Link Roundups

Weekly Link Roundup May 13

by Melissa on May 13, 2011

I have to admit, I’m losing my mojo for weekly link roundups. More of the same, over and over again, all over the wedding blogosphere. Paper flower tutorials, rustic chic photo shoots, DIY invitation tutorials, bridesmaid dress stress, and blah and blah and blah.

One of the things that I like to think is different about my blog is that I provide detailed wedding tips information that you typically don’t find elsewhere. I don’t post pictures of flowers and centerpieces, inspiration boards, photos of amazing weddings and certainly not photos of ridiculous wedding “photoshoots” which aren’t even from real weddings.

In my earlier link roundups, I even included a “Shit I’m not Going to Worry About for My Wedding” section, just to draw attention to and poke a little fun at folks who may obsess a bit much over tiny, unimportant details. For better or worse, I scrapped that section. Too many folks declared their hatred or hurt, and so, I stopped. But there is so much shit. Too much ridiculous, ridiculous shit. And it is all starting to look the same. And it is stunting my creativity.

A few months ago, I decided I wanted to have burlap table runners. But I see them EVERYWHERE. What can I do to have a truly creative wedding? If I have mason jars and burlap table runners, will I, decades from now, look back at my wedding photos and say, “wow, that wedding was SO 10’s!” I don’t know what to do. I’m at a complete and utter loss. And what’s weird is that, I don’t mind it much.

I provide you, my readers, text. Information. An occasional photo may accompany my post. Everything I read about blogging says “Content is King.” I think that’s everywhere except the Wedding niche. Screw content. Just show us beautiful, awe-inspiring photos. We just want to see photos that will inspire our wedding design. We want to buy lots and lots of stuff. We don’t want to actually READ anything.

Alas, I will keep on posting content. Text. Information. The things that I think are useful for every DIY budget bride to know. Because seriously, there will always be better places to get your wedding porn fix, so I’m not going to waste my time. This is the place to come when you need the nitty gritty details about planning your wedding that does not include “book your venue 9-12 months in advance” type stuff that you can get anywhere and everywhere.

But, for now at least, I’m going to eliminate the “Links I’m Loving” part of my Weekly Roundup, and go more for the “Best of the Web” style posts, like this one from a few weeks ago. If a link does catch my eye, I’ll tweet it instead, so be sure to follow me on Twitter! I’ll keep the personal summary portion though, because it helps me track and stay on top of things I have to do for the wedding.

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

I’m a loser in this area. And not the good kind of loser. Enough said.

May Wedding Planning Goal Progress

(as part of our Wedding Planning Timeline)

  • Begin to obtain decor items – In Progress – Have bought lots of vases and other things
  • Purchase wedding dress –In Progress – Well, I found a few that are promising, but have not purchased)
  • Identify items for registry – In Progress – Set up Amazon registry and added about 35 items to it. Still need to register at Crate and Barrel and potentially Bed Bath and Beyond.
  • Interview wedding coordinators – DONE. We are hiring a neighbor that is an event planner and owns a Concierge business
  • Finalize website – Just about done. Once we have our registry stuff complete, I just need to add the links
  • Research calligraphers – Deferred. We’re not doing this anymore. We’re breaking all the rules and *gasp* printing labels!
  • Follow up with venue if date has not been confirmed – Not Done – I’ll follow up next week if I haven’t heard anything.

Finances and Administrative

Check out our Wedding Expense Tracking Spreadsheet for a list of all our expenses to-date.

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $385.55 (Includes engagement photoshoot, hair style for the shoot, and Fiance’s professional shave for the shoot).
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $1648.94
  • Total budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $13,351.06
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 3 hours (mostly researching songs to play at wedding and identifying items for our registry)

{ 1 comment }

Weekly Roundup April 23

by Melissa on April 23, 2011

Links I’m Loving

I haven’t given much thought to wedding jewelry (besides the ring of course!) but these bracelets have got me thinking!

I have to say, for being a kind of anti-bride, I’m really excited about the Royal Wedding!  But it perplexes me that all the big wedding bloggers and a lot of the wedding industry just hates on the Royal Wedding on Twitter!  But, here’s a great post about why the Royal Wedding Matters!

In order to make wedding-direction signs like the one pictured in this post (third picture down), I scored some free “rustic” looking wood by taking some wooden pallets that were next to a dumpster!  Now all we have to do is disassemble them and paint lettering! 

LOVE these ideas for photo booth walls and backdrops!

This is a great post detailing the trend from very formal, elegant weddings, to more homemade, personal touch weddings (and now back again?)

So, I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this like ten times already, but I’m really torn about what to do about wearing my glasses on our wedding day.  I wear them all day every day, and am really, really blind without them, but I can wear contacts on occasion (like if I’m going swimming).  So, I’m not sure what to do. 

I just scored two awesome cake stands at a nearby thrift store.  Grand total, $14 for both.  Much better than the $40 ones I’ve seen on eBay and Etsy. 

I really like these card box ideas.  I need to come up with something creative, although I do really like the vintage suitcase!

I’ve only heard about this trend of not inviting “Plus One’s” recently.  A former coworker of mine was the first I ever heard say that she was invited to a wedding and she couldn’t bring a guest. 

I’ve been considering making my own bouquet recently too.  This is a great tutorial.  But my question is, do you buy the flowers the day of the wedding, or the day before? 

What an amazing wedding invitation!  My fiancé and I are both photo enthusiasts, so this is great! 

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

Since my post earlier this week, I have felt amazingly motivated and have avoided indulgence, even when hungry and/or tired!  I’m going to revamp my DIY wedding fitness plan, so I’ll update you all soon!

April Wedding Planning Goal Progress

(as part of our Wedding Planning Timeline)

  • Develop potential wedding songs and playlists – In progress.  I’ve been collecting links of wedding playlists, and my fiancé found an awesome first song for us last week!  We took the music to our dance lesson on Tuesday and started practicing to it! 
  • Start wedding dress shopping – In progress.  My first appointment was yesterday.  More on that later! 
  • Interview DJ’s – In progress.  We’ve identified two that sound promising.  All the rest we’ve interviewed suck. 
  • Have engagement photo shoot – In progress.  Scheduled for May 6. 
  • Research cake bakeries – In progress.  I’m taking a new approach to this.  Rather than scheduling free cake tastings and having to tell the bakery that the cake is for a wedding (which runs at least $3.50 a slice), I am now going to the bakeries, paying for cupcakes or individual cakes, and doing my own tasting, that way I don’t have to tell them the cake is for a wedding.  I can just order a regular old cake, which, when you do the math, comes to $1.46/slice.  Just did that yesterday.  The cupcakes were delish!

Finances and Administrative

Check out our Wedding Expense Tracking Spreadsheet for a list of all our expenses to-date.

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $69.96 (thrift store finds, cake tasting on the sly, test prints of Save-The-Date cards, and some decor from online sellers).
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $1188.79
  • Total budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $13,811.21
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 6 hours (mostly searching for decor online)

{ 0 comments }

Weekly Roundup April 15

by Melissa on April 15, 2011

Links I’m Loving

I’m typically not a fan of “inspiration boards” and “mood boards,” but I do like this Royal Wedding one.  Please please, bring sleeved dresses back in style!  Although, surely enough designers won’t update their collections in time for me to have one!

Love love LOVE these stamps.  I just ordered one for all our wedding-related papery!

I love reading these types of posts.  This one is about the best decisions the bride made for her wedding, but I also like reading ones about what went wrong on wedding days, etc.

A Star Wars Grand Entrance sounds BRILLIANT!

You have to scroll quite a bit, but I thoroughly enjoy the ceremony reading that is being read off a Kindle!  I heart my Kindle!  And, I would just like to point out, that the photos in that post are by far the best I’ve ever seen from a destination wedding photographer.  Amazing!

Good wedding budget tips in general, but I can’t agree with all of them.  For instance, #2 says “If you save money in one area, don’t spend the savings in five other places.”  Actually, that’s exactly what I’m doing.  We’re saving money on catering so we can have more money to spend on things that are much more fun and important to us for our wedding!

My fiancé and I just picked out our first song this week!  In fact, it was he that found it!  So perfect!

Fellow wedding blogger Broke Ass Bride, aka Dana, suffers from an autoimmune disorder that causes her body to attack her eye as a foreign object.  The disease, left untreated, can ultimately cause blindness.  Dana is need of her 12th surgery in 9 years, and her medical expenses are adding up.  This week, she announced Dishing for Dana, which will help her cover expensive medical treatments and insurance costs.  10% of your donation will go to the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association.  Please venture over to Dishing for Dana and help her out!

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

Weight loss stalled.  Again.  0.0 lbs lost.  oh well, at least it’s not a gain I suppose.  This is not going as well as I had hoped.  I know I can do it!  I lost 40 pounds several years ago.  I need to find that mentality again!  I also didn’t work out a single time.  Granted, we were busy every night, but that’s no excuse.  I have to find time to fit it in!

April Wedding Planning Goal Progress

(as part of our Wedding Planning Timeline)

  • Develop potential wedding songs and playlists – In progress.  I’ve been collecting links of wedding playlists, and my fiance found an awesome first song for us this week!
  • Start wedding dress shopping – Just barely started. I contacted the one and only bridal salon in the area that sells the one and only dress designer that has ever caught my eye, Saja.  I called them to make sure they have Saja wedding dresses in stock (they’re only sold in Bella Bridesmaids stores).  They’re only open weird hours though, so I need to figure out when to make an appointment
  • Interview DJ’s – In progress. We’ve interviewed three so far with several more interviews set up next week.  Only one of those three sounded knowledgeable.
  • Have engagement photo shoot – In progress.   Scheduled for May 6.  I bought some fun outfits this week for the pictures!
  • Research cake bakeries – In progress. We had our first cake tasting on Monday.  I was kind of unprepared.  I hadn’t given much thought to how we want our cake designed.  Seriously, it’s on the bottom of my priority list.  But I did show her this link of cakes I loved from the link roundup a few months ago.  Love the cake display instead of one tiered cake!
  •  

    Finances and Administrative

    Check out our Wedding Expense Tracking Spreadsheet for a list of all our expenses to-date.

