Jul 08, 2011

  • Last updated on October 3, 2010 at 2:56 pm
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Here are the inspiration pics for my bouquet; none of them are exactly "it" since I want a combination of peonies and open roses in soft pink, blush, and ivory. Some of these bouquets are perfect for flower type, some for color, some for size, etc.

Flower OVERPower photo 9 Flower OVERPower photo 16 


    Flower OVERPower photo 17 

I would like my mother's handkerchief and my late Nana's rosary attached to my bouquet like in the last photo

***And here's my bouquet***


Florist: Rhoads Garden

  • Last updated on September 21, 2010 at 2:23 am
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My name is Lauren, and it's still a little crazy to me that I'm on a wedding planning website! Before I met Dan, I never wanted to get married. I loved being single and actively avoided getting too caught up with just one person. Then in March of 2008 I had my first date with this guy, and well... I fought it and fought it for as long as I could ;) Truth is, he's just perfect for me, and I can't even remember the direction I once thought for sure my life would take.

A little about Dan and me (and our precious fur-baby), taken directly from our website and thrown on PW

All about us photo 1 All about us photo 2


Lauren grew up in Southampton, PA and attended Arcadia University (although she'll always call it Beaver) for her B.A. in English, B.F.A. in graphic design and photography, and M.Ed. in secondary education. A second Master's in English is the next plan, but she thinks a new school may be refreshing. As surprising as it surely sounds, she loves writing, reading, and anything to do with the arts.

Lauren works as an English and journalism teacher at Central Bucks High School South, which is only a quick drive from her condo in Horsham that she shares with the world's sweetest blind, obese pit bull, GingerBaby.

As an only child, Lauren was (and still is) very close with her parents, Kathy and Ray. They helped instill her love of animals, her obsession with travel, and her overwhelming desire to redesign and redecorate every room of her house. It is also impossible to be a member of this family and not have a passion for politics and an involvement in volunteer and charitable causes. Her parents are not, however, to blame for her addiction to college basketball (UNC and Nova!) or rather intense shoe collection

When Lauren is not with her fabulous family, fabulous friends, or fabulous fiance, there's a good chance you'll find her at the gym or out for a run. There's also an equal chance that soon after she can be found in the kitchen, baking something that will likely put all of the calories back on. Hopefully the prospect of a beautiful wedding gown will help her keep a healthy balance.


Daniel grew up in the Tacony/Wissinoming section of Northeast Philadelphia across the street from American Legion Playground (commonly referred to as Devereaux or Devro). The house he grew up in is no longer standing, but for one week it was a lovely shade of pink and could be seen from space. Dan attended St. Leo’s for grade school, Northeast Catholic for high school, La Salle University for a B.A. in psychology, and Holy Family University for a Master’s of Education. Dan also is considering going back to school for a Master’s + 30 or maybe even a second Master's degree because he believes that whoever dies with the most degrees wins the prize.

Dan works at Kensington High School for Business, Finance, & Entrepreneurship and teaches Algebra 1 to freshmen. Although he is not currently involved in any extra-curricular activities at the school, he does volunteer as a baseball and basketball coach for Wissinoming Boys Club.

After hearing daily about how his mother went through over 33 hours of labor, it’s no wonder Daniel is the only child to his loving parents, Joe and Diane. From early on in his life, Dan’s parents have always been there for him, whether it was to help him with school projects or to take him to one of the many sports that he played while growing up. Collectively, they have instilled in him the value of treating others as you would like to be treated and the benefits of putting 100% in all areas of life (school, work, sports, etc...). From his father, Dan gets his sense of humor as well as his punctuality, and his mother has not only taught him how to treat/respect women but also to speak his mind and deal with the consequences later.

When Dan is not educating America’s youth, spending time with his beautiful fiancée, or enjoying his season tickets to the Phillies, he remains active by competing in numerous activities. Daniel plays softball and basketball, goes to the gym, shoots darts, and even does stand-up comedy. Dan also has the fortunate advantage of being surrounded by an amazing group of friends, some of whom have remained in his life since grade school. Let’s just hope that at least one of them can assist him in getting to that altar on time on the big day.


Dan and Lauren's family wouldn't be complete without their beloved pup, GingerBaby. When Dan first began dating Lauren, she let him know that, without exception, if he didn't like her OCD pit bull, there would be no future for them. Luckily, Dan has always been a dog-person, and even more luckily, Ginger has adored him from Day One.

Two and a half years later, Dan is by far the favorite parent.

