Wednesday, November 23, 2011

musician's booked

i am so very excited about our musicians!

 we saw/heard them play last May when we went to visit Cape May and we chanced upon a wedding by the beach, they were the musicians for that wedding....

we already paid the deposit and they will be playing for our civil wedding during the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception....... so why am i excited about them? one, they're a violin and guitar tandem...i love violin and i play guitar.... two, because they know the songs i want for the wedding  (Spring by Vivaldi and Cannon in D by Pachelbel)! well, actually, there's no surprise there, those two are typical wedding songs.

anyway, here are our choice of songs so far.

Cannon in D by Pachelbel - this is the song i made sure they can play before booking them....we'll have this for the wedding entourage procession
Minuet by Bach
Bridal March Chorus- (ofcourse) for the bride

When God made you - wishful thinking
I will be here - wishful thinking

Wedding March
Trumpet Voluntary by Clarke

cocktail hour and reception:
Cuando Caliente el Sol
Rondo by Beethoven
Minuet 1 by Bach
Minuet 3 by Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach
Spring by Vivaldi
Magic is the Moonlight
You Belong to my art
Sabor a Mi

here's hoping they could learn or already know these songs:
Only Time by Enya
I will be here by Steven Curtis Chapman
Somewhere in time
any Carpenters love songs
Handel's La Rejouissance

if you want to hear what those songs are you can find it on my youtube Wedding Playlist:

Yet another DIY WYB

As much as I want to send out the same message in a bottle necklace to everyone who we want to be in our wedding party, culture and differences in chromosomes told me I can't.

Actually it was the H2b who pointed that out to me. He said that for the female entourage, American or not, would surely love receiving our message in a bottle necklace WYBs. The male species, on the other hand, probably won't. Atleast for the American men. So I had to give out two different WYBs.

This is easy to do too.

What you need:

1. black cardstock
2. white cardstock
3. small black buttons
4. glue
5. ribbon (i used tiffany blue)
6. sand
7. tiny shells


1. Cut black cardstock crosswise and fold in half.
2. "Dog ear" the top layer . Make sure the corner of the dog ear's won't go past the edge of the black cardstock. Lest it would be difficult to make an envelope to hold that card.

3. Practice printing the wordings. There should be enough space on top for the pseudo (extra long) half bow tie. In my experience one card stock is good for only one message.
4. Once your done practice-printing and you printed the messages for all your male ento into the white card stock it's time to cut.
5. The white cardstock should be, atleast, 1/8 inch smaller than the black cardstock on all sides.
6. Glue the white cardstock in place.
7. And the buttons.

8. Tie a knot on the ribbon of your choice.
9. Glue the inside part of the knot
10. Cut the ribbon to desired length. You can experiment on the length of the ribbon but it's supposed to mimic half the bow tie.
11. For the envelope just fold the white cardstock in half. It's up to you if you want to do it length-wise or cross-wise.
12. Before you cut the white cardstock put your finished WYB card inside so you would know how much you need to cut including the space you need for gluing the envelope together.

12. Since I have a beach theme I put sand on my envelope. I just put glue on the white cardstock and poured the sand in.
13. Then I glued shells at one side of the sand.

That's it! You're done!

By the way, make sure you wrap the card with bubble wrap before putting it in a bubble wrap envelope. Yes, better safe than sorry.
And here is our finished product.

And here are some other variations:

Monday, November 7, 2011

DIY Message in a Bottle necklace WYB

WYB means W-ill Y-ou B-e. I don't know who invented that concept but I sure do like that idea. I personally think it's more thoughtful than to just tell your wedding party verbally.

I have to do two sets of WYBs. One for our Philippines' church wedding and another one for the U.S. civil beach wedding. Since both of the weddings have different themes I decided to make two separate designs.

The picture below are some of the mock-ups I did but decided against it and went totally in different direction. There's one of those mock-ups though that I am planning to use.

