Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Hint of Fall Festivity

The past week has been a little draining. Baby has been having trouble sleeping at night and I'm not sure what's to blame but it's either a schedule issue or a teething situation. Either way we've been getting lots of wake-up calls at unreasonable hours. I did manage to get a few autumn decorations up around the house.

Our front door needed a little love. The wreath was a $3 find at Walmart with some gold-trimmed copper colored ribbon from the Dollar Store. The little basket and its arrangement were on clearance at Michael's and cost about $7 total. Not too shabby for only $11. Today I'm going to add some extra details for Halloween. With Baby still being so young, I just don't feel the need to have our house all spooked out for the entire month of October. But I am excited for a trip to the pumpkin patch. Here are last year's jack-o-lanterns...

I also spiffed up our mantel inside with some fall decorations. I'm hoping this can last through Thanksgiving but the mini pumpkins will probably need to be traded out. I don't know if it's the warmth or the humidity but I've only had them for a week and they are already starting to discolor. Bummer. The leaves were another Michael's score for 60% off. It started out as a garland that had all these hideous corn cobs hanging on it. I snipped them off and broke up the garland into swags to make it lay right on the mantel.

I have a couple other fun house updates to share later this week. Let's just say my husband really showed off his handyman skills last weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Polka Dot Details

While our colors were navy, white and khaki, we ended up using polka dots as a fun accent throughout the wedding. I wanted it to be a cute detail but not overwhelming so I used them in small doses. The bridesmaids and I wore navy shoes with white polka dots and the groomsmen wore navy ties with pin-point white dots. The cake tiers were encircled by the same ribbon that we used to accent the shoes.

The guest bags, as shown in my last post, were tied with the same ribbon as we used on the shoes. I ordered a really cute polka dotted sash for Baby's dress but it didn't arrive in time unfortunately. The night before the wedding I used little blue adhesive pearls from Michael's to spell out "I do" on the bottom of my shoes. I think our photographer got some pix and the Husband thought it was hilarious when I showed him.

The little jars are baby food jars that I cleaned and saved for months while Baby was still eating purees. I soaked off the labels and then one of my very loyal bridesmaids helped me scrub the label adhesive remnants off 120 jars. What a good friend! We dropped a white tealight in each jar, tied on simple navy blue ribbon and the jars were scattered around each table at the reception to add a little more ambience. Because I would have had to buy the baby food anyway, the total for all the centerpiece jars was about $25 for the candles and ribbon. Much less than if I'd bought tiny tealight holders even at somewhere cheap like Ikea and the labor involved was very minimal. All the little accents helped tie together different parts of the wedding as a whole. I was really happy with how it added a little personality to our wedding!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcoming Our Guests

One of the main reasons we chose our venue in the first place was because we anticipated a decent number of guests coming from out of town. The club that hosted our ceremony, reception and rehearsal dinner boasts an on-site hotel with reasonable rates and we loved that guests would be within walking distance of all the main events. We put together goodie bags for all the out-of-towners which included snacks, drinks, sunscreen and information about the weekend. I bought simple brown paper bags at Target for about $0.50 a piece and we tied the handles with navy blue & white polka dotted ribbon, our signature accessory. I found little round tags and used those to label each bag for the front desk staff at the hotel.

My sister designed the insert that we added to each bag, which provided guests with a schedule of events, a map and of course a welcome message. The design mimicked the invitation to my bachelorette weekend and was perfect for the contemporary but cute look that I wanted. The hotel provided a map of the grounds and my sister doctored it with additional info and some cute details to make it feel custom-made. I had them printed and folded at Fed-ex which took all of 5 minutes and was totally worth not having to mess around with double-sided printing at home. The map and schedule of events helped save us from answering questions about where people should go and what time they needed to arrive. Plus once they were dropped off at the hotel, the bags were automatically given to guests in our block of rooms. Such an easy way to (sort of) personally greet each guest.

The final product... love it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Bridesmaid Gifts

When I first started thinking about the gifts for my bridal party, I knew I wanted something unique and personal. I looked at many options but eventually decided on something handmade. I purchased the Market Bag pattern from Sandi Henderson of Portabellopixie and loved how it turned out. You can purchase the pattern from Sandi's online shop here.

The pattern is easy to follow even if you have only a moderate knowledge of sewing, and the end result looks much more complicated than it actually is to make. The best part is that I was able to choose fabric based on each girl's taste and give them a one-of-a-kind bag. Making five bags was no small feat but by the third one, I felt like a pro! (I can only imagine how many Sandi has made in order to create a pattern.) Here are the five completed bags for my five fabulous girls.

The girls seemed very excited about their personalized bags and it felt great to give them each a gift that I had invested so much into. I'm sure the new Husband will be happy to see the dining room not taken over by a sewing machine, piles of fabric, thread and pattern pieces, but even he was very impressed by the end result. He's even suggested making more bags as Christmas gifts, but after making five in the last five months, I might be on a bag hiatus!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wedded Bliss

It's official - I am now a wife!

Our wedding was beautiful and wonderful and everything I hoped it would be, with the exception that it went by way too fast (as everyone told me it would). We are joking that our wedding was the last day of summer because we had perfect weather and the next night was downright chilly to the point that I had to wear a real sweater. We spent a fabulously luxurious honeymoon week in Palm Springs with Baby staying nearby with my sister. I can't wait to post pictures of some of the fun details from our big day but for now I'm swamped with laundry and post-wedding chaos in our house.

As a side note, it finally feels like fall here and I'm so excited to get our home dressed for the season. Shockingly, I read on Simple Mom that there are only 11 weeks until Christmas, which is absolutely insane. For now I'm just ready to pull out all the cozy, comfy goodies that make fall wonderful.
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