Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hurry Up Already!!!

So, I just drafted a post on one of my favorite details from our wedding, and as I sifted through what little pictures we have from our friends and family I realized that we don't have any pictures of this detail.  Waiting for our pro pics is putting a serious cramp in my blogging style!  I know it has only been 3 weeks, but I want my professional pictures dammit!!!  So that post will just have to sit in draft form until my photographer gets a move on.

Speaking of which, I'm friends with our photographer on Facebook and yesterday she posted that she was hard at work editing a wedding and I got a little excited.  Please please please please please be our wedding!!!

How is it that I am actually less zen now that wedding planning is over?  Something's wrong with me!  LOL.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wedding Day Weather

So, remember how in the days leading up to the wedding I was freaking out about the chance of rain?  The two days before the wedding it rained on and off at our house, which is only 40 or so minutes from our venue.  It was that crazy and unpredictable kind of rain, where it would rain huge drops for a couple of minutes then go away, then there would be thunder and lightening with no rain, then it would rain for a split second while it was bright and sunshiney out.  The day before the wedding we went to Lowe's and bought a ton of tarps just in case we needed them and just decided to move on with our lives.  There was nothing we could do about the rain and we had too much other stuff to deal with to worry about something we can't control.

When we got up the mountain on Friday, it was overcast and sprinkled on and off.  No bueno.  It was never heavy enough rain to make you go inside though, so I didn't let it get the best of me.

When I woke up on Saturday morning, there was the typical morning mountain fog.  But that cleared away to bright blue skies.  And it stayed that way all day long. I was so relieved that I kept exclaiming throughout the wedding "It didn't rain!!!"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Details Details: Cake Stand

Just like with the bar, we knew from the get-go that we wanted to do a cake / dessert buffet instead of a traditional tiered wedding cake.  I had always envisioned something a la . . .

(via Snippet & Ink)

. . . but the Mister had another vision.  One that actually made sense for the cake gazebo at our venue.*  The gazebo could only hold a small round table, so the mister decided he wanted to build a tree-esque cake stand.  Originally, we had grand plans to acutally make the cake stand look like a tree, but like many a grand plan before it, that plan got scrapped when things got down to the wire.  I'll just cut to the chase and let you see the final product.

(photo by my Father-in-Law!)

We had a local cake shop make the four cakes (which were unbelievably delicious, I might add) and my Mother-in-Law baked the cookies and brownies.  I grossly underestimated the amount of platters I needed to purchase for the cookies and brownies so they ended up keeping the cookies in the Tupperware.  Not ideal, but I didn't even notice it on our wedding day.  That's one of those things where you just end up having to say "oh well" and shrug it off.  People were so excited for my Mother-in-Law's famous peanut butter cookies with Hershey's Kisses that no one even cared about the Tupperware.

So back to the cake stand.  This was also a fairly simple project but time consuming because of all of the trial and error.  The structure of the stand is made from metal pipe fittings from Home Depot that the Mister screwed together to form the "trunk" and "branches."

Those are pipe fittings all over the floor.  The Mister spent forever and a day picking out what he thought he needed, and then we must have gone back 3 or 4 more times to return some things and buy some more.  Photo by yours truly.

We attached the pipe fittings to a large wooden base that we covered in spare purple fabric.  We then covered the fittings with clay to even out the surface and wrapped it in green ribbon.  The platters that the cakes sat on were actually lazy susans that we disassembled so they couldn't spin and then attached to the "branches" with screws. 

Sounds simple, but this project took a long time to complete, and we actually finished it two days before the wedding.  It probably would have been easier if we were following a set plan, but we were really just flying by the seat of our pants. 

And now, for a moment of sadness.  The day after the wedding, when we were packing up the lodge, we decided to throw it away.  It was heavy and took up a lot of space, and we couldn't think of a single reason why we would use it again.  So a little birdie convinced us to toss it, and to be honest I regret that decision a little.  Even though I'm sure we would have ended up tossing it at some point in the future, I could have at least got to the point where I didn't have so much of a sentimental attachment to it anymore.  Sigh.  You live, you learn. 

* Yes, our venue had a gazebo just for the cake.  It's a smart idea, really, when you've got a venue that's entirely outside and in the woods.  No one wants sap in their wedding cake. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Details Details: The Bar

While we are waiting for our pro pics to come (which may be a while), I am going to use this time to go back and fill you all in on the projects that I have yet to tell you about.  I was waiting to tell y'all about these projects until they were finished, but it turns out that most of them didn't get finished until a day or two before the wedding so there was just no time.  First up:  the bar!

