February 27, 2010


I'm off celebrating four wonderful years with the boy today!
Heading back to Griffith Observatory during the daytime.

Which means the countdown begins, one more year till marriedness!

February 25, 2010

everybody happy at last

This song by Bruce is so sweet. Very small town America, a little innocent and a little silly.

The Honeymooners
Bruce Springsteen
Two kids get married, same old thing
Folks congratulate you, church bells ring
Who's got the ring, who's gonna pay the priest
Get your mama in the paper, picture or two at least

And at the reception all the old records play
"Where you gonna live, are you gonna take her away?"
In a corner my new nephew's showin' me his knife
You swore that you'd love her for the rest of your life

Went to kiss you at the altar we bumped heads
Honeymoon night we figured we best shake on it instead
Dressed kinda funny, laughin' we hop in bed
You can wear it on your feet, you can wear it on your head

Come mornin' my new family's sitting on the front porch swing
Smilin' kinda funny, nobody says a thing
My new brother-in-law's throwin' a football, he tosses me a pass
We all sit down on the front stoop, everybody happy at last

February 24, 2010


Today is one of those days.
Time to look at pretty pictures. of food.
(via snippet and ink)
purple artichokes used as bowls? awesome.
(via cupcake wedding)
cheese disguised as a cake?!?! I'm all for it.
(feather love photography)
cheese. mmm. mercury glass candle holders. more on that to come.
(i don't remember?)
fiance LOVES tomato soup. and I love grilled cheese. well any combination of cheese and bread. quesadilla, pizza, etc...
(via brides cafe)
pie table. yes please. my grandma is rad at making...like every single pie known to man & woman. She already bakes for an army for every major (and minor) holiday, might as well continue the tradition.
(feather love photography)
crackers. olives. cheese.
(via oncewed)

(via ritzy bee)
this is cute. little snack pack for the bridal party (or US). although hopefully it won't be necessary because we will be stuffed from eating AT the wedding. (duh. we paid for all of it, we better enjoy it!)

February 23, 2010

the culprit

so here's the stationery that caused me to have a minor sanity blackout.
(found via snippet and ink)
So pretty right? Super clean and simple, but just a little bit of quirky personality with the handwritten names (and for some reason extending it to the very edge just gets me). Linda & Harriett are very talented designers and have beautiful things. but for reals, paper goods just cannot be 20% of our budget. and while I love prettiness, paper goods aren't really my thing. 

I TOTALLY understand graphic designers and the like going all out on this stuff, because it's their line of work, they have a vested interest in this particular aesthetic. But as an engineer, I err on the side of practicality. I'm more about architectural/space aesthetics and food (food+alcohol>>paper). I understand the invite is the first thing that a guest will see "representing your wedding" or whatev but a) they're gonna throw it away after the wedding b) or they'll scrapbook it c)if they're judging my wedding based on a piece of paper with ink then i shouldn't have invited them to the wedding d)we personally know everyone we're inviting and talk to them regularly, therefore they'll know the aesthetics of our wedding e)or they're boys and don't care (about prettiness, boys that we know are ultimate boys' boys, but not the jerk kind) f)they'll throw it away.

so there you go. we're printing them ourselves. fiance's roommate is a movie editor/photographer/adobe pro (/genius/one-of-those-people-who's-good-at-everything, but he's nice so you can't hate him for it). So we can have him tweak the design if needed. target and michael's have some decent letterpressed cardstock that you can print onto. we'll see. but moral of the story, this is not a high priority

February 22, 2010

cheese and chalk

I haven't posted one of Kathryn's boards in a while. But there's definitely more where that came from. (My mind and ideas are bit hyperactive and overstimulated, I don't think I could ever condense it all into just one little collage).

This board is appropriately named "cheese and chalk" and I think it really embodies the rustic neutrals that I love. A combination of warm and cool with the greys, whites, ivories, and browns/beiges. Lovely.

February 21, 2010


look how cute these bridesmaids are!
(via oncewed)
How fun are those tights? Considering it will be february in northern california, aka cold, I'm totally cool with tights! 

I was thinking of wearing tan fishnets under my dress, I can't find the inspiration picture at the moment, but it was very glamorous! 

(p.s. don't type "tan fishnet tights bride" into google, it's horrifying!)

February 20, 2010


Fiancee and I have been taking Marriage Prep classes at my church. I was surprised at the reactions I get from people when I tell them. Don't call it pre-marital counseling because people think it means you're having problems.

It's been incredibly amazing actually. We're so glad we joined. It's a large group setting, about 100 couples. On 5 Saturday mornings for 3.5 hours. It's taught by a Ph.D. marriage counselor. It is intended to provide knowledge, skills and tools to effectively deal with the inevitable issues that will come our way. It's taught from a biblical perspective but the leaders really want us to talk about the big topics and things that might not be a problem now but potentially will be down the road. Communication skills, conflict resolution, learning each other's personalities types, budgeting, spirituality of marriage, sexuality and parenting. I can't imagine entering a marriage without this stuff. Just being on the same page is so important.

Today was our last class, and we feel so grateful to have been through these past 5 weeks. We feel that we've grown so much closer and feel so much more equipped to begin to merge our two paths. Even after being together for four year, there's definitely room for improvement and growth! The last part of the class is called the couples checkup, where we each take an inventory survey online separately. Then we discussed the results in class today. Our strengths? Communication, affection and relationship roles. It was so encouraging to see. For other areas (conflict resolution, finances, marriage expectations, etc) where we had some discrepancies it listed out key items to discuss to make sure we can at least get them out in the open to begin discussing them.

I will be highly recommending some kind of preparation to my friends as they start getting engaged. As they told us in class, it's kind of a preventative measure. The $100 fee is a lot cheaper than ignoring the problems now and then having to spend $1000s for marriage counseling later.

February 19, 2010


I know this one's been making the rounds, but it's too beautiful and has been an inspiration for me. It was first featured on ESB, where I had saved the pictures simply as "60s wedding". The simplicity, huge smiles, and 60s retro feel caught me. (LOVE her hair)
(via hannah and landon's flickr)

Then I discovered it was Hannah and Landon Metz. Hip, indie, young and married in New York. Super cute and geniune, with beautiful photos. I love Hannah's vintage clothing collection and that she's got curves (because I definitely do and it's nice to see more bloggers with real woman bodies!).

So read their wedding planning advice from one of the links in the first sentence above. It's refreshing.

February 18, 2010


My mom is so excited to help me with planning, as soon as I mention any idea I have she's off to her mini netbook researching and sending me emails with websites. Once she heard about the lavender she's been my neverending supply of ideas. My parents even bought some lavender plants to plant in the backyard which should be mature enough to pick for the wedding in a year. They found an herbal farm in the bay area and visited during a weekend trip to San Francisco. My mom sent me a care package with some of the loose lavender buds they sell.

Here's some more images I've collected.
(elizabeth messina photography)

(elizabeth messina photography)
fun drink!

(punam bean photography)

(punam bean photography)

(via 100 layer cake)
love the tea cup!

February 17, 2010


So we're young. and poor. He's a boy and both he and his roommate are really simple/messy boys. i.e. they don't really own hangers or a mixing bowl, they don't really cook. fiancee owns one pair of jeans that he wears until they have holes, then buys a new pair. I live with my uncle. So I have access to an entire household of items but I only own the clothes in my closet and knick knacks essentially. I don't even own the furniture in my room. So basically we don't have much to our names.

The plan right now is for me to move from orange county to LA after I graduate in june. Then fiancee will move in closer to the wedding in February. Except he's the one who has the most household items (namely a couch and a king size mattress-just a mattress though, no bed frame). So what will I do? If all goes well, my degree should guarantee me a comfortable income, though I would like to save as much as possible until at least after the honeymoon.

There's so many amazing options out there for registeries these days. Honestly we would love to just set up some sort of charity and have people give money if they feel so inclined. Confession: I hate asking for people to give me things. But with the place we're at in our lives right now, we kind of need forks and blenders and plates and cups. It will be fun to pick all those things out and fiancee is of course stoked about a scanner gun. But it still feels funny asking people to buy us a whisk.

Then along comes a big blessing. My dear uncle got engaged last weekend (so excited for them!). It is both their second wedding, and they each have a household filled to the brim. They will be eventually consolidating to one house and will have a lot to get rid of. So my uncle said he'd give fiancee and I dibs on anything. Kitchen stuff, furniture, etc. Amazing!

We started talking about how much money we'll save, and how many fewer items we'll potentially need to register for. We're hoping to set up a honeymoon registry, where people can donate toward a specific thing such as a dinner out or a play or transportation. Maybe we'll be able to actually leave the state! I know if you set up your registry through wedding channel, they will donate a percentage toward a charity of your choice as well.

February 16, 2010


Love this editorial from the June 2009 US Vogue. Lily of the Valley are in the running for bouquet status.

February 15, 2010

all angles

so my dress has a deep V back. I'm completely undecided about my hair. But if I wear it up, I was thinking of using a necklace to add some detail:
a gorgeous bride shot by the talented angelica glass

ashley olsen at last year's CFDA awards

Maybe some pearls?

