Stephanie’s Bachelorette Night!

Bachelorette Invite

Bachelorette party invites by Flapperdoodle on Etsy. 

One of the most enjoyable parts of being Maid of Honor was preparing Stephanie’s bachelorette party. I don’t have space to hold an event in my little apartment, and instead of a crazy weekend out of town, or reserving a table or room at a noisy, crowded restaurant, I called on a contact I had met at Sur La Table who hosts private, four-or-five course meals in their “underground supper club.”

So, our little group of ten got all fancied up and met at an undisclosed location, and the night began! Unfortunately, the low light made it really hard to snap photos. I did manage to get one grainy cell phone shot with the lady of honor!

Steph and I

We had an amazing Indian themed meal made from local ingredients.

  • Curried deviled eggs
  • Kale salad with feta and apples
  • Chicken tikka masala with rice
  • Peach strawberry crumble

Stephanie wasn’t feeling well that night, so all in all, a low-key (but so fancy!!) dinner party was just what the Dr. ordered, as opposed to a crazy night out on the town. Truly, the gourmet meal, funky and eclectic setting, wonderful service, and good friends made it a night to remember.

Goodie Bag

Hoping everyone was inspired by our chef, I sent the girls home with a “supper themed” gift bag containing a fabulous glittery paring knife, sweet treat (courtesy of our hosts), and a few recipe cards.

It’s so hard to believe this was already three weeks ago! Where does the time go? 

DIY Wedding Bouquets (Faux Flowers)

To save money on her wedding, Steph agreed to let me try my hand at arranging flowers for her bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. I had so much with these faux flowers!

My first foray into faux flower arranging was a year ago when I helped create my friend Lisa’s bouquet for her own big day…

Lisa's Flowers

Lisa's Flowers

Photos by Scout Weddings.

So since I had a little experience, I kind of had a starting point for Stephanie’s wedding. First, we identified the color scheme of the wedding– Magenta and “metallic tones.” Since the venue was more of a tropical setting, with a pond, palm trees, and other lush greenery, we decided to go with bright and vibrant greens, as opposed to the dusky earthy tones I had used with Lisa’s bouquet. I created the bride’s bouquet first, and then did the MOH’s as a kind of “prototype.” We realized that the “star” flower was out of our price range to include in every bouquet (we were trying to save money after all) and created a scaled-back version of the MOH’s bouquet for the rest of the girls.

For the Bride, we found the most amazing pink flower, perfect for the color scheme, then accented it with browns and whites:

The Bride's Bouquet

The MOH (me) got a gorgeous white version of Stephanie’s pink flower, with matching white hydrangeas and a brown version of the anenome flower:

The MOH's Bouquet

And the bridesmaids (six!) got arrangements of white and brown. They are the same as the MOH arrangement minus the more costly white bloom–they have the same brown anenome, brown roses, and white hydrangeas:

The Bridesmaids' Bouquet

Since these photos are close-ups, it’s a bit more obvious that the arrangements aren’t real flowers. On the day of, however, I doubt people could tell, or were even thinking about them.

Here are a few tips if you decide to try your hand at a DIY faux flower bouquet. Got more tips? Share in the comments.

  1. Splurge and get the nicer flowers. It’s easy to tell the difference between a $15 stem and a $5 version of the same flower.
  2. Shop when they’re on sale. Both times, I got flowers from Hobby Lobby and they put their silk flowers on sale every two to three weeks.
  3. Bunch all the flowers together while shopping, and create the loose idea of what you want the arrangement to look like while still in the store. Our cart looked very crazy with all kinds of different flowers until we decided on our winners.
  4. Keep warm tones and cool tones in mind when choosing flowers, and pay careful attention to the leaves–they are the most tonal (brownish, blueish, yellowish green) and more apt to clash.
  5. When arranging, start with the main flower and accent flower(s) and create what looks like a triangle from above. This will help the bouquet look attractive from any angle. Then, begin adding in greenery as filler. Here’s a little illustration:
  6. A Bouquet Triangle
  7. Keep turning the arrangement around and around while working on it. Make sure all the sides look nice, because the person holding it will not remember to hold it a particular direction. I guarantee it.
  8. Get creative when it comes to greenery! It’s the weakest link, in my opinion, when it comes to faux flowers. There are simply not as many plain foliange options! I wouldn’t have normally gone for this faux boxwood but the vibrant, pure green was just the tone we needed. I’m so happy we used it!
  9. Tear it apart! Our boxwood stems came with four to six (I can’t remember) “pieces” attatched together. By separating each boxwood sprig, we could poke it into the bouquet just where more greenery was needed.

