Thursday, March 29, 2012

Musical Tables!

I've always loved the idea of naming our tables after something unique to us and musicals seemed like the perfect fit. But in doing so I wanted to make sure it wasn't too cheesy. When we first talked about musical table numbers I thought it had cheesy potential written all over it. To help make it fit with the vintage feel our our venue, we decided to stick with Musicals from the 20s, 30s and 40s. While I love me some Wicked and Avenue Q, those musicals are a little to modern.

We then had the brilliant idea of choosing a song from each musical and putting a quote from the song on our table numbers. We took this even one step further by making a play list with each table's song to play during dinner. To be honest most people probably won't notice, but we will! And we had such a fun time choosing the musicals, songs, and versions of the songs to add to our playlist. Here are some of my favorites:
"I'm talking in my sleep about you... I love you a bushel and a peck you bet your pretty neck I do!"
"And so it seems that we have met before and laughed before and loved before, but who knows where or when"
"What do I care how much it may storm? I've got my love to keep me warm."

With the musicals and songs chosen it was time to make our table numbers. I, like many other brides out there, bought the Tolsby frames from Ikea. I like that they are double sided, and I love that they are 99 cents. One side has the table number on top of the sheet music from the song, and the other side has the musical title with a quote from the song! Mr. Castle put his design skill to work and generated these babies.

I love the sheet music behind the numbers. We even made sure that it is the real sheet music for each song. At first we were just going to use one template of sheet music for each but then I said to Mr. Caslte, " I don't really care, but if we went to a wedding I KNOW it would bug you if it wasn't the real sheet music for each song." He agreed and found the first page of music for each of the 16 songs. Each "show page" is unique in it's own way, no two are alike. Here are some of my favorite.

When it came to printing them we ran into some problems. We planned on printing them at home but our printer would not print the vibrant colors that Mr. Castle had chosen. Stupid six year old printer... We even tried to print them on photo paper and it did not work out. Our solution was to put the files on a jump drive and take it to CVS and use the instant photo printer. $9 for 32 pictures was a pretty good deal to me! They turned out great!
A small selection of our printed table numbers.

Here's what it looks like in one of the frames!

I am absolutely thrilled with how our table numbers turned out. We only have one of the frames here in NY with us, the rest are waiting in a bag for us in California. All we have to do it pop in the pictures when we get into town and then we're set!

Did you make your own table numbers? Did you name then after something special?
All Photos are personal :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Disneyland e-pics

I originally wasn't going to dedicate a whole post to our Disneyland photo shoot. I figured I already did a post about our New York engagement pictures, and I didn't want to overload the hive with photos. But after posting about our photo book, I realized there are so many other photos from that shoot I want to share! So I apologize for the photo overload. Erin from Palos Studio did such an amazing job I really must share!

Let me start by saying that wearing a dress and heels at Disneyland is a little strange. Disneyland has always been like second home, I worked there for two years, I always run into someone I know when visiting, I've ever been there at 4am to race in canoes... But this took it to the next level. I had never been dressed so fancy there before. We heard so many, "Awwwwwws," from other guests who were watching us taking pictures. It was an awesome day and every single cast member we came into contact with was sooo nice. I thought they might be annoyed by the clearly obvious engagement photo shoot going on in various locations, but much to our suprise everyone was very nice and even gave us suggestions for photos.

For anyone else out there planning on taking e-pics at Disneyland, this is the best piece of advice I could give: Get there right when the park opens. The park opened at 8:00am. We started shooting around 8:30am and were finished by 10:30am. By the time we were finished it was getting really crowded. It seems that's when all the tourist who wanted to sleep in start to arrive. By arriving bright and early, we could get the shots we wanted without having to worry about a huge crowd. I know that 4:00pm/5:00pm is the "golden hour" for photography but if you tried to go at that time of day, it would have been packed and not a pleasant experience.

Luckily for us it was a very pleasant experience and we have some awesome pictures taken by the amazing Erin Palos.

We are so happy we made the decision to go ahead and do the engagement photo shoot. It was really nice to be able to work with Erin and get to know her a little before the wedding. And we are thrilled to have such awesome pictures taken at one of our favorite places!

