Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Five: INVITATIONS!!)

One of the things I was most looking forward to about the wedding process was the paper goods. I have always loved ALL. THINGS. PAPER. I have a drawer full of thank you notes and notebooks because I can't get enough. 

When planning my imaginary wedding (long before I was engaged) via my Pinterest, my "paper goods" board was one of the first ones I had and loved pinning to. Once I got engaged it was time to get more serious about WHAT paper goods I actually wanted to have/buy/potentially create. I searched high and low on every wedding paper goods website and etsy alike. While most of them had absolutely adorable invites, there wasn't anything that just screamed "Shea". So that's when I made the decision to create something. After messing around on my computer for far longer than I should have I realized that, even though I made (and was very happy with) my Save the Dates, wedding invitations were not something I was going to be able to tackle on my own. So the hunt began. 

I began scouring etsy for a paper goods designer that was willing to make something custom, just for me (yes, I realize I keep using myself singularly and not including myself in a "we", even though it's "our" wedding. Lucky for me my groom-to-be really just wants me to be happy so these invites really were a solo mission). I ended up finding Maile of PGH Papercraft. She was wonderful and so open to make changes and truly create something custom for me. Unfortunately (sort of) my friend Erin, who I had previously asked if she might be interested in helping me with my invites got back to me with what I can only describe as the most PERFECT. INVITES. EVER. She really got my vision, even using colors and fonts that I had used for my save the dates. I was over the moon thrilled with what she had come up with. It was a struggle letting Maile know because, as I said she was so wonderful and I know that we would have been able to come up with something extraordinary but I just couldn't pass up working with Erin. After a little over two months, lots of sample runs and dozens of e-mails, we finally came up with the most perfect invites for what I can only hope to be the most perfect day. Here is the final product (both assembled and disassembled for viewing) of the wedding invitation suite of my dreams. I have obviously blocked out some addresses and street names for privacy reasons, not that I expect anyone reading this to crash my wedding but hey... you never know. ;)

Erin really created something truly unique and just so perfectly me. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I used a company called Cards & Pockets for all of the paper products (like the envelopes and pocket invitations) and I also used their printing company for all of the printing. They are a wonderful company and I couldn't recommend them higher. The Shea & Sam sticker I had printed using a company called Print Runner and the gold ribbon was simply bought at Michael's. The map I actually made myself (and had Erin incorporate it into her design) using POWERPOINT of all programs! I used this tutorial and it was a lifesaver. PowerPoint... can you believe it? After some playing around with it, we decided on using a gorgeous black and white photo of the venue for the back of the RSVP post card. I think it's such a unique (and personal) touch that I really couldn't have gotten elsewhere. 

Well, there you have it. The long awaited labor of love that has been months in the making. They finally all went out this week and the response to them so far has been wonderful. Soon enough all the RSVP's will start trickling in and I'll have a smile on my face seeing them again. This whole wedding planning process has been, as I've said before, the most stressful fun I've ever had. Can't wait to share some more of what I've been up to for it! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Four: Officiant)

Something very important to me is that everyone feels comfortable and relaxed at our wedding. Yes it is a very special day but it's also a day of celebration of who we are as individuals and of who we are as a couple.

If you didn't already know my best friend and Maid of Honor Danica was on a show called "My Fair Wedding" where she had literally a month to prepare for her nuptials, and most of the big details she wouldn't know until the day OF her wedding! While the show did take care of most of the planning, preparation and vendors, a few things were still left to the bride and groom, like the officiant. After a somewhat stressful debacle, Danica and her groom-to-be were left officiant-less. They took to the internet and found Terry Berrett of NW Vows. Without ever even meeting the couple face to face (until the "I do's"!) Terry agreed to officiate for the couple and it went off without a hitch! Not only did Terry do a wonderful job, he made it seem like he had known the couple for ages! His easy going nature and his kind tone made for a truly special ceremony.

When I began to think about officiants, Terry was the first that came to mind. After doing a little research I saw that he seemed to only really do weddings in the Pacific Northwest now. I figured it was a long shot but it was worth a try, so I e-mailed him. He got right back to me and, to my surprise, gladly accepted my request for him to officiate our wedding! I am so genuinely excited to have Terry be a part of our special day and our lives forever!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Three: Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Musician)

After choosing my venue and my photographer I began the hunt for a ceremony/cocktail hour musician. 

