Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Favor idea?

So, I've mentioned two friends who recently became engaged. They are considering a wedding in the Adirondacks; and while I know they wanted to distribute mini-trees or plants as their favors (very green, they are), I've come up with an alternate suggestion! I love the vintage postcards from CardCow. What about getting a vintage image of the location where you get married and reproducing old-fashioned postcards on recycled cardstock for your guests? Let's say, packages of 10?

Black-eyed Susans

A picture of the house that simply makes me smile:

Adults Only...

MW and I have decided to have an adults-only wedding, due in part to our location and also because of our desire to keep it intimate and sophisticated. Imagine my delight when I read the following in today's Daily News:

DEAR ABBY: Your response to "Furious in Vancouver, Wash." about adults-only weddings was right on.
My brother is being married in two weeks. We were informed, via e-mail, that children were not invited. The note said that baby-sitting was being arranged, but that each couple would be responsible for the baby-sitting fee.

My wife and I are upset about it, because we have an adopted 16-year-old and an 8-year-old who will be in the wedding party as the ring-bearer. We also have a newborn, but because baby sitters are being arranged we didn't have a problem leaving him with them.

As you suggested, I called my brother to ask about it. They relented, and now the plan is for no children under 7. This will result in excluding only two children from the guest list.
In the end, it was better for me to talk to my brother first than to go off half-cocked and create a potentially ugly situation for what should be one of the happiest events in my brother's life.
- Mike in Indiana

DEAR MIKE: Readers from both sides of the aisle wrote to agree that the writer was being unreasonable and that she should attend her brother's wedding - with or without her husband. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: The letter from "Furious" made me furious. She implied that her brother should not allow his son at the wedding because "if no kids are allowed, then there should be no exceptions." She must be joking! Not to allow his own son at his wedding is much different from not allowing a couple of nephews. There are many reasons why her brother and soon-to-be wife might have reached their decision. She should grant her brother's wish and stop complaining that her young children - who would be bored anyway - can't attend. She should make it a date night out with her hubby and enjoy herself!
- Furious in California

DEAR ABBY: The woman whose children were not invited to her brother's small wedding needs to check an etiquette book. It is the privilege of the host/hostess to determine the guest list, and not for the guests to question. It is also rude for guests to ask to invite extra guests, or to bring them anyway, especially to a small wedding.
- Etiquette Maven, Fort Worth, Texas

DEAR ABBY: As a wedding singer and tour guide for a historic home that hosts weddings, I'm appalled at the behavior of children at weddings. I am even more disgusted at the lack of parental control I have seen exercised. By the way, I have four children of my own whom I love, but I don't take them to weddings.
- Big Brown Singing Tour Guide in the South

DEAR ABBY: Sorry, I must disagree with you on this one. It's the brother who has done something he'll regret. The sister is reacting to his disrespect for her family.
My wife and children are my world, and other family members are simply satellites around that world. If they refuse to recognize my world, then to me, they're just insignificant comets flying through my universe.
- Doug in Blanchard, Okla.

DEAR ABBY: Not every occasion is designed to give parents the opportunity to parade their kids around like show dogs. Sure, your kids are sweet and adorable in their parents' eyes, but not everyone shares that opinion. Deal with it! The wedding couple has the final say on who is invited to their wedding. Either hire a baby sitter or stay home. The choice is yours.
- Child-Free in Tennessee

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sorry I've been MIA folks...I've been wicked sick. Four weeks before the wedding and isn't it fitting that I come down with a REALLY bizarre and extremely painful (and gruesome) illness? I have very interesting "luck".

I've had plenty of time to catch up on my mag reading, enjoying the latest Bon Appetite, Better Homes and Gardens, Domain, Martha. That has been one nice thing.

And I've also had a ton of time to look at the files on my computer ... har har... and I realized I never posted pics of my hair trial for the wedding - hair and make-up that is ... so enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2007


I just found this site which allows you to search for the average cost of a wedding in your zip code. Brilliant!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pottery Barn ramblings

I have bad luck, and a REALLY bad immune system. So, I'm home sick today, trying to lie still and not perserverate over everything that still needs to be accomplished. While I indulge in Martha Stewart, I'm also enjoying the new Pottery Barn catalogue that came in the mail this week (rarely do I discover moments of freedom anymore to enjoy catalogues...)

So, I love the new all natural section, and am finding some inspiration for future weddings:

These would make for fabulous favors!

I think dried fruit in hurricanes is an awesome centerpiece idea.

And how about a rustic, wooden bowl to hold wooden fans or programs?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

...Now maybe she's gone too far...

Seriously? COOKIE BAGS!!!!???
Makes nine 2 1/4-by-2 3/4-by-4-inch boxes
1 cup (2 sticks) plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 1/4 cups bread flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy. With mixer running, add corn syrup. Turn speed to low; add flour. Blend until incorporated.
Line an 11-by-17-inch baking pan with a Silpat mat (a French nonstick baking mat). Pour 1 cup batter onto the Silpat; use an offset spatula to spread the batter evenly over mat. Bake until golden brown and lacy, about 12 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Transfer to a heat-proof surface to cool, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a scalloped pastry wheel, cut the cookie into pieces about 1 1/2 inches longer than height of bag; place mold on cookie. Using an offset spatula, wrap cookie around mold, and press seams together. To make the bottom of bag, fold overhanging edges as you would wrap the bottom of a present. Let cookie harden on mold 1 1/2 minutes. Remove mold, and repeat with remaining cookie. If cookie becomes too hard to bend, return to oven 1 minute. Repeat the baking-and-folding process with remaining batter. Store in an airtight container up to one week.

I don't even know what to say...

The welcome wagon...

Our Out of Town (OOT) Boxes have taken over the guest room. I was thinking today how much I wish I was a guest at our wedding. I'd like to check into my hotel and see this little gable box:

...filled with goodies!
  • Mini water bottles
  • Diet Lancaster County Birch Beer
  • Bags of popcorn (the best, most salty concoction ever!)
  • Homemade chocolate (in brown and pink, fittingly)
  • Tastykakes (an ode to Philly)
  • "Music for a Weekend Wedding" (our weekend theme music)
  • and a snazzy, nifty, full color welcome newsletter (with more facts and tidbits then one could possibly absorb!)

Martha is a God (Part I)

I can't get over this cupcake arrangement from Martha. Wouldn't it be lovely at a whimsicle spring wedding?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Our newest babies...

Non-wedding-related, but I had to share our latest pride and joy:

Butternut Squash:



Friday, July 13, 2007


I get giddy when I discover that Housemartin as a new post. Today's flowers are gorgeous, and I have to repost just because they make me happy. I also LOVE seeing the dahlias and imagining them on our tables at the wedding:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Turquoise and Red

Another lunch with my fabulous West Coast V has brought addition inspiration for her wedding and a new color scheme!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Average weddings

An interesting read from the latest Women's Health:

Hours the average wedding takes to organize: 250
Hours per week the average bride spends on it: 8
Percentage of women who undergo physical alterations: 37
Percentage of weddings that get called off: 15
Top three wedding day worries: zits, rain, embarrassing relatives
Pounds the AW wants to lose before the wedding: 10-20
Average cost to attend a wedding: $500
Average cost to be a bridesmaid: $1,400
Percentage of women who have gone stag to a wedding: 41
Percentage of women who admit to hooking up at a wedding: 5
Percentage of weddings paid for by bride's parents: 30
Percentage of weddings paid for by both sets of parents: 4
Percentage of weddings paid for by couple: 32
Percentage of weddings paid for by other: 34
Cost of photography and video: $3,691
Cost of wedding rings: $2,067
Number of women who cry when they find the right dress: 1 in 5
Number of dresses she tried on before finding it: 21

I'm in love...

Well, yes, I am, but I don't mean with MW this time. I'm completely addicted to Jeanine Payer jewlewry, and have been for some time now. I don't have any of her pieces, but a week doesn't go by when I don't look at her website.
live ever in a new day. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sky doesn't age or remember, carries neither grudges nor hope. Every morning is new as the last one, uncreased as the not quite imaginable first. -Jane Hirshfield

Seek Beauty

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Succulent Wild Woman

Are you feeling succulent? A green wedding is definitely trendy these days, so why not offer a favor for the environment. I toyed with the idea of potted herbs (mmmm, rosemary), but now I'm hooked on succelents.

The fun part!

I don't care what people say, most girls have imagined themselves in a fabulously white (or some variation thereof) wedding dress at some point in their lifetime. What you end up wearing on the day of your wedding is often lightyears away from what you pictured (as in my case), but the end result leaves you feeling like a million (trillion!) bucks. More beautiful and glowing than ever before.

As previously noted, one of my best friends recently got engaged. She's one of my most talented and artistic friends, always overwhelming me with her sense of style and class. She's modern, au current, original, unique. And so, I present some wedding dress options, that might mesh perfectly with her personality and style. I know she's been poking around herself (five days in and already hunting ... that's my girl!), but maybe these will be new selections!? I can't wait to see what beautiful creation she ends up with.

Angel Sanchez
(I love the intricate details of these dresses)

(I think the jacket would look so cute and stylish on her!)

Melissa Sweet
(They have pockets!)

Priscilla of Boston

A little romance...

I'm just about six weeks out from my wedding, so it's no wonder that I'm stressed and finding little time for anything but work and wedding crafts. Everything is coming together alright, and the plans are all laid out in front of me, crafts awaiting my nimble hands. MW has made me promise not to take anything else on, but imagine my shock, surprise, horrow, dismay, when I discovered RomanticFlowers today!?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Wonderful day!

What a terrific day! One of my friends celebrated her bachelorette party, just a week before she will become a Mrs., another announced she's pregnant with number two, and a third - one of my BEST friends - phoned with news that she is engaged (to another best friend). What a day of fabulous blessings. 7-7-07, simply terrific.
In light of my friends now pending nuptuals, I will be preparing a new story board - brown, oranges, pumkpin, limes, artsy and angular. Loads of inspiration in my head tonight. Can't wait.
Also, I'm preparing a list of MUST visit sights for inspiration and products. A few for you all to peruse:

Friday, July 6, 2007

Italian treats

So, usually I make everything - including my Tiramisu - from scratch. But, I'm running around trying to get everything ready for a friend's Bachelorette party tomorrow (I'm making an Italian feast for the entire crew) and I thought this recipe might save me a little time!

1 (18.25 ounce) package moist white cake mix
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1/4 cup coffee
1 tablespoon coffee flavored liqueur

1 (8 ounce) container mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons coffee flavored liqueur

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans.
Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide two thirds of batter between 2 pans. Stir instant coffee into remaining batter; pour into remaining pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. In a measuring cup, combine brewed coffee and 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur; set aside.
To make the filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer set on low speed, combine mascarpone, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur; beat just until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
To make the frosting: In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the cream, 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur until stiff. Fold 1/2 cup of cream mixture into filling mixture.
To assemble the cake: Place one plain cake layer on a serving plate. Using a thin skewer, poke holes in cake, about 1 inch apart. Pour one third of reserved coffee mixture over cake, then spread with half of the filling mixture. Top with coffee-flavored cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour another third of the coffee mixture over the second layer and spread with the remaining filling. Top with remaining cake layer; poke holes in cake. Pour remaining coffee mixture on top. Spread sides and top of cake with frosting. Place cocoa in a sieve and lightly dust top of cake. Garnish with chocolate curls. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

Vintage and sweets

So, I'm back and forth on the wedding cake, but I do LOVE these vintage cake toppers from Fancy Flours (my new online obsession). I used to collect Kewpie dolls when I was younger (and once dated a boy who looked JUST like one!), so I just think they're charming.I'm also suddenly addicted to their other baking and decorating products!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The girls are back...

I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this one, but it looks as thought the "Sex in the City" movie is a go! This one's is for my friend, Miriam, who is undoubtedly happier than can be!

Eat Pray Love

In preparation for a very tedious train ride to Doylestown on Tuesday, I treated myself to a book I've been dying to read. Sometimes things just hit me. I read a one-sentence review, I like the cover, or I feel drawn to the author's name, and I have to buy the book. A lot of time I regret it, but sometimes I find a gem. Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love is amazing. I can't put it down. I'm slightly wishing I'd saved it for honeymoon reading, since I shouldn't allow myself to be distracted from wedding crafts, but I do thoroughly love having a good book going.

Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights — the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners — Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. 'I came to Italy pinched and thin,' she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise 'betwixt and between' realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry — conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor — as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Veronica's storyboard

As promised, below are some ideas I've gathered for a friend's Northern California wedding next year. V is stunning, elegant and simple. I am inspired by yellows, lush greens, cream and a mix of shades of brown. And, I think this dress is AWESOME!

Petal inspirations

As a follow-up to my tissue paper flowers (of which I now have three displays completed!), I thought I'd say something about my actual, real, live and beautifully pungent flowers. We decided to go with Robertson's flowers in Philadelphia and are using a dear friend Morgan to help us out. These are a few of our inspirations.
My bouquet (delicate and floppy stock in cream, peach and magenta):
Maid of Honor and mother nosegays is seasonal dahlias, bright and soft pinks:
Our centerpieces will be a lush (alternating) combination of dahlias and stock. Low rimmed vases, overflowing: