Sunday, August 2, 2009

we did it!



2 weeks ago, I married my best friend.
Details and pictures to follow....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

2 months to go...

Sorry it's so long between posts dear faithful readers (are you still out there?) but really, between our harried schedules and some medical issues, it's been quite a busy few weeks for the two of us.

Somehow, between doctor's appointments, work and family obligations, we have actually managed to get a few things off our check list.

1. Finalized the guest list! At first the numbers started out on the smaller side then ballooned an extra 20 people! We've finally settled ourselves and fought off the urge to invite anyone and everyone and find ourselves in a cozy low number that best evokes the intimate feel we're hoping for the wedding.

2. The men are styling. At least the men in the wedding party. The Boy and I talked it over and decided that a suit best fist our nice relaxed wedding rather than something more formal like a tux. He had contemplated tuxes for awhile, liking the traditional aspect of it; he liked it so much so that I agreed to go tux rental shopping with him. Two hours later, we found ourselves with our heads in suits of every shade imaginable. The Boy tried on a few jackets for me and I liked how they all fit but as we were leaving the store, I happened upon a charcoal number that I had him try on as a whim. Low and behold, my Boy was transformed into someone else...a groom. I suddenly had visions of how he would look on the day we got married and it took my breath away. I told him he had to get it because that was his suit. Isn't it funny to have the "I know this is it" moment with something other than my Dress (and the fellow, of course)?

3. Invitations are being sent out this week. After much time and such a labour of love (really, I'm quite proud of them), they're going out into the world this week. Pictures of them when they're all done.

4. Bridal accessories are all checked off. I've got the Dress, my veil, shoes and even the things unseen. It's nice to know how I'll look in a few months.

5. On that same note, I've got my makeup lined up as well.

6. And next week, we're doing the engagement pictures. Stay tuned to hear how that goes!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

all things floral

Hello duckies!

The long-promised post about wedding flowers! I mentioned awhile back that I had finally decided on concrete images for the types of flowers I want to use at the wedding as well as the arrangements. After the Maid of Honor and I browsed our local wholesale flower shop (and Costco and a few other shops) we came up with a few ideas of hardy flowers that would be in season and would stand up in the weather.

1) Kangaroo Paws

(image from miss_armour)


You've seen before. I used it in a previous post where I had some musings about flowers I was considering. Surprisingly, they remain in the updated vision. (Is it really that surprising when they are free? Thank you good friends!) Though I want to still use the kangaroo paws, I'll probably only have them on side tables like the ones for the guest book. It's really such an architectural plant and had we decided to still have the reception at the original venue, it would hold up nicely against the more modern and clean lines of the Zen garden. However, with the garden turning into a backyard garden, it's not really the lush romantic feel I'm looking for. I think it would be an interesting detail in some rooms (bathrooms? front entryway? kitchen?) in some tall vases, but the look would be a little on the sparse side because the branches are so very interesting on their own.

2) Pink Hydrangeas, White Roses and Greens

(image from ... ? If you know it, send me a message and I'll credit you)


This is my favorite of the centerpieces I've got filed away on the computer. It really goes well with the pink part of the color scheme (though, technically, we have no official "colors" for the wedding) plus I could probably throw in some peach as well (a concession to the orange requested by the Boy; does peach count as orange?). Sprays of hydrangeas, maybe creamy roses and difference plants in greens; it's full, low to the table, completely romantic and airy and at home in a garden reception. I plan to surround the centerpieces with candle votives (who doesn't love the glow of candlelight?).

I am torn by the next two images. I want to use at least one of the ideas on a few different tables.

3. Hydrangeas in Vials

(image by mellow_stuff)

The first idea is to gather a trio of vials and fill each with a single branch of hydrangeas (I don't know why but I've recently grown to really like the look of them for the wedding). I don't know if I'll get vials but I like the idea of using very few flowers that add a lot of punch.

4) Hydrangeas in Clear Glass Vase

(image by adam_binsz)

Same flowers, fewer containers. This appeals to me as I don't know what I'll do with all the vases and bottles and other assorted containers after the wedding. The fewer we have left over, the better but I can't seem to sacrifice the vision for practicality.

5) Tulips and Sprays

(image by snippet & ink)

Actually, I probably wouldn't go with tulips for the wedding even though they are my favorite flowers (in red, please!). I think they'd wilt in the summer sun and there is nothing sadder than a wilted tulip. I don't want any sadness at the wedding so I have actually banished my favorite poesy in favor of hardier ones like roses (this could work with a few of the glasses containing sprays and sprigs of --dare I say it... baby's breath!). I liked this scene so much I have enlisted a few friends to start collecting bottles and jars and all sorts of colored glass. I can recycle after the wedding.

6) Sweet Peas

(image by Blondie's Highlights)

I like the pop of the blue in the vase (plus love the fractured glass look as well) and I'd probably combine the last two images into a single vision. I'd have a collection of 3 to 5 vases/containers with the stronger coloring of this photo. I've never actually seen a sweet pea in real life but I googled it and they are actually really pretty. if I used sweet peas (which the MOH has suggested I also use some in my bouquet) it would be a really sentimental gesture as the future MIL actually refers to me often as Sweet Pea.

