Sunday, April 26, 2009

DIY Dual Purpose Programs

So, Jamaica in May? Yeah, it's HOT. I wanted to have either a fan or a parasol for each chair, but needed something that (again) was easily transportable. Considering that our multiple suitcases are already bulging at the seams, parasols were eliminated. I saw these fan/programs that I liked (but again, they are a little too bulky for our suitcases!):


I loved the layout and wording of Mrs. Cherry Pie's programs, & (with her permission, of course!) decided to use hers rather than recreate the wheel. Sure, people could just hold on to the bottom of these and fan themselves, but I wanted something a little more. I found butterknife fan handles online, experimented a bit, and came up with the simple idea of multiple layers of cardstock and a handle. Brilliant!

Like our menus, the programs were super easy to construct (and pretty much follows the same steps!)

Design, print and cut your programs. (Ours our double sided: one side lists a thank you to our guests - thanks Mrs. CP...I just couldn't think anymore!... as well as lists our family and attendants. The other side is the order of events for the ceremony & lets our guests know to remain on the lawn for passed hors d'ouerves and cocktail hour.) Then line the back 4 sides with double sided roller tape and stick to the backing color of your choice. We had a lot of pre-cut, leftover stock from our invitations, and designed the program to fit on top of it with a 1/4" border.

Mr. Quiche came up with the brilliantly simple idea of using stock tape to adhere to fan handle to the backside of one of the cardstock sheets. I had glue - oops!

Next, line the back of that piece of cardstock (and run a line down the handle for good measure!

Plop the other piece of cardstock on top & voila! a Dual Purpose Program Fan easy, breezy cool!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lovely Little Ladies (& Flip Flop Fun!)

There are lots of kids in the Quiche's world, and I can't imagine our wedding WITHOUT kiddos running around. Mini Quiche A is the junior best man, and my nephew J is the ring bearer (you can see their duds here). So, that leaves us with the little ladies. Mini Quiche J and my niece B are our (adorable) flower girls. They couldn't be more excited! J, who isn't a fan of dresses (to put it very mildly) did NOT want to take this dress off over the weekend. She loves B and is just excited to be wearing matching outfits :) Thank goodness!

I bought the flower girl dressed the same weekend I bought my dress & when I already knew what I wanted the bridesmaids to wear. Mama Quiche and Sister Quiche Nen were in town & we popped into Gap Kids. Hanging on the wall was the perfect flower girl dress and we snapped them up! Plus, they were on sale for $21 - score!

The body is cream with a navy border on the top and a tropical print bottom. Well, let's let Mini Quiche show you!

Posing with Mini Quiche A (lookin' handsome in his newly tailored suit jacket! Too bad his eyes are closed :( )

It was still Easter around these parts over the weekend. The Greek Easter bunny brought some furry friends with him (her?).

I ordered headbands from jujinjess on Etsy (where else?). She was awesome to work with! I just told I wanted navy grosgrain with a pink flower & voila! there it was!

The girls are wearing simple, navy blue flip flops from Old Navy ($2.50!). But, I wanted to dress them up just a bit. Jujinjess to the resuce, again! I emailed her and she sent me 4 pink flowers. I told her my plans to hot glue them to the flip flops, but she advised against that (they can pop off!). So, I ended up "sewing" them (as you can tell, I had a very DIY-filled weekend). It was very easy.


I have my grandmothers old sewing basket, and I love using her vintage thread for projects :)

I used a double strand of thread and tied a knot one the end. Threading down through the top of the bottom layer of the flower worked best, as it hid the knot.

Then, I just wrapped it around one strap, up through a petal, around another strap, down through a petal etc. until it felt secure. There was no rhyme or reason to this step. Then I placed a dot of craft glue on the top of the toe strap, to hold the thread in place. And for extra security, shoved some glue under the flower as well.

Another easy DIY project completed!

Is your flower girl wearing a non-flower girl dress?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mmm...Food. (& an Easy DIY Menu tutorial!)

With a Jamaican wedding, a Jamaican menu is a must! Our all-out Jamaican feast will be happening on Friday night (I'll write about that soon!), and the menu for the reception will focus on tropical flavors as well as personal favorites of ours. While we didn't have a specific tasting during our "research" trip in October, the food we did eat while there was delish. No tasting = no pretty food pictures, so I'll give you our DIY menu tutorial instead!

First, design and print your image on your paper of choice. We used white linen paper, as we did with our invitations.

Again, like our invitations, we used the same header but swapped the colors since we are backing these with bright pink cardstock.

Next, trim the menus down to size. We printed them so we could get 2 per page.

After the menus are cut to size, it's time to choppity chop the backing cardstock. I measured it out so there is a 1/4" trim of pink on all four sides.

And finally, run a line of adhesive along all four sides of the white cardstock (the back side, of course) and stick it on the pink cardstock. We just eyeballed them, and they turned out great (although I did have to raise my eyebrows a couple of times at Mr. Q and his centering techniques. No worries though, we just pulled them apart and re-stuck 'em!)! I had a great photo-op of Mr. Quiche on the menu assembly line, but he wouldn't let me take it because he "didn't like what he was wearing". Men.

Tropical, Preppy, EASY menu!

As you can probably read in the pictures, here is our reception menu:

Jamaican Crab Cakes
served with sweet corn salsa and
papaya tartar sauce

Prosciutto & Melon

Sugar Cane Skewered Chicken Breast
with Coconut Glaze
Grilled Tilapia with Mushrooms, Spinach
and Carrots in a Chardonnay Sauce

Vanilla Sponge Cake with Raspberry Filling

Choosing the menu was quite simple, as was constructing them. I bought 50 sheets of 100# pink cardstock (on sale!) for $8.99. The white linen paper is leftover from our invitations, so the cost has already been absorbed there. The biggest splurge (if you can even call it that!) was on the Duck brand roller adhesive. We bought them at varying places, paying $7 for one, $5 for another, and $3.50 for the final one. $24.49 for 40 menus = 61 cents each. Not bad!

Does your menu feature local flavors?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Windy City Meet-up!

The Chicago Weddingbee crew had a wonderful night last week! Miss Mascara, Mrs. Emerald and I met up with readers LatteLove, yogigal, hellopanda, Rinstar, msbelgianian and eileen marie. What an awesome group! We swapped planning and other stories over wine and pizzas, and just had an overall great night.

I think I speak for all of us when I say - can't wait to do it again! For those of you who missed it, we will plan another meet-up in the summer. Nothing says summer in Chicago better than al fresco dining!

Without further ado, the group!

LatteLove - thank you for getting the ball rolling with this! & thanks for a great night, everyone!

Top o' the Mornin' to ya!

Happy Monday, everyone! Can you guess by the title of this post where we decided to go on our honeymoon? That's right - Ireland!

Mr. Quiche had an email alert that direct, round-trip flights on Aer Lingus were around $350! Cheaper than flying to L.A. from Montego Bay! We did some checking around and similar flights on American were just a little bit more, so we decided to book with them in order to beef up our air miles (score!).

We're flying in and out of Dublin, but are planning a trip through the countryside after a 2 night stay in Dublin. Mr. Q has a friend who travels to Dublin frequently and recommended The Westbury Hotel.

One of the gorgeous suites

View from the Gallery Lounge

After reading about the Westbury on their website, the hotel seems right up our alley. Cool, contemporary design right in the heart of Dublin and Grafton St. shopping and restaurants.

We have a rental car reserved to pick up after our stay in Dublin, and we will then take off (on the right side of the road - always interesting!) across the countryside. Due to time constraints, we are traveling around the southern part of Ireland. We want to start off in Galway, then head down the west coast towards Doolin, the Dingle Peninsula and Kinsale. We really want to stay in a castle one night, and night #3 will be spent Ashford Castle(click on that link. seriously. it's incredible.), just outside of Galway. There are a lot of activities from golf & tennis to the more obscure (for me, at least) archery, clay pigeon shooting & falconry (I'll stay FAR, far away from this one, due to my intense fear of birds).

Usually, Mr. Quiche and I are avid vacation researchers and have many things planned out - where to stay, what to do, the hot restaurants, etc...but planning a honeymoon while planning a wedding has left our plans to what you read above. Flights, a hotel in Dublin and a castle. Eeep! We need to get planning! Luckily, Mama Quiche & Step dad Quiche did a similar trip a couple of years ago. Mama Q is incredibly organized and efficient, weighing us down with her folders of locations, Michelin maps, driving directions, B&B suggestions (& phone numbers!), sights, etc. Plus 2 photo albums full of pictures with a running commentary of who, what, where and when. Score! Mama Q to the rescue :)

So hive, I turn to you. With limited days in Dublin, Galway, Doolin, Dingle and Kinsale - what should we do? We'd love any suggestions!

My other question is a simple one - where are you going on your honeymoon?

Source 1, 2, 3, 4

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where to Honeymoon?

Mr. Quiche and I love to travel. We've had many awesome adventures together - be it Italy or NYC - so it's only fitting that our honeymoon should follow suit. With the wedding in Jamaica, we are essentially going to be honeymooning, times 2. Yeah!

There were 3 major contendors vying for the spot of the Quiche Honeymoon, all very different, yet fabulous in their own way.

