Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Recycled Table Numbers

A couple of weekends ago, JT and I were walking around Little Italy and stopped into one of our favorite stores, Architectural Salvage. Their store is a treasure chest of rescued antique decorative items, from old glass bottles to a giant neon "Casino" sign.

Casually strolling through the store, I got distracted by the bins of old house numbers and thought "these would make the coolest table numbers at the reception!" So we snatched up a bunch, all wonderfully mismatched.

Of course, then I got home and started checking all the wedding blogs I usually read to see if I could find some pictures of any similar ideas. Which I did. I think this has been posted on several wedding blogs, and I'm not sure where the original photo came from, but I found it via Once Wed.

I guess it means that my idea wasn't totally original, but hey, great minds think alike!


Sorry for the absence of posts. Work has been pretty overwhelming lately, and will continue to be for at least the next week. But here's some much needed catching up.

A few weeks back, when trying to plan invitations, our wedding website, fabrics, etc., I realized that I needed to select some "official" colors. As I mentioned in a previous post, our color scheme will be green, chocolate brown, and marigold. But it seemed like a good idea to get some swatches to have a comparison point for everything.

You want to know a great place to find color swatches? Your local home improvement store! My good friend Laura and I ventured over to Home Depot's paint department on our lunch break and picked up dozens of paint chip cards in every shade of green, brown and yellow that we could find!

Looking at all these swatches also got me thinking about all the cool projects you could make with them...maybe paint sample placecards? Not something that I think we'll use, but it sure would be fun for an art-themed wedding.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ceremony Site: More Marston House Details

I'm so thrilled with our venues. When my sister was here and we took her to see both of them, it just reinforced how much I love them.

I've seen photos of weddings at the Marston House online, but I thought I'd approach how we lay out our ceremony with a completely blank slate. Since my sister had never seen this place before, she was the perfect person to help us figure out the layout without any preconceived notions.

It happened that on the Saturday afternoon that we went by the garden, a wedding had just finished up. Most people set up their chairs facing this wall, using the fountain-turned-planter as their alter. But this particular wedding was set up to face the canyon.

The wall looks pretty bare right now, but in the Fall it is covered in vines and blooms.

This little structure will be perfect for the string trio to sit under (they request that they be provided with shade during outdoor weddings to protect the instruments. Bet you didn't know that!).

We decided that we will break with the set up patterns we have seen before and face the house. It's such a beautiful backdrop, and again, in the Fall, the flower beds right in front will be nearly 4 feet high with blooms.

One of my favorite hidden features about the Marston House garden is the little "waiting room." OK, it's not really a room...it's a gardener's station, but it's enclosed behind a separate wall, which makes it the ideal place for me to hide while guests are getting settled. Then, the bridal party and I can emerge from this door as we begin our march down the aisle!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flowers vs. Feathers

Truthfully, I haven't had any super specific ideas for how I want to do my hair...just sort of vague notions. This is partly because I have enlisted the amazingly talented stylist who cuts my hair to do my hair for the wedding, and I plan on letting her guide me in my hairstyle choices (yes, this is how much I trust her).

So I've been thinking something along the lines of a low, side swept bun. With a super cool accessory of course. At first, I thought for sure I'd just pick a simple but dramatic flower. Like this one from Brenda's Bridal Veils.

But lately, I've been drawn in by all the gorgeous feather hair accessories to be discovered on Etsy. Like this one from Portobello.

And really, when else will I be able to pull off a feathered hair accessory?

But, perhaps my problems have been solved with Velvet Owl! A flower with feathered accents! The yellow matches our color palette wonderfully too, but I'd have to see about swapping out the blue flower for perhaps something green (or more yellow).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cool Wedding Music, Volume II

You may recall me posting a few weeks back about a feature that JT and his brother wrote on cool music for weddings. As I mentioned in that post, having good music at our event is pretty much non-negotiable. Every song played will be awesome, because we will choose each and every one and pre-program a playlist. No DJ slipping in "Baby Got Back" anywhere.

The first part of this feature article was written by JT's brother and was posted on Inkfancy's blog. Well, you can now read the article in it's entirety, including section two's list of great first dance songs and a lovely introduction from JT, on Treble.

So, check out some great first dance songs that won't cause you to lose your indie cred, all while enjoying JT's fabulous writing skills. Not that I'm a fan or anything...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hotel Blocks: Practical or Passe?

