A Bunch of Stuff Happened… And That Brings Us Up to Date

"Finished" centerpieces!
“Finished” centerpieces!

Whew! At this time next week I will be in a wedding dress, marrying Clark, and enjoying a (hopefully sunny) fall Saturday. In the past few months we’ve been feverishly preparing for the wedding. This rush is due in equal parts to moving, finances, unfortunately late problems, and procrastination. But here we are, one week out, and Getting. S#!+. Done.

We last left off with FSIL and son in town, working on decorations and planning. Since then, we’ve “finished” decorations, started courtesy baskets, finished attire, figured out beauty, did an engagement photo session, purchased napkins, and finalized flowers, cupcakes, and venue.

  • Decorations – I finished the centerpieces (right), adding pinecones into the mix, since it’s in the natural theme. I also started creating clear wine glasses filled with mini-pinecones and I am almost done with our wreathes. It’s been a lot of fun creating the decorations and was truly the most relaxing part of this process.
  • Courtesy baskets – A coworker of mine suggested I make courtesy baskets to place in the bathrooms. (I used this guide to help me.) Her wedding was last August, and in a wooded area outside of Portland, so she included things like sunscreen and bug spray. Since ours isn’t subject to those circumstances, I’m including some more general toiletries, like headache medicine, mouthwash, and a lint roller. I’m really so excited for people to see these – they’ve been fun to create!
  • Attire – We finished getting our clothing and accessories ready by getting Clark and all the men fitted for tuxes. Can’t wait to post pictures of those after the wedding! I purchased some jewelry and my wonderful fabulous shoes from David’s Bridal!

Read moreA Bunch of Stuff Happened… And That Brings Us Up to Date

The Centerpieces Are Ready for their Close-up

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Centerpieces on their way to being complete! Two wine bottles twined up with a selection of creme and blue flora.

This past weekend helped test drive some of my decorating ideas and gave me the opportunity to plan more with my mom and FSIL. I’m getting very excited about completing more crafts and I can’t wait to get a jump on invitations. I just love decorating with my hands!

Although these beauties aren’t quite complete – I’ll likely add some ribbon and potentially change flowers – I’m very happy with my first draft. Twining wine bottles makes for a great neutral vase and can help decorate any space. Also, as you may remember, collecting the wine bottles can be very fun.

Here are some simple steps for twining (or yarning, roping, etc.) your own glassware:

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The Budget Doesn’t Stop at the Wedding

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My coupon book runneth over! (I literally can’t close it)

Trying to plan a budget wedding involves saving, not going into debt, and trying your hardest to not pay retail. But why let those efforts stop at just the wedding? In order to save money for the wedding, it may be necessary to cut in other parts of your life. Enter couponing!

You might be thinking: “How do I start couponing?”, “How can couponing make a big enough dent to help save for a wedding?”, or “Isn’t that so much work?”

And to those question, I would say: I’ll tell you, you’ll find out, and yes – but it’s worth it. In this post I’ll share my simple steps for couponing, which resources I use, and what you need to know before spending another penny on groceries, crafts, home goods, and more!

amy, dear‘s keys to successful couponing (note: the info below is based on my couponing experience in Portland, OR – these keys may not fully apply to where you live):

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Tick tock! Today is our Three-Month Mark

This Wednesday marked the final step in completing our new grown-up apartment – we had a washer and dryer installed and have gotten through the mountains of laundry that accumulated since moving in. That definitely took a big stress off our shoulders, but never fear – like energy, the stress never goes away, it just manifests as something else.

When you get engaged, everyone wants to give you advice. They say it will be wonderful and you’ll have a great time – you just need to take care of yourself. While all of those tips are nice to hear, they’re not always realistic. So really listen when someone tells you it will be stressful.  They’re being truthful and potentially more so than you’d ever imagine. And when people (who have never been married, natch) say, “Weddings shouldn’t be stressful! They should be fun and lighthearted and not so involved!” Don’t listen to them. They know nothing. Until you’ve gone through the process, you are not qualified to give honest advice.

Read moreTick tock! Today is our Three-Month Mark

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure

Bought the dress, went to the alterations appointment, got it hemmed, and took it home for the second time today! But of course it wasn’t without a mini heart-attack.

Before I left my alterations appointment four weeks ago, we set up a time for me to come back to try it on to test the alterations and to take it home. The appointment time we set was for today at 6pm. Since I had planned on taking the bus to/from the appointment (save your comments until the bottom of this post), I was going to try to change the appointment to an earlier time so I didn’t get home late. I also thought it would be a good idea to confirm the time since I hadn’t yet received any call (as I had in the past) reminding me of the appointment. It was a good thing I thought of that.

I called and spoke with a very nice girl at the store who said she’d be happy to schedule me a little earlier, since they had a couple of openings. She took my name and went to get the book (apparently they still do pencil and paper) to change my time. When she came back from hold, panic set in – I wasn’t anywhere on the list and she didn’t know where my dress and alterations ticket were. She said she knew it was still there and they hadn’t lost it though, so she wanted to call me back within a few minutes to talk about changing the appointment time – she just needed to find it first. Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Read moreAn Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure