Monday, January 25, 2010

Pamper The Bride Within (While Cutting Costs!)

If you are a DIY bride, chances are you don't have the biggest budget. But that doesn't mean you have to miss out on the luxuries big-spending brides live by!

Why not tap into a local cosmetology school for pampering services at minimal costs? Just search in your state (google or yahoo)and you should be able to find one. These schools don't just do makeup and hair! They do skincare, nails, body treatments, and waxing! And everything is done under the supervision of a licensed professional.

For example, the one I found offers the following services that I am interested in:

Deluxe European Facial for 1 hour $17.50
(add-ons like customized facial mask, for an extra $5)
Full Body Spa Massage for 1 hour $17.50
French Twist and Up-do's $15 to $25
Hair extensions $10 an hour
Shampoo and Styles $5.50
Eyebrow Arch/Lip $4 each

A cool idea for strapless gown brides, a one hour back facial for $17.50.

Someone please tell me they are thinking about doing this. I will be calling this school tomorrow to set up appointments to primp myself for Valentine's Day and our engagement shoots in March. I will let you know what services I choose and how it all turns out!

Arizona brides, the school I'm talking about is

Monday, January 18, 2010

Oh, and FYI...

We're paying of the wedding venue today!

Feels good. This is where the majority of our budget is going, and glad we could pay for it ourselves.

Lol at this photo! I wish!

My Next DIY Project

Yay! I thought of another project to do. I am so happy, because it seems easy, it is another craft, and will really make a statement at my ceremony!

I'm going to make my very own....

Wedding fans! I'm sure it will be a hit with the guests because it will be June in Arizona, hello!

I got the idea after browsing a wedding product catalog sent to my home. They were so simple, just nice shaped paper on a popsicle stick. I thought "I could do that." Michael's would have a box of craft sticks somewhere, I'm sure. Then I knew it was a good idea when I presented the catalog to my mom.

Here's where I'm a master manipulator. (Haha, not really). Sometimes, when I want to get validation for a good idea, I'll present information to someone else the same way I received it and let them connect the dots. I showed my mom the fans.

And she said, "We could make those."

And I said "With what?"

"Popsicle sticks?"

"Mom, that's exactly what I was thinking!"

Brilliant, I know. I'm just happy that I have another simple project to do and my mom actually agreed to do it with me. So we got on the computer and started messing around and made the design we will put on them. Can't wait to show you guys! But we will make the fans closer to the wedding date because we don't want them sitting around for five months. I'll show you a mock-up though. Who else is making fans?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Well, last week when I went to Michael's the cashier gave me some 50% off coupons to use for this week.

So I went in with the intent of getting my last batch of butterflies for the cake, and the gift bags I had eyed that I wanted to use for my bridesmaids gifts. I got exactly what I was looking for, and nothing else!

Here are the butterflies in the package.

And here is one of the butterflies. It is on a pliable wire which will make it easy to stick in all kinds of places (baskets, cake, fg's hair).

I was happy I found this package of 12 butterflies for $4.99. I didn't even see them until the last minute, and was about to buy a pack of 3 small ones for $2.99. Well, these looked way better and gave me variety in color and size. I think I am all done with the butterflies, I should have enough to use them wherever I need them! Once the coupon was applied, they came out to be about $2.63.

And these gift bags came in a package of 13.

There are four polka dot, four striped, and five floral patterned bags. The cost was $7.99 and I had another 50% off coupon so they were around 4.60ish.

They are pictured with the *start* of what will be my bridesmaids giftbags.

I bought the lotion from bath and body works during their after Christmas sale. The scent is Pink Grapefruit and it smells great. I love how it goes with my theme! It will definitely go with the feel of a summer wedding, and citrus is my favorite base for any smell. I hope my bridesmaids like it! I like how I was able to tie that in with my theme :)

I will use the other bags for gifts for my MIL, and her sister who agreed to do the programs (!!!), my mother and any other important women who are helping out with the wedding.

Wedding Inspiration

All photos were taken from

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Special Breakfast for the Bride and Groom

(image taken from

So I am very close with my MIL. She is a wonderful woman with great ideas, and she has been a wonderful source of support for my relationship with my fiance.

