RSVP Reactions...

I may have mentioned this already, but with our invitations, we only sent RSVPs to our out of town guests. With a big wedding in my hometown, we expect 90% of the hometown folks to be at the reception, so we didn't feel it was neccessary to send RSVPs to them.

The OOT RSVPs have been trickling in, most with the responses we expected--some yes, some no. A few though, have really struck me. Some of the people we didn't expect to come will be in attendance and we will be dearly missing some very important people who will not be able to make our special day.

The responses have really got me thinking about who I really want and need to be there...

Family... I expect most of mine to be in attendance because of proximity, but I already know my cousin Tommy & his new wife, Amy will not be making the trip from North Carolina and my grandfather will not be coming due to complications with Parkinsons. CityBoy's on the other hand, is really hard to predict.

CityBoy's parents are divorced and his mom & step-dad and grandmother live in suburban Detroit and his dad & step-mom (along with all of his dad's family) live in Daytona, Florida. CityMom & Step-Dad are planning on making the trip into a Texan vacation along with a cousin and her husband, but CityGrandma will not be coming. The Florida family is still a mystery. Plane tickets aren't cheap and because this is CityBoy's 2nd wedding, we aren't sure who will be making the trip. We would love to see all of them since I've only met them once almost 2 years ago, which is the last time CityBoy has seen them as well.

Friends... Its strange how friendships rise and fall like the tide. Over time, some friendships strengthen and others fail, and I found myself banging my head on the table when drafting our guest list. Do I want the toxic ex-friend I used to count among the best friends I've had in my life at the celebration of the relationship she fought so hard against when it was new? Should I include new friends I've known for what feels like moments? What about the friends I haven't spoken to in years?

In the end, I included some people I'm sure won't come because of various immature reasons. A little soul searching led me to the conclusion that at one point they were important to me and out of respect for that, I included them.

Coworkers... CityBoy and I have been in the Big D for just over a year now and neither of us will be inviting our coworkers to the festivities. Although I have formed a good bond with several of my fellow auditors, I don't want to cause any issues. It was all or nothing and we went the way of nothing.

HOWEVER, we will be inviting former coworkers from when we lived and worked in Lubbock. Many of our mutual friends are former coworkers and they were all there from the start of CityBoy and I and gladly, they will all be in attendance to help us celebrate.

Who are the important guests on your list?


And the countdown begins!

With just about one month left, my brain has officially entered countdown mode. This morning at our biweekly Audit department meeting, I couldn't help but stare down at my copy of the schedule, realizing only 2 401(k) plans and one of my favorite clients stand in the way of me and my upcoming nuptials!!

The one annoying part of being so close to the wedding is that everyone and I do mean EVERYONE, including partners at my firm, has been asking the same question--"How's the wedding planning coming along?"

I always struggle to find an answer, but it usually ends up being something along the lines of--"Good, just little details left!" Do 60-year old CPAs really want to know that my list consists of things like dance lessons, rolling napkins, and calling the members of my house party?

Another question I've gotten alot is "Are you nervous?" And I can honestly answer "No." I'm really not nervous at all, I'm ready to marry CityBoy and start our life together and be done with lists upon lists of things to do for the wedding. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying planning my wedding, but I'm ready to enjoy actually being married!

This weekend I did get one good laugh at a wedding related response. My cousin/Usher Marshall took the opportunity to tell me it wasn't too late to call the whole thing off and stay free and single! He's been married for almost 2 years and I'm sure his wife, a friend of mine from HS, doesn't enjoy his shenanagins, but I sure did!

So, how's the wedding planning coming?


The Perfect Head Table...

At small town weddings, there typically isn't assigned seating and I prefer it that way. The locals have their own way of segregating and finding people of interest to sit with. At most weddings back home, we find ourselves sitting with the same gang and having an absolute blast.

There is one table (or group of tables) that is assigned, however, and its usually for a large group of people--the bridal party!

At our venue, I've seen the "head table" done many ways--a U-shaped arrangement on the dance floor, round tables on the dance floor, rectangular tables on the dance floor--but it is almost always ON THE DANCE FLOOR. This means that after the meal, the head table is cleared and removed, leaving the Bridal Party without a table to call their own.

At our wedding, we will be placing our head table just off the dance floor. It will be made up of 8 rectangular tables in a 4x2 arrangement to form a BIG rectangle. My BFF/Bridesmaid Sara had a head table like this at her wedding and since it did not have to be moved for the dance portion of the evening, we were able to stay sitting at our table with the other members of the bridal party.


Since we had figured out the configuration of the head table, I sat down one afternoon back in April or May and made our seating chart including the following people:

SmallTownBride & City Boy
BestMan Mikey
Groomsman Bryce
Groomsman/Brother of Bride Jared
MOH/Sister of Bride Cara
Bridesmaid Shelby
Bridesmaid Sara & Hubby Freddy
Bridesmaid Bekah & Hubby Edgar
Bridesmaid Whitney
ST Mama & Daddy
City Mom & StepDad
City Dad & StepMom
Pastor & Wife
Usher Aaron
Usher Marshall & Wife Courtney
Reader Jennifer

That's 24 people...perfect for our table.

So, I set about arranging everyone so that they'd have a good group to talk to; I put Shelby next to Bryce because we'd worked with both of them back in Lubbock, I put ST Mama & Daddy between the City parents to avoid any awkwardness, etc.


Fast Forward to Today...

Best Man Mikey & Bridesmaid Shelby are now in serious relationships and will be bringing significant others to the wedding and no matter how I rearrange my perfect head table, I can't seem to fit everyone in a logical way!!

Any ideas?

I'd really like them to be included at the head table since I've been in weddings where CityBoy has not been able to sit with me and its just not fun...

I've considered bumping the Ushers & Reader to an adjacent reserved table, but I don't want them to feel like they aren't included, what to do????


Thoughts on a Honeymoon...

Sometime before we were even formally engaged, CityBoy and I started dreaming about where we would go on our honeymoon. Immediately we dismissed the popular all-inclusive Mexican beachy resort...then we debated on if we wanted to go out of the country or stay here...evenutally one night while watching Breakfast at Tiffany on HBO, we decided on New York.

And, we were set on NYC as our honeymoon destination until the last week or two.

About a month and half ago, my beloved 2001 Ford F-150 (yep, I drove a truck in true Small Town style) kicked the bucket. I was driving back from a client in Plano and my temperature light came on, so I did what any girl would do--I called my daddy! He told me to pull over at a gas station and put some coolant or distilled water in the radiator and at least make it home. I did and made it home in one piece despite ruining a white shirt by leaning over my dirty dirty truck.

The next day, I took it in for a check-up and discovered I had a leak in my lower intake to the manifold (greek to me!) and the estimate to repair it was over $2k...and my heart sank. I drove my sweet little pickup back to the apartment and there she sat while CityBoy and I struggled to share his truck for the week.

Friday rolled around and we'd had enough, so we took the day off, went shopping, and bought me a Jetta. Our small joint nest-egg went into a down payment and I was back on wheels.

Fast-Forward to the last few days and we've found that the added car payment, insurance payment, and wedding expenses have left us sitting in a rough place. We are by no means struggling, but we sat down and really evaluated if we were in a place to spend a few grand on a trip to NYC right now. We went back and forth a few times and decided NYC was still on.

We plugged numbers in true Accountant style--if we dropped HBO & Showtime from the cable bill, if we take sandwiches for lunch everyday, if we pay the minimum on the credit card--and we could have made it work, but decided it wasn't worth it for the trip.

We both have an entire week off of work following the wedding and we don't just want to come back to Dallas and sit in the apartment all week, so we're looking at places in Texas with no plane tickets to worry about. We're giving ourselves a $1,000 budget including our wedding night at a hotel in Austin.

Right now our options are: San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas or just staying in Austin.

More to come on what each of these options holds for us...

Are you going on a full-blown Honeymoon or settling for a Mini-Moon?


Rehearsal Dinner/Birthday Party...

CityBoy and I are getting married 8 days after his birthday and 1 day after mine, so our rehearsal dinner is going to be held on my 25th birthday. According to my sister, I am selfish for wanting the rehearsal invites to say "/Meagan's Birthday Party" but c'mon, 25 is a big year!! I may not be able to talk her into putting it on the invitation, but there is NO WAY I am going without a birthday cake!

We will be rehearsing at the church around 5:00 then heading over to my Aunt Rachel's house for dinner. She graciously offered her house for the rehearsal--we think its so she could talk her husband into doing yard work--but we're in charge of picking out the menu.

If you remember, we'll be serving BBQ at the wedding, so we thought it might be a good idea to serve Tex-Mex at the rehearsal to give all of our Michigander and Floridian guests another Taste of Texas.

Tacos? Burritos? (I could finish a funny a funny chant we used to do in Swim Team here, but I won't...) Enchiladas? Fajitas? TOO MANY CHOICES!

I think the winner right now is a Fajita Bar!! We'll throw some Beef & Chicken on the grill along with some Peppers & Onions, pick up some tortillas from one of my favorite Lubbock restaurants (which now has a location in College Station) and my aunt volunteered to make her AWESOME salsa.

Now for drinks... I love a good Margarita, but a nice Sangria or Dos Equis sounds pretty dang good too. I'm not sure which route we'll take here, but I can whip up a mean Strawberry Margarita in my Magic Bullet Blender, I had LOTS of practice in college--Margarita Mondays!! Here's my recipe:

Meagan's Margarita Madness
(For the Individual Bullet Cups)

Frozen Strawberries (or fruit of your choice, I love to mix Strawberry & Pineapple)
1 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Triple Sec/Grand Marnier/Cointreau
Margarita Mix

Fill the cup with Strawberries, add Tequila & TripleSec to your tasting...I rarely measure! Then top off the cup with a splash of sprite and margarita mix, I prefer On The Border's mix.

Put on the lid and blend until smooth. If you use whole strawberries, you may end up with funny strawberry balls, but they're tasty! I like to use sliced strawberries, but sometimes they are hard to find.

The frozen strawberries take the place of the ice, so it tastes more fruity AND you get a serving of fruit, bonus!


What will she do after September...

Sometime back in April or May, my sister sent a picture of a fabric flower to my mom and me. This picture (which I can't find now) started the wheels turning in my mom's head and one night when my dad was out of town, she got out some silk and tulle and started playing. After a little tweaking, she came up with a design to make gorgeous silk & tulle flowers.

She starts with squares of Silk & Tulle. The silk here is left over from my bridesmaid dresses and we bought red tulle.

She cuts the shape of a flower with rounded petals out of the silk & tulle.

Then she wired each layer together to create a flower and fluffed it out.

To keep the metal wires from poking out, she wrapped the wires with floral tape.

And voila! A flower!

She made about 20 of these, which we'll be using as corsages for my house party. Yesterday, my dad had to go check on some things for work near Dallas, so mom rode back with me and worked on attaching Orangy-Pink ribbon to the flowers (I forgot to take picture).

Maybe my favorite application of the flower was on my shoes!! I was having trouble picking a color for my shoes and the bridal shop said they could match pretty much anything, so we gave them the swatch of my bridesmaid dresses...little did we know we'd be attaching a pink silk flower!
Talk about luck...the shoes were free with my dress, the silk was leftover and the tulle was super cheap, but I ended up with gorgeous custom wedding shoes.

Mom worked on the silk flowers at night when she was home alone...I'm starting to wonder what she's going to work on after the wedding? I keep telling her she needs to start an Etsy Shop, what do y'all think?

Just Say No to Flourescent Lights...

Our venue is lighted mainly by fluorescent tube lights on the ceiling with the exception of can lights in one area and 9 hanging lights over the dance floor. I am NOT a fan of fluorescent lighting if it can be avoided and the hall with only the can lights and dance floor lights is a little dark, so I requested additional lighting from my handy-dandy parents.

We originally wanted to criss-cross light strands with round lanterns across the entire hall, but that idea was quickly dissolved when we discovered we would not be able to hang anything from the ceiling at our venue. Our next idea was to create stands to hold a group of differently sized lanterns and place those around the hall.

My Engineer-In-Training brother and my parents started brainstorming designs for the structure to hold the lights and bought torch lamps from IKEA (Not Floor Lamp $6.99) to serve as the basis for the stands.

We had ALMOST nailed down a final design when I stumbled across this picture via Martha Stewart:
I immediately fell in love with the simple, yet elegant look of the towers of lanterns. I emailed the picture to my “wedding planners,” AKA my mom and sister and they too fell in love. My sister even did a web search and came across the Holy Grail—a How-To posted right there on Martha’s site!

My parents adapted their design and were still able to use the torch-style lamps they purchased at IKEA. To make the light stands, we wrapped each lamp base with several strands of Christmas Lights (bought 75% off in January from Wal-Mart) and purchased new light socket adapters which have 2 electric sockets along with the socket for the bulb. We will be leaving a 60 watt bulb in the top of the lamp to give a more intense light at the top of the tower.

The only thing left to do to the light stands is add the lanterns. We ordered 3 sizes of white paper lanterns online and will be randomly stacking the lanterns rather than using a single size like our inspiration photo. I believe the sizes we ordered were 12”, 14” and 16”, but I’m not 100% sure.

The plan is to have 6 of these light towers placed around the hall to create ambient lighting and draw the attention away from the drab interior of our venue. Following the wedding, my sister and I have already called dibs on one for each of us to put in our living rooms, and my mom plans on keeping the remaining 4 and renting them out for future weddings at our reception venue.

Reddish-Pinkish Dresses...

One of the first things we checked off our list for the wedding was bridesmaid dresses. I think we actually may have found our inspiration before I had the bling!

Just before CityBoy assumed the one-kneed position, my sister was in town and like the rest of the family, knew the ring was coming. A few days before she headed back to Wisconsin, she was moping around the house complaining about how she was going to miss dress shopping and planning for the wedding, so we decided to take a trip into Austin to look at dresses.

The wedding dress part was easy, I ultimately chose the first dress I tried on, but we had a rough time finding a bridesmaid dress we loved. Belle Saison, Alfred Angelo, David's Bridal--no luck. We weren't worried since I didn't have a diamond yet, but we knew it was going to be hard. Me, my mom and my sister/MOH have very different tastes, but somehow we all fell in love with one dress from one ad in one of the MANY bridal magazines we bought that day and flipped through together on my mom's bed.

The design has been through a couple brainstorming sessions and one test dress and has changed slightly, but we love the new design even better than our inspiration!

Mom started production on the dresses a few weeks ago and managed to get all 5 girls' dresses hanging together and the girls have started to filter in to her sewing room at our house to have their fittings.

The material for the dresses is a "strawberry" silk dupioni. Back in the fall, we hit every fabric store in Austin looking for the perfect silk for the dresses. Ultimately, all of the silks in store were either too pink or too red or just not right, so we ordered swatches from an online wholesaler, The Silk Baron. I think we ordered every pink, red & orange silk they had!

The test dress had two different bodices. The first was more like the inspiration photo, straight across with spaghetti straps, and the second was like bodice shown below. My cousin/bridesmaid W, served as the dress model for my mom and looked absolutely adorable in the scoop neck style, so our minds were made up.

None of the dresses are 100% done, but most are only lacking side seams. I actually brought back the dress for bridesmaid S, who lives in Dallas across the street from me, and I will be attempting to fit the dress on her and deliver it back to mom pinned in all the right places! I'll let ya know how that adventure goes...yikes!

I think they're turning out amazingly and I'm so glad I have such a talented mama!! Wait til you see the smoking number she made for herself!!



I want to write about 50 posts right now, but I have some serious unpacking to do, so I'm posting a few teaser photos of the projects we have going on...

Stay tuned for more info on what the heck it is you're looking at up there ;-)

A Working Weekend...

I may have gotten off work Friday around 5:00 (okay, okay it was 3:45, but I left happy hour at 5:00), but the real work started as soon as soon as I pulled out of the parking garage headed down to my parents' house toting our newly printed invitations, a box of goody bags for the kiddos, and a party dress for the wedding we had Saturday night.

Saturday morning, our first project to tackle was the invitations.

My mom ordered Envelopes for the Invites and RSVPs online during Paper Source's fabulous 20% Off online sale and I picked up their Strawberry & Poppy colored oval labels in the store.

I printed our beautiful invites, RSVPs, and maps at FedExOffice on their heaviest cover (110 lb, I believe). We were very, very impressed with the quality of their printing after our STDs and ThankYous and we were able to print a full-color design for less than we could have printed a 2-color design with the printer my sister likes to use.

After a hearty breakfast, we set right to work.

I started with our OOTers. Each of our out of town guests received the Invitation, RSVP and Map. Because our wedding is so large and we believe most of our in town guests will be in attendance, we opted to only send RSVPs to the guests who would be traveling to the wedding.

Thanks to advice from the web, we numbered the RSVPs (35 in total) in case some come back without names.

All together, the invitations took about 2 hours to completely assemble. In addition to the actual stuffing of the envelopes, we had to cut our RSVPs to size, stamp my parents return address on all the envelopes and stick on labels and stamps. I figure 2 hours isn't bad for 158 invitations!

So, they're off!! I can't wait to start getting RSVPs back, I hope all of our guests can make it to the wedding.


Why we have no little people...

Our wedding party consists of 5 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen and 2 ushers. That's it. No munchkins.

I have nothing against kiddos, but we decided we didn't want a Flowergirl and Ring Bearer at our wedding out of simplicity. Neither CityBoy nor myself has any younguns that we're extrememly close to and we just didn't want to pick a random kid to be in the wedding because convention told us we needed to.

Plus, I've been to too many weddings where the Ring Bearer cartwheels down the aisle or the Flowergirl tries to pick up the petals she's dropped!

However, if we did have a flower girl, I'd love to see her in something like this:

Are you having little people in your wedding?


Just when we thought we had "The One"...

So, I lied in the last post. The final design I posted wasn't "The Winner" afterall.

My sister wanted to do one final edit on the design to change the colors slightly and pulled a switcheroo on me!

She came across a great font she thought would like great in my invitation suite:

What do you think?



Map Front:

Map Back:

**Sorry for the nasty white-outs, I don't want any creepers showing up at my wedding!!


All In The Family, Part I: Graphic Design...

One of the most unique things about my impending nuptial celebration is that we're keeping it "All in the Family"--my Mom is my Wedding Planner, two of my favorite aunts will play DOC, another aunt is making my cake, yet another aunt is a florist and will be doing my flowers, and my sister is my graphic designer. Each one of these people is playing a very important part of my special day and I'm so lucky to have each of them!

My sister's graphic design hobby began in high school when she worked on the yearbook crew and only grew during her 4 years in the Journalism department at Baylor University. Upon graduation, she went to work as Editor-In-Chief of a small magazine and as part of her day-to-day job, she designed Ads to be featured in the magazine. Now she's living across the country doing nothing journalism related professionally, but there was absolutely no questioning her role as the graphic designer for the wedding.

We sat down and fought through everything from the wording to the size of the paper and managed to nail down a basic idea. Since I'm a super visual person, I told her the best way for me to express exactly what I wanted was for her to make up some drafts:

As soon as I opened the file, I knew the background design was a little too busy. I loved the circular design, so we nixed the lines.

A little less busy, but the ampersand was really really driving me and CityBoy nuts, so we requested a slight wording change nixed the "&" altogether.

FINALLY, a version we loved!!

Well, we loved it until we got it test printed and realized the design was a little small and the bleed wasn't going to work the way we wanted with the circles going off the page, so I called up my sister for a rework.



The Perfect Little Sundress...

Awhile back, one of the items on my To-Do list was "Find Dress for Shower" along with "Find Dress for Bekah's Shower," "Find Dress for Rehearsal Dinner," "Find Dress for Bekah's Rehearsal Dinner," "Find Dress for Bachelorette Party"...WHOOO!! I'm exhausted just typing it, little less actually shopping!!!

After I had the dresses for my cousin Bekah's wedding out of the way, I could focus on the dresses for my wedding events.

I live .63 miles from a mall, a good mall. I frequent this mall at least once a week and I love it! I grew up an hour from the nearest mall and even when I moved to a "bigger city" for college, the mall was across town and lacked some of my favorite stores--including J.Crew--so its no surprise that on a weekly basis I stroll in through the Nordstrom's shoe section and make a bee line straight towards the "good stores" on the 1st floor (this mall is arranged by level of luxury, with the good ones on the bottom...best exemplified by its anchor trio of Banana (1st floor), Gap (2nd floor) & Old Navy (3rd floor)).

From the moment I laid my eyes on Lorelei, I was in love.

The Papaya fit perfectly with wedding's warm color scheme and the white just screamed bridal! I strolled right into J.Crew and after seeing her $110 price tag and realizing I needed numerous dresses for the wedding and I'd already spent my clothing budget for the month, I walked out without her.

The next week and the week after that and the week after that, I gazed longingly in the windows of J.Crew and waited and waited for Lorelei to move to the sale rack...but she never did.

I finally bought her at full price a few days before my shower and she was worth every penny, like she was made for me. (I'll post pictures from the shower soon!)

A few days after my shower, J.Crew sends me an email about their "Final Sale" and lo-and-behold there is my precious Lorelei marked down to $78!! Just my luck!

I'm not bitter, in fact the dress worked so perfectly at the shower and looks so "bridal" that we've decided it will be my "September in Texas Emergency Dress" for when I ultimately get too too hot in my wedding dress and decide to change so I can continue to shake it late into the night.


Today, I got yet another email from J.Crew announcing new additions to their Final Sale, so I surfed on over and saw these beauties:

Lorelei - Daffodil $49.99

Lorelei - Sea Green (available in other solid colors) $78

I know from watching too many episodes of "What Not To Wear" in college that owning multiples of the same article of clothing in different colors is BAD, but I love this dress so much, it couldn't be THAT bad, could it?
I do need cute dresses for our Honeymoon in NYC!



The Jig is up!

CityBoy and I live together and have been living together officially for the last 11.25 months.

There are black and white opinions on living together before marriage and on most fronts the opinion is that its HORRIBLE, but I totally disagree.

Our reasons for moving in together in the first place were:

1) I was moving to a new city and CityBoy was moving to be with me.
2) Rent on 2 1-bedroom apartments was WAAAY more than 1 2-bedroom apartment
3) If we didn't live together, we'd NEVER see each other

Now that we're approaching 1 year living together, I've started to reflect on how we work as "roommates" and overall, I think we're pretty awesome roomies.

We each do our share of the "chores" and we've never really fought about the house being messy or stuff being left out, although CityBoy did compare our apartment during busy season to a particular scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

We have a household budget that we've managed to stick to pretty well and we discuss all big purchases before we make them. We've also committed to putting a certain amount into savings each month and it really came in handy last month when my trusty pickup decided to kick the bucket and I had to buy a new car!

We're parents to the cutest 2 1/2 year old, 2 1/2 lb chihuahua and we share the responsibilities of taking her out to potty pretty equally with only a few grumbles. Okay, maybe we grumble everytime, but one look at her cute face and the grumbles stop.

We stay out of each other's way when we need to, like when CityBoy comes home from a client at 7:30 PM, scarfs down whatever meal I managed to throw together despite only getting home 15 minutes before him, and barricades himself in the office to work another hour or two while I set up camp on the couch with my laptop to multitask work & clearing out my DVR!

I think the only real snag we've hit as roommates is our sleep schedules. CityBoy goes to bed between 10 and 11 and as soon as his head hits the pillow, he's out. I, on the other hand, don't even think about sleep until somewhere around midnight and can sometimes lie in bed for over an hour before I finally fall asleep. Usually on the nights when I can tell I won't be able to sleep, I'll just plan on sleeping on the couch so I don't make both of us have a bad night.

Despite ALL the good reasons to live together and how well its going, we still had to face the facts during our first marriage counseling meeting with my pastor back home. It was the first question out of his mouth and even though I'm confident we made the right decision, a part of me still feels really guilty...

Do you feel guilty about co-habitating before marriage?


The DIY Professionals...

My parents amaze me.

When I was a kid, my dad designed and built a 2 story playhouse for my sister and I, complete with a fireman's pole and monkey bars.

When I needed tables for my apartment, my mom and dad made tiled tops and welded iron bases to make the most gorgeous tables.

Now that I am getting married, my parents have gone DIY crazy!

Here is there "Wedding Construction List"
Bar Height Tables (x4)
Light Stands (x6)
Light Tree
Cake/Photo Backdrop
String Light Stands (x4)

They started with the Bar Tables. At our venue, there is a "bar area" where the Beer is served and at every wedding, it ends up being a place where people stand and mingle, so Mom decided to make several tables to put in the area for people to gather around, set their drinks down, and have snacks.

I don't have photos of this because I wasn't around for the construction, but they started with unstained wood tops, found at any big-chain hardware store (Home Depot, Lowe's, etc). They tossed around ideas of staining the wood Red to match my theme or painting the tops, but ultimately, they just stained them a lightly and coated them with polywhatever to make them look like actual bar tables. For the bases, they found 4 used bases from actual bar tables from the bar my grandparents used to run (the tops were rotting from sitting in storage in the barn at the farm too long).

The tables turned out perfectly and have already been put to use at the outdoor hometown reception for my cousin and his new wife!

More on the other projects to come!

Our "Groom's Cake"...

The Groom's Cake has been the source of much discussion lately. Our original plan was for our Groomsman, Bryce, to bring one from his family's bakery outside of Lubbock. Once plans for the Bachelor Party were set in place, it became almost impossible for Bryce to make it to the evening festivities and tote a cake down to the wedding, so we were back to square one.

Small Town Mama called her contacts, I called mine and we just couldn't decide.

I was about ready to give up on the whole idea when inspiration struck in the strangest way. I was strolling through my favorite grocery store, HEB's Central Market, coincidentally discussing Cakes on a conference call with STMama & my sister in Wisconsin when the words "Groom's Cake" catch my eye in the Ice Cream section!!!

I instantly knew this was a sign from God. Blue Bell Groom's Cake...its all too perfect!!

Luscious chocolate ice cream with chocolate cake pieces and chocolate coated strawberry hearts, surrounded by swirls of strawberry sauce and chocolate icing... *drool*

I snatched one up and took it home for a test with City Boy. We were sold!

I grew up a mere 30 minutes from the Little Creamery in Brenham, Texas and ever since my 1st Grade field trip to the creamery, I've been a diehard Blue Bell fan!

CityBoy jumped on the Blue Bell bandwagon just before we started dating. He was working on a client near Brenham and I suggested they stop by the creamery's scoop shop for some Ice Cream! Somehow, they managed a tour and I can still remember him coming to my cube the next week at work wearing his Blue Bell paper hat.

The next day, I got on the phone and dialed up Blue Bell's Sales Office. Unfortunately, since Groom's Cake is a new flavor, they aren't sure if it will still be in production in September or if it will come in the 3 Gallon tubs I became good, good friends with scooping ice cream at church picnics back in the day, but I'm confident everything will work out. If not, I know a few guys at the Creamery...

Are you doing a non-traditional Groom's Cake?

Kids, Kids, Everywhere...

Included in our guest list of 350 are 50 kids...you read that right...FIFTY KIDDOS!!

In order to give the kids something to do besides slide across the dance floor and run around in stocking feet, we'll be having 2 kids tables; one for girls, one for boys.

The Girls Table will feature little pink buckets with shiny new Crayola crayons (purchased for $0.25 for a 24 pack at Wal-Mart, thank you Back to School!!), Coloring Books, and *if I can find my old collection* Paper Dolls.

The Boys Table will be covered in paper and, with the help of my 7 year old cousin Bo, will feature a city scape of roads handdrawn by yours truly for the Boys to drive toy cars around!

Prior to the Bouquet/Garter Toss, CityBoy and I will be handing out Goody Bags to the kids. I came across Red Lunch Sacks at Target, and we'll be filling them with Salt Water Taffy and a Glow Bracelet.

I have several options on how to seal the bags:

Option 1: Aqua Ribbon, Whatver you call that closure...

Option 2: Pink/Red Ribbon, Knot Closure

Option 3: Aqua Ribbon with Loops, Bow Closure

Which Ribbon and Closure do you like best?

I love Martha...

One of the first things that was decided in my wedding planning was the color scheme. I've always loved the color Red and its fellow warm compadres Pink and Orange, so it only made sense to use those colors to adorn my wedding.

So Small Town Mama, Sista, and I got started gathering our ideas in these colors. We found gorgeous strawberry colored silk for the Bridesmaid Dresses, Red table runners, Paper flowers in Reds, Pinks and Oranges and our vision began to take shape.

Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with the Aqua & Poppy color scheme and brought up the idea of introducing Aqua into our color scheme. I was quickly vetoed, the consensus being that the aqua would just not fit. So, I settled for having Aqua & Poppy as the colors for my new kitchen.

***Fast Forward a Few Months***

Monday, 4:00 PM

*Ring, Ring*

Mom: Hi, Sweetie, you need to go buy the new Martha Weddings, NOW!

Me: Hmmm, there's a new one, I'll have to drag Derrick to B&N tonight so I can flip through it for free (I read magazines at B&N all the time, I'm not ashamed...)

Mom: No, you need to buy this one.

Me: Okay, Okay, I'll go now!

Mom: Good, because there is a wedding in there you will LOVE, its your colors but with a splash of Aqua thrown in, I just love it!

Me: Wait a second, that was my idea and you hated it, but now Martha features it and you like it...

So, I bought the magazine and the bride is a girl after my own heart!!!

I am LOVING these Red Balls... the Bride spraypainted Styrofoam Balls and strung them on fishing line! Mom checked out Styrofoam Balls to use for our Cake Backdrop, but I think we have another idea...

Super CUTE Goody Bags!! We'll be giving the kiddos at our wedding goody bags, I'll post on those later!

And the piece de resistance... The GORGEOUS bouquet!! I am loving this entire bouquet and this is definitely what I was envisioning for myself to carry! My mom went right out and bought Aqua ribbon!

So, we've added "touches of aqua" to the wedding: Groomsmen ties, a few Table runners, Ribbons on bouquets.
Any other suggestions on how to subtly add Aqua without having overkill?


A dollar to dream...

So, this isn't a wedding post, but I've been sitting at my client daydreaming all afternoon...

This morning, I was depressed, I was frustrated, I was thoroughly DONE with Dallas. I was ready to pack up everything CityBoy and I own and toss it into a U-Haul and get the heck outta Dodge... In my momentary dispair, I shot an email to my sister and CityBoy telling her them were moving to Chicago or California, effectively immediately.

My sister's response--Chicago - it snows, California - plane tickets are expensive.

And I plummeted back down to reality.

CityBoy's texted response was a little more optimistic--"Need to win the Lotto for Cali"


So, at lunch I stopped in at the nearest gas station and along with my Coke Zero, I purchased 1 ticket for Saturdays drawing and 3 Weekly Grand scratch offs.

The scratch offs are sitting my purse gazing up at me with their purple shimmer (on a side note...when did Weekly Grands change color again, they were Silver for years, then Neon Green, now Purple??) begging me to scratch them, but I think I'll dream a little longer.

If I were to win the lottery, I would:
  • Pay off our Credit Cards
  • Pay off our Car Loans
  • Pay off our Pesky Student Loans
  • Pay for everything for my wedding

Now that the boring Paying Off of things is done, I would:

  • Buy a Charming Older House that we could fix up
  • Buy CityBoy a couple of his dream Cars
  • Buy the lot next to our cute charming house to build a garage for CityBoy's cars (whoops!)
  • Buy some land near my parents
  • Build a "weekend house" on said land

I guess after all that, I'd put the rest into a savings account and keep living our lives like we do now...budget and all! I guess if I buy CityBoy a Ferrari, people would realize we'd happened across some extra cash, but other that that and a new house, I'd want everything to be the same and nobody to know we had won... Money changes people.

What would you do if you won the lottery?


Back from a Hiatus...

So, its been about 2 1/2 months... and I haven't really taken a planning hiatus, but I have taken a blogging hiatus. I survived my first busy season in Dallas and I'm down to the 2 1/2 month mark before the wedding.

Since I left you last, a TON of planning has been done!!

We've nailed down the reception hall layout, all of our design elements and tabletop decorations, a final design on the custom bridesmaid dresses, the cake, the "grooms cake", the menu...the list goes on and on!!

So be expecting posts on each of these things in the next couple weeks!


You're Invited...

A few months ago my mom, my sister and I were sitting on my mom's bed (our favorite place to congregate at my parents' house) discussing invitations. We pulled out my parents' wedding invitation and numerous samples from various magazines to come up with the perfect wording.

I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty picky about wording. I'm not really a "wordy" person, I like simplicity. I'm not a fan of "oclocks" and "two thousand nines," gimme 4:30 PM and 2009 and I'm happy. I guess its a product of being an accountant, I like things simple and numeric!

We thought we had it down to the PERFECT wording, but there a couple of small changes that could be made.

Option 1:

Small Town Dad & Small Town Mom
welcome you to join us at the marriage celebration of

Small Town Bride &
City Boy

Saturday, September 5, 2009
at 4:00 PM
Small Town Church
Small Town, Texas

Cocktails, Dinner & Dancing to follow
Small Hall
Small City, Texas

Option 2:

Small Town Dad & Small Town Mom
welcome you to join us at the marriage celebration
of our daughter

Small Town Bride to
City Boy

Saturday, September 5, 2009
at 4:00 PM
Small Town Church
Small Town, Texas

Cocktails, Dinner & Dancing to follow
Small Hall
Small City, Texas


Happy Anniversary...

Saturday marked 2 years since CityBoy and I had our first date and I realized I never posted about how CityBoy and I became an US. So, I'm going to combine our story with our e-pictures by the fabulous Jenna Cole.

Doodly Doodly do.... Spring 2007...

I was a cute, young intern at an Accounting Firm in Lubbock, Texas, working long hours, travelling all over Texas, New Mexico & Arizona... CityBoy was a Junior Associate in the Audit Department, working long hours, travelling all over...

I can't really recall our first meeting, but CityBoy remembers it perfectly. On the second week of my internship, we all went out to lunch, and apparently I talked about my roommate's illegal pet being caught in our apartment and us being fined, but that's beyond the point. MY first memory of CityBoy was in the Bullpen when he was introduced to me as "the guy that plays crazy music in the afternoons to lighten everybody up." His favorite -- "Its Raining Men."

My internship was a quick blur. Every week I was in a new town (nowhere exciting...unless you think Willcox, Arizona and Bandera, Texas are exciting), and in every now town, me and the other members of my audit team found a new bar. Over the course of my internship, I became fast friends with my fellow interns (one is a bridesmaid!) and the junior and seniors at the firm. We played poker, we had Happy Hours on Fridays when we all managed to trickle back into town--CityBoy puts it best when he says it was like we had all been to war together.

Somewhere between the out-of-town jobs and the Happy Hours, CityBoy and I started talking to each other with increasing frequency. We talked about our problems and things that were going on in our lives and ultimately, we decided to try things out together late one night while I was in Flagstaff, Arizona.
We made plans to get together on April 4th, 2007, the night I got back from Flagstaff, and the rest is history. CityBoy came over to my house while I unpacked from the trip and we've pretty much been inseparable since then. We both instantly felt the connection we had and the very next night, CityBoy came over to the house to hang out again, this time while I packed to go to my parents' house for Easter, and we stayed up all night talking.
We still stay up all night talking sometimes, and I'm always reminded of our first days together. Everyone always told me that the person I will spend the rest of my life with should be someone I'm never bored with. That's certainly true of CityBoy and I'm so glad we decided to take things to the next level. He has most definitely been the best thing to ever happen to me.


STW: The Food

Okay, so I inadvertantly abandoned my plans of describing the charm of a Small Town Texas Wedding, but fret not, ITS BACK with my favorite part of a Small Town, FOOD!

For most people, finding a caterer & tasting food for the reception is a big part of planning a wedding. For us, we knew right away what food we would be serving. Weddings in my area are fondly referred to as "Beer & BBQ weddings" because they serve just that--cold beer & tasty barbeque! Lately, more weddings in the area have been straying from the traditional "eats" and serving Chicken Fried Steaks or Mexican Food, but the meal is still served buffet style.

Barbeque is such an amazing part of where I live...just down the street is Texas Monthly's #1 BBQ in the state of Texas, Snow's BBQ and another local made the top 50!

The grub at our reception consists of:
Barbeque Beef, Pork (& maybe Sausage)
Noodles **see below
Green Beans
Hot Potatoes
Plus the requisite fixins': Bread, Pickles, Onions, Peaches (its a Texas thing)

My mom personally didn't want to do noodles & potatoes together, but when she mentioned dropping noodles from the menu, CityBoy demanded to have noodles!!!

Noodles in my neck of the woods are phenomenal and are a very tasty part of my heritage.
doodly doodly do do doodly dodo doodly (going back in time)...

In 1854, a ship docked in Galveston, Texas holding 500 immigrants from Lusatia, an area in Germany comprising parts of Saxony and Prussia... The Wends. Now, I'm sure 99.99% of you think I'm making up a group of people, but they existed. The Wendish Language is now considered a dead language but in those days was a trigger of persecution. The Prussians insisted the Wends speak and use the German language, going so far as to Germanize many Wendish names. The Wends were also required to join the Evangelical Reform and abandon their pure Lutheran faith. Rather than abandon their language and faith, they made plans to immigrate to America.
The Wends settled in Lee County and built a church in Serbin, Texas (just outside my hometown). This church is one of the oldest churches in America in continual use since its construction. PS--its gorgeous. My great-grandparents are buried at the cemetary there.

Fast forward to today. One of the most present aspects of Wendish culture through our community is Noodles. Although the Wends most certainly did not enjoy their Noodles with BBQ, I've grown up eating the Noodles of my ancestors with some of the FANTASTIC Texas BBQ in our area! In fact, my hometown is the home of the State of Texas Noodle Cook-Off!!

Here's a recipe for Noodles from the Texas Wendish Heritage Society:

Wendish Noodles

One egg
One half egg shell of water (about 3 tablespoons)
One and one-half to two cups of flour

Beat egg and water together. Add a sprinkle of salt and enough flour to form a stiff dough. Roll out thin on a pastry cloth. Let stand to dry, turning over occasionally. Cut into thin strips when dry but still pliable. Cook in a rich chicken broth until tender. Chopped parsley, chopped green onion tops, and a dash of nutmeg may be added for flavor, if desired.

PS-- The Wends are also known for making these Gems...


Just a Quick Post

My Personal Favorite.... I love this kid.