Archive | August, 2013

They’re kissing… for science.

30 Aug

So guys, I’ve dropped hints about our cake topper previously. So I thought I’d finally tell the Hive! 🙂

From the beginning (I’m talking back in July of 2012!), we wanted to inject a little bit of geekiness into our wedding. We’ll be doing that through several things – the props of our photobooth, some of our choices in music, and the quintessential piece of them all – the cake topper.

Originally, I mentioned many times that Mr Big and I both wanted a cake topper of us fighting the zombie horde, like this:

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Cake topper – fighting the horde with style! / Image from Garden Ninja Studios.

However, to get the bride and groom and 2 zombies, it meant forking out a LOT of dough. Add to that shipping from the US, where the toppers came from, and that was a lot of money for a topper. So we started thinking of alternatives. I found a few good cake topper designers, but none of them really gave us the feel of what we really liked as a couple.

There were either too cutesy for us:

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Wall-e & Eve cake topper / Image and Topper from Annacrafts.

Or too far away from what we originally wanted:

The Running Bride and Groom- Custom Wedding Cake Topper

The Running Bride & Groom / Image and Topper from Weddings and Wire.

I loved the works of both annacrafts and Weddings and Wire, but they departed too much from our original image. They weren’t any cheaper, either, so we’d still be paying a good amount of money to get them. By this point, however, Mr Big and I had figured that – if we wanted to get a unique cake topper that was very “us” – then we shouldn’t worry too much about money.

But (more than) $400 was still way too much for us to grasp!

So back to the drawing board we went – literally! I enlisted the help of my awesome Maid of Honour/big sister to design us some cake topper ideas we had. She churned out the goods over a month and we received these beauties:

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Miss Big and Mr Big standing on a Cube, K-I-S-S-I-N-G… yeah that didn’t work. / Image from MoH M&Ms.

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Fighting the horde – with style!! / Image from MoH M&Ms.

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Romance with Portals! / Image from MoH M&Ms.

As you can probably tell, two of three are Portal-inspired. This is because Mr Big and my relationship grew from this wonderful game. We have many, many, many other things in common (music, likes, dislikes, intelligent debates, etc.) but Portal was got me into the one thing I refused to do before meeting him: play a video game on my own.

I don’t want to go too much into it, because this post is already SUPER long, but basically, after completing the first Portal game, I become what one would call a “female gamer chick”. I don’t play competitively (I suck at competitive death-match-y type games) but I LOVE playing co-operatively. In fact, if you watch StudioSomething’s stop-motion video, it states in the end that marriage is the ultimate co-op! That’s how Mr Big and I see our marriage as – we co-operate with each other to reach each other’s goals and help each other along the way.

Anyway, to get back on target, we decided – after polling others and deliberating the kind of feel we want for the wedding – to pull the trigger and contact Garden Ninja Studios. After going through details with Mr Andrew Olds, the mastermind behind the geek cake toppers of Garden Ninja Studios, we finalised everything and patiently waited for the cake topper to come in.

Well, guys, while we were in Melbourne, we got a package. After returning from the trip, we excitedly opened up the package and found these babies inside:

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OH MY GOD. THIS IS AWESOME.

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Kissing – for science.

We decided to go with the first design!

We are SO ecstatic with the whole thing and can’t wait to display these on our cake! And then in our home!! Drew is an AWESOME designer and if anyone wants to get a custom-made, one-of-a-kind cake topper, I HIGHLY recommend his work!

Who else would go or went with a custom cake topper? 🙂

(All photos personal unless otherwise stated.)

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Wedding Rambling – A Random Post

27 Aug

I’m in MELBOURNE folks!

This may sound a tad bit strange, but – having lived in Sydney my ENTIRE life (so far) – I’ve never been to Melbourne. And I’m here now, yay! So far the trip has been pretty fabulous, and we’re staying in a serviced apartment, so I don’t have to worry about starving or having to buy myself a meal. Even so, it’s about a 5-minute walk to the nearest stores, so I’m in a pretty good spot. Unfortunately, we’re pretty far from the central city (and I really wanted to check out the café scene – I LOVE COFFEE).

Anyway, let’s get onto wedding stuff, yes?

I’ve heard news from my bridesmaids and MoH that I shall be getting a bridal shower. They say it’s gonna be good, and I can’t wait, but a part of me really wants to know what’s going on! They’re keeping it a secret (which, you know, duh!) but at the same time, I’m anxiooooooous. I’m not Type-A at all, but this wedding thing has caused me to be more obsessive re: planning.

I also found that, unless I plan it myself, I won’t be having a Hen’s (which I’m totally ok with you, albeit a tad bit pouty). My bridesmaids don’t have the expense for that, which is fair enough, so I’ll have to figure out whether I: (a) can be bothered planning a hen’s night for myself (which sounds pretentious to me), or (b) just let sleeping dogs lie and be happy with what I’ve got so far.

Still thinking on it, but hen’s night = more expenses, so I’m leaning more towards not having one. A slumber party with wine sounds like an awesome idea though!

Anyone else have any ideas?

Also, I’ve been in chats with my fiancé and we’re deliberating the pros and cons of a garter. We won’t be doing a bouquet OR a garter toss (to us it’s a stupid tradition) but when will I ever get a chance to wear a garter (and not be looked at like I just came from a BDSM dungeon!)?

What’re your thoughts? 🙂

A City Full of Hope: The Bighorn Engagement Session

25 Aug

If you’ve been following my blog posts, hive, you know that Christchurch, New Zealand has been through a lot in the past three years. In September 2010, an earthquake struck Canterbury (the region where Christchurch sits) measuring a magnitude of 7.1. It really scared a lot of the residents in the city, but the Cantabrians braved it and kept moving on with everyday life, even though a multitude of aftershocks followed. It was normal for them (and I guess Californians could understand this factoid).

However, on the 22 February, at about lunchtime on a normal working day, a 6.6 magnitude earthquake rocked the city. It was located much closer to Christchurch than the September earthquake, and the results were catastrophic. Buildings fell, roads literally tore apart, houses were destroyed, and 181 lives were lost.

Now, I wasn’t born in New Zealand. But Mr Big was. The news of the earthquake really shook him to the core. Because he couldn’t get in contact with any of his family or friends for the first few hours of the quake, he began to get extremely anxious. I was right there with him (he was working from home) and attempting to do my best to keep him calm, but having just met his family and friends and connecting with them during that time, I was freaking out myself.

We later found out that all of his friends and family are fine, and for that we consider ourselves extremely lucky and blessed. But at the same time, every time we visit this beautiful city, we’re reminded of that dark few hours where we just didn’t know.

Now, I’m guessing a lot of you are wondering what this has to do with the engagement photo shoot. Well, a lot actually.

We wanted to make sure that, even though the photos are relatively happy, with us being generally PDA, we wanted to capture the city itself. Since 22 February, Christchurch and its people have picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and gotten on with it. Through the horror of the quake, and the devastation that followed, the Cantabrians have shown strength, resilience and most of all, hope that is not only inspiring, but captivating.

And that was what we hoped to portray when we used Christchurch as our backdrop. Yes, the city is in ruins. But it’s still beautiful all the same. Mr Big and I believed our photographers were able to capture both the city and us as an engaged photos.

But I’ll let you decide!

So without further ado, here are some of the photos.

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And my favourite:

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This just really captures us!

Now before you guys go, I suggest you also watch the spasticity that is Mr Big and my engagement stopmotion:

Yeah, we’re strange.

What do you guys think? I’m in love with them! (But I’m biased).

(All images and video copyright to the fabulous StudioSomething.)

Look what we got in le email yesterday…

24 Aug

http://vimeo.com/studiosomething/eileengrantengagement

❤ 😀

Our photographers are awesome.

Dolling up.

