Sneak Peak

Over the weekend Justin and I began working on something exciting for the wedding!

Excited yet?! We are!

Invitations & Sam Flax Review

After my wonderful find of vintage stamps, I was sooo excited to finish my Save-the-dates and begin my invitations! I have to admit that just being excited doesn't get you very far. Justin and I began looking at our paper options on Friday afternoon and we decided to use a linen paper in our wedding stationary.  We tried printing our Save-the-date on both white and cream cardstock. Then my heart dropped as I recalled my distaste for color and color matching*. Knowing what all was involved in trying to match color, I knew Justin and I had to find someone to help. We ended up taking our Save-the-date to a printer in Decatur. Three dollars later and I felt much better having seen that they could get a much better color with their printer than I could on my own.

Our experience with the printer and looking at paper encouraged Justin and I to take a short trip to Sam Flax to get some "inspiration" and a linen-type paper for experimentation. As Atlanta creatives may or may not know, Sam Flax recently moved from their glorious location... to an old Kroger. I guess you don't need to imagine my feelings regarding this move. Not only did they have a smaller paper selection, and nothing that could be used to emboss with, they also had an awful humming sound created by the light fixtures in this old building. It was awful and not at all what you would expect from a store that is suppose to create excitement for artistic opportunities! The store inevitably felt like a warehouse (like Home Depot or Sam's Club) but with an awfully annoying noise that was very likely to give you a headache. So yes, Atlantans, if you must go to Sam Flax for some type of artistic project be prepared to leave uninspired and have a headache.**

On a positive note, Justin and I picked out a Japanese cherry blossom looking print that may end up in our invitations somehow!

*During the summer of 2010, I had trouble matching the color of a vintage photo I had "fixed". It resulted in my getting X-Rite and spending hours upon hours working to match color in Photoshop and with my brand new printer. I ended up taking it to Wolf and they succeeded in color matching for me.
**Keep in mind that Sam Flax has only been at their new location for a short time and they may improve. An alternative to Sam Flax (other than Michaels or JoAnn's) would be Utrecht (which I haven't visited in years). 

Another day at the Anthro Store

While Anthropologie has always been my favorite store, only recently (this year) have I been enjoying it just a bit too much. *shrugs* Justin thinks the clothes at Anthropologie are well made, so he had no problem buying me a few things in the sales rack over the weekend.

Last Blooming Skirt from Anthropologie
Justin and I had been watching this skirt since it first came to Anthro stores back in July. I thought it was adorable, but there was no way I was willing to shell out the $100+ for it. (So we waited until it came down in price x2). The skirt has lovely little accents like the bee on the waist and the embroidered pollen on the pink flower. I also love that it is very similar to a circle skirt. I haven't really found anything to wear with it yet, but I am so excited to add it to my wardrobe! With all of the bright colors and the very muted beige color that the skirt is, I'm certain something in my closet will look lovely with this skirt!

This purchase, the Pansy Corset Trench Coat (also from Anthropologie) was not at all expected as I did not even know the coat existed! We spotted it in the clearance section and fell in love. I always love the unexpected details Anthro throws into their clothes like the corset back of this coat! So pretty! This coat is really fun to wear! As you may notice on the Anthropologie site, the coat fits a bit tight in the bust/shoulders area, but it looks absolutely amazing through the waist and hips with a very flattering hourglass fit. Also worth noting is that the coat is not waterproof. Still worth the money in my opinion since it is such a lovely coat!

Anthropologie's Fair Lady Trench Coat
I knew this coat was on sale from the last time I was looking in clearance and that is why I wanted to go back and get a second look. I remembered loving it from first sight back when I took my bridesmaids dress looking. Come time for a second look, I ended up passing on it. The sleeves fit me better on this coat than the red coat, but I found the buttons to be awkward and confusing.  It's also a really plain color and has a hard time competing with... bright red coats.

So... if you LOVE Anthropologie and you want one of the items I just mentioned, I'd suggest you head to your nearest Anthro store and see what clearance you can find!

