Thursday, April 2, 2009
WEDDING SEASON: I THINK CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER
Yes, folks, it's that time of year again...Wedding Season!! Congratulations to all of you recently engaged (my cousin, for one) and to those of you getting married in the near future (Steve's cousin, our friends Rob and Nicky and Tim and Sophia) and those just married (Steve's cousin). While many people may come up on wedding season with an "ugghh" frame of mind (another dress, airline ticket, hotel room, gift, etc.), I think everyone in their heart of hearts loves weddings. They are sort of like cake--enticingly extravagant yet necessarily so. What a killer combo.
I am lucky enough to be off to a wedding this weekend and it has me thinking about weddings, of course. Although I wish Steve and I could get married all over again because being engaged and planning a wedding was so much fun, I don't think anyone would really appreciate that as much as I would or if that's even allowed, sadly. Instead, I will have to live vicariously through others' excitement...so come on, get engaged!
THE YEAR OF CAKES
One of the best things about being engaged was all of the tastings. My mom, our fearless wedding cake baker, baked many cakes during the year we were engaged (you see where I get my baking prowess from, and that goes back to my grandmother and probably my great grandmother and so on). It was the Year of Cakes. There were almond cakes and pistachio cakes and buttercream frostings to try, as well as mocha fillings and chocolate fillings and buttery yellow fillings. We also tasted wines--reds, whites, pinks, proseccos and drys, Michigan wines and Italian wines. So much work!
A slice of one of my mom's cakes during the Year of Cakes
The Fearless Mother-of-the-Bride Wedding Cake Baker in Her Element
I also remember the two weeks before the wedding when summer school was done and I just got to focus on planning. I would stay up late, take my Wedding Craft Box (yes, I had one of these with a little handle I could carry around) to the living room where I would unpack its contents and sprawl out on the floor to make paper goods. I had a custom stamp made from Impress Rubber Stamps (www.impressrubberstamps.com) of the dandelion top from the invitation drawing that Steve made, and I used this to make everything. (Sidenote here: I also had a thank you card stamp made with our dandelion drawing and not long afterwards I noticed that Impress Rubber Stamps now has their OWN dandelion thank you card that looks mysteriously similar to ours. Personally, I think we should be getting royalties for our design.)
I made place cards and lined them up on the floor to dry like little soldiers at attention. I made tags for my bridesmaids' tote bags and tags for the goody bags in guests' rooms and table names and escort cards. I made cheese name cards for the cheese table and thank you cards and programs. If you are even remotely into crafts and have the time, I would suggest this. At the very least, definitely find your own "symbol" (you can keep this symbol for the rest of your life) that is special to the two of you and have a custom stamp made. One of my co-workers at Amistad had her father draw a lighthouse (they got married on the Cape) which the invitation company printed on their invitations (this is what I did too, and it's only a small, one-time extra cost...definitely worth it). She sent the same drawing to Impress Rubber Stamps and then used the stamp for paper items like I did. It's immensely satisfying to have someone you care about make the drawing and then use that image for all of your wedding items, knowing that it is uniquely yours. Plus, you can have the invitation framed and give it to your fiance as a wedding gift (the one I had framed for Steve includes a series of three items: the actual dried dandelion flower that I picked from our yard one day for Steve to use as a prop, the pencil drawing he made of it before tracing it in fine black ink to send to the invitation maker, and the final product--the invitation). This framed invitation was the second gift in a series of three wedding gifts I gave him (the first on the night before the wedding, the second on the morning of our wedding, and the third on the night we were married after the wedding was over). The three gifts represented the past, the present, and the future. Clever, if I do say so myself--feel free to not invent the wheel by stealing my idea.
Soldiers ready for wedding battle
But, I digress about my own wedding...get to work on yours! Or, of course, on helping whoever is lucky enough to be one of the soon-to-bes (Steve and I were lucky enough to have TONS of help from a truly ENORMOUS number of people, something that made our wedding a family and friends affair, as well as very, very special to us.) I think I owe many people payback, so, on that note, if anyone would like my free and impassioned help, give me a holler.
Holla! Holla! (Sorella, that's for you!)
Happy Wedding Planning Bliss to all of you.
And here's a little endnote for you:
The Father of the Bride force-feeding his homemade apricot liqueur to the Bride on the morning of her wedding (yes, this really happened...go figure, it's my dad we're talking about and here's a picture to prove it). I've got one hell of a talented family, people.
Posted by Danger Kitten at 8:25 AM