Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bridal Guilt

So, we are t-minus 12-ish weeks until the wedding and quickly approaching bridal shower and bachelorette party time. My wonderfully wacky sister Kristina and bridesmaid Katie are planning the shindig to be hosted at Katie's house. I have been mostly out of the loop on the plans for the parties, which is a-ok with me. (I have heard whispers about a possible mini-cake decorating contest, cheese, and certainly some line dancing!)

What is driving me nuts is not that I don't have any say in what is going to happen, but that I can't help. I feel quite guilty that all this time and expense is going into a party for me. My sister and two bridesmaids will be flying in for the weekend on top of whatever expenses come from the festivities. When in reality cheese and line dancing with a couple friends would be more than enough.

I get the same feeling when someone offers to help make favors or address envelopes or whatever. Can they really want to help or is this a pain in the bum for them and they are just being nice?

How do you get a grip on bridal guilt?

Cake CAke CAKe CAKE! mmmmm

Last night Mr. Pineapple and I traveled to Plum, PA to meet our baker at Jennuine Cakes and Cafe. We did not know quite what to expect because the cake was included in our venue/catering package. We were pleasantly surprised, the cafe was adorable and the cake was delicious!
No wimpy tasting portions for us! Sweet. The chocolate one is well... chocolate with chocolate ganache and chocolate butter cream. The white is vanilla with strawberry filling and butter cream.
When we got there I told Mr. Pineapple "I'm going to let you decide if that's okay with you." It was, so vanilla with strawberry it is! That was easy.

As far as what the cake will look like it will be something like this (click to enlarge):
{cake images via the knot}

The butter cream will be a champagne color similar to the cake on the left. I will be decorated in white swiss dots like the cake in the center. Finally it will be topped with a big white clay peony made by DK Designs Hawaii. I wasn't particularly excited about the cake until meeting with the baker. Now though I cannot wait to see the final product. I think it will be perfect for our wedding - sort of traditional, sort of modern and of course the clay flower.

What will your cake look like?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Non-Floral Bouquets

You all gave some great suggestions for non-floral centerpieces, you're creativity never ceases to amaze. When I read Hana Schank's "A More Perfect Union" she said that in her research that she could not find the origin of the floral bridal bouquet. In my own search to figure out why we carry clusters of flowers (aka Googling up a storm) I found a few possible explanations. The one that makes the most sense to me is that brides carried flowers to cover up any unpleasant odors that came from not showering regularly. Since most modern brides will indeed shower on their wedding day, I think alternative bouquets are a wonderful way to show some personality.

Here are some my favorites:

This is my favorite fresh flower alternative. (Which pretty much goes without saying since this is a photo of my mock-up bouquet.) I love the idea of carrying this work of art down the aisle knowing that someone crafted each flower with love. Diane of DK Designs Hawaii is a wonderful clay flower artist and I cannot rave more about her work.

{by Etsy seller Bead Flora Jewels}

Custom beaded bouquets may not save you any money, but they are wonderfully personal and of course will last a lifetime.

Button and Felt:

These hand-crafted button and felt bouquets would be wonderful for a casual, crafty bride. They are so cute. (Cute as a button in fact! Yeah, I went there)

Peacock feathers have become more and more popular for wedding centerpieces, but also look wonderful as the main player in a bouquet. This bouquet is definitely a great alternative for the budget bride.

A fur or faux fur muff would be lovely for a winter wedding. I love this look vintage, chic and oh so cozy.

{by Etsy seller Lala Laurie}
This paper and feather bouquet is so soft and so romantic. I love when paper flowers are used in a way that makes them look like paper instead of making them look "real."

Parasols or umbrellas are a great way to give you and your bridesmaids something lovely to hold, especially for an outdoor spring or summer wedding. (They are practical too!)

Herb bouquets make a wonderful alternative for brides who want a fresh rustic bouquet without the expense.

Ornaments (and paper):
How fun are these bouquets?! The bride made her bouquet out of Christmas ornaments and her bridesmaids bouquets were made out of paper. (Also, don't her bridesmaids look great - and coordinated - in their different dresses?)

Will you be carrying a non-floral bouquet?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Non-Floral Centerpieces

Using flowers as centerpieces is something that many (most?) brides assume is a given. It doesn't have to be. We all know how expensive flowers can be and of course they only live for a short time. Nothing can replace the look and ambiance of fresh flowers, but there are some alternatives that will make your tables just as spectacular. Here are some ideas I was considering when I realized that fresh flowers were not going to be able to fit into our budget:

This is probably the most common flower alternative. I love the soft light given off by candles and they are simply romantic. The problem I encountered was cost. I had a hard time finding the quality and quantity (plus holders of some sort) I would need to make an impact, without spending more than flowers may have cost. Eventually, I found a great deal on pillar candles at Ikea.



