Friday, January 30, 2009

To Style the Aisle

One area where we are lucky enough to save money? Ceremony d├ęcor. Our ceremony will take place on a lawn that over looks the beach and turquoise sea.


photo by moi

We don’t need to mess with nature too much to have a gorgeous ceremony. However, I can’t help wanting to design the space just a little bit. Enhancements, if you will.

Enhancement Part Un:
I love the look of flower pomanders hanging from shepherd’s hooks. I can picture them swaying gently in the breeze, a delight to the eye :) I figure we’ll only need about 4 on each side, since our aisle won’t exactly be the length of Bryant Park runway. I found pink (fake) pomanders at JoAnn’s the other day $10 each, 40% off, so I bought two of them & plan on snapping up 6 more. I worry about them looking fake, but honestly, I don’t think ANYONE will know. Bonus – they can be plopped on a tall drinking glass on the bar, tables, etc. for more “free” decorations.


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A similar fake pomander – looks real to me!


Enhancement Part Deux:
The “altar” is a bit bare. A popular option is to place floral arrangement at the corners and center of the arch, but we are both tall & I have daymares of our pictures coming back and us looking like we have flowers sprouting out of the top of our head. I know it sounds silly, but the thought is still there 

I really love the look of simple, yet beautiful, garlands hanging behind the altar. I bought a branch of little white flowers the other day & I am going to make a few strands and see how they look. This would be a cheap and easy (my kind of DIY) way to spruce it up. Should I worry about the breeze & tangling, though?


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These chuppah floral curtains are gorgeous, but I am thinking of something a little simpler…little flowers spaced with fishing line.


Enhancement Part Trois:The aisle. Given the exorbitant rate of flowers from our resorts “preferred” vendor, I highly doubt we will end up with the thick blanket of flower petals that I am envisioning. My mom and I talked about staging a middle-of-the-night renegade operation on some bougainvillea bushes that grow like weeds along the highways, but…maybe not the best idea?


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Mr. Quiche mentioned that he wanted an aisle runner, but I am unsure of aisle runners on grass?! I feel like it would be a stumble waiting to happen.

Have you ever walked down an aisle runner on grass? How did you dress up your aisle?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

One (wo)man’s Junk is another (wo)man’s Jewels

In this age of cutting costs and finding ways to save (on everything, not just weddings!), Freecycle can be an invaluable resource. I joined the Chicago Freecycle group quite awhile ago, mainly just to see what it was all about. I was blown away!



Freecycle is a network geared towards the individual (& non-profits) that provides an electronic “recycling” forum. Their mission is “to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.” We all throw so much away each and every day that someone else might need or want. Move in with your fiance and hubby & now have duplicates of everything? Freecycle it!

You can post “OFFER” items that you no longer want. You can also post a “WANTED” message for things that you well, want, natch. Sometimes people just need a little reminder that they have an extra queen-sized box springs squirreled away in their storage unit, taking up space (that’s how we got ours!). And just think, that box spring didn’t end up in a landfill & we didn’t have to go out and spend money on one.

Freecycle can be a great resource for finding wedding items as well. When I was planning a Wisconsin wedding, I posted a WANTED message for old Bell canning jars. 3 emails came back instantly & I had offers that added up to around 45 Bell jars. I also see people giving away wedding items, from dresses to vases to linens to you name it!

I’ve seen some pretty…interesting…posts before, which is also a source of entertainment during the day ;) Someone was giving away a (singular) bag of frozen asparagus. I laughed for an hour, but I bet that bag was given to someone who needed it.

To find a Freecycle network in your area, click here. You'll be directed to a Yahoo group for your local community. Everything has to remain local, everything has to be free (& legal).

Have you found any wedding items from a non-traditional source? Let us know!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"A friend is someone who knows all about you..."

"...and loves you anyway!" - Author Unknown

How true! Even though we are having a smaller, destination wedding, I wouldn't even consider getting married without my best friends by my side. I am truly blessed to have such incredible sisters and girlfriends. My friends mean the world to me. I would feel comfortable calling any one of them at 3 a.m. if something was wrong. Or right, for that matter. Girls - I love you all!

Shall I introduce (all 7 of) them to you? (sidenote - sorry for Miss Quiche overload)

First off - my sisters


Sisters "Sis" & "Nen" are my backbone. They have pulled me up off the ground when I didn't think I could stand. They have been my biggest cheerleaders throughout my entire life. We are so much more than sisters - we are truly best friends. We don't fight. We get along with our fabulous mom. We rock, frankly.



Bridesmaid C and I met when I first moved to Chicago. She was technically my boss for a few years when we were working our little booties off on the golf course. We've both moved on from that job, but we are closer than ever. She truly epitomizes the title of this post. I am so lucky to have her in my life.



Bridesmaid L and I met years and years ago at camp, & then again through Sis a few years later. Another few more years went by & we both happened to work at the same club in Columbus. I guess you could say that we are destined to be together. We have lived together, laughed together, cried together. She is incredible.



Bridesmaid N and I also met at that first job upon moving to Chicago (with C), but we always seem to forget that! I feel like I've known her forever. From our life-saving Intelligentsia couch sessions to Dance Party USA to our slight foray into the world of Punk/Ska (scary concerts!), N is one of my favorite people ever.



Bridesmaid B and I met during Freshman Orientation at Ohio State. We had everything in common - the same major, same foreign language, her mom graduated from my high school & her dad taught at my junior high...but we grew up an hour from each other. We've been roomies and friends for years. We like to celebrate our anniversary with trips. It was 10 Years last summer!



Bridesmaid A and I met at the same party where Mr. Quiche and I met! We exchanged numbers at the first one, vowing to shop together. The next one rolled around 3 months later, we vowed to get together again & we finally did! Andrea is an invaluable person in my life & I am so lucky to have her as a friend.


Mr. Quiche didn't bat an eye when I told him I wanted 7 bridesmaids. I *think* (meaning - get on it, Mr. Q!) he's having 4 or 5 groomsmen, so one or two of the boys will have to walk back down the aisle with two of my girls. Who wouldn't want to do that, anyway?

I used to scoff at weddings with huge bridal parties, but now I realize how lucky those girls are to have so many best friends. How many bridesmaids are you having?

Friday, January 23, 2009

BRIDE'S FATHER DOES SLOW BOIL OVER MEATLESS WEDDING FEAST

A recent question posed to the feisty Dear Abby (sidenote: I *heart* Dear Abby. And Margo.) got me thinking about dietary lifestyles and wedding receptions.



DEAR ABBY: My daughter and future son-in-law are being married this summer. They are both vegans, and are planning a vegan dinner for their reception. I thought it was a very cool way of showing what different types of vegan dishes could be planned, but I'm getting grief from my husband. He thinks it is "selfish" of them not to offer a meat dish. I couldn't disagree more.
I told him I think they are right, but that I'd write to you and ask your opinion. It will have no effect on their reception, but I'd like to quiet things down on the home front. -- FUTURE MOTHER-IN-LAW


DEAR FUTURE M-I-L (Abby even knows the wedding acronyms - she is so with it!): This will be your daughter's day, not your husband's. I'm sure the food they offer will be not only delicious, but also sufficient to satisfy the guests, who may not even realize they aren't being offered meat.

If your husband is concerned about what will be served, he should eat before going to the wedding. Please tell him I said so, and let him chew on that.



I'm a vegetarian (Mr Quiche is not) but it never occured to me to have a vegetarian reception. However, I have to agree with Abby on this one. If the couple wants to have a vegetarian wedding feast, then that is what they should have. Unfortunately, they don't delve into the details of who is paying for what, etc., which may muddy things up a bit.

Same goes for alcohol - for a couple who doesn't drink, should they feel like they have to have an open bar (or a cash bar, for that matter)? Again, I think it is completely appropriate for the couples lifestyle to dictate the reception, should they so choose.

Does you reception reflect your dietay lifestyle?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It’s a nice day for a…WHITE Wedding*

(*I love you, Billy…but let’s not get too carried away here!)

It wasn’t until I started stalking wedding blogs that tablescaping even crossed my mind. I am now obsessed. Obsessed! Like most weddings I’ve been to, I figured we’d just have your typical white linens, plates, floral centerpiece & voila! the table is set. Oh, how very, very wrong I was.

Our resorts' receptions are white. White, white, white & I can’t. stand. it.

How I long for pops of color or prints!



Yikes…perhaps not THAT print.



Okay, they also have a sage green option, but it really isn’t our style. Or color.

So, let me backtrack a bit. They do offer some colors and some prints, but they are limited and not even close to what we want.

Enter Tablescape Inspiration Board #1:


1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

I love woven ribbon table runners (not those colors), but have no idea how it would executed on the day of the wedding. & my OCD will want them all spaced evenly. Are they sewn? I've seen some DIY tutorials, but haven't watched yet (oops). I also thought about draping strands of capiz shells down the tables (& wonder if these would be easy to make?).

