Monday, October 31, 2011

Update Monday



Done Looking Forward To
  • Being Post-Operative next Monday afternoon (and fingers crossed no more hip pain)
  • Finishing a rough draft of ceremony and vows
  • Seeing my map.
  • Seeing my dress

Happy Halloween! I hope you enjoyed my corpse. She seemed appropriate for a wedding blog post on Halloween.

I have been trying to save my pennies and stay productive on the wedding front. It freaks me out that the Holiday season is around the corner (for money reasons and as a marker of how much time is left). I want to squeeze one more DIY project before the surgery too. We'll see. I'm going to put all the money I make in the garage sale this weekend into the wedding account too. It's just boring and practical stuff right now hence getting in another DIY before Monday would be nice.

It's a weird time for planning a few months before invitations go out. Not a lot happening. People are excited and over it at the same time. It gets lonely. Honestly I'd probably forget about planning for a while if I wasn't trying desperately not to think about the surgery.

142 days!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Get With The Program

Originally, I wanted something like this for our programs because it's an outdoor ceremony.

Well, I wanted a folding fan with a beautiful fairy image on one side and ceremony information on the other. Nobody does double sided, full color, folding fans in wood or plastic. The single sided option would run us around $300, no thanks. Some people do a DIY folding fan with panels.

I don't like it enough to spend the time on this version. As far as the paddle ones go, I just don't like them. On second thought, my ceremony is at 6:30pm anyway people shouldn't melt. Screw fans.

Now I'm torn between two kind of opposite ideas. First, I like the idea of doing just one poster sized program at the end of the aisle.

I love that it would be simple. I'd only have to make one, but I could do it myself. There's plenty of room to write. The down side is I'm not sure where we'd put it in an out door situation. Hmmm...

The other possibility is an interactive wheel (sound familiar?) style. I guess I never got out abandoned save the date idea out of my system, but can you blame me these are pretty sweet.

The middle has the bride and groom's names on it and the date. The outer circle has titles (MOH, officiant, etc) when you turn the dial it shows the name/funny nickname for each person. On the back they wrote the ceremony info and left a piece of paper in a pocket for each guest to write something. Those papers were collected at the reception and served as a guest book.

Now obviously these colors are fun, but mine would be earth tones. I was thinking maybe it could have a cool old tree on the front. We're solid on the guest book being a quilt so we could skip the pocket and just do ceremony info on the back.

The down side would be all that work just so the less scrapbook inclined people could throw them away afterward. Not as environmentally friendly. Less room to write, but I don't think that's a deal breaker. I'm gonna consult the wedding party and delegate some projects before I have surgery so it'll depend on who's willing to help with what really.

Opinions? Other alternative program ideas? Convincing arguments to skip programs entirely? Hit me.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Vow Inspiration: Literary

General Sources

  • Shakespeare (in general & Midsummer Night's Dream specifically)
  • Dear Writer, Dear Actress: The Letters of Anton Chekhov & Olga Knipper
  • Jewels of the Sun
  • Ok, it's a Nora Roberts novel, but it has a fairy prince with a love curse so I'm hoping it'll yield some theme related inspiration. I read the trilogy the spring I went to Ireland and really enjoyed them, but this is the only one I own. This one is the first book then there's Tears of the Moon and Heart of the Sea
  • Dr. Seuss, don't laugh he made a lot of really good points. I may just use him for a reading though.
  • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I read it before I met Mike and then on a road trip we took turns reading it to each other it's so good. I highly recommend it.

One of my favorite Shakespeare quotes (that I used on my Save the Dates and wedding website) is from Comedy of Errors:
“It is thyself, mine own self's better part,
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart,
My food, my fortune and my sweet hope's aim,
My sole earth's heaven and my heaven's claim."

I also love this quote about rings from Richard III
Look, how this ring encompasseth finger;
Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart.
Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
And if thy poor devoted servant may
But beg one favor at thy gracious hand,
Thou dost confirm his happiness forever.

You get the idea. No one does mushy stuff better than The Bard. There's a lot to choose from.

I don't want to give too much away, but here's a nice one Time Traveler's Wife:
There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.
But you make me happy. It's living up to being happy that's the difficult part.

If you wrote your own vows/ceremony what books did you use for inspiration? What were your readings?

Friday, October 28, 2011

And Me Too...Bride Tote

  • Rhine stones
  • Fabric Glue
  • Pencil
  • Tweezers
  • Tote Bag
  • Iron on rhinestone letters
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Towel or cloth
  • Tote
  • You May want glue and tweezers just in case

Decide what you want to write. I recommend short words. It took between 5-13 stones a letter to write bride. Place your words far in and up enough that that they won't disappear when the bag is full. Mark out your letters lightly with a pencil. Place a small amount of fabric glue on the back of each stone while securing with tweezers. My floor is littered with escaped stones. Press firmly. Allow to dry. That's it.

If you don't have steady hands, time or patience most craft stores sell iron on rhinestone letters. The down side is they come in very limited size and color options. I think multicolored or silver. Cut out the letters you want, peel backing and position them. When you use these press the iron down once and then lift straight off. Wiggling the iron (like you would for an applique) smears the stones around. Also, although the letters don't need a protective barrier your tote may so grab a dish towel before you lean down and leave an iron mark on your bag. Allow generous time to cool and then peel off clear layer.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Nail-ed It?

Conventional wisdom is to get your nails done the day of your wedding so your hands look their best for all those shots of the wedding bands. I agree. In everyday life I usually go for pedicures over manicures. I love that super clean feeling right after you've been soaked scrubbed and polished. It also lasts a heck of alot longer and with my mobility issues it's much harder for me to paint my own toes.

However, I do enjoy the look of my hands freshly manicured. It only ever lasts a day or two. I'm super rough on my hands. On top of that, I went and got a full set for the first time in my life the Christmas Mike proposed. It was fun, it looked like this: My hand's on the left with the green (and no rings). The other hand is Lara. It was pretty and Christmasy. Unfortunately, one fell off right before Christmas. I pulled them all off just in time to be proposed to, darn it. Anyway, the fakeness creeped Mike out and the after effects of the adhesive on my nails creeped me out.

I'm anxious about growing my own nails long enough, but fake nails are a no go so I'm considering alternatives to the french manicure. Maybe I'll just paint them. Certainly not green, but maybe a nudish color or clear with sparkles. I'm not really sure, it seems silly to go for a french manicure with short/uneven nails. Besides would a classic french manicure look silly the next day? Lounging pool side on the honeymoon (fingers crossed)? I think maybe.

I'm thinking something like this:

Or Maybe

Like I said, I wouldn't want green because well ick. This ivy detail is kind of neat though and her nails look real.

Not to be fickle or anything but aren't these amazing? Maybe in pink or nudes it be less in your face. I have to admit though the green is pretty kick ass.

Well, what do you guys think? Help me out. Nail opinions, please.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rapunzel, Rapunzel Let Down Your Hair

It all stems from my poor timing senior year of high school. I've always been impulsive about cutting my hair, it grows back. Well, I cut my hair to my ears a week before prom. I was so mad at myself. Nothing like being dateless to senior prom and not even having enough hair for an up do. Beyond that I had planned this princess-y do for graduation that would have worked with my cap and everything. That was the saddest thing, the graduation day pictures with my hair barely sticking out of my cap. You get the point, it was emotional.

When Mike proposed I decided to grow my hair until the wedding. I didn't know it would be 3yrs between the proposal and the big day, but none the less I stuck to it. Nothing more than triming the ends since 2009. Since I started planning the wedding (summer 2010) I've gone every other month for color touch-ups and a trim to keep it pretty.

This is a picture from today. I got my trim and a french braid lesson. Yes, my hair has just been trimmed. My poor hair dresser had to sit on a low stool to cut it. It's also french braided and it's still well below my bust line sitting down. Pretty cool, huh? Truthfully, I can not wait to schedule a nice shoulder length cut with some long layers and possibly a color change post wedding. I mean the day after the wedding. I don't want to take all this hair on the honeymoon it's a pain and so hot!.

This one is from this past weekend. Forgive the un-brushed and tousled look. I just wanted to show you it's not a straight iron trick. It really is this long.

This one is from our bridesmaids dinner in early September. In this one I rolled the ends with hot rollers and it's still hanging below the table.

