Wedding Party Gifts

I really wanted to share this part of our wedding planning, as it took some thought and work to get it right. It was really important to us to give both our wedding party and mom’s a nice thank you gift. I did a lot of research on wedding boards, to get an idea of what Bridesmaids do and don’t want as a Thank You gift. Seemed to me most brides gave jewelry (that could be worn during the wedding) monogrammed “Bridesmaid” clothing, or clutches (that could be used during the wedding). In the message boards where previous Bridemaids discussed these gifts, it was pretty unanimous that they all felt a gift that was to be used during the wedding, was NOT actually a gift, but just a way for the bride to force you to wear a piece of jewelry they like. I really didn’t want to do that. Likewise for Groomsmen, we really didn’t want to do Cuff links, Flasks, bottle openers, or anything they would need to wear in the wedding.

It’s definitely hard though, when you’re on a budget and you have 5 Groomsmen and 5 Bridesmaids, it adds up fast if you give quality gifts. In the end I personally was thrilled with what we were able to give our party, and I hope they like them too!I felt like they were useful and special to all of them.


-“You Can Wear it Again” A Celebration of Bridesmaid Dresses Book (I wrote a small note in each one, these books are awesome!)

-TIGI Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo (Because it works great no matter what hair you have)

-OPI Nail Polish (I picked a color I thought each of them would like)

-Trader Joe’s Organic Jelly Beans

-Grey Rose Hair Pins (2 each, and yes they could, but didn’t have to wear these in the wedding)


-Lint Roller

-Makeup Wipes

I also ordered these custom cards (in Grey with each girls name on them), which I altered a little.

To put all of their goodies in, my sister Taylor and I made these Doily Monogrammed Bags for each girl. I purchased the bags online (I can’t remember where) but they were less than $5 a bag, seriously. Then I used this tutorial to paint on the design and the letter. We used black and white fabric paint to make a dark grey paint. I then tied a big pink bow on each one to make them super cute! (sorry for the crappy photos, it was a very last-minute photo shoot)


-T-Shirts (picked out specifically for them by Mr. Gaunt, most came from Thredless)

-Landjaegers (more delicious than Beef Jerky)

-Red Bull (safest bet for drinking and non drink Groomsmen)

-Monogrammed Branding Irons (for Steaks, or themselves if they get drunk enough. These were a big hit, and not expensive!)

(one of J’s Groomsmen did a huge favor for me and played on his guitar a song I had picked to walk down the aisle to. For him, I want to give a little something just from me, and gave him this beautiful guitar strap)

For cards Mr. Gaunt picked out unique postcards for each guy and I turned them into cards for him to write in. To put all their goodies in I went to the Dollar Tree and got blue gift bags with orange bows…GO BRONCOS!


-Monogrammed Bath Robe (These were really good quality for the price. Also you have to order them online)

-Bath and Body Works: Super Rich Body Cream 

-Bath and Body Works Cracked Heel Cream (they both have tough mom feet)

-Bath and Body Works Smoothing Foot Scrub

-Cinnnamon Bears (for my mom)

-Trader joe’s Thai Lime Cashews (for Mr. Gaunt’s mom)

It was actually really nice that we felt comfortable getting them identical gifts. I hope they both use them and feel a bit pampered!) I put both of their gift packs together in identical reusable totes from pier 1.

Lastly I ordered these AMAZING cards (in yellow), which I felt went so nicely with our wedding invitations. I got 5 of these and gave them to our moms, grandparents, officiant, and couple other folks. I loved them!

We gave out all of our gifts at our Rehearsal dinner. It was really nice to just acknowledge these individual people who really did spend a lot of time and money to help make our day so special. I suppose one piece of advice I would give to other brides who would like to do unique gifts, is do it early. Part of what makes a gift special is the personalization of hunting down the right item and ordering things monogrammed and all of that takes a lot of time. But it’s worth I think.


27 Random Wedding Thoughts

I think we should be getting our wedding photos back this next week, and then I plan to actually share a bit about our wedding. To be honest it was all a bit of a whirlwind, and when it was over I had both mixed emotions, and a huge weight off my shoulders. Its been…interesting. I will say, that I am 100% NOT suffering from any sort of “sad my wedding is over” feelings, none. I think I did it just like I wanted, as elaborate as I had wanted, and I have very few regrets. I was also very emotionally exhausted and drained once it was done.

I have so many opinions about things floating around my head that I want to make a list of just random wedding thoughts….here goes:

1. Every inch of every DIY project I did was 100% worth it. All the details mattered, and both my guest and I noticed them. I will never tell another bride “no one will notice” because they will, and it will be so worth it!

2. Setting up a wedding on the “Day Of” made relaxing before the wedding NOT possible. There was no sitting around eating breakfast and taking silly “getting dressed” shots for me. I woke up at 6 am and did not stop moving until 1 am.

3. Do a hair and makeup pre-run, otherwise you will end up with pageant hair and over-done makeup, and you will just have to be ok with it. I have shed a few tears, but am moving on.

4. Despite not relaxing, I was not stressed except for about 30 minutes while trying to get dressed alone, with Mr. Gaunt and the photographer waiting on my front lawn for me. The rest of the day was just fine, and my motto of “It’s Fine, Go With It” kept everything running smoothly without ever raising my voice.

5. Forgetting/loosing our marriage license, only meant we didn’t take a silly picture of us signing a piece of paper. No harm, no foul. We did it slightly drunk at midnight in our kitchen.

6. Writing the ceremony our way was PERFECTION. And even though I thought it was boring, I got more compliments on this over any other part of the wedding. Who woulda thought?

7. I ditched my shoes right after the first dance and never put any on again. Despite having purchased “comfy reception shoes”

8. The reason brides and grooms leave early is so they dont get to that drunken delirious place at 11pm…we got there, but we enjoyed every last-minute of that party.

9. Despite everyone telling us we should play music that all ages will like, we chose to play nothing but early 90’s hip hop with today’s hits mixed in. Our DJ kept the crowd dancing until the end! I have never seen that much dancing at a wedding….excellent!

10. Getting our “First Dance” over with before dinner, made me feel way more relaxed. Also switching our song from a 4.5 minute song to a 2.5 minute song, also was an excellent choice, and seemed plenty long. To be honest I always thought this moment would be more special. Really it was just sort of awkward and made me nervous…lol.

11. I bought Vegan and Gluten Free donuts for our dessert bar, and we had both vegan’s and Gluten free people eat them…woop woop! Everyone gets dessert!

12. Moderately bummed I forgot to put all the family boutonnieres on the family members…they were so cute!

13. Hiring a photographer off Craigslist for a ridiculously low price was an excellent idea…he blew my mind, and was the most organized and experienced person at our wedding. Despite my fears that he might not show at all.

14. It took 20 people about 2 hours to set up, it was amazing and smooth and beautiful!

15. Having Mr. Gaunt walk me down the aisle was also a real crowd pleaser (and a me pleaser too!)

16. No matter how much you trust your guests, if you line your aisle with candles, at least one will get knocked over.

17. Guestbooks, Cake Cutting, Garter toss, Boquet Toss, and “First Look”  are all sort of awkward things I could have left out. They just felt rushed and like we were obligated to do them.

18. Your poor mother will work way too hard, no matter how much you want hr to enjoy herself, it’s just her nature.

19. The bridesmaids and groomsmen actually looked 10x better than I could have imagined! I was so very pleased with this.

20. My dress hem came out at the bottom and got very dirty. I was glad I tied it up.

21. My spray tan wore off my face early (I did it 3 days in advance) and I definitely had a pale face. It also turned the inside of my dress tan..BE WARNED!

22. All zits, menstruation, body aches and pains, puffyniss, and generally things a bride would worry about were all absent that day!

23. Ten days out weather prediction: 66 Rain.   5 Days out: 79 Sun.  Day Before: 80 Windy.     DAY OF: 70 Overcast.    Despite my preference for 55 and grey (no one wants to be hot in formal wear!) it was probably pure wedding weather perfection.

24. No one will ever eat all the candy needed to fill Apothecary Jars.But on their honeymoon they will eat all the banana chips.

25. We invite 130. 89 RSVP’d. 85 Showed. We had place setting for 100…it was perfect.

26. MY Grandpa, and my Husband were the hit of the night, everyone loves them.

27. It was not the most beautiful I have ever felt. It was not the most in love I have ever felt with Mr. Gaunt. It was not the happiest day of my life. But it was the BEST DAMN DIY PARTY I have ever thrown!

