Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sharing My Secrets: The Bouquets

I loved my flowers. Loved, loved, loved my flowers. Viviana at Petal Play Design was definitely able to compensate for peonies being out of season. I am so glad that Dean captured so many gorgeous photos of them. Get ready for lots of photos of my bouquet. Some butthead took it home with them and broke my heart. I can only relieve this pain by staring at these photos. :(

Flowers die, so I shouldn't be that sad about losing my bouquet. What I am very sad about is losing the little charm and the rosary that were wrapped around it. My Grampy made me the rosary just for that day. The charm (made by Romero Designs- I highly recommend them!) was of my Great Gram Kirby, my Grammy, my mom and me. My Great Gram Kirby and Grammy passed away shortly after this photo was taken. I loved having it attached to me most of the day. They are both now lying in someone's trash. I've spent way too much time crying about that, so back to happier photos!

Seeing my bouquet for the first time while I get un-bustled.

My back-up singers and their bouquets. Think it oh-oh-ver...

The junior bridesmaid bouquet.

Mr. Peacock's boutonniere.
My brothers and their bouts.

Everyone together now!

More flowers next time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sharing My Secrets: Our Photobooth

The photobooth was really Mr. Peacock's idea. I thought they sounded like fun, but I wasn't sure if we needed it or how it would work. He did the research, found a great company and booked it. He even made a logo for us to add to the bottom of the photobooth strips. What a man, I tell you. Our guests LOVED it and I have such a crush on my guestbook.

The booth had an attendant who monitored the activity and printed the strips. Each group received two strips- one for them, one for our guestbook. The attendant made sure that they knew what to do. I bought a Kolo book from Paper Source along with an extra set of pages along with some colored pencils, a pencil sharpener, two rolls of double sided tape and an eraser. The photobooth was set up on one of the two balconys branching off of the main dining area, which meant gorgeous views of the city while you were waiting for your chance in the booth. It was also quite close to the candy bar. Party time!

We added one of my favorite photos from Erin's wedding to the cover.

You have to click on that image to really see the adorableness that is Mr. Peacock's parents. We found these photobooth pictures while compiling the rehearsal dinner slideshow. His mom had written a note on the back with a few details about the photo. Unfortunately, the middle photo has been removed and is now missing, so we only know that it was in the 50's and that they were going to see a movie. Sigh, so darn cute!

We brought some props, but only a few people used them. They all loved the colored pencils, though! Here are a few of my favorite pages. Click to enlarge and get the full effect.

My bridesmaids made this work of art for me. Don't ask about the political stuff, lets just say that it was a theme at both the ceremony and the reception!

The top set is of a few of my favorite relatives, including my Grampy. The bottom photo is kind of hilarious, with my cousin Mike and his new wife Jessica.

My cutie parents.

I give a thumbs up to the very popular wedding photobooth. The images will give us the giggles for years to come. Are you considering a photobooth guestbook?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sharing My Secrets: Our Wedding Gifts

A few months before Mr. Peacock and I were engaged, a friend from work got married. Her very sweet husband bought her a cocktail ring with an orange stone as a wedding gift. They met at the University of Illinois (whose colors are orange and blue) and were married in October with bright, fall wedding colors, so this was a perfect gift. I came home going on and on about that beautiful ring. Mr. Peacock must have been listening. He surprised me with a little something blue the day before our wedding.

My blue ring, my Grammy's wedding band, and my engagement ring.

Blue is my absolute favorite color. I chose not to use it in the wedding for a variety of reasons, but it was so nice to have a little something blue on my finger (and on my feet!)

He also bought me a very sweet and understated necklace with a quote from Goethe inscribed "Nothing is worth more than this day." Awwww... I felt so special wearing both the morning of the wedding.

The necklace had a small, red stone and a silver, inscribed oval hanging from the delicate chain.

Showing my rings to two of Mr. Peacock's sisters.

Mr. Peacock is a big fan of the French cuff shirt and he has started to acquire a nice collection of cuff links. It seemed fitting that I buy him a special pair for the wedding day. I found a pair of locket cufflinks on Red Envelope and snapped them up during a sale. I put photos of us, his parents on their wedding day, our puppy and our new home inside. Mr. Peacock had already decided to wear his father's wedding day cufflinks that morning, so, rather than chose between the two, he wore one of each.

I love this photo because Mr. Peacock looks so happy and excited for everything that is going on that day. I also love it because my brother-in-law is tying my brother's bow tie for him in the background. There is nothing sweeter than seeing our families together like that. I still can't get over how handsome Mr. Peacock looked that day. He should wear tuxedoes more often.

Are you planning to exchange wedding gifts? Will they be a surprise?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sharing My Secrets: The Cake

When it came to my cake, this is what I had in mind.

In order to achieve this look, I purchased a mold from Decorate the Cake and brought it to my baker. She seemed pretty confident that she could pull it off. She even tested a bit while I waited to see how it would turn out. She planned to use the mold to create the design on each layer by removing sections. Hopefully, this would create a new design on each layer. It didn't turn out exactly as I was hoping. The layers were quite thick, far from the delicate lace I was hoping for. I didn't actually realize how poorly this was executed until just this moment, comparing the photos.

My cake was absolutely saved by my cake topper.

How sweet are those little birds? My aunt made them from her handmade alpaca wool, using alpacas from another Aunt and Uncle's farm. She made the hat, just in case you were wondering. All the little pieces were borrowed from other super crafty projects that she had going on around the house. My uncle created the legs out of a strong metal wire, allowing them to nestle perfectly in the top of my cake. They were made with so much care and love, how could they not fix my sad and saggy cake?

Me and my crafty Aunt/Godmother Denise

I do want to mention that the cake was delicious, even if the design did not live up to Martha's standards. It was very soft and perfectly sweet.

Is there anything that are you worried might not go according to plan?

Sharing My Secrets: The Food and Drink

This post isn't destined to be the most thrilling- either in photography or content- but I know that we had such a hard time deciding on our menu. I thought this might be helpful to others in the same boat. All photos by Thorsen Photography.

Mr. Peacock and I wanted to make the food as easy as possible. Although we truly trusted Calihan Catering, we had been to too many events with seared tuna on a wasabi cracker. We wanted simple, comfort food and that was exactly what was delivered.

Pigs in blankets, with "fancy" mustard. Mr. Peacock makes these at home all the time, so it was a sweet, kind of silly homage to his cooking skills. The rosemary sprig really classes it up, no?

Mini cheeseburgers. These were (according to the red meat eating guests) totally delicious. There was a fresh slice of roma tomato on each burger. We also served pretzel bites with mustard (my favorite) and little slices of pizza.

Our signature cocktails were margaritas (my specialty) and Fat Tire Beer. This is where things got a little wonky, and it was one of the few places where one of my vendors messed up. I was told that they were ordering 2 cases of Fat Tire in 30 oz. bottles. Once poured into smaller glasses, that should have been more than enough for everyone to get a taste of our favorite beer and then some. Instead, 2 cases were ordered and the catering staff started handing out bottles. I thought that I had received a bottle because I was special. The Fat Tire ran out way too quickly and very few guests even realized that there was a specialty beer. Sad... but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

My mom was making fun of me for drinking beer out of a bottle in my wedding gown. "But Mom, look how pretty the bottle is!"

I also didn't realize that they were going to be using icky margarita mix with inexpensive tequila. They look pretty, I guess. My poor Grampy loves a good margarita and he wasn't able to finish his.

I don't have any photos of dinner, but it was yummy! For the salad, we served a small greens salad with a little mug full of yummy tomato basil soup and two wedges of grilled cheese. Aside from a few guests thinking that the soup was salad dressing, it went over really well! The head table could all join the clean plate club. We chose a stuffed chicken breast (they left part of the bone in, keeping it juicier) with sweet potato fries, asparagus and roasted cherry tomatoes.

