Food Galore!

I wasn't quite sure what the food tasting would be like. Turns out: AWESOME!

We were seated in the Country Club dining room, and since it hadn't yet opened for members, we had the room to ourselves. We had a lovely view of golf course and it was our only opportunity to sit in there. We'll never be members. Ha.

Food tasting has got to be one of the best parts of wedding planning. Although, in my book, cake tasting is number ONE. Here's just a little taste of what we stuffed our face with.

Yummy Spinach Salad:

Hors D'Oeuvres: Samosas, Beef Tenderloin on toast, Seared Ahi Tuna, Crab Stuff Mushrooms, and Bruschetta.
Oregon Salmon
Free Range Chicken with Rosemary Sauce

Afterwards we were stuffed. I highly recommend going to taste food, it's so fun!


Thinking about Favors, Paper, and Wedding Galore!

Well the reality of the California state budget as well as the nation's economy has really hit home, in terms of wedding stuff. As of April 1, 2009, our sales tax will be going up by 1% to 9.75%! I guess we have to fund the state somehow, but who likes to pay for it?

I finally got my invitation designs in the can! I just have to post them. I will be ordering my paper from the fabulous online retailer: PaperandMore.com. They offer cutting services for just $5 for the first package, plus $2 for each additional cutting service. Awesome! They also have precut 5x7 sheets for half price of the regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheets.

For our favors, I was considering making the favors do double duty - act as escort cards and favors. Murphy's Orchards (I believe in NY) offers personalized favor jars of Jam and Fruit Butters, so cool! I had considered making the jam myself, but I'm not Martha Stewart, nor do have that much free time on my hands!

I also really like this idea that WeddingBee Member Pelikila made for her wedding:

So cute! My fiance liked this idea better than the jams. We'll see, maybe we'll do half and half!


Food Tasting this weekend!

I'm really excited about this weekend. We get to sample FOOD!

We'll see how it rates against the cake tasting, because let's face it, I love cake.

Planning a wedding with a long distance fiance has been a little trickier, but completely doable. We just have to schedule and plan a lot more than couples who reside in the same general vicinity. This may just be his last trip out before the wedding, as a ticket from Texas isn't cheap.

I will post pics of our food sampling after this weekend!


I love Etsy!

While I was perusing Etsy, I found a flower for my hair and my ring bearer pillow!

I've been a lurker of Etsy for the last few months. What I mean is that I never registered to be an Etsy member, until today. I decided that it was going to be a fantastic one-stop shop for handmade and UNIQUE items! I'm so excited!

Here's what I found:

Ring Bearer pillow:

by Etsy member YandeBridal
I love the big flower on top of the pillow. It gives it a unique look, without being overly froufrou. I really like the look of big open flowers, and this one fits the bill! Yandebridal has loads more designs in her Etsy shop. Be sure to check it out!
Next, the flower for my hair:

by Etsy member QGDesigns

I decided against using Gardenias for my wedding because I have some family members who are highly allergic to fragrant flowers. Instead, I went on a quest to incorporate a Gardenia someway, somehow. We are using Gardenia illustrations for our invitations that I designed. And I always wanted to wear a flower in my hair. Perfect! There are other designs as well, so pretty! Check out the Etsy shop here.

Yay! Things I can check off my list!

Etsy rocks!


Super Cute Welcome Bags!

How cute are these bags? I think they are a wonderful idea for anyone who a) loves their city, b) has a lot of out of town guests, c) loves bags!

I found these cute bags on Bliss Weddings Market. While as $14.99 each they teeter between the "affordable" and "expensive" depending on what your budget looks like, I think they'd make a fantastic gift for your guests that are coming the farthest or making a vacation out of your wedding weekend. I have family coming from the East Coast and my fiance's family is from the South, and I know that it's their first time to the San Francisco Bay Area. I just might have to get a couple!

all photos from Bliss Weddings Market


Garter? What Garter?

I definitely think I'm on more of the traditional side of the fence when it comes to the bouquet and garter toss. I TOTALLY want to do it. I am the first to get married amongst my friends, so to me it makes complete sense to include this tradition. Plus, it'll be fun!

I've got my toss bouquet squared away with my florist, however, I still need a garter. I hadn't even thought about it until yesterday, when I saw Miss Ballet Flat's post about finding her garters! I absolutely love Etsy and it's a wonderful resources for all things handmade. I'm so glad that this post was shared yesterday, because I may just be able to cross another thin off my list!

Here's one that matches my colors:
One for the damask-lovin' bride:

One for the fun, flirty, and wild bride (I LOVE IT):

Be sure to check out Garter Lady's Etsy Shop here. She has so many designs and also offers custom designs and plus-size garters! Each garter comes with a toss garter, so no need to buy two! Awesome!

All photos from the Garter Lady!


A Square Cake!

That's right, we're having a square cake. I'm really excited about it. While round cakes are technically "easier" to make, I wanted our cake to be a little different from what our guests might be expecting.

Here was my inspiration:

photo from Gracefull333
I'm loving the look of a square cake. I also like how the middle tier is slightly twisted to add a little more style.
Photo by kelannfuller
I love this cake. It's in our colors and so bright and different. We're going to have a blue cake.
Photo from brookecorpus
I also like the idea of fresh flowers for the cake. Flowers are a great addition and add color!

I'm working with the wonderful Jen Kwapinski of Jen's Cakes in San Jose. They are a wife and husband team who have been rocking out wedding cakes for the last few years. My coworker referred me to Jen after booking her for her own wedding. She said that her cake was the hit of their reception. Sounds good to me!

If you are in the Bay Area, definitely consider checking out Jen's Cakes. She's super nice and her cakes are SUPER good! My mom and I went to the tasting, and it was the best vendor meeting ever!


One year ago...he popped the big question!

I can't believe that we have been engaged for a year now. It was one year ago that my fiance got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. And I said, "YES!" It's amazing that we've been through all this planning, preparations, and the big day will be here very very soon. I can't believe that 12 months past so fast. I thought that with 16 months to plan it would be plenty of time. I'm glad that I had all that time, but now time is ticking down!

Some big DIY project are coming up on the blog. I just completed some bulletin boards for our guestbook. Something great is cooking up for that!


Big fan of Project Wedding!

Let me take a moment to say what a fan I've become of Project Wedding. If you haven't been checking out this resource, you need to. DO IT.

I've found this to be a wonderful referral service for the last of my vendors. Currently, I'm searching for a Day of Coordinator, which I don't know if we will hire for sure yet, but I just want to explore my options. I'm also looking for a Hair and Make Up Artist that is reasonably priced. If I had an unlimited budget, I would hire Maria Chang of PMA - Professional Makeup Artistry in a heartbeat. However, she's out of my budget and she books up like six months in advance.

I like that there are ratings and reviews from brides and that it links up their website and/or blog. In today's technologically driven society, it's so important to have some kind of web presence, at least to me. If a vendor doesn't have some kind of online access, I skip over them. I prefer email correspondence first, then phone calls if I decide to proceed. Something to definitely think about. And I'm not even talking fancy, a blog is totally cool. I actually prefer going to see a blog first before hitting up a website! Blogs have all the most current work (if the vendor is a good blogger) and links to the website.

Anyway, check out Project Wedding for your wedding vendor referrals!


Wedding Countdown: Planning out the remaining 4 months!

Somehow, between today and the last 12 months, time has slipped away. When we got engaged last year in March and then decided on a July wedding the following year, I thought I had loads of time! Well, I'm down to the last four months. And time is ticking away...

Things accomplished:

  • booked venue (includes catering & bar service)
  • booked photographer, he rocks!
  • booked church & officiant
  • bought my wedding gown
  • booked DJ
  • booked florist
  • booked cake
Things left to accomplish in next four months (more like 2 months!)
  • book makeup artist and hair stylist
  • finalize invitations and make 200 of them
  • create table numbers and escort cards
  • decide on what to do for guest book
  • choose favor idea and make or order
  • book transportation
  • book rehearsal dinner restaurant
  • select food for reception
  • pay vendors when due
What do you have left to do?

I feel like I have so much and not enough time. Of course, it doesn't really help that I also have a full time job and a photography business I'm working on getting off the ground! Well, I'll never be bored.


Do you DIY? Here's contest for you!

 photo from Vintage Glam Blog
Amanda over at Vintage Glam Weddings is have a DIY contest! Check out the details here.


Martha Stewart-Inspired Details

So I've been loving Martha Stewart's Weddings, especially her "Good Things" feature for Summer Weddings. I really like the tissue paper pomanders, that are available ready to make at Michaels.  I'm definitely thinking about using these for my wedding. 

This is a super cute idea for Thank you notes!

I love these candle holders, simple, but dressed up!

These are really adorable ideas for favors and totally complement the pomanders above.

These little buckets are so cute with rock candies.

Nice use of bowls and awesome and vibrant flowers.

Nice boxes! Different use of a table number that works great!

Thanks Martha! :) www.marthastewartweddings.com


Traditions: Jumping the Broom

One tradition that we want to include in our wedding to celebrate the Mr.'s heritage is jumping the broom. When he first brought it up in a wedding related conversation, I didn't know what he was talking about. It was a tradition that I had never heard of and was really happy to have him suggest.

Here the is the description from theknot.com:
"This tradition most likely originated with an African ritual in which a broom is used to demonstrate that all past problems have been swept away. During slave days, African-Americans were forbidden to marry and live together, so jumping over a broom was a formal and public declaration of the couple's commitment. Today, it has become very popular for African-American couples to follow suit at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony. The broom, often handmade and beautifully decorated, can be displayed in the couple's home after the wedding."

Now that I know the significance of this tradition, I'm excited to incorporate it into our ceremony.

There's a great description here from Dana on Jumping the Broom blog.


Affordable Centerpiece Finds

I heart Ikea. I have since I was a kid living in France. My family used to go there every so often on the weekend to leisurely stroll through all the sections. That was in 1986. When Ikea finally made it up to the Bay Area (it had been in SoCal for a number of years) I was really excited. It reignited my love of the store. Even in college, if I had nothing better to do, I'd make the trek out to Ikea just because. The Swedes rock.

In terms of wedding planning, I've found some great deals if you're looking for affordable candle holders or vases.

Galej $1.99/3 pack
Glimma $1.99/6 pack 
Ikea PS $8.99 
Superfin $0.49 
Makta $2.99
Blomster $3.99
Farm $1.99 
Snartig  $0.79
Superfin  $2.99
Oh Ikea! So great. I can see lovely intimate table lit with tealights and simple budvases with single stem florals. Elegance does not have to mean it's expensive!


Where to Begin: Bridesmaids Dresses

I was talking to a friend over the weekend and she mentioned that she is going to be in a wedding in August. And she's a bridesmaid. She also talked/complained about the trials and tribulations of being a bridesmaid and how it has turned into a nightmare. She was just talking about the dress. She is going to be a bridesmaid for a friend she has known since second grade. Her friend, thinking that she'd make it easy by choosing a black dress, decided on a certain two-piece style from David's Bridal. My friend said that she's never going to wear the dress again because it's so "not her style" and the dress is a waste of money to her. She even said that she's going to suck in her gut in the smaller size dress so she doesn't have to pay for alterations. Oh dear.

So how do you prevent this type of dilemma?

I found my friend's anecdote highly entertaining, although she did have a point. Personally, I'd like to choose a dress that can be reworn by my bridesmaids. Something that they won't want to throw away and think that they wasted a ton of money on. I want them to have a dress that they'll like (at least a little). I've become a big fan of choosing a dress line and color and letting the bridesmaids have at it.

At first, I thought that I would be one of those brides who wanted the matchy-matchy bridesmaids dresses. Then I came to my senses and realized that not everyone looked spectacular in the same cut of dress. I'm thinking that I'll choose a color and let my bridesmaids pick something that they will feel good in. (As much as possible in a bridesmaid dress)
Why not try something like these?
photo from ariadress.com

photo from Aria Dress

 Photo from TheKnot

Bridesmaids dresses don't have to be "bridesmaid-y". Check out the collection at J.Crew too.


Wedding Planning: Picking Color Palettes

Oh man, I've been such a slacker! Having a real world job gets in the way sometimes.


Anyway, I was cruising one of my favorite wedding blogs, Janie Medley's awesome The Bride's Cafe, and she has a whole section showcasing color palettes.

Some of my favorites:

I love color! But I'm stuck on what to do in terms of flowers with a color palette of chocolate brown and pool blue...


Take the Cake Thursday: Margaret's French Bakery

Here we are, it's Thursday again, and that means cake time!

Margaret's French Bakery has been delighting customers since 1983 out of the South Bay. It's owned and operated by Margaret and Joe Novak and their current operation is out of Campbell and you can also find them at local farmer's markets and festivals around the Bay Area. Although they specialize in wedding cakes and custom designed desserts, Margaret's French Bakery does just about anything for your occasion of choice!

They also have an awesome Cake Blog to showcase their work!

I love these cakes:

I've never seen a cake with this kind of texture. It's cool in a very funky way!

I really like the hexagonal shape on this cake, and yet it's so simple. Lovely!

This simple cake looks gorgeous and delicious!

I'm totally into the simple cake + florals.

I think the little symbols on this one represent windmills. The color totally works.

This one has so much color, even if the base is white. Nice!

Simple and understated, but with oompf.

Visit Margaret's French Bakery!

Photos courtesy of Margaret's French Bakery.