Michigan Made Success!

Michigan made wedding: check!

Though it’s taken us two weeks to recover (one week recovering on the honeymoon, another to recover from the honeymoon), we (Mr. & Mrs. Vial, that is) are happy to report that our Michigan made celebration was everything we hoped it would be. We have so many people to thank, and more exciting local vendors to share than we’ve even had a chance yet report. Our final few posts will be highlighting some of those, as well as sharing some of the amazing photography done by the beautiful and talented Natasha  Janardan and her beautiful and talented sister, Meghal.

Here are the gentlemanly groomsmen in their tuxes from Brighton Tux Shop and the handsome groom in his tie from Downtown Lansing‘s Kositchek’s.

They look like a serious bunch, no? You should have seen them dressed up in costume and “dancing” to The Safety Dance.

It pays a to plan an indoor wedding – especially when a downpour arrives just in time for the ceremony!

We made it back inside just in time. It was so worth it for the great outdoor photos!

There are many more photos to come! I won’t bombard everyone with pictures before the rest are ready, but for a sneak peek of more early ones, you can visit Natasha’s website.

Special thanks to my Aunt Julie and mom for making these great magnetic chalkboard favors!

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Bloody Mary Bonanza

Well, hello! Did you wonder if we’d fallen off a cliff? Perhaps we snuck off and eloped after deciding we were bored of this whole Made in Michigan wedding nonsense?

We have disappeared for almost two months, it’s true, but rather than falling off cliffs or changing our entire wedding concept, we have been, as anyone who has planned a wedding will be unsurprised to hear, so busy working on the wedding that we hardly have a minute to even talk about it, let alone blog about it. Besides, since we’re down to the nitty-gritty details, I assume our readers wouldn’t be all that interested in which color table runner we finally decided on, or what the best way to decoupage 104 vases is anyway. Actually, the vases are pretty cool. I’ll probably post about those soon.

Urban Legend Bloody Mary Mix is made in Dexter, but tastes like it was made in San Antonio. By Matthew McConaughey.

But the reason I had to take a break from it all and sit down and write today was because we have stumbled across a totally unplanned but incredibly fun Michigan-made product that I have to share. A few weeks ago, I received a call from a gentleman who said he heard about our wedding and wanted to send us a bottle of his Bloody Mary mixer to try that he makes in Dexter.

Of course I say OK. It’s free Bloody Mary mix. I am no fool.

But I was worried I might be disappointed. Though one would never know it, I am a huge Bloody Mary fan. This may come as a surprise, perhaps even to those closest to me, because I never order them. This is because nine times out of ten, they are disappointing. Once a year, East Tawas, where I grew up, holds a festival in February called Perchville. During this event, my friend’s dad makes a huge batch of Bloody Marys to drink during the Chili Cook Off. They are amazing. No other Bloody Marys compare. So I don’t even order them.

With Ugly Dog Vodka and Michigan-made pickles and asparagus, of course.

But Steve from Urban Legend Bloody Mary Mix was so nice! So I asked him to send us a bottle and when it arrived I opened it up to share with my girlfriends when we sat down to decoupage the aforementioned vases.

Holy. Cow. They were so good. It’s a miracle that the vases were decently decoupaged by the end. I am not a person who is easily persuaded to change from my decided upon path, but we have determined, just a few weeks before the wedding, that Bloody Marys will be a featured drink at our wedding. Seriously, you must try this stuff. It’s spicy and rich and delicious.  And you can have one at our wedding!

 

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You’re Welcome for the Favors

I take gift giving seriously. I feel that if you’re giving someone a gift, it should matter; it should mean something. It should, at the very least, be worth both the time and money spent pursuing it and whatever amount of excitement the gift receiver is expected to have. How does this work when you’re giving a gift to 250ish people?

Wedding favors are our gift to our guests, and are therefore high up there in level of gift giving importance. And, I would think, given the amount of talking, writing and broadcasting we’ve done about our wedding, we can expect the excitement level to be somewhat high, as wedding favors go. But do economies of scale work with these kind of gift giving standards?

Michigan’s own Better Made Chips, how I love thee. Let me count the flavors…

The short answer is, “no.” I learned this when my first idea was to give each table of guests a different delightful Michigan product. Each table would be themed by that product, and guests could find their seats at the “Better Made Table” or the “American Spoon Table.” Delightful, yes? Innovative? Fun? Totally impossible to manage 35 vendors for one idea? “Yes” to all of the above.

After talking to three possible vendors I realized very quickly that I didn’t want organizing favors to be my fulltime job for the next three months. Oh, and guess what? Ordering eight things from 30 different vendors doesn’t work out to a bulk rate. Besides being impossibly time consuming and ridiculously expensive though, it was a great idea, right?

So we had to pick one. Could there be one vendor of Michigan snack foods delightful, fun and innovative enough to match both my expectations for our favors and my excitement over the first idea?

So many amazing flavors, only one mouth.

If you’re from Lansing, you already know where I’m going with this: Cravings Popcorn, duh. Cravings is something over and above a hometown favorite. People have it delivered to them at work. They have Cravings cater events. With popcorn. It’s kind of like magic masquerading as popcorn. In fact, it shouldn’t really even be called popcorn. Wait – no – all other popcorn should just call itself something else. From Buffalo Cheddar to Apple Cider Cinnamon to (my personal favorite) Dill Pickle, the variety of Cravings Popcorn flavors is almost the best thing about it. But obviously, tasting awesome holds that title.

Chad didn’t even bat an eye when I asked him if my secret popcorn favor idea was possible. I can see how spending every day surrounded by popcorn can make you feel capable of anything.

And then there’s Chad, the owner of Cravings Popcorn, who runs his business with all of the energy and ideas you’ll recall from playing store when you were little. He’s built a business that simply exudes fun. He is also kind enough to be receptive to my harebrained ideas of exactly what we’ll do with the popcorn, which is something guests will just have to show up to find out. Everything about the place is  - exactly as prescribed by my wedding favor standards – absolutely delightful.

As mentioned, we’re not revealing all of the secrets of our wedding favors here, so go ahead and get your expectations right on up there. As anyone who’s had Cravings Popcorn before will tell you, that’s right where they belong.

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Boys Gettin’ Spiffy

Is there such thing as a Michigan-made tuxedo? A Michigan-made tuxedo for renting?

Look at these handsome fellows.

We put off our tuxedo search for way too long, because we had a pretty strong inkling it was going to be a tough thing to pull off with our commitment to Michigan in mind. Sure, we could have gone to a locally-owned men’s clothing store like Lansing’s legendary Kositchek’s and had each of our groomsmen drop a $1,000 or so on a brand new tuxedo, but we didn’t really want to test the boundaries of our friendships quite that much.

Plus, we really wanted to find somewhere closer to the Metro Detroit area because that would be more convenient. But every tuxedo store I’ve ever heard of has been in a mall owned by a national conglomerate. Gross.

Here are the the colors our groomsmen will not be wearing.

So instead of researching our options, we made the really wise move of procrastinating. Really, it’s only luck that the guys will have anything to wear at all. Because we put off our research for so long, we still had no idea what we were doing for tuxes when a very nice gentleman named Rick Bourbonais saw the article about us in the Lansing State Journal and wrote to us to tell us about his store, The Brighton Tux Shop. Not only has his store been family owned for more than 30 years, but he works exclusively with a tuxedo warehouse in Livonia that has been Michigan owned and operated since 1944.

Boys sorting out all the boy stuff. I should have put Mike in charge of finding my dress.

Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner. Better yet, when Mike and I showed up on a random Monday with still no idea of what we wanted in mind, Rick was there to walk us through all the options, explain things about tuxes I would never would have even imagined existed, and in under an hour, we had everything figured out and walked out of the store ready to check “tuxedos” right off the list. And it was incredibly reasonably priced.

Tuxedos were, hands-down, the easiest, least stressful part of the entire wedding planning process. As we were getting in the car to go home, I was surprised to find that Mike wasn’t half as surprised as I was about this.

“Of course it’s easy,” he said. “We’re guys. If it was any more

complicated than that, we’d never manage to do it.”

I’m sure there’s a deeper lesson in there about why every other aspect of wedding planning is so dreadfully complicated, but I’ll just ignore that for now and keep fretting about what shoes I’m going to wear.

Ta-dah! This is what our guys will be wearing. Classy, right?

 

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Accessorizing with Grace

I have difficulty with the concept of moderation. While this creates an array of colorful issues in my life, the one that has been on the forefront of my mind lately is how to neither under- nor over-accessorize for the wedding. On a typical day, I am either walking about the world with no makeup and not a single piece of jewelry, or I look like I’m on my way to a Cyndi Lauper look-alike contest. Neither of these happen on purpose; I just don’t have a very good filter.

But for our wedding day, I feel an intense need to – for the first time ever – look just right. I have no idea how to do this. I’ve looked at jewelry and veils and tiaras enough fill an IKEA-sized Claire’s, but nothing has spoken to me. Everything is either looks too gaudy or unbearably boooooooooring. But then, I remind myself, perhaps nothing has spoken to me because I am a foreigner in the land of proper accessorizing. Maybe several things were speaking to me, but I just didn’t understand the language. Maybe I’m tact-deaf.

[Insert first bridal freakout here.]

 

A tree full of delightful hair pieces and sparkly necklaces. It's the kind of thing that makes you feel lucky to be a girl.

But then, about a week ago, it happened. I was reading a blog post on rd I do, the delightful wedding branding and design division of Rizzi Designs in Lansing. The subject was Old Town‘s Grace Boutique and all the delightful wedding-y items owner Summer Schriner has on display.

And there it was: the perfect hair piece. It was fun and frilly, but delicate and white. It was sparkly and princessy, but it was a headband instead of a tiara. It spoke to me. I had to have it. Unfortunately, Mike and I were about to leave the state for a week. How could I leave it to chance that it would still be there? I wrote a desperate emergency email, and Summer was kind enough to hold it for me. Phew.

 

A fashionista bag with a Michigan-shaped tag? Gimmie!

I was expecting that picking it up today was going to be the highlight of my day, but I didn’t even realize just how delightful it was going to be. Grace is amazing. It was a good thing that I only had the sacred “wedding credit card” on me, or there would have been no hope of me walking out of there with only the headband in tow. Dresses, earrings, shoes, purses…I pretty much wanted one of everything.

I realize that the hair piece is only one part of the accessorizing, and though there is still

My terrible photography skills cannot do these beauties justice. In real life, they are so pretty that you feel compelled to clap your hands when you see them.

plenty of room for me to fall off the good taste bandwagon, my confidence has been restored. I now have the perfect accessory to build the others around, and – even more exciting – I knew it when I saw it. Plus, now I know where to start shopping for earrings.

P.S. I’m not posting a picture of the beauteous headband in question to maintain a veiled sense of secrecy around my wedding attire (pun definitely intended), but it’s easy enough to find on the rd I do blog. Don’t you love it? Aren’t you jealous?

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