Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bling Redo

If I had seen this last year, my whole look would have been styled around this bracelet. I can just hear it clinking as I move through the room.

Image: J. Crew

Images (L-R):
Top Row:
J. Crew, artikal, In Style Weddings

I'd swap out the shoes for a lovely light gold d'orsay or add a pearl and diamond clip to them. And I'd don a retro fur caplet that my mom and I would find in an antique store.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Hello" from Severine!

Hello, Everyone:

Wow! This is so exciting! I was so honored when Tina asked me to be a contributor on her wonderful blog. I said, “Yes,” faster than I could even spell it! So, here I sit thinking about my first post in a foreign language. I better start at the beginning…

I live and will get married in Switzerland. Since I read InStyle magazine on a regular basis, the first wedding-related Web Site that I visited was InStyle Weddings. It was there that I was introduced to the wonderful world of wedding blogs. I read most of them (the popular ones and, of course, THIS one!) from beginning-to-end and added them into my Google Reader. I even started my own blog, but I think I may be the only girl in Switzerland blogging about her wedding. I can’t wait to write in English about our journey to the altar. I hope you will enjoy my posts as much as I do all of yours.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Guess Who I Just Stood Behind in Line at the Deli Inside Her Healthclub?

That's right. I guarantee that I am one of maybe a dozen Chicagoans that has seen her in public. She NEVER goes out in Chicago.

WTRITO is International!

The state of the 'ole Tina Union is a mess y'all. Going from Wedding Utopia to Work Hell for the past four months has left me tired, fat (not kidding), disorganized, and creatively constipated (ewww). But thanks to the Internet, I'm not in it alone! I now have help.

I'm so excited to announce a new contributor, Severine from Switzerland! Her first post will display tomorrow morning. I can't wait to see how her wedding pans out. I am sure that it will be great with her sense of style (Hint: She's wearing Christian Lou's). If you happen to speak German, check out her blog. You might see a few familiar faces. (Hooray for the Internet!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Paczki Day!

Image: Flickr

I was too lazy to drive to a Polish bakery, so I brought in Mutchkins to work for Paczki Day. Will I go to Polish Hell for this?

Images: Flickr

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tap, Tap, Tap...

I'm off to Washington D.C. for a long weekend with my girls LP and VP! I cannot wait. We're going see some sites, have some drinks, and spy in dark alleys for cruising senators.

Images from Obamicon.Me

I owe a lot of people e-mail responses. I am so sorry for being rude. I'm still working alot and had to get my sister-in-law's wedding invitations to the printer. This trip couldn't come soon enough!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

tw + ac: Details - Party Favors

Our guests *loved* our favors -- mini bags of Garrett Popcorn. They were a total hit! They were a little pricey at $3.00/ea for 2 cups of popcorn, but definitely worth it when we saw how happy they made people.

Didn't the labels turn out cute?

The Garretts was served in the drink tub that my friend, VP, made for my bridal shower at Paper Source.

Images: Sarah Alair

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

tw + ac: Details - Buttons

Remember when I stayed up way too late two weeks before the wedding? Well, I was designing these:

People totally dug the mock campaign buttons. Andy's dad put one on as soon as we walked in the door and is wearing them in all of the family portraits. At one point, my friend's mom was wearing four buttons (2/ea) across her chest. When I asked her about them later in the evening, she told me that she removed them because she "didn't want to seem excessive."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

tw + ac:**: Toasting Coupes

In the early days of our engagement, I was a total Budget Freak and convinced that we couldn't afford ANYTHING. So I nixxed a cake knife set and toasting coupes.  As the days got nearer, I realized that we probably should have toasting coupes. (And I was a little worried about someone giving us a pair of  Precious Moments toasting flutes as a gift.) So I made some.

I asked the sweet Paloma's Nest to whip up some TW + AC charms for me, picked up some metallic string from the 'Source and beautiful coupes from Lenox Tuscany line, shattered one of the beautiful Lenox coupes by storing it with the charm, and swapped them out for these $3.95 glasses the week before the wedding. Done.

Their exaggerated shape actually worked well for the photos.

My lovely friend Balz, who sent the champagne on the wedding day, also sent us a lovely Vera Wang cake cutting set  as an engagement present. Score. I think that I am going to steal Natalie's idea and have our names and wedding date engraved on it, and then have our sibilings do the same if they'd like. My family's not a big heirloom family, so it will be a first for us.

**That's right, Colleen, Wedding Post #21! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

tw + ac: Cocktail Napkins

Economy and Hurricanes be damned, I got my cocktail napkins. Yeah!

I also impulsed purchased some handtowels for the bathroom while I was chatting online with the PrintGlobe customer service rep finalizing the napkin order. (BTW, PrintGlobe is excellent. I highly recommend them, as did Robyn.)

When I recently made a joke to my sister-in-law's about her impending beach wedding trumping ours because it was on the beach and Andy's mom loves water, she said, "You had personalized towels in the bathroom. Deal with it." Damn. Don't hate, yo.


Speaking of bathrooms, remember my dilemma about having courtesy baskets in the bathrooms? Well, I had them. AND SOMEONE STOLE ALL OF THE STUFF! I remember noticing that there was one nail file and one mint lying in the dish at the end of the night and thinking "Oh, cool! They actually used everything!" But a few days later, I realized that had there been enough illness and "emergencies" to require:

  • 2 first aid kits,
  • 4 bottles of ibuprofen and aspirin,
  • 2 bottles of antacids (OK. This one, I could see.),
  • 2 sewing kits, and
  • 2 boxes of tampons,
I would have heard about it. What a sham. Maybe our guests had to use the tampons to plug up bloody noses and to seal wounds after they ran out of the first aid kits? (Seriously, I'd say that 10% of the female guests at our wedding were menopausal and another five were pregnant.)

On the plus side, the bathroom baskets allowed me the opportunity to use some shower gifts before they went to storage in Aunt Ruth's basement. I used some serving trays from Crate & Barrel as our "courtesy baskets." They were perfect, stylish, and saved us some cash. Crate & Barrel uses theirs for cantaloupe and mixed nuts, I use mine for tampons and dental floss. To each his own.

Images: Napkins: Sarah Alair; Dishes: Crate & Barrel

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Name Game

I saw this on Celestina Carmen's Blog and Andy and I had a giggle. But that could be because we're procrastinating on cleaning the house so anything that is not a dust rag is funny.

Your Real Name:
  • Tina: Tina
  • Andy: Richard
Witness Protection Name:
Your Mother's Middle Name + Your Father's Middle Name
  • Tina: Ann Charles
  • Andy: Dominick Louise
Secret Spy Name:
Your First Name Spelled Backwards
  • Tina: Anit
  • Andy: Drahcir
 Nascar Name:
Your Maternal Grandfather's Name + Your Paternal Grandfather's Name
  • Tina: Jerome James
  • Andy: Edwin Andrew
Detective Name:
Your Favorite Color + Your Favorite Animal
  • Tina: Green Giraffe
  • Andrew: Green ???
Soap Opera Name:
Your Middle Name + The County In Which You Were Born
  • Tina: Louise Cook
  • Andrew: Andrew Putnam
Super Hero Name:
"THE" + Your Second Favorite Color + Your Favorite Drink
  • Tina: The Yellow Wine
  • Andy: The Blue Martini
Fly Name:
The First Two Letters of Your First Name + The Last Two Letters of Your Last Name
  • Tina: Tiht
  • Andy: Rick or Anck
Street Name:
Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor + Your Favorite Cookie
  • Tina: Chocolate Crescent
  • Andy: Chubby Hubby Sugar
Rock Star Name:
The Name of Your Current Pet + The Name of the Street On Which You Live
We don't have pets, unless you count all of the dead lady bugs:
  • Dead Lady Bug Bittersweet
Porn Name:
The Name of Your First Pet + The Name of the Street On Which You Grew Up
  • Tina: Blue Eyes Hayford
  • Andy: Eli Harrison
Your Gansta Name:
The First Three Letters of Your Real Name + "-izzle"
  • Tina: Tinizzle
  • Andy: Andizzle
Your Goth Name:
"Black" + The Name of One of Your Pets
  • Tina: Black Blue Eyes
  • Andy: Black Eli
What are your secret names?

Friday, February 13, 2009

tw + ac: Details - I Love Paper

I do. I do. I do.

You've already seen the literature for the Out of Town bags.

You've also seen the Guest Book.

And the Programs.

You haven't see the Coat Check Tags. (Well, you haven't seen them in action.) I know that these are a  hot project now. Note to other DIYers, I made 170 and used 19. I think that I overestimated a bit. Save yourself some work.

Or the food cards for the server trays. (I regrettably do not have a photo of these in use at the wedding.)

Or the miscellaneous signage, including:

The Reserved Table Signs

The Laura Hooper-Inspired Cake Sign
(My friend Kev got a kick out of this one.)


I have a confession about the drink stirrers. I was down for the count with a sinus infection the day that I made these. I actually brought the Xyron into the bed and made them from there. I didn't encounter any reports of sinusitis wiping out Illinois in the weeks after the wedding, so I think that time + air + booze killed the germs. I had a patterned paper to make the last set, but it was difficult to line up the pattern for cutting and I was losing my interest.

Or the Coasters:

All professional images by Sarah Alair.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

tw + ac: Details - Flowers and Tables

Our flowers were very nice. I don't know if they were necessarily the right flowers for our wedding, but they were very pretty and organic. And I like the cabbage leaves as an unexpected treat. (Not to mention that I do love my pops of green!) As I said in the lounge post, I had lost my will to fight the "orange fall wedding." I think that my will was at its lowest point during our florist meeting. But all's well. I think that I am the only one who realized that our orange wedding was incidental. We received a ton of compliments on the flowers.

Wedding Party Flowers


Centerpiece in the Black Table Room

Table Centerpieces and Linens

My caterer, Briana, laughed at me because I picked my linens by laying the invitations on them. I had originally nixed these because I didn't like the texture. Apparently, I was the first bride that had ever commented on the "texture" of the linens.

Our "vases" are actually oil lamps that I bought on clearance at Pottery Barn over the summer.

Highboy Tables

 Our highboy tables had shiny orange and green linens and CB2 whirty candleholders with filled with dahlias.

I still had Italy on the brain when we first looked at A New Leaf. These fountains made me swoon.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

tw + ac: Details - Lounge Areas

After I visited A New Leaf last spring and saw another bride's lounge in the Apartment space, I became obsessed with a lounge atmosphere. Unfortunately, we were already cramming in more people than available seats and struggled with sacrificing more seating. My caterer and I decided to split the difference and scatter chairs and benches throughout the venue to make little vignettes. We had vigenettes in the storefront and two upstairs on the dance floor. I loved, loved, loved them. (And so did the five pregnant women at our wedding.) I wish that we had room for more.

The photo on the right is the first view of any details that I saw as the bus rounded the corner. I remember exclaiming, "Oh! Our pillows!" This is one of my favorite photos of the evening.

After the ceremony, I ran into my friend's mom in the storefront. After we talked for a few seconds, she said, "Excuse me, Bride, but I need to get one of the good seats." Then she high-tailed it over the window seats to cop a squat.

Since I can't sew and do not have space to learn how to do so, I had to outsource the throw pillows for our event. By this point, I was growing weak in my arguments against an orange wedding. All of the colors in our invitations and all people saw was "orange." (Even though there wasn't any!) When I found the top two fabrics shown in the photo below from Repro Depot, it was all over. L-O-V-E. They were autumnal, retro, and fab. They totally exuded the look that we were going for. They weren't a perfect match, but they were close enough. We found the tree fabric later. It turned out to be kind of ugly, but we bought it, so we had to use it.

