Friday, June 29, 2007

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

#75: i don't care. have an engagement photo sprawled out in front of the reception hall for people to sign. i'd rather replace that with this...and chuck the idea of a regular guestbook.

#74: write on me.

i love this idea! here's the two-fer solution: placecard + favor.,21863,1124613-5,00.html
Personalize Guests’ Mugs
Help guests avoid drinking from the wrong cup, and give them something to remember your party by. ZIG permanent markers are designed for use on ceramics and come in a range of colors (the ink should not come in contact with food, though, so restrict your handiwork to the outsides of the cups). ZIG Painty Markers, $3 each, for store locations.

my take would be to buy a bunch of these and test out even just permanent markers before buying the specialty markers:

trofe mug from ikea= $0.50/each. love me tender.

#73: real simple.

60-second centerpieces,21863,97145-3,00.html:

lemon, hazelnut.

pomegranite, plums/figs.

a million carnations.

granny smiths. apparently they float.

only candles.

#72: fresh and so clean.

bold colors and a set up like the one above could really amp up a humdrum reception hall. like using a church lunch room with stark walls and ceilings. it's very pow wow, don't you think?

Monday, June 25, 2007

#71: rings so true.

i'm in the middle of upgrading my apartment from 'big storage space (that's not really big by any means)' to 'MY HOME!!!' last night, i finally bought and picked up one of my last pieces of furniture. i've been scavanging for weeks...for the right version of this something-something i hadn't owned since the wee yonder college years.

a desk.

oddly enough, i've never needed or used a desk for the past @*#*$ years. i've always quickly done my bills or internet rounds on my kitchen table or bed...and i never really had a use for filing systems. i kept my craft things, cards and stamps and such, all in the cabinet, pulling them out as needed. but lately, my coffee table and kitchen table have become my toss-all areas. mail, mags, bills, cards, chocolates...all piling up, all in disarray and (one of my peeves) all collecting dust. my place has enough space for a in one of my efforts to really start 'growing up' and, better...i decided to finally buy one.

i bought an old wooden desk with tons of scratches and smudges for $80. one of the selling points for me was the disabled man i bought it from; he is one of those people you meet for a brief moment...but end up wanting to know much much more about. after positioning the desk in the spot i had sectioned off for it...and pledge wiping all the nooks and crannies, i stood there, proud of my purchase, almost giddy with happiness. it was too late to start using it last night...but i can't wait to get back and storing my odds and ends (only the necessities, of course) in the aged drawers.

"Organization is having a place for everything and making sure everything is in its place."

even when planning a wedding, it's a great quote to keep in mind as it's so easy to get steered in directions you never even knew you could go...and don't need to go! make sure everything you're getting and worthwhile and should be there.

p.s. i'm one of the lucky few who loves throwing things out. aka i'm not a packrat!

#70: vitamin c.

simple but so darling.

#69: balls.

hee. #69 deserves a racy title!

from a guestblogger:

i think these look so fab. i'm just curious about the cost. update to follow as a commenter has already posed the question.

#68: how to up the ante.

i had written previously on paper plates and using nice ones to spice up outdoor weddings (posts #43 and #33). here's a tablescape concept that could be used as inspiration.

#67: um, seriously?!

how fantastic is this contraption suggestion from rosie & andy aka 'resource extraordinaire' (via comment on previous post)?!! soo cute. but i wouldn't use the word 'cute' when describing this idea to the fiance.

delectably priced at $10 on ebay! crazy.

#66: to ease the cold of winter.

$9.95 s'mores kit from

i came across one of the now popular "prepackaged s'mores kits" at a store this weekend. i think it would be so fun to incorporate a s'mores station as the centerpiece for a winter wedding. how unique would that be.

so at first, i pictured a pretty bucket filled with all the goodies plus a makeshift fireplace on each table for the waiters to come by and light up when it comes time for dessert!

and then i found myself asking myself all these questions:

*what type of fire would be small and safe enough for a tabletop and still roast the marshmallow?
*would guests really appreciate having to 'work' for their dessert?
*is it too messy?
*what's my budget for this set up?

