This, That, and a little bit of Everything

Justin and I have had this week off to get things done. Unfortunately, we have had a lot of running around to do as well. :/  Then... on top of that... I've been feeling yucky. Not quite sick, but definitely not not sick either. *shrugs*

Justin is currently in the process of finishing one of the absolutely gorgeous dresses my bridesmaid will be wearing. It has taken him quite a bit of time, but I know everyone that comes to the wedding will be impressed by how beautiful these dresses are.

As for me, I ordered my reception dress... which I haven't seen in person yet, but my mom says it is absolutely beautiful! I cannot wait to see it!

I have also been working on the wedding stationary which has been driving me INSANE! I get to a point where I think I know what I'm doing and then confusion sets in. I know I will figure it out and it will be beautiful, but I have very limited time to get things done.

Meanwhile Justin and I have been talking with his parents about the rehearsal dinner. I am so excited since I know the dinner will be far better than any restaurant could do. His parents have also offered to help us look for a wedding caterer.

Even though it is now Friday, I feel that we have had a fairly successful week thus far. Hopefully our success will continue into the weekend...

Busy, Busy, Busy... Silhouette Cameo Review

I am so excited (and tired) from the crazy week that was last week. Three days of family dinners...!! That is when you know you have a LOT of family! I grew up with at least 2 family dinners, but I felt so bad for Justin since he now has 2 additional dinners that he isn't used to!

On top of that, we took our two bridesmaids with us to all of the dinners as well. We ended the day at Café Intermezzo. :) I could not have asked for a better weekend. It was a very busy weekend though!

As you might could guess, we have not gotten much accomplished with the wedding in the past four days.

Let me just share one exciting wedding detail we have been working on/designing:

Don't you love those? It was Marion's (bridesmaid) idea... I received my Silhouette Cameo toward the middle of December and with it is the option to print butterflies. They are sooo exciting and I am finding them all over my house as they fly from room to room. My aunt suggested that maybe they needed a little bit of sparkle.

Justin decided that perhaps they could be cut out of scrapbook paper and made into confetti. It took him forever to pull all of these butterflies off of the mat, but they look absolutely adorable!

(By the way, I LOVE instagram.)

If you have any interest in getting a "cutting printer", the Silhouette Cameo is absolutely amazing (even though I am still figuring it out). Don't be fooled by the Cricut... try a google search comparing the two and you will find that the Silhouette is far more detailed and a superior product.

For saving money, however, I would encourage you to purchase the Cricut mats to use with the Silhouette. They are cheaper and not quite as sticky as the mat that came with the Silhouette. The lack of stickiness makes the "printed" projects easier to pull off, but I will probably end up taping my paper to the mat so that it doesn't become loose during the cutting process.

Zazzle Review

Back in October I spent a good bit of time searching google for wedding invitation inspiration with the hopes that I would find an invitation that would be similar to what I desired. I was looking for... inspiration (not the actual invitation we would send out).

On one particular inspiration searching day I came across a lovely design on Zazzle by creator/artist samack. It was absolutely perfect! ... Except that it was not MY design. *sigh* I gave up with the design and went to look for more inspiration, but I couldn't get that design out of my head. I went back to Zazzle and e-mailed the artist asking for help which she was more than happy to provide. It wasn't exactly the help I desired, so I took some time to think about the design. This is when I saw a coupon code for 70% off my purchase. The coupon inspired me to contact the designer again and ask for help in a different way. Within a day's time Samack (Sandra) had sent me a proof for a thank you note. I was able to rearrange pictures and text to make them work with the look I desired. 

Beyond Sandra's quick and helpful assistance that enabled me to order my thank yous within a day's timeframe... the thank yous' were shipped within 2 days of my approval without my paying any extra for shipping! I was so excited to receive these thank yous yesterday. They look absolutely gorgeous and I am so excited that I was able to work with an artist to get (almost) exactly what I wanted in a very fast time frame at a HUGE discount!

I saw a lot of negative reviews for Zazzle at the time I ordered, but I am happy to report that Zazzle did an amazing job for me. If you need save-the-dates, thank yous, invitations or anything else... be sure to check out Zazzle and experience their amazingly fast yet beautiful work. :)

InPink Review

In one week, it will be the day after Christmas! Scary to think about, huh?

Anyway, I just wanted to take some time to review InPink since the bridesmaids earrings were purchased from there thanks to a $40 gift card I received from a giveaway by Ciao Bella. Since my bridesmaids have not yet seen the earrings, I will refrain from posting a picture.

I ordered the two sets of earrings using a Black Friday sale in which we got them 40% off meaning I paid $45 (not including the $40 gift card) for $60 worth of earrings!

The first pair of earrings arrived approximately 1 week following the purchase. The earrings arrived in a lovely little box wrapped with a black string that had little pink and white diamonds hanging off of it! So exciting and unexpected! :)

Unfortunately, I had to wait another 2 weeks and a quick and painless phone call later for the second pair. :( I also tried e-mailing InPink, but I never received a response e-mail. I definitely recommend giving InPink a call if you run into a problem, because I was only on the phone for a few minutes before they agreed to send the second pair of earrings. The earrings came within 2 weeks of the phone call.

The earrings I ordered were surprisingly smaller than I originally expected?! I would definitely suggest asking about the approximate length before ordering dangly earrings.

Despite the size discrepancies, the earrings themselves are absolutely gorgeous and very much like the picture available on the website. If you are looking for bridal jewelry, dress-up jewelry or just plain day-to-day jewelry, InPink probably has a style you will like. Even their gift cards are super cute!