Anyone else thinking about Disney engagement photos?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Photo book tradition

If you recall my post about finding our photographer, I had mentioned that our package came with an engagement photo session. We weren't sure we were going to have time for the shoot on any of our visits to California. Our final trip before the wedding was in February and we figured if we were going to do it, it had to be then. When thinking of a location for said photos, Mr. Castle and I agreed it had to be Disneyland. Mr. Castle still had some comp tickets left over from when he worked for the company. We thought, "When will we ever have another chance to have professional photos taken at Disneyland?" Never. Then when Mr. Castle said, "Well, what are we going to do with those pictures?" I said, "Well that solves our guest book debate, we'll have a Disney engagement photo guest book!" I was pretty excited...
not only because of the Disneyland photos, but because photo books have become kind of a tradition with Mr. Caslte and I. I have made him a photobook every birthday for the five years we have been together.
Five photo books for five years of being together!

We love going back through and looking at what we did that year in our relationship. It also helps clear up things when Mr. Caslte says things like, "No we went to Disney World in 2009." And I can pull out the book and say, "Sorry babe it was actually 2008."

As I mentioned in a previous post, there are so many unique and awesome ideas out there for guest books. This photo shoot made the decision a lot easier, and really felt like our style. I usually make Mr. Castle's photo books through Shutterfly, which I have always been happy with. After reading some reviews provided by Miss Coyote and Mrs. Meerkat, I thought I would try a new company for our guest book. Even though I love our shutterfly books I wanted something that was a little nicer quality. I had read amazing reviews for Adoramapix not only here in the hive, but from tons of reviews online. It was also the only photo book I found that will open flat.

We didn't even have to pay for shipping because they had an option to pick up your photo book from their NYC store! Score!
The Cover
 Mr. Castle let me include a quote from one of my favorite Disney movies :)
One of the pages for guests to sign
The last page

I have to say the reviews were right, this book is such good quality. The cover and pages are thicker, it opens flat, and even the picture quality is a little nicer. I am SO happy with how it turned out and I think it was well worth the extra money to order from Adoramapix.
Photo by Palos Studio
The Castles in front of their favorite Castle! This picture is in our book but me taking a picture of it in the book doesn't do it justice.

Now that we have our guest book I guess it's time to start finding some pens! Thats where I need help! Anyone else have a photo guest book? What kind of pen did you use?? Did you go for one color or multiple colors?

All Photos personal unless otherwise stated

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"The Lovers the dreamers and me..."

Do you recognize those lyrics? It is from one of my favorite songs and the song I've decided to walk down the aisle to, "The Rainbow Connection."
Why such a random, non-traditional song you may ask? Because I love it, and when I told Mr. Castle my idea, I think his eyes welled up with a happy tear or two. It's one of those songs that to me, is hopeful and magical. When I was a little girl I used to sing it for auditions. It reminds me of my childhood, and all the good things in this world. Now although I love Kermit the frogs version, I will not be walking down the aisle to his voice... I'm thinking something more like this...
Two of Mr. Castle's groomsmen are going to be playing it on the guitar. I can't wait to see Mr. Castles face. I hope our guests enjoy our selection as well!

For our other ceremony music we decided to put one of our dear friends vocal talents to work. When our Grandmothers and parents enter he will be singing this:
We are such Disney nerds, right? "Castle on the Water," is another one of those nostalgic songs for Mr. Castle and I. It's a perfect fit for our family members walk down the aisle.

Time for a non-Disney selection, as our bridal party enters he will sing this:

For those of you who are not familiar, this song is from the musical The Music Man. A lot of people know it from The Wedding Singer. It's the song that the little old lady sings at her anniversary party. I have always loved it but I definitely wanted a more up beat version for our ceremony. The Beatles version of the song is the perfect fit!

OK one more nerdy Disney moment. For our recessional this will be played.

So that's our ceremony music. I'm excited! What kinds of music are you using for your ceremony?

Side Note: I notice that sometimes youtube videos don't show up on peoples posts. If this is the case I provided the links to the videos on youtube under each video. :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Our DIY Zig-Zag Escort card holder

I have to give props to Mr. Castle, because honestly he did most of the work for this DIY project. This project required a lot of precise measurements and for some reason I was not very good at that... You had to get the measurements right or it wouldn't lay right when you put it down. I was thankful for Mr. Castle's perfectionist nature on this one because I don't think I would have had the patience to do this alone!

To remind you our our escort card display idea, here's our inspiration. 
Image via Etsy / Seller JulieHananDesign

The first step in this project was finding the right paper. I needed a thick card stock paper that was long. I wanted to make as many slots for the escort cards as possible. I decided to make a fold every inch, so two inches for each card slot. A regular sized 8x11 paper would have only given us slots for five escort cards. With 150 guests we would have needed 30 of them to have slots for all our guests! And they would have been so short... I ended up going to a art suply store in NYC called Lee's Art Shop. They had a good selection of card stock but it all seemed to be in the 8x11 size range. Then I came across poster board sized paper and found out that they could cut it for me in store. The paper was 19 1/3 inches by 28 1/2 inches. I asked him to keep the length at 28 1/2 inches, but cut them into 4 1/2 inch strips. I bought three poster boards, cut 4 times gave me 12 strips, soon to be holders. Each one holds 14 cards, so that makes 168 slots. Perfect!

With the strips cut the next step was to get to folding them. That's where Mr. C comes in. I bought a bone folder and I practiced on some extra card stock I had lying around. For some reason I was getting the measurements all wrong and the folds were not even. My practice pieces wouldn't even lay flat on a table, parts of it would be sticking up....So Mr. C came in and took over while I watched and took pictures.

First he measured and made a mark every inch on both sides of the paper. That way when he went to use the bone folder he had a mark on each side to follow.
Then using the ruler as a guide to make a straight line, he used the bone folder to make the crease. In Martha's tutorial she tells you to flip the paper over and alternate which side you crease. That way you fold the paper towards the crease you made with the bone folder. We found that it will fold either way fine, it doesn't need to fold only towards the crease you make. We made all the creases on one side and folded in back and forth and it looks fine. Having to turn the paper over and make marks on both sides was an un-nessasary step in our opinion.
Mr. Castle lines up the ruler.
Then uses the bone folder to make the crease.

I finally got to help by folding the paper!
 Nice and even!
 Halfway there!

Next we needed to mark where we would punch the holes that the ribbon would go through. Mr. Castle took and extra piece of card stock and made a jig of sorts to mark the hole. He lined it up and penciled in the circle. This way each hole was in the same spot on each fold.
Then we got to punching some holes!

Poor Mr. Castle was getting hand cramps at this point, so I took over. I threaded some ribbon through the holes and got an idea of how long it should be. Once I had my first ribbon cut I used it as a template to cut the rest of the ribbon strips. 
Then I ran out of ribbon, so I will have to make a run to Michaels before I can put this on the "done" list... but I did complete one escort card holder by threading the ribbon through both sides and tying off the edges.
I'll cut the frayed edges to make them look better when we get closer to the wedding. I think it looks pretty good! It was a little time consuming, but really only took an evening to complete. I think all the repeated movements, folding, punching, threading made it feel longer than it actually was. We did have 12 to make! All the work was totally worth it. I can't wait to see our "ticket" escort cards proped up in these!

Did you make your own escort card holder? How did it turn out?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Castle Invites!

Invitations are out! RSVP's are coming in! And that means that I can finally show them off!
Personal Photos / Putting the invites in the mail. The second photo is my "artsy" shot... or just my crummy cell phone shot...

First let me tell you how we found these beauties. After hours of searching on the inter-web, I decided to narrow down my search by using words that fit our "theme." I used, "Broadway," "Playbill," "art deco," and "theater," as my key words while searching on Etsy. It was very helpful to use these key words, and it lead me to a little shop called, Little Owl Lettterpress.

When we first started looking at invitations, Mr. Castle kept saying, "I really like the look of letterpress invitations." I thought, yeah don't we all... I kindly explained to him that letterpress invitations can be very expensive. I tried to squash the idea from his brain, but I couldn't ignore that fact that I was drawn to them as well. When I found Little Owl Letterpress I decided why not check out their website. They awesomely list their prices on their website (A big plus in my book), and while more than I wanted to spend on invitations, it was not to far off. I contacted them and got the ball rolling. They were AMAZING to work with, so friendly and accommodating. When the invites finally arrived at our door I was blown away. I never thought I would LOVE our wedding invitations this much. I thought I would just settle for something that looked nice and move on. I had no idea that they would turn out to be so beautiful! I was afraid to put them in the mail for fear of them getting beat up! But a Bride's gotta do what a Bride's gotta do...  So with out further ado, here they are!
 Our Invitations! Sorry for the blurring, have to keep some level of mystery....
Our Post Card RSVP 
We added this little "website" card
The full set!

We have gotten such amazing feedback about our invitations. In fact we even got a wedding crasher! OK only semi-serious, a friend's husband can't attend and when a mutual friend saw the invite asked if he could be her date. Lol. He was really impressed by our invitations. 

What about you? Did you fall in love with your invitations once you had them in your hands?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Finding my Dress: the decision!

Mr. Castle seriously...
Image via / From Disney's Tangled

That same day after RK Bridal, we went to brunch and then made out way to David's bridal to look at bridesmaid dresses. I had an appointment at Wedding Atelier at 3pm. My good friend Lady Di had bought her wedding dress there and suggested I check it out. I thought why not try, but I had doubts I would find anything in my price range there... So after David's Bridal Bridesmaid J, her sister, Lady Di, my other girlfriend J and I all headed to Wedding Atelier.

I was soooo tired. We went to RK bridal at 9am and it was now 3pm. I was feeling dizzy from the days excitement and we ended up sitting around waiting for our consultant to finish up her previous appointment. I was really not in the mood to try on any more dresses. By the time our consultant was ready for us it was 3:30. She asked me the usual questions and I was totally honest with her in telling her the exact two dresses I liked. "One is trumpet and has lace, the other is an a-line with a defined waist and a sweet heart neckline." She said, "Well those are two completely different styles." I sighed, "I know..." My friends then got to work and pulled a bunch of dresses for me to try on, while my consultant pulled two. The first my consultant pulled was a very beautiful mermaid cut lace dress. One of my friends actually started crying! It was stunning, but it was too fancy for our outdoor wedding. It would have been the perfect dress if I was getting married in a church.

I then tried on my friends choices and I didn't love any of them. I was ready to go home. My consultant said OK now that you've tried on their picks, it's my turn. She put me in a trumpet style dress, no lace but lots of ruching. I looked in the mirror and thought "I like this." I walked out and immediately told my entourage "I like this one." I didn't want anyone to say anything negative and burst my bubble. I walked over and stood on the podium and looked at myself.

I can't even tell you what I was thinking, but I was feeling at lot of emotions. My friends were talking about the dress and I couldn't tell you what they were saying. I then looked at Bridesmaid J and said, "I really like it." And then came the tears.

I didn't know why, but this was my dress. It was such an overwhelming feeling, I mean I was crying! Could a dress really bring me to tears?? I started to second guess it. Maybe I was just tired and emotional, this can't be the one, can it? She added a sash and I gave myself a good look. Yeah, no doubt this was it. Then she whispered the price in my ear and I was sold.

The next thing I know I'm being measured for my dress, then I'm paying for it. After we all headed back to Di's apartment to celebrate. It was such a surreal experience finding the dress. I'm so happy that I had such good friends with me and that in a moment the decision was so easy to make.

And here it is my dress!!!
Celebrating finding my dress with the ladies who accompanied me! I look like a hot mess! It had been a long emotional day....

You might be thinking, hey I know that dress! And you would be right because I happen to be dress twins with our very own Mrs. Snow Cone. I LOVE seeing her recaps and seeing how gorgeous the dress looks on her!

I never thought I would have "the moment," when I knew that I had found my dress. So many people told me I would, but I didn't believe it. I thought I would have to decide between two dresses I really liked. But thankfully this baby stood out way above the others, and brought me to tears! As my consultant said, "Ahhh tears are a good sign!"

What about you, did you have the "moment" when finding your dress???
All Photos are Personal