Monday, December 27, 2010

Finally, An Album

Before I got married, I never really understood what was so difficult about making an album.  You pick out some photos, decide on a layout and badda bing, badda, boom, album done.

Um, yeah...Not so much. Turns out, making an album really is as much of a b*tch as everyone says.

First of all, at least in my case, I was trying to narrow down 2,156 photos to about 60 or so.  Friends, let me tell you, that is no easy task. I wanted to make sure I chose the best of the best, the photos which truly represented my wedding and where everyone has their eyes open and was smiling pretty. It took me almost a month just to choose the pictures!

Then I had to decide what kind of album I wanted to make (this one is for my parents, I'm sure ours will be a solid year or two coming.) While our photographer seemed to offer competitively-priced albums, I just couldn't come to terms with spending so much money so I decided to go the DIY route.

I ordered this beauty from Kate's Paperie:

It's hard to tell but the cover is actually crushed velvet with the image of baby's breath etched into it.  Dreamy.

I decided to go for a vintage look and used the old-fashioned picture-corner-holders (that's a technical term, kids) like these:

Cavallini Photo Corners, Black

Funny story about these photo corners: I could not, for the life of me, figure out how they got stuck onto the paper (and they did not come with instructions.)  I thought maybe I was supposed to peel off the back layer and it would be sticky but that didn't work.  Then I tried using a glue stick but that was messy.  I finally went to Michael's and bought glue dots but what a pain-in-the-arse that was.  It wasn't until I finally Googled the damn things that I realized you're supposed to lick the back, like a stamp, and then they become sticky.  Brilliant!

Anyways, once I had chosen the photos, uploaded them to Adoramapix, ordered the prints and received them in the mail, it was finally time to get cracking.

I organized the photos chronologically, then started arranging them on the pages, to see what would fit where.  Once I finally had a layout done, I then used the photo corners to attach the photos to the pages.  Since I'm kind of craft-challenged, I was certain there would be a major mishap or two but as luck would have it, other than a few uneven photos and poor arrangement choices, I actually managed to not screw it up! Will wonders never cease...

Once all the photos were in, there was one more DIY hurdle to overcome- the graphite transfer.  I think it was that smarty-pants Mrs Dolphin who clued me into this technique. I wanted to add our names and wedding date to the front of the album but didn't trust myself to free-hand it, so I tried this with greeeeeat success!

Here's how I did it...

I printed out the text on regular computer paper (in the font I used for our programs, cuz I'm all coordinated and matchy-matchy like that, boo-yah!)

Crap, now you know our real names and wedding date, the secret is out!

Then I turned the paper over and used a pencil to trace over the print.

Once that was done, I flipped the paper back over, put it where I wanted the words to go on the actual album, and traced over the printed words with a pencil, thus transferring the pencil from the other side onto the album page.

Ha, note my creative use of my Martha Stewart Weddings magazine collection... And yes, I still buy them even though I've been married for over 6 months, shush!

Anyways, after tracing over the printed text with a pencil, I got a light outline on the album page:

All I had to do then was go over it with a fine-tipped marker.  Here's the results...

Pretty darn good, if I do say so myself! 

It took me about two months and what felt like millions of hours of work to get this album finished but my mom's face when she opened up her Hannukah gift made it all worthwhile.  It was so fun to look through it with my family and reminisce about our crazy, rainy, mad-cap wedding.

And folks, don't hold your breath for a post about our own album because Lord knows when that will happen.  I'm still toying with the idea of having a professional one made but it pains me to spend that kind of cash, so we'll see what happens.

And to all you newlyweds out there, I'm curious to know, have you gotten albums made yet or did you slack like I did, overwhelmed with how to even begin? If you've gotten an album, did you go the DIY route or have a professional do it?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bee Holiday Party!

For the second year in a row, the lovely hostess-with-the-mostess Mrs Dahlia had us NYC Bees over to her apartment for eats, treats and wine at the Bee Holiday Party 2010.

Although I arrived a bit tardy (I had to split between two parties that night, of all things!) but got there in time to taste some of the awesome hors d'oeuvres (bacon wrapped dates! cheese!) and made sure to help Mrs Thimble stuff  red velvet mini-cupcakes into our mouths with reckless abandon...

Mmmmmm, tasty little suckers!

It's always a blast to meet up with Weddingbee ladies in real life.  When you throw in a dash of holiday cheer and few glasses of wine, well, it's even better! 

From left to right, that's Mrs Pug, Mrs Swan, Mrs Lobster and I gigglin' together!

Even the husbands got in on the action, looking sharp and showing their holiday spirit...

We finally managed to get a group shot, although by this point Mrs Bluebell had already left (with good reason- She brought her delicious 5-week-old bambino to the shindig, which is why I have so few photos because I was too busy cooing and aw-ing over him!)

Anyways, here's the shot of us looking pretty normal...

And here's the shot where we all coincidentally burst into carefree, completely spontaneous, totally not-rehearsed, "candid" laughter (except for Swan, who seems to have her own "Blue Steel" agenda, ha!)

Let's see, from left to right, that is Mrs Thimble, Mrs Swan, Mrs Hamster, Mrs Dahlia, Mrs Pug, Mrs Ribbons (who just moved to Brooklyn, holla!), Mrs Lobster and yours truly (Mrs Trailmix)

It was such a fun night, Mr and Mrs Dahlia get mad props for continuing the tradition of stellar food and drink, so thanks and looking forward to the Bee Holiday Party 2011!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All My Love, All My Life: Cocktail Hour and Reception Details

We whipped through our portraits in about half an hour, anxious to get to the cocktail hour, where delectable appetizers, champagne and our loved ones awaited us.

Finally, Kelly declared us finished and we headed to the tent, traversing through rough terrain that included puddles, mud and rain galore...

I basically held my dress up like in the photo above for the entire reception.  Siiiiigh...Should've gotten one of those loop-things sewn in like Mrs Seashell did!

Right at the beginning of the cocktail hour, my photographer caught this shot of my pretty, mixed-metal bling (cause I know we all love a good ring shot :). )

During our ceremony, our caterer (Spice of Life Catering) worked hard to set up the tables and place settings.  I was really happy with the way everything turned out, I felt like the tent was a dream-like vision of rustic chic. 

My mason jars in action! I still love them so much, I wish I could build a house out of blue mason jars!

My home-made menus and dried lavender bunches looked very dainty at each place setting.

And then there was my cake.

Let me tell you a funny story about this cake...If you've followed me from the beginning, you'll notice that I never once posted anything about a cake. No inspiration cakes, no cake tasting (dammit! Still sad I missed out on that), nothing.  

So imagine my surprise when I got to the reception and saw this beauty sitting there! I vaguely remembered my caterer mentioning something about a presentation cake but I thought it would be a single, little, mini-cake.  Instead, she went all out and did an incredible two-tiered vanilla with fresh fruit filling and our florist gave her a few spare blooms to decorate.

I did not think it was possible to fall in love with a cake but I am totally head-over-heels in love with our random, surprise of a cake.

Sadly, the air was so humid from the rain that most of my paper products started curling up before the reception started, so things like our "Bride" and "Groom" signs for the chairs couldn't be hung up.  Oh well, the best laid plans...

Same deal with the escort cards, see the curl?

The flip-flop basket was a huge hit (probably because the ground was so wet and muddy, no one wanted to wear their high heels!) These were gone before 8:00 pm, so I'm very glad I decided to do 'em!

These lanterns were such a steal.  I got them from a random online wedding store when they were on sale ($25 for 8!) and they fit in with the wedding decor perfectly.  I haven't seen anything similar since, so I'm mighty glad I snatched them up when I did because they were absolutely gorgeous hanging up in the tent.

As the ceremony let out, guests made their way through the driving rain to the tent, where champagne and massive quantities of cheese were waiting.

Mmmmm, brie...There was also all sorts of delicious munchables, including vegetable crudite, a Mediterranean spread of hummus, baba ganoush, etc as well as passed appetizers that included peanut-marinated beef skewers (OMG these were the best!), various sushi, salmon bruschetta and spanakopita (see our full menu here.)

My drink flags were put to good use as our guests dominated the bar.

The original plan for the cocktail hour was to have it outside by the pond nearby.  Obviously, that did not happen due to the rain so the cocktail hour ended up being just inside the reception tent (we added a smaller side tent to house the food stations.) 

We had a few high-top tables set up around the perimeter of the tent and guests used the dance floor to mingle.  Some of our older guests found their seats right away, so all in all, I think the cocktail hour rain plan worked out just fine!

Our ketubah was moved from the ceremony to the reception so guests could admire it (that's Grandma Trailmix, for the record.)

And many took the time to sign our gorgeous guest book! That's FIL Trail Mix...

We were handed a plate of food as we arrived underneath the tent and went to town, eating, drinking and trying to say hello to everyone.  It was awesome, it was overwhelming, it was crazy and it was so fun.  I loved our cocktail hour (and hear from many that the food was incredible, which if my memory serves me correctly, it was.) 

After a little over an hour, the band got on the microphone, asked guests to find their seats and it was time for our first dance!

Follow along, if ya want!