Monday, December 14, 2009

#687: my last post.

so. what's really the best way to do this? i'm clearly not planning my wedding anymore and without any personal wedding goals, it's been tough to keep this blog going.


i'm not very good at ending things, especially when i'm kind of like really attached. i just sulk. and think about it. and then think about it some more, knowing the inevitable, still hopeful for another outcome.

this blog has treated me kind for so long and i've been writing without pretense for a few wonderfully fun and enlightening years. can i say grateful. and super attached.

there are things i'll remember forevs. like my first post on TTO (toads clueless) and how like 500+ posts later i'd somehow become like this bonafide wedding blogger (me. bonafide. ha.)

the blogger friends out there who are some of the strongest, wittiest women i've ever met.

the loads and loads of creativity and encouragement this little world here has to offer to blogger brides.

and now i have to say goodbye? WHAT.

but this blog was about my journey, my successes and failures as i tried to plan a $10,000 wedding. and now that i've been there and done that (like 7 months ago), i don't have much to say anymore.

lame. so that said, here's the last bit.

weddings, no matter how you slice it and dice it, will tug at your heart strings and push your buttons. you're emotional because you're thinking about your families and what this shabang will mean for them, you're emotional because you're excited about the new family you're about to build, you're emotional because all of your besties are there to support you, you're emotional because there's a lot to do and you're kind of like just stressed the eff out, you're emotional because you find yourself walking that fine line between keeping everyone happy and being true to yourself...'re emotional because you're committing to f.o.r.e.v.e.r with that one amazing person...and want the wedding to be that kind of perfect...

it's just one day. but it's significant, you know?

so amidst the flurry, should things ever get a little hairy or overwhelming, take a step back and remember what it's all about. (hint: it's not about cake flavors or wedding dresses.)

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - maya angelou

i had to remind myself every now and then...what mattered to me, who mattered to me, and what the day itself meant to me. in the end, not everything made sense to everyone, but it absolutely made sense to me, to my husband, and to our loved ones.

and on the day of, we were fortunate enough to experience tender love, true joy, and hours of uninhibited dancing.

so this is me, wishing all of you the same and more during planning and on your wedding day.

and in life.


photo by max.

it's been real.


Monday, November 30, 2009

#686: the food.

i've had my share of BAD wedding food. but i've had more good than bad. really. so i guess the stigma of 'ew-inducing wedding food' no longer? i don't know.

anyways, when we were planning our wedding, the hubs and i were like "no. matter. what. we have to have good food, ok?"

good food for le bodies.

and our venue delivered. gosh. the food. it was just so good. especially after a few very portion-controlled weeks.

and of course we knew it would be. dude, i'm a VIP member. not joking. (it's free to join.)

photos by max.

p.s. shout out to my beautiful friends d & j who got married over the weekend. one of my fave moments of the night was when the officiant told the groom "she chose YOU...out of 3 BILLION MEN..." it was perfect.

p.p.s. had a little chatsky with dave of temple of groom.

p.p.p.s. i really do love weddings, i think.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

#685: he said.

photo by max.

"I love you because you believe in me. You've always done nothing but encourage me in anything that I do. With you by my side, I see no end to our success, happiness and love. You're my #1 fan and constant companion.

I never want to be without you."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

#684: my life.

i woke up on tuesday morning and found this little note stuck to my phone.

the hubs was up at 4am to go on a business trip to sf for the day and thought to leave me a note while i was fast asleep.

he loves me.

and he's kind of funny, i think.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

#683: doesn't take much.

photo by raya carlisle via oncewed.

#682: worth it.

found this dazzler via craft my bride.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

#681: balloon.

the bridemaids took balloons down the aisle for this pretty wedding.

photo by michele waite via 100 layer cake.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

#680: the paper crafties.

i love crafting.

but i'm not the type who can REALLY craft. i mean. i love the people who can REALLY craft. like, the serious crafters out there who can REALLY create REALLY amazing stuff.

but i'm not one of those.

i'm more of a... wannabe crafter. you know. the kind of crafter that gets an a for effort.

that kind of thing.

but i guess i didn't care. because we still ended up with sort of a paper craft extravaganza...thing.

our card box and our programs:

uh huh. that's right. paper baggies for the pompoms:

our centerpieces:

part of our placecard table:

here are our placecards, appropriately blurrily photographed by a friend:

(remember way back when when they were just frosh? sigh.)

most of them ended up finding cozy homes as such (photographed by a friend):

the paper experience worked for us because...well, i love paper. and i love to craft. craft-extraordinaire-WANNABE i may be, but those jitters came second to just doing something i really enjoyed that the end result would be a personal, connected, and meaningful one.

which it was.

and that's the a's and z's of it, yo. simple, huh.

all photos by max wanger unless i said it wasn't.

Monday, October 26, 2009

#679: a framer.

the latest. by max.

#678: all of it.

photo by steep street via once wed.

the hair. the green. the glasses.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#677: not for me.

but maybe for you?

$348.75 stella mccartney (o.g. $1,395) via the outnet.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#676: the flowers. and kismet.

we used real flowers for only a few things: my bouquet, the bms' bouquets, 3 orchid bouts for our moms and my grandmother, and two flower bundles to present to the parents.

total cost: $50.

so very nice.

my plan all along had been to stop by the whole foods behind my house the night before the wedding and just buy the flowers they had available there.

but a couple of weeks before the wedding, i found out that the flower mart was literally two blocks from where i worked. i always knew it was close, but having never been, i had no idea it was THAT close. so i walked myself over during lunch one day to check it out and promptly scrapped the whole foods idea. it'd be so silly to go retail when the wholesale route was staring at me in the face.

the day before the wedding, the hubs and i went to the mart to select and purchase our wedding flowers. and we had 1.5 hours to do it.

i didn't have any colors in mind or the names of the types of flowers i wanted to use for our bouquets. and no pictures of inspiration with me. instead, i was hoping really really hard to be inspired by whatever was there that day. (flexibility is cool like that.)

we weren't walking around for more than a few minutes when i came to a place that had an assortment of peonies. light pink peonies, bright pink peonies, and lavender-pink peonies. they were all blooming differently and i thought they were amazing looking. so i began to look through the bunches to pick the best ones. of course.

when all of a sudden, the owner was like "hey!"

turns out, the shop owner was my dad's friend. someone i hadn't seen in over ten years. i was like WHAT?! and he wouldn't take more than $50 from us for the 10 bunches or so that we bought. and then he threw in 3 orchid bouts for the moms and grandma for free. i was like WHAT?! but there was no saying no. and so we graciously said thank you and left the flower mart feeling uberly lucky and happy.

sometimes, when it's meant to be, it's just meant to be i guess.

the bouquets look pretty homemade, huh. my bms and i wrapped them up the night before the wedding with flower tape and some ribbon i had laying around at home. i will never know how florists make the bottom of bouquets so perfectly round and lavishly thick. mine was far from round. and way far from thick.

see what i mean? the bottom was all jaggedy and triangular.

but i don't know. i still loved the way our bouquets looked. the light pink color matched my bms' dresses quite well (my sister, the MOH, in the jeweled green/blue above. one of my bridesmaids in coral below.) and, well, i wore white, so anything would've worked. but the slightly darker lavender pink color was nice.

oh, and then here's one of the two bundles i made with the bright pink peonies for our parents. wrapped with a cut up ralph's paper shopping bag.

all pinks. all peonies. all DIY.

who knew.

all photos by max wanger. some given an extra crop by me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

#675: my hair. and the piece.

i never had a hair trial and so i never knew what my hair was actually going to look like on the day of our wedding. it's probably because i knew i was going to be doing my own hair and makeup and could never be bothered to do a hair trial...for myself. dunno why. maybe, something to do with like laziness or something?

sans a hair trial, i carried a color copy of my inspiration to the bathroom on the morning of and...just wung it.

first, i blow-dried my hair and set in the same curlers i've been using since 10th grade.

then, while the curlers were doing their thing, i did my own makeup. complete with lovely fake eyelashes. they were looooooooooooooong and lovely and made me feel a little crazy and slightly glamorous.

and THEN, when the curlers cooled, i took 'em out and threw a million bobby pins at my sister who then pinned and pinned. whilst she pinned, i stared. at the gigantic fake eyelashes that were glued yay close to my eyes.

and then we all had a joyous hairspraying party to ensure my hairs wouldn't become loose.

and of course. the headpiece. well, you all know the story behind that.

i don't have any professional pictures of myself getting ready but here are some pics of the result. none from the front -- because i'm shy.

there's really no lesson here. just pretty pictures. but if anything, i hope this inspires those of you who are getting your hair and makeup done only because you think you HAVE to as opposed to NEEDING to. to give it a second thought.

for me, DIY was 110% the right decision.

all photos by max wanger.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

#674: our cake topper.

we didn't really have a cake topper. in fact, we didn't really have a cake. remember?

anyways, i thought that was that. done and done. but then something happened.

a couple of weeks before the wedding, we received one of our most favoritist wedding gifts, from a dear dear dear (three times, dear!) friend of mine who lives in ireland. she couldn't make it to our wedding and instead sent over something that squeezed the juice from my eyeballs.

i knew there had to be a place for it somewhere in our wedding. and it took me all of 2 seconds to figure it out.

on the day of, i had one of my bridesmaids put my friend's gift next to our cake. as a kind of cake topper. but the kind of cake topper that didn't go on top of the cake.

like this.

photo of our cake and 'cake topper' by max wanger.

p.s. it's wanger. not wagner. just sayin.

p.p.s. our venue ended up providing the cake table, a cake knife, a cake server, and cake stand...with no instruction from me. cool, huh.

Monday, October 12, 2009

#673: bits and pieces.

it's been almost five months and the nitty gritty details are starting to escape me. oops. i should have written down all of my feelings, reviews, and other stuffs as soon as it was over...or even a month after it all happened...but. i'm not that diligent. and it got busy.

but it's all good. because our photog caught all the details that needed to be captured.

plus, you know, i will forever remember what i need to remember.

us. by max.

so i've been thinking about how to go about recapping. and i've decided i'm just going to wing it.


p.s. totally don't fit into my wedding dress anymore. nope.

Friday, October 9, 2009

#672: well hello.

guess who got wedding pictures today.

guess who's going to be doing recaps and fulfill other bloggerish obligations.

guess who has almost forgotten how to write html codes.

photo of the ridiculously talented max wanger.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

#671: rock hard.

i saw this wedding via east side bride and flipped. i hadn't felt the feeling in a while. you can see the rest of the photos here.

photos by christine chang.

Friday, August 28, 2009

#670: 3 months.

hi. it's been 3 months since we said our i do's.

i can't say that it's been non stop bliss because the reality of everything else that's been going on. the wedding high lasts for...oh, not long enough before the real world is back in your lap.

but. i will say that it's been pretty fabulous having a husband. nothing's really changed in any obvious sort of way. and i suspect it won't.

it's a good thing.


in the meantime, dear meg got married. hearts.

Friday, July 17, 2009

#669: ok FINE.


first, everyone is owed a happy friday. because it's friday and therefore it is happy.

second, i'm sorry if you've been checking up on TTO only to find zero updates. i didn't think anyone cared enough to actually get upset about it...but i could see how it could be annoying.

third, so i guess i owe you an explanation.

first, work has been f*ing crazy. more so than ever. so i haven't had time to roam the blogs. i do check them once in a while but then everything i see is 'old news' by the time i want to talk about it. so.

second, i'm in the midst of finishing out my current job and looking for a new job. so i'm busy hunting, interviewing, and hoping to get hired. and the truth of the matter is, this blog doesn't feed me.

third, most of my spare time has been spent helping my parents with their house. their place got DEstroyed a few months back when a pipe broke while they were out of town. everything was gutted and had to be redone...and they are just now finally settling back in. it's been sad and it's been stressful...but we're almost done.

fourth, i want to do wedding recaps (and will do wedding recaps) but i don't have my pictures yet and i want to wait until i get them.

in conclusion, i guess this is me formally announcing that i won't be blogging for a while. until my current situation lets up a bit. i'll post every now and then if i have something mindblowing to share.

'til the next episode, loves.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

#668: ridic.

i've been MIA. just cuz.

but anyhoo. this made me swoon today.

see the rest of max's work here.

idk. stirred up a bit of the mommyhood trapped inside me i guess.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

#667: two.

my best friend has two kids.

her 30th is coming up.

by albeit via oh joy!.

i think a no. 2 necklace would be lovely on her.

#666: pie.

six hundred and sixty six posts. wow.


i did some messing around on excel and created this thing. it's our expense pie.

the reception (food and drinks) for 130 guests took up 63% of our total expenditures. i wonder if that's average or not. i looked through wedding budget calculators and most of them allocate 45-50% for food and drinks.

can't say i'm not glad our budget leaned heavy towards good food and imbibementals. mm hm.

how much of your total are you allocating to the reception?