Way back in the day I blogged about how we wanted a self-serve bar, but our venue did not allow glass beer bottles.  If we were serving beer, it had to be kegs or cans.  After much research and deliberation about our options, we decided to go balls to the wall and build a full on bar with a dual carbon dioxide tap system so no one would have to hand pump the kegs.  

So how do you build a bar?  Turns out it's not that difficult - it's just time and labor intensive.  The Mister designed the whole thing in his head.  He never drew out any plans or looked anything up online.  We went to Home Depot and bought some 2x4s, finish grade plywood and trim for the corners; ordered a CO2 tap system online; and finished it with some cherry wood stain and (the real key element for a classy looking bar) marine varnish.   Neither of us had ever heard of marine varnish until we asked someone at Home Depot what we should use on a bar top to keep it fully sealed from moisture.  Marine varnish is what is used on boats and  We both probably lost a few brain cells just being around this stuff, and we had to keep our garage door cracked open for about a week straight to get the smell out.  But it works and gave the bar a super high gloss finish.

I know, I know, you're thinking JUST SHOW US THE PICTURES ALREADY!!!  I could swear that took pictures of us building the bar, but I can't find them anywhere, so I just have the finished product.  I looked through our friends pictures that we have so far of our wedding too, and could only find one of the bar.  So here it is, sitting in our garage.

the front

the back

A close up of the taps and drip tray.  The grate cover for the drip tray flew out of the bar on the freeway on the way to the wedding.  Our friend made us a make-shift one cover the day of the wedding at his dad's sheet metal shop.  

And actually set up at the wedding.  Photo by our friend June.  You can see the make-shift cover, and that we served Bud Light and Blue Moon.

Okay, time for some words of advice.  First of all, we had one full sized keg and one pony keg and apparently dual tap systems don't like having two different sized kegs attached to it at the same time.  I was oblivious to this during the wedding, but I noticed that the pony keg of Blue Moon was gone really, really early and asked someone what was up.  They said that they couldn't get the Bud Light to come out until the Blue Moon was gone.  So moral of the story:  get same sized kegs.

Second word of advice - building a bar like this will NOT save you money.  According to our receipts, this bar cost us $575.90 to build.  But we were okay with the cost because we felt that the bar was one of the key elements in establishing the mood and look we wanted for our wedding.  By far, the tap system was the greatest expense.  That alone was about $340.  We are planning on selling it to recoup some of our expense, though it breaks my heart a little bit.  I'm attached to it at this point, so I'm hoping we can sell it to someone we know that way we can see it and use it again!  We've actually had several friends and family members say that they want it, so hopefully that works out.  If no one is willing to pay a good price for it, I'd rather keep it in our own backyard for all those keggers we throw (HA!).  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

We're Back...and I've Been Tagged!

We're back from a blissful week on the Big Island!  We got back home late Sunday night and pre-planned to take Monday off from work to recuperate.  Actually, the Mister already had it off because it was Columbus Day.  About half way through the day we both realized a second recuperation day was in order so we both called out today.  

I'll fill y'all in on the details of our honeymoon later, but I'll tell you the best part now:  SLEEP!!!  I slept for at least 9 hours each night and one night I actually slept for 10 1/2 hours.  I normally am an 8 hours and then I'm awake kind of person.  I think I was able to sleep so well on our honeymoon because it was the first time I've been able to really relax in a very, very long time.

Jacin over at She Said Yes! tagged me with some fun questions to answer.  I'm normally horrible about doing things like this.  But since I took today off from work and am still in relaxation mode this sounds like fun.  So here goes nothing!

1. what was the last movie you watched?

Dinner for Schmucks on the plan ride from Honolulu to LAX.  It was not very good, and not at all what I expected, but anything that helps 2 hours of a 5 hour plane ride go by faster is great in my book.

2. what's your favorite food?

Tough one!  I'd probably have to say Tiramisu.  I don't eat it very often, but if it's on the dessert menu there's no question that is what I am ordering.  But I love so many other foods.  This question would be easier if it was what's your least favorite food.  That's an easy one... HARD BOILED EGGS!!! Ewwww.

3. what is your happiest memory (not wedding-related) :)

Most of my happy memories revolve around hanging out at my maternal grandparent's house in Massachusetts as a kid.  My mom has 10 brothers and sisters so the house was always full of family and fun times.  Plus, they had a Sega Genesis and an in-ground swimming pool with a slide and a diving board.  :)

4. what is your favorite song?

I have a confession:  I'm not a music person.  I hardly ever download music to my iPod.  I'm content with my old music and just listening to the radio.  But I love me some Pearl Jam, and I'd have to say that Pearl Jam's Betterman is one of my all time favorite songs.

5. if you could move anywhere in the world where would it be?

Right now, we're talking about moving to Hawaii.  :)  I moved a lot as a kid so moving is not very appealing to me.  But I'd leave Southern California in a hot minute for some place a little cooler (but not with a full on winter...been there done that!) and with less people.  Where that is, I don't know.  It would be hard to leave our friends and family behind though.  Making new friends sucks.

6. what is the last book you read?

The Wedding Ceremony Planner.  It was a great resource for helping me write our ceremony!

7. what's on the wallpaper on your computer desktop?

It rotates throughout the day with different scenery of America.  It came with Windows 7 and is pretty, what can I say??? LOL.  

8. what is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Just lounging around in my sweats watching trash TV.  When it's nice out I end up feeling guilty if I do this unless I'm sick or have some other valid excuse.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hello from the other side!

At 4:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon, I married my best friend.  The wedding was more wonderful and beautiful than I had even imagined.  I don't even have words to really describe how I feel about the wedding.  But what excites me the most is that I was able to really absorb it all.  So many brides say that their wedding day was a blur, but mine wasn't.  I remember every little bit.  So I know that I will be able to find those words to describe it for all of you in my recaps.  

So now we are resting up before we head out for our honeymoon!  We're leaving bright and early for Kona, Hawaii for a blissful week of much needed relaxation.  See you on the flip side!

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Time Has Come

It's the day before our wedding.  I can hardly believe it.  I have a nail appointment in 2 hours, and after that I'm on a strict schedule so we can be on the road to our venue by 3 p.m.  I will not have internet at the Lodge, except on my trusty Blackberry, so this is my last chance to tell all of you wonderful ladies how great it has been to share my wedding planning experience with you.  I himmed and hawwed about whether I wanted to start a wedding blog because I wasn't sure I would have the commitment to blog regularly.  But I soon realized that there are no rules when it comes to blogging and if I don't post it's not like someone comes and takes my blog away from me.  I know I haven't been as prolific as many wedding bloggers out there, but to each there own, right?  I did what felt right for me.

So thank you.  Thank you for your feedback, thank you for listening, thank you for being a friend (Ha!  Had to throw in a Golden Girl's reference.)

So this is it.  I'm not nervous about anything.  Though I am worried about the 30% chance of rain on our wedding day.  And even then I'm not that worried about it, and I'm finding the silver lining.  Scattered thunderstorms make for beautiful skies and an opportunity for fantastic pictures, right?  Plus, there was a double rainbow over my house yesterday, so I'm taking that as a sign God is smiling down on us.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't Believe Everything That You Read

My wedding is in 5 days.  Obviously, that means I am stalking  But here's the thing, when I pull up the 10 day forecast it says a high of 81 degrees with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms, and then when I click on October 2nd to see more detail, it says 92 degrees, sunny and a 0% chance of precipitation.

So clearly is deliberately effing with me.

Oh, and says upper 70s to low 80s with a 0% chance of precipitation.  This is also what our local ABC news says.  Since can't even agree with itself about what the weather will be on our wedding day, I am boycotting that website.  Okay, not really.  I'll still check it but I just won't believe it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's party time, excellent!

My bachelorette party was actually two weekends ago, but we've already established that I'm a slacker blogger so I don't feel bad about just telling y'all about it now.  :)  Part of the reason why I was waiting was that my camera died very early in the evening and was waiting to get some pictures from the other girls, but I never did (probably because I never asked...oops!).  So I'm moving forward anyway!

I decided that I wanted my bachelorette party to be just a Saturday night out with the girls.  I wasn't about road tripping it to Vegas or anything like that.  The Vegas club scene just makes me feel like an old puritan because I can't party until 4 a.m. and don't dress or act like a hoochie.  Plus, I decided I wanted to have my bachelorette party the same weekend the Mister had his bachelor party, and he was going out of town.  Since most of our friends are married couples, us girls going out of town too wasn't really an option because people would have to arrange sitters.  Baby sitters in a few cases, but in our case dog sitters.

So, a plan was hatched to get an early dinner and then head to a local dueling piano bar.  We got a nice booth reserved for our group and were ready to let loose!  If you've never been to a dueling piano bar, you should definitely go.  They are hilarious and a great place if you have a mixed crowd of drinkers and non-drinkers because everyone has fun.  I've been here with the Mister and he enjoyed himself even though he doesn't drink at all and normally hates going to bars because they're "boring."  In this case, my friend Ashley was our DD - and 3 months pregnant - so she wasn't drinking at all, but still had a great time.

Our beloved DD is in the center.  (Okay, I need to digress for a moment to rant about my Nikon Coolpix.  WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING A "PARTY" MODE IF YOU CAN'T TAKE A CLEAR PICTURE WITH IT?!?!?!  This camera blows and it's only 1 year old.  You can never take a clear picture unless you use the auto mode.  So you pay all this money to get all the bells and whistles and they don't even work?   Thank god the Mister bought me a new camera for my birthday.  But I let him take it for his bachelor party so I had no choice but to use the crappy Nikon.)

My friend Olivia brought glow sticks that we made into bracelets and necklaces.  I had no idea how bright they were until I got called up on stage to be serenaded / publicly humiliated.  

That's right, I got called up on stage.  I kinda knew it was going to happen when I agreed to have my bachelorette party here.  My camera had died by that point so I don't have any pictures.  But my FSIL got it on video.  Yeah, you're not seeing that.  Let's just say that I was given a beer bottle to demonstrate some of the song's lyrics.  It was a crowd pleaser.  

We left around 12:30 and I was in bed by 1:30.  Just my speed.  As a parting gift, here is the one clear picture I have of myself at my bachelorette party.  Yes, they made we wear a veil and sash, despite the fact that I made it clear I did not want any of that.  Sigh.  The things you do for your friends.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weather! And a Question

When I woke up this morning and turned on my computer, the first thing I wanted to do was check because today is the first day the 10 day forecast is available for our wedding date!  (I know our countdown says 9 days.  In terms of actual days of the week, it's 10 days away counting today, in terms of actual hours to our wedding, it will be exactly 9 days away at 4:30 this afternoon).  I was delighted when I pulled up the forecast and it read:

High /
Low (°)
Precip. %
Sep 23
Sunny77.0°/48.0°0 %
Sep 24
Sunny84.0°/52.0°0 %
Sep 25
Sunny87.0°/53.0°0 %
Sep 26
Sunny88.0°/55.0°0 %
Sep 27
Sunny89.0°/56.0°0 %
Sep 28
Sunny86.0°/54.0°0 %
Sep 29
Mostly Sunny81.0°/51.0°0 %
Sep 30
Mostly Sunny75.0°/50.0°10 %
Oct 01
Sunny76.0°/49.0°0 %
Oct 02
Sunny76.0°/50.0°0 %
We're getting a heat wave but it will be gone by the time our wedding rolls around.  The forecast couldn't be any more perfect.  It's times like this that I love living in Southern California.

So the question for you all is, with an overnight low of 50 degrees, do you think we should rent heat lamps?  I'm thinking that with this forecast the temperatures throughout the wedding will start in the low 70s and heading down to the low to mid 60s around 10 p.m.  I'm thinking this may be warm enough that heat lamps aren't needed, but I run warm.  Anyone who gets chilly will put on a jacket or sweater anyway, right?  Advice please!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Throughout most of the wedding planning, our friends and family have been very vocal about how they are more than willing to help.  And now that the wedding is so close, I feel like people are asking me non-stop how they can help.  It's a beautiful thing.

But I'm having a hard time finding things for other people to do.  I go through my list and all I see is stuff that cannot be delegated, or stuff that is so simple that delegating the task isn't worth it.  This weekend, I learned my lesson.  On Saturday, my Mom called and asked what we were doing and if she and her boyfriend could come up and help us out.  I said yes, and they ended up assembling the two patio furniture sets we bought for our lounge area.  It only took the two of them an hour and a half to put everything together, but that's a hour and a half that the Mister and I can now use to do other things.

On Sunday, the Mister's Dad called and asked if there was any way he could help.  The Mister said he could come help stain the bar we built (have I told you about that???) if he wanted but it wouldn't take too long so he didn't have to come over.  Well, he did come over and he ended up working on the bar for several hours.

