Category Archives: Bride

What to Put on your Wedding Registry

flowers

Long before I ever got engaged, I looked forward to the day when my future husband and I would head to the store and register for all kinds of gorgeous goodies. Of course we would have a large home that needed to be filled to the brim, along with a well-behaved dog, and a trendy new SUV. Fast forward to real life, and we have absolutely none of those things…but we still had “register for gifts” on our wedding to-do list.

View More: http://ginacristine.pass.us/casey--mikeI also daydreamed of us waltzing around the store (elegantly dressed of course…perhaps like the above picture?) sipping champagne and holding hands as we used the beeper to quickly choose all of the new items for our home. It would take less than an hour and we’d skip out of there even more in love than when we arrived.

In reality, we were both hungover from a holiday party and couldn’t wait to power through our long shopping list. We spent a large chunk of time testing out the mattresses, just lying around waiting to chat with a salesman. We left the store 3 hours later…completely exhausted, overwhelmed, and with only a couple of items checked off of our list.

IMG_5198 Eventually we did get around to finishing up our list (most of which was done from the comfort of our home. Gotta love online shopping!) and I wanted to take some time today to chat about all of the items we put on our wedding registry. I also consulted Bridget and together we came up with a list of our wedding registry items. But before we get to those…here are a few things we kept in mind while shopping with our +1’s.

  1. We both chose to go with neutral options when possible. Are you surprised? White towels, white plates, white bedding…they’re all classic and we can use them forever even if our taste or style changes. We say when in doubt…go white!
  2. We also each took an inventory of what we had, what we wanted, and what needed to be upgraded prior to shopping. Going in with a list is never a bad idea, and you’ll probably end up with stuff you actually need.
  3. We agree that a registry should reflect your lifestyle. We’ve both confessed that we’re pretty terrible in the kitchen, and that probably won’t ever change. So to register for a bread maker, or 6 pie dishes, just didn’t seem like it was worth it to either of us. Don’t go into your shopping trip with an idea of the lifestyle you want to lead someday...instead embrace who you are (and who you are together as a couple!) and build your items around that.

Here’s our Must-Have Items:View More: http://ginacristine.pass.us/casey--mike

  • Waterford Champagne Flutes: Okay so we didn’t actually have these on our registry. These were an engagement gift from my soon to be mother-in-law. She got us a set of 2 and we’ve used them for many special occasions. They’re the only “fancy” dishes we own, and we love them!
  • Nice Luggage: I’ve always had pretty crappy luggage, so it was nice to get the “good stuff.” We put these 2 Tumi carry-on sized bags, and these 2 large suitcases on our list. They’re all great quality and should last us for years (& hopefully many trips).
  • Plush White Towels: I love white towels because you can just bleach the heck out of them, but I’ve never spent a lot of money getting nice thick ones. We added lots of high quality white towels to our registry and they’re amazing.
  • Simple White Dishes from Crate & Barrel (nothing too expensive, so we’re not upset if anything breaks)
  • Basic Silverware
  • High Quality Knives
  • Red & White Wine Glasses; Champagne Flutes; Martini Glasses
  • A couple of white serving bowls and platters
  • A large wooden salad bowlBerry-Box
  • Berry Box Colander: I love berries…and this was just too cute!
  • Wooden Chopping Board
  • Plastic Cutting Board
  • White Cloth Napkins and Silver Napkin Rings
  • Silver Plate Chargers
  • Neutral Placemats
  • Salt & Pepper Grinders: Basic ones that don’t look bad if we leave them out in the kitchen
  • Water PitcherMarble-Fruit-Stand
  • Marble Fruit Stand: The next best thing to marble countertops…
  • New Baking Sheets: Our old ones were pretty disgusting after too many burnt dinners…
  • Upgraded Appliances: Blender, Toaster, Hand Mixer
  • Pantry Containers: Bridget swears by these ones from Crate & Barrel
  • Fun Bar Cart Items: Nice decanter, muddler, drink shaker, etc.
  • Stainless Steel Trash Can
  • White sheets and pillow cases
  • 2 White Bath Mats

