Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Properly Pretty & Poetic (Potentially Practical) Promises for Posterity

Ah, the vows..oaths, pledges, professions, troth, promises...Of course we are writing our own. I want to get a copy of our vows to the officiant just in case. Here's how writing those went.

Excuse my hair (ugh) and the plastic croissant courtesy of little Miss Roo. This is me writing my vows. Actually this is right after I wrote them. I was laughing because I sat down with that mound of books in front of me and didn't open a single one of them. I'd been researching vow inspirations for months. It just felt like an imposing task.

Yesterday, I was determined. I had Shakespeare, Chekhov, some works of fiction, handwritten notes, blog posts, some of my friends vows, old poems I wrote Mike and other assorted things on standby. I procrastinated by changing my Facebook status. Then I looked at my old blog posts about vow inspiration, started crying and went to find chocolate.

Armed with Hershey kisses, I took a deep breath and took another run at it. I managed to copy and paste a few quotes into a word document. Then I looked and what I'd done and got annoyed. It was at this point that I decided to check my Facebook page. It was a good call because a wise (and recently married) friend had left this comment:
There is nothing I stressed about more. I kept on telling myself that I consider myself somewhat of a writer, so there's more stress. In the end, I stopped thinking about it and let my heart speak. Apparently, my heart is a better writer. But, there will be so many emotions you can quote Godzilla and Mike would say "I Do."
That made me feel a lot better. Here was an intelligent person who knows how to turn a phrase feeling the same pressure I was. I was over thinking it. Maybe I needed start again.

At that point I erased all the copied quotes and just started writing. It took me about 15min all together to finish my vows. They just flowed. I stopped thinking about it and just did it. There was a minor revision here and there, but they're done. I've said everything I need to say in 13 lines. I read them to my mom and she cried. She may also have laughed I don't remember. I think I'm in good shape.

It's an enormous weight off my shoulders. I can't believe how much lighter I feel. I double checked that I addressed all the major points of traditional vows. It's all in there. I'm pretty sure I said all the things I need to remember as I grow old with him.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Update Monday!

  • Invitations have been mailed. Happy Dance!
  • I picked up my wedding band!
  • I booked my hair trial (for real this time!) It's next Weds on my birthday.
  • Sent two of our three readings to the readers.
  • We got our fist wedding gift!
Still Looking Forward To
  • Personalizing bridesmaids shirts
  • Making a make-up plan
  • Decorating the flower girl baskets
  • My shower and bachelorette party
  • Cutting and hand writing the place cards
  • Making table names
  • Making our thank you banner
  • The wedding!!

Wow, last week had a ton of done items. I went over/edited all of our readings with Mike this weekend. I sent two of them to our wonderful readers. The third one is ready to go, but remains unassigned. I'm going to email everything ceremony related that I posses to my officiant as soon as I'm done with this post. After that I plan on cutting some place cards. I think we're doing fairies for the ladies and then lizards for the men. We'll see...

I'm soooooo relieved that I'll be getting my hair trial done on my birthday after all. I've been a little sad about how low key my big 3-0 was going to be. Now's it's all better. I'll get my reasonably priced (yay) hair trial and take some pretty pictures. Happy Birthday to me.

The motto for last week (and probably the rest of the wedding): "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind".

Also: "May those who love us, love us. Those who do not love us, may God turn their hearts. If he cannot turn their hearts let him turn their ankles so we may know they by their limping" Keeping the Faith

51 days

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ready, Set, Mail!

Last night Mike picked up our maps. So this afternoon I sat and stuffed maps. Then I licked envelopes. It was funny because when I put all the postage on the other day I thought "Thank God, I don't have to lick all these stamps!" I totally forgot about envelopes!

After I had mapped and sealed the envelopes I used my trusty leaf stamp to pretty them up.

After I got done I had a mini breakdown. There were supposed to be 44 invitations (45 households including us). I counted when I was done and got 43. I was worried that in all the stages of the process I'd lost someone. I pulled up the guest list and checked that I had everyone. I did and there were supposed to be 44. I counted again and got 43. At that point I asked Mike to count. He determined that everyone was accounted for and that I had miscounted. There were in fact 44. Phew!

They'll get mailed in the morning, finally. Darn printer related delays, grumble. Hurray!! Giant check off the to do list.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

When There's a Place You Wanna Go...

Is my toddler mommy-ness showing? Anyone else humming the Dora the Explorer song? Well, my map kicks Dora's map's ass! Mike's mom made maps for two other weddings. I was so excited for my map! Mike's mom is definitely the source of a lot of his artistic talent. I told her I wanted fairies and the Sunken Gardens sign. She came up with the idea of putting our childhood homes on the map since we grew up so close to each other and so close to our venue. So, sweet.

Isn't it beautiful? I love that she added us and our kids in the little pink get away car. So cute! She really nailed the sign. I love the fairies, but I especially love the mushrooms! She hand painted the parchment paper texture for the background. My mother-in-law is sooooo better than your mother-in-law. Hee, hee!

On the back we used the border and background texture, but scanned in hand written information. There are directions of course, RSVP website, dress code and information about bringing children. I think it looks great! I'm so excited to put the maps in the envelopes and send off these invitations. They really are the icing on the cake. Perfect.

Huge thanks to the artist who made them, Lara for getting it to us and Jasandra for printing them when our printer died!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Wedding Band Obtained!

I went yesterday to pay for the winner in the wedding band search. It was under budget and looked great with my engagement ring. I was basically jumping up and down in the store. Riley on the other hand just gotten over a stomach flu so she's healthy, but her sleeping and eating schedules are out of whack. Translation, she was a crabby girl. Thank God, my mom came too.

I sent cranky pants to the food court with grandma and got sized. I am 4.5 (big knuckle, slender finger). They're going to put little bumps in it to keep it from moving around. I got the lifetime warrenty too. They told me it would be done 5pm the next day and I shuffled on home. A few hours later they called, it was ready! Now if Mike wasn't still working and Riley wasn't being such a pill I would have flown out the door right that minute, but I waited.

Until this morning actually. I dropped Riley off with her friends and headed off to pick up my ring. I marched right into the mall and before I had even entered the jewelry store the salesman who helped me yesterday spotted me, smiled and dashed off to retrieve my ring. He was a big man, but there was something munchkin like about his round smiling face. It looked so much prettier in my size.

They put the ring beads or "speed bumps" in when they sized it. It means I have to turn the ring slightly when pushing it over my knuckle, but it doesn't slip around on my finger.

Yay, the bag says I'm loved!

On my finger!

It doesn't fit flush against my engagement ring, but I learned during ring research that nothing will. I also remembered later that I don't care. I like the way they look together.

Now, I've tucked it away for the next 54days. I think I can handle waiting to wear it for almost two months because once I put it on I never have to take it off again.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I knew months ago thanks to another March bride on theknot.com that the postage rate was going up January 22. That was Sunday. Sigh...I had the invitations in the envelopes and the envelopes addressed on Saturday night. The problem is that I thought I was being super smart and got two sheets of the King and Queen of Hearts stamps I liked when I mailed the save the dates in August. Oh yeah. Face palm!

Luckily, I used one sheet and change to mail Christmas cards so I only had 17 useless stamps. I had a fleeting moment of hope and checked the stamps to see if they were forever or 44c. Guess which they were? You got it. Darn it. I clutched desperately to the new hope that there would be a cute 1c option. Hopes were dashed again. There is but one option, uno. A Tiffany lamp for Pete's sake. Groan.

I decided to go to the post office and see if there were other options. There were not. I came home with 16 (sticking tongue out) Tiffany lamp and a sheet of bonsai trees. (Did anyone catch that I was one lamp stamp short of using all my 44c stamps). Here's the results:

My hodgepodge of stamps. Grumble

Queen of Hearts is now Queen of expensive lamps. Seriously, it couldn't have been a flower or a bird or something?!?

Some guests will see a pretty little tree and some will get the king/queen of lamp.

The assortment...

All whining aside, I'm so relieved we worked it out. I can't wait to send them out into the world. I long for RSVPs and song requests and wedsite hits, it'll make everything real. I'm so relieved this part of the process is almost over.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

We Have A Plan, Man.

I'm defiantly fond of no jackets and we'd like to avoid renting if possible. I'm thinking we'll tie the boys together with their tie, ha! I should have said coordinate. At any rate we're thinking brown dress pants and off white to cream shirts. They'll all wear some kind of patterned neckties. I'm considering a bow tie for Isaac though. Mike with also have a vest so you know who the groom is. I think Mike may wear his brown fedora too. We'll see.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

My Ring Pillow

The other day I saw (and of course pinned) this:

I originally thought I'd just use the small green pillow Lara was kind enough to pass on after her wedding:

There's Isaac bearing the rings. The fedora came from the photo booth props and the bride rolled with it. He's saying "Step...together. Step...together" in all the pictures of him going down the aisle. So, I figured since it was small and green I'd cover it with one of the burlap sacks we got for favors. Something similar to what I did with Jasandra's ring pillow.

The only problem with that plan was that my sweet little girl long ago found that pillow and put it in her doll cradle. I had a thorough search for it over the weekend and it has vanished. Since Mike had a bag of polyfill from some long ago project I decided to start from scratch.

  • 2 4x6 burlap sacks
  • Polyfill (or a small pillow)
  • Embroidery thread
  • Large sewing needle
  • Scissors
  • Thin rope, twine or raffia
  • Ribbon and embellishments

First I set to work removing the stitches from two of the burlap sacks we got for favors (seedling trees for each household). When I turn them inside out, the stitches were white so they were easy to spot. I snipped the ends of each thread at the corners and then pulled them through.

As you can see I pulled all the stitches without removing the draw string. I just wasn't sure if I'd want that element or not and I knew I could always remove it later (and I did). I hand stitched in a tiny X pattern with green embroidery thread. I followed the folds of the bag to create an unfinished edge like my example picture. I really like that look.

I had originally intended to sew it with on the side where the original seams had been and turn it inside out. It'd been a long time since I hand stitched anything and I quickly realized turning it would mean you couldn't see the Xs or the unfinished edge. So, feel free to start stitching on the correct side of the pillow.

On a side note this project was an amazing stress release. I sat in my bed with an 80's wedding movie playing and some chocolate, rather than at my desk or dining room table. I gave instructions for Mike to occupy the the kids and I could her their delighted screams in the backyard through my bedroom window. Remember to leave a decent size gap for stuffing. You have to really squeeze it to get it into the corners.

Once it's stuffed you just close it on up. It's much more difficult to stitch once you've stuffed because the fabric pulls apart. I pushed the stuffing down and pinched the edge with my other hand to keep it together. Once it was all together, I carefully cut off the drawstring.

Ta-da! Pillow. Now, in this picture I was attempting to reuse the cord from the draw string to tie around the pillow, but it was too short for that so I scrapped that idea. I decided to try raffia or hemp cord (left over from my card box project). I also cut a mushroom out of cardboard to put on it in lieu of their wooden heart.

With Moss

Finished pillow with mushroom and ribbon added

Monday, January 23, 2012

Update Monday!

  • Bridesmaids Shirts came.
  • Had our Bridesmaids lunch!
  • Invitations are addressed
  • Met with the florist to show off centerpieces and finalize decor.
  • Mike's ring stones arrived.
  • Dates for the shower and bachelorette parties have been decided.
  • Rough seating plan made and table options confirmed with venue.
  • We have a parent dance song!
  • We have a plan for menswear.
  • I made our ring pillow!
  • We got our map, Thank you Doreen!!
Still Looking Forward To
  • Sending out invitations. We Should be printing maps today and mailing invitations, by Thursday.
  • Booking a new hair and make-up person.
  • Decorating the girls shirts.
  • My shower and bachelorette party
  • Picking up my ring.
  • The wedding!!

I'll be posting soon about a lot of the stuff I mentioned. It was an amazing week wedding-wise. I was so busy with wedding productivity and then a toddler with a stomach virus that I got way behind on the blog. I'll catch up quickly because I'm super excited to show you guys everything I've been up to.

We sat down and looked over the hair and make-up contract and it was simply outside my budget. I was sad, but I emailed her to tell her that I had to decline because she was outside my budget. She was very nice about it and wished me lots of luck. I've gone back to my original list of options. I'll probably end up going to a salon, which isn't the end of the world if that's the only place I have to be that day before the wedding. Wish me luck on this project. I really want to nail this down and do trials soon since my birthday's coming up and all my pre-wedding parties aren't until March.

Other than that, I'm still plugging away at the slide show and music for the reception. I feel like we're in pretty good shape I'm just worried about Mike feeling overwhelmed and not finishing something important, like his ring. The show must go on though, we'll figure it out.

58 days

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lunch With Team Bride

Today I gathered the girls and took them to a well deserved lunch. We went to Panera for sandwiches and sat outside it was a nice day. Leading up to lunch I'd been firing off emails, stuffing invitations, working on the rough seating plan, and a million other miscellaneous wedding related things. I woke up feeling overwhelmed. This lunch was the cure for my harried feeling.

All my lovely bridesmaids attended except one who was home with very sick kids. We had a nice chat about the things that went wrong or got forgotten on their wedding days. It's nice to have experience in your corner. Instead of making me worry their tales were terribly comforting and amusing. My maid of honor presented me with a stack of mildly embarrassing old photos for the slideshow. Good times though, when did I get so old?

We worked out the dates for my shower and bachelorette party. We're all excited for those. I think we worked it out so that there will be maximum attendance. Everyone confirmed their collective employers have released them the day before and day of the wedding, Yay! Not bad, for a Wednesday wedding. We discussed the events of the day before the wedding and who's coming to the rehearsal dinner. I've happily handed the responsibility for that over to Mike's dad so I had no idea who was coming to dinner exactly.

We also, thanks to Bekah's suggestion and Lara's mp3 player, picked a song for the parent dance. YAY! It was a very productive lunch. After a brief discussion about my frustration with Mike not having anything to wear Sandy and I decided to venture around the corner to Mens Wearhouse to check things out after lunch.

Regardless of the lackluster performance by the Mens Wearhouse staff it was a fruitful trip. I came home with a plan for the boys clothes that Mike actually liked. That is saying something. More on menswear later. I came home and full of inspiration started making my ring pillow from two small burlap sacks. More on that later too.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

60 Days!

That means the wedding's not this month, it's next month. Holy Cow. We seem to be chugging along. A detailed budget was created (by Michael no less). All our vendors and frienders are nailed down. All of the girls have something to wear. The invitations are addressed and waiting for maps and stamps. Mike has made 3 of our estimated 10 centerpieces. He also decided to make my garter and bought materials for that. I've scanned all the pertinent pictures Mike and I possess for the slide show (family and friends are still gathering more).

It took me 72hrs to go through all of my photos scan and save them. It took me two hours to do Mike's and that includes pulling everything off the internet that other people we're nice enough to scan already. Finalizing is the name of the game these days: decor, time lines, music/play list, must take pictures, vows. The only things yet to be started are menswear and Mike's ring. Yeah, I think that's it...Oh, and supplies for the unity ceremony, but that's 30seconds and $5 of internet time.

Tomorrow is my 4th get together with my bridesmaids. The first was at my my house over the summer, the second was a nice dinner out while my sister was in town, the third was a surprise they planned for me so we could look at all the dresses together and tomorrow I'm taking them to lunch. I initially thought there would be envelope stuffing post lunch, but that's done so we'll probably focus on what I've forgotten, dates, times and completely unwedding related girl talk.

I talked to my friend, who was married in the fall, last night. She said she won't tell me not to stress because everyone does, but she told me about her wedding day. One of her girls showed up very late (like she wasn't sure if she'd be there when she walked down the aisle or not, kind of late). It just didn't matter once the day started. Not only that but she had been adamant that the walkway to her groom be lined with mason jars with candles. She didn't even realize until the day was over that they never got lit. So, I laughed and took a deep breath. Maybe now is the time to organize a bit more and let go because whatever happens that day will happen.

Friday, January 20, 2012

We Showed The Printers Who's Boss!

It took some doing (it was a late night), but we were able to print our envelopes last night. Thank God I had extras! We used a font called Heather that we downloaded from fontfreak.com in the standard dark green. Mike added a little lizard wrapping around the address just for fun. Now they just need maps and stamps.

The stack!

Mike's decorative contribution

Gulp! 61 days?!?!?

Given the printer's temperment I hand wrote one for my special guests.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Addressing the Envelopes

First, we had to have a committee meeting about which font to use. Michael is super picky about fonts, we got complaints about the the save the dates being hard to read and I wanted something girly. Color was easy because the envelopes are brown so we went with green. After that I exported my guest list into a spreadsheet. Mike and I butted heads over how formal we should be. He was big on just writing first names and last names. I didn't want to be super formal, but I thought titles classed it up a bit. I won on that one (more or less). Then it took me hours and generous Googling to remember my Mail Merging skills.

It was at this point that, armed with 44 envelopes worth of documents, I enlisted Mike's help to test printing. For those of you who don't remember I would like to remind you now that I bought a new printer over the summer when we had issues with another wedding related project. It's not even 6mo old yet. He said "Ok, print the first one" (after checking all the settings). What followed were some very disturbing clunking noises akin to the Dad's battle with the furnace in A Christmas Story.

My heart sank, as there's no replacing the printer now and on principle it irritates me that it would be having issues so soon. Grrrr! Mike worked on it for hours and when it started acting normal again the alignment was all wrong so we gave up for a while. I'm worried I'll be hand addressing them again. When I tried to print a regular document the clunking started again.

If it was just an alignment issue we'd just switch to clear labels to move the printing along, but with the printer being so erratic who knows?

When I search DIY hand address wedding invitations every single hit says print the address lightly on the envelope and then trace it by hand. Nice, guys. If I could print I wouldn't be addressing by hand.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

We Meet Agian, Florist

Mike had three centerpieces to show the florist. Obviously, only the painted one is finished and the other two are still works in progress.

The unfinished two will/do have glowing mushrooms inside them as well as lit ones on them. Mike discovered glow-in-the dark hot glue on our last craft store trip. Am I the only one who wonders what besides this project people would use that for? The mushrooms inside the log are hot glue, tissue paper and high lighter. He painted the inside of the log black and added a tiny led black light. Neat, huh? I think the third kind he made is my favorite though. All gnarly and old looking. He'll put glow mushrooms underneath that one.

My best (but not very good) shot of the glow mushrooms. So fun!

We discussed filling the centerpieces with dried willow and vine clippings. Putting down a piece of fabric under each centerpiece with moss on it. Maybe burlap with a mixture of green and gray sheet moss and deer moss glued around the edge to make a border. We talked about our plans for disguising the pillar, Mike of course has taken that to the next level. As well as the potential room decor.

It's been determined that we need one more trip to the venue soon. This way we can solidify room decor and lay eyes on the ceremony site. We haven't looked at the ceremony site for years. Plus I want to discuss table set-up with their event person.

Here are the burlap sacks we got for our favors. We'll have oak and purple orchid seedlings for each household to choose from and take home. My original plan for leaving the favors around the centerpieces is not going to work. They are too amazing to be cluttered up with stuff. So, we talked favor presentation a bit too.

Thinking it over.

With the vine. So pretty!

Another shot of all three

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


My original vision was something like this:

Something dark grey or black with a pinstripe suggestive of the Great Gatsby. Mike vetoed the period and the pinstripe and the color. It was an overall no.

He wants to stay with earth tones. I like these:

Ok, so this is still old fashion, but it's heading in the right direction.

If Mike wants brown, I love this vest. In fact I like the vest no jacket look a lot. This grooms got a similar boutonniere to ours too. We'd probably want a more interesting tie. The only thing I dislike is the hat. It'd be cute on a ring bearer though.

If we were going to do hats I'd vote for these:

I love a fedora! How great would groomsmen in fedoras look next to my 1950's inspired bridesmaids dresses? I think matching hats may be a bit much to ask. I really love the brown vest though.