Goodbye 2010

{ Nutcracker my sister brought back from her winter trip to Germany }

We had some good times. 2010 wasn’t a perfect year (since there probably isn’t such a thing), but it was a wonderful year. We were happy, healthy, and together as a family. We couldn’t ask for anything more. Looking back, I can’t believe how much Cadence has changed and grown up.

I can’t forget to mention that my favorite show to talk about ever, LOST, also ended in 2010. I can’t believe that either. I sometimes get a little sad when I remember it’s over, but we also got Filipino channels in 2010 that have brought me lots of new dramas to get sucked into.

Here are just some of the things we did last year…

And much, much more!

“…Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in the life? How about love?” – Rent

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Wedding Photographer

My mom spoke to a photographer we’ve known for over ten years now named Chris Wineinger, he’s put us down on his calendar, and he emailed her the contract. He took my senior prom photos, some family photos, my sister’s senior portraits, my sorority application photos, and some random pretty portraits for me in college.

He does all kinds of photography, he but is in high demand nowadays for weddings and is pretty much booked for every Friday/Saturday/Sunday for some time. He’s also traveled to some great locations for destination weddings, so it’s interesting seeing the new photos on his site.

He’s very talented, and his package includes 7 hours of wedding day coverage, an assistant photographer, and all the edited photos on a DVD with the rights to print them.

He’s always done this. Before everything was digital, he physically gave me a 4×6 of all my shots despite the cost of printing and film. More and more photographers are including the digital photos now, but there are still a lot of photographers that want you to buy each individual print from them. That is the way it was done traditionally, but I just won’t do it. Some photographers will only include all of the photos for a hefty rate or if you buy their biggest package.

Afterall, they could make quite a bit more money that way. Of course, I understand that photography (especially weddings and dealing with bridezilla’s and drunk uncles) and editing are many hours of work and late nights, and people should get paid for all their talent and hard work. Hence, why we think it is worth it to have a really great photographer with a really great package. If however, someone doesn’t necessarily need very many of the photos, they might save a lot of money going the other route.

I personally like lots of photos. In pretty much every scenario, I like having lots of options, and more photos in my possesion mean more options.

Oh yes, and he’s also kindly offered to throw in some generous extras for us that he’s already written into the contract. Isn’t he great? I guess because we go way back.

This was when we really got married– just a couple of crazy kids in love. At home. No photographer (or anything else really). Just us. It’s nice to have a celebration to share with friends and family, but I’m already happy just being together. It makes me smile just looking at this photo.

“A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.”
Eudora Welty

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A New Idea for Our Wedding Cake

After seeing the beautiful birthday cake at that party last weekend, I had a great idea that would save a lot of time/tears/effort/sanity, still save lots of money, and still give us a beautiful wedding cake display. We could order 3 separate cakes as our “wedding cake” and display them on cake stands to still give them a little something special to stand out. Cake stands on different levels would be neat and still show a “wedding cake” type of look. The plan for the groom’s cake would stay the same.

I really, really like this idea. I absolutely loved the cake from the party, and it continues to stick out in my mind. I’m thinking something like that x3 and with colors to match the reception. It will be kind of different, too. Plus it will make my life so much easier to not make it myself but still know that it will be beautiful on a budget.

{ I saw these this morning at Wilton.com. }

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The Bride’s Survival Guide book review

I just read the library’s The Bride’s Survivial Guide: 150 Mistakes to Avoid for the Perfect Wedding, and I would definitely recommend it. It’s informative and interesting to read. A lot of the tips I read in there I already agreed with before reading the book, but it didn’t hurt to read it anyway to get more ideas.

Some things I read that I didn’t already think about or might forget:
*MUSIC: Ask about plans for breaks. Have a no play list. Protect song requests. Give phonetic pronunciation of names.
* PHOTOS AND VIDEO: Submit a photo wish list. Avoid cheesy video edits.
* DECOR: Check what decor can’t be used at the site.
* BEAUTY: Wear undergarments that feel good and not just look good. Remember to do touch ups. Have a jacket, sweater, or a wrap.
* FOR THE BIG DAY: Consider hiring a wedding coordinator to handle the day of the event.

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Our Wedding Venue

It’s official. We have a venue: The George Ranch Historical Park. We paid our deposit and signed our contract. I’m so excited because it is everything we want.

1. The church and reception are at the same location.
2. It is affordable.
3. It’s pretty and fits perfectly with our theme.

[ Some photos from GeorgeRanch.org ]

What’s also really special about our venue is that it is historic. For example, the dancehall where the reception will be held will be celebrating is 100 year anniversary the year we have our wedding. Except for the addition of climate control, everything has been kept as original as possible. I wish I had taken more pictures, but every time we went we had the baby, it was raining, or there was an event that made it difficult to take pictures.

