Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flower Babies

I actually don't know any children the right age to be in a wedding, but two of my friends do have super adorable baby girls. And by baby, I mean 18 months old. Which means there's like a 75% chance that they will not be able to walk down the aisle. Although, as of a few months ago, they can walk! At any rate, I'm completely prepared for these little beauties to not make it down the aisle. But I still think it's possible one of 3 ways.

1) Best case scenario: The bridesmaids walk them to the end of the aisle where they are pointed toward mommy who is holding a favorite toy. They run to mommy.

2) The bridesmaids walk them out where they get shy and the Bridesmaids continue to lead them down the aisle.

3) The bridesmaids walk them down the aisle where they completely freeze up and the Bridesmaids carry them down the aisle.

4) They completely lose it before the walk out there and we text Mommy to come and retrieve them. They sit out the ceremony til they quiet down. They return to the reception where they are doted on for their cuteness.

And speaking of cuteness, their dresses will be CUTE. I put it a custom order on Etsy with TiarasTutus for one of these babies.

The dresses I've requested are a blend of light blues with a bit of sapphire blue peaking out the bottom, sapphire ribbon and yellow roses. And since asking them to toss petals seems like asking WAY too much, I've come up with these.

I'm using etsy seller, Pickmeflowers, to create two custom flower wands for my little fairies. The ones we're having made will feature blue hydrangea, sapphire ribbon-wrapped sticks and pale yellow ribbons streaming down. And my own idea--little bells that give the wands a little "jingle" to inspire carrying them around. But the bells are removable in case they're distracting during the ceremony.

I'll also be gifting the little princess with some wings to match. So what do you guys think? Are these going to be the cutest little flower babies ever?

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Friday, July 17, 2009

S'more bling

One part of the planning (ie buying) that I didn't think I would get that excited about was buying the bands. It's not that I have anything against them, I just hadn't thought that much about it. The engagement ring seemed exciting and pretty, the bands just seemed...practical. Even as I started out looking at bands, it wasn't that exciting. Rings for Matt were mostly super plain (he was not into bling or brushed surfaces or stuff like that) and the rings for me were just o-kay. My engagement ring is a s-u-p-e-r thin pave diamond band with a round center stone and most of the chain (read cheap) jewelry stores just didn't have anything that could work with the size. I tried a plain platinum band that was almost thin enough and thought it was beautiful, though not particularly exciting. I also tried on several diamond bands, but they didn't match my ring. Finally, I caved and went to De beers, which is where my ring came from, and tried on the matching band. It definitely looked the best on (and was exciting and okay, i loved it), but it was really pricey. Like pretty much as much as the e-ring. Which just seemed wrong.

Meanwhile, back at the ponderosa, Matt (who at that point could care less about rings) mentioned that he liked how my brother-in-law's ring had beveled edges. But he wanted the beveled edge w/o the brushed metal and he wanted it in white gold. So I did a quick internet search and found this beauty.

It was exactly what he had described! The only trouble was Blue Nile is an online-only jeweler, so we'd have to order on faith. After checking the return policy (30 days, no problem), we took a leap and ordered. And it's beautiful. So man ring = done. And we got two super cool discounts b/c I'm an internet-shopping genius.

1) I did a promo code search for Blue Nile and found that we could get $50 off if we paid with a Visa. Done.
2) I had it shipped to my friend in NJ so we wouldn't have to pay NY state sales tax. And that saved another $50. Done.
So we shaved off a cool hundo with just some clever interneting. I'm so proud of this it's embarrassing.

Now back to me. I was still struggling with the plain platinum band or the super expensive diamond band. Both were beautiful, but you only ever get one wedding ring (knock on wood), so you want to love it. And Matt was no help. His feedback was, "the diamond one looks way better, but it's so expensive." Uh, thanks. That's pretty much exactly what I've been thinking. So I stalled a bit and decided on a lark to check out the webpage of a jewelry store where a friend of mine had gotten a gorgeous vintage engagement ring. It's called Doyle and Doyle and is located in the lower east side of Manhattan. (The website is doyledoyle.com if you're interested.) I tooled around on their super cute site for awhile and found this sparkler.

Possibly perfect? It's the same width as my e-ring and is a diamond pave band and...it was about $1000 cheaper than the de Beers ring. The only issue was it was in white gold instead of platinum. So I emailed a salesperson on the site (and she got right back to me, great customer service) and asked if they could do it in platinum. She said that they could, but platinum and white gold actually look the same when they're new b/c they're both coated in Rhodium and at worst I would have to re-coat it in 10 years. Besides, the ring's design only showed the metal on the inside anyway. I was sold! So I made a trip to the store to check it out in person. Still pretty sure that it probably wouldn't work out.

Luckily, this was the greatest jewelry store ever. I mean, I was seriously in love with this place and haven't stopped singing its praises since. It's tiny and instead of jewelry cases, they put the jewelry in frames on the wall to save room. And they had the most beautiful estate pieces you've ever seen. It's definitely the place to shop for good jewelry and I'll be a fan for the rest of my life. It wasn't super cheap, but at $250-$5000, you could definitely get something for a special occasion.

The ring I had my eye on wasn't a vintage piece, however. They actually have a custom designer on staff who creates vintage inspired pieces. And I think I tried every one of them on. It was so fun. And after being seriously tempted to get a diamond and sapphire band instead, I bought the one I had originally seen. Only that picture didn't do it justice. It's GORGEOUS and matches my e-ring like it was made for it. How did that happen? Too perfect.

In fact there were two catches,

1) It takes 8-10 weeks to make a custom ring and I only had 9. But they assured me they could get it done in 8. So now it's just waiting. (But I want it noooooowwwww---Veruca Salt)

2) B/c It's an "eternity" band, meaning diamonds all the way around, it can never be resized. So I have to order it perfectly today. And never get fat hands. This actually has been making me nervous. When they measured my ring finger, they swore I should be wearing a 4. Yes, 4.0. As in a child's ring. But the 4 on the sizer was so hard to get off, if bruised my knuckle. And my e-ring is a 4.75 (although too big). Eventually we decided on a 4.5--which will probably still be a little big, but give me some room to grow in. :)

Anyway, that's the ring story. And I can't wait to see them all together!

Oh, except in my "it's so sparkly" excitement, I forgot to ask about the quality of the diamonds. Duh. My diamond-educated fiance informed me that this was a total bonehead move. So I called the store in a panic, sure that this was the reason it was so much cheaper. But they got back to me and I found out that the diamonds are the same quality as my center stone. Which is pretty unheard of for an eternity band since all the stones have to be matched. Moral of the story: it worked out this time, but I'll remember to ask the practical questions next time I'm dazzled by some "ice."

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Micromoon

Because we’re planning a weeklong adventure wedding in Austin and because we already spent two weeks in South Africa getting engaged this year, we can’t really take off more work days for a long honeymoon. So goodbye fantasy of heading to the airport in my cute brunch mini dress with veil and heels. Goodbye fantasy of unwinding after all the excitement with tropical drinks on a far away beach. Le sigh.

However, we’re not going to just skip on the honeymoon altogether. We’ll be taking a belated honeymoon sometime next winter/spring (more time to save up=silver lining). And I’ve heard of other couples going this route, but taking a “mini-moon” first. Just a few days in a nearby area to unwind. We don’t have time for that either. But we don’t want to skip out altogether and would like some time with just the two of us (where we’re not constantly entertaining) before we head back to work and the real world. So we’ve decided to take just 1 night after the guests have gone for a “micromoon.”

We’ll be venturing just out of Austin to a resort called Lost Pines. It’s a Hyatt resort and is set up to be kind of like a fancy summer camp for families. Hopefully if won’t be packed full of noisy kids by late September, which means we’ll have the place to ourselves and…we’ll have the run of all the awesome kiddie activities.

And there’s tons. They offer free s’mores every night in rocking chairs. They have a lazy river, waterfall pool, mini beach and slide. And that’s in addition to a spa, fancy restaurant and the numerous outdoor activities you can sign up for. Like rafting, horseback riding and hiking. We’ll probably mostly hang out in the pool, but maybe we’ll get a massage or go horseback riding. Who knows? Anyway, it looks beautiful and I’m excited we’ll get to take a little time for ourselves before heading back to harsh reality.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I need your help!

Alright, I'm taking a break from reporting what I have done and I'm going back to something I haven't done yet. Decide what to do on the ceiling. If you remember, our venue is pretty spare (although pretty) and I'd like to dress it up a little with some ceiling interest. Here's what I'm thinking.

White Christmas Lights strung about?

Paper Lanterns?

Italian bulb string lights? Or Small paper lanterns?

