Monday, April 30, 2012

Kicking Ass and Taking Names

I’m so proud of myself! I totally kicked our wedding’s butt this weekend! I have been feeling really antsy lately about not checking anything off my to do list, so on Friday (that’s right, I do wedding stuff at work, I’m not ashamed just don’t tell my boss), I came up with a list of things that needed to be done, and went to work Saturday morning. I was only distracted Saturday mid afternoon by a trip to the pool.

I managed to print and punch out 200 Thank You tags for our napkins.

On Sunday I was able to start tying them up in cute little bundles. These will be set next to every plate with a fork and knife in the middle.

On Sunday I made a mad dash to Michael’s and was able to finally snag the last few supplies that I would need for our picture display.

I had been working on my brooch bouquet all week. After a failed attempt at construction last Sunday, and a few more attempts mid week, Saturday night I was finally (FINALLY!), able to finish my brooch bouquet by wrapping the handle in twine.

Sneak Peak!

Finishing my bouquet also motivated me to wrap up my projects with these dang brooches, so I finished our brooch cake topper as well! Love it!

There were a few other little things I worked on as well. I mailed the last 5 invites that I had been missing addresses for and I delegated finishing the guest sign in book as well as finding the ties to Michael, so I don’t have to worry about those to do items! Whoop for delegating!

Why this mad dash all of a sudden when there is still two and a half months to go you might ask? Well, I started looking at the calendar, and realized that I have very few weekends left where I will actually be at home. I had this weekend, and I only have about 2 more before I‘m out of town every weekend following that. Hopefully I can finish the rest this coming weekend, but it’s going to be a nail biter folks! So stay tuned!

Think I accomplished a lot this weekend? I’m still on the fence about it :/

Saturday, April 28, 2012

B Party at the Coast!

Thanks to my good friend/bridesmaid Wendy, I will be having the best Bachelorette Party EVER! And that is no exaggeration. Trust me. The chick knows how to throw a bachelorette party.

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The only big issue we had planning my b-party, was where? Where would this shindig be taking place? The reason this was such an issue was that half of my friends live in Dallas, half of my friends live in Seguin, and I have one lone little friend in Houston. No matter what, I had to take into consideration that somebody(s) would be traveling. And they would probably be traveling at least 4+ hours. Let’s face it folks, Texas is huge. I’m pretty sure we could fit most of New England inside of it.

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I had originally assumed that my options were limited to Seguin and Dallas. While I have had many a good time in my small town bar scene, I knew that Seguin wouldn’t exactly offer that party all night option. But I did think we could head to San Antonio or 6th Street in Austin. However, it would still cost a chunk of change if we decided to rent a hotel.

Dallas would offer us a lot more options as far as the night life goes. I also liked the idea of making it an all day type thing since some people would be traveling four hours to attend. I thought we could rent a party boat early afternoon, come back to the house for dinner, and then head out somewhere. This schedule was something I considered for both towns since I would have access to a boat in Seguin (we’re right next to the river!)

Let me reiterate, I knew that with either of these options, somebody was going to have to travel. That nagging thought was always in the back of my mind. And some have babies so if they were in the “wrong” town, probably wouldn’t be able to attend because they couldn’t travel. And let’s face facts. I have a very diverse group of friends. Some like to keep it low key and stay at home, some like to party until the sun comes up, and some probably wouldn’t be able to attend no matter where I decided because they are really busy with school and work. It is what it is, I’ve dealt with it and moved on.

So what was a girl to do? I was really on the fence with both ideas and didn’t know which way to go, until Wendy suggested South Padre. Yes! It just felt right….unlike the CARD box (yes, I will continue to use caps lock when spelling CARDS. It is that important), this felt like a bolt of lightening! I knew this was what we were supposed to do. Beach and relaxation is exactly what the Wedding Fairy ordered!

We will be spending 3 lovely nights in this four-plex:

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We booked completely online using VacationRentals. So far, their service has been excellent and prompt. They even called immediately to confirm the rental. Hopefully, we don’t have any issues. Anyways, on to the fun stuff!

It has its own pool with no “no lights out by a certain time” rule, its walking distance to the beach, and pretty close to local bars and shops. There are enough beds for six, plus an air mattress and two bathrooms! Wendy and I are by no means high maintenance, but after a ski trip gone wrong (8 people, 1 bathroom, you do the math), we knew our one requirement was two bathrooms. We were willing to pay the money for that extra commodity, which is saying a lot. She is definitely as cheap as me.

Now, as far as I know, nothing crazy is planned. I’m hoping for a relaxing weekend on the beach, with some fun late nights spent somewhere. However, Wendy is very good at keeping secrets, and she does have everyone’s email addresses that will be attending. Oh well, at least we’ll have a driver (my little sister is only 20).

How crazy could it be? Famous last words, anyone?

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Invitation Breakdown $$

We’ve covered the fact that I’m cheap and love a good deal. But I must say, on our invitations, I even impressed myself. Below is breakdown of what we paid for each piece, and where we bought it.

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Digital Invitation Suite - $25: I bought this pre-designed on Etsy from DesignsMadeEasy. It was already designed, all I had to do was pick my colors. She was very easy to work with, and I had my final digital copy within 48 hours. It came with a save the date, invitation, and RSVP.

250 invitations - $56.10: They were ordered from Vistaprint during one of their epic sales. You know? The one that happens every other weekend. Included in the total price is the matte finish, upload fee, as well as shipping and handling. I was forced to order 250 because Vistaprint’s options are 100 or 250. I was forced to go big because I knew I would need more then 100.

RSVP’s - $17.88: I bought these when Vistaprint was running their promotion of 100 postcards for free. These promotions only require that you pay the shipping and handling, and any original uploads. I paid two s&h fees of $6.95, and one upload fee of $5, and voila. I had 200 RSVP’s. Granted they came in two separate packages, but beggars can’t be choosers right?

Personal picutre of my box o’ paper.

DIY Materials - $29: This included a postcard stamp for the save the date, ink pad, glue, burlap, and twine. Most of these I bought at hobby lobby or Walmart. The postcard stamp I bought from my good friend eBay.

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150 kraft paper envelopes - $57.99: These were purchased from a website called PaperandMore. They had great prices and made it easy and convenient to buy samples to make sure I picked the right color, as well as offered insight into envelope sizing. They have a great information page here about deciphering thru that craziness.

Stamps: $35.20 for 110 RSVP postcard stamps, and $52.00 for 80 .65 cent stamps. We only bought 80 invitation stamps because we will be hand delivering a few of them. See reason why we will be hand delivering some invitations here (I'm still upset Mr. Post Office!). Stamp total: $87.20

Grand Total: $273.17 for 110 invitations

Per Invite: $2.48

I get a big cheesy grin on my face whenever I compare that number of what we paid versus what these bad boys would have cost for a professional to make them. I love saving money! Not only did we save money, we also came in under budget. Double score!

Do you have issues coming in under budget? Or do you always pick the cheapskate route?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Brooches, Brooches Everywhere!

The day Michael and I were returning from our amazing trip to Barbados, two of my favorite country artists were getting married.

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And what’s that Miranda’s holding in her right hand in excitement? A brooch bouquet!

Image Source / Etsy Seller TheRitzyRose

After researching/stalking Miranda’s brooch bouquet, I found that they were also sold on Etsy. Seriously, what can’t you buy there? Some other inspirations I found on Etsy:

Image via Etsy / Etsy Seller NicsButtonBuds

Image via Etsy / Etsy Seller TheCrystalFlower

Image via Etsy / Etsy Seller Vaughndesigns

While searching Etsy for “brooch bouquet”, I also came across brooch cake toppers! Who can pass up more sparkles and color? Not me!

Image via Etsy / Etsy Seller SolBijou

Image via Etsy / Etsy Seller MySweetAddictionJLS

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I was sold on the brooch bouquet. Hands down, had to have it, knew that I would be carrying something like the above down the aisle. However, after reviewing the price tags that were associated with the pre-made bouquets, I knew it was something that would have to be added to my diy list. And the brooch cake topper was something I would definitely keep in the back of my mind as an option (aka, how much would Michael let me get away with?).

Has there ever been something that you had to have come hell or high water?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1 Week Down, 2 More to Go!

I don’t remember if I talked about doing weekly updates regarding my weight loss experiment, but I knew I needed to report back in order to be held accountable. I thought that weekly progress reports (more or less like a diary) would be a good way to write down what I did (or didn’t do), and review the previous week. It’s not necessarily to make me feel guilty for what I didn’t do, but to write down the good things and see what I did manage to accomplish.

