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This past December, my boyfriend proposed to me. He popped the question after we saw a show at the Guthrie, which is actually where we had our first date five years earlier. We were able to celebrate our engagement with friends and family and it was so much fun! Being engaged has definitely been every bit as wonderful as I imagined it would be.
Since then, I’ve actually gotten quite a bit of planning done for our spring 2014 wedding. The very first thing we did, before looking into any venues or locations for the wedding, was make a guest list. This turned out to be a smart idea because most venues have a maximum capacity; if a place won’t hold all of your guests, you can check it off the list (and you don’t end up wasting the time researching and visiting).
For our wedding, we knew we wanted our ceremony and reception to take place at the same venue and we also knew we wanted the location to be in the heart of the Twin Cities. I used the website Minnesota Bride to research different venues in the twin cities and I found it extremely helpful. Not only do they have a full directory of ceremony and reception sites in Minnesota, but they also have pictures from real weddings at each of these sites. Almost all the venues have really helpful websites that list maximum capacity and other features. Some of them will put prices on their website, but most require you to call for pricing information.
To stay organized, we made a spreadsheet of our favorite venues that included pricing information, unique features, catering options, and dates available. Also, we did set a budget prior to making decisions about which venues to visit. Our budge was very detailed and included how much we were willing to spend on a venue, photographer, DJ, wedding gown, tuxedo rental, decorations, food, rings, groom’s dinner, and miscellaneous. After some deliberation, we chose 4-5 sites to visit. At each site, we made sure to bring a notebook to write down information and we made a list of questions to ask at each site. Our final decision was made based on the price and availability of the date we wanted.
Wedding planning (so far) has been a lot less stressful than I thought it would be. I believe it is because my significant other and I have communicated well with each other, stayed organized, and have realistic expectations about our wedding. To us, having delicious food, a great location, and a high quality photographer are our top priorities.
For the next several months, I am going to make decisions about the wedding details (decorations, his and her apparel, food, dessert, etc). Below are some pictures that are inspiring me; you can check our our Pinterest Page to see my full wedding inspiration board.
I am totally into dresses inspired by the 1920’s which is probably due to the upcoming Great Gatsby flick. The dress pictured above is so glamorous and detailed, I would love to wear something like that. I also love a classic navy suit for the groom, it looks so sharp and sophisticated.
For decor, I am definitely wanting a simple and clean feel. I love this table setting with lush greens, white flours, fancy china, and a rustic table.
One item I know I will struggle with making a decision is the bouquet. There are so many directions you could potentially go with a it. I am completely obsessed with the idea of a brooch bouquet, totally unique and gorgeous. I also love a classic white bouquet with just a hint of color with pastel pinks and yellows.
For the bridesmaids I would really like mis-matched dresses. I am strongly considering a pastel palate of colors including blush, mint, and lilac.
I definitely want the overall theme of my wedding to be rustic glamour: natural elements mixed with shiny and sparkly elements. These mercury glass vases pair well with a baby’s breath arrangement as does the twinkly lights and branches.
As a bride, I want to have some special detail in my overall look. I am very inspired by this draping pearl back as well as the floral headpiece.
I think it would be fun to have a signature cocktail served at our wedding, perhaps a margarita? I am also on the prowl for a vintage silver cake stand like the one shown above. I think it looks just lovely with a white cake and some greenery.
I’ll definitely be posting more about our wedding plans as the date gets closer and more details are worked out. I hope this post has inspired some of you!
Everything is in full bloom in Memphis including our gorgeous rose bush. Isn’t that coral color amazing? I’m now on the hunt for clothing in this pretty hue. I also bought a bright floral dress from Gap which will be perfect to wear to weddings this summer.
I’m such a sucker for jewelry, especially statement necklaces. Here are some gems I’ve recently purchased including this one from J. Crew and a large tribal necklace that I plan to wear with plain tanks to add some interest to the outfit.
A change in the season also means a surplus of new foods at the farmer’s market and grocery stores. The other day I picked up a large bag of fresh rhubarb and made a delicious strawberry rhubarb crisp. I’ve also been taking advantage of the low price of basil which I used in this pasta dish with ricotta cheese, parmesan, lemon, and peas.
Since we’ve been having such gorgeous weather in Memphis the last few weeks, I’ve been spending lots of time outside. We cleaned up the yard and planted flowers and tomatoes in the garden. We also went and explored a state park outside of Memphis and ended up hiking for 4 hours around the lake.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Whenever I’m having a moment where I really miss living in Minnesota, I make this dish. It brings back so many wonderful memories of my home state. I remember when my mother would take me to Byerly’s, a Minnesota grocery store, and I would always anticipate a trip to the deli while we were shopping. While I did try a lot of their deli selections over the years, one dish I always craved was a bowl of their famous chicken and wild rice soup. It is creamy, hearty, and flavorful, the perfect harmony in any comfort dish. Thankfully, Byerly’s is not against sharing their delightful recipes, including this soup. The recipe below is the doubled version of the original because when I make anything from my childhood, I want a lot of leftovers!
6 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow or white onion, minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup flour
7 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked wild rice
4 cups cooked chicken, cut into one inch chunks
1 cup finely grated carrots (2-3 medium carrots)
1/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Prepare the wild rice: put 5 cups of cold water, 1 and 1/2 cups of wild rice, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the rice sit in the water for an additional 30 minutes. Drain excess water, set aside.
In large soup pot, melt butter and add olive oil. Add onion and celery, with a pinch of salt, saute until tender (about 5 minutes). Add flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Gradually add broth using a whisk to prevent lumps from forming. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes.
Add rice, carrots, almonds, chicken, and a good seasoning of salt and pepper; simmer about 5 minutes.
Blend in heavy cream and sherry, heat to serving temperature. Add the parsley just before serving.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste.