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5.28.2009

A Supporting Role



Ever since we finalized the details with the cake, I've been on the lookout for the perfect pedestal stand. If you'll remember my original inspiration photo from Jordan Ferney's wedding, what initially struck me was her amazing collection of milk glass stands. While the vision for our own sweet creation has seen its share of changes, one thing has remained constant: the stand.

There's just something about the graceful lines of a simple stand that ca
n elevate a cake to the next level (pun intended). I wish that I could tell you that the search has been a piece of cake (sorry, I couldn't resist!). Unfortunately, it hasn't. Don't get me wrong, I've found some GORGEOUS pedestals in the process. The only problem is that most of them have been too small! (The ones that are large enough for our 13" cake are, unfortunately, much too expensive for our remaining budget.)

While none of the following were winners in The Yorkies' search for the perfect pedestal, I think they're at least worthy of an honorable mention! :o)

First up are a lovely trio of stands from Rosanna. While the first style is my favorite in this collection, I think that the black ones would pair perfectly with a damask-themed reception.


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These next two styles are from Potluck Studios. Who says cake stands have to be "bridal white"? The frilly "Flirt" would brighten up a summer wedding!


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This sweet ribbon-laced set is from Two's Company. I can't tell you how much I love these!




Williams-Sonoma offers their dainty Scalloped Cake Stand in three sizes.
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You know this list wouldn't be complete without including Martha Stewart's classic collection at Macy's! :o)


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If you're in the market for a handmade porcelain pedestal, Lou Hanson Pottery is worth a look. The pieces are definitely an investment, but would make a lovely keepsake.


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Well, friends, I've saved the best for last. These are the pedestals that have stolen my heart. Feast your eyes on the loveliness that is Clara French. My favorite style is "Beaded Bijoux", with "Petal" in a close second. (Can I tell you that I totally keep their webpage open in my browser just to listen to the Amelie soundtrack!) :o)




Did it take you a long time to find your perfect cake accessories?


5.27.2009

Our Venue: Matheson Hammock & Red Fish Grill


In just a couple of weeks, Mr. Yorkie and I will stand on this beach shortly before sunset and pledge our lives and love to each other before 120 of our family and friends.

If it doesn't quite look like the flashy, fast-paced scenes of Miami Beach that you've come to know from shows like Miami Vice and CSI: Miami, there's a good reason. This isn't Miami Beach. It's Matheson Hammock, Miami's very first park and best-kept secret.

As a little girl, I used to visit the park just about every Sunday afternoon with my family. You would usually find me waist deep in the lagoon, with a net in one hand and a pail full of critters in the other. On the rare occasion that I'd emerge from the water, it was almost always to run up to the concession stand for a delicious vanilla cone. So many of my childhood memories are set here!


Not much has changed since those days, save for the fact that the limestone building that once offered up ice cream and hot dogs is now home to the upscale Red Fish Grill, which will serve as our reception site.


The Red Fish is offering us a wonderful package at a flat rate for up to 130 guests. (Having flexibility like that with our guest list size is awesome!) Included in the package are passed hors d'eouvres during the cocktail hour with an open bar serving beer and wine, three plated entrées for our guests to choose from, champagne toast, cake cutting, coffee service, and gratuities. Another great benefit is that you can hold your ceremony there for no additional charge.

While the restaurant does not provide liqour, if we'd like to bring our own, they will gladly mix and serve. Bring on the Mojitos! :o)

Seating is available both indoors and outdoors, with the spaces tied together by several french doors that open onto the patio. The indoor seating will be great for our older guests who will benefit from the air conditioning. The patio area is naturally cooled by the gentle breezes that come in off of Biscayne Bay!

The views from the Red Fish are breathtaking, especially at night with the Miami skyline lit up in the distance. With most of our guests flying in from out of state for the wedding, I know that the atmosphere out here will be well worth the trip!

Here's a fun bit of Matheson Hammock/Red Fish trivia for you. A couple of scenes from There's Something About Mary were filmed at the park and inside of the restaurant. Check 'em out! :o)

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The first minute and 15 seconds of this clip was filmed there.


Did you choose your venue for sentimental reasons?

5.26.2009

Do Me a Favor: Part 1


When it came to deciding on our favors, I was ada
mant about not giving our guests trinkets that would either end up in the trash or (worse) collecting dust on a shelf. Mr. Yorkie agreed and so we set to brainstorming practical favors that our guests would actually use and enjoy. Immediately, we started thinking about edible favors!


I've been smitten with Minhee Park's wedding details since they first appeared in Martha Stewart Weddings in Fall 2006. I especially love the little ice cream scoops served with custom-printed wooden spoons! Cute and eco-friendly... doesn't get much better than that! (You can actually order your own from Minhee through Paper+Cup Design.)

When I started to think about the logistics of scooping all of those little balls for our 120+ guests, I wondered if there might not be a better option for us. Something pre-packaged, perhaps?

Then a lightbulb went off in my head! It was a perfect choice (or so I thought), and one that would serve as a nod to Mr. Y's Bay Area upbringing, which would make a nice touch. My bright idea was to serve each guest an IT'S-IT at the reception!



Talk about a San Francisco treat! Rice-A-Roni ain't got nothing on the IT'S-IT! If you've never had one, imagine this: vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two old-fashioned oatmeal cookies and dipped in dark chocolate goodness. (Oh man, I wish I had one right now!)

Surprisingly, Mr. Yorkie wasn't too keen on the whole ice cream idea, citing two main objections. The first was South Florida's summer melt factor, to which I reasoned (like only a Miami native can): "It's hot here all year long. Wouldn't you think our guests would app
reciate a cool treat at our outdoor reception? Plus, there are such things as cute, old-fashioned ice cream carts that we could rent!"


The other issue that he had was with our guests' personal tastes. "What if they don't like them?", he asked. My first thought was "Great! More for me!" But I guess he had a point, some people might not like yummy ice cream treats. (Yeah, weirdos!) I guess it's kind of like in the same way that not everyone (um... me!) might like Jordan almonds. Unfortunately, not too many couples I've known have taken that into consideration before choosing them as their favors! :o)

Considering that IT'S-IT ships overnight express, I wasn't too worried about melting. The cost of the shipping for the 6 cases that we'd need, though, was nearly double the price of the ice cream itself. The breakdown of $2.19 per guest wouldn't be that bad at all. Had our wedding been in the Bay Area, where customer pick up is an option, you can bet we'd be serving those babies at our reception!

Alas, we're getting married in Miami... and thus, decided to keep looking.

Are you opting for regional favors at your wedding? What are some ideas that you've come up with?


A "two" bride takes two...


Remember how just the other day I was remarking about the phenomenon of brides with various two's? Well I have a little announcement to make: my shoes are no longer my only two's. Nope, I can now officially be counted among the growing population of two-dress brides. Meet Delores...




I have to admit, I wasn't terribly excited about this new development at first. You see, I'm completely and utterly in love with my wedding dress (which shall remain under wraps until after the wedding, since Mr. Yorkie has been known to sniff around the 'Bee on occasion). I honestly envisioned wearing it the entire night.

At my second fitting a little more than a week ago, though, it became painfully clear that it just wasn't meant to be. You see, after tying up the bustle, there is still about a good 12 inches of delicate fabric that trails behind me on the floor. I asked about the possibility of moving the bustle-button thingies a tad bit higher on the dress. According to the little old Cuban seamstress at the dress shop, that would somehow ruin the dress. (I've learned that you just don't question little old Cuban seamstresses. They know their stuff! I should know, Abuela Yorkie was one!)

Between the outdoor reception venue, ladies in heels, and The Yorkies' new trick, there is no way that my precious dress can survive the night unscathed. So, in an attempt to protect it from being accidentally trampled on or worse... I'm going the two-dress route and taking Delores along for the ride. I'm sure we'll get along just fine! My new plan is to wear the ceremony dress through dinner, after which I'll change into the party wear so that I can literally kick up my heels and bust a move. :o)

The upside is that now my guests will actually be able to see my fuchsia Kate Spades! Oh, and I'll also get to shop for a sweet little hair accessory to take the place of my mantilla. (I guess that'll make me a "two" bride, three times over.) The downside, though, is that I'm really going to have to pay attention to my footwork. I won't be able to hide my missteps during the dance under a long dress! Gasp!

Have you been thrown a curve with a wedding related detail?

5.25.2009

Going out on a limb...

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Ever since our very first "date" (which I'll share more about later), Mr. Yorkie and I realized that in addition to running, we both share a passion for family history. I'm not exactly sure how we got on the topic that night, but before I knew it, we were heavy in discussion about surnames, census rolls, and subscriptions to Ancestry.com.

Our love of family is definitely something that has brought us closer together. One of our craziest adventures yet involved sneaking into a long-abandoned cemetery in the backwoods of Allen County, Ohio in order to track down the final resting place of one of Mr. Y's great-great-great grandfathers. I have to admit, it was kind of scary but definitely worth it. These tangible experiences are some of the most rewarding parts of family research. There really is nothing like the feeling of making that connection and being in the very places where your ancestors once walked, worked and lived.


Mr. Y phoned home with the news of his latest find


Because of the importance family history has for both of us, we have chosen to use it as the theme for our wedding. The way we see it, our union is in essence the merging of two deeply-rooted families. It's our desire to celebrate by honoring the marriages and generations that have preceded ours through various details on our special day.

I started actively "climbing" my family tree about eight years ago. My curiosity, though, dates back to childhood and the stories that I'd beg for my grandparents to tell and retell. I remember how amazed I was to learn that Grandpa Yorkie, born on a farm in Iowa, was the youngest of 13 children. (With only one younger sister, I thought I had it hard!) When I was about twelve, I put together a list of all of his brothers' and sisters' names. Even though most of them had already passed by that time, I had grown to love them through the stories that I'd heard.


A handsome young Grandpa Yorkie sits front and center


That list, scrawled on a sheet of loose leaf paper, served as my starting point. With help from my parents and online resources, I steadily began to accumulate pages upon pages of names, dates and notes covering both sides of my family. I learned to find clues in census rolls, old newspapers and obituaries. Before long, I found myself investing in Family Tree Maker in an attempt to keep all of the details organized. Over the years, my simple little list has grown to currently include more than 1,500 individuals spanning 16 generations. Crazy, huh?

Today, only one great aunt remains from that large family of thirteen children. At 92, it's just not possible for her to make the trip from Iowa to Miami for our wedding day. She has already let us know, though, that she will be thinking of us. Mr. Y and I plan to make it up to visit her sometime later this year to share photos and stories of our special day... and to hopefully gather a couple of good stories from Great Aunt Y.


With Great Aunt Yorkie in December 2007


For Mr. Yorkie and I, the search is all about putting faces and stories to the names and dates that we've dug up over these years. We hope to find out who we've come from, so that when we have children of our own, we are able to present them with their legacy so that they may appreciate those who have come before them.

Will you be incorporating details to honor your family and traditions on your wedding day?

5.24.2009

What a difference a year makes!


It's hard to believe that this photograph was taken just one year ago today! That delicious little Sprinkles cupcake served as my birthday cake. (Yup, today's my 31st birthday. I don't even want to think of what that makes me in dog years!)

So yeah, a year ago today, Mr. Yorkie and I were in Los Angeles. While turning 30 is kind of a big deal, it wasn't the reason for our trip. Nope. We were there to celebrate something more important, the wedding of one of Mr. Y's best friends, Big Don. It was the culminating event of what turned out to be one amazing week-long trip.