Swags of fabric?


Alright, I'm hoping to make a decision this week. So let me know what you think!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

The Cake: It's what's on the outside that counts

At least it's what's on the outside that counts to most brides. My top priority was the taste. But I still wanted a pretty cake. After looking at a lot of designs, I realized that a) wedding cakes can be beautiful, b) wedding cakes can be over the top and c) most of these are done in fondant. But a priority for me was no fondant. Which actually ruled out a few bakers who will only work in fondant. But I don't like the taste and texture (like coating your cake in sweet modeling clay), so I held my ground. The upside is, for the bakers who will work with you, this usually means the cake is much cheaper b/c the labor is cut down so much. Anyway, here are a couple kinds of cake designs we looked at.

Cakes decorated with real flowers (that's gotta be easy for the baker right?) These ranged from tons of flowers to very simple.

Cakes with ribbon (again, should be easy for the baker to create)

Cakes with paper decorations (unfortunately this one is fondant)

Cakes with fur decorations (this one actually grossed me out. like it's rat-flavored or something)

And finally, the winner! I really wanted a cake with a homemade look and big fluffy icing. Because when I see one in a bakery window, I think, "I want that!" Unfortunately, homemade is not a popular look for wedding cakes. But after some digging, I actually found this beauty with fluffy icing and some flower decorations. Perfect!

Now the only question is, what flowers do we use?

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

A wedding of a different color

Okay, if you read my flower post, you may have noticed that I was wanting a lot of yellow in the flowers. It's b/c of this post from Once Wed. http://www.oncewed.com/12037/real-weddings-blog/real-weddings/pernel-aaron-ii/

It features my aqua blue, but paired with lemon yellow and I loved it! It was so fresh and summery. Plus my friend Cristin had just been to a wedding that was so matchy-matchy, it "creeped her out." I didn't want to put that out there and I didn't want my wedding to feel like a prom. So I'm thinking still aqua blue and sapphire blue, but adding yellow as a tertiary color to mix things up and add some pop. But now that I'm looking at these pictures again, I'm noticing that the bouquets use a lot of pink. Should I throw that in too?

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Where have I been?

Sorry for the MIA in posting. But a lack of computer access meant no posting. But let me catch you up with what's been going on.

1) We chose a cake design.

2) We handled the rentals and the bar.

3) We chose a photographer.

4) We bought wedding bands.

5) I booked hair and makeup.

6) Our invite designer created a monogram for us.

7) I made custom etsy requests for flower baby dresses, wands, bridesmaid dresses and pocket squares for the groomsmen.

8) We hired the Austin Community College to be our florist.

Alright, we'll hit the first 7 soon, but first, the flowers. Yes I planned to do the flowers myself and yes, I think we could've done a great job. But then I read about an Austin wedding where the bride had used the community college's florist program. It seemed like a great deal, so I emailed them to see the deal. Would it be affordable b/c it would be a school project, would they be willing to work with my tiny budget? Yes and yes! Apparently they try to book as many weddings/events as possible for their students and basically work at cost. So it's like DIY without the Y. Perfect. Which means the night before the wedding, I'll just relax with friends and family and get a good night's sleep before the big day. And here's a few pics I sent for flower inspiration.

Bridal Bouquets

I love big, fluffy garden roses and decided to splurge on them for my bouquet. We're not sure they'll be in season, but I have my fingers crossed. The plan right now is ivory roses with some little blue flowers stuck in. But I'm not sure it wouldn't be nice to add some pale yellow or pink. What do you think?

For centerpieces, I told them mixed wild-looking flowers in blue mason jars.

For colors, I'm thinking the same colors that are in the stain-glass windows. Blues, purples, yellow, pink, and green. So all over the place.

For the bridesmaids, I'm all over the place. Baby blue hydrangeas? White? Yellow roses? Darker blue delphinium?

For the groomsmen, we've decided to skip bouts and gift them each a gingham yellow pocket square with monogram in blue that we found for $3 on Etsy. But for the groom, I think he should still have one. Maybe one like this, but with spray roses, b/c apparently ranunculus is out of season in September.

And for the moms, both chose wrist corsages. I saw these beauties on Martha Stewart and thought they were beautiful.

I'm thinking pale yellow flowers with an ivory ribbon b/c their dresses are (respectively) mocha and teal.

So what do you think about the flowers? What should I do about the bridesmaids? Anything else?

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