invitation inspiration.

Happy Friday!  My plan for the weekend is to have a little crafting party with my lovely bridesmaid Dana.  She is also getting married this fall, and we both need to figure out what we're doing for our invitations!  We figured doing it together would be a little more fun (especially if wine is involved), and would force us to sit down and actually design them!  Procrastination has been our specialty when it comes to our invites.  

Here is a sneak peek at our invite inspiration!

Dana's color scheme is gray and ivory, with sage green accents.  She is leaning towards more modern invites, possibly using some sort of circle elements in the design.  I am loving this invitation from A Windy City Wedding (her sister designed them, isn't she sweet?).
For my own invites, I'd like to start with asimple design similar to this one from Papyrus, and add in some of the flourish elements from our save-the-dates for a little extra flair.

Should be a fun weekend!  I don't know about you, but I love having another bride to do wedding project with!  Do you feel the same?

another project.

Please excuse me for not writing an interesting post today. You see, I was busy all night making one of these.
A 20' long teal taffeta table runner (how's that for alliteration?). One down, twenty more to go. They are kind of a pain to make, but look at how shiny they are! Please excuse the random threads, the fabric frays easily so I need to clean up the edges.
Here's a rough mockup of what they'll look like on our tables. Except the table will be twice as long and all of the chairs will be white. And the flowers will be different, these were just leftovers I had around the house.

What do you think? Are you planning to make your own table runners?


mmm delizioso.

While we still haven't finalized the menu, we have chosen a caterer and have a general idea of what will be served at our reception. Since Italian food is somewhat of a specialty where we're from (and a favorite among both of our families), we knew from the beginning that we'd be serving it at our wedding.


Here's a sneak peek at our menu! (I will be making the descriptions sound prettier after it's finalized... if anyone has suggestions on wording, I'd love to hear them!)

Appetizer (if we have one) served during cocktail hour:

Thin (as in cracker thin) crust pizza, various kinds


Salad (plated):

(not sure exactly what exactly is in the salad yet) with homemade Italian dressing
Garlic bread

Main course (served buffet style):
Homemade pasta bar which includes

Meat and cheese ravioli


Red sauce (with meat)
Marinara sauce
Alfredo sauce


Italian sausage
Baked chicken


Cake (flavors yet to be determined)
Italian knot cookies (I can't remember the real name)

My stomach is growling already. I'm excited to be serving something that is not usually categorized as "wedding food". I've been to a lot of weddings, and none of them have ever served Italian food!

What do you think of our menu? Are you serving something out of the norm at your reception?


i want them all.

Check out the most beautiful bouquets I've ever seen, all in one picture, which I found on The Bride's Cafe. I'll take all six of them, thank you.

All photos by Stephanie Williams Photography. Flowers by JL Floral Designs.

What's that you say? I can't walk down the aisle carrying six bouquets? How about three? Or at least the purple one? I'd yet to find a picture of my dream bouquet, that is, until I found this one. Sadly, my florist said ranunculus won't be available in our area in September. Sad face :(

As soon I get over the fact that the dream bouquet will never be mine, I think I'll bring in the dahlia bouquet photos to my florist. I'm fairly certain I'll be using all dahlias for my bouquet, in different hues of purple. The bouquet in the picture is one of the smaller ones I've found, which is more along the lines of what I've been looking for. I'm not really longing for a bouquet that's twice the size of my head. Call me crazy, but I don't want to lift weights on my wedding day :) That is, of course, unless you'll allow me to carry all six bouquets as previously requested. No? Okay then, this one will suffice. While I'm with the florist, I might as well show her the green bouquet, as it's almost exactly what I've been picturing for the bridesmaids bouquets. Different shades of green with lots of texture. Perfect!
Are you sure I can't just have all six? Pretty please?

Which bouquet is your favorite?


for the little ones.

My fiance and I LOVE kids.   And there are a ton of them in our families.   While I understand why some people decide not to have kids at their weddings, we couldn't imagine our wedding without them! There will be about 30 or so kids attending our event, so we have been thinking of something we can do to make them feel special. 

At our reception venue, there is a small room connected to the room where our reception will be held.  We've been told we are free to use it, and until recently I hadn't figured out what we would use it for, if anything.  I met with one of our decorators this past weekend on my trip to Michigan, where she suggested that we use the room as a type of playroom for the kids.  Genius idea, don't you think?  I do!

Surely, most of the kids will spend plenty of time out on the dance floor, but if they are getting tired or don't want to dance anymore, they'll be able to go into the playroom and watch a movie, color, or take a nap!  We'll be setting up small tables with chalkboard tops,  and lining the floor with pillows so they can get a little shut-eye or watch some Pixar films on the TV we'll be bringing in ( I'm thinking Shrek, since they get married in the end!).

I'll probably put together some kid-friendly swag bags, with crayons and coloring books, juice and some snacks, and maybe a small toy of some kind.  Hopefully, our little guests will feel like VIPs, because to us, they are!

Is anyone else doing something special for the younger crowd?


a grey's wedding.

Grey's Anatomy has been one of the only shows I've ever watched religiously ever since the first episode. I love the medical/soap opera combination... I also enjoy seeing the products that my company makes in each episode (I'm a nerd like that). Tonight's episode added another element to the formula that made me enjoy it even more! That's right... weddings!

Here's the synopsis (at least for the wedding part of the plot):

Meredith and Derek are getting married and Izzie throws herself into planning the wedding in hopes that it will help her avoid the side effects of chemotherapy. Meredith wants a simple wedding, and her and Derek joke that they want to get married in their scrubs and hold surgical instruments as her bouquet. Izzie tells them a large, traditional wedding is a requirement, and sets up a makeshift bridal boutique in her hospital room, forcing Meredith to try on poofy white dresses against her will. Meredith obliges because she feels bad that Izzie is sick. All in all, it made for a pretty entertaining episode!

I'll admit though, I was a little surprised when Meredith came out in "the" dress. I was envisioning her in a modern gown with no beading or tulle and made of luxurious fabric, like this one from Melissa Sweet.


Instead, she walked out in this dress.

I'm not sure what to think of it. It's a pretty dress, I just don't think it really fits her personality on the show. What do you think?

Whether you think the dress fits her style or not, I don't think anyone can argue that her hair and makeup in this picture are gorgeous! File it away in your inspiration folder!


Thank you Grey's Anatomy for being my unexpected source of wedding inspiration today. I don't know about you, but I hope they are going to show the actual wedding on the show!


the mail came today.

And amidst the bills, Macy's coupons, and junk mail came, there was this envelope.
Inside of the envelope was a pretty little invitation... to my very own bridal shower!
The fact that we are getting married feels a little more real everyday!
Is anyone else really excited for upcoming events leading up to the big day?


something old.

Every bride knows the little rhyme that tells them what they must carry with them on their wedding day. I thought I'd share one of my wedding day items with you all and the story behind it.

One of the first (of many) photos I had clipped out of a wedding magazine was this bouquet from Modern Bride.
I fell in love with the cameo that the bride had attached to her bouquet, in honor of her late grandmother.

My lovely future-mother-in-law must have seen this picture in my wedding binder, because a few months ago she gave me this beautiful cameo and told me that I could attach it to my bouquet just like I'd seen in my inspiration photo.
She told me that she wore this on her wedding day, which made it even more special to me. And I'm honored to be carrying it with me down the aisle as my "something old".

What are you using as your "something old"?


the bout' test.

As I mentioned previously, I have been considering making the boutonnieres for the groomsmen. I had bought some flowers last week to have around the apartment, and since they are on their last leg, I thought I'd use them to test out my bout-making skills. I had some fake hydrangeas as well from some of our other wedding projects, so I used a stem of the flowers and a leaf to supplement the real button mums. After about 2 minutes, here's what I came up with.
It works, but I think it needs some more color. I tried adding a fuchsia feather. Still not loving it, but it proves that more color is better!
I think I'll do another trial, next time with purple button mums. Possibly two mums and less hydrangea, with some hypericum berries if I can find some. I'll leave out the feathers.

What would you do to improve the bouts'? Do you think they have potential?



In true bridal form, I've changed the inspiration for our wedding cake a bit since my first little sketch. The reason for the change is simple. I found new cake-spiration that is just sooooo much prettier.

Photo by tm photography.

See what I mean? These cakes make a statement. They say "look at me, I'm simple and pretty and modern and classy and perfect" all at the same time. I didn't know cakes could talk, but these three have spoken to me!

