Thursday, September 18, 2014

Disney Is Making A Frozen Wedding Dress (Check out the sketch!)

I've never seen Frozen. I know the song "Let It Go" is very popular among little kids, but I've never heard it in its entirety. In fact, the only time I've really heard the song is when my Facebook friends post videos of their kids singing it.

No kids, so I've been living in a a Frozen-free zone.

I know the girls are Anna and Elsa and one of them wants to build a snowman. Small aside: Do they build a snowman? Anyone know? Because I don't. I also don't know if anyone actually finds Nemo in Finding Nemo because I fell asleep before the ending and never decided to finish it.

These are questions I probably need answered before we decide to have children. But the question I need answered right now is: Would you want to wear a Frozen-themed wedding dress.

Photo credit

Disney Weddings is pairing with designer Alfred Angelo to create a Frozen dress as part of the 2015 Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo collection.

Now, before you hit pause on this idea because it sounds a little extreme, this collaboration isn't being started just for Frozen. The 2014 collection has dresses with a style for all your favorite princesses: Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White, Tiana, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Rapunzel, and Belle. I'm in love with this Cinderella dress, which looks nothing like the blue dress I remember her wearing in the movie.

The rumor is the Frozen gown will actually be blue, which is something I'm not completely a fan of. I love white dresses, can accept ivory dresses, and wouldn't try on anything colored. I did see a bride-to-be fall in love with a green Vera Wang dress while I was dress shopping, so it's definitely a style for some people. I'm just not that person.

The dresses on the site run between $999 and $1,399, which is a lot less than some of the boutiques I went into when I was dress shopping. The James Clifford that I originally liked was $2,700 if I bought the sample. So these Disney dresses are pretty reasonable. Plus, you can pair them with the Disney Princess engagement rings everyone was gaga over not too long ago.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Would you wear a blue dress as a bride?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DIY Tissue Paper Tassel Garland (Make in minutes! No gluing or sewing needed!)

When we were looking at wedding venues, I knew I wanted one that was "move in ready." I didn't want something that I had to do a lot to. I wanted a venue that does weddings all the time and had the decor to back it up. I didn't want to rent tables, I didn't want to worry about napkins, I didn't want to think about recessed lighting.

We picked a venue on the beach (instantly the "outside" was taken care of) that has sixty-odd weddings a year. There was a lot we didn't have to do, as far as decor goes, and I was super happy with that. See, everyone in our bridal party lives up north, so it was just Pete and I down here in North Carolina putting everything together. And decor that I would have created would have been made on an assembly line of two, so I opted against any DIY decor.

But yesterday, my Twitter friend Sarah asked if I had a photo of a tassel garland. I didn't ... but I also didn't think it could be that complicated to put together. So I grabbed some twine and tissue paper and my assembly line of two (although I swapped Pete for my kitten Totes) to see what I could do. To my surprise, I had one for her in a handful of minutes.

I was actually shocked at how easily this came together. It took me about ten minutes, start to finish, and that included taking these step by step photos and chasing away my very curious cat. Plus, there's no gluing or sewing involved, which makes it so much easier.

What You'll Need:

What You'll Do:

Fold your tissue paper into six to eight sections (depending on the size of the paper).

Cut it into strips.

Fold a strip in half, then cut strips about two-thirds of the way up. Remember to cut from the "open" side of the paper. Four strips (so three cuts) was the perfect size for me.

String the "folded" side onto a piece of twine.

Scrunch the top of the tissue paper, then twist to create a "knot.' I twisted one and a half rotations and it felt really secure. It's been hanging all afternoon and I haven't worried about any tassels falling down.

Repeat with another pieces until your garland is complete. It took seven tassels to cover 23 inches of space, if you're looking for numbers. From knot to knot is about two inches, give or take. I liked that because it gives the bottom of the tassels enough room to billow out and not get cramped and lost. Plus, if you have them right on top of each other, you'll use more tissue (which means it will cost you more).

I rotated between purple and white (because that's what I had on hand). You could make yours all one color, all mutli-colored, whatever fits your theme best. I actually love how it looks hanging up in our living room.

I sent the photo to Sarah, and she turned it into a cute photo (so of course, I had to post it).

Technically a collab with @sweetsassdesign
For something I just threw together in my spare minutes while I was waiting for my coffee to brew with items I already had lying around at home, I'm pretty impressed. DIY isn't as intimidating as you might thing.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What decor items are you going to try to DIY?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Five Things You Can Borrow (Instead Of Buy) For Your Wedding

The easiest way to save money on your wedding is to just not spend it. i get it, that sounds pretty ridiculous because there's no such thing as a free wedding. Even the cheapest of weddings requires you to pay for a marriage license. But still, hear me out. If you want to save money, don't spend it. And you can not spend it by borrowing.