So when my sister called me on Monday and asked if there was anything she could do, I knew that I could find something for her but I just had to think about it.  So now my sister is in charge of finding nail polish and making our mani/pedi appointments for the day before the wedding.  Again, another little thing that I could do myself and it wouldn't take too much time, but all those little things that don't take too much time add up to a bunch of little things that take a lot of time.

Delegating this task to my sister makes me proud of myself because the type A control freak in the back of my mind says but what if you don't like the nail polish she picks?  What if there's one she doesn't buy that you would have liked more?  But I just laugh at that voice and remind myself IT'S JUST NAIL POLISH!!!  If I can keep that control freak in me in check it will go a long way in terms of preserving my sanity and letting me relax and be present on my wedding day, and I think I'm finally learning how to do it.  Yay me!

Have you had a hard time delegating your wedding tasks?  How have you learned to let go?

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm Still Alive

I've been a bad, bad blogger.  We are two weeks away from the big day, and somehow blogging is just not that high on my priority list.  Back in the day, every week I'd have one or two new things or ideas to share, and I'd get all excited to blog about them.  Now, there are about 50 different things that I could be blogging about and it's just too much.  I don't know where to start, so I just don't start.

But rest assured, I'm still alive and kicking, and still getting married.  The Mister and I are running around like chickens with our heads cut off on the weekends getting shit done, and this weekend will be no different.  Though to be honest, I'd say that we are busy but not overwhelmed.  I still feel like we can get everything done that needs to get done without having to pull all nighters or anything ridiculous like that.  Maybe my feelings on the subject will change come Monday.  We'll see.

Have you found it tougher to blog as the wedding gets closer?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At Last!

Remember when I blogged about our engagement session?  No.  That's okay because it was back in MAY!!!  That's right.  May 14th, to be precise.   And finally, FINALLY, we have all of our engagement photos!!!  I've been waiting for these bad boys for so long, and I love them.  Our photographer apologized up and down for taking so long to get them to us; though to be fair, we had talked with her back in July and told her we weren't in a rush and that she should take her time with them.  She's still somewhat of a newbie photographer and has some serious talent, so lots of people (like us) booked her while she was still pricing herself below market to build her portfolio.  As a result, she is a busy, busy lady.

We did our shoot in the mountains, not too far from where we will be getting married.  We weren't into using props or making them super stylized.  We just wanted beautiful photographs of us...and our dogs.  They are our babies, after all.

So I'll leave you with a taste of the yumminess that is our engagement photos.  Me, the Mister, Max (little dog), and Chloe (big dog).  

(photo by Julie Wilson)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Makeup Trial, or Getting Beautified for my 30th Birthday Party

This close to the wedding, I try to kill two birds with one stone whenever I can.  So last Friday (a.k.a. my 30th birthday) I figured since I would be getting all dolled up for the party the Mister was throwing me that evening I might as well have my makeup trial that afternoon.

I'm doing my own makeup on the big day, but decided to schedule a makeover at Sephora so I could have someone show me what I need to do to achieve the look I want and to figure out what products work for me.  I showed my makeup artist some inspiration photos (including this one and this one and this one and this one...and about 5 others.  I went overboard.) and she got to work.

Here's the canvas she was working with.  This picture is horrendous, so I feel the need to explain how I got to look so fugly.  My skin gets really red when I'm hot.  It was 100 degrees outside and I had been at an outdoor mall in a maxi dress for 3 hours.  I got a facial that morning and the esthetician managed to get product in my hair, so the one day I actually blow dried my hair I ended up having to pull it back into a ponytail.  Plus, I stupidly decided to try jeans on just before my trial, so I was a sweaty ass mess by the time I got to Sephora.  Oh, and I had a mojito at lunch (does anyone else get hot sometimes when they drink alcohol?  No, just me? Okay then.  Moving on.)

You ready to see the end product?  We took this picture of me in our backyard right after I got back home from my trial, so my makeup was still nice and fresh.  I took the picture outside because we're having an outside wedding and it's important the sunlight doesn't wash me out.

Not bad, eh?   I wanted a natural look that made my eyes the focus, and I think I got what I asked for.  I may tweak the eye makeup a little to make them a little more dramatic.  I actually had on really thick black eyeliner but you can't tell because I have deep set eyes and they're hooded.*  In person, I was concerned that the bronzer was too much, but I think it photographs really well.  I had the makeup artist write down everything she used on me so I can go back and buy what I decide I want for the final look.   I ended up buying the foundation she used on me (Makeup Forever HD Foundation in #117) but nothing else.  I like the lips, but may play with some more berry colors before I make my final decision.  

Unfortunately, I don't have any close ups of my face from later on in the evening.  I was too busy having fun at my birthday party!  But the makeup held up really well (except for the lipstick, of course).  All in all, I am very pleased with how it turned out and think I can achieve this look (or something close to it) on my own.  What do you think?

*hooded eyes are also called bedroom eyes, but I have yet to find a way to make my eyes look sexy.  Squinty, yes...I've got that one down.  Sexy...not so much.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sometimes I Surprise Myself!

I am no DIY queen.  But the idea of being a DIY queen is alluring, and every once in a while things fall into place just right and it's like the universe is telling me to get crafty.  This happened recently when the Mister and I were working on our centerpieces.  Our original intention was to pretty much copy this centerpiece.

(From The Knot)

But I soon discovered that large succulents can easily run $5+ a piece, which adds up to more money than I want to spend on something that will get thrown away.  So long story short, I decided to make the ubiquitous tissue paper flowers instead.

(photo from Martha Stewart, via Elizabeth Anne Designs)

I followed Martha's tutorial, which was my first mistake.  It leaves a lot to the imagination, which is fine if you are innately crafty.  But as we know, I am not.  So, my first "flower" came out looking like this

What Martha's tutorial failed to tell me was to make the accordion folds using the short side of the paper.  I folded the paper lengthwise, which resulted in approximately 5 folds and this deformed excuse for a flower.  

Realizing my mistake, I gave it a second go around and produced this lovely

I made one more and then did a mock up of our centerpieces.

Whaddaya think?  Hope you like it because I bought a ton of ivory tissue paper this afternoon from The Container Store!  I'm thinking maybe we'll do three flowers and scale back a little on the river rock.  I'm also wondering if maybe I should put some stuff inside the lantern around the candle too, but am unsure.  I think it will look better, but since we plan on lighting the candles I don't want hot wax to ignite flower petals or whatever we decide to put in there.  Most likely we won't end up putting anything inside the lanterns, though, because the wedding is a month away and I have enough on my plate!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's crunch time!

We've accomplished so many wedding to-dos over the past week that I've barely had time to blog about them!   I thought about writing separate posts for each of these items, but that's a lot of work.  So here's a run-down of all the major things we've accomplished over the past week.

We bought the Mister's ring on Saturday.  Our jeweler called us late last week to say that they had gotten some samples in from the manufacturer of the rings the Mister was considering so we swung by to check them out.  They had samples of two out of the three rings we were debating over.  Unfortunately, the one I liked the most was the one that was missing.  But as it turns out, the ring I hated before actually is really nice in person!  I liked it way more than the other ring we were considering that they had a sample of.  So we bought the ring I originally hated!  Honestly, I really do like it now.  In case you forgot, here's what it looks like.

After we left the jewelers, we realized that just a couple of doors down is a really well known (and really delicious) bakery that would be the perfect place to order the cakes for our dessert buffet.  I originally thought I would bake all of the desserts myself, but quickly realized that baking four different flavored cakes and frostings from scratch was way more work than I wanted to undertake the day before our wedding.  I tried asking friends and family to help and the response was "ummmm, how 'bout I buy you a cake instead!"  So we scrapped the friendors route and decided we will be buying the cakes and baking the cookies and brownies and other desserts for the buffet, because cookies and brownies are way easy.  So we set up a cake tasting for this coming Sunday.  I am really looking forward to it!

While we were out and about on Saturday, we browsed around some nurseries and garden centers for succulents for our centerpieces.  Long story short - large succulents are mad expensive.  Realizing we didn't want to drop that kind of coin for plants that would most likely get thrown away after the reception, I considered my options and decided to make tissue paper flowers instead.  No, they're not as nice as real flowers, but they're cheap and can be made ahead and don't wilt.  My adventures with tissue paper flowers deserves a post of its own, because the initial results were comical, to say the least.