Cheaper Ways to be a Bride

Since I began my journey in bridedom, I have found a variety of ways to make the wedding day cheaper. Unfortunately, not all of those methods could be incorporated into my own wedding.  I suppose it may have helped had I been researching long before actually being proposed to.  (I had at least 7 years!)  However, I decided that I would have plenty of time between the proposal and the wedding to plan an incredibly cheap ceremony and reception that would be beyond magnificent and worthy of every magazine publication that ever existed.  I was WRONG!

Let me share some awesomely creative ways to make your wedding cheaper so that you don't make my mistake.

1.  Location --

a)  Plan an off-season wedding.  You will more than likely get cheaper rates.  In our case, even though use of the catering company was mandatory for the use of the property, because we were having our wedding in the off season we were able to bring in our own caterer (for less money than the property's catering service).

b)  Ask for extras to be included in the total price.  Justin and I managed to get chair and table rental to be included in the price of the property rental.  Yay!  That saved us quite a bit of money!

c)  Find a location that is already decorated.  It will save money later.  (I promise.)

d)  Work with the location to lower the fees.  In our case you had to be a member of the church in order to use it for free.  Otherwise the cost was going to be $500.  Ouch.

2.  Attire --

a)  Find a dress on the sales rack and embellish it with a belt or bolero.  Dresses are expensive, but you may be able to create your perfect dress without paying more for it.

b)  Apparently you can add clip-on earrings to your heels to jazz them up!

c)  For a formal affair that is light on your bridesmaids budgets, choose a dress color (like black) that they probably already have in their closet.

d)  Flower girls can shop at department stores for cute dresses to wear during the wedding.  It's cheaper on mom's budget and it is still super cute!

e)  Men can wear suits instead of tuxes for the wedding.  Most probably have a black suit somewhere in their closet.

3.  Vendors --

a)  Only schedule and pay for the time you need.  Plan ahead and think about the time it will take for you to get ready all the way up until you depart from the reception.

b)  Ab(use) family and friends.  It's amazing what kind of help they can provide!

4.  Decor --

a)  Shop around.  Craigslist, Goodwill, garage sales.

b)  Enter contests!  Search twitter, facebook, google.

c)  Use things found around your house. (or your neighbor's best friend's cousin's house.  Whatever.)

5.  Invitations, Guestbook, Menu --

a)  Use vintage postage.  It can save you 30% or more.  (And it looks awesome!)

b)  Create your own!  You can completely personalize invites by shopping around for paper, printing yourself, using rubber stamps, hole punches, etc, etc...  (If you need help printing, seek a local printer.  It is still cheaper and more personal than buying your invites pre-made.)

c)  There are so many guestbook ideas!  You can use your guestbook as decor (like a wishing tree) or just do a simple thumbprint guestbook. (Style Unveiled offers one for free!)

d)  Recently couples have been doing a single menu on a chalkboard rather than having an individual menu for each person.  What a great idea!

Any other suggestions for getting married cheaply that I have not thought of?!?

Postage Stamps!

I swooned over the images from Martha Stewart (and the like) of wedding invitations covered in vintage stamps, but as of Monday I thought vintage stamps were out of my reach.  I contacted multiple stores who were completely unhelpful.  I sought advice on google, and I researched the postage sellers that they mentioned.  None of it was helpful though, because they all wanted more money for postage than I was willing to spend.

I had contacted a seller (Stamps Unlimited) on 10/17 in Atlanta who said he might be able to help me out.  When I called him, he had changed his mind.  He didn't think he had what I was looking for, but I was free to come in.  I decided "what the heck!" and I went in.  He had a box full of 30% off stamps that he was willing to sell to me.  My parents sat with me for a good 2 hours (maybe 3) going through these stamps picking out colors and designs.  I had a really hard time imagining what my invitations would look like, but I knew that however they looked, these stamps would make that look complete.

Following my trip to Stamps Unimited, I found what would have been useful advice for vintage stamp looking brides like myself.  Apparently, if you go here and find the numbers of the stamps you are looking for, you can use ebay to see if anyone has that stamp possibly buying it below retail.  (Also you can use companies like Zazzle to create your own vintage designed stamp.)

Warning: You may fall in love with vintage stamp collecting!

A Successful Weekend

What all did we accomplish?

- Heard back from a company about obtaining postage for as much as 30% under retail cost!
- Rehearsal dinner dress = 85% complete!
- Registration list = started.
- More decorations were obtained...
- China completed:
      cups = 87%
      saucers & dessert plates = 84%
      plates = 51%

and finally...

- The Princess Bride + My  Drunk Kitchen = watched.  (Obviously the most important accomplishment of the weekend.)


Santa Claus is following us on twitter!

China, China, & China (Not the Country)

Why is that the weekends seem to go by sooooooo fast?! Just as you start to pull your life together (or wedding), the weekend ends and you are back to work again. It never fails.

The majority of our weekend was devoted to garage sales. While we did get a large assortment of tea cups and saucers, there was one find that just blew me away.  One lady was getting rid of a $3 JC Penny blue blanket that I knew would be perfect for Justin's bed. It was soooo soft and in absolutely perfect condition. And it looks absolutely perfect on Justin's bed, by the way.

We worked on cleaning Justin's apartment before enjoying a fun dinner out at Taqueria and cupcakes from Carolyn's with some of Justin's coworkers.

On Sunday Justin sewed on the dress I will wear to the rehearsal dinner (which is looking awesome by the way!) and I created our registry (which I am so excited about!). I still find it funny how much we have accomplished since January and yet... it seems there is sooo much more to do! Maybe by March we will have it all done!


As an aside, I just wanted to acknowledge the loss of an amazing business man, Steve Jobs. I cannot imagine my life without the creation of Apple. (Especially since Justin just upgraded me to Lion.)

Mandy's Melt Down

What a week! And it's already Wednesday!

I'm still hunting for vintage stamps. Someone at my alma mater posted that she had a box of stamps she wanted to give away, and I am (sooo) hoping that I was the first to respond asking for them. I've also e-mailed a few stores around the Atlanta area in hopes that they can help (even if that means giving me another lead).

In other news, I freaked out on Monday night about my save-the-dates. I had some critique from my parents. That combined with my being tired resulted in... major stress. You know... AAAaaahhh! And pulling my hair out. That kind. Luckily, I think I have everything worked out now to a point in which I am happy. (Or at least content.)

Tonight Justin and I are going to sign a lease for our reception location! After our last location was transformed into an office resulting in five more months of looking, I will be SOOOO EXCITED to finally be done! And s'mores! lots and lots of s'mores! Yay!

A Love that's Warm and Bright

Who isn't loving this cooler weather? I won't lie. I am ready for warm drinks, blankets, a fire, and a good book!

Last week was rather exciting and a little busy. Justin and I went to the Fox on Wednesday night to see Wicked with his friend Edgar. It was not quite what I was expecting and yet exactly what I was expecting. The story of the wicked witch was enchanting and I loved how The Wizard of Oz was incorporated into the story. I think the details along with the choreography really made the story.

Following our late night out at the Fox, on Thursday we went to Justin's dad's retirement party. His dad took us on a tour of the Kroger sorting facility before a meal of barbecue and dessert at Café Intermezzo.

As far as wedding planning, Justin and I got a variety of things accomplished but nothing specific. Justin spent most of his time working on my rehearsal dinner dress while I researched djs/bands. We also finished getting silverware for the reception as well as some window panes that I have no idea what we will do with! I'm hoping a creative and exciting idea will come to me!

Justin and I will have a lot of decisions to make this week. Our photographer e-mailed us saying that she is pregnant and due within 2 weeks of our wedding. She offered two options for us to think about. We also heard back from our potential reception site. We are looking to go book on Wednesday if everything works out.

Any suggestions as to what to do with our window panes would be wonderful! Thus far we have seen window panes used as menus and seating charts.