Put a Ring on It.

So. I want to talk seriously about rings right now. Not just rings, material things. (I'm kind of on a soap box, here). It's a topic that I recently discovered on a wedding discussion board (I will not say on which website, and will keep everything quite anonymous). The poster was upset because they disliked the size of the ring they were proposed to with, and thought that their betrothed did not spend much money at all on it (the amount of money was disclosed and it happens to be, for most people, a significant amount of money). Ok, sure---one can feel that way, I won't judge. However, to go on and on about how detrimental it is to their relationship and how the OP feels that they didn't get what they "deserved" made me tick. It started me thinking about how unfortunate it is that some people can't help but correlate material wealth with depth of love. Per this particular example, the size of the diamond (0.5 carats), was less than the OP said that she deserved. Now, do I know this person or her FI? No. Do I know their relationship? No. But what I do know is that currently the poster of this article cannot focus on her engagement ring as a symbol offered to her by her FI of love, regardless of size and price. And for that reason, the post actually bothered me.

Not to mention that she posted that engagement rings that are $1,000 and 0.5 carats as less than...whatever, I'll let that go. It's her opinion. Bottom line is if it is that important to her, the OP would need to have a mature and sensitive conversation with her fiance. Not complaining over a topic discussion board hoping to get sympathy over a disliked engagement ring. Please, don't get me wrong: I have absolutely no problem understanding people who have a specific dream ring or a vision of what they want being unhappy with what their SO offered them, so long as they find a way of conversing with their significant other about it. Not going behind their FI's back and degrading the ring that maybe the FI put effort into, genuinely thought would be accepted with happiness and had sentimental value. Then I thought that maybe the OP felt that her SO didn't put enough time, love and thought into the purchase ring? Even if that is the case, a simple conversation between two people who are about to promise the rest of their lives together would suffice. Call me 'Old Fashioned' but this sort of disrespect toward some one's future spouse is completely uncalled-for.

Why should a stone set in a band worn on your finger measure the relationship it represents?



P.S. Sorry for the kind of rant-y post. It was something that I felt very strongly about. I mean no hard feelings toward the poster of that particular topic board, or to anyone at all who feels the same way as she does. I am deeply sorry if I have offended any one in any way by writing about this topic. If I have, it was not my intention and I sincerely mean it. Just one of those things that really "Grinds my Gears..."

Wedding Favors

--- OH! Guests of the Patrick/Micah wedding, you may not want to read any further! We'd like you to be surprised at the favors!

From the very beginning, I knew that I wanted to do edible wedding favors. Don't get me wrong: The magnets of the bride and groom, their date, moniker, etc etc are all cute and well and good. But for me, the best wedding favors I have appreciated the most (IMHO) are ones that I can eat! I've seen really imaginative personalized ones like homemade vanilla extract (BM Abbie's wedding!), and even as simple as the all-loving tulle-wrapped Jordan Almonds. I like that guests can have a delicious piece of the wedding to remember as soon as the ride home!

A couple of months ago, the Holidays were in town and my Grammy bakes these amazingly delicious and addictive cookies each year for our family's celebration of Christmas. They are none other than simple Chocolate Chip Thumbprint cookes with Raspberry preserves as the filling and I've got to tell you, my family hides them from me because I could eat all of them in one SITTING they are so good (and that's really saying something because there is about 3-dozen to each batch of cookies baked)! While I happily munched away at the cookies, a sudden thought came to my head... "OMG I LOVE these things, everyone else must LOVE them so why don't we have them as our FAVORS????!?!!!"

Luckily, Patrick is a sweet man who indulges my sugar-high-induced fancies and agreed that the Thumbprints would be an awesome favor for our guests (he loves the cookies too)! And why not? It would be a special touch to serve them, baked with love from our kitchen and like I said  3-dozen to a batch so at least it won't be too bad a process of baking, right? Here is our plan:

1. Bake a test batch and stick it in the freezer for one month. (I'd like to complete the cookie baking in June so I don't have to be freaking out too close to the wedding). Status: CHECK! I baked some last week and they are waiting in the freezer.

2. After a month of being frozen, take out the test batch and a.) see how long it takes them to thaw, and b.) see how they taste/look. Determine the time frame for baking/packaging the actual batch of favor cookies.

3. Depending on the results of the test batch, bake and freeze 400-500 (whew!) little thumbprint cookies for the favors in June.

4. Unfreeze and package a few days before, then hand em' out at the wedding! Woot!

So far, obvs because it is still really early, we've only made it through the first step of the plan.

