One of my rationales for having an insanely long engagement was the idea that I could do many DIY projects and not be rushing to do them at the last minute.
I didn’t really take into account that I am a bit of a procrastinator and thus would still leave projects to do at the last minute anyways, but oh well, live and learn. It seems like I’m not the only one with this problem!
Here are a couple of projects that I’ve put together recently. I wanted to share them with you guys since I’m really proud of how they turned out, but they really aren’t big enough for their own post, so random projects in a row!
1) Thank you banner. Pbear thinks making a gigantic prop for one picture for our thank you cards is silly, but I kind of like it.
I have no idea why the peach photographs so orangey. *sigh*
It’s hard to tell from afar, but the letters have this gorgeous watercolor look to them.
Thus, it is probably no surprise that I sent out rehearsal dinner invitations a few days back.
Our wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are in two different locations/towns, and we are also scheduled for them to be three hours apart. This time gap was due to the time block in which our venue would let us get into the space. I’m not too concerned about having the gap, just that people are aware of the gap. We are after all close to Boston Commons and other historic Boston landmarks. I’m sure people can keep busy as long as they are aware of the gap.
Thus, the need for an invitation that explained the logistics of the situation. I found very few invitations that seemed to address the rehearsal itself, and so I thought I would put something together myself.
A few weeks back I came home to a surprise envelope. It was an invitation to our wedding shower!
I originally didn’t think that I would even bother having a wedding shower since so few people that we invited are local and I didn’t really think it was necessary for people to fly out for it.
Needless to say, I was incredibly surprised!
Pbear and I wanted to do a little something for our guests in terms of favors. Because we’re not doing welcome bags, this is our one opportunity to really thank them for coming out and sharing our special day with us.
When we first started talking favors, we had one condition: we wanted it to be food based. We’re really foodies at heart, and we wanted something that people could eat and then throw away, so it doesn’t have to live forever in the junk drawer. Furthermore, it seems like food tends to have the best responses from people. The question, of course, was “what?”
We tossed around a couple of ideas:
Back in October, we were still trying to decide between a longer European honeymoon or a shorter mini-moon to Disney World. You guys were fairly divided, and for good reason—there were some big pros and cons to both sides.
Well, we decided to just go for it. I’ve been waiting for everything to be booked and official before I announced it, but now that we’ve finally gotten everything sorted out:
Screenshot from Google Maps
My band came in the mail today and I am so excited to show you.
I am completely in love with it now, but it wasn’t an easy choice.
I originally wanted a mismatched band, so it was much more obvious that there was a wedding band, instead of just one larger engagement band. Furthermore, I’m not as fond of the asymmetric look with matching bands (something about my slight OCD nature) and it was a little out of our price range to get two bands.
Thus, I originally started looking at bands like:
So, you’ve seen the final product, and you’ve seen how to make it. I’m sure you’re sick of me talking about the invitations now, but last one—I promise! I wanted to talk about the price breakdown so that if you’re interested in DIY letterpressing your own invitations you have a sense of if it is worth it to you or not.
This is the total cost breakdown of everything used for the invitations:
Letterpress – $184.00
Yesterday, we talked about how to make your custom plates, which is necessary to make custom invitations. This time, we’ll get into the nitty gritty details about the actual letterpressing part. I was very intimidated by this at first, but I will say, it works fairly well, and it was fairly easy. It’s not fast, but I managed to get all of the letterpressing done in about six to eight hours.
Once again, big thanks again to Mrs. Eagle for giving me the encouragement to continue on with this project.
So, now that you’ve seen the final product, let’s talk about how we got there. This is going to be a two, maybe three, step guide to letterpressing. Today, I’m going to focus on getting the plate made, which was, at least to me, one of the more daunting tasks. I think it was mainly because of the limited information I could find online to doing it.
In order to make the custom KF152 photopolymer plates, I submitted a large illustrator document with my design on it to Boxcar Press. The design needs to be in vector format, which is necessary to allow for the design to maintain its integrity, no matter the size, unlike Photoshop, which uses pixels, and thus, doesn’t resize well.
I’ve been dying to talk about our invitations for a really, really, really long time now. But I’ve had to wait a bit so all of our friends and family around the US would have a chance of getting it in person before I ruin the surprise. Now that I’ve heard from most of the important people, I think it’s time.
This invitation has been a labor of love, or as Mrs. Unicycle put it best, what I mean is, it took freaking forever and I’m so happy that it is out of my house so I can stop staring at them. I am so thrilled with the final result. They really turned out better than I imagined in my head.
Big shoutouts to my fellow bees who have helped me so much in this process. Mrs. Eagle for her help with the letterpressing, Mrs. Archer for her doilies, Mrs. Bracelet and kbiceling for the calligraphy push. Thank you!
Okay let’s start from the beginning. When you open first open your mailbox, you will see this lovely metallic peach envelope, that we bought from Paper and More.
I wish you could get a sense of how gorgeous this envelope is in person. It’s a lovely creamy, shiny peachy color. On the front are our garden of love stamps (that I talked about previously) and your address. On the back is our address.
For some reason, and I’m not completely sure what it is, the cake is one of the last vendors that we need to book. It hasn’t been an easy decision. After all, some of my early cupcake posts were some of the first posts I ever wrote. So, it’s been on the back of our mind for a while.
We had a couple places in mind, but the first and only place we actually went and did a real tasting at was Cakeology in the Park Street area.
Personally, I was biased even before the tasting since their mascot is a panda. I mean seriously, how could I not love this place?
But enough talk, let me show you the food porn.
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks here in the Panda house.
After spending the last, oh I don’t know, two to three months on the invitations, they are done, done, done and finally out, out, out the door!
Pbear and I packed up all 30 or so invitations and took them to the post office this afternoon. I didn’t realize the post office had such limited hours, and we almost missed it. Luckily there were very few people there when we ran in about an hour or so before closing!
We only had 30 invites and it drove me nuts. I cannot fathom how people with large weddings do it!
I thought they would give me some hassle for wanting it to be hand-canceled, but they motioned that they could do it in the back room and we were in and out in about five minutes. I don’t know if they’ll actually do it, but oh well, I tried.
I am a little bit worried about them getting to their destination in one piece, but I think I’ve done all I can.
I know that we’re sending out invitations out a little bit (or a lot) on the early side, or so says etiquette, but honestly, a good chunk of our guest list has already asked us where the invitations are. Especially given that the majority of our guests are from out of state and they are going to need more time to plan. I didn’t want to send them out too early, though, and have them get lost or forgotten about, so I decided to wait until March as a compromise.
As of a couple days ago, I have legally changed my name to my new married name.
Yay. Cue dancing.
Just because I was looking for an excuse to use this, doesn’t make it not awesome. from: The Gif Factory
Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “but Miss Panda, your wedding isn’t until June, did you secretly get hitched without telling us?”
Nope, we didn’t get married yet, I just decided to get my name change in advance. Now this might be a little bit nontraditional, but ultimately it made the most sense to us.
Last post, I talked about some of the inspirational pictures that I had for our winter engagement shoot. Well, what did we end up doing? I must admit we kind of took the lazy (and way smarter) route and just let our wonderful photographers pick a location. Our photographers, Kim and Tom, chose a beautiful historical mansion nearby where we had a whole range of different backdrops and I just let them work their magic!
I must admit, I took the lazy way out in terms of preparing for this shoot. I picked a dress that I had in my closet for many years, while PBear’s jacket was stolen from my dad’s closet. Any coordination was purely coincidental. I didn’t change out the accessories I usually wear, and I definitely didn’t wear makeup. I know it’ll be a big change from our look on the big day, but I’m so happy to have some pictures of us looking casual.
All images via All-Star Photos
When we went out to our photo shoot on a “warm” 45 degree day a couple days after Christmas, we really didn’t have any idea what to expect or what to do. I think it really did give us a good idea of what to expect, come wedding day, and I’m so glad we got this opportunity! It took a while for us to loosen up, but those are the pictures that I like the best. I had been anxiously waiting to see the pictures. But boy were they worth the wait!
I am so thrilled with how the pictures turned out. I love how so many of the pictures really feel like us.
Okay, enough talking, more pictures. It was so hard to narrow down the pictures, but here are just a couple of my favorites. Many, many pictures of us trying not to look cold ahead:
I never had any engagement-photo inspirations really, mainly because I thought we weren’t going to have any. We nixed the idea of doing engagement pictures very early in the process since it seemed unnecessary and, frankly, it wasn’t in the budget.
Thus, when a friend of my parents offered to take engagement pictures for us while we were visiting for Christmas break, I was very, very thankful for the opportunity to get some nice shots of us.
However, I really had no idea where to start looking for inspiration, what to wear, or even what type of pictures we wanted. I never thought I would be taking engagement pictures in the dead of winter. Many of the really beautiful engagement pictures that I had pinned involve frolicking in a large field, like Miss Camel’s and Miss Otter’s gorgeous engagement pictures. Winter was never really part of my equation—I’m a complete and total wuss when it comes to being outside in the cold. That being said, there are a lot of very gorgeous winter engagement sessions.