Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

In honor of this great holiday, I sent out DIY Halloween postcards, and while this isn’t a wedding related project, you could very easily alter this extra-super-simple project in order to make quick save the dates or RSVP postcards.

First I designed a Halloween image at a 4” x 6” size for the front of the postcard:

To keep it simple, I left the back blank and just wrote in messages and addresses, but you could also add another printed design or more info on the back. I printed these with my home printer on 110lb cardstock. In the future when making postcards I’ll probably try to print on something slightly heavier. I then trimmed them to size with my small paper trimmer (yes, I have two, so there is a small and a big), but you could also use postcard sized paper.

Hope you have a great Halloween! Now go eat some candy!

all personal photos

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Cheetah Girls: Picking the Dress(es)

Bridesmaid GF came to visit this week and in addition to drinking extra strong mojitos and watching 3 straight hours of Say Yes to the Dress we also visited Bella Bridesmaid to check out the top bridesmaid dress contenders.

Due to the great styles, colors, fabric, and price point, it looks like the Cheetah Girls will be dressed in Priscilla of Boston dresses in crinkle chiffon. The very lovely Bridesmaid GF models some of the options below:

This dress shows the pewter color that we may go with:

The other color option, rose petal:

A couple of the other Cheetah Girls are with child, so GF made a “baby bump” to see if the style below would work for the preggos. Unfortunately Priscilla of Boston does not have a designated maternity dress (every line should have at least one maternity option!), so making sure this dress would work over baby bellies was vital in being able to chose this line of dresses.

I love Bridesmaid GF’s shocked expression at seeing herself in the mirror with the fake baby bump ;)

And here is the same dress, in yellow and sans faux baby bump:

This was Bridesmaid GF's fave style (doesn't she look awesome in it?):

And here is what it would look like shortened (our helpful consultant is holding it up in back):

I always pictured having short bridesmaid dresses for my ladies, but so many of these options look great in long! Most of the long dresses would look great shortened, but that is an extra alteration to worry about. I’m still leaning towards the short dresses, but if each lady prefers a long style, we’ll just leave them long.

So Hive, which do you prefer, Short or Long bridesmaid dresses?

And, just for fun and because I can’t resist, here are some ridiculously awesome bridesmaid dresses:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Making Things Harder Than They Need to Be

Alternate title: I Decide to Build Our Wedding Website.

There are plenty of websites that provide easy, nice looking templates for your own wedding website, they range from very customizable to fairly basic (Check out Miss Panther's post here for more info). Many have fees and costs involved (often in the $25-100+ range), but there are also free ones out there such as eWedding and WeddingChannel. Yet, I decided that free and easy was too good for me. I wanted a challenge! So I decided to build our own wedding website. I did this for two reasons: 1) I wanted it to be completely custom, 2) I wanted to learn how to make my own website. Armed with Dreamweaver CS4 and this book, I set to work.

Since I am new to this I decided to keep the design fairly simple. This is what you first see when you type in the URL:

That’s the illustration from our Save the Dates!

Personal Image

Here is the home page:

Personal Image

The banner and left-side menu are on every page, which I set up as a Dreamweaver template. I included a lot of travel info for our guests and a FAQ section where we mention dress codes, average temperatures, and I even let our guests know that we are both keeping our names. I may have gone overboard with the photo section. Currently there are 12 pages of photos and I keep adding more… somebody keep me away from my scanner.

Here are some things you should know if you plan to build your own wedding website:

-It’s not free. I had to pay for a domain name and for web hosting, I used

-It takes time, especially if this is new to you.

-You will get frustrated, especially if this is new to you.

Why I’m glad I did it:

-Free reign over the design.

-We were able to easily include any information we wanted (lots of sections on traveling to Palm Springs), and omit anything we didn’t want (guest book and online RSVPs—which I know some people love, but I’m a snail mail lady).

-It was a great learning process (and it is still a learning process).

-easy and personalized URL address.

