Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Did It!

Gary and I were married on November 8, 2008 in front of 80 of our closest family and friends.
I thought I'd post a few thoughts and photos of our wedding in case anyone stumbles upon it. If you ever have any specific questions for me, go over to my "regular" blog and send me a comment. Happy Wedding Planning!

My top wedding day tips and lessons:

1. Totally bake your own wedding cake! It turned out awesomely despite my fretting. But make sure you have good friends to come over on the wedding day and do the last minute frosting and decorating. (thanks ambee!)

2. There won't be any time on your wedding day to do anything remotely useful. What's done is done, so step back and enjoy the day. Surround yourself with people who love you, let go of the control (that's a hard one for me), and you'll find that things just fall into place perfectly.

3. Give a toast! I am so glad that I prepared a short toast to our family and to my husband. It made me feel like I could properly acknowledge them, and also like I was a powerful woman speaking my own voice, rather than the meek bride quietly sitting to the side while the menfolk speak.

4. If you're having a backyard wedding like me, have the rentals delivered as early as possible on the day before the wedding. We were lucky to have ours arrive Friday morning at 10 am (earlier than expected!) Having that entire day to set up the tables, get the place settings ready and organized, and set up the chairs for the ceremony made me feel so much more relaxed. I am a control freak (I'm working on it), so being able to know that the things that still needed to be done on Saturday were pretty much fool proof allowed me to sleep much easier.

5. Trying to save some money? Consider using talented friends as your wedding photographers. My aunt was responsible for shooting all our ceremony photos and they turned out so lovely. The SLR cameras that so many people own these days are great quality and easy to use. A friend or family member may love to feel useful and give their time to you as a wedding gift.
6. Put some personality and thought into your wedding. I received a lot of compliments on our homemade jam favors, and it was also a wonderful way to bond with my mom over a common task.

7. Oh my gosh, get yourself a band! This does not have to blow your budget! We booked a blues band (Third Degree Blues) from for less than $500 (for 6 hours). Cheaper than most DJs, cheaper than the cost of my invitations after my thousand trips to Paper Source. AND THEY ROCKED IT. Seriously, they were so amazing. Keep in mind that there are so many bands out there trying to make it and develop a reputation or may just want to play for the fun of it.

8. Discover Etsy if you haven't already. I got my beautiful lace bolero, custom bow ties for the ring bearers, custom handbags for bridesmaids gifts, and my gorgeous flower hair piece there. The site is a-maz-ing.

9. If something doesn't go exactly as planned, trust me- you won't give a hoot. See that handsome guy over there across the room? Yeah, you're marrying him, so what could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A hell of a week

Today's election day. Perhaps the biggest and most important election of my lifetime. Today also happens to be 4 days prior to my wedding day. The wedding's on Saturday and today is my last day at work, staring glassy eyed at my coworkers and pretending to listen to their inane stories. I guess I have most of the To Dos crossed off my list, because instead of pouring over wedding details I am scouring the political blogs and my head is just so not in wedding mode.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Let me introduce myself- this is me, by a fire, a little bit tipsy

I've noticed a few fellow wedding bloggers making there way over here. So, hello! This blog was meant as a way to save pics of things I liked- which is another way of saying it's pretty much a ripoff copycat of all the good wedding blogs! But glad you are here anyway!

A tip for the wedding planners- I have recently discovered a great blog with beautiful photos from real weddings at Southern Weddings. Check it out, you won't be disappointed...lots of bang for the buck.

The pergola

Dad and Gary finished up the pergola last weekend by putting in a hardwood deck so I can stand on it in heels without tipping over. It looks so awesome, and will also be a perfect place for the band to set up for the part-ay!

This photo is midway through the project- how awesome is it that I get to get married under something my dad and my fiancee made together?

Take my poll

I feel like my head is going to explode from too much information, too many details, too much too much too much!

One thing I have been way over thinking today is my actual walk down the aisle. So, a question for you if you stumble upon this blog… and please answer honestly!

If you went to a wedding where the bride walked down the aisle alone, unescorted by a family member, would you:

A. Assume her father was either deceased or unsupportive of the marriage.
B. Assume the bride has an independent streak and is old enough to walk herself down a damn aisle
C. Assume proper etiquette given that it is the bride’s second marriage.
D. Think it’s unusual and a little weird, but not terribly offensive.
E. Not think anything really at all.

Those of you who know me will know that B and C apply to me, but I am worried that some guests, those in particular from the groom’s side, will tend toward “A”. My dad has been extremely, extraordinarily supportive of my relationship with Gary, and I would hate for anyone to think otherwise and it’s really starting to make my head spin. As an aside, my dad doesn’t like being the center of attention so he is happier in his seat in the front row watching and taking pictures.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


If you are coming to my wedding, please please please take lots of pictures for me! We are not having an official wedding photographer because it's too freaking expensive to justify for a sweet little backyard wedding. Plus, my matron of honor happens to be a wedding photographer so we will be able to utilize her a bit for portraits.

But I am still concerned that I am going to miss some nice moments, especially pics of friends and family. Maybe I'll even ask someone to switch on the "video" component of their digital camera to get some film of the ceremony? Just a couple snippets of live action for posterity.

self indulgent

I may splurge on a beautiful silk robe to wear the morning of the wedding as I get my self beautified. Isn't this one from Anthropologie beautiful? (boo for Flash Players that don't let you download photos from their site)

I can't wait to get my custom hair piece in the mail this week- I bought it from Myra Callan, who runs the Twigs & Honey shop on etsy.

Isn't it lovely?

Note to self

*This* is why no one else is dumb enough to make their own wedding cake.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Inspiration for decorating the pergola

Having a hard time finding something simple to decorate the pergola where we are getting married...I am not one for much tulle, and we don't have a budget for beautiful fresh florals. I am thinking something along these lines, but it's still not quite right. Any ideas?

UPDATE: Mom and I went to a discount fabric store and bought 2 bolts of a very pretty white fabric to drape on the pergola. We did a test run last weekend, and I am in love with the way it looks. We only draped the front- not each post like the one above.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I am a sucker for sparkling wine

even (especially?) when it's in a can!Soffia Coppola Mini, $4 each

Pretty lace thing

I bought this off etsy to wear at the wedding. I haven't tried it on with the wedding dress yet, though, and am not sure if and when to wear it- it won't keep me warm, but I thought it was so romantic and pretty!
If anyone is looking for something similar, I bought it here- the seller is from Israel so my wedding now contains items from halfway across the world- cool!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

There are so many things I want to do for this wedding, and it is so hard to recognize that I cannot possibly do it all. They are mostly time consuming, handmade projects that just don't make sense to take on.
For instance: The Caramel Apple. I would love to make a caramel apple for each guest and leave them at their placesetting- but I still haven't finished the other favors that are to be left at the tables, so I need to finish one thing before starting the next (and anyone who knows the family I grew up in should know that this is not a skill that has ever been taught or ingrained- sorry Mom!)

Anyway- caramel apples are awesome. Maybe I can make them as Christmas presents since I will have no money left over after november 8 :)

Oh, on another crazy note- I am making my own wedding cake! SOOOO excited!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


For the groom and groomsmen:

For the Dads:

For the ring bearers:

Gary and I made these boutonnieres tonight. 9 of them made for a total of 16 whopping dollars. We are both feeling very thrilled with them, especially because we saved over a hundred dollars off the quotes we were getting from florists, and also because they are done in advance so nothing to stress about on the wedding day!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The ring bearer pillows

We have 2 great little boys serving as our ring bearers. I made these pillows out of extra fabric from my wedding gown and some crafty stuff from Michael's. In a sinking economy, Michael's is likely staying afloat from my purchases alone.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The tie

UPDATE: Here's Gary wearing the tie! It's interesting how differently it photographs in different light.

Gary went to Nordstrom Rack and found a great deal on ties for himself and his groomsmen. I can't remember the brand but apparently they are normally very expensive and he found them for about $30 each. He's a little nervous that it's too orange, but I like it!


I know buying jewelry for your bridesmaids is soooo passe, but I think I may anyway. I don't love the matchy look in general...with same dress, shoes, hairstyle, and jewelry. That's a bit much. But given that the girls will be wearing different colored dresses (and shoes, and hair styles, etc) , I thought a necklace might be nice to tie the look together.

I was thinking of these two. If anyone in the blogosphere stumbles upon this post, let me know which one you like best.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I like the way long rectangular tables look. Better than the round tables, I think. I wonder what type of table is best for conversation...anyone have a thought?

the count

The tally as of today:
Yes: 62

We still have about 32 people who are unaccounted for, so this may go from a smallish wedding to a pretty large one if the undecideds all show...but I think it will end up about 70. By the way, if you are reading this and haven't sent me your RSVP, please do so! (Lindsay, you are excused for being in another country!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

gary's ring

He didn't want anything fancy, and certainly didn't want anything expensive (because he's convinced he will lose it). Which gave me a sigh of relief, because his ring size is 11.5 (compared to my size 5) so the cost of the gold or platinum was pretty exhorbitant. We settled on a plain ring made of tungsten, which is a new material they are using these days that is known for its resistance to scratches, dents, etc. It also is very inexpensive- I bought this ring online for $29 - I'm also embarassed to admit that! Amazon isn't just for buying books!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

kinda wish i had thought of this

I loved our homemade save the dates, but I can certainly appreciate the humor and creativity of this couple! (found here)


honestly, when i think of baby's breath and carnations, it is usually in context of those cheap and ugly and tacky bouquets that people buy at the last minute at the Quik Mart for their daughter's sixth grade graduation. We all do. You know, something like this:

but look at what the geniuses at Real Simple did with the bouquet:

I think may have a bouquet of baby's breath. For real. I was actually trying to grow my own hydrangea for the bouquets, because I love the romantic look of hydrangea and plus I wanted to grow my own bouquet for sentimental reasons. But the hydrangea gifted me don't seem to like it very much in pots on my patio, so I think this is going to be an area where I swallow my pride and buy flowers from the local farmer's market or Trader Joe's the day before. This means we will just be going with whatever is in season and not expensive- I think as long as I plan for a very casual arrangement of one type of flower, it will look beautiful no matter what.

I know that a backyard wedding doesn't equate with a country wedding, but I continue to be drawn to this idea of rural & rustic elegance. I am getting married in a suburban town in Southern California- there isn't, and has never been, wheat growing in this region, but it still gives me those warm-in-the-belly feelings.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

night lights

Simple and beautiful.


These manolo blahnik shoes are beautiful. And over $500. Because of the feathers.

My friend MMC had a good idea to buy a blank pair of pumps and get crafty and embellish the shoes myself...find a pretty, comfortable pair of heels (with a lower heel), buy some feathers at Michael's, and voila!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Quenching the thirst of the masses

I'd like to have a little table set up in the yard with lemonade and water as guests arrive. Heck, maybe spike some of the punch to loosen up the crowd.

Photo clothesline

I have been looking for a fun way to display family photos, and those fun and embarassing photos from our childhoods- Gary came of age in the early 80s so there are a lot of great fashion mishaps, and this is the perfect way to do it.

Centerpiece inspiration

I am fairly settled on the centerpieces already. Some people spend fortunes on their centerpieces and it just baffles me that this aspect of a wedding would garner so much attention and portion of the budget. Our tables are going to be set with a hurricane/candle to light up the table a bit, which will be surrounded by a couple of small mason jars filled casually with a few buds of in-season flowers- maybe mums or dahlias?


I would love to have all sorts of fun games to celebrate our wedding- bocce, horseshoes, heck maybe some badminton and hula hoops!

(Source: Once

love the vibe

We are having a buffet dinner in a tent on the driveway...unless it rains or is terribly cold. In that case, we'll move everything and everyone inside the house to stay dry...and in any case, I hope that this is the general vibe of the evening...a pretty, romantic little dinner party.


I love this group shot. I think it would be really cool to set up a simple backdrop like this one.
(Source: A Practical Wedding)

Here is another great photo backdrop from Once Wed:


Who doesn't love a good fire? We won't be able to recreate this beautiful camp bonfire, but we will be able to light up the fire pit in the backyard, and roast s'mores during the reception. I love s'mores:

I love paper lanterns. I don't know if they will fit into our budget, but I'd love to string them across the pool.


Oh, how I would love to have a pinata at our wedding! Isn't this photo adorable? It came from one of my favorite blogs, Brooklyn Bride.

Hair decoration

Since I will not be wearing a veil, I looked for something that was pretty and feminine to put in my hair. I settled on this beautiful piece hand made by Myra Kim. Visit her wonderful and unique etsy shop for more inspiration.

The bridesmaid dresses

My 3 sisters, along with a dear friend, will be honoring me with standing beside me as I marry Gary.

They will be wearing this J Crew dress (Camilla style). 2 will be wearing the Chocolate color, and 2 will be wearing the Wine color. The best part about the dress- it has pockets! I love dresses with pockets. Also, the fabric is a Cotton Cady, so it's casual enough in style that they potentially could rewear these dresses- which is of course always the ultimate goal.

All the dresses are from last season, so I found them on eBay for relatively reasonable- they retail for $275 and all the dresses were found well below $100.

Sweet Inspiration

We are not having a traditional tiered wedding cake. Personally, there are about a zillion other desserts I prefer over cake, and it also seems that only a small portion of the cake ever gets eaten. At my sister's lovely wedding, they had delicious cake but most of it got wasted.

Mom and I decided to have a sweets table in the backyard instead. We may be blessed with some homemade treats from talented bakers- but even if not, we're planning to make a CostCo run and get different yummy baked goods- apple pie, cheesecake, maybe some cupcakes. I think we'll be able to satisfy everyone's sweet tooth!

I would also like to try and make a homemade cupcake stand like this one- it's made from terra cotta pots and would be a great homemade touch!

Fall flowers

I love this look.

The Makeup

The 'Do

These are some lovely inspiration photos for my hair. I love the photos of brides wearing their hair long and loose and wavy, but my hair does not hold curl and ends up looking stringy and messy, not-in-a-good way. So I will be wearing an up do- something relaxed, low on the nape of my neck, with sideswept bangs.

Post #1

I have started this blog to collect my thoughts and ideas on my upcoming marriage and wedding. I suspect that I will be the only reader of it, but anyone is welcome here. For any lurkers who discover this blog, I am getting married to a wonderful delicious man on November 8, 2008 in the backyard of my childhood home in Orange County, CA. I have lots of ideas floating around and hopefully this blog can keep my head from exploding. The idea is to use these next couple of months to prepare Gary and I for a healthy and loving life and marriage, and plan a wedding day that reflects our joy in having found each other.