Monday, August 27, 2007

My (slight) Obsession

I am completely, totally and utterly obsessed with shoes. I love the height I get from heels. I love the conversations I start with random people about my shoes. I love bright shoes. I love sparkly shoes. I love pointy shoes. I love old shoes. I love new shoes. I love shoes. In general. I love shoes.

So, wedding shoes. I knew I wanted to splurge on something FABULOUS for the wedding. I also knew that I wanted something I would wear after the wedding. And I knew I wanted some color.

I started flipping through ebay. One day I happened upon a fantastic pair of Christian Louboutain's that I fell in love with. Thank God for my itty bitty tiny feet because at a 35.5 I was the only bidder! This was also my first foray into ebay territory. Scary. I got up at 6:00 am and hit refresh every 2 seconds. At 6:35 am I woke Chris by jumping on the bed.... I WON! It was an amazing victory!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Damasks Must Match.

I hate when thing don't match. Not when two things complement each other because you don't want to be too matchy-matchy. I hate when two things look like they are supposed to match, but you didn't quite make it there.

Also, I am obsessed with damask. I bought this beautiful fabric for our table runners and my mother is made them for me.

So, I searched high and low for a similar looking damask stamp. But, to no avail. So, I started looking into custom made stamps. Along came I opened a .jpeg file of the fabric swatch in PhotoShop and was able to cut one of the pieces out. I turned it into a black and white file and uploaded it to their website on Friday night. I fully expected to receive a phone call on Monday saying that it was not doable. That the file was not crisp enough. And yet, on Thursday afternoon I got a package!

WOOOOOOO! It is perfection!

A Girls Got to Have Some Bling

I'm a huge supporter of all things sparkley and beautiful. And I fully encourage all things blingtastic for the wedding day!

It's from Haute Bride and I love it to pieces! I wanted to see it in person before I bought it (Their salon is in San Francisco). So another Bride-To-Be friend of mind and I drove down to Orange County to take a look. I had called As You Wish Brides a few days before and they said they didn't have the exact one that I was looking for, but they had something very similar. And they were willing to sell me the sample as she was moving to Texas and closing the store! WOOO. The sample was SUPER close to what I wanted, and I got an AMAZING deal. And I want to wear it every day! Now only if someone was home to help me put it on! I would fully consider wearing it around the house as I cleaned :-)


Who knew I would be a DIY girl? According to my father there are two kinds of people in this world... "managers" and "doers". Apparently there are three because I am a mix of both!

So, my next DIY project involves INVITATIONS! WOOO. I love all things paper. I love luxurious paper. Nothing makes me feel better than getting something luxurious, glamorous and above all, pretty in the mail!

I wanted to make sure to incorporate all three important aspects of the wedding. Branches, Damask and our Monogram. They are still a work in progress and this is my first trial run through. What do you think?

It will arrive in the #10 long chocolate brown envelope from Paper-Source

With the belly band. I will write the names of the guests on the bottom part of the Khaki.

When the belly band comes off! I think on the actualy invite I will only do the branch stamp/embossing on the center/shiney part.

The invitation is printed on vellum from Paper-Source. I reused the monogram from our Save the Dates. Then I attached it all with floral wire from Micheals.

They reply cards will be Khaki A4 cards from Paper-Source with Chocolate A4 envelopes, also from Paper-Source. I love some Paper-Source.

Rehearsal Dinner Cake Topper!

I think that cake toppers in the likeness of the celebrated person is ADORABLE. I knew that these cutesy things would be too cutesy for our formal affair, so I decided to make a DIY attempt for our Rehearsal Dinner Cake. I made 6 attempts and I proabably spent more money on clay than it would have cost me to have someone else do them! However, I am super excited to present my Mini Us!

This is the first step... Aluminum foil form.

I then used Preemo clay and baked in layers. First I did the skin. Baked. Dress. Baked. Features. Baked. Features. Baked.

But the first of all didn't always work out. There were MANY trials. First was the headless one (he wasn't headless to begin with!). I LOVED him. Then, came the snowbeast looking female on the bottom right. Enough said. Then, there was the female on the bottom left. One of my bridesmaids said she looked like a man. I moved on. My final one was PERFECT. More to come of her later. However, when I but Mr. Perfect next to Ms. Perfect, Ms. Perfect was 2 inches taller! Not going to work. So, I made the male on the top right. I loved him, hated his face (the floating head in the middle). So, I took the face off of the original favorite and attempted to put him on the new body. Didn't work. Obviously.

YAHHHHH the final Mr. & Miss Perfection! I decided on using the exact same outfits that we wore for our engagment shoot. I'm sure I will be the absolute only person to know that, but I think it's adorable!

Friday, August 24, 2007

What Age is the Right Age?

So I'm young to be a bride. Well, that's what people keep telling me. I'm 24, and yet, I feel as if I could potentially be in my late 30's. Hey, I'm an early bloomer. I've always been that way. When I was 16, my boyfriend was 21. (my parents LOVED that!). I just found that people my numerical age were, well, immature. After high school I left my itty bitty tiny town (something that NO ONE does) and went to school 300 miles away. That was a big deal. I found that I liked fending for myself and making it on my own. I'd always been independent and this was real life evidence that I would not starve to death on the floor of my dorm. I would remember to eat! After college I picked up and moved to Los Angeles from North Carolina. There were some times I thought "What the hell am I doing?!". But I pushed through and I'm fabulously happy! Just before my 23rd birthday, we put an offer on a condo. We are officially homeowners! There was some major growing up as I've learned to deal with home fixings all on my own. There is no landlord to call when the toilet is running... push up your sleeves and get it done!

So, I feel that in my 24 years, I've done quite a bit. I think these experiences pushed me to grow and mature and I'm lucky enough to have loved every minute of it. I didn't realize quite how old I was until I thought a party bus to Vegas was a good plan. I thought "ohhh I should remember that I'm 24 and I should go do it up with my other 24 year old friends!" It sucked. It was awful. I am entirely too old to spend 6 hours on a bus in the desert. There was nothing fun about it. I bought myself a plane ticket, ditched my friends and flew home. End of story.

When people find out I am getting married they inquire "But why!? You're so young." or my favorite "Yeah, I thought that was a good plan too. Then I called off the wedding." In a society where marriage and consequently divorce are taken so lightly I want to chide them for their behavior. If you are not ready, you are not ready and there is nothing wrong with that. I curiously find my self readier than I've ever been in my life for marriage. I adore waking up next to him and look forward to getting in bed for the night. He's the first person I want to tell every deep secret. I even look forward to our fights... and the making up :-) So, I find myself in a curious place. Perhaps against the norm, but so ready for what marriage holds. I am excited for the good, excited for the bad and excited for the many memories that we will make. The Guiness Book of World Records holder for the longest marriage is currently 80 years. 80 years. wow. Our new goal is to beat them!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cancelling the Big Day

I work for an events venue in the conferencing department. However, we share an office with the social events department (weddings, birthdays, etc.) This morning a young bride came in to cancel her big day, with nearly a year to go. She is alone and in tears. I feel incredibly bad for her and I want to give her a big smushy hug to let her know that this is not the end, but rather a beginning. I want her to know that she could be making the best decision of her entire life at this point. I want her to feel happy knowing that she might possibly be avoiding a lifetime of unhappiness and a potentially horrific divorce. She should know that this man is not the right one, and Mr. Fabulous is standing right around the corner, waiting for her if she has the strength to make it to him.

We put so much faith in those that we love. Faith that they will love us and care for us and always be a pillar of strength. I cannot imagine my own pillar falling to the ground. I have nightmares about it actually, and I wake up with a feeling of despair and fear. What would my life be without my soul mate? Would I have the strength to walk away from someone that I knew wasn't right in hopes that the man of my dreams is, while a figment of my imagination now, an actual real-life person that is simply waiting to walk into my life. I commend this woman in my office. I pray that her tears will turn to smiles and that she knows this is only a bump on her road.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Do You Like to Do It Yourself?" *

Do-It-Yourself. Poop. Here's the thing... I want our wedding to be special. I want it to be unique. I want it to be US. And putting my own special and unique touches make what could be an over the top great day for big business, makes it suddenly homemade.

