31 March 2011
My mother in law, Donna went with me on my first wedding-related DIY shopping trip back in August/September. We went to Hobby Lobby because I was so overwhelmed by where to start planning that I couldn't come up with anything! SO not like me (I'm lucky my mom and my future second mom are both crafty)!
We were focusing on table decorations first. I knew I didn't want flowers on the table necessarily, nor anything else that impedes conversation due to size.
Luckily Donna asked the Million Dollar Question: "What do you like?"
I answered simply, "Mason Jars."
"Let's do jar centerpieces then."
They're short enough to talk over, easy to find and afford, and you can customize the bizingo out of them. How would we choose to customize them, though?
Donna said she had experience glass painting so we went to the book section and found a book on hand painted glasses.
I can't wait to see how amazing they all look together on the tables!
30 March 2011
I originally wanted a yellow / green dress. Yellow is just my color!
When searching you are faced with 3 options: Have a short dress, pay the price or buy a white one to dye! Having a short dress is by far the easiest option. There's no shortage of pettiskirts and square dancing petticoats the perfect length! Here's one superb website I found.
Loca Loves Pirate has some cutie pastel babies, too. They're even full length!
So what's a budget-spent bride to do?! It involved massive preparation research, scissors, and blind faith. A couple weekends ago when I was making our invitations, I asked my mom to enlist in helping me cut my crinoline out of my dress. With scissors. She surprisingly did not look at me like I was too crazy, but we both felt aprehensive about the whole thing. If I had thought about it much more, I wouldn't have done it.
- Put on your dress.
- Have a helper pull up the top layer(s) so that you can only see the crinoline layer.
- Make a guide snip at waist-height where you'll be cutting accross the crinoline.
- Take off the dress.
- Lay out the dress on the bed and pull all the layers up over the top of the dress, making sure the only layer exposed is the crinoline layer.
- Just like with cutoff shorts, find your guide snip. Now read: DO NOT CUT THROUGH BOTH LAYERS. ONE LAYER AT A TIME ONLY.
- Just like with cut off shorts, cut in a straight line across the front.
- Flip the dress over. You'll see why you don't cut through both layers.
- The back of a wedding dress is almost always where it zips, laces, yada yadas... and there will be a panel back there you don't want to cut that separates the dress closure from your bare skin. So taking care to cut AROUND that part, Cut straight across the back, around the panel and back straight across to finish.
- Pull out your crinoline, hang your dress back up and committ yourself. Not to your fiance(e)... To an asylum. You're officially NUTS for doing this DIY.
In the meantime, there is a whole SECTION of Offbeat Bride that features just weddings with colored-crinoline brides. Enjoy!
We saw Shawn's sandals at a store called Euphoria in Lincoln, NE when we went to Lincoln on our first ring shopping trip... I'll have to write about that also. Shawn has EcoDragon sandals which are made of sustainably harvested hemp fiber. They last FOREVAR and you can recycle them at the end of their use.
He liked them but it wasn't until the week after when he divulged to me "I want to wear those sandals at our wedding. But they're so expensive." I told him, "Shawn. If you want those sandals for your wedding, you're getting them! I can have a hundreds-of-dollars wedding dress, you can have those damn sandals! ... I'll buy them myself!!!"
So we planned a trip back to Lincoln to try on dresses at the BEST SALON EVAR called Ellyne's and we also went back to Euphoria and bought those sandals! I was more excited about that than my dress experience in Lincoln. Let's not write about that, by the way...
Last Wednesday I took them out to look at them with Shawn's sandals to swoon over how perfect they are together and I examined mine particularly well. On the bag they come in, it says "UTOPIAN Rope Sandals. Handmade by Tom." I wanted to know who Tom was to tell him how wonderful the shoes are and that I love them so much they're going to be my wedding shoes. I looked up UTOPIAN rope sandles on 'teh googles' and found out from Wiki that these shoes are beautiful how they're made, too.
Tom and his community, East Wind, make these sandles along with nut butters and tahini. All the income is pooled for the community to cover medical expenses and each member is given food, clothing, shelter, education and personal money. They believe in equality, social democracy and nonviolence. Each member contributes man hours and lives together, voting on every decision made by the community. So East Wind in Tecumseh, MO is responsible for the creation of my wedding shoes.
Can you say Beautiful?
29 March 2011
28 March 2011
24 March 2011
I'm literally losing my mind. I'd say it's funny or lol but I'm having a seriously hard time right now at the last stages of planning the wedding. It's like I'm having cold feet about everything but Shawn_bunnay. I think this was brought about when I listed all our DIY projects and counted them yesterday. It made me feel... it gave me the sensation of sinking. What's more sad: most of the projects are done and I still feel like this.
Everyday I take my role in the blogging community very seriously. I'm not a professional... yet(Omaha brides are my favorite!), but I think it all starts with conducting yourself in a professional way with everything you do. To me this means returning the favor of compliments and growing the collection of blogs that I read into a well-rounded-topics-including-random community. So everyday on great blogs like Style Me Pretty, Hello Gorgeous, lovely little details and Grey Likes Weddings, I see wedding after wedding of gorgeous gowns, high-end venues and mind-blowing photography. This leads me to naturally compare our wedding to those weddings, and the problem is right there. Each wedding is very different, just like the people they are for. You cannot compare people so why would you compare weddings, the epitome of a personal celebration, to anyone else's?! I'm crazy for even going there, I now know that!
I just started thinking about how we planned: in a budget. We didn't plan by what we liked. I didn't want a $10,000+, artistically documented, couture gown, and Pantone-coordinated wedding planned by a design firm (That combination sounds like something I'd like to see, though!)
I wanted a $0, handmade, outside-y, heartfelt and candidly captured wedding that would have people driving home in their cars saying, "They really love each other."
And I think we have created that.
No, my photographer isn't "professional," but she's only such in the sense she currently doesn't have an office. She describes her business as "accidental" because she's really a nurse. The demand for her photography services at weddings is the only reason she's still doing her business. She's currently doing a wedding in Spain!!! Looking at her photos, I see that she thinks in pictures when she's looking at real-life. Who wouldn't want a photographer who can do that?!
Yes, I'm making our cake. I have tasted and tried every single cake I have ever seen and I won't apologize or backtrack when I say "My cakes are rockin'-- visually and taste-wise..." I haven't been beaten so far. Ask Shawn's friends...
35 DIY projects including design aspects of styling (people + spaces+events), graphic design, pastry design, textile design (including embroidery, hand-dying, pattern making, sewing and crocheting) is INSANE but people, this is what handmade wedding in under a year looks like. It is insane. Anyone who DIY's their wedding without a full year is nuts as well. I've been here to know!
Looks like I have some foreground advice set in the hindsight mind, but I hope that this helps anyone not to compare their wedding to anyone else's and simply love it in conjunction to the other weddings you see simply for what it is.
It's a celebration of the start of a marriage.
Invitations are done! Woo hoo! I went down to my parent's house on Saturday and assembled them all! It was quite the job but here's the final product...
Second Meltdown was the main design I had worked out didn't work out! I ordered a paper punch in the shape of a butterfly to stamp out where our names are now and write them on the blue behind it. The punch doesn't let you slide any kind of length of paper past it so you can only make confetti with it or put butterflies on the bottom of your paper or upside down anywhere else. Bah!
23 March 2011
|Head Table Butterflies from Michael's|
I have never spent this much before in my life on any one thing and that's kind of scary! I'm sure I'll never spend this much on anything(event-wise) again! I think the decoration total has far surpassed the gown total. Our basement apartment is full of blue spools of ribbon, boxes full of paper lanterns, rehearsal dinner supplies and TONS of fake flora and fauna that is spewing everywhere.
The first things we bought was a thick roll of ivory tulle, brown glitter butterfly clips for the head table and our thank you notes(yay, us!).
Next I bought my Flowerpeople's hair accessores supplies and also my garter supplies, which contributes to the first two rolls of blue ribbon I found myself beginning to collect. That was also my first(not to be remotely the last) elastic rodeo. It went well!
Then I found the butterfly decorations of my dreams! I work for a novelty company but not the one these came from! I couldn't find these anywhere and they're absolutely perfect. They each have a twist-tie backing so they can go everywhere and anywhere in our venue! They're going to be "flying" around all over! I also got these wooden ladybugs (and they are from where I work!) for the Flowerpeople's hair accessories and I also will scatter these around like the butterflies so they look like they're crawling around comfortably enjoying the wedding, too!
I found another company (sorry, work!) that I purchased ALL of my sunflowers from. I could not find a better price on silk sunflower stems so I ordered extra just incase! Now I have a box full of sunflower goodness that it's hard to keep the cats out of! The box is a great craft-project-bags holder, too!
On my 234th time back to Michael's I found the big Flowerpeople's Gerber daisy stems to make flower wands for them to carry for $1 each. Score!
I also acquired another roll of blue ribbon (Jumbo size!) and all my invitation supplies: my paper cutter, my tracing paper pads, sunflower sticker seals, brown pens, an adhesive Butterfly border from Martha that matched our wedding album(!!!!) and some brown pigment pens for incidental writing on the invites.
I did have to buy my paper punch for the invites separately on Amazon, though!
Last week I needed more yellow ribbon before starting my Flowerpeople's hair accessories so being in the ribbon aisle at MICHAELS AGAIN, I purchased another jumbo roll of the blue ribbon so I think our ribbon purchases are over. 150 yards of bows ought to do it?
I just did several orders to my place of work so they're currently getting make-up sales for my wedding supplies. I'm getting our flutes, our lanterns, the aisle-runner(a DIY project coming soon!), the ladybugs, the gifts for our Flowerpeople, our serving set, more rolls of tulle, Dec-Ons sugar ladybugs(for the cake because the wooden ones aren't for food), our photobooth cameras and our wedding bubbles. I ordered our rehearsal dinner supplies from them months ago because some of it was discontinued and I just needed it. It helped spacing out the purchases to make them manageable in $20, $50 and $100 chunks.
|Oriental Trading Lanterns|
Now given the scope of the decoration purchases, you may understand how much we have purchased. You may also get an idea of how much that may be. Let me just say, that if we were paying regular rent to an apartment, maybe a third of this would have been purchased. So it is safe to say that thanks to Shawn's Grandpa who is letting us stay in the basement at the rate of $All the food, cooking & dishes + Shawn's Handiwork. So a big thanks for the possibility of decorations to Grandpa! His willingness to help us and sense of family has made our wedding beautiful.
22 March 2011
21 March 2011
I stretched the hanky over an embroidery hoop and lightly penciled my work onto the fabric. I covered my pencil marks with white satin stitch and then handwashed it in lukewarm, lightly soapy water. I layed it flat to dry on a white washcloth, and Last month at this time we had the weekend where we found Shawn's suit, my something borrowed and my something old.
17 March 2011
Captured in real time. This has not been edited.
This beauty will be a "Buttons for the Bride" jar at the guestbook table and then moved to the bar area so if any family members who previously gifted or had wished to gift the HiLLjO buttons, there is ample opportunity to drop 'em in the jar at the wedding.
Christmas of 2009 my mom wrote and called friends and members of our family to put buttons in a jar for me since I collect them... and the only thing I love more than a jar is a jar of buttons. So for a few months, my family members and friends scoured drawers and pockets for plastic baggies of extra buttons or any loose strays. The result was the container you see here on top of the washer/dryer since the jar they were originally in broke. Now we have a new jar and hopefully more buttons for the bride!
16 March 2011
So awhile ago I made some flower girl + junior b-maid (= flowerpeople) hair accessories. I posted them here and I realized they weren't quite finished. They definitely needed some ladybugs so I got some tiny wooden ladybugs from my work.
|The dark side of DIY the Knot will never tell you about..|
15 March 2011
14 March 2011
If you haven't heard of this brave woman and the beautiful people who are helping her and rallying support, please go read Layla's story and feel free to contribute at either donation site.
Jars of Love Operation Layla
Besides the dresses I have now, I could not have pictured myself in a regular white wedding gown. When I started my quest for a dress in August of 2010, I spied the Vera Wang magic that was Didi: an apple green hand-painted sweetie of a ballgown.
I looked into getting a replica made of either one, or getting a custom white and yellow version of Didi made, but as you can see here, by November it worked itself out.
I have no regrets, I have the dress I love and I can't wait to wear it. I can't wait to wear my vintage second dress, too!
I still want to mention the dresses because they are the most beautiful dresses I've ever seen besides my wedding gown(s)! I think I would have gone with the Didi. I would sleep in it at night.
Which one do you like?
What's more: Would you ever wear a colored wedding dress?
10 March 2011
IT HAPPENED!!! It got made! I found the perfect foliage to finish it and I don't even have good instructions because it was kind of a "if this works, great; if not, back to flower-in-the-hair plan" thing. So with an organic creation process, all I have is lots of pictures. :o)
PS: Did I mention that today is the 3 month mark!? YIKES! I did get the invitation paper cut last night though, ready to go to printer's!!!
09 March 2011
I have come to a point in planning where the budget is thin, as things are getting wrapped up. Most of my DIY projects are in motion currently or they are completed, and the one I was purposely neglecting was the one that cost the most: the second dress.
A lot of women do a reception dress or a second wedding dress. The bride who inspired my decision about a second dress, I read about here.
Now time is crunching and so is budget and I don't have $100+ to go and buy a dress I don't really need. I have decided to wear my beautiful vintage Gunne Sax Dress I found as my wedding dress for before-photos. It will go well with my headpiece (more to come on that soon!) and I really love it. Like I said, if I didn't have a dress already, that'd be the one.
08 March 2011
07 March 2011
These weekend was DIY central yet again. Here are the supplies for the little girls' hair accessories strewn out for visual purposes! Yarn, hot glue (soon-to-be-evil) and a multitude of my buttons, among other things.
04 March 2011
02 March 2011
|Bunny Wedding |
So onto the rushing DIY tide, everyone. It's going to be appearing so frequently you won't know what to do.
For today's DIY I want to share with you my plans for it first. At the venue, we are having a guest book table (duh) set up with our matted photo, a centerpiece, our big potted Saguaro and a couple of sock bunnies. That's right not sock monkeys, sock bunnies.
You see, I make sock monkeys and sell them on etsy and Shawn & I have our own; but for our bunny-themed wedding we need some sock bunnies, mmk? I don't share a pattern for my monkeys because of two reasons: 1) I make them different each time and 2) I share a lot, but some things are proprietary to even the HiLLjO.
There are a ton of free patterns out there like this one that work wonderfully.
For Shawn's bunny, I stuffed and sewed bunny feet instead of regular feet and I made long ears. I also pre-sewed the bunny profile before stuffing the main body sock. Here's a teaser of him without his eyes and outfit.
Love & Welcome All
|Thank you for coming by to read my experiences as a wife and what came before it, as well. My husband Shawn and I were married June 10, 2011 in Omaha, NE! I enjoy sharing my stories and hearing other people's stories so please feel free to share any in the comments (especially dress stories!). I LOVE comments!|