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DominiqueAmber's Wedding Planning Blog

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February 20, 2012


One of the projects I knew I couldnâ€t wait to tackle was the wedding website. I knew I wanted one for a long time but it was one of those projects I couldnâ€t start early. I had experience with creating free websites using Weebly and then I created a website on Wedding Wire for my motherâ€s wedding. I loved that they were both free and beginner user friendly. I loved that wedding wire had great templates, a flash introduction and the capability to add music. But I was frustrated at what I was limited to do and move around with Wedding Wire. I decided to return to my old buddy, Weebly. Not long after I was ready to start, I fell in love. Oh, I still love Ra but when I stumbled across this website I knew mine had to grow up to be just like it.


She had a wonderfully, sweet parents page with messages from each of them


Amazing hand drawn maps…


And even a page dedicated to helping guests select their wedding wardrobe


It was so detailed and the best part was the way it made you excited for this event. I showed my mother and she too wanted to go to this wedding. Side note: Iâ€ve also jacked another wedding project I found on she posted on Weddingbee, which youâ€ll see soon. I worked for almost two weeks building this site, bit by bit with the goal of finishing it so I could send the save the dates out. (I had printed the site on the postcards and I didnâ€t want family and friends seeing my half done project!)  It took some time to figure out how get the header the right size and to add the background. I got a free one from the blog fairy, you just have to reference her page somewhere on your site. I was upset I couldnâ€t use the fonts I had already picked for my stationary, but I found a new font (UgkyQua) I really liked and downloaded it at dafont.com to use on my stationary.

I also found a dingbat font on dafont called poulpi â€“ .I know its a little octopus but I fell in love with  it because it looked like my favorite sea creature – a jellyfish.


Anyway, I used it to create buttons for links to my various pages.  slide16.jpg?w=640&h=529

 Getting the format down took quite a bit of time and I almost quit a few times. Once I had the pages and links setup I began adding the details to the pages. For the wedding in the Bahamas I offered guest the option of flying there or cruising there for their convenience. This way they could take off as much time as they wanted from work and they also did not need a passport if they were cruising. Once I got all the information I needed from the travel agent I added the travel details.



Screen Shot of the “Cruise There†page

Then I worked on adding “Our Storyâ€. This took quite a bit of time to type it all and add the pictures, I really wish I had started this sooner. Ra started to read it and decided it was way too long and lost interest. I thought about editing it but some female opinions I got were that they liked the details, so I left it be. I wanted to add Raâ€s version but he was too busy (or lazy) to type it so that has yet to happen. I also started the “Our Parents†page and I felt bad thereâ€s only pictures of my side because heâ€s too busy (or lazy) to take pictures of them. I asked my mother for the message like the other website but decided against it since it would be half done.


You might be wondering if my website is blah blah blah.weebly.com like all the free sites. Actually I have a .info just like the bride I admired. I contacted her because I was curious how she could do this using a weddingwire template and she was so kind to respond and help me out. She told me to go to godaddy.com and purchase a .info domain because it was much cheaper than a .com. I think I paid a whopping $2.11 for the year.  It took an afternoon of frustration and me humbling myself and calling customer service to ask for help for me to learn a little bit about masking. I say little bit because all I know is thatâ€s what itâ€s called. The customer service was amazing, the gentleman was so helpful and chatted with me about my wedding and in no time we were done. It took a few hours for it to work and by that evening we had a wedding website!


Screen shot of the homepage (one day I will figure out how to make the linen background go all the way to the bottom)

Reason number #27 of how I impressed Ra while wedding planning was when he saw the site. I have continued to bug him to help me out by writing his version of the proposal or how we met, or even give me pictures of his parents so mine donâ€t look lonely but thatâ€s asking a lot from such a busy man. Maybe one day. It does make me proud when people tell me they visited my site and I plan to continue to add more information (you know, when I have time). I watched a YouTube tutorial about adding music but I havenâ€t figured that out yet. I also canâ€t figure out how to get a visitors counter on there so today I added a guestbook so they will hopefully leave  a message they stopped by.

Do you think wedding websites are tacky and overdone? Does your groom help you with medial wedding tasks?

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I Have No Friends

February 22, 2012


Iâ€ve read about brides frustrations of not getting the RSVPS they were expecting and now Iâ€m joining the club.  Itâ€s been a few weeks since the save the dates were mailed out and Iâ€m not getting the warm, excited responses I was expecting. I know I was late getting them out with all the hiccups, but come on guys!


Image Source

I did recieve a phone call and a text from two couples who said theyâ€re thinking about it, but no sweet RSVP postcard. My mother received a couple phone calls from people wanting to know if I was getting married (because I guess the STD dosnâ€t make that clear) but no fun RSVP postcard. I keep getting tons of questions about how much it will cost and passports and cruise ships and I keep directing people to the website and the passport I spend so much time creating but no adorable RSVP postcards.

I spent so much time, energy, emotion, and money into making something really special and all I want is a little appreciation. I even put stamps on them, after my mom convinced me that I shouldnâ€t try to save the money since no one will have a postcard stamp lying around. I realize there are more important things going on in the world but it leaves me feeling like I have no friends. Ok, the pity party will come to an end now.

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I Don't Do Dishes

February 25, 2012


Itâ€s true that I donâ€t do dishes. If Iâ€m visiting in your home I will but at home I try to avoid using them if I know I have to clean them. Donâ€t get me wrong I LOVE dishes. I love them so much I refused to have one set, I just buy two or four of each of the patterns I like so I can have as many as I want. Iâ€m usually told Iâ€m weird for that. A boyfriend once told me he couldnâ€t wait for me to register for my wedding so I could get matching dishes. No one gets I want it like that for a reason! I love the collected look. I donâ€t have matching furniture in my home either, Iâ€m just not a matchy-matchy girl.  When I learned there was a trend in vintage wedding to have an assortment of dishes I went gaga!


Image via  Style Me Pretty


Image via Style Me Pretty


Image via Style Me Pretty


Image via Southern Living


Image via Southern Living

While collecting pictures I found women trying to sell their sets, $400 for 200 plates was crazy for a cheap girl like me. I turned to craiglist for a less expensive source. I was surprised to learn in this economy china still holds itâ€s value. They were selling sets that were not even complete for $200-$600. Thereâ€s no way that would fit into my budget. I decided to start collecting. Thrift store shopping is one of my favorite past times so I increased my visits to grow my collection. Most stores mark down their items on Monday, so I make my visits Monday and Tuesday. The Goodwill offers half off of a colored tag every week, so Monday is ideal to snatch up everything in that color. I set a rule to spend less than $1.00 for each dinner plate and dessert plate. Itâ€s very hard to keep to that because I want to just be done already but I kepe reminding myself I have 5 months.  Hereâ€s a peek at my collection so far.

dsc00983.jpg?w=640&h=480 18 dessert plates (Personal Image)


23 dinner plates (Personal Image)

 When my mother saw the plates stacked in my car (I donâ€t like to get plastic bags) she asked what was I doing. I tried explaining and she responded “How are we going to get them to Bahamas?†You might be wondering that as well. Iâ€m not that crazy, I had plans to use them for my Virginia Beach reception. For the Bahamas reception I had something different planned.

Did you want something for your wedding before you knew it was a trend?

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Stick a Fork in it! 

February 27, 2012


Although I had fallen in love with the idea of mis-matched china for my reception I had fallen in love with something else before than. I have Mrs. Poodle, who inspired me to put my touch on everything in the wedding, to thank for my first tableware love.

125397170844587229_eo3mkc4u_c.jpg?w=640 Theyâ€re natural and rustic, theyâ€re green, theyâ€re affordable. Theyâ€re perfect! / Image via wedding bee

After much mindless internet surfing research I learned Mrs. Hot Dog had stamped them and used them.


Image via wedding bee

So did Mrs. Earrings importe06.jpg?w=640

Image via weddingbee

 And a Style Me Pretty Bride

tk-20x600.jpg?w=640 Image via Style Me Pretty

 It took a lot of searching to find an affordable source, that was not out of stock. I came across Webstaurant Store where they sold for $5.49 for 100. Sweet.


Image via Webstaurant Store

 But they were out of stock. That was ok I didnâ€t need to buy them yet anyway. I entered my email to be notified when they came back in stock. In my head I had envisioned a beach picnic, elegant dinner and these utensils would work well with china or these lovely plates I found on the same site.


Image via Webstaurant Store  

 100 9″ plates were $62.50. (They also come in 7″ and 11″) These were not exactly wood though, they were  made from organic bamboo. They were environmentally friendly and biodegradable. The website described the plate as good to use for either casual or formal occasions. Perfect! I worried about how heavy they would be if I was packing them to go to The Bahamas but I figured if nothing else I could rent plates down there.  I became obsessed with eco friendly tableware and searched for bowls we could use for serving conch salad. I donâ€t think I mentioned it but we plan to have Raoulâ€s friend who was making the conch salad from the how we met story make conch salad at the wedding. Before we were engaged he was on board! I found a lot of â€green†options when searching for bowls. 125397170844651817_ffvgndxi_c.jpg?w=640

Party City had an option made from sugar cane fiber / Image via Party City


I found bowls made with tapioca fibers / Image via Green Party Goods


I also found bowls made with tree-free biodegradable bamboo fiber  / Image via EcoPro


I fell in love with these pressed bamboo leaf bowls / Image via Amazon

I think Iâ€ll probably order those bowls because of the size, look and price. I think at $39.00 for 100 theyâ€re a pretty good value. I got a nice surprise earlier this week. I received an email that said the woodware was available again. I hurried and ordered them because I feared at that price they would sell out quickly. They offer less expensive shipping if you have your package delivered to a business address so I used my motherâ€s address and waited patiently. She called this afternoon to tell me my package arrived and I canâ€t wait to go get it!

The question now is do I add to my never-ending DIY list and stamp them? And if I stamp them, what should I stamp them with? Itâ€s better in The Bahamas? A conch shell? RaLove? Have you ever eaten off biodegradable table ware? How did you like it?

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They like me, They really like me!

February 29, 2012


No sooner than I had complained about not getting any RSVP responses did I get a nice surprise in the mail.


Nope not this. I wish (Personal Photo)

It would be nice but this picture of my momâ€s best friend was taken because she came over while they were being assembled.  I did go home the other night to find three rsvp postcards in the mail. Yay! One from my favorite great aunt who has called my mother, grandmother and I about what the wedding arrangments will be every few days for the last few weeks. I knew she was coming! Another was from a family friend declining, but she wrote a sweet message.


(Personal Image)

The last had every detail filled out perfectly. It was from family friends who would like to come if the finances are in order. I loved the sweet message from them. Then a few days went by and nothing else came. After a while I recieved one more from family friends telling me they were coming and bring another couple along.


(Personal Image)

I called my mom because I wanted to know if that meant I had to invite them to the wedding as well. She said yes theyâ€ll take someone elseâ€s place so now there are two strangers on the guest list. (Do they get an OOT bag too?)


Then I recieved another that was colored in so pretty! (Personal Photo)


(Personal Photo)

After I made a phone call to my old best friend, I recieved herâ€s in the mail. Iâ€m glad they had fun with it. That was the goal. So far of the 100 that went out, 6 rsvp cards came back. Lesson learned, the interactive part was a bit much for people, half of them didnâ€t fill it all out and I think itâ€s because it was too confusing for the older crowd. If you attempt something like this, you may want to print two versions.

This morning I recieved a phone call from my mom telling me 5 people had booked their cruise for the wedding last week. They didnâ€t think to RSVP or call me? Iâ€m not complaining, theyâ€re coming. And this brings us to moment number two where I feel “this just got real†I knew I had people that loved me I just wanted an overwhelming flood of rsvps in my mailbox. I started calling other family and friends and got their maybeâ€s and compliments on my STDâ€s. It feels good to be loved.

Did you get fustrated waiting for RSVPâ€s?

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Originally Posted by shanloveslexi View Post

Great job putting everything together! I'm sure you'll get some of your cute RSVP cards soon enough! ;)


Thanks, I've kinda given up. I asked about them and most people said they were thinking about it, even though I put a maybe on there! I'm able to plan with a  guesstimate and if I could go back I would not do the mad lib there, I would put another one on the back because it was too confusing.

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I'll Drink To That!

March 2, 2012


Well Iâ€ve told you my plans for what weâ€ll eat with and on but not what weâ€ll drink out of yet. Finding green drinking glasses that fit my style is easy. Finding ones that travel is a bit more difficult. I had seen a lot of destination wedding brides put travel mugs in their out of town bags. I didnâ€t want a stadium plastic cup or a bubba keg so I thought what else would they reuse.


The insulated plastic cups with straws are very popular. But expensive / Source


Aluminum water bottles would be much better than offering plastic. But expensive / Source


Glass swing top bottles would be even better than aluminum, but I donâ€t want to wrap all that glass. Plus theyâ€re expensive. / Source

 I had to think what would be light to carry and stack so as not to take up precious luggage space. Red Solo Cups wouldnâ€t work because theyâ€re plastic and that bright red color will seriously clash with my pastel color scheme. But paper cups could work. Because theyâ€re disposable itâ€s not very green but what if I could find a biodegradable option. Hmmmm…


I found these biodegradable plastic alternative cups made from corn ($15.50 for 100) Source


I fell in love with these letter cups. How cool would it be to have the first letter of your name? But then I wouldnâ€t have enough letters for that. / Source


  Because Iâ€ve been using a lot of kraft paper in my stationary I thought that would be the perfect look, and we could use sharpies to mark them. / Source

I think thatâ€s my best option unless we end up at a restaurant and have the glassware provided. Iâ€m just on the hunt for some cups I can buy, so far Iâ€m only finding chinese sources with 1000 cup minimums. Now I had the chance to upgrade the glassware for my Virginia reception since it will be paired with the vintage china. I thought about renting real glasses.


It would be such fun to drink sweet tea and lemonade from these outside / Source


No matter what we drink out of it has to have this amazing fruit and  veggie water inside! /Source

 Of course, I also thought about the ever popular Mason Jars





I hated this look at first because it felt “My Big Redneck Wedding†but then it grew on me. I started seeing it more and more and I realized I would have what everyone else has. Moving on.


Mason Jars mugs havenâ€t been overdone yet / Source


At $12.99 for 12 theyâ€re not too bad but not exactly my style / Source


Then I found this image of a plastic milk bottle. I loved that look but really didnâ€t want plastic. /Source

  All the glass milk bottle images I found had the adorable paper straws I loved.125397170844652427_vps6wmyj_c.jpg?w=640


il_570xn_271461045.jpg?w=640 Source



Inspiration pictures were plentiful but an affordable source to buy them was a bit harder. I was looking for favor jars and came across this Martha Stewart image on Speciality Bottleâ€s website one day. 125397170844652354_6dkdh19b_c.jpg?w=640

Theyâ€re actually sauce bottles / Source

Milk bottles would be cute, unique, and green. As long as I reused the bottles or bought them used. I searched and searched online and came up empty. Then one day on Craigslist I found this.


$80 for 30 and they were real vintage / 

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Dressy Drinks

March 3, 2012


So Iâ€ve gotten really excited about collecting the Starbucks Frappuccino bottles for drinking glasses. (I decided to use them to make coffee ice cream) Turns out many in the DIY world love them too.


I could etch them / Source


I would love to sugar the rims / Source

Then I started thinking about what other glass bottles I could re-use.  (Since Iâ€m being green and cheap) Then I found this image.


I could use beer bottles! I know lots of people who drink beer, I just have to ask them to save their trash for me. If youâ€ve been watching youâ€ll see all of the images of drinks have one thing in common. southern-weddings-striped-paper-straws.j

Paper Striped Straws / Source

I couldnâ€t wait to dress up the drinks with these! Then my DIY folder started growing.  


