Friday, July 22, 2011

Vendor Review: La Scala Italian Bistro, Dublin, Ohio

As you may remember from previous posts, choosing a venue for our reception was tough. I do a little event planning for my day job and consider myself more than capable of throwing a catered dinner for ~150. I also had a good idea of what one should cost. I was floored by how much the word WEDDING increased the prices of every venue and menu. Oh well. We struggled with it, but made some tough choices and in the end made a great decision.

We chose La Scala Italian Bistro in Dublin, Ohio. We came to our decision based on the following factors:

Price: La Scala's pricing was all-inclusive. There were no additional charges for the room, set-up or the event coordinator. Additionally, their food prices were very reasonable and we received a large discount for our off-season wedding. Their open bar prices were relatively high, but everything balanced out and still saved us money. 
Atmosphere: The restaurant has two large reception rooms, both recently renovated and lovely enough that decor was unnecessary (if we didn't want any :).
Ease: Did I mention an event coordinator was included in the price? How awesome is that?
Reputation: La Scala is a well-known, family owned restaurant. We felt that having a restaurant relying on consistent business gives them a greater incentive to throw a great party. Wedding guests who have a great time and love the food are more likely to return to the restaurant for dinner, right?

So, how did it work out in the end? Perfectly. Seriously.

Kathy, the event coordinator, was amazing. She met with us a handful of times before the wedding, answered emailed questions promptly and made it clear that her job was to execute our vision. We dropped our decor off the Thursday before our wedding and the dessert off the morning of. She had everything set up perfectly and kept the party running smoothly.

The food was FANTASTIC! I hate the informality of buffets. I also hate tracking everyone's plated meal selection via reply card. Pain! La Scala has a family style buffet that was the perfect combination. Each table received generous portions of every dish we chose so everyone was able to have a little of everything... or a lot! They kept the bowls and plates of food coming! Everything was served hot straight from the restaurant kitchen, not luke warm from chaffing dishes (another pet peeve of buffets....). And it was all delicious as I expected from La Scala. We chose vegetable lasagna, chicken parmesan and prime rib for our main courses and garlic mashed potatoes and zucchini romano for sides. A salad, bread, spumoni ice cream and iced tea were also included in the price. All of it was delicious. The biggest crowd-pleasers were the lasagna and zucchini romano.

Photo credit: Jessica Miller Photography
The space was beautiful.

Photo credit: Jessica Miller Photography
Photo credit: Jessica Miller Photography

Photo credit: Jessica Miller Photography

I don't think any of these pictures do it justice.

And the price was right. We came in right at our budget, no surprises in the bill. Our large, Italian family got a kick out of the restaurant's atmosphere and the fantastic Italian menu.

I think the very best part of it all is that we can go back whenever we want. I see many celebratory dinners enjoyed at La Scala in our future. I see bringing our kids for dinner and telling them, "this is where your mom and dad had their wedding reception." How cool is that?

Good job, La Scala. You've got us for life!

All photos in this post are credited to our fabulous wedding photographer, Jessica Miller Photography.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Apologies and Excuses

In the past three months I have written three blog posts.


I have a million excuses and loads of apologies. I hope some of you are still out there to receive them!

So, what have I been doing with all my extra non-blogging, non-wedding planning time? Here you go:

Our busy season just wrapped... the months of May and June were hellish from 8:30 a.m. - 5+ p.m.. that's all I have to say about it.

Kicking-Off my Etsy Store, Becky Seymour Designs.
I know. There's not much there yet. Prior to June 22nd, I'd only made things on an as-needed basis for myself, my friends and babies I think are cute (not the ugly ones!). More items will be coming in August when life SLOWS DOWN (puh-lease?). In the mean time, please like the Becky Seymour Designs Facebook page and for crying-out-loud, BUY SOMETHING! Or send me a request for a custom piece. Despite the chaos, turn-around is quick, I promise :)

So, stay tuned. I'm starting my vendor reviews and it should be particularly good reading for any Columbus, Ohio area brides. I'll dish on what I loved and hated about them all... but mostly loved cause I picked some rockin' vendors.

And I'll leave you with one Becky Seymour Designs happy customer: my niece, Lexi.
Clearly, she's one of the cute ones, especially in a custom hair bow from her favorite aunt, right Lexi? Right.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Becky Seymour Designs has Launched!!

It's official! 

I am thrilled to announce that my Etsy shop for Becky Seymour Designs is LIVE! The shop features handcrafted floral hair pieces and jewelry and specializes in custom wedding designs for brides, bridesmaids and flower girls. Also, any of the handmade items you've enjoyed through this blog can be custom ordered through Etsy, including seating charts, programs, hair pieces and bouquet additions.

More product will be coming soon! In the mean time, browse the shop!

