#Inspiration: Rustic Cake Toppers

Our days are quickly passing and the final orders are being made to make sure we have everything we need for the Big Day. Which means another #Inspiration board post is due! Since my last one on bouquets and boutonnieres, we are happy to say that our flower order did arrive. Though the shipment came about four weeks after the date stated (I was sweating, friends), all the silk flowers did arrive and they were perfect! I could not be happier with the stems purchased from LightInTheBox.com, and even happier with the price point being a third of the costs I would have spent at Michael’s or another craft store.

Those flowers are currently at a friend’s house being arranged into some beautiful bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, and a cake topper. However, I am not 100% sure I only want the floral on our cake or if I should also add a rustic-themed embellishment above the petals. Hmm.

Well, while I continue to sway back and forth in my consideration, take a gander on some rustic cake toppers I’ve discovered on Pinterest and Etsy which might just take the cake… (See what I did there?)

I am also a big fan of this little digit:

So many adorable choices, only one cake. How do you think it would look for all of these to be on a two-tiered cake? Too much? Not enough? Ugh, decisions, decisions. 😉

I would love to see other wedding cake topper inspirations, be it for rustic or non-rustic themed cakes. I am a big fan of peg people, cascading flowers, and funny couple touches. Please feel free to send my readers and me inspiration by commenting below or DM me on Instagram @uncorkingpeonies.

Until next time, friends,

Budgeting 101: Save the Dates

Now that we have our engagement pictures, G and I are ready to begin the trek into the wonderful world of postage, stationary, and all things calligraphy. I say wonderful very loosely though, friends, because as I have started to look into options it seems as if this stage may be one of the most over-looked expenses a bride-to-be has during her wedding planning experience! I mean, I never realized different envelope types needed different stamp costs. Nor did I know that there were so many options for stationary: postcard, petite, classic, folded, etc. When in the world did a card become so expensive?!

That brings me to today’s discussion: Save the Dates.

I’m sitting here with a glass of Cab Sauv thinking about budgeting and wishing my glass was a little bit more full… As I’ve said before, G and I are trying to be as thrifty as possible with our wedding. So spending an arm and leg on paper isn’t our idea of a party — we’d much rather spend more money on the actual party! Thus, I’ve been doing a lot of research.

Here are the most popular Save the Date stationary wedding websites and a little blurb on them:

Vistaprint – seems to be better for those needing smaller quantities; able to customize completely; most beginning cost of 10 for $7.30

Basic Invite – many templates; instant online customer service through chatbox; cost beginning as low as $0.64 with large quantity orders

Zazzle – range of amateur to professional looks; usually a special promotion happening every month; cost beginning at $0.95 per

Shutterfly – known for good quality with photographs; able to sort by price (!!); costs begin at $0.40 with large quantity orders

Minted – stunning designs; matching websites and other stationary; work with individual artists to customize; typically more pricey with costs beginning at $1.14 per

Of course, there is always Etsy as well, but it can be overwhelming simply sifting through the various stationary websites let alone all the individual storefronts. I recommend having a precise design in mind if you venture onto the crafting site. There are some adorable options, so definitely do not out-rule it if its within budget.

As we narrowed down our guest list, though, G and I began to realize that even some of the less expensive online options were going to be higher than our anticipated cost on our budget. (Granted, we honestly had no idea what number to put down under “stationary” when we first created the budget but still…) We are currently looking at about 200 guests, meaning about 110 Save the Dates need to be mailed out and when you do the math, that cost is pretty steep. So we looked at alternative options.

With my line of work I sometimes am placed into the position of contacting and working with local printing shops. Considering that we could also keep our money localized, G and I figured we might as well get some quotes on what creating our own Save the Dates might be and having them printed. So, jumping into my love for graphic design, I drew up a Save the Date postcard creation and asked for an estimate from the printing shop I work with the most.

Their quote brought a smile to our faces!

Given that quantities on most of the websites go in 25’s (100, 125, 150, etc.) we were pricing our stationary at 125 cards. This meant our average cost ran about $140 without envelopes and postage included. The printing shop though? For 125 4.25″ x 5.5″ postcards of our design would be around $36. Hmm…

The $36 quote was only for one-sided printing and would include an additional $12 for envelopes. We debated. Envelopes would mean sticking both our home address labels and our guests’ address labels to them, sticking a stamp to the corner, plus licking each to close the postcard inside. I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of licking envelopes. Instead, I proposed we create a second side to the postcard — an actual postcard look with a message — and eliminate the need for envelopes altogether. In this manner we would only need to stick on the Deliver To address labels and a stamp and be Good. To. Go.

Done deal, friends!

Here is our final Save the Date graphic (they will have rounded corners when printed):

The final quote for this two-sided postcard is $56, which is such a far cry from the $140 + envelopes and postage. Plus, now that we are using 4.25″ x 5.5″ postcards, postage stamps are only $0.34! We’re so excited to have saved nearly $100 on this stationary which we can now apply towards something else on the budget. Woot!

