Saturday, April 25, 2009

Todays finds

What a productive day! After the advice of my friend, Paige, I went to the City Wide Garage Sale with my mom and another bride-to-be, Montana. I wasn't sure what I would find. Maybe I could find the perfect brooch for my sash or a vintage necklace, you never know how these things go. My mom got there before I did and had already scouted out the joint. I found her amongst piles and piles of vintage sheets, pillow cases, and miscellaneous linens. She suggested that we do a colored tablecloth and then use the vintage lace ones as overlays. What a great look for the reception site since its so garden like! What is even better is that they were only $4 a piece!! I can't even rent table runners cheaper than that. I'll definitely be ready to host Easter after all this is said and done with these linens. I've got a little work to do to get out some yellowing in the fabric. I'm trying a Cheer/Oxyclean combo soak. From what I've read, sun drying helps the most for some reason. If anyone has a secret way of getting the yellow out, please leave me a comment on here!

Here is Ruby helping me inspect the linens for spots:
After that, we went to Silk Road to look for fabric. Its not at all what it used to be. Their selection of chiffon was pretty much a bust. I think trying to find the right shade of teal/turquoise is going to be a challenge. There are several websites that I've found but I will have to send off for samples before choosing anything. I've chosen the accent color to be lemon yellow to keep things light and springy. The guys will also have gray suits instead of tuxes. I think I might have actually come up with a color palette! The yellow will allow me to use actual lemons among my flower arrangements at the reception which I had in mind for a long time. Another great find from my mom was the silver cake plate on Ebay. To rent one would have been $50 and then I'd have to give it back. This one was only $35 and I get to keep it. I figured that between my sister and younger cousins, it will get lots of use!
Montana's reception site is quite rustic as well. We stopped at a few antique shops on the way back and found 9 picture frames for $9 and some small galvanized buckets to hold flowers on the tables. They were only $2 each. What a steal. We thought we found an old window shutter that she was looking for but the lady wanted $40 for it and it was covered in ant larvae. I wasn't too thrilled at the idea of it going in my trunk so I'm a little glad it didn't work out. I think we can find one for much cheaper somewhere. Maybe she'll get lucky and find someone that has an old shutter in a barn somewhere. She plans on hanging her escort cards on it for seating which will make for a really cute table. All in all, a great day. It was so much fun finding unique decorations rather than run of the mill stuff that I see everywhere. Who knows what we'll find next.

Friday, April 17, 2009

First contract signed

I signed what will be probably be my first of several contracts. I had already put down the deposit on our reception site, but its official that we got it. We'll be having the reception at House on the Hill in the Westlake area of Austin. Its a cottage like house with a few bungalows up on the hill overlooking the lake and downtown Austin. Its surrounded by a garden like setting. The pavillion looks like half of an old barn with wooden beams going across the top for the band to setup. There is a swimming pool and waterfall and tons of indoor and outdoor room. The great thing about this place is that you get it from Friday at 4pm to Sunday at noon. No rushing around! A lot of other places I looked at only gave you 5-8 hours total including setup and takedown. That just sounded stressful. It also includes lodging for 20, so I could stay there the night before and decorate ahead of time. So much easier!

Here is a shot of pool at night:

Here is the open room on the inside. Once its decorated, it looks so cute. However, there is a ton of room outside if the weather is permitting.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Maybe I need a break

I think I'm already in brain overload. This cake thing is going to drive me to drink more wine than I already do. All I think about is cake/flavor combos, decorating ideas, places I could find a vintage toppers, etc. I realized I needed a break from the cake when I thought I could just do a huge Barbie cake like my mom used to make when I was little and have her ginormous dress be the cake. Then, I googled Barbie wedding cakes and came across ones like such:

I started giggling to myself at the idea that I actually wasted time looking at these. Then I got sucked in by all the Barbie cakes. Some of them are really intricate. They were made to look like the bride's actual dress. Then I came across this one and all thoughts of ever having a Barbie cake EVER anytime in the future were quickly erased:

Wow, I think I'm scarred for life...

Today on The Martha Stewart Show...

Here is what today's wedding show entails:

Tune in today as Martha, Weddings editorial director Darcy Miller, and guests help prepare our audience full of blushing brides for their big day! First, the one and only Vera Wang is here for a fashion show featuring the must-have bridal gowns of the spring season, and she's sharing can't-miss tips on what guests should wear to the ceremony. Then, top hair designer Frederic Fekkai shows you how to coordinate your hairstyle and gown for a perfectly glamorous look from top to bottom. And, celebrity eyelash guru Ja'Maal Buster shows you how to enhance the unique features of your face with just the right set of false eyelashes. Plus, New York City event expert David Monn returns with some inspiring decoration ideas that won't break the bank -- it's a show no bride-to-be should miss.

I was sure to set my DVR!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Save the Dates

While Clay and I were at my aunt and uncle's house, I had my cousin in law take a picture of us with their beautiful trees in the background. We needed a new picture for our "save the date" cards. I found the template on in the photo section. To have 75 of them printed with envelopes was only $24.75 and they'll be ready two days after I do the final order! I loved the idea of the magnets, but they were a bit pricier. This is a pic of the template I chose. I think its quite fitting with the "FINALLY!" since we've dated so long.

Cake trial #1

I can already tell this is going to be a trial and error process. Even when I find the right recipe, it will take some tweaking to get right. I got the recipe for this Tiramisu Wedding Cake with Berries from The cake layers were a basic butter cake with almond extract. The batter had a lot of egg whites in it so the first two layers got a little crispy on the top. By the third layer, I figured out that if I made a tent out of foil, it would keep it from over baking. The frosting and soaking syrup were relatively easy to make. I changed the frosting to one that I found from that was used on a red velvet cake. It had cream cheese as well as marscapone (which is in typical tiramisu). The marscapone cut out the sweetness a little which was nice. I would have even liked it even ess sweet than it turned out. I covered each layer of the soaking syrup (a mixture of coffee, water, and Kaluha), frosting, and sliced strawberries. Once I frosted the whole cake (three layers high), I covered the top with more sliced strawberries and put a border of fresh mint and blackberries on the bottom. After all that work, I went to put the top on my cake carrier and the dang cake was too high! I had to mush it down so the top would lock since I was taking it to my Aunt Paula's the next day. The picture above is obviously not the one I made but I couldn't leave this post blank.

Verdict: This recipe will stay in the running. I would need to sweeten the soaking syrup a bit because it was a little bitter, thicken the frosting with more cream cheese and less powdered sugar, and use a little more vanilla in the cake batter. I did have another idea today. I thought about a vanilla cake with cinnamon based soaking syrup and layer it with rhubarb. I've never heard of anyone doing a rhubarb wedding cake so it would be something totally different!

UPDATE: Thanks to my cousin, Ashley, this is what my first trial run looked like. It got a little smushed in the cake carrier. A lot of the recipe reviews said it even better by the third day, but I beg to differ. The soaking syrup was still really bitter and the cake got a weird taste. I decided I didn't like this recipe at all. Yuck.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I can't believe it

It's still weird to look down at my hand and see an engagement ring. Clay and I have been dating for almost five and half years, so I wasn't sure this would ever happen! We got engaged about two months ago and have set the date for April 24, 2010. I couldn't be happier and am so excited to start planning not only our wedding, but ours lives together. With the help of my crafty mother, family, and friends I plan to have the best wedding ever while still keeping within budget. The more great finds that I've found, the more I felt the need to share my ideas and experiences. Not all DIY projects go the way they are supposed to, so maybe some of you can use my ups and downs as a resource. My mother and I decided the other night that we can make my cake. So, for the next couple of family gatherings, I will obviously be bringing the dessert (a.k.a small test wedding cakes) to see which recipe is best. My mom says the taste is the most important part, no one wants a dry white plain cake...ugh. So tonight (almost 11pm, I have my first test cake in the oven. I'll take some pics tomorrow to show the result. I'm trying a tiramisu cake with berry layers. It look delicious, but I'm not much of a baker. I'm more of a cook that measures with pinches and dashes, not exact amounts. We'll see tmmw...

So, in short, I hope this serves as a resource for other brides to be that are looking to have the wedding of their dreams without breaking the bank.