Yesterday, while we were out doing errands, she intorduced a brilliant idea to us. She thinks the day of the wedding, we should have a special breakfast set up just for the two of us. It will be a chance for the two of us to actually eat breakfast that day (very important!) and share a special private moment.

I love the idea. I always liked the sentementality of a first look, and this way we will be getting one in our own special way.

Here is what I would love to see on our dream breakfast menu:

French toast
Easy over eggs
Beef or turkey beacon
Fresh Strawberries and peaches
Toast and Jam
Tea and orange juice

Well, that's just what I have a taste for today. The menu is subject to change. I imagine we will be dressed in robes like this:

And we will talk and laugh and have our own special moment. It sounds nice.

We have to figure out what we will eat and where. I really hope things go as planned so we can fit this into our schedule. Are you doing anything outside of tradition on your wedding day that will be special for you and your groom?

We Have Chosen Our Cake

Today was a busy wedding day for myself, MIL, fiance and one of my bridesmaids. We spent the day finalizing some key wedding points to check off on "the list." First up was our baker for our wedding cake!

This is the design both the fiance and I loved. We will tweak the colors. We will add flowers from the florist in the colors of orange and yellow. In place of the white ribbon design that borders the base of each layer, we will have it in hot pink. We will probably add a butterfly to the top of the cake to match our theme (I will go out to Michael's and buy more, even if they are regular price).

Our cake will be three tiers and serve 82 people. We are not planning on freezing the top layer of the cake to eat a year later on our anniversary-that really adds to the serving size. The top layer will be red velvet (groom's favorite), the second layer will be triple chocolate, and the third layer will be lemon. We tasted the flavors and they were wonderful!

Our vendor is Brian with, here in Phoenix, AZ. We met him today and he was so genuine, helpful and professional. We trust him to do a good job. He gave us a quote and we will finalize and actually tell him we chose him some time next week.

Things I like about the cake:

1. Square shape! I love square cakes. And square cakes mean more servings!
2. Its simplistic, clean and sophisticated look.
3. The bright colors will really stand out against the white fondant. (We chose white, not colored.)
4. The lemon layer! It's my favorite :)
5. My fiance and I both liked it the most of all the designs!

We only looked at one cake vendor. That's all I (we) needed!

Then we met with the photographer, who agreed to do two engagement photo shoots with us at the request of my MIL. She has great connects and he is very affordable.

I am excited; one of the shoots will be where I originally dreamed of doing our engagement pictures, the Civic Space Park in Phoenix.

It just opened a year ago. It was seconds from the dorm I lived in last year and I fell in love with the space because it is beautiful and modern. Phoenix is the desert, meaning we don't have a lot of grea parks to choose from. The light rail stations are also edgy and cool, and will make for great pictures. We will do the shoot during Spring Break in March. We will also have two photographers at the wedding.

I am surprised at how things are coming together; especially since I thought we would probably have no vendors because of the cost. Weddings are so expensive! Our families have been so, so, supportive and our wedding is really turning out to be a collaborative effort. I am glad, because we can have some really nice things like a fancy schmancy wedding cake, nice photography, and good music.

I'll keep you updated on whatever else we tackle! I'm starting to feel like a real bride. I never thought I would go cake tasting! Lots more details to tell you in the coming days.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Entering For A Giveaway

Wow, so I'm entering for a giveaway for a cardbox! The gracious JEM Aqua Bride is giving away a handmade cardbox for FREE to a lucky follower in the color/theme of their choice!

She is an awesome bride, and has so many cool ideas. If you liked any of my DIY projects, you'll love hers! Especially her cardbox :) The above picture is her very own handmade cardbox, and it goes perfect with her Tiffany's themed wedding. Isn't it beautiful?

Even if you're not a bride, you could gift this to someone, use it for a birthday party, or if you are a bride and have a cardbox, why not use it for your bridal shower?

Head on over to her blog, and enter yourself for the contest by January 15th. And wish me luck!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Flower Girl Basket and Other Projects

Just call me the dollar bride. I am a student and broke. But when the craft bug hits, like now on a break from school, I can go find inexpensive ways to fulfill my craving for crafts and add to my overall vision of my wedding day.

