Monday, December 27, 2010

Le Sigh

Remember that cake deal I told you about at Sugarland? Well I went there recently with my Work Mom. If you don't have a Work Mom, you should totally get one. She is someone I work with (obviously) but I love her so much! She is so fun to work with and so generous and kind. I don't remember how the term Work Mom came up, but I think she said something like "I'm old enough to be your mom!" So now she is my Work Mom - yay!

Anyway, we went to Sugarland to taste the cakes. Mr. Magic and I had already tried them (last December) and he was out of town. Plus, Work Mom had offered to buy us our wedding cake as our present!!!

But when we got there, we were greeted by the Wedding Cake Consultant with this:

Le Sigh. Sometimes it feels like nothing is easy when it comes to wedding planning. She informed us that since my wedding falls on one of the "Top 8 Most Popular Wedding Weekends of 2011," the special does not apply to that weekend. She would have contacted me to let me know before we came to our appointment but she did not have my number or email. She was very sorry (and she seemed sorry and a bit scared of our reaction to this news).

She then explained that for my particular weekend, Sugarland could only accommodate orders with a 500$ minimum. So I was expecting to get a basic three tiered cake for $199, and she was telling me I would have to spend 300$ more. Huh?

Then she said "Would you like to taste some cakes?"

Um, yes please. At this point, 500$ was ringing and flashing and spinning in my head...but I am always down for eating. Plus, since we were not able to get the special (which only applied to French Vanilla and Double Chocolate cakes) we could taste a wider variety of cakes. And yes, we'd like some coffee too, thanks.

Also, because I was so bamboozled by this bad news, I forgot to take pictures. You will have to do with these I stole off the interwebs.

So we tasted some cakes including:
  1. Red velvet with cream cheese frosting
  2. Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting
  3. The most delicious strawberry cake ever with yummy buttercream frosting and while it is not really matching with a fall wedding I think it would be mad yummy for a shower hint hint hint hint HINT (I'm looking at you, Sister of Mine)
  4. Double Chocolate cake
  5. French Vanilla cake
  6. Fluffy light chiffon orangey cake that my Work Mom really loved
And we chatted about the special, and what to do, and how I'm not really super into cake, so while it would be nice to have some type of wedding cake for looks and cutting purposes, I really am not into it enough to spend five hundred American dollars on it.

So. Our consultant came back and I told it to her straight. I told her I had been here last year and already put a deposit down on an "on special" cake then, but then we decided to push the wedding back a year so we got our deposit back. I told her I wasn't even that into cake, so while their cakes were lovely and yummy, um, spending 500$ was a bit insane for something I didn't really care about. And, I told her we were having a brownie buffet anyway (because hello, brownies are so yummy) so we didn't even need 500$ worth of cake.

She said "Let me go talk to someone, I'll be right back." And this is where I realized we were negotiating. Oh Lord help me, am I bad at negotiating! I get all sweaty and I stammer a lot and usually end up with a worse deal than what I started out with. Le Sigh. Again.

It ended up being OK though. They waived the 500$ minimum, so we are now getting a smaller three tiered cake (6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches) which is enough to feed 50 people at 5$ a slice. (Interestingly enough, I think it is actually enough to feed 80 based on the ad I posted here, but they only charged us for 50. Hmmmmm....) So that's 250$. They are throwing in a white milk glass stand for free, which is awesome because I can use the two other milk glass stands I have for the brownies! I also ordered a groom's cake, which I will tell you about at another time because someone's future husband sometimes reads this blog. And we haven't decided on the final flavor or design yet, but they told me that have a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip flavor that is super popular. I guess we'll have to find time to go back and taste that when it is available. Darn.

So, I guess it all worked out in the end. I do think Sugarland should modify their ad to say something like "Some Exceptions Apply." Apparently, some other brides were very angry when they learned they were not able to get the special. And it looks like we will now have multiple kinds of brownies, a wedding cake, and a groom's cake. Oh, and s'mores too. Sheesh, I hope our guests like sweets!

