January 29, 2011

The Reasons Why I Greatly Dislike Chiavari Chairs

Omg, how could you Sarah?!

You have just committed a wedding blog travesty!

How could you not love the beauty that is the Chiavari chair? Just look at how it transforms a space!

C Studios Photography, Mindy and Chris's urban wedding reception.Yes, I have to admit, they are very lovely.

But I don't like them. They kinda annoy me greatly. >XP

Just say no to the Chiavari chair for weddings.Why you ask?

Because this is one of the few remaining grips the WIC (Wedding Industrial Complex) has on us lovely ladies.

We can DIY a centerpiece, decor, bouquets, table linens, ring pillows/flower girl baskets, mood lighting, DJ music, veils, invitations, tiered cakes, booze, our food even, (although I wouldn't try it)...

...but we cannot recreate the Chiavari chair.

The only way to get them is to rent or purchase them, and since most brides don't have a use for 100+ chairs, we rent them. For $6-$7 a piece at the absolute lowest. Because there is nothing else we can do.

And even when we try to find a bargain with these, we risk dealing with people who take advantage of their high prices, and many scams crop up, just involving cheap Chiavari chair rentals!

So they gouge out our wallets because they're counting on us to fawn over them.

Chiavari chairs and wedding signs at a beautiful wedding reception.
Poor Miss Brooch was feeling the pain of being financially responsible, and with pictures like this, who can blame her?
This is why I will not have those chairs in my wedding. They are not worth the money, no matter how much we may try to rationalize it.

If you are freaking out, desperately trying to re-arrange your budget to somehow fit these elegant chairs into your special day, take a deep breath. It's okay. You are better than the chairs. They are not worth it.

Put your money to a better use. You will feel much better about it later, when your bills are paid and you remember your wedding with great fondness.

Just trust me on this one :)

January 25, 2011

More Comfy Cozy Winter Wedding Inspiration!

Here is some more lovely winter inspiration to feast your eyes on! Enjoy! :D

It would be too cute to serve soup in little hallowed-out gourds! <3

Carved out gourd bowls serving a warm pumpkin soup.
It seems to be difficult to pull off, however if you do this the day before, add a little lemon juice to the carved surface of each one so it doesn't brown, and stick them in the fridge, (or many friends' fridges), you should be fine. Just note that a pumpkin site says it will start to dry out and shrivel after 48 hours, so you don't want to wait too long with these.

Probably the only reason I would ever buy wedding stockings...just to keep my darn legs warm!

Lace wedding stockings.
The lace ones are awfully pretty though :) A winter tidbit taken from Weddingbee's Miss Earrings!

The cutest (and most affordable!) outdoor lanterns I've seen for a winter wedding! Just make sure they don't melt beforehand!

Affordable outdoor DIY ice laterns.
Thank Design Sponge for the how-to for this fantastic idea!

I love the color of these faux orchids! They can be so pretty in deep burgundy!

Ring bearer pillows with faux burgundy orchids.

Now if you're going for a more modern look, this take on the birds and branches theme could be very fitting:

A modern bird and twig centerpiece display.
All thanks to a dessert buffet post by Hostess with the Mostest.

Another more modern winter idea is to use these feather wreaths that I just love...they remind me so much of snow, so soft and delicate:

A white feather wreath used as aisle decor.
However I don't think it will be popular with the bf (tried to get something similar for Christmas XD lol)

More to come!

(What, you thought I exhausted my list of winter ideas already?!)

January 20, 2011

A Phantom of the Opera Wedding Will Be Done By David Tutera!!! Squee!!!


Phantom of the Opera is one of my absolute favorite musicals, not to mention one of the more romantic and elegant ones!

Phantom of the Opera screenshot, Christine's dressing room.
The Phantom of the Opera Various
See More The Phantom of the Opera Various at IGN.com

And My Fair Wedding with David Tutera is doing a Phantom of the Opera wedding!!! <3 Ack, I die!

It seems to have aired already, (because I'm a little slow on the get-go, XP) but it's showing tonight at 9pm, Eastern Standard Time, on the WE channel!

I will soon have a professional example to follow for how to have a musical-themed wedding and make it tasteful!

And I don't care if the bf sees me watching it, :D while grinning like an idiot.

He'll deal :)

(Edit: I was so excited I put 7pm, but it's really 9pm. Promise :D)

January 18, 2011

Attention Winter Brides: A Blog That Is Just For You!

Delicate sugared fruit decor inspiration:

Sugared fruit decor inspiration board
The perfect snowflake shoe:

Hand-painted snowflake wedding shoes
And the purse to go with them:

Just some of the many wonderful winter wedding touches you'll find in Brenda's Wedding Blog - Holiday Weddings!

Nice to see a dedicated winter wedding blog. If you're a winter bride, you have to keep an eye on this one!

Just something I wanted to share with you. That is all :)

January 17, 2011

Comfy Cozy Winter Wedding Inspiration

As I look outside at the wonderful snowy landscape before me, I just feel so comfortable and warm in my home.

I also start to think of lovely wintery things for weddings!

Over the past few months, despite my busyness, I was still able to collect a ton of winter inspiration, and I thought today would be a perfect time to share some tidbits with you!

I have always loved plaid...but I know I wouldn't like red in the color palette :P So I love this inspiration board (which also has a violin in it, score!) from The Finer Things. It has a tartan blue and green plaid theme, which is much more applicable to what I'm planning! And with the bf being proud of his Scottish heritage, I think he would love it! :)

Tartan blue and green plaid winter wedding inspiration board.
For some reason I'm lusting after this pretty card box:

Silver swirl present wedding gift box.
It just looks so dainty and pretty! The winter version of a birdcage card box! However I refuse to pay $40 for it...however you do find it from time to time on the Weddingbee Classifieds for less.

Just look at these!

Hot chocolate pops.
Such a cute way to serve hot chocolate! You melt chocolate in ice cube trays and have it cool on sticks. (Full set of instructions are in Giver's Log, because if you don't temper your chocolate properly, they won't look as pretty!) Then you can dip your chocolate pops in candy melts chocolate and add on any embellishments, such as sprinkles, silver dragees, coconut, edible glitter, whatever! Serve your sticks proudly with glasses of hot milk or half and half! Mmmm...

I love the idea of including wood paper into the many paper elements of a wedding, however the wood paper does not come cheap! XP Despite this fact, I can't help but love the woodsy yet modern look of these escort cards from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Martha Stewart wood paper leaf wedding escort cards.
I wonder if you could pull of printing a wood grain on satin-finished paper? Hmmm...something to try one of these days...

I think my friends would beg me not to put hundreds of little snowflakes on toothpicks...but wouldn't it be cute?! Maybe I could wrap the little container with an evergreen branch, so it looks like snow on a tree! :D Martha Stewart would be proud XD

Martha Stewart flower wedding toothpicks.
o.0 On Project Wedding I found the most glamorous snow photographs I have ever seen:

Stunning and glamorous winter wedding bride photograph in the snow.Stunning and glamorous winter wedding bride closeup photograph in the snow.Her makeup.
Her eyes.
So captivating.

You have no idea how badly I want photographs like that o.0

Well, I realized I have wayyy too much winter wedding inspiration for just one post to handle, so I'm going to space it out a bit. I think the wedding blogosphere needs more winter wedding posts anyways :)

January 14, 2011


Don't be a silly time-waster like I.

Silly Sarah, trying to remember all the pretty wedding blogs she has seen, entering in their names one by one, scanning through til she thought she was back up to date...

If only I noticed Google Reader existed sooner!

I love Google's online tools, they are a complete life saver, given the fact that all these tools can be accessed online, so there's no need to worry about which computer you're on!

Now Google Reader has all my blog subscriptions in one spot on the interwebs...yea! :D

Snapshot of my Google Reader.
Can you believe I have gotten this far just wandering aimlessly across the blogosphere?!

I can't either.


And probably doomed to spend most of my waking life on my laptop. XD

So while I may be a little late to the party, you go and get all your blogs on Google Reader now!

January 10, 2011

Conquering the DIY Wedding Cake: Decisions, Decisions

So, you read my first DIY wedding cake post, and you still feel that you have what it takes! Good for you! Here are some of your options:

1) The tiered cake

An elegant purple tiered wedding cake.
I would only recommend this option to the seasoned baker or pastry chef. The simple fact of the matter is you have two options: Last minute assembly before the reception, or nail-biting transport of the cake.

This is due to the fact that a tiered cake will have seams in between each of its layers, so decoration of piping, fondant strip, flowers, etc. will be needed to dress up the area where the tiers meet. If you do this all beforehand, are you really going to guard that 4-tier cake from every bump on the road on the hour car ride to your reception!? Transporting a cake with the tiers separated makes sense for transport.

However then the question is who is going to assemble the tiers once you get it safety to the venue? And who could you trust to do it right? This is why I would personally stay away from this DIY option, if you can help it.

But if you can pull it off, you have the most grand option at your wedding for a fraction of the cost! The real question here is whether all that trouble is worth it.

2) The tiered display cake

Mrs. Deviled Egg's tiered display wedding cake.
This cake would be similar to this display cake constructed by Weddingbee's own Mrs. Deviled Egg. (I thought this was an original idea of mine, just goes to show every wedding idea has been done! lol) This is a cake made of mostly Styrofoam, covered with fondant, with one cake layer for the cake cutting event.

This is a great option for a DIY bride because this can be done in advance. You and your handsome groom will be the only ones to eat this cake, so if you wanted to make it a week beforehand, go for it! This one gives the bride the most room to breathe. You can either order plain sheet cake from a bakery or you could make the sheet cakes yourself, but at least you wouldn't have to worry so much about decoration when dealing with the sheets, just (relatively) match the base color of the cake, and tada! No one will even notice.

The main issue with this option is making sure that the display cake will still look the same after it's been sitting around for an extended period of time. No one will spill anything on it, dust will not dirty up your pristine white fondant, the humid summer air will not melt your buttercream flowers, etc.

Since most of the cake is Styrofoam, you could glue the layers together (minus the cake layer!) for added stability with transport. A tiered display cake assembled in this way will have much more stability than any real cake. If your still worried about the cake layer falling off, make a partial cake layer by cutting out a portion of the Styrofoam and fill it with cake layers. Now every layer can be securely glued together! Just remember where you put the actual cake for the cutting! :)

3) The tiered cake deconstructed

Mrs. Pencil's elegant wedding cake buffet.
Photo copyright and courtesy of B. Scott Photography

This is what I am considering doing for myself. Instead of dealing with the stress of assembling/transporting a tall, tiered masterpiece, do a more modern twist of the wedding cake and do deconstructed, separate layers with varying sizes. Extremely similar to what Weddingbee's Mrs. Pencils did with her cakes.

This way, one doesn't have to worry about having a "fake" display cake, and have all the cake out there for all to see. But this wouldn't be as hard to transport with the individual layers and could be done a couple days in advance as well! The only setup with these cakes would be placing each on a cake stand, which should (hopefully) be easy enough for any helper :)

Another note: Ever heard of the budget saving tip "Don't tell your vendors it's a wedding?" Well it doesn't always work out so easily, (*cough* venue! *cough*) but with this deconstructed style, you can have your cake and at a discount!!! Say it's for a fancy birthday party, 50th anniversary, whatever. Since it's not the usual style of a wedding cake, they won't think twice about it.

4) Small tiered cake with cupcakes or sheet cakes in the back

Cute small wedding cake with cupcakes, all decorated with navy sugar flowers.
Very similar to the previous choices, but now the fancy decorated cake is much smaller, making it easier to manage for a new-comer to baking. Smaller pieces of fondant are easier to drape over cake, less decorations are needed, less worries about the structural integrity of the cake, all equals less stress for the bride!

Similar to the display cake, the sheet cakes do not have to be lavishly decorated, and cupcakes described below will only need minimal decoration, making their execution much easier. This can also be done a couple days in advance.

5) A homestyle cake buffet

A cozy, homestyle wedding cake buffet.
This I believe is the easiest for any bride to do because you don't even have to do anything professional looking! You're going for the homestyle, comforting, straight-from-Mom's-kitchen look, so just swirl your frosting around or smooth it a bit and be done with it! Pick a variety of different flavors to make more interesting! Very stress-free, and great for any causal daytime wedding!

6) Mini-cake favors

Mini Wedding Cake Favors
Probably the most time consuming option, giving all your guests their very own mini wedding cake. It doesn't seem that way at first glance, but realize that unlike cupcakes, your doing all the steps involved with one full wedding cake. So while it's a really fun idea...make sure before you start that you can handle doing something as time consuming as stacking, cutting, frosting, rolling fondant, covering, and decorating 50 times over and not go crazy. XD Which is why I would highly recommend recruiting help for this project!

If one does dare to attempt this, it would truly be a hit with your guests!

I would ask your baker if this would cost more or less than doing that tiered cake you may be considering, however it may end up costing more just due to the amount of labor. But you never know.

(This could also be a good candidate for the "don't mention it's a wedding" tip)

7) Cupcakes

Purple and ivory wedding cupcakes.
This can be one of the easier options if the right elements are chosen. The main goal for this is finding a way to dress them up enough so they look like "bridal" cupcakes. A fancy garnish for each one, some pretty piping, or some lacy cupcake wrappers, will all help elevate your cupcakes to fit in with your wedding.

So if the difference between making your cupcakes "bridal" and "ordinary" are these complicated tiny sugar orchids you're supposed to make yourself...yes, cupcakes will be difficult. If it's adding a small edible flower to each one, then yes, they will be easier. Remember, everything will have to be done 50+ times over!

Another option is filling your cupcakes with special tip made for filling pastries and a pastry bag with some yummy jelly or buttercream. This will help give your cupcakes a special something and make them more like regular wedding cake.

As I'm sure many of you brides know, bakery cupcakes are usually cheaper than traditional bakery wedding cakes. You could also use the "don't mention it's for a wedding" card here, although since they're becoming more popular for weddings, it may or may not be harder to pull off.

8) Dessert buffet

An impressive wedding dessert buffet.
Not a cake person? They DIY may be perfect for you! Go crazy doing anything from pies, to cheesecakes, to a whole dessert assortment! Your only limited by your time and resources before the big day, (ask for help for multiple desserts!) so make sure you do practice runs for this option as well, and set aside time wisely!

So that's the list, I hope I was through enough to include all wedding cake options, and I hope you can find something that's a great fit for you!

January 7, 2011

The Cricut's Here!!!

My Pink Journey Cricut!8D

Yes, the crazy lady got her Cricut for Christmas!!!

It's so pretty isn't it?! It's a collector's edition for National Breast Cancer Month, and came with the special edition Pink Journey cartridge! Plus Plantin Schoolbook and Accent Essentials cartridges.

I got the special edition because it was a fantastic ebay find, an auction that had an incorrectly labeled title, so any passerby would think it was just a regular Cricut for sale. Not to mention that for other unknown but fortunate reasons, it was not being bid up as much as other Cricuts on ebay at the time.

I figured a collector's item would be worth more in the long run, in case I wanted to sell it after all the wedding preparations are over. Also that Pink Journey cartridge? Worth over $100 on average! 0.0 (A normal Cricut cartridge will go for approx $30 on ebay, depending)

After bugging my mom for two hours debating whether I should buy it or not, my mom offered to use her bidding program to help me out. I anxiously waited for the end results...and...wait, what? Who won this?! z***t?! Who the hell is that?!?

I called up my mom saying her bidding program didn't work, z***t won the auction, and started getting slightly frantic. Her response? "Oh, okay then, I guess we'll have to wait til Christmas to see if I really won the auction or not. :D" My mom is always trying to get "surprises" for Christmas gifts, lol.

So obviously I knew she had it :)

Ebay is, apparently, pretty good at disguising bidders names. I don't remember the exact number offhand, but I believe we won the auction around $185 plus approx $25 shipping. Which is a steal considering my mom sold the Pink Journey cartridge for me for $125! :D

(No offense to those who would have kept the cartridge, however I am fortunate enough to not have a breast cancer victim in the family, so I hope that I never need it.)

So, being gifted the Make the Cut! cutting program as well, I had to figure out how the hell to get this thing working!

Coming Up: Setting up your Cricut with Make the Cut!

January 6, 2011

o.0 A Gorgeous Inspiration Board!

Even though lovely winter weddings are dancing through my head, purple weddings will always and forever speak to me. And make my heart skip a beat <3

So I can't stop staring at this board by Weddingbee's Mrs. Rainbow:

Mrs. Rainbow's old romantic, elegant and purple wedding inspiration board.I would say more but I'm still staring.


January 5, 2011

Conquering the DIY Wedding Cake: The Beginning Steps


How does anyone take a break from the wedding blog world?!

So many blog posts to catch up on! So many posts needed for this blog!

But I finally finished Weddingbee's updates, and that's the hardest part, in my opinion. (Those ladies know how to post! So many 0.o)

Anywhoo, a post that has been a long time in the making, the wedding cake.

DIY wedding cake.

A gorgeous, modern, white and brown tiered wedding cake with modern roses.A three-word phrase that almost every bride runs away screaming from. Baking cake the day before the wedding? Learning difficult pastry techniques? Not going to happen.

But I believe it can be done!

You just have to find the right fit for you.

All options however, have the same three elements in common:
1) a great cake recipe
2) cake decorating skills and techniques
3) prep work a couple days before the wedding

But not all of these elements have to be scary or difficult.

Finding a luscious cake flavor:

A tasty slice of chocolate cake :)Now, everyone has different tastes when it comes to cake. Fluffy and moist is a good place to start, however I have found my family considers "moist" cake to be almost raw...and mushy. Not quite what I had in mind XP There are thousands of cake recipes and techniques out there. How's a girl to choose?!

Practice runs.

I know most are watching your waistlines, but the only tried-and-true way of finding the special concoction is to taste it. You only have to make one regular-sized 8-9in cake to taste it, and I'm sure you'll have family/friends/coworkers/etc who would love to take the rest off your hands if you're really worried :)

Also the practice runs will give you valuable information on how long it takes to make the recipe and how difficult it is to execute. If you have your heart set on a technically challenging cake, I recommend you recruit help, for the wedding cake AND at least one practice run, to make sure you have the team working together smoothly.

I plan on doing a fun winter cake to test my skills, so I will keep you posted on my cake recipe findings :)

Getting in touch with your inner Ace of Cakes:

Duff Goldman with many of his Ace of Cakes cake creations.No matter if your plans are cupcakes, buttercream cake, or a fondant masterpiece, you have to consider the fact that all of these need pastry skills. Know your limitations or take course to hone your skills!

Joann Fabrics, Michaels, and many other craft stores usually has Wilton cake decorating courses, which is the best way for the average bride-to-be to learn the pastry arts. If you look for special discounts and 40% off coupons for supplies, they can be more affordable. I highly recommend this if you have ANY DIY cake plans. So of course, I plan on taking these classes in the very near future, just need to check to see if it conflicts with the puppy's obedience school :)

At the very least, watch cake decorating shows on TV (there are TONS of them these days, and I adore them!) they do give out little tips here and there, plus you get to see masters at work, and I personally learn from example! Some recommend viewings are Ace of Cakes, Amazing Wedding Cakes (if you get the WE channel), Food Network Challenge (some are food, some are cake), Ultimate Cake Off or even Top Chef: Just Desserts if they have a cake episode.

My absolute favorite? Ace of Cakes!!! Total. cake. eye candy. :D :D :D

Cake Boss and Cupcake Wars are baking shows too but they're not my favorite. Too many other elements, not enough cake making.

I am extremely curious and excited to try a fondant cake, and I know I'm going to try this recipe, from Peggy Weaver's Baking Corner, which seems to be a very good source for wedding cake decorating and fondant tips and help. It is also mentioned that the taste of her marshmallow fondant is a bit better than other varieties! Tutorial to come!

Putting aside time for the cake...right before the wedding:

This is a fairly crucial element. Cakes can be done a little bit further in advance than, say, bouquets and boutonnieres (which should be done the day before or the day of), however if you don't have time 2 or 3 days before the wedding, the DIY route probably won't work for you. I personally would not let cake sit around for more than 3 days for such a special occasion.

Depending on the number of people you need to feed, it could take a good part of a day to construct your cake. The practice runs will help you calculate how much time is needed, but overall I would try your hardest to not make this a rushed process.

Time will be needed to transport and construct the cake the day of as well, whether it's putting tiers together or displaying cupcakes on their stands.

Well, I didn't say it wouldn't be time consuming XP

But for now, those are the beginning building blocks for a successful wedding cake: good recipes, some skills, time and planning.

Some of you may be thinking: "Errr...Sarah...you're not really helping". But wait! Hear me out. I have some clever ideas that make the whole thing a bit easier. And every bit helps right?