Dienstag, 29. Juni 2010


my parents are arriving tomorrow. It’s all starting!!!! wooooooooooooo!!!!!!

(PS: the weather is AMAZING)


Freitag, 25. Juni 2010

The Seven Sleepers

Well thank you everyone for putting up with my freakout yesterday. After some teary phone calls and an episode of Gilmore Girls, I was feeling more like myself again. And today was the big day – our wedding day is showing up on the 16 day weather forecast! I mean.. what a big milestone!! :)

Ok, I know, my mom told me the same thing. I should STOP looking at the forecast. Just stop. Because I can’t change it!!! And this is oh so true, especially because, in the Allgäu near the Alps, the weather can change at a moment’s notice, so really, even the day-of forecast might not predict the future. BUT I just can’t help myself. I have no power against it, every day when I wake up, I think about checking the weather. I think I have just been thinking about it so long that I can’t help myself.

Anyway, you probably want to know what I saw this morning when I logged onto wetter.com, right?

Well, I saw this (all temps in Celsius, of course):

Right up until our wedding day, it’s supposed to be amazing, and then BLECH. Well, I know, it’s totally unreliable at this point. In fact, just yesterday the prediction for Friday the 9th was only 16 degrees. So it’s been changing daily. But I was understandably a teensy bit bummed. Mr. S then tried to lift my spirits by telling me about the Seven Sleepers Day legend.

According to Wikipedia (and my Fiance), Siebenschläfer (which is this Sunday) is a prediction for the weather to come in the next 7 weeks. It’s one of those old farmer’s legends, that was originally based on an old Christian legend that you can read about here.

Anyways, the farmer’s legend promises the following:

• Wie das Wetter am Siebenschläfer sich verhält, ist es sieben Wochen lang bestellt.
How the weather behaves on Siebenschläfer, so it’s ordered for seven weeks more.

• Wenn’s am Siebenschläfer regnet, sind wir sieben Wochen mit Regen gesegnet.
 When it rains on Siebenschläfer, we will be blessed with seven weeks of rain

• Das Wetter am Siebenschläfertag sieben Wochen bleiben mag.
The weather on Siebenschläfer will stay for seven weeks

• Wie’s Wetter am Siebenschläfertag, so der Juli werden mag.
 So the weather on Siebenschläfer day, so the weather will be in July

• Wenn die Siebenschläfer Regen kochen, dann regnet’s ganze sieben Wochen.
When the Siebenschläfer rains are cooking, then it will rain for a whole seven weeks

• Ist der Siebenschläfer nass, regnet’s ohne Unterlass.
If it’s wet on Siebenschläfer, it will rain nonstop

• Regnet’s am Siebenschläfertag, der Regen sieben Wochen nicht weichen mag.
If it rains on Siebenschläfer, the rain won’t stop for seven weeks

• Werden die sieben Schläfer nass, regnet's noch lange Fass um Fass.
If the seven sleepers get wet, then it will rain barrels and barrels (this is my favourite, heheh)

• Der Siebenschläferregen, der bringt dem Lande keinen Segen.
When it rains on Siebenschläfer, it does not bring the countryside any good signs.

• Siebenschläfer Regen - sieben Wochen Regen.
Siebenschläfer rain, seven weeks rain

• Scheint am Siebenschläfer Sonne, gibt es sieben Wochen Wonne.
When the sun shines on Siebenschläfer, there will be seven weeks of joy

So, and I bet you’re wondering what the weather is supposed to be like on Sunday? Here it is:

High of 80, less than 10% chance of rain.

THAT’s what I call a good sign.
Anyone else getting really superstitious?

Donnerstag, 24. Juni 2010

Wedding Angst

Ok, I am allowed one stress post, right? This is the one. Here is all the stuff that is stressing me out
  • money. right. we have to pay off our venue, our photog, our band, our florist etc etc all within 8 days of the wedding, so BEFORE we head off on the honeymoon. Theoretically good, but that doesn’t leave us with much wiggle room… and we may or may not be a little behind, despite all the awesome savings we have made along the way. EEK
  •  feeling in shape – I mean, I KNOW that it’s pretty much too late to change much before the wedding, but I want to feel really good. I have been going to the gym and doing crazy workouts from Jillian Michael’s “Make the Cut” program which has been helping, and of course watching my eating.
  •  nails/hair/skin – I am trying not to bite my nails but that happens to be a nervous habit of mine, so it’s been tough. And taking care of those other parts of me is also important, but hard on a time crunch!
  • STUFF TO DO! Placecards to make, programs to write, vows to compose, playlists to complete. And work is totally distracting me. Well.. only 3 more days of work and then I am FREE!
So that’s that. I am officially stressed. But I guess it would be obnoxious for me not to be – right? Just getting it out of my system :)

Freitag, 11. Juni 2010

Our very first...

Wedding present! Yup, our first official wedding present was waiting for us when we got home yesterday. What is it? Well, a family of suitcases!! We likened them to suitcase-matruschka dolls, since they came all nested in one another. Mama, Papa and Baby suitcases, in a bold green:

This lovely and thoughtful gift came from my parents, and we can't wait to use them on our Honeymoon and to visit my family in the USA! I already started packing for our honeymoon (EXCITED!!)

Donnerstag, 10. Juni 2010

1 month to go..!

I just counted. I have exactly 11 days left to work before the wedding!!! 11!!!! This is so exciting, yet so nerve wracking, because this means that the wedding is SOON. In 1 month, to be exact.

Just a small list of things left to do, if you are curious, or really more for me because it makes me feel better to get this stuff on “paper”

• complete our outfits (hair piece for me, earrings for me, shoes, belt and shirt for Mr. S)
• finish writing our ceremony (choose a ritual, finalize the texts and translations, go over all of this with our officiant)
• complete paper products (escort cards, table numbers, programs, placecards)
• finish gifts (for bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents, other “helpers”)
• music and dancing (choose a first dance song and a parent dance song, practice, compile playlist for prosecco toast, meet with our Friend-DJ for post-band music)
• make signage (welcome sign, bathroom signs, golf course, mud bath, ceremony etc…)
• photobooth (finish backdrop, get paper ready, make signs, change printer cartridge, fix photo program)
• decorations (make poms, hang garlands, find a place for various pretty things)
• chair covers (sew them! ahhh)
• favors (pick up honey in 2 weeks, make labels, label all jars)

and some other non-essential but desirable things that I am trying to squeeze in:

• healthy eating and lots of jogging so I look my best
• STOP biting my nails
• pull everything out of the “magical wedding closet” and organize and label it
• clean and organize our apartment for our “impending” guests
• see friends and enjoy the lovely summer
• purchase clothes and pack for honeymoon

I think those last two things will prove to be very difficult. But with 1 month to go, I think a schedule is in order! I am off to print off a big calendar and start plugging all these activities into days. Because, folks, there are only 30 left!!!!!!!

Freitag, 4. Juni 2010

Ring of Fire, the trilogy

Remember when I told you that Mr. S. sent me a gcal invitation with the title “Ring of Fire” to “schedule” our ring ordering appointment for, oh, last saturday? Right. We were WAAYYY too lazy to leave the house. All day. So we procrastinated again. Then, we made “ring of fire II” attempt, on wednesday, but then a friend of Mr. S’s called and asked if I would accompany her to Ikea. To IKEA?! WHAT?! Um, yes please. So we had to postpone that one too.

That brings us to Ring of Fire III. Ok well this is the deal about the rings. I ordered a beautiful ring from SingleBbeautiful on Etsy. It came and I loved it – but it was too big. Oops. Said ring sat around for quite a while, and I kept showing Mr. S various rings and he would say “I like that” and then we would forget about it. But, it being a month till the wedding and all, we thought we should probably get on it.

Anyways, we swore we would go on Friday, at lunch. There is a jeweller that I had visited in my more ambitious early days of wedding planning, and I liked him a lot. He is an actual artist and not some stuffy jewler that tries to convince you to buy all kinds of white gold and diamonds and schtuff. Not that there is anything wrong with those things, but it’s just not us.

We we walked in (finally!) and handed him my ring. Can you resize it? – we asked. Sure, no problem. Phew – see, my ring is hammered recycled argentium silver with inlayed white sapphires. He actually asked if they were diamonds, which I thought was pretty impressive because after all, he is a professional. This is my ring:

Anyways, he seemed really impressed that they were white sapphires and told us how much he likes to work with them, etc etc. At any rate, I was worried about resizing the ring cause I had read online that silver, especially with inlays, is hard to resize. But he seemed undaunted. So Mr. S. starts to explain that he wants something similar, only without the stones and a bit thicker and as he is speaking the shop owner pulls out a ring and says “like this”? We stare. Um, yes, actually, exactly like that. That is right, folks, the jeweller actually read his mind. We liked this guy. We arranged for engraving in his – the same engraving that is in my engagement ring (I will not be having my wedding ring engraved, since it is so thin) and he said he would text us when the rings are done. In about 8 days.


This is finally done. We have been procrastinating this task for so long and it feels sooooooo good to finally check it off our list. We are meeting with the honey man and the florist tomorrow and the venue coordinator on sunday and then, my friends, we are almost all set! (except for 100000 details but that’s another story..).

We made all kinds of giddy jokes in the U-bahn about how thank goodness we didn’t need a Ring of Fire IV and that the fourth sequel to a movie is always really bad and that the third one is usually the best! haha! (we’re so funny..)

So… we’re so happy to have found a non-stuffy jeweller who was nice to us and didn’t lecture us that we need white gold or platinum or diamonds instead of silver and sapphires. Oh, and in case you are ever in Munich, you should visit him cause he has some wonderful other jewellery pieces that I oogled today.

Here is his website – it plays new agey music which is hilarious. http://www.artweger-design.de/

Dienstag, 25. Mai 2010

the calm before the storm

We finished the invitations on sunday. That’s right – they are gone! out! sent! Better late than never, that's for sure!

I won’t lie – it was hard work. Like 6 hours a day in the evening for a week straight hard work. But based on the compliments we have been getting, it was totally worth it. I am going to wait another week to share the fruits of my labor with the blog-o-sphere, and for now am going to rant (rave?) a bit about a phenomenon that I have read about in my myriad of wedding blog readings and am now experiencing.

Total lack of motivation at the (less than) 2-month mark. That’s right, folks. I need a break at exactly the time where there is no break allowed. After slaving over the paper puncher and ordering zillions of euros of stamps from the Deutsche Post, we (ehem I) are (am) tired. And we are getting excited! like… really excited. So like a little whiny kid, this is what I feel like:


I want to see my friends and family! I want to eat our cake! I want to get MARRIED! NOW! Also, I want to fly happily married to our honeymoon and lie in the sun and drink cocktails and remember the lovely weekend we had with all our guests.

I have also strangely lost my desire to comb the shops for more blue and green details, or brainstorm about bridesmaids gifts, or painstakingly plan every detail of the weekend. Maybe that isn’t so bad though, because really we’ve done a lot, and I think we’ve reached a point where we can really say that we are almost there. But there are still a few “big ticket” items that we haven’t finished:

Purchasing Mr. S’s ring. Yup, we are big procrastinators. Also, we hate german wedding bands. I already ordered my ring from Etsy a while ago – but it needs to be resized. He wants to get a semi-matching one made. We are kind of lazy and kind of afraid what the snooty shops will say. We are sucking it up and going on Saturday – Mr. S just sent me a “ring of fire” gcal invitation. I know he called it that to make me laugh and stop me stressing– which it did. I love this man.

Finalizing flowers – I went around the corner – yes, the flower shop is literally a 25 second walk from Mr. S’s family’s door in Buchenberg – to talk to the flower lady last time we were visiting. We talked through my ideas for bouquets, boutonieres and ceremony decorations. We also discussed the reception deco, but that was kind of complicated since our venue coordinator is technically taking care of (and paying for) that part. We agreed to use my (40-some) blue and green bottles and vases, which I will bring to her on June 6th when we go down for our “last” (ha!) visit

Favors – we have been trying to meet up with the honey man, but the weather has been so gosh darn horrible and he told us that cold weather makes bees aggressive (just like me!). So we are crossing our fingers for good weather on June 6th so we can meet him, photograph the honeymaking in progress to hang up at the reception, and take a look at the honey jars so we can design a label.

My hairpiece, his shoes, shirt and belt – the final touches to our “outfits” are still MIA – my tailor agreed to fashion me a hair flower, but I keep forgetting to bring her a hair clip! I am planning on doing this tomorrow. Mr. S. and I will hopefully squeeze some shoe, shirt and belt shopping into our saturday “ring of fire” escapade.

Music – we have yet to discuss music choices with our band or make our playlist for the cocktail hour. We also need to clarify the (friendor) DJ after-hour setup with our venue, because apparently his portable speakers will be being used to broadcast the world cup semifinal in a beer tent outside our venue (here’s hoping that not too many of our guests run off to watch it!)

Ceremony – ooooo this is a big one! We actually have written most of our portion – we are waiting for our officiant’s text. We have already chosen music and walking order, and now need to decide on a ritual and create our programs. Getting there getting there.

Photobooth – my mom is creating the backdrop for this. Ms. S needs to “fix” the printer to print on smaller photopaper. And we are gathering props.

Chair covers – my lovely Maid OH is making these … but we need to get a go on this one! We have yet to order fabric….

So I guess we can’t throw in the towel JUST yet. But we are definitely getting there, and there really aren’t that many “big ticket” items left to clarify. The rest of it is all stuff we will have to take care of the week (or day) before – like making 50 poms and hanging them, decorating, hanging signs, assembling OOT bags…. oh, the list goes on.
Anyone else wish they could just kick back and relax?

Sonntag, 16. Mai 2010

Our Invitations - a Journey

After waiting anxiously for any indication of the location of our invites, I finally caved and called the German Customs office and lo and behold, they had my package. I took advantage of my day off on Wednesday and made the trek out to the Zollamt - and it really was a journey. Of course it's located completely on the outskirts of the city, in fact it's not even in the city but rather in a neighboring suburb, tucked between delivery trucks and gas stations. The kind of place that makes you feel like the only person walking around - and totally not pedestrian friendly. The name of the street was even "Diesel Straße". Very fitting.
does this look like a customs office?... (on the way there)

When I got there I went through the usual procedure - get in line, wait, get in line again, wait, go to small window and pay, wait again. I also, of course, got accused of cutting in line by a very harried woman.
can you just sense the lovely atmosphere?

The whole thing made me very nervous - an endemic ex-pat reaction to being in a government office. Inevitably we learn to expect the worst and the totally ridiculous and unexpected - I imagined all potential disaster scenarios and developed a huge lump in my throat, but in the end when I showed them my paypal slip and matching invoice, they were happy to charge me taxes and let me leave. 27 Euros poorer and a whole lot happier, I practically skipped to the Ubahn, barely resisting ripping the box open only because it was drizzling and it really would have been a shame to get those babies wet…

I made it to the subway stop and attracted a lot of attention as I attempted to fight my way through the miles of customs office tape holding my previously opened-and-snooped-in package together. I finally tore my way through and beheld our beautiful invitations - and they were even nicer than I expected!

A big happy shout-out to Ashley and Joel of This Paper Ship - they not only designed our beautiful invitations but set them in THREE languages for no extra costs, and dealt with our various (and many) requests and tweaks and confusing Polish characters with weird accents. We were extremely satisfied and I can really recommend them - but you'd better hurry up as I think their incredible design talents are being discovered big time and before we know it they will probably be super fancy and totally booked.

Continuing on…on my way home I picked up all my supplies - envelope liner paper, double stick tape, address labels, a paper cutter - and got right to work.

First, I lined the envelopes - this was such an easy project with a huge impact. I had found an adorable paper by a Munich artist that matched our invitation suite perfectly and I spent the next couple of hours tracing and cutting.  I can really recommend making your own envelope liners!!  (Note to invitees - open your envelopes carefully and admire my handiwork! :) )

The next project was making the invitation inserts for our after-civil-ceremony reception, our welcome BBQ and our post wedding brunch (in 3 languages!) - after designing them I printed, cut and corner punched to my (ha!) heart's content. Our corner puncher did not want to cooperate but I finally developed a way of turning it upside down to actually see if I had lined everything up right and protecting my "pushing" hand with Mr. S's oversized hood sleeve. Worked like a charm.

Then, I developed a lovely way to bind them all together - a combination of blue and white baker's twine, little punched out edelweiss images and double stick tape - and turned my attention to the luggage tags, which required even more punching, cutting, tracing and double sided taping. Then I bound the whole shebang with green organza ribbon and secured with a glue dot (those things are GENIUS). All in all they are BEAUTIFUL and we are so happy with them.

When I was all finished with the first mockup, I got out our kitchen scale and a ruler and calculated that weight-wise we were just under the limit for letter post BUT our envelopes were .4 cm too big. This is SO SAD because the €2.20 stamps are actually edelweiss stamps which we were so excited to use, AND the next level of postage costs €6!!!  So our plan B is going into action - I am fedexing the finished invites to my mom in an overnight document bag and she will send them out from the states. What will we do with our 30 edelweiss stamps?

 We're thinking for our thank you notes! It's still sad though, but there is no way I am risking having all our invitations sent back to us.

The invitation process has been such a whirlwind - we literally just got them 36 hours ago and they are close to being finished - which is because we are in a hurry but maybe it's a very good thing because we are super motivated!!

I am now sitting in the train on our way to Buchenberg to meet with the Rathaus tomorrow and finalize details of our ceremony and to check out the ceremony room - and on saturday I have my hair and makeup trial. So busy busy but at least I can stop stressing about the invitations - I can't wait to deliver our first copy to Mr. S's parents!!!

Anyone else dealing with the woes of shipping internationally?

Montag, 10. Mai 2010

Our invitations…

...are in mysterious customs postal limbo. I don’t feel like planning any wedding things until we can finally get our hands on them! So until then… cross your fingers that they make it out unscathed… *sad and nervous face*

Montag, 3. Mai 2010

Stealin' my thunder...

they stole my table # frames!!!!!

ok... considering that this post is older than my purchase, maybe not. But anyways, I had the idea FIRST (in my head, anyways) and I am actually not offended (cause, really) but am giving myself major pats on the back for being so in sync with the fancy blogging DIY world that I had the same idea.


Sonntag, 2. Mai 2010

Guest Blog - MOH Nicole and her crafty craftiness

Hey all! Nicole here, the very enthusiastic (or perhaps just slightly crazy, you can be the judge after this post) MOH, well the female MOH that is. While the bride’s been busy busy making wish trees, and table numbers, figuring out the ceremony location, and taking care of the non-fun bureaucratic stuff as well, I’ve been trying to help out as much as I can by taking on a few DiY projects. I don’t live in Munich so unfortunately, we can’t work on projects together—although if that were the case I think we’d have to both quit our day jobs and only do wedding-related projects all day long!—but I do live in Germany (Berlin), so at least we're in the same time zone. And shipping things back and forth doesn't cost a small fortune, or take months that we don't have.  

So I thought I’d give a preview of the projects I’ve been working on, both small and (ridiculously) large. 

Bunting and Garlands 

It might sound a little Betty Draper of me, but I have to say, when I received a sewing machine this Christmas from my bf’s mom, I was overjoyed with domestic happiness (though come to think of it, I somewhat doubt Betty Draper would sew...). Then I got all worried that I was getting to old and domestic. And then I remembered the tediousness of hot glue-gunning bunting together for our Thanksgiving party last year. And I realized how fantastically helpful the sewing machine could when making bunting for this wedding! No pictures of that yet, we're still in the fabric-collecting phase. But there will be bunting. Oh will there be bunting.

I have gotten started on the garlands though. I've collected multiple paper supplies for circle paper bunting (that I imagine will look something like this. I also did a happy dance in the craft store when I found not one, but two circle punchers! (Just one of many things that I’m always convinced doesn’t exist outside of the USA.) And I’ve got three different colors of thread to play around with. 

First round of paper supply shopping

I still do a bit of a happy dance looking at those life-saving cirlce punchers!

Paper circles galore

On top of that, I receive two very exciting packages from the US lately, one very large one that required a trip to the Customs Office but was happily filled with happytape (http://www.happytape.bigcartel.com/) wooo!, and another that arrived literally seconds ago full of two gorgeous spools of divine twine! (http://www.divinetwine.bigcartel.com/) The Wedding DiY project possibilities are endless, and in time, all will be revealed… 

How cute of an addition will THESE make to the ceremony!?! They’re little bags full of rice to throw at the bride and groom at the end of the ceremony, for those of you who don’t feel like entering all that into google translate. We have yet to decide if we’ll fill them with rice or confetti (in many venues in Germany it’s verboten to throw rice because it’s bad for the environment, meaning the birdies!), but I’ve been able to start working on them anyways. 

Chair Covers 

Now here comes the crazy  part. I haven’t been to the venue yet, but I did get a video tour of it! And, as you all probably already know, those chairs are RED! And while that probably looks great at most German weddings (red hearts are often a must), we decided pretty early on that that red would do little to complement the pretty blue and green color scheme Em has planned. So, never one to turn down a challenge or leave my best friend in distress, I courageously suggested I could make chair covers to cover the red. Yes, make. For all the chairs. All. 80. of. them. The goal here being, 1) to save money, and 2) to get something that really fits and can be personalized. I don’t think at the moment I was quite aware of what that meant, to sew 80 chair covers. After all, I’ve only had my sewing machine since December! But then I ordered some sample fabric and made my first prototype. 

I learned a few important things in the creation of this prototype. 1) ALWAYS iron creases before trying to sew them. Always always always. 2) Sewing in a straight line is difficult. It takes practice, which is why I bought an extra meter and a half to practice on (I promise they'll be straight (enough) for the wedding you guys!) and 3) Taking on such a big project is GREAT motivation to revamp my crafting/sewing/office space in the apartment. Sewing takes space and patience. 

And it always helps to have a glass of prosecco around to calm you down in moments of panic.

So there you have it. Wish me luck and I’ll make sure to stop by again and report on the further progress of the insane-but-totally-possible-extreme chair cover project 2010.

Thank you, Nicole, for your fabulous post and your amazing projects!!

Freitag, 30. April 2010

Breaking the language barrier

In writing our ceremony, Mr. Schnitzel and I have been working on getting the whole thing to be meaningful to us without being overly wordy. Why? Why not overly wordy? I mean, isn’t the ceremony about the words you speak, the promises you make?

Yes, yes and yes. But here’s the thing – we do not share a common native language. We speak German with each other, and that works wonderfully. But, of course, although my German has much improved over the years, it isn’t perfect. I can’t always express what I want to say as well as I maybe could have in English.

