I have to send a shout out about one of my favorite bloggers: Laurie Cinotto. She is so creative and her ideas are definitely budget friendly without looking too "cheap".
I am planning on starting to craft some of her items within the next month for my wedding. I'll have to make a trip to the craft store and get supplies (anyone have any coupons for michaels or joanns?), once I make some I'll definitely be posting some pictures. Agh so excited!
(You can find details and instructions for a lot of her crafts at Oncewed as well)

Okay I just had to share this!

I saw this cake topped by an etsy seller ( and I FELL IN LOVE with them. And since I decided to include birds as a theme in our wedding. Well, the price for these lovebirds is a little out of I implored my dear grandmother, who is creative to the T, to try to make them for me...and she did! They are so precious, I love them. And they mean so much to me because they were specially and lovingly made by my dear grandma. And I know that they are unique, and there is none like them.

My fiance and I are envisioning a more "party" style reception, than a formal affair (mostly because of finances, but partly because we're both laid-back casual, fun-loving people). So we've been entertaining the idea of a cake & dessert reception rather than a full on meal.
Ceremony around 1, reception around 2. Cake, dessert and dancing for about 3-4 hours (until people get hungry for dinner and leave lol!!). And maybe a separate restaurant reception for the wedding party (though that is up in the air, have to figure out pricing and all that)...
This is our inspiration:

Or something similar.
Today I went thrift store shopping (budget/DIY bride's best friend!) and found the start to some amazing items for our dessert buffet:

It's only 3 items...but you want to know what I paid for it? $2.00 for all three items. The two smaller ones were .50 cents each and the other was 50% off making it a whole whopping dollar! hehe.
I honestly, no joke, walked into the store telling myself I would only buy something if it was 50% off... yeah, my thrift stores have clearance.. :):):)

I also got the start to my lace tablecloth vision:

I bought two lace tableclothes, and two lace doilies. All four items? $5.50.
(three were also 50%).

Yeah... I'm soo excited right now :)
I also got a ton of fabric pieces to start making my adorable little birds!

so excited... <3

She has the most adorable patterns, I simply adore them.
Now, I don't know how to quilt - my grandmother taught me when I was 12 and I have since forgotten, but that is a goal of mine for 2010: take a quilting class...maybe with my mom? She is big on crafting, sewing - I love that about her. And I want to be more like that for sure.
When my grandmother taught me to sew, she also gifted to me her sewing machine, sadly it's been out of use the last couple years, though I used to use it more as a teenager.

As soon as my mister gets settled into his apartment (he'll be moving here in March, and I'll move in right after the wedding), I hope to start making things like this for our home. (I would start now, only I have no place for any additional things, I'm currently sharing a room with my 5 yr old sister, and it's small as it is)

I love the "love" wall art. It is simply splendid.
Okay, I simply had to share this because it is way too cute.

This is my craft for the week (I normally don't have a craft of the week, but maybe I should haha), and as soon as I make a few, I will be posting pictures.

I found an online pattern for how to make these, and from the looks of it, it's super easy!
(you can find the pattern here)

Oh and I'm also considering making it a wedding favor, but I'm going to look into the cost and time first:

My mom and I have so much fabric laying around the house, and I think these would be cute both individually and as a mobile...and I will definitely be displaying these in my house once my fiance and I get married.

Speaking of house decorations.. found something else I love that I am looking into getting for our home:

This is one of my favorite, but you can check out the sellers additional wall vinyls HERE. They do custom orders as well (I have never personally ordered from them however), and I think it would be so neat to somehow get a silhouette of my fiance and I, standing together hand in hand, or embracing or something similar.
Maybe a silhouette of this picture:

(one of my favorite engagement pictures!! Photo Credits: Brittany Sherland)

I love any DIY or fun home decor projects and ideas, feel free to share your favorites!
Oooh I'm so excited I just had to share. Since yesterday I've been in communication with an Etsy seller who makes monogrammed/personalized Unity candles. I sent her some questions concerning a custom order and she is making me some amazing candles, a unity candle, two tapers and also a memorial candle (for my grandmother), and an amazing price: $28. I am soo excited!
I will definitely be posting pictures once I get them. (Can't order them until I had a definite date in place haha)
So, we never sent out Save-The-Dates because we ourselves didn't save the date...haha. We ended up changing our date... (counts)..1,2,3,4 times. And still we don't have a definite date! We're varying between two - it depends mostly on what happens with our venue.
Anyway, so our save the dates has been more word-of-mouth. Even though we don't know it yet, but most everyone knows it's either the Saturday or Sunday of that one weekend (no more changing the weekend!)
But - I stumbled upon these adorable and unique save the dates, that makes me want to send them out for fun anyway.
Now normally, I would completely disregard anything related to electronic invitations, I prefer snail-mail, I find it charming and a lost art. But I love these, and I would definitely consider doing these as save-the-dates, even though our wedding is only four months away now. They are so cute...and an amazing price! I haven't done it, but I heard it's 60 invites for $5. Yay!!
I've been hooked on the idea of non-matching bridesmaids dresses since the day I got engaged. I absolutely love being different, and for my vintage/rustic/whimsical themed wedding, I thought it would fit the theme splendidly...
My Inspiration:

Problem: I didn't foresee some complications: not everyone loving their dresses.
Now, allow me to say I have the most amazing girls in my party, I love them dearly and I know if it came right down to it, they would wear whatever I wanted them to...but really, would I want to do that to them?! Another goal of mine was to get a dress they might consider wearing again.. because my wedding isn't very formal (but not super casual, like obviously there will be no one in jeans!), I figured not buying traditional BM dresses would be great, and a budget-alternative (two of my BM's are still in college).
My main inspiration has been I simply adore their collection of dresses! Vintage, but elegance and classiness all in one. Oh, and fashion-conscious!
My main issue has been my colors: my dress isn't traditional white so not all colors really "go" with it. My wedding colors are beige/cream and dusty pale pink.

And I haven't had much luck finding dresses like this.
This was my original ensemble:

First and third dress from Modcloth, second dress from Charlotte Russe and last dress from J.Crew, with prices ranging from $25-$100, the average price came to $62 for each BM. I thought that was great... but not all my bridesmaids were so keen on their dresses. Soo.. I began the search again.

And kinda gave up after awhile...
so now I'm considering having them all wear the same dress:

From modcloth.
Still don't love it as much as the idea of wearing different dresses, but the girls are at least appeased somewhat...

any other ideas are appreciated! just trying to keep it less than $100!!
I'm brainstorming some invitation ideas. In lieu of my previous post, yes, I am DIYing my invites! yay.
Here are my favorite ideas:

Cute, huh?
I am probably getting my paper from Archivers in Coon Rapids, MN. My sister got her paper from there when she made her wedding invites.
Like I said in my previous post, I'm looking to incorporate lace and a vintage theme into my wedding invitations...I've never found something online that I absolutely love and really reflects me, my fiance and our theme.
I'm thinking of "aging" the paper with coffee - I used to do this a lot to create unique sheet music, and then frame it and hang it up in my room. It's a cheap and adorable option for art...if you like that kind of stuff. (there is a brief "how-to" HERE)

(here is an example of some of my aged sheet music)

Also, something else I'm considering for my invites is rubber stamps, I love the look of them, and you can create such unique things with it. I have a rubber stamp very similar to this one, except that mine has illegible text as well (it looks "old-fashioned")

you can get this stamp at

So something like that might be neat. My colors are pale pink and cream, so I'll be incorporating those two colors, and how I might do lace is simply tie the invites shut with a lace ribbon.

I'm merely brainstorming, but it's a basic idea... I'll have to post more after the bridal showcase at archivers! I'm so excited!

Oh, I also want to highlight these, they are tutorials on how some brides DIYed their invites, super cute:
Oh, so I realized two posts into my fantabulous blog, and I haven't introduced myself!
Here is my fiance, Daniel, and me:

We got engaged in September of 2009, and planning a May wedding! It's been such a fun process thus far, though it's proved very stressful and I've been tempted to simply elope several times (crazy thing is, my parents are okay with it!!), but it means the world to me to have our family and close friends with us on such a dear and special occasion.

So, about me. I am on and off as far as college goes, whatever I can afford for now. I've completely three semester, and have two more until I graduate with my associates (one semester was part time).
I moved to NY to be a full-time live-in nanny and that's where I met my sweetie!
My sweetie has a bachelors of applied math and statistics (ech!), and is working towards his masters in Math Education. He's almost done! He also just passed his certification test, so now he's applying for his teachers license, yay!!

What I wrote on my wedding website: (They Story of how we met!)

Daniel and Carissa met January 19, 2009. It was a cold winter night, at Applebees in Commack, NY.
Carissa had recently moved to New York to be a live-in nanny, and after visiting a local church was invited to the outreach volleyball group, and then invited afterwards to go to applebees with the volleyball group. Daniel met up with his friends that night after he finished work, and he says it was love at first sight.
Carissa, on the other hand, hardly gave him a second glance.
The next two months consisted of Daniel very subtly pursuing Carissa through facebook messages, texts and talking with her at volleyball and bible study. They also had a couple "movie nights" at her place.
Carissa had a few suspicions of Daniel liking her when they went to go see the band Mae in concert at the Crazy Donkey on February 15.
On March 9, Carissa had a bad day; a friend of hers was scheduled to fly in the next day and spend the week with her, and backed out last minuted. Daniel took off of work that night, went to her house with two half gallons of her favorite ice cream, and a chick flick (Maid of Honor!) to cheer her up. It was the day Carissa realized she returned his feelings.
They had their first date the next day in New York City, which consisted of walking through Manhattan, going to the Met Museum, dinner at Serendipity 3 and The Little Mermaid on Broadway Show.
March 13, 2009 - Daniel asked Carissa to be his girlfriend.

Now time for the proposal!!

After six months of dating, Carissa thought it would be special to get some pictures taken together. She and Daniel had a very good friend who is a student photographer, and asked if she'd be willing to do a photo shoot for them on their six month anniversary.
After finding that their place of choice was closed, they wound up at Oheka Castle in Huntington, New York. The photo shoot was fun for all three of them, and Carissa went about it unknowingly, thinking these pictures were merely something fun as a milestone in their relationship.
About an hour and a half into the shoot, Daniel told Carissa to look at Brittany for a picture, and he got down on one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked Carissa to marry him. Carissa nearly cried with exhilaration and was completely surprised!
It couldn't have been more special, not only for Carissa to be so genuinely surprised, but also that such a special moment was capture in photographs.

So that is our story :)
So I am huge into DIY! I love making things, I have such a sense of pride after I do so :) I have honestly considered making things for etsy or consignment stores (we have one in my hometown that sells shabby-chic stuff!)...but never had the guts or time to do so.
Anyway, so obviously for my wedding I want to have a lot of little things that reflect who Daniel and me are, I want our wedding to be us.
Here are some of my favorite DIY projects I've found:
(mostly from, or

I keep a list in a word document of all the links into these DIY's. I'm still in the process of sorting through and deciding which ones I want to use or not... though I must admit, I love the pinwheels for the chair backs, could that be cuter?! or cheaper! I mean construction paper and buttons - how fun is that!

I also love the handkerchief wrapped mason/ball jars. It's fun, vintage and simply adorable. I am thinking of going thrift store shopping soon to find some handkerchiefs to use...they also usually sell a lot of pieces of lace, I plan on using large bolts of lace for tablecloths (I am obsessed with lace!), as handkerchiefs and cutting it up for ribbons.

I plan to incorporate it someone into our invitations..hmm!!
The other day I was talking to my mom about wedding blogs that I love and she said, "Well you've been researching and planning your wedding for months, why don't YOU create a blog?"
I thought it was silly...but the more I thought about it...the more I fell in love with the idea :)
So here I am.
My first wedding blog post. And I'm so excited, it's been months since I'm planning so I will try to catch up on everything.

Maybe I'll start with wedding dresses, that's always a hit!
I went about... 6 times before finding my dress.
My first stop was Bridal Reflections- 5th Avenue, NYC. It was the most beautiful bridal store I've ever been to, and the customer service was incredible.
I made a huge mistake while I was there though, I told them my budget was about 10k, when it was more like 1k. haha. See, I was living in New York at the time, and planning to move back to Minnesota within the next couple months, so I saw no point buying in NY, so I was there moreso to look and find out what I liked.
I tried on so many gorgeous dresses, Ines Di Santo, Stephen Yearick, St. Pucchi, they were beautiful dresses, all couture.
And then.. I found it. I found THE ONE. I didn't mean to, it was soo accidental. I found it, I got my years, I had my moment. Then I saw the price tag. um. wow.
But my bridal consultant was FABULOUS. She, by far, has been the most helpful and sweet consultant I've ever met. She worked so hard to make the dress work for me, but even though she cut the cost of the dress by nearly half, it was still so out of my budget. But I will always say that Bridal Reflections was the best shopping experience I'd had.
Here are a couple dresses I tried on:

St. Pucchi, style 491

Ines Di Santo

Next Stop: The Bridal Garden, Brooklyn, NY. This shop has dresses donated to them, and all their profits go towards charity. Because of this, their shop is small and has a smaller selection than most, it's also more of a "do-it-yourself" kind of shop. But the ladies were nice. I didn't try on anything even near promising here though.

Soo after my fall in love experience, I didn't go for awhile... But I visited Bridal Reflections again, but their other store on Long Island (in Massepequa). They had the designer I really love, Maggie Sottero, and I knew her dresses ran around 1k and sometimes less. I also loved her style Dallas Marie. When I got there though, they didn't have that dress, I was a little disappointed. Instead the consultant had me try on their trunk show pieces from James Clifford:

I really loved this last one, it had hints of gold on the "fan" at the bodice, and was very elegant. It was also on sale because of the trunk show.

I was only able to try on one Maggie Sottero dress, her Fiorella:

Now this dress looked beautiful, but as I was planning a more casual outdoor vintage style wedding, the style didn't quite match.

I was a little upset with the consultant, although she complimented my "pretty face" and nice figure, she didn't help me with what I really wanted. I wanted to see more Maggie Sottero dresses and she wouldn't let me, instead she pointed me towards the James Clifford line which were more money. She seemed more about making a sale, than making the bride happy. I told her my ideas for a veil, and she rejected them immediately, instead she forced me to try on another veil that I didn't want.
And all the dresses there were sample sizes 2-4, and I could hardly get into any of them, didn't do much for my self-esteem. :P I left the store pretty unhappy.

So fast forward a few months, after my move, living with my parents again. I go shopping with my mom and sister.
I went to Little Bridal Shop in Rogers, MN. The lady who helped me was so kind, and fun. I had such a GREAT experience there! She had just had a huge bridal sale, so she said she didn't have as many dresses as she normally did, but I found her selection to be great, and her prices were just right.
Here are a few I tried on (all are either Mary's Bridal or Eden Bridals):

This one, I decided to be a little different and try on more of a "sheath" style. If there is one thing I've learned through wedding dress shopping, it's NEVER be afraid to try on a dress you think you might hate...sometimes you put it on, and it's a totally new dress. Now, I didn't fall in love with the sheath style, but it was pretty and I would consider it. This particular dress though had some irritable boning in the bodice, although that could easily be taken out.

Now, I normally hate halter top wedding dresses, but she told me this one could easily be altered into a sweetheart strapless, and after some tucking, I loved it! It was soo cute. I ended up ruling it out because in my pile of dresses, it was the highest priced.

This dress, by Eden Bridals 2238- I fell in love with. It looked very beautiful on me. It was also a sample dress that was about 40% off, so it was marked down quite a bit. The only issue I had with it was it was diamond white, and I wasn't a huge fan of diamond white dresses. I would have been completely sold on the dress if it had a corset back, but it was a zip-up. We had one more dress pulled, and I figured I would try it anyway. It was also a different style than I had been trying, it was more ball gownish with tulle. (I couldn't get the image off the site) - it doesn't look so good in this picture, but it was more of an ivory color and it had the corset back! It was beautiful and I loved it... but then I loved both dresses and couldn't decide! This dress was nearly $200 cheaper than the one above as well... but I wasn't so sure..

Our next stop, Brides of France in Minneapolis. They had little to choose from that wasn't their Pronovias La Sposa line (which takes more than 6 months to order), so I went to their other store in Edina, that had more off-the-rack dresses.
The first dress I pulled ended up being my dress, and once I put it on, I didn't take it off for at least 45 minutes! We ended up putting together a whole ensemble with a veil, jewelry and shoes and I was so in love. My mom said my face "lit up". Now the dress I ended up with, doesn't have a corset back either, but I wish it did haha. But it is so beautiful and I just knew it was my dress. After my experience in NY, I didn't think I would fall in love again. But I did. Sooo happy!
but I can't post pictures yet in case of my fiance finding my blog ;)

Until next time!!