...is wedding cake."  -James Thurber

We don't want a gigantic 5-tier fancy-pants wedding cake.  I have tasted some delicious wedding cake in my day, but it always seems like so much of it goes to waste.  At this point it's just a little bit hard for me to rationalize spending hundreds and hundreds on something that will either be eaten or thrown away. 

So.  We are thinking that we will have a small 2-tier cake.  (bottom layer to ceremoniously cut, top to stash away in our freezer.)  For our guests, we would like to have a delicious, summery, strawberry shortcake.  This will probably be a sheet cake that will be cut and plated behind the scenes.  We're imagining this will be a less expensive approach, but who knows what kind of surprise we'll be in for when we meet with a baker!  While we both enjoy strawberry shortcake, this is also kind of a nod to my wonderful Papa, my grandfather, who has always adored this dessert above all others.  I think he'll enjoy it.

As an alternative, this also looks amazing:

via Martha.
And the fish-theme-crazed woman in me is in love with this beauty:
found on theknot.
This weekend Mike and I took a trip east for a some wedding prep.  We looked at two possible reception sites - The Harbor Room in Gloucester and the American Legion in Manchester.  Both venues had pretty waterfront views...
The Harbor Room
American Legion post 113
I also went dress shopping for the first time with my mom and sister.  My mother's friend had recommended a shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire called Madeleine's Daughter.  Tucked away into an shopping plaza, this shop was amazing.  The staff were so professional, friendly, and helpful.  I came in with a few pictures of dresses that I liked, but said I was open to almost anything.  Somehow the consultant put together all the elements she could tell I loved, and walked in with a dress that somehow combined them all beautifully.  Even though I tried on 4 or 5 different gowns, I fell in love with that first one.  I wish I could post a picture here, but I'll be traditional and keep it a secret for now!

A couple of bonus...I brought Mike to the beach where I had wanted to have the ceremony.  Luckily, he loves it as much as I do!  We also stopped by to visit my grandparents while we were in town.  Grandma pulled out her own wedding album and told all kinds of great stories.  We both left imagining a wedding where the whole town shows up and everyone eats sandwiches and Italian cookies and dances the Polka to a live band...