Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DIY: Wedding Bible

Yea! The first DIY project of many (hopefully!) I am sure all of you brides-to-be have looked at those wedding planning books, they can range in price from $20 to $100. But when you are planning a wedding on a budget (while trying to decorate a house, landscape, care for pets, etc) $20 can be better spent elsewhere. While these books are cute and contain timelines, pockets for documents and tips, most of the information can be accessed on the internet and, if cuteness is a factor, a little elbow grease and it can be cuter and far more unique than anything on the store shelf

I started with a plain white binder. Sadly, this is as far as I have gotten on the cute factor. (Maybe after the 4th of July...)

I found a timeline that contained the basics of what when and what I need to book, the list I chose was from Real Simple, but there are lots and lots of timelines as well as budgets and miscellaneous planning tools available for free. 
I use the pockets on the front and back of the binder to store things that I haven't had a chance to 3-hole punch and enter. 

The best part of having a binder as your wedding bible? Customize the tabs to what you need! Having a band, give them their own tab. Photographer? Own tab. Organize it the way that works the best for you. I highly recommend 3-hole punching everything you need to keep track of and putting them under the proper tabs. Contracts, correspondence (emails, letters, call logs, etc.) copies of sent checks, notes, pictures - everything.

One thing to keep in mind as you are planning is that even though you are in a state of bliss and nothing can seem to go wrong, things do go wrong and people do take advantage of you. Keep detailed records of EVERYTHING. Chances are everything will go off without a hitch, but it might not. You will want to have documentation for that 1% chance it does not.

Finally, when your big day is all over, the binder will be fun to look back on and remember how fun it was planning such a great event. Who knows, maybe a friend will want to borrow it or maybe your daughter will think it is fun to look at when she gets a little older. 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cheap & Chic: Party Booth Software

First of all a confession... I may or may not have begun planning our wedding in December of 2009... For those of you paying attention, we got engaged in May of 2010.  When I say planning, I mean book marking ideas that I liked, browsing wedding dresses, researching photographers - most of the stuff you usually do in the first two months of your engagement. Yes, I know a lot of my friends were questioning my sanity, but I figured as long as I admitted that it was a little crazy, I was OK.  Besides, I've known Bryan was "the one" since exactly the fourth day of our relationship. (Maybe I'll tell that story sometime...)

Anyway, I have longed for a photobooth at our wedding. I think they're a lot of fun and a nice little take away for the reception. However, the price of most of them I could not justify. Enter Party Booth. This FABULOUS software takes a webcam to the next level. AND, setup the right way is a really nice, AFFORDABLE alternative to a "real" photobooth.

Our reception hall has a nice big coat closet right off the main area that, in mid-August, we will have next to no use for. I am thinking, make a cute curtain for the doorway, setup some lighting and a computer, throw in some props - BAM!  Good to go!

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Impulse: Fake Nails

I am a very impulsive person.  This category is dedicated to all of the impulses that I may or may not follow through on and that I may or may not regret.

When we first got engaged, I almost went and got fake nails… Just because I knew people were going to be looking at my hands all the time in the coming weeks and I have AWFUL nails!  I resisted, acrylics ruin your nails and gels are pretty pricey.  I did however buff and paint them, something I NEVER do! 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Color Palettes Made Easy

I can’t remember where I heard about Kuler for the first time, but it’s pretty dang cool! (Wow, that was a bad joke.)

Anyway, Kuler is a FREE product from Adobe and it helps users develop their own custom color palettes.  I’ve used this site a lot to decorate our house (which still has monotone walls… I’m working on it.) 

Here is how it works:  You can either start with a specific color or you can upload a picture and the software can find the picture within that color.  Then you can select if you want to do a monochromatic, analogous, triad, complimentary, compound, shades or custom palette.  If you wish to do anything but custom, it will populate the correct colors for you and you can adjust them however you’d like.  Or, if you do custom, you can plug in your own colors.

The best part about this is that it will give you the RBG, CMYK and Pantone codes for the colors you chose, very handy to give to let’s say, invitation designers?!?  You can create as many palettes as you’d like and save them to your profile.  Or you can browse what others have done and customize their palettes to your own liking.

Seriously, besides this being a very handy tool, it’s just plain fun to play with colors! Palette 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Colors

My inspiration for our wedding colors is a peacock feather.  A lot of weddings have a “thing”.  I had one friend who based her design scheme around orchids and it was beautiful!  My thing is a peacock feather. 

My main color is going to be a deep purple, in fact, my bridesmaid dresses are Lapis from David’s Bridal. (More on the bridesmaids in another post.)  We’re going to stick with the deep purple for a lot of things, but add deep blue, green and teal accents throughout all of the d├ęcor.