Step 1: baking the first test batch!
A little rough looking, but cute enough!
We plan on making little hearts with our thumbs for the actual imprints. The test batch, I'll admit, is not the prettiest thing I've ever done, it'll do for now. The real artistry will come in the baking of the actual favor batches.
So there they are! All wrapped up with no where to go for a month.
I'm actually dying to try them, but alas, I have to wait until 5/20! Boo! At least it gives me time to think about how I'm going to package them!

What are you doing for your favors? What's your stance on the edible v. token wedding favors?



P.S. Oh! I promise the recipe when I review how the test batch came out! So hang tight until then (and yes, it is a family recipe)!


Hair Trial

Patrick, honeypie, you've got to head on outta here!

I mentioned before the types of hair styles I was looking at for the wedding. They were all updos. And I noticed, a lot were braided messy styled buns, while few were classic chignons. Trying on my dress for the first and second fittings made me realize that a more classic look would go better with my style of dress. And, after booking with the woman who did my hair before I even wore make-up! She did my hair for both proms in high school, and did a lot of the cuts and styling all through my time living in RI. It's special that she's going to be doing my hair for our big day, for that reason. She's also doing a few bridesmaid's dos and I think it will be a nice way of relaxing and preping before the Ceremony.

When I booked her, I immediately emailed her a whole bunch of the same pictures I posted before in my "Hair" post. She noticed the textures and the styling and gave me her feedback: first, she said it would be good for me to do an updo, as it will be July and most likely hot and humid. Also, my hair tends to be pin straight, and doesn't hold a curl, so keeping it up and pinned back would be wise. She told me to keep searching, and we scheduled a hair trial on the same day as my second dress fitting and I was eager to get into that styling chair!

Before the appointment, I went to print out my inspiration pictures and stumbled upon this picture...


I loved the way it looked; so classy and elegant. It seemed to be the style that belonged with my dress. So, I decided to try that one! I asked Marianne (my stylist) to give me a few whispies around my face to soften the look. I knew I couldn't pull off a severe style --- and even though this isn't a severe style by any means, I wanted to have a soft bridal look (Tip: make sure your hair is clean, though not squeaky clean; recently (i.e. washed the morning of) will likely not hold the style. Depending on how dirty your hair gets, my stylist suggests washing the night before).

Here's how it turned out! Pardon the blurry photos and tired look from me (I'd been up and about since 6am that Saturday).

Back view

Back view, with hair flower I made

Back view, with hair flower
Side view. Ugh, must remember to get good rest
the night before!
What do you think? We all agreed for a little more height on the top of the crown of my head. And that I will be wearing just a veil for the Ceremony and then add the hairflower and remove the veil for the Reception! I am glad I was able to schedule my fitting for that evening, so I was finally able to see the whole picture. I think I was right, it is a good pairing of this hairstyle and my dress. Since I am very familiar with my stylist, I felt no pressure to like what she did, and she was very encouraging for me to speak up if I was dissatisfied. I also had my mother and sister MOH there to give their opinions so I knew I was around people who'd tell me the truth. I was admittedly nervous, I thought because I know little about hair styling that I would just go with the flow, even if I wasn't happy. But that was not the case! I feel so lucky to have that friendly and  environment in my hair trial. I think, with a few tweaks on the day of, it will be my imagined bridal look come to being!

Did you make any changes to your imagined bridal look after seeing the dress on? How much advice do you take from your stylist (I take everything, because I know nothing about hair)? What was your hair trial like?




Shakespeare and Love

I told you I had been half-finishing (in some cases, only about 1/3 finishing) a bunch of DIY projects. This is one of those 1/3 finished projects, and actually one that I am having a LOT of fun with. It is our Table Names/Numbers!

I might have mentioned that we are going with Shakespearean themes for the tables' names as I am a BIG Shakespeare Nerd. {Also, today is Shakespeare's 448th birthday, so fitting time for this post!}Anyway, I had the idea to do Shakespearean Sonnets as the "names" and numbers for our tables. Sonnets 1-14 (although we are still not sure how many tables we'll need). Thanks to my bridesmaid, Abbie, I have several white IKEA picture stands and templates of her own wedding table names to go by! Thanks, Abbie!

I started with some pretty cardstock I found at Michael's and cut it down to the appropriate size. Using the same font as I did on the "Mr" and "Mrs" signs (which is the font I'll be using for all of our Wedding signs (later post!)), I began drawing out the numbers.

That's my GIANT Complete Works of Shakespeare
book they are standing on, yes.
Next, after carefully marking straight lines to write by, I wrote out each Sonnet from the Complete Works for each number for the tables. Sonnet 1 for Table 1, etc, etc.

I have only gotten four of them done, because the invitations took over my life for about three weeks. But now that I am free of them, I can get going back with the table numbers. I am really excited about this, I think they are coming out swell!

I'll show you the rest when all is done!




Ten Hearts and a Navy Handkerchief

Two years ago, Patrick and his family lost a dear soul. Patrick's Uncle Tony. He was a large, happy part of Patrick and his family's life, and the loss was painful and difficult for all he knew. I was fortunate enough to also have spent some precious time with him. I felt like I lost my own uncle when he past. He taught love, patience and humor to all, and his memory is with us daily. 

I have to say, it will be difficult, especially for Patrick that he won't be present at our wedding. And so, I decided to honor him with a special decoration: a bunting made with 10 lace hearts. Uncle Tony used to sign everything with "I love you with all of my 10 hearts," because one heart couldn't contain the amount of love he had to give. I thought we could honor him by having 10 hearts draped over the balcony doorways right where we plan the ceremony to be held (along with the wreath).

The craft was simple enough to make. I used lace heart doilies (2 packs of 12 at Michael's Craft Stores) and some basic white twine and of course, my trusty hot glue gun. I laid one heart down and put a bead of hot glue across the string laid down the middle and then glued a second doily heart on top to complete the attachment. Repeat nine more times and it looks a little something like this...

We really wanted to find a good way of keeping Uncle Tony in our hearts and minds without dwelling so much on the sadness of missing him. I think this will be a nice way of keeping him throughout our wedding.

When I was younger, I lost my grandfather; my father's father. A man who not only was my Poppa, but we had lived with my grandmother and grandfather since I was two. I was about eight when he passed away, and it was the first real grief I experienced. I think of him all the time, and I wanted to have something to take with me to have of his on our day. My grandmother had the perfect idea of what to use. My Poppa apparently had a navy blue handkerchief that he always kept. My Grammy gracious let me borrow it, and it is so special to have to me. I know I already have several "Something Blues" but I am so appreciative to add this particular one. I haven't figured out where I'll have it (I'm thinking maybe the bouquet somehow or perhaps sewn into the inside of my dress), but just knowing that this piece of my grandfather will be with me, makes me very happy. My Poppa was a man of few words, but great laughs and even greater love. I want him honored at the wedding, and I am so glad I have a way of carrying him with me.

My Poppa's blue handkerchief
How are you remembering those you've loved and lost on your day?




New shoes...Now???

About to spill about the bridal look so scram P-bub! I love you though!

OK. What am I talking about. Well, a LONG time ago, I think before I even ordered my dress, I had already ordered and received my wedding shoes. And I loved them. But there was one thing it didn't really really love about them. And that was their color wasn't perfect. Actually, it was too dark --- It was navy, rather than cobalt. But my Bride Brain was hungry to check shoes off the list, and I thought they would be fine, so I ordered them, and they have come with me to my fittings (which --- I am done BTW, I am so lucky, only needed to do a bustle, now the question is can I maintain this wait for three months...hmmm) and they have been fine. But that's it. Just fine.

Flash forward to last week. You know, browsing zappos.com, which is DANGEROUS. I'm serious! Use caution, it will make you want every shoe, ever. Anyway --- I just for fun type in blue heels and lo and behold, there are MY wedding shoes, but in a brighter color blue! I couldn't help it, I almost immediately ordered them. A week later and they are here and I am SOOOOO happy with them. (My first pair I am going to sell, so keep an eye on weddingbee if you are interested in size 6 Nina Culver shoes!). They are brighter and best of all, the same fit and comfort of my original shoes. I can't WAIT to wear them with my dress!


Still not exactly the right blue, but I like the brighter
pair better!

What about you brides-to-be? What was your journey to the wedding shoes like?



Beaded Necklace DIY

This was a DIY project I most certainly wasn't expecting to do! I was at Michael's Craft stores the other day picking up some no-flame candles for the mason jars, when I walked past these GORGEOUS perfect cobalt blue beads. 

They are my favorite color blue, and I had been lusting over chunky beaded necklaces for a while, so --- having never done so before --- I bought the beads and brought them home. How hard could it be?

I'm kicking myself for not taking pictures of the process, but I honestly didn't think it would turn out to be something to wear in one our wedding events, let alone the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner! I just figured I could maybe try it and when it came out terribly, find some crafty easy way to add them to some decoration I had hot glued, stitched or otherwise-d together.

