Saturday, August 28, 2010

Invites, Check!

So after my wonderfully enjoyable time at Staples, I got all the invites and information cards printed, and after buying a new paper cutter when I couldnt find replacement blades for my old paper cutter, I got all the peices cut out and ready for assembly.

i got 115 sheets of 8.5X11 blue cardstock, and folded them all in half.
i also took 20 sheets of orange cardstock and cut 6cmX6cm squares out. (silly to use centimeters i know, but that was the size that they needed to be, otherwise it would be 2.something inches)

after getting the invitations printed, they ended up smaller than i thought.

(plan A had slightly smaller than 8.5X5.5 invitation cards) So I went back and cut a few cms off of the side of the blue cards. (I ended up liking this better, it didnt look as standard as an average half fold card, or maybe I am just telling myself I like it better, because that is how it worked out?)

I got my trusted roll of Scotch Permanent Double Sided Tape (I had tested one a few weeks earlier and it still held up) and taped the invites centered onto the bottom half of the inside of the card. All it took was a few small peices of tape at the corners.

While watching My Bestfriend's Wedding, my FMIL and I cut over a hundred ribbons to length to fit around the blue cards, and we taped them in place using more double sided tape. many of the ribbons were a bit too long (cut long on purpose), so I just trimmed them to size when taping.
To stick the orange card onto the ribbon, I overlapped more tape on the top and bottom of the ribbon, this will help the ribbon stay strong also. (you can kind of see the tape above and below the ribbon seam, before I attatched the orange card.)

I had designed 5cmX5cm squares in Word and put a text box in each one for names. This was a lot of copy/pasting then changing the names for each invited party.
I printed the pages and cut the squares out. (The actual squares were a very light ink color I just used it to help lay out the names on the page, and to help with cutting, I didn't actually want a printed square after cutting.)
The names are the same font as used inside the invitation. I chose to use first names for most of them, and on some, they were even more personalized, for example, Aunt Sally and Uncle Jim. I put nicknames on some of them, like my friend Rachelina and her son Judebug. This may not be the most "proper" formal etiquette, but its very much "me" (for my guests), for Mikey's guests, they were mostly first names. Some guests were added after the printing was done, for them, I just cut a blank square of cardstock, and handwrote the names on it, just as an innerenvelope would be hand written.

The invitation kits that we bought didn't actually come with inner envelopes, so this was great alternative to adding an extra envelope, and it dressed up the front of the invitation. (we didn't actually use the invitation kit cards due to printing difficulties, but we used the envelopes.)
The information card was tucked under the ribbon on the inside. I wanted this to be loose, because it includes the driving directions, so people can bring just it to the wedding if they need to. We did not use the RSVP envelopes that came in the kit because our RSVPs are online or by phone, not mailed in.

So here is the cost breakdown for your curiosity:

invite kits: 3 x 3.97 = 11.91 (all I used was the 2 kits worth of envelopes the rest of the kit will be used elsewhere though)

blue cardstock: 115 sheets at 0.09 each = 10.23

orange cardstock: 20 sheets at 0.09 each = 1.72

sheer silver ribbon: 3 x .80= 2.40

Printing at Staples 50 pages of invites+25 pages of RSVPs = $36.75

cardstock $14.99 (way more sheets than I actually used)

double sided tape: 5 rolls 11.20ish (I forget exactly the cost)

for 100 invites (includes extras) = 89.20 <$0.90 each invite. not counting postage.

The postage ended up only being $0.44 each since they were like 0.8 oz. we saved some postage by hand delivering a few. We also saved on postage by opting for phone/online rsvps.
This is a picture of our favorite Postmaster, Ray. He's a pretty great guy. We do quite of bit of mailing with the home buisness, hes always got a smile on his face. Thanks Ray.

I didnt include the cost of the new paper cutter, I needed a new one anyway and i will use it many more times. 1 replacement blade for it is only like $2 though.
more information including inspiration here

Sunday, August 15, 2010

the wedding party

this doesnt show one missing groomsman, but he will be dressed the same as the others.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I wanted to Staple's her feet to the floor!

Printing the invitations and rsvp cards was such a headache!

This post is long only for the purpose of venting, so scroll down for the short version.

First, I called Kinkos (FedEx Office) and was quoted about $30 for 100 color invites.
then I got there, and they said, "no its $.59 each page", which would be $59 for the invites + half that for the RSVPs. Also, he wouldnt be able to print me a proof for about an hour. I decided to call other printing places instead.
Officemax quoted me .49 / page, so overall $15 less than Kinkos. Maybe. Thanks to Google Maps, I realized that Staples does printing also. (And I am always looking for an excuse to go to K station anyway, I thought while they print them, I can go by Michaels.) Over the phone, the girl said they would be 2 for 0.49. because the cardstock I was bringing in was 5.5X8.5. So half the price of Officemax and even less than half of Kinkos.
After arriving at Staples, I learn that the price was misquoted to me, but the manager who was assiting in the copyprint center said that they would honor the price today but for future reference, it doenst matter how big the paper is.
So the copyprint associate who I had spoken with over the phone started working on printing a proof. I could tell off the bat that she didnt really know what she was doing, but for half price, I was willing to be patient. She was in training and even had to ask another associate how to find my memory card files in the computer.
After multiple black and white copies printed on her own paper, she prints a color version. The orange shadow, was yellow. So I try to adjust the color on her computer, but they have a different version of microsoft Word, so that doesnt work. Uhg, so we decide to just go home and adjust the color and come back another day.
Before we left I asked the associate if I would get the price she quoted me, she said, no I thought you would be getting 2 images per page, but these will be $0.49 each, the rsvps would be 2/49 (because i would have had to cut them in half anyway) GRRRR.
I decide to just try printing at home, because even a new ink cartridge for my printer (which I may not even need) wouldnt cost half of that.

So at home, I adjust the color, and do a color trial mock up with my clip art in several versions of orange, then went to go get my printer out of the garage, where its being stored until my apartment is finished.
I cant find it anywhere. Not in the garage, not in the attic, not in the house, not in the new storage space. Not in a boat, not with a goat, not here not there not anywhere... GRRR
The next day, Mikey helps me look and we cannot find it either!?!!?
So I decide to try to print it on Mikeys printer. I printed one and chose which color we liked best. Then after spending way too much time playing with settings, I couldnt get the printer to let me set a custom paper size. And i couldnt trick it by saying the paper was 8.5x11 and just printing on the top half, the paper jammed. GRRRR.

So I call Staples and speak with a manager, I explain what I was quoted originally and why, because the sheets were have the size of a standard paper. She agrees to honor the original half price quote, but she doesnt think that their machines can print on such a small paper. I explain that the manager who had agreed to honor the price the other day, another associate and the one in training all saw my cardstock and no one (of the 3 of them) said it would be a problem at that time, so she agrees its probably fine then.

I get to Staples, and a different associate is working and doesnt think they can print on small cards. But she is willing to try. After trying to no avail to change the printer settings, she calls another manager who says there isnt a way, the machines arent designed for small pages, they will get jammed in the printer. I am amazed that my $30 Walmart printer can handle it but theirs cannot. The manager offers to print 2 images on cardstock and cut them in half, so it will be what I want, kinda, but not use the the fancy invitation kit, I was so happy to have found on clearance, was worthless, except I will use the envelopes. (I also ended up using the rest of the peices for place cards and cupcake labels)
Staple's price on printing on their cardstock is about $0.50 more per page. I think, I bet its way cheaper to buy a ream of cardstock, and have them print on that instead, and it was. I got 250 sheets of cardstock (their smallest package, way more than the 75 I needed) for $15 and gave her the go-ahead to do a proof for me.
After approving the proofs, we can go get us some Jamba Juice while we wait.
I decided to cut them myself because the image ended up being a little smaller than I thought, and I wanted to control how I cropped them.
So because I was able to have 2 images printed on each card, I got the 2/$0.49 price, I just also had to spend the $ on cardstock. I will be able to use the rest of the cardstock for other things, and hopefully I will find my printer eventually and I can use the rest of the cards for the baby announcements or something.

I was happy with one part of the printing. The manager said they couldnt print my favor lables, because the machine heats up the sticker paper and it can come apart and jam up, but the associate felt bad for me, so she said its only a few pages and she is willing to try. She had to adjust the image slightly so that printing wouldnt cut of the edges of some of the labels. She was very nice about doing that. Then she printed them, I only needed 1 of each, but all of them needed to be tweeked a bit. They came out great, the machine didnt jam up or anything. I figured that the machine had a chance to cool off between pages while she tweeked each one.

Long Story Short:

  • Dont count on being able to get smaller than standard pages printed professionally, check first.
  • dont believe what they tell you over the phone, even when you give very specifically detailed information about what you need.
  • and dont get your heart set on something, you may find its easier to give up the idea than to stress of how it just wont work.
  • dont expect to get things done the first time, or in a timely fashion, better to assume it will cause a headache, so hopefully you will be pleasently surprised.
  • dont wait until the last week to get things done, it will only add to the stress.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

invitation supplies are all set out for the invitation fairys to come in the middle of the night tonight!

so i posted some invitation stuff on this post but i wanted to follow up now that i have all the supplies.

soon after we got engaged, i found some wedding items on clearance at JoAnn's. including Wilton complete invitation kits in "Keeping with Tradition" the kits come with the main invite card, and rsvp card and envelopes for both. the kits were 3.97 each.

i designed this to be printed on the cards, turned landscape instead, to be different

today, i went in to craftwarehouse to try to find some paper to back the kit cards to get a look similar to lovebuddies's invite.

based on the size of the cards, i needed 8.5x11, and lo and behold, craftwarehouse was having a sale on paper, 8 for $1 and 20% off of everything. $10.23 for all the blue backing paper.

i also love the ribbon on the side of the invite, and although i had bought a bunch of different ribbons on sale at michaels a way back, i wanted to be sure i had plenty, and the ribbon i found that i liked was 25yds for $0.80 (after 20% discount) i only needed 3 spools.

another element i really liked was the belly bands that squirrly did on her invites.

i got some orange cardstock also for a backing behind some white cardstock for the buckle thing on front of the belly band.

the plan is to print each of the guests' names on white cardstock and cut out a square or circle just smaller than the orange peice.

so i am very proud of the total cost of my invites. after hearing about some invites costing several dollars each, i wanted to keep mine under $1 each.

here is the breakdown: (has been updated since original post)

invite kits: 3 x 3.97 = 11.91
blue cardstock: 115 sheets at 0.09 each = 10.23
orange cardstock: 20 sheets at 0.09 each = 1.72
sheer silver ribbon: 3 x .80= 2.40
Printing at Staples 50 pages of invites+25 pages of RSVPs = $36.75
cardstock $14.99
double sided tape: $2.10
for 100 invites (includes extras) = 80.10
<$0.81 each invite. not counting postage.
we are going to save postage by hand delivering some invites, and doing website and phone rsvps.

I have lots of extra cardstock, which I will end up using for other things, possibly programs, or nwr stuff. I also wont likely use all the tape or ribbon. I was unable to use the invitation cards and rsvp cards that came with the 3.97 kits, only the envelopes, but I expect to use them for Thank You's and maybe menu cards.

Monday, August 2, 2010

cupcake trials

so after I decided to do cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake, my darling fiance informed me that we must taste a bunch of flavors. (he does have a sweet tooth at times)

The cupcake tree I found can hold up to 300 cupcakes, we will make possibly more than that and have them on the table around the tree. I want there to be plenty, and even have leftovers for guests to take home in to-go boxes we got.

I thought of doing cupcakes in just a few basic flavors and decorate them all in wedding colors, but I figured I would get enough wedding color decor when I decorate the stand and when I started looking at cupcakes I liked the ones that had little clues on the frosting as to whats inside.

so I thought of some flavor ideas and decorating ideas and here are some of the ones i came up with:

almond joy 1 chocolate cake mix with almond extract added, 1 white cake made with coconut milk and coconut extract added. topped with shredded coconut and a roasted almond. first, I put some chocolate batter in, then some coconut batter and swirled with a toothpick.

the frosting is a can of chocolate that has almond flavored syrup mixed in.

