Dienstag, 25. Mai 2010

the calm before the storm

We finished the invitations on sunday. That’s right – they are gone! out! sent! Better late than never, that's for sure!

I won’t lie – it was hard work. Like 6 hours a day in the evening for a week straight hard work. But based on the compliments we have been getting, it was totally worth it. I am going to wait another week to share the fruits of my labor with the blog-o-sphere, and for now am going to rant (rave?) a bit about a phenomenon that I have read about in my myriad of wedding blog readings and am now experiencing.

Total lack of motivation at the (less than) 2-month mark. That’s right, folks. I need a break at exactly the time where there is no break allowed. After slaving over the paper puncher and ordering zillions of euros of stamps from the Deutsche Post, we (ehem I) are (am) tired. And we are getting excited! like… really excited. So like a little whiny kid, this is what I feel like:


I want to see my friends and family! I want to eat our cake! I want to get MARRIED! NOW! Also, I want to fly happily married to our honeymoon and lie in the sun and drink cocktails and remember the lovely weekend we had with all our guests.

I have also strangely lost my desire to comb the shops for more blue and green details, or brainstorm about bridesmaids gifts, or painstakingly plan every detail of the weekend. Maybe that isn’t so bad though, because really we’ve done a lot, and I think we’ve reached a point where we can really say that we are almost there. But there are still a few “big ticket” items that we haven’t finished:

Purchasing Mr. S’s ring. Yup, we are big procrastinators. Also, we hate german wedding bands. I already ordered my ring from Etsy a while ago – but it needs to be resized. He wants to get a semi-matching one made. We are kind of lazy and kind of afraid what the snooty shops will say. We are sucking it up and going on Saturday – Mr. S just sent me a “ring of fire” gcal invitation. I know he called it that to make me laugh and stop me stressing– which it did. I love this man.

Finalizing flowers – I went around the corner – yes, the flower shop is literally a 25 second walk from Mr. S’s family’s door in Buchenberg – to talk to the flower lady last time we were visiting. We talked through my ideas for bouquets, boutonieres and ceremony decorations. We also discussed the reception deco, but that was kind of complicated since our venue coordinator is technically taking care of (and paying for) that part. We agreed to use my (40-some) blue and green bottles and vases, which I will bring to her on June 6th when we go down for our “last” (ha!) visit

Favors – we have been trying to meet up with the honey man, but the weather has been so gosh darn horrible and he told us that cold weather makes bees aggressive (just like me!). So we are crossing our fingers for good weather on June 6th so we can meet him, photograph the honeymaking in progress to hang up at the reception, and take a look at the honey jars so we can design a label.

My hairpiece, his shoes, shirt and belt – the final touches to our “outfits” are still MIA – my tailor agreed to fashion me a hair flower, but I keep forgetting to bring her a hair clip! I am planning on doing this tomorrow. Mr. S. and I will hopefully squeeze some shoe, shirt and belt shopping into our saturday “ring of fire” escapade.

Music – we have yet to discuss music choices with our band or make our playlist for the cocktail hour. We also need to clarify the (friendor) DJ after-hour setup with our venue, because apparently his portable speakers will be being used to broadcast the world cup semifinal in a beer tent outside our venue (here’s hoping that not too many of our guests run off to watch it!)

Ceremony – ooooo this is a big one! We actually have written most of our portion – we are waiting for our officiant’s text. We have already chosen music and walking order, and now need to decide on a ritual and create our programs. Getting there getting there.

Photobooth – my mom is creating the backdrop for this. Ms. S needs to “fix” the printer to print on smaller photopaper. And we are gathering props.

Chair covers – my lovely Maid OH is making these … but we need to get a go on this one! We have yet to order fabric….

So I guess we can’t throw in the towel JUST yet. But we are definitely getting there, and there really aren’t that many “big ticket” items left to clarify. The rest of it is all stuff we will have to take care of the week (or day) before – like making 50 poms and hanging them, decorating, hanging signs, assembling OOT bags…. oh, the list goes on.
Anyone else wish they could just kick back and relax?

Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010

Our Invitations - a Journey

After waiting anxiously for any indication of the location of our invites, I finally caved and called the German Customs office and lo and behold, they had my package. I took advantage of my day off on Wednesday and made the trek out to the Zollamt - and it really was a journey. Of course it's located completely on the outskirts of the city, in fact it's not even in the city but rather in a neighboring suburb, tucked between delivery trucks and gas stations. The kind of place that makes you feel like the only person walking around - and totally not pedestrian friendly. The name of the street was even "Diesel Straße". Very fitting.
does this look like a customs office?... (on the way there)

When I got there I went through the usual procedure - get in line, wait, get in line again, wait, go to small window and pay, wait again. I also, of course, got accused of cutting in line by a very harried woman.
can you just sense the lovely atmosphere?

The whole thing made me very nervous - an endemic ex-pat reaction to being in a government office. Inevitably we learn to expect the worst and the totally ridiculous and unexpected - I imagined all potential disaster scenarios and developed a huge lump in my throat, but in the end when I showed them my paypal slip and matching invoice, they were happy to charge me taxes and let me leave. 27 Euros poorer and a whole lot happier, I practically skipped to the Ubahn, barely resisting ripping the box open only because it was drizzling and it really would have been a shame to get those babies wet…

I made it to the subway stop and attracted a lot of attention as I attempted to fight my way through the miles of customs office tape holding my previously opened-and-snooped-in package together. I finally tore my way through and beheld our beautiful invitations - and they were even nicer than I expected!

A big happy shout-out to Ashley and Joel of This Paper Ship - they not only designed our beautiful invitations but set them in THREE languages for no extra costs, and dealt with our various (and many) requests and tweaks and confusing Polish characters with weird accents. We were extremely satisfied and I can really recommend them - but you'd better hurry up as I think their incredible design talents are being discovered big time and before we know it they will probably be super fancy and totally booked.

Continuing on…on my way home I picked up all my supplies - envelope liner paper, double stick tape, address labels, a paper cutter - and got right to work.

First, I lined the envelopes - this was such an easy project with a huge impact. I had found an adorable paper by a Munich artist that matched our invitation suite perfectly and I spent the next couple of hours tracing and cutting.  I can really recommend making your own envelope liners!!  (Note to invitees - open your envelopes carefully and admire my handiwork! :) )

The next project was making the invitation inserts for our after-civil-ceremony reception, our welcome BBQ and our post wedding brunch (in 3 languages!) - after designing them I printed, cut and corner punched to my (ha!) heart's content. Our corner puncher did not want to cooperate but I finally developed a way of turning it upside down to actually see if I had lined everything up right and protecting my "pushing" hand with Mr. S's oversized hood sleeve. Worked like a charm.

Then, I developed a lovely way to bind them all together - a combination of blue and white baker's twine, little punched out edelweiss images and double stick tape - and turned my attention to the luggage tags, which required even more punching, cutting, tracing and double sided taping. Then I bound the whole shebang with green organza ribbon and secured with a glue dot (those things are GENIUS). All in all they are BEAUTIFUL and we are so happy with them.

When I was all finished with the first mockup, I got out our kitchen scale and a ruler and calculated that weight-wise we were just under the limit for letter post BUT our envelopes were .4 cm too big. This is SO SAD because the €2.20 stamps are actually edelweiss stamps which we were so excited to use, AND the next level of postage costs €6!!!  So our plan B is going into action - I am fedexing the finished invites to my mom in an overnight document bag and she will send them out from the states. What will we do with our 30 edelweiss stamps?

 We're thinking for our thank you notes! It's still sad though, but there is no way I am risking having all our invitations sent back to us.

The invitation process has been such a whirlwind - we literally just got them 36 hours ago and they are close to being finished - which is because we are in a hurry but maybe it's a very good thing because we are super motivated!!

I am now sitting in the train on our way to Buchenberg to meet with the Rathaus tomorrow and finalize details of our ceremony and to check out the ceremony room - and on saturday I have my hair and makeup trial. So busy busy but at least I can stop stressing about the invitations - I can't wait to deliver our first copy to Mr. S's parents!!!

Anyone else dealing with the woes of shipping internationally?

Montag, 10. Mai 2010

Our invitations…

...are in mysterious customs postal limbo. I don’t feel like planning any wedding things until we can finally get our hands on them! So until then… cross your fingers that they make it out unscathed… *sad and nervous face*

Montag, 3. Mai 2010

Stealin' my thunder...

they stole my table # frames!!!!!

ok... considering that this post is older than my purchase, maybe not. But anyways, I had the idea FIRST (in my head, anyways) and I am actually not offended (cause, really) but am giving myself major pats on the back for being so in sync with the fancy blogging DIY world that I had the same idea.


