Why Plan When You Can Have A McWedding?

I have been pretty deep in wedding planning this week, financially, since I have started making real money at my new job and am no longer at the mercy of the government. Buh-bye unemployment! But as the saying goes, ‘mo money, ‘mo problems.

I’ve been so frustrated with financing the wedding that, at times, I’ve considered just throwing all my money and effort into some destination thing where close friends can come and we have an extra-long vacation, like my beautiful friend Rakelle and her new husband Matt who were married in Costa Rica a few weeks ago.

Rakelle and Matt in Costa Rica

That being said, my grandmother would kill me. Another type of wedding she’d kill me over would be a McWedding – a new fad in Hong Kong where couples are getting the McDonald’s birthday party-treatment for their big day. Cheap, fast, and with a side of fries! Pretty counter-intuitive to a bride like me whose two babies are wedding planning and weight loss, but perhaps something you might enjoy. Learn more about it here. And don’t forget to ask for ketchup packets after you say “I do.”

Thanks for reading! – A

February 6, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. 1 comment.

“Candy doesn’t have to have a point. That’s why it’s candy.” – Charlie Bucket

…unless it’s making an appearance at my wedding reception!

One of the things that I have a love/hate relationship with is candy. Post-surgery, it’s obviously a no-no for me, but there are lots of sugar-free (sf) options out there that I enjoy from time to time. One thing the sf candy can’t seem to do right is chocolate, but I am fortunately okay in that area because I don’t crave it often.  Still, I can’t seem to stop dreaming about all those pretty candies wrapped up like jewels making an appearance at my wedding.

Recently I’ve been looking at a lot of candy buffet photos online, and although I’m not sure if I will have one for my guests I had to share with you photos of the pretty spreads other brides have put together.  I hope you enjoy the pics, and if you have a minute please leave a comment and let me know what type of treats you think a candy buffet would be incomplete without.

Thanks for reading! -A

January 8, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

DIY Chair-Mounted Place Cards

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recently saw place cards that were attached to chairs to avoid clutter on the tables at a wedding. Loving the idea, I set out to create something similar for myself. Below you’ll see a full step-by-step DIY on how to create my version.

Items you will need:

  • 3 sheets 12”x12” scrapbooking paper or cardstock in your chosen colors

    • Contrasting colors and patterns from a similar color palate are best.

  • Glue Dots

    • Memory Book style are best because they are very thin.

  • Mono Adhesive Strip (dotted preferred)

  • 3/4″ or 7/8” Satin Ribbon  

  • Paper Punch & Coordinating Corner Punch

    • My punches are part of the Martha Stweart papercrafts collection and were purchased from Michaels. They were sold in a pack together.

  • Craft Knife

  • Paper Cutter

Directions:

  1. Using the paper cutter, cut your base sheet of paper into two 6”x12” sections. Use the corner punch to add a decorative edge to one of the new 6”x12” sheets.
  2. Following the directions on your paper punch packaging, line it up appropriately with the corner punch edge and punch the two 12” sides of one of your sheet.
  3. Use the paper cutter to cut your contrasting cardstock (typically the patterned sheet) into 3 sections of 4”x10”.
  4. Place the adhesive strip along the edges of the reverse side of one of the 4”x10” contrasting cardstock sheets. Also place two glue dots toward the center of the sheet. Press onto the center of the 6”x12” sheet.
  5. Use the paper cutter to cut your final contrasting cardstock into 3”x5” sections.
  6. Calligraphy the guest’s name on the card, or create a template in Microsoft Word and run the 3”x5” sheet through your printer. TIP: You can create a mail merge from your guest list in Microsoft Excel to run through a whole stack of these at a time.
  7. Repeat step 4 for 3”x5” sheet.
  8. Use craft knife to cut 1”x ¼” slits at least 1/2 inch in toward the center on each of the 6” edges of the 6”x12” sheet.  TIP: Use a spare 6″x12″ sheet to create a template for cutting slits.
  9. Cut 36” of satin ribbon. Use 3 glue dots placed along the backside of the 6”x12” sheet to secure the ribbon to the back of the sheet. Pull loose ends through the slits created in step 8.

Your completed project will look like the very first picture at the top of this post, but feel free to play around with it. Clearly I just wrote in a dummy name for the purposes of this tutorial, but you can see a completed place card that I’ve finished below. Hope this fun way to move place cards out of the way and add to your overall decor will prove helpful in your planning!

Thanks for reading. – A

January 5, 2011. Tags: , , . 2011. Leave a comment.

Time to Catch Up – November

October ended with me having a cold on my birthday, the 26th so there was not a lot of festivity. Fortunately we already planned something great to celebrate the day in November. We took a trip to NYC and saw Pee Wee Herman’s Broadway show! It was SO wonderful!! It truly felt like we were watching a 2 hour version of the old Playhouse episodes, and the characters that were added that were not part of the original show came in seamlessly. After the show, we saw John Lennon’s memorial, Strawberry Fields, and took a stroll around Central Park. The evening ended with dinner at a great Jewish deli. L’Chaim!


On the wedding front, we were having issues booking our venue for the reception. As I mentioned in October’s post, they seemed a little new to having parties at such a large scale. After all this run around I thought it might be good to call in some reinforcements so I began looking for a coordinator. Now anyone who knows me knows that wedding planning is cake for me, but stress management isn’t always my forte. I knew I wanted to pay someone else to worry for me on the day of my wedding, but it turns out that you can pay someone to worry about other incidentals too (read: contractual nightmares). I wrote back and forth with several companies, but one stuck out. We met with an up and coming planner, Kristy Crouthamel of Simply Eventful Planning, and hammered everything out. I knew 5 minutes after meeting her that she was the one – it was like we were speaking the same language and I immediately felt comfortable leaving my big day in her hands. She served as the liaison for the contract and I am happy to say that we are now locked in at a great price!

Another big thing that happened in November was Thanksgiving. Since M is Jewish and I was raised Protestant, there aren’t a lot of holidays that overlap that we need to worry about whose family we will see, with the exception of Thanksgiving. We were thinking about having everyone together, and then M’s mother offered to host the event. In the end, my mother, her boyfriend, my grandmother, my cousin, M, my FMIL and two of her friends filled her 1 bedroom apartment with thankful cheer. It was not the disaster it could have been, but it was a little empty because our siblings weren’t there. M’s sister was stuck in Baltimore with a thrown out back and my sisters stayed home to be with their babies, both children and boyfriend alike. My brother didn’t come because my new nephew, Kaiden, was too young to travel. That’s right, I became an aunt twice over on November 10th! 🙂

Top all of this off with amazing Black Friday deals online which allowed me to finish 85% of my X-Mas shopping before December and we’ll call it a good month! I am so glad that we were able to accomplish so much and I’m really happy that our families met, didn’t kill each other, and the wedding is still on.

Thanks for reading. – A

January 4, 2011. Tags: , , , . 2010. Leave a comment.

Fancy Glass and Fabric Flowers

After doing a rough draft of what it would cost to have the wedding we want, we are about 30% over our original budget. We would like to do this shabang for $10k, hoping that M’s family would gift us the photographer. Unfortunately, we can’t count on it and are thusly in such a quandary. So what’s a girl to do when finances are tight but fabulosity is necessary? We must get crafty!

I tried making paper flowers a few weeks ago using velum paper as well as tissue in various colors. The flowers, though pretty, are really not what I’m looking for. I want a spring wedding and I can’t really rationalize a wedding in the season of growth without any real flowers, so I’m thinking the bouquets and boutineers will be real. (Though I must admit that I’m still toying with the idea of my maids carrying a purse with a nice cluster of fabric flowers on it in lieu of a bouquet.) But it occurred to me that I could probably get away with using faux-floral for decorations so I dug out my craft box, went to MarthaStewartWeddings.com and figured some things out.

After making two blooms, I decided I could do this and wanted to search out other fabrics to make flowers with. Though I don’t know what my colors will be yet I figured blooms in shades of white and cream were a safe bet. I also decided that I wanted to put them on pomanders and hang them on pews in the Church. I went to Wal-Mart (I know, it’s evil, but cheap) to get some different options and it turned out they are discontinuing their fabric department. Bad, long-term, but good in the here and now – everything was 75% off! The selection was a little sparse but I still found a lot of great stuff as well as foam balls to serve as the base for the pomanders.

It also occurred to me that going to thrift stores to get old sheets and curtains would be cheap fabric with a good amount of yardage so on the way home I hit this thrift store a few blocks from our house. The curtain and sheet selection left something to be desired but I managed to find a curtain set for $2 that was worth cutting up. As I stood in line I saw this sign that said “$5 Bag Sale” near the glass items. I asked the shop girl about it and was told I would be given a bag and could fill it for $5 from the glass aisles. I noticed a lot of vintage glass, so I grabbed a bag and went to town. Before I knew it, I had filled two bags with vases, old ice cream sundae cups, dessert dishes, candle sticks and even a tiny vintage cake stand that is only 3″ tall – possibly the cutest thing ever. 

When I got home and unloaded my bounty, it took up half of our dining room table. I was really excited because I’d seen a lot of mismatched vintage glass centerpiece ideas online, including one using milk glass and moss. The only problem is that all my glass is clear, and I think if I did something like this the bottom of the moss would show. However, there are ways of making faux milkglass, like this idea on RuffledBlog.com, a new blog find that I am obsessed with. Sidebar, the aqua and red table scheme is adorable and I’m heavily considering it!

All in all I spent under $50 at Wal-Mart and the thrift store and got just about everything for my ceremony decorations and a good chunk of stuff for my centerpieces. It was definitely my lucky day!

August 26, 2010. Tags: , , , . 2010. Leave a comment.

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