Often fresh fruits are paired with flowers in centerpieces, but they hold up pretty well on their own too. These would be especially fun for a summer or outdoor wedding.



Plants/Rocks/Mother Nature:
If you still want the look of life and nature in your centerpieces there are many options that wont break the bank.




Wedding Favors:
If you are going to have them on the table anyway, why not make wedding favors work double duty?

{from etsy seller: daisys and dots}

Here is another chance to do something with those engagement photos taking up space on your hard drive. Or maybe better yet, photos of family weddings, childhood snap shots or show case your furry friends.

Are you using non-floral centerpieces? What are some of your favorite ideas?

Rehearsal Dinner

When Mr. Pineapple and I started dating, we both lived in Pittsburgh's Southside neighborhood. The southside is an extremely quirky place, popular among hipsters and bar flies. The southside was first developed in the 1760s when it was known as Birmingham. Most of the buildings on the main drag, E. Carson Street, have their original facades thanks to local historical groups.
The very first place Mr. P and I went together, other than work, was Smokin' Joe's Saloon on the southside. We met there for happy hour on a Thursday and then pretty much every day after that. (I'm not kidding, Smokin' Joes got at least 6 months worth of our paychecks.) Yep, our relationship blossomed surrounded by IPA and chicken fingers. We were both sad to leave the neighborhood several months later, but at the time, it was for the best.

There was no doubt then where our rehearsal dinner should be held. We are familiar faces at Joes and they offered to let us take over the second floor for the dinner. They certainly have nothing fancy at Joes, just bar food and over 60 beers on tap. Most of my family are not drinkers, I am not sure when the last time my folks stepped foot in a bar would have been - if that have ever stepped foot in a bar. However, their "sweet and smokey" dipping and wing sauce is to die for and that is really what keeps bringing me back.

Since the dinner is upstairs I think it will be a great combination of laid-backness (*new word) and seclusion from the "bar scene" below. After food and toasts people can either head home/to their hotels or hang out until closing time.

Is anyone else dragging their fancy bridal party to a dive for the rehearsal dinner?

*funny side note: I googled "smokin joes pittsburgh" and a good chunck the images were of Mr. Pineapple, myself and best man Erik

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Color My Crinoline!

Ok, I need your opinion.

I have been trying to decide what color to dye my crinoline. At first, I was leaning toward a color that matched our wedding palette. Then I wanted something really vibrant and unexpected. If I had a favorite color it might be orange, but that changes so often I can't really go that route either.

Here are the dye options:
So, I am leaving it in your hands. What color should I dye my crinoline? (here is a reminder of what my gown looks like)

• Dark Green
• Kelly Green
• Teal
• Evening Blue
• Royal Blue
• Denim
• Navy
• Pearl Grey
• Black
• Aubergine
• Mauve
• Rose Pink
• Fuchsia
• Scarlet
• Wine
• Yellow
• Golden Yellow
• Ecru
• Taupe
• Tan
• Light Brown
• Dark Brown
• Tangerine
• Orange
• Aqua

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Groomsmen 'R' Us by Mr. Pineapple

The ladies have already been properly introduced, so it's time to give a little of the spotlight (I promise, you can have it back in no time, flat) to the guys that will be joining us and serving as the lead for the bridesmaid eye-candy. That statement's not nearly macho enough. Hm

Um... beer... poker... football... Scotch! There, that should do it. Here's to the guys whom I know will be more than happy to keep my glass full while the game's on and we're playing some cards. One slight modification will be made for the whole chronological intro vibe. Also, I'm using nicknames only... not only is anonymity super, these are also more fun than their real monikers.

{DS doing something scary to our cat Harrison top left, all other photos DS being weird/himself :) }
Demonspawn (aka, my best man):
When I proposed to Miss P, I wondered if the Commonwealth would put out a warrant for me because, well, it frowns on bigamy (I'm not for it, either). And, by all records, our dear friend DS fulfilled everything a Common Law Husband could be - we had lived together for the better part of eight years, all starting in our residence hall days. We've long-since learned to go beyond completing each other's sentences - we just make the most random associations and speak on them before asking if it makes sense. It always turns out to make sense (though generally just for the two of us). We've known each other since high school (where he laughed while watching some woman punch me in the head) and have shared more over the years than either one of us could've predicted since the day we simultaneously pushed our worrying mothers out of the room on freshman move-in day. When a guy's okay with getting kicked in the head after drunkenly playing frisbee at 3am, you know he's good people. So good, in fact, that Miss P and I kinda sorta adopted him for six months when all three of us shared a happy home (with too. many. cats.).