Here's what I used: the beads, a length of thin jewelry making wire (I wanted something thicker/stronger than cord to support the weight of the heavy beads), jewelry pliers (borrowed from FMIL) and lace ribbon. First, I laid out the beads on a necklace making board I have had in my closet for about a year now that I'd never used before. Once I figured out what design I liked the most, I began stringing the beads onto the wire. Simple? Yes. I got about halfway done stringing when I realized I had no means of a clasp for my necklace. But now it was personal, I had gone too far stringing and I had to come up with a way of closing the necklace.

Here's where my crafty brain fired up. Easy solution! Since I had used the thin wire rather than a cord, I was able to "tie off" the ends by bending the wire around itself and making a loop. It was easy then to cut the lace ribbon, slide it through the loop and finish the necklace. What do you think? 

The earrings I had garnered from my mom's old jewelry box. She wore them
when she was younger, I stole them to be "cool" in high school, and they
happen to be the perfect match for the color!

Here's how my version came out length-wise! Pardon
the tired eyes!
I am really happy with the way that it turned out. And it was super easy and so much more cost effective than ordering one from etsy. In fact, I may in the future make more and sell them on etsy! I'm going to do another post soon on my "wedding outfits" for lack of a better word. Til then, this is a DIY craft-risk that was definitely worth it!



And...they're off!

So, like I had said before, we mailed off our wedding invitations on Friday! Wee! Of course, there are silly, unnecessary gleeful pictures...

We are so excited (as you see) and can't wait to see the guests' response cards. There was a little over a count of 80 invites sent out, they were made by hand and I can't wait to show you them in their crafty, lovey-dovey glory. But I will wait, so that they might remain a surprise to our guests ;-)

I'll show you the full suite of our invitations as soon as we start getting some back! Yay!




Another Sneak Peak

Look what we finally finished!!!

Got to wait a wee bit before the big reveal! We are sending them off tomorrow. To be honest, this labor-of-love has to have been one of the hardest DIYs we've taken on. I've been a little over zealous with the checking and re-checking of each address, each stamp placement, etc. to the point where, I'm kind of excited to see them shipped off. I'm so thrilled with the way they came out. Patrick did such a beautiful job with the design and I think it really goes well with our Save-the-Dates. They're personal, us, and match our wedding aesthetic.

I can't wait to show you the final design! Until then...this will have to do :-)




Mason Jars

Remember when I said I had a whole lot of mason jars? Well, my brills fiance came up with a great idea to use them! I originally thought of using them to make centerpieces; covering them with lace ribbon and then stuffing flowers for our tables. But --- after we got our florist, and a simpler centerpiece took shape in our minds, I wanted to find another purpose for them. Patrick suggested we still wrap them with the lace but add small no-flame candles to line the stairs leading up to the Ceremony/Reception room. (No-flame makes it safer for the floor and perhaps window positions we place them in. 

All medium-sized mason jars

Here's the simple How-To...
I got some wide lace ribbon on-sale from Michael's and went to work with my glue gun.

So pretty! I love how it catches the light!
Next, I took the ribbon I used on our fans and birdcage card holder, and tied little knots!

See? How cute?
I can't wait to see what they look like with the no-flame candles! Lighting our dance floor and stairway! (Quick tip: buy no-flame candles from Michael's --- they're cheaper there than they are anywhere I found online! Especially if you are going for the tealight ones like we are!). I'm realizing that most of my DIY things are almost semi-DIY because, well, they are so easy! I am really proud of all the homemade touches we'll be adding to make our wedding personal.

What are you doing yourself?




Mr. and Mrs. {Chair Signs, that is}

I warned you, it was about to get all DIY-crafty up in this blog. I have to catch up on posts about the crafts I have been slowly but surely checking off. We're a mere 92 days away from the wedding (eep!) and I know there are going to be things that I forget, so there are random projects I have been taking care of in the meanwhile. Like chair signs....

I always thought those little signs were so cute! Clearly, there would be no confusion on the day as to who the bride and groom are, and as to which chairs (the empty ones, so I am told --- because of all of the canoodling with the guests!) the bride and groom will occupy. But I love the signs nonetheless. So, I sat down to make them using some craft paper from my favorite place (Michaels of course), a lace border punch and my calligraphy markers. I decided to use Precious from Dafont.com as a template (I free-hand drew them, because I couldn't figure out how to trace onto the craft paper (it's too heavy), but I think they came out alright).

Vintage-looking craft paper!

Look how pretty the "lace" trimming looks!

