Thought I would need navigation to return to the blogosphere + WEDding WEDnesday

Last week I was sick--random for this time of year--and had four birthdays back-to-back, plus a family wedding, which all add up to a pretty good excuse for being MIA in blogland, folks.  Weird how just a few days out of the loop can make me feel so out. of. the. loop.  However, I am back just in time to bring you another WEDding WEDnesday post, although this time I am changing it up.

Ordinarily I share with you the wonderful DIY projects and pretty photos of great ideas that actually materialized for our wedding, but for this week I am shoving my ego aside and laying out for you the plans that did not work out so well--some so bad I am still suffering.  Intriguing, no?

As a creative mind, I thought up a good billion ideas for my wedding day, some even before the ol' man proposed.
...Bouncy houses for all the children!
...Have our wedding turn in to an all-weekend tent-camp-out!
...$5000 Claire Pettibone dress!
None of which {thankfully} happened.  And in order to help reign myself in throughout all the planning, I started a file to organize all these ideas, and many many more, in what I named "Didn't Make the Cut."  I named each file using the reason I decided against it, just as a reminder.  This helped.

I shall begin with the worst.  What makes it the worst?  How about I'm still suffering the consequences of one seemingly harmless decision to this day, over a year after the fact.  This is also a {rare} case when my Virgo frugality and resourcefulness worked against me.  Here goes.  One of the perks of my job is having customers treat me to their product, and it so happens in this case, the product was two sixty-six pound sacks of milled rice {total: 132 lbs}.  At the time, I thought I had majorly scored!  I had no intention of eating it, but the creative juices were flowing for wedding projects.  Silly rabbit.

       Me & Megan.  So happy.  So naive.

As you can see in the photo above, my plan was to fill mason jars with the rice and enough pens for each table at the reception for people to write notes to us on our comment cards.  Buddy Megan and I knocked out this project in a couple of hours, several months before the wedding, and I stored the prepared jars on my bar countertop.  Well, in the subsequent weeks, I was noticing a bit of a pest problem in our house.  Yet, it took me a {too long} while to figure out the source of this problem.  In fact, I didn't figure it out.  Hubby did.
In our garage {or, ground zero} were the two giant sacks of rice, lying in wait to be used for my next project, infested with rice moths.  You've heard the expression, "breed like rabbits?"  Not even the same ballpark when compared to rice moths.  Luckily, we were fumigating one of my facilities at work, so I shared my huge household pest problem with my "fume guy," and asked his advice.  He sent me home with some pheromones and traps, and a number of terrifying images in my head.  He also told me to immediately dispose of every last kernel of rice, then go through every grain item in my pantry and either freeze the safe foods, or toss everything that showed signs of infestation.  Ewe ewe ewe.  Bye bye bulk organic cous cous, quinoa, rice, cereal, granola... And bye bye wedding-pen-holder-rice-jar-things, because when I popped the top on the cardboard box sitting on my countertop: the horror!  

Even after following fume guy's instruction, after killing roughly three hundred moths, and after a year, moths are still mysteriously hatching and showing up in my kitchen.  But, back to the wedding.  Since the rice was trashed, we instead used much smaller glass jars we had been saving from our pantry and fridge, cleaning and removing the labels from the jars as they were emptied.  We saved our jars from common items in our house like capers, olives, jam, sun-dried tomatoes, mustard, etc.; and instead put the pens in them for the reception tables. 
 {source unknown, sorry}

Another plan I had for the rice originally was to hold each guest's seating card, similar to the photo above.  Once we found the venue, though, this didn't really fit the aesthetics.  So instead, we made a poster using a photo of us taken at Disneyland, a frame from an old picture in our house, and my coworker's large scale printer.

All in all it was a free project that turned out beautifully, and most importantly, no bugs. 

The next few examples of projects or ideas that didn't pan out aren't as dramatic as the rice fiasco.  The first is kind of bittersweet.  My hubby was dead-set on growing all of the flowers for our wedding.  Sweet, huh?  He built a huge planter box and planted several varieties of wildflowers in the spring/early summer: sunflowers, ranunculus, dahlias, daisies, you name it. 

{Side note: Our yard is landscaped now and doesn't look anything like these photos.}  For months we got all excited watching our plants sprout and bloom...then came the bugs.  We only used organic methods to try and repel the insects that attacked our wildflower box, but were ultimately powerless against the damn things.  The sunflowers made it, but they bloomed way before our wedding day, so we enjoyed them in vases around our home.  When the big day was rapidly approaching and our plants looked like this:

...we had to make the call on Plan B.  Enter: Auntie Cheri!  Gabe's aunt used to be a wholesale florist, and she still had her "card," so she volunteered to help us order and arrange our flowers from a local wholesaler with whom she used to do business.  What a life saver!  By that time I was reaching my breaking point with wedding projects, so Gabe quickly took the project over, and together, he and Auntie Cheri worked magic.

They went over possible varieties that were in season, how to group the different varieties in an arrangement, and even had a few surprises up their sleeves that weren't revealed to me until the big day.  After visiting the wholesale florist and their {freezing} freezer of flowers, flowers were chosen, delivery was set, and prices negotiated.  I think we ended up paying less than $100 for all the flowers for our wedding day, including: bouquets, boutonnieres, tablescapes, etc.  I highly recommend going the wholesale route if you can, brides.
My cousin Heather and my sister's boyfriend Tyrel jumped in to help Cheri, Gabe, and the groomsmen the morning of the big day arrange all of the flowers in their vases/jars/wine bottles, the bouquet for the bride toss, the bridesmaids' bouquets, and boutonnieres for the groomsmen.  Here comes the sweetest part:  Gabe picked out all the flowers and helped arrange my bride's bouquet, which Auntie Cheri told me minutes before the ceremony was an old tradition for the groom to do for his bride.  Swoon!  He used the trim from my gown that was removed during tailoring for wrapping around the base, and added my favorite flowers: craspedias and Gerbera daisies.  :)  He even found a way to still use the handful of flowers that survived the bugs in our planter box for our guests of honor's boutonnieres, grouping them with some rosemary branches from our garden and wrapping them in leftover hemp twine from previous wedding projects.  The man is a rockstar.  One would think he had Martha Stewart locked in a basement the way these mini bouquets turned out.

   Cousin Heather touching-up Gabe's boutonniere before the ceremony.

My amazing bouquet and our 'first look' before the ceremony.

Gabe's grandpa, step mom, and dad with their salvaged-wildflower-and-rosemary boutonnieres.

In these cases, things turned out for the best.  We learned some valuable lessons along the way, and we had a fantastic support system to help us.  I've got more projects I could share, but I think this post is long enough already.  Perhaps I'll continue in an upcoming WW post.  Perhaps.  

Happy hump day!  Check your pantry.  ;) 

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