Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Floral Alternatives

Duct Tape Flowers

Paper Roses!

I really want to find a way to use the paper roses as our center pieces, they are super simple, unique and quite pretty if I do say so myself.

Reporting back

Well, it was a strange 'presentation'.

We showed up at our local Red Lion in a few minutes early, and made our way up to the presentation room. There had been a presentation earlier in the day, so there was a small two burner unit, as well as a variety of pots and pans, and several dishes out. Two other couples were there already. We were handed a clipboard with a form to fill out, and waited another ten minutes or so before the representative started the presentation.

Now, I may be overly critical, being a performer and in theater, but this guy wasn't a very good presenter. His word choices and speech patterns just didn't inspire me to want to spend lots of money on high quality cook ware. He started with telling us about our benefits package (which was totally legit, as far as I could tell), and then asked if we would mind if he skipped the 90 minute talk about the cookware, and just let us go home with the benefits packages, and that's just what he did. We picked which vacation we wanted (we picked the one that can be to Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Bahamas, we have to provide transportation there, and they take care of nearly everything else), and a discounted membership to a grocery coupon service, and we were out the door.

To be honest, I was a little let down, I wanted to hear about the cook ware, but c'est la vie! I'll let you know when we decide to use the trip, we've got three years until it expires.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

We're winners?

I don't think I mentioned the Bridal Show that Luke and I went to about a month ago. Needless to say it was a bit overwhelming. More samples, literature, pamphlets and drawings then I could wrap my head around. It was a lot of fun too! Looking at the sparklies, seeing what business I am familiar with have to offer. I will admit to privately snarking about the aging string quartet that was rather painfully out of tune. The fashion show was fun to catch glimpses of, though Luke wouldn't let us sit down and watch. (He insisted that since I was making my gown anyways, I didn't need to watch it... lol) I was honestly a bit taken aback by the terrible posture most of the models, but that is a different post altogether.

The most beneficial aspect of the show was trying all the caterers, and knowing they were all local places, places that I could go and visit. We found two and particular from the show that we are very seriously considering. Cowgirl Catering (which is a sub-company of Flavors), Carte Blanche, and Cornucopia.

At least that as what i thought the most beneficial aspect was until this afternoon when I received a voice mail notifying me that I'd won a wedding package.

Ah.... come again?

So I called the back, and sure enough, Luke and I have 'won' a vacation, either a tropical trip in the Dominican Republic, Mexico or The Bahamas; or a trip at one of 17 locations within the US. Not to mention a gift card of some sort.

All Luke and I have to do is head down to the Red Lion Inn on Saturday afternoon, try out some cookware, and give our opinions. Courtesy of Gateway Bride.

Now hang on a second before you jump in and tell me what a scam it is, I've read the consumer reports etc. And it sounds to me like a legit effort to get new couples to buy their cookware by offering incentives. No way are Luke or I going to be pressured into purchasing cookware we don't need, so we'll check it out on Saturday, keep our skeptic hats on, and let you know how it goes.

Monday, February 16, 2009

For those who liked the book centerpieces...

Like me, I found a few more around the interwebs.
Kim made these great mock ups, which I found via the Livejournal group weddingplans
Another pic of this centerpiece is here at their Flickr account.

Or these school house centerpieces from Amber and Jeff's wedding.
Also found via weddingplans.
And more of this centerpiece here, at their respective flickr account.

Totally cute.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Maybe a different giant party...

Though it isn't possible for us (not with a guest list of 300) to cater our own wedding, it was something we really wanted to do originally. And it's nearly a sure fire way to save money. Here is a great article about how to DIY cater without driving yourself crazy.

These are perfect

Though I don't need ten of them. Check out Toybreaker at Etsy

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dreamwood is a really cheesy name.

So we just had a little kink thrown in our awesome plans.


It is practically next door to the Long Tom Grange, the location we have previously been planning on using.

But let's start with the one down side. It's $3000, which is nearly six times what we would pay for the Long Tom Grange.

It's privately owned by a family (one of the student teachers at my mom's school is part of the family that owns and operates it, that's how I heard about it).

They do everything there.

What do I mean by everything? Well let me tell you...

They have 6 staff members day of, one parking attendant, one bartender, one day of coordinator, the others are servers, set up, runners etc.

The space can accommodate up to 500, but for 300 or less they already have all the tables, chairs, linens (white), napkins (colored or white), dishes, flatware, serving dishes, sliver for a beverage table, pitchers, glassware for a dessert or candy buffet. They have a wide variety of decorations and centerpiece things such as: gazebo, chandeliers, hurricane glasses, candles, white paper lanterns, cut glass votive holders, and more. Not to mention various fabric and ribbon for decorating. They supply the bathrooms (so called 'black tie' port-a-potties), more parking then we could need, several big (semi-permanent) baskets of flowers, colored for the general area, white for the alter area, electricity hook ups, several big white couches, a large dance floor, two sites, about 75 feet apart, connected by a path. The bride is invited to use a room in their home in order to get ready and is treated to a luncheon (with her maids I assume) the day of the wedding. Once the contract is signed, the bride and groom are welcome to come out to the site any time, and they can start bringing stuff out to the site the Wednesday before the wedding, and have access until Sunday.

While we are welcome to bring out own food in for the rehearsal dinner, we would have to use their catering service, I'm waiting for a sample menu, which will be sent to me with the other info, the catch is their minimum is $20/person for catering. This is of course the other down side. The other catering services we are looking at are about $13.00/person, although that doesn't include gratuity, which the $20 for Dreamwood does include.

So now it all comes down to money. Luke and I both agree that this sounds fantastic, but can we afford it?

Here is a photo blog of a wedding there.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Rock around the clock...

As many of you other brides have probably come to realize, if you sign up for anything wedding related, you are instantly inundated with emails and advertisements from every imaginable type of vendor, not to mention 'newsletters' promising advice and good deals. Most of this is instantly deleted (or recycled depending on the medium), however I got one a few days back that actually linked to decent top ten list for bridal showers.

Now bridal showers are weird. I've had the pleasure of throwing two different showers for friends, and it was a bunch of fun, but really what are they for!

I know the original idea is to shower brides with gifts they will need to begin their new life with their new husband in their new and as of yet unfurnished home (since they've been living with their father, or maybe alone or with girlfriends up until this point, right?). However, many brides these days already live with their fiance, and have a furnished house, or DON'T live with him, so they end up with TWO of everything when co-habitation occurs.

But they're fun! I'm totally a hostess type. I love planning parties, especially if they can be fancy or themed. Party games and decorations; totally me. I used to plan my birthday parties as a kid with a schedule:
2:00 Guests arrive
2:10 Play outside
2:30 Play pin the tail on the donkey
2:45 Eat Cake
3:00 Open presents.

...you get the idea...

But as adults, and not just adults but varied adults who may or may not actually know each other... planning a good party is definitely a challenge. So without further ado, here is the list of bridal shower party plans. Hosting Bridal Shower I particularly like the around the clock idea, a friend of mine did that for hers (not one I planned, I was just a guest) and it was very neat, and gave people something to talk about. And it sure beats toilet paper wedding dresses...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I can tell centerpieces are going to be a hang up for me.

Reading 2000 dollar wedding the other day, she had this great post on eco-friendly centerpieces featuring an awesome book piece, from Offbeat Bride.

I love it! It would be a great way to integrate our own interests into the centerpieces by combing a few of our own books with cheap books from garage sales etc. Unfortunately, Luke doesn't like the idea. He's never been as much of a reader as I am, though I don't really understand why he doesn't like the idea besides that.

If Luke had it his way, we would have nothing as centerpieces except the table sign. We're probably making ones from DIY Bride. I can't find pictures of one like them though.. They're cute, and we're not planning on using numbers. Some sort of creative name instead, and then the idea hit. We could theme each centerpiece to go with the table name. Have the book table, the flower table, candle table etc. We brainstormed a list, though I'm not super thrilled with all of them. Still not sure if we're going to go with this idea or not. I really want nice, pretty centerpieces, Luke doesn't care, and more importantly (to him) he doesn't want to spend money on them.

I also really like these poms from Martha Stuart.

So, thoughts? Any ideas we could use for table themes? We have between 20 and 30 tables, so this is a huge undertaking...

Yes, the centerpieces are going to be my Achilles heel...or something like that. I don't think that is quite the right metaphor.