Wednesday, August 25, 2010

That's Me - The Bee!!!

Yay!  I have now officially been introduced to the Weddingbee world!

Go check out this awesome site! Weddingbee

Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm so excited! I'm so excited!

Hey there Hive, or as they say on the campus of my Alma mater "Howdy!" Any other Aggies out there? I know you are Miss Cardigan :)

I don't think words can express how incredibly excited I am to be the newest Bee blogger!  I was in the middle of 5 work conference calls on a Friday (who schedules meetings on Fridays?!?!) when I checked my iPhone and saw the welcome email from Mrs. Penguin.  I seriously jumped around our apartment (yes, you read that right.  I lucked into a job where I can often work from home) for 15 minutes before beginning the calls to Mama Elephant, Mr. E & my bridesmaids. 

So who are the Elephants? 

Cruise 2009 right after our engagement

Mr. Elephant and I are another success story.  We started emailing each other in March 2007, went on our first date one month later and haven't looked back.  I work in the financial world while Mr. E is doing double duty as a retail store manager while going to school to finish up his IT degree.  We live together with my little rescue dog Gypsy, and are planning and paying for (with the help of my parents) our big day.


Why Miss Elephant?  I had a minor obsession with elephants back in elementary school.  In fact one of our school assignments was to write a report on an animal.  The best report for each animal won a paper mache version of it.  Guess who won the elephant?  Yep, yours truly.

The icon is super cute and blue which happens to be one of our wedding colors. I've may have also mimicked elephants once or twice on vacation.

In Vegas 2008

I can't wait to catch you all up on the planning good times I've had in the past year and a half and share the remaining time of our 25 month journey with you!

Spicing up the bridal attire

Although pearls seem to be the quintessential go to in the wedding jewelry category, they really aren't my style. I gravitated to jewelry with a little more sparkle for the wedding. I also wanted to bring in some blue to go with the wedding colors and my shoes (and yes I realize that not many people are going to be looking from my neck to my feet, but just go with it :P).

Mom Elephant, Aunt Bunny and I have all checked out some sapphire and diamond (or crystal cause really diamonds may be a little out of the budget for wedding day jewelry) options online similar to these.

When we went to the store to pick up my veil that my mother so wonderfully purchased for me (more on that later!), we decided to check out some of the necklaces and earrings at the counter. I didn't plan on purchasing anything there, but of course found a pair of earrings that I fell in love with! With the 15% off discount of everything in the store (since I purchase my wedding dress there) I went ahead and picked them up.

Love them! Now the challenge is to find a necklace that will go with these beauties. I tried on one necklace at the store that was gorgeous, but maybe a little out of budget at $300??

Sorry for the iPhone Pic (don't mind the hair, just came from the March of Dimes walk)

I decided that I would wait to see if it went with my dress, as in not take away from the dress. We shall see when the dress comes in!

Did you go with jewelry other then pearls for your weddings?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A little taste of my Philly roots

In West Philadelphia, born and raised
On the playground was where I spent most of my days
Chillin out, maxin, relaxin all cool
And all shooting some b-ball outside of the school

Truth be told I was really raised in a suburb a good 26 miles outside of Philly, but we all know it's easier to just say the largest "big city".  Now that I have Fresh Prince playing in your head, join me as I reminisce about my Philly childhood.

In 2008 Mama elephant’s family reunion was back in her hometown in New Jersey, and Mr. E came along for his first meeting of my crazy, awesome extended family. We all flew out a couple days early so we could experience Philly before heading to Jersey. We saw Independence Hall….

…We toured the liberty bell center…

…checked out Betsy Ross’ house…

…traveled down Elfain’s Alley…

….and enjoyed lunch at Pat’s… we love our cheesesteaks!

After our family barbeque in Lawnside, NJ, we spent the weekend down the shore at Atlantic City.

Before returning to the airport, we hit up Pathmark and loaded our carry on suitcases with treats you can only find on the East coast including scrapple, pork roll and tastykakes. Mr. E and I bought home 6 boxes each and those things were gone in no time!

While reading Mrs. Cupcake’s recaps on Weddingbee I became a little jealous of her late night reception snack of tastykakes and milk.

