Wednesday, June 30, 2010

cupcake conundrum

Okay, once again, let me reiterate how much I hate making things in multiples of 80. We just finished putting together napkin/cutlery packs and the monotony is more than I can take. It seemed like such a small task yet it took a ridiculously long time to complete.

Luckily, I was able to periodically distract myself from that task because I was baking all our yummy cupcakes at the same time. Once again, in multiples of 80. Although, I love cupcakes and I love to bake, so that was more fun than programs or napkin packs.

After purchasing a copy of Martha's cupcake bible, and taking weeks to decide one some flavors, we finally locked in our choices and settled on the following: swiss chocolate, french vanilla, carrot, and rainbow bit. Although the rainbow bits cupcakes come from a box, I have loved them for as long as I can remember, so they had to be included. Mr. FP's only request was carrot and so we settled on vanilla and chocolate in hopes that everyone will be able to find something they like.

So, countless cups of flour and dozens of eggs later, our cupcakes have been successfully made and frozen since I made them a week ahead of time.

With everything baked, I turned my efforts to frosting. Although fondant cupcakes look extremely pretty, a lot of people hate the taste of fondant and although I've never had fondant, I'm a fiend for frosting, so that's an obvious choice. I had originally thought that I would be able to buy some pastry bags and decorating tips and make our cupcakes look as pretty as some cooked by a pro, but I have since given up that dream.

After wasting a can of frosting practicing with a decorating tip, I have realized that I should never take up cake decorating as a profession. I simply don't have the patience or coordination for it. Plus, if I take the more homemade route of frosting with a spatula or knife like I always do, I can enlist the help of my bridesmaids the day before which will be a huge relief. They may not look as pretty as a professional, but (as Mr. FP eloquently pointed out to me) "who the hell cares?".

And after all, he's right.

I've been trying so hard to make these cupcakes perfect that I've been stressing too much about it. Ever since telling people that we're opting to have homemade cupcakes instead of a traditional cake, I have been met with skepticism. People told me it was too much work. Too much stress. That they wouldn't taste or look as good as something I could pay for.

Well, they may not look as pretty as the ones on Ace of Cakes, but they do taste damn good if I do say so myself and saving the money was definitely worth the $60 we spent on ingredients and the one afternoon is took to make them. As it turns out, the only stress I've experienced in the process is my own desire to make them look amazing. Baking them was actually pretty simple and since baking relaxes me, it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I was so concerned about meeting the standards of other weddings that I got sidetracked from our original goal: to have some money and have delicious customized cupcakes. Once I finally realized that it's okay that the cupcakes aren't as perfect as something I could have purchased, the stress melted away and now I'm excited about them more than anything.

Especially since our flower girl/my cousin was so concerned about them that she has asked me about them 4 different times. She was very worried that I would only be making white ones, and she took great care to remind me that she doesn't like white frosting. Thankfully, the Swiss chocolate ones have chocolate frosting. She was very relieved to hear that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

proposal hindsight

Videos like this leave me confused. Partly because I'm not sure whether or not to believe they're real and partly because I wonder, if in fact they are real, how the hell does that happen?

It's a perplexing idea for me. And I don't mean that I'm wondering in a "how could she do that; what's wrong with her that she would say no in front of thousands of people?" kind of way. I mean it in a "why the hell would be propose if he didn't know that she would say yes?" kind of way.

Maybe it's just the dynamic of my relationship with Mr. FP that causes me to wonder how someone's proposal could be rejected like that, but it makes me wonder what the state of someone's relationship could be like that one partner could think the couple is ready for marriage while the other doesn't agree. Not that I think each individual in a relationship becomes ready to get married at exactly the same time, but honestly, had he ever talked to her about it? I mean, really talked about it. In a serious, it could actually happen, kind of way?

Honestly, I chalk it up to traditional expectations. In the fairy tales and romantic stories in movies or on television, the woman is totally clueless when it comes to the proposal. She has no idea it's coming and she's surprised to tears when he gets down on one knee. It's so dreamy when the man takes initiative and puts himself out on a limb to propose. Or, at least, that's what we're told. This method very well may work for some people, I'm sure thousands of successful marriages started this way, but it's definitely not for us.

Our proposal wasn't like the movies. Not even a little. Although I didn't know the exact date that he planned to propose, I knew it was coming. I knew the month and I knew he'd probably do it around Christmas because he knew how much I loved that time of year. Does knowing making it less romantic? Am I disappointed because I knew it was coming and didn't simply leave it up to him? Hell no. What would it say about our relationship if he just decided to propose to me before we'd ever had the chance to discuss it? What kind of relationship could we have had if he kept something so huge from me? Personally, I don't think it would have been the kind of relationship I would want to be in.

We tell each other everything. And I mean everything. Very rarely are there secrets between us partly because I can't keep things from him and partly because our relationship only works when we're honest with one another. And nothing about this changed when it came to the proposal. As Lyn mentioned in this post on another damn wedding, the traditional method of proposals create a disaster zone in which one person (usually the woman) is rendered entirely passive while the man is left to make all the decisions. Like Lyn and her beau, this is a difficult concept for Mr. FP and I because we're used to making decisions together too.

When Mr. FP was having a difficult time finding the perfect ring, I volunteered to go ring shopping with him to give him some ideas. For him, that shopping trip was a relief because he didn't have to stress about spending a ridiculous amount of money on something I would hate.

Did that make getting engaged less magical? Um, no. Partly because I never saw the ring he ended up buying because it was at a different store than the ones we visited together but moreso because... well, who cares? it's a ring. It's the meaning behind it that represents his love for me, not the physical object so it wouldn't have mattered if I'd seen it. I'm eternally grateful that I was able to relieve his stress instead of falling into archaic gender roles which dictate that I was to know nothing about the ring or the proposal.

In hindsight, I would have changed one major thing. Although some women take the reigns by proposing to the man, I would have eliminated the proposal altogether. For us, it ended up being simply a formality and nothing more. It wasn't necessary because we'd already agreed that we wanted to get married through dozens of conversations.

If I could go back in time, I think we would have eliminated that pressure and simply allowed the proposal to be as simple as "so, you want to get married?" "yes" "okay, me too" "sweet". That would have made us equal. Because either way, whether it's the man doing it or the woman doing it, there's no balance. Someone is taking control and the other is left submissive. That's never been how our relationship works, so why was it how our engagement worked?

Because we were stuck in traditional roles. It's as simple as that. We both had preconceived notions about what a proposal should be like and those notions were based in outdated and ridiculous gender norms. Looking back, I feel stupid for allowing that to happen especially since the romantic idea of the proposal was perpetuated more so by yours truly while Mr. FP probably could have gone either way. And to be honest, he's not a proposal kind of guy. He's adorable and sweet and perfect for me but he's not the most romantic of creatures and the fact that he had to deal with so much pressure to execute a romantic proposal makes me feel guilty.

Stupid romantic proposals and the gender roles they promote. Reason number 238,094 that I will never let my children watch Disney movies...

Monday, June 28, 2010

accessory dilemmas

I have a problem. A few of you may already know about it.

I'm an accessory whore. From earrings to a headpiece to a necklace to brooches to sashes and veils, I can't make up my mind. Honestly, I have no idea what I'll look like on my wedding day. To add fuel to the fire, my wedding porn addiction moved me toward a search for the perfect cardigan. I mean, after seeing photos like the ones below, how could I not fall in love with the idea?

And after only 3 days of searching, I picked up a beauty at Old Navy for $10. Yep, $10. They had tons of different styles and at this point, I'm wishing I'd purchased more. Mine is very similar to the photo below, but it's a pale shade of purple and the flowers are ivory.

My mother isn't too impressed by the idea of wearing a cardigan with my wedding gown but I absolutely love it. I'm not sure if I want to do it just for the reception or for the entire day, but either way, this pretty little thing will make an appearance at the wedding.

Unfortunately for me, this means that I now have an even more difficult set of decisions ahead of me. Ideally, I'd like to combine a necklace, earrings, cardigan, veil, hair flower and sash but I have a feeling that probably won't work. I'm just thankful that my dress is finished being altered so I can try out a few combination before the big day.

