December 2011

Merry Christmas (Blogging Hiatus until January 2!)

by Melissa on December 22, 2011

Image Source: Flickr User laurenmanning

 

I would like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and holiday season! I’ll be taking a brief blogging hiatus until January 2. At that point, check back for new posts and some great new features!  But I’ll continue to post to Twitter, so be sure to follow me there!

You know, it’s been kind of weird. I’m writing more wedding-related blog posts now than I ever did during my engagement.

I maintain a blogging calendar in which I list my blogging ideas and project what date I would like them to post. If I posted five days a week, my blog post ideas would take me from now until July! JULY! I never in a million years thought I would continue to blog that long after the wedding.

So Merry Christmas, or Happy Chrismahannakwanzaka!

– Melissa & Ken –

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T-2 Days: Part 1;   Part 2Part 3

T-1 Day: Part 1

** Some of today’s post is a repeat from this post, written the morning of my wedding, but with a additional details**

When my mom, dad, and grandmother arrived at the venue, I was shocked at the sight of my grandmother. Besides a few of the typical elderly ailments, like trouble with her hearing and sight, she’s in decent health (for an 86-year-old), has good mobility, and her mind is as sharp as a tack. But today, her color was weird, and her knees were buckling so much as she walked, I thought she would fall with every step she took. My brother-in-law and a family friend held her on both sides to support her as she walked.

I wasn’t sure what to make of the situation. There were some feelings of guilt. There were some feelings that she was literally just making herself sick with worry because she didn’t want to be there.

Some background

My grandmother is a very stubborn and cantankerous woman. She says what’s on her mind, even if it’s very hurtful. For instance, she has no trouble telling me if I’ve put on weight, got a bad haircut, or am wearing an ugly coat. If we get her a Christmas present that she doesn’t like, she’ll say, “I don’t want this, take it back.”

But at the same time, she is a very generous woman. She’s fairly wealthy and is generous with sharing with her family during holidays and special occasions. One time, I complimented her purse. She started dumping out the contents on the sofa so that she could give it to me.

She certainly has her quirks too. She hates the church, even though my grandfather (her husband) was a devout, church-going man. At my grandfather’s funeral home viewing a few years ago, the priest (who knew my grandmother had not been to a church in decades) asked my grandmother if she wanted to go to confession so that she could take communion at the funeral service the next day. She looked at him, said “yuck!” and walked away. She also FLIPPED OUT several years earlier when she found out my grandfather was about to donate $5000 to his church so the church could install air conditioning. She calls church “a bunch of mumbo jumbo.”

Ken likes to describe my grandmother as, “not very grandmotherly.”

I’m not sure why I’m sharing with you these details. But I guess it’s important to illustrate how I felt about having her at the wedding.

Would she even come to the wedding?

My grandmother was very conflicted about whether to come to the wedding, which was more than 300 miles from her home. I thought she had never left the state of Pennsylvania her entire life, but my mom reminded me that she worked at the Pentagon right after it opened during World War II, and that she had been to Ohio for a wedding in the 1980’s.

I was pretty convinced for about the first eight months of our engagement that there was no way she was coming to the wedding. And perhaps I was just making excuses to make myself feel better about it, or maybe I’m just a terrible human being, but I convinced myself that her not coming would be for the best. She would just be complaining the whole time and telling me how every wedding decision I made was a terrible one, and so on. So, I had resigned myself to the fact that she wouldn’t come to the wedding and had myself convinced that that would be a good thing.

But then things started to change. About a month before the wedding, she started shopping for an outfit to wear to the wedding. It seemed like like she would come to the wedding, although I wouldn’t believe it until she was actually there. I was torn. I even mentioned in this post that I would ask my mom to take my grandmother out of the room if she was being too negative. About a week before the wedding, I told my grandmother that there was to be NO COMPLAINING at the wedding. She told me I’d have to put up a sign to remind her. I said that I would print one out on the computer. She laughed and laughed. It was good. We had an understanding.

When my mom had told me the previous day that she had picked up my grandmother at her house and they were on their way to DC for the wedding, I was surprised. My mom said my grandmother had been complaining the entire drive, saying that she wasn’t feeling well and wanted to go back home. I was steeling myself for some very negative energy once my grandmother arrived.

And the entire previous night when my mom kept telling me that my grandmother wasn’t feeling well and just wanted to go back home, I was mad. I kept thinking to myself, “well, maybe she shouldn’t have come at all!” and things like “I knew this was going to happen. She can’t even keep from complaining for her own granddaughter’s wedding.”

The day’s events begin to unfold

But now, seeing my grandmother that morning, the day before my wedding, I was filled with feelings of guilt and worry. This wasn’t just some “act” to convince my parents to take her back to Pittsburgh, like I had thought it might have been.

I asked my parents if they wanted to take her to the Emergency Room. They said that there was an urgent care facility directly across the street from the hotel where they were staying, but my grandmother wouldn’t go. Ken said, “Then you don’t give her a choice. You should treat her like a little kid.” I happened to agree.

I took the thermometer out of my purse. We pulled up a chair for my grandmother and she sat down. She kept opening her mouth while taking her temperature, and taking the thermometer out of her mouth, and we kept yelling at her to stop doing that. It was like she was drunk or something.

The thermometer finally beeped. We knew it probably wasn’t entirely accurate because she kept messing with it, but it read 103.0 degrees.

The vibe in the room went from general worry to outright scared. She was still sitting on the chair, so we started to convince her that she needed to go to the doctor. It was an urgent care facility just six miles away. Please. We pleaded with her. She kept saying, “No! I’m not going to the doctor.” I started to think to myself how elderly people can die from something as simple as the flu.

Finally, I was fed up. I started to literally scream at her. “GO TO THE DOCTOR!! DO YOU THINK I WANT SOMETHING TO HAPPEN TO YOU ON MY WEDDING DAY???  NOW GO!!”

My voice cracked as I said those words. My mom and dad let out brief sobs as they heard my voice crack. It was the reality check my mom and dad needed. My grandmother is 86 years old. It doesn’t matter how good her health has been to this day. And in my family, where any uncomfortable topic is practically always left unspoken, I mentioned this brutally uncomfortable topic.

My grandmother could die from a fever like that.

She was finally convinced. She would go to the doctor. She said she had to go to the bathroom first. So, my brother-in-law and family friend once again helped her walk to the bathroom, a single-room facility, which was about 20 feet away.

