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Addressing the Invitations...

Lovely readers, I have a conundrum. I have to get our list of addresses to the calligrapher this week and I am having a hard time deciding how to address the outer envelopes. I love proper etiquette and the tradition it carries, but I also have a bit of a feminist streak. Which brings me to my problem...

For a married couple, etiquette calls for the outer envelope to be addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith." But where is the woman's first name? I enjoy that its traditional but can't help but feeling like the woman's first name should be in there somewhere. I mean, she's not just a Mrs....Jane has an identity of her own (see: aforementioned feminist streak)! From what I can see, there are two alternatives:

Mr. and Mrs. Jane & John Smith

or

Jane & John Smith

The first option seems really lengthy and the latter seems really informal. While our ceremony will be outdoors and the reception is in a tent, its not a "shirt and shoes optional" type event. So what's a girl to do? How do you address a semi-formal invitation without turning the first line into a novel? Any comments and thoughts are appreciated! And for those of you in a time crunch I created a poll on the right.

Make Your Own Envelope Liners

As I've previously mentioned, I am a glutton for punishment. I found this really great paper at JoAnn Fabrics and a few seconds later I found a green satin ribbon that matched it exactly. I wanted to line our invitation envelopes and use ribbon as a "belly band" for the invitations themselves, so I bought all of it on the spot. Which now means that now, I have the lovely tasks of making liners for every single one of our inner envelopes! The good news is, I cut out a template before the envelopes made their way to the calligrapher so that they can be cut and ready to go by the time they're all returned to me. Its not nearly as hard as I suspected, but I documented the process for anyone else that might need it!

It's sometimes easier to pull the envelope apart, but I tried to conserve so I measured one that was still in tact. I used a regular manila envelope to create the template, and started by cutting it so that it was 1/8 of an inch shorter than the envelope on each side:
For the top portion, I cut the manila envelope so that it was about 1/4 of an inch from the top point of the envelope. Then I put the entire square into the envelope itself:
Then I put a ruler at the top of the point and made a (clearly not so straight) line onto the template so that I had a mark for the upper most point:
Then take a ruler and make a line from the crease of the envelope to the mark you just made for the upper most center point:
Make those lines on either side and then cut off the corners...and there's your template! Honestly, making the template perfect took me the longest. From here on out is pretty straightforward.
Just put the template on your paper of choice and trace away. If you use a corner of the paper you only have to make three quick lines:
Cut the liner out along the lines you just made:
And insert into the envelope!
Now you just need to get a nice crease so that it all folds together nicely. So I just folded the envelope flap down and used a boning folder along the edge to make a crease:
Now you just take a tape roller (these things save a ton of time) and put tape on each of the edges:
Press it into the envelope flap, and viola! Once the template is finished it takes just a few minutes to make the actual liner. I traced a bunch of them at once, and then cut about 25 of them in under a half an hour.
Now I can hardly wait to get our envelopes back from the calligrapher!

Reasons I am Crazy...

I've learned a lot about myself through the wedding planning process. One of the most glaring lessons being, I am a glutton for punishment. I think I've made a decision and then I keep looking, and keep looking, and keep looking, almost inviting something better to come along that I just have to have. The escort cards were one of those things. But we're getting to that point in the process where the looking for ideas has to end. Its time for action. So before I came completely sick of myself, I made a decision. We're going with the wishing rock idea where each card will have a black river rock next to it.

There will be a sign on the table asking guests to please hold the rock in their hand, make a wish "on it" and then place it in a large glass container we will keep in our house afterwards. It's like a lucky penny/wishing well type of scenario. As if I were getting a nod of approval for finally making a decision, I found this in the sale section of PotteryBarn when I started looking for said large glass container:I opted for the short chubby one on the left, which was on sale for $44 and I had a $30 gift card. Sold. It arrived a couple of weeks ago and was a little bigger than I anticipated, but I like it nonetheless.I ordered it online because they didn't have it available any longer in our local stores. And it arrived in the biggest box ever. So big, in fact, that I couldn't imagine what it contained and for a brief second thought it was our first wedding present. But anyway, seeing as how its Friday, I leave you with a gratuitous puppy picture. Lola in the outrageously big box:

Yum!

Sometimes...very rarely...I feel the urge to bake something. On the occasion that I do feel the need I like to make things that are both pretty and taste good. I mean, if I am putting forth the effort I need to take a picture as proof, so it has to look good before I eat it. When I saw these pink and chocolate meringue drops my interest was peaked, but immediately deflated when I read the recipe. So I thought I would share the cute picture anyway and also extend the invitation for any of you more skilled bakers to make some and send 'em my way. They would make adorable wedding favors! Give it a whirl, I hereby volunteer to be your taste tester.

Pearl Dog Collar, Part Two

I didn't intend for there to be a part two to this post, but I wanted to pass along something I learned after attempting to have Lola actually wear the collar. But first, a brief refresher for those of you that might have missed the first post. I made Lola a pearl collar so she'll be stylish for the wedding pictures (she's not behaved well enough to be in the actual weddding but I refuse to miss a photo op). I followed some instructions from an old issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, which suggests that you can just tie the embroidery thread around the dog's neck to secure the collar. This might work for normal dogs but Lola is, shall we say, active. We're pretty sure she has the doggie version of ADD. So with all the moving around and overall craziness that occurs when we put the collar on her, it would fall right off when I tried to just tie it around her neck.

In search of a better solution, I was at PetsMart a few weeks ago and they were having a sale on collars. I bought a regular nylon collar for $3 and when I got home I just cut the clasps off either end and tied them to the embroidery string. I tied 6-7 knots on each side and tried to get the pears as close to the clasp as possible. This did make it a little longer that it was originally, but luckily before I actually tied the claps on I tested it out. I was able to tug gently and slip one of the pearls off over the end knot to make it a little smaller. Turns out she can still get it in her mouth if she really acts like a fool and puts some effort behind it, but hopefully she'll be so distracted that day she won't give it a try. Anyway, hopefully this will help any of you who are attempting to make one yourself!

Damask Things

All of these things would fall into the category of stuff I don't really need but want anyway (its quite a large category, actually). Kelly sent me an email about this damask packing tape from organize.com... And that, of course, led me to find that Two's Company has an entire line called Home Chic Home: There are even Ziploc and garbage bags! It took a little searching, but you can find them for sale online hereAnd I swear I didn't just order some of the Ziploc bags for OOT goodies. I swear...

Chicago Etsy Finds

I've been thinking about including a little something in our Out of Town bags that will give a nod to the city, even though the wedding won't be in Chicago. These luggage tags from etsy seller TagOneOn are great and you get two for $4.50. I also seriously enjoy these Chicago dog note cards from scarletbloom: And these buttons from seller citybird would even look cute pinned out the outside of the totes:
I continue to be amazed by the level of talent you can find on etsy. This amazing oil painting from printedcanvas1 is so cheerful I am thinking of buying it for myself (only $19!):

Black & White Damask Wedding

I can hardly wait to share this wedding! Kelly of Kelly Oshiro Events was nice enough to send these pictures of her very own black, white & green damask wedding. Being an event planner she's obviously full of some good ideas, but I was surprised to learn just how many things she created herself. She made all the table runners, the favor boxes and favors (homemade Florentines that she made ahead of time and froze), the menu cards and all the signs, and the leaves for each of the escort cards. All of these pictures were shot by Harper Smith, a relatively new photographer who is clearly quite talented! So let's get on with it, shall we? The beautiful bride...
Natural elements like succulents and moss were used throughout the florals:
The escort card tree and a close up of all the individual leaves. Some were hanging from the tree and some were on the table, held down by white rocks:
And my favorite part, the gorgeous tables! I like the way this looks so much that I am changing up our linens. But more on that later.
The favor boxes and homemade favors:
Kelly has also started up a blog which is geared towards Santa Barbara but has inspiration for everyone. Thanks for sharing, Kelly!

Vineyard Wedding

I am meeting our florist this weekend to make some final changes (read: I am a lunatic and am changing the centerpieces) so I was looking through Brides for some inspiration. Seeing as how I have the attention span of a gnat, I was quickly distracted and started looking through pictures of vineyard weddings...my other love, maybe surpassing nautical. Check out this bouquet:And these escort cards, pinned onto mini cork boards! An excellent alternative to actual corks, while still continuing the "wine" theme...These confetti throwers are a great idea that could be made in a cost effective way, and you could even use biodegradable paper. Just use a circular punch to make the circles, and a regular hole punch to put one in the middle:

Sale

If I didn't know better, I would say that jcrew messes with me (do I actually know better? They might be messing with me). I wanted a pair of shoes from the summer sale. I put them in my little online cart on a day that the sale was an extra 20% off, and then The Guilt sank in. I decided to think about it and if I really wanted them the next day I would order. Went back that night and the 20% off had expired like an hour earlier...ugh! Long story short, I waited 2 weeks and ordered the shoes on Monday for fear they would run out of my size. And what happens today? Extra 20% off on the sale. See? They're messing with me.

But anyway, you all should now take advantage of the sale if you're still in the market for bridesmaids dresses, honeymoon attire, or even mother of the bride dresses. I think the dress pictured above would be adorable as a bridesmaid dress, but you could definitely pull it off for a rehearsal dinner too. I think this could even work as a modern mother of the bride dress for a casual wedding:
And I still think this would make the cutest bridesmaids dress ever: I am also happy to report that the satin clutch everyone (or at least me) has been coveting is finally on sale. Normally $99, with the sale and 20% off its $55!

AJaron Jewelry

I am lusting after this Mother of Pearl ring from AJaron Jewelry. It would be so fun to wear on your right hand at the wedding, and definitely something that could be worn again. And even though I've deemed myself a stud earring type of girl, I wouldn't argue with anyone who wanted to give me these:

Nautical Invitations

I wanted our rehearsal dinner invitations to be fun and casual since we're planning a relaxed dinner in the harbor of the resort we'll be staying in. And since I sacrificed my love for the nautical theme in favor of black, white and green, I gave myself permission to use it for this! I was looking for nautical inspiration without using boats and anchors, and came across this bouquet and boutonniere on brides.
I loved the stripes with the green mixed in, so this is what I came up with (I just changed the pertinent info instead of blurring things out):
It's a little hard to tell, but the stripes are a really dark blue. I am hoping it achieves the "nautical with out the cheesy" look I was going for!