Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oriental Trading Company and other awesomeness

My family has had a long obsession love affair with what we like to call "organizational clothing," any item that can be monogrammed, embroidered, or otherwise personalized.  I can pinpoint my beginnings with this obsession to when my dad took over as executive director of my ballet company and created mandatory Ballet Midwest pins for all board members and company dancers.  After that, it became a yearly tradition to provide our best friends on the lake with a box of personalized, themed, 4th of July decorations for their annual party, often including a pinata.  Just cuz.  In fact, after a couple of years, they began receiving OTC catalogs of their own.  So you can imagine my father's my joy when we discovered the OTC wedding catalog.  If you're not into tacky crap, that's ok, we can still be friends.  This post may still have some redeeming value as some of these sites actually carry very nice merchandise.  I'll also show you how I managed to work some incredibly tacky awesome OTC paraphernalia into an otherwise tasteful wedding.
So first, what did I manage to use from OTC?

Each of my sorority sisters had one of these bears as their placecard.  Yes, the bear is one of our sorority symbols, but no, it was not out of sentimentality.  We used to take the tacky bears that our House Corp Board (alumnae with bad taste) used to decorate for various holidays and hide them in inappropriate places.  Like the fridge, or tied by the neck to a fan.  Thank you, OTC, for bringing back those memories.

I think my dad's duck thing began with the 4th of July...the Popes have a full collection in their guest bathroom a la my father.  Naturally, they had to be incorporated into the wedding.  Bre did a great job of capturing them nicely above, but let me show you how my parents first arranged them:

So feel free to take this idea and run with it.  My dad also bought Hawaiian ducks for our Grandmother's picnic, on the spur of the moment when he went to get squirt guns.  Too much?  I think not.
Unfortunately, I don't think I got a picture of the ribbons, pencils, golf tees, and napkins with our names on them.  Rest assured that they were awesome.
Ok, moving on from OTC (if I must).  My absolute MVP of wedding planning was Etsy.  I bought these pom-pons from Party Poms:

With both PartyPoms and Crossroads Cottage, I sent in pictures of the inspiration I used and they helped me match up colors for a custom order.  The level of service from these vendors puts Nordstrom to shame!
I created my pinwheels using the DIY kit from Crossroads Cottage.

I chose the Dear Lillie pillow from my previous post and was so pleased with how beautiful it was!
I loved the idea of having a non-traditional guestbook, so we used this handmade card-box from Cut the Cake Designs for everyone to we have a handy-dandy address book in one place with everyone's sweet words!

Ok, outside of OTC and Etsy, we didn't end up buying a ton, but there are some great websites I found.
Luna Bazaar has a variety of wedding supplies, but their paper lantern selection can't be beat, at decent prices.  We ended up getting some parasols because we were super concerned about the sun in San Diego in July.  It has been the coldest summer on record for San Diego this year, so we really needn't have worried, but they were pretty!
Pinwhirls is the non-Etsy site of Crossroads Cottage, and there are a ton of paper and style choices if you are obsessed with pinwheels like me!
I toyed with the idea of having balloons, but ended up going against it because I was concerned the wind might make them knock into each other and make awkward balloon noises.  I looked at this website for those giant balloons that look so much cooler than the kind you find at Party City.
Ok, so this isn't really a site to buy stuff, but I don't want to forget to mention it later on.  If you're still trying to finalize your color scheme, and you want something more specific than "blue and yellow," The Perfect Palette has a ton of gorgeous color combinations to help narrow your choices and ensure that everything really goes.
Here are my favorite websites for favors and details: Exclusively Weddings, Favors by Serendipity, Favor Affair, Plum Party, Wedding Favorites, Beau-coup, and Wedding Things.
Whew! Next up, links for putting together a candy/dessert buffet!

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