While she was in the bathroom, we all started talking fast about what might be wrong with her. In one of my hypochondriac moments, I told everyone to wash their hands and to wipe down any surface my grandmother had touched. “We don’t know what she has, and we’ll be interacting with 150 people tomorrow, so if it’s something serious, we don’t want to give it to them.”

Ah, the weird things people do in moments like this.

The fall

After a few minutes, we started to wonder how long my grandmother had been in the bathroom. A different family friend opened the door to the bathroom (which is a single room bathroom) and yelled for my mom. My grandmother was laying on the floor in the bathroom.

We all jumped into “go” mode. Our family friends, my mom, and my sister, all rushed down to the narrow hallway by the door to the bathroom. In that same narrow hallway was the landline phone. I picked it up and dialed 911. I said, “We need an ambulance right away at Prince William Forest Park Cabin Camp #5 in the Mess Hall. My 86 year old grandmother just fell and she has a 103 degree temperature.”

While I was on the phone, my family had managed to get her off of the floor and seated in a folding chair they had set up in the hallway. The 911 operator was asking me questions like whether my grandmother was conscious. I said yes, she was conscious, but kind of “out of it.” The operator said, “Okay, I’m going to give you some instructions.” I turned my mouth away from the phone and said, “LISTEN UP!” and told the operator to go ahead. The operator said to make my grandmother as cool as possible because her fever was so high. I relayed the instructions. They took off her jacket and put cold bottles of water on her neck. Next, the operator told us to gather all of her medications and bring them with us to the hospital.

My heart sunk a bit. She was nowhere near home. She wasn’t even at the hotel with her medications. I relayed the instructions to my mom. My mom looked disappointed with herself. She turned to my grandmother and said, “Mom, do you still keep that list of medications in your purse?”

I never heard the response.

The 911 operator told me that we could hang up, but I should call back if my grandmother lost consciousness, stopped breathing, or came into any other distress.

I’m not sure how much time had elapsed. Probably not much, but it seemed like an eternity.

My nephew, with his typical 5-year-old curiosity, kept walking down the hallway to see what was going on, and we kept shooing him away. In retrospect, I feel bad about this. We should’ve tried to quickly explain what was happening and then asked him if he could go in the other room for a bit. I remember when my mom and dad used to keep serious information away from me when I was little. It was hurtful. I was 12 when my other grandmother had a massive stroke. My mom and dad had told me she was just in the hospital because “She wasn’t feeling well.”

I looked around for my sister. Someone told me that she had driven my mom and dad’s car to the entrance of the campground, about a mile down the road. She was afraid because the campground was in such a secluded location, that the EMS wouldn’t be able to find it. (There’s a back story to this. A few year’s back, the company that my sister worked for moved to a brand new building right off a brand new road. One day, one of her coworkers, who was a brain cancer survivor, started having a seizure. They called 911, but EMS personnel just kept saying they could not locate the building or even the road it was supposed to be on. So they had to keep giving them landmarks to go by. Luckily her coworker was okay, but it was still enough to make her paranoid for life about EMS personnel not being able to find the location of the emergency).

So she had driven and sat at the intersection of the nearest main road to the entrance of the campground. I asked if anyone knew if she had brought a walkie talkie with her. (We had brought walkie talkies with us because there was no cell signal at the venue and the campground was huge). They said no, she had not brought a walkie talkie with her.

I wanted her to be able to relay when the ambulance was arriving at the venue, so I hopped in my car and drove the mile or so to the entrance. I saw her parked there and got out of my car and gave her the walkie talkie. Although I felt bad, because she panicked when she saw me driving up that road. She told me that she thought my grandmother had taken a turn for the worse.

No sooner did I give her the walkie talkie, we saw a fire truck coming down the road. My sister started honking her horn, and I hopped back in my car and sped down the road. I parked in the parking lot, about 500 feet or so from the Mess Hall, where my grandmother was. I wanted to make sure there was enough space in the small parking area by the mess hall for the emergency vehicles. My sister parked in the same lot. We got out of the car and started rushing to the mess hall. There was an unfamiliar car driving down the road to the Mess Hall. (The only reason to use that road was to go to the campground. There’s nothing else there). We stopped her on the road by the parking lot. The woman in the car rolled down the window and said hi. I didn’t recognize her and Ken didn’t recognize her.

Not in the mood for exchanging niceties, I said, “Who are you?”

She said, “Oh, hi, we’ve met before. I’m Linda, the coordinator’s assistant.”

I smacked my forehead in embarrassment, quickly told her to park in the parking lot and that we had an emergency going on.

My sister, Ken, and I continued our brisk walk-run pace back to the Mess Hall.

My grandmother was still sitting on that same chair in the same narrow hallway that she had been when I left. The EMS personnel were surrounding her and were telling her that she needed to be in the hospital. There was a LOT of back and forth on this issue. The EMS personnel were great, and kept telling her things like, “There are a lot of people here that care about you and want to make sure you’re okay. Let’s just go have some doctors check some things out.”

At some point, I heard the EMS personnel say that they cannot force her to go. I interrupted. I said, “What my grandmother wants doesn’t matter. My mother has full power of attorney and will force her to go.” The EMS personnel started asking my mom about the power of attorney. Of course, all the documentation about her power of attorney was at my parent’s house nearly 300 miles away. But my mom said she has the legal authority to make decisions for my grandmother under the power of attorney.

2011_11_10-12_47_13-Day-Before-Wedding-(Ken's-Photos)-copyThe ambulance that took my grandmother to the hospital

I’m not quite sure what finally convinced my grandmother to go in the ambulance.

Much to my surprise, the EMS personnel had her stand up while they supported her, so that she could walk outside the mess hall. I hate to be one of those people who claim to know better than the experts, so I just figured they knew what they were doing and I didn’t ask why they couldn’t bring the stretcher into the mess hall. But I was definitely thinking it, especially as my grandmother took very slow, labored steps. Once she got outside, there were two small stairs that she would have to walk down. The EMS personnel were still supporting her weight, and my grandmother made it slowly down one step, but she was really struggling with the last step. At that point, the EMS personnel told her they were going to lift her up. My grandmother said no. But they told her that it would be easier for her, and they lifted her up and then put her on the stretcher. She weighs barely 100 pounds.

As my grandmother was laying on the stretcher, she told me to come over. She was holding her purse, and took out a paper Hallmark bag, which had a thick envelope in it. “Here,” she said. “I don’t want to take this to the hospital.” When we opened the card late that night, there was $500 in it.

The EMS personnel were not in any rush to leave, and they were giving details of what was going on to the National Park Police Officers. In fact, there was a bit of a disagreement that had occurred between EMS and the Park Police. Although I hadn’t actually witnessed it, my mom or sister (I can’t remember exactly who) told me about it later. Park Police were trying to question my grandmother at the same time that EMS personnel were questioning her about her health. The EMS personnel said to the Park Police, “Excuse me, but you’ll have to wait to take your report.” When I found out about that, I was like “Why on earth would Park Police need to be asking my grandmother questions anyway?” My mom said that it was very likely because she fell while on property and they wanted to get all the details in case there was a lawsuit. What a sad sign of the times.

Once it was clear to me that the EMS personnel weren’t that worried, I figured that my grandmother was not in any imminent danger, otherwise they would have been rushing off to the hospital with her. So, I started talking to them, and explaining that tomorrow was my wedding day and that my grandmother had left the state for the first time in decades just to come to my wedding. I told them I wanted to make sure I remembered the moment forever, and asked them if they would pose for a picture with me, the bride-to-be.

with-EMS-personnelMe, explaining how tomorrow was my wedding. And them looking at me like I’m a real asshole.

They happily obliged and posed for a photo with me

me with EMS personnelDocumenting the crazy moment forever. Note the Hallmark bag I’m holding that my grandmother had given to me just moments earlier.

 

While we were waiting for the ambulance to leave, I noticed that Ken’s sister and her family had arrived. With all the craziness, I hadn’t even noticed their arrival. I wondered what they must have thought as they drove up to the campground and saw a fire truck and ambulance there. Ken and his sister were standing outside, but it was starting to drizzle.

I walked over the ambulance because the back doors were still open. I told my grandmother I was glad she was going to the hospital. She didn’t respond. I think it was because she was out of it, more than it was her being mean.

My mom was going to ride in the ambulance with my grandmother, but the ambulance cab was VERY high and she couldn’t climb the step. My mom is 64, but even I thought it was an insanely high step to get into the ambulance.  So, the EMS personnel told my mom and dad what hospital my grandmother was going to and how to get there, but I made sure that my parents had their portable GPS. They both got in their car and followed the ambulance as it left.

I’m not even sure what time all of this happened, but I’m pretty sure it was around 11:30. Although I just checked the date stamp on the camera when Ken took the photos of the ambulance. It said it was 12:47 PM.

When the ambulance pulled away, I was just kind of numb. I reiterated to everybody that they should wash their hands and wipe down anything that my grandmother touched since we didn’t know what she had or what was making her fever so high. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time to recover. The coordinator’s assistant, who had arrived right in the middle of all the  madness, and the coordinator was there, so I had to start to walk them through everything.

 

Wedding recaps will resume in two weeks! You’ll hear all about our rehearsal.

Happy Holidays!

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Wedding Superlatives, Part 2

by Melissa on December 19, 2011

A few weeks ago, I shared with you some high school yearbook-style superlatives! There were too many to put in one post, so here’s a part two!

Biggest worries about stuff I could do nothing about (a tie!)

Weather. November weather in the DC area is quite pleasant, but folks tend to forget that. But there are, of course, cold snaps here and there. So, we knew we were taking a chance by having an outdoor wedding in November (with indoor backup locations of course). Our wedding day was a definite cold snap. Luckily we didn’t have the rare October snow that fell just two weeks before our wedding, but our wedding day was the coldest day that entire week! In the end, I think it worked out just fine. I don’t think it was any more inconvenient to our guests than what it would’ve been if we had an outdoor wedding on a sweltering July day, something brides and planners never even bat an eyelash about.

Losing my job. Back in August, the organization I work for announced its intention to conduct a Reduction in Force (that is the new agey term for layoffs). This was a fairly significant worry for me especially because i was spending so much money. Luckily I wasn’t laid off so all is well!

Most awesome decisions

Most frequently second-guessed decisions

DIY Wedding day makeup. I’m pretty good with makeup, but realized that I should probably have it done professionally for my wedding day. Then I had a terrible hair and makeup trial back in September. I knew I had to get my hair done professionally, but I’m pretty good at doing my own makeup. So, I found a great hair stylist for my wedding-day hair, but opted to do my own makeup. Even until the week before the wedding I was second guessing this decision! But, based on some of our guests’ photos, my makeup looks great in the pictures!. Phew!

Self deejay. This is a really big risk/reward decision. The risk, of course, is that everything could go wrong, the equipment could malfunction, and then you’re left with a music-less wedding. But the reward is saving a significant chunk of change. The cheapest deejay we found in the DC area was $1100 for 4 hours of music. So, we decided that we’d self-deejay, even though I had some second thoughts for a while. But then once Ken started showing me how all the equipment worked to iPod our Wedding, I felt a lot better about everything! Our self-deejaying went off without a hitch! Ken even got the equipment set up in less than five minutes!

Whether to get ready at house or at hotel. I went back and forth on this decision for a LONG time, and first articulated it back in March. Our house was about a 20 mile drive to the wedding venue right down I-95. However, that stretch of I-95, even on weekends and holidays, ALWAYS has traffic. Seriously, I have never once been on that stretch and not sat in traffic. The heaviness of the traffic, however, varies. Sometimes we could get to the venue as quickly as 30 minutes, sometimes it could take well over an hour. So, I was panicked that traffic would be extra heavy on my wedding day and thought it would be better to get ready at a hotel near the venue. On the flip side, I wanted to get ready in familiar surroundings, and not worry about forgetting anything. As I write this, I realize it’s a longer story than I expected and probably needs its own post. But in the end, I got ready at the hotel. It went fine, but I did forget my personalized wedding hanger.

Most involved groom EVER

Ken, of course. Seriously ladies, I was so lucky. Ken took on SO many wedding-related projects. From programming a lighting scheme, to figuring out and buying and setting up all the deejay equipment, developing a DIY photobooth, making an incredible custom slideshow that incorporated both photos and home videos, tweaking our wedding invitations to make them look even more awesome, and figuring out the best way to incorporate LED lights into my dress, he was a super groom!

Biggest guest annoyances

Buying items not on registries. Seriously guests, there are three appropriate gifts for a wedding. 1) An item that is on the couple’s registry, 2) Cash or Check, 3) A gift card to one of the stores they’re registered at. That’s it. Ever. It was a huge waste of time returning gifts we didn’t want. (Extra Tip: If you DO decide to be “that guest” and buy a gift that’s not on the registry, please, for the love of G-d, provide the receipt!)

Not RSVPing on time. I was prepared for this, but still, I was shocked at how many people were so late with their RSVPs and had to be hounded to return them.

Most unreasonable fear

Getting sick or hurt before the wedding. I’m not sure why, but I had this terrible fear that I would fall down the steps and break my leg or that Ken or I would get into some horrific car accident right before the wedding. Although I only work on the 2nd floor in my office building, I took the elevator almost every day in the six weeks or so leading up to the wedding.

Most unwittingly involved wedding helper

Thank you, UPS man. You delivered so many of our wedding purchases and wedding gifts in such a pleasant, timely manner!

Most neglected

Regularly-watched TV shows. By the time Ken and I started watching our regularly-watched TV shows again after the wedding, we were at least seven or eight episodes behind on the TiVo. We’re still catching up!

Most awesome newly discovered website

Pinterest, duh!

Most epic fail

Remember that post from the summer in which I outlined non-wedding activities I would do? Ummm, it’s confession time. I didn’t do a SINGLE ONE of those activities. Oops.

Lamest excuse for a guest not attending the wedding

“I’m really broke and can’t afford the gas for a 40 mile trip.” They told us this about 20 hours before the wedding. (seriously, just lie or just say you can’t make it)

Most surprisingly easy wedding tasks

Virginia bureaucratic processes, including applying for a liquor license and a marriage license. Our venue required a Virginia liquor license if we planned to serve alcohol. I applied and was approved for a Virginia liquor license in less than 24 hours. I applied online for the license on a Sunday night. By 11AM on Monday morning, I had a voicemail from a nice lady at Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) with further instructions. I called her back, and she was so pleasant and helpful! The license was e-mailed to me on Monday evening!

Applying for our marriage license was also a very pleasant experience. Virginia requires that marriage license applications be submitted in person. We went to the local county courthouse about a month before the wedding to apply. There were no lines, the clerk was super friendly, and we were done within about five minutes!

Most blatantly copied wedding ideas

Our wedding card box. Seriously. With the exception of color and some additional lighting, we copied this idea almost exactly. Ken had a LOT of fun with this one. He used it as an excuse to dabble in case modding.

Biggest “bride brain” moment

I had to pick up some items from Costco the Monday before the wedding. The same Costco I have been to probably dozens of times. With my brain in Bride mode, I drove more than two miles past the exit for Costco before I even realized what I had done. All of a sudden I was like, “Wait, why am I in the car again? Where am I even going?” Don’t drive distracted!

Biggest “whoa, I can’t believe I almost just did that”

You can read more about this in last week’s Wedding Recap, but I walked out the door the day before the wedding without anything to wear to the rehearsal dinner!

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I HATED having a day-of wedding coordinator.

by Melissa on December 15, 2011

Are you organized? Do you have a clear vision of what you want for your wedding day? Then do yourself a favor and avoid a wedding coordinator at all costs. They will just add more headaches and add even more tasks to your to-do lists.

Making this statement goes against everything I had read about on wedding blogs. Those bloggers tell you that hiring a day-of-coordinator is a great investment. Those same sites tell you that hiring a coordinator will allow you to sit back and relax on your wedding day. Well, as I talked about earlier this week, sitting back and relaxing was not for me.

Background on our Coordinator

There’s a woman who lives down the street who owns her own Concierge company. That means that she does things like tracks down hard-to-find theater tickets, will stay at your house and supervise home improvement contractors while you’re at work, and she also plans parties and events, including weddings.

We found out about her very shortly after getting engaged.  (These next few sentences are related, I swear).

At last year’s annual Homeowners’ Association (HOA) meeting in our community in November 2010, Ken and I volunteered to help make a website for the neighborhood. A few weeks later, the HOA board invited us to an informal meeting to discuss what they wanted included on the website.

It was a low-key meeting and, during our discussions, Ken and I mentioned that we had gotten engaged about six weeks earlier. When folks at the meeting asked us “How’s the wedding planning going,” we told them how absolutely disgusted with wedding prices in the DC area.

They suggested that we get in touch with a woman from the neighborhood that owns a concierge business. They said they’ve all hired her for various things and she can negotiate excellent prices. They also mentioned that she had planned the neighborhood party that took place the previous summer.

We thought it was worth a try. After all, we were making zero progress on finding a venue and caterer within our price range. So we contacted her the very next day after the meeting. We met with her about a week later.

A Barter Agreement

We were fairly impressed during our first visit with her. She had a contact at one of the preferred caterers for a venue we loved. She filled us in on some shady stuff that that venue had going on. A very reputable venue in the DC area no less!

We negotiated a barter agreement with her. We would redesign her concierge company’s outdated website and, in exchange, she would help us with various pre-wedding things, like helping us negotiate prices with caterers. Then, for the day of the wedding (and any tasks in the days before the wedding) we would pay her and an assistant at a discounted hourly rate. It sounded like a win-win situation!

But, she kept suggesting vendors that we either A) Didn’t like, or B) Were out of our budget. Then Ken and I found the perfect venue in January on our own, about a month after we had made our agreement with her. And that venue had no vendor restrictions, so I thought that would open up a huge pool of cheaper vendors, especially caterers. But she was continually finding caterers for us that were $25-$30 per person for rubber chicken-type food. Not our style!

It reminds me of this post in which wedding planners wonder why a couple would do extra work to find cheaper prices when they’ve hired a planner to do just that.

Two Main Reasons for Hating having a Coordinator

1) Explaining what you want to another person (the coordinator) just so they can explain it to someone else (the caterer or other vendor) is extremely time consuming. Much, much more time consuming than just doing it yourself. Especially when you then subsequently have to hear all the vendor’s information second-hand from the coordinator. I suppose if you want to leave these smaller details up to the coordinator, then it may work just fine for you, but Ken and I wanted to be involved every step of the way

2) I don’t trust that the coordinator will find the best prices. They want to use their own buddy-buddy network of vendors, regardless of the cost to us, their clients.

Once it became clear that we were finally getting good at finding vendors and figuring out all this wedding stuff, a drastic change from the first six weeks of our engagement, we basically stopped asking her for advice.

Plastic Walls and Straw Bales

As we started to solidify the details of the wedding, we asked for her help with some of our “weirder” tasks, like having plastic walls installed on an existing pavilion structure, or buying straw bales as decor. She was useless on both fronts. She knew of one place to purchase hay bales, a local produce market right down the street. But the price was $7.50 per bale!!! She knew the owners, of course, so perhaps she could “negotiate” a discount of 50 cents per bale.

After about 10 minutes of Googling, I found a listing of TONS of local hay and straw bale-offering farms on the Loudoun County Extension’s website. The verdict? I found hay bales for $4.50 each, including delivery. I was also the one to track down a rentals company willing to install plastic tent walls on an existing structure. None of her “preferred” party rental companies could do it, so she told us it couldn’t be done.

The Cake

She did, however, recommend a reasonably priced bakery that had both excellent Yelp and Wedding Wire reviews. The coordinator arranged for a tasting, and both Ken and I thought the cakes were fantastic!

We decided to book the bakery! But, after that, I hated the entire process of communicating with the bakery. Because the bakery was the coordinator’s “find,” any communication Ken and I wanted to have with the bakery had to go through the coordinator. I never even had the bakery’s phone number or e-mail address! It was like a giant game of telephone. I had to tell coordinator what I wanted, then the coordinator had to tell the bakery, then the bakery had to give their response to the coordinator, then the coordinator had to tell me the response. And if I had even a single additional question or change to our order, the entire process repeated itself.

I kept thinking to myself, why on earth would anyone EVER want a full service wedding planner? Just using this one vendor that we found through the coordinator was an absolute nightmare process. I could only imagine how awful it would’ve been if we had used several of the vendors that the coordinator had suggested. I prefer having direct communications with my vendors, thankyouverymuch. It saves so much time and hassle! I thought having a planner was supposed to make things easier, not more time consuming!

Wedding Day Cake Disaster

If you recall from my quick wedding day recap, the cake was our biggest disappointment from the wedding.  The cake story will be an entire blog post on its own, but here’s the short version of the story.

The night before the wedding, the bakery was calling the coordinator asking for clarification on what we wanted. I thought it was pretty fucking simple. Simple round cakes with the flavors, filling, and frosting that we had listed on our contract. No fancy “wedding decoration cake.”  Just simple, elegant, but tasty cake!

The wedding coordinator was at our venue for the rehearsal when she took that call from the bakery. So, the coordinator put the bakery on hold to say that the bakery had some questions and needed some clarification. Ken and I were beyond mad.

1) We sent our contract in MONTHS earlier, so why was the bakery asking for clarification just right now, less than 16 hours before the wedding?

2) We should have trusted our original instinct and used a more traditional bakery or just gotten our cakes at Costco, instead of asking a wedding cake bakery since we wanted simpler, plainer cakes.

Sometimes personalities just clash. And sometimes people are useless fucking morons

It was just more than the cake issue that annoyed us about the coordinator. In fact, about five days before the wedding, Ken and I seriously considered firing the coordinator. She had become such an annoyance and we actually thought it would be better to not have her at the wedding at all.

But because all the wedding blogs tell you how important it is to have a day-of-coordinator, we decided against firing her. Instead, we had her amend the contract so that she could not charge us any more than 20 man hours for her and her assistant (including the day before the wedding – Thursday – and the actual wedding day – Friday). Initially we were going to want her help on Wednesday after we got checked in to the venue, but any time we were around her, we would just get so annoyed at her so we didn’t want her around at all.

Let’s look at some of the things that led us to realize that she was useless:

  • Well, there was the whole “6 people max to a table thing
  • Then, there was a point when Ken and I were considering getting a combination of both cakes and pies. We have found this amazing pie shop nearby and thought it would be a fun mix to have cakes an pies. Well, you could tell she didn’t like this idea at all because that would mean a smaller order with her preferred bakery we already told her that we’d use. Then she asked us “what size pies?” so I showed her the pricing sheet. I think they were like 8 or 10 inch pies we were considering. So, she says to us “I don’t think that would look nice presentation-wise. Perhaps you should get the smaller, individual size pies (which, I would like to point out, were about $3 each, and would feed one person). We asked her to describe what she meant about the presentation. She wasn’t able to articulate it. And anyway, what do I care about presentation if I want pies at my wedding? Ultimately, we never ordered any of the pies, but it was a very strange conversation. I don’t know why the “presentation” of pies was such a concern to her.
  • Then there was that plastic siding and hay bale thing I mentioned earlier in this post. But you want to know why I ordered hay bales as extra seating? Because she told us that our ceremony site, which had existing benches, would only seat 90 people. Ken and I have a photo that we took of our guests right as the ceremony started. We counted 87 people in that shot, and the ceremony site was maybe 50-60% filled. So we probably could’ve fit TWICE her estimate in the ceremony site. So, there went $225 we spent on hay bales to use as extra seating because of her moronic estimate (although we did use some for decor, so it was fine). At least we didn’t spend the $7.50 per bale that she had originally found.
  • She was completely technology incompetent. Ken and I maintained a detailed wedding to-do list in Google Docs. One of the MANY benefits of Google Docs is that you can share a document with lots of people, and they can just view it whenever they want to see the updates. There’s no e-mailing attachments back and forth or anything. We offered to share ALL of our documents with her, but nope, she asked that everything be e-mailed, as an attachment. I would explain to her that she could view the document in Google Docs and then download a local copy, but she would just say something to the effect of, “yeah, I’m just not familiar with it.” Well, give it a try dammit. You’re making your client’s life more difficult asking her to do extra tasks that she wouldn’t otherwise be doing.
  • She didn’t hang up our family wedding photos. This was actually something that bothers me a LOT. Ken and I spent a lot of time tracking down wedding photos of our parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents. I even found a photograph of my great-great-grandparents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary Gala! We scanned them in and had them professionally printed on 11×17 Lustre paper. The fucking coordinator never put them out!
  • She didn’t make sure vendors got their checks
  • She didn’t set up heaters where I wanted them
  • She didn’t put wine or beer keg in mess hall. We were having our reception in a pavilion, but there was also an indoor location about 200 feet away from the pavilion, called the Mess Hall. I had left her specific instructions to leave 6 bottles of wine, one beer keg, and some two liters of soda, along with cups and a corkscrew, in the Mess Hall. We had told our guests that if it got too chilly in the pavilion, they could feel free to venture over to the Mess Hall and warm up and that there would be some drinks and games in there. Well, she didn’t leave any wine, beer, or soda in the Mess Hall.
  • She Didn’t make sure things were being refilled (cider, s’mores, etc.)
  • She didn’t make sure pastor gave blessing (on our timeline)
  • She didn’t make sure pastor signed wedding license or got his check

A few days after the wedding, we e-mailed her to thank her for making the venue look so great. Then we offered just a few items of constructive criticism that she should consider when coordinating other weddings. This was her exact response:

I’m glad you were mostly pleased with our work.  I know you may not realize, but we worked extremely physically hard.  The three of us could barely move on Saturday.  I actually had to cancel another job I had scheduled.  We really should have called it a night and suggested others be hired to clean up, but when you asked on Thursday night for us to stay longer on Friday, we decided to do it.  It was very rough working outside in the cold all day and I believe my team and I did an outstanding job considering the time limits and the amount of work we were given.  We appreciate constructive criticism, but [my assistant] and I have done events for years.

Not even a discussion of the specific items we called out as constructive criticisms. Nope. She apparently knows what she’s doing.

Fuck. That. Shit.

The thing that annoys me the most about the entire situation is that we had to pay her for those day-of-coordinator tasks. Our initial barter agreement seemed like such a good one at the time. We were having such a difficult time planning our wedding and we figured we were going to need as much help as we could get. So the fact that she could help us with all of that and we would just have to redesign her website, it sounded like a great deal.

But then we ended up never using her for that stuff because she was so useless and we ended up getting the hang of it, especially after we found our perfect venue, more than 3 months after our engagement! And then we still had to pay her for the day-of tasks. It was basically like we had to redesign her website and get nothing in return. I realize that this is a risk one takes when doing some sort of barter agreement, but I was SO BITTER and ANGRY that we had to pay her. Especially since she did so many things wrong on our wedding day. I’m torn on whether it was a worthwhile investment. Sure, she set up the venue on the day of the wedding and put everything in the van after the wedding, but couldn’t we have done that ourselves? Everything was according to our instructions, so it’s not even like we relied on her aesthetic. Everything from the cake table arrangement to the centerpiece and table number arrangements, and the hot beverages bar setup. All our ideas.

So, live and learn, future brides! If you’re organized and willing to do a bit of work on your wedding day, you don’t need one!

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T-2 Days, Part 1;    T-2 Days, Part 2;     T-2 Days, Part 3

After our amazing day on Wednesday, we were ready to get started on another productive day on Thursday. Our original plan was to depart for the hotel early in the morning, attempt an early check-in, and if we couldn’t check in, at least drop off our wedding items, like my dresses and Ken’s suit, in my family’s hotel room since they had already checked in.  Then I would head to the venue in time for some vendor deliveries that would start at 10AM, including tent wall siding for the pavilion and hay bales used as decor and extra ceremony seating.

However, our plans changed a bit. 1) I didn’t want to rush departing for the hotel early in the morning and I still had to gather up all my makeup and other wedding day supplies. 2) My cousin’s flight (which I had lamented in a previous post) was delayed. Therefore, my sister and her husband wouldn’t be picking her up at the original time. They were going to pick up the beer kegs on the way back from the airport, but since my cousin’s flight was delayed indefinitely, we had no idea what time my sister would be heading our direction (our beer kegs weren’t ready for pickup on Wednesday as originally planned). So, I decided to pick up the beer kegs myself, but the store wouldn’t open until 10AM.

Ken gathered up some last minute items and headed down to the venue at around 8:00 in the morning. I stayed behind to get some last minute things organized and to pick up the beer kegs.

It took me a little while to load up the car with things like my two wedding dresses, Ken’s suit, Ken’s dad’s suit, and suitcases filled with other items, like toiletries, makeup, accessories, and manicure supplies.

But finally, I was ready to leave the house. It was a strange moment. I realized that the next time I would be at the house, I’d be a married woman!

I started my car. Then, SHIT. I didn’t bring anything to wear for tonight’s rehearsal!! I had my wedding dress, my wedding shoes, and my pajamas for the night. Other than that, I had no other clothes except the ones I was wearing. Jeans, a t-shirt, and flip flops. I got out of the car, ran back into the house, and grabbed a dress and shoes from my closet. The same dress I was wearing the day we got engaged.

Do over! I got back in the car and headed to the Beer and Wine store, just a few miles away, to pick up the beer kegs. I had placed an order for them, but for a few moments, the employee couldn’t find the two half-kegs of Yuengling I had ordered. I didn’t want to panic. “Worst case scenario, I just buy tons of cases of beer,” I kept saying to myself. No biggie.

While he was looking for them, my mom called me on my cell. She asked if I could bring a thermometer from our house. My grandmother wasn’t feeling well and was shaking uncontrollably. My mom had called my grandmother’s doctor, who speculated that she might have a fever. I told her that I had already left my house, but that I could stop there again because I’d have to drive back that direction to get on the interstate anyway.

While I was on the phone with my mom, the employee finally found my beer kegs. Whew!! The employee helped me load them into the back of my SUV and I was back on the road, and heading back to the house. Again. As I was driving, I couldn’t help but chuckle. In my car, I had two suits, two wedding dresses, and two beer kegs. What a classy combination!

I went into the house and grabbed the thermometer and also a pair of warm socks. I have this strange thing about stiff hotel room sheets on my bare feet. I hate the feeling of it  and realized I’d need a pair of socks as a barrier between my feet and the sheets. There you have it, a weird factoid about Melissa. I think I also grabbed something else too, but I can’t remember what (even though, as of the time I’m drafting this post, it’s only four days past my wedding).

Do over once again.

Now I’m heading to the hotel about 20 miles away. For real this time. As I’m driving,  I realize that I don’t want the kegs to get even the least bit warm. So, I decided to drop off the beer kegs quickly at the venue and then head to the hotel, about 6 miles away from the venue. I knew I would make it a quick trip at the venue because my wedding dresses were in the back of the car and I didn’t want them to get too wrinkled.

When I told my mom about the change of plans, she said she would just meet me at the venue.

I got to the venue and some family friends unloaded the VERY heavy beer kegs and put them in the industrial walk-in fridge in the Mess Hall. I started working on some projects and then my mom, dad, and grandmother arrived shortly thereafter.

Next week I’ll detail how this day became one of the craziest days of my life.

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A few weeks ago, I detailed what I would’ve done differently planning our wedding. One of the items on the list set off a bit of a tizzy on Twitter. That item was #2, “Not hired a day-of-coordinator.” I’ve drafted an entire post about why I didn’t like having a day-of-coordinator, but I realized that some additional context might be needed before I actually publish that post.

One of our main reasons for not liking our coordinator, or really a lot of the other vendors, is their continuous statements like, “Oh, don’t you worry about a thing, we just want you to sit back and relax on your wedding day while we do all the work.” They are, of course, trying to sell you their services. They also come with a lot of pre-conceived notions about couples and weddings. They are also not your friends.

Any time Ken or I even hinted or suggested doing something on our own on the wedding day, vendors would jump in immediately to claim they could save the day. “We don’t want you to have to think about anything on your wedding day. We’ll take care of everything.”

relaxFlickr User Soukup

For detailed oriented folks, like me and Ken, that is a really infuriating statement. Because, here’s the thing, we WANTED to do stuff on our wedding day. It was something we had been planning for THIRTEEN MONTHS. It was very important to us to see it through to the end. But no, folks told us that this would be “impossible.”

I had been thinking about this issue for a long time. I even wanted to write a blog post on this topic before the wedding. But I thought to myself, “let’s not be presumptuous!” Maybe it is, in fact, impossible to do anything on your wedding day.

Well, it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s fun!!

Here’s a rundown of what Ken and I did on our wedding day:

  • Set up iPod deejay equipment (Ken did)
  • Moved flatscreen TV outside and set up slideshow (Ken did)
  • Set up lighting equipment in pavilion
  • Troubleshooted (Er, troubleshot?) our DIY Photobooth
  • We made our own deejay wedding announcements (first dance, cake cutting, father daughter dance, etc.)
  • We reminded the pastor to give the blessing
  • We made sure that the guitarist got his payment
  • We made sure the ceremony got started on time
  • I added firewood to the fireplace during the reception
  • We pinned our own corsages and boutonnieres
  • I answered questions that the caterer had when she asked if I wanted a final copy of the invoice.
  • I reminded people to refill things like the cider when I realized it was low.
  • I did my own makeup
  • Drove our own cars
  • Played with our niece and nephew in the morning
  • I changed my dress mid-reception

I found none of these things “annoying” to do on the wedding day. In fact, it made me feel like I played a role in ensuring that the event we had planned for 13 months progressed smoothly throughout the day! It was FUN!

Most importantly, we interacted with ALL our guests at the reception, something we were led to believe would be virtually impossible if we were doing things like self-deejaying or controlling our own lighting system.

And in retrospect, I had a ton of free time the morning of the wedding. In fact, I dorked around on Facebook and Pinterest for a good amount of time. I was so worried about it being hectic that morning, and I ultimately ended up relaxed and quiet.

It was actually MORE distracting just sitting around. At least if I had other projects, maybe I could’ve kept the jitter level down.  I could’ve also made my own bouquet, like A Practical Wedding or Big Day for 10K (something I considered way back, but buying flowers wholesale wouldn’t have made any sense since I didn’t have any bridesmaids that needed bouquets and we didn’t have floral centerpieces. And also since I thought that actually GOING TO THE STORE on my wedding day would be impossible). Or I could’ve spent the morning at the venue instead of at the hotel and set up everything myself and then just gotten my hair and makeup done after I had set everything up.

So, in a few days, I’ll post the full “Why I hated having a day-of-coordinator” post. But hopefully this post gives some better context that the whole “no-way-you-can’t-do-anything-on-your-wedding-day” type attitude is not for everyone, and neither are coordinators.

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Today, I am finally ready to share our wedding invitations with all of you! I’ll let the video speak for itself first, and then you can view the individual pages in more detail below.

Our Wedding Invitation in Action

 

Compiled View of our Wedding Invitation

 

wedding-invitation-booklet

 

And our RSVP Postcards

 

The Front:

RSVP Postcard

 

The Back:

Print

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Last Year on SuperNoVABride!

by Melissa on December 9, 2011

My one year blogoversary passed unceremoniously on November 4. On that day, we were just a week away from the wedding, so I barely even noticed the occasion. I’m introducing a new segment that will recap some of the more interesting articles from the same month the previous year. I realize it’s already December, but let’s take a look at some of my favorite posts from last November!

  • I pointed out that Kate Middleton clearly adopted the trend I had set just one month earlier of getting a sapphire engagement ring in I had one first, Kate!
  • I lamented how expensive weddings are in The Obligatory Wedding Wire Budget Post. I just want to point out that we came in more than $4000 LESS on catering than Wedding Wire projected (which was $7050) we would have to spend out of our $15,000 budget!

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T-2 Days, Part 1

T-2 Days, Part 2

We left off in the previous post with our family and some family friends hard at work at our helper stations!

Once we had too many people at the Mess Hall, it was difficult to have that same focus Ken and I had earlier that day. Too many people asking too many questions. If I could have added one thing to the helper stations, it would have been a notepad and pen. I would have requested that they wrote down any questions they had in the notepad, and that Ken and I would check in with them about once every 45 minutes and we could answer all their questions at once. I also wish I would’ve worn noise cancelling headphones to improve my focus and ignore their questions (at least until a time it was more convenient for me to answer them).

My five-year-old nephew was also really excited about everything and was trying to “help.” He also spotted the marshmallows that I had purchased to make s’mores at the wedding and kept asking if he could have them. I finally relented and let him roast some marshmallows in the fireplace in the Mess Hall.

As things got completed over at the “helper station” side, I would move it over to the “Ready for Coordinator” side of the room and put a post-it note on it with instructions. Unfortunately I never took a photo of things that I set aside for the coordinator, but, for instance, after all the galvanized buckets for the s’mores supplies had been washed, I moved the buckets, chocolate bars, graham crackers, and marshmallows over to a table on that side of the room, and write a post it note that said “put marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers into labeled buckets and put on table next to fireplace in pavilion.”  (We had purchased little vinyl decals to label each of the buckets.)  Or, after I labeled our chalkboard A-frames, I put a post it sign on one that said “put at intersection to entrance of park,” and on another I put a post it note that said, “put near entrance to parking lot.”

Although there were definitely additional distractions after family and friends arrived, they definitely helped get a lot of things done, like filling more than 100 white paper bags with sand for luminaries.

2011_11_09 23_42_21 Wedding Moving Day_thumb

Yep, those are 100 paper bags filled with a little bit of sand on the bottom

My mom was pretty worried about my grandmother being by herself in the hotel room, (she hadn’t wanted to call to check in, in case my grandmother had fallen asleep), so my family left after a few hours.

Ken and I agreed that we would leave by 11PM to go back home. Once we got to a good stopping point, we were ready to go home.

This is what the Mess Hall looked like when we left it that evening:

2011_11_09 23_42_29 Wedding Moving Day_thumb

Middle row of tables. The table in the foreground was home to Ken’s DIY photobooth setup!

 

2011_11_09 23_42_10 Wedding Moving Day_thumb

The right side, a.k.a, the “ready for coordinator” side of the Mess Hall. Those pumpkins in the little carts were going to be for the tables in the mess hall!


2011_11_09 23_42_03 Wedding Moving Day_thumb

The middle side again, and the left side in the background, a.k.a, the “helper station” side.

It had been a long, but very, very successful day. We determined that hiring the movers was an excellent decision and had really set the tone for a great day. We weren’t tired by the time we arrived at the venue, so we were able to really focus our efforts on the important stuff.

Since we had driven separate cars to the venue earlier that afternoon, that meant we had to drive separate cars back home for the nearly 20 mile drive. Typically not a big deal, but we had been doing our own thing all day, it would’ve been nice to catch up with Ken during the car ride home.

Unfortunately, we hit a ton of traffic on our way home. Since it was late at night, there was a lot of road construction and lane closures. It took probably close to an hour to get home.

When we finally arrived at home we just kept talking about how absolutely perfect of a day it had been. All our planning and organization had paid off. The only two hiccups of the day had been forgetting the frozen pizza at home, and not being able to get as much done when we had friends and family at the venue. But I still think that was a net gain considering how much work they managed to get done while they were there.

We fell asleep pretty fast after going to bed, although, (I’m having a hard time recalling at this moment, now 13 days post-wedding day as of the time that I’m drafting this section – even though it won’t be published until later) I woke up in the middle of the night and had a hard time falling back asleep.

There will be several posts recapping the next day, (the day before the wedding), Thursday November 10. That day, if you recall from my wedding-day morning post, was filled with absolute craziness.

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Post-Wedding Projects!

by Melissa on December 5, 2011

And here I thought wedding-related projects would stop after the nuptials! Wrong! If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I’ve been pinning a ton of “leftover wedding item”-type projects. I’m super excited to incorporate some leftover wedding items into our home décor!

I’m a big fan of incorporating personal elements into our home décor instead of just buying stuff at, for instance, Home Goods or Bed Bath and Beyond (not that there’s anything wrong with that, as I sit here and stare at candle holder from Yankee Candle). On the walls of our home, for instance, you’ll see framed tapestries I’ve collected from my travels (I love buying tapestries!). You’ll also see other little items from my travels proudly displayed, including a houka pipe from Egypt, a crystal bell from Waterford, Ireland, a bottle of sand from South Africa, frames of foreign money and coins, and various fake flowers – a wooden tulip from Holland, a ceramic flower from an artist store in New Orleans, and a hand blown glass flower from Florence – used as a permanent centerpiece in our dining room.

So these projects will incorporate items leftover from the wedding, like my bouquet flowers, the dried items we used as centerpiece flowers (wheat and craspedia), leftover wedding programs and bulletins, wedding invitations, wedding and shower cards, and the ribbon and fabric from our DIY Escort Card display. This is in addition to our super awesome guest “book” we had (actually a 20×30 cork display covered in fabric that people pinned messages to using different scraps of paper. Slightly different than our original idea for a guest “book.”

What to do with leftover wedding programs

1.  We’ll frame one in a frame with two glass panes so that you can view both sides easily (our program was printed double sided on a full 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper.

2.  We’ll make a few Christmas ornaments from them, like so:

christmas ornament 1

via Flea Market Style

 

christmas ornament 2via Christy Robbins

3. Try a few coasters with leftover programs, and maybe even with a few photographs (to give as gifts to my parents and grandmother).  Like so:

Photo-Coasters-Wedding-Favors-300x225via The Frugal Girls

What to do with leftover ribbon and fabric

I’m going to take the ribbon and fabric we used on our DIY Escort Card holder and make a display of 1’s, since our anniversary is 11-11-11. Mine will be a slightly modified version of this.

display-numbers-fabric-ribbonvia She’s Kinda Crafty

I have a different idea for what to do with ribbon that was on our wedding and shower gifts. For that, I’m probably going to wrap fabric around a piece of foam core (framed or unframed, I’m not sure yet), and simply wrap the ribbons around the foam core in a random pattern. Boom, instant art using ribbon from gifts.

What to do with wedding flowers

I watched several tutorials on YouTube for how to press and or display flowers. (Which no doubt makes me an expert on the matter!) My bouquet flowers have been drying using two methods: Half are sitting in silica gel, while the other half are being pressed between newspaper covered with heavy books. (I opted for two methods in case one doesn’t work. I also opted not to try the microwave method.)

Anyway, I haven’t found any photo inspiration for how I want to display the dried flowers, but I can picture it perfectly in my head. It will be a shadow box or other frame, maybe 12”x12” and I’ll cover a piece of foam core with burlap leftover from the wedding. Then I’ll display each flower nice and neatly. It’s hard to explain, but I’ll be sure to do an entire post on it when I do it! Most sites I read recommended allowing your flowers to press and/or dry for at least 4-6 weeks, so mine are still sitting undisturbed in their respective drying/pressing locations.

For our wedding table centerpieces, we used dried wheat and dried craspedia. Here’s a crappy cell phone photo of our centerpieces when I created them back in September:

wheat-craspedia-wedding-centerpiece-supernovabride

Although I only have one specific project for the wheat and craspedia in mind, I’ll save a handful of stems and stalks for potential future projects, and then sell the rest. One project that I know I’ll do for sure is creating another ornament with them. l’ll cut off most of the stem of the wheat and put the actual “wheat” part (what is that called anyway, you know, the part at the top) inside one of the clear ornaments pictured above in the second wedding program ornament photo. Perhaps it would look something like this.

craftsvia Country Living

I doubt that the craspedia will fit in the ornament though. Any other ideas for what I can do with the leftover wheat and craspedia?

What to do with leftover wedding invitations

Like the wedding flowers, this has been something I haven’t been able to find a photo for inspiration. But again, I can picture it pretty well in my head.

Our invitations were AWESOME. (There’s a post coming soon about them, I promise). So, as part of displaying the invitations, I want guests in our home to be able to “interact” with them easily. So, this project will involve some sheet metal and magnets! The magnets will allow us to display the invitation in a non-destructive way and allow people to take the invitation from its display and view it when they want.

What to do with wedding and shower cards

I’m going to do this with our wedding and shower cards. Done and done.

wedding-card-storagevia Traci Thorson Photography

 

That’s it for now! I’ll let you know how each project goes!

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