Thursday, April 24, 2014

All Around The Mulberry Bush (And a little glimpse into my life)

When we got engaged, my friend Mallory sent us our first engagement gift. It was a joke gift, she said. (If you haven't seen it, you can check it out here).

We had it sitting on our table for months. When my brother and his girlfriend got engaged in December, I knew exactly what to give them: Mallory's gag gift. So I took some wrapping paper and ribbon and wrapped it up, never mentioning to Mallory that the gift was taking a trip to another engaged couple.

Mallory texted me the next day.

"Do you still have that engagement gift I sent you?" she asked. I looked over at my wrapped gift wondering if she wanted it back after I had it for over a year.

She then told me an idea her mom had given her. And, since I thought it was a fantastic idea, I unwrapped the gift to follow the instructions.

She told me write her and her husband's names at the bottom, followed by their wedding date. She then told me to write our names at the bottom followed by our wedding date. My brother and his fiance would follow with their names, on and on until the gift stopped making its rounds. It went from gag gift to incredibly sentimental gift with just a few permanent ink markers.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Do you have any engagement traditions in your circle?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY Bridal Shower Favor (Tutorial)

When I can't sleep, it's because my mind is racing with wedding thoughts. To quell them, I go on Pinterest and scroll through wedding ideas. It's like a bedtime story. When I was scrolling through, I pinned a bridal shower favor idea that someone had originally pinned from PSJBoutique on Etsy.

Yesterday, our Internet went down at 2pm and was down a dozen hours before I went to bed. So, during that time, I decided I would recreate the shower favor.

It was so easy, plus I used items I already had in my home.

What You'll Need:

  • Two pieces of cardstock, one white, one colored (I used leftover from JamPaper that I used for my flip flop basket tutorial)
  • Bar of soap (I used Ivory because that's what I had at home but you can use anything)
  • Ribbon (also from my flip flop basket tutorial)
  • Tape
  • Pen
  • 1-inch corner rounder
What You'll Do:

Cut two pieces of cardstock. I used a paper cutter to make it a little easier. The colored sheet is 2 x 2.5 and the white is 1.5 x 2.

Use the corner rounder to cut the corners. Do this for both rectangles. It just adds such a professional touch when your corners are round.

Write your favorite text on the white card. You can use:
  • Thanks for coming to my shower.
  • From my shower to yours.
  • Had a nice shower? Have another!
  • Showered with love.
Or you can make your own.

Tape the white cardstock to the purple. Tape that to the ribbon.

Run the ribbon the length of the soap and tape it together in the back. It's okay if your ribbon is a little short. It's just the back.

Ta da.

So easy.

If you want to make them even easier, you could print out the saying so you don't have to hand write it every time. I think handwriting makes it a little more personal, but it's up to you. These are super cheap, super easy, and will definitely make a cute impression at a shower.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What saying would you write on the front of these?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Registry Rewards: Get A $25/$25 Kohl's Coupon Just For Registering (It's like getting paid to shop)

I loved registering. I loved it so much that I actually wrote a lengthy post about it (check that out here). We thought about also registering at Kohl's, just for a variety of price points, but we never did. If you never did either, now is the time to do it.

My friend Mara just told me about a fantastic Registry Reward from Kohl's.

How? It's simple. Head over to Kohl's website and create a wedding registry that contains 15 or more items. At the final page of the registry, enter the code MSWEDDINGS. In two to four weeks, you'll get a coupon mailed to you for $25 off a $25+ purchase. This offer is valid on registries created at Kohl's from March 2 to June 24.

The coupon will be valid for two months after you receive it. This is a great way to pick up the items that you didn't receive at your bridal shower. You can also pair it with the registry completion offer that Kohl's has. You'll save 15% on items left on your registry, up to three months after your wedding.

And, when you're registering, don't forget about the other registry completion rewards at Kohl's. When we registered, we picked what we liked, not what had extra incentives -- but it was nice to find out after my shower that we did qualify for a completion reward.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Did you take advantage of this Kohl's offer?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bridesmaids Gift Idea: Knot Jewelry

I'm a huge fan of puns. If you remember, our engagement party favors had personalized peppermint patties that said "mint to be" on them. Knot jewelry to thank your bridesmaids for helping you tie the knot absolutely falls in line with my favorite puns.

I was chatting with my wedding twin Kristiana this morning about knot jewelry, and we were talking about specific pieces. I figured we can't be the only ones who have had this idea, so I went through a bunch of items and picked out my favorite knot jewelry pieces (so you don't have to).

