Tuesday, June 29, 2010

drumroll please

I'm so excited to share my first major wedding project! Last week I sent some very important cards through the mail to my beautiful bridesmaids. Now that they all have them in hand, it is time to reveal what I sent. I think I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves:

My idea was adapted from Anna Bond's (Rifle Paper Co.) DIY Bridesmaids Cards featured on Once Wed. What do you think? Did you do something special to ask your girls to be in the bridal party?

Monday, June 28, 2010

who knew that registering for china could be this easy?

This weekend was a major success. We registered for our fine china and stemware. And it took us less than an hour! And there were no disagreements!

First, we started the morning off with a big breakfast (we tend to bicker more when we're hungry - has anyone else experienced this??). Then we left early so that we would get there right after the store opened. We decided to drive into the city to go to the Macy's there, since our local one doesn't have a very large selection. Wise decision. They had a bridal registry section located behind the fine china. They checked us in, printed off our list, gave us the scanner and showed us the long tables which we could use to "set our table". They had placemats, napkins, napkin rings, and we could take anything off the shelves that we wanted to. Dare I say that it was actually FUN?!

We walked around and chose three designs that we liked. Once we got them on the table, two were almost immediately eliminated. So once that was decided we got our flatware, which I had already selected online and it actually matched. Stemware took us a little longer. The future mister liked one set and I kind of liked another. A consultant came over, took a look at our choices, waved her imaginary wand and selected something off the shelf that magically combined the two looks we both liked. Easy peasy - we were done.

Want to see what we picked?

The china pattern has a lovely silver/gray scalloped edge detail. Delicate and classic, yet very versatile since silver goes with every color. We love it!

Did you register for china? What was your experience like?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

please mr. postman...

deliver these safe and sound to their recipients.

Tuesday I took the day off to get some cavities filled (hence the reason why the left side of my face is drooping). Since that didn't take too long, the future mister and I spent the rest of the time wandering around his hometown (my FFIL is now my dentist). Our most important stop - the post office. That project I finally finished had to be shipped out. It was a sad moment. But I'm so excited for some very special people to be receiving them shortly! As soon as they do, I'll be posting pictures!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Last week I received an email in my work account advertising a local dance studio. They offer fitness classes, but also adult dance classes such as ballet, tap/jazz, and ballroom. I think the future mister and I might want to take a few ballroom lessons prior to the wedding, so I clicked on over to their website. They didn't have much to offer as far as group classes, but their site showed that they offer private lessons as well.

I continued browsing to see what else they offer and there it was:

Strip Aerobics for Bachelorette Parties
Share the time of your life with your friends while getting in shape and learning some new moves!
Dancefx hosts dance classes for your private event at our studios or at your location based on our popular Strip Aerobics class. For special events, classes are typically 1-2 hours long and include from 5-40 participants. Your class will get a great warm up and work out, and a dance combination to learn that just may make the birthday girl or soon-to-be-bride blush! Strip Aerobics parties are tailored to your favorite songs, props (think scarves, chairs, what ever you want!), and style, and you may BYOB.

Is it weird that I actually think this sounds like fun?? Of course I might need a little of the BYOB first!

When I think of bachelorette parties, I think tiaras and feather boas (which I'm okay with), necklaces, rings and straws showcasing a certain part of the male anatomy, and bar hopping. I've also seen parties where the bride is given a list of things she has to do - have men sign her t-shirt, buy her a drink, serenade her, etc. Just thinking of that kind of stuff makes me break out in a cold sweat. It may be a "bachelorette" party, but I do not consider myself a single gal. I am taken and have been for the past three and a half years. I do not want strange men buying me drinks. But, hey, if that's your cup of tea, I say enjoy it! It's just not for me. I'm not a big bar person anyway, unless there's dancing. I do love to dance! So yea, I kind of think the strip aerobics shin dig sounds like fun.

Would you ever consider doing something like that? What did you do for your bachelorette party?

Monday, June 21, 2010

starting the week off on the right foot

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I'm in an unusually good mood this Monday morning. Probably because I had such a productive weekend. I FINALLY finished the project I've been working on and it turned out way better than I ever thought it could! I can't wait to share - although it will probably be about another week until I can. I also finished up designing some table numbers for a friend's wedding. Here's a sneak peek:

Tonight I get to see the future mister after another weekend apart. It was nice to be able to get so much done with him gone, but three days is long enough.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

dancing with my dad

I thought today would be the perfect time to talk about the song I've chosen for my father/daughter dance.

We'll be dancing to "Coming Around Again" by Carly Simon. Not typical, I know. But there's a story to it. When I was little my dad would make me mixed tapes. One (or probably many) of those tapes had this song on it. Not the three minute version, but rather the seven minute live version which combined that song with The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Oh how I loved that song!

Early on in the wedding planning process I knew that this would be the song we da
nced to. I had it in my head that I would keep it a secret from my dad and surprise him with it on the wedding day. Yeah right! I remember being on the phone with him, talking about wedding stuff, and he mentioned that he already knew what song we'd be dancing to. So obviously this song holds strong memories for him too. I'm almost getting misty eyed just thinking about it!

So here's to my dad, and all the other dad's out there - Happy Father's Day!

What song did you choose for your father/daughter dance and why?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

cooking light

I know that this is primarily a blog about my wedding planning experience, but last night I made an amazing meal (if I do say so myself), so I just have to share. The future mister LOVED it. Bonus - it was from Cooking Light magazine. Tasty AND healthy.

Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken
with Toasted Garlic Escarole

For the chicken, instead of hand chopping the walnuts and rosemary, I just put them in my mini food processor before adding them to the toasted panko break crumbs. Also, if you check out the recipe, you'll see that it calls for placing the chicken on a wire rack set up on top of a baking sheet. Unfortunately I didn't have this, so I just placed it directly on the baking sheet. It turned out perfectly fine, but just a little soggy on the bottom. My biggest tip is to remember to spray the cooking spray directly on the chicken - it will quickly become your favorite cooking secret, I promise! The future mister introduced this to me and ever since our chicken has been baked or grilled to juicy perfection.

With the escarole, I did everything the same, except I subbed in romaine. Delicious, especially if you're a garlic lover.

Overall, I was incredibly pleased with these two recipes. Easy (only 30 minutes!), tasty, healthy, and even fancy enough to serve to guests.

satisfying my sweet tooth

Way back in February, I talked a bit about cake (here and here). Our initial proposal included a 3-tier wedding cake and a 2-tier groom's cake. The price for these two things was astounding! From the beginning I had really preferred the look of a cake buffet anyway, so I brought it up at Tuesday's meeting. Turns out a cake buffet will save us almost $300! So we will have 7 cakes and three different flavors.

Try not to lick your computer screen:

3 White Velvet Raspberry (my FAVORITE - see my surprise birthday post)

2 Spanish Lemon

2 Chocoholic

(source - all photos)

You know, in hindsight, I'm really kicking myself for not agreeing to a second tasting when Epting offered on Tuesday. What was I thinking??! So what if we already knew what we wanted our flavors to be - that doesn't mean we can't try them all again. Silly me. Regardless, I'm super excited to have another decision made! Now I can start looking for a cake topper.

What are your favorite cake flavors?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the dreaded phone call

About two weeks ago I received a phone call from our event coordinator at Epting Events - her husband had accepted a job out of the area and she was leaving the company. Definitely not the kind of phone call you ever want to get when planning a wedding!

Since we were still at about a year out, though, nothing much had been done except for the initial meeting, proposal and deposit. Plus, Epting is known for taking care of its clients. Well today we met with our new coordinator, Wendy, her assistant Abby and even Lee Epting himself. It was a great meeting. We were able to hash out our ideas and pare down the initial proposal. No worries here!

So now that that's settled, I'm going to leave you with some eye candy - my attempt at an "inspiration board." I brought this with me today to show our coordinators, but I had to doctor it a bit for the blog so that my gorgeous, top secret wedding gown isn't seen by the wrong eyes (i.e. the future mister's).

Monday, June 14, 2010


In a world where we are constantly bombarded with statistics and stories of failed marriages, it is SO refreshing to see something like this.

I hope that the future mister and I will still be cuddling and kissing after 72 years of marriage.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

hotel room blocks

One of the next things on my to do list is booking the hotel room blocks. I've been dragging my feet with this one because there is a bit of a debate on which hotels to book. One argument is location, the other is price. Of course I do not want my guests to pay an astronomical amount on hotel rooms for our wedding, but location is also a big deal. One thing is constant - it is about a 10 minute drive from almost all of the local hotels to our wedding venue. For our rehearsal dinner*, however, the downtown hotels are within walking distance. I prefer this, especially for our wedding party/younger friends, because people can drink to their hearts' content and not worry about having to find a ride back to their hotel. The downtown hotels also allow guests to explore the university, shops, restaurants, etcetera - all without having to worry about finding/paying for a parking spot. BUT, the downtown hotels are significantly more expensive.

