Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'T Was the Day Before the Wedding...

MJ and I drove down to Carmel the day before our wedding and arrived in town right around lunch time. As soon as I saw the ocean, I was flooded with nerves. My hands were shaking, my chest was tight. I was down right nervous!! So as soon as we arrived at the hotel, we went to the hotel bar and each ordered a drink, champagne seemed appropriate. Then as our friends and family started to arrive we sat down to lunch. I say we sat down to lunch, but I was too nervous to eat, so I had another drink in an effort to calm myself down.

After lunch everyone dispersed and my maid of honor and I went to my bridal suite to get ready for the welcome reception that we were hosting for all of our guests. We decided to host a welcome reception instead of a rehearsal dinner because we had invited 75 guests total to our wedding and every single one of our guests were traveling from out of town. Our welcome reception was held at A.W. Shucks on Ocean Avenue. The food, drinks and service was incredible. I wish I would have taken pictures (thank goodness some of our friend posted their pictures on Facebook!) or better yet, hired our amazing photog for the night before our wedding too.

We ordered about 15 different appetizer platters for our guests to share and another 10 or so oyster platters for sharing too. We also brought in about 15 bottles of various wines for a limited bar offered to our guests. It was a total hit, everyone had a great time and afterwards MJ and I said good night to each other as fiances for the last time.

My maid of honor and I went back to my bridal suite to apply Proactive Zit Masks and MJ retreated to his suite to do what you ask? Well, let me show you...

I'd like to pretend that wrestling with your friends the night before your wedding is some kind of old ritual that all grooms perform, but I'm pretty sure that it's isolated only to MJ. :)

What did you do the night before your wedding? Did you have a traditional rehearsal dinner or something that welcomed more guests?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A wedding is a beginning and an end

As you might assume, I am a married woman now :)

We had an amazing wedding in Carmel and it was, without any doubt, the very best day our of our lives. Towards the end of the planning process, as our wedding drew nearer, I became too busy to find the time to blog about my wedding planning process. However, I am still going to blog recaps of our wedding because wedding blogs (stemming from the www.weddingbee.com website) was my largest wedding inspiration for my own day.

So beginning tomorrow, I'll be doing recaps of our wedding day with the hope and intention of inspiring brides to be.

For now, I'll leave you with some teasers and to the other brides who's blogs I was following and have now tied the knot: many congratulations and wishes for a life filled with love.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Invitation Inspiration

Since I've been "allowed" to publicly view and purchase wedding magazines (yes, I was once one of those un-engaged girls who bought wedding magazines!!) I've been anticipating the day that I could send out our invitations.

Seriously. I've designed, on my mac, at least 7 different wedding invitations that I was going to Gocco (I own one, never used it. Bought it on E-Bay right after I discovered Mrs. Penguin on WeddingBee.com), or take to Kinko's and have them print (again, WeddingBee inspiration here ladies), or take to a real printer to have them print (my design) on professional machines.

I've been looking forward to the invitations for such a long, long, long time. I remember when I was recently engaged I was talking to a friend about what I would do for flowers. My response was something along the lines of "I don't know what I want to do for flowers, but let me tell you about the invites that I'm obsessed with right now."

My first love was a feature from Brides magazine (I'm a subscriber, I love the pictures):

I love everything about this invitation suite. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it just speaks to my style.

The funny thing is is that I ended up winning free invitations from WeddingBee.com when I had fully intended on doing them myself (side bar: MJ was FREAKED OUT at the idea of DIY invitations, he had little faith in my artistic abilities). So when I won free invites, I was under the impression that I was limited to one designer's collection. Low and behold, when I finally was able to select my invites, I went with a different designer, in a color palette that was not in sync with our own.

I love these invites, and my girls love them too. :) But I felt like they needed to be dressed up a little bit (I can't handle plain envelopes after making beautiful ones for our STDs), and after fiddling with some different ideas, I've fallen victim to the lure of boxed wedding invitations. Pre-Purchase invitation brides shield your eyes!

Slight tease: I'l be doing boxed invites. I can't wait to assemble and post our boxed invitation suite!! I've already purchased and received (thank you Fed-Ex!!) our boxes. :)

Where did you pull your invitation inspiration from?

Monday, March 1, 2010

It Happened One Afternoon...

...in Bloomingdales in San Francisco on a shopping trip with my mom. We went into the city to return my Christian Louboutin wedding shoes that I had purchased at Barney's online, but turned out to be a half size too small to justify keeping them.

I had hopped that by some freak chance they would have them in the store in a half size larger and I could just exchange them (I got a great deal on them - I wasn't ready to drop full price on CLs after I already bought them at 40% off). So we exited Barney's and went about looking for something that could satisfy my idea of wedding shoes.

We went to Nordie's and I spotted a great pair of Jimmy Choo's that were practical, timeless and very comfortable. The nude sling back. A beautiful shoe that I would for sure wear again, but there wasn't enough oomph for them to be my wedding shoes.

I then went back to searching for a pair of blue shoes that would satisfy my original idea that my shoes could be my "something blue." The closest blue and style that I was happy with was a pair of Guess pumps, but the heel made them a little too casual for the wedding.

Even though I saw myself wearing the hell out of these shoes long after the wedding (I didn't buy them, I was on a mission for wedding shoes.)

After that my mom suggested that we walk on over to Bloomies. As we're walking around a pair of Badgley Mischa shoes start screaming at me. They are scarily similar to a pair of CLs that I had fallen in love with when I first started looking at wedding shoes online:

As I begin to drool on these shoes, a very helpful sales person walks over and asks me if I would like to try them on. Learning from my first experience I ask for several sizes only to be told that they only have one pair in stock, in my normal size: 8.5. I cross my fingers while he goes back to the store room and brings out a simple black shoe box. I slip on the shoes and perfection.

I present you with my wedding shoes:

How and where did you find your wedding shoes? Did it include a trip somewhere?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bloggers beware!

...if you write about your venues, there is a chance that someone who works for the venue may see it.

This could be a good thing or a bad thing. In one of my most recent blogs (found here: The Situation) I wrote about how our reception location was perfect upon first glance but once we went back I found a few things that I didn't see at first - and they weren't pretty things.

The on site coordinator saw my blog at some point and offered to do some draping for our site to take care of the merman that hangs from the ceiling, for no charge! (Isn't that so sweet and kind?!?!) I was blogging about it though not to take a jab at our venue but more as lead-in to our amazing florist/event designer (who has some beautiful solutions to hide the stuff that I'm not to keen on, ie: Mr. P. (More to come on that in the future.)

The moral of the story: be careful about what you say on your blog if it's publicly available to all. Blogs, like email, are open to interpretation because you're missing key communication elements such as body language, tone, inflection, etc.

Now, a little bit more about our florist/event designer. I initially had received a quote from the same florist that Mrs. Lemon (over at weddingbee.com) had used for her wedding in Monterey (about 5 miles north of Carmel). And she gave me a quote that was around $4,500. Just for flowers. It was expensive. I looked around a little bit more and found another company in the area who does flowers as well as rentals and designing of event spaces. I had a phone conference with the owner and she just got me and really understood my vision. When you find THE vendor, you just know. And I knew that she was the one.

The best part - instead of pomanders for our pews, we'll be doing some possie pockets for the ceremony decor. I found a picture showed it to her and she knew what they were called and just had amazing ideas to dress them up.

I'm so excited.

And now, a sneak peak at my bouquet (via Martha. I'm. In. Love. Best part is that they're gardenias so it will smell incredible!! I can't wait to hold my Martha inspired bouquet in my hands!!):

Have you accidentally offended someone on you blog?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

FedEx: The Dream Maker and Heart Breaker

Two weeks ago I made a crazy decision; I bought my wedding shoes. I didn't just buy any wedding shoes, I bought my dream wedding shoes (well, they aren't my absolute dream shoes because they're not blue but they're pretty damn close!). Late last week the FedEx man delivered them to me at my office. Louboutin, it's nice to finally meet you:

Christian Louboutin Bow T Dorcet in Gold

The upside: They're classic and all kinds of fabulous. Not only will they look amazing with my wedding dress but these will be amazing with a pair of black capri pants, jeans and a white blazer, a hot little date night dress, the possibilities are truly endless. The best part, I bought them for 40% OFF from BarneysNewYork.com.

The downside: I bought them online which means I didn't try them on first. Unfortunately, they are about a half size too small. Normally, I would happily allow my feet to suffer, cramp up and blister all in the name of beautiful shoes, but because they're peep toes everyone will be able to see the ridiculousness that happens when big feet meet small shoes. Damn, but I was thisclose to perfection!

When I first pulled them out of the box and crammed my feet in, I tried to convince myself that they would fit (I kept thinking that for a few days actually) but they are just too small. I don't want these shoes only for one day, I want them for the rest of my life. Also, if I'm going to drop this much on amazing shoes, they should be perfect; and that includes a perfect fit.

Who needs a spray tan? I do, I do!

So now I'm either going to take them back to the Barney's in San Francisco or try to sell them on E-Bay and maybe sell them for more than I bought them for (they were 40% OFF!) Then I'll be back at square one: searching for the perfect wedding shoes, maybe the Barney's in the city has a perfect pair of blue Loubies just waiting for me to buy them... :) A girl can dream!

Have you made a wedding purchase and tried to convince yourself that it was perfect, even though it really wasn't? Le sigh.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Situation

I'm not talking about this one:


And although I had a seriously meltdown today, I'm not going to talk about this one either:

Isn't this a seriously fab shot? I still like to think that it represents a bride who is ready to knock some fools out! Specifically some family members who seem to have lost their minds!! I digress.

I'm talking about the eye sore, the ugly that has entered the room and everyone is afraid to acknowledge. I'm talking about this, at our beloved La Playa Hotel:

Um, are those antlers coming out of his butt? I think so.

Sitting above you as you eat, nice. But the thing I'm really talking about it a little bit lower. Yup, right there. Those fugly panels.

When we first viewed our reception space we were told that the panels would be either completely gone or upgraded to wood and more classic looking. More than 6 months later and their still there. The panels are hiding the walkway from the kitchen to the reception space. They have to stay, which means it's time to brain storm, and luckily for me my genius DOC already has some awesome ideas for ways to make the panels intentional and tie them in (I STILL need to blog about my awesome DOC!) But there is another fug problem that also must stay in the room:

He is the namesake of the Poseidon room, I like to call him Mr. P.

The hotel event coordinator says that some people hide him with plants and other dress him up in a toga and have a good time with him. I'm not sure if I want to have a sense of humor with Mr. P or if I want to camouflage him the best that I can. I think hiding him behind some plants seems kind of creepy...it's like he's spying on our party. :)

Did you get over the initial love affair of one of your locations after a second visit?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Where to begin???

Hello wedding-web-world! I'm back from my holiday hibernation and am back with a wedding ferociousness! RAWWWWR!

The holiday season was a roller coaster of emotion as far as the wedding planning was concerned. Filled with wonderful things like my mom buying us engraved Vera Wang toasting flutes and the matching cake serving set, engraved with our future Mr. X and Mrs. X names. (I cried, my mom cried and then we laughed at each other. It was a beautiful wedding planning moment that I highly recommend!)

My pictures:

The pretty pictures I found online:

But it was also full of the make-you-want-to-tear-your-hair-out-and-pound-your-fists-into-the-ground moments, such as a certain issue concerning our guest list (which blew up in the worst way to day. It seriously makes me sick to my stomach how presumptuous and rude our own families can be at times.)

This past weekend, however, was my favorite of our holiday hibernation; we spent the whole weekend in Carmel, planning our wedding together. I can honestly say that it was one of the best weekends of my life. :)

So I'll begin the story of the world's best wedding planning weekend with the food (I'm just going to go ahead and throw that whole chronological order thing out the window!).

OMG - The. Food. Put simply: to die for.

They brought out some really cute little aritsan rolls (Mike laughed at me when I took a picture of the rolls. I told him he'd be thanking me in a few months when he forgets if there was a bread starter or not!!)

We started by choosing a first dish:

Romaine lettuce with blue cheese, cranberries and walnuts, and basil vinaigrette. I could have eaten this baby all day long.

Runner up: Baby spinach and butter lettuce with hazelnut vinaigrette, toasted pine nuts and pears. Love the dressing, but when they brought it out I thought the pear was nigiri. I looked at Mike and asked if sushi came with the salad - nope that's the pear. Not pretty, but tasty.

Loser: Cream of Broccoli soup = yuck. Bland and kind of ugly. We both veto'd it.

Then we move on to the entree's that we choose. We weren't positive that these were the entrees that we were going to serve but they both were delicious!

Chicken Roulade stuffed with Artichokes and Mushrooms in a Roast Garlic Sauce with scalloped potatoes and spring vegetables. Oh this was soooo tasty. The chicken was moist and the gravy and the stuffing were some complimentary and sweet and savory at the same time. The scalloped potatoes could have been served on their own they were so good, perfect marriage between cheesy gooeyness and starchy potato. Delish!

This was the best, and yes I saved it for last.
Crab Ravioli with Prawns, Tarragon Sauce and Julienne Vegetables. The inside of the ravioli was delightful, it was the freshest crab, the texture of the crab inside the ravioli was such a wonderful surprise. The tarragon sauce was unbelievable, it had the slightest hint of lemon and it felt so perfect for a spring/summer Memorial Day weekend wedding meal. Love love love.

And that's all.

What? Yes, La Playa Hotel is making our cake too. Yes, we did a cake tasting. Oh you want to see the pictures from that too, oh, well, um, I sort of don't have any cake tasting pictures to share, because I, um, sort of didn't take any because I was too excited about tasting the cake. And it was gooooooooooooooddd!!

I'll post more about the cake another day, it's not really wedding food but more of a wedding art piece that happens to be edible.

Is your mouth watering? Mine is!! Did you enjoy your caterer tasting as much as I did? :)

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