Saturday, May 28, 2011

Taking Advice from Strangers

I have the opportunity to talk to a large number of customers at work. Fortunately for me, all of these interactions are over the phone. My job consists of filling out forms and databases, and a lot of other stuff that can lead to some "dead air" over the phone, so I am always looking for ways to make small talk. Lately, for whatever reason (wink, wink) that small talk seems to revolve around the upcoming wedding. This has led to some interesting advice from customers. The majority provide well wishes and blessings, some try to sell me on a rental property that would be a "perfect honeymoon," and a few try to warn me off of the entire institution. 

My best advice so far has come from an older gentlemen that has been married for 41 years. I asked him what the secret was, his response, "Keep her laughing."

If laughter is the secret to marital success, then Tom and I have a long, wonderful future ahead of us. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

And the DIY projects resume!

Remember a couple months ago when I commented that DIY projects were going to slow down until closer to the wedding. Well, it's closer to the wedding. I ordered all of the votive candles for our favors on Sunday and they should be arriving this week. I also ordered some more pocketfolds for my invitations, and we will be addressing them in the next couple of weeks (which means spending a small fortune in stamps). I promise, I will post pictures of our finished invitations after they are sent out in mid-July. There are also welcome bags to assemble for out-of-town guests, bathroom baskets to put together, ribbon wands to finish... the list goes on!

Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

My Ring!

To follow up to my last post, I got the call on Wednesday that my dress finally arrived! I got to try it on this morning at the bridal shop, and I got a few pictures, but those will need to remain hidden from Tom's eyes until after the wedding.

My ring came home on Thursday night. Tom picked it up from the jewelers while I finished up my shift at work. I love it. It matches my ring perfectly and has just the right amount of sparkle. I want to start wearing it now, but I will be good and wait the last three and a half months.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Things are becoming real

My dress was shipped out on Friday and is due to arrive at the bridal shop any day now, my ring will be ready to come home on Thursday, and my best friend will be flying in from Florida in late June for her own dress fitting. Everything is definitely starting to look like a wedding is on the horizon. I cannot wait for my dress to come in. It was one thing to try on samples at the bridal shop, it is completely different to try on MY dress. I'm already getting teary eyed, just thinking about it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tom's Ring

I am happy to report that Tom's ring has arrived! It's simple and elegant, a 6mm band of yellow gold. It looks great on Tom's hand.

Now the only question is, what to engrave on it?

My ring will be coming home on Thursday, one more payment to go!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Our Server Set

A couple of months ago, I commented that Tom and I were looking to purchase an engraved server set that we could keep as a keepsake of our wedding and place in our curio cabinet. I am happy to report that after countless hours of browsing server sets online and in various department stores, Tom and I have finally made a purchase.

One of the first observations that I made while planning Tom and my wedding was that adding the word "wedding" to something immediately sent the price sky rocketing. To avoid this, I have made the majority of my accessories and I have been rewarding by spending a fraction of the price. To add to this, Tom is very smart with money, and did not want to put a lot of money into things that would only be used for one evening, so I have tried to choose wedding accessories that will be able to be used after the wedding. For example, I simply un-glue the bows on our toasting flutes to have flutes to share a New Year's toast, or by un-attaching the sign on the card basket, I can have a nice basket for the living room. The compromise to all this is that we would splurge a little and get an engraved serving set.

This was easier said than done. Tom agreed to an engraved server set, but insisted that it be something we could use after the wedding. We also didn't want anything kitschy, so we agreed on an all silver set with engraving on the server. There are literally hundreds of silver serving sets available online, but we could not find one that worked for both of us, and on the rare occasion that we did, the online reviews sent us running for the hills. Then the day came to make a payment on Tom's wedding band. We decided to stop into Things Remembered on a whim, and we found our serving set. It's called "Anastasia" and it's absolutely beautiful. Tom actually pointed it out. It's silver, nicely weighted, and elegant. It also happens to be on sale right now, so we were able to purchase our set for a great price.

