One of the things that became really easy for Mr. Q and I after we declared our theme to be "Southern Elegance" was the menu. Southern comfort food is delicious and it's what we were both raised on in our homes and our grandmothers' homes. Here are some inspiration pictures and recipes for those of you who may be considering a similar menu! I'll reveal our menu choices in a future post.
Great examples of Southern entrées would include the fried chicken and ribs seen on the menu above. Mr. Q and I have been to several weddings and events that served pulled pork barbeque and it's a yummy and very affordable option.
Mr. Q once photographed a wedding that had a catfish fry reception and that seems quintessentially Southern to me as well. Other seafood choices befitting a Southern meal would be crabcakes (my favorite food) or shrimp and grits. I think crabcake sliders would be an amazing wedding entree.
I found this Betty Crocker recipe for Pecan-topped Cornbread with Honey Butter... haven't tried it, but doesn't that sound amazing? Other sides that would be perfectly Southern would be green bean casserole, mashed potatoes with lots of butter (and bacon bits on the side!), sweet potato casserole (we Southerners love a casserole), macaroni salad, and my mom's specialty, deviled eggs. I am also loving the biscuit bar trend that I've seen in the wedding blogosphere.
At a Southern wedding, dessert is the true star of the reception. After all, we Southerners invented the tradition of having both a bride's and groom's cake (remember the red velvet armadillo from Steel Magnolias?), but why stop at cake? A Southern dessert buffet could include pecan pie, lemon meringue pie, sweet potato pie, chess pie, banana pudding with Nilla wafers, peach cobbler... okay, I'm getting hungry now.
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What are your favorite "comfort food" recipes? Will you be incorporating regional favorites into your wedding menu?
I waited to pull the trigger on this purchase until I had my shoes back from being dyed because I wanted the purples to at least somewhat coordinate. I think they will!
I am obsessed with my shoes post-dying. They are Coloriffics "Tori" and they are actually pretty comfortable- especially with some Dr. Scholl's inserts added and a strip of medical tape placed under the metal accent.
In our meeting with our venue director, Mr. Spin and I decided to have a sweetheart table instead of a head table. Since we have a small wedding and very small wedding party, a head table didn't seem to fit. We can position our table either at the North end of the ballroom, near the dessert table which will be the focal point of that zone, or at the South end, near the dance floor.
I think sweetheart tables are adorable and a great way for couples to steal some alone time while being among their guests. Here are some of my favorite sweetheart table inspiration photos.
This is such a sweet photo; and I think it would be nice to be sitting with Mr. Spin during our MoH and groomsmen B's toasts rather than standing awkwardly beside the DJ table. Which kind of makes me think about putting our sweetheart table closer to the dance floor...
Now the question is, where to seat our bridesmaids and groomsmen? Mr. Spin would like them to sit together, but when I've been a bridesmaid in weddings I've really appreciated getting to sit with people I know instead of people I only know through the bride and groom.
Brides, where did you position your sweetheart table or head table, and how did you seat your attendants?
Also- if you are a bride currently planning, I recommend Miss Cuddlefish's post from yesterday on remembering WHY we're putting so much energy into every detail and what it's really all about- a relationship and the people who mean the most to us. It's beautiful and awesome.
Like many couples before us, we will be leaving our reception in a sparkler sendoff, even though I am a little bit afraid to have firey sparks so close to myself and my dress! I think with an evening reception in July, sparklers are definitely the way to go.
This is how we'll display the sparklers - in Mason jars (blue if I can thrift enough) with a sign stating what time the send-off will take place. Our program/guestbook attendant and other helpers will be in charge of getting the sparklers to the guests and the guests outside.
The best thing about a sparkler send-off: unbeatable photos! We've ordered 2 boxes (96 sparklers) of 20" sparklers because both Sparklers Online and our venue recommend that size for our smallish (after getting almost all of our response cards back, we're down to about 112 guests expected, and assume some of the older guests will have left by 10:00) wedding. They're a bit of a "splurge" but I think they'll be worth it.
- Hoping that the jewelry store will call this week to let us know Mr. Spin's ring is ready to be picked up!
Things I Need to do ASAP:
- Confirm flower order for fillers with Bunchesdirect.com
- Get in touch with my cousin about being an usher
- Find out if my friend who's coming in from the West Coast can be a reader
- Book the rehearsal dinner with our caterer and get bartender references for the reception
Wednesday I have a fitting with the seamstress so she can start re-attaching the lace and beading to the bodice of my dress. I've also decided that's the day I'm going to start harassing people by phone if they haven't yet RSVP'd.
Mr. Spin has taken this Thursday off work so that we can:
- Meet with our venue director to do a walk through and ask questions
- Get our marriage license
- Choose rentals for the reception (linens, bistro tables)
Things I'd like to do by Friday:
- Help Mom find a dress
- Finish buying gifts for bridal party and shower hostesses, wrap them and write notes
- Make hair trial appointment
- Schedule bridal portraits
- Make drink flags (washi tape and wooden stirrers are on the way!)
French - A votre sante German - Prost Irish - Sláinte Spanish - Salud
I loved saying, "sláinte" when my friends and I toasted during my study abroad trip to Ireland. I'm not sure if I'm actually going to have room for anything else on our bar after I've ordered napkins, made drink flags, and made a chalkboard menu listing the beverage choices, but I still like my idea :)
After this post, you will crave something sweet. Don't say I didn't warn you. Here are some pictures that are inspiring me as I plan what I hope will be one of the most talked-about things at our reception: the dessert table with our cake as the piece de resistance.
I love the placement of the bunting banner on this table- perfect for those of us who can't attach anything to the walls of our venues! If I made one of these, I would use vintage book pages to match our table numbers and pinwheel favors.
Now that I have my ideas in order and the finalized program with readings has been e-mailed to our minister, it's time to talk about our plans for ceremony details and how we're saving money with DIT (do it together)!
1. Programs - I will be designing our programs because I can't justify spending a lot of money on something that only a few people are sentimental enough to hold on to. The programs will be stored in a basket my mom already had which will get a new coat of ivory paint and some lavender and periwinkle silk floral and ribbon decorations. Mr. Spin's cousin will be passing out programs and also serving as guestbook attendant, so she's our "welcome attendant" for the wedding. She's very excited- she and I share a close bond because she was so young when Mr. Spin and I started wedding, and she visited my classroom often when she was a student at the school where I teach (she was actually assigned to be in my class, but I thought that was a conflict of interest so she was moved to a colleague's English class instead.)
Recently I had my first real wedding planning meltdown. On Wednesday, my mom, Mr. Spin and I met with a potential cake baker, after my decision to ditch the "three grocery store cakes on stands" idea for a real wedding cake. I got annoyed during the meeting because when it was all done, I felt like my mom and Mr. Spin shouldn't have even come- every time the lady asked a question they looked at me. I don't even like cake, I just care that it's pretty! I wanted them to speak up and be vocal. I wanted someone else to make the decisions for me.
Meanwhile, my MOH was driving me crazy with constant text messages, phone calls, and e-mails. She's never been a bridesmaid before at all, and having to plan a shower and bachelorette party is stressing her out. However, isn't one of the reasons a bride HAS a maid of honor is so she doesn't have to plan her own parties? Whatever she does, I will love, but I don't think she believes that, so I've basically had to plan both parties in addition to planning the wedding and planning the talent show at work (which is Monday - I'll be glad when it's over).
Maybe I'm getting planned out. I'm also stressing out about money and not having a set place to live after the wedding. Mr. Spin has not called any leasing agents, so it looks like I'm going to have to find us an apartment myself as well. I've had to spend a ton of money lately- ordering flowers, favors, and supplies for crafts. I *hate* the idea of being in debt, but I've had to make an agreement with myself that it is OKAY to charge things and not totally pay my credit card off for the next few months. That's how credit cards work- that's why they have a minimum payment AND a balance. Hence, the title of this post- sometimes you've got to bite the bullet and make a purchase.
Also stressing about my appearance. I've met my weight goal, but now my skin is freaking out. I started using Mary Kay Timewise products and I don't think they agree with me. I have at least one new pimple every day. But that could also just be stress and hormones.
Finally, apparently people don't understand the point of response cards or the fact that we paid for a stamp for them to use, because a ton of people have been RSVPing over Facebook or just telling me they're coming. SEND THE CARD, SEND THE CARD, SEND THE CARD! Then there are the people who come up to me and say, "I should have written this on the card, we're bringing our 2-year-old" or "I meant to tell you I'm not staying for the reception." These are all married people who I'm sure once had to make seating charts themselves, why don't they understand my stress?
When did you have your wedding planning freak-out, and what caused it?
This dessert table is amazing. It never occurred to me that books could be used to elevate cake stands- what an awesome idea if you're going for a tiered look! Filing this idea away in my personal vault for sure :)
Two weeks ago, Mr. Spin arrived at my house with a lovely gift bag complete with blue tissue paper and purple ribbons...
Our invitations had arrived! Since all of our guests have had plenty of time to see them, I'm ready to share them with the blog world. But first, I'll take you through how obsessive compulsive I was about these things. I'm an English teacher, aspiring writer, scrapbooker, and snail mail pen pal- paper goods are A BIG DEAL to me. I'm also a believer in the idea that an invitation can set the tone for a whole wedding- it's the first thing your guests see and that picture and image get connected to your big day. I keep every invitation, and I get excited when I see how the invitation "matches" the wedding- the poppies on my friend C's invite matching her bright bridesmaids dresses, my friend T's invitation matching the place cards and the icing decorations on her cake, my friend K's table numbers utilizing the same navy stardream paper as her invitation envelopes and the bridesmaid's pashminas matching the embossed pink flowers. This is what happens when you're wedding obsessed, folks.
Finding "the perfect invitation" for a simple, elegant, Southern wedding wasn't easy. Some of the contenders:
Dogwood Branch by Wedding Paper Divas... my venue has some dogwood accents, and it would've been nice to use a dogwood motif on paper since the real thing will be gone by the wedding day, but I didn't think it was obvious enough that these flowers *are* dogwoods.
Royal Cascade by Wedding Paper Divas... beautiful, but the colors weren't quite what I was looking for.
Verbena by Wedding Paper Divas... I was lovin' the purple and blue hydrangea-esque flowers, but not digging the modern fonts.
Hydrangea by Paperwhites Press... great, but completely over budget for the Spins, and I wanted more than one color on my invitations after the Verbena almost won me over.
So here it is, our invitation suite designed by Mr. Spin's talented cousin who owns her own invitation shop.
The materials and art are by Envelopments. I knew that I wanted floral invitations and our main wedding flowers are hydrangeas. We wanted to incorporate our wedding colors, periwinkle and purple. Mr. Spin got really excited when he found Envelopment's shiny "Zircon" cardstock. Mr. Spin's cousin suggested the matching envelope liners and I think they make a huge difference, especially since we didn't use inner envelopes. The font used for our names and "Please Respond" is called Lily Wang and can be purchased from MyFonts- it's on sale now for 12.95, which makes me kind of sad that I paid the regular price two weeks ago.
Mr. Spin was also happy to find stamps in one of our wedding colors, and I enjoy seeing those purple pansies when the response cards land in my mailbox! I also made a directions/additional information card using ivory cover stock, my own inkjet printer, and a Fiskars paper cutter.
So far we have 27 guests who can come and 3 who can't make it. I've also been amused by the comments some of our friends have written on the cards- including some full-fledged letters on the backs! After five years of dating, everyone is ready for this wedding, I guess.