Friday, April 22, 2011

I digress...

So, you hear about brides who suddenly need to get a bigger-size wedding dress due to the impending arrival of a certain new family member. Well, we're not getting that sort of bundle of joy. However, Adam and I did recently find our family situation a little small for our liking. You'd think that our combined personalities plus 2 overly-social (read: needy) cats would be enough for one household. You see, I have spent my life with a big shaggy friend nearby at all times. In fact, I don't remember a time growing up when I didn't have a drooling walking buddy.

At this time in life most people my age are starting to feel the peer pressure to settle down and get married. Not me. Well, yes, I am getting married, but I'm still on the front-end of the trend among people I know. My real weakness? Puppies. Various friends at law school are made so much happier by their furry friend, my friend Katie tells me that it's the best stress-buster she could come up with, and brother got an adorable golden retriever last summer. With all this happening around me, I had no chance to resist.

That's right, folks, Adam and I are getting a dog!!! Due to allergy issues as well as this being Adam's first attempt at canine ownership, I decided on finding a breeder for a goldendoodle. Half adorable, sweet, loyal golden retriever; half allergy-free, intelligent poodle. After much research (and simultaneous avoidance of law school homework - excellent), I found the Red Cedar Farms GoldenDoodle breeder in Hutchinson, Minnesota. They happen to have had a litter of puppies born this month (April) of dark golden colored doodles. So, I contacted Dede at Red Cedar Farms and chatted with her. This resulted in my future ownership of this precious little creature:

I mean, how cute is he? We've decided to name him Gatsby. The name has a little Minnesota to it (F. Scott Fitzgerald lived here), it's based on a great book, and it's a damn cute name! Plus it ends in a vowel, which is supposed to be easier for a dog to learn.

We will be receiving this little bundle of joy May 8, just in time to distract me during my summer of bar-studying-horror. But what to do in the meantime?? We have bought all sorts of interesting books on raising a good puppy. I won't bore you with the titles, but it's actually really fun and interesting.

Although I won't need a newly sized wedding dress (well, who knows after my gelato-binge from last night), I will need to purchase some sort of adorable puppy-sized bow tie for our little bundle of fluff come wedding time. :)


Friday, April 8, 2011


Cake tasting...success! Now, I don't want to give away too many details about this fabulous cake we'll be having on the wedding day, but it is seriously the thing I am currently most excited about! Our cake baker is Gateaux, Inc. She's a small wedding cake baker in Plymouth, MN. Her cakes are works of art. (seriously, check her out: She only bakes two wedding cakes per week and they're truly a labor of love. Also, she's currently featured on a wedding cake show on the WE network. Yeah, she's kind of a big deal. :)

We knew from the beginning that Adam and I are not your typical classic cake couple. As beautiful and delicious as those four tier, white, lacy creations look, we knew we wanted something more artsy. The food is probably the most important aspect of the wedding for Adam and also Mother of the Bride, so the cake had to be a big deal. But most importantly? The thing has to actually taste good!

Enter Robin from Gateaux. As soon as I walked in the door, I was in love with this woman. Not only is she fabulously creative, but she gets just as giddy when she's excited as I do. Five minutes into the meeting we were both actually bopping in our seats with excitement. See, her favorite cakes are those ones she gets to go a little nuts with. This woman and I were like soul sisters. She gets me. We wanted a cake that goes with our theme (lakes of Minnesota) without being overly literal or kitchy. She designed the most wonderful piece of art. It has color, asymmetry, shape, and is just going to be beautiful. I won't give any more details away because I'm hoping to wow all you guests with this labor of love...But it's so hard to keep this exciting thing a secret!

Now, to the cake tasting: Gateaux does this perfectly. One Friday afternoon, you waltz into the bakery and pick up a giant box. In that box are seven cake flavors that you get to take home to try. Adam and I decided to make a party of it. We invited my parents, his parents, Lauren, and Joe to get together, eat dinner (a super light dinner mind you), and try flavor after flavor. While I won't tell you the winners, I will say that we could not go wrong. By the end, everyone was practically fighting over the last pieces of cake. So delicious! So, ladies and gentlemen, rest easy: under that work of art you'll be seeing on Aug. 13 will be a whole lot of tasty!

Hope you all don't mind the hasty, scattered post. I think it reflects my excitement about this delicious dessert!


Thursday, February 10, 2011


So I'm beginning to get excited about wedding design! And the most obvious bit of design that comes to mind is the centerpiece. It's what stands out to me most in those crazy "platinum wedding" shows. Well, generally you don't really have an option when watching those tv shows as the centerpieces are often six feet tall, complete with trees, crystals, flowers, candles, the list goes on forever. Apparently the thing to do when you have a $100k budget is to design towering centerpieces that block you guests, and can even blind them if the light shines off them in a certain way. Yikes! And they all look so fragile that one tipsy bump to the table could create a disaster. So, that idea's out. And, as cute as those vases full of lemon/lime slices are, they're just not quite me.

Here's what has been running through my brain: water, vases, candles, stones, and blooms. Sound like a lot going on? Well, if you know me you're probably not too surprised. :). Somehow, however, I would like to insert some sort of scheme to this mess. SO! What I've found myself drawn to are tables w/ tall vases filled with water and floating flowers over stones, with other blooms and/or candles on top, surrounding by votive candles.

Insert Emily's Inspiration Board:

I love the look of floating orchids with candles on top, surrounded by votives. I think the votives next to the vases makes the water and flowers light up beautifully. Or maybe we could do a tall vase filed with orchids, and a smaller vase or two next to it with tea roses, surrounded by votives. So many options for pretty flowers and candlelight! The water effect is important to me because our wedding is themed around the element of water - the lakes of Minnesota. I just want it to seem candlelit and romantic!! Oh boy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

That Damn Kelsey Banyan...

In my mailbox (snail mail that is), I received the cutest little postcard the other day (week). Immaculately done, artistic, abstract, romantic. Kelsey and Dave's Save the Date card! And then I thought to myself...oh crap. How is it that she is so very on top of things, so much so that she sends out these cards before me when she's getting married a month afterwards???

So, naturally, wedding nightmares ensued and a frenzy of active inactivity. That's right. Did I get off my butt to suddenly throw together an immaculate card of my own? No. First, I was on winter break. What does winter break mean for the average law student, you may wonder. Basically, it means a decompression bubble where they tend to ignore the outside world and essentially everything outside of crappy tv and trashy magazines. My second excuse, which may be more relevant, is that I am not in any way as organized as Ms. Banyan. Third, the oft-mentioned lack of aesthetic sense I possess in spades.

Well, the time has come to finally get over myself and get out that first-wedding-impression to all our lovely friends and family. About all I know right now is that I want it to be creative. As much as I love those little photo-booth shots, I fear that my friends may not attend my wedding based on receiving yet another one of these cards. Martha Stewart suggests I send out a little envelope, where you open it and pull out this immaculately crafted ribbon with the dates attached.
Although Martha's idea is beautiful and simple, it (a) seems pretty complicated for this craft-simple bride and (b) just doesn't quite seem to be "us" (whatever that means).

So, naturally, I googled "creative save the dates" and came up with some things I really like!
This one I love because it could totally go with our "lakes of MN" theme we have going. We could use a "Lakeshore Weekly" newspaper and feature MN all over it, as well as a fun picture of us. Maybe have a winter lake in the background with a fun sunny photo. Seems very fun, and it's got that little bit of humor I really like.

This one is great because it goes with one of my favorite pictures from our engagement photos, where we have our chucks shoes tied together (tying the knot, get it?!). See the following image and insert "awwww."
So maybe that would work for us.

This one I also love, but it may require creativity a bit beyond my level.
I would love to come up with something cute like "no, you can't bring your x-box to the wedding." Or, alternatively, he could be commenting on the fact that I want to wear an entirely pink wedding dress...

Ok, I guess I have a few inspiration ideas. What I now need is a little perspective. What do you all think?


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bridesmaid Dress - Success!!

I apologize, friends and fam, for my absence from wedding blogging. First there were finals and then the holidays...well I got busy. But Adam and I have been busy (although not so much with the subject of today's blog). We have...bridesmaid dresses!

Ok, I'll admit it - they're pink and taffeta. Before you start harping about images like the following:
Despite the images that pink + taffeta draw to the mind (and despite my momentary panic about such dresses when I chose these), they're actually very pretty! I chose a watermelon pink - which translates to a middle of the road, flattering pink. And without it being a totally shiny, 80s style taffeta, the material looks great on everyone. Silk and chiffon, while cute, tended to shout "bridesmaid!" in letters a little too loudly for me. The taffeta looks, by contrast, like a cute cocktail dress. At the wedding, you may just find yourself wondering, "how did these gorgeous ladies happen to match one another?" Ok, maybe not.

