Archive for the ‘Reception’ Category

Picture Posts, Picture Posts, Lots of Fun With Picture Posts

October 23, 2008

No time to blog today, I’m afraid. As proof, I even have a note from my wedding planner (me):

(Admittedly, some of the things on that list are “spa appointment,” and “manicure/pedicure.” Not exactly brain surgery, but still, gotta get done.)

These things aren’t going to ribbon themselves. (Luckily, thanks to wonderful little elves named L and K these puppies are in fact delivering themselves as far as I’m concerned.):

And these things aren’t going to thaw and stuff themselves into tasty little packages:

48 hours left. Unbelievable.


When Only the Best Will Do

October 15, 2008

Yes, of course this is going to be our cake topper:


Were it not already a given, it certainly was when I hit the portion of the ad copy describing it as “funny but still elegant.” Apt description, as “elegant” is just what comes to mind when I see this. I believe Grace Kelly had the same one when she married Prince Rainier, but it featured a piece of Association Sportive de Monaco Football Club gear on it. 

A few more sneak peeks. 
Our new bedroom set:


Frankly, I’m a little disappointed that the lampshade is unadorned with the glorious A&M logo.

And our dishware, called to my attention by sorority sister Allie who wondered why in heaven’s name I hadn’t registered for this already:

We’ll be wanting a brand new set of course. This pic was pulled from a craigslist sale posting by one The guy really had it priced to move. Zing!

The Icing on the Cake

October 14, 2008

“I know it seems like your wedding is right around the corner, but really I don’t start worrying about them until three days out.”

With that line, my cake vendor found herself out of a client. That shoulder-shrugging admonishment to a bride whose wedding is in fact just around the corner was the last straw. (Backstory: I thought I had to use this baker because of some sort of exclusivity contract with the hotel. Mother Bridal Bird—a far more careful reader of the catering contract than I—discovered that we do not in fact have to use her.) Anyway, the previous straws:
1. I’d been trying to contact her since August and until yesterday at 11 a.m. was never able to get her on the phone. 
2. She left me a message a couple weeks ago saying that, based on the messages I’d been forced to leave for her, we were “totally on the same page” about what cake I wanted. That was right up until I was forced to leave a message yesterday morning saying that I wanted to be sure she understood I wanted buttercream icing, not nasty rolled fondant icing. That was the magic bullet because she instantly returned my phone call.

Cake baker: “Can I ask why you don’t want fondant?”
Me: “Because it doesn’t taste good. Also, I indicated on the order two months ago that I didn’t want it. I’m a little concerned that you left me a message saying we were “on the same page” about what I wanted and you were about to bring me a cake covered in a frosting that I find inedible.”
Cake baker: “I know everyone thinks that but mine is realllllly good. It’s like a thinly rolled vanilla Tootsie Roll.”
Me: “That doesn’t sound good.”
At this point cake baker offers to bring a slice for me to taste, but then adds the following in an “whatever, it’s your funeral” tone. 
Cake baker: “I will tell you though, at this time of year you can still have buttercream frosting melt. And it doesn’t look like we’re going to have any comfortable weather snap in the next two weeks. I wouldn’t want your cake to look bad.”
Me (after holding phone away from face and staring at it in disbelief): “The wedding is indoors. It’s projected to be in the low 70s/high 60s for the next two weeks.”
Cake baker: “So what is your priority with your cake: taste or it looking good?”
Me: “As it goes in my mouth, my priority is taste.”
Cake baker: “Alright. What kind of cake did you want again?”
Me (bordering on hissy): “Key. Lime. Mousse. This order was sent over to you more than two months ago by the hotel.”

We basically sign off with the equivalent of mean girls’ hair flings and “whatevs.” I immediately call Sugarbakers, the Baltimore cake vendor I used for my fiancé’s 40th birthday party, and beg them to do my wedding cake in two weeks. They oblige and schedule me for an emergency cake tasting. Mmmm…emergency cake tasting-y. Later that day, I settled on a scrumdiddlyumcious lemon mousse wedding cake as well as a chocolate-with-chocolate-mousse groom’s cake. Nobody puts Baby in a fondant-covered corner.