    So, although our expense tracking spreadsheet is still in its infancy, I will add some analysis functions to it in the near future.  One of the many things that I may analyze are the items that we purchase that could have use beyond our wedding.  For instance, we bought an address stamp this week.  Sure, we’ll use it on our Save-the-Date cards and Wedding Invitations, but we can use it on other things we mail too, right!?  Same thing with the dance lessons.  We’ll use our new dancing skills in settings after our wedding for sure!  What about the outfits I bought for the engagement photo shoot?  They’re also great for every-day clothing.  So, for now, these murky category purchases will be tracked (except the clothes), but I’ll separate them out at a later date!

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $90.85 (a prop for our engagement shoot, the address stamp, and some envelope samples (the cost of the envelope samples will be credited to my account when/if I place a full order with the company.
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $1118.83
  • Total budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $13,881.17
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 5 hours

{ 0 comments }

Weekly Roundup April 9

by Melissa on April 9, 2011

Links I’m Loving

A cute sendoff idea!  Perhaps for ours, we could get people to toss Apple logo confetti?  Or some other geekery?

It’s so funny because just the other day I was thinking about using bales of hay to line our “aisle.”  How does one even purchase a bale of hay.

We’re renting our venue for several days, so we’ll probably have our “rehearsal dinner” / pre-wedding party at the venue itself.  But I think an at-home rehearsal dinner would be a fun option too!  Considering we’re just planning on ordering pizza!

I’m already working on burlap projects!  It’s such an awesome, inexpensive option for our fall wedding.  (See Thursday’s post.  And more to come!)

Ah yes.  One of my worst fears if I have to wear a strapless wedding dress.  Boobs.  Nuff said.

A Spud Bar!  Dude.  What a rockin’ idea!

A DIY Sundae Bar!  Dude.  What a rockin’ idea!

Best Wedding Decisions Retrospect.   A few that caught my eye.  Not leaving on the honeymoon right away (we’re planning on that too) and alone time the week of the wedding.  I’ll definitely have to keep that one in mind!

Another rustic wedding that I’m loving!

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

After two consecutive weeks of gains, the scale moved down again this week with a loss of 2.2 pounds!  Phew.  Although working out has been difficult.  Evenings have been incredibly busy for some reason.

April Wedding Planning Goal Progress

(as part of our Wedding Planning Timeline)

  • Start wedding dress shopping – NOT STARTED.  I haven’t even made appointments yet.  I guess I should get on that.  Wedding dresses just look like a bore to me.
  • Interview DJ’s – In progress.  We’ve interviewed three so far with several more interviews set up next week.  Only one of those three sounded knowledgeable.
  • Have engagement photo shoot – Waiting.   Scheduled for May 6.
  • Research cake bakeries – In progress.  We have a cake testing set up for Monday.

Finances and Administrative

Check out our Wedding Expense Tracking Spreadsheet for a list of all our expenses to-date

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $0
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $1027.98
  • Total budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $13,972.02
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week:  7 hours

{ 0 comments }

Weekly Roundup April 1

by Melissa on April 1, 2011

Links I’m Loving

By far, the best link of the week.  It totally makes me think of what our outdoor wedding will be like!

I too, love the idea of a late night snack at our wedding.  Perhaps pizza delivery or burgers would be awesome.  I’m also looking in to food trucks!

With three separate fire places / fire pits at our wedding venue, you can be sure that we’ll have s’mores!

Yay, another bride interested in a honeymoon road trip, just like one of our potential options!

I love these ideas for entertaining kids at a wedding.  We’ll probably have separate kids tables, if their parents are interested.  The tables would be candle-free and have all sorts of things to keep them occupied.

Since our wedding will be at a rustic campground location, I’m inspired by photos like these.  I especially like the string lights!

This post got me thinking about whatever type of unity tradition we have at our ceremony.  Our location is outdoors, and I’m not exactly sure where we’d set things down.  Bring a table perhaps?  Booo, added expenses!

We’re having a ceremony in the round!  (As long as the weather holds up!)

I totally support using online cashback sites like the ones mentioned here.  You can check out my detailed post on credit card and cashback hacks on your wedding purchases here!

Such a cute idea!  I might steal it just to have such a fun little card from the White House for historical purposes!

I’m thinking about cute ideas for our ring bearer too.  Any thoughts?

I finally have an idea for creative table numbers that fits our personalities perfectly!  Although I do like this table number ideas pictured here.

While this link doesn’t come from a wedding blog, it contains a list of places that you should notify when you change your address, so it can be used as a reference for who to notify when (or if) you change your name.

DC is #11 on the list of highest wedding costs at $33,727.  Yikes.  But I actually thought it would be a lot higher.  Pittsburgh, my hometown, is #16 on the list at $28,808.  No wonder why things weren’t that much cheaper when I was considering having our wedding there.

What if your wedding vendor doesn’t show up? Luckily, the only vendor we’ll have to worry about is the photographer!  If she doesn’t show, I’d be devastated though!

I don’t need this yet, but I think that this table assignment program will come in handy eventually.  I’ve also heard of folks using good ‘ole post it notes!

Over-the-Top Ideas and Posts

I agree that your wedding day is not “just one day” and that it does require extra attention.  What I don’t agree with is that that extra attention has to equate to extra money.  What do you think?

Invitations were the bane of your existence for TWO MONTHS??  What exactly happened?

I think I’m starting to discover why my answer is always, “No, not really” when people ask me if I’m busy with wedding planning or if it’s driving me crazy.  It’s because I don’t take on any unnecessary extra projects like these.

Worth the time and efforts?  Edge painting your invitations?

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

Ugh, not good, not good.  Gained 1.2 pounds.  I can’t stop with the mindless eating!  I know I can do it, I did it before years ago when I lost 40 pounds!  Not happy that I won’t be closer to my goal weight for wedding dress shopping this month and for our engagement photo session next month.  I’ll feel gross.

April Wedding Planning Progress

(as part of our Wedding Planning Timeline)

Well, it is only April 1st, so I haven’t been able to actually start any of the following tasks:

  • Develop potential wedding songs and playlists
  • Start wedding dress shopping
  • Interview DJ’s
  • Have engagement photo shoot
  • Research cake bakeries

Finances and Administrative

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $660.00 Balance payment due for the rest of our dance lessons)
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $1027.98
  • Total budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $13,972.02
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 5 hours

{ 0 comments }

Weekly Roundup March 25

by Melissa on March 25, 2011

Links I’m Loving

I really like these wraparound stickers for invitation envelopes.  Is that in fact what they’re called?  Wrap around stickers?

Tips for saving money on your wedding.  I agree with most, but make sure you do true cost analysis for DIY projects, including printing things on your own.

The behavioral finance trap of engagement rings (and I think, weddings general).  Just because someone tells you that the average price of a wedding in the U.S. is $24,000, does not mean that you have to spend that!

I really like the idea of wearing my hair down for our wedding, especially since our wedding will be more casual

I tried to haggle with wedding vendors.  Maybe I’m a terrible negotiator, but it never worked.  I feel bad too, because I know they’re talented, but seriously, don’t tell me that you can “work with different budgets” and then not negotiate!  Damn I’m glad we eliminated wedding caterers!

OMG, a WAFFLE BAR??  LOVE!  *dies*

I always enjoy real budget wedding stories.  The part I like about this one?  Serving food to the guests.  Brilliant idea!

I’m really torn about whether to have a fauxtobooth.  Seems like fun, but I’m not sure if it will be too much work, something I definitely want to avoid

It’s pictures of food like this that makes me happy we’re not having wedding caterers.  We’re totally not impressed by “let’s-see-how-many-words-we-can-use-in-the-name-for-this-dish-type-food.”  (aka Coulibiac of salmon with mushroom duxelle and spinach wrapped in puff pastry) Nor are we concerned with presentation.  Bring on yummy, home cooked, non-pretentious foods!

My thoughts?  Discuss budgets with people first, then decide on the type of dress for your flower girl (or bridesmaids or whatever).

Good questions to ask your caterer during a tasting.

Geek Chic Boutonnieres!  Love this, especially since we’re so geek-ish

It’s okay that your wedding isn’t bridal-magazine ready or “Style Me Pretty” material.  Just think of how many weddings take place in the USA each year!  Then think how many are featured in such places.  Not many!  Your wedding is more in-line with the rest of the world!

I’m rooting for Kate Middleton too! (and I, too, hope that she can bring back a trend for wedding dresses with sleeves!)

We using pumpkin decorations at our wedding, so I love these photos!  In fact, I just bought two craft pumpkins from Oriental Trading Company to use as test subjects for decorating proofs-of-concept.  I especially love the aisle that is lined by pumpkins!  I may steal that idea!

Funny story of the week: A different type of “Trash the dress” session

Ponytails are definitely on my wedding day hair style list, and are definitely the style for our upcoming engagement shoot.

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

Gained another 0.6 pounds this week.  Fuck.  That’s all there is to say about that.  That and, oh, i don’t know, how about that I should actually PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT I’M PUTTING IN MY FUCKING MOUTH WHEN I EAT.  UGH.  On the upside, I did continue to workout.

