Customized Bride

Planning our wedding one custom at a time

What a weekend! March 3, 2009

Filed under: wedding,wedding planning — tonya @ 11:06 pm
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This weekend was a mad dash, but plenty of fun. I am still tired! (Looks like I need to stop working and get more of a life!)

We saw a ton of really cool dresses, cakes, invitations- just anything and everything. We attended two of the most expensive wedding shows in MKE– for free I might add, which makes my Dutch blood sing– and I have more brochures and pamplets and websites to review than I think I can ever tackle!

In re: the goals I set for this weekend:

1. Picking a date. Well, still not set yet, but we did narrow it down to be a Sunday. Which Sunday in August/September is yet to be determined! This week I will be setting up some time to take a look at a few different venues for the ceremony itself, and at that point we should be able to set a date. Interestingly, my mother made it very clear that she did *not* want me to have the same anniversary date as her and my father, and that she did not want the date to be on her birthday. Duly noted.

2. Firming up the budget. My parents did offer to help out with the wedding to the tune of a few thousand dollars, which is very good news. I think if we have it on a Sunday, their conribution can pay for the reception, so that would be a great relief.

3. Firming up the guest list. Done. I had forgotten to add my landlord, who owns the duplex in which Sergei and I have separate apartments. Other than that, we’ve got it covered I think. If every single person showed up, we’d have 40, so I am hoping 35 show up and we can call it good.

4. Wedding planner purchased. Done! I purchased the Bridal Bargains Wedding Planner:

$17.95 from Barnes and

I bought it more for the advice than for the note-keeping, as I have my handy dandy binder with my Russell + Hazel printouts. It’s got a ton of really good advice, however, which is what really sold me. Great ideas on how the wedding industry works and how to get the best deal. The book is positively garish–I swear the neon pink is going to burn my retinas, so this time Dutchy won out over my love for design.

One other thing that we decided was to have the rehearsal dinner be a backyard BBQ at my house (weather permitting.) I think this could be *great* fun, as I have an adorable back yard that will greatly lend itself to a BBQ and really cute decorations. I am already envisioning different ways to hang lights from the trees…..

So that’s my recap! And now on with the planning!


Wedding planning weekend February 28, 2009

Filed under: wedding,wedding planning,weddings — tonya @ 8:00 am
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Well, my house is still a mess. I need to do laundry, one final sweep of the bathroom and clean the catbox at the *least*, but in any case my mom is on her way from Nashville to spend the weekend with me doing wedding planning. It should be a good time, even though my mother and I have *completely opposite* tastes. I am not kidding- we are like night and day. I am 34 years old and I have never seen her without her nails done, and I have no idea what her actual natural haircolor is. My parents’ house is always immaculate. I, on the other hand, am putting on makeup at my desk once I get to work half the time and my house is a perpetual atomic-blast zone. She is Saks 5th Avenue, I am Etsy.

I still think it will be fun. My mom did 90% of the wedding planning for my first wedding, and it was an amazing over-the-top formal affair for 250 people that went off pretty much without a hitch. The wedding was gorgeous, even if the marriage wasn’t. (A side note: the moment my brand new husband said “I do” there was a huge clap of thunder overhead. Even God was like WHAT ARE YOU DOING!)

Anyway. My mother is a party-planner/organizer/entertainer extraordinaire so she will be giving me a good, constructive kick in the pants to get started really planning in an organized fashion. We are going to visit the hoytee-toytee bridal show, and hopefully that will get me inspired/motivated. At least a little bit. When she leaves Monday afternoon, I want to have the following completed:

1. Pick a date. Yes, we still don’t have a firm date planned. Part of it is budget– can we afford Saturday vs. Sunday or Friday night. Which leads to:

2. Firm up the budget. I am totally in denial about how much this whole thing is going to cost us. Which is closely related to:

3. Firm up the guest list. I have the preliminary one done, but I need to make sure that I am not forgetting anyone important. And the final number on the list will determine where I can afford to have the wedding.

4. Wedding planner. My mother, knowing my love of stationary, has offered to buy me one, which leads back to this debate. I will report which one I choose on Monday.

And we’ll see where else whimsy takes us. I will probably blog again on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone!


Engagement Photos? February 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 8:00 am
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I am just not sure about the whole engagement photo thing. Is it something we should invest in, or should we just save our money for the wedding? I think engagement photos can be a lot of fun (especially considering they’re so much more relaxed than when I got married the first time 11 years ago) but for some reason I just don’t feel like they are a very high return on investment. I think I’d rather save the money and hire a more expensive wedding day photog, but I am just not sure….

Do you think engagement photos are a true necessity, something nice or a waste of money?


Matryoshka <3 February 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — tonya @ 9:13 am
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I have always loved matryoshka dolls. (Funny how in some ways I really do think I was engineered to fall in love with a Soviet.) When I was a child, a family friend of ours had a set of authentic matryoshkas and when we would visit I would sit and take them apart and put them back together for hours while my parents visited with their friends. I just love them. I was thinking about including a matryoshka somewhere in our motif, but I think it might just be ethnic overkill with the pysanky going on already. Plus, they are really Russian, not Ukrainian. And ask any Ukrainian– there IS a difference!

And somehow, it seems that they have suddenly become popular in the past year or so! Suddenly my beloved matryoshka are everywhere and I am *loving* it!

From top down, left to right:

1. Lavender Nesting Dolls from Handle & Spout 

2. Tshirt from Etsy’s MaryInk 

3. Matryoshka Pouch from Etsy’s simbiosisbyjulia  

4. Matryoshka Notebook by Etsy’s bismo080 

5. Custom Rubber Stamp by Etsy’s babyjewels 

6. Matryoshka Hand Carved Stamp by Etsy’s craftpudding 

7. Matryoshka tea towel by Etsy’s SweetPeaandCo

And then….. for the nerds out there like Sergei and I, these nesting dolls are just awesome!

star wars dolls

star wars dolls

Star Wars Matryoshka from Neatorama


Matryoshkus Blanco by ArtLebedev

And then I just have to post this one in full size because it’s so beautifully detailed. It’s a template for printing paper and stickers, etc., from A Print A Day (And at $3.99, you know I ordered one!)


More Wedding Invitations! February 25, 2009

More lovlies from those hardworking indies over at my beloved  I think that I am having some real spring fever, because the flowered invites I am running across are seriously putting a smile on my face.

Katie” Letterpress by Bellis Studios. Isn’t this a fun suite for a fall wedding?

I *love* gerber daisies so this suite really is a favorite of mine as well. “Gerber Daisy” by Cheerupcherup:

Cheerupcherup’s Sunburst Save the Date is rocking my world too:

I am also loving the whimsy of “Rings” by SilhouetteBlue:


“Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride” Bridal Show February 24, 2009

OK so I realize that very few of you reading this blog are Milwaukee brides, but I still have to ask: anyone else going to the Milwaukee’s Magnificent Bride bridal show on Sunday? I got free tickets through Broadway Paper (thank you Tracie!) and my mom is coming into town to do some wedding planning, so this should be a good time. It’s at the very high-end Pfister Hotel and the tickets for the show came in a hand-calligraphied envelope on shiny champagne colored paper, so apparently I am going to be in tall cotton. I hope I don’t fall in love with everything I can’t afford!

Have you been to a bridal show lately? Was it helpful in planning?


Wedding shoes

I am six feet tall, which has always made shoe shopping a challenge. I just really can’t wear high heels without looking like a complete giant. That being said, it doesn’t stop me from drooling over super cute shoes I know I won’t be able to wear!

One of my favorite companies is Chinese Laundry. Their shoes and bags are *so* cute.

I am loving these for wedding wear: (these are all available in other colors too)

Jemmy“- on sale for $50!

Baldwin“- I can’t imagine not falling on my keyster- but so cute! ($60)

And for something blue: “Mystic“- on sale for $40!

Apparently I like rhinestone/funky buckles. 🙂

I am also *really* excited about Lela Rose teaming up with Payless shoes to create a line of custom dyeable wedding shoes. (Lela Rose is the maker of the dress I desperately want.) Now that’s what I am talking about! The venture is called Unforgettable Moments, and apparently they are available in stores now with the website getting ready to launch in March. I can’t wait!

Even the shoes in this preview shot are adorable. Cost effective stylish shoes make me *so* happy.