wish us a wish.

One of my ideas for the wedding was to have a wish tree instead of a guest book. Guests would write their wishes & advice for us as newly weds on little tags which they would then hang from the “tree.” After the wedding I can take all the paper slips and create an album out of them as a keepsake.

I was lucky enough to find some beautifully branchy sticks outside my apartment after they cut down a large tree nearby. Some of them need a little cleaning up, but you can’t beat free!

Last night I got to work making the hanging tags that everyone will write their messages on. I simply used some cardstock left over from making the save the date cards and cut them into 4″x4″ squares leaving plenty of room to fit a nice sized message. I then personalized the back of the tags by stamping them with a flower & butterfly stamp in lilac purple ink and hand writing our names & wedding date. Here’s some pictures of a little “mock-up” of how the tree will look once all the tags are hanging from it. Please ignore the craziness that is my dining room table right now – it’s become my wedding planning desk.

The tags hang using dark purple and green ribbons. Here’s a close up of the back detailing of the tags:

The ink came out a little more pink that I had thought it would, but purple ink seems to be a hard thing to find at my local craft shops. This light purple was the  closest I could get.

I’m really liking how it is looking so far. We’ll be adding a little more decoration to the tree with lamp crystals and maybe some butterflies. The vase will also be filled with silver glass pebbles to hold the branches into place and make it look a little neater. Should be a lovely addition to the decor on the wedding day & a lot more fun than a plan ol’ guest book.



Filed under diy, reception, reception decor

yummy in my tummy.

It is very possible that the guests will actually have food to eat now. That’s right – I’ve finally picked a caterer. Well, mostly.

We started out planning to just have drop off catering & a bartender. Since we are planning on a relatively small party, we thought, “Why pay for wait staff when that money can go to food?” Well, apparently things are more complicated than that – especially at the Bellamy. All the caterers I spoke to suggested we go with wait staff because of the amount of work the Bellamy requires in set up going up and down stairs to set up the buffet and keep it well stocked with yummy food. And I personally would like to be able to enjoy my reception instead of worrying about whether the crab cakes were running out. With the amount of work family member’s will already be doing to get this party pulled off, once it starts I think it will be nice to just relax and enjoy it.

So, after getting over the sticker shock of how much it will actually cost to have waitstaff (4 total including a bartender) we gave in. Plus, with wait staff we’ll get free glassware, plates, utensils, buffet decorations & serving dishes, and someone to set the whole thing up for us.

That was the first hurdle to jump over with catering. Then came figuring out exactly what I wanted to eat and fitting it into the remaining budget we had. I knew Andy wanted  a beef dish and I wanted seafood, so we started from there and worked in a few more meat choices, some veggies, and made sure they all sounded like something both of us would want to eat.

Here’s our somewhat final menu as of today:

-Gingered chicken cakes with mayo, pineapple, and mango

– Beef tenderloin with sundried tomato aioli on a custinini

– Grilled pork & apple skewers

-Prosciutto wrapped asparagus

– Fried green tomatoes (because you kind of have to, I think)

– Three cheese stuffed potatoes

– Seafood display including scallops wrapped with bacon and crab cakes

– Fresh fruit display including chocolate covered strawberries

It all works out to about $20.00 per person.

We have the tasting scheduled for next Saturday at 12:30. I hope it all goes well and we can finalize the catering contract and be done with that. Catering – probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do for this wedding so far. But the tasting part will be fun!


Filed under budget, catering, reception

this will cost me WHAT?!

It’s time to talk money, folks.

We are getting far enough into this planning to see if we’re actually even close to staying on budget.

Apparently, the national average for a wedding in 2008 was $22,000. HAHAHAH! Our budget for this wedding, $6000 (thanks to a generous $1000 food donation by the Long family). Here’s how our apparently tiny wedding budget is breaking down so far:

Ceremony & Reception site: Bellamy Mansion for $1750. (We saved $750 by planning our wedding for a Thursday instead of Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.)

Dress: $220 or so on eBay.

Flowers: $388 for bride’s bouquet, bride’s maid’s bouquet, 4 boutonnieres, 2 corsages, and the cake topper & decorations. (This wasn’t the cheapest I could get my flowers, but for an extra $10 I choose to go with a florist whose design I was most excited about. I saved us a little extra $$ by opting to go pick up the flowers ourselves instead of having them delivered.)

Cake: $175 for a three tier cake decorated with buttercream frosting & fondant ribbon. (This price includes delivery and decoration of the cake. I choose a baker who was having a sale.)

Catering: $2000 for wait staff, bar tender, set up, decorations, food, glassware & plates, clean up, and gratuity. (This isn’t set in stone yet, but I am close to choosing. The caterer is having a special for July weddings that includes a free appetizer, free decoration package, and free glassware. She is also waiving the $200 uncorking fee for providing our own alcohol.)

Officiant: hopefully free.

Invitations & stationary nonsense: $50 or so. (Found invitations at Michael’s on super sale as well as matching Thank You cards. Did my own save the dates.)

Ceremony & reception decorations: $250. (Hopefully.)

Rentals & linens: $450 (Again, hopefully. Really, really hopefully.)

That puts us at $5283 with $717 left for the bride’s maid dress, groom’s man’s … whatever, candy bar, misc. decorations, music, drinks, and whatever else I’m forgetting. Andy’s suit & our wedding rings are not included in this budget (thankfully). Hopefully when we break this budget it won’t be by too much. 😛


Filed under budget

suiting up.

Andy’s picked a suit! Horray! The other half of the couple shall be dressed. (We’re still working on the bride’s maid & groom’s man. They very well may be naked.)

But I’m still too excited about this suit to be too worried right now – I really like it:

He even got the vest (which I believe makes it match point & win for team Vest):

What I think we both like about this suit is that it has a more modern feel, and it’s made out of cotton, so Andy shall not suffocate in the 100% humidity that is Wilmington in July. Plus, this gray is going to look super fabulous with his purple tie and deep purple calla lily boutonniere, which I imagine will look a little like this:

But our’s will have a little purple orchid accent to match my bouquet as well.

I think we might be getting somewhere with this wedding planning nonsense. Goals for this week – pick a baker and meet with the caters & rental people. If I can accomplish that, then I think most of the big stuff will be out of the way. Besides figuring out what the other people in the wedding party are going to wear… I think right now I’m going for those goofy beach t-shirts that are really long and have the drawing of a well-endowed gal in a bikini and a really hairy guy. It’ll make sure Andy & I are the best looking people up there.


Filed under ceremony, what he's wearing

sneak peek – ceremony.

The UPS man dropped off a  big, beautiful package yesterday. I’ll give you a sneak peek:

I have two of these which will flank the sides of the rear stairs where the ceremony will be performed. They will be joined by some beautiful southern greenery.

You’re beginning to imagine it, aren’t you? Me, too!
Till then, those lanterns are decorating my small porch. And Andy actually said he likes them! I think it’s the first thing about the wedding he’s said he likes. Everything else gets an ‘eh’ or ‘whatever you like’. That kind of made my night.


Filed under ceremony

designing the centerpiece.

With all this floral/florist talk going on here lately (and there’s been a lot. I think it might be driving Andy insane.), one thing we’ve been thinking more about is the centerpieces for the tables.

A while back I found some small white Moroccan lanterns on eBay that I really liked for a centerpiece idea. With a little bit more looking, we happened upon these beautiful hanging lanterns:

But how to incorporate flowers? With only a few inches between the bottom of the stand and the lantern, it didn’t leave us much room to put flowers underneath. And if we wanted to use live flowers, it got even trickier – how do we keep them from wilting in the heat of July?

But my mom came up with a new idea of using the stand display the flowers (that’s what mom’s are for – fixing things, right?). Using some beautiful silk flowers in the perfect colors she worked up this pretty little arrangement to hang on the curve of the stand.

Pretty, inexpensive, and can be done ahead of time – 3 things important to a DIY wedding.

Another idea we are considering was mentioned by the florists. Since I’m probably going to have orchids in my bouquet, we could use a stem of orchids with several open flowers and a few buds and wrap them up around the stand. Dendrobium orchids come in a beautiful shade of purple and also a light green with a purple center – so we could alternate the colors between the tables. The orchids would have to be done on the day of the wedding, however, and may cost more depending on the type of orchid.

But with those two ideas in mind, I think the centerpieces are coming along nicely. I’ll be excited to see the finished product of one, whatever we decide to do.

Now with flowers (mostly) decided on, the next thing to conquer is the catering. And the officiant. And the party rentals. And the… is it July yet?!


Filed under flowers, reception

bouquet, bouquet, who has the bouquet?

With consultations set up with a few area florists for tomorrow & Friday, flowers have been on my mind. I’ve been looking at bouquet ideas – flowers, colors, styles – so that I have something to bring in with me to give the florist a better of idea of what I’d like.

I love this bouquet that incorporates hydrangea and lilies. For my wedding colors I’m thinking of using the light green hydrangea with white lilies or possibly the deep purple calla lilies (pictures below). I can’t quite decide if the dark lilies would look good with green hydrangeas, but here’s a bouquet that kind  of illustrates what it would look like:

There is an even darker shade of lilies that I really love. I’ve seen a couple bouquets done of just lilies in this dark eggplant and they are just  beautiful.

I love the dark color and the simplicity of this type of bouquet. It really just brings a wow factor. If I decide to go more in this direction, I may have my bridesmaid carry a bouquet with hydrangeas and possibly a few lilies to tie the two bouquets together and incorporate the hydrangeas we’re planning on using for the centerpieces and general around-the-reception floral decorations (and on the cake, possibly?).

And, finally, here is one more bouquet  I love – This one incorporates my colors, flowers, and is just darn pretty. I especially love the large white flowers with the green striping in the bridal bouquet.

EDIT: I just found this bouquet while looking at Lady’s Slipper orchids online:

It has  mostly the same flowers as the green and white above (hydrangea, lily, and Lady Slipper Orchid) only in deep purple! If these colors can translate into the other bouquet design, I will be totally ecstatic. We’ll have to see what the florist says about these flowers (and the price!).


Filed under flowers