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Archive for May, 2010

Tastings

Probably one of the things I had been looking forward to with this wedding planning stuff is the tasting. If you didn’t already know, we both like food. A lot. We also like to entertain and cook. So, the food requirement is that it has to be on par or better than what we serve at our own parties. Otherwise, we’d consider just cooking for our own wedding.

I think that’s a large part of why we went with a venue that didn’t have a specific caterer. We’d have to go through the tasting process with deciding on a venue, and who has time to do that? So, this way, we can take our time wit the food, and then decide on what’s best.

Knot’s having a fit on me because CATERING was one of the to-dos I should have knocked off approximately five months before we were even engaged. In fact, we should have done catering before I found my dress. But, oh well. I didn’t think it would be that hard, especially since we’re getting married on a Sunday.

One thing that I’ve found is that it takes two weeks in advance to set up a tasting, and weekends are basically not available. If Knot had explained itself a little more, it wouldn’t be a scant four months until the big day and here we are, still trying to settle the biggest single expense of the day: food, drink, and service.

Oh, right. I should also mention that when you plan for X dollars per person, it’s fine to start with just food, but you add in china rental, service staff, linens and suddenly it’s 2X or 3X dollars per person. And, for a moment, I realized here we are back in January, pricing out venues and would we have been better finding somewhere all inclusive where the hall was included and we could do a X dollar per person for sure?

Wedding math is very complex.

Anyway, I lined up four places for us to taste, and here it’s been most of May that we’ve spend trying food. Each place has a little side room  and the conference table is always set for two (seated side by side) and your tasting consultant sits across from you, and watches you eat. It’s somewhat awkward, but the food is free.

Place #1 was by far the closest to the venue, the cheapest cost, and the most average food. There could have been some potential had we been doing a summer barbecue with grilled steak, potato salad and other picnic fare. But, for our late october, fall color evening soiree, it just wasn’t in the cards, even if it was cheap.

Place #2 was up where we live, at the upper end of our budget and the best food (so far.). The tasting consultant was very nice, and they were very open to many of the changes that we suggested. The menu was pretty much what we requested. I was surprised because there were things that weren’t to my taste, and I said so even though they were fine, and the consultant was like, “Well, of course we’ll change it. We want you to like EVERYTHING on your wedding day. You are THE BRIDE.”

I paused at that.

I am the bride

I am THE BRIDE.

This means that I can have whatever I want at the wedding? (so as long as THE GROOM agrees?)

This is a sweet deal.

Place #3 was just this past week, also near us and much closer to #1 in price point. The food was better than #1, but not as sophisticated as #3. And they had an affinity for black olives in everything. (Tapenade? Romaine Salad? Chicken Saltimbocca?) We ended up revamping the entire menu as we chatted, but we’re not sure we’ll even want to go back for the second tasting.

By the way, I have never heard of Chicken Saltimbocca until doing the wedding tasting circuit. I swear it’s one of those things reserved strictly for weddings!

So, Place #4 is Tuesday, and after that, we should have a decision of what the menu will be. When we have that crossed off, I’ll feel a lot better.

Current Crane Count: 124

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Honeymoon!

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This post is a long time coming, but I’ll make it short and sweet.

After six weeks of dress hunting, I was tired, disappointed and frustrated.  Each weekend, I’d add to an iphoto gallery already filled with me  in various shades of white satin, lace and dupont silk. We’d started with tighter, mermaid like styles to compliment my hourglass figure, but J pointed out how dresses with more flow and flare are more to my style. Dress after dress after dress, they all seemed about the same after awhile.

Well, except that the more dresses I tried on, the more I thought about this one dress. One dress that was almost perfect, but not quite.

Yes, dear reader, that’s right. If you remember, I blogged about when a girls finds her dress and whether “the moment” existed or not.  But, it was exactly that dress with which I had my almost-moment. And even though it wasn’t perfect, it was still the one that was the most unique, the one with both fit and flow, and the one that I liked the best.

So, I went back to Priscilla’s and tried it on again.

I put the dress on, hoping to feel some sort of  magical overwhelming joy (which didn’t happen), but I still liked the dress a lot.  Still, I just didn’t know. And, without knowing, I couldn’t buy it.

I went outside and called Keri.

“I’m at the dress shop,” I told her.