Our project of late has been trying to figure out this whole hotel blocking thing. At first, I thought "arranging a discounted rate at a local hotel for your out of town guests is a lovely and necessary gesture." But then, after a few bad phone calls and a lot of frustrating internet research, I began to wonder...is this a necessity from days past (as in the pre-internet days of travel agents) that has endured as a formality and an "expectation" rather than something that is actually useful to guests?

Here are the problems that I have with blocking hotel rooms. Our friends and family have very different taste in hotels. While our siblings may prefer more luxury or boutique-type hotels, our parents and aunts and uncles may want something more familiar (like a larger chain hotel) and cost effective, especially those that are staying the whole week. On that note, how do we decide which dates to block? I know that my parents will be coming for a whole week, but many of our guests will be more constrained by jobs, school, etc.

And many of our friends who come in from out of town will likely stay with other friends, bypassing the hotel altogether. How can we, especially considering we haven't even sent our invites out, be expected to know exactly what everyone else's travel plans will be? Most hotels seem to expect some kind of guarantee that you will fill all the rooms that you think you will need (again, how are you supposed to know?), and I'd be pretty unhappy having to foot the bill for 4 unused hotel rooms if they didn't get booked.

In my own experiences attending weddings, I have never stayed at the specially selected hotel where rooms were blocked (the only exception being my sister's wedding in Cape Cod). In fact, JT and I recently attended an out of town wedding where we had the option of going through the "block" and staying at a chain hotel close to the venue, but we instead opted to stay at a boutique hotel rather out of the way as a way of having a mini-vacation before and after the wedding. Plus, we got a great deal on the hotel at Hotels.com. We stayed at a luxury hotel for what we would have paid for a Best Western.

Which brings me to my final point...in the days of Hotels.com, Priceline.com, and countless others, how useful is a hotel block anyway? Won't guests have better luck searching online for something that meets their needs as far as location, amenities, and price?

I urge anyone out there reading this to share your thoughts. Have you used blocked hotels when attending a wedding? Have guests at your wedding used the rooms? Did they find it helpful, or did most just do their own planning?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Let's Get Out of This Country

Where to go for our honeymoon has been the hot topic of conversation around the house for the past couple of weeks. We had pretty much settled on Barcelona, because we have been wanting to go there for several years but kept putting it off.

However, Barcelona has developed quite a reputation for street crime against tourists. Now, neither of us are the type of person to walk around with a giant map and a t-shirt that says "I Heart America," so I don't think that we'd be walking targets or anything, but having to constantly watch my purse for people sticking their hands in it while I'm on my honeymoon could be kind of a bummer.

On the plus side, Barcelona would be like heaven for two sangria-loving carnivores like JT and me.

But, being a little put off by the whole street crime thing, we looked at couple of other options and also fell in love with the idea of going to Dublin. Plus, with Ireland being so small, we could easily take little side trips out to the countryside.

Ireland has a safety-related catch too, and it has to do with driving. Obviously the whole left-side-of-the-road thing would be new (meaning our inexperience with it makes us somewhat of unsafe drivers). And it turns out the Ireland has the second highest rate of auto fatalities in the world (first is Greece!).

Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not really scared for our safety in either of these places. My indecision as to where to go lies more in the fact that I really want to go to both places!! Both would be romantic, but in very different ways.

Have you been to either of these places? If so, what were your experiences there?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shrug It Off

Searching for fun, interesting ways to accessorize my wedding gown has been one of the most fun aspects of planning. Birdcage veils, colorful shoes, fascinators, unique jewelry and cute shrugs...the possibilities are endless!

When I was checking out the Nicole Miller gowns, many friends and family commented that it was difficult to get a sense of how the v-neck gown was "supposed" to fit since the one I was wearing in the photo was 3 sizes too big. Fortunately, this featured wedding on Style Me Pretty came to the rescue, as the bride, Katie, totally rocks the Nicole Miller.

But the best discovery was the fab Holly Stalder shrug that the bride is sporting at the reception! A+ accessorizing.

A custom made Holly shrug dyed to match your wedding colors would be a great touch for any sassy bride, like myself.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

And What Would Go Under the Cake Topper?

Maybe it seems like we are going backwards, choosing the cake topper before the cake. But I don't really have a strong preference for how I want our cake to look. Rather, I have a strong preference for how I want it to taste (JT agrees).

