Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Guys Seem To Have It So Easy

It's a nice feeling knowing that our guys will be wearing more than just ties!

Mr. E rounded up Brother E and myself this past Saturday and headed over to Men's Warehouse to pick out tuxes for the wedding.  Since his groomsmen are scattered across Texas and Louisiana, Mr. E decided to go the easiest route for everyone.  Our trip to Men Warehouse was quick and painless (guys have it so easy!) and we were lucky enough to get Mr. E, my brother and my dad (who met us at the store) measured and in the system. 3 down and 4 guys to go!

Mr E selected the black Kenneth Cole tux with 2 buttons, white shirts and the vest patterns.  We held up the ties to get a visual.  Mr E will rock the white vest with blue & green striped tie.

While the groomsmen and dads will wear black vests with their respective ties.

Brother E looking a little tired

The boys also tried on Kenneth Cole jackets to get an idea of how the tux will fit.

I can't wait to see how the guys will look on the wedding day.  Thankfully (to ease my nerves) the tuxes will come in early the week of the wedding so they can try everything on together and make any necessary adjustments prior to the big day.

Will your guys be renting tuxes or purchasing suits for your big day?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Some personal decor for our table

Our very first trip together was a road trip to San Antonio for Mr. E’s birthday in 2007. It was a special trip for us which is why we will be heading back there for our minimoon after the wedding. During that trip I saw how much I had touched Mr. E’s life, and knew how much he made my life better.

Our first full day started with a free breakfast at the hotel followed by a cruise down the river.

After the river cruise we decided to venture out to the market square.

With the city map from the hotel in hand we headed out, and after getting lost once or twice (I stink with directions which is why one of the best Christmas presents ever was a GPS for my car from Brother Elephant) we finally arrived. The market area is full of crafts and one of the first stops we made was to a stand that would create a wooden sign out of your names for about $10. I really wanted one, and Mr. E was sweet enough to buy it for me. The seller said it would be about an hour to finish (there was a long line of orders in front of ours) which would give us enough time to check out the rest of the market area and head back to pick it up.

After checking out all of the little stands and the “mall” area, we killed some time by watching a children’s dance school performance. They were too cute!

We headed back after an hour, but they still weren't done so we had to kill even more time. Another 30 minutes and ours was finally finished! We picked blue and green for our names - see we loved those colors even back then!

We will be placing this on our sweetheart table for the wedding to add a little personal d├ęcor.

How will you decorate your sweetheart table?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Saying Goodbye to a DIY Friend

This friend has been with me from the beginning of my wedding DIY adventures but unfortunately will not be there to see them through.

My printer has seen it's last printing job.  I purchased this way back in 2007 (amazing how fast technology changes) with my first work bonus.  I have used this to print out more than one mock up for invites, table names, escort cards and more.  Both Mr. E and I tried to figure out what was wrong, but to no avail.  I knew that I couldn't be without a printer, but instead of going all Office Space on it...

I did a little research and found a replacement that was 100x better and of course a third of the price I paid back in the day. 

Oh new printer, I have a lot in store for you!

One of the new features I look forward to the most is the automatic double sided printing.  This will come in very handy when it's time to print those passport programs. I hope this printer is up to the task of all my remaining DIY projects, because the bulk of the printing is right around the corner!

Are there any new major purchases that you made during your wedding planning?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Good News!

That was the title of our planner’s email when she told me the Tribute has changed their policy on sparklers. How exciting!! That means that we’ll be able to do a send off like this.

As you may remember, I already purchased all the bubbles for the send off, and have even tied the blue and green ribbons on all those little bottles.

Don’t you worry, it wasn’t all for not! The new plan is to have the house party hand out the bubbles to the guests prior to the ceremony and instruct the guests to blow bubbles as we walk back down the aisle. Hopefully it will look a little like this.

Did you settle for a plan B only to find out later that you could have your plan A?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flowers That Made Me Cry

No joke hive, I cried when I saw these flowers.

I previously mentioned that our planner Kathie, with Grand Events, is also doing all of the floral elements for our wedding.  Since flowers were the least important part of the wedding for us, I was completely surprised by my reaction when Mama Elephant and I headed over to Kathie's house to see mock ups for our centerpieces.  I was blown away by how beautiful they were.  They were everything I didn't know that I wanted!

Here are some pictures of the shorter arrangement.

And here are some shots of the taller centerpiece

Close up of the gorgeous flowers in the tall centerpiece 

 Mama E couldn't get over how beautiful these mock ups were.

We also decided to upgrade from the linens offered with the venue.  We'll have blue floor length linens, white chair covers (which come free with the venue), blue chair sashes and green napkins.  

Each setting will have a silver charger, green napkin, and my DIY menus wrapped in ribbon and topped off with a little kermit mum.

After we nailed down the linens and gave the A-OK on the centerpieces, we began to discuss the personal flowers.  With the bridesmaid's dresses being blue, we decided to go with simple bouquets of green hydrangeas and you're going to kill me because I can't remember the name of the other green plant but here's a picture of it.

There will be pieces of that green plant mixed in with the hydrangeas 

My bouquet will be one big daddy with a mix of hydrangeas, roses, delphinium and various other flowers.

Getting a visual of the mix of flowers

We're going to try and keep the boutineers simple.  Mr. E will have more white and blue in his, and the rest of the guys will be more green with a pop of blue which I think will look awesome with the dark suits and blue ties.

Mock up for Mr. E's

Picture from another wedding shot by our photographer, inspiration for GM bouts.

The moms, house party, and readers will have a beautiful mix of flowers surrounding a couple of roses.  Kathie will make them as corsages, but if they would rather pin it on their dress she'll be able to do a quick change up to the backing.

I am beyond excited to see all of these flower arrangements on our wedding day!  We're just a smidgen over our original budget once you throw in all of the candles, and the fabric we're going to incorporate into the outdoor ceremony area, but I think it's so well worth it!!  If our total guest count comes in on the lower end, then we'll be able to nix one or two of the centerpieces before the flowers are ordered.

Were you able to see a floral mock up before your wedding?  Did seeing your flowers (before or on the wedding day) have you a little emotional?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

MOB Dress Shopping Part 1

Mama Elephant (mother of the bride, MOB) has been absolutely amazing during all of this wedding planning.  It has (and will continue) to be one of the most wonderful bonding experiences for the two of us.

No average dress would do for such an awesome MOB.  Mom's dress criteria included no black and must have some bling.  Our first stop for the day was Stardust Celebrations, which you may have heard about from the WE reality show, Girl Meets Gown.

We had the sweetest associate helping us out, and although their prices were a little high we did find a couple contenders.

Well from the looks of this first dress, you must be thinking to yourself  "Miss Elephant, this doesn't meet your mom's criteria - that dress is black and has no bling" and you are correct.  We were looking into the one shoulder option, and this bridesmaid dress caught our eye.  It comes in an array of colors and we were told that we could add bling to it so mom tried it on.  It fit well, but our imaginations couldn't picture how it would be with some sparkle (or the cost to add that sparkle) so it was a no go.

Here was my personal favorite of our entire day, which happened to also be the most expensive :(

It was a beautiful color and had just the right amount of bling.  It also included a jeweled wrap that she could wear for the ceremony and leave off while she's dancing the night a way.

After we left Stardust, we headed to the near by mall and checked out Macy's, Dillard's & Saks Fifth without any luck.  We did find a couple of dresses on sale at Neiman Marcus that were pretty, but not winners.

Looks blue in the flash, but was actually more of a purple color

Liked the back on this one.

So MOB shopping trip #1 wasn't successful, let's hope for a better outcome next time!

Did you go dress shopping with your mom for her dress?  What criteria did your mother have for her dress?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

My Other Wedding

If we weren't having the wedding that we are, I have a strong feeling that we would have gotten married in the city of sin.  Vegas Baby!!

The funny thing is, when we got engaged many of our friends asked if we would be getting married in Vegas.  This may be an odd question for most couples, but if you knew my family, you wouldn't think twice about.  You see, my family LOVES Vegas! 

Mr. E's first Vegas trip with my family 2008

Date night in Vegas with a gondola ride

Our first trip was back in 1994, I'll always remember being in Vegas and watching the OJ Simpson car chase.  Between '94 and now, I've been to Vegas close to 50 times.  Our family would go for any reason; spring break, Christmas, New Years, Brother E's 21st birthday and (related to weddings) my parents 25th anniversary renewal. My parents renewed their vows in 2002 at the Rio in the Gardenia Chapel.

For my "other" wedding, I would have added Vegas touches to the DIY paper products.

While my parents had a lovely indoor ceremony for their vow renewal, I would probably still look for an outdoor location like Juno Garden at Caesar's Palace.

I would want to play up the Vegas setting with photos taken on the Strip

Moonlighting Photography Source

And of course get a Vegas themed cake.

Maybe we could finish off our wedding day with a little luck at the roulette tables?

If you could plan a wedding different than your current wedding, where would it be?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cake Tasting 101

I'm gonna level with you... I'm not a big cake fan. What?!?! Yes, you heard that right, I'm not the biggest cake fan. Want an example? There is video from my 4th birthday party where I am enjoying a bowl of ice cream while the rest of my friends are chowing down on my birthday cake. Now that's not to say that I won't eat cake, at special occasions (like weddings) I will take a couple of bites before handing over the rest of my piece to Mr. E.

Because of this, the cake baker was the last major vendor on my list to book. Most brides, or those helping to plan the wedding look forward to booking this vendor. I know that any bridal event that Mama E and I attended, she could always be spotted enjoying the cake samples.  Who doesn't like free cake samples? But I was OK with holding off on booking this until later in the planning process.

Mr. E and I used some vacation days to have a "staycation", so I figured this would be a great time to book some wedding related things like registering and some cake tastings.

As you can see I was prepared with print outs of the cake designs we're looking for

Modeling some dummy cakes while waiting for our samples to be cut.

We were quite impressed with the plate full of samples, frostings, fillings and double dipped strawberries that was presented to us.

Look at all of those different cakes!

The fillings in the middle were:
1. Raspberry
2. Dulce de Leche
3. Cherry
4. Lemon
5. Apricot
6. Strawberry
7. Bavarian Creme
8. Fudge

We tasted the different cakes/frosting with different fillings to determine the ones we liked the most.

Mr. E enjoying this tasty vendor meeting!

This is what was left after our tasting... Can you tell what our favorites were?

For the bride's cake we selected (from bottom to top) White Chocolate with Raspberry filling, White Chocolate with Apricot filling, and Strawberry with Strawberry filling all with Buttercream frosting.  YUM!!! We are lovers of all things strawberry, so we'll probably eat this top tier before our 1 year anniversary! The groom's cake would be the German Chocolate with Dulce de Leche filling.

After deciding our favorite combinations, Molly talked about the styles of cake they could do. Since I was already prepared with the pictures of the travel cake and ideas from the groom's cake, we were able to skip the book of cake pictures. We were super excited when Molly informed us that we could make the groom's cake in the shape of an Xbox 360 and add mini cakes/rice krispie treats in the form of controllers to symbolize the other systems (Wii and Playstation 3) we have in our home. The groom's cake would sort of look like this (picture taken at our house)

We loved the customer service, the taste of the cakes, and most of all the price! Both cakes, with all the additions we wanted including mini cakes for the controllers, fondant pieces for the city names on the bride's cake and double dipped strawberries came up $5 under the budget we set. Score!! Molly even packed up our leftovers, and put in new pieces for the combos we liked so we could share with some family members that night.

We still had two more cake tastings, but neither compared in taste/cost to the first stop so that's who we booked with!

Did you go to several cake tastings when looking for a baker? Will you be having cake or something else at your wedding?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Minimoon Destination

We picked April for our wedding month (to coincide with our dating anniversary), which means that Mr. E will still have class and finals to finish up his spring semester after the wedding. Due to this we will be taking our honeymoon after finals are completed in the middle of May. This works out so well for us because it will allow us to spend some extra time with family and friends the day after the wedding. It will also mean we have something to look forward to!

Since we won’t be taking a honeymoon right after the wedding (and who really wants to go back to work the Monday after the big day?), we thought it would be fun to do a minimoon road trip. The destination for this minimoon road trip is.... drumroll please....

Us in front of the Alamo in 2007

the home of the Alamo - San Antonio, TX!

We picked San Antonio because:
1) It was the very first trip that we took together back in 2007 for Mr. E’s birthday
2) It’s only a 4 hour drive from Dallas, so we won’t have to spend money on plane tickets
3) There are a lot of things to do and see all within walking distance of the hotel

San Antonio is a fun and historic location and will be perfect for the couple of days we plan to get away and enjoy our newlywed status!

Will you (or did you) take a minimoon after the wedding and delay your honeymoon?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Can't Get Enough Of Our Venue

I just can't get enough of our venue! The Tribute holds 2 bridal open houses a year where brides and their families can see the venue set up for a wedding, taste some food and meet with preferred vendors. With our 25 month engagment it's safe to say I've been to more than one :)

As we drove up to the venue, we decided to head to the back where the gazebo is to test out the length of our DIY tissue paper pomanders. I think they look great and will add some color to the ceremony area.

Please note that this open house was in February, the grass will be a lot greener in April

We headed inside to check in and begin scouting some areas for the escort cards, gifts, guest book, and musicians for the cocktail hour.

Imagine this table with our wonderful travel themed escort cards

A great place for the musicians for the cocktail hour

We headed into the ballroom, which is plan B for the ceremony if the weather isn't on our side. If there's rain, we'll get married in front of this romantic fireplace.

They set up all of the tables with different linens and centerpieces showcasing some of the items that are included in our package and others that would be upgrades. Our planner is a preferred vendor at the Tribute, so we got a chance to talk with her about ideas for centerpieces (since she will be doing all our of florals).  

Probably change the green hydrangeas for blue and possibly white, and the branches to bamboo sticks.

Love this submerged low centerpiece! We would probably change some of the white flowers for green versions.

Love the color

After looking at some of the tablescapes, we headed for the food. Everything tasted great, and Mom & Dad Elephant and I picked our top three favorites to put in the race for our butler passed apps. We're leaning towards the golden coconut shrimp with plum sauce, chicken teriyaki skewers, and spinach spanakopitas. I also made a stop to the carving station and mashed potato bar.

Carving station goodness

Dad & me enjoying some of the food

After some eats we headed upstairs to snap some pictures of the bridal suite and the room that the guys will get ready in.

Can't wait to get some great pictures on those stairs!

The room that the girls will get ready in, and where Mr. E and I will spend the night after the wedding.


Mama Elephant in the guys' getting ready room

And a couple shots outside

Practicing the walk

Love my parents! (and look, green grass!)

Did your venue hold any events prior to your wedding that allowed you to envision your big day?