Friday, August 27, 2010

Stars of the PVC Faux-to Booth

It took less time to build our PVC faux-to booth than it takes to watch an episode of Project Runway. And considering the hours our guests spent having fun and hamming it up in the booth, and then the many more hours Mr. PC and I have spent falling off the couch laughing at the resulting photos, I'd say our time was more than recouped.

Our friends and family were true top models, and wowed us with variety when it came to their poses . . . we saw tiger growls (perhaps that was just my pose), couples kissing, Blue Steel gazes . . .

I was happy to see my expensive props put to good use (a spray painted Ikea frame I already owned, fake flowers [note how many people put that flower in their mouth, including me], handmade felt mustaches).

Even Stewie Griffin made an appearance. Though, come to think of it, he didn't even send back his RSVP card, so I should have kicked him out . . .

My maid of honor was attacked by a flower-prop by her suave boyfriend.

I thought I'd save this next one for the end of the post, to allow you guys to warm up a bit. I present to you, my uncle and aunt . . . and my uncle's tongue.

In addition to finding out which friends could make it as supermodels, we also found a guest who we could use as a cookie spokesperson, if we ever decide to sell our homemade cookies on the market . . .

Are you hoping to be able to look back at any parts of your wedding and laugh? What parts?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Faux-to Booth: How-to Continued

The faux-to booth posts live on! Due to overwhelming demand (hundreds of requests [or perhaps just a few commenters] on the last how-to post), I'm back to explain a bit more about how we set up the DIY photo booth.

Our best man, Virat, can hardly contain his excitement about the faux-to booth!

Total cost: about $46.
1. Fabric: $16 for 2 yards (which you could get for cheaper, but I liked my Ikea fabric)
2. PVC Pipe: $10 for the long pieces
3. Small PVC Pipe Fittings: $5 for the caps, t-pieces and elbows
4. Props (bought from a party supply store and made with crafty leftovers): $15

Other items we used:
1. Our own point and shoot camera
2. A camera tri-pod (our photographer lent us one of hers--ask yours if they have one you can use, or ask your family or amigos if they have one)
3. Instruction sheet with very very basic directions for our guests

Here are a few photos to help explain our set-up:

Our (ikea) frame containing the embarrassingly simple directions.

The camera was set on the tripod about 6 feet back from the fabric. We played around with the height and distance of the camera to try to get the most out of the backdrop. We also had to consider our guests, who ranged in height from 4'11" to 6'8"!

Check out the smoothness of that fabric. Nice. My bridesmaid came up with the idea of ironing the fabric, then wrapping it around a wrapping paper tube in order to transport it to the venue (Genius! [I hope some of her smarts rub off on me]).

Running (wo)man! You can see the base of the stand here.

View from the backdrop-side: the camera on the tripod, with props and instructions set up on the railing (a table would work just dandy).

So there you have it. Any questions? I promise I don't bite (well, unless you have some dessert in your hand, and I try to bite that and then bite your finger in the process [but who could blame me for that?!]).

(All photos in this post are guest photographs [thanks friends!])

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Faux-to Booth: PVC Style

Oh, I wanted one.

I wanted one like Aladdin wants Jasmine, like a marathoner wants a gallon of Gatorade and like Hugh Grant wants to make another romantic comedy.

Pre-wedding, I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I wanted a photobooth. But my heart of hearts was also telling me I couldn't spend a grand on a photo-strip spitting, old fashioned booth. And my heart of hearts wasn't crazy enough to spend $464 from an online store ($97 for the backdrop, $367 for the support system [yikes!]) to build my own.

So, my (cheap, rational) heart of hearts led me to Home Depot to create a stand for our DIY faux-to booth backdrop. I had searched online for tutorials, but could only find extremely complicated versions involving power tools (and I preferred to keep all of my phalanges attached). Thus, we developed our own method which 1) ended up working out quite well 2) was cheap and 3) was easy to build.

For those wishing to build there own cheap, easy, fun photobooth, here is what we used:

(A) 2 of these (PVC pipe "elbows")

(from Home Depot)

(B) 4 of these (PVC pipe caps)
(from Home Depot)

(C) 4 of these (PVC pipe "T pieces")

(from Home Depot)

(D) 4 of these (really long PVC pipes)

(from Home Depot)

(E) Some fabric (we bought 2 yards of fabric from Ikea [Ikea's fabric is great because it's extra wide; 59" instead of a typical bolt of fabric which is 44"]).

(from Ikea)

Once we had all of components together, we put it together in less than an hour in our backyard. We used a PVC pipe cutter that my dad already owned, like the one below (but you could probably just use gardening shears, or a butter knife [though the latter might take a bit longer . . .]).

(from here)

To help explain how we put it together, Mr. Pin Cushion whipped some files up in Illustrator.

On the left, you can see the backdrop stand all put together.
And on the right, is the "exploded" version, to see all of the individual components (the PVC elbows, the caps on the bottom, etc).

You can cut the PVC pipe however long you want, to make the stand as wide and as tall as you need (do remember when cutting it, that the t-pieces and elbow pieces will each add a few inches, so take that into account).

Then just snap the pieces into place, attach your fabric (we used clear packing tape) and stand back and admire your handy work.

Up next, I'll show you a some fab shots we got with our photo booth. Here's one gem for you:

Chip chip cheerio! What dignified guests we have at our wedding!

Are you planning to have a photo booth at your shindig? Are you renting, buying or building?

It's Official: He's My Dad

Mr. Pin Cushion and I? We don't like to feel clueless. We like answers. We like feeling like know-it-alls. Our thirst for knowledge runs nearly as deep as our thirst for chocolate.

My desire to feel smart extends all the way to my photography poses.
(I seriously have boatloads of photos like this.)

So we didn't like it when we realized we were feeling clueless about our wedding officiant. We felt lost. Adrift. We brainstormed and created flow charts and acted out scenarios and set up computer algorithms to work out the problem.

One day, we finally got a break in the case. Our combined 41 years of education helped up come up with the perfect candidate: my dad. And at once, our know-it-all-ness was restored. Of course my dad would be our officiant. We felt smart once again. We knew the answer, and the answer was perfect.

My parents know Mr. PC and I as a couple better than anyone else. They have been witness to every stage of our relationship, as evidenced by the fact that:
  1. My dad picked Mr. Pin Cushion up for our first date together.
  2. We've spent a solid 10% of our relationship at my parent's house (hard to turn down free food and a quarter-free washing machine).
  3. We have shared a hotel room with my parents. . . on multiple occasions.
  4. I talk to my parents nearly every day so they hear about nearly everything that's going on in our lives.
  5. Mr. Pinster worked at my parents business for a summer.
  6. My dad taught Mr. PC how to snow board and play tennis. Mr. PC taught my mom how to do algebra. My parents taught the Pin Cushions how to work on our problems like adults.
My dad really was the perfect answer for our unfilled officiant position: he has always been more than supportive of us as a couple; he would be able to work with us to personalize our ceremony; he could speak about us as a couple; and he's a hilarious, easy going guy with a voice that has no need for a microphone.

Here he is, being hilarious. And easy going.

Check out those sweet glasses my dad was sportin'. But please ignore my apparent lack of pants.

My ability to take awesome photographs was apparent from a very early age.

While the left one is nice, the right one says "I'm a bit of a weirdo." Much more fitting.

And my dad sure can rock a tuxedo.

We were happy that our feeling of smartness had been restored. But mostly, we were happy to have an officiant who we loved and loved us back! But our cluelessness returned shortly when we realized we now had to write our own ceremony. . .

Out of curiosity of what the statistics may be:

Who is (was) officiating your wedding ceremony?
(A) A clergyperson (priest, minister, rabbi etc)
(B) A non-denominational officiant (judge, county clerk etc)
(C) A friend
(D) A family member

How did you pick your officiant and why?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Musical "Discussions"

Pre-wedding (obviously), the Pin Cushion spent some time searching the interwebs to find suggestions for less-than-traditional songs for our ceremony. What did I stumble upon but a Weddingbee post? Mrs. Peppermint's post from 3 years ago, "Non Traditional Ceremony Music", was a treasure trove of suggestions. People are still leaving comments and song choices 3 years later. Impressive, Mrs. Peppermint. Very impressive.

After a morning filled with heated musical debate, a few (not-too-willingly-made) compromises, and many many Youtube videos watched, we created our ceremony playlist. 

Here are the songs we chose to have playing while guests were being seated.
"Going to the Chapel" by The Dixie Cups

"Love and Marriage" by Ol' Blue Eyes. My mom lovingly demanded we include this in our wedding. She recommended it as our first song. We declined. And yes, this is the opening song for "Married with Children." We brought nothin' but class to our wedding . . .

"When I'm 64" by The Beatles. This was a contender for my processional song (the mister's choice), but eventually lost the race to another song (though Mr. Pin Cushion argued his case strongly, even bringing up hanging chads and unethical polling practices [like the bride having veto privileges]).

"That's Amore" by Dean Martin. Another Mama Pin Cushion suggestion. Plus, it's a song about pizza. . . mmm . . .

"Happy Together" by The Turtles. I love this song. It's my go-to shower singing song.

"All You Need is Love" by The Beatles. Classic.

"You Send Me" by Sam Cooke. Another contender for my processional song (my choice).

We then had to figure out the processional songs for the wedding party and for me. Our "debate" and "discussions" might have veered into the "argument" category a few times at this point, but only momentarily. These were big decisions, and Mr. Pin Cushion and I had strong opinions, which it seems, neither of us wanted to do much compromising on!

We finally managed to choose The Beach Boys, "God Only Knows" as our bridal party processional music. This was only after it was vetoed as our first dance song by Mr. PC (he's didn't like that the first lyrics are "I may not always love you . . ." [if you keep listening, it's actually a romantic song]).

And after too many hours, we decided on my processional song. It's been used before, but that didn't diminish our love for it. The guitar intro kills me every time.
"Here Comes the Sun" by The Beatles

I didn't notice until just now that we have no new songs. Like no songs made in the last 4 decades. I guess we're not the musical hipsters I had thought we were  . . .

Please share your suggestions for ceremony music! I know that WeddingBee was an invaluable resource for coming up with our playlist, so maybe we can get some new recommendations up for people to use!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Very Sweet Gift

Yesterday, UPS delivered an unassuming box to my front door. It was large and heavy (perhaps it felt extra heavy because my arms look like chicken legs, having not seen the inside of a gym in 27.8 months).

I opened the box to reveal a late arrival wedding gift. As I peeled back the wrapping and saw the contents on the gift, my heart began to pound. I felt lightheaded. Small sweat beads formed across my upper lip. Could it be? Were my eyes deceiving me?

(Can you, sneaky readers, tell what this fantastic gift might contain?)

I (lovingly) pried back the flaps of the next package . . .

My suspicions were correct! My friends had sent Mr. Pin Cushion and I a lifetime's supply (ha, I mean a year's supply) of Rainbow Chip Cake Mix and Icing! (Aka Funfetti [though Rainbow Chip is infinitely times better, due to its chewy icing balls]).

Betty Crocker, I give thanks to thee! (from here and here)

My friends gifted us a dozen boxes of Rainbow Cake Mix, 8 cans of Rainbow Chip Icing (the hot dog-hot dog bun irony strikes again) and a cake plate.

I made a beeline to the kitchen to try out our new gift.

And it was delicious.

What gift have you received that was a total shock to you? And, if anyone dares to say that Funfetti is better than Rainbow Chip, I'll see you in the parking lot after class!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's For The Good of Humanity

When it came to gifting the ladies in our wedding (my bridesmaids and Mr. Pin Cushion's groomswomen), I chose presents that were based completely on altruism and selflessness and helping out mankind and stuff. Because I live a life of giving. And I'm not at all into possessions. Or cute shoes. Nope.

We gave our deserving ladies these lovelies:

Tom's Shoes!

We gave each of our 6 wedding women a pair of Tom's Shoes because with each purchase, Tom's donates a pair of shoes to a child in need. And like I said, I'm all about helping out the world and not at all about awesome footwear. We didn't give Tom's shoes as gifts because they are super cute or because they are ridiculously comfortable or because we could choose colors based on personality. No, sir. It was definitely the altruism thing.

My fancy packaging (because with all the goody-goodiness of the gift, I couldn't taint it with environmentally unsound wrapping paper, could I?). And yes, I forgot to take my classy post-it note name tags off for the picture . . .

We handed out the shoes at our rehearsal dinner, and the recipients were very excited. Bridesmaid Sarah already owns 27 pairs of Tom's (okay, maybe just 6), but even she was stoked to get another pair, 'cause, ya know, it was helping give kids more shoes.

Check out the nice snuggle I got from maid of honor Ratha after she saw the gift.
She's telling me, "Thank you so much for helping out those needy children, Miss Pin Cushion. These fabulous shoes are just an added bonus."

What is the best gift you have ever received? Was it humanity-helping? A inside joke gag gift? Completely useful or useless (in the best way--totally unessential)?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Who Comes First?

Me or him? Mr. or Mrs. Pin Cushion? It seems like most of our guests think Mr. Pin Cushion.

I'm talking about names here, dear readers. It seems that when it comes to our names, our wedding guests think that Mr. Pin Cushion's first name should come before mine. Since anonymity is not my strong suit (as evidenced by my lack of blurring in my invitation post), I'll just come out with our names: Chris and Kendra. (See? Even I say his name first. Sheesh.)

Since our engagement, Mr. Pin Cushion and I have received piles of lovely cards and well wishes. And it is undeniable that people write Chris' name before mine about 80% of the time.

See? A random sampling of cards. My name first on the left and his name first on the right

Out of pure curiosity, do people say your name or your fiance's name first? Do you think name order has to do with gender? Or how the names sound when they are said together? Or are you just busy thinking about how much of an over analyzer Mrs. Pin Cushion is?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Get Away Car Giddiness

Photos of wedding get-away cars make my heart flutter (which you'd think, as a nurse, might concern me a bit . . .). There is just something about objects tied to the back of a car that screams "wedding" (which now that it's written down, sounds ridiculous [as ridiculous as pine trees in your living room for Christmas and eggs to celebrate Easter, I guess]).

Silly or not, I love the idea of a get-away car.

[Awesome car pics from here, here & here]

Granted, all of those cars are old classics, bumping the cuteness factor up by about 73.4%, even without any decorations. And the Pin Cushion were working with  my 2000 black Honda Civic (give it a few decades and it will be a classic too, right?). So, to make up for my not-as-cute car, we went for the cutest decorations, which Mr. Pin Cushion thought was the yarn pom poms.

Mr. Pin Cushion took over making the decorations. And while he looked online for good pom-pom directions, he didn't like any of them. They all call for wrapping the yarn around your fingers, and Mr. PC said that about 7 seconds into the process, he lost circulation to his fingers. So, here is Mr. PC's more 'engineer-ish' method for making pom-poms.

Start with: scissors, yarn, and some sticks (we used the yard stick for big pom-poms and the spatula for little pom poms)

Cut a piece of yarn about 8" long and tape it at the ends to the stick of choice (pom-pom yoda Mr. PC had a method which didn't require tape, but I wasn't that skilled).

Start wrapping yarn around the stick, trying to keep it even.

Keep wrapping.  Prevent boredom from setting in by watching How I Met Your Mother, or rooting for cutie-pie on Kent on So You Think You Can Dance. We never counted how many times we wrapped the yarn (a lot). But the thicker you wrap it, the denser your pom-pom will be, so experiment a bit.

Untape the ends of the yarn and slide the whole thing off the stick. Make sure you know where the ends of the 8" yarn piece are! (It looks like a strange green cocoon at this point).

Take the ends of the 8" yarn piece and tie them together (don't knot them yet), making a doughnut out of the lovely cocoon.

Now, finesse it a bit to tighten up the loop, making a doughnut hole from the previous doughnut (mmm . . . doughnut holes . . .). Tie the ends in a tight knot.

 Start cutting the loops . . .

Work your way around the doughnut hole, cutting all of the loops.

Ta-da! Sit back and look in awe at the cute pom-pom ball you just created.  You can even out the ends a bit if you want, but we liked this look (Mr. PC's method seemed to require much less trimming than the other online-finger methods, which seemed to always come out wonky).

Keep making them till you have a pile of cute pom-poms. I wanted to stick googly eyes on all of them and give them names. And maybe carry them around with me as pets.

For the wedding, we had our bridal crew tie them onto yarn and attach them to our car, plus my maid of honor made a sweet "Just Married" sign for us. I'll show you the final product, get-away and all, when we get our photos back.

Are you decorating your wedding day car in a special way?