dinner? Dare I get my hopes up again? Would this be it???

Did you have a clue that your proposal was coming?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hair up do or don’t?

I’ve been to a couple of dances/functions in high school and college where I felt special enough to warrant an up do for my hair.

That’s me, BM Cali, and MOH Navy in our living room before ring dance our senior year at A&M.

When thinking about how I want to do my hair for the big day, I first thought of another up do, but decided that I wanted to try something a little bit different, with maybe a little less hair spray.

I have seen a lot of pictures online and in magazines of the hair flower, and I thought that would look so great with my dark hair!

The style of hair that I think best showcases the hair flower is the low side ponytail/bun.

I don’t think my hair will be long enough for the low bun by the time of the wedding, so I’ll probably be getting extensions just to add enough length for the perfect bun.

Will you be wearing your hair up or down or a combination of both?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Take Over...

The title of this post can actually refer to 2 wedding related points for us.

The first is in reference to the Fall Out Boy song “The Take Over, the Breaks Over” which Chris and I are highly considering for our entrance into the reception.

We went out to eat at a great seafood restaurant and then to the Fall Out Boy concert on our 6 month dating anniversary. I know, I know a little cheesy that we celebrated that, but that was a pretty big deal for me seeing that my longest relationship before Chris was only 4 months. We both really like this song, and that beginning just makes me wanna rock out. I know it’s not a very traditional entrance song, but it’s us and I think that’s more important then going with some generic “Let’s get the party started” type of song, don’t you think?

The second reference is to the current status of our dinning room. I feel as though the wedding DIY stuff has taken over our dinning room and I’m not sure when we’ll get it back!
As you can see in the picture the table is covered with cut scrapbook paper (for the invitations and save the dates), stamping and embossing material, hot glue gun, my planning binder, wedding magazines, & signage while the floor houses baskets (for flip flops, programs and the send off bubbles), frames for the card box that Chris is going to make, and more! In the event that we actually want to host a dinner (which we have a couple of times in the past), we would need to stash this stuff in the guest room. While I love looking at all of these wedding goodies, I think my next move is to clean out some space in the guest room closet, which currently holds a bunch of my clothes that wouldn’t fit in our closest. In all honesty, I haven’t worn those clothes in forever, so it would probably be best to just pack it up and give it to the Salvation Army.

Where are you storing all of your DIY goodness before the wedding?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Doggie (Wedding) Day Care

And now for a post dedicated to the other member of the Elephant household, my dog.  Gypsy is a 7 year old (we think) little mix of a Chihuahua and rat terrier (again, we think) that I adopted from a local animal shelter over 4 years ago. She is the first pet in my family other then fish, hermit crabs and hamsters and is truly loved by me, my parents and brother (and I think Mr. E as well, although he won’t always admit it). They are all willing to look after Gypsy if I’m ever out of town for work, and usually spoil her while they have her. She has even made it into all Christmas pictures since Mr. E & I started dating.

Christmas 2007

 Christmas 2008

Christmas 2009

I’ve seen pictures of weddings online that have incorporated their beloved pets in one way or another - from save the dates to table numbers to even walking down the aisle and being a part of the big day.

Mrs. Lobster and her cute pup 

I love these pictures and I love Gypsy, but walking down the aisle at the wedding will most likely be too much for her to handle. Gypsy isn’t the biggest fan of crowds, which may be a result of her pre-shelter life. When people are hugging, she thinks that they are hurting each other and barks out in protest.  I also don't think our venue allows pets since it is an active golf course.

For these reasons, as well as others, Gypsy will be enjoying the comforts of the Pet Hotel during the wedding weekend. We’ll drop her off before all the hustle and bustle begins on Friday, and my parents will pick her back up once the guests leave on Sunday and watch her while we take our minimoon. I think that this is the best option for Gypsy because the staff will be able to give her the attention that I know she wouldn’t get while we deal with the last minute details and then enjoy the actual wedding.

Don't even think about taking my lamb from me

I would be so much better off if that bone wasn't in plastic

Will you be incorporating your dog (or pet) into your wedding? Or will you be boarding them?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Controversial wedding planning

On our local 106.1 Kidd Kraddick in the morning radio talk show this week (well local to us in Dallas, but is syndicated across the states, so maybe you heard it in your neck of the woods) they spoke with a bride who has set up a website called “” in hopes to get donations to hold the wedding of her dreams.

“I made this webpage because Jamie [the groom] has a lot of the financial responsibly. And he wants to marry me so bad but there is just no way financially for us it’s possible. We barley make it as it is and I just thought it would be nice if people could help me do this for him and I”
This is a topic that people could lean either way on, but for me, I’m leaning towards the “against it” side. This is only my opinion so feel free to come to your own conclusion.

Now don’t think I’m a mean spirited person, I am totally for (and normally watch and cry) at shows like Extreme Home Makeover and the short lived Wedding Day show that was on TNT.

These shows pick people who are very deserving of the help that they get. We’ll take one of the first episodes of Wedding Day for example. The bride and groom planned their wedding and then a couple of days before the wedding he was in a bad car accident and ended up in the hospital. They, of course, postponed the wedding and lost out on a lot of their deposits. Add in the costs of hospital bills, they just weren’t able to afford to put together another wedding. Their friends and family nominated them for the show, and even did the majority of the setting up for the wedding which was put on by the show and their sponsors. It was a heart warming moment.

Unlike that deserving couple, the girl who runs the website asking for donations for her dream wedding hasn’t really fallen on any harder times then everyone else in the current economy. I feel for her since she is in the middle of a lawsuit with a company for sexual harassment (according to the website) and that she can not find another job because of that. In all honesty I’m pretty sure that she could get a fast food or retail job while going through the lawsuit. It may not be a dream job, but it would put food on the table for herself and her daughter. Her fiancĂ© lost his construction job, but took a job as a waiter to pay the bills, why couldn’t she?

She states on her website that “We want to get married more than anything in the world and I'm sure there are better things we can use the money on but the way we see it, bills will always come, it will always be hard.” To which I want to respond that “to get married” does not require a lot of money – go to the JOP and get married. There is a big financial difference between getting married and having a wedding. The wedding is just a big party to celebrate with your friends and family. If they want to get married so badly, there is nothing stopping them from legally getting married at the JOP. They could always do that, and save up money to throw a big party to celebrate at a later time.

I guess the reason that this irks me is because I know that money does not grow on trees. I am not one of those fortunate brides that have their parents pay for their entire wedding. I am extremely fortunate (and I thank my lucky stars) that my parents have offered to pay for half of the wedding, which is more then what other engaged couples can say who are paying for their wedding themselves. I plan on having my dream wedding, but it’s not going to come easy. First off we are having a 2 year, that’s right 2 year engagement so we can save up for the wedding and pay for it in cash. Does it bother me at times when people get engaged after me and get married before me? Just a little, but I know that I’m doing this for our wedding (although I know that Chris would be just fine with the JOP wedding LOL, he loves me and wants me to have my special day).

I know that we could have a small ceremony and just be married, but I want that dream wedding and I’m going to work my butt off to get it. I love my parents and Chris for all pitching in financially to make this dream wedding come true. Our dream wedding will happen because we all are going to work hard and save to do it, not because we asked for a hand out. I honestly think that we will appreciate the wedding day that much more since we know how much we had to go through to make it a reality.

You can read her story at “” and also see all of the “donations” she already appears to have for her wedding. I wish her luck, but will not be making any form of contribution.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Is there anyone else has ever seen H20 and thinks of the 20th anniversary Halloween movie with Josh Hartnett and Michelle Williams? Yes? No? hmmm maybe I'm the only strange one…

While searching the web for other touches that we could add to personalize our wedding, I came across DIY water bottle labels. I thought this would be an easy project that could be utilized with our OOT boxes as well as drinks in the suite while we’re getting ready.

I found a wonderful template from another Knottie and changed it around with our colors and fonts that I liked. I did the mock ups with empty water bottles, regular printer paper and some tape. I used my cutter (definitely worth the $30 I spent on it) to cut the labels and then simply taped them on the bottles.

There are a few changes that I will be making when we do it for real. I’m going to order full sheets of water proof labels online, that way the ink won’t run with condensation. It will also cut down on the use of tape. The other change will be the bottles. For the mock up I used water bottles from Costco, which have some indentations on the bottle (similar to the Ozarka bottles that are saving on plastic). For the real deal we’ll use bottle that are straight all the way down, which makes it easier for the label to lay flat.

Are there any little personalized touches that you will be doing for your wedding?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Addicted, maybe?

I have found myself slightly addicted to Weddingbee lately. Ok I’ll go ahead and admit it [stands up in front of crowd] My name is Lauren and I am addicted to Weddingbee.

I can thank the DFW Knot boards for leading to my addiction, when one of the knotties posted about being a featured blogger for her wedding. I clicked over and have never left. Weddingbee has become my wedding planning drug over the past couple of months and I am sure it will continue to keep me hooked during the next year and a half of planning, and probably even after our wedding date has passed! I love reading about the planning process from brides across the globe, with different cultural elements, different budgets and different themes.

After I caught up with all of the current Miss bloggers, I ventured into the archives of Mrs. bloggers and have the benefit of incorporating some of their ideas into our wedding. One of the recent inspiration DIY projects that I bookmarked was table squares.

Table squares made by Mrs. Stilletto (source)

These would be a great way to add some color to the white linens that are included in our reception package at the Tribute. Now, I am no sewer, in fact I think the only thing that I have attempted to sew was a pillow project in middle school for our Life Management class. Thankfully the pattern was pretty easy to follow and all of the shapes were pre cut for me.

While I don’t have the sewing skills of some other DIY bees, I do have some connections. My dad is pretty handy with a needle and thread, and probably even better with a sewing machine. In elementary school he sewed a Pocahontas costume for me one Halloween. That costume saw a lot of action as I wore it again in middle school, and even let a friend borrow it for a school project. I believe it still hangs in the back of my closet at my parents house, but since I moved out and mom’s overflow of clothes have taken over my closet I don’t know if I’ll ever see that again. My other sewing connection is my FMIL. Chris’ mom (along with pretty much his entire family) is super talented and creative; you may remember the quilt that she made out of my old college shirts.

The table squares would be a perfect way to showcase FMIL’s talents as well as include her in a part of the wedding planning. I’ll be checking out Joann’s fabrics (with a coupon of course) for blue & green fabric and take it over to her house for a trial run. If it turns out well (which I have no doubt it will with FMIL’s mad skills) then I’ll ask her to make enough to outfit all of our reception tables. The best part is that after the wedding, I’ll make sure that the planner collects all of the table squares and get them to FMIL to make into a quilt and /or pillows. This was we’ll be able to keep a part of our centerpieces with us forever!

Are there any family connections that you’ll use to help you with DIY projects?