Sam and I are music lovers and especially enjoying seeing live music. I knew from the start that I wanted an acoustic guitarist. We're not a string quartet kind of couple. My search led me to a site I had never heard of, Gig Salad. It was there that I stumbled upon Trent Hancock. On his Gig Salad account he lists his influences and inspirations as "Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Bob Marley, Beatles, Ben Harper, Ray Lamontagne, Train, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Coldplay, Maroon 5, Sublime, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, John Mayer". Oh, you mean most of our favorites? DONE. Seeing the list of songs that he knows sealed the deal. Sam is a huge Beatles fan and his Beatles repertoire is incredible. He was also more than willing to learn any songs that I might like to hear that he doesn't already know. I can't even emphasize just how extensive his song list is and he mentioned to me that there are a lot not even listed! I can't wait for Trent to be a part of our big day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Two: Photographer)

After choosing my venue (well, actually, to be honest, probably even before that) I found my photographer.

When I began the wedding venue hunt, and more specifically when I moved the location hunt to Palm Springs I came across the wedding of Natalie (of Mint Love Social Club) whose Palm Springs Wedding I was obsessed with from the start. Not only was she one of the driving forces behind me even being open to the idea of an estate wedding, it was also her photos that lead me to the wonderful Roger of EPlove.

I decided early on that the photographer was going to be one of, if not THE most important part of the wedding. At the end of the day when the guests have left and the cake has been eaten, it's the photos that you have forever. Not only do I love all of Rogers photos, I also love his mellow and relaxed vibe and I knew that Sam would do.

In April we took a trip to Idyllwild (where Roger and his gorgeous family live) for a relaxing weekend and engagement shoot. From the moment we met, we were at ease. Our photos turned out amazing because we weren't posing. We were just being us.

(Fun Fact: the blanket we used was a family heirloom)
Roger captured real smiles, real laughs, and, most importantly, real love.

We ended our shoot over pizza, good conversation and goodbye hugs. I'm so excited to have Roger as a part of our special day and {through his photos} our lives forever. 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part One: Venue)

Wedding planning has been some of the most stressful fun I've ever had as the OCD organized crafter that I am. 

One of the most important/stressful/fun parts of wedding planning is carefully curating your vendors. 

At times it's very hard for me to make decisions while others I know exactly what I want and there is no swaying me. I've experienced both of these while wedding planning. 

It all began with the venue hunt. Like most unmarried women, I had a "Wedding Venue" pinterest board before I was even engaged. As time went on I'd cross some of the venues off my list because someone I knew got married there. Now, that's not to say I wanted to get married where no one else has ever gotten married before but, I definitely wanted some place special and unique. (And I didn't want my guests to be comparing my wedding to the last one they attended at the very same venue.)

After ruling out a few local venues I made the decision to move this party to the desert! For as long as I can remember my family has had property of some kind in the desert, most recently a family vacation home on a man-made lake in Indio. Some of my very favorite memories are out there including spending time at the country music festival Stagecoach with Sam. So, Palm Springs it was!

So the search had been narrowed down but the amount of amazing potential Palm Springs wedding venues is endless! We started by looking at some hotels both big luxury hotels and small boutique hotels. We also were open to the idea of a private estate. I made the "mistake" of touring The Parker way too early on and, like anyone would, I fell in love. It was beautiful and it's price reflected that. I was graciously given a very modest budget and at $245/person it just wasn't doable. I had a bit of a bridezilla moment of "If I can't have it, I don't want anything" and I even talked to Sam about eloping. Go ahead, laugh at me. But then something great happened. While on a visit to the desert to continue the venue hunt, we went back to The Parker to see if we still loved it as much as we originally did. It was during that visit that I realized how cookie cutter all the weddings there were and how hotel guests (in bathing suits no less) can involuntarily be part of your special day. And then the kicker... while walking the grounds I spotted a bride and groom about to have their first look. At first my heart melted realizing how special that moment was. Then I took a step back and realized oh my gosh, I'm a complete stranger and because their wedding is happening at this hotel, I just witnessed one of the most special moments they will ever share. I realized in that moment that's not what I wanted at all. So the hunt continued. 

I really began scouring the internet for private estates (I didn't want a stranger-first-look incident). Because Palm Springs was a hot spot for young Hollywood back in the day there are endless gorgeous estates, it just became a matter of finding the right one. And then.... I did. 

The Sand Acre Estate. It still had the amazing "secret garden" feel that The Parker had but with the privacy and elegance of a private estate. When we walked in we were still greeted with the "wow factor" that we were at The Parker. We had found the location for the O'Quinn Wedding!

Stay tuned for more on my vendor selection process and wedding plans!

Monday, July 28, 2014

110 Days!!

It has been TWO MONTHS since my last post! Today marks 110 days until the wedding and, as if I didn't feel like it was crunch time already, I REALLY do now!