the last question was the easiest to answer. $10/table is what i want to spend on centerpieces. however, if i pack up the 3 ingredients as individual favors...i would be adding my favors portion of the budget which would raise my final centerpiece allocation to $20/table.
$26 for 36 hershey bars
$25 for 36 hershey bars
$20 for 36 hershey bars

$67 for 120 chocolates? not too shabby. plus, i briefly searched for smaller versions of the standard 1.55 oz bars but couldn't find any. i'm guessing if i find some in the size i want, they'd be even more budget friendly. and i'm not stuck to just hershey bars. choxie at target, anyone?

graham crackers + marshmallows = not too expensive, i'm sure.

the real question here is that fire. how would i make that happen. i considered the idea of setting up a separate fire spot so that people could come and roast as they please. but that's way too much work. and the table fire?...the more i think about it, the more i can imagine some crazy fires happening. but hey! perhaps if you're having a winter wedding, the venue will include a fireplace. and if so, you could set up several marshmallow sticks from and people could roast and enjoy as they wish. bingo!

#65: greenery.

i'm not a fan of green flowers. like those yellow-green orchids (if that's what they really are). but those bean things? so easy.

Friday, June 22, 2007

#64: bridal shower idea.

from miss snow pea.

#63: bling.

oh yes. i covet thee. 18k rose cut diamond studs. E767KD. i wish i could get a big picture of just the studs. they're beautiful!!!!! and i'm so happy colored gold is back. i was feeling all down and out with the whole platinum craze.

are you wondering how in the hell those earrings would fit in my budget? well...i actually wouldn't include those earrings as part of my budget. *gasp*

my reasoning = my budget isn't really about the have to's...but more about my want to's. i don't HAVE to throw a budgeted $10k wedding. i just REALLY REALLY REALLY want to. all the over-marketed superfluous wedding costs to honor 'the best day of my life (more accurately, 8 hours of my life)' me, is a waste. but i still want to share the day with loved ones by throwing a nice wedding and i do not have the option of i'm going to do it and i'm going to make it special. i'm just going to also be very conscious of the decisions i'm making and be wary of regretting any expenditures. (buyer's remorse kills me.)

as with all things, there are {my own} exceptions to the budget rule. exceptions that are, to me, exceptions not only because the cost is 1000% justified...but also because the money is spent on items that exude 'forever'. jewelry is NOT a one-day affair. you are not going to eat jewelry and poop it out. you are not going to look at it once and toss it into the recycling bin. it's a token of the day and will be as everlasting as you make it.

it's...significant. and that's good enough reason for me to leave it off the budget list.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

#62: decoration help.

you may have noticed that a lot of the blogs i've referenced in my list of blogs have absolutely nothing to do with weddings. well...i'm of the mind that inspiration is found everywhere. a-hem...but it may also have a little something to do with the fact that i'm fiiinally attempting to convert my new apartment into a home. i happily unpacked and chucked the last couple of boxes (and by 'i', i really mean 'the bf') and now i'm trying to get all the 'free' deco advice i can get.

i'm especially obsessed after seeing THE piece at a local vintage shop last weekend. a gold leaf candle sconce, huge and perfect for above the fireplace. eeeeek, right?! oh and p.s. before last weekend, i didn't even know what a sconce was. but anyways, too bad for me since the price tag on the beaut was a tad disagreeable with my comfort zone. so...for the past few days, i've been headachingly going through and through every deco online store i know PLUS ebay and amazon PLUS scouring the blogs for references to online boutiques.

to no avail.

i've looked at a million sconces, candelebras and even considered various wallpapers and decals. man. you think you're creative and you think it's fairly simple, really...and then you realize...designers, decorators, people who can orchestrate harmony between colors and shapes...really have a different kind of talent. am i jealous? maybe a little.

#61: break away.

from the norm, that is.

'e' (a history of architecture) has become somewhat of a style sounding board for me. great finds, great suggestions, classic and awesome taste. case in point, here's an alternative to the traditional wedding ring.

i would happily stick the yellow gold one on my finger. any day. for any reason.