Chances are, you're not the first person you know who is getting married. And if you are, there's a good chance you're not the first person to have a reception at the venue of your choice. So borrow from your friends, borrow from your venue, borrow from anyone who is offering because the more you can borrow, the less you have to buy.

Now, there are some things you definitely don't want to borrow, like a wedding dress. Most brides want their very own, one that hasn't already gone through a wedding night. But there are a few things that you can definitely borrow (or at least try to borrow) to save your budget.

Here -- in order of your wedding day, not order of significance -- is my list of five things you can borrow (instead of buy) for your wedding.

1. Bridal Accessories

I will never in my life wear a garter again. The only reason I wore one this time was so Pete could throw it (and, as you can see in the photo above, so my brother could put it on his girlfriend's leg). I was super lucky that my friend Nicole offered me hers to borrow because I didn't need to spend money on one but I did need something borrowed. Plus, she actually used hers as her something blue (if you look close, you can see the blue in it), so I was able to use it as my something blue also.

I did buy my veil -- which I absolutely loved more than I can explain -- but I also lent it out after my wedding. So I didn't get to save money on that personally, but I did get to save another bride money.

And then, of course, don't forget about bridal jewelry. Many brides will borrow something from their mom or grandmother for their wedding day, so that means you don't have to go out and spend money on jewelry. Plus, you'll feel really special saying I do wearing a piece from your family.

Savings: around $420 ($20 for the garter, around $150 for the veil, and around $250 for a complete set of bridal jewelry)

2. Church decor.

When we met with a florist and were listing out the items we wanted in our package, I mentioned that our church had huge calla lilies on the doors one Easter and I thought they were gorgeous. I asked the florist how much those might be. "Actually," she said, "your church has beautiful white wreaths that it puts out on wedding days. You can probably just ask them for those." When we met with the priest, I asked him and he said that the church puts those out, unless the couple doesn't want them.

Yes, we wanted them. And since these were something the church provided, they were definitely the right size to fit the large church doors. I didn't have to worry about a florist guessing the correct size and being off -- making them either too large or too small for the doors. We didn't have to pay any extra to use these, so we could forget about that expense.

Savings: at least $240 (that's my approximation for what the wreaths may have cost us; your savings will depend on what you can borrow.)

3. Program holders

I could have gone to the dollar store to buy baskets to hold our wedding programs, And that would have cost me two dollars. And in real life, two dollars is basically nothing. But when you're planning a wedding, two dollars saved is huge. So when we were talking to the priest about programs (and he was absolutely set on the fact that we needed them), he said he had matching baskets that we could use to hold our programs.

What's nice is that I actually see these programs at mass every week. I had never noticed them before, but they catch my eye every week now. And it's just nice to see them and be reminded of our wedding every Sunday. And be reminded of the couple bucks we saved because the priest mentioned he had them.

Wherever you get married, there's a good chance there has a been a wedding before you. And they probably had programs because most weddings do. So ask your venue if they have a basket you can use to hold them. Chances are they do.

Savings: $2 (plus tax)

4. Centerpieces

We really lucked out in this department.

I wasn't sure what I wanted for centerpieces and Pinterest was letting me down. I knew I wanted something with sand and vases and maybe floating candles. But other than that, I was kind of lost. I knew I didn't want floral centerpieces because one, it wouldn't go with our beach theme and two, those add up quick.

When we had our tasting at the venue, the on-site coordinator asked me our plan for centerpieces, and I basically paraphrased the above paragraph. She asked me to hold on a moment and came back with the centerpiece in the top photo in this post. She said they host dinners at the venue sometimes and that's what they use for centerpieces, then told me we could use them for free. Perfect. Done. That's our own rock sand in the centerpieces (we got that from the beach behind the house in the Outer Banks where Pete's family stays each summer) and the seashells are ones I collected on the beach down in North Carolina last summer. The portions I added were free and use from the venue was free. That saved us a ton of money ... and potential aggravation. I mean, if we had bought that for all the tables, we would end up with eleven mirrored plates, twenty two small votive holders, and eleven hurricane glass vases. We absolutely did not need any of that. And yes, most guests do take the centerpieces from weddings, but the majority of our guests traveled from New York to our wedding. They weren't going to be taking these vases in their carry ons, so I was so happy to have gotten to borrow them from the venue.

So before you start buying items for your centerpieces, ask your venue. You might end up with exactly what you wanted for absolutely nothing out of pocket.

Savings: between $50 and $100 per table, on average (ten tables and that's around $500 savings if you go with the low end of floral centerpieces.)

5. Cake Knife & Server

You do not need to bring your own cake knife to your wedding, unless your venue specifies that you do. Chances are the reception venue has had couples cut the cake before and has a knife you can use. Done. Simple. Easy.

