New Site!

March 22, 2013

Please direct your attention to diybucketlist.com, it’s my new place to talk about DIY projects.

For example, you can find out how to make this awesome beach wrap:

swim wrap

I got married!

August 4, 2011

For those who don’t know, Jason and I were engaged for over 2 years with no wedding date in sight.  Having to pay for our own wedding festivities seriously limited our ability to have the day we always dreamed of.  A $25,000 wedding simply was not in our stars.  We had made plans to celebrate our 6 year anniversary this past weekend at the Green Turtle Bay Resort in Grand Rivers, Ky and 2 days before we left, we decided to elope during our stay!  I coordinated everything for an intimate, lakeside ceremony and dinner for just the two of us in less than 24 hours!  The whole weekend + wedding was less than $1000.

DIY flowers were a must!  I had to have a bouquet and boutioneer so I made them myself.  I love dahlias so I knew I wanted a white dahlia in my bouquet.  That was my one requirement.  Everything else fell into place from there.  After spending an hour agonizing over what flowers to pick from the craft store (and having no knowledge whatsoever of how to make a bouquet), I finally settled on a single white dahlia, blush-pink rose, calla lily, and pale green hydrangea.  I filled in the gaps with some herbs and wildflowers.

White dahlia bouquet

Our wedding day was spontaneous and very romantic.  Tradition pretty much went out the window but we had everything we could want.  From the moment we decided we would tie the knot on our vacation, I couldn’t stop smiling!  I found his ring and my dress for less than $20!  I booked an officiant and a photographer at a moment’s notice and they suggested a free location right on the water.  This spot had been named one of the most romantic places in the country by Vogue and Cosmopolitan magazines!  It was a small gazebo on the Kentucky Lake jetty located near Lighthouse Landing in Grand Rivers, Kentucky.

The ceremony spot

We arrived in town at 4 pm, I got my hair done right away, and we were married at 6 pm.  The photographer spent about an hour with us taking pictures by the water and then in the gardens at Patti’s 1880′s Settlement.  I cannot wait to see how they turned out!  Dinner reservations were set for 7 pm and by 9 pm we were back in our condo which was stocked with fudge and strawberries.  Our honeymoon night ended with a night-time fishing session and some cold beers on the shores of Lake Barkley.  That night, Jason caught the only fish of the whole weekend – a decent size catfish.

The next day we spent 3 hours on a fishing boat to no avail but enjoyed the time together despite the lack of biting fish.  That night, we went to a winery near Paducah, Ky called the Purple Toad Winery.  The free tastings got us hooked and the owner gave us a surprise tour and we left with some fresh strawberry and pomegranate wine!  Delish!

We couldn’t have pulled this off if it weren’t for the friendly people in Grand Rivers and the event coordinator at Green Turtle Bay Resort (Brian McDonald).  If you’re like me and decide to get hitched with a moments notice – you’ll need to apply for your marriage license before you leave (in the state you will be married), book an officiant by calling the county clerk’s office and ask them for a list of names, and ask a local event coordinator to recommend a photographer and a place to eat or things to do.  The officiant may be able to recommend a location for your ceremony.  We were lucky enough to find a public park that was free to use but we did have to make a reservation to use the space.

DIY Thursday Update

July 14, 2011

It’s been loads of fun blogging with Charlie over at Fifties Wedding.  I hope you’ll take the time to check out the weekly post each week about DIY projects and other cool stuff.  Today’s post is especially useful as it applies to any wedding, any season.

Make your own garland is a simple, low-cost DIY project anyone can do!  Jump on over to the Fifties Wedding blog today for the links to great tutorials and photos for each of these garland ideas:

For a Spring time wedding – Tissue Paper Flowers Garland from Ruffled

For a Summertime wedding – Shell Garland from Completely Coastal

For a Fall wedding – Leaf Garland from Lorajean’s Magazine

For a Wintertime wedding - Snowflake Garland from Hello Naomi

A New Favorite!

July 4, 2011

I’ve just discovered the “Hostess with the Mostess” and I am in love!  This site has the potential to suck every spare moment out of my day with the real weddings and DIY sections alone.   If you love to party as much as I do, you will love HWTM.   Pop on over there and sign up to join the community!

 

 

An all-time favorite resource of mine will always be DIY Bride.  The budding community is a great place for DIY-friendly vendors and crafty couples to engage.  The community survey is going on now – go there!

DIY Wedding Budget

June 27, 2011

Total Budget: $15,500
*This is for my ideal wedding! Use it as a guide for your own.*

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Ceremony @ Five Mile Chapel
Reception @ Moonlight Gardens

  • Ceremony: = $500 Chapel + officiant + DIY isle décor+ licenses
  • DIY Flowers & decor = $800 (White dahlias & olive branch & herb centerpieces)
  • Attire = $500 (Slim dress w/open back and navy pin stripe suit w/hats)
  • Photography = $2000 (with DIY dress-up photo shoot for us and guests)
  • Gifts & DIY Favors: = $500 ($200 [family] $200 [guests] $100 [eachother]) No attendants OR family only (as attendants)
  • Wedding bands = $600
  • Transportation = $500 (limo rental)
  • Reception = $6000 (150 ppl  - includes venue/coordination/service/tips/plated dinner/signature drinks/champagne/beverages)
  • Entertainment = $1500 (Ballroom dancers [1 or 2 couples] and music from the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s – DIY playlist during dinner; live band after dinner)
  • DIY Desserts = $200 (mini cupcakes and other assorted mini desserts)
  • Wedding night accommodations = $150
  • Honeymoon = $2500 (not included in pie chart below)

*DIY Budget total = $1200 [9%] (flowers, décor, favors, and desserts)

 

Budget cuts!!! This budget is for an ideal wedding.  In all reality, most DIY brides won’t have $15k to drop on a wedding (nor do we really want to spend that much).  I’d prefer to spend about a third of that, plus the honeymoon.   Some of the items that will likely be down sized are listed below.  These are common areas where you can make cuts to save money.

  • DIY Flowers & Decor – save $400 by using artificial blooms and borrowed vases for centerpieces
  • Photography – save $1000 by booking the wedding on a Friday or Sunday
  • Wedding bands - save $600 by financing rings
  • Transportation - save $400 by replacing a a limo with a cool car driven by a friend or family member
  • Reception – save $2000 by booking the wedding on a Friday or Sunday, reducing the number of guests, and choosing a buffet instead of plated dinner
  • Entertainment – save $1500 by sacrificing hired entertainment
  • Honeymoon – save $2500 by financing honeymoon

Total savings = $8,400!

New, lower budget = $7,100 (54% less than “dream” budget)

(note – you’ll be paying monthly for wedding rings and honeymoon expenses charged to a credit card)

I can handle a $7,000 wedding budget!!! If you still can’t swallow that much, I would suggest a major downsize of the wedding guests to just close family and friends.  This is what wedding planners call an “intimate” wedding.  If the venue is too big for a small wedding, consider going to a local restaurant with a party room our large outdoor deck/patio.

Key point - the percentages of your wedding budget should stay roughly the same even with budget cuts.  The reception, food, and beverage costs should be roughly 50% of the total budget.  The next largest spending category should be for photography, right around 10%.

 

DIY Wedding Dresses

June 20, 2011

The following dresses are on my list of what’s hot for this year.  I love the slimming designs and simple sophistication.  Between me and my mom, we are hoping to create a version of the first dress from La Femme (15027) for my wedding day.  For more inspiration and some amazing designs, check out New York Dress.  I am completely obsessed!

La Femme 15027 back viewLa Femme 15027

La Femme

Beautiful wedding dress patterns 

 

Justin Alexander
Justin Alexander

Crocheted wedding gown by Claire Pettibone

Crocheted wedding dress from Claire Pettibone

 

Related articles

Photo sources:
 Olive branch and herb centerpieces
Carillon Beach Meeting house
Dahlia bouquet
Wedding dress
Rae Leytham Photography 

 

DIY Thursday

June 9, 2011

Hi Folks,  Today marks the start of something new.  Something fresh.  Something cool.

I thrive on themes and when Charlie from FiftiesWedding.com approached me about contributing on the blog for her DIY Thursday theme, I didn’t hesitate.  Once a week, on Thursdays, pop by Charlie’s blog and see what cool DIY project I’m sharing.  Oh, and tell your friends!  Today’s blog: DIY Wedding “Cake”

The Fifties Wedding blog is designed for vintage-inspired brides who seek a little retro 50′s style in their big day.  Whether it be the dress, the decor, the music, or the whole theme, Charlie and her mum are full of great ideas.  Charlie has become one of my newest friends from the world of Twitter and I look forward to sharing some of her great finds with all of you!

Garden Inspired Favors

June 4, 2011

Garden inspired take-aways from the lovely gallery at Martha Stewart Weddings

 

Handmade Table Linens

June 4, 2011

Table runner to suit a shabby chic decor

Image by Decorative Towels - Created by Cath. via Flickr

Shocked by the expense of luxury table linens?  Make your own!

Go to the fabric store and search for clearance fabrics or on-sale items that can easily be transformed into beautiful, luxury table linens.  I found a gorgeous orange taffeta fabric with embroidered flowers for less than $7/yard and created a runner for each of my dining tables for way less than buying or renting them.   I had my grandmother do the hemming and she loved being able to contribute!  After the wedding, the runners can be sewn together to make gorgeous drapes!

You could also make miniature quilts to use on each table for the event and then sew them all together afterwards.  You’ll end up with a blanket big enough to cover a king-size bed or a memorable picnic blanket!