Sunday, August 31, 2008

Venue Envy

In my obsession with photography I often peruse blogs of other photographers across the country. I came across this picture of one bride's reception and was instantly envious of the beautiful location. It looks lush and exotic. However she is way braver than me to leave it all up to chance to mother nature and hold the event outside.

Picture taken from Vallentyne Photography


Instead of doing pew decorations maybe I could use the silk flowers to cover letters and then put them on the pulpits instead of the ugly flags that currently hang there.
Instead of the moss we would use the silk purple dahlias on 2 Ks or maybe one V and one A.

Can you see the flags? Also while I was looking at this picture I noticed the cloth on the altar, hopefully they have some other options otherwise that might be a DIY project to add to my list.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Going Overboard

I think I might have just gone a bit overboard with the silk florals. Hobby Lobby had these purple dahlias that are a perfect match to the purple we are going for, so I bought most of the ones they had displayed. I bought them during a half off sale and figured I better buy them while on sale than to go back later and have them be out of stock or full price. I was going to use them for pew decorations but after looking at the pews the project I had in mind most likely won't work. I think I am going to hold onto the flowers for a little bit longer in case I come up with a different project I need them for.

On the other hand I got these cute pomanders during the sale also. In person they look quite real and our flower girls can just keep them for dress-up when the wedding is over. The only bummer is that they won't be orange to match all the other bridal party florals but the upside is that they are way cheaper than our original plan and will help to lower our floral bill.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bridal Bouquet Possibilities

Found this bouquet the other day and it is similar to what I might end up with. Roses of different sizes in peaches, pinks, and oranges. We are going to add raununculus also.

Monday, August 25, 2008

DIY Flowers

We booked our florist, Courtenay Lambert, last week and I am very excited! In the beginning I did entertain the idea of doing our own florals since flowers can easily get expensive fast. I am all about DIY projects but I realized doing the flowers was one project I wasn't really willing to take on. All of the florals should be done a day ahead and I didn't want to add one more thing the day before the wedding to stress myself out. That being said I do know some people who did their own flowers and loved it! There are many wholesale places online and locally to order flowers and it can be a fun project if you have the time.

On A Practical Wedding one bride recently documented her dry run of DIY flowers. Her flowers looked beautiful and it seemed like a successful project. If you have the time and resources before the wedding to make your own florals it might be a fun project to do with all of the girls. A video that she suggests using to give directions to make your own bouquets is here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yep I Did It!

No not pick out the dress, but book a makeup artist. That might seem silly to some but to me it was huge. I have struggled with skin issues since my teenage years and have been very self conscious. A good example would be my senior year of high school on the varsity volleyball team the under class men pulled a prank on us. On a Saturday morning they "kidnapped" us literally pulling us all out of our beds at an ungodly hour. I fought them not because I wanted to get dressed, not because I wanted to brush my hair or teeth, I fought them because I needed my concealer. I was mortified that someone might see my imperfect skin. You better believe they teased me that I screamed for my concealer but I didn't care, to me that was serious business. Luckily it all turned out ok because they took us out to breakfast and no one said anything about what I considered horrific skin, even if they did notice.

So of course when considering my wedding day look my makeup is a top priority. I want someone who is going to be able to make me look my best, as flawless as possible and make sure it lasts through countless hugs, kisses and sweating in the July heat. My dress will take care of itself and we will find something but my skin is unpredictable. Being that I am also a bit of a makeup junkie and know a thing or two about makeup I have high expectations and might be a bit hard to please in this area.

I had one trial with someone in the city who was reasonably priced and well respected so I thought I would give her a shot. While her makeup was really good it was a bit much for a wedding and within a few hours my makeup had faded. So next on my list was Nancy Dawson from Brideface who I had heard was the best in the city and of course I had to check her out.

Nancy spent years working for Laura Mercier and has even worked side by side with her. During my trial I was not disappointed. I was impressed with her technique, tools and products that she used. She is definitely very knowledgeable and a professional artist in all respects. I was really pleased with my makeup. I definitely had beautifully defined eyes without it being too much and wonderfully long fake lashes. Most of my makeup held up really well for about 10 hours and I was really pleased. I did have a few concerns regarding my skin type and problematic areas. But after many conversations with Nancy since my trial I am fully confident that she will make me look amazing. She was very receptive to my feedback and wants to make sure that I am 100% happy and will be adjusting my makeup appropriately for the wedding. Of course that is what a trial is for to find out what works best for each individual.

To sum it up Nancy is very talented and worth every penny in my opinion. She has impressed me in all aspects of customer service and actual makeup. I definitely have peace of mind that I will look great on our wedding day and feel that I am getting the quality of a famous high end professional makeup artist.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ring Holder

So I have seen this posted a million times and it is one trendy bandwagon I think I am going to jump on. I am anti anything that I won't ever be able to use again after the wedding. Case in point a ring pillow. I know the ring bearer carries a little pillow down the aisle and it's really cute. But what the heck do you do with the pillow after the wedding besides banish it to the dark corners of a box in the back of your closet. That being said I like the little ring bowls from Paloma's Nest on etsy. These little bowls can be personalized with whatever text you would like and then can be placed on a dresser or wherever to hold your rings when not wearing them. The cost for this bowl is equivalent to a basic ring pillow and in my opinion really affordable. I definitely can vision this little bowl being carried down the aisle and in my opinoin is a good useful alternative to the ring pillow.

DIY Bride

One thing I have been enjoying about wedding planning is getting to put our own stamp on everything and personalize our wedding. A way to do this is to DIY some projects. Last night I bought the DIY Bride book and definitely have picked out a few projects that I think will be very doable and save us some money. I am excited to get started on them and hope it will make sure our event is not another cookie cutter wedding.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Brunch Anyone?

This weekend we went to a wedding and the day after the wedding they held a brunch for immediate family members and all out of town guests. I thought it was a thoughful gesture that those who would be out of town would need a place to eat breakfast and allows the bride and groom to spend a bit more time with those who traveled to see them. We really enjoyed the brunch and the opportunity to talk to our friends again before we headed back home.

My sister put it perfectly that sometimes a wedding is more fun for the guests because they all get to visit together while the Bride and Groom after the reception go into seclusion in their hotel room and then head straight off to the honeymoon. I have been to weddings where I felt bad for the Bride and Groom because we were all spending quality time together having fun and visiting and they, well, weren't.

We would love to host a day after brunch just to be able to spend some down time with all those people who traveled to be with us. Tonight I began scouting places to hold a brunch. I am hoping to find a local place near the hotel that has a bit of charm. We went to Keystone Bar and Grill in the Greenup area of Covington. They have one room with lots of charm but unfortuneatly isn't big enough. Upstairs they have another room that would fit everyone but is a bar area at nights and just doesn't seem like it would be converted well into a brunch space. Unless they get back to me with amazing prices I think we will check this place off our list and move on.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I have often seen couples personalize napkins by ordering them with their names and such. Recently though I heard about personalizing coasters. I heard the idea and thought, really is that necessary? But then thought it essentially is the same as doing the napkins just a thicker medium. I however don't think the napkins are necessary either but can see why some people fall victim to ordering them. We won't be doing either but thought I would post two places to get blank coasters if the idea interests you. American Coaster has coasters you can order and different ideas of what to make. Block Head Stamps sells blank coasters and gives tips on ink, techniques and ideas to help you personalize them.


I have never thought of myself to be a tiara girl. When the word tiara is mentioned I think of pretty pretty princesses and images like this pop into my head:

Not really the look I am going for. When looking at wedding dresses I have purposefully stayed away from the princess look. I am hoping for something more understated, classic and elegant. However while looking around I have seen some tiaras that are actually pretty and worth considering. Being that I am going to wear my hair down or mostly down, adding something to my hair might not be such a bad idea and would give my veil something to anchor into.

Pictures taken from Ciulla Photography

I think this tiara looks beautiful on her and really adds something with the veil. For me I would choose something a bit simpler but it could work. This is one idea I just might consider and not completely write off, we will just have to see...

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am dying to wear a fabulous pair of heels on wedding day. However I just don't know if it's a reality for me. For those of you who aren't aware I stand at a tall 6 feet. Luckily I have an equally tall fiance and could wear 4" heels and still not be taller. I have towered over friends and family for years and really don't want to tower any more than necessary over all my guests. That might sound silly but if you spent years at high school dances having to bend down to hear what people were saying over the music it would make more sense.

Heels would make for a funny looking father/daughter dance since I am already taller than my Dad in flats. In heels I just wouldn't be comfortable all day and that's the last thing I want on my wedding day, pinched toes. But mainly if I want to wear heels I will have to order my dress with extra length because they just don't make wedding dresses for tall girls, so I really need to decide now if I want to wear heels. I doubt heels are in the cards for me, but just maybe . . .

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cake Jewelry

I have decided that I like the more traditional all white cakes.  I'm leaning towards the pearl look and letting the cake have its own jewelry.  I don't want the evenly spaced pearl look that almost looks like beads all over the layers but the look of pearls over flowing.  Our baker and cake designer has already seen these pictures and doesn't think it will be a problem to create which really excites me since I wasn't sure if it was possible.  I think pearls are really classic and add an elegant look to the all white cake.  Here are the pictures that have inspired the look I want to go for as of right now:

Instead of the print on the layers our cake layers would just be plain and smooth.  This cake would not need a cake topper which I love since I am not crazy about most cake toppers.  If we went with something more like the top cake it would not include the flower and maybe we would do more pearls at the top (like the bottom pic).  If we went with a cake topper maybe pearl K monogram.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Feeling like a Bride

I have to say I have yet to really feel like a "bride." When I got engaged it just felt weird to actually look at my finger and see the ring because getting married was something we always talked about but now it was for real and I couldn't believe it was there. People constantly ask me if I feel like I'm on cloud nine and seem to expect me to feel different, as if being engaged is an enlightened sense of being. To be completely honest it still just feels like me only now I am picking out flowers and tasting cake flavors. But today we went dress shopping for the second time and I felt a little bit like a bride. The first time I went dress shopping it was just surreal that I was actually trying gowns on. Tonight I was actually able to soak it all in a little bit and enjoy feeling bridal. I am sure tomorrow I will wake up feeling normal again, which is perfectly fine with me, but tonight I am a little giddy with being a bride.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monograms Demistified

Monograms are huge right now. You see monograms on invitations, programs, escort cards, gobo lighting, seating charts, cakes, cookies, napkins and list goes on. If you can put a monogram on it you bet a bride has done it. Monograms have also gotten really creative and include more than just three initials. This is one trend I like because you can really make your monogram your own and use it where ever to personalize your wedding. Monograms don't even require a graphic designer because they are really easy to make! Fancy software is not needed all you need is your basic power point. Here is a link to a video that gives step by step instructions to make your DIY Monogram.

Some other great resources to make a monogram is to download different fonts from Dafont or House of Lime. These great sites have beautiful fonts and dingbats for graphic elements and flourishes.
Sometimes a graphic designer can be helpful if you want something really complicated.

Here are some different types and ways Monograms have been used:

Friday, August 8, 2008

Getting Lost

Today I have been getting lost in the multitudes of wedding blogs out there.  I could spend all day everyday just catching up on new posts from different bloggers reading all of the new ideas and resources people have discovered.  Over to the right I have a very short list of favorite blogs because if I didn't cut myself off then it would just be ridiculous.  If you go to snippet and ink on the left hand side of her blog she has listed dozens and dozens of blogs for wedding inspiration, photography, invitation, fashion and more.  I often find myself on her blog and then using it to navigate to all the others.  Can we say I am addicted, if only I can figure out a way to get paid doing all of this then I just might be in heaven!

To illustrate just how many wedding blogs are out there they put out a  Top 100 Wedding Planning Blogs.  Not the top 10 or top 20, top 100 because there are just so many out there.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


When I was making a photography decision I hadn't created the blog yet so I thought I would go ahead and post about that process since for me it was quite possibly the biggest if not one of the biggest vendor decisions.  After the wedding is over the cake is eaten, the flowers die, invitations get thrown out, the dress goes in the closet but the pictures are the only physical thing you have left that you hopefully will be able to display.  Photography is the documentation of the event you spent lots of time and money planning and of course you want it to be captured and most likely you want something nicer than crooked snapshots Uncle Fred took.

I know I tortured my family with all of my photography talk especially my sister. She was gracious enough to go to all of my initial meetings and then sit with me pouring over photographers' work and listening to me discuss the same stuff over and over and over and over.  I even tormented a few friends at work asking them to look at work and give me their opinions.  I know I was a bit ridiculous during this decision and I thank all of you who endured me throughout the process.

I started with a list of 40+ photographers that I had either found through recommendations on the knot or those who advertised in magazines, websites etc...  After researching these photographers by looking through their online portfolios and pictures from other brides who graciously shared their pictures.   I narrowed it down to my top 15 photographers based on photography style.  After contacting these photographers and getting more information I set up meetings with 5 photographers. There were many other photographers I would have loved to meet with however I didn't want to even look at someone that just was completely out of our ballpark budget wise.   In my opinion you definitely get what you pay for, to an extent, which is why we were willing to splurge a bit if necessary, however you have to draw the line somewhere based on your budget.  I also felt that there had to be great photographers out there that weren't uber expensive, we just had to look harder.  That being said our decision was based on WAY more than price but it's obviously part of the decision making process.

During our meetings I was meticulous about getting all the info I needed and took the same questionairre to all the meetings to make sure I didn't forget to ask anything. A few of them thought I was a bit off my rocker. We then even had a second meeting with my top 2 picks to make the final decision.

I am very excited to say that we are having Geri Ciulla of Ciulla Photography photograph our wedding! She has amazing style and does beautiful work that speaks for itself. She has an eye for catching all the details and the small moments some people might miss.  But on top of it all she has a great personality and is full of energy!  Both myself and Andy clicked with her which was important since she will be with us all day.  She didn't bat an eye at any of my questions and even seemed to appreciate that I was making sure to do the correct work to know that we would be a good fit.  She is definitely worth every penny and I know she could charge way more and I would still be happy to pay her fees.

Check out her work on her website or blog.

Don't Want It, Don't Need It

Somewhere along the road someone came up with the idea of a unity candle to symbolize two people joining their lives together and they are no longer two seperate flames but one flame burning together, yada yada yada.  I get the symbolism and I think if you want a unity candle it's a nice thing to do.  However unity candles have become so common that people think you HAVE to do them, which is absolutely untrue.  I don't have any desire to have a unity candle (gasp in the horror).  To me it's just not necessary or important and quite honestly just another thing to buy that I won't have any idea what to do with after the ceremony.  I would much rather have some well placed readings or something else that is meaningful to us than to just do something for the sake of doing it since everyone else does it.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Yummy Cake

Last night we had our final cake tasting and I am glad to say we have picked a baker and can check another thing off of our to do list.  We could have gone to 10 or 20 cake tastings but only went to three based on time constraints and such.  I did my research before hand so we didn't even consider bakeries that were way out of our price range or that I had heard mixed reviews on.  From that information we went to Marilyn's Cakes, Tres Belle Cakes, and Affordable Wedding Creations.  

Our first stop was Tres Belle Cakes which is a home baker Tracy.  When we got to her home is smelled like fresh baked warm cake, yummm.  She had a bunch of small cakes for us to try and we left completely stuffed.  Her cake was moist and had excellent flavor that wasn't too strong but at the same time we were able to actually taste and decipher the flavors, we especially liked the lemon.  She is very flexible willing to take anything on and from the work we saw is very capable of doing lots of different artistic things.  Her buttercream icing was amazing!  I hate whipped icing and love thick, creamy, sugary icings and hers fit the bill to the tee!  Some people might think it's too sweet but we both loved it and thought it was just right.  She also makes the cakes the day before so we are guaranteed a freshly baked cake.

The second bakery we went to was Affordable Wedding Creations.  This was an actual shop down in Northern Kentucky right across the street from our reception venue, The Madison.  We picked this place because they are a preferred vendor for our reception hall and we get a tiny kick back if we use them.  Andy had tried their cake at an event at the Madison and really liked it.  Peggy the baker used to be the head cake decorator at Busken Bakery for about 20 years before opening her own shop.  The cake we tried was good, it was moist but there was a discrepency in the different flavors.  The white cake to me had absolutely no flavor, the strawberry had a very faint flavor but her chocolate cake was suprisingly great, especially since we aren't chocolate cake people.  I did not like her fillings which had a gel consistency and did not taste fresh.  She only uses buttercream icing which might not be the best for some of the detail on possible designs we discussed.  We did like how Peggy bakes the cakes a few days prior to ensure freshness.

The last place we went to was Marilyn's Cakes which is also another home baker who has converted her entire basement to a cake shop.  We went to Marilyn because she comes highly recommended and has one of the cheapest prices around.  When discussing designs Marilyn seemed very hesitant about some of the designs because she had never used those methods before and also like Peggy prefers to work strictly with buttercream.  I had heard that Marilyn's cakes were very good however we had a different experience.  The cake we ate was dry and I was unable to discern any taste difference between the white cake and the french vanilla cake.  The chocolate cake also had very little flavor.  Marilyn bakes her cakes a week ahead of time and then freezes them.  The samples we tried also had been frozen which most likely affected the flavor and texture.

After all the tastings we are definitely going with Tracy from Tres Belle Cakes.  Her cakes are wonderful.  The flavor is great, her cakes are moist and she is the freshest since she only bakes a day ahead.  She is very talented and I know that no matter what design we choose she will be very capable.  On top of everything she was fun to talk to and very affordable compared to other bakers out there.  We are very excited to use Tracy and looking forward to the tasting closer to the wedding to pick out flavors and final design! 

Monday, August 4, 2008

Purple Dresses

Along with finding the wedding dress I am also on a search for the perfect purple dress for the girls.  I don't want lavendar or eggplant but a nice vibrant purple.  I don't want it to scream bridesmaid and hope that it's a dress that they might actually be capable of wearing again.  Lastly I obviously want them all to look good in it and like it.  So it seems that the work has been cut out for me.  Earlier this summer I was having a hard time finding anything and thought it was going to be impossible but things seem to be turning around with the change of the seasons.  Purple is one of the new colors of fall and I have been seeing it pop up everywhere which means we just might have actually have a chance at finding what we want.  If all else fails we will just pick a black dress they all like and can wear again and call it a day.  Here is an example of a dress that I have recently found in the purple I am looking for:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Making a Veil

This last week on one of my wedding expeditions I had a chance to look at veils. While I knew they could be pricey I still about choked when I saw one simple veil for $1000+. How does a piece of tulle cost more than a high definition televison that uses expensive electronic pieces? I know for a fact that the materials for some of those veils cost less than $20 and you can't tell me that the craftmanship that goes into making a veil accounts for the additional cost. As of now I have no clue what I am going to do for a veil but I know some brides have taken the plunge and made their own. If you are considering this route I found this website to give helpful directions and diagrams:
It seems easy enough and the worst that can happen if you screw up is to go buy more tulle and try again for literally a few dollars.