Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wedding in the Round

I have always thought it would be so lovely to have a circular seating arrangement for the ceremony. We will be married on a hilltop that boasts panoramic views, and this arrangement would allow for people to really enjoy this special spot.
Image via: Weddingbee

Additionally, I love the intimacy that this arrangement creates. I want our guests to feel close to us. I want them to see our tears, hear our excitement and feel the love between us. There wont be a bad seat! The sun-in-eyes issue will dictate whether we do a complete circle, or just a semi-circle.
Image Via: The Bride's Cafe

I think that exchanging vows in the center of a circle of support and love would be so incredibly symbolic. What do you think? Does anyone foresee any additional hang-ups with this type of arrangement?

The Sweetest Day


This is a beautiful shot from Ashlyn's gorgeous wedding in Camarillo, California. The photos by Tunnel Photography were somehow able to capture some of the magic that was going on that night. The slideshow is so moving and the love that this couple and their families share is inspiring and amazingly sweet.

I know Ashlyn is still settling in as she transitions into newly-wedded bliss, but she did post the slideshow and it simply can't be missed!


Monday, September 29, 2008


Still haven't even thought about trying on a wedding gown. The more I read of Bridal Bargains, the more I do not want to enter a bridal store or boutique. I'm still thinking lace, I'm still thinking sleeves. I'm also thinking of purchasing direct from China.

But this....this makes me want luxe.

It just looks like it would feel amazing. She's totally working it too.

Beautiful shot captured by gabriel.ryan.photographers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

1st Party

So this isn't a wedding-related post, but I had to share the adorable details from the party we attended on Saturday! DF's godson celebrated his first birthday this weekend, and it was an elmo-crazed affair! When I told baby's mom that I was itching to help plan some sort of party-she gave me cupcake duty. The dessert table did not dissapoint! Here's the cupcakes I made. I can't believe this is the best picture I took of them? The cookie monsters were my favorite...Famous-Amos cookies were stuffed in for the mouth. Too cute right?
Mommy had these adorable candy bar sleeves made through an eBay seller. They were a huge hit!

This was his "smash cake". We were hoping he would dive right in, but when it came time to blow out the candle, he wanted nothing to do with this Elmo cake!
Here's the entourage of Elmo-inspired treats! The cake on top was professionally made and it was perfect!
So fun!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Dollars for Dahlias and other Flower Prices

What was I thinking blindely "hoping" that the flower fairy would whisper prices per stem in my ear as I slept, suddenly making me more educated about a realistic floral budget? Hello, law school grad, maybe you should, um, do some freakin' research!
photo: source

Oh, yeah...right. Honestly, I think I've been afraid...afraid that knowing the prices of florals was going to set me over the edge! I can't take any more sticker-shock! The reality is that I don't have any great budget-florist recommendations and florals and cake are going on the super budgeted items list, so I have to get on it. I'm seriously considering having a family friend do our flowers. But it makes me nerv. As in nervous.

Here's what ten whole minutes of research has afforded me:
hydrangea- about $6-$11 per stem depending on size.
garden roses- I found a beautiful pink variety for around $5/stem through a wholesale site
dahlias- $2-$4 per stem
carnations-about 70cents per stem!

I found most of this valuable information from Fiftyflowers.com- love this site! I realize that this is the wholesale price. But, with anything, I like to know what ballpark I'm on with prices. If I do decide to go with a florist, I think this will be valuable information.

I've heard good things about dahlias. I love the puffy variety. Pardon me for not knowing the proper terminology. I told you I only researched for ten minutes. Bear with me.

Check it: dahlias, hydrangeas and roses...

Photo: Flickr

Do I dare say, that with the help of the dahlia I may be able to create beautiful bouquets and centerpieces on a reasonable floral budget?

Monday, September 22, 2008

You Say Boo-kay, I say bow-kay, Pt. II

I wish I knew more about the cost of flowers. I keep bookmarking bouquets with no real idea of what kind of dough I will have to shell out to recreate it.

Photo via: Knottie Bio Mrs. T to be, photo by: Amy Carroll Photography

I still love my original favorites that I posted about in the past. Here is a continuation of what I'm thinking for my own bouquet: Mostly white, disheveled, with a fresh from the garden look.

The bouquet to the right is what caught my eye. Love the sweet peas (I think that's what those little pink flowers are), the huge roses and the lack of structure to the arrangement.
photo via: Artfool
I'm absolutely in love with the white bouquet with plenty of green stems and a pop of purple or fuchsia.
photo by: Terra Tabbytosavit
See the little spot of color?
photo by: Gabriel Ryan

This one is probably my favorite! Love the pink rose, there are also some hydrangeas worked in which I love!
photo by: A Bryan Photography

I'm thinking that the pop of color in my bouquet will either match my bm's dresses (if they are a purple color) or their bouquets (which will be more colorful).

I'd love to hear any budget friendly ideas!

Currently Reading

Imgage found here

I picked up a used copy of this book on Amazon after hearing about it on the blogosphere a few times. I've been reading is sporadically and out of order whenever I feel the need to learn more about the WIC (wedding industrial complex). The book takes an underground approach to filling us all in on the secrets of the wedding industry. I have to admit that a lot of it is repeat info, but the bridal gown section has been really helpful and has confirmed a lot of my suspicions about bridal shops. I still have a lot to read, but I've been enjoying it and thought I'd pass the reccomendation along! I think I paid $7.00 with shipping for my "like new" copy! Happy bargain hunting!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

After the Party-- There's the After Party

Is it bad that I'm already super excited about the after party? Our reception music must be cut off at 11pm, something I was kinda bummed about, but I'm hoping that the true party goers will be up for a lil after party action back at the hotel where (hopefully) we will all be staying. Get low! Photo by: Ben Chrisman

We toured the hotel when we booked the venue and were really excited by how nice it was. Luckily it's less than two miles from the ranch! There's a huge club area that has multi-levels and a very open feeling--a perfect place to continue the party. Of course, I have no idea how the night will go. We may be totally exhausted, we may want to be alone....but I like having the option!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flower Girls

We have many potential flower girls-right now I can think of four who will be between the ages of three and seven on our wedding day! That seems like a lot, but I do love the look of several little princesses fluttering around in matching dresses! Right now I'm picturing very simple cotton dresses with not a lot of fuss. Possibly something a seamstress-friend could whip up?
No, I don't know these precious little girls. Photo found here

I found this photo and immediately knew that this was the look I wanted (minus the color-I'm thinking a blush pink). Cotton, sleeved, smocked and 100% adorable. These dresses have a slight farm/southern/wagon train look to them that I love. They have that feel without being costume-y. Oh and the thick ribbon in their hair? Totally sold!

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's Friday, I'm in Love

From Once Wed. The barn. The veil. Yes and Yes!

It's been a really long week for both of us! Lots and lots of working and not enough play. Here's to the weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hey, I know them!

So of course photo-blog stalking has lead me to several weddings of people who I actually know. I went to college with Paige, we had mutual friends, but I never really knew her. But that didn't stop me from drooling over her gorgeous San Diego wedding. Such a cute couple!

Paige's mom made all of the bouquets! They were my favorite detail!

This is my favorite of all the posted pictures. The lighting, the looks on their faces, and the fact that her little purse is in the shot just make it priceless!

It's always exciting to see familiar faces, I had quite a few friends attend this wedding, and it looked like everyone had a great time!

Fabulous pohtos by Jeff Youngren.

Monday, September 15, 2008

To Me, From Me!

My Russell & Hazel Wedding Binder Arrived last week...let the planning begin!

Sew Inviting

I am in love with the homemade look of a calligraphied invitation. But if I do something so simple and elegant, I'll want to give it some rustic flavor via packaging. I loved this idea found via Sundrenched Moments. Bird and Banner
Photo: Junkdrawer via Fairmount Bride

These little sewn pockets are seriously adorable. My first thought: grandma! She has shelves upon shelves of scrap fabric that could potentially make some pretty adorable invite sleeves. The other option would be a burlap or a jute to give a more neutral/organic feel. After chatting with Kate, I'm getting excited about the idea of adding a textured fabric (aka jute) as a recurring design element.
I also love the idea of creating a booklet. So beautiful with the ribbon closures!
Love how the calligraphy is made rustic with the emblem.

Images via Rebecca Thuss

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Little Lovelies

Here's a little sampling of things I adore!

photo: The Nichols Blog
How cute are these sweaters? I love that it's not the typical FG attire, so much fun.

photo: Anna Kuperberg
There are too many good things to say about this picture. My favorite are the hands. Such a great shot!

Can you think of a better way to serve chips?

photo: Brides.com

Go get Married!

Today two of my favorite bloggers are finally tying the knot! Congratulations to Ashlyn and Topanga!Wishing these two the best of days! Can't wait to read all about it! Congrats!

The B list, Part I

One of the hardest parts about planning our wedding has been evaluating my relationships with my friends and family. When I moved to Northern California I took advantage of my new school, new home and new life and let go of so many people and issues that were affecting me negatively. I took a "life is too short" attitude, and just let go.

Now that I stare at my preliminary guest list, I almost feel ashamed. Where are my friends?! How do I only have one friend from college that I want at our wedding (aka MOH)? How on earth did that happen? I was in a sorority, I lived with the same roommate for three years, I made lasting friendships. Didn't I?
Photo by Gene Higa, courtesy of Project Wedding

The truth is, I didn't. When I moved away from the hustle and bustle of the San Diego scene, I realized that about three quarters of my "sisters" and school mates were glorified drinking buddies. The roommate who I thought was my most cherished friend slowly slipped away. I realized that we had created a mutually dependent relationship, and now that we didn't "need" each other, there was less to talk about from eight hours away. After a few unreturned emails and a horribly painful spring break visit, I decided to end our friendship. I've never ended a friendship in my entire life. The saddest part is that it didn't take much effort. She attempted to apologize for her behavior during our visit via-text messages. And when I didn't respond, that was it.

I try to stay strong when anyone suddenly realizes, "hey, whatever happened to you and B? God you guys were such great friends! Will she be in your wedding?". I have to take a deep breath and respond with, "We haven't spoken in over a year. I've cut ties with her and it's been for the best".

My heart breaks a little everytime I say it. I try to believe that statement, but there are times when I miss her dearly. We spent almost every moment together for four years and it is extremely difficult to admit that somehow after all that time, after all the laughter and all the monumental events that took place, it all adds up to nothing.

I realize that most will think: just call her, if you feel this way-start the communication to rebuild, do something, get her back. So trust me when I say it is much more complicated. Add the typical money, family, trust, health and maturity issues that any relationship encounters and multiply it by 100. If I could ensure that I could get her on the phone, without those outside issues coming into play, I would give anything. But somehow they are always there lurking.

photo: Amelia Lyon
I don't want these feelings to interfere with how genuinely happy I am with the amazing women that I still call my girlfriends. Most of them have been there since 2nd grade, they know me better than anyone, and they also understand exactly what went wrong with me and B. One of the reasons that I cut ties with so many of my superfluous friends was that I always knew who my real, true friends were. The best part: they'll all be there.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sometimes it just hits you

Can you believe it's been seven years since the tragedy of 9/11? I was just starting my first week of college in San Diego and went to my morning chem class without knowing any of the details. I had only heard "The pentagon is on fire" when my radio alarm woke me up before I clicked it off to trek down to the dorm shower room. I went to two classes that day, completely unaware of how devestating the event was. Even when my Spanish teacher broke down in tears in front of the class, I had no clue of the magnitude. It wasn't until 7pm that night that my roommate and I found a TV so we could see the replay of the plane hitting the building. All of a sudden it became real. I'll never forget that moment. source

I got misty-eyed this morning thinking about all of those who lost their friends and family as a result of that day. My thoughts then shifted to how thankful I am for my loved ones, how lucky I am to have found DF, and how much I want to marry him and become his wife. Then it just hit me-we are just over a year away from exchanging vows. So thankful.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Finding Flowers

I'm leaning toward the idea of having a professional florist create the wedding party bouquets and 'bouts and leaving the reception and centerpiece florals to a family friend who offered to do our flowers. We'll see what a florist quotes me, but I think it may be the only way for me to stick to a relatively minimal floral budget.

Image: Toasts and Tables

I found a great resource today. The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers offers an amazingly informative site. I found a link to California Growers, clicked on retail and found a great listing of flower availability by month! You can search several months and the list links to a picture, description, vase-life and popular uses for each bloom. So informative!

Image: The Nichols Blog

It was nice to confirm that all of the flowers I love should be available in early October. I also discovered some flowers I'd never heard of!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

We have a Venue!

The venue I've been dreaming of is almost ours! We toured Taber Ranch today and instantly fell in love. It's incredibly charming, meticulously kept and absolutely gorgeous. From the view of the hills to the rustic goodness of the barn, I was blown away with it's perfection. I knew I loved it from various photos I had seen. But I quickly learned that the photos had not done it justice. This is the view from the hilltop where the ceremony will occur. The red roof is the reception barn. There is a grass area and a small pond along with a small vineyard to the right.
This wagon is used for the guestbook and gifts! So rustic!

The Ranch does zero advertising so I had to dig for info on this place. I found this image from a wedding website. You can see the magnificent view from the hilltop ceremony location.

This image was stolen from the same wedding website. I could stare at the view all day too!

We met with Kim, the event coordinator who graciously agreed to meet with us as she prepared the property for a wedding this afternoon. She looked very busy, but took time out to give us a tour and really explain all of the details that make this place so great. She asked that we go over the contract on our own time before we officially fork over the dough-but she said that the date is ours! Of course it has to be confirmed in writing etc, but no one else is looking at our date, so by the end of the week it should be official. I am just so happy. I was preparing myself for a let-down but praying that it would be as pretty as the pictures. So imagine how elated I was to have my expectations exceeded. It was so nice to have both my parents and DF there to see it with me. I was pleasently surprised to see that they each agreed that this place is absolutely perfect!


The barn has so much character. Several sliding barn doors can be open to let light in, or have better air flow. I love the cabinet and shelving. I would love to put our own knicknacks there.

The tables are strewn with goodies for the wedding occuring that day. The couple had their pictures framed beautifully in two old, weathered windows.


This is the cake table. The tree stump was brought in for todays wedding (love it). I fell in love with the mantlepiece on the wall. Candles would be so beautiful there.


There is plenty of guest parking at the entrance to the ranch. It's about a 2 minute walk to the barn. The pathway is adorable. I can't even describe it. My camera battery was dying on the walk up (ugh) so I didn't get any great shots, but it's fully of adorable kitchy items that are just fun. Several little signs and funny items line the pathway along with some amazing plants and vegetables.

Here is one of the classic red cadillacs that are offered as a way to arrive in style to the hilltop spot. I was so happy to hear that it was an added bonus without an added cost. The pictures are going to be awesome. One thing that stinks about a hilltop ceremony is that there is a hill to climb. While a cute school bus shuttle is offered for the elderly, or anyone else unwilling to hike, they encourage walkers so that it doesn't take an hour to shuttle everyone up. Let me tell you, it was a very steep hike! Luckily the wedding party will be crusin in the caddy...The ranch looks amazing at night. They have some great lighting that really gives it a romantic feel. This is a view of the patio that is off of the barn. It's covered in beautiful vines. We also spotted an awesome wrought iron chandelier as well as an antique bell. Kim explained that many couples choose to have the dance floor under the vine-covered arbor. Looks like fun!

Last three images via Taber Ranch

There were two things that came up that I wasn't so happy about, but they are not deal breakers. One is the price. Apparently I was given last years price sheet. They had no problem honoring it, but they were unwilling to budge from there. It ended up being $500 more than I had originally budgeted, my parents laughed at me for thinking that was a big deal. My dad was in love with this place and probably would have paid anything they asked for. It felt so strange to be the bride reminding her parents that there is a budget! The other thing was that they do not allow hard alcohol. I had no idea this was their policy, when I gave my "what?!" face, she agreed to allow one signature cocktail. I was bummed because I had already come up with three. We'll see if I can talk her into it! But that's it--everything else was fabulous.

If you can't tell, I'm super excited. I have so much more to say about how perfect this place was, but this is getting long and I think you get the picture. I tend to be pretty hard to satisfy, so this was a great day.