Emerald Theme

Last week I saw this beautiful inspiration shoot via Pinterest which led me to this blog http://www.elegantwedding.ca/?s=emerald+wedding. The images on the blog areĀ giving me some brilliant ideas to incorporate our secondary color emerald in to the decor as well. But the following photo perfectly captures the looks I want Tamon and I to have on the day of (except we’re not going to be as dapper as these models).

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Photo courtesy of Elegant Wedding Magazine

I’m thinking solid emerald bow ties for the groomsmen and patterned pocket squares. For Tamon, I suggested that he have the reverse. I’m having a hard time finding a pattern that I like though. Too many of the ones I’m pulling up in my Google search have too much green. Time to DIY? šŸ™‚ Maybe.

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Treat Yo Self

This post is all about gratitude, folks. šŸ™‚

Okay, so you may be thinking, Isn’t like a wedding already a treat for the bride? I mean, she gets her makeup and hair did, dresses up like a princess, doesn’t lift a finger all day and marries Prince Charming and gets the spotlight on her for 8-10 hours. For one day, she’s a movie star.

Yes, imaginary guest, your hypothetical thinking is correct. However, planning a wedding is no piece of cake. In theory, it sounds really fun and validating for the narcissistic types. But when you start getting into the nitty-gritty of planning/budgeting/compromising from the moment you realized you’re getting married to the day of the wedding it can become stressful and tedious. I mean who knew you needed to pay for all these things just for the venue? Or that you have to have two garters, one to keep and one to toss? And that some flowers are seasonal and just not available when you have your wedding so you’ll have to come up with a Plan B (I’m not a botanist)? And let’s not even go in to what happens when a bride-to-be hears about a natural disaster in or around her venue on her wedding day…

I think this goes for any bride but I’d also admit it’s especially hard for those on a tight budget because having a little cash to throw around and outsource menial tasks usually helps ease the pain. But I don’t want to say that if I had a $40,000 budget it would make it any easier. During the course of wedding planning, most brides-to-be probably get that tunnel vision in which they become so focused on the big day they forget to enjoy themselves in the present.

Here’s where I make my appeal to all other brides-to-be. Treat yo self. My bridesmaid Katherine Chiu introduced me to the phase via a necklace she made for GlamKat www.etsy.com/shop/GlamKat. The phase, taken from the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” is hilariously brilliant and appropriate for my current situation.

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Budgeting is like dieting — if you crash-budget you might end up going cray cray. I know because Tamon has had to deal with my moments of crazy at least three or four times last month (I’m a first-time extreme couponer and it hasn’t been pretty). I appreciate the fact that he hasn’t run away yet when he catches my eyes taking on that glazed look of poorly contained rage when I don’t get my 10 percent off discount.

One thing he has been particularly good at is reminding me to reward myself for sticking to the budget. We’ve both been carefully saving up a future down payment on a house and this upcoming wedding so it’s hard to justify splurging on extras right now. It’s also harder and slower to save extra because of the fact that we’ve both moved out of our parents’ houses and are now paying rent.

Instead of feeling constrained and stressed by these restrictions, I’ve been encouraged by Tamon to reward myself in little ways. Since I shouldn’t drop $4,000 on a trip to Amsterdam, I’ve opted for some more manageable presents like summer clearance shoes or a sweetheart dress from my coworker’s online boutique http://www.sincerelysweetboutique.com/.

Buying something heavily discounted but functional like shoes and clothes creates small but everyday moments of happiness. And supporting your entrepreneurial friends’ budding business serves a wonderful dual purpose. As my dance instructor Sienna Spalding points out, When you feel beautiful on the outside, it makes it easier to feel beautiful on the inside. Ā So ladies (and gentleman), instead of focusing on making your wedding day the most beautiful, happiest day in your life; strive to make every day just as special.

TREAT YO SELF.

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Centerpieces

When people ask me if I’m almost done with wedding planning, I usually reply with a tentative yes. But in reality there are wedding things that you can’t really do until six months, one month or even on the day of the wedding. So if I’m going to be honest with myself, I’m less than halfway through wedding planning. Or, to put it in perspective, Tamon and I have only spent 13 percent of our budget for the wedding.

In that light … I’ve probably one finished about 20 percent of the things I need to do for the wedding.

Waaaaah — I’m starting to feel woozy. And I don’t think it’s due to the food poisoning again.

Room darkens and starts spinning. Kat falls off her chair and curls up into fetal position.

Okay, I’ll be serious now. As much as I would like be done with this wedding thing in two months (I’m sure Tamon would not mind), it is kind of nice to take my sweet time with it and change my mind about 20 times.

Even though I know it isn’t good for me, I’m still reading wedding blogs and pinning things on my wedding boards. Recently I read on a board about Chinese banquet weddings this catastrophic truth bomb — they take the centerpieces off the table (to make way for the six-course meal).

So that means I get to spend a little less than $1,000 on flowers that the waiters are just going to PUT ON THE FLOOR. Or move to a side table. For the rest of the reception.

I’m dumbfounded.

The practical person in me thinks then why am I spending hundreds of dollars on flowers that will only make the table look pretty for 30 minutes? I rather spend the money on more liquor or dessert for my guests.

So I decided — no flowers!

But there aren’t a ton of non-floral centerpiece ideas online. I’ve seen dried flowers or fruits or candles but all of these seem less pretty than flowers and just as nonfunctional. Someone even suggested goldfish which seems so inhumane it just makes me cringe (I don’t even like the fact that carnivals give away goldfish as prizes).

Then I came across this Bridal Guide articleĀ Ā that suggests activities to keep guests entertained during the reception. One way was creating an activity book with Mad Libs and questions like, “What should the newly wed couple name their firstborn child? and “Where should they go on date nights?”

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I loved this idea. And how cute would it be if I made accordion books with some pretty paper from Paper Source?

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I am leaning toward the last one, which is actually not from Paper Source but the Art Supply Warehouse, because the pattern is rose-themed and it looks like the icing our wedding baker Kit is going to do for the cake. I found some adorable book-making tutorialsĀ http://www.homemade-gifts-made-easy.com/how-to-make-a-book.htmlĀ andĀ http://www.remodelista.com/posts/diy-accordion-book-keepsake-with-angela-liguori.

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Ah, but now it seems so lonely to have these books by themselves on the table. So I began thinking about how I can include maybe a very small flower arrangement. That’s when I started thinking about the theme of the wedding. I brainstormed a bit about the chuppah, which I will talk about in the next post, and decided I’m definitely going in the direction of a vintage-y wedding — so far with my dress, my makeup and my hair. Then Verne, Tamon’s stepbrother, even suggested that the guests dress up in a vintage style! What do you guys think? I just saw Wong Kar Wai’s lusciously filmed The Grandmaster. The fashion and decor of the Golden Pavilion, suffuse with reds, golds and greens, inspires my imagination. Tamon and I are having a Chinese banquet after all… One can dream.

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In light of this theme, I thought of gold mercury glass vases filled with white peonies, wide-lipped red roses, blue irises and tangled ivy. How wild and lovely would that be? It would be sweet, easy to DIY and shouldn’t cost half as much as outsourcing the bouquets. See how quickly I’ve changed my mind about the flowers?!

I found some samples online and some excellent tutorials on how to DIY mercury glassĀ http://lovelylittledetails.com/2011/04/07/guest-post-diy-mercury-glass-tutorial-kelley-maria/Ā andĀ http://www.17apart.com/2012/05/how-to-diy-antiqued-mercury-mirror.html.

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The ideas can extend to other decorations as well.

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