We picked up our server set the next day. We had the server engraved with "Thomas and Jennifer September 10, 2011." Have I mentioned how much I love seeing our names and date engraved/printed together? It just makes everything seem more real. On the way home, I was looking at our set and I realized that it looked familiar. That evening, I pulled out my mother's serving set from when she married my step-father in 2005, and sure enough, she has the exact same set. To our surprise, not only did Tom and I finally find our serving set, we also started a new family tradition.

What keepsakes are you making/ having made for your wedding?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Four Months!

Balancing home time and work time is far more difficult than I originally expected. And where did the month of April go? My anxiety is definitely starting to build as I write this blog post. September 10 will be here before I know it and there is so much to be done between now and then.

The last month was spent continuing to adjust to my new job. Things in that area are continuing to do well, I am finally done training and Tom and I are now working to take on as much overtime as possible so that we have extra money to put towards the wedding.

On the wedding front, things have more or less come to a screeching halt. I need to find motivation, and soon. Tom's ring has arrived, and mine will be coming home as well in the next week or so, now it is just a matter of deciding what to engrave inside. While at the mall to pick up Tom's ring, we stopped by a Things Remembered store and ordered our serving set. More on that later. I talked to my bridal shop on Thursday and found out that my dress was scheduled for shipment the next day, so it should be arriving sometime this week. I have also started working on our programs and the next edition of our bridal party newsletter.

On a personal note, the warm weather is finally here and Tom and I have decided to start a garden. We spent the last weekend pulling weeds and turning soil. Tom got his first sunburn in over a decade. Oh, the joy of working a night shift for ten years, but I digress.

My goal for the next month is to find my wedding motivation again. We are on the verge of crunch time. Pretty soon, we will be passing the 100 day milestone. As the weather continues to warm up, it makes me giddy to think that once the weather begins to cool down again, I will be married to my soul mate. I feel like I have a bunch of little projects that just need to get done, such as bubbles and pinwheels and ribbon wands. I also want to finish designing our programs and start assembling those. Maybe a dress fitting will happen in the next month as well, but I don't want to get too ambitious.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

DIY Bridal Hoodie

I'm a hoodie kind of girl. I have a bunch of them that I love to wear over a cotton t-shirt with a pair of jeans. Why should the morning of the wedding be any different? There is a wide array of bridal hoodies available online, if you are willing to pay for them. I wanted a hoodie that would be special enough for the morning of the wedding that I could continue to wear on our honeymoon and beyond. So, like so many other details of the wedding, I made my own.

The concept is really quite simple. I purchased some printable iron-on transfer sheets, designed an image on my computer, flipped it, printed on the transfer sheet, and ironed the design onto my hoodie. The easiest way to do this is to make your designs in powerpoint or publisher (I used OpenOffice Draw) then simply select the image and "flip vertical."

To iron the design on, follow the directions that come with your iron-on transfer sheets exactly. I accidentally transferred our monogram onto the bottom of the iron.

For the draw string, I pulled out the one that came with my hoodie and replaced it with purple ribbon that is knotted at both ends. I used the original drawstring as a template for the ribbon. To thread the ribbon through, simply run a safety pin through the ribbon and pull that through the hood.

I made two designs: our monogram on the front of the hoodie and our names and date on the back. I was tempted to  have the back say "Mrs. TomsLastName" but my mother informed me that it would be bad luck for me to wear my hoodie before the ceremony. I was also tempted to have it say "bride" but then I would not be able to wear it after the wedding. I think the white is enough to distinguish me as the bride, and the wording will make it appropriate to wear both the morning of the wedding as well as beyond.

The most challenging part of making my own hoodie was finding a white sweatshirt. I visited several stores and almost settled on buying a white yoga top before I found a basic white hoodie on the clearance rack at Wal-Mart. Overall, I think I spent about $20 total, and I still have a couple of transfer sheets left over.