First up: Indonesia

Specifically, Bali. Ah yes, the magnificent isle of Bali. A place that Mr. Quiche and I have been wanting to go to, yet haven't been able to justify the expense (or time off) that it would require. What better way to see this beautiful part of the world than on your honeymoon? The Amankila Resort in Bali is breathtaking. We've had friends who've vacationed here and say it is the best hotel, hands down.


We love to bike, so beach time paired with a few days bicycling through the smaller villages would be a perfect vacation for us! Being able to really experience the culture first-hand, rather than through a windshield, is incredible.

To me, Bali is perfection.

Option 2: Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara (okay, and along the west coast in general!) is one of my favorite cities in the USA. Growing up in the midwest & visiting family friends in LA turned me into a "California Girl" in Junior High and High School. I wanted nothing more than to go to college out west. Well, Ohio State must have been my destiny, as I never ended up making it out to Cali to live. My mom STILL says that she is shocked I never ended up moving there after college, as I bugged her CONSTANTLY about moving there all through high school. Sigh.

Wait, where was I? Oh yeah, Santa Barbara "mini-moon"! Even though our wedding is in Jamaica, we wanted to have a different getaway after the wedding. Fly from Montego Bay to LA on Sunday, then rent a car and drive to Santa Barbara. In order to treat ourselves to a little luxury, while still maintaining a budget, the Four Seasons is offering a "Buy 2 nights, get the 3rd night FREE" deal. Score! Since we are taking off a lot of time for the wedding, we could just take a quick jaunt out west for a quaint little "mini-moon".


Option 3: The Emerald Isle

Ireland made it's way to our potential list later in the honeymoon planning game. An email alert led us to check out some unbelievably cheap airfare. I've never been to Ireland, and neither has Mr. Quiche. My mom and stepdad went there a couple of years ago & loved it!

Their trip consisted of flying into Dublin, staying for a few days there, then renting a car to tour the Irish countryside. The idea of (like Bali) seeing and experiencing the countryside with the locals is very appealing to me! I want nothing more than to saunter up to the bar at a little pub, order a pint of Guiness & a basket of chips, and listen to the band perform. Driving the west coast of Ireland is breathtaking- rolling green hills, cliffs, the sea. Not to mention the history!

Honestly, all of these are equally appealing to me. So, which did we choose? You'll have to wait & see (okay, I won't make you wait THAT will be my next post!)!

Did you have trouble narrowing down your honeymoon location?

Changing names, changing names

For those brides who are changing their names post-wedding, WOW, what a pain in the arse! I've had friends who get married take months to get all of the necessary paperwork filled out. And for completely understandable reasons - it's a pain in the arse! Not only do you have to travel to each different office, wait in obscene lines, but you also have to fill out paperwork over and over again, and usually it's the same information on each different form.

There are many places where your name needs to be changed, including:

~ Passport
~ USPS (if you're changing your name AND moving, they take care of that, too!)
~ Drivers License
~ Voter Registration
~ Utilities
~ Credit Cards

...and the list goes on, which will be different for each person.

Confused yet? Frustrated?

I know I am!

I don't know about you, but I have ZERO interest in risking carpal tunnel! And going to each of these places in the city? No thank you!

Enter my FABULOUS bridesmaid, the lovely Miss Nicole. As one who also wouldn't have patience for this, her engagement gift to me (I mean US) was a gift card for the complete services at Miss Now

I started perusing the website this morning to see what it was all about & I am floored! They do everything for you. And you only have to enter your information ONCE. Sweet! Your answsers to their questions will auto-complete the various forms that you need. As they are completed, you then review and approve & print them! They then provide you with the respective addresses, associated fees, etc. The only way they could make it easier on you is to come you house and lick your stamps ;)

They estimate that their service saves you an average of 13 hours of time. Which is completely worth the under $30 price tag. Your information is 100% secure, but if you feel uncomfortable entering say, your social security number, you can fill that in by hand after you print the forms.

Whew. It may seem like a lot of information, but it is so very simple. What a great gift idea!

Are you changing your name? If you've already changed it the traditional way, would this service have saved you time (and sanity)?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Let’s Try This Again (&, let’s Trash That Dress!)

I still haven’t been able to get the idea of a reception dress out of my mind. After Max Azria seriously let me down, my search (and resulting frustration) has soldiered on.

Like my issue with shoes, I haven’t really found anything that jumped out at me, shouting “Me! Pick me! Wear me! Love me!”. Especially something that would justify the added expense in our wedding budget. A few friends have told me to just drop the search & wear my dress all night long – I mean, that’s what most brides do, right? – since it is light and airy (I had been using the “What if I get too hot?” line).

Mr. Quiche and I were stalking photography blogs of fellow Coyaba weddings & came across this picture…

Photo credit: Climie + Co

…and Mr. Q let it be known that he wanted to do that. Yeah! I LOVE Trash the Dress shots (and our superfabulous photographer, Ashley, will be with us all weekend!) & far be it from me to deny the man this simple request. But wait. In my wedding dress? Eeeeee….not so sure about that! Why not find something comfy and casual that I can change into late night (if desired) and then wear again the next morning for a TTD shoot?

Which led me to change the parameters of my reception dress. Maxi Dresses, to be exact. Loosey-goosey, flowy, fun, fabulous, cheaper-than-a-wedding-dress & “trashable”.

How romantic!

I *heart* James Perse

Victoria’s Secret has a lot of cheap options!

This adorable blue and white ticking stripe could also work!

Buying one of these dresses comes with the added bonus of being re-wearable (trust me, I would have never worn that BCBG dress again, no matter how many times I told you that I would).

I don’t think Mr. Quiche will don his Calvin Klein suit for the big plunge, perhaps wearing what the groomsmen are wearing for the ceremony (because we loved it so much & got such a great deal, we bought one for him, too!).

Are you trashing your dress, or did you find a re-wearable alternative?

Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Don't Like White Sandals*... I bought silver shoes for the wedding. Last July. & apparently, I don't like silver sandals, either.

Touch-Ups "Marcella"

I liked them at first, but after trying them on with my dress again over the weekend, I just wasn't crazy about them. Maybe it's the toe thing? I'm not sure. Luckily, I ordered them from Zappos and have 365 days to return them.

There is just something about white and silver sandals that don't agree with me. Especially those fitting a very particular demographic:

Wedge (or wide heel, but not too wide)
1" - 2" heel
Not gladiators

Those that do fit this description tend to have either a black or cork heel *shudder* or are too bulky. Plus, my dress is ivory & ivory shoes are out of the question (unless they're Manolo Sedaraby's, which are also, unfortunately, out of the question :( )

Why the black heel?

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Still not right!

I'd love to jump on the fun, colored shoe bandwagon that so many bees have ridden before me, but my dress just toches the ground & you can definitely see my shoes due to the fact that there isn't any "fluff" to it.

So, I'm really not sure what the point of this post is. Perhaps just to say that I am TIRED of zappos, endless and piperlime. And our wedding is 3 weeks away. I'm thinking of ordering a basic wedge flip-flop and dressing them up with a vintage rhinestone clip (or something?). If I had it my way (& perhaps not a Jamaican wedding), I'd wear thesse:

I can't quit you, Uggs!

All images from Zappos.

Is anyone else having the same ridiculous (& petty) problem that I'm having? Help!

*I don't like white/silver sandals for me, not you. Yours are lovely. :)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Bridal Shower & "Bachelorette Party", Round 2

After having an incredible shower/party weekend in Ohio a month ago, I count myself as being doubly blessed to celebrate with my Chicago gang as well last weekend. Chi-bridesmaids Nic & Andrea made the journey to Ohio with me, and along with my other best, best friend Chi-bridesmaid Carrie, another incredible weekend ensued.

I feel like I say it all the time - and I'm going to say it again - I feel so lucky to have such an amazing group of friends and family! Ohio-bridesmaid Beth and Sister Quiche Nen travelled to Chicago on Friday, which just made the weekend even sweeter.

Saturday started off with with...wait for it...picking up my dress from the tailor!! YEAH! But, you'll have to wait only a few short weeks to see it :) Rest assured, it is PERFECT. We even had time for Beth to hit up the salon, Nen to hit up Sweet Mandy B's for cupcakes, and me to hit up the gym before getting ready for the shower. With all of the activity, it really was such a relaxing weekend!

BM's Carrie, Nicole & Andrea set up the perfect shower for me - High Tea at the Ritz Carlton. I love tea (and let's be honest, who doesn't love a tiny sandwich?).

Before we left - Mini Quiche J, Carrie, Me, Bethany & Nen

I loved the living room-style set up. With a larger group, it made it feel much more intimate.

Customized menus :)

Tiny sandwiches!

Champagne toast (thanks Anu!)

Mini Quiche J :)

After the shower, a group of us headed back to our house to get ready for dinner at Quartino, one of my favorite Italian tapas-esque spots downtown. It was a perfect "bachelorette party"!

Our friend (and groomsman!) B-Fresh was having a party that night. Mr. Quiche would be there, along with a lot of our other friends. So rather than head out for a wild night on the town, we instead opted for a wild night in, Chez Patel ;)

Thanks, DJ B-Fresh!

We brought the dance party with us.

Mr. Quiche loved that we were there with him...

What a fun weekend! I loved having my sister and Bethany here to celebrate. While they've met almost all of the Chicago crew before, it was nice for them to spend more time with people before we all meet up again - in JAMAICA!

Were you able to have friends from all parts of your life get together before your big day?