Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

Just another weblog

Think You Have It Rough? August 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — clln @ 1:22 am
Tags: ,

As your wedding approaches, you’re bound to be hit with stressor upon stressor until you wonder why people even get married. As you feel your inner bridezilla starting to emerge, keep in mind that the goal is (or should be) to marry your sweetheart, so as long as that happens, you’re golden. Our officiant canceled two weeks before the wedding, but we handled it. It rained on my wedding day and one of my friends who saw me before the wedding remarked that I was much calmer than she expected. But really, what could I do? I can’t control the rain. I was going to marry a fantastic guy, it didn’t really matter if I did it outdoors as planned on indoors on the dance floor. But really, a little rain is nothing. I heard a wedding story today that blew my mind. Names have been changed for privacy.

Martin and Sue’s wedding took place about 30 years ago. A week before the wedding, Martin developed kidney stones and had to be hospitalized. As he had planned most of the wedding, the last-minute details were now dropped into Sue’s lap. Sue was told that the venue had a little snag, but they worked it out so there was no point in even explaining it. Turns out the venue double-booked. So the day of the wedding, Martin got a day-pass to leave the hospital so he could get married. At the reception, as soon as the guests finished eating (or even before some of them had finished) they were rushed into another room of the venue so that the next party (the double-booked one) could be moved in. At the end of the night, their wedding night, Martin had to return to the hospital. He had to spend the next week (their honeymoon week) in the hospital until he passed the kidney stones. Utter craziness, eh?

The plus side is that Martin and Sue are still married all these years later. Weddings are great and all, but it’s the life that follows after the wedding that’s important, not the perfection of that one day. As Sue pointed out to me, most people probably don’t remember that they were moved to a different room halfway through the evening or that Martin had to go back to the hospital, but they remember they had a good time and that Martin and Sue have a lasting relationship. That’s what counts. So when it seems like stuff is falling apart right before your wedding, remember that getting married is the important thing. Also, remember Martin passing a kidney stone (they didn’t blast them with lasers back then.) Your day isn’t as bad as his was.


I’m still alive over here August 6, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — clln @ 10:06 pm

It’s come to my attention that I’ve been neglecting this blog. Once the wedding was over, I was kind of suffering from wedding-overload, I don’t even watch wedding shows any more! My brain just hasn’t been drifting over to the wedding world these days.

All that said, I still know people who are in the wedding planning process, I’ll be attending weddings, and my first anniversary is coming up, so I should be able to think up wedding-related posts as all of these things come up. There’s so much that I wished I knew when I was wedding planning (hindsight is 20/20) so I would love to share it all with you! If anyone can learn from my mistakes, it’s worth making the mistake. So long story short, expect a few blogs to trickle out of here in the near future (though nothing like the volume I pumped out while I was wedding planning!)


Bride’s Guide to Wedding-Themed Holiday Gifts December 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — clln @ 9:00 pm

Christmas is fast-approaching but you don’t have to forget about your recent (or upcoming) wedding while selecting gifts for your loved ones. If you’re feeling crafty you can give some unique keepsakes, or if you don’t have that kind of time on your hands, you can order personalized photo gifts online for personalized mementos.

Some examples of photo books.

One gift I’ve been considering for each set of parents is a photo book. These are not your parents’ photo albums, or are they your aunt’s scrapbook. These are constructed like a real book with the photos printed on each page. You can choose from different bindings and covers; some retailers even offer leather covers for the loved ones you really want to impress. Vistaprint offers many options in photo books with very reasonable prices. I highly recommend them as I had Vistaprint print my save-the-date postcards, plus Vistaprint offers double-sided pages, but Kodak, Walmart, and CVS also offer them. It would be really sweet to find photos from the wedding that would mean a lot to your parents or in-laws and compiling them in a book. Find photos featuring each set of parents, their families, their friends, and some of the most stunning shots of you and your groom and compile a personalized book.

Photo gifts have come a long way, but not everyone wants your smiling face blown up on a woven throw blanket. One cute idea for your new spouse or for a friend who recently got married is a photo ornament. This one from Walmart features your photo on the front and “Happy Holidays 2010” on the back, making it a cute memento of the year of your wedding and your first Christmas as a married couple.

Photo ornament from Walmart

Photo gifts don’t have to involve tons of advance planning or expense. If you have an awesome photo of your bridesmaids, you can stick it in a pretty frame for a quick yet touching present. Feeling extra crafty? Make it into a collage or a scrapbook format. If you have leftover ribbon, pressed flowers, or any other flat items from the big day, you could arrange it on a mat and frame that with the photo.

Speaking of self-framing projects, I’ve thought up something cute for your new spouse. Take your wedding vows, a special reading, or a meaningful speech from your wedding and make it look pretty in either Word, InDesign, or your favorite design program. Print it out on some nice paper and frame it to remind you of your commitment every time you see it. Frame it with a photo from the wedding if you want. I’m going to attempt this project (possibly for my first anniversary if I run out of time at Christmas) so keep your eyes peeled for a new blog on this.

Got any other great wedding-themed Christmas gifts? Share them in the comments section!


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.


My dress fits! May 27, 2010

Filed under: the dress,Uncategorized — clln @ 2:36 am
Tags: , ,

I’m excited to announce that I won’t be flashing the guests at the wedding. I went for my second dress fitting this past weekend and my dress stays up! My MOH’s cousin’ girlfriend, who happens to be an amazingly talented recent fashion school grad, is doing the alterations. I actually modeled some of her work for her final project and I was blown away so I trust her completely with the alterations on my precious dress.

But that’s not all! She’s working on a fabric flower made of the excess material she removed when she shortened the dress. Sadly, the Martha flowers just weren’t working with the dress. The voile material I made them out of didn’t have the same sheen as the taffeta so they just don’t look elegant enough. Emily’s designs were covered in beautiful fabric flowers and she even created stunning headpieces for the line she made for her final project, so I have no doubt that the flower is going to look amazing. What’s even better is that it reuses scrap material and saves me from buying a brooch. I’ll still use the Martha flowers for my hair, the colour is the same as the dress and the lack of shine will be less apparent in my hair.

Best news of all is that my dress should be ready by the end of this week! The hem just has to be sewn and the train needs to be bussled. Excited!

Here’s the part where I’d normally post a photo of me in my dress. You’ll notice there is no photo. A friend of mine was bugging me to see the dress and then I realized I don’t have to show her. i don’t have to show anyone. If everyone has seen it, the “wow factor” will be diminished on the big day. Most importantly, I don’t want my FH to see it before the big day. You understand.


Dirty Undies May 21, 2010

Filed under: etc,Uncategorized — clln @ 1:55 am
Tags: , ,

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.


Ikea, is there anything you can’t do? May 20, 2010

Centerpieces can get expensive. I’ve been looking at options, pricing it out, and I say dah-yum. I knew from the get-go that I wouldn’t go with a centerpiece made by a florist because of the cost, but outfitting 10 tables with something pretty can still add up to quite a chunk of change. So how about Ikea? Hear me out. They have more than self-assembled furniture.

One bride on Ikea Hacker created a centerpiece by using tall and short drinking glasses with candles inside and plumerias spread around. It’s low enough for guests to talk over, includes light, and you can sub in just about any flower (although I guess you’d have to make sure it wouldn’t wilt and shrivel without water.)

How about one of these lanterns (or a couple of the smaller version of the same lantern) with a block candle for a simple centerpiece?

Borrby lanterns from Ikea

They also have plenty of inexpensive candles and candle holders. If you want a candle plate, consider looking at their dinnerware. It’s cheap and there are plenty of colours available. Check out this green plate, for example:

Ikea Trivsam plate

I kind of want to find a way to use these pebbles, I’m totally feeling them. The bag of them is only $1.49.

