Jul 28, 2011

When DIY just isn't the answer

Martha Stewart Pom Poms, Medium White Do you know when enough is enough?  There is a point in every crafters life when they have to say to themselves "Put down the gluegun and save your own sanity".  A wedding is a great time for this and possibly the quickest way to reach your point of breaking or that of your significant other.

As an art student, I set my crafting standards high.  I wanted to do everything for my wedding and as the maid of honor in another, I wanted to take projects on as well.  The reason being that:

1. I do not have an unlimited budget for my wedding.  Would I have loved a $70-$100k wedding, sure.  My budget is more like $20-25k, but I expect it to look (when I'm done) like it was at least $50k or more.
2. I like things a certain way and I'm very detail oriented.  I wanted my theme to carry through in everything I did, so designing myself was key.
3. I went a little project crazy.  I saw my first quote on flowers and considered doing all the centerpieces myself & even my own cake.  This would be on top of aisle runners, my veil, photo books, invitations, menus, table names, etc.  Luckily, since I insisted on making my own cake for my friends bridal shower, I quickly realized that making my cake for my wedding would be wayyyyyy to stressful.  I happily paid the baker.  Searching for another florist meant that I found a place that would do MORE for HALF the cost.

I started driving my fiance nuts.  Every moment I was home, I was doing crafts.  I enjoyed it, but he was clearly annoyed.  Some things I took on failed miserably.  I tried different gel pens to test the theory of printing black ink on a dark envelope and tracing.  I can trace fine, the issue was the pens.  I gave up and realized, "better left to the professional".  I have my moments and every crafter or bride should realize that at some point paying someone is more worth it for certain things.

Your guide to "When DIY just isn't the answer"
Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Does my project take an exorbitant amount of time to do. And can it be done quickly by a professional?
2. Are you spending more in supplies trying to "get it right" or fixing mistakes?
3. Are you stressed out or have too many other tasks going on at the same time?
4. Does it look like your little cousin billy that's 5 did it?

If any of the above are true, hire someone.  Even if it's for a few things, it shouldn't take you over budget.  It should lower your stress levels, give you more time and make you a happy bride!

Jul 27, 2011

The Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Playlist

I've obsessed for hours over the perfect playlist for my outdoor wedding ceremony and cocktail hour.  How I went about coming up with the perfect playlist is from first deciding on what mood I wanted to capture during the Ceremony and Cocktail hour.

I knew that during the ceremony I wanted very traditional classical music and the cocktail hour I wanted things that were much more lively.

Reader's Digest Music: It's Happy Hour Somewhere! Great Cocktail Music, Vol. 1How I got to exactly what I wanted was by searching and exploring the interest for playlists and listening to string groups on youtube.

I would recommend if you're doing a very traditional ceremony indoors or outside, you search for groups that have playlists on their websites of weddings.  You can get a good idea of the traditional stuff and what you would like removed or added to that list.  From there, listen, listen and listen some more to cd's, amazon samples of music and youtube.  On youtube I typed in search terms for string quartet, string trio and various songs with "string" in them that I was not familiar with.

The other thing you'll need to figure out is what musicians you'd like to have at your ceremony.    Do you prefer all strings?  Want a floutist?  Or, maybe you'd like a harp?  All have very different sounds, and the pricetag can be very different as well.  Traveling with a harp is difficult; but if you love the sound and can afford it, it can be a very nice touch.

Are you thinking of nixing the live band because of cost?  I'd hate to see someone rely on a CD or Ipod (which could have technical difficulties).  At the very least have the DJ for your reception (if you're having a dj), setup a small set outside just for your ceremony.  It usually doesn't cost much more if your ceremony and reception are in the same location.

So without further adeau, here is the playlist selection for my very traditional ceremony:
Ceremony Playlist
Pre-Ceremony Music –
Hornpipe Water music
Eine kleine Nachtmusic
Spring – Vivaldi
Music of the Night – Phantom of the Opera

Beauty and the Beast – Seating of the parents / grandparents
Processional – Rondeau
Bridal Chorus – Canon in D
Gospel Acclamation\song  – Ave Maria (sung by Jean)
Bride & Groom Recessional – Trumpet Voluntary

For the Cocktail Hour, I definitely wanted something fun, lively and different.  I have a wide variety of music, but nothing that I feel will sound too out of place.  I wanted a mix of swing, jazzy, modern and upbeat music.  I really like how this mix turned out. 

Anything "too out there" for the string group I told them to substitute since I was sure they wouldn't have all the sheet music requests on the list below.  Anything in parenteses below was my way of telling them I saw "such and such" a band playing that song on youtube.

Cocktail Hour Playlist
Viva la Vida – Coldplay
You give me Fever
American Patrol – Glen Miller
Paragon Rag – Scott Joplin
Puttin on the Ritz (modern string quartet Vienna)
Cantaloupe Island – Herbie Hancock (modern string quartet)
Sweet Georgia Brown
It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing
Hello Goodbye – Beatles (the string quartet)
In the Mood – Glen Miller
Penny Lane – Beatles (Vitamin String Quartet)
Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve (vitamin string quartet)
U2 – All I want is you (Vitamin String Quartet)
Dare you to move – switchfoot (the string quartet)
Clocks – Coldplay (vitamin string quartet)
Por Una Cabeza – Carlos Gardel
When I’m sixty-four - beatles

Jul 26, 2011

My Completed Invitation Suite with Vintage Postage

I was so excited to receive my navy blue envelopes from the calligrapher the other day all completed.  I spent a lot of time obsessing over the details of my invitation suite and I think all the details really make a big difference to a cute and cohesive invitation suite.

The Theme:
My theme is nautical, and originally I wanted a compass rose design on everything.  However, after creating the invitation suite, I was bored and felt it was too impersonal.  So I moved to the anchor with the ship wheel in the center.  I then added our monogram to the center in our contrasting color (pink).  I think they turned out really nice and the anchor will look great on all our paper goods.

The Envelopes:
The Outer and Inner Envelopes (as you know from an earlier post found here) I tried to do my own calligraphy.  I went and printed the font I wanted from my computer onto the navy envelopes in black ink.  I then tried tracing over the print with white ink.  It ended badly.  I got skips and blobs of ink coming out randomly from each pen I tried (I think I tried a total of 3) not to mention all the waste envelopes I was using.  I knew If I had to address all of the inner and outer envelopes myself it would just end in tears and frustration.  

This is one of very few times in the wedding DIY process when I saw my limitations and DIY just wasn't the answer.  Even if you're a DIY Queen like myself, you need to realize when it just makes more sense to have someone else do it for you. (as an aside see my "Guide on when to let someone else do-it-for-you").

The Stamps:
If you've been to the post office to pick up stamps for your invitaions, you know they have a pretty limited selection of stamps.  Yeah they have wedding rings (which is what I used for the inner / reply envelopes), but otherwise their collection doesn't really do much for me.  Your total choice includes a liberty bell, a necklace, wedding rings, etc.  Nothing nautical, no boats, no fish, no lighthouses... (I actually just went to the post office today and found out they're coming out with a perfect stamp that has a boat and a lighthouse on it... in August.  A little too late.  Well, at least I can purchase them for my thank you notes.)

I was excited to find Zazzle.com.  You can design your own or choose from other designs.  Only problem is the ugly barcode on the side of the stamps as well as the major price hike.  They're way over the .44 cent mark and then if you need a more expensive stamp because of your envelope shape or weight, it can really get expensive.  It's only worth it if you happen to find a coupon code for stamps, which is rare.

Vintage Stamps:
I liked the idea of the vintage stamps.  They are a really nice touch and you can find exactly what you're looking for at face value (or even lower if you're buying in bulk!)  I used http://www.hgitner.com/  to purchase my vintage stamps.  I spoke with Debbie, via email and phone to order exactly what I was looking for.  I let her know that anything that was nautical or had boats, fish, massachusetts, lighthouses, etc. would be appropriate.  She put together a block of the boston tea party stamps for me and two pilgrim landing stamps to make up the 44 cents.

The Map:
To keep with the nautical theme, I wanted my map to look like a nautical chart.  I think I suceeded in making the map look vintage, but still be cohesive with everything else.  I only printed this on cheap computer paper for a couple of reasons. 

1. I was already spending a lot on the watercolor paper I was using for the invites and replies.
2. hand feeding maps into my printer 1 at a time just didn't sound appealing after doing that for each invite and reply.
3. Keeping the weight down on my invites is key in keeping postage rates down.

The Invitations:
I had looked up traditional wording for a while before coming to a final decision.  I also wanted to include the parents of the groom.  I really think that the final wording I came to works well and includes both families.  I really love bling and wanted to incorporate it everywhere I could.  I added rhinestones to all of my invitaions on the points of the anchor and for the reply I added one to the hole in the anchor.

Jul 19, 2011

Customized Thank you postcards or greeting cards 30%!

Want to give your guests a personalized thank you?

Can't decided what Wedding Photo or Save the Date image you'd like to use?

How about printing each PostCard or Greeting Card thank you or save the date with a different image? Unheard of, you say? Then you haven't tried Moo.

Right now they're having a 30% off sale on everything on their website. Add your photos and logos to each card your printing and guests can have a wonderful wedding memento to keep along with your thank you note.

Hurry, this offer will be gone soon!

Visit them here

Jul 6, 2011

Real Wedding: Debbie & Steve

Debbie & Steve wanted their wedding to be a celebration of two families coming together. The ceremony was held at the Harris Pelham Inn, by the lake. They were afraid they wouldn't get their beautiful outdoor ceremony, but the pouring rain stopped about a half an hour before the ceremony. The day was absolutely perfect!

This summer wedding had the perfect pop of color with tiffany blue and bright pinks.