Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prayer for a Beautiful Day

I hope all these beautiful flowers are still in bloom for the wedding! Especially the hydrangeas! Aren't they gorgeous? I have been out in the yard for the past 2 days weeding and raking and seeding and watering! That storm last week really wreaked havoc on my yard. I'm so worried about the weather on Wedding Day. It has been so awful this summer, I don't feel our chances are very good. Hopefully, my mom will pull some strings up there in heaven!

We have worked so hard on the yard and the patio to get it wedding ready but I keep having this vision of rain and wind and candles all over the house and people standing up eating their dinner. But I've already told Jenni--if it happens, it happens! We have a big downstairs and upstairs, with 2 kitchens and we can still string lights, and hang lanterns, and light a million candles and clear the furniture for a dance floor. It will still happen and it will still be fun--just not how we pictured it.

But oh please let us pray for a beautiful day!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Two Weeks!!!

Well, the wedding is only 2 weeks from today! And we are really crossing things off the list. Nate is finishing up the patio today--that's him with the shirt around his head, the earphones in his ears and the trowel in his hand! Thank you Nate! It has been on going because of the weather, but I think we should have it in dance floor condition by the ninth.

The photo below is a mock set up of the bride and groom's table. Of course, there will be flowers and a candle as well, but I was just playing with the set up. We're using real china and real silverware for the bride and groom--and I found the glasses at Pier 1--the champagne glasses have a pretty flowery print on them that's hard to see in the photo. They were on sale for $5.98 a piece! And the goblets (for $8.00 a piece) were just irresistible!

Now is the time for organization. We have just spent months and months of stock-piling--now we are sorting and seeing just what we have. I have a bunch of boxes so we can sort: table set ups, the bride and groom table, cheese and cracker display, salad stuff etc.

Two weeks!!! I can't believe it! So much checked off the list and so much left to do!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding--Right This Way!

Instead of numbers, we gave all the tables names--names of favorite Rockport places by the sea! And we decided to put those names on actual beach rocks that I gathered today from Pebble Beach.

Of course, we are still working on the table seating chart--waiting on a couple of rsvp's, then we should be able to figure it out and fill out those adorable little starfish place cards above. David made the tray; it will be filled with sand to stick the escort cards in. The "Wedding" sign will be nailed to a tree just before the bridge to the property to greet the guests.

Everything else is pretty much on cue. Jenni and Jose stopped at the Kittery outlets on their way home from camping this past weekend and purchased the rings! We are supposed to order flowers and buy the wine and champagne by the end of this week(this is all according to our countdown schedule)AND return those darn plastic tableclothes (that the store gave to Jenni without her realizing) and get paper! AND (because the guest list is NOT shrinking) we need to buy MORE of everything--plates, cups and cutlery!

Now I know why people lose it in these last few weeks--it's all the little things that bog you down. I hate to admit it, but today I'm actually looking forward to all this planning and prep coming to an end!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lanterns and Lights

Jenni and Jose have gone camping for the weekend. Jenn read somewhere that the bride and groom should plan a get away in the weeks before the wedding--as a way to relieve tension and stress. What, may I ask, should the mother-of-the-bride who is hosting the wedding at her home do to relieve stress? Plant grass seed? Cut out paper fans? Go over the seating chart? The guest list? The food shopping list? The day-before-the wedding cooking schedule? Or maybe add up all the feet of lights and take measurements and figure out exactly how to string all these twinkly lights and mango lanterns?!

The wedding is only three weeks from tomorrow and we've been planning for a year now! The first idea for the reception included lots of little white lights, candles and Chinese paper lanterns. Originally, we thought wedding white, but then I thought, why not add some color?--Jose is from Guatemala and Spanish weddings are supposed to be a fiesta, a celebration! So they decided on mango! Sweet! It goes with the yellow-orange summer colors and will really add some pop to the back yard.
But who is going to string them? Where exactly will they go? When will we do it? And will there be enough?

I hope Jenni has a fabulous stress-free weekend by the campfire with her fiancee, her sister and her fiancee (they have vowed to not talk weddings--yeah right!), because when she comes home, we only have three weeks left to get all these details figured out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Flowers! The last major detail to order. Like everything else, we are going it alone in the floral department as well. I love flowers, probably more than anyone I know, but why pay someone an extraordinary fee to put them together when we can do it ourselves!? One advantage to having a garden wedding is having the natural environment contribute to the floral decor. Jenni and I are ordering roses (all roses to make it simple) on line--still a little uncertain with which site exactly, but we have it narrowed down to Potomac Floral and The Flower Exchange

These are some pics we are using for inspiration; the idea is soft and romantic and even though we wish we could add in lots of other beautiful flowers (peonies are my fave), it will be easier and cheaper to stick with just roses, and just as lovely I think. What flower says summer or romantic more than the rose? For that summer color palate, we decided on white, cream, pale yellow and a soft summery orange. To add a beachy feeling, we are adding in a few sprigs of bear grass.

There are a million places to go for instructions on making your own bouquet. Basically, you'll need floral wire and tape, satin ribbon and pearl-headed pins. Try this link on JRRoses or check out these video instructions on youtube.

These pics are just for inspiration of course, but something about the all white one below really captures my fancy for the bride. We'll see.

Wedding Cookies!

These are just one of the many varieties of cookies I am making to accompany the cake at Jenni's wedding. They are Lemon (such a summer wedding flavor)! I started out with the idea of Italian cookies (Jenni is half Italian and Italian cookies accompany every Italian celebration and event) but strayed just a bit with the lemon. The other flavors include anisette, mexican wedding, double-chocolate and almond macaroon. Yum!
There may be one or two more varieties in the mix--we'll see! It is so much fun making the cookies, and easy, because its the one thing I can make ahead and store in the freezer!

I ordered the main course today--Chicken Lemon(yes, again with the lemon)from a local Italian restaurant! How exciting. I decided to order a few things and make the rest (am I insane?). There are actually 2 main course choices--the other is steak pizzaiola, made with fried breaded steaks baked in the oven with a sweet tomato sauce. I'll be making these myself!

Check back for the entire menu soon--as it is just about finalized. Cibo felice!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hair & Make Up Trial Day!

This morning, my good friend Kiley, who I worked with for more than 7 years and is the most AMAZING hair stylist, came over to the house to do a hair and make up trial for Jenni. It was such fun! Jenni had this sheet of hair ideas printed out to show Kiley, and then Kiley got to work with her magic wand, a fabulous new curling iron she just got. An hour and a half and a few pins later, voila! Perfect romantic beach wedding hair! Kiley's letting Jenni borrow her pretty sparkly hair comb (that takes care of the "something-borrowed")that a few tiny white flowers may accompany on wedding day.

Jenni's not a big make up girl so Kiley stayed on the natural side, covering the darkness under Jenni's eyes (which she hates!) and enhancing her natural beauty. The brown eyeliner really made her blue eyes pop and a little pink gloss finished off that soft romantic glow!

Thank you Kiley! You are the best!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Project: P A T I O

Here it is! In the making--the last big project before the wedding! The patio beneath the deck. I had three major projects I needed to accomplish before the wedding. The first was to refresh the bathroom--this was considerably easy; all that was required was some paint, new cabinet hardware, material and a good scrubbing. Check. Second was to install sliders from the dining room onto the deck. Check. The third was to finish off the area beneath the deck by installing a patio. This is where we'll set up the buffet tables and the overhang will serve as the dance floor.

After an estimate of over $6,000. by a friend and mason (with a discount!), I opted to go it alone. Well, not really alone--my son Nathan is the powerhouse of this project. Last week, he dug up the area; yesterday, he and Jose raked out the sand; today he'll compact it with a machine and tomorrow, he'll lay out the pavers! I'm so excited! Estimated total cost: between $500 and $600.00!

It is the one project that will really transform the yard. I'm going to re-pot these beautiful white impatiens in patio pots for the corners. What a sense of relief! It was the one project I wasn't certain we could actually make happen. Thank you Nathan!!!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Be Our Guest!

We have so many fabulous surprises planned for the wedding, I shouldn't give them all away, but I just have to share this easy, fun and chic idea for a guest book! We created this online at Kodak Gallery! It was easy, fun and affordable! We chose orange (one of Jenni's colors; the other is yellow) and an assortment of her engagement photos (although using any assortment of couple photos would do), and only placed them on every other page leaving blank pages in between for the guests to express their wishes! Beneath each photo, Jenni and Jose came up with trivia captions that tell a story about them as a couple. I just love it! And we made it way back in the winter--in fact, it might have been the very first project we completed!

The card on the front of the book (with the starfish) is a card Jenni designed to match her invitations; it will have multiple uses throughout the wedding, but it was created specifically as an escort card. Each card will have the name of the guest and the name of the table they are seated at (each table is named for a seaside location in Rockport). The cards will be stuck in a tray of beach sand!

So, another secret shared! Shhhh . . . there's plenty more where that came from!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Wedding Blues

So--the shower is over and now it's on to the wedding! And so much to do! I think my poor little Jenni has a case of the pre-wedding blues--so overwhelmed with the week by week agenda of things we must still do AND pay for! yikes!

I'm right there with her--but we have to keep reminding ourselves that the wedding will go on even without everything being perfect. Yes, we need food and drink and we'll have a party no matter what; the ipod is all set with playlists for cocktails, dinner and dancing, the cake is ordered, the table and chair rentals are ordered, the flowers . . . well, we're stressing a little on that one, and the alcohol (the downfall to a backyard wedding--in a hall, you can have the cash bar)but the other stuff is small stuff like the menu board, the escort cards, the yard set up.

Thank goodness we were smart enough to do a lot of things ahead--that's what I say Jenni! Like these favors we made! Don't you love them? To make the cards, we sponge- painted the white starfish onto sand-colored cardstock with a hand-cut stencil; on the back, we glued these five words that symbolize the five Jordan almonds in the mesh: health, wealth, happiness, children & long-life. No one ever knows what the almonds actually mean and we thought the symbolism deserved to be shared! We tied the tags on using this pretty orange organza ribbon and they will be set at each place setting. We also made table runners to match the favor cards. I bought a big roll of brown kraft paper and sponge-stenciled cut-pieces with a little larger version of the white starfish. The organza ribbon and the brown roll of kraft paper were purchased from Papermart online. The almonds, the cardstock, the acrylic white paint and the mesh circles were all purchased at a local craft store.

Everything will be fine Jenni--deep breaths, and you'll be on that California cruise ship soaking in the sun with your hubby in no time!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wedding Inspiration

My parents on their wedding day-July 30, 1961. Jennifer is going to frame an 8x10 of this photo for the reception table at her wedding.

I just love this photo--it keeps me grounded and reminds me in all our planning that simple and classic never goes out of style. I just love my mom's simple strapped short white dress, the string of pearls, the white pumps and my father's light blue suit. It was nothing but a pretty table with a cake made by the neighbor, flowers, pretty china and champagne in mix-and-match glasses. Classic and simple and oh-so-elegant!

So, Jenni's wedding will be on a bit larger of a scale, but I keep Mama and Papa's wedding in my mind and in my heart through all the craziness, because in the end, it won't really matter if we get the monogrammed cocktail napkins or if we have pretty parasols in the photos or even if it rains--as long as we have cake and champagne and friends and family, we will have a beautiful wedding day! Sometimes, a little perspective is the most important thing in planning a do-it-yourself wedding . . .