Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year- New Couch.

The first room we renovated when we bought the house was the living room. It had hideously old cat pee stained red carpet, antique white smoke stained walls and a rickety old ceiling fan. Out came the carpet, down came the fan and up went the chosen wall color- Emerald Isle.

I loved the wall color, it looks great with the original hardwood floors which are stained an antique oak color as well as the dark original woodwork. However, as our decorating style started to take shape we realized Irish green wasn't really in our color palate. But we figured, we had other rooms to tackle before we worried about redoing the rooms that were already done. Until last week- when we bought the new couch. Roomful Express is going out of business and at 70% off this baby came home with us.

As you can see, its a big comfy upgrade from our small Ikea couch- but the gray-green color makes the Emerald Isle walls look hideous. The table is also new, courtesy of the clearance center at Roomful Express. I've already had visions of the table being a beautiful soft white, but the walls are a different story. Here's what we got so far...

I'm somewhere in the soft gray family. Soft white (top left) and dark gray (top left) have been voted out. Currently I'm torn between the four on the bottom row...but that could all change with a trip to Home Depot. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I Survived Being a DIY Bride By Doing it My Way

The reception...ahh the hard part is over, now its time to party. After months of preparing for this wedding I was certainly ready to relax and celebrate. During my planning, I realized that a lot of people were telling me that things had to be a certain way, because it was traditional. Well I don't buy that at all. People left our wedding saying it was one of the most fun and personal weddings they had ever been to, and it really reflected who we were (and we are not really traditional people). So as we go on, I'm going to take this time to also de-bunk some of the wedding myths that we were told we HAD to listen to.
1) You can't see each other before the ceremony because its bad luck. Well, my husband picked out my wedding dress then went with me to pick it up from the bridal shop. I wanted his opinion, so I had him come along (not to the strange looks of family and shop-owners alike). Patrick is a bit of an emotional softee sometimes, and he knew he would be emotional saying our vows. We decided that if we saw each other before the ceremony it may relieve some of that emotion and it would be more private. Plus we could get some amazing pictures out of the whole thing (which we totally did, Kristen Wynn Photography you are amazing!)

2) You wont get to eat at all at the reception- I think you won't get to eat if you let someone stop you from eating. I am not a girl who is friendly when I am starved, so I ate. My first stop was at our custom candy bar. We had pink, silver and white vintage and new candies both in old antique jars. The man at the reception hall kept insisting that we would have TONS of candy left over. Let me tell you, we had almost none. Our guests ate it up, using the to-go bags to fill up to the brim before the bridal party even arrived at the reception. The staff filled the jars up twice, but even that wasn't enough for some of the junk food junkies.

3) You have to have a white, vanilla cake. I knew from the start that I didn't want an all white cake. Don't get me wrong, they're beautiful- just not for me. I wanted pink. My husband and I agreed on a few things, such as the color and that we didn't want fondant or fresh flowers on the cake. The only thing he really insisted on was the flavor. He wanted a fun-fetti wedding cake. We met with a few bakers, but we ultimately chose Cakes by Tammy who loved the idea of the fun fetti (it also didn't hurt that her cake was the best we had tasted by far, even fighting over the two 6 inch sample cakes she sent us home with for free from the consultation!). After exchanging tons of emails, she drew up a cake inspired by my dress and plunked my look alike cake topper right next to it. If you are wondering, yes, we did have our two dogs on our wedding cake topper.

4) You have to have a seasonal wedding. Pish. I had a blush pink and pewter vintage wedding the day before Halloween. I knew I wanted that when I was looking in the pantry at my mom's house and I cam across my grandmother's antique blue mason jars. I loved them, and I wanted to incorporate them somehow. So, I made them vases at the reception- and it worked out perfectly we had just enough. I was raised in part by my grandparents, and my Gram passed away when I was a Sophomore in high school. I liked the idea of incorporating her into the different aspects of my wedding, almost as if she was surrounding me. I also used her inspiration for my centerpiece flowers. She loved dogwoods, so I mixed those in among the pink dyed hydrangeas for a vintage feel. I didn't want to use the table numbers at the venue, so I had my dear husband-to-be make these out of simple 1X6 inch and 1x2 inch boards for the base and the upright. We then painted them a shade of pewter, slapped on a layer of crackle paint, then painted over it in a pink. After they dried I hand painted the numbers and was done in a few hours. The candles were my last addition. I bought a lot of jars off of ebay for a super cheap price (144 votives and candles for $23 dollars...score!), and hot glued ivory rose petals around the outside. I tied them with a simple pewter ribbon, and voila! A table centerpiece for a reasonable price.

5) I'm just going to come out and say it, my husband to be wore Nike Shox as his wedding shoes (I customized them on and all of the guys were allowed to wear any shoe they wanted as long as it was black. They were thrilled, and I didn't have to hear them complain that their feet hurt. Win! I also let my bridesmaids wear whatever they wanted, as the dress was long and no one could see. I also wore flats, because I didn't want to be the only one with sore feet!

6) You can only have one maid of honor, best man, flower girl and ring bearer. We had two of each. When you have two best friends, how do you choose? Two adorable boys that love you equally, which one gets to be your ring bearer? What if one won't walk down the aisle? So you have two. Or three. Make everyone best men and maids of honor- have a Best Woman and Man of Honor.

They were sick of smiling, so they growled at the camera instead.

The basic gist is, its YOUR wedding- do what YOU want that makes YOU happy. No matter what happens, your wedding will be beautiful if its all about you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

I Survived Being a DIY Bride- Part 1

I started blogging after my wedding, because to be honest there was no time before it to blog! As I mentioned before, I am ridiculously cheap- so I knew I would be making a lot of things myself. It also didn't help that I was finishing up graduate school, searching for a teaching job, landing a teaching job, starting my first year as a high school teacher all while planning this crazy wedding for 200+ people. No sweat, right?

HA. Major sweat. I don't remember sleeping much that year, at all.
I knew we would get married eventually, we had been together for nearly 5 years. I just had no idea when it would happen (and its not for a lack of asking, either!). I liked to tell people that we would get married when pigs flew. It shut them up pretty darn quick on a question that I had no answer for (because I couldn't very well ask myself to marry me).
Well, on December 12, 2009 he made pigs fly while putting up our Christmas Tree.

All photos in this post are from Kristen Wynn Photography

Patrick was sneaky, he hid the ring in the Christmas tree ornaments and had his baby cousin hand it to me. Not ten seconds after this picture I was already being asked wedding details. Who, what, when, where, how many, how much...people were insane. They all assumed I had a wedding planned and hidden under my bed. Well, they were wrong.

As we started to plan we realized that this was going to be a pretty big affair, because we both come from large families. I'd always been pretty crafty, so I set out to start DIY-ing my way through my nuptials. I made everything I possibly could, from the things I thought were too expensive to buy to the things I just couldn't find what I wanted. I knew I wanted a shabby-chic wedding, as I am obsessed with the style. I also knew I had to have pink. So that's exactly what I had, one day before Halloween on 2010. (And if you're wondering, I didn't give a crap that it was a completely non-fall wedding in the fall- its your wedding, you can do whatever you want!)

My first project was this aisle runner- I got the ideas and the instructions from Heather over at Road to the Aisle here

My next idea was for hand painted Bride and Groom signs to decorate the pews at the back of the church, so everyone knew which side to sit on if they were too impatient to wait for an Usher. (Instructions coming soon!)

Next was a pomander for my two flower girls to carry. I had my heart set on all fresh flowers for my wedding, until my florist told me that a pomander would be $60. I had two flower girls, so were talking $120 for flowers they would bounce up and down, pull out, toss around. Uh, no thanks. I made this little beauty (instructions coming soon) with tissue paper flowers, a Styrofoam ball, hot glue, floral pins and ribbon for about $5.

My pew cones were next on my massive DIY list. I didn't want pew bows, I wanted something that would tie in things they would see at the reception- so using an idea from my MOH we made these out of a piece of scrapbook paper, tissue paper flowers, crystal beads and ribbon. The paper was on sale for about $0.25 (Joann's super sale!), and I got the beads on clearance at Michael's for about $4.99. All in all, to make 14 pew cones, it cost me around $10. (Instructions to follow)

The last ceremony DIY project was my programs, and I waited till almost the last minute to put them together. I used 4 different engagement pictures, and paper left over from making my invitations (oh yeah, I made those too.) I copied all of the inserts at work, the joys of being an educator, and used ribbon to tie them together. Inside I had the usual wedding participants, wedding program and thank you sections; but I added things that showed our personality. I had 'our love story' where it told guests about how we met, a coloring page for our little guests, and a 'who's who in the wedding party' that told interesting things about our bridal party. I used four different pictures from our engagement photos- which I didn't know would prompt guests to take one of each of the four programs. Glad I overestimated and made extra.

Up next- DIY reception decor as well as instructions on all of these projects :)

Welcome to the blogosphere!

I was once told that I need to write down the things I do, so that I can share them with others.
So here I am.
I am Bethany, a newly married 20 something with tons of ideas in my head for projects I want to complete as we work on making our first house together our home. Luckily for me, I also have the talents of my amazing husband who can pretty much make any idea in my head a reality.
(Photo courtesy of Kristen Wynn Photography, check her out here- shes AMAZING!)
I started this blog for a multitude of reasons.
1) I love the inspiration I get from seeing other fabulously talented bloggers, so why not try to inspire someone else?
2) I wanted to keep a record of all of the things we've done to make our house a home as well as keeping some sort of journal for our first year of marriage-
and I am terrible at actually writing things down. Typing is so much easier.
3) We're a total DIY couple- maybe it's because were both ridiculously cheap, but I like to say its because we're both talented. It's nice to be able to show other people who want to be DIY-ers, because in today's economy- we can all stand to be a little cheap!
4) Everyone else is doing it, so why the heck not?!
So here I am, welcome to my crazy life.