22 Aug

I’m not a big jewellery-wearer. The only piece of jewellery I wore regularly was my Claddagh ring which Grant got for me on my 23rd birthday. I then got engaged on my 24th birthday and now the piece of jewellery I wear regularly is my engagement ring! I wear jewellery when I’m either going out on the town or there’s a special occasion, but otherwise, I’m very minimal.

So when it came time for me to get jewellery for my wedding, well, I had some time figuring out what to wear.

Originally, I was hoping to wear my mother’s ruby pendant and earring set. It matched the ruby on my Claddagh engagement ring. However, it was yellow gold. I’m not saying you can’t wear yellow gold with a wedding dress, it just doesn’t look as good. I only really changed my mind, however, when my mother suggested I wear another piece of jewellery of hers. This one was a silver necklace.

Unfortunately, it didn’t come with matching earrings.

That meant it was shopping time!

During a chilly April evening, I was out and about in Darling Harbour in the city. There, we passed by a shop called Lovisa. I accounted this shopping trip in a previous post. There I bought a few accessories and we called it a day. I was happy with my purchase, until yesterday, when I finally tried them on.

I know, I should’ve tried them on before, but I was silly and I didn’t. So that day, I did.

The necklace my mother gave to me looked gorgeous on me and sat at a nice height on my neckline. The bracelet I bought fit well as well. The earrings however were not to be desired.

You see, I have a small head and having lost some weight, my face has only managed to get smaller. So when I put on those earrings, it looked overwhelming on my head. I could feel my ear lobes struggling to hold those babies up! Even my mother saw that they weren’t exactly delicate on my head, and she suggested that maybe I should get another pair of earrings.

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The earrings were similar to (but not the same as) these ones!

 I then suggested that I should try on the earrings my father had bought for her.

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My mother’s earrings. Aren’t they gorgeous!? // Personal image.

So I tried these babies on. They.were.gorgeous. I mean – wow. Just stunning. And plus – they didn’t totally overwhelm my head! I wanted to wear them on the day, but I believe my mother wanted to wear them. So I’m thinking of buying myself another pair! And just so I don’t bore you guys with my waffling on, here’s the entire set I’ll be wearing on the day:

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I love that the silver had a hint of gold in it, and I LOVE that it’s my mother’s. It’s my official something borrowed!

As for my hair, I’m going to be using both of these:

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For the ceremony… // Personal image.

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… To the reception. // Personal image.

And I’ll cap this post with a picture of the only piece of jewellery I wear religiously, and the second piece of jewellery which I WILL be wearing religiously after I’m married:

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Pardon the reflection of green in my ring. It’s highly reflective and I was wearing green 😉 // Personal image.

What do you guys think about my choices? Good or bad? 🙂

Ikea – just some oak, and some pine, and a handsome Dutch man.

18 Aug

Hey guys!

Sorry for the late post. I would’ve put up a post yesterday, but Mr Big and I had to run some errands! First and foremost, we went to the dentist to check Mr Big’s ongoing toothache. You see, Mr Big had an abscess on one of his teeth and needed a root canal. He’s fine now, but it was pretty bad. Our dentist has been nothing but excellent though!

After a brief x-ray the dentist announced (okay – not announced, but it would’ve been epic had he done that) that Mr Big’s tooth is completely fine! We’ll be going for another appointment in two months to check again, since Mr Big has the occasional toothache on that tooth, but otherwise, he’s all in the clear.

After that, we had breakfast. It was awesome. I recommend Scala’s at the Flemington Markets for those either in Sydney or visiting. And then we headed to Spotlight. I needed to buy some ribbon to finish off my custom coat hangers. More on that later guys!

And finally, we went to Ikea!

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IKEA – serious shopping for this handsome Dutch man! / Personal image.

Now, for those who’ve been living under a rock, Ikea is awesome. Ikea is very awesome. They sell everything, and in the words of Mr Jonathan Coulton,

“I just bought a table for 60 bucks
And a chair and a lamp
And a shelf and some candles for you”

“Ikea” by Jonathan Coulton

(That song is the shiz)

So why were we there? Well – we needed to get photo frames for the wedding. I’m not going to divulge why, but we managed to get photo frames for about $1.50 each! So, why wouldn’t you?

