Thursday, August 30, 2007

#165: tara reid and leann rimes.

is it just me or did tara and leann do jc penney bridal ads not too long ago? i remember not thinking much of them. but then manolo for the brides featured some of their dresses on her site the other day. the rather fantastic twisty design below will set you back $119.99. granted, the front is kind of low-cut. so to wear the dress, you'd have to be somewhat flat-chested, i'd think.

score! for me, that is. *sigh*

from jc penney.

#164: color me happy.

from frolic.

goes to show how just a little bit of colored cloth could go a long way. this is somewhat exciting because i have a source for really budget-friendly bulk buy fabrics. read budget-friendly = free...

#163: those who can't, buy.

from wendy kromer's shop.

i'm almost positive you can buy these somewhere else on the cheap, but at $28 for 24 flowers, i'd call this a doable splurge. i'm weird and don't care to drop dizzo on fondizzle. if you know what i mean. so on a simply white-iced cake, i'm thinking these flowers may be all i need.

#162: less is more.

from brooklyn bride.

bright green apples are so pretty, especially with such a stark background. so are pomegranates. or any fantastically colored roundish fruit, for that matter.

but...then it got me thinking. guess what you could do with apple centerpieces. especially bright green granny smiths...that you can't really do with any of the other fruits...or you could but it wouldn't make as much sense.

you could hand out mini jars of caramel or gooey chocolate as favors for folks to take home and dip apple slices in.

what do you think?

#161: au naturale.

another shade of grey featured a great way to spruce up branches. she spray-painted real branches orange after shucking the leaves. isn't the final product rather great looking? orange is foine. so would be teal. and so would purple. and yellow. and...{insert your wedding colors here}.

#160: hi.

so much blog reading to do and so much posting to catch up on. so excited. :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

#159: it's in my haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaands!


as you can imagine, i'm not at home. but when i get home, i will be busting this thing wide open. i can't wait to practice and share my successes and failures with you. do you gocco?

p.s. my entries will be rather splotchy for the next week. because...i'm not at home. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

#158: one more time.

i'd featured this site before but i was zipping through again and found these beauties. so i'm sharing.

$450. imagine your hair all pulled up with a grace kelly-ish hat + veil. my oh my. i'd feel like i was floating.

i think it's out of my price range at $700. but then again, maybe not. that little slit in the back is so demure.

$650 for the ballerina in you.

even something for the mamas.

winter bride...

gosh, the details on this dress are stunning.

ok, go take a look at the frock! they even have dresses categorized by time periods like victorian and flapper and etc, if that's more your kind of thing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

#157: tissues!

found darcy miller's new blog for brides through faye and greer and brooklyn bride.

and of course i feel all giddy and bubbly inside, like i got a new pair of hot shoes or lost 10 pounds or something.

august 15th's post features this tablescape. see those hurricanes? covered in tissue! COVERED IN TISSUE! how brilliant is that?! i dunno, i think it's pretty brilliant.

i think the different shades of a similarish color family really add texture to the table and imagine the hue. THE HUE! from the candle! a centerpiece like this is really a DIY-over-a-long-period-of-time-way-before-the-wedding-day dream come true.

#156: a lil' bit o' chalk.

from small place style

i can't find any on the ikea website, but i know they have uber cheap wooden frames. get yourself a little chalk paint and what do you get? whimsical place cards...or favors...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

#155: cones.


i was inspired by the preppy wedding's post with this egg cup tadow.

this is what i'd do.

1) cut about 2 inches off the bottoms of the cones to create ringlets.
2) dip them in tea and stain to get a vintage look; the paper would also harden after drying (which is what you want!).
3) bunch short-stemmed daisies or carnations (or hydrangeas). i'm guessing carnations would be the cheapest choice.
4) place the flowers in each cut cone and set on each place setting.

why the cones and not just make loops with regular paper? well, the cones have somewhat of a top support. i figure it'd hold up the flowers better than regular paper could. it's an inexpensive way to really dress up a table...and when it's taken off the plate by everyone, it would create a pseudo centerpiece.

how inexpensive? 200 cones = $5.96.

#154: food.

would you ever consider making your own food for your wedding? i personally love to cook...but i'm not chef robert irving of dinner impossible on the food network. i'm sure he can make a million tasty bits in no time, but if i were to attempt it, it would be opening a whole new world of stress and coordination.

and i'm not talking cold cut spreads (p.s. sandwiches are on my 'least favorite foods' list); but more along the lines of mini quiches, eggrolls, hot little things like that (p.s. deep-fried and salty anythings top my 'favorite foods' list).

would you do it? and i would insert a poll here. but i don't know how to do that yet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

#152: greenthumb.

14.99 at ikea

do you have a greenthumb? and is 'greenthumb' supposed to actually be two words?

in any case, look what i found! if i had a backyard, i'd line up 12 of these and start planting away. what a heartfelt centerpiece it would make, don't you think? take the suggestions as made on post #105 and you've got yourself a snazzy project. snazzy, fun, and DIT.

p.s. we all know what DIY means. i've decided DIT is more fun. DIT = DO IT TOGETHER.

p.p.s. i'm so sentimental these days! bf must be loving it.

#151: readers rock.

i came across $1.00 glowsticks during a recent trip to sports basement. ergo, post #149.

when i was posting, i was picturing centerpieces of glass troughs with rows of glowsticks lined at the bottom (i'd get the cheaper, dimmer ones of course for optimal uh, dimness) filled with water and flowers or floating patches of grass.

but THEN, jessica suggested sticking these sticks in balloons and stringing them up.

and THEN, katie b suggested using them in lanterns.

and THEN, teana remembered that miss emerald of weddingbee had posted about how she made it work.

sigh. loves it all. thank you!

#150: more on the same thing.

a reader asked about the tent issue for the last venue i found.

so guess what i did. i called the church. and asked if they provided the tents as shown in their photo. and guess what i learned. the picture i found on the website is the lawn area between the church and prince erik hall. it isn't prince erik hall. doi! and no, the tent shown does NOT come included in the church package.

however, judy went on to explain that prince erik hall actually belongs to SAG, the catering company, and though the picture i found is not prince erik hall, SAG just recently installed a canopy complete with a chandelier, that obviously comes included in the package as it's a permanent fixture. plus, the canopy is apparently over a concrete area, so you wouldn't need to rent a separate dance floor.

say what?!

i could barely contain, judy, where are the pictures?!?! she directed me to SAG's website, which i'd already been on, which says "pictures coming soon!" DOUBLE DOI!

now, i know not to get all riled up about a venue before i check it out. and, before i even get engaged. and, before i'm even ready to get married.

but honestly. doesn't it sound great? and a girl can dream, right? the answer is YES, so below, i've included some dreamy 'tent with chandelier' pics off google images. oh, and by the way, judy is sending me a brochure so i can get full details on using that garden area that belongs to the church. albeit there is zero tenting included, but it could turn out to be economical just the same. think big picture, people!

Monday, August 13, 2007

#149: no, really?

i'll be honest. at first, i thought it was a brilliant idea. then i gave it a little more thought and decided it was a terrible idea. and then i thought about it even more...and flipflopped halfway. so now, i'm rather neutral. i think if i had the time to brainstorm, and could actually come up with real and creative uses for this shtick, it could turn out to be a fine idea...and a great alternative for candles.

brief search indicates about $0.20-$0.30 per stick.

what do you think?

#148: where is the love.

so my friend still hasn't received the package. i'm getting a little anxious now. it's been 20ish days. and it was supposed to have been shipped from one australia location to another australia location. shouldn't take that long, should it? i emailed them and will let you know what they say. i really hope this doesn't turn out to be a major buzzkill.

Friday, August 10, 2007

#147: don't laugh.

but i found this tool through not martha.

it's called...the rasterbator.


suggestions for use...

*table numbers

anyways, it's free. let's think of SOMETHING!

#146: nifty site.

found an interactive wedding budget planner!

you enter your budget amount and based on their own models, they spit out an allocation. i think this is a great and basic starting point in determining how much should go where.

this is what came out for me:

tto and tto bf's Wedding Budget
Estimates Based On A Budget Of: 10000

RECEPTION Food, Drinks, Location Fee 5000
ATTIRE Bridal Dress, Tuxedos, Accessories 1000

PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY Photographer, Videographer, Albums 1000
ENTERTAINMENT DJ's, String Quartet, Band 1000

MISCELLANEOUS Marriage License, taxes, tips 450
FLORAL/DECORATION Bouquets, Boutonnieres, Ceremony Flowers, Table Centerpieces 1000
STATIONERY Wedding Invitations, RSVP Cards, Thank You Cards 400

RINGS Bride's Wedding Ring, Groom's Wedding Ring 200
TRANSPORTATION Transportation to the Ceremony, Transportation to the Reception 400
GIFTS Wedding Favors, Gifts for the Female and Male Attendants 250
CEREMONY Ceremony Location Fees, Officiant's Fee or Donation 150

i can tell you straight up that i'd ex the transportation cost and entertainment would not be $1000 (ipods rule!). instead, i'd add those funds to the reception or photography costs. and with my previous budgets, i hadn't even factored in marriage license fees and such. see how helpful it is? try it!

#145: inspire me.

singer sewing co

According to punky style, "Singer recently enlisted thousands of beginning sewers worldwide to help create the state-of-the-art, easy-to-use, affordable, dynamic, and sleek machines that will excite the learner and simplify sewing."

and from the singer website:
The new SINGER® Inspiration™ is simply the easiest.
• 28 built-in stitch patterns
• SureFit Bobbin™ - only one way to insert the bobbin. The right way!
• NoError Threading™ - You can't get it wrong.
• Fully automatic one-step buttonhole
• StayBright LED Light™ - long lasting illumination.

clearly. inspirational. proooooooooooooooject!

#144: more tips.

Leigh Miller Photography

after i mentioned knottie greengelato in the previous post, i took the time to read through her profile. and boy, am i glad i did because i found some great tips. plus, i was reading through her blog and discovered that she's the super creative gal who hosted a fantastic bridal shower party that i had seen featured a few months ago on hostess with the mostess! small blog world.

here are the tips that gave me some fantastic lightbulb moments:

Bridesmaids dresses- BCBG Warehouse
One of my bridesmaids friends works at BCBG headquarters and she hooked me up with a free pass to their warehouse store for employees and their friends. The dresses are gorgeous in person and get this, were only $30 each! They have periodic sales to the public…the next one is on December 9th- it’s definitely worth going to (and waiting in line for). I was able to find 6 dresses in their exact sizes.

Favors- Papermart and 99 Cent Store
To my surprise, I found out that was located in Los Angeles! I was able to pick up my favorboxes- 200 for like $50. I filled the favors with rainbow tootsie rolls from the 99 cent store.

Votives- Walmart
I did my research and walmart has the absolute cheapest votives- a 24 pack for only $4.99. The wick is right under the rim of the glass, which meets most fire hazard standards.

Cocktail Hour food and alcohol- Koreatown & Costco
I actually had Korean food during my cocktail hour in order to appease the Korean guests. I had dduk (ricecakes), fried shrimp, little veggie wrap things, potstickers, mini chicken things, a fancy fruit platter, and some other items. My mom did extensive research to find the best appetizers that would not be too crazy Korean and visually appealing. My caterer allowed outside food since it was “ethnic”. I saved a lot of money doing this, considering that SAG charges 2 bucks per potsticker!! I also purchased all the alcohol at Costco. This saved SOOOO much money

Rentals- Mary’s Rentals, La Puente 626.855.0209 Mary’s Rentals is one of the best deals I found. They are a small mom and pop rental company in East LA and their prices are the lowest I found. Their rental list is not as extensive as the bigger companies, but I was able to get most of my items via Mary’s. They also didn’t charge me extra for satin champagne overlays since another bride had just special ordered them for her wedding. Great personable service.

Event Professionals Mary’s didn’t have wood chairs so I ordered natural brown wood ones at Event Professionals for only $1.50 each! That was at least a dollar cheaper than I found elsewhere.

her tips also give insight as to what the venue will allow. i love that she was able to purchase her own alcohol! plus, she was able to rent her own tables/chairs/etc which most likely saved her some money. granted, her wedding was at the overall more expensive SAG (santa anita gardens) venue Villa del Sol D’oro. but still...perhaps if she was able to rent her own ware and purchase her own alky, it'd also be allowed at SAG's other, more economically-friendly featured venue, Prince Erik Hall? hm...

#143: quickie.

i want to do a quick shout-out to the bf with a haiku.

to my biggest fan
i hope you still read my blog
because one four three.

get it?!...?!...?!

ok, that's enough...

#142: going to the chapel.

i haven't blogged since monday?! i disgust myself.

but even more disgusting is the fact that i've actually been busy...researching like a hound for venues. i found another resource and scrolled their entire list of reception sites. literally. i think there were 400+ venues. and i couldn't find even ONE that would fit my budget.

a reader suggested Villa del Sol D’oro, because they charge $17/head for catering services. it perked me up because i could have sworn i had seen that venue marked as $$$ out of $$$$$ on the projectwedding site. and, uh, anything even $$ out of $$$$$ seemed to be too expensive. so, not wanting to rely on my shoddy memory, i googled bios and came across popular knottie greengelato, whose pictures i had seen many a times off other sites. her review stated that the site rental cost $4000. wow, right?

so i dug around and found first that the site rental is now $4500. but, more importantly, and i guess not surprisingly, i also found that there are a ton of manual costs involved. like a $25 delivery fee, a per table/chair/napkin fee, required server/security/bartender fees, and greengelato mentioned ICE FEES?!?! ai yai yai.

but doing all that math in my head isn't practical. so i drew up an actual budget scape.

$4500 site fee
12 tables x $8 ea. = $96
120 chairs x $1.60 ea. = $192
12 linen sets x $15 ea. = $180 (p.s. i don't know what 'linen' means. i initially thought it was linen/napkin per person...but at $15, i'm thinking not...)
6 servers @ $125 ea. = $750
2 security @ $80 ea. = $160
1 bartender @ $150 ea. = $150
TOTAL = $6028
+ sales tax = $6525

food stuff
wedding cake package: 120 guests @ $7 ea. = $840
meal: 120 guests @ $20 ea. = $2400
TOTAL = $3240
+ sales tax = $3507
+ gratuity = $4033

so. without alcohol, it would run $10500. and sadly, that is out of my budget realm.

but you know how i'm all about looking at links of links of links? the catering site mentioned a prince erik hall that seemed to offer significantly lower fees.

$1200 site fee INCLUDES tables/linens/chairs/china!
6 servers @ $100 ea. = $600
2 security @ $80 ea. = $160
2 bartenders @ $100 ea. = $200
TOTAL = $2160
+ sales tax = $2338

food stuff
wedding cake package: 120 guests @ $7 ea. = $840
meal: 120 guests @ $20 ea. = $2400
TOTAL = $3240
+ sales tax = $3507
+ gratuity = $4033

so without alcohol, it would cost $6371 which comes out to $53/pp. which isn't too shabby. and i'm glad i did all this mapping out of costs because doing this taught me something...that concentrating on just the cost of food per person vs overall cost per person could be uber misleading.

the bottom line figures are not out of my range (yay!) and especially taking into consideration that i included tax and gratuity in my estimates, this venue is certainly a possibility.

here's a picture. what do you think?

Monday, August 6, 2007

#141: vintageous.

from vintage vixen
$395. isn't the back...simply marvelous?

#140: find him or her.

the bride found a free photographer through craigslist. dag! through the links, you'll be led to photographer laurence kim's blog. which in and of itself is amazing.

they exist. so don't rule out the search for free photography, people!

#139: the atrium.

i've been meaning to write about this for a while.

i've been researching quite a bit on venues...but can't seem to really make peace with the online finds and my budget. and by 'budget', of course i mean my fake budget. a-hem.

here are my thoughts on the pros and cons as reception venue options continue to roll around in my head. i apologize ahead of time for not being organized.

the problem with asking a family member or friend for use of their house to hold the that you have to coordinate and front the cost of renting tables, chairs, linens, plates, dancefloor, lighting, etc. not only that but you have to hire the help, find a caterer, insure everything (protect yourself!), get cleaning crew, rent a bar, buy the liquor, etc. and then on top of ALL of that, i personally think i'd be stressed about that 'certain someone' (you know, that guest, the one who always gets too obnoxiously drunk at weddings) effing something up in the house. the thought of having to hold my head in shame for all eternity if anything got detroyed at the gracious host's abode is really too much to bear. even just as a thought. so...all things considered, it doesn't seem like such a great idea. and plus, there's a whole lotta coordination that needs to happen to pull it off successfully.

but THEN i get to thinking...hey, the house would be free and costs could be pared down with a bbq or buffet style reception. there would be less ware to rent and built-in deco with amazing paper plates like these and catering services often come with hired help in tow. so to be honest, i think this idea still has a chance. 1 being NO WAY and 10 being ABSOLUTELY, a backyard wedding possibility is about a 6. oh, and in case you're wondering, the backyard that tops my list is my uncle's home. it's not all that big...but there's a sizeable grill, a pool and lots of trees for shade. picture a thousand fairy lights everywhere. because this girl loves her some fairy lights.

now, that said, my brain recently got to thinking about other spaces as such that would cost close to nothing but not give off that cheapy feel (like a rec center)and is not a zillion miles away (seems like venues farrrr away from the city are more budget friendly). and the first place that popped into my mind was the standard hotel in downtown l.a. the rooftop bar is something crazy...the view, the vibe, the set up. granted, i'd never be able to afford a reception there because it is all very $$$$$$$$$. but what about places LIKE that. and then i remembered my friend's apartment building. there was an amazing rooftop pool and fantastic views of all of boston. getting clearance to use such a space could prove difficult...but come on. for views and a venue so unique (and most likely, free too), i'd definitely look into it. so then what about a friend or family member who has a condo? if the condo building doesn't have rooftop access, do they have a garden area? a courtyard? see where i'm going with this?

along those same lines, i started thinking about office buildings. do you work in a great building that would allow rooftop use? i don't know if my office building allows rooftop use...but we do have a lobby area called 'the atrium' that is available for rent. there are some hoops i'd need to jump through to rent it...but it is soo much more affordable than renting a mansion or a loft (assuming those venues also don't provide the tables etc.) plus, the space is architecturally quite stunning.

but, going back to the rooftops...i look around me and see so many tall buildings...and can't help thinking that the rooftops don't get enough use. i'd love to give the rooftops out there some love. and maybe, just maybe, there's a rooftop out there that could use the loving...

keeping (all of) those thoughts in mind, i searched a little bit on google images for backyard wedding inspiration.

oh, and some rooftop views.

#138: personal touch.

the way i see it, in order to spruce up a wedding and get the most BUDGET need to make it unique by making it your own. aka big emphasis on the personal touches.

one of my proudest purchases EVER has been the gocco. i can't even imagine how proud i'm going to be when i actually have it in my wiley, anxious hands.

but another proud purchase i'm on the cusp of a sewing machine. i'm taking a class right now (and surprise, they sell sewing machines!) and it's even got me considering making my own bm dresses.

long story short, with the gocco and sewing machine in tow, look at what i could make. goodness gracious, they're just loverly.

from frolic

bird and banner

#137: flower power.

diy bride posted some great tips for those brave enough to attempt diy flowers. she also posted where to get bulk flowers.

i'll be referring back to this list so as to cause myself the least amount of grief when i diy my own.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

#135: doily.

from brides.

instead of customizing a coaster at, say, even $.25 a pop, why not print on a doily for a much cheaper yet significantly more frilly effect? or, as in the picture, use a calligraphy pen and create placecards. these would work as menu cards too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

#134: reason #99 to be a wino.

a diy contest entry over at weddingbee.

goodness. it's like BAM, right when i get engaged, i'd commission my BMs, the groomsmen, the pops to all drink away and gimme the empty bottles. a glass a day has been proven good for the heart, right?

#133: bind this.

from real simple.
for the place cards?
to put funny photos on the tables?
menu cards?

i don't mean to mean what you may think this may mean. but if you work in an office, i know where you could get these for free.

#132: vasen wins!

Height: 5"

$0.99 each at ikea.

#131: 22 vases for sale.

"Twenty two vases for sale. They are 4 3/4 inches tall and 5 1/4 inches in diameter. They were used once for the centerpieces at our wedding."

$65 from a craigslister. i would definitely finagle a bit ($50 oh hello) and use these for centerpieces. because they're small, they'd work better as a centerpiece for a long table rather than round. tight bunches of same-colored carnations come to mind.

"1500 fake red rose pedals for $10."

craigslist is such an amazing resource. and over the course of when i actually start planning for a wedding, i think i'll end up collecting a bunch of hunk of a junk from random sellers. oh, and don't forget to hunt the services section for photogs or even caterers too.

hey, come to think of it, my rug is from craigslist. and so is my desk. and so is my couch. and so is my dining table and coffee table. and so is my apartment. basically, if it weren't for craigslist, i'd be homeless and furnitureless. hm.