Monday, September 27, 2010

Diversions and Attractions in St. Paul

Only 5 days to go! I've put together a map with important locations for the wedding, as well as diversions and attractions in the downtown, Macalester-Groveland, and Cathedral Hill neighborhoods of St. Paul. Enjoy!

View Emily and Tanner's Wedding in a larger map

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Open House Reception in Iowa

To make it easier for some of our family and friends in Iowa to take part in the wedding, my parents -- the infamous Tom and Kathy -- are planning a post-wedding open house reception in Charles City.

Details for the Open House:
Sherman House Bed & Breakfast
800 Gilbert Street, Charles City, Iowa (map below)
4-7 p.m. on October 16, 2010

We'll have some refreshments and, of course, pictures from the wedding. We hope you can join us!

View Larger Map

Thursday, July 1, 2010

More vendors!

Things are moving along swimmingly on the wedding planning front. Today, I met our invitation designer at a paper warehouse to look at some options. And then I dropped off our deposit at the bakery we will be getting the cake from. So I felt it was an appropriate time to introduce both of them on here!

Jerabek's New Bohemian

Jerabek's is a charming little independent bakery and coffee shop located in the West Side neighborhood of Saint Paul. We met with their cake decorator, Becca, a few weeks ago. She was very sweet and had some lovely pictures to show us from cakes she has decorated. We also got to taste a few different flavors of their cake, and it was delicious! I want the cake to be pretty, but I do not want it to look like some sort of sculpture that you can't eat, which is what a lot of pictures I see nowadays look like. I want it to look edible! And I believe that Jerabek's will do a wonderful job with that task. They also have good coffee and amazing cookies and pies. If you are ever in the area, check them out! And on October 2nd, be sure to save some room for dessert.

Tom Vogel

Well, I guess Tom's website is "under construction," but when it is available I will post it! I have worked with Tom at Half Price Books for almost three years now, and he is probably one of the nicest guys I have ever met. He is definitely the customer's favorite around the store :). Anyway, Tom is an artist and designer, and he has a great eye for good design. I knew I didn't want our invites to look like everyone else's, and I'm so glad Tom has agreed to take on the project. We have used so many fun things as inspiration: old books, art deco posters, art nouveau illustrations... And so far what he has come up with looks awesome. We're really excited to see what the final product looks like!

Tonight, Tanner and I are headed out to look at a house we may rent for the rehearsal dinner. Then, we will watch our favorite summer show: So You Think You Can Dance. Tanner likes the hip hop dances. Henry likes the host, Cat Deeley. Me-ow.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Details for October 2nd

The schedule for the wedding is pretty simple.

The ceremony and reception will both be at the Summit Manor -- 275 Summit Ave, St. Paul, Minnesota.

The ceremony will start at 5 p.m. Following that, we'll have cocktails, dinner, and dancing. The plan is to have the ceremony outside, but if weather doesn't cooperate, we'll move inside. If it's a little brisk, you may want to bring a cardigan, light jacket, shawl, fur wrap, etc.

There isn't a parking lot, but there is plenty of street parking around the mansion. If you want to use or foresee the use of a taxi, you can use the St. Paul Yellow Taxi (651-222-4433) or Green & White Taxi (651-222-2222). Important note: don't leave your car parked on Summit Ave past midnight due to the marathon the next day.

Get to know the wedding party: Groom's Side!

Ryan Curl (Best Man)

Ryan had an interesting take on the role of "older brother." In the early years, he viewed his primary role as tormenter and spent a lot of time trying to see how many different ways he could make me cry. Being called a "dinky-doko" makes me dissolve into tears to this day. I suppose he was trying to toughen me up, but as we matured, so did our relationship. When I started to think about the world beyond the Iowa farmstead, Ryan was there to tell me about good books and movies and public radio and a lot of good things that I consider a big part of my life now. We're both very serious about plaid (see above). Ryan lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Kari (my favorite sister-in-law!), so we get to hang out often. I'm proud and honored to have him standing with me on the big day.

Natalie Cook

When we were younger, Natalie and I shared a lot of time watching and re-watching (and re-watching) movies and late night TV sketches we thought were funny. When we weren't watching these bits, we spent our time repeating the funniest lines. Now Natalie is all grown up with a family. She's a wonderful mom with great kids. When we get together, we still joke around, and I seek out advice on how to be an adult (a work in progress). Natalie is always warm and incredibly patient with my quirks and eccentric interests. She also has an incredible memory, particularly when it comes to stupid stuff I did as a kid. What cheese?

Katie Becker

Katie and I met each other through the theatre department at Coe. One of my earliest memories of Katie is doing an impression of Dave Letterman: "Uh, hey, you, uh, got any gum?!" (See above photo.) Katie has the rare ability to combine a silly spirit with the discipline to achieve her ambitions. Most mornings, Katie wakes up, walks outside, looks to the sky, and says, "Hey, hey. Hey, what's going on world? I'm gonna kick your ass! That's what!" Katie has always helped keep me from taking myself too seriously while also holding me accountable for my bullshit (a never-ending task). She grew up in Kansas and currently lives in Virginia, so don't be surprised if she lets out an occasional "whoop" during the ceremony.

Eugenides Hermes

Eugenides always keeps me on my toes. Unlike the rest of us lemmings, Eugenides never follows a tradition or a way of doing things just because that's the way everyone else does it. He thinks about what makes the most sense and also follows what's true to himself. Often it requires a lot of work and fortitude, and I've always deeply admired his integrity. Also, Eugenides laughs at my poop/fart jokes, which also requires fortitude. I have so many great memories of late nights in the Coe Writing Center, BSing with Eugenides about pretty much every topic under the sun (anything to keep us from working on whatever papers we needed to finish for the next day). Although I'm a hermitically-inclined introvert, Eugenides always makes the effort to hang out with me.

Harry Matthias Peterson-Brandt

Matthias is such a cool guy, he needs a bazilion names to handle all the coolness. I still don't know how, but I convinced Matthias to be my roommate for our sophomore year at Coe, and we lived together during college from that point onward. Almost all of my fondest college memories involve Matthias. We shared a lot of laughs and deep conversations together. As a roommate, Matthias was always there to talk about a movie, a short story idea, a lit paper, or life. Whatever the situation, Matthias always provided a steady hand of friendship. Amazingly, though, he also knows how to let loose and have fun. He's currently studying at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, so I'm starting my own church for him to pastor. In case you're interested in joining, the church will be called the United Friend's House of Sandwiches. It will be delicious, just like Matthias.

Brandon Scodius

Aside from Joe Mauer, Brandon is the sportiest friend I have. He likes sports. He likes all sorts. I only follow one sport: baseball, but most of what I know about baseball I learned from Brandon. We met working in the Coe Writing Center, but our friendship grew when we started a gang together (less a gang, more a circus sideshow). Brandon's gang nickname was Ishy, short for Ishmael, derived from the growth Brandon was sporting on his face at the time. He's smarter than he tries to make people believe, but Brandon always keeps it down to earth. He's a great friend and always fun to be around. Brandon is a fierce defender of his homeland, Chicago and, as such, taught me how to eat a Chicago-dog properly (no ketchup). We also share a passionate love of cured meats and Sandy Cohen.

Get to know the wedding party: Bride's Side!

Lauren Dussault (Maid of Honor)

Emily's sister Lauren has been one of her best and dearest friends since she was three years old. Lauren has always put up with Emily's intensity and creative ambitions. She even starred in Emily's directorial debut "Ramona and Beezus" in 1991. Lauren played Ramona. Emily played everyone else.

Now grown up (at least technically), they still can't stay too far away -- they lived on the same block in Minneapolis and are now next door neighbors in St. Paul. Emily is grateful for their walks, coffee dates, and everything else they share. Emily has always loved and appreciated Lauren's steady support and ridiculous sense of humor and is truly honored that she will be standing up with her on her wedding day.

