Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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Pin Smart February 28, 2013

Filed under: etc — clln @ 3:11 am
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I wish Pinterest had been around when I was planning my wedding. I feel like I’m going to need to renew my vows in a couple of years to try out all of the beautiful DIY centerpieces and fun photo ideas that I’ve seen since joining the site. Pinning your dream wedding is tempting when you’re single, helpful while planning, and just kind of sad when you’re already happily married (damn it, why did I have to marry the right guy on the first try?) So if you’re pinning your dream wedding, here are a few warnings from someone whose wedding is behind her.

One tip for dealing with Pinterest while planning a wedding is to try out pinned projects before the big day. Have you ever seen Pintrosity? Many Pinterest don’t work out. Actually, they fail miserably. Before you commit to including a DIY project in your wedding preparation, make sure it’s something you can do then work out the bugs in the instructions (or, with some pins, the lack thereof.) You may have noticed from past blog posts that I did a practice run on many things that I didn’t even end up including in my wedding, like when I tried DIY floral arrangement (it seems like a great idea, but there’s a whole bunch of warnings I could give you about trying that one on your own!) Though I did my own hair for the big day, I practiced that hairdo nearly every weekend for months. Plus, have you ever tried a hairstyle you saw on Pinterest? They rarely turn out. You have to test them waaaaaay before you plan to wear a style outside of the house. A few months in advance, try the planned projects.

Because of the post-wedding let-down many newly married people experience, I suggest making a separate Pinterest account for wedding planning. If you’re following a lot of wedding-centric pinners, you’ll be bombarded with images of spectacular wedding ideas after your nuptials – ideas you could have used if only you’d known about them! You’ll drive yourself crazy if you see tons of brilliant wedding ideas after you can no longer use them. If you don’t have a separate Pinterest account for wedding planning, consider unfollowing wedding-focused pinners after the big day.

Be critical of some of those wedding photo shoot ideas. Those boudoir wedding-day shots? Where are you going to display that photo? Is that something you want your nosey mother-in-law to spot when she’s visiting? Sure, it’s not too racy, but think about whether you really need the added cost and whether you can budget the time for boudoir photos. How about those photos of the wedding party sitting in a movie theater/wearing mustaches/swapping accessories? What are you going to do with that photo? Does it have anything to do with your wedding? Still, they’re more fun than photos of sad-looking bridesmaids staring off into the distance, trying to appear dramatic. Think about how you want to remember the day, not what’s trendy.

I feel like I say this a lot, but it’s so important not to let the wedding industry make your day (or your budget) seem inadequate. Your guests were invited because you love them (or in a couple of cases, you’re forced to invite them) and they’re attending because they love you (or in a couple of cases, they feel obligated.) It’s a day about love and beginning a new chapter of life together. Your guests should love you enough to want you to start your new chapter without wedding debt. I’m typing this out because I think it’s important to not get lost in the Pinterest dream wedding. The pins with links to money-saving ideas and DIY projects are great, but those extravagant photos are just as dangerous as the flashy wedding magazines. Wisteria-covered walkways are pretty, but expensive. Just because it’s on Pinterest doesn’t mean you need it, stick to what you can afford. With all of the other tips you find on Pinterest, you can make your venue beautiful without hiring a team of florists to build a tunnel of flowers. There’s nothing wrong with getting some inspiration, but there’s definitely something wrong with blowing your budget.

Happy pinning!



Free Stuff for Reviews! December 8, 2010

If you’re not selfless enough to write a vendor review solely to help another bride, now you can get a gift too. My venue asked me to write a review for them on Wedding Wire, which I did, and then I wrote 4 more in order to get a voucher at Canvas on Demand. Trust me, it’s legit, I got my voucher and I just received my canvas today (but that’s a blog for another day.) So if you’re newly married, consider leaving reviews for another bride and get a spiffy canvas print of one of your wedding photos.

Also, if you’re a bride, check out Wedding Wire for vendor reviews. Reviews from past customers are a great tool for figuring out if you’ve found the right vendor. Plus I just did all of that work filling out 5 reviews so somebody better read them.


I’m married! August 27, 2010

Filed under: etc,events — clln @ 2:41 pm

Well, the wedding was last Sunday and I just got back from the honeymoon. I’m finally home, my home is finally free of all of the extra relatives who were staying with us, and I can finally get to the big to-do list of thanking people and unpacking stuff. It’ll be a couple of days before I can update the blog, but I did want to say that despite a few setbacks, the wedding was amazing! It rained all day (moving our outdoor ceremony and photos indoors,) the power went out all over town as we were getting ready, and my parents and I totally missed the “aisle” we were supposed to walk down and ended up walking off to the side near the buffet, but it was still amazing. I ended up married to the man of my dreams; that’s the important thing.


Ribbon, Ribbon, Ribbon Part 2: Favor Boxes August 11, 2010

Filed under: decor,diy,etc,paper things,Uncategorized — clln @ 6:23 pm

Have you ever thought of your guest favors as decor? You should start. Let them be the gift that keeps on giving. Depending on your favor, there are many ways in which to display the items, but this project works with items that are boxed. This DIY project is super simple, incorporates the ribbon theme I’ve been going with, and can be customized to any color and many degrees of detail.

Let me give you a little background on this as this project came out of necessity. My future mother-in-law told us she could get 200 crystal butterfly ornaments for free. We don’t like them, we wanted to make a charitable donation in lieu of favors, frankly we’re kind of embarrassed to give these out and FMIL wouldn’t take the hint, so long story short, we’re concealing them in their boxes. Well, they’re going to be at the wedding, so why not make them pretty? The original plan was to wrap them in sage green wrapping paper so that it could add to our green theme, but sadly we couldn’t find any sage green wrapping paper. That’s when my amazing future sister-in-law came up with the idea to wrap them in ribbon!

Super-easy ribboned guest favor.

If you also have a boxed favor, you can achieve this incredibly easily and it will look great placed on everyone’s plates at the reception. Wrap the boxes in paper in one of your wedding colors (or even patterned would look amazing), then cut a piece of ribbon in another one of your wedding colors long enough to wrap around the box (in whichever direction covers more of the tape from wrapping,) then use a glue gun on either end of the ribbon, wrap it around the box, and affix the glued portions of the ribbon to the bottom of the box. By not tying it, you save a lot of time for yourself and make it harder to unwrap, hopefully keeping the boxes wrapped during the reception so that there isn’t crumpled wrapping paper littering the floor.

You can add a little bit more detail by making a bow and gluing it to the top of the box (although it will be harder to transport all of the boxes to the venue as they won’t stack as nicely.)

Just remember, you can add a little but of ribbon in a lot of places to jazz up anything. Stay tuned for another ribbon craft.


Update on the Hula Hooping May 26, 2010

Filed under: etc — clln @ 3:37 am
Tags: , ,

This weekend was absolutely gorgeous so I got outside walking and hula-hooping as much as possible. I’ve been hoping the hula hoop is the answer to my prayers for toned muscles, but sadly I have yet to feel the burn. I did it for about 45 minutes; I think I might have gotten a slight back workout.

My sisters (and bridesmaids) enjoying the weather and the hula hoop.

In the above photo, you’ll see my sister hula hooping (and my other sister reading.) We put on tube tops and got out in the sun with our hula hoop to get a free workout and tan. Yes, I know in this day and age there’s no excuse to expose yourself to sun damage, but it was the first real taste of summer, we needed this. Plus, to fit with the “cheap” part, this sun damage was free!

All in all, it was a productive afternoon. I multi-tasked: I burned some calories, and I texted at the same time:

The lighting was awful under this tree, but I was texting and hula hooping.

I’m going to keep trying the hula hoop. For now my verdict is that I don’t feel like I’m getting a great workout but I am having a lot of fun. Plus the neighborhood cats enjoy watching us do it, like our little ginger friend Marchelo:

Our neighbor's cat supervising the hula hooping.


Dirty Undies May 21, 2010

Filed under: etc,Uncategorized — clln @ 1:55 am
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Thanks to my girlfriends for the bachelorette party and the lingerie!

I was thrown a surprise bachelorette party this weekend and I was given some super cute lingerie and I’m going to make sure I wash it before wearing. Did anyone catch Dr. Oz today? Scary things about lingerie! Check out this link for the video. Turns out there’s a lot of grossness in new undies.

I used to work at a lingerie store and despite signs about leaving your undergarments on and little reminders from the staff, I’m sure a few slipped through the cracks (and let a thong slip through their crack, har har har.) Heck, once while working at a clothing store, we had to send a pair of white pants to damages because a woman decided to try them on without panties… and didn’t leave them clean. Yep, people actually do that.

So heads up when you’re preparing for your wedding night or when you receive tons of undies from your friends. Wash them well before wearing. I don’t know what the odds are that you’d actually catch these things from new underwear, but I guess safe is better than sorry.


Congratulations, Coworkers May 13, 2010

Filed under: etc,Uncategorized — clln @ 1:56 am
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I’m starting to believe engagement is a contagious disease. Maybe it’s just because I’m in an office of mainly young, publishing professionals with steady jobs, but everyone has been getting engaged recently. At this point, I should extend my congratulations to one of the sales reps I work closely with, she just got engaged over the weekend. Nice one, CC.

This brings our office’s total to eight engaged staffers, plus three who got married within the past year. We run the gamut from a gigantic dream wedding with 400 guests to a tiny, intimate gathering at a cottage that’s been in the family for generations. It’s great in that there’s always someone to discuss weddings with who won’t get tired of discussing weddings because he or she is going through the same thing. As I mentioned in a previous post, some of the other brides have emailed links to wedding contests to the rest of us. We look out for one another.

Speaking of all the engaged people, BB, my engaged coworker who sits in the cubicle across from mine, says that when he overhears the engaged women of the office on the phone discussing wedding details, our tone changes. We suddenly go from pleasant to ball-busting. Heck, I thought I was pretty easy-going, but BB confirms even my tone went to all-business when I called to make an appointment to pick up my gown.

I don’t know if there’s something in the water or it’s just that everyone in my office is a fantastic catch, but I’m happy this is the year of the wedding at the office. It’s a lot more fun to be amongst people doing the same thing. So congratulations to all of my engaged and newly-married coworkers!

I wonder if we'll all get to dance down the aisle at my coworkers' weddings...


Step 1: Hula. Step 2: Feel the burn. May 12, 2010

Filed under: beauty,crazy deals,etc,Uncategorized — clln @ 3:30 am
Tags: , , ,

Summer is approaching and everyone is trying to get into shape. Not just for the beach anymore, toned muscles are much sought-after to sit nicely under wedding dresses (or any dress, for that matter.) Everyone is in a sudden rush to get into shape. I have a few friends going to a gym, my MOH is doing the P90X workout, I’m walking with anyone who will walk with me, and my sister is HULA HOOPING!

I love this idea! I mooched her adult-sized hula hoop and gave it a spin in the backyard, it was buckets of fun. I hear there are classes where everyone hula hoops to get a good workout; I didn’t really feel the burn, but I was also sharing the hoop with my 2 sisters so maybe I didn’t do it for long enough. It was amazingly fun though. I found some instructions on how to make some here, and there are instructions on how to make it heavier for more of a workout. I don’t know if you’d end up with visibly toned muscles, but I’ll bet it burns a lot of calories if you need to shrink to fit a dress that’s a size too small. It’s supposed to work well to tone abdominal muscles. Plus, it’s both a cheap and quirky workout. The quirkier the workout, the longer it can keep my attention. It works really well if you have someone to talk to while doing the hula to keep you entertained, so I’m very tempted to start a hula hoop troupe.

Hula hoop illustration from Only the Blog Knows Brooklyn

Well, I need to tone my upper back and arms, so I’m back to the drawing board for my workouts. I’m big on the cheap part of Cheap ‘n’ Quirky, so I’m looking for budget-conscious way to get toned. Water bottles or cans of soup can make super-cheap light weights. While on a walk recently, I discovered a nearby park has exercise equipment for working your arms. I’m pretty excited about this, I can go walking by a lake and work everything out. Let’s see if I can get my MOH to ditch P90X for an evening and go walking in the park with me. There are plenty of suggestions online about how to use jungle gyms to work out if you’ve got a playground nearby.

In further workout quirkiness, I find my best motivation to tone muscles comes from Dancing with the Stars. Those professional dancers are sooo toned and muscular. I’m a heterosexual female but they can make me drool. I start exercising in front of the TV every time it’s on.

Are you getting any workout inspiration from strange places? Anyone trying out hula hooping? Share your cheap and quirky workout tips in the comments section.


I Won! April 22, 2010

Filed under: beauty,etc — clln @ 1:25 am
Tags: , , ,

I won! I finally won! Months of effort have paid off. Heh. I sound like I put some sort of effort into this.

The other brides around the office and I have been joining just about every wedding contest we can. One even joined a contest to win gold bars. Yeah, you read that right. Apparently it’s a bank’s wedding gift to the winner of the contest. Yeah.

I digress. The important thing is that I won a L’oreal lipstick from Wedding Bells’ Big Giveaway!

It's called Plum Brulée. Thanks, Wedding Bells.

Now if only I could win every contest I joined…

Thanks Wedding Bells!