Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wedding Programs Part 1: Program Covers

Sorry I've been absent lately Posh Purpose readers!  My wedding day is coming up quick and I've been busy/stressed.  Besides the guest list/RSVPs and waiting to figure out exactly how many people we are going to host at the wedding, I've gotten behind on my crafty projects.

One of my biggest tasks has been creating the wedding programs.  I don't believe in spending tons of money on programs, but I did want something a little nicer than a folded sheet of cheap copy paper.  Also, while programs aren't a huge visual focal point at a wedding, every person will direct their eyes and attention to the program in order to follow along the service...therefore, using my wedding cost logic, it is worth spending the money and time on a program that is made of nice paper and looks attractive.

I looked around at a number of places online, but they were all either too expensive for my tastes ($2.35 at a minimum!) or they were all kinds of fugly/didn't fit with my wedding at all.  I found an article online at Paper Source and decided to attempt the booklet program.

I decided to explore using my Silhouette Cameo machine to fashion up some program covers.  I had bought the Cameo several months ago in anticipation of all things wedding using Christmas money (at the time, Overstock.com had the best deal and I also had a groupon offer that saved me another $15).  While I love the Cameo and all it can do...it's user software and owner's manual isn't the most helpful.  After much trial and error, I decided to make a doily design cut out with a W monogram (my new initial!).  I'm using doilies throughout the reception, so I thought it would be a good way to tie the ceremony and the reception together.

I visited the lovely people at Paper Source (I'd heard from another bride that Paper Source was the best quality bulk paper to buy and it was better than anything at the craft store).  I'll spare you the hour long discussion I had with the ladies there, but ultimately I decided on using the A6 folded card as the program cover in the blossom color (the "guts" of the program will be printed on text weight paper in the stardream quartz shade and the whole thing will be tied off with a ribbon...but more on that later).

Paper Source
A6 Folded Card in Blossom

After setting up the design and calibrating the design to fit the A6 card (this was a pain in the tush and it took Mr. 3's IT guru powers to figure this part out), I began printing/cutting them out....one at a time....until I got to 130 programs...

program cover

Part of the issue is that the Silhouette dimensions would only allow me to fit one A6 sized card per print session and everything that you do on the Cameo has to be one by one (there is no auto feed like you have with an office printer).  Further, the Cameo operates by putting the media material (i.e. the A6 card) onto a sticky cutting mat, cutting out the design, and then you have to peel the media from the mat leaving the sticky bits behind which must also be peeled off.

left over "bits"

The Cameo comes with one cutting mat and I decided to speed up the process by ordering a second mat and a scraping tool (to get the little bits off) through Amazon.com.  That way, while one program was cutting, I could prepare the other mat.

It still took forever.  Make sure to allow plenty of time if you are going to use the Cameo for any large volume of materials if you can't fit more than one item on the mat.  All told, it probably took me about 24 hours to design, order supplies, and cut out the programs.

Luckily, I still LOVE them.  Price wise it was really cost effective.  Paper Source offers bulk discounts and each pack of A6 cards is $6.50 for 20 cards.  If you order 10 or more packs you get a 10% discount.  At the time, I thought I would need to make about 180 covers, plus I needed one pack for trial and error testing, so I ordered 10 packs and qualified for the discount (Paper Source didn't have enough of the A6 cards in the blossom color, but if you order in store, Paper Source will waive shipping costs for orders over $50).  Since I wound up only printing about 130 covers plus testing, the covers wound up costing about $43 for the A6 cards...which is about 33 cents a piece.  I'm not including the cost of the other items (cutting mat, blades, Cameo, etc), because I'm able to use those for other wedding projects and I will probably keep using the Cameo for future post-wedding crafting projects.

Stay tuned for the rest of the wedding programs....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guest List Google Doc

My Save the Date post got me thinking about how people organize the massive beast that is the guest list. Since I have three people working on the guest list - Mom, J, and myself - it made perfect sense to create a google doc so we can all edit whenever it is convenient. I created this template for myself since it organizes the guests perfectly for us - feel free to download and alter things as it suits you! It has a page for the Bride and for the Groom, and on each page there is a section for family, friends, and mom's friends. I have a summation for each page and a total on the bride page. I keep adding in columns for various things so that I only have one location to check when I have a question. I hope this doc will keep me organized about gifts and thank you notes, too! We are having the gifts shipped out to Josiah in Vegas, so he will have to open them (sad, I know but he will do it over facetime so I can enjoy the gift opening - then he will close it up so I can reopen when I get there) and then type the description of the gift in the doc so that I can write the thank you note.

Of course, my template won't work as well for people who have a lot of shared friends or those who have a guest list with minimal parental additions, but it works great for us. Did you make your own guest list doc on google docs? Or did you go another route? We would love to hear about what works for you!

Save the Dates have arrived!

My Save the Dates arrived! I ordered this postcard from Minted and I am really happy with how they turned out. Minted was super easy to use, the quality is great, and delivery was prompt. There was also a 10% off code on the front page that I could use towards my purchase. If you surf around the website for a bit, an offer to take a Minted survey will pop up and you can complete it for 10% off as well. Now Mom and I are trying to gather all the addresses - J was very prompt and filled in almost all his addresses about a month ago :)

Mom's good friend has offered to address the Save the Dates for me! I am so thrilled! I have absolutely horrible handwriting and hers is just so so pretty :) and it will save me a lot of hand cramps and frustration. She has always been happy to help - when I decided to theme my senior prom look after Barbie, she came over to help with the liquid eyeliner and ridiculousness that comes along with a pink mermaid ball gown.

I will post a picture in a few weeks once they have been mailed out. Crazy how fast things seem to be moving right now! Natalia and I are off to St. Petersburg for Melinda's bachelorette party today. Beach weekend! Natalia is in the process of baking wedding diet appropriate pineapple coconut cupcakes, apparently 65 calories per regular sized cupcake (does not include whipped cream on top) - will post recipe after the weekend!

Big News!

Hey y'all! I mentioned previously that I may have some big news and now that I finally have a moment to blog, I can share with y'all. J got a new job and just moved out there. New location: Las Vegas!

It is not exactly what I had in mind, but the most important thing to me was no more winter and Vegas definitely fits that description and J is super excited about his new project while at Romotive! I will be moving out there after the wedding and am definitely looking forward to this new adventure in our lives. It will be my third corner of the country, since I've already lived in Florida and New England. However, I want to make it very clear to everyone that I have no intention of rounding it out and moving to the Northwest at any point - too cold, too cold!

The past two weeks have been absolutely insane with all the packing and cleaning. I did not have much up in Boston, but J had lived in the same apartment for like three years or something and I'm sure you can imagine how much stuff he had accumulated. I really really hate packing, especially for crosscountry moves. But I decided to be positive and focus on all of his "man" things that I could finally donate/sell/throw away :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Review: Bed, Bath, and Beyond

Poor customer service is one of my greatest pet peeves.  When I get unhelpful cranky people telling me they can't help me it drives me nuts and makes me think "clearly the economy isn't that bad if people can afford to lose customers."  Poor customer service is also demoralizing...I can't tell you how many people I've seen accept bad service because it seems too troublesome to bring to someones attention.

That stated, I try to always tell people when I have a great customer service experience because I feel like it helps boost morale!  One of my dear sweet mama's, dear sweet friends ordered me three casserole dishes as a shower present from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  She had them shipped to my house so I didn't have to cart them back from my house in NC aaaalllll the way to DC.  I just received the shipment yesterday and based on the box's condition and the rattling I heard when I lifted the box, I knew something was up.  One of the casserole dishes was completely broken due to sub par bubble wrapping.

See how that beautiful and functional bubble wrap lies to the side?
Like I said, sub par.
I immediately called BBB to report the damage (they have 24 hour service!) and after a quick conversation with a very sweet lady named Marilyn, BBB is replacing the broken dish and shipping me a new one free of charge.  Marilyn asked me for my registry number to confirm that the item was purchased/shipped from my registry and then asked me to email me a picture of the damaged piece in the box (she was very concerned about me cutting myself on the broken stoneware and told me to throw the broken one away immediately after sending the photo...ah, the joys of liability concerns).  After emailing her the picture, she responded within 2 hours telling me that she had what she needed and BBB would process my shipment.  Although I feel like BBB did their due diligence in making sure I wasn't a fraudster, I never felt like BBB was hassling me or providing me with poor customer service.  I highly recommend using them for your bridal registry.  I like knowing I can get my broken dishes quickly resolved at all hours of the day..plus, they always have a coupon!