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1  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Adorable Cake Toppers! on: September 17, 2008 11:34:13 AM
As an avid DesignSponge reader, I noticed these today immediately and thought that some of you brides-to-be might derive inspiration for your cake toppers from them. (If you're planning your wedding and a design fan, you're in luck, Grace *of DesignSponge fame* is engaged and going through the process right now. So, I would recommend keeping an eye on her blog, as she will probably dig up the COOLEST wedding finds.)

Jennifer Murphy cake topper originals:

Wonderful "how-to" from her on how to make these cute little poppets, (there is a video link to click on this page):

These would be great to modify for a baby shower too.
I can see lots of possibilities.
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Wedding Planner & Planning Scrapbook on: June 16, 2008 09:55:04 AM
Hello! I thought some other brides might find a couple things I did for our wedding helpful. One was I made my own version of the ubiquitous wedding planning book to keep us on schedule and the other was a scrapbook for the planning, to keep all those tidbits arranged for a look back later.

A) The Wedding Planner

I wasn't able to find a wedding planner on the market that suited my needs so I created my own. There are a few websites that were helpful, I just printed up the planning pages that I needed from them and added the ones that I needed but couldn't find. I printed up an inspirational picture and added letters. I carried this thing around with me to every appointment and interview I had during this period. It was my planning bible.

I put folders inside and saved every card we rec'd and marked on the back of each when I had finished writing the thank you. I never had to worry "Did I send Mr. & Mrs. Unnecessary Crystal Thing their thank you?", I knew I had if it was written on the back of the card. I kept one folder for each event. Local Wedding Shower, Michigan Wedding Shower, Chicago Wedding, Michigan Reception.

I added business card pages and could find anyone's business card immediately.
A very helpful $3 purchase.

I used these websites to print up pages that corresponded to our particular planning needs:

My particular binder had tabs & sections for all of these topics:
Marriage License Info, Budget, Financial Planning & Payment Dates, Important Phone Numbers, Ring/Jeweler Information, Florist/Flowers, Photographer, Rhearsal, Ceremony/Vows, Officiant, Reception Site, Seating Floorplans, Caterer, Baker Gowns/Alterations, Registrations Info, Shower, Brunch, Honeymoon, Rentals, Thank You's.

B) The Wedding Planning Scrapbook

This is fairly self explanatory. I had a lot of bits and bobs that I wanted to hold onto because I planned and designed and produced most everything for our wedding. In this scrapbook I kept copies of Save the Dates, Invitations, photos of us getting our marriage license, Engagement Photos, planning style sheets, photos of wedding showers & copies of invites, and I pressed flowers from my bridal bouquet and put them in glassine envelopes on a page with photos of our wedding flowers and my Mom and I creating the bouquets. I needed this extra scrapbook for all the things that just weren't in the scope of the wedding album and it made it possible for me to shove actual cards and notes into. This would be a GREAT thing to do for a bride if you're a bridesmaid, just save things along the way and photograph as many details as you can.

Cheap-o $5 scrapbook from the dollar store with one of our engagement photos in the front:

I kept buying scrapbook paper in each of our wedding reception's colours everytime JoAnn's or Michaels had a big sale and then just used whichever felt right:

These pages showed all the bits of paper I collected and swatches of fabric and inspiration ideas for the look of the wedding, I did this for both receptions because they were different colour schemes:
Chicago Wedding & Reception:

Michigan reception:

Copies of the invites, rsvps, menu, ceremony program:

Pressed flowers from the bouquet saved in glassine envelopes and showing us making them:

Newspaper clippings:

Shower photos and saved invitations:

Colour shift and second reception:

Second reception's invites, handmade:

Wow, if you made it THIS far, you're a real trooper!
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Cookie favour containment units: Chinese take-out boxes on: August 15, 2007 02:03:00 PM
We used my Grandmother's famous chocolate chip cookie recipe for our second reception's edible favour. I ordered 200 1 1/2 pint Chinese take-out boxes from U-Line (about $32 bucks), and used what was left of the 50 yeards of wholesale ribbon I had bought for my bouquet, and I made some little "thank you" tags in all our colours.

pretty aquatic colours, finished assembly:

Aunt Kim and the assembly line!

Punched tags, and thank you stickers

The whole table was full by the time we were done:

4  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Tattoo Parlour: fun for kids (and the bride...) on: August 15, 2007 01:52:42 PM
We had a ton of kid's stuff at our Michigan reception. There was a bouncy castle (that groom and groomsmen ended up in too), a bubble machine, and so on. I had gone through a bunch of carnival-style themed ideas for the kid's entertainment. And one of those ideas was a tattoo station. Since I know my best friend's 3 year old is obsessed with his Captain Fuzzy and Super Grover temp tats, I thought I could do something cool with this idea.

