Archive for the ‘wedding’ Category

Project #252 – Wedding Cake Cake Topper with Rosettes

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Okay, take two. The more I look at the first set of wedding cake toppers, the goofier they look. So, I took a little extra time today and made a more serious set, with better actual wedding cake resemblance. I should package them with a seal that says exactly that. “NOW WITH ACTUAL WEDDING CAKE RESEMBLANCE!!” Oh, and “NOW WITH FRESH VANILLA SCENT!!” I will sell millions.

I would need special tools to add faces to the people at the top of the cake. Do half inch tall people with no faces freak people out? I could spin it in a positive light. “NOW WITH DISAPPOINTMENT-FREE FACES!!”

Project #249 – Teapot Cake Toppers

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

I’m glad that we, as a people, have managed to shed the confinement of pastel wedding colors and branch off into the more saturated areas of the color table. In fact, it’s been ages since I attended a peach or mint green affair, two colors that seemed to be very popular circa 1974 according to my family albums. Even the weddings that I’ve attended lately with something pale like pink as a signature color always have something bold like chocolate brown to keep the palette from being washed out.

I like it. I like reds and bright blues and deep, limpid purples. I love golden yellow bridesmaid dresses and wedding cakes that reject the traditional white on white palette. It’s pleasant to attend a wedding and spend an evening stewing in a carefully selected set of colors.

I’m kind of in love with bright blue and yellow as key colors right now. I made this coffee carafe and teapot out of some leftover blue polymer clay that transfixed me like a bower bird.

Also, I’m a tea aficionado married to a coffee fancier, so I kind of hope that I don’t sell this set and get to keep it for…I don’t know…something. Um, a birthday? I’m already married, but everyone needs a teapot with a veil, AMIRITE?

Project #227 – Turtle Cake Toppers

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Sometimes things just don’t work out. Sometimes your head pops off in the oven and fuses to your torso.

Oh well, it’s nothing that a little glue can’t fix. Still, I’m not in love with the way these turtles are sitting, probably because real turtles don’t sit. Their limbs somehow look too long and too short at the same time; it’s just awkward. Oh well, I’m going to chalk this one up to experience.

I do think the flower is cute, so I might start using it elsewhere. It’s a good way to specify animal gender without getting graphic.

Project #215 – Toadstool Cake Toppers

Friday, August 28th, 2009

I’ve had a few recent encounters with mushrooms in the park and in the backyard. There’s something really fascinating about how they seem to just appear overnight and don’t bother to blend in with the scenery most of the time. On the one hand, they’re delicious, and on the other they can kill you in pretty horrible ways (liver and kidney failure, for example).

I’m just starting to learn how to identify wild mushrooms. I can usually identify ones that I think are edible, but I lack the confidence to actually pluck, cook and eat ones I find in the wild.

Still, mushrooms are the cutest members of the fungi kingdom. Certainly, they’re one of the few poisonous things I’d consider putting on a wedding cake.

Project #178 – Cabbage Centerpieces

Monday, July 13th, 2009

When I’m working on other people’s weddings sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that it’s not my wedding. Case in point: the vases above. The mother of the bride purchased about 8 narrow glass vases and a handful of silk roses, one or two per vase. She wanted them to be the centerpieces for each table.

My oldest brother-in-law (again, not the one getting married) and I both looked at them and hated them instantly, mostly because we both have black, black Martha Stewart hearts. The vases were too little to fill up space on top of the jumbo sized tables, and they were so narrow that they would likely fall over whenever a guest stood up or sat down. Plus, the itty-bitty rosebuds looked pathetic and forlorn all by themselves.

However, this was not my damn wedding. The mother of the bride spent her money and time picking these things out, so there was no way that they were not going to end up in the middle of each table. I needed to suck it up and design some sort of flower arrangement where the offending vase would be the star. Oh, and I needed to do this with the last $20 of the flower budget for 8 tables. Ah, and we were out of flower containers.

The solution to all of my problems turned out to be $2 cabbages from the farmer’s market.

We saw a truckload of lacy, organic cabbages at the market, ones that were a shade of purple and a shade of deep green that wouldn’t clash with the sage green table cloths. We purchased nine on the spot, the extra one would be used to experiment the day before the reception. Each cabbage would be cut into a vase holder. They would fill in the center of the table, incorporate the required decorations, and, hopefully, not look completely insane.

We prepared all of the cabbages the morning of the reception. First, we removed all of the outer, insect chewed leaves. Then we lopped off the bottom of each so they would sit levelly and not roll around. Next, we cut the hole where we would insert each vase. We used the lip of the vase itself to lightly bruise the outer leaves and give us a cutting guide.

Cutting the first few layers isn’t hard, but eventually you’ll need to start scooping out the middle of the cabbage, which won’t come out as easily. Keep a fork on hand to pulverize and scoop out the stubborn bits. We cut a tunnel deep enough to hold the first 1/3 of each vase.

We smelled like coleslaw for a little while.

I’m glad that I married into a family that does not think I’m nuts.

We also made a special display for the bride and groom. The mother of the bride seemed to be pleased at how it all turned out. Phew! She cared much more about the decorations then either of the newlyweds and she was the one I was most concerned about keeping happy.

Project #177 – Wedding Flowers

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Our next big wedding task was to purchase and make all of the floral arrangements.
The farmer’s market is an awesome place to buy flowers for cheap if you co at the right time of year. My oldest brother-in-law (the one not getting married) and I managed to get all of reception flowers and greenery, seen in the picture above, for about $60. $60!

The important thing to do when you purchase flowers is to cut the stems at an angle (preferably under water) and put them in water immediately. We bought the flowers the day before we needed them, so we put them in a cooler 3/4 of water and added ice to help keep the flowers for over blooming by adding ice to keep them cool.

My in-laws had nearly 30 family heirloom ice cream dishes that we used to do the flower arrangements. I tried to make the flower arrangements look a little like ice cream sundaes.

I woke up super early this morning to finish all of the the arrangements so that they would be ready to go by the afternoon. Everyone was up early with some sort of task to do.

This sort of DIY wedding won’t work for every family, but I kind of like doing it this way. We all have different skills that fit well together and it really makes me feel like a part of the family to have something to contribute.

Project #176 – Cake Topper

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

I’m spending this weekend in Omaha for my brother-in-law’s wedding. The bride and groom are pretty relaxed about planning the reception, so me and my other, oldest brother-in-law will probably be doing a good chunk of the planning, at least where it comes to decorations.

Being a type-A, hyper-organizer, immediately upon arrival I took out my research notebook and grilled everyone on what needed to be done. We took charge of the flowers, the favors, and the cake topper. The cake topper would be the simplest to get done, so we addressed it first. The bride and groom both have the first initial ‘m’ i their given names, so we decided to either go with M&Ms figurines or the initials themselves. Whichever we found first would win.

Fun fact: the letter ‘M’ is usually the first letter to sell out in craft stores because it is an essential component in the word ‘Mom’.

So, instead of buying just two, I ended up with a whole carton of letters, luckily one with two ‘M’s. Phew.

I didn’t have a ton of craft supplies to work with at my in-law’s house, so we kept it simple. We used 15-year-old wood glue and toothpicks to get the letters to stand up on the cake.

Well, ‘cake’ isn’t quite the right word because my mother-in-law made nearly 100 mini cheesecakes instead of a one giant, fluffy cake. They were amazingly tasty, and a few were stolen before the bride and groom had a chance to take a taste. Fortunately, they’re the laid back type of couple, so there was no cutting of bitches over the prematurely nibbled display.

Part 8: Aaaand We’re Married!

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene
Part 6: Moments Before
Part 7: The Gettin’ Hitched Part

Mr. Lollipop and I discussed our ceremony at our First Anniversary dinner. We both agreed that it is one of the most intense experiences either of us has had. This was probably due to the fact that we had prepared for the ceremony for months during premarital counseling and the fact that it was *our* ceremony. I like to think that maybe our guests felt the same way. We didn’t hear a peep from anyone in the pews the whole time, nothing from the dozens of young children who attended. Maybe it really was a *holy* experience.


We were allowed to have chairs placed for us at the front of the church for use during the reading portion of the ceremony. I highly recommend doing this if your ceremony is going to last longer than 20 minutes. My dress was heavy and I appreciated the break.


This is a shot of my bridesmaids during the ceremony holding their bouquets. All of them were assembled by my awesome cousin Aileen (she’s the one in the extreme foreground) and each has a baby artichoke in the center. We saved crazy $$$ by doing our own flowers. I’ll give more details about this in a later post.


This is my bouquet. It is made of almost 100% flowers from Whole Foods and more baby artichokes. (Again, thanks Aileen!) I was a little nervous about making my own bouquet, but I think it turned out well and it was fun to carry it around for a day.


This is the picture of me that is currently sitting on Mr. Lollipop’s desk.


This is my cousin Maureen doing a reading written by my cousin Mark. Mark is in the Air Force. We chose our wedding date based on his leave date, but the military canceled his days off months before our wedding. So, instead he wrote something original to read at the ceremony.

I’d skimmed the reading just to give Mark the ‘OK’ as to its quality, but the meaning and care really hit me once I heard Maureen reading it out loud. I started tearing up. Luckily, Mr. Lollipop always carries a handkerchief. I blew my nose and then crammed it back into his pocket, if full view of all of our guests. They had a good chuckle.


A year ago, our friend Keith was finishing up seminary and couldn’t perform the whole ceremony himself, so we had him do the homily. He was great.


