Monday, January 25, 2010

Here Comes the Bride Banner

When my husband and I were deciding on the wedding party we knew all the nieces & nephews wanted to participate in the wedding some how. So we had to find a role for all 7 nieces & 3 nephews. Yes...we were able to find roles for all 10 except 1 niece she was just so young.

You can only have so many flower girls and ring bearers. Since there were so many girls I decided to have a "House Party." They all had their own special role in the wedding. 1 was in charge of the guest book, 1 in charge of the programs, and 2 carried the banners down the aisle. They all felt special because they had to wear special attire, recieved gifts, & recognition in the wedding program just like the bridal party.

Many brides used the "Here Comes the Bride" banner in replace as flower girls or ring bearers. I wasn't replacing I was adding roles. For our two 10 year old nieces who were to old to be flower girl so this role was perfect for them and our wedding. We had them carry two banners.

1. "Here Comes the Bride": the girls carried right before I walked down the aisle.
2. "They Live Happily Ever After": they carried this right after we left the altar then the wedding party followed them out.

I was going to buy the painted banner, but they were very expensive from what I had seen online. Estimating over $100 per banner or more. So of course the budget bride that I am I decided to make them myself. I was inspired by Project Wedding brides who made their own custom painted aisle runners. If they can make that I can make a smaller version as a banner.

Disclaimer: this project is extremely time consuming. Took me a good 2-1/2 hours per banner.

Below are the directions on how to make the banner. My awesome mother in law helped me sew on the brown trim.

1. 2 yards of white fabric ($3.50 total)
2. Acrylic Paint (blue) ($0.67)
3. Thin paint brush ($3.99-you can find them cheaper I just didn't want the hairs to fall out on the banner)
4. Rod (this can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe's)
5. Ribbon (Michael's or Hobby Lobby $1.99 per roll...I used 2 rolls)

1. Print out the words on separate sheets on Microsoft Word. I used Chopin ( 250 font size.
2. Align & tape the sheets of paper together on a flat surface
3. Place the fabric (I used 1 yard for each banner) over the sheets of paper.
4. Trace with pencil
5. Paint and fill the tracing
6. Hot Glue, Hem iron on, or sew brown ribbon on the edges.

(prior to ribbon edge sewn on)

The Finished Product!

Monday, January 18, 2010

DIY-Chic, but Simple Hydrangea Centerpiece

I believe the hydrangea is one of the most chic flowers. It is so pure in its' delicate form with its' full blossom. Sweet, simple and elegant. I love all the variety of colors that they come in, but my favorite is the classic white.

I had always wanted hydrangeas for my centerpieces at my wedding reception. I had received quotes from florists for just 1 white jumbo hydrangea in a simple 6" glass vase for at least $40+. Yes, just for 1 stem! I thought that price was just absurd because all it was just one stem they were sticking into the vase and not a whole bushel of them. Sooooo I started to research online of brides who had DIY their centerpieces using hydrangeas and I heard from them all that it was pretty easy task. So I decided to just do 1/2 of my centerpieces with fresh white jumbo hydrangeas. Best decision I ever made! Saved me a ton of $$$.

I was going to purchase my jumbo white hydrangeas originally from Sam's Club who I have heard great things about. But I never got to see their hydrangeas in person so that made me a little nervous even though there were great reviews online and the other flowers I have seen at Sam's in person were just beautiful. My gut just wasn't saying yes to Sam's. So I did some more research and I stepped in to Hubbell and Hudson in the Woodlands. They had sitting out white jumbo hydrangeas and they were just GORGEOUS! Exactly what I wanted and for only $4 a stem! Totally beats the $40 from the florist and Sam's Club's price.

I then bought 2 stems from Hubbell & Hudson and made my trial centerpiece, wedding reception, and for a bridal show. It was super easy! Below are the steps I took to make them!

**If you are not in the Houston area I would definitely look into the Sam's Club. If I didn't run into Hubbell & Hudson I would have purchased them from Sam's

  • Jumbo white Hydrangeas
  • 6" glass vase (at ikea they are only $2.50/each)
  • polished white river stones (at Hobby Lobby $2 for 3 lbs)
  • Scissors
  • Bucket
  • Water Bottle
  • H2o
1. Cut hydrangea stems at an angle and place them in a bucket that is filled half way with room temperature water. Hydrangeas get very thirsty. You must hydrate them to bring them back to life. Also, get a water bottle and mist the petals to restore them as well.

2. Take 6" glass vase and add 6-8 polished white river stone at the bottom of the vase.

3. Add water to the 6" glass vase

4. Take 1 stem at a time and cut the the length you want the hydrangea to be in the centerpiece.

5. Place the cut step in the centerpiece and use stones at the bottom of the vase to anchor the hydrangea.

6. Keep hydrangea centerpiece in the refrigerator. They are very sensitive to heat and could wilt.

Cost per centerpiece: $7.50

My Trial Centerpiece

A centerpiece I made for the Bridal Extravaganza booth for Montage Photographers

Yay for Awards!

I feel so special. I just started this blog just before the holidays and I have 2 blog awards! I am just so giddy about this!

Jarcye: Eat Drink & Get Married blog thank you for the Glamorous Blog Award. I love reading your blog so great to receive an award from such a fashionista!

Thank you to Lost in White Chiffon for awarding me with the Kreative Blogger Award! I will stride to be even more creative with my blog!

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award.
2. Paste the award on your blog.
3. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
4. Share seven interesting things about yourself.
5. Nominate up to 7 more beautiful bloggers.
6. Link the seven bloggers you nominate.


1. Most people think I am Hispanic because of my dark features. I am actually 1/2 Korean and 1/2 Canadian, but born in the great state of Texas.

2. I have been called Elizabeth my whole life until I was in college. Mike started to call me Liz and it just stuck with me. Now everyone besides my family calls me Liz. So much easier than Elizabeth.

3. Since I mentioned something about my name. My name in Korean is Ehlisa~short for Elizabeth. If Americans could pronounce it I would rather be called Ehlisa than Liz.

4. I didn't get my first pet until I was 17. If you know me in real life. It seems like I have been a pet owner since I could crawl because of great love I have for our dogs. I now have 3 great furbabies!

5. When I was young I wanted to be a female version of Indiana Jones. I thought Harrison Ford was just so freaking cool. Then I realized how much studying went into becoming an archaeologist and they really didn't have great adventures the like the great Indiana Jones. Oh well it was a dream.

6. I love to have my alone time. It something I really cherish. If I don't have it...I go crazy. And I don't consider being in the car by myself in Houston traffic as alone time.

7. I am extremely detailed oriented. I believe the small things add up!

Now I nominate the following bloggers for the Beautiful Blogger Award:

Nikola: The Pagnozzi Family
Rebecca: Mustang and High Heels
Ashley: Everything But the Barn Door
Emily: Just the 2 of us and a Cat

Sad Panda....Bentley & Tree

Seems like this was the week that things were being cut. Literally!

First up was Bentley...
He is our oldest dog (4 years old). The past few months Bentley had been escaping out of ridiculous spots in the yard. He would get out through a hole the size of my fist and if you have ever seen Bentley his head is the size of bear cub. It is HUGE. Anyways he would squeeze out of places and run all over the neighborhood. And keep in mind we live on 2-1/2 acres and you would think that would be enough room to run around. However, I was told that un-neutured dogs do that because they are wandering looking for a female dog that was in heat miles away. So I decided it was finally time to get Bentley neutered. Of course my husband did not like that idea taking away Bentley's manhood. I told my husband it was the best thing for Bentley health wise for the future even though he was a very calm dog. He still was heart broken that Bentley would walk with a different swagger after Wednesday. This was his status on his facebook the night before...

"That beautiful big boy of mine is being forced into neutrality....why can't a man be a man? I can't bear the thought of the trauma he will endure tomorrow. He's been saying "tippy toe" all night long to me so when Liz wakes up to take him we may be gone to Vegas just so he can have a real fling before she kills his manhood."

So funny how guys think! I sure didn't feel that way when I took Lucy to get spade. I didn't think her womanhood was being taken away from her. I was more than happy to get her fixed.

I took Bentley to S.N.A.P.S on Wednesday morning. Their facility was awesome and the people were so friendly! I should have taken the other 2 there. I saved so much money taking Bentley there and they were so fast and efficient and it only cost us only $91 compared to over $250.

Bentley did great being around the puppies, kittens, and small dogs. He of course was the largest dog there. He was getting constant praise of house beautiful he was. I was so proud of him. So I left him at 8:30 am and I got a call at 10:00 am that my baby was doing great and he was in recovery. I left work a little early to go pick up the big boy and he was SLEEPY! Usually when he gets in the car he goes straight to the window and try to get his head out for air, but this time he was so tired he sat there and used the door as a pillow to prop his head on. I have never seen Bentley this tired. It was siooooo cute!