Say hello to the practice runs of my flower girl and card baskets. I bought the small pink, heart shaped one for about $1 at a Goodwill.

The hot pink basket will be used for cards, most likely, and was $1.99.

I thought the hot pink one could be used for programs, if my MIL's sister decides to gift them to us. MIL said she would ask her sister to do our programs, because her sister did invitations for her wedding years ago. BUT! In case her sister does not decide to do programs for us, we will use this basket for cards. (I don't think I can make an actual card box. Am I the only bride doing a card "basket"?)I am NOT making programs for this wedding. I refuse. So, either her sister makes them for us or there won't be any :)

Anyway. On to my practice mock-ups of the baskets. I found these beautiful butterflies for $1 each in the dollar section of a Michael's:

I grabbed all that I could. Two pink, and six yellow. I think I will use these butterflies on my bouquet and the bouquets of my bridesmaids. (mine + bms=6). The last two butterflies will go on both baskets, I'm thinking it will look something like this:

Flower girl Basket

I did a bad angle. I swear the butterfly and the flower on it is not that huge. (Ugh, ignore the nacho cheese in the background, lol)

And here is the Card/Program (lol) Basket

On the card basket are all the colors we will use to decorate for our reception: orange, yellow, and hot pink. I was inspired by the Colors of Summer for our reception color scheme. I think the butterflies go nicely with our summer theme, and I look forward to incorporating butterflies into our decor more. I have rekindled my childhood love for butterflies!

I have a lot of silver, glittery letters left over from my bride/groom sign project. So I made a Thank You sign to go on our gift table:

I will also use the left over letters to put the letters "FG" on the flower girl basket and the word "Cards" on the card basket (Ok, so I guess I'm pretty sure we're not getting programs, lol)

What do you think? Was anything too much on the baskets? I was inspired by the stuff you find on Etsy.

And now for my money rant:

Okay, honestly, I bet you could do a challenge to do literally almost all of your wedding decor items for $1 per item. I have found and seen soooo many things for $1: baskets, buckets, ribbon, invitations, flower stalks, tulle, thank you notes and envelope sticker seals with initials, floral gems, etc. Brides out there who want to spend as less as possible, or just want deals where they can afford to skimp, please become friends with the dollar section of stores you go to like Target and Michael's. And the dollar store!

The big butterflies I bought today were a dollar each. They had smaller, individual butterflies regularly priced at Michael's literally two aisles over, for triple and quadruple that! I feel lucky these were $1. That's enough for my rant. Lol.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fun Info For my Readers

From Aqua Bride, who borrowed this from a bride who borrowed from a bride, etc.

1. What are your middle names?
Ahmed and Ansari.

2. How long have you been together?
4 years, 3 mos

3. How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About five weeks

4. Who asked who out?
I asked him to the homecoming dance. He asked me to be his girlfriend.

5. How old are each of you?
20 and he is 22.

6. Did you go to the same school?
Yes, high school for one year together and then the same undergrad college.
He graduates in May! I graduate next May.

7. Are you from the same home town?

8. Who is the smartest?
He's better at science. I'm better at writing. I think we're equally matched. I do think I CAN be a bit more immature at times.

9. Who majored in what?
He is premed biochemistry. I am English, formerly journalism. (I do NOT want to teach, I want to work in book publshing)

10. Who is the most sensitive?
Me, hands down. But sometimes his sensitivy can shock me, in a good way.

11. Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
To Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on a cruise.

12. Who has the worst temper?

13. How many children do you want?
I want three. He says no more than four.

14. Who does the cooking?
He does, but I help out if we get desperate. Haha! But I plan on cooking when we get a place. He can eat fastfood for days.

15. Who is more social? He is.

16. Who is the neat freak?
I am.

17. Who is the most stubborn?
He is.

18. Who wakes up earlier?
He does.

19. Where was your first date?
School gymnasium.

20. Who has the bigger family?
He does.

21. Do you get flowers often?
Only on major holidays. Well, he has randomly given them to me a few times. But I always want flowers! haha

22. How do you spend the holidays?
Take turns with our families.

23. Who is more jealous?
I am.

24. How long did it take to get serious?
About two to three months. We fell hard fast.

25. Who eats more?
He does.

26. What do you do for a living?
Student. I hold down internships and a part time job. Right now I review books for a journal.

