Archive for June 2011

The Dollars and Cents of it All   Leave a comment

Planning a destination wedding incurs many line items that may or may not be featured at a non-destination wedding. I want to talk about the ins and outs of a destination wedding budget. I will be specifically addressing Las Vegas, but many of these items could be applicable to any other destination wedding. When you decide upon a destination wedding, you must decide to what extent you are going to host and take care of your guests. You have several options, rehearsal dinner for all guests, meet and greet/ welcome party (fun activity or party to greet all guests upon arrival), planned grouped outings (hosted or non-hosted), after party, and morning after brunch. The number of activities/parties you host will depend on the number of guests and your budget. Here is a sample of a weekend weddng in Las Vegas.


Rehearsal in Chapel

Rehearsal Dinner with Wedding Party and Immediate family at restaurant near Chapel


Welcome Party/ Meet and Greet- Brides in Vegas have several options for this. You could host an in-suite welcome party where guests can stop by, go bowling, set-up bottle service at a club or bar and reserve private area for guests, book a pool cabana, or do a tour of the Las Vegas strip.


Ceremony and Reception

After Party- You can meet up at a club, piano bar, or lounge in any of Vegas’s hottest hotels


Morning After Brunch- You can host this at one of the many buffets in Vegas or at a beautiful restaruant or do something more formal in-suite.

Mr. Darcy and I have decided upon the following schedule for our Vegas Weekend Wedding-


In-Suite Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner with Wedding Party and Immediate Family

Meet and Greet- Las Vegas Strip Tour on Double Decker Bus


Bridal Breakfast in-suite for the bridal party

Ceremony and Reception


In-Suite Morning After Brunch

Our goals for the weekend were 1. Provide as many meals to our wedding party to help them cut their costs and 2. To provide our guests with ample oppurtunity to celebrate with us and to thank them for taking the time to come celebrate.

We are still considering an after party for later in the evening. I really like the Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan.

Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan


Isn’t it pretty? Wouldn’t it be fitting to party with our wedding guests inside a giant chandelier, post wedding? My only concern is post wedding exhaustion. We will see.

The next line item that becomes a big deal for a destination wedding is transportation. You really help should your guests with transportation, especially if they are flying into somewhere and will be lacking wheels. 99.9% of our guests will be driving to Vegas, so we don’t have to worry about transporting guests from the airport to their hotels. We are providing transportation from the ceremony location to the reception location, though. We are also providing one bus from the reception to the ceremony location (Caesar’s Palace to Mandalay Bay) for guests, who want to return there instead of going around the strip.

Another line item for destination weddings’ is the welcome bag. These are not necessary, but go a long way in helping your guests feel welcome and extra special. Welcome bags can range from lavish to basic. Ours will be more basic, but have a few personal touches. Here are the basic elements of our welcome bags

1. Container- tote or gable box, we haven’t decided yet

2. Water Bottles- 2 smart waters with tags that say, “The smartest thing Mr. Darcy ever did was to ask Miss Austen to marry him.” and the other will say “The smartest thing Miss Austen did was say yes.”

3. Snacks- Mr. Darcy’s mom will be making Kifles (a Polish cookie) and I will be making Coconut Macadamia Nut Bundt Cake (a Hawaiian recipe)  to represent our two heritages.

4. Hang Over Kit- This will include mints, gatorade packet, and advil

5. Welcome Note- handwritten note, thanking guests for attending

6. Maps and Information about Destination- The concierge at the Mandalay Bay has agreed to give us a local entertainment magazine, map of the strip, and some other information for all our guests.

7. Starbucks Card- We may add a $5 Starbucks card also. I am not sure on this.

The key to welcome bags though, is not what’s in them, but how you distribute them. Every hotel is different in their policies, some have them delivered to the room, some will hand them out at check-in. Plus, when your having a destination wedding at a place like Vegas, your guests could be staying every where. You must decide whether to distribute them to each hotel or to hand them out at one time.

Did you have a destination wedding? What extra line items did you have in your budget?


Red, Hot Cake   3 comments

I will be heading to Vegas at the end of July and while there my only wedding related activity (so far) is to have a design meeting with the cake baker. Lately I have been haunted wedding nightmares including some about the cake. The worst is the cake falling over, when we go to cut it, and my dressing ends up being a hot mess of cake, frosting, and filling. The funny thing is that in the dreams the cake is red. Now the cake design that Papa Austen picked is not red. In fact it’s a beautiful square, white cake with gold piping and ribbon. Remember this cake (I have decided I like square better than the round):


I love the cake Papa Austen chose with a few changes, it will be square and the pearls will be fondant and painted with pearlized paint, but I am also thinking about this red cake thing. I associate a red cake with the unexpectedness of a red wedding dress, I think it’s daring and sexy. Part of me loves the idea of throwing this thoroughly nontraditional design into such a traditional element of a wedding. My two favorite red wedding cakes are

Red Wedding Cake with Light Blue Sugar Flowers


I love the simplicity and classic look of this cake with the classic smooth fondant tiered cake and cascading sugar flowers.

Red Fondant Cake with Monogram


I love the monogram on this cake.

So what do you think of the red cake? I am not completely sold on the idea of a red cake. I feel we are already having a somewhat non-traditional wedding and I don’t know if I want to take our traditional cake and make it so not. I love the gorgeous, bright red fondant, but am unsure it will be a favorite of Mama and Papa Austen and Mr. Darcy. At the end of the day the choice is basically mine, though. I guess I will need to decide before Mama Austen and I’s appointment.

Are my dreams leading me in the right direction? Or should I stick with my more traditional cake?


Posted June 30, 2011 by kcoleybear in Wedding Cake

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I’ve Missed You   Leave a comment

Okay I know it’s been several days, since I have posted. (Boo Miss Austen!) In my defense things have been a little crazy in the Austen-Darcy household. (Mama Austen just finished school, lil bro Austen promoted, Papa Austen had a grand mal seizure and broke his nose (he is okay, thank God!), Mr. Darcy started a new job, and I have a new work schedule that requires me to wake up at 5 am and I am still adjusting). So just want to let you know I am still here and I am alive and this wedding is still happening! Mrs. Sewing has put me to shame by going on a posting marathon, so I will be doing the same over the next few days. I promise you will be seeing a lot more posts through the end of the week.

Posted June 30, 2011 by kcoleybear in Miss Austen

Breaking Down the Details- The Invites aka Paper Part 1   1 comment

Okay, so I have lots of paper projects. I am going to break them down over a couple posts. I am dedicating a whole post to the invites, because after much stress and many posts about these babies I have got the design all settled. WooHoo! I will be ordering envelope and paper samples, asap, so I can get these babies going and in the mail in about 8 weeks. OMG! So here we go! Are you ready? I am so excited to have these babies designed and ready to begin printing and assembling.

1. The Invite- Printable Book Lover Wedding Invitation by KwirkCreative

2. Insert- Book Lover RSVP Card converted into an Information Card by KwirkCreative

3. RSVP Card- Penguin Book Covers Post Cards

4. Mini Moo Cards- Hanging Tag refering guests to wedding website for additional information

A La Mrs. Thimble via Wedding Bee


As you can see in the above picture of Mrs. Thimble’s invites she tied it all together with twine, as will I with turqouise divine twine from Paper Souffle. Yeah for awesome invite designs! For the envelopes I am considering these from Paper Source.

A7 Shimmer Gold Envelope


I am still tossing around ideas for the envelopes, though. I am considering embossing the envelopes, like this.


Or with a wrap around label, like these from Blush Printable on etsy.


And of course I want to add an envelope liner.


How fancy did you get with your wedding invite envelopes? What do you think embossing with Mama Austen hand addressing envlopes or wrap around labels?