I’ve been doing some Googling online and have found some beautiful wedding photographs there:
Wedding by Sarah E. Evans
Bridals by Sarah E. Evans

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Marine Groom’s Cake

We’d like to have a small groom’s cake. Maybe a round cake and definitely with a United States Marine Corps theme for Tim. The edible sugar plaque will can be done as far in advance as desired as long as it doesn’t get broken while it waits for it’s debut, and I already own the molds and cutters I’d need.

The one with the chocolate covered strawberries looks particularly yummy. Maybe we should think about doing chocolate covered strawberries, too…

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Wedding Cake

My parents have asked me if I plan on doing my own wedding cake. If I do, we would save a lot of money. However, it would also take up a decent amount of time, and if I make any “big” (in my opinion) mistakes, I’ll be a huge flaming ball of stress ready to crash into earth. Another plus about ordering a cake is that I could have it delivered instead of having to worry about that part myself. The question is, how much time and stress will it be versus how much money we would save?

Maybe I should keep it simple. If we buy a cake, simple will save money, and if I make it, simple will save time and sanity. I was thinking a round, 3 or 4 tiered (depending on the size of the tiers) red velvet cake with a textured buttercream decorated by fresh florals that match the centerpieces. Last night I was also thinking about how yummy and fall-themed the same thing would be if made entirely in chocolate (although I’ve had really stressful experiences making chocolate cakes myself with the crumb and crumble factor that chocolate has).

However, fondant has a really impressive, clean look and helps seal in the cake’s moisture quite a bit more. My fondant covered cakes so far have been better than my buttercream finished. There is chocolate fondant, too. The problem is fondant takes a lot more time and effort. I will probably be quite busy in the days leading up to the wedding. Something to think about. If I wanted to have gumpaste flowers, those could always be done far ahead of time, but I’m worried they might not match the real flowers I had planned to decorate the reception.

I think the best way to answer this is to research wedding cake prices for the cake I want and try to make some cakes now to see how difficult/stressful/time consuming it really is. That’s a lot of cake though. Hmm… We’ll have to think of something…

Decisions, decisions. I really don’t have my mind made up about this yet, but we have a lot of time. The groom’s cake should be a little easier.

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My Etsy Wedding Favorites

I’ve been browsing wedding items lately, and I love the stuff I see on Etsy. The site makes great recommendations and has a blog with suggested or related items as well. These are some of my favorite wedding items so far…

Gracie Ribbon Headband from Lottie Da Designs

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Found My Wedding Dress

I ended up deciding on the dress I found that first day we looked at dresses. I literally looked at hundreds of dresses online. Then I slept on it. My thoughts went back to that one dress. Then I looked at them all again. I thought about it some more. I browsed some in person.

It turns out, there aren’t any dreses that appeal to me enough to even take the time to make an appointment, drive, and try them on. All the dresses that caught my eye did so because they reminded me of that one dress from before. The more I think about it, the more I realize it was the dress for me afterall.

I wasn’t sure at first if we had just sparked because all the other dresses were wrong for me, and it was the first one to make me happy after so many that didn’t. Now I know, it’s because it’s right. I’m glad I gave myself at least a little bit of time to think about it instead of making a decision that day and being left with the question of whether or not I had settled down too soon.

We now have a place (we have an appointment to put the deposit down tomorrow) and a dress (we have an appointment to buy it tonight). Those are pretty much the most important and interesting decisions for me.

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Wedding Makeup

Every time I’ve gotten my makeup done professionally, I’ve regretted it. It was thick, cakey, involved way too much eye makeup, and photographed horribly with the obvious line between my artificially pale face and natural colored neck.

I thought about getting air brush makeup done for the wedding. Most of the before and after photographs I’ve seen look pretty good, but I think it costs way too much. The least expensive I’ve seen would be done at their studio, which is very far from our wedding site. Convenience is going to be key. More time spent in the car driving on what will already be a very busy day is not going to happen. I want to be as stress-free as possible. Their minimum contract for on-location work is nearly twice as much. Others I’ve looked at charge as much for one wedding makeup session as it costs to literally buy an entire air brush makeup kit and take a class on how to do it, so the artists are definitely getting their money’s worth.

I’ve noticed, too, that bridal hair or makeup is always more than other members of the bridal party or other special occasion (prom, homecoming, etc) attendees. One might argue that the bride will have more elaborate and dramatic work done, but I don’t think that’s always the case. However, she always gets charged more even for a simpler style. 

For now I’ll focus on the positives like what I can do. I don’t know what my exact plans are yet, but they’re probably going to involve doing some things myself and buying some new products, which should be fun (plus I can use them again)!

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