Introducing my cure for my "wedding planning withdrawls." LOL!!!
After making a few diaper cakes and towel cakes as gifts, and then friends asking me to make some for them, I have realized that this is the perfect solution to my "wedding planning withdrawls," lol!!! The response has been so positive, I'm really loving it.
I'm calling it Stacks of Love with a line of "Baby Stacks" (diaper cakes) and "Home Stacks" (towel cakes). I've got my blog up and running. Next step is an Etsy store. Check out my blog when you get a chance :)
Its "open!" My Etsy store is up and running with items listed!!! Come visit if you'd like :)
Thanks for looking :)
P.S. Thanks to some creative ladies here on PW for their inspiration with the name. There were a lot of creative ideas :)
The events began on Friday night for the rehearsal. It went well with a little chaos. It can be challenging getting the attention of that many people for more than a minute or two. We then celebrated with an incredible dinner hosted at the beautiful home of my DH's parents'.
Set-Up: We caravan'd down to the hotel Saturday afternoon (day before wedding) with all of my DIY projects, wine, etc. We spent the evening setting up the ceremony area (DIY fabric backdrops and Persian spread "sofreh"). A few times, I took a second to look around. It was really an experience to remember. Seeing our parents and siblings coming together like that for our wedding was so special. I stayed at the hotel with my Mom and my MOH while my DH went home for the night.
The big day: I was surprisingly calm and collected throughout the entire day. A huge relief for me was having my DOC there. Once she arrived I knew that I didn't have anything to worry about. My girls and I all got ready in the suite my Mom and I had stayed in. What seemed like a spacious suite quickly turned into a small space and a bit chaotic once my girls and "beauty team" arrived around 11am. It was strange, almost like an ordinary day...until I opened the card(s) from my DH. He had sent over with my BM a stack of cards. Each one represented different parts of me and us as a couple. The last one was a picture of a sweet elderly couple. It clicked...we were finally getting married and building the rest of our lives together. The emotions were huge. Thankfully it was before my makeup had been done :)
Pre-Ceremony Pics: We had decided to do pics before the ceremony. I'm so glad we did. The "Wow" moment was still very much there. As I came down the glass elevator I saw my DH as his back was toward me. The anticipation was incredible. Our BP, parents and grandparents stood close by. The look on his face as he turned to see me will forever be in my mind. For another 20 minutes or so, he couldn't stop repeatedly saying, with a giant smile, "Wow!" Here's our "first look":
Ceremony (traditional Persian spread "Sofreh"): The ceremony was breathtaking! It felt like forever as I stood there with my Dad waiting for my DOC's que. The BP had already gone down. The music changed. Our DOC pulled back the drapes for us to walk through. Our closest family and friends looked back at me while we made our way down the aisle. The room was gorgeous, romantic, warm and elegant. I felt the emotions building. Just before I lost it, I locked eyes with my DH. He was standing there so proud with that giant smile still on his face. The officiant was so eloquent. He combined Persian and American traditions so beautifully. Our guests have all mentioned how special and personal the ceremony was. As our officiant pronounced us as "Husband and Wife," we practically did a victory dance back down the aisle. During the cocktail hour, we took a few minutes to get a few pictures of just my DH and I before joining our guests for the remainder of the cocktail hour. The reception was so much fun. The food was good, the cake was delicous. The highlight of the reception was definitely the music and dancing. The dance floor was packed the entire night. My DH and I hardly left the dance floor ourselves.
The new Mr. & Mrs.
Some of the details:
Next day "brunch": A lot of our guests stayed the night at the hotel. The next morning we all joined for breakfast. It was really fun as they all cheered as we entered the restaurant :)
Overview: We definitely met our goals for the wedding. We wanted an intimate ceremony and a FUN reception. There is no way to fully explain the joy and excitement throughout the day. I felt more close to my DH than ever before. We lived together for some time before getting married, so we thought things wouldn't feel much different once married. To our surprise, things have changed. Its slight, but definitely different :) My DH described it best as a great sense of calmness.
We decided to do a TTD (Trash the Dress) photo session with Carmen Perez of Studio by Carmen. I first met Carmen when I hired her to do my amazing Boudoir pics. I had so much fun with her and was so impressed with her talent, I knew she'd be perfect for the job. Everything seemed to work out just perfectly the day of the shoot. The weather was sunny and beautiful (anyone familiar with SF knows that a sunny day without any fog is rare). Carmen and her husband, Favio were so fun to work with. They give such great direction and Carmen's attention to detail always amazes me :) On top of it all, she is so creative!
We started at the Marina, then the Legion of Honor. We finished things up at the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths. The sun had set by the time we made the hike down so we did some flash photography near the cave and on the rocks. Overall, the day was really fun and I'm so glad we did it!
As always, Carmen blew us away with her gorgeous pics showcasing her skill behind the camera! My DH and I truly LOVE every image she sent us. I really struggled to narrow down before uploading to PW. If you want to see all the uploaded images, click here.
Here are some of our ABSOLUTE favs:
My FI and I live in beautiful Sonoma County of Northern California. I'm an Interior Designer and FI is an "Account Exec" for a medical supply company. We are recently engaged so we're just at the beginning stages of the planning process.
Currently, we're experiencing extreme sticker-shock over the outrageous price-tags weddings come with! With that in mind, we've yet to set a date, but we're tentatively thinking of holding off for a couple years to give us some time to save and plan what
we want, rather than settling. He's Persian and I'm American. We plan to incorporate traditions of both cultures setting the way of our lives together. As an Interior Designer, I am loving planning the decor and setting for our wedding vision.
*UPDATE*...We've decided on the date. We're scheduling for August 31, 2008 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Rafael, CA. Its the Sunday of Labor Day weekend. With that said, I now need to kick the planning into high gear. With it being a holiday weekend, I'm booking vendors asap.
