Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Introducing the Something Blue Brigade

Taking little bits from here and there, I've tossed around a lot of ideas when it comes to how to pull off a wedding and how to celebrate the fabulous women in my life. From the dessert table to the DIY envelopes, I have already stepped out of the traditional box and tried my best to just do things in a way that suits me and New Guy. So a combination of ideas from some other brave, offbeat ladies along with some soul searching on the most important missing piece of the wedding had led me to the "Something Blue Brigade".

The most painful experience of my life was losing my mom in 2010.  It's also been one of the hardest things about wedding planning. There hasn't been a single moment when I haven't wished my mom was there and the thought of getting through the actual day without her to calm my frayed nerves, laugh, and share the day is brutal.  I try to remind myself that she is always with me, but sometimes the crummy feelings sneak in and feel absolutely defeated.

But then, on the flip side, I have the most amazing group of women in my life. First and foremost, my Nana is A-MAZ-ING! If you don't know her, you should hustle on down to Lampasas and get to know her. My mom's sisters are so much like her.  When they laugh it's like she's here and I know they would do anything to help me in life. All my uncles made phenomenal choices in partners which brings along some strong women with unique perspectives and amazing hearts.  Great moms raise great daughters. Did I mention I have more cousins than you can shake a stick at?  All beautiful women inside and out. And then there is the family you choose.  Out of the 7.1 billion people out there, these ladies stand out for their compassion, strength, senses of humor, and pure genius. Pretty sure I'm about as lucky as anyone could be when it comes to the group I have around me.

On my wedding day, I will be wearing one of my mom's brooches in my hair. It just so happens to be blue. And it's fabulous. And it's from my mom which gives it immeasurable value.

So from my mom, I have something old, borrowed, and blue. 

For the something new, I will stay with the something blue theme... and give something new to each of the women who are helping make our day special. The women who will be henceforth known as the Something Blue Brigade.

Along with a hand written letter and a handmade blue necklace (pictures coming soon!), I plan to send along a printed explanation of the Brigade that went a little something like this: 

Something Blue Brigade
David & I have bucked tradition nearly every step of the way.  Our wedding party is no exception.  Rather than select a handful of people to call bridesmaids & groomsmen, we hope that each of you will join us in making our day special.  This is a long winded way to say,
“Could you please NOT be my bridesmaid?”
or rather more accurately,
“I count you among the women in my life that I love & cherish. I cannot imagine the day without you. Will you do me the honor of being part of my fabulously wonderful, packed with amazing women, Something Blue Brigade?”

The remainder of the page defined some of the do's and don'ts (don't fret, I checked the grammar on Do's and Don'ts before I hit print, what a cluster) including things like "do tell me when I’m being ridiculous and reign in my use of spreadsheets." and "Don't wear the same dress as the other women in the Brigade. You are an individual, wear your own choice of dress (or skirt, or pants)."

Hopefully people take this in the spirit in which it's meant - one of loving inclusion in the first day of a kick-ass marriage.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Excited... and Nauseous


I just bought New Guy's wedding band.

I'm pumped!

But I'm also freaking out a little... Is that normal?

Perhaps it's the 33 years of living the single life, knowing that I could pack it up and move across the country at any moment, checking the flight sales not worrying about who might care if I went on a last minute vacation, and generally just being me, worrying only about me, and planning a future that was focused completely on me. Yep.  There it is. Waiting until you are in your thirties to get married makes you sound pretty dang selfish.

But less about me and more about the wedding band...

We all know New Guys loves his bikes.  Cross bike, mountain bike, single speed, tandem, roadie, more bike frames than he knows what to do with. So did I get him a bicycle themed ring!?! You bet your ass I did... n't.

Seriously, that would be ridiculous. BUT -

There is a gent out of Georgia who bailed on his "real job" to make titanium cogs. Then he sold out... sorta... then he bailed (because of Schwinn, which we can all understand)... now he just makes rings.  What...?
Custom Made Rings
I know what you're thinking, this can't be a good idea.

You. Are. Wrong. This. Is. Awesome.

So this gent makes titanium wedding bands for the cycling guy in your life and they are gorgeous! And sturdy enough that your mountain biking man can keep it on during his rides. Sounds better every minute doesn't it?  So New Guy will be sporting one of these beauties come January and I'm pretty excited!

Meteorite Bevels Titanium Ring

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

DIY Envelopes from Old Books

When it was time to order our invitations, they came with white envelopes.  Not super high quality white envelopes, but mostly see through white envelopes.  Fine, we will just order pretty navy blue envelopes from somewhere else.  


Seriously, envelopes cost that much? 

I don't think so.

So, off I went digging through the house in search of a solution. And there it was, somewhat torn up from previous projects, the vintage encyclopedia! Woo!

Fair warning, this is a time consuming project, but it's simple and looks adorable when finished. 

I used 4 pages per envelope, two front and two back, to make the envelope a little sturdier.  After determining what size the envelopes needed to be, I cut on set of pages down almost two inches to create a fold line for the flap.  The two short pages need a simple stitch across the cut edge only to hold the two pages together. Once the first stitch is in, stack all four pages together. Start a stitch at the cross stitch on the short pages.  This is important because if you start elsewhere the pages can get a bit off and the envelope gets lumpy. Stitch a continuous line around the pages at the size that the inside of your envelope needs to be.  Do a quick back stitch when you get back to the beginning. I used some fun pattern scissors, but really anything would work.  Pinking sheers seem like they would be totally cute! Remember not to use your fabric scissors though. That really turns out poorly for your scissors. 
My brother helped me with a ton of the sewing and we made our (80) envelopes to fit the dimensions of the standard invite (image above contains random paper from the table, not the invites). 

We used a large shipping label to hand address our invites.  Also time consuming, but keeps the charm.

And for the back, a simple fold over, double sided tape, layered stickers (seal and heart), and a "woohoo!" to wrap it all up. 

This style suits New Guy and I.  If you like it clean and super buttoned up, this probably isn't for you.  But the win... We sent a prototype to my brother and 180 miles with the USPS didn't damage the envelope or its contents. Woohoo again! 

The Dessert Table

Okay, I'm on mission to save a few bucks here and there so that I don't stress about New Guy's request to have a band instead of a DJ.  In case you've never looked into it, the price difference is not entirely small.  So, cake.  Seriously, what the hell bakers?  I know you make beautiful cakes, but there has to be a way to come down off the $4.00 per person price tag... plus a delivery fee... cake cutting fee... first born???

So was born the dessert table plan.

At my family functions, there is always too much food. Too much main course, too many sides, and WAY TOO MUCH DESSERT. Don't get me wrong.  I freaking love pie. And my nana's sugar cookies? Heaven.

So I hoped on over to Michael's and grabbed some clearance cupcake stickers and clearance note cards.  Hooray for clearance.  Then I channeled my inner 3rd grade poet (not looking for art, just words that rhyme... don't lie, if you've crafted, you've been there) and spit out this bit of magic... 

The typical wedding gifts of a towel, blender, or pot
Are some of the things at this ripe age that both of us have got.

From the people most important, we want less commercial and more lovin’
So if you have time and the mood is right, we’d LOVE something from your oven.

A table of gorgeous, sweet desserts from your heart and by your hands
Would mean so much more than china, new bedding, or cake stands.

Cookies, cupcakes, candies, pies… it’s really up to you
We just want you there (sans Tupperware) to hear us say, “I do!”

I figure closer to the date, we'll ask what (if anything) people are bringing.  Then plan accordingly to try to recreate something as gorgeous as this: