Here Comes The Guide's Blog

Decadence Deconstructed: Parker-Lusseau Pastries

There are so many things to love about this job, but when notable Monterey pastry chefs from Parker-Lusseau Pastries bring you an assortment of cakes and pastries to taste in the middle of a day-long meeting…well, let’s just say they never get such treatment at my husband’s workplace!

Sure, Parker-Lusseau also delivered a delicious lunch. As I made my way through my curried tuna with freshly-baked wholegrain bread, I was already convinced this company knew their stuff. And then came dessert.

We knew it’d be nothing short of silly if we came to Monterey and didn’t order cakes from a place that makes wedding pastries as gorgeous as, well, Exhibit A:

Parker-Lusseau Wedding Cake

To properly sample the wares of this Certified By The Guide wedding vendor, we’d each prepared for this day by ordering a mini-tart or piece of cake to taste in advance, and when they arrived we laid them all out on a plate so we could pass them around.

As we looked at the plate of decadence, we all muttered versions of the same tired ladylike line: “How will we finish this? It’s just so much!”  I’m both proud and slightly ashamed to say that a few minutes later the plate was almost clean.

Could you blame us? Look at this menu: Chocolate mousse and raspberries with pistachio cake, double lemon tart, tiramisu, chocolate mousse combined with creme brulee and flourless chocolate cake (yup, that’s one cake!)...

Several hours later, after our initial sugar high had subsided, we dipped into a box of rich Parker-Lusseau truffles. You know, just because.

This wasn’t a day to count calories.
It was a day to count our blessings: We’d found a company that not only knows their way around cakes and tarts, they also deliver them to your doorstep.

Eco-Cool Wedding Invites

There’s something so playful and unexpected about this stationary line by Night Owl Papergoods (made in Birmingham, Owlabama, no less!)

I just love how they etch modern shapes or folksy flowers on a thin piece of wood for an earthy, natural quality that never feels the least bit hippie or granola-y.

Do-It-Yourself brides will love their blank wood line, which gives them the freedom to stamp or draw their own designs. And eco-conscious couples will appreciate that the wood used is from sustainably harvested birch, and the paper envelopes are 100% post-consumer recycled. Just gorgeous! 

Save The Date with Red Rosette Design by Night Owl Papergoods

Squirrel Vows Pistachio Wedding Invitation by Night Owl Papergoods

Flower Girl Dress Up

I was never a flower girl, but I know I would have been fantastic at it. Dressing like a princess for a day and throwing stuff in public? What more could a little girl want? 

I admit it was fun bringing out the little girl in me again when choosing the flower girl dress and accessories for my wedding. Here’s my favorite flower girl ensemble of the moment (and don’t forget to include a coloring book to keep her occupied during the reception!):

Flower Girl Dress by Advantage Bridal, $141

White Flower Girl Dress withYellow Sash

Molly Jr. Children’s Shoes by Touch-Ups, $28.99

Molly Jr. Children's Shoes

Sarah Parchment Rose Wreath by Orange Blossom Tiaras, $95

Sarah Parchment Rose Wreath

How To Stay Friends With Your Bridesmaids

There are a lot of wedding plans that can be made well in advance, but some to-do items are better left to the last few months. Case in point: Don’t buy your bridesmaid dresses more than two months before your wedding.

Nicole Miller Bridesmaid Dress, Perfect for Expecting BridesmaidsI recently attended a wedding where two drop-dead gorgeous bridesmaids sheepishly walked down the aisle in too-tight dresses. Between the time the dresses were purchased (over a year ago!) and the wedding day, two out of five bridesmaids got pregnant, and there was no time to find a new dress for all the bridesmaids.

At the last minute, the ladies swapped dresses with each other to ensure that they were all…er…covered, but sadly, their plan wasn’t entirely successful. One busty bridesmaid was on constant Nipple Watch, pulling up her strapless gown to make sure “the girls” were kept under wraps. Even so, it took only one Michael Jackson song before she was resembling another Jackson, if you know what I mean.

The moral of the story is, don’t commit to bridesmaid dresses (or at least the final tailoring session) until shortly before the actual event. Your friends will thank you.

When you are ready to shop for bridesmaid dresses, here’s a hint: Nicole Miller has some stunning flowy gowns that would look gorgeous on your ladies, whether they have a bun in the oven or not.

Road To The Altar: The Budget

There’s no doubt that the biggest 2009 wedding trends all seem to be centered on the same idea: less is more. Budget weddings are big: Couples everywhere are looking for the best deals around before they plunk down the plastic.

Check out this episode of Road To The Altar for one hilarious example of a wedding budget gone awry.

And for the record? Simon’s right: regifting hotel soaps really doesn’t equal a green wedding. Click here to find out more about (legitimate) green weddings.