Well, I can't say that it was a shock or that I was completely surprised when he popped the question. We had been discussing marriage and our lives together so much, that we both knew it was coming soon. My birthday was quickly approaching. While on a weekend celebration with friends and family, he proposed the day before my birthday while we were all on the bow of our friends yacht. It was beautiful! My FI made sure our friends had the champagne ready! Apparently he had asked for my parents' blessing TWO months before proposing. I don't know how my mom kept it in!
It is custome made, cast white gold and platinum prongs. Our jeweler measured the exact space between my middle and pinkie fingers to ensure a perfect fit for my petite finger. I have to say, the fit is amazing and the sparkle is gorgeous!
*Update* We were originally going to just stick to just the engagement ring for budget reasons, but my FI recently decided to have a matching wedding band made. He had the wedding band engraved with "Ishkaman" (Farsi for "My Love"). He has called me that for years :)
My friend and I started playing around with the rings and my crystal tree centerpieces. The pics below are the result of our spur of the moment, late-night photo-shoot...LOL!
Snapped by Robert Valdes Photography, we had a great time at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. To see some of our other favorites, see my photos under tag "Engagement."
As mentioned before, my FI is Persian and I'm American so we're mixing our traditions throughout the wedding. For the ceremony, we'll model it mostly around Persian traditions with a few American influences. The above image is an example of a modern take of the Sofreh (symbolic spread that the Bride and Groom sit in front of during the ceremony). We are going to use this as our main inspiration minus the pink. We love the glass and contemporary edge. Our ceremony will be indoors and we'll be using a lot of candles to reflect off the glass and crystal.
The original inspiration is elegant, yet too simple for my taste. For our Centerpieces, we'll be doing half with Crystal Trees and half with a the submerged orchid (above). ***Update*** My DIY Mock-up is finally complete! My FMIL picked up a few manzanita branches from the SF Flower Mart and I couldn't resist playing a little. I found the urns on sale at michael's.
Crystals: www.shopwildthings.com (crystals sold as "beaded curtains") They're acrylic crystal stands. I simply cut the strands from the curtain rail and then cut them into various lengths to hang on the branches. **They're also the same crystal strands I used as a prop in my boudoir pics...lol**
Branches: SF Flower Mart And from www.bloomsandbranches.com
Base/Vase (Urn): Michael's (local craft store)
Silk Orchids: Michael's (Purchased on stems) I trimmed blooms with wire cutters and used low-temp glue gun to adhere to branches.
Ribbon (on "table"): SF Flower Mart
Votives (not pictured): www.FlowerSupplies.com
Tools needed for this project:
Low-temp Glue Gun & Glue sticks (to adhere flowers and crystals to branches)
Spray Foam Insulation (found at hardware stores & is typically used to fill cracks and crevices around doors and windows during construction). Its inexpensive, light-weight, extremely easy to use and VERY sticky!!! Be careful when using...whatever the foam gets on, its there forever...seriously.
Painter's Tape (to hold branches in place in the Vase/Urn while filling with foam insulation)
Wire Cuters (to snip silk flowers off stems).
*Total Cost: Approx. $25 each centerpiece (not including Tools, Ribbon, and Votives)
I used spray foam insulation to hold the branches in place. It worked really well...inexpensive, light-weight and easy to use. I used "painter's" tape to wrap around the base of each branch and secured to the vase/urn just the way I wanted it to set (see picture below). Once the tape was secure, I sprayed the foam according to the directions. Remember to allow for the expansion. Most foam insulation doubles in size. To ensure it dried thuroughly, I sprayed one layer at a time. It took about an hour to dry to the touch. Once filled and dried, I removed the tape and used extra crystal strands to cover the foam. It looks almost like the vase/urn was overflowing with crystals. *TIP: Between use of the spray foam, leave the straw on the can and leave it filled with the foam. It will expand within the "straw" by oozing out a little. Let it dry like that...it will keep from the entire can from drying out. When you go to use it again, gently press the "trigger" and the dried foam in the straw will push right out. Use wax paper on your work surface to keep the foam from sticking to your table/work surface.
Once the crystals were cut from the curtain rail, I cut them into varying lengths (approx. 24"-30" or so) Drape crystals on the branches. You can add as many as desired. I've seen some trees that are filled with crystals and look like Weeping Willow trees. I preferred less. For my branches, I used about 15 strands of crystals for each branch. I placed the strands so the hang on the branch about midway of the strand.
Add silk blooms (if desired). I put 2 blooms together (back-to-back) so that the back of the bloom didn't show. I placed five pairs throughout each branch (10 blooms per tree). In terms of design, odd numbers are best for arranging things like this.
I used votive candles on the tables for ambiance and to add sparkle to the crystals. Extra crystal strands were used as filler/cover on the top of the base. In place of table runners, I used ribbon. I pre-cut them into desired lengths (same length as table linens) and re-rolled them for easy storing and transporting.
I purchased my crystals from www.shopwildthings.com. They're acrylic crystal strand "curtains." I simply cut the strands from the curtain rail and then cut them into various lengths to hang on the branches. **They're also the same crystal strands I used as a prop in my boudoir pics...lol**
Close-up (with rings):
Above is a sketch of our cake. It will be 2 square tiers and 1 round tier, all ivory with ivory dots, and ivory "lace" on middle layer. Red ribbon will wrap each layer at the base. To top it off will be the crystalized monogram.
Cake-topper Inspiration ($95):
DIY Cake-Topper (approx. $35):
The lighting is a bit off, but it looks great! I had concerns that it would be a bit cheesy with the crystals but I love it :) I purchased the monogram online for less than $25...I think about $22-$23. The crystals were about $12. I already had the glue from all my other crystal projects.
***Thanks to fellow PW member, Feather, I have now found the website that I ordered the monogram from. I know...sounds silly. I forgot the website and couldn't seem to find it. Anyway, they have several materials, fonts, sizes to choose from. You can also order them with or without crystals. I ordered without and added the crystals myself. The font on their site is called "English 111 Presto."
I struggled for some time before our wonderful florist suggested the simple design. The end result will be the design shown in the large image above. It will be made with the flowers as seen in the smaller images. Leaves will also be used at the base to give more structure. I'm so relieved I finally decided on this!
Sample (original design) on me:
I love this dress! In Ivory with Ivory sash. The bow is removeable...thankfully. I'm also changing the neckline to a 'sweetheart.' I think it looks so much more flattering and feminine that way. The sample happens to be my exact size so I tried it on with my shoes and veil. It was beautiful. I didn't want to take it off! ***Update*** I had my first fitting and it was so great to finally see the dress with the changes. It finally feels real now that I have "the" dress.
The Finished Product:
I design and create jewelry, so I knew exactly what I was looking for when it came to my wedding day jewelry.
For my necklace, I wanted crystals to accent the crystal beading throughout my dress and the crystals in our wedding theme. I also wanted to pearls not only because they're pretty, but because they symbolize innocence and a pure heart. I had planned to make my jewelry since I had the means and knew just what I wanted, but that all changed when my MIL and I went shopping. We went to the annual sample sale at the SF Gift Center. We stumbled upon a woman with beautiful handcrafted jewelry. It caught my eye...my wedding necklace that I had invisioned was there on her table. The price was great. It cost about the same as the materials would have cost me to purchase. It was worth saving time to make it myself. Without even thinking about it, I bought it.
My earrings were given as a gift. Unfortunately, I have no idea where they came from, but I did love them.
My dress came with a bow that fortunately was easily removed. I found the perfect brooch to add just a touch of sparkle to the sash from Jena Richards. The shipping and customer service were great. More importantly, I love the brooch.
At the end of the ceremony, it is Persian tradition for the bride and groom to be showered with gifts (typically jewelry & gold coins). My MIL gave me a beautiful diamond bracelet that I LOVE :)
My cousin married last July and his new wife graciously offered her veil as my 'something borrowed.' The veil is gorgeous, simple, elegant and Cathedral length...very long :) When I tried it on with my dress, it really looks as though it was made to go with it. My Cousin-in-law had her seamstress add a few clear snaps on the veil to bustle it for the reception (see pic above), but I plan to wear it completely down for the ceremony and replace the veil with an orchid for the reception.
I ordered custom Garters from MiaVonMinksGarters (seller on www.etsy.com). I absolutely love it! I searched everywhere and couldn't find the perfect garters. Mia makes beautiful items, but none were in my colors. I contacted her and she does custom designs! I gave her the overview of my style and the colors and theme of the wedding. I told her that I like "vintage with a twist of modern." Colors: Brown & Red; Theme: Crystals and Monogram ("M"). This is the keepsake garter she created:
The toss garter is identical except instead of the "M" charm she used a crystal rhinestone. I love it! Here's the link to her store: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5278690
***UPDATE*** After wear the sparkly Alfani shoes during a fitting...I quickly realized I wasn't going to make it through the wedding in them. I quickly started looking for another pair. I couldn't justify spending more money on another pair of "wedding" shoes that I'd likely never wear again. That's when I decided to get a colorful and FUN pair. Thanks to the ladies here on PW, I found Zappos.com. Their prices and customer service have been excellent. You can't beat their return policy and free shipping. I found this hot, sexy and fun pair from Zappos.com. They're much prettier in person...red satin with red rhinestone accents. They have a really nice vintage feel. I'm in love...lol!
The plan is to wear the silver sparkly Alfani pair for pre-pics and the ceremony. I'll "turn up the heat" for the reception by changing into the red pair :) ***Post Wedding Update: I loved the Red shoes so much, I ended up wearing them the entire day and through the night. Surprisingly, the comfort wasn't too bad. My feet hurt, but considering the hours and hours I was on them all day and then dancing into the night...not bad :)
Here's a few from our TTD session:
I must say, I heard a LOT of comments about my shoes. Not one of them was negative :) Girls, if you're a SHOE person like me, where a pair that express you. If that means their sexy stilletos or a vintage pump in a wild color...do it :)
I love the look of this half-up do. I even like the sparkly clip. This has been the motivation for growing out my hair. My FMIL is my stylist and always wants to keep my hair at my shoulders. Once I showed her this pic, she's been on board with letting my hair grow...thank goodness!! I'll have a chapel veil with just under my hair in the back for pics and ceremony only. Then I'll remove it and place an orchid or something pretty in my hair for the reception.
***Update*** Lets just say that Hair trial #1 didn't go very well. Within an hour of leaving the salon the entire style fell. I just went back for round 2. It went much better. Thankfully I'm feeling much better and love the results.
The day of we'll be using clipiin extensions for length and volume. I also have some tiny crystal hair accessories. The veil will slip under the top portions of the curls in the back. My FMIL does my hair (cut and color) so the next time she does my color we'll be keeping my overall color close to my natural dark brown and toning down the highlights so it doesn't look streaky in the "half-up do."
Actual Hair on Wedding Day: (with clip-in Extensions). You couldn't even tell that I had extensions...people thought I grew my hair-out :)
A dear friend of mine is an incredibly talented makeup artist (Makeup Designs by Heather). I'm so glad she is going to be able to do mine for the Wedding! Here's a sample of her work and what I'm hoping she does for me.
Inspiration: (smokey & sultry)
***Update*** I had my makeup trial yesterday. Heather is an amazing artist. She's so sweet yet professional! Since our wedding is a semi-formal, evening wedding, I decided to go with more dramatic makeup. I love the way it turned out and it really didn't feel heavy ;) I asked Heather to do a smokey eye with everything else soft. She executed it perfectly! Here are pics (please don't mind the hair...it was a long day, lol!!)
