Monday, June 27, 2011

"it's good luck!"

Our wedding had a pretty memorable moment.  The sad thing was, I missed it completely.  But, the stories, photos and video have filled the holes for me.

Ryan and his crew, and Patty (our amazing wedding planner/coordinator) arrived to our beach location early.  Patty was there to help set up shop, and Ryan and Scott arrived early to set up the music.

When they got to our beach, they were greeted with this monstrosity:

Yes, those are people who were hoping for a lovely beach day, complete with a tent, umbrella, sandcastle and stick fence.   Bad thing was, nobody wants this right next to their wedding.  So Patty kicked them out (I'm sure with class!)  And from what I hear, they grudgingly cleaned up their space.

Poor Patty had to stomp down the castle, and remove all those sticks:

Once she had the beach in tip-top shape, our guests started to arrive, grabbed a drink, and sat down- awaiting for the ceremony to begin.  My dad, sister and I had arrived, and we were at the top waiting.

Patty signaled to Angela to start walking down the aisle.  Now, the aisle we had was long, and involved a staircase.  It was kinda cool actually.

So I figured it would take her awhile to complete the whole course.  But, she popped back up after a few minutes.  I figured they weren't quite ready, so she had just waited at the top.  When she came up, a few people walked up as well, and Ryan's cousin and uncle were headed down the stairs.

She then went down again.

Then my dad and I went down,

and our wedding went on without a hitch.

Or so I thought.

Turns out, once the music started, and my sister started to make her way down the stairs, the beach-going family found it the appropriate time to start making their way back to their car.  Their dog also found this the right time, after being dragged up the stairs, to relieve itself, #2 of course, right in front of Angela.  Luckily, our camera man Sonny (thanks again by the way!) caught the whole thing on tape, so I can share with ya'll, and see what I missed while at the top of the stairs.

So there you have it- the funny moment that was our wedding!  I love how everyone started with shear terror that our wedding was ruined, to laughing, to saying the poop on the aisle was good luck!

I also love these wedding photos, that while to an uninformed viewer would look normal, scream dog poop to us.  Gotta love it!

Happy tenth anniversary Ryan!  I love you!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

the details.

No wedding is complete without the little touches that make it your own.  This was my favorite part of the whole wedding- and by having a longer engagement, it really allowed me spend time looking for ideas, and crafting!

Invites & Paper

I ended up using a Brides Magazine template from Michael's.  Each week I would receive a new coupon for 40% off, so I would buy another piece to the whole paper set.  When it was all said and done I bought save the dates, invitations, thank you card, place cards, programs, green envelopes and vellum paper.  I also was able to find a wedding ribbon I liked to use for the invites and various other things throughout the wedding.  Putting all these pieces together was fun, but a nightmare at the same time.  Working with a home printer is never an easy task.  Also, to not make them look homemade, I sprayed each invite with Preserve It! so the ink would not smear.

They turned out great, but took a lot of time.

our save the dates

our invites- I switched out the ribbon, and added the green lining in the envelope
menus- made by me!


For many outdoor weddings people use arches- and in fact we could have rented an arch from the company we rented chairs from.  I had even read it is smart to have an arch as a focal point for the ceremony.  But, for some reason I wasn't a fan of the arch.  We were getting married in the most beautiful spot, and I didn't want to obstruct that view with a big piece of wood.  I wanted our location to speak for itself- and I wanted the other focal point to be Ryan and I- not the arch.  I also think it makes our pictures cleaner.

Since we were going for simplicity, all we did for the ceremony was have crisp and clean white chairs, and galvanized buckets with apples.  The apples worked because they were the color I wanted.  And by being apples, it brought an organic element- for so much cheaper than flowers.  They were super easy to DIY too- my sis and I went to Costco right before we left for Monterey and picked up a few containers.

We had a sign at the entrance to the beach to point in the direction of our wedding.

For our ceremony script, I printed it up in a book from  Since the book/binder that Matt was going to hold, would be in every picture, I wanted it to look cute.

My favorite goodies were my paintbrushes.  I had a bucket that said "brush the sand off your feet" and I had a bucket full of brushes (super cheap from Home Depot).  To have them match the decor, I stamped them with my damask stamp (which I found at Target for $1) and I tied wedding ribbon to each.

We also had handmade signs to reserve the front row of seats for the fam.

Lastly, we wanted to have a kick-ass ceremony, so we kept it to a minimum and had drinks!  That's right, our favorite beer- Great White & Sierra Nevada was served, as well as Pellegrino and Coca-cola.  I found the cutest drink bucket, which was apple green and damask, at Target (pictured on the bottom right).  Great thing is, we can still use this for future par-tay's!


