Teeming with excitement

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This week has been a big week for this little business for numerous reasons. Soon all will be revealed, but in short: new clients (woot), 2 new consultants officially on board (double woot), and considering a real office space (other than my kitchen table), and lots more! One of the best things about my job is working with really cool couples and to add to my excitement today, I received a note from one our brides. Jessica was a bridesmaid in a wedding we worked on last year, so when it came her turn to walk down the aisle, she chose us to coordinate her special day! We can’t wait to travel to Chicago in the fall to celebrate with her!

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Margarita Shower Favors

(If your name is Sarah W. stop reading now, unless you don’t care about being surprised about your shower favors.)

Everyone else, welcome to my latest adventure in creating fun, personal and inexpensive favors for a friend’s bridal shower. Sarah is a grad school friend and much of our friendship was forged while eating tacos and drinking margaritas at a local place near the University of Delaware. If you’ve been to grad school you know how important tequila can be to your survival. If you haven’t been to grad school, you may not fully understand. Anyways, we are having Sarah’s shower at a Latin restaurant in Pittsburgh PA this weekend and the margaritas will be flowing! I’m very excited about this location as it is uniquely Sarah and the food is delish. Because the location suits the Bride so well, myself and the MOH Lora wanted to be sure the invites and favors also felt like Sarah. I designed the invites using a template from WeddingPaperDivas.com and the finished favors can be seen below, read on to learn how I created them myself and just how little they cost!

A few weeks ago, I began to brainstorm about these favors and decided to give each guest a margarita magnet and a recipe card with my margarita drink recipe on it. So I went onto the internet and started to look into buying margarita magnets in bulk. To get about 30 magnets was $2 or $3 per magnet, which seemed like a lot. As I was looking at the magnets I realized they looked a lot like buttons I make at work to use for recognition for students, just with magnets on the back and not pins. I wondered to myself if I could buy buttons with magnet-backs instead of pin-backs and then use my work machine to simply press them together.  I went to our typical button supply company BadgeAMinit.com and lo and behold they do sell magnet back buttons. I was even able to find a better price with MrButton.com, so I purchased my own supplies and set out to create margarita buttons. In order to do this you would need a button press like this one (they are expensive, but if you have access to one already, supplies are reasonable, or if you would use it often it would be a good investment – fundraising as well as craft options with these things are endless):

Here are my supplies and the invite I used as inspiration.

Using simple clip art and my color printer I created these first:

I forgot to take a picture when these were in paper form, but below you’ll get to see the process start to finish. After creating the margarita magnets, I thought they looked great! At that point, I planned to write out index cards for each guest with my margarita recipe on them. I mentioned this to a coworker and she said “Can you put the recipe on a magnet?” and I thought well there’s a great idea! And I was able to format the recipe using text boxes in publisher to create these:

Next I went about making these recipes into magnets. You load the button press with the back sharp side up, then a metal disc sharp side down, then the artwork face up (like one of the recipes) and then a plastic clear disc, then simply press. The resulting button can than have a magnet simply stuck on the back. The supplies I ordered came with self-adhesive magnets but you could use a glue gun to secure them. The recipe magnets turned out great! I color coded them to showcase 4 recipes: Classic, Cadillac, Gold and Mango. Here is the result:

All my buttons are stacked up and ready to travel to Pitt!! Each guest will receive a margarita magnet as well as their choice of 1 of the 4 recipe magnets. All 50 magnets cost only $21 to create!!!  I really hope Sarah loves them as much as I do.

Wedding Guest Dress Deals

I really love a good deal, but the one thing I love more than a deal is the hunt for one. It’s really satisfying for me to go through racks and track down the best of the best. I spent 2 hours tonight at Lord & Taylor at the King of Prussia Mall outside Philly looking for a dress for my birthday outing in 2 weeks, some cancer benefits in April and May, and later these will be worn to the summer weddings I’m attending. I scored BIG time. I scoured TEN $49.99 racks for most of the time and spent a little time on the 25% off rack. First I found a gorgeous cobalt blue Laundry by Shelli Segal dress with a gold beaded collar, originally $285, got it for $39.99. The collar looks very Cleopatra. (There aren’t straps those are just the little hanger guys)

My second steal is a black chiffon JS boutique dress, originally $198, got it for $39.99.

And finally I splurged a little and got this gorgeous Adrianna Papell number, originally $228 for $137.