Day of Wedding:
Each of my girls are selecting the style from the After Six collection from Dessy. The dresses will be in Espresso Brown and if the style they choose has a sash it will be in Burgandy. I still have one more girl left to pick out a style.
Day of Wedding:
I'm put together basketS of goodies. In each basket I'm including V.S. loungewear set for getting ready in, custom jewelry rolls embroidered with their first initials, flip-flops to wear while getting ready and/or during reception, body glue (to hold straps and what not in place), hand lotion, nail file, etc.
I designed the Monogram and overall layout with Microsoft Publisher. From there I relied on my friend at a local print shop. They're printed on beautiful metallic cardstock. I added two slits to hold the keepsake magnets printed by VistaPrint.com (GREAT prices!!!). To add a touch of our crystal theme, I glued a small swarovski crystal to the monogram. Overall, I'm beyond happy with the final result. I'm looking forward to completing more projects!
Yay!!! The invitations are done! Well, I'm still assembling about half of them, but I'm so glad to have some of them done. I designed the invitation, monogram, and inserts on Micorsoft Publisher. The cardstock and pocketfolds were purchased from www.cardsandpockets.com. They are amazing and made my life easier since I didn't have to make the pocket folds. I embellished the invites with crystals on the monograms and a touch of ribbon. I love the way they turned out. The RSVP 'postcard' is on its way from www.vistaprint.com. I designed that as well on Publisher. Assembling continues and then addressing the envelopes...ugh.
**Update: Assembly Instructions**
- Pockets folds (Mine were purchased from Cards and Pockets, style Retangolo, color Cranberry metallic)
- Card Stock (I used 8-1/2" x 11" also purchased from Cards and Pockets)
- Ribbon (I used 5/8" width, purchased from a floral wholesale shop)
- Crystals (purchased from Art Beads)
- RSVP postcard (see more info here)
- Patience, lol!
- Glue (I used craft glue E6000 to adhere the crystals to the monogram)
- Adhesive for paper (I used permanent adhesive that was applied with a roll-on tape dispenser)
I first began with a blank pocket fold.
Our monogram was a big part of our wedding so I knew I wanted to incoporate it into our invitations.
The monogram: To design the monogram, I used Microsoft Publisher (PowerPoint can be used, its very similar). *Note: Other programs can be used, I'm most familiar with these two. Once the design was completed, I had the monograms printed on my cardstock (color champagne, metallic) by a local print/copy center. My home printer didn't print well on the metallic paper. To save time and a lot of headache, I opted to have the print/copy center crop the monograms per my specifications/crop marks (2" square). I added a 2-1/4" mat (color chocolate brown) behind the monogram to make it stand-out more. I used E6000 craft glue to attach the small swarovski crystal to the mongoram for a little sparkle. I then glued the monogram to the mat using the roll-on tape adhesive.
Invitation: Just as the monograms, I designed the invitations using MS Publisher and had them printed and cropped on my cardstock (color champagne, mettalic) by my local print/copy center. I designed the invitation around the dimensions of the center part of the pocket fold. Be sure to allow space on the left of the invitation for the ribbon and monogram detail.
Invitation and Mat Sizing:
- Center area of pocket fold = 7" x 5".
- Mat (Chocolate Brown cardstock) = 6-3/4" x 4-3/4"
- Invitation is 6-1/2" x 4-1/2".
Computer Layout Instructions (using either MS Publisher OR PowerPoint):
*Once invitations have been printed and cropped / trimmed, its time to assemble. Using the roll-on adhesive, I attached the ribbon to the invitation. Fold the excess ribbon over to the back.
Using the same roll-on adhesive, attach the monogram to the invite, centered over the ribbon.
Again, use the roll-on adhesive, attach the invite with the mat and mongoram to the pocket fold.
Inserts: I chose to include four inserts in order to include more detail information for our guests.
Using MS Publisher once again, I designed the inserts to fit in the 7" x 4" pocket (see sizing info below). I also had the inserts printed and cropped by my local print/copy center.
- Large insert = 6-3/4"w x 3-7/8"h
- Medium insert = 6-3/4"w x 3-1/4"h
- Small insert = 6-3/4"w x 2-5/8"h
Collate the inserts and slide into the pocket.
Slide the response card (in my case, a postcard) in the pocket over the inserts. Lastly, add another monogram to the outer flap of the pocketfold...VOILA!!! A finished DIY pocket fold invitation!!
To keep things simple and within our slim budget, I designed our RSVP cards as postcards. Not only were they less expensive to make, but we saved on the postage too! With Microsoft Publisher (PowerPoint can also be used for the same purpose), I designed the front and the back of the postcard. Including all the information necessary, I was careful to carry the monogram theme through. The PW boards were extremely helpful in the wording. There has been a lot of talk regarding unwanted +1's and more. To avoid that, I included a line that states how many seats are reserved in their party. After uploading the design to www.VistaPrint.com, I received 100 postcards for less the $20 during one of the many promotions! The pocket of my invitations measures 4" and the postcard is slightly larger. I was careful to consider this when I designed the layout. Once the postcards arrived from VistaPrint, I trimmed a little off the bottom so they would fit in the pocket fold invitation.
Since our wedding is a fusion of two cultures, we felt that programs were necessary to clarify some of the Persian cultural traditions not common to American weddings. With our tight budget, I of course took this project on as another DIY! I designed them in Microsoft Publisher and had the inserts printed and cropped (to save time) at my local print/copy center. They took a lot longer to assemble than I thought, but the end result was worth it!
