Wedding Rant

Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning (Photo credit: MyEyeSees)

I hate being negative but today has not been a good day on the wedding planning front.  Today marks the second time I have been informed by a photographer that I LOVED that they are booked on our date.  I loved these photographers because they had great photos and were within my price range.  In fact, most of the wedding planning has not been easy or fun.  All of my officiants have quoted me double my budgeted price and I really wanted a wedding video but I don’t think that will happen.  The videographer I really like charges $2,500 for a 10-15 minute video… what the what???

Don’t get me wrong, I am so ecstatically happy to be marrying my best friend.  He knows it and I’m so glad we’re on the same page with these feelings of frustration.  This never ending to do list also known as wedding planning is stressing me out.  Also, I hate spending money that I don’t have or that could be better spent paying back my student loans, furnishing our home, or even earning a tiny amount of interest in savings.  It literally makes my stomach knot up every time I think of prices.  Why do weddings cost so much?    I want to share this day with my family and friends but due to the sky high price of everything wedding related I’m having to savagely cut back my invitation list.

So what is a penny-pinching bride to do?  DIY?  Did someone say DIY?  Well, I do plan on DIY-ing the bugeezus out of my wedding but I also think this will make the day of my wedding and the night before a little (or a lot) more stressful for me and my crew.  Is there any other option?  It just seems like absolutely too much work and stress and planning and organizing and thinking about it all just makes me shut down.

To all my family and friends who might be reading this, I hope this blog post will keep you from thinking I’m horrible the next time you hear me hurl some insult at this wedding or the planning process.


Focused Inspiration

I went home for the long weekend and got some much needed family time!  While there we also discussed the wedding.  Turns out I have waaaay to many ideas.  I am told that I need to focus all my ideas and maybe decide on a specific feeling or theme that I want for our wedding.  So this week I’m going to post a few photos from one of my Pinterest inspiration boards.

Whimsical Vintage Wedding

Hanging Candles ribbon or paper backdrop

1) Wedding Alter Backdrop:  I like the hanging flowing feeling of ribbon or paper for the wedding alter backdrop.  I think this image could be high impact with minimal cost.

Light bulbs & candles Mason jar lighting string lights on floor

2) Lighting: I love the interesting decorative candles.  The candles are functional but also beautiful and add a vintage feel.  I also have a TON of mason jars at my disposal so perhaps I can DIY that lighting idea above.  I also like the touch of moss which could bring the outdoors indoors.  And those string lights trailing across the ground look so magical.

Long table & GeeseMossy centerpieces3) Table Settings: I love the idea of one long table.  It seems so intimate.

glower crown Messy hair

4) Hair: I love the long flowing hair and I am almost certainly decided that I will have a flower crown.  I’m also considering a messy up-do.

Wedding Dress 2 wedding dress

5) Wedding Dress: I love the detailed beading and how the dress seems floaty.  I’m also pretty crazy about long lacey sleeves though I don’t know if that would work for a summer wedding.

I love how light and flowing all of the whimsical inspiration feels.  It’s all so feminine and there is a lot of DIY opportunity which likely means a lot of money saving.  Please check out my whimsical vintage inspiration board on Pinterest and feel free to send me pin ideas!

Love Games

My least favorite part about blogging is coming up with titles.  Usually all I can think of are super cheesy things… what can I say, it’s who I am.  When giving this blog a title, Lady Gaga’s “Love Games” popped into my head.  But just the part that says “Let’s play a love game, play a love game.”  So now after that long explanation, let’s get to business.

I’m very determined that there should be games at our wedding.  I think that some people think this is a silly idea but this was one of the first ideas I was certain about.  While most weddings these days feature signature cocktails and crazy dance parties that just isn’t quite our style.  Richard and I rarely drink alcohol and rather than dancing the night away at a club, we’d choose a night in with friends enjoying good food and fun games.  I think that’s kind of the main theme of our wedding day, an overgrown dinner party filled with yummy food and lots of fun.    There will be music and an area for dancing, because even though Richard’s not crazy about busting a move I sure do enjoy it.  Here are a few of the games I hope to have at our wedding.  Most of these games link to their DIY instructions, you know just in case anyone really loves and really wants to help me scratch something off my to-do list.

Giant Jenga

Via A Beautiful Mess.

1.  Giant Jenga – This DIY was something I assumed would be pretty simple and straightforward and I was right according to the A Beautiful Mess instructions.  I came up with a monogram for Richard and I awhile back and it might be cute to put that on the blocks.

Bean Bag Toss

Via Katelyn Miller Designs.

2. Bean Bag Toss – I think this game is tons of fun and it could make for a very pretty game set.  I also hear it’s fairly simple and affordable to make.


Via La maison de Loulou.

3.  Pick-up Sticks – This is a game where no one even has to leave the table.  They are colorful, cute and can be taken home by guests at the end of the night.

outdoor tic tac toe

Via Chicken Scratch NY

4.  Tick-Tack-Toe –  This seems easy to make using materials we either already have or can find on the farm or at the Dollar Store.  I like that the wood round could be used as part of the centerpiece to prop up the florals and the rocks could be placed around the table as part of the decor.  Just scoot the flowers aside and you’ve got a game table.

I Spy

Via Martha Stewart Weddins

5.  I Spy:  I love the idea of handing out an I Spy List and a disposable camera to each of our younger guests and letting them capture specific moments and little details.  Not only does it keep them happy and busy but it’s a great way to capture a different view of the night.


Guest Book Ideas

There are many decisions that have yet to be made but I’m thinking the guest book is definitely one of the things we’re sure about.  The guest book is something that every wedding has and it’s a great opportunity to get creative.  Too often guest books are the same old same old but a quick peek on Pinterest shows many people are stepping away from traditional.

A Beautiful Mess

Via A Beautiful Mess

One of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess, featured an out of the box guest book idea.  One of the blog writers, Emma, recently got married and of course her wedding was filled with a wonderful DIY spirit and unique ideas, like the guest book.  Though it’s not my cup of tea I really appreciate the creativity here.  Plus, Emma is using her “book” as an art piece in her new home.  What a great daily reminder of the beginning of your life together.

Via Dani Stephenson Photography

Via Dani Stephenson Photography

Another art piece I found fell in love with on Pinterest was featured at a Minnesota wedding.  The tree design alone would be a great piece but it means so much more with all of your loved ones names on it!

balloon finger prints

Similar piece by Peachwik on Etsy. Click to check out the shop.

I’ll mention just one more art piece, finger print guest books.  Now, I’m not so sure if I’m crazy about this or if I dislike it.  Who wants to dip their finger in an ink pad when their dressed in their nicest attire?  I know not everyone is as clutzy as me and therefore it isn’t absolutely certain that they will wind up covered in ink but, if it was me, I’d end the night with an ink mustache and lots of prints all over myself and probably my date as well.  I do, however, love the balloon print.  I would like this idea even better if everyone had also signed their name along with their print because most of us don’t have a FBI database we can run those prints through so as to remember who they belong to.


Just as good or maybe better than having a guest book that doubles as an art piece is something you bring out on special occasions, like a game.  I love the idea of having guests sign Jenga game blocks.  You’ll likely bring the game out when friends and family come to visit and it’s a perfect opportunity and prompt to reflect on the happy day together.


This puzzle guest book is also really cute!  Not only could it give guests something to collectively work on at the wedding but it’s something you can hand down to your kiddos when they’re developing their problem solving skills.

Via Something Turquoise

Via Something Turquoise

And another interesting spin on the guest book is guests notes.  This nature inspired wedding had an antique typewriter set up just for their loved ones to leave  messages of love and advice for the couple to read together in the future.

My guest book idea is a mix of the traditional (because there will be a book) and the new.  I will also be asking guests to write words of love and advice because reading over them later will be a wonderful opportunity for me to get emotional and sentimental.  The problem with my guest book idea is that it requires the use of a Polaroid camera.  If you have any tips on where to buy or rent one, let me know!  And no, I’m not posting my inspiration photo because, Hey, there have to be some surprises come the wedding day right!???

DIY: Filing Cabinet Revamp

About 1 year ago we bought a new… to us… filing cabinet.  It was horribly scratched up and not very good looking but it was $25 and tall and big and full of empty storage space.  From the moment we brought it home I had planned a makeover for this bad boy but as with most crafty things on my to do list, I just continuously pushed it off.  I finally got to it last week.  After a quick trip to the nearest hardware store for some spray paint and some sand paper, I got to work.

Filing Cabinet Pre-Revamp

Sanding Cabinet


Sanded Cabinet

First I used the circular sander to take the scratchy top layer off.  I got most of it off but didn’t worry about removing every bit of the black paint.  Then I had to wipe it down because this paint was EVERYWHERE!  Then I started spraying the cabinet with Krylon Dual Paint and Primer in Regal Blue.  I thought I knew how to spray paint things, I do it often enough that I should have picked up some skills, but apparently not.  My first can was running out and Richard came out to check on my progress and suggested I move with slower strokes allowing the paint to coat the area better.  I figured if I moved slower it would leave paint bubbles.  This may be a “duh” moment for you guys but this idea never occurred to me.  I always painted with quick shaking movements fearing the dreaded paint build up and drip streaks.  At this point my hands looked like the belonged to a Smurf.  I let the blue paint dry then applied a Rustoleum clear coat.  I had to wipe off dust in between coats to keep the surface smooth.

Final Sanding

Give that clear coat about 24-48 hours to dry and then run a very fine sand paper over it by hand.  This gets all the dust and small paint bubbles out and leaves the surface nice and smooth.  After another wipe, it was ready to move back in.  I really like that it adds a splash of color to our office.  This will be Richard’s work area, so we’re trying to focus on getting this room organized as quickly as possible.  Once everything is in place I’ll be sure to post some photos!

Final Product1

Trash to Treasure

During my junior year of college, I was dropping off several items at the Salvation Army when I saw a beautiful french door sitting behind the building.  When the attendants popped out to take my items from me I asked about the door.  They said they didn’t take items like that and if I could fit it in my car I could have it for free.  And though I was headed to work, I loaded it up in my car and took it.  It hit me in the back of the head all the way to work and then, after my shift, all the way home.  I unloaded it and left it outside for nearly a full year.  It withstood several horrible dust storms and the 2009 – 2010 school year blizzards.  Now, three years later I’ve finally finished cleaning it off.

I’ve never regretted taking in this pretty door.  I’m pretty sure Richard regrets my habit of turning trash to treasure.  It usually includes his help since I’m not allowed to wield power tools for everyone’s safety.  You can see the door is white, chipped and scratched.  I plan on repainting it a nice deep blue or deep teal color and then doing an overcoat of grey and distressing it so you can see some of the blue through it.  But when it’s done it should look similar to this one below.

Many of the online DIY instructions say to mount your headboard like a picture frame. However, I think my door is much too heavy to hang from the walls and since I’m still only renting I’m too afraid to take the risk.  So until I can figure out how to attach legs to this hefty pretty door, I think I’ll get as far as painting.  If you have any tips of ideas please share!

DIY Sofa Update

So I’ve been talking about my DIY sofa for a long time… mostly to everyone who’ll listen at work but I also blogged about it here.  If you check back on my earlier post you’ll see pictures of my inspiration.  But Since I sorta am afraid you won’t look back I’ll post one of the pictures here too….

After acquiring some free wooden pallets that were also spray painted an ugly blue color I painted them a cool gray color.  I wanted to give my pallets a lift but casters at the nearest Ace Hardware were $9 each.  That is ridiculously over-priced.  So I did what anyone with a limited budget would or should do – Checked out Craigslist.  I picked up 8 casters like this —-> one for $16.  At $2 each that was definitely within my budget.  The hardware to attach them seemed a little pricy – for all the screws and washers I spent around $10.

I sat on the wooden pallets for nearly a month – NOT comfortable!  But I got a free twin mattress from Richard who decided to move up to a full size bed.  He’s had the twin since he first switched to a big boy bed.  Surprisingly it’s still super comfy.  I slept on the “couch” the first night we brought it over to my apartment.

I had the couch covered with a green blanket, it didn’t look very classy.  My family came to the rescue over the Thanksgiving weekend.  For years we’ve had this gray material sitting in our garage.  My mommy cut a big swath of it and brought it up to Tulsa – unfortunately it wasn’t enough to make pillows and a cover for the couch.  So we made half a cover for the couch and 6 pillows.

Doesn’t it look great?  Can I just brag about the pillows for a second.  We bought two bags of stuffing for the pillows but we also recycled old pillows by cutting them open and pulling apart the flattened stuffing.  We had a bit left over so I decided to use it stuffing my teddy bear cookie… So what if I’m 23.  It’s not weird to still have a teddy bear.  Right?

Anyway when it’s done the gray mattress cover will wrap around the mattress and will show the pallet and the casters.  I’m super into industrial design but I also love a bit of vintage and eclectic pieces.  I plan on making pillow covers with a cool patterned material.  It would be great to just cover them so when I get tired of the pattern or the style I can switch them out.

Also I’m watching Glee as I blog.  This is the first time I’ve watched in on TV as it airs because I have cable for free until the end of the year.  Who knew coach Beiste could sing… really well.

Anyways here are a few of the pillow patterns I like.  Tell me what you think.  Leave a comment!

Via Furbish Studio. Click on the image for pricing and more.

Via the Nest. Click Image for How To.

Via Little Green Notebook. Click the Image for more on the how to.

Via Do it Yourself Divas. Click Image to check out her blog!

Via Nuka on Etsy. Unfortunately her shop is closed now. But click the image to see more doily creations on Make Handmade's Blog.


DIY Sofa / Seating Area.

This is my living room seating area / diy sofa inspiration.

When I saw this idea, I couldn’t stop day dreaming about it.  So I finally googled “where do you get pallets.”  My google search said I should call local shops and warehouses but since I didn’t know who to call and didn’t want to call a ton of different business I continued to search.  Finally one of the google answers said, “try Craigslist.”  Craigslist is so amazing.  It’s like one HUGE garage sale and best of all you can search through junk using key words.

Someone in Bartlesville had listed pallets for free as long as you picked them.  I know I probably could’ve found some in Tulsa if I hadn’t been a lazy-kins but I’d never been to Bartlesville before and now I can say I have.

Here’s what the pallets originally looked like.  They’re all blue and ugly.  I’m sure they had been outside for a while because they looked like they had some damage from the elements.  Now I was too antsy to sand them so we skipped that part and went straight to painting.  Actually, first we hunted down a car wash where you do it by hand.  You’d never believe how difficult it was to find one of those in Tulsa.  Once we did we power washed them with water and soap to get all of the dirt and grease off.  Then we set them out to dry.  Thankfully because it’s so dry, they didn’t stay wet long.

Richard Painting... What a good boyfriend for helping!

They were dry and ready to be painted the next day.  I love gray as a main color to carry throughout a home.  It looks a little bit modern but can really go with any other color you choose to include in a room.  And since I plan on continuing to move around for a while, having a nice gray color as a primary decorating color it will be much easier to relocate furniture in future apartments or homes.  These pallets are now Silver Liberty, a WalMart cheep-o deep-o paint color.  I got it in semi-gloss.  The color is a really light gray that also has a bit of a blue or lavender hint to it.  I really like it because my favorite colors are more in the blues section of the color wheel.  I know once I decorate my living room to satisfaction the decor will really bring out that blue or lavender tint.

Now I need to get crackin’ on the cushions.  Like any other diy-er I’ve already googled it and am utterly confused by the sowing instructions… I really need to learn how to do that.  I’m sure my mom will know.  I’m posting my instructions here for two reasons, 1) so you can see how confusing they are 2) so I can remember where they are.  I really want to make box cushions in a red fabric but I’ll probably cave and pick a blue color.

And since I have paint left over, I’m painting a few things that definitely needed a coat.  This cute little shelf was given to me by a friend.  Previously it had these colorful little glass rocks glued to it but I removed those gave it a scrub and started painting.  I think I’ll really enjoy having the same color throughout the house.