Saturday, September 8, 2012

Handmade Autumn Wedding Stationary Suite

Pictured above are the cards and matching envelopes for our wedding invitation and rsvp, as well as our rehearsal dinner invitations.
Here is a close up of the rehearsal dinner invites.  Using the Cuttlebug tool we embossed an ivory panel for the background, and hand cut the pumpkins that were stamped using the "rock'n'roll" and "second generation" stamping techniques.

Leaves and acorns were stamped on the corner of the envelope to carry through the fall theme.

These were our RSVP cards which were mailed with self-addressed stamped envelopes in our invitations.   The leaves were die-cut from patterned paper using the Cuttlebug tool and the edges of the leaves were inked using a sponge tool. 
Hand stamped envelopes for the RSVP cards

And the highlight of the stationary created for the wedding is the invitation itself!  These babies were a ton of work, but with the help of friends and loved ones I think they speak volumes as to our creativity and commitment to having a unique and personal wedding.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Purposeful Neglect

 Jamie and I armed with our glue runners and pounding out the invites on the picnic table at camp.
 Invites in process.
 Elise and Aunt Claudia lending a hand with invitation assembly.
 Enjoying time by the lake and the campfire while my sister was up north from NC for my bridal shower.
 RSVP cards in progress the afternoon Jeff was helping me :o)
 My first bridal shower gift that arrived in the mail from Aunt Mary (slow cooker from Target!)
 Swatch book from when Jeff and I visited Ralph the tailor to pick out tux vest colors.
 The completed invitation.
Jeff and I in our backyard after my bridal shower.

Well, there you have it, in no particular order...some photo sneak peeks at more wedding progress.  So many little bits and pieces that I've been working on are starting to come together, but I want to leave some surprises for the big day so my posts will be, as you may have noticed, farther and fewer between.  Only 68 days till the big day!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lie With Me & Just Forget the World

We'll do it all
On our own

We don't need
Or anyone

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

I don't quite know
How to say
How I feel

Those three words
Are said too much
They're not enough

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

Let's waste time
Chasing cars
Around our heads

I need your grace
To remind me
To find my own

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we’re told
Before we get too old
Show me a garden that's bursting into life

All that I am
All that I ever was
Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

I don't know where
Confused about how as well
Just know that these things will never change for us at all

If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

To the world you may just be one person, but to one person, you may be the world.
After a long stressful day of work, I blasted cds in the car the whole way home.  I found a song that made me stop and smile and think of Jeff and I had a moment of calm.  As I was putting on pjs by the light from the hallway as to not wake up Jeff completely when I got  home, I mentioned I may have found our wedding song.  He told me to pull it up on YouTube so I grabbed my laptop and came back upstairs to share it with him.  Half way through he changed it to another song, and then another and another until we found our top three.  The lyrics above are Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars (not one of the top 3).  This came out when we first started dating, and we'd listen to it cuddled up by candle light gazing at each other in those early honeymoon phase months of gooey cheesiness.  Well tonight, we had one of those heart melting moments listening to love songs and cuddled up in each others' arms.  My favorite place to be is in his arms, wrapped in the warmth and strength of unconditional love and devotion.  We all know that life isn't fair, and life isn't perfect, and that we always want more, bigger, better...what have you.  It's hard to be satisfied when I don't have a career to show for my mountain of debt and almost a decade of higher education...but in so many aspects of my life I am so very truly blessed.  I will not for one second take that for granted, because I'm lucky in love, and forever in his arms is right where I'll be! I'm so happy he woke up long enough to have a moment with me, and it's really those little moments that mean the most.

Rehearsal Dinner Booked

Lindsey helped Jeff and I investigate some options for places to hold our rehearsal dinner when she was here over the weekend, but all along I had been hoping to go to the Raindancer.  I love its consistently wonderful food and service, its proximity to our venue is convenient, and it has some history with us--we have spent many evenings there for special dates and occasions.  Yesterday, when Jeff was out and about with his dad he took it upon himself to stop in and look into it.  And he reserved our date!  I was so pleasantly surprised that he did that for us and I'm so excited to make more memories there--this time with so many of the people we are closest too! 

Productive Wedding Project Weekend

This Saturday Jamie and Meaghan came over to help me with some wedding projects.
We added more flowers to the grapevine kissing ball bouquets so that they would look more full all the way around instead of having a "front side" that would be impossible to keep it at because they spin! We also worked on the table numbers!
On Sunday I got Jeff to help me adhere the photos of our grandparents on their wedding day into this old window.  I'm going to use it as a decoration in the foyer near the guest book at the venue, and also as home decor and a reminder of successful marriages in our family that inspire us. 
Lindsey came over Sunday afternoon and helped me make the burlap banners for our gift table and our sweetheart table.

I also finished cutting out the table numbers, which are leaves that will later be attached to real white pumpkins.
After Lindsey and I finished the banners, I looked in my "wedding closet" to determine our next task to tackle.

Fortunately she was up to the challenge of the boutineers, which has been intimidating me for awhile now.

She came up with a way to incorporate all of the elements that I wanted to and she really impressed me!

Meeting at the Venue-May 15th

The offices at the Perthshire
On yet another rainy Tuesday, Jeff and I used my week day off to visit our venue, The Perthshire in Amsterdam, NY to go over a list of questions we had accrued since we booked the place, and to settle on a package so we would know where we were with expenses.  Phyllis was great with us and patiently answered all of our questions.  She even graciously lent us umbrellas so we could walk around the grounds to the "honeymoon suite" which is an out building on the property available to me and my bridemaids to get ready together on the morning of the wedding.  It was exciting to walk hand in hand in the rain with my future hubby at the place we will be married in just five short months! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Picking up my dress-April 24th

Me in the David's Bridal dressing room with my dress bustle fixed!!
Jamie under my dress (without me wearing it) inspecting the bustle points. 
Success!  A cleanly and professionally done bustle.
My dress all packed up and ready to go home!

Yesterday, Jamie took the afternoon off from work to go with me to pick up my dress from David's Bridal.  I was surprised that she even let Meaghan join us and picked her up from school a little early so we could have a girls' afternoon of shopping and dinner at Panera Bread--my favorite!

We were pleased to find that they did a wonderful job removing all the previous bustle points and adding a new set that were cleaner and easier to use.  They also got the small spot out of the front of the dress that I had found on the last visit.  While I was relieved and should have been happy that it was all taken care of, I still looked wistfully at a dress on the mannequin on my way out the door, and I still think, "What if?"  "what if I hadn't been so hell-bent on getting this dress with my mom and my sisters on my trip to North Carolina?"  then I wouldn't have my dress shopping experience over in three hours after I'd waited my whole life to try on wedding dresses...and I wouldn't have had to fix all the mistakes that store had made because I would have bought it here in Albany.  I know I can't dwell on it, and that I should take comfort in knowing they (my mom and sisters) helped me pick it out...but I am still hung up on not wanting that part of the wedding process to be over.  I'm not really happy with the dress anymore.  It would be a frivolous waste though, to start over now and have to re-spend that money when I just got the dress paid off.  I don't even think that's an option.  So I'm going to sulk a bit more, and then I will readjust my perspective and learn to love it. 

Thankfully, after our trip to David's my mind was taken off the depressing dress situation with craft store shopping!!  I was able to find more floral stems to add to my kissing ball bouquets to fill them out a little more around the top on all sides at Hobby Lobby, and then we went to Micheal's and they had the wedding bubbles 36 pk on clearance for 1/2 price in my color--turquoise!  Imagine the luck!  Follow all that with dinner at Panera Bread, and a run into Staples for fun stationary to surprise the girls at work, and it was a great girls day!

Brainstorming the Boutineers- on April 14th

My collection of supplies to inspire the boutineers all spread out on the table.
The adorable little pine cones I salvaged off the pine tree we cut down in the yard.

What happens when you let Jeff, Mike & Tony play with chainsaws--a tree on the garage roof.

Mike gave me the wood burned hearts I had him make for me, and the stuff I ordered online had arrived, so I could finally start to play....with one boutineer down, I gave up to the adventures of the outdoors since Jeff, Mike, and their friend Tony had a chainsaw and were cutting down trees in the back yard.  This be continued...

I saved some cute little pine cones that might come in handy for wedding decor somehow. 

Dresses, Rings, & Tuxes-Oh My! on March 26th

Sneak peak of my dress as it's being left for alterations to the bustle
Jeff and I tackled a lot on this Monday-- from picking out a tux, getting my wedding band fixed, returning the sweaters Aly bought at Macy's in exchange for gift cards to mail back to her, dropping my wedding dress off at David's to get the horrible NC bustle dismantled/recreated, picking up Jamie's bridesmaid dress, and having dinner with the Uhlinger fam at the Cheesecake factory. Whew!

First off, Jeff and I went to see Ralph the tailor in Gloversville.  Ralph is the father of one of Jeff's groomsmen, and we were happy to keep our business local.  Jeff had already gotten a tux catalog from him and I instantly fell in love with "Chocolate Parisan."  We went in to see what we had to do to order and to look at vest combinations etc.  Much to my chagrin, it turned out that tux style had been discontinued and would not be available to rent after April 15th.  The only other brown tux in the new catalog was not as nice or the right shade and I was really bummed.  Luckily, Ralph offered to buy the sizes of the tuxes we would need for the guys so that we could rent them from him for the wedding.  We got on the phone right away to get the guys down to the shop before the cut-off date so that we could get their measurements, which included getting my mom to measure my dad and tell me over the phone what sizes he would need until he can be fitted right before the wedding.

Next, we went to Glennpeter to have them fix my wedding band.  As you may recall from the previous post, I was rattled by the lack of mil grain on the band when we picked it up on Saturday, but couldn't put my finger on what was missing until we had left the store.  When we got there, we were immediately greeted by the salesman we had been working with before and he graciously took care of the issue right away.  In fact, instead of making us drop off the ring and come back, he insisted that the jeweler add what was missing while we waited.  Within minutes he presented me with the ring I had envisioned, and I was so relieved that tears of joy sprang to my eyes as I asked him to give me a hug!  Jeff laughed and was happy to see me happy.

After killing some time at Colonie Center returning Aly's sweaters at Macy's and getting Jeff's hair cut, we met Jamie, Corey and Meaghan at David's Bridal.  The guys went and did their thing, while us girls stayed behind to tackle the massive box of dress I trudged inside with bated breath.  It took two seamstresses and two supervisors to try to figure out the mess of a bustle that the North Carolina store had put on the dress so sloppily that the ribbons and loop points were falling off in our hands.   After determining that the North Carolina store would have to refund the alterations charges so that the Albany store would get credit for redoing the work, they fitted me for a new bustle and assured me that the old one would be taken out and that the dress would be perfect.  I stood on the pedestal holding up layers of fabric as it was being pinned and I felt overwhelmed and crestfallen looking into the mirror.  I wanted to cry--there was so much stress tied up in this stupid dress now that I just wanted to start over and try on new ones I'd seen on the mannequins on the way in.  Luckily, I had Meaghan, Jamie, and cheesecake to cheer me up.  Meaghan most adorably soothed me with coos of "It's going to be okay," and hugged her tiny arms around my waist.  I knew she was right, and it would be okay.  It's just going to be a bumpy road :o)

After a long day of fixing wedding issues, I enjoyed my first ever trip to the Cheese Cake Factory with a slice of pineapple upside down cake cheesecake--YUM!

Picking up Lindsey's Bridemaid Dress-March 24, 2012

 Well, I am about a month behind with my wedding blog updates, so I decided to skip the gym on this cold April morning to catch up before I get ready for a long day at work.  These photos were taken on March 24th, when Lindsey and I spent a Saturday afternoon running to David's Bridal to pick up her bridesmaid dress from being ordered.  It was the first time I got to see the dress on someone in my color, "jade" and it was super exciting.  She was such a good sport about letting me take pictures of her, even though she knew they would end up on the internet!  :o)  Love her!! 

My sister Aly, went through a ton of fuss to get us all these champagne colored cardigans with rhinestone buttons from Macy's and ship them to us so the girls could try them on with their dresses.  We wanted something for them to be able to wear over their shoulders since the wedding is in October.  Turns out though, that once Lindsey had it on with the dress...the sweater Aly bought didn't really work at all.  The flat woven material offset the silky fabric of the dress, the length wasn't quite right, and the fitted nature of the sweater didn't allow for it to be buttoned comfortably and would hide the rouging at the waistline of the dress anyway.  Lindsey and I felt horrible that after all Aly had done to pick them out, order Elise's, and have them shipped them to us-- we didn't like them.  Lindsey tried on a few cropped jackets at David's, but they were $50 each and had to be ordered.  That was more than half the cost of the dress itself so we left those behind.
Lindsey had fun looking through the racks of wedding dresses while we waited for them to get her bridesmaid dress for us.  She may have even found her perfect dress, so I can't post that picture here yet!

 Since we couldn't use the cardigans that Aly bought from Macy's, Lindsey and I took a trip there to try to return them.  Even with the receipt, that proved impossible because we didn't have Aly's original form of payment (her debit card).  We wandered the store a little disgruntled to see if there was anything Lindsey could spend her gift card on, and it turns out we ran into the sweetest Macy's Sales Associate who helped us try on scarves as shawls and find the cutest shoes.  She was our fashion consultant right there in the dressing room and helped us decide between the caramel, chocolate, or ivory colored shawls that Lindsey graciously agreed to try on with her dress after having to run back to the car to get it!  She was exhausted and tired of playing dress up, but kept a smile on her face for me--since I will be a bridesmaid in her wedding next year, I know my day will come! Haha.   

