Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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Succulent Centerpieces April 21, 2010

Have I ever mentioned how much I love succulent centerpieces? Let’s drool over some photos.

A rectangular centerpiece from Succulent Luv

A centerpiece with stones, succulents, and candles from Cactus Jungle.

Succulent centerpieces featured on A Los Angeles Love

Lowe’s even has suggestions on how to make a few.

La pièce de résistance, my personal favorite and the site that made me fall in love with succulent centerpieces, Yes, Please. Succulent favours, succulent centerpieces, I love this wedding. That bride’s got skills. Love love love. She even created SucculentLove, that’s how great she is with succulents. The succulents aren’t the only awesome wedding detail on Yes, Please; I highly recommend trolling around to check out the pompoms and such.

I love the idea of having living centerpieces, people can take them home and have a plant afterward! If you’ve got a green thumb, this is a great way to incorporate your hobby into your wedding. They won’t work so well at mine because many of the guests are traveling and won’t be able to take living plants back, plus the fiancé doesn’t trust himself to keep any plants alive until the wedding (and he’s the one living where the wedding is.) Alright, it might not work for me, but a girl can daydream about succulents.

Fear not, I haven’t abandoned my childhood dream theme, I can tie this in! I bought a Hens ‘n’ Chicks succulent at a garage sale in grade 2 and I loved it to death (it and all of its offspring died in an awful home improvement accident 15 years later, but my mom saw how upset I was and found me some another Hens ‘n’ Chicks plant at a garage sale. Thanks Mom!) I’ve had a soft spot for succulents every since, so no wonder I love these centerpieces. There, I saved the childhood dreams theme.

 

My Childhood Dream Cake April 18, 2010

Filed under: cake,diy,events — clln @ 1:07 am
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My childhood dream cake

What little girl didn’t want to eat a cake-flavored dress as a child? I sure did, and I was always so jealous of my friend down the street whose mom would produce the most amazing birthday cake with a Barbie in or on it each year. My mom always said no. She got excited when they came out with a cake mix that could be made in the microwave (I don’t think I have to tell you, but it was bad.) So I’ve spent the last twenty-odd years wanting one of these cakes made to look like a Barbie’s skirt.

I figured since I’m getting married, I could finally justify a doll cake decorated as a bride. I want cupcakes for the reception and I don’t expect to have control over a bridal shower, so I took matters into my own hands and bought one for the belated engagement party I’ve decided to throw for us so that my side of the family can meet my fiancé. (Side note: We had an engagement party thrown for us by my fiancé’s parents and I got a chance to meet friends and family on his side, but we haven’t done the same here. My parents aren’t big on entertaining, so it’s become clear that I have to throw my own the next time fiancé comes up here. The plus side is that I can have control over my cake!)

I went out on one of my many trips to Michaels and got the Wilton Classic Wonder Mold on sale, of course. I don’t do fondant, so I know I’ll never achieve the insane decorating levels I’ve seen on the internet, but I think I’ll do a practice run with a heck of a lot of buttercream icing and see what happens. No matter what, I get cake. Plus, I like to think my friends and family like me enough to put up with a ghetto-looking homemade bride cake. I have visions of it being ghetto in a cute way, but it could turn out ghetto in an ugly way. I’ll have to keep you posted on how it turns out, sorry to leave you in such suspense. I know you’re practically jumping off of your desk chair in anticipation. Me too. Well, more in excitement over all of the practice cake I’ll get to eat. Plus I’m excited that I can arrange the desserts like this so it looks like the doll is commanding a sugary army:

Barbie commands her cupcake army

Wish me luck!

 

Making the Garter My Own April 17, 2010

Filed under: accessories,crafts,crazy deals,diy — clln @ 2:21 am
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I really wasn’t excited about the garter, it wasn’t a priority for me and I really didn’t care what it looked like. That is, until I bought the cheapest one I could find and spent some time looking at it.

I don’t regret buying it, it was $6.99 at Michaels and I used a 40% coupon on it so it worked out to just over $4. Couldn’t go wrong. Couldn’t. Go. Wrong. Plus it was blue and at the time I was still having trouble finding blue shoes to fulfill my blue requirement. And really, how closely are people looking at it anyway? It’ll be hidden for most of the day. It still needed some help though.

Being a crafty kinda gal, I decided that the garter would be my next project. I like simplicity, so the glued-on bow was the first to go, followed by the lace. I just pulled off the bow and then carefully cut the lace off and let me tell you, it was liberating. I was so pleased with the way it looked with no embellishments:

The garter sans embellishments. It's naked!

There’s no way to get the glue remnants off though, so I decided to make two very, very tiny fabric flowers using the same idea as the Martha flowers in the last post. I used scraps from the material for the flowers which were too small to use for anything else, so they were saved from the garbage. Not only did it cover the glue, but it keeps up the fabric flower theme from the rest of my outfit (my dress and hair will feature them.) Plus, I feel like it’s personalized now and that’s important to me. It also puts the “cheap” in Cheap ‘n’ Quirky, my changes didn’t cost a cent because it was made with scraps. The supplies to make my own from scratch would have cost much more.

It’s much more “me.” I’m pleased. What kind of garter are you going with? Has anyone found a cute pattern to DIY?

 

My Martha Stewart Flowers April 16, 2010

Garden roses from the Martha Stewart pattern

I’ve been working on my Martha Stewart fabric flowers for a while now, the ones I mentioned in an earlier blog post. I went a little nuts and made a ton. See, the voile fabric was on sale so I bought a lot. $4 for a meter of green and a meter of ivory. So basically I have enough to use a couple of the large ones (attached to pins/brooches) on my dress and plenty of small ones (attached to bobby pins) in my hair in place of a veil. Since taking that photo, I’ve made many more ivory ones.

I’m kind of concerned about how the petals don’t stay up too well; I’m considering using hairspray to help the petals stiffen, but I’m not sure if it will stain the fabric. Maybe starch?

The large flower on the left is floppin'.

I mentioned that I plan to wear these in my hair and not wear a veil. Well, I tried making the flowers out of tulle to really be a replacement for a veil but let’s just say that I don’t recommend this type of material for this project. As you can see below, the tulle “flower” looks more like a pompom:

The pompom, err, I mean tulle flower.

Now I just have to wait for my dress to come in to make sure it looks decent. Gaaaaaah, I ordered the dress back in November, it should be here any day now. I can’t wait for it to get here!

 

Cutest Cake Topper Ever March 28, 2010

Filed under: cake,crafts,diy,just plain cute — clln @ 2:21 am

As personalized, homemade, and fitting as our Habbo caketoppers are, I feel like these sock monkeys totally blew ours out of the water. Adorable! Props to Yota and Joe and their wedding on Once Wed. Not only did they make them themselves, the monkey bride’s dress is an exact, tiny replica of the human bride’s. Too cute!

It totally wouldn’t fit with anything else at our wedding, but I’d really love to stick sock monkeys everywhere. Amazing.

 

Yeah, I do graphic design too… March 18, 2010

I’m sticking my fingers in many pies for this wedding. Recently, I even dabbled in a little graphic design and now I have some DIY-designed, professionally printed save-the-date postcards. They arrived yesterday, I’m so excited!

I’m not exactly skilled in design, but my post-grad program involved a design course so I have a very basic background. I got to work with Adobe InDesign and I still have the program on my computer, so I put it to good use. I designed a simple postcard with our names, the fact that we’re getting married, the location, and the address for the WordPress blog we started (to act as a wedding site). I’m sure you’re a nice person who won’t stalk us, but still, I’m only posting the censored version for you:
Save the date postcard

I sent it in to Vistaprint. I’d been seeing a lot of people of bridal blogs saying good things about it and I’m impressed with them. They have pre-made save-the-date designs, but at about a dollar a piece (which is comparable to everywhere else I’ve seen), I was determined to submit my own design as a business marketing postcard and only spend $29.99 (plus design uploading fees) for 100. With taxes and delivery and everything, it came to just over $50 and was delivered within 2 weeks (even though I selected the slowest shipping option.) I was wondering why everyone was posting their own random link to Vistaprint on these sites. Turns out you get reward points or something for referring people and they get a discount. Well, I’d be giving them the good review anyway, I’m pleased with them and I’d use them again regardless of the future discounts (which they do have a lot of).

I figured postcards were great because they’re cute, fun, and I don’t have to spend more money on envelopes. Plus I love sending postcards, I try to send postcards from everywhere I travel. I feel like I’m including a little bit of me through the fact that I did it myself and that it’s a postcard. And it’s green, our wedding colour.

Here’s the but: as much as I’ve talked these up, if you don’t already have access to a design program and some background in it, I wouldn’t recommend this. The cost of Adobe Creative Suite is far more than you’d may for other save-the-date cards and it can take a little getting used to before you can use it without wanting to scream at your computer. But hey, if you have access to such a program or a designer friend, this is a great option. There are also plenty of pre-made options in plenty of colours. I just wanted to put this idea out there because I really hadn’t seen a lot of it (or a lot of inexpensive options) on the blogs so far.

Also, did you know they have clear mailing labels now? I didn’t. I am amazed by the advances in mailing labels since I was last down that aisle.

Now if I could just finish the guest list so I can send them out…

 

I won’t quit my day job, but I think I show promise in flower arrangement March 16, 2010

Filed under: diy,flowers — clln @ 4:54 am
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, as you can clearly tell, I didn’t until now. My birthday was a couple of months ago and my future in-laws sent me a huge bouquet. It was gorgeous, but when it came time to change the murky water, there was no way I could put the flowers back in as nicely as they had been before. I decided that I’d practice with a little single-flower design and segregate all of the carnations and alstroemerias to their own vases (which ended up being crystal glasses due to the size I desired.) I’m no pro, but I think they turned out pretty well, well enough that I have faith that I can make nice arrangements of all one flower for the wedding. If you look closely, I used a rubber band on the carnations. Clearly I’d use some florist’s wire for it in an actual bouquet or arrangement, but not bad for 10 minutes with no supplies, eh?

My little bunch of carnations

One carnation blooms fell off, so I tried it in a variety of shot glasses. Maybe not a great look, but I was experimenting:

The beheaded carnation lasted for about a week in there. Not too shabby.

And here’s all 3. I think with more work and attention to detail these would look pretty awesome.

Disregard the shabby elastic band, please

The alstroemeria bunch looked better in person than I could capture with my camera on my messy dining room table, but here it is:

Here's the alstroemeria bunch. It looked much cheerier in person.

Red isn’t my wedding colour, it just happened to be in my birthday bouquet of flowers. One part of being cheap is not wasting an opportunity to save money while still getting to practice arranging flowers, so I took it. I’m confident I can at least make my bouquet and those of the bridesmaids. Anyone else taking a stab at floral arrangement for your wedding? Any tips, tricks, inspiration?