Saturday, June 27, 2009

moss escort card display

I love when things turn out exactly as I had pictured them. This one was a little iffy, all the way until it was finished. It turned out much girlier than I anticipated, but so far DJ does not seem to mind. The moss and girliness makes me think of Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden.

I ordered moss on eBay, with no idea what the color or texture might be - or even quantity. I'd recommend the seller I used, although he never did respond to my questions before buying. But it was delivered quickly and packed well.

Quick note on moss: I ordered the dyed green variety, and it is a perfect forest/hunter green. The natural moss would be better for a silvery or sage-y color scheme. It's hard to say exactly what the coverage of a box of moss is, but I used about 1/3 of a box for the bulletin board.

The base is a (thrifted!) bulletin board, the frame painted with pewter-y art paint. I attached the moss using little dots of hot glue. Not too many and not too close together, because I was afraid that too much glue would make it hard for the corsage pins to hold. The moss sort of sticks together on its own, so I didn't need a ton of glue.
That's one of the escord card envelopes, tacked on there with a pearl-headed corsage pin. I went a little embellishment crazy with silk flowers and ribbon. There's a trick to the flowers. Pop the heads off the stems, then insert the head of a sewing pin into the hole left by the stem. Instant flower on a pin. (Yes, I'm sort of embarrassed about the state of our dining/crafting table. I'm a terrible housekeeper.)

The whole thing is sitting on a 12" plate stand from Michaels. It's pretty stable, but if you're trying to fit more than 40 cards then two boards would be better.

Friday, June 26, 2009

room service

Dear Kim,

You've been awfully trusting about letting us put you up in whatever hotel we choose. Especially since The Sticks don't have a ton of great options. No Mariott, no Hotel InterContinential.

Unless you count the Crowne Plaza, which is part of the IC Hotels group.

It has kind of a nice prairie-modern vibe going on, I think. I like the wannabe Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass.
Maybe a little too prairie in the color scheme, but that's nothing a little black-and-white can't fix.

Maybe I'm a little too prairie myself, but check out the texture on that fireplace. Very Brady Bunch homey, I like it. DJ was laughing at me for being critical of the unmatched urns. But really, you would not do that at home.Your room will look a lot like this. Possibly exactly like this. The suite where the girls are getting ready is the same, but with an extra room for sitting. We are very consistent here on the prairie, Kim. But I think you'll be comfortable, and if you're not - well, that's the thing about The Sticks. It's this or a tent in the woods.

Just three more months of this,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cake, Dancing, Battleship

I've mentioned that I get a thrill from considering the many different ways to arrive at married, right? Well, I get a more specific thrill from seeing different ways people have gotten married at our Barn.
A Practical Wedding has photos today from a familiar site but a snowier season.
I'm reposting the next picture with the full knowledge that once DJ sees it I am toast. You see, I'm a board gaming widow. A strategic board gaming widow. If the gaming boys get the idea this is possible, there could be trouble.

Particularly since one of them is the officiant.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

al fresco birthday

I had a birthday over the weekend. Maid of Honor Katie took me (with my mom and DJ) to Ravinia to see Pink Martini and Michael Feinstein.
The menu was incredible.
-Dark and Stormies (dark rum + ginger beer + lime wedge over ice: all to taste)
-Cocktail Caprese bites (basil + mozzarella + cherry tomato)
-Veggie bites (on toothpicks, to dip in hummus)
-Roasted tomato garlic cinnamon jam
-Chianti hard sausage
-Soft, wonderful wheat bread
-Cakes in jars (eight-yolk yellow cake + lemon curd filling + Swiss buttercream frosting)
My mom brought eight kinds of artisanal cheese. See that smile? That's what I'll look like when I'm ::mumblety::, more or less . This, I think, is why birthdays are still fun. Katie even brought candles for our cakes-in-jars.
You know how there's that vicious story about brides choosing ugly bridesmaids' dresses so they'll be the prettiest? That wouldn't work for me, Katie makes everything look good.
She also brings pink champagne with raspberries. It was divine.

I still worry about having parties where no one shows up. But, lesson learned, small parties with just the right people are the best.

Friday, June 12, 2009

generation gap

A while ago
Me: Mom’s Best Friend, would you do a huge favor for me?
MBF: ??
Me: I don’t have anyone to fluff my train and veil right before I walk down the aisle. Would you mind?
MBF: Of course!

Somewhat later
Me: Weddingweddingwedding
Mom: Oh, MBF is so excited about being your fluffer!
Me: …

Me: So I was talking to my mom.
DJ: Oh? (sips beer)
Me: She says MBF is really excited about being my fluffer. (waits)
DJ: !!! (snorts beer and turns purple)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If You Threw a Party, Invited Everyone You Knew*

DJ’s mom is hosting a shower for me in August, along with two bridesmaids. (The third is out of state and also planning a wedding, so definitely off the hook.) DJ's mom is really excited about it, mostly because she wants to use a set of girly luncheon dishes she bought some time ago but hasn’t had occasion to use. How cute is that? I love her.

BUT. She’s asking me for a guest list, and I am terrified. It’s not that I have no friends (I do, really.) It’s not that I’m stage shy of opening gifts in public (I am, but that’s not it.)

The thing is – my, this is embarrassing – once I threw a party and no one came. No one! I’m that girl. People said yes, no one showed.

That can’t happen twice to one person, right? Right? Let's not even get into my bachelorette/hen party fears.

* To the tune of Thank You For Being a Friend, also known as the Golden Girls' theme. No wonder no one showed?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

a plate to cut a cake on*

(also at EAD)
I figured out the cake stand after a little bit of thinking. There really don't seem to be commercially available 14"+ pedestal cake stands. Or there might be - feel free to link in the comments for others - but I couldn't find them. Only the silver ones with three or four little feet, which didn't really do it for me.

Cakes can go on other things that are not cake stands, right? I found this vintage 16" torte plate, in a pattern aptly named Princess Feather. At 16", it will show about an inch all the way around the 14" cake board.
Mmm, vintage pressed glass. Love. There's going to be a bit of pressed/cut glass around mixed in with the silverplate tea sets and pitchers, so it fits.
But I still wanted it to have some elevation, so I found a matching... thing, in the same pattern. Compote? Candy dish?
The underside of the lid is chipped, but that's fine with me. All I want is the base, to flip and use like a pedestal.
I didn't realize until this minute how dusty the compote is compared to the shiny torte plate. I'll shine it up, don't worry. But you get the idea. A little bit of silicone glue (like they use to seal fish tanks) and it will be ready to go.
DJ called the bakery to ask if they had a problem with this setup, and they said no. But if we end up catapulting the cake across the room while cutting it, you bet I'll share pictures.
*To the tune of A Kiss to Build a Dream On, of course.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

stop motion wedding invitation

Most creative wedding invitation ever. Found by Harriet the Spy.

the Indiana engagement session

My disc of engagement photos from Bow Tie Photography has some good stuff on it. Some of it is "ooh, cool picture" and some "I'm so glad she caught that moment."

Kim did this without a tripod, standing in the middle of the street. It's three shots, layered. She also replaced the marquee text with our wedding date. Maybe I'm easily impressed, but - I'm impressed.

The next one is Kim's brainchild as well. When I wrote that DJ and I are bookish, the scanned candid gave her an idea for something more posed and formal. Do something cute, she said. And so I tried.

Ah, the mannequins. We had such fun with them. Two guys in a pickup truck pulled over to watch the action but never approached us to ask questions. I cracked Kim up by pointing out that they will never know.
We drank a little wine in the pretty meadow. I checked to see if DJ was drinking, and ::snap:: Kim caught it. Then he kissed me, and ::snap:: Kim caught it.I wasn't really aware that she was taking these, at the fence. DJ and I were talking about stuff, as we generally do. So we have these pictures of us being us, which couldn't be better. I am a ham. That's the only explanation for this action. Kim spied the blue doors, and the horsing around that followed created some of my favorite pictures of the day. Love the neat symmetry of the 105 and 105 1/2. Where's my other half? Oh, there you are.But if we're playing favorites, this is it. See the way DJ is looking at me? See how smug I am about it? Yeah, I am. So there's a pretty good recap of the day. Before we took these pictures I was afraid of feeling awkward in front of a camera, or getting a whole stack of wedding proofs back this fall and not looking as cute as I was feeling at the moment.
I'm not at all worried about that now. Kim (and probably any experienced photographer) has a chatty patter that was relaxing and fun, and she is magic with the retouching.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

lessons learned

I've been perusing the disc of photos from the Indiana engagement session (more soon), and I have an opinion. There are tons of "how to save money" tips out there to tell you that you can hire someone inexperienced for half the money. They're just pictures, after all. A while ago I might have even agreed with that.

(photos by Bow Tie Photography unless otherwise indicated)

When DJ and I were in Las Vegas last year, I gave that a try. Just to see, because I'm a research-the-options kind of girl. We hired a newbie photog for dead cheap, and she was very nice. But not a pro. She was late. She couldn't tell us how to pose, where to go, what to do to be interesting. We got some nice portraits, but I wouldn't have wanted her to shoot our wedding. Even if it would have cost half.

(taken by the Las Vegas student)

Then we had the pro engagement session a month ago, and the difference was extraordinary. Are we paying Kim more? Yes. Should we be paying her even more? Yes. She's cheap now, if you're near Indianapolis and need a photographer, hurry up before she starts listening to me.* Just look at the difference in light between the last picture and this one.

Kim fixed my hair, moved my awkward hands, cracked jokes, teased DJ, and treated us to ice cream. She researched the location, ran with my ideas, and left me feeling great about myself. I think that these are things you learn with practice, along with lighting and framing and white balance. If you can find a pro on Craigslist, great. But not everyone with a big camera is a photographer. I guess it's worth the engagement session to find that out, if nothing else.
*Obligatory disclosure: Kim is my friend, but these are also my genuine experiences. I wouldn't have risked hiring a friend (and we did hire her, for the whole weekend, with money) if she hadn't been exactly who I wanted. I'm lucky to have talented friends, but it's business on both sides.