Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hair stylist chosen!

I’ll let my hair speak for itself :-)

Hair stylist: Leeann Tingley, who works out of Calma Salon in Cranston, RI
Verdict: Amazing. Leeann and I hit it off immediately..she’s a bundle of energy and her enthusiasm is infectious…such a positive person! She’s such a perfectionist when it comes to hair (and other things I’m sure) but she spent 2 hours perfecting my look…and I love it! Her prices are the average around the Rhode Island/Boston area.

I decided I wanted to look like me on my wedding day… just me, 10 times more glamorous haha. I usually wear my hair parted to the left. Dan loves me hair half up/half down…he definitely loves the look Leeann created!

I picture smoky gray eye shadow with some false eyelashes (not too many), a light lip and slightly rosy cheeks. Here’s my original makeup trial with Kristin Greene…wow my hair was super blond…and that was in April when I had NO tan!

wedding hair by leeann tingley

I made this one sepia..just like the effect…Leeann did a beautiful job picking just the right amount of hair to sweep to the side…the bump on top will be a bit bigger on the day of for more drama and the back will be fuller…might opt for a few extensions..sshhh. Grow hair, grow!!

wedding hair by leeann tingley

Right side view – love the natural soft feel. Veil (yet to be chosen) will be inserted where my hair comes together in the back…at the bottom of the bump. Definitely want more fullness in the back.

wedding hair by leeann tingley 

When I got home I had the urge to try a headband…since I love the retro look…Here’s a side view with a thin light gold headband…I LOVE the simplicity of it…I am now in search of a thin headband with a little bit of detail on it…nothing too “blingy”…will dig up some etsy finds and post soon!

I’d also love chandelier earrings…no necklace since my dress is a strapless sweetheart with silver embroidery and little swarovski’s at the top..I just don’t know if a veil + a simple headband will be too much…granted, I haven’t shown any of you my dress so it’s hard to ask that question :-)

 wedding hair by leeann tingley

Check out Leeann’s Facebook page! She’s also got her own beauty line!

She’ll be traveling to wherever us gals are getting ready on the morning of…likely our CONDO!! We heard that the bank approved the short sale FINALLY! But I’m not making a big deal about it until we have the keys in our hands…

Thanks Leeann!! You’re the best!

Monday, September 20, 2010

First wedding day shoe purchase!

I’m sure it’ll be the first of many purchases…my feet are size 11 (I can get away with 10’s for flip-flops)…and I’m super picky when it comes to shoes and how they look on my skinny feet (which my fiance lovingly calls “flippers”).

Here’s a refresher of my pre-requisites:
- must be flats, or a 1-inch heel or less
- kinda want them to be blue to match the girls’ dresses
- peep toe preferred
- would love taffeta material like my dress
- I’m cool with stylish ivory flats as long as I could put something blue on them, like these neat flower clips from etsy seller cmitrou



These were originally $99.00, on clearance @ Talbot’s for $34.29!
I can’t wait to try them on with my dress! I’m disappointed in the fabric – crinkled patent leather – but I couldn’t let them go.Sale was final, so if they don’t work out, I can always wear them on the honeymoon and next summer :-)



Dying to wear heels…aren’t these glam?
From etsy seller emu926



These are from Dessy but I hate those stupid bows! I could always order them, take the bows off and get something else to put in their place.


Oh, shoe love.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not all glitz, glam and glee

My next post was going to be about my hair trial, but I wanted to stop a moment and reflect…which I do every day, multiple times a day, but never blog much about. I’m a real person with an imperfect life.

Once engaged, many girls, including myself, get very overwhelmed with planning…we obsess over our wedding day makeup, the style shoe we’ll wear…the species of flowers that our bouquets will be composed of…finding THE dress and bridesmaids dresses to go with it…and keeping up with the latest wedding magazine publications and blogs to cram in every last amazing idea before our chance to plan a wedding is O-V-E-R.

Aside from the “pretty” stuff, I’ve got some “ugly” stuff on my plate…the stuff brides likely don’t want to talk about because they want to paint a picture that their lives are perfect.

My parents are divorced. They have been since I was 9 or 10? I’m 25 now. That’s 15-16 years…of dealing with 2 sides…that’s now more than half my life. My mother has not been a prevalent figure in my life since roughly the same time. I grew up with my dad and grandmothers raising my siblings and I. My father strongly dislikes my mother and will not communicate with her.

My 90-year-old great-grandmother ReRe, who was my “pal”, that taught me how to play rummy and poker at a young age, that loved the Red Sox and Mo Vaughn, and said the rosary every day twice a day, has advanced Alzheimer’s…I can only show her my ring and she’ll say it’s beautiful because she’s always loved jewelry…but she doesn’t understand that her oldest great-granddaughter is getting married and it’s just so sad. I wish more than anything that she could be there.

Mr. K5 and I are trying to buy a house…and short sales are not short..they are long, drawn out ridiculous processes that suck the life out of you…all you want to do is move in together and have a place of our own, and host game nights, and dinners, and get a kitten and name it something adorable….and these banks stand in our way. It’s been almost 4 months since we put in our offer.

I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that just because there is a diamond ring on my finger and I’m planning my wedding, it doesn’t mean it’s been 100% glitz, glam and glee. Getting married is a big thing. It means having to face these types of issues, whatever they may be, and deal with them…not push them to the side. Because once the wedding is over, life comes at you. And my fiance is the only one I want to walk beside me through this life.


...and in the words of a wise, older cousin “stop trying to please everyone, or you’ll be bitter by the time you’re 40” :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

More cake tasting

Many who know about the Crowne Plaza’s packages know that they come with a cake, which is awesome! They are still going to be providing our cake for guests but I’d like an extra special touch on our cake. However, we can’t spend a lot on a dummy cake especially since a cake is in our package already…and, well, only a small part of a dummy cake is edible so why would we spend nearly 1200 on one? Some of these bakeries are out of their minds :-)

This Saturday we tasted some oh so delicious cake, compliments of Shemry Brown, owner of Shemry’s Cakery in Warwick, RI.

This cell phone photo of her presentation doesn’t do it justice…I was sad I left my camera at home! The front left was vanilla cake and had light and fluffy milk chocolate and peanut butter fillings; the front right was also vanilla cake and had an AMAZING tangy lemon filling; the back left was an orange cake with delicate vanilla cream filling, and the back right was the flavor we chose: vanilla cake with fresh strawberries and grand marnier fillings. Each one was seriously delicious…can’t go wrong with any of them!


Shemry really impressed us with her professionalism, creativity and business practice, AND she’s so nice!

Being an artist myself, I appreciate when a wedding professional can sketch their ideas on paper! I felt like we weren’t “just another wedding cake order”…Shemry came to the appointment with a sketch (below) of a 3-tier cake with a pillow emboss on each layer (fondant), after our I gave her a bunch of ideas from our phone conversation. After we got to talking at the appointment, she added a little monogram area because Mr. K5 and I love that idea, and it could be highlighted in our color blue. She continued to add flowers and I got so excited because it started to mimic the asymmetrical flower placement on my wedding dress…and then we compared the cost of 3-tier versus 4-tier…$250 for 3-tier dummy cake with a 6-inch actual cake on top for us to cut into – yes, that’s correct! And for the 4-tier it would be $325. So we had her add a 4th tier at the bottom of the cake!


We may go back to the 3-tier idea, but the 4-tier is just really dramatic and gorgeous…not sure what type of flowers would exist on the cake (will talk to florist about that), but Shemry will also add a slight dusting of light gold to give the cake a pinch of shimmer…loved her idea! 

Here are some of her great wedding cakes:

shemry_cake_3 shemry_cake_2 shemry_cake_1

Shemry also gave us the option to go with a rental wedding cake from her new company Covert Cakes.

I think it’s brilliant – Mr. K5 wasn’t too into the idea however.

One of my favorite quotes from Covert Cakes’ FAQ’s:

“You want a towering elegant showpiece but this "real" cake would serve 300 guests and you've invited a modest 100.

Rent a jaw dropper from Covert Cakes and you won't have to get creative with cake recipes for months after your wedding...cake kabobs, cake get the idea.”

Congrats on your new venture Shemry!

And we can’t wait to see our wedding cake :-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Save the Dates Revealed!

Back in June, one of my best friends, Jenn, came to little Rhody for a girls night…Before we met up with Erica for dinner, we made a stop at a beach in Narragansett so I could “write” our save the date in the sand. Because of our large guest list, we had roughly 100 Save the Dates to send. I made a pact with myself that we would spend absolutely as little as possible on this, but also try to be as creative as possible…So, a little DIY at the beach and use of my design skills enabled me to keep costs to a minimum.

Jenn – thanks for coming with me to do this and for documenting my process :-) and for offering your opinions on each version…I think I wrote this at least 10 different times in the sand!



The final photo taken…after waiting for JUST the right wave/water effect.


I cleaned up the sand in between the letters and numbers in Photoshop and converted to black and white, boosted the contrast a bit…I wanted a timeless feel and also achieved that with typeface selection.




I wanted to tie in our invitations with the save the dates and I’ll do so with a script font. “Formal Invitation to Follow” is the typeface Aphrodite Text…to be used on our invites.