I'm not a damask bride, but I love that table runner in the first image. Image #2, from Anthropologie, is actually a roll of wallpaper. That could work as well, right? In a different color scheme, of course.

The chair covers are also (suprise!) white. I am going to get tulle for chair sashes. I am considering making navy and deep pink tulle sashes...Or using one color for the sashes, then making the tablescape the other color. AH!


Mr. Quiche is pretty much open to whatever I decide (as long as it looks nice & doesn't send me over the DIY-edge). I am going to head to the fabric store this weekend to play around with some table runner ideas. We’re having a Valentine’s Day brunch, so I may test out a few different ideas (in reds & pink, of course) for that party. I’ll post the results after!

How have you handled breaking up the white monotony? Do you have any tablescape inspirations that you can recommend (and are travel-friendly)?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Photographic Bliss

If you haven’t already seen Junebug's latest fashion report, I suggest heading over there STAT! They recently released their Best Wedding Photos of 2008 (from leading photographers around the world). I am not sure how they compile their data, or if they’re just personal favorites, but I don't care - I love them all! I could just drink up these stunning images. They can also offer you great inspiration that you can then show to your photographer for your wedding day.

Sit back and enjoy my personal favorites…

Marcus Bell

This is a fairy tale shot if I've ever seen one!


Ben Chrisman



Christian Oth

Ooh, ooh! Who wants a shot like this? I do, I do!


Matt & Angie Sloan



Yervant Zanazanian

I always love the contrast between rough graffiti and soft wedding fabrics.


Amelia & Jason Lyon

Our own WeddingbeePros - yeah!


Sean Flanigan



Nate & Jaclyn Kaiser



Do you plan on providing your photographer with inspiration images that you'd like for your wedding day? I know I'm going to!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Simply...Quotes

I am a lover of quotes. I want to find a way to incorporate quotes into my wedding day, but I am not exactly sure how to accomplish this.

A first place to start would be with our invitations. I’d like to have a short quote by one of my favorite authors, poets, songwriters (oh songwriters…you are truly magic), etc. at the top of our invitations. I love Paulo Coelho & can find inspiration in so many of his books. I also love Brian Andreas, one of my favorite, whimsical storytellers & artist.

Here are a few that I have in mind:

"The moment we begin to seek love, love begins to seek us." - Paulo Coelho

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving." - PC

"We sat side by side in the morning light & looked out at the future together." - Brian Andreas

Before I decided to hire an invitation designer (before we were even engaged, for that matter!), I wanted to use Brian Andreas’ Storypeople cards for our invitations. They have a Friendship Card Set with 4 different quotes and drawings. I liked the idea of having different "versions" of our invitation.


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1. Just Friends - "I saw them standing there pretending to be just friends, when all the time in the world could not pry them apart."

2. Late Night - "In the end, I think that I will like that we were sitting on the bed, talking & wondering where the time had gone."

3. Real Reason - "There are things you do because they feel right & they make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other's cooking & say it was good."

4. Kindred Spirits - "You're the strangest person I ever met, she said & I said you too & we decided we'd know each other a long time."

I planned to create and print simple invitation wording and then attach it to the inside of the card and include our own RSVP. Part of me still wants to do this, but the cost is a little more than we wanted to spend (& I have sample ideas from our designer in-hand and LOVE them! More on that soon!).

I love these custom candle holders:

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So, 2 questions. Which quote do you like best for our invitations? What are some other ways that we could incorporate quotes into the day of our wedding?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Decorating is like music...

...harmony is what we constantly strive for." - Charlotte Moss

My vision for our wedding hasn’t really strayed too far from my initial concept– regardless of location, I knew that I wanted to blend a casual yet preppy vibe. And now that we’ve decided to get married in Jamaica, we’re throwing in the tropical aspect as well.

Tropical + Casual + Preppy = somewhat of a mess.

Tropical & casual, yes. Casual & Preppy, yes-ish. But Tropical & Preppy? When I think “preppy” I think country club, but I’ve discovered that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Enter Quiche Wedding: General Inspiration Board #1.


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Well, would you look at that! Tropical + Casual + Preppy = Perfection!

Chicago or Jamaica – I knew I wanted navy blue bridesmaid dresses. Remember, I ended up finding the perfect preppy dress from target.com (for $39!). I also love that blue and white seersucker suit for the boys, but it may be just a bit too preppy (for them, at least!). These preppy-fied duds will look beautiful with the pinks and greens of the garden and grounds of the hotel. Our flower decision is still up in the air, but no matter what, they will be bright or deep pink.