We brought our own Reed & Barton bridal set, and it was pretty and great and something I thought would be nice to pass down to our own children one day. It came in a nice padded box and would have kept well for decades until our children -- who do not even exist in our plans right now -- were old enough to get married. We were gifted it so it wasn't something that we spent money on, which was great because the box that the set came in never got returned to us from the venue. So it's something we can pass on, but it's just not as nice. And who knows. Maybe our kids won't even have cakes to cut at the wedding. Is it worth it to buy a cake knife to use for a few photos and then keep in a drawer for decades? No. Just borrow one from the venue. That works just as well.

Savings: about $45

Total savings from these items: at least $1,200 -- and that's my safe, fairly average approximation of things. Imagine how much you could get if you spent that $1,200 elsewhere. Just don't spend it on anything from my list of the five things you can absolutely skip at your wedding or your savings will be in vain.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What else can you borrow in order to save money?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Wedding Invitations (And a bunch of photos of them)

I had such a hard time finding our wedding invitations. I didn't know what I wanted originally, but I knew what I didn't want. I absolutely refused to order something simple. I didn't want anything that looked like it came in a package. For some people, that's okay. In fact, it's really traditional and the way most people go.

It just wasn't what I wanted.

For months I looked online, on Pinterest, anywhere I could for inspiration. And one night, around 4am, it hit me: I wanted plane tickets. Our wedding was a destination wedding for everyone but us. About 95% of the people we invited were traveling.

But what I wanted ... it didn't exist somewhere where I could just order. Thank goodness for Nicole at Glossie, the absolute best designer I've ever met. If you remember her, we featured her stationery designs in this post, and she also designed our logo. But, today, we're talking about our invitations.

It's not that she just designed one component. Oh no. She designed us a plane ticket for the major part of the invitation, a ticket jacket for the additional information, an RSVP card and rehearsal dinner invitation in the shape of luggage tags, and a map (because I decided I wanted a map instead of directions).

Nicole worked all hours of the night on these. Literally. Since I blog full-time, I'm up working at crazy hours. So when I would take a break from working around 2am, I would shoot Nicole an email to ask her to change something.

Because that was me. I'm a pain in the neck client. I'll be honest about that.

See, in life, I always have a lot of ideas, but none ever go together. So I'm sorta very scatterbrained at the beginning. I was lucky that I was able to give Nicole a pretty solid idea at the start ... but then I wanted changes. Once I saw it coming together, it would help my ideas solidify and I'd ask her to change something.

From start to finish, I'm pretty sure it took a month. She sent me the files and I had them printed at OfficeMax.

I went to the store and was handed a closed box. The cashier told me I could open it to check and see that everything came out the way I wanted.

Honestly, I was scared to open it. The files looked great online but there was a chance they wouldn't meet my ridiculous expectations when I had them in my hand. And I wanted, no needed, them to be perfect.

I lifted the top and breathed a sigh of relief. They were perfect. Better than perfect. They were exactly what I had dreamed they would be.

That's when the real fun started.

I had 112 or so of each component printed on either 8x10 or 11x17 paper. The holders were one each on the large paper, there were two tickets per 8x10, and then the RSVP cards, maps, and rehearsal dinner invitations were four to a page on the smaller paper. What was awesome is that Nicole set up the files that way, so I didn't have to figure out anything before sending them to be printed. She also put cut lines on the file so I was able to figure out exactly where to cut once I had the pages.

And then I had to chop. And chop. And chop. It took me 12 hours total to cut the components. I split it into three sessions because there's no way that I could sit hunched over for half a day straight.

When I was finally done cutting (with only one casualty, believe it or not), it came time for me to decide about how much more intense I wanted to be.

I used a corner rounder, then sent my mom the photo above. I asked her what she thought was better: the one with rounded corners (which actually looks like an actual boarding pass) or if I could just leave the corners squared because it was easier.

She told me that if I could get the corners exact, I should round them. But if I couldn't be exact, I was going to make a mess of my invitations.

What she didn't know is I had a EK Corner Rounder (which is my favorite tool ever).

You stick the corner in and punch, and the corner is rounded and uniform every time. So that's what I went with. It took extra time, but it made the invitations look so much more professional. And that's what I needed. After having them professionally designed, I wasn't going to drop the ball on my execution.

And that's a good lesson about DIY. I always encourage people to only DIY what you can actually pull off. If you start to DIY something to save yourself money and you can't actually do it, you'll end up costing yourself money. And, my biggest rule of thumb was if I DIY'ed something, I didn't want it to actually look like I made it myself. Cutting corners on, well, cutting corners would have done just that.

The truth is, I didn't DIY these. I couldn't. I tried but the level they needed to be at far exceeded my skills on MS Paint and I tried for a little while before realizing there was no way I could pull it off. So I didn't. I went with Glossie, and it is impossible for me to be happier with our finished invitations.

(Small aside: I know there are parts of the invitations that look blurry and imperfect. That's where I blurred out our last names

BRIDAL BABBLE: What's a DIY project you decided to scrap?
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