The INVITES – Part 1

30 07 2009

Hey everyone! I hope live and wedding planning (if applicable) is going well for you! Life has been uber busy for me lately, so I apologize for being a little MIA lately but I’m here armed with a new laptop to fill you in on what has been going on in the land of our wedding planning!

Today’s post is about our INVITES!!

Okay sooo if you don’t know, I’m a graphic designer. And what does that equal when added to a graphic designer’s wedding stationary? ULTRA PRESSURE OF DOOM OMG!!! High expectations from others? Maybe. High expectations from myself? OMG YES. I just can’t settle with ANYTHING. Nothing is exactly what I want… it’s like when your options are limitless… when you can make it look like whatever you want and it’s free… my head explodes. I have a kajillion ideas. I just have to make it work within our theme and somehow make myself happy.

So what did I come up with you ask? What is it that cured my crazy tendency to freak out over something that I could have easily bought a print at home $30 kit for and been done with???

HAH! You didn’t think it’d be THAT easy did you?! 😀

Here’s a teaser to hold you over until I get these babies printed up, and assembled.




5 07 2009

Okay so as the title states this is about the dress. But, what does “the” dress mean?

The dress is the first thing a girl sees when imagining her wedding. The dress is something that conveys the style and personality of the bride. The dress is one of the most important material things to do with a wedding…..

So how does a girl choose– (nay!) discover this dream dress?

Research! Tons and tons of time consuming, weeks on the computer scouring bridal sites, hours of trying on dresses in pastel colored bridal dressing rooms with strange sales ladies asking if they can come in to help them lace it up and see them half dressed… research.

Some girls search for days.               Some search for weeks,      months even!                        Some girls search for… five minutes??? Yep, I’m the last one. 🙂 (Sorry, I know that was kinda anticlimactic.)

Okay, so maybe I cheated… I used to be a bridal consultant. I worked with brides for a couple of years, and had an awesome boss. Mii, pronounced “my”, has been in the bridal business for many many years and really knows what she was doing. She has an amazing eye for fabric, color, style… and even has her own custom designs. What does this have to do with me, and why does this make me a cheater? Well, having a connection in the industry really helped out. I walked into the store. I told Mii that I was engaged. Mii told me she had my dress, and I started to look around until I realized what she said… wait, WHAT? No no no… I need to search for this; try on tons of dresses… stress out… this is supposed to take TIME! *cue in dramatic music*

*WARNING* If your name starts with Russell and ends with Miller, AVERT YOUR EYES!

In walks this… What’s this? Who is this sugary, ivory silk taffeta confection of simple, flowy, delicately placed lace, goodness? My dress, that’s who! Mii brought her out and it was love at first sight. The dress is so beautiful, timeless, perfect. I don’t need a lot of beads, embroidery, crystals and all of that. I love this dress. I feel beautiful in this dress. It is perfect. 🙂 I couldn’t imagine myself wearing anything else when I kiss my amazing husband for the first time, but this.


So maybe I’m a dress cheater? Nah, I’d like to think of it as beating the system. In that case, I don’t mind. It was absolutely worth it. 🙂 I didn’t think I would find anything the first time I looked, so I actually went alone. Convinced that it was too easy, I went with one of my bridesmaids to another dress store to check out that dress’ competition. While pretty…


Some just couldn’t measure up.

What to do?? Gather accomplices, that’s what!



IMG_0982ArtsyGrams & ArtsySis (Photo from previous shenanigans.)

… and POOF!!


The dress was ordered in all of this beatifully draped even on a plus sized girl glory!

Now the dress is in and I was lucky enough to have my first fitting with 2 bridesmaids and both of my moms! (Mine and FMIL)

dressy dress 2

I was feeling the love!

dressy dress 7My $10 shoes matched perfectly! Don’t you just love how stuff like that works out?

dressy dress 16

dressy dress 15dressy dress 19And with my veil!! Now I just have to find a fascinator!!

How did you find your dream dress? Was it an easy experience, or was it more like a quest for a lost treasure?


10 06 2009

Hi there internet! I hope if you’re in Texas like me you’re all safe and dry, there’s quite the awful storm going right now, and we’ve been hearing tornado sirens!

Today I wanted to give you guys the inside scoop on you guessed it, the tuxes! (Hey, cheater! Who said you could look at the title??) 😀

I actually started thinking about tuxes back in January (read: freakishly early) when we were at a bridal show and checked out the booth for Mens Wearhouse. They gave us a deal where we put a deposit (like $10) and we get $40 off of each tux, plus their normal offer of getting one free. I pocketed my receipt and haven’t thought much of it again until recently. Russell is in another wedding and was going to have to go up to MW to get measured so I thought we’d just make the trip a twofer and pick out what we’d be using for our wedding. I talked to Russell about tuxes and realized that he was pretty open to different styles so I got to researching. While there’s nothing like a classic black tux to make pretty much any man look hansome, we wanted something a liiiittle less formal than an all out tux because we’re more relaxed than all that. While searching online and seeing lots and lots of awesome suits online, I fell in love with gray. Gray suits are vintage and very appealing. Lots of stars are wearing them right now so I think they agree! I pitched the idea to Russell and he was game so when it came time to pick ours out we knew just what we wanted!

Mens Wearhouse was nice and not pushy, they didn’t try to up sell a bunch of stuff we didn’t need or want. We were in and out of there in no time. They really kept it simple and with so much stuff flying through my mind right now for this wedding, simple is good!

Here’s what we came up with:

For Russell


For the Groomsmen (I LOVE the teal!!)


For the Dads and Ushers


So after our tux experience we’re very pleased. We came up with something that was different and classic all at the same time. I love it!

The ACCESSORIES: Bridesmaid Edition

5 06 2009

Hey everybody! I hope all of you are having a good week so far and if you’re planning a wedding I hope that is going smoothly for you!

As the title states, today’s blog is about bridesmaid accessories! You may or may not remember this image from my inspiration posts, but I absolutely love this look!


I’ll start with the shoes. If you remember my shoe post you will know that I have strict guidelines for shoes. They have to be super cute, but still affordable. When faced with the task of finding shoes for four girls the stakes were risen for one already picky bride!

The Criteria

The girls will all be wearing knee length black dresses, so I wanted the accessories to offer a pop of teal, my other color to break it up and add a little something extra.

So my first task was to find some teal shoes for my girls. I found out that Payless offers some dyable shoes now, but they cost more than I wanted my girls to spend, and I thought the dye jobs they did on them looked AWFUL so that was out. While at Payless to check out those dyable shoes, I found these pretties.


They are really cute peep toe mary jane wedges in the perfect teal/peacock blue color. I was a little hesitant because they were patent and I wasn’t sure if my bridesmaids would like it. I kept looking but my mind kept drifting back to those peep toed beauties back at Payless. They were a gorgeous color and at $24.99 they were the perfect price, so I picked up a pair for Muriel to try on and see if she liked them. I got a call that night and she loved them, so I knew at least one bridesmaid had shoes but I still wasn’t sure if everyone would like them. Welllll three more bridesmaids later, they ALL liked them! It just goes to show I shouldn’t discount something before asking my lovely bridesladies!

Nextly, while searching for a feather fascinator to go with my veil I found some beautiful fascinators that were very bridesmaid friendly, so I knew I had to get these for the ladies… but not after I originally thought they wouldn’t wear them and then got proven wrong when I showed them pics and they all loved the idea. 🙂 The one I found that I liked for them was $90, so that was out of the question, my next thought was to DIY it. I bought the feathers I could find but had trouble finding all the feathers I needed and in the process I stumbled upon these beauties at this lovely new boutique that I frequent; Targét.



I got 3 for the bridesmaids and found a slightly fancier one for the Maid of Honor at a convention of all places. I might add something to the 3 bridesmaid ones, I’m not sure yet, but I love both of the fascinators regardless!



Now I just have to find my fascinator! I would also like do do a cute necklace/bracelet or cocktail ring for the ladies too.

Next Up: The TUXES!

DIY – Easy Save The Dates

20 05 2009

Sorry I’ve been a little MIA lately… I have good reasoning, I promise!! Firstly, I’ve been socking away at wedding tasks and secondly…

I GOT A JOB! This wont be a habit (not posting for a bit) I just have to get back into the swing of things. I have hit a pretty good stride with the wedding planning though!

Our babies save the dates are off!! I am so happy with how they came out! It was a super sweet experience and I learned some things that I will do differently for the invites.

Since I’m a graphic designer I have high standards for all of my wedding stationary. I have too many options because I can literally do whatever I want. I could do something fun, something whimsical, something flowery, something artsy, something different, etc. The wedding stationary has been the hardest decision of my wedding planning thus far. (I picked the first dress I tried on!) I only finally made my decision on the stationary when my save the date deadline was past nearing the last minute. (Let me live in my delusions that I haven’t been behind on anything for the wedding yet!)

So what did this graphic designer and her lovie decide to do? We went on a classic route. I went with Damask. I didn’t want to have the same exact anything as anyone else, so I actually designed my own damask pattern. I wanted something with a little less graphic approach than a lot of the damask I have seen, so I used thinner flourishes and whatnot.

I only needed 50 envelopes for the Save the Dates. I looked around online for teal envelopes but had no luck finding the color I had in mind in a quantity less than 500, so I decided to make my envelopes. Lesson #1. I will NOT be making my envelopes for my invites. While the ones I made are good, they took a LOT of time to make only 50, and I think it is a little bit of stress I would like to save myself a couple of months before the wedding when I’m making invites. If I make a birthday card or something in the future though, I would totally do it again. For the template for the envelopes I made, check out my envelope tutorial.

So without further ado, here are some pictures! (Cell phone pics, but they’ll have to do for now!)

photo(9)The outside.

photo(8)The back. – It says “Laura & Russell”

photo(6)The inside.

photo(3)The save the date.

photo(4)The save the date back. I decided to print the pattern on the back for added interest.

photo(10)The save the date in the light… the pattern on the back shows through and it is so neat! I love the added effect, and I did this all on my regular old desktop printer!

Supplies: 110 lb. Index Cardstock, printer, paper cutter, corner rounder.


1. Print Save the Date front, at this size (4.25×5.5) You can do two to a sheet if you want the pattern to go all the way to the edge like mine, if you don’t have a pattern to the edge, you can do 4 to a sheet. Turn printed sheets over and print on the backs if you want a pattern like mine. Remember to print a few extra in case you mess up on the cutting!

2. Cut the cards out using your paper cutter. Make sure they fit in your envelopes, trim them if you need to so they fit comfortably. Round the corners using your corner rounder.

3. Address your envelopes. Put cards in the envelopes AFTER you address them, You don’t want the ink to seep through the envelopes onto your save the dates, and you don’t want to have to take the save the dates out of any envelopes you mess up addressing. I also made stickers that said “Laura & Russell” to go on the back of the cards. Once I stuffed the envelopes, I sealed them, put the stickers & stamps on and they were wood to go!

photo(2)I also made little magnets using one of our engagement pictures. On the top is: Laura & Russell and our wedding website, and on the bottom is a calender of the week of our wedding with our date circled with a heart. It also has the city we’re getting married in on the side.

Supplies: 1/2″ adhesive backed magnet strips cut into 3rds (you don’t need that much magnet on the back of each.) So each magnet once cut was about 1.5″ long.

Steps: Print out your designs on cardstock, cut them out, corner round them, peel off adhesive backing on magnets and stick to the back of your magnet cards.

I really love these. Making them was a special experience because Russell helped a LOT with cutting, magneting, corner rounding, gluing envelopes, placing stickers, etc. He goes, “I can watch TV doing this! This is nothing!” He was very insistent on helping and it meant a lot to me. In fact once I was done printing, cutting, and addressing… he was still working on his part and told me he would finish up and to go take a relaxing shower. I totally couldn’t. I was so in awe of HIM doing the wedding task while I was doing nothing that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I paced the apartment watching him in sheer amusement. lol

I was so nervous putting these in the mail! We worked hard on them and it really was like putting a little piece of us in the mail. I hope everyone gets them okay!

DIY – Bouquet

10 05 2009

Hidy Ho, Bloggerinos!

I hope your weekend is going well! Tomorrow is mothers’ day, so be a good little kiddo and give ‘er a call!

Today’s post is a DIY! I wasn’t expecting to do any wedding-ing this weekend due to an aweful bout of allergies; but Hobby Lobby had all their stems on sale 50% off. So as a good little budget bride, with my insane allergy attacky sneezy self… kleenexes in pocket, I grabbed the fiancée and drove off to HL to get my bouquet on!

I am sooo picky about silk flowers. They’ve got to be very realistic. They’ve got to be latex or those “real touch/true touch” ones; and those can be quite pricey. So… the only way they would be worth it over using real flowers price wise is to get them on sale because real ones don’t go on sale. Originally I was going to use fresh flowers, and I may still use fresh for my centerpieces, but since I was laid off in January, this is one of my courses of action to save a couple extra bucks and some sanity before the wedding.

This is what I came up with.

Supplies I Used:

2 Large Lilies

4 Large Hydrangeas

6 Roses

5 Gerbera Daisies

4 Small Calla Lillies

1-1.5 yards of at least 1.5″ Ribbon

Pearl/Bead Headed Pins

Floral Tape (1/2″ wide tape is what I used)

Wire Cutters


Cost – Less than $60… and you’ll have ribbon, pins,and floral tape left over if you bought spools/pins just for this project! *note* You can do this for even less, but I used real touch faux flowers and they are more expensive than traditional silk flowers. I also bought my supplies at Hobby Lobby during a 50% off sale. Compared to $200+ for a real bouquet, this is a great deal!

*Tip* When shopping for your “Faux-quet” put it together as you pick out flowers to get an idea of how many flowers you want. If anything get more than you need, if you have leftovers, you can return them!

Okay! It’s super easy, so let’s go!

1. Get 3 flowers to be the middle/base of your bouquet. Remove the leaves and buds if you don’t want them in the bouquet. Hold the flowers you chose for your base together as you would like them to look. I chose the hydrangeas because they were biggest and would be easiest to add to and build around/off of. Hold the flowers tightly together and take note of how long you would like the handle of your bouquet to be, cut the stems to the length you would like them to be for your handle. While still holding the “base” flowers together grab your floral tape and start wrapping the tape tightly around where you will hold the flowers. Make sure you keep good tension with the floral tape, because that is how it sticks and stays together. Wrap tape about 5-8″ down the stems of the flowers where your “handle” will be. Don’t let any stems show in between the wraps of tape. This is what the stems should look like.

2.) Start adding flowers to your base 3-5 at a time keeping the look and shape of the bouquet you would like in mind. Trim the stems before you add them to the bunch because it’s harder to trim them once they’ve been taped together. Once the stems are trimmed and you’ve got the 3 to 5 flowers positioned around/in the base where you want them, wrap the handle of the flowers together again just as you did for the base. Repeat this step until your bouquet is the shape and fullness that you like.

3. Start wrapping your ribbon tightly around the handle until you’ve wrapped the length of the handle in your ribbon that you would like. It is best to wrap from the top of the handle to the bottom, and back to the top so that it is covered well and it is easier to cover the end of the ribbon when it is hidden by the flowers. When you get back to the top of the handle, cut the ribbon from the spool, tuck the end of the ribbon in to the top of the handle, making sure it is staying tightly wrapped so it doesn’t come loose. Pin the ribbon where you tucked it by pushing the pin through the ribbon and at an upward angle into the middle of the stems so that the pointy end can’t poke you. Add more pins in a line down the handle for more security of the ribbon.

4.) If you want a bow like I have, tie a ribbon into a bow around the top of the handle. To get the V shaped edge like I have on the ends of the ribbon, fold the ribbon in half width wise and cut a 45º angle. The vertex of the V shape should be in the middle of the ribbon where you’ve folded it. When it unfolds, it will be even and pretty. 🙂

4.5) Take pictures of your beautiful bouquet to show your friends, and use curious pets as impromptu props.

5.) Enjoy the pizza that arrives magically when you make this bouquet and give the fiancée kisses. 😀

**EDIT** I had a bridal moment and decided I wanted the bouquet to be a little bigger. I updated all the pictures to pics of the bigger version except for the kitty picture, and the kissy picture, so if you’re wondering why it looks smaller in those two, that’s why. 🙂


8 05 2009

So, when it comes to shoes, I think I am quite possibly the weirdest, most picky girl around. I have a hard time spending over $30 for dress shoes and over $60 for tennis/running shoes. In a world where girls are dropping $1000 on a pair of shoes saying that they will last a long time or something to justify it is  beyond me. Even if a pair of $50 pumps only lasts a year, it will take TWELVE years to meet that $600 you just dropped on a pair of Christian Louboutins. Are you really going to wear the same pair of shoes for 12 years? No! So in the “in the long run” argument just isn’t going to fly with me. If you want to do that, then the more power to you, it’s just wayyy not me!


CL$600T$30One of these is a $600 pair of designer shoes and the other is a $30 pair from Target. Is anyone REALLY going to notice the difference when they look at your outfit? Are the target ones any less sexy?

*Steps down from soapbox.*

So my point is, I have issues with the fashion industry. lol When I set out to find my shoes for the big day, my thoughts were no different. I looked at Target, Wal-mart, Dillard’s, Macy’s JC Penney, Ross, etc. and there was no shortage of gorgeous shoes… just none to my specifications. They had to be under $100, yes I upped my amount for bridal shoes. They had to be 2.5″ tall or less, but not flat, and the heel couldn’t be squatty. They had to be comfortable enough for me to wear all day. They had to be open toed because in that huge dress the feet would be hot and I wasn’t gonna go there.

Nearing the point of defeat and about to order some that “would work” from a dyable shoe company, I got a $10 off coupon in the mail for DSW. DSW?!?! I forgot all about them! I went in and they were having a sale in which you got an additional percentage off of Sale items. This was music to my cheap, cheap ears. lol

I pranced on back to the sale racks, because of course I almost only see the full priced items to and from them on my trips to shoe stores lol. Right before I went into the sale area this little sparkley number caught my eye:

shoeOriginally about $60, at 35% off made them $37.20. Then they had an additional 50% off for the sale which made them $18.60, and then I had a coupon for $10 off as some sort of customer loyalty incentive thing… so with tax, these babies came out to $9.31!!

I feel like that Kohl’s commercial where the girls are in the hair salon and they’re like, “Did she get this and this and this for under $100?!?!? Great Scott! She shopped… she scored. A legend lives!” hehe

They’re crazy comfortable and match the color of my dress exactly. I couldn’t ask for more.

Did you get any killer deals on one of your bridal accessories?