At first I was afraid that my mom (aka the cake baker) would be overwhelmed with having to make three cakes instead of one. But after she saw the gorgeous cake display, complete with cake pedestals and gum paste flowers, she agreed that they would make a beautiful display at our reception. With the baker on board, we set out to find the cake stands.

This proved to be a more difficult task than I had imagined! I looked on eBay, other online shops, Macy's, and a lot of other stores, but none of them had what we were looking for: white cake pedestals (two 12" and one 14"), preferably more modern looking, for under $25 a piece. The only ones I could find were from Macy's Martha Stewart collection, and while I liked them, they didn't seem to be of the best quality. In fact, we were ready to pay for two of them at the store when my very observant fiance noticed that the plate surface on one of them was crooked. As in, so crooked the cake might slide off. That would NOT be good.

The Mr. and I were at TJMaxx last week when we came across some 12" white cake pedestals that were just what we'd been looking for. There was only one problem... there were only two of them! (Refer to the cake-spiration above... two cake stands most definitely will not do!) Since we liked the stands so much, we bought them. Then we decided to make a night out of it and drove to about 5 different stores to see if another store had a 14" stand, or even another 12" since we could probably make it work. Unfortunately, none of the stores had them.

Not giving up so easily, Mr. M stopped at a few more stores on Monday night on his way home from work (since he works an hour away, there are plenty to choose from along the route) and still, no luck. He stopped at one final store on Tuesday after work (probably the only one left in the northwest Chicagoland area) and FINALLY found one more 12" cake stand. He proudly pulled it out of the bag when he got home. I never thought I'd see my future husband be so excited about a cake pedestal! In fact, he didn't even know what one was before our little search! It was pretty cute.

Here are the cake pedestals in all of their glory, just waiting to hold some fondant-covered goodness on our wedding day.
Oh yeah, and one more thing... they were only $14.99 a piece!

Did anyone else have trouble finding cake stands? Where did you end up finding them?


one musical selection down, many more to go.

I have no clue what song we will dance to for the first time as husband and wife. I have no idea what song I'll walk down the aisle in the last moments before we get hitched. The only song that I have written into the little excel spreadsheet that is our playlist is for the father-daughter dance.

Before getting engaged, I had always imagined my dad and I dancing to "Daughters" by John Mayer. I've always loved John Mayer, and I think that the song is perfect for a wedding dance with daddy. Bonus points are in order as well for it not being overdone and overplayed. I thought for sure this was the song that we'd be playing for the father-daughter dance.

(source) (fast forward to about 0:40)

That is, until my dad mentioned that he'd really like to dance to "It's a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. At first, I didn't know what to think. Of course it's a classic song for the occasion, but this song has some history for my family.

When I was about 13 years old, my very favorite aunt, who was pretty much the coolest person I had ever known, passed away from breast cancer. I don't even think she was 50 years old. It was really hard on my family, especially my dad. He and his sister were always very close, and they even shared the same birthday (but they weren't twins!). My aunt's favorite song in the entire world was...you guessed it....It's a Wonderful World. It was played at her funeral and every time it's played at a family event, you'll see tears in people's eyes.

I had never even considered playing this song at our wedding, mainly because I didn't want people to be sad during an occasion that is supposed to be happy and fun. But after my dad asked about it, it made sense to me. Weddings are a time to celebrate the marriage between two people, but they are also about joining two families together. This song has an immense amount of meaning to our family. Also, we'd like to somehow honor my aunt at the wedding, since we wish more than anything that she could be there with us. What better way to honor a person than to play a song that will remind everyone of her?

So it's been decided. My dad and I will be dancing to It's a Wonderful World, and my aunt will be looking down on us, happy to be a part of such a special day.

Which song would you choose?


my first DIY donation.

I have a ton of DIY projects finished for our wedding, with plenty more to go in the next few months. But this weekend, I made my first DIY donation. That is, someone else is going to DIY it for me!

You see, we've been searching for green ties for the groomsmen for a long time now. The tuxes for the boys have pinstripes, so I don't want anything crazy going on with the ties. Just a plain tie in a mossy green color will do. Finding plain green ties is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be! We're looking to give the ties to the groomsmen as a gift, along with some green socks and another rather large surprise (that will be the topic of another post), so while we want them to be nice, we do not want to spend a ton of money on them. As you can imagine, finding nice quality, inexpensive, plain mossy green satin ties is an even more difficult task!


Since I like to sew, I decided I'd find a pattern and make the ties myself. I deconstructed an old tie to use as a pattern, found green fabric at JoAnn's along with the rest of the supplies and went to work. Sadly, the my first tie did not look at great as I'd wanted it to. So I tried again. That one didn't turn out either. It was stiff (which I could fix by changing the interfacing) but I also couldn't get the lining to look like I wanted it to, which bothered me even though no one would know by looking at them from the front. Plus, making the ties was not fun AT ALL. I don't have a long enough cutting mat, which made the tedious task of cutting the fabric even more annoying. The fabric was nearly impossible to fold in a straight line to make nice lines along the sides of the tie. The entire length of the inside of the tie had to be hand sewn. Did I mention yet how much I hate hand-sewing? I hate it! Overall, the ties were a huge pain in the you-know-what to make, and in the end they didn't even look very nice.

My future mother-in-law was visiting this past weekend for Easter, and asked how the ties were coming along. I showed her the two that I had made, and expressed to her how much I did not enjoy making them. Then she suggested we talk to a friend of hers, who is a retired seamstress and is also doing my dress alterations. She called her up and asked if she would have time to make the ties for us. Luckily for our groomsmen (and for my sanity), she said YES! I am so happy to have this project off my plate! And I can't wait to see how they turn out when made by a real professional!

Did anyone else struggle with a DIY project and ultimately give it up to a professional?


shoes for the girls.

While I don't always think its necessary for bridemaids to wear matching shoes, in the case of my own bridesmaids this is the route we opted to go. I was worried that different color dresses along with different types of shoes would look a little too busy. Realizing that not all girls have the same taste in shoes, I determined my criteria for choosing a pair that all six girls would like:

1. They have to be black. As much as brides think that their girls are going to wear those purple heels again after the wedding, they probably won't. Though still not guaranteed, there's a much higher possibility they'll wear the black ones again.

2. Simple design. Nothing with sparkles, patterns, etc. This also lends itself to wearability, and helps when you're searching for a pair of shoes that six girls with very different styles are going to like.

3. Preferably leather, not satin. This goes back to that wearability thing. They'll probably have more occasions where they can wear leather shoes over satin ones.

4. Affordable. My girls are not made of money, and even if they were I wouldn't expect them to be spending it on matching shoes for my wedding anyway!

I sent out an email to my bridesmaids asking if they had any suggestions for black shoes (I did not give them all of the criteria, to see what kind of shoes they would choose). Here are a few of the options they had picked out.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

After listing all of the options, the girls told me which were their favorites and we went from there. Can you guess which pair we ended up choosing? I'll give you a hint...they follow all of the criteria listed above!

We went with #2! They were on sale last week for 50% off, so they all got their shoes for under $30!
I think they'll look really cute with their dresses, and hopefully they're practical enough to be worn again. One more thing to check off the infamous list of bridal to-dos!

Did you opt for matching shoes for your 'maids?

saving the date part 5: adding it all up.

Finally, the last post on our save-the-dates! You've seen how we made the envelopes and the save-the-date cards. I told you I'd write about the cost breakdown and lessons learned, so here it is. First up, let's see how much they cost us, shall we?

$35.00 - 200 sheets of text weight paper in Lake from PaperSource
$11.50 - large flourish stamp from PaperSource
$7.95 - small flourish stamp from PaperSource
$15.00 - envelope template kit from PaperSource
$5.50 - Colorbox stamp pad in Eggplant from PaperSource
$1.50 - Clear embossing powder (on clearance at JoAnn's)
$3.00 - Double stick adhesive ( 2 rolls - using 50% off coupon at JoAnn's)
$3.00 - Two packs of metal brads (using 50% off coupon at JoAnn's)
$3.59 - 1/16" circle punch (on sale)
$5.00 - Corner rounder (using 50% off coupon at JoAnn's)
$14.40 - 90 sheets of linen textured cardstock (12 x 12) from JoAnn's (6 for $0.96)
$38.16 - Printing costs for 90 full color 12 x 12 sheets*

*Note: The printing company we used had quoted us $.40 per color sheet when I sent them our design. Later we found out that they had quoted us wrong (it should cost more like $.99 per sheet) but they still honored the original quote. We got lucky!

