Saturday, November 29, 2008

Welcome Bags

You know what I'm talking about... The cute little bags that you couldn't wait to prepare for your guests to welcome them to your wedding weekend. You carefully scoured the Internet for hours looking for the right bags, labels and ribbon. You made lists of the fun contents to buy in bulk and you contacted the Chamber of Commerce in your wedding location for bundles of tourist brochures. And then all of that carefully collected stuff sat in a box and waited..

Until it was the weekend before the wedding and then you are all like "! we have to put together more than 70 bags and individually wrap all of this bulk food so we can use the super-cute monogram labels that I ordered. and I hope I bought enough yellow ribbon to tie around the bags with the chocolate chip cookies. and wasn't I going to write a nice welcome letter to all the guests? oh no!!"

At least that's how the welcome bag project went down in the Bliss household. We pulled it together though and after a few late nights of serious teamwork, here are the results.

Brown kraft bags were bought in packs of 12 at Michaels. Labels are from MyWeddingLabels and double-faced satin ribbon was bought in bulk from Papermart.

For yummy goodies, we bought Goldfish, pretzels and peanuts all in bulk at Costco. We also bought chocolate chip cookies there (these were assembled the day before the wedding to make sure they were fresh and not melted). I had ordered a ton of food-safe cello bags like these and smaller, monogrammed labels from MyWeddingLabels.

I TOTALLY underestimated how long it would take us to get all those goodies individually packaged into the cello bags. This is where Mr. Bliss, my helpful engineer, came to the rescue.

The magic welcome bag funnel, made out of a cleaned milk jug.

Mr. Bliss in action.

The assembly line.

A few hours later!

The finished product!

The welcome bags included: peanuts, goldfish, pretzels, chocolate chip cookies (not pictured), little packets of Tylenol, a local tourist map and area brochures and a welcome letter to our guests. I was able to refashion the wonderful map that Laura Hooper made for our save-the-date as the cover of the welcome letter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Charming Bridesmaids Gifts

I've told you all about my wonderful girlfriends and how they totally spoiled me during our engagement. From the moment when I asked them to be bridesmaids, I was racking my brain for the perfect gift to thank them.

I decided to build the girls charm bracelets. I wanted the gift to be something that they would keep and actually wear and something with sentimental value. Once I bought the base of the bracelets, I set to work to find the perfect charms for each girl. Each bridesmaid received a silver Adirondack chair to signify the day that they stood by me in Lake Placid as I married Mr. Bliss. Others received mementos from trips we had taken together (a London phone booth, the Eiffel Tower) and other charms that told the story of our friendship and explained the traits that I love about them.

I had so much fun thinking about charms for each girl and then scouting different online charm stores to find them.

Here is a peek at my maid-of-honor's completed bracelet:

The evening before the rehearsal dinner, I stayed up (quite) late writing each girl a letter. In it, I told them how happy I was that they were standing beside me on the day of my wedding. I explained the significance of each charm on their bracelet and also expressed my hope and promise that I would continue to fill their bracelet with charms during the big moments of their lives.

The girls love the bracelets and I am already looking forward to giving them more charms.

If you look at Jenn on the far right of this photo you can see that she was wearing her charm bracelet in the salon the morning of the wedding.

Here are some tips if you decide to make charm bracelets for your bridesmaids:

1. Start early! It can take quite a while to find particular charms and you don't want to be dealing with ordering 30+ charms a few weeks before your wedding.

2. Pay attention to the size of the charms when you order them. I ordered a few that were much larger/smaller than anticipated.

3. Write your girls a letter so they know your heartfelt intent behind each charm.

4. Make yourself a bracelet at the same time! You will want one!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Soundtrack of a Wedding Day

Some of the most difficult wedding decisions for us were around music. It seems so simple at first, but then you realize that you are planning the soundtrack for a very important, once-in-a-lifetime day and every song seems so important.

Here's what ended up on our soundtrack (click to listen)..

I. Going to the Chapel
Okay, this actually wasn't on the official soundtrack, but my bridesmaids did break out in spontaneous song with this at the hair salon the morning of the wedding.

II. Trumpet Tune and Air
This played during the bridesmaid and flower girl processional. I actually chose this song on the advice of our violinist.

III. Canon in D Major
I always knew that I wanted to walk down the aisle with my dad to this song.. At the advice of our musicians and our officiant, we let the song play for about a half a minute before we proceeded. You really have to listen for a full two minutes to appreciate how beautiful Canon in D is. I've always loved it and am grateful to have such wonderful memories to associate with it now.

IV. Wouldn't It Be Nice
You have to imagine an instrumental version of this with strings and an organ. It was perfectly upbeat and fun for our processional down the aisle after being declared husband and wife.

V. Beautiful Day
This song was played at the reception when the bridal party and the newlyweds were announced. To be honest, I completely forgot that we were supposed to choose an introduction song and made the decision the morning of the wedding. Given that it was an absolutely beautiful day, and the fact that Mr. Bliss has been known to surprise me with U2 tickets, it was a great choice.

VI. The Way I Am
We chose this song for our first dance shortly after we became engaged, giving us quite a few months to dance around the living room to it with Otis. It was the perfect blend of sweet and honest and fun for our first dance together.

VII. Daughter
I searched and searched for months for a father/daughter dance song. I'm an only child with a close relationship with my Dad - I knew he was looking forward to this dance. I wanted the song to be special, but I also didn't want it to be so over-the-top sappy (like some father/daughter songs tend to be). I found "Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright and absolutely loved it. So many guests of the wedding commented on the song after our dance, asking about it and saying how much they liked it.

VIII. Have I Told You Lately
Mr. Bliss chose this one for his dance with his Mom. He also didn't want a totally traditional song and this one fit the bill perfectly.

IX. Come on Eileen
This was the last song of the night. We knew we wanted the night to end with a packed dance floor and we definitely got that (as well as a sing-a-long)!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Sneak Peak at Some Sweet Details

Hi blog friends,

I thought you would enjoy these inspiration boards made by our fantastic photographer, showcasing some of the details of the big day.

More details on the details (and some how-tos) are on their way!

m(r)s. bliss

Program designer: That's Inviting!
Florist: Trillium in Tupper Lake, NY
Cake: Lake Flour Bakery in Saranac Lake, NY
Save-the-dates: Crane & Co. and Laura Hooper