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DIY Centerpieces

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Now that my wedding is over, and I can relax, I’m going to only do fun posts with great  ideas to save you money.

I found this amazing website that give you loads of DIY wedding accessory ideas. Everything from arranging flowers to making your own centerpieces is listed on this site.  Being in Ireland I don’t have access to huge craft superstores like I did back home, but I still have great ideas to make that budget wedding gorgeous.

Floating candle centerpieces are an inexpensive way to jazz up the table and people can even take them home as gifts. You can stick a coin under one of the seats at every table and whoever has the coin gets the centerpiece. Have this announced when everyone is in their seats and the time is appropriate.

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Now how to make it. Go to any craft superstore, discount kitchen store, or even Wal-Mart.  Find tall clear glass cylinders or even shorter glass containers that are wide and not clear. Whatever your personal preference.  If you chose a taller clear container you can put fresh flowers in the bottom (cheaper than fake and look better) with a candle on top. Simple, easy, done in 3 steps. Flower then water then candle. Done.

The shorter wider base ones are easy as well. Simply add water, candles, and for a special touch float flower petals or entire blooms on the water. In a shorter clear container you can take long green stems of flowers like lilies and weave them in the bottom placing the flower heads on the water.

If the reception hall will be dark, lighting the candles adds a romantic touch to the occasion.  But if your reception is during the day in a bright room, candles might not be your first choice.

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What’s the theme of your wedding? A beach scene? Winter formal? Vibrant autumn colors? Build a centerpiece that best matches your theme.
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Beach weddings can have water centerpieces with shells in the bottom and goldfish or beta swimming in it. Buying fish bowls might even been cheaper. Other beach accessories you could use are rocks, sand, starfish, sand dollars or even colored glass pebbles. Try a few of these before the wedding to see which one you like best. It’s best to experience any problems that might occur (fish poop)way before hand as well. It only takes one day to find that out.  If you don’t add flowers at least jazz up the bowl with ribbon, a painted design, or even some twine tied in a bow.

Also a good idea is to see what you have local to you. Is there a beach nearby? How about trees with fall foliage you can pick? What about planning so far ahead that you actually try to grow the flowers for your own wedding. You don’t need a green thumb to grow bulb plants like tulips, lilies, or even hyacinth (which are so fragrant and gorgeous).  Flowers that are in season at the time of your wedding will make them cheaper if you do need to buy them.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you don’t have to spend a lot on your wedding. And making as many DIY things as you can will save you in the long run. If you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment.

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Man, am I clever or what?

It’s the day before the wedding and all the accessories are bought and paid for, body is freshly waxed, and nails are gorgeous. So it’s time to relax and enjoy being around my friends and family.  Well, not quite yet.

Except for the tiny fact that I don’t have anyone to play “Here comes the bride”. The overpriced uilleann pipe player informed me that, even though he does loads of weddings, he doesn’t know how to blow out that tune. Strike one. Then I find out that the wonderful caring and giving person that’s going to play the piano and sing with my soon-to-be sister-in-law doesn’t know the tune either. Strike two. So I found it on iTunes and downloaded it for $1.99 (bargain) and burn it to a disk. Man, am I clever or what? Keep this part fresh in your mind because that story isn’t over yet.

“Uh, who is this?”

OK now I paint all of the wedding party’s nails, hands and toes, to match my colour scheme. We sort out last minute details like who’s bringing the sunflower seeds to throw at Anton and I as we leave the church and the newly burned cd of our wedding march. I just had one last thing nagging me. The limos. I never touched base with the drivers to make sure they were coming. Easy enough, I’ll just text them to make sure everything is A-OK.

Text to both: “Hiya, Jessica here, just making sure we’re all set for my wedding tomorrow. 2:15 at my place, don’t be late!”

Text reply from Rolls driver, “Yup all set. See you then.” (Let out half a breath)

Phone call reply from limo driver, “Uh, who is this?”

Frantic Psycho Bridezilla:”Jessica Roy! I booked you for my wedding tomorrow about 4 weeks ago? Ring any bells?”

At this point everyone in the room went silent. As if the look of horror on my face wasn’t enough of an indicator that something was terribly wrong.

L.D. “Yea I have something written here in my book. Refresh my memory again.”

