Tag Archives: DIY wedding

Post-Wedding Post-Honeymoon Post-Drama

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It’s been a while since I’ve made the time to sit down with my digital thoughts. Between working two jobs, planning our wedding, and honeymoon I tried to keep myself on schedule, and still make time for us to enjoy our lives. Which meant not being online, and hanging out with people, drinking, smoking, and most importantly living our lives together.

I’m not gonna lie, it was an emotional roller coaster dealing with family drama, and other people trying to impose their own definition of what our wedding meant to them. A lot of emotions come up; some that have been hidden for years, and others that you’re forced to answer because of the circumstances. I always knew our wedding wouldn’t make a few people happy for a million little reasons. I also knew that no matter what we would still be together whether or not the wedding happened according to our plans.

Turns out…everything was awesome! πŸ˜‰

Our venue day-of contact, photographer, DJ, and our friends and family said it was a well oiled machine, and some even complimented us on how well organized all the decorations were kept. At one point, we were running ahead of schedule! That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. One of my bridesmaids was so impressed she hired me to be her Day-Of Coordinator for her wedding at the end of October! AND my new Sister-in-Law would like my help planning her Baby Shower (free of course, for family)!!!

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One of my biggest fears was not being able to get back on my feet after the wedding and honeymoon. Now, I can’t even begin to say how excited I am to get back to work, start new adventures, and feel like I’m part of the world again. There were times when planning the wedding felt really isolating, and made it hard for people to relate (not everyone has to tackle a guest list and seating chart every week for over 2 months!). Luckily, I’ve had some practice from my previous line of work at a non-profit theatre company. I also had a few great friends and my Husband to thank for all their help and support over the last year and a half!

I just hope I can get back to hanging out with friends, playing board games, and eating burgers every week between all my new work. πŸ™‚

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Epic Journey: Intermission

Sorry for the late posting today. I’ve run into a few projects that are taking up more of my time than I anticipated (true of ANY DIY wedding adventure). I’m trying to finish some things, start some things, and looking forward to non-wedding related socializing. πŸ™‚

If you’re in absolute need of something to read or listen to on your lunch break hour head over to the Defective Geeks website and give them some love. Below is a picture of the project I’m trying to start/finish.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and I’ll be back on Monday with more juicy wedding details.

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Epic Journey: DIY Wedding Invitations

Two posts in one week! What the what?!

I’ve hit a rut trying to come up with a fun piece for my friends at Defective Geeks this last week, and between finishing and mailing the wedding invitations and my Mother-In-Law not being a fan of anything that is dear to my heart, I thought I might try to distract myself with another piece about the wedding.

Crafting Issues

Last week with the help of many of my dear friends we were able to finish assembling the wedding invitations and now I’m starting to number and add postage to all the designated envelopes. However, we did hit a few bumps along the way during our crafting sessions.

Before my friends showed up to help I had out all the bands that wrap the invites. I then realized they looked a little plain and made the decision to add a decorative stamp to all of them. After I had cut them all out! *face palm* I made a lot of last-minute changes to the invite that I felt made it look a little…prettier and textured. I also decided to add the same decorative stamp to the pockets (that I already cut out and made by hand!), and to the flap of the envelopes. Yay! More work. πŸ™‚ Luckily I had a lot of awesome and patient helpers who were much faster than I was at stamping all the crap we had to put together.

After all the stamping I found another small issue: the inserts were slightly too big for the pockets. *second face palm* I had to go back and trim the edges of all the inserts to ensure they would properly fit in the pockets. Deep breath. Patience. And a lot of DVR episodes to help me keep my calm while doing monotonous paper cutting. Fortunately, I had purchased a fancy paper trimmer from Costco a while back and was prepared for this type paper challenge. Silver linings.

There were a few more issues (not big enough to have a panic attack over), but I still had a mini-meltdown mid-week and just tried to reassure myself that not everything needs to “look perfect.” Part of the charm of our handmade invitations is that they are just that: handmade. Sure the embossed stamp is a little smudged on some of the invites. So what if the inserts aren’t totally trimmed properly. I had to adopt a mantra of “It Will Be Okay” to get through the week and prevent myself from becoming a Bridezilla. This is also where having awesome and understanding friends let me commiserate about the issues I encountered came in handy. I LOVE MY FRIENDS!! They understand my neurotic tendencies and helped me calm the fuck down and just get shit done. πŸ™‚

The last item, which I was partially prepared for, was the postage. Most wedding invitations have multiple decorative stamps to cover the postage costs of sending heavy custom stationary. I recently took my lovely finished invite, envelope and all, to weigh it and make sure we had enough. Nope. It was exactly .1 oz over the minimum for the invites to require only a First Class stamp. DAMMIT! It’s cool. All the extra 20 cent stamps I bought will be used for my new pen pal from the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club! πŸ™‚

Instead of going to WonderCon this weekend with my fiance and friends {insert pic of me crying while all alone}, I’ll be at home drinking a bottle of wine and trying not to spill it all over my wedding invitations as I slowly number and stamp them all. πŸ™‚

Enjoy your weekend!

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Epic Journey: Invitation Designs

I’ve been an avid Offbeat Bride fan ever since I discovered their website and Ariel’s book Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternative for Independent Brides. I love love love everything they put out there on their Pintrest, Twitter, or Facebook. Which is why I used their advice when designing and ordering our wedding invitations through Vistaprint!

My fiance and I have been designing our own Christmas/Holiday card for almost five years, and I’m an organizational freak-of-nature. We decided to combine our super powers and design our own wedding invitations with the help of online printing company Vistaprint to order and print the invites. We had such good luck while ordering our Save the Date and holiday card last Christmas we figured it would be easier on our pocket books and our sanity.

First and foremost we (and by we I mean my fiance) sat down and started sketching out some small images for the invitations. He came up with several adorable drawingΒ and I methodically tagged each one to use for every part of our stationary suite (Invite, RSVP, Info Card, Thank You cards, etc.). After a brief period of procrastination and nagging my fiance then fine tuned the images to be used for the stationary. I then scoured the internet for invitations that I loved and could use as inspiration for our own design (i.e. possibly use….without paying hundreds of dollars!). We formatted some of the stationary we ordered when checking out wedding invite samples and customized them with our own images and language. Trying to balance invite wording and design was really exhausting and took a few days of editing, fine tuning, and agreeing on what it should look like and say. My fiance had the template to work with, but when it was my turn to review I had quite a few notes on what I wanted to change [insert grumble here]. Luckily, thanks to Offbeat Bride’s extensive advice section we were able to come to terms with how we were going to deal with questions some of our guests might have about our wedding and our limitations with the venue. All of the concerns are being listed on our wedding website FAQ’s because we didn’t want to ruffle any feathers with the invite itself (i.e. Dress code, Registry info, No kids).

It then took us another 2-3 days of scouring Vistaprint’s website to find the right items, and pricing, for each piece of the stationary suite to ensure we got the best possible deal. In the end we spent around $120 total for the entire suite of 100 invites and miscellaneous items, including shipping. Hot damn!! It was worth it. Every item we selected had the option to upload our own designs, front and back, with the images we created ourselves. I’m not a fan of selecting stuff designed by someone else because I love working with my fiance on the design aspect of the invites and holiday cards we’ve done. It’s always a little stressful because I’m working with my fiance…and I can be a bit bitchy and pushy. πŸ™‚ I’m always thinking of new ways to tweak small things and it can be time-consuming to make those small changes when you have a deadline to meet.

I have a lot of experience designing forms, invites, and other items for fundraisers and special events, but it’s a lot of pressure to get your own design on paper. The hardest moment for me was pushing the order button for our invites. I had a lot of doubt they would be printed properly and still look beautiful once we received them. After a restless night of sleep (we placed the order just before midnight!) I woke up feeling a little nauseous and still riddled in doubt. My friends and fiance reassured me they looked amazing because of all the work and love we put in to creating them ourselves, and no matter what else happens at least we didn’t spend all of our savings paying for a fancy party invite.

February, was by far the most stressful and productive month we’ve had during our wedding planning process. Not only did we both get sick we also celebrated my birthday and caught up with friends, designed and ordered our invitations, and interviewed/selected a photographer (another post about that experience next week!). The month of March is beginning and we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our invitations. I wish I could show them to all of you, but alas I’m afraid it will have to be confidential for the moment because I’m afraid of it being leaked to (undesired) parties. Not you guys, of course. You’re all awesome. πŸ˜‰

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Epic Journey Explained…Further

Planning a wedding is…kind of a bitch. Explaining your ideal wedding is also exhausting. Setting up and updating your wedding website will (hopefully) help you with both. I’ve fallen a bit behind on updating our website due to illness for the past couple of weeks and this is my attempt to make up for procrastinating. Here is a quick list of Frequently Asked Questions I am attempting to avoid answering in person (because I don’t want to tell them face to face). πŸ™‚

Words words words

My wonderful draft notes for our wedding invitations that we are designing ourselves!

FAQs

1. Why is a number written in for me? OR Do I get a plus one?
Your number is 1 or written in due to limited space at our venue and we are unable to accommodate everyone. Sorry, not a lot of people get to bring their boy/girlfriend whom we haven’t had the chance to meet. It sucks, I agree. However, I would prefer not to further burden our parents who are assisting us with the wedding. πŸ™‚

2. Can I bring my kids?
I’m sad to say it again, but due to limited space and finances we are unable to make room for everyone. We were only able to accommodate a few parents who are coming from out-of-town. Think of it as your night off from parenting and enjoy the party!

3. Is this formal attire? Can I wear jeans?
Normally I would be on your side and say yes. However, if I have to dress up, so do you. Please dress appropriately, in a dress or suit. πŸ˜‰

4. Can I RSVP late and expect to have a spot saved for me?
Ummm…..yeah, about that…please don’t do that. Call us and we’ll talk it out, or at least communicate with us and we’ll do our best to make sure you can make it. We don’t hand over our guest list until 2 months before the wedding and we are doing our best to complete everything by July, at the latest!

5. Why wasn’t [insert family or friend name] invited?
I wish I had a million dollars so we could have invited a lot of people who we were unable to invite. It was a very had choice to make (and we are still struggling with it), but again, we were unable to make it work and not break the bank. We hope you can be understanding and we are honored and humbled that we have so many friends and family who are excited to celebrate with us.

END FAQs

All that being said…it sucked the life out of us to make cuts to our guest list. A lot. Our friends were the first to be cut and it was depressing to have to make those choices. We are, in all honesty, still struggling to make things work for our families and friends who we want to share this big day with.

We’ve attended quite a few family weddings in the last few years and we got to see first hand how contentious it can get. Feelings flare, and weddings alone have caused a lot of strife for people. I hope hope hope everyone does not take this as a personal jab and we are able to walk away from our wedding feeling great about the choices we made. The last thing I would ever want to do is start our new life together with family or friends holding a grudge.

I will, however, not feel bad about turning away someone with a toddler or friend whom I’ve never met in tow. Please don’t press your luck with this Bride. πŸ˜‰ Just a piece of friendly advice.

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Epic Journey: Wedding Crafts

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One craft project down…a few more to go!

Earlier this afternoon I finished the cross-stitching for our ring pillow. I got the idea from a post by Offbeat Bride on Pinterest. The original image was an owl I recognized from a small cross-stitch book I own and I thought, “I can do that!” So I did!

I was surprised at how quickly I was able to finish the stitching, and now all I have to do is sew together a small pillow for it. Working on this small project has made me miss working on cross-stitching. It doesn’t take too much time and it adds a personal touch to homemade gifts. I use to make small baby pillows for my friends kids with their name and date of birth (cute right!?). Then my sewing machine was acting up on me and I had to put aside my sewing projects. So sad.

My next big project is trying to finish the paper flowers for our center pieces and bouquets. Wish me luck!!

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Epic Journey: Tips for Wedding Registries

This last week my fiance and I have been overwhelmed by trying to register for our upcoming wedding. Who knew it would be so exhausting!? Unfortunately for my fiance he was a little under the weather, and dragging him outdoors to walk aisle by aisle to see what they had in store was a little disappointing. Luckily we had already decided we were also registering online to give us more options.

Since we have been together for over five years we have a lot of items that traditionally newly weds get through their registry. We asked for items that we would like to replace some of the mismatched pots and pans or dinnerware we own, and then we’ll donate or give away the items we no longer need.

Earlier this week we visited our local Target store to pick up a baby shower gift and decided we might as well walk around and check out items for our registry. Instead of talking to someone at Customer Service I found that using my Target iPhone app was super handy! I setup our Target registry online using the app, and then used it to scan items in store that we liked. You have the options of scanning the bar code on the item, the bar code on the shelf with the item name, or browsing items through the app and adding them to your registry. Super awesome and simple to use. Every once in a while an item wouldn’t scan and I had to find another option, but I then realized I could just add the one I wanted online as well. After two hours of walking around my fiance was tired and complained the air conditioning was bugging him so we went home and moved on to the next registry.

We decided to use our Amazon registry for items we couldn’t find at Target and items we would like that are not your normal registry items, like Dead Space 3! πŸ™‚ There is also a Google Chrome extension to add items from any website to your Amazon registry. GENIUS! You can ideally add items to your wish list or registry, which helps us feel less restricted to one store and allows us to receive items that we like or need. I could potentially add Target items to Amazon, which seems redundant, but is helpful for friends and family who just want to select items from one website (which is what I’ve done before when buying for others).

I also made sure to explain to our guests on our wedding website that gifts are not required, but if they feel obligated to give something they are more than welcome to contribute to our HoneyFund for our honeymoon in any amount, because the wedding is about celebrating and not about getting free stuff from friends and family.

We still have time to add items to our registries that we overlooked before since we haven’t sent out the invitations yet. However, I’ve read that it is taboo to list registry information on the invitation, and instead include that information with the Bridal Shower and our wedding website. I have received wedding invitations that include a small insert for registry information as well. It just depends on the couple and how they would prefer to include that information. Image

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Epic Journey: Crunch Craft Time

Hooray!! Paper flowers are being created and gathered!

I have been using my spare time to cut out petals for our paper roses this last week, and I realized I had no idea how many of each we had in our possession. Lame sauce. In between my marathon of Adventure Time I sorted and counted all the flowers we had and made a list. Most were created as samples to see how they would look once we had a small bouquet, and most of them look amazing!

I also transferred all of them to old wine and alcohol bottles which look much nicer than the reused jars I had them in originally. Who knew a small height change would dramatically change how cute they look! I recently had all the Bridesmaids over to show them the progress and we all agreed that the bottles didn’t have to be painted or altered and we may only add ribbon the to hold all the flowers together so they can be easily dropped in to the bottle for setup.

All of these beautiful paper roses were hand made by my bridesmaid Edith who has been very patient with my procrastination.

All of these beautiful paper roses were hand-made by my bridesmaid Edith who has been very patient with my procrastination.

The colored bouquets are made from a Disneyland photo book that was sent to all Annual Pass holders, and the other is made from a Fables graphic novel. The black and white bouquet toward the top of the photo is made from a manga book a friend gave us, and it’s my favorite at the moment. I also have some made out of an old Anne Rice paperback and Sudoku puzzles, and the rest are bundles I’ve shown before. I wish I had a better picture of them but I had some major technical difficulties the other day trying to get the right photograph uploaded for this post. 😦 I’ll just had to take more close up shots so you can appreciate how much work has gone into all of the flowers being created.

Now all I have to do is make a few more to help the nicer bouquets look fuller. I’ll also be chopping up a few more books to add variety (don’t hate me for ripping the books!).

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Epic Journey: Digital Age

I recently have been attempting to update and stay on top of building our wedding website, and as much fun it is to talk about yourself in the third person (<— insert sarcasm here) I’m finding that it’s a lot more work than I had anticipated.

Generally you can build the website and fill in information as it is confirmed. I’ve also read and been told that don’t put everything up at once. Take your time. Give the guests something to look forward to as they slowly browse all the information you’ve placed at their fingertips.

I’ve been using the free website hosting by The Knot and it’s been pretty user-friendly, for the most part. My only issues have been glitches to the guest list for the wedding, rehearsal dinner, and bridal shower lists. They seem to accidentally duplicate guests names if they are invited to the bridal shower AND the wedding. Weird. Every once in a while photos won’t upload to the website page being created, other times I have no problems. I’d say it’s a 50% chance everything goes as planned during the 2-3 hours I spend updating all the information. I’ll usually quit after running into a problem because I’m using a Netbook laptop that isn’t as fast as my fiance’s laptop. The one most helpful item from the planning side was exporting the guest list so I could update/customize names and address if I received updated information after I exported the list. I uploaded it to my Google Drive to ensure I have access to it on my iPhone no matter where I was when someone told me their new address, phone number, or email.

The other item I was able to set up was our Honeyfund account for our Honeymoon and gift registry. My fiance and I have been living together for almost five years and I am a kitchen gadget fiend! So we don’t really need a lot of gifts for the home. Sure, I still want a matching china/dish set and silverware, but I also would rather have room service for breakfast in Hawaii on our Honeymoon (*hint hint*). πŸ™‚

I shall try to keep it all up to date, and not bore myself to death. Let me know what you think, or not, but please feel free to click away!

On a brighter note:

Here is a copy of our Save the Date we sent out with our annual Christmas card this year to all of our wedding guests. I was very excited to share this creation with our friends and family and we received rave reviews from everyone. It was designed and created by my talented and patient fiance who endured my incessant nagging to get it done in time to be mailed out over the holidays. It was worth all the trouble.

Created and Designed by Francis Dulguime

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Work In Progress: The Wedding Website

Please forgive the road bumps as I attempt to get this thing in tip-top shape in the next week. πŸ™‚

Check out my Wedding website:.

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