This was taken the day after the dinner at a concert. You can see the whole length of my body for comparison. Sorry, I could only find pictures sitting down.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Changing Vs Losing Your Mind

neu·ro·sis/n(y)o͝oˈrōsis/Noun: 1.A relatively mild mental illness that is not caused by organic disease, involving symptoms of stress (depression, anxiety) but not a radical loss of touch with reality. Compare with psychosis
2.(in nontechnical use) Excessive and irrational anxiety or obsession.

When planning a wedding ALL of them surface. Example, I have an extreme distaste for odd years. Pretty weird. I am an open book and I've had lots of acting training so I'm usually pretty in touch with myself, but the wedding has forced me into situations I've never been in before.

As it turns out, I really don't like changing my mind. I enjoy being a decisive person. I like making a plan and sticking to it. It makes me dependable and responsible. I'm not immovable by any means, but when other people (vendors, family, wedding party) are involved I have serious guilt.

First it was the dress. I was so torn about abandoning the sample dress I found a thrift store 4 years ago that I shed tears over it. Not because I was so in love with the dress, but because I had let myself down. I failed to comply with the plan. Never mind that the dress was impractical for someone with mobility issues (and an outdoor venue) it was bought and paid for why couldn't I suck it up?

Why? Because there was something better out there waiting for me. My real dress. I survived, the budget survived and no one shook their finger at me and told me what a disappointment I am. I LOVE my dress. I love that it's being custom made to my size and specifications. I love the idea of wearing it again...

Then I found a picture of blue sea holly in a magazine. We'd been planning for a long time to get all the groomsman and dads matching lapel pins. It was a cute idea, but reality was the one we liked wasn't available anymore. Beyond that this thistle screamed Mike's Boutonniere to me. He loved it too. No big emotion issues there. I started to think my pain over the dress was a one time thing.

Now I've started doubting my bouquet choice. At first I loved my bouquet and that I was the only one with one. It made it more special. Than I started considering a brooch bouquet.
Something like this, but with fairies instead of flowers. It would be pretty. Imagine it with pieces like this: The last one is my absolute favorite. I may buy myself that pin whether I do the brooch bouquet or not. I could just pin it to the ribbon around the stem of my flower bouquet. Making a brooch bouquet could be a fun last DIY project before the wedding. I could ask everyone attending my bridal shower to bring a fairy pin. I did something similar for a Christmas party one year and it turned out amazing. My tree was so interesting and I have sentimental attachment to all of those ornaments because of who they came from.

I'm just not sure. It bothers me that it was already decided. I also feel like brooch bouquets are so trendy now, thanks Miranda Lambert. It would be heavy so there would be no tossing it. Not that we couldn't get around that. Hmmm...

On the plus side I could take it apart afterward and keep all the fun jewelry. It would save a little on flowers (that Mike would eat up with his decor design without blinking). Do I really want one? I'm not sure...I hate being not sure.

I investigated compromise:

Here's what splitting the difference looks like. Yeah. Huh. To each her own, but I despise it. I really don't like it at all. So that's out. I'll either have all flowers or all pins. Help me out guys what do you think?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Update Monday

  • Started Writing Ceremony & Vows
  • Made Bridesmaids Totes With Cute Mushroom Tags
  • Left Custom Map in Capable Hands.
  • Got an Update on My Dress
Looking Forward To
  • Finishing the wedding time line and play list
  • Finishing a rough draft of ceremony and vows
  • Delegating some projects
  • Seeing my dress

I was suddenly awash with inspiration for vow and ceremony writing. I was just walking down the driveway when a phrase so humorous and appropriate hit me I had to say it out loud. I talked to myself most of that afternoon repeating the ideas until I could write them down. Funny how I had tried to sit down and write something and nothing came, but when it hadn't crossed my mind in a week or so there was plenty to say. I have a rough outline for the vows and I ordered a book for inspiration. I want to start working on the ceremony structure this week. I'm hoping to have rough draft of the whole ceremony by the end of the week.

Inspiration wasn't the only thing that struck me. I was also hit with some indecision or re-decision I suppose. I'm questioning my bouquet. I love it and if I have flowers those are them, but I might not want flowers anymore. On top of which I was on a DIY roll and started researching programs and now I'm completely torn. On the one hand I love the idea of making a poster sized program for guests to read as they pass by, but on the other hand I found a really cute, labor intensive DIY program idea. In both cases it boils down to either doing a ton of work (which may not be worth it) or buying something simpler (that may not be what I want).

