Tag Archive | hotel

Do Not Disturb DIY

Ohmygosh, I can’t believe it’s almost 2013!  The year of my wedding!  A big congrats to all of the bees who got married in the lovely year of 2012, but I’m pretty excited about the next set of unique weddings that are on the horizon (even though I used to wish I could have been married in an even year.)  OH the battles you never pick and never mean to share on the internet!

Anyway, I can’t wait to get started sharing all of my updates with everyone, so to start things off here is a little DIY (destroy-it-yourself) done by yours truly!  But first:

sword guests

Most of the DIY’s for my wedding have been orchestrated and constructed by Sister/MOH Big Eyes.  She is my personal wedding slave craft-er and she did an amazing job on everything.  But these DND signs were my baby!  🙂

I’m not sure where I first saw the Do Not Disturb sign used in a wedding but I knew right away that it was something I was going to incorporate into my OOTG (out-of-town guest) bags.  My search began online trying to find templates and ideas for wording where I was fortunate enough to stumble upon a forum where someone had commented about Vistaprint having a deal that included 50 free rack cards.  So to pay it forward, make sure you go to Vistaprint to get your free rack cards too!  (Hopefully the sale is still going on.)

For those who don’t know what a rack card is (I didn’t realize that’s what they were called), it’s a long skinny brochure cut of paper that is usually used for advertising, but they are also the PERFECT size for hanging signs off of doorknobs.

Luckily, I was able to design both the front and the back of the card and at first I was completely stumped at what to do.  I thought of using another engagement photo but thought that too redundant.  I thought of leaving the background blank while focusing on fancy/fairy tale type of font but thought that too boring.  And then it hit me, the tartan!  OF COURSE!

So I uploaded the image we have of our family tartan and hoped for the best.  Unfortunately, the website informed me that the quality of my photo wasn’t very good so I was not expecting them to turn out the way I pictured them in my head, but in the end, I think they turned out great!  They’re definitely not perfect, one side looks really shiny, and the colors might be a bit too bright  but I’m so happy I found another place to showcase our tartan.

On the one side I put, “Welcome to Minnesota! We are so happy you could make it!”  We added the name of our family tartan (in case there is any confusion haha) in the bottom right-hand corner which is written as Hislastname-Mylastname personal tartan.

DND back edited

And on the side that will hang facing out on the guest’s hotel room door, I put the standard wording of “Please Do Not Disturb.  We’re still recovering from Mr. and Miss Sword’s wedding celebration.”  And I’m sure most people will be!!  🙂  We also added the date of the wedding in numbers in the bottom right-hand corner.

DND front edited

Side note: When writing out our wedding date this past year on save-the-dates, invitations, and whatnot, we intentionally chose to spell it out instead of using numbers because the in the UK they put the day first followed by the month.  For example 04/05/2012 would read as the 4th of May in the UK and the 5th of April in the US.  We decided everyone would know the wedding was in March by the time the actual wedding rolled around but my apologies to our guests who have to read the date backwards!  Does anyone else need to be aware of this with their paper products?

Since I’m making about 48 OOTG bags (don’t ask me how I’ve come up with that number when not everyone has RSVP’ed yet), the 50 free rack cards ended up being the perfect amount.

The actual crafting or DIY’ing part came when they arrived in the mail to my parent’s house.  I decided against punching a big hole in the top because I thought adding ribbon would be prettier/fancier.

Here are my supplies (I’ve always wanted to post one of these pictures!):

DND supplies edited

Step One: Find a line in your image (in my case the tartan) as guideline for punching holes at the top of the card.  I used the same spots on each one and it made punching holes take no time at all.

Christmas 2012Wedding 249

Step Two:  Measure the size ribbon you want after first seeing how low you want it to hang on a door handle.

Step Three:  Thread the ribbon through each hole tying a knot on the side that will not be displayed.  Cut off the excess ribbon.

Christmas 2012Wedding 254

And you’re done!  I know this craft didn’t need an explanation (or photos for that matter), but I had to share it because I’m proud of my crafting skills!

Christmas 2012Wedding 257

(all photos personal)

Anyone else making DND signs for their guests hotel rooms?  Did my really extensive tutorial make sense!?!?  😉


Save the Date reveal!

Fresh out of the box and blissfully unaware of the typo!

My FAVORITE part of our STD is the little airplane and the whimsical writing of the “save the date” part. We specifically chose to say “Join us for the weekend,” because  we want to encourage everyone who’s not from Minnesota to use our wedding as an excuse to enjoy a short trip up North.  The reasoning behind this comes down to two major factors, 1) unpredictable MN March weather = flying or driving in and out same day is not going to be possible, and 2) we want to spend as much time with everyone as possible!

My family is driving in from North Dakota, Mr. Sword’s family is flying in from Scotland, and many of our wonderful friends will be flying in from Chicago or the east coast.  This is why we are hosting an OOTG rehearsal dinner so we can feed everyone twice and allow our two cultures to enjoy each other as much as possible.  Mr. Sword and I also plan to join everyone for brunch at the hotel the morning after the wedding, which will be free, since breakfast is included in the price of a hotel room.  I know some folks might not understand our logic, arguing that the day after our wedding is all about US, but Mr. Sword and I value the relationships in our life and we want to make everyone feel as special as we do.

When we leave three weeks later on our ‘moon you can bet we are going to be selfish then, focus only on each other, and enjoy reminiscing about the one hell of a party we hosted for our wedding.

It took FOREVER to pick the right photo for our STD, but since we’ve received lots of compliments on it I’m thinking we made the right decision!  Hope you like them as much as we do!  Sorry for the extra large photo but I figured they’d be easier to see this way.

(all photos personal)

We were thrilled with the final product of our save the date despite the stupid typo… how did you feel about yours?  Are you glad you took the time to send them out?  Anyone else expecting lots of out-of-state and out-of-country guests?

Falling in LIKE with my venue

Finally, after months of waiting, Mr. Sword and I got to see our venue in Minnesota over Mother’s Day weekend!  It was an awesome weekend filled with birthday celebrations, asking bridal party family members to be a part of the big day, attending a friend’s wedding, and of course hanging out with family.  First stop was our hotel of course!

This is us outside of the hotel (please excuse Mr. Sword’s face).

And now we’re inside!  I’m digging the Spanish-style floor and high ceilings.

How cute is the fountain?

Mom Sword is SO excited we are finally here!

Even the rooms are huge, with a living room in every suite!  I think I counted a total of three sinks, one in the bathroom, the one by itself (in the photo), and a tiny one by the minibar counter.  I can’t wait to get ready on the day of the wedding!

The pool, hot tub, and sauna looked stunning and I know our guests are going to want to take full advantage of them, especially those who are staying more than one or two days.

Overall, the hotel and it’s atrium looked gorgeous and I’m super psyched to be able to visualize my wedding now, but that said I didn’t fall in LOVE with our venue.  It sounds dramatic but let me explain.  I know this spot is perfect for us.  I know I made the right decision that first night sitting and talking over a fancy meal post-proposal, soaking in all the happiness and excitement from the day.  I know we should be having our Big Day in a hotel and the hotel we found is such a lovely hotel!

Unfortunately, there were no sparks or tears from me, which was surprising because I went in NOT expecting much so that I would be able to fully enjoy the experience.  But even though I love a good happy cry, I’m not upset by my lack of tears.  It wasn’t the right time for that, I was still exploring and soaking it all in.

More than anything I’m so thrilled to have a place to host the Sword wedding. I’m so excited that people are already booking hotel rooms, and planning flights.  I’m pumped to meet with photographers and start dress shopping, and all of the other exciting things that can now happen because I made a decision. I booked a beautiful place.  True, I didn’t get to search artistic lofts, museums, or outdoor gardens.  I limited myself wholeheartedly and Mom Sword found me the best option out there.  She even commented about how proud she was of me after we met with our coordinator because I was making so many smart and budget-conscious decisions.   The girl who spends ten minutes deciding what kind of butter to buy at the grocery store is good at making quick and sound wedding planning decisions, it’s true!

I KNOW for a fact that I will fall in LOVE with my venue at some point.  Until that moment comes, I’m more than OK with being madly in LIKE with it.

(all photos personal)

Next up is our food tasting and sorting out details with our coordinator at the hotel!

Anyone else have a similar experience in booking a venue that was in some ways more practical than anything else?  Did anyone else take a bit longer to fall in love with their venue?

Never Thought I’d Do THIS

Hive, I have booked my wedding venue sight unseen.

Now, I know I’m not the first bride to do this and I know I’m not the last, but it is rather unconventional so let me explain. Just because my fiancé and I have not viewed the venue does not mean that no one has seen it. In fact, two very trusted people have seen said venue and have fallen in love with it. They are my Mom Sword and Sister Sword, also known as MOH Big Eyes, and I heard through the grapevine that one of them may have cried tears of joy. How is that for a confirmation? Besides that, who knows me better than my Mom and little sis? They get my taste for fancy, they know my need for drama, and they understand how I want things to look more expensive than they really are… in short, they know how to think like a princess. 🙂

image via Fanpop

This wasn’t an easy decision.  I’d much rather have gone to check out a different venue, (or in our case, hotel) each weekend.  I’d have preferred to take our time and maybe check out the same venue twice if we felt so inclined.  But that scenario was not in the cards, being that my wedding and I are in an LDR (long-distance relationship).  I made up my mind from the beginning that if we had the wedding outside of Chicago, we would have to take the cons WITH the pros.  One con is we have put down a deposit on a hotel sight unseen.  (AHHHHHH!)

The thing is, I knew we weren’t going to visit Minnesota for a while and after engaged in February and picking a March wedding date for the following year, I knew I wanted to get started!  Heck, with the warm midwest March weather we had this year, maybe everyone in Minnesota is thinking, I’m gonna get married in March and snag those off-season prices for myself!  Plus, the venue needed to be booked so we could start spreading the word and spreading the STD’s (hahaha that’s gross).  All kidding aside, when you have a lot of people flying in from across the pond it’s only polite to give them tons of notice!  They are paying for a hefty flight after all!

On the other hand, it’s quite frightening to commit to something you’ve never seen. But it helped that we had a few details determined ahead of time to guide us in the right direction:

1. We loved the idea of one-stop wedding hopping, especially considering our percentage of OOTG.  We really wanted our guests to have the luxury of one space fits all! We wanted people to be able to flow easily from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception and finally to their comfy hotel beds. Speaking from experience, I’ve always enjoyed the option of switching my shoes, putting my purse away, or just using a private bathroom when I’ve stayed at the same hotel or lodge that the wedding reception was taking place in.

2. We wanted to save on transportation costs. The Chicagoans and the Scottish folk will be able to avoid car rentals because the hotel we booked has free shuttles to and from the airport as well as shuttles to the MOA (Mall of America) and other places.  Plus, we will be able to save on a limo or party bus to transfer people from the ceremony to reception, putting our transportation budget at zero. Did I mention the FREE shuttles?  Oh wait, I did.  Can’t beat that!

3. I am without a church to call my home. I grew up attending church in an elementary school cafeteria. We were big on faith and people but didn’t have much money so we rented our space every Sunday from a local school. When my church joined with another church in the area that had a nice sized building I was getting older and soon went off to college. It’s a nice building but it’s just not big enough to house all of our friends, families, and my princess dreams.

So ultimately, it made sense that we would have a religious-based ceremony but to have it in some place other than a church. To be honest, I had always pictured myself walking down a beautiful aisle in a gorgeous church with stained glass windows, a commanding organ, and a familiar pulpit, but those kinds of churches don’t exist in my non-denominational liberal faith anyway, so when discussing venue options with my parents that first night we were engaged, both Mr. Sword and I decided on a hotel with little hesitation.  And just because our wedding will be in a hotel does NOT mean it will look like a cookie-cutter hotel wedding.  Our wedding will be wonderfully unique and memorable, just like us!

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.” Peter Pan (J.M. Barrie)

Has anyone else picked their venue sight unseen?  Who did you trust to check it out for you?