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Posts Tagged ‘Vendors’

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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I’ve been thinking a lot about Church flowers. Initially, I’d wanted fresh flowers on all the pews. Let me refresh your memory of what our church looks like:

sanctuary-2

So… I counted at one point. But I’ve forgotten. All I know is that’s a long-ass aisle, with an exorbitant number of pews. It seats 750! You can hardly blame us, then, when I realized that fresh flowers on all of the pews was definitely pork spending in our budget.

Without shame, I present our solution: silk. Yep, that’s right, silk flowers. I’m going to do it, and it will hopefully is going to look good. My dear cousin also used silk flowers (and I wouldn’t have been able to tell!), and I trust her to-be-wed judgment best of all. I saw this picture on the Knot, and thought, of course I can make that!

potential-for-church-not-too-green1

I probably won’t monogram the cones– I just found out that my Aunt has a ton of them that her daughter used for her wedding– also with silk flowers. Since hydrangeas are a theme flower for the day, I’ll probably use them in my DIY fake arrangements. Also, I’ve seen real hydrangeas that I was positively convinced were fake. They’re a good flower to work with, I think.

I would still like to have some fresh arrangements in the front of the church, however. Perhaps some ferns; we can then pot them in our new apartment (which I must blog about soon!) OR, we can do themed arrangements, like these:

lillies1

However, my mother and I are terrified that they’ll get lost in the huge expanse of the Church. It will be like Where’s Waldo? all over again! It’s just so huge that I’m afraid no one will see them, and we will have wasted our money. We can (and will!) recycle them, incorporating them into the reception somehow– perhaps at the gift table or near the place cards?

Our florist gave us a few very helpful hints when considering church flowers that I thought I’d pass along:

  1. If there’s more than one wedding at the Church per day, call the other brides scheduled to be married and split the difference of the flowers. Go with a simple white, and you can combine costs to use the flowers at the Church all day; then, donate the flowers to the Church. You may have trouble obtaining information about the other couples from your Church, but if they relent, you could easily reduce a $300 arrangement down to $100.
  2. For centerpieces in the front of the Church, consider using triangular bases, such that the Florist will only incorporate the flowers into the facade of the arrangement, like a set in a play. Since they will be facing front, from the altar, and the congregation will get no perspective on the fullness of the flower, you can use 1/3 the number of flowers as a normal arrangement. The downside of this idea is that you will not be able to easily recycle these flowers; the jig is up if the front-heavy arrangement graces the gift table.
  3. Don’t skimp on your bouquet. Get the most elaborate, beautiful and expensive bouquet that you can afford. Your attendants don’t need anything special. Aside from the pictures, their flowers will end up abandoned on a chair or table while they dance the night away. Your flowers, however, are a part of your ensemble. (And, traditional ettiquette dictates the groom’s family pays for the brideal bouquet!)  
  4. Lastly, don’t sink all of your money on church flowers. In the grand scope of the event, with the average wedding reception lasting 5 hours and the average ceremony lasting 1, the church flowers will be visible and appreciated for a mere 1/6 of the event. That’s so little time, and so little money to be wasted. Instead, opt for nicer arrangements at your reception, or more elaborate bouquets that will be appreciated by guests and your attendants thoroughout the event.

Next up: the reception.

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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!

farm-bar1

farm-bar2

main-dining1

main-dining2

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.

loft1

loft2

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!

sancgood-200-427

haddonfield-umc

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!

haddonfield-umc-2

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):

bridal-suite-2

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.

grooms-room

Here’s a shot of the lovely foyer:

foyer-3

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…

skylight1

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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Calligraphy

Since invitations have been on my mind lately, I’ve also been working on calligraphy. We decided to send out Save the Dates only for the out-of-towners who will need the hotel information. Since there was only 20-or-so of those that needed to be calligraphed, I decided to try my hand at it! While not perfect, here’s what came of my little experience (aside from incredibly inky fingertips!)

img_5388

It’s definitely not perfect. Far from. But, I wanted nice looking invites, and successfully completed one of my first DIY projects! It took awhile, however, so I decided then and there that I would be hiring a professional calligrapher for the real deal– if for no other reason than to save me the time while trying to finish up schooling.

I stumbled upon the blog penned&pretty, a brand new, just opened calligraphy shop! Jessica has been so great to work with thus far, and her styles are very cute! I’m so excited about our pretty pretty envelopes!

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