Thursday, September 30, 2010

What if it's like that Twilight Zone...*

Basically, I planned my entire wedding last week. Done. All done.

Fast forward to the forty second mark if you'd like. Gotta love that Lorelai Gilmore!
(Watch til the end to get the title of this post.)

So, yes, I've got a lot to share and I'm sorry for being so slack. But since I can't be bothered (this is one of my favorite expressions, I got it from my Irish friend Aine, and basically it means "I'm too frickin' lazy" but in a more proper way) to actually write a full post right now, I'll leave you with this gem.

One of my fave singers, originally from NC, has recently put out a new CD. And it has a great song on it called Mixtape. So cute! I'm wondering if this should be included in our fun and casual mix before the ceremony, or the cocktail hour mix. What do you think?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Mmmmmm Sparkly!

J. Crew Crystal Drops Necklace

Would this look pretty with my dress? You don't know, because you don't know what my dress looks like. But I think it might be a contender.
Mmmmmmmm sparkly.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Taking My Role Seriously

I was recently honored to be Maid of Honor in my BFF's (aka Mrs. Penguin's) wedding. I think being a maid of honor really is an honor, and I felt very privileged when she asked me to do this. I really wanted to be there for her and help her in in any way I could. She's a great friend and we have been through a lot together...see?

I was tipsy, she was a ninja.

80s party. We were actually alive and kickin' in the 80s, unlike some of you whipper snappers.


And also, let's be honest...being recently engaged myself, I was super enmeshed in the wacky but wonderful world of weddings. Had I not gotten engaged (after um, four thousand years of waiting...yes, that post is coming eventually), I am sure my enthusiasm would have been a bit lacking. I wish I was the kind of person who could just be super excited for others with no regard to my own situation, selfless, and all that crap, but I can't. I mean, I could try but deep inside I'd be pissed and probably would have taken it out on the Mister when I got home. Hey, just being honest.

But luckily, I was engaged and so was she - and having a wedding buddy is FUN! I would never want to plan a wedding without one. If you don't have one, take out an ad or something. Or better yet...I'll be your wedding buddy!

Anyways. I was super excited for her (and myself)! I already blogged about the shower and bachelorette here, here, here, here, here, and here. (Wow, that's a lot of blogging about those events, huh?) I was (and am, obv!) really into the wedding blogs, magazines, and general wedding-ness that exists in the world. So when Mrs. Penguin asked if I had any card box ideas, I didn't say "What the heck is a card box?" I said, "Hey, want me to just make that for you?"

Obviously not the total finished product, I missed a pic of that! Oh and that is Isabella (aka Miss Isabella, or Mizza, or Smizz) "helping."

When she told me she had one million children coming to the wedding, I said "Hey I saw some cute ideas for kiddie bags online - I can do those!"

Silly bands...that's what I'm talking 'bout!

Yes, as we all know, technically the only thing the bridesmaids and maid of honor have to do is show up, walk, and stand. And they should generally appear happy and smile and be supportive. But really, isn't it fun to do more than that?

Helping with the shoes.

Pinning the boutonniere on Mrs. Penguin's handsome dad.

I also managed to not drop Mr. Penguin's ring during the ceremony. I've got skills.

Have you ever been a wedding? Did you enjoy your role...or secretly loathe it?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Even though (when I wrote this) our wedding is, like, 408 days away, we are beginning to kick our planning into high gear. Part of this is because wedding planning is more fun than gardening, paying bills, grocery shopping, or working. And part of this is because my job situation is gonna get a little crazy in about six months to a year, with budget cuts and mergers and all kinds of potentially stressful things happening. My big plan is to get the majority of our vendors locked down now, so I can worry about other silly things like employment and finances when I need to. Good plan, huh?

Recently, I picked myself up, dusted my jeans off, and got back on the horse. And by that I mean, I psyched myself up to look into some more caterers. Remember that time I freaked out? Yeah. I buried my head in the sand for awhile but now I have pulled it out of the sand, I'm back in the saddle again, and I am riding into the sunset on my trusty steed. Yippie ki yi yay!

Sufficiently cowgirled up with spurs on my boots and my sharp shooter at the ready, I contacted the General Store Cafe located in Pittsboro, North Carolina.
I first discovered this restaurant in the summer of 2000 when I worked as a camp counselor at Camp Royall, a camp for folks with autism spectrum disorder. Then, it was one of the few places in the small by awesome town of Pittsboro (the PBO, for short) that had internet. Now, it still retains it's small town vibe but is a community hub for news, art, music, and film. The food is delicious and they just started catering two years ago! Woo frickin hoo, y'all!

The good folks over at the General Store Cafe immediately invited us out for a tasting. Uh, yes please! We chose to taste their Italian Buffet menu, and they said they would make us some select dishes from it. We were quickly brought out some delicious and lovely starters...

Caesar salad and Caprese Display
(photos from my iPhone, lame I know)

The Caesar salad tasted pretty regular to me, but the Caprese Display was super yummy. And, the presentation is pretty badass too.

Next came the entrees!
On this enormous platter (you can't tell how big it is, but trust me, it was huge!) was:
-Pork Picatta
-Goat Cheese Risotto Cakes
-Eggplant Parmesean
-Pesto Portabello and Zucchini
-Chicken Marsala

And then...
Penne Puttanesca and Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia

Basically, I shoved my mouth full of food and the women trying to ask me questions about our wedding plans and hopes for our menu had to deal with barely coherent answers between me chewing and my gasps of "ohmygodthisissogooooooooddddddddd."

I really loved the eggplant Parmesan (and I am a total meat and potatoes girl, so that says a lot). It was so cheesy and just slightly crispy on the outside - total yum. Also the pesto grilled veggies were delicious. The chicken marsala was good but nothing to freak out over, and the pork was good too...maybe a bit salty.

And guess what? Mr. Magic, the world's pickiest eater, enjoyed the items as well. He even ate some tomatoes out of the Caprese salad. It was like a miracle magic!

We decided our buffet will look something like this:

-Caesar salad
-Caprese display
-Grilled Pesto Portabello and Zucchini
-A Pasta bar! Couple types of pasts with various sauces...yum!
-Eggplant Parm
-Chicken Parm

We got the quote, and it is definitely affordable. I mean, as affordable as a yummy Italian buffet could possibly be, I think. So, we are totally going for it! It feels so amazing to have such a huge item locked down and crossed off the list!

Do you think all the pasta will put everyone in a food coma? :-)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Bridesmaid Style

Why is picking out the bridesmaids' dresses so freaking tough? Because it IS tough. Really, really hard. I've been searching online for months and nothing really reaches out and grabs me. I've looked at the Dessy Group, Alfredo Angelo, and David's Bridal. They are all fine, some are OK, but nothing is stellar to me.

Here are some of the confounding factors:

1. I've been a bridesmaid before, and know how it feels to shell out a lot of dough for that role. And particularly, for a dress that is just OK, or a dress that I feel like I could have found a very similar one for a lot less on my own. Or for a dress I will never wear again. Cause really, when will you wear it again?
You won't. It's [probably] statistically proven. source

2. My style is definitely not the same as my bridesmaids' styles. So I have to be careful to pick something they will all be comfortable in, and not something with ruffles and flowers just because I like them. Right?

3. I always thought I'd do the "just wear a black dress" thing...that the newly married MRS. Pumpkin did, and it looked lovely, see?

personal photo

But I'm getting married in the fall...and somehow black dresses feel wrong in our outdoor, colorful, autumn influenced wedding.

4. I want to pick something moderately priced. This seems to be more challenging now than in the good ol' days (I can say that because I am 30). I'm looking at you, J. Crew. Why are you jacking up your prices for*??? Have you not heard about the global economic crisis?!?

5. I have actually found some bridesmaid dresses I like. But they are, um, designer. Jim Hjelm, to be exact. Yes, I have a problem.
Are these dresses really better than those other more affordable ones? I think so, but I am also swayed easily by my label whore tendency.

6. Last confounding factor, I promise. Cardigans! Oh how I love a cardigan. I was originally thinking about letting the brides pick their own style of aubergine colored dress, and I would gift them a cardigan (in either a contrasting solid print or a floral print). But then I stumbled on this image....

Bridesmaids are wearing identical dresses and different colored cardigans! Freaking cute! I love the neutral dresses with the bright cardis! Swoon!

I think I'm just gonna keep waiting for some inspiration. I have awhile anyway until the wedding. But until inspiration finds me...

Do you have a preference over style versus price point? Where did you find your bridesmaids' dresses?

*For the grammar freaks out there, yes, I am aware that you are not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition like "for." But, it's my signature preposition at the end of a sentence for when I am especially frustrated. Thanks for giving me a pass.