Monday, December 29, 2008

bi-coastal favors?

I had hoped of having the time, funds, and free fruit to make a huge batch of jam next summer from Oregon berries to give jar and give away as favors. Then I was trying to figure out how to bring some more Georgia (FH is from Georgia) into the wedding. Peach preserves!!! Wouldn't that be great. Ok. I guess I need to rethink that since I don't live there.

The other idea is that FH and I make something with Oregon hazelnuts, which we love. Maybe hazelnut brittle or just plain roasted nuts and put some Georgia pecans in there too. Put them in little burlap sacks or maybe glasine envelopes with a rubber stamp of our wedding motif.

What do you think? Should I be a nut or preserve myself?

Or perhaps something a little more Dynasty

The dress Joan Collins wore for her wedding in Dynasty is for sale. I like it except for the color.

How good of shape can a vintage dress be in?

I found this gem on a vintage clothing website today. It's by Nolan Miller. I has the mermaid cut and it's got lace and some texture along the bottom and the top of the bodice. But I am wondering how well the fabric has held up and if, even a lot of steaming, and some alterations it could look "fresh".

Friday, December 19, 2008

Turns out I like mermaid dresses

I guess my dream dress is kind of a mermaid dress and after I figured that out I re-found a dress I had seen when I first started this nonsense. It's very pretty from Alvina Valenta but it's still a toss up between this, the Carolina Herrara, and the Liancarlo.

Monday, December 15, 2008

If we could only this

I want to dance and really have fun doing it and have some tricks up our sleeves. I had an idea to bring in a square dance caller the night before for a fun kind of family icebreaker although I dont know how to square dance. I looked at some videos of wedding square dances and have rethought that one. Then I thought that country swing would be good to learn because I have always wanted to be able to do that crazy rubber-band arm spin swing to country music and old time music but it looks kind of boring when I watched that video. But Dave and I both agree that the funnest looking dance of all has to be lindy hop. So we might try to learn how to do it but I don't know how good we can get in 6 months and since I am recovering from a slipped disk I am a bit worried that all we will end up with is a very slow version of basic and none of the crazy jumps or spins that we are now fantasizing about. Check it out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Love Quilt

This has been part of my plan since before I was engaged. I have to admit, I had considered why my wedding would be like. I want everyone to send a square of fabric back with their reply card. I wonder if it will work. I think it will be nice especially for the folks who can't be there. Then they will be able to see their little square in my quilt and we can use it as a prop for some part of the event.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Le Menu

My site coordinator sent me some suggested menus. I couldn't help myself and made some edits. I hope they can accommodate. What do you think? Too complicated for a buffet?

I hate to give it away to any of my guests who might be reading this.

Beer, wine, lemonade and sweet tea


Imperial Stock Ranch mini lamb burgers with Summer’s sweet pickle relish (could also have some sort of mini vegetarian burger?)

vegetable crudite with some sort of dip or hummus Display

Smoked Pacific Salmon and
Oregon cheese (including goat cheese/sheep cheese/cow cheese) selection and artisan breads and crackers Display

Buffet Dinner

some sort of seasonal green Salad w/ an Oregon lavendar honey Vinaigrette

Pacific Northwest Artisan Bread


Imperial Stock Ranch Roasted Leg of Lamb w/ Hood River D’anjou Pear Chutney or fresh mint sauce

Pan Seared Wild Coho Salmon served with Lemon Beurre Blanc (or a sauce that could also be used on the lamb, to make it easier)

(Is it possible for any vegetarians to get a stuffed Portobello steak with the same sauce as the lamb, upon request?, I wouldn’t put this on the buffet, but I would let them know to ask the server. We will likely have at least 10 complete vegetarians)

Vegetable and Starch
Wild Rice Pilaf or roasted red potatoes (preferably from Oregon)

Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic & Chanterelle Mushrooms
Or Locally Grown Asparagus Lightly Sautéed in Olive Oil & Garlic

Coffee, Tea
Fresh berries and wedding cake

Late night menu for 50
Repeat mini burgers and serve bottles of miller high life, coca-cola and seltzer water

Do the Bustle

I waited in line at one of those sample sales. I was sure I wouldn't find a dress that I loved and could afford. I wasn't even ready to throw down $1000 that day, but low and behold they had the dress of my dreams...... almost. Wrong fabric but same dress. Carolina Herrara for $1500 and I walked. I walked all over Tyson's Galleria, through Nicole Miller, through Macy's bridal, and all the way to Sak's where they had the dress of my dreams for a mere $5000. How could Carolina do this to me? It's perfect but for the price tag.

I love bustles. Christine knows, not just the little kind but the big boufant ones. Bring on the bustles. Bustles... not just for the reception anymore.

Martha Stewart Weddings (Satoko and Alex). They did some pretty cool stuff. Don't mind if I borrow some ideas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Look at these cool wedding favors - Wristbands

Looks like bridesmaid and grandpa having a dance. Check it out at

Thoughts on flowers

gerbera daisies
cala lilies
Two kinds of flowers I
don't care for

They don't smell.
Where do they come from?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I like this one too.

A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down. Or maybe the taste of spending more than $10,000 on a wedding during a recession.

We decided today, and now on to...... the dress

I am going for the river/ranch wedding. Not really a ranch, but a faux river lodge. These dresses inspired me. I love the victorian/georgian/Mary Poppins style. Not revealing but sexy at the same time, no?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Somewhere on a desert highway

Maupin is a very small town. So small that I had to call every hotel/lodge to reserve every single room that I could. 3 were already booked for next summer and I was worried that there might not be enough for our guests and then FH reminded me that there is a lot of camping and, well, not everyone is going to come even though it's going to be the best wedding ever.

Maupin has a total of 45 rooms for hire each night plus probably another 50 tent sites and a dozen RV hook-ups (charming) and I have them all held until we decide where we are getting hitched.

Besides the 4 hotels/lodges there are about 5 restaurants/places to eat. 2 Fly shops. 1 coffee shop. 1 church. 1 school. A fish hatchery. And a lot of rafting companies.

And we love it. We have embarked on some of our most fun fishing and rafting adventures from Maupin. It's in a river canyon but on the high desert, so it's very dry. It's kind of a ranch town or used to be long ago.

The Imperial River Company and Lodge is where we would have our wedding. They do pretty much everything (food, liquor, tables, chairs, etc.) so it's a big commitment once we choose them. The only package that we have even considered. And no, it's not cheap, although I am sure it's worth it. They raise their own cows and sheep for meat on their nearby ranch and the lodge was recently redone. They have been great to work with so far and they say they can accomodate my menu wishes and special wine order, which was making this decision easier until we started wavering over the money. It's a recession for god's sake. Who can afford a wedding?

Back to the vision: riverside wedding, bails of hay to sit on, old time piano music

The First 2 Locations We Checked Out

I am having second thoughts again. Camp Westwind is really neat. I have now been in touch with a couple that was married there and they have answered all of the other questions, that I was afraid to ask the site person. Two weeks ago we were sure that this summer camp was the right place. It's only accesible by boat and it's totally green (us) and besides the fact that it would be like being on Gilligan's island for a couple of days, and it costs $3,000 per night, we were about to commit. But then, I had a vision, which is what I have to have for me to get in to something. I had a vision that Maupin, Oregon in the high desert might be more are thing and a lot less stressful as in, our guests could stay anywhere they want and we don't have to pay for it (not so at the camp).

Can I bake my cake and eat it too?

I am a pretty good baker. I just read the wedding cake how-to in The Joy of Cooking and it doesn't really seem that difficult. Plus I have a year to practice. My friends will love me at first--all that tasting, and then they will hate me--all that tasting. I won't pretend to think that I can decorate it to look like this. Lord knows I don't have a steady hand, good penmanship, or the patience for that kind of detail but I could decorate it simply with plain frosting and then add fresh flowers to it and my family's tradition of the cake topper that came from Grandma's wedding cake.

