Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Inspiration Board for Briderly Ally

Bathroom Baskets for Guests! What am I missing?

So, I thought it would be nice to have a "survival kit" bathroom basket in both the men's and women's restrooms in the Carriage House. Something always goes wrong when you're out and away from home--blisters from a new pair of shoes, headaches, torn clothing, deodorant on your dress, whiskey breath, just to name a few!

As such, I thought it would be thoughtful to treat our guests to homemade survival kits. I've purchased all the supplies (see inventory below). Now, I just need hand soap and towels, as well as the right basket and ribbon. Here are a few pictures of adorable baskets other brides have assembled, including an adorable framed "help yourself!" notice.

Garment Deodorant Remover
Dry Cleaner in a Stick
Lint pads
Everything Tape
Tiny first aid kit
Tiny sewing kit
Band Aids
Anti viral tissue
Lint Roller
Bobby pins
Tylenol extra strength
Oil facial pads
Mini tooth brush with freshening bead
Nail file
Nail polisher remover
Hair rubber bands
Hand cream
Dental picks
Dove deodorant
Listerine pocket packs

Quick Shine Shoe Polish
Dry Cleaner in a Stick
Lint pads
Tiny first aid kit
Tiny sewing kit
Antiviral tissue
Lint Roller
Axe body spray
Tylenol, extra strength
Band aids
Mini toothbrush with freshening bead
Dental picks
Listerine pocket packs
Sure Deodorant

Shoes for Jen!

These are just too cute, so I purchased a pair in Merlot and a pair in African violet to test out with Jen's gown. They're reasonably priced and take full refunds (!), so I thought I'd take a chance!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lingering, Pestering, In Need of Solving

So, wow. Two months and a tiny bit of change to go. We've done SO much, but as we sit on the nerve-wracking and exciting end of July, there's still a lot more to accomplish before we say "I do." Here's what's left.

Rehearsal Dinner
We are in serious need of a walk through of the space. I need to spec out the colors of the walls and furnishings so I can confirm that our place cards will work. I also need to figure out where/how to set up the flat screen and computer/DVD for our slide show, whether we'll need a chalkboard easel with tables assignments + table card numbers or it the tables are close enough and visible to determine who sits where just by glancing across the room. I'm thinking the weekend of August 7th/8th is a good time for us to go--it would make me feel better!! I have the rehearsal dinner invites + postage. Just need to write them, stamp them, & send them out the door!!! Finally, need to confirm toasts during event.

Slide Show
Patrick and Stephanie have kindly agreed to create this, but Chris and I need to finalize our music and burn a CD, as well as send them all of our photographs electronically. I have many I'm picking through, but really need to get this done and also burn it to a CD!! Many of the photos need to be scanned, so I plan on camping out at Kinkos for a spell to accomplish this, unless Patrick and Steph will let me borrow their scanner!

So, we have our program covers, and they are LOVELY! I also have a draft of all the verbage minus all the Thank You blurbs we are writing for each guest. We are meeting with Nicholas on September 8th to review the program, and then we will need to finalize font color and paper and run 80 copies at Kinkos. We will also need to fold all the inserts, and attached via ribbon to the programs. I think we've decided that an expresso ribbon will work best with the lovely program covers, but I'm open to a lovely violet color, too.

Table Cards
So, I am fickle and I am bad, but I've had a change of heart about the table card frames I made a few weekends ago. My concern is that they're just too BIG. So, I have a new idea (!), and hope to post a blog entry about them soon, once I finish making them.

Lace Votives
These are nearly finished, but I ran out of the lovely lace with the girup I adore, so I had to adore more. I have votives for 5 tables finished, and 3 more to go. I also need to create 9 more for the cocktail bistro tables and several back ups.

Jam Jar Votives

Pie Favors
So, yeah. I think Mom's Apple Pie tartlets are just too BIG. The boxes are clunky, they drive me crazy, and the display issues are driving me crazy. I'm currently considering ordering SMALLER tarts from Heidleburg bakery, and getting SMALLER boxes to contain them so that we can present the favors AT the reception tables rather than cramming them into the front foyer of the dance hall. Ideally, I'd love the little tarts to be like 3 inches wide, and no bigger. I'll keep you posted. However, I have all the lace needed for decor, and still have our berry order with Judy.

Groomsmen, Man of Honor, Father of the Bride Neckties
So, we've made headway on this, but still need to finalize all the details. Chris found a lovely black Ralph Lauren suit at Men's Wearhouse that he really likes, and plans to schedule a fitting this afternoon and reserve suits for Matt McClinch, Bert, Bill, Matt Witting, Patrick, and my dad. The guys will be wearing ivory shirts (to complement my dress), and I will be finding matching lilac/violet patterned neckties for everyone. I think the black + violet patterned neckties + the black/brown fabric boutonnierres with lilac, berry, lavender sprigs will look adorable. It will pull in the colors of my and Jen's bouquets, the color of Jen's dress, and the ivory sheen of my dress.

Gifts for Wedding Party
Currently, I have Pat's gift and Jen's gift, but still need Somer's gift (so many to choose from!). Chris will be purchasing scotch and flasks for all members of the groom's party, and perhaps monogramed cigars as well. Finally, also need to find cards for parents, grandmothers, all helpful souls!!!

Hair & Makeup & Earrings & Nails
Have lots of ideas, but need to make up my mind, settle on the details. My dress fitting is August 6th, so after that, I will schedule a trial hair appointment at my salon in Leesburg, as well as a makeup consultation at MAC. Also need to finalize earrings accessory to go with wedding gown. Finally, need to stop chewing nails, find nail salon!!!

Guest Book Table
The details are pretty much finalized here, but we have a few lingering details: (1) whether or not the Well Wishes Jar needs labeling, or if we can just have an envelope marked "Words of Advice to Chris & Ally" in the jar, to help indicate what guests are supposed to do with their well wish cards once they've completed them! I'll have to play around this; (2) need to confirm placement of all object; (3) need to purchase pens.

Escort Cards + Tree Display + Sign
Need to make ALL of these leaves. I have the paper for leaves and blossoms, we just need to sit down and MAKE THEM. Ideally, we need to make them soon, as I need to get them to the calligrapher ASAP. The tree display should be fairly easy to make. I have ALL the branches, glassware, plus suspension supplies. Also plan to attach little decorative leaves to this. Finally, I need to purchase ribbon for the "Find Your Seat" sign. I've printed out all the little letters, just need to string them together!!!

Glassware for Judy
All of this is clean and ready to go. I just need to label everything for her. We have 8 quart mason jars for the reception tables, 3 pint mason jars for bistro tables in the gardens, & 1 quart mason jar + 1 pint mason jar + 1 milk jar for guest book table. Total = 14 pieces. Judy's supplies will also include twine ribbon, boutonnierre leaves, & boutonnierre ribbons. Also will include sample napkin concept + pie box to visualize berries.

Bathroom Decor
Have all supplies for the bathroom kits for men and ladies' restroom. Need to purchase fabric for sink skirts and chair cushions--but first need to measure the dimensions!!! Also need to determine if flowers will fit/are needed. Also need to purchase hand soap, perhaps towels.

Personalized Schedules
Need to create schedules/confirm with wedding party times for arrival and location on rehearsal and wedding day.

Finish ATrendy Logistics Document

Wine, Beer, Champagne
We have our beer selection. Still need to finalize wine and champagne. Need to purchase and deliver to Oatlands on rehearsal day.

Lighted Tree Branches
We're all set, just need to confirm, set up delivery, set-up date.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Well Wishes Cards

I adore these custom well wishes cards for the guest book table! So much more personal than plain ivory paper! I think I'll explore a few of the wedding stationary sites, and see if I can have 80 cards printed up with our colors or branches, each one reading "Words of advice for the newlyweds..."

Friday, July 17, 2009

Looking for Ideas!! Anyone? Anyone?

So, I'm still searching for the following items, and would love anyone's input!! Or suggestions. Direct URLs to said products would be a light from heaven, so if you have those, that would be super awesome right about now.

Here's what I'm still tracking down:

Thank you cards
. Something that fits into our color scheme, look and feel, or is just really cute in a rustic kind of way. Other possibilities: Zazzle postcards.

Stationary for Well Wishes Jar. So, on our guest book table, we have an adorable "Well Wishes" apothecary jar, that guests will drop their notes in. What I'm currently searching for is either very petite-sized stationary and envelopes (in ivory) or adorable hang tags that we could tie of with a brown or purple think ribbon. See concept ideas below.

Affordable chalkboard easel for display at rehearsal dinner, to help guide guests to their said tables

Material/paper to make "pie" signs out of for favor display + holders.
Some ideas below.

Pearl earrings for me to go with ivory gown!

Pens for guest book table--antique?

Lilac/purple shawls for Jen and me.

Ivory pre-pleated garland ribbon for escort sign table.

Arts and Crafts Update: Where We Are On Decor (holy cow)

Er, right. So, now that we pretty much have the CONCEPT and materials all in place, we're boldly entering into the actual ARTS and CRAFTS portion of the wedding, where essentially I, and a few blessed others (THANK YOU!), put on our wedding elf hats and start cranking out this stuff like it was Christmas time.

Here's where we are with what, and who has what, and all that, and what still needs to be done. Bear with me. And if you'd like to volunteer for anything else, let me know!



  • Bouts/Corsage Leaves. Fabric bout/corsage leaves for wedding party and family. In progress! 13 total. Need to have these done in September sometime, so we can hand them off to Judy.
  • Bathroom furnishings. 2 sink skirts + 2 bathroom cushion bottoms for bathrooms in Carriage House. Ally still needs to get ivory fabric, per recommendation of mom.
Ally/Mom Joint Projects
  • Tree branch display for escort card table. Ally has the tall glass vase + a ridiculous amount of branches to play with! Tree branch display will also involve gluing a few of the brown leaves/purple blossoms through
  • Rehearsal dinner place cards. I have all the card stock, stamps, ink, pens, and vintaege wine cork place harders. Just need to hand this over!! We have a bit of time on this one, and can't really even get started until September 4th, which is the RSVP deadline for the rehearsal dinner. (I haven't even sent out invites yet... they're forthcoming).
  • Guest Book Chalkboard Writing. Writing (in better handwriting than mine!) "Guest Book" on antique chalkboard for Guest Book Table.
  • Addressing rehearsal dinner invites. I've got the stamps. I've got the invites printed and ready to go. Now I just need someone with BETTER handwriting than me to address them all to 30 guests. Let me know, Somer!
Joint Projects (Ally, Mom, Somer)
  • Escort Card Leaves. We need to make LOTS of brown paper leaves for the escort cards. I have all the brown paper + purple paper for the blossoms. We need to find a day to get together and make these suckers. Of course, we can't really get started until after August 21st, when all the RSVPs come in.
Patrick & Stephanie
  • Slideshow for rehearsal dinner. Ally is still scanning in all pics and needs to burn a CD of our chosen music to pass along. Steph and Patrick will make slideshow.
  • Cigars wrappers.
  • Lace votives (27). 5 lace votives are done, which equates to 5 tables' worth. I have (a) three more tables to go, which is nine more votives, (b) four votives or so for the tiny tables I plan to line around the dance hall perimeter of the Carriage House, (c) 4 votives for bistro tables out in cocktail gardens, (d) a few more as back-ups, should one break, and (e) perhaps a few more to give to ATrendy to sprinkle around the cake area or wherever. That brings us to a total of 15 done, with 27 or so to go.
  • Jam jar votives (12): 2 jam jar votives for the carriage rail are done with ten more to go. 12 total.
  • Bathroom details. Bathroom kit for ladies + mints and container for men. Ally needs basket, glass candy dish, and all ingredients.
  • Table cards. 8 Table cards/frames. 1 done. 7 more to go. In progress.
  • Sign for escort card table. I've printed out all the vintage typewriter key signs and punched them out. Now just need to find garland and ribbon to string together.
  • Programs. Program covers are done, and 75% of a draft completed for contents. Need to find Kinkos prices on printing, good paper, and test out ink options.
  • Grass seed bags. Have the bags, grass seed, tree stamp, and ink. Just need to explore name stamp a bit more, figure out if I can incorporate tree +name together.
  • Lighting. We have some time on this. We selected the lights that look the best. Now, I'm currently finishing up our extensive decor proposal to submit to Katherine and ATrendy. Once they approve of the plan, we'll take final measurements of the dance hall, and order lights.
  • Flower glassware + coordination. Have all glassware to hand over to Judy + twine ribbon. 8 quarts for dining room. 4 pints for dance hall. 4 pints for bistro cocktail tables. 1 quart with handle for guest book table. 1 pint with handle for guest book table, 1 milk jar for guest book table. 1 bridal bouquet. 1 matron of honor bouquet. 13 bouts/corsages. Sprigs for napkin decor. Sprigs/berries for pie boxes.
  • Pie favors (80) + display + signs. Have confirmed/finalized pie order. Apple, pumpkin, and pecan. Ordered bigger boxes, and they're on their way. Have little tags + thank you stamp + ink. Still need to figure out how to display pie boxes. We have the space designated in the Carriage House, but need to iron out the display details. One table or three. How many signs? Still need material and look/feel for signs. Already have 1 table card stand (chrome).
  • Wooden wedding sign for outdoors. Done.
  • Guest book table tags, stationary for Well Wishes jar. Still looking.
  • Well wishes jar label. Still experimenting with paper and with hiring Debi to do the calligraphy when we send her the escort leaves.
  • Guest book table layout + details: typewriter, apothecary jars, twigs, frog, invitation, typewriter keys, picture frame, decor, chalkboard. Done. Just need to finish details on picture frame, well wishes jar (see above), and stationary/tags for well wishes jar.
  • Linens + tables + chairs + flat- glass- and plate-ware. Need final count to hand over to We Party and caterer in early September. So far, we have (a) Tables: 8 five-foot round tables for dining room; 1 three-foot round table for cake; 4 2-foot round tables for dance hall perimeter; 4 bistro tall tables for cocktail hour; 2 rectangular bar tables (1 for oudoors, 1 for Carriage House); 3 three-foot round tables for pie display; 1 three-foot round table for escort card display. (b) Linen: 8 ivory cloths + toppers for dining room tables; 5 ivory cloths and toppers for pie box tables, escort card table, and cake table; 4 ivory cloths (no toppers) for bistro tables; 4 ivory cloths + toppers for 2-foot round tables in dance hall perimeter; 2 ivory cloths (no topper) for both bars. (c) Plates: 80 ivory plates. (d) Flatware: 80 sets of silverware. (e) Napkins: 80 expresso napkins. (f) Glassware: 80 champage glasses, water glasses, and wine glasses. Bar comes with own glassware; no need to order. (g) Chairs: 80 chairs for dining room; 8 chairs for dance hall; 80 white ceremony chairs. (h) Cake cutter and plate provided by caterer.
  • Cake plate? No idea.
  • Reception programs. Figure out whether or not we want to print these and tuck into napkins at the dining room tables.
  • Chalkboard easel + table cards for rehearsal dinner. Since we have place cards, I also have to make THREE table cards and get a chalkboard easel to tell folks where to go. I may need Somer's help here. More to follow. Will determine what will work for table cards when we walkthrough Lightfoot space.
  • Gift wrapping supplies for wedding party gifts. Already have 4-inch square Kraft boxes! Just need wrapping paper and ribbon and cards.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Awesome Parasol Pics: Inspiration for Photography

Color Check: Flowers & Parasols

PARASOLS Make Everything Better, Even Downpours

So, today I found the most AMAZING vintage parasol company in the whole world: Bella Umbrellas. They make me WANT rain at our wedding. Seriously. These beauties are the real thing, preserved from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, and are for sale or available for renting, depending.

Today, I took the plunge and purchased four, and reserved seven for renting, with more to follow. The prices are very reasonable, and I even got a 35% discount for my patronage--and who WOULDN'T want to support a venue as awesome as this one.

