Friday, April 25, 2008

Will You Marry Me? Right Now?

Mr. Pineapple is out of town for a couple days giving me chance to catch up on all of the wedding shows I have recorded. Most of them are pretty ridiculous. Even the fairly tame "Who's Wedding is it Anyway?" is out there compared to what we are planning. Well, for me, tonight wedding programming went to a whole new level of outrageousness. Ladies I present, "Surprise Wedding 2." I don't know what I was expecting from Fox Reality, but it wasn't this.

Five brides tell their long time boyfriends that they have won a free makeover weekend in Vegas. The true story? The makeover includes a gown and a whole heck of a lot of hairspray. When the grooms arrive at the "free Vegas show" included in the weekend they are taken to the stage where their girlfriends are in gowns and propose. The grooms have time to decide what they are going to do while they put on their tuxes. Dressed and back on stage either the groom gets hitched or faces the end of his relationship with an embarrassed bride. The show is way over the top, the bride proposes multiple times in every way the produces can image. Then the ceremony is two minutes before the next groom decides his fate.

Mr. Pineapple and I went to Las Vegas two months after he proposed. He was going for work (mostly) and I was going for fun. We tossed around the idea of eloping and we both seriously thought it was a good idea. When Mr. P thought it was a good idea, I didn't. When I finally convinced myself it would be fantastic, he changed his mind. Our main motivation for considering elopement was to save money - down payment on a house, honeymoon in Ireland. In the end we decided that in the future, when we actually had savings, we may regret not throwing a big party. Now that I am neck deep in wedding planning and completely obsessed with Weddingbee I am so glad we decided to wait. Regardless, I definitely would not have asked Mr. P to elope before he even proposed.

What do you ladies think? Would you surprise your boyfriend with a wedding?
Anyone planning to elope?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Long Distance Relationships

Image Sources:

When it came to asking my bridesmaids to stand for Mr. Pineapple and I at our wedding, I didn't do anything cute. I really wish I had, it didn't even occur to me. In fact, I was only able to ask one in person. Of the 5 bridesmaids in our wedding, only one lives in the same state as I do. My two very best friends from childhood live in West Palm Beach and Orlando, Florida. My sister and maid of honor lives in China Town, Manhattan. My bestest friend from college lives in Boston. Leaving Mr. Pineapple's dear friend from college the only lovely lady within arms reach.

At first, I didn't think it was really a big deal. All the girls were very excited about flying in to help me shop for my gown and coming up again for a party weekend and the wedding. I felt guilty, knowing they would have to buy so many plane tickets for my big day. I love them all dearly and I know they know I would do the same for them in a heartbeat.

As the planning continues I miss them so much. I didn't realize what it would feel like to bounce ideas about ribbon and candles off of Mr. Pineapple. He cares, but he trusts me and my judgment to the point where I don't get much constructive feedback. I want my friends here to say "Oh gees, that is going to look a little strange, don't you think?" or "Oh! How about using satin?!" My super crafty mother is also 1250 miles away. I call her anytime I get an idea and she gives me a few more, but I wish I could be with her and go to the craft store with her, wedding plan with her.

I have a few of my local friends who I have dubbed my honorary bridesmaids, including Jacki who is so sweet and offers to help in any way and Michael (also a groomsman) who is helping me scout out creative folks in his work field. I still feel bad asking for help from them, and guilty that Jacki wont be in the wedding. My other friends are all male and wonderful, but not into "wedding stuff."

All of these long distance relationships are why I began blogging. I wanted to have a forum where I could show my friends and family my ideas and get some feedback. They are also what lead me to Weddingbee, a dream resource for a bride seemingly going at it on her own.

Does anyone else feel alone in the planning process? Any suggestions on how I can include my ladies in the planning without burdening them?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Begrudging Budget

So this is a bit awkward, maybe.Brides have budgets that range from a penny to a million pennies. The Pineapple's budget is much closer to just one penny. Our parents are giving us gifts to help with some of the wedding costs, but the majority of it we are paying for on our own. When first laying out the budget I had no clue how much everything costs and how much we should plan on spending. My goal was to cut out as many little expenses as possible and hope they added up to something big. Our final budget is about 60% of the average wedding (which doesn't really mean anything since that number varies across the country). The Knot gives recommendations on what percent of your budget should go to each part of the wedding, at first this was helpful, but I ended up not using their recommendations at all because Mr. Pineapple and I have different priorities than The Knot. Their budget tool has still been extremely helpful with keeping track of expenses.

I know many readers are curious about budgets, but sharing numbers can get tricky. So, here is our budget breakdown based on the final projected total. These numbers don't yet include Mr. Pineapple's attire (because he is still unsure what that will be), my engagement ring or our honeymoon.

Food, Drink and Cake: 48.84%
Bride Gown, Alterations and Headgear: 6.72%
Bride Accessories: <1%
Bride Hair and Make-up: <1%
Ceremony and Ceremony Accessories: 3.2%
Flowers: 2.03%
Reception Decor/Centerpieces: 1.34%
Photographer: 16.02%
Invites and Stamps: 1.23%
Wedding Bands: 16.02%
Hotel Room: 1.34%
Gifts/Favors: 2.14%
Rehearsal Dinner: 2.5%
DJ/Music: 0%
Transportation: 0%
Officiant: 0%
Wedding Coordinator: 0%

The rings cost as much as the photographer! The food and drink is almost half! Not at all what The Knot recommends, but we are still planning the perfect day for us. More to come on what we are doing to save on a lot of the typical wedding costs. Also, after all is said and done I will let you know what the final percentages ended up being. I have a feeling there will be some extra costs along the way.

Image source - icanhascheezburger
How typical is your budget?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Photographer Search - Part Fin!

I knew about Mary Mervis's work before Ryan and I even started dating. I was at a coffee shop with some coworkers and noticed her work on the walls. I loved it and pointed it out to my coworkers. Low and behold one coworker said, "Oh that is Mary Mervis, she is a friend of ours and shot our wedding!" - mental note taken

Fast forward to Ryan and I as a couple. We were visiting Ryan's friends Pete and Tina who were recently married and I loved the shots of their wedding throughout their home. They were lovely and definitely captured the feel of the wedding. Tina said "yeah, I don't even know how she got that shot, but I love it." Sounds good to me, an invisible photographer with wonderful work. -second mental note taken

At this point I had pretty much decided that Mary would photograph my wedding... to someone, someday. I looked around at some other photographers (such as Melody Farrin and Bob Fritz) but in the end Mary's work felt right.

I emailed Mary 10 months before the wedding hoping she had the date open, and she did! Ryan and I met with Mary and discussed have two of her assistants shoot the wedding, rather than one Mary. Her assistants have the same artistic viewpoint and have worked with her for years. She has hundreds (thousands?) of images on two sites, and her pbase galleries. Here are some shots taken by either Mary or one of her assistants:
Above is our friend Tina, mentioned earlier.

Again, Pete and Tina.

This is a shot of my coworker and his wife mentioned earlier. They had a great 1920's themed wedding, even the guests wore period clothing.

How did you know your photographer was "the one?"

Monday, April 14, 2008

It is Official - bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

I am a bee! I was introduced on today. My posts there are only slightly different, more organized and such. I have started a separate blog for those, at least until they get caught up with where I am on this blog. Oh dear so many blogs, I have an addiction.

Looks like there are several Carnegie Mellon alum and Pittsburgher readers which is great! Either this is a good thing for Ryan - giving me a wedding related outlet or a bad thing because I am addicted, we'll see...

Soon everyone will know... Save the Date!

Ryan and I put together our save the dates last night.
Lesson learned:
I made way too many of everything. I have a bunch of extra magnets. After sealing all the envelopes I wish I would have put two magnets in each one. The cards are bigger than I originally envisioned and the magnets barely hold them onto the fridge. I am also worried that people will not realize there is a magnet in the envelope and they will get thrown out. An alternative would be to make different magnets, but it was too late for that one.

Here is a recap of the whole kit n' kaboodle:
The front:

The Back:Here is a shot of how it (barely) works with the magnet. Hopefully, my friends and family don't slam refrigerator doors:
Organized chaos. I had a flashback to middle and high school when I did all of my homework and artwork on my bed or floor. Back then I didn't have cats trying to eat all of the pieces of paper from the back of the labels, nom nom nom nom.
Ryan's task was to seal the envelopes and add the return address labels. We ended up going with the "Tiffany" stamps at the post office. The cream background was a perfect match and they are not as cheesy as the "wedding hearts." I love custom stamps (in fact we got a sheet of them from a friend as a gift), but they end up costing about twice as much.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Invitation Idea 5 - Love Birds

I almost wish I had gone with this concept. I love this simple and sweet exchange.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Invitation Idea 4 - Argyle with Hearts

I love the preppy look of argyle, but wanted it to have a little hint of romance. So I made the stitches out of little hearts. You can see a close of view of the stitches to the right of the invite. I also love the bold colors, but not for our particular venue.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ready to Go!

So I finally finished trimming out all of the save the dates (I printed 5 on each page). As well as all the return address labels. Now I could have just purchased sheets of pre-perforated Avery labels, but no, I wanted them to be a certain size. So, again with the double-sided adhesive.

I printed out sheets of the labels on a desktop printer, applied the adhesive and trimmed them out. Here is the final product:
I was once again able to use my istock pattern. I am about to head to the post office to get stamps and then tonight I will get them ready to send away!

Invitation Idea 3 - Monogram & Polkadots

This idea has the main focus on our monogram. The little polka dots remind me of a string of pearls (that hopefully I will be wearing for my wedding). It's modern, but distinctly a wedding invitation. It seems that many modern wedding invites look more like birthday party invitations.

