Sunday, October 31, 2010

Must Have: Photobooth

One thing I knew about our reception is that I had to have a photobooth. I know that its going to be really hard to actually let other people besides myself in it for four hours, but I guess I can share.

I knew I had to have one as soon as I saw Mrs.Cupcake's photos. (All photos come from Cupcake's recap posts - yes, I've been following the bee for that long!).

I think Cupcake made me fall in love with the idea of a photobooth because I really hadn't see one at many weddings (online that is, I have yet to see one in person), and it just seemed so fun and excited!

The downside to a photobooth? It can be pricey, but Mr. G and I have worked one into the budget. Do you want to know how? Two ways!

1) Research! I created a giant spreadsheet of all the Chicago Photobooth Vendors I could find. I've shared it with many a hive member via the boards, but download it yourself: here. (The chart is mostly priced for 4-hour booths since that is what we were looking for, if you go to most of the companies websites, you can find 6 or other hour packages).

2) Digital photo booth.
It was a hard decision (for me, Mr. G says no one would notice) if we should have a classic photobooth like one you'd see at a mall or a digital one. I really wanted a classic booth (since they're as fly as Mark McGrath), but we could save $200-$300 by having a digital one.
We ended up going digital, but only after Mr. G spent a very long time telling me that it would be okay. I mean, I guess he's right. Guests will still get photos, and I'll get the booth I want!

We were looking for a 4 hour booth because our reception will be 5.5 hours long. We didn't want to upgrade to a 6 hour package, because why pay if we won't be there that long? All in all, we ended up booking a photo booth through Spinnin' Discs (who we've also hired our DJ through) because, not only were they the best deal, but even though we're renting the booth for 4 hours, they're letting us have it for 5 and will close it during dinner. This is so great because we figured we'd have so much wasted time during dinner.

Anybody else fall in love with photobooths almost instantly?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Photoshop Fun: Black & White Effects

Okay team, I know we've all ready talked about Illustrator a bit, but it seems like a whole bunch of people around this Hive have photoshop so we're going to dive a little bit into that as well.

Today's tip is perfect for beginners since it's super super easy. We're going to learn how to make those black and white, but not all the way, wedding photos. Umm, yeah, that's totally the technical term. Like this:

Before we begin: All screen shots come from Photoshop CS4 on a Mac. Once again, things are comparable to a PC. Also, there are quite a few different ways to this and I know people totally prefer different ways, but I'm trying to explain it in the easiest and least complicated/technical way. Word.

1) Open the photo you wish to use. I recommend making an extra copy of your image on your hardrive first, just in case. I'll be using a Kate Hudson Bride Wars photo from here hehehe.

3) To do this, you image has to be in RGB color mode. You can always change it to CMYK when it's done, but to put it in RGB, choose Image (Up at the top) > Mode > RGB.

2) Choose Image > Adjustments > Desaturate. You'll see your photo loose its color after clicking this.
3) Chose your history brush tool (key command: Y) by clicking on the icon. Set your hardness to 0.
That's what the icon looks like.

4) Use the brush to begin 'painting' the area that you want in color.
5) Keep paint until you have all the color you want! It's easier to zoom in sometimes to get a closer look while you're 'painting'.
And that's it! See, so easy!

Who else loves Photoshop? Any idea for future tips?

Catch up on Tech Tutorials:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Bee's Life: Giraffe Style

I remember reading the Becoming a Bee Series way back when, and crossing my fingers that maybe in like, oh, eight years or so I would get to write one too*. Now, I'm like dance-party excited because I get to share my story with you! I encourage you guys to read the archived posts because they're so interesting and fun. They're a great way to get to know the Bees better.

*This wasn't an accurate timeline at all, I was just impatient.

How did I find Weddingbee?
About a month before Mr. Giraffe and I got engaged, my head was all ready dreaming up our wedding. I knew he asked my parents, he and I had talked about getting married, and well, I suspected he had gone ring shopping.

See, I needed to know more about weddings because I was starting to obsess with them. It was a closet obsession though, because I surely wasn't going to buy a wedding magazine if I wasn't engaged! What did I do? I turned to the internet.

I spent way more time then I should have on the Yahoo! Answers site in the Wedding section of the forums. I remember answering and asking questions and getting giddy at the idea of all these internet people who wanted to talk wedding as much as I did. I knew there had to be a better place to talk wedding, so I turned to Google. I joined one major wedding website, posted one innocent question on their message boards and got some very mean and rude responses. I mean, the Yahoo folks were mostly whiney and 16 year olds asking if they were too young to get married, but at least they were nice . . . So I headed back to Google.

It was then that I found myself stumbling upon this post by the wonderful Cherry Blossom (I still remember the exact post because it was so amazing). I was totally intrigued. The only blog I had followed before may have been Perez Hilton, but I was hooked!

Why Blog?
I knew I wanted to blog for Weddingbee, but I also knew I had to wait until we were 8 months away from our W date. I made a blog in January 2009 and blogged on and off until it got closer to the day and then I decided to buckle down. It's not easy to ready Weddingbee for 2 years just wishing you could apply! I wanted to blog for the Bee because I felt I had a lot to say that other Bees hadn't yet, I'll get more into that later, but when I start reading there weren't very many long engagement brides, or other girls trying to plan their wedding while being a bridesmaid at the same time. I just have a lot to say, and well, this Giraffe loves to talk. I also knew I was planning a DIY-palooza, and to be perfectly honest, I wanted to share my projects and get called awesome maybe once or twice. Hey, I said I was being honest :-D.

After I applied, I was seriously going crazy checking my inbox, but take my advice guys, a week and a half isn't a long time. Relax! Pengy will get back to you, she's super cool like that.

Choosing the Long Necked Wonder:
Y'know, Mr. Giraffe didn't pick the giraffe for us, but I went and choose it anyway :-). I mean, I talk big, but I am just so awkward and I think giraffes are too. I feel like we have things in common. I mean, my head is all ready in the clouds most of the time, and giraffes are all ready up there by default.

On Blogging for The Bee:
Oh man, blogging? I can honestly say that I love it! I mean, its almost embarrassing how much I love it. No really, it is embarrassing; I mean, I wasn't planning on admitting this ever (Mr. G doesn't even know), but I was so excited I even took a screenshot of this tweet of Pengy's showing up in my Twitter feed. Um, its for the scrapbook, I swear.

A Tip from Miss Giraffe:
I'll tell you right now folks, I'm weird; not only that, but I'm a little obnoxious and even more ridiculous. I say things that don't make sense, and try to make references that sometimes only see funny to me. . .
But that's okay!

No really, my biggest tip is to be yourself. A blog is no fun (okay, its only moderately fun) without personality, so make sure to give yours some. Don't go crazy though (unless that's really your personality which means you and I would get along great), because it would be hard to keep up blogging in a voice that isn't your own - So really just bee yourself!

So if you're thinking about applying . . . do it! For realsies, yo!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Traditonal Bride with an Untraditional Ring

I know I may have alluded to it before, but I realized I hadn't talked about my ring yet!

When Mr. Giraffe and I first kind of started talking about rings, what I wanted was simple: I had no interest in getting a ring. This wasn't metaphorical at all, I want(ed) to marry him, but I just didn't want a ring.

You see, I own no jewelry, none at all. I wear a $9 watch every day, but that's it. Jewelry freaks me out, the idea of wearing weird shiney stuff and the feeling of it against your skin? Major heebie jeebies! I have no interest at all, and I've alway been this way. I've never had any interest in 'bling' and I've actually gone out of my way to avoid it.

My mom says that after Mr. Giraffe told her he was going to propose to me, her first thought was, "Oh no, I don't know if Miss Giraffe will wear a ring!" She didn't say this to Mr. G, of course.

I know that plenty of girls have no-ring engagements, so what changed for me? Well, back in college, one weekend my friends H and D came to visit. This had all been planned, but what hadn't been planned was that they had just got engaged and they surprised us with the news. It was super fun and then H took out her ring to show us (she wasn't wearing it because she wanted to surprise everyone).

I'm not sure why, but after that I wanted my own ring. (I also wanted to be engaged which kick started a whole crazy 6 months of waiting but that's a different story).

The only thing though? I may have wanted a ring, but I didn't want a traditional ring. I wanted something different. As a quirky and off beat person, I wanted something that suited me. When Mr. G asked, I told him what I wanted: nothing big, nothing obnoxious, nothing 'sticky outey' (my exact words), and no diamonds.

Yeah, I gave him a whole lot to work with. On top of all that, I didn't own any rings so we had no idea what my ring size was and all those sneaky tips for guys planning to propose (like pressing a girl's ring into a piece of bread) to figure out her size didn't apply to us because I had no other rings.

He ended up with going with a 6 3/4 size ring, which fits perfect. He ended up getting me a blue sapphire ring - which is his birth stone, so it keeps him with me. I also told BM Marie that I "hate yellow gold" shortly before he gave me the ring. But I love my ring more than anything else! I wouldn't make any changes; its perfect.

I know, less talking, more photos. Like I said, I wouldn't want my ring any other way. Mr G. found something that fits me perfectly (literally and symbolically), he's the best :).

Anybody else with a non traditional ring?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why the Hive is the Bob-omb!

Get it, Bob-omb? Bomb? A super outdated '90s phrase? What more could you want?!

So remember a little while ago when I showed you all some super crazy, but super awesome Mario Cakes? Well, if you don't remember, or even if you do, here's a few new ones to remind you all how fantastic it is to combine both weddings and geekiness. (source 1, source 2, source 3)

The amazing (not to mention totally talented!) Littlelynx commented on that blog post that she should share her Bob-omb brownies that she makes. You can imagine my total happiness and surprise when I found that she had posted them on the Boards. Visit the post for her recipe and instructions (just scroll down a little). Okay, are you ready for this? I can't hold it in any longer! They're perfect!

I know, right?! So freaking cute! I'm like trying to find the right words to describe how much I love them. Would saying I would, like, rub them all over my face, totally cross a line? Probably... Anyway! They look just like the "real" thing, don't they? (source)
So, if you're having a Mario cake, I think you've all found your favors!!

Anybody else have something amazingly geeky that would be perfect for a wedding? Obscure question, I know, but I can't help it! Nerdy things make me happy!

Illustrator Info: Zig Zaggin'

Okay team, so we covered dotted lines and glyphs. What's next? Well, today's tip is an easy one (hooray), but I thought some beginners might not be so sure how to do it. Get ready to make some zig zag, or wavy, lines!

Again, all screen shots come from Illustrator CS4. I seriously plan on updating to CS5 soon! Also, the screen shots all come from a Mac, but things should be comparable to a PC (just substitute "control" for "command" on a Mac.)

1) Open a new document (Key command: command + n).

2) Create what ever shape you want to use a wavy line with. You could use the pen tool (key command: p) to make a line, the pencil (key command:n) to make a more organic line, you could make a rectangle (key command: m), or a circle (key command: l). Basically, just make what ever want, but it has to have a stroke around it.

For this, I just made a circle, but I gave it a stroke weight of 5 so it'd be easy for you guys to see.
2) Select your circle with the black arrow (key command: v) by clicking on it once. You'll know its selected because a bounding box will appear around it.
3) Okay now we're either going to make a zigzag line or wavy line. Go up to the top and choose Effects > Distort and Transform > Zig Zag
4) The zig zag pop up will come up. If you 'check' the preview box, you'll be able to see the changes as they happen. Move the slider bars for the zig zaggin' to happen. For a zig zag line, make sure the circle at the bottom, under points, is checked for "corner." For a wavy line, make sure the circle at the bottom, under points, is checked for "smooth."5) Click OK.

6) This could be the end, but if you want to edit the individual points of your wavy line. To do this, make sure your shape is selected and go to Object > Expand Appearance.
7) The points of your wavy line will now be editable.

8) Use the white arrow (key command: a) to move your points around to your heart's content!

Told you it was easy! Who loves wavy line? I know you do!

Need more clarification? Any ideas for future posts? Let me know!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Outta my way! It's time for flowers!

I don't have much time to talk. Why? Well because I'm meeting with our florist, Sandy tomorrow morning! Tomorrow morning, you say?! That's not very far away, you say?! No, no it isn't. Freak out!

Sandy asked me to bring her inspiration photos for my bouquet and the BM bouquets. . . oh and perhaps the centerpieces too . . . so I was all, "yeah, sure, no problem." And have I gotten pictures together? Of course not.

What do I want in a bouquet? That's a hard question to answer because, honestly, I'm almost too excited at the idea of my bouquet that I can barely decide. I have all kinds of bouquet dreams swimming in my head. I love flowers, I mean love love love flowers so how could anybody expect me to narrow down my love into one perfectly shaped and sized bouquet. But, what I told Sandy, although I'm pretty sure I didn't sound too confident, is a white and green bouquet. There should be white flowers, lots of greenery, and plenty of texture. Oh, and no roses. Word. Wait, and no Calas. Well, maybe calas. Wait, again! Maybe add some blue hydrangeas too. There's not a whole lot of blue flowers, which kind of messes with our color scheme, but I looove hydrangeas!

I'm not sure that makes sense, and that's why photos are needed so get outta my way, I have inspiration to collect. I'm going to share like a billion images so get ready for a photo heavy post!