March Wedding Planning Goal Progress

(as part of our Wedding Planning Timeline)

  • Submit application for venue – DONE.  Our potential venue has a strict application process because it is part of the National Park Service.  We submitted our application on March 1, the date the application period opened, for our desired November wedding date.  We should find out in May if our date has been confirmed.
  • Design Save-the-dates, test-print – In Progress.  Probably about 80% of the way done with design and we’ll order some test prints soon.  We took advantage of last week’s Vista Print deal, which was $50 of merchandise for $10.  So, we’ll use VistaPrint to order the cards!
  • Interview officiants – DONE. My fiancé’s stepgrandfather, a retired Lutheran minister, will officiate.  ** Side note.  It’s his step father’s dad.  I say that “stepgrandfather” sounds like someone his grandmother married.  What is the appropriate term for the parent of a step parent?
  • Research local restaurants for catering accompaniments – NOT STARTED
  • Take some intro dance lessons – DONE!  See Wednesday’s post!  We scheduled a series of six private lessons, which entitles us to 12 additional group and practice sessions.
  • Develop content and design for wedding website – In Progress.  Almost done!

Also completed this month (not on our original schedule:

  • Booked engagement session for early May
  • Completed wedding table proof-of-concept design

Finances and Administrative

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $100.00 (Down payment for subsequent dance lessons)
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $367.98
  • Total Budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $14,632.02
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 5 hours

{ 0 comments }

Weekly Roundup March 18

by Melissa on March 18, 2011

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a good week.  I’ve been following all the news out of Japan really closely this week.  I don’t know why it is, but when something like this happens, I can’t peel myself away from the news.  I’m always refreshing the CNN homepage to see the latest developments.  I wanted to share a quick story with you all about my experience in Japan.

In Fall 2001, I did the Semester at Sea study abroad program.  We departed Vancouver on August 31, 2001 and we were traveling west across the Pacific for 13 days before our scheduled arrival in Japan.  So that meant that we spent September 11, 2001, completely unaware of what was going on at home.  As we woke up on the ship on September 12, 2001, we learned what had happened by reading faxed printouts of internet news stories.  We arrived in Japan the next day, September 13, 2001, just 36 hours after the attacks.  While there, people would walk up to us with tears in their eyes.  Blood donation trucks with pictures of Ground Zero were in every city we visited, and we waited in line for an hour at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to lay flowers.  Their hearts went out to us, and now mine goes out to them. 

So, with all the sad stuff out of the way, on to the weekly roundup! 

Links I’m Loving

I too am hiring a day of coordinator and luckily we were able to work out a barter deal.  I don’t want to have to think about any wedding details on our wedding day. 

I spoke about my doubt regarding “friendors” in last week’s roundup.  Well, here are some tips for when NOT to hire Friendors.

Five tips for enjoying your engagement.  Love these!

I really, really like all the signs pictured here

I may buy my wedding dress online, so I enjoyed these tips for buying a dress over the interwebs. 

Dude.  I’m totally stealing some of these song ideas!  This is why I love the internet! 

Once again, I’m so glad I’m not having bridesmaids!  I don’t have to worry about any of these types of decisions!  Although, might I point out that the last photo in that post, the one with the bridal party wearing cardigans, is really cute! 

Is this not one of the most adorable, yet simple weddings you’ve ever seen! 

Yay, another person who wants to go to Alaska on their honeymoonMe Too!  (Although I love cruises)

I like the tips in this post, makeup advice for your big day.  Especially the tip about going to a makeup artist and bringing your own products and they can show you how you can do your own makeup on your wedding day.  Brilliant!

I agree wholeheartedly with everything that is said in this post (a rarity) about taking the self-doubt out of DIY

As my fiancé and I design our Save-the-Date cards this month, I’m uber inspired by these creative cards and videos!  However, ours will definitely be very “us.” 

What do you think it takes to have a wedding in NYC for $10,000?

This is a hilarious idea!  Love it! 

Hopefully I will not have to use a disc sander for any wedding projects!  Yeowza!

My biggest tip for when you first get engaged?  Don’t try to do everything all at once.  We’ve been put in a situation where we won’t know if our desired wedding date is confirmed until six months before the wedding because it’s at a National Park.  For the most part, it’s been a huge blessing because it has allowed us to space out all our major to-do items. 

Bridesmaids get garters now?  That’s news to me. 

I am so curious if I will experience this type of stress in the weeks leading up to our wedding. 

My fiance and I just booked our first dance lesson for Tuesday night!  (A free trial).  I’m nervous.  Between the two of us, we have four left feet. 

Fascinating list of things you probably didn’t know about UK weddings!  No outdoor weddings?  Wha!?

How awesome would it be to use these facebook stamps on RSVP cards?  Like next to the “Yes I will attend” there can be a “Like” stamp.  And next to the “No, regrets” line, there can be a dislike stamp!

When I read posts like these, I’m left a little puzzled.  Why do brides stress over other people’s inputs into their weddings?  If you’re paying, then you can ignore them.  If they’re paying, then giving up some autonomy comes with the territory.  Pick your battles folks.  Grow a pair, express your opinions firmly, but don’t stress about it.  

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

Weight loss was stalled this week with a gain of 0.2 pounds.  Ugh.  Hate it. 

March Wedding Planning Goal Progress

(as part of our Wedding Planning Timeline)

  • Submit application for venue – DONE.  Our potential venue has a strict application process because it is part of the National Park Service.  We submitted our application on March 1, the date the application period opened, for our desired November wedding date.  We should find out in May if our date has been confirmed.
  • Design Save-the-dates, test-print – In Progress.  Probably about 70% of the way done with design and we’ll order some test prints soon.  Although they won’t be complete until after we get our photos from our engagement session, scheduled for early May.  So for now, we’ll just test print using a placeholder photo. 
  • Interview officiants – In Progress.  I left a voicemail for the priest from my former church to see if he could officiate a wedding in a non-religious venue. 
  • Research local restaurants for catering accompaniments – NOT STARTED
  • Take some intro dance lessons – In Progress.  Going for our first lesson on Tuesday!
  • Develop content and design for wedding website – In Progress.  Template is installed and I’m customizing it, and I’m developing WAY too much content.  But so much fun! 

In addition, as I mentioned in last week’s roundup, we scheduled our engagement session, plus I purchased some items for a wedding table design proof-of-concept and started making some table runners.  More on that later! 

Finances and Administrative

For the first time since I started this blog, this section is changing!  I ordered some things to do a proof of concept design for the tables at our wedding. 

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $161.48 
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $267.98
  • Total Budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $14,732.02
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 15 hours (spent a lot of time working on the wedding website, starting our Save-The-Date designs, online research for decor items, and doing a test run design of a table runner)

{ 0 comments }

Weekly Roundup March 11

by Melissa on March 11, 2011

I thought these painted balloons were really cute!  Not sure how they’d work for us at our outdoor venue, but cute nonetheless! 

I spent a very long time reading all these post-wedding regrets.  I highly recommend that other brides-to-be read them as well.  I found them useful and enlightening.   

Until recently, I was very discouraged at the prospect of ever being able to find dress (or even at least a picture of a dress) that looked appealing to me.  Why are they all strapless and/or sleeveless?  However, I finally found one (in a picture) that looks awesome.  (More on that in a future post!)  Now that I have a dress in mind that I can’t stop thinking about, other things are starting to come together, like hair style ideas.   I think I would wear my hair down and with a headband of some sort, like these

If I don’t wear my hair down, I really like the idea of a high ponytail like the one Reese Witherspoon is sporting here.  I also think I could pull off this hair style, given my long hair and bangs and all! 

And where can I get those head pieces pictured in the 7th photo down!?  Love that silver-ish headband! 

Dude.  This looks like an idea my fiancé would LOVE.  He builds computers from spare parts all the time.  No.  Seriously.  ALL the time!

Quick wedding planning tips!

Interviewing officiants is part of our Wedding Action Plan for March.    I’m not sure which direction we’ll end up heading.  Religious, or non-religious

Since we’ll be getting married in the fall, I would love a photo similar to this during a trash-the-dress ceremony maybe? 

I have very little faith in humanity.  Or maybe it’s just because I watch too much of The People’s Court.  So, asking any friend to take on a role as a vendor would make me very uneasy, just because I’d be afraid that they wouldn’t show up or something would come up and I would have no recourse.  Although we are doing self-catering, it’s family, so I do have a little more faith in them! 

A Facebook Themed Wedding?  Some of these Ideas are so cute!  Holding up “like” cards after the vows?  Awesome! 

I don’t think we’re going to have a wedding program, but I think this idea is super cute

Now, don’t laugh, but my fiancé and I spent our Valentine’s evening pouring over this year’s tax returns and analyzing our most recent paystubs to determine our adjusted gross income and modified adjusted gross income for next year when we are “married filing jointly.”  Neither one of us are financial professionals, I just have a huge interest in personal finance.  I’ll be very interested to see how close my estimations are to reality next year! 

I heart budget breakdowns like this!  It’s so enlightening (and inspiring when costs are kept so low!)   (and I LOVE LOVE LOVE her blue reception dress!)

Since we’re not having flowers, and just candles I really like these centerpiece ideas

Sometimes paying for things outright is worth it if DIY-ing it is just too much effort 

As part of my February wedding tasks, I contacted hair and makeup artists.  Which led me to consider my hair and makeup schedule for the day, and whether I want to stay at a hotel closer to the venue, or drive about 20 miles to the venue on the day of the wedding. 

I really like this chalkboard idea.  Perhaps a DIY thing I would actually do. 

I really feel bad for this couple.  I really do.  But take it as a lesson to never rely on money that is not there. 

We scheduled our engagement photoshoot for early May.  How cute is this idea

Working on our wedding website is on our action plan for this month.  So excited! 

As part of my quest for wedding dresses with sleeves, I love the dress pictured in the last photo here

Brides may feel pressured to do more, but it’s never necessary. 

Shit I’m not going to worry about for my wedding

There are some things that I come across in the wedding blogosphere that just make me go “hmmm, no wonder why brides stress themselves out so much over their wedding.”  In other words, things that seem to take too much time compared to the benefit.  (disclaimer:  because commenters have expressed … displeasure … with my use of the term “shit,” I just want to clarify that I do not think that the projects or ideas themselves are “Shit.”  In fact, they look awesome and you can tell that a LOT of time and hard work were put into them.  This is just my effort to poke a little fun at some things that I find over-the-top and what I think could be the source of a lot of wedding stress.)

No.  Socks are not important enough to get into an argument about. 

What is the appeal of Chivari chairs?  And why do people feel the need to spend so much money on them?  I don’t blame the brides though.  I blame the wedding industrial complex for trying to convince brides that we “need” such things as Chivari Chairs

Invitations to a rehearsal dinner?  Perhaps just a quick e-mail would have worked well? 

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

I managed to lose 1.4 pounds this week, despite not working out.  My side, for whatever reason, really ached last week and it was making me feel really crappy.  I was just about to go to the doctor, but it started to subside.  So, back on the workout-wagon this week.  Total weight loss is 10.2 pounds!  I also started a new workout DVD as part of my DIY fitness programInsanity!   

March Wedding Planning Goal Progress

  • Submit application for venueDONE.  Our potential venue has a strict application process because it is part of the National Park Service.  We submitted our application on March 1, the date the application period opened, for our desired November wedding date.  We should find out in May if our date has been confirmed. 
  • Design Save-the-dates, test-printNOT STARTED
  • Interview officiantsNOT STARTED
  • Research local restaurants for catering accompanimentsNOT STARTED
  • Take some intro dance lessons – In Progress.  I E-mailed a few places and arranged some free intro lessons.  Will take some free ones and then arrange for an ongoing process
  • Develop content and design for wedding websiteIn Progress – I found a template I really liked, installed it with only minimal trouble, and started writing content for the site just yesterday!

In addition, having our engagement photoshoot is on our April action plan.  So I contacted one of the photographers that we really liked from our interviews (part of our January action plan) to schedule a shoot!  We’re all set for May 6! 

Finances and Administrative

I’ve finally started to look for things to buy for the wedding.  I should actually start spending money soon.  Not that that is anything to be excited about, but this section has never ever changed since I started my blog!

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $0.00
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $106.50 on magazine subscriptions and planning books
  • Total Budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $14893.50
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 10 hours (did a LOT of online searching for decor-related items, setting up the wedding website, and writing content for the wedding website)

{ 0 comments }

Weekly Roundup February 18

by Melissa on February 18, 2011

Links I’m Loving

I’m not a flower person either, and we won’t have any flower decorations or centerpieces.  However, I may decide to get an actual flower bouquet.  Or not.  I do LOVE this centerpiece idea though

Love the potential royal wedding shoes.  Ummm, do those first ones come in blue?  I guess I should check the prices first …

My fiancé is a huge fan of legos, and he even built the Lego Millennium Falcon not that long ago.  So any way of integrating legos into the wedding would be awesome! 

Wow, this jewelry rocks!  (Literally?)  For the wedding day, I wouldn’t want anything to detract attention from the engagement ring and wedding band, but I’d love to find something similar in necklace-form

I think people traditionally say that you start out wanting a small wedding and not a big production, but I think I’m the opposite.  I started out wanting all sorts of stuff.  Calligraphy for our invitation envelopes, a custom monogram, awesome Etsy decor, and the list goes on and on.  Now that I’m a few months in, I don’t want any of that stuff.  The simpler the better.  I’m also going to try and limit the amount of DIY projects I do.  Because, like the author of this post, I’d fail (but at many, many more things). 

I think I may totally steal the “travel destinations” seating chart from this bride!  My fiancé and I have traveled all over, and I think it is a great way to incorporate past experiences into our wedding! 

I really like all these tent-decorating ideas.  We won’t have a tent, but we will have a picnic pavilion, and I think that similar decorations can be used. 

In addition to tent decorating ideas, we can incorporate some of these backyard-wedding ideas too, since our wedding, while not taking place in our backyard, will take place in a park with an awesome backyard feel. 

I don’t want a bouquet toss or garter toss at our wedding either.  They are two traditions I am not fond of.  At all.    I think  Miss Prairie Dog described it perfectly.  Cringe Worthy. 

Okay, these are officially the last links in my weekly roundups that I will ever include about inviting kids to weddings.  It is all over the wedding blogosphere!  I, for one, will not understand people that do not invite kids to weddings, but it is a very controversial issue! 

These sustainable wedding trends for 2011 are not only “greener,” they sure make things a lot simpler too!  No printing menus for each of your guests.  Just write the menu on a chalkboard!  And while avoiding “conflict diamonds” was not my primary reason for wanting a sapphire engagement ring, I do not approve of diamond companies’ business practices that include artificially inflating the prices to make diamonds appear more valuable than they actually are. 

I’m thinking we don’t need a program for our wedding (again, I’m all about eliminating things for the wedding!)  But, if we did, I love this creative option like the one seen here

This bride wore NINE wedding dresses?  I can probably think of a lot of words to describe why someone would do that.  None of them are particularly nice, so, judge for yourself

I realize that bloggers have to make a living, and that sponsored posts are typically part of that, but I really don’t understand the purpose of honeymoon registry services and universal registry services.  They take nearly 10% of your guests’ generous gift money as a service fee.  As a wedding guest, I would be highly offended if a couple asked for this as a gift.  I for one would rather see them get ALL the money, not have it go to some company.  In fact, I’d be less offended if they just outright asked for cash!  These sites are the worst idea since credit card interest. 

I’m confident that our budget will actually be MUCH LESS than original $15,000 budget.  So, no need for a budget buffer.  Least of all a $20,000 buffer! 

Shit I’m not going to worry about for my wedding

There are some things that I come across in the wedding blogosphere that just make me go “hmmm, no wonder why brides stress themselves out so much over their wedding.”  In other words, things that seem to take too much time compared to the benefit.  (disclaimer:  because commenters have expressed … displeasure … with my use of the term “shit,” I just want to clarify that I do not think that the projects or ideas themselves are “Shit.”  In fact, they look awesome and you can tell that a LOT of time and hard work were put into them.  This is just my effort to poke a little fun at some things that I find over-the-top and what I think could be the source of a lot of wedding stress.)

  • This week was an amazingly “shit less” week.  Nothing I found too over the top.  Although the post about the $20,000 budget buffer link ALMOST made it here.  Almost.

Wedding Fitness Goal Progress

I lost 2.0  pounds this week, for a total of 9.4 pounds since January 5.  I really stalled on the workouts this week.  I haven’t done a workout DVD since Saturday *look of horror*

February Wedding Planning Goal Progress

There’s not too much on the wedding action plan for February.  It is a short month after all.  But, no progress made yet on any of the following goals:

  • Research hair and makeup artistsIn progress.  I contacted two.  This is a really tough one.  It’s hard to tell their quality from their website, and I really don’t want to pay more than $250 for hair and makeup.  Some places charge like $500 for hair and makeup!  This one will take more research.
  • Interview videographersDeferred.  I contacted six videographers last week.  I don’t think we’re going to have one.  But, in case we change our minds, I have pricing information from a bunch. 
  • Research marriage license requirementsIn progress.  Applying for a Virginia marriage  license has to be done within 60 days of the wedding, so October 1 might look like a good timeframe.  Now I just have to figure out where the nearest circuit court is.

In addition, we also met a neighbor who owns a concierge business here in Northern Virginia.  She plans weddings too!  Since we were planning on hiring a “month of” coordinator to help us out with last minute stuff and to take care of things on the wedding day.  She’s in need of a new website, so we worked out a partial barter deal.  Score!  She’ll provide me the names of some more hair/makeup folks. 

Finances and Administrative

  • Wedding Related Expenses This Week: $0.00
  • Total Wedding Related Expenses (all time): $106.50 on magazine subscriptions and planning books
  • Total Budgeted Difference (we have a $15,000 budget): $14893.50
  • Estimated Hours Spent on Wedding Planning (not including blogging) This Week: 2 hours (mostly our meeting with the planner)

{ 0 comments }

Uber-Inspirational Budget Weddings

by Melissa on February 15, 2011

While reading all throughout the Bridal Blogosphere, I have learned many things.  One of the major stack of change lessons is that, as you approach your wedding date, you start spending more money than you thought you would have to and that you budgeted for.

Because, after all, let’s face it, The Wedding Industrial Complex will try to convince you that spending all that money is “worth it” so that you can have a “perfect” day.  Well, our wedding is now just a little less than nine months away.  And I’m convinced that we can spend LESS than we originally budgeted, not more.   I’m want a FUN day, not a perfect one!

I chuckle when I watch “Say Yes to the Dress” on TLC and brides say that they’re on a tight budget, so they can’t spend more than $2000 on a wedding dress.  *Blink*  What planet do we live on that a $2000 dress is considered a “budget dress?”  I went to a quasi-bridal show back in November called “The Not-So-Big-Wedding-Boutique.”  Teams of wedding vendors pooled together and developed a plan for a $15,000 wedding in the Washington, DC area.  Not an easy feat, I thought since I was so early in the planning stages.  Well, the $15,000 wedding only included 65 guests!  I would like to have a budget wedding too, but really, I don’t want to cut more than 70 people from the guest list!

I digress.

I have come across a small handful of blogs and websites that have inspired me to keep our budget even lower.  These brides have thrown amazing weddings for $2000, $4000, and $5000.  Hopefully they can inspire you as well, that a great wedding doesn’t have to be an expensive one!

I searched high and low online for other inspirational budget weddings, but they are few and far between!  If you have a story to share about how you threw an uber-inspirational budget wedding, send me the link, or write it up and I’ll post it here!  (And yes, there’s no shame in admitting that your wedding was, in fact, uber-inspirational).  Likewise, if you come across similar blogs like the ones listed above, let me know in the comments!  I’m addicted to these stories!

 

{ 0 comments }