Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wedding Pictures & Reflections

This is my last post for this wedding blog. I really had a fun time with this blogging adventure. I hope anyone who visited my site got something that they could use to make their own wedding day special and unique. Your wedding day is hopefully a once in a lifetime event that you should remember for the rest of your life. Here are some of the things that I learned from this whole planning process:

1. Do what you love.
This is your's and your fiance's day. Don't let other people control something that is for the two of you. Let others make suggestions and help out, but if you don't like their suggestions, just let them know in the most polite way possible. Weddings bring out something different in people. I don't know what it is, but everyone wants to help and put their input into the ceremony or reception activities. But, if you aren't careful, you could be stressing yourself out for no reason because you want to please everyone. You cannot please everyone, so you might as well do what you love.

2. Take some Me Time.
I wish I had done more of this while I was planning my wedding. I didn't realize how essential it was until the bridal shower when we went to a spa and I got a massage. The lady said that I was really tense. That was when the light bulb went off in my head that I probably should have been doing more stress relieving activities leading up to the wedding. If you make a point to do them, most likely they will get done. Just remember to take some time for yourself to calm down and relax.

3. Stay Close to the Fiance.
This is another thing I wish I would have done more of during the wedding planning process. It is really easy to get knee deep in projects, planning and life in general, that you can lose sight of what this is really about. Its about you and your love professing your love to each other and promising that love to each other before God. Remember to stay close to your fiance. Even if he doesn't want to be included in wedding planning or even if he is driving you crazy, go on a romantic dinner, go on a picnic, take a bike ride, do anything that will keep you two in each other's corners. You two are your best allies when the family starts screaming about how great great aunt so and so didn't get an invitation.

4. Be Picky...but not Bridezilla.
It is really important to be picky without driving people crazy. Just because something is on sale doesn't mean you have to buy it. Just because the Dollar Store has stuff that is only a dollar doesn't mean you have to go crazy and buy up the whole store. But, at the same time, don't get too crazy with everything having to be perfectly the same. Things will be beautiful no matter what because people don't know what it should look like or what you wanted it to look like, they just see what it looks like. I had to take a step back at times and remember this myself. It helped me down the stretch to not flip out when I ran out of blue ribbon and needed to use silver ribbon on some of the programs. Its ok. Stay sane.

5. Finally...Appreciate Everything & Everyone.
People don't have to help you. Your bridesmaids are not your personal assistants for the year or two that you are planning your wedding. This is not their job, they are doing this because they want to support you on a very special day of you life. Same with your family, they don't have to give you anything, they don't have to help. So, let people know how much you appreciate their help. Its the little things that you can use to show your appreciation. Like, not flipping out on people if they don't do it exactly the way you want it done. The differences will provide character. Remember to say thank you. It seems so small and insignificant, but people will remember if you don't say it.

Well I hope you all enjoyed this blog. Here are some albums from the wedding pictures. Enjoy. And one last time...Save those pennies. Stay tuned for my next blog coming to a computer near you by mid August.

Our Wedding Party 

The Reception - Party Party Party

Our Wedding Ceremony

Monday, July 23, 2012

What Do I Do With All This Stuff After The Wedding?

Hey everyone. I'm back. Its been almost a month since I married the love of my life and my best friend. I am finding my way through this new thing that is called a wife. It is a new adventure and I am trying to navigate through all the changes. But, I have been looking all over the online world for some ideas on what to do with all the accessories that I have now that the wedding is over. I found nothing. I found out how to make them and stuff, but I have found nothing to do with the sentimental things like ring bearer pillow, left over flowers, bridal bouquet, unity candle, etc after the wedding is over. So here is my best advice for any brides who may be having this problem.

Ring Bearer Pillow:

1. Give it to the Ring Bearer. Since your ring bearer is probably the son of one of your close friends or family member, they may want a sentimental token from your wedding and also something that they can put in their child's hope chest.

2. Keep it for a Scrap Book. Say your ring bearer or his mother/father does not want the ring bearer pillow, then what? Well, if you are crafty, and you probably are given the fact that you have been following a blog that has been 75% DIY projects, then you would probably enjoy cutting up the fabric, using the little rings and if there were flowers on the pillow, using them as the cover to your scrap book or some accessories in the actual book.

3. Donate it to Another Bride. You all know how much all of this stuff costs and it all adds up. Even the little things. Some of the things that you may not want, another bride may want to take off of your hands. And if you don't have any friends or friends of friends that would want it, then you could donate it to a local church that has a wedding department. I am sure they would appreciate your reused items.

4. Sell it On eBay. You could make a little bit of cash and another bride will get something they need at a discounted rate. Its a win win.

Extra Flowers:

1. Use Them In Your Scrap Book. Just like the ring bearer pillow, you could use this to decorate your scrap book by using some of the flowers (if you used silk flowers).

2. Make An Arrangement for you home. Take some of the flowers that you have left over and mix it with some other cool flowers you may find or have laying around and make a cute and trendy little flower arrangement for a dining room centerpiece, window sill decor, or any other little piece of artwork that you think of.

Unity Candles:

1. Dining Room Centerpiece. The candles probably are the hardest thing to find something to do with, but if you took time and/or money to put them together, then you may want to give them a prominent spot in your home. Not just a dining room centerpiece, but also using the candles in a living room, den, ect. Find someplace pretty to put them.

2. Donate Them. If your unity candle doesn't have any identifying marks or if they weren't permanent (like mine), then just give them to a friend or a church like with all the other stuff.

3. Reuse. Are you planning on having date night? Instead of stuffing the candles in a drawer somewhere, take them out and have a candle lit dinner with your hubby or wifey. Something less romantic, use them if the lights go out in your house LOL.

Bridal Bouquet:

1. Centerpiece Bouquet. I know I used silk flowers for my wedding so I have this beautiful bouquet that I now want to show off. I plan on using mine on a table that I will place my wedding portrait on. Its all white, so it will go with any decor that I may use in the house. But this could be used in any room of your house to add something sentimental from your wedding to a table, room or shelf you plan on devoting to wedding pictures.

2. Scrapbook It. If you don't mind deconstructing your flowers, use them in your scrapbook. Simple, easy and adds pizzazz.

Wedding Veil:

1. You Guessed It Scrapbook It. If you, like me, made your own veil for like $15.00 I don't mind cutting up the fabric and using it as keepsakes in a scrapbook.

2. Sell it on eBay. If you actually went all out and spent lots of money on your veil and do not want to keep it around for your daughter or some other person to use it later, offer it on eBay and make some money off of it.

3. Donate It. If you have a friend or loved one who doesn't mind using a second hand veil, let them use yours or donate it to a Goodwill store for someone who may not be able to afford a really nice veil for their wedding day.

Wedding Dress:

All the ideas apply for the wedding veil, although I don't know who would want to cut up their wedding dress.

Make it into a Party Dress. Do you know anyone who can sew really well? Maybe they can take your wedding dress and make it into something that you can wear again. Many people think about doing this, but never actually do it. But, it could be kind of fun to actually wear your wedding dress again for a fun night out with you hubby.

I am curious what other brides did with any left over items that they had after their wedding. If you think of something else, please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Lastly, my last wedding blog will be pictures of  the wedding day. Once I receive the CD from our photographer, I will upload some of my favorites on here so that everyone who followed this blog will be able to see the finished product if you were not able to make it to the wedding. I have really enjoyed blogging and documenting my journey and was overwhelmed by how well the blog was received. I was not expecting to get so many readers, but I did. I will be rolling out a new blog next month about a topic that really hit me hard while I was planning our wedding. I hope you all will enjoy my next blog as well. Stay tuned and save those pennies.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Escort Cards & Unity Candles - DIY

I bet you thought i was joking with all of these DIY projects huh? Nope I was not joking. I was serious about saving money by doing stuff myself. Since time is money, then I used my time instead of spending my money LOL.

So, I think that I explained in a previous post that one of my pet peeves is searching through tons of escort cards for my name. Her is my solution to that dilemma:

I found a few styrofoam boards, some wooden clothes pins and the escort cards. Then I alphabetized the escort cards by last name, and I attached the cards to the pins and stuck the pins into the sky painted styrofoam board. Get it "Ribbon in the Sky". Yay and voila, on theme, alphabetized escort cards. I have 3 boards that will say last name A-H, I-M, N-Z. This idea can work for just about any theme. I got my inspiration from one of my bridesmaids weddings. She had a beach theme and painted the styrofoam board with some kind of sandy paint and put the names on mini beach umbrellas. Super cute. 

The cardstock was $11.00 (which I used for my wedding programs as well so got double duty out of one package), ribbon (which I have been using for just about everything), the styrofoam, my stepfather had in the  basement and the pins were from another project and the paint was $.89/tube. So I spent about $5.00 for this project. 

Predesigned escort cards are about $15.00 on Amazon. Hey any savings is a good thing right? 

Ok on to the unity candles. Here is the finished product:

The only thing that I am not crazy about is the fact that the blues are off, but I am going to deal with it because I don't feel like designing another monogram. My buddy PJ designed this for our reply cards and so I took it and used it for this. But anyway, unity candles can get pretty expensive, but they are really easy to make. 

Two long candles - 2 for $1.00 at the Dollar Store
Middle Candle - $5.00 at Pat Catans
Ribbon - Left over from other projects
Paper Monogram - Free
Candle Holders (not pictured) - Borrowed from my aunt
Total Price = $6.00

On average Unity Candles run about $30.00 on Amazon and can even cost more if you buy them in a store so I saved about $24.00. 

How to make:

Take some ribbon the color of your wedding and wrap it around the candle. Then take some straight pins and push them into the candle to attach the ribbon. The monogram is actually made of paper, but you could also use a clear label if your design does not have as much color as mine. You may need to pin that label to the candle as well if adhesive doesn't stick to the wax. Then just put it on your candle holders and there you go, a decorated unity candle set. 

Welp, two more projects almost done (still need to put together my last escort card board), and on to the last one, putting ribbon on the ceremony programs. I survived the DIY projects and saved some pennies along the way. 4 more days until the BIG DAY. Yay. I am now getting excited. LOL. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

How To Save On A Wedding Veil

So its 5 days before my wedding and I am almost finished with my DIY projects. Still have about 20 wands to complete tomorrow and have to put some ribbon on our unity candle in some cute and inspired way. But what I want to talk about is saving money on a wedding veil. So, if you look at wedding veils at any main stream bridal shop you will know that they cost hundreds of dollars. This is one of the main projects that I decided to do when I started this process. With my mother's help with some of the sewing, we put together my wedding veil. It is floor length and if you have been following my blog, I did decide to be adventurous put a little trim at the bottom of the veil.

In all I paid about $15.00 for the materials:

2 yards of plain white tulle ($1.99/yard)
1 Bottle of Glitter spray paint ($5.99)
1 Spool of Ribbon - $1.19
1 Strip of Pearl Trim - $.97
1 Pack of Metal Combs - $2.99
Grand Total: $15.12

To save even more money, come armed with coupons for Joann Fabrics. I completely forgot to bring mine, but you can usually find some 50% off coupons online.

At David's Bridal, the average price for a full length veil is $100.00 or more. In all the grand total for savings is  about $85.00 by making your own veil.

Here is the 95% finished product. Still need to add a couple more details, but for the most part it is complete.

The full veil (I haven't sprayed the glitter on yet) 
When you spray the glitter on, make sure to test the spray paint on a piece of the scrap fabric to make sure it does not ruin it. The kind I used was Krylon Glitter Spray Paint and it worked perfectly on the tulle. 

A picture of the trim (still need to put the little pearl detail on.)

How it looked on my wedding day. So proud of this DIY project. 

If you would like to try to make your own veil here is a video that may help you get started. This is what I used to help guide me in my wedding veil making adventures. 

It does take a little bit of time and patience, especially if you would like to put a little bit of trim on the bottom of the veil. Hey for $15.00 you may want to experiment and if you don't come up with something you like, you still have time and money to find other options. But, if you are even the least bit crafty, it could save you a bit of money. I hope you enjoy this project, I thought it was really easy and fun. Save those pennies ladies.