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.

Monday, June 22, 2009

#655: tipping point. ish.

we were shooting for a 100-person guestlist and that's what we budgeted for.

but somehow, we ended up hosting 130 people.

well. i shouldn't say "somehow". you know. since we're the ones who sent out the invitations.

we invited 140-150 of our closest friends and family, from all over the place, like from all over the country and all over the world. we both hoped everyone would come, but we weren't oblivious to things like the economy and the unemployment rate and companies whittling away employee benefits, cutting things like vacation days and 401k matching, and even going so far as to issue pay decreases...et cetera.

nope. not at all oblivious to things like that.

so we didn't expect a lot of people, especially those who would have to travel long distances, to be able to make it. that's just the reality these days, unfortunately, and we expected as such.

but...and to our delight...that's not what happened. most of our friends and family made the trip. they took the time. they switched things around to make it happen.

and i'd have to say that it was an incredible blessing.

one of the most fabulous things about our wedding for me was having the most important people in my world and his world, in one place, mixing, mingling, playing. together.

there will probably never be a time when our lives will collide again in that way. ever.

and so we paid about 30% more than we anticipated for the reception because almost everyone rsvp'd yes.

is this the biggest reason we went over? yes.

regret factor: Z-E-R-O.

#654: do you believe in soulmates.

my 14 year old cousin asked me that over the weekend.

i told her that i didn't believe in soulmates...and gave her some long winded answer about how every relationship you're in becomes a part of you and develops who you are and prepares you for the relationship that you end up wanting to be in forever.


"i still believe in soulmates."

Friday, June 19, 2009

#653: and one last thing.

heads up. i'll be deleting comments that are being NASTY for the sake of being nasty. because i don't care to deal with it right now. thanks.

unless your comment is also funny. then maybe i won't delete it.

#652: more boring words.

first thing we did...we cut out a lot of things that didn't matter to us. it wasn't easy at first because peoples' reactions to things just scared me (what? no flower girl dresses? what? no favors? what? no hair and makeup artist? what? a lunch wedding? what?).

but through the great counsel of the blog community, i got over it and became a cutting machine. not only did it save us money, but when we decided to do or not do something...it was because it did or did not matter to us.

even better.

here's a short list of things that got axed: a hotel venue. hair and makeup artist.
bathroom goodies. out-of-town bags. real flower centerpieces. favors. a big guest list. an evening reception. a live band. a wedding planner. a wedding cake.

we were unconventional, to say the least.

and along those lines, and perhaps most important of all, i started this blog. before i was even engaged. i mean, who does that? (me.)

and...our bottom line was hugely affected by this blog...and the generosity of vendors who found me through TTO. if it hasn't been obvious, let me make it obvious. by saying it again. and giving it its own line. and bolding it.

our bottom line was hugely affected by this blog...and the generosity of vendors who found me through TTO.

we also happened to run into plain dumb luck. things that worked incredibly in our favor, had absolutely nothing to do with this blog, but just really was something like stars aligning. or something.

so. now that i've said all those things (i guess i had a lot to say), i'll be jumping into the details. i don't really have any advice (except that you should start a blog).

but i've got stories. stories like spending $50 on 7 peonies bouquets and 4 orchid bouts. (it's the truth.) and i'll be doling them out in bits, through this blog and through opb (other people's blogs).


who you are and what's important to you, your approach and reaction to things, how much time you have, where and when and how and why, who you know and what you do...every single variable that affects your bottom line, what you even consider to be part of your bottom line...

...will be different from mine.

there's no one obvious answer. i don't have a formula. it's a journey. and your journey will not be like mine.

but. if what you're curious about is whether i think a $10,000 wedding in LA is possible...after doing this for 2 years and knowing what i know...

my answer is a yes. but it's a yes with many resounding disclaimers.

in one of my posts, i talked about something i learned kind of late in the game. which is -- you can't have a $50,000 wedding with $10,000. you just can't.

if someone throws a $10,000 wedding for 50 people, who has the right to say "but that's not REALLY a $10,000 wedding because i need to have a $10,000 wedding for 200 people".


that said, i hope some of the things i share from this point on help you along your way. it's the best i can do.

#651: the list.

people include/don't include different things in their bottom line.

here's what we decided to include in our final wedding tally:

•130 guests •DJ •Officiant •Photographer •Invitations + stampage •Wedding dress + alterations •Headpiece •Bridesmaids dresses •Bridesmaids Gifts •Hair and makeup •Groomsmen ties •Groomsmen gifts •Centerpieces •Boutonnieres (7 total) •Michaels stuff – paper, sand, jars, fake flowers, headbands, baskets, pompoms, glue dots, guestbook, flower tape, base for place cards, sticks •Polaroid film for the guestbook •Real flowers (7 bouquets, 4 corsages)•Programs •Place cards •Rehearsal lunch

#650: words are boring.

this blog is in serious need of some pictures. srsly.

ok. so i've done some mulling and i've made a decision. because that's what i do. make decisions. and if you're down with what i've decided, that's great. if you're not, i can't help you. but hopefully you're down. but if you're not, like i said, i can't help you.

but hopefully you are.

so. the question from the very beginning was...could we throw a $10,000 wedding.



...we didn't.


we came pretty close. yes, we went over, but not by much.

turns out, all of the research and planning, experimenting and testing...oh, and blogging...really paid off in the end. literally.

we're so...can't even find the right word...satisfied(??) with our final tally.

and do want to know the best feeling ever?

it's taking a look at the bottom line, and thinking...sh*t. we did it right. we rock.

and isn't that really the point.

that's all i'm going to say about that.

*EDIT: and by saying "that's all i'm going to say about that", i mean i will not be posting a GRAND TOTAL. and that i'm moving on from this topic.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

#649: my real life.

i hate those movies without endings. and yeah, if i were you, i'd want to know how much i spent and how i spent it.

i asked the hubs if he thought he'd want to know if he didn't already know and he said..."uh. duh."

$10,000 isn't chump change but it sure is a dreamy budget for a real wedding, eh. not for all, but for most. so i get it. i get you.

i'm not embarassed i went over (not anymore, anyways) and i don't think you'd judge me for it. i've had one or two comments thrown my way to the effect of something like "i'm going to stop reading this blog because you are obviously going over $10,000 which means you are lying to us and you are not staying true to the cause..." (errr, ok?...)

but they're obviously no longer reading so...

...and this blog has been blessed with extremely supportive readership. my wedding clearly wasn't run of the mill but most of the things i chose to do were fully supported through TTO. because you GET indie. you GET setting a budget that is within your means and then some. you GET refusing to be WIC-ified unless you want to be. you GET it. plus, i don't KNOW-you-know-you. so i'm not scared to share personal information with you.

but in real life, i get scared. i'm a really reeeeeeally private person. like annoyingly private. like i have walls and things all around me. and there are like 3 people inside those walls with me. and the rest will forever just be scratching the surface.

...i'm one of those.

we can get psycho-analytic about my past with friendships and trust and things like that...but that's not the point. point is. i get nervous when people i know know too much about me.

which is why i've chosen to remain anonymous until now. which is why i still haven't told any of my friends about this blog. which is why even though i think they might already know about this blog, i don't ever bring it up. and which is why they probably don't bring it up with me. which is why i hope you can appreciate that it was a really reeeeeeeally big deal to show you my faaaaace. sure, you would've eventually perhaps figured it out. but dude. i actually led you there, remember?

and then now, to divulge something personal like 'how much i spent on my wedding' to not just you, but potentially to people i know...is a huge step for me. not saying i won't do it. but i'm just saying, ok?

anyways. maybe you get where i'm coming from. maybe you don't. either way, i know you're curious.

so as i mull it over and figure out the best way for us to meet in the middle, here's what you should do before all else should you have goals and intentions that mirror mine.

start a blog.


i'm not joking.

(p.s. i'll explain more later. for now, i have to get back to work.)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

#648: well?

i'd promised honesty during the blog's early days... but now that i'm no longer anonymous, i'm getting quite shy about sharing the specifics.

a reader sent me this email, which was kind of lovely to read actually, considering the things i've been considering.

so i'm sharing it with you. so read it and let me know how you feel. i'm considering this an informal poll, of sorts.

hi there. you don't know me, but because i have been following your blog for so long, i feel like i know you. and because of that imbalance, it seems foolish for me to request something from you... but i'm going to anyway. i thought about commenting my request, but since i've never commented, and because i wanted to make sure that it got to you, i'm emailing. so without any further [creepy] ado...

please don't tell us how much you spent. it doesn't matter. it just doesn't. the whole journey of discovery and revelation [culminating with your pictures, oh! your pictures...] became more than a monetary goal. so much more. we don't need all the answers.

we all have the same goal, really - to capture, for ourselves, the memories of pure happiness that you've captured for yourself. so, no matter the name of your blog, or what you started out aiming for, you are successful.

like i said, you don't know me, so i won't be at all offended if you don't indulge my request. just putting it out there.

congratulations and best wishes always.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

#647: did you know.

that even when the wedding's over, the to-do list is still alive and kickin.

we have registry gifts we have to return (dupes and the like) and we have yet to even begin writing our thank you cards. but at least we have the thank you cards.

i love gocco.

oh, and should i be worried about our marriage license? we mailed our stuff in at the end of may...and the check hasn't cleared and we haven't seen anything yet. does it usually take this long? don't know about these things, see.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

#646: *thank you.*

hey you. a million thanks for being so nice to me.

i feel like i've bared my SOUL by exposing my face but...it's not like you don't know how my soul works anyways. eh?

and also, many thanks to max, who, by making us clowns look so soft...and me, the consummate non-dainty, look downright wispy at times...gave me the courage to show you us.


the day went by quickly...but i remember every moment.

like, i remember when we were up at the altar. when i was looking into his eyes. when i was thinking, he's kinda cute...i wonder if he thinks i look pretty today...wow.. i'm getting married... stop crying..get it together (to myself).

i also remember the words we said to each other. how he promised to take me shopping (no really. he did. "i will...take you shopping". that's what he said.) how he said he would always provide a safe place. how i said i would always listen. the jokes we laughed at...

when we stood in the back of the room and watched the slideshow my sister labored over for like a million hours. our first dance. our second dance. (we like to dance.) our first bite of prime rib (heaven). the toasts. slicin' up our itty bitty cake. when his mom and i cut the rug with our awesome dance moves. seeing all of our guests, most of them from out of town, together in one room. hugging each person.

i'm normally not as attentive (ask anyone who knows me)...to anything -- but i really was on that day. i WAS a sponge. i soaked it all in.


i was really really happy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

#645: hi.



nice to meet you.


#644: dude.

so now that the big elephant question has been answered, could i push the dinero talk aside for a bit and just 'gurge about stuff? (like you have a choice.)

random thoughts:

1) you haven't seen my face yet. and i don't know if i want you to. there's something kind of freeing about running around this blog world anonymously. it's like, i can do anything i want, say whatever i want, care about myself and only myself. (you should try it sometime. it's fun.)

but indubitably, people (and by "people", i mean "people i know and who know me") will figure it out...even if i don't show my actual noggin. not because i'm popular (i only have like 150 friends on facebook. and yes, isn't that how you measure popularity these days?) but because. the world is small. los angeles is smaller. and the blog community (of which some of my friends are active participants) is even smaller than that.

fact: one of my friends found this blog and asked if it was me. really. srsly. to which i had to of course say "yes. but tell anyone about it and i'll cut you."

i didn't really say that.

2) there are a lot of things that went wrong at our wedding. i will share these with you first so we could boohaha together and get the boohaha-ing out of the way. oh, and also because i am a pessimist-slash-skeptic and this is what pessimist-slash-skeptics do: point out the bad stuff.

*the officiant left out a significant part of the program which caused some confusion when we were announced as husband and wife which then confused the guests who only caught on that the ceremony was over when we were already halfway down the aisle.

*the djs played a lot of the songs i had carefully taken off the song list and didn't play a lot of the songs i had added to the list.

*we only made the rounds to half of our guests during the reception because we were pulled away midway for the toasts...for which we had to wait for the best man anyways for 10 minutes afterwards because he was waiting for his wife. this happens to be my biggest regret of the entire day. we should have just continued making the rounds until the best man was really ready because by the time the toasts were over (and the father-daughter / mother-son dances immediately followed afterwards), most of the guests were either on the dance floor with us or were milling around the bar or were leaving. we didn't get group pictures with the rest of the tables.

*i had to whisper loudly to my sister after her speech to remind her to announce the father-daughter dance (she was distracted by this thing called emotion)...which she announced...and then whisper loudly again to remind her to also introduce the mother-son dance which was happening at the same time.

and...those are the ones i remember.

3) re: the mishaps --> on the day of, i only gave a sh*t for like half a second. i gave myself a quick talking to when these things happened so i wouldn't get too upset. quite proud of myself. if i do say so. myself.

oh cher...'if i could turn back time...' -- but i can't. so.

4) i danced. a lot. at times, i think i might have even been dancing by myself. clearly, i wasn't really paying attention, and clearly, i just really wanted to dance. so i did. whether there were 2 people on the dance floor (as in me and a person who just happened to be standing nearby) or 30 people on the dance floor, i danced. with 'em all. 'twas joyous.

5) dana got married. lady-blogger-friend is a gem...with positivity oozing out of her. she has been uber supportive during my sulkier times and following her journey has been equally as uplifting. wishing her and hunter the BESTEST EVER.

6) i kind of missed you guys while i was busy honeymooning. in a way only a rather obsessive blogger ever could.

7) so i'm married now. it's different but same.

i never said this post would have a point.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

#643: the bottom line.

so...was i able to pull off our wedding for $10,000?

the answer is no. and no, i'm not going to 'surprise' you later and say we spent less. because we didn't. we spent more. to be clear.


more on this to come.