I WANT to spend the hours upon hours of time, blood, sweat, tears and lots of love on our wedding. Well, at least I think I want to spend this time, blood, sweat, tears and love on our wedding... until I actually have to do it.

I've currently spent hours upon hours making a cake topper for our Rehearsal Dinner Cake. I saw some clay figurines of the bride and groom that I LOVED on my local Knot board. (p.s. I'm obsessed with the Knot). I knew they wouldn't be formal enough for our wedding cake, but I want to have a super fun Rehearsal "Dinner". The "" are because I'm not sure I want it to be a "dinner" but more of an "outing". Perhaps some bowling in a VIP room with appetizers, bar, cake, etc. More on that later.

*Knottie Daschie84. Her DIY goodness is inspiring

I'm currently down LOTS of money on clay. LOTS of hours on trials. I have 6 figurines. 1 is headless. 1 looks like a snowbeast. 1 looks like Andre the giant. 1 looks like a man (she's supposed to be a woman). Then I got one right!!!! WOOOO. I love her. Man #3 is currently in the works. Keep your fingers crossed.

Photos to come soon!

*The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Friday, August 10, 2007

Emotional War

Underneath the centerpieces and dresses and guest books and flowers and virtually everything that we associate with weddings there is the huge emotional war happening with all of those involved. Everyone has ideas of how things should be and what is appropriate. When I got engaged and starting reading horror stories of other couples I thought "My guests would NEVER do something like that" or "Wow, people are crazy... thank GOD we know normal people". And at 5 months out, some of the crazies are starting to come out of the woodwork. There was the childhood friend that called me after not speaking for years and said "You want your oldest friend to be there, right!? I'll myspace you my address". I was in such complete and utter shock that I could open my mouth to say "do huh?".

But not all of these moments are so cut and dry. You don't want to be a bridezilla, but you want the day to be just as you imagined. My mother sent me a sketch of her dress. She is a brillant seamstress and is designing and constructing her own gown. The sketch has a veil. Do Huh? When I asked her about it, I was informed that it is not a veil it is a "hat" and that Emily Post suggests that all Mothers wear "hats". Well, this "hat" looks just like the birdcage veil that I am wearing. Is it too much to ask that I be the only person wearing a veil to my own wedding? Veils are for weddings (FOR THE BRIDE) and for funerals.

(it's the pencil drawing on the silver dress lady)

I don't want to be the crazy bride that dictates what every person will be wearing, but I don't really want her to wear it either.

What's a bride to do?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

An Engaging Photo Session

Can I just say that I LOVE our wedding photographer. His name is Rob Holley and he is utterly phenomenal. Rob was our very first vendor and the only photographer we interviewd. I did tons of research and new exactly what we wanted. Chris is totally into photography and between the two of us we own 4 point and shoots, 1 SLR and 1 HD Video Camera. We love it. So, the photography was VERY important. Rob was personable, funny, had amazing work and was a Red Sox fan. Sealed the deal!

We did our engagement session in May in Manhattan Beach. There was no posing. "Put your head here. Lean to the right" was never uttered from his lips. He got us. Just us running around like crazy people.

(My apologies for the fuziness... in real life they are crisp and stunning)
Our condo now looks like a shrine to us with the many many photos. But I don't care! You know why... because I love us :-)

Save The Date!

I LOVE beautiful papers, stationary and things of that nature. I also love getting things in the mail. It's so exciting in the age of e-vite, e-mail, e-chat, etc. Thus, I am uberexcited for our wedding related paper things!

We started with the Save the Date. While it is perfectly fine to do the same old letterpress, blah blah blah... see, I stop listening. See Date. Mark calendar. Yeah, it does the job I guess. But I wanted something more fun. Something more interesting. Something people would talk about! Enter and our magnet Save the Date!

This is the magnet itself. Magnet Street was AMAZING with letting me change everything that I wanted. The date was originally numerical (1.19.08 with the 19 being MUCH larger than the other numbers... it was odd). I also took out the cliche saying "the perfect date for the perfect pair" because I think that's ridiculous. Our engagement photo session was changed twice to later dates so I didn't have the photo yet and Magnet Street followed up with me. TWICE. The only vendor to care that much so far!

I attached the magnet to this tri-fold (there's another flap inside) with our monogram. The monogram is a J for my first name, a C for FI's first name and an H for his last name. We worked on this monogram for months and this happened to be trial number 87 that we both loved.

The envlope is A6 from Paper-Source in Chocolate Brown with a damask print liner (Envelope Liner kit from Paper-Source). I have since fallen completely and utterly in love with anything damask and will be using a similar print for table runners, groomsmen ties, and pretty much anywhere else I see fit! I've found that nobody but myself really cared all that much about the liner, but it's ok because I love it that much.

Finally, I closed the envelope with a return address sticker with the monogram. I figured it could do multitask as an envlope sealer (no licking, no water, etc.), a return address label and a monogram introducer. The color is slightly off from what I originally wanted, but I've choosen to forget about it at this point.

All in all, I love the way everything turned out! It was fairly simple and the most time consuming part was the envelope liner. I did a few of them a night while watching TV, so it was all consuming. Our guests LOVE them and I get a kick of walking into someone elses house and seeing it on the fridge. Makes me smile. :-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

What day is the BIG day?

People ask me all the time why we decided to get married in January. "Isn't June, July or August the most appropriate time to get married?" Or, "That's an odd choice". I usually just say something along the lines of "Well, Chris is usually not working around this time of year". He's a freelance casting producer so turning down a new job with a new company is never really a good plan.

However, our choosing January actually goes much deeper into the frantic mind of a burgeouning bridezilla. Here's the thing... I don't like cliche. So that boots out May, June, July, August & February. The other thing is that I hate months that end in "-ber". I just don't like the way it sounds. There goes September, October, November and December. Both of our birthdays are in March. Buh-Bye March. So we were left with January and April. That's where Chris' job made the final decision. January it is! We tossed January 12 and January 19 for a few days and landed on the 19th because it was MLK Jr. weekend and all of our out of town guests will have an extra day to hang out in LA or to chill at home before heading back into the real world of work.

I've found with most of my wedding planning this far that I get so wrapped up in these tiny decisions. What's the date? What city will it be? What are our colors? Then, one morning, I wake up and the answer is as obvious to me as the sky is blue. Duh! I like that. The fog that jams up my brain is suddenly gone and the answer is right in front of me.

So, January 19 in Hollywood. WOO!

Monday, August 6, 2007

What the Bleep is a Blog?!

A few months ago I didn't even know what a blog was. Then I got engaged and signed onto The Knot. From then on I was obsessed. The Knot led to Wedding Bee which led to blog after blog after another blog. I went from completely uniformed to totally obsessed. I threw myself in with avengence. I tned to do this... avoid something out of ignorance of it's sheer level of coolness, then attack it like a crazy person. i.e. My fiance and I put an offer on a condo before we knew what escrow was.

I've gleaned tons of ideas, bought many wedding related (and some not so wedding related) items of the 'net and met some great ladies. So, I've decided that I should contribute back to the world wide web.

It could turn out to be my own ramblings seen only by myself, or maybe someone will read it somewhere along the lines, and maybe it will help someone find that perfect something!

So, the big thing in my life currently is the wedding! dum dum dumdum! We are tying the knot in Hollywood at The Hollywood Roosevelt. It's a fabulous old hotel, completely renovated just a few years ago to it's Old Hollywood Glamour. Marilyn Monroe's first advertisement was shot at the pool, the first Academy Awards were held in the ballroom and it's said to be haunted by Montgomery Clift himself. I've always loved the hotel even before the wedding planning hoopla commenced. It's one of the big reasons we are staying in LA, the place is that fabulous.

I can't wait to see where this blog takes me. If nothing else I hope to look back on it and remember the "old days".