Sterling Silver Love Knot Bangle ($19.99)

Knot a Moment Too Soon Bracelet ($12.99)

Tiffany Twist Knot Pendant ($125)

Sterling Silver Wire Infinity Knot Ring ($7.60)

Bling Jewelry Sterling Silver Twist Wire Love Knot Stud Earrings ($24.99)

Alex and Ani Celtic Knot Charm Russian-Gold Expandable Bangle Bar Bracelet ($28)

Brinley Co. Knotted 2-Piece Ring in Gold Fill and Sterling Silver ($12.99)

Szul Jewelry 10K White Gold Round Cut Diamond Knot Pendant ($189.63)

So after I put the photo together (and having it crash my laptop twice), I realized I probably should have numbered the items and links. But my laptop sounds like it's ready for takeoff right now, so there's no turning back. Maybe next time, if people like this round up.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What is your favorite knot item in the list?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Review: Lollipop Items From Edible Weddings & More

I've been doing a lot of talk about candy bars lately. They're very, very popular right now. I know so many people who want to do them, but adding another task to the Wedding To Do list just seems impossible.

The concept seems simple: buy some candy, put it in a container, display it at the wedding.

But nothing is every really that simple. It's a lot of planning, purchasing, and plating. And if you don't execute it properly, it looks like a mess. And it's not worth it if you don't do it right.

If you want a candy bar, but want to save yourself the headache of putting it together, you definitely need to check out Edible Weddings and more. We were lucky enough to receive a few items for review from Edible Weddings and more, and it's impossible for me to be happier with them.

We are having a beach theme (which you've probably figured out if you've been around here a while). Jamie at Edible Weddings put together a sand bucket filled with lollipops and hard candy, all in our wedding colors. What's actually really cool is that she also added in smaller pops that go with our theme (flip flops and sea creatures).

I absolutely think it's adorable.

This would absolutely be perfect as part of a candy bar at a wedding, but I think we'll use it as a centerpiece for the kids table at the rehearsal dinner. It's very kid friendly. Not only is it cute and eye catching for the kids, but if they pull at it, I won't worry. Glass centerpieces at a kids table would make me really nervous, and I'd constantly be looking over, hoping nothing fell. With these, the only concern would be the kids picking at it before dinner (and that's not that bad).

The lollipops are actually glued into Styrofoam that's in the bucket, which is awesome. You don't have to worry about this falling apart during shipping after you order. It does make it a little tougher to pull out, which is great because you don't have to worry about a guest bumping into it and ruining the display.

The other item we were sent is something I have never, ever, in my life seen anywhere else: lollipop boutineers.

I love them. Absolutely love them. So much that I couldn't wait until Pete got home from work to show him.
Even he was impressed with them. On the pack of the lollipop, there's a pin secured by ribbon so you don't have to worry about this falling off and cracking.

We're getting small boutineers for our ring bearers for the wedding, but we are going to use these for the rehearsal.

Again, she made these in our colors, but you can have them made in the colors that best suit your wedding.

If you want a full candy bar, Edible Weddings & More is currently servicing the Washington DC area and as far south as Richmond, VA. If you're outside of that local area, it's okay. You can place an order and have it shipped to you. And there's more than what we received. There are lollipop corsages, hats, even a lollicake.

These aren't just for kids either. You can actually have lollipop bouquets for your wedding. That will definitely help save on a high floral bill.

I can't tell you how much I loved these items as soon as I opened the box. I'm sure your guests will too.

Connect with the brand:

Edible Weddings & More on Facebook || Edible Weddings & More on Twitter

BRIDAL BABBLE: What traditional wedding item would you swap with lollipops?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Closing Envelopes (without the calories)

If you're a bride-to-be, there's a good chance you're skipping dessert more often than not. After all, you do have a wedding dress to fit into and every calorie counts.

But when you're counting calories, are you counting your wedding invitations? The all-knowing they once said it is three calories per envelope, although I've actually heard it's up to seventeen. Seal 100 envelopes and you're looking at 300 calories. I'd rather have three 100 calorie packs of Oreos. So what can you do to seal your envelopes and still have cookies?

Use a sponge.

For people who are casual envelope users (sending a bill here and a birthday card there), your go to move is to lick the envelope. And that's fine for one or two. But for over a hundred envelopes, you need to employ a different method.

Sealing envelopes with a sponge is super easy, although I would advice that you test it out on one before you actually go to your wedding envelopes.

You want to use a brand new, straight out of the package sponge. That way, you won't have to worry about any sort of food or counter particles getting inside your envelopes. Dip the corner of the sponge slightly in a bowl of water and, as even-handedly as possible, wipe the tip across the envelope. Close. Repeat on a second envelope.

After two, you're gonna wanna dunk again. If you have excess water and you are able to seal a third one, it means your first envelope probably received too much water and it will get lumpy.

If you look at the envelope on the bottom of that photo, you'll see what I mean about it being lumpy. It will dry pretty smooth but not completely smooth. The steadier you can keep your hand and the drier you can keep the sponge, the less the chance of this happening is.

If you don't care and the lumps don't bother you, that's awesome. If you're a perfectionist like me and you sweat every single detail, then you are going to care. That's why I said practice first. See how much pressure you can (or can't apply) and how it will dry.

(And, in case you are wondering, yes, these are the JamPaper envelopes from my envelope post.)

BRIDAL BABBLE: Have you used this method to close your envelopes?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Wedding Stamps (and what no one tells you about wedding planning)

I finished our wedding invitations and weighed them in my imagination. I put the invitation across my hand, moved my hand up and down like a scale trying to balance and declared: "Eight ounces."

I went to the post office's website and saw that an 8oz. envelope was about $2.50 to mail. Times 110. Out of my budget.

So I used my hand as a scale again and determined they were no more than six ounces.

That's about $2.03.

I walked into Ace Hardware (which doubles as a post office), stressing over the fact that I was about to drop $220 or so on stamps. I was regretting my decision of 110lb. cardstock rather than 88lb. because it looks nicer. At this point, I didn't care about nicer. I cared about the fact that $220 in stamps was way out of my budget.

"Charge it and at least get the points," my mom told me.

I walked past the paint and nails and gardening tools to the post office. I handed my beautiful purple envelope over to the associate and took a breath. When he says $2, don't flinch, I told myself.

"They're 70 cents each," he said.

"Really?" I said, trying to make sure I heard right. Maybe he said $1.70 or $2.70, I thought. Don't get excited yet.

"They're a little over an ounce," he said. "If they were a little lighter, they'd only be a normal stamp. But since they're over, they're higher. You can't get them down a little, can you?"

"Oh gosh no," I said, catching my breath. "I thought they were going to be two dollars each, so the fact that they're only 70 cents each, that's awesome."

Finally, something had gone right.

He looked through his stamps, and I wasn't expecting much of a variety at Ace Hardware, especially since the examples on the counter were Jimi Hendrix or flowers. Flowers would work, I thought. And then the associate pulled out butterflies. I told him they were fine and he looked under those to find cakes.

"Those are perfect!" I yelled.

"You like cake," he said, then looked at them and exclaimed, "Oh! These are wedding cakes!"

We were both excited.

When people talk about weddings, they talk about the beauty of it, how every details was perfect and it was the happiest day of their life, the day they had dreamed of since they were a little girl.

What people don't talk about is the sweat and tears that it took to get to that point.

No one tells you about the stress, no one tells you how it gets (almost) impossibly difficult to make a decision because you have made so many already you just don't care anymore. No one tells you that the victories are going to be small and the battles are going to be large. No one tells you that you have no choice but to sweat the small stuff.

Yes, you have to sweat the small stuff.

When you're at the florist, you will ask for pew bows. And when you do, the florist will ask if you want tulle or organza for the bow itself. And you can't say, "I don't care" or "Surprise me." The florist will charge you for things, many things, but a surprise is not one of them. So you have to make a decision. You have to pick. And the visual difference, really, is the size of the holes in the mesh. Is it really that important? Arguably, no. But you don't have a choice to not worry about it. You have to worry about it.You have to make the decision. You are planning a wedding and you have to make a decision on every single little detail, no matter how irrelevant it feels.

And things will go wrong. You will have your heart set on organza and decide and feel good about your decision ... and then you'll come to find out that organza only comes in royal blue and you had previously selected navy. Will royal blue work? Would you prefer a pure blue? Or what about a light blue? And just like that, the decision you made and the item you crossed off your To Do list comes back.

It will happen.Trust me.

So what do you do? You get excited, overly excited, when something does go your way. When your postage is only $.70 rather than $2, you cheer, you celebrate, you get so overjoyed that even the associate at the post office in Ace Hardware gets excited when he finds stamps with wedding cakes on them.

And you savor that.

The end will justify the means. Your wedding will be beautiful, every detail will be perfect and it will be the happiest day of your life, the day you had dreamed of since you were a little girl. But the process to get there will be a rough and shaky road with more trips and falls than victories.

So when you do have a victory, enjoy it. And the next time something crashes and burns (because it will) remember that small victory you had and help it carry you through until the next one.

Update: Did you know you can actually order wedding stamps on Amazon? News to me!

BRIDAL BABBLE: What's the last small victory you had?
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