Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Count your Blessings, 1.2.3...

One of my favorite parts about getting married (besides marrying the most wonderful man in the world!) was realizing how blessed we are. I've listed a few things below that were amazing blessings on our big day but the list goes on, and on, and on...

1. Family

When it comes to planning a wedding, family is everything! Chase and I were fortunate enough to have two ridiculously supportive and helpful families to help us get ready for this {once-in-a-lifetime} event. My parents were gracious enough to spend about a year manicuring their home and yard to get ready for the reception. And, I may be one of the few and far between, but I am a bride with really awesome in-laws! We both having loving siblings who have adopted each of us into their families and we were so blessed to have them be such a special part of our wedding.
Each picture below tells a meaningful story of the love in our lives.
*These photos of my family make my heart feel so full*
Top Left: A photo of mine and Chase’s immediate family (a good lookin’ crowd!)
Top Right: My Grandma Walker giving my dad a kiss. So precious. She was the first to support mine and Chase’s relationship… she was ready to let me wear her wedding dress the first time she met him. It must be said though that my grandma is very old fashion about love. Her and my grandfather married after 2 weeks of dating and they were married for over 50 years! I am forever grateful to both of my grandmas for the examples they have been to me --- strong women and very committed wives.
Bottom Left: My new dad(in-law) with our nephew, Andrew (Jenn and Mark’s baby #4). Andrew is a beautiful little boy and it is so sweet to see Dan holding him in the midst of all the wedding chaos.
Middle: The newlyweds with their flower girls and ring bearers… starting from left is Dane (Jenn & Mark’s baby #3), Evelyn (my devilish little niece), Caden (Colt and Lydia’s handsome son), and last but definitely not least is Emily (Jenn and Mark’s baby #2… geez, they have a lot of kids!).
Bottom right: My mom helping me put my dress on. Such an epic moment in my life. My mom has always been around to help me through good and bad times and I feel blessed a million times over to have her as my mom.  ~ love you Mom! ~

         Chase_Bernie210  Chase_Bernie666
We did miss a few very important people that day but we know that they were there with us, watching us from their special places. They were definitely a part of the details. I rode in Grandpa Mac’s restored Chevy station wagon which my uncle drove for me. And Chase’s Grandma was truly in everything… her favorite color was purple and she’s the only person I know (beside myself) whose would dress from head to toe in purple. I’m guessing she appreciated our choice of wedding colors.
To recognize our grandparents’ presence at the ceremony, we wrote notes to each of them which we put on open chairs in the front row of the ceremony. We later gave the notes to my Grandmas and Chase’s parents. One of the hardest parts of the day was reading those notes… it’s amazing how time doesn’t fill the gap of them not being there.
They will always be a blessing in our lives.
2. Friends
3. Amazing Photographer
4. Time
...to be continued

Cake, Cupcakes & Cookies...
{some of the *sweet* stuff we served for dessert at our wedding}

I must admit that the cake was not on the top of my priority list but it was something I wanted to be crafty and unique. I’m not a huge fan of traditional wedding cakes and displays but I had NO IDEA of what I wanted… until I consulted my super duper dessert expert friend, Lydia from Elle Cee’s Cake Boutique (she’s amazing!). Lydia opened up a whole new ‘dessert table’ perspective for me and she helped me realize that the dessert can be as personal as any other part of the wedding. So, after doing a little online searching (the magazines are all so repetitive…) I really liked Amy Atlas’ ideas and the idea that half the success of a good cake/dessert table is finding the right way to display the yummy sweets.

This leads us to my next point. Once I realized all this about the dessert table, I somehow came up with the idea to use my parent’s old kitchen hutch. It had been in the house I grew up in and seemed like such a great personal touch. My dad thought I had crossed over into crazy bride land but he later realized what a great idea it was! We dug the hutch out of storage and it was a perfect fit for our little hometown, rustic celebration.

Wow, I didn’t realize how much I had to say about wedding desserts… but I will keep typing b/c it’s so fun to reminisce. Since I am a HUGE advocate for eating candy and sweets, I liked the idea of offering a variety of goodies, especially since I only wanted a very small, simple cake. We had our family friend, Kelly Hansen, make the desserts and she was so great to work with. I think I finally decided on the cake design about a week before the wedding, eek, but she was very patient with me. As you can see in the pics above, the cake is super simple but it totally fit my vision (and I would include Chase’s ‘vision’ in this but he’ll even admit that he didn’t care about the cake). Instead of a cake topper we had Kelly make a heart out of fondant with our initials which matched some of the homemade wood signs we used to decorate the road. The cake filling and cupcakes were stuffed with berries which was from a cake recipe that Chase’s mom gave me (omg, yum!). Of course we had to have chocolate covered strawberries since Driscolls is one of the only (and best!) companies that has special, extra grande berries for dipping.

I think cutting the cake was a turning point for me in the night. I had been a little overwhelmed by sticking to the timeline and all the attention so when we finally got up from the head table to walk over to the cake hutch I realized that it was time to start having fun! We had a sweet cake cutting… I seriously threatened Chase before the wedding to absolutely NOT shove cake in my face and he listened (another reason why I love him so much!). The cutest part though was at the very end when Chase licked the cake cutting knife! I made sure no one used it to cut the cake after that… oh well, it was our wedding, he should be able to lick the knife if he wants. I wouldn’t change a thing about our dessert table or the way we cut the cake… but I would do it again if I could!

A little bridely advice about the stuff that goes with the sweets ---Cake toppers don’t have to be limited to two little people but can be something super personal. Check out Etsy for some neat ideas. And don’t forget to find a cake serving set… it’s traditional to have your names and wedding date engraved on the serving utensil but again, you can do whatever seems best for you and your new spouse to be. That’s all the *sweet* talk I got for you tonight.