La Hermosa Novia!

I’ve got myself a pretty gorgeous new sister-in-law, wouldn’t you say?

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That makes two beautiful ladies that my very lucky brothers found over the years – and makes a girl with no sisters growing up (me) very happy!

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After sharing a few of my iphone pics from Priscila & Michael’s big day, I’m so happy to show you some of the first finished photos from the photographer, Luis Chiang Chang-Way of Zonanueve Studios. I did a little jump for joy when Luis gave me permission to share these with you lovely readers – and I’m sure you can imagine why!

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Just breathtaking, no?

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Luis did such an amazing job of capturing Priscila’s total gorgeousness, AND her fun & silly personality!

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How is that for an amazing bridal photo shoot to start off your day?

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Credits to Priscila’s AMAZING photography team of Zonanueve Studios and the oh-so-talented Luis Chiang Chang-Way, as well as to her fantastic makeup artist, Martin Catalogne.

Fairytale Wedding in Lima

I’m back from my quick little jaunt to Lima, Peru – a 5 day adventure that was packed with sight seeing, shopping, llamas, totally insane traffic, an excessive amount of food and… oh yes… an AMAZING wedding!

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My baby brother Michael and his bride Priscila were married in a breathtakingly gorgeous ceremony at the Iglesia de San Pedro (Church of San Pedro) in Lima. Words cannot describe the ornate beauty of this 17th century church – and my pictures do not even come close to doing it justice. But you can trust me that it was spectacular!

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In a surprising turn of events, I ended up doing a reading from the bible – in Spanish – in the ceremony. I was grateful for the little Spanish I remembered from my few years in high school – and honored to be a part of the service!

Here is the beautiful bride (muy bonita!) getting ready in our hotel!

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The reception was something out of a dream – a night of food, dancing and love in a spectacular tented garden on a cliff overlooking the ocean. I am not exaggerating when I say my jaw dropped to the floor as I walked into the magical setting designed by Priscila, her mother Mili, and her amazing wedding planner.

Feast your eyes on these images (yes, they are less-than-amazing iPhone photos, as I couldn’t bring my big camera on the trip!)

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You can see some of the professional shots from this incredible day on the photographer’s Facebook page, right here! The photographer, Luis Chiang Chang-Way (Zonanueve Studios), did an incredible job of capturing Priscila’s perfect beauty, among breathtaking sites throughout historical Lima. If you click one link today, click this one and check out the few ‘preview’ pics already shared!

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If you have any intentions of getting married in Lima – check out these amazing vendors:

Makeup: Martin Catalogne (he did wonders on my face, too!)

Flowers: Elvira Del Busto

Jewelry/Hairpiece: Roxana Parda Barco

Wedding Planner: Paola Maldanado

Photographer: Zonanueve Studios

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The newlyweds in their first dance!

Have you ever been to a wedding that felt as if you had walked into a magazine photo shoot? That is how this felt – and more. It was absolutely unbelievable!

Off to Peru!

Today I leave for Lima, Peru – to spend a long weekend in celebration of my brother and our favorite Peruvian gal, Priscila, for their big wedding!

MikePriscilaPeruYou can read a bit about Michael & Priscila’s love story here, and you can see the fun travel-themed bridal shower my mother and I threw for Priscila here, here and here!

I’ll be back next week – hopefully with some great pictures and some brushed up Español!

Adiós!

Travel Themed Bridal Shower – International Food

My mother and I teamed up to create the lunch menu for Priscila’s travel themed bridal shower. Our goal was to feature foods from the four main countries that are important to Priscila and Mike – the U.S., Sweden (where they met), Peru (where Priscila is from) and France (where they took a special trip to Paris together).

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We hosted just over twenty people, and had more than enough food to go around (that’s a sign of a great party, right?!) Our appetizer spread included a big platter from Philly Soft Pretzel Factory, for what could be more representative of Philadelphia than soft pretzels?

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We had cheese and crackers (plateau de fromage) to represent France, and a tray of thin rye crisp bread, cheese, and sweet & yummy lingonberry jam – a common preserve eaten in Sweden.

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I ordered some of our international fare from World Market, including the crisp bread, jam, and two jars of bruschetta made in Peru – an artichoke spread and an artichoke & piquillo peppers – all of which were delicious!

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The star of the appetizer table was definitely the bolitas de causa served with huancaina sauce, a Peruvian dish made all the more authentic because it was prepared by Mili, Priscila’s mother! Mili knew these were a favorite of Priscila’s, and we all learned why very quickly – they are absolutely delicious (made with potatoes and other magical ingredients), and the sauce (a spicy cheese sauce) was killer. I will be getting the recipe from Mili for sure!

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Lunch was primarily ‘American’ – deli mean sandwiches and a salad. We also served Swedish Meatballs (bought a package of frozen ones from IKEA), and Deviled Eggs (made by my wonderful Aunt Susan!).

Dessert, my friends, was clearly the highlight of this whole event.

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We had Red Velvet Cupcakes (Priscila’s favorite, homemade by my mother), Chocolate Chip Cookies (homemade by my grandma), Coconut “Cocadas” or Macaroons – made by me using this Peruvian recipe, and a suitcase full of Peruvian chocolates & candies brought by Mili.

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We also had a lovely tower of French Macaróns (naturally!)

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These delectable & fluffy macaróns came from a great little french bakery in Quakertown, PA (my hometown) called Moussey Moose. We had chocolate, raspberry, and lemon poppy flavored – and they were quite possibly the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted.

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I labeled our multi-cultural foods with markers printed on cardstock & cut in the shape of airplanes, listing the food & the country of origin. (just taped to toothpicks and stuck into the food platters!)

And we can’t forget the drinks: unsweetened iced tea and Pisco Sour Sangria – a delicious version of sangria that uses Pisco, a popular Peruvian brandy. I followed this recipe and will definitely be making this again!

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My mouth is watering just thinking about all of the delicious food we served! It was like a trip round the world on a plate!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Travel Themed Bridal Shower – Part 1

Our surprise bridal shower for Priscila was so much fun to plan & create for. I’ll be sharing projects and highlights in posts to come, so today I will begin with an overview of the theme & party and some of my favorite decor details!

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As I explained yesterday, the travel theme was really a no-brainer for this shower, as Priscila and Michael are from two different continents, and met on a third! In addition to lots of maps, globes, & other travel references, we featured a broad color palette in the decor. I took inspiration from that lovely woven bouquet of flowers seen here on the mantle display:

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Priscila gave me the flowers – they are handwoven & crafted by Peruvian artists. The mantle features, in addition to some of our favorite globes, a collection of Peruvian souvenirs given to my mother and I by Priscila over the years. Traditional Peruvian art and design is so brightly colored – and so we totally embraced the bold, bright and cheerful colors!

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Additional decor details included DIY garlands and beautiful fresh flowers cut from my mother’s garden displayed in blue mason jars.

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My two favorite displays were the dessert table (I loved compiling both re-purposed and DIY-ed pieces to create the food display),

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followed closely by the magical setting we created on the back patio, by hanging inflatable globes and paper lanterns adorned with tissue paper flowers from my parent’s beautiful oak tree.

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We also DIY-ed the favor boxes and “baggage claim” display:

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And set up an interactive area in the foyer, where guests were invited to write a postcard to Priscila & leave their initials on every country they’ve visited on a large laminated map!

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Stay tuned for more details & DIY tutorials. At the completion of the series, I will post a full list of projects & vendors/sources!