We started our journey in San Francisco, where Mr. Yorkie and I ran the 97th Annual Bay to Breakers 12K. There really are no adequate words to describe that experience! We saw everything from runners pushing shopping carts laden with beer kegs up the Hayes Street hill, to an entire squad of runners dressed as Star Wars Storm Troopers in Golden Gate Park, to (unfortunately) even buck-naked runners. (Well, naked except for socks and shoes, of course.) :o)


Faux fannies on the course in Golden Gate Park


While in the Bay Area, we made sure to take in a Giants game (Mr. Y's favorite team) and spent some quality time with his family that lives in Los Gatos. (Ha! The Yorkie in Los Gatos! Get it?) From there, we hit the road... Highway 1, to be exact.


Freezing our butts off in AT&T Park

We decided to take the scenic route from San Francisco to L.A., and boy, was it ever! On our first day of the drive, we made the 17-mile Drive through Pebble Beach, and made stops in Carmel and Monterey, where we checked out the aquarium. We took in a little history at a couple of missions, and ended the day in Big Sur.

I had no clue, but Mr. Y decided to surprise me with dinner at Nepenthe and a stay at the Lucia Lodge. Our little cottage, built in the 1930's was perched right near the edge of a cliff within earshot of the crashing waves below. It was the perfect birthday present!

The amazing view from our cottage!


Day two of our drive led us to out destination in Los Angeles, by way of San Simeon and Santa Barbara. If you've never made the drive down Highway 1, and have a couple of days to do it at a leisurely pace, I'd highly recommend it!

On the night of Big Don's wedding, one year ago today, I had no idea what the coming 365 days would have in store for me. Here I am, celebrating another year's passing and looking forward to yet again another wedding. This time, though, it's my own... and in less than 3 weeks! Crazy!

All I can say is I can't wait to see what this year will bring! Oh and, Big Don and Jennifer... Happy 1st Anniversary! xoxo :o)


Cheers!

5.20.2009

Goodie! Two shoes!


These days, it’s not uncommon to hear of brides with various two’s… be it two veils or two dresses. The idea is to wear one (usually the more traditional style) during the ceremony and change into the other (oftentimes more modern) for the reception. Every girl has her own reason for the quick change, be it a call for comfort or a passion for fashion.

Well, while I haven’t yet decided on all of my wedding day accessories, I do know that in at least one way I will be a “two” bride. My two’s will be my shoes! (Considering my recent posts, aren’t you glad I didn’t say “cakes”? Ha!)


Ever since laying eyes on the July/August ’08 issue of BRIDES, I knew that I wanted to rock a pair of fuchsia peep-toe heels under my wedding gown. I’d previously become smitten with photographs from real weddings, where happy couples playfully reveal their fun and funky footwear, ranging from colorful argyle socks to well-worn cowboy boots. At 5’1”, I’m much too short (and no where near brave enough) to strut down the aisle in my favorite pair of Chuck Taylors. I could definitely pull off the lovely look featured on the cover of BRIDES, though!

Immediately, I thumbed through the magazine, searching for the source of those gorgeous satin slingbacks. Never having been one to indulge in high-end fashion, I didn’t immediately recognize the designer’s name: Christian Louboutin. It wasn’t long before I realized that, with a $795 price tag, I probably wouldn’t be walking around in Mr. Louboutin’s red-soled lovelies on my Big Day. So began my search for pink, peep-toe substitutes.

After browsing the likes of J. Crew, Piperlime, Nordstrom and Macy’s, I finally found an acceptable substitute on Zappos: Kate Spade’s Loupe sandals in fuchsia. The only problem was that, even with the site’s discount, the shoes were running in the range of $230. Hmm. I only spend half that much on my running shoes, and they last me a good 500 miles. There was simply no way that I could justify spending so much on a pair of shoes! (But, oh, how I LOVED them!)



One afternoon, I stopped by my local Marshalls with the hopes of adding to the collection of antiqued mercury glass vases that would serve as centerpiece containers during the reception. Walking past the shoe section, something caught my eye. A pair of ivory satin peep-toe pumps from Mootsies Tootsies with pleated detailing across the forefoot and an oval rhinestone buckle.

Glancing at the sticker on the bottom of the display model, I was surprised to see that they were $16.99! I tried them on and they fit perfectly. Granted, these weren’t Christian Louboutins (or Kate Spades for that matter) but they were a great deal and could always be dyed. So I bought them and breathed a sigh of relief. I could finally check shoes off of my list!


Well, just a couple of months later, I received an e-mail announcing the upcoming sales on Gilt Groupe. I’ll give you one guess as to what would be featured that afternoon. Of course! Kate Spade shoes. Though I didn’t know for certain whether the Loupe sandals would be part of the sale, I figured there was a pretty good chance. So I readied myself for battle (which is necessary in the land of Gilt) and got to clicking. As soon as the sale started, I scrolled down the page hoping to find my fuchsia footwear. There they were! Immediately, I added a pair of 6.5’s to my cart (which had never before happened on the first try!) and then took a moment to catch my breath and check out the details. I couldn’t believe my eyes! They were priced at $130! Woo hoo! Needless to say, I spared no time in making those babies mine.

So, long story short, I'll be sporting two pairs of peep-toe heels on my wedding day! I think I’ll make my way down the aisle in the ivory pair and then slip into my pink party shoes for the reception afterward. :o)

Are you planning on any "two's" for your wedding? If so, what are they?

5.16.2009

The Yorkies Learn a New Trick!


Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Remember that last item on my list of things to do? Well, Mr. Yorkie and I have finally gotten around to doing something about it! :o)

Despite my Cuban heritage, I was totally skipped over when it came to distribution of the rhythm gene. I've never felt comfortable out on the dance floor, and for that reason have always sat out on the sidelines at every wedding I've ever been to. My biggest fear since we got engaged has been that our first dance will look more like a scene from some middle school spring fling, with us standing in place, awkwardly shuffling our feet from side to side. (That's the one move that I unfortunately have that mastered!)

With that in mind, Mr. Yorkie purchased five private dance lessons for us at Arthur Murray for my Christmas present last year. (Boy, he must really love me!) I can't tell you how excited I was when I opened the envelope containing the gift certificate that morning. I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day! "I'm going to finally learn how to dance," I squealed to myself!

Well, on Friday night we made it in for our first lesson. I was pretty nervous. You see, since I was a little girl, whenever we'd drive by the second-floor studio, I'd always point at the dancers in the huge picture window. Now, I was going to be the dancer in the window. What an exciting yet terrifying prospect!


For our first session, Luis (our patient, yet funny-as-heck instructor) taught us the basics of the Rhumba and the underhand turn, which we'll use for our first dance. Since our steps look more like a lunging attempt at the Tango, I know that Mr. Yorkie and I have much practicing to do before our next lesson on Thursday. Good thing we're able to laugh at ourselves, which we did a lot of last night. Oh, and talk about determination... check out the look on my face in this photo! Ha!


Are you hoping to learn a "new trick" before your wedding?

5.15.2009

Save the Date Postcards

Now that you've already seen our invitations, it's probably a bit late to be sharing our postcard save the dates, huh? Nah! Late is better than never, in my book! Here they are.


Here's what I used to design them
:

The best part about this project is that most of the design elements that I used are available free online! I'm making sure to get my money's worth out of the one item that I did have to purchase (the CD-ROM), by using it for our invitations and other wedding elements as well.

After designing the postcards, I had them printed through Zazzle. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and smooth matte texture of the cards... definitely something that would hold up in the mail! At $.95 a piece, they weren't bad at all, especially considering the free shipping promotion that was going on at the time. :o)

Here's a close-up of the front...


And here's a peek at the back...



Are you designing paper products for your wedding? If so, what are some of your favorite free online resources for design elements like fonts and graphics?

5.13.2009

Here's to short pencils...


A wise woman once told me, "A short pencil is better than a long memory." With exactly one month to go until our wedding, I'm quickly realizing how very true that little adage is.



Fittings, appointments, and unfinished details are all vying for my time and attention, and I find myself worrying that I'll inevitably forget something. In the past, I've had a tendency of spending way more energy fretting about getting things done than what is required to actually accomplish them. It's one of those crazy little quirks of mine that I've been working on.

I've found that making lists helps me combat those little pangs of anxiety that creep up on me at various hours of the day and night. (A good cup of chamomile tea and long runs do wonders for me, too!) There's just something reassuring about seeing each individual task and responsibility arranged in a manageable column, rather than one massive impossible tangle of mental notes. I've taken to carrying around a small notebook, perfect for jotting down those nagging thoughts so that I won't have to try and remember them all.

Here are some of the items scrawled on my list of things to still do:
  • hair and makeup trials (Way overdue!)
  • finalize ceremony readings
  • help select ceremony and reception music
  • finish aisle runner
  • finish monogram wreath
  • design and print programs
  • design and print menus
  • assign reception seating
  • table name signs and photos
  • bake favors
  • Out of Town bags
  • learn to dance

As lengthy as my list seems, I know that these are all things that I can easily take care of and scratch off one by one. (Well, with the possible exception of learning to dance... yeah, that one's probably going to take a while!) Anyway, scratching items off of lists is yet another thing short pencils are good for!

Do you find yourself becoming more anxious as your wedding day approaches? What are some things that help you manage your emotions?

5.12.2009

Mark your calendar! Michaels Summer Madness Sale


So, I was at Michaels again last night. As always, I went with the intention of picking up just a couple of things and taking no more than 15 minutes. Needless to say, it never works out that way. There are just too many temptations!

Anyway, back to the reason for my post. After paying at the register (more than an hour after I got there), the cashier handed me the receipt and an orange flyer. It's a little piece of paper that can save you big bucks. You see, Michaels is having a Summer Madness Sale on May 25th from 9:00am - 1:00pm, where you'll save 20% off your entire purchase, including sale items!

The coupon on the flyer is required in order to receive the discount. (I'm sure that restrictions also apply, probably on the YUDU and Cricut stuff, so be sure to read the fine print.) But, hello... 20% off the entire purchase? That's major savings!

If you're in the market for custom framing services, there's a nice little coupon on the back of the flyer good for at least $50 off your order. That one is good from May 24th through May 30th.

So stop by a store and get your flyer. Then before heading off to your Memorial Day picnic, remember to hit to Michaels for the Summer Madness Sale!

5.11.2009

Double-loop ribbon closure



I know it sounds silly, but one of the hardest decisions I had to make regarding our invitations was how to close the pocketfold. I hemmed and hawed between square cardstock seals and vellum bellybands for what seemed like a week! As simple of a decision as it should have been, neither of those two options seemed quite right to me. At the last minute, I decided on ribbon, which provided just the touch of texture and elegance that I was hoping for!

Here are quick and easy instructions for the double-loop closure that I used.

Here's what I used to make them:
  • Ribbon (sheer, lightweight types work best)
  • Adhesive tape runner
Here's how I made them:

1. Cut a length of ribbon approximately 4 times the width of the pocketfold. (Mine were 5" wide, so I used a 20" length of ribbon.)

2. Center the pocketfold over the ribbon on a table. With one hand, make a loop at one end of the ribbon, making sure that the cut end is facing out.


3. With your other hand, feed the opposite end of the ribbon through the loop that you have created.



4. Pull the cut ends away from each other to form interlocking loops. Pull snugly and hold.



5. Carefully turn the pocketfold over and lay flat on the table. With the adhesive tape runner, apply a ½" strip of tape to one end of the ribbon. Secure the ribbon to itself at the back of the pocketfold. Repeat for the other side.



6. Turn the pocketfold over, adjust the positioning of the "knot"... and admire your work!

I told you it was quick and easy! ;o)

5.10.2009

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing a very Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms and mommies-to-be! I can't forget the future mothers-in-law, either! :o)

Thank you for always being there for me, Mommy!

Te quiero...
Marissa
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