Tuesday, 31 May 2011

More reception wonderland wonderful-ness!

Hi guys,
Whilst mum has been working on creating all of our wonderful flowers (both for the church and the reception)and the confetti cones, I have been busy doing a little crafting of my own. Well, I say crafting, but it's mostly printing, designing, and assembling stuff to be honest. Everything has a wonderlandy theme of course:

To keep with the vintage/victorian theme (we're doing original Alice in Wonderland as opposed to the Disney film) we scoured car boot sales for different gold frames: each table will have a different one (this is just a selection). I then printed out the menus with the mad hatter logo on the top, and voila!

Table Names
Our tables are named: Alice, Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Chesire Cat, Jabberwocky, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee. I tried doing the table name cards with pictures but it looked too twee and cartoony, so instead they are the names surrounded by what I hope looks like a wonderlandy forest, printed in monochrome.

Drink Me Bottles
Our favours on the tables are vintage cups and saucers with a sugared mouse sat on the rim. However I loved the 'drink me' bottles idea, and wanted to do that too! So we bought the bottles, filled them with blueberry vodka, and added the drink me tags. I then put them in this big gorgeous basket, and one will be handed to each guest as they arrive: that way they have to drink the potion to shrink and get through the door (like in the book!)

Love, Tor xx

Sunday, 29 May 2011

You're very welcome (bags!)

Hi guys,
See, I promised you lots of posts in quick succession!

The focus of the wedding planning and all the DIY and ideas has been on little touches: making sure people have as nice a time as possible, and the easiest way to do this is to focus on the small details i'm sure other people don't remember: either that, or this is just a sign of how anal I am! What I want though is to give people little 'oh what a nice touch' surprises throughout the whole event, starting before the wedding even begins!

Anyway, one of the things I wanted to do is something I read about in on an American blog that apparently happens a lot in weddings in the States: welcome bags for the guests that are staying in our hotel. So here they are:
I bought the cotton bags online, then using a cardboard stencil that i'd made myself and some red fabric paint I added the heart. I then 'Aliced' it up using a pack of luggage tags and my trusty Alice template. And here's what's inside:
A Norwich postcard (which has a welcome note from us on the back), Norwich map, Norwich events guide (So they can get about and enjoy the rest of their weekend) bottle of water and some mints (always handy) tea bag and chocolate rabbit (Alice themed) and a scented candle in a glass jar. All stuff that will (hopefully) make a couple of nights in a new town even more pleasant!

Love, Tor xx

Church flowers - tick!

Hi guys,
Sorry it's been a long time since my last post! We've been so busy working on the wedding that I just haven't had time to write about it too! But things have been happening at an amazing pace, and I can't believe how much we've done (having said that, I can't believe how much I have left to do either!) But now i've taken a breather and have the time to update about all our exciting progress: prepare for several posts full of pictures!

First up, the incredible silk flowers for the church:

My talented mum made these too, and they match the long and low she made for the top table at the reception perfectly. I love the lanterns with the cascading vines, which we're going to put on tall shepherd crooks at either side of the aisle. I also love the pew ends, which are the perfect mix of blousy and traditional and thoroughly modern. The wreath is going to go on the church door for a classy traditional feel, and we are thinking of having additional lanterns (with candles inside) leading up the church path.
As well as making all the flowers, mum has also made the confetti cones, so that people can throw stuff at us when we leave the church. The actual cones are made of printed pages from the original Alice in Wonderland book: it's attention to detail like this that other people probably won't notice, but I go totally geeky for! I love these!

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 25 March 2011

Top Table Flowers: Done (with added wow!)

Hi guys,
As you may or may not know, I suffer horribly with hayfever. It's a curse, especially when you love fresh flowers as much as I do. But I knew from the start that no matter how much I love flowers, I wasn't going to ruin my day with streaming eyes and a puffy face: whats the point of a wedding you can't enjoy? Which meant no fresh flowers in my immediate vicinity. So the bridesmaids bouquets are real flowers. Mine is brooches. The reception tables will have real flowers. The top table will have....THIS:
Did you all "WOW" as much as I did when I saw these pics? And then double check, because you couldn't quite believe these were silk flowers, not real ones? My super crafty mum made this using a picture I had sent her on a real flower long and low that I loved. Only this one looks better. The colours are perfect, so countryside, but eyecatching and vibrant at the same time. And this one has the added bonus of containing a hidden tea set! Can you see the cups and saucers and teapots peaking out? I'm going to call that a massive Alice in Wonderland win!
Mum also made these teacups full of flowers, which are going to sit on the patio tables on the lawn of the garden. Oh the irony and topsy turviness of having real flowers inside and silk ones outside. I love them!

My mum is a crafting genius, and she also works surprisingly fast: i'm going to have to give her another list of craft project ideas to get working on!

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 18 March 2011

Quick update: Jewels, glorious jewels!

Sorry for the long gap between posts! I know its hard to believe sometimes, but life outside the wedding carries on, and sometimes the real world gets in the way. Having said that, there are now just 3 months and 27 days until the wedding! I cannot believe how quickly time has flown by!

I haven't been resting on my laurels.
-Operation bunting is nearly complete: i'm hoping that by this time next week I will be able to show you completed pictures.
-Mum has finished my long and low, my flower girl wand, outdoor table centre pieces, and some awesome topiary trees complete with teapot accessories. She's now working on the confetti cones. Thank god for creative mums!
-65 mini bottles with corks and drink me tags are now sitting in wedding HQ, waiting to be filled with blueberry vodka.
-We've chosen the style and colours for the guys suits. They are all coming to town in a fortnight to get measured up and place the final order.
-We went home to my parents for the weekend and achieved loads. My mum saw me all dressed up in my almost completed outfit (and cried!), I had my hair trial, I procurred more teapots (we only need 4 more) and I got my wedding jewellery from the local antiques village. It matches my brooch bouquet perfectly. Behold the bling:
The pendant is on my mum's gold rope chain (my something borrowed) As you can see, it's blue on one side and peach on the other: both of my accent colours! The earrings are currently clip on, but my very talented sister is going to convert them. And the bracelet? Well i'm a magpie, how could I resist all those shiny colours!?

This weekend I will be attempting to make an oversized 3D papier mache tea cup prop. I have no idea if this will work or not, but I will post pictures either way. Wish me luck!!

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 25 February 2011

DIY: This way, That way, Which way?

Decorating the venue is the main focus of our efforts at the minute: we want the whole venue to have a massive visual impact on our guests, and for the wonderland theme to really shine through straight away. Because prop hire is so expensive, we've been looking at DIY ways we can achieve this, and my mum came up with the genius idea of making the classic Alice in Wonderland this way/that way signs. Using a little paint and a sheet of my beloved MDF, this is what i've come up with so far:
This sheet full of signs will make its way to chez mama and papa, where each will be cut out and secured to a large wooden post. I'm going to put it in the venue atrium, so that it will be one of the first things people see when they arrive!

Other prop ideas i'm working on is a white rabbit cut out (complete with pocket watch) and i'm really love an oversized teacup or teapot, but i'm still working out the best way to achieve it. Progress is good though, and the invites go out next week: exciting!!
Love, Tor x

Thursday, 17 February 2011

The final invite: Can I get a whoop whoop?!

Hi guys,
Ok so the heading is a little over-excitable, but I can finally show you how the final invite will look when I send them out, and i'm just so glad to have this project done. It was considerably more time consuming, and more expensive than I originally expected. They're all finished, but I just have half of the envelope lining left to do. I cannot wait to send them out and get people's reactions to them! If they didn't know the theme before they definitely will when these come through the letter box:
I also need to address all the envelopes (including the rsvp ones) buy a multitude of stamps, and fill in the guests names on the response card. This sounds like a small task, but I am guesstimating that means there is still a couple of hours work to do.

Still, fashion week starts tomorrow, and to give myself peace of mind to concerntrate on that properly, i'm calling this job finished! We're planning on sending them out in a fortnight.

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 14 February 2011

Invitations done: Well, almost!!

Hi guys,
Saturday saw the day I had been waiting for for a long time: my big invitation making production line/workshop/slave drive (Delete as you see appropriate!) Myself, both of my sisters (Amie and Lucy) and Lucy's new baby Lily all gathered and got down to work. It was a day filled with cutting sticking, and more tea staining than i've ever seen before in my life! Here is the day in pictures:
Obviously I wanted them to look very Alicey. But I also wanted them to have a vintage Victorian feel: like our guests had been invited to the original tea party over 100 years ago, but the invite got lost in the post, and this is how it looks now. All that's left to do is print and insert the main invite detail sheet and line the envelopes (I'm going to line them with vintage style maps to wonderland). Then these beauties are ready to post, way ahead of schedule. I think they look great!

Love, Tor xx

Monday, 7 February 2011

Homemade bunting; The work begins!

The homemade bunting mega-mission has finally begun! This weekend I made approx 20 flags. I toyed with just cutting them and hanging them single-sidedly but decided for quality and longevity to double them up and stitch all around. I then turned them inside out and ironed them flat.

It's time consuming, but it will definitely be worth it in the end. I chose 4 different fabrics: 2 in pink to match the flowers, and 2 in blue to match the bridesmaids dresses and chair ribbons. I'm hoping to produce about 40 meters (gulp) which will be enough to line the room we are getting married in, and the bar.

And here's how it look stitched on to white satin ribbon (Which is leftover ribbon from the stuff I used to wrap my brooch bouquet):
I plan on stitching at least 2 new flags every night after work. My deadline to finish this is the end of the month. Fingers crossed!

Love, Tor xx

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Yay! More decisions made!

Hi guys,
This weekend Mike and I headed to Norwich to meet the rest of our potential vendors and make some crucial wedding decisions. The meetings all went so smoothly, and i'm delighted to say that aside from Mike's suit hire and my hairdresser, all our external vendors are booked. Yipppeeee!!

Here are the chair covers and ribbon colours we're chosen. (These are exactly the same ones we will have but that isn't our venue in the background:
The ribbons are the exact same colour as the bridesmaids dresses. Which absolutely made my day, because other vendors have found the colour so hard to match!

Here is the car I will be arriving to the church in with my daddy, and leaving in as a married woman (eek!):
It's a 1952 Triumph Renown Limousine. We will be having silver ribbons. There are only 7 of this car left in the world, and this one was originally built for the editor of the Daily Mail. Although its about a decade older than I was looking for, I fell in love with this car, and its backstory. It also has a big back seat which is important, as i'm wearing a big dress!

After being let down by our original florist, we met another one on Saturday who has agreed to do our wedding on what is, surprisingly, pretty short notice! Here are our inspiration pictures for our floral tabel centrepieces:
We're going for vintage blush pink. The bridesmaids bouquets, the buttonholes and the corsages for the mums will all be in the same colours.

We also met a harpist who played Coldplay, The Beatles, Take That and even Stevie Wonder for us on her harp; we wanted the traditional instrument to play very contempory music to add to the topsy turvy wonderland feel of the event. She's even going to learn some of the Rolling Stones hits, because they're my favourite band. Awesome!!

And finally, before we came home on Sunday afternoon, we did our menu tasting. Oh my god it was amazing!!! So hard to choose, but choose we have. I'm waiting for pictures of the food from the venue. As soon as they arrive i'll post them and leave you all to drool....

All in all, an amazing weekend!
Love, Tor xx

Monday, 24 January 2011

Thank you cards - done!

Yesterday afternoon Mike and I got a production line started, and sat down to finish our thank you cards - we weren't going anywhere until they were done, and done they finally are!

We decided to go for something simple for the Thank you cards - a lot of hard work and man hours are going to go into the invitations, and we figured the most important part of a thank you card is the heartfelt message that goes inside anyway. Nonetheless, although they're simple, I think they're turned out pretty nicely.

Here is the evidence:
Love, Tor xx

Monday, 17 January 2011

This is what 62 tea cups look like....

If you ever wanted to see what 62 tea cups look like all in a row then this is it!

We're inviting exactly 62 people to the wedding, so i've ticked operation "find vintage tea cups" off my to-do list. I am going to buy another 4-5 if I see them though: that way i'll have spares just in case some get broken!

Other successful missions we've achieved this month are:
-We've booked a DJ, and started putting together our playlist.
-We've bought our groomsmen gifts and i've packaged them up (with personalised tags)
-I've found the car I want (we're going to view and hopefully book it in a fortnight)
-The table place cards are finished
-We have appointments with a florist and chair cover company
-I bought the last bits I needed for my make up bag
-We have new luggage for our honeymoon (Thank you Debenhams sale!)

Love, Tor x

Sunday, 16 January 2011

The brooch bouquet: The tutorial

You will need:
Approx 75 brooches (or rings, earrings or anything else you can wire the back of)
Approx 150 Pipe cleaners (2 per brooch)
Approx 75 lengths of gardening wire
Florists tape (I used a roll and a half)
Masking tape
Wide ribbon/Trim to finish (I used white but you can choose any colour you want!)

1. Wire the flowers
I'm sure there are loads of different ways of making a brooch bouquet, but this is how I did it! I treated each individual brooch like a separate flower (see above). I made the flowers by taking the wire and (using the pliers) wrapping it around the clasp of the brooch so that it was pretty secure and the length of the wire hung down like a stem. This didn't give enough security and often wasn't tight enough though, so I then wrapped a pipe cleaner around each side of the clasp and then twisted these around the length of the wire, making the stem thicker and more secure. Then just to make the flowers look pretty (and more like flowers!) in case you could see any of the stem once i'd constructed the bouquet, I took the florist tape and used it to completed cover the stem, like to you see above.

Doing this for each of your brooches is a pretty lengthy process and it took me up to 10 minutes to do each one, depending on how fiddly the clasp is. My tip to make this less grueling is to do each "flower" as you buy the brooches, so you don't have to sit down and do 75 all at once.

2. Assemble the bouquet
Once you have your 75 flowers constructed, its time to start putting the bouquet together. This is tricky, especially if you want a traditional rounded shape like I did, so it's best to take it slow to get it right. I started by laying out all the brooches and seeing which ones would fit together nicely. Then I started putting them in little clusters of 3 to 4 brooches to see how they would look. Once I had my little cluster looking good, I twisted the wires of those 3/4 brooches around each other, so that they were secure in the position I wanted them to be, without using any glue. I started with the first cluster I wanted at the top centre of the bouquet and worked down and round.

If anything needed repositioning, or the bouquet was starting to fall flat I turned it upside down and started 'fluffing' it up and pushing the brooches back into the positions I wanted to be in: it's easier that way. What I ended up with was a nice looking bouquet, but with an ugly looking twisted stem.

Depending on the length of wire you use, you might have to shorten your bouquet at this stage I did!) We just used wire cutters to trim though each flower (I got Mike to help with this, as it needed a stronger arm than mine!)

Now is the time for the masking tape! To cover your ugly stem, and give you an even surface for your ribbons, wrap masking tape around the stem as tightly as you can, making the stem as compact and even as possible.

3. Trim your bouquet
This was the bit I found hardest, and i'm not going to give a full tutorial on this, because if you google 'wrap bridal bouquet' you'll find lots of much better video tutorials to follow: that's what I did!! The lace trim around the flowers (which of course you don't have to have but I liked as it added to the vintage feel) was a case of trial and error. I pushed my lace under the flowers and into the position around the bouquet that I wanted. Then using a needle and thick white cotton I stitched it into place: I used the brooches as anchors for this (because I had no other fabric to stitch to!!) and stitched around them and their stems. It seems to have worked well and feels pretty secure.

Et voila! The brooch bouquet is complete!

Sorry I didn't take more photos during the construction process, but I hope that makes sense! Good luck making your own brooch masterpieces!

Love, Tor xxx

NOTE: I'm sure if you didn't mind ruining the brooches there would be a much easier way of doing this, using hot glue. This method just didn't work for me, because a lot of the brooches have sentimental value, and I didn't want to damage them.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

My brooch bouquet is finally finished!!

Hi guys,
After months spent gathering brooches, wiring them into individual flowers and arranging them into a bouquet shape (not easy when you're working with metal and wire) my brooch bouquet is finally finished. Woohooo!!!!
I love it, and really don't think it could've turned out any better. It's slightly smaller than I had originally had in mind, but it's soo heavy that I decided it was time to stop, before I couldn't pick it up any more!

My original thought was that I would wrap it in blue ribbon: the same colour as the bridesmaids dresses, but I decided that with the coloured aspects in my own outfit it might clash, so I went for the white of my dress instead. I think that was a good decision, and I love the way the vintage lace and pearl trim looks against the vintage brooches.

I've taken photos throughout the process of putting this together, so i'll definitely post a tutorial soon, if you're looking to make one of these yourself.

Love, Tor xx