In the end, I always knew, I was a much better party planner, than I am a bride. Lucky for me, I never have to be one again, but hopefully there will be many an event that needs to be thrown. I’m excited to share pictures too soon. I will probably dedicate a whole week to just wedding recap once they arrive. Sorry…lol.


Calm Before the Storm + DIY PROJECTS!

I’m sitting alone in my house at 2pm. The boys have gone off on a hike, and it’s still 3 hours before my sister come over to help me get ready for my Bachelorett Party.

This morning I have already cleaned my house, finished all of our Bridesmaids/Groomsmen/Mom Gift bags. Went to the Farmers Market to look at flowers for bouquets, AND convinced myself to eat a bunch of Greek Yogurt so I don’t die on my first alcoholic beverage tonight. Nerves make it hard to eat, which is not something I have ever found difficult….eating that is.

But now my house is clean and quiet and I have time to relax and share a few pictures with you. In one week, I will be 3 hours away from being Mrs. Gaunt (and not in the skinny sort of way).

First up is these cute little Photo Clips I got in the Dollar Bins at Target. They will be used to hold little signs that say what food items are and if they are vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free etc. However the color would NOT do! So I took ’em outside and spray painted them Mustard! It took like 4 coats to hide the neon. They aren’t super durable (like I could scrape all the paint off if I really tried) but they were cheap and will do for 1 day.

That Mustard colored spray paint was actually well worth the $8 I spent. I’m glad I got a color I wanted and not some yucky bright yellow. I have painted a number of things with it, including a bunch of frames I got for a Dollar at the salvation Army. I’m using them to put little signs in to tell people where to sit and what to drink and the number of the cab company (NO DRINKING AND DRIVING AT MY WEDDING!)

And a bunch of other little projects, the cats are Hula…duh, they will be stuck in our succulents as Table numbers.  The wine bottles are recycled from my moms bar, and labeled with little H2O Rain drops I printed off. There are some cake stands I made from little Sundae Dishes glued onto plates (and wooden trays) and spray painted, so easy so cheap (if you get the dishes from Goodwill like I did). Also there are the Boutonnieres I made for “Family Members” to wear. Lastly there are a few sneak peeks of bigger projects! Prepare to have your eyes overloaded with DIY projects.

I’m off to shower and get dressed up! Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. If anyone wants more specific details on any of the projects they see here, let me know and I can do a full post after the wedding.



me: My lips look so JUICY!

This weekend was pretty awesome. Nothing overtly exciting happened, but a lot of pretty good things did, and those add up. I also didn’t have that over whelming “I’m not getting enough done!” feeling that comes with most of my weekends.

The Accomplished:

-Made a mock table setting and was pleasantly surprised that it all came together and looked really good. I think there is a struggle with wedding decorations (especially table settings) to really fill the space in a cohesive way. It bugs me when table settings are too plain, or have a whole bunch of weird “Monogrammed stuff” or confetti or little marbles strewn all around. I will be the FIRST to stand up and say that I am a wedding centerpiece SNOB! So really ignore me, unless you are too, and then join the club and hate on some flat colored marbles with me!

-Painted Frames Mustard. I bought a bunch of ornate frames at the Salvation Army (all 99 cents thankyouverymuch) and some mustard yellow spray paint from a fine-art supply store. Hardware stores only carry YELLOW spray paint, and I just didn’t want that (note that you will send closer to $9 on a can of a fancy color). The frames will be used to hold little signs around the wedding like: WELCOME, FOOD MENU, DESSERT BAR INSTRUCTIONS, and so on.

-Create a Menu. We managed to sit down and write out exactly what we will be serving at the wedding including drinks and dessert bar treats. My Grandma and my Aunt Jody came up today from Seattle to go over everything. I’m so excited the food is going to be amazing!

-Dollar Tree Stock Up! Did you know the Dollar Tree sells packs of FIVE of these for $1! I bought 10 packs, but will be going back for at least 5 more. I also bought mini tongs for our dessert bar. They have such good cheap basic party supplies AND buffet serving dishes (big clear bowls and serving platters, etc).

-Had Dinner with my MOH (Mallory) and her Fiance (Aaron). Always nice to see her. The fact that I get to see her probably once a month compared to twice a year makes me soooo happy! And to be honest I can’t wait until my wedding is done and I get to just help her with hers and do all the fun MOH tasks for her! She is awesome.

-Wrote our Vows! Yup, I was sitting on the couch listening to Adele Pandora (duh) and they just came spilling out. Thankfully I had my laptop and I typed away. They are sweet and funny and it was so easy for Mr. Gaunt to use my format to write his own set. DONE, such sweet relief. And yes we have read each others, we aren’t the sappy surprising type.

-Cleaned my house. For Grandma…duh.

-Bought the PERFECT wedding Lipstick. My sister and I went to Macy’s and did what I had read about, hunt around for a makeup counter girl who’s makeup you like. I did this and spotted a fantastically done-up girl at the Lancome counter. She was awesome and put a bunch of colors and liners and shadow on me until we had the perfect one. It is nothing like I thought I wanted, and yet it is perfect. Worth the $30 (EEEEEEEEEK) it cost. I have never in my life bought nice lipstick (and liner), this was quite the treat. I then proceeded to go home and wax my eyebrows and tried to (unsuccessfully) re-create the whole look. Needless to say I can do the lipstick perfect, but the rest I will leave to the professionals.

-Decided to wear my hair down for the wedding. The vote is in and the hair will be down! now where are my Lauren Conrad extensions?

-Made all the wedding papers. I spent a few hours on Photoshop the other day and made all the paper things we need printed for the wedding. I even managed to tie in Hula (our cat) into some of the items, which brings me such joy:

  • Table numbers
  • Welcome Signs
  • Menu’s
  • “Vegetarian & Vegan” signs for select dishes
  • Cake topper
  • Dessert Bar Banner
  • Boutonniere Stickers

I have to go some time this week to Kinkos and get everything printed and cut out.

-Ordered Groomsmen Gifts and looked into Bridesmaid Gifts. Because they are all do nice to us and deserve a treat for being our slaves for the day.

We actually have very little (of the big things) left to do. Just little stuff here and there and then the stuff for the week of. I got time off work and so did Mr. Gaunt. About half our guests have RSVP’d (any advice on how to get more people to do this?). We have picked a place to have a rehearsal dinner and will be going in next weekend to reserve it. I’m getting really excited! My weight is also down about 5 pounds since I joined the gym and started eating less, the dress needs to fit!

Ok I’m done boring everyone with my wedding plans. I’m just feeling really good about things!

I leave you with a random mish-mash of pictures from the last 2 weeks:

Picking dinner from the garden!

Mr. Gaunts first trip to Whatcom Falls Park

Me trying to convince him the V necks are sexy. He was having none of!

Worlds most flattering dress I got for $18 at Value Village!

Sad day for all Prego Thrill Seekers at the Fair!


Planting the Succulents

One of the wedding decor things I blogged about early on, I actually followed through on! I know, shocking! I knew right from the start the Milk Glass + Succulents = AWESOME CENTERPIECES. Over the last year my mom and I (with help from Mr. Gaunt’s mom too) collected about 35 pieces of milk glass. Most of them came from thrift stores or garage sales, and a few people owned and gave to me. They are a wide range of shapes and sizes, which I love.

When we moved up here we slowly began planting succulents in large and small pots around the house. I was shocked how quickly they began to breed! Crazy baby succulents popped up all around the big ones. Also a few weeks ago my grandma gave me a GIANT pot of succulents she had grown, so we had a ton.

This past weekend my mom and one of my bridesmaids Rita came over and we transplanted succulents into all the Milk Glass. To do this, you just sort of use a butter knife to pull them gently apart (they have very little roots) and then planted them in potting soil. We mixed different styles of succulents and the little vines together to get a cute terrarium look.  We did this early on in hopes that they will settle a bit and maybe even fill in/breed more before the wedding. I could not be happier with how stinkin cute they are!


Just call me Morgan Stewart

Because me and Martha would make an awesome team…seriously.

There has been a truck load of wedding crafting around here! I really do plan to show more of these items in detail, this is just a splash of crafty candy for your eyes! to say that my house is a bit of a mess wouldn’t be a lie. Oh well, it keeps me entertained.

Needless to say Hula does NOTHING but lay around on the coffee table looking adorable.