The FREE Sign-In Book!

Yesterday Nick and I made a trip to Best Buy for a new router (I think we’re developing wireless for our entire zip code), and while waiting for Nick to finalize his purchase, I spied a little offer tag hanging there…  FREE 8×8 PHOTO BOOK.  Well, hell yes, I’ll take one!

Source I am style-ishIt appears you need a qualifying purchase, usually related to cameras, but our router purchase seems to have qualified (you need Internet to get there?), so I had the cashier ring up the card and lo and behold, when I got home, I had a code for a FREE photobook from shutterfly!

This was a great deal because I’d already been planning to purchase a shutterfly photobook as our custom sign-in book at the reception.  It’s a great deal at up to 20 pages, and with our (only slightly less than professional!) engagement photos completely under our control, reproducing them in this format is a great option for us!  What a great find!

Where have you found great unexpected deals that saved you nuptial funds?

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The Big Question

No, not the proposal!  The question that as a seamstress and costumer I inevitably get…  “Why aren’t you making your own wedding dress?”

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‘Cause I’ve pretty much made them before, right?

My sister in particular asked this question after we purchased my Claire Pettibone dress.  It was indeed a question  I had given serious thought to, and even asked of other seamstressy brides.  I even know brides who have done it!  I even made my sister’s wedding gown!  But at the end of the day, it wasn’t what I wanted for me.

I’m not really superstitious, so the old adage of making your wedding dress makes your marriage a lot of work wasn’t phasing me.  And it wasn’t that I didn’t have enough time; with nearly 18 months before the wedding when we started planning, I would have had plenty of time.

In all honesty, it came down to wanting to be a little spoiled.  First, I didn’t want to have to do the work, I really did want that little bit of getting treated like a princess. Second – and this has a little more to do with the financial planning aspect – because I’m an experienced seamstress, I wanted something beautiful that I could be proud of.  I accepted the financial burden with this reasoning because I know as a commissioner how much work goes into really high quality sewing work.  I knew from the beginning that I was going to have to shell out the cash, but I knew it would be worth it.  I’m lucky that that’s an option for me!

Lord_of_Rimini_Beatrice_d'EsteAnd it was all true!  The experience of being surrounded with my girls while trying on the amazing dresses at Little White Dress – with the designer present! – was a completely magical experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  And I know that the beautiful dress that Claire Pettibone is creating JUST FOR ME is going to be a truly amazing work of art that I will treasure forever.

I am in awe of the brides who charge themselves with sewing their wedding gowns!  And I count myself among the ranks of brides who have made a carefully calculated decision about her dress… that’s pretty much all brides!  This is one of the most personal garments a person can ever wear, and all your reasons, as long as they’re true to you, are completely valid.

Besides… I think there will always be plenty of fancy dresses for sewing in my future!

What were your reasons for or against making your wedding gown?

OMG shoes

I think I finally found the perfect shoes for the wedding.

These are Seychelles Aquamarine Pump, and they are pretty much perfect.  They’re a gorgeous shade of pale teal matching our scheme, it’s a moderate 2” heel, strappy and vintage looking, and open toed.  imageI definitely think they compliment my dress, especially in the softer color.

I know I’d found a pair earlier that I liked, but they were a bit long for my petite foot, and I really wanted a more vintage style to compliment my dress.  This really meets all of my expectations and then some!  They’re a little pricy at $90, but I know that’s a good price for really nice shoes!  Also, free shipping, hello!

They have a few other styles that I really like, too, such as the Eyes of Mars Ankle Strap Sandal in Seafoam and the stunning Pot of Gold Pump in Seafoam.  I could probably be persuaded to purchase the sandals for the reception…

Also, on a side note, this wedding took place in Denver and WOW, the locations are so amazing!  The flower wall!  The copper light sconces (that blue-green copper tarnish is just the color)!  I may have to hunt down these spaces for some of our photos, too!

What are some of your stunning wedding finds?  Shoes?  Locations?  Anything exciting?

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To veil, or not to veil?

I’d originally thought that I’d wanted at birdcage veil.  I loved the cutie vintage look and the fun style, not to mention the potential for DiY!  But upon trying one on with my Clover, it was kind of a ‘meh.’  I think the look is so charming… just not with this particular dress.

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That’s when the fantastic Claire Pettibone approached with one of her beautiful chapel-length veils and perched it upon my head – that was it.  I was going to wear a veil.  A LONG veil!  The lovely dramatic elegance!  I’d had no idea!

If you’re Nick, please don’t click on the cut!

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And we’re off!

I took the opportunity over my spring break to test out some of my ideas regarding wedding decorations, favors, and centerpieces.  DSC00288Much of our décor is DiY, and I knew I’d need to test out my theories and create mockups to see if I actually like the look of what I’m envisioning.  Here’s my first try.

My dad was kind enough to give us this miter box with which to saw straight lines (HAHAHA).  Since I’ve opted to create centerpiece ‘vases’ from 4 and 5 inch diameter PVC pipe, we needed something that would help us cut the bottoms of each vase flat, so they would stand securely (this works out to much cheaper than buying glass vases, which run about $8-10 in the sizes we want.  A ten-foot section of PVC pipe was only $12 and will yield about 7 vases.  This of course only works because I’m covering them with paper).  We discovered how difficult cutting PVC by hand can be when we chopped the ten-foot pipes in half AT Home Depot in order to be able to take them home in the car.  Heh.  DSC00291It was a long process that resulted in a desperately ragged edge.  After that, we knew a miter box would be important to this process.

I also needed to paint the bamboo reeds something other than their original blonde color.  I opted to use the chocolate color from our palette, since it seemed more natural and we happened to have several cans of brown spray paint left from various projects.  I laid out several reeds to use for the test out on paper on the front patio and sprayed away!  I did it in two shots, one for each “side” of the reeds.  It seemed to go okay… until I picked them up to bring them in.  The spray paint was tacky to the touch and refused to stay stuck to the bamboo.  Yuck!  That really made me glad I did the initial test.  Even though the paint job was a failure, I continued on.

I kept going with an attempt to saw a section of the PVC alone.  This was a mistake, as it was too difficult for me to keep the saw straight AND hold down the heavy additional length of the PVC as it hung off the edge of the miter box.  Oops.  The results were rather amusing…

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Haha.  Miter fail.  I will employ Nick to do the sawing next time.

SO MUCH FAIL.  Even so, I had my first test piece pretty well complete, and I’d managed to learn several things NOT to do in the future, which was the point of the exercise after all.  I went ahead and used the sticky reeds in my original test piece vase, a purchased glass vase (nice, but not big enough!).  The look was rather nice, and seems to go alright with the faux mercury glass I’m also making.

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All in all, it’s not looking too bad!  I think a more natural stain will look a lot better on the bamboo reeds (and also be a lot less hassle than trying to spray them), but you can get the general idea of the look.  I really love the paper-covered vase, I think it’s a nice foil to the wood texture of the bamboo and it takes the edge off what could become way too much glass for the more soft, informal look we’re going for.  I’m really enjoying creating and learning as I delve into our DiY wedding projects!

What’s your favorite wedding DiY, yours or someone else’s?

You’re the One!

I had an utterly delightful weekend (even if I had a bit of a sniffle, heehee!).  The quest for The Dress was short and sweet, and made easy by the presence of my family and maids, as well as the delightful support of Courtney at Little White Dress and of course the amazing designer, Claire Pettibone.  Here’s a little preview of what I went through on the journey for my wedding dress…

Personal photo: Claire Pettibone line at Little White Dress

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An exciting appointment!

This weekend I’m heading out to achieve one of the milestones of wedding preparation… the dress!  This is an unbelievably exciting event for me (and my girls!) because I care so deeply about garment construction and style.  I’m lucky enough to be able to attend a trunk show with my chosen designer, Claire Pettibone, at Little White Dress in Denver on Saturday.  Meeting a creative, unique designer like Claire is a real treat!

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The dress that I’m most looking forward to seeing – and trying on! – is the Clover, a really lovely natural waist dress with straps and the usual Pettibone detailing.  It’s also a cotton dress, which I just love the idea of!  It’s just a beautiful vintage-y, classic, natural, unique look, and I love it!  I think it’s The One… I hope trying it on this weekend will prove it!

Oh, and Nick has seen a picture of it!  I don’t mind sharing the dress because it’s so beautiful, and the real surprise will be on the actual day (and well, I do value his input, even on this very bridal choice!)…  I can’t seem to help but want to share this amazing gown!

I’ll be sure to let you know the results on Monday!

A personal message from…

I had one of those HOLD IT REWIND THAT BLOG moments the other day while going through my Google Reader.  Here’s why:

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OMG PERSONALIZED PENCILS.  I NEED THOSE FOR THE WEDDING.

Sorry for the capslock, but seriously, those are so adorable!  They appeal to me on so many levels!  As a teacher, they’re a staple of my everyday existence.  As a lover of all things text-filled, more cute fonts as a part of our décor and favors is always good.  And hello, would those not make the best favors EVER?  Personal and practical?  With about 4 dozen (in custom colors with custom fonts, HELLO?!?!) at $50 from Explicitly Yours, they’re a pretty reasonable deal.  Even with our limited budget, I’d love to fit these in, just because they’re so fun!

What item has made you do a backflip?

How We Chose Our Colors

Over my “off” week, I did a lot of extra errands that I hadn’t gotten to lately, including picking up paint chips of our wedding colors.  I plan on creating coordination packages with the colors and some of our favorite textures for our wedding party to use as they purchase dresses, suits, and accessories.  Here are our colors!

wedding-colors

Look familiar?  I totally involved the same scheme in the main charmedseed.net website, because I love them so much!  I’ve been having a love affair with grey and teal/robin’s egg/turquoise blue for the last several years, and I love the modern but vintage effect it can have on an event.

The blue-green and grey will be the two main colors (although really it’s just the grey), and we additionally chose a deep chocolate brown accent and at the last moment added a navy as well.  The navy was Nick’s addition, as it’s one of his favorite colors, and it makes a nice compliment to the warmer grey and chocolate.  All these colors together offer us a nice opportunity to choose accessories, flowers, décor, and clothing.  My dress will be an off-white, but Nick is looking at grey suits for himself and the groomsmen.  I initially went after grey dresses for my maids, but recently found a SUPER cute blue-green dress that I’ve ordered to look at.  Surprise!

Because I deal with color so much as an artist and seamstress, this was a sort of difficult choice!  There are so many beautiful combinations for wedding colors, so many choices and options of how to express them.  Navy and sunshine yellow were also a contender!  I’m delighted with the subtle result we ended up with, and I can’t wait to keep decorating in this scheme!

How did you choose your wedding colors?

Also, the stars.

Even though I’ve been posting daily about my thing-a-day adventures, I’ve still been reading and enjoying my growing list of blogs on Google Reader!  I feel like I’ve *starred* just TONS in the past little while, and they really deserve sharing.  So here they are!

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How-To: Felt Pizza Set @Craftzine – So adorable!

How-To: Photorealistic Gadget Pouches @Craftzine – Love these!  So simple, so stylish!

Texas Twosome: Ceremony Part 1 @Weddingbee – I was enchanted by their vows.

treasure hunting: keys @Design*Sponge – I love keys, what can I say?

sewing 101: stuffed hearts @Design*Sponge – These would make great gift-giving devices for wedding parties, eh?

modern twist: studio trivetz @Design*Sponge – These are fantastic, and I want some.

Keeping Track of Allen Wrenches @ApartmentTherapy – No seriously, who doesn’t have a million of these?

Shades of Grey @Weddingbee – A great post for me because I too am looking at grey dresses for my girls.

And of course, BHLDN, care of Anthropologie, has been all over the blogosphere.  As if you didn’t already own my soul.

So, where have you been this month that needs to be shared?