Mark and Leslie: A Renaissance & Fantasy Wedding!

Planning a wedding should be an olympic sport. But I did it, I did it on a budget, and I did it in a uniquely themed and memorable way. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the decor and props from our wedding, meant as inspiration to anyone who is interested in throwing a Renaissance or fantasy style wedding! Some other elements we styled into our wedding include medieval, gaming, fairy tale, Harry Potter, and LARP. It was a dream come true for the both of us! Happy wedding planning, and I hope this post inspires you!

Photos courtesy of Knot Just Any Day Photography (and worth every penny)!

Our programs were rolled up into scrolls, tied with red ribbon, and lined up in wooden chests. I also put a tissue box on a decorative gold stand and made a themed sign, for anyone who might be crying. Behind this table was a very gothic candelabra with 3 large candles on it. The ring bearer’s tray (seen on the bottom shelf) was a silver tray that I hot glued a piece of red velvet to. Here is a what our program looked like!

The church was old and gorgeous. The wooden pew/seats were so appropriate for the theme. Stained glass makes everything look so classic. My mother framed our family crests for us and we hung them on either side of the altar. We were handfasted, a Celtic tradition, which of course I insisted upon. Our cord was created and braided by the both of us, with gold for wealth, white for new beginnings, and red for love. We also added unique charms to represent our family members.

I created a tribute to our family in photos, and adorned the fire place with all of their pictures! I designed small standing medieval banners containing our hashtag, to label desserts, and to showcase our photos. My dad took our family crests and combined them in this one-of-a-kind and very Renaissance-y family crest shield. I love the swords!

I designed custom signs for around the whole hall, including signs for the bathrooms. Go big or go home, right?

My beautiful bouquet was designed by my aunt, a florist. I went for a very colorful Renaissance and fairy tale styled bouquet. I feel like maybe fairies were living in it!

My cousin designed an elvish circlet for me :3 I felt like an elf princess!

The reception area was glorious, like a lodge mixed with a cabin. It was perfect for the Renaissance themed festivities! Custom tablecloths in gemstone hues really made this room look like a great banquet hall! I loved the way the ceiling looked, and the giant windows made all the colors burst!



The food was delicious, and set out on a long table like a banquet. You can also see the felt pennants I designed for above the bar. Medieval pennants and banners really added a lot to the theme!

In lieu of a cake, we went for a variety of colorful desserts, which absolutely worked for the theme. The dessert table was decorated to look luxurious and period by using fresh fruits and berries, as well as intricate gold mirrors and the tops of fresh roses. My sister decorated a cupcake tower by spray painting it gold and adding lace. Our cake toppers were just toys; who can afford to pay more than $5 for cake toppers?! We had a framed photo of our engagement picture, taken at the Renaissance Faire, with some swords behind it.

We made D20 ice breakers for every table! Of course, D20’s are a tribute to Dungeons and Dragons. We did meet at LARP, after all. And every table also had a bottle of honey mead and red wine, from the Renaissance Faire where we got engaged. See the full size D20 ice breakers sign here.

I created fun fact signs for our tables, so people could get to know us a little better. My aunt designed magical white rose and moss wreaths for the center pieces, and I also added a couple medieval standing pennants to tell people about our hashtag.

Our favors were soap, with custom renaissance themed labels made by me! We also added in gemstones and coins for the kids. All the favors were in a giant treasure chest!

Paper crowns, inflatable swords, treasure chests, and custom coloring books using coloring pages from old D&D books made the kids table perfect. We added gemstones and pirate doubloons to our favors treasure chest, which contained soap for the adults, so that the kids could go get some treasure too! No kid wants soap!

Our table was my favorite. We felt like the King and the Queen in fur draped chairs sitting at a fruit adorned table. It was decorated with evergeen boughs and of course, wine. What luxury!

Real fruit in a dish, medieval felt pennants, a dungeon behind the bar, and some period tavern rules helped to create the bar’s mood. I also set up some barrels and gargoyles around the room, to give the room a very tavern feel. I added even more atmosphere to the bar with a “Wanted poster” of my husband’s LARP character. We found cardboard knight cut outs for cheap, but that really added to the vibe! The real pewter mugs were the perfect finishing touch! The barkeep’s tip jar is a wooden chest and next to it is a sign that says “Poor tippers will be locked in the dungeon.” Here is a what our bar menu looked like!

Our “Well Wishes” table was designed to look like an alchemist’s lab or a Potions class at Hogwarts. People would brew us a love potion by writing down their love advice on notes and putting them in our cauldron. See the full size Love Potions sign here.

The most important part of any renaissance wedding, besides the bride and groom, is COSTUMES. Make sure your guests and bridal party dress up! By the way, my mom MADE my dress, and it cost about $90 worth of material. Talk about getting married on a budget! Isn’t she so talented?