- Cardstock - 2 Colors, 1 for the backing, the other for the inserts. (Cards and Pockets)
- Mini Brads - 2 per program (Michael's, they have all kinds of finishes and some with embellishments)
- Crystal (Art Beads)...optional bling
- Paper Cutter
- Bone Folder (used to crease paper to make folding easier)
- E6000 craft glue (to adhere crystal embellishment)
- 1/8" Hole puncher
Binding/backing: First measure, mark and cut the paper for the outer protion of the programs (3-1/2" x 11"). I used 8 1/2" x 11" sheets and then cut them to size. When designing the programs, take in consideration the 11" length and work around that.
Make a crease 3/4" down from the top with a Bone Folder to make a clean fold. This will fold over the inserts and act as the binding for the finished program. **Tip: Be sure to consider the 3/4" fold at the top when designing the inserts.**
Inserts: I designed the inserts using MS Publisher (PowerPoint can also be used) and had them printed and cropped on my paper (per my specifications) by the local print/copy center. Considering the 3/4" fold of the backing (chocolate brown paper shown in above picture) the longest insert measures 3-1/2" wide x 10-1/4" long. Each insert is roughly 3/4" shorter than the last. Once bound, they'll 'tier', revealing the insert below.
Correlate the inserts and then added the dark brown paper ("backing"). Then use the hole puncher to punch 1/8" holes through all the layers of each program at once. The holes are about 1/2" in from each side and centered from the top-to-bottom of the 3/4" backing "flap."
Place the mini silver brads in the punched holes to bind all layers together. You can also use ribbon or eyelets to bind the programs. If using eyelets, you will need an eyelet tool to firmly secure them.
I designed these on the computer as I did with all the other stationary projects. I then had the local print/copy center print them on the same creamy shimmery paper used for all of my stationary. I then mounted them onto a dark brown paper, cut just a 1/4" larger than to create a border. I carefully cut the corks to hold the card. Once placing the card into the corks, I quickly realized it wasn't stable enough. I then added a 3rd cork to stabalize the stand by glueing it with a low-temp glue gun.
Another project checked off the list. We're not registering for gifts, so I wanted to be sure we had an eye-catching card box. I had seen this somewhere and made a mental note of it. When Michael's (thank goodness for that store!) had frames 50% off, I started laying out my plan.
- (4) Frames of choice, I used 11x14, but you can use 8x10 frames. (Craft Store)
- Foam Core board; enough to use as a base and a top to the box. (Craft Store)
- (4) 4-pack L-Brackets (or Corner Brackets) - 16 brackets total (local Hardware Store)
- Roll of Duct tape (local Hardware Store)
- Lazy-Susan, inexpensive and small enough to fit under your box without showing (local hardward store)
- Roll of Shelf Liner OR cover of your choice for the top of the box.
- Tape Measure
- Power Drill (with bits and srew head)
- X-acto Knife
*Before purchasing the brackets, be sure that the length of them doesn't interfere with opening and closing the back of your frame (to put in picture). Also, be sure that the screws are not longer than the thickness of the frame. You don't want screws coming through the front of your frames.
*When cutting foam core, make sure your blade is sharp. Don't try to cut through it in one pass. Score it and score it again. Keep doing it until you finally slice all the way through. If you try to cut foam core in one pass, you'll probably end up with really jagged edges. Taking it slowly, layer by layer will give you a clean cut.
Remove the glass, matting and any other picture insert stuff in the frame, leaving you with just the frame. This will make assembling much easier, and help the glass and matting from getting damaged during the project. Carefully measure the placement of the brackets. Two brackets will go on each side of the frames to hold the frames together. One bracket will go in the center of each frame at the top and the bottom to hold the foam core as the 'base' and the 'top' of the box. See pics for clarification.
After measuring and marking bracket placement, pre-drill holes. Attach brackets to frame starting with just the two centered on each frame at the top and bottom. This is much easier to do while the frames are still apart. Then begin attaching the rest of the brackets on the sides of the frames, attaching them together.
Once your frames are together and you have a box, trace out the exact shape and size of the bottom and then top of the box onto the foam core. Use the x-acto knife to trim the foam core. Then measure and mark the card slot opening. I made mine about 8" wide by about a 1/2". Carefully cut out the opening of the foam core for the "top". Then cover the "top" piece with the shelf liner or desired cover. I was lucky to find shelf liner that looked and felt like brown suede. The bonus is that it was already sticky-backed and inexpensive. Carefully press the shelf liner onto the foam core while smoothing away any air bubbles. Using the x-acto knife, cut a slice down the center of the card opening, lengthwise; and press the shelf liner down through the hole. *Note: I also put the liner on the bottom piece of foam core to give a finished look. When I looked through the card slot hole, I didn't like that I could see the foam core...its completely optional and up to.
Use duct tape to secure the "bottom/base" foam core to the 4 bottom brackets. Once the base is securely in place, you can then attach the lazy susan, also using duct tape. Add the "top" to your box and Viola...a finished photo card box. I must say that after finishing this project, I'm really amazed with my handy skills...lol. I purchased the materials and completed the entire project in an afternoon. The approximate total cost was $50-$60. The best part is that I can remove all the brackets, and re-use the frames after the wedding.
***Post Wedding Update*** The best part about this project is that it can be used after the wedding. I have already taken apart the box and hung the frames on the wall :) I plan to assemble another photo frame box, but smaller to hold all our beautiful wedding cards.
The corks were saved, collected and "donated" by friends and family. Luckily, we have a lot of friends and family that drink a lot of wine :) I love that there's a large variety of corks with different designs.
I sliced just a sliver off one side of the cork so it stands flat on its side. I then sliced a groove down the center for the card to sit in. That's right...I single handedly cut each cork with a very sharp xacto knife. The blade had to be changed pretty regularly, but they turned out great.