#60: miss corn.

i should tuck this bit of info away. $19.99 for the Fiskars 12" paper trimmer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

#59: rounding out martha day.

i like this centerpiece something fierce. the color coordinated menu? loves it. and the ribbon? classic. tip to remember: pin the ribbon into the fruit.

the tip for this favor packaging is that glorious cup. in bulk, bakeware as such wouldn't run your wallet too out of sync with your budget.

my least favorite...but cute nonetheless. i wouldn't mind this type of thing if i was having a lobsterbake or crabfest type reception. which, by the way, would be awesome.

i'd bake the scones myself. i mean...with my FH (future husband), of course. so they'd be from 'us'.

#58: do you like carnations?

25. Don't overlook such floral standbys as daisies and carnations. They're available year-round, are quite affordable, and when arranged en masse will make delightful centerpieces and bouquets.

i'll admit. by their lonesome, carnations are pretty ugly. but bunch 'em together...and what's not to like? they're cheap for bundles so i'm down. i'd stick to no greens and only 1 color per bundle. like this:

#57: from her tips (previous post).

42. Eliminate reply cards and have guests handwrite a note instead. You'll save on stationery and postage, and the responses will be great keepsakes.

i'm not sure i want to put the burden on the guests to handwrite a note. i mean, people have a hard enough time sending back pre-postaged cards as it is. however, this made me think of a great idea. granted, it's an idea poached off someone else's idea i read somewhere long time ago but whatever. i'll be the first to admit i'm not trying to re-invent the wheel here. :)

so. what i would do is create a very simple response postcard. one side would have my return address and their names and the postage. in the left bottom corner would be a box for 'yes' or 'no' and a ____ for total # of guests. (buffet or family-style reception negates the need for the 'beef or chicken' question! yay!) THEN...on the other side, i'd stamp something like this:

and request that the guests draw their rendition of the bride and groom-to-be. i'd display all of these in a frame as our "couples frame" that all wedding receptions seem to have at the entrance of the venue.

fab keepsake and you don't have to blow up any cheesy fotos. cost = just the frame.

#56: the fifty ways.

good tips to read through. i'll expand on my favorites in the following entries.

#55: sexy back.

from courtesy 'e'!!!!!!

$400 for a back like that? i can dig it...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

#54: DIY-able.

from a venue website.

#53: a little something.

haha. good idea for the boys. BUT...i wouldn't give these to them at the beginning...because who knows where they'd end up come the wedding day.

#52: focus hocus pocus.

have you noticed the lack of posts lately? i have. i used to happily churn out 5-10 entries a day! that average has whittled down to 1 entry per day. and it's putting me in a funkdee funk. where has my inspiration gone?

my approach to gather ideas for the few categories i've created (p.s. i don't understand when blogs have 100 different's difficult for me to concentrate and remember things as is...) has been to peruse my favorite blogs and bookmark items and projects that could easily translate into prudent and unique wedding solutions. i've been relying on getting pulled from here to there to everywhere as i read and read and jump from blog to blog. i mean, isn't that how inspiration works? but maybe i'm going about it all wrong. because the juice from my sources has been lacking. or more own juices are not flowing. or something.

anyways, at times like these, i should probably make my search less macro, more micro. for instance, if i'm going to DIY my own invites, shouldn't i know how much paper is going to cost? shouldn't i convince myself to invest in GOCCO? shouldn't i figure out printing vendors (aka know when the office is cleared so i can print my stuff? j/

but then you know how last week i tried to, 'in seriousness', find a venue and ended up digging into a bunch of useless (aka out-of-budget) places? yeah, dejected by the uber high costs i was facing, i stopped looking. short-term attention span plus being a sore loser will get the best of me.

but guess what...that's why this blog will *CROSS MY FINGERS* be so useful in the end. all my crazy, disorganized thoughts and one place, categorized in the best possible way... ideas that work, ideas that won't least this will help me remember.

come on, me!

Friday, June 15, 2007

#50: i love chex.

1 small box Rice Chex-
2 C coconut-
1 C sliced almonds-
1 C karo-
1 C sugar-
1 1/2 C butter-
Dash salt-
1/2 t. soda-
1 t. vanilla

Cook sugar, karo, salt and butter in microwave 5 minutes. Stir and cook 2 more minutes (watch out - it's HOT). Add vanilla and soda then pour mixture over remaining dry ingredients.

hey, DIY favor/placecards? seems easy enough to make and really economical.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

#49: knot boards.

CEREMONY/RECEPTION SITE - Malibu Nature Preserve, grade: A+
We are so glad that we chose this site! We've thought back on the other places we visited and can't imagine having had such a magical day at any of them. Beautiful and spacious and the total opposite of a wedding factory. You get the entire place to yourself for the whole day! Our ceremony was in a sycamore grove, the cocktail hour around the pool, dinner on the ocean view deck, and then we moved inside for the band and the rest of the party - so much better than being confined to a single room and having a time limit! Peter and his guys are great - very helpful and accommodating. The place itself just has a really great vibe.
CATERER - Diana's Creative Catering, grade: A
Diana's kitchen is at the Nature Preserve and she caters the events there, but she also caters off site - I know for sure she does the Adamson House. She is great to work with and our food was delicious! Months later guests are telling us our food was the best they'd ever had at a wedding! Her prices are great, and rentals and staff are very reasonable. No corkage or cake cutting fees. No whopping "service charge" of 20% on the food + rentals like some places do - it is only on the cost of the service staff. Awesome bartender! Towards the end of the night, he was making something called a "chey and scotty love special" - not quite sure what was in it, but it was good! The only slight issue was some miscommunications with Diana's assistant - I had to be really careful about double-checking details and making sure she had the right info. Totally worth the effort! We felt like we got a really great deal for such amazing food!
BOOZE - The Beverage Warehouse, grade: A+
The Nature Preserve is BYOB - a great savings! We decided to have only beer, wine, sodas, juice, bottled water, martinis and cosmos. We got some good deals at TJ's and Costco, but I have to give extra praise to the guys at the Beverage Warehouse (in the Marina del Rey area) where we got our beer and most of our wine along with a few other things. Rick helped me pick out some outstanding wine - guests were raving about a $7/bottle petite syrah we had - and he was super helpful! Delivery to our site in Malibu was FREE! Afterwards, we could have returned any unopened bottles, but we opted not to. The Beverage Warehouse also has a lot of unique and hard to find stuff - definitely worth checking out!

and an awesome, totally applicable thread!...

#48: more renting to be done.

ok. so i think the $3k in the below venue didn't include renting all the ware. so...basically, i don't know what i was thinking but no can do a venue like that! instead...i'm racking my brain to figure out if i know anyone who has an amazing house to lend to me. cuz i found me this.

tables 13 @ 7.25 = 94.25
table linens 13 @ 8 = 104
chairs 125 @ .90 = 112.50
(definitely NOT going with any covers! are you kidding me...)
lg paper plates 20 sets of 8 @ 4 = 80
sm paper plates 20 sets of 8 @ 4 = 80
(believe it or not, these paper plates cost more than renting real plates!)
champagne flutes 125 @ .60 = 75
(all other drinks to be served in ice chests with clear plastic cups or at the bar.)
4' wicker bar = 25
so far...$570.75
white lantern balls 48 @ .90 = 43.20
tent 40' x 40' = 720
so lighting, no dance floor...1333.95
plus i'll need set up staff, stuff for the caterer, cleaning crew...forget it. maybe $3k for a site with the little amenities is worth it afterall.

#47: can't stop looking...

The Oviatt Building Penthouse
found this from this site:

friday space rentals = $3000. for 12 hours.
check it out...i think i'm in love.
Oviatt Penthouse Amenities and Services:
Maximum Occupancy (excluding vendors) 125
View 360-degree Cityscape
Kitchen Facilities Fully Equipped
Furniture Set-up Provided
Dance Floor Provided
Heating Lamps Provided
Dressing Area Provided
Music 50-disc CD changer provided; live music and DJs permitted
Parking Adjacent fee lots; valet available
Security Provided
Clean-up Provided
Wheelchair Access
Penthouse interior and restrooms
Standard Rental Period 12 Hours
Closing Time 2:00 a.m.
Tent for Terrace Available

#46: i need a place.

these venues are off my search criteria include:
1) holds at least 100 people
2) costs no more than $$ out of $$$$. $ would be ideal...but i haven't come across any $. which brings me to ask...why do they even have the $ as an option...

El Dorado Park Golf Course
this is kind of what i want...but less cheesy looking. the 'outdoor tented' area is already part of the establishment. but i bet these types of reception sites have mandatory catering lists. and i bet the lists don't include in'n'out trucks.

Chantrelles Catering at the Padua Hills Theatre
pretty, huh?

House Of Blues, Sunset Strip
hey, that's kinda funky! never would've thought. hmmmmmm...great acoustics...dark lighting (perfect for my imperfect face). man, this is making me rethink the whole outdoorsy thing.

Descanso Gardens
but then i see something like this and...holy moly. beautiful.

Los Angeles Yacht Club
they had me at 'cordon bleu trained staff'...

Cannons Seafood Grill
how gorgeous.

Coyote Hills Golf Course

Cocopalm Restaurant
the only $ out of $$$$ restaurant i found. and according to their website, it's still $52+/person. not including tax and service fees. wtf?

#45: dress.

what a freaking beaut for $235. 'e' of 'a history of architecture' in my blog links suggests it in ivory and keeping the length as is...but i don't have the power in me to wear a short dress come the day. but i will tell you...that my aunt MADE my prom dress (many many eons ago) from scratch. like built it from a chunk of white satin fabric. without any patterns. nothing. nada. i didn't even have a sketch; i just talked about what i wanted. she just took my 'idea' and constructed an amazing dress from nothing into something. so...i would love, love, love to snag a dress like the one above and request my dear talented auntie to help me add extra upon extra cascading layers of fabric below it to create a billowing floorlength dress...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

#44: doh...i keep forgetting.

in response to the comment on my revised budget (post #40...btw, i'm so patting myself on the back for using post #'s! yah!), you are SO RIGHT...i'd have to squeeze $120 somewhere in there for postage. and then what about the thank you cards? yes, another $200 on postage and thank you cards. damn me and my ungrateful heart.

i suppose i'd take the funds from the $1,000 gifts section. so gifts would allocated $700 instead...coming out to $87.50/person if we had a total of 8 bm/gm. though i'm paying for the dresses, i wanted to leave room enough to be generous with the gifting (post #6). turning out to be a difficult feat. *sigh*

hey, but at least i'm counting on a big fat ZERO for DJ costs! i think i'm going to do the ipod thing (post #26).

so yes, in my very first post (um, post #1), i think i boldly claimed that i wanted the $10,000 to include the wedding rings. but i think i'm changing my mind.

the $10,000 also will not be including the honeymoon...though i'm not completely sold on spending tons of moolah on a honeymoon anyways. i'd rather relax and use the time to do 'nothing' with my hubs...if you know what i mean.

rehearsal dad? (post #12)

anything else i forgot? (thanks for your comment!!!)

#43: more partyware.


i'm starting to really like the theme. i know i'm not supposed to get hung up on color yet...but i'm not worried about it since my preferences change about 10 times a day. but the above paper plate is pretty adorable. hows about stacking this on a yellow dinner paper plate with a decorative black napkin folded on top...and a full, green and candle centerpiece? at $4.50/8 count for the small plate, is it possible?

#42: the great world wide web.

ok people. i was searching hi and lo for reasonable pricing on fake i mean FAUX flowers and was getting rather discouraged. truth be told, it was starting to look like buying and DIY'ing fake flowers was going to cost as much as buying real flowers. add the whole DIY part and the effort you'd have to exert to make the fake look real, it really worth it?

but whilst searching for more and more and MOoooooRE faux flower sites (and i will not give up!), i came across this site. and i am so happy it's crazy. there's a 'popular topic' bar to the left and one of them is 'weddings for less'!!! there are great ideas to be uncovered here since real people ask real questions and real people give real answers. it's fab!

for example, i ended up on this thread:
and then, per one of the commenters, i ended up on this site:

which then led me to this:

in conclusion, i know now that i could easily buy 24 of these for $0.90 each. dirt cheap? quite!

