Friday, February 25, 2011

Taking The Cheap Way

As the countdown continues, I beginning to find myself trying to save more and more on the DIY projects.  Case in point, our rehearsal dinner invites.

I was all set to just order cute ones off of Vista Print, but even with a coupon code ordering 30 still would have cost something.  It's not that expensive in the scheme of things, but I decided I could just use left over pieces of cardstock I've saved from other projects and print them at home.

I found the poem online from another bride awhile ago and saved it because it was too cute.  I made a minor change and added "Tex Mex" to the poem so guests would understand why there are chili peppers in the corner.

The poem reads:

"Practice makes perfect,
it's true what they say.
Please join us for a rehearsal
of the big day!

Meet at the Tribute at (time) on the dot
where Mr. E and Miss E
will soon tie the knot.

After the rehearsal,
when all is said and done,
we'll head out to Blue Mesa
for good Tex Mex food and fun!"

I picked up a box of colorful envelopes from an office store and printed the addresses on them.  Done and done!

Will you be making invites for your rehearsal/dinner?  As you get closer to your wedding do you find yourself taking the easy or cheap way for projects?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Too Much Of A Good Thing?

And that good thing would be the John Hancock & words of advice from our guests.

To refresh your memory we are doing postcards for the reception.

And the wedding tree for our rehearsal dinner.

We were good to go, no real overkill since they would be at two different events.

Then my FMIL surprised us with a handmade wedding quilt to have guests sign.

It is beautiful and I love it! So now there's technically 3 different versions of a guestbook and I'm afraid that's too much. I really want to use the ideas we have already come up with, but also incorporate the quilt in some way that is not overkill.

The only solution I have come up with so far is to keep the postcards for the reception (too perfect with our travel theme), the tree at the rehearsal dinner and the quilt at the shower/rehearsal dinner.  Follow along with my train of thought - have the quilt at the shower for the ladies in our life to leave wonderful messages and then bring it to the rehearsal dinner to have our closest friends and family fill out (there won't be enough guests at the shower to fill it out).  Since they would be signing the quilt at the rehearsal dinner, we would change up the wedding tree to just have thumb prints instead of signatures a la Miss Oatmeal.  

From Etsy Shop Bleu de Toi

What do you think?  I really want to incorporate the signing quilt because FMIL Elephant worked so hard on it.  Do you think that having it at the shower/rehearsal dinner would work?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Programs - What's Inside?

You're probably tired of these programs, one last post I promise!  Well one last post dedicated to them, I'm sure they will show up in my recaps at some point.

I realized that I never actually showed you what was inside of our programs, totally my bad.  You've seen the  embossed blue and green covers.

Open it up and guests will find a version of the normal passport page, formatted for our wedding.  The left side was a free template from Aylee Bits.  The right side is similar to most front pages of programs.

Flip the page and there is our order of ceremony.  On the bottom of the left side is a note explaining the significance of the steel drums to our family.

Pages 5 & 6 list our wedding party.  It would be a big ol' blur so we'll move onto pages 7 & 8, our thank you to guests and our parents and in loving memory page.  I have to thank the web (and probably a bee, but I can't remember which one) for the 1st half of the Thank You page, and another thank you to  Mrs. Cloud for the words on our Memory page.  I found the words so beautiful! 

Last but not least the bride and groom fun facts (which you also saw in the table numbers for our rehearsal dinner, idea thanks to Mrs. Fro Yo) and our address for guests to stay in touch.  

What's that I see?  Why yes it's Mrs. Sewing's amazing drawing of us.  I told you I was going to try and sneak it into another DIY project!

And that's it, no more talk of programs from Miss Elephant! 

Are you like me, someone who enjoys reading programs while waiting for the ceremony to begin? Have you seen any really interesting program ideas out there?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Communication Is Key


I'm sure that everyone out there has dealt with drama in one way or another during their planning process (and if you haven't, be so thankful!).  Mr. E and I  have dealt with our fair share of drama - from the budget to unresponsive vendors to family issues.  While I would have rather had a blissful, drama free engagement (who wouldn't want that?), I will admit that dealing with this drama together has truly strengthened our relationship and solidified how important communication is.

When the reality of wedding costs sunk it, it was communication (and a financial savings plan) from Mr. E that allowed me to realize that we could pull it off with a little more time.  The lack of communication from that vendor provided many sleepless nights for me, but showed us that we were better off booking someone else.  Family issues blew out of proportion thanks to technology, but picking up the phone and having a real conversation proved to be the only way for each side to voice their feelings.

Communication has always been interesting for us because we are your typical extroverted/introverted couple.  I love to talk, and Mr. E is a man of little words.  I have witnessed him open up during our years together and it makes me extremely happy.  Sometimes I find my self watching him talk and I smile at how much of a better communicator he is now.

When reading The Five Love Languages we laughed at how on point the description of the Babbling Brook and Dead Sea personality types were for us. One of our greatest take aways from that book was the "Minimum Daily Requirement" exercise where we take the time everyday to talk about three things that happened to us and how we felt about them.

