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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Wedding Details: The Invitation

I thought I’d start my wedding posts at the beginning: the invitation.

The invitation

The invitation

When you’re doing a certain theme for your wedding, the invitation is the first representation of that theme that your guests will see.  Therefore, in my opinion, it’s important to make sure that the invitation makes an impression.

Our wedding, as you can tell, had a library/book theme.  To keep with the theme I decided that a library card would be a cute way to send out our invitations while still conveying the necessary information.  And because this wedding was being done on the cheap, that meant I was designing, writing, and printing the invitations myself.

As with all things I do, I began with research!

Here is a lovely example I found on Etsy:

Graham and Olive Stationary

Graham and Olive Stationary

The Graham and Olive Etsy store has very unique, beautiful invitations and sundry items.

However, this example (and the many I found like it) were for Save the Dates.  I was not going to send out a Save the Date! In fact, the fewer people who came to our wedding, the better! Seriously.

Using this Save the Date as an example, I came up with my own version.  But first I needed supplies:

1. Library cards

I considered using a template and printing on card stock, but I’m super computer challenged when it comes to downloading and then utilizing things like that.  So I opted to do it the hard way.  Yay me.

Library cards from the Library Store

Library cards from the Library Store

I purchased two packets of library cards, each containing 50 cards, from the Library Store via Amazon.  Each pack was 2.99, plus shipping and tax.  The total was $14.42.

2. Library Card Pockets

I’m sure I could have made these, but really, why would I? The time of construction and cost of the paper would have been at least equal to, if not more than, the buying the pre-made product.

From Ideal School Supply

From Ideal School Supply

Again I purchased two sets of 50, each for $4.49.  This time shipping was covered by my Amazon Prime membership, so the total came out to $9.70.

3. A Template

This was the part of the project that perhaps took the longest.  I didn’t have a template available (mostly because I can’t figure out how to download and integrate one into my computer) so I had to make my own.  This meant measuring the card and creating a word document to the size of the paper, the width of the internal margins, and then the width of the lines on the card.  Fun stuff.

Here’s what I came up with:

Home-made template

Home-made template

Even doing all this, it took several trial and error attempts with the printer to make sure everything lined up.

4. Date Stamp

My mother bought this for me so I don’t have to count it into my budget! yay!  I used a typical date stamp you would find in any office, library, etc. to add the dates of the RSVP deadline and the date of the wedding to the card.

Stamped

Stamped

There were two reasons I chose to do it this way: 1) I couldn’t figure out how to add letters going horizontal like that on the template; 2) I liked the authentic look of it, like you would find on a traditional library card.

5. Library Stamp

Again, I don’t count this into my budget because I’m a huge nerd and I’ve had this stamp for years.

My personal library stamp

My personal library stamp

As Connor and I say: BOOM BABY! I’ve had my own personal library stamp for my ever growing-home library for at least 5 years.  It’s pretty nerdy and pretty awesome (just like me! heehee).

Library Invitation Card

Library Invitation Card

Last, all I had to do was assemble all these pieces together and I was done.

All in all, the invitations cost $23.82.  If we factor in a percentage of the ink I used, I feel comfortable rounding this up to an even $25.00.  Not too shabby!

The best part of the invitation project was how much I enjoyed the finished product.  It was exactly what I had envisioned! It perfectly encapsulated the theme of the event, as well as my personality.  I was also pleased with the response to the invitations.  Nearly everyone who received it commented on how much they liked the invitation, particularly impressed by its uniqueness.  The fact that I was able to create a product that was so well liked for such a small amount of money truly made my heart swell with pride.

Next, all I had to do was bring that same level of personal investment and attention to detail to the rest of my wedding. No pressure!

Spring Flowers and Crafts

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things post-wedding, but it’s not easy.  Last weekend my sister and I hosted a baby shower for our other sister, along with the help of a very good friend, my mother, and a cousin.  There’s a saying that many hands make light work, and I surely put that to the test!

Coming up I have Easter and Connor’s birthday to prepare for, so I’ll be busy with crafts and planning yet again.  Once I make it past April 15th, I think I’m free to relax and maybe pursue some of my own interests…more on that at a later date.

I intend to bring my readers up to speed on all the crafts, paper goods, and food that went into my beautiful wedding, but I want to have some really good pictures of all these things.  And, well, my crappy cell phone pictures just aren’t going to do it!  So, I’m going to wait on all the wedding details until I have my beautiful photographer’s pictures in hand.

Today I’m going to show you a simple, quick to complete but long-lasting craft to do.

The Spring Tulip Wreath:

springtulipwreath

What You’ll need:

21 bunches (or bushes) of artificial tulips

wire cutter

12′ vine wreath

hot glue and gun

pink ribbon

I purchased seven bunches of three different colors: light pink, dark pink, and mixed.

One bunch of artificial tulips

One bunch of artificial tulips

First, you’ll want to use your wire cutters to snip each tulip from the bunch.

Cut each tulip from the main stem

Cut each tulip from the main stem

You’ll want to leave each tulip’s stem as long as possible to weave into the vine wreath.  (Please ignore the fact that I still have my Valentine’s Day tablecloth on in March.  I’ve been busy, dang it!)

Next you’ll want to start weaving your tulips into the vine wreath.  And when I say “weaving” I really mean jam it in there until it’s secure, leaving about 3-4 inches resting on top of the wreath.

Slid the stem in between the branches of the wreath

Slid the stem in between the branches of the wreath

They should look like this as you layer the tulips around the wreath:

Make sure to vary your colors

Make sure to vary your colors

Work all the way around the wreath until full, and none of the vines are visible when looking straight down onto the wreath.

completedwreath

To be certain that all of the tulips are secure, we’re going to glue the stems on the back.  So flip over your wreath and start wrapping any stray stems into the vines.

Push stems under vines until they are secure

Push stems under vines until they are secure

Now we glue.  I placed roughly a dime’s size of hot glue on each stem, holding it in place.

Once that is done, simply loop some ribbon through the top of the wreath (I used a slip knot) and tie with a bow at the top.  You make want to use thicker ribbon that what I selected (mine was on sale for $.99 so beggars can’t be choosers).

wreathandribbon

And you are done!

The cost of this craft was roughly $50.  The wreath was $8, the tulips were about $40, and the ribbon was $.99.  If you can find cheaper flowers, I urge you to do so.  I used Micheal’s because of a floral sale, as well as some coupons I had.  Here’s a link to their weekly ad, featuring a coupon and their floral sale.

Still I think it’s a pretty good deal.  On Etsy, artificial tulip wreaths are selling for $90+.  I can’t imagine doing this with real tulips, as I think it would be astronomically expensive.  But if you are able to do so, please send me a picture! I’d love to see it!

If you have any questions about this craft, or tips on other crafts, please drop me a line!

An ending and a beginning

Weddings are often put at the end of movies, at the end of plays, at the end of books, as if this single event was the culmination of a lifetime.  There’s always a feeling of “ta da!” like some magician was pulling back the curtain to reveal a happily married couple and end scene.

But we know better, don’t we.  Or at least we learned this lesson along the way.

With my first marriage and it’s wedding, so much time, effort, and emotion was built into the wedding that there was a feeling after it ended of “now what?”  Every little girl dreams of her big fairytale wedding and I’d had mine.  And what was I supposed to do now?  We hadn’t talked too much about the marriage part.  It was just assumed that things would go on as before.  But that never really works, does it?  Things change, people change, and we weren’t really prepared for that as a couple.

The second time around the wedding was so much more about putting a stamp on a paper and celebrating our relationship, than it was about some giant event.  Our wedding was extremely personal.  It was exactly how we wanted it to be.  My flu-ridden son slept between us both on our wedding night and the night of our reception.  We walked our three dogs before dropping them off at my parent’s house.  We rushed to get them as soon as the party was over.  The day after the reception we did laundry, cleaned, and went to a family birthday party.

It felt as if our wedding had just been some huge family party that everyone came to, like a confirmation or high school graduation.  And then life resumed.

Perhaps it was because there was no fairy tale this time.

Fairy tales are typically about single, starry-eyed young men and women looking for an epic love.  They’re typically not about divorcees with a child looking for a stable committed relationship, drama free.  Most of the single parents in fairy tales are tragically widowed fathers who end up  marrying a beautiful but cruel woman.

There really aren’t any fairy tales to describe the situation I was in.  Single working mother of autistic child seeks understanding, patient, practical man.  Not exactly the plot of a romance novel.

All this made it easier to see the wedding as just a stamp on a paper, as not an ending but a beginning.

There’s no epic-ness about our relationship.  No hills and valleys.  No drama.  No vase throwing, no screaming.  Our love is a simple country song.  We watch tv together, we take turns making lunches, we talk in embarrassing voices to our three dogs.  And I love him.  And I know that I love my husband more when he’s carrying my sleeping son up the stairs than when we’re sipping wine over a candle-lit dinner.  And I think that really says it all.