Adding Colour

The criteria for color was 1) earth tones 2) fallish. Now I know most people think reds and oranges, but I interpreted that to mean cool colors in the dark spectrum:

And I now present, the colour palette: (Yes, that's colour not color)

This website is very entertaining. What a wonderful way to compare how colors will look against one another. I originally wanted to incorporate more browns into the palette, but as I started working on my list of wedding projects, the brown was looking more and more bland. I had thought about incorporating greens into the palette, but I really love the way the purples and blues blend together. Another great place to find color inspiration is your local fabric store. I frequent this one almost once a week (I love fabric and have a rapidly growing stash of it). My first stop was the ribbon aisle. I fell in love with the purple and blue ribbon (shown in the below photos). After I found the perfect ribbon, I took the spools over to the fabric section to find complimentary colors. I purchased fabric in varying shades and textures of blues, purple, brown, and ivory. Even if you don't need to purchase any fabric, it's great to get a visual of how colors will look against one another. What will I be using the fabric and ribbon for? Thats a secret :). Here are some photos of the colors in action:

What inspired your color scheme?


DIY Centerpieces- Part II

As I continued to look for fresh floral alternatives, I came across an obvious solution: candles. I love candles. And scented candles can be a substitute for the aroma produced by fresh flowers. I mention this, because my mom (who was a tad disappointed when I mentioned I didn't want to use fresh flowers) stated that she is always reminded of my Aunt's wedding when she smells chrysanthemums, which were used at her wedding. I hadn't thought of that before, but I really liked the idea of associating a smell with our wedding day. So, here are some images I found inspiring:

Cylindrical candles of varying heights provide an elegant look.

Love the way simple white candles look on a mirror.

Candles on a cupcake stand. Genius.

Glass candle pillars of different shapes and sizes.

Winter wonderland (w/ candle by CariKraft).

Floating candles are simple and look amazing.

Most venues have rules regarding candle use- so you might want to check on what they are before investing time and money on candles (although an alternative to this is led candles, they are more expensive). Are you using candle centerpieces?

The Meaning of Marriage

I've been thinking a lot about how or if our relationship will change after our marriage is official. Our living situation would not change, as we are already cohabitants. Other than the legalities that accompany a marriage license, I wondered what might be different. I thought about the vows we will take in less than eight months- to honor one another, to stick together through good times and bad, sickness and health, for richer or poorer. Aside from stating these things in front of our loved ones, I feel that we have already vowed, though not verbally, to do these things for one another. One of the aspects of our relationship that I love, love, love the most is the respect we have for one another. This is something that I had not experienced with other relationships, but came very naturally between the two of us. With our respect for each other, we are able to really listen to one another and share a comfort in expressing our hopes/concerns/fears/joys we experience both within our relationship and also that we experience as individuals.
Though we haven't been exactly poor at any time, we've both struggled through paying our bills through college and now with the fears of today's unstable market. Finance is a subject in our daily conversation. We don't have a joint bank account, and will continue to have the majority of our money in separate accounts after we marry, but we do share expenses now and if one of us is struggling, the other helps out.
I have a chronic illness. X has known this from the beginning of our friendship that predated our dating relationship. He's never treated me differently because of it, but when there are times that I'm ailing, he takes care of me. We have discussed concerns that may arise because of it later in our relationship, and I know he will be there despite it. The same can be said for myself if he is ever ill.
Throughout our relationship, we have gone through a number of trials. When we first began dating, to put it bluntly, I had a lot of issues that were a result from my last relationship. It was hard for both of us in the beginning, but we've made it through that. In the last year, both of our mothers were diagnosed with cancer- which has been an ongoing emotional rollercoaster for both of our families. We have been each others supports, a shoulder to cry on, an outlet to vent, a place to laugh and enjoy life. This is what marriage is. Though it may vary from person to person and differ through religious point of views, this is the core.
And so, when I think about what will change between us, I can say that not much will. And that's okay, because really I feel we are already married- in our hearts.
What does marriage mean to you and your s.o.?


I didn't know what an STD was before I started planning a wedding. In fact, X received a minor scare when I saved a file called "STD #1" on his computer (oops, maybe I should have called it something else). In the beginning, I wasn't going to make STDs. I thought they were a waste of time and money, but the more I perused the web, the more I began to see the necessity for them. It makes sense to notify your family and friends of such an important event. With all the time and effort that is put towards such an event, I wanted to make sure our family and friends would not miss out. I decided to create them myself, so I went to this crafting mecca and searched for my supplies. I ended up getting the paper for half off on sale... yea!

I created a 5" x 5" page template in Microsoft, and created several trial layouts with different font styles, wording, and color. I trimmed the 12" x 12" ivory paper to 5" x 10" strips and started printing:

I trimmed each 5" x 10" strip to a 5"x5" square and used a corner punch to create a design on each corner:

I then cut the purple cardstock into 5 3/4" squares and pasted the ivory cardstock on top of the purple squares with glue strips, centering them with a ruler. I had originally planned to include magnets with an engagement photo and our website, but since we didn't end up taking engagement pics late March and I haven't received images yet... it's not going to happen. I had tossed around the idea of making the stds magnets (by attaching magnet on the back of purple cardstock), but by the time I finally got the list of addresses I needed, I was kind of over this project and ready to move on to something new.
Since I didn't, are you making magnet stds?


Finding *the* Venue- Part II

If you remember from part I of the venue search, we had looked at an old house and a gem hidden in the hill country. Then, I stumbled upon this:

Mercury Hall. You may recognize it from this fabulous wedding:

which was featured here and made possible by this wonderful photog.

Mercury Hall was an old church that was moved to its current location and restored to its original state. Wood floors, stained glass window and antique chandelier light fixtures accent the interior of the hall; while large oak trees and a spacious lawn decorate the outside of the hall. This was the perfect combination of indoor/outdoor atmosphere to satisfy my hearts desires! (For a while, I dreamed of white Christmas lights twinkling in the trees while guests mingled with cocktails on the lawn.) In addition, the hall provides chairs and tables that can be rented at a reasonable price. But this is not our venue. Why? Well, it would have be necessary to use the outdoor and indoor spaces for our guests. That would involve backup plans in case of rain or cold weather- which would have meant tent and possibly heater rentals = expenses we did not have in our budget :( (and planning for this is a must in Texas where weather is completely unpredictable.

So what is our venue you ask? Well, it's the next best thing of course :) A new hall had just opened around the time we started our venue search. (In fact I think I came across it on page 10 of a google search one day). Enter *the* venue: Waterford House:

The instant I walked in, I knew. It's South Austin! It has a reception area with enough room to seat all our guests and leave room for a dance floor! The floors are stained concrete (and not ugly carpet)! Banquet chairs, tables, and white linens are included in the rental! There is a walkway around the outside of the hall that overlooks a green belt! I'm in love and I can't wait to attend our wedding reception. Was there love at first site with your venue?


Finding *the* Venue- Part I

One of the first items on our wedding checklist was finding a venue. Even though we had about 15 months until the wedding, I was concerned about limited availability the longer we waited. My search began on the web (actually this is how most of my planning began) where looked for venues in Austin and its surrounding areas. We really wanted to find a place that had indoor & outdoor gathering areas. One of the first venues I fell in love with was the Allen House:


Yes, I'm a sucker for old houses. The Allen House is nestled in heart downtown Austin and, although I loved the atmosphere, it would not have been large enough to accommodate our guests. So, alas, we continued our search.

After much thought and consideration, we decided to look further south Austin (our usual stomping grounds). I came across Tuscan Hall, located in the hill country about 20 mins. southwest of Austin:

photo by me

photo by me

Added bonus: the Chapel Dulcinea, a free wedding chapel located within walking distance from Tuscan Hall that overlooks the hill country *swoon* (Although I should note that since it is free, it is usually booked a year+ in advance- they were booked for our wedding date in October '09 when we visited in August '08)

The hall accommodates about 200 people, if the indoor and outdoor space is used. However, we were a little uncomfortable about the location. This would have been perfect for a morning or afternoon wedding, but we didn't want our guests traveling late at night down winding, unlit country roads to get home. And so, the search continued.... How many reception/wedding sites did you look at until you found *the* one?


DIY Centerpieces- Part I

As I started formulating a vision for our wedding, I'll admit that one of the first things I started thinking about was decor for our reception venue. I wanted something that was
1. unique
2. could be used again if possible
3. I could put together myself
4. within my budget.
And so, I began my search for the perfect centerpieces. I knew that creating 20+ table centerpieces was not something I would be able to accomplish in the last week or two before our wedding. The solution? Non-floral centerpieces (at least not fresh floral centerpieces). And actually, I really wanted avoid incorporating any fresh flowers in the entire wedding. Gasp! No fresh flowers? Yes, you heard me :) I wasn't against potted plants or flowers, I just thought (and still think) its such a waste to purchase fresh flowers that will just die in a few days. For a while, I was obsessed with the likes of this:

A variety of succullents clustered together to make eye-candy such as shown below. I love the color combination that the result produces.


Bright white vintage vases add contrast to these succullents:


How cute do these look dressed up in gold goblets?


A romantic/bohemian look is created with a variety of vine-like branches mixed with succullent flowers in an earthy pots and accented with river stones:


Succullents are fairly easy to keep alive, so you wouldn't neccessarily need a green thumb if you really loved this look and wanted to diy it. I think all of these centerpieces would also be semi-easy to recreate (with maybe an exception to example #1).. and wouldn't it be fun to thrift some cute containers to pot them in? While I still love the idea of incorporating succulents as centerpieces, I continued to search for a centerpiece that would better compliment our venue and wedding theme(stories soon to come!) . Stay tuned for part II in my search for diy-fresh floral alternatives. Are you using potted plants as your decor?