Sunday, July 31, 2011

The MOB (Mother-of-the-Bride)

I don't think it would be a stretch to refer to myself as crafty. I love to create, and the wedding has been my place to showcase that. My craftiness had to come from somewhere, right? Of course.

I introduce to you, my mom.

In this picture, she is showing off the dress that she will be wearing to the wedding. You might be asking, how does being crafty have anything to do with the dress she is wearing to the wedding?

She made it. 

My mom loves to sew. In all honesty, if it is crafty, she can do it, but specifically, for the wedding, my mom wanted a sewing project. So she made her gown. The color is a little off in the picture, the gown is celadon satin crepe, with an organza overcoat. I should also add this is the first gown she ever made. You would never be able to tell by looking at it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Small Change for the Better

Anyone that has been following my blog may have noticed a slight change in my appearance. Just in case you missed it, here is a picture from when I went dress shopping back in September, followed by my hair and make up trial two weeks ago.

Dress shopping, this is NOT the dress I purchased

Hair and makeup trial
Any guesses? 

I decided to go back to wearing contact lenses. I have switched back and forth between glasses and contacts since I was a junior in high school. For the last couple of years, I have embraced the fact that I have less than perfect vision and worn cat eye frames. Tom likes to make comments about how my glasses hide my eyes, and that my eyes are apparently beautiful. So when the time came around for me to visit the eye doctor for a new prescription, I decided to go back to contacts. I have to admit, I love wearing contacts. It's so nice to be able to wear sunglasses off the rack, and I love the fact that I can wear my contacts in places that glasses do not work, like in the shower. I've been asked if I got contacts for the wedding. I think sub-consciously, the answer is probably yes, however, I like to tell myself that I was also getting sick of wearing glasses and it was just the right time to make the switch. 

Switching to contacts is the only major change to my appearance that I am making before the wedding. Tom and I are both spending time outside working on our tan so that we have a natural glow. Believe me, it is just rough when we spend our days off laying on the beach in the name of bridal beauty. We also have dentist appointments on Tuesday for a cleaning to give our pearly whites a bit more of a sparkle.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Newest Obsession, err Hobby, and VIP Invitations

Tom and I mailed out our invitations last Tuesday, July 12. Since then, RSVPs have started to slowly trickle in. Now, don't get me wrong, I've always had the child-like love with getting mail. It's fun to get Christmas cards, and birthday cards, and just because stuff. Since the invitations went out, the mail has gone from a "yay I got something!" moment to an all out obsession. My mom feels the need to remind me that our guests have a full month to RSVP and that I need to be patient. She is probably right, but patience has never been my forte. Mail the RSVPs back people! I stamped the envelope and everything! I kid, or do I?

In other news, Tom and I had a few extra invitations, so we decided to mail out some VIP invitations. Who exactly are these very important people? Well, aside from our friends and family, we also sent out invitations to the President, Pope, as well as the governors of Maine and Missouri. This is an idea that I took off of various wedding blogs. Apparently the president will mail out a congratulations letter. I'm not sure about the other three. We shall see.

Did you mail out any VIP invitations? Did you get anything back?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our DIY Invitations

Tom and I mailed out our invitations on Tuesday. By now, it is safe to make the assumption that the invitations have been received by our guests. Without further ado, here are our invitations.

Starting with the envelopes. We wanted the look of calligraphy, but Tom and I both have "doctor's handwriting" and a calligrapher was not in the budget. We opted to print directly on the envelopes instead using a calligraphy font. The end result was gorgeous, and thanks to our awesome printer (Canon Pixma) it took no time at all! We printed our return address on the back flap.

The RSVP card is placed inside the flap of it's envelope and tucked in front of the inserts so guests can easily find it

Under the RSVP, the inserts are neatly stacked.

A close up of the invitation. I love how the black and white picture came out looking like a silhouette.

