Thursday, February 24, 2011

Brown Paper Packages

Our wedding favors came in! I don’t want to spoil the surprise for our guests (though I will tell you that they came from the Knot Shop!), so instead I’m going to talk about ways to wrap up favors.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I bought all those favor boxes way back when for $5 at our prop sale, but the favors we ended up with are too big for the boxes (oh well). So now I’m back to square one on the wrapping front.

Here’s what I know: I want to wrap them in brown kraft paper. My bridesmaids and future in-laws have been saving brown paper bags for me, so I should have enough. (Plus, future mom-in-law has a random roll of brown kraft paper. Perfect!) Then I either want to tie them with this pretty blue baker’s twine I bought on Etsy (surprise, surprise), like so:

You know I love a good doily. Or maybe use a witty sticker of some kind?

I’m not sure. What are you brides doing to package your wedding favors?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Can’t Hardly Wait

When you’re planning a wedding (at least one that you’re actually looking forward to), time seems to move incredibly slowly and incredibly quickly at the exact same time.

Case in point, my Knot wedding ticker.

I know, I know, it’s cloyingly cute, but the colors looked good on my Knot bio, so…there you have it. Anyway, look at that thing.

The little love birds are practically on top of the birds at the end of the ticker! The fact that my wedding is so close blows my mind sometimes. I mean, I feel like we just got engaged.

But then I look at the info underneath the ticker. One month, three weeks, and three days left to go. Now, this is not a long amount of time. But still, a WHOLE month, THREE weeks, AND three days left to go?

The fiancé and I often discuss how we could have probably had a shorter engagement. But then we console ourselves with the fact that we would probably have been much more stressed and not had as much time to find good deals.

But when your wedding day is going to be as awesome as ours is, sometimes you just wish those birds would quit dawdling.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

We Like Cake

We had our cake tasting last night! Both the fiancé and I had really been looking forward to this part. (Um, hi? Free cake? Three different kinds of free cake? Sign us up.)

Not only is our baker, Liz, incredibly sweet and easy to work with, she also makes some out-of-this-world-good cake.

We sampled French vanilla, red velvet and lemon cakes, and strawberry preserves, eclair cream and cannoli cream fillings. Though they were all amazing, there was a clear winner among the sweet little group: French vanilla with cannoli cream. Seriously, I actually feel bad that we can’t invite every person we’ve ever known to the wedding, because you haven’t lived until you’ve tried this combo. (Of course, I’m a sucker for a homemade baked good.)

Put it this way: The fiancé is verrrry discerning when it comes to Italian food. I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t have worked out if I couldn’t throw together an impressive vodka sauce. And when he tasted that cannoli cream…let’s just say the contest was over.

Liz was even kind enough to send him home with a container of the leftover filling (pretty much making her his new favorite person). How much did he love the cannoli cream? I think this says it all:

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Heart This Idea

Ok, so since Monday is the end of proposal season, I know there have to be a bunch of newly engaged girls out there. Will at least one of you steal this super-awesomely-cute engagement photo idea? Pretty please?

Found here.
Photos by Laura Leslie Photography (

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wedding Invitations Revealed

Well, the invitations have reached Iowa, so I think it’s safe to say that they’ve all been received everywhere else (sorry, Midwest, but your mail system is not the greatest). And that means I can share the design with all of you without spoiling any surprises.

Just as a reminder, here's what the outside looked like (except the color is much prettier in person, I promise):

Next, here's what our guests found when they opened the outer envelope:
It's us! Cute huh? I used to make the stickers using one of our engagement pictures and wrapped the whole thing in gold baker's twine. The colors turned out to be perfect.

And here's what was inside:

Again, the color is a little off in the photo (I probably should stop using my phone camera for everything), but I love, love how they turned out. Doesn't that scripted font look hand-written? And the gold backing papers added just the right amount of fanciness (in my humble opinion). 

Here's a close up of the RSVP card and envelope (stamped lovingly by the oh-so-helpful fiance!):

We also have a reception info card, but I forgot to take a picture of that. So that's it! Everyone has given us positive feedback so far (though I guess if someone hated them, they would probably just keep it to themselves...). We've already started receiving response cards. Which, I'm sure you can imagine, thrills me.

We're under 60 days away now. Hooray!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fondant Dreams, Sheet Cake Budget

Oh, you guys! OK, I know that pretty much every time I book a vendor I come on here and gush about how they're the greatest vendor in the world, but you know what? Maybe that just means I've hired the greatest vendors in the world. I'm OK with it.

Speaking of amaaaazing wedding vendors, we hired our cake baker! This was actually a fairly trying part of the wedding planning process. Even though our fairly go-with-the-flow style of wedding planning has generally worked out so far, when it came to the cake, we hit somewhat of a breaking point.

Now, I like cake. Desserts and I are very close. But, like flowers, my wedding cake was never one of my wedding priorities. And yet, also like flowers, when the time came to start making decisions, the thought of having an eyesore of a wedding cake absolutely killed me. I may have cried in the car after a bakery consultation. Twice.

Because I think if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that weddings are expensive. Like, really expensive. Unless you simply elope, even a small wedding is going to cost you a pretty penny. And it doesn't help one bit that I happen to be planning my wedding in one of the most expensive areas of the country. So here's how it all went down.

First, I made the mistake of falling in love with a cake design. This is good and bad. It's good because it means I know what I want and I can go into the bakery with a clear direction and request. It's bad because if I can't afford the thing I love, everything else seems vastly inferior by comparison.

This is my dream wedding cake (a phrase I honestly never thought I would say):

I'd say "yum," but that word kind of gives me the creeps. Don't ask.

But seriously, is that not the prettiest little thing you've ever seen? It's elegant, rustic, fashionable, and still fun. Basically our wedding theme made out of sugar.

I envisioned pairing it with a sweet little cake topper, like this:

Totally adorable, right? We'd get the groom a little seafoam tie, the bride would have a flower in her hair like I will…totally perfect.

Then we actually went to the bakeries.

Our venue has a "cake included" policy, but it requires you to order your cake from one of two recommended bakeries. Otherwise, you get a modest credit to go somewhere else. I did some research, and I wasn't impressed with what I read online about the two recommended places. So we got more recs from friends and planned to visit two highly recommended bakeries.

What follows is what I like to call the heartbreak of my wedding. The first bakery quoted us at about twice what we wanted to pay, and this was actually a reasonable fee for our area. (And yes, I realize that means we probably should have been expecting it, but I still had high hopes that we could find a bargain.) Then the second bakery quoted us for more than TWICE what the original bakery had wanted to charge. Cue second panic attack. Over a cake. When did I become this girl?

After the fiancé had calmed me down, we just agreed that we would go with one of our venue's recommended bakeries and take what we could get. Farewell, perfect wedding cake.

Then the next day, I drank really strong coffee for breakfast. And got this super-charged idea to look on Craigslist for a cake baker. Because aren't I always reading stories about brides who found some on-the-side wedding vendor who is just starting up their business and turns out to be amazing?

And that's how I found Elizabeth.

I probably love Elizabeth way more than I should love someone I've never met, but she is SO sweet and helpful, and I have a hunch she's going to be great in person too. She's a stay-at-home/certified pastry chef who started an occasion cake business out of her home when she was pregnant with twins. Her company, Todaro's Exquisite Cakes, not only has amazing prices (she was also frustrated with the cost of typical wedding vendors when planning her own nuptials, and she vowed to be different), but the level of service is extremely personalized. I mean, we're going to her house on Monday to do our tasting. She does all her own sugar work, which both of the other bakeries were going to have to send out for (which, ahem, is part of why their costs were so much higher). She even had a cake featured in the 2010 winter issue of The Knot!

I could not be more excited to see how our cake turns out. We're adjusting the colors slightly (seafoam instead of lime green and gold instead of black), but otherwise it should be pretty similar to what you see above.

Interested in hiring Elizabeth? You can reach her through email at or by phone at (718) 209-1425 or (646) 238-7830. Or, check out her fan page on Facebook.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

One Night Only

Well, we have a few more awesome wedding tasks to check off the list! Stay tuned later this week for news about our cake baker, but for now…

We’ve been trying to find a nice place to stay on our wedding night. We wanted to stay somewhere near our reception venue, but also close-ish to the airport since we have a flight the next night. We also didn’t want to spend too much money since, you know, everything else is still getting paid for, but at the same time, we want something nicer than the Holiday Inn.

Then one of my friends discovered The Allegria Hotel.

The pictures looked lovely, but this isn’t the type of thing I really want to leave up to photography and then be unpleasantly surprised about later. So we planned a bridal party outing to the hotel’s swanky bar.




First, the place is just as pretty as it looks in the photos, and the rooms are super modern and plush feeling. Plus, the prices were pretty reasonable for the area. Seems like a pretty great place to start this whole “married life” thing!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Our wedding invitations are done!

We sent our wedding invitations yesterday! I think only other brides can understand what a relief that is. From cutting down the guest list to the endless gathering of addresses (Total disclosure: I was not as organized as I should have been, so I had to do this several times. Oops.), the wedding invitations are a great source of stress in a bride’s life.

Of course, the fact that I had such gorgeous invitations did help to alleviate that stress. It took the fiancé and me two nights of assembling, but when they were finally all put together, I think we were both pretty pleased with the result.

Speaking of which, have I mentioned how helpful my fiancé is with wedding planning? I’ll be totally honest and admit that there are some things I’m too much of a perfectionist to let him do, but for the most part, I’m extremely willing to pass off stressful projects, and he always steps up to do whatever he can to help.

In the case of invitations, this meant a lot of stamping and sticker-ing. My future mother-in-law, Chris, bought us a rubber stamp with their address for the RSVP cards (saving us the trouble of writing it out 90-ish times), so the fiancé set to work stamping each one and applying a mailing stamp.

He also added the stamp to the outer envelope and a return address label. (I’m pretty sure there’s a rule somewhere that you’re supposed to hand-write everything on your wedding invitations, but let’s be real here -- I do not have the time and the patience after I’m already writing out everyone else’s addresses. Besides, I bought pretty gold return labels, and they looked just fine, a-thank you!)

After he did that, I assembled the pocketfold and sealed them.

Then Chris stuffed the outer envelopes and sealed those. Theeeen, I hand-addressed (see? I handwrote something) all of those with a pretty gold pen. And, ta-da! We were done!

Chris took them to the post office for us (where, unfortunately she discovered they each needed about 16 cents-worth more of stamp…grumble…), and now they’re all in the mail. Phew.

{the color is really wonky here...stinkin smart phone camera}

After everyone receives them (and promptly RSVPs, of course!), I’ll post more pics.

And please excuse my deathly pale skin. Here's a sneak peek of our invitations to distract you!

65 days!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bridesmaid Hairstyles: Part 1

Today is the first day of February. I don’t know if you know this, but after February is March, and then it’s April. And, again, this might be a surprise, but my wedding is in April. So basically what we’re talking about is February, March, WEDDING.

Are we all on the same page? Good, moving on.

My lovely sister-in-law, Abi, founder and owner of Umami Salon & Spa in Loveland, CO, is doing my hair and makeup for the wedding. She is also doing hair and makeup for my bridesmaids, so I’ve had them start sending photos of what they’d like so I can send it along to Abi.

Megan was the first. Here’s a remind of what Megan looks like, along with her desired hairstyle:

Totally cute, right?

Also, the girls all have their dresses! I’m just waiting to get mine back from the tailor, and then we’re going to have a dress party. Where we try on our dresses. Again. And dance around in them.

I cannot wait.