Have you ever run into an "exception" when planning your wedding, or problems because your wedding falls on a popular weekend?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Signs and Equations

As I've mentioned a few (gabillion) times, I don't do math. (Interestingly enough, since I am the one doing most of the wedding planning I am also the one in charge of the money and budget. Hilariously scary. But that will be a post for another time...probably about two months before the wedding, when I realize we are wayyyyyyy over budget.)

Anyways, I don't do math. Or money. Numbers of any kind, really. I'm not very good at following any type of calculated plan and that's kind of what creating a wedding is. Adding together a bunch of elements to equal something amazing and romantic and fun and personal.
It's something like this:

(details + decisions + projects - worry - tears + photos x alcohol x unknown)

Today I am obsessing about the elements that needed to be added together to make a good tablescape. Normally, when I throw a party, the table is covered in brightly covered bowls and containers and food, like this.

Somehow, I think this is not gonna go at our wedding.

When I went to look at the (g)linens, the ladies there were really stoked about my milk glass, but also mentioned that maybe I would like to add "something else" to the table. Unknown table elements = immediate stress for this bride.

So now, the equation for our tables looks like this:!Question_mark_alternate.png!Question_mark_alternate.png

Glinen + milk glass + flowers + unknown + unknown
= Awesome Tables!!!

I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, y'all, but even I know we need to solve for the unknown here so we're starting with signs!

No, not these signs!

These chalkboard signs! I'm envisioning smallish ones on each table with that table's name and a brief description.

Option 1: Shabby Chic. I kinda hate that phrase, but I think it describes these white washed, weathered signs perfectly. Cute, right?


Option 2: Neutral and low key.


Option 3: No border. This would be propped up on a small easel.

Option 4: Brightly colored and quirky! I kinda love this one. I feel like the fancy-ish linens (glinen! Sorry, I can't not say/type it without the jazz hands emphasis!) and the vintage-y silverware is taking us to another level of poshness, and it scares me. This brings the quirk back in.

Option 5: Oh snap, y'all! They went old school with green chalkboard paint!


Option 6: More ornate frames painted in different colors.


OK so no, it isn't rocket science and thank God for that! But I really do need some help making a decision so that me and lil sis can crank these out over the holidays.

Question 1: Black chalkboard paint or green?

Question 2: What type of frame? Borderless, wooden, painted, metal, shabby chic? And if painted, what color?

Question 3: What was your least favorite subject? I bet it was stupid math.

*Just posting that pic of the signs made me feel a bit nauseous. This is how strong my aversion to math truly is.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I have been really stressing about how our wedding is going to look. Sometimes, things look good in my head and then they look whack in real life. And since I am prone to liking things that are exact opposites of each other, this wedding could end up a hot mess real quick.

I recently had an appointment to go check out CE Rental - Top of the Table Design. They are the rental place that our caterer, General Store Cafe, collaborates with. The day before, I practically had a panic attack because I was so anxious about choosing what I wanted...or, even knowing what I wanted! As I've said many times before, on my blog and in real life, I have never done this before! I can throw a wicked party (if I do say so myself!) but I have never planned an event for over 100 people! I knew there were going to be a lot of options and that meant a lot of choices and that meant a lot of decisions and I was getting myself worked up before I even got there!!!!!!
I decided I would take some of my milk glass containers and some fake fall colored flowers to stick in them, to help me see my vision. Imagining is not really my strong suit, and I was worried I would not be able to really envision all the elements coming together.

And it turns out, I was worried for nothing (again)!

Jenn from GSC met me there (Is that normal? She is not a coordinator per se.... either way, super nice of her!), and we met with a woman from the rental company. Jenn had printed out my inspiration board and I busted out the milk glass and fake flowers. Then we were off to browse the very large, extensive warehouse of linens. It was so awesome! They explained the differences in quality and price, and I immediately vetoed all the elaborately designed linens.

Not really our style.

