Travels

Holly and Dan’s Backyard Wedding | Indianapolis, IN | Day-of-Coordination

Here’s another throwback post for you – this couple will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary in just a few weeks!!

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Holly and Dan found us through A Practical Wedding. They were living in San Francisco and planning a wedding in Indianapolis, and wisely decided to get some help pulling everything together!

So, we harnessed the power of the internet for video chats and many emails, added a few phone calls for good measure, and then made the quick drive down to Indianapolis for their wedding weekend! (Yes – we travel!)

Speaking of details, there are so many from this wedding that I’d like to share with you…

When I pulled up to this beautiful home, I immediately felt I was in an era of old Hollywood glamour! Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

This is Holly’s grandmother’s house. It is unbelievably beautiful. Of course they leapt at the opportunity to use it at the backdrop for their wedding! Aside from its obvious charm, this house is a place where the two of them had spent many, many days together so it holds a special place in their hearts.

Don't you love this outdoor family photo wall? Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

They decided to fully embrace the era of the home, using vintage colored glass goblets at their place settings and retro cotton prints for the napkins and table linens. Each table had a different print, and Holly sewed all of the linens herself.

Vintage goblets and bowls gave the wedding a retro vibe. Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

And my favorite thing? The seating assignments! Holly made magnets using the same fabrics as the tablecloths and napkins and used them to hold up polaroids of each guest; they found their table by matching the magnet to the tablecloth. What fun!

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After a lovely ceremony in the side yard, everyone moved through the historic home for cocktail hour, and then into a tent in the backyard for the reception. Though they’d loaded an iPod with music for the night, it ended up mostly collecting dust – Holly’s Uncle and his band were expected to play for an hour or two, but they honored the crowd’s request to go all night long!

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Congratulations and Happy Anniversary, Holly & Dan!

VENDORS
Officiant: Dan’s Brother
Photography: Eric Rudd Photography
Catering & Cupcakes: Monon Food Company
Florist: Circle City Planners
Band: Holly’s Uncle Tim
Hair & Makeup: Spa French Pharmacie
Vintage Rentals: Violet Vintage
Tent & Other Rentals: A Classic Party Rental
Portable Restrooms: Hoosier Portable Restrooms
Transportation: Integrity Limo Service

All photos were taken by Eric Rudd Photography and are reposted here the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Meghan + Stephan | Lakeside Inn | Lakeside, Michigan | Day-of-Coordination

Continuing with our recap of weddings and projects, today I’d like to take you on a short trip to Michigan for Meghan and Stephan’s cozy lakeside celebration!

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We met these two at the Indie Wed show waaaaay back in the winter of 2012, which makes sense because their wedding was in the fall of 2012, which means, yes, I’ve been holding onto their stories and photos for a year and a half without sharing. Sorry. I hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait.

Meghan and Stephan rented out the quaint Lakeside Inn for a weekend of celebration. (Note: if one of your priorities is spending quality time with all of your guests, hosting them all for a cozy long weekend is a sure way to make that happen!)

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They planned an outdoor ceremony on the grounds behind the Inn, with the reception following inside. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans, and after setting up the chairs, taking down the chairs, and setting them up again, we had to make the call to move the whole party indoors due to rain.

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BUT. It wasn’t so bad, because we ended up staging the ceremony in front of the Inn’s lovely stone fireplace. With candles lining the aisle and their lovingly handmade details featured behind them, it was one of the warmest and most romantic settings you could dream up for a wedding.

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One of my favorite parts of this wedding was the inclusion of a few traditions from Stephan’s Ukrainian heritage. During the ceremony, there was a part similar to a handfasting, during which the officiant wrapped their hands in a traditional cloth, beautifully embroidered by Stephan’s mother. They took a walk three times around the altar to signify that marriage is a never-ending journey. At the start of the reception, they had some private moments with each other and their immediate families, where they broke a traditional korovai bread and shared it together.

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Custom spilled over onto the dance floor with a few traditional Ukrainian songs and dances. These two had one of the most rockin’ dance parties I have ever seen! Virtually every guest was on the dance floor, and most of them stayed there all night long.

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I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier couple or nicer friends and family to spend a weekend in the woods with. Congratulations Meghan and Stephan!

VENDORS
Venue: Lakeside Inn
Catering: Cravings Catering
Officiant: Rev. Carol Munroe Mosley
Photographer: Amanda Megan Miller Photography (follow the link for more photos!)
Florist: Asrai Garden
Cake: Bit of Swiss Bakery
DJ: Rachel of Toast and Jam DJs

All photos were taken by Amanda Megan Miller Photography and are reposted here the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Crafty Broads goes to Europe!

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As you may be aware, we have been wanting to go on a real honeymoon since we got married almost three years ago, and we’ve had our eyes on Spain. And with airfare to Europe being so expensive, we didn’t to spend all that money (and time) on flights just to stay for the week or so we could afford to take off work. So we hatched a little plan to extend our honeymoon into a working vacation by coordinating some weddings in Europe while we were there. We put it out there on a couple blogs, crossed our fingers, and held out a vague hope that it might actually happen.

Well, we couldn’t possibly be more excited to announce that we will be coordinating Kim and Tomi’s wedding in Switzerland next summer!! The lovely house and breathtaking view pictured throughout this post is where the wedding will be held. And it will include a pig roast! Did we get lucky or what?

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We would love to stay and explore a bit longer, so if you are getting married anywhere in Europe* next year, we would be thrilled to come organize your wedding and celebrate with you! Without further ado, here are the specifics.

The Crafty Broads’ 2014 EUROPE TRAVEL SPECIAL:

  • No travel fee for airfare to Europe!*
  • Day-of-Coordination**, which seems to be known as Wedding Day Management in some parts of Europe. See below for full details.
  • Both Cindy and Julia to coordinate – in other words, two wedding planners for the price of one.
  • Unlimited hands-on help with last-minute details or anything else for the entire week leading up to the wedding, at no extra charge. We can help with arranging floral centerpieces, crafting decorations, minor clothing alterations, etc.
  • We are accepting bookings for August and September 2014 weddings, and will extend into July/October if we fill up those dates. Please book by September 30th, 2013 to take advantage of this offer.

Ok, sounds great, but how much will it really cost us?
We are giving you two options for pricing this deal:

Flat rate. $2500 (about $1875€) including all travel – to your city, around your city, lodging, and food.

Regular fee + local travel. $1250-$1500 (950€-1125€) coordination fee and you provide local transportation from the rail station and around your town, lodging, and food for us for the week. We are open to guest rooms and home cooking and whatever other low-cost travel options you can think of!

To get started, please email info AT craftybroads DOT com!

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*Europe is defined by us as the UK plus anywhere we can get on the Eurail Global pass: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland (includes Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland), Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

**Day-of-Coordination (Wedding Day Management) includes:
Beginning when you book us, you will have unlimited access to us via phone, Skype, and email. About six weeks prior to the wedding, we will meet to discuss your celebration in extensive detail and create a wedding day timeline. After the meeting, we will become the main point of contact for each of your vendors (suppliers). We will review their contracts, confirm the details of their services, and ensure that they are up to speed on the wedding day timeline and all of your plans. We will also put together several handy organizational documents detailing the timeline, items needed for decor, contact information for pertinent parties, and an assortment of other things. We will be available for your rehearsal, if you have one, to guide you and your family members, wedding party, etc. through the ceremony. On your wedding day, we will take care of whatever needs to be done – typically this is setting out decorations, place cards, and the like; keeping everyone to the wedding day schedule, handing out final payments to your suppliers, assisting you and your guests with anything they might need, and cleaning everything up at the end of the night. We will come equipped with an emergency kit so we can handle any situation that may arise over the course of the day.

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Photos courtesy of http://trotte-iselisberg.ch

 

New York City

Center of the Universe. (Sing it, Girl…)*

So, I totally abandoned this blog, social outings, friends, sleeping more than four hours a night, and even wine for the first nine days of November in order to finish up that insane amount of projects we had going.

And then? Then I went to New York. And we were on VACATION. Like, the real kind, where you leave your laptop at home (I did!) and don’t even check your work email at all (I… almost did. I read them, but I didn’t reply to any! So that’s a half win?). Friends, if you haven’t been taking vacations – and I know you’re out there, because this was the first real vacation we have ever taken, in the 6 1/2 years we’ve known each other – and it was AWESOME.

Here are my new rules for vacation:
1) Don’t make any firm plans. Ideas, yes. Things you’d like to do, places you’d like to visit, restaurants you’d like to try – YES. Actual scheduled times at which to do any of these things? NO. Just wing it.

2) Groupon is your friend. Oh Groupon, I have never loved you so much as in NYC. You gave us fine French food, complete with appetizers, entrees, desserts, and a whole bottle of wine to split for $69. You gave us $40 worth of oxtail and Cuban pork, among other things, for only $20. You gave us organic mani-pedis for $19 each. You gave me a sassy new haircut with fiery highlights for half the price. And you gave us the most AMAZING couples massage with hot rocks, which we have learned is THE BEST THING EVER, for only $98. For both of us. And it felt like it lasted for three hours, somehow, even though it was only one. WHAT?!

Here is my list of foods I ate (some for the first time – marked with “!”) in NYC. I liked them.
Sea Urchin!
Escargot!
Foie Gras, which I may have finally learned to spell correctly
Veal Sweetbreads
Quail Eggs
The Tiniest Mushrooms I Have Ever Seen! – They were so cute I actually tasted them and they were even yummy.
Oxtail!

3) If you have a shopping weakness, say for fabric, it might be wise to set a budget for it before a very helpful Mood employee “starts a pile” for you, and hooks you up with a loyalty card. (Thanks, Stephany!) Else you risk getting halfway to the $25-back-after-$500-spent reward in one trip…

4) Do what you can to stay in a hotel that you love while you’re in it, but is not so cozy that you never want to leave. Our hotel was so awesome that it might deserve its own post, but let’s be honest, I will never get around to that. Suffice it to say, if you put the friendliest staff in the history of ever with the most efficient space design in an über-modern hunting lodge with chartreuse escalators, you win.

5) Splurge on something you will truly love. For us, obviously, that’s food. We did a seven-course chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings at Austrian restaurant Seäsonal, which we had both noticed separately while strolling through Manhattan. It was mind-blowing.

In summary, vacation was awesome. I am no longer completely stressed out, but I have plenty of good and fun projects to fill my time. I managed to decide Wednesday night to host/cook Thanksgiving, and totally rocked it (one of my guests declared it the best Thanksgiving dinner ever) and I get to keep eating it all weekend. Friday was our last wedding of the year, from which I got to bring home all manner of uneaten pies along with pride in a job well done. We may get an answer on the house we’ve been waiting for since June… sometime before New Year’s. And JULIA IS COMING HOME TONIGHT!

So – life is pretty sweet. As are all the pies in my fridge. Here’s hoping you have a vacation and some decadent desserts in your very near futures too!

 

*Bonus points to you if you got that reference.

Where The Hell Have We Been?

Who knew that October was going to be a crazy busy chaotic month of madness? We sure didn’t. Julia was without a show to do, and our calendar held one wedding dress and one mother-of-the-bride dress (same wedding!) and I had two day-of-coordination gigs (one in Michigan, one in Chicago), plus my usual 45-hour/week nannying job. This seemed completely reasonable when I looked at the calendar in September.

It still seemed possible when we added two wedding dress alterations. And two more day-of-coordination spots in November (which yes, require work in October, because it’s really far more than just a day-of service.) October was even achievable when we booked two more alterations for bridesmaids. And when we added a corset (which is really cool – it’s for a man to do an impression of Cher, and the design is based on her costume from the Turn Back Time video – can’t wait to tell you about it… someday) that we donated as an auction prize to About Face Theatre’s annual fundraiser. As well as when Julia got a show, because that was just four nights a week, leaving her daytimes free.

But then, a fantastic and terrible thing happened. Julia got offered a job stage managing a month-long run of Route 66’s A Twist of Water. In New York City. Starting October 28th. With rehearsals the week prior in Chicago. And then? Then doable, booming-business awesomeness started to look a little bit impossible.

And I honestly don’t think I’m lying if I tell you that we will probably spend MORE time with each other while she’s in NYC than in the entire month of October, because I am going to visit, and I’m not going to work at all for five whole days while I’m there. For real, I am turning the auto-responder on my email and everything.

So, if you’ve missed this blog having any actual posts, or you’re still bummed that I cancelled my birthday party to sew things (true story), or you haven’t seen me around the twitters lately… I hope you understand that it’s just been impossible to do anything but work for the last month and a half. The next few weeks aren’t looking good either, but I tell you what – I am free on Thanksgiving (Day only, I have a wedding the day after), so if you are interested in hanging with a sleep-deprived crazy person who has no intention of getting out of her pajamas all day, you know where to find me.

And Just Like That, She is Gone.

Yesterday, we got up while it was still dark, lugged two giant suitcases, one carry-on, and a messenger bag to my car, and headed for the airport. The sun was just coming up, and it was gorgeous and we realized that Julia had never seen the sunrise over Lake Michigan in the entire ten years she’s lived here! What an awesome image of the city to keep with her while she’s in New York this month. (If you’re there, you should go see A Twist of Water at 59E59.) And then I realized that the last time I’d been heading south on the drive early enough to catch a sunrise was… when I took a show to New York seven years ago. How appropriate.

So we both soaked in the glorious purple-orange-blue morning sky. Perfection.

Making Time

It has gotten crazy around here. Last week, I was prepping for an out-of-town wedding, working on a corset pattern, working my usual 12-hour shifts at the day job, and having to grocery shop afterwards to come home and make dinner alone because Julia was in tech for a show. Then I skipped town and worked all weekend, Julia stayed home and worked all weekend, and then we basically repeated that this week, except sub prepping for going out-of-town with catching up from being out-of-town, and sub being in tech for running a show and starting rehearsals for another show and making mockups for two different dresses and we both had terrible weeks. I cancelled my own damn birthday party because I was too stressed out thinking about losing the work time on Saturday to making cake and party food.

You can see why we both got super cranky today about having zero time for each other.

Julia said today, “I need a wife, not just a business partner.” And she is absolutely right. We both need each other; we especially need each other when we are overworked and stressed out. I am pretty sure we may have even promised something along those lines.

Us, on our very first trip away together, in 2006. Six years later, this remains our only trip away alone together, except for our legal marriage/honeymoon jaunt to Boston. I think we should get out of town more often…

I’ve probably talked about this before. Maybe I haven’t, I don’t know. You know who has? Christy. She talks about it a lot, and she is wise:

“The thing about maintaining a happy relationship is that you can’t choose to focus on it just one day every few months. Like those crazy crash diets that never work – you can’t just decide to not eat for a day and expect that you’ll keep the weight off for the rest of your life. No… you need to make lifestyle changes, eat healthier, and work on it day in and day out. Relationships are just the same.”

So what did she do? She literally took out her calendar and wrote a day off into every week. And I’m going to go ahead and steal her smart plans. (Thanks, Christy!)

From now on, we are designating one day a week as a No-Crafty-Broads-Work day (if you’re wondering, it seems to be falling on Sundays for the foreseeable future.) And somewhere in the week, probably on that same day but possibly not, we are scheduling Date Night. With a strict no computers, no cell phones rule. During which we might do things like actually seeing a movie in the movie theater. So, if you’re calling/texting/emailing and we’re not responding immediately like we usually do… be patient for at least 24 hours, ok? We’ll be snuggling until then.

Yeah, we really did carve our names into a tree trunk.

Whirlwind

Friends, the last five months of 2011 were a whirlwind of new clients, launching our business, working our butts off, and barely ever seeing each other. We are off to the Carolinas on a much needed vacation for the next week, visiting family, meeting our brand-new niece (!) and chilling out with no agenda and no obligations, including this blog.

We’ll be back sometime late next week with a full post on the process of Sarah’s wedding dress, bolero jacket, and winter coat, but for now we will leave you with a preview of the ensemble over on Emilia Jane’s blog.

Congratulations Sarah and Jeffrey! (Photo by Emilia Jane Photography)

We’re also planning a series of posts on what exactly we Crafty Broads do, with a Q & A at the end, so if you’ve got a burning question for us, please email us and we’ll get it answered!

We hope you all had lovely holidays and are starting the new year with good health, good people, and of course, good food!

Price vs. Value

Sunday was Julia’s birthday. I was on my way back in town from a nanny conference (and awesome dinner with APW twitter friend Sarah, yay!) in DC and stopped at our favorite grocery store on the way home so I could cook something nice for a celebratory dinner. I made this Salmon with Roasted Fennel and Lemon Vinaigrette, a perennial favorite of ours. Now, I could get into a lengthy discussion of the difference between a good price and a good value, but I think you’ll get my point when I say this:

GET THE WILD ALASKAN KING SALMON!

(Even though it is, yes, more than twice as expensive as the salmon we usually buy. And it totally caused us to screw our food budget for the month before it was even a week over. I spent $37 for 4 servings and I would do it again in a heartbeat.§*)

Image courtesy of Real Simple. Sadly, this is not a photo of the beautiful piece of salmon I purchased.

IT WAS SO WORTH IT.

And while we’re on the topic of salmon, I should really tell you about the dish I had at that dinner with Sarah – because it was also salmon. Yeah, I totally ate it two nights in a row and it was awesome. Because, what is not awesome about a glorious piece of buttery pink salmon, topped with crushed toasted pumpkin seeds, sitting on a perfectly-cooked pile of green beans, nestled in roasted pumpkin and squash, all enveloped in a pumpkin-butter sauce? That’s right, pretty much nothing is better than that. Thank you, Clyde’s of Columbia (Maryland), for an excellent gustatory experience.

§AKA next Tuesday, when I’m doing the weekly shopping, because salmon is ALWAYS on the menu.
*For the record, at $13.99/lb this is actually an excellent price for salmon in the midwest, period. and still better than the big chain stores. It’s just that we usually buy the other kind, which is only $7.99/lb.

home sweet home

After a whirlwind three days in Boston, we got home, exhausted. We both had to work first thing in the morning, so we pulled out this standby favorite from Real Simple. Julia hit the market on her way home, and shortly after Cindy returned from work, we enjoyed Steak with Crispy Potatoes, Broccoli Rabe, and Pistachio Pesto. Julia added some mushrooms to her plate (Cindy hates mushrooms.)


(Click for recipe)

This isn’t a quick meal, but it is a yummy one. The pistachio pesto is particularly time consuming – more so this time because shelled pistachios were not available at the market, so Julia spent a while removing shells before she could do anything else. We like the pistachio pesto, as opposed to a traditional basil pesto, because good basil can be tricky to find, and the flat leaf parsley in this recipe is abundant and cheap!

So, we made a big batch of the pesto, and used it again the following night on a simple whole wheat pasta with shallots and some fava beans leftover from our most recent farmers’ market trip. (Julia’s creation)

Paired with the Crane Lake Malbec that happened to be buy one, get one free, this made a nice, quick and easy weeknight meal.