(Can’t get much more clever with a title, can you??)
One thing I’ve mentioned briefly in previous posts is how Foxy and I were shooting for a cocktail-esque reception. The two of us have always agreed that cocktail hour is consistently our favorite part of the weddings we’ve attended, so we figured…why not just have our whole wedding be like that?! (In all honesty, we really just wanted a fun wedding without a formal sit-down dinner, so cocktail style seemed to be the way to go.) We worked with the Vandiver during our two-year planning period to figure out how to make the reception different enough from cocktail hour to be discernible, but also to still keep it relatively casual and cocktail-y.
The result was a nice mix of high-top tables spread throughout the pavilion and surrounding property, with five large round tables in the middle for folks to sit at should they want to (with a few reserved specifically for family).
All photos by Exclamation Imagery unless otherwise noted.
I’m still obsessed with our linens. I also never thought I would utter those words.
Stephanie is selling large sandblasted manzanita wish trees with candles. She is asking $75.
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Once Sarah arrived, she got to work taking attire and floral detail shots as Auntie worked on my makeup. I am going to keep this post all about the pictures, because who doesn’t love ogling detail shots?? I am sure you are tired of hearing me talk, anyway.
First up: my beautiful ruffly dress! I had absolutely no regret the day of the wedding. None.
For those that are curious, it is Paloma Blanca 4116, with an altered sweetheart neckline.
Since we had a “Catholic gap” in our wedding day, I thought it would be fun to choose an alternate photo location for wedding-party photos. This way we could also enjoy the limo more! (I must still be a child because I found riding in a limo to be one of the most exhilarating parts of the day. Kidding. Or…am I?)
Photo by Jennifer Shaffer Photography
The guys were jealous of our matching sunglasses, so they donned mismatching sunglasses.
There’s a cute and urban-looking town near our church that I thought would make a great photo backdrop. It’s the most urban-looking setting way out in the burbs, anyway. My bridesmaids had all gone over there earlier in the morning since that’s where their hair salon was, and while there, they discovered that there was a street fest going on that weekend. Now, Mr. Unicycle and I had gone with our photographer to scope out photo spots earlier that week, so I already knew about the street fest. Our photographer had said it would be fine, and I was all “c’est la vie,” but when my bridesmaids found out they said, “OMG someone has to tell Miss Unicycle about this!” and freaked out about who had to break the news to me.
After a morning spent getting ready with my girls, I just had one final preparation to take care of: the dress!
I didn’t buy a pretty hanger with my new last name or anything. I tried to use a wooden hanger with a bit of our “wedding ribbon” tied around it, but the dress kept falling off, so I ended up using the plastic hanger. Oh well. It barely made the picture anyway.
I stepped into the dress and my sister and mom helped zip it up.
“Looking for cute and affordable favors? Put the treat of your choice in adorable boxes from Weddingbee Favors!”
I have a confession to make. I have a really bad habit.
I pick at my fingers. What does that mean, you ask? Well, I don’t bite my nails, but I compulsively pick at the skin around them. (Yuck. I know.) It’s been going on for almost as long as I can remember. I actually remember someone telling me I should stop when I was in fourth grade. Wowsa. (Obviously, I should have listened to them. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.)
I would love to have awesome nails and beautiful skin like this for my wedding. (Image from Mila Tara)
I’ve tried to stop about a gazillion times. In fact, I once stopped for about six months. I was so proud. But I picked the habit up again during some stressful thing in graduate school. Booooo. What’s weird is that I’ll tell myself, “I’m going to stop,” and then five minutes later I look down and realize I’ve been doing it again. Ugh.
I’m combining these two crafts into one post because they are so stinking easy that I can’t justify talking about each one individually. That said, they both deserve a mention.
First off, let me just say I’m not the robe-wearing type, not that I don’t wish I was, but it’s not my thing. Needless to say, I won’t be getting ready for my wedding in a silky or plush robe. But I still wanted something special and fun to wear the morning of my wedding and that’s how I stumbled upon bling’d out tank tops.
Over the years my friends and I would decorate tank tops for special occasions, such as birthdays, class trips, and later, Superbowl parties. Tight and trashy, I always say! (I never say that, but as I was typing this post I realized how juvenile and funny it is that I prefer tight tanks to luxurious robes. HA.)
Anyway, I knew I wanted to wear a cute white tank top that said “Bride” but I also knew I didn’t want to pay a ton of money for one, so when I found these appliqués at JoAnn I snapped them up and took them to MN for MOH Big Eyes to assemble.
I wish I could say this is a really budget-friendly project, but it is not. Each appliqué is $4.99 and each shirt was about $8.00—$10.00 dollars depending on my coupons and where I bought them. I ended up making a total of seven getting ready shirts. One bride tank top for myself, a Maid of Honor tank for Sister, three bridesmaid tanks, a flower girl tank, and a t-shirt for Mom Sword.
Speaking of Mom Sword, her shirt is special and does not say Mother of the Bride. Mom Sword and I share a similar sense of humor, and her idea of being “funny” is calling herself a Queen, if I’m going to be the Princess of the wedding. She also enjoys joking about how young she looks and how myself, MOH Big Eyes, and her look like three sisters. Umm, yeaa. Riiiight. (She’s kidding but it’s a running joke in the family now.) Luckily I found something perfect for her, but she (and everyone else) will have to wait until the wedding day to see it!