Ivory Satin and Tulle Hair Clip and Broach, $20

Monday, May 16, 2011

Custom Present for My Groom

Huge apology to all of you for the month-long hiatus from blog posts. I find the further I get from the wedding, the less motivation I have for writing recap posts. Don't get me wrong, I love this blog, you lovely readers and chatting up how FABULOUS our day was, but it's just not on my mind as much as it used to be. Life has moved on and with spring comes house projects. Although the rain is keeping us from much-needed landscaping, we have been productive indoors, installing new venetian blinds and working on new pieces for my soon-to-be-launched Etsy store. More to come on that project later...

Gift for my Groom
I often say how blessed Matt & I are to have talented, creative friends. One of those friends was a great help with a big headache of the wedding-planning process: the gift for my groom. I met Grace Hester of Grace Hester Designs at a wedding last summer. She and Matt work today at her day job. In the evenings she's a wife, mom to two adorable little girls and a super talented designer. You can read all about it at her lovely blog. When I finally decided to give Matt a keepsake that included the lyrics to our first dance song and our new, shared name, I immediately asked Grace to design it. And what she came up with was perfect:
Our wedding colors happen to be very similar to our bedroom colors, so here's the print, framed and in its new home.
Ignore the mess, please. Our bedroom is NEVER clean, I swear...

Grace has a version of our print and so many fun, cheeky prints worth checking out. I'm thinking about adding the Love Lives Cozy print to our room next. Thank you, Grace, for your great work! We love and cherish it!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Sexcuses" That Will Ruin Your Marriage

Thank you, for your assistance with planning my wedding. Your advice on 13 things NOT to tell my bridesmaids and top wedding day regrets and how to avoid them were clearly vital to my planning process as were your phenomenal tips for saving money like, "only hire a day-of wedding coordinator" and "don't buy off-season flowers." Invaluable. You managed to make me feel broke, cheap and stressed with each new article and e-newsletter. It was quite motivating...

I was THRILLED when, just four days after my wedding, I found I had automatically rolled-over into The Nest. The minute the dust settled (had it?) on our wedding, you kindly began filling my inbox with what is inevitably NEXT in my life: cooking, cleaning, saving money and getting myself preggers ASAP (who writes this stuff, my MIL?).

Today I was especially thrilled to learn that I can save my marriage by simply sucking it up and having more sex. Clearly putting out is the only way I will be keeping the wonderful, attractive, and easily distracted man I caught, even when I don't feel like it.

And don't forget to lose weight while you do it with the best calorie-burning sex moves cause the second easiest way to lose your man is by getting fat.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

DIY Wedding Favors: Homemade Apple Butter

If favors aren't edible, they're a waste. Seriously. Although I'm sure you only invited 300 of your absolutely CLOSEST, BESTEST friends, I'm also sure that 99% of them (ok, all of them except your mother and grandmother) do NOT want a to decorate their house with memorabilia from your wedding. If you're lucky, they'll frame a picture of themselves with the bride, but they'll probably look drunk because, let's face it, they DO care about the open bar. Which is why I opted for the best wedding favor, the kind that is homemade, edible yumminess.

My mom has been canning apple butter for years and she gets 100% of the credit for our delicious favors. She has kindly agreed to share her recipe!  Everyone say THANK YOU Amy! And check out her blog where she hosts tons of giveaways.

Caramel Spice Apple Butter (Adapted from the Ball Blue Book)
Yield: 9-12 Half-pint jars

8 – 9 lbs Apples, cored & quartered (to yield about 12 cups apple pulp)
4 cups Sugar, divided   
1 cup water or apple juice
2 teaspoons Cinnamon, ground
½  teaspoon Ginger, ground
½  teaspoon Cloves, ground
½ teaspoon Nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
2 Tablespoons Lemon juice

In a large saucepot or Dutch oven, combine apples and add the water or apple juice. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are softened. Press through a food mill or sieve. Return pulp to saucepot; set aside.

In a large skillet or saucepan, heat 2 cups sugar over medium high heat until sugar begins to melt, shaking skillet occasionally to heat sugar evenly; reduce heat. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is melted and turns a rich, golden brown.  Be VERY careful, as the caramelized sugar is extremely hot.  Keep a bowl of ice water handy in case you get burned.

Carefully pour caramelized sugar into apple mixture in kettle (mixture will spatter!) The caramelized sugar will harden like candy, but will eventually melt. Stir in the remaining sugar and spices.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring often, until thick enough to round up on a spoon. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Process in boiling water bath 10 minutes for half-pints and 15 minutes for pints.

Amy recommends tasting your apple butter and adjusting the spices as desired.

We printed the labels on top using images from our invitations (suitcase) and another family member, Tammy, did all the calligraphy. Thank you Tammy!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Becky's Vintage Inspired Accessories

The Earrings
 Rhodium, Swarovski pearls and crystals... handmade from Lulu Splendor on Etsy!

The Hair Piece/Fascinator
A custom, handmade creation by Artsymorena on Etsy who came highly recommended by my hair stylist, Brittany! I loved the pop of turquoise-y blue!

The Bracelet
Faux-pearl bracelets from Icing
Seriously... I tried to spend more money, but I couldn't find pearls in the right color anywhere else!

I think it all came together quite nicely :)