We'll also be using the large and small flourish stamps and the envelope template kit for other projects. I still added them into the cost of the save-the-dates, but they'll be freebies for our invites and other paper goods.

Final price per invite: for 150 save-the-dates, it works out to about $0.96 per save-the-date (not including postage). Not too bad!

Now, onto the lessons learned.

1. Even though making envelopes with PaperSource paper rather than buying PaperSource envelopes is cheaper, I'm not sure it would be worth it for everyone. It is a pain cutting out 150 envelopes. I spread out the work over a week or so, cutting about 20-30 envelopes everyday. Cutting anymore than 30 per day is just torture, don't do it!

2. Sign up for emails from craft stores like JoAnn's and Michaels. You will get coupons pretty much every week for 40-50% off one item. Use these to buy your supplies. You'll save a ton of money!

3. This is an important one. JoAnn's has great sales on 12x12 paper. You can get 6 sheets for $0.96, while one sheet usually costs $0.50. Ask your printing company if they can print on 12x12 paper before you buy it. If they can't print on it, you'll have to find another printer or cut the paper down to 8.5x11. We found out that none of the common printers in our area (FedEx Kinko's, OfficeMax, etc.) knew how to print on 12x12 paper. We ended up using a place in the UP to print all of our save-the-dates to avoid cutting the paper down.

4. It's quickest to make the envelopes and save-the-date cards one step at a time, preferably with help. Get someone (your fiance!) to cut out all of the printed cards (or envelopes) while you stamp them. Put the embossing powder on each stamped surface immediately, but you do not have to heat up the embossing powder right away if you don't want to. It would probably be best to have three people for this process. One to cut, one to stamp, one to emboss. You can round all of the corners and insert the bosses on the save-the-date cards at the end.

5. Embossing allows you to use pigment ink without waiting for it to dry. This is one of the primary reasons we've been embossing all of our paper goods (aside from the fact that it looks good!). The only type of ink I've found in our wedding colors are ColorBox pigment inkpads. The problem with this ink is that it takes forever to dry unless you emboss it. Once you emboss it, it's dry in about 30 seconds.

6. These save-the-dates take time. Make sure you have time to spare before taking on a project like this one! We were working on these for about a month (not everyday of course). Now we know how much time our invites will probably take, so we can plan accordingly.

Hope this helps some of you that are planning to make your own save-the-dates or invites! Happy crafting :)


if we could go back and do it again...

We would get an engagement picture like this!

Photo by Joel Flory

I came across this on Brooklyn Bride today and had to share. My dad is a retired police officer so this would be a perfect shot for us to capture! Maybe next time... except there won't be a next time. Maybe a wedding picture like it instead? How cool would that be! Pretty cool, I think.

a very helpful fiance.

When we first started planning our wedding, my dear fiance was less than interested. In fact, he even surprised himself with how much he didn't care about anything related to the wedding (besides the fact that we were getting married of course!). It was a little frustrating to say the least. I'd ask a question about the reception site, colors, guest list, ANYTHING, and he would respond with "whatever you want to do" or "I don't care" or some other generic statement that didn't help me at all. This went on for a month or two before I couldn't take it anymore. I am not really a crier, but on a trip back from the UP the tears came out. I told him that I wanted his opinion on things, whether it was the same as mine or not. He felt bad for making me feel like he didn't care, and said he'd try to get more involved in the wedding stuff. And has he ever!

He has helped me book vendors. I give him a phone number, he calls and gets quotes. We decide together which vendor to go with, he calls and takes care of it.

He researched and booked our honeymoon. I am ever so grateful for this one! Planning trips overwhelms me a bit because there are so many options!

He pretends to care about things that no guy should ever care about. Flowergirl dresses, centerpieces, you name it, he knows what we're doing.

He comes with me on all of the wedding shopping trips. What to know where to look for cake pedestals? He is your guy.

He has helped me with the crafty projects. He manned the paper cutter while we made our save the dates. He helped me make our mossy initials. And his latest project... bathroom signs! Check them out! He came up with these all by himself, with the exception of the paint colors and the little dots, which were my contributions. Aren't they cute?

I'm so glad I'm marrying him. And not just because he's good with a saw.

Does anyone else have a very helpful fiance when it comes to wedding planning? Was he always that way, or not so much at first?



You may have heard of groomstyle but this is motherofthebridestyle...

I hate to brag, but my mom is a pretty cute little lady. She is short (like 5'1") and skinny and I have always been jealous of her for that (somehow, I got stuck with the taller and wider genes...no fair!). That being said, my mom is way too young, hip, and beautiful to be stuck in one of those stereotypical mother-of-the-bride dresses!
While she and my sisters were in town awhile back, she tried on this dress from David's Bridal and we all agreed that it was a contender for her wedding day attire.
Since there are essentially ZERO malls in the UP, she hadn't found any other possible dresses when I asked her about it last month. I told her she should just order the dress from DB, but she didn't seem completely happy with her choice. I had seen some cute dresses at Ann Taylor in their Celebrations collection, so I told her to look online. She did, and she fell in love with this gorgeous dress in pistachio (the green color on the right). Sorry for the poor picture quality!
I think it's the perfect color to accent the rest of our bridal party. Ultimately, she decided that this second dress was more "her", and ordered it (using a coupon of course... I had to get my thriftiness from someone)! It came in recently and she loves it! One more wedding-related task taken care of!

Motherofthegroomstyle will be coming up soon, but it will have to wait until next week since my FMIL and I will be searching for the perfect dress for her this weekend!

Did anyone else help their moms pick out their dress for the wedding? Where did you look?

so excited.

Check out what just arrived in my inbox! That's right, an evite to my own bachelorette party! I'm so excited! It makes the fact that I'm getting married in 5 months feel a little bit more real, and I like it.And of course, I can't wait for the party!


the great debate: renting vs. buying.

When we first booked our reception, we knew that the venue would not be providing dishes. They do not hold events there on a regular basis, nor do they plan to in the near future. We kept this in mind when booking our caterer, who is a family friend and has access to dishes through his work. We thought we would be able to use these dishes for our wedding, so we never budgeted for this expense.

A couple months later, I found out there were some circumstances which were preventing us from using the dishes for our wedding. We would have to rent or buy our own, or borrow them from somewhere else. Not knowing where else to borrow them from, we starting weighing the pros and cons of the two remaining options, renting and buying. Here's what we came up with:

-Generally cheaper
-Don't need to wash the dishes after use (just scrape off food)
-Don't need to figure out what to do with the dishes after the wedding

-Waste of money (nothing to show for it after)

-You can get some of your money back by selling them afterwards

-Generally more expensive
-Need to wash the dishes after use
-Need to do something with the dishes after (sell or give away)

As you can see, there are more pros for renting than buying. But I couldn't help but think that it is such a waste of money. After the wedding we'd have nothing to show for all the money we'd spent.

So I began pricing out some dishes. I found dishes and flatware for a decent price at
Sam's Club. Plain white 10.5" dinner plates would cost about $2.40 per plate. I liked that they were plain white, as we are going for a simple, modern look. But multiply $2.40 times 360 and you get $864, and that's just for one plate. Then we'd need to add salad plates, bread plates, dessert plates, coffee cups, saucers, beer glasses, wine glasses, and mixed drink glasses. Needless to say, the numbers got a quite high, and the prices didn't even include shipping.
So what did it cost to rent 10" dinner plates? At $0.33 per plate times 360, it would cost $118.80. Muuuuuch better. I would even settle for the ivory plates with gold trim for the extra $745.20 we'd be saving.
Believe it or not, I actually considered buying for a lot longer than I'd like to admit. I just couldn't get past the fact that we would have nothing to show for the money we spent on rentals after the wedding. Plus some of the other items (the bread plates, for example) had less of a price differential between renting and buying ($0.75 to buy vs. $0.33 to rent).

After figuring out that it would cost us more than double to buy all of the dishes (and we still hadn't negotiated shipping) I finally caved and signed the contract with the rental company. That is, for everything except the flatware. During my analysis, I found that buying flatware from Sam's Club was actually cheaper than renting. So we went to Sam's and bought the Bakers & Chefs
forks, spoons, and knives, and saved about $60 compared to renting at $0.37 per piece.

In the end, I was glad to know that all of my research had paid off and I had made the most of our money when it came to dinnerware. The rental company has been great to work with so far!
Did anyone else struggle with the rent vs. buy decision for wedding items?