Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Budget Breakdown: The Invitations

I spent a lot of time with this in excel, but in order to paste it properly I had to make a screenshot of the spreadsheet.

I am very happy with the amount of money I spent on the invitations overall. I tried to gauge what the actual cost per invitation was for me including all factors, so I hope this is helpful for anyone else looking to DIY their invitations. I thought it was sooo worth it, but this was an important piece to me (read: i was a little OCD/wedding inspired) and I had lots of help.
This project was worth it to me--and I realize I could've spent a lot less (or a lot more!) on them. I saved where I felt I could (family design help and no reply card envelope), and splurged (the pocketfold and postage for it)

Please let me know if you have any questions--I'd be happy to answer them!

(oh, the one thing I forgot was $6 for the graphics we used, via

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Custom Photo Guestbook winner!

Remember this giveaway?

We have a winner!!


please email me: ericandkatiewedding [at] or comment with your email address and I will send you the code to make your photo guestbook!

Thanks for entering, everyone!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The first dance

*stay tuned for the announcement of my photo guestbook giveaway winner!*

It's a dreary Monday, but this song just makes me a little bit cheerier.

I've had this on my Zune for months, and somehow never heard it until a couple of months ago, I knew this would be the perfect song.

Unforutately, E and i have very opposite tastes in music that only overlap in the case of pop-techno girl bands (Lady Gaga anyone?), and an occasional clubbing hip-hop song.  Otherwise, I love folksy, indie music and he loves little-known heavy metal and underground rap.

I played this song for E with my fingers crossed when he was visiting a couple weeks ago, and he approved!  

There are a million versions of this song (don't believe me, check it out here!)

but without further ado, here's Rosie Thomas and Ed Harcourt (dreamiest voice ever!) singing our first dance song.

Did you pick a first dance song just because it was cute (and didn't necessarily have a strong meaning for the two of you?)  Maybe that's unromantic, but it works for us!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Meet my invitation!

Well here's the post I've been waiting for. These are always my favorite blog posts because I love to see other people's invitations, and I can't wait to share mine with you!
I will be doing a DIY and cost breakdown post soon, but here is the completed invitation.

I had more than a glitch or two, and these babies were about 2.5 months in the making and I'm so glad they're gone!

My advice looking back?
  1. Spend the money on the RSVP envelopes and stamps. It's way more fun to get an RSVP in the mail than on your wedding website. Plus, it's classier and better etiquette. I really flubbed it on this one, looking back.
  2. Plan how to address the envelopes at least a month ahead of time, whether you hand-write them, print them, DIY calligraphy, or send them off to a calligrapher
  3. Get your addresses way ahead of time (I sent 5 invites out late bc I was still waiting on people to get back to me with their addresses)
  4. Double the spelling of names and titles (I inadvertently sent an invite to a pastor who recently earned his doctorate degree and did not include "Dr" but "Reverend. oops!)
  5. Get help! I seriously had so many friends and family members that wanted to help. My cousin and I created the design, my sister and BM Rae helped me cut and assemble, My friend Kim helped stamp, stuff and seal the envelopes. I wouldn't have been able to do it without you!!

Without further ado--my invitations!

(I hate to ruin the look, but gotta keep the privacy, ya know?)

envelopes (pre-ugly yellow heart stamp)

The back of the envelopes (I later added a clear address label to the top of the flap.)

(and I am so not a photographer. I'm thinking about asking a friend to take better photos of the invitation suite for my blurb planning album!)

And there you have it!
How long did it take you to DIY your invitations? Was it longer than you thought?

Giveaway ends today!

Have you entered my free photo guest book giveaway? Check out the thread for details.

Today is the last day to enter.

Comment on here to enter...usual rules apply (1 entry for comment, 2 entries for following, and 3 for posting this contest on your blog!) Please let me know in the comment if you are a follower or posted this on your blog.

Good luck!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

...and they're [finally] off!

This post should have gone up yesterday but I was too lazy/busy.

