Friday, November 19, 2010

Latte Layer Cake

Okay, so this is barely wedding-related. But I couldn't let you guys go so long without talking about cake, in its many forms.

Yesterday was Joe's birthday. I set myself the task of making him a mind-blowing birthday cake whilst trying out a variation of the chiffon-style cake we decided to use for our wedding cupcakes.

The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen, Espresso Chiffon Cake. Light, airy espresso-flavored layers soaked with espresso-rum syrup. Insane. I thought the fudge frosting might be overkill though, so I opted for a variation frosted and filled with homemade whipped cream. So it's like a cappuccino disguised as a cake. Perfect for the guy who owns enough equipment to make coffee at least a dozen different ways.

Alright, I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.

So delicious that we had a slice for breakfast too. I could totally imagine adapting this for cupcakes. You can almost count on it.

Somebody had a good day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lucky Number Seven

Seven years ago, on Halloween, I met this dude I'm going to marry.

Happy Hallow-versary, Joey.

Monday, October 4, 2010


The fabric(s) for my dress came. Luscious.
I'm so scared to cut.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bridal Show Woes

Hi there,

Not much activity on the wedding-planning front recently. We've still got like ten months, remember?

Anway, we got some free tickets to a bridal show down in South Buffalo this past weekend.

People have been telling me that you can win free stuff at these things, even if you aren't looking to buy services discounted for event-day booking. So we decided not to pass on the opportunity, since we are still looking for a photographer, accommodations, and all the other things that we don't want to think about paying for yet.

But it was a total bust! Not only did we not win anything, but the whole event was a total affront on the senses. All the vendor goods/services were incredibly tacky, outrageously expensive, or both. Think lime green groomsmen apparel at the Tuxedo Junction fashion-show/dance-off. It was that bad.

The only thing we were really interested in checking out were photographers, but we had a hard time finding a good photographer in the mix. I swear, if I see another black and white portrait of a bride holding a photoshopped-red bouqet, I'm going to break somebody's lens.

And seriously? Why is it so shocking that my fiance would accompany me to this stupid thing? I was talking to a vendor and she asked how I talked Joe into coming. He's getting married too right? Why is it surprising that my partner would have an interest in planning his own wedding?

But then I thought about it, and realized I didn't want to be there either.

Honestly, I think we left that over-perfumed banquet center feeling all the more confident in DIYing this thing. Our wedding is going to be awesome, and we won't even need to spend hundreds of dollars on a cake that takes like vegetable shortening mixed with maraschino cherries.

Talk to you soon.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Wedding Dress Adventures

I apologize for the radio silence, but Joe and I have been busy. Not doing fun things, in case you were wondering, just working a whole lot. Anyway, we're both pretty excited for semester to begin in a couple weeks. Joe will be starting grad classes for his masters and I'll be finishing up my last year at Canisius and writing my thesis! Woohoo! Definitely more exciting than sitting in an office for 40 hours a week or slaving away at the airport all night.

Aside from that, I would like to direct your attention to my blog, where I've been posting about sewing my dress and the bridesmaid dresses. If you follow me on flickr, this is probably old news. But I have successfully produced a final mockup for the wedding dress! After about 3 muslins of my self-drafted pattern, I've got the cut and fit absolutely perfect. Now I just have to buy the nice fabric and start sewing the real thing. Look at me, 11 months to go and I am totally on top of this stuff.

Click on over to my blog to read my posts on...
Sewing bridesmaid dresses
Sewing my dress mockup
Finishing my dress mockup


Monday, July 26, 2010

Did you think we forgot about the cupcakes?

Last night, around 10 pm, I decided to make some cupcakes. And not just any cupcakes. Dear readers, I do believe that I have stumbled upon the two most glorious recipes in the world of cakey confections. These are winners, no doubt about it.

Note: these were just testers. When it's time for the real deal, there will be a mountain of swirled buttercream atop these cakes. Fret not.

For the cupcake itself, I present to you: Alton Brown's Vanilla Chiffon Cupcakes
And for the very literal icing-on-the-cake: Smitten Kitchen's Swiss Buttercream

For the test batch, my additions were:
- almond extract
- 1/2 tsp of my own chai spice mix (cardamom seeds, fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, and black cardamom)
- ground almonds sprinkled on top along with my schmancy Williams Sonoma sprinkles

These babies are light as air, not too sweet, and taste like clouds of heaven in your mouth. I have found it, my holy grail of cupcake recipes. Amen.


Friday, July 23, 2010

A sample of Sample

Last night we visited a caterer, Sample, for our reception, to talk about all the possibilities we had, and were happy to receive a sample. Sample is one of the exclusive caterers for Marcy Casino, and stuck out for three reasons. First, because of a large bold statement saying "We will work with your budget." Second, the menu is creative and everything is fresh and prepared to order. And third, they're right around the corner!

We began our discussion over some fresh raspberry and strawberry bellinis, and discovered that a minimum cost per person was imposed by Marcy Casino, which was disheartening, but nothing too outlandish. We proceeded through the catering menus, to tailor our own package. We even talked about deviating from their options to add our own personal touches.

After the discussion.. we got... Samples! They brought us through their tasting menu, which was fantastic, and provided an example of the quality and freshness of the food that they serve. T'was wonderful!

They do 80% of the weddings at Marcy Casino, and we can definitely see why. The other "options" are hardly options at all by comparison. We were both thoroughly impressed and are excited to continue working with Sample.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Hey folks,
I just wanted to stop in and announce the results of our poll which ended yesterday, the arbitrary date of my choosing.

Good news, the majority of you approve of us doing what we want. So we will continue to do just that!

In other news..
We are going to meet with our caterer on Thursday, so look out for Joe's post later this week about the food that could potentially be in your mouth a year from now. And perhaps we will put up some sort of food-themed poll next. Because we do so love your generous feedback.


Monday, July 19, 2010

For the Aesthetes

Planning a wedding, at least in the beginning stages, is sort of an abstract experience. Mostly it's numbers and figures and dates. If you are the visually stimulated sort, like myself, you need to see things.

I've been asked a few times what our colors are... I didn't really know that was a thing. I mean, I know you might choose a certain color for the bridal party attire, but I was not aware of the authoritative nature of The Colors.

Anyway, I've collected a few scraps of things that I like, and I thought I might share them with you. (This is the fun part.)

Corals and greys. How exactly this is going to translate into an actual wedding, I'm not totally sure. I have bought the fabric for b-maids dresses, and it's close to the peachy-pink you see here. Joe was thinking gray suits for himself and the guys. And I think for flowers, we might do some peachy roses. However it comes together, this is a fun jumping-off point.


Oh! By the way... I wanted to mention that I set our comment moderation to allow people without blogger accounts to comment on posts. So feel free to express your love or distaste in a comment below!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Official

People, brace yourselves. We have a date and a venue!

Please mark your calendars for July 30th, 2011, because we will be celebrating our wedding at the Delaware Park Marcy Casino!

We have to be honest, though.... we've been holding out on you guys for a while. We pretty much knew we wanted to have our reception here back when we were first talking about venues. So when my office was planning an event there, I got the opportunity to talk to the events coordinator and I put a hold on a date! Today we went in to talk details and we are very excited to tell you that we officially booked the venue.

All we have to do now is talk to the caterer and send in our deposit. And then find a place for the ceremony, finalize the guest list, sort out guest accomodations, find a photographer.... Okay, so there are like a million things we have to do still. But it's nice that this is sorted out. It's a weird mix of scary and exciting, but we both feel really good about it. So, yay!

Anyway, here are some pics!

Interior pic I nabbed from the Marcy Casino Facebook.

This is what the interior looks like set up by the caterer we plan to use.
Schmancy, right?

So here are some of the reasons why we love Marcy Casino:
- Its location in Delaware park, where we got engaged
- The building was designed by E.B. Green, so it has architectural significance for us aspiring architects
- Beautiful, natural surroundings of the park and Hoyt Lake

And some more practical pros:
- The entire facility is air-conditioned (imperative for a July wedding)
- Includes parking with an attendant, which is great for a city location
- Great photo opportunities (in the park, the rose garden, and on the steps of the Albright-Knox)
- Indoor/outdoor space that can accomodate all our guests
- Great caterers, including Sample
- If we choose to have our ceremony at Forest Lawn Chapel or Christ the King at Canisius, they're both very close to Marcy Casino

The only immediate drawback is that the cost to book was a little more than what we had expected. It's definitely manageable, but I don't think mama's gettin' a new bike anytime soon. I think that we're coming to terms with a more realistic budget (the scary part), but I think we are well on our way to planning a pretty amazing party. We hope you think so too!


Thursday, July 1, 2010


So most of my pre-wedding work is going to be sewing projects. Admittedly, this is something I've brought upon myself. I'm not only making my own dress.. but have committed to sewing three bridesmaid dresses. If anything, it's just to prove how awesome I am. Also, we (bridesmaids included) are going to be saving SO much by not opting for boutique or big box store dresses. Seriously, I bought eight yards of coral cotton twill (decidedly not silk) for $30! You couldn't buy one bridesmaid dress for that!

To spare the uninterested, I'll be posting most of my wedding-related (and otherwise) sewing on my flickr. If you already follow my photostream, you may have noticed some work up there already.

My goal is to finish pretty much all of the sewing this summer. Yes, lofty aspirations, but I cannot imagine trying to find time to cut, sew, fit, and finish a wedding dress while writing my thesis and applying to grad schools this fall/winter/spring.

Soooo... I should probably get crackin'. Like now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Venue Shopping: Forest Lawn Chapel

Tis been quite some time since we have been able to visit something with potential since I started working nights and weekends, however we stole some time away this week to visit the Chapel at Forest Lawn. While the building was closed (though the sign said it should have been open for another hour), we did get to take in the surroundings, and were quite pleased with the potential. There are pictures of the interior online that we came across (and were quite nice), and we'll likely stop by and ask to be let in to see it sometime soon.

Oh, by the way, Forest Lawn is a cemetery. This may seem a bit weird to some people.

The grounds, of course, are beautiful. And as such.. would lend nicely to wedding photos.

And who would have guessed Frank Lloyd Wright designed a Mausoleum here?

- Photo Ops !!
- Outdoor Wedding possible, with the security of having the chapel for rainy day
- "traditional" setting?
- Neither of us would have to convert in order to be married in a chapel setting (and its not Vegas)
- architectural significance
- on the cheaps
- size and seating is perfect

- Burial ceremonies take priority (could get our reservation bumped)
- reception would need to be elsewhere (not a big deal)
- building doubles as a crematory
- big wooden statues. Which APPARENTLY were not there last year, but are now. Gross.

Sorry Ebenezer Walden. I don't like you.

All in all. Very positive. We are anxious to get inside for ourselves.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cupcakes: Earl Grey and Lemon

So, I have a test run for you!

This week we made Earl Grey cupcakes with lemon-honey icing. We were both craving something light and citrus-y, and this recipe sounded interesting enough.
For the cupcakes, I adapted this recipe.

Earl Grey Cupcakes

- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 bag Earl Grey tea
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- zest from 1 lemon

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix dry ingredients, including loose tea. Beat half of dry mixture into the wet. Then mix in the milk, lemon juice, and zest. And then combine the rest of the dry mix. Stir until just combined. Line cupcake pan, and fill cups about 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350. Cool before frosting.

For the icing, I just mixed half a cup of confectioners sugar, 1-2 tbsp. lemon juice, 2 tbsp. honey and some extra zest. Mix to the right consistency and drizzle over cooled cupcakes.

So, what do you think, Joey?


Yes, they're pretty yummy.
My only concern for them as a wedding treat is that they're not really a show-cupcake. They taste wonderful but they're kind of beige-tastic. I think if I were to make them for the wedding I would do a buttercream frosting instead, to give some height. And then probably fancy them up with some sprinkles and whatnot.

What should we try next?


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wedding Cupcakes

So, cake.

This is something I definitely think we can do ourselves. I'm pretty confident in my baking abilities, and I know that I'll have some enlisted help. But I'm not so sure I can crank out an enormous, tiered, frosted mountain of cake. Which is why we've decided to go with cupcakes.
They're cute, there's no need for slicing and serving, and making them will be considerably less work than baking, assembling and frosting a huge wedding cake.

This is what I'm thinking:

(images from

Cute, right?

More than anything, I want them to taste really good. Wedding cake usually seems to suck.

I've linked to the blog ming makes cupcakes, and I'm starting to try some of her recipes. The Flourless Beet Chocolate Cupcakes (#31) are SO GOOD. We've made two batches in the past two weeks. Yeah.

Anyway, I'll be testing out recipes occasionally. I'll try my best to post our findings.