Instead, we gathered some of the basic linens to try in brown and orange, as well as a green burlap-ish one, and a regular burlap linen. And the table dressing began!

First up, basic brown. This was nice but I had a couple of reservations. One, our barn is brown. Brown walls and brown floor and brown ceiling might mean brown linens would be a bit too much...brown. Two, once I saw the other textured linens, the cotton-poly linen was a bit bland.

With white plates and a yellow napkin.

Same look, different color napkin.

Next we checked out the green burlap-y one! The texture was really interesting to me, and although I actually thought "I have never noticed anyone's linens at any wedding, ever" I rationalized that a lovely linen can really add to the overall aesthetic. Right?

In this first pic, you can see both the napkins, as well as a charger we were playing around with at the bottom of the photo. At two dollars a pop, though, the chargers are out - I didn't love them that much anyways.

And here is a close up of our lovely silverware and the texture of the green burlap-y one (I keep saying burlap-y and burlap-ish because the actual burlap was really rough and raw, and this was much more refined and smoother). I figured it'd be like, "Here's the basic ones, the rest of them are an arm and a leg and 5$ a piece" but they had a wide selection at the lowest price! Don't you think this adds a touch of vintage classiness to go with our milk glass? (Just say yes, ok?)

So I was really feeling the green burlap, and they were about to work up a price for me, when I looked past the woman's shoulder and saw the GLINEN! She had mentioned the glinen earlier when we were wandering the warehouse, and she was going to pull some, but she forgot and so did I. So I asked if we could try the glinen, just to see.

Oh, what is glinen, you ask?

GLITTER LINEN. Here, let me show you!

Bahahaha, just kidding! It's this, for real.

It has the texture of refined burlap, and has a subtle golden thread running through it that makes it glitter! Hence the name, glinen. Can you see the subtle sparkliness in the above image a little? (I took these pics on my iPhone, and so they are not the best quality, sorry.)
The above photos also feature glinen, courtesy of  Erin McLean Events.

I was super excited after discovering the glinen. I really loved it, way more than I thought I would. I got samples of all the fabrics and the napkins, and showed them to the Mister. He immediately eliminated the brown and green ("too dark" he said) and narrowed it down to the glinen too!

And isn't "glinen" such a fun word to say???

How'd you pick your linens? And if it were you, which linen do you like the best of the ones shown?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

We've Been Blogged!


OK, so anyone can submit their "How We Met" stories to this site, but So How Did You Meet Anyway's creator, Susan Amestoy, contacted me and asked for our story. I wasn't sure it was "good enough" but evidently she thought it was! Check it our here, and submit your own "How We Met" story if you want!

You can be blogged too. Kinda. ;-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Something Sweet and Traditional

We are totally gonna be rocking a brownie buffet and s'mores at our wedding, because we are cool like that. But someone told me I had to have a cake, and I think Mr. Magic wants a cake too. So I decided if we could get a cake for a steal, we'd go for it.

Sugarland offered this deal last year, and we almost did it for an October 2010 wedding. But then we decided to wait until October 2011, and I could only hope they would offer this special deal again. And they did!

I think we are gonna go with one of the swirl patterns. We can't remember what the cake tasted like though :wink wink: so we are going to go back for another tasting!

Winter Wedding Cake Special
Which design would you choose?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Original Thoughts: Part Two

In Part One of this, um, two part series, I thought I had come up with an original idea in my own head, and it turned out that it wasn't so original after all.

In this part, though, well...I am basically shamelessly stealing other bride's ideas. OK, it's not exactly like that. I do have a little shame.
Actually, I don't have quite as much shame as this dog.

So, you wanna know what I am pirating and totally passing off as my own original idea (except to you, dear reader)? Here we go!

Save the Dates! Here are Mrs. Stripes's STDs, which I mostly shamelessly Bogarted.
STD Madness: The Details :  wedding los angeles save the dates 8 8
STD Madness: The Details :  wedding los angeles save the dates 9 9
I mean, for real y'all. A cartoon? Of the happy couple in a photobooth strip?? With their pets????

I die. (I nicked that expression from wedding blogger land too. It's all like, "I die because that is so freaking cute and I need it right now, even if is as trendy as hair fascinators and Uggs.")

So yeah, hopefully we will have our own version of that lovely STD, and thanks to Mrs. Stripes for the idea!

Also, I pinched this guest book idea from multiple brides and blogs:
Mine at Last: All in the Details :  wedding norfolk pictures pro pics recap 202012 20201
Our Wedding Tree :  wedding guestbook Img 89003
The Poodles' Guestbook – Help! :  wedding diy guestbook 6 TREE1

Australia Rock 'n Roll Retro Wedding
And this one!

Shoes I yoinked from the amazingly stylish Mrs. Scissors!

Photo by SamoanCuban Photography

They are Louboutins. They are flats, great for my lanky 5'10" frame. They are made out of cork, and they spell L-O-V-E! Who could resist? Not this chickadee! I bought my own, although breaking into Mrs. Scissor's house and actually stealing-stealing hers might have been more cost effective. But, of course, illegal. And bad bride behavior!

I'm sure there are other things I have ganked as well - bunting, paper garlands made from books, chalkboard signs, a s'mores bar...all of these things have been done before at many other weddings. I worried (excessively, as per usual) that I was unoriginal and lame! But then I realized three important things.

1. NO ONE, except us bridal blogging freaks, knows about these ideas! The other day, someone told me about a "really original and unique" guest book idea. The idea was to make a photo book of the bride and groom, and have the guests sign around the photos. To me, with the bridal region of my brain over developed and in hyperdrive, I was pretty sure that this concept, while very sweet and perfectly functional, has been around for awhile. However, the guests at this wedding were RAVING about what a clever and unique idea it was! Awesome! Why do we put all this pressure on ourselves (or, unintentionally, on each other?) to be the most unique, beautiful, and awesome bride, party planner, and hostess EVER? It's too much.

2. Inspiration runs in a circle. It goes round and round. Rap stars these days are dressing like people dressed in the 1980s, rockin' stone washed denim and bright colors. And stonewashed denim is never a good idea, fellows.

So yeah, the whole wedding world is blowin' up with milk glass and candy buffets right now, but in 2020 it's gonna be all like, I don't know, leg warmers and helicopters. It's just a shift in time and fashion and, um, air, and we're just floating along for the ride.

3. I'm marrying the man I love, and that's pretty unique and individual for US. The details are fun and boy do I love thinking and dreaming and planning our wedding, but, none of those things really matter next to our vows and our lives together. I think it is sometimes tough to remember that starting a marriage is the point of all of this, especially for me, a girl who LOVES to plan and host parties. But I am going to keep reminding myself of that whenever I begin to get bogged down in details and/or lose focus.

Are you as much of a thief as I am? Do you get bogged down in the pressure to be unique and individual? Are you impressed with how many different synonyms I used for the verb "steal"?

[*An alternative title to this post might have been Slang Synonyms for Stealing! And here is a clip from my all time favorite episode of Sex and The City that very effectively demonstrates the meaning of the term "Bogart." Scroll to the 6:30 mark, but really the whole video is hi-freaking-larious.]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Original Thoughts: Part One

I'm not sure I have any original thoughts!

When I first got engaged (almost a year ago now!), I immediately jumped to dress shopping. As I was trying on dresses, I knew for. a. FACT. that I definitely, absolutely, and totally wanted to wear a flower in my hair. How romantic! How pretty! How creative and unique!

Then, I began reading wedding blogs and learned that every bride in 2009, 2010, and 2011 has worn or plans to wear a flower in their hair. EVERY bride, you ask? Really?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Themes and ADD

I'm not really into wedding themes. Maybe because I can't pick one. I am a Gemini, afterall!

Vintage? Carnival? Nature-y? Colorful and flowerful? Modern? Classic? Yes, please! I love them all!

So once we decided on the season, I started thinking about what we (ok I, let's be real here), wanted our wedding to look like. My stream of consciousness went a little something like this...

"...I love fall. All the pretty trees. Trees are good. Kind of unoriginal though. Let's see... Leaves. Lots of colors, green, yellow, orange. Jack o lanterns. Pumpkins. Pumpkin spice latte. Coffee shops.
College. I wish I was in college again. Midterms suck though. I could rock some corduroy skirts with tights and boots in a coffee shop. Let's go shopping. Budget. Bills. Ick. Stressed. Need coffee.
Boots! Why don't boots ever fit right? Hockey puck, rattle snake, monkey monkey underpants...."

I think I am just a little bit ADD, like Lorelai in this clip from the best show ever, aka Gilmore Girls.

Ahem. Time to FOCUS.

Recently BM Pumpkin and I went to check out the site to see how it looks this time of year, since this time next year I'll be gettin' hitched there! I noted that the pond looks a bit, um, murky, so maybe we could get married in front of a tree instead....the tree in the top center of the below montage.

Then, it just all clicked...well, after BM Pumpkin suggested it! We could also do a tree guest book!
Do I sense a theme coming on? You tell me!

Plus, we have this amazing tree picture from our engagement shoot! 
SamoanCuban Photography, currently based in Seattle!

Maybe we can have our "sitting in a tree" pic blown up on a canvas and hung up? Or put beside our guestbook tree? Maybe include a tree carved with a heart and our initials on our invite? It's not super original...but does it have to be? And is this a THEME, per se, or just part of our decor style? I'm thinking more the latter, but you tell me!

I Heart Trees

It's true. I heart trees a LOT. I was not always smitten with the perennial woody plant though.
I grew up near the coast in Wilmington, North Carolina. We had lots of pine trees.
They were tall and not very pretty, and they dropped a lot of pine needles which we would have to rake into piles and stuff into big black garbage bags.
Apparently, some pine trees are pretty. Ours, not so much.

And this is what pine trees drop on your head. Pine needles. Even the name is painful.

Occasionally while growing up, I would see an old oak tree (you know, in the older, rich part of town - or in a graveyard, spooky!). Or a dogwood tree. Those are pretty cool, too. BUT, it was not until I went to college that I really began my love affair with trees!

Oh beautiful trees, how do I love thee! Let me count the ways....

Seriously, I marveled at these trees that not only 1) had actual leaves, but 2) also lovingly rained those crisp leaves down upon me, after 3) they had been so creative as to change those green leaves into an array of amazing fall colors! How thoughtful, I thought!

I walked through enormous piles of leaves between classes. (I'm sure the grounds keepers loved me.) I wrote poems about leaves and trees in my head. And my love affair with Fall was officially ON.

We were a happy couple, Fall and I, for about twelve years, off and on (that tends to happen with seasons, and the sporadic-ness of our relationship is no indication of the undying love and devotion we felt for one another). But then, something happened that threatened our future....

I got engaged. And, as a bride to be, I was faced with my first tough decision:
When and Where would I choose to marry My One True Love (Oh, sorry. I'm referring to Mr. Magic here, not Fall.)

We could get married in my hometown of Wilmington, I thought. In that case, it would have to be a Spring wedding with azaleas, oak trees, and Spanish moss, like this!g wit
Albeit gorgeous, a Spring wedding in Wilmington did not make a whole lot of sense for us. For all intents and purposes, I have lived in Chapel Hill for twelve years. Mr. Magic, even longer - he moved here when he was eight years old. His mother is here, his brothers too, and most of our friends live here.

PLUS...Fall lives here!

I am so excited to get married to the man I love in the season I love. And I really hope that when the big day rolls around, Fall is fully underway with all it's colors out, so we can get some pics like this!

How did you decide when you would get married? What's your favorite, or least favorite, season?
My least fave season is Winter. It's cold, it makes my skin dry, and it signifies the end of Fall. Sad.