Friday, June 25, 2010

Food, Glorious Food!

There are certain things about wedding planning that are just plain awesome. Like cake tell them you're a bride and they just give you free cake. For FREE.

Another awesome thing is catering tastings. We had to wait until closer to the wedding to do that one, but we finally got to try Raveneaux's yummy food! We had previously picked three entrees and four side dishes from Raveneax's chef's menu to taste. We also sampled the house wines. Here are our options:

Entree #1: Chicken Raveneaux: chicken with mushrooms, herbs, and other random vegetables

Entree #2: Chicken Marsala w/ Sides #1 and #2: Asparagus, Roasted New Potatoes

Entree #3: Chicken Piccata w/ Sides #3 and #4: Green Beans Almondine, Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I like to joke that every wedding involves some variation of "wedding chicken." "Wedding chicken" is a bland, dry, mass-produced chicken dish that isn't anything to write home about. However, I think I'm slowly changing my opinion on the issue...last weekend Jeff and I went to a wedding with a really yummy chicken curry dish (so NOT wedding chicken!), and at our wedding we'll be serving that first entree, Chicken Raveneaux, which in my opinion tastes wonderful!

The chicken marsala we tried definitely fell into the "wedding chicken" category, and the Chicken Piccata, while good, just wasn't as great as the Chicken Raveneaux. My parents agreed with Jeff and I, and it was an easy choice.

As for veggies, we had to pick between asparagus and green beans. I don't like asparagus AT ALL, but my mom and Jeff thought it was really, really good. We ended up going with the green beans because we figured they'd be more accepted by everyone (you know, some people just don't like asparagus...but EVERYONE likes green beans!).

Next up was mashed vs. new potatoes. The new potatoes were really good. We all loved them. The mashed potatoes were pretty good too, but not as good as the cute little baby red potatoes. Easy choice. the wedding we'll be serving the following:

  • House salad

  • Rolls

  • Chicken Raveneaux

  • Green Beans Almondine

  • Roasted New Potatoes
We also have a kids menu with the following:

  • Chicken fingers

  • Fruit

  • Mac n' cheese
And then of course we'll have the two cakes for dessert. Oh, and the candy buffet. :o)

Another thing crossed off the to-do list! Keep your fingers crossed that my yummy chicken Raveneaux doesn't turn into "wedding chicken" when it's prepared for 200 guests at a time!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Candy is Dandy.

I've been super productive with wedding things lately...but mostly with bridesmaid gifts. Which I can't talk about here. Because they read the blog. And you know, I want them to be surprised and stuff. But don't worry...I think I'm going to schedule a post about it to go up while I'm honeymooning in Jamaica, so you can hear from me even while I'm in the land of drug lords and violence (and palm trees and butlers that bring you drinks).

I had this written on my to-do list: "Figure out candy buffet stuff." And boy oh boy...I figured it allllll out! So I started with 8 pretty jars. I have been accumulating these for months and months from places like TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Hobby Lobby on 50% Glassware Week, and Pier One's Clearance Aisle.

Click to enlarge! These are all my jars (set out on my parents' pool table, which my dad was thrilled about).

I also have 5 of these bubble bowls, leftover from that sorority event I organized, and I'm using two of them (you know, so I have an even decade of 10 jars. Because I like things to be even).

I already shared with you what kinds of candy will be filling my ten jars. In that mock up photo above you can see my York peppermint patties and the Twizzlers bites in a couple of the jars.

A while back I bought 200 cellophane bags from They're 4.75'' by 6.75'' and safe for food and all that jazz. I went with a fairly small size to sort of "limit" how much candy disappears from the jars. There will be a bunch of kids at the wedding, and I figure if I provide them with huge bags they'll probably fill them to the brim and leave no Gummi Sharks for the old folk. I paid $17.15 for 200 bags (including shipping). They do carry cello bags at HobLob in packages of 50 for $5, but they're the big kind like you use for little kids' birthday party goodie bags. And I'm a perfectionist, and I wanted smaller bags! Plus I saved like three dollars. Score.

