Sunday, November 29, 2009

Gifts for the Groomsmen

The boys were so hard to shop for! Since B is not a huge drinker, the ever-popular flasks weren't very fitting. He does work in the beer industry, so we thought of doing a huge beer stein, but his best man had those at his own wedding, so we wanted something original. After a google search lead me to Ebay, I found the perfect gift--personalized mini LED mag lites. The set came with a mini pocket knife that was also engraved with their initials. B has an unhealthy obsession with flashlights--he pretty much collects them, and we knew his groomsmen would appreciate the useful memento.

Via Ebay, I found this company. While the mag lites were a little more than we had hoped to spend, they were just too perfect. They turned out beautifully, and were delivered in no time. All the boys seemed to "get" the idea of the gift, and several report that they use it!

Gifts for the Bridesmaids

Sometime back when I was in college, I had seen a fellow sorority sister with a huge, white makeup bag with her name on it. I LOVED it and found out it was from Pottery Barn. For some reason, I had always thought it would be the cutest bridesmaid gift. While I probably could have found cheaper, personalized makeup bags, I decided to go for it and order the PB version. They turned out SO cute!
photo: pottery barnphoto: terra tabbytosavit

Inside each personalized bag was a lip gloss, nail file, Tylenol, chandelier earrings, and a "gift certificate" for $20 towards their wedding day hair/makeup. I was so happy to make the day more affordable, since most of my girls had to travel to get to our wedding.
This is the best picture I have right now of the chandelier earrings I bought for my girls. They were nice and sparkly! Since each bridesmaid wore different colors and different styles, I thought it would be nice to have something that matched. These earrings were purchased in Los Angeles in the Fashion District. I also purchased a ring for my maid of honor, my earrings and bracelet and my mom and grandmas wedding day jewelry there. Great deals!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Our Taber Ranch Wedding: The Week Before

I made the decision to work the week before our wedding. I think it was a good decision, I had a lot to do, but with Kate Miller and my other wedding "elves" lending a hand, it was very manageable!

My parents arrived on Wednesday and ran some last minute errands around town for me. My bridesmaid, A made table runners (actually, table squares) from the same fabric we used as our invitation pockets. My other A bridesmaid made our ring bowl as well as completely headed up our "fauxtobooth". I don't know what I would have done had they not offered to help and really insisted that I give them jobs! Take advantage of those girls who are always there for you! Not all of my bridesmaids were as "hands-on" but looking back I think I should have just handed over jobs to them. That's why they are in your wedding in the first place! Remember that most people love to help and be involved, even if you don't find them volunteering!

Our handmade ring bowl! The back says 10-3-09 and Forever. Swoon! photo: terra tabbytosavit

My last minute jobs involved printing, printing and finalizing our ceremony. My MOH's father was our officiant and completely took control of his role, which was so nice! I told him we wanted a quick, personal ceremony and that's exactly what we had!

I found myself really letting go of the little stuff during the week before the wedding. I just couldn't wait to finally get married! B and I went and got our marriage license early Friday morning (day of rehersal!) it was so sweet and exciting. That is one of my favorite moments of the whole wedding weekend. I felt so lucky to have a man so enthusiastic about marrying me.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


So about a month before our wedding day, I began my bridal gown alterations. I did end up purchasing the Maggie Sottero Nadine sample from House of Fashion in Sacramento. After negotiating with the manager, I was able to get the dress for about 40% off with a full cleaning and repair. While I was truly hesitant to purchase such a dishevled sample, it was the only dress I wanted. So I got it.

Thus, alterations began. The dress was just slightly too big for me. I met with my alterations lady, Ramona and we got started. I told her I wanted a more defined sweetheart bustline, and that I had been told, before purchasing, that it would be a simple "one-stitch" procedure. She agreed, showed me how it was to be done and told me to come back in a week to try it on.
I came back. The dress looked horrible. The bustline looked as if someone pinched it and stuck a pin in, and called it a day. I saw the single stitch holding it together and asked Ramona if there was any way we could get rid of the stitch and go back to the original. Since I was positive that could be done, I didn't panic, didn't raise my voice, just told her I changed my mind. She was livid. She went on and on. I looked at my attendant who looked horrified and I seriously almost started laughing. Ramona told me that she could not remove the stitch, that I had asked for that stitch and that it looked fine. Since my attendant obviously disagreed, the two left the room to discuss. There I was, on the bridal platform with a seriously messed up dress three weeks before my wedding.

Then I heard them call Nagy, another seamstress. There were several voices toppling one another. There was whispering, and then there was Russian. The two seamstresses began arguing, very loudly in their native tounge. I had to hold myself up to keep from laughing. Seriously? It went on for a good three minutes before Nagy, seamstress #2 bounced into the room. "She is fired, I take care of you, " the four-foot nine Russian said in her thick acccent as she climbed the bridal platform. With one snip, my dress was whole again. She worked miracles on my dress and it ended up looking exactly as I had wanted.

Of course, Ramona was not actually fired. Just fired from my dress. It was a ridiculous scene, one that could have been much worse. I had to commend myself for not being one of those brides who would have completely lost it in a situation like this. I ducked out, hoping Ramona was no where in sight.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One month Ago

We've been married since October 3rd. It was an amazing, amazing day. The weather was exactly what I was hoping for, and everything else really seemed to fall into place (with the help of all my wedding elves of course).

Full recaps coming soon. Our photog is getting photos to me by is the teaser she sent me...

Terra Tabbytosavit Photography

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Up-Do Trial!

Hair is very important on an every day basis, but of course it's even more important on your wedding day. I was so fortunate to have my old hair dresser come out of retirement (not really, she just took a couple years off to be home with her baby) right before our wedding. She was extremely generous and gave me and my bridesmaids a great deal. Not to mention she gave me TWO trial runs! I was able to get photos of the last one.
The front is parted with a "side sweep" and lots of teasting at the crown. I did bring in a picture, but told her to put her own twist on it. I told her I wasn't as concerned with the back as I was the front, and that I wanted to have lots of height on the top! Leia Roten is my stylist and she really worked wonders with my thin, shoulder length hair!

Trust your gut

My dear B is not into clothes, fashion, or photos. So when I tried to get his input on what type of tuxedo he'd like to wear, his response was minimal. I had saved a picture of a group of groomsmen in all black tuxes, with the groom sporting a white tie and vest. I showed him, he approved and I was happy. Over the next few months, I described this vision to other family members and friends and was meant with mixed, if not disapproving responses. All black? They scoffed. Wont it be too hot? Wont that look to dismal? I began to second guess. photo: Perez Photography

So when I was finally able to wrangle B into the tux shop to look at options, I was very unsure of what we were looking for. The manager at Men's Wearhouse was nice, informative and knoledgeable, but with the myriad of choices and combos, he was not forthcoming with a specific opinion.

He kindly put together my all black look, and placed it next to the white "groom" maniquen. I was really bummed that there was nothing for B to try on. How could we decide? After several maniquen costume changes, we went right back to "our" original idea. Why is it that we don't trust out gut?

Our best visual example. B and I agreed, the all black really fit with the personalities of his groomsmen. It was so nice to check this off the list!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Las Vegas Bachelorette Party!

Best.Cup.Ever. Courtesy of my brothers amazing girlfriend.

Our joint bachelor-bachelorette party in Vegas was amazingness. We ended up staying at the Flamingo after figuring it was the best deal on the Central strip. It ended up being a great location with an above average pool and decent rooms!

While I only remember snippets of the entire weekend (it was that fun), I loved our shirts. Here is the best picture I have of all of them together.

With my bitches in Vegas. Does it get any better?

Bridal Shower #2: Recap

Since I had a shower in Northern California, my mom and grandma wanted to throw a family shower in my hometown in Southern California. Rather than have another girly brunch, we opted for a couples barbeque to involve B, my brother, uncles and other significant others. It was a casual evening, but lots of fun and great to celebrate our upcoming wedding with my close family and friends.

My generous aunt offered to make the centerpieces for our shower. She purchased purple and pink blooms from Trader Joes and worked her magic. They were beautiful. Simple white chairs and purple linens completed the look.My grandma spoiled us with a beautiful cake from our favorite Socal bakery, The Bread Basket. If you are anywhere near Camarillo-it is amazing!

I'm so glad we ended up with two showers to accomodate all of our friends and family. So much fun.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bridal Shower #1: Re-Cap

Memorial day weekend was completely full of goodness. My mom and grandma arrived in town on Thursday evening. We enjoyed dinner with B that night followed by a full day of shopping. Grams tried on a few grandma-of-the-bride dresses and I took them around to look at my top bridal gown prospects. It was so much fun to try on dresses for them. And by the end of the day-my dress was purchased! It felt amazing to cross that off the list! Big!***

bridal shower outfit: Ruby Rox Dress from Macy's paired with a short-sleeved, fuchsia cardigan from GAP and matching Glint peep toes from Nordstrom

Saturday I hosted a BBQ for B's cousin (and my BM) who just had her second child, an adorable baby boy. It was a beautiful day! Then Sunday we were off to my bridal shower in San Francisco. It was fabulous.

MOH's parents live in a beautiful home in SF that has a great party room downstairs with views of the ocean and part of the Golden Gate. The room was completely color coordinated to match the invitation MOH had picked out. MOH's father (who owns a restaurant in the city) was our chef. They served an absolutely yummy champagne brunch of eggs Benedict, potatoes, a salad, strawberries and cream and an assortment of sweet cakes and rolls. I wish I would have remembered to get a picture of the entire spread.

The decor was fabulous, but my favorite part of the shower were the games! MOH had delegated and two of my bridesmaids worked together to come up with unique games that I would love (I told them no toilet paper dresses).

The first game was a great ice breaker for our 20 guests. Since several of my SoCal friends had not met my NorCal friends, this was a great way for everyone to get acquainted. Bridesmaid A had made up little cards where she instructed everyone to write a piece of advice for us. If you knew B better, they were to write advice to me about him. If you knew A (me) better, you were to write advice to B about me. Then we went around the table and each guest read their little piece of advice. Lots of laughter and even a few tears ensued. I loved it. It was so sweet and so nice to hear such genuine things from my friends and family. So fun! I will always treasure those cards.

Next it was time for me to be quizzed. BM A had called and asked B a bunch of questions about himself. For every incorrect answer, I had to chew on a piece of bubbalicious. I was on a roll until the last few questions....has anyone tried to chew three pieces of bubblegum? It was pretty funny. The guests enjoyed hearing B's answers and I think B got a kick out of it as well (he texted me to see what I'd missed).

Then the guests were asked to divide into teams and become my wedding coordinator for the day. With piles of bridal magazines, each group was to make an idea board representing what they thought I wanted my wedding to look like. It was pretty great to see them working together and coming up with a collage of beautiful images. It was pretty hard to choose, but the winning team was pretty stoked when I finally decided they got it right.
This is a photo of one of the collages. This one was not the winner...

We played a couple more games planned my another of my bridesmaids and then opened gifts (got my all-clad set!!) and enjoyed some amazing cake. I wish they could do my wedding cake. Several of the guests went back for seconds (and thirds!) because it was just that good. It came from Mazzeti's in Pacifica, CA. I don't think I could recommend this place enough-just amazing!

Such a perfect weekend. I can't believe it came and went so fast.

** I thank you all SO much for the dress feedback. I am so happy with my choice and I can't wait for you to see which one I chose.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dream Team addition: Kate Miller Events

photo: sarah maren

I'm happy to introduce the newest addition to our wedding dream team: Kate of Kate Miller Events! You may know her as the author of Kate's Wedding or as Mrs. Pomegranate over at Weddingbee. I know her as my go-to for all things wedding. When she started her own event company, I knew she would be the perfect fit for our day of coordinator.

Very early on in the wedding planning stages I found Kate's blog, was completely inspired to start my own blog, and the rest is history. For the past 15 months she has been an invaluable source of information. She planned her own gorgeous wedding, and is now lending her talent to other brides in need.

It's very rare for me to have complete faith in someone, but Kate's amazing sense of style and borderline insane organization skills make it easy to trust her with being my right hand man on the day of.

I met with Kate today and admitted to her that I was feeling a bit burnt-out on the wedding planning. She was so understanding and did not pressure me to make any final decisions quite yet. I am starting to feel much more relaxed even though there is so much to do in the next three months!

Check out a recent Kate Miller Events wedding here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shower Me!

MOH is hosting my first bridal shower! It's this coming Sunday at her parent's home in San Francisco. I'm so excited!

Initially, I was trying to plan my own shower. MOH finally stepped in and told me that as much as I wanted to, I was out of luck-she was hosting and would be planning and I was not to worry about a thing. She selected these lovely invites from Wedding Paper Divas. Love them!

I'm super excited to see so many of my favorite women all in one place! Since most of my extended family is in Socal, we will also have a shower down there so not everyone must travel! My bridal party (except for Doctor K who is about to graduate!) and B's family, along with my mom and grandma will be there. Almost 20 all together which is a lot more than I was excpecting!

The only thing I have to worry about it what to wear!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Bach-Fest!

As a preface, I LOVE Las Vegas. I almost moved there for law school but decided to stay in CA. I've probably been to Vegas over 50 times. Forty of those times was to go water skiing at nearby Lake Mead with my family. Since I turned 21 I've gone a handful of times for various birthdays to party it up. I'm not a huge wait-in-line club person, but I do love to dance and can definitely get my drink on. My best memories of Vegas are the times where we ended up doing something completely random. My worst memories are trying to fit in at some overpriced club that wasn't fun.

We were always planning on doing a Jack-n-Jill bachelor party. I could seriously care less about strippers and the like, so going to Vegas together seemed like a ton of fun. Many of B's groomsmen are married (or pretty much married) and I've become great friends with a couple of their SOs. One big party seems like the perfect plan.

Now it's time to pick a place to stay. Since I'm no big shot gambler, I don't have a ton of connections in Vegas. We're looking to have a girls suite and a boys suite. So far our best bet seems to be the Venetian. We were told that Venetian's new sister property, The Palazzo is super nice and has slightly larger rooms. Since their smaller suite can sleep 6-7, it's actually quite a bargain despite the fact that it's one of Vegas' most expensive hotels.

Our group will be a random mix of my single bridesmaids, married groomsmen, my brother and his girlfriend and us. Like I said, you wont find us waiting in long lines for a posh club, but because it's Vegas-we do want to do something super fun.

The itinerary for now is to have a kick back night of drinking and catching up on Friday night (we'll arrive late afternoon). Have a boys day (who knows) and a girls day (pool and drinks please) on Saturday and meet up that night for our big night out.

Would love to hear any feedback on Vegas or joint bach-parties in general!


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oh Nadine!

Alright, so I left the last shop feeling confident that the Maggie Sottero Nadine dress was the one. Despite seeing some lovely dresses during my las shopping trip, I just kept comparing them to the Maggie, and none of them were comparing.

Maggie Sottero Nadine

I decided to come back to try on the Maggie. I called the shop, talked to an extremely rude lady on the phone and asked if it was at all possible to have the dress steamed or pressed as it was extremely wrinkled. The rude girl gave me a ten minute lecture about how long it would take to steam the gown and how much work it would take. I wasn't expecting the lecture, so I squeaked out an "ok, just asking" as she caught her breath. Later, Mina called me. She told me she did not want to clean and press the gown because every time you do that to a gown it loses a little of it's luster and she would want to make sure this was my dress before she put my gown through the process. Wait? What? My gown? I have to order this particular gown? As in the sample? She then told me that Nadine was discontinued as of April 15th and I would be purchasing the sample (at a discount of course). This dress is a size too big which is better than a size to small. But there are some issues. Enter that sinking feeling. Are you kidding me?

Let me back up and say that I have now been to six dress stores and they all treated their samples a bit differently, but this particular shop was the absolute worst. Gowns on the ground, thrown into their plastic bags etc, etc. This particular sample was very wrinkled with about four noticeable marks and stains. Why? Oh why?
Mina suggested this satin bolero that mimicked the rouching of the dress. This one was too small, but you get the idea. Thoughts?

I came in to try her on and to really look it over knowing that this was the actual dress. I still loved it, but I just felt so frustrated. The gown was offered to me at 30% off. Decent, but not what I was hoping for. I was assured the stains would come out and was told the gown would look just like new and would be altered perfectly. I left feeling so confused. Was this a sign that this is not my dress?

That afternoon I ventured into a nearby shop, Miosa Couture. I had called the store, talked to the owner who was exceptional and invited me to stop by. I had time, found a parking spot and was there within five minutes. Wow! What a gorgeous boutique. I was told that each gown is custom made to fit the bride and that they use a special "built in" corset that aids in creating a beautiful shape. 2009_05_14-1

People-this place was amazing. I felt completely out of my league. The fabrics were amazing, the dresses felt great. I had two favorites and was told it would be no problem to combine the two to create my "dream gown" for the bargain price of $2900, including all alterations and my undergarments.

I'm not sure if I've talked about my dress budget before. A year ago, it was $500. That quickly jumped to $1000 once I saw what $500 would get me. I decided I wanted $1000 to include all alterations and hopefully a veil and shoes (realistic?). With my discount, the Maggie Nadine dress would be within budget. The Miosa custom dress-not so much. Fortunately, once I came home and uploaded my pics, I still loved the Maggie dress the most. Whew! I have to admit that the Miosa dress did feel better on, but since none of them really fit, none of them really spoke to me.

So I had a decision to make. I decided to make one more stop that day. House of Fashion is a well known bridal shop in Sacramento. They also have an outlet, HOF II about ten blocks away. Gowns are purchased off the rack. Once I walked in I was told they only had one (ugly) dress in my size. The lady was very nice and suggested their main store. I explained the situation and she sympathized with me, telling me it was only a matter of time before Nadine ended up at the outlet. She asked if I was a gambler. Ha. I know the price will be lower once it gets to the outlet. But who knows when that will be. I think I'd feel comfortable if they took another $100 off.

Should I work my mad negotiating skills? Do I go back to Alfred Angelo and get the sequined bust dress? Can I please where jeans and a black top to my wedding?

Saturday, May 16, 2009



For my fifth store, I met up with FMIL at Downtown Gowns in Vacaville. I had read some great reviews of this smaller shop and thought it was worth a trip while I was in town. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of larger samples available to try on. The owner was very polite and helpful and I was really impressed with her taste. I thought every dress was beautiful, but left with thought is of the Maggie I had tried on previously.