{photos 1 & 2 source: Weddings to go Key West, photo 3 AC and P-funk in college}
P-funk (aka, that guy Emily hears me talk about):
This guy and I were so close in high school and college that my parents basically adopted him - to this day, he refers to my mom as "Mama". We have weathered many a storm over the years, including a night Phil and I had too many drinks in too short a time and launched those miniature-fall-deco-pumpkins at the mysterious frat guys across the street. We haven't been able to connect for some of the times he returns to PA, so it'll be only a month before the wedding when Miss P discovers that the man she describes as "the guy from North Carolina who has a wife who sounds really fun" truly exists.

AC (aka, the man we support with our hard-earned tax dollars):
The legend of the AC is epic. This Brazilian transplant took our college community by storm, leaving countless barrels of Yuengling (his beverage of choice), scraps from Primanti's sandwiches, and worn-out copies of The Big Lebowski in his wake. A kind and honest friend, he is the smartest economist I know (not counting his adoptive parents and our good friends, the J's - both P.h. D faculty from our undergrad days). He is also the most blunt indicator of those people spewing irrational BS... a very nice resource to have around.

When Miss P passed the AC test on a random New Years Eve holiday weekend, I knew our relationship had potential. It was clear that she wasn't (too far) out of her element when she could tolerate me, DS, and the AC for four straight days of tangential movie references, greasy food and, well, the sometimes unpleasant consequences of three guys with greasy food at their disposal.

The Badger (aka, part of the musical entertainment at this little party we're throwing):
I met Badger in the fall of 2004 through his fiance at the time (and now his wonderful wife of nearly three years) who was in my graduate program. We liked beer (who doesn't?), food (he's a better cook than I am), and music (he and his friends play very, very well, I listen and make ridiculous and unrelenting requests for Journey's Greatest Hits).

Everything kicked into another gear, however, when Badger, Condor (his wife), and The Janitor (an awesome guy from their high school days) invited me to to join their curling team. That's right, curling. It's fantastic if you're playing, but Miss P tells me it's depressingly boring to watch rinkside. We had so much fun that we developed the nicknames you see here and developed aspirations of making a run at the Olympics. Sadly, our team soon disintegrated after the season. The Janitor moved to South Carolina for a great job, Condor went and got pregnant (their daughter is now a year old and wonderful n'@), but our friendship has lasted without the Teflon slip-on shoes (stylin'). Our shared obsession for pro- and college-football fantasy leagues is sure to torture our brides for years to come.

{Spider-Man out and about with us, Spider-Man and Miss P. with Cowboy Troy and Rich from Big and Rich, Spider-Man dancing and singing with Garfield hehe, Miss P. and Spider-Man while he was um... being Spider-Man}
Spider-Man (aka, the guy that makes liking country music okay):
Spidey is Miss P's favorite line dancing partner guy, and an even better friend to us both. They met at the local Rock-n-Country Saloon and apparently were good friends straight away, and it's easy to understand why. Ready to do anything for you even if you only just met, he's an extremely talented actor in the musical-theater scene and probably the hardest-working guy my age that I know. He makes going to the aforementioned saloon and country shows even better, and he's always good for a spot-on impression and a laugh. I'm looking forward to his MC performance at the wedding - he'll guarantee we all have a good time.

How do you know the groomsmen in your wedding? Do you know them?


Mrs. Corn introduced the bees, myself included, to Wal*Mart free samples, suggesting it would be a good source for bathroom basket items. I jumped on the idea and headed to Wal*Mart's website. One the site you can choose from a list of items (that is frequently updated). The items arrive in 4-6 weeks, so it takes some planning ahead.

After visiting Wal*Mart's site, I googled around a bit to see who else was giving away free samples. That is when I stumbled upon It is updated daily with free finds across the web.
So here are the first two samples I received: Tampons and Deodorant. Fantastic!

I got some others, but they were too small to really include in a bathroom basket, like a packet of 2 Excedrin. I will put them to goo use though!

I also got a big ol' box of wonderful hair care samples from Mr. Pineapple's friend, Jess. Jess used to work at ULTA and read my post about my crazy frizzy hair. She then wonderfully offered to send me some of the free samples she had been given while working there.
She included some of the products you guys recommended like Fekkai and Ojon. I cannot wait to try them out, my hair is equally excited!

Has any one else taken advantage of free samples for a wedding project?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Our New Home

We have finally decided that we will definitely be moving to Clyde, PA on August 2nd.
This new home marks our leaving apartments behind and will hopefully be our last rental ever!
The foyer. Ryan and I will be going up in a couple weeks to start the process of wallpaper removal, it should be be horrible fun.

This is the dining room, but it could also be the living room, they are mirror images of one another.
The living room.
The kitchen, pre-paint job
the pantry
now on up to the second floor

This well-lit red-floored room will be my new studio for creating all sort of lovely things.
the right half of the studio
Bathroom/Laundry room
Our Bedroom
The guest bedroom or whatever Ryan wants it to be

The room that will become our walk-in closet


This used to be the barn on the property (100 acres), but it is know the home of Ryan's friend's parents who will also be our landlords.