Monday, April 7, 2008

My New Housemate

After a 20 minute ride home in the passenger seat, my dress is now in my hands! I was worried, because that is what I do, that my dress would be somehow delayed or the order lost. My first attempt at picking up my dress didn't go perfectly and they had to order me a new one. Well, two weeks later and it was in! I picked it up after a thorough inspection and brought it home.

The only place I could hang it was on the back of the door to our guest room. Our closet is much too full and the other closet it too short. So there it hangs, at least for now.

New Website!

I first built my website,, 2 years ago during college. It was terribly outdated and dark. Well, I finally sat down this weekend and did an update. I am very excited and feel it reflects my personality much better than the old site did. Let me know if you find any broken links! (You may notice I already have my married name on there, I didn't want to confuse people and change it in a few months. It's a little strange, I know.)

On the site you will find my design and photography portfolios as well as some stationary design. I will keep adding and updating as time progresses. You can also find some more contact information if you are interested in working together on a design, photography or stationary project.

Here is a peek at a few images from the site:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Invitation Idea 2 - Berries

My second idea I decided would be better for a winter or spring wedding. I love the modern pop of these little berries.The bow above our names would be made from a modern low profile satin ribbon.

Invitation Idea 1 - Perfect Pair

You might think that being a graphic designer would make the invitation design a breeze. Unfortunately, it probably makes it harder. I had so many ideas before I decided on our final colors and concept. Here is one of my first designs: The Perfect Pair (you can click the images to enlarge)

This is how the invitation would look when the guest first takes it out of the envelope. There is a green paper band in the center covering the details.

and once the band is removed:
Here are two of the insert cards, reception and rsvp

What do you think?

The Photographer Search - Part 2

Bob Fritz is the Vice President of the News Photographers Association of Greater Pittsburgh and I love his photography. The lighting is spot on, the little moments are there. His images make me want to befriend some children to have in the wedding! Adorable. Check him out!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Photographer Search - Part 1

When Mr. Pineapple and I were first discussing our wedding and our priorities his number one was food and mine was photography. I started studying photography at art school when I was in 8th grade. I had a brush with majoring in photography for college before I changed my mind at the very last minute. So began the search for a Pittsburgh photographer who could capture my wedding for all time.

My guidelines: No trendy effects, detail shots and color images (black and white is ok too, but primarily color)

First off is Melody Farrin.

She is very traditional and has the ability to capture the little moments as well as the typical family portraits. Here are some of my favorites from her site and her blog.

I just love the look on the bride and groom's faces in this photo. Too sweet.

Clean and beautiful, but not quite enough of the little moments I am looking for.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

So Happy to Be(e) Here!

Hi yin'z, I am Miss Pineapple and I am thrilled to be a new bee!
Pineapple is perfect for me! In addition to loving to eat pineapple, the fruit and I go way back. Growing up in Florida, my family had a patch of pineapple plants in our backyard. We grew the sweetest pineapples you could imagine. Instead of being grounded, when my siblings and I got into trouble we had to weed the pineapples. Prickly little buggers they are!

I am now a Pittsburgher planning a non-religious, city wedding with my love, Mr. Pineapple. Mr. P and I met 4 years ago when I was a student at Carnegie Mellon University and he was my supervisor. Scandalous!!! Well, not really. Mr. P and I were both in relationships at the time and had no interest in dating. Was he even as cute back then? He must not have been or else surely I would have noticed.

A few years later, Mr. P and I were both single, still kept in touch, and I worked for him designing some ads. We decided to meet one night to hang out for the first non-worked-related time. After I got over the shock that I was falling for my former boss, we were attached at the hip. It wasn't long before we started wondering what we were going to do with four cats.

Speaking of which, let me introduce you to the family:
On the left is Mr. Pineapple holding an angry Onyx after a bath. Onyx is actually a monkey in disguise. Top right is Harrison, he wont eat cat treats, but he will devour bread and chips if he can find them! On the bottom right is the lovely Zazu. Until about 3 months ago she used to run and hide every time she saw Mr. P. Now, she even jumps on his lap. Yay, progress. The fourth kitty mentioned earlier is now living about an hour away from us.

No, I am not a crazy cat lady, we are just a modern-day hybrid family.

I am super excited to share with you fellow wedding lovers the biggest design project I have ever been given. Prepare yourselves for lots of design, photography and crafting (and hopefully a little bit of line dancing too)!

Exciting News and an Early Name Change!

Hi, allow me introduce myself. My name is Miss Pineapple!!!!

I found out this morning that I will be one of the New-bees at Wedding Bee! They are going to do my official intro in May once some of the other bees start getting hitched.

My name will be Miss Pineapple, so no more Emily around these parts (or Ryan for that matter).

I will still be blogging on this site and then my posts will be put up on the Wedding Bee site. I will be going back through my past posts and changing my name and such. If you are not familiar with the site you should be, it is a wonderful resource, especially for DIY brides. In addition to having posts from to-be brides they have discussion boards, classifieds and more!