We also bought two sets of patio furniture for the lounge area we want to set up near the dance floor at our venue.  We went with this set from Wal-Mart (I know, I know...but it was affordable and goes with our colors and had free shipping).
(The Delahey 4 piece conversation set.  Picture from

Yesterday, we checked a biggie off of our to-do list:  we got our marriage license!  A good blogger would have pictures of this event, but seriously, standing in a crowded waiting room at the County Recorder's office doesn't exactly make me think "oh, I need a picture!"

I also scheduled a makeup trial for Friday afternoon.  I'm doing my own makeup, so I'm just going to bring my inspiration photos into Sephora so they can help me figure out what products I need and show me how to execute the look.  I took the day off from work on Friday because...


I'm getting my makeup did just in time for the party the Mister is throwing for me Friday night.  Then Saturday morning we're heading up to Vegas to hang out with some friends of ours who live there.  So with that, I'll check back in with y'all on Monday, a year older and hopefully a little more relaxed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What would you do . . .

for ceremony decorations?  Right now, we have none planned.  Our venue is outdoors and very pretty on it's own, so I have no problem with having minimal decorations.  But for some reason I'm having a hard time getting passed the idea of having *no* ceremony decorations at all.

Here's a picture of the aisle.  Pay no attention to the white fabric.  It won't be there when we get married because we didn't want to pay $475 for the tacky "decorations package" that consisted of fake flowers and some tulle.

(personal photo)

See how I'm pointing to something in the picture?  I have no idea what I was actually pointing at, but for the purposes of this post let's say I was pointing at the hooks on the outside of each post.

(personal photo)

So, if I were to do some ceremony decorations, the obvious thing to do would be to hang something from these hooks.  I could do the ubiquitous tissue paper pomadors, but the Mister isn't a huge fan and I am hit or miss with them.  When they're done really well, I think they look great.  But I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that I'm capable of turning out pomadors as awesome as Heather's.  Plus, the styrofoam balls at Michaels' ain't cheap, and I'd be pissed if I spend a ton of money (and time!) on something that I don't end up liking that much.

(image by Julie Wilson)

Then I saw this picture of the "altar" at our venue on our photographer's website and thought about maybe putting some large potted plants on the steps.  I'd have to buy them right before the wedding because I have a black thumb.  And I don't have freaking tree trunks to put them on, nor do I know where I would go to get tree trunks.

So I turn to you.  What would you do if you were in my place?  Right now I'm leaning toward doing nothing because I'm 6 weeks out, have enough to do already, and am so over all things wedding.  This is one of those situations where I have to assess the time/effort/money/stress involved in doing ceremony decorations and compare it to what kind of benefit I think I'll get from it all.  I want a pretty wedding, though, and fear that my laziness/over-it-ness may be clouding my judgment.  So it's your job to smack some sense into me if I need it, m'kay?

And just in case that last paragraph didn't hint enough at the answer I want to hear, here's some pictures of a lovely wedding at my venue that was blogged on Green Wedding Shoes where there were no ceremony decorations in sight!  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hairy Decisions

I've talked about my updo inspiration before, but I've got another hair issue I've got to figure out: hair color.  My hair is naturally a medium to dark blonde and I'm not a fan.  Over the past three years I've gone from super light blonde to a dark reddish brown, and currently am au naturel with partial light blonde highlights.  As I have been growing my hair out, I haven't been to the hairdresser in a while so my roots are beyond ridiculous.  I'm thinking about going in for my final cut and color before the wedding at the end of this month or the beginning of September and I am on the hunt for some hair color inspiration.  I know I want to stay blonde, and don't want anything that is too much of a change.  But the question is whether I want to stick with the highlights or maybe do some allover color (with or without highlights for dimension???) because I'll admit it - I'm getting gray hairs - and the highlights alone don't really cover them.

So I turned to my trusty friend Google, and my newer friend Bing, in search of some inspiration.  The first photo that struck me was one of the newly minted blonde Miranda Kerr.  She recently went blonde and looks fab.  I love her color because it is not one-dimensional.  Since she has a mix of medium and light blonde, much like I have right now, I think I could pull this look off, though I worry that it might not be as flattering on my ultra fair skin.  Though now that I look closer at her skin, I'm loving her makeup look too!

(Via MSN)

Then there is my longtime girl crush, Gwenyth Paltrow.  I love her, even if she comes off as cold and snooty sometimes.  She has rocked the ultra light buttery blonde hair forever and in my opinion few celebrities can work it quite like she can (except for maybe Reese Witherspoon).  I love an ultra light blonde who doesn't look like a bimbo!