Our inserts, with seashells and starfish in the background

Friday, July 15, 2011

DIY Wedding Arch and Flower Cones

One of the first DIY projects that I attempted, back in September of last year, was making flower cones to hang from shepherd's hooks at the ends of the rows of chairs. When I first made them, the wedding was still a year away. With only a few weeks to go, it was time to add some finishing touches.

My mom has a natural talent for silk flowers. She purchased a bunch of silk violet, green, and ivory hydrangeas last summer. She used the flowers to make mini-arrangements to put in each cone. We opted to use silk flowers for ceremony decor so that we would not have to worry about flowers wilting in the afternoon sun. The flower cones are hanging on simple black shepherd's hooks that I purchased from the dollar store. I love how the hooks are so thin that they disappear into the surroundings. Overall, I would have to say that my alternative to the traditional pew bow came out beautifully. I can't wait to see them in action at the ceremony.

Next on my list was the wedding arch. By far, the biggest pain in the you-know-what to make. I started with a green garden arbor that I picked up at Michael's a couple years ago. I draped tulle over the arch, and stitched it to the "rungs" of the arch with clear thread. From there it was a matter of adding things and taking them off until we got the look we wanted.

My goal was to create an arch that looked as though it was made out of materials found along the beach. I think we pulled it off. Sadly, the pictures really are not able to do the arch justice because I was unable to get the entire arch in one shot.

We started with some curly willow. I purchased it because it looked kind of like drift wood. Tom got the idea to twist the willow around the front and back of the arch. My mom found some silk grasses at a steal at local discount store, so we wove those into the willow as well. My mom also added some leftover hydrangeas from the flower cones to mesh everything together. Two entwined starfish sit at the top, Tom had to attach those, I was at my breaking point. A seashell and crystal garland hangs from inside the arch, attaching the garland was the reason for me reaching said breaking point.

Everything is attached to either the arch or the tulle with clear thread, and so far it seams to be really sturdy. The whole thing fell over twice (and was thrown once) during assembly, and everything remained in tact. We are going to stake it to the ground for the actual ceremony.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Finishing up the Ceremony Music

Back in December, I wrote about our music selections for the processional. Since then, ceremony music was sort of put on a back burner. I'm not saying we did not care, it was more that an issue of we stopped thinking about it. In fact, if it wasn't for the programs, the ceremony music would probably still be on the back burner. So, for future brides out there, a piece of advice. If you do programs for no other reason, make up a mock program to see everything for your ceremony in one place. This way, if there are any holes, they will stick out like a sore thumb. For me and Tom, that hole was a complete lack of a recessional piece.

Fortunately, this was an easy fix. I have played flute since I was in fourth grade, and one of my favorite pieces to place is "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring." It is also one of my mother's favorite songs to play on the keyboard, and I have also seen my step-father harmonize it on his guitar. Tom is also a fan, and it happened to be a piece in our guitarist's repetoire. So, done and done.

Our recessional:

Our finalized ceremony music:
1/2 hour, music of guitarist's choice (he's awesome, and plays a mix of Latin music, classical, and Beatles music)
Mother's Procession and Lighting of the Unity Candle- "Ave Maria" by Schubert
Bridesmaid's Procession- "Prelude to Cello Suite No. 1" by Bach
Bride's Procession- "Storybook Love" by Knopfler
Recessional- "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by Bach
10 minutes, music of guitarist's choice

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Invitations are Out!

Tom and I mailed out our invitations today, which means I will be eagerly anticipating the mail for the next month!

Progress is also being made on the DIY front, I finished sixteen more ribbon wands this morning, so I think those are now done. I need to do a final count tonight. I confirmed our ceremony music, which means I was able to finalize our programs. Our wedding arch is assembled, I just need to stitch some things in place. Pictures to come!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Two Months!

Two months to go, enter crunch time!

Tom and I have both started to realize that we are starting to feel the stress of the upcoming wedding. Weddings are expensive, and we are definitely starting to feel the pinch. I have definitely begun procrastinating with wedding stuff, so it is time to get the move on. I need to finish all of the remaining DIY projects this month so that I can focus on RSVP's, vendor deadlines, and travel arrangements during the last month. Eek.

