Friday, January 29, 2010

sweet containers

Candy buffets are something I've never personally seen in action at a wedding, but think are so completely awesome. I have a huge sweet tooth, so the idea of taking home a sweet treat from a wedding is a little too good to pass up.

My catering package already has a provision for a Viennese table, which will mostly contain chocolates, cookies and coffee. You'd think I'd just let the buffet go there, since I will have plenty of yummy snacks available? No, of course not! The buffet is a great opportunity to stress myself out!

The first thing I did was get a rough estimate of how much candy I would need. Assuming an attendance rate of 50, the prevailing wisdom of the internet said at least 1 pound per person, which sounded like a lot. I continued to research the subject, finding anecdotes that either said the buffet was a huge hit and was wiped out or that the bride was left with pounds and pounds of candy afterward. I'm theoretically not opposed to leftovers, but I probably won't be able to afford a new wardrobe for a while after the wedding either.

Ignoring all of that, I went out to buy some containers. I bought the following items with absolutely no idea with what I'd fill them: two white appetizer platters and two glass jars with lids. The appetizer platters were $3 each and the jars were $12 each. I plan to keep all of these for our house after the wedding.

 The inspiration images I had were from Amy Atlas. I love how highly stylized her buffets are.

Fantastic, yes? I particularly love the rock candy and giant jars of yum. 

What do you think of candy buffets?

"i ordered twine."

Once in a while, my fiance will go through our account to clean it up and make sure everything is in the right category. Sometimes it tells us we spent $15 on rent and $6000 on restaurants, so things need to get re-organized!

Today he was doing just that and asking about uncategorized charges. He was just listing things off when he asked about a paypal charge for $18. This was my response:

"I ordered twine."
Indeed, I had ordered twine. $15 twine. He immediately started laughing at me and then quickly labeled it as "wedding." I felt pretty embarrassed, since it was twine, but it's actually exciting stuff!

I'm planning on using it to tie together our invitations, but it'll probably make an appearance on the programs and perhaps in my other DIY projects. I ordered it here.

Have any of your wedding purchases embarrassed you?

just call me goldishoes

Hi. I'm alive and stuff.

I ordered a bunch of shoes.

The first pair fit awkwardly. The second one didn't at all. And then the last pair...
 Perfect. Kitty thinks so too.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Just a quick update: I'm blogging for Weddingbee now! Until I get them caught up on all of my archives, I'll be taking a little break from posting. But once that's done, posting will resume as usual!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

lady in a dress

I downloaded a new action today which means I had to apply it to pretty much every awful picture I have. Who doesn't do that? One of those pictures happened to be one of me in my dress.

my first faux pas

I apparently committed an etiquette faux pas. I called my mom (yes of course this story includes my mom) today and she says, "Aunt So and So got your save the date today. She didn't really know what it was. But she told me you didn't include their last name on the envelope."

That was true. I didn't. Somewhere on the fine internet I saw a save the date envelope with first names only and thought, oh cute, a nice informal way to do these. Well my mom is now appalled that I don't know how to address envelopes and that I will surely offend all of our guests. Um? Seriously?

First, I don't get how this is an etiquette thing. I understand the logical reason to include last names: to insure that the postal service delivers the envelope, especially if I mess up the address. However, if the envelope did get lost, no one could possibly get offended because they'd never receive the envelope to offend them in the first place. Secondly, if I have a personal relationship with someone, I kind of don't get how using a first name on an envelope is offensive. For people I don't have a relationship with, I used the last name because I was uncomfortable - we're not on a first name kind of basis, you know?

So my mom is pissed at me because I didn't use last names. Have you committed any grievous etiquette sins?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

save the dates have landed

We mailed the first batch of save the dates this weekend, which oddly made the wedding feel very real. Oh sure, I have a wedding dress in my closet and thousands of dollars floating around in the form of deposits. But for some reason, these little cards printed at Kinkos feel like the most official thing we've done.

So they're not perfect. They were printed on 90lb card stock, two to a letter-sized page. I used a rotary cutter at Kinkos to give the cards a full bleed effect, but unfortunately, my little measurements were off for some cards and thus some patterns look a bit different. I really didn't care though. This was not something worth stressing about.

I have no cute picture of the save the dates with their envelopes because that was something I also didn't care about. I used plain white (not even nice paper!) envelopes. They are not lined. It would be like showing you a piece of ordinary mail, which would really look a bit sad.

The only reason I thought save the dates were remotely necessary was the fact Bloomington is at least three hours away from most guests. Now, I could've easily sent an email to let people know. But I wasn't about to pass up an opportunity to design something!

My save the dates aren't perfect. But for $27 and a few hours on the computer, I'm fine with them.

Are you a perfectionist when it comes to DIY?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

free return shipping: the ballad of shoe shopping

With my first fitting in a mere two weeks, it was time to order some shoes. My specifications were:
  • black satin, because I'd like to perhaps wear them again
  • low heel or a high heel with an ankle strap - my feet fall out of heels otherwise
  • pretty
  • under $150
So I was looking for a black satin shoe, which really shouldn't be difficult considering it's BLACK, right? I'm apparently very picky, because it wasn't.

I only found one shoe out of millions at Zappos that I liked.

 It's black, on sale for $102, has a weird feather poof that I'm apprehensive of, but also has the needed ankle-keeper. Oh wait a second, this shoe is a little familiar..

Of course! It's a Louboutin knock-off. Hooray.

Then I had a bit more luck on Endless.

I ordered this one in black as well. The pink was excruciatingly cute, but unavailable. I know it violates my high heel=ankle strap rule, but I felt I could make an exception for a mule. And let's just admit it, it's also a blatant rip off of a Louboutin heel. I have expensive taste with a small salary, what can I say.

The last shoe I ordered was something a bit more traditional/classic, and god bless it, with a low heel.

I should be receiving all of these early in the week, so expect a mini shoe review then. Hopefully I can stand to wear one all day for dancing. Eek.

Friday, January 8, 2010

gchat conversation of the day

The fi and I talk on gchat kind of all day long. Today I was looking at wedding bands for him and somehow the following conversation happened.

To be clear, I'm the one that plays world of warcraft and knows a lot about magical elves. This pretty much sums up the relationship though..

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


On my bus ride to work today, I found an email from my mom waiting in by inbox. She is a bit technologically challenged, so every time I get an email from her unprompted, I'm amazed. She obviously has something against paragraphs and the space bar, but some things just can't be helped.

Anyways, it's really cute, so I thought it was worth sharing, in abbreviated form.

"Colleen, I have been doing some thinking about the reception.  [...] i think that we need to make a decision. I have also been agonizing over this, wondering if there is some wow-factor setting that we have been overlooking. But, we need to keep this in perspective. The most important part of this event is that you are going to marry a great guy and that you are going to have a wonderful life together,it does not matter if you get married in the back yard.And since we are not rich, we do have to stay within a budget. So, we will never be able to give you the lavish dream  wedding And, we don't even have very many relatives! So, I think you just need to take a deep breath and pick a room and get on with the planning.     we are probably going to have a great time,whichever room we choose. And if we don't have to go into debt over this ONE day,we will all be in better shape to enjoy the rest of our lives together."

Isn't that adorable? And true!

What keeps you grounded during wedding planning?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

make-up part two

Inspired by this post by Lauren of i love you much, I decided to confront my last diy make-up trial. While it wasn't the most dreadful thing ever, it also wasn't yummy.

So armed with a few new products, I've made progress. Here's how I started.

I was already in my after work glitter sweats, sorry. Note my strange blond-ish eyebrows. Here's how I cleaned up.

Better, yes?

Here's what I added to my original list.
I still don't think the look is perfected yet, but I'm definitely going in the right direction. How are you handling diy make-up?

bridesmaids revisited

I've hinted to the bridesmaids dresses a lot, but I've never properly posted on the subject. Here's the recap.

I'm having two bridesmaids for my wedding. One is my childhood best friend, we'll call her M, and the other is a gal also from my hometown and a roommate in college, T. M lives in Indy. T lives in London.

So I have two bridesmaids who live on different continents and have different fashion sensibilities. T is trendy/bohemian and M is more classic all-American. I thought I could make this easy on them by saying "go find a dress you like in a shade of light-ish pink!" Surely I was being progressive and would be completely loved by all.

Apparently finding a light pinkish dress is not so easy. There are many shades of light pink at various stores and some are less appealing than others. Realizing that I'm already being a cruel bride by choosing light pink as their dress color, I should just put the girls out of their misery and choose an option myself.

Ha! It's impossible. A dress under $200 that is flattering and a little fashionable doesn't exist, I think. Or at least in my colors.

After much whimpering and whining, I changed their dress color to a bright alpine green. Hooray. (If you recall, I resisted green at first until I found a suitable shade). Both of my bridesmaids turned out to be thrilled by this color, which makes me very happy.

Now, the dresses are being made. A seamstress in Indiana will charge about 40 per dress, which is cheap. We just need to buy the fabric and she can work from a photo.

Well, the fabric. Last week I stopped in a really amazing fabric store out in the burbs. It had Juicy Couture fabric, for instance! They had some really beautiful silks in a wide range of colors, including my particular green, but get this: 50/yard. Yikes. So I have to find some tissue taffeta on the cheap.

But what, pray tell, are the designs for the girls?

For the boho chic T (and this is the accurate shade of green):

And for M, the classic, this:

How did you negotiate a small bridesmaid budget but a big love for fashion?

cake fiending

The first and only tasting we did for the wedding was the cake. I'm not really that into meals, but I'm very enthusiastic about dessert, particularly cakes.

So when the caterer called to ask what I wanted to taste all I said was white buttercream frosting. Fondant might look real slick, but it tastes like ehhh. Other than that, I had no clue.

When we arrived there were two mini cakes waiting for us: a chocolate cake with fudge filling and white buttercream frosting and a vanilla creme with almond filling and cream cheese frosting.

This was in my pre-blogging days so I didn't take any pictures. But the vanilla creme was ah-mazing. It wasn't soggy, but it was moist. The frosting had that nice cream cheese bite, which is divine. We were in love with a cake flavor.

Since deciding on the flavor, I haven't had tremendous luck finding a cake design. I knew I wanted it to be round and fairly simple, maybe a little home made-looking. But since we're only going to have about 50 guests, an extravagent multi-tiered cake was just out of the question.

So I started to think about texture. Swirly frosting perhaps? Topped with my sad in-progress cake topper?

I'm thinking yes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

honeymoon: booked

We just booked our honeymoon.

We'll be spending four nights at the Viceroy Palm Springs. It's not going to be a two week odyssey in Thailand or something equally exotic, but I'm ecstatic. I adore Hollywood regency and love the idea of spending a few days poolside in such a glamorous spot. We've already picked out a few spa menu items we want to do and my fiance is fast at work finding savory restaurant spots.

The reason we decided not to go with the Ace Hotel was just a matter of price. The Viceroy was significantly cheaper and seems a lot more luxe, even though I do love me some midcentury modern.

We're thrilled and I can't wait to start shopping. I passed up some amazing Balenciaga sandals yesterday but I may be going back for them right now..

Saturday, January 2, 2010

cake topper part 1

So I've been working on a cake topper, inspired by the following:

I did attempt to cover the base with fabric; it didn't work out, so I made a change of plans. But here are the original materials.

  • Small cardboard craft box. Found at craft stores.
  • Floral wire
  • White floral tape
  • Wire cutters
  • Embroidery floss in different colors
  • Charms of some sort
  • Acrylic paint
  • Brush/sponge
  • Hammer and nail
  • German glass glitter
  • Sealer spray
  • Ribbon
My first step was making the arch.

I twisted together three pieces of floral wire and wrapped it around the box to create the arch shape.

Then using a nail and hammer, I made two small holes for the arch.

I tested the arch and made adjustments. Next, I painted the base with three coats of white paint. On top of a Bebe catalog. That's definitely a requirement for this project.

After that, here's where it started to go a bit wrong. I forgot to buy glue for the glitter, so I googled around and found that I could apply the glitter directly to the paint. Well, I got silly and thought that meant I could mix the glitter in the paint..

I don't hate what happened, but it's not exactly glittery. More to come.

preview of balls

My flower balls.

I have a few more colors to go, but this is the beginning of my fabric flower garlands.  Starting to get excited..