I can also make some of these Mounds by waiting to add the almond extract to the chocolate until half of them are made, then top with all coconut and no almond. because some times you feel like a nut, and sometimes, you dont.

raspberry lemonade 1 lemon cake made with lemonade concentrate instead of half of the water(i tried with all concentrate and it was on the strong side) and 1 lemon cake made with half lemonade concentrate, mashed fresh raspberries (or chopped frozen) and some raspberry jello powder (or kool-ade) mixed in (dont forget the eggs like i did btw).
i put the lemon cake batter in the cups first, then topped with some raspberry cake and swirled with a toothpick. (the seperate color/flavor part can be skipped but i wanted them to look fancier than a solid color) they're topped with lemon frosting (from a can), fresh raspberry and a lemon peel or lemon candy and a sprinkling of more jello powder

this can be done with only 1 mix if you fill all the cupcake cups halfway with lemon then add some raspberry stuff then finish. i was making 4 dozen anyway so I used 2 boxes.

for testing, I made these for my late uncle's celebration of life that we held instead of a funeral. I opted for the lemon drops because they were my Grammies favorite candy before she passed away 22 years ago (and every candy is uncle Keith's favorite). Also, they were easier to work with than a lemon slice or peel in the mornings while pregnant.

Everyone raved about how yummy these were, but people suggested that for the wedding, to do either do a gummy candy, or lemon slice. the lemon drop was too much, to have to suck on, in addition to eating the cupcake.

strawberry cheesecake strawberry cake mix with chopped strawberries mixed in. frosted with cream cheese frosting and top rolled in crushed graham crackers and a strawberry slice.
I decided to frost the cupcakes with the same as the filling, it was so much yummier than the canned frosting.

for the filling, I mixed softened cream cheese with powdered sugar is all. to do the filling, I poked the handle end of a wooden spoon in the middle of the cupcake, then using a "pastry bag" (corner cut off ziplock baggie) to pipe the filling into the hole.

i also made a full sized cake the same way, but poked bunches of holes all around the cake.

i have yet to try:

andies mint 1 chocolate cake mix with mint extract added in and possibly andies mint chips mixed in also. one white cake mix with green food coloring and mint extract mixed in. frosted in chocolate(or green mint) frosting and sprinkled with andies mint chips or a full or half mint.

photo courtesy of adam on flickr

chocolate covered cherry chocolate cake mix made with cherry pepsi instead of water and possibly chopped cherries mixed in. filled with cherry pie filling, like 1 cherry in the middle. frosted with chocolate and a chocolate covered marachino cherry on top.

chocolate frosting, unlike this photo i found on theknot
(ETA I ended up not doing this one)

cafe java yellow? cake mix made with very strong coffee instead of water, java chips mixed in, frosted with whipped cream frosting and some coffee beans and cinnamon on top. might look up a better recipe for this

ETA I ended up mixing Via powder in the mix and using very strong Via coffee instead of the water in the cake mix.
photo courtesy of cupcake carrie on flickr

oreo cookies and cream i will look for a recipe for this one, probably just a white cake with oreo crumbs/cream mixed in, topped with a cream frosting and a mini oreo.

ETA I ended up putting half of an oreo at the bottom of the cupcake liner)

i did mini cheesecakes for our annual Daytona 500 party, because oreos look like tires. cheesecake is a lot of work though, so i will stick with cupcakes.

photo courtesy of theknot

Mikey also suggested doing "like a rainbow cake with lots of colors, because it would look neat" i said "like funfetti cake?" he didnt know what funfetti was. How can i marry a man who doesnt know what funfetti is? so i showed him the box at the grocery store and he said that is exactly what i had in mind.

recipe for homemade funfetti cupcakes here

(ETA I ended up doing box funfetti cake with solid blue and orange sprinkles to go with the wedding theme, I considered using the homemade recipe with just orange and blue but liked the rainbows of color.

we will also have just basic chocolate and white cakes for the boring or less courageous guests. (ETA we also had Gluten Free and Sugar Free cupcakes.)