Surf & Turf

August 6, 2008

This afternoon I ducked out of work to join my fiancé and parents at the Hay-Adams for what is inarguably the greatest part of the wedding planning process: the menu and cake tasting. It was a far cry from my typical lunch, which lately thanks to Election ’08, is a bag of pretzels, polling data, and gut-wrenching anxiety. After much nibbling, debate and mind-changing in the pretzel-free serenity of the Hay-Adams’ Lafayette Room, we settled on the following menu:

Cocktail Reception Hors D’Oeuvres
Individual Chilled Jumbo Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce, Grape and Roquefort Truffle Rolled in Pistachios, Scallop Wrapped with Pancetta, Wild Mushroom Beggar’s Purse, Panko-Crusted Prawns with Spicy Chili Aioli

Demitasse of Lobster Bisque with Cognac and Brunoise of Lobster
Mixed Field Greens with a Crouton of Local Goat Cheese with Shallot Vinaigrette

Combination of Petite Fillet Mignon Paired with Sea Bass Fillet on Sautéed Fennel and Chives, Pommes Dauphinois and Haricots Verts

Fresh Fruit Dipped in Chocolate
White Chocolate Cake with Key Lime Mousse and Buttercream Frosting
Chocolate Groom’s Cake in Some Sort of Silly Shape (More on that at a future date)

Cake design (minus the bow and the monogram)

Now I need to get back to my breakfast, which thanks to Election ’08 is two Pepto Bismal capsules and the Examiner and Post op-ed sections viewed through a wince.

C is for Cookie, That’s Good Enough for Me…And 130 of Our Nearest and Dearest

June 24, 2008

It has become apparent from the wedding catalogs and magazines arriving in our mailbox that there is a plethora of stupid junk we could give people as wedding favors. I’ll not name check any particular stupid item because inevitably it will lead to at least one of my married readers saying in a huff, “But we thought our personalized tongue scrapers were adorable!” Faced with such offerings, I’ve been looking for alternatives.

A few months ago I mentioned to my sister that I was considering making my famous (trust me) chocolate chip cookies as favors. She gave me a look that she’s given me on occasion since childhood, a look best described as “How Did I and This Moron Spring Forth From the Same Womb?” Suffice it to say, it’s marinated to an effective potency after a couple decades. “How in God’s name are you going to have time to make all those cookies before your wedding?” she said in a tone that was the verbal equivalent of The Look. After I half-heartedly protested that it couldn’t be that hard, she did what she certainly felt was in my best interest and in her purview as the maid of honor and quashed the idea by dropping her chin, narrowing her eyes to skeptical half-slits and saying simply, “Dude.

[It might beg explanation for my newer readers that she was not merely riffing on the beer commercial. My nickname since babyhood has indeed been some form of Dude, courtesy of my older brother. It started as Little Dude, was later shortened to Dude and now my nieces and nephews call me Aunt Dude.]

I spent the last couple of months trying to come up with another idea to no avail. (I did at least determine that I want to do something edible so people don’t have to schlep a tchotchke around.) The other night, while watching Cookie Monster on the Colbert Report, I decided that dagnammit I’m making the cookies! I located a company online that sells little glassine bags to put them in and found a company that turns any image you send to them into a stamp. So I’ll finally get to use that vintage typewriter image of my father’s on the labels. I’ll make the cookies the week ahead of time and freeze them, something I do all the time and they taste fantastic when they thaw. Then the day before I’ll bag ’em and tag ’em. Plus, it will be something personal from us. I say “us” because someone’s going to have to taste test them for quality control and I have a feeling I know who that someone will be.

My question for you—do I do big tubs of ice with cartons of milk in them, too? I know it would look fun, but practically speaking would you actually grab a carton of milk with your cookies on your way out the door from a wedding? I could go either way on this.

Golfing, Halibut, Nazis, and Flower Pots

May 27, 2008

This weekend, in between (deep inhale): happy houring Friday; ogling the new Adams Morgan Harris Teeter, whacking a bucket at the driving range, shopping and Indiana Jones with the fiancé in Chinatown Saturday; lawn partying at the lovely K’s, fixing a fresh-from-Alaska halibut dinner for my parents, and watching HBO’s 2000 election snuff film Recount on Sunday; planting flower boxes on my balcony, checking out the 1936 Berlin Olympic exhibit at the Holocaust Museum, grabbing an al fresco dinner and then seeing Errol Morris’ new Abu Ghraib documentary Standard Operating Procedure yesterday, I managed to accomplish a wedding task.

While wandering through the jungle oasis that is Johnson’s Nursery on Wisconsin Ave. yesterday morning, I saw a rack of cache pots that would be perfect for the reception table centerpieces. Ordinarily when decorating a reception table, brides are using cut flowers so the florist provides vases, but since I’m doing a potted plant (orchid) for each table I needed to actually find some pots. And these were perfect and less than $10 a pop, so I scooped up a batch of them. This was on the advice of the decidedly no-nonsense doyenne who commands the floral section of Johnson’s. I was dithering over whether to buy them on the spot—I mean I don’t really need them for another five months—and asking whether they’d be available in October. She looked at me with the most sincere of “you’re an idiot” faces, clearly envisioning the hissy fit I would be having in front of her should they not have this particular pot come October, and said, “You see them now. You like them. Buy them now.” So I did. (see above)

Cross one thing off the list. Only 328 more to go.

Because Nana Loves Her Some Global Jazz Triphop Fusion…

March 5, 2008


Friday night let me cross one more thing off my to-do list. Done: Stop worrying that our DJ is going to be some chucklehead who enjoys blathering into the mic about “all the lovely ladiessss in the house,” or playing “Fat Bottom Girls.” I confirmed after hearing him spin that we’re hiring Daryle Maciocha, who you may know from such gigs as the packed-like-sardines Modernist Society gatherings at Bourbon and the packed-like sardines gatherings at Upstairs at Marvin.

upstairsatmarvin.jpg modernistsociety.jpg

He set a very chill vibe the whole night at Marvin and par for the course in my email dealings with him, he was very nice, especially considering that he was working like a headphoned fiend. His regular milieu is soul, funk, bossa nova, world beat, and dance jazz. For weddings, he mixes in guaranteed groove-inducers and then of course anything else specific we want him to play.

Who I am nothiring is the DJ who first demanded in his contract sent with his estimate that he get alcoholic beverages throughout the course of the reception. Then, when I emailed him to let him know we were going to go with an alternate vendor, he sent me a tone-laden email in response chastising me for not meeting with him personally before making that decision. He followed this with, “I sincerely hope that you do not end up getting severely lacking service at your event because of your decision to pay less for another DJ.” For starters, jackhole, we’re not paying less. We’re paying more. For quality. And who in the hell writes a bride trying to scare her about her reception? He closed his email by asking how he could keep our business. Well, my advice, sir, is that you be sure to drop me a line just as soon as a flying pig crashes into your window.

In the mean time, let me know in the comments what your favorite dance song is. And if you’re not doing anything Friday, check out Maciocha at Marvin.

UPDATE: Wedding Decision Changed

February 28, 2008

When I reread yesterday’s post I really couldn’t figure out why I have a color scheme. I don’t need color anywhere because of the white orchids and the black and cream accents (in keeping with the newspaper/writing/typewriter touches.) I am officially abandoning the pale orange, green, and pale pink thing. Updates as events warrant.

More Wedding Decisions Made, I-66 Boredom Imminent

February 27, 2008

For no other reason than I’m relieved to be finally making some wedding decisions, I’m posting them here. Because I’m an instant gratification girl. I don’t like waiting 10 months. Feel free to practice your oohs, ahs, and ewws, now.

The Color Scheme
Every bridal magazine will implore its readers, breathlessly, that they simply must pick a color scheme tuit suite. There is no explicit reason given as to why, but the implication is clear: failure to do so will result in the early demise of one’s marriage, global warming, and someone, somewhere, will punch a tubercular orphan and kick a puppy. While I’m generally anti-all that stuff, I’ve not exactly felt a sense of urgency on picking a $@*% color scheme. Slowly and lazily, I’ve settled on one. Pale orange, green, and a few pale pink accents. Sounds heinous, right? I think it will actually work. I can’t believe I’m about to use this as a reference point, but you’ll see the shades of orange, green, and pink that I’m talking about on this cover:


However, as soon as I picked my color scheme I realized I haven’t the faintest clue what I’m supposed to use it for. My reception flowers are going to be white. My invitations will probably be cream and black. I don’t have any bridesmaids. Maybe my own boquet?  

The Flowers
Despite the fact that I don’t eat teh meat, I am not a complete hippie. However, I am trying in whatever way possible to not be a complete environmental Cruella de Ville with this wedding. It’s not “green” by any stretch, because an event dedicated to excess is by its very nature unnatural, but where I can…yadda yadda. Most notably, that’s with the flowers. Personally, I can’t support ordering a mess of cut flowers to be jetted in from South America then thrown away a couple days later. For starters, the labor abuses on flower farms are notorious and then there’s the wallop to the environment from having the flowers (typically pesticide drenched, as a double bonus!) shipped. So I’m going with locally grown, ceramic potted, white phalaenopsis orchids for each table.


Said ceramic pots: orchidpots.jpg

The “Theme”
Now, I would sooner get married at a chapel in Vegas than have a wedding “theme” like “Paris in Puce.” (Snaps if you can beat Johanna to identifying what 1980s television movie featured this as a theme.) However, there’s something to be said for some sort of aesthetic that binds the whole shebang together. Since both my fiance and I are reporters/writers–and since that’s what brought us together because we met when I started reporting for his paper–I’ve decided a few bits of homage to that could be just the thing. So I’ll have an antique typewriter and a stack of paper out for guests to peck out a hello, in lieu of a traditional guest book. We’ll use vintage typewriter keys to mark the table cards. And if I can pull it off, I’m designing invites and favor tags that use typewriter font. We’ll see how it goes. I’m going for “quirky and personal,” not “too cute by half.”


OK, I’m done now. Someone wake up I-66.

Going to the Chapel…A Little Later Than Anticipated

January 11, 2008


Those close to me have heard me waxing on for a few months now about how my 10 a.m. wedding and luncheon reception would be retro-chic, because after all that’s exactly what JFK and Jackie did and I think if it’s good enough for our future-35th president and his uber-chic bride then it’s good enough for us. Internally though, I began fretting pretty much the minute the ink dried on the contract that a 10 a.m. wedding was just shy of ridiculous and my guests were likely going to want to kill me, no matter how many mongrammed flasks of mimosas and bloody marys I slipped them on the way into the church.

After a night tossing and turning, thanks in part to pondering this very dilemma, I realized that action must be taken. God apparently agreed, as the church happened to still have the 12 noon wedding spot open that day. But to be honest (and blasphemous) it wasn’t really God I was worried about. It was a higher authority: the catering director/wedding coordinator for the Hay-Adams. But the indefatigable Alison (who, bless her heart, still manages to sound happy when I call in breathing-into-a-paper-bag-panic mode) determined after a bit of click clicking on her computer and perusing of contracts that we could indeed move the whole event back two hours. I cannot stress enough that she and the hotel have been an absolute dream to work with. Seriously, if you ever find yourself in need of a location for a wedding, bar mitzvah or heads of the five families meeting, the Hay-Adams is your place. I think that you could probably call down to the front desk there after having a call boy expire in your bathtub and they would respond with, “It will be our pleasure to assist you, Miss. We’ll send a fixer right up. Will you be needing us to ring you an attorney? No? Just a tea cart then. Right away, Miss.”

So now my guests get to sleep in. Chances of some of them making it home to change out of whatever they wore to dance on tables at Tattoo Bar the night before* greatly increase. I may even be able to sneak in a sunrise trip to the driving range, before being hustled off by friends who are actually concerned about things like getting me to my wedding on time. All’s well that ends several hours later.

*This sentiment actually came directly from the person it’s directed at, but in the form of her refuting that she’d be doing anything of the sort. Apparently Papa Cheney likey the ruffled cocktail dresses.