Our Wedding Day: Part 2

In typical fashion, I did not plan my time very well on the day of our wedding.  We were planning on having our dog, Kaylee, as one of our “flower girls”, so we scheduled to have her groomed that morning.  Well, a couple days before the wedding, we decided that it would be way to much of a hassle to have Kaylee in the wedding, so we put it out of our minds until the night before, when I realized that I still had to take her to the groomers in the morning, and it was too late to cancel because she had the very first appointment at 8AM.

So I ended up taking her to the groomers in the morning, and then rushing back home to wrap the table assignment cookies that I had stayed up until 3AM finishing.  Luckily I had my bridesmaid, Tiffany, stay up with me, or else I don’t think I would have ever been able to go to bed at all that night (the night before my wedding).  My hair appointment wasn’t until 12:30, so I figured I had enough time to finish wrapping the cookies and get all the stuff together to take to the venue.  Well, I don’t know how this happened, but I ended up not leaving for the venue until 12PM.  I had to drop off the cookies, my dress, and a few other nick nacks we were going to have displayed, and since everyone else was from out of town and didn’t know the area, I was the one that had to go.

Well, I ended up getting to my hair appointment about 45 minutes late, which set everything else back.  My mom was running late because she had taken my niece to get her nails done, and couldn’t leave her stranded at the nail salon in a strange city, so she had to wait for her to finish and then take her back to the hotel.  So when she finally arrived at the hair salon, I sent her running over to get her makeup done (which luckily was in the same shopping center as the hair salon), because we were already an hour late for that appointment.

When Maegan finished my hair (and she did a beautiful job, by the way), I rushed over to get my makeup done, and of course the girl worked at her normal speed, even though I told her I was in a huge rush and was going to be late for my own wedding.  I was really happy with the finished product of both my hair and makeup, so I guess it’s good that she took her time.

After my makeup was finally done, I had to run over to the groomers to pick up Kaylee, then drive like a maniac to get her home in record time.  Then I rushed  back to the hair salon to pick up my mom, whose hair looked gorgeous, by the way!  We finally arrived at the wedding venue an hour late.  Luckily we were only late for the rehearsal and some of the pictures, so it ended up being ok, thank goodness.

The first thing they did was get me into my dress since I was already late for pictures.


My mom helped zip me up, because that’s what mothers of the bride are for.


Then I put on my garters.  Well, actually, Elizabeth put them on me since I couldn’t see or reach under my huge dress.


Time to put on my jewelry.  I think I bought 4 different pairs of earrings before I decided on the ones I liked.


I wrote my vows on this purple construction paper while getting my hair done at the salon only about two hours before.  I know.  I’m a procrastinator.


Love this picture Stacey got of me looking into my compact.  I hadn’t eaten anything all day up until this point (it was about 4PM), so when we were trying to get this picture my hand kept shaking and I couldn’t hold the compact still.  Luckily she was able to get at least one good shot.


We took a couple pictures in the bridal room.  Cassidy looks so sweet holding my bouquet.



We miss you, dear one.


Mom and I sharing a private moment.


Love this one of the  back of my dress.   And the fact that my waist looks so small in this picture. 🙂


Each of us looking out our own window, waiting for the day to start.


We chose grey Calvin Klein suits for the guys.


Steve wore his wonderful smelling Miracle cologne.  Which Lancome doesn’t even make anymore!  So he has to use it sparingly.  I think our wedding qualifies as a worthy event.


Figuring out his tuxedo pants.  It’s a very rare day when Steve isn’t in jeans or shorts, so it was fun to see him all dressed up.


Chillin’ on the couch with his new father-in-law, my Daddy.


Steve helping his brother and best man, Paul, with his tricky tux buttons.


Love this picture of Steve’s nephew, Ethan, who was one of our ring bearers, looking up at his dad and uncle as they get ready.


What a little cutie pie!  He actually looks a lot like Steve, especially when Ethan was a baby!


Our three handsome ring bearers.  They actually got along really well for just meeting for the first time the day before.  Ethan, in the middle is Steve’s nephew, and the two boys on the outside, Max and Charlie, are my nephews.


Joking around while waiting for me to finish getting ready so we could start the pictures.

The next pictures will be of Steve’s and my first look.  We opted to take most of our pictures before the ceremony so it wouldn’t cut into our reception time, and I’m so glad we did it that way.

Our Wedding Day: Part 1

The time has finally come!  I have gotten back the first batch of my wedding photos from my wonderful sister-in-law and photographer, Stacey Pentland.  She is one of the most amazing photographers I have ever seen, and she and my brother, Erik, were kind enough to shoot my wedding photos.

Here is the front of our beautiful wedding venue, Historic Cedarwood.  This antebellum home was built in 1835, and for the past several years has been used as an all-inclusive wedding venue.  The only thing that wasn’t included in our package was our photographer and minister.  Seriously.  Everything else was included at a very reasonable price.  If you’re looking for a wedding venue in Tennessee (specifically the Nashville area) I highly recommend this beautiful place!


We decided to do a less traditional guest book, so I made note cards with string tied around them that our guests would write a little message on and then hang the card on that twiggy looking flower arrangement.


We had refreshing cucumber water available for our guests as they arrived.  And boy was it nice to have!  Not only was that July day hot, but also VERY humid.


These pretty lanterns with candles inside lined the walkway toward the guest book table.


Here is the carriage house where Steve and his groomsmen got ready.


This was my beautiful bridal room inside the house where I got ready with my bridesmaids and flower girl.


Our cocktail hour was in this barn where Stacey took this gorgeous shot of my wedding dress.


I LOVED my bridal bouquet!  It was exactly what I wanted.  (Flowers are included with the venue).


My bridesmaids’ bouquets turned out beautiful, too.  Exactly as I pictured them!  They seriously did an amazing job on all the flowers as you’ll see in a later post.  Well, I don’t want to bog this one post down with all the pictures I have so far, so I’m going to separate these into different posts.  So come back tomorrow for our “Getting Ready” pictures!

Table Assignment Cookies

As some of you know, I took on the huge task of making the table assignments for my wedding reception.  They weren’t just table assignments, they were chocolate chip cookies decorated in the shape of wedding cakes with everyone’s name and table number piped onto them.  And I had to make 75 of them.  It was no small task, and the only excuse I can give as to why I procrastinated so long was that I didn’t know how long they would stay fresh after I made them, and I didn’t want people to have to eat stale cookies.

Another issue I ended up running into was how to make chocolate chip cookies that wouldn’t spread out excessively during baking.  If you’ve ever made chocolate chip cookies, you know that you can just put a glob of dough onto a cookie sheet, and when it’s done baking it will be completely spread out and flat.  Well, I didn’t want that to happen with my cookies, because I really wanted them to maintain their wedding cake shape.  I went through about 3 recipes before I found one that wouldn’t spread while baking but still tasted good.  When Steve was taste testing the cookies, he immediately spit out the first batch, it was that nasty.  Ha! Luckily the 3rd time was the charm.

I ended up staying awake until 3:30am the night before my wedding so that I could finish the cookies and not have to work on them the DAY of my wedding!  Luckily I had my friend (and bridesmaid) Tiffany staying at my house, and she was such a big help.

I started out by adding a cup of butter, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar to my mixing bowl.

I blended the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined and creamy, then added one egg yolk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Then, I mixed all that together until it was thoroughly combined.

Here is where the dough really starts to take it’s shape.  I sifted about 2 cups of flour into the bowl (one cup at a time) and mixed until it had the consistency I wanted.  I could tell it was pretty much ready when the dough started getting dry enough to where it was scraping the sides completely clean as it was being mixed.  See how there is barely any dough residue on the walls of the bowl?

I poured a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the dough and mixed on the lowest setting on my mixer.  I didn’t want to break up the chocolate chips too much.

Here is the trick to making chocolate chip cookies that won’t spread out.  Freeze the dough for about 5-10 minutes before rolling it out.  Then when you cut out your cookies with a cookie cutter, they won’t fall apart on you when you’re trying to lift them onto the cookie sheet.  You might notice the dough starting to get too soft after a few minutes of rolling it out and messing with it, and if that happens you can just stick it back in the freezer for a couple minutes to firm up again.

I rolled the chilled dough out between two sheets of parchment paper so that I wouldn’t have to mess with flour everywhere.  It actually worked really well.

Once you have your dough rolled out to the correct thickness (I think I rolled mine to about 1/4 an inch or so), take your cookie cutter and start cutting away!  I normally cut all my shapes and then peel away the outer edges, instead of trying to remove the cut out cookie from the rest of the dough.

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper (this also helps them not to spread too much) and chill the raw cut out cookies in the freezer for about 10 minutes before placing them in the oven.  You want them very cold and firm before you bake them.  This is the main thing that helps them keep their shape.

Bake the chilled cookies at 350° for 10-12 min.  I baked mine for 10 min because I didn’t want them to get too brown and crunchy.

Once your cookies have cooled, it’s time to decorate!  You can find instructions on making Royal Icing here.

I outlined each of the 75 cookies and let them dry overnight.  You really only need to let them dry for about an hour or so, but it was about 3:20am on Wednesday night and I decided that I was done with cookies for the night.  You can see how I had to “glue” one of the cookies back together on the left side of the above picture.  If a cookie ever breaks on you, it’s very easy to glue it back together with some Royal Icing, and then when you finish decorating the cookie, you can’t even tell that it was ever broken.

Once the outlines are dry, you can thin the rest of your icing to a syrup consistency and flood your cookies.  I pour the thinned icing into a plastic squeeze bottle to make it easier to spread onto the cookie.  You will probably need to use a toothpick to make sure the icing gets into all the corners.

Steve even helped with one or two cookies!

Here’s what the cookies will look like once they are completely flooded.  I love this method, because you can get such a nice smooth surface to decorate.

After we had flooded all 75 cookies, I needed to make some more Royal Icing so we could go back over top with lavender and write the names and table numbers, and add some decorative dots around the edges.

Tiffany was a little too generous putting the icing in the piping bag, and she had to squeeze about half of it out.

Writing the names was definitely the most tedious part!  My hand was starting to hurt after only a few names.

Tiffany did a great job putting lavender dots all around each cookie.  That might have been even more tedious than the names!

It was 3:30am when we finally finished.  Oh, and I didn’t even mention that I had to paint that Thank You sign at the bottom of the picture.  On the other side of the sign it says “Just Married”.  My sister in law and photographer, Stacey Pentland, had us hold up the signs in our wedding attire so that our thank you cards could have that picture on them, and so we could have another picture of us holding the Just Married sign.

All in all, I’m glad I did the cookies.  Everyone seemed to love them, and it was a nice personalized touch to our wedding.