Paper Accessories

One of the most exciting details I wanted to include when planning our wedding were the paper accessories. I picked out doilies (which you can get fairly cheap on Amazon) that we used to make cupcake holders that I thought were really elegant. We also bought the really cute vintage paper straws that I am not sure if they made it out. :( I also considered using vintage style bakers twine, but that did not work out either. (I couldn't find anything in particular I needed it for.)

When I saw The Papered Nest on etsy, I knew I had to share! They have everything from brightly colored sticks (that you may want to make cake pops with or put cookies on), vintage paper straws, hand-dyed doilies, and bakers twine among other things. A trip to this store when planning an event will give you everything you need to really make your event shine!

Check out the template for the cupcake doilies here. The template did not work for me, but you can see the general idea on how to make them. There are super-easy albeit time consuming.

Thanks again to Carolyn's Cupcakes and Justin's grandmother for making all of the cupcakes and Justin's aunt and uncle for making the cake balls!

Viral Videos

We've all seen the viral videos that are all over the internet (specifically "Gangnam Style" & "Call Me Maybe").  I know you've seen them, because the nine year old I babysit for has seen them. I know you are more tech savvy than her. :)

But have you seen all of the parodies?

Carly Rae Jespen's "Call Me Maybe" was sung by the US Olympic Swimming Team, the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders, and then (one of my favorites) the response to US Olympic Swimming Team's Missy Franklin by her high school football team!

While there have been a number of "Call Me Maybe" wedding dances, I think what is most amusing is how "Gangnam Style" took off for wedding dances like in this one.

But I guess what really got me interested in commenting on the crazy way viral videos have taken over our weddings, and lives for that matter, was this video where the groomsmen dance to One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful". It is absolutely hilarious watching grown men in suits dancing to this song. I know I would have been so embarrassed if my husband had done this at our wedding. I do have to say those must be some pretty devoted friends the groom has to be willing to dance to this song with him.

Have you seen any awesome viral videos recently?

Amy Osaba Florals Review

One of the best and worst vendors of my wedding day was Amy Osaba Floral Event & Design. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous. They looked hand-picked which was exactly what I wanted. She also tried to incorporate my vision into my flowers. That's where the pleasantries end.

Come the wedding day... so many things went wrong. I guess I should mention that things were going wrong in the florals department from day one.

I contacted Amy Osaba's company after I saw a mention of her on a wedding blog. I thought it was awesome that her florals were gorgeous and that she lived/worked in Atlanta! Dream come true, right? Vendor #1 taken care of.

My mom didn't like Osaba's florals from day 1. My mom said the florals looked silly. I liked them, so we decided to meet up with Osaba and her coworker. First of all, for my vision, I brought images that I was thinking about for the day's theme not realizing they wanted floral images. (Hint to future brides: bring floral images when you first meet your possible floral vendor.)

Then we tried to meet with Osaba again since I wasn't comfortable with where the first meeting had gone. With our first meeting in June, I thought, for sure, they would be able to meet sometime between June and March if only to make me feel more comfortable with hiring them. Apparently not. Several e-mails later, I had given up on Osaba. Her floral studio was completely unprofessional taking weeks to respond to e-mails. Her staff was not providing me with any clear vision of what the wedding day florals would look like. I was completely uncomfortable with her, but Justin wanted to go with her. I couldn't find a reason to argue, so we did despite the fact that my parents continued to angerly chide us about or decision constantly forcing us to meet with other florists. (None of the florists they asked us to meet with knew anything about cherry blossoms and really, truly could not think of a way to make cherry blossoms work into our wedding florals.)

I decided to let the florals go and trust we had chosen the right vendor. We paid half the floral price and signed a contract. Then Justin and I focused on obtaining other wedding vendors.

Come January, Osaba decides it is time to meet up again... and where was the rest of her deposit?! Five e-mails later and she still hadn't sent me the total amount due to her and it was the week before the wedding. She insisted that the deposit needed to get to her ASAP approximately three days before the wedding. Justin had already planned to pick up my hair flowers the day before the wedding, but apparently that was too late to receive the money.

First of all... why would you wait until a few days before the wedding to e-mail your client the amount due when your client e-mailed you at least a month in advance asking about how much they owed?!?! Really?!?!

Second of all, if your client is already late with the payment through no fault of their own, why can you not accept the payment when it is good for your client. Three days before the wedding is not going to make a difference. Besides, it was your fault that the client did not know the total prior to then.

Osaba, get your act together and your billing straight! There is no reason to be so unbusiness-like and cause undue stress to the bride and groom who hired you. The bride and groom could just as easily have made their own florals; you are a splurge.