Carolyn Dussault

Carolyn came onto the Dussault family scene in 1994, and they haven't been the same since. She was the most affectionate and loving kid ever, and now she is the coolest teenager Emily has ever known. Even though they are ten years apart in age, Carolyn has always been a great friend to Emily. She cheers Emily up when she is in a bad mood and can always make her laugh.

Emily has always been inspired by how brave Carolyn is, whether it is overcoming an obstacle, sharing her talents with others, or wearing a fabulously stylish vintage outfit that Emily wishes she had the guts to wear.

Aly Keith

Aly is one of Emily's oldest friends. They were side-by-side throughout high school, giggling too much in classes, going to football games, watching historical movies, writing each other long ridiculous notes, wishing they were British, and basically, as they put it, sharing a brain. They remained close throughout college and afterward, spending summers in Blaine, MN and going camping with friends. Emily would, without a doubt, not be the person she is now without Aly as her friend. Aly taught her that it is important to be yourself and stand up for what you believe and to always be sure you are having fun no matter what. She also taught her how to serve tea, put on eyeliner, and make elaborate and hilarious metaphors.

Tammy Sworsky

Emily and Tammy became close in high school and spent most of their time at school together in choir, show choir, and musicals. They even started a girl group at one point, a la the Spice Girls, but for some reason, it never really took off. They helped each other through the dramas of high school and are still close friends today, getting together whenever their schedules will allow.

Throughout all of their adventures, together and apart, Tammy's unwavering support and belief in Emily has been one of the greatest gifts a friend could ever give. And Tammy's sass and strength in the face of challenges makes Emily love her all the more.

Larisa Johnson

Larisa has always been Emily's most cosmopolitan friend. Fond high school memories with Larisa include adventures to the mystical Uptown Minneapolis, wearing lots of glitter, sarcastic commentary during particularly dull classes, and daydreaming about someday living in a big city. Emily has always been a huge fan of Larisa's style, determination to have fun, and general brilliance about the world around her.

Emily owes all of her Twin Cities savvy to Larisa. Now that they live near each other, Larisa is always introducing Emily to new bars, restaurants, music, books and good places to get shoes on sale. Larisa is one of the strongest women Emily knows and is always there for Emily when she needs a friend, day or night.

Lisa Piskor

Lisa and Emily met at Coe College during their freshman year and became close friends during their sophomore year. They did a lot of things together: worked at the writing center, maneuvered the Coe College social scene together (not as easy as you'd think), spent many Sundays at Barnes and Noble attempting to study, and studied abroad in Europe during the same semester.

Emily was endlessly grateful for a friend like Lisa, who always seemed to know exactly what Emily needed -- whether it was a night out, a lazy day in, a cookie, or just someone to talk to. They finally got to be roommates their senior year, and it was more fun than they could have imagined. They have remained close after college, and Emily is so happy to have such a sweet, thoughtful, supportive friend in her life.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I keep hearing from people that planning a wedding is supposed to be super stressful and may result in a variety of horrible consequences, including but not limited to all-night veil-bedazzling fiascoes and the demise of close friendships and family relationships. I have not, so far, found this to be the case. I'd like to think it is because Tanner and I are being practical and chill about the whole thing. But it may also be because, luckily, I am not very attracted to the current "wedding culture." (Read: I will not be bedazzling anything, or attempting to tan/bleach/starve myself in advance of the big day.)

"Perfection" is not really the goal. Obviously, I want our wedding to be beautiful and fun. But I happen to believe that shouldn't be very difficult. Give us some good tunes, good food and drink, and good people, and we'll be set.

That being said, we have been incredibly lucky with regard to the vendors we'll be using. Sometimes it took a bit of searching, but there are some great places in the Twin Cities for the not-so-traditional bride and groom. And here, I will share some!

Andrea's Vintage Bridal
No one is ever terribly surprised when I tell them my dress is vintage. I guess I am predictable. I tried on some new dresses, but nothing felt right until I went to Andrea's! I won't give any dress details away, but it is lovely and I am very happy with it. It is different, but not costumey or too "period"-looking. Andrea's is full of beautiful, reasonably priced dresses and accessories. And she will take the time to help you find stuff that works for you. I also found some great dyeable ballroom shoes and jewelery for the wedding at Andrea's. Can't promise I won't be back there before October 2nd... much to Tanner's dismay.

Simply Stated Elegance
Finding a florist was a bit intimidating, but the second I read the "About Us" on the website, I knew I had found a good one. Jeni was so fun to meet with-- we actually got to walk through the wholesale flower place and look at different combinations of flowers-- just like we'll do a couple days before the wedding! And it is pretty amazing what a good deal she is. No mark-up on the flowers themselves, which is almost unheard of. And Jeni will use her talent and creativity to put together the kind of flowers we want, not just some options from a catalog. I am really excited about finding her.

Becky Olstad
We met Becky through some mutual friends, and she has since photographed the wedding of our good friends Aly and Phil Keith, and also took some great theatre headshots for me. She is a fantastic photographer who brings so much realism and simple beauty to her photos. And to top it off, she is a blast to hang out with. Just ask her about the Crave Case ® . Girl knows how to have a good time. :)

I'll post more in the coming weeks, specifically about my friend Tom who is designing our invites, and our beloved Dr. Bob who will be the officiant at the wedding!

Happy summer,

Friday, May 14, 2010

About the Couple

Emily (written by Tanner)

Word to the wise: don't mess with Emily -- she was born in Texas and lived there for the first three years of her life. Despite being way cooler than me, Emily has always exhibited a healthy amount of nerd. In childhood -- unprovoked by teacher or parent -- she wrote reports on dolphins and wolves and directed plays involving her sisters and defenseless neighborhood children. In her younger years, Emily also developed an unhealthy crush on Paul McCartney.

At Coe College, Emily majored in theatre, worked in the writing center, and minored in squirrelology. Since graduating in 2006, Emily has worked her way up the corporate ladder of Half Price Books, where she currently works as the assistant manager. She's also acted in plays for numerous Twin Cities theatre companies and worked at KFAI radio as a news host and reporter. She also sings in the band The Steamboat Kings with her cousin Collin.

In her spare time, Emily is usually doing one of the following: napping, checkin' facebook, squeezing Henry le Cat, reading, pretending she lives in a different time period, and being cute. She hates spiders and fart jokes. Emily's heroes are Paul McCartney, Kate Winslet, Judy Garland, and Clara Bow.

Tanner (written by Emily)

Tanner grew up in Charles City, Iowa -- "America's Hometown." He likes to pretend that his childhood was very difficult, what with living out on a farm and being the youngest of three. But his hilarious family stories, success in high school theater, and being voted Prom King tell a slightly different story.

He also attended Coe College, where he received his BA in English. He was involved in the college's writing center and performed in several plays. Tanner studied abroad in Bangor, Wales in the fall of his junior year. Now, Tanner enjoys many things that 65 year-olds enjoy: drinking scotch, reading the New Yorker, smoking cigars, eating sandwiches, going on walks, listening to baseball on the radio, and wearing flannel. He continues to read and write often, and in the past three years he has worked in Minneapolis schools, on a political campaign, and now for a transportation consulting firm.

Tanner aspires to be a combination of Neil LaBute, Edward R. Murrow, Paul Rudd, David Sedaris, and Jon Stewart. I like him just the way he is.

How They Met (by Henry)

In 2003, Tanner entered Coe where Emily was in her sophomore year. They worked together in the writing center and in various theatre productions and became friends. A couple years later, after Emily had returned from a semester abroad in London and before Tanner was about to depart for a semester in Wales, they started to feel they could be...more than friends!?!?! But Tanner was in the UK for four months!!! Not only would they be separated by an ocean, but they also didn't know if the other reciprocated the crush! Oh, what were they to do??? They did the only thing mature adults do when it comes to love: have a mutual friend surreptitiously find out.

Knowing the affection was mutual, they kept up their transcontinental correspondence until December, when Tanner returned to the US and they could go on their *gasp* first date. They went to the Vintage in St. Paul and then to Emily's parents' house (named one of the Twin Cities' most romantic spots by MN Monthly) and watched one of Tanner's favorite flicks, Adaptation. Surprisingly, Emily didn't give up on the whole idea right then and there. They stayed up late into the night, talking, drinking wine, and yes, sharing their first kiss.

The next most significant event in their relationship occurred in June 2008, when they adopted me, their beloved little kitty, Henry. Since adopting me, they've taken their personification of me to unhealthy and embarrassing levels. I mean, seriously, like I'm writing this and posting it to the blog? What will they have me doing next, writing their Christmas card? Could they be more predictable or pathetic? I'm going to go lick myself. Kthanxbai!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Engagement Photos

Rachel Saarela, a dear friend of Emily's since childhood, was so kind to take engagement pictures for us. On a brisk October morning last year, she set up shots of us around the Cathedral Hill neighborhood of St. Paul. Rachel did a great job, and we can't thank her enough for her time and patience. You'd think after my storied modeling career, I'd be more of a pro, but alas....

Rachel is starting to do more photography (in addition to her job as an art teacher in Anoka-Hennepin Schools), so if you're interested, we'd be more than happy to put you in touch.

Here are a few of the shots:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Lay down your weary head

Our reception and ceremony will take place at the Summit Manor on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, which is located close to downtown. There are a number of hotel options, and we've set aside two blocks of rooms, one at the Embassy Suites and the other at the Hilton Garden Inn. A special note: our wedding is the same weekend as the Twin Cities Marathon -- takes place on Sunday -- which shouldn't be an issue with the exception of hotels, so booking your room sooner rather than later is important.

To reserve a room at the Embassy Suites, call 651-224-5400 and use the group code 60Q. The block is under the Dussault-Curl Wedding.

To reserve a room at the Hilton Garden Inn, call 651-291-8800 and use the group code 61Y. The block is under the Curl-Dussault Wedding.

At both hotels, our blocks were mostly doubles, so you can get a group of four to share the cost of one room.

Of course, you're more than welcome to explore hotel options on your own and stay wherever you wish. The following accommodations are within a mile of where the wedding and ceremony will take place:

St. Paul Hotel
This is a fancy-schmancy 5-star joint that has a lot of history and character and class. From what I hear, the St. Paul Hotel not only provides a comfortable place to relax, but also makes your wildest dreams come true. I wouldn't know firsthand, as they don't allow Iowans inside.

Holiday Inn
What can you say? It's a Holiday Inn that's been renovated in recent years. You won't get a mint on your pillow, but it's probably affordable and comfortable enough. They don't reserve room blocks, but if you ask for the wedding rate ($120), they will give it to you based on availability.

Hotel 340
This hotel provides a wide variety of rooms/suites, ranging in size from broom closet to one-bedroom apartment. It looks like an interesting non-traditional place to rest one's weary head, but I wouldn't expect all the features of your average hotel. (No pool, ice machine, etc.)

Cathedral Hill Bed and Breakfast
This little place is about four blocks from where our wedding will take place. I've never heard much about it, but I thought I'd offer it up as an option.

Regardless of where you stay, the important part is getting ahead of the demand for rooms resulting from the marathon. If you wait, you may have to stay in Minneapolis or a surrounding suburb. It wouldn't be the end of the world, but it will make your transportation and navigation more complicated. As former Gov. Jesse Ventura once said, St. Paul was designed by a bunch of drunk Irishmen, and it shows.

If you have a questions, just drop us a line.