My email inbox was flooded the past few weeks with emails from The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings, AND Brides.com reminding me that 1) I’ve got about five months to go until the big day and 2) It’s time to pick out the men’s formal wear. Now being the obsessive planner that I am, I had already started discussing formal wear with FH over a month ago. When I first brought it up, though, I was very surprised by FH’s response. I had naturally assumed that I’d have a hand in picking what he and the groomsmen would wear. In another wedding-related move that had caught me off guard, not only does FH want to buy his suit and get it custom made, but he also didn’t want me tagging along to the tailor to pick out his suit materials and get fitted. He’s like, “If I can’t see what you’re wearing until the wedding day, then you shouldn’t be able to see what I’m wearing either!” And you know what? I really respect that he’s so keen on doing this himself. I had once again (incorrectly) assumed that this was a detail where he wouldn’t take the initiative.
Five-month reminder email from TheKnot / Image via TheKnot.com
FH has a pretty decent sense of style, and even more so when it comes to formal wear, so I wasn’t too freaked out by this. I did, however, share with him some images I pinned on the Pinterest board I created dedicated to all things groom. (I obviously created this well before I was told to butt out.) He checked out some of the styles I found as a reference point, but ultimately he is making his own decisions. Because our wedding is formal and the bridesmaids will be in gowns, the only criteria I asked him to stick to was that his tux and the guys’ tuxes be formal and that the guys integrate teal somehow within their outfits to match the bridesmaids’ dresses (whether that be teal ties and/or teal pocket squares). Here are some of the suits I sent him for inspiration.
Let’s talk about you [hive] and me, let’s talk about all the [not] good things and [definitely] all the bad things that may be*…I would keep going but really this isn’t working out as I hoped since I have to keep adding words. I think you get my point though, hive. Today, we’re veering into Crazyland, AKA the world in which Miss Otter thinks she can conquer a craft.
I make the comparison here to Alice in the meadow, right before she sees the white rabbit. In a world of my own, I’d be able to do crafts and they’d be Pinterest worthy—of course—and they’d be beautiful and perfect (or at least close to it) and that would be a wonderland.
Before you scroll down, you must look at the inspiration photos I shared. So now after seeing the inspiration photos, I give you these. The table numbers. If they’re even worthy of being called table numbers, given the outcome.
You may recall that way back when we had planned a sparkler exit. Our venue offered a choice between sparklers, bubbles, and flower petals, and Mr. D and I were on the same page with our order of preference (the order in which I wrote them). Well, you may also recall me mentioning that our wedding day was filled with scattered storms. Rain + sparklers = not so much. BUT the coordinators at our venue were excellent about ensuring that we had everything we wanted—as proven by the fact that we squeezed in our outdoor ceremony in between the rain clouds. Enter the half-bubbles, half-sparkler exit.
Because our reception was on the covered but wall-less patio, the guests were able to line up cohesively half under the ceiling and half outside. So they were given the option of staying dry and blowing bubbles, or being truly hardcore and getting a little damp (luckily the rainfall was light at this point) while waving a sparkler.
Why, yes, I did get out of my car and walk up to the drive-through mail drop off box at the post office for a Weddingbee photo op. We don’t have those fun, free-standing blue ones there! That’s how us small town folks do things, y’all.
That’s right! We officially invited people to our wedding! 210 completely handcrafted and assembled invitations made by myself (along with Mama Dillo, Li’l Dillo and Mr. A) were dropped off at the local post office yesterday afternoon. And after actively working on these suckers since we became engaged back in September of 2011, I was SO FRIGGIN’ HAPPY to get them off my hands. Dropping them off felt like turning in a freshly printed and stapled term paper to a professor after working on it all semester—I was super proud, super relieved, and super exhausted.
There they sit moments before their mass exodus to the USPS.
Although I’m ultimately happy with the way they turned out, my adventure in DIY invitations wasn’t without its hiccups, and I fully intend to share them with you after I do the big reveal! The honest truth is, DIYing invitations is a lot. of. work. I completely underestimated how much time and effort it really was going to take, and although it did save us a pretty decent chunk of cash, I totally and utterly understand why wedding stationery can be so expensive. Time is MONEY, y’all!
Anyway, even though I’m DYING to show you guys the finished product, I want to wait at least a week or two so our guests have a chance to see them first. But I’m not completely heartless, yo! How about a little sneaky peek of some of my favorite elements of the envelopes?
Anyway, I’m really hoping our guests appreciate all the time and effort we put into these invitations, and I absolutely could not have done them without the help of Mr. A, Mama Dillo and Li’l Dillo. I’m so grateful to have such wonderful and loving people in my life who are willing to sit down at the kitchen table and cut hundreds of sheets of cardstock with me. Now I just can’t wait to see those RSVPs start rolling in!
Did you choose to completely DIY your wedding invitations? In the end, was it worth it? Did you save any money by going the DIY route?