I've given up ever getting the darn swatch from the boutique. I'll just take someone's dress down to the florist or something. It's irritating. How hard is is mail a piece of fabric? Come on, Jim Hjelm! Anyway, everything else seems to be rolling along at this point (fingers crossed).

149 days!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's The Map!

Here's the inspiration Lara found for the custom map her mother (my soon to be mother-in-law) designed to go with her invitation. Cute idea, right? Here's Lara's map:



I have no idea where I put it since we moved, but I loved that map so much I still have it over 2yrs later. She made in 8x10ish so the bride and groom could make it whatever size they wanted. It also means they have a framed keepsake from the wedding. After my almost sister-in-law's wedding a mutual friend of ours got married and she asked for a map too.

I am so excited that it's my turn! I gave her an invitation so she could try to match the color scheme and feel in the map. I came in with a list of ideas I'd gleaned from internet research. Most of them were impractical or would have been confusing. It starts out 8x10, but has to be readable at 4x6 and a functional map. So, adding the Tardis as an Easter Egg for our fellow nerds was out. We may use some fictional places in it as long as they're not confusing to our guests. I also like just married banner on the car in Lara's map. I'd want ours to say Honeymoon or Bust. I saw it on some maps on Etsy and it's totally how I feel.

It's so exciting. One more piece of the puzzle is underway. I'm getting to the point where I wish the wedding would hurry up, but mostly I'm still overwhelmed by how much is left to do. Having the invitations and map makes it feel so official.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wedding Dress Update!

I got some updates from my fabulous dressmaker, Pantora by Andrea. She says the bodice is complete. Hurray! I have a top half. Here's the image:

Isn't pretty? I like it so much better in this color. Next we agreed on some bling rather than the rose from the orginal design. She sent me two options:

This first one is certainly the correct color stones. The green and white stones match my engagement ring and necklace. I'm just not sure about them being in such a geometrical pattern. Not enough chaos for me I suppose.

The second one is a much more free form looking pattern which I like. Obviously the stones in the example picture are blue. If she can find this with green and white stone similar to the colors of the first one, we're golden.

After that the skirt has to be assembled, which is by far the most time consuming (I'm assuming, I have no idea really I don't sew.). It will be champagne layers over ivory. Doesn't that sound beautiful? With lace trim on the hem. She asked whether I wanted the petticoat attached or separate. I felt completely unprepared. to date I can count the petticoats I've worn on one hand (past life as an actress), but I've never had one constructed for me. Neat. I went with attached because it seemed simpler. I hope I made the right call.

I'm about to make another payment on my masterpiece of a fairy inspired wedding gown and she says it will be ready earlier than she thought! I can't wait to try it on. I think I'll invite the bridesmaids and mom's to come see it when I do. Oh! Squeal! I have goosebumps.

I'm so glad I changed my mind. God Bless the talented folks on Etsy!

Friday, October 21, 2011

More Unlikely Vow Inspiration

Play it from 3:40, They have escaped the country club ceremony that was forced upon them and are kneeling in the grass looking into each others eyes. The words aren't right for Mike and I, but I love the honesty and intimacy of their moment.
Dharma: I, Dharma Freedom Finkelstein promise to never ever become my mother.
Greg: Or my mother.
Dharma: Like that's possible.
Greg: I, Gregory not saying the middle name Montgomery promise I will not bottle up my feelings for 30yrs and spew them like a volcano at our childrens' wedding.
Dharma: Aww, that's a good one.
Greg: Thank you.
Dharma: I promise to let you be you and me be me.
Greg: (whispering) Thank you.
Dharma: As long as every now and then we get naked and switch.
Greg: Uh-Ok. Do you promise to always look at me with that light in your eyes?
Dharma: (Nods) If you promise to always brush my hair off my face like that. (kissing) And kiss me like that.
Greg: You make me feel like the luckiest man in the world.

And then they dance by themselves in the grass. So, romantic. This is what I was trying to explain about having a moment that's just us during the first look photos. I want what Jim and Pam had. An intimate moment that was theirs and then an amazing time with friends.

I just want to take a moment for us, there have been so very few. Then I want to make real promises we'll try to keep every day, together. I want to make them in front of my friends and family. I want to laugh and have a good time. I want to surprise people. I want an unforgettable celebration.

