Aug 29, 2009
I bought the clear favor boxes from Michael's ($19.99 for 50 - yeah right did I pay full price! Used a 40% off coupon for each one so WAY cheap!). Then I bought the big bags of classic Ghirardhelli chocolate squares from Costco ($4.99 for like 60 squares or something crazy cheap like that). I had my fiance cut thin ribbon in our berry color while I assembled 4 chocolates per box. I printed out the message to our guests on Opal Shimmer paper (8.5 x 11") and used a paper cutter to cut them down to size. I made the file in Word via the "Create Table" function and calculating how many I could fit on a page (landscape orientation, 0.25" margins) based on the size I wanted. I printed them out at home and let them dry for a little while otherwise the ink smears during the cutting process. After they were cut I used a corner hole punch with little hearts to create the ribbon hole. One of my bridesmaids was my super ribbon & bow tie-er to bring it all together. The message was:
"From the bottom of our hearts (that we left in San Francisco!), thank you for coming! Love, Cara and Eric
Ok, so I was trying to think of ways to personalize the ceremony and REALLY add meaning to it. I just went to 2 weddings in the last 2 weeks and one was "eh" and the other was awesome. The big difference really started with the ceremony. In the former it was quick, unemotional, and just felt disconnected. It didn't feel deep (not that their love wasn't deep, but the ceremony just felt void of something special). I'm a bit biased and think that it's partially because they're not religious people and they basically stripped it of anything spiritual, but that's a total me opinion. Anyway, the awesome one just felt rich with emotion and family love. And thus my latest and greatest idea was born...
We are going to do family vows. We're going to list it in the program but our families won't actually know what it means until the ceremony. We are writing a paragraph that he will first turn to my family and read, then I will turn to his family and read. The rough draft sounds something like:
"Smith family, thank you for setting such a beautiful example of marriage, love, and fidelity for Eric. You raised him to be a righteous man, one who is respectful of and open to the power of love. I will honor you and your family from this day forward through my marriage to your son. I will continue to uphold our family's values in my commitment to him here, in front of you and in the eyes of God. Thank you for accepting me into your family."
If that doesn't get the moms crying, I don't know what will! :)
So I want to spend like NO money on cocktail hour decor. I pretty much think that everyone's primary goal after the ceremony is to grab a drink. Their secondary goal is to get some grub. Throw in some nice background music and a beautiful location (The Fairmont garden, hello!) and poof! Everyone's happy. I would much rather put my $$$ into the reception decor and/or personal flowers. So I'm trying to get creative. The Fairmont provides standard ivory linens over gold skirting and they'll set up 10 or so tables (some tall, some low) for the cocktail hour. I think I'm going to rent these napkins from Classic Party (or buy fabric wholesale and finish them into 10" or 12" squares) and place them laid out flat on top of the ivory linens.
We have these hurricanes leftover from my sister's wedding so I'll put them on top of the napkin and put something in them. Definitely a ivory-colored pillar candle, maybe something else around the base of the candle inside the hurricane (any suggestions?).
At some point I'll update the story. This should tell you a lot though...
Wow, thanks to all the brides who have put up such incredible posts, reviews, information, etc! Your photos are beautiful and so inspirational, plus the honest "friend to a friend" approach to talking about vendors and prices just can't be beat. THANK YOU!