Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The real world intrudes

School's back in session. Was this break all a dream? This semester I have brilliantly signed up for physics, organic chemistry, and biology. Classes started on Monday, and I already feel behind. I was pretty disciplined last semester, but now I'm engaged. Isn't it non-stop, attention-to-me time now? Homework is for the unwashed, unengaged masses. Just kidding.

This is a pre-emptive apology. I got to get some science in my brain and get it in there good if I want to get into medical school. I'll be applying at about the same time as our wedding. Is this adding more stress to my life? Yes. But life doesn't get put on hold because you either decide to get married or decide to go to medical school. I'm a big girl. I have to do both.

So sorry that I won't be posting very often. Hopefully the posts that do go up will be worth the wait. TTFN.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cake Buffet

Easier than making tiers, huh? Eliminates need to choose just one yummy cake recipe. Lots of pretty cheap cake stands on Ebay too. Hmmm. . .
(image found on WeddingBee via Martha Stewart)

Recipe Love

The Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Birthday Cake via FoodNetwork

Lemon Pound Cake via SmittenKitchen

yum yum yum. I've declared it the year of the cake! Have I said this already? Probably. If I'm visiting you anytime soon, I will be bringing a cake.

I looked around for cake decorating classes to take with my FMIL and FSIL, but they are expensive. I mean $400 for a 12-week course is too not terrible, but too much for my student budget. So I'm going to grab some books from the library and practice on my own. Any book recommendations?

I think this blog is turning into a baking one. Oh well.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cake #2

I attempted a lemon bundt cake this past weekend. I used a recipe from smittenkitchen, which was adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbook. I didn't have all the ingredients so I improvised some too. Very yummy, but probably not wedding cake material. I used the leftover buttercream frosting from the first cake for the icing on this one. mmm. . . can I get a job making and eating buttercream frosting?
I think I need to pace myself. I've already made two cakes since deciding two weeks ago to bake my own cake. This is probably not good for either of our health, though it does make us very happy.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Growing up

The range of emotions that wedding planning induces exhausts me, but I have found that the stress has brought my relationship with my parents, with FP, and with myself to a whole other level. Today a dear friend pointed out that this is the first big adult transaction that you do, with large sums of money and many varied interests. This is so true, and I've realized that much of my anxiety about getting it "right" has to do with the fact that this is my first real public act as an adult. What does this wedding say about me? What does it say about our relationship? etc.

Add to these questions matters of cultural differences, the commonplace generational differences between the couple and the parents, the economics. Now you got a bride about to throw a tantrum. It was like because I cared so much about making sure that other people were happy, I felt like no one cared if I was happy. As if there was a finite amount of caring in the world. If I was caring about them, no one is caring about me. Cue tantrum.

It's strange how choosing to share your life with someone can turn you into a self-centered beast. Because people didn't want exactly what I wanted, it was me against them. My awesome perfect me wedding vs. their impersonal generic them wedding.

The truth is none of that was going to happen. A part of growing up is understanding that people may disagree with you, but they still want the best for you. A part of your parents treating you like an adult is their honesty with you. A part of you being an adult is you listening. My parents are more open-minded than I give them credit for, and I've recognized (again) that my own openness must stem from their openness. We are all trying to ensure each other's happiness. That's what families do.

Anyway wedding planning is not going to be easy sailing, but it is good to remind myself that this isn't supposed to be a day when I get whatever I want. It's a day for love, community, and sharing, as that is the real meaning of marriage.

However, I did get my parents to agree to decreasing the party size by 50-100 people. Score!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The wedding planning that I've done this week

This will be our method of vetting wedding ideas.

Letterpress invitations?

Flea-market vases?

In truth, I've done nothing.
Have I called that venue to follow up? Have I made an appointment with a bridal salon? Have I registered anywhere? Have I come up with a budget and total guest list for the wedding? Have I made any real decisions regarding said wedding?
The most recent important decision: give ourselves plenty of time to procrastinate, er enjoy the engagement.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inspired by Martha Stewart

Bridal Canvas is a free webtool (via iDIY) that allows you to make an inspiration board (inexplicably, all brides have turned into interior and graphic designers). Anyway I've been snooping around Martha Stewart Weddings to find things and colors that I liked. I call this Martha Stewart Summer Citrus.

