Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Excited squeaks from the peanut gallery

Excited phone calls and text messages started trickling in just a day after our invitations were mailed. The first RSVPs were just a day behind. Man, our local post office moves fast!

Mr. P emailed me this photo with the subject line: It has begun!

10 Weeks!

I had no idea how close the wedding was until now. Yes, I knew we were under three months but I never thought to translate that to weeks... as in "How many weekends remain for planning and projects?" Holyyyy crap. Nine weekends between now and the wedding. (And one of those weeks/weekends is already gone as we'll be in Mexico for a wedding. Make that eight weekends.)

Mr. PaC understands it's crunch time. With his help, we hope to cross off a few big-ticket items in the next week:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Wedding and Taxes

Just when you think you have your budget under control, BAM! Something completely random smacks you upside your head.

It all started when Mr. PaC and I found our ideal honeymoon destination: Little Dix Bay. We had our hearts set on LDB, but it was a bit more than we planned on spending. And so we hemmed and hawed for weeks... re-working the budget, making compromises or cutbacks where we could. Finally, we reached a comfort level with the cost and gave ourselves permission to put the remaining third on a no-interest rewards card. Brilliant!


No sooner than we booked the airfare (which had risen $150/pp because of fuel) and paid our deposit, a fat envelope arrived from the IRS.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Invitation: Reveal!

Could this DIY have taken any longer? Probably not, if you ask Mr. PaC.

I started brainstorming ideas in October, experienced holiday-related delays, buckled down in January and was almost done until... I became a bee in February. Oops, productivity plummeted that month. Then I got the harebrained, but thankfully short-lived, idea to screen print the entire suite. (Which I still want to do.) I'm happy to announce that the invitation project is done at last!

Now that our paper babies are being delivered into the hands of their new owners, via the storks at the USPS, I can finally reveal the Pain au Chocolat invitation suite.

Are you ready for the big reveal?

Going Postal

Our invitation suite was created with money-saving features in mind. One of those features is using postcards for both the wedding and rehearsal dinner RSVPs. Did you know it's cheaper to mail a 4x6 postcard (28 cents) than a first-class letter (44 cents)? That saves us 16 cents on every mailed piece, or about $16. Yes, I'd like to save money. Please!

Herbs - the new 29 cent stamp

Knowing that a rate increase is coming smack-dab in the middle of our RSVP return period, we planned to purchase the new 29 cent stamps. The last thing I need is all of the RSVPs marked insufficient postage and returned to sender. However, the stamps do not go on sale until April 7th, about two weeks after I wanted to mail the invitations.

Monday, March 21, 2011

If you're going to San Francisco

Around the time Miss Lox discussed the possibility of becoming the Imelda of hair flowers, it dawned on me that I hadn't even thought of what I'd put in my hair. Long ago, I decided that a veil was not for me. (I gave it 1, 2, 3 tries. Three tries, ladies. Moving on.) I needed something bridal on my head. If it wasn't going to be a veil, then a hair flower it would be. So began the search...

PrimandPosies - "Anna Double Ivory Flower"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

From the desk of...

Hive, have you ever decided you just had to have something for the wedding? I'm raising my hand here because I sure did. The item in question? A custom return address stamp. It all started when I stumbled across a custom stamp in Martha Stewart Weddings. I was smitten! But we were nowhere near ready to start on invitations, so I bookmarked it to revisit later.


Months later, our invitation suite was complete. I pulled up that old bookmark to show Mr. PaC. The cost made me pause. Sure, I liked the stamps but did I like them that much? So I did what any bride on a budget would do. I shopped around. Specifically for a stamp with fresh, whimsical calligraphy that we could reuse after the wedding.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rock Salt and Tin Foil

Whenever Mr. Pain au Chocolat catches me admiring my engagement ring, he teases, "It's only rock salt and tin foil." The joke is on him because my lovely has a new sparkly friend...

... my custom cross-over wedding band!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wine bottle DIY: Aging and Bottling

If you've been following along, you've seen the harvest, crush and the fermentation. To complete the final stages, our wine bottles will be aged in their cases waiting for our wedding day where they'll make their bottling debut. Are you ready to see the fruits of our labor??

