Well, here I am, a little over two weeks away from the wedding. I have crossed an astounding number of things off of multiple to-do lists. And I finally feel like I’ve made some progress! But I certainly have not done it alone! The ladies’ group at Gabe’s parents’ church finished our picnic blankets for us, and Gabe’s mom even did the majority of our little favor boxes herself. One of the projects still left is making pom poms; I did a trial run this evening. I followed the tutorial on Martha Stewart’s wedding website. It goes like this:

1) Lay down 8 sheets of 20×30 tissue paper (I bought 20×20, it worked alright)

2) Make 1-1/2″ accordion folds

3) Trim ends to make them either pointed or rounded

4) Fold an 18″ piece of floral wire in half and slide over tissue paper in the center. Twist to secure tissue paper

5) This is the tricky part. Without ripping the TP, pull layers apart

When you are finished, they suggest hanging it with monofilament. If I can find my fishing wire, I’ll use that. But I think ribbon looks cute too!

Finally!! Our engagement pictures!!! I can’t stop looking at them. They all turned out marvelously (thanks to the ever incredible Lisa Hessel). Here are a few of my favorites.

You can see more on her blog!

So I wanted to give my blog a new look, but I’m experiencing some difficulties! This is sort of temporary. I am not a fan of wordpress. But that’s the platform (?) Auj chose. I might try to change this blog over to blogger because it’s MUCH easier to use. We shall see how that works out!

For the past 2 or so months, anytime someone has asked me how the wedding planning is going, I’ve said “I haven’t done much lately. All the big stuff is out of the way, we just have a few small things”. Then this week at work, a girl who is getting married soon was telling me about the many things that she is stressing about (her wedding is in a week). It made me start to panic a little because I began to think about all the “small” projects which actually require a very large amount of time and work! Our wedding is in less than 2 months and the projects are not going to do themselves! So Gabe and I (but mostly just me) have been working like maniacs to get things done. Our first task was sending out the invitations. Gabe said he got high from licking all the envelopes. Next up were the vases; I decided this was a good task for Gabe.

He used Krylon Looking Glass which we got for $12 at Michael’s to give our cheap vases a vintagey mercury glass look. The vases are going to have branches in them which requires – yep you guessed it – another project!! That will be (hopefully) an easy and enjoyable project since all it requires is taking a walk in a park.

While he was doing the vases, I started on our blankets. We are doing picnic blankets instead of chairs at the ceremony to go along with our vintage picnic feel. My MIL bought a ton of blankets at IKEA because they were super cheap. They are, however, ice blue and our colors are deep purple and light green. I wanted to personalize the blankets AND try to tie them into our color story. So I bought fabric at Hobby Lobby that has a deep purple background, green branches, and ice blue flowers! It’s perfect. I made a bird stencil our of chip board and then traced the birds on the back of the fabric.

Then I used really big stitches to sew them on because I was going for a handmade look. The colors are really hard to see in this picture, but they really do match our colors perfectly. It took me probably 40 minutes just to do the one blanket, so this project is very time intensive. But it will be worth it in the end because these kinds of details are important to me. Plus the guests get to keep the blankets as favors afterwards! And hopefully we will knock a lot of blankets out tomorrow.

What could be more suited to a picnic theme than pinwheels? They remind me of the carefree, whimsy filled days of my childhood. And they are cheap and easy to make! First, I went to hobby lobby and picked out some fun 12×12 scrapbook paper (59 cents/sheet), dowel rods ($1.99), and round headed pins ($2.49). You’ll also need spray adhesive, hot glue gun, a push pin, scissors, pencil, and ruler, which I already had at home.

Step 1: Measure and cut 6″ squares on the back of the scrapbook paper

Step 2: Use spray adhesive to stick two 6″ squares together so that the fun sides of the paper show

Step 3: Draw an “X” on one side of the square and use the push pin to poke a hole in the center and also in the corners just to the right of the lines

Step 4: Cut along lines up to about 1″ from the center hole

Step 5: Gather up each part of the triangle that has a hole with a round headed pin and push them all through the center hole

Step 6: Use the push pin to create a hole about 1″ from the top of the dowel rod. Place a tiny dot of hot glue in the hole, then push the round headed pin into the hole

And voila! You have super adorable pinwheels that could be used for decorations. Or the bridesmaids could carry them instead of flowers. I am using the ones that I made as props for our engagement shoot! Pictures to follow…

Our engagement session is coming up in just a few weeks! I’m styling it myself after being inspired by a beautiful shoot on green wedding shoes. To set the scene for our picnic wedding, we are having a picnic engagement shoot. I’ve been searching for props to create a lovely vintage style picnic. Here’s what I have so far!

The big chest I got for $10 and the glass bottle for $3.50 at Hobby Lobby (they were both 50% off). The two mugs I got at a thrift store (also both 50% off) for about 30 cents a piece and painted our initials on to look like the monogrammed mugs from Anthropologie. I’m still looking for cheap vintage books. We went antiquing the other day and all we saw were super expensive books. I’m trying to keep the props around $30 total because we still have to buy outfits!

I love when beauty comes from an unlikely or unexpected source. This wedding, featured on Style Me Pretty, is the embodiment of unexpected beauty. It took place on top of a parking garage (!!!!!!!!) and featured many DIY elements.

From the Bride:

When Jared and I met over three years ago I just knew we were a match made in heaven.  Especially after hearing he was in school to become a multimedia developer, the perfect compliment to a photographer and graphic designer.  He got my father’s blessing and surprised me with a 4th of July proposal.  We were at the park on a sunny afternoon sitting on our special bench. The same bench where he first spoke those three little words “I love you”.  We stood up to start a game of crochet with our friends when I noticed he was down on one knee and had pulled a little box from his pocket.  After he popped the question, a few moments of shock and a few tearful “YESSES!” our crazy planning began.

We wanted to be married in the fall and even though that didn’t give us a lot of time, we had a huge support team including both our families and great friends. Being a wedding photographer myself I’ve picked up ideas and have made priority lists in my head for years.  Number one on the list, of course, was our photographer.  I booked the very talented Hannah Bergman only a few days after I was engaged.  It was a wonderful decision.  Not only did I feel that she just “got us”, she was a pleasure to work with.  The images still move me to tears and we simply love them.

Next on the list was location.  I wanted to have a rooftop wedding but options were limited here in Spokane.  After seeing a huge three story parking garage newly constructed behind my workplace, inspiration struck, this would be perfect for my “roof top wedding”.  I shared my vision with Jared and he totally loved it!  When I got brave enough to ask the owner about using the garage, he looked at me like I was crazy, and said it was the “darndest thing” he’s ever been asked but that I could use it for free!  The garage set the stage for a modern wedding look so I made sure to add a lot of vintage and warm touches so it wouldn’t feel too cold or stark.

I’ve always pictured myself in something very feminine and sweet.  With that in mind I started looking for a dress the very next week.  I found a few I liked that ranged from $800.00 to $1200.00. But leaving the bridal boutique, a dress on the sale rack caught my eye.  It was being discontinued and was on sale for $199.99.  I was able to see past the reasons I knew it was on the sale rack and saw what it could be.  I bought it!  I had it altered to fit me, removed the train and the horrible floral/butterfly beading around the waist.  I found a western rhinestone belt, at Audrey’s a Boutique here in Spokane, removed the black leather buckle and used the gorgeous rhinestone belting to replace the beading around the waistband.  After checking several fabric stores for a pretty sheer material to soften the look, I ended up using a pair of old sheer curtains that my mom had on hand to create the bodice and ruffle cap sleeves.  The bodice was put together by my seamstress but my mom was the one who really put the finishing touches on it including attaching it to the dress. I got my shoes at Piperlime.com and my earrings are vintage.