It has gorgeous aquamarine and pearl beading along the neckline and it’s this stunning gunmetal silver color. Love them all! Obviously I’m into beaded collars. And since I never can find any necklaces I like, these dresses take care of that problem for me. I’m really looking forward to wearing my own clothes to weddings for awhile. As much as being a bridesmaid is lovely, I adore being one of a kind – and knowing I paid bottom dollar for my designer duds!

Bouquet Snagged!!!

I just got home from my friend Caroline’s wedding in Nashville, TN and after a lot of hard work and many hours spent planning, a fabulous time was had by all. I wore a fun red full length one shoulder dress (borrowed from my dear friend Alicita) and some great rented jewels from RTR. My necklace and bracelet pictured above are Nicole Miller and the ring, which you can see grasping that bouquet is by Lee Angel – it was super fun to wear! If you want to see the photographer’s shots you can LIKE Myrick Studios on Facebook, and click “The Kiesler Wedding” and see me dancing and catching the bouquet and all the other gorgeous details the wedding had to offer. Thanks again go out to Caroline and Doug for letting me take part in their special day.

Black Tie Bachelorette

Yes, please. On January 15, I will be attending the 2011 Hair O’ The Dog Party aboard the Philadelphia Belle Riverboat. I’m pretty darn excited about my outfit, but more on that next week. I’m even more ecstatic about the ladies I’ll be attending this party with. This Bachelorette will be celebrated in Caroline‘s honor and another Something Blu Bride, Shortcake will be in attendance. Other fab friends new and old will round out our pack of the hottest girls at this party. The boys aren’t gonna know what hit them.

Now for all you skeptics out there who are balking at the extravagance of a Black Tie Bachelorette I want to set some things right. Every bachelorette party I’ve been to, I’ve spent at least $50, and the average is more like $75 to $100 (I won’t get into the most I’ve spent). And this fine and dandy party costs $88 a head, yet it includes drinks for 4+ hours and hors devours, not to mention 2 live bands on two decks and a live DJ on a third deck.  So really it’s a steal! And honestly if you’re gonna do something, why not do it with style?

I’m late, I’m late, for a very important DATE!

Working Title: Why you need a timeline – but the other one is more catchy.

So lately I’ve been spending time preparing for my friend Caroline’s wedding in February. We grew up together in PA, and now she lives in TN with her fiance and will be married there in about 60 days (Wooohooo!!!). This past weekend we attended Caroline’s first bridal fitting and her dress fit like a glove!! Only small changes need to be made on the hem and straps and it will be good to go! We have a second fitting lined up in a month to double check things. (We also got to see the bridesmaids dresses on her friend Tracey and they look stunning as well). Following Caroline’s fitting we had a big meeting (with wine of course) to hash out her timeline details, check her photo list and generally talk shop about her BIG day.

draft of timeline from our meeting

The bulk of our time was spent on her timeline, which begins at 6:45am on a Saturday and ends at 12:45am late that night. (Can a girl get a ‘5 hour energy’ please?) In my opinion, one of the most important things to think about as you plan your wedding is the timing of the day. Especially if multiple locations and a large bridal party is involved the coordination of it all can get really complicated. Main components to consider include: locations of all events and getting ready areas (including salons and hotels), number of people involved, means of transportation, travel time from location to location, items (flowers, lighting, etc) needing to be moved or set up if any, and the order of special things happening at the reception (intros, toasts, 1st dance, cake cutting, garter/bouquet tosses, grand exit, etc.) And then there are the question to be answered: Where will the flowers be dropped off and when? When should the photographers come and where to? When will you eat? What if there is traffic? What if the limo doesn’t show? What’s plan B? Are there any last minute VIPs (close family or bridal party members) arriving the day of? Will they need to be picked up from the airport for example?

Ooof. And the list goes on. So if you don’t have a timeline for your day, it may be a good idea to start one. Basics include when you need to arrive and leave each location, include any appointments (hair/makeup/nails) and the order of things at the reception. Some are simpler than others, of course! But I don’t think you can be over prepared! Closing thought: Build in extra time. You will run a little behind at some point, and that’s ok. You can’t have a wedding without the Bride — or Groom, so don’t worry, all will wait for you, but you don’t want your guests to get too drunk while they wait for your grand entrance ;).

Annnnddd I’m back!

I’m going to a wedding, I’m going to a wedding!!! Next Saturday!! Let wedding season begin. You know what this means?? Spring is near, that’s what. I just put another down payment on my 6th Bridesmaid dress. I have lots of weddings lined up on my calendar. I am super duper excited! And this is my happy bridal face (they don’t have a wedding guest one so what can you do).