Rob and Mandy's Wedding Extravaganza………….. May 26, 2012

Blogging my way to our wedding day.

121 Days to Go – Cranes, Cranes, Cranes! January 26, 2012

I am still hard at work on my 1,000 origami cranes project! Right now I have right around 700 🙂 Rob has helped, as well as my friend Kate from work. I’ve been using mainly scrapbook paper from Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and JoAnn Fabrics. However, I did decide to order some actual origami paper through a seller on Etsy. It took a couple of weeks, but my origami paper has arrived from Hong Kong! Check it out 😀

I wish I could read Chinese, I love how the characters look 🙂

6 different patterns of beautiful origami paper

All of the papers have wonderful gold accents for a bit of sparkle

Cranes made from each paper design, so cute!!

Time to get back to work! 🙂


127 Days to Go – Thinking About the Cake January 20, 2012

Filed under: Reception,Wedding — mandyshaner @ 6:37 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been putting actual thought into how our wedding cake is going to look. So far I know how big it is going to be, and of course it’s going to be HUGE! It kinda has to be right? I’m a cake decorator after all 😀 Oh, and I should probably mention that I’ll be making it myself, even though people keep telling me I’m crazy. But seriously, how could I not? Anyway…I’m planning to do a 6″, 8″, 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″, with small columns in between so that I can wait to stack the layers until I’m at the reception. I don’t want to give away too much info about how it’s going to look because I want people to be surprised when they see it. We already have our topper as well, and it’s also quite tall as far as toppers go. This beast should be pretty impressive when it’s all said and done!

In the meantime, I will share a photo of a cake that is decorated with the exact same gumpaste flowers that will be on ours. I ordered them earlier this week and they came in today. They look fantastic in person! I really just want to make the cake right now!


129 Days to Go – Menu Decisions! January 18, 2012

Well today was our wedding menu tasting and I was so looking forward to it! Not only to taste what was sure to be amazing food, but also just to get a chance to go back to the gardens. It’s so beautiful there! I was also looking forward to getting a glimpse of the gardens covered in snow since we might never really get another chance. The gardens are closed to the public from October to April so most people will never get the chance to see them snowy. We couldn’t walk the paths or anything, but we could see quite a bit from the giant windows in the reception area.

Our tasting was scheduled for 11am. We got there about a half hour early which kind of worked out because we had a little time to look out the windows and take photos before they brought the food out.


After enjoying the beautiful scenery for a bit, it was time to taste the food we had chosen. We were allowed to taste 3 entrees plus 1 vegetarian meal. Here is what we tried 🙂

Our tasting menu

Grilled Salmon

Five Spice Chicken

Grilled Pork Chop

Grilled Vegetable Rigatoni

Everything we tried was SO delicious! It was kinda hard to narrow down our choices. We already knew we wanted the Prime Rib, but we didn’t get to taste it because they can’t really make just one serving. We were also pretty sure that we wanted the Grilled Vegetable Rigatoni as our vegetarian choice, but tasting it certainly solidified the decision. As amazing as everything was, it might have been my favorite thing (but I am a huge fan of cheese)! So between the 3 other things we tasted we had to pick only 1. I initially wanted the Grilled Pork Chop, but tasting the other items made it much more difficult. In the end we chose the Grilled Salmon. We all really liked everything on the plate. The black bean-sweet potato hash was a surprisingly tasty side dish!

So hopefully everyone enjoys the menu that we have chosen. If you don’t like steak or salmon, the pasta dish really is a surprisingly delicious alternative! There will also be a chicken tenders or macaroni and cheese option for the kiddies, and appetizers will be served during the cocktail hour (we still have to decide on those). We will also be hosting an open bar for an hour before dinner and an hour after (during dinner and later in the evening drinks can still be purchased). So get excited people, this thing is really coming together!!


135 Days to Go – The Wedding Party January 12, 2012

We’ve finally finished deciding another important part of our wedding, who’s going to stand up there with us! It’s been fairly difficult, at least for me, because the vast majority of my friends are anywhere but here. In the end I decided that it would be best to have people that are nearby rather than trying to plan too much long-distance.

So, on Rob’s side we have his brother Phil as the best man, one of his best friends Jim, and my brothers Brian and Christopher. On my side will be one of our best friends Carley as the maid of honor, another of my best friends Cory (who lives in Orlando, but picking out a tux shouldn’t be too difficult without being here…hopefully), and Rob’s two cousins Kapi and Skylar as junior bridesmaids. Another of Rob’s cousins, Lexi, will be the flower girl and my nephew Braedon will be the ring bearer (hopefully, that’s still not set in stone). We’re still trying to figure out a job for two other young boys because we don’t want them to feel left out, but we’re having a heck of a time. Any suggestions on a fun job for boys under 8 would be greatly appreciated!

Carley – Maid of Honor, Jim – Groomsman

Phil – Best Man

Rob – Groom! <3, Christopher – Groomsman, Brian – Groomsman

Cory – Bridesmaid? lol, Mandy – Bride!

Kapitola – Junior Bridesmaid

Skylar – Junior Bridemaid

Lexi – Flower Girl

Braedon – Ring Bearer

I’m really glad that this is one more thing I can cross off my list though. I’ve been going up, down , back and forth on what to do with the wedding party and I’m pretty excited to check it off my list 🙂


139 Days to Go – 1000 Paper Cranes January 8, 2012

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise), and is said to live for a thousand years. In Japan, it is commonly said that folding 1000 paper origami cranes makes a person’s wish come true. It is believed that cranes mate for life* and both male & female work together to build their nest. Thus, cranes are the perfect symbol for a wedding.

Tonight Rob taught me how to fold paper cranes 🙂 So far I’ve made 10….so I’ve got a little ways to go hehe. I think it will be fantastic if we can find a unique way to display these at our wedding ❤ Wish me luck!!

An example of a paper crane

Paper cranes hung from a parasol

Cranes hung in a row

A traditional Senbazuru


146 Days to Go – It’s 2012! January 1, 2012

Filed under: Musings,Wedding — mandyshaner @ 8:15 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s finally here! The year we are going to get married! It’s so exciting and yet a bit panic-inducing :). There just under 5 months to go now and there’s a lot of things that should already be finished that aren’t…I’m trying not to be too worried though, I know it will all come together and be spectacular. Since I’ve gone awhile without posting a blog (yet again, I’m really terrible at these things), let’s do a little recap of what we’ve accomplished lately.

I’ve acquired a decent amount of silk flowers using money that I made selling jewelry on Etsy. We asked Rob’s (and soon to be my) cousins to be flower girls (there will be 3, and I think it will be so much fun). We are still trying to find a fun way to include two young boys in the wedding somehow as well, it wouldn’t feel right to leave them out. We found our photographer. We signed the contract with our DJ. We survived Christmas! All positive and awesome things 🙂

Rob actually went to college with our photographer, which makes it that much cooler because they already know each other! I’ve followed their work for awhile now because I’m a photography buff myself and they do great things 🙂 He and his wife (they work as a team) came down from Wisconsin a few weeks ago to meet with us. What great people! I couldn’t be happier. They stayed for awhile and chatted with us and we all went out to dinner. It was really nice to gain that familiarity, so much better than having someone you barely know following you around on your big day! If you want to check out their work, head over to !

Our DJ has a pretty neat backstory as well! He’s actually been Rob’s family’s insurance agent ever since he and his brother were kids! Apparently he does a lot of musical things on the side including playing the guitar. We sat down and had a really long meeting with him at his office after hours and I think he’s going to do a fantastic job. He claims to have a gift for keeping people on the dance floor all night long, so it should be fun! His DJ business is called BK Music and is based in South Elgin, I tried to find a website but I think he hasn’t quite made it to the internet yet :).

At any rate, that’s 2 really big things checked off of our to-do list! I’m super excited, and I think May is going to be here in the blink of an eye…

Happy 2012 everyone!


%d bloggers like this: