Want To Keep Up With Amber, Alex and the whole Sweeney crew as they live life as Newlyweds?

The Check Out:

The Sweeneys

Become a Follower of this blog by clicking over here ---->

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sniff, Cough Cough, Sneeze

I'm sick. It's horrible, why did I get the flu shot if this was going to happen? Grrrr, I do not heart the medical community right now.

Whats worse, is this head and chest cold seems to be making me a wee bit loopy and unable to concentrate. Well, it's that or the meds I'm taking.

Here's an example of loopy - I'm in a panic about napkins. NAPKINS! I'm looking everywhere for personalized cocktail napkins for the wedding, in a very specific design (because I just can't make anything easy) and for some reason I'm utterly obsessed with this even though there is 6.5 months to the wedding.

Freak much? I know, right?!

I've looked everywhere for the things, and I know I saw them at one point when I didn't need them. Isn't that always the case? Now I can only find them in sets of 100 for an obscene amount for an item that will wipe and be be tossed. So now the penny pincher in me kicks in and digs deeper and deeper into the Web searching for that one perfect site with my design for that amazing price.

I should just give up and take a nap. Maybe come back when the computer screen isn't a total blur and I can go 5 minutes with out sneezing and running the risk of sprinkling germs all over my sacred computer area.

Okay I'm off - bed time for me!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Creative and Strange Wedding Cakes

These are some very strange and very creative wedding cakes! I couldn't believe some of them - check out the first one, made from all Hostess products! Not a half bad idea for a kids birthday party either.

This one I'm really hoping was the Grooms Cake, but more power to them if it wasn't....
And this last one is my favorite, a few things come to mind when I look at it - the first is that it gives new meaning to the term "eat me"....and the second makes me wonder if they will save her head in the freezer for their 1 year anniversary.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Time to Boogie - and I need YOUR help! (Poll)

My next project is to come up with the play list for the wedding. I know, most people would hire the DJ and say "Have at it", but I have these aunts who still think it's 1980 sometimes and they would swill back too many Bacardi Cokes and harass the DJ all night with requests. I love Cyndi Lauper as much as the next gal, but I want to keep the mix of music even over all decades. So to save him some trouble and myself....I'm going the play list route.

Now, I'm not planning to cover the whole evening, just most of it. I want to leave some room for requests and I do have a lot of faith in Alpha Beat, my DJ service. So I'm asking all of you out there, yes even you lurkers out there - to come out of your shells and lend me a hand with it. Help me make my reception one heck of a night....

**Here's what I need**
Pop me a comment to this post with your TOP 5 FAVORITE SONGS. Any type, any era, dance, slow, country - ANYTHING. Please just make sure you accompany the song title with and artist.

Thanks everyone! You're help is ever so appreciated!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Heart Photography

You know when you look through magazines and see a photo and go, Oh, wow!" and just gasp!?

That's the kind of photography I wanted for my wedding and engagement.

On top of this requirement, both Mr Sweeney and I had incredibly high standards for photographers as we've both worked in the field in one way or another during our life time. Our perfect photographer was right under our nose the entire time and it didn't take a second thought for us to book Kari Layland Photography .

Kari and I had worked together at a local photo studio some years back and happened across each other by chance on myspace one day, which is very fitting as thats where me and Mr Sweeney met as well! After taking some fun shots of us at a waterfall back in 2005 we knew from here on out, no one else would in charge of capturing the greatest moments in our families life!

Our engagement shoot was done in Minneapolis Minnesota - basically wandering around the city and taking advantage of any landscape that presented itself. Kari caught my favorite photo of Mr S and I dancing in an ally with a trumpeter playing in front of us by seeing the opportunity and taking it! We were actually done with our shoot and on our way back to the car when we passed this man playing his heart out. She suggested we go dance behind him, and we have the most amazing photo now because of it! The trumpeter never stopped playing, he was right in the moment as well I guess! We left him a nice big tip in his suitcase and ended the session with perfection!

She took so many wonderful photos, choosing from the dozens of shots was tough, but in order to not over run this blog with tons of photos!!!! And for fun towards the end I will add in some of the fun shots taken back in 2005 at the waterfall ;-)

And here are some of our photos from the year before at Willow River State Park in Hudson Wisconsin - yeah amazing, we were in Wisconsin and not a cow or block of cheese to be found!

If you're still looking for a wedding photographer - check her out, she will travel! She's worth it! I couldn't ask for a better, more detailed oriented person to be taking care of capturing the biggest day of my life!

If you get a chance check out her web site, and see all the amazing photos she's taken! Kari Layland Photography Pass her name on to anyone in Minnesota or Wisconsin, her talent is unbeatable!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Finding my Center.... (Piece)

I took a little inspiration from Mrs Lemon on Wedding Bee, the magical appearance of great clearance items at Target and my highly creative future mother in law, and made my self the most perfect table centerpieces for the reception!

