Friday, November 30, 2012

Freestyle Fridays 11/30/12

Today's music choice includes a few booty-shaking jams from some of my favorite artists including M.I.A, Santigold (both artists whose music WILL be played at my wedding), Frank Ocean and Sleigh Bells.  I've seen all of these artists live except for Frank Ocean, who has quickly become one of my favorite new artists.  Enjoy and try to keep the booty-shaking to a minimum if you are in an office ;)

Freestyle Fridays 11/30/12 by Primp My Bride on Grooveshark
Thursday, November 29, 2012

Caring for Your Bling

Mark Schneider Engagement Rings / Image via WeddingWire.com

Today’s post is inspired by the fact that I had to bring my engagement ring to the jeweler for its first annual cleaning yesterday.  I dropped it off at the jeweler who sold FH my ring (and who of course was trying to upsell me on the male and female wedding bands! But apparently she gave FH a great deal on my ring so we’ll definitely consider her for the bands) which got me thinking of how I’ve been taking care of my ring, so just wanted to share that with you guys.
Remove the ring before showering, washing dishes or any activity that involves long exposure to water.
The last thing I want is for this bad boy to fall down the drain.  It’s not even worth the risk so I pretty much always take it off before doing these activities.  I am guilty of wearing it sometimes while swimming (like when I’m on vacation and I don’t feel comfortable leaving it in the hotel safe), but for the most part you should definitely avoid exposing the ring to chlorine--it can cause damage.

Buy a ring holder so you always store it in the same place.
FH bought me this adorable little elephant ring holder, so I always put the ring there whenever I remove it for a prolonged period of time.  A jewelry dish also works really well.  If you have a large house you may want to have more than one of these but keep the jewelry holder/stand/dish in the same place so you always know where to find your ring.

Elephant Ring Holder from Urban Outfitters
Clean the ring as often as needed (there are a number of ways to do this).
My friend Alyssa introduced me to the art of cleaning your ring with a toothbrush and toothpaste (yup, you read that correctly).  She apparently does this every day and her ring always looks impeccable.  Just give it a nice light brushing (dilute with a splash of water and you may not want to use an abrasive toothpaste as that may scratch up the gold) for 15-30 seconds to really get into all the nooks & crannies, rinse, pat dry with a towel and voila--A sparkly ring that smells vaguely minty fresh!  It may sound crazy but it works.  Just make sure you PLUG THE DRAIN BEFORE ATTEMPTING THIS.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

I’ve heard you can also use clear alcohol like vodka to clean the ring (and it kills germs too!)  Also heard that dish soap, liquid detergent or just plain old jewelry cleaning solution work too.  Oh and ALWAYS PLUG THE DRAIN BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY CLEANING.

Take your ring for an annual “check up”.
As I mentioned above, you should take your ring once a year to the jewelers for a professional cleaning but most importantly, to make sure that the prongs holding your diamond in place have not become loose.  It’s worth it--my jeweler only charged me $25.  Just make sure it’s a jeweler you can trust since they may need to keep your ring overnight (the last thing you need is someone switching out your diamond).
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY Inept, or Why My Love for Etsy Knows No Bounds

Image via QuickMeme.com
So I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to arts & crafts.  I had a 50/50 success rate of coloring inside the lines as a kid and the best thing I could draw were stick figures and boxy houses.  I can’t sew very well or make jewelry.  BUT I have vision.  I know exactly what it is that I want when it comes to certain design elements.  I guess that’s why the only "DIY" thing I can really do well is interior design.  Maybe not as a profession but the rooms in my apartment have a color coordinated theme with some nice decor pieces (thank you TJ Maxx and Homegoods!)

But interior decorating aside, I had certain visions for my wedding design and decor as I started getting deeper into planning.  And that’s when I decided to turn to Etsy...a magical place where many incredibly skilled DIY'ers live.  The first thing I ordered on Etsy were these “Be My Bridesmaid” keepsake boxes for my girls.  I knew in my head exactly what I wanted them to look like, so it was just a matter of finding someone to create them, and they came out gorgeous!  I included things in the box like a picture of the bridesmaid dress, the wedding color scheme, a peacock feather (this is the wedding theme), information on the big day and a personalized note to each girl as to why I couldn’t imagine saying “I Do” without them by my side.  And the nice thing about the boxes was that it has each girl’s name on the cover and can be used as a keepsake box. 



Created for one of my bridesmaids by Brynlee Designs on Etsy
Created for one of my bridesmaids by Brynlee Designs on Etsy
   After doing searches for “peacock feather invitations” I also ordered my Save the Dates off Etsy.  I worked with Lindsey, owner of the shop Yours Truly Invitations.  When this Save the Date came up in my search, I knew immediately that I would have her create mine.  Here’s the sample I first saw;



I’m also in the process of ordering the actual wedding invitations and am working with Megan, owner of the shop One of a Kind Custom Design, another shop specializing in peacock feather wedding invites.  Here’s the one I'm basing my invites on (mine will be champagne gold on the outside, not beige);
Image via It'saBridesLife.com
Image via It'saBridesLife.com
And the other day, I also ordered my hair fascinator and veil from shops on Etsy;


Lola Bridal Hair Piece Feathers and Frills Shop on Etsy
Cathedral Length Veil (108") Diamond Wedding Veil shop on Etsy
It seems to me that Etsy is more affordable for things like invitations and bridal accessories (for example, the bridal salon where I got my dress sold veils from $200-$1,000--outrageous considering it’s a piece of tulle I’ll be wearing for an hour!  The veil I ordered on Etsy?  $40.  Boom.)  There are a few more items I’ve favorited on Etsy for purchase within the next few months including jewelry and other wedding accessories.  Check Etsy out for wedding items before you make some major purchases--you may just end up being surprised on what you find on there :)
Monday, November 26, 2012

Top Tips on Communicating Your Wedding Info with Guests

Image via Etsy Shop MyPrimitiveBoutique
With our wedding less then six months away, I thought I'd share with you some things that have worked well for us so far in this destination wedding process.  A destination wedding requires a lot of time, patience and effort, but what good is all that if you haven't properly communicated the details with your potential guests?  I'm sure the same is true for local weddings too, so here are some tips on keeping your guests informed;

Let people know your date as soon as you've chosen it.  
We had our date picked about 13 months before the actual day so we started verbally (and virtually) communicating this to our closest friends and family to ensure that our VIPs would informally save the date.

Create a wedding website.  
I dedicated an entire post to how great wedding websites are so this shouldn't come as a surprise.  Trust me when I say guests are very, very grateful for a place they can visit that has all the info for your big day.  Even if you don't want to include all the lovey dovey details on how you first met, how the proposal went down and photos of you guys making googley eyes at each other, make a very basic site that just has the where, when and how (travel info guests need to know, like if they need a passport, how to get to your wedding location, room block info and how to book, etc.)  This will save you from people randomly calling/texting/emailing you at all hours of the day and night for information.  Trust me!!

Try to send Save the Dates 8 to 10 months before the big day.  
We sent ours about 9 months before the wedding date and included an additional insert letting guests know about the room blocks and booking instructions on our wedding website.  This allow
ed guests ample time to start making their travel arrangements months before the actual invites go out.  Feel free to go digital too--it's totally fine to send a Save the Date email or e-card.  There are a ton of sites that offer free e-invite templates like Evite or Punchbowl.

Consider creating a secret invite-only group on Facebook.  
We haven't done this yet but absolutely will after the invites go out.  Two of my friends did this for their weddings and it was a great place where guests could ask questions and leave comments
in real time.  I prefer to create this group after the invites go out so that we only include people who've rsvp'd yes, but feel free to create this at any time.
Sunday, November 25, 2012

Engagement Shoot Photos!

Since we are at about the half way point until our wedding day, wanted to share some great photos from our engagement shoot. In the beginning I was pretty adamant against engagement shoots. I just thought that the majority of them were so cheesy, what with couples holding each other in Prom poses while gazing off into a field. Needless to say, I was pretty set on not doing this.

When we were choosing our photographers however, we noticed that the majority of them included engagement pics as part of the overall package. FH was all about it (he just loves a good deal!) so I begrudgingly agreed. I told him though that we had to make it very clear to our photogs that we would want to be photographed doing things we actually enjoy.

Fast forward to July when we had already chosen the wonderful Samara and Chris of the Montreal-based photography company Sarelle Photos as our photographers. We were gearing up for our second wedding planning trip out to Montreal since we had some vendor meetings lined up, so decided to do our engagement shoot during that trip as well. (Side note: I had also scheduled my hair and makeup trial for the morning of the shoot--this is a great way to see if the work your hair and makeup artist do will hold up the entire day and photograph well.)

We let our photographers know the kinds of things we were passionate about, like biking, music and dancing.  Montreal has this awesome bike rental system so that ended up working out perfectly as we used a bike for a portion of our shoot. But the best and biggest addition came from our photographers. After the shoot, we planned on catching a concert at this cool theater--a singer named Citizen Cope was performing there and we've never seen him live before. Our photographers ended up getting permission from the theater to take some photos of us inside the venue, before the show. We were THRILLED, since as I've mentioned music is one of our biggest passions.  

I also wanted to integrate the peacock wedding theme into our e-shoot, hence the light teal dress and peacock feather necklace.  The cupcakes were leftovers from our tasting with the baker, Les Glaceurs, the day before.  So to end, wanted to share some of our favorite photos from the shoot--enjoy!

P.S.-- There is indeed a picture (or three) of us in a Prom-like pose gazing off into a field. But it's totally awesome so don't judge!