RSVPs

Blogging on a weekend feels strange but I finally have some downtime  in the middle of all the planning chaos. 

That doesn’t mean all things wedding aren’t on my mind (obviously). Sitting poolside with a corona and I decided it felt like a good time for another post. 
We’re only 42 days away 😳 so naturally were in the time of finalizing details. One of the most frustrating parts of this whole process is RSVPs. 

My advice here is to give a RSVP deadline a week or two before your final counts are due to caterers etc. The more time the better.  

There’s no doubt that no matter how far you plan etc. you’re going to be bugging people for their RSVPs. Electronic,traditional it doesn’t matter. 

We invited about 240 people to our wedding  and a week after our RSVP deadline we had RSVPs from probably 80.

Now I’m  two days away from our meeting  when we finalize everything and were still waiting on 15. Technology at least makes it easier to follow up but it’s still a hassle. 

Luckily I went ahead and included (most) the kids of  the couples  we invited in our original guest count because I figured I would rather see the number go down than up 😊. Not that I don’t want everyone there but hey, weddings are expensive! 

This really has been a HUGE help. Even though we invited 250, our caterer recommended food for 175 and it *looks like* we will actually end up with 163!  So at about $30 per person for food only that’s a pretty significant savings when you’re spending so much in so many different places.  

Lots of wedding blogs tell you  you that you should address your invites as “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” if you want to only invite the couple OR ” The Smith Family”  if the kids are included. Let me tell you that THIS does not matter. Nope. Not one bit. 

We had people whose kids we planned for say they aren’t bringing them and people whose kids we didn’t plan for (for multiple reasons such as we’ve never met them) ask if they can bring them.  

It’s not just the number of people that someone wants to bring that can screw things up but also the strange requests that come along with them. 

Be ready for anything and everything! From “I only want to sit at a table of eight” and “don’t sit me in the sun” to “please sit me by x”….whose wedding is this? Just kidding. I really am doing my best to accommodate requests but hey there’s only so much I can do with the amount of people and space. 

Another thing I’ve found super frustrating in collecting RSVPs is the fact that people who KNOW they can’t come don’t want to tell you they can’t come because they don’t want to be rude. 

I wish people would acknowledge that weddings are expensive and if you can’t be there it’s actually more courteous to tell me you can’t so we aren’t spending the $ for the empty seat, favor, food etc. Seriously! We know not everyone can make it, we forgive you! 

Those are the main things that I feel should be touched on in relation to RSVPs because I feel like the RSVP advice and process I’ve found on wedding mediums is sugar coated but there are some tips I’ve read that were real and helpful. 

I like to think the tradition of the snail mail RSVP reply cards are dying out. I know some people might think it’s offensive to do online or phone RSVPs but hey, we have technology so why not use it? You save on postage and there’s less chances of the RSVP getting lost in the mail. 

We did phone RSVPs and had a electronic form submission online which has made it so easy! It’s super cool too because we were able to add fun response options and a field for song requests. 

However if you DO  to decide to go the traditional route DO number your reply cards for when people do not fill out their name.  I’ve seen some people use invisible ink and a black light if you don’t want people to see the numbers. 

I think that’s pretty much all I have on this topic 🙂 now I’m really done with wedding thoughts for the next few hours 😉

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Planning 101 – Coordinators and more

Long time no see on the wedding front 😝

I’m only 58 days away from the big day! 

If you are doing this wedding thing without a coordinator then you’ve probably asked yourself at least 50x why the hell you didn’t decide to elope. 

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise.

Everyone is going to tell you that you should get a planner. It’s not true. You really CAN do it on your own…that is, if you’re organized. 

Coordinator or not, here are some suggestions I have for you along the way. 

1. Get a wedding planning binder (or download checklists for free).

I ordered the binder from The Knot and – yes – most of it has been useless but it served as a GREAT starting point. 

There are timelines in this binder for short engagements and long engagements so that was a really cool feature. It really helps you see what you should be focusing on and what can wait. 

Another good feature is the check lists (budget, timeline etc). They are very detailed,  you may not end up needing them all but they definitely help you think of things you may forget. 

I haven’t really used my book on a weekly or even monthly basis. It’s there when I need to stop and evaluate where I am in the process. 

1. Google is your friend. By this I mean Google Sheets and Docs. Seriously. Some people use sites such as The Knot for managing rsvps etc. but I found Google  to be super easy. 

 I started out on Google sheets by making a “Guestlist” sheet. I reccomend using excel or google sheets because the ability to have multiple pages and columns is a life saver. 

On this  sheet I have pages for separate events (I.E bachelorette,rehearsal dinner, wedding etc). It makes it easier because all guest lists are in ONE place and you are able to just copy and paste the names to the other pages. 

These programs really help make it easy.

The columns I have for our lists are 

First name

Last name 

Address

Guests invited 

Guests attending 

Name of guests 

Hotel ( to indicate weather or not we will need a welcome package) 

Gift received 

Thank you sent 

Song recommendation (we had this option on our RSVP) 

I found it helpful to use Google sheets because I was able to send the document to my mom and grandma for them to add their guests.  I made another little box on the bachelorette and bridal shower pages with details of date recommendations and ideas so that they could use them in planning. 

Another cool feature is that you can have the program do all the work in keeping track of your guest count. 

The BEST part is that you can download the apps and have you’re document on hand at all times. Much easier than lugging around a giant binder. 

I also used google docs for a vendor list and timeline. I’m sure I’ll have even more but it’s been really nice to have readily available to edit or send at anytime we’ve needed to. 

3. My third piece of advice is really just for your sanity. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to do so.

PLAN AHEAD 

Screw the ones  that tell you you have time. Wouldn’t you rather be able to relax during the final weeks before your wedding than freaking out about centerpieces etc.? 

You CANNOT control businesses and you cannot control the people you work with. 

You’re going to feel like a nag. Constantly asking people if they’ve done this or that etc. 

Example: 

I started asking FH in June to send his groomsmen to get their suits. Fast forward to July 20ish…the first one went in and we get a text that Menswarehouse lost our account and has no idea what suit we wanted. 

I could provide about 100 more examples of this. You see…no matter how early you start, people will procrastinate and sometimes things go wrong and often times you might feel like your in this alone. 

As much as it sucks, just keep up on people. Watch your lists and make sure things are getting done. Don’t check something off because you “know it will be done” because that’s most likely why you’ll end up forgetting. 

As for the day of the wedding, my reward to myself is a coordinator. 

I may have planned every detail of the big day but I am able to acknowledge that I will not want to and will not have the time to direct everyone where to go or keep things running smoothly.  Nor do I want to put my mom in that position. 

 Wedding coordinators can serve a variety of purpose from creating decor and coordinating vendors to breaking up fights at the reception.  

Be sure to pick one based off YOUR needs. 

I don’t need her help in decorating so I’ve asked our coordinator to simply show up, keep us running on time and make sure everyone is having fun. 

One of my biggest issues in interviewing coordinators was feeling like they were listening. 

If you have no idea how a wedding works and are looking for someone to hold your hand along the process, fine. There’s nothing wrong with that but you need to make sure they are working for YOU. Not vice versa. 

I went into these meetings with a timeline, vendors etc. figured out.

There was one individual I met with that literally didn’t listen to a word I said. She knew how the weddings she’s done have worked and wasn’t really interested in letting me do it how I want. There were even times she would say the complete opposite of what I wa saying. It was so bad that even my fiancé stated “she wasn’t listening” as soon as we got to our car. 

So again, make sure they listen but you also should make sure you’re compatible and you’re hiring someone willing  to go above and beyond. 

 Read reviews and meet in person! Do you want the uptight professioal? The perfectionist? The life of the party?So many options and you can’t judge personality from a picture. 

We chose the more lax option who I am confident will be able to keep everyone in line and put them in their place. 

Remember it’s all about your needs and the mood you’re trying to set! 

So wedding coordinator, no wedding coordinator or just day of coordination.  No matter what it’s your time and your decision. 

You know what you’re capable of and what you’ll need help with. Explore your options and remember to relax and have fun! Check lists will keep you on track! 

Bridal Shower 

Well we did it. We survived our first wedding event! The best part was I didn’t have to do anything other than show up. 

I’m a control freak so my mom figured it would be funny to not let me in on anything. Little did she know, I actually preferred it because it was one less thing for me to worry about. 

She of course went above and beyond as usual so I figured I would share some of what she did. Two of my bridesmaids helped her a bit 😜. 

First off, it was a wine themed shower at Quails Crossing in Columbus. It’s a cute little winery in Clintonville. I’m not usually a fan of Ohio wines or white but they had some really good options as far as reds I wish I could’ve tried some more.  Surprisingly the Pinot Noir was not my favorite here. I recommend the Rich & Famous Nebbiolo. 

So here’s a break down of the rest. 

Games

Wine tasting

 

They chose 6 wines for us to taste and each person had to rate the wines. Whoever rated them the most like I did won. 

Ring Hunt


The ring hunt. This is a popular one you see on Pinterest. 30 rings were hidden throughout the venue and whoever had the most won. A few of the rings were auto winners too.

Baby Face


Im not sure if this is hilarious or hideous but this is where guests created our “future kids” using different parts of my face and my fiancés. 

I decided which one I liked the most and they were the winners. 


Pin the Kiss on the Groom


This ones pretty self explanatory. There were kisses and mustaches and whoever got the closest won. 

Guess the corks

I don’t have a picture of this one but it was a jar filled with corks and guests had to guess how many. 

Nearly Weds

This was by far the best and most unique. My mom recorded my fiancé answering some questions and I had to guess his answers. It was so cute and awesome that we will have it forever. 

Check out link to the video to see 🙂 https://vimeo.com/172317179/fb7ec228f9

Food

Okay so I was too busy socializing I didn’t eat any food! I heard it was amazing though. I’m sure it was as it was from Katzingers. 

In addition to sandwiches we also had a candy buffet, cupcakes and popcorn! 


Which reminds me I should definitely highlight some Decor and Details. 

When guests arrived there were mini wine glasses with chalk bottoms and chalk markers so that guests could write their names.

My mom also made these pins for all the bridesmaids,moms and grandmas to wear. She made a sash for myself. 



Even the pencils were detailed! 


One of the coolest parts though was walking up and seeing this sign. Another keepsake I’m looking forward to having. 

I had such an amazing time and I couldnt have done or asked for anything better! Thanks to my mom, maid of honor and bridesmaid (Amanda) for their work and dedication!!  

Showers 


I haven’t done a wedding post  in awhile so here we go.  This post will focus on all the events that lead up to the big day and my advice on tackling them. 

I have noticed a lot over the past few months just how much planning this wedding has consumed my life. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it or I wouldn’t be doing it on my own but I definitely understand why people get wedding planners.

So I took a month off to reevaluate and now it’s time to get back in the swing of things. 

Often times people are so wrapped up in the big day it seems like they forget about  all the other events that lead up to it. 

  1. Engagement party
  2. Bridal shower
  3. Bachelor(ette) parties 
  4. Rehearsal dinner

Weddings are expensive enough as is. Of course not everyone has each of these events but they are fairly common (thanks society 😜). 

As someone who has  anxiety and control issues, another list of events to plan wasn’t really something I was looking forward to. (I’m laughing at myself because I actually have been planning events for other people so apparently I just like doing it for others rather than myself) 

To stick with tradition,  my parents offered to throw us one but we decided to forgo the engagement party. We already have enough stuff and didn’t really feel it was necessary. 

To help make it somewhat easier, in the beginning I made guest lists of each of these events in Google Spreadsheets. I also included ideas for venues/activities and dates.  I shared these docs with my mom and bridal party so they could be on the same page. 

One of the problems with planning these events is trying to find something affordable that everyone is going to enjoy (especially the bachelor and bachelorette parties). 

The first one I got out of the way was our rehearsal dinner. I figured this is probably the most important since that’s when everyone in the wedding gets to find out their role and meet each other. 

As I’m sure you’ve noticed with our theme, we aren’t fancy people. Therefor I did not want a fancy rehearsal dinner. I tried to think of ideas that related to us and would be fun for others. 

Luckily this wasn’t hard. There is actually a sports bar with bowling, volley ball etc. just a few miles from our wedding venue. 

As I said, I wanted our rehearsal dinner more about everyone hanging out and having a good time than a room with boring speeches so we are going to have a salad/pizza buffet and we have two hours of bowling in the VIP room. 

I guess the point I’m trying to make is, screw tradition. Sure some people might judge me for having pizza at my rehearsal dinner but this is what we want and who we are. It’s going to be a blast and that’s all that matters. There’s no need to spend more money on something if you know you would enjoy something else more.  

You are only supposed to do this once so make it for YOU. 

I don’t have much else planned for the night but we are going to use our rehearsal dinner as a time to give those in our wedding party and  those who’ve helped us out their gifts. 

I can’t wait to be able to share with you what those are. I’ve spent more time on them than the rehearsal dinner itself and honestly probably more time than on wedding day decor. 

So I booked the venue and now all that’s left is to send invitations about a month prior. It Is what you make it. My advice, stick to simple so you can focus on other important parts. 

So my next priority was the bachelorette party. I wanted to get this solidified so that I knew what dates we had to work with.  We are going TWO weeks before he big day. 

I have 4 bridesmaids and let me tell you, finding a date that worked for all of them was rough so kudos to those of you with 10+ member bridal parties. 

I don’t want to seem like a bridezilla. I AM letting my maid of honor do the planning. I just wanted to pick the general idea/location. 

I don’t have many girl friends beyond my bridal party so I wasn’t too concerned about anyone feeling left out. I decide to keep my bachelorette list to just these girls. I know the majority of females probably aren’t this way but I do think it allowed planning to go much smoother than if I wanted to include 20 people. 

I should mention I did include my mom and she has now invited lots of her friends 😂. She’s super creative so I wanted her to be able to help out,plus they are fun people.  I’m actually pretty sure me and my bridesmaids could end up the “adults” of the trip. 

There are SO many options for bachelorette parties.  I was set on a get away. Of course most people think Vegas when they think get away but I think Tennessee and some other areas have become increasingly popular.

I started looking around and when I saw flight and hotel prices I started to get a little discouraged because I knew we would still have to pay for food and entertainment. I didn’t want the girls to go broke for my bachelorette party. 

So then it came to me. A cruise! My FH and I love going on cruises. I tried a few times in high school and undergrad to get a team on board for one but was never successful.  They are perfect because all you need is right there. 

So that was that.  A few hours later and we have a 3 day cruise to the Bahamas booked! It ended up being $330 per person but seeing as how everything is included and that’s usually lower than the price of a round trip flight I would say it is worth it. We actually booked it in January and have until July to pay so it also made it easier in that aspect. I cannot wait to see what my bridesmaids plan for the trip (you also can book cruises and get a full refund for cancellations pretty easily). 

Again, go to the less traveled route. In today’s world it’s so easy to find a trip for cheap. Think groupon or air bnb! If we didn’t end up on a cruise I wanted to try to find a lake house for a weekend. 

Bachelorette parties don’t have to be all about penises and  alcohol. If you don’t want that, then don’t have that. 

You do need to make sure you are communicating with your bridesmaids and that they understand what you want. Don’t be afraid to speak up, it’s your party and as your friends they only want you to have a good time. 

I hear all too often that girls didn’t get the party they wanted. Only YOU know what you want so if you don’t speak up its ultimately your fault (unless you have someone refusing to listen- in that case you have a whole nother issue to tackle). 

Lastly the Bridal Shower.  This one I let my mom take control of full force. In fact, the invitations went out this weekend and I don’t even know what it looks like 😝 she’s lucky I trust her. 

Again, showers are boring to me.  I wanted something with an activity. In my google spreadsheet I suggested paint your own pottery, wine tasting and candle making as options. As you can see from the photo for this post they went with wine. 

I’ve already asked my FH to drop me off and pick me up 😏. I can’t wait to see what they do for the shower. I’ll hopefully remember to get some pics and do a write up.

In conclusion, don’t forget about the little stuff but don’t let it overwhelm you. 

Do what you want and make it personal! You’re more likely to remember it this way. Take the time to look around and do something unheard of.

The only thing I’m not getting that I wish I was, is a bachelorette party at a Spice Girls concert. I’ll get over it though. 

Catering

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a wedding post that isn’t craft related so I figured I would talk about what everyone remembers from a wedding. 

FOOD! 

As I mentioned in my post about venues, you should make sure to ask about catering  before booking a venue. 

Now I already had spent so much time searching through hundreds of vendors for venues and photographers  so I was actually relieved to see our venue had a list of caterers we were required to choose from. 

The craziest part about this list is how versatile it was. It went from Hoggys- a chain BBQ joint that’s around $15-20 per person to some premiere caterers that quoted me at $500 per head MINIMUM. 

Yes. You read that right. 

Now for some people the sky is the limit so you go ahead and book that $500 min per person caterer. Me on the other hand? I’m on a mission to plan this wedding for under $15k. 

So first you need to decide what type of cuisine. As I mentioned previously, we are doing a carnival theme so I wanted to choose fun foods. 

In the beginning I was set on doing the popular theme of food stations. They sound really cool. However in the end you might realize they cost more because someone has to run the station. It also can create a mess if people are lining up in different directions. 

Our venue was actually going to allow us to bring food trucks in which I also was into until I realized the chaos. 

People will be spending time standing in line and there’s minimal options. I have seen a solution for the line length though and that is to either hire two food trucks or have them make several portions at a time to set out on a table beside the truck so people can grab and go. 

Price was another factor. Food trucks run about 3k and I felt like people would still be left hungry. 

So back to the list of caterers.  Like I said, I knew the theme and semi had an idea of what I wanted so I went through each caterer to determine who offered what we needed. That being said, if you are looking for something specific and you don’t seeit, ASK! Just because it’s not on the menu doesn’t mean it can’t be done. 

So my goal here was to stick to under $7k for food. Thankfully I ended up being way under and I’m sure everyone will love it but now I’m getting ahead of myself. 

With this budget I was able to narrow it down to four caterers. 

Then comes the fun part. Tastings! People always told me not to eat beforehand but man were they not kidding. I’ve never seen so much food.  

This is when they are trying to win your business so they are going to wine and dine you like no other. 

Three of the four caterers did not charge us for a tasting. The one that did charge us ended up being credited to our overall bill for the wedding because we booked with them. 

I know this is when they are trying to earn your business but you shouldn’t necessarily be turned off by paying for a tasting. Often times they had servers waiting on us so we ended up tipping them the same amount we would’ve paid anyway. 

We had a fee of $50 for ours and could add additional servings for a price if we wanted to bring family or friends along. 

We have it easy since we are funding this mostly on our own we don’t really have to care about anyone else’s input on decisions.  – something else to consider 

What to expect at a tasting? Besides a ton of food I can’t really say. Each one we went to was vastly different. I established with each one what items we were interested in beforehand and they put together a menu from there. 

The first was most impressive quantity wise, they made all 20 items I was interested in and everything to go along with them. There was seriously a banquet table full of food for just the two of us and they also gave us a bottle of wine!  Before we came in they suggested we tip the waiter but there was no fee for the tasting. 

Our second was pretty fancy! We didn’t have to pay here but I had a ton of frustration in even getting in for the tasting that I was too annoyed to enjoy it. They did have the best chicken wings I’ve ever had and the rest of the food was good. They set us up in a private dining room and brought  about 5 options out for us to taste. 

Why was I annoyed? They cancelled on me THREE times before we went in at the last minute EVERYtime. Are you going to do this to me on my wedding day? – no. 

Anyway Mark still wanted to go for free food and we did. Then when we went to tip the guy actually tried to convince us to double the tip to distribute evenly amongst his staff…okay…..Mark was pretty upset then but again, the food was excellent so they were still in the running. 

The third. This was by far the best and most personable experience. Even beforehand I had immediate responses to my questions and they really understood what we were going for and our budget. 

We sat in a cute little room with the woman who was assigned to our wedding.  She was awesome. It was awesome. I wish everyone could work with her. They brought the food out all at once and she would discuss serving options as we stuffed our faces. I really liked this because the others kind of had a “we can do whatever” mentality. I’m a planner so I like detail!

In the end we tried to tip them and she refused to take it – because she was “just doing her job”. 

That was it. The deal breaker. Mark was amazed at her generousity compared to the last place and we went ahead and booked without leaving the parking lot. Meaning we canceled our final tasting. 

So tip or no tip? Offer one and you’ll see what kind of people you’re working with. 

You’ll also want to find out some things such as  if they supply linens, dinner ware options, gratuity included etc. 

One thing I think isn’t mentioned enough is the timeline as to when you need your guest count by. We have to have our guest count 30 days prior to the event which means that our bill estimate could be lower depending on our RSVP rate which we might secretly be hoping for.  You don’t want to pay for hundreds of people if they aren’t planning on showing up. 

Another suggestion to look into? Discounts. The caterer we wenteith procided $200 off if we booked by a certain day. I took advantage of it and it allowed us to be able to afford to add grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters to our menu which were Marks favorite. Seriously he still mentions them on a regular basis. 

So good luck in your search and remember there’s never too many questions! It’s your day so aim for what you want! 

I posted this already but here’s the deliciousness which awaits us.  Only our late night snack is missing because sometimes we all need a little surprise in life. 

  

Holy Signage!

Have you ever seen all the wedding signs on Pinterest? Cute right? 