As far as the diet goes, I mentioned that I wouldn’t make any changes to this. I did however, want to manage my “liquid diet” and be made more responsible regarding that issue. I did cut out the daily Sunkist, other then the one a week I allowed myself. I also decided that if we did partake in beer drinking, I would only drink at most, 3 per sitting. Success! Other then Friday night – FAIL. But it’s not necessarily my fault (haha, yeah right). We participated in a work appreciation happy hour, where all our drinks were free, we had a margarita at dinner, AND we were given a FREE tequila shot at a Mexican restaurant that we frequent every weekend. It would have been rude to turn it down. It is very hard to label that as a failure in my books.

Regarding the workouts, many laughed and said I wouldn’t be able to accomplish this. Jokes on you! I did it! I managed to drag my lazy butt out of bed every weekday morning at 4:45am (except Friday), and log my 40 minute morning workout at the gym. I’m not going to lie, there were a couple rough mornings, but I powered thru them and now I’m here on the other side! The only other day I didn’t workout as planned was Saturday, where I chose not to go to the gym due to the above “liquid diet” choice from Friday night. I’m not saying that I couldn’t have worked out later in the day, but working out in the early morning wasn’t going to happen. The rest of the day passed in a shopping blur, and we had plans for Saturday night, so it just didn’t happen.

Now, there have been a few....let’s call them side effects from all this physical activity.

The first side effect is that I no longer seem to want to wear high heels to work. My dogs are barking! The thought of putting on a pair of high heels for an eight hour working day just doesn’t sound like my idea of fun right now.

Another side effect has been that my hair lives in a constant pony tail. The morning workout pony tails are causing creases in my hair that are not attractive when I wear my hair down, and I refuse to wake up another twenty minutes earlier to give myself time to wash and blow dry my hair in the mornings. So the pony tail lives on!

The last side effect, that honestly seems to affect me the most, is that I have taken on an older person’s sleep habits. I start heading for bed around 8:30, I’m usually asleep by 9, and then I wake up at a time that starts with a 4. A 4! I wake up at freaking 4:45am! I literally feel like a zombie when I roll out of bed. I have to. If I actually thought about what I was doing as I rolled out of bed, I would definitely turn off the alarm and go back to sleep.

No, I have not turned into a slob at work. However, currently I’m about 3.5 inches shorter, I yawn a few more times a day, and I don’t shed as much hair at my work station. None of these are life altering, so I guess I have no excuse but to trudge on.

On to week 2!

Have you ever taken an extreme route to reach the end? Or are you more of a slow and steady wins the race type of person?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

And They're Off!

No, no, not the ponies, our invitations! And we only missed my deadline by 2 days!

Personal image of our invitations rearing to go to the post office.

Now that those bad boys are scattered across Texas and the East coast, I can show you all the components that went into it. If you remember, thanks to the Post Office, we had to send out two different versions. Luckily enough, it’s all in the presentation and we were able to keep all the main parts of the invitation the same.

Our hand delivered invites will be wrapped in a nice little bow, a la Christmas morning:

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The invites that are mailed via the post office will be scattered haphazardly in the envelope, a la our second bedroom.

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Our main invite will consist of our Burlap Invitation:

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The RSVP postcard:

Personal Picture. Yes, our RSVP’s will be sporting Hawaiian shirt stamps, and no, I don’t care.

And the additional information card:

Personal Picture. The rectangular extra info card will be in the willy nilly invite, and the luggage tag looking extra info card will be tied to the jute string in the hand delivered invites.

I’m so excited for people to start getting these! As well as for them to finally be done and mailed! Labor of love my a@@. Just kidding. But seriously.

Were you happy to see a diy finally be over?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Whiskey Barrel Drink Bar

Say that 3 times fast.

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The above picture is what started it all (the below pictures didn’t help). I don’t even remember what I was originally searching for, but once I saw it, I knew. I had to have it.

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I knew a whiskey barrel drink bar would look so awesome on the wrap around patio of our venue. And how perfect if we placed it on the patio between the ceremony rock seating and the pavilion where the reception will take place? Then our guests will be able to enjoy a refreshing beverage on a hot Saturday evening that they chose to share with us!

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This picture inspired the combination of the drink dispensers with the mason jar drink glasses. My original idea was to put the glasses on the table, but this way I could also display the sign with directions to write your name.

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I love how they displayed the tea cups in the background, but I have decided to put the tea cups inside where the coffee maker will be.

