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Before and After Questionnaire: Mrs. Sword Fills You In

Hello hive!  I’m excited to join this series created by Miss Border Collie and Mrs. Barn!  I still love talking about weddings (always will!) but as a new mama, my brain is mostly focused on parenting and/or sleeping, so it’s been nice to sit back and answer these fun post-wedding questions!  Hope you enjoy!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography unless otherwise noted.

What was your biggest priority for the event?

I have two answers.  Number one was making sure our guests were taken care of and felt comfortable.   Many decisions were made regarding our wedding because they benefited our out-of-town guests, such as, the rehearsal dinner venue being walking distance from the hotel, the hotel wedding itself that offered transportation to and from the airport and a place to crash after the wedding.  Number two was photography.  I wanted gorgeous photos.

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What was your biggest concern for the day?

Our biggest concern was weather.  Even though all events were taking place indoors, I desperately wanted some photos taken outside.  It was early March in Minnesota and the temperature that day was in the 30’s.  It ended up raining/snowing while we were outside which meant my hair was in danger of falling flat and my dress was soaked at the bottom, but in the end it didn’t matter.  Some of my favorite memories are of cuddling with my hubby under the bridge before our ceremony.

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What DIY project did you care about the most?

None of them, I hate DIY (which in my case stands for destroy-it-yourself).  I loved all the DIY projects from our wedding, I just didn’t work on many of them, haha.  I relied on my amazing family for help in this area, my sister made the bridesmaid necklaces and bouts, my mom made the sword escort cards, a family friend painted the castle, and another family friend helped design the centerpieces.  What did I do you my ask?  I glued the letters C-A-R-D-S on a box.

What was your worst wedding-related nightmare?

I’ll consider it a mental health win that I do not remember any of my wedding related nightmares.  🙂

Did you actually eat?

YES!  I’m proud to say I ate a few apps, and most of my dinner.  The key for us was utilizing a sweetheart table because it allowed us a few moments alone.  And since we did a receiving line post-ceremony there wasn’t a mad dash to make it around to each and every table.

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What is your favorite picture?

Ahhh, I have so many!  But I will play the game and only pick one.  This photograph of Mr. Sword and I is dreamy, romantic, dramatic, and beautiful.  I’d say it represents our fairy tale wedding nicely.

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(Bonus: Here is Mr. Sword’s fave wedding photo!  I love that he has one!)

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 What was the worst thing that happened at your wedding?

We were lucky to have nothing major happen, just a bunch of small things.  It rained, our photographer forgot to get a few important shots, they started our first dance song at the wrong part, our bathroom baskets were stolen after the reception, etc.  But the BEST worst thing that happened was my sister and best friend getting stuck in the elevator!  The Embassy Suites’ elevators were slow and terrible and right before family photos these two got stuck!  I was a bit panicked until I realized what was going on and after that I just thought it was the funniest thing ever.  Such a good story to tell!

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(personal photo)

What is your favorite wedding memory?

Again, this is so difficult.  I have so many moments that stick out to me, such as my mom and sister helping me into my dress, my aunt and grandmother seeing me for the first time, walking down the aisle with my dad, saying my vows to Mr. Sword, our handfasting, and dancing the night away with our awesome family and friends.

There is one moment that stands out as supercharged and perfect.  We planned this first dance fake-out where we cut from a slow song (Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years) to a fast song (Pink’s Raise Your Glass) and on the last chorus our entire bridal party joined us on the dance floor.  It was exhilarating and love-filled and I will never forget it!

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What did your guests mention the most after the wedding?

Our guest could not stop talking about how much fun they had!  We still get compliments randomly from guests telling us what a blast they had at our wedding and how convenient it was.  Everyone loved our personalized ceremony, the lovely and funny toasts, and especially dancing to the ceilidh band!

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What did you do after the wedding?

Mr. Sword and I left a little bit before midnight (when the reception ended) and rode the scary elevators up to our room for some alone time and to pass out.  That said, many of our guests went to the hotel bar or the bar across the street to keep on partying!

Bonus: Did you have a private after-party with your new spouse or crash afterward?

squeezed my swollen and tired body into slipped into my white wedding lingerie after getting out of my dress.  So yes and then definitely yes.  🙂  Getting married is exhausting!!

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Sister Sword’s Fancy Picnic Wedding

You didn’t think I would leave you all hanging on Sister Big Eyes’ gorgeous wedding, did you?  Sister and Brother-in-law were married on a Sunday in June three months and one week after the Sword wedding.  It was also the same day as our grandparent’s wedding anniversary AND Father’s Day, making it all that more special.

Dearest hive, I will now attempt to do the impossible, I will recap Sister Big Eyes’ wedding in ONE SINGLE BUT INCREDIBLY LONG BLOG POST.  Never mind that recapping my Highland Fairy Tale took about 40 posts, I truly believe I can do this!  Hopefully you’ll recognize a lot of familiar faces but in a whole new setting this time!  Minnesota in the summer is quite lovely.

A Fancy Picnic

Getting Ready

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Does that look familiar?  I have the same shot, see below.  Cool huh?

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Auntie B’s reaction to seeing the bride:

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Does it remind you of the last time she saw a bride?

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I love this next shot!

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First Look and Portraits

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sister faces

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Guess who made it to another Minnesota wedding all the way from Bismarck, ND… our grandparents!  We are the luckiest.  🙂

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Ceremony

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Look who’s escorting his new Mother-in-law down the aisle, a squinty Mr. Sword!

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Yours truly as Matron of Honor.

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They sang their vows to each other- it was amazing!  And they did a God’s knot, which Sister Big Eyes braided during the ceremony.

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Yay, another receiving line, our family loves giving hugs!

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Details

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For their guestbook, they had everyone sign an old guitar, and how cute are their functional yet personalized guitar picks that were used as confetti and available for guests to take home!  An authentic picnic basket was used for cards.

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Reception

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This guy again, killed it with another great Father of the Bride toast- can you imagine having to do TWO in three months?!?

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Sister and BIL had taken lessons ahead of time, and they did a fantastic job on their first dance!

first dance

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Sister Big Eyes invited some of her former students to come towards the end of the day and dance their favorite line dances with her at the reception.  It was really sweet.

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One thing I regret we couldn’t have was a cute send-off!  These ribbon wands were a huge hit with everyone.  🙂

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Mr. Sword and myself drove them away from their reception and to my parent’s house, it was time for our Sister Rock the Frock Photo Shoot!!  Coming up NEXT!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography because remember, we shrendored.

PHEW, I did it!  🙂  Did you see any details or ideas that inspired you for your wedding?

A Highland Fairy Tale: We Cuddle With a Cutie

After our families had left the lobby to finish getting ready for the ceremony, Crystal was able to snap a few more pics of Mr. Sword and myself indoors.  By this time, I had fully thawed and was happy to continue smiling for the camera.

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We decided to switch things up and move locations and I’m so glad we did because I love these next few pics.  So romantic and bridal looking.  And for reference, this location is a tiny hallway near a window on the second floor of the hotel.  Nothing special about it in real life but a great spot for some lovely photos!

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On my photography shot list I had also made time for a mini photo shoot with Littlest C, because well, she’s pretty damn important.  I’m pretty sure I was picturing her as my flower girl before I’d even met Mr. Sword!

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We went outside and Littlest C got to wear her beautiful jacket.

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The next three pictures tend to make me tear up!  Notice our matching tiaras?  🙂  I had this idea for a pose that we should both hold her flower girl basket and I’m so glad they turned out as well as they did!  If you are taking pictures with your ring bearers or flower girls, I recommend getting down to their height level, it makes for better photos!

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I love how much we look-alike (even though we’re obviously not blood-related) and I’m just reminded of how grown-up and beautiful Littlest C looks!

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Did you see the purple petals?  Those were cut from fake flowers I purchased at JoAnn’s when shopping for boutonnieres.  So easy, and so much cheaper than real petals!

All photos by Crystal Liepa Photography.

Did you take extra pics with any of your little ones?

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Skipped some of the Sword saga?  It’s OK, catch up today!

Pre-Wedding
Teaser video!
Final preparations, snow, and tears!
Ladies’ Luncheon!
Elevators of anxiety!
Rehearsing and screaming!
Burgers and surprises!
Kisses at midnight!

The Big Day
Bacon for bridal baby!
Hair and makeup!
Men in kilts!
Tiara and bouquet!
Becoming a bride!
Champagne toasts!
First look
Cold couple portraits!
The Swords with swords!
The men pose!
The women pose!
Altogether now!
Elevator madness!
Big reveal!
Family photos!

Sword Glossary: Made Up Wedding Lingo for Everyday Use

I realized awhile ago that I have made up a ton of new words in the past few months while blogging for Weddingbee, and I’ve decided it’s time to make a glossary so people have a chance to understand what the heck I’m talking about and so these words can continue to get used.

It all started back when I wrote about the other types of brides that exist besides Bridezillas.  After that, I pretty much made up words whenever I saw the need.

(In case you feel robbed because you’ve been saying these words or phrases for years, I apologize in advance, and anyway they are new to me!)

Sword Glossary

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DIY: Destroy-it-Yourself.  I have joked about how I am a terrible craft-er many times here on the hive.  I know DIY means Do-it-Yourself, but I like my version better.  It means you take full responsibility for what happens to your project, it means it probably won’t turn out perfectly, and it’s frankly, it’s a hell of a lot more fun to say!

DIYT: Don’t Invest Your Time.  This is an acronym I coined for the project that takes entirely too much time out of your life.  Sometimes it’s worthwhile, (like in the case of our tartan necklaces) but sometimes it’s better to just buy the damn thing already.

Nanny Child:  A child that you nanny, or more specifically, a child that you love deeply and watch on a regular basis but that is not related to you by blood.  For years I have had trouble describing or clarifying my relationship with my nanny children because it’s hard for people to make sense of it if you’ve never spent as much time as I have with someone else’s children.  I’ve been with my nanny family for 5+ years now, and they’re both in my wedding, but I didn’t know what to call them in our ceremony program, hence the title, nanny child.  Does anyone else have this issue of notating an unconventional relationship in their program?

Shmailing: Sharing the body of an email, word for word.  Sister Big Eyes sent an email out to her bridal party asking what hair/makeup everyone would like, I got about half way through before realizing not only did the tone sound an awful lot like me, it had been taken verbatim from my email to my bridal party concerning hair/makeup just a few months ago!  Not that I was bothered at all, on the contrary, I found it hilarious.  Sister Big Eyes doesn’t care for writing, and I’d already done the hard part, so why not shmail it?

Shrendoring: Sharing a vendor with someone you know personally, someone you are close to, or more specifically someone who is planning a wedding at the same time as you.  (Because obviously you’re sharing your vendor with a ton of other brides but you don’t know them all).  Sister/MOH Big Eyes (who gets married this coming June) is shrendoring my photographer, my hair/makeup artist, and our alterations family friend.  Does our mutual MOB count too?

Wedding Crush: The wedding you like a lot and hope to marry one day.  Just kidding!  This is the wedding that reminds you of your own and makes you swoon because it’s just so beautiful! If you’d like a reminder, this is the wedding I have been crushing on that matches my vision.  Basically your wedding crush is the wedding you want to be like when you grow up.  🙂

Wirthday Gift: A gift that is deliberately given as both a birthday and wedding gift.  Sister Big Eyes gave me my cake topper as a wirthday gift.  And it doesn’t have to stop there, per the comments left on my post, someone said they received some Whistmas gifts (wedding/Christmas) and someone else some Birthmas gifts (birthday/Christmas).  Love the creativity!

(all photos personal)

What wedding lingo have you made up?  What words are still missing?

Matching Card and Pen Boxes

Hi hive, I’m here with a short post this Monday about a quick DIY project I did recently!

I actually missed the boat on taking photos of this particular project but it’s so easy it doesn’t even need a tutorial.

One day while browsing JoAnn’s (I’m there on a weekly basis) I found these boxes on sale for half off!  I was drawn to this set because of the quotes on it and because of the black and ivory color scheme.  Sold!

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I was looking for two boxes of different sizes because I wanted something to hold possible cards from guests and a spot to keep the writing utensils for our guestbook.  Since they’ll be at the same table I wanted them to match in some way, and I’d also hoped to find something that fit our theme.  Since all of our guests’ tables are named with words, and I’m putting up framed quotes around the reception, I knew these boxes would fit right in.

While I was there I also picked up some black ribbon, small wooden letters, black paint, and a small paint brush.

Here’s the finished product:

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I added the ribbon (by way of super glue) to each corner on each side to keep the covers from falling down.  And then I painted the letters black and glued them onto the inside cover of the box.

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I realize the tape wrapped around the top of the ribbon to keep it from coming apart is very obvious, but I couldn’t care less at this point.  I did this project all by myself in about an hour and a half, and I was so happy to cross it off the list!  No one will notice the tape anyway.

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Easiest Destroy-It-Yourself ever!

(all photos personal)

Did you spruce up any boxes to use in your decor?  How are you housing your cards and/or pens for the guestbooks?

Tartan Washer Necklace DIYT (Don’t Invest Your Time)

It’s time for a “How To” on the necklaces MOH Big Eyes and I made for the women in the bridal party.  I say this with the utmost sincerity, please do not try this at home.  In fact, don’t ever attempt to make jewelry out of wool.  It’s just a bad idea.  Wool is not a good medium for creating pretty, dainty things.  But DO make the necklace, just use different fabric.

THAT SAID, we did the best with what we had.  And I think our necklaces turned out absolutely gorgeous, thanks to Sister Big Eyes and her ingenuity.

There were a lot of ideas thrown around over the past few months regarding bracelets and necklaces and the tartan fabric.  The question was how could we gift the bridal party a piece of our family tartan?  (The men will get to keep their bouts even though they’ll never have another reason to wear them.  They’ll probably just hold on to them for sentiment’s sake, HA!)  Ladies of the Sword bridal party feel free to read on about all the frustration love that went into your jewelry!  🙂

Let’s start with the inspiration for this necklace.

image via Pinterest

image via Pinterest

If you click on the link to Pinterest you’ll find lots of ideas and versions of this beautiful necklace.  Most fabrics will move a lot easier than wool.  Two things to note about working with tartan fabric, 1) It is very stiff and doesn’t bend well, 2) It frays badly immediately after being cut.

Great, now that you’re excited, here is the step-by-step version of how we made our very own washer necklaces with our tartan fabric.

STEP ONE:  BUY YOUR SUPPLIES.  You’ll need enough washers for each necklace and Sister Big Eyes says odd numbers look best, so we figured about 7 per necklace plus quite a few extras.  We also decided we wanted to paint the washers, so picked up ivory and forest green spray paint.

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Then we visited JoAnn’s to buy ribbon to add to the necklaces so they can be tied around the neck, and interfacing to put on the back of the fabric to prevent it from fraying as much.

STEP TWO: SPRAY THE WASHERS.  Optimal conditions would be in Bismarck, ND when the temperature is below zero so your hands want to fall off and directly before it starts snowing so your first batch is completely ruined.  OH WAIT, those were our conditions but maybe you live some place warmer than the tundra.  In that case, just spray them on a piece of cardboard or a paper bag.

We tried using both the ivory and the green washers with the tartan but in the end we felt the darker green color looked better than the lighter ivory color.

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STEP THREE: LAY OUT INTERFACING ON TARTAN FABRIC, CUT TO FIT.  Sister Big Eyes looks like she knows what she’s doing in this picture but truthfully none of us had ever used interfacing before.  What is interfacing you ask?  To quote Wikipedia, it’s “a textile used on the unseen or “wrong” side of fabrics to make an area of a garment more rigid.” (Thank you Boss Lady for the giving me the idea.)

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STEP FOUR: GET SILLY IRON INTERFACING ONTO FABRIC.  While Sister Big Eyes was working hard, cousin and BM Jo and I were having our own fun.

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Tartan headband anyone?  5 dollars please.

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Even Fibonacci wanted to help out!  Hehe.  BM Jo sent him downstairs wearing this:

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STEP FIVE A:  LAMENT ABOUT HOW MUCH EASIER THIS PROJECT WOULD BE IF YOU USED RIBBON INSTEAD.  Celebrate Christmas with your family and take a break from the necklaces until you’re back in Minnesota.

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STEP FIVE B (aka the real STEP FIVE): CUT THE TARTAN INTO STRIPS. I don’t know exactly how long we made ours because it took some trial and error and it depends on how low you want your necklace to hang.  No matter what fabric you use don’t forget to factor in extra fabric for looping it through each washer.

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STEP SIX: ADD ANTI-FRAYING GOOP TO EDGES.  While the interfacing did help, the tartan still began to fray and separate immediately after it was cut so we decided to do both.  This was my job.  That and taking photos of every step of the process!

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STEP SEVEN: SEW RIBBON ON TO EACH END OF YOUR STRIPS.  Sister Big Eyes did this part as well (shocking I know) and she did a great job.  The length of ribbon doesn’t matter too much because if you have too much you can just make a bigger bow at the back of your neck.

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It’s best if the ribbon is the same width of your cut strips of fabric.

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STEP EIGHT: LOOP TARTAN THROUGH EACH WASHER.  Honestly, I have no idea how to explain this because I didn’t do it (worst tutorial writer ever!), but I think you thread it through the first washer, then the second washer and then back again through the first washer so they lay close to each other.

I know I mentioned earlier that we were going for seven washers per necklace but in the end it was more important to make the washers centered in the middle which meant some of them have one extra or one less washer.

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STEP NINE:  WEAR IT.  For some reason we don’t have anyone wearing the finished product necklace.  In the below picture MOH Big Eyes is wearing her bridesmaid dress and a necklace that has the original (unpainted) washers, and after that is BM Jo wearing a prototype necklace that does not have ribbon or interfacing.

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Overall I’m really pleased with how they turned out!  And I can’t wait to see all the bridesmaids and honor attendants wearing them with their dresses!  I’m so happy that each girl will get to take home a piece of the Sword family tartan as well.  Based on the photo above I’m thinking the girls will be able to wear them again with regular clothing.  Win win!

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I also want to take this opportunity to thank the world’s best Maid of Honor, my little sister.  Without her I don’t know where I’d be, and I’m so grateful for all of the work she has done to make our Highland Fairy Tale a dream come true.

And I truly hope I can help her waste her time on an equally stressful craft for her wedding in the near future.  Much love Sis.

(all photos personal)

Do you like the tartan necklaces?  Would you ever make a necklace with washers?  What wedding craft did you spend way too much time working on?

Bling to Get Ready In and Tags for Bags

I’m combining these two crafts into one post because they are so stinking easy that I can’t justify talking about each one individually.  That said, they both deserve a mention.

First off, let me just say I’m not the robe-wearing type, not that I don’t wish I was, but it’s not my thing.  Needless to say, I won’t be getting ready for my wedding in a silky or plush robe.  But I still wanted something special and fun to wear the morning of my wedding and that’s how I stumbled upon bling’d out tank tops.

Over the years my friends and I would decorate tank tops for special occasions, such as birthdays, class trips, and later, Superbowl parties.  Tight and trashy, I always say!  (I never say that, but as I was typing this post I realized how juvenile and funny it is that I prefer tight tanks to luxurious robes. HA.)

Anyway, I knew I wanted to wear a cute white tank top that said “Bride” but I also knew I didn’t want to pay a ton of money for one, so when I found these appliqués at JoAnn’s I snapped them up and took them to MN for MOH Big Eyes to assemble.

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I wish I could say this is a really budget-friendly project, but it is not.  Each appliqué is $4.99 and each shirt was about 8-10 dollars depending on my coupons and where I bought them.  I ended up making a total of 7 getting ready shirts.  One bride tank top for myself, a Maid of Honor tank for Sister, three bridesmaid tanks, a flower girl tank, and a t-shirt for Mom Sword.

Speaking of Mom Sword, her shirt is special and does not say Mother of the Bride.  Mom Sword and I share a similar sense of humor, and her idea of being “funny” is calling herself a Queen, if I’m going to be the Princess of the wedding.  She also enjoys joking about how young she looks and how myself, MOH Big Eyes, and her look like three sisters.  Umm, yeaa.  Riiiight.  (She’s kidding but it’s a running joke in the family now.)  Luckily I found something perfect for her, but she (and everyone else) will have to wait until the wedding day to see it!

The process for applying each word was very easy.  You just have to make sure you line up the words against a straight edge and decide where you want them to lay on the “girls.”  Then you peel off the backing and stick the words directly to the fabric.

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The only tools needed are a wash cloth, an ironing board, and an iron, the ruler is optional.  Place the cloth on top of the appliqué and then use an iron to adhere the appliqué to the shirt.  Miss Sword Tip:  Leave the iron on longer than it says on the package!  The little jewels can be a bit tricky to work with.

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Slowly peel back the piece of plastic and admire your beautiful work!

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Next up, I made these adorable tags for our out-of-town guest bags and I did them all by myself!

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Sorry for the blurring!  That part says Miss Sword and Mr. Sword and the date of our wedding in fine tip black sharpie.  The “all you need is love” part is a stamp.  This was so easy.  I bought tags, the stamp, and purple ink from JoAnn’s, and I used the leftover ribbon from wedding invitations to tie the tags to our OOTG bags.

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I guess I forgot to take a picture of the tags tied on the bags but I’ll just let you visualize it instead.  Go.  And I promise to do a post on what when into our OOTG bags at some point too!

(all photos personal)

What are you getting ready in on the big day?  Anyone else make tags for their OOTG bags?