Archive for the ‘Vendors’ Category

I suppose today is the time to keep on posting about stationery. At least this is a stationery success story!

I love the look of a hand-addressed envelope, especially the return-address on the back-flap. I think it’s really classy, and a nice touch to complete the entire suite. Martha Stewart has a wrap-around address template that I used for invites for my best friend’s bridal shower last February (which was awesome, by the way) which I really like, but it seems to be a little lacking for wedding invitations. A little too casual for me.

Ready and Labeled

That’s not to say I won’t use something like this for Thank You Notes. With over 250 guests, you can bet your bottom dollar I will.

For invites, though, I just wanted something a bit more special. We’re having Jessica Lynn over at Penned and Pretty do the calligraphy. She suggested that, so save some money on calligraphy, to purchase a custom address stamp for the return address. What a lovely idea! I thought. A custom rubber stamp provides that I can use the same color ink as the calligraphy, just by browsing around at AC Moore or Michae’ls for the right color stamp pad. Also, my parents will be able to keep it and use it long after the wedding is over– providing they don’t move.

I started searching, and last night, after all of the stationery drama, had a bit of success. Of course, I made my way to Etsy. I purchased this custom stamp from lovetocreatestamp‘s shop:

Custom  Personalized   wood handle address  rubber stamp cute  wedding  gift - style 9008

Custom  Personalized   wood handle address  rubber stamp cute  wedding  gift - style 9008

I thought the font choice and the scrolls would go nicely with both the calligraphy on the front of the envelope, and the scrolling on the invitation itself. My mom also loved it! Score!

I just have to buy a stamp pad in chocolate brown, and all is well in stationery world. (Of course, I’ll also have to address a few envelopes, but we’re not talking about that any more today.) We’ll send them out in late May/early June, and get them back by the First of July (here’s hoping!) for an early August wedding.

And so– ha ha!– victory is mine.


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Stationery Snaffu

Last night, my mom and I were working on the final guest list so we could get it sent to our lovely calligrapher, Jessica Lynn, over at Penned and Pretty. I’m very excited about Jessica, as I’ve posted about a few times already, because I am a terribly impatient person. If I had to spend all of the time making my invitations look as beautiful as this…

…I’d probably go crazy. I nearly went crazy last night as my mom and I were working. Unfortunately, since I’ve been out of state, we’ve had two different running guest lists. I do not recommend this type of guest listing. She sat at my family’s desktop, and I sat at the desk in the office with my laptop, calling names and addresses back and forth. We ran into a few… um… issues.

First, my computer, which I got when I was entering my first year of college and is nearing the end of its non-Mac, slow-moving, gradually malfunctioning lifetime, decided to freeze and not auto-recover my Excel Spreadsheet of the guest list. So, while my mom and I had a common base, all of the additional people that my father and B added were gone– in all, about 20. Granted, this isn’t a big deal. At the time, however, having spent about an hour and a half working on it, I was ready to throw my already piece-of-#@$! computer against the wall. My mom peacefully left the room, took my little brother somewhere, and I calmed down. OK, OK… I thought, it’s not that bad. All of the addresses were correct– I knew that much. I only had to play catch-up with less than 20 names. No big deal.

While my mom was away, I caught up on all of the work that had just been lost. My dad, sometime after we’d ordered the ivitations, decided that some of his B-listers should be added to the A-list, as most of them probably wouldn’t be able to make it anyway, and well, we might as well send an invite in the first round. I don’t have a problem with this– we invited Brandon’s family’s A- and B- list in the first round. And really, since they probably won’t be able to make it, it’s not that big a deal.

As I added up all of my dad’s additional guests, as well as the late-in-the-game guest list that B made for me, I started to fill with fear. And then, when all was said and done, I looked at the final count. 138 invitations to send… we’d only ordered 125. NOOOOO!!! I scanned the list, and took all of the wedding party off… but then put the ones with spouses back on, because you never can tell about work. All in all, there was only 3 invitations that ended up coming off the list from the wedding party. My head started scrambling. Can I take the invitations to Kinkos and just have color copies printed on nice cardstock? Is that legal? And more importantly, is that tacky? Answers: No. No. Yes.

Sometime around when my heart palpatations were reaching critical, my mom came home. Calmly, she told me that she would just order more invitations. We discussed getting this next batch of 25 without reception cards. Certainly, my college-aged, frat-house cousin is not going to notice or care that he does not have a reception card, whereas, my father’s work colleagues, or the President of our university might. No problem, money saving, and some simple rearranging.  That same cousin also won’t notice that his envelope was “calligraphed” by me, and not professionally, whereas my father’s work colleagues might. So, I’ll address the invites of the people that don’t care, since we don’t have a full list or more than 130 envelopes to send the calligrapher. OK. Less than 20 invites to address? I can do that. Heck, I  might even print.

