Shower me the love.


On Saturday, I got to put on this lovely dress and see some wonderful people and get lots of presents. Yes, that's right, my shower was on Saturday - the first official wedding event we've had (this is all SO REAL now!). I can't wait to tell you all about it. Unfortunately, It's rush at work right now (when all the students come back and buy textbooks and we have extended hours - basically I live at work for a week or so... I'm actually typing this in the computer store at work on my break right now), so it may have to wait a little longer.

I hope you're all having a fantastic week! Oh, and don't worry - the busy time at work will soon end and then I'll be in absolute full wedding swing. We have less than two months to go, and I have so much to do, show, and celebrate!


You're Invited - confusion control.

We've been getting about 2-3 RSVP cards back every other day or so - I really look forward to checking the mail each day. Yesterday, 2 out of the 3 I received looked like this:

Oh yay! These people will be coming to all three of our events - it will be so exciting to see them... wait, who are we seeing there again...?

Oh no, there are no names written on these cards! We know that someone (a group of two and another group of three, actually) will be attending our wedding, rehearsal dinner, and brunch, but we have no idea who. Makes the idea of an RSVP card a bit less useful with no names, doesn't it?

Well, I've heard so many warnings, stories, and solutions to the no name on a returned RSVP debacle, and I'm here to tell you - this will happen to you. In our case, we asked our guests to fill in a lot of information on these little cards, I guess I can see how one line may have been missed. And really, let's be honest, our font isn't the easiest thing to read, so if the part that said "Name(s)" was missed, the line that followed could have just looked like a dividing line... right? Well, anyway, excuses or none, this is a really common occurrence in the wedding world, so it's always best to be prepared.

I've seen some pretty awesome invites with super secret spy tactics where the couple wrote in number hints in invisible ink to be revealed only with a black light. I, however, went a slightly simpler route.

See the little four? I had a fine point sharpie that matched our gocco ink exactly (which I bought to fix another mistake which I'll be blogging about shortly), and since the globe image is already so splotchy, I figured nobody would notice a tiny little number among the splatter. My maid of honor noticed her number, actually, but she thought I had somehow printed them on with the image itself and was amazed at my powerful gocco skills. Anyway, the numbers coincide with the order our guests are listed on my handy excel spreadsheet (which also lists addresses, number invited, number RSVPd, gift received, and whether or not I've sent a thank you note). Our guests aren't listed in any preferential or even sensical order whatsoever (really - my maid of honor who is also family is number 51.) So, even if anyone sees the number they probably won't even know what it's for, and it definitely won't give away any notions toward my "favorites".

So yes, as soon as I received the nameless cards, I promptly opened my spreadsheet, matched the numbers, and viola! - those guests are no longer nameless.

Have you gotten any nameless RSVPs yet? How did you figure out the sender? If you haven't sent your invitations yet, how might you solve this potential problem? Have you got any other great confusion control tips?


Runnin' the Tables.

It's Spring Break for many - which means that my wonderful Maid of Honor is back home for a week or so. I was so excited to see her (pre-sickness. and so sad to not be able to see her as much during sickness.) Also exciting was the fact that she came bearing gifts!

(* all photos personal photos.)

What's that pile of lovely fabric?

It's our table runners! MOH and I picked out the fabric way back in November (or December? I just remember it was during another one of MOH's school breaks), and I left this project completely in her talented hands. She had been wishing for some more sewing projects to work on while she was up at school, so really, I did her a favor, right? Anyway, she did a fabulous job, and I can't wait to see these babies in all their glory at the lodge.

I really love the blue fabric, but once I got this green runner out for a photoshoot, I was whisked away to dinner. I guess we'll all have to wait to see them all together for their glory day and the pro photos that follow.

Don't you think table runners are the perfect and necessary addition to long tables? Have you had any experience DIYing table runners? Please share.

I'm thinking about asking MOH to write a guest post (or tutorial?) on her experience making these. Would you be interested in that?


Back to life.

Howdy readers, remember me? I'm still alive, I promise. I got a bout of the dreaded "plague" that's been going around my house, but I'm pretty sure I'm almost healed now.

I'm (obviously) stalking my photographer's blog in anticipation of someday seeing our engagement pictures, and today she posted something uber lovely. She photographed some invitations for a friend and now they (and the wedding that followed) have been posted on green wedding shoes.


I'm pretty sure this post has all the hair inspiration I could ever need. Oh, and how wonderful is that chandelier over their ceremony arch? Also, I've definitely made a mental note to maybe make all of our clothesline pictures black and white.


The plague.

Everyone in my house is sick. Fever, head going to explode sick. I have big plans for this week and weekend, and even bigger pland for next week and weekend, so I cannot get sick. I'm sorry there's no post today - I'm hibernating to avoid the sickness. That, and it's finals week so we're opening early for the studious masses at work. Ciao.


You're Invited - the first mistake.

The first thing I made in our invitation suite was the RSVP cards. Their postcard design was one of my favorite elements of the whole suite, and I was so excited by them. It was important that I liked these little guys - after all, they're they only part of the invitation that I would ever see again, and I was planning on keeping the returned RSVPs forever.

When I first printed the RSVP cards, they looked like this:

Does anything look different to you? Let's take a closer look.

"Yeah, I'm pretty sure that return label / address area looked different when you showed your invitations to us, Laura." You're right, they did.

You see, as soon as I finished printing each and every card, making each permanent (and with absolutely no willingness to waste two more precious gocco screens and four bulbs just to re-do everything), people started to worry that my babies would not make it home with this method of addressing. I fought it. The address part was my absolute favorite design aspect of the whole suite - in fact, it made me giddy. Well, my dad decided that he absolutely could not read the zip code and declared them un-mailable. He even went so far as to take one to the post office for me for a second opinion. And the post office had very low hopes for my beautiful babies. They told us that they foresaw a less than 1% chance that the cards would ever get back to my house.

So what was wrong with them? Well, everything, apparently. According to the guy at the post office (and the helpful slash aggravating handout he gave us), the zip code must be on the same line as the city and state in order to be recognized by the electronic reader that decides where the mail should go. Also, red ink is not easily recognized by the machine, so the USPS suggests black for all addressing. And finally, everything on the last two lines (street address / city, state, zip) must be in an easily recognizable font or print handwriting (no calligraphy or froufy fonts apparently). The name section (top line), however, can look however you want it to - the post office doesn't even look at it... it's simply for the reference of the sender/receiver.

This advice made me angry. I've seen so many examples where people get paid to create calligraphy that breaks every single one of these rules. When people pay for these services, their mail still gets sent, doesn't it? Besides, I've mailed plenty a letter where the zip didin't fit and I wrote it on the next line or my handwriting was barely legible. Those letters made it through the mail. Plus, our save the date labels were in burgundy ink, and they made it. I wanted to fight. I wanted to send my RSVP cards as-is. However, faced with an apparent 1% arrival rate, and the urging from my family, I gave in.

I created labels and followed every single rule. Black ink? Check. Last two lines non-froufy? Check. Zip on third line? Check. I printed these new labels out on a paper in the same color and texture as our cardstock, ran them through the Zyron adhesive machine, and placed a band-aid on each and every one of my beautiful babies. Don't they look like band-aids? I think so. I think they're an obvious "oops, let me cover my mistake", but others have assured me they look fine. Oh well, the cards are definitely coming back to us (we've gotten four back so far), so I guess it was worth the peace of mind.

You'll notice, though, that the actual labels on the invitations were still in Burgundy ink. I figured that since the save the dates did indeed arrive with no problems, I could afford to bend the rules in at least one area.

Have you run into "advice" that had made you re-do something for the wedding? Did you like the re-do better, or worse? Was it worth the change?



I will admit right away that this post is much less than wonderful because I am very short on time today before work. However, I just wanted to share how amazing and fun our engagement shoot was. We got tons of shots inside and around the plane, and so much more - including abandoned semi trailers, a big ole' pile of tires, a hot pink wall, laying in super tall grasses, a tree swing, and more! Oh man, waiting around to see the pictures is going to be crazy hard. I can't wait to show them to all of ya'll!


Oh, Friday.

I'm still not ready to talk about the mistakes and hard work that surrounded our invitations (I want to stay in my happy place through the weekend, okay?), so instead I'd like to show you an image that I am currently drawing some major inspiration from.


Imagine the banner in our colors and possibly with map accents and the label frames as little chalkboards to spice up our cake/pie buffet table. Ah, I am so excited about the aesthetics of our desserts!

Anyway, today has been very productive in that I did (tons of) laundry and cleaned my room (which has been gathering more and more clutter ever since I moved home in May), but I haven't gotten many wedding projects done. Our engagement photos have been officially re-scheduled for Sunday, though, so I will have plenty to talk about next week.

Have a fabulous weekend!


You're Invited - the sweet suite.

I've shown you our rough draft, envelopes, and even teased a little, but now I am starting to get feedback that people have been receiving our invitations. You know what that means? I get to show them off to all of you!

Upon hearing feedback from quite a few guests, near and far, that their invitation has arrived in the mail, I raced out into the sunny morning for a little photo shoot. I probably should have waited until the sun was a bit less direct, and a got a soggy bottom from sitting in the wet grass, but I just couldn't wait. So, without further ado, here are our invitations:

The lace belly bands and monogram globe squares are one of my favorite parts of the whole lot. I love that our guests get a clear vision of us and our theme right off the bat. Thanks again to my wonderful maid of honor who designed the globe. She probably didn't realize I'd be using it everywhere, but I can't help it - I love it. She's amazing.

The direct sun really helps show off the shine of the stardream paper.

Once you slide off the belly band, the card folds open like a book to reveal the following: another use of our trusty map wrapping paper on one side and the invitation on the other, a two-sided rsvp postcard, and the information card.

Honestly, that wrapping paper (bought at a map store in Phoenix, Arizona) is probably the best wedding purchase I've made. I originally planned on using it in our centerpieces, but it's done well in all of our paper products.

I love that ampersand between our names. I give it full credit for solving the great wording debate.

This info card took the most work and stress out of the whole suite. I like how it looks with the rest of the invitation, but I really wish I could just count on people utilizing our website to gather this kind of information.

I was worried about including so much information on our rsvp cards, but I love the way they turned out. I just hope they're clear to our guests and that I get to see them coming back to me very soon.

And, there you have it. I'm in an okay place with these now that they're assembled and sent, but let me tell you - making your own invitations comes along with a whole lot of stress and drama. I'll recount some of the pain, mistakes, and craziness that came along with this project later, but for now, I'd like to stay in this happy place a little longer.

What do you think?

Just a few pet peeves

According to Merriam Webster:

Brooch: (N) an ornament that is held by a pin or clasp and is worn at or near the neck
Broach: (N) any of various pointed or tapered tools, implements, or parts: as a : a spit for roasting meat b : a tool for tapping casks c : a cutting tool for removing material from metal or plastic to shape an outside surface or a hole

Veil: (N) a length of cloth worn by women as a covering for the head and shoulders and often especially in Eastern countries for the face; specifically : the outer covering of a nun's headdress b : a length of veiling or netting worn over the head or face or attached for protection or ornament to a hat or headdress [a bridal veil] c : any of various liturgical cloths; especially : a cloth used to cover the chalice
Vail: (V) to lower often as a sign of respect or submission

Heels: (N) shoes with high heels
Heals: (V) a : to make sound or whole b : to restore to health

Aisle: (N) the side of a church nave separated by piers from the nave proper
Isle: (N) an island

I've seen these spellings used incorrectly more times than I can count. I even saw the incorrect spelling for Brooch (Broach) used in a bridal magazine yesterday. So, this is just a friendly reminder of how these words are spelled. :)



I am working on gathering photos from David's and my family members' weddings to display at our reception. I have picked a favorite from both my parents' and David's parents' album and wanted to share them with you all.

My Parents:

My momma was way ahead of the times wearing a hair flower instead of a veil. Doesn't she look beautiful? If you look really closely, you can see the very necklace that I'm borrowing from my aunt to wear. She had honestly forgotten that she wore the necklace for her wedding when she suggested I wear it, and it's so much more special knowing she wore it on her wedding day too.

David's Parents:

I love this picture. I love the veil, and the way David's dad is looking at his mom. Isn't it funny how both of our dads had a full beard/mustache on their wedding days?

I'm in the process of getting these framed and collecting more photos from our grandparents and such. I definitely think our guests will love seeing all these special wedding photos of loved ones.

How are you or did you honor your parents or other family members and their weddings at your own?

*photos are by me - I snapped photos of the photos out of their albums.


You're Invited: The send-off and envelopes.

Yesterday afternoon, my dad and I trekked to the local post office to stamp and send out my pride and joy, the bane of my past few months, the product of hours and hours, days and days of hard work.

Ah yes, our invitations have left the nest. They're now venturing off on their own - each traveling one by one to reach their new homes. Mama's so proud. Ahem. Okay, anyway, they're on their way, and as soon as I hear back from some guests who may also be readers of this here blog that they've received theirs, I can show them off to you all. Until then, let's explore the envelopes, shall we?

I'll bet the overall effect and aesthetic of the envelopes could have been much better if I'd been willing to put more time and creativity in, but after designing, printing, and assembling the actual invitations, I was ready to just get everything over and done with.

I used the same address labels as our save the dates, took out the wrap-around aspect with the globe, and pasted it on top of some of the map paper that we has previously used for envelope liners.

Ahem. Yes, I used labels for my wedding invitations. I also had no inner envelope. And guess what? I don't care. They still look personalized, fancy, and wedding-ish. People will know who's invited and whatnot. The world is still revolving on it's axis. Thank you.

The goccoed return address on the back was kind of an afterthought. I knew we needed to include the return address, but didn't give it much thought. I had some extra space on a gocco screen I was burning, so I threw this in. The burgundy ink looked really great on the gold paper when it was first printed, but it didn't dry all that nicely. Oh well, it's still legible and adds a nice touch to the back.

And that's that. My blood, sweat, and tears (pretty much) will now be mixed in with everyone's daily mail until they arrive at our guests' homes. I wish them a safe journey and can't wait to start getting RSVP cards back.

Was making, picking, or assembling invitations more work than you expected? Did you get lazy toward the end like me?

*all images personal photos by me or my dad.


seal. stamp. send.

Funny how after all this talk of cake, I am heading out today to buy a bunch of these:


I guess we will be having a traditional tiered cake in our wedding after all. ;)

And yes, that means our invitations are finally and officially ready to be send out! After many many days of long hours working on them, I have loved them, hated them, and loved them once again. I am a bit DIYed out for the time being, but I couldn't be more excited for my babies to start reaching our guests' mailboxes. I also can't wait to show you loads of pictures of them, but that will have to wait just a little while.


Cake buffet it is!

Okay, so I know we all loved some of the options I posted of potential tiered cakes, but we have officially decided to go through with the cake buffet option.

I did some number crunching one boring day at work and figured out that it would cost almost the exact same amount to get a three tier cake with a 10 in, 8 in, and 6 in cake with four pies as it would to get three separate 8 in cakes and five pies. These options would also both serve roughly the same amount of people - with the separate cakes feeding a few more for a few dollars less. Both seemed like great choices, but after talking it out with David, we decided to go with the three cakes/five pies.

This option seemed best because:
[1] With both ways, we won't have enough cake to serve everyone; but along with the pie, we will have more than enough dessert. We worried that having a fancy tiered wedding cake would draw attention away from the pies and that we would end up not having enough cake.

[2] It's a more unique and "us" choice.

[3] David really loves the buffet idea and thinks our guests will be really impressed with having an array of choices.

[4] We won't have to worry about what flavors go in the bigger or smaller tiers - each cake is the same size. Plus, we will be able to have chocolate and vanilla cakes with all different icings instead of having it all be one matching cake.

[5] It was our original plan and I would hate to be swayed by the baker and later regret it.

So anyway, a cake and buffet it is! Imagine it as a mixture between these two pictures:



with a little lace and map/travel love thrown in, of course!

I'm really excited about the display now, and can't wait to see it all in action. I can't wait to taste the wonders either, we've been thinking about flavors - we think we're decided on the following...

vanilla torte with raspberry preserves and custard with chocolate mousse covered in buttercream
vanilla torte with lemon creme and custard covered in cream cheese icing
chocolate torte with hazelnut creme and chocolate mousse covered in chocolate ganache
two apple pies, an apple blackberry pie, and two chocolate creme pies

What do you think?


Label it.

Sorry, I don't have much of a post today. I'm spending the day working hard with this:


to make labels so that these babies can get sent out!

personal photo.

Ahh! I can't wait to get our invitations finally finished and send out!


The cake post I thought would never be.

Since we're now a bit torn on the option to have a cake buffet or a full-blown tiered wedding cake, I have decided to explore the new possibilities. Suddenly, it's fun to think about potentially having a tiered cake.

So, if we decide to go the tiered route, what do I want? First, while there are some absolutely amazing things that can be done with fandant on cakes, it's just not for us or our wedding. at all. So, our potentially tiered cake would have to be pretty simple - or at least something that can be done with just buttercream.


Buttercream frosting is so much tastier than fondant, but it's much harder to get smooth. Honestly, I think the imperfect "stucco" look of this cake is wonderful. It seems to embody the rustic homey feel that I would love for our wedding to have.

But then, some of the most simple and wonderfully lovely cakes I've seen appear to be made with fondant - something about being able to get it so smooth certainly helps with the simpliity -


I think this might be my absolute favorite cake ever. Isn't it so cute? The colors wouldn't work for us, and I don't want to give in to fondant, but I would love to have a cake like this. Could it be done with buttercream?

Lo and behold - I found this:


It's all buttercream! Oh boy, this cake makes my heart go pitter-patter in a way I never thought possible for a traditional wedding cake. It's just. so. perfect. Now, I don't know if all bakers could be this insanely talented at making the buttercream this lovely, but I would sure love to see more of them try. Who needs fondant anyway?

I could have easily stopped my search right then and there and been content. But, how could I make a crazy tiered cake even more fitting for our wedding? That's it - lace!

Most lace options that showed up in my search, however, brought me right back down fondant lane.


If you'll ignore the awesome donut display for a moment, you'll notice that this lace pattern is simply drawn on piping. Couldn't that be done on buttercream?

sorry, no source.

Yes, I believe it could. I actually don't know for sure if this is buttercream, but doesn't it look like it could be? The lace around the bottom would be a lovely nod to the lace throughout our wedding. I would love a cake exactly like the perfect buttercream beauty from above but with the lace like this one has. Sigh. These cakes really are tempting.

So, what would you do? Are these cake examples tempting enough to forego the cake buffet idea, or am I just getting sidetracked?


Cake: revisited.

Friday was a whirlwind wedding day for David and me. First, we stopped by Men's Wearhouse to pick up groomsmen ties, then we headed out to Julian where we ate at and discussed booking with our rehearsal dinner venue, visited our venue to go over linens, table arrangements, lodging, and more, and then we went to the Candied Apple Pastry Company for a wedding cake consultation. We then finished the day by adding some bedding and towels to our registry once we got back to San Diego. Whew! Tired, much? Anyway, I was a bad blogger and forgot my camera on our journey, but never fear - I still have tons to share!


So, as you can see, this post is about cakes. Now, you may be thinking - "Gee, Laura, why would you be visiting a baker when you had such a fabulous plan to have friends (and grocery stores) make such a great cake buffet?" Good question, dear reader. Why would I tempt myself with the fluffy, sugary goodness that is professionally baked wedding cake? Well, for one, I thought surely a cake buffet - even one made by a creator of wedding cakes - would be cheaper than an elaborate tiered fondant tower. Secondly, I hate grocery store cake, and I'm not sure I can find enough lovely and willing friends to bake us enough cakes. And finally, I had no idea how we would transport said cakes out to Julian nor did I know how we would store them Friday night and all day Saturday.

Anyway, Candied Apple Pastry Company is pretty much the only place to buy wedding cakes in Julian, so we figured we should go for a tasting even if the above problems were magically solved. So, we went. Crystal, the sales manager/proprietress/and cake decorator (the cakes themselves are made by pastry chef Charles Scott, but Crystal seems to do pretty much everything else), was super friendly, kind of eccentric, and very excited to be talking cakes with us. However, when I showed her my inspiration photos of cake buffets, her smile dropped a bit.

Basically, she thought the logistics of cutting multiple cakes would be too complicated and explained the pros of having a tiered cake. So, now, I'm back to the drawing board. If both options would feed roughly the same amount of people for the same cost, which would be best?