frightful tales of wedding registries

Welcome to the haunted house of....Registry Dinnerware! OooOOooo!!! (and other scary noises)

The Trial: Although initially perceived as a super fun pre-wedding checklist item, completing and maintaining our wedding registry has been a veritable nightmare...a time-suck that recently resulted in me arguing with a "clearly-not-really-named-Dave" Target customer service representative.

Regarding dinnerware, I went, as brides throughout history have done, straight to a reliable source...a trusted name grandmothers and mothers everywhere tout without exception: Pfaltzgraff. We immediately found a gorgeous pattern that we both loved, and I set to work coordinating the rest of our kitchen accoutrements. Then came the product reviews...DUH DUH DUH...it became clear that this once-great dinnerware titan has fallen. Apparently, no one is immune to the reduced price tag of exported labor. Dinnerware choice #1 - Disqualified for poor performance and sustainability. You would have been well loved.

To make a long story short, I regrouped and re-registered for our second choice set. Then, we watched sadly as our second, third, and fourth dinnerware choices were each quickly discontinued and labeled "Out of Stock" in turn. Curses upon you Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. 

The Tribulation: Strider and I randomly visited an antique emporium in a nearby town where lo-and-behold there lay a beautiful dinnerware set. Only missing one plate, this almost complete set was pretty, sturdy, and wait for it....... ....only $30! We looped the store to make sure it wasn't just a trick of the light, but returned to realize, that this was it, boys. Our dinnerware search was done. It's a wrap! (Seriously though, it requires a lot of bubblewrap to box up an entire dinnerware set.)

All in all, I'm thrilled just to take the stupid plates off the registry and to think of our sweet post-wedding antique dinnerware all snuggled way up in the cabinets, just awaiting their new life in January. Plus, we may still get some of the cool other dining stuff that is still on the registry to go with them, who knows.

Instead of telling you about all the other items that we've also had to replace due to being discontinued (it's a shocking long list, folks), I'll just share a pic of our gorgeous new plates.



100 & 100!!!

I've been dying to post for the last week or so because I'm in the throes of tons of wedding crafts (which I will share in due course)...but I've held out for a "most excellent" occurrence: 

Today is my 100th blog post AAANNDD exactly 100 days from the wedding! Woo! Hoo!

Anyways, to get on to a fun tutorial for today...I give you, the guest "board"! Basically, this craft came from the fact that I don't completely understand the point of guest books at weddings. Everyone signs them but then you put it in a box somewhere and probably never look at it again. So to remedy that pointlessness and to give Strider and I something cool for our new digs (once we find a home, that is), I set to work.

First, (you guessed it) I went to Lowe's. I snagged a great piece of pre-sanded pine board for around $9. The size was a bit in question because I didn't want it to be huge but not too small that people couldn't sign it either. The piece I chose is around 1' x 4' but it could vary depending on your preference and the length of your last name. I then headed over to the paint/stain aisle and picked out a small can of a nice Golden Pecan by Minwax ($5).
Next, I typed out soon-to-be-OUR last name in Word and printed it out, using the font from our invitations naturally. Once home, I sat down with pencils and erasers (a lot of erasers) and carefully free-handed it on the board to match the print-off, just on a larger scale. Crafting honesty = this bit took ages to get just right.
I then carefully traced my final lines with a fine tip Sharpie. I let it dry an hour or so just to be sure then used a sponge brush to apply the wood stain. I did two coats, front and back, allowing it to dry completely between each.
Photo above is post-stain, though my camera doesn't really pick up all the golden hues it brought out. Once the staining was done, I took a very small paintbrush and some liquid black acrylic paint ($1) to fill in the letters and create smooth edges. This bit also took a while, but a steady hand doing one coat should be sufficient.

After that dried overnight, I took it outside and sprayed it with an aerosol clear Polyurethane. I didn't want to use a painted sealer in case the acrylic smeared, but once the aerosol layer dried, I did go back and back two cross-hatching layers of satin Polyurethane with a brush to seal it really well. After the wedding, I will seal it again with everyone's contributions to make it a permanent fixture for our new home. Final product = ta da!
I love it and now I can rest easy with it leaned up against my wall all sealed and ready for some guests to take Sharpies to it! Total project cost = around $15 with the stuff I already had at home. Waaayy less than those crazy bridal stores charge and it will be a great addition to our new home. Total project time = more than I care to admit.

Thoughts on other non-traditional guest "books"? 
Hope you like it!