Monday, August 31, 2009

Clutch This!

I am just crazy about! These fabulous clutches all lined with 100% dupioni silk and all for $65 make the absolute perfect bridesmaid/maid-of-honor gift. Such a fun and colorful way to accessorize the most chic wedding parties! All from FIAZCO on etsy! And they will even customize for your wedding and include personalized messages for gift-giving--check it out!

A Time of Whimsy

Found this fun photo shot on and couldn't resist! Thought my blog could use something to lift the heavy post-wedding mood. And what better way than with these child-like, color-filled balloons?! I love the idea of having balloons at your wedding--and not just white balloons, but all these fanciful colors! Fun, fun, fun! Especially this shot of the pretty girls ballooning out the guy's faces! For more fun balloon shots, check out!

Friday, August 28, 2009

If I Could Do It Again

Ok--so as with every special event you host, you know there are going to be things you miss, things you learn, things you regret or wish, in hind sight, you had done differently. I don't have a lot with Jenni and Jose's wedding, but I do have a few that stand out:

1-As I mentioned yesterday--no pictures of the food! This might seem a bit trivial unless you made all the food as I did. I really wish I had passed out lists to the people with cameras (because God knows I had no time to be Miss Snapshot)of things that were important to me to get photos of, because the food wasn't the only omission.

2-Besides the food, we neglected to get pictures of a)me with all my brothers, b)Jenn with all her cousins, c)Jenn with her siblings, d)Jenn with me and her siblings,e)Jenn, Nate & Beth with my father and f) a group photo of our extended family. Again, maybe having an informal "photo list" would have helped.

3-Moving on from my "no-photo" regrets, I also regret not moving table to table to meet Jose's family, chat with guests and thank people for coming. I know there really wasn't time, and Jenni & Jose did make these rounds, but I felt like I said good-bye to people that I had never even said hello to.

4-Another regret was not announcing a few things: a)that people were welcome to re-visit the buffet table, b)that the cake was on display in the upstairs dining room for viewing, c)that the bride and groom would be cutting the cake on the deck, (I heard many complaints from guests that they couldn't see, but I loved that they were up on the deck, away from everything) and d)that there were Italian Cookies and cheesecakes for dessert as well as cake and where they were. Sometimes guests at weddings need a little direction and I learned that its the role of an MC to provide this.

5-Lastly--I regret that I did not pass out the beautiful table roses to select people who deserved them, like Jess and Amanda and Sarah who were such a tremendous help and Kiley who did Jenn's gorgeous hair. I really would have liked them to go home with people and not just sit in my house until they spoiled.

So, as you can see, there are no MAJOR regrets, but just a few things that got overlooked, and no matter how many lists you make and how well-planned you think you are, there will always be a few things you'd like the chance to do over. The good news is nobody even noticed these small oversights on my part--they were all too busy being guests at a fantastic wedding!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


One of my biggest regrets is not having any pictures of the food that I worked so hard to prepare. I have a couple others that I'll share tomorrow, but today I'll just talk about the food.

So, I did all the food myself as you probably know from reading my blog. Is this a good idea? It was definitely a savings; all together, food costs me approximately $800. (and that's guessing on the high side)--a little more than $10 per person; you won't find any caterer that cheap. On the other hand, the prep work in the days before the wedding and the day of really detracted from me enjoying the experience of my daughter getting married and mingling with our guests. Being your own caterer is just an all-consuming affair, even with help.

The wedding was on a Sunday; I did most of my shopping that Thursday--the local market was having a huge farm stand sale and most of my shopping list at this point was for vegetables. The steaks were bought ahead, a few at a time and frozen. I also made the Italian cookies ahead and froze them. Bethany did the same with the quiches.

I defrosted everything that had been frozen on Friday and prepared all the vegetables (shucking corn, washing & snapping beans). I also cooked the green beans on Friday, mixed them with the almonds and butter and refrigerated.

I was up at 5:30 Saturday morning breading and frying steaks. This took me 2 hours on a large griddle Jenni got for her shower (a huge time-saver). When the steaks were done, I started on washing, drying and cutting the potatoes while grilling the cinnamon corn. Big mistake! All the corn was burnt as a consequence of my divided attention and had to be tossed. For just a moment, I contemplated buying all new corn and starting over, but wisely decided this just wasn't feasible. I had enough to do.

So I roasted two huge trays of potatoes and a huge tray of summer vegetables (zucchini, summer squash and red peppers) until they were almost done (I'd roast through the next day). The tough part was making space in the two refrigerators I had. Cooking on Saturday took up all my time. We did flowers at 4:00 and had rehearsal and company for the rest of the night.

On Sunday morn, I took everything out of the fridge early to get it to room temp. Then I put the steaks in the oven to cook them with the sauce, and finished roasting the potatoes and the vegetables. Sarah was kind enough to pick up the Lemon Chicken for me (which is the only thing I didn't cook myself)--and it arrived hot. Once everything else was hot, I set the trays out on a big table, covered them with foil and labeled them. They would not be reheated again. It was a summer day--warm food would do. This reheating of food took the better part of the morning and I really missed out on mimosas, breakfast and Jenni getting her hair and make up done.

And I still had the cheese plates to prepare! I didn't start this until after 12:00 and it took a good hour. What was difficult for me was not being able to set tables or be creative with how the food or cheeses were displayed. There simply wasn't time.

Luckily, I had Jess, Amanda and Amanda to come back to the house and help me by setting up the apps--but no photos!!! My beautiful cheese plates, the fruit bouquet and quiches--all half gone by the time I arrived! And as soon as I arrived, I was consumed with getting the food out and served. Luckily, Jess and Amanda were a big help with this too--they helped me replenish and consolidate as guests went through the line.

Everyone seemed to love the food and no one (thankfully)asked where the cinnamon corn was. I was the last person to eat and then, I must confess, I wasn't very hungry.

The only left-overs were some roasted potatoes,1/2 tray of steaks and a little Caprese salad. The salad greens disappeared as did the chicken and both vegetable dishes. I took this as a good sign. I wish I had Bob (the MC) announce that people were welcome to second helpings. Just another oversight on my part.

So, would I recommend being your own caterer? No. Even though I think it worked out just fine, it was a lot of work and really did take away from me having a good time. If I could have found the food I wanted elsewhere, I wouldn't have made a thing (except appetizers, salads and cookies). If you are going to do it yourself, remember, you can't be too organized! I had a million lists, diagrams and itineraries, not just for the wedding party itself, but for all my prep work too!

Regrets? The food was delicious and I received many compliments--my only real regret concerning the food is that I don't have photos. If anyone out there does, please send them my way!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wedding Day Cocktail Hour

After the ceremony at the bandstand, the bride and groom and family stayed to take pictures in the gazebo and on the beach, so back at the house, we decided to entertain waiting guests with a cocktail hour that included dee-lish frozen mango bellinis (made with mango nectar, champagne and crushed ice)served with an assortment of appetizers:cheese and crackers,hummus and pita chips, swiss mini-quiches (that quickly disappeared) and a beautiful fruit bouquet by Edible Arrangements.

Because I had to stay at the gazebo for pictures, setting up the cocktail hour would be a dilemma for me. But thanks to David's daughters, Jess and Amanda, and my niece Amanda, this worked out fabulously. I drew up a couple of table diagrams, showed them where everything was and they set it all up for me and started the music and the bellinis! Thanks girls!

This is the much-complimented playlist (from my ipod)played during Cocktail Hour:

Beyond the Sea--Michael Buble
Baby I'm Yours--Arctic Monkeys
A Love That Will Last--Renee Olstead
I've Got You Under My Skin--Michael Buble
You Save Me--Kenny Chesney
Dream A Little Dream of Me--Mamas & the Papas
My Cherie Amour--Stevie Wonder
Blue Skies--Ella Fitzgerald
In the Mood--Glenn Miller Orchestra
Come Fly With Me--Michael Buble
Let's Never Stop Falling In Love--Pink Martini
That's Amore--Dean Martin
Everything--Michael Buble
Ain't We Got Fun--Renee Olstead
Our Love Is Here to Stay--Rod Stewart
You Send Me--Aretha Franklin
Mack the Knife--Bobby Darin
Would You Go With Me--Josh Turner
I Just Called to Say I Love You--Stevie Wonder
Summer Wind--Michael Buble
Baby I Love You--Aretha Franklin
Knock Me a Kiss--Louis Jordan
Feeling Good--Michael Buble
All You Need is Love--Lynden David Hall
Amado Mio--Pink Martini
Your Body is a Wonderland--John Mayer
These Are the Days--Keith Urban
Stray Cat Strut--Stray Cats

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Wedding Song

When the car (my brother's plum BMW) pulled up around the bandstand, the music started. I should tell you--this happened only by some divine intervention. We almost had no music. Our music (a total of 4 songs) were on an ipod. There are outlets at the bandstand that Jose and the best man went to check that morning--and found not working! So someone, some time that morning, called the police and they said they would "turn" the outlets on before 3:00. Our music girl, Amanda, arrived at 2:45 to find out they hadn't been. By some miracle, my brother's Jeep had some sort of electric hook up that his wife purchased to blow dry my niece's hair for some event!!! All that was needed was an extension cord, which we brought with us in the wedding car. What a different ceremony it would have been without this beautiful music. As beautiful as this music is by itself, the effect was enhanced even more by the ocean, the sky, and the beautiful bride.

Our driver (aka David) opened the front door for me first, then the back door for the Maid of Honor (Jenni's sister Bethany) and Bridesmaid (cousin Katharine)to step out in their pretty summer yellow dresses. The instrumental playing: Kenny G's "The Wedding Song". First Katharine walked the "aisle" and stood to wait for Bethany at the foot of the bandstand steps. Bethany started her slow walk when Katharine was almost at the steps. The two walked up onto the bandstand together. The music was timed perfectly. This song is just the most beautiful wedding song ever.

Click here to hear Kenny G's The Wedding Song on Youtube.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Heavenly Aisle Walk

Heavenly Day
by Patty Griffin

Oh Heavenly day
All the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today
With anyone

The smile on your face
I live only to see
It's enough for me baby
It's enough for me
Oh heavenly day
Heavenly day
Heavenly day

Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here's a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few
Oh we can right now the only thing that all that we really have to do

Is have ourselves a heavenly day
Lay here and watch the trees sway
Oh can't see no other way
No way
No way
Heavenly day heavenly day heavenly day

No one on my shoulder
Bringing me fears
Got no clouds up above me
Bringing me tears
Got nothing to tell you
I got nothing much to say
Only I'm glad to be here with you
On this heavenly heavenly heavenly heavenly heavenly day
Oh all the troubles gone away
Oh for awhile anyway
For awhile anyway
Heavenly day
Heavenly day
Heavenly day
Heavenly day
Heavenly day
Oh heavenly day

This is the song Jenni walked down the "aisle" to--actually she and Jose walked together. Instead of the traditional father-walk, Jenni thought it would be more appropriate and romantic to have Jose walk up to the car, open her door, extend his hand and walk with her together down the aisle to the bandstand. And it was beautiful. If you've never heard this song, you really must.

Click here to hear Patty Griffin sing Heavenly Day on YouTube.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Romantic Wedding Song

When I See You Smile
by Bic Runga

When I see you smile
It feels like I'm falling
It's not for anybody else to know
The way your face could light the bitter dark of every street
In every town I'll ever go
It's not for anybody else to know
For anybody else to know

When I see you smile
First thing in the morning
It raises curtains on your lazy eyes
Could it be that you and I have the greatest love to ever be
How could this have ever been before?
It's not for anybody else to know
For anybody else to know

When Friday night arrives
We'll let it pass outside the door
This is not for anybody else
Anybody else to know

This is the song Jenni & Jose played during their sand ceremony.

Click here to hear this song on YouTube

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Post Honeymoon Party

So the Wedding House is slowly returning to normal . . .

Last night, we had a little after-the-honeymoon barbecue with Jenni, Jose and the sibs--it was fun--sat on the deck, turned on the wedding lights, grilled up some burgers and dogs, looked at photos, drank left-over champagne and watched the lightening in the distance. Good times!

Jenn and Jose got back from California late on Wednesday night-a four day cruise out of LA to Catalina Island and Ensanada, Mexico. Then a few days in LA--a Hollywood tour, sitting by the pool and Universal Studios. They seem happy, relaxed, tired and more in love than ever! And they loved their wedding! Isn't Jenni's hair adorable!?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Celebration

Instead of toasting at dinner, we had the toast as soon as the bride and groom arrived. It was a great way to kick-start the celebration and also a way of saving us from trying to pour all that champagne in the middle of dinner!

The bridal party was introduced to "It's A Beautiful Day" by U2.

The Bride and Groom's First Dance: Can't Take My Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli.

The cake-cutting on the deck to "Sugar-Sugar" by The Archies.

After toasting his bride, Jose played the guitar and sang "Whatever It Is" (Zac Brown Band)to Jenni. It was super sweet!

Jenni and Jose had their own sweetheart table by the garden facing all their guests, but neither of them ate a thing!

The bar beneath the deck. The cocktail hour drink was a frozen mango bellini (to match the summer wedding colors of yellow and orange) and it was quite a hit! We also offered beer, red and white wine, soda, ice tea and bottled water.

The look on Jenni's face says it all! She was not happy with Jose breaking their promise not to smush-face!

The pinata bashing was alot of fun--Jose cracked his head off at the neck in one swoop!

Jenni and I danced to Kris Allen (American Idol) singing "The Way You Look Tonight".

Everyone loved these floating candles in the bird bath!

The Sparkle Dance: Instead of having a traditional "last dance", we created this special moment near the end of the night that didn't have to end the party (since it was in our backyard). Jenni got these sparklers for all the guest at and everyone made a circle around the bride and groom while they danced to "Ever Ever After" by Carrie Underwood. A magical moment!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

More Ceremony Shots!

Pictures are trickling in! I knew they were out there! I just can't get enough! Especially the ceremony photos--doesn't the bride just glow? These pics from my cousin Karen--Thank you Karen!!!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Roses Roses Roses!

We did all the flowers for the wedding ourselves! Well, almost--we had the expert assistance of our good friend Maria who just happens to also be an amazing floral designer. Jenni told her what she wanted, gave her the money, Maria went to the Boston Flower Market and showed up Saturday afternoon just before rehearsal with a bucket full of beautiful long-stemmed wedding roses and ready-made bouquets and boutonnieres.

Sarah, who was an amazing help to me in setting up also showed up to help. She and Jenni stripped the roses (ouch) while Maria put together the centerpieces. It was quick and fun! And we had the most amazing flowers-in white, cream, yellow and orange! Maria added some beautiful freesia to Jenni's bouquet just to make it extra special, and it was just perfect. Thank you Maria! And thank you Sarah!