Would love to hear what you think!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Next stop was also spur of the moment. I had hearings in downtown Sacramento and decided to stop by House of Fashion afterwards. I had heard some pretty bad things about this shop, but thought it was worth checking out since I had the time. It was a quiet Monday. I arrived and was instantly introduced to my attendant, Mina and her assistant. From then on it was literally a tornado of dresses. I hated the first two they put me in and they seriously had those dresses on and off me in less than two minutes. The third dress was pretty, but not quite right. I thought the skirt was really pretty, but it just didn't feel right. I believe it was by La Sposa.
Then I saw the fourth, Nadine by Maggie Sottero. It was like a breath of fresh air. Finally! The simple, asymmetrical dress I was searching for! Mina was seriously a dream attendant. She didn't fawn over me but she definitely knew her stuff. Before I could finish describing the "messy" bustle I was looking for-she had the back manipulated to exactly the look I've been hoping for. Mina was a seamstress for many years and really understood the look I was trying to describe. She even found a lace bolero for me to try with the dress. While I want to have one made from alencon lace, this really helped to give me a visual.
I was so disappointed with how the pictures came out. Part of that is because the sample was extremely wrinkled. Believe me when I say that this dress was really beautiful and fit so well. It was slightly big, but I loved the cut and loved that there was no beading or embroidery!
It was time for some serious decision making!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Shopping trip number three was completely spur of the moment. I was up in Roseville for work and had a two hour wait until my appointments. I had seen that there was a new Alfred Angelo store and it seemed like the perfect way to kill two hours. I walked in on a Monday morning and was the only customer in sight. I was presented with a small catalogue to look through. As I flipped the pages, I thought about leaving. I didn't see a single dress I wanted to try. I pointed to a few dresses, and told myself I had nothing better to do. To my surprise, she had every dress in my size (or a little larger).

alfred angelo style 2007

I picked this first dress only because I had never tried anything like this before. I was seriously shocked at how much I loved it. I only had my phone to take pictures, so you can't see the beautiful lace on the bust area. The skirt was layers of chiffon. My favorite part was the way it fell in the back. I kept this dress on for a long time because it felt great. But I knew it just wasn't my dress. It just wasn't enough. For a split second I thought about this as a reception dress. As in two dresses. The price was in the $600 range.

The above dress was the most expensive dress I tried. I loved the fabric and the way the skirt was very random in its pick ups. I didn't love the plain ballgown look. While we both agreed this is a very pretty dress, I told my attendant (who was a doll) that I really liked an asymmetrical bodice. I hadn't seen any in the catalogue, so I started browsing the racks for anything with an asymmetrical look, just so I could see the difference for myself.

I found this dress on the racks and thought it was way too "blingy" for me. But it was in my size, and had the bodice I was looking for. I was really just trying to remind myself (and convince my attendant) that I loved what this type of dress did for my figure. When I came out in this dress, my attendant laughed at how right on I had been. I loved, loved, loved this dress. It was in the $800 range and felt so great on. It had the sweetheart neck and the asymmetrical bodice. I wasn't in love with the skirt, but we talked about making a few alterations so that it would have a more luxurious look. As soon as I got this dress on my attendant had her first appointment show up. I was also now running late for my work appointments, so I scurried out of this dress and planned on coming back with friends.
Had I found the one?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Big Girls Don't Cry, Pt II

Shopping trip number two was an unexpected stop at a Santa Rosa bridal shop. I was in town for work and when my brother's girlfriend told me her coworkers had all found their dresses here, I decided it was worth a trip. While the shop was rather large, they really didn't have that many dresses. We went around and pulled the dresses we liked, but in the end, many of the size 8 samples just wouldn't fit over this bod. So I tried on what I could. I didn't find my dress here, but it was an improvement from DBs, so I'm glad I went.

This trip solidified my love for the sweetheart neckline. Because I am quite busty, the sweetheart line gives some definition unlike the strait across strapless. I also discovered that I love an asymmetrical bodice. While I don't think I would have picked that look initiall, it did wonders for me. These are three of the dresses I tried on. I think put on six total, but many were not the right dress.

Thank you all so much for your comments, tips and ideas.

Stay tuned for part III.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Big Girls Don't Cry, Part I

Alright, I finally did it. I went dress shopping. I'd been engaged for 13 months, we're getting married in less than 6 and I hadn't set foot in a bridal shop. After many people almost fainted with anxiety over the fact that I hadn't tried on dresses yet, I gave in and went. As of today I've been to three shops. I think I may have found the one (or two). But, I would like to look at a couple more places just for fun. Yes, I said fun.

I was dreading dress shopping for a number of reasons. While I'm actually pretty comfortable with my plus sized body, putting this plus sized body into a white sleeveless dress was something I wasn't so comfy with. Secondly, I hate the idea of a twenty two year old size 0 salesgirl trying to convince me of how amazing I look in something that I can clearly see looks like crap. And lastly, I wasn't convinced that many bridal shops would even have a sample large enough for me to try on. I was scared!

A couple weeks ago, I randomly had a Monday off from work. Since one of my bridesmaids is now on maternity leave, she was available and really wanted to come. So we set off for David's Bridal with the intention of "getting ideas". I was fairly certain I wasn't going to find my dream dress there based on some previous experiences, but I knew they would have larger samples and I just needed to get my butt into a dress.

Two hours into our shopping trip, I was in tears. I'm not sure if it was the lady helping us, or the really horrid dresses or just sheer frustration with myself, but I cried. Now that I think of it, it was definitely all of the above. The lady helping us sat down and looked at the pictures I had collected of different ensembles that involved a simple strapless gown with a lace bolero. I mentioned that I may like a billowing skirt with a few pick-ups. She then proceeded to bring me the most hideous beaded gowns with huge skirts. I went with it, afterall I was being open to all of the possibilities.

Six dresses, two veils, one tiara and silk flower late, I politely told her I was ready to leave. She hadn't presented me with a single strapless, simple dress. I could feel myself brewing. Once back in the car, I felt my tears coming.

Like I said before, I am actually pretty comfortable with my body. But my arms are a whole different story. My arms are very, very big. I never, ever where anything sleeveless, so trying on sleeveless gowns was only making me realize how far I have to go to get these arms in shape. I don't know what my expectations were, but clearly they were not met. I felt like I wasted two hours of my life trying on dresses that would never work.

Above are pictures we took of the "good" ones. There were a few others that I don't care to remember.

Part II coming soon!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Wow, I have to tell ya, I never thought much about invitation wording. I contacted a calligrapher, the famed Michele Clark, many moons ago about hand-writing our invitations. I know she is going to do a fabulous job, and every time I see a calligraphied invitation it only confirms my absolute love for their simple elegance. source

I have been so caught up in the look of the invite, that I've completely disregarded the actual text. Our whole wedding is comprised of the perfect marriage of formal and casual. While calligraphy is consistent with a traditional, formal wedding, the fabric sleeve gives it that home made, rustic edge.

So how to merge the two with the wording? I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the traditional "honour of your presence" wording. I've always loved the more personal, celebratory language. My personal favorite is "...request the pleasure of your company" because really, that's what we're doing. We're only inviting the people that we really want to be around while we make the biggest commitment of our lives. As for the rest, I'm not sure. I'd like as little wording as possible so that the calligraphy can really shine.

Also, since we're doing the fabric pocket, with part of the invite peaking out, I'd like to start with our names. Technically, my parents are hosting our wedding (we are paying for certain details ourselves) but since I'm trying to go with as little wording as possible (especially up top) I decided against including their names. My parents were completely understanding and seemed like they could care less.

Here's what I have so far:

Amy ... .... & B... ..... .... (this will be up top, peaking out above the fabric pocket)
Together with their families,
Request the pleasure of your company
at their wedding ***
Saturday, the blank of October
Two Thousand and Nine
at half past blank in the afternoon***
Taber Ranch
Capay California
Drinks, Dinner, and Dancing to Follow***

***these are the lines I'm not sure about. Suggestions wanted! What time does afternoon end and evening begin? 5:00pm? Do you like the drinks, dinner and dancing line? I'm just a fan of the alliteration and think it will be so pretty written out. I'm going to send this over to Michele soon. Your feedback is appreciated!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bake me a Cake!

I've posted about cake before. It's not anywhere near the top of my priority list. So long as it tastes delish, I'm good. My dear old grandma made me promise not to get a grocery store cake. I think her exact words were, "Don't chintz on the cake!" Moments later, she offered to pay for it. Despite her generosity, I was still determined to keep the cake reasonable. After contacting several brides who have been married at our venue, the overwhelming recommendation was for a bakery in the small town of Woodland. Timothy's bakery is much closer to the venue than any of the Sacramento bakeries and has a great reputation. Apparently Tim is the only "certified master baker" in the area.

our samples

Last weekend, my bridesmaid K took a break from her life as a medical student in Ohio to visit me. I made an appointment at Timothy's for Friday morning, and we headed there for some extra sweet breakfast. There's no denying Woodland is a small town, and being in the bakery is like stepping back in time. The air is dense with sugar and the people are refreshingly casual and helpful.

Timothy's is known for their champagne cake, but unfortunately it is too light and airy for a stacked wedding cake. We tried it anyway. It was good, but I wasn't dying over it. Their white cake was really good, nice and moist and dense. We also tried their applesauce cake just for the fun of it. It definitely tasted like a muffin, so good.
This is what the simple edging will look like. source

While I had mostly brought in pictures of 3-tier cakes, when we looked at the crazy-cheap prices (compared to any Sacramento baker) we began to toy with the idea of a fourth tier. Timothy's wife helped me to articulate exactly what I loved about the four pictures I had brought in to show her. She definitely understood what I liked and what I didn't like, and we wound up ordering a 4 tier butter cream with dotted edging. She customized the size of each tier after noticing that I preferred to have each tier be very close in size, rather than having several inches difference. With the 4 tiers we will have more than enough cake to feed the entire crew.
This is the best picture of my favorite 4 tier cake. This is when she noticed that I liked my tiers to be very close in size. I love it! Source

The best part is, I told K before we went in that I was trying to keep the cake at $400. After adding the fourth tier, tinkering with the measurements and adding a fresh strawberry filling, the grand total? $399. Yeah for being under budget!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hey Mr. DJ...

I cannot find a decent DJ that we can afford. I have a couple problems:

1. I want a really, really good DJ. The kind of DJ that people are talking about. The kind of DJ who can keep 120 people dancing all night. The kind of DJ that we beg to stay because no one wants to leave.

2. I have never witnessed this type of DJ. It's like a wedding myth to me. I always really, really don't like DJs. I'm always the one complaining about how bad the DJ is. Always.

3. I want a DJ who knows what he's doing. With experience at weddings. Weddings are a whole different animal. It's not prom. It's not your office party. It's a gathering of people from 80-2 years old. I want them all dancing. All.

4. I need a DJ who is prepared to deal with the non traditional set up of our barn reception. This isn't a ballroom and I'm worried some Djs won't know how to adjust their routine and equipment to fit our venue.

Any help out there? How did you know you had found the right DJ? I have referrals to 2 of the "best" DJs in the Sacramento area, but they are both mind-blowingly expensive ( around $2k for their smaller package). Is that mind blowing to you? I thought we'd be able to get an amazing Dj for about $1k. I guess I was wrong.

Just to add, we are not considering a band reception. I have my heart set on a DJ. Any horror stories, success stories, referrals, do's and don'ts would be appreciated!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

I Love my Photog!

My beautiful photographer, Terra Tabbytosavit told me that while she's been shooting boudoir shoots for a while, she hasn't found a "model" who was willing to allow her to post the racy shots on Terra's blog. I guess she finally found someone because Terra just posted the most amazingly gorgeous shots today. I had to share. I love the idea of a boudoir shoot. I know B would love a little private book of photos for him to enjoy.
So tasteful. So beautiful.
These last two are my FAVORITES!

These shots really show a different side of Terra's talent. I absolutely adore them! Terra also mentioned she is getting ready to launch a new website! I'll have to let you know when it goes live.