Monday, January 31, 2011

61 days

This coming Saturday is my bridal shower, I am beyond excited about it! My mom and moh have been planning it for a few months now and have kept so many things about it a secret. I'm not used to not being the one to plan things like this!

One thing I do know about the shower (because I designed the invites) is that pink and white will be the main colors. One thing I wanted for the shower was for it to be girly and different from the wedding – especially the colors. I don't think it will be quite as formal as the images above, but I just love that pink and black cameo on the right. I am so anxious to see all the things they have been keeping a secret from me for the last few months! I'm also very excited about my dress, it is exactly what I wanted, I just hope the weather warms up a bit. Pictures of my dress and the shower will definitely be posted next week.

Last week we didn't get a whole lot of projects done. I was burnt out from working on invites the entire week before and I am getting very busy at work with a deadline. We did have a dress fitting for my dress and a few of the bridesmaids. It was so exciting to see how things will actually fit without them falling off of us. This weekend was the first time I saw one of the bridesmaids in her dress in the correct color and with it fitting (well, pinned at least). Sarah, you looked beautiful! I can't wait to see the rest of my girls in their dresses. I was definitely reassured that we made the right choice on color, it was gorgeous!

Images via Martha Stewart

Thursday, January 27, 2011

what to do after april 2?

The wedding will be here in 65 days and then we will be gone for 6 more days. We are both beyond excited about the wedding and honeymoon, not only because we will be getting married, see all of our family together at the same time and we get to go on an amazing vacation, but also because all the wedding planning and projects will be done. Don't get me wrong, I love doing these projects (notice how I said "I", not "we"), but it definitely comes to a point where you are ready to see the final product and have some sort of completeness. We have spent the last nine months planning, we are ready!

People have asked me though, "what are you going to do when the wedding is over?" My response is, be married! But it really got me thinking, what will we do? No need to worry, we have plenty of ideas of things we'd like to do.

First of all, there are a few things we are going to save up for. One is a trip to France and Italy next year summer. As an artist and art lover, we both have always wanted to go to Italy and Paris. I was fortunate enough to go to Paris a few years ago, but it is my favorite city I've ever been to, so I'm dying to go back! More to come on the plans for our trip in future posts.

The second thing we plan on saving up for is furniture and decorating the house. I have been a long-time fan of decorating blogs, my favorite being this one. They are so inspiring and it definitely make me want to get going on decorating this house. I bought my house a couple years ago and have bought a few pieces of furniture and did some painting, but thats about it. We want to buy a new sofa (probably the first thing on the list), bedroom furniture (I bought a king size bed when I first moved in) and an entertainment center (since we bought ourselves a nice big Christmas gift this year).

One thing my parents, Mike and I spent a lot of time on when I first moved in was the yard. This is how the backyard looked when I first bought the house.

It was pretty bad. Mike and my dad spent a few solid days just pulling weeds. But we saw the potential in the yard. It is small, but cozy and the open fence in the back really makes it feel larger. I could see this yard being the perfect space for entertaining.

I spent hours searching online sites for inspiration. In the end, we went with something basic that would work for a while. Here is the after picture, taken over a year ago.

Since this picture, many of the trees and plants have grown in and are much larger, so it feels much more lush now. But what a huge difference!

Still, I'm not sure if it is the yard we will keep. I have ideas of making the yard more like a garden and planter area with lots of space for seating.

I would also love to turn the patio into a comfy entertaining space as well.

A few other things I'd love to do after the wedding are take a weekly yoga class with my mom, buy a nice camera and take more pictures (I have a secret desire to one day be a photographer), start up my own side business (still figuring that one out) and travel (we are starting with a trip to Wisconsin in August for my grandparent's 60th anniversary!).

This will all come in time and first things first...get married!

Monday, January 24, 2011

68 days

The invitations were sent out this morning which means everything is very real now. Lately I've been trying to imagine how all our projects will look together, but even more so, how we will all look. Yesterday we placed the reservation for the tuxes and this Saturday I have my first dress fitting. It is very difficult to imagine how everyone will look with their outfits, hair, makeup, jewelry and the flowers. More than anything, I have been dreaming of my bouquet. Ivory peonies, garden roses and ranunculus – it is going to be gorgeous and I just might cry when I see it.

Image via by Mary Jane Photography

Sunday, January 23, 2011

invite sneak peek

Tomorrow morning the invitations are getting mailed out! I am beyond excited about this, it is a huge relief to have them done. Mike and I both had a big part in these invites – I designed them and he drew the artwork for them. We love them so much and are thrilled with how they turned out! We are so excited for all of our friends and family to see them (and of course we will post pics here once everyone has received them).

A huge thank you to my mom, Brooke and Leila who helped us so much with assembling these! My mom came over on her day off and worked on them all afternoon and the four of us spent all day Saturday getting them done. We can't thank you enough for all your help!

P.S. We just love these stamps! We had to use 88 cents because of the weight of our invites and we love that putting two of them together creates one whole image. The colors and even the image are perfect!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

wedding blog inspiration

Today Style Me Pretty (one of my favorite wedding blogs) featured a gorgeous Maui wedding shot by Jose Villa and coordinated by Beth Helmstetter (two of my favorite combinatinations). I love the table setting in the above image. We are using the same descanso wood tables for the wedding and we debated leaving them bare with just a pale blue table runner. We are even using the same fruitwood chiavari chairs with ivory cushions (and the ground is cobblestones too!). It was so nice to see it put together in a picture because while it is beautiful, it does not fit the look we are going for. In the end, we decided to still use table cloths because of how formal our reception is. Either way would have been beautiful, but I have a feeling someone is planning a little something for me using this style of table. (wink wink)

I included the image on the left as well just because I loved it. It really made me think that even after the wedding, I will still read my favorite wedding blogs. I started reading them even before I was engaged...yes to start planning my own wedding, but also because the images are so inspiring and beautiful. Every day new weddings are posted that feature gorgeous photography, color combinations and table decor. I don't think that will ever get old.

rehearsal dinner

As of last night, we are officially booked for our rehearsal dinner at a beautiful Mexican restaurant in Gilbert called Tia Rosa's! Everything about the restaurant is perfect from the food to the atmosphere and the service.

Initially, we had thought about having the rehearsal dinner in a backyard. We looked into renting a house in the same neighborhood we are getting married in, but that just didn't work out. Mike's brother and sister-in-law live the closest and they were so kind to offer their yard for the dinner as well. In the end we just decided it would be easiest to have it at a restaurant so we wouldn't have to transport rental equipment and food. We are sure that all of our guests will love the food and have a wonderful time the night before the big day.

This week has also been busy with assembling the invitations. I am so excited to get them mailed out so everyone can finally see what we have been working on for months, but I am also nervous. We absolutely love how the invites turned out, but it is always so stressful getting them put together and done correctly. I have made invitations numerous times, yet I still forget how much work it actually is to put them together. My mom and Mike have been such a huge help with them though, it has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders. They should be ready to be mailed no later than Monday!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ribbon wall

UPDATE: We now offer ribbon walls for sale in my etsy shop! Check it out here.

This past Saturday my mom and I decided to tackle the huge project of creating the ribbon wall that will cover the 40 foot black board that I mentioned in a previous post. This project seemed extremely overwhelming, but once we figured out all the dimensions, it was a breeze...until we tried rolling it up.

First, we measured and cut each ribbon to the appropriate length so that there is just enough to make a loop and drag on the ground a bit.

Then, my mom took them to the sewing machine and stitched the loops on each one. She stitched them together and we just snipped them apart afterwards. This method worked great!

We laid them out on the ground, sectioned out by colors. After we had a pattern figured out that we liked, I collected the ribbons and handed them to my mom.

My mom then looped them onto the 20 foot metal poles. This really did not take much time at all.

Once they were all looped on, we held it up to see the final result. Looks great!!

