Monday, August 31, 2009

First post from the road!

Andy and I are currently in umpqua lighthouse state park in our deluxe yurt. It is considered deluxe because it has a kitchen and bathroom but we didn't know until we arrived that it also has it's own personal deck and yard area, complete with BBQ!

We ventured into the nearest town last night, feeling lazy after the drive and looking for a place that would serve us food. Making sandwiches didn't appeal to us at the time. We came across a Thai food place in Winchester Bay (pop less than 1000) called Tah Tongs or something close. Being the good yelpers ( has saved us from making bad decisions many times) we used yelp but it wasn't reviewed by anyone. Next we looked in urban spoon which only told us that out of 23 people who reviewed it, 69% liked it. So we figured we would take our chance because it looked busy and well in business. We parked, got close to the door and saw a sign for video keno. Then we heard the clink of glasses and when we hit the door we realized it was packed full of people drinking and playing keno. There were only 2 people in the restaurant. We ditched and ended up going to a Chinese restaurant a town over that was a six out of ten. Bottomline? If you come to umpqua bring your own food there also aren't any grocery stores nearby so definitely bring your own food.

When we were staying at fort Stevens, our first night and stop before umpqua, our neighbor was perhaps drunk and, walking around the campsite without a flashlight, managed to fall into the 2 1/2 foot tall firepit. Which was coupled with a loud expletive echoing through the very packed park. We were trying to snicker quietly but I'm not sure how successful we were. When we got to the Fort Stevens campground neither of us had ever seen so many kids on bikes. All of the sites were huge and many people were using them as group sites. At one, we saw a pile of 11 bikes and at another we saw a ring of 17 camping chairs, all squished in around the fire pit. The chaotic tenting area was in direct opposition to the spaced out, calm, "adult" ( Andy coined), looking yurt village. Because of this, Andy said that he felt odd being the only couple in the "kiddie" campground without kids.

The front yard of our Umpqua deluxe yurt.

The main room of the yurt.

Andy in the yurt kitchen.

The yurt bathroom.

Driving into Oregon.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Hey everyone-

I have moved this blog to a new url: . I realized that I wanted to keep up with a blog that was able to include more than just wedding stuffs, so the new blog will continue to have wedding posts but will also include photos of other crafty creations of mine.

Be sure to change your bookmarks!



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New table and dress shopping

Andy and I have a new table for the living room now. We're using it to work on all of the crafty elements for the wedding. Someone in our apartment building was selling it for $35 with the three chairs! Great deal. It's also perfect because it is now located in an area of the room which was empty and wasn't being used for anything. I had told Andy many times before that "I never walk to that area of the room, ever." But now I do! I'll post pictures on here soon.

We also received our first wedding gift which was very exciting. Our great family friend Lynn made a granny square blanket for us and the amount of time she put into making it is amazing. All of the edges are scalloped and the crocheting is perfect on it. I get impatient just knitting scarves, so I have an amazing amount of appreciation for the work she did! The colors she picked are perfect for our apartment, and I've taken pictures of it so I'll be sure to post ones on here soon!

I went dress shopping on Monday. My mom and I went to David's Bridal and I realized just how hard it is going to be to find the dress I'm looking for. I'm going with my mom and sister again on Sunday, so hopefully we'll have better luck then! Right now I'm frustrated just thinking about how much time it is going to take to find the right dress for me.

Okay well I guess this is more of a post that I'm going to need to update later with photos!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Guests as Photographers?

Andy and I have been debating over whether or not we should pay $1500 and upwards for a photographer to cover our wedding. We have one friend (who is a wonderful photographer!) who took photos of Andy and I when we had only been dating for two weeks, and we've asked her to photograph the wedding for us instead of paying an unknown person. However, if she can't do it (or even if she can) we've thought about making our wedding a BYOC wedding. That is, a Bring Your Own Camera wedding. I think we're going to go ahead with this plan even if our friend can photograph our wedding, but we're going to purchase a pro Flickr account, and give all of our guests business cards with the log-in information on it so our guests can share their photos with us. I've heard people describe their varying degrees of success with this, so I wanted to ask our readers here if they've ever experienced this, and since most of our readers are also guests, if they would want to participate in something like this. That way we can get a feel for how well this would work out!


Beautiful Things

I have ordered some beautiful things recently.
Here are a few!

These (above and below) are pins I've ordered from Papier Valise which is one of the best online stores (or any store, really) that I've come across in a long time. She's in Canada (which is always nice because of the exchange rate!) and she stocks the coolest stuff in her store. I made my second order from her today!
I ordered the pins so that our guests could have their own flowers and neat pins to go along with them. We're going to put out a bowl of single blooms for people to pin to their dresses/shirts/clothing item and I thought these pins were beautiful and perfect for it. I just hope that I've ordered enough!

Here's another item I've purchased from Papier Valise- blue baker's twine. I haven't entirely decided on how I want to incorporate it into the wedding, but I know that it will definitely be there in one form or another! I've also found a store online which sells it in green, which makes it perfect!

I've been a bit obsessed with this doily idea I've been turning over in my mind... It seems as though tonight I have found the perfect stamps to go with them too! Finding a large set of stamps with letters, numbers, and the "&" sign has proved harder than I had originally thought, but I think I've finally found them:
They're not from Papier Valise, but from Ornamentea. The stamps are magnetic, and the set comes with the magnetic block too. I've seen other sets of these in other places on the web, but none of them were for this great of price and with the magnetic block too. I plan on ordering these soon!

The two last things I'm going to post about are not really wedding related, but are so neat I feel the need to share them anyhow. Firstly, I've set out acquiring the goodies necessary to make one of these:
... which I just realized isn't very clear in the small picture, but if you click on it you can see the terrarium more clearly, found via Craftzine (Mason Jar Terrarium). I set out buying the necessary items (not really necessary but cute as hell!) on Bake it Pretty. I bought the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs set, the Flamingos, Deer, and a variety of the flower sets. I'm playing with the idea of not only making terrariums, but also making mini snow globes from baby food jars or other small jars. Like I said, not really linked to the wedding, but cool nonetheless!

Lastly... on Friday once I am finished with my finals I am going to bake one of these with Andy and Jackie (my maid of honor!):
I'll try remember to take some pictures and post them! Also, recipe and photos found here: Rainbow Cake!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Favorite Links

I wasn't all that excited to plan the wedding until I found a few of these links. Once I found the wide-range of weddings that were possible I started to get a bit more excited, envisioning the possibilities that were possible. Here are a few of my favorites:

Once Wed-
This website is awesome. The blogger regularly showcases real weddings and you can also search for used wedding dresses via her site.

Snippet & Ink-
Like OnceWed, this blogger also shows real weddings. She also includes discount codes and tips on sales at particular wedding-related websites!

Craft Zine Blog-
This website isn't wedding-related but the blog often includes tips on ways to make things that Andy and I are going to be creating for our own wedding decor, etc. Last week there was even a blog entry on Ikebana which I would love to somewhat incorporate into our flower arrangements.

Money Savers

I wanted to make a list of the ways that Andy and I have managed to save some money just in case someone is reading this blog in search of some ways to cut costs. After all, the average wedding costs between $24,000 and $30,000 and the economy is poor, no pun intended. As semi-unemployed college students, Andy and I are aiming to spend under $7,500.

1. We rented a park venue- this is great because parks are usually MUCH cheaper than typical wedding venues. The cheapest venue we could find in the Seattle area was around $2000 but we ended up getting the Tolt Barn for a full day, along with all of the park's yurts and campsites for a total of $600. Saved: $1400

2. No alcohol- we knew that most people look forward to the open bar portion of weddings, but it's extremely expensive to buy and serve alcohol, and we would have needed to acquire an alcohol license ($125) and insurance ($200+). So instead our guests will get to look forward to iced tea, lemonade and a few other non-alcoholic drinks. Saved: at least $500

3. We're hand-making a lot of our own decorations- those paper lanterns you see at just about every wedding really add up. Cheap ones run around $1 each, but on average they cost around $1.50. When you want to hang 40 of those it really adds up. Instead, we've been hitting up stores like Anthropologie for some of their wrapping tissue to make our own tissue paper poofs. There are other things we're making ourselves instead of buying which is also going to help us save some money. Saved: by the end, approximately $300

4. Non-traditional "caterer"- this took a lot of Google-fu searching for me to find, but when we found Larry's Smokehouse we knew we had to go with them for the food portion of our wedding. Larry will come out with one of their catering trucks and smoker attachments, and will serve all of our guests with the goal of 'having everyone sitting down eating together'. Larry has catered events for 26 years. By choosing Larry we are getting great food (smoked salmon? yes please!) and since they bring their own plates and silverware, we're saving a lot of money by not having to rent those items, which can be an extremely pricey thing. Around the same time that we found Larry we were contacted by TwelveBaskets, who gave us a price quote of $3200. They wanted to charge us .32 per paper plate, plus $60 for iced water, among other charges. With Larry the cost (with tax, and 30% gratuity) came to $1501. Saved: $1699 (at least)

5. Picnic Tables- the barn we've rented comes with around 10-12 picnic benches already. By not having to rent tables or chairs for the reception (except for three for the cake, presents, etc) we've saved around $123 in tables and another $100 in chairs. For the guests who don't want to try to swing their legs over the bench portion of the tables, we're placing chairs at either end which will be some of the same ones we'll bring from the ceremony site. By using the picnic tables already there we're also saving money in delivery costs and the time it would take to move the picnic tables out of the barn only to replace them with our own, rented tables. Saved: $223 plus labor

6. Paper Linens- Costco offers some great thick paper tablecloths at 6 for $11. Rented linen tablecloths cost closer to around $15 each. Also, if any of our guests accidentally spills some of their BBQ sauce on the linen tablecloths we may have to pay an additional cost for stains to the rental company. However, since we're using paper we can just toss the tablecloths at the end (stains and all), having spent $30 or less, rather than $180 on the rented linens. We didn't want to use plastic tablecloths because they're not as eco-friendly (non-compostable) and because they're just generally less attractive than paper. Saved: $150 (plus possible spill fees)

7. Thrift Store Vases- not only can you find amazingly unique glass vases at thrift stores, but they're extremely cheap too. I used to work for a florist which charged around $6+ per generic flower vase, and instead we're finding vases which are $2 maximum (for blue and green glass) at thrift stores. They'll serve as great gifts to some of our guests, and Andy and I have a lot of fun finding unique vases. Saved: at least $96

8. Costco Cake: we're going to have one small presentation cake for Andy and I to cut, and then Costco sheet cakes for everyone to eat. I personally think that Costco cakes are really delicious, and it's definitely a plus that they're on the cheap side at only $17 each. We looked into getting cupcakes for our guests from either Trophy Cupcakes or Cupcake Royale, but at $3 each before delivery it was too expensive. Macrina Bakery cakes are $5.50 per person. Our presentation cake is also going to be made by the mother of Andy's best man, Nathan. She used to cook wedding cakes regularly, and she offered to make the cake for us if we pay for the ingrediants. Saved: around $430

9. Arranging our own flowers: Andy's dad Albert used to work for a florist, and he's going to arrange the table flowers and bouquets for us. By finding someone in the family who had some experience with flowers, we've saved a huge amount of money. In the average wedding, flowers cost around $2000. Albert is probably going to purchase flowers from either the Pike Place Market or from a woman on the island. We've estimated this will cost around $500. We also want to use some non-traditional floral aspects in our arrangements, such as ferns, and some herbs like rosemary. If no one in your family has any experience with flowers, consider talking to someone at a local farmer's market about having them arrange bouquets for you. At Pike Place you can find beautiful $5 bouquets that would cost around $30 and up from a florist. That way the only thing you need to have a florist create is the bouquets. Saved: $1500 +

10. Postcard RSVPS: The postage on postcards is much less at .27 rather than .42. Andy and I found someone's collection of bird postcards (fits our theme too!) on ebay for a total of $20 with shipping (for 137 postcards, which is way more than we need). They're all unique and once we create stickers for the guests to fill out the RSVPs are done. When you order regular invites, the RSVP cards and envelopes usually cost around $1.50 before postage. Ours, with postage, will be around $20.50. Saved: $75.50

11. We registered for our honeymoon: Andy and I have already been living together for two years. We have a toaster, pots and pans, spatulas, etc. The last thing we want to do is have our guests buy us things that we don't really need. Instead, we've decided to register our honeymoon through This way, we can have our guests help us pay for things like zoo and aquarium admissions and romantic dinners when we honeymoon in Hawaii. We're looking forward to taking pictures and sending thank you letters with photos included. How many thank you notes have you seen where the bride and groom are showing off how they're using their new wisk? For the family members who feel less comfortable gifting us portions of our honeymoon we are going to set up a registry at one of our favorite stores, Target, for the kitchen items we've been longing to upgrade. Saved: $2500

12. Cutting back on the guest list: This was an extremely painful thing for me to do. My side of the family is huge, as my dad is the youngest of eight, and all of his siblings have children who have their own children, etc. I have five grandparents while Andy has one. We had the choice of either inviting all of our aunts and uncles and cousins and their children and none of our friends outside of the wedding party, or striking the balance between family and friends. We ended up cutting our guest list from 265 to 96 by inviting aunts and uncles, grandparents, wedding party, and a few close friends. While I love my cousins and wish everyone could be at my wedding, Andy and I simply can't afford it. The number of extra tables, chairs, invitations, favors, and food per person it would require to invite everyone is a big chunk of change. Plus, 260 people would require a lot of organization and time, not just money. To everyone who we won't be able to invite to the ceremony and reception, we plan on sending wedding announcements instead. Saved: approximately $2800

Total Saved (approximately): $11,673