Cheap 'n' Quirky Wedding

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I’m married! August 27, 2010

Filed under: etc,events — clln @ 2:41 pm

Well, the wedding was last Sunday and I just got back from the honeymoon. I’m finally home, my home is finally free of all of the extra relatives who were staying with us, and I can finally get to the big to-do list of thanking people and unpacking stuff. It’ll be a couple of days before I can update the blog, but I did want to say that despite a few setbacks, the wedding was amazing! It rained all day (moving our outdoor ceremony and photos indoors,) the power went out all over town as we were getting ready, and my parents and I totally missed the “aisle” we were supposed to walk down and ended up walking off to the side near the buffet, but it was still amazing. I ended up married to the man of my dreams; that’s the important thing.


Otherwise Engaged with the Engagement Party May 11, 2010

Long time, no post. I’ve been busy. My fiancé was in town this weekend so I threw our own engagement party. My parents aren’t big on entertaining and haven’t really been following what is traditionally expected of parents of the bride (which really isn’t an issue; the fewer traditions, the easier a time planning we have) so I had to take the engagement party into my own hands.

I forgot to take a lot of photos so I just have a few at the end, but I do have one of the buffet towards the end of the day:

The buffet spread after the party.

It was quite spectacular but I only remembered to bring the camera out after everyone was full and most people had left. Big props to my friends and family; we put out an amazing spread. My sister made a lovely appetizer and homemade truffles; my mom made a Greek salad; my friend Anna made samosas and chocolate-dipped cookies; I started making bruschetta but my sister and Anna finished it; my MOH brought a fruit tray, a vegetable tray, and wine; my former coworker brought some delicious bakery donuts. To personalize it a bit, I made sugar cookies a few days before using maple leaf and star cookie cutters to represent both of us. The night before the party, my wonderful fiancé and I were busy baking cupcakes and the bride cake with a Betty Crocker mix. To keep it simple, I bought frozen spanokopita and mini quiches as well as pre-mixed cocktails (Pomegranate Martini and Mojito.) It saved a lot of prep-time, which was a good idea considering how busy our tiny kitchen was getting that morning.

I made the pom poms hanging above the table the night before the party while FH was watching playoff hockey. I used the Martha Stewart instructions for pom poms. They were pretty cute. Otherwise for decor I just threw an old tablecloth on and raided my parents’ storage room for cake stands and pretty glass plates. It was perfect for a low-key, intimate gathering.

There was some pressure for this party, I had a friend ask what games and events I had planned for it. Uhhh, eating, drinking, and conversing. In a long-distance relationship, it can be easy for friends and relatives to feel like they don’t know your significant other well, so the main point of the party was to spend time with loved ones and celebrate that we’re engaged. It was cute, casual, and full of food, just like my fiancé and me. We asked that no one bring gifts, we gave no favors, we had no written invitations. No fuss! The thing I keep repeating is that the point of all of this is to marry the man I love, not impress people. It was an excellent afternoon and, best of all, we’re still enjoying the leftovers.


Move over, Cake Boss April 30, 2010

Michaels is supposed to be a happy place where you’re capable of doing any craft and you can buy the materials for them with your handy coupons. When I went there to buy my Wilton Classic Wonder Mold, the cashier looked at it, looked at me, and asked, “have you ever made one of these before? They’re supposed to be really hard.” Thanks for your confidence in me, Michaels cashier.

I get that working with fondant would require a lot more skills than I possess, so I didn’t mess with it. I did my practice cake on the weekend and I’d like the Michaels cashier to take a look at this:

My practice Barbie bride cake

Not bad for my first try, plus I made it myself with a little help from my old friend, Betty Crocker. I used the Betty Crocker Cherry Chip cake mix (the little pink dots inside are so cute) to keep it easy. When I poured the batter into the pan I was very concerned that there wouldn’t be enough, but it does rise. I followed the directions that came with the pan and it turned out perfectly (except it required a knife and some prodding to get the cake out of the pan.) Since I wasn’t going to mess with fondant, I knew icing for a top wouldn’t fly, so I sewed one quickly out of a few layers of tulle. It doesn’t have to be super-sturdy, it won’t be handled much, but it does have to have some tapering because that doll pick has a SUPER skinny waist. I also made a little veil that I sort of sewed into her hair. You’ve got to be very careful with that, pulling too much of her hair in one direction can create a bald spot.

Close up of the Barbie bride practice cake

For the icing on the cake, I used Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese icing (I didn’t know Betty made cream cheese icing!) I went with whipped so that it’d be easier to deal with on the cake, and cream cheese to balance out the sweetness of the cherry cake plus the off-white colour matched the off-white tulle I had sitting at home (and my own ivory dress, actually.) It will never spread completely perfectly and smoothly, but I think that gives it a cute, homemade appeal. It’s not like my loved ones don’t know I’m not a professional cake-icer.

So my icing job isn't perfect, wanna fight about it?

Anyway, I’m pleased and I’m ready to make this for the engagement party. Trust me, if I can make this, you can too. Disregard whatever the Michaels cashier may tell you, you can do this.


My Childhood Dream Cake April 18, 2010

Filed under: cake,diy,events — clln @ 1:07 am
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My childhood dream cake

What little girl didn’t want to eat a cake-flavored dress as a child? I sure did, and I was always so jealous of my friend down the street whose mom would produce the most amazing birthday cake with a Barbie in or on it each year. My mom always said no. She got excited when they came out with a cake mix that could be made in the microwave (I don’t think I have to tell you, but it was bad.) So I’ve spent the last twenty-odd years wanting one of these cakes made to look like a Barbie’s skirt.

I figured since I’m getting married, I could finally justify a doll cake decorated as a bride. I want cupcakes for the reception and I don’t expect to have control over a bridal shower, so I took matters into my own hands and bought one for the belated engagement party I’ve decided to throw for us so that my side of the family can meet my fiancé. (Side note: We had an engagement party thrown for us by my fiancé’s parents and I got a chance to meet friends and family on his side, but we haven’t done the same here. My parents aren’t big on entertaining, so it’s become clear that I have to throw my own the next time fiancé comes up here. The plus side is that I can have control over my cake!)

I went out on one of my many trips to Michaels and got the Wilton Classic Wonder Mold on sale, of course. I don’t do fondant, so I know I’ll never achieve the insane decorating levels I’ve seen on the internet, but I think I’ll do a practice run with a heck of a lot of buttercream icing and see what happens. No matter what, I get cake. Plus, I like to think my friends and family like me enough to put up with a ghetto-looking homemade bride cake. I have visions of it being ghetto in a cute way, but it could turn out ghetto in an ugly way. I’ll have to keep you posted on how it turns out, sorry to leave you in such suspense. I know you’re practically jumping off of your desk chair in anticipation. Me too. Well, more in excitement over all of the practice cake I’ll get to eat. Plus I’m excited that I can arrange the desserts like this so it looks like the doll is commanding a sugary army:

Barbie commands her cupcake army

Wish me luck!


The Biggest Bridal Shower Ever April 11, 2010

Filed under: events — clln @ 9:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

OK, somewhere in the world there was probably a bigger bridal shower, but this one was pretty massive. My gorgeous coworker, let’s just call her J, is getting married this June and having a HUGE wedding (she’s inviting 400 people!) When you invite 400 people, it’s only natural that your bridal shower will have no less than 150 people. This makes her shower bigger than my wedding.

I just got home from her shower and it was beautiful. J was stunning in a white cocktail dress that could make a gorgeous wedding dress for a small affair. It was at a banquet hall and we were fed a delicious four course meal. There were so many raffle prizes, games, and everyone was given a bottle of wine as a parting gift. There were beautiful floral arrangements (made by the bridesmaids, I love that they were DIY!), helium-filled balloons, a head table swathed in a bright tablecloth, and a huuuuuuge dessert buffet table in the centre of the hall that was arranged so beautifully that it could have been part of the decor.

And uh…. well, her shower was bigger than my wedding will be. I get the impression that my coworkers are all expecting to be invited to my wedding even though it’s a 10-hour drive (or a 2 hour flight) and I won’t be working with them after the wedding because I plan to move to my fiancé’s town. My wedding will be nothing like J’s wedding but, inevitably, they’ll be compared. It’s times like these that I question my cheap and quirky mindset. My coworkers are great people and if my wedding were in my hometown I wouldn’t question inviting them. Not only do they add to my ever-growing guest list, but I would also feel like I have to do a bit more to impress them because of J’s wedding being only 2 months before me.

I think I just need someone to tell me it’s ok not to blow everyone out of the water with an expensive wedding (or bridal shower.) The seed of doubt has been planted.

Side note: J’s wedding party has 21 people. 21. I feel like the 8 at mine is more than enough, but I guess the 9 bridesmaids were all working hard at this shower, so a wedding this big requires that much womanpower.