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I've collected several photos through the image search feature on Google. If any of the featured images are yours, please contact me so I can add a credit if I haven't done so already. I will also gladly remove an image upon request. And please return the favor of crediting: if you use one of my photos, please link back to me! Thanks for all the inspiration!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Map It Out: Another Check Off the Labrador DIY List

Bet you've been wondering where I've been lately? In Busytown, that's where. I started my final semester of classes (yay!), landed a second job (wtf was I thinking?!), and worked near full-time last week at my original job; all while continuing to plan this little wedding of ours.

We are *thisclose* to our 2 month mark and I am about to $hit bricks full of anxiety. No, I'm not being dramatic. My stomach churns just thinking about how little time we have left. But at the same time, I'm soooo ready for the day to be here! Conflicted much?

Somehow during a week full of 64 hours at work, 11 hours of class, and a coed wedding shower (pics soon!), I found the time to crank out our DIY wedding maps! I never really considered maps a priority, but after seeing Mrs. Ballet Flat make it look easy as pie, I decided to give it a try and shocked myself with the result. Here's what I came up with in PowerPoint:

Click on map for more detail!

To be completely honest, I'm no stranger to PowerPoint. Mrs. BF's tutorial was definitely thorough and easy to follow, but I'm also not a beginner. While the logistics were easy to me, it was still a tedious task! It took a few hours here and there to complete (mostly because I'm a perfectionist). Newcomers will have a tougher and longer time with it. But don't be too discouraged! If you have time to play around with it, you'll end up learning and getting better. That's how I learned PP: totally self-taught!

I won't repeat Mrs. BF's steps, but here's a run through of my project from start to finish. First up, the Google map of Savannah! "A" is our ceremony site and "B" is our reception site.

Then I traced the main roads and Savannah River. I added icons to represent event locations and lodging. I found all the icons through Google Images. I tinted them pink by double clicking on the icon, then clicking on "picture", then "recolor".

Here's my first attempt at removing the map in the background. As you can tell from the final map, I changed a few things because they didn't look quite right.

After some serious tweaking (what I spent most of my time on), I had my official map! I added the compass rose and map symbols and steam ship to give it an extra special touch. The title font is "Scriptina" free from and matches our save the dates! The font even coordinates with our invites, which I'll reveal very soon now that they're finished being designed and are on their way to be printed up and shipped out! :D

Our maps are more on the "cutesy" side than the super informative side. But our guests will have our wedding website for more thorough directions plus actual Savannah visitor maps in their OOT bags. I'm just hoping they'll use this map as a supplement that provides a visual pinpoint on where all the festivities will go down!

The perfectionist in me isn't quite happy with them yet. I'm stuck on the title of the map:

"The My Last Name - His Last Name Wedding
Events Map"

I think we're keeping the first line, but I'm not sure that I'm feeling the second part (Event Map). Should I keep it or change it to one of the following? [Poll]

  • Event Map
  • Events Location Map
  • Events & Accommodations Map
  • Just our names in the first line and "Wedding Events Map" in the second line.
  • Just use "The My Last Name - His Last Name Wedding" title and that's it.
  • None of the above. I'm leaving a comment with a suggestion!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Buggy Bride

The future in-laws have done it again...they're getting me a horse and buggy to carry me to and from the ceremony!

When I found out, I was initially thrilled! But then I started thinking that it may be a bit unnecessary. I mean, I could just ride the trolley there and back, right? Why spend extra money when we don't need to? We're trying to cut back on frivolous items, not keep tacking them on!

I voiced these concerns to Mr. Lab and his sister, but they weren't having it. Mr. Lab is a very traditional, southern-raised lad and I've come to realize that like me, he has a few "expectations" of his wedding and future bride.* One of them is the romantic view of his soon-to-be wife riding up in a horse-drawn carriage moments before exchanging vows. He was sold on the idea the moment he heard plans of it. And he's not budging. Because he rarely requests anything wedding-wise, I've decided to let him have this one. Apparently being a buggy bride is no frivolous thing in Mr. Lab's book!

So for an extra $175, I will be chauffeured in one of these beauties:

The carriage is imported from Austria and decorated for weddings. I actually like the dark colors as opposed to an all-white buggy. They even have the driver dressed to the nines!

My little brother and I will ride together to the ceremony and then Mr. Lab and I will ride away together as husband and wife. I have to admit, riding in the carriage will make me feel like a princess in a fairy tale, so I'm not particularly upset with Mr. Lab's decision to put his foot down on this. ;)

And don't worry, we're still going to get all the great photo ops on the trolley even though we won't be riding on it for the actual ceremony procession. :)

*Mr. Lab and I are currently in negotiations over many of his "traditional" views of a wedding. More on this in a post coming soon!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Taste of Savannah (aka Our OOT Welcome Bags)

I've slowly been collecting supplies for our OOT welcome bags the last few weeks. Although they're not finished, I wanted to share my plans for them!

I'm using brown bags and found this adorable package presentation that I thought looked very "southern". If you haven't figured it out by now, this entire wedding will scream "the south" to our guests.


If I can't find cheap doilies I might just use some lace ribbon as an accent. I'm also putting little tags on the outside that will say something like "Welcome to Savannah!", "Thanks for being our guests!", etc.

Moving on to the inside of our bags...First up, maps! I nearly cleared out the visitors' center of maps and brochures, all for free! I'm also going to include contact numbers, an itinerary of the wedding events, my suggested places to go/see, and maybe even a homemade map ala Mrs. Ballet Flat (IF I find the time and patience). Many of the maps and brochures also have coupons included, so hopefully our guests can save some money while seeing Savannah!

Next up, salt water taffy! Yum. Savannah is on the coast, so the candy is a little nod to that. There are some pretty popular places that carry the gooey goodness in the area, so I wanted our guests to have a few pieces to "chew" over. Har har.


Okay, starting to make myself hungry...and the next item doesn't help my case: pecan pralines! I thought about peanuts at first, but decided that more people have tried peanuts than pralines. Man, I wanna nom nom nom on this picture.


Next up is a no-brainer. Savannah is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, aka the founder of the Girl Scouts. So, of course we've gotta include these famous cookies:


Unfortunately, the cookies are not in "season". Thankfully, there are plenty of places on the interwebs that provide them in fresh, unopened boxes! Mmmm. There's even a version that says "Thank You" on them! But my all-time faves are the thin mints. What's yours?

Finally, I wanted to include a "relaxer" of sorts to help our guests unwind from hours on the road. So perhaps they could pour one of these minis into their vending machine coke? I know Southern Comfort isn't native to Savannah (or Georgia for that matter), but I just couldn't resist the "southern" part of it. We southerners love our "SoCo"! ;)


So that's the gist of our OOT welcome bags! Have I blatantly forgotten anything that screams the south or Savannah?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Putting The Juniors To Work

I have a pretty large bridal party: 5 bridesmaids (used to be 6 but one moved to Ohio and had to relinquish her duties), 3 flower girls (1 is more of an "honorary" FG because of her age), and 2 junior bridesmaids.

I chose to have so many flower girls and junior bridesmaids because they are all my nieces. I just felt like it wouldn't be right to chose one or two over the rest, ya know?

At least with lots of cute kids running around, I'll have adorable photos like this one:


Before I get to my dilemma, allow me to introduce my two junior bridesmaids!

Jr. Lab Abbi is my little "Gap Kids" turned rocker niece. She isn't the typical little girl-I mean, she likes skateboards! She has so much spunk and will definitely grow up into an strong, independent woman. I love how she's always playing little jokes on people. Like she'll say "Guess what?" and when you answer with "What?", she'll say "Chicken Butt!". She is my second oldest brother's only child.

Jr. Lab Autumn is definitely the type of niece who starts to become a close friend as she gets older. We're only ten years apart in age, but she is already wise beyond her years. She has a very protective, almost "motherly", quality about her and genuinely cares about everyone in her life. She is the oldest of older sister's three girls.

Gotta love when the old brace-face photos come out to play!

So...the dilemma. Lately, I've been thinking of what my junior bridesmaids would carry down the aisle. I think they're too old for the pomanders yet too young to have the same type of bouquets as the bridesmaids. That's when I got the idea for them to carry something unique: my love letter box and our love letters!

We needed a way to get the box and letters to the altar anyways, so I thought having my juniors bring them was a good way to go (and they won't be forgotten if they're assigned to someone). So one of my juniors will carry the box with the wine bottle in it and the other junior will carry in our letters. After walking down the aisle, they'll seat in the front row with the flower girls during the ceremony and then bring the box and letters up to us when it's time.

The problem is, I don't have any ideas on a cute way of carrying the letters. I like that the box has a little handle, so it's perfect for carrying, but what about something for the letters? Suggestions?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't Even Act Like You Have Something Better To Do On A Friday... join me, Miss Labrador, tomorrow night on BeeTV!

I'll be working on the last of my flower projects with a protein shake in hand (gotta cut back on the wine as the big day approaches!). I'll also be ready to answer all your fitness questions! And if you're lucky, you might just get a glimpse of my three fur babies!