I also ordered 5 aluminum scoops from (Yes, there is a website entirely dedicated to SCOOPS!). I had SUCH a hard time deciding which size to get, but I went with the 5 oz ones and they're PERFECT. So if you're planning a candy buffet, go with 5 ounce scoops, okay? Trust me, I wouldn't steer you wrong! Also, buy them from that website. It's the cheapest place. Believe me, I looked everywhere. They were just $2.42 each!

Oh, and I have one pair of aluminum tongs. Can't leave out the tongs! My mom picked them up at Target for me. They're for those Gummi Sharks.

Also, I bought 200 dark blue metallic twisty ties from Taiwan! Yes, I am insane. And no, they don't sell dark blue metallic twisty ties in the United States. I found the Taiwanese twisties on Etsy from seller heydaysupplies, and a week later they arrived at my doorstep. Just $2.50. And only $2.00 for shipping. Totally worth it.

The last supplies to arrive at the Candy Buffet Party were the stickers. By "stickers" I mean paper that has taken a trip through my Xyron. I love that thing.

Aaaah! Perfection.

I designed them in PowerPoint (my design program of choice, ha!), printed them out as slightly-too-large circles, and punched them with a 1.75'' scallop punch. Post-punching, the scalloped circles took a trip through my Xyron 500 and emerged as stickers (which I promptly stuck onto the cello bags)!

Xyron-stickered bags and Taiwanese twisties. A match made in DIY heaven.

So now I'm just waiting for the candy to arrive. When it gets here I'll whip up some cute jar labels and try it all out...stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

You're Invited!

Even if you're not actually invited to my wedding, you are invited to take a look at my invitations!

For some reason I really obsessed over these. Funny, since most people will just throw them away. But I'm an avid scrapbooker and thus a paper-person, so the invitations were important.

I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted, and I had the ability to DIY them (and actually did quite a bit of research, prototypes, etc.), but I was in the middle of graduating from college and just didn't have the time to physically make them all myself. So I searched long and hard to find someone who could pull off my vision for a reasonable price, and I found my invitation angels through Etsy. Thus began my fairytale vendor relationship with Moncher Designs.

I can't say enough wonderful things about Monica of Moncher Designs. She's the most professional Etsy vendor I've ever worked with (by far!). Her prices were way better than anything else I could find, she gave me unlimited revisions on her designs (and boy did I take advantage of them!), she responded to every revision/request within just a few hours, she sent me as many samples as I wanted, she finished my invites exactly on time, and she even assembled them all for me. If you want pretty invites, contact Monica. DO IT.

Without further ado, here they are:

My mom and I hand-addressed them all. We didn't have enought time (or monetary resources) to send them to a calligrapher, so we just made do with our less-than-stellar cursive. It worked.

Pre-printed return address (to my parents). Cute "Jeff and Katie" seal.

Look! The post office hand-cancelled them and I didn't even have to ask! Also, I love those cake stamps!

Oooh, look! That ribbon is a little more burgundy in person. I looooove the metallic navy pocketfold. Love love love.

Belly band close-up!

The inside! Florally swirly goodness! How it pains me to blur this out...stupid online identity protection guidelines.

Main invite. You can't tell in the picture, but the cream cardstock is a little shimmery as well.
Again, HATE the necessary blurs.

I thought about the wording for the main invite for a long time. I wanted to be clear that my parents were hosting, but I really like Jeff's parents, so I wanted their names on it too. We came up with this:
"Dr. and Mrs. Katies Parents
request the honor of your presence
as their daughter
Katherine Middlename
Jeffrey Middlename
son of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffs Parents..."

We also wanted to convey that we were getting married in a Catholic Church, something that it important to both of us. We see our wedding as a sacrament, and we wanted the invitation to reflect that. However, we're not having a full Mass, so we couldn't use the regular "Nuptial Mass" wording. We went with this:

" their daughter (Me) and (Jeff), son of (Jeff's Parents)
are united in the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony"

There was some more deliberation over the wording of the date and time. According to my extensive research, the year should be written WITHOUT dashes ("two thousand ten"), and so should the time ("half past four"). Here's what ours says:

"on Saturday, the (date) of July
Two Thousand Ten
at half past four in the afternoon

{location info}

Reception to Follow"
See how clear and perfect the printing was? Did I mention I love Moncher Designs?

RSVP card and pre-printed envelope. Monica even stuck stamps on all of these for me. She rocks.
Wording: "We would be honored
by your presence at the wedding of
Katie & Jeff
on July ##, 2010.

____ Accepts with Pleasure
_____Declines with Regret
Number Attending _____

Kindly Respond by the First of July"

We included the RD invites in the pocket for the people who are also RD guests. I think this card is my favorite part of the whole invitation suite...I just love navy and cream.

Here's the Reception Card. This is also a little more burgundy in person.

And here's the whole thing all together! Click to enlarge.

So, what do you guys think? Do you agree with me that Moncher Designs is the best ever? If you don't agree, be nice anyway...I'm a little protective of these invitations. :o)

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'm on a Sugar High!!!!!

Apologies for the lack of posts beloved Toshiba laptop has decided that its time to die a slow death, and its awfully difficult to blog while your computer is turning himself off at random intervals that average about seven minutes in length.

Benefit of living with my parents temporarily: they have a computer I can use. Which is good, because I have exciting news!!

Okay everyone...listen up, because this is important. IM. POR. TANT.

I just ordered the candy for the candy buffet. Like just now. And I'm so excited that I just have to write a blog post about it before I burst!

So our wedding colors are navy and maroon...and I wanted the candy buffet to match that, but of course candy doesn't come in specific shades like "navy" or "maroon," so it kind of morphed into a Red & Blue candy buffet. Sooo...yeah, I'm heading into July 4th territory a little bit, but it's who cares, right?

Let me get to the good's what will fill my pretty glass jars:
*all images are from unless otherwise noted

The Chocolates:

Milk Chocolate Hearts in Red Foil

These were probably the most expensive of the bunch (chocolate is more pricey than other candies), but they're so cute! Count on any leftovers being re-used for Valentine's Day.

Royal Blue Sixlets

I'm sooo looking forward to seeing a million of these little guys in one of our jars. They come in 10-pound batches, so I've got 10 pounds of these headed my way!

York Peppermint Patties

These are probably my favorite candy ever. Jeff bought me a bag of them for our first Valentine's Day after we started dating. And they just so happen to be red and blue. I bought them at Wal-Mart.

The Gummi Candies:

Jelly Belly Raspberries and Blackberries

My sister found these a couple weeks after I announced my candy buffet plans. She brought home a little bag for me to try, and my goodness - these things are good. I've been passing them up at the grocery store for years, but it turns out they're seriously yummy. Go buy some. I got mine at HEB in the bulk candy aisle, which saved major $$$ on shipping costs even thought the candy itself was more expensive than it was online.

Red Raspberry Slices

These are so cute. I just love them. They make me happy.

Twizzlers Cherry Bites

These also came from Wal-Mart, and I'm seriously having to restrain myself from eating them prematurely. All the yumminess of Twizzlers with all the cuteness of bite-sized candy...perfect.

Blue Gummi Sharks

I'm hoping these will be a favorite with the kids at the wedding. I was sure my Mom would give me that "Katie...seriously?" look when I told her about them, but she was just as excited as I am about the prospect of edible sugary marine life.