See? Wedding porn is nothing but trouble. Dang.

Friday, June 25, 2010

it's D-day eve, ladies

Hiya fellow fancy pants-ers,

As many of you know, by this time tomorrow, Mr. FP and I will be getting ready to be married (eek!) and since we're sans internet at the cottage, I just wanted to let everyone know now that I've scheduled some posts to go up while we're on our honeymoon in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

So if I'm still going on and on about accessories and DIY projects even after we're married, you'll know why. I still have a ridiculous amount of details to catch you up on, so there should be plenty to read.

After a week of married relaxation, I'm hoping to return by the 5th of July with all of the wedding details and hopefully a photo or two.

Hope everyone has an awesome week!

- miss fp

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Giveaway Winner! CSN Stores

.... Nicole from Jim et Nicole!

Congrats! I've sent your e-mail off to Jessica from CSN Stores, so she'll contact you with the information on how to claim your prize (keep an eye on your junk mail just in case her e-mail goes there).

Many thanks to everyone else who entered!

DIY: bridal (or not) jewelery

I love Etsy.

I love it for many reasons, but today, I'm referring specifically to my love of their Supplies category. Every supply you could ever want for any project can be found there. Or, at least, I have yet to think of something that I can't find there.

This has allowed me to become much craftier than I was in the past. Given the limited resources in a small town, the best choices I had for jewelery supplies was Wal-Mart or Michaels (which we only got in our city within the last 4 years). Other than that, I was forced to buy pre-made jewelery from the mall (which was never very original or unique) or from independent boutiques (which ended up costing an arm and a leg).

Then I found Etsy. *Swoon*. It has allowed me to create an endless amount of entirely unique pieces of jewelery and I love that. I have a ridiculous amount of earrings now and my necklace collection is quickly rising.

So when it came to wedding jewelery, Etsy was an obvious choice. I've been making wedding jewelery for almost the entirety of our engagement and although I still have yet to make a final decision, I have tons of options.

I think a lot of people hesitate to make their own jewelery as they think it'll either look homemade, that it won't be as nice as stuff they could buy, or that it won't last. But I'm here to tell you, that's bull.

Case in point, my options for wedding jewelery, which were all made by me usually for under $10 and within 1 or 2 hours.

The supplies for everything above were found on Etsy. And in prep for this post, I looked into my Etsy transaction history to discover that the total cost for everything I made works out to around $25. And I still have left overs from most of these projects since I purchased more beads/wire/chain than I needed.

I was never much of a jewelery worker. My DIY projects mainly consisted of felt, fabric or painting. But since Etsy came along, I've been able to save a ridiculous amount of money on accessories. Tutorials for practically any kind of jewelery making are available online like one my favorites for wire wrapping briolettes which I used in the creation of the necklace and the pearl earrings.

Seriously, try it. If you can't find what you want for the wedding or otherwise, try making it before you pick something else. I know it's cliche, but if I can do it, so can you. No joke.

In case you're a serious go-getter, I've included links to some of my favorite supply stores on Etsy below. Check them out, you'll be amazed at the difference between the cost of the supplies and what most people charge for complete pieces.

SilverCityBeads - reasonably priced an great quality wire
FabBeads - tons of silver, bronze, and pewter findings
Beadsupplies - colorful cabochons and other findings
beadoutlet - beads of every color, size, shape
EverLuxe - modern and pretty white/yellow gold plated findings (shop where the branch from my necklace and earrings posts came from)
Beadaholique - tons of Swarovski stuff and a little bit of the best

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DIY: photo booth props

For months, I have been seriously obsessed with the idea of having a homemade photo booth at our wedding. As you can plainly see here. For weeks on end, I spent time trying to figure out what I wanted for our backdrop only to decide that a quilt was probably more work than I wanted to take on and that buying how ever many yards of fabric we'd need would be too expensive.

One day, I was sitting in our living room absentmindedly looking out the window when I got a most unexpected burst of inspiration. Curtains. Yep, that's right, I said curtains. I love the curtains in our living room. They're just simple, boring curtains as far as the shape and style goes, but the lovely sea foam color is one of my favorite things in the world. And the more I thought about using them as our photo booth backdrop, the more I liked it. The color works great with the green surroundings of the cottage, since they're curtains they have a built in method of hanging and best of all, they're free!

So there, backdrop... check.

Now, onto props.

I considered purchasing some, but obviously I had to take a crack at making them myself first. Like tons of couples before us, we were obsessed with the mustache idea. And with a little help from Martha, they were easily accomplished by using a template which can be found here. In addition to those in the template, I crafted a few of my own as well as some lips and glasses.

Turns out, this was a simple DIY. I printed off the template a couple of times and cut them out on card stock. For some added flair, I added felt because it's fuzzy and tickles like a real mustache. And the glasses were made even fancier through the addition of some beads and/or pearls. Then I hot glued each 'stache to dowels which I found at a local dollar store.

Total cost for this project was ridiculously cheap:
  • 12 pack of dowels : $1
  • Felt, card stock, hot glue and beads were all free because I already had them
  • two hours of my time
Total cost: $1

A dollar! Combine these with the chalk board and we have got ourselves a serious winner. Holy cheap and easy DIY project, batman. I would highly recommend it to any couples interested in photo booth props. I know there's tons of people selling them online, but they were ridiculously easy and would be do-able even for the crafty handicapped.

As an added bonus, here's Mr. FP's favorite. He models it all the time. In doing so, he ends up looking like a combination of Tom Selleck and Colonel Sanders.

Oh Magnum P.I., he's so dreamy.

EDIT: After lots of reader requests, I figured I should include the link to my own templates in this post as well. You can find them here. Click on each image to get a full size file.

Monday, June 21, 2010

program postulation

I just spent the last 4 hours printing off and assembling ceremony programs.

I have since learned that I do not enjoy creating things in multiples of 80.

Giveaway! $40 CSN Stores Gift Certificate

It's time for another giveaway! After getting so many entries for my last giveaway with CSN stores, I was thrilled when they contacted me about hosting yet another giveaway.

And this time, it's even better because the lucky winner will get to choose something from one of their 200+ online stores with a $40 gift certificate. Whether you're in need of a vanity, a dog bed, cookware or anything in between, they seem to have it.

In case you're interested in what they have to offer, you can check out a list of their stores here.

As for the giveaway, here's what you need to know:

How to enter:

1) Leave your name/nickname/e-mail or some sort of identifying feature in the comments below (I need to be able to contact you via e-mail for you to claim your prize).

2) Become a follower of my blog to enter a second time.

3) Enter a third time by re-posting this giveaway on your own blog and leaving a comment with a link to your post.

4) Enter a forth time by Tweeting/Facebook-ing/social networking the contest and leaving a comment with a link.

Make sure to leave a comment for each entry (ie. one when you leave your name, another if you become a follower etc.).

Entries good until 7 a.m. Thursday (June 24th) morning (two days before the big day!).

I'll choose a winner at random and announce sometime shortly after... actually, now that I think of it, I'll have to announce on Thursday because that night we're heading up to the cottage to start setting up (eek!), so make sure you check back then to give me your e-mail so I can send you the details.

Happy entering and good luck!

Friday, June 18, 2010

DIY: bathroom baskets

Ever since I came across the idea of wedding bathroom baskets, I decided it was a necessity for our wedding. While it's a nice touch and certainly appreciated for all weddings, in our case it's particularly necessary given our location. Since we're 40 minutes out of the main city and almost 20 minutes away from any sort of store, providing our guests with things they might have forgotten or realize they need is imperative for us.

So last week, we scoured the dollar store and a drug store for everything they might need. Prior to shopping, I found a really comprehensive list over at WeddingBee which we used as a guide. We didn't follow it exactly because it likely would have been far too expensive. Plus, if any one plans on having sex at our wedding, they should bring their own condoms. I don't think providing condoms falls under our responsibilities as the newlyweds. We also skipped the cutesy poem that some couples choose to include because Mr. FP is almost always against all things cutesy. He's such a cynic.

The supplies are fairly gender neutral and the only changes between the genders included the addition of bobby pins, tampons, and hand lotion to the ladies' basket. Speaking of basket, ours ended up turning into bathroom boxes/trays after we found some plain wooden trays at our local dollar store which I proceeded to paint blue.

I'd make a huge list of all the contents... but, um, I don't want to. But if you're nosy, feel free to click on the photos to enlarge them.

Ultimately, this project ended up costing more than we had originally thought, but I think that is mostly due to the fact that we didn't really have time to shop around. Ideally, we would have done these a few weeks ago so we could have gotten the best price on everything. But even so, the convenience of having everything on location is better than having our guests drive 20 minutes away for cough drops.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

going back on my promises

Okay, remember yesterday when I said that I was done looking at wedding porn?

That my days of inspiration were over?

That I had to move on and be done with drooling over the gorgeous details in certain weddings?

Well, I stand by my promise. So I'm just going to close my eyes and point those of you who are still in the inspiration phase of wedding planning in the direction of this wedding featured in Etsy's Handmade Weddings series. It's too pretty not to share.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

wedding porn addiction

As most brides (and some grooms for that matter) know, wedding inspiration is addictive.

For me, it started with The Knot but I soon realized that most of the photos on there were either out of reach for us financially speaking or simply didn't mesh with our tastes. Though I was stuck in the traditional wedding mindset for the first 6 months of our engagement, photos from traditional magazines and websites never seemed right to me because they often didn't match my love of all things handmade, crafty, colorful, and rustic.

Shortly after that, I discovered the world of wedding blogs. And although I am eternally grateful that I did because blogs like A Practical Wedding, Offbeat Bride and 2000 Dollar Wedding offered me a great sense of perspective which I desperately needed, they also provided something else that consumes thousands of engaged people: wedding porn.

Beautiful photos of lavish weddings with every detail meticulously thought out and carefully executed are scattered throughout the wedding blog world. It's so pretty and so inspiring, but it's also scary. On one hand, I will be forever grateful that I had so much wedding inspiration because it allowed us to add details (like a photo booth and tissue paper pom poms) to our wedding that we may not have thought to add otherwise.

On the other hand, however, it has the ability to drive me completely nuts when I see projects that I simply must recreate. It took me a long time to realize that the handmade, DIY details of wedding blogs is just as addictive as the $40,000+ weddings featured on The Knot. This is especially true for me because I often refuse to pay for anything if I think I can do it myself. I knew I could make my own jewelery, decorations for the tent, ring pillow... the list goes on and on. If I thought for a second that I had the ability to make tablecloths, I gladly would have made some rather than pay $10 to rent one.

So when I open up my blog feed and see tons of blogs that are consistently featuring weddings with mondofabulous details, I get excited and try to add more things to my to-do list. It's the kid in the candy store complex. Let me tell you, the "wedding folder" on my computer is full of projects that I would love to have at our wedding. Unfortunately, with 11 days to go, there simply isn't time. Or energy.

Given this time and energy constraint, I've decided to remove some of the inspiration-only sites that consume my mind. As much as I love the inspiration that comes from wedding shoots like this one (*swoon*), it's time to let go of the details that we don't have the time, energy or (let's face it) money to complete this close to the wedding.

Part of me is sad to see them go and part of me is ridiculously relieved because I'm already up to my ears in DIY projects. Although it sounds like I'm complaining, I know I wouldn't have it any other way. I love making things and I love the fact that our wedding will consist of things that I've made or that were made through a joint effort through the help of family, friends and Mr. FP.

There's no regrets here, I just realized that I need to stop before I go completely nuts. Remember the whole idea of "keeping it simple"? Yeah, what the hell happened to that? Here's to hoping that the downsized blog feed will help us to return to that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

woodland envy

I am ridiculously in love with this Etsy treasury list.

If I could reverse time and go back a year and a half, I may have put all my energy into advancing the woodland wedding theme. I love it a little too much.

Monday, June 14, 2010

12 days to go!

I cannot believe it's Monday. Where did the weekend go?!
Thank goodness it was a productive weekend. Otherwise, we'd be in much worse shape.

The week was full of DIY projects that I'm desperately trying to finish up. From mustaches for the photo booth to cupcake trials, the week was crazy. To top it off, Friday night we went to get our marriage license, so we are now officially licensed to marry! I giggled at the questions they had to ask us privately before issuing our license (no, we are not cousins, thank you very much) and then we spent an hour or so scouring stores for supplies for the baskets we're putting in the bathrooms at the wedding. At the end of that day, we were both ready for a break.

Which, we got. Thank goodness. Mr. FP and his boys gathered at our place for his bachelor party and a night of gaming. Yep, that's right. No shots, no strippers, just gaming. A whole, whole lot of gaming. That's the way Mr. FP likes it, oddly enough. He's wanted to have a huge gaming party for his bachelor party since we started talking about the idea months ago.

On Saturday, one of my beautiful bridesmaids hosted a bachelorette party for me at her apartment. She arranged for a Passion Party consultant to show up and give us a sweet presentation which involved everything from body lotion to $100+ vibrators. My favorite was the one with the pharaoh's face on it. It was so weird that I couldn't help but love it. That was followed by a game of "pin the penis on the photo of Michelangelo's David". In the end, that poor statue was left with penises on everything from his stomach to his legs. Apparently, we suck at that game.

And after our late night of debauchery, we woke up early on Sunday to drive 2 hours to meet our officiants. Since they're friends of my grandparents, we already knew a lot about them and we were really excited to meet them and to discuss our ceremony. Although they're a married couple and both are legally ordained, they decided that it would be best if just one of them officiated and we did a quick run through of the ceremony.

Even though I'd worked on the ceremony myself by compiling bits and pieces of ceremonies I found online, hearing it read out loud was an entirely different experience and I had the hardest time not crying as we sat in their dining room. This is a pretty definite indication that I am 100% screwed when it comes to the actual ceremony, haha. The idea of being able to maintain my composure and fight off the tears has been flushed down the toilet at this point. But I'm okay with that because it sounded so great coming from her.

Finally, the weekend ended with a nice drive and a trip to the cottage where things are really starting to come together. Honestly, between the yard work and the renovations on the actual structure, the cottage has never looked better. And on Wednesday, we'll be heading back up there to pick up our wedding tents from one of our neighbors who have agreed to let us rent 3 tents for $150. Compare that to the $1,000 price tag to rent one from the only local company that has wedding tents. We're extremely lucky to have such a sweet connection there.

More info on the DIY projects coming up and keep an eye out for an upcoming giveaway!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

pom poms and lanterns

As I've discussed before, the decor for the ceiling in our reception tent will alternate between paper lanterns and pom poms. Only recently have I finally been able to eliminate the ridiculously large stack of tissue paper that's been sitting on my dining room table for months by turning them into pom poms. Thank goodness that's finally over with. As far as monotonous DIY projects, let me tell you, this one tops my list for sure. Once the novelty of the pretty colors wore off, I was faced with a daunting task and although I probably should have enlisted the help of my bridesmaids for this one, it was good that I overcame the monotony factor to get them done myself. After all, I realized I had enough time (after I spent half a day watching episodes and episodes of Gilmore Girls), I just need the motivation.

Yes, I color coded them... it's the Type A in me.

Such a small box, such a huge pain in the ass. They are now ready for transport and will await fluffing until a day or two before the wedding. That's the easy part, after all.

Thankfully, the other half of our ceiling decor has been a much more enjoyable process. Paper lanterns are simple. Especially since I stumbled upon a few months back. They have a ridiculously amazing selection. Every color, every size and you can even choose between regular and irregular ribbed... how awesome is that? I'm semi-depressed about our choice to go with all white lanterns because I would have loved to choose tons of colors from their extensive inventory. When I expressed this thought to Mr. FP he reminded me that color poms and color lanterns would probably be a color overload. Then I reminded him that there's no such thing. The he ordered the white lanterns. Story of my life.

The prices seem comparable to other places online and a big bonus for us was the fact that their shipping charges to send the orders to Canada were extremely reasonable. And after ordering, we received the order within 2 weeks.

But my favorite thing about dealing with them was the fact that when the 14" lanterns that we wanted weren't in stock, they promptly replied to my e-mail inquiry and let me know when that size would be in. Plus, they sent another e-mail to let me know that they had received their latest inventory and that I would now be able to order the correct size. Coming from someone who is used to crappy communication from online stores and from eBay sellers, this was a real pleasure because we didn't have to sit around wondering whether or not they would ever have the right size.

So if you're one of the many brides or grooms looking for inexpensive paper lanterns, I'd highly recommend that you check them out because they worked out awesome for us. And if you do buy from them, please buy colored ones, so I can live vicariously through you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

2am wedding epiphanies

We've been dealing with a lot of opinions lately.
That's one thing you can count on when it comes to planning a wedding: the people around you will always want to give you their opinion. And in the last year and a half, we've gotten tons. Everything from thoughtful to unexpected to just down right rude.

As we get closer and closer to the wedding day (3 weeks from this past saturday; can you believe it? because I sure can't), the opinions of others continue to surface. And let me tell you, it's not fun. Right now, his parents are upset because we took some of their friends off of the final guest list. A mutual friend is upset because we recently informed him that he wouldn't be attending the wedding. One of my aunts continues to express her pessimism that the cottage is a good venue for a wedding.

Thankfully, Mr. FP and I have been on the same page when it comes to dealing with the opinions of others. For the majority of our wedding planning process, we've been arguing with others. In fact, I'd say that 90% of the stress that has come out of the wedding has begun when we try to deal with the opinions of others. Not to say that we haven't argued amongst ourselves, because trust me... we have. But we always seem to be arguing about others when it comes to the wedding. The only major disagreement we've had as a couple has been over the guest list. And with that solidified at this point, everything that is causing us stress now has to do with the opinions of others. When we get stressed about something, we take it out on the person closest so when I'm ticked about something my mom said to me, I take it out on him. It's not right, I know, but it happens.

Originally, I had thought that it was some sort of coincidence that we agreed on most things concerning the wedding. I thought, wow, how lucky are we to have the exact same opinion on almost all aspects of the wedding. In fact, last night at 2am we just laid in bed laughing about how ridiculous it is that all of our stress comes from the opinions of others. During this conversation, I asked him what we would have done if our opinions didn't mesh. He jokingly said that we probably wouldn't be getting married. And this got me to thinking about how the decisions made throughout the wedding planning process often mirror those made in everyday life throughout the relationship. Then I stopped being clueless and realized that it is no coincidence that we agree. Our wedding has been easy to agree on because it is a true reflection of us.

As a frequenter of wedding blogs, I've been hearing for months about how a wedding should really reflect the couple getting married. And although I thought it was a nice concept, I never really understood what it meant. Well now I do. Now I know that a wedding has to reflect the things that are most cherished by the two individuals and them as a couple. And I'm not just talking about the fact that the centerpieces are purple because that's the bride's favorite color or that the groom wear high tops because he's worn them all his life.

A wedding as a reflection of the couple goes way deeper than that. For us, all the stress of dealing with the opinions of others has reiterated the idea that we will always put one another first. Through all the opinions, Mr. FP always considers my opinion above those of his mom or brother or cousin and I do the same.

One of the major reflections of this is the guest list. We've had serious drama about that recently as people have expressed everything from disappointment to outright anger. In spite of this, we continue to keep the list small in order to ensure that it is compiled of people who we truly care about and love. Not to say that the people who didn't make the list aren't loved or cared about by us, but when it comes to one of the most important days of our lives and you throw in the consideration of budget and space, things have to be looked at in a different light.

And although this whole thing has been insanely stressful and difficult... heck, it still is, and it probably will continue to stress us until the wedding is done... it's comforting to have the knowledge that our relationship is secure. It's nice to know that although we may be stressed, we've adopted a sort of "us against the world" mentality in which we can lean on one another and know that the other will always be there.

In no way, shape, or form do I think that we will always agree. Or that we'll go through our entire lives only arguing about the opinions of others. Trust me, we argue plenty amongst ourselves, we don't need any help in that department. But at the end of the day, regardless of what's going on around us, we're still us. And we both still want what's best for us as a couple.