OK. OK. Everything is OK. As I write this morning, I still have to tell myself, it’s really OK. It’s not that big a deal– really, it’s just a few clicks of a button on an incredibly convenient company’s website. Maybe it’s just one little oversight, this one tiny little failure, that’s messing with my perfectionist planning head. I keep telling myself that I just need to let it go. Really. It’s not the end of the world, the end of my life, the end of my relationship or the end of the wedding. Far from, in fact, on all counts. Just one little mistake.

How do you handle mistakes in planning? Did anything blow up in your face at the last minute?

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Well, you’ve seen the bouquet, you’ve seen the church flowers. Here’s what I’m thinking for our reception. To jog your memory, our beautiful reception venue looks like this:

Photo by Cindy Patrick

Photo by Cindy Patrick

 So, we’re thinking about flowers like these for our reception space. We’re going to alternate high and low arrangements, with more low than high. Theme flowers, like I mentioned before, are going to be white calla lillies, hydrangeas, and white roses. Here’s what’s inspired me:





I really love the vibrant green of the stems. The top two have way more calla lillies than I can probably afford, as they’re pretty expensive. But I thought this was a nice way to incorporate the fresh green of the rest of our decor, and also keep it natural and muted. I love the Thai leaves that are incorporated as well– they add a really nice element of greenery that I’m very attracted to.

For our low arrangements, something like this–





I love the hydrangeas– not many blossoms are needed to make a full, lush arrangement! And, again, they’re a nice, muted tone, but still can be a wow when clumped together. There won’t be any callas in the small arrangements, only the large ones.

And, I’m thinking of hatching another DIY project. I cannot imagine that children will appreciate flowers– I just don’t think they will. Perhaps at the kids tables, I’ll use buckets filled with crayons, coloring books and candy as a centerpiece, instead of cluttering the table with them, which I was going to give out anyway. Is that tacky? I’ll make sure they’re toward the interior, instead of a very photo-visible exterior table.

So, what do you think? With an estimate of 22 tables, how many high and how many low?

Do you have signature flowers for your event?

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Well, I’ve posted on Bridesmaids dresses, the reception and the ceremony locations. I’ve not posted about my dress, for it will remain a lock-stock-and-barrel secret until my wedding day. However, here’s what I’ve been thinking about floral design.

My florist, Janene of In Full Bloom, specializes in “intensely personal flowers.” She’s so great to work with, and I really enjoyed my time with her this winter. I won’t post bouquet options for myself, because as I came to think about my own bridal bouquet, there was truly no other option than white calla lillies. Beautiful, classy, a bit modern, but in traditional white. So chic. I also love the sharp contrast of the green stems– I think that will seperate the white of the flowers from the white of my dress.


For the bridesmaid’s bouquets, I have a special surprise in store. Also, when talking with my friend, Melissa, on the phone the other evening, she exclaimed, “I found your blog!” This brought on a few mixed emotions– surprise, for one– and also regret that I can’t share all of the surprises I have in store for them. However, here’s a few pictures that have inspired me for their bouquets.

What’s not a surprise is that they will all be all-white bouquets. I love the simplicity of white-on-white that my bouquet will have; I was having a hard time, however, finding an appropriate shade of green to accompany their dresses. So, it’s white flowers for us all!



I posted earlier about my flower girl, Paloma, and the pomander I’d like for her to carry. That idea is still my primary option, and will also be in the works as a DIY project.



I can make one of those, right? Power to the people! The question is– green or brown ribbon? I’m thinking brown. Thoughts?

Next up: Church flowers (another DIY project) and Centerpieces.

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Well. Yesterday I did what I swore I would never do. I flipped into Bitchy Bride mode. I didn’t want this to happen; I like to think I’ve been fairly easy-going with this entire process. (I feel as though I should delete that last sentence right away. It reminds me of When Harry Met Sally: “You’re the worst kind. You’re high maintenance, that thinks she’s low maintenance.”) Yesterday, however, I realized that I hadn’t at all worked on the rehearsal dinner, and my mother-in-law was waiting on me to do the booking! Well, I panicked, since I figured the site B and I loved would have been booked. However, all was well in Restaurant World.

FARMiCia is an adorably chic restaurant in Old City Philadelphia. All of their produce and meat comes from a farming co-op outside of the city, assuring that the meat is free range and everything is FDA-Organic. I really enjoy this restaurant, because I think it really supports many of our ideals, including support of local business and farms (going to school in Indiana has made us fairly agriculturally aware). It’s location is in the heart of Old City, one of my favorite places in the world. Here’s a peak!





This is the space that (most likely) we’ll be using for our event. It seats just the right amount of people, so I’m hoping it works for us.



So lovely! It makes the drama and frustration of having it sprung on my like that dissipate. Looking forward to enjoying the yummy yummy food. I’m thinking I’ll wrap two or three sunflowers together with raffia and use mason jars for centerpieces, along with the apples that are there. Since we’re using green as a color for our wedding, the apples will help tie it together, I think. But, then again, it needn’t mimic Saturday’s blessed event.