Do you have a wedding website? Did you use an online template or build it yourself?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Everything Counts in Small Amounts

In just a couple short weeks we will be just 4 months away from the Cheetah Wedding. I haven’t had a time freak-out yet (I’m expecting one of those when it actually hits 2011. “Happy New Ye—Holy Pickle Shoes! Our wedding is in 2 months! Stop the party—where is my wedding binder and my best pinking shears!”).

I’m actually feeling pretty good about what we have planned so far. We have a venue, photographer, my dress, a florist, a DJ… most of the big stuff. What I am worried about is all the little things, all the fabulous details we obsess over for months and months that can help personalize a wedding (and that may or may not be noticed by the wedding guests). I know I want lots of details: cute little straws, awesome escort cards, out of town bags, programs… the list goes on and on…

Some awesome details:

But I’m afraid. Afraid of committing. Not to Mr. Cheetah, of course, but to the design of all these little things. I’m so afraid I’m going to spend lots of time and money creating some fabulous little thing only to decide a month later that it doesn’t go with our overall look. That I will use the bold sans serif font when should have used the swirl-y script font. That I'll print out dozens of items and later decide that one the colors is off. But time is dwindling down and I’ve got to get crafting. My plan right now is to start designing the invitations and use that as the design model/spring board for all the other details. Now I just have to commit to an invitation design…

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To Garter or Not to Garter

We are not a very traditional couple and we want to get as much time on the dance floor as possible, so we are choosing to forgo a few traditions, including the bouquet and garter tosses. So I won’t need a toss bouquet… does that also mean I won’t need a garter? Part of me is fine with that—hey it’s one less thing to worry about (and make/purchase). But another part of me is like this:

There is something so romantic, bridal, and sexy about a garter and it would be really fun knowing it was there under my wedding gown. Yet if we aren’t doing the whole garter toss thing, I’m not sure it makes sense for me to wear one. Plus I have this irrational fear of having the garter fall down while I’m dancing, getting caught on my foot, causing me to trip head first into the dessert table while simultaneously ripping my dress in half and flashing everyone. Am I the only one who has outlandish wedding fears like that, because I have a bunchand about half of them involve me accidentally flashing our wedding guests...

I am still considering a garter, but maybe I should just save it for the wedding night. There’s a chance I might try to whip something up on my sewing machine, but I’m also eyeing these beauties on Etsy:

Or perhaps a little cheetah print (Zebra & Jaguar—there are lots of garters in your print too…):

Are you wearing a garter? Will you be tossing it?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Engagement Train

A few of years ago I knew 8 couples that all got engaged within a two week period between Thanksgiving and Christmas! That lead bridesmaid WD40 and I to coin the phrase “the engagement train.”

Woo-Woo! That’s supposed to be a train whistle noise—what, you didn’t get that? ;)

Arranged by me in Photoshop, source images: train & rings.

It seems that similar news seems to occur in bunches. Most of the engagements amongst my family and friends have happened in groupings, large and small. Mr. Cheetah and I even rode an engagement train. We got engaged just a couple weeks after our friends E & T, who got engaged within hours of E’s brother. I’ve even seen engagement trains in the world of celebrities.

It seems like there are other types of “trains” as well. Right now many of the same passengers from the first engagement train are hopping on a new track: the baby train :)

Was your engagement part of an engagement train?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Real Wedding Crush

If I wasn't having my wedding, I'd want this one:

I love how the entire wedding party is arranged! I never knew a seated wedding party could look so elegant and romantic. Speaking of the wedding party, check out this shot of them! I'm just going to assume that they are all actors, models and stylists, because they all know how to work it like rock stars.

My absolute favorite detail from this wedding is the large banners they hung in the reception space:

Oh, how I love these... you could even hang them in your home afterwards. Unfortunately I don't think these will work in our venue, but I'm thinking about making one for another event (maybe as a photo booth backdrop or for the rehearsal dinner?).

Here are some more amazing details from this gorgeous wedding:

Couldn't you just eat it all up with a spoon?

Have you found a wedding in the blogosphere that just speaks to you?

all photos by Clayton Austin found via Green Wedding Shoes

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Our Save the Dates!

It’s time to reveal the Cheetah Save the Dates! Sometimes decisions are easy, and lucky for me the design of our STDs* was one of those times. After we got engaged I knew exactly how I wanted our STDs to look—thankfully Mr. Cheetah was totally on board (he’s good like that).

I envisioned a 5 x 7 card with a hand illustrated image of Mr. Cheetah & me in Palm Springs, the other side of the card would have all the important info that Save the Dates usually have (mostly who, where, & when) and it would all look like a pretty little package. Deciding on the illustration was the hardest part—I’m an artist and Mr. Cheetah is known to draw (he has done our Holidays cards in years past), so I felt pressure to create the illustration ourselves—I even sketched out a mock up. But drawing/painting isn’t my concentration (sculpture, photography and video make up most of my work) and the more I thought about it the more I wanted the illustration to be drawn in someone else’s hand—a style different than our own. So I turned to Etsy and created my first Alchemy request. Success! Just check it out:

Admit it, you love it too. It's by the absolutely wonderful LeFrenchCircus. And it’s exactly how I had imagined--no, wait, it's even better.

I designed the other side in Illustrator using EcuyerDAX and Nelly Scripts fonts:

Since it’s a semi-destination wedding I also made up a one-sided insert that directs guests to our website for more info on travel & lodging:

I had the actual Save the Dates and the inserts printed professionally. To save a little bit of money I had the inserts printed two to a page and then I just cut them in half with my paper trimmer. I tied the STD and insert together in bundle with a tag (Mr. Cheetah offered to help, but I can be a aesthetics control freak and I only trusted my fingers to tie the bows just so).

Here is a close up of the date tag and the essential and ubiquitous bakers twine. Man, I hope that stuff never goes out of style; I love it like Cookie Monster loves cookies. Or like Dylan McKay loves Kelly Taylor. Pick your favorite cultural reference ;).

I tried numerous designs for the tags; little palm trees, our names, the website address… but the simple date design turned out looking the best. I printed these out on my home printer on heavy linen paper (love) and then punched each out with a handy tag-shaped punch.

Here is the back after bundling:

Now it was time for the envelopes—which I foolishly left to the last minute—get all your supplies in advance—waaaay in advance. I knew I wanted the envelopes in one of our wedding colors, so I looked at Kelly Paper and Xpedx (where I picked up the linen paper for the tags), but their A7 envelopes options were limited to white. So I had to pay a bit more for envelopes at the DIY bridal mecca: Paper Source. I considered a few colors (pink, yellow, grey) but in the end both Mr. Cheetah and I loved the sophisticated modern look of the black envelopes. I may have been able to find black envelopes for a better price online, but then there are shipping costs and I needed to get these babies out the door and in our guests’ mailboxes. Plus while at Paper Source I bought their envelope liner templates and some amazing patterned paper for liners in our wedding colors.

I cut out all the liners and attached them with double-sided tape—which seems to have worked quite well.

How awesome is that paper?

I have wanted to make wrap around address labels ever since I first discovered them a year or two ago (probably on Weddingbee). After a few rounds of designing we decided on this one I made in Illustrator. I printed them, cut them out and then ran them through my Xyron—and voila, DIY address labels! A little trick I learned: pre-fold the labels before putting them through the Xyron, it makes them easier to line up.

To top it all off we used a Hawaii Rainforest stamp—a detail I’m sure no one noticed, but it was special to us since the first half of the proposal happened in Hawaii.

Here is the whole suite (complete with all the pieces, front & back)!

And just one more photo:

I saw our STDs** as a place to be cute, playful, fun and I’m so happy with how they turned out! Our guests have been loving them!

Now it’s on to designing the invites! But I have no idea what those will look like yet…

All Personal Photos

*Man, I feel weird and a tad gross typing that

**Still feels weird