Yeah, that's one of my dogs. She was *thisclose* to being dropped off at the local animal shelter after that little fiasco.

We're less than three months out, so I’ve got plenty to chat about. So head on over, Friday, August 14th (tomorrow), at 8 pm EST! See ya there!

No Swim Trunks, But I've Got My Flippy Floppies!

Our reception isn't on a boat, but people might still need some flip flops! Why? Because they're the remedy for sore dancer's feet!

My latest DIY project went by lightning fast. In less than 20 minutes, I had this:

Guess I should back up and tell you how I got there, huh? Well first, I started with a quick design using the uber-user friendly Word. Fonts used are Fontdinerdotcom Sparkly (free from and Lucida Calligraphy.

I then set my page settings and fed a piece of leftover scrapbook paper through the printer. Remember the paper I featured on my invite dilemma post? Well, I finally found a use for two of the samples! (And I'll show you soon what I did with another sample from that pile!)

After my cute little flip flop poem was printed, I used some more of my scrapbooking supplies to cut the edges down.

Next up, using special edging scissors to cut a pretty little design on cardstock. I love these scissors because they're usually under $1 each and do the same thing as the more expensive Martha Stewart edge paper punchers. You just have to take your time to line up the cuts.

Next, I used my leftover spray adhesive from my wreath project to glue the poem unto some chocolate brown paper. Then I cut the extra edges off.

After that, I measured my leftover satin bouquet ribbon around the basket.

I forgot to make slits in the brown paper before threading the ribbon through it and adhering it to the poem paper. But no worries! I just glued on some "belt handles" and threaded the ribbon through that!

Then I attached the the ends in the back of the basket using spray adhesive and a safety pin for good measure. I didn't care so much about giving it a polished look as no one will see the back from where the basket will be seating at the reception!

And....wah-lah! There you have it! One DIY flip flop basket in less than 20 minutes. Beat that Rachel Rays of the DIY world!

In case you can't read the poem, it says:

Meet Your "Sole" Mates!
In case your feet are tired and sore
Grab a pair and dance some more!
-Compliments of the Newlyweds

I'm not done with the basket yet! I want to remove the ugly blue labels from the flip flops and add my own size tags. I also need to track down at least 5 more pairs from Michael's. They're currently only $.30 a pair! And yes, they're super comfy and really squishy! :)

Cost Breakdown:

15 pairs of flip flops (I currently only have 10): $.30 each
Basket: $10.19 (40% off!)
Paper products: $1.18
Satin ribbon: FREE (leftover from another project)

Total including tax (before homemade tags): $16.98

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Fiancés Say The Darndest Things

One of Mr. Lab's most endearing qualities is the way he expresses how he feels about any given topic. I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of his more "darndest" quotes about wedding planning. They're like a grown-up version of Kids Say the Darndest Things!

On noticing Mr. Lab is reading Weddingbee more and more as the big day draws nearer:

Me: "Why have you been so interested with reading Weddingbee lately?"
Mr. Lab: "Well, I heard I was involved in this wedding somehow."

On naming our signature drink:

Me: "What should we name our white Russian?"
Mr. Lab: "The Caucasian Mail Order Bride."

On reviewing any of my DIY projects:

Mr. Lab: "Wow, that turned out way better than I expected."
Me: "Gee, thanks for having faith in me, babe." *sticks tongue out at him*

On writing the ceremony:

Me: "Hey babe, would you please take a half hour study break to help me write this ceremony?"
Mr. Lab: "How about you kick me in the balls for 30 minutes instead?"*

On trying to remember another quote for this post:

Mr. Lab: "You should be writing it down every time I say something brilliant."

Yeah, if you didn't know Mr. Lab, you'd probably think he was a horrible person. But he really doesn't mean any harm and always says these things with a little smirk on his face.


I can clearly tell he's joking and trying to relieve the pressure of an impending wedding. I mean, we all remember his little meat cake stint, right?

Does your fiancé say the darndest things about your wedding planning? Do share!

*He did, in fact, help me with the ceremony. And he actually got all lovey-dovey after the first meeting with our officiant made things more "real" for him.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Very Own Big Arse Hair Flower

Okay, so mine isn't as big as Mrs. Perfume's, but I still love it! Especially since it's semi-homemade!

I purchased my peony fascinator from Etsy Seller EnchantedlyYours for only $16.50 shipped, but I wasn't really feeling the rhinestone center when it arrived.

So I decided to do something about it. I found some cheap (like $2!) crafting beads at Michael's that included white, ivory, and light pink pearls in a variety of sizes. I chose the variety pack because I didn't know which color or size I would end up liking.