Bridal Party

 

Photo by Faithfully Focused Photography

My favorite thing about faux arrangements is that they last forever! My mother had faux flowers at her wedding in the 80s and she still has her bouquet.

Thanks for reading! I really had so much fun creating these.

DIY Wedding Invitations

Well, Stephanie is in Maui and I’m missing her like crazy. Is there a better way to get over it than to reminisce about the planning and preparation that led up to last weekend? Is it too early to reminisce?

If you’ve planned a wedding you know that invitations are crucial for setting the tone of the event and can get expensive really quickly. I’ve seen invite suites that exceed $4 per invite… if you plan on inviting 100, 200, 300 people the price can get astronomical very quickly. Lucky for me, I have some wonderful friends in the printing business. They designed and printed my wedding invites for me in 2010, and have always been patient in indulging my amateur graphic designer side by allowing me to submit my own work for them to print. Case in point: Stephanie’s wedding invitations!

For her event, Steph wanted a simple and classy affair, and chose the color scheme “magenta with metallics.” Early in the planning process she had also mentioned working in Art Deco elements, so I took a few cues from that and created something that I think fits the bill and is unique. Do you think it fits the vision?

The paper looks pretty white on my computer screen, but FYI, it was printed on an ivory-cream stock.

DIY Wedding Invites

I created them using Microsoft Publisher, since that’s the program I’m most familiar with. I now have the full Adobe suite on my mac and would love to learn more programs, but time wasn’t cooperative in this case. So Publisher it was. I think they turned out very nicely.

DIY Wedding Invites

The fonts are Chopin Script, Castellar, and Baskerville Old Face… in case you were curious.

Since the invite suite was simply cream with black text (classy looking , AND cheaper that way!) We used metallic bronze envelopes to spice things up. I think it worked really nicely. We were able to print these for right around $80–including 200 invites, RSVP postcards (two sided) and the info cards. The envelopes added a bit to the cost but we definitely saved a lot of money compared to ordering suites online or out of one of those catalogs they have at print shops.

Here are some of my tips in case you’re interested in trying this out yourself:

  • Look at other invites to see what kind of styles you like and would feel confident in mimicking.
  • Make lots of test prints! What looks good on your computer might look very different on paper.
  • Keep things simple! By limiting my color scheme to black and white, I was able to easily drop in some art deco designs I found online.
  • Limit yourself to three kinds of fonts. This is a basic graphic design tip you’ll see all over the place. If you start going too crazy with fonts, things can become too busy and look more amateurish than you need to.

Have you ever designed your own paper goods? Business cards? Christmas cards? 

Wedding Registry Tips

Summer is here, and with it Wedding Season. My sister’s getting married, and a flock of couples on my Facebook feed have just gotten engaged! I decided to draw on my knowledge and experience of registering and helping others register to share a few tips.

In-store vs. online

I always, always, always, recommend registering in-store first. It’s hard to know what a product is really like until you see it in person. Take the time to hold the flatware in your hand, hold up the towels with an accent color–picture how these items will be in real life. Feel the bedding and make sure it’s soft enough–or does it seem cheap? There’s nothing worse than receiving a registry item that falls apart less than six months later. What a waste of your time and your friends’ money! That said, it’s very convenient to add more items online as those you registered for get discontinued or if the date approaches and many items have already been purchased, especially if you have seen the items in-person ahead of time.

Wedding Registry Tips

Items: 1, 2, 3

Fill the Home

If you’ve lived on your own for a while, there is a good chance you have enough “stuff” to fill up a house. Use this opportunity to fill in the gaps–to replace the ratty towels you used for 4 years in college, or the toaster that still technically works, but you suspect will cause an electrical fire any day now, for example. Register for a few nicer pieces of cookware, to replace the $5 skillet you got from IKEA a while ago. If you’re just starting out, this is a good time to get the basics. Registering at somewhere like Target is great for someone who needs everything, just know that many items will wear out much more quickly than their higher-end counterparts, and it will be up to you to replace things. (Example: I am approaching the 3-year mark and have begun replacing the cookware I received from my Target registry, as it is wearing out).

Wedding Registry Tips

Items: 1, 2, 3 

“Forever” items

If you’re getting married at an early age and have a whole home to fill, it’s tempting to register for quantity over quality. However, there are gift-givers who truly want to give you an item that will last forever. Don’t be afraid to include a few “forever” items in your registry… for some people, fine china (around $150 per place setting) is still a priority. For others, a high-end juicer or Vitamix ($650) is something they would use daily as part of a healthy lifestyle. Remember that it’s common for people to pitch in together to get a big-ticket item! Don’t worry about looking greedy–just mix in a few high-end items with a majority of things at an accessible price-point. Remember, this is a big life event and many people want their gift to reflect that.

Sometimes it’s hard to talk about registries without feeling greedy or like you’re a part of the Wedding Industrial Complex. I want to remind you that people will attend your wedding and most will feel led to bring a gift. This is because they love you and want to celebrate the milestone with you! Take all “wedding registry must-have” lists with a grain of salt and register for what you will actually use. If you don’t bake much, don’t feel pressured to add a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer just because all the kitchens in magazines have one. Be true to yourself!

Your turn: Anything to add? Leave a comment!

[QUEST] Halloween Wedding Inspiration

Readers, get comfortable. This might be the longest post I’ve ever written (800+ words). I had a lot of fun.
Also, I’ll use this to introduce the QUEST tag. Most of the stuff I do here is focused on me and my house.  Posts marked QUEST will be labors of love I’ve done for a friend or someone who’s asked me what I think about x, y, and z.

I was incredibly flattered when a friend from college contacted me on Facebook and asked for my opinion regarding her wedding. (She said I was the most creative person she knows! This has gotta be impossible and I’m trying not to get a big head.) She has been shipped out to Afghanistan and will be planning from a distance. The themes that inspired her most for a fall wedding were Halloween, masquerade, and fall colors.

With that as my starting point, and the goal of making it fun without venturing into what I call “The Tim Burton Gothic Halloween Black Hole,” I consulted some of the blogs I followed religiously when planning my own “Big Day. ” This has actually been a lot of fun for me. Part of me thinks I’d love to be a wedding or event planner, so I could do this kind of stuff all the time. Then I realize that the kinds of brides that actually pay people to come up with this stuff for them are probably not the kind I want to work with.

Fall Halloween Masquerade Wedding

Click the image for the huge version! All sources at the end of the post.

In this imaginary Fall Halloween Masquerade wedding (see? I worked in all 3 themes) the bride and groom are celebrating outside in the crisp fall air that hasn’t turned cold quite yet. Preferably, at a park or on somebody’s property that has majestic large trees. If there are leaves on the trees, perfect–fall color. If not, perfect–more Halloweeny. A rustic setting and rustic “base layer” for all the decor, colors, accessories, flowers, etc will lend the perfect “old” (which can lend itself towards “creepy”) foundation to keep things from getting too 5th Grade Halloween Party.  And I don’t want to see any bats, unless they’re done right ;)

Fashion
A vintage-looking ivory wedding dress blends in with the surroundings and isn’t too harsh against the warm colors. Black bridesmaids’ dresses let the fall-colored decorations colors pop without worrying about finding the “perfect” orange, red, or yellow–nothing clashes with black in my book. Plus, if you give the bridesmaids guidelines but let them pick out their own dress, they’ll go home with the perfect LBD that every closet should have in it. Keep them knee-length or a little shorter, preferably, to keep things fun & avoid the event from getting too stuffy. For groomsmen, black is generally the go-to color so that’s easy. Perhaps some of your guys already own a black suit–make life easier on them and let them wear it. Pick various jewel-toned ties (dark orange, dark red, navy blue) to keep from looking too cookie-cutter.

Flowers
[Author’s note. This is the weak section because I really don’t care about flowers. At my wedding I left it up to the florist]  The flowers feature in-season fall flowers from a warm color scheme. However, somehow purple has worked its way into being a “classic Halloween color” which is fine because rich, dark purple flowers or dark purple leaves would look great in a fall-colored bouquet.

Ceremony Decor
The bride and groom would have preferred black wrought-iron looking chairs or benches (think Haunted Mansion at Disneyland) but who has that?  They opted for natural wood folding chairs over plastic white chairs to keep the muted color pallet going. Along the aisle, each chair has a small pumpkin next to it, with fall leaves (fake ones sewn onto a rope to outsmart the unpredictable Kansas winds) running the length from back to front. Again, due to the wind, programs are not pre-set on the chairs. Ushers hand them out as guests arrive.

Reception Decor
At the reception, as soon as guests enter they encounter two rustic baskets filled with plain black Halloween masks. The bride and groom have a white and black one (respectively) pre-set at their table.  The cake is a rustic-looking apple spice cake with cream cheese frosting, with exposed layers for graphic appeal and to set it apart from a sea of regular wedding cakes. Since the reception’s small in attendance, the bride opted for a 2-layer 8 inch round cake at each table instead of a giant one to feed the crowd. This way, guests can mingle without waiting in a long line for treats. Each place has a small clear bag with pieces of nut brittle in it for a take-home favor. Table decorations incorporate small pumpkins and small flower arrangements but aren’t too tall–this way the guests can see the person across the table from them.

Sources:

BHLDNTulle Era Dress
The Knot: Ceremony 1, Ceremony 2, Flowers 1, Flowers 2, Bridesmaids Dresses
Bon Appetit: Fuji Apple Spice cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Martha Stewart: Centerpiece, Place Cards, Nut Brittle

If you want, you can check out my ever-evolving pinboard with photos you see here and perhaps some new ones! Plus, sometimes I put my opinions in the description.

The Search is Over

Ever since the wedding, and even before the wedding, I have had my heart set on a multi-opening picture frame for photos of the event. Not the most original idea in the universe, I know, but I thought it would be a more tasteful way to display my pictures than having them in small frames all over the room. So I looked at Kohl’s, Target, and Hobby Lobby (my home-decor resources are limited due to where I live) and couldn’t find the perfect one. Granted, the one I had in mind was more or less exactly what my friend got from Costco in 2008 so the chances of finding the exact same one were limited. BUT!  The search for the perfect multi-window picture frame has come to an end, as I found, ordered, and received one from Crate & Barrel! Here’s the frame…

Here’s what it would look like in my expertly-styled entryway (assuming I had the extra $100 to get two more of them)…

But all joking aside, I really do have a picture of how it turned out with pictures of me and people I know in it instead of strangers and strangers’ pets. And it was a one day job, thanks to Wal-Mart being able to print an 8×10 in-store. Trust me, the only time I’ll endorse Wal-Mart is for the photo lab.

Funny story, about actually getting the frame. You may have noticed me talking about never seeming to connect with the UPS/FedEx guy (due to being at work) and how a few intended packages have slipped away. Like the mystery package from Georgia I never got and don’t know who it’s from. Anyway, yesterday as we were shutting down Amics and I was taking the trash out to the dumpster, I saw the FedEx truck, ran over, and waited till the guy came back. I signed for my package and asked him to please leave it at the door even though I wouldn’t be home. Worked like a charm.

That was a little rabbit trail, wasn’t it? Well, here it is, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Let’s play another round of Watch Staci’s Camera Turn Straight Lines into Bended Lines! I mean, um, a picture of the finished product.

I’m not as into black-and-white as the Crate & Barrel product stylists are. I like to think I’m a little more colorful than that. Not to say that I won’t someday put black and white pics in it. Just not today.

More Wedding Pictures

So, the day before the wedding, we got the gang (bridesmaids and groom’s men) together for a casual photoshoot in order to be more creative than your standard run of the mill wedding pics (although I think our day-of pics are still pretty creative).

Photos by The Visual Theory

Click here to be taken to the full set on flickr. Prepare yourself for some sweet photos. And a few with some not-so-sweet weird facial expressions. It was really hot and bright outside that day!!

Doug&Staci019