Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chillin' With The Mouse In 2008

Well, the man has spoken.

Since I am handling all the renewal details, I left the task of choosing our honeymoon destination to the mister. He has finally decided and we will be going to (drumroll please):

Yes, we will be chillin' the with the original MouseMan in March/April of 2008! WooHOO!

We don't have any children, so why Walt Disney World? He told me that he has always loved Disneyland — he used to work there, and absolutely loved it. He said his dream has been to always go to Walt Disney World with someone he loved. Now, he found the someone he loves and all he needs now is to take me to WDW.

How could I say no to something as sweet as that? I am looking forward to sharing this special time with him and making his dream come true. We are looking at the Disney World DVD, and at first I was lukewarm on the idea and now, I can hardly wait!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Things Coming Together

It's been an eternity since my last post but...things have been starting to come together for the wedding. We've pretty much decided when and where the wedding will be.

I'm glad we took a second look at the venue and were able to ask lots of questions about the logistics of the reception. We have decided what we want to do for a reception; a tea party theme. We hope to have lots of pastries, tea sandwiches and maybe small salads. We actually are meeting with a caterer today. I can't wait!

I'm kind of worried about decorating the reception hall. Haven't been able to bring myself to think about how much it will cost to decorate a giant synagogue. I'm told that buying flowers wholesale is a great way to go in terms of saving money. This is fine with me. I think a simple flower arrangement should suffice for the reception. We'll have to see how things go.

We're having fun, but going and checking our vendors is taking alot of time. I reccomend going to expos and things like that. I went to one last weekend and got an idea of what's out there. Definitely something one should do while planning a wedding.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sensitively Speaking...

This morning, I was talking to my MOH -- she's my best friend and we gab every day for hours, although she lives currently in Colorado, and I live in North Carolina (thank goodness for the internet and Skype!). I was fretting over bridal party gifts.

I am not a random giftgiver; and I don't like to get people gifts that I think are cute. I like giving practical gifts that the recipient is actually able to get some use out of, something that won't get shoved in a corner and forgotten about or, heavens forbid, re-wrapped and "re-gifted" because of the gift's utter uselessness to the original recipient.

I was discussing with my MOH some of my thoughts on gifts so far:

Me: Well, I was thinking jewelry maybe? Nothing too expensive, but nice...

MOH: Uh no. I have really bad nickel allergies and don't like jewelry. You have nickel allergies yourself!

Me: Oh right, right...I usually can't wear much jewelry.....well then, um....I was maybe thinking of putting together a little spa basket, with bath salts and soaps and other nice bath-time things...

MOH: No, my skin is really sensitive...I don't use that stuff...

Me: Oh right, right...me, too...I usually need hypo-allergenic everything...I really don't want to do anything edible, because the other BM has had gastro-bypass surgery and has to be really careful about what she eats, to mention nothing of my sister's food allergies...

So what is a bride sensitive to the many needs of her bridal party gonna do?

As with favors, I am wary of doing anything edible on a large scale -- so many people today have very special dietary requirements, whether it be religious (we have Muslims in our family, so no pork), medical, as in my BM sister-in-law who has had the gastric-bypass surgery, or food allegies (many people are allergic these days to nuts, wheat and even cannot tolerate dairy).

But I forgot to take into consideration that many are also skin-sensitive; I myself and my sister both have had a severe nickel allergy since we were children and I have very sensitive skin as well, neither of us can't really wear much jewelry that isn't very expensive, and I can't use a lot of the commercial cutes "spa" type items on my skin -- heck, even my detergent and dryer sheets are of the hypo-allergenic variety.

This is where the sensitive bride has to get creative with her gift-giving.

I want to give something useful, but also well-thought-out and shows how much I appreciate my girls for honoring me by standing up with me on my special day. I don't want anything too cutesy, because the majority of my bridal party like myself, are our early-to-mid thirties (me, well, I am late thirties, if I am to be honest LOL), and cutesy just isn't our thing anymore. Most of us do have our own households now, and are married or getting married, and and have children (I am the only one in the group who does not have any children).

So I think I will be purchasing candle gardens for everyone like this:

Candle Garden

In different colors, or something similar. They all love candles, and candles usually aren't bothersome, even for the most allergic (like me). A safe, lovely and practical choice, since almost everyone likes candles and loves to use them to decorate or for special occasions.

I think I might have solved my problems, but I would love to hear feedback from others.

Is anyone else having similar dilemmas, and have you had to gift creatively for your wedding party?

Please let me know your solutions!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Our Ever DNP List

We are trying to get our play list together, including the ever-present Do Not Play list.

While I want it to be a fun affair, I also want it to be elegant and enjoyable for all the age groups in attendance, so…

I don't care! I am NOT playing the Electric Slide or the Cha Cha slide dance song! Folks are just gonna have to be mad with me! The hubster and I are doing the IPOD Dj thing anyway and on my DO NOT PLAY list:

Any R. Kelly (especially that Trapped in the Closet mess), though the hubster loves the song "Ignition," (especially the remix), I am NOT getting up in front of the older folks dancing while R. Kelly uses driving metaphors for sexual activityGlurps

The Thong Song

The Whisper Song

Any song that mentions "rollin' on dubs" or calls women out of their name rolleyes.gif

Any song that mentions "the dirty south y'all"

Get Some Trill — nastiest song I have ever heard — even the clean version wacko.gif

Any song that requires more than two people to get up and do the same steps following the instructions from the song

Mariah Carey (cannot afford to pay for the broken glasses when she hits that extra high note)

And the list continues to grow…will give constant updates and please add your suggestions as well.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

How Much Will Your Wedding Cost?

There has been a lot of discussion on bridal websites and blogs about the rising costs of weddings, with the average being spent on a nice average wedding falling somewhere between $20,000 -$30,000.

But costs vary, it seems from state to state, with California and New York brides paying almost double that.

Want to find out what the cost of wedding will be in your area?

Cost Of Wedding.com

At the website Cost of Wedding, you can find out. Just type in your zip code (or the zip code of where you will having your wedding) to find out the price of an average wedding in your state.

The information is even broken down into categories and gives the average price of what you will pay for things like attire, stationery, photography and all that.

It will give you a good idea for brides just starting out with their planning, and also give you ideas on where you might be able to save some money.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tiffany Blue/Bridesmaids Gowns UPDATED

I've always loved the turquoise/tiffany blue color and it's exactly what I have in mind for my May 2007 wedding. The problem is finding affordable bridesmaids dresses in that color. So far I found amazing dresses with a tiered skirt by Jenny Yoo that was around 400 dollars - a lot to ask of my maids I think. (The image below is featured on TheKnot.com and is obviously not in the color I'm describing)here.

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I did find a similar style from Eden Bridal - another company that I'm not as familiar with, but now that leaves me with another dilemna. (Aside from it being a bit darker than I hoped for - but they style is comparable).

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If my maids are wearing Tiffany Blue or Turquoise, what does the Maid of Honor wear? I like the idea of turquoise and yellow but then it will require the centerpieces to be yellow, wouldn't it? I know that I could go with another dress but it was already so hard finding a dress in this color. I just don't want to make the bridal party look clownish by injecting TOO MUCH color. So, I thought I'd ask you ladies for your advice. What color gown can the Maid of Honor wear without clashing too much?

UPDATED: I just found two dressed through Bari Jay's (I'm learning a lot about different designers today!) that I think could work for Bridesmaids and Maid of Honor (respectively) both in Tiffany Blue and White. What do you think??

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Guest Gripes

This article came from The Knot, and I think these are good thing for brides to remember when planning their weddings:

Guest Gripes
Judy Dutton

Pretty much every bride knows she should not, under any circumstances, play a singles dance or put Aunt Florence next to the groom's frat buddies. But no matter how much care couples take in picking a DJ or planning the seating arrangements, wedding guests still encounter plenty of things that get under their skin. Since few would feel comfortable saying anything other than "Your wedding was beautiful!" to the bride's face, we've encouraged them to kvetch to their hearts' content here so you can avoid these nuptial no-nos and throw a wedding that's fun for everyone. Please note: Some names have been changed to protect those guilty of gaffes.

Gripe 1: Choosing sides.
"At many ceremonies, all the bride's friends have to sit on one side of the room and all the groom's friends sit on the other side. That sucks, because sometimes you're friends with both of them -- how do you choose? That moment of indecision is just weird for me. Plus, one side is usually much less crowded and people sit there thinking, 'Gee, the groom doesn't have many friends.' All of this can easily be avoided by just letting guests sit where they want." -- Angie, 35

Gripe 2: The kneel thing.

"I don't like the full-on mass where you have to stand, sit, kneel, and sing for an hour. By the end of my sister's ceremony, I wanted to gouge out my eyes with a hot poker -- we're here to celebrate, not get converted. Unless they're really religious, it's overkill. It's as if they're saying 'Look how married we are.'" -- Anna, 33

Gripe 3: Sound check.
"A close friend of mine hired this awful singer with a really flat soprano voice for the ceremony. I bowed my head and tried to think about something else so that I wouldn't burst out into hysterical laughter. However, when she got to the chorus, I glanced at my date -- big mistake -- and we both totally lost it. I was trying to control my laughter, but tears were pouring down my face. So I did the only respectable thing I could do at that point and pretended to be crying, loudly. The moral of the story is that brides should really check out the musicians they hire in advance." -- Tina, 32

Gripe 4: On the far side.
"I hate when there's a long distance between the ceremony and reception. I went to one wedding where the ceremony and reception were over an hour's drive apart from each other and no transportation was arranged. We kept passing churches on the way to the reception and saying, 'Why didn't they get married there?'" -- Jennifer, 34

Gripe 5: Theatrical weddings.
"The worst was this wedding where the lights dimmed, and then this guy dressed up as something out of Phantom of the Opera came out and performed songs from the musical." -- Joe, 39

Gripe 6: Class act.
"I was at a wedding in Malibu and it was beautiful... until the DJ let it rip with 'Baby Got Back.' It must have been the bride's request, since she and her gaggle of friends began squealing and ran onto the dance floor. There she was, in her beautiful white Vera Wang wedding gown, with her hand in the air and her ass swinging back and forth. It was nasty. I'm not Miss Proper, but it just seemed out of place to be rump-shakin' at your own wedding." -- Colleen, 33

Gripe 7: Camera shy.
"I hate intrusive video cameras, when the guy shoves the mic into your hands and says, 'Do you have anything to say?' What if you don't have anything to say? What if you're camera shy? What if you're drunk? I think it's better if he just tips the mic in your direction so you can grab it if you want to or say 'no thanks' with a smile." -- Brett, 35

Gripe 8: Table matters.

"There's always that one table: The people kind of know each other but not really -- or they're all the extra people who couldn't be seated with people they know due to space constraints. It's always a random mix of cousins, college friends, neighbors, work friends, and distant relatives. The guests always know they're the misfit table, and it's always awkward to sit there trying to make conversation with these people you have no interest in. Lack of thought in the seating plan has one of the most painful, sometimes embarrassing, results for a guest who often wonders, 'Why am I stuck behind a pole at a table with a bunch of strangers?'" -- Megan, 27

Gripe 9: Love mismatch.
"I was at a wedding where the bride had told her single girlfriends that they'd be seated with single guys for a little matchup. But when they got to the reception, the 'singles table' was all women and one single guy. What a shame because the truth is, people go to weddings to meet someone or at least have a little flirt. I think she should have put close to equal numbers of guys and girls at the table!" -- Gina, 34

Gripe 10: Note this.
"I can't stand bands or singers who are way too high on themselves, like they think they are performing at Carnegie Hall. This is a wedding, people! You are wedding singers, not Earth, Wind & Fire!" -- Rebecca, 29

Gripe 11: Singles clubbing.
"I remember one friend's wedding at which the DJ was given names of single female friends to bellow over the microphone to make sure they were participating. The horror!" -- Gina, 37

Gripe 12: Solo horrors.
"I loathe the 'everyone get up and dance with your spouse' portion. More often than not I am sans date -- so I'm either forced to sit alone like a loser and watch everyone dance, or I'm forced to dance with a loser who has been thrust on me by a relative with that look of pity in her eye." -- Cathy, 29

Gripe 13: Timing is everything.
"I can't stand any speech that's longer than four minutes -- especially sentimental ones where a brother talks about not being sure he could ever fill his big bro's shoes." -- Walter, 24

Gripe 14: Raising the bar.
"I hate bartenders who don't know how to make good drinks or, worse yet, bartenders who skimp on the alcohol and give you mixed drinks that are watered down. I'm not sure if they're being cheap or if they just don't want someone to get smashed and say what happened at the bachelor party. Either way, I want my cosmos the way I like them." -- Diny, 33

Gripe 15: Bad timing.
"I hate when you have to wait for hours before you get to eat. One friend's wedding took place at 3:30 and the cocktail hour started at 5:00, with an open bar and hors d'oeuvres. Unfortunately, it was just that -- a cocktail hour. At 6:00, the food was whisked away and the bar started charging. At 8:30, the bride and groom wandered in, and half an hour later dinner was served. We were starving, and by the time we finished dinner, after 10, nobody was in the mood to party." -- Megan, 27

Gripe 16: Slow food movement.
"We went to a wedding where there was a make-your-own pasta station where you got to pick the pasta and the sauce and have it made for you personally. Only problem is, it was way too slow. They could only do two people at a time, which means only two people could eat at a time while the rest of us stood in this enormous line. I would have rather not had the choice and not had to eat in shifts." -- Tammy, 35

Gripe 17: Good, clean fun.
"Messy food -- ribs, lobster, corn on the cob -- can be a nightmare. Someone, usually me, always ends up in the bathroom trying to wash off a big blob of barbecue sauce." -- Judy, 32

Gripe 18: Making the cut.
"I once received a wedding invitation with an extremely early RSVP date: It gave us only ten days to return it. When I asked the bride why, she said, 'Well, I have guest list A, B, and C. Once people from the A group drop out, we'll start inviting group B, and so on.' At least I was in group A, but I still thought that was pretty bad." -- Jennifer, 35

Gripe 19: Cold call.
"If the festivities are outside in a tent, you'd really better be sure it's fairly warm out. One time I was at a wedding that was so cold, everyone had to keep their coats on over their beautiful outfits and huddle around the space heaters." -- Gina, 36

Gripe 20: Great expectations.
"My brother was married on a Friday afternoon and had his rehearsal at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday. That meant that we were all required to take two full days off from work. Time off is limited as is and difficult enough to get without wasting it on an afternoon rehearsal. I feel that consideration for the guests could have been taken into account." -- Terry, 26

Gripe 21: Giving thanks.
"I can't stand it when brides ***** about who didn't buy them a gift, then fail to thank you for the one you bought them! I expect a handwritten thank-you note within a week of the wedding -- not a brief 'thank you' shoved into a Christmas card months later!" -- Theresa, 28

Gripe 22: Dance-a-thon.
"Too many special dances that people have to watch drive me crazy. Father and bride, mother and groom, and bridal party is fine -- but I attended one wedding where there were so many! Bride and grandfather, groom and grandmother, bride and godfather -- it became excessive. We wanted to dance too!" -- Angie, 25

Gripe 23: The drive-by hi.
"It stinks when the couple doesn't say 'hi' and 'thanks for coming' to you because they're so busy." -- Rosanna, 33

Gripe 24: Obstructed views.
"Centerpieces that are too big are a problem. It's nice to have dinner conversation, and I've been to too many weddings where the centerpieces blocked my view of the other side of the table." -- Valerie, 25

More DIY Stationery: Save The Date Magnets

We are transferring webhost servers right now, and it's been a nightmare, so to relax myself, I created something new:

STD Magnet

It's a STD magnet! I am going to print out on photo paper, and put magnet backing on them and send them out with the original Save The Dates I designed.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

DIY Menu -

Hello There Fellow DCNearlyWeds,

*Thanks to Mrs. Fort Bragg for inspiring me to get into the DIY mood - your spirit and energy is contagious, please keep it going!*

I've attached my DIY Menus (I thought this was a nice DIY project to tackle first, since it seems the most fun as I was finalizing our menu selections)

Please make any and all revisions, comments, suggestions and remarks (I welcome good, bad and the ugly)...

haha - Let the party begin!

This isn't the best as its a jpg of a PDF file (so this is as low-res as low-res can get) - there are a few things missing, such as a calligraphy ribbon scroll motif I'd like to add within the menu, but I'll work on that in preparation for the next incarnation - here it is:

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Hot New Wedding Song To Consider

Has anyone heard "Your For Me (Wedding Song) by Johhny Gill from the Madea's Family Reunion Soundtrack?

I first heard it today and it is one of the very best wedding songs I have heard since …well maybe Luther Vandross's Here and Now…I have always loved his voice and the brotha really put a lot into this one It is beautiful…I cried to it as I listened… Here are the lyrics:

Your For Me (Wedding Song)
Johnny Gill
Verse 1.

It seems like forever
That I have waited for you
In a world of disappointment
On thing is true
God has blessed me
And he's blessed you too
In a world of lonely people
I've found you.


Take my hand
And hold me close
And don't let me go.
You for me
And me for you
Together we'll make one

Verse 2.

We were once strangers
All by ourselves
Living, living alone
With no one else
But here we are
And it's so, so sweet
God must have done this
Made you for me
And oh.


Take my hand
Hold me close
Don't let go.
You for me
Me for you
Together we'll make one.


We were always sleeping
Under the same bright star
Dreaming, dreaming of some love
Wondering where you are
How blessed I am
That I've found you
Now that you're here
I pray to say “I do”

(Chorus twice)

Here is a link to the song from my website.

Click here for the song

Just click the link and your windows media player or whichever you use should start the song.

It REALLY is very beautiful…

Cover Your CD Favors In Style

CD/DVD Favor Kit

Personalized CDs and DVDs are really becoming popular as wedding favors (The Forever*Hubby and I are doing these

ourselves as favors), and one of the hardest things for us to try and come up with is deocrating and packaging the things.I had no clue as to how we would get this together, because we really had to rethink using Cleartray, due to pricing.

Today, based on a tip I got from the ChocolateBrides messageboard I luckily found at Michael's website the Gartner Studios® all-inclusive CD/DVD Folder Favor Kit.

What a life saver! Michael's even has instructions for embellishing and decorating the CD envelopes using the kit here.

The kit contains:

  • 50 CD Envelopes
  • 50 Pre-Cut Ribbons
  • 50 Imprintable Seals
  • 50 CD Labels

We have to purchase our own CDs of course, but with two of these kits, I will be able to stylishly cover all my CDs!!


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Finding the One (maybe...)

So last night, on a whim, my fiance and I went to visit the Hilton in Arlington which is a few blocks from where we live. Who would have ever guessed that what we were searching for would be right under our noses and so close to home? I admit it, I doubted. You may remember...

As soon as we walked in we saw the room where the cocktail hour would take place. High cocktail tables adorned with candles and mirrors were spread out throughout the room. A curved table hugged one of the pillars presenting the space our place cards would go. The room was a mess. It had just gotten dismantled after a computer convention of sorts and still, I was able to picture exactly what I would do to make it my own. I was in love.

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The reception room was even beautiful. Gorgeous little trees with tiny white lites (something I had in my own vision) were already present. The chandeliers were also exactly my style/taste. The only thing that gave me pause was the chairs. They are navy blue and gold. This is not what I had in mind. So now, as I seriously consider this place I must factor in the amount of money it would take to cover these chairs and the tables (whose clothes left much to be desired in my opinion).

What struck me most was the woman who showed us the venue. She seemed so thoughtful and helpful and on top of things that I felt comfortable. She wanted to hear my ideas and told me that anything was possible - that we'd work on different options to keep in mind our preferences and limited budget. For whatever reason, I felt that I could really count on her and it made me feel confident that this is the place we've been hoping for.

The only other place we have in mind is Fauquier Springs, which we will hopefully see this weekend. The one plus of having it there as opposed to Arlington is that there is gorgeous land and a view of the mountains which would make for great pictures -- but would also require more travel from everyone. Though I want nice outdoor pictures, there is a lot of comfort in knowing the place is a few blocks away. It makes me feel like I'd have a lot more of a handle on everything. And we can always get a limo to take us around DC to shoot wedding pics, can't we? Is it done?

So what do you think? Do the navy/gold chairs really matter? My fiance said it doesn't but the colors we are going for are white and tourquoise/tiffany blue. Is it better to have it at all in one place at a country club or in a hotel? I've always wanted a church wedding but I don't want to make my family (who make up the bulk of the wedding guests) travel to amillion places. Any thoughts/ideas? Feedback is always appreciated....

For the first time since I started planning, I'm having fun. Go me. :)

And The DIY Continues...

This DIYBride madness has to come an end...soon.

Hand-rolled Honeycomb candlesBut not today. Today, I decided to tackle yet another DIY area and make my centerpieces a little more unique.

Instead of using the usual smooth-wax pillar, taper and votive candles, I am going to make hand-rolled beeswax pillar candles of different lengths in ivory and sage.

I am loving this idea for many reasons, but the top two are: 1) first, it's a cheaper alternative to buying a zillion candles (since I am having a cadlelight ceremony and reception, I am going to need A LOT of them) and secondly, they are too easy to make.

They sell the beeswax sheets at just about every craft store, and even Wal-Mart, as well as the wicks, and those are the only two things you need.

And this is also a craft I am very familiar with, and have done before. While Forever*Hubby was deployed to Iraq, I picked up a few new hobbies to keep myself busy -- card-making was one, and candle-making was another. I was not a fan of the boiling the wax and making the smooth type (too time-intensive and messy), but I fell in love with making the hand-rolled kind because it was easier and there was virtually no clean up. Many nights, I would pop in a DVD, pull out a few sheets of the beeswax, gather some wicks and roll the night away. I used some, and gave many away as gifts.

The directions for these are as easy as this; this craft is so easy, it's usually suggested as a child's craft project.

Basic Rolled Pillar

Beeswax Sheet
Square Braided Wick

Step 1
Warm the wax sheet slightly with a hair dryer (if necessary). Warming the wax will make it easier to work with in cooler room temperatures. Just a slight heat is needed – do not melt the wax.

Step 2
Cut sheets long ways so the width of the newly cut sheet will be the height of the finished candle.

Step 3
Place sheet shiny side down, and position wick as shown below. The wick should be offset ½ inch so it extends ½ inch past the top and ½ inch from the bottom.

Step 4
Carefully fold the wax over the wick trying to keep the edge as round as possible and keep rolling firmly like you would roll a sleeping bag or like how paper towels are rolled around the cardboard tube.

Step 5
Keep the top and bottom of the wax even as you firmly roll the wax. The end result will be a tightly rolled candle with a flat top and bottom that looks sort of like a fire cracker. You can add more sheets to make the diameter of the finished candle as large as you want butting the ends of each sheet as you go (do not overlap – but them up against each other nice and straight).

Step 6
When the last sheet has been rolled, press the last seem down tightly against the candle with your thumb and it is ready to light.

See? Too easy!

And if I get to rolling now, I will probably have the number of candles I want somewhere within the same week of the ceremony...

Monday, July 10, 2006

Shoes, Shoes and oh Yeah SHOES~!

Okay, I thought about shoes I can dance in, shoes I can romance in, and shoes I can kick off at the end of the evening and love...also the possibility that I will only get the chance to wear them once...I mean, where else do you wear bridal shoes?

After much consideration, I put together a roundup of shoes I loved and shoes that I just had to have and came up with this:

These are cute and chic, looks like you can boogie in them

Gotta love these too, so comfy looking, yet so cute!

These are different, old hollywood style, so simple, so classic, they're my fave, but not so sure yet, since I have a similar pair in butterscotch and learned they aren't the most comfy

Drum Roll Please, I adore these and haven't quite found any I like better:

What is your fave?

Have you considered your shoes yet?, its a fun break to go try on bridal shoes with your veil...lots of stares but well worth it...

By the way, I've found my cake...I'll share later!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Missed A Couple Days...

...of the normal posting of great wedding info because Mr. FortBragg and I were busy designing and creating our vow renewal information website. It was a little more difficult than other sites I have designed, because I created the site template to match our wedding stationery, then had to tweak the CMS we love (Joomla), to try and work with it.

But we finally finished it last night -- only one more tweak needs to be made, because the RSVP form runs a little too long, but other than that it is perfect! Please visit our new collaboration on the web, Continuing Our Journey, at http://renew.journeyto.us/

Here is a screen shot of the site:

Our website

And now back to regular posting,folks...

The Art of the Hand-Written Invitation

Back in the days too far back for most of us to remember, invitations to formal events were written (and respond to) by hand. The host would pain-stakingly write every line in their finest hand, using a calligraphy style that would leave most of us baffled with trying to decipher in these modern times.

Today, letterpress and most often, theremography, has taken the place of handwriting invitations to most events -- even the most formal. We even have computer software that will print the envelopes on us. The weird thing is, though, that most of the fonts chosen for wedding stationery are designed and use fonts that give the impression of the handwritten note.

The calligraphy Lady The Calligraphy Lady will do more than give that impression. She will actually handwrite invitations and other parts of your wedding stationery in an amazing calligraphy, to include handpainting a rose or flower of your desire on them.

Hand calligraphy for invitations and envelopes creates a beautiful first impression for your wedding or special event. Calligrapher and Artist, Dayna Bischof, offers exquisite calligraphy for her clients. She has created her own unique alphabets and flourishes.

She also offers beautiful hand lettered monograms for your personalized wedding invitations, thank you cards, napkins, envelope seals, favors and more. A two letter monogram is created from the first initials of the bride and groom's names. The handcraft monograms which have an engraved look or in beautiful cursive script for a softer appeal.

If you purchase a wedding invitation set from her, she will even create your wedding place, escort and table cards. Each card is written in beautiful hand lettering, create "Best Wishes" signs for the bride and groom -- she'll even address the invitation envelopes!

Here is an example of her wonderful work:
CL Examples

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Some Decor Ideas

I'm going to use centerpieces that resemble these:
I love the idea of lemons, but because I'm using fuchsia and silver, inside will be silver balls (sorta like the enamel/acrylic christmas ornaments)

I would love to have a floral chuppah of sorts, under which my cake table would be displayed, in addition to the place card table...at some point this will open up and be a photo booth space.

I love this floral centerpiece (I want to alternate these taller centerpieces with the ones posted above)

Here's a widespan view of the centerpieces above:

I really want to keep things such as the chair/table linens stark white, I want the floral design, lighting, candles and decor to pop out amidst the backdrop:
Check this out, this is a mostly white decor with a splash of color with chair sashes and of course those hanging lanterns are a must:

Here's just a bit of fuchsia used in the table linens (its a little much for me, but I find this beautiful)

Lantern Crazy Photo (I adore this, but I think we'll need to take it down a notch)

So, I'm a Perfectionist...

Well, as I mentioned in my last post (which was way too long ago… sorry), I haven’t really gotten a handle on any of my wedding planning. I still have no idea where we are going to have the reception (or the ceremony), I still have not nailed down a date (or a budget). My plans are pretty much… not really planned at all. But still, I take time every now and then to run ideas through my head and visit sites like TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel. And yet, it seems that everything I see seems out of reach.

My sister got married a couple of weeks ago in City Hall and I couldn’t be there. She is having a baby in October and so she decided to forgo having a traditional wedding given how spur of the moment all these life changes have been for her. This weekend I’m heading home to attend a family dinner at a restaurant to celebrate. I guess you can call this her reception, but I can’t help but feel that given my sister’s circumstances, I shouldn’t be planning at all. I know that my wedding and future plans should not have anything to do with hers, but I feel guilt in expecting my parents to help in anyway in making hubby-to-be and me a wedding when my sister did not get one (even though it was her choice.)

It’s kind of taken the wind out of my sails and made me feel selfish for wanting everything to be perfect for my wedding, but I’ve always been the idealistic one – and the perfectionist. Still, I can’t help dreading the questions that I know will be directed my way: “Have you two set a date?” “Where?” “When?” etc. I wish I knew.

I look forward to going home to share this day with my sis and her new hubby. It will be nice to focus on someone else’s wedding for a while! But you can bet that the 5 hour trip there and back will leave me with lots of time and room for wondering…

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Wedding Stationery for The New Millenium

We are the brides of the new millenium.

We hunt online for our dress, ebay for centerpieces, and share information daily with each other on any number of wedding planning communities online.

Couples today even create wedding websites --- where crucial event informationused to have to be sent via word-of-mouth, or by phone call or letter, we now are able to post everything dealing with the in one place.

But where on the invitation can we put the link? Most won't add a URL to their invitations (I won't) -- it just doesn't look right there. Most don't even have them on their save the date cards, because, with the popularity of small magnets being on the rise, there usually is no room for it.

Also, the website itself may not acutally be up and running at the time the save the dates are sent.

One way around this dilemma that I have thought of (and that I really thing should be added to all modern wedding stationery set) is a website announcement card.

This is a card that can be created to let people know you have a website where they can get the lates news on your wedding (especially unexpected date changes), hotel accomodations, travel directions, and more. You can even introduce your bridal party, and put your registry information here (which is a way around the sticky siutation of telling people where you are registered without having to put it somewhere inappropriate -- like your invitation or save the date card.)

Here are my new website announcement cards, I created two; one in postcard size, so you can send it by itself a little after sending out your save the dates, and a smaller one that can be inserted with the rest of your invitation set.

Post card Website Announcement Card:

Postcard Website Announcement card

Insert Website Announcement card:

Insert Website Announcement Card

By the way, that IS the acutal website address for our vow renewal website, but it is being created at the moment, so there is nothing there -- yet.

Would love feedback on this idea.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Finally...A Wedding Job For Mr. FortBragg

The Fabulous Forever*Hubby in SoldierBoy personaUp until now, Forever*Hubby, while giving his never-ending support for my wedding obsession in the form of nods, affirmative grunts, and the occasional "Oh, that's nice, sweetie....," has basically stayed out of the way of my planning (pretty much from fear of being plowed down in my path or burned up in the aftermath).

But thanks to some great buzz from the wonderful WeddingBee, wedding website extraordinaire, we now have have a great idea for unique, fabulous and totally US wedding favors AND a way to get Forever*Hubby involved in the wedding in an area he is amazing talented and uniquely qualified for.

As well as excelling at his currents jobs of World's Most Awesome Husband, oustanding U.S. Army soldier and Apache helicopter mechanic, my husband has also been for the last ten years or so an amazingly talented audio and video editor, producer and director, and kick-ass web developer (you can see some of his work here and here). Let's just say the man is Geekiness Personified.

We are chucking the heart-shaped candle favors idea (so not us), and creating not only the usual CD but also a DVD of us for our wedding favors! We will include footage on the DVD that includes our first meeting and engagement, and even our viva Las wedding!! This is the ONLY wedding planning aspect Forever*Hubby has shown real interest in, and I KNOW he is gonna turn out some hellafied CDs and DVDs for us.

ClearTray LogoWe will be going with Cleartray, a company that provides full color custom CD/DVD packaging integrated with a full color photo-realistic printed discs. What F*H loves about them as they let you be as DIY as you want or need to be with your CD or DVD project. For those who need full service, too busy to handle a project of this magnitude, or really aren't technically-savvy, ClearTray will do it all for you. But for those who have a handle on the whole creating-a-CD-or-a-DVD situation, they will provide you with the blank CDs and/or DVDs and let you have it. They will even create gorgeous covers for your CDs/DVDs and the cases. Again, for the hardcore DIYers, they provide templates for you to follow, allowing you to design your own and do you own thing.


I will be designing the graphics for the CDs, DVDs and cases in line with the theme I have already designed, and F*H will produce, edit and compress the audio and video. Then we will even burn them all ourselves here at home -- both CDs and DVDs. I will send the design for the cases to them and sent back, but for the discs themselves, we will just DIY it.

It's the perfect favor -- the event itself will show people where we are now, but the DVD will share with everyone how we got here.

I just love the idea of the hubster and I collaborating on something for this event; it's something he can be happy about, one less thing I have to worry about and way we can BOTH make this beautiful celebration the way we have done everything these past five years.


Examples of some ClearTray CD/DVD favor options:

Inspiration Overload...

I was so pleased and inspired by my new event direction and Save-The-Dates that I have decided to carry the same theme through on all the pieces of my wedding stationery and I got busy on some other pieces today as well...funny what a little inspiration can do:

MyRSVP cards


Our Thank You cards

Our Thank You Cards

The Escort cards

Escort cards

The Place cards

Place Cards

I will be completing more parts of the stationery set as I am able (after I find out where the ceremony is actually going to take place, getting venues, etc.) This gives you a good idea of where my stationery is going however -- everything will very carry the same design and colors and basic design.

Inspiration. Damn, it feels good.