Now, the tricky part. Rolling it up sounds easy, right? We were so wrong about that! Since we needed the loops to be somewhat loose (we need to modify it a bit when we get to the venue), we couldn't just roll it, they kept sliding around. We started rolling each ribbon individually, but that definitely would not last for 160 ribbons. We ended up figuring out how to roll eight ribbons at a time and taping them down with masking tape. After that, we wrapped them in saren wrap so they are all set to be stored for the next few months. There may be some wrinkles when unwrap them, but we figured it would be ok and we'd figure that out when we got there.

We're very happy with how it turned out, what do you think?! We can't wait to use this as the backdrop for our dessert table and photo area!

P.S. In all these pictures it looks like my mom is the only one work, I promise I did my fair share! ;)

coffee filter flowers

A few months ago, I had seen a tweet from Ami, the editor of Elizabeth Anne Designs about a coffee filter flower tutorial on Design Sponge. I was so happy to come across this link, because these paper flowers are perfect for the Mexican fiesta theme of our rehearsal dinner (being held on the patio here)! I was also so excited about it because it led me to this great DIY website, Aunt Peaches.

After seeing the tutorial, I had immediately tried dying coffee filters as instructed, but they just didn't seem to get dark enough. We tried using food coloring as well, but that didn't work the way it was supposed to. Eventually, I took this project over to my brother's house and him and my sister-in-law (my moh) helped me get this project going. Somehow, Brooke figured out a great method in dying the filters and drying them quickly in the microwave. (We thought they were burning because there was a terrible burnt smell...turns out it was a leftover piece of macaroni stuck in the microwave, ha!)
While Brooke dyed and dried the filters, my brother and I cut the different shades to the appropriate shape.

Then, we put together three flowers to see how a complete arrangement would look. We used the green masking tape (my mom actually found it in the gardening department at Home Depot), but left off the green leaves as shown in the original tutorial. We are going to be putting them in empty jars of El Pato sauces to go along with the Mexican theme. We are so happy with how they turned out! The flowers pictures were the first three we did, they got better and better the more we did. I can't wait to see how they will look in the cans on the tables!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

25 things update

I have completely neglected my 25 things at 25 list...this makes me sad. Fortunately I have accomplished a few of the things on the list, but I don't have many pictures to show for it.

First of all, #11 is accomplished. Leila came over for a girls' night over her Christmas break. We had so much fun! First we had dinner at Chipotle (her choice!), then we went home and watched the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She LOVED it and even asked to watch it again the next morning. I love that movie!

#24 has also been accomplished, which also means #12 has been met as well. I have spent every day at 11am with Jillian Michaels doing her 30-day Shred program. Today is my 11th day and so far I have lost over 5 lbs (a major accomplishement for me!). I highly recommend this workout video, it is only 20 minutes which means its easy to fit in your daily routine, but it is very intense! Doing these workouts at the same time every day has led me to have a fairly good routine. I have been using my iCal daily and scheduling everything out for every day (just like I did in was the only thing that got me through my senior year!).

I have also realized that #18 and #19 won't be accomplished at 25. They will have to wait until next year. I also think that #15 has been going very well so far, but my mom and matron of honor will be the judge of that. ;)

lace candleholder project

First of all, I've clearly established that I am not good at taking pictures of my projects, so bear with me. I only have a point and shoot camera and to make it worse, these were taken at night. Hopefully someday I can cross off number three on my list and improve my photography skills.

A few weeks ago (you can tell by the Christmas gifts in the third pic), I completed the project of making the lace candleholders for the reception. Actually, half of them will hold the bridesmaid bouquets on the dessert table, they will be the perfect size for that!

While doing this project, I got a pretty good method down, but it still involved my hands being sticky for a few days. Next time I need to wear gloves and have someone help me cut the lace (my scissors were full of adhesive by the end). All in all, I'm very happy with how they turned out! Now I just need to make 170 small lace votives...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

honeymoon wishlist

I absolutely love January. To me, it feels like a fresh start to eat healthy, workout and organize life. But I really think the most exciting part about January is that spring clothes are making their way into the stores. This is extra exciting for me this year as I am looking for some fun outfits and accessories to take on our honeymoon in mid-April.

I've already purchased my 'formal' dress for dinners at night, but I have a few more items I'd love to find!

Sandals: I actually already purchased some brown leather sandals somewhat similar to these. I normally wear the inexpensive flip flops from Old Navy, so these are really exciting to me!

Shorts: As I work through the 30-day Shred, I'm hoping I can find a cute pair of shorts like these to wear on the honeymoon (and like how they fit on me). My mom made a great point that I won't want to wear jeans because it is warm and humid in DR. This will be a challenge for both of us, we live in jeans!

Luggage Tags: We are actually registered for these silver-plated engraveable tags at Pottery Barn. I love these and think it would be so fun to have them on our honeymoon (with my new initials and last name of course). :)

Beach Cover-Up: While flipping through the recent J. Crew catalog, I saw this beautiful swimming suit cover-up and fell in love with it!

Beach Tote: Then I saw this straw beach tote and thought it would go perfectly with the cover-up (although I think I could find a similar one cheaper somewhere else).

dream wedding shoes

Great news, the never ending hunt for the perfect wedding shoes is over! Last weekend my mom and I had such an amazing shopping trip. We ended up finding my wedding shoes, ties for the ushers and a dress for the rehearsal dinner that will also be perfect to bring on the honeymoon. It was slightly more expensive than what I wanted to spend, but I figured since it was a double duty item, it was ok. Plus my mom assured me I would wear it again and again. Mom knows best, right?

Since my shoes are really only for me to see for a brief five seconds and for cute shoe pictures, I thought it would be okay to share with you the shoes I got (they are just so cute, I can't resist!).
Aren't they just so adorable?! Now here is why they are perfect:
1) First and foremost, they are incredibly comfortable.
2) They are dressy flats. I wanted flats so I wasn't killing my feet by the end of the night. The challenge was finding flats that were still dressy enough and had a slight lift in the heel so I didn't feel like I was in flip flops.
3) The pearl accent matches the pearls in my bracelet and earrings (like anyone will notice though).
4) If anyone does see my shoes, they will only peep through at the toe which is THE cutest part!

I am loving these shoes and my rehearsal/honeymoon dress (you will have to wait to see the dress though!). 

Image via

family wedding photos

One special thing we are doing to honor our families at our wedding is having family wedding pictures displayed at cocktail hour. I have been collecting as many generations of pictures as possible from both sides of the families. We are fortunate enough to have all four pictures of my great-grandparents and we even know the dates of their weddings!

I absolutely love family history. For one of my college design projects, I compiled and designed a family tree that went as far back as the 1600's and included all 27 cousins in my family. As a child, teenager and even into my young adult life, I loved sitting with my grandparents and hearing about their memories as a child and young adult. My grandpa was in World War 2 and he would always tell me stories and show me pictures from that time period. Being born in 1921, he was my oldest grandparent and had some amazing stories to tell. He grew up in Wisconsin, but only spoke German for the first few years of his life. Things like that amaze me. I think about how things were back in 1990, when I was 5 and the world around me has drastically changed since then. I can only imagine how it will be when I am 86 like my grandpa was the last time I had those conversations with him.

Back to the family wedding photos...below are three generations of my family's weddings. It is amazing to see how the photography, fashion and styles have changed over the years.

These are my great-grandparents, Clara & Arthur (a very popular name in my family...both my mom's grandpas and her father were named Arthur). They were married in 1914 in Wisconsin.

These are my grandparents, Joyce and Arthur. They were married in 1951. We will be getting married 60 years apart from them! We are so excited to be celebrating their anniversary next August with the entire family in Wisconsin.

And of course my parents. They were married in 1980 in Minnesota (even though they both lived in Arizona at the time). My mom was 25, the same age as me. In a previous post, I talked about how my mom made her own dress and I showed pictures of when I tried it on. Aren't my parents so cute? :)

We will have plenty more family pictures on display at the wedding...which is in less than three months!