27. Who does the laundry?
I usually help him with his by doing it at my parent's house. He has so much friggin' laundry!

28. Who's better with the computer?
He is.

29. Who drives when you are together?
Him. Sometimes I do.

30. What is your song?
Don't have one.

Now fill it out yourselves!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Wedding Shoes

Yesterday I went to the mall to kill time with one of my bridesmaid's. At the encouragement of my future MIL, I agreed that now is a good time to scope out sales post-holiday and before Valentine's Day picks up shoppers.

We went into Aldo Shoes and I saw the shoes. They were a beautifuuuul color and would go nice with my dress. I hadn't seen the color before. They are not gold, or silver. I asked the salesman what color they were. He said "They're like between gold and silver. Sort of like a pewter."

Well, technically they are "copper." I found them on their website,

But to me, they are a neutral shimmery color that reminds me of pink without actually being pink. I love them. Not a steal at $69 but not anything to break the bank. I then went to Charlotte Russe and found a bracelet that matches the shoes, and I had to buy it:

This was a steal at $7.50. I am pretty sure I will wear this. Mom thinks its not wedding-y, and I need something delicate. I think it's cool and different. I love costume jewelry. We will see.

Monday, January 4, 2010

DIY: Bride and Groom Chair Signs

I am happy today because I did a DIY project all by myself, and it looks great.

These are from my cell phone. Too lazy to break out my camera! Both signs together.

Sorry, for some reason my phone takes pictures really dark. The signs are bright white. I originally bought the plaques from Dollar Tree (!!!) and they were wooden. $1 each. Acrylic Paint was 89 cents from Michael's. (Titanium White from FolkArt). And The bows were left over ribbon from the invitations. Oh, and the ready made chipboard glitter letters, $5 from Michael's for 76 letters.

Love it! It was soooo easy.

Just make sure you have patience to let each side dry. Self explanatory, I know, but my impatience *almost* got in the way. So even if you aren't crafty, like moi, you can turn out some cute things if you plan it right. I'm so excited. I'm gonna keep them in ziplock bags wedding isn't til June and I don't want anything to happen to these lovelies! (Or glitter to get everywhere).

I almost thought about jazzing these up with flowers in our colors. Turned out to be too much for me, but someone out there might take the idea and run with it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Table Themes

So, us modern brides know that we don't have to have table numbers anymore, right?

I mean, heck, why do that? We all know about the table themes of favorite destinations, or tables dedicated to favorite poems/books, or musicians. I even recently read a blog ( where the husband's love of Star Wars has lent its hands to their tables being named after planets from the movie.

I am a minimalist DIY bride. I just finished my invitations (which I did NOT do by myself, btw-the horror!). I'm moving on to my "bride" and "groom" reserved seating signs.

I'm thinking of adding something else. Maybe a theme, albeit an easy one(and maybe sort of lame) for our own tables. Inspiration? Both my name and my fiance's name begin with the letter N. We're having around 11 tables. So I started thinking, what if we did phrases that start with 'N' and pertain to love?

I have a list in my head:

Never Felt This Way
Needing You Always
Newly Wedded
Now and Forever
*Never Separate
Naturally, Yours
No One Else
No I Without You
Near and Dear to My Heart
Nothing Can Come Between Us
Nourish my mind, body and soul

Maybe I could figure out a pretty font and put it on pretty cardstock in our wedding colors. Hmmm.

I even started thinking any bride could do this, with what ever letter. Anyone have an M they need phrases for?

Made for eachother
Mines, Yours, Ours
Mi Amor
Must be Fate
Mr. and Mrs. (blank)
My Heart is Yours
Moments Like This

Or C?

Crazy in love
Comfort in You
Can't Be Apart
Constantly Thinking Of You
Could This Be Heaven

Just an idea! What do you think? Any cool table themes you've come across?

* I had Never Felt this Way twice. Meant to say never separate. Thanks JEM Aqua Bride!

The Pink Bride

Thanks for visiting!