You'll notice that I said I'd be choosing a few of these options (if not all) for the different tables. Does this mean I have an attention span problem? Probably. But I like the charm of different tables offering different delicacies for the eye to devour; and who says you can't do it yourself on a budget? One just has to be a little creative and be a tad bit neurotic.


Enough about the centerpieces though, onward march towards the inspiration for the bouquet!


I love this bouquet. It has pink ranunculus, some roses and berries. Since peonies will not be in season for the wedding and anemones were a little too modern for the style we're going with, I thought ranunculus were the perfect choice for the bouquet (maybe in the vases too). I like the gardeny feel of it.

(image by orawrat)

For the bottom of the bouquet (where you hold it), I wanted to wrap it with typewriter keys and all! Since I won't get my books as part of the decor (did I mention I got my masters in English Lit?), I figure it would be a nice nod to my love of all things literary. (image from weddingbee's Mrs. Lovebug)

Do you know what I learned from this? While I loved flowers at home, I didn't originally think I'd use them much in our decoration because I thought, wouldn't this be a great way to save some money? I can decorate with plants and fruits and books. *sigh* I love books. But now it seems like there are flowers everywhere, even at the ceremony site (granted, we aren't providing that). In the end, we're going with what we love and while money is an important consideration, there are more ways than one to achieve that all-star wedding look that still somehow retains that charm that is our love.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

(K)not a Bride's Best Friend

I've been avoiding going back on The Knot web page I started ages ago (truth be told, even before we officially got engaged to become Mr. and Mrs.). I got it because, at the time, it was the only source I could think of for all things wedding. Right around the time the Boy and I started ring shopping, I glimpsed The Knot wedding planning book and scooped it up. It was my introduction to the wild ride of wedding planning. I was overwhelmed and we hadn't even gotten engaged. By the time it happened, I was well versed in both the book form and the website. I happily checked every day to see if anyone had looked at our profile, browsed wedding dresses and took quizzes that purported to tell me what kind of bride I was. It was fun and frivolous, like eating cotton candy--lots of fluff but not that must substance.
Then I discovered that there were other (gasp!) wedding websites out there and tons of fabulous blogs to read through.
I first found peoniesandpolaroids and from there fell in love with other sites (see the side bar for my favorites, folks). And after awhile, I found myself less and less on The Knot. I grew more resentful for the intrusive nature of the site, how the weddings seemed to blur together after awhile and it started bleeding into my vision of what I wanted for our wedding, twisting and winding itself around until I didn't recognize it at all.
Thus, I began to avoid signing onto The Knot. Silly, I know, running and hiding from a website. But I never said I was the most courageous gal around. Today, I finally logged on after months of ignoring it and found that our checklist of things to do (never mind the ones--that's right, more than one version--I have on several sheets of paper hidden in all sorts of pockets, purses, under stacks of paper) was overwhelming, to say the least. According to The Knot, this is what I should have accomplished three months prior to the Day:
The Knot's List (the biggies!) and Where We're At:
1. Decide on the Caterer
After much hemming and hawing, we were able to go with a fun barbecue type of meal for the wedding. We're getting the food dropped off at the reception style, served buffet style. Super casual and easy. We're serving pink and regular lemonade and iced tea in mason jars. We're also planning on doing some baking ourselves the week of for a little dessert buffet station that goes with the food. I think we may opt to make some Asian and vegetarian foods as well. How 'bout homemade lasagna, pasta, egg rolls and fried rice? I know, what an odd combination of food but it seems more homey to have such a delicious smorgasbord as our wedding fare. Must make sure there are enough napkins present.
2. Decide on the Officiant
I admit, we are sorely behind on this one. We've looked but not seriously. People have been giving us business cards, trying to set up meetings for us but we cannot make a commitment. Did I mention we have less than 3 months to the wedding? I think part of our problem is that we haven't really sat down and discussed what we want from the ceremony itself. I do want to incorporate some cultural things from my side into the ceremony but I'm fuzzy on which details I want to actually add. The Boy has mentioned that a friend of his can play the bag pipes at the ceremony as well as a nod to his Scottish heritage (luckily both of us really enjoy it and it reminds us of our adventures in England). I think we need to decide what we want before we decide on who it is that will be marrying us, don't you think?
3. Finalize your Guest List
Uh, we sorta did. And then I invited one of two (or more) people because I didn't factor in (why I didn't I'll never know) that most people will be bringing their significant other or a date. Which puts us at our original count (about 80 or so). I was a little disappointed. I had begun imagining a small ceremony and reception for 50 people. This is what happens when one doesn't pay close enough attention to one's Excel spreadsheet.
4. Hire Your Photographer
Done! They're awesome. More detailed post on them later.
5. Narrow Down Your Gown Choices and Make a Decision
Another one I got right! Whoo! It currently sits in my best friend's parents' home waiting for the first dress fitting that should take place next month.
6. Book Reception Band or DJ
I have mixed feelings on this. You see, the Boy and I have very eclectic musical tastes and one of the few genres we agree on is 80s music (I know, a strange choice). So we decided to go with the ipod plus sound system. However, I have mixed feelings on this now. I still love the idea of being in control of what music is being played (I am a tad bit neurotic when it comes to this) but I wonder if we should hire someone to DJ to help control the mood of the party, introduce us and special moments at the reception. Currently, I am thinking of asking my brother to help out with this part. He may be a little too happy to oblige but I'll have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't slip one of his personal (yes, he writes music on the side) songs in there. I may ask our more musically-minded pals if they would sing/play at the reception as well.
7. Book Your Honeymoon
Not booked. But we finally decided on a destination.
8. Choose Your Florist
No florist. We're going DIY folks. Thankfully, my pals and I are fairly creative individuals so I think it will go well. Plus I have a friend who once worked as a florist so if I really needed advice I could ask her about it.
9. Order Invitations
Another DIY project. It actually echos a bit of the Save the Date cards we made earlier. I handmade this fun little scene and will be using it on our invites. I should be making them this weekend so I'll post the process when I'm doing it. Oddly enough, making this has inspired to to possibly launch my own little shop on etsy. But more on that later....
10. Reserve Rental Equipment
Again, we're behind on this too! We should do this for the ceremony and reception sites!
11. Groom's Attire
Uh, I have some notions concerning vests for the Boy. He is thinking suits. Maybe different colored ties? I think he is shopping for this with the groomsmen this weekend or next.
12. Purchase Wedding Bands
Mine are done (he got it as a set when he bought the engagement ring) but his has yet to be purchased. Ugh, I hate trying to drag the Boy ring shopping.
13. Arrange Day Of Transportation
Thanks to the future MIL, this is not mine to think of! Whoo hoo! Cross that one off my list of things to do. I do hope she leans towards a cool pink Cadillac. That would be awesome.
14. to 100. A million other little things that make my head spin. Really, my head is catching some air right now.
But you know what happened? Instead of hyperventilating and crying in frustration, I had a moment of Zen-like calmness, an epiphany, a revelation if you will.
Here's the thing:
Our wedding would never be the kind in magazines or TV shows or other people's blogs, let alone the kind featured on the knot. But our wedding would be filled with love from the people who knew us best, lots of fun times and personalized touches that meant a great deal to us. In short, our wedding would be very US, a celebration of who we are and our commitment to continue loving each other as best as we can. It's going to be messy and a little unpredictable, but who wants a boring wedding? Not me.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Wedding That Could've Been

I already posted once today but I came across this while browsing around and I just HAD to share.


(all images by kiss the groom)

Isn't this the most delicious wedding idea you ever did see? If I could've talked the Boy into this, I would've. What girl wouldn't love to have a fairy inspired wedding? It's so romantic and woodsy yet warm and magical.

Couldn't you imagine carrying this handmade bouquet to an altar of flowers and nature shining down on you as you say your vows of devotion and love?


How about trusting your wedding bands in a little box lined with moss? This is perfect with the blue lining on top, like the sky acting like a canopy over the wedding.


I'd love to raise a toast to the Mr. and all our friends and family for celebrating with us with a moss and leaf covered confection like this goblet. It seems like it grew out of the roots of a tree near a babbling brook and that one only need to pick it up, dip it into the tangy clear water and drink to health and happiness.

I love these as coasters. Or booster seats for yours truly.


I love all the sweet touches.



Oh Boy, wouldn't you like to have a woodsy and magical fairy wedding?

Kiss the Girls

I adore my bridesmaids, I do. I had a vision of what I wanted them to wear:
(image from theknot)

I wanted the look to be soft and romantic, to echo the vintage sensibility that emanates through most of the wedding decoration. None of the gals would wear the same dress as they are three different ladies, with three different body types and three different styles.

(image from perfect bound)

As much as I was trying to infuse a sense of the Boy and myself into every aspect of the wedding, I wanted our friends to be able to express themselves in their dress as well. Considering that none of them had the same taste in clothes, I figured that would be easy. I wanted each to pick something in a blueish gray tone or soft pinks or peaches because, though we’ve since decided NOT to declare wedding colors (see the mishap of the change in heart), these colors seemed prominent in the things I was choosing to include.

My only request (I guess, beside a general color scheme) was that it be something softer and lighter in overall feel. I loved the idea of hand stitched details, embroidery or ruffles, creative draping, and other fun little details that would add personality to an outfit. Because, after all, my friends were nothing if not characters in themselves. Why not showcase that at the wedding as well?

(image from snippet & ink)

When it came time to make my vision into reality, things did not prove to be so easy as I imagined. I was torn between my original ideas and the images that were staring at me every time I opened a bridal magazine or clicked on a wedding website. Can we say, visual stimulus overload?

One day, I would jump for joy thinking I had found the dresses the girls should wear. Since we all live in varying cities, I would email the links to the dresses I thought they could get for the wedding. I’d wait, hear back, they’d choose a dress…and then I’d change my minds. Or they’d present me with an idea of dresses they could wear, I’d like it, but ultimately I’d change my mind again as I didn’t feel it was really staying true to the nature of the vision I had in my mind’s eye of what I wanted the feel and look of my wedding to be.

Then it happened. Four attempts later (which included one brief dalliance with a series of Melissa Sweet dresses and only time constraints stopped us going forward with it), I found the dress. Or dresses, depending on how you look at it.

This was such a sweet dress from Anthropologie that I actually made the decision (and stuck to it) and had the maids purchase this dress. I was a little sad that they all ended up with the same dress, but lo and behold, it actually was the kind of dress that kit well on different body types (surprise surprise). And then my best friend and maid of honor came to the rescue! She remembered that I wanted each of them to look different (which is why I had wanted them in different dresses). One evening, bored and alone in her apartment to the north, she took the dress off the hanger and decided to play dress up. It was during this bout of silliness that she discovered that the sash was so long, one could tie it in any way across the body to create different looks. I was elated by the news and quickly emailed the others.

One MOH’s spring break, she came home for the week and we betook ourselves to all do all things wedding related. She checked out the venue for the ceremony (see previous post), we went to a wholesale flower shop and picked out flowers for the bouquets and centerpieces (I’ll have to post on that later), shopped for wedding shoes (I think I found them and must order them soon), got a mini makeup trial (uh, still need more work in this area) and then headed to Anthropologie and tried on the dress in real life.

She showed me the different was to tie the sash around to create a halter look

A Grecian goddess look,

Something a little more covered up on the top (though this would need a broach or something to keep it in place) (images by me)

And a variety of other ways (I liked some ideas better than others). Took pictures in the changing room (by the way, don’t you love the changing rooms there? I wish I had a closet area like that in my place!) and sent them along to everyone else. Each gal has decided on a way they are going to wear their dress (thank goodness, they picked different things), each with different accessories and jewelry, different hair and shoes and in general, the only thing that will be the same is that they all bought the same dress.

What do we learn from all of this?
1) It’s OK to procrastinate. You might get a few more gray hairs out of it but that’s half the fun.
2) Not everything will go the way you want it to.
3) Stop looking at so may wedding blogs. Be true to who you are and your vision because, after all, it’s YOUR wedding and no one else’s.
4) Compromise is a beautiful thing. I hope to keep this lesson close to my heart throughout all of our marriage.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

dilemma

This is where we are getting married. Isn't it gorgeous?
It's inside this garden located in this bigger garden that is one of my favorite places in town. It's the smaller of two spots one can have the ceremony in (there is a bigger location just around the other side of the garden but in my opinion, it's not nearly as picturesque). Thankfully we are having a smallish wedding and I, for one, am thankful that we'll only be surrounded by our closest friends and family.
With that bring said, I have several problems to pose to you faithful readers:
1) How do I arrange the seating in his pergola area? We're allowed to use the benches as part of the seating and we'll rent chairs for the rest but there are big beams running through the middle of the space. Do we face forward towards the pond and just place seating on either side of the beams with a mini aisle running through the middle or should we turn the entire thing around and have the guests face the little deck just off to the side at the left? Either way, it will be slightly awkward. I am leabing towards the pond view only because it would be the prettiest view.
(By the way, can you see the MOH? That's her, half hidden behind one of the beams; she's a peach.)

2) What kind of decorations should we go with? I am thinking very minimal decor as I wanted to let the natural beauty of the place shine. It's all overgrown and green and right now the whole place is blooming. There are cherry blossoms bursting from every visible space in the gardens (oh how I wish they would still be in bloom at wedding time!)
Above our heads also hangs wisteria in bunches. I'm not sure how they'll last in the sumemr heat but I also hope they hang on till then.
What do you think? Should I leave it alone like I think I should and just place the seating out? Or should I try to decorate the beams or something? I kinda like them bare myself but I'd like your opinions on it.

And psst, what do you think of this view for marching down the aisle? It makes me feel like throwing on my wedding dress and having a strut up and down for real.

With less than our months away, we have so much to do and decide on. But you know what? I'm excited. I can't wait for the party to be over with and to start this new adventure in married life.
(All pictures by me)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

please don't judge me by the books I love

I preface this post with a statement that may or may not turn you off to this blog completely (all two of you who read it): I love Twilight. Yes, I know there are things about it that should turn me off and my feminist self is sometimes repulsed by how much I adore the character of Edward. But I'm a sucker for stupid vampire love stories and for that, I hang my head in shame (that's for you, Jenn! Sorry. You still love me, right?)

Anyways, if you haven't seen the movie then you probably won't understand the next part of this post. I saw it with giggly bridesmaid and well, I just about fell in love with the sweater Bella Swan wears at the end of the movie during the prom scene as seen here:

(image by TwilgHt)

I love the soft look of the little shrug she is wearing over the blue dress (which, incidentally, is a very close match in color to the bridesmaids' dresses). There is some pretty beading of white and blue flowers along the edge of the shrug which gives it a lovely vintage look (plus what a fantastic way to include the whole "something blue" idea). So ever since giggly bridesmaid dragged me to the movie and thereby dooming me to love the Twilight series, I have become obsessed with the idea of finding this sweater (or a pretty close simulation of it) to wear at my own wedding. Though it's a summer wedding, the reception is at night and being held close to the bay where the wind does chill even in July.
So I browsing etsy for the millionth time today (really, it is a bad habit but thank goodness I've been pretty self-controlled when it comes to spending money frivolously as I've got a nice case of don't-buy-it-unless-it's-necessary-for-the-wedding guilt these days), when I came across a number of contenders for wedding shrug/sweater:
I came across this little beauty when I was first shopping at etsy. It's a little scalloped lace shrug that screams out vintage gorgeousness. I fell in love on the spot. But after buying my Dress, this no longer was an option as the two did not play together well. I needed something that played nicely with a garden feel.
(shrug by Rohm)
The next little pretty thing I found was all fluff and airiness; I was smitten. My heart still skips a beat when I see it. But somehow I think it won't do as the ruffles are a little much for my dress and would compete with it. If I had picked a simpler dress (maybe the one I thought about going with) this added details would've been just the thing to make the wedding outfit pop! But the two combined, it becomes busy.


(silk organza ruffle jacket by the English Department)
And then I went shopping with giggly bridesmaids and a few other friends this past week and stumbled across this while out on the town with the girls:


(capelet by Anthropologie)
I just adored the yellow trim and it really looks like it could keep me warm from the bay winds. I'm not sure whether or not it goes with the Dress but it is simple enough that it might. I am hopeful.
And then there's this last discovery which has completely won by heart. It has all the qualities I was looking for: vintage, beading, and warm! Plus out of all the other possibilities, this fits most with the Bella Swan sweater I longed for. Is it wrong that I want this based on a movie--let alone a teen movie? I feel a little ashamed by the thought but nonetheless, I adore this shrug. It is so very sweet and would go great with my dress.
(shrug by Breathless)
What do you think? Should I go ahead and buy it?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

time goes by really fast when you're planning a wedding

(image by dakokichidekalb)

Today marks exactly 4 months until the wedding.


Huzzah!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

beware birds bearing messages

Now that our little postcards are safely away crossing air and land and water to reach their ultimate destinations, I think I can reveal a little of their making.

Step One:
Go to Boy's mom's place. Make small talk. Have dinner and then when you've finally stuffed yourself silly with salmon, stemmed veggies, calamari, and all sorts of soups and breads, pounce on the moment before complete after dinner stupor to ask her to please take a picture of you and the Boy for some snazzy Save the Date cards.

Step Two:
Once you get her to agree to a rather inarticulately explained idea (for shame, all those long hours of toiling away for an MA in Literature and all she gets is gestures, diagrams and a "Just trust me, I see it in my head"), and you finally drag the Boy in on the fun, then have your brain become suddenly blank.


The boy will turn and look at you and ask, "Well, what do you want to do?"

You will respond coolly, "I dunno. Something funny and dorky, you know, like us."

"Um, like what?"

"You know. Silly."

"OK, I don't know what you want. I can't see inside your head." Turns back to the basketball game on the tele.

grumble grumble. sigh. "OK, let's just take some pictures of us standing and holding these signs I already printed out.

Step Three:
Take a multitude of awkward pictures. Thank the Boy's mom for being a good sport. Now wait weeks to print the pictures out. Got that?


Step Four:
Finally decide it's probably cutting it a little close that the wedding is less than six months away and the save the Dates card really should've been made and sent out (especially for those guests overseas) and then drag one giggly bridesmaid to your local Walmart wherein you proceed to jam up one of their photo kiosks in your pathetic attempt to print out 100 copies of 4 2x3 pictures. Get frustrated and leave and then blog about this frustrating experience.

Step Five:
Wrangle the Boy to going back to said Walmart but this time printing out a few copies and then copying the entire photo and printing it that way (ha ha! I did manage to beat the system and left relatively not annoyed).

Step Six:
Finally put together the postcards using 1) the dorky pictures, 2) some old watercolor paper so generously donated by giggly bridesmaid (I just adored the weight and texture of the paper), 3) one Xyron Sticker Maker, 4) one paper cutter and some odds and ends including stamps and pens.

Here are the dorky picture I spoke of.


Take the picture and run it through the machine. You just turn the little knob on the side and it will cranks the picture through the machine. Just be careful in the timing you put the next picture in so they don't overlap and you don't get sticky coating on part of it.

The picture comes out the other side on the sticker paper. Peel the picture off the paper...

and then put it on whatever paper you want to use (in my case, it's the watercolor paper). I made sure to leave some room on the edges so that when I cut them out I'd have a border around them.

After you get all the photos onto the paper, you'll have sheets and sheets waiting to be put out.


Cut the postcards out using a paper cutter (or a steady hand and a pair of scissors on lines drawn using a ruler works just as well).


Once done, you've got a nice stack of postcards.

I attempted to run the paper through our printer but it was too thick. So racking my brain for other ideas, I decided to punish myself by handwriting all the postcards. I took stamps I had purchased when we first got engaged and I was on this kick that the wedding will be bird-themed (still is though the ideas have been diluted somewhat since the first rush of infatuation or pragmatic sensibility). I stamped he little birdie on the top left-hand side and the vine and birds down the middle of the card to divide the text and the addressee sides. I had wanted to get one of those nifty vintage postcard stamps but time being short and me being impatient I went with the vine and I think it turned out rather well. Then I hand wrote the little note coming out of the bird's beak ("Save the Date!") and the message ("Boy and Girl are getting hitched! (Details to follow)) and when my hand wasn't complaining anymore, I wrote all the addresses of our dearest friends and family and then we sent them out.

(all pictures are by me)
With a sign of relief, I say: Huzzah, they are done!
Next step: invitations, programs and escort cards. Thank goodness I've already a good head start on most of these.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

a wind of change

It seems like after the first rush of wedding planning (especially if you've got some down time between the enagagement and the actual wedding) there comes this period where nothing happens. At least in my case this is what happened.

More than that, I couldn't stand anything wedding related. The shows I loved to watch so much (you know, like "Bridezilla," "Who's Wedding Is It Anyway?", "Rich Bride, Poor Bride", etc.) was like this constnt pinprick to my conscience.

Why you ask? It all boils down to this: money.

Basically, I couldn't justify to myself why we were spending all this money on one day when what was really important to us was sharing this special day with our friends and family. We knew that they didn't expect anything from us and for that, we are thankful. However the Martha Stewart in me (and maybe a slight case of too much oogling wedding blogs and other people's weddings) brought out the comptetative side in me.

However, with much deliberation, the Boy and I decided to scale down our wedding. We're much relieved by this news. It made me excited to plan the wedding again. And with the wedding less than 5 months away, I need to get excited again.

To save on costs, we decided to only hold the ceremony at the Garden we had booked for both the ceremony and reception (and cocktail hour). While we love that site and it is gorgeous, there was a lot of extra expenses we didn't anticipate when we first booked it. Luckily, because we're having our wedding on a Sunday, they were gracious enough to let us scale back to just a ceremony.

My best friend's (and Maid of Honor) parents were also generous enough to offer their home as our reception site. They have a fabulous deck and gorgeous garden and patio; this ended up being the best mistake we ever made. It feel more like us with this change in plans. Plus, with a view from their home, you can see all the beach/bay view that we in Southern California are so luck to have. And additional bonus with our summer wedding is that we will actually get to have fireworks at the wedding! Fireworks are illegal in California but from the home you have a great view of SeaWorld; all summer long, SeaWorld puts on firework shows so that means there will be fun firework at my wedding!

This home also has a very special meaning to our relationship (this was the spot when the Boy first told me he loved me) so it is perfect for celebrating our nuptuialsl.

Other updates:
- We found a photographer we liked and we've booked them. We are schedule to do engagement pictures in April (though I feel a little silly as we've been engaged for over a year now).

- We're having a good old fashioned BBQ for the reception (catered) plus tons of homemade goodies and a touch of Asian exotic foods.

- I'm thinking of having my mom wear a traditional Thai dress as her dress. I've been looking into some other traditional elements of a Thai wedding ceremony and I am hoping to include more than I orignally thought I would. There would be something sweet about it and I feel like it would also be very me.

- Mason jars. Anyone got some they want to give to me? I want to give each guest a mason jar to drink some fine lemonade/pink lemonade/iced tea from.

(image from Style Me Pretty)



- I made our Save the Date cards; they're cute. (I'll post on that later.)

- I also want to make out invitations; I have several mock ups but I think it would be easiest if I had a gocco machine. Anyone got one for sale?

- Bridesmaid dresses were supposed to be untraditional; several ideas later and 5 months to go, we're going traditional.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

on the hunt

Okay chickadees,

I am on the hunt for wedding day shoes. At first, I wanted red shoes as I think they are so dramatic and flirty. Heels was another thing on my list of wedding shoe requirements (a must when I stand a measly 5'2" and the Boy is 6'3").
Since the purchase of the Dress, I have been having second thoughts about this seemingly small element of the wedding. Now I'd like yellow flats, cute darling little things. Yellow is such a happy and fun color and would stand out against the paler shades of pink, blue, orange, and copper. It would be unexpected...unless you knew me. Because, you see, I adore yellow and wear a fantastic mustard yellow coat whenever I get the chance. As for the low to no heel portion to the new shoe decision, this is a matter of practicality. Last September I re-hurt my left ankle somehow and it has never gotten better (yes, I am seeking medical treatment about this) so heels are hard to wear. In fact, I don't think I've worn anything that wasn't a flat shoe in forever (poor shoe collection, I have been reduced to living in my Converse, flat boots, sneakers or grey flats). I have a feeling the ankle won't get any better by the wedding (or not much) and since I am clumsy anyways, it's best not to tempt fate. I'd like to think my wedding day shoes will be comfy enough to dance the night away with family and friends but stylish enough for those wonderful shoe shots that I love in wedding day photography.

In light of this, I have been scouring stores and shops online.

This was the inspiration for the yellow shoe love. Plus it has feathers. Could it get any better?
(image from stylehive; shoe by j.crew)

How fun is this pair by Marc Jacobs? It's a shoe that has the cutest rat face you'll ever see. I especially love the little curl of the tail at the back.
(shoe found at zappos)

And lastly, but not least, this little gem reminds of the ruffly embellishments in my dress.
(shoe found on zappos; designed by Diego Di Lucca)
What do you think of a bright yellow shoe as my little secret?

Monday, February 16, 2009

hot guys in vests make my heart beat a little faster

(image from jcrew)
I came across this in looking for things for the bridesmaids to wear (did I mention I was trying to go about buying dresses in a nontraditional way? I just don't want anything shiney or too formal and I was looking for dresses that comfier, as if you put on something very nice to go to our garden party which happened to be our wedding).
The Boy and I haven't given too much thought to what he (and his groomsmen) should wear. Is that bad? In all this time, we've been focused on what the girls should wear: what I should wear, what the bridesmaid should look like, what my mom and his mom could wear...psst, I think I like the idea of my mom going a traditional route and perhaps just dressing up in our native costume). About the guys, well we didn't even think about it enough to even figure out whether or not they were going the tux route, though I do vaguely remember the Boy saying something o this nature very early on into the wedding planning process.
Now, I've never really seen the Boy all dressed up in his fanciest clothes. The summer we first got together he was the best man in his friend's wedding. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see him in all his glory (and the embarrassing story about him forgetting the rings in his truck) because I had another wedding to go to that weekend. But from the pictures I was shown afterwards, the Boy was owning his James Bond self.
Since then, there has been few times that have called for either one of us to really dress up. We're the jeans and t-shirt typical Californian couple in that way. Only once, in all the years that we've been together, have I seen the Boy dressed up in a great fitting pair of charcoal slacks and dress shirt. Wow.
Since then, Ive been obsessed with the idea of the Boy not wearing a tux to our wedding but something along the lines of the picture above. I'd even love it more if the Boy would comply and wear a cool vest like that one. I don't know what I'd do with myself if he did. I think I might just have to marry him if he did (psst, are you listening Boy?)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Paper Nightmares

I am annoyed with Walmart. Yes, I said it and I don't care who knows it.

Here's the story:
We are DIYing as much of the wedding as we can. I think it will add a cute and personal touch to the festivities (and being cost effective does help matters too).
Part of my quest to be DIY Bride is to make all the paper products for our wedding, including handmade invitations and Save the Date cards (pictures and stories about the invitations in another post). I was browsing some fantastic blogs when I first started this blog and came across a wonderful one called my polaroid blog; it's so fun and cute! You guys should check it out. She helped revive my love for old school polaroids (I am still on a quest for a polaroid camera; any one got one for sale?) If you scroll down her page, on the right hand side are cute pictures she has taken of people holding signs as her way to mark the day (there's a really cute hand drawn clock as well). Instantaneously, I got a flash in my brain (you know, the *flash* like Emily Starr has; points to you if you know the reference) and our Save the Date cards were born.
Basically, the Boy and I (with the help of his mother) took very silly pictures with us holding up signs of our wedding date; four to be exact. So in each panel, we are holding a card with the day of the week, the month, the date and the year (in that order). Cute, right? And so simple. I then planned to use my printer to print some cute save the date message on the reverse side and voile, a cute postcard!
So the giggly bridesmaid and I (yes, the very same one as the previous post only she wasn't as giggly today but moony over her new gorgeous haircut she got earlier today), waltz into our local Walmart with the silly notion that we would be able to print these pictures out in relative ease.
We were wrong.
Now the actual setting up for printing wasn't hard. I just popped by SD card into the kiosk and a couple of taps here and there to crop and sepia it and there it was. Now the reason I decided to get them printed out at Walmart was that their kiosks have this handy little feature where you can print out four pictures onto one 4x6 (I don't know if other photo places do it but I was sure Walmart did it because I have used it before). Easy peasy, right?
I printed out one copy to make sure it all turned out right (it is cute!) and then turned my attention to print out the rest. I hand tapped in all 100 print outs (that means I tapped the screen over 400 times people), hit the print button and it all should've gone smoothly and we should've been out there in under 20 minutes. The allotted time went by. Still no photos. We walked around a bit and came back to check on it. Nothing. Walked around some more. Nothing. Asked one of the photo attendants to check it out for us; she did and said we just had to be patient since we were printing out so many pictures. We shopped some more (I think I ended up with some many things in my cart out of sheer boredom). In the end, after almost an hour, we came back and there was still no photos to be seen dispensing.
I had had it. Really, I was fed up. And a little pissy.
Giggly bridesmaid was no longer giggly. Or moony. Or any feelings that could be construed of as happy.
In the end, I had to cancel the order altogether as I was not in the mood to wait another hour (or however long it would've taken to finally print). So we went into Walmart with the intentions of making my Save the Date cards; I came out with Valentine junk.

Curses on you, Walmart.

The Save the Date cards saga continues on...next version, Target?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Dress

News of news: I am in possession of my wedding dress. The shop called last Friday to tell me the dress I ordered was finally in. So months of anticipation and slips in belief that this was the perfect dress lead up to Monday afternoon where I had a face to face with The Dress.
The Dress.
Would I still love it?
Did it fit?
Was the color off or would I wish I had gone with the champagne color?
How did it still fit in with our ever-changing wedding plans (thanks a lot to all the wedding blogs I've been reading!)?
And last but certainly not least, was it still the One?

I got to the shop and they pulled the dress out.
I made a face. This was certainly not the dress I ordered.
On the hanger it looked so...expected. I did not want to be expected. I wanted to dazzle. I wanted to be me in my wedding dress not a wedding dress on me.
I sighed quietly to myself. What would I do if I didn't love it anymore? With it all paid for, I would have to wear it even if I didn't love it. There would be no other way. We couldn't afford to not wear it (unless someone bought it off of me for the same price I paid for it). I was resigned to inevitable.

The consultant (not the one I originally bought The Dress from) escorted me to a dressing room. Once the curtains were closed, she proceeded to have me take off my shirt and help me out of my underclothes. By help I mean she took off the undergarment I was wearing, wrapped a corset around me, then proceeded to tell me to take off my pants. I was shocked. Nay, embarrassed. Now, I'm not a prude, per se, but the sheer brusque manner in which I was out of my brassiere and into a corset without so much as a "I'll turn around and let you get undressed" left me speechless. And cold. In my knickers with a perfect stranger and one giggly bridesmaid.

This did not help me love The Dress.

Off the hanger went the Dress, and into it I stepped. Still not convinced, the dress went up, the zipper zipped, and the consultant fussed over where to put the embellished strap dangling by my side. Her being flustered by the placement only intensified the giggly bridesmaid. I had to calmly explain that it didn't matter as I was planning to have it cut off anyways. The consultant breathed a sign of relief, spun me around and there I was in my wedding dress.
Shock sunk in. Giggly bridesmaid ceased to giggle but was shortly replaced with squeals. She loved it. She oohed and ahhed as appropriate. We stepped out to the main showroom and up on the pedestal I went. A few tucks here and there and a pin to simulate the sweetheart neckline I had planned for and the dress was transformed into The Dress I had fallen in love with. There it was. Me in my Dress.

(image by one giggly bridesmaid)
Falling in love with The Dress again did not diminish the fact that the shop where I purchased it was requiring me to take it home right away. How could this be? The wedding is months away and I was still counting on the idea of the first time the Boy seeing me in The Dress was at walking down the aisle.
Giggly Bridesmaid could not keep it at her home as they were in the process of redecorating and she could not guarantee the safety of the Dress. Calls were put out to the Boy who suggested calling the Maid of Honor. Thank goodness MOH picked up as I was on the verge of tears. Her parents could and would keep The Dress in their home. Several more phone calls were made including a short conversation with MOH's mother and the Boy and then me, one excited bridesmaid, and The Dress crammed into her car and drove away from the shop to its home for the next couple of months.
I do so very much love my friends and their family. They keep me sane (which is a task in and of itself minus the stresses of planning a wedding).
Along with The Dress trial, I tried on the headband I purchased with the intentions of wearing it for the wedding. *sigh* It did not turn out the way I planned. Had my dress been shorter and less embellished, I think the peony headband would look sweet. But with all that is going on in The Dress, it sort of calls for my hair off my face either pulled back or cut into a bob!
When I told friends about this, there were cries of anguish with the thoughts of my hair coming off. So to appease them I have agreed to try out some hair styles that will give me the look of the bobbed hair I like (which, if they will keep in mind, I will be returning to after the wedding). B suggested this look and I do think it goes pretty well with The Dress and the feel of the wedding:
(image from Brides.com)

Imagine it with side-swept bangs and either a flower tucked in the back or a cool birdcage veil. I will definitely give it a try. I've even got the earrings to go with it. But that's another story for another day.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I am lost...

Let's talk about hair, shall we?
The date is coming up fast and I have yet to decide on what I am going to do with my hair. I got it cut a few weeks ago and added bangs (oh how I've missed you!); LOVE the hair. Am thinking of possibly getting it cut again a few days before the wedding and wearing it straight, simple and non-fussy with the headband (update: got the headband in the mail yesterday, tried it on and it looks cute! It's a little bigger than I thought it would be but with the details in the dress, I think things would work out quite well).
But to run through other options, I have always loved the idea of wearing my hair up. Only, I don't think I would pull it off too well. My hair is stick straight and doesn't really get the kind of volume one would need to pull off something cute like this:
(image from A Backyard Wedding)
Don't you just love the birdcage veil? Plus, love a bride that rocks the bangs.
Or I could wear it down and wavy (this would require lots of work from curling iron, hairspray and perhaps extensions?!)
(image from Brides)
It's romantic and curly and so touchable. In place of the lace headband goes the one with a big pink peony.

Really, I am up for anything. I need to scour more magazines and websites for hair ideas. I have no preferences but just know that some things won't look good on me (adore ethereal looks but gawd, horrible on me).

Ideas anyone? Really. Please send me some.