Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Magic and Grace

Mara Casey Photography

I'm speechless.
It's a rarity.
I can normally blog-babble for paragraphs, but I'm still so completely overwhelmed by all of the love that Adam and I received Saturday night.  It was magical.  It was graceful.  There were hearts in our eyes all night, and somehow, days later, I still have the warm-fuzzies inside.  

My goal was to have a wedding that was as environmentally friendly as possible, while staying within a  $5,000 budget.  In the end, I managed to land pretty close to that number, by spending roughly $5,600, all things considered.  Not too shabby for a wedding planner first-timer.  

Each of the following photos appear courtesy of the very talented (and highly recommended) photographer, Mara Casey.  Find Mara Casey on Facebook or at her site Mara Casey Shoots!
Instead of printing ceremony programs, I used chalkboard paint and chalk to announce the evening.  The wood was "reclaimed" from a street corner in Atwater Village where a family had left a pile in front of their house because they were remodeling their kitchen.  Thanks random family! Cost: $.50.
This is an example of one of the many ideas I stole from the internet.  A place where photos of the married couples in our families could be honored.  Folks sent me pics before the big day.  Cost: FREE!

I made the "Just Married" sign with ribbon, note cards and fabric scraps from the napkins I made. Cost: $2.00

RSVP Shoes: @$70, Zappos
I'm not gonna lie, they hurt... but they're purple!
My generous Aunt Julie baked miniature versions of her famous Sock-It-To-Me-Cake to be given to the guests as favors. Thanks, Aunt Julie! Cost: FREE/Donated.

The "Thank You" sign wood was collected from the same free pile o' wood that the "Ceremony" sign was from.  I also painted a sign that said "Wedding", "His" and "Hers".  Cost: $3.00.
The theme was Rustic. Rented ivory table cloths paired with burlap, homemade napkins and old spaghetti sauce jars filled with flowers from the Flower Mart fit the theme nicely.  I rented the tablecloths, along with the plates, chairs and glassware from AV Party Rentals.  The silverware came from IKEA ($1.00 per setting!). Cost (per setting): $7.62
Flag garlands were created with napkin fabric scraps and gingham trim that I got from my late Aunt Diane before she passed.  Rustic? Check. Affordable? Check. Green? Well, I used recycled materials and I'll reuse them for parties in the future, so, yeah.  Check.  Cost: $8.00
Our guest book: another idea shamelessly stolen from the internet.  I painted a canvas with a tree and a sky, and my guests did the rest.
Cost: $30.00
At each table, atop each napkin was a small bag of colorful candy-coated sunflower seeds with a song lyric attached to the bag.  The lyric above says "Darling, you send me.  Honest you do, honest you do, honest you do" (Sam Cooke).  Some of my favorites included "When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me" (Led Zeppelin) and "When he's gone, me and those lonesome blues collide.  The bed's too big, the frying pan's too wide." (Joni Mitchell)
My dashing groom rocking the boutonniere I made for him.
I also made his groomsmen boutonnieres as well as my bouquet and my bridesmaid bouquets.  The boutonnieres cost about $2.50 each, took about four minutes to make, and are one of my favorite pieces of the DIY portion of the evening.
The world's greatest flower girl, Hollis.
The world's greatest flower girl, Hollis, attentively watching the ceremony.  

Adam and his parents, Carol and Walt.
The bride and groom with the bride's mom, Janine, and the bride's brother, Ashton.

A pic so nice, I posted it twice.
The wedding party: Kirstin, Shelayna, Taylor, Adam, Travis and Weston.
Our first dance to Stevie Wonder's "Knocks Me Off My Feet".
A wedding ain't a wedding 'til the guests are doing the electric slide.
Cake Cutting!  I tried to use a bevy of sparklers, which ended up being a lot more difficult and dangerous than I expected.
We decided to go with a variety of cakes, pies and tarts for dessert, rather than have one traditional wedding cake.  Our cakes came from Susie Cakes in Brentwood and our dinner was from Clementine's in Westwood.  The guests raved about both, especially the grilled steak and salads from Clementine's.  We fed 60 guests that evening and had PLENTY of food left over.  Total Cost (Dinner and Dessert) Per Person: $17.00

Popichaks, Danehys, Bradshaws, Hoffmans, Campbells, Katims, Jones' and many others danced the night away.
Thank you so much to all those who came, helped, supported, loved, hugged, danced and gave that night.  We'll never forget it!

~ the green/green bride

Sunday, September 11, 2011

T-Minus 6 Days

I'm not going to waste anytime apologizing for allowing this blog to fall by the wayside.  I'm getting married in six days, I don't have time for that.  I have seating charts to hover over, burlap to cut, skin to exfoliate, etc.  Instead, I'll allow a series of photos to explain where my time has been spent the last few weeks, and save the apologies for after the wedding.

There was a bridal shower... and for the record, I kicked ass at all those "how-well-do-you-know-your-fiance?" questions.
I've been making garlands and collecting photos of all of the married folks in the family for the reception.
My floor has been consistently sprinkled with paper scraps or fabric scraps... or both.
The last of the napkins are finally done! Hip-hip...
Milo hasn't been much help.
I printed our menu and placed the titles on blank greeting cards I found at JoAnn's.  I'm obsessed with these cards made by DCWV: beautifully patterned and sold with envelopes in boxes of 40 for only $9.99 - on sale now at JoAnn's for $7.99.  Cheap and recyclable.  
Curious? You'll find out post wedding.
I'm excited to be married, but I'm equally excited to get the boxes of DIY crap out of the corners every room in our apartment.  We want our house back!
Lola hasn't been much help, either.
It might take a few days post September 17th, but you can expect a gi-normous post about the big day, including financial details and behind the scenes particulars.  It'll be awesome.  Promise.
~ the green/green bride

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This Week in Crafting

I'm crafting away like a little elf getting ready for an end of summer Christmas.  Only, instead of making gifts to satisfy good little boys and girls, I'm making decorations to satisfy my desire for a rustic, homemade wedding venue.  
One of the things I've wrestled with is the altar concept.  We're getting married in a backyard, underneath a lemon tree.  I've decided to take Martha Stewart's centerpiece idea (as seen below) and use it to define the space where we'll stand.

I'm hoping that a simple arch shape will frame us with fun and color.  Casual cool.  Hoping.

Martha uses one piece of sheer fabric for each embroidery hoop.  I'm using two pieces of quilting squares per hoop, in colors that match my (psuedo) color scheme.
*Here's the green/green part: the fabrics can be reused, the hoops can be reused (I guess it's time for me to take up quilting), and the total cost for six hoops, twelve fabric squares and some string to hoist them up is just $36.

Milo had a blast rolling around in my fabric trimmings.  Then he got sleepy, like cats often do.

Lola couldn't be bothered.  She prefers higher ground.

In other news: Adam has a blood blister on his lower lip.  It grows in shape by the hour, leaks blood unexpectedly, falls off, and then begins to grow again.  The doctor says it has to heal by itself, and that if it isn't healed closer to the wedding date, it can be burned off... but then the burn will have to heal.  Awesome!  Take a minute now, if you would, and say a silent prayer for Adam's lip - and for me, the woman who really wants to kiss that lip on September 17th.

* Post Update* I've ordered a birdcage veil from Etsy and it's in the mail.  I'll let you know if it rocks, or not.

~ the green/green bride

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Help! I need somebody...

I can't decide on what kind of veil I should wear... and the deadline is looming.  Should I go birdcage or shoulder length? Tell me what you think!

And what should I do with my hair?

Keep in mind that I have thick, curly, mixed girl hair that looks nothing like any of these women featured on the right.  I could straighten it, however.  But then I'd have to find someone to straighten and style my hair.  Not cheap.  Or, I could attempt to wrestle my looped locks into one of these up-dos myself.  Cheap, but dangerous.

Decisions, decisions.

I'm not a fan of all this decision making.

At least I'm pretty sure I know who I'm going to marry.  Like ninety percent.

~ the green/green bride

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Procrastinate? Check.

I love this sweet little embroidered cake I found at Style Me Pretty.  But I really can't decide if I want one stacked wedding cake or three small layered cakes of different flavors.  This is why I procrastinate.  It's hard for me to make a choice!

I'm a procrastinator, and I'm really good at it.  Generally speaking, I can knock out huge projects in small amounts of time with a fair amount of ease.  However, I'm quickly learning that some things can't be ignored or put off when it comes to wedding planning.  It's time to pull the trigger and make the tough decisions.  It's time to get things done.  Why, just look at my To Do List!

  • Sew more napkins (yes, still).
  • Buy more dessert plates from the Pasadena Flea Market.
  • Create some sort of an altar for the ceremony venue.
  • Find a rental vendor. 
  • Book a rental vendor.
  • Fix my iPod.
  • Find a caterer.
  • Book a caterer.
  • Find a cake vendor.
  • Book a cake vendor.
  • Go suit shopping with Adam.
  • Buy rings.
  • Make the playlists for the ceremony and the reception.
  • Tailor my dress.
  • Get shoes, veil, jewelry, etc.
  • Hair.
  • Make up.
  • Sew flag garlands.
  • Make heart garlands.
  • Make "Just Married" garland.
  • Paint wooden signs for the reception (Thank You, Bride, Groom, etc...).
  • Find a babysitter for the reception (to watch the little ones while the big ones par-tay).
  • Buy flowers from the Downtown Flower Mart
  • Make bouquets and boutonnieres.
  • Buy booze.
  • Bake stuff.
  • Write vows.
  • Ask for/Collect photos of married guests.
  • Paint the guest book (not a book in actuality, a canvas instead).
  • Order groom's pie (Raspberry Rhubarb, to be exact) from Linn's.
  • String lights at the reception site.
I'm sure there are more things to add to the list, but I'm tired, and lazy, and refuse to look at the list I made three months ago that's stuck to the fridge. Because it's all the way in the kitchen.  I'll do it tomorrow.  
~ the green/green bride

Monday, July 18, 2011

Lucky Girl

My aunt Diane left behind a sea of vintage collectibles in her tiny two bedroom apartment.  Before she passed we joked about how I would go "shopping" throughout her place for everything I needed for my wedding.  Well, I recently went shopping, and this is what I got.
Gorgeous plates and platters of various sizes and colors.

Impossibly old tins, perfect for housing bushels of hydrangea and peonies (Diane's favorites).

Mason jars for centerpieces.  Most of these are actually from my collection.  And when I say my collection, I mean they're the remnants from my eats and drinks over the last year or so.

I'm halfway through my napkin making adventure.  The colorful collection on top is made from fabric I picked up downtown.  The blue and white stack is made from fabric I found at Diane's place.

Check out this beautiful teapot, sugar and creamer set.  Don't hate.

This is a teeny, tiny, pinky fingernail amount of linen from Diane's collection. She owned an insane amount of stuff.  That woman loved her some linen.

A few of the pieces are damaged, technically.  But the great thing about 'shabby chic' goods is that their imperfections become apart of their perfection.

Beautiful old books, great for stacking underneath little porcelain candy dishes or votive candles.

Just look at the detail on the spine of The Scarlet Letter.  They don't make 'em like they used to.

The original owner wrote a handwritten passage in French, along with the date.  Anyone read French?... At least, I think it's French.

The original publishing date is nearly 120 years old.  Awesome.
I'm a lucky gal.
~the green/green bride