How does this affect our relationship communication? Really? not at all. At least not in my opinion. Well, actually, I take that back. I actually think this IMPROVES our communication. Because we do not dwell on the nitty gritty wording. We laugh at my language errors, and I sigh with frustration when we can’t find the right German translation for an English word that I am thinking of.

As you may have noticed, I really like to write. I also love to read. Mr. Schnitzel doesn’t do either of these things – it sounds so silly but at some point in college I actually told someone that I refuse to date anyone who doesn’t read books regularly. Gosh, that sounds so egotistical and silly. Of course we are both intelligent people interested in all kinds of things, but that’s only a part of who we are.

Our relationship is not based on intellectual banter. Sure we have interesting debates about everything from politics to religion (gosh, if you know me, you know that I love to debate) but that is by no means the basis of our relationship. We communicate in our daily gestures, our smiles and routines and hugs and handholding. And this crosses not only language barriers, but cultures.

So for our ceremony, we will say some meaningful words. I will be reciting my vows in English, and he in German. But for us, it’s not really about that. It’s going to be about that moment, and looking into each other’s eyes and into the faces of our dearest friends and family and feeling married, and embracing that. Nothing we write, no matter how eloquent, will replace that.

Donnerstag, 29. April 2010

Taming the control freak

As my regular readers well know, I fluctuate between being totally enamoured with Germany’s relaxed nature of wedding planning and being totally head exploding frustrated. But the fact remains: our wedding is taking place here and all of our vendors have this same mentality.

This isn’t really a bad thing – it basically means:

• no contracts (that’s right people, the only contracts we have are with our photographer and our officiant)

• no down payments (only with the above mentioned two) (not even on our venue!!)

• a whole lot of “we’ll discuss that the day before” or “let us put something together for you”
For example, our dessert buffet is going to be a…surprise! Well, we did demand Kaiserschmarrn, but other than that, I trust our venue to put together a lovely spread.

Our prosecco toast is going to be another “surprise” – we will be having “prosecco, juices, various appetizers and TBD punches”.

Our band is being the most difficult to pin down – they told us we can discuss our dance options THE NIGHT BEFORE. This freaked me out, quite a bit, so I harassed them until they finally caved and suggested a few waltzes that they usually play. But they won’t give more. So our music: SURPRISE!!

I mean, this is actually all kind of nice, from a relaxed person’s standpoint. And from a price standpoint: we are paying flat fees for all of this, so as long as the variety is nice then we don’t have to agonize over spending an extra XX€ to have a particular juice selection, etc. But it is a bit stressful for someone who would like to have the whole thing a bit spelled out.

My solutions?

• focus on the things I can control, like DIYing my decorations, choosing our outfits, writing our ceremony music, making an awesome IPOD playlist for our prosecco toast and hiring our friend to be our DJ after 12:00am just to make sure that we get to hear our favourite songs.

• laugh about it – it’s Germany! They already thing I am nutso for wanting blue flowers on our cake and DIYing 75 chair covers – that’s ok! I think that we are lucky in that our German guests are not expecting “normal” because they know there will be a lot of America style touches going on, and the American guests are expecting a German-style wedding. So a bunch of guests with no solid expectations equals (hopefully!) happy (and intrigued) guests!

• enjoy the element of surprise – I guess it’s kind of nice that I don’t know EXACTLY what will happen on my wedding day. This is almost always the case in most German weddings, since often friends and family plan various elements of the wedding (games, guest book etc) to pop up as suprises along the way. I am embracing this lovely element of the day and taking lots of DEEP breaths.
Mostly, I am remembering that in the end, the day is about the DAY and not about all those details – it’s going to be a lot of fun :)

Montag, 26. April 2010

Oy Oy Oy

Actually, this isn’t a frustrated post, as the title would tend to suggest – it’s a happy yummy sugary one!

This is the post about us ordering our cake!! Why “Oy Oy Oy”? Well.. that just so happens to be the name of the town where we purchased said cake!

The location of our wedding is in Mr. Schnitzel’s “hometown” (where he grew up after moving from Poland) and it is quite a small town, in the middle of the Alps:

Oy is even smaller. And even higher. And even Alp-ey-er.

Despite its smallness and highness (but perhaps because of its Alp-ey-ness) Oy boasts one of the finest most delicious pastry shops in the entire Allgäu region (this is a personal assessment but I think the Busloads of over-60 tourists that offload there every day for their 3pm coffee and cake break would also support this theory). Additionally, they have their own Coffee Roastery.

Two weeks ago on one of our many planning trips, we drove up (literally) to Oy to give this cake a try. OH (B)OY!


We were sold. So we went back this past weekend to officially order the cake (we actually had wanted to do this before, but they were too busy with the busloads of tourists).

We decided on a “German-style” cake stand (they don’t really do typical American tiered cakes…):

to hold our FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAKE. Yes, I know there are a lot of capital letters in this post. But really, I think FOUR DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAKE warrants shouting letters, right?

Here are our layers, starting from the bottom tier:
• “Florentiner” – Buttercream with cherry marbeled throughout

• “Kaffecreme” – Coffee cream cake

• “Rum Truffel” – ‘nuff said

• Hazelnut – this is really nutty maple-ey delicious

Then we moved on to deco. As you know, our colors are blue and green. The Germans think this is really strange. They laugh at us, a lot. Sometimes they even taunt us. (they are used to sparkly red with roses, I guess..).

so when we showed this inspiration photo,

the lady helping us looked up and said “that?”

*then she turned around and called her husband, obviously the chief pastry chef, out to look*
*he squinted his eyes to look at our laptop (probably another reason they thought we were crazy) and said*:

“well.. if that’s what you REALLY WANT then I guess we could do it”

That, folks, is the brutal honesty of the German folk. We nodded vigorous yeses and they consented. Living in Germany sometimes just requires a thick skin and faith in your own decisions. At this point, they asked us if we had a cake topper, or if we needed one.

Hm…err… well yes we have a cake topper

*Mr. Schnitzel and I looked at each other with panicked eyes. OMG we can’t tell them that our cake topper is WallE and Eve, two Pixar robots. They will throw us out of their shop*

“We have one. We will bring it ourselves”

PHEW ok, that was settled. We asked about delivery and they said they could “drive the cake down” and then we asked about paying, and she said “oh, just bring the money when you bring back the cake stand (we agreed to do that).

How much, we asked? Well… hard to say exactly… Could we have a ballpark figure? ok…
*paper and pen calculations*

“85 Euros plus decorations”

*WHAT?! keep a straight face. (We have 375 Euros budgeted for the cake)*
“how much for decorations?”

*waiting for it*
“oh… 20 or 30 euros"


“and delivery?”

*here it comes…*

“mmm…. 5 euros, maybe, for the gas…”

Whoa. Ok, I take back all my complaints ever about Germany not having a wedding industry trying to sell me things. They literally are just charging us for the cake. No “wedding” fee, no delivery fee… insane. This is the best thing EVER. I’ll even take their insults about our cake decoration choices, any day. Guests: get excited because now we can use that budget for something else delicious (or imbibeable) for the reception!!
Deeelliiisshhhusss cake anyone?

Freitag, 23. April 2010

The Devil Wears..

Funny how sometimes the seemingly simplest things end up being the most difficult wedding pursuits. Take my shoes for example: I knew that I wanted a simple pair of strappy sandals, with a bit of a heel.

Apparently, however, this shoe season decided to be the season of mile high stiletto heels OR simple flat ones – NO MIDSIZE HEELS!!

I really looked everywhere, going into shoe store after shoe store in search of the right pair. But to no avail.

Alas, I decided to go into a secondhand store one day, and voilà! There they were – the perfect pair of pretty shiny gold … PRADA sandals. I was a bit nonplussed – I don’t wear Prada… I make fun of people who do. But, they were perfect, so I bought them, and I am actually quite pleased with my purchase. Here they are, in all of their devilish glory:

DIY adventures

So inevitably, after reading so many lovely blog posts of amazing DIY projects and amassing a long list of to-dos, I hit the 3-month mark, gulped, looked at my list and decided that I need to start DOING!

I calculated that if I average one project a week until the wedding, I would manage to complete 12 entire projects – and probably more, considering that I will certainly do lots of little projects that last week before the festivities.

So I decided to choose projects that I could do now, without the benefit of an exact guest count or seating arrangements, etc.

My first project was DIY Cocktail Stirrers. Yes, this is a totally weird thing to start with, but as I said, I wanted to do SOMETHING and this seemed very doable. I went out and purchased what I needed (which, in Germany, is not always an easy task – but I managed) and got started.

These were VERY easy and I think they look delightful. All I did was cut bits of ribbon, hot glue them to the stirrers and cut the ends into a flag shape with scissors or pinking shears. Finished. I made 80, thinking approximately one for each guests. Looky looky!

My second project was the table numbers – I figured I will probably have approximately 8 tables, and I found these wonderful plastic frames at Ikea for 99cents that stand up on a little round foot and are two-sided. The man at the cash register thought I was CRAZY for buying 24. Yes, 24. The first eight are the numbers themselves – I love how simple these were and how great (I think) they look.

All I did was cut rectangles of pretty napkins/wrapping paper/cloth and then printed a big number (font size 300) in the lovely (free!) font “A Yummy Apology” and slipped them between the two plastic sheets into the frames. Tada! The great part about these is that they are light, easy to read, simple, and the little feet can be unscrewed for easy compact transport. SCORE.

I know, you’re wondering “what is she doing with the other 16?” Well, I saw this amazing idea on a blog a while back – I can’t remember anymore which one – to use photographs with the table numbers of us at that age. For example, table 3 would have photos of each of us at age 3. COOL! So the other two frames at each table will contain photos of us at those various ages. I still have to do this part, but it will get done this week for sure.

Here is what the numbers look like so far:

My third DIY project was my wishing tree. I followed these instructions from Wedding Chicks, only I couldn’t find a Manzanita Branch here. Actually, I didn’t look that hard, I just want to (ever lovely) Viktualeanmarkt  and bought some curly branches – these ones were called “Korkenzieheräste” – corkscrew branches!!! (which I now know after wikipediaeing it are called "Chinese Willow Branches")

I followed the instructions to the letter, including sticking the branches in foam (MESSY!)

stuffing paper around the foam
Then, I mixed the plaster

and poured it in. Actually, it wasn’t really enough, but I let it harden anyways and decided that it was ok.

I then added some easter grass (hehe) and some straw like stuff.

TADA! Wishing tree.

Now all I need to do are the little wish cards. We are thinking of setting this out during our prosecco toast after the ceremony when people are feeling (hopefully) inspired.

What do you think of my projects?!

Freitag, 16. April 2010

Keeping all the tops spinning

Ok, I am not the first person to mention this, and I think I scoffed a little reading other posts about this, but I now throw up my hands and say “it’s true!” – hitting the 3 month mark is SCARY!

I was so utterly calm up until now, and it’s not like I have whipped myself into a panic, but I sort of started to realize that this wedding is..well… SOON! It’s starting to get warmer outside, and it will (very hopefully) stay that way until the wedding! No more winter between us and the wedding, no more big holidays, really nothing except for planning planning planning!

so when I get a little panicked, I make lots of lists. My college roommates can attest to that one – I always had long lists of tasks scrawled on my arms and hands. Now my lists have (thankfully) migrated to my (amazing) planner pad. But of course, lists alone won’t get the job done, and after catching my breath at all of the zillions of things I still had planned to do, I decided that the best course was simply: ACTION!