Bentley on our way home from his surgery. So saaad and sleepy! BTW I almost got into an accident on I-10 trying to take these pics behind me. LOL

At S.N.A.P.S they said I needed to keep the e-collar (AKA the big cone that dogs hate) on Bentley for 10-14 days so he won't lick the incision area. I have always thought it was funny to see dogs with that collar on, but it was even funnier seeing my very own dog, Bentley with the big cone head. The thing was so huge! He hated it! I think he was becoming claustrophobic. He was running into the walls. I gave him a treat and he couldn't even eat it. We put it on him before we went to bed and he just sat there very still for a good 30 minutes until we forced him to lay down. He didn't know what to do with that big thing. So sad for him, but man oh man he makes it look so good! He is so freaking cute!

He is feeling well now and his incision is healing perfectly! Hopefully he will stay in the yard and for his future health! He is sure glad we only put that cone head on him for only a few days.

Second up is the Martin pine tree...
This pine tree is one of the biggest pine trees in our yard of 50 other trees. It stands at at least over 100 feet tall and 10 ft around. We noticed in early October that it was dying from the top down and come to find the tree was dying from pine beetles that burrowed into it. Such a sad sad case. It was a gorgeous tree! We had been expecting it too be cut down for months, but the tree guy just never came out until the day I took Bentley to get cut as well. My husband I have to say has the wittiest FB statuses. This is the one he put after the tree was cut...

"So the wife cut my boy's boys off this morning and they're outside cutting down the biggest tree I have in my yard now...I'm not sure what message is being sent but I left my knife on the dresser, and put tin foil over my underwear just to be safe."

That Mike Martin is so silly. I would never do such a thing!

The tree is now laying in our yard. It looks like a beavers damn all over the yard with all the limbs, pine needles, pine cones, etc. It will take months to burn the limbs and the trunk of the tree. We started a bonfire this past Saturday and the smoke is still smoldering today...3 days later!

It certainly was a tough day for the men in the Martin household last Wednesday, January 13, 2010.

Friday, January 8, 2010

DIY-Save the Date! Less than $60!

I love receiving Save the Dates. Especially the ones that have a magnet on them. They are so fun! And people actually keep them and put them on their refrigerator!

Below is a way to have great looking Save the Dates under $60. Perfect for the budget bride! Everyone will think you had them done professionally!

1. I downloaded fonts from and played with them in photoshop.

***you can also use the edit photo tool at your pharmacies photo website or microsoft publisher

2. Choose an image from your engagement pictures and size the image for a 4x5.3 in photoshop and set the resolution to 300.

3. I upload the image to the Walgreens site to be printed. Many pharmacies & grocery stores have there websites to do this on.

4. I purchased rolls of adhesive magnet from Hobby Lobby

5. I cut them to smaller strips and peeled the adhesive strips and slap that on the back of the picture.

  • 100-prints: $10
  • 2 rolls of adhesive magnet: $8
  • Envelopes 100 from Target: $5
  • Postage: $35

Total: $58

Thursday, January 7, 2010

DIY- "You are invited...."

I feel that your Save the Dates & invitations set the tone for your wedding. Guests start to see what your style will be like for the wedding. I feel in the past the most traditional invitations were all white with black font script. However, the trend these days is having that pop of color or some cool design or flourish on your invitations with some really chic fonts. It is such a great way to express your personality and style as a bride. Trendy, but chic. I love it!

I never noticed such chic invitations with color until I saw my step sister Laura's invitations. They had a hint of blue with a modern font. So clean and chic. So her. She had purchased them from Wedding Paper Divas. Since then Wedding Paper Divas has been my source of inspiration when it came to invitations. I wanted to purchase my invitations so badly from there. However, my budget couldn't handle the costs. So I decided that I would DIY. Not only helped me budget wise, but allowed me to make my invites exactly how I wanted them.

Invitations are not very hard to make. The hardest part is deciding what style you want because there are soooo many! Below are the steps I took in making our invitations. My sister in law liked mine so much she asked me to make hers! I was honored.

1. Decided on the main invitation size & layout
There are various sizes to choose from. Long strip size of 4x9.25, Rectangular 5x7, Large square 5.25X5.25. Remember if you choose an odd shape the postage is more. I chose a 5x7 size, which took the standard postage rate.

You want to decided if you want the layout of your invitation to be portrait or landscape

2. Decide your color palette for the main invitation and your inserts (if you choose to have inserts)
Typically you would go with the colors of your wedding. Mine were brown, teal and ivory. I had always wanted brown to be my main color and teal to be my accent.

Optional inserts:
  • Map & Directions
  • Accommodations

3. Choose the font type for your names and main invitation wording
I used 2 different fonts in the invitations. Things I wanted to accent and stand out like our names I used a Script font. The rest I used in all lower case "century gothic".

I downloaded a ton of fonts from . This website it awesome! Another great one is .

Both were my savior with their free fonts they offered. I even used my flourish as a font (dingbats) and just used a large font size for it. I tried looking for a graphic, but I had to pay for it. I didn't really want to do that. FREE is good for me.
  • our names were "Scriptina"
  • main invitation wording "century gothic"
  • flourish on the side "Floralia"
4. Choose wording for invitation
Choose how you would like to word your invitation. There is an etiquette on how you word your invitation based mainly on who is covering the cost for the wedding. Traditionally it is the bride's parents, but this day and age it just not always the case. There are parents that are divorce, both families help, the bride and groom helps with a lot of the cost. I would google for the exact wording that you are looking for that is appropriate for your situation.

5. Use Microsoft Publisher or Photoshop to put it all together
I used photoshop because it allowed me to move boxes around like power point would allow you too. Gave me more control of where I wanted positions the text.

Set your size, layout, color background, color font, & font style.

6. Don't forget about the RSVPS
You can either make a smaller version of your main invitation and have RSVP wording on there. There are 2 types of RSVPs you can have.

1. RSVP card and have self addressed stamped envelope
2. POSTCARD RSVPs: This is becoming very popular and cost effective. You save money on your postage because you would pay for postcard postage (.28 cents) instead of the standard postage rate (.44 cents). Also, you don't have to pay for a smaller envelope for the RSVP to go in. Just remember the dimensions requirements by the USPS for postcards.


Dimension Minimum Maximum
Height 3-1/2 inches 4-1/4 inches
Length 5 inches 6 inches
Thickness 0.007 inch 0.016 inch

Any item smaller than the minimum dimensions is not mailable. For postcards, length is the dimension parallel to the address. Postcards must be rectangular and be made of unfolded and uncreased paper or card stock.

Large cards that exceed the maximum dimensions of a postcard pay the First-Class Mail letter price or First-Class Mail large envelope price.

Front RSVP

Back of RSVP

My sister in laws RSVP Front


6. Print, Stuff and Send
I would highly recommend to print your invitations. They offer many discounts and specials. Their quality is pretty good.

For envelopes I would go with they are at a great price.

If you do decide to do pocket folds. I would go with they have a great product and the best prices.

My main invitation

My Sister in Laws Main Invitations

Bridal Extravaganza Frenzy!

I decided I was going to help my photographer friend out by helping him at his booth this weekend at the Bridal Extravaganza. I think it is going to be fun being on the other end not being a bride this time. Last year I was very overwhelmed by the size of the show and the information that I received from it. Luckily my fiance at the time now husband and in laws went with me for support. I didn't know what to expect, but now knowing going through one. Here are some tips I would share if you are going to experience the craziness called the Bridal Extravaganza.

1. Wear Comfortable Shoes: by the end my legs and hips were killing me because my shoes sucked!

2. Eat before the show or bring snacks: It will take at least 3 hours to get through the whole show even if you are just stopping to a few vendors. You will get hungry and the food there can get pricey. Also, there is not a whole lot of taste testing like people think with caters and cake people. So eat! You need the energy.

3. Create a Email address just for wedding planning: after the show you will be bombarded with email blast from vendors. And they really don't stop for a long while even. I highly recommend this.

4. Make your own LABELS: they sell them at the show, but it's a waste of money. You can make your own at home. I would put only your name & email address, physical address (optional) on there.

5. Have a list of vendors you are wanting to focus on: For example, I was looking for a DJ & cater so I made sure I picked up on information and talked to several DJs & caters. And compared them from my initial meeting and information they passed out.

6. Have 2 Separate Bags: You want two bags. One for the vendors information you are very interested in and the other one of the ones you are contemplating. This makes it easier for organization. When it comes time to look at all the stuff you get there.

7. Have fun! This can be a really great time with your girls. Also, you will get a lot of great ideas & inspiration for your wedding from set ups from the various booths. Take lots of pictures!! Take it all in. You only get to plan your dream wedding once. :-)

Visit me at Booth #531! See ya there!!