Here's the germination of the idea:

I added some Sailor Jerry panache, and made this sign, this was hung in front of a purple cloth:

I went to Party City and bought a ton of temp tats:

Since you can't see any of my real ones in my wedding dress, I decided to go with some classic swallow tattoo action. Sadly, one of my swallows lost it's head!!:
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / CD favours on: August 06, 2007 04:37:23 PM
It was a quandry how to present our cd favours at both of our receptions, in an appealing, yet crafty and elegant way. Here's what I came up with for each of our receptions.

First, the wedding and Chicago reception on 7/7/07, had a pink/green/brown cherry blossom theme:
I used scrapbook paper, punches, ribbon, thank you charms, some round stickers, and had stamps made with our name and wedding date on them. We made 25 of these:

Then, for our Michigan reception, 8/4/07, we had an aquatic blues and green theme. I ran the gammit of greens and blues and did some stamping on paper, added tags with computer printed labels, and slipped them into slimline cases. Made 50 of these:

And here's our track listing. All these songs have some sort of meaning to my husband and I, together, as a couple.

David & Marci  
Thank you for sharing our wedding day with us!

1.  Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space
2.  Verve - Sonnet
3.  Snow Patrol - Run
4.  Grant Lee Buffalo - Truly, Truly
5.  Suede - The Wild Ones
6.  The Stone Roses - I Wanna Be Adored
7.  Blur - Youre So Great
8.  Alice In Chains - Heaven Beside You
9.  PJ Harvey - This Is Love
10. Charlatans - The Only One I Know
11. Divine Comedy - Perfect Love Song
12. Richard Ashcroft - A Song For The Lovers
13. The Rolling Stones - Moonlight Mile
14. The Flying Burrito Brothers - To Love Somebody
15. Style Council - Youre The Best Thing
16. The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
17. Longpigs - I Lied I Love You
18. Elliott Smith - Say Yes

6  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Tissue Poms & Paper Bag Flowers on: July 23, 2007 11:16:51 AM
Hey there! I have had a few people request info on the tissue poms and paper bag flowers Heather and I did for my wedding. I got the idea from visiting the Mexican Fine Arts Center, here in Chicago - and then found tuts on Martha's website, and in one of her mags. We sort of tweaked her tut for our needs, used our pinks and green, and just made it our own. I'll post her tut here, and tell you what I learned to make it easier for you.

To start off, here's some shots of our poms & flowers in use.
I'll follow with another post with a how we did these.

7  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / our handmade 7/7/07 wedding on: July 12, 2007 12:20:30 PM
[photo album link added, see below]

(I'll add shots to this as I get the pro-pics, by C. Parker McMullen Bushman)

So, our day has come and gone, but it was captured by the Sun Times, for their Sunday paper, see photo gallery:

I was my own wedding planner, we did this wedding on a tiny, tiny budget.

First of all, I wore my Mom's dress from 1962. She altered it for me.

Here are the two lovely ladies who made this dress to begin with. My Grandma and my Mom. You can see our paper poms and cut out paper bag flowers decorating the old Chicago chain link fence behind us. (and my sunburn....)

We did a canoe processional into the ceremony. My (two) matrons of honour, my mother and even my photographer helped make our bouquets and all the bouts. My sister and I went to the wholesale flower market and picked out & bought all the flowers for the ceremony and the reception.

Here's a good shot of our flowers as we laugh hysterically.

Our "theme" was cherry blossoms. I used this wood sign at the ceremony site, the river prairie, to lead guests to the basket of programs and handfans, and put a welcome message on here.

I will find a picture of the handfans, with "thank you" tags, we made, and the ceremony programs we created, and put it here.
**insert pic**

We decorated each table at the reception with framed photos of our guest's wedding photos. I did it so that people would mingle and ask who was who and people could get to know each other. FYI, people thought they were supposed to sit in front of their photos. Not the case! As I hate assigned seating at weddings. So, that needed to be explained better. ah well.

Here's our "card cage", we just bought one from JoAnn's, I then decorated it with birds, made a sign for it, and placed the Dia De Los Muertes figures my sister brought me back from Mexico for my shower present, in front of it. (My birthday is the same day as the Day of the Dead, and I am a bit obsessed with it.)

Here's a "detail" of the paper poms and small, self-illuminated lanterns. They still look good after a long day of being beaten about by wind! I am not sure how many of these Heather and I made, it was ALOT!

This is how all the fences looked:

A dear friend came out and built wood structures, and hung canvas drop clothes on them to create a cozy atmosphere and to cover some of the junk out on the back concrete slab where we had all the tables. We strung the laterns from fishing line around the outside.

My friends did an arial acrobatic performance for us. It was amazing. She designs and makes her gear. It is amazing. Absolutely stunning performance!

We handpainted the entire gallery for the day. There was a gorgeous blue wash put on the floor, and the walls were painted ice blue with a wash, gold tree branches and pink cherry blossoms. You can see a tiny bit of it in this shot, as my pals Tijuana Hercules play a set for us!

