Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Maids

Photo: The Knot

I haven't yet asked anyone besides my MOH to be my bridesmaid. I knew MOH was my MOH a while ago. I've only known her since college, but we've become true best friends since she moved back to SF and I moved to NorCal. I've known my other BM candidates for about 20 years! They undoubtedly know that they will be in my wedding, but I want to officially ask them and make it special.

I found these great poems online. Some of them are pretty cheesy. But there was one that I actually really liked.

Will You Be My Bridesmaid? You have always been there, more than just a friend.
You know just who I am and everywhere I've been.You're the one who I can turn to, any hour of the day.
Seems, I only have to think of you and you'll be on your way.
No matter where life takes me, no matter where I roam.When I'm with you my friend, my heart feels right at home.
So on my wedding day, I will need you more than ever.
Please say you'll be my bridesmaid now.... and my friend forever.

So now I just have to figure out how to ask them, and when to ask them! I don't know when we will all be in the same room together since two are in Socal, one is in med school in Ohio and my cousin is in Denver! But luckily I have some time. And it wont be any big shock to any of them. I've already had them pencil in our date!

Since I am really hoping to lose a significant amount of weight before I begin looking at my wedding dress options, I have been scouring BM dresses lately. While my maids do vary in height and body shape-they are all gorgeous and I have a very good idea of what looks great on them. I am totally open to having multiple dress styles in the same fabric. Right now I'm thinking Navy blue. It's always been a favorite color of mine and I think it will go with the rustic feel. I'm considering brown as well. I can 't wait to get their input!

This is my favorite style so far!

Jenny Yoo Lucy

Jim Hjelm Style: #JH5804T

What I love about this style is that it's feminine without being frilly. While the JH design does have a bow in the back, it's not very big and well, it's in the back. I'd love to avoid ribbons and bows as much as possible simply because if I were a BM I'd really rather not wear a bow. I'm not opposed to the sash idea, but I'm trying to avoid that as well. I think this style would look great in Navy. When I say navy, I'm hoping for more of a saphirre-where it looks blue, not black.

I can't wait to officially welcome my girls into my wedding party. DF and I have some discussing to do so that I can attempt to make our parties even. Right now I'm at 5 with with possibility of asking his cousin, who has become a good friend to me, and is like a sister to DF. DF's real sister lives in Michigan. I've only met her once (right after we were engaged) and while I suppose it would be nice to have her in it, I'd really like to make sure that my maids are all true friends. So I think asking his cousin (who lives a mile away) would make more sense.

On the other hand, DF has A LOT of close friends. One problem: they all don't get along! I don't envy him as he tries to make these decisions, but the sooner we know his count the sooner I can start asking!

Any cool ideas to share?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When You Wish: Venue

Capay Valley Image: The Memory Journalists

I would love to nab a venue before I start studying for the bar in late May. DF will obviously need to aprove, but I'd also like my MOH to tour with me. But, DF is not into feeding my wedding planning frenzy quite yet, and MOH travels a lot with her new big time consulting job. So I'm trying to decide whether to start venue shopping yet.

After whining about finding a photog to my self-dubbed wedding twin* Kate, of The Wedding and guest blogger for My Wedding Hero, she encouraged me to create a wish list so that I can start visualizing what it is I am looking for exactly. I took her advice and started making little checklists for the major aspects of the wedding.

As soon as we started talking wedding, I instantly pictured hills, a barn and lush greenery. Those three things =rustic to me.

Wish List: Venue

1. Some sort of View-preferably rolling hills.
2. A unique reception area. No typical banquet halls/hotel ballrooms!
3. Outside caterers allowed or extremely good food within the budget
4. No corkage/cake cutting fees! BYOB allowed.
5. Chairs and tables on premises and part of package.
6. Nearby accomodations
7. One wedding a day-no wedding mills!
8. No ridiculously early end time.
9. Overall budget friendly .
10. Reasonable driving distance for the NorCal folks.

The Contenders so Far:
1. Taber Ranch-haven't been out to see it yet, but so far it meets every element of the wishlist-just wish it were a bit cheaper! Right now it's the front runner.

2. R.H. Phillips Winery-wedding site of the wedding twin, same view as Taber with a more modern feel. It's a tad cheaper than Taber with the same beautiful locale.

3. Casa de la Vista-the Treasure Island hideaway is much different, but it has an amazing view of the SF skyline and looks like a gorgeous place. At this point it's pretty pricey. And comes with lots of yucky rules!

4. The Flower Farm- this B&B seems quaint and adorable. They are definitely not a wedding mill as their website doesn't even list an email contact. Must call for a price quote!

5. Newcastle Wedding Gardens-everything about this place looks awesome. Beautiful landscaping, a seasoned staff and a barn! The price, curfew and wedding-mill vibe are turn-offs however.

So-when to tour? I think I'm going to take the DF and family's advice and chill. Since each of these venues are about 1 hour from our house, I'm going to have to group them accordingly.

And I can't wait to find the one that fits just right!

*I've dubbed Kate my wedding twin bc she is getting married on the same weekend I am hoping for, but this year instead of next! She is also getting married in the Capay Valley, the same area I would like to wed. She also lives close by and has been a wealth of knowledge and a huge help!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Inspiring Ideas

So-I've tried to take a break from the all night wedding research. It's a lot more difficult than I thought. I've narrowed my searches to venues. I'm trying to open my mind to different locations, areas and feels. It's hard to impress me. Even harder to impress my checkbook.
In the meantime, I've been saving various images and inspiration boards as things inspire me.

I love the wooden sign and the rustic feel of this board

This one has an English look to it. But I love the flowers and the barn feel.

And this one just happened to catch my eye. It just looks romantic and unique without being silly.

All inspiration boards courtesy Style Me Pretty

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dieting Diatribe

I realize these pictures are not from the same angle...but it's the best I have for now.

So, I've lost 53lbs since June. Believe me, I am very thrilled with that. However, 42 of those pounds were lost by Oct 31. That means it's taken me almost 5 months to lose 11 pounds! At first it was the holidays, then it was my new school schedule, and now I'm just out of excuses. I need to get back into that militant-like mindset where I only eat the foods that I know are good for me. I know exercise is a must but I haven't had a real workout in over a month. That is changing this week! I'm getting back on this wagon.

I want to lose 5 more lbs before I graduate in May-and 20 more before I even begin to try on wedding dresses! Here's to a good week.

And Happy Easter! The holiday treats did not add to my plan...

Along with my newfound focus on eating right, comes my "re-focus" on school plan! It's gonna be a rough week up here on the wagon...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Big, Black Bar

Sitting high above me as I endlessly look at venues, photogs and caterers is a very large, dark cloud. This thick, black, bleak cloud is called The California Bar. I avoid thinking about it all costs, but unfortunately it is exactly what I will be preparing for as soon as I graduate from law school. In my efforts to pretend as if I will be the first person in California history to practice law in the Golden State without passing said bar, I have been burying myself in wedding "research". Priorities you ask? So, today as I tried to explain to DF that I had spoken with our first photography candidate, he looked at me like I was a crazy person. "Can we please just be engaged?" he pleaded, "Can you just focus on school and then start wedding planning?"

Can I?

Yes, I realized in that moment that he was right. I am obsessing. And if I keep this up, I'm going to regret not putting the proper effort into my extremely expensive schooling.

So, what's a girl to do? My initial idea is to limit my "research" to certain times. No more in class....and no more staying up late searching photographers....promise! I'm going to limit myself to 2 nights a week. That's it! It's going to be tough....

So, in the midst of feeling like my priorities are completely out of whack, I finally registered for the bar. I'd like to say it felt great, but it kind of felt like volunteering to go to prison.

Finding a Photog

My, my, my. I can't believe the time has finally come for me to start looking for a photographer for my own wedding. Over a year ago I became addicted to a couple photographer's blogs. I randomly found Jasmine Star in the OC. I literally fell in love with her work and really started to appreciate the art of wedding photography. Her blog led me to other famous OC wedding photogs. What I loved about Jasmine was her insistence on connecting with each couple, her ability to get the back story, and her passion for telling that story through photographs. But what I love most are her engagement shots. They are gorgeous.

But, alas, she is in the OC, is extremely popular these days, and well, is just too cool for me! As much as I appreciate the style of work that has become so popular these days (read: edgy), I just don't think that style truly reflects the personality of myself and my DF. So here I am, left searching for a style, and a photog that will accurately reflect our own simple needs.

Anyone who knows me knows that I take an exorbitant amount of pictures at any given event, holiday, road trip--you name it. My DF on the other hand, would be totally content if no pictures were taken. Thus, I need a photographer who is capable of dealing with Mr. Camera Shy.

I have stayed up too late for the past few nights looking through the portfolios of many a photog. I have found a handful that have caught my eye...

The first photographer I found was Holly Istas I thought her shots were uber romantic and really quite beautiful. She is on the higher end of my budget but everytime I see her images I see myself in them. She has also shot at the venue that we are hoping for....

Next is Andrea Price

She was a "preferred vendor" of the venue we like and I think her work is timeless and brilliant. She is also on the higher end of the budget and it looks like we would have to pay extra to get a DVD of the hi res images (something I really want). She doesn't have a blog, but check out her images of my dream venue: Taber Ranch Images

The other top contender is Terra Tabbytosavit

She is new, fresh and in my opinion, full of potential! She reminds me of the OC photogs that I love but doesn't seem too over the top with the whole edgy thing. I had the opportunity to speak with her on the phone this morning and she seems incredibly passionate, professional and eager. Again, I can see myself in her images. Her package is by FAR the most reasonable- I would be getting everything I want: engagement session, full wedding day coverage with a second shooter, a hi-res DVD of all images and an incredibly sleek magazine style album-all within my budget.

There are about a million more photogs that I LOVE-but price is a huge issue so I'm trying to find someone who can meet all of my needs. Have I found the one? I'm still not sure. Luckily I have plenty of time to decide!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Officially Official!

I'm engaged!! And I literally can't stop smiling! After idiotically ruining my first proposal before it even happened, my now DF (dear fiance) was crushed. I desperately wanted him to come up with another plan B surprise, but I knew that he wanted to propose soon and he knew that I have always wanted to pick out my own ring....SO, instead of a surprise proposal he took me to the Los Angeles Jewelry District in downtown LA for a day long ring shopping spree of sorts. Luckily-I pretty much knew what I wanted. I am a tall, plus sized girl so a 1/2 carat just wasn't going to work. Luckily, I've been annoyingly public about this since high school, so it wasn't a big surprise when I went straight to the big guns. After browsing some celebrity rings online and looking as some photos on the knot, I had a really good idea of the setting I wanted. So it didn't take me long to find my "dream" ring at World Design Jewelry, Inc.

The owner allowed us upstairs where we watched the diamond being placed in my setting. He spent almost 45 min getting the diamond to sit at just the right height. I asked him to change a little something about the prongs-and he did it perfectly. I stare at my ring all day long, and couldn't be happier with the look, the size, and the price! I have shopped at the "Jewelry Mart" since my 16th birthday when my parents bought me my very first diamond and have refused to pay retail ever since. I will go back for our wedding bands too!

As for the actual proposal...DF had to ask for the ring off of my finger so that he could officially ask me (of course I put it on as soon as the jeweler handed it to me). There in the entry way to my parents house, he got down on one knee and in his true to form simple nature, he asked if I would marry him. Of course I said yes and we've been glowing ever since. The icing on the cake was our trip to Disneyland the next day. DF had to remind me to move ahead in the lines bc I was so distracted by my left hand all day.

Now that it's official, the real planning can begin. I can't wait to nail down an actual date and a venue, and a photographer ( more on that later!).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

first things first.

Wow! I'm finally posting my very first blog post ever! I hope that this will serve as an online diary and sounding board as I begin the wedding planning process.

I've been scouring wedding blogs and sites for the past week...I have to admit I hadn't given much detailed thought to my own wedding before I so effortlessly ruined my own proposal.

I could tell something was up with my BF two weeks before Valentine's day. When questioned, he wouldn't budge. After a much too detailed conversation with my mom about engagement rings, I instantly had the feeling that BF was thinking proposal. My instantaneous thoughts soon became words as I thoughtlessly blurted out, "Are you going to propose at disneyland in March?" We had been planning a trip back to our most favorite place on earth for a while, and as BF's face turned pale, I realized I had ruined all hopes of a surprise. My shock quickly turned to grief as I mourned the loss of my "perfect proposal". BUT, life has gone on and I am anxiously awaitnig a Plan B. It may not be a huge, infront of Cinderella's castle surprise, but I know the moment will be special and I can't wait.

Since then, my "free" time has been devoted to creating an inspiration board. As soon as I knew a ring was on the horizon, I had a vision in my head that I could not get over. I wanted rustic chic. At the time, I didn't even know rustic chic was a popular option! I was overwhelmed with the choices, the prices and the details. After the vision came the date selection. To me, time of year is huge. I have always, always wanted an indian summer wedding. That was pretty much the only detail I had ever solidified in my mind. Being from southern California, the warm, orange evenings of late September and early October we always the most as I browsed the 2009 calendar, Oct 3 stood out. It is the anniversary of the weekend we met! Done!

Then came the vendor shopping. I was torn-have my wedding in my hometown? A smaller coastal community with a relaxed feel but seriously lacking in wedding venues? Or look for somewhere near where we live in northern CA? BF's family and friends are here, and I delight in the idea of having a wedding somewhere I've never been before!

I'm still working on the details, but here is my very first draft of my inspiration board!