The late night snacks were a hit in miniature form- little shamrock shakes and bite size reuben sandwiches. My dad and I anxiously await those green shakes every year, so it was fun to have them passed on trays during their off season. McDonald's should be on watch!

What inspired your menu decisions?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sharing My Secrets, Vol 2.2. The Paper

(Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Dean Thorsen)

Sharing My Secrets, Vol 2.1, The Paper

Lastly in paper, escort cards and table numbers.

Inspiration from Saipua.

Reality from my head.

This was the first place finisher in the "surprise curveball at the end" category of wedding craziness. The goal was to attach the placecards to the metal garden stakes in such a way that they could easily be removed by our guests. We didn't want any injuries if everyone was walking around with sharp metal object. Our plan was to use removable glue dots to stick the cards to the stakes. They kept falling off and the placecards would not lie flat. We tried more glue dots, magnets and string. We realized Elmer's Glue would do the trick, although we still weren't sure how to close the placecards. A hole punch and ribbon may have seemed like overkill several weeks prior, but they worked in a pinch.

Yes, we grew our own boxes of moss. We crazy! But, they are still blooming in my mom's backyard and they look lovely. My dad built the boxes and white washed them.

I wish I had the talent to have made these, but alas, I am no artist. I bought the cards from Paper Source and the easels from Hobby Lobby. My original plan was to frame old wedding photos of our parents and grandparents. I scratched this idea when I came up very short on photos from Mr. Peacock's side. Plan B were these sweet "counting cards," each with a different bird highlighted.

Our candy bar was not your typical candy bar. Candies were chosen not for their color, but for their ideal taste. Mr. Peacock and I chose our favorite candy and then invited our parents to chose theirs as well.

The bags said "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I've Got Love In My Tummy. Thanks for sharing our day with us! Love, Mr. & Mrs. Peacock." We bought the bags online and printed them on Paper Source 2" labels. Easy, peasey. As is usually the case, the candy bar was a smashing success.

I took Mrs. Lemon's lead and made cards directing our guests to our Picasa photo page. This, plus another email reminder, helped us create an awesome collection of photos. It was totally one of those last minute "do I really need to do this?!" things, but it worked like a charm.

The little chandelier was drawn by Margot of Atelier Isabey to match the two gorgeous chandeliers hanging from Cafe Brauer's celing. We used the image again and again on our menus, candy jars, napkins and more.

Whew! Believe it or not, there is even more that I could say about paper, but I am sure you have all had enough. Next up: food and drink!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sharing My Secrets, Vol. 2.1, The Paper

Two comments to preface this post. All photos by Dean Thorsen, all paper from the Paper Source. My two BFFs. This is a glimpse into all of our DIY goodies!

Say hello to the winner of the "this shouldn't take very long... and then it does" award. My menus.

I used to LOVE making fortune tellers when I was in grade school. We would write silly things like "You will marry Kermit the Frog" on the inside and giggle, while secretly wondering if it could be true. When I saw Darcy's suggestion for a fun cocktail party game, I knew I had to have it. Chicago knottie katvon was also inspired and kindly sent me her template. My dad helped me use Visio to make it my own as I couldn't find an appropriate program on my Mac. The design ended up being pretty straightforward.

Folding 200 of them... not so much. I never thought I would say this, but I heart my bone folder. I could not have made it through without her. In the end, the menus were fabulous and my guests loved them. They also looked pretty cute on their napkins.

Next up, my programs.

Here was my inspiration, from the Bride's Cafe.

And here are mine. Please pretend that there are pretty, swooshy last names instead of big white blocks.

This was truly a team effort. I wrote the program and laid out the format in PowerPoint. Mr. Peacock messed it up when he tried to re-do it in Word, and then he and my dad recreated it in PowerPoint, printed, cut and folded them (with the bone folder!). My mom sewed them closed. I lurved them so!

This post got a little too long, so look out for round two- escort cards, table numbers and a few other little goodies.