Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: Invitations

As a graphic designer I have been thinking about creating my own wedding invitations for years. My typical design style is bold & busy. For our wedding invitations I wanted something beautiful. Something just, stunning, with pretty script fonts and pale colors. I confess, I also wanted an elaborate map, a schedule of events, a policy-sized (4" x 9") invite, possibly a photo strip, baker's twine, a paper bag, printed envelopes and perhaps a custom stamp! In my first attempt, I created seven different font combinations, only to be denied by The HTB. In my second attempt I tired all new fonts, introduced some colors and still, he was not impressed. Honestly, neither was I.

So I took some time off from designing. I looked over and over at the collection of the invites I loved. I made the HTB look at hundreds of invites to get me going in the right direction. I finally realized that while I loved the beautiful scripty invitations, they just weren't us. It wasn't my design style so everything I designed just wasn't good enough. Plus, I hated the way a capital A was looking in every script font I picked! I found some serif and sans serif fonts we were both really digging and all of a sudden, the invitations were starting to come together. We kept all the designs to ourselves until they were almost complete. I think we surprised quite a few people with the designs and color choices, but we couldn't have been happier with the outcome.

I will pass along two pieces of advice, which we learned the hard way. 1) Create a numbering system for your RSVP cards (i.e. Aunt Tillie is #16 and a 16 is written on the back of her card in light pencil), because you will get some RSVP cards back without names. 2) Don't use an inkjet printer to print the addresses on the outside of your envelopes. After the Post Office processes them, they'll look like this:

We were lucky in that only one was returned to us and what was on the inside completely blew everyone away so they immediately forgot about the outside (at least this is what my Mom and sister told me after I saw these two arrive in this condition). 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow Day Forecast

This is what happens when you've been up since 7 a.m. on a Snow Day, have had several cups of coffee and a very long to-do list. This is the most productive I've been in a long time and I have to admit, I'm pretty proud of myself. I knocked off the computer stuff first thing so I could leave the rest of the day to my creative juices. 

  • I prepared this appetizing soup (minus 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, frozen spinach instead of fresh and a whole lot of extra herbs) last night for dinner. 

I made these new Door Knob Wreaths from miniature grapevine wreaths my Mom found for me at the Goodwill (score!). 

I tagged and inventoried brooches, hair clips, all new hair combs and succulents (now selling individually) for Kitsch. 

I finally got around to making this custom request for a bestie overseas. Now I'll just need to find a box to ship this oddly shaped pillow and stuff with the rest of the goodies I've been stashing for the last couple of weeks. I have left to cross off some Wedding blogs, but the night is still young. 

One last photo for the evening and then it's time to get on to the next list item. Here's to hoping another five inches of snow comes overnight and we get another day at home!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: The Shower

Outside the Shabby Hollow

These days I'm only lucky enough to make it home once or twice a year (home being Alliance, Ohio, where I grew up and almost all of my side of the family resides). I was excited for both myself and my Mom for the idea of the Bridal Shower. I was looking forward to seeing all of my aunts, cousins and family friends, and catch up on the Alliance - and wedding - gossip.

The Grove Girls, or The Panel as we lovingly call the guests at Buni's house on Saturday mornings

For my Mom, it was something so much more. Living nine hours away from your family, in general, is hard. But planning a wedding via text messages, Facetime, emails and Pinterest is just brutal. My Mom was a Godsend when it came to decision-making, flower critiques and keeping every detail straight. So with the shower, I felt this was her time to shine. Every decoration, color, snack or drink was up to her (except for the games...why are there always SO many games?!). I can't say I was completely surprised with the outcome, only because it's my Mom and I knew this shower would be spectacular...but it also couldn't have been more perfect for me!

Opening presents, the party-planning committee (Debbie, Aunt pat and Serena),
Checking out the Mimosa situation, and the overall cuteness of the cottage

The shower was held at The Shabby Hollow, a small cottage outside of Alliance built completely out of found materials around town. The quaint one bedroom abode is decorated with antiques including several gorgeous handmade quilts. My Mom personalized the event with custom-made invitations from my dear friend, and bridesmaid, Shawn.

Homemade bird feeders, Pinterest - take notes!

All the linens, serving dishes and vases were my Grandmother's. My Mom handmade heart-shaped bird seed feeders and the little cake toppers I had been obsessing over for months (with matching bridemaids birdies as well!), ordered Mars candy bars from overseas, displayed both my grandparent's wedding photos and homemade buckeyes and chocolate truffles as well.

The to-die for cakes, handmade cake toppers and family photos

Not to mention, she served all my favorite foods and my Aunt Jodie ordered two delicious cakes (pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting and almond cake with a raspberry filling and coconut frosting, um, YUM!) from the best bakery in town. She's insane ... and completely amazing.

Momma and sisterly love

The whole weekend was overwhelmingly remarkable. Family, friends, old traditions, new beginnings. I also have to give a big thanks to Deb, Mike's stepmom. We had planned on flying to Ohio for the shower, but at the very last minute our flights got cancelled and we had to make the nine-hour road trip. She was a total trooper. We managed to get all the gifts in the car so the HTB and I could start making use of the waffle maker and loads of other much-appreciated gifts we received. They say nothing brings together a family like a wedding, and for this particular weekend, I couldn't have agreed more.

Deb, Addy, Me, my Mom and my Aunt Pat

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wedding Wednesdays: Style Inspiration

Excuse my missed post last week. It seems the last week of my 20s required a couple days spent in bed with the flu. Now that I'm all better, a week into my 30s and a few pounds lighter, I'm back to tackle this week's Wedding Wednesdays. Today's topic is style inspiration. People would often ask me what the theme of the wedding was. I had to laugh because it sounded like I was planning a prom, where there would be columns made of poster-board sized playing cards and oversized cardboard dice in every corner.

At first, I called it a Winter Wonderland. But the only Wintery decor was the bag of pine cones I had in mind for the centerpieces. When I opened my June issue of Martha Stewart and saw the above page of nail polishes, I said, "this is it, this is the color palette!" You can imagine the looks I got from basing our colors on nail polishes in a magazine. However, Mike was on board (if we replaced a shade with grey and added a 'greenish'), so neutrals were a go.

From then on out, I started pinning photos on Pinterest like a mad woman. I wanted mix-matched centerpieces. I wanted wood slabs.  I wanted candles, jars, bottles and vases. Short flowers, tall flowers - all felt flowers, with perhaps pink carnations and air plants. I wanted milk glass and vintage findings. I loved the dramatic garlands and swags with the overstated blooms. I have to admit, I keep saying "I", but in reality every image had to pass the groom-to-be (GTB) test ... and there were several ideas that were nixed!

Since the reception hall needed a little help, we wanted to really Wow guests when they walked in with a unique setup. I couldn't let go of the above image, until we realized we just had too many guests attending. We also liked the idea of doing a more simple alter backdrop, and let the flowers - and us - shine.

I started to get really overwhelmed with all the potential ideas. Are there too many directions? Is it too whimsical for a house full of antiques? Where are we going to get all these decorations and how are we going to make it look like these amazing photos. I quickly learned that Pinterest was my friend and worst enemy throughout this planning process. So many of these images are lifted straight from magazine shoots and probably not a reality, for even the most seasoned wedding planner. After gathering all of these images, I had to take a step back and figure out what was completely necessary and actually doable ... which I was still doing three weeks before the wedding!