February 14, 2010


WIC, you're killing me. for reals.
somehow, when you get engaged, the universe finds out. and starts bombarding you.
when you update your facebook relationship status to "engaged", all the ads on the right side turn to bridal diets and photographers.
 I receive bridal expo postcards, and I have NO idea how these people got my address. I've been getting about one postcard a week. no joke. today when i checked the mail from the past couple days there were two. two different bridal expos in the area.
Today there was also a typed letter from an orthodontic office up in northern california. The letter began "dear bride" (even though my name was on the printed label on the envelope) and offered me discounted invisalign and whitening services. seriously? who are you people?!
So much paper wasted. no wonder some brides go crazy, thinking they need all that stuff.


fiancee and i went out to dinner on friday since he had to work all weekend, so i'll be spending the day doing homework. but it's no big deal, valentine's day is a little too much for me. yes it's fun to get flowers and such, but the emphasis that this is the ONLY day of the year to show someone you really love them? um, no thanks. Our anniversary is in 2 weeks, so we usually celebrate that one. plus, it's a pain to try and go out to dinner ON valentine's day anyway. we're not the most patient, combine that with hunger and you're in trouble! So I still got to dress up, wear high heels and curl my hair, enjoy a delicious meal and a glass of white zinfindel with my future husband.

Let's talk honeymoon. It will be dependent on how much money we've got. Our parents are amazing and will be covering the wedding for us, but it will be a set budget (which we haven't decided yet).
Currently in the running:
northern california coast road trip: monterey, san francisco, bodega bay, possibly all the way up to mendocino. little B&Bs, cold foggy mornings, hole in the wall restaurants, fireplaces.

seattle, WA. the pacific northwest. cold, rainy. cityscape.

victoria, vancouver island, canada. i'm pretty adamant about this one. if we can swing it financially. vancouver island is actually fairly temperate, so although it'll be winter, the temp rarely drops below 45 F, just lots of rain. B&Bs/inns with fireplaces. beautiful scenery. day trips to vancouver to frolic in the city (which i hear has amazing and diverse food culture, we're all about food!).

New York City. Fiancee went after we graduated high school. and loves it. I've NEVER been, and it is very very high on my list of places to visit. i feel i might be overwhelmed by how many things there are to do there. but it would be so fun.

DREAM: England. i have a giant crush on England ever since studying abroad at Cambridge a few years ago. i would pack up and move in a second if i had the opportunity. it's just an unspeakable, indescribable feeling i have about that whole country, particularly London, Bath and Cambridge. I really want to share it with fiancee. I just don't think it's quite in the budget yet. It will definitely be a line item in my budget though, perhaps after a couple years we'll make it over the pond.

February 13, 2010

love love love

I LOVE this wedding. I've had the photos saved for a while. The simplicity and joy that I want are evident in every shot. They give me such a calm, peaceful feeling.
(photos via Laura Heffington's flickr)
twirling, a cup of tea and that glorious feather necklace? sounds like a plan.

February 9, 2010


p.s. did I mention I got my dress?
Because I did!

My mom and I stopped into David's Bridal on a whim while I was home over christmas. I tried on a few dresses and just felt like i was playing dress up. Then I finally tried on one that I'd been eyeing online for a while. It combined all the different elements I wanted in a dress. I felt comfortable, felt like myself. No crying just calmness. Also it was on sale and I got to take it home that very day. It also happens to go along with my mom/grandma's veil quite well. yay!

It only needs hemming and a bustle, otherwise it fit like a glove! Also David's does a complementary spot clean/re-beading/pressing when you get alterations so even though I took home a sample, they'll make it look good as new.

That's out of the way. No more looking at dresses for me, I've been very good. Deleted all the pictures, un-bookmarked the websites. I can't imagine wearing anything else. It's hanging safely in a closet at my parents house. I can't wait for Fiance to see it when I walk down the aisle!

February 8, 2010


Fiance and I had a reality check early on regarding the fact that life is not perfect and therefore weddings certainly will not be perfect.

I feel like my engagement ring really symbolizes us and myself. Simple, frugal and unique. Plus I love gold, fair-trade/sustainability and organic-style jewelry. Sarah Perlis fit the bill. I had showed him some of her work months before. And afterward he spent a long time searching through google images to find her website and surprise me with the ring. Unfortunately he ordered too small. So I had to wait a week, wearing my engagement ring on my pinkie until we had the time to get it resized. I was so excited to finally wear it once that was done.

That was also finals week for me, absolutely insane as usual. Thursday night I had a huge group presentation (that didn't go so great), then headed to Yard House to meet up with two of my TAs from England when I studied at Cambridge. It was their first time to America and they were only going to be in the area for that one night. So even though I had a final the next day to study for and I still needed to print out and organize a 150 page report to be turned in the following morning. But I had to take at least an hour break to sip some cider while catching up and reminiscing. It was wonderful. After Yard House I drive all the way home (over 20 miles). Only to realize the moment I walked in the door that I had left behind my flash drive in one of the computers at school, which had the entire project on it. I freaked and raced back to my car, calling everyone I knew to see if someone could find it. Luckily someone did and was holding on it while I drove the almost 20 miles back to school.

I finally get to school and get my flash drive. Sigh of relief. I sat down at one of the computers just to double check the project and make sure everything is there. Then I look down at my beloved engagement ring. and the diamond is gone.

I was stunned. I felt like someone got the wind knocked out of me. The last time I had seen it was at Yard House. My friend helps me trace my steps across the industrial carpeting, down the stairwell, across concrete and asphalt to my car. Scour my car for a teeny tiny rough diamond. Nothing. Because that diamond is uncut and small, it would be pretty much impossible to find, if one could even see it, it would look like a rock or a piece of glass. I tell my friend thanks and I'll be back to the lab in a minute. I get in my car and sob as I call fiance. To tell him that the beautiful diamond he gave me nine days earlier which he had saved up who knows how long for, was gone.

The first thing he says? "It's just a ring. Don't worry about. You have other things to deal with right now. We'll figure it out. Just get through finals. I'm sorry and I love you." One of the many reasons why I'm marrying this man.

I attach sentimental value to EVERYTHING, ticket stubs, packaging, brochures. It's ridiculous. So when it comes to one of the few things that actually deserves emotional attachment, I was a wreck. But he was right. It's not about the ring itself. It's about what's behind it. We lost the diamond, but we still love each other and can't wait to be married. It's not about the "stuff", the material objects. So I picked myself up, got everything done and managed to pass my finals.

We talked to our parents and our moms put together some old jewelry we could sell to put toward the new-diamond-fund. We thought about getting Fiance a credit card and putting the fee on there and start making payments so he can build up his credit. I didn't want a whole new ring, (frankly I still didn't even want a new diamond, I wanted my old one), so we held our breath and emailed Sarah Perlis to ask about how much it would cost.

And then a miracle happened. She emailed back with something along the lines of "Oh no! I'm so sorry. I will happily replace it for no charge." WHAT?!! And the universe was right again. There are still good people who do good things. So we sent back my little gold band through UPS and insured the heck out of it. Then I waited patiently for almost a month. I just got the ring back on Friday. So we've been engaged for 2 1/2 months and I've actually worn my engagement ring for a total of 7 days. The new diamond is more pear shaped than round and I'm super paranoid about it. But it will be a great daily reminder, both in the story behind it and the irregular, imperfect shape of the diamond itself, that life will not be perfect but it is still beautiful and full of love.

February 4, 2010


I'm starting to see why wedding planning is crazy. Not that I want to elope, but I'm also seeing how planning can drive people to do it.

I'm not whining. I'm incredibly blessed. My parents love fiance, his parents love me, our parents like us. They're excited about the wedding and willing to fund it. Fiance and I love each other and can't wait to be married. key words there: be married, not just get married/have a wedding.

It's the wedding industry. What Meg from a practical wedding calls the "Wedding Industrial Complex", or the WIC. This insane, consumer-driven popular crowd that tries to tell brides what they must do/buy/have in order to have the perfect/magazine worthy wedding. I'm not going to judge what other people do in their own weddings. But it's gotten to a point where people get so obsessed with the details that they alienate loved ones, only focus on the bad things and actually end up hating their wedding day. that sounds awful.

Do what YOU want. not just because martha stewart told you to. (though she does have great ideas that jive with my own personal style). Know your means/budget and stay within that, whether it's big or little. Decide what's important and nix the rest.

Um the point of a wedding is to celebrate the union. remember? everything else is optional.
The further I get into this, the more I've been scaling back my plans and ideas. And I've still got a year to go.

I already had a minor WIC moment where I spent WAY too much time researching letterpress invitations because I thought I HAD to have them. Then I realized it would cost over $1000 at least, and these are things that people will look at a couple times and then throw away. Um no. For some people who are into graphic design and are the creative types, I understand that this is an important detail to them. But I realized that I didn't care about invites until I had spent too much time looking at magazines and blogs. It helps that fiance is quite rational and can see past the ridiculous.

So the important things (at this stage):
-close family and friends (smallish and intimate to facilitate conversation with people that love and support us. because we enjoy spending our time chatting with our closest friends and family)
-food (while it may not be a sit down meal, it's going to be delicious and I am definitely going to have plenty, I can't believe that the average couple doesn't even get to eat at their own wedding!! because we love to eat food.)
-actual ceremony (it's the point of the whole celebration. I want it to be personal and memorable. it's kind of a big deal and a representation of who we are and what we believe)
-good music (we're not big on dancing but we love music. we'll be calling on le DJ iPod, with maybe some help from one of our many talented friends?)

this will be an ongoing discussion. I've already sworn off the knot dot com. because of this craziness:
you've got to be kidding me? now what you ask? ENJOY BEING MARRIED. it's why you did all that wedding stuff in the first place! Now I retreat to the little corners of the wedding planning community that are sane. Like Meg. Or when you need a quick dose of witty sarcasm, esb. I've been weeding out my list and I'll post some of my daily reads.