No More.....

Waitey Katey!  It is official; they should now update their facebook status because Wills and Kate are married!!

See that tiny bit of red.... that is them on the balcony.  Can't wait to share my British Invasion with you when I get back!

Great Expectations

As you are reading this I am flying across the Atlantic to my destiny... Prince Harry.  Just kidding Mr. LP (love you).  Actually I am probably already in England but that means this is going to be a pictureless post.  Feel free to skip it.

There are tremendous advantages to stalking wedding blogs.  I never would have known that I need to have stripped straws at my cocktail hour or that a party is not a party without a photobooth.  But right now I feel a little sad about all my knowledge of other people's weddings.

Maybe sad is not the right word but I feel like I know too much about weddings.  Knowing all about weddings is great but that means that nothing really feels original anymore.  A while ago I decided that because Mr. LP and I had our first date in a book story then we should incorporate books as part of our centerpieces.  I thought I was so slick and creative.  Little did I know this very idea is all over the web.  Not so original. 

Normally I don't mind copying someone else's great idea.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.  But this particular thing seems too overdone to even think about copying.  What I am rattling on about you ask?  Only my favorite poem of all time.... i carry your heart by e.e. cummings.  While it brings tears to my eyes, this poem seems to be pseudonymous with weddings.  I would love to have it as a reading but I feel like even guests who don't stalk wedding blogs would recognize it as an overdone wedding reading.  I just don't want that moment in Wedding Crashers where Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are betting on what the reading will be since it is so predictable.

Should I just go with it and use it since I love it, wedding overusage be damned?  If you were a guest at a wedding and they read this poem would you groan, roll your eyes and think not this again?

In case anyone is unfamiliar with the poem that makes my heart a flutter, here you go:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
 
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
--e.e. cummings

Drowning on Dry Land

Lookie, lookie what I found!  I was at Michaels the other day searching for lord only knows what and what should I spy in the $1 bin.
Striped straws in our wedding colors!  For only $4, I got 400 straws in our wedding colors.
The blue is more sky blue than navy but anyone running for their lives would never notice.  These would be delightful for the cocktail hour or perhaps the rehearsal/welcome/birthday party.

I had my heart set on barber straws like these: 
{Art Fire}
However, they are $21 for only 150 straws.  While the barber stripped straws are all the rage at weddings right now I don't think any of my guests will know that they are getting regular strips instead of barber strips.

I think I should just keep the bendy straws and call it a day.  It is not exactly what I envisioned but it will definitely give the effect I want.  Agreed?

Did you purchase any thing for your wedding that was slightly different from what you envisioned?

The Cone of Shame

Posting was scarce this weekend because we have been dealing with the LemonDog.  Yes, I called her LemonDog.  When I gave her the nickname of LemonPuppy, it was a term of endearment for her crazy, adorable, injury prone hijinxs.  We are not laughing anymore, LemonDog.

It all started this weekend when we took her for a nice long afternoon walk.  When we were almost home I noticed that she was leaving a trail of bloody footsteps.  Poor LemonDog.  After inspecting her paws, we saw that she had a cut on her foot.  We took her home and wrapped it up but since it was on the soft part of her foot every time she took a step it would start to bleed again :(

We tried to keep her off her feet and put a sock over her foot to keep her from attempting to chew off the bandage.  It was going perfectly until we woke up at midnight to the sounds of LemonDog licking frantically at the bandage.  She proceeded to manically try to get at the bandage until 5am!  Naturally this meant we were up too trying to keep her calm and the bandage on her foot.  Finally she passed out from exhaustion and I knew it was time to call in the big guns.  A visit to LemonDog's home away from home.... the vet.

Cut to 2 hours in the waiting room, 6 stitches and $500 later the LemonDog is cured!  But she is not happy about it.
She split open the pad of her foot and it was going to reopen every time she walked unless they put in stitches.  Of course it couldn't be just a little cut and heal on its own.  That is not the way LemonDog rolls.  I don't even know how she managed to do this.  She didn't yelp or limp at any time during the walk. 
Poor LemonDog.  This seems to be a yearly thing for her.
2010
2011
Who knows what 2012 will bring?!?!

I saw what I saw

There are two items that were completely eliminated from our wedding budget.  The first was transportation.  The ceremony, cocktail hour and reception are all in the same place.  I am getting ready at Congress Hall and Mr. LP is getting ready across the street.  In my mind that makes it a no brainer.  Why would we hire transportation and if we did hire them, where would they take us?!?!

The second item on the chopping block is a videographer.  Originally I thought I didn't want a videographer because what would we ever do with the video except watch it once and then put it on a shelf.  I think you can see where this is going.  Last night I found CinemaCake completely on accident and now I am tearing up at other people's wedding videos.  When Mr. LP walked in the door I announced that we had to have a videographer!  Forget our already stretched too thin budget, I will work every shift this summer at camp.  I am determined to make this happen.

How could you not pine for these videos of your wedding?!?
  video
video
  video
Then those dreams came screeching to a halt when I found out the price.  Even the most basic package for some of these people cost over $5,000. Ummmm not going to happen.  Just as quickly as it started, my love affair with these videos was over.  I found one duo where the basic package starts at $2,500 but even that seems a little steep for our $0 budget.  

video
Help!!  Did anyone not hire a videographer and it is your life's one regret?  Have I lost my bridal brain to think this is even a remotely good idea?  Or should I go with the original plan and a get a couple of flip cameras and call it a day!

Hold the phone: What about option C.... use Wedit!?! Any one heard of this company use know anyone that used them?

Kung Fu Fighting

Nicole is A-MUH-ZING!  She got us our engagement pictures way before promised and they are out of this world.  Because I am borderline narcissistic I am going to show you even more pictures of myself (oh and Mr. CS too).  Don't worry I won't share all 292 she sent us but I am tempted, they are that good!

Here are just a couple of my favorites.  Mr. Cucumber Sammie already said he didn't like some of these but I say 'too bad..... apply to the bee yourself and then you can share whatever you like but this is my  post and I post what I want!'  I am already totally over marital compromise.

Look... The house number is 2011



This one kind of looks like Mr. Cucumber Sammie is trying to put me in a choke hold but I think it is the most natural looking of us.  Probably because he was attempting to put me in a choke hold and I was fending him off with my kung fu grip.






Yay!  And there you have it... a whole post of me!  I was tempted to put in some shots of just me but I thought that would be going over the line.

Let's see your engagement photos!?!

**all photographs by the lovely Nicole of Girl Photography**

I had the time of my life

Wedding planning has started to take a turn for the stressful.  I had another wedding nightmare last night.  So Mr. Cucumber Sammie and I did what we do best and procrastinate!  We have started focusing on the the fun stuff and ignoring the things that need to get done.  We are looking at places for our honeymoooooon!
We can't take a regular honeymoon (honeymooooon!) right after the wedding so we are going to take a mini-moon.  The mini-moon has to be close to South Jersey because we need to be back at work on the Thursday after our Sunday wedding (don't weep for the CucumberSammies though, we plan to take a full honeymoon next summer).  Here are a couple of places that top our list.

The Eastern Shore.  The 'eastern shore' is the area on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia.  This is a huge area and there are tons of places to stay.  Maybe we could even stay in Chincoteague and see the Pony Swim?!?!
Yay Ponies!  {Image via Eastern Shore Visitor}
That option seems a little far though.  Or perhaps we will go o the Cambridge, MD and stay here....
{Image via Eastern Shore Visitor}
I die!  There is loads to do on the eastern shore including golf, relaxing, bay cruises, did I mention relaxing?

Another place on our short list is Colonial Williamsburg.  It might be fun to play tourist for a day or two.  We could see some battle reenactments.  I could put Mr. LP in the stocks if he is being bad.  So many options.
Ooooh exciting! {Image via Travel Muse}
Finally my favorite (as of 2 hours ago) option is Berkeley Springs, WV.  It is only 90 minutes from DC and is billed as a spa town.  Yes, please!  And I have even picked out the perfect place to stay.... Cacapon Resort State Park.
Lovely {Cacapon Resort}
I am soooo confused about all things WV (Mr. CS is from WV so that was a dig at him not the state) but apparently they have state run hotels on state parks?  I have no idea if that is correct but I decided it is.  Basically what you need to know is that means cheap!  And we could stay in a cabin all to ourselves with a fireplace.  We could go hiking, fishing, golfing or horseback riding.  If we get bored at Cacapon it is just a 10 minute drive to Berkeley Springs for some dining and spa-ing (yes it is a word).

And tell me this place doesn't remind you of Kellerman's Resort from Dirty Dancing.  Who knows maybe I will meet Patrick Swazye and he will teach me to do the Rumba!  Oh wait... honeymoooon.
Kellermans or Cacapon? {Image via Movie Fone}
Cacapon or Kellermans? {Image via Booked}
Any other suggestions for our minimoon close to DC?  Who else procrastinates by googling honeymoon locations?!

Shock to the System

A couple of weeks ago Mr. Cucumber Sammie and I trekked up to Cape May for our menu tasting.  It was an epic food coma inducing evening, whose story should best be told through the use of pictures.  At Congress Hall they do a tasting 'party'.  They invite all the brides and grooms who is getting married during a certain time period and have kind of a mock wedding complete with dj.  There were centerpieces from various local florists and different linens on all the tables.  I must have gained 5 pounds but it was worth it!

It wasn't until about half way through the appetizers that I realized I should probably take pictures.  And at that point pretty much everything that was worth eating was gone.  Ooops!  But I think it just a testament to how delicious everything was.

For our menu we get a total of 5 passed hors' d oeuvres appetizers (who am I kidding, I can't spell that).  Congress Hall provided a tasting of their top 6.  They were: Seared Sesame Tuna, Smoked Salmon Pinwheels, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus on Toasted Pita, French Onion Soup Boule, Garlic Crusted Lamb Chops and Truffled Potato Croquettes.
Yum yum
All gone!
Everyone at the table agreed that the lamb chops and salmon pinwheels were phenomenal.  But that is where the consensus stopped.  I loved the little bowls of french onion soup (so cute, you can still see the bread bowl on Mr. CS's plate... I ate mine of course) but most people thought it was too salty.  Mr. Cucumber Sammie loved the hummus but I thought it was just meh.  Thankfully Congress Hall has about 20 more appetizers on their menu that we can select from.  Now we just have to figure out how to narrow it down!

Along with our apps. we get a 2 stations for the cocktail hour.  Mr. Cucumber Sammie and I are decedents from mice and can't imagine not having CHEESE!!
I just want to bury my head in there
Salad comes next!
Goat cheese, pancetta and dried cherries
Pear, walnut and stilton over baby spinach
Yes I am a terrible blogger and can't remember to take a picture before shoveling food in my face.  There was one more salad but I didn't get a picture.  We are probably going to go with the Mesclun greens with  Crumbled Goat Cheese, Crispy Pancetta and Dried Cherries (and yes it deserves capital letters).  Mmmm goat cheese!

I am feeling full just remembering all this food I ate but don't worry I powered through it.
Grilled Citrus Salmon with Spinach and Wild Rice
Chicken stuffed with spinach roasted peppers and smoked mozzarella
Maple Cured Pork Chop with mashed sweet potatoes
Petite Filet Mignon with Garlic Mashed
Shrimp and Crab Cake with mashed potatoes and spinach
 So good!  The mashed sweet potatoes were A-mazing.  Seriously, I don't know what they did to them but they were so good.  Even better than the garlic mashed potatoes and I didn't think I would ever say something is better than garlic mashed potatoes.  The filet mignon was everyone's hands down favorite.  Everything else was delicious but not blow-me-over amazing so we are still searching for our second option. 

Finally dessert.  I was away taking pictures of centerpieces when the dessert tray came but don't worry they started without me.  So chivalrous. 
We are not having passed desserts since we are having the cookie table.  So don't get too attached to those pictures.

I had to be rolled out of Congress Hall because I ate way too much.  I am not kidding about the food coma and promptly fell asleep on the car ride home.

Anyone else have their tasting yet?  Was it a private tasting or a 'tasting party' where they gave you only a sampler of the menu?  How did you decide on the items you didn't taste?

