Archive for the ‘Engagement Fun’ Category

Virtual *free* Save the Dates………… I'm in love

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

So I stumbled upon some free virtual save the dates.  There are many designs to choose from, you can edit and design the way you like and you can send them via e-mail to as many of your guests as you want- and the best part is…….. they’re free!  Sent some out, but found out you need to invite ten more people? No problem- your design is saved and you can send out more at any time.

Check out http://www.cocodot.com – your source for online invitations, announcements, and greeting cards.

The code you’re going to want to get your free save the date is as follows “COCOWEDDING”(expires March 1, 2011).

Are most of your guests tech savy? Want to cut down on paper waste and save on postage? They have great plans that allow you to create all of your wedding stationary and work off of your already uploaded e-mail list.  If you use the “COCOWEDDING” code you can get a one year deluxe on-line invitation package+cards+stationary at half price for only $49.

Worried about having to type out all of your pals e-mail addresses? It imports from yahoo, AOL & Outlook.  Pretty nifty.

So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Back to my wedding website.  I’ll write more on that later.  Also, my hall excursion and booking.  Stay tuned.


Groom's Corner – another step closer

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

December, 2009

The Giants are officially out of the playoffs.  They’ve lost to the dreaded Eagles.  But I am not worried.  They’ve never won a Super Bowl and hopefully never will.  Anyway after the game my girlfriend is talking about moving near me with a girlfriend.  I say it s a great idea.  Get out of your house, be independent.  Wait… I wish I still lived at home.   Anyway,  she starts talking about how much it will cost, and starts to talk about our future.  Holy Shit! The future, here it comes.  She starts saying that if she moves out she won’t be able to save money.  I’m like save money for what??  And then it hits me.

She starts talking about marriage, the ring, the future.  Guys don’t like to hear about the future.  Day to day man.  That’s how we roll.  Anyway, she asks me how people pay for a wedding?  I ponder the thought and say “the bride’s parents pay for the whole thing, don’t they?”  Nice try.  She gives me a look and right there I knew it.  I mean, I had to plant the seed right?  So I guess we are going to have to save.  Now, does that me she doesn’t move out??  I want to buy a house, or a condo, and maybe go back to school.  Wow I wish I was watching Sports Center.


Shopping with other people's money – the art of registering for gifts

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I won’t lie, one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process was registering for gifts that I would never have to buy for myself.  Or perhaps the idea of registering was the most fun…because I will admit, as a professional shopper (not really, but in my make-believe world), I found the process to be a little stressful.  There you are, all excited, with gun in hand.  Now what?  What do you need?  How much of it?  Where do you start?  Is it rude to register for the $600 orange standing mixer?  But what if I really want the $600 standing mixer?  I mean not enough that I would ever buy it for myself, but hey, if you’re buying…then I really want it.  I will admit, I was really ill prepared.  Plus I had my fiance’ with me, who does not enjoy shopping even a little bit, so after 45 minutes of chaos I agreed to just leave the store.

That’s when I discovered the online registry (insert angels singing here).  I mean, is there really anything better in the world than sitting in your pj’s at your computer and clicking away to your hearts content all the things that you desire??  Le Creuset casserole dish- check!  12 bottle wine cellar, check! Mellon baller (because everyone needs one!!)- check!  Totally and utterly addicting!  And totally and utterly dangerous!

I realized that I should have been better informed and prepared before jumping into these muddy waters.  Therefore, I have decided to take what I learned, all of my trade secrets, and share them with all of you newbies.

Tip # 1:  Pick 3 stores to register at.   The reason for this is that sometimes your favorite store is inconvenient for your guests.  You may love William Sonoma, but maybe your cousin out in Kansas doesn’t have one by her.  Make sure at least one of your options is a large franchise (like Bed, Bath and Beyond – but more about them later).  Also, make sure all of your stores have websites so people can buy your gift online if they so desire.

Tip # 2:  Don’t go anywhere without a plan of action.  My biggest mistake was walking into a store on a whim.  What I should have done was spent some time at home checking out my existing inventory as well as going on line to see what products are popular and what brands are good.  Decide what types of items you want to get and what you don’t want to get (China and crystal, for example).  Make a comprehensive list of what you plan on registering for.  If you are a member of My Wedding Binder (and if you are not…well I mean really, why aren’t you??) then you have access to the extremely helpful registry list that I created.  It tells you what items are important to register for from your dining room to your garage as well as how many of each items are necessary to have.

Tip # 3:  Make your registry eclectic.  Make shopping fun for your guests.  Nothing is more of a bummer than going to pick up a gift for a friends shower and realizing that all that is left is a toilet bowl cleaner and an electric nose hair trimmer.  People want to be excited about what they are getting for you so have a large variety of items that you want.  And make sure you update your registry (from home of course) so that your guests always have options (unless you just want money – than leave it alone!  They’ll get the hint eventually!) Additionally, be eclectic with your price ranges.  You know your guests better than anyone else.  Have a handful of really expensive items (for your rich great Aunt Gertrude and for your bridesmaids to chip in on), but also have a nice variety of price points so that people do not feel put off.  A big portion of your items should be in the $20-$30 range.

Tip # 4:  Consider store policy.  This is super important.  Some stores have the most amazing return policies and some totally suck.  Here is when I give my major shout out to Bed Bath and Beyond for being the most awesome and bride friendly store ever!!!  Lets discuss just how sick they are.  First, with their abundance of 20% off coupons in circulation, your guests would be hard pressed not to be able to get their hands on one to use when buying your gift.  Not only does BB&B take expired coupons (1998?  No problem), but they have ZERO restrictions!  That’s right, so that $600 standing mixer….just became $480!  This is the best place to register for your expensive items because they could be bought using a coupon, thus you are more likely to end up receiving those items.  The second thing that makes BB&B totally kick ass is that they have the absolute best return policy known to man.  Anything bought off your registry can be returned FOR CASH even if you have already used it!!  Yes, you read that correctly.  I got a set of knives that I kept throwing in the dishwasher (whoops) and they all rusted.  6 months later I brought them back, no box, no problem!  I got $80 back in cold, hard, cash!!  If you get something not from your registry, they will also take it back in any condition and give you store credit or an exchange.  You can not do better than that! (Psst – if you really want cash more than anything else, and you can’t find a good way to ask for it, just register for lots of gifts at BB&B and return them for cash afterwards!  Don’t tell anyone I told you that!!)

Tip # 5: Think outside the home goods store.  Are you currently living with your soon to be significant other?  Maybe you already have all the chafing dishes and garlic presses a person could possibly need.  Don’t get suckered into being traditional.  More and more couples these days are opting to register at stores that suit their needs better.  If you are moving into a new house, maybe you would prefer to register at Home Depot for renovation materials?  Planning on installing a pool or putting in a garden?  Check out registry options at specialty stores pertaining to your needs.  Mr. N and I actually registered for our honeymoon!  Guests had the option to contribute to the trip overall or purchase an activity for us (swimming with the dolphins, massages).  In reality, they really are just contributing to your honeymoon costs because the website just sends you a check for all of the money your guests contributed (so really, you can spend it however you want).  Check out www.honeymoonwishes.com to see how you can register for your honeymoon!

Whatever you do though, don’t be tacky.  As much as I’m sure you are craving those really cute jeans from Bloomies or that necklace you saw at Saks, make sure that your registry items are things that you can both use as a couple.


………the whole nine yards………..

Friday, February 26th, 2010

Hi- I am the future mrs. culberson.  I am moving over from another blog site, so I will post a brief version of what has been posted on the other site.  I will warn you-  I am a broke ass bride (total budget around $1,000), very DIY, and I am totally in love with the man of my dreams.  Almost everything I write about in regards to our wedding is either second hand, homemade, or talked down from the original price…….. cause’ that’s the way I roll.

So sit back, relax, put on your sexy specs………… and here we go………….

Woah………….. here we go!  My first real blog. “Like a virgin…….. “ Everybody- sing it together!

Ok, I’m quite over that.   Moving on…………..

I have always wanted to write………….. about everything.  My life, the chaos, art & love I create………….. more recently my family, my engagement & wedding planning, finding God in a devil driven society, and what it’s like to be bi-polar trying to hold it all together while staying sober.

I am recently out of rehab, and almost two months clean……………  and everyday is an adventure.

I invite you to join me in this journey I call life.  See things through my eyes, and together we’ll take it from there.

P.S.

Comment…………. give me your feedback.  Tell me what you like, what you don’t like……….. what you’d like to see, etc.

 

I went to one of my favorite stores the other day (TJ Maxx http://www.tjmaxx.com/ ) and was pleased to find wedding invites, favor bags, and a batchlorette party in a box all on sale for under $10!  In our wedding colors none the less.  (We are going with turquoise, white & black with hot pink accents)  I was able to get all of our invites, and other goodies for under $30!  What a steal.  I love that store.

Here’s the goods:

Invites- Retail $19.99, I paid $9

Favor boxes- retail $9.99, I paid $4

Batchlorette Party in a Box- Even includes the rhinestone tiara! Paid $4

I am so thrilled with the way the little things are coming along, this week I am going to look into renting our venue.  I have about $200 to work with.  (I warned you, I am broke ass)  I am also going to look into booking the two bands I want……… hoping to get them.

I was browsing CraigsList (one of my guilty pleasures) when I came across a size 8 first communion/flower girl dress.  My curiosity got the best of me and I checked it out.  Only $15 and this dress was beautiful.  I called and talked to the lady, and we agreed that maybe I would find a way to pick it up later this week.  In my mind I could not fathom a way to make this happen though because she lived out of town, and I don’t drive or have access to a car.  So for me to get out there is near impossible.

Anyway………………

Fast forward two hours ————>

I am napping and the phone rings.  It is the woman with the dress.  She is coming into town and wants to know if I would like to meet her.  I am psyched.

We end up meeting within the next thirty minutes at my house (I am so low on cash I have to use laundry quarters to buy the dress, lol) and the moral of the story is that it ends up being mine!  I walked away with Jades dress for our wedding, and for only $15.  The dress is beautiful………… and is everything I had ever wanted.

The beautiful $15 treasure

She is going to look so beautiful walking me down the aisle with my father in this dress.  All I can say is God is good….. and boy does he ever work in mysterious ways.

new day-

SO I had an hour to kill this afternoon.  I was waiting for the bus and there happened to be a resale store near the bus stop.  I figured I’d take a look.  Last time I was in there I found a hair crimper from the 80’s………. God only knows what I’d find this time.

I ditched my latte’ on the curb (no food or drinks) and worked my way into the store.  Something told me to look at dresses, though I never find cute dresses in my size at a reasonable price.  I pushed through the racks and worked my way back to formal gowns, then to wedding dresses.  Then I found one stuffed way in the back that actually was pretty cute, and the tag……….. well the tag must have been a misprint.  The tag said a 20.  It was a gorgeous halter style white Davids Bridal wedding gown,  and it was clearly marked as a size 20.  Odd, because I am a size 20………… and I needed a weeding dress.  Fate?

I figured it was just the dress size, and that it was maybe a 14/16 actual size….. but I’d try it on for shits & giggles.  I picked it up and worked my way towards the sales counter with the bulky dress bag.  I asked the ladies, did they know if it was a street 20, or a dress 20?  They weren’t sure, but they were confident that if I just tried it on it would fit.  I figured, why not.  I had an hour to kill and nothing to loose.  I ditched my street clothes and got out the dress.

It was as if that dress was made for me.  It fit perfectly.  It was even the exact length……….. and usually everything is too long for me because I am only 5′6″.  This was too bizarre.  The first dress I try on, and it fits.  Under the dress in the bag I find another bag, in it contains the crinolin slip…… everything to complete the look.

I had to call my friend who was going to make me a dress, Rochelle.  Could a dress be made for $$ (what this cost)?  It would work out to be about even.  Surely it would be cheaper to make a dress……….. not really.  The two worked out about equally.

I need a 2nd opinion…………… another girls opinion.  My friend and her mom will be getting out of work soon.  I call Karla and ask if they can stop by the store and give me some feedback.  They agree.  I am relieved……. and feeling a bit like a princess all dressed up in a wedding gown in the 2nd hand store.

Fast forward about an hour and a half ————>  I wait while they run a couple errands around town…….. just chilling at the store, donning full out bridal gear.  At this point I am in jewelry too, and heels……. just waiting.  La-tee-dah.

Finally they show up, and exclaim that I look beautiful!  Exactally what I needed to hear.  Music to my ears.  Now my soul could rest and I could buy the dress with ease.  Someone that knew my personality say a bit of myself in it.  This I like.  This makes me happy.

I undress quickly and put back on my jeans…………… and pack the dress up to head to my house.

Another thing on the to-do list crossed off…………… another day down, another day closer to wedded bliss.

To see pics of the dress, copy & paste this link in a new window……….. will post actual pictures later……….

http://www.davidsbridal.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplayView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10051&categoryId=-49995489&currentIdx=21&subCategory=-49999486|-49998998|-49995489&catentryId=6096907&sort=

trust me…………… you want to see it, it’s beautiful!

 

Last night Prince Charming & I stayed the night at our friends Rochelle & Matt’s house.  It is beautiful……….. and we had so much fun!  Imagine the eccletic contemporary, mixed with everything vintage, splashed with bold colors, and chalk board walls………….. toss in a lot of owls and vintage deer, and you get amazing wonderment that is their home.  To top it off we did some beautiful bridal dress pictures in their home.  I will be posting them as soon as they are edited.  Vintage hats, a turquoise vintage typewriter, brass knuckles, a silly mask, unique umbrellas…………… toss in my tattoos and the wedding dress & crinoline underneath.  With bare feet and pearls.  They are great.  I can’t wait to show you folks!

Bad news on the venue…….  the hall I was hoping for is booked on the weekend we want.  I am moving on to choice number two, playing a vicious game of phone tag hoping for a call back soon and an open space.  maybe this one won’t be zoned residential and noise won’t have to stop at 10pm.  One can only hope.  I am also waiting for a call back from a small art gallery in town.  It used to be a church, so it is a big two story building with the cathedral ceilings and such……  but it is decorated fun & funky like.  I’d really like to have it someplace like that if it will fit the budget.  Time will tell on that one.  If I can’t get it, we’ll make the hall look bad ass.

Other than that, not much is going on………… just another manic Monday…………… er, wait…………. it’s Friday.  My lady is coming this weekend………. super excited.  I haven’t seen her in about a week and a half and I miss her like crazy.  This weekend is also Taylor’s birthday party.  My other lady is turning 6! Woo-hoo! Time to celebrate.

So many wonderful things happening this year, one can’t help but feel blessed.

Anyway- I am off to take a bubble bath and think about doing the dishes.  Somehow in my own little world, that counts as housework.  After all, they always say it’s the thought that counts.