I have been zipping through my to-do list like nobody’s business, and have a new goal of finishing one DIY project every week. Hence the title of this post – I feel like I am trying to keep a zillion tops spinning at once! Every time I do something, I move on to the next, and then next… and by the time I reach the last task, 3 or 4 of the first ones have stopped spinning and need to be restarted!! ahh!!

Here is a little summary of all the stuff I (we) have been working on for the last few weeks:

• sorting through photos for slideshow

• Buying undergarments for dress

• DIYing cocktail stirrers

• making appointment to get dress altered

• purchasing decorations

• hunting for out of town bag supplies

• buying bridesmaid gifts (shh)

• making travel arrangements for relatives to travel to Prague and Vienna

• tasting cake and picking a bakery

• brainstorming a pattern for chair covers, purchasing chair cover fabric

• ordering supplies for 50+ tissue poms

• corresponding back and forth on our tri-lingual invitations

• making appointment to finalize our registry

• hunting for (and finding!) shoes

And more. Phew. I am not complaining – this is lots of fun! But those are sure a lot of tops to keep spinning… :)

Montag, 29. März 2010

The hills are alive with our italian photographer...er....

We had a really nice meeting with our photographer last week - I wanted Mr. Schnitzel to definitely meet him and discuss some finer points of timing, etc. I had forgotten, though, what a nice guy he is! Fun all around…

We had a cappuccino at a local bakery while I fired off questions (well, I say "fired off" because it appeared I was the only one WITH questions. Mr. S just wanted to know "how many pictures do you take on average")

Mostly, we talked about doing portrait shots before the ceremony. I definitely don't want to miss any portion of our celebration (my dad can certainly vouch for this stubborn component of my personality - I was the one who wanted to sit in the stadium alone in the rain to watch the game my team was losing 47-0 until the end - rascal). So, clearly, we will have to do these shots before. Which I am totally fine with - more wedding fun!

The plan is to get dressed and pretty (the photog will of course document this process, too. In fact, I can't wait to see my ladies getting their hair done by the german-speaking-only hairdresser. YAY) and meet up with the boys (oohs and ahhhs all around) to drive to the "Buchenberg".

You see, the town is called "Buchenberg" but so is the big giant hill in the middle of it. I dare venture that the town is, in fact, named after said hill! "Berg" means, in German, "mountain" or "hill" or other raised mound of earth. This is a pretty big hill - I hope I can climb it without getting my dress all dusty and dirty. But, as my MOH pointed out, I will have 5 ladies AND and man of honor to lift my dress!

The boys will be there too, of course, which should be nice since the ladies and the guys may not have much time to hang out (or even meet) beforehand. We will then frolic and do "the hills are alive" with an amazing (hopefully CRYSTAL CLEAR) mountain backdrop. YAY.  So my dreams of the ceremony up there aren't coming true, but at least we will have the idyllic photos to prove it.

Donnerstag, 25. März 2010

10 differences between German and American Weddings

10 differences (according to me!) between German and American weddings

Keep in mind that I am not judging and that I am only basing this on experience :) Just a few observations I have made...

1) Decorations

Planned completely, including deco in the bathroom and homemade toothpicks for cocktails all in our color scheme

Let the venue do the usual

2) Food

Meet with various caterers, taste menus, chat chat chat

Let the venue do the usual - we'll take a look at the menu

3) Drinks

Signature cocktails, wine with dinner, perhaps a champagne toast

Coffee following the ceremony, unlimited wine and beer with and after dinner (of course!) and then many round of schnapps, as well as prosecco served with the cake (late)

4) Timeline

Ceremony followed by cocktail hour and then reception with meal and dancing until 11pm

Ceremony in the late morning followed by prosecco toast, followed by coffee and cake, a little break and then appetizer, an hour later the soup, and then the main course (it is already 11pm), followed by lots of dancing, dessert table opens at 1, band stops around 1:30, dancing and drinking continues to 5am

5) Invitations

Save the dates followed by formal invitations package including response card and/or other details like custom map or detail card

Informal invitation handed to your at next meet up – usually with a line printed on it like “guess what – we’re finally tying the knot! (and you thought it would never happen, didn't you...?)” no formal RSVP

6) Registry

Zillions of registries, zillions of options – everything from Target to Bloomingdales - you pick three (probably target, C&B and Bloomingdales)

Well.. you can still make an appointment like in the “olden days” at the local department store – they will set up a sample table in the back of the store for your guests to come look at… But really, everyone just gives you cash folded origami-style into various scenes (at the beach, house, children’s room…)

7) Planning

Every minute is planned, including arrival of guests, greeters, speeches, activities – the planning process is a long and exhausting but ultimately rewarding one.

The venue is set, the time is set – let the party begin! Our friends will surprise us with various games and gags – I may have to remove my shoes and use them to answer quiz questions, or I may even be kidnapped – who knows! My own wedding is a surprise.

8) Ceremony

However you want it to be, but usually with bridesmaids and groomsmen in fancy matching outfits, heartfelt vows while facing the audience, creative music and a happy flower petaled exit, lots of tears

Actually, you get married on the day before – in the eyes of the law anyways. The church ceremony is really just for show, that is… if you are even a member. If you aren’t, you’ll have to find a “wedding speaker” to throw you an alternative wedding ceremony that doesn’t involve okaying how your name is spelled on the marriage certificate and signing on the dotted line. Oh, and it's just the two of you and your MOH and Best Man... and you have your back to the "audience"...