Then I saw this image of Uma Thurman and I died.  Since I'm doing an updo for my wedding this image really hit me.  I would be on cloud nine if my hair looked exactly like this on my wedding day.  I guess Uma is also working the non-bimbo light blonde angle.  As a side note, I had a professor in college who was good friends with the Thurmans and would tell stories about going on vacation with Uma and her family when she was a kid!

(Image from Beauty Riot)

Or I could take it in another direction and go more toward the "brond" look.  You know "brond."  It's hair that you can't quite tell if its brown or if it's blonde.  Jennifer Aniston and Gisele Bundchen are the quintessential bronds.



Decisions, decisions!  I love the brond look, but I'm not sure I have the skin tone for it.  Jen and Gisele both have that golden tan going on, and let's just say that I bought some new foundation this weekend and my shade was "Fair 0" - the absolute lightest shade Smashbox makes.  When I was a kid, my hair was close to the color Gwyneth and Uma have, so maybe that would work for me.  But there's something about Miranda Kerr's hair in that picture!  Ugg, I can't decide.  At least I have some time to make up my mind.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Ring's The Thing

After two weeks apart, I've finally been reunited with my engagement ring!!!  Saturday morning around 10:30 I got a call from our jeweler that my wedding band was done and that I could come pick it up whenever I wanted.  Naturally, we booked it to Claremont Village so I could have my engagement ring back on my finger for our shower later that afternoon.  

The Diamond Center did a great job.  They are a family owned company that has been in business for 40+ years and they make all of their custom jewelry on site.  I found them online and they had great reviews.  I was also influenced by the fact that they are located in a primo spot in Claremont Village and have been for years.  Claremont Village definitely caters to a more upscale market and you can't survive there as a business without having good work.  And after visiting them, I know the secret to their success:  the best customer service I have ever experienced in my life.  

So, without further ado, my wedding band and e-ring, together at last.

(personal photo)

While we were there, we looked through their catalog for men's rings.  The Mister is actually really particular about what he's looking for, and we've narrowed it down to three contenders.  All of the rings are from Unique Settings of New York.  
The M365.  I don't particularly care for this one, but the Mister likes it.  I think it's cool looking as an accessory, but it just doesn't seem like a wedding ring to me.  
The M442.  The finish on this one looks a little funky, but you can customize the finishes you want, so he'd probably get a brushed/satin finish in the middle with a higher shine finish on the outer edges.

The M1217.  This one is my favorite.  We'd also get it in a satin/brushed finish instead of the high shine finish.

So, what do you think?  Which ring do you like best for the Mister?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bring on the pretty!

Remember how I said in my last post that the reason why we went up to the mountains last weekend was to meet with our florist?  Yeah, so I figured you might want to know what flowers we decided on!

Unlike many brides, I do not have strong opinions about our wedding flowers.  I think that all flowers are pretty and you really can't go wrong.  So when we showed up to our meeting with the florist and she asked me what kind of flowers I was thinking of for our wedding, I didn't really know what to say.  Luckily, I had printed my flower inspiration board and she was able to identify some of the flowers in the pictures and lead me in the right direction.  She had these handy little booklets that we could flip through and just tell her when we saw something that piqued our interest.

In the end, we decided that the main flowers we'll be using are white/ivory dahlias and roses

Though she may throw in some pale peach or lavender dahlias if she thinks they look good.  Green hypericum berries will give a pop of color, along with lemon leaves at the base of the bouquet and some small aster flowers.

I'm going to be honest.  I left the meeting feeling a little uneasy about my flower selections.  But after sitting with it for a little bit I'm good now.  I think that the uneasiness stemmed from the fact that I don't have a specific vision for our flowers, so I felt like I was just picking random flowers I thought were pretty from the booklets without any regard as to how they would look together.  But then I realized 1) our florist is a professional and knows how to make pretty flower arrangements; and 2) flowers are pretty, and one pretty flower put with some other pretty flowers, equals a pretty flower arrangement.  In other words, it's not rocket science and I needed to chillax.  So I did.  And now I'm just happy that I'll have pretty flowers on my wedding day and that I don't have to arrange them myself.  

So now the only floral-ish item left on my to do list is to find succulents for our centerpieces.  I'm cool with doing the succulents myself.  I can buy them way in advance, ignore them for weeks and they'll still be alive and kicking.  Now, that's my kind of plant.