One aspect that is a bit frustrating about the rehearsal is that the church requires our rehearsal dinner be held on a Thurdsday evening, as they have weddings in their facility on Friday night. It makes me feel bad for our attendants, who have to take an extra day off if they’re coming in from out of town. But, then, Friday will hopefully be less stressful, full of relaxing, and spending time with the people I love. Which is far more important than having to throw myself a rehearsal dinner.

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Even more than the Merion for our reception, I am absolutely in love with the Church that we’re having our ceremony in. B and I attend a small church in the city, whose permanent building– a loft– would not fit all of our guests, nor does it quite fit the bill for our rather formal wedding. So, we’re getting married in beautiful downtown Haddonfield.

Here she is!



So, there’s the exterior– I love the columns! I sense a DIY project ahead– I need to make some wreaths for those killer doors! Another outdoor feature is this breezeway. I love these arches– I hope our photographer gets creative with them!


The breezeway frames this garden: breezeway

Again, I’m so happy we’ve got an uber-creative photographer to do some lovely work at this site! And a b-e-a-utiful wedding party to photograph! What I keep reminding myself is that this is a wedding not a photoshoot. But I can’t help loving on our pictures and photographer when I look at my own amateur shots and daydream about what Kamila will do!

And now, for the interior. We have some lovely bridal suites for B and I to get prepared in (please ignore the ugly TV pushcart):


I’m sensing some sexy-bride pictures on that couch. Is that wrong in a church? B and his groomsmen will all “relax” in this room prior to the ceremony. Lucky ducks, they face the parking lot, so they have the pleasure of spying on all of our guests as they arrive. I’m kept in the dark.


Here’s a shot of the lovely foyer:


I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about waiting there to enter the sanctuary and walk down the aisle. Nerves will be high, I’ll tell you! My dad is already quite emotional about the whole experience. Oh goodness, I won’t be able to stand still! I have to stop thinking about it now; I’m already so nervous!

We’ll walk through the double doors and enter this sanctuary: sanctuary-1

So so SO lovely! It’s just breath-taking. Initially, I didn’t want a long aisle. But then, when my mom and I went and visited, my desire for the drama-factor started increasing. Greatly. I also didn’t want a long train or a veil. But then, they put them on you, and I imagined walking down this aisle, and I was a puddle of goo that would have bought just about anything they put on me. I’m a little nervous about the green dresses contrasting with the red carpet– will it look like Christmas? Also, I don’t think it’s the most budget-friendly idea to add fresh flowers to the pews, especially since it isn’t a traditional Mass and the ceremony won’t last too long. But I do want something– are silk flowers tacky? I wonder if I can make some cute silk arrangements for the pughs— another DIY experiment will be on its way! I love how much natural light we’ll get in this church. We were looking for a place that could accomodate 250– when they told me that this space could hold up to 700, I nearly fell over.

I just love this church– it adds so much drama, and creates such a classy, elegant and traditional vibe. Thinking about that walk down that long long LONG aisle is making me knee-knocking nervous though, I must say. I have no real doubts about Brandon, or the wedding, or anything at all. It’ s just anticipating that moment… that once in a lifetime, see each other for the first time on our wedding day moment… just gets me so giddy!

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Well, I feel incredibly behind the ball. The first thing that Brandon and I did after getting engaged (aside from me purchasing my wedding gown) was book our reception location! It’s an absolutely incredible ballroom, and has inspired much of our planning since. We LOVE this ballroom, and are so excited for our gorgeous reception, to be held at the Skylight Ballroom at the Merion Caterers. blog48

We love this ballroom! The skylight is a 40 foot dome, and will look beautiful in both the night, and the day…


Our reception is at 6 PM in August. I’m not sure what the sunset time is or what sort of lighting we can expect. All I know is that this caterer has continued to wow us, and we’re so excited to wow our guests as well!

I just love how unique the site is– the marble floors, the beautiful glass dome. I also love how the ballroom is circular— it provides a huge amount of unity to the entire event, I think. There’s a lovely staricase leading up to the ballroom– on the second floor of the facility. My imagination is reeling when I think of what we can do with the staircase, or about the bathroom packages– so much fun and potential for personality!

My fiancee is terribly excited about our tasting, although disappointed he has to wait until June to sample all of the mouth-watering goodies they have to offer. The manager was gracious enough to give B and I a gift of a martini bar; we’ll also have some lovely hors doerves and carving stations during cocktail hour, and incredible dessert bars, like ice-cream sundaes, a Vienese bar (serving B’s favorite Tiramisu and my father’s favorite canolis), some chocolate fountains, and– my favorite– a crepes station! Bananas foster anyone?

What do you love about your reception site? What elements were important to you? What makes it unique?

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