Just a tease through the looking glass...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wine bottle DIY: Fermentation

Previously in this DIY, we "harvested" and "crushed" in preparation for...

Fermentation... when the real work gets started!

After crushing and de-stemming, the juice from the grapes is put into the fermentation vats, where alcoholic fermentation takes place (the conversion of sugar into alcohol and CO2). Sometimes yeast is added to start fermentation.

Much like the transformation of grape juice into wine, we're taking a rough bottle and converting it into a smooth, velvety vessel.

Freshly cut bottles awaiting their "fermentation" transformation

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The tiny print run that fell through the cracks

So here I am. All ready to print our invitation suite... *drums fingers on laptop* and none of the local printers have called me back. It's been three days and not a word. WTH, small businesses?


Printer #1 gave a phone quote last week, but the number/size of the printed pieces has since changed and I need a revised quote (plus I'm not sure the original quote was 100% accurate because it was so cheap). Hoping to expedite the quote/proof process, I uploaded the final files and job specs. It's been three full days and nothing. The turnaround time for this job? A day or two. Like most businesses, they're closed on the weekend so an answer will have to wait until Monday.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rumination on Illumination

My co-workers are starting to wonder why so many boxes have been arriving for me in the last week. It's not Christmastime. And it's not my birthday. This can only mean one thing... our DIY supplies are trickling in!

Behold, a box.

Our paper lanterns are here! To qualify for free shipping, I padded the order with some white fans to keep our guests cool in the June heat. (If it's anything like last June, we are in trouble. And I thought my cousin could reuse them for her August wedding.) When I lifted up the fans, yikes! Lime green lanterns??

Light Up the Night

Let me tell you a little known secret about Mr. PAC. Back in the day, he and his friends may have attended large urban dance parties where there may have been a few glow sticks. So as a nod to his footloose and fancy-free days, I thought it'd be a hoot to bring out the glow sticks one more time for our reception.


R. Fritz Photography via source

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Interwebs downz

I apologize for the sporadic posts this week. Our internet has been down a lot this week. It was fixed then the techs came out today to repair our neighbor's lines... and well, we lost internet again. Thankfully another neighbor has a wireless connection that I can hop on to post this update.

There will be lots of DIY updates and pretty inspiration images once our internet service returns. Thanks for hanging in there.

Completely enveloped

Our invitation suite is 90% done. Aside from assembling, weighing and purchasing postage, the only things that remain are sending the print job to the printer and selecting an envelope. (That sounds like way more after I typed it out.) The envelope samples I ordered arrived yesterday so we are one step closer.

We like yellow/gold for the outer envelopes but ordered some additional colors in our palette just to make the decision more difficult.

Meadow green, Tiffany blue, and lemon yellow from Paper and More are all fun, saturated colors and a medium paper weight that feels neither too thick (driving up postage) or flimsy. Mr. P liked the green the least and the blue isn't a true match to our palette. Still, it's nice to have options other than yellow.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Arts and Crap... erhm, Crafts

I can't believe I'm contemplating screen printing as a DIY. Mr. P tried to convince me not do screen print our invites. I agreed, only after pricing out the materials and considering the logistics. (What? Just because Mr. P says so doesn't mean I always listen. I can be stubborn.)

Still, I really want to screen print something. Before I added on another DIY project, I felt it was a good idea to actually try it first! And so I found myself at Terrain @ Styer's one Sunday in February, enrolled in a screen printing class and ready to make something.

Cake for dinner?!

If you wrecked your diet after the last cake posts, I'm sorry. Perhaps you should look away... because more cake is on the way! (The answer to the above question is a resounding yes, btw.)

You've seen this bag before so you know what's coming!

We loved the Hotel duPont cake samples, especially the hazelnut pound and apricot filling! And we're confident they can make the cake of our dreams. So why haven't we ordered our cake already? Well, since our last tasting we decided the cake needs more than one flavor and asked to try a couple more combinations.