#41: have my cupcake and eat it too.

how did the whole cupcake phenom come about? i'm curious! it's like all of a sudden, people developed an obsessive LOVE for cupcakes...and i'm just as guilty as the next. never a huge fan of sweets in the first place, somehow i ended up working an arm's distance from sprinkles...and soonafter, began craving the dangerous stuff. but at $3.25 (or is it $3.75?) per cupcake, i could fugghettabout using them in any which way to feed 100+ peeps at my wedding. right? but lo and behold...the MINI CUPCAKE. so i got this idea from today's 'style me pretty' find. i was browsing through their featured bakery's website (whose cupcakes, at $2 a pop, are WAY more affordable and probably taste just as nice and are better proportioned for my sweet palate) and guess what...their mini cupcakes are $0.75 each! oh hello!

i'm picturing a two-fer. put toothpicks with numbered flags in the cupcakes and wrap them individually with just enough cellophane so that the flags stick out.

and voila, here are your favors + placecards. well, for me, i could probably consider it a three-fer if you count the fact that this would satisfy my 'i wanna use cupcakes but not be like everyone else!' craving and keep it semi-unique at the same time.

#40: rebalancing.

now that i've done a little bit of research (and determined a few things!), it's time to adjust my numbers a bit.

$300 my dress/shoes $500
$50 groom's stuff $100
$400 bm dresses/shoes ($100/gal) $300 ($75/gal)
$200 gm stuff $200
$7,000 food, booze, venue ($35/person) $4,855 ($40/person)
$200 flowers $200
$2500 photography
the DIYs:
$200 centerpieces (20 tables/$10 per table) $120 (12 tables)
$200 invites (buck a piece) $150
$200 favors (buck a piece) $150
$25 programs $25
$1,000 gifts to bridal party $1,000
$10,000 TOTAL $10,000

guess what i see staring back at me. and numbers do not lie. CUT YOUR GUESTLIST, pay significantly less. for everything. wow.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

#39: bartender, another.

what a great idea. not the byo-alcohol part...but the 'hire a bartender off craigslist' part. i am excited! because first of all, i heart craigslist something crazy. second, that might mean i could hire grillmasters to man my grill. which means i wouldn't have to employ family members!

the wheels are turning.

EDIT: so really, how much would it cost for a self-trip to bevmo?

Sterling Cabernet Vintners Collect '04
$10.99 / 750 ML bottle @ 36 bottles = $395.64

"Anchor Steam" Summer Ale
$6.99 / 6-PK BTL @ 7 packs = $48.93

Beck's Beer
$14.99 / 12-PK BTL @ 4 packs = $59.96

Samuel Adams Light
$9.99 / 12-PK BTL @ 3 packs = $29.97

Beringer Chardonnay Founders' '05
$6.99 / 750 ML bottle @ 24 bottles = $167.76

Ballatore Gran Spumante
$6.99 / 750 ML bottle @ 12 bottles = $83.88

Grey Goose Vodka
$51.99 / 1.75 LTR @ 3 = $155.97

Bombay Sapphire Gin
$29.99 / 1.75 LTR @ 2 = $59.98

Bacardi Gold Rum
$17.99 / 1.75 LTR @ 1 = $17.99

Glenfiddich Scotch
$47.99 / 1 LTR @ 2 = $95.98

Subtotal (excluding Tax):

ClubBev! Savings: $190.00

this doesn't include the soft drinks, the juices, the tea and coffee...OY.

#38: martha martha martha!

i think the hanging paper flowers look cute for the spread in the picture...but for a wedding? maybe too casual. even for the uber casual wedding i have in mind for myself.

p.s. i am DIGGING all of the random blogs i've come across lately. especially those with an ode to SF. i love the creativity and inspiration produced in this city.

Monday, June 11, 2007

#37: anybody know a carpenter?

i would secure a couple of square/rectangular vases in the middle and fill them with water and green beans or brussel sprouts (per previous idea) and floatie candles. or...just flowers. the stand is from 's current sale but looks almost diy-able, don't you think? or...i'm sure you could find something similar and much more affordable at ikea. i'll look...

#36: michaels.

i found the fake flowers online on their site. i would hope they have a better selection in store! curious...why don't they post their prices online? it would make budgeting a whole lot easier.
oh, and i just threw in the topiary tree as a maybe. i would drape tons of fairy lights over it for that romantic effect.