Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jonathan, you're not allowed to read this post. (I did it - I ordered The Dress!)

Alright, so after a year of obsessing on the internet and months of debating, it's done. The order is in. My wedding dress is ordered! It's something I was so anxious about before I found the dress I loved, but now that I've found it and ordered it I'm just so excited. Right now, the wedding is just under six months away. By the time the dress arrives, it will only be three months! And my bouquet should arrive in November... If my mother would ever get me the frickin' addresses, I could get the save the dates sent out... Yeah, it's happening now. It's really happening.

Anyway. About the dress. I'm totally psyched. For anyone who might care to know, it's Aria dress style #141. And in the satin, it's only $185. Most girls spend more than that on alterations! Hell, I may end up spending more than that on alterations. Hopefully not; I should just need a hem and a press. Their stuff fits me wonderfully. I know I showed you some pictures already, but you want to see them all, don't you? I thought you did. Just keep in mind that it will be a light blue dress with a cornflower sash. Use your imagination. You can do it.

This is when I'd first put it on. I was feeling a little awkward. But I warmed up to it pretty quickly.

The dress is an illusionist! It makes me look like I have a small waist! I'm telling you, it's like magic.

Just in case you're wondering? Yes, that IS a pocket. Totally awesome right?

Now, with the sash. They only had the navy pleated one, which is totally not what I'm getting.
Over-the-shoulder cheesy 70's pose anyone?

Yup, I gotta lotta hair. There's even more of it now.

Will the non-symmetry of these tattoos ever stop bothering me? Probably not. Suggestions anyone?

I need to order my petticoat. And my shoes!

OK, for color reference, something a little like this:

I mean, not quite, but maybe you get the idea?

Yeah, I'm in dress love. Totally weird right? Trust me, it would be if you knew me. Especially if you've known me for more than about five years - if you knew me back in the combat boots, septum ring, parts (or all) of my head shaved days. Big floofy dress with a petticoat? Even for a wedding, it's kind of like woah.

But whatever. I'm seriously excited! (Just, you know, in case you couldn't tell.) There are still a lot of things to take care of, and some of them are stressing me out. This dress is becoming my wedding happyplace. Every girl wants to be pretty on her wedding day - wants to feel pretty. And I think I will. In a way it's like having the proper armor with which to go into battle - not that I'm really thinking of the wedding as any kind of fight... maybe it's more like being properly prepared to enter unknown territory?

Jonathan and I will stand there, I in my dress and he in his suit, holding each other's hands and gaining strength from one another. And they'll take pictures. And in the end it won't even matter what we're wearing, we'll just be so damn happy to be with each other... and of course the champagne won't hurt. ;)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Did I tell you we got a caterer?

(This was originally posted on the Vegan Etsy blog. But I realized that I had not shared the info with you fine people...)

A wedding should be a fun time for one and all, but I think most guests look forward to one thing in particular: drinking! Ha ha, kidding... sort of. What I really meant was, the food! Food becomes a focal point of many weddings, and every bride fears the dreaded "rubber chicken": food that has apparently been frozen and/or sat under heat lamps for too long so as to become an entirely wrong texture, which is basically edible but unappealing. (In the vegan world would this become rubber tofu?)

The wedding is now slated to be a fairly low key affair. The party, for which we need the food, is at my parents' house. And believe me people, it ain't a big house. We basically need platters of food spread out on my ma's dining room table, a (very) small staff to keep them full and looking pretty, and a bar out back - because people really do look forward to the drinking. OK fine, because I'M looking forward to the drinking. It's really not such a tall order. I could do it myself if I wasn't gonna be all busy getting married and everything. But I will, and taking on too many responsibilities for the big day is a sure recipe for disaster. Enter: the caterer.

Well, as I've mentioned before finding a vegan caterer even in New York City is a challenge. Now that we're having the wedding in New Orleans, we didn't even know if it would be possible. But that's just my defeatist inner child talking - anything is possible with a little determination.

I sent a few emails to various caterers in the NOLA area that I dug up on el internet, and got no response whatsoever - unprofessional much? I'll take a "sorry, we don't do vegan events" over dead silence any day. Thus, my hope was beginning to dwindle. But then along came Food Art. No, they hadn't done a vegan wedding or event before, but they were knowledgeable about what vegan meant which was a promising start, and more importantly they were willing to work with us to come up with a menu.

The first set of selections they sent us felt a little like a bunch of side dishes slapped together, and they had some novice questions such as "is pita bread vegan?" Well dear heaven I hope so - what the heck kind of pita bread are you buying if it isn't? But they were extremely communicative, great about answering our questions and listening to our suggestions, and in short time we'd worked out a menu that we found pleasing. So the communication was great - which is high on my list of importance with vendors - and the food sounded good, not to mention that the price was totally reasonable; all that was left was to taste it.

The week of August that we spent in New Orleans was busy, and the tasting with Food Art was probably the most important (and exciting) meeting on the list. Because food was only being prepared for the two of us we were only getting to taste about half of the items on our list, but that's fine; half is enough to give you an idea of whether a chef can cook. What we tasted went as follows:

*Tuscan grilled vegetables including zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant, served at room temperature: Very tasty, nicely seasoned with herbs and grilled to perfection.

*Eggplant Capanata and Artichoke Hummus served with grilled pita and roasted cloves of garlic: Exactly as delish as it sounds.

*Eggplant curry with a variety of toppings: this was the clincher. I've never had anything like it, and let me tell you that I've eaten some curry. It was a very thick curry, not the runny kind. Simultaneously sweet and savory, with just enough spice that you knew it was spicy but tons of real flavor. I could eat this stuff all day long.

*Dessert: vegan blondie squares, and dates stuffed with nuts and rolled in coconut: The chef was so proud of his vegan baking expedition that he had to come right into the tasting room and talk to us about it. They were a little odd, and not how I would make a blondie, but a nice little sweet bit anyway. The dates are a classic, with the right amount of nut to set off the oh so sweet dried fruit - my mom loves these so she'll be thrilled.

You want to see the whole menu don't you? Yeah, I thought you did.
*Tuscan Grilled Vegetables
Including asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, green onions, fennel, carrots, mushrooms & sweet peppers (based on seasonal availability) all brushed with an herbed infused olive oil & served room temperature

*Grilled Pita Served with a trio of chilled spreads
to include roasted garlic cloves, classic eggplant capanata & homemade artichoke hummus

*Fresh Fruit Salad
with cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew, strawberries & grapes (based on seasonal availability) tossed with a fresh mint & maple dressing

*Trio of Louisiana Tomatoes
Creole, yellow and pickled green served atop mixed greens finished with a Balsamic reduction and fresh basil

*Southern Style “Caviar”
Fresh black-eyed peas, green onion, sweet peppers, garlic & chopped jalapenos tossed with a maple syrup vinaigrette and served with tortilla chips for dipping

*Eggplant Curry
Made with coconut milk, green curry, Thai basil, and tender eggplant served with parslied rice and a selection of toppings to include crushed peanuts, shredded coconut, diced onion, mango salsa, diced pineapple and chopped cilantro

*Pasta Marigny with seared spinach, fresh artichokes, caramelized leeks and Roma tomatoes finished in a light tomato, olive oil and Chardonnay stock reduction accented with fresh basil and oregano
Hurrah! Tasting declared a success - we've found ourselves a caterer! As anyone who's planned an event knows, that is one major hurtle. There's still a long way to go between here and "finished", but at least the ducks are rowing. I can sleep a little more soundly knowing that our guests will get to eat!

Now, if we could just figure out a way to have a vegan wedding cake... working on it.