Sending our Guests S’More Love

Mr. B and I are obsessed with S’Mores. We try to keep all the supplies on hand so that we can occasionally indulge in a warm toasty S’More made with my butane baking torch..(arguably, at the same time I try not to stock up, since you know, if we have them on hand, we WILL eat them). So when I came across the ideas of S’Mores favors for our guests at our rustic country wedding I thought it was a PERFECT fit! I came across this example and was in LOVE:

Image via Bridesmaids & Weddings

I gathered the necessary supplies right away and made a couple to see if it would be both manageable and cost-effective for our wedding. They turned out great! I had every intention, from very early on, that was what we would do as far as favors go.

But then I fell in love with bars…Dessert bars, that is. They seemed so fun! Not necessarily candy, but all other desserts. And a S’Mores bar soon became my new obsession. Except the only problem with having a S’Mores Bar, is the need for, umm, FIRE. And fire is a big no-no at our location. California is infamous for forest fires, and being in an all-wood dance hall is just a combination I don’t want to add fire to. Major bummer. So I put favors on the back-burner for a while.

A couple of months ago, I became re-focused on how we would thank our guests. I realized that putting the S’Mores favor on the table would only create clutter; we’re having a photobooth, and they can take their Mason Jar glasses home, so really we are covered in the favor department. But that’s no fun! So my mind wandered again to the dessert bar idea, and this time it was only a matter of deciding what would be on it!

Did you have a hard time deciding what to thank your guests with?


Drink our Beer from a Mason Jar, Part 2!

Last time I brought up Mason Jars, I was referring to the MANY that we were planning to utilize for decoration. This time around, I will ACTUALLY be talking about how we will be literally drinking our beer from Mason Jars. Other than the Hay bales, one of my other favorite, trendy ideas was drinking from Mason Jars! I have loved every other time I’ve used them as glassware, it fit with our rustic country theme, and having our guests keep the same glass all night seemed very “green”. Thanks, again, to good ole’ Pinterest, I was able to find inspiration on how to label my Mason jars for my guests: chalkboard!

I came to love the idea of little  on each jar where each guest could write their name on their glass.

Isn’t this set up cute?

Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Lane Dittoe Fine Art Wedding Photography / Event Design by Joyful Weddings and Events

 So I’m not going to lie, my ORIGINAL plan for making the chalkboard was to use chalkboard paint on the Mason Jars. Man, am I happy I figured out an easier, more time-conscious way to do it! I would have wasted a LOT of jars and a LOT of time (not to mention my sanity) with mess-ups. Before finding the tutorial, even though I knew there would be a way, I couldn’t figure out how to get an even shape to paint. A stencil maybe? But even with a stencil, they wouldn’t be uniform, and they definitely wouldn’t all look AWESOME like I imagined in my head (because in my head I am a crafty artistic goddess, and definitely not clumsy at all). And I DEFINITELY wanted my mason jar chalkboards to look all pretty like this:


Image via Style Me Pretty /  Photo by Austin Gros Photography

But amidst my search for a solution and my concern that I wouldn’t find one, I stumbled across this tutorial from Mrs. Pretzel! I couldn’t believe that I never thought of chalkboard contact paper before! (Actually, I can totally believe I didn’t think of it since I NEVER use contact paper for anything). But chalkboard contact paper and a scrapbook paper puncher would be the perfect solution to my problem! And BONUS: I most definitely found the scrapbook punch that makes the same cute little frame punches as the photo above! Putting together all the mason jars was probably one of the last things I did since I had to wash and seal all of them so that dust particles and stuff don’t get into them before people you know, DRINK from them. And I don’t want to do it too early, mess it up, and then have to do it again.

Was there a DIY project that you planned on doing that you found a much easier way to complete? DId it save you time? Money? BOTH? 

Hay, you!

There is one element of the wedding that I was SO excited for, yet in the end I had to be rational and ended up cutting. You see, thanks to the miracle that is Pinterest (seriously, as much as I love it, it can be DANGEROUS), I found inspiration in photos like these:

Image via

Image via

Aren’t they beautiful? They were definitely on the list of things I wanted for the ceremony. The problem is they were not necessarily the most cost-effective piece from my on-site rental company. It was a very difficult decision. In the end, it’s not like I would’ve been tacking on an extra couple thousand dollars, but it’s also not as cheap as just using the chairs I’m renting for the reception anyways.  Either way, I incorporated them into my lounge area like this:

lounge, farm, wedding

Image via

Was there something you wanted for your wedding but really didn’t need? How did you decide whether or not to do it?

I’m the luckiest girl in the world

Yes, marrying my best friend would automatically put me in that category. BUT this time I’m not talking about Mr. B.

My bridesmaids are literally the most awesome 4 girls in my life, and I’m so thankful to have them standing up with me on our special day! Three of my bridesmaids are in other weddings this summer, and being in ONE wedding is a HUGE financial and mental commitment, let alone TWO! Which makes them being there for me all the more special. You may not know this, but my four bridesmaids, while equally special and important to me, all became friends with me (and therefore must claim me FOREVER lol) at different points in my life. And while MOH S and BM K are friends and have known each other a long time, and BM’s J and T were both cheerleaders with me in high school and friends themselves, I was a TEENSY bit nervous about how the four would all fit together. My worry was totally for nothing though! We all hung out for the first time on my birthday this year and it went flawlessly! (well except my drunken attempt at matchmaking and getting kicked out of the bar but that has NOTHING to do with the wedding so I’ll save that embarrassment for another time!). The next day we had planned to go dress shopping for the first time (whose decision was that?! Not making eye contact…) and they all beat me to brunch (I blame the fireball shots!) and to my happy surprise they were all chatting and re-capping the night like they’d all know each other forever!

Recently, one of the BMs has experienced some unnecessary drama with other girls in another bridal party, and it just served as a reminder of how lucky I truly am, not just for having them all as friends and bridesmaids but for bringing no DRAMA!

The BM’s & me at my birthday this year

All photos personal

Did your bridal party know each other before becoming your bridal party? Did they all fit together like missing pieces of the same puzzle?

DIY Recovery

One of my pitfalls when it comes to my love of everything DIY, is my ability to get really excited about a project, rush out and buy the supplies, complete my first one, and then feel so accomplished that I save the rest for “later” (since I, you know, have TONS of time). I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve done this, sometimes it astonishes me.

So this project came about back in May when I realized that I had so many miscellaneous things to put in my BM gift bags, and all we had for the groomsmen was their super awesome money clip, and their tie. I had also ordered some personalized golf tees, but hadn’t decided how to package them yet. And then one day, I came across these Martha Stewart DIY instructions on how to etch glass at home! After waffling around the idea for a few days, I decided it was a cute, cheap way to add an extra little something and also package the golf tees! So I went down to the local Dollartree and picked up 6 pint glasses to transform into monogrammed glasses for the guys. But I also needed to pick up the other supplies to get my project accomplished. That Friday night, my mom and I had a “date” to get Mother’s Day portraits done, and I asked her, if we had time, would we be able to stop by Michaels (since I had planned to complete the project the next day and I had a good coupon). We made it to Michaels about 10 minutes before closing and we rushed around to gather the appropriate tools. Atfter 6 minutes of searching, we still couldn’t fine etching cream. Frantic, I concluded, that it was a Martha Stewart tutorial, there must be some in her section. So after quickly grabbing a bottle of her Frosted Etch effect paint we were in line and out the door.

The next day, as I was working on the project, it soon became clear that I was doing something wrong.

The inspiration for my project

Image via Martha Stewart

My sad first attempt at glass “etching”

Can you see the horrible chipping and uneven lines. This could NOT be right. I tried washing the glass, since etching it should be permanent. But the more I scrubbed it as a test to it’s durability, the more it became clear I had definitely done SOMETHING wrong. I mean it was chipping away like paint. And that, my friends, is because I used paint, not etching cream. So back to Michael’s I went (earlier in the day as to not run out of time again and end up with the wrong thing…AGAIN). After another fruitless search, I gave in and asked where the etching cream would be and alas! I finally had the tools I needed to complete my project!

The first thing I did was create contact paper stencils of the monogram. Initially, I tried to do a full initials monogram, but after doing the first one for FI as practice I realized that sticking to a simple last initial only was my best bet (especially since I had since decided to also include monogrammed shot glasses!). I didn’t take any photos of this part of the process but, It really is very simple– I just traced the letter onto the contact paper, and since it is small I used a box cutter to cut it out. Then I carefully applied the stencil onto the glass, thankfully the contact paper was easy to remove and replace if the first placement was wrong (TIP: trace it onto a LARGE piece of contact paper, if you make it too small and close to the letter, the etching cream will seep off and create and extra, unwanted line!). Then, with a paint brush I put a huge glop of etching cream over the letter. I learned after finishing the first trial run, a huge glop is the way to go to get a nice even etch:

Notice how you can’t even tell what letter I’m making?

Now that you have the etching cream on the glass, you just let it sit for five minutes and then wash it off! It’s THAT easy! And let me tell you, even after a couple mess ups, the project was still a perfectly cheap accomplishment. Now just to highlight the incredible differences between frost etching paint, and etching cream, I have included this photo of the finished project, side by side with my original failure.

The one on the left, with the cool etched glass M and the one on the right with the peeling off paint.

Do my glasses look like I had them professionally etched? No, they don’t. But they still look pretty darn good. And for what I paid for them, they’re definitely the perfect throw in gift.  I’m including the price breakdown for this awesome project in case you’re interested in doing it yourself:

Dollartree pint Glasses(including mess-ups): $7                                                                        

Shot glasses from Walmart: $3

Etching Cream from Michaels $12.99+ 50% off coupon: $6.49

Paint Brush: $2.49

Stencils from Micheal’s with 20% off coupon: $4.79

Contact Paper from Dollar tree: $1

Etch effect paint from first-round failure: $2.99

Total: $27.76 for 6 Pint & Shot glass sets= $4.62/set!

Did you decide to add an extra DIY project, just because? Did your first attempt go smoothly, or did you have to make a couple practice ones before getting it right?

I have HOW LONG left?!

This past weekend, I went to my childhood friend M’s wedding. She was getting married to her college sweetheart in SLO where they both went to school. So early Saturday morning, FI and I joined my Dad and Step-Mom to drive the 5 hours north to her venue. Surprisingly, I’d never actually driven that far up the coast, and it was a beautiful day for a drive up the 101. I was excited to attend my first wedding of the season, but I had no idea what was coming!

We got there too early to check into our hotel, so we visited some friends at their hotel near the venue, which we could see from the parking lot. Avila Beach, in general is a gorgeous place.

Check out this view from their room!

When we finally made it to the venue, we were amazed. Talk about an awesome choice for a wedding! I definitely recommend the Avila Beach Golf Resort if you’re planning in that area, the view alone made for a great event. The ceremony took place looking into the canyon on one of the practice greens, and the reception took place on the practice green facing the ocean.

The view of the beach from our table

The ceremony itself was gorgeous, complete with lemonade in Mason jars as you waited for it to begin. M looked beautiful walking down the aisle, and her officiant was quite entertaining. The food during the reception was delicious (especially for catered food) and the DJ played a great selection of songs. The view from the venue only got prettier as the evening went on.

Throughout the whole evening, the one thing that was constantly on my mind: I have SO.MUCH.LEFT.TO.DO. Seriously, I think I had a mini panic attack. And the few (seemingly important) things her wedding had in common with mine also was a cause of some (more than likely unnecessary) stress. (I think I may have uttered the words “son of a bitch” quietly to myself when her bridesmaids entered the ceremony to the song I had planned on walking down the aisle to). I just have to keep telling myself that no matter how many things our weddings have in common, each wedding is unique. Yes, I have a lot of “trendy” elements to my wedding, and I chose these things (example mason jars) knowing that they were a popular wedding staple right now. So I KNEW (even though sometimes I forget) that hundreds of weddings would share these ideas, so I don’t feel the need to change them. (except, maybe for the song…we shall see)

If anything, attending M’s beautiful wedding, lit a fire under my behind to get into gear with checking things off my list. EXAMPLE:  I got 5 hours of sleep Friday night, spent 12 hours this weekend in the car, attended a wedding Saturday night, and didn’t get home with time to do stuff until 4pm on Sunday. But I still managed to complete two major steps in projects I’ve been meaning to do for weeks. Talk about productive!

All Photos Personal

Did you attend a friend’s wedding while planning your own that made you realize how much you still had to do? Did it help you re-engage in the planning process?

Saving our Date

I wanted to pick, order and send out our Save the Dates about an hour after we had put our deposit on the venue. But, knowing that I would not be putting our engagement photos on our invitation, I knew that I wanted to put them on our Save the Dates. I couldn’t exactly put our engagement photos on our Save the Date if I hadn’t even scheduled our engagement photo session, now could I?

Since the engagement session was scheduled for mid-October,  I knew that I could order and mail out our Save the Dates before Thanksgiving, which considering the amount of Christmas cards that get mailed out, that became my goal. It was hard to choose exactly what style I wanted until I knew what photo we would use, but I picked out a few different ones so that it would be easier to narrow it down.

After searching through the various style that incorporated photos, I came to the conclusion that postcards were the best way to go, they were simple and sleek, but also the most cost-effective. After doing my research, I determined that Wedding Paper Divas had that best selection to choose from.

Save the Date Postcards Sophisticated Hand - Front : White

Sophisticated 1-photo Postcard

Save the Date Postcards Chic Calendar - Front : Eggshell

Vintage looking Calendar style

Save the Date Postcards Font Fusion - Front : Ore

Cute 2-photo Postcard

All these options made it difficult to narrow it down to just one! But based on the photo we decided on, we knew that the first option was definitely the best. I ordered them and about a week later I got them in the mail and started with my addresses. Now I learned two lessons from sending out Save the Date Postcards:

1)Even though it is difficult, make sure to work a return address onto it. There were many Save the Dates that did not make it to their intended location, some of which, I later found out, were due to a wrong address.

2) Post Office Machines are really harsh on post cards. Apparently post cards tear easy and the sorting machines increase those chances At least one of our postcards was torn in half and delivered in a special plastic mail bag. Luckily they at least got half of it, right?

The postcards came out super cute, and we did save some money on postage, but if I had to do it all over, I would definitely choose something different.

All Photos via Wedding Paper Divas

Did you have any obstacles to overcome in sending out your Save the Dates?