Friday, December 31, 2010

8 months

I figure I should probably write the 8 month check-in while we are not only still in the 8th month, but also the same year!

It has been one crazy busy month jam packed with stuff. You thought our summer was busy, wait until you get a load of this:
  • 2 family Christmas parties - I was able to take my camera for a spin and practice my candid portrait photography skills. Posts are in the works.
  • My dressmaker, assistant, and broke ground on my Chinese dress.
  • We created a very modest registery in the event that someone insists that we must have one.
  • We started test driving potential caterers! If you thought holiday eating was too much for you, imagine chowing down on gourmet yumminess from not just one, but two companies. Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom nom...
  • We just started looking at DJs - I'm even interviewing one (a very promising one to boot) on Sunday.
  • We picked a hotel to reserve room blocks at, but we're waiting to hear back from the hotel.
  • I finished designing our Save-the-Dates - We hope to get these out in the next couple of weeks, just as soon as we have the hotel information.
  • I'm ALMOST done with the wedding party magazine - Yes, you read that right, I'm "publishing" a magazine for family and the wedding party. I figure that it'll be a cute way to introduce the wedding party members to one another and also give everyone an idea of what we've been doing for the last year. For some reason they all think we have our wedding all planned and ready to go. HA!
Happy New Year everyone!

9 months
11 months

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Food! - East Meets West

Ready? Set. Eat!

The photos aren't as nice, but you get the idea.

Counter-clockwise from top left:
Mini Crab Cake with a dollop of Lemon Aioli
Quail in Toast Cup with a Cranberry Relish
Phyllo purses with Lobster and White Truffle essence

Smoked Chicken, Avocado, and Roasted Red Pepper
Crepes Warm Chevre Crostini topped with thinly sliced Plum and drizzled with a Pomegranate Honey Vinaigrette
Sautéed Foie Gras on Toast Points with a Currant Relish

Baby Spinach and Mache Green Salad With Fresh Mango Slices, Goganzola, Walnuts and Champagne Vinaigrette
Peppercorn Encrusted Beef Tenderloin
served with a Sun Dried Tomato and Black Olive Tapenade
finished with a Wild Mushroom and Cabernet Reduction Sauce
Roasted Winter – Locally Grown –Vegetables
Crispy Herbed Risotto Cake With Freshly Grated Parmesan and Fresh Basil

Roasted Boneless Breast of Duck
served with a Sour Cherry & Rosemary Demi-Glaze

Wild Mushroom Raviolitossed In Pesto Oil and Sun dried Tomatoes, Black Olives, Artichoke Hearts, Fresh Mozzarella and Pine Nuts garnished with Shaved Parmesan and Cracked Black Pepper

Roasted Vegetable Napoleonstack of: Portobello Mushroom, Zucchini, Red Onion, And Eggplant
skewered with Fresh Rosemary, Served on a Bed of Chunky Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette

Pear and Champagne Chocolate Truffles
Jeweled Fresh Fruit Tarts
Mini Brownie Cups Filled with Dark Chocolate Mousse
Lemon curd meringue tarts
Heart Shaped Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies

All photos taken by me!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Food! - Table of Content

We had our first tasting with a potential caterer this week! Ready to go on a virtual dinner tour with us? First up, passed hors d'oeuvres:
Clockwise from top left:
Maple Roasted Scallops and Water Chestnuts Wrapped in Bacon with Warm Maple Dip
Thai Vegetable Spring Roll drizzled with Nuoc Cham Dipping Sauce
Chipotle Barbecued Duck on Grilled Onion Bruschetta with Salsa Crème Fraîche
Alternating Apple and Pear Slices, Blythdale Farms Jersey Blue Cheese Dollop & Spiced Walnut
Almond Chicken Loli Pops With Sage & Grafton Village Vermont Cheddar Accents & Tangerine Drizzle 

Now that your appetite has been teased, we can move onto the first course:
Arugula with Vermont Chèvre and Raspberries (I think the viniagrette was Pomogranate?)

Second course: 

Lemon sorbet intermezzo with candied zest

Now for the main course(s):
Elegantly Carved Herb Roasted Tenderloin
with Slow Roasted Pearl Onion, Red Wine Reduction
Traveling with Crispy Parmesan Potato Sandwich
Petit Spring Vegetables & Frizzled Leeks
OR (seriously, the best dish EVER):
Grilled Potato, Leek and Vermont Farmed Goat Cheese Tart with
Marinated Olives aside Petit Spring Vegetables

 Now that you are thoroughly stuffed, how about some dessert?
Petit fours, miniature lemon tarts, and miniature French pastries.

Did ya'll enjoy your meal? We did. We have two more tastings set up with different caterers over the next few weeks. It's going to be a blast!

**All photos taken by me (with my Nikon D7000 and Nikkor 18-105 f/3.5-5.6, an early Christmas present to myself).

Friday, December 17, 2010

Red dress - muslin fitting #1

I had my first fitting, ya'll! I want to share the experience of having a dress custom made to order. Last time, Barbara took the 18 or so measurements to make a muslin. Actually she made two, she made a muslin for the bodice and one for the skirt. 

I apologize for not having any pictures. When I say muslin, it's just a mock up of the dress made with a cotton fabric. There's nothing fancy, it's just to make sure the fit is correct before cutting the real fabric. Here is an example of a muslin top:


Mine basically looked like that with no sleeves and a much tighter neckline. We started by having me put on the bodice. A muslin is traditionally made bigger so that the dressmaker can pin it correctly to one's body. This bodice fit, not quite like a glove, but pretty darn close. Barbara pinned the back closed (that's where the zipper is going to go) and pinned the back darts and the sides seams just a touch. She also had me sit, breath deeply, and move my arms around to make sure it wasn't too tight and still looked right. And here's another cool thing, she had me do the slouch test. Slouch in it and see how it fits.

Next up, I put the skirt on. She made it a full circle skirt and much too long, just so that we could play with it. Just imagine a skirt from teh 50's (without all the poofyness underneath). When the measurements were taken, I was guessing that I wanted the skirt to start at the top of my hips. But after playing around with it some, we decided it would be best to have it start about belly button level. That way my torso was in proportion to my legs. Just so you know, the higher up the waistband, the shorter the torso (but give the illusion of longer legs). And the lower the waistband, the longer the torso, but the shorter you look. We also decided that it would hit just below my knees.

And now for the cool part. Barbara and Charles, her assistant, drew on me, with a pencil! The bodice of my dress looks kind of like a vest, but it is all one piece. To get the right shape and coverage, they drew directly onto the muslin. Armed with a pencil, Charles started putting in where the the collar started and where the modesty panel would go.

I wish I had taken pictures, maybe next time I'll set up my new camera on a tripod to do it's thing.

Generally, there's only one muslin fitting, but due to the complexity of my dress, I'll go back after Christmas for a second.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

then and now

These photos make my heart melt. Seriously, how sweet is this couple?

Found on Young Me and Now Me.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Vrrrrmmm, vvrrrrmm

If you haven't caught on, I'm big into DIY and thinking outside the box when it comes to our wedding. So it should be no suprise to you when I say that we are not having traditional ring pillows. We want our ring bearer(s) to have fun with their "jobs".

Kids can sometimes tire and grow out of toys quickly. But our boys love, and I mean LOVE the movie Cars. How cool would it be to have them "drive" these down the aisle?

Etsy seller: DeliciousCrochet

Saturday, December 4, 2010


To be honest, we were not planning to register at all. We basically have everything that we need. And if there is anything we ever want, we are the type that just goes out and gets it. But after some debate, we decided to create a modest registry in anticipation of someone saying "but you HAVE to have one."

There is a lot of debate amongst the wedding ettiquette realm. Do you mention the registry? Obviously, one does not mention it in the invitation. Do you preface it by saying that one's presence is present enough? For us, all we want is to celebrate with our family and friends. Believe us when we say that. We've been to enough weddings to know first hand how much time, money, and effort it takes to travel. Don't get us wrong, it is all worth it to be able to share in our friends happiness. But we do we want anything  more.

Jake with the scan gun!

Your table awaits

Oh escort cards, another one of those necessary details for our wedding. What are they? They're tags that inform guests of their table assignment. From the begining, we planned to go the traditional route of using tent cards like so:

via Girl with a Ring

I even have the mock up printed out. The names and table number on the front, and a short note on the inner
flap asking guests to share their photos with us on shared website (to be determined). But today, as we drove back from Crate and Barrel (we started a registry!), I came up with a different idea.

One Chinese wedding tradition is red envelopes which are also called lucky envelopes (or lai see in Cantonese). For major occassions such as the lunar new year, birthdays, and weddings, money is usually given as a gift. Money is never just handed over, but rather given in a red envelope.
I was struck with the desire to incorporate these in our wedding as a cultural element. But we can't just give these out (empty), some might interpret it as "hey, give us money." Buuuuuuuut, what if we use them as part of our escort cards? Like so:

via The Party Girl

The only drawback is that I won't be saving myself anytime, in fact, I'll be creating more work for myself, but I like the added touch. Not following huh? There are two issues with traditional lucky envelopes. 1) They're kind of expensive. 2) I'm not sure how I would print names on the envelopes themselves. My printer may have issues printing on the slick surface. Also, the gold ink traditionally flakes off, I can't risk ruining my printer. I could just use clear address labels, but both of us HATE them.

Are you probably at the edge of your seat wondering how I'm going to get around these obstacles? OK, I'll share. The plan is to use baby envelopes and a double happiness stamp from Paper Source.