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Friday, March 29, 2013

To Sash or Not to Sash

          From Day 1 I have not been able to make my mind up on whether or not we need to get sashes for the chairs.  My fiance doesn't seem to care either way (as long as they're not bows), so that doesn't really help with the decision making.  Yesterday, I decided I was just going to go for it.  I found a GREAT FANTASTIC price on chair sashes at  I ordered 120 dark purple satin sashes for only $73!!!
          Now if you've heard of you might be thinking that I'm kind of crazy - they don't have the best reviews.  The most common complaint was customers receiving dirty or damaged merchandise.  So before placing my order, I made sure to have a VERY long on-line chat with a customer service rep.  Based on our conversation, if you receive any dirty or damaged merchandise you just need to let them know and they will send you new ones at no extra cost (you don't even need to return the old ones).     I made sure to email this conversation to myself just in case I do end up running into issues.  I will keep you posted on how that works out.

Living Social Photobook Deal

There is another great deal out there on a photobook.  Right now LivingSocial is having a deal for  You get a 8.75 x 11.25, 20 page, hardcover photobook for $9.

You can go here to sign up and get the deal.  

Not sure if a photobook if for you?  Check out the one that I made and will be using as our guest book.   

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Engagement Pics: Round 2

I know I've already posted    WAY   TOO    MANY    engagement pictures, but I have some more.  I won a free session with a different photographer and decided to take advantage of the Michigan winters for some snowy pics.  Here are some of my favorites!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Invitation Suite is Set

Way back in January (Wow!  That feels like forever ago) my fiance and I bought two Groupons.  Shortly after buying the Groupons we used one to buy our wedding invitations and inserts.  Now, since we finalized our menu for the reception, we went back and used our second Groupon to buy our RSVP cards and our Thank You cards.

I can't believe the deal we got.  We ordered 100ct. of everything in our stationary suite and paid only $85 for all of it including shipping (and including the cost of the Groupons).

The only downfall to using vistaprint for your stationary is that they don't have outer envelopes.  They include ordinary white envelopes which I think will work just fine for inner envelopes, so I just need to find outer envelopes to use with our invites.  I also think we will tie everything together with some cute purple ribbon or something along those lines.

Here's how everything turned out.  On the left is our invitation, in the center is the front and back of the RSVP card, and on the right is our invitation insert and the front of our Thank You folding cards.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How To: Faded Pictures

A few people have asked me how to created the faded picture look that I used in my photo-guestbook.

All you need to do is change the 'lightness' of the pictures that you are using.  This can be done with almost any photo-editing software.  I used Photoshop myself (I've used it for all of my wedding related designs and I'm no addicted).  If you don't have Photoshop, but are interested, you can get a free 30-day trial here.  

Here's how I created my faded pictures in photoshop:

1) After opening your picture in Photoshop, click on the Hue/Saturation icon in Photoshop.  This is located on the right side of the screen.

Here is a picture of what the full screen will look like.  You can see the Hue/Saturation icon circled.

And here is a close-up of what that icon looks like.  
Show me your custom wedding guest books of engagement photos :  wedding reception guest book wedding photo Photoshop Hue

2) Clicking on the Hue/Saturation icon will open a box with several sliding bars that you can adjust.  You want to adjust the lightness of the picture.  You can do this by sliding the arrow or by changing the number in the box.  

I found that a 'lightness' of +75 was perfect for my photobook - at this level you could still see the image, yet it is light enough for guests to write on.

That's it!  Only 2 steps.  

**We also decided to flip the image to created a mirrored look.  To do that just click on  Image >  Image Rotation > Flip Canvas Horizontally


Guest Book

Not too long ago I bought a Living Social deal deal for a photo book.  My plan was to use the deal to design my own photo-guestbook for the wedding.  My fiance and I finally sat down and started designing and this is what we came up with!  The book arrived just the other day and we couldn't be happier with how it turned out.  The best part - including the Living Social deal and shipping we only paid $15!

Here's what we ended up with.  The first page is the cover of the book (hardcover). The faded pages on the right are where guests will sign.  Also, we were allowed to put something on the spine - so we added our wedding date there.  

Friday, March 22, 2013

Men's Wearhouse

Last weekend my fiance and I went over to our local Mens Wearhouse to get everything set up for tux rentals.  Without looking at prices ahead of time and comparing different retailers we went with them because my bridesmaids dresses are from David's Bridal.  Since the two stores are tied to one another, I decided that this was the easiest way to ensure the wedding party guys and gals all matched.

So far we have a had an awesome experience with them - two thumbs up!  We went in without an appointment and were seen almost immediately (on a Saturday)!  We were in and out in under 1 1/2  hours and going in we had no idea what we wanted at all.

And the best part - the prices.  As long as you have at least 5 other people that will be renting tuxes then the groom can get his for free.  And the tux rentals for the guys (with their everyday $30 off sale) were only $131.

Yesterday I received an email promotion for $40 off each rental AND a $50 gift certificate for the two of us.  Even though the coupon said it had to be used at the time of booking, I called up and asked if I could still use it.  They said that it wouldn't be a problem at all to use it.  The only issue is that we already got $30 and they couldn't be combined, so it would only take another $10 off.  Long story short, the fiance gets his tux for free, the guys rentals are only $121, and we get a $50 gift certificate.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Are You Gonna Be My Girl

My fiance and I were out bowling the other night and Jet's Are You Gonna Be My Girl started playing.  A few years back we were hanging out with some close friends (2 of the fiances groomsmen included) and we had been drinking.  This song came on and my fiance kind of, might of, sort of started giving me a lap dance in front of everyone.  

So, when this song came on the other night at the bowling ally we both had the awesome idea to play this song during our garter toss.  And so we have made our first music related decision for our wedding!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pretty Pearls

If you haven't already caught, I like to save money -  I absolutely love finding a great deal!

Well if any of you are like me, you'll be happy to hear about this Groupon that I discovered.

You can buy sterling silver pearl necklaces, earrings, or rings for only $15.99 each (up to 77% off depending on what you buy).  If you still need some gifts for you bridesmaids (or something for yourself) these look beautiful!

You can check it out here.   Also, I included the pictures of some of the pieces that they are offering.

P.S. The deal expires in just under 10 hours, so hurry over now if you're interested.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Morning of Timeline

So I've come up with my first draft of my morning of timeline.  My bridesmaids and I needed to get our schedule figured out in order to schedule hair and make-up.  And then my fiances mom wanted to know how long the guys would possibly be hanging out at her house before coming to the hotel, so I had to get the groom/groomsmen schedule done too.

What do you think?  

6 - 7AM - Everyone showering 
7 - 7:30AM - Breakfast 
7:30 - 9:30AM - My hair and make-up 
9:30 - 10:30AM - Getting dress on/getting ready
10:30 - 11:30AM - First look with fiance/bride and groom pictures
11:30 - 12:30PM - Bridal party pics (I will eat during groom/groomsmen pics)
12:30 -1:30PM - Family pics
1:30 - 2PM - Extra time for pics/last minute touches 
2PM - Ceremony

6 - 7AM - Everyone showering 
7 - 7:30AM - Breakfast 
7:30 - 10AM - Hair and make-up 
10 - 10:30AM - Helping bride finish getting ready
10:30 - 11:30AM - Finish getting selves ready
11:30 - 12:30PM - Bridal party pics 
12:30 -1:30PM - Lunch
1:30 - 2PM - Extra time for pics/last minute touches 
2PM - Ceremony

8:30 - 9:30AM - Breakfast
9:30 - 10:30AM - Getting ready at hotel
10:30 - 11:30AM - First look pics/bride and groom pictures
11:30 - 12:30PM - Bridal party pics (He will eat during bride/bridesmaids pics)
12:30 -1:30PM - Family pics
1:30 - 2PM - Extra time for pics/last minute touches 
2PM - Ceremony

8:30 - 9:30AM - Breakfast
9:30 - 10:30AM - Getting ready at hotel
10:30 - 11:30AM - Finish getting ready
11:30 - 12:30PM - Bridal party pics 
12:30 -1:30PM - Lunch
1:30 - 2PM - Extra time for pics/last minute touches 
2PM - Ceremony


Who knew that it was an adventure that would never end.     <3
Just wanted to remind myself the true purpose of the big day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shoe Obsession

I have been working on picking out my accessories for the big day, including my shoes.

I have settled on the fact that I want flats (I never wear heals and I don't want to be uncomfortable) and that I want them to be dark purple (our wedding color).

I wanted something like these, but a little "flashier".
Calling all Fashionistas :  wedding accessories belle 217 hair jewelry shoes Purple Flats1

I posted about this on looking for some suggestions and someone posted a picture of these:
Calling all Fashionistas :  wedding accessories belle 217 hair jewelry shoes Purple Flats With Bling 6

I am completely 100% obsessed.  I decided right away that these were THE shoes and that I NEEDED them.

Well after some excessive Google-ing, I found that they were these shoes and had just been sprayed with some glitter.  
Calling all Fashionistas :  wedding accessories belle 217 hair jewelry shoes 1194282 P MULTIVIEW
So now I had my plan - buy these shoes and some glitter spray.   Unfortunately I only found one site that sold these exact shoes ( and they were completely sold out in my size.  I emailed and called to see if they would be getting more in and they said no.  Once they sell out they're gone.

Long story short, I am on a mission to find shoes like those.  I am open to suggestions, so please feel free to comment.  I'd also love to see some other brides shoes for the big day!

The Big 200

First, sorry for the large number of posts today.  As you know we just relocated, so I am currently job hunting (which means I have a little too much free time).

 Second, I just realized that we have exactly 200 days until the wedding!!!!  I can't believe how fast time is going by.

How many days do you have left until the big day?

Astonishingly Average - Some Interesting Wedding Statistics

I just stumbled upon this updated infographic on wedding statistics.

I was curious to see how my fiance and I compare to everyone else.  What I found out - we appear to fall in with most other couples in the majority of our wedding decisions.

  • When did you say I love you?  I'm going with somewhere in the 1-6 month mark.  So we were the same as 48% of couples.
  • How long had you been dating before you met your fiance's parents? Like 44% of couples, I think I fall into the 1-6 month mark for this.  
  • How long was your engagement?  Almost exactly 15 months.  The same as 40% of other couples.
  • Did you hire help to plan?  No, we did it ourselves.  Again we were in the majority - 68% of couples planned by themselves.
  • On average how many hours per week did you spend planning your wedding?  I'm going to guess that we fall into the 1-9 hours per week range, just like 47% of couples.
  • At any point during your engagement did you say, "let's just elope"?  Yes, several times.  And apparently we weren't alone - 74% of couple shared the same thought at some point during their engagement.
  • Did you send out a save the date card, post-card, or magnet?  Apparently we were in the minority with our save the date postcards. Only 22% of couples opted for postcards, most sent out ordinary cards.
  •  What wedding color did you choose?  We picked the second most popular wedding color - purple.  Nearly 1/3 of brides (30%) opted for purple on their big day.  The most popular wedding color - blue (37%).
  • Wedding month:  September (one of the two most popular months for getting hitched)
  • Wedding day:  Sunday.  We were in the minority on this one.  67% of couples tie the knot on Saturdays.
  • Wedding Reception Location:  Like 39% of couples, we are having our wedding reception at a ballroom.  We might fall into the "Other" category (like 22% of couples) since ours is not a hotel ballroom, but an old bank restored/transformed into a ballroom.
  • Where are you taking your honeymoon?  We, along 55% of couples, are throwing on the sunblock and sipping mixed drinks with umbrella straws at our tropical destination.
How do you and your fiance compare?  Check out the information below?  Find anything surprising? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.  


Hidden Honeymoon Fun

As I wrote about yesterday, we have officially  booked out honeymoon at Couples San Souci in Jamaica.  Well after I posted about booking the honeymoon yesterday I was browsing the resorts web-site more.  I feel like that's all I've done since we booked it - I'm SO excited.

And now, I have even more reason to be excited.  I don't know how I missed it one of the other many times that I was on their web-site, but I found their Program of Social Activities.  They have even more to do that we originally thought.

To give you an idea, here are some of things that my fiance and I are now looking forward to doing.  We are going to have to make a list of the ones that are MUST-DO's so we can make sure to fit everything in.  It's a good thing that we are going for 9 days!

Here are just some of the things that we get to do (for FREE!)

  • Nature Walks
  • Pool and Beach Volleyball Tournaments
  • Scrabble Tournaments
  • Bingo
  • Battle of the Sexes Game Night
  • Karaoke
  • Scavenger Hunts
  • Couple Portraits
  • Casino Night
  • Shell Painting
  • Couples Massage Classes
  • Wood Carving Class
  • Dance Classes
  • Cooking Classes
  • Cocktail Parties
  • Pottery Classes
  • Mixology Classes
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Hat Making Classes
  • Pool Tournaments
As if I wasn't already excited enough about the honeymoon, now I have even more to look forward too!  
By the way, since I don't think I mentioned it in the last post our 9 day stay is costing us about $3,500 for a beachfront suite.  

I'd love to hear what everyone else is doing for their honeymoons (or what you already did).  Where are you going/where did you go?  What are you doing to/what did you do?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Honeymoon Hype

After weeks of deliberation, we finally booked our honeymoon.  We will be going to Couples San Souci, an all-inclusive resort in Ocho Rios,Jamaica.
Couples Sans Souci Resort

We will be staying at the resort for 9 awesome nights!

Fun Fact about our resort:  Two James Bonds movies used the resort and part of the island in their filming - scenes from both Dr. No and Live and Let Die were filmed there.

Our resort includes:  

  • Four swimming pools including, a mineral pool containing a vast gamut of rejuvenating minerals
  • Natural mineral springs, known for curative and rejuvenating benefits
  • Four unique restaurants serving the finest international cuisine with Caribbean fusion flavors
  • In-suite dining
  • Six bars, including the swim up pool bar
  • Private beach for au naturel sunbathing
  • Watersports & scuba
  • Tennis courts with lights for night play, complimentary lesson
  • Unlimited golf 
  • Seaside, air-conditioned fitness center, with state of the art cardio equipment.
  • Classes include aerobics, yoga, acquiesces, Pilates and meditation
  • Glass-bottom boat tour
  • Dunn's River Falls tour
  • Shopping excursions to downtown Ocho Rios
  • Shuttle to Island Village, home of Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville"

  • Monday, March 11, 2013

    And Action

    So just over a month ago my fiance and I started considering a videographer for the wedding.  About a week later we made the final decision to go ahead with it, but I just realized that I never posted an update.  We will be going with the videographer, Keith Forman, that I talked about in the last post.  He will be recording 9 1/2 hours of the wedding for only $450!!!  No editing, so we will just get the raw footage, but we decided that's all we really need.  In fact, it might even be a fun project to take on editing it ourselves.  His online sample videos look great too.  I am very excited and glad that we have a videographer nailed down.

    He also offered to throw in a second camera for only $150 more or $600 total.  Always just one more decision to make.    

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Beautiful Bouquets

    So I already mentioned my slight obsession with having lilies and my need to have them in my bouquet, but am happy to announce that I've officially placed my flower order.

    My bouquets are going to look like the picture that I posted in my previous post.  In case you don't remember here it is.
    I love this bouquet!  Especially the lilies.

    My bouquet will look like this and the bridesmaids will also look like this bouquet, but will just be smaller than mine.  The boutonnieres for the guys (groom, groomsmen, and fathers) will have single lilies to match those in my bouquet.  Finally the mothers and grandmothers corsages will match the lilies and the filler of the bouquet.

    Saturday, March 9, 2013

    The Veil

    So after settling in to our temporary home (the fiance's parents' house) I was finally able to get back to work on the wedding planning.

    The first thing I did was order my veil (yesterday).  I will need it when I go to do my hair trial, so I wanted to order that now in case it took a while to get in.  And it's a good thing that I did too!  If they're warehouse has it in stock it will be here within the next week and a half.  Otherwise, they have to order it and it won't be here until late May or early June.

    The grand total:  $150.  When I called and asked they quoted me $180, but I had found it in Michigan for $150 and brought that to their attention.  They immediately offered to sell it to me for the $150, so that was a nice bonus.

    Also, I will make sure to post some pictures on here when it comes in.  The only picture that anyone can seem to find of the veil is the one below from the Alfred Angelo site, which isn't the best quality.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but the detailing along the edge of the veil matches the detailing in the gown.

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Home Sweet Home

    Things have been crazy this past week , but we finally we made it back to New York!  We officially got in Saturday night (technically 3AM Sunday morning).  Sunday was spent unpacking the truck and putting things into storage (where it will stay until we find a house).  Monday was spent moving and upacking boxes at my fiance's parents house (where we are staying until we find a house).  Tuesday my mom and grandmother got in to the area to visit (they'll be staying until Sunday).  We had originally planned the visit before we knew we were moving and were going to meet up in the New York area for wedding planning.  They were both looking forward to it, so I decided that even though it would be hectic I didn't want to cancel.  Then, today (Wednesday) I went to my dentist appointment and my fiance packed up and left for his bachelor ski trip to Vermont.  I FINALLY had some downtime and decided to add this quick update.  Somehow in the midst of the craziness, we did manage to accomplish some wedding related tasks which I'll post about tomorrow.  I felt like tonight was the first time I actually was able to sit on the couch and relax since we found out we were moving (which was just over 2 weeks ago).  It never thought it could feel so wonderful to just sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing.

    Saturday, March 2, 2013

    Survey Monkey (and Bridesmaids) to the Rescue

            So I posted about here, I have been having some difficulty deciding on a bridesmaid dress for my ladies.  Finally, I had it narrowed down to two dresses, but couldn't make a decision.  Fortunately, my maid of honor suggested using to get everyone's opinion, which is exactly what I did.  After looking at the results and taking everything into consideration, I was actually able to make a decision.  So, before I have a chance to change my mind again, I am making my decision official.  I just posted it on our bridesmaid website and can finally relax.

          Looking back on this whole ordeal I am still glad that I included my ladies in the decision making.  I think that we ended up with a dress that will all feel comfortable wearing and knowing that made my decision easier.  (I also just need multiple people to agree with me before being able to commit to anything, so having the continuous reassurance was extremely helpful).  What about you?  Did your bridesmaids help pick out their dresses?  Did you have as much difficultly as I did in deciding on the dresses?

    P.S.  Apparently it can really take some time for those bridesmaids dresses to arrive.  I contacted David's Bridal and they told me that it can take anywhere from 6 to 18 weeks for dresses to come in and then you still need to leave time for alterations if they are needed.