Tag Archives: wedding

Exercising those taste buds

One of my favorite parts of my visit to North Carolina a month ago was meeting with the caterer and tasting some scrumptious dinner possibilities. I tasted two chicken plates and a vegetarian dish. Since I don’t eat meat, with the exception of poultry and some fish, and we have several vegetarian friends, it was important for us to find the right chicken plate and the right vegetarian dish – so as to appeal to as many palates as possible!

The first dish I tried was a delicious chicken breast with a tasty sauce, topped with broccoli florets and pomegranate seeds, paired with a potato cake (which was super tasty and had peas inside!)

The second dish was a yummy lemon chicken concoction, paired with yellow rice (which I’ve always loved!) and a veggie assortment.

And the third dish was a tasty vegetable lasagna, which seemed like it would appeal to veggie-loving friends and meat-eaters alike!

It was nice to have the opportunity to sit down with the caterer, talk about the dishes in detail and then get a chance to actually eat them myself. Food is important to both the Beau and me, and we want to be sure to serve up something yumilicious. The caterers have been fantastic so far in helping us create a delectable food experience for us and our guests!

In case you were curious, Dish No. 1 and Dish No. 3 won the taste-off. 🙂

It’s the final countdown

I sincerely hope after reading that title that you have the incredible, fist-pumping Europe song in your heard too now. Come on, you know you want to sing along. Just do it. It feels so good.

All ’80s tunes aside, I seriously cannot believe we’re getting down to the wire, to the final weeks – weeks – I can think about our wedding in weeks now; how crazy is that?!

The bouquets have been crocheted, the dress and suit purchased, the playlists made, the menu finalized(ish). The puzzle of our wedding is nearly finished; the big pieces, the little pieces and even the awkward pieces that never seem to want to fit just right are doing just that.

These final weeks we’re finding ourselves doing things like planning our cargo load – exactly how many box-loads o’ wedding stuff – we will need to take with us to the Carolinas, and finalizing the details of the days leading up to the Big Day.

We sent out RSVPs a few weeks ago, and it’s been the best thing ever getting new ones in the mail each week. I’m thinking about mailing out self-addressed, stamped envelopes to my friends every so often just so I can guarantee all this fun mail all over again.

I haven’t been ignoring you on purpose, I promise!

No, that isn’t a line from some neglectful boyfriend; that’s me apologizing for not updating this thing over the last week! But, lemme tell ya, it’s kind hard to update when you’re 900 miles from home and without a computer. I think, for that, you can find it in your heart to forgive me, no?

I spent some time in the Carolinas, checking off some of the bigger to-dos on my never-ending list and, more importantly, spending some time with amazing friends at a delightful shower and ridiculously fun bachelorette party.

Dear friends RB and KB hosted the shower, and I’d say it was a pretty smashing success!


The spread! So much yumminess.


There were mimosas!


My sister was there, camera around her neck, to document!


Look at the fantastic centerpiece, using the amazing tea cups RB and KB got me!


RB bejeweled some tulle with gems and hung it from the light above the table. So pretty.


The gang!

Two peas in a pod

I think it might be time to reveal what is quite possibly my favorite of my wedding crafting projects. Brace yourself for ultimate cuteness.

I found the pattern for this Amigurumi bride-and-groom-peas-in-a-pod on Lion Brand Yarn’s website and just had to make it. Had to.

Here’s the cuteness in all its glory.


Lovely Lion Brand Yarn to get my project started.

The pod!

The groom!

I love his top hat. He’s fancy.

The bride!

Isn’t her veil adorable?

Peas in a pod! Love these guys so much.


You can find the pattern I used here. It was super easy! I can’t wait to find the perfect spot to place these at our reception. I’m thinking either on the cake table, since I don’t think we’re going to have toppers, or in front of us at our dining table.

Perms aren’t just for little old ladies and children of the ’80s anymore

I am a child of the late ’80s and early ’90s. And somehow, I managed to never get a perm.

I wore my share of acid-washed jeans (rolled at the bottoms, of course), layered socks, jellies and slap bracelets, but I never, ever had a perm. I was always so jealous of the girls in class with the perfectly crimped waves rippling through their locks. I did, however, have a mother at home who knew her way around a curling iron. On special occasions (picture day, anyone?) or usually just whenever I asked, she would bring out the all-powerful, curl-creating iron rod and transform my dull, straight hair to poofed, curled and teased perfection. I have the second-grade class picture to prove it.

Once the fads of the ’80s passed, the allure of the perm died out. Except with ladies my granny’s age. My granny used to rock an awesome perm. And she, like many of her counterparts, went with regularity to the salon to lock in place that curled look.

Well, friends, I’m here to tell you perms are no longer just for Punky Brewster-era kiddos or grandmas. I am now the official owner (wearer?) of my very own perm. ‘Why?,’ you ask. Because it’s driving me bonkers to grow out this straight, stringy hair of mine for the wedding day, and I decided I didn’t want to rock the straight, stringy look for my engagement photos. Which are being taken this week. Case closed.

So, with an equal mix of trepidation and child-like excitement, I scheduled an appointment with a salon downtown last week. Two and a half hours after sitting in my stylist’s chair, I walked out a new woman – one with curls that weren’t going to fall out after a few hours passed. It’s really nothing too crazy, just a nice little wave. I seriously could not be happier with it.

A crochet bouquet (Hey, that rhymes!)

I should warn you now; this is a picture-heavy post. I’m pretty excited (as evidenced by the eleventy billion pictures I took) about getting my crochet bouquet to a nearly-completed state. I previously talked about my decision to crochet my wedding flowers and posted pictures of the process of creating bridesmaids’ bouquets.

I followed a similar process for my bouquet. The only real difference is that I wanted the bridesmaids’ bouquets, which are smaller, to be plumped up – so I wrapped them in yarn for an all-over yarn-tastic look. For mine, I simply left the floral wire bare, and I think with the bigger bouquet it actually works.

I still might wrap white or silver ribbon around my bouquet, atop the floral tape, but so far, this is what I’ve got. I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. I’m excited to walk down the aisle carrying something I made!



(As you can see, different lighting changes the look of the purple, which is an eggplant color.)

Please sign here. Careful now, make it legible!

Of all the wedding-day decisions that have come so easily, one pesky little element has me at a complete and utter loss. Guestbook, I’m lookin’ at you.

Who woulda thunk a guestbook could leave me so stumped? I mean, it should be simple, right? We just slap one of these bad boys on a table, and we’re done. Right?

Wrong. See, the thing is, I’m not super fond of the idea of a book people feel obligated to put their John Hancocks in that we’ll rarely ever open up and read. Which is why I was way excited when I begin reading about all the guestbook alternatives brides are now turning to. Like this scrapbook-style guestbook, where guests can take a Polaroid photo of themselves and jot down some thoughts.

 

I’ve also been seeing tons of Etsy guestbooks like this one, where guests put their thumb print on a canvas. For me, this is lacking in the text department, however. I want some words involved somehow! I am a writer, after all. I loves words!

 

Or, we could go with something a little unconventional. Like guests signing a large platter or the matte used in a photograph.

 

For me, these last two come closest to hitting the mark. I am heavily leaning toward the photo matte idea. I love the idea of having a picture of us hanging in our home, surrounded by the signatures of those we love.

Since I would hate for people to be super limited by what they could write (since something like this really does only leave room for a signature), I was thinking we could put out a journal or other writer-friendly book at the reception for people to write more long-winded musings in.

 

Registry mistakes

I loved registering for gifts. Plain and simple, it was an afternoon o’ pure fun for my favorite redhead and me. Walking the aisles of our fave department/home stores and adding everything from toaster ovens to cake stands to what is essentially the ultimate kitchen and home wish list was so much fun.

Martha Stewart Lisbon collection

Since we’re both older 20-somethings (doesn’t that sound better than “pushing 30?”), we already have most the essentials. I mean, if we had been waiting for the day we were engaged and got a chance to register for gifts, we would’ve eaten a lot of meals cooked on a George Foreman off of paper plates. I’m sure other older – I mean, more “mature” – brides can relate. All that is to say, it was quite fun to get to register for items we’ve been really wanting but maybe don’t need as much. I mean, I make do with the little coffee bean grinder whose lid I have to hold down while it’s operating. But getting the opportunity to register for a super duper fancy shmancy coffee bean grinder? That filled my heart with joy and caffeinated gladness.

The Cellar cake stand

Anyhoo, despite the massive amounts of registry fun we had, I realize – in retrospect – we may have made some mistakes. You know, hindsight’s 20/20 and all that jazz. The biggest mistake was that we (read I) jumped the gun and registered way too soon. With a euphoric engagement fog hanging over me (don’t worry, the fog does eventually dissipate, and you’re able to make logical decisions again), I just simply couldn’t wait to do anything wedding-related. I wanted to do it all. Every last little wedding task I could get my hands on, by golly, I was gonna. It makes me giggle a little now when I look back and realize we registered after being engaged for less than a month. Less than a month, people! Why is that a problem, you ask? Because a number of items we registered for are no longer in stock. Which is apparently what happens after, you know, several months pass. Whoops.

Brabantia bread box

So, in recent weeks, The Beau and I have had to do some registry tweaking, making sure it’s up to date, with items that are currently available, should someone actually want to purchase them. Kind of important an important detail, I suppose. Thankfully, our registries are available online and easy to edit with our tushies firmly planted on the couch.

I know the title of this post is “registry mistakes,” but it’s really just the one, kinda big mistake. But I thought “the one kinda big registry mistake” sounded a little too foreboding. And I didn’t wanna scare anyone.

Fun with spray paint

Some of my favorite wedding DIY projects have involved none other than good ol’ cans of spray paint. It’s true. I’ve been channeling my inner wannabe-graffiti-artist by shaking up cans of paint and spraying their colorful contents onto otherwise boring surfaces.

I’ve always wanted to play with spray paint. I mean, let’s be honest, who hasn’t? It just looks like so much fun! But, as a law-abiding, non-graffiti-ing citizen, I had yet to come up with a craft project that would provide me a purpose for purchasing spray paint (like the alliteration there?). But, my friends, what is a wedding, if not a blank canvas upon which to spray paint to your heart’s desire? Ok, ok, maybe I’m getting sidetracked. The point is, in summary:

  • I’m getting married.
  • That provides fodder for DIY projects.
  • I decided to use spray paint.

One of the first craft store purchase I made was wooden initials representing mine and The Beau’s first names and the initial of our married last name. I know, it’s totally clichĂ©d. Whatevs. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of monograms in day-to-day life, I love the use of initials in wedding dĂ©cor! Call me corny, but I just just adore ’em. I bought them white, but that just wouldn’t do, so I bought a bottle of Krylon spray paint in a shiny nickel color and went to town.

Another project I’ve embarked on is the pictures-hanging-from-a-clothesline concept. Something kinda sorta like this:

I haven’t decided what sort of string, ribbon or twine I’ll use to suspend our photos from, but you can bet I’ve spray painted the heck out of some tiny clothespins!


I also decided we needed signs. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t need signs? Signs are good.

I dunno yet what I’m gonna write on this purple beauty yet.

But, with the help of a purple paint pen, I’ve already completed one sign!

(I really like the imperfection in the wood between “to” and “our.”)

The place where we’ll say “I do”

It makes me a teensy bit sad that I have yet to see the church in which we’ll say our vows. Making the decision on such an incredibly important venue from 900 miles away was not easy.

Thankfully, my amazing sister/MOH R met with the coordinator at the church and provided a thoroughly detailed account of her visit. And her partner-in-crime VT took some fantastic pictures.

Ignore the somewhat orange-y carpet!

All photos courtesy Val Tenyotkin

You may remember my previous discussion about the wedding church conundrum. It was a bit of a task trying to find a church in the Raleigh, N.C. area in which we could wed. I had attended a church in the RDU area with some regularity, but I didn’t personally know the minister and the church isn’t the most photogenic (not that that really matters). Unfortunately, most churches we looked into required membership to be married there. Part of me understands that policy, but another part of me thinks that’s a bit silly. I would think if you charge someone a bit of money to be married there, you have an opportunity to make some money and share your place of worship with someone new. I wish more churches were open to “outsiders” using their facility for marriage ceremonies.

But I digress. We did finally find a church that permits non-members to be married there, and, unlike the one or two other churches we had found, their prices were very reasonable. And after looking at a couple of pictures online, I was smitten. From our computer screens halfway across the country, we knew Unity Church of The Triangle, also known as the Long View Center, was the place for us. It’s a lovely facility, and the coordinator there has been extremely helpful and eager to work with us, despite the distance.

The church is in a fab location in downtown Raleigh, right in the middle of everything and super close to our reception venue. What’s funny is I have actually parallel parked alongside one of the more plain exterior walls of the church, and I didn’t even realize it was such a gorgeous church. The church faces in a direction I rarely traveled, and I had never been inside – so, I never previously paid attention to the beautiful front or got a chance to see its lovely interior.

My advice to those getting married somewhere far away from you live:

  • Do lots of research. Don’t just stop when your Google search spits out a couple of facility options; check for photos of weddings that have taken place there (I definitely found some!) and see if anyone has written any reviews.
  • If you can’t visit the venues in question, try to find someone whose opinion you trust to go in your stead. And ask them to take lots of pictures!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. I have bombarded our poor point of contact with dozens of e-mails and phone calls. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem she’s minded too much!
  • Know exactly what your church (or other facility) provides. Is there a place for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready? What about somewhere for the guys to get ready? Are there picturesque backdrops for photos to be taken?
  • And lastly, make sure you get the venue for the amount of time you want to get it for. We almost went with a venue that wanted us in and out in such a short time, it likely would’ve made our heads spin. We’re glad we kept searching and found a place whose price includes a longer time frame in which we’re allowed to occupy the space.