DIY or Buy?

Our venue doesn’t have an actual bar…so there are few things I wanted to do to spice up the area that will be serving as our bar.  This is one of the inspirations that started this DIY attempt…notice I say attempt.

bar sign inspiration

style me pretty

They look so simple, so pretty…all you need is a hot glue gun, some paper mache letters from your local craft store and some yarn…which I already had from the pom pom project.  This should be a breeze, right? WRONG! I am still physically (I got a gross blister on my finger from the hot glue) and emotionally recovering from this DIY attempt.  This is a definite BUY for me.  Maybe some of you are a bit more patient and crafty and this could be a DIY but, I am not sure if you want to chance it…I put in 2 hours and only got like 25% of 1 letter finished and it looked awful. SO I recommend, you BUY this one.  Check out the various sellers on etsy that make them.  I mean look how gorgeous they are:

CiaoBellahDesignsCiaoBellahDesigns

crannycrannyfoundfavorites

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Manic Monday Meditation

My long weekend due to a well overdue surgery (I finally got my wisdom teeth taken out), which in true Rebecca fashion I had to overschedule myself to the point of sleep depreciation that even a dirty chai with 3 shots of espresso couldn’t fix, just came to a screeching halt.  Its back to the grind and boy is it a manic Monday.  Work is at an all time crazy level which I know we can all relate to, wedding planning is always on my mind, and the impending holidays are bringing my stress levels to an all time high.  But, thanks to some soul searching, some counseling, and introspection…this morning on my commute into the office it all came together and I had one of the infamous Oprah a ha moments.  In all of the chaos we have each other, we have amazing friends, and we have an incredible family that I am so thankful for.  I think all too often we get caught up in our everyday routine and we loose sight of all the blessings that we are lucky enough to have in our lives. We as a society just don’t make time for it, we don’t take the time to step back and look at the gifts we have been given.  But, as of today I am making a change!

I am making time for it.

give thanks

What really matters?

As we have booked most of our major vendors for the wedding, I have begun to really focus on all of the little details. My favorite!  But, as the inspiration strikes with all of these details the Mr. and I have hit a bit of a wall.  A lack of communication wall…lucky for me his response has been a heartfelt reminder of what really matters.  He has been trying his best to be patient as I stubbornly insist that these details are what really matter to me.  While, that is true they do matter to me… I obviously know the most important thing is that I am lucky enough to marry the love of my life and that is what really matters. I mean look at that face how could you not love it:

2013-09-11_0848

But, I would be lying if I said that it has been easy to let go of some of the details that would have been oh so cute, but just outside of our budget.  So, we have come up with a way of handling all of these inspired conversations and have knocked down the lack of communication wall.  Yay!  Planning a wedding can be stressful and you both maybe on different pages, but taking the time to catch up and really talk goes a long way.  I feel like these lessons we learn as we plan our making us a better couple and will make us each a better person.  While, the planning maybe stressful and there are bumps along the way I definitely think it is all worth it when you grow as a couple through it all.

Everything Will Not be Perfect

True or False. I am a little worried about my OCD on the BIG day.  TRUE.  In all honesty, it has become somewhat of an internal battle.  In my heart I obviously know what is most important and that is that I am lucky enough to have found someone that despite all of my crazy (and trust me there is a lot), he loves me so much.  Yeah, I can get annoyingly persistent among many other quirks but, there has never been a moment when I doubted the FH’s heart.  And I know how our unexpected love story has made me a better daughter, sister, friend, and all around better person.  But, unfortunately there is this voice in my head that strives for such an intense level of unattainable perfection that I fear I will not be able to stay focused on what’s important.

So, I have begun to consciously prepare myself for the inevitable truth that something will NOT go according to plan on my wedding day.   I know I am intense! Lol!  But, I think it is important to be self aware of your weaknesses and try to ready yourself for triggers that way you will be prepared to deal with them.  One of the ways that I have done this is by reading Raquel Kelly’s blog I Guess I Do.  It has been so therapeutic for me so, I didn’t want to keep this wedding blog treasure under wraps.  I thought I would share with you! Raquel shares her personal stories as well as numerous other brides’ stories detailing their I Guess I Do moments when the proverbial shoe drops during the wedding planning or on the actual day.  I get so much solace out of reading all of these stories and I think it has been a big help in changing my diluted mindset that “everything must be perfect.”  For all of you OCD brides-to-be out there stop by I Guess I Do, it’s a breath of fresh air in the wedding blog world because everything isn’t perfect but, that doesn’t matter and that’s the best part!

Here’s Raquel’s about page to give you a better idea of what she shares:

I Guess I Do

Save the Date, Inspiration

While we are working on a few finishing touches, the Save the Dates will soon be going off in the mail.  Yay! I am so excited!  So much so that I can’t wait until they arrive in our friends’ & family’s mailboxes. I had to do a little breakdown of the inspiration with you to hold me over until they arrive.

Let’s start off with a confession: I AM OBSESSED WITH SUBTLE DETAILS.  I can’t help it.  Any opportunity I had to customize this little piece of mail I did, luckily with lots of patience and help from the Mr.

First things first, the custom portrait (more info on that here).  My inspiration was this invite that I saw on Style Me Pretty.

pevan_invites_003$!600x

I loved the idea! I just knew that I couldn’t create it personally so, I immediately thought of an artist I had been following for a few years, Jordan Grace Owens.  Once we started the process it went from a simple sketch to being much more detailed and involved portrait, shocker (sarcasm).  Jordan was awesome and I am so happy with how it came out.  The Save the Date doesn’t feature the entire portrait, but our guests will get to see a glimpse.  The grand reveal will be in our wedding invitation :)

After we finalized the portrait I concentrated on font choices. Here are some of the front runners. Then the layout and design.

Then printing…while the printing process wasn’t necessarily inspired.  I wanted to share with you our experience so, that if you were thinking of using the same printer you wouldn’t make the same mistake I did.  We were trying to be budget conscious and got lucky enough (or so we thought) to stumble upon a Groupon for VistaPrint. So, that is where we decided to get them printed.  We uploaded the design and waited for them to arrive in the mail.  When they came in mail I was beyond excited to open the box up and get my hands on them.  They looked just as I imagined and I was so happy.  That is until I realized they were the wrong size.  They didn’t fit into the envelopes we had worked on for weeks with the pretty liners and everything.  My heart sank…I got a little bridezilla I’m not going to lie.  Vistaprint advertised these as 5X7 but, they were in fact 4.61 x 7.17, which is why they didn’t fit.  Fine print, essh.  It just so happened that the way I navigated the Vistaprint site, it wasn’t visible to a normal person with imperfect vision. Word to the wise: if you are planning to use VistaPrint for any invitations start here that way you can actually see the correct sizing.  I found this after the fact.  Anyway, I called and spoke with VistaPrint on the phone for over an hour.  It wasn’t pleasant.   They were rude, I was rude, and they refused to refund my Groupon or replace the incorrectly sized Save the Dates. They did however, refund what I paid over the value of the Groupon and then I called it a day.  The following day I called Groupon and they refunded me the cost of the Groupon because of how poor the customer service was at VistaPrint. There is a God! Lol! I was so relieved. After all that the Save the Dates were FREE… FREE=GOOD!  How’s that for budget conscious?! Yay! Instead of tossing them we decided to cut the Save the Dates down to fit our envelopes. While the edging’s finish wasn’t as pretty as I had hoped, it worked…

However, I of course couldn’t leave them that way.  I was focused on how I could get the edges a little more refined and probably like 6 weeks later I found this.  Gilded edges, I don’t think it gets more refined than that.  While gold doesn’t fit our color scheme, silver certainly does.  With one quick trip to Michael’s for the silver leaf paint pen and maybe like 20 minutes updating the edges, I was able to give out the sigh of relief I had been looking for for over a month.

IMAGE-6_LeafingInvites_550

One word: BRILLIANT! I couldn’t finally let it go and move on.  And get a little more sleep.

Then of course we slipped them into our pretty lined envelopes addressed by our calligrapher and pimped out in our vintage stamps.  Now, they are all set for the mailman. So keep an eye out family & friends.  They will be coming soon.

Wedding Word to the Wise

Wedding planning has been such a learning process for me.  Between managing the stress, keeping the love alive, and the actual planning it’s been a whirlwind.  So, I thought I would look back on the past 6 months of planning and share some of the insights I’ve learned so far to help out all of the other brides-to-be starting out the planning process. Here is my wedding word to the wise…

#1 Time flys when you’re in love.  Not only are you kind of floating around on cloud nine because the man/woman that you love popped the question, but you are also on the brink of planning one of the biggest events of your life.  While it seems like you have plenty of time, you don’t.  There is way more involved in planning than you could have ever imagined.  I would advise you to start early so you can allow for changes in plan if you need to and then you don’t have to rush through or not do something that is important to you.  For example, our venue search was a much more lengthy process that I had originally thought and that was only the beginning.  Finding a place that was within our budget, in our area, and that we loved was tough (see here).  I am so happy that we started this process so early or I would have been stressing out hardcore.

#2 Press pause on the planning.  While it does a bride good to start early it is just as important to unplug from the planning hamster wheel and replug into your love life from time to time.  Whether it’s just a date night where wedding talk is not allowed or an perhaps an actual vacation.  I highly recommend it!  The Mr. and I did a little of both last weekend.  We went on a little staycation.  To ensure that we enjoyed each other company to the fullest extent I vowed not to do any wedding planning, brainstorming, DIYIng, etc.  It was so nice to just not even think about it for a few days.  I will admit it got to be a little tough towards the end, I had to bite my tongue from bouncing off wedding ideas, but I did and we survived.  We got to be just us.  Two people spending time together and loving every second of it, no wedding planning/saving/DIYing stress at all.

#3 Don’t let ANYONE tell you that you HAVE TO do anything. You don’t. (You really really don’t). Do what will make you the happiest even if it means pissing people off temporarily. When your vision comes to fruition, you’ll be psyched and they’ll most likely get over it and/or be impressed.

#4 Be open-minded. I’ll reiterate the above point once again…don’t let anyone tell you that you have to do anything.  But, also don’t let your visions of what your BIG day will look like get in the way of things you hadn’t originally thought about.  You may think you know what you want your wedding cake to look like, or what you’d be wearing on your big day, but use these visions as a starting point not the end all be all.  As mentioned here, I was stubbornly resistant to trying on my Mom’s dress at all.  If I didn’t relax and just try it on I wouldn’t have fell in love with her beautiful heirloom dress and we wouldn’t be sharing the process of restoring and redesigning it together, which would have been be a real shame. Speaking of which, here is a little sneak peek of a sketch I created for our first consultation with the dressmaker for those of you who haven’t seen it yet:

Wedding Dress Plans

#5 Relish the Moments, Relinquish the Stress.  I tend to get caught up in the details and that can be a slippery slope of stress.  So, I try to consciously remind myself  to relish the moments, the moments of sheer joy.  There are so many of them like: writing my vows the process so far has been a beautiful reflection on the simplicity of our love or talking to my nieces and soon to be nieces about being in our wedding…it’s so cute to see their little faces light up talking about it.  And it is also hysterical to listen to some of the questions they have (i.e. Chey asked if she could wear her cowgirl boots.  Of course I said yes.  How could I get between a girl and her boots?  Now to just find somewhat wedding appropriate wedding cowgirl boots, this should be interesting LOL). It’s moments like this that I want to remember forever, not the moments when I’m on the verge of tears because the return address stamp for our wedding invites doesn’t come with white ink…that may or may not have happened.

Hopefully these tips and insights into my wedding planning process helps some of you out.  If any of you out there have more inspiration to share with me or other brides-to-be please share in the comments.

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