I have TONS of ideas on what we’re going to do, lots and lots of DIY.  
Peacock feather picture by 
Color palette from

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Five Love Languages

When my friend E.R. got married a couple of years ago, she told me about this book their priest had her and her husband read called The Five Love Languages.  The book kind of diffuses the whole Cinderella syndrome - brides and grooms expecting the honeymoon period to last forever all by itself.  It spells out that while love is a universal feeling, there are different languages in which to express it.  You may say I love you and your partner may say Ich Liebe Dich and if you don't speak German, you'll never know what they're saying.

The book spells out the different languages that people express love: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of service.  If you feel loved when your partner spends quality time and gives you words of affirmation, that is how you're going to express love.  If your partner feels loved by acts of service and physical touch, he's not going to understand that you wanting to spend the day at the park (quality time) is you showing your love.  He's not going to have his "love tank" filled.  Furthermore, you will not understand that his taking out the garbage (acts of service) is his way of showing love and your love tank is going to remain unfilled.  You can both go on for years trying to decipher each other's ways of showing love, but like a car, you can't run on empty for ever.

My first thought when I was reading this book is, isn't the point of marriage to find some who speaks the same language as you?  But Gary Chapman (the author) spells out that very rarely do two partners speak the same language.

If you're dating, engaged or married, I HIGHLY recommend this book.  If you're single, there is a version of the book for singles.  If you have kids or teens, there are versions of the books to help you understand them.  There is even a book written specifically for men, because let's face it, they never speak our language. :)  I can tell you that I will have all versions eventually because I think the book is THAT good.

The Story

As I get ramped up for a busy 15 months of wedding planning, I figured I’d fill some blog space with Bryan & I’s story.  (I love to tell this story, so you might want to get some popcorn while you read.) To me it’s a pretty fun story that I wish I would have known the ending to when I was 16 and desperately wanting out of my hometown. 

Bryan and I both grew up in the same small town. (When I say small, I mean around 3500… My high school class was a whopping 84 kids.)  Even though our town was teeny-tiny compared to most towns in America, Bryan and I did not meet each other until much, much later in life.  Bryan is 5 years older than me, so our paths never really crossed while we were younger.  They came pretty close to each other though.  Our moms both worked for the bank in town (at that time, there was only one), and my friend dated Bryan’s younger brother for a brief while.  That was as close as we came to meeting though. 

Ironically enough, I do remember him. He was the much older upper-classmen and I remember watching him walking down the halls of school one day, holding hands with his then-girlfriend.  I think that is my one memory of him in my younger days though.

Fast forward a few years, we both ended up at the same college. Even though he was older, he was on the “extended” plan (as we like to call it), so we were in the same proximity for about a year and a half.  We actually had some mutual friends, still did not run across each other though.  After Bryan graduated from college, he moved to Phoenix, AZ for about three years.  I graduated a few years after him and moved myself to Chicago, IL for about a year.  After realizing that we both loved the mid-west and hated being away from our families, we both ended up moving back to the area near our hometown within a year of each other.  Bryan ended up back in our hometown, me about 20 miles to the west.  Still no meeting though.

In late 2006, Bryan ended up working for a company we will call Acme.  About a year and a half later, I ended up at the same company.  When I started, I was dating someone else, but Bryan and I hit it off pretty fast as friends. By the end of the year, I had ditched the other guy and my supervisor started making comments about how Bryan walked past my desk a lot during the day. After that I really noticed how often he walked past my desk, with alternate, shorter routes available for him.

Right before Christmas, we went out with another co-worker of ours… Two martinis and a few shots later, I called him out on walking past my desk so often, and we kissed by the end of the night.  The rest is history!

Meet the Author

Maybe this should have been my first post - oh well!  I thought some of you might like to know the person behind these insightful posts. :)

The name is Katie and I hail from the mid-west.  By day I work in marketing and by night I am a jack of all trades... A cook, personal trainer (to myself), a house-keeper, a designer, and a TV critic.  (These are fancy ways of saying that in my spare time I take care of the house, exercise, do personal layout work and watch my favorite TV shows.)  Of course this is not all that I enjoy doing, but I will spare all of you that.

My fiance Bryan and I recently decided to take the leap from "dating" to "engaged".  It's a huge step, but we're both ready. Together Bryan and I have a cute little house that we renovated last year a dog named JD and a cat named Wrigley.

I have a knack for planning and organization and a love for planning parties and weddings are the biggest party that most people will throw in their lifetime.

So now that you know a little about me, I hope you'll check back from time to time to see all the fun stuff I plan on posting.  I would love submissions to, so if you have something cool you did at your wedding, I'd love to see it!