Friday, January 30, 2009

#511: tonight.

i'm hightailing it to pier 1.

via pier 1.

NOW $1.48 - $1.78
Orig. $15 - $18

why? because i thought i had it all figured out. but obviously i don't.

please bear with me as i think out loud.

i don't need 'perfect'. i just need it to 'make sense'. and easy enough. but personal enough. and non floral for the most part. but not weird.

eh? i guess thinking out loud doesn't always help. i hope i have some clarity (and goodies to show you) after the weekend.

until then, peace loves.


Thursday, January 29, 2009

#510: the placecards.

i was going to just cut out rectangles for my placecards. but all of a sudden, that seems boring. especially after i saw these.

maya made via daisy chain.

i have 6 cereal boxes collected. and i'm sure we have an old dictionary lying around somewhere.

#509: empty vase.

via seaglass vintage.

so. if i were to use something like this (maybe a bit bigger, or maybe several different height'd vases bunched together) as a a guest, would you think it was weird if i didn't put any flowers in it?

(also, is my question grammatically correct? <-- update: fixed thanks to MissTre.)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

#508: the groomsmen.

remember my open letter?

well, i will have to pay close attention to this thread.

#507: would you scrap your plans.

Are you an engaged couple who truly wants a one-of-a-kind wedding of a lifetime, but you're finding it next to impossible in the face of an economic crisis? Then this is your opportunity to have the wedding of your dreams!

The Style Network is celebrating the 100th episode of "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" We are searching for ONE LUCKY COUPLE who is ready to scrap their plans and go on a wild ride with one of our featured "Whose Wedding" planners, as we GIVE them the most unforgettable wedding adventure!

Please send your contact info, love story and photos to:

All participants must be 21 years of age or older and have a valid US passport. You must also be available for shooting and travel in early March 2009.

The deadline to apply is February 16, 2009.

i'm not sure i'd be willing to just exnay everything i've been working on for the past 2 years. but then again, and given the major economic turbulence around us lately, saving $10,000 sounds mighty tempting.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

#506: Ruth 1:16

Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you, For where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. And where you die, I will die and there I will be buried. May the Lord do with me and more if anything but death parts you from me.

via miss cheese.

#505: rainbow on acid.

when i shared what my bm dresses looked like, way back when, someone commented that they looked like rainbow on acid. i think it was meant as an insult. but i liked that description a lot. did i already share this with you? i don't remember.

anyways. i'm having commitment issues right now about the garland thing. who's not surprised? (i'm totally waving my arms around. you just can't see.)

ceremony space:

i was set on these. natural, frilly, muted, calm, soft, cheap, time consuming.

but i just saw these. funky, sparkly, colorful (in a rainbow on acid kind of way), wild, not-as-cheap, DIY-not-required.

and now i'm on the fence. frilly or funky, frilly or funky. or bare? grrr.


a real (im) conversation.

me: so do you trust my vision for the decorations for our wedding? do you want to be included in the decision? or do you just want me to share.

him: just share. i trust you like i trust your banging outfits.

me: i'm thinking of hanging these off the chandeliers. during our ceremony. and your immediate reaction is __________....

him: holy crap that's cool. do you make these? or buy them? these look cool. can you put the branches into different shapes?

me: REALLY? that's so cool. i would have to buy them. i thought you were going to say i'm crazy or something.


i never realized we say 'cool' so much. hm.

#504: twitter update.

eh. i would twitter for real, especially because i think i signed up for it. but i don't know how and at this point, i can't be bothered.

i'm browsing the nets this morning to figure out this centerpiece thing and for additional inspiration. and thank GAW for online shopping. because i can't seem to find any time during the week to do anything craftlicious. like even go to the craft store. am i effed?

anyways, today, i'll be looking through the sale pages of ikea, michael's, joann's, jamali garden (which i found through frolic!), and z gallerie. any other suggestions?

p.s. i have nothing against candles (in fact, i love them) but i will not be using any. i think it has something to do with the hassle of lighting them. sure, it won't be me who does it...but i don't want someone else to have to do it either.

also, a LOT, if not most, of the DIY centerpieces out there somewhere seem to be for outdoorsy weddings. or wedding receptions with lots of sunlight. our venue has zero sunlight. like none. so. i guess best of luck to me.

p.p.s. it was so cold this morning that my eyeballs steamed up my sunglasses. no joke.

Monday, January 26, 2009

#503: flea market bust.

i saw a lot of cool things during my first trip ever to the fairfax flea market yesterday. if i was on the prowl for weathered boots or a leather jacket or handmade jewelry, i would've been out a few bucks for sure.

but i wasn't. and i didn't find anything useful for the centerpieces i kind of need to get started on like asap. which was kind of a bummer.

here's what i plan to do.

