Customized Bride

Planning our wedding one custom at a time

Themes, themes, themes March 24, 2009

Filed under: wedding,Wedding Inspiration — tonya @ 10:20 pm
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So, as I posted earlier, I have really fallen off of the wedding planning train in the last month (and yes, I promise to be better!) I think that it just got a bit overwhelming and then life intervened and it all needed to go bye-bye for a bit. Which I think was a good thing. I needed to get some focus, especially after the *very* high-falooting wedding shows my mom and I attended. I needed to remind myself not to get caught up in it all. I just don’t need every amazing detail that I see on the amazing wedding blogs out there and at these shows- I don’t need menu cards and an aisle runner and handdrawn maps of Milwaukee. I just don’t need all of that stuff, as much as I *want* it. That being said, I still draw inspiration from many places and I will still be looking. And I promise to post here a lot of the goodies that I find and fall in love with along the way. 😉

OK so I hope that wasn’t a downer. It certainly wasn’t mean to be. AND now back to your regularly scheduled wedding programming!

So here is my latest conundrum. A wedding is supposed to be all about you both and reflect your personality and likes in every detail, right? Well I can’t simply seem to find ways to incorporate everything I want to incorporate! The things that are meaningful or representational of us all have absolutely nothing to do with each other. For example:

1. Ukrainian heritage. Sergei is from Ukraine, hence the pysanky theme that we started with. I feel very attached and devoted to this theme and don’t want to waver from it at all. And I want to incorporate some Ukrainian wedding traditions into the day as well. On the other hand, I don’t want the wedding/reception to look like a wing at a Ukrainian museum.

2. The Statue of Liberty. (Yes, that is totally random, but hang with me for a sec.) I am actually a collector of SoL memorabilia, and Sergei asked me to marry him at the statue, so this obviously has an even deeper meaning for me now. And of course, Sergei is a immigrant (and a citizen now) so naturally that all ties into the lady herself as well.

3. Art Deco. I simply love art deco. Art deco everything- interior design, fonts, fashion, and of course I am a *huge* Cary Grant fan so it would be fun to do a 30s Hollywood theme. I’d love to have some Art Deco touches to the whole thing.

And that is just the top 3. There’s also the Japanese origami kusudama decorations I *love* that I read about on Wedding Bee. Sergei loves origami (and Japanese culture in general) so it would fit well with us. There’s my Dutch heritage that has played a huge part in my life growing up in a Dutch town (windmills, delft, wooden shoes)  and my love of tulips that are not readily available in the fall. There’s how Sergei loves to sail and spent every summer sailing as a kid (and will probably spend this summer sailing as well.)

Etc. etc., ad infinitum. I feel that in this age’s trend towards ultimate customization down to the last detail, I just can’t seem to find a way to pick one or two main elements and let them stand for us as a whole. Anyone else faced this dilemma? How did you (or how are you planning to) create a wedding that reflects you adequately?


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?


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?


Bridesmaid gift idea: quick snap pockets February 5, 2009

So, I am an etsy addict. I just love buying something handmade by people who are *so* creative. I have lately been looking for a fun replacement for my wallet, so I went to Etsy. And what did I find but DearSukie? She makes gorgeous wallets, Moo card holders, Id holder keychains, regular business card holders, etc etc out of high quality paper covered in vinyl. So cute! Check it out!

Quick snap card holder in Picnic

Her products are totally customizable! You can pick a paper from her huge Flickr set  and then just pick which type of product you want it made into. I purchased this wallet:

Long wallet with zipper in Walk in the Park

And then I custom orderd a quick snap pocket in a paper that is no longer available. So I will have the only ONE!! BWAHAH!

And how cute are the ID holder keychains? I had something like this in college and it was awesome. It’s the perfect size to take a $20 bill, ID, credit card and keys anywhere.

ID and card case keychain in Frosted

I think these would make absolutely fabulously cute bridesmaid gifts. You could pick custom paper for each, and at $8 for the quick snaps, $12 for the ID case keychains and $24 for the wallets, they are an absolute steal! AND she will give you a 10% discount if you tell her how you found her shop. I also love it that they are inexpensive enough that I can just order a new one when I feel the desire…..

Which one is your favorite from her Flickr set?