Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Bridal Shower Picture Post

I don't even have words for how awesome and amazing my wonderful bridesmaids were this past weekend.  It was such an awesome time - so many laughs, tons of great food and memories that I hope to remember forever. 

Grandma and Mom prepping delicious treats!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post
 
 BM Niece being too cool for school.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post
 
 Filling out recipie cards...

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - writing out recipies

A Laura and MOH BsB party tradition - the breadbowl!!  Needless to say, this was eaten about an hour before the shower started! 
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Friendship Breadbowl

This was MOH BsB's contribution to the recipie stack -

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Friendship Breadbowl Recipe

Not sure what the giggling was all about...

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Hanging Out

Punch with sherbert!  I'll take any excuse to drink ice cream.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Sherbert Punch

Fruit cones - my Mom's first attempt at recreating something she found on Pinterest.  Turned out pretty awesome!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Fruit cones

Has anyone every played this game?  These are all things I said while opening presents... apparently they are also things I'll say on my wedding night!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Wedding Night Sayings

The favors made by BM NYC, who completely suprised me by making the 4-hour drive from NYC to attend!
Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Favors

All my girls!  From left:  MOH BsB, BM NYC, BM Momma, me, and BM Niece

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Bridesmaids Picture

Never fails that I stick my butt out at a camera!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - BM Picture with Butts!

My babysitter growing up.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Me and Guest

From left:  My SIL, me, Momma, and BM Niece.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Family

This was the blanket my parents brought me home from the hospital in.  Still have it, still sleep with it every night.  It was crocheted by my Mom's best friend's Mom, who sent a gift to the shower!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Blankie

Me and Gram and the awesome pot she got me from the registry!  She came all the way New York for the shower. 

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Bridal Shower Picture Post - Me and Gram

I am so very thankful to have each and every one of these ladies in my life.  My cheeks are still recovering from all the smiling I did over the weekend.  Now...on to the thank you notes! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Connect Four!!

Ok, I teased you guys with this before and at my shower over the weekend, I finally got to see and play it in real life. 

Are you ready for this?  Life-Size Connect Four!!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Life Size Connect 4
 
My crafty Dad built this just based on this picture: 

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Life Size Connect 4 - Inspiration Pic

Can I tell you how awesome this thing is?? It's way fun to play, and I CANNOT WAIT to see people playing it at the wedding.

My Dad, being the blogger father that he is, actually created step-by-step instructions on how to create this awesome game and once I get his permission, I'll be sharing them with you. 

And because I'm the queen of ridiculous photo faces...

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Life Size Connect 4 Funny Face

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Buying Booze for Your Wedding (+ Free Planning Spreadsheet!)

One of the best features of The Atrium is they have no liquor license, which means we are responsible for getting/bringing our own alcohol. 

This opens the door for GINORMOUS savings, as we can buy exactly what we want to serve for the amount of people we know will be drinking and the best part – we can return any unopened bottles after the wedding!

But that of course opens another door to a room filled with questions like:
  • How many drinks can I get out of one bottle of liquor?
  • Should we get kegs or bottles of beer?
  • How many glasses of wine are there in a bottle?
  • Will people really drink tequila straight?
  • Does anyone drink gin? 
  • How many drinks do we need to plan on for each of-age guest? 
The list goes on and on and on.

Thankfully, I’m not the first bride with this conundrum and I got a lot of great answers from A Practical Wedding.

Of course, this spreadsheet-loving girl couldn’t pass up this golden opportunity for a tracking and budgeting spreadsheet, so I made one and of course I’m sharing!  See below for some screenshots of my spreadsheet in action, or if you’d rather just go your own way with it, here’s the download link.      

We’re planning on a “worst case scenario” guest list of 250 - 220 adults over 21, and 30 youngins.  So we based all of our numbers on 220 drinking guests.

A Practical Wedding suggested planning for one drink per person per hour of the reception, and two drinks in the first hour.   So… 6-hour reception means 7 drinks per person or 1,540 drinks total.


Once you get over the panic of having to buy that many drinks, you need to figure what percentage of that will be wine, beer, and liquor.  A Practical Wedding suggested a ratio of 20% liquor, 15% beer, and 65% wine. 

Now, we know the majority of guests will not be drinking wine, so we adjusted those percentages to 30% liquor, 40% beer, and 30% wine.

To determine how many total drinks you’ll need for each of those categories, multiply the total number of drinks needed – in our case, 1,540 – by each percentage.  So we ended up with 616 beers, 462 shots or mixed drinks, and 462 glasses of wine. 

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Buying Booze for Your Wedding Drink Calculator
 
Now, knowing how many drinks you need doesn’t exactly help if you don’t know how many drinks are in a bottle.  I searched all over the place for this information and kept getting varying results – I guess it really all depends on how generous your bartender is! 

But here are the numbers we used to calculate:

1 750mL bottle of liquor with a 1.5oz pour will give us 16 servings per bottle
1 750mL bottle of wine with a standard 5oz pour will give us 5 servings per bottle
1 24-bottle case of beer will give us 24 servings (that was easy)

We decided on bottles of beer for many reasons, but the primary one is that we can save bottles and drink them later, but a half-empty keg, not so much. 

But if you are going with kegs, you can plan on 165 12-oz servings or 124 16oz servings.  For those of you far-removed from your frat party days, Solo cups are 16oz.

Now we just need to figure out what we’re serving! 

The beer variety was the easiest for us to figure out.  Dude’s favorite beer is New Castle, mine is Blue Moon.  So those were definitely on the list.  The majority of his family and mine will drink Miller Lite, and it’s not really a PA party with Yuengling.  We’re planning on buying 8 cases of Yuenging and Miller Lite since they are more or less universally appealing and 5 cases of the New Castle and Blue Moon.  If you’re following along with your calculator, you’ll know that gives us 192 servings of Miller Lite and Yuengling and 120 servings of New Castle and Blue Moon, for a total of 624 servings.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Buying Booze for Your Wedding Beer List

Wine was also pretty simple since MOH Hoboken are gifting us some of their homemade wine as our wedding gift.  They offered to make 30 bottles of both a Merlot and White Zinfandel!  How lucky we are!!  So that covered 300 servings of wine right there.  To make up the difference, we decided we’d buy a case (12 bottles) each of Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Riesling.  Again, for you calculator junkies – that’s 60 servings per case for a total of 480 servings.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Buying Booze for Your Wedding Wine List

Liquor was definitely the trickiest because you never know who is going to drink what.  We can guess, but all of that may go out the window on wedding day.  In the end, we decided to go for a variety of the following liquor:
  • Plain vodka – Smirnoff – 5 bottles
  • 1 flavored vodka variety – Smirnoff Vanilla – 3 bottles
  • Scotch/whiskey blend – Crown Royal – 4 bottles
  • Spiced rum – Krakken – 4 bottles
  • Coconut rum – Malibu – 3 bottles
  • Dry gin – Bombay – 2 bottles
  • Whiskey  - Jack Daniels – 5 bottles
  • Pre-mixed margaritas – Jose Cuervo Gold (for my Mom) – 4 bottles
  • Southern Comfort  - 2 bottles (come on, who doesn’t love a Soco and lime!)
Add all those up and we have 512 mixed drinks/shots.  I decided to skip tequila because I couldn’t think of a drink other than a margarita that it would be mixed in to. 

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Buying Booze for Your Wedding Liquor List
 
So once everything’s tallied, we’ll have a total of 1,616 drinks.  A bit over what we estimated, but it’s better to have too much than not enough, right? 

Here’s the download link again for my calculating and budgeting spreadsheet.  Just plug in your numbers in the orange fields and you’ll be good to go! 

Anyone else out there buying liquor for their wedding?  How are you calculating?  Are you providing a full bar?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Crafting the Perfect Out of Town Guest Welcome Bag

A few weeks before her wedding, BM NYC asked me to help to create her Out of Town Guest Welcome bags.  This will henceforth be abbreviated as OOTG Bags. 

Saying henceforth makes me feel so fancy pants.  I feel like I should be wearing elbow-length gloves and sipping champagne when I type it! 

Anyways, I pretty much leapt at the opportunity knowing I may not have the chance to create them for my wedding.  And with only 20-something bags to create, she gave me enough of a budget to put together something really nice for her guests.