1) uh, have a plan b centerpiece idea ready. and maybe even a plan c. just in case.

2) be patient, keep shopping, maybe go to craft stores instead of looking only for secondhand stuff. *shrug*

3) not spend more than $100 for centerpiece stuff. in total. $45 for a pair of cool sconces at the flea market sounded good...until i realized that meant over $20 for each table. next.

4) do a quick mock up of what was not really the original vision but what i think could still turn out ok.

as for what this said mock up will look like...well, you'll just have to wait to see. because i'm not even too sure. but i will say that i plan to order candy, dust off one of my big vases, and get a bunch of these.

via ikea.

*on an unrelated note, fiance and i watched all of season 5 of entourage yesterday. it's good.*

#502: more contests.

this one's for free photography.

photo by sabine scherer.

#501: contest.

click here for details.

i get pitched a lot of things i don't usually post about on TTO (fact: i do not get offered free printers or chocolate heads. hm. what am i doing wrong.)

but here's a pitch i actually wanted to share with you. because who can't use an extra $2,500 worth of new kitchenware?

all i know is...i'm in. i mean. not yet. but fiance and i will be.

Macy’s and Tyler Florence presents:
“Macy’s Keeps America Cooking.”

As you prepare for one of the most exciting days of your life, I am sure preparing your home is one of the top priorities on your to-do list. So, why not participate in a cooking contest with celebrity Food Network chef, Tyler Florence, for your chance to win a trip for two to San Francisco plus a $2,500 Macy's kitchen shopping spree with Tyler!

The general theme in this campaign is “What Keeps You Cooking?” Perhaps you have a favorite meal that you prepare as a couple, or an original family recipe that your in-laws have passed on to you? We know you (or devoted readers) have a great, original recipe that has received rave reviews- show it off to the world and be entered to win the Macy’s Keeps America Cooking contest!

Friday, January 23, 2009

#500: five hundy.

i wish i could give away a car or a tahiti honeymoon or something for my five hundredth post.

but alas, no such luck.

instead, i'll just share that i really want to shut this computer off, leave work midday, upset my boss, get into my car, drive in the rain (safely but really really fast), park with my hazards on a random street in santa monica, find my fiance's building, burst through the front doors of the company he works for, duck and dodge security to find his office, interrupt any meetings that might be going on, and just plant one on his face.

yes. like that. right now.

i mean. i won't. but i'm just saying.

via le love.


happy weekend, everyone. i love you for keeping me inspired enough to write 500 posts.



#499: i'm number one.

click here to read an interview of yours truly.

and then let's be friends.

#498: WIN a wedding film.

via wedding wire.

more details on the contest site or the hakimsons film blog.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

#496: the invitations.

have you seen the latest kleenex campaign? you know. the one that goes:

touch touch touch touch touch touch touch touch...



yeah, well, i wish you all could feel the invitations i just received from april. because she did it. she captured what we were going for. and made it happen for us. with the lamest of directions.

the stock is so beautifully textured, the font is perfectly whispy, and the ink colors on the paper exude a tinge of vintage. it's everything i (and inadvertently the fiance) love but could never (and actually didn't ever) articulate.

so dearest april: you are brilliant, talented, awesome, and somewhat of a mindreader. in the best possible way.

t.h.a.n.k. y.o.u.

next step: decide on the packaging. i'm pulling the vintage stamps idea since they cost a lot. regular postage it is.

as for the invitations...i keep coming back to lace for some reason. hm. a lace cozy perhaps? or just a little trim on top?

idk. TBD.

#495: "so anyways."

last night on my way home, i had a little chatsky with my sister on the phone.

she was talking about her job and telling me how the girl who trained her 7 months ago had left out a step in the process and how she was now backlogged 7 months with this thing she had to do. somewhere during the middle of this story, i bursted out "OMGAW, WE GOT OUR INVITATIONS IN THE MAIL TODAY! ISN'T THAT EXCITING?!"

sister: "ohhhh, yes! ok. so anyways..."

oops. i'm carelessly starting to forget that not everyone's got weddings on the brain like i do.

note to self: check yourself before you wreck yourself.

side note: so basically. i'm extra relieved i have this blog as an outlet for know what i mean.

#494: worth it.

via once wed. hazard? totally.

worth it? times a mil.

i don't have space for this kind of setup but wanted to share it with you because it's a stunner. it also seems like a budget-friendly way to capture a timeless picture. a picture you can enlarge and frame and hang in a prominent place in your home. forever and ever.

p.s. their names are kenan and ro. that just oozes cool, does it not.

