Centerpieces!

September 16, 2010

I have been swamped with work and wedding planning. The posts may have to be reduced to picture bytes, but I’m sure no one will mind. So without further ado …

We picked the leftmost two designs. White LEDs in both, the large vase with the white orchid and small with the pink. The aqua beads sounded great in theory but just looks like too much stuffed into a vase.

Did I mention renting this cost under $400? Puts my flower negotiations to shame.

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My planner tells me that fancy florists mark up flower prices 3x for their labor.  That means if it takes $100 of roses to make your bouquet, it will cost you $300.  Unlucky for me, my florist, who is affiliated with my planner, is the cheapest around and only marks up her prices 2.3x or so.  After much reluctance and dodging on her part, and a call of complaint to the planner, the florist has finally given me a breakdown of what her wholesale costs are and what I am paying.

For example: Garden roses wholesale $87 + labor cost $113

That’s only one of five items on the list, plus supplies.  It boggles my mind how I told the florist I am not that into flowers, only want bouquets for myself and 3 bridesmaids, 2 small ones for the mothers, and 3 boutonnieres… and her first quote to me was $1000.  W T  F.  After much unnecessary correspondence and overall shadiness on her part, I think we are going to compromise at $600.  I’m only sticking with her because in this crazy wedding world, she probably is the cheapest.  Also, I really don’t have the time or energy to deal with another one.

One option is to find good quality silk flowers and rent those.  To tell you the truth, I don’t like flowers.  H2B may protest but that’s because he sent me a dozen one time and I loved them because he sent them.  But really, I don’t like flowers.  I like a flower, like a single rose.  Maybe a nice slim vase with two or three flowers.  But the whole giant arrangements – not so much.  It’s a waste of money and then they die and you have to deal with the dried dead pieces that fall all over your carpet.  Perhaps I have a bad habit of leaving dead plants where they are for too long.

Anyway, if I had the time I would make my own bouquets.  It really is not that hard.  You just tie a bunch of flowers together in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing.  Just take a look at the e-How instructions here.  Easy peasy and 35% of what I’m paying for now if you order your flowers from Costco.  I’ve read the reviews on them, quite good.  But, time is money I suppose.

The plan is to look something like this:

Super cute!

How much do these people run for one day of work?  I got quoted $1000 for three of them.  Apparently I need one coordinator for every 50 guests.  Unruly guests need alot of hearding around.  Maybe so, but I don’t think there will be enough work to do for three of them.  I’m trying to come up with a list of things that will need coordinating:

  • Make sure everyone gets on the bus to get to the wedding
  • Setting up my centerpieces
  • Letting the DJ in
  • Make sure the photography time doesn’t run too long
  • Ceremony – timing the walks, arch of sabres, etc.
  • Carting the gifts off somewhere
  • Taking care of any incidentals (drunk people)
  • Ending the wedding on time
  • Handing out sparklers for the exit

Am I missing anything?  This really doesn’t sound like hard work.  One person can handle it.  Maybe two at most.  The third one will just be sitting around enjoying the food.

H2B and I went to a consultation for our centerpieces.  He didn’t really enjoy the process but I thought it was fun.  The centerpiece lady operates out of her home and she comes up with creative ideas based on our input and rents it to us at a price per component level.  For example, a large vase is $28, the aqua beads are $5, LED lights are $11, and so forth.  Here’s a very rough version of what we came up with.

Small and large vases filled with aqua beads and purple LED lights.  Silk orchids will flow out of the small vase and a pomander ball (giant ball of flowers) will top the large vase.  Another idea we had was to fill the vases up with water and submerge a silk orchid with an LED buried under some glass rocks.  We’ll get to see demonstrations of both concepts at the showing in a couple weeks.

The aqua beads must be the coolest thing I’ve come across that’s wedding related.  They are moist and slippery like a sea cucumber (remember those?) and really fun to play with.  I dropped them all over the floor at the consultation.

Anyway, the centerpiece rental business is an excellent idea.  It beats buying 15 vases and a gallon of rocks that I’ll stick in my garage for the rest of time.  It’s not so much about the price as it is about just having a bunch of what will become clutter (sooner than later) taking up space.  The minimalism in me is leaping for joy.

I am slowly checking more and more to-dos off my list.  Next step – cakes and flowers.

My custom made dress is perfectly made to the measurements we gave them. Unfortunately, my height got lost in the translation. My mom had some difficulty with the conversion between inches and cm’s so instead of adding 3 inches for shoes, we added 5.

I found a local mom and pop tailor who has done quite a few wedding dresses and somehow still dropped $250 on alterations. Picking up the hem is $120 and putting in 6 bustles is $90. Granted, there are 3 layers that must be hemmed and I have to bustle 2 layers of train. They are also making me a veil. Remember the dress maker gave me the veil for free but there was no comb attached so it was just a giant mesh sheet. That costs $15. The tailor also sold me a garment bag that said Alfred Angelo on it to put the dress in for $10. Hm…

Now for the point of this post. Hot pink satin shoes in all it’s gorgeous glory. H2B is not a fan of non-white shoes but I am sure he will warm up to the idea before October 16th. Plus, the bridesmaids will be wearing white satin shoes so I have to be different. It is going to be an opposites day! Surprise, surprise. Now, how much do you love these?

Personalized M&M’s!

June 8, 2010

Going through the sunday coupon section, I stumbled on a personalized M&M ad as the perfect gift for grads.  It would also make awesome wedding favors.  As much as I’ve been eating the brand new pretzel ball M&M’s lately at work, I am a fan.  A little tinkering on their website yields this.

You can choose 2 colors and print a custom message.  Then either gift package them or buy in bulk.  5 lbs for $130 or 10 lbs for $250.  I can’t figure out in my head how much 5 lbs of M&M’s would be.  Enough to fill 150 little boxes?  If I do this I would probably go with the 10 lbs.  It’s not like the leftovers will go to waste.  It’ll go to “waist.”  Haha, so clever!

O m g.  You can also superimpose a grainy photo onto an M&M.  Horrific.  Yet, so tempting.  If nothing else, I can force all my guests to stare into my eyes as they eat the chocolate candy.

And it’s getting worse.  I woke up in a state of panic this morning because I was getting ready to walk down the aisle in a black dress.  Apparently it was a conscious choice (in the dream) where I specifically chose the black dress because black is a more flattering color.  And it is, in general, for t-shirts and LBD’s and such.

So as I was getting dressed, I began regretting my decision severely.  What made it worse is it had straps that didn’t quite cover my bra straps.  And the bodice was too big so it kept sliding down.  I had to cover it up with something, so I donned a large black jacket.  Of the puffy, winter variety.  And with that, I walked down the aisle in complete mortification.

Oh it gets better.  I pass the face of a high school crush I had, his eyebrows raised.  Then the music comes on.  Soft R&B with a beat, almost like a light Eminem.  Then people start singing/rapping along.  And I woke up at about 7am.

A dangerous activity, I know.  H2B is getting on my case about the STD’s again.  Amazing how he can think of these things while in bootcamp while I am languishing at home, enjoying my evenings free in avoidance.  It’s just that I am getting stressed out by this wedding planning already.  I realize that it’s barely begun and my MoH is having a great time at it but just thinking about all these things that must be done/picked out in such a short time is freaking me out!  The stupid Knot needs to get off my back.  I am thisclose to unsubscribing.

Anyway, so my previous plan of doing part email part letter STD’s is going to be too much of a hassle, what with grouping people off and remembering who got what and getting valid email addresses.  I’m just going to do this the old fashioned way and order some printed cards.  My handwriting is pretty god-awful (and H2B’s is 100x worse than mine) as you will see based on the self-addressed envelopes you will all be receiving shortly.  A quick google for STD’s (spelt out fully) landed me at minted.com.  Tons of cute cards and invites at a click of a button.  Fairly reasonable prices… I assume, without shopping around at all.  Here’s one I particularly like:

Yes, I totally filled it out.  This particular card is $1.63 each, including envelopes.  There are also cards that allow you to insert a picture and H2B is fond of those.  Although… penguins are kind of near and dear to my heart.  A good friend sent us a Christmas card with 2 penguins on it right before our engagement with arrows drawn in pointing out which was me and which was H2B.  Plus, we both have lucky penguin underpants that have taken us to the Swiss Alps and back with me barely alive, and gotten us through the Bar exam.  We don’t really make an effort to coordinate our underpants, but the days we inadvertently do so are particularly auspicious.*

So what I’m trying to say is, this one might be it.  And all it took was a couple weeks prodding and a 20 min search.

*Not that we have many pairs of matching underpants.  We actually have none.  It just so happens we both have a pair with (very non-matching) penguins on them.  Probably a message from the underwear gods.  The message may be that I should stop going on about underpants.

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EDIT: Holy crap, there is something to be said about shopping around. www.vistaprint.com and www.123print.com have AMAZING wedding invitations for literally 1/4 of the price of the above.  I found them while searching for “address labels” because minted wanted to charge me $90 for address printing on the back flap!  I vaguely remember my parents getting generic address labels made for something like $7 for 1,000 labels eons ago.  That was at the time I collected stickers and address labels counted as stickers in my seven year old mind.

So a search has led me to this:

For address printing on the back flap, 123print charges…um… $13.  WHAT?!  They even have matching save-the-date MAGNETS for $1 each!!  Did I mention the invites are $37 for 100??  Holy crap.  Be still my beating heart.  The zeros that get knocked off for not searching for “wedding sites” is horrifying.  It makes me feel a little sick to think I almost got sucked into the wedding profit margin again.

I am floored.  Totally, and utterly floored.