All about us photo 3 All about us photo 4

Yeah, Ginger sleeps a lot :)

  • Last updated on September 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm
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I wanted a theme, but I couldn't think of one that would be a.) original (or at least not overdone) b.) subtle - nothing that appears costumey c.) affordable - I didn't want to have to choose incredibly expensive decor in order to make the theme visible.

I didn't start out by looking for a theme, but because I'm an English teacher, writer, and avid reader, I found myself drawn to all things literary. Not unexpectedly, FI and I decided to have a couple non-traditional readings at our wedding. I immediately began collecting famous and obscure quotes, excerpts, and poems about love, romance, marriage, etc. (the second-to-last entry in my bio has a lot of them - feel free to check them out!)

First, I saw these amazing cakes:

We somehow have a theme photo 2 We somehow have a theme photo 3

Writing around the tiers! Love it! Our colors are pink, gold, and ivory, so we'll probably do a pale pink cake with ivory writing, but with a stronger contrast like in the blue cake. I was so excited that FI loves this style, too!

For a cake topper, we're doing a large, fresh peony (just the top - not the other tiers)


Flavors (the best part!)

Bottom tier: Rich, chocolate pound cake with raspberry filling

Third tier: Raspberry marble pound cake with rich, dark chocolate fudge filling

Second tier: Chocolate chip pound cake with rich, dark chocolate fudge filling

Top tier (the one that we take home and is just for us chocoholics): Rich, chocolate pound cake with rich, dark chocolate fudge filling

We're also having a dozen gluten-free cupcakes placed around the cake (six vanilla, six chocolate) with pink icing and little 'L&D" designs on top (they're mostly for the benefit of my cousin who has Celiac)

*** And here's how ours came out***

Bakery: Lochel's

After the cake, I saw these awesome STDs on Mydreamring's bio page.

We somehow have a theme photo 4

Bookmark the dates! How awesome! I told mydreamring that I'm totally stealing her idea, and she was so sweet that she directed me to the DIY step-by-step instructions!

*** And here's how ours came out***

Here are the ones we ended up creating and having printed by 

       {front}                {back}


How precious is this sign?? Even though our venue is at the end of a long cul-de-sac, I still think I need to make one of these!

*** And here's how ours came out***

So then I was paging through a bridal magazine (The Knot - Pennsylvania Brides edition) and saw these fabulous "picture frames." Taking books like Great Expectations and The Sun Also Rises, cut out the first few pages and lightly glue in e-photos to display at the reception. Brilliant!

I wish I could find the photo of my inspiration :(

***And here's how ours came out***

Here are some of the books

The covers/titles I chose (all from Dollar Tree!) and the inside of the books with our photos:


Here is a close up of the photos and slightly messed up cut jobs, oops!:


  • Last updated on September 7, 2010 at 8:03 am
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  • 1 Comment

Whenever I see my long PW name on a post and realize that it's a toughie to abbreviate or nickname for other Pdubbers, I wonder what people must think. Actually, I'm sure that most of you don't really think about it at all, but if you do, here's the skinny:

I debated the name for a little before deciding to go with it. I mean, I knew all along that "from cold to fire" is absolutely fitting, but a little of me was concerned that to anyone except a fellow literary nerd, it may sound a bit, well, melodramatic. Trust me, it's not. "From cold to fire" is my favorite part of my favorite line from one of my favorite poets: Pablo Neruda. For those who don't know, Neruda is the poetry world's Barry White. He just oozes romance and passion and sex, and this particular poem is entitled "Sonnet LXVI" or "I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You."

At this point, you're probably thinking that this is some ode to my fiance, and being as this is a wedding website, that is in part true. I never wanted a relationship, nevertheless to get married, so I have essentially gone from cold to fire in regards to romance.

But "from cold to fire" is also the best phrase that I can think of to define how I approach my life. I tend to become fascinated by some issue or concern or idea or endeavor, and I throw myself wholeheartedly into it. In some cases, I have been strongly on "Team Black" only to unexpectedly switch to "Team White" without a moment's time spent on the grey bridge in between. I go from cold to fire about goals, about politics, about relationships with everyone around me. Sometimes I think that I am Passionate and Alive. Sometimes I worry that I am Distracted and Spread Too Thin. There is SO MUCH that I care SO INTENSELY about that I'm not sure my life will fit it all in.

(Either way, the only fair thing to do is post the poem, since there is nothing more frustrating than people who reference something only to leave it hanging out there with no further mention.)


Sonnet LXVI
(I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You)
Pablo Neruda

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.


