Sunday, December 27, 2009

Married Christmas!

H. and I went back home to Portland for the holiday. (We seem to be alernating whose family we spend Xmas with each year.) We had a great time. As usual, I busted a move in the kitchen and cranked out many, many more cookies--perfecting some of the recipes that we (and others) tried out at our DC cookie party: chocolate coconut meringue, ginger shortbread, lavender and pink salt shortbread, coconut snow balls, thumb prints with real cherry halves. Oh! and I found a great recipe for sweet and spicy pecans in the Oregonian Food Day. Seriously, these things were great and went so fast at the Xmas Eve open house that I made more and gave them away as gifts. If I had had this recipe at our wedding these would have been the favors--with hazelnuts for my home state and pecans for H.'s. I also made an excellent butternut squash and roasted chesnut soup, sesame soy kale, and......... helped my sister with an oven-baked shitake mushroom risotto. Dad pitched in an awesome leg of lamb and my mom and step dad smoked a turkey. It was a delicious spread. I almost forgot the smoked steelhead that H. and brother in law offered and the goat cheese cheesecake that I whipped up.

All in all, a delicious week. I didn't get to get out and exercise much over the last week, but the domestic goddess in me really came out and it felt good to have that Kitchenaid lever in the hand again. The wedding gifts are still all in storage, but my sister had hers. I think I will live a little longer without my gadgetry. I will try to post the recipes soon.

H. surprised me once again with some great gifts including 8 weeks of swing-dancing lessons with him. I can't wait for those. Some couples do that before their wedding, but we didn't have time. Plus... we have our whole life to dance together, not just our wedding day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I am married. What now?

Not in a hurry for the next big thing, but I am thinking about what I can offer those other budget brides you have yet to march forth.

A couple of ideas:

  1. made my own cake - approx $250 in savings, was able to get the exact flavor I wanted and only use good local ingredients, was also a big hit with the inlaws because I used their family recipe
  2. caught our own fish - we went on a guided salmon trip the week before the wedding and were able to catch enough fish for the entire wedding, made for a great story and locally and sustainably caught fish
  3. had mom do flowers - bought flowers at farmers market by placing an order, then mom, grandma, and aunties did flower arrangements and bouquets on-site that morning, savings of approx $250
  4. had friend cook fish - if you can talk a chef friend into doing this it can ensure that you get your hard caught fish the way you want it. Not every caterer can ensure that. It also gives your friend a duty of honor at the wedding, though this can turn into a duty of anxiety and sweat if you have a lot of backseat cooks
  5. had a bunch of our guests camp together and paid for group campsite - saved number of hotel rooms that they took up and left more for family who wouldn't have camped, and was fun
  6. have friend design invitation and another friend design other stuff like wedding program and thank you notes - you could have one friend do it all, but you might wear them out, afterall, they are providing a service to you and you may not be paying for it. I saved a lot of money this way, approx $250 on invitation and $100 on program and thank yous. I also took care of the printing myself through my own contacts so I could pick out all of the paper and stuff myself
  7. have a friend or friends be your photographer - buy them a plane ticket to the wedding, or provide them with lodging and a rental car, or something to entice them to offer this service, but be sure to make them feel as if they are a guest and not a worker. You will want to have other people photograph too because your photog can't be everywhere and can't be expected not to drink and have fun all night long, approx savings $1000-$2000
  8. more to come

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gone Fishing

It was great. I can't believe it's over. It's not over. It's just the beginning of our next adventure.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Too Cute to Pass Up But Too Late

Just saw this on 100 Layer Cake, a DIY wedding site. (Frances, check it out.) If only I had 3-4 weeks to order one of these needlework hoops, it would be the perfect ring pillow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Best Ebay Buy for the Wedding So Far

I have been watching ebay like a hawk for the last few weeks to collect enough blue mason jars for my flowers, but I also have dabbled a bit in my search for wedding shoes. I have decided on a pair of bright puprle Frye sandals with a wood heel for the reception and a pair of kick-ass Lucchese cowboy boots for my walk down the aisle.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dress Rehearsal

My dress has gotten bigger on me. Good thing I waited to have it altered. The dress is now at least a full size if not two sizes too big. I dropped it off yesterday to get altered and left a very nervous bride. I am trying to think positive and hope that it's going to be alright. If it isn't I will still have two weeks before the wedding to buy something else off the rack or via Once Wed.

My two big worries at the moment are the food and the dress. I have more control over the dress, I think.

I hate that word, control.

PS-I am not actually wearing a veil. This was just a dress rehearsal to see how I think the dress looks on me. My mom threw together that bouquet from some store-bought flowers. She has talent.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

One Month Countdown

It's almost here. I had a four-hour meeting with the venue/caterer this weekend. It was grueling but I guess, if that's what it's going to take, then it's worth it. I just want the food and the band to be really good. The place is very pretty. The people are all great because they are my people and the man is naturally, the perfect guy. The dress is not perfect. The bride is not perfect. Last week I was feeling like everything was going wrong. My FH pointed out a typo on the invitation. I almost had a heart-attack. My future mother-in-law reminded me that the Navajo embrace mistakes because if we were perfect we would be like god and have to die. That kind of made me feel better.

Anyhow, this week I feel a lot better and am starting to get excited. For god's sake, I won't have seen my man for over a month and a half when he finally gets here the week before the wedding.

On to edible flowers, finding an organic farm to buy my flowers from, making my cake, making my favors, writing my vows, finding the table linens..............

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cascading Veggies

I love this way of displaying food. It's just more interesting than a bunch of bowls. It shows off the veggies themselves.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wedding Invitation Stress

My wedding invitation is a complex project that involves many people now. One friend, my mother, some random graphic designer, and a screenprinter. Not the best situation. They say you should send them out 8 weeks before your wedding. I am still ahead of the game then, but my idea was to have a custom printed bandana that is a map of the state of Oregon with all of our favorite places and historical landmarks for out of towner and also have all of the wedding details on it. We will see what we end up with. This is not exactly what I was thinking because it's a)not coll, b)colors are bad, and c)doesn't really have a pretty map. Nevertheless, it's the only example I could find. Mine will be so much cooler. Just have to get er done.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My New Favorite Wedding Website

I have spent so many late nights checking out wedding websites and blogs. It's become an addiction. Who has something new and cool? Not many site do, but Vintage Glam Weddings does. Check it out: I especially love all of the delish vintage gowns. Glad to see someone found a vintage gown that fit.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Friends are Like Tea Cups - Great Shower Idea

I just returned to the West Coast for a temporary work assignment and it's great timing since the wedding will take place on this coast. My girlfriends and I got together for an early celebration--a sophisticated bachelorette party if you will in Sonoma County. It was D-I-V-I-N-E. I highly recommend it for any bride who is getting tired of all of the wedding planning details.

My sister reminded me that it's a wonderful thing when you have a lot of good girlfriends when you are getting married and throughout your marriage. You need them.

My girlfriends each brought me a vintage tea cup and saucer. It not only made for a wonderful addition to my currently very small trousseau but it was so neat to see which cups and saucers each friend brought. They were all different patterns; although many had turquoise and golds in them, which are incidentally two of my favorite colors. But even in their diversity, they all went together nicely and are definitely more interesting than if I had a whole set of just one pattern. Just like my friends. Thanks girls.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Great Cake Stand

I just saw this great wood cookie cake stand on Once Wed on April 30. It's a wood cookie with a cute little cake on it. I think it would fit in with my woodsy theme and it would probably be cheaper than buying several cake/pie stands.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Three Little Bridesmaids Sitting in A Row - Each with a Different Look

Last week on Once Wed (see Annemie and Mitch) I saw this great idea for bridesmaids' dresses. Three matching dresses with different necks. Rather than the usual one halter, one strapless, etc., the designer of these dresses chose to use a kind of silk flowers in different places on the tops of the girls' dresses. Not that they didn't have straps but the flowers are really the focal point and they are so pretty they kind of hide the straps. They look so cute and perhaps they could be worn again. Well that's what we all hope.

I am going to suggest this to my BMs. Especially if they aren't wild about the dresses you pick out for them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mary Poppins' Wedding Dress

It was such a great idea. Mary's wedding dress. Well I found it and I think it would take a bottle of champagne for the medicine to go down. It's a bit much, don't you think?

This and other Victorian era wedding dresses are available on Forest Creek Renaissance dresses and gowns. Check it out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I love cake

I have begun the great experiment. I made red velvet cupcakes (Cook's Illustrated) with vanilla buttercream. Cupcakes overdone and overfilled and frosting too buttery. Tonight I made the Joy of Cooking Basic Layer Cake with buttermilk and a made up my own icing with butter, sugar, and orange extract. Pretty good. Not overfilled, not overcooked, but not quite as good as Cake Love's orange cupcake that I had and fell in love with last weeked. So I better do some research on the frosting but I think I found the perfect cake.

And if I decide to go cake over cupcake. This is what it will look like. I think I could do this. It doesn't look that difficult to get the frosting to do that. I won't even try the flowers. But where can I get the right cake pans?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We have an STD

The Save the Date (STD) is out. After about a month of trying to learn how to send an HTML email and remembering how to use Photoshop and Illustrator to put together the "postcard", not to mention the collecting of the email addresses, it's final done.