Mrs. Cupcakes Tastykakes (source)

I showed Mr. E the pictures and he was all for the idea of getting some for our reception. The difficult part is, of course they don’t sell them in Texas. :(

But there may be hope! BM Philly still lives on the east coast as does her mom (who will be a reader at our wedding) and some of my mom's family members. We’re planning on asking them to buy out a couple of stores worth of tastycakes the week of the wedding and then ship them to my mom. If the plan works, our Texas friends and families would be able to enjoy a little piece of my home.

Was there anything that you brought in to your reception that reminded you of home?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Open Bar Debate

One of the first wedding questions among my group of college friends seems to be “Is there going to be an open bar?” I’ve been to receptions that range in the bar department from cash bar to kegs to open bars to only wine to only punch.

Our venue has a pub attached to the ballroom, and offers various packages when it comes to the drink menu.

The Tribute Pub (Source)

If we could there wouldn’t be a second thought about an open bar for the entire night! But it just isn't in the cards for us with our budget.  We decided to go with a package that includes Sparkling fruit punch, Champagne toast, Coffee, Tea, soda, draft beer and 4 wines. We will be spending extra per person to open all the taps of beer, so there will be a variety. Guests will be able to purchase hard liquor if they really need it.  Depending on our final head count, we are leaning towards adding a signature drink or two.

I know this can be a touchy subject on the boards, but what are your thoughts on alcohol at the reception?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

OH MY BLOG Award - Thank You Sarah!

I'm going to be honest with you I've never heard of blog awards, but I am so excited that I was mentioned in a fellow follower's blog!  Thank you so much Sarah (better known as Ms. Teacher)!

A) Get very excited that you got the coolest award EVER!

B) To accept the OMB Award, choose ONE of the following options:

1.Get very drunk and blog for 15 minutes straight. (or for as long as you can focus)
2.Write a "Soundtrack of your childhood" post.

3.Make your next blog post a video blog. (talk to the camera about anything)

4.Take a picture of yourself first thing in the morning, before you do anything else (hair, make up, etc) and post it. (Well you pretty much saw my non make up face in this post, so I don't wan to cheat you there)
5.Write about your most embarrassing moment.

I'll take the lesser of evils and go with the embarrassing moment.

In college, MOH Kristen and I were a part of a co-ed business fraternity.  During our last semester Kristen and I decided to interview (and were selected) to be Pledge Trainers.  One of the first big tasks as Pledge Trainers was to organize Pledge retreat, where all the new pledges get to meet each other, complete team bonding exercises, and learn more about the fraternity and the business world.

MOH Kristen and I next to the banner for the new pledges

After a day full of team events and a cook out, the pledges are asked to preform skits.  Once they have completed them, they can tell their mentors to preform a skit.  In the end the mentors and other executive board members get to pick a skit/dare for the pledge trainers to do.  Normally they just make them dance to some random song, but oh no... not for Kristen and I.  They decided that we needed to eat a muffin off of the (hairy) chest of our friend/Exec board member.

Don't let that smile fool you, I was not excited about it.  But we did it like the champs that we are! That remains one of the many embarrassing but funny memories I have from college.

C) Pass the award on to at least three other awesome bloggers.
1. Miss Puppy Love - I love reading your blog!  Your DIY projects are great and I love how you think of ways to give back with your wedding.

2. Eleven Cubed - Your are so honest in your planning, I can't wait to see it all come together.

3. Sara with Olive Weddings - I have followed your blog for a while because I love reading about other brides that are getting married around the same time we are.  Your projects and spring ideas are amazing!

A gamer's piece of cake

Well we can't leave all the cool cake inspiration just to the "bride's" cake!

Down South it's pretty much tradition to have a groom's cake, normally shaped as an interest of the groom's. From sports teams, to colleges, to hobbies - groom's cakes can be a fun way to spotlight the groom.

Here are a couple of the awesome groom's cakes my friends have showcased at their weddings:

Deep in the heart of Texas

Texas A&M - Gig 'Em Aggies

Texas A&M with a side of golf

I'm told this has something to do with the game WoW

Favorite Sports Teams

Beer Pong and a little Wii Bride & Groom

(All Personal Photos)

It didn't take too long to figure out what our inspiration for Mr. E's cake would be. Mr. E is a gamer. Not just your average one system gamer... we have a Wii, Playstation 3, XBox 360 and 2 Nintendo DSs in our household. Yeah, I would say we have almost all gaming options covered.

We decided on the XBox 360 since that was Mr. E's favorite, and appears to be something very easy to shape out of a cake. It wasn't too hard to find some awesome inspiration pictures online, now we just have to find a baker that can bring it to life.

Will you have a groom's cake at your wedding? If so what will it look like?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Traveling Table Names

To go along with our boarding pass escort cards, our tables will be named (instead of numbered) after places that we have traveled to together.

Back in the day, I mentioned my first mock ups and the little changes I made to (hopefully) not make it look like a 2nd grade school project. With some free time the other night, I decided to go ahead and finish the project.

I used the same blue and green cardstock that we're using for all other paper products and made use of the linen paper I ordered by mistake.  I printed out the names of the destinations and glued them to green and blue mats, making use of scrap paper from other projects.

Since the cardstock wasn't as thick as I would like and I was afraid that the table name card wouldn't stand straight, I attached thick white cardstock to the back of the colored pieces.  I cut it down to 8" x 6" and rounded the corners for a polished look.

A little more glue for the pictures of us at each destination and the city names and we were good to go!

Be sure to have full coverage when using the spray adhesive so it doesn't get on the edge of your coffee table.  Not that it happened to me, but a friend of a friend mentioned it (wink, wink).

I'm still trying to decide on how to display these.  Either with photo clips similar to these:

Or little table stands like the ones used by Mrs. Gloss in her Nautical wedding.

Photos in her recaps by photographers Erica Lyn Photography and &Unlimited

How did you number or name your tables?  Did you see any destinations in my table names that you have traveled to?  Do you like the photo clips or stands better? I'm just full of questions today :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The B Word

One of the most dreaded words in wedding planning is probably the budget. Just think of all the amazing things you could have if there was no budget involved?

The number one reason for our 25 month engagement was the budget. Mr. E and I (maybe a little more me then Mr. E) had some ideas of what we wanted in our big day, and with our guest list closer to 150 there was no way that we could afford it in one year.

I'm not gonna lie, after the newness of getting engaged wore off, I was stressed beyond belief with the cost of a wedding.  Mr. E was amazing, sat me down with an excel spreadsheet which helped to show me that we could afford the wedding we want if we just take an extra year to save. We both agreed from the get go that there was no reason to be left with wedding debt after the big day.

The budget breakdown is almost 50/50 between my parents and Mr. E & me, with some potential help from his parents for the rehearsal dinner. By the time it's said and done we'll probably end up a little over the average for our area.

I do sometimes think of all the things we could do with that money (pay off student loans, put a nice down payment on a house) but in the end I know that this day is going to be something we will never forget. We're putting in a little bit every month and it doesn't seem like a huge amount, but it definitely adds up, which is great! (Added bonus with tax returns and annual work bonuses.)

I feel that we have done so much more research when it comes to vendors and determining what is and isn't important to us, because it is our hard earned money that we're spending. That includes many a night spent googling vendors on my laptop.

I am so very fortunate to be able to have so much financial support from mom & dad Elephant because I know that it's not that way for everyone. The amazing part about my parents' financial help is that it doesn't come with a "it's my money so I have a say in how you spend it" type thing. We discuss all of the vendors with my parents, (with Mama Elephant going to vendor meetings with me) but in the end they are happy with whoever we choose. Love you mom and dad!!

Dad & Mom Elephant, me & Mr. E on our cruise in 2009

Did you help pay for your wedding? Did spending your own money make you think long and hard about what you were spending it on?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I've said it before, and I'll probably say it again - this long engagement allows for many changes to be made.

I know that I have not shared our invites yet, but we are still making a couple of changes to them.  Trust me, you'll be the first to know when they are done! How about I make you a deal?  I'll share one piece with you today to hold you over until the big reveal? Deal?  Great!

We decided to do RSVP postcards to save some money, and ordered them from Vistaprint. Well after getting our engagement pictures back, I found an excuse to order new RSVP cards!

Here are the previous RSVP postcards...

Nice, but a little boring

...and here are the new ones!

Now you can't tell me the new ones don't look super cool! The front of the RSVP includes one of my favorite pictures from our engagement shoot, and our address. The back indicates that there are 2 seats reserved for the guests (no trying to add on people!), and gives a little extra space for words of advice.

While I was at it (Vista Print was having a decent sale, no upload fee, no color fee, free post cards) I ordered some Thank You cards as well, using a picture from our engagement shoot. These will be for any gifts that we get before the wedding. The plan is to take pictures at the wedding, holding either a thank you sign or parasol, and use that for gifts received at the wedding and after.

Did you make changes during your engagement period, after thinking you were done with a project? Did you use engagement pictures for any DIY projects?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bridal Buys

Are you an impulse buyer?  I know there have been times when I see something and feel the need to buy it.  I just can't help it sometimes!

While looking for a dress with Mama Elephant, I wondered around to check out some of the many wedding items  that they put on display for brides to buy, possibly on impulse. These caught my eye...

Aren't they cute!!  We could always use another set of luggage tags for our bags.  Or we could always get these for our passports.

A little part of me wanted to pick them up for the fun of it, to show off on our honeymoon.  Maybe get that elusive first class upgrade when checking in for our flight?? But the practical (for the moment) side told me there were better things to spend my money on right now.  Maybe the magical gift fairy will drop them by for us?  A girl can dream ;)

Did planning get you in the mood to make "impulse" purchases related to wedding?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

To Infinity...and Beyond!

Side note, I always seem to think of Toy Story whenever we head to Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Anywho - Bed, Bath & Beyond was an easy pick for us when we were deciding on which stores to register at. We became quiet familiar with the BB&B registry system in 2009 with 5 weddings to attend, and who doesn't love to use those 20% off coupons and get more bang for your buck?

I actually set up the registry at a bridal show (to get a free pair of salad tongs) last year but never added any items - I thought it would be fun to include Mr. E in this wedding experience. We headed to the store on a weekday, so the store was fairly empty, and we were able to get assistance right away.

Mr. E waiting for the guy to get the scanner

We selected some "casual china" from the book and then were on our own to scan our little hearts out. I must admit, Mr. E became quite the scanning pro during our time there.

Mr. E showing off his scanning skills & our bathroom set

We selected items for the bathroom, future bedroom (after the wedding, once we get into a new house we will be upgrading to a king size bed. Can. not. wait!), kitchen, entertaining items, dining and more.

The bedding we selected for the future master bedroom

We were in BB&B for a little over an hour before we realized we were cutting it close for our cake tasting (more on that later). We did some rush scanning in the kitchen utensils and figured we could either go back later or update it online.

Would you like to see some other items on our list? I'll take that as a yes :)
Following pictures from Bed, Bath & Beyond

Colorwave Blue Dinnerwear by Noritake - LOVE the "casual china"

Over and Back Divided Rectangular Platter - Perfect for different dips when hosting a party

Occasions Cancun 9 oz Margarita Glasses - We love to get our drink on

Cuisinart Contour Hard Anodized 13 - Piece Cookware Set - Oh how we need new pots and pans. The ones we currently cook with are from my college days.

"L" Monogram Coasters - Corny, I know but I really was excited about registering for items with my new last initial.

Did you register in the store or online? If you went the store route, did you take your FI with you? Were you surprised to see a couple items on your list that your FI added while you weren't looking? I know I was ;)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Let there be light!

During one of my many random searches of real wedding inspiration online I stumbled upon this.

Love it! I knew I didn’t want the standard silver cake stand that is supplied by our cake baker (for a fee) for our wedding, but wasn’t sure what I would do in its place until I saw this picture. I love the added light from below, making the cake more of a focal point.

The best part was that I found this inspiration picture in the bio of a local bride who ordered all the supplies and made the cake stand for her wedding. I asked her where she bought the supplies and she replied that she was willing to sell the whole set up at a discount! We met at a local Starbucks to make the exchange and then I promptly went home and set it up for a little photo shoot.

With empty votives on the outside

With vase fillers

With water on the outside votives

Shot from above

The plan is to add some spider mums in the 4 corner votives, and possibly some filler beads to hide the flora lights in the middle. I love the set up and can’t wait to see it with our cake on our wedding day!

Will you make use of any supplies used by another bride?