Just think of all the money I will save. I am just not sure about cupcakes. I thought cupcakes were a way to save money, but they still cost $2-$3 a piece. If I am going cupcake then I am going to do them myself. So why not try the cake?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Once Wed Dress

I am not supersititious about this stuff. I mean, who can afford a $3,000 wedding dress anyhow? Not me. I can't afford one at all and my sister had the good fortune or brains of using my grandma's dress. She is also a size 0 and I am not so even if I wanted to, it wouldn't work. Plus I am about 4 inches taller than her and I don't think we could lengthen it. So I found this great website ( and there are plenty of others that help women sell their designer dresses. I found this Nicole Miller number like the day after saying "I will" and have been hoping to find it at a shop so I could try it on but no such luck. To see the dress, which has now been sold, go here.

Oregon Coast Take 2 - Sons of Norway

Well because I couldn't sleep until I knew whether or not this coastal possibility was actually cool or not, my friend N., who lives at the Oregon Coast drove up yesterday to take a look and snap some photos. The view is great and it would be just a short drive to my aunt's house where we could have the ceremony. This is a Sons of Norway Hall in Gearhart, Oregon for all those other Oregon brides who are wondering if the Sand Trap is the only event facility in Gearhart.

After much detective work we figured out that it's a really good deal and there is a good view but they have next to no provisions and so we would have to rent a ton of stuff (tables, linens, chairs, cutlery, dishes, glasses, a tent). Not exactly dreamy since Portland is 67 miles away and I couldn't find any caterers that I was interested in at the beach today, and you know I need instant gratification. The other thing that didn't make this place ideal was that even though we coud have the ceremony at my aunt's, right on the estuary, we wouldn't have been able to have a bicycle processional or wedding parade over to the location without going all the way (1 mile) out to the highway, which made the whole thing lose some appeal. I was imagining cycling, in my dress, next to FH, followed by guests on bikes to the reception.

This is still a great spot and if I had a caterer in the family, would be more inclined. Thanks again to said friend for the help. I am going to link to the one and only wedding photos that I found that took place here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

$10,000 Wedding

They say the average cost of a wedding in 2008 in the US was $29,000. I don't have that. I don't even have the ten grand that the seasoned brides that I know say is the very minimum you can spend for a wedding that is catered for 100-150 people and that is doing a lot of stuff yourself. I suppose if your family owned a place on a river with a barn, a farm, a winery, your dad played in a band, and your BF was a baker and a seamstress, it would be doable, but I don't have that exactly, to work with. But wouldn't that be great. Oh, and you would still need someone to officiate and someone to take photos.

I am going to get a bit of help from my folks and FH and I have approx. 8 months to save. If we could save $8000, I would be amazed.

Truth is, I don't really want to spend more than that or even that. I would love to save my money for a house, a honeymoon, and well, to have some savings.

What I want:
  • Oregon wedding
  • a used or vintage dress
  • handmade favors
  • not a lot of flowers
  • a wedding weekend, so our tribes can get to know each other, not just meet at the wedding
  • A unique setting (or a pre-wedding event that is in a unique setting)
  • a band that people will dance to
  • not to create a lot of waste, i.e., green wedding but still with printed invitations
  • local, season food
  • it to be Oregon with a little bit of the South (FH is from Georgia) and a little bit of Europe (German, and Polish)
  • not a sit-down dinner
  • kids at the reception
What I do have on my side:
  • two family vacation homes in Oregon (central coast and north coast)
  • family property in Central Oregon, very primitive (camping, no electricity and only outhouses)
  • access to two private clubs in Portland that are quite nice (old school)
  • a friend who is a wedding photographer (if I buy him a plane ticket and put him up, maybe he will help)
  • Oregon is near Washington, where liquor is cheaper
  • very crafty friends and set designing mother
  • enviro self and FH
  • a big family
  • very supportive and offbeat parents
What might be difficult:
  • I live in Washington, DC 3,000 miles from wedding location, will only get back once or twice before wedding
  • haven't found a place yet, but have lots of ideas
  • don't know how many people will make the trip from outside of Oregon
  • I have a big family (easily 30 without going to great aunts and second cousins)
  • We don't want our alcohol budget to be as much as our food budget
So here it goes......

First inspiration, I was at a bachelorette party recently in Sonoma, CA and saw this bouquet on the counter of the restaurant I went to.