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90 Days to Go!

12 Aug

My wedding is just 90 days away! The invitations are in the mail and now it really feels real. The entire process of designing the invitations has been incredibly symbolic for me. I had such a clear vision in my head of exactly what I wanted. I’ve drawn inspiration from other examples but never saw one that made me say “this is it.” But since I’m not very creative it was difficult for me to describe what I wanted. But our awesome designer, Sarah of Fuzzynk Designs created a beautiful custom invitation suite that came out better than I could have ever imagined.

The Suite: invite, insert, rsvp card, pocketfold, outer envelope, tag & twine

What’s so important about this is that seeing the final product finally gave me the confidence that my vision for this wedding can actually be a reality.

But of course, the process was not easy or without just a little bit f drama. We went through several design drafts and I really struggled with the wording. The biggest challenge was infusing the destination wedding theme without being cheesy or using one of the go to destination wedding symbols like a palm tree, star fish or airplane.

Instead we included some wording in Spanish with English translations. We also tied on a “luggage tag” to the pocketfold. Finally, it was important to emphasize the formality of our wedding. It’s not a casual beach affair, this event is black tie optional!

fit to be tied!

Something else that was really important for me was getting the envelopes addressed with outgoing and return labels. Because my handwriting isn’t great and to save time. Unfortunately, using a calligrapher was cost prohibitive for us but Sarah offered a pretty alternative based on something she saw on Martha Stewart Weddings. This wrap around label seemed like a nice and economical solution. However, the post office would not accept them because it was possible the scanner would read the return address as the outgoing address. Really? So my timeline was blown and we had to come up with another solution. We had to cover the return address label on the back with our monogram and affix a return address label in the traditional spot. It definitely changed the look but I didn’t want to take any chances on them not being delivered. But thank you anyway, Martha, for the inspiration.

envelope label solution via marthastewartweddings.com

Off the registry.

23 Jul

I’m that guest. I rarely purchase shower or wedding gifts off of the couples’/parents’ registry. I always like to find something more unique and personal. This is especially true when I know the person/couple well.

Baby and wedding season are in full swing. I have several friends that have recently had babies or are expecting. Not to mention a few upcoming weddings and showers. So not only am I on the hunt for unique gifts but I’m also trying to find some cost-effective options as well.

Since I go off the registry, I feel added pressure to make the gifts really special (to justify my defiance). When it comes to babies, you just can’t go wrong the personalized/keepsake items. When I had Myles I had all sorts of grandiose plans about how I would memorialize and commemorate his birth and subsequent milestones. Not surprisingly, none of it got done. So now I like to give something to new parents that has the key birth stats.

Recently, I’ve come across some great finds on Etsy. The customization options are endless and I think this is the type of gift “that keeps on giving.” These prints can be used for years. In fact, I ordered some for Myles as well!

I love just about everything at Etsy Shop, Mateo & Tobias.

But I settled on these two adorable prints.

Personalized Alphabet ABC Wall Art via Mateo & Tobias

Each print is $16 (frame not included). I will explore custom framing options but worse case I should be able to find something at Michael’s or even Ikea.

Opaque Name Modern Birth Announcement via Mateo & Tobias

Another cute birth announcement type gift is this pillow. These run about $50 each. Not terribly expensive but I have no less than 5 shower/baby gifts to buy and I just don’t have $250+ to spend.

The colors are so vibrant and the backside can be made with a fun print like, Chevron!

Birth Announcement Pillow from ThreelilStitches

I’m also loving these customizable onsies. I think all moms are obsessed with clothing that has their baby’s name on it (or is that just me). These simple white onsies have a great pop of color and would be perfect for pictures! And how cute would it be framed?

Personalized Onesie via SundayRookery

For bridal showers I really like to get something personal for the bride. This is my new favorite and as I bride-to-be I certainly wouldn’t mind getting one of these for myself!

available at Nordstrom and katespade.com for $78

Not only do I stray from the registry but I’m notoriously bad at getting wedding presents prior to the wedding, although etiquette says you have up to 6 months after the wedding to send the gift. But after the wedding the registry is usually  slim pickings so I’m forced to go rogue. I have a few tried and true items from Crate & Barrel but new to my arsenal are these Mr. & Mrs. pillows.

$49 from Pillows4Fun on Etsy

There is nothing like having your first child or getting married to bring out your most sentimental side. My hope is that these gifts add something to those sentiments.

Wedding Details: budget friendly favors

4 Jul

6:45 a.m. I waited in this insanely long line. 5 hours and 2 stores later, I had the goods. My goal is to create a “shoe valet” with creatively displayed flip-flops available for guests. A friend did this at her wedding and I thought it was such a thoughtful and fun touch!

via Love Is All You Need

Score! 35 pairs of flip-flops

line in front of Old Navy at 6:45am!

I battled the crowds at the Old Navy One Day Wonder $1 Flip Flop sale. It was madness. I had no idea so many people got so hype about flip-flops. There was a limit of 5 per customer so I had to get creative. I dispatched my mom and aunt to Old Navy stores in their city and I headed out on my own at 6:30am. I recruited a group of 14 year olds that were only getting a couple of pairs each to help me max out the limit. I got all that could from the first store, picked up my family and headed to store number 2.

But for needing 50 pairs, I never would have endured these shenanigans for the 5 pair limit, I’d rather just pay full price and avoid waiting in line for over an hour.

Up next I need to add a decorative label and figure out how to display them. More importantly, I have to figure out the best way to transport them all the way to Mexico.

After all this drama I better see a packed dance floor full of flop-flop clad guests! This is any easy to do and affordable favor that I hope my guests will use again.

Good morning Lover.ly

21 Jun

How much time have you wasted spent on Pinterest? I’m a true Pin-a-holic. I’m able to admit this after 2 specific incidents:

  • My fiance caught me at 2am, in the dark, pinning away – I scrambled to open my email and pretend I was working.
  • At this point Myles will only fall asleep if you one of us sits in his room while he sings, counts, recites the ABCs, talks to his sleep sheep, etc. This takes anywhere from 20 – 60 minutes. I used to dread this time simply because I would get tired too, usually fall asleep also and lose out on valuable evening time. That is, until his down time also became my prime pinning time! Selfishly, I no longer insisted that Myles learn to fall asleep on his own.  (I know we shouldn’t dread anytime time with our kids but let’s be honest, we all need some downtime, alone time or couple time at night. Passing out by 8:30 meant I wasn’t getting that time)

I was just starting to wean myself from Pinterest when I was introduced to Lover.ly. Game over. This Pinterest inspired site is exclusive to weddings and has sorting features that allow you search by color or category, for example. You can bundle (add to your board) or like items, or in some cases there is “shop” link that directs you to purchasing info.

The images are really beautiful and inspiring. Although it’s wedding specific, I think you can draw inspiration for throwing other types of parties and events or even figuring out your design aesthetic when decorating your home!

I’m back into deep procrastination mode for the wedding and had stayed off of Pinterest and Lover.ly for a few days. Then I got an email from the Lover.ly team saying “we miss you.” I missed them too. Then they emailed again with “Destination Deliciousness – destination wedding inspired images.” I must say Lover.ly, you sure know how to make a girl feel special. Do they know I’m getting married in Mexico and struggling with a decor scheme? Get out of my head!

Check them out but WARNING – be sure you have at least an hour to waste look!

Pinning v. Planning

17 Jun

Time to stop pinning and actually start planning. If only perusing and pinning on Pinterest translated into action in the real world – I would have the most fabulous wedding planned, be incredibly fit, be the most amazing chef, be a DIY queen and have perfect hair, nails and make-up. Meanwhile, back in the real world, time is running short and my to-do list is getting long.

In an effort to progress my planning process, better assess where we are and figure out what to delegate to all the people asking how they can help – I’m staying up late (very rare for me to be awake past 10pm) and creating the ultimate timeline/to-do list. A few years ago I purchased Mindy Weiss’ “The Wedding Book” for a friend and nabbed a copy for myself as well. It’s been buried in the closet but now I’ve got it out to use as my template. So within the next hour my goal is to have my to-do list and budget spreadsheet created via Google Docs.

Going back to one of  my primary purposes for starting this blog – accountability – if I write it here, I have to get it done. Here we go…

Wedding Details: save the date!

16 Jun

With a destination wedding, save the date cards are especially important. Not only did I want to give our guests an early heads up, I wanted to try to set the tone for the wedding weekend. I set out to find a unique save the date card. I couldn’t be happier with what I found! It’s unique but still makes sense and has become an inspiration for our colors and design scheme for the entire wedding.

Michele of Michele Purner Designs created these beauties. You can find her shop on Etsy. The final design had rounded edges, making it look even more sleek. We also added custom yellow envelopes that matched the string. Michele printed the outgoing and return addresses. So I just had to stamp them and drop them in the mail. This was a huge time-saver and the primary reason I managed to get the cards out 7 months in advance.

Up next, equally unique invitations. I found a young, up and coming stationer to design custom invites. There is no shortage of custom stationers but the $2400 minimum is just not in our budget! Fingers crossed that this young designer works out!

The 4 Year Engagement

14 Jun

Marv proposed the same day I graduated from law school. He made a touching speech in front of 30 close family and friends. I remember very little about what he actually said because as soon as he starting shifting down to one knee and pulled out the ring, I lost it. Completely. We’d been together for so long and talked extensively about marriage and even done some ring shopping but I still wasn’t expecting a proposal anytime soon.

That was May 8, 2008. My summer was spent studying for the California Bar so there was no planning. Then came what I have dubbed the “post Bar depression” where you’re stuck in limbo of having a JD but not being an Esq. California is one of the last states to release Bar results, usually the Friday before Thanksgiving so it was well into December 2008 before I could even began thinking about a wedding.

By March of 2009 planning our New Year’s Eve wedding was in full swing. Then came the rough patch and a decision to slow down (a lot more on this later). By fall of 2009 we successfully emerged from our rough patch and were unexpectedly expecting!

We got enormous pressure to get married immediately. But I was too consumed with baby prep and a new job to even think consider it. There would be no shotgun wedding. Fast forward and by fall 2011 we felt ready to make it official.

Why November? Sorry, no romantic stories or symbolism (although Thanksgiving is a very meaningful holiday in our relationship). Honestly, it’s the best time of year for us to take time off from work and it’s part of the low-season in Cancun which means lower travel prices.

It’s been a long and beautiful journey to this point. Our path to the altar may not be traditional but I wouldn’t change a thing. November 11 can’t come fast enough! (well…. actually, it’s coming a little too fast. There’s still a lot of planning to do =)