Here's a step by run down of what I did, where I got it and what it looks like....on my pool table anyway....since the wedding isn't until August.

Mrs Lemon gave me the idea of hitting up Ikea, but not limiting myself to the the candle holders only in their Home Decor area, but to venture out in to the wilderness of the Kitchen department as well. And I have to say - she was right, I made some pretty good finds!

The first one is my main piece, the center of the center piece if you will...

MJOD designed to be a 22 oz Beer glass, which I found in the Kitcehn area of course. It comes 6 to a pack for $6.99, I bought up 4 packs for a grand total of $27.96

Next tallest is also a glass designed for drinking from called SVALKA
They are 4 inches tall and come 6 to pack like the larger ones. They are bit cheaper, coming in at $4.99 a box.
(They kind of appear square in this photo from some reason but they are in fact round.)
I bought up 12 boxes as I intended to have 2-3 per center piece, for a grand total of $59.88

The last glass item I bought from Ieak that day was GLIMMA an actual item created for candles. They are 1 inch tall tea light holders, I should note these are for the 10 hour tea lights, which are a great deal larger then the regular ones you buy in a bag at Target.
The also came 6 to a pack, in a plastic round tube packaging, found in the Home Decor section. I bought up 12 backs of these at $1.29 each tea light holder for a Grand Total of $99.00

Matching GLIMMA CANDLES are sold in packs of 24 for $4.99, these are the 10 hour brun time candles. I got 4 packs for a Grand total of $19.96

The candles I used for the largest holder is called FLORERA they are 25 hour burning candles, 4 inches in height. The site says $1.49 each but I know I only paid .99 each and I needed 24 of them for a Grand Total of $23.76.

The one thing I had a hard time finding at Ikea was simple and plain votive holders and votive candles of standard size. I needed them to complete the look, so I popped over to www.candles4less.com and bought up a box of 144 votives with candles in them for a total of $80, I also bought a box of votives for the medium holders but got the wrong size and have to reorder some more and I'm thinking I will get these I just have to double check the size and make sure they will fit.

Here's the pictures of the set up on the black sparkley chargers I picked up at Target on clearnace for $1.27 a box of 4. I'm going to be 2 short because I only bought enough for 22 tables, and now I need 24 or 25. I'll make due I think that the extras just won't go on chargers. Grand Total for those is $12.00.

You have to imagine the frosted ones are replaced with the clear ones though. I didn't gt a chance to shoot off some new pics of them in the set up yet.

You can see the sparkle in the plate - it looks like white specs, but it's glitter. Don't mind the pics, I shot these on the pool table

So all in all I spent a grand total of: $239.00 and divide that by 24 tables and it's $9.96 per center piece, with left over candle holders for the cake table and head table! Not bad!!!!! And the nice thing, everything is ok to sell afterwards in most cases and I can use these things around the house if not so I'm not throwing anything away!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I move to strike Bride-zilla and enter for vote: "Guest-zillias"

I always head the term "Bride-zilla" before I myself got engaged. I watched tv shows about them, and heard what seemed to be legitimate horror stories about them even. It wasn't until I began planning my own wedding, and talking with other to-be-brides that I began to realize, Bride-zilla's do not start out as such, they are created!

It started simply, a planning decision between Mr S and I, no kids at the reception other then the ones in the wedding party. The reasoning was we couldn't afford $1000 extra dollars for chicken fingers and inviting the children would mean bumping off adults to keep within the amount of people allowed at our venue. This seemed ridiculous to us, sacrifice having our good friend there so that a cousin could bring her 7 children for a free meal?

More then that, we are having our wedding at a private country club, where we are not allowed to be wandering about the club house or the golf course. And I, being the type of person I am will spend the majority of my wedding day tracking down missing 6 year olds because I do not want to have to pay the fine or deal with being lectured by management.

Could I have chosen a more kid friendly place? Sure. Would I if I went back and started over. No way. I'm not having a children's birthday party, I'm getting married. That day in my life I've been dreaming about for decades! There will be no balloons, crayons or ponies. This is an adult celebration, and it should be treated as such.

Tiny bits of Bride-zilla begin to creep in about this time. As I'm actually faced with accommodating other people for MY day. When you write it out like that and reread it....it not only looks stupid it sounds that way too. I'm not having this party for the benefit of anyone but my husband and myself and now I'm being considered a "Bride-zilla" because I don't want to go broke feeding children?

Example #2:
I have a a good friend who has a boyfriend. Lot's of them do - and in most cases, so and so would be invited as "Miss Blah Blah and Guest". This case is a bit different, I've invited her and her parents who are good friends of mine as well. The invite is to be addressed to her parents and her, specifically. Now, etiquette states that NO ONE other then those listed directly on the envelope or inner envelope should the invite have one, is invited. This means if you get invited to a wedding and the invite does not say "And family" LEAVE YOUR KIDS AT HOME!

Well, this friend has stated that she will be bringing her boyfriend, regardless of the lack of invitation. So I should bite my tounge, set an extra place setting and deal...right?
Well no.
This boyfriend of hers is not exactly..... whats the word I am looking for..... - normal? Okay, I don't really punish people for lack of normality - if I did I'd be punishing myself frequently. When I say "not normal" I mean, in no way will he get along with anyone a the reception, and he fails to grasp any normal out look on society or life. He's anti-black, and I'm not talking the crayon....I'm talking people. My little sister is black. I have other family that is as well, those are not conversations that will be happening at my wedding - or ever if I can help it. He believes white is the superior race, Hi Ho Hitler and all that.

I'm proud of freedom of speech, I believe you have your right to have any belief system you want. With that comes my freedom to tell you to take a flipping leap off a building if you support something as terrible as white supremacy. I've stood at Auschwitz, and I'm sorry - I'm having a celebration of love - and that my friend will not include the spawn of Hitler!

This too has me being called a "Bride-zilla" WTF!?

Do you see how stupid this is? How can I honestly be called this when all I'm doing is protecting my day and creating something that me and Mr S want? I don't even know the guy in the last story there, never met him in my whole life. And I have had sleepless nights about how he's going to show up anyway and destroy my day, wondering should I even still invite these people....

Shouldn't there be "Guest-zillas"?! Honestly, they are the ones who through fits, call names when things don't go as they want. Why do Brides get bad reps when all they are doing is planning their wedding? I have seen people who's bridesmaids have changed their dress color with out even asking them, and then getting irked at the bride for being called out on it....HELLO! How many weddings have you seen and been in? The bride kinda picks out that thing, and if you look like a cow in it....deal - it's not your day and no one's looking at you anyway!

I apologize for the rant and rave about this, but we do get a bad rep - and often change our dreams and hopes to suit people we really don't know. And that's unfair! We only get the chance to be a Princes Bride once (in most cases...lol) we should get to do it that way we want to!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

What do you mean Charm City Cakes doens't deliver to Minnesota?!

If anyone has seen Ace of Cakes on the Food Network, you'll know that Charm City Cakes owned and operated by Duff Goldmen in Baltimore MD, is quite possibly to coolest place on the planet to have a wedding, birthday or any cake for that matter made. You want a big pink roller skate...you can have it. A life size replica of an acoustic guitar, you got it! A gigantic , edible Cannon Camera for the photographer in the family, they say "Hey, no problem!". What about a realistic bucket of paint for that hard working man of yours? They say "Bring it on!"

With all the possibilities, the dedication and talent of the people employed by CCC it's not too hard to see why, when we started looking at wedding cakes I fist went to their web site to see if they delivered to Minnesota. I knew I was setting my self up for utter disappointment - what are the chances that they would deliver half way across the country? And I was right, unless I wanted to drive out there to get it myself, which they very highly suggest against for cakes do not travel well, I was not going to have a Duff Goldmen creation at my wedding.

I was not deterred yet however, I mean where there is one genius of fondant there had to be more, right? I began to scour the Twin Cities for a mid - western version of Duff and his crew. I called very place in the phone book, checked the internet, and nothing. I mean nothing.

Sure, I could find a million places that would fill my every desire of an over the top wedding cake, but if I wanted some kind of personalized grooms cake, there was no way. No one would step outside the cake pan.

After writing the grooms cake option out of the budget and setting out to find something else to surprise my future husband with the day of the wedding, I stumbled across a web site that suddenly filled all my cake dreams and desires. Miss Sara's Cakery located in Hastings Minnesota. And they will deliver! I looked over the web site, all the while wondering how this slipped past me before, saddened that I no longer required a grooms cake. Yet I still decided needed more cake, and proceeded to discuss the possibility of placing an order with her.

I won't disclose why or for what occasion Miss Sara will be baking me up some cakey goodness so as not to ruin the surprise for who it may be for. I am planning several parties for family members and wedding related items before Augugst next year...it could be for anyone. I will be sure to tell you how it turns out when I get it. What I can tell you right now is that based on the web site shots and the several e-mails I've exchanged with her, should the cake be anywhere near as great as her personality and her samples....I have nothing to worry about and the recipient will be tickled pink!

top right photo from www.charmcitycakes.com. Bottom left photo from of www.misssarascakery.com

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Pink is my signature color"

I know it may have been hard to decipher my wedding colors based on this blog alone. I mean it's not like it's covering every inch of screen allowed. I would like to tell you that my sick obsession with this pastel hue is reserved only for my computer time, but I would be lying through my teeth.