I am very excited to share how our WYBs look like but I wanted my entourage to see them first so I waited until all my female entourage received theirs. Oh, and yes, they all said yes!

So first I'll walk you through the materials you would need. Read on:

1. sand (bought mine from Jo-ann's fabric )
2. shells - medium (bought it from walmart)
3. shells - tiny (bought it from micahel's )
4. vial bottles with cork with silver screw eyes...60mm tall by 12mm wide, with a 7mm opening (bought it from an etsy seller)
5. silver chains (a.c. moore )
6. rafia (jo-ann's fabric)
7. wooden boxes (bought for $1 each at michael's )
8. vellum paper (i used 2 colors, dirty ivory for female ento & light blue for the male ento)
9. silver ribbons (for tying up the scroll)
10. tiny trinkets of your choice (i used starfish for the female ento and fishes for the male)

Looking at my materials I'm sure you know already what I'm up to, lol and you might have already visualized the steps but I'll enumerate the steps anyway.

0. Get some old newspaper and cover your work area with it. Believe me you'll need it.It will make cleaning stray sand easier.
1. Make a fake funnel. See that white inverted triangle in that photo above? That's just a small piece of bond paper that i rolled and just made sure the end fits the mouth of the vial glass.
2. Get a used plastic spoon and start pouring the sand in. I suggest you just fill 1/8 of the glass so you'll have room for the tiny shells and your scroll.
3. Drop in 2-3 tiny shells. I try to combine the neutral colored shells with some colorful ones.
4. Put the cork in and screw in the loop screw eyes. Make sure its centered before you completely screw it in. And be careful, you dont want to break the delicate cork.
5. Insert the chain through the loop screw eyes.

Easy right? So we're done with the first step. Next is the message and packaging.

male ento WYB..i used cream for the female ento
  1. Do some mock printing for the scrolls. Try different font sizes and try different width sizes. You want to make sure the scrolls aren't too long that you won't be able to put the cork in. It's important that you do this first so you won't waste those expensive vellum paper.

2. Once you're done putting fake scrolls in your bottle necklace it's time to print the real ones!

3. Measure, measure, measure!  then cut. Again, we don't want to waste the vellum paper. What I do is I draw a line and made sure it's leveled. You want the scroll to be the same width on both sides.

4. Roll the scroll. Since we did Step #1 you probably know now how to roll the paper really thin so it would fit in your vial.

5. Put some tiny glue in the middle of the scroll. This is so it won't start unrolling while you put the silver ribbon on it. Dont put too much glue that it would be hard to remove. i use the tip of my pencil when I add the glue.

6. Put a dab of glue to where you'll be placing the ribbon (middle) then start looping the ribbon in (I just loop the ribbon twice) and knot it twice. You need to glue the ribbon before you loop it so it would be easy to squeeze in the scroll with the ribbon inside the vial without the scroll falling off from the ribbon. Again, don't put too much glue. Cut the ribbon to desired length but make sure it's long enough that you could tie in your trinkets.

7. Put the scroll inside the bottle with part of the silver ribbon hanging out. That is so it would be easy to take the scroll in and out the vial glass. Place the cork.

8. Tie in your choice of trinket on the other end of the silver ribbon. Your really don't need to add a trinket but we don't want a loose cord just hanging out of the bottle, that would look dreadful. The trinket is for added wow factor, lol.

9. Try taking the scroll in and out of the bottle atleast once to make sure everything is glued in perfectly. That ribbon is the only way your recipient can access the scroll easily so if that gets unattached even before they were able to pull the scroll out and, worst, the scroll started unrolling itself inside the bottle, they would never get to read the message. So it pays to be anal retentive once in a while, lol.

We're almost done!

Now, originally, I was just thinking of putting my message in a bottle necklace in a small white (or ivory) organza pouch but I chanced upon those cheap wooden boxes from Michael's so I used that instead. The other cool thing about those wooden boxes is it has a space on top and a glass cover to put in extra stuff. So here are the optional final steps.