They all do, however, get to choose their own style. I thought about posting pictures of the various dresses, but the websites do not at all get the actual color right. They turn a simple pink into a very loud fuchsia. So, I won't. The dress styles to choose from flatter all body types, and I think my lovely maids will be happy (or at least not horrified) but the selection.

So, hooray for dress success! More to follow (I promise!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Most Important Thing

Pardon me as I get all mushy here. So, I've been wrapped up in this conundrum between wedding planning craziness and law school craziness, when I was suddenly reminded today what this is all really about. The marriage, the wedding, everything - it's about family. As trite as that sounds, it's true.

My beautiful sister-in-law and brother had their first child today, a little girl, and it really put things into perspective for me. They've had this spectacular marriage, a wedding built on only a month's notice, a great puppy, and now a gorgeous little girl. And a wedding is fun and all to plan, but it's these moments that it's really about. It's that joy of becoming first a family, and then parents. I know that Laura-Lee was nervous going into the hospital today, but her unbending strength, coupled with my brother's support, capability, and endless good cheer made everything fantastic. They are going to be the most loving, best parents. I wish more than anything that I could've been there today to meet that new niece of mine. I am so happy for them, it's simply hard to contain.

I'm in awe of this couple, for so many reasons. And I really take their relationship as one to follow in my own. They both are such a happy mix of cheerful and sensitivity, and they tackle all that life brings them together, as a couple. They managed to fall in love and start an amazing marriage in under a year. Their wedding, planned only in a month, was so touching and thoughtful because they were so happy. I've never met two people who wanted to share their love for one another more than these two. I was so touched how much it meant to them that we were all there, celebrating their new life together. And now we can be there for them in this new challenge, supporting them in this new adventure. I will most certainly be there to explain to my little niece why her Dad is so crazy.

Here's a picture of Laura-Lee as she went into the hospital today looking tough as ever!

And here's one of the new parents and BABY!

So, here's to the two new parents and the new little one!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Toughest Decision to Date...

Bridesmaid Dresses.

Oh Bridesmaid dresses. Where do I begin? I have never once cared what a bride made me wear. In fact, I've loved both of the bridesmaid dresses I've been forced into (in fact, I still wear Christine's!). So why do I break out into a cold sweat every time I think about dressing my maids???? I mean, all of my bridesmaids are beautiful women, with fabulous body frames. However, fabulous bodies do not always possess the same body type. Tall, short, breasts, no breasts, likes strapless, hates strapless, the list goes on. This demonstrates to me the difficulty of this task. When I look at dresses, obviously I generally look for what I think would look best on me. And I am of the short, small breasted, lover of strapless variety. fears. Basically, it's choosing the dress that appears to my bridesmaids to look like the following:

The solution: I give up. My maids get to pick their own dresses. Yep. I've seen this done via and it can turn out beautifully. See the following:

Just lovely! In fact, it's even in my color! Oh how I love pink...but I digress. I'll pick the color and fabric, and the ladies get to go nuts on the style. Sounds so simple, right? Color, fabric, good price, and lots of choices! Well...

So I embarked on some research. First stop, websites. Since this is a new trend, there have to be bridesmaid dress designer websites that allow you to shop by color and fabric for this very idea. Wrong. Only, apparently, if you want to dress your bridesmaids in ugly separates (think prom dress nightmare circa 2001), can you shop by color and fabric to mix and match. Fine, I thought, I'll go to an actual bridesmaid dress store. They have to facilitate this, right? Wrong again! I walk into a huge wedding shop and while they have a million dresses, they do not possess significant dresses from a single line. And, apparently, not all fuchsias are created equal. Not only do different designers use vastly different color palates, but designers don't even use the same colors for different fabrics!(!!!)

So, after all of this, am I back to the pants-dress? No. I still value the comfort of those special ladies too much, and am still too uncomfortable to pick one style. So I'm working out a solution, involving a website that actually sells bridesmaid dresses at a discount and actually has whole "lines" of many designers. Now that I've found myself beyond the confusion of how to make what I want to do work, it's actually a lot of fun. Finding that perfect fabric/color/price combination is a challenge I am going to win.

Enter comparison shopping and research, something about which I am actually pretty passionate. I mean, I won't buy so much as a toaster oven without searching for the absolutely best reviewed/price combination. While this may take a little longer than I initially envisioned, I think everyone will come out a winner. :)

I feel better already!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Making our own Traditions :)

My wedding guide for this week (44 weeks left!) says that this week we're supposed to think about "important traditions" for designing our wedding. Well, we seem to have gotten as far as "we want it to be legal." So, as much tradition as that requires seems like a good place to start. And I don't think that "lots of fun" and "lots of dancing" and "lots of pretty" are quite traditions. So, where to look for important traditions for our big day?

We began by looking at family traditions. Ok, so far our families all seem to have started and stopped at "making it legal." After that no traditions seemed to have been spawned. Maybe we'll try and start some family traditions - possibly we could take a couple of hints from my big brother's beautiful wedding in September 0f 2008. Well, where to start? I don't think it will be with stealing my sis-in-law's gorgeous wedding dress. Probably we won't have the photographer change to a fish-eye lens immediately after the ceremony. I loved the Q&A session the happy couple had with the guests. It allowed everyone to laugh and really get to know Laura-Lee and Cullen better. I don't know that I'm as witty as my stellar big bro, but it could be something fun to do to bring everyone together at the event.

My favorite wedding tradition is from a wedding I attended in Stockholm, Sweden. One of our favorite foreign exchange students got married. Even though I didn't speak a word of Swedish (well, I can say "good day," but then I'm out), it was the most fantastic wedding I've ever seen. The couple had two "toast-masters" in charge of emceeing the reception. They organized a fun game where the bride and groom stood back to back, each holding a shoe of the other. Then the toast-masters asked them various questions about who was responsible for what in their relationship. For example, "who pursued whom?" They would each raise the shoe of the person responsible. It was hilarious. Especially when they disagreed, and they had no idea.

So, good start here I think. We already have two wonderful friends, Chris and Celine, in the role of our "toast-masters," and I know they'll be great!

So, we're back to creating traditions that are "fun and funny." I think it works. Now we just need more ideas!!! Feel free to chime in with any suggestions!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

the eBay Bride...

So I checked this book out from the library - How to Buy Everything for Your Wedding on eBay...and Save a Fortune! And it's actually super interesting - for weddings and more. Did you know that you can get everything from the ceremony location to the napkins to the tent to the dress on eBay for a fraction of the cost? And do it successfully? Apparently you can. Now, I have no desire to rent my tent, or especially buy my wedding dress, from eBay, but there are wedding specialists who sell all sorts of designer materials cheaply on eBay. The way they can cut costs is the bidding process and elimination of multiple middle men. It's a whole industry apparently. Many sellers who sell at market prices in real stores make added revenue selling at discounts on eBay.

This is starting to sound sort of ideal for purchases that are marked up like crazy for no real purpose. Example 1: veils. Now, I know I sort of should wear a veil. The eight year old inside me demands it. So, ok. But do I want to spend $100+ (on the cheap side) for something made of gauze and a comb? Not really. I don't know how comfortable I feel about borrowing one. These things can be touchy for people, and any foresight in circumventing the all-too-common phenomenon of Emily sticking her foot in her mouth is always valued. So, maybe eBay is my solution? Why shouldn't I be able to go try on a bunch of cute veils and then purchase one at a fraction of a cost on eBay. After some preliminary research, there are zillions of veil sellers on eBay offering everything from fancy custom veils to your simple version. Many sellers have feedback from hundreds of happy customers, although some do have poor ratings too. Also, they offer crazy good return policies. Why not look into it?

These are the musings of the moment. Saving money while buying quality products? That sounds like a savvy bride. :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

There is no such thing...

There is absolutely no such thing as a "casual" question about someone's wedding. It's not like, "so, what's new with your fiancé?" Easy - not much, life's pretty good. It's definitely not like "how are you?" Easy - just dandy. It is much more akin to talking about one's newborn child, or a beloved pet if you're pre-child. This is a conversation question. When asked about my nuptials, I somehow cannot manage to begin and end in a few minutes. Nope. With me, you'll get the date, the theme, the colors, website addresses to potential dress choices, and whatever other current wedding obsession of the moment. And I don't even consider myself an "OCD" bride. Really, the scenario here is an overly enthusiastic person by nature let loose on wedding planning.

So, be warned, you're going to get an earful. You will hear more about escort cards than you ever desired to learn in your life. And, yes, I will probably have a small guilty pang later for hogging the conversation. But apparently hindsight does not (cannot?) curtail future action. I'm happy, in love, and So Excited about every little aspect. :D