(All images are from Martha Stewart Weddings. Top row: 1. Photocopied pictures as chocolate bar wrappers 2. Pompom decorations 3. Colorful ranunculus 4. Wine-infused citrus gelatin squares 4. Silk flower garlands
Bottom row: 1. Photo table numbers 2. Cafe au lait bowls filled with flowers 3. Mac and cheese appetizer 4. Potted plant placecard 5. Tissue-paper-flower-wrapped favors)

The bridal transition team will be wearing different colors: lemony yellow, raspberry, coral, tangerine, lime green, etc. We haven't chosen the fabric yet, but I'm basically going for a bright, summery, colorful look.
(these images are mine)
Like the Dahlia Garden in San Francisco.

Oh, Happy Inauguration Day!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We will no longer need to trek down to the West Village

Piece of Cake?

So I've decided to try to bake our wedding cake. Or at least one of them. Anyway I had been thinking about what I can do to "personalize" my wedding (other than showing up). I like to bake so I thought, Why not? Anyway I'm going to try out recipes from now until the wedding. This cake is the Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Birthday cake. Yum!

The batter is sooooo delicious.

Happy little cakes in the oven.

The recipe is for 3 9-inch cakes, but I only had two cake pans so I made cupcakes with the leftover batter. However, next time I think I will just fill the two cake pans with all the batter. The cakes came out a little lopsided. Oh well. This is why I'm practicing.

Ready to be frosted. The frosting was a little too runny.
But I didn't want to add more sugar. Maybe I should next time,
or maybe I need to let it sit.

My two-layer vanilla buttercream cake.
If any of you live in New York and want to share a piece, let me know :-)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wedding Dresses are Strange Creatures

(The Rebeca dress from the Pronovias 2009 collection)

Inexplicably, this dress was the one that I liked the best from last night's fashion show at the Pronovias NYC store. It is somehow exactly what I've said I did not want. Ruffles, lace, big skirt, strapless. And I LOVE it. haha. It's just such a fun, sort of dreamy, sweet dress. It makes me think of A Midsummer's Night Dream. I'm in trouble. . .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Because not everyone is as fortunate as we are

Tyson Foods is donating 100 lbs of food to the Food Bank of New York City for every comment made on their blog. They have 368 comments so far, which means 36,800 lbs of food. That's a lot of families fed. Here's the link:

That being said. . .

check out these awesome circus fonts:
I found these at Clicking on the picture will take you the page.

Irony is the theme for our wedding

I wish. FP is not on this bus. As much as he agrees with me that weddings are ridiculous, ostentatious, over-priced rituals, he wants to have an earnest one. I like to think that someone is looking out for me by pairing me up with this loving stick-in-the-mud because often his more conservative sensibilities are what stops me from alienating everyone at our wedding.

Me: How about I carry a bouquet of money down the aisle?
FP: No
Me: What about having the song, "Always," on repeat throughout the cocktail hour?
FP: No
Me: So I guess you were only kidding when you said we should word our invitations with quotation marks [i.e. We request the "pleasure" of your company at our wedding.]
FP: You know this is a real wedding, right?

A friend of ours actually gave us the advice to plan the alternative wedding at the same time as the real one. So the real wedding you serve filet mignon, and at the alternative, you serve ice cream sundaes. This makes the process fun, but the problem for me is understanding the line between planning a fun, real wedding and a fun, fake wedding. And that is where FP comes in nicely to say: We are not planning our wedding to encourage chuckles and snickers.

Alas, he is right. We're having a wedding because we love our families and friends and we want them to share in our new life together. It means a lot to us and to them, so Earnest Wedding it is.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

They stole the theme for our wedding!

I wonder if Taco Bell knew what kind of market they could tap into when they printed these sauce packages. (image source is me)

I'm giving in

I'm going to a bridal show this Thursday. What can I say? I'm easy if you give me free champagne:

(image source)

Always a Bridesmaid's Pronovias Glamour Night, here I and FMIL come!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You can't get a non-mass-produced wedding dress for under $5000

Right. Well, for that kind of money, you can pick from these:

1. Suzanne Ermann
2. Edgardo Bonilla

(source for all images)
1. Romona Keveza
2. Lela Rose

Couture or ugly? For more, check out

Anyway my wedding dress philosophy is that one shouldn't lose one's mind or one's taste when buying a dress that will be worn once. As important it is to know what you want, it's also important to know what you don't want. This is my kick-off to the search. Woohoo!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Weddings and Contradictions

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself.
(I am large. I contain multitudes.)

- Walt Whitman, from "Song of Myself"

I had myself a good cry this morning. They're not kidding when they say that you run the whole gauntlet of emotions during wedding planning. What exactly is it that makes me care so much about something that I think I don't really care about? Maybe it comes down to being a people-pleaser. I don't really care much about what my wedding is like, but I have this fear that I will let people down. So then I over-care: Kleinfeld's having a MLK Day sample sale? I gotta get over there. Look, I can buy a bottle cutter and make vases out of empty wine bottles! Maybe I should learn how to sew to make my own wedding dress. Or maybe I should buy this dress on sale at Jcrew! Have I been nice enough to my bridesmaids? Wait, don't I want to be a liberated bride?

Argh. This is really too much, and I know it's mostly me that is the source of this pressure. If I don't want to do these things, then I shouldn't do them. Why am I blogging about it and why am I reading other blogs about it and why am I constantly looking at Martha Stewart? It's absurd.

*Deep Breath*

Weddings are absurd.

It's okay that I like pretty and probably expensive things. It's okay that I don't think a wedding is worth all the money and time that's spent on it. It's okay that I'm not a graphic designer or a DIY craft maven. It's okay that this wedding will not be exactly as we envision.

I can't buy the perfect wedding. I can't please everyone. I can't piss off everyone. No decisions we make will ruin our wedding.

God grant me the serenity . . .

(though notice how I haven't said that I will give up wedding blogs. I know this doesn't end here)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Save the . . .

Please don't be fooled by this post. We still have no idea when or where we're getting married. But we've started brainstorming ideas for our save-the-dates. We are nothing, if not logical people. So here's a couple and let me know what you think.

1. FP recently got a cute birthday card (Thanks, Sarah!) and we thought it might be cute to do something similar for our STD. The card had a silly picture on it. Then said "Congratulations on your ____" There was a checklist of funny things.

So we were thinking:

Save the ____





But with cooler graphics, etc.

(This image is from goldenstate.wordpress, but I'm not sure what the copyright is. So this may be removed soon. Enjoy for now.)
This idea is pretty brilliant, but probably not feasible. We need a picture of ourselves tied to railroad tracks with our wedding date on the rope. An evil villain with a moustache in the background and a train bearing down on us. Save the Date! Get it. Get it?

We love puns.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

Well, folks, don't rush to purchase your carnival masks for our wedding. This is apparently not nice enough for the wedding of their eldest daughter. Why not? I mean who doesn't want to have a wedding reception in an old outdoor bumper car pavilion in the middle of a DC summer with no air conditioning? Balloon animals? Carousel rides? My parents simply don't have our vision. Also it's 45 minutes from where the ceremony is taking place. Unreasonable! But this is our reality.

I have to say that this isn't exactly unexpected. But I am holding onto the hope that there is a middle ground, that we can find a place that's fun and relaxed but also sufficiently respectable for the 'rents. Any suggestions for venues in the northern VA/DC area that accomodates 250-300 people would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Helloooo 2009!

Happy New Year, everyone! I have many happy news to report.

1. I'm officially 29 years old. Whoa.

2. We have a potential reception site and date! WHOA!

The Bumper Car Pavilion
Inside the pavilion

Having our wedding reception at an old-school amusement park really appeals to our sense of aesthetics. Glen Echo Park is a really fun place. We took swing dancing lessons there a few years ago. Anyway we've reserved the Bumper Car Pavilion for last Saturday in June 2010. All the other weekends in June were already booked! And we thought we were being so clever by giving ourselves more time to plan. Oh well. Anyway we are contacting the caterers and getting proposals so depending on what we get from them, we will sign the contract with Glen Echo in two weeks. Woohoo! Keeping our fingers crossed.
3. We got good grades this semester which means that after the wedding we will have a reasonably comfortable future, or at least paying jobs. Here's hoping this continues as the planning gets a bit more involved.
4. We have been blessed by so many things this past year, and we got to see lots of people who make our lives wonderful. Tons of people came up to New York for FP's surprise 30th birthday party. We got to hang out with the CA cousins over Thanksgiving weekend. We saw Grandma and the Fl dynamic duo, my aunt and uncle from Cambodia, the cousin gang in VA, new babies, cute dogs, and old friends.
We are defiintely looking forward to what the new year will bring, and we wish you all many happy tidings as well!