Knaster pebbles from Ikea

A nice simple vase, some floating candles, and water would make an easy centerpiece as well. Apparently my FMIL has purchased a large amounts of square vases that I haven’t seen yet with hopes we’ll decide to use for the wedding, so this could be an option we’ll go with. Perhaps with a piece of bear grass wrapped within the vase, that’d look nice and spread our green theme.

My favorite part about Ikea centerpieces, aside from being cheap, is that your guests will be able to reuse them. The candleholders, glasses, vases, whatever you use, can be put to use in any home. Everyone will want to take it with them, any of those items would be far more useful than the oil lamp my parents brought home from another wedding. So go check out Ikea for some inspiration. Pffft, like you needed an excuse to go to Ikea. Have you seen any Ikea centerpieces? Thinking of trying one yourself? Have you come up with an ideal centerpiece from the Ikea website? Let me know in the comments section!


Polish Problems May 17, 2010

Filed under: beauty,Uncategorized — clln @ 4:30 am

I’m testing out nail polish brands and colours to pick the perfect one for the big day, but I’ve come across a problem. I found a great colour with a great price, but it’s like the polish never dries. It smudges even hours after I apply it. I like the colour so much that I’ve given it a couple of tries and I now wait 20-30 minutes between coats but I still can’t keep it nice. I’m quite disappointed. Maybe I just got a bad batch? I’ve never had this happen with any other nail polish. Maybe it’s the type? I got Sally Hansen Maximum Growth Plus in Pearl Wisdom, this cute, soft pink colour. I’ve never had a problem with any other Sally Hansen polish… Back to the drawing board, I guess.

Do you have any recommendations for nail polish? I’m keeping it cheap and pretty classic and neutral (I like quirky, but not something that will look super dated in wedding photos.) Does anyone have any tips for how I can make this polish work? Any tips for ensuring that it dries and stays put?


Marriage to Glasses: A Love-Hate Relationship May 14, 2010

I took this photo when I wanted to show off my new glasses 2 years ago, but I had to do the over-the-glasses shot to avoid glare.

Oh glasses. I need them to see and they can be a cute accessory, so I love them for that. Unfortunately, they get dirty, they get foggy in the winter, they can create awkward photo angles, they can reflect a flash if they don’t have anti-reflective coating, they can get in the way of comfortable hugging, and they can look super-dated in old photos. I mean, think back to photos from the ’80s. Take the following, for example. Cute dress, dated glasses:

Classic outfits, dated glasses

Heck, I’m not above dated glasses. Check out these winners I sported in elementary school:

The glasses I picked out in the third grade. Yes, they're multicoloured plastic.

I actually just ordered some contacts today. I have very dry eyes so I can’t wear them on a regular basis, but I’m making an exception for the wedding (I’ll shove a bottle of eye drops in my bra if I have to.) I want my wedding photos to look as timeless as possible, so I’m going sans glasses. Plus I want big, fake eyelashes, which may brush against the glasses. I need to go for the contacts, but I realize that not everyone can wear contacts since I’m nearly in that boat myself. So what to do?

Offbeat Bride has an article with 2 options for wearing glasses at your wedding. You can get some really flashy glasses for your day. Funny how I found this the same day as I ordered contacts…

Planning a ’50s wedding? How cute do these brides look in their glasses?

'50s-style glasses at a '50s-style wedding

OMG HOW CUTE IS THIS ONE?! Their blog can be found here.

OMG how cute are these two? Check out their ceremony at

Classic glasses make for classic photos. That’s my best answer. Have you made any decisions about wearing glasses on the big day? Or even to other formal events? Are you wearing spectacles to any upcoming spectacles? (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. The cheese just came out.)


Congratulations, Coworkers May 13, 2010

Filed under: etc,Uncategorized — clln @ 1:56 am
Tags: , ,

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...