#665: trimmed?

i saw this list on diy bride yesterday and wondered if we did any of these.

let's see.

Food and Drinks
1. Serve a signature drink, such as a punch or favorite cocktail, instead of providing a full bar and limit other alcoholic beverages to wine and beer, choices that will satisfy most of your guests.

we didn't do this. but we did put a cap on the host bar so we had semi-control over the expense. at one point, the events lady came over and told us we had reached the cap and did we want to increase it by x-amount. we said yes. and by we, i mean my now-husband. who was by the bar. with his friends. being congratulatory. ok? no regrets.

2. Have your caterer use local fruits and vegetables that are in season. Not only will these items be more economical, they’ll taste fresher.

we didn't do this but mainly because we didn't use a caterer. mmm. lawry's was yums.

3. Order a moderately priced, plainly decorated cake, and make the focal point the cake topper. Vintage bride-and-groom figurines, wedding bells, horseshoes, a basket filled with fruit, or a pair of doves (from an antiques shop or handmade) are classic symbols that can make a cake memorable.

yeah. we didn't use doves. but a friend of mine who lives in ireland and couldn't make it to the wedding sent us a lovely wooden figurine of a couple dancing as a wedding gift. we placed the figurine next to our itty bitty wedding cake in lieu of a cake topper. it worked for us.

Flowers and Decorations
4. While most popular bridal flowers are available year-round, some traditional ones — peonies and lily-of-the-valley, for example — can be difficult to find and expensive out of season. Seek your florist’s advice before deciding on your flowers.

i didn't have a florist and i didn't seek any advice. but i guess peonies were in season...and i really lucked out at the flower mart. like really. i'll divulge later.

5. Use favors as seating or place cards to save a bit on stationery costs. For seating cards, write guests’ names and table numbers on strips of paper, affix them to the favors, and set in order on a table near the entrance. For place cards, put favors with names attached at guests’ places.

we didn't have favors. and i guess more importantly, no one gave a sh*t or even noticed. i think 'not having favors' maybe sounds more horrendous than it actually is. really.

General Budgeting Tips
6. When it comes to invitations – save money and the environment by choosing digital options like for save the dates. For the wedding, you can use a more formal, printed invitation. We offer a number of gorgeous designs at pingg –

we didn't do save the dates. for a wedding our size, i didn't think it was really necessary. and it wasn't.

7. Fridays and Sundays are generally less expensive than Saturdays for renting a venue.

we did a saturday lunch. same concept. ish.

8. To minimize the guest list, include your friends’ significant others but not casual dates.

we didn't even include casual friends. you know?

9. For your reception, remember that a deejay can be less costly than a live band.

we used a dj and that was a splurge for us. and not necessarily the best one. (deejay? or dj?)

10. The most important thing about a wedding is making sure it is personal and reflects you. Prioritize aspects of the wedding that are most important to you. By compromising in some areas, you can afford to splurge on others.

mmhm. do. did. done.

#664: light it up.

any excuse to have a party. or to buy a house with a backyard.

so gorgeous. instructions via once wed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

#663: the coolest invitation ever.

you like?

i love.

click here (or the image below) to read the entire thing.

via manolo for the brides.

#662: wow.

did you see this wedding? it's quite lovely.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

#661: tshirt stuff.

forget tissue. use real fabric. you know. if you've got some layin' around.

instructions via something old, something new.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

#660: cupcakes.

i had some lovely red velvet cupcakes last night made by a baker friend. my love affair with cupcakes is still going strong.

martha stewart via oh happy day!.

#659: this could be for you.

read more about it here.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

#658: don't miss it.

and by it, i mean the point. natch.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

#657: tips.

not mine.


read them through the links here.

#656: pretties.

i haven't been stalking my favorite blogs lately. maybe i don't really feel like i need to anymore. or maybe i've just been too busy. idk.

but i'm going to try harder to keep on top of all of the sites i used to visit everyday twice-a-day. because inspiration is inspiration, just the same. for you, me, married, not-yet-married.

and i hope to keep that part of this blog alive, at least for as long as this blog is alive.


here's what inspired me today during my 5-minute roam around the nets.

rachel's recap of her stay in hawaii (which is my absolute favorite place on this planet. so far.)

numbered tin can DIY instructions via 100 layer cake.

via daisy chain.

via le love.