Let's all face it: fondant cakes look beautiful, but taste terrible (I know, there's ONE person out there who disagrees with me, but I firmly believe she is the only person I know that enjoys the taste of fondant). So the quest is to find a buttercream cake that's as visually appealing as a fondant one will be a bit tricky.

I recently learned that Twiggs, a coffeehouse in University Heights, also makes wedding cakes. Check out this beautifully decorated cake from their buttercream gallery:

And this cake is fab! It's practically already a perfect match for our wedding style. Just update the color of the leaves to green, and we'd be all set.

This simple design would be perfect for highlighting a cutesy cake topper, especially if the topper was a pair of birds.

Now, I haven't actually tasted any of Twiggs cakes yet, but the flavors sound darn good: a belgian chocolate with chocolate mousse, a double chocolate with raspberry (one of JT's favorite flavor combos), and a chocolate paired with cream cheese frosting (say what you will, but I LOVE cream cheese frosting!). Can you tell we're chocolate fans?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Top of the Pops

Not too long ago, the words "cake topper" usually brought to mind little plastic brides and grooms, usually sitting atop some frightful wedding cake from the 80s (at least, this is what my mind conjured up).

But that was before I discovered Jennifer Murphy! If you don't think these are the cutest things you have every seen, then you must be dead inside.

After JT and I saw her cake toppers, we knew we had to get one. So we'll be having her make us a custom topper! It's a bit of a silly splurge, but it will be an awesome keepsake from our big day.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Veiled Interest

From day one, I knew I wouldn't want to wear a full veil. During the many dress shopping experiences, every time someone slapped a veil on my head, I cringed (internally). I had kind of thought that maybe a vintage inspired birdcage veil would be fun. At my first visit to the White Dress, they gave me one to try one, and sadly, I wasn't really digging it.

But then, once I had my dress selected, I tried the birdcage again. Totally different vibe this time. I think not having the right dress to pair it with was throwing me off the first time. Tell me what you think!

Of course, you don't know which dress I selected (most of you, that is) so you can't get the full visual. But my sister claims that it is so cute that she almost wet herself. Her words.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I Heart AS Too!

Since I'm a photographer in my own small way, obviously finding a photographer for our wedding would be a big challenge. Throw in the fact that I don't have $5,000 to spend on photography, and it becomes an even bigger challenge. JT and I have been pouring over photographer's websites for months (well, 2 months to be exact), trying to find someone who was not only a talented photographer with a unique viewpoint but that was also affordable and a good fit with us personality-wise. We finally found the perfect combination in one Mr. Aaron Thompson! Check out these bits of awesomeness.

Hopefully Aaron won't mind me "borrowing" these rad images from his own blog. You can check out more fabulous stuff at his site iheartas.com.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dancing Choose

Now that I've got a specific dress in mind, my mind has already turned to accessories. There's a big trend right now of brides wearing colorful shoes, and I must say, it's a trend that I plan to embrace. Not sure whether the color will be marigold or green, but one of those for sure.

I'm also not sure if I'm going with flats or heels. Most people seem to argue that heels are a necessity to help remind you that it is a "special" day. But there are two major problems with wearing heels for me. First, JT is only about an inch taller than me (I'm really, really tall). So in 3-inch heels, I've got two inches over him. And secondly, heels are much harder to dance in.

Either way, I'm already finding some awesome ideas. Check out these, all from Zappos.com:

From left to right: Marc Jacobs, Diba, Sigerson Morrison.

From left to right: RSVP, DKNY, Juicy Couture

And finally, some excellent choices from J Crew:

Thursday, April 2, 2009

THE Gown

I've decided...!

That's all!

I can't tell you on this blog for risk the JT will see, so if you are dying to know, email me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Color Me In

I didn't set out to find a wedding venue that would match a specific "look" that I had in mind for my wedding...quite the opposite. JT and I thought it best to find a cool venue that had a vibe we were natural drawn to and then match our theme to that venue.

So when it came to selecting a color palette, I didn't have any particular colors in mind. Bleu Boheme has, of course, a lot of blue in it's decor, but I wasn't really keen on the idea of a mostly blue wedding. It just seemed like a very safe, typical wedding color.

Instead, I tried to pick up on some of the other colors that were more subtley included in the decor. Like yellow.

And green. And brown, from all the exposed wood. Then, searching for wedding inspiration on Snippet and Ink, I found these two inspiration boards:

If these two boards had a baby, it would be our color theme: moss green, marigold yellow and chocolate brown. I'm so in love with the colors, that I could marry them. I guess I kind of am!