First, I carefully removed the rhinestone center using a spoon to pry it from its hot glue setting.

After I had removed the rhinestone, I played around with different bead coloring and sizes to see what combo I liked the most. I used the now empty center to arrange them before committing to the glue gun. I ended up choosing the white pearls because the light pink didn't look like what I had pictured in my head. Good thing I went with the variety pack!

Once I was happy with an arrangement, I made a pool of glue in the center.

I had to work quickly to set the pearls in place. I used tweezers to place the beads in a position where their holes (for threading) wouldn't show.

I didn't like the simple 6 pearl setting, so I added some of the smaller beads until I had something I liked.

All done! I used 6 big pearls as the base, then built on it using another layer of medium pearls (5), then one small pearl at the center on top.

And because I did this right after a workout, there was no way I was going to take a picture of my semi-DIY fascinator in my nasty hair. Luckily, my yellow Labrador, Dixie, was sitting nearby. She became my reluctant model.

But she's camera shy and quickly ran off to hide under the coffee table...

I love my big arse hair flower! And I saved about $45 to comparable hair pieces like the one below!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Breathing a sigh of re"wreath"...

Sorry about the lame title. Mr. Lab came up with it because I couldn't think of one. :P

Anyhoo, I'm breathing a sigh of relief (if you couldn't decipher the title) because I've finished all my ceremony decor! After I completed the hanging magnolia mason jars, I got to work on a way to dress up our gazebo "altar":

Ignore the weird yellowing. It doesn't exist in real life, just wacky camera stuff.

I really wanted to keep the ceremony decor simple as not to distract from the natural beauty of Savannah's Whitfield square. When I saw Mrs. Yorkie's DIY monogram wreaths, I knew I had just found my gazebo decor. A mossy wreath is PERFECT in a square surrounded by mossy oak trees! Thank goodness for all the Bees who have done the legwork with their comprehensive tutorials! Making my own wreath was a snap! :D

Following Mrs. Yorkie's instructions, I gathered all my supplies. I started by adding glitter to my soon-to-be new last name initial. I want to add our first name initials using smaller letters, but Michael's was all out of the "L"s and "C"s when I went! But it'll be easy to add those later. Also, don't worry about buying a "flat" round wreath. Once it's covered in moss, it'll look just as round and full as the extruded ones!

Because this project is best done outdoors, make sure to have a can of "Off" nearby to ward off hungry mosquitoes!

I added one step. Instead of just pinning my moss to the foam wreath, I sprayed it (and the wreath) with the same spray adhesive I used to coat my letter. I also used an 18" wreath instead of a 12" one since it's going to be hanging on the gazebo and not being carried by little ones.

I used the cheap Walmart moss. It is a bit harder to work with than sheet moss, but it did the trick and saved me a bunch of money at the same time!

After the wreath was completely covered in moss, I pinned it in places I felt it needed extra support. I had one spot where the moss didn't match in color, but I decided I'd just use that area as the place for the flowers, so no worries!

I tried using the twisted wire for my "stakes" but they kept bending when I tried to push it into the wreath. I had left over stems from all my flower projects, so I just used them as sturdier stakes. I trimmed them so the wire was exposed and then hot glued them in place of the floral wire (after clipping off that wire).

Then came the really fun part: adding the flowers and initial! I used the same glitter as Mrs. Yorkie and opted for ivory hydrangea and a pink hollyhock as the accents.

This lovely wreath will hang on the gazebo above us as we recite our vows! I'm taking it on my next trip to Savannah to make sure we can secure it on the gazebo ahead of time, so I may add a bow later using leftover satin ribbon. Thanks Mrs. Yorkie for the inspiration and tutorial!

Cost Breakdown:

18 inch styrofoam wreath: $9.99
1 hydrangea stem: $5.99
1 hollyhock stem: $8.49 (on sale from $16.49)
4 packs of Walmart moss: $1.97 each
Floral wire (barely used): $1.99
4 x 6 wooden letter: $2.49
Spray adhesive: $6.49
Martha Stewart glitter (only used a fraction of the container): $4.99

Grand total including tax: $51.69

The price was a little more than I expected to spend, but at least it'll hang on our front door for years to come after the wedding!

Now all of my ceremony decor is finished! Can't you just picture this setting with a simple mossy wreath on the gazebo and an aisle lined with magnolias in hanging mason jars? *Swoon*

All that's left ceremony set up-wise is choosing the chairs for the guests and a table for the refreshments and program basket to sit on. I already know that I'm doing a wooden chair to blend in as much as possible with the scenery. It's going to be one of these two options depending solely on budget: