Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adventures in Weddingland!

A picture is worth a thousand words! So here are a handful of my beautiful Alice in Wonderland themed shower. My Mom, Rebel, Bridget, Britt, Yvonne, Janae, Jessica and Chelsea were an amazing team that carried out my ideas and flourished them. They went above and beyond. :-)

Guests had little cards telling them what order to visit each table. Thanks to some computer genius friends, I was able to get a program that accomplished what I was trying to do manually. Everyone got to visit all the different tables and meet (mostly) all new people each round.

The tables and hostesses, were as follows:

The Alice Table : Me! (featuring Tea Sandwiches, water with orange slices, and "Eat Me" sugar cookies) I opened the guests presents here.
The Red Queen: Julie, my Mom (Red Velvet Cupcakes, red and milk Chocolates in heart and crown shapes, marshmellows dipped in red chocolate, etc)

The White Queen: Rebel, my sister and Maid of Honor (scones, cheesebread, merengues, white popcorn, all kinds of stuff!)

The Mad Hatter: Britt, my sister-in-law and bridesmaid (fun punches, teas and drinks with mini un-birthday cakes and candy)

The Rabbit Room: Chelsea, bridesmaid (fruits, veggies, dips, hot teas, and scones with dried fruit in them)

The Caterpillar Corner: Jessica (two different kinds of fancy salads)

The Cheshire Lounge: People just relaxed here for a breather

It was great fun! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Breather

I'm getting to the point where some wedding things are slowing down. Not because they're coming to an end, but because I'm waiting on other parties and forces to get going again. It's like the "click-click" moments of a roller-coaster when you're being pulled up hill. Something is going to happen, but everything needs to gather new momentum first.

The showers are in capable hands, I've made the payment deadlines with the big players to secure their services: photographer, caterer, location, etc., and the invitations just have a few more things to go. I think I will hand address the invites with Chaz, he has much nicer handwriting than I do. Maybe get a fancy metallic pen.

I'm hardwired to be a little anxious when things slow down. I almost don't trust the feeling. My head tells me I've certainly I've left a flat-iron on somewhere that needs to be turned off, or something is undone.

My engagement is so short I have to enjoy these things. I'm only a fiancee for so long. And really, the wedding is what? Five hours? That's it and then it's over. Having a honeymoon right after is wise, my wheels will be spinning too much to immerse into normal life again.

Right now, the only imperative I can think of is picking out my wedding shoes. I'm looking for a pair of fancy flats in a wedding color, suggestions are welcome.

Deep breath, life is good and beautiful.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Invites Pt 2

(An incomplete draft. Ignore the pink post-it on the bottom behind the envelope)

After much labor, designing, drafts, paper shopping and ink mixing, I'm getting closer to having actual invites out. Because my father does direct mail, the invitations are a bit of a showcase. I have done my best to make his modern, perfectionists attempts into a garish celebration of all that is Heatherly. I've truly outdone myself this time. ;-)

Follow me on a little, scratch that, long- Lord of the Rings- status, journey called "Making Custom Invitations".

  • Step 1: Ponder designs and wedding colors. Think about having a heart shaped invite and envelope.
  • Step 2: Re-ponder designs after looking at more pictures online. Decide you want a antique bookplate feel.
  • Step 3: Go through over 50 paper sample books in father's office. Grow cranky when asked to look at more.
  • Step 4: Pick out paper. (In this case, Francis Orr provided a company where I picked out the bones of the invite because I couldn't find any colors I liked in our sample books.) I was presented with a bajillion swatches and went from there, mixing, matching and figuring which paper would comprise each piece of the invite-extravaganza.
  • Step 5: Write the verbage!

There is a lot more to this than one would think. An invite not only gives the gory details of the wedding, but it is also a tiny advertisement for who is really paying for the shindig. I think that's more than fair. If you don't contribute significantly, or aren't the ones getting hitched, your name isn't on the invite.

Also there's an order to things. Turns out, I don't request "the honor of your presence" unless the ceremony is in a church. Otherwise it's "the pleasure of your company". Also it's Heatherly Rose to Chaz-Eric Denaranjo. "And" is straight out and "with" is only for Jewish ceremonies (La chaim!). Dress code is to be on the bottom right of the card, if relevant. (Turns out "white tie" is infinitely fancier than "black tie").

  • Step 6: Design!

This is the fun part. Well fun when I wasn't frustrated by my lack of clarity. The graphic artistof our company had me look at vector art stock, which is basically drawing stock as opposed to photos. I could pick out pieces and then have her edit them to my heart's delight.

In a stroke of genius (or vanity) I had her make silhouettes of Chaz and I in profile from photos. I had done a version of Chaz myself with just photo-bucket to test out the theory. turns out this is a pretty popular motif at weddings lately. I think it's charming, so I'm all for it. If it's good enough for the Victorian era, it's good enough for me.

So we have vector stock, our silhouettes, a graphic artist and me over-seeing the whole thing. At first, you have designer's zeal and a burning vision. Everything will be perfect. After 20+ hours (literally) thinking about it and 5 drafts, you get to a "yeah, yeah, great just stick it on there" mindset. I think I only lost the vision for the flourishes around my address. Something tells me the design will survive.

  • Step 7: The Printing Process

Printing is a serious and complicated business. If you want the ultimate in swank, it's all
about letterpress.

Letterpress is a form of printing where you make a metal stamp or "die" with wood backing of your text and images. Each color requires a different die. Using a massive machine, ink is literally pressed into the paper giving an elegant "debossing" effect. If you're really posh in the printing world (and I am! ;-) ) you press it once, let it dry, then press it again for an even deeper imprint.

Foiling is another foofy effect that can be done. This stuff that looks like shiny wrapping
paper is heated to kinda melt onto the paper in the design you want. This creates an "ooo shiny" image. The dies for these are all metal.

So first you have the design, then you have a company make dies from them, then you send these dies to the guys with the letterpress and foiling machines with all your paper. You pick out ink and foil colors and, voici! Custom invites.

Now I just have to assemble the pieces, address and stamp them all.... They're a work in progress, but I hope this little printing lesson taught you something. Or at least explains my few days tardiness ;-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Registry!

Everything has gone digital it seems. Even Registries! So if you are curious as to what Chaz and I are populating our future nest with, please visit this site:

Registry360 - View My Registry

(This site can be a little squirrelly. It doesn't always include everything you've registered for and pay no mind to the styleboards.)

Officially, we are registered at:

A Little Illustration of Preferences!

And in the Kitchen!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Bridal Shower

This whole wedding thing is happening a lot faster than I imagined. A short engagement has its plusses and minuses. Right now I am stunned that it is almost time for my shower. It's staggering when you think that you only get one. One in your whole life. If I overthink it, I get a little dazed.

The other day I was staying at my parent's house and my mom came into my bedroom in the early morning to get Bon-Bon. She found me just laying in bed, staring open-eyed at the wall. The dialogue went a little like this:

Mom: "Oh!... Are you thinking about wedding stuff?"

Me: "Yes."

Mom: "How long have you been awake?"

Me: "An hour."

The latest thing to ponder has been my bridal shower! Exciting stuff. In my usual fervor for themed parties, I have asked for a tea party luncheon for the shower hosted by my side of the family. No ordinary tea, though, a Mad Tea Party. The trick with a theme like this is to not just feature movie memorabilia or commercial versions of it. My motto is decorate as if you are the

What I mean by this is don't have a picture of a notable Disney Alice serve as decor, easy as it may be. Instead implement looking glasses, tea cups, pocket watches, artful topiary's, etc. As the guest, you are in the place as opposed to looking at a version thereof.

I think I just want an excuse to make myself sick with those little cucumber sandwiches and scones. That and I have a modest teacup collection, the world will see and enjoy them if it kills me.

Also, I have a crazy (mad even?) idea to make everyone mingle. Each course is at a themed table with a stationary hostess and new kind of tea. Everyone starts at a different table/course, so you might eat dessert or finger sandwiches first. Guests are obligated to rotate tables/courses every 10 mins or so, meeting new people and eating new food.
What this idea has taught me is math is really hard. When you want people to not sit together more than once AND not be at the same table, things get confoosing. Chaz tried mapping it out with a long equation of double unknown variables, while I did the infinitely harder task of pondering sandwich filling.

After the party (June 27th) I will hopefully have oodles of pictures to share.