Sonntag, 2. Mai 2010

Guest Blog - MOH Nicole and her crafty craftiness

Hey all! Nicole here, the very enthusiastic (or perhaps just slightly crazy, you can be the judge after this post) MOH, well the female MOH that is. While the bride’s been busy busy making wish trees, and table numbers, figuring out the ceremony location, and taking care of the non-fun bureaucratic stuff as well, I’ve been trying to help out as much as I can by taking on a few DiY projects. I don’t live in Munich so unfortunately, we can’t work on projects together—although if that were the case I think we’d have to both quit our day jobs and only do wedding-related projects all day long!—but I do live in Germany (Berlin), so at least we're in the same time zone. And shipping things back and forth doesn't cost a small fortune, or take months that we don't have.  

So I thought I’d give a preview of the projects I’ve been working on, both small and (ridiculously) large. 

Bunting and Garlands 

It might sound a little Betty Draper of me, but I have to say, when I received a sewing machine this Christmas from my bf’s mom, I was overjoyed with domestic happiness (though come to think of it, I somewhat doubt Betty Draper would sew...). Then I got all worried that I was getting to old and domestic. And then I remembered the tediousness of hot glue-gunning bunting together for our Thanksgiving party last year. And I realized how fantastically helpful the sewing machine could when making bunting for this wedding! No pictures of that yet, we're still in the fabric-collecting phase. But there will be bunting. Oh will there be bunting.

I have gotten started on the garlands though. I've collected multiple paper supplies for circle paper bunting (that I imagine will look something like this. I also did a happy dance in the craft store when I found not one, but two circle punchers! (Just one of many things that I’m always convinced doesn’t exist outside of the USA.) And I’ve got three different colors of thread to play around with. 

First round of paper supply shopping

I still do a bit of a happy dance looking at those life-saving cirlce punchers!

Paper circles galore

On top of that, I receive two very exciting packages from the US lately, one very large one that required a trip to the Customs Office but was happily filled with happytape (http://www.happytape.bigcartel.com/) wooo!, and another that arrived literally seconds ago full of two gorgeous spools of divine twine! (http://www.divinetwine.bigcartel.com/) The Wedding DiY project possibilities are endless, and in time, all will be revealed… 

How cute of an addition will THESE make to the ceremony!?! They’re little bags full of rice to throw at the bride and groom at the end of the ceremony, for those of you who don’t feel like entering all that into google translate. We have yet to decide if we’ll fill them with rice or confetti (in many venues in Germany it’s verboten to throw rice because it’s bad for the environment, meaning the birdies!), but I’ve been able to start working on them anyways. 

Chair Covers 

Now here comes the crazy  part. I haven’t been to the venue yet, but I did get a video tour of it! And, as you all probably already know, those chairs are RED! And while that probably looks great at most German weddings (red hearts are often a must), we decided pretty early on that that red would do little to complement the pretty blue and green color scheme Em has planned. So, never one to turn down a challenge or leave my best friend in distress, I courageously suggested I could make chair covers to cover the red. Yes, make. For all the chairs. All. 80. of. them. The goal here being, 1) to save money, and 2) to get something that really fits and can be personalized. I don’t think at the moment I was quite aware of what that meant, to sew 80 chair covers. After all, I’ve only had my sewing machine since December! But then I ordered some sample fabric and made my first prototype. 

I learned a few important things in the creation of this prototype. 1) ALWAYS iron creases before trying to sew them. Always always always. 2) Sewing in a straight line is difficult. It takes practice, which is why I bought an extra meter and a half to practice on (I promise they'll be straight (enough) for the wedding you guys!) and 3) Taking on such a big project is GREAT motivation to revamp my crafting/sewing/office space in the apartment. Sewing takes space and patience. 

And it always helps to have a glass of prosecco around to calm you down in moments of panic.

So there you have it. Wish me luck and I’ll make sure to stop by again and report on the further progress of the insane-but-totally-possible-extreme chair cover project 2010.

Thank you, Nicole, for your fabulous post and your amazing projects!!