A sigh of relief.

Now, about that engagement party.....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

To Send an STD or Not

That's the question. I really wanted to send an elegant save the date (STD) to get people excited about the wedding. I wanted to send a custom bandanna with a hand drawn map of Oregon that points out all of the places of interest for our guests to see, well the ones from out of Oregon. But, I decided that I really need to get the STD out ASAP because, once again, I feel like all I am doing and thinking when I am not at work is WEDDING. And that's not as much fun as I thought it would be. I need to pass a proverbial wedding stone and buy myself some time. If I can get the save the dates out this month then I will have at least a month to just chill out and enjoy the DC winter and the upcoming transition. Oh, and we just moved, so I really don't feel like I have much of a life right now. I am either looking for a dress or unpacking boxes.

So, I have decided to send an email save the date to everyone who has an email and include the link to our wedding website. This is pretty much everyone except my grandparents. For them and a few others, I will print out what I designed myself in Adobe Illustrator. I basically taught myself that program and learned how to send an HTML email this weekend. I estimate that we will be saving approximately $200 by not sending a save the date to everyone (including postage). And how many trees will I save? Hmm. .1 maybe. I will have to research that.

For the wedding website, I decided to go with because they do have a simple two color template with no frilly anything, which is what I wanted. We, I mean, I, was able to post all sorts of info for out of towners there. And that's the real reason I feel pressure to get the STD out--because I want people to start booking their rooms and to start reserving the date on their calendar--because it's going to be SO FUN.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Titanic Wedding Dress

I love the layers of ruffles in this dress. It's called a "Titanic era dress". Where is Leonardo?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Overposting - Music

The band we have hired, the only band that we could actually fit into our budget, but probably the best local band, is called The Cheap Local Band. The mayor of Maupin is in it. The local fly fishing guide. The school bus driver. They are six piece too. They specialize in oldies from the 60s, 70s and 80s. I hope this means they can play When a Man Loves a Woman and White Shade of Pale. I am thinking these will be our wedding march songs. I love the organ and the symphonic quality. Apparently, Procol Harum stole the meldoy, beat, or rhythm from Bach himself and the lyrics have some references to Chaucer and Shakespeare. Although, I thought the idea was TOTALLY original, I was dismayed to learn from the Procol Harum website that it's a common alternative to Handel at weddings. Wah, wah, wah.

Hair, Big Hair

I love this hair. Simple, sultry, and dare I say, seductive.

A veil without a dress?

It was a great deal--a much better deal than the dresses I tried on today at Hitched in DC. Actually their sample sale was probably a great deal but the only dress I really liked was still $1900 so I decided to go out for a drink instead thinking that alcohol would either calm my nerve s and then I would not go buy it or it would make me loose with the old VISA and I would go buy it. Before leaving the shop, I couldn't resist a sweet little veil from Modern Vintage. From what they told me "it was a steal". I read somewhere recently from an offbeat bride that she knew she couldn't afford to buy a couture dress unless she was going to sell it, but she wanted to make sure she had a part of her wedding outfit as a keepsake and a family heirloom. She said she was going to make her hairpiece that item. I think it's a nice idea.

I may not even wear the veil. I am not really veil material in my mind, never know.

Here is the newest dream[on] dress from Suzanne Ermann. Urr. Well, I like the hoop skirt and modern take on Victorian. So fun compared to those boring dresses I see everywhere.

A dress project or a project dress?

I thought I had already posted this amazingly cool DIY dress. The talented woman from The $10,000 Wedding had the bright idea to order one of the Isaac Mizrahi for Target wedding dresses at a steal (less than $100) and then she cut out all of these cool images that were meaningful to her and her FH including a saying that they had inscribed in their rings. The dress is just amazing. I wondered what other colors you could do it in?

Hers is so elegant. Mine would have to have raft paddles, salmon, fly rods, the american flag, a beaver and "catch and keep" on it. Not sure how good that would look, but I love hers.

Bridesmaid Dress for $12.99?

How would this look on a summer day with cowboy boots? Or maybe this in dark blue? Or maybe this two or three different ways. I can buy these dresses right now at the Gap for 12.99 and I can buy an extra one and each of my BMs can take one and have it altered to the way they like it. They could add straps, or a strap, or cut off the top of the blue one and put it on the bottom of the black one. Or add a side rose to it.

For the money, it's a pretty nice dress. It's silk and cotton blend. Naturally the bust is not made that well. It would need some good foundation to ensure that it stays up and in place for severa hours but I think it's a fun alternative and very cool if I can actually buy them for my BMs. This was not something that I put into my budget but perhaps my BMs would appreciate the dress as a gift instead of a monogrammed hanky. BMs?