Slideshow Alternative

I was trying to come up with some ideas for showing pictures of S and I at our reception, and, keeping with my goal to be original, I wanted to do something besides a slideshow. While I always enjoy the slideshows at weddings (who DOESN'T like seeing the beautiful bride and groom in their akward years?), I wanted something that could be easier to pull out and look at again.

My first thought was to mat and mount pictures of S and I that I had blown up on paper in the wedding colors. This would definitely look incredible, but it was unreasonable. What would I do with two dozen mounted pictures in purple and green? Doesn't exactly fit in to the decor of my house!

Instead, I decided to make 10 scrapbook pages with pictures of both of us at about the same ages on each. This allows me to use the pictures I currently have, and I will be able to put the two of us together on the same page. It will show a transition from being a baby to our engagement in adulthood. Each page will have a piece of the song "Better Together" by Jack Johnson. When the wedding is over, and the pages have been displayed at the reception, I can put them into a book and have a memory to keep forever.

I'll post pictures when I have some examples! :)

Pillows and Baskets and Etsy... Oh My!

For those of you who have not visited Etsy, stop reading this and go now! Once you have explored this wonderful world of handcrafted goodies, come back and continue reading...

Now that you have a good idea of the wonderful, amazing, fabulous, (a lot more great adjectives to describe something you probably won't be able to live without), I will tell you what I have recently purchased from there: ring bearer pillow and matching flower girl basket. These two items will be wonderfully coordinated to both my colors and each other, but not look like the typical run-of-the-mill wedding accessory. I am in love with this pillow, aren't you!?

It is called a "knotty pillow" made by a lady with a store called Romancing Juliet. She does custom accessories for weddings, mostly these pillows and matching baskets. I am tempted to buy a cute bird cage looking box for the cards that she has on her shop site. Needless-to-say, I could get in some trouble with this site!

Some previous finds have been my veil (simple, ivory tulle for a third of the cost from a boutique), an adorable hair piece (see picture below), and quite a few other fun home items that are not wedding-related!

This adorable hair piece (which I will put on for the reception after I wear the veil for the ceremony) was from the Etsy store Brenda's Bridal Veils. This is another fun little addition that I had looked at in various bridal boutiques, but would have never parted with the money to buy one. I got the flower above for $27! That isn't even a month's worth of coffee!

So, now that you've seen my fun finds, and you have explored the site for yourself, go back and have fun! By the way, if you scroll down on the home page, you can click on a 'wedding' tab and go straight to a break down of all the fun wedding-oriented categories! Keep and eye out, my amazing graphic designer might just be starting a store for her invitations and graphics!

Bright & Beautiful

Once again, I am trying to incorporate unique and fun elements into my wedding. The newest being 36" (that's 3 feet people!) bright, colorful balloons in my wedding colors: lime green, purple, and an ivory. Although typical helium balloons scream middle school "last chance dance," these balloons give an element of whimsy and a classy playfulness to my big day. I plan on using them for a few of the pictures with the girls, then designating where our reception is by having these monsters marking the door.

The other feature of these balloons that keeps away from looking a little cheesy is their shape. They are large, spherical shapes- looking more like giant orbs than your regular, run-of-the-mill balloon. I hope that they really play up the fun and color of spring! Here is where my inspiration came from:

Martha Stewart Weddings- Summer 2009

I saw this, and thought it would be a lot of fun to incorporate into my own wedding. Below are pictures of the three balloon colors I will be using.

I'm excited to see how they play into the feel and scheme of the wedding. It's getting sooo close, and everything is falling right into place! 
By the way- I bought 10 balloons for $50 including the shipping- not a bad deal!

Gotta Love Ebay!

So, as you have gathered, I want to be as original as possible when planning my wedding. The problem I have ran into with this goal is money, always money! However, I have not had to sacrifice many of my ideas due to money. Case in point: table cloths.

Most receptions that you attend have either a white, ivory, or black table cloth. All of those are fine, and usually look very classy when dressed up nicely. I wanted something different, though. Since I've changed my colors to green and purple, I wanted to have fun with this, and play up the bright hues of spring! My idea was to have a lime green table cloth with a deep purple overlay- perfect!

The only problem is that it's expensive to do this. To rent a 120" round table cloth will run you around $19 a piece. To put the 84"x 84" overlay will add an additional $16 per table. This comes to a whopping $35 a table, or $525 to RENT my table covers! Geez... not exactly going to fall into my budget conscious wedding plan!

I started to think that just plain ivory wouldn't be that bad. I've never thought anything was wrong with the usual tables in the receptions I've been to! But... I really, really, really want the color! New plan: ebay. I spent about a week pricing out table cloths to purchase on the wonderful, world-wide yard sale, and finally found some for reasonable prices. I bought a lot of 10- and a lot of 5- 120" round, tea-green table cloths for a total of $150. Then, I bought a lot of 10- and a lot of 5- 84" x84" square, purple table cloths for $120. This brought me to a grand total of $270 to cover the tables in the reception: a far cry from the rental price. There was also a HUGE bonus to doing it this way- I can now resell these table cloths on Ebay when I'm done with them! So they may even end up free!?

I still need to get linens for the bridal table and the food tables, but this is a great start. I believe I will be able to borrow the linens for the other tables anyway! :) Below is a mock-up of what the tables will look like (without the centerpieces, of course). I am in love with this! I can't wait to see these bright, fun tables in the Event Center!

Rings Please!

Another task to check off my checklist (speaking of, future brides The Knot has AMAZING bridal guides and checklists- great resource!). S and I went and picked out a ring for him this weekend! He has been apprehensive to even get a ring, so I was happy that he found one he likes. We decided on a black ceramic ring for a few reasons: 1. it immediately stood out to both of us as a nice looking ring 2. it will shatter when under enough pressure, not bend like other metals (thus smashing your finger irreparably) 3. it is non-conductive (important so that it doesn't become an element if ever in contact with electricity- as a mechanic this is a big deal).

So, here it is (well a picture of one similar).

And, for anyone interested, here's a reminder of mine :)

Some Details from the Man Side of Things

I picked the tuxedos! This was an entertaining piece, if nothing else. S and I have decided that no matter where we go or what we are trying to accomplish, if we go together we will get the worst customer service available! This fact was proven once again when we went to Serendipity for tux rentals. This little shop in EO is usually known for being friendly, professional, and easy to work with. I think we, along with our S/E curse, came on a bad day with someone new trying to figure out the ropes.

The three of us- me, S, and his mom- went in to the shop, and I told the girl what we were after. She pulled out some books for us to look at, and left us to it. I knew I was after a grey tux, so I scanned to find one. We went through the process of writing up the tux, along with the vest and ties, and then she asked if we wanted to pay that day. Thank goodness for that! I said that it might be nice to just get it out of the way, so she totaled up the price for five tux rentals: $650. What!? That was going to be more than I had spent on my girls! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!! We backtracked a little, and discovered that I had, quite literally, picked the single, most expensive tux to rent. She hadn't even blinked an eye to inform me of the price break down!

Well, I took a brochure and decided to make a decision and call in the order later. Grey was out, due to the price. I settled on a nice, simple black tux with a lapis vest and tie for the groomsmen. For my groom, he is going to wear the black tux with an ivory vest and tie. I am happy with this decision, and it was fun to have that first real money shock. I am also happy that I don't mind sticking to my budget, even if it means compromising some of the details. No one will ever think "man, these guys look sharp, but they'd look better in grey!"

Only 4 Months Left! Drama, Drama, Drama...

Wow! It is now only 116 days until the big day! I can't believe how quickly my "long" engagement is passing by! So... as many have pointed out, time has flown by without so much as a word from me on this blog.

To get you all caught up, I thought I'd start with some drama surrounding our wedding. S and I get along and talk too well to have any real arguments over planning and creating this wedding, so we have to leave it up to others to create the drama for us! Because, seriously, how can you pull off an honest wedding if there isn't any conflict!?

The first batch of what S and I now refer to as the "really... you're really going there" moments involved our wedding party. It was brought to the attention of my soon-to-be groom that there was a groomsman that was MY friend, not his. This, of course, is quite absurd seeing as how I have no brothers! WRONG!! The solo groomsman that belongs to me practically IS my brother, but, lest this wedding gets planned without drama, someone had to point out this conflict of interest. After all, how, while still loving my fiance whole-heartedly, can I ask another man to be in my wedding!? My answer was simple: S and I trust each other unfailingly (why shouldn't we?), and in knowing that, this wasn't an issue. Additionally, this groomsman in question has been like my brother since we were in diapers; his brother is performing the ceremony! Needless-to-say, our point was taken and no further comment has been made on the issue.

Now, to the middle-school level drama (I feel like an expert on this type, and I can spot it a mile away). Everyone loves weddings, right!? WRONG! Those who have walked the aisle, said "I do," and have since said "I don't" seem to feel it is their unalienable right to tell you what a fool you are being. The jabs come from a wide variety of angles and a variety of people- both those close to you and those who you wouldn't recognize on the subway in New York. It seems that all of the happily married folks congratulate you silently, knowing how successfully happy you are going to be; thus, finding no reason to say otherwise. The unhappily divorced folks, however, find it necessary to spread the wealth of disgruntledness. I have found, though, that no response in this situation (as in Middle School drama situations) is the best way to approach these nay-sayers. When not given the pleasure of your face cringing and your eyes watering, they have no more use for you. I usually just take the comments home, and S and I laugh about how, again, we have to say "really... you're really going there?"  Sometimes, though, a couple good, hard-shouldered friends also help to remind you that they are just being mean.

Finally, some work drama. In October, I checked with my principal about taking some unpaid days off around wedding time to accommodate the honeymoon immediately following our ceremony. In October, this was fine. A couple weeks ago, my principal approached me and said that our superintendent would nix my request in light of his and the school-board's decision to disallow any teacher from taking more than five consecutive days off. I was shocked. Because I felt there would be no issue, I already booked the trip to Fiji- to the tune of $3000 in nonrefundable deposit! Obviously, I wasn't going to let this go lightly.
I walked across the street and decided I would talk to the man himself. We discussed his reasons: staff will abuse this and take extended holidays, it ruins continuity in the classroom, he doesn't want to have to play God and decide which reason is rational, etc. To which I responded that this was my WEDDING, not some random vacation I had planned. I also calmly reminded him all of the free work I had put in to the district: being on multiple committees to advance this district, writing grants without being paid for time, etc. He acknowledged my commitment to the district, and I told him this discouraged me from continuing with that commitment. That if the thanks I get for all of my additional time is denying me two additional days for my wedding, I would have to reconsider the dedication I had to this district (not quite so bluntly, as this IS my superintendent).
He came up with many plans of how to go about this. One of these plans included writing up my three personal days (he was SHOCKED I had these saved still) and the two unpaid, then making a deal with my principal to make up the time for the other two days; they would worry about the subs later. I stopped him and pointed out that this plan would essentially pay me for five days as well as a sub. for seven. My plan had asked to pay me for three and a sub for seven. It just didn't add up; he agreed. In the end, I have all of my requested days off.

So... drama, drama, drama.  What would a wedding be without it? S and I just hope that none of this drama ever escalates into something more difficult to deal with! If nothing else, we have truly realized that when push comes to shove, we rock in the communication department!