Iâ€m always looking for ways to incorporate kraft paper / Source


Mrs. Sweet Cream makes it look so easy / Source


I donâ€t think you can have enough hearts at a wedding / Source

All my favorite images had grey and white straws and they were available for a great price. I ordered the 144 from Kikkerland through Amazon. I was on the hunt for pretty peach ribbon to dress them up. Then I found these:


Sometimes you need to just stop looking. Theyâ€re $16 for 100 / Source

The color is perfect. I think Iâ€m going to order them anyway and use straws at both the Nassau and Virginia Beach receptions. I think a navy ribbon with be so striking. I also found peach stripes but I had to stop myself when I realized I would need extra long straws for the beer bottles. So far Iâ€ve only found gray but Iâ€m still on the hunt.


So pretty!/Source

 In addition to ribbons I also fell for drink stirrers.

1000x500px-ll-69757cfd_flags4b.jpg?w=376 I love that they bring in the beachy elements/ Source


So easy to do and I love the nautical look/ Source

 You know Iâ€m crazy about hearts, plus theyâ€re sparkly!/ Source

This is one of those projects that is totally unnecessary but I want it because I saw it. I do think it would add a nice touch and it would make me smile every time I looked at them. Since Iâ€m trying to use quotes and scriptures in every place I can I thought it would be cute on a drink flag. I saw a woman use address labels to make monogram flags and had a great idea to use vista print free labels. I designed two and ordered them with my save the date stuff. I had some wooden sticks left over from a project with the kids and I couldnâ€t wait to try them out.

diysupplies.jpg?w=640&h=480 (Personal Photo)


Through trial and error I learned it was best to line up the edges first (Personal Photo)


Then slide the stick in the middle and press it together (Personal Photo)

This project is practically free and so easy since no adhesive is involved!


I tried moving the flag down to see if I liked it, I didnâ€t. (Personal Photo)


  (Personal Photo)

Since Iâ€m trying to incorporate a lot of keys I used that for one and a conch for the other. I was so worried if the quote would fit on one side but it worked out wonderfully. I made a bunch before I realized they would be too short for any cup I planned to use. I ordered taller wood stir sticks from the WEBstaurant Store when I ordered the utensils and canâ€t wait to give them a try. Now I just have to get the straws done and my drinks will be dressed and ready for a night out!


(Personal Photo)

Did you add any unneccessary DIY projects to your list because you saw them online?

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Be Our Guest

March 6, 2012


10 Points if you get the Disney reference!


The guests at your wedding are very important because they help make the memories. Youâ€ll always want to remember who was there to witness and celebrate your marriage. When the memories start to fade itâ€s nice to be able to pull out the guest book and remind yourself of who was there to support you that day. Iâ€ve always loved the idea of a guest book and I even started a guest book of people what have visited my house. One of the childhood wedding plans I had early on was more than just a list of cursive names in a book that was hard to read. I didnâ€t know what though. Iâ€m not sure when it became popular but as soon as I learned about a wish jar I knew I wanted one.


Image via Martha Stewart (This also happens to be from a wedding in Nassau)

I realize its just like a heartfelt but I loved the idea of collecting notes from all the guests to read over and over. Plus you know I love interactive activities at weddings! This wish jar grew into a wish tree and I loved that idea, but it didnâ€t fit well enough on the beach for me.


Image via Boho Weddings and Events

I tried to recreate it using driftwood and tucking notes into the holes but finding the right piece of wood caused me to give up. (Ra and I searched for driftwood the day he proposed and came up with nothing) Searching for trees brought me to this true love.


I loved it! It was green (kinda), It was interactive and would look so pretty hanging on my wall. I started to think Iâ€d have to have it in addition to something else because I really wanted my messages! Since I had always planned to use wood stationary so I searched for a wood guest book.


Image via Etsy

But I thought this would leave me with a list of names again. I tried searching Etsy for wood books that I could personalize so I could have inner pages like this:


 Image via Guestbook Store


Image via Weddingbee DIY

I had a hard time finding what I wanted for a price I wanted. I loved all the thought provoking questions and I thought it would be neat to have a book where they wrote marriage advice for me and a book of marriage advice for Ra. I struggled to find an affordable choice and I started to research binding my own book. Then I discovered wedding blogs I found lots of ideas to fall in love with.

Iâ€d love to have this but I couldnâ€t take it on the plane to Bahamas and it would leave me with short messages.


Image via Creating Really Awesome Free Things

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