Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rehearsal Dinner Bouquet

As Briana mentioned in last week's post, we headed down to my hometown for my bridal shower.  I dearly love a good shower - the food, the little old ladies, and the frilly-ness of a shower are so much fun.  I think everyone had a great time eating bacon collard dip, drinking sangria, eating delicious food, and ending the meal with PINK velvet cupcakes!

One of my favorite traditions (and I'm not sure if this is just a Southern thang), is the bridal bouquet made out of  all the pretty ribbons used to decorate the shower gifts.  Whenever I go to a shower I always try to really dress up the package with beautiful high end ribbons and bows to add some oomph to the bouquet.  The bride then keeps the bouquet to carry at the rehearsal dinner.  Briana graciously agreed to arrange my ribbon bouquet for me and she did a great job!!!!

Post Shower Silliness
Please excuse lack of makeup.
Pretty Pretty
I'm so excited! I'm trying to figure out if there is a way I can keep it/showcase it in my apartment after the wedding.  What do y'all think?  I LOVE it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Bridal Shower Weekend and Amazon Registries?

I am so excited! Melinda's bridal shower is this weekend AND I will see her today AND I am going to her fitting AND I am checking out a favorite bridesmaid dress option for my wedding. Big weekend, I know :)

I'm flying into D.C. and riding over to Charlotte with Melinda and Mr. 3. We haven't seen each other in forever - hopefully Mr. 3 is in a good mood so he finds it easier to deal with a Melinda and Briana reunion during the long car ride. Melinda mentioned that he might leave us behind at a rest stop, but I am confident he loves her too much to leave her and she definitely loves me too much to leave me. We plan on chattering, crafting, and planning the entire way.

We are meeting up with my little sister in Charlotte which will only add to the (possibly only our) fun. She will be our bridesmaid model for the dress. Last time I had her try on bridesmaid dresses, she seriously looked good in everything.

Instead of sleeping, I have been redoing my registries every night for the past week. Crazy person.. but I made a huge discovery! Amazon is an authorized retailer of my flatware, sells it for less than Bloomies, and it is available with free amazon prime 2 day shipping. Bloomies gives a 10% discount after the wedding, but Amazon is still a better deal, especially for the hostess set. I will definitely have to check out my other items like my formal china and amazingly luxurious sheets :) Amazon now has wedding registries. Have any of y'all used it? I am tempted but I don't want to make one just for flatware, so it will depend on what else I find.

J and I may have some big news in the near future, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MIT Engagement Photos

Now that you have made it through my first DIY crafting posts, here are a few of my favorite photos from the shoot on Sunday! Annie was so wonderful to spend her Sunday afternoon taking pictures of me and J - she was trying out her new camera, which was very exciting for her :)

A bit about Annie - 
She is one of my bridesmaids, I have lived with her pretty much the entire time I have been in Boston. We were in the math department together at MIT. She is super smart. She just finished her first year in Harvard's Department of Economics PhD program! We obsess about MBTI and discuss random hypotheticals. And we eat Indian food on the floor. I <3 her!

Annie picked up photography as a hobby after graduation last June and she has actually stuck with it. I think she did a wonderful job. Thanks, Annie my love!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Save the Date Sign

As promised yesterday, here is my first wedding craft!

I decided that for the MIT engagement pictures, I wanted to hold a Save the Date sign so we could just make a picture into a post card. I meant to order a small chalkboard to go along with the MIT theme, but I forgot.. 

I bought a large piece of blue paper (52x78) which coordinated well with our outfits and some hot pink paper I already had. I cut out a heart in the blue paper, decided on the text and layout, and then got started on the template for the text. 

J helped me decide how big to make the font - 250 to be exact. After he figured out that the word "Save" should take up most of the short end of a normal piece of printer paper. I eyeballed on it on Word with that info. I also went through all the fonts in Word and settled on Apple Chancery since it is pretty but not too loopy or ornate, things that are bad for cutting out. Here is the template I made for my stencils - since google docs does not have the font that I chose, I made the file a PDF and added in numbers 0-9. 

I cut out one of each letter and number that I would need from the white printer paper and used these pieces as stencils. As you can see, my stencils were white with a black outline. Unfortunately, I could not make that effect "stick," so the template above has solid black letters. Please pass along my apologies to your ink cartridge.

Then I flipped the stencils upside down and traced them on the pink paper. This was not the easiest thing to do, but J's fingers definitely helped out. You have to hold the letter very still or else the tracing comes out all strange. 

Whenever I am gluing paper to paper, I like to squeeze out some Elmers glue into a puddle and let it set up a bit so it is sticky more than runny. Then I use a stretched out bobby pin to place the glue onto the paper. I am sure there is a better way to do this, but I use what materials and tools are easily available to me. Don't put too much glue on the letters or else they will slide around and the glue will seep out and be visible.

I am quite proud of my homemade sign and it turned out pretty cute in the pictures :) I had grand ambitions of outlining all the letters in white glitter (another use of sticky glue and bobby pins), but quickly lost the desire when I realized it was after midnight and I still was not done gluing things down.

Did you have any DIY projects for your Save the Dates? Did you include a picture of you and the groom on them? I am looking for a good service to turn one of the images into a postcard, so share any good suggestions you may have!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Thrift Store Crafting and Engagement Shoot Shopping

Today, my college roommate Annie took pictures of J and I at MIT. While we have amazing pictures from our wedding photographer Justin, I wanted some to commemorate our time at MIT since that is where we started our relationship. I am hoping to use one of these pictures as our Save the Date since we are very much an MIT couple, and I will use some of the others along with the wonderful Justin DeMutiis pictures in our guest book and scattered around the reception.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I am a last minute person - if MIT didn't teach me to not procrastinate, I figure it is hopeless. In true Briana fashion, I went shopping for J's outfit and my accessories yesterday. I chose a dress I had bought a few weeks ago ($35 from H&M!) but J needed an entirely new ensemble since his shorts are all stained and I wanted him to have a solid button up to go with my busy patterned sundress. H&M came through again! He got khaki shorts for $30 and a casual blue button up that looks decent with the sleeves rolled up for $20.

Unfortunately, H&M and Forever 21 did not have any jewelry for me. I had a pretty specific idea of what I wanted, so I dragged J to two craft stores and Walgreens for beads or other crafty bits but only found hooks and wires for making earrings. As a last ditch effort, we went into a thrift store to look for earrings. Instead, I found two necklaces in the style I wanted - big plastic beads :) Inspired by my future sister-in-law Abby's blog, I decided to cut apart one of the necklaces and salvage the beads for earrings.

Here is how I did it

  • Cheap $8 thrift store necklace with pretty white beads
  • scissors
  • some sharp pointy plier thingy that J had (go to Abby's blog to find out what it is called!)
  • hook earwires - used in dangly earrings, very cheap
  • 3 inch head pins, very cheap
  • some flat plier thingy that J used to cut the head pin (not pictured)

I cut the string of the necklace to sort out all the beads. I decided to use both the gold and the white beads and threaded them onto the head pin. As you can see below, the head pin was a bit too long so J snipped it and used his pliers to curve the head pin in a loop to secure it to the hook earwire. You can also see that the earwire is silver but the headwire and the small beads are gold.. poor planning on my part. Oh well!

too long!
just right! note the pretty purple polish
that J surprised me with :)

Final result! Ignore the messy hair - crafting is hard work :)

Cooperative engineers are so helpful in crafting, I have discovered. J assembled the earrings after accompanying me all over Central Square. He also helped with the layout and spacing of the words on our Save the Date sign. Look forward to the post on that tomorrow!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Tool: It's Gross But Effective

I think that proper skin care is one of the most important things to tend to in your personal care regimen.  This includes SPF, moisturizer, cleansing, and slathering on the wrinkle cream at every opportunity (I've been using eye cream since I was have all the girls in France).  Unfortunately despite all this attention, I get the occasional breakout like everyone else, but Briana has brought me a tool that makes deal with these issues when they come up.

No Slip Skin Care Tool
This tool is awesome (well as awesome as blemish removal can be)!  I won't go into the gross details but it makes taking care of breakouts and blackheads very efficient, relatively painless, and it keeps them from coming back in the future - mostly because it's made out of stainless steel and you don't have to use your fingers (a common method of removal) which prevents you from spreading the oils and bacteria to your face and causing more breakouts.

Check it out!  Let us know how you like it (but please no graphic photo submissions...our stomachs can't take it).

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kentucky Derby: A Break from the Wedding Chaos

Last week Mr. 3, Mr. 3 Senior, and I went to the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby races.  I dearly love a good horse race and it was a great time!  I needed a bit of a break from wedding planning and besides reading the most recent edition of the Knot magazine and dealing with a couple of vendor contracts on the ride to Louisville, I didn't do too much in the way of wedding planning.

Derby Day!
I love going to the Derby (this was my second year!) and getting dressed up for the occasion (I love hats...and they are a total necessity in addition to the preferred fashion choice).  However, some ladies (and I use the term loosely here) certainly need to work on their behavior and dress code...while at the Derby, I spotted (this is the short list of horrors):

1. A girl who had tucked an unidentified object in her underwear (which Mr. 3 decided was either a purse or wallet) which was visible through her tight dress;
2. A woman sitting on a bench with a short dress and her legs spread; and
3. A REALLY pregnant woman wearing a booty dress, hooker heels, and swilling mint juleps.

Exhibit 1
Foreign Object
To top it off, I got to see an older lady (because of the amount of skin damage and smoker's wrinkles I couldn't tell you how old she was...32-82 would be my guess) at the Hampton Inn continental breakfast in her jammies...without the appropriate undergarments, and clearly, she had never used the Victoria's Secret sports bra.

Now, I'm not a snooty social etiquette type of person, but I do not believe in safekeeping things in my underpants, letting the world see my lady bits, or fetal alcohol syndrome.  However, I will say that this was faaaaaar more entertaining that the most recent edition of the Knot magazine and dealing with vendor contracts.  What have you other brides been doing to get your mind off the stress of wedding planning?  Let us know!