January 26, 2010



O M G.

Mooonths ago I fell in love with the most AMAZING shoes ever.  Like, there are a lot of shoes that I dig, but these took my breath away.  I would have ordered them right away had it not been for the $165 price tag.  ($190 after tax!).  I haven't had shoes that expensive since, well... ever.  I went back and forth on the matter for a few days, and finally I decided to bite the bullet and buy them.  They are for my wedding after all, right?  So I logged into Anthropologie.com, clicked on "Shoes and Bags," then "Heels," and clicked through page 1 (Hrm, that's funny, they were on the first page a few days ago), page 2 (uhhh), page 3...

My perfect shoes-- the ONLY shoes I could ever imagine myself wearing on my wedding day-- were sold out.  Apparently I wasn't the only one whose breath they stole.  Needless to say I was more than a little upset.  I called Anthro's customer service line, and was informed that they were completely sold out.  I got the manufacturer's name; still no luck.  Defeated, I gave up my search.

Then!  Oh, oh, oh!

Today, for whatever reason, I decided to look at Anthro's shoe selection to see if they might have anything else cute.  Shoes and bags, *click*.  Heels, *click*.  *GASP*!!

My shoes!  And the only size left is mine!?  You'd better believe I snatched those up!  So, in five to seven days I'll be the proud owner of the perfect shoe.

And because I made you read all that when I know all you care about is the picture:

If they don't fit, my second wedding-planning-mishap induced cry will be inevitable.

Did you have any trouble finding your perfect wedding shoes?  Were they pricier than you had hoped?

January 21, 2010

Long Overdue

Despite the fact that our venue was the first decision we made, and the first wedding check to be written, I've yet to blog about it!  I could never decide just how to attack my venue search posts, because at the time I had decided that I had absolutely the worst experience searching for a venue in all of wedding-planning history.  It wasn't a story I wanted to revisit.  Now, I've realized that our venue search was actually fairly simple, with very few speed bumps.  Because it was the basis for my first wedding related disappointment, and my first (and only, I hope) wedding planning tears, the whole ordeal left a bad taste in my mouth.  But I'm over it, and I'm ready to share my experience with you!

I started planning our wedding with the assumption that I wouldn't find
anything I liked, venue-wise or other, in this hodunk-middle-of-nowhere-town.  I had little hope before I even started to look, simply because I didn't know what was available.  So I turned to Google.  "Tulare wedding venues,"  I typed.  Wouldn't you know it, my only two business results were International Agri-Center and Tulare County Fairgrounds.

Blech and blech.  Google, you didn't help subside my doubts at all!

So, I endured a few weeks of my parents trying to convince me to go with the banquet hall at the Intl. Agri-Center, and I was almost fed up.  Then, by word of mouth, I started to hear of some gardeny type venues that seemed much more my style... because we all know that whenever you mention to anyone that you're getting married, they respond with, "Oh!  My second-cousin's-daughter's-best-friend's sister got married (insert random location here!)"

Well, thank you dozens of random people.  With some of their suggestions, I had a decent list of venues to check out!

So, I started calling.

Apparently, May is a very busy month for weddings.  PSA: Ladies.  If you're planning on getting married in May of 2011, book your venue now.  Holy cow, it was only April and May (of the next year, obv) was already completely booked at about half of the venues I was calling.

Then.  I found it.  The perfect venue.  I loved everything about it, from the gorgeous pond:

To the picturesque gazebo:

To the green, green grass:

Can you imagine it all lit up at night?  So pretty.  I loved it, Mr. D loved it, and hallelujah there was one open Saturday in May.  "Perfect!  Hold it for us, we'll be there tomorrow!"  I exclaimed over the phone.

Daddy and Stepmom Doxie and I headed out the very next day, check in hand.  We loved it just as much in person as in the photos online.  Just as we sat down to discuss business, the owner looked through her datebook and hit me with words I could hardly comprehend.

"What was your date again?  May?  Oh, looks like I booked the last Saturday in May this morning."  She flipped through pages and pages.  "We have an opening in October if you're interested."

And I cried.  It wasn't my finest moment, but at least I can say I made it to my car before the faucets turned on!

Up next:  I put my disappointment aside and weigh my options.

What was your first planning disappointment?  Was your search for the perfect venue easy-peasy, or was it much more difficult than you imagined?

January 20, 2010

Will Our Wedding Look Like That?

A few weeks ago, Mr. Dachshund saw the movie Big Fish for the first time.  It's my favorite Tim Burton movie (though I suspect that might change in a few months), and I was surprised that he had never heard of it.  Much to my disappointment, Mr. D didn't show much interest in the film... though I wasn't really surprised; our tastes in movies are vastly different.

There was, however, one scene in which Mr. Dachshund perked up, turned to me, and asked, "Will our wedding look like that?"

Can any of you who've seen the movie guess which scene I'm talking about?

The town of Spectre, where the grass is greener than any other, and is soft enough to tread upon without shoes.  And, ohhhh....  Those lights!

Mr. D, I can only dream that our wedding will look like that.

Since then, I've done a little bit of research and the lights aren't too far out of reach, but I still need to contact my venue owner to see if hanging them would even be possible.  I love, love the look, and I love even more how excited Mr. Dachshund was over them!  I know he'd be really happy if I could pull something like this together.

Have you or your fiance(e) found inspiration from Hollywood, or in an otherwise unexpected form?

