Thursday, February 24, 2011

99 Days

It's coming like a big freight train barreling toward us. Unstoppable. Gaining speed. And it's got all of our wedding guests on board. Oh crap.

(personal photo)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

invitation: save the date - reveal

Without further delay... the final reveal of the Pain au Chocolat save the dates.

Obvs, the names have been changed to protect the soon-to-be-wed

Sunshine yellow in a whimsical font!

We went through a few layout changes before Mr. decided enough was enough! The design was getting better in inches not miles. Mr. P was anxious to get them to our guests. I just needed to pick a design and go with it. So while this wasn't the most awesome STD we could have created, it's what we ended up with. Learning to let go or ahem, loosening my death grip on my quest for perfection.

The post office-savvy among you may have noticed these invites won't be the cheapest thing to mail. They're square. Ish. And what size are they anyway? Well, I'll let you in on a little secret... We never mailed them.

We emailed them! (Saving money? Check!)

Did you do anything unconventional with your STD or invitation suite?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Gettin' stuff done

I am amazed how many things we ticked off our looming to-do list this weekend.

1. My dress - It fits. (More or less.) The bodice needs to be taken in, but the length is perfect when I have my Seychelles sandals on. Aaaaand, the blush tone drop earrings picked up last weekend work. They just work. Phew!


2. Mr. P's suit - OMG, a decision has been made! The men will be wearing navy! It took just a half hour at Jos. A Bank with Mr. P and his groomsman to find the male version of The One. Mr. P, his brother/BM, groomsman J and even Mr. P's father have ordered suits.

invitation: save the date round 2

Not completely thrilled with the last batch of save the dates, I stepped away from it all for a few days. I was definitely feeling rusty... and blah. None of my sketched ideas were rockin' my socks; I knew the only way to get through the not-so-great ideas was to get them out of my system. And so begins the "Don't be a square, man" square designs.

Bold, simple and summery. And bor-ing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

invitation: save the date round 1

We've already established that I love yellow. It's a perfect color for our warm & sweet, playful summertime fete. Mr. P and I knew our invitations would be equally sweet and playful with lots of yellow for good measure.

If you compare the "look" of a wedding to a corporate identity (brand), you find many similarities. The tiny business card, containing the most information on the smallest piece of paper, is the starting point for the brand. The colors, fonts, shapes contained within it are then applied to everything else! Continuing the analogy... the Save the Date is the wedding version of a business card. It's your guests' first impression of the wedding, hinting at the merriment and joy to come!

The mood you convey here should be carried over into the rest of the paper suite (invitation, rsvp & more) and possibly even further into the decor itself. Which is why I had such a difficult time beginning. Design paralysis! To beat back the procrastination, I thumbnail sketched 40+ layouts before popping the simplest into Illustrator.

Begin with the basics: the date and request to save the date.*

See, a date and the words "save the date." 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

McLovin the Name

There was never a question of whether I'd take Mr. P's last name. It just feels right. Beyond that I haven't given it much thought. Which is unusual for this over-thinking over-planner.


A Christmas present from my mom shortly after announcing our engagement. Alas, it is more interesting with last names intact, but privacy y'know?!

(personal photo)

I do have my reasons, silly as some may be.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A perfect pair?

I thought once my dress came in, I'd have my jewelry figured out. I mean, the wedding is in four months. That's practically four weeks in wedding-land. But I haven't been slackin' -- I've tried, honest!

Before the dress arrived, I purchased some J. Crew pieces. When we visited Priscilla of Boston to pick up the girls' dresses and I slipped on Wallis with the J. Crew earrings and bracelet, but the metal finish and rectangle shape didn't go.

Ooops. Guess I'll just have to find new pieces! But I wasn't sure where to look for inspiration... until I saw a pair of earrings from my own jewelry box a little differently. Of course, they were too casual but why not look to the rest of my collection for inspiration.

My taste in jewelry trends from bold baubles, like multi-strand pearls the size of gumballs...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Things we love

Celebrating Valentine's Day with a quiet evening at home. (Don't worry, we won't gloss over our last V-Day as soon-to-be-newlyweds! We always celebrate the week after/before to avoid the crowds.)

A chunk of Prima Donna cheese with a divine California Pinot Noir
(Arista 2006 Longbow Pinot Noir to be specific)

Netflix movie plus blankets, couch and snuggling

Obligatory but delicious chocolate strawberries.

Dessert from Papa's.
Mmmm, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.

How are you celebrating your relationship with that someone special today?

(all personal photos)

Friday, February 11, 2011

A dress for the other mom in my life

Who doesn't love shopping?? FMIL's search for a mother of the groom (MOG) gown continued and she asked if I minded tagging along. Uhm, do I?! Our destination: King of Prussia Mall. It's the largest mall on the East Coast -- if we couldn't find something among the high-end retailers and boutiques, we couldn't find it anywhere. (Which turned out to be the case...)

source via Chester County CVB

Looking for a formal gown for a summer wedding isn’t easy in the winter. Most of the inventory was black or other dark colors. And since black is her go-to clothing color (borderline favorite), she wears it quite frequently. On the opposite end of the spectrum (hah!), there's me. Wearing black suppresses my color-loving nature so I avoid it. Keeping in mind that it is a summer wedding and she is not mourning the marriage of her son, I’ve asked her to please, pretty please, wear anything but black.

My mom, grandmother and aunt found their gowns last summer. None of them wanted to take their chances and wait for the 2011 spring/summer collections. Mom is wearing this dress, only in deep pink.

London Times @ Macy's

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What is your name? What is your quest?

What are your wedding colors? You have to know these things when you're a bride, you know.

We waited to nail down our wedding colors until I started work on the invitation suite. Now that I've (finally) started work on that, we got our color palette!


BHLDN: Photos!

Glamour has released photos of Anthropologie's new wedding line, BHLDN, yesterday evening. I'm a little remiss in reporting this, but figured I wasn't the only one who missed it last night. Here's the article with waaay more photos.

Texture lovers rejoice!!

I cannot wait to get my hands on this to-die-for box pleat gown. I bet it moves like a dream!

And fear not, girls who love Fiesole...

Here's Anthro's answer!

Would you wear a BHLDN dress for your wedding?

(Photos: Via Glamour, courtesy of BHLDN)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Five years...

Five years ago today Mr. P and I had our first date. You know, the one with the coffee and sushi.

Where the heck did the last five years go? It doesn't feel like that long, but when I actually think about all the trips, events and life we've been through in that time... wow, we've covered a lot of ground.


My first sailing trip (and overnight on the boat)

Summer wedding (and his first time meeting my extended family)
4 months together

Monday, February 7, 2011

invitation: inspiration

Whimsical. Bold. Hand-lettered. Vivid. Cut paper. Preppy patterns. Negative space. Unusual. My tastes in invitations are no shrinking violet.

In preparation for designing our invitation suite, I gathered all the images I'd pooled during our long engagement in search of similarities in style and color. Anything to help synthesize what felt like disjointed ideas into something coherent!

Here's a collection of inspiring invitations that speak to my artistic soul:

Bold, summery invites from

I could eat up the pattern on the Save the Date. Digging the trio of colors for the invitation suite. Hand-stamped program covers and table numbers are a more affordable way to achieve the letterpress look. And yellow!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

One bite closer...

Our tasting team: Us + Mr. P's brother (& Best Man) + Bridesmaid R.
The mission: Chow down! And figure out which dishes will be served at the wedding.

It's time for some sexy food shots!

First, bring on the wine:

Merlot, Cab Sauv, Pinot Grigio & Chardonnay (all Beaulieu Vineyards except for the Pinot)
- The reds were lighter than we're used to, but for a multi-course summer dinner the weight will be fine. The Pinot Grigio was crisp & fresh, almost masquerading as a Sauv Blanc (one of my favorite varietals). Chardonnay wasn't overly oaky, also crisp and refreshing. Overall, we were pleased with the quality of the house wines.

The Little Bites:

Left: Indian chicken with mango chutney on a crisp potato wafer
Center: Beef filet canape with olive tapenade
Right: Sesame crusted Japanese tuna on rice paper crisp with wasabi sour cream

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ready, set, EAT!

Tomorrow is our catering tasting. (No eating after midnight tonight.) We're trying to get our ducks in a row ahead of time, thinking of questions to ask our coordinator and other things that will aid in planning.

Boring Questions
1. Are there any costs we might not be aware of that the venue doesn't cover?
Heeding the warning of our recently married friends, we're trying to avoid being walloped by last minute expenses. Mr. P is convinced we haven't budgeted for napkins. (Of all things!)

2. Can we really do a sparkler send-off??!?
I have seen photographic evidence of sparklers at our venue, but our state is a "No fireworks. No sparklers. No fun. No how." state.

Red on a map is never good

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Sugar High: Hello to the Hive!

Eeeeee! Holy crap, hive! I'm buzzing with excitement over bee-coming the newest Bee!

Miss Pain au Chocolat: Eeeee-ing even in 1983

My heart fluttered and stomach flip-flopped when I saw the email from Pengy in my inbox. If I clicked on it, I'd have my answer, one way or the other, that I'd been waiting for. But I couldn't bring myself to open it... With 5 hours left at work, I was in a pickle: rip it open Band-Aid style or wait an excruciatingly long time. Delayed gratification is not my style.

Big, exciting news!

That's all I'm sayin'!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tying the knot

In preparation for our phone meeting with the officiant this Thursday, Mr. P and I are gathering ideas for our ceremony. We approach tasks very differently. Whereas I like to start with the maximum number of possibilities and narrow down from there (lest I miss something awesome), he begins with a much narrower focus and expands outward as necessary...

This explains why I currently have 7 tabs of ceremony inspiration blog posts open in my Safari browser, a wedding workbook (from just-marrieds K&M), and a desktop folder simply titled "ceremony." I'm fully capable of driving myself nuts.

Here's summary of things we'd like to incorporate into our ceremony:

1. Write our own vows.

(Laughing hysterically, still...)