Originally, I ordered these with a tiffany blue background, printed on a high-quality offset press via They arrived and then my fiance told me I forgot a word…woops…I was so mad with myself because being a graphic designer, I have to be so careful with client work…at least this was my own. So, by that time, we had chosen the bridesmaids dresses, in the deeper blue. I looked at it as an opportunity to change the color of the reverse…and of course edited the typo. I then re-ordered on a digital press (lesser quality than the offset but still pretty darn nice) and scored a September sale price on postcards!

This afternoon I had a little photo shoot in the grass with some extra cards. You can see the difference in print quality between offset (left) and digital (right). I’m sure it really only bother ME! no one will notice (until they see this).

save the date written in the sand

 save the date written in the sand

 save the date written in the sand save the date written in the sand

Old color (left), new color, no typo (right):


Cost Breakdown

(Original, with typo) Postcards – 100, from
Specs: 4x6, full color, 2-sided, 15 pt. cardstock, free gloss finish
Press: Offset
Cost: 39.95
Shipping: 11.95
Price per piece: 0.519

(Edited, actual sent) Postcards – 100, from
Specs: 4x6, full color, 2-sided, 15 pt. cardstock, free gloss finish
Press: Digital
Cost: 29.95
Shipping: 11.95
Discount (Thanks to Sept. Sale!) -17.97
Price per piece: 0.239 

Envelopes – 100, from
Specs: Astrobright Colors, Celestial Blue, 4-3/4 x 6-1/2", (A6) Envelope
Cost: 9.25
Shipping: 8.51 
Price per piece: 0.177

Postage – 100 (5 booklets of 20), from your local US post office

View the Love: King & Queen of Hearts stamp online >

Cost: 44.00
Price per stamp: 0.44

Accommodation Insert – 100, provided by Crowne Plaza
Specs: 4x6
Cost: Free!

Final Cost per Save the Date: $1.375, including my mistake and having to re-print!
If I hadn’t made the mistake, it would have only cost $1.136 per Save the Date.

Final total: $137.50 for 100 Save the Dates

We’re really happy with the final outcome and wouldn’t have done it any differently! Aside from the mistake of course…but even with the mistake, I still came in way under the cost of doing a magnet or going with pre-designed customizable Save the Dates. If we wanted to make the postcard a self-mailer we would have saved 17 cents.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cake Tasting and more

We took this past week off for a staycation and we got a lot done for the wedding!

Wednesday we enjoyed the beach together.


Thursday we tasted cake at a popular bakery in East Greenwich. (Good thing the beach was the day before and not after ;-) )

Lots of cakes and fillings…My favorite was lemon with seedless raspberry filling but our mutual decision was strawberries and champagne cake. I’m head over heels for strawberries and cake and he enjoys it as well.

DSC09074 DSC09077 

Mr. K5 really loves chocolate/peanut butter anything, but he suggested we go with a type of white cake so I don’t get dirty. How nice is he?! I swear it was his suggestion! He won’t have to worry though…he’ll be getting a great groom’s cake :-D

Unfortunately, after being given 3 quotes for a dummy cake with a 6” tier for us to cut, we won’t be going with this bakery…The Crowne Plaza includes a cake in our package…no way is it justifiable to spend 1,100-1,200 on a DUMMY cake!

We’re looking into doing one with the Bakery Boutique in Smithfield, RI who came in WAY lower on a dummy cake quote. The Crowne will still provide cake for guests.

Friday we met with our priest who gave us a rundown of everything we have to do in the upcoming months. The last time we met with him was in April 2009 when we booked our date. Since it’s a Sunday wedding we have a couple of options for the rehearsal…Friday night and expect our wedding party and other  guests to get out of work early and/or take the day off, or Saturday at 6:15 and have the dinner before or after. We’re leaning towards the Saturday rehearsal and not sure what to do about the dinner…do we want to be out late the night before? Or do we want to have the dinner before the rehearsal?

Today we put our Save the Dates together! Mr. K5 was a trooper…helping to stuff our postcard and accommodations info into envelopes, retrieving missing addresses, sealing envelopes with a moistened Q-tip (works wonders!)…It’s nice to also be developing our first address’s the small things in life :-)


I’ll reveal what I did for the actual postcard later this week after they’ve been sent out, but in the meantime I wanted to show you the outside…the envelopes match the maids dresses and I just love the King and Queen stamps I got from the USPS.

DSC09138 DSC09141 

Our guest list is hovering around 212 and we have about 80 Save the Dates going out.

This week I’ll be having hair trials with 2 stylists! So excited!