Thursday, July 30, 2009

crystals and wire wedding/vellum luminaries

Coming Soon...

If things get slow (which they haven't...I think only Americans run around Paris like crazy people trying to fit a zillion activities into their scheduled stay) or when I get home, I will blog the following:
-hair and makeup trials and DIY
-the completion of the boutonnieres
-the card box (which was a "DIMP" or "Do It Mom, Please?" project)
-table numbers and what befell our centerpieces
-final programs (none of that crazy die-cut business)
-the day-of schedule
-the shot list, sanity-saving shot list helper, and other things photographic
-wedding top 5s: Dos, Don'ts, and Favorite Moments (of which it will be difficult to choose 5)
-Paris top 5s (see above)
-many many many pictures

And, by the way, I take consolation in the fact that I seem only to suffer from the dreaded double-boob in photos in which I am sitting. Which will be hardly any of the professional shots and can't be too many of our friends' either, since I know I hardly sat down. Whew.

Friday, January 09, 2009

How is it?

I guess it's about how you'd expect, with 8 days to go. People who accepted are canceling, bridesmaids are attempting to get themselves kicked out of the wedding, but overall we're very excited. I have just one significantly outstanding project, which is...pretty much anything that would sit on a table, other than consumables. Centerpieces, table numbers, card box. In theory, those were to have been resolved tomorrow, but now that fiance is sick, I'm not entirely sure what their fate will be.

In other news, I've finished up the bare minimum of boutonnières required:

though I'll see if I can get some more in for any of our gazillion parents & helpers.

I also eliminated a major stressor for no additional monetary investment. I had been planning to get frosted candle holders for my 144 LED tealights. I may or may not have raved about these things previously, but they're little battery-operated plastic tealights that flicker a rather flame-like yellow. I got them because the venue doesn't permit real candles to be lit anywhere but the dinner tables, and it seemed like it would be fun to have candlelight elsewhere. They're great because there's no smoke, no heat, no melted wax, they require no oxygen, and they last longer than your average tealight. (While careful testing has shown that they do last the 120 hours suggested on the package, they start to get noticeably dim after 10 hours or so.) But, they still last a good long while, and that means you can turn them on in advance of the event and have one less thing to do.

The problem is that while they are candle-shaped and they give off realistic candle light, they don't actually look like candles, head on. So the trick is to put them in frosted candle holders, obscuring their appearance, but emitting their light. Well, I don't have a good party supply outlet nearby, and shipping on crates of glass is rather expensive, so this was looking to be a rather pricy decor choice. And after months of stalling only to decide that I really did want to use them as decor for the mansion, it finally struck me yesterday morning, well before I was properly awake. Paper. I had a whole bunch of extra vellum (platinum, from the invite fronts) with no particular destiny. Since these are not actual candles, there's no problem with surrounding them with paper.

So, using a runner full of permanent adhesive tape that was not invisible enough for the vellum fronts of the invites, I made 144 vellum candle shades. Some careful math and less-careful trimming yielded 144 slips of paper from 24 sheets producing an assortment of 2", 2.5", and 3" tall shades. Using one LED candle as a template, I ran the tape down one short edge and wrapped the paper around the candle into a cylinder, sticking it back down to itself, then slid the candle out. At the end of the night, all of the cylinders were packed in layers in a cardboard box, ready to be easily slid onto the LED candles by my conscripted helpers on the day of the wedding.

Supplies I already had lying around and a few hours of labor yielded the solution to a bothersome and potentially expensive problem. I spent at least an entire day patting myself on the back for this one.

What's been your most brilliant DIY solution?

Up next: hair and makeup trials.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Pseudo Florals

Oh-kay. I still, sadly, am not finished with the boutonnieres, but here are the latest in the series:

I'm hoping I take to compulsively making boutonnieres as a form of stress therapy, over the next two weeks.

I did finish up the bouquet. I mention in my original post about the bouquet that I was having trouble bundling it without it getting sort of crushed-together and indistinguishable. I was finally able to resolve this by adding filler to just the "stem" area. So, I took some of the spare pieces of curly willow, cut them to the length of stem that would be wrapped up, and distributed them amongst the stems of the actual elements. So the handle is tightly wrapped, but the bouquet remains un-crunched.

I did decide to get fancy when wrapping the handle.

Yes, that's my very chipped but very color-coordinated nail-polish. I think it's what I'll be wearing for the wedding.

As mentioned in my original cake post, I wanted to go with some wiry branches. My cake will be four layers of vanilla pound cake with raspberry preserve filling. The bottom layer will be 14", the second 11", then 8" and 5". I've asked the caterers not to add any detailing to the cake, but the following will go on the 11" tier, hugging the base of the 8" tier:

...and this little fella atop the top 5" tier:

That one still needs to have the extra wire trimmed, and all pieces are going to need to be wrapped up to be made food-safe. I have some white ribbon, but I think I might like the way the black looks. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Stick *This* in Your Button Hole!

Aka: Also Not Invitations

As I mentioned previously, I'd considered having flowers for just the attendants, but eventually decided that they wouldn't really fit in stylistically with anything else we have going on. What obviously followed hot on the heels of that decision was some serious muddling over what the various parties should have in their hands, if anything. In a now-famous-among-all-attendants email, I advised against live animals and open flame, but left the field otherwise wide open. Apparently my dad pitched in with a suggestion that each party member should carry an illuminated letter (meaning lit up, not prettily illustrated). Five members of each party, five letters in each of my and Fiance's names, this could never be coincidence! I think my sister refused to speak to him for the rest of the day.

So okay. When making my bouquet I found that I had some smaller pieces that I thought would work, but then decided would be overwhelmed by the scale of the other pieces. And I'd already figured that I'd be making a matching boutonnière for Fiance, but not long ago I decided that all of the attendants could have small bouts/nosegays/corsages/whatever that match the oh-so-neat bouquet. Sometimes I am that matchy-matchy bride at heart, and it happens so rarely that I need to embrace it when it does come out. Plus, an excuse to buy fun new tiny thingamabobs to incorporate into them.
So, without further ado (bottoms will be neatly trimmed, for most uses):

Each element was fairly similar in construction to the bigger bouquet pieces, but the big challenge here was to make small, flat, light, hug-weathering, attractive groupings. Some assembly guidance came from Martha but much more relevant to my non-flowery assemblage was this post from one Miss Green Tea on WeddingBee. My inspiration for the concept was seeing how very many different ways there are to wear a corsage, again from Martha.

It took me a couple of leisurely evenings to put these five together, though they had some rejected (and subsequently disassembled) brethren. Eventually, I will have 11 (or maybe 15 or 20 depending on how many other important personages we decide need "flowers" and how carried away I get) and our attendants will get to choose their own and how to wear them. I'm trying to make a variety so that some are suited more to specific tastes (more glass, more silver, more natural brown), and also because I expect some of our wedding party will need to fight (to the pain) to get the piece they want.

Which one would you pick? (hint: bottom left one is front-runner for the groom, right now) What special, non-attendant people should get "flowers?"