March 31, 2010


While I am a crafty person, and come from a large group of crafty friends and family, I am also a perfectionist and impatient. So I am ambitious in my ideas and most projects go unfinished. My greatest accomplishment was sewing my homecoming dress sophomore year. Currently my sewing machine is broken, and do not own a glue gun or paint. Sad state of affairs.

So wedding DIY...I knew early on that I wouldn't be taking on anything crazy. Because I have experience in that field and it doesn't always end well. But I found one project that I can get behind: DIY milk glass vases.

(via ruffled blog)

I love the look of milk glass. And I have always seen them at thrift stores (though I don't currently own any). Though I'm realizing now that the amount we need times the cost (especially when store owners know their worth) is not smart. But this DIY takes clear glass vases and glossy white spray paint. the end. I could probably even get boys to do it, boys like spray paint right?

March 30, 2010

in the market

So I'm all about imperfectly perfect. As far as flowers go, I very much enjoy having fresh ones in the house, but more of the wild/just-picked/thrown-in-a-vase variety then professionally-styled/florist stuff. I definitely want flowers, but like stated previously, farmer's market style. only one type of flower per container. Maybe wrapped in paper. piece of cake. I plan to have one type of flower in my bouquet. At the moment I'm set on gladiolas lining the aisle for the ceremony. And to supplement the flowers, lots of potted herbs and lots of lavender. I'm thinking lavender bouquets for the ladies, it would look so pretty with their gray/silver/charcoal dresses.

Now the issue becomes where to get the flowers, at a price that isn't double what my dress cost. (because I may wear my dress once, but at least I'll be able to look at it forever. Those flowers will be dead by the time I get back from my honeymoon). First suggestion is farmer's market. Look at these fun photos of a bride and her ladies picking out flowers the morning of her wedding:
 (photos by ben blood)
Unfortunately, due to inclement weather (i.e. the occurrance of actual seasons) in Northern California, farmer's markets do not exist in February.

Fiance and I drove around this tiny little stripmall for about half an hour trying to find this wholesale flower shop down the street from my parent's house. I used to go there to get flowers for school dances. The nicest lady ever worked there and instead of charging me tons of money to make corsages/bouts, she would only charge me for the flowers, throw the floral supplies in for free and give me tips on how to construct them. There is still a sign for the shop, but we checked just about every warehouse and storefront and couldn't find it. odd. I'll have to do more research on wholesale flowers in the area. And find florists that will just sell me the darn flowers instead of insisting on doing it themselves.

I've done some online searching as well. I've narrowed down my favorite flowers to what will be available during the winter season, which is supposed to make things cheaper.
I suppose I might be a flower snob, because costco's bulk flowers site doesn't have any of the flowers that I want.
blooms by the box had the best price by far on gardenias (which I did not realize were so expensive!). almost $20 cheaper than anywhere else I looked. But they didn't have anything else I was looking for.
wedding flowers of america had almost everything I wanted at pretty decent prices, including extras like rosemary bunches and olive branches. Just watch out for the talking lady that pops up in the lower left corner.
Fifty flowers had everything. but they aren't kidding when they say wholesale. Their flowers only come in ginormous amounts, we're talking minimums of 100 stems per flower. Their prices would be perfect, if I could order less. But if I ordered the minimum of all the flowers I wanted, I'd be spending $1400 just on flowers. I don't even want to calculate the shipping cost for nearly 1000 flowers.
whole blossoms once again had all the flowers I wanted, but all in super duper bulk as well. Too much monies people.

I need to find a local shop, or be less picky or something.
We already have several excellent sources for lavender/herbs. In fact I might be able to pick the lavender out of my parent's yard since they've planted a bunch recently. Can't beat free!

March 29, 2010


I have returned from a very relaxing spring break visiting family at home and a little stop in monterey on the way back with the fiance. Back to the daily grind with my last quarter of college EVER!

So for now while I'm getting myself reorganized (finals weeks always leave my room looking like a tornado hit, including many many loads of laundry to be done), I will introduce you to THE shoes.

Yes, I already have my shoes for the wedding. I actually bought them last summer. And there's a little story that goes along with them.

Yes, that says "Chloe". How does a poor college student afford designer heels? Through the magic that is consignment stores. Specifically Buffalo Exchange, Costa Mesa for this purchase. I worked down the street from that store this past summer and I would pop by every week or so to peruse the racks. One day I spotted these, realized they were in my size, admired them but wasn't sure if I NEEDED them. That night I realized I did. So I went back the next day, and couldn't find them to my despair. I cursed myself for not taking advantage of their 24-hour hold policy and feeling the ultimate reverse buyer's remorse. I went in a couple days later (I don't even remember why at this point) and as I was looking around I spotted something shiny and silver on one of the top shoe racks. I had to jump to reach (being 5'2" has its disadvantages) but lo and behold they were the precious Chloe's, on the opposite side of the store from where I had first spotted them. I tried them on and they fit wonderfully, they couldn't have been worn more than once. They have a great vintage look, very timeless and are well constructed. And they cost me $65. 

After immense online research I cannot figure out what season they are from, I think either spring/summer 06 or 07. The closest I could find is a peeptoe heel, without the ankle strap, in grey python (ACTUAL snakeskin...kind of weird but I hate snakes so I'm over it) not silver...that retailed for $900. NINE HUNDRED. I'd like to thank my mother for raising me to shop thrift and consignment. This officially goes down as the best deal ever.

So they fit right in with the color of bridesmaid dresses and overall wedding "colors"and my vintage style.

March 24, 2010


So I really didn't think that the whole ceremony location hunt would be this difficult.

I visited the little white church.The church itself it is very pretty, definitely rustic but it's nice. However the 20 miles of winding backroads to get there and the one lane road it is located on are not out-of-towner friendly. especially if the weather is bad. Also the gravel parking lot is about a block away. And it was muddy when I was there, on a sunny day where it hasn't rained in at least a week. Not worth the headache or $750 unfortunately. If it was in a different location I'd swoop in an book it ASAP.

So we'll be visiting a couple other churches today. Not that it necessarily has to be a church. But in a small town, we don't have many "event spaces" that have any sort of character. All our community centers are gymnasiums. One of the brand new churches is literally a basketball court. They have basketball hoops that pop down from the ceiling of the same auditorium where services are held. Really? And I'm not paying $4000 to rent flooring to cover it up. We don't have giant lofts (or skyscrapers for that matter) or big art galleries. We don't have many old buildings with large capacities, most restaurants could barely hold 100 people standing.We're not much of country club people, and I'm not paying $3000 to have a 15 minute ceremony in the country club.

We really don't want to move the whole thing out to Sacramento (where there are infinitely more options), which is about an hour away. The whole point of having the reception at fiance's mom's house is to save money, and it's our hometown and we have memories there. Ceremony-wise, we can only comfortably seat a max of 70 people in the living room, with no center aisle, so we'd enter from the sides. It's not that big of a deal, but I do like the idea of coming down the aisle with my dad and seeing fiance for the first time. An option we're considering right now is using the garage space for the ceremony as well. They've done big parties before, and can comfortably seat 100 people in the garage and tent-covered adjacent driveway. My mom's not convinced, though we have some very talented friends that could decorate it to make you think you're anywhere BUT a garage. Then we'd do cocktail hour inside the house while 1 or 2 people set up the reception area with tables etc.

Hopefully we can actually make a decision!

March 18, 2010

Champagne Thursday

Finals are over. Time to celebrate!

Paula: Hey, hey.
Kit: Hey, Paula. Good news. It's Champagne Thursday.
Paula: It's Friday.
Kit: Uh, yeah, Thursday came twice this week.
Paula: For the third straight week?
Kit: There's talk of making it permanent.
Paula: Oh, kind of like Daylight Saving's Time?
Kit: Right, but for booze.
- Failure to Launch

Zooey and Justin are the best parts of that whole movie. Love those two.
(via all over blogland)

March 16, 2010


As much as we want to break away from doing things simply because "it's what you're supposed to do", we are pretty traditional. I love this board: "Taste for Timeless". Very simple and classy. Simple shades of white and minimalist. I like the simple black ink on white invites and I love gardenias (not only are they pretty but they smell delicious!). Fiance gave me pearl stud earrings for our first valentine's day which I plan on wearing for the wedding. They also go along with the beading from my grandmother/mother's veil headpiece and light beading on my dress.

March 14, 2010

outfit change

I plan on changing out of my dress before leaving the reception for the honeymoon. It just makes more sense logistically. I don't want to worry about shoving my dress into a suitcase, or dealing with getting it off by myself. Plus the undergarments that will accompany the dress are a bit more utilitarian than pretty. A different outfit would allow a change of those too ;)
I love this option. Pretty blouse and a pencil skirt sounds like a plan to me. My mom changed into a beautiful knit sweater and skirt before hopping into a vintage rolls royce with my dad. I'll have to find the photo when I go home.

March 13, 2010

This should not be considered subversive

One of the side effects of all the perfection-focused wedding junk is personal.  Somehow this wonderful celebration of love and family begins to shatter the foundation of who we are as people. There's the bridezilla image, where planning a wedding suddenly eliminates all personality and normal priorities. Details and flowers and paper become the center of the universe. It becomes all about the magazine-worthy photos. Which: a)90% of weddings won't make it into magazines, and not many more will be spread all over blog land. b)who cares about what random strangers think? For me I want pictures to accompany memories. I have a terrible memory for the most part, they will be a way for us to remember and reflect on that day. For the photographer to capture moments from a different perspective. Random strangers won't have the same reaction to these photos, the true purpose behind them is the celebration itself. I'm not get married so that people I'll never meet can ogle or criticize what we did.

And then there's the blushing bride image. Who apparently has to look like an airbrushed photo? The teeth whitening offers and bride workouts are aggravating. I'd like to look like myself. I've struggled with confidence since I was a teen, and I feel like only this past year have I really made progress. I went from being a scrawny kid to a curvy 15-year-old. My 14 years of ballet have given me substantial muscles. I'm 5'2" with an hourglass figure. When I began to discover the "art" of airbrushing and the modeling industry I started to get really frustrated. I had to go out of my way to surround myself with images of REAL people. Embrace companies like Dove, who even though, yes they're still selling us "beauty" products, they're at least using real people of all shapes and sizes. Having to find photos of real size models. Finding women who are considered fashionable wearing clothing that flatters their curves. Wedding dresses are advertised on size 2 models with perfect teeth and tans. engagement rings somehow signal personal trainers instead of excitement. Bridal magazines tell you how to pose to achieve the best photos. when to start your facial regimens to prepare.

I feel like there's been a lot of movement toward embracing womens bodies with icons like Christina Hendricks but the wedding industry has yet to truly see that. There's a girl on "say yes to the dress" right now who is a beautiful southern belle with bright eyes and a size 0. She lost 120 pounds recently and she has no self-esteem trying on all these dresses. That doesn't give other women much encouragement if a beautiful woman who could be modeling these dresses doesn't even feel pretty. I think even our counter-cultural wedding blogs are struggling with overcoming it.

One of my bridesmaids told me "I hope you aren't planning to lose weight because you're perfect just as you are right now". I think we need to be saying this to each other every day. And there's a HUGE difference between wanting to be healthy versus wanting to lose weight to look a certain way for your wedding day. I'm not in the best shape of my life right now, college has made eating healthy and a regular workout schedule difficult. But my fiance is absolutely convinced that I have an amazing body and shape. It's a confidence booster for sure. But it also must come from within. Buying a dress 3 months ago was also another subtle way to embrace who I am right now. Buying a dress that fits my shape and looks good on me now discouraged any ideas about drastic body changes. I can't afford major alterations later on. I'm not buying another dress. End of story.

Whoever said "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" was a smart cookie. I will not let the advertising agency define beauty for me. They don't know me. I define it for myself. I have amazing people around me who love me for ME. My fiance is the only one I'm dressing up for. And I know it'll blow him out of the water, me looking like me. not changing myself so I can look like some other person because "that's what brides are supposed to do" (?).

Now on "say yes to the dress"  one of brides calls an emergency right before walking down the aisle because there's a CREASE on the torso. OMG. call the fire brigade. seriously? Knowing me I'll spill something on myself, I'll get a zit, there will be hairs out of place, I will trip. I don't care. I will be too excited about seeing and being with fiance and my family and friends. I will be eating food and not worrying about the fit of the dress. If there's a crease I won't even notice.

yes please

Bite-size creme brulee? I'm in!

I need to find a good recipe for this. And a sugar torch. And find someone to replicate it 100 times.
My favorite dessert ever...(and the best one I ever had was in Paris, of course)

March 12, 2010

princess bride?

so umm just a couple things to say on the whole being-a-princess-on-your-wedding-day.

sure i was a girly girl growing up, and to some extent I still am. I enjoy dressing up, although I do not own a single pink item of clothing. I may have been thinking about my wedding day long before I was engaged. But I am not buying the "princess" business.

I hate the way people say "it's YOUR special day", referring to the bride. because that's dumb. It's the bride AND groom. You're not getting married because you want to throw a lavish party and wear a pretty dress (though those are added bonuses, if prioritized correctly. and if that's what you want to do, then do it for the sake of throwing a pretty party). It's because you're committing to spend the rest of your life with someone you love. And the idea that brides can do whatever THEY want and if the guests aren't happy then that's their problem? ummm...first let me say if you have complaining guests then yes, it kind of is their problem. However, some/most of them will be traveling quite a distance and put forth money to be there. If you're not being considerate of your guests, helping make them comfortable, then that's kind of being a bad hostess at your party. hear me out before you freak out.   If you're so focused on it being YOUR day, why don't you just elope? The point of having a wedding with guests present is so they can witness and celebrate the commitment with you. right?

Maybe it's because I'm the motherly type, always making sure everyone is okay first. But I know far too many friends who complain about other friends' weddings because they were boring/inconvenient/not personal. They felt like they were watching from the outside and were not involved. This is a tricky subject. What is the fine line between being accommodating and being a pushover? Between including everyone versus losing yourselves?

March 11, 2010


I'm so burnt out and have a full-fledged case of senioritis; struggling to get things done with finals next week. I'm just trying to look forward to going home for spring break. A road trip with Fiance and his awesome younger brother. There will be lots of silliness and teasing and eating involved. And then home. It will be a glorious respite. Hopefully get some more concrete decisions made for the wedding. And drive all those familiar roads, to those familiar places where our relationship was born. I can't wait.

March 10, 2010

going to the chapel?

Anna and the ring posed an interesting argument about church weddings. I feel like I'm in a similar place but for different reasons.

Fiance and I are both believers. I was raised Catholic, though now attend a non-denominational christian church. My dad's side of the family is Catholic, but my father doesn't really practice anymore, my mom is christian and they're both really supportive of my beliefs.

Getting engaged posed a weird situation for me. Where to have the ceremony? Part of me (that people-pleasing side that i'm working on) kind of just assumed we'd get married in a catholic church. because that's what my parents did, and it would make my grandpa happy. but then I realized I didn't want to. It would definitely be a faith based ceremony, but we want it to be personal, we're all for tradition, but we want to truly believe the vows we are speaking, in the community we are making them in. I would love a church wedding, but there must be some architecture involved because a)i'm trying to minimize the amount of decor that I have to provide and b)i just love architecture, I'm an engineer and almost became an architect. so...yeah!

Well California is only about 150 years old. The town we're from is less than 50. We don't rank super high on the cool ancient architecture list. Much less pretty churches. The only pretty churches, ones that actually look like churches with stained glass and pews, are catholic. the non-catholic ones look like warehouses and gymnasiums (or actually are such), with white folding chairs and projector screens.

My parents are very supportive of our decision to not do the catholic church thankfully. They said it's our decision and it's our life. That they love us and we shouldn't be trying to make everyone else happy. In the end we shouldn't do something that we might regret.

so I did a search, because within a 20 mile radius of our hometown are some historic sites older than the state itself. But I didn't want to go too far, or too backwoodsy (We're kinda in the sticks, 20 miles south could take an hour on one lane, sometimes unmarked, curvy roads, and most of our guest are from out of town. Bad combination). So then I found the most darling little white chapel in an old gold rush town, about 20 miles north of fiance's mom's house. It had a capacity of 150 (perfect) and a rustic look. it is owned by the park service, which means we pay them money and sign a contract and we're in (sweet). So I called to get info. Stupid CA economy. Budget cuts must have affected this tiny little state park because they rent out this little 150 year old chapel for $750 for 3 hours. That seems a little excessive to me. but considering we really aren't paying a site fee for the reception, it could fit in the budget.

Then my parents drove past it to check it out. They said it kind of looks like a...dump. Great. Looks like it hasn't been painted in years. There's no landscaping, just wild brush. there's parking lot that will hold a maximum of 60 cars ("if parked correctly" we'd have to designate a parking attendent?)...but it's a block away and not paved. and the path to the church is dirt and uphill. um...February in northern california=rain. dirt+rain=mud. AND it's not handicap accessible and we've got some elderly relatives. I just don't think it's going to work out.

Unless some beautiful non-catholic church springs up out of nowhere, we're thinking of just doing the whole thing at his mom's house. They have a beautiful large living room with french doors and windows along the sides and a huge stone fireplace at one end. I'm praying it'll be big enough to hold everyone. If the weather is nice (aka not raining) then we could do it outside, but we can't count on it, it'll be a plan B.

March 8, 2010

good food and good friends

So we've still got a year left. I really don't have to be thinking about any of this stuff at least until after I graduate in june. but I'm a perfectionist planner. so I am. but i'm also a procrastinator (apparently i'm also gifted at alliteration?). no matter how hard I try to start things early (read: homeword/studying) I have absolutely no motivation nor focus until I'm staring the deadline in the face and eating junk food due to the induced stress. not my best moments. so I keep telling myself that I want to get this wedding planned asap so that the last few months before it happens I can enjoy myself and mentally prepare for the transition into being married.

So even though I have more than enough time to "plan" there's a part of me that wants to withdraw more and more as time goes on. It goes back to the quote from gia canali I posted previously, and have also added to my sidebar on the right as a continual reminder. At this point I have a fiance, dress and a (reception) location (details to come). Sometimes I just want to send an email to our guest list, stock up on some grocery store party platters and wine and hook up the iPod. The end.

March 7, 2010

brown paper packages

more farmer's market flowers, this time from postcards and pretties via dandelion and grey .
I definitely plan to use this idea for decorations. Wrap some kraft paper around flowers and call it a day. My kind of deal. But I love that guests could grab some to take with them at the end of day. Whether for their homes if they're local or to brighten up a hotel room for a day or two.

March 6, 2010

winter glamour

I know winter is coming to an end and everyone is super ready for spring. But it's still one of my favorite times of the year and I'm so excited to be getting married next winter!
"Love and warmth" created by Kathryn. Lovely warm neutrals, makes me feel cozy. Though we won't be having crazy snow storms.
This one is titled "grey winter wedding", perfect! Definitely feels like winter.
And finally, "Glamour on Ice" by Cassie. The silver colored mercury glass is on my list of things to hunt down at thrift stores. And the champagne and feathery skirt will need to find a way into my plans. Bachelorette party? honeymoon date night?

March 5, 2010


oh dear. as the blogs struggle to create a place where weddings can be diverse, where there is acceptance even if you have different ideas. Where the engaged couples are allowed to be themselves and do what is right for them. In a world where cliches and trends have taken over the mainstream and even "indie". We exist simply to share our joys and struggles and provide a soundboard to people who understand what we're going through.

And then there's TLC's "Four Weddings". Four weddings, each of the brides attend each other's wedding and SCORE each other. The highest score wins a "dream" honeymoon. Ugh. Way to officially turn weddings into a spectator sport with winners and losers. People essentially paid to critique everything you put into it and creating the ultimate competition. grossssss.


I was at david's bridal this weekend to find bridesmaid dresses for my uncle's wedding. I see why they get mixed reviews. our consultant was extremely rude and a little too high strung. I was very thankful I had a good dress shopping experience as I observed the other brides there on Sunday.

Let's talk about THE dress. So a wedding dress is supposed to be the fanciest, most expensive dress you'll ever wear in your life? eh. that's a lot of pressure. and kind of pessimistic, i guess married life means no hope of ever going places that warrant fancy dresses. i think every woman needs at least one amazing dress in her closet, that makes you look and feel confident. something of quality, that you can pull out when you're invited to a party on the fly or new years eve crept up on you (even if you're not leaving your living room, thankyouverymuch). an investment piece perhaps. that should be a bit more versatile than a wedding dress.

I'd like to stay a bit more on the hopeful side, that I'll get to wear fancy dresses again. And definitely at a time when I can afford it a little more. maybe on a cruise. or if fiance becomes super successful and we get to go the academy awards.

The whole search for the holy grail of dresses is too intense! I spent WAY too much time looking at dresses online. I swear I've seen just about everything, designer, vintage and otherwise. I had to step back and eliminate those images. Although it was good to have a general idea of what I was looking for. I tried on a wide variety of dresses, before going back to exactly what I wanted. I tend to be a bit indecisive, and change my mind a million times. I knew I was taking a risk going dress shopping with my mom so early in the process. But I've made a conscious effort. it's not about finding the PERFECT dress. it's about my own dress, my own decision. I look good in it, and it's comfortable and I like it. And it fit my budget. End of story.

March 4, 2010


One of the many things about getting married that I'm so excited about is, effectively doubling my family. Family is so important for both of us. We spend a lot of time with them, get together for all major holidays, and really love to eat. We are so thankful for our future in-laws, we all love each other so much already.

I'm especially excited to become an aunt! Fiance's step sister has 3 precious children, ages 5, 3 and 1. We both love kids, it's so wonderful to see fiance play with the little ones, he's really great with them and they love him. Good to know for the future right? :) The oldest boy is super shy and hates having his picture taken, he'll probably be sitting with his mom for the ceremony. The youngest boy is super sweet, the happiest baby I've ever seen in my life. He loves giving hugs and we hear he's begun speaking, he'll probably be walk down the aisle and totally steal my thunder, but it's totally fine with me! The middle is a girl. She's teeny tiny, she weighs just a little more than her baby brother, but she's got an attitude to make up for it. Probably due to her fiery red hair, she's outspoken but loves to color, have books read to her and be a ballerina.

I'm excited for a little flowergirl. Can you believe that there are flowergirl dresses out there that cost over $200? No way. Not only will she never wear it again but she'll also outgrow it in a couple months. I was thinking more like a sweater dress from target for $20. Here some cute little ones:
(via oncewed)
the redhead on the left is my favorite. with red lips and a little smirk, she looks like the life of the party.

March 3, 2010


school's been getting to me. finals are in a couple weeks and i am completely burnt out at the moment. but i took a little break to flip through the new march anthropologie catalog, and felt like someone was peeking at my inspirations!
soft muted neutrals, natural materials and those head pieces are to die for. Maybe I can convince my four year old niece-to-be to wear crazy flowers in her hair. Also loving the messy updos. hair is one of my more indecisive subjects. more on that later.