We're not perfect.  What couple is? We have our fights disagreements here and there, but being able to open up and talk through our issues is something that will prove to be a lasting benefit to our marriage.

Did you and your fiancĂ©e have to deal with drama during your engagement? What are some ways that helped you to work on your communication?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Programs Are DONE, Man!

Major props to anyone who gets that reference!

Recently, we completed our second premarital session with our officiant.  We had the chance to follow up on our homework assignments from our last session, talk about drama (there always seems to be some when there's a wedding involved), talk about our future marriage and finalize the order of the ceremony.  Do you know what that means?  It means we get to make those passport programs!

From my prior post, you can see the embossing steps for the covers of the passports.  Once the ceremony was set in stone I started the daunting task of printing all of the pages out.  3 pages (2 of those pages had back and front printing on them) multiplied by 124 programs.  With 372 pages to cut I finally wised up and cut 5-6 pages at a time.  We probably won't need that many programs, but I already embossed all the covers and I didn't want them to go to waste.

Once the back pages were printed and cut (thank you trusty paper cutter!), I used spray adhesive to glue them to the covers.

iPhone photo to Mr. E to document my progress

The inside pages were cut, folded and ready to go.  Then came the not-so-fun part of folding the cardstock covers.  When folding by hand we ended up with edges like this.


I don't think I'm a perfectionist but I felt like these edges would make the hard work look half ass.  I've read somewhere that if you heat this type of cardstock before folding that it wont break as much.  With our save the dates my awesome bridesmaids stood over a pot of water, using the steam to prevent breakage.  I decided to use my heat embossing tool to speed up the process.

Note that my heat tool is on it's last legs

I have no clue how it happened, but somehow the cap of the heat tool has become loose and with continued use it has started to melt.  Oh well, I was determined to make it through all of these passports without going out and buying a new one.

Much better!

While I was heating and folding, Mr. E was rounding the corners.

All that was needed to finish these off was a simple staple.  Only problem is that our staplers wasn't long enough and unhinging it left the staple ends pointing out instead of bended like a normal staple.  I can only imagine the blood of our guests from pointy staples!  On to FedEx Office to utilize their extra long staplers.

Into the basket, slap on a sign and those programs are done!

These programs are the DIY I am most looking forward to sharing with our guests.  What DIY or detail was your favorite?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our First Wedding Gift!

There's nothing like walking back from the gym and running into the FedEx driver (who might as well be on a first name basis with the amount of stuff ordered for this wedding) who asks us if we would like a wedding gift.

I was a little surprised but figured that the large heavy box from Bed, Bath & Beyond was a giveaway.  Lucky for her, Mr. E saved her from climbing the stairs to our apartment with the heavy box.  Of course I had to document this milestone!

Is the box heavy or are your arms tired from lifting weights?

Look at that speed, I think he was more excited than me!

Four pretty wrapped packages

Yay!  It's four of our casual china dining place settings!

Now the only problem will be, where to store these gifts with the DIY projects taking over the guest room.

Oh, and in related news - If you have a friend that is getting married and going to register at BB&B, have them list you as their referral.  Thanks to BM Philly we got a $25 certificate (for use on a $50 purchase) in the mail!  Remember the bedding we originally registered for? 

Well that was last summer and it is now no longer available (sad face).  Mama E and I happen to be searching BB&B and found the comforter set in the clearance section. Reduced price and an extra $25 off? Score!! I have now been to 3 or 4 other stores collecting the decorative pillows (originally $39.99 per pillow down to $4.99,  plus 20% off coupons, heck yeah!!)

Were you excited to receive your first wedding gift?  What was it?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

That Infamous Wedding Tree

I know we've all seen it before, the wedding tree guest book.  It's been used by many bees before me, and will probably be used by many after me.  We already have our postcard guest book in place for the reception, but I couldn't get this tree out of my head.

I have to thank Mrs. Cheeseburger for planting the seed to use the wedding tree at the rehearsal dinner.  We're expecting around 50 people at our rehearsal, so a small tree will be probably be enough for us.

I used Mrs. Trailmix's graphite transfer trick (and the reverse) to get our names and date on the canvas.  I was in the middle of tracing the back of our names when Mr. E came home and told me the reverse might be easier.  I was already more than half way through our names so I finished that, and then colored over the back side of the date.  On the flip side, I colored over our names, and traced the date.  Both ways seem to work the same, just depends on if you want to do more of the work at the beginning or the end. After all of that tracing and coloring, I filled it in with a pigment ink pen.

Mr. E pulled out his creative skills to sketch and paint the tree.

Mr. E sketching while Gypsy does what she does best

Holding up the finished project while playing the XBox

While pigment ink takes a little longer to dry, it is so much easier to wipe off  of your finger than the dye based ink we tested. We also had to test the micro pigment ink pens so see which would work best for the canvas.

Wow, Mr E. has such a readable signature

A simple sign, wipes & test papers to go with the red, white & black colors of our other rehearsal decor and we're good to go!

Are there any wedding ideas that you see over and over online, but still want to incorporate into your wedding?  I know our guests (other than my mother and bridesmaids) are not reading wedding blogs everyday, so this tree idea will be fresh and new to them. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hey Mr. Postman!

It's always fun finding wedding related items in the mail...RSVP cards, Etsy Items, and now this!!

How cute is the sticker on the back?

Yay!  MOH Navy selected beautiful invites for my bridal shower!  I am so excited!!

She also sent out these cute invites for the other half of my bridal weekend, the bachelorette party!!

Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to wear!

Did you purchase any new outfits for your bridal shower or bachelorette party?  What are some of your favorite places to shop online?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snow Week!

And I thought I left all of the snow behind when I moved from Philly to Texas.  If you have been watching the news (or anything related to the Superbowl, congrats to the Packers), you may have heard that Dallas was hit with some very unusual winter weather.  The snow wasn't too bad, it was the thick layer of ice underneath it that made driving horrible.

My Escape out in the snow, lucky Mr. E had the garage

I'm lucky to have the option to work remote, so I didn't have to drive out in this mess.  Gypsy spent her snow days pretty much just like all of her other days.

The weather also limited my after work activities to our apartment, which was a great motivator to get some random DIY projects checked off the to-do list.  I always knew I wanted to upgrade the plastic hanger that my dress came on, but didn't want to spend too much. Luckily, I found a $5 pack of 5 hangers (perfect for me and my 4 bridesmaids) and glued on some left over crystals to personalize them.

My hanger

All of the hangers together

Not too shabby for $5 and left overs!

Since we are doing assigned tables at our rehearsal dinner, I wanted to make some cute escort cards to go with the red, black and white color scheme.

Another project made from scraps!  The colored pattern paper came from a pack that I originally purchased for MOH Navy's bachelorette sign, and the thick white cardstock backing came from a pack that was purchased for the her bridal shower bingo game.  I'm just waiting for the final RSVP count to see who will be coming to the dinner, then I'll add names and table numbers to the front.

I also had some free time (because really, you can only look at the pretty white snow for so long) to print, cut and adhere the welcome tags for our out of town boxes.

Have you made use of this crazy winter weather to knock out some wedding projects??

Friday, February 4, 2011

There Will Be Steel Drums!

The surprise for my dad will happen!!

Back in December I talked about my issues with an unresponsive vendor who we were going to use to surprise my dad on the wedding day.  I still have not heard back from him but it doesn't matter because we found and just booked another steel drummer!

My personal drum purchased on our trip to Trinidad & Tobago

Honestly, this has been more stress than any of our other vendors and I was so ready to throw in the towel.  The only thing that kept me going was the mental picture of my dad on that day, I can not wait to see his face!!

Did you have any drama with booking a vendor? Was there any part of your wedding day planned as a surprise to someone else?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Input From The Other Half

When it comes to wedding planning in the Elephant household, it's mainly completed by me.  Don't get me wrong, Mr. E is excited about getting married.  We have made the big decisions together; like the venue, photographer and the tasting menu.  He's just not worried about the little details. On the other hand there's me, where the details have helped me to pass the time during the past 22 months.

Mr. E is extremely helpful whenever I ask for help (which I'm sure I will be asking for more help as the countdown continues to fly by), and has taken on some projects on his own.  If it's something involving tools, it's right up his ally.  If there is any creative aspect, like painting our wedding tree or designing elements in Photoshop or Illustrator, he's all over that.

At the computer working on our logo for the photo booth strips while our water bottle labels dry.

I know that there are some grooms/brides out there that love to be a part of every planning detail for the wedding, just like there are some who would rather do as little planning as possible.  Where does (or did) your fiancĂ© fall in that spectrum?  Were they big on planning all of the wedding aspects, helpful here and there, or was it a struggle for you to get their help?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another Cake Topper?

Yes indeed!  You may remember our first cake topper, which is perfect for our travel themed cake, but I couldn't stop there.

When I first came across the Etsy shop Mud Cards to create our suitcase topper, I was pulled in by the customization of her toppers to resemble the bride and groom as well as their interests.  After receiving our other topper, I thought to myself, how cute would it be to get one made of us to go next to our groom's cake?  This would be one that we could display after the wedding in a cute shadow box in our home.  I ran it by Mr. E (who was all for it) and placed the order.

Working with Keren again was amazing! She asked for pictures of us and our wedding attire to really execute the details and was quick to make any changes that I requested.  I LOVE the final product!  I still can't believe how well she did on the details to truly make this us!

Mr. E selected the Xbox for his interest while I went with my laptop and added a lil nod to my blogging moniker.

And here are some close ups of the details.  First off we have Mr. E's tie, which will be the stand out blue/green thanks to the Hive's votes!

I love all of the details that Keren incorporated from my wedding day look!  The biggest of all being the dress, she nailed the beading and rouching features.

Look at those blue shoes!  That's a little detail that others most likely won't notice, but I did and it made me smile.

Finally we have my hair and accessory from my hair trial.  Too cute!

Would you have a personalized cake topper made for your wedding?