Idle Hands and Wedding Tasks

by Melissa on November 3, 2011

The wedding is one week from tomorrow! I am completely restless! Remember when I set a goal to have nearly all wedding-related tasks done by mid-September? Well, we did a damn good job of it. Ken is a still wrapping up all his wedding technology-related projects but he’s having a BLAST! I, on the other hand, am actually a little BORED. This past weekend, I sat on the sofa watching Law and Order reruns, making Christmas shopping lists, and creating other post-wedding to-do lists (including mapping out a plan for a new, non-wedding related blog Ken and I will be launching!)


Image Source

Lack of wedding tasks right now creates one problem. I am still very distracted and restless simply thinking about the wedding, and therefore completely useless. Hell, I’m even CREATING more wedding projects for myself to do. For instance, the campground we’re renting has an outdoor pavilion and an indoor “mess hall” area, and I wasn’t planning any decorating in the mess hall. Well, in my boredom last weekend, I started thinking that maybe I should decorate it. What’s that quote about idle hands?  Ah yes, “Idle hands are the devil’s tools.” Or something like that. Oh well, at least another trip to the fabric store will keep me occupied. And, some of it has been productive. Last night I organized all the wedding gifts we’ve received thus far.

What else am I doing? Oh, that’s right, CHECKING THE WEATHER. I know, I shouldn’t. But it’s unavoidably tempting since we’re hoping to have our ceremony outdoors. Bah!

I jump around for internet tab to internet tab. I scroll through pinterest obsessively but barely paying attention to what’s on the screen. I make excuses to leave my office and go to Starbucks (and I don’t even like coffee!) just because I can’t stand sitting around.

What else have I been doing? I have been drafting blog posts left and right! But I haven’t been actually finishing any of them. Why? Because I get too distracted in my thoughts and start doing unproductive stuff online, or thinking about my pre-wedding annoyances.

I feel kind of weird. I’m not rushing around at a harried pace. I’m not running tons of last minute errands. Sure, there are a few last minute things I think of here and there, but nothing dramatic. In fact, I even told my parents they can delay their arrival by a day. Originally I had asked them to arrive the Wednesday before the wedding so they could help set things up at the venue (We’re renting it Wednesday-Saturday), but, I told them we’d have things under control.

Next week, I’m not going into the office. I told my coworkers that I may be available for some telework on Monday or Tuesday if things aren’t too crazy. But, I need to plan out my days in painstaking detail so that I’m not left restless and unproductive. Also, I think working out will be a very good idea. It will help burn some of my restless energy!

Eeek! One week from tomorrow!  I’ll post an update with my detailed daily schedules for next week!


Regular visitors of SuperNoVABride know that I am no fan of DIY projects, especially those that are overly laborious for just the tiniest details. But, I have completed a handful of DIY projects that I’m pretty happy with and that didn’t take too much time at all!

So, I’m featuring my DIY projects all this week! First up, our table “numbers.”

We’ll have at least 20 tables at our wedding and I knew I wanted something unique for our table numbers. So, I thought of 21 different interests that Ken and I have, whether a shared interest or individually. We would then represent those 20-21 things in some way to represent the different tables.  Here’s our list of things:

  1. Photography Table
  2. Egypt Table
  3. Pittsburgh Table
  4. Baltimore Table
  5. American University Table
  6. University of Maryland Table
  7. Semester at Sea Table
  8. Nice, France Table
  9. Apple Table
  10. Lost Table
  11. Battlestar Galactica Table
  12. Movies Table
  13. Travel Table
  14. Fish Table
  15. Heritage Table (germany, hungary, etc.)
  16. Road Trip Table
  17. HTML code table
  18. Country Music Table
  19. Tivo table
  20. Dr. Pepper Table
  21. American University in Cairo

While we went back and forth with how to represent those interests, but we settled on postcards.


We bought 3 postcards for each “interest.” Two for the tables (that way our table card displays will show the postcard from both sides instead of just one), and one extra postcard for for the seating chart. (more on the seating chart later this week!). I ordered most of the postcards from, and the rest from

We purchased some rustic-looking table number holders from Etsy



And we’ll put two postcards in each table number holder (that way you don’t see the “address” side of the postcard, instead we’ll put them back to back and put them in the holder)



Then, below the table numbers we’ll have small tent cards describing each of the postcards. For instance, our “Lost” table will say:

LOST is one of Ken and Melissa’s favorite shows. Ken started watching it when it debuted in 2004, and Melissa watched the first several seasons on DVD to get caught up and watched the final two seasons with Ken!

And our “Hungary” table, for instance, will have a tent card that says:

Did you know that Melissa is part Hungarian? Melissa’s great-grandparents came to the United States from Hungary in the early 1900s!

We really like our table number idea for a few reasons:

  • It will help our guests get to know us better! For tables that my family sits at, we’ll put cards that describe Ken a bit more. For tables with Ken’s family or coworkers, we’ll put table “numbers” that are more about me!
  • We wonder if this will help our guests mingle among tables. For instance, they may be intrigued about our other bits of trivia at tables other than our own!

What do you think? This was an easy peasy DIY project. Right up my alley!

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Lego Ring Bearer Box

by Melissa on June 18, 2011

And this is why I love my fiance.  My nephew is scared to be ring bearer in our wedding.  (We recently discovered that he thinks bears are involved).  So, we were trying to come up with a different title for him to make him feel better about the whole thing.  One of the potential titles was “Wedding Lego Boy.”  My fiance, who LOVES legos, really liked this idea, and went to work using the Lego Digital Designer to create a box that can hold our rings, and that my nephew can carry down the aisle.  So fun!  (Design inspired partially by this flickr user)

Our custom designed lego box for our wedding


Wedding Guestbook Artwork Idea

by Melissa on June 13, 2011

So, I have been having some really good, creative ideas for our wedding.  In a blogosphere filled with mason jars, burlap, and vintage chic everywhere, I have been really torn about whether to share my ideas.  Because I want them to be mine and not part of some wedding trend.  But, maybe that makes me a not-nice person.  So, since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, here I go with one of my original ideas.  A creative guest “book.”

Initial Ideas

When I travel, one of the things I like to buy are tapestries.  I have several throughout the house, including these two.

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The one on the left is from Egypt, the other is from India.  I have another one from South Africa, but it is HUGE and haven’t been able to find a good spot for it.  Anyway, initially I liked the idea of guests signing pieces of fabric, and then making a quilt out of it.  I had seen this idea a few places in magazines and on blogs, and I liked it.  But I had a few issues.  1) I don’t know how to make a quilt, and 2) I think signing fabric may be annoying since it’s really difficult to keep it taut as you write on it.

Wedding Guest “Book” Artwork

So, I had another idea.  A guestbook tetraptych (similar to a triptych, but with four panels instead of three).  I’m going to buy three canvas panels and place them on easels at our wedding (the fourth canvas will be created after the wedding).  One easel will say “Sign Me,” one will say “Decorate Me,” and the third will be a mixed media display.  The fourth canvas, created after the wedding, will be a photo collage.

  • “Sign Me” Canvas Panel – This one will have a variety of colored art markers available for people to sign their names and perhaps leave a brief message.  A more traditional take on the guest book, but we can display it in our home
  • “Decorate Me” Canvas Panel – This panel will be blank, but have a light outline of a grid pattern on it.  Initially was just going to have a blank  canvas, but then when I googled this idea, another post came up (so much for creativity), and they had a really good idea.  Each guest can decorate one of the squares on the grid.  We’ll have a variety of paints, charcoal, and markers available for our guests.
  • “Memories” Canvas Panel – This panel will contain a bunch of items (perhaps decoupaged on it, but I’m not sure), including ribbons and wrapping paper scraps from my bridal shower, our save-the-date cards, the bridal shower invitation, our wedding shower invitation, etc.  There will be a few blank spots on the panel and I’ll add more things after the wedding, like a copy of our favor cards, table placecards, a leaf from our woodsy outdoor venue, etc.
  • Grid Photo Collage Panel – After the wedding, I’ll create a collage of some of our favorite photos and have it printed on a canvas panel the same size.  The photos will include the ones we took right after our engagement all the way up through our wedding day.

Then, there you have it.  We have a nice lovely series of four panels to hang in our home.  This is kind of how I envision it (although maybe slightly wider panels)


What do you think?  What are some other things that I can put on the “memories” panel?


Organizing Items Until the Wedding

by Melissa on May 16, 2011

I am an organizational freak.  I know a lot of brides like to say that.  But I always question how much they mean it.  Have I ever showed you the storage system  in our house?  No?

Well, this is our laundry room.  Yes, our laundry room.

Organizing Wedding Items 06 Organizing Wedding Items 08

Organizing Wedding Items 12

My fiancé and I organize things into these little bins so that we can always find things when we need them.  We have similar setups in other closets in our house too.

So, the thought of having little items in different parts of our house for the next six months is driving me crazy.  Over the last several weeks, we’ve purchased vases, digital cameras, votive candle holders, burlap, cakestands, and lots of other things.  And after I’ve unpacked each box, the items  have remained on our kitchen table. No good.  These things need to get packed away for the next several months.  But, before I do that, I want to photograph everything and measure everything, so I know exactly what I have, and I don’t need to physically see it.

So, I enlisted the help of my trusty DIY lightbox (modified slightly from the tutorial found here) to photograph the items.  Several months back, I created one of these out of PVC pipe from Home Depot, but I had never actually used it for anything.  Well, now I finally have a use!

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I photographed all the items that I’ve purchased to-date and recorded their dimensions (only some are pictured below).  These are what the items look like photographed in the lightbox

Organizing Wedding Items 24Organizing Wedding Items 26Organizing Wedding Items 28

Organizing Wedding Items 18Organizing Wedding Items 50


Then, I went upstairs to my computer, and printed out what I call a “large bin” label (like the one on the dark purple bin in the far left of the first photo) on my trusty Brother QL-570

Organizing Wedding Items 62 Organizing Wedding Items 64

Then, I dug through our “Mailing and Shipping Supplies” bin to get some stuff to help protect the fragile items in the bin.  I just layered the packaging material throughout.  We save a lot of the packaging material that are in boxes we get, like from  Once that box is full, we stop saving materials, and sadly, just throwing it away.  But after a few months, the supply goes down a little, so we save a few more supplies.  The boxes on the right are just a nested set of boxes we keep in case we have to ship anything.  Like the packaging supplies, we just keep a certain amount of boxes.  In this case, we have two nested sets of boxes.  But as we use them, we save more.

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And, voila!  All of my vases and cakestands are packed away neatly and I can forget about them until November!

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Organizing Wedding Items 76


Centerpiece Proof of Concept

by Melissa on April 13, 2011

Last week I showed you what has been arriving on our doorstep.  Well, this week I’d like your thoughts on some of our centerpiece ideas.  Our guests will be seated at picnic tables, so this is a fairly accurate depiction, but the picnic tables are 13 inches longer than the table pictured below. 

First I made a burlap table runner using some Stitch Witchery, which basically allows you to create a clean edge without sewing anything.  Just an iron and some of the stitch witchery stuff.  It was a quick process.

However, it was also an epic fail.  I made it way too wide:

2011_03_19 14_17_46 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)My too-wide burlap table runner, over a brown tablecloth from

So, I folded it under for the time being to make it narrower.  And I put the first of our centerpiece items on the table.  Remember last week when I showed you a box and said that what was in that box really makes me love the internet? 

