Monday, March 31, 2014

I Kid You Not

Hi, I am Miss. Barn and I am Polish. Why does that matter you ask? Oh, because I have an insanely large family that's why. My father has 11 brothers and sisters and they are all married with children and even some of my cousins have children of their own. My father's side of the family (immediate family) makes up for 1/3 of our guest list. That's a lot of people. In our family children are always welcome to a wedding and the Barn wedding is no different. There was no question that we would be having children at our wedding. There are a few reasons:

1. I don't want K and R to be the only children and bored.
2. I love seeing kids tear up the dance floor.
3. Since all of our friends and family are traveling to attend I wanted it to be easy for them.
4. I didn't want to limit it to just the bridal party and hurt other guests feelings.
5. I love kids.

Now I understand that kids at weddings can be tough. Infants can cry. Children can get tired and cranky so even though children are invited I still expect their parents to keep them in check. I am sure we won't have too many problems with our guests as they all have experience bringing their little ones to weddings. (My cousin K just got married last year so it's nothing new for them)

Photo: Abby Photography via Junebugweddings

Too cute!!

Even though children have typically been invited to weddings in my family, I wanted to make sure there was no confusion about it, so when I addressed the save the dates I included each child's name on the envelope. One of my guests commented how cute she thought it was that I addressed it "Master Enrique" (he's 6) and only I would think to include the children on the envelope. I got rave reviews and our guests loved it. I think they may have been more excited about the envelope! Not only was it a cute touch but it helped our guests know for sure they would be able to bring their children and wouldn't have to worry about making accommodations for them.

Since we are on the topic of children it might surprise you to know that Mr. Farmer and I will NOT be having any children of our own.

Friends via Friends.wikia

I, like Mrs. Bicycle, wasn't sure that I wanted my own children. When I was younger I always wavered back and forth assuming that was expected of me, until my health made the decision much easier for me. No kids for Miss. Barn. I absolutely love and adore my step-children and we have a great relationship. Mr. Farmer and I have decided that we enjoy our lifestyle the way it is and love being able to spoil K and R, and only them. Had I wanted to have my own children, if by some miracle I could, it's not something Mr. Farmer wanted.

We had the discussion very early on as he did not want to waste time developing a relationship to later find out that we didn't want the same things. Mr. Farmer laid it out and made it perfectly clear that it was a choice he made and if that was something I wanted then our relationship wouldn't work.  It was non-negotiable for him. It is one of those hard conversations that every couple in a serious relationship has to work through, do we want the same things out of life?

Thankfully Mr. Farmer and I agree, no more children added to the Barn family, however YES to children at our wedding.

How do you feel about children at your wedding and in life?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Stitch of Love

I have a confession to make. Hi I am Miss. Barn and I am a total sap. I cry at weddings I know to wear waterproof mascara and to make sure to have a few extra tissues available whenever I go to a wedding. I am a very sentimental person and tend to have a lot of keepsakes for this reason.
Early on in my planning process I stumbled upon one of the sweetest things I had seen in a while. I started to get misty eyed and knew I would like to have something similar for our wedding:
Personalized custom handkerchiefs:
Photo via Etsy - SerendipityThreads36
Mr. Farmer's grandmother passed away this past September. He was pretty close to her although he was even closer to his grandfather, her husband. They were incredibly close (they farmed together) and his death was very sudden when he passed away 7 years ago (Mr. Farmer and his grandfather actually share the same initials).
Sadly his grandmother was the last of his grandparents and it's still tough knowing she won't be there. I knew that I wanted a piece of them with us on our wedding day. Mr. Farmer and I had been walking through his grandparents' house a few weeks back when I spotted a box of handkerchiefs and knew instantly how I would incorporate them.
I pulled several handkerchiefs from the box, some of hers and some of his, and am going to hand embroider them. Since Mr. Farmer's grandmother embroidered herself I figured this was a great way to remember her and to pass along a very special gift to my in-laws and my step-children who were also close to their great grandmother. ( I am especially excited to give one to my FIL D who was insanely close to his mother).  Once I suggested the idea to Mr. Farmer he immediately went to the closet and pulled out a very special handkerchief that he received directly from his grandfather that he would like me to use for his son R.
I am very excited to gift these to some very special people. I wanted a gift from the heart and I think this certainly fits the bill. Not only is it a perfect sentimental gift but it is also a budget friendly project, as all it will cost me is the embroidery thread, an embroidery hoop and a lot of time in front of the television. I think I can handle that!  
How did you incorporate your lost loved ones?

Monday, March 10, 2014


Mr. Farmer and I currently have 348 lovely people sitting on our guest list. Yes you read that correctly. (I will do a break down a little later). We do not expect even 300 to show up however we have a large group of people no matter what way you look at it. Because we have a large group of people it means we are going to have a lot of tables. As much as I love looking at floral centerpieces at weddings, with at least 30 tables, there is no room in our budget for them.

 Photo via: mashable Image: Tumblr, tinarph

So after my inner pity party I moved on. I needed to find a solution for our tables that was cost effective. I like to think that I am fairly crafty and love to take on new projects all the time so I knew that our centerpieces would be DIY early on in our budget planning. Centerpieces happen to be one of my favorite things to check out while at a wedding. So what do you do if you don't have flowers as a centerpiece? Well you could:

Use candy as Mrs. Blue Whale did:

Weddingbee - Brenda Upton Photography

As yummy and bright as this would be, it didn't quite fit the theme of our wedding.

Yarn/string maybe:

Found via The Knot from Lisa Hessel Photography/Belli Fiori

These were certainly cool and I knew that I could make these however I did not want to risk transporting them 5 hours to the venue. I am still in love with them but I knew they would take up a lot of space in whomever's vehicle they traveled in. We won't be transporting any décor for our wedding as we will have the children with us and it made me nervous to pass it to someone else. Plus I couldn't be certain that they would weather the trip so this idea had to be tossed. Getting closer though.

Candles are always a good option:

Photo by Charlotte Geary Photography

Much closer! After looking at boat loads of inspiration I started to realize that I loved light. Whether it be from a candle or a colored LED I found myself gravitating towards most of the light inspired images. While attempting to get inspiration for another DIY project (I will share later) I came across this image:

 Found from Chic and Joe


As soon as I saw this it hit me, centerpieces! This would be perfect for our guest tables and possibly a few cocktail tables. I can construct these for fairly cheap and still have some fun centerpieces without the use of florals. I am very excited to finally have one of my favorite wedding elements nailed down. Although now that I have the supplies ordered and am patiently awaiting their delivery, I need to turn to the Hive for some help.

What should we put on the luminary!?

I'd love to hear what you think we should use.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Go With Your Gut

When you are planning an event whether it be a wedding or not, communication is key with your vendors, especially if you are in my situation where you are doing all the planning 5 hours away from the event location. Needless to say Mr. Farmer and I depend on technology to communicate. Why am I telling you this?

Because I just had to cancel a contract and request a refund from a bad vendor. No bride ever wants to run into a vendor that causes them problems but to say that it never happens would be lying. As Miss. Parisian would know, some vendors just don't seem to want your business.

Spaceballs 1987 via reactiongifs

Yeah I know I just don't get it either.

According to my timeline, we are supposed to book the rehearsal dinner location soon. We are very fortunate that Mr. Farmer's parents have offered to cover the expense of the rehearsal dinner. I passed this task onto Mr. Farmer to find a restaurant location that he thought would work well. He found our location in early November and called, Mona Lisa's to see about getting some additional information. Lisa, the owner informed him that they would not handle any contracts until 2014 so we would have to call back then.

Fast forward to the middle of January and I attempt to email Lisa, via the email address on their website, and it gets returned, address not valid. I should of realized here that this is where my "I don't like this funny feeling I have" radar started to go off. Since my email wouldn't go through because the address wasn't active I called the restaurant to request additional information. Lisa took down my name, number, event date, email address and said she would send me some info. 2 weeks later and I still haven't received anything so I call again.

Again, I should have listened to my gut saying, "I don't like this funny feeling I have" because Lisa in fact didn't write down our name, or phone number, or email address, or event date. In fact she had no clue who I was when I called back the second time. She never apologized but sent me the contract. I signed it, and she charged us the rental fee but never sent us a signed contract back.

Hrmmm, my gut is really screaming at me now, "Miss. Barn I don't like this funny feeling I have" and again I ignore it. Fast forward 3 weeks and we are in Eau Claire for a weekend of wedding planning. We decide to stop into Mona Lisa's to check out the place we are going to have our dinner at, seems like a smart idea right? We walked into the restaurant and the vibe was cool, the décor fun, and the wine list amazing. So far so good! Here is where things took a turn for the worst.

I asked if Lisa was in as I wanted to introduce myself and say hello. One of the wait staff went to find her and told us that she would be over in about 5 minutes. Ok great, I was starting to feel a little better about the situation. Although an hour and a half later and still no Lisa. We were not about to wait any longer for her to say hi. We had been seated at the bar for 45 minutes and then were seated for dinner for another 45 minutes. Mr. Farmer and I watched her walk around saying hi to all the couples around us, move people to different tables, help seat people, and generally conversant to couples all around us, but never to us.

Needless to say we were pretty irate. Ok Miss. Barn was pretty irate. I had read my contract and understood that the room deposit was non-refundable and was ok with that. Why? Because the service of her staff was great, the food amazing, and the general atmosphere perfect. However since I seemed to have a problem communicating with the owner, I sent her an email laying out all the details that I was concerned about.

1. bad email address
2. asking for a menu/information 3 times
3. being ignored for an hour and half
4. no signed contract from vendor

I wanted to ensure that she would remedy the situation because I really liked this place and wanted to give them another chance. Although after about another 12 days with no peep I finally had to say enough is enough. My gut was screaming at the top of it's lungs and Mr. Farmer was REALLY concerned/upset at this point. I wrote her an email saying it's clear she has no intention of addressing our concerns and that we request a refund. She responded almost immediately giving me a reason that she was out of town for 10 days. (She had given me the same 'reason' once before for not getting me information).

The vendor never once apologized just said, Ok fine where would you like your refund sent. Thankfully we were able to get out of a contract and avoid any future issues. I certainly have learned my lesson. Listen to your gut when you are selecting your vendors. If you can arrange a face to face meeting I encourage it. Had Mr. Farmer and I done that we could have avoided this whole emotional mess.

Selecting vendors to work with can be hard but don't make it any harder on yourself. If you don't feel right about a vendor don't ignore those feelings.

Did anyone else have trouble communicating or have problems with a vendor?