On Monday, I sucked it up and bought these, even thought they ruined my envelopes.

and put them on these:

and put them in this box, and in my car.

and drove them over to here, all by myself:

and that's it.
my. invitations. are. in. the. mail!
Oddly enough I don't feel anything too different. The trip to post office was sort of anticlimatic for me. But it's done...and I'm so ready to move on to a different project!
I have been checking the website twice a day to see if we've gotten any responses yet....I can't imagine anyone will have them by today, probably not even tomorrow.

Ok, maybe I am pretty excited! who am I forgetting?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

my first bridal shower

Well, I'm finally getting through all the pictures, so here's a little recap from my shower on Saturday.

This shower was a smaller one hostessed by my aunts and grandmother on my dad's side of the family. They did a garden theme and had these adorable ceramic pots by each place at the table filled with violets

The tables were decorated in our wedding colors: chocolate brown and celadon green.

I didn't get any good pictures of the food, but my aunts made a brunch with egg casserole, stuffed french toast and hash brown casserole and it was SOOOO yummy. They also had fresh fruit and streudel, and baskets of mini muffins on each table.

After eating, we played a trivia game: "How well does Katie know Eric". For every question I couldn't answer, they made me chew a piece of Big Red gum. I hate the flavor of cinnamon candies, and well, the gum was just as bad.

my sister and I making our guesses

After five pieces my eyes were watering--the stuff was so pungent. I hated it! But i thought five wrong out of twenty-five wasn't tooo bad. :-)

A couple of the answers were ridiculous, so I'll share

Question: For a special occasion, would Eric buy you chocolates or flowers?

My answer: Flowers (because he's gotten me flowers before, and I'm trying to stay away from chocolate because it gives me headaches)

Eric's answer: Chocolates, because then I could eat them all for myself

see what I mean? I didn't think I deserved a Big Red for that answer.

Prizes were given to the highest scorer, after me. Turns out one of them was my 8 year old cousin Mackenzie!

Then it was time for presents. Everyone was so sweet. I loved getting things off my registry, as well as some creative gifts ( a beautiful sewing kit, and a glass pitcher with fun drink recipes)

Little sister/MOH helped me by writing down the gifts and who gave them, for thank you notes later.

while BM Riss starting making my bow-quet for the wedding rehearsal.

We didn't get a ton of pictures of the gifts, but I am very excited about this bowl my grandfather made in his woodshop. Isn't it beautiful? I'm always amazed at his talent (he is also the jeweler who picked out my center stone diamond and set it in my e-ring!)

He's given one of these to each of the families, and this bowl signified the starting a new family for me.

E stopped by at the end of the present opening and helped me finish

Then we ate the beautiful and delicious lemon fluff cake (a Dutch tradition in my family for years--for every family event from new babies to funerals)

Friday, April 17, 2009

happy weekend!

What are you doing this weekend?

I'm hoping to finish the last phase of my invitations: the envelopes. Which means I have about 25 more addresses to hunt down and a printer to fight with.

Also, celebrating my best friend, Rae's 21st birthday this weekend, having a sister sleepover (and getting some help with those invitations!), and surprise party fun. I've been out every night since E left me and I'm really exhausted from all the social activities. (including a really fun weddingbee meetup in Chicago last night!)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway. One week left!

Me, (My friend Riss), and the brithday girl, Rae at my shower last weekend.
Don't I have beautiful friends?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Searching for photo sites

We're looking for locations to take some pictures before the ceremony. The church I attend and we're getting married in is not a pretty building. Even if it were, I want to avoid the formal posed shots in the church santuary if possible.

We plan to take lots of photos (with family and bridal party especially) among the trees at the our venue, but I wanted a contrasting location to take some photos of the two of us pre-ceremony.

We decided on a historic city's town center--about 15 minutes from the church. There is an old train station, along with the original shop fronts from years ago on the main street through the town. We plan to stop at the old train station:

this fountain

and the fantastic Sam and Jake's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor (which you can see in the picture above, the shop second from the left.

Sorry for the craziness of this shot. It's from--you guessed it--google maps street view. The ice cream parlor is circled in blue. The fountain in the picture above is located just to the left of this picture. Isn't this little town too cute?

I'm envisioning some cute photos of us sharing a cookies 'n cream ice cream cone sitting on those old fashioned stools!
I'll be scheduling a meeting soon with my photographer to scope out some more locations to make our shoot complete. (My parents live in the country on a dirt road, and I have a million ideas for that too!) We'll also be checking out lighting at the church, and the reception hall.
I'm still trying to decide where we should have our first look. There certainly won't be any privacy if our first look is right in front of that fountain. (though the pictures would be fantastic!)

In what kinds of settings are you planning to take pictures? Are you scheduling a day-after shoot to get the shots and locations you couldn't fit in on the big day?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm back!

I had a whirlwind week with E while he was on his spring break, and I didn't even get a chance to warn you I was leaving for a bit. I have hardly checked my emails in over a week.

It was wonderful to see the fiance again (I'll only see him once more for about 3 days before the wedding!) We stayed incredibly busy with our food tasting, bridal shower, finishing up the invitations, seeing friends and family, pre-marital counseling, trying on his tux and much, much more!

But now he's back in sunny california, and I'm here trying to get back to normal life after a week of lots of fun and work, and very little sleep. I've missed the blogging world, and it's good to get back to normal . I've have lots of posts coming up soon, and invitations to send out, but until then, here's a little teaser from my shower on Saturday.

You've got some more time on my giveaway, so please enter! I'll be selecting a winner on April 24th.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Shower-wear: I found it!!

One of my great friends and I met last night for dinner, tanning (for just a few minutes and just for the wedding--I'm not going for wrinkles and skin cancer at age 40!), and shopping for a dress for my bridal shower...

After 3 department stores, and drooling over lots of Calvin Klein dresses (oh how you tempt!) I found her. And after the dress' discount I didn't know about, and opening a Macy's card because I just couldn't justify spending $80....
Here is my $58 shower dress that I'm totally thrilled with!!

And here is a photo of me in it in Macy's dressing room, on the crackberry.

Yay! Glad to check that off my list, and add this cutie to my collection.

Have a great weekend, and don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Inspiration [Fridays]

Thursday, April 2, 2009

my first giveaway!

Stories by Everyone is sponsoring a free guestbook giveaway on my blog, and I'm excited to share it all with you!
I'm making one of these for my wedding reception, and I'm thrilled that I'll have this memory book filled with our engagment pictures, our story, and hand written well-wishes from our wedding guests. Stories for Everyone's website allow you to custom create the book choosing from several different cover and layout options.

Traditional Guest Book

Modern Style

They have a traditional option with a photo cover, and lines for guests to sign, and a more modern photo book that allows you to share photos and stories, while still leaving space for your guests to leave their well wishes. Best of all, you don't have to download a program to create the guestbook--you can design your book right from the website!

Besides affordable guest books and photo books, Stories by Everyone offers several wedding stationery lines that are just too cute!

1 entry--leave me a comment

2 entries--leave a comment and become (if you aren't already) a follower

3 entries--leave a comment, be a follower, and post this contest on your blog

Thanks ladies, and good luck!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What shall we taste?

With just a few short days before E comes to visit for his spring break/our mega-wedding planning week, I need to send our caterer some options for our family style dinner to taste test on Thursday.

There are sooo many choices, skipping the most expensive of them (no fish or filet mignon on the list, unfortunately!) But we knew what we were getting and I'm still hoping to serve our gusts yummy down-home cooking made by the head chef, Juan. We can pick 5 options to taste (we're serving 3)

This is a picture HEAVY post, and I'm not kidding.

Please prepare your eyes for the tantalizing dishes below...and then help me pick!

Pot Roast
(I'll be surprised if this is in the running. I love pot roast, but only grandma makes it best!)

Pork Tenderloin

Lemon Chicken Piccata


Italian Sausage with peppers

Chicken Marsala

Whoa. Are you as hungry or everwhelmed as I am?

We also have to pick out a soup, vegetable and a potato/starch!

I won't tell you my favorites yet (there are more than 5 of them!) on the poll here and/or comment and let me know what you'd pick!

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