2011_03_16 18_47_29 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)  What is in the box?


2011_03_19 14_19_05 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)


Well, they’re plastic pumpkins.  For the wedding,  we’d have real pumpkins, the really tiny kind.  So, above, the pumpkins are pictured on the now folded-under burlap table runner. 

So, here are some of my setups, using floating candles, votive candles, and small bowls of Reeses Pieces, keeping in line with our autumn color scheme:

2011_03_19 14_41_44 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Pumpkins on ends, two floating candles, and a bowl of Reeses Pieces in the middle


2011_03_19 14_43_02 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Bowls of Reeses Pieces on the ends, two floating candles, two pumpkins in the middle.  This one looks a little cluttered to me, but remember, our tables will be 13 inches longer than this.  I was also considering some other fall-type fruit (wait, are pumpkins a fruit?), like gourds or something else in the center in addition to a pumpkin. 


2011_03_19 14_43_51 Wedding Designing Progress (tables) 

Bowls of Reeses Pieces on the ends, two floating candles, one pumpkin in the middle


2011_03_19 14_49_43 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Bowls of Reeses Pieces on the ends, votive candles, and a pumpkin in the middle.  (No floating candles)


2011_03_19 14_50_52 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Pumpkins on ends, votive candles, and Reeses Pieces in the middle (again, no floating candles)


2011_03_19 14_51_43 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Pumpkins on the ends, votive candles, and a floating candle in the middle (no Reeses Pieces)


2011_03_19 14_54_46 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Floating candles on the ends, votive candles, and a pumpkin in the middle.


Which option do you like?  What other options should I consider?  Do you hate it?  Have other ideas?  Leave them in the comments!

Next up will be to see how our favors presentation will look on the tables. 


Shopping Haul

by Melissa on April 7, 2011

So, although I wasn’t scheduled to start purchasing decor for the wedding until May, I couldn’t help myself, and bought some items for “proof of concept” designs in March.  Remember in this post when I talked about how many votive candle holders to buy?  Well, that was part of one of my proof of concepts (proofs of concept?  whatevs).  I’ll give an overview of the actual projects next week, but for now, here’s what’s been arriving at my door:

2011_03_17 19_48_37 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Lots of Burlap (here it is in its post-washed state.  Lesson learned, I don’t think I’m going to wash burlap for future projects, no matter what online tutorials tell me.)  Actually, this one didn’t just “arrive at my door.”  I bought it at JoAnn Fabrics.


2011_03_19 14_28_18 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

Multiple varieties of candles and candle holders from


2011_03_16 19_45_46 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

One tablecloth from (again, this is just for a proof of concept)


2011_03_19 14_14_31 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

My first thought?  Wow, this is going to be a wrinkled tablecloth!  It’s folded up so tiny!


2011_03_19 14_14_45 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

You’ll see it unfolded next week.  And yep, it’s brown


2011_03_16 18_47_29 Wedding Designing Progress (tables)

And what’s in this box?  You’ll see.  Let’s just say, I LOVE the internet and the way it gives you an opportunity to buy anything at any time of year.


Buying and Obtaining Decor Items for the Wedding

by Melissa on February 8, 2011

I’m trying to create a strategy to determine what type of decor I will want for our wedding.  For now, I’m thinking tons of candles in vases of various sizes.  But for some reason, I’m really struggling with what else I want.  Paper lanterns perhaps?  String or fairy lights?  Who the hell knows.

My fiancé and I intend to hire a “month of” wedding planner.  Luckily we know one from our neighborhood that is also in need of a new website design, so we may be able to work out a bartering strategy.  Perhaps it would be a good idea to bring her to our venue to get thoughts.

Anyhoo, the reason I am starting to think about decor is primarily because I want to allow jar_reception_mmyself plenty of time to start to acquire items as cheaply as possible.  The dollar store sells all sorts of glassware that I could use as candle holders.  But the real gem is, of course, Craigslist.

Brides who no longer need their decorations and want to sell it at a discount.  But since I’m kind of all over the place with what I want as decorations, I can’t focus my searches well.  I think what I may need to do is engage in a really clear visualization of our wedding day.  From start to finish.  What we want things to look like and where we want things placed.

In a few weeks my parents are coming to our house for a weekend visit.  I’m hoping that our venue is free one day that weekend so that I can bring my parents to see it, and potentially ask our planner if she can come too.  Seeing it a second time will allow me to pay more attention to the nitty gritty details that I may have missed the first time around, mostly due to the fact that I was so overwhelmed with the place the first time we saw it last month.

Crazy.  All this so I’m not distracted by all the prettiness of wedding decor that newlyweds are selling on Craigslist.

I also don’t want these items cluttering up the house for a long period of time, so I’m trying to figure out when I should start to actually buy things when I see something that I like.  For now, when I see something, I just say, “well, it’s too early to buy it now!”

Action Plan

  • Do a complete wedding day visualization of venue.
  • Make sketches and jot down ideas
  • Re-visit venue and pay close attention to details to determine other decor ideas (and potential quantity of decor items) and potential logistical restraints
  • Develop wish list of decor items, as well as necessary supplies that may need to accompany the decor (e.g, extension cords, batteries, tape, thumbtacks, etc.)
  • Designate an out-of-the-way storage space in the house to store wedding decor items.  Photograph the items before storing them to better remember what you have already obtained
  • In March, start actively monitoring craigslist and freecycle and contact sellers with items of interest.  Don’t forget to monitor other cities (i.e., my hometown city of Pittsburgh around the time when I’m planning a trip to see my family there).
  • Make monthly trips to thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army.


When did other brides start to purchase decor items for their wedding?  Also, does anyone have any familiarity with using wholesalers?


Deciding a Color Scheme for the Wedding

by Melissa on December 13, 2010

How do you decide on a color scheme for your wedding?  There are three criteria that I have in choosing mine:

  • Season-appropriate for fall
  • Not something you’ve seen in a lot of magazines recently (this means no Navy/Pink or Pale Green/Pale Pink or Brown/Pink).  Actually, no pink.  At all.
  • A normal-enough color that I will be able to easily purchase other decor elements to match

Easy enough, right?

I have been playing around on Adobe’s Kuler as well as ColourLover to develop some potential themes.  Knowing that I want a fall wedding, I developed a handful of warm, fall, color schemes that are colorful enough to suit a wedding venue that used to be an amusement park

Fall_Wedding_3 Fall_Wedding_4 Fall_Wedding_Color1

Then, a reconsideration.  It all stemmed from … chair covers (dum duh duh *dramatic music sound*).  Nice, padded chairs come in two colors – white and black.  White seemed like an obvious choice, but I think I’d want cream incorporated into the scheme more than pure white.  So that would mean having to rent chair covers in cream or some other color so that pure white chairs since they wouldn’t make the cream decor look dirty.  So, maybe I could incorporate some black into my color scheme and opt for black chairs?

Is black an appropriate for a wedding color?  And why I am struggling with this so much.  And why, for the love of God, do I not have a favorite color?

And then, like a lightbulb, it dawned on me.  Sapphire blue!  The color of my engagement ring!  I need to incorporate sapphire blue into the color scheme for sure.

So, with that in mind, I went back to Kuler and ColourLover and continued to play.  Sapphire, cream, and black?  Pretty, but not very fall-ish.  What other colors could I incorporate to make it more fall-like (and don’t say orange, because orange and blue looks like a sports team color to me).

This is what I’m leaning towards now.  Neutral Colors with pops of sapphire blue.  What do you think, does it need some sort of accent color?  What do you think would go well?


So, there you have it.  Color scheme ideas for the wedding.  How did you all decide on wedding color schemes?