As for the casual factor, that is a given for the entire weekend. We want our wedding to be a fun celebration of love, family and friends. & a combination such as that oozes casualness in our world. No formal fussiness allowed! We want to have FUN on our wedding day (what a concept!). What we don’t want to do on our wedding day is sweat the small stuff. It will be somewhat challenging for me, as I am a worrier by nature, but hopefully our thoughtful planning leading up to the big day will eliminate much of this for me.

But again, for the most part, we’ve stuck to this same vision from to get-go. What about you? Has your initial inspiration for you wedding remained the same, regardless of time or location?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

"When I design a wedding dress with a bustle...

...it has to be one the bride can dance in. I love the idea that something is practical and still looks great." - Vera Wang

I didn't plan on getting my dress as quickly as I did. In fact, I bought it so fast that I didn't even wait to try on my original frontrunner:


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I went dress shopping at Nicole Miller with Bridesmaid C (for her wedding dress) before Mr. Quiche and I were engaged. Granted, it was only a month before he popped the question, but how was I to know? I didn't want to "jinx" it (even though, deep down, I know there is no such thing). So, this beauty (with a deep pink border) stayed on the rack while C picked out her gorgeous gown.

Mr. Quiche. Stop. I don't even want you to see me in the discarded gowns. Do not press "Read More". Merci et je t'aime!

3 weeks later, Mr. Q and I are engaged & my mom and sister are in town. We had shopped non-stop for 2 days & really didn't have any plans for Saturday. They suggested dress shopping and I readily agreed! I had tirelesly searched for the wedding dress of my dreams, and only ended up with 2 that I really liked (okay 2 that I really liked that weren't a fortune). I gave myself a budget of $650 & still felt like that was too much.

The 2 gowns that I liked were both by Alfred Angelo. Their store locator lead me to two different non-descript bridal salons on the far northwest side of the city.


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See how easy, breezy she is in this gown?


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So, you can see the style I was going for - strapless, fitted, casual-ish. The first salon had one of the gowns, and I really did love this dress. I almost bought it and left the store right then, but Mama and Sister Quiche talked me out of it:




We found a dress similar to my second choice, but...not so much. It hit at a weird place on my calves & just wasn't very flattering in general:


& you know you love my sexy brown flip flops, yeah!

We also found this one on the final sale rack. It was only $200 which piqued my interest...:


...but we all felt like it gave me alien boobs.

I tried on a couple of others that aren't worth posting, then we piled in the car and headed further west. This strip mall bridal store made me a little queasy (literally) - the lighting was harsh and all of the pink and mirrors made my stomach turn. I tried on 2 dresses, hated them both. Then stepped into a flowy, feminine little number that was NOTHING like what I had pictured for my wedding dress. Not strapless. Not fitted. But perfect.

I am really, really hesitant to show any pictures of it because I am being old fashioned & not letting Mr. Quiche see it before the big day. I don't even want him seeing any of the pictures in this post! I worry that he'll be too curious and look. Let me obsess over it a little longer, then I'll decide.

So, dress shopping done in a day. How about you? How long did you look for your wedding dress?

Monday, January 5, 2009

"It would be very glamorous to be reincarnated as a great big ring on Elizabeth Taylor's finger"

- Andy Warhol


Mr. Quiche and I had so much fun designing my ring. We both agreed that the ring didn’t need to be a surprise, as long as the proposal was (& was it ever!).


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I absolutely love the Tiffany Legacy ring, and we used this as our inspiration.

I have long, skinny fingers & we saw this rectangle stone and fell in love. It is a cushion cut setting, surrounded by small diamonds & diamonds on all three sides of the band. I like that it sits up high so that the wedding band will fit flush against & under the engagement band. Taking the advice of Anne Ruthmann , I attempted to photograph my engagement ring as well. I used my Canon EOS Rebel DSLR, but am not that happy with the results (especially after seeing the pictures of other Bees and WB Readers! Yours are all fantastic!).



When I first showed Mama Quiche my ring, she exclaimed “It looks like the Eiffel Tower!”, which I hadn’t noticed. Quite appropriate for me, though ;)




I liked all of the silver and sparkles on my snowflake stocking holder!

I may be doing something wrong, so I am going to give it another go this weekend. It wasn’t very sunny the day I took these!

Are any of you having trouble with your close-ups?