Jeff & Lindsey--my favorite twins in the whole world!
After I got home from shopping with Lindsey, Jeff and I drove out to Glennpeter Jewelers to pick up our wedding bands. We had Mike with us, because we planned on stopping in Amsterdam on our way home to meet Lindsey and Matt for dinner and a movie. I was caught off guard when we picked up the rings because I was so excited and when I slipped it on my finger my heart sank. Something was wrong but I couldn't put my finger on it. No pun intended. Jeff gave me a funny look and couldn't understand why I wasn't happy with it---it's gorgeous, let's go, he said. With Mike there, I didn't want to dwell on it and make a scene, and I didn't know what was wrong anyway--he was right--the ring was gorgeous, and we had dinner and a movie planned so I signed the paper saying we approved and picked it up and we were on our way.

Back in the car, I got on my phone and pulled up this very website to check my wedding blog from the day we ordered the rings.  Turns out, what was missing on my ring was the mil grain detail that I had wanted to make my ring match Jeff's.  I felt better once I knew what was missing and that I wasn't crazy, but panicked because I didn't know if it would be an easy fix or a fight to get it right when we went back.  The whole time Jeff rolled his eyes at me while I advocated for the fact that, when we had spent that much money on rings, and when I had to wear it the rest of my life--they better be right!  At Applebees, when Lindsey arrived I pulled her into the bathroom like an hysterical teenage girl to vent about the issues with the ring and Jeff's nonchalant attitude.  She patiently reminded me that Jeff is a man, and men don't really care about things like jewelry and that she was sure we could get it fixed.  With a better perspective, and a deep breath, I was able to enjoy the rest of my night with friends and the love of my life  (even though the movie we watched, The Grey, was horrible--lol). 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

DIY Bridesmaids Kissing Ball/Pomander Bouquets

On Tuesday night, I went to Jamie's house to make the bridesmaids' bouquets. I had spent the weekend floral shopping with my aunt, and then Tuesday while I was at work the grapevine balls that I ordered from Oriental Trading Company came in the I couldn't wait to sit down and put them together.
Using wire cutters I dismantled the floral stems so that I had individual flowers and leaves with only a few inches of stem. I ran satin ribbon through the ball leaving a piece hanging from the bottom and a loop to hold onto at the top. With the "rule of threes" in mind I arranged the flower and leaf stems into the top of the grapevine balls while they were set into bowls to keep them from rolling all over the table.
Once we had the flowers arranged the way we liked, I hot glued them into place.

I used two different sizes of ivory rose flowers, green hydrangea, leaves from the rose stems, as well as green button mums and sprigs of maidenhair fern.

We decorated a grapevine basket to mimic the bridesmaids bouquets so that the flower girl will match. It is my hope that they will reflect the centerpieces' fresh flowers and everything will be tied together with a rustic shabby chic elegance.
Thanks to Jamie for her patience and ingenuity as we assembled these! I couldn't have done it without you!

My Dress is Here!!! March 10, 2012

On Saturday, March 10th, I met my Aunt Claudia for lunch at the Cracker Barrel in Clifton Park and then we did a marathon craft store shopping afternoon--hitting up Michaels, Hobby Lobby and then A.C. Moore to find silk florals for my homemade pomander bouquets. We had the most luck finding realistic flowers at Hobby Lobby and the stems were on sale 50% off! I found the rest of what I needed at the Joann Fabrics where I work and used my discount. We had an awesome afternoon together, and it was so nice to have her help picking out the flowers for this project. On my way home Jeff texted me that my wedding dress had arrived through FedEx from the North Carolina David's Bridal where I had ordered it when visiting my mom and my sisters. I could hardly contain my excitement when I got home!
Luckily, Jeff's sister Lindsey (one of my bridesmaids) and her fiance Matt were coming over for dinner and had already arrived when I got home--so I swept Lindsey upstairs in my excitement and she photographed me as I peeled the tape back from the massive box that contained my dress.

Within the box was the dress bag, and in the bag is the dress you can't see yet. It was prettier than I remembered but just as fluffy! Between all the layers Lindsey and I discovered the bustle points were not tacked on very well and several had already come undone---so when I take it for my next fitting they will have to re-secure them. Oh David's Bridal...sooner or later we will get this dress right! I'm sure it will be beautiful on my big day!