9) Rings

Diamond engagement ring, for sure, worn on the left hand – and then whatever the couple picks out as wedding bands, also worn on the left hand

No engagement ring OR engagement rings for both man and woman – worn on right hand, just like the wedding bands (usually if the pair buys engagement bands, they just use those as their wedding bands)

10) Partying

The actual wedding reception is a joyous time, but everyone (tries) to behave like adults

The reception is a party! There will be rounds of schnapps and funny dancing galore – it goes until at least 4am

Freitag, 19. März 2010

speaking of dancing shoes...

oh, yes, our dancing lesson was GREAT! I keep having these disgustingly lovey-dovey moments (in my head) where I think "omg he is the perfect man". We were having so much fun at our lesson that he suggested we sign up for the silver course too. WHAT?  And the dance studio is so awesomely early 90s and it has a bar so that during our breaks we can have a cocktail. AWESOME. Also, we got to dance the foxtrot to a pepped up version of "country roads" (the germans just love that song...). All in all, we learned the basics of the waltz, the foxtrot and the chacha. FUN!

We can hardly wait till next week's lesson. I felt like this:

Annnnyyyways... I am looking at some shoe options, and am liking these a lot:

what do you think of my potential dancing shoes?!

Montag, 15. März 2010

Putting on our dancing shoes

Tonight, Mr. Schnitzel and I are taking our first dancing lesson. That’s right, friends of mine, laugh it up. You all know how well I can dance ;-) (I can see my former across-the-street-neighbor smirking and my college roommates conjuring up visions of me attempting to join them in certain coordinated group dances…)

But, actually, one many reasons that I knew Mr. Schnitzel was the one (aww) is that, well, I LOVE to dance with him! It doesn’t matter how many times I step on his feet, it’s FUN, and really, he doesn’t seem to care.

So we signed up for this course knowing full well that we aren’t about to turn into a super fancy dancing couple – we just want to have even MORE fun dancing! That, and German tradition dictates that our first dance will be a Waltz and, er… I can fudge a lot of things, but fake waltzing in front of 80 people might not be such a piece of cake.
So I woke up this morning, thinking “er.. what do I WEAR to a dance course?! A ball gown? A leotard? What SHOES? So.. I put on my sportiest shoes (hiking shoes…) and my comfiest jeans (A&E)… and.. well… pretty soon we’ll be having one of these moments..

right? right?

Advice midstream...

Well, 4 months to go! Here's my personal, complimentary commercial free advice for wedding planning based on what I've learned so far. ENJOY!

1) Wear your wedding goggles
So, you’re engaged? Put on your wedding googles! Brainstorm as you walk around, shop, eat, play. I am not talking about being obsessively crazy, I mean, look for inspiration everywhere! Really like that drink at the local bar? Recreate it for your signature cocktail! Cute song on the radio? Write down the lyrics and google it when you get home to add to your cocktail hour playlist. Love that window display? Photograph it and use it for décor inspiration. The possibilities are endless.

2) Start a collection

This is a fun way to channel your wedding planning energy without overbuying too early in the game (i.e. before you know your venue/guestcount etc..) Pick some aspect of your wedding that you can “collect” for – I am collecting blue and green vases and bottles – what about collecting vintage postcards, or pink baskets, or cool vintage frames? It makes every shopping trip seem like a treasure hunt :)

3) Order matters!

It DOES matter if you finalize your catering order before you have your final guest count! You can’t print your programs until you decide on the order of your ceremony! Some things simply have to be done before others! I am personally not much of a plan maker, so if you’re not prone to writing long range plans, just write a list of all the things that need to be done, and go through it thinking of what task has to be done BEFORE each task. Then order everything up and you have your game plan!

4) Make appointments, even if you aren’t prepared

Need to meet with your venue but you haven’t even thought about décor? Your officiant wants to talk about the ceremony but you still haven’t printed the list of possible texts he gave you three months ago. SO WHAT! Just make the appointment anyways, you’ll find that the time pressure will force you to take care of those items, even if it’s the day before (or even the morning of!) the meeting. And going into those meetings less than perfectly prepared isn’t always a bad thing – it leaves you much more open minded!

5) Finalize it, and let it go

Some aspects of your wedding could be discussed forever. The menu could always be tweaked, the invitations could use this and that, the DJ list needs a few more songs, you could keep looking for bands… but SOMETIMES you have to just say enough is enough. Decide, be happy with your decision, and move on! No regrets.

6) Make it you!

Don’t be afraid to show your personalities! After all, this is about YOU! That means, do your first dance to Hakuna Matata, toss a bouquet of dandelions, serve fancy hamburgers at your reception, have a Wall-E and Eva cake topper. Your Aunt Sally may find it weird, but she certainly won’t forget it! And more often than not, people are charmed by originality. Even if they think “I wouldn’t do this at my wedding”, they are still enjoying it at yours!

7) Google docs is a lifesaver

Google docs has been our lifesaver – we have our budget, our guest list, our song list, our vows… you name it… all saved as joint documents there. That means that we can both edit them whenever or access them from any computer. LIFESAVER.

8) Keep your parents busy

Your parents most likely want to be involved in planning your wedding – but if you’re like me, you don’t need their advice on every detail. So? Give them something to plan! The rehearsal dinner, the monogrammed golfballs, the wedding dress trip, the favors – you name it, just pick something that you can let go and let them plan on their own! they’ll love it and so will you.

9) Blog about it!

Blogging about your wedding is not only a good way to get family and friends (or even strangers) excited about your wedding, it’s a great way to document your planning process for memory’s sake! My grandmother kept a detailed diary of every detail of my mom’s wedding planning – and I have the same type of record thanks to this blog! Afterwards, use a service like blurb to print your memories in paper form!

10) Mantra: No matter what happens, you’ll handle it!

Repeat after me: no matter what happens, you’ll handle it! That means, even if your Uncle gets drunk and loud, or you mess up your vows, or your flowers wilt, or something is forgotten – you will handle it, because you are going to let nothing, NOTHING ruin your day! It’s that simple. SMILE and HAVE FUN!