Here’s What We Passed On:

  • Bread maker
  • Fine China
  • Silver
  • Ice Cream Maker
  • Espresso/Cappuccino Machine
  • Picture Frames
  • Bathroom Accessories
  • Griddler
  • Toaster Oven
  • Rice Cooker
  • Table Cloths or Table Runners
  • Fancy Candlesticks
  • Deep Fryer: Although Finn did try to secretly add this to our list. No joke.
  • Monogrammed Bath Robes: We’re not really monogram or robe people.
  • Crockpot: We already have one that works just fine.

Because we’ve only had these items for a short amount of time, I figured I needed to ask the real “experts” about the do’s and don’ts when it comes to registering. What items were a big waste of money, and now sit in your pantry collecting dust? Which items do you use every single day? You know…tough questions like that.

Here’s the expert advice from brides of the past…IMG_5199

What do you still use?

“Oddly enough, I still use the plastic covers for the china.  I don’t really LOVE the china, but it has stayed very nice in the covers.” Jan, Married 37 Years ago

“My casual white dishes.  I decided not to register for fine china because I wanted something we would use every day that was really pretty.  I registered for a more casual set of pottery white dishes. I love them so much to this day and use them at every meal!” Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Co., Married 5 years ago

“Electric wine bottle opener (it’s always a hit), extra wine glasses (they break!), durable pots and pans even if they’re a bit pricey (if you cook, it’s worth it!), high quality chef’s knife, and… Tupperware!” Angela, Married 3 years ago

“We needed a dishwasher and that was about it, so we asked for gift cards toward a dishwasher.  As far as I can tell, no one got offended and lots of people helped us buy our dishwasher!” Jackie, Married 4 Years ago

“We got a toaster from one of our wackiest friends, and we both remember thinking it was so odd that he of all people would give us such a tame gift.  We actually already had a toaster that worked just fine, so we put it in the “return” pile.  At the last minute we decided to pull it out of the box to take a look at it and determine if it really was that much better than our current toaster.  And that’s when we saw it – he’d had the side of the toaster engraved with our names and wedding date.  Where does one even get that done?!  We still use that toaster on the daily, and I smile every time I pull it out of the cupboard, thinking about what a funny gift it was and how our personalized toaster almost ended up in someone else’s kitchen.” Dusty from All Things G&D, Married 11 Years ago

“The best best best kitchen thing I got was a pineapple slicer. Sounds lame but when you need it, you’ll love it. I do have to admit that I already had the good knives and stuff since before I got married!” Robin

“Clothes Steamer! Not only great for clothes but also drapes, throw pillow covers, etc. Not a typical gift, but really awesome to have.” Meaghan

“Register for twice as many serving pieces/platters and half as many glasses than your first instinct.” Colleen

“Nothing! In our day we only registered for china, crystal, and silver!” – Paige, Married 30 years ago

What do you never use?

“China or silver” – Patty, Married 31 years

“Our picnic basket.  I had this vision of romantic picnics and really wanted a picnic basket.  I picked out a nice one with all kinds of dishes and plastic wine glasses inside it.  Chris told me we would never use it.  I argued we would and we got it.  After four years, we still hadn’t use it and sold it at a yard sale.” – Lindsay from The White Buffalo Styling Co., Married 5 years ago

IMG_3830“I never use any of the formal silver pieces.  You have to polish it every time before you use it and who wants to do that?” – Jan, Married 37 years ago

“Wine glasses with skinny stems (love how they look but they break SO easily!)” – Christine

“Don’t register for china unless you plan on completing the set yourself with your own money after the shower. Most brides don’t receive all of the pieces at their shower and are left with an incomplete set. So unless you plan on purchasing the rest, skip on the china” – Angela, Married 3 years

And some words of advice for married life from our amazing experts…flowers

“Sometimes you just have to laugh when things go wrong and boy oh boy they will.  Be happy and smile!  He is your best friend for life!  You picked him and he picked you.  Enjoy each other everyday! That’s it!” – Patty

“Expect conflict and learn how to conflict well.  Conflict is a part of marriage when two people are living together.  See the best in the other person, but don’t forget they’re humans who make mistakes.  Conflict will come, but it’s so important to learn how to conflict well.  It’s so easy to fly off the handle and blow a small thing way out of proportion.  Take deep breaths, stay calm, and lovingly express your opinion.  Take time to listen to what your spouse thinks.  Think before speaking, and you’ll often realize that what you’re upset about is a small thing.  When you learn to conflict well, conflict only makes you stronger.” – Lindsay

“Encourage each other to remain individuals while growing as a couple.” – Jan

IMG_5198So in the end, no one is right. I don’t know how many times Bridget & I heard the following, “You don’t have enough stuff on your registry!”, “How come you didn’t register for x, y, or z?”, “You need some more fun stuff on there…I don’t just want to buy you a spatula!” But it comes down to figuring out what works for you and your household. I say don’t just get something because everyone else thinks you need to put it on your list. If you’re right out of college you may need lots of things…if you’ve lived on your own for a decade, you may already have plenty of household basics. Choose items that are right for you and your husband-to-be and you’ll end up with a home full of useful items that fit your lifestyle.

casey_sigP.S. Here is the pic I sent Bridget when we were loading in all of our new gorgeous gifts #chaosMessy-Kitchen

 

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4 thoughts on “What to Put on your Wedding Registry

  1. Nikki

    I’m getting married next month too, and I’m so tired of hearing people telling us about how there “isn’t enough stuff” on our registry! The whole process was more stressful than I thought it would be, too. I’ll never critique another bride’s registry again!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Nikki, so happy to hear from a fellow bride! I completely agree with you, I’ll never critique another registry…to each their own! I’m just so happy it’s all over and done with and now we have items that we want filling our home.

      Congrats on the wedding!

  2. Katie

    I also registered at Crate & Barrel and is it UNREAL how much packaging they send everything in! Helps if you need to store it until you use it though. But I’m with you, classics and neutrals all the way. My husband and I have almost been married for a year and we read a lot of product reviews online before going into the store, or we saved those bigger items we’d want to read reviews on first and just added them to our registry online. So much easier!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      The packaging….I could not agree more! Seriously like a sea of paper just to get to one tiny little wrapped gift. Ha! Good idea to read product reviews online. I didn’t even think about that.

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4 thoughts on “What to Put on your Wedding Registry

  1. Nikki

    I’m getting married next month too, and I’m so tired of hearing people telling us about how there “isn’t enough stuff” on our registry! The whole process was more stressful than I thought it would be, too. I’ll never critique another bride’s registry again!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      Nikki, so happy to hear from a fellow bride! I completely agree with you, I’ll never critique another registry…to each their own! I’m just so happy it’s all over and done with and now we have items that we want filling our home.

      Congrats on the wedding!

  2. Katie

    I also registered at Crate & Barrel and is it UNREAL how much packaging they send everything in! Helps if you need to store it until you use it though. But I’m with you, classics and neutrals all the way. My husband and I have almost been married for a year and we read a lot of product reviews online before going into the store, or we saved those bigger items we’d want to read reviews on first and just added them to our registry online. So much easier!

    Reply
    1. DIY Playbook

      The packaging….I could not agree more! Seriously like a sea of paper just to get to one tiny little wrapped gift. Ha! Good idea to read product reviews online. I didn’t even think about that.

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Casey’s Custom Wedding Invites

Invitation-Tied-Up

Two months from today, I will walk down the aisle to marry my best friend! I can hardly believe it…October 11th is drawing near and soon I’ll officially be Mrs. Finn.

Luckily, the wedding planning process has been smooth sailing so far. We’re both pretty organized people, and we’ve got lots of spreadsheets and excel files tracking everything for the wedding #nerdalert. Because we’ve been engaged for such a long time (20 months!), we’ve had the opportunity to slowly check off the big items on our wedding to-do list. That way we’re not completely overwhelmed, and we can try to enjoy the whole planning process. So when it came to picking a wedding invitation, we were in no rush to just go with any ol’ invite. Nope, we wanted to enjoy the process and choose something that really fit our theme and budget.

Enter, Sydney from Studio255. We met this creative genius back in November of last year, when she shared some tips to add extra glam to your holiday snail mail. Both Bridget & I ended up sending out holiday cards from her shop, and we instantly fell in love with her adorable designs.

I then used Sydney yet again when it came time to jazz up our Save The Date postcards. She designed a custom stamp for us, and I’ve been stamping away ever since.

So, when it came to choosing a wedding invitation vendor…there was no competition, it was Studio255 all the way. I emailed Sydney, and we scheduled a time to chat over the phone. I told her our budget, theme, and vision for the invites…and right away she understood what we wanted to accomplish. She emailed us about 10 personalized options, and we all worked together to tweak the designs until we settled on the right look for us.

Wedding-Invitations-EnvelopesHere are the final invitations, aren’t they gorgeous? I’m not gonna lie, this was Finn’s big project for the wedding. For some reason he was really into the invitations, so I let him make the big decisions. He wanted something that was easy to read, easy to understand, and invites that weren’t over the top formal. I think he nailed it. Stacked-Gray-Wedding-InvitesWe initially tried out a few color options for the invitations, but nothing ever felt right to us. (In fact, at one point we added purple to the design and Finn said “This looks a little too much like Lent.” Ohhhhh boy.) Our bridesmaids are wearing varying shades of gray and silver, so we decided that this color option would work best for the invitations. Nice and simple.

Love-Story
Vows-Written-on-backWe added a few personal touches to the wording, like when we call out our “love story”. Because our wedding has a subtle theme of “love letters”, we definitely wanted this to be incorporated into the invite, so we also added some script to the back of the invitation. (Fun fact: The subtle, cursive words are actually our vows!)

Cursive-HeartAnother detail Sydney incorporated into the design, is this cursive heart. It was on our wedding stamp, so she carried the same look through and added it to the border of the invitation.

Purple-Flowers-Gray-InvitationGray-Twine
Finally, to keep all of the papers neatly together we added some silvery baker’s twine to the mix. It reminds me of tying up a stack of love letters with string, and I thought it fit the look of the wedding, while adding some texture.

Invitation-Tied-UpMy lovely mother offered to put them all together, and bless her heart she did a fantastic job. I’m one lucky bride to have her on my wedding staff.

Casey-loves-MichaelI could go on and on about our wedding invites, but I don’t want to bore you with details. I’m just thrilled with how they turned out, and I can’t say enough good things about working with Sydney from Studio255. She was organized, efficient, and she dealt with our endless tweaks and modifications to her designs. Hall of Fame Graphics Queen in my playbook. If you’re looking for custom invites (or even just a cute address stamp!)…go to her. Seriously, you won’t regret it.

Gray-Wedding-InvitesBut the very best part about our wedding invites…

They were light enough to only need 1 stamp to ship! Woo woo! It’s the little thing in life isn’t it?

Wedding-Invitations-Envelopescasey_sig

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4 thoughts on “Casey’s Custom Wedding Invites

    1. DIY Playbook

      Alysia you should totally get one! We have one that has our address on it too (I think Bridget has one as well). Such a good idea and really “classes up” any letters or cards we send! Studio 255 on Etsy..she is awesome to work with and I think the stamps are relatively inexpensive.