And so there you have it. The reason behind my name. And a good half an hour of procrastination on accomplishing real work ;)

  • Last updated on August 29, 2010 at 4:28 pm
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I have seven girls in my bridal party, and I really love the look of seven different, yet similar dresses. I chose  tea-length, A-line, pink taffeta dresses with gold accents (ribbons/sashes when applicable). However, the top portion of each dress is a little different.

Initially I thought that it would be impossible to find seven different dresses from the same designer (necessary to keep shade of color identical) that would match my vision, but I think I did it! One of the dresses has removable straps and a removable ribbon that change the look of the dress, so one girl will wear it with straps but no ribbon and the other will wear the reverse.

I can't post them in pink, so use your imaginations ;) (All photos are from DaVinci Bridal)

               MOH - Jenn                                            Bridesmaid - Nicole

Bridesmaids dresses photo 1            Bridesmaids dresses photo 3

            Bridesmaid - Amy                                         Bridesmaid - Gina

Bridesmaids dresses photo 4             Bridesmaids dresses photo 6

           Bridesmaid - Ali                                       Bridesmaids - Tina, Stacey

Bridesmaids dresses photo 5             Bridesmaids dresses photo 2

The last dress is the one that will be worn by two girls, one with straps and the other without. I may also remove the ribbon for one and keep it for the other, just to make a further distinction.


This is the necklace that I bought for each of them as part of their gifts. I think it compliments the dress and hope it will be something they can wear after the wedding.


I also got this for my MOH:


It came from a little boutique in Peddler's Village, PA.

As for shoes - all I asked is that they be gold. Style and heel height are all up to them. Since I'm not paying for hair, make-up, or shoes, I really don't feel right telling them what they have to do/wear.


And here's what my beautiful Mum will be wearing! I think the soft sage color will be perfect with our color scheme! She is having the seamstress shorten it to tea length.


  • Last updated on August 29, 2010 at 12:26 pm
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I'm an English teacher, so I guess it was inevitable that I would have a slew of favorite passages, poems, and quotations from some obscure sources. We are planning to incorporate a lot of these in our ceremony and even in our decor (they'll be another entry about this, I'm sure).

Although it may change, here are our three readings as of now:

Pablo Neruda's "Sonnet XVII"

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Excerpt from Plato's Symposium

Our original nature was by no means the same as it is now. There was a kind composed of both sexes and sharing equally in male and female. The form of each person was round all over; each had four arms, and legs to match these, and two faces perfectly alike. The creature walked upright, and whenever it started running fast, it went like our acrobats, whirling over and over with legs stuck out straight, swiftly round and round.

Now they were so lofty in their notions that they even conspired against the gods. Thereat Zeus and the other gods were perplexed; for they felt they could not slay them, nor could they endure such sinful rioting. Then Zeus said "Methinks I can contrive that men shall give over their iniquity through a lessening of their strength." So saying, he sliced each human being in two. Now when our first form had been cut in two, each half in longing for his fellow would come to it again; and then would they fling their arms about each other and in mutual embraces yearn to be grafted together. Thus anciently is mutual love ingrained in mankind.

Well, when one happens on his own particular half, the two of them are wondrously thrilled with affection and intimacy and love, and are hardly to be induced to leave each others side for a single moment. These are they who continue together throughout life. No one could imagine this to be the mere amorous connection: obviously the soul of each is wishing for something else that it cannot express. Suppose that Hephaestus should ask "Do you desire to be joined in the closest possible union, that so long as you live, the pair of you, being as one, may share a single life?" Each would unreservedly deem that he had been offered just what he was yearning for all the time.

e.e. cummings' "i carry your heart with me"

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)

Now this next passage I LOVE, but FI thinks it's depressing! I asked my parents to back me up, and my father said it's more appropriate for a 35th anniversary - not the day we marry. So I guess it won't be our reading, although it's still lovely.

Excerpt from Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because that's what love is. Love is not breathless, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just ‘being in love’ which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those who truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find out that they are one tree and not two.

Other ones that we liked.may incoporate:

Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters"

Marriage is in many ways a simplification of life, and it naturally combines the strengths and wills of two young people so that, together, they seem to reach farther into the future than they did before. Above all, marriage is a new task and a new seriousness, - a new demand on the strength and generosity of each partner, and a great new danger for both.

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of their solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side by side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

That is why this too must be the criterion for rejection or choice: whether you are willing to stand guard over someone else's solitude, and whether you are able to set this same person at the gate of your own depths, which he learns of only through what steps forth, in holiday clothing, out of the great darkness.

Life is self-transformation, and human relationships, which are an extract of life, are the most changeable of all, they rise and fall from minute to minute, and lovers are those for whom no moment is like any another. People between whom nothing habitual ever takes place, nothing that has already existed, but just what is new, unexpected, unprecedented. There are such connections, which must be a very great, an almost unbearable happiness, but they can occur only between very rich beings, between those who have become, each for his own sake, rich, calm, and concentrated; only if two worlds are wide and deep and individual can they be combined....

...For the more we are, the richer everything we experience is. And those who want to have a deep love in their lives must collect and save for it, and gather honey.

Excerpt from Khalil Gibran's "What of Marriage? from The Prophet

THEN Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage master?

And he answered saying: You were born together, and together you shall be for evermore. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days. Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God. But let there be spaces in your togetherness. And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Excerpt from Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but Really loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get all loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

Excerpt from Anne Morrow Lindbergh's The Gift From the Sea

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.

The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, mot in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.

Excerpt from Madeleine L'Engle's The Irrational Season



In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud
and your form and colour are the way I love them.
You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips
and in your life my infinite dreams live.

The lamp of my soul dyes your feet,
the sour wine is sweeter on your lips,
oh reaper of my evening song,
how solitary dreams believe you to be mine!

Excerpt from Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road" from Leaves of Grass

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself. will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Dorothy Colgan's "Fidelity"

Man and woman are like the earth, that brings forth flowers
in summer, and love, but underneath is rock.
Older than flowers, older than ferns, older than foraminiferae,
older than plasm altogether is the soul underneath.
And when, throughout all the wild chaos of love
slowly a gem forms, in the ancient, once-more-molten rocks
of two human hearts, two ancient rocks,
a man's heart and a woman's,
that is the crystal of peace, the slow hard jewel of trust,
the sapphire of fidelity.
The gem of mutual peace emerging from the wild chaos of love.

Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

(Another) Excerpt from Plato's Symposium

"There is none so base but that Love may breathe into him the spirit of a hero. Love alone makes men ready to die for another's sake; and not men only, but women. And to prove this we need but to look at Alectis, the daughter of Pelias, who, for her husband's sake was willing to die, so greatly her love exceeded that of his father and mother. Which deed the gods themselves did so approve that they suffered her soul to be released from Hades, a thing granted most rarely. Therefore I say that, of all the gods, Love is the eldest and the most to be honoured, and he that in life and in death helps men most to the possession of virtue and happiness."

Excerpt from Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself"

Shoulder your duds, and I will mine, and let us hasten forth,
Wonderful cities and free nations we shall fetch as we go.

If you tire, give me both burdens, and rest the chuff of your hand on my hip,
And in due time you shall repay the same service to me;
For after we start we never lie by again.

Anne DeLenclos

Today a new sun rises for me; everything lives, everything is animated, everything seems to speak to me of my passion, everything invites me to cherish it.

Lord Byron

I have great hope that we shall love each other all of our lives as much as if we had never married at all.

A.A. Milne

      If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus one day, so I never have to live without you.

Mark Twain

To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.

Judy Garland

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul.

Roy Croft

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

Jodi Picoult

There are millions of people in the this world, and the spirits will see that most of them, you never have to meet. But there are one or two that you are tied to, and the spirits will cross you back and forth, threading so many knots until they catch and you finally get it right.

Paraphrase of Plato's Symposium excerpt

According to Greek mythology, humans were originally created with four arms, four legs, and a head with two faces. Fearing their power, Zeus split them into two separate parts, condemning them to spend their lives in search of their other halves.

Octavio Paz

...Look at you

Truer than the body you inhabit

Fixed at the center of my mind...

Sharon Olds

...And that evening,

I looked at my love, and who he is

touched me in the core of my heart...

Excerpt from Sharon Olds' "Fish Oil"

I had not known that one

could approve of someone entirely -- one could

wake to the pungent day, one could awake

from the dream of judgment

(If you couldn't tell, I was reading a book of Sharon Olds' poetry when I began my research. She has a particularly sexy poem entitled "The Shyness" in her collection The Unswept Room which, I must admit, isn't necessarily appropriate for a public wedding but is certainly romantically beautiful. The same could be said for "The Wedding Vow" and "Psalm.")

So that's it for right now. However, I'll be adding more periodically, so if you're looking for something, come back and check! Also, if you have any suggestions, please leave them! I love reading new things!