welcome to the lovefest

welcome welcome welcome
to the online documentation of the planning process and insane DIYing of brian and my wedding. while i already have a site on theknot.com as well as projectwedding.com, i wanted one that i could use to show continuously updating images of the planning process. and i thought about posting freebies for other brides-to-be to use in the future. i actually have gotten a lot of the things done already and we are at the point of getting our rentals nailed down.

the color theme for our wedding came from a photo i saw of some beautiful bright orange flowers on a chocolate brown bridesmaid dress. the flowers just popped. i was sold (which is saying something since i fall in love with every color combo i see). it also happens that my favorite food is chocolate and brian's favorite is oranges. so, it was meant to be.

i originally wanted to have fresh oranges in vases for the centerpieces since orange groves are in my blood. one problem, local oranges aren't in season in november for the wedding. another problem, it's a night wedding and the fresh fruit centerpieces that i have seen look best in daylight. since i am a complete night owl and unwilling to get up early (even for my own wedding) we are going with tons of candles for the centerpieces. we have already purchased everything for the table decorations except for the hurricane vases (florida wedding... hurricanes... candles... irony?) which can only be purchased at michael's crafts. they only like to keep 2 of them in stock at a time for some reason so we buy them in sets of 2 with coupons i get in email all the time for 50% off a single item. the tables are going to be a festival of candlelight. and i LOVE candles. i mean really, what girl doesn't?

since i am a crafty diva when it comes to making things from paper, i knew i was going to be using those skills to cut some costs. i bought 2 colors of orange tissue paper wholesale online in bulk. these were in the exact size asked for in the DIY instruction for pom poms on martha stewart's website. i have loved these things since i was a kid and they sold them as huge, multi-colored flowers at cypress gardens. my mom couldn't ever justify buying me one for how much they cost but now i have a wedding bursting with them. the church has 44 pews total, which means that i made 22 total for the church (i wanted them on every other row). we are also hanging 44 (interesting number repetition going on here!) chinese lanterns in the same 2 tones of orange, over the dance floor along with 44 of the pom poms in the same 2 colors. the reception hall has an insanely high ceiling and i wanted to hang all of this to bring it to a more cozy level. it's going to look amazing! at least in my head it will.

the problem of lighting all of those lanterns cheaply arose since the LED lights for the purpose cost $4.95 each ($217.80 for 44). so, in my hours of wedding DIY search time online, i found a website for things called "throwies" that certain arty types have been using as freestyle light art on buildings. basically, all i would need to adapt these to my purpose would be some tape, the LEDs, batteries for each LED, and some paper to break the connection so they could be turned on and off. these things were SO easy to make and i was super excited to have made my first electronic DIY project. they ended up saving us $132.44. pretty sweet if you ask me since my job is to save brian as much money as possible because he is basically covering all of the costs because i am just a poor little artist after the bills are all paid.

as i used so much tissue paper for these freaking pom poms, i wanted to see what else i could make to save cash. i found a site that used the same pom poms on martha's site (the smaller ones for napkin rings) to cover a styrofoam ball and make a pomander (or kissing ball). so i saved about $35 making our flower girl tara her very own, for keeps, flower ball. i wanted something she could keep and that was glittery and fabulous since she and i share a love of such things. plus, it would be a cool memento to hang in her room. and every time i look at it i seem to think of something else sparkly to add to it. but, i think i have finally finished it in my own mine at this point. from this idea i also made 2 larger pomanders to hang next to the "drinks" sign i am going to make to decorate the reception hall. i would attempt to draw this in photoshop so that you could see what i am talking about, but i suck at drawing on the computer seeing as i don't have a pen tablet and a mouse is terrible for this purpose. so use your imagination kiddies.

our reception hall also happens to have 8 huge wall banners all about church related. Jesus-type stuff. they are letting us take these down and we are putting up huge banners of kraft paper that i am going to paint large designs on. i just have to work on this project when my mom is home so that she can move her furniture and help me stretch them out and paint them in her bowling alley sized living/dining/family/tv/everything else room. plus, it will be nice to not have to do all of that painting myself and my mom is also an insane artist (though non-practicing as of late) who can paint like a mad woman.

we are also using the same kraft paper from the banners to cover the multitude of doors along the main entrance to the reception hall. there are 5 sets of glass doors and we are only using the center set to enter. we are putting tons of mini lights on the plants and pillars to light the way from the church to the hall. mom had a great idea to use the kraft paper with holes punched in them that the light could come through. so, i measured the doors and got to work. i put a set of paper up on the wall and used a projector to enlarge the swirl images that we are using on all the invites and paper goods onto the kraft paper. i traced the images and then used an awl to poke a bajillion holes inside it. when i hold it up to the doorway in my hall with the light coming from behind it looks A-MAZ-ING!! i can't wait to see them all up. especially since it killed my arms to do all of the holes and i would never do it again unless prodded relentlessly or something.

i was originally going to make a tiered wedding cake for us but the idea of transporting it became scarier than a serial killer in the basement. i made a 2 tiered test cake that was much easier than i expected but heavier than you would think. and seeing as i was going to need several layers to feed the 180 people, i knew i couldn't handle the stress of it. solution: cupcakes! i am making a small cake for us to cut and jam into each others faces (or should i say brian's face because he isn't messing up my makeup without consequences) and cupcakes for everyone else. cupcakes are fast to back, easy as sin to decorate and give people flavor options. because if you are anything like me, you like variation in your sweets. plus, boxed cake is actually pretty freaking good. to spice things up i am making the icing from scratch because the pre-made junk is too sugary and gross. so far, we have settled on devil's food with chocolate frosting (because i am chocolate obsessed), white cake with lemon frosting, and brian's favorite carrot cake with some fantastic cream cheese frosting. because really, who doesn't love some cream cheese frosting? people who don't like themselves very much, that's who! and we only want people who love to party at this wedding, that's for sure!

as for the box to put that money and other card sized gifts in, i bought a martha stewart plain white box for this purpose. it was all boring and white so i colored in every dot in brown or orange and then covered some with glitter. i never get tired of covering things with glitter. maybe brian should just sprinkle himself with some glitter when i am mad at him and all will be right with the world once again!?! it's worth a try. and in my glitter fix i bought plain candles for our unity candles and glittered up the ribbon being used in the centerpieces so everything is matchy matchy how i like it.

i also designed the b&m cake topper to match our invites and had it cut from acrylic online at ponoko.com and it turned out awesome. the cupcakes are getting super cute paper punched circles that tell you which flavor each is and make them look fabulous. i don't know what i am going to do when i am not making fabulous things for my wedding once it's over. i might have to volunteer myself for friend's weddings. watch out people!

i do happen to have a photo of the invites that i designed the day after i got engaged, along with the rsvps, the wedding favors, the groom's tie as well as the gorgeously wrapped bridesmaid gifts. BUT, since these are all going to be a surprise for you crazy wedding guests, i am not posting it for you to see. i have already told you too much, so i might either have to kill your... or un-invite you. or not.

the linens have been selected and they rule. brian has to figure out what to buy his boys. i still have to figure out what to buy my bridesman (since my brother is standing on my side) and i refuse to buy him yet another gift that is for or involves video games as a wedding present. we have to go talk to the lighting rental peeps. get ourselves some glasses for wine and beverages along with the dance floor and a cherry picker to hang all that orange hanging junk from the ceiling to fancy it up. i know i am forgetting some things but i will add them as we accomplish them along with any fun pictures of the chaos. right now i am simply hoping david's bridal gets the correct size dress in for me on their second ordering attempt. and that this dress is longer than the other one so that i can actually wear heels. the first dress they ordered would be short on a 4 foot tall person. i'm not sure how this happens but hopefully the next time is the charm. fingers crossed and prayers a plenty. and only 2 more meetings with pastor and we are a go with Jesus!


  1. Oh my goodness... i didn't even get 1/4 way through this post b/c your description of the candles you are using for your centerpieces got me sidetracked... i want to do the same thing with tons of candles, including some floating in taller vases, but i am not exactly sure how to pull it all off. (I am also buying all the hurricanes at Michael's -good thing we live in different states!) Anyway, could you share any more info about what you're planning with the candles? thanks!!

  2. Wow, your wedding will look amazing! I'm so glad I found your site because I'm having a great time reading about everything you're doing. I can't believe how much you have done already. It's fabulous. I can't wait to see pictures of the end results. It will be stunning. I liked the idea about cupcakes too! So much easier to portion out and compact if anyone wants to take theirs with them. I just learned about tie dyed cupcakes and that I want to try for my anniversary on the 4th. Could be another variation for yours too...inter mix dollops of chocolate cake mix with white cake mix that is coloured with orange food colouring then bake and when you cut into it it will be swirls of chocolate and orange. Not sure how it would look but another idea for you. :)
    Thanks for sharing all your ideas and creations!

  3. Found your site randomly. Love the tissue paper balls so much. Can I ask roughly how much did each ball cost? Do you have the link to the directions (especially the 1st ones pictured?) You rock and are putting together a spanking fantastic wedding!

  4. love the colors!! Same as mine, i can't wait to read more about your plans!! :)

  5. Re: Anonymous asking about the pom poms
    i actually bought the tissue paper from www.retailpackaging.com in both colors. it's $25 for 480 sheets of one color. since i need 8 sheets per pom pom i figured i was set. so it was $50 for both colors plus shipping. so for the 66 i made it would be about $1.32 each. plus, you can use the tissue for a ton of other things like i did making the kissing balls.

  6. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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  7. Hi there!! I love the acrylic cake topper... who on ponoko did the cutting for you? Was this a custom request piece? I just LOVE it!

  8. jessica:
    ponoko.com let's you upload your own layout to cut out from any of the materials they have (acrylic, wood, metal, etc). there is no specific person who does it. all of their stuff is custom unless you are buying something someone else designed. go to their page and read their FAQ for more information on how to make stuff.