Our flowers were designed by Loretta Etchison of Retro Blooms.  So many of the flowers I originally wanted were not available in October but she achieved the feel I was going for by using what she could find.  I loved my flowers!

Jared and I designed and made our own invites, programs and developed our very own wedding website. We used Photoshop to design both and made every one of those little blue envelopes by hand.  I downloaded free fonts from www.dafont.com including, “Spranq Eco Sans” for some of the text inside the invite and “The King and Queen” to address the envelopes.  We borrowed the idea for custom coffee jacket sleeves for the cups we served the hot cider, cocoa and Russian tea in, from Utterly Engaged E-zine.  We followed our chandelier theme by printing different styles of chandeliers along with neckties, necklaces, shades and deer antlers to make it fun.  Our ceremony aisle was lined with glass cylinders filled with orange berries, from a gracious neighbor’s yard. We hollowed enough room for three cream, taper candles tied with twine.  We borrowed three large stage panels from our church to define the front of the ceremony that we covered in vintage sheet music and hung poster frames with chandelier decals to continue the theme.  The orange paper balls were purchased at the local party store. We cut them in half to make half spheres and added them to the panel for a pop of color.

The DIY project I’m proudest of was our bubble chandeliers that hung above the reception tables.  Buying glass globes at $1 each we used craft store wired to circle the lip and hung them at different heights to achieve a grape cluster effect.  We tied them off on a simple ‘s’ hook.  Each globe had a cream votive candle.  They were simply stunning all lit up and were worth the hard work.  For our favors, I ordered custom pins from Etsy and was able to use my own designs.  We pinned pretty ribbons to brown paper lunch bags filled with chocolate truffles and signed them with a special hand written thank you.

Jared and I wrote letters to each other the night before the wedding and gave them to each other the morning of the big day.  His letter to me was the most precious thing I’ve ever received and I will treasure it forever.  All of our nieces and nephews rang bells to announce the bride instead of the traditional flower petals.  It added lots of jolly noise and was one of my favorite parts.    Our ceremony was so beautiful, we each wrote our vows and it was very moving seeing my husband tear up, he’s definitely not the crying type. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, but if you ask Jared or I about our wedding day we’ll both say “it was perfect”.  It truly was the most wonderful day of our lives.  We were so happy to start our story together that nothing else mattered.

To see more of this wedding, visit http://www.stylemepretty.com/2010/03/25/parking-garage-wedding-by-hannah-bergman/.

More boutonnières! Todays featured bouts are made of felt and fabric. Other wedding related thoughts…When I’m working on projects for my interior design classes, the strongest designs are the ones that start with a clear vision and a “concept statement”. Naturally, this can translate to wedding planning as far as aesthetics of your special day. I felt like I started with a really strong vision and would be able to make it happen. But so much has changed since then. I feel a little lost because I’ve had to compromise so much of how I wanted my wedding day to look and feel. If I could go back and start all over, I would. But now I’m stuck with a different design concept. And I’m forced to – in the words of the ever fabulous Tim Gunn – “make it work”. On one hand, this is frustrating because I only get one chance to make this day happen. On the other hand, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to rise to the challenge and make something beautiful out of a jumbled mess. We will see how it all turns out.

I have been WAY to busy to blog lately, and this one is just a shorty as I’ll be on my way out the door to go to class in a few minutes. Lately, I’ve been thinking about boutonnières. Since we aren’t doing flowers, I have been searching for an alternative and have found a ton of adorable ideas. Here is a preview…more to come!

Yesterday started off pretty crappy, but things definitely turned around in the afternoon! I was working on a project when I got a call from my future MIL. She was at Ikea in Chicago and she found throw blankets for $2.29 a pop! We were just going to ask people to bring their own picnic blankets for the ceremony, but this works out perfectly. Not only will we provide the “seating”, the blankets can function as favors too. I haven’t seen the blankets yet, but no matter what they look like, they are going to get a little bit of a makeover. Looks like I’ve found myself a new DIY project! I can’t wait to get started.