1. Open the top part and put in a small shell then I closed it back.
2. Place some rafia inside the box as lining.
3. Then put in the Message in a Bottle necklace WYB and add a semi big shell right next to it for accent.
4. Put some rolls of bubble wrap on top to keep the contents from shaking and prevent them from breaking.
5. Close the box and wrap the outside with a bubble wrap. Remember the top of the box is glass.
6. Get a mailing envelope with a bubble wrap lining (we can't be too careful with breakable items like that) and put the box in.
7. Seal the envelope.

That's it!  Below are samples of the finished product both for the male and female wedding party.

I got this idea from Urban Outfitter's Message in a Bottle necklace. I just jazzed it up a bit.

And the wordings in the scroll are:

1. Peggy, if we promise not to make you wear an ugly dress, will you be our Bridesmaid? Our wedding will be perfect with you by our side – roxxxx &mxxxn
2. James, it would mean so much if you were by our side on our wedding day. Will you be our Groomsman? – Rxxxx &Mxxxxn

Feel free to share this or use it for your own WYB but please if you're using my photos just remember to mention that you got it from

I used a different design for our ring bearer and flower girl WYBs. That would be on the next post.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

second and last anniversary before the knot

a few days ago was our second and last anniversary as an unmarried couple...... yes, the h2b proposed just after a year which was a shocker for me because i'm used to a very long dating period in the philippines (i have friends who've been dating for 7 - 10 years before they decided to tie the knot)  but i guess that's western culture for you..... i'm not complaining, it just greatly amuses me and in fact, i'm greatly flattered about the early proposal because it gives me the impression that he knew right away i am the one.......... it's just too sweet beyond words..... i digress, pardon my being melodramatic, lol

anyway, enough of that......  it has been a busy october and it would be a busy november too...... here are some updates for the civil wedding preps, so far.....

1. on wedding gown (oct 22, sat) - as i have mentioned in my previous blog, i have already purchased my civil wedding gown and i'm officially a maggie sottero bride! i know, i know, i mentioned in my past blogs that i won't be like any other brides who would go over the top with their wedding gowns but again my gown is a phased out gown, which is on sale plus i got 20% off..... so it's still cheaper than getting a not-so-famous couturier (think jose abad, mark rancy, etc)  in the philippines.... i'm pretty pleased about that because i almost bought that other $1,300 gown....

2. wedding venue (oct 29, sat) - we finally went to our venue in cape may  which we have been putting off...... we decided against getting the
cheaper alternative because we went for our guests' convenience..... the cheaper one is 10-15 minutes walk from the beach and the parking is bad plus we might need to hand out quarters for our guests parking because parking is all metered....... we went for the slightly pricey one because it's closer to the beach, in fact, its super close to the beach, you just need to cross the street and you're there..... and there are ample parking spaces and most importantly it's free! 

so we went there last saturday and talked to the wedding coordinator and right then and there we made arrangements....... we told them what the date would be, May 19..... first they checked if its still available and it is but the problem is there are no rooms available for the night before and the night during the wedding........... we want the ceremony, reception and our hotel preps in one place for our wedding party's convenience  so we have to move our wedding date a week early to be able to reserve 4 rooms and have that included in the contract....... we also decided to have dinner there so we could try their food...... the food is delicious, well, they are zagat rated so that's kinda expected  but the best part is our dinner is free! our $120 dinner was complimentary because we're booking our wedding with them......

3. WYB (oct 31, mon & nov 2, wed) - the will-you-be's! i've been slacking off with this DIY project..... i stopped doing it because i want to finish it only if we already know what our wedding date would be..... and since we are pencil booked already (they just need to send us the actual contract with the breakdown of all costs) our wedding date is as good as booked...... so i finally started doing them again..... it wasn't that hard really since i've already done the prelimanary assembly and its just the actual "wordings" that's missing...... i bought paper from michael's only to realize it doesn't go well with the rest of the WYB so i decided to use the other paper i've ordered online 6 months ago....... and now, i'm proud to say they are on their way to their recipients...... i hope they all say yes! although two of them have prematurely found out about it already and had already said yes but i still decided to give them the formal WYB request......... i'll post here what my final WYB looked like once all my recipients received it......