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4 thoughts on “Casey’s Custom Wedding Invites

    1. DIY Playbook

      Alysia you should totally get one! We have one that has our address on it too (I think Bridget has one as well). Such a good idea and really “classes up” any letters or cards we send! Studio 255 on Etsy..she is awesome to work with and I think the stamps are relatively inexpensive.

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Bridal Shower Invitations

bridal shower invitation
(Disclaimer: We have partnered with the Etsy Shop, digibuddha, to bring you Casey’s Bridal Shower Invitations. All opinions shared are our own.)
Casey’s getting married in less than 3 months!! After over ten years of dating her handsome high school sweetheart, Casey is taking the plunge and marrying the love of her life (Check out their amazing engagement photos here and here). We can’t wait to shower this bride-to-be with all the love, glitter, and gifts that she can stand. And later this month, we are doing just that… showering Casey with a Mint, Gold & glittered Bridal Shower. And as always, we wanted to keep you all updated throughout the process. To kick things off, here’s a peek into the gorgeous shower Invitations from the amazingly talented best friends behind Digibuddha.
How adorable are these?! Girly, fun, and so different than Casey’s wedding theme.. I mean I wouldn’t want to steal her thunder (and creative ideas) right before her big day. #MaidofhonorNONO
The duo behind this shop is RIGHT ON trend. You have to check out their amazing work- like +2,000 paper items to choose from…. each item cuter than the last.

This is the color scheme the bridal team is trying to follow for the big par-tay… we’ll see how it turns out. We thought “mint” and “peach” will be fun touches to incorporate into the colors, decor, and even into the signature drink choices. Mint? Peach? Sounds like a classy girls’ night out, right?
We had such a great time working with the owners behind Digibuddha because they were crazy talented, so timely, and open to ideas and personalized requests. Take these marriage advice cards for example. They just “got” what we were trying to do and came back with a proof that seemed to mirror exactly what we wanted. We stuffed these little tickets into the envelopes alongside the invite itself and can’t wait to see what Casey’s favorite ladies have to tell her about a happy marriage.
The shower is a “no wrap” or “display” shower, meaning guests can save the money, hassle and time it takes to wrap their gifts by bringing them unwrapped. We will then display the gifts for everyone to look at throughout the evening, leaving more time for the bride to enjoy everyone’s company rather than wasting time opening gifts while no one pays attention. (Let’s be real here, I can’t be the only one that doesn’t pay attention… can I?) Anyways, the Marriage Advice cards can accompany the gifts so we know who gave what and can document that for the bride’s records/thank you cards. And as an added bonus, we will compile the handwritten pieces of marriage advice for Casey to treasure throughout her happily ever after. I mean how amazing will it be for her to have the ingredients to a happy marriage from her mom, grandma, favorite aunts and best friends…. forever? I see DIY project written all of that…
So yea, Casey’s glamorous party in the making. And because this amazing Etsy Shop made the invitation process so EASY, I have a lot more time on my hands to create some DIYs in honor of the big day. This is my first rodeo as a “maid of honor”, so if you have any gold and glamorous shower ideas for the future Mrs. Finn’s big day… email me!! 😉 Seriously though, please?
bridget_sig
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5 thoughts on “Bridal Shower Invitations

  1. Lauren Goodwin

    I’m doing a gold/pink paris themed for my girl friend. For favors, I’m taking wine glasses (dollar tree!) and glittering the stems and of course filling the glass with chocolate.

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5 thoughts on “Bridal Shower Invitations

  1. Lauren Goodwin

    I’m doing a gold/pink paris themed for my girl friend. For favors, I’m taking wine glasses (dollar tree!) and glittering the stems and of course filling the glass with chocolate.

    Reply

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Our Save the Dates…

Casey-MIke-Stamp
 (Disclaimer: We have partnered with MagnetStreet to bring you this post. The information and opinions expressed are 100% our own and are not influenced by MagnetStreet)

The wedding planning is moving along quite nicely!

Venue – Check! (<—vintage enthusiasts…you’re gonna die when you see this place! loooove!)
DJ – Check!
Dress – Check!
Caterer – Check!

Yep, things are rolling right along and we cannot wait for our October wedding. But over the past few months, we’ve had a big thing on our checklist looming over our heads…our save the dates!  We knew we wanted to send them out in January (9 months before the big day!), but the we had absolutely no idea what kind of save the dates we wanted.

However, we did have a few save the date must-haves and we created a list to help ease us into process.

Old typewriter

1. Personal & Unique: We wanted them to set the tone for our wedding where we hope to make the day anything but “cookie cutter.” Therefore it was a must that we could use our own words, fonts, and overall style on our cards.

Engagement Pictures

2. Feature a few pictures: This was an absolute must. We had such a great time shooting our engagement pictures and including a couple pictures was definitely on the list.

love letters

3. Showcase our Love Story: Our wedding theme is “love letters” and we’re hoping to make every detail very romantic. Therefore, we wanted our save the dates to tell our love story that has spanned 10 years.

$.33 Postcard Stamp

4. Postcard Format: In order to save a bit of money, we knew we wanted to do postcards. You don’t have to pay for envelopes and postcard stamps are only $.33! #rookiebudget

Love Stamp

5. Feature our stamp: We received a gorgeous stamp from Studio 255 and I knew that I wanted a place on the save the date to stamp away.

With my list of must-haves, I scoured the internet in search of a great shop to design and print our save the dates. That’s when I came across MagnetStreet. They offer hundreds and hundreds of different options for save the date cards (magnets, postcards, regular cards, everything!) But it wasn’t the wide variety that caught my eye, it was the ability to personalize each option. You can upload your photos, choose your color palette, and even change the wording and font for any of the cards. I instantly knew that this was the perfect option for me! Instead of some random designer (who doesn’t know me or my style) having all of the creative freedom…the creative freedom would be all mine! I was sold!

The site offers a filter so you can easily find anything available in your style, size, color, etc…but I’m not gonna lie, I looked through just about every single option! It was just so fun to check them all out and weed through to find one that fit our needs.

Once I found the right card, I got to work inserting our pictures, colors, and wording. Here’s what we came up with…

Magenet Street Save the Dates
Our Save the Dates
The front tells our “love story” showcasing our decade of love. I like how we were able to show a few shots from our engagement pictures and I especially love how we could personalize all of the wording to fit our needs.
Stamp on save the date
On the back we wrote a little love letter to our guests and signed it with our beautiful stamp. I stamped each one while my mom hand wrote the address on the postcard. Funny story…we ruined almost 30 cards because the stamp just would not dry! We left them for hours and if you touched one lightly it would smudge everywhere! We found out that the magic number to dry was (drumroll please…) 4 days! Yep, it took that long. I’m sure we could have found a different ink that was fast drying, but instead we just laid out all 150 of them on my mom’s dining room table for almost a week!
Stack of save the dates
I’m so happy with them, but I was even happier when I mailed them out and got those bad boys off my hands. Let the wedding countdown officially begin!
Love letter theme save the date
Casey DIY Playbook
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2 thoughts on “Our Save the Dates…

  1. KristyDoyle

    LOVE these! I’m so excited for you! I got married in the fall, it’s really the perfect time for a wedding!

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Awww thanks girl! And yes…the fall is my absolute favorite! I’m hoping for beautiful fall colors on the trees and a nice crisp (but not too crisp!) day.

    xoxo,
    Casey

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2 thoughts on “Our Save the Dates…

  1. KristyDoyle

    LOVE these! I’m so excited for you! I got married in the fall, it’s really the perfect time for a wedding!

    Reply
  2. DIY Playbook

    Awww thanks girl! And yes…the fall is my absolute favorite! I’m hoping for beautiful fall colors on the trees and a nice crisp (but not too crisp!) day.

    xoxo,
    Casey

    Reply

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