These first few come from The Knot.

The next one was posted by arubagirl on the WeddingBee Boards.
This next one blows my mind. The texture, the long exposed stems, oh the prettiness! It was posted on the Boards as well by member starbright333.

The next few come from Sprout. If you're looking for inspiration, they have a lot of cool stuff over there! I'm so excited I found this blog (via Google search - yeaaaah) because these are exactly want I want (. . . I think). Green, white, maybe a little blue? Check! Texture all over the place? Check. Oh, and my favorite thing ever, exposed stems? Double check!

This next one is amazing, I mean, its too much yellow for me, but I love it. How much do I love it? I kinda just want to bury my face it in. Whoops - was that too personal? Visit the Steven Bruce Design Blog to see more. His stuff is off the wall and just gorgeous.

Okay, I know what you all are thinking, only one BM bouquet in that whole lot? What a selfish Giraffe! Yeah, you guys might be right ;-). No, but really, I'm kind of hoping that the bridemaids will have smaller versions of my bouquet.

Okay, so I realize I have like a bazillion photos. Is a bazillion too many? How about a bazillion minus one?

What did you tell your florist you wanted your bouquet to look like? And, more importantly so I don't look like a doof, how many photos did you bring with you?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Fridge Can't Fit in a Mail Box

Okay, Hive, stop and think for a second. You know all those super cute magnet STDs that we talked about last time and are all over the wedding world? Well, how do you send them to your guests?

I mean, surely you can't stick a magnet to a fridge and then pop that sucker in the mail box. Image how much postage you would need!

If we choose to go with a magnet STD (which is the way I'm currently leaning, and have been for 3 days now which is currently a record), I think I have an idea of how we'll send them, but I think its a legitimate question to ask. I mean, you can just drop the magnet into an envelope, smack an address on top, and send it on its way. Can you?

Magnet Street Weddings has "carrier cards" that coordinate with the magnet STDs you can purchase from them.

I'll show you an idea of what I thought was really cool, though. A Bride posted her STDs on the Mint Design Blog. This bride combined the best of both worlds by creating a large 'normal' sized STD with a matching magnet. The magnet was made extra cute by tucking it into a vellum coin envelope. Don't believe my word about the cuteness? Well here, see for yourself.

Has anybody found a good way to package/send your STDs? Please share!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Save the Date: Put it On Your Fridge

I know, I know, I need to make up my mind. We're running out of time to get these STDs done (or umm started).

Unfortunately, I'm horrible about making up my mind! I change it daily about all this saving the date buisness. I'm kind of worried I'll end up just turning out crap because I've waited so long to get this done and I'll just have to make something rather than have nothing. Eep.

Okay, all those negative worrysome thoughts aside (where they belong), here's what crazy hair brained scheme I've cooked up now: Save The Date Magnets!

I know, I know, its not a new idea; people have been doing it forever, but for some reason, I never considered it until now. If I was being totally honest, I'd let you know that I'd never considered it until two days ago when I actually had a dream about Save the Dates. . . yes, I'm that obsessed.

Regardless of how the idea occurred to me; now I'm kind of smitten with it! I mean, what does a person do when they get an important STD in the mail? Put it on their fridge!

And of course, since I'm totally a VIP, people would totally find a magnet to stick mine on the fridge, but this way we're including those poor folks that don't have spare magnets lying around.

No, you don't have to take down your Survivor Pool off your fridge to use that magnet to hold up my STD or take down Little Jimmy's first A to put Mr.G and I front and center. Why you ask? Because my STD will all ready be a magnet! What could be more convenient than that (besides the ability to both eat and sleep at the same time)?

So, without further adu, here's some Magnetic Save the Date Eye Candy for you. . . and for me, because I swear I'm going to figure this thing out soon.

These first few are all from Totally Wedding Magnets. Visit their site to see plenty more options.
I really want to add a calendar somewhere because, hello (!), people better be Sharpie-ing us in on their calendar, so the next one has that covered.

Despite the fact that it looks like Kelly and Derek are posing for a high school yearbook photo (I mean, does that pose look natural at all to anyone? I don't think so), I like the design of the next one.
Okay, maybe I was too hard on Kelly, its not that bad of a pose.

Anyway, these next few are from Magnet Street Weddings. Again, visit their site for a ton more options. I also ordered a sample from these guys, and the quality was great, FYI.

Anybody else make Fridge Worthy STDs? Is there actual proof that they've made it onto someone's* fridge?

*Your mom's doesn't count.