wedding invitations

Wedding Invites!

I’d be lying if I said the wedding invitations were fun or easy to do. Back in April my mom came down for a visit to help with some wedding stuff. The big thing was getting the invitations made. My friend Star got a discount at FedEx/Kinko’s so we took in the digital file to get the invites made.

I’ll be honest, I seriously thought it would just be handing them the flashdrive, telling them the color paper we wanted and then picking them up. It was so much more involved than that and not very fun. Also, they didn’t really follow my instructions when I dropped it off so I went back several times to look at new proofs before we FINALLY got the invitations the way we wanted them. The story isn’t very interesting, it was mostly frustrating, then I discovered that it’s apparently impossible to find envelopes as well. This was not my favorite part of wedding planning.

But, the invitations turned out great! I loved the final product. It was printed on a creamy champagne paper and the actual invitation file is just a little bit darker in color so there’s a really nice border around it. Here is a sneak peak of the invitations:

invite
We are going with a fall theme, obviously. 😉 The wedding colors are burnt orange, dark red, dark purple. The bridesmaid dresses (which I got back in September last year) are a dark plum. My dress is champagne colored.

I invited the bridesmaids over to help address, stamp, stuff and label the invitations. I decided we should do a brunch/lunch event at my place instead of dinner. It seemed to work better for everyone’s schedule and I got to plan a fun lunch menu! I wanted to do a canape/finger food menu with lots of fresh fruit and refreshing beverages.

This first recipe was my favorite! The herb cream cheese spread was so flavorful. I loved the garlic, green onion and dill together. I don’t think that it necessarily needed the avocado. I don’t know that the avocado added anything special to what was already really good. This is sometthing I’d make again for parties. Here is the recipe: Canapes with Garlic Herb Cream Cheese and Avocado.

IMG_0290

The next one was the Feta & Cucumber Bites. I liked using the cucumber slices instead of crackers or a baguette. It was refreshing and delicious. I forgot to buy sun-dried tomatoes so I improvised with some marinated artichoke hearts. I thought it was pretty good but I’d probably try it with the sun-dried tomatoes next time. It needed a little “salty” something.

IMG_0295

The Tortellini Broccoli Salad was the “main dish.” I loved the combination of the tortellini and the broccoli. I’ve made a similar broccoli salad in the past and I think I like this version the best.

IMG_0299

I also did a small plate of Caprese bites–basically it’s cherry or grape tomatoes with fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and drizzle and little balsamic and olive oil on it and you’re good to go. It’s a good summer time snack.

IMG_0301

Lastly, I put together a mini muffin and fruit plate as kind of the dessert.

IMG_0285

 

We had raspberry lemonade (some had theirs spiked :D) and then Anna and I both had a Bloody Mary. Yum! We sat outside on the deck and ate lunch and chatted for awhile, catching up and just enjoying the sunshine. Then we cleaned everything up and got started on the invitations. Bella ran around outside in the yard while we worked.

photo

 

With 6 of us working on them it only took about an hour and a half. I so appreciated the help! If I had to do them all myself it would take forever! Three of us worked on addressing the envelopes, two of the bridesmaids worked on labeling and stamping the RSVP envelopes and one worked on stamping the envelopes. We got a pretty good system down and it wasn’t too bad. It was a big relief to have one more thing to cross off the to-do list, and it was a big thing!

bridal_veil_post_office_2005

 

There’s a post office in the Gorge in a small town called Bridal Veil that a lot of brides mail their invitations from just to get the postmark that says “Bridal Veil.” I kind of dismissed the idea but then when we were doing the invitations I thought it might be cute for the postmark to say Bridal Veil…I went online to see what their hours were and apparently it was a super complicated process and you weren’t allowed to bring pre-stamped envelopes to mail there, you are supposed to buy the stamps from their post office (and pre-ordered with a check, mind you). So that was a super bummer. I guess our invitations will just have to say “PORTLAND”! Since I won’t be making the drive out there to mail the invitations I guess they are going out a little sooner!

Crafty

What a weekend! Busy busy busy.

It feels like I haven’t seen Michael in two weeks! We had a house guest for 5 days recently so I didn’t see much of him and then this past weekend he went up to Seattle to hang out with a friend and see a concert. My mom came down from Seattle (I wonder if her and Michael waved when they drove past each other I-5?) to help with some wedding stuff.

The biggest project was getting the invitations made. My friend Star, who is also officiating the ceremony, gets a discount at Kinko’s so we were going to take advantage of that to save some money. About a month ago Michael and I picked out our invitations, ordered the digital file, and I’ve been waiting (impatiently) to take it in and get them printed!

First things first, I got up a little earlier than usually to get my workout out of the way.  I lifted weights, worked with some kettlebells and then ran on the treadmill. After stretching a bit (my hips feel tight lately) I hurried home to get cleaned up.

photo

Then, my mom and I met Star at Papa Haydn’s for brunch. Turned out that brunch was only on Sundays, so what was brunch turned into lunch. But that was okay because the food there is great. My aunt also joined us, so it was just four ladies doing lunch! I got their seasonal salad which had goat cheese, granny smith apples and hazelnuts on it. I love this salad!

photo 1

Then I got their French Onion soup. Theirs is really good but not as good as Petite Provence, I think. My mom and Star both got the French Onion soup, too, and my aunt got the pasta and clams.

photo 2

I love French Onion soup! It was rich and hearty and very filling. I had an iced tea with my lunch and had planned on also getting coffee but I FORGOT. How did I forget to get coffee?!?! I sure felt it later in the afternoon when I couldn’t stop yawning. We did splurge and get dessert. Kinda have to at Papa Haydn’s!

photo 4

Star got a small bowl of pistachio ice cream and my mom and both got a macaron. I got the salted caramel one–wowza! It was so great! I’ve only had macarons a few times before. I loved the salty creamy sweetness of it.

After brunch we went to get the invitations made. Star’s discount saved us a ton of money but we had to wait to get the invitation. For some reason I thought they’d just print them up while we wait but it takes longer than that. They can fit 2 invitations to one sheet and 4 RSVP cards to one sheet, so they were printing them up and then cutting them for us. They should be ready in a few days!

After dropping the flashdrive off, my mom and I drove all over town for like five hours trying to find envelopes that will go with the invitations. We found the perfect ones for the RSVP cards but not the actually invitations. Either they were the wrong color, the wrong size or too flimsy. Who know it would be SO HARD to find envelopes. We went to like 5 stores and it was VERY frustrating and exhausting and not very fun. I was pretty much over it by the end of the day. In the end I found some on amazon (good grief) and ordered them. Will see if they work!

While we were out all day, dinner was cooking in the crockpot. I knew I wouldn’t be interested in cooking something after spending all day running around. I knew the easiest thing to just throw into a crockpot would be a black bean soup. I found a recipe on another blog for Black Bean and Rice soup and threw that together.

Slow Cooker Black Bean and Rice Soup with Lime and Cilantro

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Calories per serving: 194 calories for 6 servings, 145 for 8 servings

From: http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2006/12/black-bean-and-rice-soup-with-lime-and.html?m=1

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15. oz. each) black beans with liquid
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth (or use vegetable stock for strictly vegetarian or vegan version)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic (or more)
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1 tsp. ground Ancho chile powder (I used Penzeys)
  • (could substitite regular chile powder)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground Chipotle chile powder (I used Penzeys)
  • (could substitute finely chopped Chipotle chile in adobo from a can)
  • 1/4 cup white long-grain rice (not more!)
  • (I use Uncle Ben's Converted Rice for South Beach)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2 limes)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or more)

Instructions

  1. In small Crockpot, combine beans, tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, Ancho chile powder and Chipotle chile powder.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or 3-4 hours on high), until tomatoes are disintegrating and beans are starting to fall apart.
  3. When soup has reached the consistency you want, turn Crockpot to high if you were cooking on low. Add 1/4 cup rice and cook until rice is done, about 30 minutes.
  4. Add fresh lime juice and cilantro and cook 5 minutes more.
  5. Serve hot, with additional fresh lime pieces for each person to squeeze into soup and more cilantro if desired.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=42455

I added some leftover chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that I’d frozen from a chicken tortilla soup I made a few months ago. I’m glad I froze the leftovers because the chiptole peppers and sauce added a really nice smoky flavor to the soup. I also added a handful of diced carrot to the crockpot. When I make this recipe again I’ll probably add more vegetables–maybe some celery and more onion. I goofed and added the rice at the beginning instead of at the end, so next time I will pay attention to that!

IMG_0102

Loved the soup! It was a little spicy, really flavorful and just delicious. I put a spoonful of sour cream on top, drizzled some lime juice over it, added green onion and dinner was served. I had some crescent roll dough so I baked those up and we had some tortilla chips with the soup. The soup was really low in calories.

After dinner we worked on some crafty things for the wedding. I’m using old corks as place card holders. So my mom and worked on cutting those and making them ready for the place cards. It was hard work! It took a few hours but we got them all done. I’m really grateful to all the friends (and even a blog reader!) who mailed me bags and boxes of corks they had saved!

photo 2-1
photo 1-1
My mom also brought down a bunch of old photos for me to sort through to find some for the wedding/rehearsal dinner slideshow. She brought some very embarrassing and horrible photos, but there were a few gems in there, too. 🙂 I think this one was when I was three months old:

photo 3

Aww the 80’s….This is one of me and my brother:

andyandme

We got a ton of stuff done but not everything we had hoped to accomplish. Next trip. 🙂