January 15, 2010

I'm Torn!

Hokay.  So.  When I last left you, Mr. Dachshund and I had already decided to go with a three-layer cake, and we had a super-awesome design drawn up by Liz at Creme de la Cake.   As soon as we left the bakery, however, I started to have second thoughts.  This had nothing to do with anything other than the fact that I second guess everything.  I am guilty of doubting every decision I've made thus far concerning this wedding.  With the exception of Mr. Dachshund; I know I'm doing the right thing there.

This is the design that Liz and I came up with during our consultation:

Liz did a fantastic job of pulling details from all of my inspiration cakes and putting them together to make one, cohesive cake design.

Layer One: Red velvet cake (because it was delicious and will look great when we cut into it), is covered in white fondant, a red fondant band rolled to mimic grosgrain ribbon, and a line of stitching-like dots.
Layer Two: Vanilla bean cake with chocolate malted buttercream (swoooon), covered in dark aqua fondant with a quilted design pressed into it.  Red dots at each intersection.
Layer Three:  Vanilla bean cake with key lime filling, light aqua fondant topped with red and white sugar flowers.

And because the hand drawing might be hard to interpret, I drew this in Illustrator:

I do really like it, but I'm still drawn to the look of a two-layer cake.  Plus, this cake has a lot going on...  I think I imagined something a little simpler.  Mr. Dachshund definitely wanted something simpler, but he gave all designing rights to me on the condition that he had a say on the flavors.

Using my favorite detail of the above cake, I toyed with some other design ideas and came up with this:

I added in a cake topper from Lollipop Workshop, because I'd really like to have one for our cake.  I'm not sure I would like it on top of the three-layer cake, though, as the top layer is pretty small.

What do you think, Hive?  I can't decide between the two!  Knowing that I no longer need to freeze a layer for our anniversary cake, should I go with the original three-layer design, or my version of a two-layer cake?

January 14, 2010

Anyway, this Cake is Great...

...it's so delicious and moist!*

Unfortunately for Chell, the cake was most certainly a lie.  I'll bet that if she had a big, delicious cake waiting for her at the end of her, um, adventures, her tumultuous journey may have been worth it.  Especially if that cake was made by Liz at Creme de la Cake in Fresno!

Remember waaay back in October when I blogged about my cake inspiration?  I was so excited to have found Creme de la Cake, which is truly a diamond in the rough in this area, but I had to wait for Mr. Doxie to get in the country before we had our consultation.  Well, true to form, I put it off for three months.  Not because I wasn't looking forward to nomming on some delish cake, but because, well, I'm a procrastinator.

Last week I shot the owner, Liz, an email to make an appointment, and in her response she informed me that there was only room for one more cake on our wedding day!  This is why it's bad to procrastinate, kids.  We just happened to get lucky; I would have been seriously bummed if she couldn't make our cake.

Anyway, armed with a stack of inspiration photos, and one of my favorite Christmas gifts:

(Cutest cake stand evah from Crate and Barrel)

we headed to Fresno to meet Liz, fill up on some sugar, and come up with an awesome cake design!

Liz was great!  She asked us a few questions, looked at my inspiration photos, grabbed some colored pencils and started drawing out a super cute design right away.  I loved all of her ideas; it really seemed like we were on the same wavelength.

Our first step was to choose the basic shape of the cake.  I was torn between wanting two layers, and wanting a small top layer to freeze for our anniversary.

(Sorry for bad camera phone pictures!)

Ultimately, we decided to go with a small, three-layer cake.

Next up were the flavour (Mr. Doxie's Canadian spellings are rubbing off on me : ) choices!  I really hoped the cakes were as tasty as they are beautiful... really, what good is a gorgeous cake if it's not yummy?

We were given five varieties of cakes to sample.  From left to right:  Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, vanilla bean cake with chocolate malted and chocolate fudge buttercream, vanilla bean cake with key lime filling, banana cake (I forgot what kind of frosting, but it was delicious!  Sorry!), annnd German chocolate cake and frosting.

All five were absolutely delicious!  It didn't help that Mr. Doxie and I went hungry, or that we just love cake in general.  I think we both wished the cake samples were a little bigger!

I'm pretty sure this was Mr. D's favorite wedding planning event so far!

It didn't take long for our plate to look like this:

Can you tell which was our favorite?

Liz did an excellent job of pulling elements from all of my inspiration pictures and making the work in one cake design, and I was really excited about what she drew!  I imagined her cake sitting on my cake stand, and it was pretty adorable in my head, let me tell you.

So, in only a matter of about 30 minutes, we came up with a design, chose flavours, and paid the deposit!  I couldn't believe it went so smoothly!  Honestly, I'm very, very grateful that I came across Creme de la Cake during one of my Google sessions.

So we were all set!  We have until ten days before the wedding to make any design changes, though I didn't think I would.

Right as we were leaving, Mr. Dachshund thought of a question to ask, "How well will our top layer hold up in the freezer for a year?"

"Oh, I don't want my clients to eat old, frozen cake!  I'll make you a free anniversary cake, decorated like the top layer of your wedding cake!"

Super, I thought!  A free anniversary cake will be really nice!  We thanked her, and left.

But then, as we were driving away, I remembered that third layer...  should I keep it even if we won't be freezing it?

Up next:  Our cake design!

Was designing your wedding cake a long process, or was it a relatively simple task?

*Props to anyone who got my Portal reference!