*recipients = the female wedding party....

4. engagement photoshoot (nov 2, wed)  -  we had our first engagement photoshoot yesterday and i said first because i want a four-season themed engagement photos and yesterday was the autumn session...... so very happy with the photographer we got....... he is very pleasant, he has "an eye", and most importantly he's very affordable..... i mean, $85 for the first 2 hours? that is cheap, man!  i inquired with some other photographer including  filipino photographers my friends recommended and the cheapest i found was $300 for first 2 hours plus travel fee..... our photographer is from new jersey but he didn't ask for travel fee....and wait, there's more (lol), for wedding, it's only $85/hour..... how awesome is that?! and he's willing to go to cape may......... we just love our photographer so much we just give him bigger tip to cover the gas and to give him something extra because we're feeling guilty he's too cheap we feel like we're robbing him, lol...... oh and no, he's not some cheap photographer hobbyist, he actually is a graduate of Film & Media Arts from Temple University...... i'm really glad i have found him amidst the overwhelming google results when i searched for Cape May wedding photographers...... oh, and yes, he doesn't charge for out of town fees too, unlike those other photographer's i have inquired to who asks for a hotel accomodation and/or gas allowance per N number of miles they travel from where they live...... 

so anyway, yeah, we had our autumn engagement photoshoot at valley forge national park and we brought with us 2 sets of clothes because we're aiming for a casual autumn look and a formal sophisticated look (see pic above)...... and boy, it was a lot of fun and to top that the weather was nice and we had blue skies (well atleast for the first 1.5 hours)....... i forget how nice it feels to be on the other side of the lens, lol......  we picked a week day so we can have the place all to tourist, no joggers, no dog walkers....and we chose morning because i want some blue skies (atleast 1 hour before and 2 hours after nooon gives you blue skies)...... we started shooting from 10:30am til 1:30pm....its a good thing we have flexi hours at work so that's not a problem.....

i took them to places around valley forge national park that both h2b and our photographer aren't aware existed and it's so entertaining to watch the look on their faces when i showed them my "location finds", lol........ i drove to valley forge a few times both with the h2b and by myself not only to check if the trees have changed color already but also to look for other interesting locations.......... i mean, i shoot engagement photos too for my friends so i am always on the lookout for good locations........ i also have brought a lot of props and some "cheat sheets" for concept/creative shots and we had our photos taken on 11 plus locations around valley forge national park so now  i am really excited to see all of them....... currently we only got to see 5 and it might take 1-2 weeks before we get the thumbdrive of all the pix in the mail.....

5. wedding venue contract (nov 3, thurs) - we received it in the mail today! so it's going to be 5 hors d'oeuvres, 3 entrees, 1 appetizer (but we're thinking of getting the soup instead), bar service and 4 rooms...... we're thinking of getting an extra stations/enhancers, choices are sushi bar, fruit medley, mini cakes, i forgot the rest but were thinking of getting the mini cakes since theres no dessert in their menu but the coordinator told us she could throw that in for us for free which is awesome! i just hope she will remember that and she'll include that on our revised contract..... anyway, so this weekend we're going back to cape may to personally hand them the signed contract and to give them our deposit.....

6. tiffany blue sash (nov 2, wed) - i finally found a supplier for my tiffany blue sash  but i ordered just one piece first to see if it's really tiffany blue and i received it yesterday and today i ordered 6 pcs...... 4 for my female wedding party and the rest is extra should i decide to add another bridesmaid or if one of the bridesmaids lost their sash..... it's $14.99 each so hopefully nobody loses their sash, lol...

so far so good! not stressed out yet (pwera gaba)