In case you couldn’t tell from her nickname, BM NYC  lives in, you guessed it, New York City.  Her fiancĂ© and his family is from there as well; and since the wedding would be the first time many of them would be visiting Pittsburgh, she asked that the bag be full of stuff Pittsburgh is famous for.
 
Here’s what filled her bags –

 
Anyone who’s been in Pittsburgh for more than 10 minutes knows the locals have a …distinct way of speaking so a printed version of this amazing “Pittsburghese” print by Ron Magnes was completely necessary for all the New Yorkers.

Source
And the rest…
The bag was a simple kraft paper bag from Hobby Lobby, but to jazz it up, I added a custom welcome label.

Here’s a closer look at all her custom stuff. 

 
I was, and still am, completely in love with these bags.  They turned out so great and were filled with things that are great examples of all the awesome things about Pittsburgh. 

So, what do you guys think?  Will you be creating OOTG Bags?  They’re kind of low on my priority list since the majority of our guests will be from out of town, but hopefully we’ll have the time and budget to do them!

And when I say we, I mean me.  You know Dude doesn’t have the patience for these silly details!

Pittsburghers – is there anything we missed putting in the bags?  Everyone else – what kind of items do you like to see in your OOTG bags?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Envelope Lining

While I’m on the whole “DIY project that no one will appreciate except me” kick, I think it’s time to share my envelope lining tutorial with you. 

I haven’t mentioned our invitations too much since the majority of the designing happened while I was on my unofficial hiatus, but let me give you a rundown.

Since we aren’t really sticking with a theme for the wedding other than bright colors and summer fun, I had (yet another) blank slate to start with when it came time to design our formal invitations. 

I can’t tell you how many Etsy/Wedding Chicks/Paper Source/Cards and Pockets/Etc. forever until infinity invitation templates I looked at.  I showed Dude maybe…20?  25?  We weren’t in love with any of them, but as our deadline creeped closer and closer, I found three that I could live with.

Then, one afternoon, inspiration struck in the form of this blog post and a few (frustrating!) days later, Dude and I had an invitation we loved.  Well, I loved, Dude probably only said he loved it so I would stop showing him pictures of invitation suites. 

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Invites are In!
 
Don’t worry I’ll do a detail post once the invites are in the mail! 

Thanks to a VistaPrint Groupon, we got our invitations printed insanely cheap.  But typical me, I wasn’t happy with the plain white envelopes they included with their invitations.  So I spent the savings and ordered both Outside and RSVP envelopes in grey and orange from Cards and Pockets.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Our fancy orange and grey envelopes
Bonus:  Check out our super cute return address stamp from InvitationBox!
Side note - I’ve been reading Elise Blaha’s blog enJOY it. for awhile now; and I think I read every single one of her wedding posts in one afternoon.  If you have time, you should seriously check it out, totally gorgeous!  She is so super talented; it’s hard to believe we’re the same age!

Anyways, one of her wedding posts mentioned how she painstakingly picked out scrapbook paper to line her invitation envelopes.  It made such a difference with her envelopes; I decided to try it out with ours. 

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Envelope Liner - Before and After
 
I was immediately hooked.  I tried to tell myself – “Who cares?  No one will notice!”  “The envelopes end up in the trash anyways, why would you waste time on something like this?” 

But for days it plagued me… and I ended up deciding, much like the tip cards, that even if no one noticed or loved it, I would notice and I loved it and that was enough.

And that’s the story of how I spent 4 evenings and 3.5 hour-long lunch breaks cutting and pasting (what felt like) a million envelope liners. 

Did my before and after picture convince you?  Are you ready to line your invitation envelopes too?  If that’s the case, there’s an A7, European Flap envelope liner template below, as well as some lovely pictures and tips to guide you from start to finish.

Let’s go!

You’ll need the following:
  • Enough patterned scrapbook paper to line all your envelopes (you’ll get two liners per 12x12 sheet
  • Scissors (Can I suggest investing in a nice pair or at least sharpening your old pair?)
  • Glue of some sort – the Crafter’s tape that I bought worked so nicely, I highly recommend it!
  • Some kind of writing utensil
  • A7 envelopes
  • A7 envelope liner template
Doeblerghini Bunch:  Envelope Liner - Supplies

Start by tracing the template onto a stiff sheet of something – I used cardboard from a graham cracker box.  You’re going to be tracing this thing a million times onto your scrapbook paper, so you want to make sure it’s sturdy enough to hold up!

Once you’ve got your template ready, trace it onto your scrapbook paper.  If you always line the straight edge of the template perpendicular along the edges of the scrapbook paper, you can fit at least two liners on one sheet of 12x12 scrapbook paper. 

Someone that’s better at Tetris than I am could probably figure out a way to fit 3, but two per sheet worked fine for me.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Envelope Liner - Tracing Template
 

If the barcode for your paper is on the front side of your sheet, make sure when you’re tracing you don’t do something dumb like this…

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Envelope Liner - Messed Up Liner
 
Keep tracing and tracing and tracing until all your scrapbook paper has a liner template traced onto it; and then start cutting.  And cutting and cutting and cutting.  At some point you’ll end up with a bright and colorful pile that looks kind of like this.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Envelope Liner - Liners cut up in a pile

To secure your liners inside the envelopes, run a line of glue either on the liner itself or on the envelope from the top of the tip to about where the fold will be.  This is enough glue to secure the liner, but if you wanted to run a line across the bottom edge of the liner, you could to that too. 

I went a little crazy with the glue at first.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Envelope Liner - Where to Glue
 
But eventually I found two strips of Crafter’s Tape right next to the glue line of the envelope worked perfectly. 

Then, carefully slide the liner into the envelope.  Try your best to not let the liner touch the glue strips until you’re sure it’s in the proper place.

Doeblerghini Bunch:  Envelope Liner - Liner sliding into envelope
 
Once it is, smooth down the liner and fold the envelope flap down to make sure the liner doesn’t wrinkle up when the envelope is sealed.

And after four days of doing this over and over and over, you’ll have an army of gorgeous envelopes!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  A gorgeous army of lined envelopes
So pretty!

Did any of you do crazy, time-consuming projects for your wedding that you knew no one would appreciate?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cookies and Candy like Crazy!

Long before Dude and I started wedding planning, we knew beyond a shadow of a double that the cookie table(s) at our reception would be out of control.  Both of our Moms are fantastic bakers - Dude’s Mom almost opened a bakery a few years ago, if that gives you any idea! – and many of my Aunts on my Moms side are great bakers as well.  On top of that, Dude and I both have HUGE sweet tooths (sweet teeth?) and could easily destroy a couple dozen cookies in a weekend.
 
I know a couple of you are scratching your head right now, so let me back up – Pittsburgh tradition says that there must be a table of cookies displayed at every wedding reception.  Typically these cookies are made by friends and family of the bride and grooms; but some bakeries are starting to include cookies for the cookie table in their wedding cake packages.  And every single reception venue offers “cookie displaying” as a feature of their reception packages.
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Pittsburgh Cookie Table Sign
Normally, the bride and groom leave take out boxes on the cookie table for guests to bring some home.  I wouldn’t consider this a favor per say, but it’s definitely an added bonus for your guests.
Due to the sweet tooths mentioned above, Dude and I pretty much immediately agreed that we should also include our favorite candy on the cookie table and give guests the option to take that home too.
 
My favorite?  Red andYellow Twizzies (as Tom Haverford would say).
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  Chicky Chicky Parm Parm

Dude’s favorite?  Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
 


We’re also planning on having:
  • Wax Lips and Mustaches
  • Cow Tales
  • Blue Gummy Sharks
  • Peach Rings
  • Haribo Gummy Bears
  • Normal Twizzlers
  • Chex Mix (for those weirdos that don’t like sweet stuff)
  • M&M/Sixlets in our colors
So late last week I ordered our take out boxes – 1.5pt and yesterday they arrived in three ginormous boxes!
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Pittsburgh Cookie Table Takeout Boxes
 
I ordered the 1.5 pint.  Many websites suggested using a half-pint size to cut down on candy costs, but since our guests will be using these for cookies too, I wanted to go a bit bigger. 
 
If you're like me and have no idea what 1.5 pints looks like size-wise, here's a comparison between the take out box and a 2-cup liquid measuring cup.  
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Pittsburgh Cookie Table Takeout Boxes Size Comparison
Now that we’ve got the boxes, we need a label to go on them.  Here are the four I’ve designed so far – which is your favorite? 
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Pittsburgh Cookie Table Takeout Boxes Sticker 1
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Pittsburgh Cookie Table Takeout Boxes Sticker 2
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Pittsburgh Cookie Table Takeout Boxes Sticker 3
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  The Pittsburgh Cookie Table Takeout Boxes Sticker 4
Did any of you do a candy table at your wedding?  Any must-have candy selections that we’re missing?

 
 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Tipping Your Vendors and a DIY Tip Card

Now, I’m not trying to start the eternal debate here about who, how, and when to tip your wedding vendors.  I know we could debate that all day and still never come up with the “right” answer. 

I think in the end, you just need to do what’s right for you and what won’t keep you up at night.  After working in the service industry for 3+ years in my college days, not tipping someone who may potentially make less than minimum wage would most definitely keep me up at night, so not tipping our vendors was out of the question. 

But once we got that settled, it opened a whole new bag of worms.  Who do we tip?  How much do we tip?  WHEN do we give these people their tip?  Who will do the tipping because I know I’ll be too far gone by the end of the night to remember anything!

To Google we go!

According to etiquitte guru Martha and The Knot, here’s who you should be tipping on your wedding day:


Vendor

Amount/Percentage

Exceptions

Day-Of Coordinator/Event Planner

Varies depending on the amount of work they did.

 

Hair/Makeup Stylist

15-20%

 

Officiant

$50 - $100

Typically a donation if they are associated with a relgious institution

Photographer/Videographer

$50 - $200 per vendor

 

Reception Wait Staff

15-20% of the final bill

Check your contracts first – sometimes a service charge is already built in

Reception Bartenders

$20 - $25 per bartender

Unnecessary if they have a tip jar available while serving

DJ

$50 - $100

 

Musicians

$15-$20 per musician

 

Shuttle/Limo Driver

15-20% of the final bill

 

Florist

$25 - $100

If they are delivering/setting up on-site and the intensity of the arrangements

Alright so now we know how much, but am I really just going to hand over an envelope full of cash?  It seems kind of…lame. 

Enter tip cards – have you ever heard of them?  They’re cute little bill-sized cards you stash money in to give to your vendors on your wedding day. 

I’m not sure where I first saw these cute little buggers, but I’m almost positive it was this post on WeddingBee that convinced me I needed to make them for myself.

Honestly, I think they’re a really nice touch and a little more personal than just handing over an envelope of cash.  And even though they’ll end up in the trash two seconds after being opened, this project is easy and cheap enough that that doesn’t really bother me.

So here’s what you’ll need to make these for yourself:
  • My editable tip card template
  • My tip card backing template
  • White cardstock for printing the actual card
  • Contrasting cardstock for the backing template
  • Scissors and/or a paper cutter
  • Envelopes for your finished tip cards
  • Glue
Doeblerghini Bunch:  Tip Card Supplies

First things first, open the tip card template and update the names so Dude and I aren’t thanking your vendors.  Then, print out as many copies as you need on the white cardstock.

Cut them apart using either scissors or a paper cutter.  I’ll take any excuse to use my paper cutter, so you know what I used!
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  DIY Tip Card - Cutting sheets apart

Then, using an Xacto knife or a razor blade (or tiny scissors if you’re really talented), cut out the two diagonal lines at the top of the template and the long vertical line after the text.  We’ll be using these holes to hold the money.

Can I recommend you putting a cutting board or something other than your dining room table directly under the card?  Otherwise you may end up with lovely little scratches all over the only piece of furniture Pepper your dog hasn’t ruined…
 
Doeblerghini Bunch:  DIY Tip Card - Bill slits with razor blade

Once that’s done, cut out my backing template and use it to cut out backs for your tip cards.

Run a line of glue along the corners of the tip card.  Make sure there is no glue near the lines that you cut otherwise your tip will end up being glued to the card!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  DIY Tip Card - Where to Glue

Flip the card over and glue it onto the backing card and voila!  A super cute, personal tip card. 

Doeblerghini Bunch:  DIY Tip Card

All that’s left is to stick some cash in it and put it in an envelope to give to your vendors on wedding day!

Doeblerghini Bunch:  DIY Tip Card with Money

Don’t worry, my vendors will be getting more than $1!