Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wedding Chain

My roommate Kelly gives the most amazing engagement gift ever... a wedding chain!  She creates a paper chain with a link for every day of the engagement leading up to the wedding day.  The paper chain is hung up all through our living room with the last link ending at my bedroom door.

The tradition started with Kelly's sister when she got married, and then she created one for my roommate Ashley when she got married in January, and currently there are two up in my apt; one for me and one for my roommate Courtney who is getting married in September.

It has been so much fun taking down a chain each day and knowing that it symbolizes getting one step closer to our wedding!!!!  Our wedding day will be here before we know it, and I can't wait :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Save the date... but don't break the bank

Anyone planning a wedding knows that save the dates wedding stationary is expensive!  Some of the websites I have looked at are trying to sell invitations for $6 a piece!!!  Crazy people.  The high cost of professional stationary encouraged me to get crafty, and be the DIY bride I know I can be.  I approached my amazing friend Laura to design all of the stationary for our wedding and she graciously agreed to help us out!  She really is amazing, and has been able to take my ideas and make them a reality.

First up of the necessary wedding stationary is the save the dates.  I wanted to send out save the dates, because our initial wedding plans have changed (which may confuse some) and I have a lot of family coming from out of town to our wedding in Joplin.  Magnet save the dates are my favorite because they are functional to the recipient, super cute, and they end up on the fridge instead of in the garbage! (that is a large bonus!)

I researched on line how to make my own magnet save the dates, and found out that stores sell printer paper with magnets on the back, which are safe for running through inkjet printers!  I know... I was shocked to!  This is what the package of magnet paper looked like that I picked up:

Laura designed the initial image, and then we figured out that we could fit 10 of the images on a page of paper if we made them business card size.

Once it came out of the printer, I took an exacto knife and carefully cut around edge of each save the date.  The process is a little time consuming, but well worth the money saved!

After cutting all of them out I plan on putting them into an envelope with a card letting guests know where we are registered, and our wedding website where they can stay up to date on all things wedding :)  

I am really happy with how they turned out and it saved us a lot of money to do it ourselves. (P.S. did you notice the mason jars?!  Get excited for them to continue to show up!)  A package of three pieces of magnet paper cost $5.97, and a pack of 50 invitation envelopes was $4.27.  The most expensive part of this project is going to be the postage!  I encourage anyone going through the planning process right now to research how to do some of the projects on your own, because the money saved can be amazing :)  Happy DIYing!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cakes, Cakes, and More Cakes!

I have a giant sized sweet tooth.  Always have, probably always will.  My nickname as a child was cookie monster thanks to me sniping cookies at bible camp.  So it comes as no surprise that I am excited about the wedding cake and have many ideas about the perfect one.  Cameron's very talented aunt is going to make our wedding cake for us and she does amazing piping detail.  We are going with a buttercream cake (fondant is icky!), and I want beautiful piping detail in the same color.  Here are a few cakes that have caught my eye recently and are serving as ideas for our wedding cake.  Enjoy :)

Absolutely amazing!  This was featured on the blog Realistic Wedding.  I love the contemporary piping on a very classic cake.

I really like the ribbon at the base of the tier.  I would really like to have pewter ribbon to match the bridesmaids dresses at the base of each tier on our cake.  You can find this one at The Twisted Sifter.

LOVE LOVE LOVE this cake!!!  It may not be perfect for our wedding, but I would love to have it at something... maybe a bridal shower.  I just love how the piping detail looks like lace ribbon swirling around the cake :) Ahh... be still my heart!  See this and other spring wedding cakes at Wedding Cakes.

I love the fan piping detail on this cake and I have seen it on other cakes in yellow and white on white, which match our color scheme.  Check this one out at Elizabeth Anne Designs.

I love how each of the layers has a different piping detail, and I love the space for flowers in between each of the tiers.  I have also heard that not placing the tiers directly on top of one another makes the cake easier to cut... it is a win-win.  Find this cake at Cake Walk.

Here are just a few ideas that are inspiring our future wedding cake right now.  Send me pictures and ideas if you have any!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

March Showers Bring Fabric Flowers

When I wrote about the bridesmaid's attire I talked about wanting to add something to the dresses to jazz them up and make them unique.  The solution is... fabric flowers!!!  I have been kind of really obsessed with fabric flowers that I have seen in a lot of wedding blogs, and I knew that I could recreate the look for my own girls.  I went out yesterday with the goal in my head to find a light, airy fabric that was inexpensive and could be used to make a great accent flower for the girl's dresses.

My search lead me to Wal-Mart (I was surprised too) and I was able to get a bolt of fabric for $5!!!  I added on $1.27 worth of gold tulle and set to work.

I picked up the idea for the flower type that I made from the blog Maize Hutton.  First I cut strips of the gray fabric 1 and 2 inches wide and the length of the bolt of fabric.  I took thread in a similar color and made simple stiches along one side of the strip.

After stitching along one side, I pulled the thread so that the one side is bunched up.  I made a circle out of the fabric and tacked the pieces together with a few stitches to make the flower shape.

The next step was to add the gold tulle.  I cut two circles (imperfect circles) of the tulle and tacked it to the back of the gray flower with a few stitches.

I am really excited about the final product!!!  I am going to clump the flowers in a group of three at the waist with a large one in the center and a smaller one on each side.  

I am also going to make a headband for my flower girl with matching fabric flowers.  She will be so excited!  If you want to experiment making fabric flowers to add to tank tops, purses, dresses, etc. here are a few more sites that I found with really good tutorials:
Happy flower making!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bridesmaid Attire

I feel like my posts have been non-informative as to what is being accomplished in wedding planning so this post is to get back to information sharing :)  In my life I have been blessed by some lovely ladies that I want to share my special day with.  I have 7 bridesmaids and one junior bridesmaid (who is pretty darn cute!), and I am super excited for their "look"

When picking out a dress I wanted to find one that was simple and "garden party" in style because of the wedding being outside in August.  I also wanted to find a dress that was sophisticated and flattered all body types.  The winner was a dress from David's Bridal in Pewter that is adorable in my opinion!  And as a bonus it costs only $80, which is pretty darn cheap for a bridesmaid dress.

And the junior bridesmaid's dress, also from David's Bridal, is really similar, but meets the criteria of being more age appropriate for a 10-year-old :)

I would like to jazz up both dresses with a brooch or flower at the waist... we shall see :)

The other aspect to the bridesmaid's attire that I am super de duper excited about is the shoes!!!  I wanted shoes that popped and made a statement, so I went the dyeable route to get the exact color that I wanted. Sticking with the wedding colors of grey and yellow, I chose to order the shoes from Payless in the color Daffodil that is offered from their Unforgettable Moments shoe line.  The bridemaids are wearing the style Natalie (the name of my maid of honor!) and the junior bridesmaid will wear a flat in the same color :)  I am sooooooo excited!

Nathalie Dyeable Round-Toe Pump

Beyond the fact that the shoe color is perfect, I was able to apply Payless's BOGO sale to them, which made buying a bulk order a lot more affordable :)

I am still working out what type of accessories to go with... maybe a statement necklace?  We shall see :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Honeymoon Registries...?

So I have a question (and yes my brain just finished this comment with "do you want to have a slumber party in my basement?-- thank you Ke$ha for ruining my brain).  Anyway back to my question: what do you all think about honeymoon registries?  Registries are a normal (and very exciting!!!) part of wedding/marriage preparation, but does the honeymoon fall into this?  I have heard of honeymoon registries before, and about a week ago someone asked me if I had considered signing Cameron and I up for one.  My response, ".... uhhh.... I have never really thought about it".  So of course their comment did make me think about it, which led me to research the concept a little, which led me to the dilemma that I am presenting to all of you.

Some honeymoon registries are set up to allow guests to purchase dinner for two, massages for two, or other activities/services to use on your honeymoon.  Other registries are organized to allow guests to pay for nights at the resort or hotel you have chosen or airfare.  Still others allow for people to just give monetary gifts that are pooled into a "honeymoon" fund for you to pull from when planning and paying for the honeymoon.

Here is my dilemma.  I fully believe that the honeymoon is necessary and beneficial for a newly married couple.  It is the opportunity to spend complete one on one time away from family, friends, and committments to celebrate the new marriage.  And I will be completely honest... I am SUPER excited for my honeymoon.  The problem that I have is that I feel as if I am asking people for money, and undermining the real reason that I want everyone at my wedding, which is to celebrate with Cameron and I.  I realize that all registries are asking people for money in a way, and that people give the gifts because they love us and want us to start our life together without worrying about having dishes to eat on , but the honeymoon registry feels weird to me.  Now my question to all of you is: am I crazy?  Are honeymoon registries the new thing that I should jump on?  Or do you guys agree with me?  Let me know!

Below are some websites and articles that I looked at during my research:

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mason Jars

I have recently become in love with all things mason jars.  I want actual mason jars to drink out of at the wedding.  I want mason jars on the invites.  I want to use mason jars as vases and candle holders and now I want to use mason jars to make a chandelier after seeing this picture on Oh Lovely Day!

It is too cute for words and it will be a project for this summer!  Poor Cameron has a lot of projects to help me with :)

Here is a picture of the invites that I am in love with!

fireflies Wedding Invitations

I found them on Minted, and while I cannot afford their price, it did give me some ideas of how I would like to design our stationary for the wedding.  This Friday I am meeting with Laura to design them and I cannot wait to share what we create!

There is a little bit of the mason jar obsession going through my head that I wanted to share!  I'm sure there will be more mason jars to come :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Planning for Marriage

Good morning everyone!  I am going to squeeze in this post before church this morning so that I can enjoy the day... but more on that later.  Many who have been around me the last month after getting engaged can attest to the fact that the wedding planning process has not been all rainbows and ponies for me.  Every girl has a glamorous idea of being on cloud nine during the process and everything falling into place perfectly.  This is reality for some, but not for me and that is okay I have begun to realize.  I have also begun to realize that the wedding is one day, an absolutely amazing day that will be cherished forever, but one day nevertheless.  The important part of the wedding is that it symbolizes the start of a lifelong journey of being married to another person; good, bad, or completely awesome!  I need to spend the next five months not only planning the one day that is the wedding, but planning my heart and mind for being a wife for the rest of my life.

Part of getting my heart and mind ready for marriage is learning from other couples.  Cameron and I have had the pleasure of being part of a couples bible study that encourages conversations about topics that can be problematic for couples.  The study works through the book 10 Great Dates Before You Say I Do, and I truly believe that it has been a good experience for our relationship.  Many of the topics we have talked about already, but it is always good to go over them again and learn from the tips and examples provided by the authors.  Even more beneficial than reading through the book (at least in my opinion) is the conversations we have had with the other couples in the study.  It is led by an older couple who have 30 years of marriage experience to share, and a younger couple with 2 years of marriage experience to speak of.  Their personal experiences and advice have been encouraging, eye opening, challenging, and soooooo appreciated.  I have found women that I can trust and confide in, which is a gift that will last a lifetime, and as a couple we have found other couples that are going through similar circumstances and want to share their experiences as a way of offering help.  It has been a wonderful experience while preparing for marriage and I hope that we can find a bible study for the next stage of our relationship that will be just as encouraging.

Last nights conversation at bible study was centered around leaving and cleaving.  This is an area that Cameron and I spend a lot of time talking and problem solving about.  Both of us have very close relationships with our families and it has been a learning process to shift our focus to the family that we will be creating together.  It is a learning process that we are still on, but also one that has made our relationship so strong.  Conversation is required as we navigate through the challenge, and it has encouraged sharing of opinions, supporting each other other, and building a close, committed friendship to one another.  I am so blessed that God has given me a friend in my future husband.  Each day I look forward to telling him funny things I have seen while out and about, hearing about his day of class (icky!), and talking about the adventure of marriage that we are both looking forward to.  He is awesome and I love him!

I am glad that I had the chance to write this post this morning, because after church Cameron and I are off to my future in-laws to celebrate my future sister's 20th birthday!!!  Happy Birthday Joy!!!  Can't wait to spend the day with you :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where we are at so far...

I realized yesterday after I wrote the first post that I illuded to the fact that we had found a venue and a photographer, but I had not shared any of the details... it's the blonde in me :)  So this post is going to serve as an update for those of you who are not in my head.

We are having our reception at.... drum roll please... the Springhouse Gardens in Joplin!  I am super de duper excited about the location, because it allows us to still have the outdoor reception we had created in our minds!!!  Yay for not having to rethink everything!!! The location is gorgeous, has parking for lots and lots of people (our guest list keeps growing...), and will be full of surprises for our guests!  I seriously cannot wait!

I must admit to all of you that I did the process of venue and photographer backwards.  I'm not much for being normal :)  Back in January (when I thought that our reception was going to be in Michigan) I attended the Metropolitan Bridal Expo in Springfield and met an amazing pair of photographers.  I was in love from the first glance of his sweater vest and bow tie, and her sweet demeanor.  Ask anyone and they will tell you I was probably a bit annoying about my love for their work.  They have such a romantic and vintage look to their photography, and they are passionate about what they do... it makes me want to be around them all the time to pick up some of their love for their job!  Anywho back to January.  After I met them I considered using them for engagement photos, because Cameron and I were not going to be in Michigan at the same time until the wedding, which meant that we would not be able to have an engagement session with our original photographer.  Fast forward to anxiety of completely changed wedding, and they were the first photographers that came to mind.  I called them before I even had a venue picked out and asked for their available dates in August.  They were available on the original date we had chosen for Michigan and I knew that it was God opening doors for us.  I am now the lucky girl that gets to have the talented Adam and Wendy of Abundant Life Photography capture my happy day!!!!  Please go and view their work!  It is amazing and brings instant happiness :)

On the subject of our photographer, all of you could help me out if you were to go and "like" Abundant Life Photography on Facebook!  They are working on getting their follower numbers up and have a little contest going on for the original 100 followers.  All you have to do is go to their page, "like" them, and then write on their wall saying that I sent you!  Simple and easy, and you could help me win an Ipod Touch, which would be oh so fun for the honeymoon :)

Keep sending me ideas and keeping Cameron and I in your prayers as we get ready for the exciting adventure of becoming married!  I honestly cannot wait until August 12th!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Journey Begins

This is it!  Day 1 of my wedding blog, which hopefull can expand into my married life blog and then maybe a mommy blog (a long way down the road :) ).  This is exciting!

For this post I feel like I should update anyone reading on where I am at in the planning process and then I can do my posts based on progress I am making.  A week ago Saturday I was informed that all of my wedding plans so far had to be changed, because my wedding could no longer be at the family lake house. Cue the anxiety attack and then determination to fix my predicament.  In one week I managed to find a new venue, book a new photographer, and do research on a DJ (that is still to be decided).  Woohoo the fiancee and I are pretty BA!

Yesterday I met with my friend Sam who has graciously volunteered to be my wedding coordinator, meaning that she is going make sure that I do not go crazy during the next 5 months!  I love love love her for that!  I threw out my hodge-podge (spelling?) of ideas and she is working to make sense of them... I'll keep you updated on how that goes :)

Wish me luck on my wedding adventure and send ideas my way if you have them!