Food Finally Finalized!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I am very excited to finally share some of the details of our catering! As you may have read in my earlier post, we are having a cocktail style reception. We have been working diligently to convey our vision for our reception in many a catering meeting. I am so happy to report that we finally found a caterer who gets it. Zingerman’s Catering it is! For those of you from Michigan (particularly the Ann Arbor area) you may already know all about Zingermans. They started as a small deli in the 1980’s and have expanded their business to be a staple of the Ann Arbor Community by serving quality fresh made foods. The food and the service are sure to be amazing. Check out this excerpt from their website.

We pride ourselves on treating our guests like royalty (in fact, we’ve written a book about it). With Zingerman’s Catering and Events you can be confident that the service will be five star.

So far we have received great service from our contact, Laura. Exceptional service is a wonderful thing, but if the food is no good, it doesn’t really matter. Trust me when I say this, the food is going to be delicious! We had four people at the menu tasting in March: Evan, me, Evan’s Mom, Jane and Evan’s sister, Jessica. We all left stuffed and satisfied. Here were some of the favorites:

Our Bakehouse baguette is made to eat the same day it is baked, with a thin crispy crust and a soft interior. Grilled baguette slices are topped with a creamy spread made with Zingerman’s Creamery cream cheese and imported Italian Roi pesto, or fresh tomatoes with fresh basil.

We sampled two types of Bruschetta, tomato and pesto. Both were absolutely delicious! This was probably my second favorite thing that we tasted. I was on the fence about serving bruschetta, but after tasting this, we knew it was a must have.

Meat Skewers
Marinated chicken with spicy peanut sauce, ginger and balsamic vinegar.

When talking about how we should serve meat, a skewer sounded like a great option. You don’t need a knife to eat off a skewer and it keeps everything bite-sized so you can grab as many or as few as you like. We are going with the chicken skewer which should hopefully be a crowd pleaser.

Italian Platter
Classic antipasti at its absolute best. We selected the best of our Italian salamis and cheeses and curated a selection just for you, featuring genoa salami handkerchiefs, Parmigiano-Reggiano bites and aged provolone pyramids.

Another item we were “on the fence” about was the antipasti platter. We narrowed the selection down significantly from all the items we tasted, but let me tell you, I could eat handfuls of the parmigiano-reggiano. This will be a nice little bite for people who like some salty cheeses and salamis.

A very old family recipe from food writer Elizabeth Minchilli’s Italian mother-in-law. Served in homemade tomato sauce. We use local beef from D-Kay Cattle.

Meatballs are a little less formal for a wedding, but these were my absolute favorite thing that we tasted. They were delicious at room temperature which is most likely how they will be served. I didn’t want a big steel warmer as part of our food display, so I am happy that they could work with us on that.
I am confident that the food will be a memorable part of our day because of the beautiful display, great service and amazing tastes. I can not wait to chow down. I hope someone saves me a plate!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photo from Still Dottie

I am pretty confident that most if not all guests have received our invites by now. I have wanted to share these babies since before they were even printed. These beautiful invitations were designed by our good friend, Ann, and printed by Swash Press. The orange is our wedding color, but everything else was completely Ann’s design. They are just so lovely. I couldn’t be happier.

Now we just wait for the RSVPs to come in.

60 days to go!!!

Invitation Postage

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I am getting really antsy to post our wedding invites, but since they might not have reached all of our guests just yet, I have to use some restraint. What I can post for you today is a little story about our wedding postage.

I have been shopping around for websites that do custom postage. I thought it might be fun to print a custom stamp to use on our invites and RSVPs. This is becoming pretty popular on the wedding planning circuit. Different couples choose different options for custom stamps.

Some use wedding themed stamps:

Some couples go for a personal picture of themselves:

Since we didn’t really want something too wedding-y and we can never agree on a picture of the two of us that we both like, we decided to try to find something to represent our destination, Detroit! I searched for images of Detroit logos, Detroit landmarks and Detroit cityscapes. I came up with a lot of great images, but had to narrow it down. Evan and I decided that we both really liked the image of the Spirit of Detroit. So, I uploaded this picture and planned to print a stamp that would look like this:

We plan to have our photo taken in front of this famous landmark on our wedding day, so it seemed a great landmark to represent Detroit. It was very surprising when I received an email from the website stating something to the effect of, “we can not print your stamps because it violates our policy to not print any religious symbols.” (This is extremely paraphrased.)


Don’t they know that this is a monument that is dressed in a Red Wings jersey on a regular basis? He wore the Detroit Tigers jersey a few years back when they were in the World Series and he was even dressed in a tuxedo one year when the Three Tenors came to Detroit. I never thought of this is a religious symbol. It is more like Detroit city’s Statue of Liberty. Since I can’t argue with a website, I had to pick something else to use on our stamp. For fear of being rejected again, and not wanting to waste too much more time, I decided to make a compromise with myself. I would use a regular postage stamp for the invite envelopes:

And customize our RSVP stamp with an image that is more personal to us:

We used the bluebird image created by our good friend Ann. I absolutely love it! We are using this image as part of our wedding logo, so it only seems fitting that it be part of our invites. It all worked out in the end, so maybe it was a sign from a higher power, or from the streets of Detroit.

Final Florals

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I recently received an email from my Crate and Barrel registry stating that we are 68 days away from our wedding date. Ahhhh! It is coming up quick. Good thing that big decisions are getting finalized. One of those big decisions was the flower arrangements for our wedding reception. After some inspiration from I worked with my florist to create a unique floral plan. We will have three different arrangements in cube glass vases in 4 inch, 5 inch and 6 inch. Each arrangement will have one type of flower.