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I did some research, aka googling, and realized that the whiskey barrels would be hard to find. I tried local wineries, Ebay, and Craigslist. I was whining talking to my mom about my current diy issue over the phone one day, and the next day I was sent a text saying that my brother had two whiskey barrels; or rather my brother’s friend! He works in the landscaping business, and had two whiskey barrels that he promised to not cut in half until after my wedding.

Within 48 hours of starting this project, I had two whiskey barrels for my table legs! Whoop! Texas A&M anyone? No? Ok, moving on.

A few months down the road, as in last Saturday, my friend graciously offered to take me to Sam’s so that I could purchase 2 of these to complete my drink bar:

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I also managed to snag enough forks and knives for 200 people to eat dinner and dessert. Sam’s Club is a cheap person’s paradise. You are able to buy everything in bulk, and usually it’s at a much cheaper cost. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.

I thought about waiting to do a trial run of the drink bar, but felt industrious enough that afternoon to give it a go. I still need a few things, but I think it turned out pretty good:

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Of course, we will be using the whiskey barrels and a wooden slab instead of the folding table, and the mason jars on the right are stacked in and around a cardboard box instead of a wooden crate that I still need to buy from Michael’s, but I like the way it turned out! I also need to get a picture frame display holder thingy for my sign, which will help by elevating it so people can read what it says easier.

I’m also concerned that there won’t be enough room for all the glasses. Right now, there are 4 dozen glasses on the table. I’ll need to fit another 13 dozen or so for the glass to people ratio to be one to one. I’m thinking we could maybe stack them underneath the bar, since it will be open. I thought about buying a couple extra crates from Michael’s and stack them so they look like a shelf (saw it on pinterest). Or perhaps add a table to the side? I’m still thinking about it.

Image via Pinterest

I will also have more help setting it up then puppy. She’s all opposable thumbs. Lucky we didn’t break something (oh man, opposable thumbs? I crack myself up).

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Do you think my drink bar will be able to hold all the cups? Or should I come up with a backup plan?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Floor Plan Schmlorplan

I realize that I didn’t exactly come out and discuss it, but if you read this post, you can deduce that we’re not having a seating plan. We will have reserved seating for family, and a head table for us to share with the bridal party, but the rest of our people guests (trying to work on that) will be able to choose wherever they want to sit.

The problem I initially encountered, when trying to seat 200 people, was will there be enough room?!? I drew up a few diagrams in excel (nerd alert!), using round as well as banquet tables to see what would work best when it was drawn to scale. I scaled the columns in Excel to 6 feet, and the numbered rows to 1.5 feet. I found this website to aid in determining table spacing, and how much space was needed for chairs. I found this site and this site to calculate how much square footage we would need for the dance floor.

WARNING: Math problem ahead! Visiting this site from above, will tell you what size dance floor you need without having to do the math, and you can skip the below paragraph.

However, if you want to calculate your dance floor square footage for fun, keep reading! What the math boiled down to is that if 200 people are there, then half of them will be dancing at any given time. Each couple will need approximately 9 square feet. So, if there are 200 guests, and 100 people (50 couples) are dancing, then we will need 450 square feet. 450 square feet of dance floor would be roughly equal to a 16 x 28 ft.

I tried round tables:

The dance floor is slightly larger then the recommended square footage, but some of the tables are jutting onto the dance floor. The outlined rectangle to the left is where the band would be setup.

This option gave us plenty of seating and dance floor space. However, there would be no room for a head table (which I preferred over the sweetheart table option), and I didn’t like the shape of the dance floor. It needed to be more square, and not quite so rectangular.

As well as banquet tables:

This option also provided plenty of space for sitting and dancing, as well as moving around. We honestly went with this floor plan first, due to the space allowance, but the preferred table was the round one and that eventually won us back over to previous floor plans.

The obvious choice would have been banquet tables, but, with everybody I talked to rallying behind the round tables, we finally made a choice to go with the round tables. It was going to be tight. My main concern was that the dance floor was going to be too small. We want to throw a rockin’ party, not an afternoon tea. If the dance floor wasn’t big enough, who would want to get up and dance? But I was simply out of real estate.

Well, good news!

No, Zedler Mill didn’t call to say they are renovating. However, Clint Taft (from our band!) emailed to let us know that he set’s the band up on the wraparound patio that’s outside the building, then they open the huge garage door to let the sound filter inside. We just got more real estate folks!

After playing around with Excel and modifying one of my earlier floor plans, I think I was able to come up with something that’s going to work perfectly!

I’m so happy that this worked out. I feel like all the kinks are starting to get worked out, and the questions that couldn’t be answered until we got closer to the wedding are starting to get answers.

What do you think of my final floor plan? Think it will work out?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weight Loss Experiment

I want to premise this post with saying that I do not have any body image issues. My fiancĂ© thinks I’m beautiful, often tells me so, and other then my smart a@@ comments, probably wouldn’t change a thing about me. With that being said…..

Who wouldn’t be just a teensy bit happier if they lost 5 pounds? Especially those of us who are nearing a day where they are going to have slip into a little white dress, be the center of attention, and be reminded FOR-EV-ER by pictures of what we looked like on said day? I would! I would!

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You’re killin me Smalls!

I’m a person who usually bounces around a 5 pound range. When I start hitting the top of that range, its time to workout a little bit harder (or more likely, start working out) and cut out the Sunkists (I’m so addicted). What I have learned about maintaining my weight, is that it is 70% diet, 30% physical.

The last year or so, I have really tried to develop healthier eating habits. I’ve always known what the healthier eating choice should be, but I am now actively choosing to pick my healthier alternative. I started waking up early in the morning to make myself eggs and toast or fruit, I pack a healthy lunch to take to work, and we only eat out a couple times on the weekend. We hardly ever eat out during the week. As long as I was eating healthy, and working out 2-4 times a week, I could enjoying my lovely, refreshing orange beverage and still maintain my weight.

However, now that that little white dress is hanging in my closet, I can almost hear her calling to me whenever I open a can of Sunkist. I’m not listening Isabella (yes, I named my dress), there’s still months to the wedding. Cue dress fitting last Wednesday. She fit. I knew she would. But, let’s just say we could have looked better. And with my bridal portraits happening in May, it was time to do something drastic.

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I am currently eating between 1200-1400 calories, anything less than that is unsafe. I knew with my current caloric intake, I couldn’t make any changes to my diet. I’m trying to loose weight, not starve myself. So any changes made will have to be to my workout routine. I am viewing the next 3 weeks as my Weight Loss Experiment. I’m working out twice a day during the week, once on the weekends, and honestly, I’ll probably skip Fridays. I know it seems extreme, but I’m not doing it forever. Its 3 weeks. I can handle that. I have decided to do the elliptical for 30-40 minutes in the morning, and then I walk/cycle for an hour in the evenings.

Much like the dance lesson, I wasn’t going to publish this online, but a friend of mine mentioned that if I did, at least I would be accountable to someone, somewhere. I started my experiment 4/9, and will be making (hopefully), weekly updates every Tuesday. So keep you’re fingers crossed! Almost one week down, two more to go!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mini Me's

Image Source / Photographed by untamedheartphotography

When we first started asking people to be member’s of our bridal party, I had a hunch we wouldn’t be asking any little girls. In our lives, there are plenty of little boys running around, but we seem to be lacking in the little girl department. If we had really wanted one, we did have a couple options. However, at the same time, I didn’t want to pick just any little girl so that we could have the traditional “flower girl” standing at the altar with us. It honestly wasn’t a decision I really agonized over. The only thing that even makes me think twice now about my decision are the cute pictures I sometimes see on Style Me Pretty and other random wedding websites.

Image via greenweddingshoes

Oh well, I’m not too terribly worried about it. It is what it is and I’ve moved on. I’m pretty sure our ring bearer is going to provide us with enough entertainment and adorable pictures, so much so, we won’t even miss the flower girl.

Meet the first member of our wedding party that I asked and who said yes, my 5 year old cousin, Wil. He’s somewhat of a ham. Actually, that’s an understatement.

Personal picture from his 5th birthday.

He’s the only kid I know who could ski when he was three, and this summer he’s planning on learning to wakeboard. He’s been talking from the time he was born (slight exaggeration, he was about a year), and hasn’t taken a breather since. We often have sleepovers when I visit for the weekend, and I couldn’t imagine life without him.

Sometimes my aunt uses his outgoing personality for good.

Granted, I’m pretty sure he’s all we’re going to need as far as little kid cuteness goes at the wedding, but then I see pictures like these and I can’t help but wonder…..

Image via Etsy / Seller littledreamersinc

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Image Source / Photographed by photosbyallison

As you can tell from the pictures, if we were to have had any flowergirl(s), I would totally have put them in tutus and cowboy boots.

Did you forgo any wedding party members? If so, why?