By the way I am not an uncultured couch potato. My post of literary vow inspiration is still in the works.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Bridesmaids Totes: Part 2


  • Acrylic paint
  • Rubber Alphabet Stamps (or stencil)
  • Cardboard
  • Fine tip Sharpies
  • Q-tips and a damp rag

Here's one of the felt mushroom tags I made yesterday:

Test Phase

So, today I tracked down a letter stencil (Yay, crafty friends). I pondered long and hard over how to get this letters on these bags. I figured I'd probably use paint and the stencil. I tested black, white and brown acrylic paint on an extra tote. I also tried Sharpie in brown and purple. I really liked the white paint option, but there wasn't enough. I decided on brown. Then I tested paint through the stencil versis paint on a stamp. In the end I went with brown paint on a stamp.


Start by setting your bag on a flat surface and inserting the cardboard. You want a nice hard surface to press the stamp against. I found it worked best when I dipped the very edge of a foam brush in the paint and then painted the letter. I used q-tips to clean up any excess paint around the letter. If you're not careful you'll get an ugly box from the edges of the rubber. My letters were decorated with leaves so excess painted turned the leaves into blobs. Position your letters far enough up not to be obscured with the bag is full and far enough over not to creep around the edge. Press firmly and lift using your other hand to hold the fabric to prevent sticking or smudging.

Full disclosure here, I forgot to check my hands for paint after all my tessting and I smudged the first one I did twice. Once while stamping and once while trying to wipe it off. I advise any fellow lefties to keep a spare piece cardboard to rest your on while stamping just in case. So, I turned them into leaves on a vine with a brown fine tip Sharpie.

After that I decided to add a different vine detail to each bag. I allowed the paint to dry for a few minutes and then used the fine tip Sharpie to fill in any holes in the paint or correct decorative elements turned bloby. They came out pretty good. Here's the first one done:

It's funny my Maid of Honor and one of my bridesmaids have the same intial letters in opposite order.

On top of that my sister and Mike's sister have first initials a few letters apart and the same last initials.

Viola! I'll be building the wedding day emerency kits with the help of a bridesmaid over the next several months and ordering the shirts I designed for the rehearsal shortly. I already have the bridesmaids necklaces. I'm just so excited that the actual bags are done. I hope they like them. You totally wish you were in my bridal party...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bridesmaids Totes: Part 1

I wanted to make cute little mushroom tags for the bridesmaids totes. Like the ones I saw at Bride's Night Out. Obviously, I'm not a skilled enough sewer to reproduce this exactly. I just used it as inspiration.


  • Cardboard
  • Several colors of felt (or patterns on fabric)
  • Fabric glue
  • Fabric/puffy paint
  • Buttons
  • Crop-a-dile
  • Grommets
  • 1/8" ribbon
  • Bright colored tote bags

I have four wonderful bridesmaids and I happened to get these four bright colored bags from someone who decided not to do a craft project earlier in the year. I love cast off craft supplies. They're cute, right? I'm going to fill them with wedding day emergency kits, their bridesmaids necklace and the shirts I made for the rehearsal.

First, I drew the two halves of the mushroom on some cardboard. I used a roll of duct tape to help me get the round part of cap right. I traced the stem template on some stiff orange felt. I traced twice as many as the number of mushrooms I needed.

I made all the stems orange. I varied the color of the caps purple, brown or pink. I attached a stem to each cap. Then I decorated each mushroom with glittery puffy paint and buttons.

Once the paint dried I flipped them over and added a strip of cardboard to each mushroom with fabric glue. I covered the bottom half with the extra stems I cut out in the beginning. Then I cut a piece of felt to cover the top. It's important that there is still a border of felt above the cardboard for the next step. Here's the back of one after I added cardboard and felt.

Once the glue dried I used a black Sharpie to write the name of each girl and the wedding date on the back. Then I added a grommet that matched the color of the tote each mushroom would be attached to with my Crop-a-dile. I threaded it with ribbon and tied a small bow in the front. So cute!

Next, I'll personalize each tote bag with the girls' initials. I had all the supplies for this first part on hand and all I need for monogramming them is a letter stencil (or a new Silhouette blade so I can make one), woo-hoo resourcefulness. Double woo-hoo cuteness! I'm so excited to fill this with goodies!