So... what are you waiting for? ;)

Lessons Learned While Making Save-the-Dates

As a hopeful graphic designer, I really wanted to make my Save-the-dates gorgeous. I put a lot of time into creating them. Unfortunately, I made a lot of mistakes along the way. This is my list of things I've learned while making Save-the-dates.

1. Printing

  a. USE A PRINTER. (Not the one connected to your computer.) I tried taking my concept to Fedex, but they screwed up the image far more than the printer ever could. I still used those Save-the-dates, but I learned my lesson. (Also, printers cut things to the size you want anyway. It saves time and is nice for perfectionists like myself.)

  b. Don't expect the printer to color match. Get a proof before you print if you are being particular. I thought they could match color. No. Maybe some printers can, but the one I used could not. Lesson learned.

  c. Send them the correct image. Guess what? The incorrect image is... incorrect.

  d. While you are sending them the correct image, make sure you also send them the correct file format. The printer I used wanted Hi res jpgs while Fedex/Kinko's preferred pdfs.

  e. Get more copies printed than you need. You will make mistakes.

2. Stamping

  a.  There are different types of ink... which correlates to what you are stamping on. Figure out what you need, because otherwise your ink may not work or may smear. :(

  b.  Pat your stamp on the ink pad rather than rocking it on the ink pad. You are less likely to get excess ink on your project.

  c.  There are cleaners for stamps. I'm currently using the Rub N Scrub Stamp Cleaner. It really makes a difference in how clean you can get your stamp.

While these are just a few suggestions regarding the methods I used when making save-the-dates, make sure you PRACTICE before you create. I'm not sure how many problems we solved through practice, but I am certain that we would have made many more mistakes had we not practiced.

Printers used:  Print Master of Decatur  FedEx/Kinko's

An Invitational Delay

I may have mis-titled this blog. It probably should have been called "The Picky Indecisive Bride". I'm sure that I am not the only one to feel this way. Wedding planning can be fun, but making so many decisions in such a short period can be stressful and frustrating. Especially for me. I like to make sure I explore all options. With 3 months to go, I'm just not sure there is time to explore all of my options any more!

This is what led me to the decision of getting everything but my invitations done in the next month. (You have no idea what all goes into that little invitation "packet"!) Oh, you're invited to my wedding. Here are directions, the vital information you need, the pretty graphic design, your names written in calligraphy, pretty envelopes and stamps, an rsvp card for you to send me, and any extra information you may or may not need. Please come. Love and kisses, Mandy and Justin (or vice versa). :)


About that.

Those crazy little invitations will be done by the end of the month. The difference is... I'm starting from the outside and working my way in. I will make the "extras" and hope a perfectly styled invitation will just appear to my brain.

Get ready maid of honor. You are about to have a busy month! :)

The Dress!

I am no ordinary wedding dress shopper, if there is such a thing as ordinary. Looking for a wedding dress took me a minimum of 2 months and at least 10 dress shops. I shopped high and low, online and offline for that "perfect" dress. At one point I even contacted some of my friends who had previously been brides to get some affirmation that "perfect" dresses actually existed. After all, it is probably not normal to try on a dress and think "I don't like how the sequins are arranged" or "It's pretty, but where is the lace?" lol. I was sooo picky! In fact, I was sooo picky that my parents gave up dress looking with me, and I had to plan "secret" outings with my fiancé just to go to more dress shops. My parents just wanted me to finally decide already! (Oh, and they didn't want Justin to see the dress before the BIG day. Oops.)

Honestly when I found THE dress (as much as any dress can be THE ONE), Justin was with me. (Another oops moment. lol.) He said I looked lovely, but I still had to have at least one other opinion. I tried the dress on for my parents, THEN made them go back and watch me try on the other dresses that I had been considering. That's when, as in chorus, my parents and Justin, together, said "THAT IS THE ONE! QUIT TRYING ON DRESSES!" lol. It's sooo nice when your decision is made for you.

Don't get me wrong. The dress that is THE ONE is absolutely lovely. There were only 2 things I would possibly change about it, and one of those additions is currently hanging on my closet door with the dress until it gets sewn in.

The dress I bought is absolutely gorgeous. It was made to fit me in the shop, so very few alterations will be necessary. I also feel that my dress is unique in that only 1 bridal shop in all of Atlanta carried it. Even so, I've looked online and I can hardly find any pictures of brides wearing it! (I blame it on the terrible picture of the dress that the dress creator took.)

So... my suggestion for picky brides like me:

1. You don't have to cry when you see your dress. I promise. You can. If you feel like it, go for it. You don't have to though. Your future husband probably won't cry when he sees you in it. I'm sorry. He probably won't. That's OKAY.

2. You don't have to like the first dress you try on. In fact, please try on other dresses. Go on a dress hunt like I did calling stores that are out of state. Do whatever it takes to make you feel confident that you have found the perfect dress for you.

3. Keep in mind that changes can be made. When I went dress looking, very few dresses were off-the-shoulder. That is one thing that I was being very particular about. Know that "cap sleeves" can be added. You can also add sashes, sequins, appliques, brooches... You name it!

4. Don't worry about anyone else. They don't have to wear the dress - you do. If you want to look like a clown for your wedding day...

5. Try to have fun and not stress. I hated trying on dresses. I was so relieved when I walked out of the store after purchasing my dress, because I knew I had done my very best at finding a dress I would be happy with.

Am I truly the only one that got angry with dress designers for some of the silly decisions they make when designing dresses?