Monday, December 30, 2013

Save the Dates, the Supplies

So last I left you I had agreed to show you the design for our save the date magnet. Now I am not saying that this will work for you or your budget but it worked for us and I am pretty excited about what we came up with. We have a large guest list and we wanted to be cost effective.

We tried to keep it fairly simple so that it wouldn't look too busy. I think it turned out well and I have received a lot of compliments on it so far. I was able to design this directly in the Build A Sign web application. It worked for us. Please note that if you do go this route the magnets are fairly thin. Something Mr. Farmer and I were totally fine with as they will most likely be thrown away but just to give you a fair warning.
Before I get into the assembly process with our save the date magnets and insert, I wanted to let you know the materials I used to create the end product. About 2 months ago I ordered some cardstock for various projects and to test it out for our invitations. (More on that later)
Again I was shocked at how expensive paper could be and honestly how difficult it was to find navy blue cardstock! I would find grey(gray?!?!? still help) and fuchsia no problems but navy was a whole other story. Thankfully MOH B sent me to Paper and More and I was able to find a nice shade of navy.
 They called it Nightshift

I wasn't too sure about it based on this picture but once it came in I was SUPER impressed. It was also very affordable. 100 sheets for $18.99. Clearly I wasn't going to use a full 8 1/2 x 11 so I knew that I could reasonably get quite a few out of this. I also wanted to incorporate the fuchsia color to add some dimension.

I ordered this paper off a different website because I used my Google ninja skills and found another awesome deal. I got this cardstock at Create for Less

I was able to get these in packs of 25 for $3.99 each. So for 4 it came to $15.96. I was able to get a free shipping discount on this product. YIPPEE!! Saving money folks, it's a great feeling! Although now looking back it seems a bit TOO pink. I am still undecided. Seems to be a running theme in my world. Anywho moving along......

So now I had these 2 colors. Both of these were a cardstock so I didn't want my save the date to get any heavier with the magnet and the insert so I used just plain old white copy paper to print the information out on. I typed up a pretty simple insert that I will share in my next post when we assemble them.

I knew that once I had purchased the card stock I would need something to cut it with. I got something very similar to this. I cannot find for the life of me the exact one I have, but this is pretty close:
Photo via Target - Fiskars
A paper trimmer! Seriously if you are doing any sort of DIY paper products you need to invest in one of these bad boys. I use this thing ALL the time. BEST CREATION EVER! Seriously genius, and it isn't super expensive. This runs about $10-$12. Get one. No joke.
The final product that was used is my life saver.
Elmer's Glue Adhesive Runner via Stuff 4 Crafts

This thing is seriously amazing. And of course you will use a lot so you have to get:
The replacement refill via Stuff 4 Crafts

This was a super easy way to make sure all of my layers were assembled perfectly. Just make sure that whatever brand you get you remember so you can get the refills. It has a nice adhesive so it stuck well, so well that I had to make sure I didn't get too carried away and get it on my table.

So that's what I used in assembling our Save the Dates. So far my total expense came to about $100 including the magnets. Not bad I thought.

Did anyone else have any special tools that helped during a DIY project? 

Save the Dates

While Mr. Farmer and I were waiting for our Engagement prints and release to be finished, we needed to decide what kind of save the date (I just can't do the acronym) we wanted to create. Since we had hotel issues we knew that we needed to get the information to our guests as soon as possible. We wanted to ensure that they had plenty of time to reserve a room at either hotels.

We figured we would accomplish this by just putting in an insert. Easy Peasy! Now for the actual hard part. There are so many great ideas out there today. One quick look at Pinterest will leave your head spinning. So many pretty ideas.

A calendar

Photo from Something Turquoise by Jen - Photo Credit Studio 11
Or how about this cute one?!

Photo via Martha Stewart

These are awfully cute though too!

Photo via Confetti Day Dreams, Copyright, Heather C. Johnson

You see there was just SOO many cool ideas for photos and things to do for our Save the Dates. I wanted to be creative however C wanted something that we didn't spend a large portion of our budget on, as people were "just going to throw it away". So after some consideration C and I decided the best option for us would be............

That way we could still be creative with the design but wouldn't have to spend a ton of time creating and assembling our creation. Now when I went in search of a good company for magnets I was shocked at how expensive some of these things can run.

VistaPrint was no doubt one of the most expensive ones.  I tried Zazzle. I really liked the options that VistaPrint had over Zazzle but it was still more then I was willing to pay. I designed a perfect magnet at VistaPrint and it was about $1.40 per magnet. Well I would need close to 170 magnets (yes you read that correctly) and that was going to add up quickly. We tried to find something for under $1 or right around that price.

Well I put my Google skills to the test and found a perfect site. Build A Sign was my solution. Here is where I let you in on the goods!

 You see I started thinking about it and a Save the Date magnet was really no different then a regular business card magnet so I ditched the "save the date" in my search. I got a whole new list of sites instead.

Check out the comparison. This is my search using "Save the Date Magnets"
Image via Screen Capture of Google - Save the Date Magnets

All of these sites charged a significant amount to design and print a magnet. So instead I tried "Business Card Magnet"

Screen Capture of Google - Business Card Magnet
 These companies on the other hand didn't charge an arm and a leg. You had to do a little extra design work but they worked just fine. I checked out quite a few of them before I decided. (It was a day of designing and wine, lots of wine)

I can't remember exactly where I found Build A Sign but I know it was through a Business Card Magnet search. I will tell you this ladies. They saved me a TON! I was able to design a magnet and get 250 shipped to me for $40.49. Yes you read that correctly. $.18 for each magnet!

When I entered the site I signed up for their mailing list and got an additional 10% discount. This was EXACTLY what I was looking for. I could of uploaded a design that I had already produced but I used their tools to design my own on their site. It wasn't nearly as fancy as VistaPrint but it certainly did the job. Stay tuned to see the finished product!
Did anyone else change up their Google search to yield different results? How did it work for you?

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Dress for my Maids

When it came time to think about bridesmaid dresses I wasn't too picky. Honestly looking back it was probably one of the easiest decisions that came about. (I say that now, although after writing this post I may reconsider that statement)
 As a reminder our colors are:

Screen shot via my Microsoft Word

With the wedding being outside, in the hottest month of the year, at the hottest time of the day I knew I that I didn't want anything too heavy. So satin and taffeta were out. I really like the look of chiffon. I know that chiffon is a very typical bridesmaid material but I think it's pretty flattering for everyone. With it being so flowy it matches my dress very well too. 

We (MOH B and BM K) started looking at short dresses to start to get some ideas.
After looking at a bunch of the dresses I really decided that I wanted long. I think it gives a more formal feel. You see our venue does have a slight dress code. They ask that you make smart choices and prefer cocktail type attire. (I am sure it's their way of saying jeans and a t-shirt is probably NOT going to cut it).

I didn't want to overpower my wedding with too much hot pink so we also decided that the dress color would be navy blue. Too much hot pink would be too "loud" and probably a little harsh. It also wasn't quite the look I wanted.There was also most certainly one other requirement that I insisted upon. Not strapless! There is nothing I hate more than watching a woman pull up her dress all night long. UGHGH!

OMG, it drives me crazy, seriously I would look like that if I had to watch my girls yank up their dresses all night long. A personal opinion, I think it looks tacky to be yanking at your dress all night long. I wasn't having any of that for my girls. So my requirements so far were this:

1. Long
2. Chiffon
3. NOT strapless
4. The right color navy blue
5. Preferably with a little bling as my dress had some

Now another requirement that I wanted was that it came in navy blue AND hot pink. I can hear you all now going "but Miss. Barn you just said you wanted navy dresses." There is a reason I wanted the hot pink. 3 words...............


That's right! I wanted my MOH to wear a different color dress so that she would stand out as a person of honor as she rightfully deserves.

Once I had my criteria for the BM dress I took to the internet to see what I could come up with. Since MOH B was only just recently married herself she helped in the search. I immediately fell in love with everything Bill Levkoff had on his site. There were quite a few I liked. I knew that I wanted all my girls in the same dress. I think it just looks simple and classic and works perfectly for our wedding. This was a popular style that I kept coming back to:

I know you are looking at this dress going, umm but it's strapless. I decided that even if it was strapless that we would sew straps on. Just so long as it had some kind of strap to go with it, I was A-ok with that. I also realized that I was drawn to the sweetheart neckline, so we added that to the list as well.

1. Long
2. Chiffon
3. Must have straps
4. Comes in navy blue and hot pink
5. Has some bling
6. Not too expensive
7. Sweetheart neckline

Once I told my girls the criteria most of them were extremely relived and happy to hear that I would NOT be having strapless dresses at our wedding. Who knew! I figured most girls liked the strapless look, but then again they can be a pain to wear if not altered/fitted correctly.

After some research most of the girls liked this dress but it was actually much higher in price than I wanted my girls to spend on their dress. Once we looked at this dress in person, we decided it was ok but not our favorite.

Moving along. At some point, I can't remember which store it was but we pulled this dress:

I think it was BM K who pulled this dress and we had her try it on as she is the most, how shall I say, gifted, of us ladies and it was her biggest concern. She tried on the dress and LOVED IT! I looked at the price tag and loved it even more. The first place we looked at this dress had it listed for about $170 before tax.

I immediately sent this picture off to all my BMs and the consensus came back that they all loved it! Thankfully when I went back to order my dress The Bridal Gallery was able to give all my girls a discount so this dress came in under $150! Thankfully I was able to see a picture of the dress in Navy Blue, so I present to you the Barn Wedding Bridesmaid Dress:

Mori Lee Style 686 via Mori Lee 

I am so beyond excited about this dress. Once I saw it I knew this was the perfect dress for my ladies. I am also very thankful they all love it as well!

I can't wait to go pick it up and see how it looks! Did anyone else pull a random dress just to love it? Or did you let your girls pick?

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Sparkly Christmas Present

-this original post came out around Christmas time-
Now that Mr. Farmer and I are about to join our families we have had to juggle how we are going to spend the Holidays. Thankfully we have a system that seems to work out perfectly for us for the time being. It was a crazy few days with lots of traveling but we wouldn't have it any other way. We would rather be busy traveling if it means we get to spend time with our friends and family.
There is just something magical about the holiday season. Mr. Farmer and I particularly share in the excitement that is gift giving. We would much rather give a gift than receive one. Since this is our first Christmas together and our first and last as an engaged couple it was very special to us. We both love gift giving and this year Mr. Farmer took it to a whole new level.

Why am I telling you this? Let me show you! 
(photo personal)
That's right folks! A new ring! For Christmas this year Mr. Farmer decided that he wanted to get me a new engagement ring. So we exchanged the old one for this custom designed, one of a kind ring that he designed by himself. He also picked out a new diamond to put in the center.

Honestly I was so blown away I couldn't believe it! Considering that we just picked a new ring 3 months ago, I couldn't imagine getting a different one. It was by far the biggest surprise I had for Christmas. Why did he get me a new ring?

He wanted me to have something he created for me and he wasn't happy with the one I had.
 Something nobody knew about my other ring was that when I got it, it was missing a side diamond and another diamond was cracked. Knowing that it was flawed bothered Mr. Farmer pretty bad. It was insured and we could of taken it back which we intended to do but now we don't have to worry about it.

 So I present for the LAST time my engagement ring!

(photo personal)

I am in love with this knowing that Mr. Farmer took the time to design it and customize it to my style. It truly is my dream ring and is perfect. I also love knowing that he wanted to ensure I had a ring that no one else would have. It was an incredibly sweet gesture and one that I am very appreciative of.  He said it is just as unique and beautiful as I am. (Say it with me, awwwww). I loved my other ring dearly, we picked it out together and it was perfect. I didn't think I could love another ring more until he presented me with this beauty. He never ceases to amaze me folks!

Did anyone else change out their engagement ring?  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

We start at Pink

I realized that I haven't talked much about the style of our wedding. In all honestly it has been an on-going process for Mr. Famer and me because, we don't really have one. After the post-engagement glow started wearing off we had some big decisions to make regarding what we wanted our wedding to look like.
We had a beautiful venue
I had a beautiful dress. Which I will strategically leave out!
But other than that we needed to really nail down a direction to take this celebration in. We needed to start to form a vision. We didn't really want a theme per say.
We are a pretty fun, roll with the punches kind of couple. We also wanted something that was a little unique, so I didn't want to pick something that our families have seen before. Mr. Farmer brought up the idea of using pink as one of our wedding colors since it is one of my favorite colors. Pink is where we started planning our wedding.
Seriously I have a mild obsession with anything pink. One quick look at my desk and you have no doubt what my favorite color is.

 (photo personal)
However we couldn't just have a pink wedding. Well we could but Mr. Farmer wouldn't allow that. We wanted something that paired well and wasn't too formal. So what did I do? Took to Google of course!
I don't think I could live without Google folks. Either way I wanted to see if I could find some fun pairings. I found one that was paired with several different colors but still made my little heart flutter.
Screen shot of Google
Oh yes folks, NAVY BLUE! It's just such a fresh color. Pairs well with so much and it is really the new black. Ok I have no clue what I am talking about but it's pretty. After some discussion with Mr. Farmer we decided that since we are getting married in a garden, in the hottest month of the summer, at the hottest time of day we needed to find a lighter color for the guys to wear. Black wasn't going to work and a dark navy suit would be a bit too warm.
Screen shot of Google
  Gray! Or is it grey!??!? Seriously total mystery to me. I just don't know but I will figure it out.

So if you are keeping track we have:
Screen shot from Word

We decided to add in silver and white for some accent colors just to break it up so it wasn't so dark. Mama D decided it was best as she thought our wedding colors were a bit "too Winter". (I have no freaking idea what that means but apparently it's wedding talk for too dark for a summer wedding)

So with my colors in hand I headed to Pinterest to get some inspiration.

Just a small sampling of my Pinterest wedding board. Cake via We Heart It, Suit via Cocktail Details by Mthreestudio, Invitation via Esty seller Jvandy27 - no longer available
As a couple Mr. Farmer and I decided that we were fine with not having a set theme for now. We had some colors we loved and finally we felt comfortable beginning to design our save the dates and start planning this shindig.
How did you decide your wedding colors?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Get Ready for your Close-Up

Mr. Farmer and I knew that we wanted to have engagement pictures done no if's, ands, or buts about it. Since both Mr. Farmer and I have been in the modeling profession for over 10 years we are not afraid of being in front of a camera lens. However, this would be the first time we took professional pictures together and THAT folks was a little nerve racking.

Our fabulous photag Kyle Zempel offered to do engagement pictures for us but since he is located quite some distance from us, oh only about 8-9 hours or so, we realized that we needed to get someone local to do the job. Mr. Farmer came to the rescue with Jayne Salentiny. We knew that we needed to get our Save the Dates out fairly soon, and in turn we needed to get our Engagement Pictures done even sooner. Nothing like a little pressure huh!?
Mr. Farmer and I discussed it and neither of us had any real "vision" for what we wanted. We happened to be having this conversation sitting outside enjoying some wine and then it dawned on us. DUH! We live on a farm! It's part of who we are as a couple so why not have Jayne come out to our farm and take our pictures around here? It was fall so all the leaves would be turning a perfect color and it would be super pretty.

85% of my wardrobe is neutral colors so I knew that I would be able to just grab something out of my closet and have a perfect outfit to go with the fall colors. Along with using the clothes already in my closet, I am obsessed with makeup and have a lot of it. I love everything about it and I love doing it on other people (I am the go to person for it between my friends). ** I knew that I would be able to handle getting myself ready for this shoot without a spending a lot of money or a lot of effort.

Going into the Friday we were to have our engagement pictures taken we were all prepared. I decided last minute to stop in and have my hair done (and gained a hairstylist in the process she was so amazing). As happy as I was with my hair, I noticed that the wind kept picking up during the day. And I don't mean a gust here and there, I mean like 10 mph winds; steady all day. Gusts up to 20mph! At noon Jayne called to ask if we wanted to cancel because of the wind. I had to leave work early so I made the executive decision we would just make the best of it.
Just see for yourself, here are the Barn Engagement Pictures........(all courtesy of Jayne Salentiny)
Here is the necklace I mentioned in our engagement story. I wear one half and Mr. Farmer wears one half. My half says I Love and his half says You. Mine also has an etching of a lock and his has a key on it.
Here is where the wind really started to take hold.
Just for fun our lab Winchester would NOT stay away. He clearly wanted to be around people. Every time Mr. Farmer would tie him up he would get out. We even tried putting him in our shop but he opened the danged door! After this shot Winchester was put in the house.
Did anyone else have to battle some crazy weather?

**A fun little fact is that I did the professional makeup in the wedding brochure for the hotel we are staying at on our wedding night! The photo shoot was shot in the honeymoon suite that Mr. Farmer and I will be staying in.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Qwest for the Dress....Conclusion

Again, I love you Mr. Farmer darling but please find some other reading material to entertain yourself with.  There's a nice stack of magazines under the coffee table, go find one. This post is NOT for you!

I was super excited to start my shopping trip with my mama and besties. Since I moved to MN (no I won't be sporting purple anytime soon) I don't get to see them very often, and getting to see them together a total treat that almost never happens. Our first stop was a shop in Wausau, WI that has been around for ages, Thelma's Bridal. It's the store that everyone goes to because "that's just where you go".
I gave the girls each time to pick out one dress that I would try on. Mama D was so picky she didn't find anything she liked but found one that was acceptable and I gave it a go. 6 dresses later and still no "bride" moment for Miss. Barn. Most of the dresses were very outdated and a lot of them were very dirty. One dress I tried on had loads of self tanner stained on the inside!

Photo via Criminal Macros I love this show, Criminal Minds  

I was a little discouraged however we still had one other store to scheduled for
the day. Elegant Occasions in Wausau, WI. We headed over there and did NOT have ANY luck. I tried on a few dresses again to appease everyone but still wasn't feeling it. I couldn't find anything that made me feel beautiful. I liked some of the dresses but none that stood out. They all started to look the same to me. So far this was turning into a nightmare of poofy sleeves and tulle for days *shudder*.

Enter Circle the Date in Marshfield, Wisconsin. I had thought about going here but since it was a 45 minute drive away I tossed it to the back of my mind. Well, not anymore. Desperate times call for desperate measures peeps. I didn't have an appointment (cringe I know) but I called to see if I could get in anyways.  The shop owner said sure come on over I am about to close but I'll stay open for you. They had one dress I previously tried on; the Mori Lee, which turned out to be the dress everyone agreed they liked the best. 

So I went to Marshfield with just my mom and when I put that dress on for the second time, I had my "bride" moment. In a quiet shop, with just my mom and the owner. It was a perfect moment and it was like it all clicked. My mom started to smile bigger, my smile got bigger and I didn't want to take the dress off. This was supposed to be my dress. This is why I didn't find anything all day. I had already picked out my dress.

Style 1953 via Mori Lee

Why had I bothered wasting the day, when deep down I knew all along which one I was going to wear? I'll tell you why, because I went to 2 stores that I didn't really care about so that it would be easier for everyone coming with me. I knew that none of them carried this dress and I also knew that none of them were very trendy either. But, I wanted the experience to be convenient for all my friends and family who came shopping with me. It's OK to throw down the "I'm the Bride and what I say goes" card, within reason.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but at the end of the day I had MY dress and I was ecstatic. I know Mr. Farmer was just as happy for me. It was a successful trip and I call that a pretty perfect day. Wedding dress, check!

Did anyone else go to shops just because they were in your home city or because "that's where you're supposed to go"?