Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Bridal Party Proposal

After we got engaged, I trolled around Weddingbee like a mad woman. Once I spotted Mrs. Mascara's and Mrs. Duckling's wedding party proposals, I knew I wanted to do something similar. So what did I do? I merged the two ideas together and added my own spin on things! I have to admit, I was a paper crafting virgin prior to this project. Honest to god, I've never scrapbooked in my life, but I was determined. Now on with the program...the first of many wedding related projects.

First up, the bridal party: maid of honor, bridesmaids, and a bridesman. I personalized the front of each card with a collage of pictures of us throughout the years. All (black) text and photos were printed on my Epson R1900. The colored letters were outlined letters printed on scrapbook paper and then painstakingly cut out with a craft knife.

The inside of the bridal party cards read:
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Will you be my Maid of Honor/Bridesmaid/Bridal Attendant? Please, Say 'I do!'
I added just a touch of embellishments using real miniature pressed roses that I'd found at Paper-Source (I later spotted them at Michael's and A.C. Moore) and Martha Stewart jeweled stickers.

Because all members of my bridal party live in another part of the country and lead busy lives, (who doesn't?) I wanted to make it clear to my bridal party what they were getting themselves into. I came up with a description of duties, attire, and my promise to them, which reads:
I promise not to make you wear an ugly dress. I promise to not become Bridezilla. I promise not to make you fold a bazillion bows for wedding favors. I promise not to give you paper cuts from putting together ceremony programs.

Next, we have the flower girls and ring bearers. I didn't have pictures of me with all the kids, so I had to improvise. The inside of the card reads:
Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Will you be our Flower Girl/Ring Bearers? Please, Say 'I do!'
Our ring bearers are brothers, currently the age of 3 and 1. I figured they wouldn't mind sharing a card.

Since I post alot of the pictures that I take (mostly for my cupcake blog), I wanted to copywrite my work. I created the logo below and have since put it on everything I create. I figured if Wedding Paper Divas does it, why shouldn't I?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Click, click, click. Come on and pose for me, pose for me.

High-five if you know where I got those lyrics from ;)

We have completed another big ticket item, we booked our photographer! It was probably the easiest choice we've made so far. I stumbled upon Jason Angelini's photos while perusing Weddingbee. I instantly fell head over heels for Mrs. Coconut's engagement photos. I remember spending the rest of the evening pouring over all the pictures in his portfolio. I pulled myself away from Jason's site telling myself that it would be waaaaaaaay too expensive to even consider him (Jason is based in Florida). 

This is totally a candid shot. Jason caught the groom to be checking out the other chick, while the bride to be was cracking up about it.

How awesome are these shots? To see more, click on Mrs. Coconut's name above. All photos by Jason Angelini

I spent the a couple of weeks searching high and low for photographers with a similar style. It seems that the photography style I loved is hard to find and is scattered across the country from Florida to California. I kept telling myself that I should find a photographer closer to home, as in find one from Boston. Something about Jason kept pulling me back. I would literally sit there and drool over his photos. I swear that I've looked at almost every single blog entry posted. I would check daily to see the most recent post (this was before I figured out what Google Reader was about). Jake would get an ear full about how smitten I was and how  much I wanted him to be our photographer. One day I clicked on the information link and learned that he was in our budget! I have no idea why I didn't click on it sooner. And after all my research, it turns out that a local photographer would actually cost more, even after travel fees! With this new found knowledge, I jumped for joy. Why not go for what I love? 

Back in late November, I emailed Jason and waited patiently for a response. Lucia, his wife, responded back within no time. I can't even begin to tell you how much of a sweetheart she is! Their whole family is just absolutely adorable, they have 3 kids: 2 boys and their youngest, a girl. Lucia and I emailed back and forth for awhile. She answered every question that I had. We've swapped ideas for our engagement session (can you say mini-golf and beach!?!) and most recently she gave me suggestions on how get a handle on the one million and ten ideas that I have floating in my mind. 

5 months later, this stalker has her dream photographer. Oh yes, I not only blog stalk, I also follow them on facebook.


I loved their engagement shoot. It looked like a ton of fun!


That's our photographer in the middle. How can you not love him?

All photos by Jason Angelini

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Blog --> Wedding Central

Our blog is now our wedding website. I've been struggling for months (yes, months) about how to do our wedding website. While Jake is the software guru of the household, he will not touch websites with 10 foot pole or a 100 foot pole for that matter. It's been a good 10 years since I coded a website from HTML.

After much thought, research, and a bit of learning, I gave up and decided to turn our blog into wedding central. The number one reason is for my own piece of mind. It's one less webpage that I have to think about updating and it's a lot of time and money saved. We won't be shelling out money for web hosting and I won't be sitting in front of the computer for hours trying to figure out the aesthetics of it all. The second reason is usability for our family and friends. They can continue to follow our blog after the wedding without having to switch to a new URL. 

Now I can check off this line item from my DIY project list. Two down, a bazillion minus two to go. 

What do you think of the new layout and colors? Any feedback would be fantastic.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Confessions of a Shoe-a-holic

My name is Celia. Hi Celia. I am a shoe-a-holic; I currently own 50+ pairs of shoes. It's been 21 days since I bought a pair. Applause.

While most women wait until they've found their dress before searching for the perfect pair of shoes, I did not. I've actually had my shoes since the February, I've even tried on wedding gowns with them on. I knew early on what I wanted, the problem was trying to find them in real life. You see, I fell in love with a pair of insensible designer heels; actually two pairs (Valentino and Christian Louboutin): 

How fun is that bow?! Unfortunately, these suckers are a couple of seasons old. And even if I could find them, they're 5-inches tall, and they cost a small fortune. After searching a bit more, I found a pair of Me Too on the DSW website. Reviews gave this shoe pretty high marks for comfort and style. This was definitely much more sensible with 3 and 1/2" heel and it was a pump. I had originally wanted a pump so that I didn't worry about my foot slipping. And to top it all off, this pair costs $55!


They fit perfectly and were oh-so comfortable, EXCEPT, the peep toe opening was too big! Three of my toes poked out. I'm not just talking about the tip of the toes, I'm talking about the entire toe! One random day, I happened to come across another pair of Me Too while browsing through Marshall's shoe selection (one of my favorite places for cheap but fabulous shoes). They look almost exactly the same as the previous pair except for three things: 1) They are slingbacks instead of pumps, 2) the peep toe opening is much smaller, and 3) they are even cheaper, $30!! I can't tell you how comfortable these beauties are. Honestly, it's like I'm wearing sneakers with a heel.

Now, you are probably thinking that this isn't much of a confession. Here comes the shocking part of my story. Since I'm a two dress bride, I'm also going to be a two [pairs of] shoes bride. Our friend N was over last week, so I pulled out my second pair to show her. While I went to go wash my hands before pulling them out of the dust bag, N walked over to the bag and proceeded to read the print on the bag. "Lo...Lou...Loub...Loubou...Loubout...GASP...tin. OhMYGOD." It was then followed by "I can't believe that I'm in the presence of Louboutins."

I didn't pay full price for them, but they still cost me a pretty penny. I won't be counting them against my wedding budget as I got them for my shoe collection. But I will still be eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a long, long, long time.

What's your shoe story?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Last week we signed our contract with DeCordova and sealed the deal. The best part to having a wedding planner, we didn't even have to go back to the venue. We were able to take care of it all over email. We now officially have a date:

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bummed Out

Yeup, the's exactly how I feel today. A couple of weeks ago, I was listening to my friend N share her frustrations about wedding planning. N's wedding is in September. After sending out STDs, she recieved a couple of "sorry, but we can't make it" responses. This bummed her out pretty hard. At the time I could only sympathize with her. And to be honest, I didn't fully undertand just how much it saddened her.

Today, I finally understand. We haven't even notified our guests of our date, but already I've gotten a couple of "maybe, but probably not's." Earlier in the week, I was emailing a good friend of mine, talking about random stuff. I mentioned our date to her, but as it turns out, her family is planning a family reunion for Ramadan (which spans over the entire month of August in 2011) in Indonesia. So it's not like she can go to both. Nothing is set in stone, but family is important and comes first.

This morning, I found out that my really good friends are expecting twins! First of all, I'm ESTATIC for them; couldn't be happier. Their twin girls will be a great additions to their family. They already have one little girl (3 years old) so it will be a very busy household. My poor friend, being the only male will have to fend for himself. Anyways, they're due in September. I don't think traveling for a family of 5 with 3 little ones is in the cards for them. Of course, I'm making an assumption since I haven't talked to them, but I'm pretty sure that even travel for just the two of them would be a financial burden to their family.

I'm completely understanding of these situations; there's nothing I can do. It just sucks that friend that I've known for over 10 years, can't be there. On the flip side, it's less people to feed which means we spend less money right?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Venues - The Winner

Drum roll please..................................may I present to you, our venue:

Decordova exhibits are mostly sculptures focused on modern and contemporary art (yes modern art is different from contemporary art, I just looked this up). Paula found this place for us while we were actually visiting Castle Hill on Crane Estate. She said that she couldn't help but think of us while she was there. It would have never crossed our minds since neither one of us are fans modern art (or contemporary), but Paula  totally called it!

It actually took us two visits before we realized that it was THE place. The first time we went, we took full advantage of a warm spring like day of the year. To Jake, it was as if were at the zoo (for those who don't know, Jake LOVES the zoo). Armed with a map, we proceeded to try and see all the sculptures on the property in numerical order. I followed his lead, but at the same time I was trying to imagine where a tent would be set up on the property. 

Unfortunately, not all of the sculptures were out. Some they remove for the winter and they also try to clean up the park and cycle new sculptures in before Spring. We were really excited to see the giant piggy bank and the trojan rooster. But alas, neither was there. Jake later found out that the piggy bank was destroyed by a rogue tree a few years back. I'm sure your asking, why would we be that excited about a pig sculpture? You see, we've got this joke between us where we constantly make piggy noises at each other. It's because I'm constantly eating and Jake is usually eating sweets. One of us will jokingly say "Do you really need that?" to which the other will respond with a "Yes, yes I do." This is then followed by pig grunts SNORT SNORT SNORT.


We had an appointment set up with Jessica, the events director a few days later. It just so happened to be the next sunny day! It was great to be able to go back and look at things with a different eye. Especially since we were busy running around the property trying to find all the sculptures. During our visit with Jessica she showed us all of our options on the property. As soon as she showed us where we could put the tent outside, we knew that this was our venue. Before we left, we had Jessica pencil us in for two dates: 8/20/2011 and 8/27/2011.

We remembered to bring out camera on this outing, so we have pictures to show! We didn't take any pictures of the building, and the one's on the web just don't do this place justice, so you'll just have to kind of use your imagination. The building used to be a summer home of Julian de Cordova that has since been expanded and converted into the museum.

(Aerial view of the museum - Source)

Here is the property map. We (and our guests) will get free reign of all 35 acres and the inside of the museum on our wedding day. Our tent will be set up on the Main Lawn, while our ceremony will be up on the Sculpture Terrace, overlooking the lake.

(Property map, the top of the map is West - Source)

Finally, we have pictures of us and some of the sculptures. Click on photo for larger version.

(Personal photos)

Related posts:
Venues - The Contenders
Venues - The Rejects
Platinum Wedding Venues

Monday, April 5, 2010

Venues - The Contenders

Previously I had shared the list of venues that we had rejected. This next set definitely have some possibility. Are you ready? Here we go.

It was actually snowing he day we went out to see the place. We definitely have to use our imagination this time of year. The place was great. The the view of the Boston skyline is breathtaking. The views of the ocean and the Blue Hills are fantastic too. And it's super close to Boston to boot! Unfortunately we didn't think to bring our camera with us to our visit. 

The greatest thing about this place is that not only do they have the traditional ballroom, they also have a three season tent. Linda, the event coordinator told us about the option of renting the whole shebang (ballroom and tent) to ensure that we'd be the only wedding that day. While this sounds like a great idea, we're not feeling the idea of a ballroom reception. If we do everything in the tent, we run into problems. Using the same space for both ceremony and reception makes it really hard to flip.

Beautiful grounds
Fantastic views
Close to Boston
Tent already on site and it's huge!
Chivari chairs!
White dance floor in the tent (we really dislike parquet floors) 

No bridal suite with the tent
Green space for outdoor cocktail hour is kind of small
Multiple weddings on-site 

Castle Hill wasn't on our original list from Paula probably because it pushed the limits of our budget. Jake found it when he was poking around the Steep Hill Beach website. We were pretty sure that Granite Links was what we wanted, but decided to check out Crane Estate just for kicks. Jake was in LOVE with the place. The exterior and grounds of the place are gorgeous.  There are a ton of nooks and crannies that would make great photo ops. Jake's favorite were the gryphon statues and the ocean view over the long rolling lawn!  

From the Estate, there's a window on the second floor that over rolling green lawn where the ceremony would take place and terrace below.  All in all, the venue would really be unique and something that we thought everyone at the wedding would enjoy. The biggest problem we had was with the location. Ipswich isn't that far away from Boston, but Crane Estate is a little bit of a drive outside the city. While we were driving out there, I kept saying, "Are we there yet? Man, this place is really out there. Where is it?" And of course the price, which Paula had warned us about prior to our visit. Again, we forgot to bring the camera! 

Beautiful grounds
Fantastic views
Manicured landscape (trees and bushes too)
One event at a time

Price - $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

This venue was originally on our rejects list. But after seeing Granite Links and knowing the price of Crane Estate, we wanted a third option to kick around. Just from the website and pictures, Jake had decided the exterior of the building was too country for his liking. And I really disliked the interior as it looks all renaissance-esque.

We tried to swing by Willowdale on our way back from Crane Estate after the first major rain storm. We got about a mile away before we couldn't get any further. The road was completely submerged! I think the best part was this Jeep that was following us. We thought that they'd turn around like we did, but they tried to keep going! Of course, we sat in the car and watched while saying things like "ohmygod, what are they doing? they are so going to get stuck. HAHA they're going, wait wait, they're stopping." 

We never did try to go back to check out the Willowdale. We visited THE PLACE before we had a chance too. Up next, the Part 3, the conclusion of the series and the winner...

Related posts:
Venues - The Rejects
Platinum Wedding Venues

Friday, April 2, 2010

Two Metathesiophobics in a Pod

Metathesiophobia, as defined by Wikipedia is:
the persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of change. Symptoms usually include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, sweating, nausea, irregular heartbeat, and overall feelings of dread.
While those symptoms do not apply to us, both Jake and I dislike change. It's not to say that we stay stagnant, we just don't embrace change with open arms.

When we moved in together, I decided that we should save money and just to work with whatever we had between the two of us in terms of decor. But the time has come for some changes. I'm not talking about anything too dramatic, just small things here and there that look amazing.

First up, Jake's office. Jake outgrew his bookshelves long ago. When I first met him, his book collection spilled out of the bookshevles and onto the floor. There were book piles all over the place. When we were both living in Boston, I ended up giving him one of my bookshelves to use.

Onto the guest/my office/wedding crap room. Sorry, I forgot to take a "before" picture. Don't worry, you aren't missing out on anything, it was just a rectangular card table with a bunch of crap on it.  I thought the new set up would give me more surface area and empty cubbies to stash stuff, I guess I have more crap that I thought. Maybe I should get rid of some of those textbooks...

Hallway. Whoohoo, finally got the stuff off the floor on to the walls! Hey I got stuff onto the wall, doesn't mean that I have pictures in all of the frames.

Dining room. My cookbooks are now easily accessible, not that I actually use them regularly.

Bedroom. With the blinds and curtains pulled shut, our room looked dark and gothic with all the red and black. I wanted something bright and cheery. I used the red curtains behind the bookcase in Jake's office to hide the cardboard boxes and put up the white ones I had stashed in the closet.

Isn't that the cutest? I love the birds. I figure if I'm not going to incorporate them into our wedding, I can have them on our bed.

Yeup, all the bookshelves are the same and from Ikea. I heart Ikea! I'd been eyeing these suckers for over a year. The price dropped and we went in for the kill. We looked into the cost of shipping since neither of us drives a car big enough to pick up more than one at a time. Let me just say that the shipping cost more than the bookshelves! I went with the U-haul route. $20 for 4 hours (or 24 hours if you pick it up after 3pm), $0.59/mile for the first 100 miles, plus the cost of gas was $60 cheaper than delivery! Done. My first car was a Chrysler Grand Voyager LE --> GIANT van. I had nicknamed it the Shitmobile until my 4 year old brother started saying "Sissy drives the shitmobile." It was then changed to the Cacamobile. Anyways, the point here is that driving a large cargo van wasn't going to be an issue. Jake had NEVER been to Ikea prior to this trip. To save his sanity, I chose to go later in the day so avoid the crowds and make his experience more enjoyable. Guess what, they only had ONE bookshelf left by the time we got there (we wanted 4)! There is good news, they were getting a new shipment first thing in the morning and we had the van until 3pm the next day. So we ended up going back first thing the next morning to get the other 3. In the end, we only saved $20, but we got meatballs and new shelves.