Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Engagement Photos -- Discuss And Get One Free

Update: This post is originally from 2012, but there is a new free print deal available, so I'm reworking and reposting it.

engagement photos

When we were living in New York, Pete and I went to a park. I can't remember the name of it at all, but that's not really important. I could ask him if it really mattered ... but it doesn't.

Oh, Wave Hill. It just came to me.

Anyway, we went to Wave Hill and it was gorgeous. We walked around the gardens, through the woods, looked at the bridge and the river, and at the end, we both said this is where we'd take our engagement photos.

Except now that we are engaged, I don't think we're going to take them. My friend Mallory, who got married in July 2012, got hers done, so I had to borrow some of hers for this post.

Engagement photos, they're very nice and are appropriate for Save the Date cards ... but realistically, you use one photo for the Save the Date card and that's it. So to spend hundreds of dollars on one photo, that's silly to me (although, come to think of it, that's what people do every year with school pictures).

(We actually ended up taking them with a photographer who was looking for photos for her portfolio. She didn't charge us, but we did tip her because I didn't feel right getting them completely for free. We did end up using just one photo of the set for our save the dates and a canvas print to hang in our bedroom.)

engagement photos

We took one picture the day of our engagement and that's what I used for our engagement party invites. Good enough for me.

If you have that one photo, you can print it for free until November 29, 2014 at Walgreens. Just use that link to head over to the drugstore's site, create an account for free (or log into yours), upload your photo, select to have it printed as an 8x10, and enter the code BIGPICFREE at checkout. Choose in store pickup and it will be completely free.

If you already got married but didn't print any photos yet, now is the time to make that nice big 8x10 for grandma. She'll be happy to get it and won't know that you didn't pay any money for it.

Now, for posterity's sake, I'm going to leave this post up forever, but the free print is only good until Saturaday. If you're planning your wedding, definitely take advantage of this. Freebies are the key to keeping your wedding budget under control.

And, if you're really at a loss about what to print, check out the free wedding printable we created for taxi cab numbers.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Did you get engagement photos professionally taken?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DIY Wedding Invitation Ornament

I'm always looking to ways to preserve wedding memories, especially ones that don't take up so much room. I mean, if it was up to me, I would have every piece of wedding stationery on display in our living room, but that's a little impractical. 

The other day, I put together a DIY ornament tutorial to turn your wedding flowers into a Christmas ornament. While I was working on it, I also created a second DIY ornament tutorial, this Wedding Invitation Ornament tutorial.

Wedding Invitation Ornament

Now, before we get started: I only have one copy of our invitation for our scrapbook, so I didn't use it. Instead, I used the do not disturb signs I created at 123Print.

Wedding Invitation Ornament

What You'll Need:

  • Glass ornaments (I used these 60mm Darice ornaments)
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Pen
  • Invitation (or do not disturb sign, in my case)
  • Paper trimmer
What You'll Do:

Wedding Invitation Ornament

Cut the invitation into quarter-inch strips.

Wedding Invitation Ornament

Wrap them around a pen to curl (I stuck one end under the cap to hold it in place).

Wedding Invitation Ornament

Put the curled strip into the glass ornament.

Wedding Invitation Ornament

Continue until the ornament is filled. Then, put the top back on.

Wedding Invitation Ornament

Tie a piece of ribbon to the stop. This is what you'll use to hang it.

This was really simple and just came out beautifully. I have it hanging on our CD rack right now (because yes, I still have CD's. In fact, I just got Taylor Swift's 1989 for my birthday last week). It's hanging next to our other DIY ornament. When we put up our tree for the season, we'll hang them there ... then pack them away until the following Christmas.

This actually would be a really cute idea for when you have kids. You could make one a with your kid's birthday party invitation every year, then give him or her a full set on his or her eighteenth birthday. I would have absolutely loved this, so I'm sure your (future) children will too.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Do you think you could make this DIY ornament?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Five Things To Do With Your Wedding Flowers After Your Wedding

Wedding flowers can get really expensive. There's your bouquet, your bridesmaids' bouquets, petals for your flower girls, corsages for your moms and grandmas, boutineers for your groom, his groomsmen, any ring bearers, and the fathers, alter flowers, pew markers, and anything you decide to have for the reception.

Most couples allocate 8% of their budget for flowers. We were really lucky that our venue had centerpieces we could borrow so we didn't have to spend for floral centerpieces. Plus, the flower shop we used was so reasonable (it was nearly half of what another shop quoted us for nearly identical packages). We ended up spending 4% of our budget on flowers, which is half of what I had estimated so I was happy.

But what about when the wedding is over? What should you do with your wedding flowers then?

Five Things To Do With You Wedding Flowers After The Wedding

1. Donate them
We had two large arrangements for the church's alter, plus four pew markers (so that people knew to leave those pews open for immediate family and the wedding party). When we had a meeting with the priest before our wedding, I asked what we were supposed to do with the flowers after. "Most people donate them to the church," he said, before adding, "But you can take them if you want." So we left them. We actually also donated my toss bouquet because no one thought to grab it before we left the church (which is exactly why a toss bouquet is on my list of things you can skip at your wedding).

As far as bouquets, you can donate those too. You'll be taking them with you to the reception, so you won't donate to the church. But, pre-wedding, call a local nursing home or hospital. Ask them if they accept floral donations. Many of them do, so just put a bridesmaid in charge of collecting flowers (bouquets, centerpieces, decor) and driving them to donate the next day. Just be sure to keep the flowers hydrated overnight so you're not donating wilted and half dead flowers.

2. Preserve them
I am a big supporter of using silica gel to preserve your wedding flowers. It's a time-consuming process (and most of that time is waiting) but you can do it at home. And the flowers come out absolutely amazing, especially compared to drying them. The colors are so bright and vibrant. I have an entire post on how to preserve your flowers at home, so definitely take a look at that.

If you don't care about colors, you can always just dry them. Instructions for that are above.

I actually did what I could with silica gel (you need a container for that and mine had limited space) and left the rest of the bouquet to dry on its own. I actually have the dried bouquet sitting on my work desk. 

3. Create a shadow box from them
After you've preserved them, you'll want something to do with them. You can be like me and leave them sitting on your desk or you can create a display. You best bet is a shadow box. You can purchase them in a variety of sizes. If you've never seen one, they're basically plump frames. Instead of having room only for a thin, flat paper like a frame, these are wide so you can fit a bunch of stuff between the glass and the backing. You can pin your flowers to look like your arrangement or just add a few petals along with other wedding mementos.

4. DIY a Christmas ornament
If you're even a little bit crafty, you can put together a Christmas ornament with your flowers. Just purchase some glass ornaments and pieces of your bouquet inside. These is really great if you have any sort of jeweled embellishments on your bouquet. Plus, you can use the ribbon from your bouquet as the ribbon for the top. You can check out my DIY Christmas ornament tutorial, but this is pretty self explanatory. 

This is a great thing for people who aren't too sentimental and don't want to see wedding flowers displayed 24/7. This goes on your tree during the holiday season and then it goes back in a box for another year. You're sentimental, but not year round (plus, if you need a constant reminder that you got married, just turn around and look at your groom).

5. Throw them out
Oh my heart hurts at that suggestion, but that's because I am the most sentimental pack rat you will ever meet. I can throw magazines away so easily because I don't need reminders of if Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber are on again or off again. But childhood toys or handwritten notes, I can't throw them away because I can't get them back. And that's how I feel with anything wedding related. The day comes and goes and you don't get a do over. But, honestly, you have tons of photos of your bouquet. If you want a reminder of how they looked, you can just go back to your wedding photos. And that's a lot less clutter than the actual flowers.

But even with that photo above (and a ton of others that I took when my second bouquet came), I still couldn't bring myself to throw it out.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What's your plan for your wedding flowers?
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