Since deciding that it's the color of the wedding, I've started to buy everything in pink, if it comes that way. My toothbrush, my cell phone, camera, day planner, wedding planner, file box, pens, bowls EVERYTHING! The saddest part, I don't even know I'm doing it anymore. This house is going to look like a Pepto Bismol factory exploded if it extends to the housewares when we register!

What's more, I never liked the color much before this. It was the browsing through catalogs and online sites and finding things like this:

That just did it for Mr S and I - okay the color of the wedding wasn't so much of a big deal to him as long as I didn't make him wear pink...and OMG like I would ever do that!

This evening as I was putting together my Pink Inspiration Board, I began to feel like Julia Robert's character in Steel Magnolias, sitting in that salon chair and saying "Pink is my signature color". And it most certainly is!

Me and my "Buds"

When I thought about my wedding day flowers, I certainly wasn't the type of girl who envisioned every inch of the chapel dripping with baby's breath, rose buds and greenery. Or that I would carry down one those obnoxiously long and flowing bouquets that look like ivy over grown on an old building. In fact, to be honest if there wasn't a flower in my whole wedding, I'd make it through with out ending up on a therapists couch.

Of course the thought arose in my skattered brain one day, should I have no flowers, then what exactly would I carry down the aisle with me? I mean let's just be honest here, it would be rather awkward looking for me to walk down carrying nothing at all. A basket? Filled with what, flowers? Candy to toss to the adoring crowd? I think not.

So I ended up searching the internet for the perfect bouquet, nothing too frilly or over the top. A few things that it must be - beautiful, simple and filled with NOT RED roses. Aside from the simple fact that I'm not even having a red wedding, or red as an accent color, I despise red roses. It's a personal thing, they remind me of funerals - weird I know since they represent love. It's just a thing, I deal with it. You should too.

On my journey down the internet super highway here's a few of the bouquets that made me happy God made flowers.

I met with my florist in November and explained that I simply wanted roses in 2 shades of pink and white, with some "bling" (the new added theme to my wedding) I was really happy to hear that the price of my bouquet would only be $70 - I was told that all roses was going to break the bank, though I found it odd as they are so common and seem to be around all year with little to no issue.

The florist showed us her hand tie's which I wasn't too thrilled with - think tulle fabric ribbon wrapped sloppily around the stems...I will be providing her with both the photo in the bottom right corner for my hand tie (minus the black ribbons...thats wee too much) and the ribbon to do it. She said she can and will do it but rattled off some excuse of not being able to stick them in water because the ribbon wouldn't dry or something. After some simple research I realized that hand tied bouquets require being tied the day of or day before and refrigerated, not placed in water. Something that I'm pretty sure she knows.

Regardless of her lack of wanting to hand tie my bouquet with out some resistance, I fully trust her as does my future mother in law, who's used her for 2 other weddings that both came out beautifully. I can't wait to have a photo of my actual flowers, but that's still roughly 7 months away.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Bring it On!!!

I am so antsy! I have a million DIY projects I want to start, like NOW! Again you see I don't do the waiting thing well. Alex said we could hit Ikea this weekend to pick up candle stuff and frames for me to make for the memory table. Unfortunately we have like 10 people that need to be on there, and so I am making it extra special by having a framed photo of each of them, 4x6 with a name plate so everyone knows who they are.

We are going to check out the table linens this week and figure out with set up I like and I can't wait for that either. I feel like I'm stuck in a wedding planning rut and can't get out. I know it's the calm before the storm and in a few weeks I'll be begging for some down time - but as of now....I WANT PROJECTS!

So, I'm sorry for the dull posts....they will get better and more informative I promise!

Sand Ceremony

Alex and I are skipping the tradition of the Unity Candle. We both find it a tad outdated and, though humorous at the other weddings we attended, we do not want one to blow out or not light on us. Not to mention, the candle would eventually simply wind up in my attic fighting off the sweltering heat of summer and sub-zero of winter never to be seen again.

In it's place I found a great alternative - the Sand Ceremony. A lot like the Unity Candle it signifies the joining of two hearts becoming one - though instead of uniting a flame, we will unite different colored crystalline sands. One the the best parts is we can include my 3 year old daughter by giving her a small vase filled with her own color to signify the joining of our family.

You can buy the materials for a unity sand ceremony at Wedding Star which is where we plan to get our sands from, Black for Alex, White for me and Pink for Paige. Instead of buying the monogramed vase set from them like we initally planned to, I am going to DIY (go figure) our vases by picking up some square ones and decorating them with ribbon and crystals in our wedding colors. This way it will be much more personal and save us some money.

The Sand Ceremony though thought to be new , is in fact a very old and honored tradition thought to have originated in Hawaii when couples would marry on the beach. At the right time in the ceremony they would reach down and take a handful of the sand from beneath their feet and join it together to signify their unity.

Of course here on the main land, we had to adjust it a bit, as not many places have sand as nice as Hawaii! Wouldn't it be funny if someone here in Minnesota were to join together piles of snow? Or gravel from the construction going on in their home towns! And if we were to get even more into that..what about Wisconsin folks joining together soy beans fro their crops, or milk from the dairy cows. In Hollywood they could join together real diamonds with rubies. In New York, subway tokens - it could go on and on!

And you don't have to feel compelled to use glass vases to pour from - use seashells, bowls and other items. Get creative, find something that is sentimental to you - if your a fan of tea, use cute little tea cups! Love baseball? Use those little plastic hats they give you ice cream in at the game with your favorite team on it, signify that you'll both try to like the others team while loving and honoring each other! The possibilities are endless!

Are you doing unity sand? If not what are you doing and how are you making it unique to your wedding day?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Save The Date!

Before I get too far ahead of myself, since I started this blog several months into planning I do want to share with you my Save The Date postcard I made and mailed out in October.

Yeah, I'm getting married in August...I could have waited a bit to send them out but I don't wait well. In fact I try not to wait at all. Hehehe.

I make custom photo cards on the side a business I run mostly by word of mouth but I do have a small website that's not much to look at - www.pinkyellowblue.com.

When it came to my Save The Dates I knew that I was going to design my own. By the wonderfully good graces of my friend and phenomenal photographer Kari Layland, I was able to add the most wonderful element to this card - one of our engagement pictures.

I wanted something rather simple, to the point, and eye catching. It took me forever to figure out what I wanted, I searched the net for ideas, inspiration anything! And in the end, with Photo Shop and me I came up with this:
I had the card printed at Print Pelican something I only suggest because the quality was great and they offered not only good prices, but 5x7 post cards which I couldn't seem to find anywhere else. However on the customer service scale they were a bit annoying. I had 50 people ready to help me, until I had an issue/question in which case I was practically ignored.

Plus, although it's a good shipping procedure - I had to be home to sign for this package when it arrived and as I'm running around some days - getting home with a wiped out 3 year old and finding out I have to go get my package (like I said - can't wait...don't wait well, have to have it now) is annoying. Luckily I was home the second time they delivered.

The fonts are P2P Corinthia, which I had to buy for $20 off of FontFinder.com but was in love with. The other is simply Arial, a standard font on all computers.

Note: These post cards do not qualify for the .26 postcard stamp. I figured this out when I went to the PO to find out postage....after already getting them....I was a bit cheesed to say the least. All this bending over backward to DIY to save money and the post office always bites me in the butt!

In the end I was very happy with the outcome. I would have normally printed these as regular photos, on photo paper from a high quality professional printer and sent them out as photo cards - but wanted to give a new company a shot and have something that didn't require an envelope.

Like what you see? Want the same one? I'll make you a mad deal!

Okay enough self promotion - get back to blogging lady!

The Verdict Is In

I got my orders from Vista Print today...well they actually came yesterday and I never checked the mail. Talk about L-A-Z-Y!

I ordered their folded note card in both the matte finish and linen finish. They offer glossy as well, but I hate all those fingerprints that show up because of the coating...blech!

I was on the "eh" side with the matte. They were nice, usable. Martha would probably ripped them up, dyed them, dried them and then made some type of centerpiece with them. Never would she have mailed them out...lol

The linen on the other hand was exactly what I was hoping for. Clean, crisp, classic, with a hint of formality and with my uploaded design (plus a heck of a lot cheaper then those fancy pants catalogs.)

Only one downfall - on the back of the card, printed near the bottom is their web address. Not to thrilled about this and seeking out ideas for covering it up. I am possibly thinking a small sticker that says something like "Created by Amber Sweeney" or something....

I certainly will not skip ordering from them because of it, I'm sure I'm the only one who will really notice it in the end anyway. Isn't that they way it always is?

Check them out at www.vistaprint.com They have al ot of great deals and often give things away for free. And if you're in the market for a new design of some sort, don't forget this is what I do on the side to make a meager living and I'm more then happy to discuss creating something for you at a reasonable price - seriously reasonable....catch me by responding to this post with a way of contacting you!

Chaio for now!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Wedding Planning No-No #1

I'm not good at math. I'll never claim to be. In fact I'm pretty sure my math teacher retired after I graduated because of the many class disturbances I provided with the ever classic "Yes, but honestly...when will I really be adding A to B? Generally I like to use numbers..."

So when I realized I was primarily in charge of the budget I panicked a wee bit. Ok, a lot a bit...alright back off so I spazed...happy now?

I have 2 budget sheets going, one to make sure we stay on track, the other to make sure that I am using the first one correctly. Not to mention ever trusty Mr. Calculator who I think will be due for a battery change once this wedding is over.

Now, as bad as I am at math was about as prepared as I was to plan a wedding. Ah, some of you laugh because you know me, and know I have been solidly addicted to wedding anything's for the past, oh I dunno....5 years. Yeah well read all you want about dresses and crazy mother-in-laws....noting get's you ready for it. Nothing.

There's no list of "Don't forget this stuff because it will bite you in the ass later" anywhere. So when I started making my beautiful invitations, I didn't stop to think for one minute about how much it might actually cost to mail them.

With my beautiful (I'm not biased or anything!) invitation I walked into the post office ready to hear I was going to need .58 stamps. Wrong-O! I need both a .58 AND a .41 just to mail it! No to mention that I will need yet another RSVP .41 stamp (so help me God if you do not RSVP to this wedding I will hunt you down....) That's a grad total of......(insert crappy drumroll) $.99 to mail each invite.

Here's where I try to do math -

.99 x 120 (the amount of invites I anticipate actually sending) = $118.80
now add in the extra .41 for each RSVP - .41x 120 + $118.80 = $168.00

Standing there, jaw agape, I take back the envelope and then even more stupidly - BUY ALL THE STAMPS right then and there. What was wrong with the next 7 months we have until the wedding? I'm still unsure of anything other then, my bank account is crying right now.

So learn from me - please God don't let my mistake go with out a lesson to follow, when you make your invites at home to save money - take into consideration the price of postage as well. The invites that started out to be money saving and come in under $2.50, now cost me over $3!


Good bye Dear Friend, you will be missed.

It had to happen, I just didn't realize how sad I'd be when it did. I had to sit down with a very old friend, someone I've know nearly all my life and tell them, "You're no good for me! It's time we took some time apart"

It took me a few days to get ready for the talk, I paced and thought about it. But when the big day came I pulled out the chair at the kitchen table, sat down and looked my friend right in the eye, and I said

"Mr. Salt Shaker, You're just no good for me. And I know, I know, I knoooooow we've had so many good times together. All the trips to Little Italy, swinging through Burger King Court, that week we spent over at Granny Smith Apple Orchard. It's just that you're killing me here, I can't support your bloated needs anymore!"

With that said a tiny sodium filled tear drop ran down his face as I carefully placed him on the highest shelf in the kitchen cupboard. I promised to visit, he knows my dad will never turn him away. And just so he wouldn't be lonely, I talked Mr Pepper Shaker into hanging out with him for awhile.

I thought for sure this news would shatter Mr Salt Shaker, but I showed him a picture of my wedding dress, and told him how little time to the wedding and he said understood, though I could see the sadness reflected of his shiny glass side.

He is so brave to live in a cupboard so high in the kitchen. To take this hit, all alone. There's so much I still wanted him to see, people to meet, for instance my friend Mr Weight Watchers.I don't think those guys have EVER met! It sure would be nice if they could just hang out once or twice! Seriously

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Dueling Engagement Rings

A few months back I attended a local wedding fair with my Future Husband and his mom (you'll learn through out this process my mom isn't as detail oriented as I am, so most of my planning is done with my Future MIL..Mother in Law)

As I entered the atrium of the wedding fair I saw an old friend, someone I knew through an ex but was still very very sweet nonetheless. We did the typical screaming-girlie-jumpy hello and then it happened, the worst and stupidest thing I've done in all my engaged days at the time....

We both showed off our rings, together.

Don't sound bad? Well, no I'm sure in most cases it's not - however our rings were very similar. Very similar, except for one little detail. Her ring was obnoxiously huge. The kind that makes you wonder if there's a hand under that rock.

Well I just had to do it, couldn't keep my big mouth shut - I said excitedly "OMG our rings are the same!"


Any fool could see that they weren't. And though I love my ring and it's exactly what I dreamed about having one day, size and all - she obviously had that "Big Ring Big Head" syndrome and rolled her eyes at me and said "uh, yeah" in the most uncertain and awkward tones possible.

Suddenly this sweet old friend of mine became the "I'm better then you because my ring is bigger" type. I was mortified. I could have said anything....why did I have to say that?

I think that people too often these days base the status of their relationship on the size ring they are lugging around. Sure hers was bigger, but why did I suddenly feel so intimidated by that? I hand picked the ideal design of my ring, my future husband had a designer create it exactly how he wanted it, he hand picked each and every diamond in it. He didn't walk into some store and pick one off a shelf. My band is made of platinum. My ring can't be matched in quality.

And my relationship was as perfect and pure and unique as the ring I had on my hand. How that ring came to be on my hand was the most amazing thing of all.

It makes me feel so stupid to think that the glimmer of an obnoxious diamond could make me forget all the things that made my ring the most perfect ring for me, even if it was only for that split second

So, before you let anyone make you feel like less of a bride because your ring is smaller then theirs remember this: The diamonds are not the most important part of your ring, it's the story behind them that makes that ring amazing.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

You're Invited...

...To check out the official mock up invitation for my wedding! I printed it off at home today and carefully cut it with my CRAPPY trimmer. I will definitely be using a stack cutter for the actual invites once everything is printed!

Those little Fiskars trimmers cut things in lines as straight as George Michael!

Try not to notice that I seriously need to vacuum my carpet - and here it is:

This is the invite closed, with the wrap that is made totally from scrap!

Here's the invite open:

And with the inserts taken out:

I used pre-made pocketfold invites from LCI Paper

The paper is Stardream brand which I had to get from two different places because only one place I could find sold the Crystal (bright white) at a decent price.

I got the Crystal Stardream at Paper Depot Inc in Minneapolis MN. They do online orders now and they ship faster then anyone I've seen before! It was very well priced at .17 each.

The Rose Quartz (pink) paper I got at Envelope Mall along with the 2 sizes of envelopes I required for this project as well. Envelope Mall has by far the best priced Star Dream products online! Both the papers I bought in the text weight, as the heavier cardstock (or cover as it's called) doens't work too well with ink jet printers.

The envelopes are in 6.5 x 6.5 for the entire invite and the 4 Bar size for the RSVP, which you can see sticking up in the open invite picture, just slightly.

The two fonts are Feel Script by Veer which is not something you can get for free, it's $99.. And the plain font is BellMT which I used in all caps.

The flourishs are from two sets of "brushes" called Hipster Plumes (number 5 and 6). You can pick up these items at www.designerdigitals.com here The kits are well priced at $3.75 each and you will need a photo shop program to use them.

Please note that all pocket folds are different, if you buy yours from LCI Paper and need dimensions I'm happy to share mine with you - if you did not buy from them or do not plan to my dimensions will not work for you and you'll just have to do the trial and error game like we did to get the right dimensions.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The world revolves around....envelopes!

All my paper goods for making invites are fianlly here. I got the last two boxes via UPS this afternoon. At first I was like, "great now where are we going to put this?" (I was having a rather tough afternoon and I had a headache..) but that soon passed.

I don't know if it was the pretty pink glimmer coming off the Rose Quartz Stardream envelope, or the thought of having an actual perfect mock up ready and in hand finally. Whatever it was, it dragged me off the couch and to my computer. After a few go's at making it prin perfectly on my 6.5 x6.5 envelopes I had a perfect specimen.

Now, as it sits amongst the mess and disarray of my desk, it emits a glow of perfectness untouched by any wedding material I've gotten so far. It looks great with the fancy pants scroll font in rich black on the front. (Thank you cousin Tyler, you da man!) and I have this sudden desire to run to the roof top and scream "I'M GETTING MARRIED!"

As if the ring, the dress, the planning, booking and saving hasn't led me to believe that. One simple pink envelope ripped me out of the business of wedding planning and threw me back into the giddy, fun-ness of it. Don't get me wrong, all those things have made me jump for joy - especially the ring....but now it's more real I think. Now I get involve my guests instead of just tracking down Alex around the house and saying "How about this...." followed by some lengthly description of a wedding idea to which he has always said "Whatever you want hunny"

Insert girlie giggle here **Eeeeeep, I'm getting married!!!**

I need to get back to staring at my envelope now.

In the Bag!

On one of my many trips 'round the internet in search of the ever elusive Wedding bargain, I came across a lovely little shop on eBay called Tina's Embroidery Shoppe and bought up GREAT bags for all my maids!

I'm still in disbelief about how fast they arrived in the mail especially since I ordered right before Christmas. The shipping cost was great and she even made a specific auction for me because I needed 9 bags in total. Her customer service was FAB!!!

I can not wait to fill these bags with goodies and treats! It's going to be a blast! I hope that the girls find them useful even after the wedding! And if not - then I'll hurt them - hahah KIDDING!

This place is some place I will be going back to for sure! And I highly recommend them! If you use her, tell her I sent you....lol maybe she'll hook me up with a deal!

Too Good to Be True....

The saddest thing ever happened today...and I will be sad about it for at least the rest of the day - the Double Decker Bus was a bust! We checked their BBB record based on a friend of mine who complained about them, and they have had 6 complaints in 36 months, only 3 of which have been resolved.

I'm so utterly disappointed it's unreal. All my beautiful pictures I was thinking about and the ability to get everyone on one rinde to the reception....gone *POOF* just like that.

I'm going to wallow in my loss, I'll be back with my next emotional swing.....lol.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

London, in Minnesota?

I was going back and forth through my space with a friend of mine today when she mentioned that she had a vintage double decker London bus as her wedding transportation. Although her experience wasn't that great (bus broke down, got stuck at a creepy bus stop....) I'm still determined to have one.

This poses a problem as I've already booked my limo for that day, but I'm really hoping that since I haven't sent in the signed contract that I may be able to get out of it with out a fee.

The double decker bus would be so much cooler for pictures, and come on - how many people do you know who've left their wedding via the London bus.....while in Minnesota?

On top of all that the bus holds 62 people - and that would certainly solve the "Will we fit the whole wedding party in the limo" issue. I was going to have to leave behind a personal attendant and the junior brides maid and groomsmen just to use the 14 passenger SUV limo I was planning to book. How sad for the Jr BM and GM, all the work none of the fun.

I think that even if we we have to pay a small fee to cancel the other limo service we will still go with the bus - I mean just look at it.... it's so cool!

I keep thinking about another gal I knew who had a vintage fire truck at her wedding, because he husband was fireman - and the pictures we're soo cool!!!

I think the photographer in me is really coming out more and more with this one. Everyone has limo pictures - no one I know has London Double Decker Bus pictures :-) Yippie! I can't wait to talk to the bus company tomorrow!!!

The new and imporoved "The One" Invite

My beautiful invite, which I declared "The One" has been modified and bumped off the top of the list...LOL. I just couldn't stop tweaking it and making it better!

The general lay out is the same, I just changed the pocketfold inserts to all white and made the flourish on the right connect, so it looks like one fluid photo no matter if all or 1 of the cards in in it's place. I also, with the help of my awesome cousin tracked down a font I REALLY had to have, and changed that a bit.

NOW - it's "The One" - in it's "mock" version, as I'm waiting on the Stardream paper to arrive as well as all the envelopes. And as my printer has a hissy fit every 10 minutes (not unlike me) the print job looks a little crappy - but you get the idea!

Suddenly Stationary

I've been designing our stationary for the past few days. It's been a lot of fun, and much cheaper then ordering it from high priced catalogs!

I started by searching for fun, thank you cards and found nothing I liked. Well, nothing I liked that I would shell out $45 a set for! Sheesh!

So I started up my trusty Photo Shop CS2 and started creating. A bit later I had the card to the left.

It matches our invites, and every other aspect of the wedding and it's both simple and elegant!

I am ordering 2 sets of 10 from Vista Print to see if I like the matte or linen finish better. I can get 100 of them for under $100 which, from what I found price wise - is a steal!

I also took advantage of their free return address lables, designed up some to match and ordered away! I probably won't use them for the invites, but Alex and I don't have any return address labels, so for the low, low price of FREE - why not?! Check it out:

Lastly, I've run into the issue of getting the return address on to the wedding invite envelope. My printer has a temper and I don't like dealing with it. Envelopes come out with the printing not straight and sometimes with streaks and such. And since I'm planning to use Stardream brand metallic envelopes - I am not going to even attempt it more then likely. My issue was that I wanted the font to match the invite and custom rubber stamps with script fonts on them can be tricky and hard to read.

To help solve the problem I created this label and ordered 250 for $24 from www.uprinting.com, if it doesn't look right, then I have some more great post wedding address labels!! I have a feeling it will be more then fine however.

These particular labels are 2x2 inches. They do all custom
shapes and sizes and their prices are unbelievable!

Now my last issue is getting the address on the front of the envelope with out using my printer. Looks like I'll be either buying a new printer (not an option! LOL) or spending a lot of time at my step dad's office and my future MIL's house running things off!

And lastly I'll show off my RSVP card I am IN LOVE with. I can't take all the credit for it though, Mrs Lemon on Wedding Bee was the original creator and I used her layout and made it work for me. THANK YOU MRS LEMON!

We had some issues to cover with the RSVP, I needed to know specific names and what food choice they were having because our hall requires us to label the place setting for the waiters sanity! However I also needed to make sure that I didn't get back those "I'll be bringing my entire extended family" response. So, thankfully Mrs Lemon spent a lot of time studying the success rate of questionnaires based on how easy they were to understand and follow. She had a good success rate with her version of this and I hope to as well.
Of course the food choices are not complete yet as we've not done the tasting, but this give the idea. And now when I do have the final menu items all I have to do is input them and I'll be done with the design process!!!