#493: myra fans.

head on over to twigs & honey for her 1-year anniversary giveaway.

i commented about this beaut:

via her etsy shop.

why? because i love it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

#492: i love coffee.

but that's neither here nor there.

filter prices for lay project:

$5.23 for 250ct via costco.

$2.51 for 100ct via amazon.

$1.89 for 100ct via greenline paper.

i'm thinking the softer, natural color would work better than stark white.

#491: fire.

via le love.

*a friendly reminder.*

Monday, January 19, 2009

#489: saucy.

reader's question:
I am going to use mix and match old china from second hand stores for my wedding reception. The only problem is I'm not finding many dessert or bread plates. Could I get away with using saucers to serve the cake on? Every batch of china I'm finding seems to have a nice little stack of them attached. Would anyone even care that there is a little indention for a cup on their plate under all that yummy cake and cobbler?

It's a small wedding of only close friends and family at a friends vacation home. There will be folks camping out, sitting around playing guitars, dogs and kids running amuck so I'm trying not to sweat the details too much but this one is tripping me up.

my opinion:
first, mix and match is sexy. second, reusing old china is even sexier.

third, i'm not an expert by any means when it comes to what's acceptable or not. and i should also disclose that i don't even know how to properly set the dining table. does the fork go on the left or on the right.

that said, saucers as dessert plates? as long as they're clean, i say WHY NOT. what's the diff. good food is good food and that's what really matters. i personally could care less what the good food is served on or with (i mean, to a point. but in terms of saucers, i'm 100% comfortable.)

plus, saucers might come in handy for guests who are looking for some help with portion control (*raises hand*).

#488: chotch-keys.

via yelp.

i am about to embark on some serious thrift shopping. not expensive vintage shopping. i'm talking things-marked-down-to-2-cents shopping.

initially, i was going to order the rock candy and start there. but then i remembered...i need something to hang them on.

so, the hunt starts now.

things i need to look out for:
1) centerpiece bases.
2) that's it.

feel free to give a shout out if you know of any choice destinations in the los angeles area.

#486: win a wedding dress.

via preowned wedding dresses.

see details here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

#485: a contest featuring an OC photog.

photo by amanda lynn.

visit bridal inquirer for contest deets.


and with that, i wish you all an amazing weekend.


#484: okay..., like, maybe i CAN just make these on my own.

martha stewart via auburn & ivory.

#483: affordable so-cal photography.

a message to you from eight20 photography:

We are in the process of training new eight20 associates!

For a limited amount of weddings, we will be offering coverage for $1500 (which will include 6 hours, online slideshow/gallery, and digital negatives.) This package will include either Nicky or Eric as your main photographer, plus one of our associates as a second in training. You can also choose 8 hours of coverage for only $2000.

This current special is over 50% off our normal rate!

We are more than 50% booked up for '09 already but I really want to make sure our associates have all the training necessary so I am going to probably take on about 5 weddings at this price.

#482: next obsession.

i'm getting burnt out on garlands. although, here's another one. made entirely of cupcake liners. couldn't resist.

you are my fave via emilia of auburn & ivory. <-- p.s. love her blog!

anyways, so on to the next collection of inspiration.

lay bouts!

all bouts via twigs & honey.

so i was just going to post these for inspiration but now i'm starting to think that maybe i should leave the bout-making to a professional. and specifically to myra.

what would you do?

#481: kindness.

remember this?


after reading the post, KR (kind reader) offered up her talent and excess material to help me achieve 'the look'. side note: um, obviously there are a lot of things (like stunning beauty and negative 20 pounds for starters) that i lack to reeeeeally look like that.

but still. that loverly headpiece? a most amazing first step, i say. so when KR contacted me, i was like WHAT?! and she was like YES! and i was like OK-OMG-THIS-IS-SO-COOL!

i have yet to touch the little furry goodness myself but a dear friend has picked it up and LFG (little furry goodness) and i will be meeting in exactly 1 week.

a sneak peak:

do. you. love. it.


KR: thanks for your generosity, your time, your discretion, and most of all, for sharing your talent with me. i'm one lucky biz.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

#480: m.f.

IF i go through with the list of DIY projects i've created for myself, i will most certainly wear this button loud and proud.

rar rar press via the scoop.

p.s. the DIY list:
1) centerpieces
2) the bouts
3) my bouquet
4) garland
5) makeup and hair

#479: mrs. milkshake.

mrs. milkshake is offering up free photography.

she'll be shooting in seattle or vancouver.

#478: i swear.

...this is the last of the banner /garland posts. maybe.

via frolic.

via black eiffel.

and a personal fave, from reader danielle who will be using these homemade goodies at her outdoor june wedding.


thanks for your advice on the previous post.

i'll be making these beauts.

pam garrison via once wed.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

#477: pretty tissue. add to my ever growing virtual folder of hangables.

etsy seller ay mujer via emily style.

see other related posts here:
post #474 <-- ceremony space + banners /garland.
post #476 <-- another. banner.

though i'm sure this won't be the last of my banner discoveries, it's time to make a decision. and by 'time to make a decision', i mean please help me.

1) yay or nay to adding something extra to the room by way of hanging something across the chandeliers? personally, i'd prefer to add some lighter colors to the space since the walls are such thickish green and the wood is so dark. what say you.

2) if you agree with me, which of the banners /garland do you think would work the best?

keep in mind that i don't plan to add flowers, candles, or extra lights to the room. the banner would be it.

p.s. i asked the venue. the bust on the mantle cannot be removed. haa.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

#476: ...and another.

to add to the collection.

via once wed.

#475: getting older.

via black eiffel.**

let's be honest. getting older bites big nuggets.

i mean...not all the time.

but sometimes.

you's my birthday.

and though i'm happy and thankful...

i'm also a bit sad.

make sense? no? ok.


**friends got me my very own polaroid camera for my birthday. can't wait to start using it...

Monday, January 12, 2009

#474: the DIY garland contenders.

garland royale via eastside bride.

some of the others in the running:

to jog your memory (and inner designer), here's what our ceremony room looks like (minus the christmas decorations and fairy lights and petals and candles and hopefully the bust on the mantle).

i want to hang a little bit of something across the chandeliers, to give the room a "festive" element. i briefly considered hanging mobiles on string...but then ex-nayed that idea.

still debating which garland to use...if at all. maybe just some sheer ribbon would be enough. hm.

#473: thinking out loud.

so as it turns out, i don't really do wedding stuff unless i actually document that i'm DOING IT...on this blog. meh.

to recall last week, here's my to-do list for january. i haven't done much of anything on it yet. i think it has a bit to do with the new year blues i'm wrestling with (why i have this i don't know)...but i'm slowly starting the feel the fire up my @$$ and know i need to really do things NOW to avoid a meltdown later. meh.

so i'm going to put on my journal hat and jot my thoughts on our ceremony and reception procession. in other words, this is going to be a boring post.

music starts (sticking with just one song. no switching of the music when i start down the aisle.)
groom's mom with groom's brother-in-law
bride's mom with bride's brother
flower girl #1
flower girl #2
bridesmaid with nephew (repeat 4x's)
bride and father of the bride
officiant says stuff
we say our vows
we hug the parents and give thanks
officiant says stuff
we're husband and wifey!


bridesmaids and groomsmen are introduced
slideshow of bride and groom (this is a maybe)
bride and groom are introduced
groom brings bride to father
father/daughter dance
invite all father/daughters to the dancefloor
salad is served (bride/groom goes around to the tables)
main course is served
best man speech
maid of honor speech (ends with inviting us to our first dance)
first dance
invite all couples to the dancefloor
keep the music playing
(no announcement) cut the cake
dessert is served
bride and groom thanks everyone

and with that, i feel really productive. any comments?

Friday, January 9, 2009

#472: back to the basics.

there's a growing trend towards simplifying our lives these days. timely reality check for all of us (aka me) who thought the world was financially inculpable, eh.

anyways, with all this talk of shedding of the excess, i'm getting more and more emails lately asking how to keep costs down here in good old expensive southern california. and i'm not surprised. because as much as i love this city, it only takes me a second to admit that LA's the ePITome of excess which means things are expensive which means it's really really difficult to stay within any type of budget for any type of anything which means i may or may not make it which means HOLD ME.

so what can i tell you to help you?

well i'm afraid i don't have any specific advice like "have your wedding (insert location here)" or "get your flowers at (insert store name here)". i mean, you know where i'm doing you can copy my entire vendor list if you'd like.

but...i know every bride's journey is different. plus, lord knows i've made numerous gaffes along the way...all of which have helped me grow and learn how to prioritize. i wouldn't want to rob you of that experience, see.

so without getting too specific, i'd like to impart a few...things. 'things' being realizations i only understood at the end of the venue search road. looking back, it's almost obvious. but that's ok. i don't mind stating the obvious.

