Category Archives: Gifts

Wedding Rewind: Gifts for My Girls, III + Gifts for Our Parents

Yesterday I showed you what we gifted our dudes, and promised that today I would show you the girls’ gifts!  If you’ll remember, I also made them survival kits like the guys’, as well as hangers to use for their dresses on the day of the wedding…but I didn’t stop there!

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Each girl got a plethora of goodies.  Unfortunately, I seem to have lost my mind when I was taking these photos, as I didn’t take any individual photos of their gifts!  So, here’s a quick run-down of what they received:

Each girl got a monogram bag, incorporating their favorite color.  They also got a mini matching makeup bag to complement (all ordered from that four-letter-word-wedding-website…you know the one!).  They also received silver picture frames, for which I will be gifting them each a photo of us together on the wedding day.  I also got them their jewelry for the wedding, which looks like this up close:

Lastly, each girl got a set of Rolleez, which are rollable flats that fold up and fit in your purse.  Here is where I have to make a disclaimer, and I’m sorry, but I have to use swear words.  Rolleez and the company that makes them,, is the MOST FUCKED UP COMPANY EVER.  From not shipping my order for months, to receiving a partial shipment, to terrible customer service (like NO customer service) to receiving an email LAST WEEK that my order had shipped (hello, I received it two months ago already dumb-asses!), this is the WORST experience I have ever had ordering something online.  If you are looking for rollable flats, DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY.  EVER.  I can give you recommendations for MUCH better companies that I wished I would have gone through, so just ask!

Ok, rant over.

I wrapped most of their little gifts individual, but decided to use their monogrammed bags as the gift bags—I got corresponding tissue paper to stuff each one with.  All wrapped up and ready to go, they looked like this:

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I even did a mini-bag for our flower girl! 

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She received some kids’ makeup and bath stuff, as well as a little necklace for her to wear:

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Our ring bearer received a toy fit for boys (remote control airport), but I forgot to take a picture of it.  Here it is all wrapped up:

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And I realized that I didn’t show you yesterday how I wrapped up the boys’ gifts:

Gifts 005 All set to match our wedding colors!

Lastly, we got our parents gifts as well.  Our dads received Fleet Farm gift cards (hey, what can we say?  We knew they’d love them), and my dad received a special treat.  You see, his favorite food, much like me, is POPCORN.  After we finished stuffing our favors, we still had a whole 5 pound bag left.  Guess who got that?

DSCN0690 Here he is cheering about it.  Yep, my dad was really excited, haha!

Our moms gifts were very near and dear to my heart.  First, I have to give props where props are due:  I originally got the idea from Mrs. Cheeseburger on WeddingbeeWe gifted each mom with a set of three diamond rings…one ring to represent the C____ family (my family), one ring to represent the S______ family (Dr. Groomy’s family), and one ring to represent our new combined family.

I unfortunately didn’t take any pictures of the actual rings, but here is what they looked like:


We ordered them from Reeds Jewelers, and we didn’t have any problems—they were very easy to work with. 

And this is one of the only shots I got of one of the moms opening her gift…they both cried, so I hope my mother-in-law doesn’t mind me posting this picture! 

Brad and Amy's Wedding 10-09-10 054Bonus:  you can see she is wearing one of the nametags I made for everyone! 

But that wasn’t the end of the crying that night…stay tuned!

What did you get your bridesmaids?

*All photos by me, family or friends unless otherwise noted.



Filed under Gifts

Wedding Rewind: Gifts for the Dudes, II

So, before I delve into recaps of our honeymoon, I want to go back and post a few things I didn’t get a chance to post before the wedding.  You already saw my vlog from last week about our favors, but I never posted the rest of the gifts for our wedding party!  Today, the Dudes!

Brad and Amy's Wedding 10-09-10 037So dapper!  (Photo by my FIL)

If you’ll remember, I made each guy a survival kit to use on the day of the wedding.  In hindsight, I should have included shoelaces in this kit (a story I’ll regale you with another time—needless to say, there is a groomsmen missing in the above photo!!!!). But that’s not the only thing we gifted our guys! 

First, a special gift for our 5 groomsmen:  here in Milwaukee, we have an MLB team you might have heard of…the Milwaukee Brewers.  And we have a little tradition at our ballpark called the Racing Sausages:


5 groomsmen, 5 racing sausages.  Coincidence?  I think not.  So we got each of them a racing sausage t-shirt!

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Here’s what they look like on the front and back:

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Next, we got each guy (including our ushers now) these awesome beer glasses:

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I originally heard of these through the totally fabulous Mrs. French Fries and thought they would be a great gift for our dudes.  Each one has a different mustache, and we got them personalized with each guy’s nickname:

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This one was for our “Chief Usher” (and a blog reader!), my best guy friend TD.  They’re from the Etsy shop Jack Glass Studios
He was amaze-balls to work with and I highly recommend them!

Dr. Groomy also picked up a special gift for the guys when he was at his barber shop.  Ladies, I did NOT have anything to do with this one:

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Yes, that would be a product called Fresh Balls.  Yes, it’s for what you think it’s for.  And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Lastly, we got each guy their favorite hard liquor.  Hey, we’re nothing if not realists and we knew they would love it!  Here are their gifts all together:

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We had all these gifts picked out and wrapped up pretty early, so we didn’t have to worry about that the week of the wedding.  I definitely recommend planning ahead, as it was one less thing for me to worry about! 

Stay tuned tomorrow when I recap what I got my girls.  Until then, tell me: What did you get your groomsmen & ushers?  If you’re not married yet, have you thought about what you might gift them?

*All photos by me unless otherwise noted.


Filed under Gifts

The Very Last Project…

Our Favors!

So, I was a bad blogger and in the crazy week leading up to the wedding, I must have misplaced the photos I took of our favor-filling process.  If you’ll remember, we decided to give popcorn favors!  Lucky you, though, I was smart enough to take a video, so you get to hear my voice and see me looking less than stellar (Dudes, I was tired.  Forgive me.).  So, here’s a quick peek at us putting together our favors!  Shout out to my sister and my bridesmaid Beezus for helping me with these. 

And here’s what they looked like on the tables:

Our guests loved them and they were a huge hit.  It only took about 3 hours to get everything put together, so it was definitely worth the effort!

Did you or are you DIYing your favors?

(All photo/video by me, friends, or family).


Filed under Food & Drink, Gifts


*That’s “cute, yet unnecessary” in my blog lingo, kids.  Here’s another round of fun projects to add a touch of whimsy to the wedding weekend events!

First up, you’ll remember the cutesy surprise I made for my bridesmaids for the rehearsal? [BRIDESMAIDS: Don’t click!]  I had to make a cute surprise for our ring bearer and flower girl, too!

Enter, the practice pomander and ring pillow:

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Oh yes, I did.  These were easy peasy!

For the ring bearer pillow, I used a piece of styrofoam and a clear container I had leftover from random wedding gifts.  I glued a yellow ribbon around the styrofoam piece, then glued the whole thing into the clear container (to make it easier to carry!).  The last step was sticking in some lollipops!

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Eh voila, a practice ring bearer pillow:


003  Side

For the pomander, I used a styrofoam ball and some ribbon to create the pomander itself.  Next, I added some tulle flowers I whipped up using the tutorial I used for the first version of our pomanders.  Lastly, I stuck stuck stuck the lollipops and flowers all over the ball.

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And behold, a practice pomander!

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Cute, no?  I need to trim up the tulle on the pomander a bit, but overall, I am happy with how these turned out and think they’ll be fun for the kids to use at rehearsal.

Another CYU project finished this weekend?  Chair signs.  I don’t know if I have spoken about this before, but we are not having a head table at our reception.  Instead, we are sitting with our parents and our best man and maid of honor, while our bridal party and their dates will be seated at two tables flanking us on either side.  I’ll explain this more in depth later this week when I discuss our seating chart, but needless to say, since we’re sitting at a regular round table, I knew I wanted to have special signs for our chairs!  I mean, look at all this cute inspiration:

Chair Signs 1

Chair Signs 2

Chair Signs 3
(Source via Source)

I knew I wanted to take a bit more “cheeky” route than these signs though…so, after perusing some more inspiration from the blogosphere, I created these:

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Oh, what’s that?  You can’t read them?  Here you go:

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Yep, I went there!  I used the same sparkly gold cardstock as our table numbers, mounted the signs on black cardstock, and finished with a ribbon.  I LOVE the way they turned out, and think that any guest who notices will get a big kick out of them.

What fun projects did you tackle in the weeks leading up to your wedding?

*All photos, unless noted, are mine.  Did you see that I also updated my DIY page?


Filed under Decor, Gifts, How-To


So many wedding projects were completed this weekend!  If you take a look at the list, you’ll see how SHORT it is!  So exciting!  By far the biggest project of the weekend, though, was this:

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Our Welcome Bags are finished!  These will be handed out to the guests who are staying on our hotel room blocks at the various hotels.  We went shopping for them and I assembled everything between Saturday and Sunday.  Whew!  It was a lot of work, but I had a lot of fun putting these together. 

So, what’s included in each bag?

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We included two water bottles, a bag of mixed nuts, a bag of our FAVORITE potato chips,  some Tootsie Rolls, and some gum.  Oh, and what are those paper products?!

The first one is a little bit of fun:

More Wedding 013A Do Not Disturb Sign for our guests’ hotel room doors!

Here’s a close-up:

More Wedding 014The top part says “We Partied Too Hard at Amy & Bradley’s Wedding!”, while the bottom is a tongue-in-cheek “In Case of Emergency” fill-in-the-blank.

The other paper product is our Welcome Packet.  Originally, I was going to include various guide books from the Milwaukee area…but when it came down to it, I didn’t get around to hoarding enough from local hotels and travel establishments to make it work.  Instead, I decided to just make a packet with pertinent information for our guests.  Because we don’t have to make programs for our ceremony (our church creates them for us, score!), this project sort of took the place of that and I looked for inspiration from a lot of brides’ wedding programs.  Here’s what our Welcome Packets look like:

More Wedding 037Front

More Wedding 038  Welcome Letter.  You can’t see it very well here but we individually signed each and every welcome letter, in a colored Sharpie that matched the covers of each packet (here, the color is yellow).

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Weekend Itinerary & Key Contacts

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Walking Directions & Cab Information

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Restaurants & Local Attractions

I made Welcome Packets in 5 different colors, just for something fun:

More Wedding 042We had to fill 30 Welcome Bags, so we did  6 of each color.  Easy peasy!

You may have also noticed our SWEET water bottles we included in the bags: 

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I’ll be doing a separate tutorial post on those later this week!

So, those are our Welcome Bags!  I think our guests will like them!  It feels SO good to have those done.  My wedding projects list is getting smaller and smaller…and hopefully by the end of this coming weekend, I should pretty much have EVERYTHING done, almost a week ahead of my “week-ahead schedule” and two weeks ahead of the wedding.  Yay!

Did you do Out of Town or Welcome Bags?  What did you include?


Filed under Gifts

Leader of the (Kids’) Packs

Another day, another lame blog post title.  My title-naming creativity is just zapped!  Forgive me, dear readers!

Today I want to show you our Kids’ Packs!  I’ve had these done for awhile but hadn’t packaged them up until this past weekend. 

First, a preface.  We have invited some children to our wedding, but not all children.  Basically, we just took it on a case-by-case basis, and if we had a relationship with the child in question, they were invited.  I know some etiquette experts will poo-poo on our strategy and say it should be an “all or nothing” type decision, but hey, it’s our wedding and let’s face it—there were just some kids we were NOT going to leave out.  That being said, we want to make sure we keep them entertained at this grown-up event!  Enter:  the Kids’ Packs.


Each pack contains the following:

017   BOYS
(Coloring book, crayons, dinosaur toy & kissing wand)

(Coloring book, crayons, bracelet & kissing wand)

Yes, they are gender-specific.  Sue me for not promoting feminism to the five-year-old set.

“Ah, but what are kissing wands?” You ask.  They are an unnecessary craft project that struck my fancy one afternoon in the wood products aisle at JoAnn Fabrics.  Up close, they look like this:

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Each one is tied with a ribbon and has a tiny tag with a poem that reads:

The Bride & Groom
Are the picture of bliss
So wave this wand
When you want them to kiss!

I don’t know if the kids will really use them—and we’ll certainly kiss if people clink their glasses instead since not all guests will have these—but I thought they would be a cute addition to the kids packs. 

Want to know how to make them?  Of course you do!  Here’s a quick and dirty DIY!

For this project you will need:
* Wooden shapes, found at most craft stores
* Dowel rods
* Paint
* Paint brushes
* Glue gun

Here’s what the shapes looked like when I first started out:

GermanFest & Wedding DIY 064  GermanFest & Wedding DIY 066

Obviously, the lips did not need painting, as I bought those pre-painted and only had to glue on the dowel rods.  So, I set those aside and got to painting my other pieces.  I decided to use red and pink paint, since those are “lovey-dovey” colors.

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Once your pieces have painted and you have given them time to dry (you might need a few coats), use your glue gun to attach the smaller piece (in this case the heart) to the bigger piece (in this case the circle).

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Next, flip your pieces over and attach your dowel rod.  I found that a glue gun worked just fine for this.  Press down hard to make sure it holds tight!

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Let them dry…

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And voila!  Kissing wands.  

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I then printed the tags with the above-mentioned poem and tied them on with a ribbon.  Seriously gang, this project was so easy.  I could easily see these guys exploding into other things—not just kissing wands for weddings, but perhaps using multiple wands for bridal or baby shower centerpieces, kids’ birthday parties, and more.  The sky’s the limit on these as they are SO easy to do.

I packaged the kissing wands, coloring books, crayons and gender-specific toys into kraft paper gift bags.  Add some black tissue paper, tie a ribbon & a tag on each bag (with each child’s name on it) and you’ve got yourself a useful yet chic way to keep the kids entertained at a formal event!


We are not having a dedicated kids table, so we plan to have the venue place these bags on each child’s seat at their respective tables.  This also doubles as a way to not disturb the formal place settings. 

Did you invite children to your wedding?  What are you doing/did you do to keep them entertained?

*All photos by me…don’t use ‘em without permission.


Filed under Gifts

A Gorgeous DIY Gift

The DIY project train rolls on in this neck of the woods! Today, I want to show you a really easy and heartfelt gift you could give to members of your wedding party, your readers, or anyone that has helped you along the way.  This gift would be great for any occasion, really—birthday party, shower hostess thank you, anything!

**If you are one of our readers or my personal attendant, I made these gifts for you!  To keep the surprise, please don’t read any further…THIS MEANS YOU JILL C., JORDAN, SARA & ERIN!**







Ok, I think they’re gone now!  This gift was inspired by this post on WeddingbeeYep, I made my own hand-painted wine glasses!

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The original post writer used a Cricut to make hers, but if you search around on the site, you’ll see lots more examples of hand-painted wine glasses.  Here’s my tutorial!

Start by gathering your supplies.  For this project, you will need:

Wine Glasses – I bought mine at the Dollar Store!  They are great quality and perfect for a project like this.

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Acrylic Paint – Any kind of acrylic paint will work…no need to buy special glass paint.

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Next, you’ll want to create and print your design.  I decided to do a monogram on each of the glasses.  I found a font I liked (BlackJack from, blew it up until it was a pretty large size and printed each girl’s monogram.  Cut them out.

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Next, position the monograms inside the wine glasses at the spot you’d like them, and tape in place.

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Now you’re ready to start painting!  Start by tracing the monogram with your choice of colored acrylic paint.  I used black.  Don’t worry about it if they’re not perfect the first time you paint.  It definitely takes some getting used to, but you can use water to wipe away any mistakes you first make.

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Once you have the first coat done, let them dry a bit…then you can remove the monogram from the inside of the glasses and go about painting second, third, or even fourth coats, until you’re satisfied with how they look!  I did four coats total, just to make sure the letters were nice and black.

GermanFest & Wedding DIY 061 Now you add your embellishments!  I did burgundy and gold squares as my design, because I knew they would be easy to do.  Get creative!  You could even trace a design element if you wanted to.

GermanFest & Wedding DIY 060 Once they’ve dried a bit, they’re ready for baking!  Place the wine glasses on a cookie sheet and carefully put them into a COLD oven…THEN set your oven to 350*F.  Once the oven dings that it is preheated, set the timer for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes, turn the oven off, but leave the door closed and let the wine glasses sit 10 minutes more.  After that 10 minutes, open the door and let the wine glasses set there (with oven door open), until they are fully cooled.

Note:  I then used a gold leafing pen to add my gold squares to the design.  There were warnings all over the label about the gold pen that said to avoid heat, and I didn’t want it to wreck the glasses if the gold leaf was heated up…so I added that later. 

Once they’ve cooled, they’re done!  Tie a ribbon on and you’re ready to gift away! (But be sure to remind your friends that they are HAND-WASH ONLY).

GermanFest & Wedding DIY 072 We’ll be giving each of our readers/attendant their personalized wine glass, plus a nice bottle of wine for them to enjoy.  I may also try and find some cute wine charms or a wine bottle opener to go with!

I loved this project—I sort of want one of these for myself, haha!  While it was a bit time-consuming, between the painting, drying & baking (it took me about two days overall to finish these, working maybe 1.5 to 2 hrs at a time), I really love the way they turned out and I think our friends will love the hand-made aspect. This project was inexpensive as well!  I did the whole thing for about $10, including wine glasses and paint. 

What are some your DIY projects you loved?

*All photos by me.  Again, do not use without my express written consent.


Filed under Gifts, How-To