Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kate + Cormac DIY: Ribbon Drink Stirrers

There will be much more to come from Kate + Cormac's wedding, but I thought I'd pop in with this simple DIY before the pro pics arrive! As one of our projects, K and I put together tons of beribboned drink stirrers for the reception. They were easy to make and a big hit with guests.

I've heard from lots of brides that made something similar and were disappointed when they had piles left over at the end of the night because they sat unused on the bar. My tip? Ask your bartender to stick one in each drink before handing them over.

For this project, you will need wooden skewers, ribbon (I like using 5/8"), and a sharp pair of scissors.

Begin by cutting your skewers in half. J was my right hand man for this step, so I'll have to double check with him as to the method he settled on, but I believed he used the mini saw from a utility tool.

Next, cut a length of ribbon (approximately 8 to 9 inches should do). Fold the ribbon in half, then fold it in half around the skewer.

Pull the tails through the loop you've created...

...then cinch the knot tight. If you'd like, notch the ends for an extra-polished look.

Of course, if you'd prefer I do the heavy lifting for you, I have a few for sale in my Etsy shop. Colors are completely customizable!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Shower curtains

I like the idea of having a bold shower curtain in our main bathroom, since the walls and surfaces are neutral and likely won't be changing anytime soon.

This option from Walmart is a steal at $16, but I'm thinking it might be a bit too metallic for my tastes.

I also really like this one from VivaTerra, though it's more steeply priced at $65.

Both of these fit with Friday's decor. However, I'm also drawn to the little number below, which is just so bright and cheery! I'm not sure how it would look next to our tan walls, although on closer examination, it looks like there might be some taupe in the design?

Perhaps I'll have to order all three and then decide...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blue and white decor

It's easy, it's breezy, it's beachy and nautical without being too obvious, it's casual, it's elegant. And I love it. Especially that blue velvet couch. And that tumbleweed.

I'm thinking this might be my new decorating direction. But, you know how that goes... we'll see if this one sticks!

All images c/o Real Simple

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Peach and Pearl in Brides!

Yep, you read that right! I almost can't believe it myself -- I mean, heck, I only have 13 sales on Etsy! But here I am, on the last page of the current issue of Brides Magazine (the September issue):

The article offers 15 unique options for cake toppers, and my cupcake pennants are one of them! My flags are completely customizable, and I'd be delighted to put something together for you. Check them out here!

And a huge thanks to Brides Magazine -- I think I'm still in shock!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I learned

Kate and Cormac are married! It's hard for me to put into words how wonderful their wedding weekend, and the week preceding it, really were. I feel like I came away with a whole new perspective on weddings, which I suppose isn't all that surprising, because although I deal with weddings all day every day, I've never been this close to one.

It's become normal to hear two things from brides after their weddings. The first is that the day zipped by so fast they can hardly remember it. The second is that there were inevitably disappointments, and whether they were major or insignificant, they are hard to leave behind. Like a lot of people, I just accepted these things as the way it had to be for super-involved, detail-oriented, DIY-heavy brides, particularly ones who are flooded with fabulous imagery from wedding blogs and magazines.

Kate might correct me, but I don't feel like either of these were true for this wedding, and this was largely because of Kate. She was an exceptionally calm and laid-back bride, but it was more than that. She didn't put as much pressure on her one wedding day as I think most brides do. It wasn't that she had low expectations, it was just that her expectations were realistic. She took everything as it came and was thrilled about it. She thanked everyone enthusiastically and often. Her guests knew she was happy to have them there and so grateful they made the trip to celebrate with her and Cormac. She wasn't worried about timelines or what vendors were doing or spilling things on her dress once she got to the reception, she just wanted to eat delicious food and visit with family and friends that we don't get to see often enough.

At one point on Saturday, one of the guests came up to me and congratulated me on a successful reception. She said something along the lines of "I'm sure things went wrong that we didn't see, but everything looked great to us!" When I thought about it, I realized that actually, nothing really had gone "wrong."

Did everything go exactly as we had planned? Not quite. The ferry to the Island ran out of gas in the middle of one of its runs transporting guests to the ceremony. The icing on the cakes was more royal than navy. The linens on the cocktail tables were a tad bit shorter than I would have liked.

But I say nothing went wrong because both in the moment and in the end, it didn't matter. The ferry situation was fixed within minutes, and the details were just a vehicle to create an atmosphere where our guests felt welcomed, celebrated, and a part of something special. No royal blue icing was going to change that.

I'd love to hear what you think. Did you have realistic or unrealistic expectations for your wedding day, either in relation to how you would feel or how things would look? Were you disappointed on your wedding day or post-wedding? Do you think we just got lucky with our beautiful weather and beyond-excellent vendors and that I would feel differently if something major went wrong? Let me know!

And now to tide you over, a recap of the weekend in three photos courtesy of Jenna's Twitter and blog.

We played wiffle ball:

We had a welcome dinner:

And we had a wedding:

It was wonderful.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The bunting is up!

(That's only part of it.) And so is the tent! And it was another beautiful day! Hallelujah!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Loading the truck

...among many other things! We've been busy bees ever since arriving in Maine. We've hauled loads of wedding stuff across the water and up a hill (with the help of the one truck on the Island)...

...constructed signs (remember them?)

...taken a few trips into town (including for a hair trial this morning!)

...and discussed many things (luckily we had a beautiful place to do it in).

Mostly it's just nice to be here with my whole family in a place we love, no matter what we're doing. And the view isn't bad, either:

Friday, August 13, 2010

Addison's Vision

{Jose Villa}

Addison tells of spending his summer
clearing the farm his family has owned
since the revolutionary war
acres and acres of overgrown fields --
pastures and hayfields, hedgerows, forest growth --
a big enterprise for an ex-farm boy
turned minister in a flowing cassock
not handy for plowing. I've seen him lift
the bread and wine in pale hands above
the bowing heads of his parishioners.

And as he tells about his summer work
I see the chalice turn into a saw,
the handles darkened with his father's sweat,
and before that, his grandfather's, on down
the generations until the sad phrase
delivered in the garden comes to mind:
"sweat of your brow," which now is Addison's,
clearing the land so that we see the light
as it first shone on Adam, pruning turned
into a kind of hands-on ministry.

What did he see once the hedgerows were cleared?
The skies opening, divine light beaming down
on distant vistas of a promised land?
Salvation for God's sweating minister?
But he saw only what was there to see --
rolling green hills such as a child might draw,
cars moving on a distant road like beads
on an abacus, a neighbor hanging wash:
the earth released and grown so luminous
that he was saved simply by seeing it.

--Julia Alvarez

P.S. Even though next week is Wedding Week, I'll be popping in with a few pre-scheduled post... and maybe a few behind-the-scenes details from our preparations! Wish us luck!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Allow me to introduce...

...K + C's wedding photographers! Last fall, as soon as we had decided on a place and an approximate date, it was time to think about a photographer. We went through a few emotional days with much gnashing of teeth as we compared the level of skill and style of work we (I) wanted, and the price necessary to hire said skill and style. Our budget meant New England big-hitters like Justin & Mary Marantz were out.

We were sad and stumped for a few days, until it dawned on me -- Jenna! I had followed Jenna from her Weddingbee days to her personal blog That Wife, and was thrilled when she started her photography business. You know how wedding budget advice articles are always saying to hire an amazing up-and-comer? Well, we think we got her, and are beyond thrilled she'll be joining us in Maine in just a few days. She's currently based in Texas, but will be relocating to Chicago this fall.

Though I've never met Jenna, I feel like I already know her, and one of the things I'm most excited about is her personality -- K + C are a bit photo-phobic, and I think she'll put them right at ease. However, her work speaks for itself! A few of my favorites:

You can see more of Jenna's work here, and read her hilarious and thought-provoking personal blog here.

We're also thrilled to have Meredith from & Unlimited joining us as a second shooter! Meredith is a longtime P&P reader, and has been so supportive of all our ideas and projects for this wedding since we started planning. It only seems appropriate that she'll be in attendance to help document the big day! I also love that she lives in Maine. A few of my favorites from her portfolio:

This one might be my favorite -- it was just taken recently, on the way back from Meredith's first-ever trip to our island! I couldn't believe the coincidence.

You can see more of her work on her blog here.

I probably don't need to say it again, but I will: we are thrilled that these ladies will be joining us next Saturday. We can't wait to meet you both!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Paper wedding bells

There's only one other time I've seen paper decor look this elegant, and it was in this spread by Martha. Makes you stop and think, doesn't it? It could go so wrong so easily, but here it's so very right. Kudos to Elizabeth Demos for the event design and styling and Juliet Elizabeth for the photography. See more here!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Classically elegant Stephanie Williams wedding

Another classic, elegant stunner I recently revisited (just as pretty as last week's, don't you think?). Stephanie Williams is quickly becoming one of my favorite wedding photographers. Click here to see more!