Monday, June 30, 2008

#326: neither black or white. but lovely.

$537 badgley mischka at saks

this dress color is "cameo". appropriate as a wedding dress or not?

#325: it ain't cotton.

this kind of silky dress and vintage look wouldn't be done justice in daylight. but for those of you planning a candlelit, romantic, evening affair...this might just do you right.

$480 bcbg gown

Sunday, June 29, 2008

#324: the 3rd grade.

from frolic.

i love the way it looks and i love to write.

if it wasn't letterpress, would you still think it's cute?

Saturday, June 28, 2008

#323: venue love.

wow. what you're saying really like this venue.

so then i think you'll like what i have to share with you today:

1) the list of venues where i initially found this place (and the link to the actual venue).
2) my review of the scheduling experience and the aftermath of my in-person site visit. (i went! i saw!...)

i don't know about you guys. but i get really excited whenever i find a new list of venues. i really do. i've pored over countless lists and always think i've seen the last of 'em...but then i stumble upon another great resource and realize that i'm just being plain silly thinking i've researched everything i possibly ever could.

so to the first point, i found the gold room on the los angeles conservancy website. it has such a great list of places...well, that's just my opinion...and it's namely because after a year of researching (!!!), i managed to come across so many new names.

as to the second point, it was extremely easy to schedule an appointment. i met with the tour guide who was there on time and answered all of my questions (where are the restrooms? where can guests park? can you do rectangular tables? will there be an event in the auditorium at the same time?). as for the venue does look like the picture...but for some reason, it didn't give me the tug of the heart that i thought it would. so. i'm not totally sold.

...but i'm not knocking it off the list, either. hm.

Monday, June 23, 2008

#322: indoor option.

after the comment from the friend about guests who don't particularly enjoy being in the sun (dag, i really hadn't considered this. but only because i LOVE the sun with passioneth...), i've decided to keep my indoor options open.

The rental fee is $1500 for up to 175 guests. The rental fee includes the use of the room, rounds of 10 set with white or off white linens and your choice of napkin colors. You are allowed four hours prior to your start time for d├ęcor and five hours for your actual reception. Our director of catering can customize a menu to compliment your special day.

what do you think?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

#321: sharing (the news) is caring.

the fiance had a couple of friends visiting from out of town this weekend. the 4 of us set off on saturday morning to meet up with some other folks and ended up stuck in the car, enduring traffic and curvy roads together for over 2 hours. it wasn't fun for the fiance, i'm sure (he was driving)...but it gave the rest of us plenty of time to chat it up.

as we talked about weddings and receptions (they brought it up, not me!) was clear that in our capacity as guests, we'd all at one point either applauded brilliant ideas...or pitied the oversight of a significant detail.

so i asked. what was the most memorable thing you've seen at a wedding...and what was something you would have done differently.

friend #1 talked about a wedding he attended where flip flops were available for the women to change into during the reception. he didn't see it as a 'trend'...he simply saw it as a thoughtful and cool move by the bride and groom. (interesting be thoughtful and cool...)

friend #2 talked about an outdoor wedding he attended where many of the guests were adverse to the sun. guests kept running for cover under the shade which broke the flow of the reception and kept everyone separated for the most part. (!!!)

it made me realize two things...first, to not close myself off to an idea just because i think it's too 'trendy' (guilty!)...and second, to take a closer look at my guest list to make sure they'd all be ok with some sun (especially if i decide to move forward with an outdoor wedding). and i really appreciated taking away those points from our conversation.

so. let me ask kindly share your best or worst experience as a wedding guest. hopefully we can all learn a little something something from each other.

#320: what a difference a week makes.

when i wrote (just a week ago too!) that i couldn't really see myself coordinating a wedding reception in a park, i was picturing completely open and public park spaces (egads). but after reading through the comments and taking your suggestions to heart (and consequently doing more research) i realize that i'd be stupid to close us off to the possibilities state/city parks have to offer.

one of the venues that was mentioned is the temescal gateway park.

i don't know. with the $1500 indoor/outdoor facility 12-hour rental fee and the cabins they rent out on the grounds (s'mores the night before!), it may just be...dare i say it...perfect.

Friday, June 20, 2008

#319: with the right belt.

on sale for $19.99 at delias

it's a little crazy metallic...but i don't know. for the right sort of themed wedding...casual, outdoor, grecian-y (?!)...with a super thin turquoise or dark purple belt, it could just possibly work for the 'maids.

#318: pretty in a cup.

from black eiffel

as you know, i'm strongly considering an outdoor wedding. this centerpiece idea is tre perfect. both clean and pretty.

and i'm guessing DIY and budget friendly...

Monday, June 16, 2008

#317: plan B.

$408 at nordstrom

if i ever drop the 'planning a wedding' thing and decide to elope, i think i know which dress i'm going to wear.

EDIT: you're right! it's not $'s $252.90!!!

#316: "newbie mistakes" series, post #2: what? it's taboo? oops.

post #1

i like to call myself 'street smart'. it's probably because my report cards proved i wasn't 'book smart' and i had to explain to someone *coughstrictparentscough* at some point that i had some type of intellectual capacity. regardless of why, over the years, i've come to actually believe that i really am 'street smart'. and by 'street smart', i mean i have some seriously powerful gifts of common sense...tact...and intuition.

but i must have missed something somewhere.

i was chit chatting with one of my friends who was preparing for her wedding last year when i grandly stuck my foot (shoe and all) into my mouth and asked...

"dude. how much is this wedding costing ya?"
her answer was "'m not"


at first, i believed her and really thought she didn't know. but after giving it another go around in my head, i realized that there's no way someone as meticulous as she is doesn't know how much money she's dropping. in fact, she probably had it calculated all the way down to the various flowers in my bridesmaid bouquet.

in part due to the fact that i made my friend so uncomfortable and in part due to the fact that i'm planning my own wedding (and will inevitably get asked this question and predict that i will be just as uncomfortable), i now understand that it's SO NOT OKAY to ask about someone's budget.


so...the advice here is two-fold.

1) if you're not yet engaged but have friends who are getting married, don't ever ask about their budget.
2) if you're newly engaged, be prepared with smartly disguised answers should newbies who don't know any better ask you about your budget.

p.s. so if i'm not book smart...and my street smarts are

Sunday, June 15, 2008

#315: aloha in l.a.?

you can take the girl out of hawaii...but not the hawaii out of the girl.

nah, i'm not from hawaii but it's certainly one of my most favorite places EVER. i absolutely love it body and soul feel at peace whenever i visit. if i could, i'd grab the future hubs RIGHT NOW and do the quick step over to the island wedding of our dreams.

but since i can't, perhaps a menu like this:
Shrimp Skewers and Prime Top Sirloin
Jumbo shrimp skewers grilled in garlic butter offered with prime sirloin steak broiled with a roasted red bell pepper relish.
Served with jasmine rice & vegetable.
Lunch: $28 pp

Big Island Mango BBQ Pork Ribs and Huli Huli Chicken
Individually cut baby back pork ribs glazed with our homemade mango BBQ sauce paired with a grilled chicken breast marinated in a sweet ginger teriyaki sauce.
Served with roasted garlic mashed potatoes & vegetable.
Lunch: $26 pp

and views like this:

dukes malibu

...could hold me over until i go back.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

#314: parks.

orcutt ranch

there's something sweet, innocent, and beautiful about open parks. i've looked at countless 'real weddings' held in parks and know that exquisite affairs are more than possible in (what is quite often) such an affordable space.

but would it be possible for a 125-person guest list? and would our guests who are in their 50's and 60's be comfortable? and what would be our rain contingency plan? and where would everyone dance? and what about the sound system? what about privacy? what about lighting? what about all the permits? what about serving alcohol?

the fiance and i have talked about researching parks for our reception and ultimately decided against it. we are not confident we could pull it off in the way we'd like.

we agreed that at the end of the day, the budget is important...but so is entertaining and the comfort of our guests.

not to mention our sanity. i'll be the first to admit that coordinating from WAY scratch...would be a daunting task for someone like me.

Friday, June 13, 2008

#313: a $2,000 backyard.

getting charged a site fee is quite the norm these days. problem is...with a $10,000 budget, spending 20% on just renting ground space seems like...not a waste (especially for a yard like this one!)...but kind of like...reaching beyond my means. kind of like...knowing i want to spend $300 on a wedding dress but trying on the $5,000 ones. just cuz.

i mean, should i even be entertaining something like this? say for $2,000 (FLAT, no additional fees or taxes) i can rent that backyard.

i'd still have to stretch my wallet on:
shuttle (parking isn't ideal so i'd have to shuttle the guests from somewhere)

given my goal here, what do you think i should do? keep the dream alive? or squash the inevitable early on?

#312: i love you babe but...

...thanks to catching 'pride and prejudice' on the telly, i hope to dream of mr. darcy tonight. lawd!

Monday, June 9, 2008

#311: $110/hour site fee.

i think i could spruce this up a bit with the right lighting and decorations. all DIY of course.

i'm picturing...long tables...and _________...

EDIT: the venue is prince erik hall in arcadia. the food is catered by santa anita gardens and everything from tables to linens must be rented.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

#310: channel your chennergy.

chennergy weddings

reader latoya emailed me about her photographer whose portfolio not only brought a tear to mine eyes but who also offers up to 3 pro bono sessions per year to deserving brides. i know i've blogged about photogs who offer free sessions...

...but...this is different.

it's less of a competition (which tends to spotlight the photographer) and more of a real and heartfelt offer to provide brides with quality photography that would otherwise be unavailable to them. i think it's brilliant...particularly for those who are or who know someone especially deserving of something like this. spread the word. or apply.

RENTweddings- $0

We realize that not everyone can afford high-end wedding photography but that doesn't mean that people shouldn't deserve it. We remember what it was like not being able to afford rent, and making just enough to get by. If this is you, conventional wisdom would inform you not to get married until you were financially stable. Well, if you happen to be among the group of lovebirds that can't wait for conventional wisdom to get with it then we're here to help you. Getting married on a very tight budget or none at all? Chennergy Weddings allows for up to 3 pro bono weddings a year. Basically, we shoot for free, no premiums are charged, and you get all the images we take on a DVD. We also offer a majorly discounted pricelist for you guys too with all proceeds going to charity. If you would like to book a RENT wedding just shoot us an email with "RENTwedding" in the subject line. Remember this is only limited to 3x a year and is very competitive so be ready to give proof and explanation for why you'd like for us to photograph your wedding.

{thanks latoya...}

#309: TAGGED! get to know the future mister.

got tagged by kate who is now also miss pomegranate over at wedding bee {congrats!}.

so i have to tell you five "fun" facts about the future mister. i say "fun" because depending on who's reading this, it could be "fun"...or "embarrassing".

photo that's the future mister stirring his biscotti.

1) he organizes my clothes because he can't stand that i don't care to organize them.
1.5) he folds his socks a certain way.
2) he wears flip flops that are a size too big for him. i'm not sure why but i think he inherited them from a friend and just hasn't bothered to get his own.
3) his favorite movies are 'jerry mcguire' and 'it's a wonderful life'. we like to sometimes point and look at each other sideways and pretend to have tears of love in our eyes the way cuba and tom do at the end of the movie.
4) he used to eat whatever was cheapest and most convenient (like homemade broccoli, egg, and siracha omelettes)...aka he was good at saving money. until he met me.
5) his REI black down vest had a little bit of feather sticking out; i pulled at it and made it even worse. now everyone notices it and asks if they could just fix it for him. he says no. (does this count as a fun fact?)

i tag...amber.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

#308: shot down.

i emailed

Guest Count: 125ish
Budget: weekend rental up to $2k

Details: I'm looking to rent a home for the weekend and also to hold a wedding reception in the backyard for 100 to 125 people. So far, I like Venice Beach CA Penthouse #0093 and Studio City CA House #0084.

I'm open to your suggestions as well. Thank you.

and promptly got schooled:

We have nothing at your budget for 125 guest for a weekend and I really do not know who would. good luck on your search. Maybe try a hotel or a park.

#93 roof top penthouse in venice.
125 guest per day for $14,500 per day
stays for 3 night min. for $4,500

update: thanks for the support, ladies. i thought their response was...honest. actually, it's pretty much almost exactly what i expected...but i will admit that i did also hold onto a little bit of hope that maybe they'd come back with a 'it's your lucky day!'.

after some consideration, and especially after that telling response, i'm coming to terms with the fact that unless the fiance and i up our budget, we will not be able to 'rent' a backyard. at least, not in the capacity i want.

so...i'm just going to stop leaning on that idea. the end. no more time will be wasted on these searches. the past week has been endless searching for houses...and now i can spend my time searching for venues that are more likely to work within our budget.

the upside: i do have ONE relative who has a potential backyard where we could maybe pull it off but even if it turns out his place can't accommodate...well, then that's that. meh. on to plan B.

lesson learned here: when you're on a budget, it pays to be flexible. i suppose that also includes ideas.