Once we got into planning I realized just how many signs we will need. I’ve gotten a few done but still have a long way to go. 

The  signs you will need of course depend on venue, activities, etc. 

I’ve got the following on my list but I’m sure there will be more. 

  • Welcome 
  • Ceremony
  • Menu
  • Games/activities
  • Directional 
  • Social media
  • Ring bearer 
  • Our story 

I’ve also got bridal party intro and memorial on my list but I’m not so sure those will qualify as signs. 

So like I said there are signs all over Pinterest but once again if you have a silhouette machine, you’re golden.  It also ended up being cheaper because the ones online go for about $45 a piece! 

I picked up a few chalkboards and wooden poles from Hobby Lobby to put them in the ground but I also happen to have some really thick black cardstock laying around so I’ve been using that too(hello free!).  

I used US Cutter to order the vinyl. They have some pretty good deals. I ended up with 6 rolls,  15 ft each of adhesive vinyl and 2 rolls of iron on for almost $100. 

Now you can make your signage as simple or intracite as you want but remember you will have to weed your design and sometimes smaller designs are harder. 

Again, I made this project more complicated by having some of the words be multiple colors. You really don’t have to do that to make them look good. 

How did I do it?

I started by creating a file through Adobe Illustrator but you can use the silhouette software too. 

Type in your text, have the machine cut the design and get to weeding!

After you’ve weeded (removed what you don’t need) you just place the design on transfer paper and then put on the board  

Now my fiancé will tell you I’m not the neatest person when it comes to anything so I didn’t measure or try to make sure it was straight but you probably should take the time to do so 😜 I wasn’t as concerned just because I know people will walk past them and likely not look back. 

The wedding party sign is actually my favorite but I won’t post that until I finish the border and blur out the names to protect those whose names are on it.  

In the meantime check out our yummy menu! I got this chalk board on sale for $8 at hobby lobby! 

   

  

 

Save the Dates

Or STDs lol. Sorry I had to. It just drives me crazy EVERYtime I see that acronym. 

So this is where things really got real. 

Save the dates. Now technically I should’ve sent them out in December but unfortunately we just got them out in the mail yesterday. 

Aye! That’s one way to describe the process. 

So first you establish the guest list and then your family decides to say screw your list, you need to invite these other 20 people you didn’t think of. 

Queue the awkwardness of turning them down. Now of course if your parents or whoever are contributing to the wedding they should have some say but sometimes you just have to have a limit. 

For example, my grandma feels it’s necessary for me to invite her whole church congregation. Lol, not really but she did try to slip her pastors address in there when I asked her for her list. 

This really is a hard choice because you don’t want someone feeling left out but we all have budgets and the wedding industry makes it hard enough to cut corners. Cutting the guest list is probably the easiest way to save money. 

My strategy? I’ll put them on my ‘B’ list. 

This is a great reccomendation I’ve seen online. Sometimes people even create a 3 tier list. We luckily didn’t have that many people to worry about. 

Basically you send the save the dates to your ‘A’ list and then depending on how many no responses you receive for  invites you send out invites to the ‘B’ list. 

Hopefully if they are on that list they aren’t too close with anyone on the ‘A’ list and won’t find out you even had save the dates. 

Now do I have an intention of actually sending them to my ‘B’ list? Nope. But hey it helps get them off my back. Maybe if they suggest someone I actually know, I will follow through with sending them. 

Sorry but if I thought of 250 people before I thought of your suggestion, then they probably aren’t significant. 

So I got SUPER lucky because my mom is a graphic designer so I put her in charge of my website and print material. It honestly is pretty cheap to have things printed. I would definitely recommend buying a template off etsy or designing your own and having them printed vs ordering from a company.  

Envelopes can be pricy though. Who knew there were so many options for liners? 

The most expensive thing for us was postage. Now we went a bit overboard (thanks to my designer mom) and ended up with heavier save the dates that cost 71 cents a piece to mail. You probably should consider this before you decide to add an item with the save the date. 

Another thing to remember. Do NOT order your save the dates or invites based off your total guest list. You’ll end up with double or more of what you need. Make sure you order enough for each address/family. I think we ordered about 20-40 extra just to be safe. 

It’s always good to have a few extra for last minute pop ups and of course a scrap book! 

So here’s what we sent:  
 
Again. The carnival theme and that banner. The banners are cute but very very time consuming. –  I’m going to hang one in my office! 

