Monthly Archives: January 2010

Obsessed with Pomanders

Seriously, I love pomander balls.  Remember when I made these as a trial run?

pomander
(Photo by me)

They were, of course, inspired by these:

aislepomanders
(Source)

And then I saw these:

tulle pomander
(Source)
And decided I needed to try making those instead of tissue paper pomanders. 

Then TODAY, I saw these:

ribbon pomander
(Source)

RIBBON POMANDERS!  Seriously, how cute are those?  And they could be pretty cost-effective, if you bought ribbon on sale.  AND it seems a hell of a lot easier than fluffing all those flowers! 

My only problem with pomanders is this:

38379_B2
(Source)

Hello, our church is gorgeous.  We don’t even really need decor—we’re not doing flowers or anything for the ceremony.  I was going to use the lovely pomanders I wanted to make for aisle decor, but now I am wondering if we even need those.  I could have my flower girl carry a ribbon pomander, but I keep thinking that’s going to look dumb since all the rest of the girls are carrying regular florals, and she is certainly old enough to handle real flowers.  So I turn to you, friends:  what do you think?  Should I stick with my plan to have  few aisle pomanders or keep the church plain?  What about the flower girl?  Help!

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Filed under Decor

The Wedding Party Newsletter

**Update:  If you are looking for a template of this newsletter, please click on the “Wedding DIY” tab at the top of the page.  There, you’ll find links to almost all of my DIY projects, including a template for a wedding party newsletter.  Thanks!**

Oh, how Type A I can be.

Look, I’m Type A.  I know I’m that way, my friends and family know I’m that way and I think from past posts you all know by now that I’m that way.  So, naturally, I have to have the most organized and informed bridal party known to man…which means, of course, that I had to do a Wedding Party Newsletter!

There are lots of great templates and ideas out there for wedding party newsletters, but in the end, I started from scratch and made it up as I went along. It ended up being a nine page PDF document (I know it’s long!), but at least our wedding party now has all the pertinent information necessary at this stage in the game.

Newsletter 1
Page one is an introduction, which thanks them all for being part of our day and points them in the direction of our wedding website and my blog (and my reasons for blogging, most of which I whited out here), as well as tells them what they’ll find on the following pages.

The next three pages are all an introduction to our wedding party as it stands now (we are still in the process of deciding some ushers, readers, etc.)

Newsletter 2

Newsletter 3

Newsletter 4

Page 5 is the Wedding Party Contact List, which has all of their names, phone numbers, and email addresses.  Clearly, that information has been whited out here (sorry!).

Newsletter 5

Page 6 starts some of the important info about the actual wedding weekend.  On the next few pages, I discuss our venues, a preliminary wedding weekend timeline, and include a note about attire (when we’ll shop for it, where we’ll go, etc).

Newsletter 6

Newsletter 7

Newsletter 8

Lastly, I included a page on our hotel room blocks, so our peeps can all get their wedding weekend rooms lined up.

Newsletter 9

And there you have it, our Wedding Party Newsletter!  What do you think?  Admittedly, this took more time than I thought it would, but I am really pleased with the results, and as a bonus, I will be able to morph this into our wedding weekend document, which I think will be in a similar vein as Mrs. Daffodil’s.  I am still working on setting up a template for you guys for this, so if you would like a copy, please leave a note in the comments and I will get one to you!

Did you do a Wedding Party Newsletter?  If not, how are you keeping your wedding party informed?

*All of the above screenshots by me.  That Snipping Tool in Windows 7 is the coolest thing EVER!

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Filed under How-To, Organization

Flower Power: Boutonnieres

Boutonnieres, to be honest, aren’t something I really think about when I think “wedding flowers.”  Yes, they are integral part of the groom’s look, but much like his tux, it’s not something I really know a lot about!

I am pretty classic in my flower views…I like traditional.  Here are three bouts I think fit that bill!

Bout 1
Hypericum berries!  Classic, classic, classic.  Did you know they come in different colors aside from greens and reds?  You can get them in a wide variety of colors to match many color schemes.  I prefer a bit more of a tailored look for the berries than the one above, but at least you know what they look like now.

Bout 2 
Roses.  I’m pretty sure these have been used as bouts for ages.  And why not?  They hold up well all day long, come in a wide variety of colors, and look pretty nice, too.Bout 3                                                                           (Source for all of the above photos)
Calla lilies.  Yup, I hate ‘em for bouquets and centerpieces but I love them as boutonnieres.  They look so chic, I think!

To be honest, I don’t really feel the need to discuss wrist corsages or pomander balls (to me, they’re like boutonnieres—a dime a dozen!).  We are thisclose to selecting a florist, so stay tuned for the final installment of the Flower Power series—the big reveal on our florist, plus my thoughts and tips on selecting your floral vendor!

Are you a classic floral gal like me, or are you incorporating more interesting floral ideas into your wedding decor?  Please share!

See the rest of the Flower Power series here:
Centerpieces
Bouquets

4 Comments

Filed under Floral

The Bane of My Existence

Or more aptly titled, The Post About Transportation.

We’ll get back to the Flower Power series later this week, but for now, I interrupt your regularly scheduled flower blogging to talk about booking transportation for the wedding:

What a PAIN in the ASS.  Seriously.  This is the one wedding task I absolutely HATE.  Not only am I finding out that transportation costs vary greatly from company to company, but I’ve also noticed that most of the companies I have contacted so far have little to no customer service.  As in, I will send them an email and get a one-sentence reply back with their price.  No signature, no thank you, no “here’s how to book.”  It’s annoying!

limo bus
(Source)
So, will we end up with a limo bus?

I feel really overwhelmed when I think about working on transportation and in truth, I have been avoiding it.  Originally, I thought we would offer our guests some transportation to and from their hotels to the reception site, but Dr. Groomy and several others have pointed out that although that is a nice gesture, it is a) completely unnecessary because our hotels are within walking distance and b) an added expense that we just don’t need.  So, we scratched providing guest transportation.  Instead, I will be supplying the name and phone numbers of local cab companies to all of our guests via our website, in our welcome packets in the out-of-town bags, and with a small sign on a table near the doors of our reception site.  Guest transportation:  Check.

school bus  (Source)
Or perhaps a school bus?

Next to think about is transportation for our wedding party, their guests, and our close family members.  “You’re providing transportation for your wedding party’s guests?”  You say.  “Why, yes, we are!” I say.  Why?  Because I have been a guest at weddings where my date was in the wedding party and I have felt utterly left out and awkward, because I didn’t know that many people at the wedding.  It may not be a priority for you, but I have to say that it is bizarre to me how many brides don’t give much thought to their wedding party or their dates.  Hello, these people have paid money to stand up and support you on this special day in your life!  The least you can do is make them and their dates comfortable during the process.  Yes, it may cost a little extra money, but to me, it is worth it to keep my wedding party happy.   So, we’re looking at transportation for about 25 or so people to the ceremony, from the ceremony to the pictures, from the pictures to the reception, and the reception back to the hotels.  Can you say “logistics problem”?  How will that work out?  A lot of companies have four hour minimums, but I have had little help in knowing if we can use two hours here and two hours there.  The whole thing is totally frustrating to me. 

trolley  (Source)
Or maybe even a trolley!

I won a $250 gift certificate from a local limo company at a fundraiser at my local pub a few months ago.  Great, right?  Wrong.  The limo company is easily the most expensive company I have dealt with so far.  Even with the gift certificate, their costs come in well above many other companies in the area.  Le sigh.

So, I turn to you friends:  what are you doing for your wedding transportation?  If you feel comfortable sharing how much you are spending, I would appreciate it, since I feel as though I don’t even know what’s reasonable anymore.    Any tips for me as to how to make this task easier?  Please share!

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Filed under Transportation

Flower Power: Bouquets!

Yesterday, we discussed centerpiecesToday, let’s talk about bouquets!

I love the look of lush, romantic bouquets.  Mrs. Cowboy Boot’s?  TO.  DIE.  FOR:

Cowboy Bouquet (Source)

Alas, a lot of those lush bouquets come with a pretty price, especially because they often use high-priced flowers like peonies.  However, I still want to show the florist these types of bouquets, so she gets a feel of what I like.  Here’s a few lush fall bouquets I’ve clipped:

bouquet1 
Truth be told, I am not AT ALL a fan of calla lilies, but I love this bouquet because it is monochromatic, yet not boring.

bouquets2
How lovely and unexpected are these?!  I love the pop of green…somehow, it doesn’t look Christmas-y to me, which green and red so often can.  And look how lush that white bouquet is!  This is something else I am considering—carrying an ivory bouquet and having my bridesmaids carry red. 

bouquet3
I clipped this bouquet because I love the hand-tied stems.  I do not like completely wrapped stems, so I wanted to give the florist an idea of what I like.

bouquets4 
Gorgeous!  I love these—great way to incorporate different types of red flowers.  This is my top contender—I would love something like these.
(Source for all of the above photos)

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that yesterday I was questioning how the hell to determine a floral budget. Thankfully, a wonderful blog friend stepped in to guide me through the questions I should ask and the things I should expect.   I definitely plan to write about my own experiences, but her advice was so valuable that hopefully, she’ll be doing a fantastic blog entry for you on this soon!  🙂

Next up in the Flower Power series, we’ll talk about bouts and miscellaneous flowers…and I’ll let you know how my floral appointments went!

How did you determine your floral budget?  Share your tips and tricks to getting the most bang for your buck!

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Filed under Floral

Flower Power: Centerpieces

This week, I am meeting with some florists!  I have an appointment tomorrow at noon with a florist in our neighborhood, and another appointment Monday at noon with a separate florist (who coincidentally did the flowers for my friend Nikki’s wedding).  Now, I don’t know about you, but I am no green thumb.  In fact, I would go so far as to say I am a black thumb, which is the reason we have only fake plants in our apartment.  I’m not much of a flower girl,  but that doesn’t mean I don’t have at least some semblance of an idea for our wedding flowers!

Let’s talk centerpieces first.  If you’ll remember my inspiration board here, you’ll notice a theme.  I really love clusters of flowers, and I really love candles!  Since we will likely be having a whopping 32 tables, we’re going to have to get really creative with the centerpieces if we’d like to incorporate florals.  I’m thinking pillar candles in hurricanes at every table, and then some flowers along the lines of these:

centerpiece 2
I love the clusters of roses here.  With 32 tables, it would probably be a bit too expensive, but I am sure we could re-create the look with different flowers.

centerpiece 3
I don’t love the centerpiece here, but I LOVE the paper flowers at each place setting.  If we could, it would be awesome to give each guest a flower at their place—what a unique idea!

centerpiece 4 
Love this centerpiece.  We went to a wedding where branches were incorporated and it was an incredible look.  I am not a big fun of the flowers WITH the branches, but something like this would definitely work with our wedding.

centerpiece 1
In a word:  A-MAZING.  Perfect color for our fall wedding!  I’m not even sure what these flowers/leaves are called, but they look fantastic.
(Source for all of the above photos)

So, I am thinking candles on every table, with short, clustered arrangements on some tables and tall, branchy arrangements on others.  Here’s the kicker, though:   my favorite centerpieces of all are the ones that incorporate carnations.  Yes, that ritzy ditzy oft-overlooked flower can look so SWANK if the florals are put together correctly.  Here’s an example from the lovely Mrs. Lime’s wedding:

Bee centerpieces 2

Bee centerpieces 3
Don’t they look sharp?  I seriously LOVE this look.  I am thinking it could be really affordable too, because we would provide the vases (I am not a fan of the white, but I do like low, square, clear glass vases—we will probably hit up Ikea to source). 
(Source for above two photos)

Here’s another version from Martha Stewart:

MS via Bee centerpiece 
LOVES it.
(Source:  Martha Stewart Weddings, picture via Weddingbee)

Lastly, you’ll notice all the flowers I’ve shown you so far are red.  That’s the direction we’re leaning towards—we’ll probably do gold linens (napkins, etc). with red flowers to tie that color in.

Next up, bouquets!  Stay tuned!

Are you doing floral centerpieces?

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Filed under Floral

Finding Room Blocks: A Guide

Well, our hotel room blocks are finally set!  Hallelujah.   Doing room blocks is one of those wedding activities that’s really not too fun.  It’s usually a lot of leg work and more a pain in the butt than anything.  When I started thinking about room blocks, I couldn’t find much of anything on the Internet or in my wedding planning book about how to go about setting up blocks—what questions to ask, where to look, who to call, etc.  In hopes of making it easier for future brides looking for that same information, here are my best tips for setting up your hotel room blocks.

Tip Numero Uno:  Think about your guests first.  We decided to do TWO room blocks, which exponentially increased the workload for me, but we wanted to offer our guests two different price options and two different locations.  Instead of just creating a block at the pricier hotel we’ll be staying at, we opted to create an additional block at another local hotel that is just as nice, but would be a bit cheaper in price.  Each hotel has its own merits and guests can decide where to stay based on a variety of factors, including price and location.  Which leads me to

Tip Numero Dos:  Location, location, location.  Not only do our two room blocks have different prices, but they are in different locations that each have their own benefits.  The hotel we’ll be staying at is closer to the church (within walking distance), which works out great for us because of the timeframe for pictures, etc.  The second hotel is closer to the reception venue (within walking distance), which is nice for guests who want to have a little extra to drink—they won’t have to worry about driving to and from the reception.  Even though the two hotels are in different locations, they are both within close distance of each other.

Venues Map
Like my cool map?  It was quick and easy to make, using Google Maps and PowerPoint.  Tutorial coming up for you guys soon!

Think heavily about your locations before booking your room blocks.  If you’re lucky like us and everything is close, you won’t have to think too much about this.  If your guests are going to be traveling a bit to get to the reception venue, obviously you probably aren’t going to want to do a room block at a hotel close to the church. 

Tip Numero Tres:  Ask the right questions.  There are some fundamental truths about hotel room blocks.  The most important of these is that you should NEVER have to pay for any rooms in the block that aren’t booked.  If a hotel tells you this is a requirement, RUN FOR THE HILLS!  With that being said, it’s important to ask the right questions when gathering information about hotel room blocks.  Here is a quick sampling of the key questions you should ask:

* What will happen if we don’t fill the block?  Will we be charged?  (As I said before, if you will be charged, RUN.)

* What does the room rate include?  Sometimes continental breakfast, late check-out and other extras are included!

* Can you block our guests near each other?  Usually, hotels will try to do this. 

* What will the rates be?  What is the cut-off date?  How will our guests make their reservations (via phone?  using online codes?)?  Something surprising that I never knew before:  Nowadays, in the Internet age, hotels will often offer personalized websites or special links for you to include on your own website so that guests can make their reservations right online.  Pretty cool! 

* Can we provide our guests with Out-of-Town bags?  Is there a fee to have them delivered to guest rooms?  Do you charge if we have them handed out at the front desk?  (Some hotels charge a per bag fee.)

* Can we add more rooms to the block if necessary?  In my experience, hotels generally block off only a certain number of rooms, say 10 to 15, or in some cases 20.  If you are expecting a lot of out-of-town guests, as we are, it’s important to make sure rooms will still be available to them if the block fills quickly.

* Do you provide shuttle services to local airports and locations?  Can we work with you to provide shuttle services for our guests?  A lot of times, hotels are glad to help you out with transportation to and from your reception venue, especially if it’s close by!

* Do you include a complimentary room for the bride and groom?  It never hurts to ask, and a lot of times, they do!

Tip Numero Cuatro:  Be sure to read the contract!  Generally, hotels will have you sign some sort of room block agreement, which is basically the way in which they secure the rates, inform you of the cut-off date, and other important information.  Usually these contracts are pretty short, but as with any contract, make sure you read all of the fine print.

So there you have it—my top tips for securing room blocks.  I am glad to have this done and out of the way.  Next task for me is transportation…and meeting with some florists! 

How was your room block experience?  Share some more tips in the comments!

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Filed under Accommodations