I super recommend the calligraphy markers, they're from Target!

There. But, they aren't going to magically hover by our chairs! So I backed them with cardboard, and using an Exact-O knife, carved two little holes and tied some sheer ribbon through them so they could hang (make sure the ribbon is the same length for both signs, otherwise, there will be a lopsided look). And ta-dah!

Choosing "Mr." and "Mrs." instead of "Bride" and "Groom" was all up to Patrick, and I love how they came out! Can't wait to see them hanging on our chairs announcing our new statuses as a married couple! 




Amongst all the invitation and other wedding paraphernalia, I bring you this post. I have been so busy jumping from craft to craft as we get closer by the day to the wedding (so expect several DIY crafty posts coming your way!).

 I promised that I'd show you guys pictures of our wedding bells all done up with the tags I created! Consider that promise kept!

I took some crisp white twine and looped them around the bell handles and I think they look quite beautiful.

Four of about 47 bells!
What do you think? Is anyone else incorporating wedding bells in their reception decor?




100th post---Fewer than 100 Days left!

93 Days to be exact...
Guys, it doesn't really seem real.

I was talking stressing out to Patrick about some task I felt had to be done already and he said "Relax, we're fine. Everything's done." While this is only semi-true, it did lead me to the revelation that really, we are very prepared and have been mostly on top of the ball. There are a few things that I am slightly nervy about, but on the whole, we are looking good!

But I do find that my wedding-fever is waxing as the days until our wedding are waning. (See what I did there). At this point, although it is getting quite close, it still feels as if it is a dream day that will never come. My flippant Bride Brain keeps going from project to project (unfortunately not fully completing them. Ex: Completed 1 of 2 pomanders for the flower girls, Ex: Completed 4 of 14 table numbers (we're not sure how many tables yet). But all that craziness is currently being funneled into one thing...

The Wedding Invitations!

(insert thunder clash here)

Well, they aren't all that bad! Actually, I really LOVE the design that Patrick did. It's perfect. It marries his love of modern with my love of classic (which can be tricky sometimes). Of course, I must withhold revealing them until a little after I send them. I know some guests may read this blog, and I'd like it to be a surprise. So, that design coupled with a few crafty flourishes provided by myself completes our invite. This makes it even more special to us, but at the same time, a little more lengthy in the time it takes to prepare them to send off. Ah well, it's worth it!

I am appreciative that I have this giant wedding project to subdue the craziness of my Bride's Brain. It is helping me focus, keeping me calm and feeling productive. And have I mentioned I LOVE how they came out. I love how they came out. Wee!

So, what's left to do for you Below-100-Days-to-go-Brides? Are you freaking out or is it smooth sailing for you? What's stressing you out? What's keeping you calm?




Patti Cakes!

I may have said that we were deciding between two cupcake bakeries for the vendor. Also that the first one we tried, was delicious! Those cupcakes were great that were from Newport Sweet Shoppe, but I knew we wouldn't be satisfied with a decision without at least trying the other bakery option. That was Patticakes, located in Wakefield, RI.

All it took was one chance visit to the bake shop, and Patrick and I (well, maybe just me --- I am obsessed) re-fell in love with cupcakes! They were so flexible with what we wanted, affordable and best off - the cupcakes looked and tasted better than any I have tasted before! And - they are willing to use my cupcake stands, cupcake toppers and wrappers that I recently bought! And again, the cupcakes were to DIE for. Poor Patrick, didn't get much of the tasting as my mom and I swooped down on the Red Velvet and the Salted Caramel!

From top left: Salted Caramel, Coconut, Espresso,
Bottom: Mint Chocolate and Red Velvet
Ohhhh --- the Red Velvet

And the demolition, destruction and ruin of those cupcakes.
After that, well -- we were decided. Only thing was, to pick flavors! Once we sat down with the menu, that was an easy task! Here's what we've got for our wedding cupcake flavors:

  • Lemon Drop
  • Salted Caramel
  • Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting
  • Chocolate PB cup
  • Red Velvet

Sounds like deliciousness!!!

Look how pretty the Lemon Drop cupcake is!
At the Cupcake Madness fair!
Our treasure trove!
Before this post get's too long, here's the cupcake wrappers I bought (and two silver pillar candle holders I plan on using to display the Bride and Groom cupcake picks!).

Blue mini cupcake wrappers. That's right --- we are having mini
cupcakes as well as regular ones!

Fluffy white regular sized cupcake wraps!

The silver cupcake stand!
So, if you couldn't tell, we're excited about this!