Saturday, June 28, 2008

The dress is here!

To the fiance: Don't even THINK about reading any further.

If you want to see it, click here and enter, password fakey1. Sorry for the extra level of security, but it's kind of fun to keep Ben wondering.

The dress still needs some alterations, but you'll get the rough idea.

Sadly, the shoes I got to go with the original wedding dress (I know, I know) don't work with this one, so I am now on the hunt for some new cute heels.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Waiting to change

I keep hearing how time consuming it is to change your name. Since I can't bring myself to think about this quite yet (I have 107 days still), I'll just re-post Brooklyn Bride's thoughts on the topic and come back to this later:

I took off work last Monday to change my name at the Social Security Office and the DMV and all I can say is...what the heck did I agree to? In NYC, not sure about other states, to change your SS#, you can either mail your original SS card, your original marriage license, the change form, and any other original paperwork you need, or else you come in and do it. For me, mailing all that important info was just not an option, so I opted to go in. All I can say ladies, is just be prepared to wait and do your homework..find out if your local office actually does the new cards or not (the one by me apparently does not and I had to go elsewhere), and make sure you have all your paperwork or else they are not going to help you. Same goes for the DMV....check the website and make sure you have everything because you wait a LOOOOOOONG time, and getting turned away is the WORST.

For my forms, I actually used the MissNowMrs program and was really glad at how easy it was. I was happy to have all the forms in one place...I can only hope with the next version they'll be able to figure out a way to have the program wait in line for me.

Drooling for Woo

Excuse me as I drool over these pieces by Alex Woo.

A. Little number ring
Diamonds set in 14kt white gold $378/each

B. Little faith peace sign
.10 carats $948

C. Narissa small necklace
$178 - 1,798 with diamonds

D. Portia Necklace
black white or gray and white pearls $218

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A quote about newspapers

From my friend: "i heard this really good analogy from a friend of mine about the newspaper industry and what people our age are doing there. it's not that we're shuffling the deck chairs or polishing the brass on the titanic, it's more like we're sitting at the bar trying to finish off one more drink before we get wet."

Why buy when you can rent?

I just became aware of the concept of renting a wedding cake. You can get a pre-made cake (above) for $150 or design your own for $200. Cut the one layer that is cake and then whisk the foam sculpture back to the kitchen where your real cake pieces are waiting. I think it is hilarious and practical. Here is what had to say about themselves:

Wedding cakes are the center of any wedding party. However, the cost of wedding cakes can skyrocket, also the possibility of falling over during transportation, heat and humidity for the outdoor weddings can be a major concern. We provide a service, where you can rent the beautifully designed centerpiece wedding cake. The main cake is covered with real fondant, however the inside is made of foam and there is small compartment to place a small portion of edible cake for the ceremony. After the couple's 'feeding each other' act, the display cake is taken back into the kitchen and the guests are served regular sheet cakes from the local bakery or wholesale store. After the wedding day, you slide the cake back into its box, drop it off at any UPS store and that's it! As soon as we receive the box, we refund your deposit.

Whine whine whine!

I've done it again. I'm all worked up about my dress. I could be waiting for me at the post office RIGHT NOW ... or not. How did the color turn out? Did she add the ruffle, because I didn't say I wanted a ruffle but a ruffle might be cute. Is it too long? Did she add a small train? If so, how will I tie it up? Should I have gone with a different style? A more dramatic color? No color? Uhhhhggggghhhh! I need answers!

Since I can't see my dress, I love looking at this one, also by Chrissy Wai-Ching.


sarah and martin's wedding by the amazing One Love Photo:

I am a Save the Date genius

The Human Calendar is a really fun site that gave me an idea for a great Save the Date card. You and your fiance create something like this, all pointing to your wedding day on a one month calendar. This would be so fun to do! Maybe I could do something like this for a photo booth/guest book/commemoration thing ... hmmmm ...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hint hint to my Man of Honor

This is such a fun video to watch! My wonderful brother is my acting Man of Honor. Now, I'm not saying I expect him to do something like this other Man of Honor, but it would be nice ...

Endless obsession

I'm not sure how could have eluded me for so long. It is Zappos, but better in price, organization, navigation and cool little features. I can easily zip straight to the vegetarian size 11 blue pumps and sort them from low to high price ... and have several pages of shoes to choose from. My frugal, amazon-like tootsy is in clog heaven right now. I am currently drooling over these:

A. Necessary Objects City Nights Clutch $25
B. Luichiny Women's Delilah Sandal $37.92
C. Enzo Angiolini Women's Maylie Peep Toe Pump $88.95

Plus, they all have FREE overnight shipping and FREE returns. Heck yeah.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting something accomplished

I really did work of the invitations this weekend. I have witnesses who sat with me and saw me work on them ... they just aren't done quite yet. BUT! I did finish other projects that are cute and quirky, so I thought I'd post those instead.

Illustrations of Hartford, CT architecture for the Hartford Courant.

Promotional graphic for a book drive to benefit patients at the Immanuel Medical Center.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ruby red lips

My fiance hates the taste, smell and feel of any and all lipsticks, balms and glosses. To avoid the "Ewwwww! What do you have on your lips?!?!" reaction, I've stopped wearing anything at all. Until yesterday, I didn't think there was a product out there that I could wear to look girly and get a kiss. This was a problem, because I want both on my wedding day.

Then, I discovered the lip stain. Lip stains have no texture, no shine, no smell, no taste -- just color. Score!

I tested one at Sephora and it was fiance approved! I wasn't willing to slap down the $24 just then, so I went looking for under $20 lip stain options.left to right:
Aerie Kiss $9.50 flushed (berry red) .07 oz

Stainiac $14 Beauty Queen (berry pink) .3 oz

Lip Envy $17 Greedy (berry) .29 oz

Sheer Wash $19 Sheer emotion .3 oz

Just Bitten $11.50 Blood Orange 135 .1 oz

Something to think about

Photo sharing (from Glamor This!)

There is a big debate over disposable cameras at weddings and trying to think eco-friendly, I though I would suggest some ideas to have the advantage of getting your hands on candid shots taken by your guests.

There are endless amounts of free photo sharing sites where your guests could upload pics freely. This is a great way to have a complete collection of pictures. All you have to do is create an account and share with your guest the account info and instructions on how to upload pictures.

There are so many website, here are just a few (click on the icon to go to the website)

If you don’t want the hassle of creating your account and making cards to inform your guests, then Upload Your Day is the perfect option for you. The pack offers a modern solution to capturing the day through the eyes of your guests. Everyone joins in the fun and you receive all the images on DVD to treasure forever! Talk about a great idea!

They have 3 different packages to suit your needs and budget. Each come with a gallery, some informational cards, DVDs and more. Visit their website for additional information. But what a great gift this could be for a new bride-to-be.

Which ever option you choose, you will have loads of pictures which will only make your wedding day more memorable then it already is. CHEESE!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Can't think, too much cute.

I am going to ignore the fact that it is less than 4 months until my wedding and I am behind on several goals. I am going to take a break from the fact that my company is about to lay off a quarter of the people in my newsroom. I am going to sit here and enjoy the little things in life. (and go buy your local newspaper, dammit!)

This little pig in England had a fear of mud, so his owner gave him little Wellington boots. Click here for a video. Oh, the cuteness!

Funny ha ha

A quote from 1955:

"There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend. It costs nearly $15 a night to stay in a hotel."

Monday, June 16, 2008

THE dress is on its way!

I talked to Chrissy Wai-Ching, the amazing designer who is making my wedding gown and she told me it would be shipping out this week!!! Even though she made it to my measurements and specifications, I am so worried that it won't work as well as it does in my head. I can't post the actual gown since the fiance looks at this site every once in a while, but I'll report back once it arrives.

Your inner pin-up

These fascinators from Pin-Up Clothing are just gorgeous. $62 and $24

Wine wine wine

There are a variety of little ceremonies couples incorporate into their weddings. You may have heard of the unity candle ceremony, or the sand ceremony and even the hand fasting ceremony. They are all very romantic and symbolize the couple coming together as one ... I just have a hard time with that concept. Blame it on my divorced parents or blame in on my natural skepticism, but I don't want to stop being me on my wedding day. And I don't think it is realistic to suggest that everything will be perfect from that day forward. I went searching for a ceremony that acknowledges the hard work and the dedication a marriage needs to survive. Here is what I came up with:


(to the audience) XXXX and YYYY have chosen as a couple to perform a box, wine and love letter ceremony.

This box contains a bottle of wine, two glasses, and a love letter from each to the other. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written.

(to us) XXXX and YYYY should you ever find your marriage enduring serious hardships, you are to as a couple, open this box, sit and drink the wine together, then separate and read the letters you wrote to one another when you were united as a couple. By reading these love letters you will reflect upon the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry each other here today.

The hope is, however, that you will never have a reason to open this box. And if this is the case, you are to open this box to share and enjoy on your 10-year anniversary!

XXXX and YYYY, please seal the box.

(Personalized wine box is $28.99.)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Darn you, Jamie Oliver!

We watch a lot of Food Network in our house. This is normally a great thing. I love peering into the complex, love-able mind of Alton Brown. The creativity on Ace of Cakes is mesmerizing. I was perfectly content with being the observer of all these culinary feats until I sat down one Saturday with Jamie Oliver as he effortlessly created pasta from scratch. It is so easy and so wonderful that without consenting my common sense, I put pasta-making on my list of life goals.

Making pasta from a little flour and 6 eggs can be quick and easy ... with the correct tools. The correct tools obviously being a $300 apple green KitchenAid mixer from Home Depot with the $129.99 pasta roller attachment set.

I am obviously not going to spend $429.99 to achieve this fluffy little life goal, but I just thought I'd share this current obsession with the world in hopes that a long, lost, wealthy, generous relative is looking for the PERFECT wedding gift.

Polka dot flower

The black and white patterns are screaming "BUY ME! Purchase me now!"

Minimum order of 6 from Swedish Accents.

The perfect veil

I really do blame the movie Sweet Home Alabama for my love of birdcage veils. The plan is to make my own ... somehow. Here is what I want the end result to be.



I've been stalking some guinea feathers online to make the hair piece and have found several sites that weigh in on what kind of netting to use for the best birdcage veil.

The ultimate invitation

I came across Ryan Masuga's site about six months ago and fell in love with the idea of creating a book of Us. Hopefully I'll be able to pull it off.

Registering via art

Found this tid-bit on the blog A Cup of Jo.
"New York artist couple Justin and Christine are geniuses. They've made a collection of paintings of things they want, where each painting costs the same price as the item in it. So their buffalo wings painting costs $12.70, their iPhone painting costs $649.17, one month’s rent is $1056.06, and beer is $7.00 (including tip). Their painting of sleep was free. The most expensive piece—Financial Security—comes in at $1,000,000, hilariously. They’ve sold a bunch already and still want more.....Awesome idea, you two!"

Maybe I will just draw the items Ben and I are thinking about registering for ...

In his own words

I don't even know if we are going to have readings, but if we are, here is a contender:

from A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

That night at the hotel, in our room with the long empty hall outside and our shoes outside the door, a thick carpet on the floor of the room, outside the windows the rain falling and in the room light and pleasant and cheerful, then the light out and it exciting with smooth sheets ad the bed comfortable, feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, walking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a girl wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. It has only happened to me like that once.

Acute accent

From Something Old, Something New:


I do love a little drama, just a touch... especially when paired with a simple, flowing gown, soft hair, and natural makeup. Just a little something to stand out in a crowd. Love these pieces from Ginta Siceva, I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like them.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thoughts and prayers

A tornado hit a boyscout camp in Iowa last night, killing four boys, three of which were from my hometown of Omaha. When tragedy hits at home, it makes me feel even further away. I just got the following email from my mother, along with a photo getting emailed around that was allegedly taken in downtown Omaha just before the storm hit.


A tornado hit a boys scout camp in Little Sioux, Iowa last night. It's just over the border from Nebraska up north by Sioux City.

This week was leadership training for the best of the best boy scouts in the Mid America Region. There was 40 some boys 13 - 14 and another 40 leaders, trainers etc. The press conference just now was announcing the names of the boys. There were 4 boys that died. 3 are from Omaha.

-They just had practiced a tornado drill the day before.

-Injuries are coming from the chimney (classic huge stone chimney in a camp lodge) being leveled. There seems to be head injuries and spinal cord injuries.

-There's a ranger with his family on site of the 1,800 acres camp. The ranger's house was totally destroyed and the scouts pulled the family out of the rebel including a new baby.

-The emergency department grapevine is saying that the scouts tended to the needs of the injured before the ambulances even arrived. The boys are being credited with incredible survival skills and living the boy scout motto…be prepared."

If you want the whole story, go to the Omaha World Herald.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Stinky boy

The greatest perfume salesman helped us wade through the cologne at Nordstroms to find the perfect scent for Ben. I feel my knowledge of the scent world quadrupled in the seven minutes I spent at the counter. Here are a few tips I picked up:

1. Put one spray on the tester strip and hold it straight up and down in front of your nose. Don't put it under your nose, don't wave it around, just breathe.

2. When wearing your scent, apply it to the inside of your elbows and a little on your chest. This is true for men and women because your scent needs heat in order to work properly.

3. With any scent, it takes a little bit for the alcohol to evaporate. Your cologne is at its best after you have been wearing it for a couple hours.

We were taken through a whole series of sniffing tests without seeing the labels or knowing anything about what we were smelling. In the end, these were the five major contenders for Ben's next scent (descriptions from Sephora):

A. London for Men starts safely, with the scent of lavender-bergamot, then comes cinnamon, pepper and wine (with a faint hint of leather). For me, it’s ALL about the base notes in this fragrance: the rich amber, the strong, but mellow, tobacco leaf, and smooth guaiac wood. London for Men is the most powerful and masculine of the Burberry men's fragrances.

B. Armani Code (an old favorite of mine)
A seductive fragrance for men, Armani Code is a sexy blend of fresh lemon and bergamot softened with hints of orange tree blossom, warmed with soothing guaiac wood, and tonka bean.

C. Chanel Allure Homme Édition Blanche (Ben's choice du jour)
This scent contains lemon, bergamot, cedar, sandalwood, tonka bean, white musk, vetiver, ginger, amber, vanilla, white and pink pepper. Allure Homme Édition Blanche is a creamy fragrance but still has some sparkle thanks to its citrus, ginger, and vetiver notes.

D. John Varvatos Vintage (think classy hunting lodge ... my new favorite)
This sensual, masculine fragrance is aromatic, with an assertive, spicy core and a warm, leathery-like background that makes it unique and inherently noble and gentleman-like.

E. Boss Selection
Classic, serious, straightforward, and elegant, the Boss Selection man is focused on his goals and being successful and balanced in his personal and professional life. This elegant blend of fresh, spicy, watery notes is his signature scent.

My Two Scents

With the temperature being 102 degrees outside and about 95 degrees in our apartment, we have been devising ways to spend a lot of time for little money in other people's air-conditioning. So far we have invited ourselves over to friends houses, gone to the gym and chatted with the front security guard, leisurely grocery shopped, ate at the 24-hour diner (though that ended up being pricey), read at the Borders bookstore and walked around the mall.

Out of new ideas, we hit the mall for the second time, but this time with a goal to find a new summer-y perfume/cologne. I love my Burberry London but it just seems too heavy for summer. While we were sniffing, I began placing different scents in different types of weddings. Here are my completely untrained opinions followed by descriptions from Sephora:

A. Ralph Loren Romance Eau Fraiche
This scent makes me think of a light, but elegant summer evening.
"Lush, playful water lily and lotus breezes sparkle with the elegant florals of romance to create a light fragrance."

B. Mark Jacobs Basil
This perfume seemed very down-to-earth and would work in any setting. It's not too fancy or too casual. This is tied with the Burberry Brit for my favorite.
"The aromatic woody fragrance opens with savory basil brightened with top notes of tomato leaf and lemongrass, enhanced with a heart of freesia, jasmine, and orange flower. The dry down is a warm embrace of cashmeran, white musk and sandalwood."

C. Armani Diamonds
Ignoring any imagery of Beyonce, this made me think of the classic fairytale wedding, complete with tiaras, bow ties and a flowing gown. It just seems like a classic feminine scent.
"This surprising and decadent fragrance is based on the traditional symbol of femininity, the rose, but is twisted with luscious, edible notes to create a truly desirable combination."

D. Burberry Brit
Apparently, I am a Burberry brand loyalist. I loved this scent for being light and sweet without being girl-y and overwhelming. I considered buying this on the spot, but the more I think about the Marc Jacobs Basil, the less sure I am about that urge.
"Fresh and playful, the fragrance is a classic, green-oriental blend of lush fruits, sweet nutty essences, and soothing amber, vanilla and Tonka bean."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Operation Get Serious

The one service from The Knot that I have really appreciated is the monthly email telling me how much time I have left. Today, marks four months until the big day. Time to start Operation Get Serious.

Operation Get Serious overview

I have one month to get everything in order and firm up all plans before I begin freaking out that I don't have enough time. Goals for this month include:

1. Design invitations
2. Order groom's cake
3. Make hair appointment
4. Buy stamps
5. Mail invitations at end of Get Serious
6. Make master list of guests
7. Confirm prices with vendors
8. Talk to florist, make some sort of decision on flowers
9. Decide on DIY projects (for serious.)
10. Rough out a menu and price out items
11. Buy (make?) birdcage veil

More to come as I think of them ...

And now, since I am suddenly feeling the panic pushing against my chest, I'll list everything I have accomplished:
1. Picked date
2. Deposit on ceremony/reception hall
3. Delegated responsibility for decorations and booze
4. Hired dj, photographer, caterer, florist, and bakery
5. Bought dress, shoes, fascinator
6. Mailed Save the Dates and ordered thank you notes
7. Planned wedding party
8. Bought bridesmaids gifts
9. Picked out tux
10. Created blog
11. Started a ton of lists

Urban Outfitters? Really?

I was looking at the UO site today for bridal hair stuff and discovered not only a cheap birdcage veil but also lots of feathery bridal hair thingies. Each style comes in multiple colors and feather combinations.

A. Crystal Plumage Hairclips $12.99 - 18
B. Plumage Headband $18
C. Hair sticks $16
D. Cocktail Hair Clip $24

Monday, June 9, 2008

A light just went on

One of the first elements we decide on for the wedding was that we wanted the colors to be classic black and white. Since then, I have been fighting with myself to stick to this theme. I love color and I love visual impact. Now, halfway through planning, my dress isn't white, our invites are colorful ... I just can't help myself. But today, it hit me. Since we will have candles everywhere and the leaves outside will be changing color, our theme, really, is 'White, Black and Candlelight.'

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vitame vas

We are thinking that the rehearsal dinner will be held at the one, the only, Bohemian Cafe. Good, heavy Czech food for two Czech/German families to bond over. "Dumplings and kraut today, at the Bohemian Cafe ... "

The Cake

There was really no decision to be made when looking at bakeries to make the wedding cake. Every birthday cake since I could say, "I want a corner piece" as a Waldorf Astoria cake (red velvet) from The Cake Gallery in Omaha. Fortunately, my fiance was raise on this delicious red cake as well, so selecting the flavor was (sorry, I can't help myself) a piece of cake.

My brother, his fiance, my niece and my mother were all there to help me pick a design. Here are a few photos from the event.

Our florist genius is going to do something cool with the flowers. The cake will be structured like this and have black swirls piped onto it instead of the white you see here.

This just in ...

... He has picked out the tux! Thanks to Men's Warehouse and my soon-to-be sister-in-law, my fiance has decided on a dapper penguin suit. Eeeeeee! Here is a sneak peek:

Tux from Men's Wearhouse.
Boutonniere by Twigs and Honey.
Shea Stadium Cuff-links from Red Envelope.

Words from those who have survived

Part of my daily routine is to lurk on the various wedding forums. Past and present brides have posted invaluable ideas about planning, execution and survival for all types of weddings. Here are a few ideas I hope to incorporate into our own partizzle:

1. "I was at a wedding this past weekend, and saw something I loved. After the opening and the dad "giving the bride away", the bride and groom stepped up on to the platform and the minister stepped down and put her back to us and performed the ceremony. It was nice to be able to really see the bride and groom during the ceremony and watch it all."

2. "
Ceremony: We tried hard in our ceremony to make all of our guests feel included and the response we got was tremendous. The readings we found here on IB went over extremely well, and we've had many requests for us to post our vows because people loved them so much."

3. "Photos before ceremony:
We only wanted a minimum of traditional posed shots for our parents, and we got them done in less than 45 minutes before our guests started to arrive. It was very relaxed, and the caterers kept plying us with water, so we were very comfortable."

4. "
Wishing well ‘bird-cage’ – We put out the bird cage and people thought it was very beautiful, we also put out envelopes and pens, and people went nuts."

Wedding bingo - this an idea I think I first saw here on IB, but only remembered a couple of days before the wedding when the Mister said that he wished things could be more interactive for our guests. I designed and printed the bingo cards that night. Each of the nine squares had a task that the guests had to perform if they were to win - we had "kiss a member of the bridal party", "catch a marshmallow in your mouth", "do a jig (at an inappropriate moment)", "make a loud noise", "drop an Arnold Shwarzeneggar quote in conversation", "drink from one of the bottles of colored water and show us your tongue to prove it", "ruin a photo", "get your whole table to hum 'here comes the bride'", and "drop and give me ten!!". This was the hit of the night really - everyone got into it more than I thought they would, and we had people making loud noises, showing us coloured tongues, tables breaking out into humming tunes and people grabbing us for kisses all night. It really kept things on a constant level of energy and fun, even during the usually quiet times like dinner."

6. "
The homemade photobooth was by far the biggest hit! I rented a deep red curtain back drop for very little, plopped my digital camera on a tripod, wrote out a few directions and filled a box with props and dress up. I got some weird looks when I explained the idea to some people, but on the day everyone got so into it. We also placed it off to the side, so people could get silly without the entire reception area watching. The pictures are incredible and everyone had so much fun with it!"

Piece of the whole

I'm excited about sketching out a map of Omaha for our wedding guests. Hopefully it will turn out as cute as this one by Stephanie Barba at Couture Maps:

Incorporating snapshots

I love photos. I love my family. I've been looking for the perfect way to incorporate family photos into the reception and I think Martha has provided the ultimate solution.

Photo Centerpiece How-To
Disassemble three like-sized frames, setting aside their fronts and discarding their backings. Paint or stain wooden frames desired color; let dry. Upload or scan photographs into a computer. With editing software, make the images black and white, and resize them to fit your frames. Print them onto vellum paper with an ink-jet printer. Slip the images into the frames. Using cloth tape, hinge frames together to form a triangle. Stand frames around a candle in a protective glass holder.

Helpful Hints for a Candy Buffet

By A Windy City Wedding

Tip 1: Make sure you buy enough candy.
Nothing puts a damper on a great candy buffet like not having enough candy. A lot of the time the candy display is more about the visual than it is the actual candy. You really want to "go big or go home" on this one, you are trying to make an impact. It is recommended you judge by the eye and not by pounds. The plus to this is most candy will last if you have extra or you can double duty and pass out the candy as favors. You will probably want around 8-12 different types of candies/containers depending on how many guests you are expecting.

Tip 2: Have some sort of theme.
Whether you go with all white, a color that coordinates with your wedding palette or a spread of retro/old timey candies, make sure you have picked a theme. Candy buffets without a specific feel or commonality could end up looking messy. By simply having rhyme and reason to your candy selections will make a huge difference.

Tip 3: Make it POP.
To take a candy buffet to the next level you need the right tools. Most importantly are the containers. You want a variety of shapes and heights to keep the visual interesting. Think apothecary jars, vintage glass, vases (where to buy listed below). Make sure the containers are large enough to fit a scoop for bulk candies. You may also want to decorate containers with ribbon, fabric or paper.

You will want creative signage for you display. You can either attach signs directly to the containers or have stands. Though some of the candies may be obvious as to what flavor they are I think it is a nice to identify them. Some people may not like sour candies and won't know it is sour until it is too late! If you do not want to make a sign for each item at least make a cute sign that let guests know to help themselves and if you are offering take home bags/boxes make them aware of that as well.

Tip 3: Provide an alternative.
Especially if your candy buffet is the only dessert item or favor. Not everyone likes sweets or can eat sweets so you will want to have another option for those guests. Nuts, trail mix, popcorn or sugar free candies are all good options.

Candy: Candy Warehouse, Candy Favorites, Groovy Candies (specializes in retro candies), Custom M&M's, Jelly Belly

Containers: Ikea, Michael's, Ebay, Save On Crafts

Scoops: Scoops Scoops, Wedding Manor

Take home bags/boxes: Papermart, Paper Source (great for stickers/labels), Uline

Putting it out there

23 things to do before I am 24

1. Sew something I love
2 Read two non fiction books
3 Read two new fiction authors
4 Create a great inspiration wall
5 Visit a museum
6 Set up a workspace
7 Take Ben to Arugula
8 Begin a photography project
9 Finish a set of dewey decimal cards
10 Surprise Ben
11 Create an inspiration blog
12 Assemble a photo album
13 Get a dresser
14 Make my own cereal
15 Go antiquing
16 Find new music
17 Drink tea from leaves
18 Go to the statue of liberty
19 Run a mile without stopping
20 Make john his werewolf
21Do Pilates for real
22 Frame new art
23 Make a wedding hair appointment

A unique Signature

I knew I wanted a signature drink at our reception because it would allow us to serve the basics in alcohol and still serve my absolute favorite drink. It's fun, budget-friendly and trendy. But then, I read a wonderful idea to be unique but give guests a few more options ... FOUR themed drinks.

(from left)


1 1/2 oz whiskey
1 1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 maraschino cherry

Japanese Slipper

30 ml Midori® melon liqueur
30 ml Tequila (or vodka, if that's more your style)
30 ml Sweet and sour mix

Bailey's with chocolate syrup and mint

I'm still looking for this one. I would like the main ingredient to be vodka. Any suggestions?

Oh, perfect.

I want guests to be able write us messages at the reception, but I don't want a guest book, per se. Plus, whatever I decided can't take up too much room and has to be easily kept for as long as we both shall live. So how about this?

Images from Martha Stewart.

Plus, this gives me an excuse to shop for more paper. Score!

Set the mood

I believe these vases from CB2 are the perfect size, style and price for decorating the reception hall. A few fresh-cut blooms in a few well placed vases will set a fun, modern tone.

A. Dome bowl $14.95
B. Mini buds $1.95
C. Eyelet candle holders $1.95
D. Long neck $3.95
E. Squirly hanging candle holder $2.95
F. Lumier candle holders $3.95 - 4.95