Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My next DIY ambition

I'm getting ready to tackle my next DIY project! I'm very optimistic about this one, but also nervous that I will screw it up! I have been scouring pinterest and etsy looking at ideas for how to display escort cards. We know that we want to make theater "ticket" escort cards, but how shall we display them? Since they are tickets they will be flat, unlike the folded cards that can stand up on their own. I would like to find a way to prop them up somehow so it's clear what they are. Most weddings in my family don't have assigned seating so some of our guests won't be looking for them. We need something that will make sure they are seen. Of course there are a ton of ideas out there.

We could pin them on a cork board.
 Image via weddingchicks.com / Photography by She Wanders 

Or we could use a holder that props them up. This one can be hidden under rose petals or fabric.
Images via Etsy/ Seller SpottedInkShop

This magnetic board for displaying escort cards is quite lovely.
Image via Etsy / Seller ShugabeeLane

These seem to be propped up by stones in a box. Super cute, and so neatly organized. 
Image via stylemepretty.com / Photography by John Schnack / Designed/Coordinated by 
Amorology Weddings 

We could make a simple alphabetical list and hang it on something like this old window 
Image via theknot.com / Photography by Ksenija Savic Photography

While all of these ideas are awesome, they tend to be a bit pricy. We don't want to 
spend a hundred dollars on something we will never use again. When I show Mr. Castle
pictures he often responds with, "Can't we just lay them out on the table?"
To which I respond a big, "No that's boring! We need something interesting!" 
Luckily I stumbled upon this: 
Image via Etsy/ Seller JulieHananDesign

I was pretty excited because when I showed Mr. Castle he actually liked it. AND we can make them 
ourselves. It doesn't seem like it should be too hard... I hope.  Martha Stewart gives a pretty
straight forward how-to on her website so I'll probably use that as a guide. I think this is the best
option for us. Our venue provides us with a round table for the cards and this is a perfect
alternative to just laying them on the table. It'll look nice and it won't be too expensive! Score!

So stay tuned to see how it turns out! Hopefully it won't be too difficult!
Are you doing anything different to display your escort cards?

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tangerine Tango anyone?

I keep hearing how Pantone's color for 2012 is Tangerine Tango and I have to say, I love their decision. I feel like I am so ahead of the game having already chosen to have an orange wedding in 2012. Tangerine tango is actually a tad more red than my ideal shade of orange, but its still orange! It makes me happy because the next time someone asks, "What's your wedding color?" And I say, "orange," and then they look at me like I'm crazy I can say, "Oh didn't you know? It's Pantone's chosen color for 2012. It's very 'in' right now." Of course I would be having an orange wedding no matter what they chose as their color for 2012. But it makes me happy that orange is "in"!
Image via styleathome.com
    Like I said, it's a little more red tone than I like, but it seems to be a color that is up to interpretation... I've seen a lot of different inspiration boards in honor of the pantone color of the year, and most of them are more in the tangerine color family. I definitely like a more burnt orange color myself. Well either way in honor of Tangerine Tango, here are our ideas for incorporating the color into our big day!

    Board made on Projectwedding.com
    Photo Credit: 1st line from left to right: Alfred Angelo, Santa Barbara Chic. 2nd line Etsy/ Seller goldenrectanglepress,  theknot.com / Photography by Antonis Sachileos. 3rd line Santa Barbara ChicEsty/ Seller madebywildangel. 4th line orangetictacs.comtheknot.com / Photography by Steph Carson

    Do you like the tic tacs? I'll explain later... What do you think? Are you on board with tangerine tango? Have you been shopping lately and seen all the orange clothes for spring??? I love it!

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Getting the words just right

    Sort of continuing with my last post... I have found that with divorced parents you have to think about certain things differently. Or maybe just with super sensitive divorced parents. We had to keep this in mind when choosing the wording of our invitations. We found our invitations from a seller on Etsy and were super excited to get the process going. We loved the style and design of the invitations, but we thought we would probably need to make some changes to the wording. The way the sample was worded is like this:

    Together with their parents
    Mr. and Mrs. Brides Parents
    Mr. And Mrs. Grooms parents
    Sharon and Jeff
    Invite you to join them as they unite in marriage
    Date time
    Diner, Dancing and a lifetime of happiness to follow

    This wording looks really good with the over all design of the invitation. I wish I could show you... but I want to keep it a secret for now. There were a couple problems with this wording. First, it implies both set of parents are hosting the wedding, which is not the case in our wedding celebration. Since my Dad is the one hosting I asked his opinion and didn't really have a strong feeling about it. He definitely leans towards being more traditional about things but says it's our decision in the end. I felt that it should be clear in our invitation that he is hosting. We are so thankful to him and we want to give him all the credit he deserves!

    My other issue was how to word the invitations with my divorced parents. My Mom is no longer a Mrs. so I decided to do some research. I know we are not the first people to have this question and indeed there is a lot of information out there about it. Martha Stewart says this about divorced parents, "Names are listed on a separate line, and Mom comes first." Well that doesn't work with our invitation design, their names have to be on the same line. And I also feel that my Dad's name should come first since he is the one hosting the affair. Sorry Martha. I looked further and found some other information saying divorced parents can be listed together separated by an "&" and the brides mother becomes a Ms. instead of a Mrs. That sounded good to me.  So here is what we decided on.

    With Joyous Hearts
    Mr. Brides Dad & Ms. Brides Mom
    Invite you to the wedding of their daughter
    Sharon Last Name to Jeff Last Name
    Son of Mr. & Mrs Grooms parents
    Date, Time
    Diner, Dancing and a lifetime of happiness to follow

    I thought this was a pretty great compromise. We got the sample pdf from our designer and it looked great. We approved it and moved on with our lives. Until my Mom saw them and got a little upset...

    She didn't like being a "Ms." When I asked, well what should I have put? She said she would have rather left out the Mr. and Ms. all together. I told her that etiquette and the formality of the event require the Mr. & Ms. She eventually realized she over reacted and said it was fine later that same day. It's one of those things that while I don't want to upset my Mom or hurt her feelings, this is how we want it to be. We spent a great deal of time researching things and going back and forth deciding what would be best for ourselves and our parents. Thankfully she got over it fast. I think in her mind it was another reminder of the fact that she is divorced and separate from my Dad.

    Even with that hiccup, I am really excited about our invitations. I think they look beautiful and the wording we chose were the right way to go. Once more rsvps come in I can show you how awesome they are!

    How did you word your invitations? Did you go with traditional wording or non traditional?

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    The "D" word

    Most people try to avoid thinking about the big "D" while planning their wedding. It's not really something that you want to foresee happening in your future. But in my planning process, dealing with my parents always brings it to mind. And if you haven't guessed it yet, the "D" word that I'm talking about is divorce. No one thinks when they get married that they will someday get divorced. If you do think about it maybe there's a problem... But sometimes it happens, people change, or don't change, things happen, children grow and people split up.

    My parents separated when I was about 13. Their divorce was finalized when I was a senior in high school. I remember being OK with my parents getting a divorce. I didn't want to hear them fight anymore. And I was lucky enough to have parents that got along with each other even though they were divorced. We still went on family trips together and celebrated Christmas and birthdays as a family. My parents even did things together just the two of them. They would go to concerts, baseball games and sometimes even trips. It was nice while it lasted.

    Fast forward to now. They have been divorced about 9 years and now rarely talk to each other. They can't have a conversation without fighting about something. There have been many issues between them that I won't get into, but a major factor in their relationship change is that my Dad now has a pretty serious girlfriend. Ugh. I could go on and on but I'm sure you know where this is going. My Mom is uncomfortable with my Dad's girlfriend coming to the wedding. I can't ask my Dad not to bring his girlfriend, and I can't stand the thought of my Mom being upset on my wedding day. I've really been at a loss of how to handle this. With less than two months until the wedding I really don't want to be stressing out about this.

    It's been very difficult for them to speak civilly to each other, even about their only daughter's wedding. It has been a real challenge to say the least. I worry about their dynamic on our wedding day. I have communicated with both of them about this and they understand...sort of. They both agree that I shouldn't be worrying about it and there won't be any drama at our wedding. But whenever they talk something happens, they get all upset with each other and once again I am in the middle of it.

    My Mom during one conversation said to me, "Your wedding reminds me of the fact that I am divorced and I never wanted to get divorced." I can totally understand that. No one wants to get divorced.   

    They say that about 50% of marriages end in divorce. That statistic sucks. Another crappy statistic is that The children of divorced parents are prone to divorcing 4 times more than the children of couples who are not divorced. Obviously I don't think Mr. Castle and I will get divorced. I couldn't ever imagine us having such issues that our only option would be divorce. 

    But the divorce cloud is hovering over our day in another way, through my parents. Their issues are so much bigger than just my Dad wanting to bring his girlfriend to the wedding. But the wedding is the big event happening now. It is the first time my parents will be in the same room together in a really long time. My greatest wish is that they could put all that aside and be happy for their only daughter on her wedding day. It's not about them, it's about me (And Mr. Castle of course)

    As the wedding day approaches things seem to be getting a little better. I'm not hearing about all the drama from each parent anymore and I hope and pray it stays that way. I know it could be a lot worse. I've heard stories about family fights at weddings and people refusing to attend if  the new boyfriend/girlfriend comes. I know none of that will not be happening on our day. I just feel bad knowing that my family won't be sitting together, and my parents probably won't speak to each other the whole day.  

    From now on I'm just going to try and let any issues go. I can't do anything to change the way my parents feel about each other. I can't do anything to make my Mom feel more comfortable and I can't ask my Dad to not bring his girlfriend. And I can't stress out about it anymore! All I can do is try and communicate my feelings with both my parents and hope for the best. At the end of the day I know they both love Mr. Castle and I so much and are they are so happy about the wedding. Hopefully that joy will out weigh the anxiety of seeing each other...
    Personal Photo / The last picture I have with my whole family taken about 4 years ago.

    Any one else have a similar situation? How did you handle it?

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Making my skin pretty

    With the wedding just around the corner I am trying to do everything in my power to get beautiful, even, glowing skin. I am lucky enough that I don't have terrible skin to begin with. I do get pimples but usually only one or two a month, around that time if you know what I mean... Always on my chin or forehead between my eye brows. A nice third eyeball as I like to call it. Mr. Castle and I call pimples volcanoes, so I think from here on out I will to refer to them as such. I have the terrible habit of popping and messing with my volcanoes, which leaves them red and in some cases leaves a nice reminder scar.

    I've never really had a face regiment. I honestly only washed my face if I wore makeup that day. Which I rarely ever do. Yep, I don't usually wear makeup. I just find it takes to much time. Basically, I don't wear makeup because I'm lazy... I guess I also never took the time to wash my face because I'm lazy about that as well. But not anymore! I do not want to worry about a volcano making an appearance on the big day so I've been trying out different things to get clear beautiful skin.
    Personal Photo of all the skin care products I have tried. Clearly I have a problem with finding the right skin care....

    My go-to face wash for the last couple years has been the Bliss fabulous foaming face wash. I also got their triple oxygen line as a gift one year. I really like it for a general face wash. I especially like using the face wash and the oxygen mask together. It makes me skin feel bubbly and bright. It does a good job removing makeup and cleaning my skin but it didn't do anything in the way of preventing volcanoes.

    Images via Sephora.com

    I used to use some Clean and Clear or Neutrogena spot treatment for volcanoes, but I didn't feel like it was really helping much. I would have huge red marks on my face for about a week. After reading Miss Macaroons Skincare Saviors Post and seeing what she uses for break outs, I decided to try some Mario Badescu products. I invested in the buffering lotion, drying lotion, and the healing cream. The buffering lotion doesn't do much for me, but the drying lotion and healing cream were a great purchase. The drying lotion really does shrink unsightly volcanoes overnight and the healing cream reduces redness and helps prevent scarring. It has even helped fade some previous acne scars.

    Images via mariobadescu.com

    Then I read Miss Doe's post about using the Clinique acne three step system. So I thought I'd try that as well! (Seriously I think I have a skin care addiction) It works pretty well, but it really dries out my skin. I was only using it every other day, but now I've cut it down to about twice a week. I'm not sure it's doing much good with that infrequent of use. I did think my skin looked noticeably clearer after using it for a while. But using it combined with the cold dry New York City air it was making my face so dry it was flaking.
    Image via Sephora.com

    Which brings me to moisturizer. I have never before had problems with dry skin. I guess getting older and living in a cold environment has changed my skin a bit. I am a huge fan of Aveeno's positively radiant moisturizer. I've been using it for years, but unfortunately it just wasn't cutting it for the dry skin. I did some research online about what works best for dry skin and I read this article saying that coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer to prevent dry skin. Well, thanks to a Heath food giveaway I won on onewed, I have a huge jar of pure organic coconut oil in my kitchen. I decided why not give it a try?! I put some on my face before bed and the next morning no more dry flaky skin! I'm going to continue using this as my night time moisturizer and use the Aveeno during the day. So far it's working out great.

    My last new addition comes from another post I read on by Mrs. Seashell. I decided to try this face wash in replacement of my usual bliss product. For one it's way cheaper than the bliss stuff, it's all natural, and so far I'm liking it much better. My face feels like its getting a much deeper clean, and its not drying out my skin.

    Image via amazon.com

    So there you have it! Yeah it's kind of a lot of different products, but like with anything else you have to experiment and see what's right for you. I don't know how my skin will look in a month from now, but I'm hoping with my new "regiment" in place it will be looking bright and beautiful.

    Do you have a skin regiment? Are you changing it up to prepare for the big day?

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    100 days

    Today we are at the 100 day mark. 100 days till I marry my Man. Tomorrow we will be in the double digits! Wow time has flown. I would like to a moment to take some inventory on how I am feeling right now at this moment, 100 days before the wedding. Here goes:

    At this point in time I am more excited about the honeymoon than the actual wedding. I mean I'm excited to be getting married, but I'm more excited about our trip as a newly married couple than the actual wedding day. Awful I know... or is it? Thinking about our honeymoon has relieved some of the stress of planning. But at the same time it has made the planning part less interesting. I'll think, "I don't want to research flowers anymore, let's look at hotels in Paris instead..." So although good that I'm excited about our trip, it's getting me a little off track.

    I am pretty behind on some things, but I'm ahead on others. While Jeff and his guys still have no idea what they are wearing, the bridesmaid dresses have already come in. Invitations are ordered just not sure how we will addresses them... We have plans for our table numbers and escort cards now we just have to make them. And still deciding what our guest book, card box and favors will be...

    I spend my days going back and forth between being really stressed and very zen about it all. Luckily I'm having a zen kind of day today. But watch tomorrow I'm going to see two numbers instead of three in my count down and I'm going to freak out!

    But for tonight I'll watch some Big Bang Theory browse some sites and dream about the honeymoon.

    Anyone else have bipolar wedding emotions? Zen, stressed, a little of both?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    My Girls

    I'd like to take a moment and talk about my bridesmaids!
    Loved that movie

    My girls are awesome, I can't say enough good things about them. They are all smart, beautiful, talented, funny, amazing women. Another thing they all have in common is that none of them are here... meaning at this moment in time none of them are in the same state as me. In fact right now three out of the five are in a different country!

    Four of my bridesmaids and I went to college together. My Matron of Honor and I go all the way back to elementary school. My college girls and I met studying theater, so naturally three of them are off performing around the globe. My other college bridesmaid is actually in California for a month finishing up her degree. And my Matron of Honor lives in California with her husband and three sons.

    So it's a bummer that none of them are around right now. It's like the final countdown, with the wedding just around the corner. But these ladies do all they can to help me from afar. I am so proud of all of them. These girls have such exciting things going on in their lives! Let me introduce them.

    First up we have Bridesmaid L. She and her man (who happens to be one of Mr. Castles groomsmen) got engaged on Christmas day! I was seriously dying because I had known for so long before the actually proposal. She is such a fun girl and I know she will help get the dance party started at the wedding! She is currently performing on a cruise ship and I miss her so much. They are actually letting her take time off to come to the wedding! I was so happy when she told me. I couldn't have imagined the day without her. She was the first person I looked at wedding stuff with... Before we were both engaged...
    I think we were doing our top model faces or something in this photo

    Then we have bridesmaid J. I moved to NY with miss J. If it wasn't for her I don't know how I ever would have made it out here. She was a great roommate. She introduced me to reality TV and shared my great love of ice cream. We used to order in ice cream sundaes. True story. We lived together up until I moved in with Mr. Castle. I was lucky enough to have her in town visiting when I found my wedding dress. She is currently performing on a cruise ship as well. I miss her so much!
    Celebrating having just bought my wedding dress!

    Bridesmaid C is my own little mini Martha Stewart. We actually became close after college when she moved to NYC about a year after I did. I always joke that we missed out on so much friendship time in college! I am so happy that we have become so close and I am so thankful for all her help. She is my only NYC bridesmaid, at least she will be when she completes her degree and returns in a couple weeks. :)
    Tanning in central park. I am wearing a bathing suit... I know it looks like I'm naked.

    Bridesmaid S and I were college roommates. I could not have had a better college roommate. Some of my favorite college memories include watching "Friends" on our couch together and eating Wendy's. We once watched a whole season of "24" straight through. We had sun poisoning from a trip to the beach so we vegged out and watched "24." She has such a wonderful spirit, is amazingly talented, and I miss seeing her bright sunny face! She is currently in Canada with a touring show. Her tour ends like a week before the wedding!
    My favorite picture of us from College.

    And finally Matron of Honor N. I met this girl in 4th grade. Then in 6th grade we were both short and stood next to each other in the front row in choir, and the rest as they say is history. She is my rock, my sister and my best friend. I could go on and on but you get the idea, we're close. I am so thankful that we were both the same height in 6th grade. I've since passed her up! Even though she lives in California AND she has 3 little boys, she has provided me with so much support and help through out this planning process.
    I was maid of honor at her wedding in 2004
    Celebrating our 24th birthdays together. We are two days apart! I'm older....

    Those are my girls. I'll admit, sometimes I get sad and wish they were sitting next to me. I miss them all SOOO much. But I am thankful for their love and support from afar. The most important thing to me is that they are there with me on our big day. Which they all will be, looking fabulous!

    Does anyone else have long distance bridesmaids?

    All Photos personal unless otherwise stated

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    DIY semi-fail...

    If you recall I wanted to try my hand at a DIY project for our aisle decor. I found a lot of options that I wrote about here, and I decided to give these pomander balls a try.
    Image via theidearoom.com
    (You can find their directions by following the link above)

    Let me start by saying that mine does not look like theirs... I followed the directions but sometimes you have to experiment and see that works for you. I find it's hard to explain in writing how you made something. Maybe I misinterpreted the instructions a little... Well I'm going to try my best to explain how I made my first pomander ball.  

    First I gathered my supplies:

    -Crepe paper in the color of your choice. I ended up needing two rolls
    -I used  3" round Styrofoam ball (I think it may have worked better with a 2" ball though)
    -A glue gun
    -Something to measure how long to cut the crepe paper. I used a tape measure.

    So as you can already see, if I decide to do this again I'm going to make some changes.

    First step is measure a piece of crepe paper about 2ft. Cut at 2ft, or rip like I did...
    Next you crinkle it up the paper and flatten it back out. It makes the paper softer and easier to work with.
    You then fold about 1/3 of the paper over.
    Now you are ready to start making your rose. Roll the paper a couple times to get it started.
    Now this is the hard part to explain, and it takes some experimenting. You continue to roll up the paper, but start to twist the bottom, sort of. I ended up just keeping the bottom between two fingers while rolling the paper. I found that when I twisted the bottom while rolling the paper into a ball, the flowers became too small.
    I tried my best to make the flowers a big and as "flower like," as possible. What I did to make this happen was I kind of placed the paper where I wanted it to be while rolling them. I put my thumb under the folded part of the paper, which helped create the petal look while rolling the paper. Ugh. Its hard to explain, which is why you have to experiment and see what works for you!
    As you can see below, my earlier flowers are just way to small.
    There are some good ones in there as I got better at making them.
    When you get about 10 flowers made, you can start hot gluing them onto your Styrofoam ball.
    I think the Styrofoam ball I used was too big. I had to make sooo many flowers to fill the whole thing. And since I started out making these tiny skinny flowers it took forever to finish.
    I also hot glued a ribbon on before finishing the ball, that way I could hang it on a chair.
    So my first attempt was kind of a fail because I don't think it looks very pretty. The flower sizes are uneven and the smaller flowers don't really look like flowers. But I did learn how to make it better if I want to try again. I also bought some white crepe paper, so I might get a 2" ball and attempt a version 2.0 from the lessons learned in my first try.
    On our shelf where it now lives. Far away from the curious kitties.

    I'm proud of myself for trying my hand at my first DIY project! It may not have worked out the way I wanted but hey, there is room for improvement and you've got to start somewhere, right?

    Have you done any DIY projects for your wedding that resulted in a semi-fail?

    *All photos personal unless otherwise noted

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    The groom and his men

    In deciding what Mr. Castle and his groomsmen will wear, we have debated over suit or tux? Grey or Black? Buy or Rent? And on top of all that what style?
    Image via groomsadvice.com / Attire by Indochino

    I actually was leaning towards a  grey suit for Mr. Castle and black for his groomsmen. Mr. Castle wasn't really feeling that option. I would rather him be happy with what he wears so I didn't push it. It should be his choice. He is more into a black tux for himself and the boys. Sort of like what is pictured below.
    Image via stylemepretty.com / Photography by Gia Canali Photography
    I think that option would be great. Maybe we'll have the groomsmen wear a different color tie, maybe orange!
    Image via greylikesweddings / Photography by Meg Perotti
    I think the above picture is actually a suit, but this is the look Mr. Castle is going for. He would like a more modern slim fit tux. The problem with that is, it is next to impossible to find a slim fit tux to rent.

    We popped into our local Men's Wearhouse to ask some questions. First question: "Do you have any modern slim fit tuxes for rental?" Answer: "No all of our tuxes are boxy." Ok..., Next question: "Can we maybe bring in one of our groomsmen to try on some styles?" Answer, "When you order tuxes they come in 2 days before the event from Texas. We don't have them in the store to try on..."

    Maybe I just don't know how renting tuxes work, but to me that's really weird. I mean I got to try on my wedding dress. Yeah it was way too big but at least I got to visualize how it would look on me. So the bride gets to know what she will wear on the wedding day, but the groom doesn't get any idea until 2 days before the wedding? That just doesn't make sense in my mind.

    Ok now that my rant is over. I know there are other stores we can look at for tux rentals, and maybe they actually allow you to try on different styles. For arguments sake we decided look into buying something for him to wear. That way he could get it tailored to be the slim fit he wants.
    Image via www.indochino.com
    This site Indochino has a lot of suit and tux options. Their prices aren't bad and the styles are exactly what Mr. Castle is looking for. But you order it online, so once again no trying it on...
    Image via Macys.com
    This is Mr. Castles favorite option. We found it online at Macy's and with their constant sales we might be able to get it for a really great price.

    I think it's unfair that weddings are all about the Bride and her dress. People often overlook the groom in his boxy rented tux. Well I want my Man to look and feel good! I can't wait to see him all dressed up, and I think choosing his ensemble deserves just as much attention as choosing my dress did.

    We did end up finding a place that at least rents slim fit pants for his grooms men. It's called Friar Tux Shop and they have locations all over Southern California. The guys even got to try some stuff on! The verdict is still out whether or not Mr. Castle will buy or rent, but he better decide soon. Time is running out!

    What is your groom wearing? Tux, suit? Renting, buying? 

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Doing something "normal"

    Today I had a pretty good day. Lately I have felt pretty stressed and run down. With 110 days left until the wedding my mind seems to be on one track, wedding mode. But today I did something non-wedding related and it felt really good. I did something that used to be part of my typical routine. It showed me that sometimes you have to take a step back from wedding obsessing and do something that feels "normal."

    Today I went to my first audition of 2012. As I have mentioned before, I moved to New York to purse musical theater. After becoming engaged my auditioning and training kind of took a back seat. I had actor friends telling me, "I took a whole year off auditioning and acting when I was getting married. It's just too much stress." So I kind of cut myself some slack thinking it was perfectly justifiably for me to take a little break from auditioning. 

    But today I decided it was time to get back into the game. I got up at 6:30, left my snoozing fiancĂ© and arrived at the audition at 7:30. I waited in line until sign up started at 9 and then I auditioned at 10:10. It was a long morning but after I was done I felt amazing. It felt so refreshing to get back into something that was always part of my normal routine. Focusing my mind and energy on the audition was invigorating. It felt so right.

    The point of my tale is that sometimes its nice to take a step back from wedding planning and do something that you have been neglecting in in lieu of nuptial preparations. Another example, I love to read but lately I can't bring myself to take the time to start a new book. Well I think I'm going to start a new book tonight. 

    I want to be felling more like this in the next couple months, and I think taking time to do things I love will help me achieve that.

    I don't want to look back on my year and four months of wedding planning and realize all I did was obsess about the wedding. I wish I would have realized this a little bit earlier. But it's better late than never.

    Do you have any normal routines or activities you like to partake in instead of wedding planning? 

    Thursday, January 5, 2012

    Guest book ideas

    When trying to find the perfect guest book for our wedding I find there are so many options it can get a little overwhelming! I have tried to focus on what kind of guest book we will want in our home after the wedding, rather than what will look cool and impress our guests. What do we want to look at, read, display, etc. to remind us of those who attended our big day? While I would love to do something creative and unique, I am trying to remember this is for us to have as a keepsake forever. We want something we will fondly look back on, not something that just collects dust or becomes a large storage piece.

    We could always go the traditional wedding guest book route. A beautiful book with a matching pen.
    This option seems a little too traditional for us. And I think I want something more than just our guests names in a book. I would like them to be able to write us a little note as well.

    Luckily there are more "modern" versions of the traditional guest book.

    I think this one is super cute. It's like opening a card from each guest. This would also probably be really easy to DIY... 

    I've also thought about a guest book with our engagement pictures in it.
    Image via danielhowellphotopraphy.com / Photography by Howell Photogrpahy

    I like this option because not only will you look back and remember the guests that attended your wedding, you will also be looking back on your engagement pictures! It's like killing two birds with one stone! I can see us looking back through a book like this more often than a book with just our guests names.

    Sticking with the picture idea, I also like the look of this instant photo guest book. 
    Found this photo here on the Weddingbee boards / Photography by He&She Photography

    It would be nice to have a photo of every one of our guests from our wedding day. I would just hope people wouldn't waste film on silly pictures...

    I've also come across some "game" guest book ideas. The one below is like the game Jenga. Each of your guests sign one of the pieces. Then you and your hubby can play the game each year on your anniversary.
    Images via Etsy/ Seller thepaperynook

    There is also a puzzle guest book, where each of your guest sign a puzzle piece. 
    Image via Etsy/ Seller MemoryLanePuzzles
    Each of theses game ideas are so cute and fun, but they don't seem like the perfect fit for us. I would be worried about one of the puzzle pieces going missing at our reception...

    And the list just keeps going! Here are some other unique ideas for guest books I came across.
    Image via Etsy/ Seller bindingbee
    This one is a vintage book with blank pages for guests to sign their names.

    Image via www.snippetandink.com / Photography by Oh, Darling!
    This guest book lets each attendee write their well wishes to the bride and groom on their own post card. They can then be put in a decorative box, a library catalogue drawer or a fancy mailbox. After the wedding you can put  them all into a scrapbook.
    Guests could write us a note on an actual typewriter. While this would be really cool, I think it would take each guest a little too much time to "sign" the guest book this way. 

    Some people like a guest book they can display on the wall after the wedding. 
    Image via Etsy/ Seller ssanchez
    Our guests could each sign the spine of one of these books. It's like they are signing our 
    "love stories."
    Image via Etsy/ Seller DefineDesign11
    Guests could sign anywhere on this California poster. This one would be special for
    Mr. Castle and I since we met in California and are getting married there.

    There are so many more options I didn't even include! I basically only included the ones I
    have seriously considered. We did finally decide, but you'll have to wait and see! Also it's
    not ready yet...

    Which is your favorite? What are you using as a guest book?