1) be flexible. i started my search with the following reception MUST-HAVES: evening, lots and lots of alcohol, raging party, 125 people. it was a non-negotiable, staunch, written-in-stone list.

but after weeks and weeks of disappointing research, i realized...that i couldn't have it all. this forced us to prioritize. i faced some difficult questions during that time..."do i really need to stick to this budget?...would i be happier spending more money?...should i bite the bullet?" but i realized...that the budget was important to me, more so than holding tight to all of the things on my MUST-HAVE list.

to start, we took a closer look at our guest list...and eventually decided to focus our wedding around the people who mean the most to us. hello family. the guest list dropped to 100.

following that, i realized a raging evening party would only be catering to 15% of the crowd. so we changed our evening bash to a luncheon.

and i know you all know that a lunch reception is a major money saver.

so...i guess by "be flexible", i also mean...don't ever count the daytime-wedding option out. ever.

2) be strong. when i started calling venues and contemplating non-traditional options, i was insecure, afraid of and anticipating other peoples' reactions. and that insecurity was realized (times a mil) when people reacted with even the slightest amount of disapproval or dismay.

a HOUSE wedding?! a LUNCH wedding?! at a REStaurant?! WHY?! how about ABC hotel...have you considered it?!

and the best one...

"what about (enter venue name here)? it's cheap!"

yeah, well most of these "cheap" venues turned out to be 1) not really inexpensive by any means or 2) a "gas station bathroom" type of suggestion.

this. did. not. help. matters.

it was annoying...but at the end of the day, i didn't budge when the hints of pity and subtle mention of expectations were waved in front of my face. and i'm glad i never caved. i don't have to deal with any buyer's remorse type pangs of regret of having signed us up to pay more than we initially wanted to for a decent venue and great food. because we're not. and trust me when i say that this feels good. better than good.

so...feel free to go against the grain to help you meet your goals. all of us will support your decision.

i'm no longer insecure because 1) i have a fiance who's so all about this effort and 2) because of the support and advice i've received through TTO.

i'd be more than happy to do the same for you and cheer you on.

3) save time by doing your venue research online. heavily. research blogs, the knot, project wedding, here comes the guide, zagat, yelp, citysearch, martha stewart weddings. i sure did. even before i was engaged, natch. and 99% of the time, i had already looked into the places people ended up recommending to me.

that's about it.

oh, and a few last itty bitty things to note:

don't visit the venue if you KNOW it's going to be out of reach. i knew better but i did it anyways at least once or twice and for some straaaange reason, i always felt rather dejected afterwards.

on the flip side, if you think you could afford a specific venue, take the time to check it out before you start ANY type of negotiating. pictures can be deceiving. just saying.

and LAST OF ALLLLL, if you're JUST starting out and you're planning a wedding in LA with a budget similar to mine, take a look at the venues i considered and some of the outlandishy methods i used to find them. who knows. it may inspire your inner sleuth.

happy hunting.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

#471: ta-dow.

i have 4 months left. AHHHHHHHH!

just kidding. i'm fine.

in fact, i've even constructed a rather unsophisticated timeline for each month, making me feel that much more productive. and since it's january, i'll share this month's list.

1) gather the stuffs for the centerpieces. start crafting.
2) decide whether a dj and/or mc is necessary. (leaning towards no...)
3) who is going to be our freaking officiant.
4) collect guest info aka pressure the 'rents to get. on. it.
5) outline the ceremony...who walks down first, what is said, when the rings are exchanged.
6) outline reception schedule...first dance, f/d dance, toasts.

overall, i must admit i'm not stressed. but i do have my moments.

for example. i'm not doing rsvp return cards. i'm having our guests email us directly once they receive the invitation. i've been worrying for the past two days about getting an email from and not knowing who it is.

and then while walking to the restroom just now, i thought...hey, i could number the rsvp cards i'm including in the invitation and ask the guests to reference it in their email response. it's slightly inconvenient, i guess, in that it could further confuse the older generation (email? what's that?!). but it's ok. we'll all get through it. (hold me.)


a real conversation:

me: ...when we are much much older...i hope i die before you.
him: ...i hope so too.


EDIT: point of clarification: 143iloveyou was an arbitrary fake email address. or so i thought (oops). my point was simply to show that if the email address was nondescript, how would i know which guest was rsvp'ing. that's all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

#470: sprigs of lavender.

flower girl basket instructions via vintage glam.

i love the smell of lavender. LOVE it. i also have 2 little girls walking down the aisle.

hm...this project is a strong maybe. i'm kind of getting nervous because my DIY list is getting muy long. but it's all good. crafty powers will prevail.