This is the part that gets a little fuzzy for me as I wasn’t breathing properly and I got a little lightheaded. I basically tried jogging his memory which didn’t really work as I could tell he was still completely confused. Luckily he hadn’t booked anyone else that day, so he could fit me in. Nice. Needless to say I was disgusted. And to be honest, the limo was shite as well.

Word of advice, ALWAYS go check out the hire cars for your wedding. Never assume they are nice just because they are a professional company. And triple check all arrangements for your special day. Getting things in writing works best, but a phone call a week prior is vital.

The morning of my wedding was quite calm. I slept well, something I never thought I’d do. I hated not having my fiance next to me but it was tradition not to see the bride before the wedding.  My family and I went into Ennis that morning to see the flowers and make sure they were what I wanted. I was blown away with how gorgeous they were. I ordered them at Mulqueens Florist on O’Connell Street and was thoroughly impressed. I had to change my order about 3 times to suit change in dress colour and number of groomsmen. They were more than happy to oblige. Plus the price for all of the flowers was fantastic. Put it this way, I got 3 bouquets, 3 mother corsages, 4 button holes, elaborate cake flowers, alter flowers, 6 pew bouquets, and petals for my fathers dedication candle all for around €340. I highly recommend this company for your wedding.  See the flowers and other wedding pictures here.

As we left the florist, my niece and I saw one of the groomsmen come out of a shop so I knew Anton was close by. We ran by blocking any view of me with random pedestrians then killed some time before our hair and makeup appointments.

Long story short, the hair came out great, but the makeup and photographer made us extremely late. Everyone wanted makeup on last minute so I had to oblige. The photographer was supposed to meet us one street over from where he was parked but drove right by. By then I was sweating and having heart palpitations as well as swearing like a trucker. I blasted through traffic and really pissed off another motorist that in turn followed me half way home just to flip me off. Whatever dude, I’m the bride.  WIth my family muttering Hail Marys under their breath and death gripping ‘oh-shit’ handles in the car, we finally made it home.

Wedding starts at 3pm. We arrive home at 2:59 in jeans and the comfy shirts we wore to the hair dresser. The limo and Rolls Royce drivers are waiting patiently and my friends are inside ready to help us zip, clasp, and squeeze our way into our dresses, shoes, and jewelry.

We make it out the door and to the church by 3:15. I never dressed so fast in my life. Little did I know that just 5 minutes before I got there, half of the guests weren’t even there yet. I have to remember the Irish pace of things. I should have shown up at 4. Next time I’ll do that. Oh yea, there is no next time. Ah well.

This is where it gets interesting. Remember when I told you to keep the wedding march fresh in your mind? Well, here’s where it gets sticky.  My friends show up in the limo just in front of us. My now sister-in-law is outside waiting for the disk. The ONLY song on the whole cd. Nothing can go wrong, right?

She tells my friends to stall me for a couple minutes so they can get the music ready. She runs back inside and hands the disk to the best man. He then heads to where the stereo is to insert said disk. He’s met at the door by a 4 foot nothing old woman with a wooden cane. She instructs him to put the disk in and use the remote control, all the while threatening him with the cane.

Instrumental music started to play and my bridesmaids headed down the aisle. I peeked inside and saw them reach the alter.  Music stops, now it’s my turn.  With my mom on my arm we walk up to the inside door. This was my big moment. The one I’d been dreaming about for 20 years. Ten seconds, twenty seconds, thirty seconds, almost a minute goes by and no music. The whole church is staring at us but we can’t move. Finally some faint music plays, not my song of course, so I decided not to wait any longer. My gorgeous fiance was waiting for me, so, embarrassed and fuming, I started to walk.  Mom fell into step and just as we were about 3 pews from the altar “Da, da da daaaaa” my song starts blaring through the speakers loud enough to wake the dead. Everyone started to laugh and I joined in because it was either laugh or commit homicide.

My mom tearfully handed me off to Anton and to start the ceremony. He kissed my hand and let me to the altar where we became man and wife.

A few hiccups happened here and there but nothing too drastic. Except maybe Anton’s brother reading my fathers name as Oogeen Boyle and not Eugene Roy. But hey, only everyone noticed.  All in all it was a great day.

Would I change anything about the day if I could?  Maybe.  But bottom line is we’re married and blissfully in love.  And let’s face it, it does make one heck of a story.

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