I found an incredibly nice etsy seller, Abbie from miso, who ordered all of our fabric and supplies and made the pillows for me. When the pillows arrived, I loved them so much that I was trying to think of ANYWHERE that we could use the fabric. If it would have been earlier in the process, I would have redesigned the invites and used it EVERYWHERE. I was sitting at work one day when my caterer sent me some photos of another wedding that she at my photographer had done at A New Leaf. While I was looking at the photos it dawned on me - AISLE RUNNER! I e-mailed Abbie immediately and she jumped on board. And I think that she might not like me anymore. (Just kidding. I hope) Isn't it lovely?

The aisle runner's been sitting at the dry cleaner for three months. I'm hoping that it will come clean enough to be cut down into table runners for us, our moms, and Aunt Ruth. I'm in no hurry to get it back, as I am dreading that dry cleaning bill! I have to say that I was definitely in wedding mode when I bought the runner. While it's beautiful, I probably could have found a more realistic use for that money. Oh well.


As a total aside, have I mentioned how much I HATE those white plastic folding chairs? I actually still cringe when I see these photos. I thought that we rented wooden folding chairs. These are so awful. Thank God I didn't waste time or money on aisle decorations since they wouldn't be usable on those chairs. My brother looked at me like I had ten heads when I mentioned my distaste for the chairs. Our conversation went like this:

Me: God, do I despise those chairs.
Him: What chairs?
Me: The ones in that photo.
Him: Are you kidding or serious?
Me: Serious.
Him: They're chairs. Who the hell looks at chairs?
Me: I do. And those are ugly.
Him: You're THAT person that would spend $1,000 renting fancy chairs that people would sit on for ten minutes.
Me: Well, obviously, I am not, as I didn't, but wish I did. Those look like we borrowed them from an AA meeting.
Him: Staring at me blankly to infer that I'm an a-hole.

Sometimes, I don't know how I'm related to any of them.

Monday, February 9, 2009

tw + ac: Dancing Shoes

Well, I made it until about 10:30 p.m. before changing into my dancing shoes, which were wonderful. Unfortunately, they were pitch black by the end of the night. I don't know how, but they are trashed! At least they had their moment to shine. (In some of the pro pix, you can see the black line through the label to prevent return, which made me giggle. Almost my entire shoe collection was purchased on eBay, so many of my shoes have these marks.)

I guarantee that Andy thought that I was nuts when I asked him to take the picture below. :)

Friday, February 6, 2009

tw + ac: Late Night Snacks

We served gyros, french fries, and milkshakes as late night snacks about an hour or so into dancing. I know that late-night snacks are so Martha 1998, but they were still new to our guests, who, by the way, thought that we were the whip for servin' up these treats. I ran into one of my preteen cousins who was out on the patio. She rubbed her stomach and said dramatically, "Uh! DO NOT let them bring any more of those gyros outside. [Our cousin] has eaten seven of them!" Even my picky dad ate them!

I am letting it go, but you have to admit that monogram stickers and colored fry cones would have made the photo below AWESOME!

When the milkshakes came out, our photographer told me to grab two and meet Andy on the dance floor. But Chaka Khan came on and I got distracted on the way to meet him.

I eventually made my way over to Andy...

But then I got distracted from the gyros and fries when one of my friends started a conga line to "Come on, Eileen."* (Have I mentioned that I have ADD?)

I have a comical amount of photos of myself holding food that evening. I guess that's the one problem with not having a designated food time.

* The photos above just made me realize that I was dancing with my dad and husband to a song that normally reminds me of dancing with gay men in college. (Kev, think "Juan" and "Kazoos.")  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...surely there is something Freudian about that. Ha. Ha.