The ribbon wands I've been putting off since before Christmas? Yeah, didn't touch them. I am happy to report that I'm about 2/3 done the bubbles though. I will be finishing those up next weekend. My plan for today is to work on my wedding tan while finishing up the ribbon wands.

On the positive, all of our invitations have been stamped, stuffed, and sealed. They are going in the mail on Tuesday, so stay tuned for the official unveiling of our invitations. I want to give my guests a chance to receive them before I post pictures online. We also sent some invitations to some very important people. More on that later.

In terms of accomplishments, our mini-moon is booked. I jokingly tell Tom that I am as excited for the mini-moon as I am for the wedding, because it is a chance to relax. We finally found our wooden boats, which means our centerpieces are done. Now I just need to purchase our satin overlays, which I will do as soon as they are back in stock. The bridesmaid's dresses are also in, now I'm in the process of getting everyone together for alterations. Last but not least, I had my hair and make-up trial. I was a little nervous at first, but now I am all the more excited.

My goals for the next month are to finish all ribbon wands and bubbles, print and assemble my programs, decorate our wedding arch, and to begin figuring out a seating chart as RSVP's come in so that I can work on escort cards. On the non-DIY side of things, I need to make final decisions regarding our ceremony music and finish up our request list for the DJ.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bridesmaids Dresses

As I mentioned before, my friend was in town for the Fourth of July holiday, and Tuesday became a wedding planning day. Before getting beautified at the spa, we spent some time at the bridal shop. The bridesmaids dresses arrived the week before, and my friend wanted to try her dress on. I was more than a little anxious to see the bridesmaids dresses, maybe even a little more anxious than I was to see my dress.

For a quick recap, my sister and I went shopping for bridesmaids dresses back in November over Thanksgiving. We found a dress that matches my wedding gown in that it has beaded accents and a split skirt. The sample was in a pink color.
My sister trying on the bridesmaid's dress sample

Then it was time to order the dresses. We wanted a purple shade to match the Victorian lilac on my wedding gown. The designer of the dress called the color "lavender." The only indication of what the dress would look like in lavender was on the website for the dress designer, and it was not detailed at all.

Like I said, I was a little nervous with how the actual dresses would look. Once we got to the bridal salon, my concerns disappeared.
My friend in her dress
The "lavender" is a perfect match for the Victorian lilac sash on my dress, and the beading looks almost silver. The seamstress said that the color is flattering to any skin tone, and the dress works with any figure. I love it, and so do my girls by the sounds of things. 

I had a chance to try my dress on again, just to stand with it one next to the bridesmaids dress. Everything is really starting to come together. The next time I get to stand next to my friend in our dresses will be the wedding day!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hair and Makeup Trial

Our good friends and wedding party members (she's an officiant and he's a groomsmen) have been in town since Sunday. Yesterday, the guys went off to do guy stuff, and the girls went off to do wedding stuff. The morning was spent at the bridal shop, but I'll post more about that later. The highlight of the day was the afternoon, when we visited the spa for a hair and make-up trial. Yes, my friend had a trial too, and yes, usually only the bride has a trial, but seriously, who wants to pass up a chance to get beautified?

My hair inspiration was a "loopy bun" of sorts, like this: 
For make-up, I wanted smokey eyes, but wedding appropriate appropriate smokey eyes. 

I am happy to report that my hair and makeup trial was a huge success 

My hair, from behind! Loops! My veil will pin in just above the loops. The veil will be replaced with a hair comb for the reception. 

From the side

And my make-up. I love my eyes. 

I LOVED my hair, it was exactly what I wanted. I also loved my make-up, but I definitely need to find a solution for my lipstick that is more, kissing friendly. 

Once we were finished getting dolled up, we met up with our guys. They were more than a little impressed. They took us out for dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant, and we had an awesome evening of good food, good wine, and good company.