Finding my Bridal Beauty Look, The Hair   1 comment

So I showed Mama Austen the makeup look I was liking from Anne’s red carpet looks and she didn’t like the lipstick. She prefer a berry or deep burgundy. I told her that we could make that change and then showed her the different hair placement I was considering for the up-do. For the style I wanted a bun with texture, like these.



The choices for placement are at the crown (as seen in the first picture), at the nape of the neck (as seen in the second picture), or more centered. Mama Austen and I both agreed that a more centered bun , like the one pictured below, would work best.


Mr. Darcy wanted the bun to be at the crown, but he also thinks it’s adorable if I wear my ponytail like this.


Although, while showing Mama Austen different pictures of hairstyles, she picked out this romantic up-do with a loose braid.


Now I am not sure which look I want.

How did you decide how to wear your hair for the big day? Who help decide?

Posted June 19, 2011 by kcoleybear in Bridal Beauty, Wedding Hairstyle

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Finding My Bridal Beauty Look, The Make-Up   2 comments

I will be having a hair and makeup trial in September, but I thought I would start doing some more research on the look I was going for. Just to give you a look at what I normally look like when Mr. Darcy and I head out for a date.

Personal Pic

I turned to Google (every bride’s best friend) and searched “Anne Hathaway Red Carpet Looks.” I love Anne’s red carpet look. It’s always elegant and she and I share similar coloring (hair and eyes). I found the one I loved and then searched more specifically for “Anne Hathaway Love and Other Drugs Premiere.” My results produced this lovely tutorial and shot of Anne’s gorgeous makeup from the red carpet premiere.


I love the balanced look and how she plays up both her eyes and lips. The only part I am not thrilled about is the eyeliner. I never line my lower lids and am not sure if I would like such a bold departure from my natural look. Thanks Anne! Now onto the hair. When we originally started wedding planning I asked Mr. Darcy to flip through a bridal magazine and show me pictures of how we would like me to look on the wedding day. All of the pictures he showed me were with down-dos. for a long time I considered this idea with enthusiasm, but I realized it would never work. I rarely wear my hair down and when I do it always ends up. Having my hair on my neck drives me crazy. So there went the idea of a lovely do with long flowing waves, much like Anne’s hair above. Mr. Darcy agreed if we went with this style my hair would end up in a ponytail. So now I must search for the perfect up-do.

Did you take inspiration from the red carpet for your bridal look?

Posted June 18, 2011 by kcoleybear in Bridal Beauty

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Registry Mayhem- Part 3   Leave a comment

While out ring shopping with Mr. Darcy, I managed to drag him into Target to work on our registry. This took much convincing and explaining that you can’t just pick bath towels and bedding online, you actually need to feel it. After much pleading and threatening I would just register us for a gorgeous black and white, Parisian inspired bedding I had shown him earlier and he hated, he finally conceded to my request to stop at Target. I L-O-V-E Target! I think they have awesome products for great prices and I really love their Fieldcrest collection, so this was an obvious choice for all our linen needs. We went to the guest services counter picked up our gun and free gift (accordion file with pretty birdies) and then headed to the bedding section. In my mind I was thinking oh this should be easy. I will just show Mr. Darcy what I want and we will scan it, silly Miss Austen. I imagined a gorgeous relaxing room with a mix and match of pale blues and white Egyptian cotton sheets. Hah! Mr. Darcy wanted something more masculine. Navy! Aaaaggghhh! There went my relaxing, tranquil blues. Our compromise a steel blue and gray.

Fieldcrest Luxury Icon Collection Blue


Fieldcrest Luxury 600 Thread Count Sheet Set- Light Grey


I think it will look lovely together. We also picked out a few other things, like a memory foam topper, pillows, and down comforter. I love every piece we chose and that we did it together, as a couple. I am so excited to put everything on our bed and see the look come together.

Did your fiance/husband give any input on the bedding you registered for? Did he care about colors?