Orange roses:

Green hydrangeas:

Cream lisianthus (like roses):

Because that was much too easy, I asked that we switch up the arrangements on each table, so that we have a different look on each table. It got so complicated to explain that I had to put in on a map that my planner created for the table set up.

I think the creamy color pallet of oranges, creams and greens will look really nice on the bright orange table linens. I can’t wait to see them in real life!

Hair Excitement

Monday, April 19, 2010

I was having major hair dilemmas last week. My hair is longer than it has been since I graduated from college, my color had faded and I was just not feeling like myself. I started to think more about what I wanted to do with my hair for my wedding day look and was feeling quite overwhelmed. You see, not to brag, but I have had some really awesome hair styles in the past few years. My stylist is amazingly talented and for at least the last 6 years, I am used to having people ask where I get my hair done. That puts some pressure on a bride who happens to work for a hair salon and who has a history of award winning (literally) hair cuts.

Hair Style from 2005

I was seriously stressed out about my hair problems and to make matters worse, I was having a really tough time finding hair inspiration in Bridal Magazines or on Wedding blogs. I do not want to wear my hair in an up-do style for my big day. I know this is going to sound odd, but I am really self conscious about my long neck. I know many women wish to have a long slender ballerina neck, but as a former ballerina, I don’t want to look like I am performing Swan Lake at my wedding. Does that make sense?

Hair Style from 2006

Hair stylists that I work with were telling me that I had to find a style where I felt like myself, not like a person dressed as a bride. My problem was I couldn’t visualize what “looking like me” would be. I was seriously thinking about telling my stylist to chop it all off and just go as a short hair bride. Thank goodness I didn’t go through with that.

Hair Style from 2006

I had my appointment last Thursday and vented my frustration to my stylist and good friend, Jamie Sugg @ Bubbles in the Annapolis Mall. She said, “Of course you don’t feel like yourself, your color is totally faded.” Then after a very short lecture about not washing my hair every day, we decided…I am going to be a funky bride. My hair is usually funky in real life, so why try to get conservative for the big day? Jamie as usual created a beautiful look with vibrant color and didn’t cut one inch off the length. I feel like a new person and am really excited for my look on my wedding day.

She said straight to me, “You don’t have to worry about what your hair is going to look like on your wedding day. That is my job.” Isn’t she the best?!

Picture from 2010!

Wedding Day Timeline

Sunday, April 18, 2010

As our date approaches, I am starting to work out some of the little details for our wedding day. One of those little details was inspired by a post on one of my favorite wedding blogs, Weddingbee. One of the brides posted an adorable wedding timeline that I recreated for our wedding day. This timeline is not the same as the timeline for the Bridal Party. That one will have many more times and places that people need to be. The purpose of this timeline is to let guests know what is coming next on our wedding day.

Guests for the most part know that the wedding starts at 7:30pm Saturday and the reception follows directly after. The wedding day activities like the cake cutting and the first dance might not happen exactly on schedule, but are fun to have on the timeline. The activities that guests might not know about include cocktails in the lobby bar on Friday night @8pm and the trolley pick up times the day of the wedding. This seems like a really fun way to let guests know about those two things, especially.

I had a few other items that I thought about listing on the timeline. The rehearsal dinner on Friday evening, but that doesn’t apply to all of our guests. The last trolley stop on our wedding night at 1am, but we know who will need to be informed of this little tid (mostly members of the wedding party). We are also having breakfast at the hotel restaurant Sunday morning, but we aren’t planning a “Farewell Brunch”. We plan to have breakfast around 9:30-10:00am on Sunday and will be available to meet with guests who are staying overnight. Two reasons I don’t want to include this on the timeline is 1) we might sleep in and miss this and 2) I don’t want people to think we are providing a breakfast (we just didn’t have it in the budget.)

I think we have a good number of items on our timeline and we will have to find another way to communicate the extras to our guests who need to know.

Here is the timeline I modeled my creation from:

Dressing the Dudes

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I am not one to pick out Evan’s outfits and Evan is not one for shopping. We have groomsmen in Michigan, Virginia, New York and Arizona. We happen to live in Maryland. This seems like a formula for disaster when it comes to picking out what the guys would wear to the wedding.

We thought we would head to the local Men’s Warehouse rental site, pick out a suit and inform the guys so that they could pick theirs up where ever they may be located. That proved a big turn off for Evan. We walked in the empty shop and two guys were sitting behind the counter. They barely acknowledged us when we entered and pointed to a big binder full of pictures of suits. Evan’s head almost popped off his neck from frustration from poor service. We lasted about two minutes with the binder before we had to leave. Evan will never again set foot in a Men’s Warehouse. He has no tolerance for lazy employees.

So, where do we go from here? We didn’t want the guys to have to spend a fortune on a suit, but we didn’t think rentals would be an option. All I care about is that the guys are in suits, no need for tuxedos. I let Evan take the lead on this decision and here is what he came up with….

All the guys supply their own black suit and white shirt. We will supply a teal tie, which will match the bridesmaid dresses. If the guys already have a black suit (that fits) they are good to go. If they don’t have one, they can get one at a Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Macy’s or another bargain spot. They will probably end up spending about the same they would spend if they had to rent something and they end up with a nice black suit they can wear again. This simple solution is one of the easiest decisions made so far in the planning process. Way to go, Evan!