The Hard Candies:

Cinnamon Imperial Hearts

These are like Red Hots, but heart-shaped. I bought normal Red Hots from Wal-Mart to save $$$ on shipping costs and avoid the mark-up that comes with making them heart-shaped, but my mom was so dissappointed with the boring old circles that she offered to pay the shipping to get the hearts. So hearts it is.

Watermelon Drops

I think I'm really going to like these. They remind me of a candy I used to eat when I was a kid and we lived in London and we had a man that would come mow the lawn for us and bring my sister and I candy. His name was Mister George.

I'm not going to tell you what I spent on all this candy because it's a whole bunch of money. There's a little issue called melting that comes into play with candy (not just chocolate!), and that issue forces you to choose expedited shipping, which is insanely expensive. But this was something that was important to me, and its worth it to me to actually recreate the vision I have in my head. I'm beyond excited.

And guess what? All those shipping fees I paid mean that the candy is coming THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW! Excited much? Yes.

Soooo what do you guys think? Would you be able to restrain yourself from a jar full of Twizzlers bites in your closet?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I sent them on their merry way!

I took my invitations to the Post Office.

They were a little sad and afraid to be leaving their Momma, but I assured them that they had many exciting things in store and took them through those automatic glass doors. Inside the doors I was met with this:

It was the longest line ever. Ev-er. And only one person was working the desk. ONE. The invitations got to stay with their Momma for a while longer. Some of them were impatient. Others were relieved. I used the long wait to separate out the invitations headed for Canada.

The Canada invites got a little cocky and arrogant after they found out I was paying more for them, but then the U.S.A. crowd reminded them of the extra travel time they would need, and they shut up pretty quickly.

I bought a bunch of these stamps:

The invitations were happy to get one more little piece of cuteness, and the cake stamps matched their ivory envelopes quite well. A few hundred peel-and-sticks later I left the Post Office triumphantly, and my invitations had finally embarked on their journeys!

As always, MOHsister Kristen was willing to humor me and celebrate this momentous occasion.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the invitations themselves!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I took a break from being a bride... be a bridesmaid!!

A couple of weeks ago Jeff and I made a trip to San Antonio for my friend Nicole's wedding. We're both bridesmaids in each others' weddings, and it was so nice to take a break from planning my wedding and just focus on someone else for a while.

Things I Learned From Nicole's Wedding:

1. Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (or the Big Stuff) - For a while we didn't know where Nicole's photographer was. During the ceremony the whole bridal party forgot to stand up at the right time. Later we were basically kicked out of the Church right after the ceremony by the wedding coordinator, and after that most of the bridal party wasn't really sure when/where they were supposed to meet back up. Parts of the day were crazy and hectic, but through it all Nicole was just happy to be getting married and (for the most part) calm and collected. So when my day comes along, I'm going to remember to be less like micromanging-Me and more like Nicole.

Case in Point: I photographed Nicole's mom putting on the veil because we didn't know where the real photographer was.

2. Confetti Poppers are So Much Fun - As are ribbon wands. What a great Grand Exit they had! If only more venues allowed confetti.

3. Those Personalized Hershey Kisses are SO CUTE - They just had a bunch of them spread out on a table. I ate a couple.

4. Submerged Orchids are Pretty - Okay so maybe I already thought this...but I've never seen anyone submerge flowers as centerpieces in real life (you know, like non-Internet), and it was so cool!

5. Going to a Wedding Without a Plus-One Can be FUN! - Meet my friend Michelle. She was a bridesmaid too. And when her boyfriend wasn't able to get off work for the wedding (it was on a Friday), she was without a date. But she spotted this guy who seemed to be a pretty good dancer, and she just waltzed right up to him and asked him to dance. And he was very obliging, and she made a new friend.

That guy can dance!

6. Being a Bridesmaid is So Much Fun! - I seriously hope my bridesmaids have as much fun at my wedding as I did at Nicole's. It was my first time being a bridesmaid, and I loved it!

Nicole, your wedding was lovely, you were beautiful, and I'm so, so, so happy for you and Steven!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Best Laid Plans

So last Thursday I was supposed to have my Bridal Portraits taken. I had coordinated schedules with my photographer and my hair-and-makeup-artist to pick a day that worked for everyone. I had finalized my Wedding Day jewelry, veil, etc. And then this happened:

So we had to reschedule. But it wasn't an issue because I'd thought ahead and had both Kelli, Taker of Photographs and Hilda, Designer of Faces and Hair hold a second date in case of rain. The second date was today. Here's the Houston forecast:

Rest of Today: Showers and thunderstorms. Some thunderstorms may produce heavy rainfall. Highs in the upper 80s. Southeast winds 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent

Sooo, the new date is June 14th. The good news is that my dress (which had been altered enough to make it look alright for photos, but not quite finished) can be finished by then, so I won't have to take my pictures with a slightly-too-long hem.

Moral of the Story: Sometimes you make great plans, and you even make back-up plans in case the real plans go awry, and still everything falls apart. It's frustrating, but it turns out okay in the end. Especially if you have great wedding vendors who are willing to bend over backwards to find a third open date for you. :)


Hello, blog readers! Did you miss me while I was climbing sand dunes in South Padre Island and chillaxing at my Aunt and Uncle's lakehouse? Yes, I just used the word "chillaxing." Here's a little snapshot of what we've been up to:

MOHsister Kristen, Jeff, and Me at the top of a giant dune near the beach in South Padre

Lake Palestine 2010: Me in my no-wedding-tanlines-strapless-suit and Jeff in his leftover-from-Padre-sunburn

Anyway, now that I've had my summer fun, it's time to get some more wedding things crossed off the to-do list! Next up, dressing the boys for the wedding!

There was never any question about what Jeff and his guys would wear at the wedding. We never considered suits or the trendy pants-vest-combo. From the beginning, everyone was in agreement: TUXEDOS! Of course, despite the fact that we decided on tuxedos early on, we procrastinated actually going to set up the tuxedo rental for a very long time and just got around to it last week.

Let me say this first: Being a boy is easy. We spent less than 30 minutes in Mens Wearhouse. And we were done. Just. like. that. Compare that to the hours upon hours we spent choosing BM dresses and my mom's dress...not to mention the scary amount of hours spent looking for my dress, and wow.

I'm not complaining though! It was nice to have a simple-easy-decision wedding task. We picked out the guys' tux because it was the only lightweight option. 100% wool in July in Texas? Ouch. So we decided to help the guys out a bit and go with the Calvin Klein 2-button Super 100s Tuxedo. Supposedly its breathable and stuff. We'll see.

Snazzy, no?

Next up was shoes. There was only one black, shiny option. So we went with that. Easy peasy.

OMG Shoes!!

Then came the have two collar options: the point collar and the wing collar. Wing collar is for bow ties. We don't like bow ties. Point collar wins. We also had to choose ivory or white. And of course, considering the champagne-ivory-ness of my dress, we went with ivory.

Cufflinks. You pick silver or gold. And you pick white or black. Or you just ask your fiance Which one? and he just points to the black and silver one and you move on.

Vests were just as easy. We said "ivory" and the consultant gave me a stack of ivory vests. We picked this one because it's pretty.

The Tuscany Vest in Ivory

See the pretty swirly florally things?

Then I was handed a stack of navy vests for the groomsmen. It turns out Men's Wearhouse is friends with David's Bridal, and there was a "Marine" vest that exactly matches the BM dress color, but it was non-textured and ugly. So we went with another option.

The Rio vest in Navy (and in Black for my dad and Jeff's dad)

We're going with the Euro ties, not the bow ties. And we're adding pocket squares because Jeff likes them. The groomsmen can go get fitted in South Carolina, and they'll pick up all the tuxes a couple days before the wedding. Tuxes are so simple!

Another item checked off the wedding to-do list!

*All photos from Men's Wearhouse