We got 37 pairs of black frames, and 37 pairs of red frames. The NYTTJA frame to be precise!

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The NYTTJA Frame from IKEA. / Taken from the IKEA website.

We then loaded them up in the car and were on our way home.

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All loaded up in the car after our Ikea shopping spree! / Personal image.

For those who are interested, we’ll be using these as our place cards and wedding favours! In order to do this, I wanted to inform my guests about the purposes of the frames. I also wanted the place cards to suit the invitation suites and the rest of the stationary.

With that, I’ve created the following template:

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The templates for the place cards!

Again, I added the wedding logo to cap it off! 🙂 Yay for double duty wedding favours! I’ll make sure to take photos of them so you can see what they look like on the day!

And for those of you who are curious about this zany song:

Who else is using double duty wedding favours? Isn’t IKEA just the best?

Invitations, begone!

14 Aug

On 13 March 2013, this box arrived at my parents’ house:

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What could be in here, hm?

It was addressed to moi and was from Cards & Pockets. I put two-and-two together and gave an excited squee.

Our invitations had arrived! YAY!! Now you may be wondering, why on Earth did you get your invitations ready so early? Well, the reason behind this was simple – we had overseas guests who needed a fair amount of notice. I thought mid-year 2013 would have been a better time, but Mr Big was eager.

So invitation-ing we went!

When we opened up the box, we found all these goodies:

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ALL THE THINGS. Ok, well not all. The Chinese stickers were from my family in Indonesia!

We assembled all of the inserts, pocketfolds, and envelopes with the red envelopes and the stickers, making sure everything was in order before assembly. And then an assembly line was formed with my Mama Bighorn, Papa Bighorn, Groom’s Homie Oddball, Mr Big and me.

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The Assembly Line, excluding me.

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75% of the way through! Pocketfolds assembled.

It literally only took a weekend to assemble and by Monday, they were ready to be dispatched to their new homes.

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Invitations all stamped and ready to be despatched!

Now, guys, I can’t say it was ALL happy endings, sunshine and butterflies for these babies. We got a few lost invitations which resulted in us having to send – DUN-DUN-DUUUUUUUUUUN – e-invites over email. I know it’s an etiquette faux pas, but frak it, we didn’t want to spend more money and risk more invitations getting lost in the mail (damn International and Australian post). It sucked when we found out that they had been lost in the mail, since Mr Big and I – not really having much skill with graphic design – were so FRAKKING PROUD of these babies.

Most of the invitations arrived at their destinations though! We got early RSVPs and are now running through the final RSVP details with everyone. It’s so exciting how close this thing is getting (and stressful, did I mention stressful?)

I’ll go into more details on the invitations and our RSVP rundown soon!

Anyone else send their invitations out insanely early? Or are the Bighorns just insane?

(All photos personal and taken on a crappy cell phone camera. Sorry hive!)

 

 

We look like badasses. The sign’s ok too I guess.

10 Aug

On the outset of the wedding, I wanted to make an Xbox Achievement sign. For those non-gamers who are interested, this is basically a sign that pops up when you’ve achieved a certain something while playing on the Xbox (for example, completing a mission/level). Mrs Toadstool had the right idea:

Achievement Unlocked :  wedding diy obregon mexico tutorial Toadstool

 Image via this fabulous post from Mrs. Toadstool. Photography via Alberto Alcorta Photography.

Well guys – I made one! You’ve probably seen it pop up every now and then. My one doesn’t look as good as Mrs Toadstool’s, however, this was the end result:

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Photography via StudioSomething.

The sign was literally made the day before and the chalkboard marker we got for it was bought the day of the engagement shoot. I know guys, I’m crazy. Also, I’m disorganised. Also, I was in a country where I can’t drive since I don’t know where I’m going (and also, half the roads were closed!).

And now I’m making up excuses.

Basically, the above was a rush job and I was horribly disappointed with myself. If you look at the sign close up, you’ll be able to see the fugly edges on the chalkboard area of the sign (where it reads ‘engaged’).

Because I had to do it all at Mr Big’s parent’s house, I didn’t know where to look for certain materials, specifically, painter’s tape, otherwise known as masking tape. So improvising, I used a sheet of paper and sticky tape to make a ‘perfect’ rectangle. Unfortunately, the paint seeped underneath the paper, gooped up and tore some of the actual sign when Mr Big peeled off the paper. We did a quick shoddy job of using a marker to colour in those bits and just left it at that.

From afar the finished product looks great! I honestly don’t mind the mismatched blackboard area on the rest of the sign. But I really, really want to redo it! I’m such a horrible DIYer!

Talking about horrible DIY’ing, I recently sliced open my finger trying to do another DIY project. I’ll show you more of this project, but for now, here’s a picture of my injured finger!

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How do you take a selfie!? Like seriously. HOW!? / Personal image.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for a horrible DIYer? Can anyone give me an idea on how to do a blackboarded version of this sign without having to do anything too complicated?

Ceremonial Crafting: Mood Music

9 Aug

Hi there Hive!

In August, I started working on our ceremony.

Our celebrant, Jenny, is great and tailors the ceremony to whatever the bridal couple wants. She’s an old friend of Mr Big’s from his days working at a big retail company when he first moved over to Australia and has since moved from said retail company to working as a fulltime celebrant. After looking through her ceremony wording portfolio, I managed to craft something which both Mr Big and I think suits us well. It’s sincere, funny, but most of all, perfectly us.

In addition to this, Jenny also added in important facts and qualities about us as a couple which just really personalises the ceremony.

I’ve crafted most of the wordings for the important sections: “Introduction”, “Giving Away”, “Exchange of Rings”, “Rituals”, and the “Declaration of Marriage”. I’ve sent these sections to Jenny, whose refined them and written them up in a lovely book which we get to keep!

But guys, I’m not here to talk about the ceremony.

I’m here to talk about the ceremony music.

We’ve had our decision for the processional since late 2012, so that’s all settled. It still needs to be cut to size (it’s a 4-minute song!), but it works with the feel of the wedding. However, the other music choices for the wedding were a lot harder to decide!

First off, we needed approximately 30 minutes of background music in the beginning.

Initially, I compiled approximately 45 tracks which I think could be used. That’s over 3 hours of music guys! Mr Big then went through it and culled three-quarters of it. Apparently, I’m not very good at musical decisions. We now have about 45 minutes for the pre-ceremony background music.

I also initially had about 5 possible songs for the signing of the marriage certificate (which is done publically in Australian weddings), but had no ideas for the recessional.

You see, the problem was that we’re very much into alternative and indie rock – and basically rock in general.

We don’t mind other things, however, most of the songs selected so far are very rock-oriented. For example, “Winter Winds” by Mumford & Sons is folk-rock, “You and Me” by Lifehouse is alternative rock, and “You Found Me” by The Fray is alternative rock. Having a random pop, classical or other-genre-of-song may sound a little strange and out of place.

We’ve also got some Linkin Park, Train, Matchbox Twenty and Rob Thomas, The Script, Of Monsters and Men, Coldplay, The Goo Goo Dolls and Birds of Tokyo. Vampire Weekend, Hoobastank and Newton Faulkner were possible artists I had listed when formulating a basic plan-of-attack for the ceremonial music.

Essentially, hive, our music isn’t “typical wedding music”.

I had previously heard of other Bees using Vitamin String Quartet (VSQ), but it just didn’t feel right to use orchestral versions of songs when we could just use the original.

Enter Imagine Dragons.

After listening to their very popular song “Radioactive” and then going through their entire album, Mr Big and I found the perfect recessional song! Mr Big was also able to cut the humongous list I had made to make it fit all nicely.

Overall, we’re pretty darn happy with our choice. Now all we have to do is ensure that the processional makes sense with everyone’s entrances and we’re all set!

Who else is using “offbeat” choices for their music?