Sanctuary

I can't remember if I have mentioned this already but our wedding is the day after my birthday.  Woohooo double presents!  In theory this should make it almost impossible for Mr. Cucumber Sammie to forget our anniversary.  Never, say never though.

What does this mean for the Cucumber Sandwich wedding guest?  Well instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner we are having a rehearsal/welcome/birthday party!  It is going to be out of control shenanigans and I can't wait.  Practically a double wedding since everyone who is on our 'A' guest list is invited to the welcome dinner bonanza.   

We have decided to go in the opposite direction of the wedding when planning birthday-palozza.  While the wedding is classy and elegant, the night before is going to be debaucherous.  (Not for me though because I need my beauty sleep!).  Our catering menu will consist of.... (warning those with weak stomachs should not proceed) 
Yum but awww {Image via BigJohnGrills}
A pig roast!!  We are also going to have hamburgers and hot dogs but it will be real casual.  Maybe even a game of beer pong or two.  Just throwing it out there.

While we were in Cape May this past weekend we scoped out some locations for this rockin' party.  The name of the game is to save some money so the master plan is to rent a house where the bridal party can stay and host the rehearsal/welcome/birthday party!  We are hoping that the 'accommodations' will be our gift to them and do double duty as rehearsal venue.

This is where we run into trouble.  We have two housing options each with their own perks and downsides.  First up, our original favorite.
 It is really hard to find a nice amount of yard space and parking in Cape May.  A lot of the houses are very close together and there is limited street parking.  This house in on a corner lot and a little further away from the center of town so parking seems plentiful.

The backyard is not huge but that will do (pig!).
There is also a good sized front porch just in case of rain.  We are rolling the dice and not renting a tent so a plan B area is always a plus.

The second house we fell in love with this weekend.  It seems to be perfect for our party.
Look at that divine porch which will be a huge hit (especially if it rains).  The downside is that that parking may be more difficult at this location and we have to rent it for 3 nights instead of 2 like the other house for slightly more money.
Nice patio area where they can set up the pig and another shot of that gorgeous wrap around porch.
Hello Mr. CS and family!
The backyard is more of a confined space so that might make it seem more crowded but there is plenty of deck space and a nice back porch which I failed to get a picture of.


What is a girl to do?!? We decided to go with.......

Option #2!  Hive, please meet our rehearsal dinner venue.  Yay for birthday/welcome/rehearsal parties.

Are you having an unconventional rehearsal dinner?

*All personal photographs unless noted

London Bridge

With less than 6 months until the wedding, it seems like things are coming fast and furious.  Yesterday we went to our tasting party in Cape May.  I can't wait to share pictures but first I need to find my camera cord :)  Today we got an awesome proof back of our invitation.  I am so frickin' exciting about how it is turning out!

In the next couple of weeks I am going to be taking a little trip to focus on someone else's wedding.  Whose wedding you might ask?!?!  Well I will give you a hint.......

Bet you can't tell who it is (source)
It starts with a W and ends with a 'illiam and Kate!  I will give you a moment to go back and read it again.  That's right, the LemonPuppy clan is headed to London to celebrate the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.  Mama LP is a huge British Royalty fan.  Papa LP is a prince of a guy and for Christmas bought her hotel reservations and flights to London for the royal wedding.  Lucky for me, she was allowed to bring some friends (i.e. my sisters and me).

Sadly we did not get one of these in the mail.
(source)
But it will still ridiculous to be in London during those couple of days.  We plan on doing our own walking Will and Kate tour.  Perhaps stopping at Mahiki where Will danced on a bar after breaking up with Kate.  Or maybe the famous jewelry store where the late Lady Di's engagement ring is from.  So many options!!
We could dance on the same bar! (source)
I highly doubt I will be getting much wedding inspiration from this trip.  I doubt we invite 2,000 + people to our wedding.  And I don't have a whole royal staff to help me plan.  Although between us, I think my invitations are going to be better than hers (anyone else think they are kind of boring?!).  My favors are definitely not going to be tea towels with mine and Mr. LP's faces.

Totally getting one (source)
Any other 'must dos' for the LemonPuppy clan while we are in London?!?!  Would you like me to bring you back a tea towel?  Who do you think will be on the celebrity guest list... Harry Potter?