Honestly, three days before the wedding I considered breaking the contract and going with another vendor. This company made me so angry.

Osaba delivered our florals the Saturday of March 10 at our reception site just as we had asked her to do. From the moment the bouquet was put into my hands until the moment I walked down the aisle, my bouquet was falling apart. Osaba came back, after only the wedding coordinator was able to get in touch with her, to fix the flowers... only to have them continue to fall out of the bouquet despite how careful I was with them. Even just standing still at the alter was enough to make the bouquet fall apart. How depressing to spend so much money on something that falls apart! The wedding coordinator and my grandmother, who had worked with florals before, did their best to put the bouquet back together.

Later we found out that pendants we had given the florist to put on the bridesmaid bouquets were never put in. We also realized that we were never given the tossing bouquet originally promised to us.

My verdict: Even though Osaba did put pendants in the flower girl bouquets as well as a rosary in my bouquet, I would never recommend using her. She did not perform business in the way she should have (in my opinion). She also claimed we were lying when we said we had not received the tossing bouquet (even when our wedding coordinator backed us up). The flowers were pretty, but what does that say about her work when the flowers were falling out of the bride's bouquet, wilting and turning brown even before the wedding started? Nothing good.

I can't get my money back, but you can avoid using Osaba, or a florist like her for your wedding. Note how vendors treat you at the beginning of your wedding planning. Generally, if they act like they want your business, if they make you feel good about hiring them, and if they give you a clear vision about what to expect, they will probably be a good hire. It is your wedding. You should feel comfortable and confident about the choices you make regarding your vendors. If you don't, reconsider who you are hiring and take the time to check out other vendors first. Finally, if you get a vendor who does not perform up to a certain standard, make sure to let them know so that they can do something about it.

Osaba florals were handling approximately three other clients (according to her blog). While this may have been a good excuse for the awful floral work she provided us with, she did not own up to her mistakes and help us to solve our problem in a timely manner. It took her approximately three months to send us a check after Justin had discussed our issues with her. By that point, the check was hardly worth anything to us. (Not that $100 really makes up for florals that fall apart on your wedding day to begin with.)

You deserve the very best on your wedding day. After all, you only (hopefully) get one.

The Last Name Fiasco

One of the most important things to consider when getting married is what your last name will be. If you are the bride, will you take his last name? Keep yours? Maybe hyphen the two names together? Come up with something new altogether?

It really is a big deal. Feelings can get hurt. You just have to keep your best interest in mind.

I have known people that have done all of the above.

I know you aren't thinking about it now (and preferably will never be thinking it), but what happens if you divorce? Or you remarry?

Something rather interesting that my grandparents recently mentioned to me was that, if you do take your significant other's name, you need to make sure your middle name on all of your records is the same. (i.e. If your maiden name is Aiden Lenora Smith and when you marry your new last name becomes Hopkins, your new name either needs to be Aiden Lenora Hopkins OR Aiden Smith Hopkins. Apparently, records can get mixed up if you use a combination of the two.)

Other things you should keep in mind when changing your last name include what records will need to be changed. Obviously, if you don't change your last name, you don't have as much to worry with. If you are changing your name, you need to contact Social Security and DDS to name a few. You will need a few copies of your marriage license to prove that you did in fact get married.

What about business contacts? Sometimes it's as simple as keeping your old last name until the end of the school year if you are a teacher. Other times, you may need new business cards, a new e-mail address, and a change on your business or personal website.

Of course none of this takes into account the various other changes that can occur after marriage such as updating information on your bank account(s) and your many insurance accounts (car, health, home, and life).

All of this can be time consuming and stressful whether or not you begin tackling it during the process of getting married or in the months following. But is it as stressful as telling your husband-to-be that you don't want his name? Or is it meaningful for you to take his name (or some variation of it)? This is all worth considering. Take your time to think about it, talk with your significant other about your intentions, and MOST IMPORTANTLY make a decision that is right for the both of you! :)

Just Another Weekend...

In case you were blithely unaware, my obsession is Anthropologie. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that store. I love their home products, their dresses, their cookbooks...

I went in this weekend and found some amazing $80 shoes. I did not buy them. I don't wear orange! And if I had bought them, I would probably be broke. However, if you do wear the color orange... Go buy them now!  Soooo sooo cute!

Unfortunately, my money went to this green dress that I probably couldn't afford.

Everyone I talked to at the store wanted this particular dress, specifically all of the sales associates. I usually wait to buy clothes from Anthro until they go on sale. I probably should have waited this time as well. However, they were already almost out of stock of this dress. There was one size 0 left in the stores. ONE. So I bit. I don't think this dress will make it to sales, and I have been waiting for it to come into stores since I saw it on their website a few weeks ago.

I tried it on with a cute black sweater, and I felt all dressed up for Christmas! Or like Zooey Deschanel. I'm sure some heels (as pictured above) would go great!

I also tried on the Carmindy Dress and the Sparked Threads Sweater. The dress was cute and much more subdued than what you see online in the picture. If I hadn't seen the dress in stores, I never would have thought of ordering it... or trying it on. The sweater was bleh. I'm used to my Free People Fluted Sweater that I love so much. The sweater at Anthro wasn't long enough or cute enough for my tastes which is sad since I'm so picky to begin with.

Finally there was the Jeweled Skinny belt that I got on sale. Justin and I had had our eye on another belt in the Anthro store, but... this one won out since it was on sale. We thought it may be cute with the Native Birds dress. (See here.) :) 

What do you think? Do you think the Caridad Ruffled Dress will go on sale? Do you like the Sparked Threads Sweater? Will the Jeweled Skinny Belt go with the Native Birds Dress?

Cleaning Up

Over the weekend Justin and I went to Ikea looking for options to clean up our spare bedroom. Our landlord was coming to figure out how to set up a security system, and we didn't really want him to think we lived like slobs. Hence, we started a major cleaning overhaul.

There was sweeping and vacuuming... mopping... and driving (our desk up to my parents house since we wouldn't be using it and needed a place to store it until we could sell it). I found one of my most favorite cleaning product ever... Softscrub. We started working on getting the grout in the bathroom cleaner than I even imagined it could get! (It worked in the toilet too, fyi.)

We could have left our house like that... clean but with junk everywhere. I'm not that kind of person though. Heck, I even did all of our laundry despite the fact that the landlord won't even be looking anywhere near our laundry basket!!! 

Unfortunately, the upstairs bedroom needed more than cleaning which is why we took that trip to Ikea. First of all, I need to say that if you can find your furniture elsewhere... do it. The furniture is expensive and takes up a TON of time. We had to wait at least an hour for them to get three boxes of wood from the back of the store. I mean... really??!!

Anyway, this Birkeland wardrobe was perfect for storing the fabric we had just laying around on the floor in our spare bedroom. The bedroom doesn't have a closet... or any other furniture at the moment, really. This wardrobe is HUGE once you put it together! (Or maybe the bedroom is just that small?) It holds a ton of stuff! Once we actually get furniture up in that bedroom, we are planning on allowing the use of the wardrobe for guests. In the mean time, it has solved our clutter problem.

On that note... our house is clean and ready for a visit from the landlord... or anyone else that wants to visit! :)

Bridal Shower (1950's Style)

I'm absolutely obsessed with anything 1950's, but I thought this idea was particularly creative and interesting.

I absolutely love the fun bright colors (specifically the red). And look at those cute aprons! What a fun way to incorporate the 1950's into a bridal shower!

I originally saw this fun shoot at The Pretty Blog. They feature so many pretty things! Go check it out if you want to find out more about this bridal shower... or just see more pretties! :)


The scare last Thursday (and Friday) have resulted in some changes that Justin and I are taking to make our house feel more like a home (as well as add some additional security).

Justin, I must report, is doing much better at checking and double-checking to make sure he has locked doors (with me triple checking). We leave far more lights on at night (with little regard to how this will effect our electric bill). I am now known to open the shutters for all of the windows to make it much easier to see out. (Justin had said it let's people see what we have/don't have, so he doesn't really understand why it's important for me to see who is seeing into our house and what is going on around it.)

The house still makes tons of creepy noises (as most older houses do) and with the electricity flickering when things come on or go off (as is normal for this particular house), I still get a bit unnerved.

In the past few months, Justin and I have been trying to spend as little "extra" as possible with regard to ourselves. We have a very limited budget with the majority of my paycheck going directly into savings. However, after some discussion, Justin and I have decided to splurge a bit (if possible) and buy things to make our house feel more like a home (and less like we've just moved). A rug in the living room, curtains, and more comfortable seating are just a few things we are considering. Unfortunately, all of these things cost money... and we are coming up on the season of giving. *sigh* Maybe one day we will have it all figured out!

In the mean time, I wanted to give a shout out to the following:

a) Georgia Power: While I did not appreciate the scare on Friday, I do appreciate the "public apology" via twitter. I appreciate you looking into the problem... and the fact that you will not be changing our meter again in the near future.

b) City Police Department: You guys have been SOOOO AWESOME! From arriving within minutes of us discovering my car had been broken into, to taking fingerprints, and having an officer come out to search my property with me, I truly appreciate how awesome you are! It definitely makes me feel safer living in this area!

c) DDS: I do not agree with how you update licenses, but I am ecstatic that the process has been as painless as it has been! (And only cost $5!)

d) Our Bank: You also have made this process as easy as possible. We truly appreciate the time spent working with us to get our accounts in line. Sometimes I am so glad I am not with a big banking company like Suntrust! Eeek!

e) My husband: who has been supportive, helpful, and awesome.

f) Our landlord: who also has been super helpful and is so awesome for agreeing to put a security system in for us!


Honestly, this was one of my FAVORITE parts of the wedding planning process. I spent sooo much time planning out the invitations and save-the-dates that it almost makes me sick. Do you know how little time I spent planning the programs? Do you know how much more proud of the programs I was than any of the other wedding paper products?

First we started out with paper. Thick paper. Program paper. 

Or maybe we started with the actual program. I don't remember.

Not being Catholic, I had to spend a lot of time on the wording and researching other Catholic wedding programs. Originally we were working with Father Tim, but he ended up having to do something for the archdiocese on the same date as our wedding. It was sad, but we scampered to find another priest to fill in. We ended up not even having a priest officiate which worked out quite well for us.

Point being... I had to e-mail him and the church coordinator about the wording and events within a Catholic wedding (that did not include communion). I needed to make sure I included all of the prayers and everything that needed to be said since only a few of Justin's friends and my dad's side of the family were the only to have ever experienced Catholic mass before.

Meanwhile, the wording for Catholic mass got changed as we were planning the wedding making things even more confusing. Ahhh!!!

So anyway, the program was double sided beginning with a cover page (including our names, the church name, the date, and the time) and ending with our thank yous and remembrances. We also made sure to include the names of everyone involved in the wedding mass including readers, singers, and ushers that were not necessarily standing with us at the front of the church during the mass.

I used a similar type to that which had been used on our invitations and save-the-dates.

My favorite part was the outside of the program. Justin had sifted through and bought a bazillion(!!) blue flowers from Ikea for our floral arrangements that I had NO IDEA what we were going to do with them! In January, I had bought a TON of ribbon from Hancock Fabric on sale that I also did not know what I would do with. So it came together. My mom and I spent 2 days cutting flowers, ribbon, and using a glue gun. *ugh* SOOOO TIME CONSUMING! But it looked so pretty, and I was sooooo happy with it! I was really afraid that all of the programs piled on top of one another would lead to flat flowers, but luckily this did not happen. On top of it, Justin (yes, Justin) had to teach my mom and I how to tie the bows so they would lay pretty. (Justin knows how to do everything! It really is scary occasionally. Apparently he learned this skill on a "How to Correctly Tie Your Shoe" website. Go figure. lol.)

At the same time as we were gluing flowers and tying ribbon, we were also poking holes in the pages of the program and sewing the books together. (Also very time consuming. So glad my dad was able to help!) Finally, we glued pockets inside the program covers to hold the map and information about the reception site. (The church coordinator had suggested the use of pockets to make church clean up easier. She said inserts typically get left at the church in the pews as they fall out of the programs. Then you have guests that can't find their way to the reception site! It probably didn't help that I had left the reception site as a surprise to everyone except out of town guests, immediate family, the wedding party, and the vendors.)

The one thing major that we did to the programs, that was even a surprise to me, was include two birds and a heart sitting on the ribbon that went around the back of the program.

My mom used to joke when I was young that if we saw birds sitting on a power line that they were having a meeting. I had a bird hole punch I bought for the wedding not knowing if I could use it. (Yes, they are technically black birds that I punched as blue.) Anyway, I was just playing around and being silly when I discovered that this could be a fun and unique way to personalize our programs without losing the class I was hoping to achieve. So my mom cut out approximately 300 "blue birds" on some thick blue paper while I used my Silhouette Cameo to print 150 hearts. Then my mom got to work gluing. I figured not many people would notice, but I was amused... Justin was amused. Everybody who knew anything about this little touch was able to notice and be amused.

Overall, I was so proud and excited for my guests to see our wedding programs. A lot of time and love went into them. I felt involved in every detail... and yet I felt like everything just came together.

I don't really have any suggestions for creating your own wedding program except to have fun. The minute you start worrying about copying somebody else or not being creative enough, you will probably get locked up and not be able to imagine what it is you want. Worst case scenario: call me.