Not just the budgeting factor makes this Save the Date the best for us as a couple. Like G said, I was able to create this postcard exactly as I wanted it — every inch of it is my creation. It may not be perfect. The fonts may not be exactly lined up or the paper have foil accents to it, but this was made by me. I love designing, and I was able to design my own Save the Date. I’m a bride who finds that to be really awesome! And we’ll be continuing this conception through to our other paper products for the wedding also… G and I are quickly becoming budgeting pros, finding corners to snip here and there to make this wedding our own while also affordable. I’m proud of us.

However, perhaps this option isn’t for you! That is completely okay. What are some other options you’ve found to be savvy with your stationary dollars while wedding planning? All of us brides-to-be would love to hear! Leave a comment below or DM me on Instagram @uncorkingpeonies. I would love to hear from you!

Until next time, friends,

 

Engagement Shots Sneak Peek

Last Sunday we were able to catch a break from the wind and rain and venture back to Grand Mere, which was the location of our first date, to have our engagement pictures session. Staci at Dear Olive Photography was our photographer and will also be our photographer at our wedding. I am in love with her eye for photographs and ability to capture natural lighting! Plus Staci is a fantastic person overall, so who better to put our trust in preserving such a precious day of our lives?

Though she said we would not receive all our images for about three weeks, Staci treated us to a sneak peek of a few of our pictures this past week through Instagram and Facebook… and G and I absolutely adore them already! We are going to have a hard time deciding which pictures to use for Save the Dates, our wedding website, and hanging in our future home. With these three already being so adorable, it’s going to be quite the challenge!

How We Met: His Story

My story with Ashley started when I moved back into the local area. I began attending FCOG (our church) and knew I needed a deeper level of involvement in the church than just attending Sunday service. I found out about a 20-30’s Bible study group called “House” so I gave my contact information looking for more details not knowing what to expect.

When I received the invite to the group, I remember initially thinking how kind the person behind the words in the email must be. As I read further and reached the end of the email, I saw the name of the woman writing, Ashley, and saw her accompanying profile picture. I thought to myself that I had just seen the most beautiful woman in my life. I didn’t want to get too excited as my main intention in joining this group wasn’t about dating, but challenging and maturing my faith. Plus my heart had been broken several times before and I told myself pictures could be deceiving.

So I remember back to a Wednesday night of December 2016 and being very nervous about the prospect of meeting completely new people. What would they be like? What would they think of me? As I took a deep breath and swallowed hard, I gripped the door handle, twisted, and entered into the home of House. To my relief, I was greeted by very warm and welcoming fellow believers in Christ.

As I made my way to the gathering spot and looked across the room, there wrapped in a blanket was Ashley. At that moment I realized I was completely unprepared for this encounter and the way I already felt toward her. As our eyes met, she said, “Hi” and smiled. With a dry mouth and clammy hands, I returned a shy hello and sat on the couch adjacent her. As I sat there, I remember thinking how beautiful her blue eyes were and that she was even more adorable in person. Throughout the night it was hard not to seem like a creeper as I couldn’t help myself from stealing glances in her direction.

Over the next few months we came to know each other better while interacting through the House group. And I came to realize that she wasn’t only extremely beautiful, but that I admired how smart and strong she was in her faith and relationship with the Lord as well.

As some things in our lives shifted for the better, we were better able to pursue one another. I wasn’t sure exactly where she stood with our relationship however, until she asked if I wanted to join her at the Lane Auto Show. I was genuinely wondering if I had died and gone to heaven! My only response was to nearly yell, “Yes!” due to my extreme excitement.

If this wasn’t enough, Ashley also offered to come and pick me up for church that same weekend in her parents’ 2014 Chevy Corvette. By then, it all started making sense, and she had figured out the way to my heart: through four wheels and engines.

When she dropped me back home after church that Sunday, I asked if she would be willing to go out on a date together, just the two of us to get to know each other. I had never been so nervous to ask a question in my life! To my relief, she actually said she would love to go on an actual date.

I felt like I could do back flips, and that my heart had just been jump-started.

A couple of hours later I was in the middle of mowing the grass when I received a phone call. It was Ashley asking if I was busy that evening to take me up on that date. I suggested we go hiking at Grand Mere. Without missing a beat, she said that sounded perfect, and next I knew we were at the dunes, hiking up and down the steep sand hills. Being a part of God’s great creation never ceases to put me at ease and center my soul.

Being with Ashley has made me realize that she is the most beautiful creation in my life. I knew that she was so special to me that day, and we continued to grow closer on a new level and establish our core values, goals, and beliefs together. I knew she was my perfect match, made for me, and my heart was drawn to her and hers to mine.

Considering my life and where I wanted to go, I knew I wanted Ashley by my side. I was not going to let this blessing from God slip through my hands. So, making a commitment to be her man forever and always, I got down on one knee on the North Pier on September 19, and asked Ashley to be my wife. She said yes and accepted my offer, without any doubt.

I will forever be grateful to God and thank Him daily for bringing us together. This is no longer my story, but the beginning of OUR story…

I will forever and always love you, Ash.