So, I've come up with a solution. The least expensive hotels are on the west side of town. We'll choose one hotel in that area to block off rooms, one hotel midway between the west side and downtown, and one hotel downtown. On our wedding website I will include the following map I created, which includes our venues, blocked hotels, and all the other local hotels listed in case any guests wish to book a room somewhere else. Guests can decide for themselves whether they'd like to spend or save, drive or walk. Group transportation to the wedding venue is something I'll deal with later (ugh).

View Hotels in a larger map**

Now before I start blocking off rooms, I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a list of questions. Here they are, with help from a post I read on weddingbee:
  • Is there a room block set up fee?
  • How many rooms can be booked?
  • Can we add more rooms to the block if we start running out?
  • Do you charge a fee for unbooked rooms?
  • Is there a group discount rate? If there is no group discount rate, do you offer any other discounts such as AAA or military?
  • What are the rates for different types of rooms?
  • Can you block our guests near each other?
  • Is there a deadline for when rooms need to be booked by our guests?
  • Is there a minimum night stay requirement?
  • Is breakfast included?
  • Do you charge an OOT guest bag fee? Are OOT bags delivered to guests' rooms or handed out at the front desk?
  • Do you have a shuttle? Can we use it the night of the wedding to shuttle people to/from our venue? Is there an extra fee for this service?
What was your experience like booking hotel room blocks? Are there any questions I'm forgetting to ask?

*We haven't actually booked this yet, so I'm going off of our ideal location. Even if we don't end up going with this place, our rehearsal dinner will most likely be someplace downtown.
**I LOVE Google maps. If you click on any of the hotel markers, you'll see that I included driving distances/times to each of our venues.

Monday, June 7, 2010

food for thought

"The pure, simple truth is that sparks do fade, but they are supposed to fade. It’s the flame in your marriage that drives your relationship forward and ensures that your path is lit in front of you. So discover what kind of flame you have, find what it takes to keep that flame burning and use help to re-light the fire when it grows dim. Because when you’re marriage is healthy and happy, you glow from the inside out."

I read this on the swmag blog a week or so ago. It's about keeping the sparks alive, or rather keeping the fire burning, after you're married. Full of wisdom. Check it out.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Love this bride's haircut. I might just have to take this to my stylist the next time I go...

marriage certificate poster

Love this! Such a beautiful piece to hang on the wall and remind you every day of the commitment you made. Available soon (as a template) from Rifle Paper Co.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

wedding crashers

Not quite, but almost.

I'll start from the beginning. Sunday afternoon we got all spiffied up and left the house around 5:30 to make it to the reception by 6. We found a parking spot at the local country club and headed in the direction of other fancy looking people. Closer to the clubhouse we spotted a sign for the Jones/Brown* reception and headed up the stairs to the pavilion. There were plenty of people already gathered and servers were butlering hors d'oeuvres and champagne cocktails. Side note: we were not expecting alcohol of any kind at this shin dig. I spotted the gift table and just as I was finding a spot to place our gift, the future mister stopped me. The sign on the table said Miller - NOT Jones or Brown! And he didn't recognize the photos on the table either, or anyone else milling about for that matter. Crap! Whose wedding were we at and how do we find where we need to be? We asked a server - no help there. So we headed back toward the parking lot and found something that looked like a front desk of sorts.

We asked the woman at the front desk and she kindly told us that the reception we almost crashed was the Miller reception. And the event sheets she had didn't even mention the Jones/Brown reception. Could it be in another location? She didn't think so. Well, she finally got someone knowledgeable on the phone and as soon as she started chuckling I knew what we had done. The reception we were supposed to attend was SATURDAY, MAY 29th - not Sunday, May 30th. OMG! How does that happen! I am the queen of organization and somehow I had it scheduled as May 30th - not only on my iPhone, but also on my calendar at work (and, of course, in my rush to get out of town last Friday, I forgot the actual invitation on our fridge). HOW EMBARRASSING!

Oh well. We laughed it off and went out to dinner in our fancy duds. We still feel bad since we RSVP'd, but it was a high school friend of the future mister's and they probably haven't spoken in at least three and a half years, if not more. We tried calling the groom's parents and left our gift with the future mister's parents since they are friends of the family and were willing to deliver it for us. Any other suggestions on how to remedy our blunder?

*names changed to protect the innocent