For the reception- we went simple as well.  The centerpieces were hurricane glasses from Ikea filled with apple's from Costco.

For our table numbers, I made little mole-skin esque books out of construction paper. Each page said "tips for the bride and groom".  These became great keepsakes for us- with some handy tips!

Our gifts to the guests were re-usable shopping bags.  My mom embroidered "Carmel-by-the-sea" on each bag, along with a damask-type graphic.

For our guest book, we set up our Polaroid camera (which I bought on e-bay) so our guests could snap a photo, and write a message in an old photo album I bought at a thrift store.  I have since put all of our wedding cards in the album as a wedding keepsake.

Other details-

it was all about damask!

Our Cake

We loved this cake- and loved that it was black!


As I mentioned, we had very low-key florals.  Just 2 bouquets, some boutonnieres and corsages for our moms and grandmas.

matt got the bouquet!

Had to have fun shoes and socks!

So there you have it- most of the fun little extras from the wedding!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

dress shopping.

I had flown to Chicago in 2008 to go dress shopping over 4th of July weekend.  While I ultimately didn't end up getting my dress there, it was quite the special time.  It was fun to be able to go shopping with my mom and sister.  It was also special because my grandma took the train all the way from PA to Naperville!  It was also her wedding anniversary weekend, so fitting that I was looking for my wedding dress.

Going in, I had envisioned I would be in a sweetheart neckline, strapless, ruched dress.  It seemed to be the style I liked most when I was looking through magazines.  I also was going to be cheap.  I really had a price limit on my dress, definitely under $1,000- but closer to $500.  It's funny when I watch "Say Yes to the Dress" and they call $2k-3k a "low budget".  Imagine if I walked in there!  For me, it wasn't the concept of "you wear it only once".  I think your dress is a very important part of the day, and should be treated as such.  I just had other things I'd rather spend a couple thousand on, for example our honeymoon to Italy, or to save for our house.  Plus, I knew I could find something I loved in that range.

We started at a few chain stores, David's Bridal and House of Brides.  It was a good place to start, as it allowed me to try on a  bunch of different styles to see what I liked, and didn't . I knew a drop waist dress didn't work for me- it also reaffirmed that this less-then-well-endowed girl needed a sweetheart neckline. I ended up not finding anything at David's, but did find a few at House of Brides that were more my style.

My grandma called this the "Is she, or isn't she?" dress

My mom had also scouted out a store that sold sample dresses.  It was a neat concept, getting way expensive dresses for cheaper, but their styles were all over the place.  I really liked this dress, and thought it would be so cute for a court room wedding.

We also went to a lady's house who made custom designed dresses.  In her house, I know weird right, but she was in between store locations.  She had a dress that I thought was "it"- I think was so focused on the top, that I ignored the bottom.  The top was the neckline I wanted, and the pleated fabric I liked.  It was hard to tell what the bottom was like, since the dresses are all so long. So when we got home and I looked at the pictures, I realized it was a mermaid shape- which didn't work.

We also went to Nicole Miller.  And I fell in love with a dress there.  The HG0013.  The cut was amazing.  And it fit me like. a. glove.  But, the fabric wasn't quite right.  It was an off-white color, and a wrinkly fabric.

I thought the fabric was a bit too trendy, something I would look back on a probably regret.  I also really wanted white. I thought it would pop more on the sand.

Had to try on my mom's dress!

I had to take a step back and really think about my venue.  It was going to be on the beach.  I needed to be practical.  I needed a dress that didn't have a long train, if at all.  I also needed something that looked more organic.  Nothing too shinny.  Also, nothing heavy, or that required me to be taller, since I couldn't wear shoes.

So alas, I left Chicago empty handed.  I decided to go out and look at a few bridal stores in Chico- I actually went by myself, which was kind of nice.  The store I went to had a ton of dresses.  I narrowed my piled down, and enlisted the help of my friends.

They came back to the store with me, and we were down to these dresses:

I still didn't know what to do, so I went online looking at a few designers that the store sold.  Then I found this dress.

Funny thing was, I had tried it on already, but didn't like it.  But looking at the image online, and the details- especially the sweep train, it seemed like it could be a great contender.

First time I tried it on.

So I went back, and had them put it on me, but make the neckline more of a sweetheart- and clip that dress to me like there was no tomorrow.

And I loved it.  In white of course.

Now over two years removed from the situation, I really think I made a great choice.  It worked wonderfully on the beach, yet it is void of any trends.  It's simple- how I like to roll.

Ryan said he liked it too- but I kinda think he would have said that regardless : )
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