April 2007

Yesterday, D. and I popped into Cakes Plus in Laurel, MD to check out the bakery and their portfolio. The place was absolutely packed. Every Saturday, they hold a free tasting of their standard cake flavors: yellow, chocolate, marble, spice, and lemon cake. We really likes their yellow cake. It was moist and not too sweet. The chocolate cake was a close second. I’m thinking a Red Raspberry filling… maybe. We didn’t have an opportunity to taste the fillings though. As for the cake design, we’re only having 35 – 45 guests, so our cake canvas is small. Also, we both aren’t fans of rolled fondant. D. has been leaning toward a more traditional white cake design with white swirl and heart piping. I want something more unusual like a Battlestar Galactica themed space cake.
Our compromise: we’re toying with the idea of a two-tier light blue cake with clouds airbrushed on it and a cake topper of a couple waving (if we can find one). The cake would represent our song, “Such Great Heights.” (My only fear is that the blue will be too vibrant, too primary.)
D. said we could also have a single-tiered Battlestar Galactica “groom’s” cake with Apollo and Starbuck figurines on top. Yay!

Starbuck Apollo


In the May/June issue of Brides Magazine, there was a quiz to figure out what my wedding style is. I could be a Romantic, Modern, or Natural bride. The answers to the quiz questions were multiple choice. The problem was most of my answers to the questions were D) None of the above. And none of the above wasn’t a legitimate choice.

For example:
What was your dream job when you were six? A) veterinarian, B) artist, or C) princess.
Well, when I was six, I wanted to be an astronaut. At age eight, I wanted to be a lawyer. (I carried a briefcase instead of a backpack to school when I was 12.)

What is your go-to piece of jewelry? A) an onyx cocktail ring, B) gold hoops, C) a turquoise cuff.
Since I own none of the above, I would have to say my go-to accessory is my watch. I feel naked without it. It’s a beat-up leather cuff style Guess watch. This watch has been with me through thick and thin. When I went heels-over-head out of my kayak into the Potomac River, I was wearing this watch, and it still works. (Although, it did smell weird for several weeks after the dunk in the Potomac.)

You TIVO which medical TV show? A) Scrubs, B) Nip/Tuck, C) Grey’s Anatomy.
C’mon, the best medical TV show is House!

You see, not every bride fits squarely into a category, and unfortunately, the bridal industry loves categorization because it can churn out packages tailored to these pre-defined styles instead of the bride.

What kind of bride am I? I am a Lawful Neutral Human Paladin sentimental classic tomboy with quirky traditionalist leanings.

This Sunday, April 29th at 2 pm, the Offbeat Bride DC Wedding Co-op will be meeting at Cosi (1647 20th Street Dupont Circle North Exit i.e. Q Street). (Thanks to
cchan8 for organizing this month’s meetup.)

At our last meetup, we had a lot of food and fun, and even Ariel Meadow Stallings, the author of Offbeat Bride, attended.

The Offbeat Bride DC Wedding Co-op is a community / sewing circle / support group / wedding co-op for brides to be and recently wedded brides in the Northern Virginia / Maryland / Washington D.C metro area.

We hope to provide advice on vendors, locations, and assistance for non-traditional brides (and grooms) trying to plan and pull off their ideal wedding without losing their minds. It’s a group where you can vent, share experiences and resources, and be yourself without judgement.

D. and I did a bunch of wedding related stuff this past weekend in Leesburg, VA, and I promise I’ll write about it and post pictures, but right now, I’m losing my poop.

I am sitting here at work, doing regular work things, and I got blindslided by stupid wedding worries. It’s really lame. There are many reasons why I’ve dubbed myself ManicBride, and this is a prime example. I’m worrying about things that are over a year away!! Stupid things like breach of contract and rain plans.

We really should elope. I know it. We will save money and my mind. But, we both want a wedding. Not a big, crazy, princess wedding. Just a fun, casual summer wedding with a picnic/BBQ reception. I don’t want to be restricted by stupid wedding rules. It’s just 40 people, by god. I don’t want to worry. I don’t even need this to be perfect. I just need it to reflect our personalities and our sentimentality.

I’m all spooked from my conversation this past weekend with Carol, from the Norris House Inn. I’m afraid that everything is going to go awry at the last minute, with limitations and additional fees and random crap falling through.

Last Saturday, D. and I went to Paper Source in Georgetown. I’ve never been in a Paper Source store, but I heard amazing things about it. I love assemblage and decoupage. (I still kick myself for not studying more about assemblage in college.) I’ve always been fascinated with papers and boxes with compartments. I don’t know why. It’s probably the same reason why I like typeset sorts and trays. (Side Tangent: D. and I saw the Joseph Cornell exhibit while it was in town at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.)

Anyway, I walked into Paper Source and was overwhelmed. I wanted to feel all the papers. I wanted to buy invitation kits, paper flower kits, journals, ink, glue, etc… I dragged D. through the whole store, upstairs and downstairs. There were so many different things we could do with our invitations, decorations, and favors for our wedding that I could not figure out where to start. I picked up some information about their upcoming workshops. Hopefully, I can take advantage of the hands on aspects of the workshops to rule out projects that are just too expensive and labor intensive.
With our wedding being so small, I’d really like to create some uniquely personal invitations. Since our guest list is limited to our close friends and family, I don’t think we need save the date cards. Part of me wants to sit down and brainstorm with someone who already has all the supplies and experience crafting invitations, but another part of me says I won’t save any money by doing that, plus I want to play with the fancy paper and gadgets! Why should Sarah at Haute Papier and Mary Alice at Oh My My Design have all the fun?
Let’s be honest here; I’ll probably end up calling them anyways to at least get price quotes and review their portfolios. If one of above designers can envision and produce our invitations for around the cost of me designing and producing them myself, I’ll go with that designer.
Hmm, I wonder if I could arrange an “Invitation Design-Off”… The ManicBride Wedding Invitation Invitational. I could post the initial interviews, the works in progress, and then the final results. Of course, I’d let you all weigh in on the results. However, I would be the one making the final decision, obviously. Are there any other local (Northern Virginia/Baltimore, MD/DC) invitation designers that I should look into as well?

Last night, I had a dream that D. and I asked Jerry Seinfeld to be our officiant. We had a serious conversation while sitting at cafeteria table. I explained that one of the reasons why we really wanted him to officiate was because he has a Jewish background, and it was important for me to have a male Jewish officiant who was funny.
It’s true; I would prefer a male Jewish officiant who was funny, but I’m not going to hit up comedy clubs for officiants. I would like a Rabbi to officiate because I would like to incorporate certain aspects of a Jewish ceremony.
This dream was so bizarre because I don’t find Seinfeld to be that funny. If I could choose any professional comic to officiate, he would not be one of my top picks. D. and I had considered having Hack and Slash officiate, but their going rate is about $2500.

Back in January, I saw the “Trellis” place cards from Sharyn Sowell featured in some bridal magazine. I really loved the romantic look of the silhouette. I contacted Sharyn and found out that it takes several weeks to produce the order because the cards are handmade. I was fine with that; my wedding isn’t until 2008. There was a minimum order of 50 cards, and they were $100 per set of 50. I thought, it’s a bit pricey, but they look romantic and classy, and not too formal, so I placed an order.
Last week, I realized that I had not been charged for the cards, nor have I received them. I contacted her via email, and she was ecstatic to hear from me. Apparently, her computer had crashed, and she lost a bunch of order information. My cards were completed, but she didn’t have a way to get in touch with me. Because of the inconvenience, she offered to supply me with 25 extra place cards. I told her I didn’t need additional place cards; I had already ordered more than I needed. She said that she would enclose some of her letterpress cards instead. I thought that was very nice, and I anxiously awaited the package.
Yesterday, the cards arrived. And honestly, I’m disappointed. The “Trellis” design itself is very cute. I love it. However, the construction of the place card overall is fair at best. There are four paper components to the card. A scalloped-edged white under card, a black and white striped scalloped-edged over card, a piece of vellum, and then the scalloped-edged card with the “Trellis” design. The card components appear and feel like standard cardstock; the “Trellis” design was not printed using letterpress or thermography. I am aware that there are variations in handmade cards. However, I don’t think visibly crooked placement of the components or including some card components without scalloped edges as an acceptable variations.

This is one of the better constructed cards.
Trellis place card

It looks like I can take apart the cards without destroying them. I’ll straighten out the cards, re-scallop the edges, and glue them back together. I just wish I didn’t have deconstruct/reconstruct these cards.

*EDIT: When asked by her for feedback, I honestly described the concerns I had with the cards, and she kindly offered me a partial refund. I declined the refund telling her that I appreciate the work that went into the cards, and I guess my batch of cards were a fluke.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of the cards, and with a little more work, they will be perfectly fine.

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