I found loads of umbrellas in the pagoda, ruffled, solid, and classic designs, and all within the palette of our color schemes: from pale lilac to lavender to regal violet to brown and expresso. With eleven so far, I've got the wedding party covered (6), me and Chris (2), and my dad (1), with TWO left over. I also already own two parasols of my own, which brings us up to THIRTEEN. Check out some of these beauties below!

I'm currently in the market for wholesale parasols for guests, so we can provide anyone who FORGOT an umbrella, adequate coverage. This is mentioned on the website, but as we near the date, I'll be sending reminder e-mails. However, back-up parasols at the site are a good plan.

Should it NOT rain--which would be just lovely--these parasols will make AMAZING photos in clear, beautiful daylight. Can't you just picture it? A bouquet of beauty in all shapes and sizes and textures, each exuding the feel of yesteryear? love it. It seriously makes me giddy. I'm even willing to brace the rain.

Rain, Rain

So, yeah... today I had to come face to face, heart to heart, with the idea that it MAY possibly rain on our wedding day. I know it's like a 10% chance on October 3, but still... we have to plan.

My vision, should it rain, depends on the level of rain--that is, whether it's drizzling, sprinkling, raining, or pouring. These are four very distinct types of rain, you see, and each one demands a different plan of action.

So, here's my thinking. In the event of...

Drizzling: We'll still have the ceremony outdoors and use PARASOLS--both for me, Chris, wedding party, and guests. The cocktail hour will be half-in, half-out of the gardens, mansion, and carriage house.
Sprinkling: We'll still have the ceremony outside and, you guessed it, we'll have PARASOLS! The cocktail hour will mostly likely moved into the Carriage House, but the mansion will still remain open for intrepid guests.
Raining: We'll still plan to have ceremony outdoors + parasols. Cocktails in the Carriage House. Mansion tours for the fish among us.
Pouring: As the worst case scenario, we'll move the ceremony inside to the Carriage House. Chris and I will exchange vows under the back stable window. Guests will stand around us. Those who need to sit down, will find chairs and tables lining the perimeter of the dance hall. Cocktail hour will open up in the same room until dinner is served at 7 p.m.

So, part of the trick in having an outdoor wedding is preparing for every type of situation--which is why most brides (and I now understand this fully) avoid the risk altogether. But I suppose the RISK is worth it (!), since if the weather is beautiful, my vision will be 100% lovely. If the weather is uncooperative, it will still be around 80%. Not shabby. I'm being a realist.

On our rehearsal day, I will strongly urge Nicholas to hold not only a ceremony rehearsal in the garden, but also in the Carriage House--JUST IN CASE. Otherwise, should it pour like the dickens, and we're unprepared, we'll be a bunch of stumbling peeps in formal wear. Especially me.

Things to consider in the event of rain
  • How will guests know what "plan" we're undertaking? Fortunately, since our ceremony and reception sites are the SAME site, this becomes a matter of excellent direction from our wedding coordination team, ATrendy.
  • We'll need to provide parasols and umbrellas, in the event of drizzling, sprinkling, or raining, in the ceremony garden, and have our ushers offer umbreallas to guests along with programs.
  • In the event of POURING, we'll need to determine (a) how we'll handle photographs--Chris and I are still game and I know Jen Chase will be! (b) where guests stand in the dance hall, (c) where the natural aisle might be, (d) how programs are distributed (ushers will need guidance), (e) what we'll do with all our little seed bags (since we can't throw them in the Carriage House), and (f) where Chris and I will go post-ceremony, since there's nowhere to go, and (g) how Conor will handle our announcement post-vows (probably after all the guests are seated in the dining room).
Thoughts? Ah, rain.

We're getting there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Grassseed Bags: Which Design?

So, at our ceremony, I love the idea of placing a muslin bag of grass seed on the chair of every guest, so that, during the recessional, Chris and I can bask in the showering chaos that is post-vow bliss.

So, I have 80 parchment muslin bags--adorable--and two rubber stamps: a tree and a silhouette that looks less like a lady, and more like a recovering brain surgery patient. But still, I've posted both of them here for your ideas and review. And also any other suggestions for a rubber stamp design is heartily welcome!

The Bathrooms at the Carriage House: Decor Ideas? HELP!

So, one thing that I've been thinking about, but haven't done anything about yet, is decor for the Carriage House bathrooms. There are two bathrooms--one for men, and one for the ladies--each with 2-3 stalls.

The bathrooms themselves are just fine, but I'm not so sure about the decor of them. I may be going off the deep end a bit with even THINKING about bathrooms at our wedding (and if I am, please slap me!), but the only things I'd add to both bathrooms are the following:

1. 2 sink skirts--replacing this ghastly floral print with ivory cotton fabric. These are easy enough to make. We just need their measurements, details on how they hang, and elastic around the top of the skirt for ease of sliding.

2. 2 chair bottom coverings (one for each chair in each bathroom)--again, replacing said floral print with simple ivory cotton. We may not even need to sew anything, just get fabric and wrap the bottom cushions, securing with safety pins around the backsides.

3. 2 quart size mason jars of fresh flowers--we'd need to add that to our flower list for Judy, making it a total of 8 dining table quart-size jars, 1 milk jar for guest book table, 1 pint-size jar with handle for guest book table, 1 quart-size jar with handle for guest book table, 1 quart-size jar for sign outside of Carriage House, 4 pint-sized jars for tables in garden area, 4 pint-sized jars for tiny tables lining dance hall of Carriage House, and NOW 2 quart-sized mason jars for each bathroom, making all of this silliness a total of TWENTY-TWO flower jars.

4. A bowl of mints in the gentlemen

5. A fixer-upper kit for the ladies, including nail polish remover, deodorant stick, cotton balls, hair spray, lip gloss, tampons, Advil, or anything else that anyone can think of. I need help in this department! WHAT do YOU need?

Any thoughts on this would be SO appreciated!!

Jam Jar Candles and Lace Votives

I absolutely love these jam jar candles I tried my hand at making a few weeks ago--so easy to create! They're made with vellum paper--a cool crisscross pattern and a floral pattern--and twine ribbon. Inside, we'll have our electric tea lights, and then line 10 of these beauties along the white carriage rail--behind the escort card tree display--right when you walk in.

The lace votives are also pretty adorable. These are quick to make with a glue gun: glass votive, vintage lace from the 30s and 40s (courtesy of Etsy!), and twine to top it off. Three will go on each table in the dining room (24 total), and perhaps a few on the cake table.

A First Whack at Framed Table Cards: WHADDYA THINK?

I designed this table card frame with a 4 x 6 expresso wooden picture frame, wooden number from Joanne Fabric, craft paper from Michaels, and paper flowers by Martha Stewart. The great thing about leaving the wooden numbers natural, is that they pick up and incorporate the twine bow/ribbon around the flowers vases and lace votives, making things a little more organic. I haven't tried staining a number yet. What do you think?

My idea for the table cards/frames was to make each one unique, with its own background stationary and highlighting flowers--all within out color palette, naturally. Below are a few pictures, the first of our trial run at Oatlands with just the flowers, linens, and napkins (to help put the table cards/frames in context!).

Guest Book Table Layout Ideas: Thoughts?

So, I was playing around with the layout of our guest book table pieces, and came up with this layout with apothecary jars, antique typewriter keys, typewriter, picture, and a 1890s blackboard. The "feel" I'm going for is welcoming, rustic, whimsical, a bit of home spun, and something that will make you stop and look at all the details as guests write us well wishes and good tidings.

In these pictures, the flowers are obviously NOT the flowers we're using--too monochromatic--and we're missing more pens for the pen jar, more simple ivory stationary cards and envelopes (only three are shown here) with calligraphy "To Chris & Ally" on the envelopes, typewriter paper, pretty handwriting for the "Well Wishes" jar, and of course, pretty handwriting for the "Guest Table" blackboard (did I mention I hate my handwriting?). Um, anyone want to do the handwriting? Otherwise, I'll send to Debi our amazing calligrapher for the Well Wishes label. The blackboard, though, I'll need some help!

So, what do you think? Remember that all of these elements will be on this table in the Oatlands' Carriage House.