Speaking of "crunch time", I'm proud to say that it has officially been a month since I joined a gym and have consistently been going FIVE days a week! This is shocking for me considering I'd say the last time I really worked out was Varsity Cheer in 2002. That being said, ALL my free time has now been taken up with either wedding DIY's or the gym. 

Here is a little of what I've been up to:
I used my Cricut Explore to make this tumbler for myself, somewhat crass but, so am I ;)
 I did a marquee light DIY. Still haven't decided if I'm going to use them or not at the wedding but it's definitely cool knowing that I can make them!
 Put together a last minute plan to go to a bridal expo and magically ALL of my bridesmaids were able to come! It was so great spending the day with all of them. 
I made a cute "Cheers" banner (with my Cricut Explore of course) for my home bar. I'm thinking it might make an appearance at the wedding as well. 
And HERE is where the majority of my free time has been. Spray painting and/or Mod Podge-ing every piece of glass that has been collected by myself, my maid of honor Danica, and my roommate. 
And, without giving TOO Much away, I made this ADORABLE mini canvas for a little project I've been working on for the wedding. It has all ready been coming together and, now that a lot of the bigger stuff is nailed down, I'm having SO much fun with all of the DIY stuff. My head is so full of ideas, we'll see how many of them actually come to fruition. 
And lastly, this isn't something that I created but rather my maid of honor for my Bachelorette Party! (Well, I actually DID help with the little corsets, of course cut out with my Cricut Explore).  Aren't they SO cute! She designed them herself! The back is even cuter but has a little bit too much information to be sharing on the internet. Haha. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Save the Dates - Tutorial!

I recently blogged about my journey to finding the perfect Save the Dates here and I said that I'd be doing a detailed post about just how I put them all together and so ::drumroll please:: here it is!
(Like I said, it's pretty detailed, so it's pretty photo heavy. You've been warned.)

So, if you didn't see, my Save the Date inspiration were these little guys... 
Now... on to mine. First I'll start with what I used to make them...

1. Gold Glitter Embossing Powder ( I don't know why I put the number so far from the powder, sorry about that. )
2. Cardstock (I have two colors, one for the save the date, and one for the wrap, you'll see what I mean later)
3. Gold Pigment Ink
4. Save the Date Print Outs
5. Heart Stamp (on a clear block so that I can see exactly where I'm stamping)
6. Envelopes
7. Prinstagram Prints (cut out of book)
8. Scissors
9. Glitter Tape or "Bling on a Roll" as the packaging says
10. Wrap Print Outs
11. Tape strips of some kind
12. Heat Tool
13. Slicer (makes all the cutting MUCH easier)

I started by cutting down my save the date print outs down to a good size (which I just created using Microsoft Word believe it or not). 
(Side Note: Please excuse my hands in all of these photos... I need a manicure BAD)

Then I also cut down the wraps that I made (also simply using Microsoft Word). 
I then got all my embossing tools together (stamp, pigment ink, embossing powder and heat tool) and embossed a heart around both the month and date of our wedding.
(If you're unfamiliar with embossing, it's AWESOME and I'll be doing a tutorial video on it soon)

 Here's what the embossing looks like afterward. Pretty great right?

I then cut down both the peach cardstock (that I used for the Save the Date itself) and the mint cardstock (not pictured) that I used for the wraps. 
 I put a line of tape strip on both of the long sides of the print out. 

And then attached it to the peach card stock. 

Almost done! Time for a few finishing touches. I cut pieces of the gold glitter tape into about 2 inch strips. I found it to be much to thick, so I cut them all in half lengthwise (as you can see here and was much happier with them). I also put a line or two of the tape strip onto the Prinstagram photos and attached them. 

 Getting closer!
 Now, finally, the wraps. I decided to add the wraps to give people our website, so that they could find more information about the wedding. I again simply used a line of the tape strip and attached my print out to my pre-cut cardstock. 

Placing the wrap on the Save the Date, I was able to line it up and make sure that the script was centered.  
 I flipped everything over and used the bottom of the save the date as my guide, to make sure that I was doing it straight. And again, added a line of tape strip (I used SEVERAL of these throughout the process) and that was it! I slid the wrap closer to the middle and....
 The were done! I'm SO happy with the way that they turned out! They certainly look a lot of time (and patience) but because of that they are completely unique and completely ME!
I've been getting so much wonderful feedback via text and photos of people loving them which makes it even that much more rewarding!
Let me know if you have any questions about how I did anything!