1 Cakes & Louie: September 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wedding Week: Little Touches

Well it's official - I suck at blogging. While I had every intention of posting wedding goodies every day this week, here I am Thursday writing only my 2nd post. Regardless, I'm excited about this one.

It was important to me that I have lots of little sentiments with me throughout our day - nearly everything we did, no matter how small, had true meaning to Dan and I - and I wanted that to carry through to what I was wearing and carrying as well.

First there was a little bit of my mom's wedding wear on my shoes - in the form of the awesome little pouf flowers she made out of her veil that we attached to the toes. I loved how fun the poufs made my shoes, and loved that although I didn't wear my mom's dress or veil, I still had a tiny part of it with me all day.

Speaking of my shoes, they were just one of 2 "something blue" items that I wore that day. The second was a little Bolingbrook, IL pin that my grandma helped me fasten to the inside of my dress. My father-in-law gave me the pin at his 50th birthday party, which was one of the very first times I met him seeing as Dan and I had just started dating a few weeks prior. The party was at the Levy Center (where we had our reception!) and my F.I.L. gave the pin to me right off his jacket saying "Now not just everyone gets these pins you know, so you'd better keep it forever!" I did keep it, and I wore it on my wedding day as a little reminder of the incredibly awesome relationship I have with my very special father-in-law. I was excited to show it to him at the reception, and he thought it was awesome that I'd worn it.

I never knew either of my grandfathers, but I sure did get lucky with my grandmothers, and definitely wanted to carry something to remind me of both of them. My mom's mom lent me a bracelet that was the perfect little touch considering I wanted to keep my jewelry minimal.

When my dad's mom passed away when I was a teenager, all I wanted from her room was her jar full of buttons. My cousins and brother and I LOVED that jar of buttons, and it makes me incredibly happy that I have it. I took a gold button from the jar and Manda meticulously painted it with a tiny brush for me. We added a teeny rhinestone and fastened it to my (DIY) hairpiece flower. Given how many times I'd gone through that jar of buttons in my life, using one of them on our wedding day was the perfect way for me to have my grandma with me.

Outside of all the family sentiments, I also had items from two of my very best friends, starting with the "Mrs" hanger that Rachel got me for my birthday that 100% made the photos of my dress amazing.

(yes, yes that is an entire room dedicated to Elvis at my gramma's house.
I could not be more thrilled that my dress photos are in that room.)

Then there was the bouquet wrap from Bridget that had a something old, new, borrowed, AND blue on it. She gave it to me in a little box when we were all getting ready, and I immediately wanted it wrapped around my bouquet. You can also see the lace wrapped around the bouquet below - that was also from my mom's veil!

I've said it a million times and I'll say it again - it's the little things! The little things that make me happy, make me feel loved, make everything a little more special. And I'm thrilled that I was able to incorporate so many of them right into my wedding attire.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Wedding Week: First Look

Today is our one year wedding anniversary! 

I'm having some trouble settling on exactly how I want to go about breaking all the wedding goodies up over 5 days of blog posts, but I thought I'd start by chatting about one of my favorite wedding decisions of all - having a first look!

Originally, I was a little bit torn on whether or not to have a first look. I was very clear all along that photography was one of my top priorities for our wedding day, so I loved the idea of having those first couple of (semi-)private moments documented forever. But I was also somewhat traditional and loved the idea of not seeing each other until I walked down the aisle in church. Eventually, two things helped make my decision to have a first look:

1. I learned that the tradition behind the bride and groom not seeing each other until the wedding has to do with arranged marriages where the two had literally never met before, and therefore not seeing each other until the ceremony knocked down on the chances of runaway brides (or grooms). That obviously didn't apply to us, so tradition wasn't going to stop me!

2. I am an extremely anxious and nervous person (that's an understatement), and I literally wasn't sure I would make it down the aisle without fainting, getting sick, or both if I hadn't already seen Dan. Even with a first look, I was still a complete mess walking down the aisle and the pictures of that time go from me looking like I saw a ghost, to complete and sheer joy, and everything in between. So, seeing Dan alone first (with only our photographers and videographer there) gave me a few minutes with him to calm me down and get ready for our ceremony.

I should note that Dan left this decision completely up to me, and although he found the idea of standing and waiting for me in the backyard of our church while people took pictures of him a little bit awkward, he did it for me, and I am eternally grateful. And as anticipated, these are some of my absolute favorite photos from the entire day.

I love how excited we both look in the photo above. While I had seen Dan in his suit before, I had never seen his entire outfit all together with the tie and everything, and he hadn't seen ANY part of my day-of wear, with the exception of my earrings. It was incredible to see each other and get to have that final "here we go!" together.

Note to future brides: if it rains all morning and you don't want your dress to get dirty before church, at least bunch it up on the side your photographers aren't on. I can't stand how my dress looks above and in a couple of the other pictures, but there are worse things.

I, of course, cried, but did a decent job of holding it together for the sake of my makeup.

After a couple of quick photos and a good few minutes calming myself down, we walked over to church together, ready to get married. Again, I cannot stand how my dress looks here, but overall I love the photo and the fact that we're walking in to church together for our wedding.

For anyone wondering, my walk down the aisle with my dad was no less special having seen Dan beforehand. I was still a mess of every single emotion under the sun, and I am so, so grateful that I had my dad to hold my arm and make sure I didn't fall. It was still incredibly exciting seeing Dan at the end of the aisle waiting for me, and although we had seen each other prior, it was such a thrill walking through church knowing I was heading towards my soon-to-be husband. For me, having all of these special photos and those first few minutes alone ahead of time made it all worth it. 

Did you do a first look at your wedding? If you aren't married yet, how do you feel about first looks?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Go Bold

While shopping with my mom this afternoon I decided to go a little bolder than my usual and snagged a pair of skinny printed pants at H&M. Had they cost more than $12.95 I honestly probably wouldn't have taken the chance, but they were a total steal, they fit me well, they looked good, and they're fun. Considering how busy the pattern of the pants is, I'm sure I'll play it safe with the rest of my choices when outfit planning and pair them with basics.

While I'm excited that I can "dress down" the pants for everyday wear, it's clear they could easily be dressed up a little more with heels or booties and a nicer black top or blazer for a night out. Now to just figure out the perfect place to wear them...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Knockoff: Polka Dot Chambray

I'm super excited with the fact that there seems to be a rush of polka dotted items in the lineups for many of my favorite store's Fall lines. I kicked off the season's shopping with Bridget the other night with a quick trip to the Old Navy and Gap stores right by our houses, and snatched up a new polka dot chambray shirt to pair with all of my colored skinny jeans in the cooler weather ahead.

J.Crew has a nearly identical shirt for a ridiculous $88, and thanks to a coupon I got mine from Old Navy for less than $20. Maybe it's the fact that I thoroughly enjoy a good steal on an item I love, get a thrill out of using a coupon, or simply make less money than other women, but I flat out do not understand why anyone would ever buy ONE shirt for $88 when they could get the exact same style for a fraction of the cost. Love me a good deal!

And speaking of polka dots, I cannot WAIT to try this insanely simple DIY that's sweeping the blogosphere. I've got 3 identical pairs of dark skinny jeans from Forever 21 that ran me a whopping $10.50 apiece, so thanks to inspiration from The Average Girl's Guide I will be tackling a pair with some bleach just as soon as I do some laundry :).

Friday, September 7, 2012


I've got good reason for being MIA the last week - we spent the glorious extra long holiday weekend away in Charleston for the fabulous wedding of our friends Bev and Randy! We had so. much. fun. Perhaps even a little too much, hehe.

We had to walk outside to get to our tiny plane from Chicago to Charleston. For someone who dislikes flying just a tad (that'd be me), this was completely distracting and sent me into a bit of a panic. The chick in front of Dan in the fedora and white pants looks like she does this all the time, all stylish and walking out to her private jet at 8am. I was in leggings and a cardigan and on the verge of tears. Womp.

We decided to stay in Charleston and see the sights for an extra couple days. After a rough morning-after-the-wedding we finally dragged ourselves out of bed to check out Folly Beach. SO glad we went - the fresh air was just what we both needed!

Back home and at work, I got an email from West Elm about a book signing at the Lincoln Park location with one of my favorite bloggers, Oh Joy! My work pal Stacey and I headed over there and I ended my evening at home flipping through my newly signed book with a bowl of Cheerios.

Last night, Bridget and I headed to Target to grab sets of the limited edition Andy Warhol Campbell's Soup cans. They're already sitting pretty on top of our newly-painted cabinets in the kitchen.

What are your plans for the weekend? Mine is shaping up to be pretty low-key, and I'm certainly looking forward to it!