This is a shot of the Swedish Pecan favours all wrapped up and ready to go to the gallery:

Some of our Out of Town baskets and foot baths, ready to go to the hotel:

Presents! Gifts for our bridal party, my honey, parents, etc. We used recycled kraft paper bags, decorated them with stamps, used the same green tissue in each, and most of them I put a bouquet of velvet pink hydrangeas on. The bridesmaids were filled with pink clutches, pashminas, jewelry that I made for both of them, handfans, parasols, lipstick cases with mirrors, chapstick, and essentials.

Our cd favours were a big hit:

And I did fix the "mementos" on this collage, i just never got a new shot of it:

I covered dollar store match books with pretty Graham & Snow cherry blossom paper. These were a big hit too, everyone took them home.

I'll add more as I get them, but this gives you a taste of the crazy day!

Modified to add photo album: http://www.mypublisher.com/bookstore/book_viewer.py?order_id=M379129&sp=x

I made this photo album for my Mom, as a thank you for all her hard work and care. I really have to rave about MyPublisher, because it is a cool program and you can get two books for the price of one! A great deal when you're doing a wedding on a tiny budget, like us. I hope to get an album done for DH and I when we get done with our Michigan reception and get pictures from that too. I am trying to decide on a scrapbooked album or one like I made for my Mom. I don't know, they were so innexpensive, I may just do both. The only thing it really cost me was time (nine hours spent going through photos, uploading, laying them out, etc.), but it was worth it. I did this on line Monday, and I got it in the mail today! Can you believe it?
8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / My 1962 wedding gown on: June 24, 2007 07:34:09 PM
Our wedding was covered by the Sun Times in Chicago today. We are featured on page 2 of their print ad, and on line at:http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/460091,CST-NWS-lucky08.article

My Mom and my Grandma made her wedding gown, back in 1962. My sister tried it on when she wed, 10 years ago, but it wasn't her style. I tried it on, and was in love. Sadly, I don't have a 19" rib cage, but I do have a small waist, so that worked in my favour. I was in love with an Alfred Angelo dress, that had a corsetted back. I showed the picture of the dress to my Mom, and she thought she could modify her dress with the corsetting and the trim. We've been working on it for a couple months now. I think my Mom has done a brilliant job. We don't have the beaded trim on it yet, but it is really close to being done. I've also attached a photo of my dress patch, done professionally, that will be sewn inside the dress.

Here is an evolution of a "hand me down" wedding dress. All told, the rehabbing of the dress cost; 70 cents for the beaded trim, $6 for the green satin, and the cost of pressing and cleaning. Wearing your Mother's dress.... priceless. (ha ha, sorry, had to go there.)

My Mom in 1962, wearing the dress:

My first shot at trying it on. Wow, it didn't zip up past my waist, and it had SERIOUS bullet-boob action, and it was sooo wrinkly.

Me, mugging with my Mom's lace bolero. It didn't even fit up to my shoulders. Man, she was tiny.

My Mom put in a section of green satin in the back to corset over:

And she did the green trim around the top, along with redoing the breast part, so it wasn't so pointy and bullet-alicious:

Here's a longview of the back, all nearly done!

Finally, my kick arse dress patch:

We got FI a French cuff shirt today for under his suit. That was exciting. We are really counting down the days now!

Thanks for looking.
9  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / The Bon's big day is Saturday! and my OOT baskets on: June 21, 2007 10:26:05 PM
Woohoo! I just noticed that The Bon's wedding date is this Saturday! Congratulations! I am sure you are more prepared than I could ever hope to be. Have a wonderful day!

And just so I am not violating the Craftster law of "thou shall not post without intent", I'm going to post the evolution of my OOT baskets on here....

I bought some fabulously shaped, but super ugly purple coloured baskets at the dollar store.

I then painted them a lovely shade of green on the outside, and a darker shade of green on the inside.

I will post a picture of them filled with all the snacks, maps, slippers, and goodies, when I get them all ready to be delivered to the hotel. Here is a shot of the handmade coasters I'm doing for each of them. I'm a big time weirdo recycler. The boxes are from brie cheese, that I saved, and painted.

Then, I am doing the felt coasters in different flowers in my wedding colours, green/pink/brown. Each is backed with cork.

10  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / Bouquet and Hankerchief charms on: June 20, 2007 11:35:50 PM
My FI and I both wanted to commemorate certain family members that have passed, during our wedding, without being morbid and making everyone sad. So, we're adding a memorium page to our ceremony program, and I've created charms for us both. My father and my Grandfather have passed, and I wanted to have a remembrance of each of them. I got silver charms, found my favourite photos of them, shrunk them down, cut them to fit, glued them into the charms, and covered them with a protective layer of Diamond Glaze. I am going to hang these from my bridal bouquet. A subtle, yet meaningful remembrance for me. For my FI, I did a charm of his late Grandfather, then another of his other Grandma & his Papa, who just passed a few weeks ago. I am attaching these to the hankerchief he will wear in his pocket on our wedding day, then he can have his special people with him, too.

Here is a photo of our charms.

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