We used our silhouette cameo machines to cut out each banner flag and then strung them together using twine. 

I ordered the custom stamps from Zazzle is was like $100 cheaper than other sites I found and I got them within a week of placing the order. 

We also used a sharpie with a holder in the silhouette machine to address the envelopes. Time consuming but much better than paying or doing them yourself. Not to mention my handwriting is similar to that of a three year old so I wasn’t even going to try to tackle that task. 

I’m so relieved they are done and sent out! They might’ve taken 8 hours and 6 people but we made it!!  

Photobooth Props. 

One of my goals this year was to blog once a week and I unfortunately missed one.  – So I’m here to catch up. I’ve found its kind of a hard task because I’ve been working on projects for my bridesmaids and I want to keep them a secret so I can’t put them up yet. 

One thing I can share is my photobooth. 

Photobooths have become a huge hit for all events over the years. I actually lived in an apartment complex in college that provided free beer by the pool every Thursday and they even had a photobooth there. 

Here’s a throwback to then:

 
I’ve been exploring options for the wedding and decided to do a DIY photo booth. I’m using the “dumpster couch” I posted about previously but havent figured out much else beyond that so I’ll do a full write up once that’s figured out. 

For now I’ll share the props. 

I received a silhouette cameo for Christmas and a ton of books of cardstock so I figured I would make some props for the photo booth.  You can always buy templates from the silhouette store or elsewhere online but I decided to go the free route and make my own. ( I did have a free credit to the store so I bought the “photo bomb” prop.)

I used Silhouette Studio to make the majority of them but there were a few that required more detail so I used Adobe Illustrator. 

All you need to do this is:

Silhouette Cameo

Cardstock

Glue gun 

Skewers 

I had a wine and fondue party awhile ago so luckily I had a ton of skewers at home. 

So like I said, this is super easy. You make up your designs on whatever software. Send it to the silhouette to cut, weed it and glue the cardstock to the skewer. 

Easy and free! One of my favorite projects so far. 

I also found this awesome suitcase to store the props in for a few bucks at a thrift store. 

  
 You will see that I used multiple colors for some. There’s so many options which is what makes this a fun project.

Here are some of the props I made:

   
  

Have any of you made your own photobooth or props? Any unique props  you recommend? 

   

Dumpster Couch

Okay, so the title isn’t appealing but check out these couches (below) we happened to find in the dumpster while moving out of our apartment.  

   

Prior to finding the couches,  I saw a pin on Pinterest where someone painted their couch opposed to reupholstering it so I knew what I was doing as soon as I found these.  

I looked through several different blogs and found multiple methods so I decided to give it a try.

To do this you need paint ( I used paint for the interior of a home) and a fabric medium. 

We went to Lowes and got our paint. I think it was called “Caribbean Breeze” or something along those lines.  Then off to Hobby Lobby for the fabric medium. 

Now I’m not sure if this was just a popular craft at the time or what but Hobby Lobby was completely out. Then I went to Jo Ann’s and they only had two bottles in stock.  So I got the two bottles and decided to order the rest on Amazon. 

I used this Martha Stewart  Fabric Medium.  

I should also mention this is a time consuming process. Unless you have a big empty room this is a warm/nice weather project. 

How to paint a couch: 

  1. Make sure the fabric on the couch is clean. 
  2. Use a spray bottle or hose to dampen the fabric of the couch. 
  3. Mix your paint medium and paint. I did a 3:4 ratio using a cup to measure. – 3 cups of medium for 4 cups of paint. 
  4. Now paint the fabric. Use as little paint as possible and try to go with the grain of the fabric. 
  5. Our couches took 3 coats of paint before I was happy with the color.Make sure you let each coat dry completely before you start the next. 

And you’re done! As I said, it takes a long time. That’s because you have to wait so long for it to dry. 

I worked on them about a week total, maybe a little longer. 

Here are a few pics from the process. 

   
 
I still need to make the trim black but check out this before and after. 

  

We’re going to use the small one as the seat for our photobooth at our wedding and the larger for a lounge area. 

Yay for free wedding finds 👍🏼 They also happen to work perfectly in our living room too. 

A lot of people ask me if the couch is hard from the paint. The answer is yes but don’t let that stop you.  It’s not super hard to where it’s uncomfortable , it just feels stiff. Within less than a month they softened up a ton so the more you use them the more comfy, just like every other couch 😉