It may be a small comfort but in the sea of drama that is our wedding, I'll take what I can get.

Friday, June 4, 2010

DIY: birds nest ring pillow

To continue on with the DIY projects, I also recently finished our ring pillow. And when I sat down to write this post, I realized that I've posted absolutely nothing about the inspiration for our ring pillow. How crumby of me.

We've known for months what we'd like to do for the ring pillow, so I guess it's about time I share it.

I've got two words for you: birds nest. Um, actually, that might be one word. But either way, you get the idea. Ever since I saw the idea on Etsy (which has tons of sellers making these beauties), I fell in love with it. But I had absolutely no desire to pay upwards of $20 if I thought I could make it myself.

Of course, this meant a stop at my favorite place in the world, Michaels. Turns out, they have pre-made nests which would have been perfect for this project, but they were slightly too small. Our ring bearer is going on 10 years old, so we wanted him to carry something of more substance than what you'd give 2 year old.

So we opted for a simple pre-made wreath instead. With that, we bought some pre-bagged moss (who knew there was such a thing, by the way), some bird eggs and some cork board purchased from the dollar store. Because the wreath is... well, a wreath, it obviously has no bottom. So I glued a sheet of cork to the bottom and trimmed off the excess with a craft knife.

Now that it actually had a bottom, I glued some ribbon to the cork where I wanted the rings to be centered. Then I proceeded to fill it with moss. Sorry, what I meant to say is that I proceeded to fill it with some of the worst smelling moss in the world. When I opened that bag I bought from Michaels, I was not impressed. I did not want a smelly ring pillow, but the moss definitely stunk.

Thankfully, it just needed to be aired out. Once that was done, I glued a ton of moss in while I held the ribbon vertical so it wouldn't get stuck under the glued moss. Easy peasy.

After that, all it needed was some willows and bird eggs. We originally had purchased a bird as well, but it ended up being too large for the nest, so it looked too awkward to use. I'm not 100% sold on the eggs, but Mr. FP loves them, so they're staying put.

Like the cake topper, this project was exceedingly cheap:

  • wreath: $1.29
  • moss: $4 (after 40% off coupon)
  • willows and eggs: $4
  • ribbon: free, because I already had it

Um, $9.29? Perfection as far as the budget goes.

And since it only took 20 minutes of my time, I'll consider it another success on the DIY front.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

DIY: cake topper = finito

The past few days have been a non-stop whirlwind of DIY-ing. For the millionth time, our dining room table has been serving its other duty as a mess of craft supplies. Moreover, I've suffered more than my fair share of hot glue burns. A lifetime's worth, in fact.

But it's been worth it. Most of the DIY projects that can be completed well in advance of the wedding are nearing completion and that makes me smile. Plus, it's nice to know I'll be able to eat on our table again soon.

And even better, now that I have stuff done, I get to share it!
So to get the ball rolling, here's the breakdown for the DIY caketopper.

If you remember what I'm talking about, proceed. If not, go here.

Like I mentioned before, Mario and Peach were in some serious need of an addition to their space so we set out to Michaels last week to make it happen. Honestly, I had no idea what they had in the way of a wooden base, but I was pleasantly surprised by the selection in their wood crafts area. We knew we wanted something in a round shape, but they had everything from oval to square to heart shaped.

I don't have a before and after photo, but the base on the finished product is basically what I bought, although I decided to sand it a little and paint it white.

Other than the base, all the other supplies were things I had. Pipe cleaners make up the arch, we covered it with ribbon to add some color and glued it to the base. Add some ribbon to the base, some sequin ribbon above that and some dollar store flower decorations and voila, a perfect home for Mario and Peach:

As for the cost, well, it was minimal:
  • Mario and Peach figurines from eBay: $8
  • wooden base: $3
  • ribbon, flowers, pipe cleaner and paint: free, because I already had them.

And even with my poor math skills, I know $11 is a ridiculously cheap price for a cake topper.

Plus, that $11 also caused the happiest look to appear on Mr. FP's face which makes all of the hot glue burns almost worth it...... almost.