Action shots are a must have! Now I demand you go and find yourself a cold mug of ale, or mead, and celebrate with me! I’ve been married 6 months already, but Mark and I still shout “Huzzah!” every day like it’s our wedding all over again. Alright, maybe we don’t. But we should.

To view the entire album, click here!

Photos courtesy of Knot Just Any Day Photography (and worth every penny)!

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A look back at 2014: a visual review


2014 has been one of the busiest and most exciting years of my life. Between married life, huge exciting things happening for the Geek Girl Pen Pals Club, running a busy Etsy store, and helping out the ladies of Geek Girl Brunch, I feel like I’ve hardly had time to relax! But that’s okay, I’m kind of a workaholic :3

I was so happy to work with the Geek Girl Brunch crew this year! I helped with their branding, ideas for beginning to recruit officers and launch chapters, and with Fan Girls Night Out, a highly successful New York Comic Con after party. I met so many amazing geek celebrities who were special guests at our party and also met all the amazing iggles and brunchettes! But it was an exhausting night. I’m pretty much still beat from that party! But in a fabulous way.

I had the pleasure of representing the IGGPPC in Hollywood this year as we were nominated for a very prestigious award. I rubbed elbows on the red carpet with some extremely talented and creative geeks who sew costumes, build robots, carve pumpkins and do all kinds of amazing things. There were some very big names there, including LeVar Burton and Gale Anne Hurd of ‘The Walking Dead.’ And best of all, I got to spread the good news about the club to hundreds of geeks! The staff members and I at the IGGPPC are busy plotting a revamp of our system and a streamlined structure for our epic work force. In general we are going to improve things at the wonderful club for 2015. We have a few very exciting things in mind, so stay tuned for the great surprises when we launch version 4.0 of the club!

I’ve put a few new items in my Etsy store and hit 400 sales just yesterday! Hard to believe I’ve sold that many items and I’m so proud that I’ve been running the store for this long! I’m excited to add more products to my offerings. I just love coming up with fun fandom inspired designs!

The best thing that’s happened to me this year, by far, is marrying my best friend and all the wedding madness. Yes it was stressful, pricey, and a butt load of work, but it showed me just how thoughtful and incredible my family is as they all pitched in to help out with the event. It was like a dream come true, watching the concept of the wedding come to life. I had the most fun designing the kids coloring books, making renaissance banners, and creating the potions table. It was so fun to spend the day with my best friends, (and in costume!) dancing it up in a royally decorated room. Total fairy tale. And to say my vows and be spiritually handfasted to my true heart’s desire, Mark, felt like all was right with the universe. I finally found a piece of the stardust I belonged with. It was a beautiful moment in time.

Yes, 2014 changed my life so greatly. How blessed am I that I was able to share it all with my friends and family who seem to do so much for me …without me ever having to ask. I love you guys.


I’d love to hear about your favorite moments from 2014! Post them in a comment!

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Awesome Sci-Fi Movies that are also Chick Flicks

Science Fiction encapsulates so many kinds of films. Anything from a speculative future where technology has advanced far beyond its current state (and we’ve created super epic pancake-making robots), to the idea of close encounters of the adorable ET alien kind, to alternative futures where monkeys rule the land instead of humans, to dystopian or post-apocalyptic futures where we’ve destroyed the planet and must find a way to survive using our ingenuity. As a lover of science fiction, it can be hard for me to pitch it to some of my friends. A lot of my girlfriends, who loves romantic films and your typical chick flick, aren’t really fans of science fiction (not that I don’t know a lot of women who DO)… so this is my guide to science fiction for the girly girl who would choose a Nicholas Sparks flick over Star Wars any day.

stepford-wives
The Stepford Wives
The Premise: A workaholic television executive (Nicole Kidman) loses her job, and chooses to start a new life with her husband and 2 kids in the quaint town of Stepford Connecticut. It’s more like a creepy Pleasantville though, and for some reason all of the wives look like supermodel 50’s housewives, and are perfectly obedient to their husbands: doing whatever cooking, or cleaning, or sexing they might need. It’s creepy for sure – especially for women.
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: You’ll love Bette Midler’s hilariously bitchy author character, the ridiculously stereotypical behavior of the “perfect woman” aka the Stepford Wives, and the horror of imagining “What if this happened to me!?”

eternal-sunshine
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Premise: Joel and Clementine (Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet) start out in a fresh and exciting relationship, but it eventually gets stale and falls apart after a couple of years. After a bad break up, Clementine goes to the doctor to have her memory erased. I’m sure that’s a technology we could all wish for sometimes. Upset, Joel decided to the same thing, because he can’t deal with the pain of the heartbreak. They end up reconnecting in the future after some strange circumstances.
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: An emotional roller coaster that has such realness to it. The ups and down of the romance will be so familiar to anyone whose ever been in a relationship. The characters are clever and so genuine. Chicks, you’re going to LOVE Clementine. The sequences involving the loss of Joel’s memory are so dream-like and beautiful. And, it’s a tear jerker at the end, for sure. OH, and a great soundtrack.

in-time
In Time
The Premise: In a world where humans do not physically age beyond 25, but instead have to “buy time” to stay alive beyond 25, time has literally become money. Cup of coffee? 2 minutes. Nice car? 4 months. How long you stay alive kind of depends on how influential/rich you are, leaving the poor people to die much sooner than everyone else. Good ole’ JT comes in to save the day, getting all Robin Hood on this corrupt world. He robs time banks to give time to the poor, falls in love with Amanda Seyfried, and does the whole high speed car chase thing. My hero!
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: 2 words… Justin Timberlake.

phenomenon
Phenomenon
The Premise: John Travolta plays your all-American average dude… a car mechanic from a small town. Leaving the bar on his birthday one night, he sees what appears to be a shooting star, which turns into a large flash of light and loud bang, knocking him off his feet. Tada! Superpowers. He’s a super genius with telekinesis – but he’s still a man, capable of love. The debate rages as to whether or not the light was a UFO or aliens, and just how the heck will he win the heart of the women he loves even with his big fat brain. And of course, the truth of it all is revealed at the end. Grab the tissues, guys. Q___Q
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: The build up of the romantic plot is tense, awkward, and ultimately worth it. The superpowers are gifted to such a sweet and nice guy, whom you’ll totally adore. You will probably bawl your eyes out at the end if you’re a human. Chick flick lovers just love a good cry.

lake-house
The Lake House
The Premise: Kate and Alex (Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves) live in the same house at different times. The house is ridiculously cool, made mostly of glass, and yeah, it’s on a lake – it’s an architect’s dream! Kate and Alex end up sending each other love letters… but, oh, cruel world! – somehow, they are 2 years apart in time. Trippy, but romantic. I just love star-crossed lovers in space and time.
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: As the story unravels, you will be rooting for these lovers to find each other in time. It’s such a crazy puzzle, how the whole thing unravels. Very very interesting, even captivating! Oh yeah, and I cried my freaking eyes out.

upside-down
Upside Down
The Premise: Basically… two planets orbit extremely close to each other, but have opposite gravity. These planets are not only divided by having opposite gravity, but are also different “class systems” – long story short, one is upper class, and one is lower class. On these two planets live Adam and Eden (Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst) and wouldn’t you know it – they happen to fall in love with each other. Enter the sad plot twist. When one person goes to the other’s planet, the gravity from their home planet still affects them, so they can’t really be together. It’s like Isaac Newton’s Romeo and Juliet. I can’t even imagine how the sex would work.
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: It’s really mind-bending to see how they film this movie, to make it so there’s 2 gravitational pulls, so visually you’ll love it. You’ll love Kirsten Dunst’s reverse gravity martini. I know I want one. You’ll also love the fight for romance against the cruel pull of gravity. OH GRAVITY, you heartless bitch.

let-the-right-one
Let Me In (Let the Right One In)
The Premise: A boy lives with his mother, and is kind of a lonely little weirdo. He’s bullied at school, doesn’t really have a father figure, or any friends for that matter. A new girl moves into the apartment complex that he lives in, but she’s kind of weird. Surprise! She’s a vampire. He begins to care about her deeply, and wants to keep her happy… by getting her blood. It’s adorable, tragic, and bloody.
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: What won’t people do for love? The sad story of this female vampire, who is ageless, and the tragic love the boy feels for a girl who will outlive him and every other boy ever… and yeah, she also drinks blood. It’s just too cute and too macabre for words.

5th-element
The 5th Element
The Premise: A sci-fi classic, Korben (Bruce Willis) is a cab driver in an awesome and exciting vision of future NYC. He accidentally comes into contact with a most powerful cosmic weapon, Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) who kind of is the only one who can save the entire universe. He wants to save her from the evil aliens trying to kill her, and of course, they fall in love too. Intergalactic love, and hijinks ensue!
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: Multipass. Leeloo is hilarious when trying to fit in with the regular world! And of course, the relationship/chemistry between her and Korben is fantastic.

about-time
About Time
The Premise: In Tim’s family, all males can time travel. So of course, Tim, who just turned 21, tries tinkering with his life to make it awesome. It’s sort of like a well-written version of the Butterfly Effect. Tim has a few hilarious mishaps, and a few tear-jerking moments with his family. On a serious note, this movie gave me a new found appreciation for life (deep, right?) and made me want to live each day to the fullest, since we only have so many of those. This movie come HIGHLY recommended. It was worth every moment. So go watch it now. Time’s a-wasting!
Why Chick Flick Lovers Will Love It: Tim’s dunderhead efforts in love and life are hilarious, and relatable. The romance will tug at every chick flick lover’s heart strings. The end of the movie, with Tim’s dad, will completely destroy you, in a good way.


I’d love to see your recommendations for sci-fi movies a chick flick lover would love, so leave me a comment, or let me know what you think about my choices!

Featured image from playbuzz.com

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