Okay, so we made it through the first part of the ceremony. We used traditional vows from the Book of Common Prayer. Now, it was time for the vows. Mr. Lollipop did his first, and then I as I started to say “In the Name of God, I, [Ms. Lollipop], take you, [Mr. Lollipop], to be my *husband*…” And I totally choked up on ‘husband’…I’d honestly never used that word for Mr. Lollipop before, but I was able to choke out the rest of my vow. Luckily, Aileen was on point and ran up to give me a tissue. Really, I’d never imagined that I would cry at my own wedding ceremony, but, wow, thank God for waterproof mascara.

Now, a year later I’m wondering what happened to that tissue. I can’t remember what I did with it and it isn’t in any of our photos. I really hope I didn’t hand anyone my snotty Kleenex.


So, I managed to get it together after that and we moved on to the exchange of rings.


Okay, so we made it through the important stuff and now it’s time for the blessing. The Book of Common prayer has a choice of two blessings. Mr. Lollipop let me pick, so I went with the one with the line ‘Defend them from every enemy…’ mostly because that sounds awesome. I don’t think we have any enemies, but just in case…you know…

Also, I would like to point out that my Maid of Honor fluffed out my train every time I moved so that it didn’t get bunched up and trip me. This was one of the best pieces of advice we got from our photographer all day.


Yay! We’re husband and wife!


…And we kiss as my grandparents’ plastic Virgin Mary looks on! It’s okay, Mary, we’re married now!


I gave a big hug to the Maid of Honor.


Mr. Lollipop shook the Best Man’s hand.


Mission accomplished! Woo!

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

Part 7: The Gettin’ Hitched Part

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene
Part 6: Moments Before

Yay! They finally let us inside!


Okay. We’re walking up the aisle…I’m kind of surprised at this point. I’d been waiting for our wedding for so long that it was kind of hard to believe that it was actually happening.


Mr. Lollipop sees me for the first time.


The boys all lined up in the front.


My dad and I arrived at the front. I’ve never had this many people look at me at one time before.


At this point my parents offered me in marriage. I’m glad that my parents got their own speaking part, but this is the one part of the ceremony I wish we’d done a little differently. I really wanted my in-laws to offer Mr. Lollipop, too, but I got a straight ‘no’ from our pastor and I didn’t feel like fighting about it.

Eh. I’ll admit that it’s small in the scope of potential problems. I actually hadn’t thought about it for months until I sat down to write this recap. *shrug* I still really like our pastor.


The Pastor asks if there are any objections.


I looked over my shoulder to see if there were any takers. I think our guests took my expression as the stink-eye. Luckily, my family finds this kind of thing to be funny and everyone laughed.


My mom laughed, too.


We passed the test (Yay! We’re not related or already married to other people!) and my dad stepped aside.


Mr. Lollipop takes his place at my side.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.

Part 6 – Moments Before

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Part 1: Tryin’ to Get the Pretty
Part 1.5: Old, New, Borrowed, Robotic
Part 2: Please Help Me; I Can’t Dress Myself
Part 3: Poise!
Part 4: The Philosophy of the Ham
Part 5: Setting the Scene

As a teenager I’d hadn’t thought much about what my wedding would be like, but I was pretty sure that I’d be calm and certain before I walked down that aisle. Everything would feel right. A decade later on my wedding day, with all of my anxiety left months in the past, I felt exactly that way in the moments leading up to the ceremony.

Our friends did a fantastic job of making sure that we didn’t see each other before the ceremony started. One of our photographers snapped these pictures of Mr. Lollipop before he was hustled out of the way so that I could leave the Rectory and make my way over to the church.

We went with an asymmetrical Dahlia for his boutonniere. As his wife, I am biased, but I think he is exteremly adorable in this picture.

Our wedding coordinator, a.k.a. Our Lady of Awesomeness, a.k.a. Emily, helped welcome people to the church. I’ll be writing more about her later.

Most people arrived early. We placed mutual friends on Mr. Lollipop’s side to even out the large difference in family size. Still, our wedding turned out to be the largest gathering of my Mother in Law’s family ever.

I couldn’t walk around without a crew of bridesmaids to help carry my giant dress. It was like being queen for a day, but not in any way I expected. I was very glad that I had a second, lighter dress to change into so that I didn’t need any bathroom helpers.

There were a few stragglers running into the church at the last minute. This is a picture of me laughing at them and yelling ‘You’re late!’ at them as they scurried into the sanctuary.

I was acting like a big goof-ball while waiting outside of the church and waved like a monkey at all of the passing cars. I couldn’t help myself; I was so frickin’ happy that I was finally getting married after waiting so long and spending so much time working for this one day. My Dad knows me well enough to but up with my antics.

All photos above are courtesy of Purvis Photography.