Thursday, August 6, 2009

I've known since early-on in the planning process that I wanted a photo booth. And that a real one is not in the budget. So I've been excitedly following each new, creative fauxtobooth idea that has come out.

I loved the classic look of the pro-manned Mrs. Avocado black and white booth - especially the use of the whiteboard!

How could I resist the photo frame wall?!?! I seriously spent an entire day brainstorming ways to adapt this to make it easy for volunteers/friends to set-up before admitting that I just couldn't do it.
And Our Labor Of Love's SmileBooth always has great results...
I considered creating a whole photo booth set-up, a la Mrs. Fondue, but started to get overwhelmed by the idea. Then I started to think about just setting up a backdrop, and having a designated photographer (slave/cousin). In the end though, it was just too hard. The only place where there is really room at the reception is on the front porch, and I just couldn't come up with anything that wouldn't look icky as people walked up.

I knew I wanted people to be able to leave messages, but I thought that a whole printer set-up would be way too complicated. I was convinced for a long time that I'd just provide white/chalkboards and have people write their message in the photo, and then print out the pictures as a book after the wedding, to serve as the guestbook. I'd post the photos online for everyone so they could see them all and order any that they wanted. It was such a good plan.

I just couldn't figure out where to set it up.

And then came pogo. Thank you, Polaroid, for coming out with a digital camera that prints 2x3 stickers! New plan: Just a general area with no backdrop. Slave/cousin takes photos or hands camera to guests (and makes sure that the battery stays charged and the film stays full). Guests take pictures, print them directly from the camera, and stick them into guestbook. Colorful pens provided for them to write notes/doodle/etc. Pictures are still uploaded for them to look at/order later!

Of course, the camera didn't come out until this summer, and is constantly sold out, so it was hard to track down, but it is on its way to me *right now*! (And thanks to my employee discount, I got 10% off by ordering it from - I am seriously using every discount before I leave this job!) I can't wait to take it out and play around with it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Engagement photos

Our wedding photographer, Beth Harris, also did our engagement shoot. We met with her at Maymont Park in Richmond, and had a great time getting some shots in. She was super-quick about getting the digitals to me (I was just slow in posting!)

My favorite:

Want to see the rest? Click here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I know, I owe a million posts!

Here's what I owe you, but am not going to talk about right now:
  • bridesmaid dresses came in
  • rsvps have started coming back
  • I did a trial run of the chocolates
  • I'm not baking cupcakes
  • our engagement photos
  • other photos
  • the band!
  • hair and make-up trials
  • shoes
  • programs
  • photobooth planning

Instead, I'm going with something that requires no uploading of photos (because I'm lazy). I got a job offer! Actually, I got two job offers, and turned them both down. Now, if you are paying any attention to the legal market right now, you realize that I'm completely stressed out about finding a job. You realize that I'm applying for everything that I might even conceivably have a chance at, and that's only about 2-3 jobs each week (that's not many). And I'm not getting interviews.

In light of all that, you may even think that I've lost my mind. How on earth could I turn down two actual, real job offers?! Well, largely, it's about priorities. Getting married is changing my priorities. I can no longer make choices just based on what seems best for me. I have to actually take another person into account! And what's more, he reminds me to take my own sanity into account instead of just following the money.

One of the jobs would have been a temp job that required traveling 2/3 weeks. I think I would have been a perfect fit for the type of work - just not the schedule. It would have started two weeks before my current position was over (and that first 2 weeks of traveling would have ended the day before the wedding). So, without a regret, I said no.

The other job was part-time, and not in a town we want to settle in. The work would have been fine, but wasn't exactly what I'm looking for. And again, I felt good about saying no.

...but there is a small part of me that feels ungrateful. I mean, who complains about finding a job and then turns down two job offers?!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Invitations are out!

A few weeks ago, while MOH and I were both visiting home (and each other), we had an addressing party. My mom and I went over the the maid-of-honor's mom's , and the four of us (MOH, MOB, me, and MO-MOH) put the invitations together. MO-MOH owns a business that is largely based on her ability to write beautifully, and MOH has been helping her mom with that for longer than I've known her (and that's more than 10 years now). So they took over the main task of addressing the envelopes (and I did a few, mostly out of guilt over the fact that they were being so sweet!).

My mom pitched in as the official stamper and stuffer. We used forever stamps that I bought right before the prices went up (for both the invitations and the RSVP envelopes). They may not be the most wedding-y, but I am proud of the money I saved by doing it this way.

So I've been patiently waiting to send them out. And I think it's close enough now! Last night, Mr. L and I finished everything up. I re-addressed envelopes to a few people that I know have moved, and to my grandmother (whose husband recently passed away). Mr. L was sweet enough to tackle the unfortunate duty of licking all the envelopes (I do love him). Some of them weren't very sticky, so he actually licked and glue-sticked most of them. It makes me wonder what other DIY projects he could be helping out on!

This morning on my way to work, they all went in the post box! Suddenly, it feels like the wedding is very soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why I love Etsy (so far)

I really do love etsy. I have lost count of how many gifts I've bought from etsy vendors, and I know that the homepage always has great inspiration when I'm at a loss. So it was a logical choice when I started wedding planning. Of course I'd use alchemy/custom to find things when I knew what I wanted but couldn't find it, and of course etsy would be an easy choice when I wanted quality that I shouldn't be able to afford!

First, I went to etsy for invitations. I found an amazing letterpress printer who worked with me (and that's a major accomplishment, considering how many revisions I made!) to design exactly the invitation suite I wanted, and then ran half of the set through the letterpress twice, just to make sure it looked perfect! He was absolutely amazing, and less than half the price of even some of the DIY kits I looked at!

Then I turned to etsy for wedding bands. I am super excited about this one (as I have mentioned before). I love our bands. I love that they were custom-made for us (even though they don't have an inscription). I love that they are titanium, so they feel a little special to me. I love the price (and I'll love the price even more if we ever need to replace one). And I love that the seller has an easy exchange policy in case we change sizes (since titanium can't be re-sized). I sooo couldn't be happier about this purchase!

I also bought Mr. L's wedding present on etsy, but that's a surprise! The seller was, as usual, great to work with, and I got a great deal on something totally personal.

The fabric that I was desperately looking for to cover the cupcake tower? Someone on etsy had some that was perfect (read: exactly what I envisioned), and for a steal! They were uber-responsive, and I had exactly as much as I needed, pronto! I think one of the best things about etsy is that the quality of the items I order consistently surprises me by being even better than I expected. This was a great example of just that. This was wonderful, heavy fabric!

Most recently, I had someone one etsy create the design that I printed on my cookie bags! I put up an alchemy request, and ended up with a design I love for a great price with great customer service. I also discovered the work of a great graphic designer, and I'm convinced that I'll come up with some excuse to buy something from her again in the near future.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cupcake Tower

I finally made the cupcake tower. I hope that it'll work out as well when there are actually cupcakes on it!

I used the tutorial here as a guide for making the foam core tiers. I did make each tier shorter so that it wouldn't seem so overwhelming (mine are only 2" each instead of 6" tall).
Then I had to figure out how to stack them/what to use to separate them. I was inspired by round gift boxes used for my mom's mothers' day gift. They were just about the right height, and it seemed like we could attach the lid to one box and the base to the other so that they could be taken apart, but would fit nicely together. There was a little evolution from there, and I ended up with these foam core tubes made from the scraps left over from making the tiers.

There are cross supports that fit snugly in each tube attached to the tiers so that the tubes slide onto the cross on the top of one tier and the bottom of the next. The result is a tower that collapses to a relatively small pile but should be pretty stable when assembled (and should be super-simple to assemble). I think. I even labeled the support tubes on the inside so that it'll be easy to see which one fits best where (because I'm only so exact, and each is a little different from the next).

Finally, I covered it all in pretty striped fabric from etsy.

The fabric (with enough left over that I think I may be able to use it to recover the seats of my dining room chairs), incl shipping, etc.: $16
The glue gun, tons more glue than I'll ever use, and foamboard (with about 3 boards left): $12.22

total cost of project: $28.22

Monday, May 4, 2009

A San Francisco Treat

I will always associate trolleys with San Fran. It was the first place I saw one. And from that first trip on my childhood, I was delighted. It's perhaps the only form of public transportation that I think of as cute and adorable and nostalgic (trains just seem dirty and loud to me). And I LOVE wedding pictures featuring trolleys!

Our reception location is in a historic neighborhood, and the only parking is on the street, so I wanted to make sure to offer some sort of transportation for our guests if at all possible. I was debating exactly what kind of transportation to provide (will a full-sized charter bus fit on those little streets, or should I go with multiple smaller buses), when I discovered that there is a transport company in Richmond that rents out trolleys! They have two, which I think will be just enough for us (hopefully everyone who wants to ride will be able to).

This is the interior of the trolley we'll be getting! I am a little worried about the fact that they don't have A/C - it will still be earlier September. I'm hoping that a cooler filled with ice-cold drinks will make up for it.

So far, it seems like Winn Transportation is really easy to work with. I can't wait to see the trolley on The Day!