“OOOOoooooh!” she squealed. “And?!”

“And I still like it.”

“Like, like like it?”

“Yes. I still like it.”

“But?”

“Well,” I sighed.  “I’m still not sure. I mean, I still don’t know if it’s THE dress.”

I could practically hear her grinning on the other side as if she knew something that I didn’t. “How many shops have you been to?” Keri asked.

“Over ten. Eleven, I think.”

“And how many dresses have you tried on?”

“Over seventy. Maybe more,” I replied.

“And what dress do you keep thinking about?”

“Well, this one.” Suddenly, I knew where she was going with this.

“And,” Keri continued. “If you go to ten more places and try on seventy more dresses, what dress are you still going to think about?”

“This one. Probably.” I admitted.

She was right. Did I want to keep going to bridal stores that were further and further away? Wasn’t it enough to like like a dress?

“Yeah, you’re right.” I said. “Ok.”

“Ok what?”

“I’m going to go buy it.”

Keri started to laugh. “DO IT!”

And so I did. I went back in the store, went up to the counter and said, “I’ve tried on a dress here a few times, and today, I’d like to buy it.”

The women at the counter looked shocked since rarely does one come in and announce she’s going to buy a wedding dress. But, they brought out the dress for me, and since the sample was in good condition, I bought it for half off. They put it in a big white dress bag and charged the credit card.

“Congratulations on finding your dress,” they told me, handing over the big bag.  And even though I’m sure they say this to all brides-to-be,  I smiled really big.

“My dress.” I said, to John, holding my giant dress bag like a four-year old clutching a well-loved stuffed animal. “It’s awesome. I am happy.”

At that moment, I really was happy. Truly relieved and excited. In the end, I had found THE dress, and it was perfect.

So, I can’t wait to wear it in October. It’s going to be amazing!

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It’s supposed to be 91 degrees today! Hottest it’s been all year!

Wedding stuff is picking up lately. I just got our engagement photos and more will be coming soon.

We’re going out to play! Hope your day is just as nice.

Current Crane Count: 77! (Thanks to those who folded on Friday!)

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Current Crane Count

We’re at 55!

That’s 5.5% of the way there.

Suddenly this seems a lot more daunting than I initially realized…

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Things that are fun include looking for invitation inspiration!

from http://kenziekate.blogspot.com/search/label/invitations

Seeing what other people do with cranes!

From OnceWed

And neat things for my hair!

From ban.do

And also exciting is that I ordered our Save the Dates!

Weeee!

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Why 1000?

Good question. Because it’s a lucky number? Because that’s what the tradition is? Why is a marathon 26.5 miles? At least 1000 is a round number.

Why do they all have to be gold?

Another good question. This goes along with another question I’ve gotten which is…

Is this anything to do with Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes story?

Ok, so in this famous children’s story where Sadako, a young victim of the Hiroshima bombing suffering from leukemia, attempts to fold 1000 cranes since legend is that the person who does that will be granted a wish. Since paper was scarce for 1000 cranes, she used anything that she could find at the hospital such as wrappers or newspaper. As a result, any color paper will do when you’re folding 1000 cranes for someone to get better or to grant a wish. The folding of 1000 cranes is called Senbazuru 千羽鶴

1000 golden cranes is a very specific type of Senbazuru, but it’s been sort of difficult to find information on this topic in English. (Kate? Lil? Kellen? Any more info on this topic?) I’ve read that, “The time and energy [the couple will] put into a thousand hand-folded origami cranes symbolized the patience and trust necessary to sustain a long, happy marriage.” My understanding is that the gold color is celebratory and specific to weddings, and since I also like the idea of how pretty all the gold paper will look, we’re going gold.

Do you have to fold them all yourself?

Nope. I don’t care if technically we should. At the end of the day, it’s 1000 cranes and if we have help getting there, great. It’s not the easiest or quickest thing to fold a crane, so I value and appreciate anyone who has offered to fold one for me. It’s like contributing a good wish towards our wedding!

What size paper are you using?

I’m not sure. I’ll measure it tomorrow and let you know. It’s about 3 inches square, I estimate.

Is J folding too?

Of course! He’s very talented at folding origami, so I’m lucky to have him. We’ve even raced, and we’re pretty evenly matched.

Current Crane Count: 47

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