Wedding Day (with DIY place cards):
Our venue has the typical tacky bold carpet. For the aisle runner, I chose a heavier muslin to avoid the patterned carpet from showing through too much. This prevented me from being able trace the monogram through the fabric. Thankfully my FI is a gadget guy and has a projector.
- Fabric (I purchased mine from a discount fabric warehouse in San Francisco)
- Paint (Any acrylic paint will do. I used Liquitex that I had in my craft supplies.)
- Projector or over-head-projector
- tacks (push pins)
- wax paper
How to: After measuring out the fabric for approximate placement, I hung the fabric on the wall with a few tacks. My FI then set up the projector.
Using a pencil, I traced the monogram onto the fabric. Once the pattern was traced, I put wax paper on the table to protect it from any paint that might soak through.
After mixing up the paint, I began with the lighter color...then the darker.
The Wedding: (Non-Pro Pic)
My house has a great open layout, perfect for parties, so the Bridal Shower was at my house :) The favors were lavendar saches with a DIY bustier tag. The centerpieces (sorry, no good detail pics) were wire form bustiers decorated with ribbon, flowers coming out and string of balloons tied to the back of the bustier. If you look closely, you can see a bustier in the distance on the far right of the 2nd picture. The decorations were all pink & black. The cake leaned a little and was way too much cake for our party, but it was cute :)
As usual, I used Microsoft Publisher to layout the design for my final DIY wedding project. PowerPoint can be used if you don't have Publisher. I then uploaded the design to VistaPrint.com's folded photo cards. Their prices are unbeatable. In the end, each card will cost about 75 cents (including the envelope, tax and shipping). I took advantage of their "holiday card" sale. Since you upload your own design, it's not 'holiday-ish' at all :) The card itself appears more like an announcement so we can send them to guests and vendors as a 'thank you,' but also to guests that couldn't attend. The inside is blank for our handwritten message (as per propper ettiquette).
After staring at boxes of wedding stuff still taking up room in my craft area (for 5 months), I finally decided to make a shadowbox of our wedding stationary and other memorable items. I found myself having a really difficult time letting go of the extra stationary from our wedding. Now that I have them displayed in a nice way, I can let it go and re-claim my craft area for other projects...YAY!!!
- Shadowbox (I used a 14"x16" from Michael's...on sale for $19.99)
- Push Pins of choice (I used simple silver ball pins...they have different colors, crystals, pearls, etc.)
- Wedding "memorbilia" LOL!!!
Assembly: Simply lay out items within box. Once you're satisfied with a layout, use push pins to hold items in place.
Tips: Use as many items that capture the theme of your wedding. Not only did I use all my DIY stationary, but I also added a smalling manzanita branch clipping from our centerpieces along with some crystals and silk orchids. I also included the ribbon from the reception tables in the back (its a little tough to see in the pics). Corks were the place card and table number holders so I added a handful in the shadow box.
After much thought and discussion, FI and I have decided to head to Rome for 10 days following our wedding. A BIG thanks to FMIL and FFIL for their contribution! With their help, we're staying at their gorgeous time-share.
FI and I are both lovers of history, art, and architecture so we are extremely excited about this trip! We've already booked a couple tours. We plan to soak in as much of the "Eternal City" as we can.
My Husband :) and I had such a great time on our HM! Thanks to his parents' time share, we stayed in the beautiful Marriott just outside central Rome. The hotel was GORGEOUS and the service was spectacular. We chose to stay in Rome for our entire trip so we could relax, see everything we wanted, and not rush. I'm so glad we did it that way. We were able to see all the amazing, breathtaking monuments, while taking our time. We strolled and saw so many beautiful places: countless churches, piazzas & fontinas, the colleseum, Vatican & Sistine Chapel, and soooo much more. I was in heaven with the art, architecture and history. As an Interior Designer, I have studied Roman architecture and history for years. It was sureal to finally see it all person. I snapped a ton of architectural shots while my DH made sure to get pics with us :)
Here are some of my pics of the architecture (just some of my favorites):
Rome is really a place to see. If you haven't already, make a point to get there sometime in your life. Its gorgeous!!! The food is yummy, the language is beautiful, and there is so much to see and do.
A few months before my own wedding, my MOH was hosting her sister's bridal shower. She called me in a panic when she realized she had completely forgotten about favors and wish box. With not much time left, I jumped in to help. We brainstormed and concluded that the lovely bride, her sister, loves candles and daisies. In fact, daisies were part of her wedding theme. I ran to good ole Walmart, the Dollar store and Michael's. I found candles at the Walmart, "silk" flowers on stems and in bunches at the Dollar store, and ribbon, paper & boxes at Michael's.
Candle Favor Supplies/Materials: (Note: pricing calculated per dozen, then broken down)
- Votive Candle & Holder (Walmart $6.99/dozen) = $0.59 each *can also be found at Michael's for $7.99/dozen.
- Ribbon (Michael's, 1 spool per dozen at $2.50/roll) = $0.20 each
- "Silk"/Fake Flowers (Dollar Store, 1-1/2 bunches per dozen at $1/bunch) = $0.13 each *can also be found at Michael's, 1/2 bunch per dozen at $3.25/bunch.
- Cardstock for tags (Michael's, 1/2 sheet per dozen at $0.99/sheet) = $0.04 each *Tags are optional, cardstock scraps can be used.
**The total cost per candle favor is approximately $0.96 each
- Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks
- Specialty decorative scissors for tags (optional)
Assembly: Wrap ribbon around votive holder and tie bow. Trim excess ribbon leaving neat ends. Remove flower heads from stems. This typically can be done by simply sliding them off. If they don't slide off, you try scissors or wire cutters to remove the flower heads. Trim any remaining stem from the back of the flower as closely to the back of the flower head as possible to give a flat surface. This will make attaching the flower to the ribbon much easier.
Use the low-temp glue gun to attach the flower to the center of the ribbon bow.
If opting to have a tag, simply cut small tags into desired shape and size. For a little flare, use decorative border scissors. Once the tag is completed, use glue gun to attach to the ribbon on the opposite side as the flower.
*Tip: If your votive holders are tapered, you might find your ribbon slipping down. If your ribbon slips, add a small dab of glue with the glue gun under the ribbon. This should hold to the glass and prevent the ribbon from sliding.
I couldn't find boxes in the right colors. The bride loves summery, bright, fresh colors. The bottom box is more of an orange, but for some reason looks pink in the picture. I found some paper in my own craft box at home to cover basic boxes purchased at Michael's. I cut a slit in the top for the "wish" note cards. The ribbon and flowers on the top really finished the simple look. I purchased pre-made note cards at Michael's and added some flare with a fancy paper punchers that I found in my craft supplies at home :) We used the punched out daisies as confetti on the tables. It was really cute!
Wish Box & Note Card Supplies:
- Box or Boxes
- Paper to cover plain boxes (optional)
- Note cards (or paper to cut into note cards)
- Silk Flowers or other decorative embellishment for top.
Wish Box & Note Card Tools:
- Glue or double stick tape to wrap boxes (optional)
- Decorative paper punches
- Low-temp glue gun and stick
Wish Box & Note Card Assembly: Wrap boxes with decorative paper (if desired). Cut a slit in the top of the box for note cards. Wrap ribbon around boxes. Attach flowers to top with low-temp glue gun. Use paper punches to spice up note cards.
I gave these Candle Favors another try for my Aunt's upcoming bridal shower. The colors were inspired from the bright and cheery pink and purple daisy napkins.
<---Pink & Purple Daisy Napkins (color inspiration)
- Photographer: Axiom Photography (Now called 'Robert Valdes Photography')
- Caterer: American Cuisine included with Venue, Persian Cuisine: Apandana
- Florist: Grant Avenue Florist (by Millita)
- DJ: BIG FUN Disc Jockeys
- Engagement Photo Session
- DIY Save-the-Date Magnet and note card (Assembled & Mailed!)
- DIY Invitations (Assembled, Addressed and Mailed!!!)
- DIY Crystal Trees (8 total)
- DIY Cork Place Card & Table Number Holders
- DIY Place Cards
- DIY Table Numbers
- DIY Photo Card Box
- DIY Programs (including Menu)
- DIY Monogram Cake Topper (with crystals)
- DIY Bathroom Baskets (Filled & Signs framed)
- DIY Aisle Runner (with Monogram)
- DIY Photo Guestbook
- DIY Fabric Backdrops (for Ceremony and Reception)
- DIY Favors (Lotto scratchers in envelopes with penny and label)
- Dress, Veil, Shoes, and undergarments
- Garters (toss & keepsake)
- BM dresses (selected & ordered!!)
- Tuxedos (FI finally completed!!!)
- Toasting Flutes
- Cake Knife & Server
- Cake (design & flavors selected)
- Menu (selected & finalized)
- Obtain Marriage License
- Finalie with Officiant
- Wine & Champagne (selected & purchased)
- Bridal Party Thank You Gifts
- Rehearsal Invites Sent
- Rehearsal Dinner Menu (selected & ordered)
- Pick-up Dress & Veil!!!!
- Pack for wedding day/night AND for Honeymoon!*
- Edit Wedding & Honeymoon Pics
- Design, Create & Send 'Thank You'/Announcement Cards
- Create Photo Books (including "brag books" for both Moms)
- After shoot / TTD (Trash the Dress) photo shoot
- DIY wedding Shadow Box
I was asked to help with a couple details for a dear friend's bridal shower. I happily agreed and immediately started brainstorming as I only had 3 days to whip out favors and centerpieces. The lovely bride has such great taste and style and is planning a wedding themed with black, white, and red. I decided it'd be easiest to stay with those colors for the shower because I knew the bride would love it and the materials would be easy to find.
Candle Favors: With little time to spare, I resorted back to my candle bridal favors. They're cute, simple, easy to personalize, and popular. This time, I opted not to add a flower to the bow because it overpowered the adorable polka-dot ribbon. To see full instructions how to create candle favors, click here.
Flowers/Centerpieces: After taking a look through my vases at home, I decided on 4 rectangular and 2 small round (bowl-like) vases. I knew I wanted something that was simple but eye-catching. Fortunately, we have a local floral supply warehouse. I dashed over to pick-up some red roses and a couple bunches of their best red/burgandy carnations. While at the warehouse, I saw the cutest clear cellophane with white polka-dots. I picked-up a roll and figured I'd find a way to use it :)
- Flowers (Roses and Carnations)
- Colored or patterned cellophane *optional*
- Marbles or rocks *optional*
- Scissors (sharp)
- Ribbon (to tie roses and to wrap vases)
- Double-stick tape *optional, if wrapping vases with ribbon*
- Trim cellophane to fit the inside of the vase. *optional*
- Line the inside of the vase with the cellophane. *optional*
- Add a couple handfuls of marbles/rocks to the vase. This will not only add color to the vase, but it also helps hold the cellophane and flowers in place. *A huge thanks to my friend, Jenn, for suggesting the use of the rocks ;)
- Fill vase half-way with water (perferably mixed with flower food).
- Clean flowers of leaves, thorns, etc.
- Trim flowers to desired length. For this arrangement, it is best to trim all carnations the same length (just slightly taller than the vase) and the roses the same length (about 2 1/2 times the height of the vase, ie. 6" vase = roses should be approx 14"-18" long).
- Add carnations to the vase. Add enough so there aren't any gaps.
- Add roses to the vase. I used 4 roses. Depending on the size of your vase, you may want to add more roses. Carefully slip the rose stems between the carnations in the center of the vase. Gently push roses down until the stems are resting on the bottom of the vase. If they do not stand on their own, try adding a carnation or two so that its a snug fit.
- Tie ribbon around the rose stems between the carnations and the rose heads (see picture)
- Wrap ribbon around the vase using double-stick tape to hold in place. *optional*
- **Extra flowers can be used in small arrangements. I used left-over roses for small arrangements in round, bowl-like vases. Trim the stems to desired length (slightly taller than vase). Use the same steps as above (first 5 steps) to prep the vase and flowers.
I had the pleasure of working with Carmen Perez of Studio by Carmen. She was so wonderful to work with. Carmen flew to San Francisco (from Miami) for the weekend and did boudior shoots for a total of 6 ladies. I was a nervous wreck the week leading up to photo shoot. As soon as I met Carmen, I was at ease. She knows her stuff. I highly recommend doing this type of photo shoot to any woman wanting to feel liberated and sexy. Trust me, the photographer knows the angles and knows tricks to disguise those "flaws." See my full review for more info.
I did my own hair. Makeup was done by lovely Audrey Crandell of Glowing Bridal. She is amazing!!! Truly an artist! I left a thorough review for her. Check it out for more info.
Here are a few images of DH response to his GIFT:
Needless to say, he LOVED it! He was a bit shy opening in front of my girls that delivered the wrapped book and took the photos, but he really loves the book. He keeps saying that he wished he had been there for the shoot...LOL!
***UPDATE: The TTD session was a success!!! We had such a great time! Everything seemed to work out just perfectly. The weather was sunny and beautiful (anyone familiar with SF knows that a sunny day without any fog is rare). Carmen and her husband, Favio were so fun to work with. They give such great direction and Carmen's attention to detail always amazes me :) She is so creative! I can't wait to see the pics. I know we got some great shots!!! We started at the Marina, then the Legion of Honor. We finished things up at the Cliff House and the Sutro Baths. The sun had set by the time we made the hike down so we did some night photography with flashes near the cave and on the rocks. It was really fun and I'm so glad we did it!***
My DH and I are beyond excited...ok, I'm beyond excited. My DH is excited that I'm excited to be doing a TTD session with Carmen (of Studio by Carmen). My boudoir pics were taken by Carmen last April and I not only LOVED working with her, but Carmen's work is beautiful! She's coming back to SF for another boudoir marathon and my DH and I are lucky enough to be snagging her for an afternoon. I don't plan to really "trash" my dress, but we hope to get some creative, out-of-the-box shots in various places in SF.
Locations: Time and weather will play a role in the final locations, but here are some spots I'm thinking of (thank you PW girls for the help!!!)
Golden Gate Park, Stow Lake:
Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf:
Legion of Honor:
Ferry Building (Marketplace):
Sutro Bath Ruins (Thank you Prismis for the inspiration!!!):
Westfield Shopping Center SF:
I can hardly believe that its been a YEAR! Ladies, enjoy the planning and the wedding...it all flies by :)
To celebrate our anniversary, we decided (sorta last minute) to take a week long trip to Orlando, FL. We've both been before and knew of all the many fun things to do there. We stayed at The Fountains (Blue Green Resorts). Its a new facility and was gorgeous. We had a 2 bedroom suite with a full kitchen, washer & dryer, and the master suite had a big jacuzzi tub! The resort location was perfect...really centrally located and I highly recommend it for any of you looking to honeymoon there :)
We relaxed, shopped, dined, visited the Kennedy Space Center, and went to Disney a couple days...Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney.
***ATTENTION DISNEY HM'ers*** My DH and I saw 'bride and groom' Mickey ears and decided to make the trip our "second" honeymoon, LOL! Although our "real" HM to Rome was amazing, we never got the newlywed treatment. We bought the ears and the cashier suggested we wear their "Just Married" buttons and all the staff members would congratulate us. We had soooo much fun!!! They treated us like royality, congratulating us at every turn, offering for us to sit at the front of the rides, and take our pic. It was so much fun. We're so glad we finally got the "newlywed" treatment :)
My sweet DH surprised me with some new bling...one for my right-hand and the other for around my neck.
To top it ALL off, I came home to a new ride...
<-- 2009 Nissan Rogue (photo from carreview.com)
Introducing our Yorkie puppy, Mushi (rhymes with Sushi). It means "mouse" in Farsi :)
Born on the 4th of July, she's our patriotic pup!
<--- It reads "Smith"
<--- It reads "MacRae"
***First, I must give credit to Letter Your Legacy for the inspiration! Fellow PW bride, Kohler, made a post about this. Ever since then, I've wanted to DIY this project***
DH and I were fortunate enough to spend our HM in Rome. I knew that it would be the perfect place to take some pictures of architectural elements. As we wondered the streets of Rome, taking in the scenery, I snapped as many pictures as I could find that resembled letters of the alphabet.
- Frame (desired color in necessary size - be sure it has enough windows/slots for your photos)
- Lots of Creativity
- Computer for minor editing & printing (OR you can use a photo kiosk at Walmart, Target, Costco/Sam's Club, etc).
- Snap some photographs of anything and everything that resembles the alphabet. Use your imagination. You'll be amazed at what you'll find. Look at things from a different angle, up closer, overlapped with something else, etc.
- Once you have photographed the "letters" you need, you can get started on the editing. Crop and rotate as necessary. Be careful not to crop too much, otherwise your image will be too small and will appear pixelated when printed. Turn to black & white, sepia, or leave it color (which ever you desire).
- Print pictures and insert into frame.
*The most tricky part of this project was finding a frame with just the right amount of photos slots. I suppose I could have tried making my own frame. That certainly seemed like a bit too much for me, lol!