March 15th, 2007


Wedding Cakery (Sunday)

I drove home for Spring Break last Saturday. However, I knew it wasn't going to be a week of rest and relaxation, but a week of highly-concentrated wedding planning. It started on Sunday, with a meeting with a prospective wedding cake baker.

Mom and I drove up to Everett to meet with Sue at 1:00 PM. Sue works a day job but has been making wedding cakes on the side for 20 years. It turned out to be a really nice appointment. We discussed the shape of the cake and how many people it had to feed. We talked about which types of cakes are more popular than others, so we know which tiers should be which type. We talked about how buttercream holds up well in the heat and cream cheese does not. We sampled delicious little cakelets.

And then I happened to ask a decorating question that turned into a frantic 20-minute creative brainstorm that everyone liked so well that Sue AND my mom started crying. And in case Tyler wants to keep the decor secret, I'm not posting it until he says okay.

After that, we ran errands. We went to the Indian grocery store and I picked up some cheap spices and a case of mango pulp. We went to the Paper Zone and got some gel pens for Mom. We went to Bed Bath and Beyond and got Mom the same tablecloth I bought at Christmas that she's coveted ever since. We went to Super Jock n' Jill and got Tyler some new running shoes. And so on.

Wedding Dressery (Monday)

The first thing I had to do today was go to the doctor. I needed to get some prescriptions renewed, I was due for a physical, and I was also due for a tetanus shot. The shot itself was actually one of the easiest I ever had...I really didn't even feel the prick. The aftereffects were predictably uncomfortable...I spend the next four days feeling like someone had punched me in the arm with brass knuckles. But otherwise, nothing interesting.

Indian food for lunch.

At noon, we had wedding dress work to do. Mom and I went to Carolyn's, the person who is making my dress (and mother of one of my bridesmaids, Mireille). Carolyn had made a muslin mock-up of my dress that was to my satisfaction, and one of Mom's mother-of-the-bride dress that was not. Mom doesn't want to look matronly, and the fact that the dress was basted muslin didn't really help, but I suggested some modifications that I think will help. It's a simple sleeveless gown with a short bolero jacket. We decided to make the skirt more A-line and add some godets at the bottoms for more of a tulip shape.

The next chore was fabric. My dress has three layers (lining, primary fabric, and a sheer outer gauze), and I already had the outer one. Mom didn't have anything. We drove to Pacific Fabrics and browsed for a bit. We decided to make my remaining two layers from the same material, a pale ice blue satiny material with the smooth side facing in for the layer, and out for the primary. Mom's was much harder. We found several patterned fabrics we liked for the bolero, but nothing we really liked for the gown that also matched the bolero. Because part of the problem with the gown fabric was that a lot of the fabrics were just boring, we finally decided to forget the bolero fabric for the time being and pick the fabric we liked best for the gown. This was a slinky, satiny turquoise fabric with a slight wrinkle pattern for texture. We didn't find ANY bolero fabrics to match it, so we picked out some veil material for me and went to the cutting counter.

Just as we were getting ready to pay, I yelled "what is THAT?!?" and flung myself across the counter. What it was was a bolt of dark turquoise velvet on the floor under the counter, with a large crushed-line pattern of roses where the lighter color of the crushed velvet exactly matched my Mom's gown. IDEAL. We nabbed it and left victorious.

In the parking lot, we ran into Lori Gagnon, one of my old friends from grade school. She's doing great, which was nice. We dropped Carolyn off at her house, got a red tea/wildberry smoothie at Tullys (better with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream), and briefly stopped at the scrapbook store. We didn't find what we were looking for, but we did run into family friend Roby and his daughter Hannah. Roby did our roof, Mom used to babysit Hannah, and wife/mom Kim is doing my hair for the wedding.

After THAT, we stopped at a toy store to see if they had something, noticed our local florist is out of business, and then went home and collapsed.

Wedding Catery (Tuesday)

Today was meet-with-a-caterer day.

The meeting place was up in Everett somewhere, at a Starbucks. The owner, Linda, was very nice. Because I'm new at this, we spent a lot of time talking about stuff I hadn't anticipated, such as what time the rental people can drop off linens, or plastic flatware vs. china.

The second issue turned out to be a hard one for me. I wanted china because it's nicer, and because it doesn't generate a ton of plastic garbage. The problem is that it necessitates a pickup by the rental people (costly), and that it, quite literally, costs 10 times what plastic does ($5 vs. $0.50). We decided to go plastic, and reduce our ecological footprint by resolving to wash the stuff and give it away or save it for camping and picnics. This will save us about $700. O_O

The menu stuff was actually pretty easy, since I'd looked online and already knew what I wanted. We talked about delivery times and setup times and cleanup times, the costs of servers, the difference between fruit displays and fruit salad, cake cutting, the fact that it's cheaper for me to provide soft drinks than have them bring them, and what exactly makes a bread "rustic" (translation: crusty, with seeds). Overall, I liked her. She seemed very honest and upfront about the whole thing. I didn't feel like I was being pressured at all.

I also appreciated that right off the bat, she told me that the price she'll propose to me (sometime soon) is a worst-case scenario; she's assuming the most expensive options, and we work our way down from there by simplifying. I liked that. It's a lot better than being quoted a low price and being bankrupted by add-ons.

After the meeting, Mom and I went to the caterer's restaurant in downtown Everett, to sample a little of their food. Unfortunately, the quiche we tried was only so-so, which I'm a little worried about. We stopped on the way home for some cajun food and movies, then spent the evening reading books, munching, and watching Bridget Jones' Diary.