Tag Archives: wedding

Getting the party started!

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Previous recaps: (First Look and Ceremony)

After we officially tied the knot, we took some brief family photos while our friends helped do last minute prep for the reception.  I’ll only bore you with the one awesome whole-family shot!

I absolutely LOVED how our reception decor turned out!  The dip dyed tablecloths and Mexican prayer flags looked awesome with our super amazing floral arrangements made by my friend Melissa.  That girl seriously needs to make a career change!  And just check out that blue Arizona sky!

As guests munched on appetizers, we signed our marriage license with some help from our witnesses.

And another witness watched from inside…

Our wonderful friends helped us heat up all our tasty taco buffet ingredients and brought it out to our rented catering dishes.  For the record, no one seemed to mind that we didn’t serve any meat.  We still had way too much food, a variety of vegetarian taco options and sides, and it was all delicious.  I know because I did make sure to eat!  We had worked too hard not to enjoy it!  While we ate, two friends and two siblings of ours all gave toasts.  Only one was slightly awkward (always prepare your speech, people!).

Then it was time to cut the cake!  I was super excited for this moment!  I know people always have strong feelings about cake smashes and whether or not they are appropriate.  I, for one, think they are hilarious and too once-in-a-lifetime to miss!  What made ours a little more risky, however, was that the cake we decided to cut was all chocolate!  It could’ve been bad but thankfully we had a good splash and I didn’t end up with any chocolate on my dress!

I say I won!

Coming up next: We dance!

All photos courtesy of Bright Fizz Photo

6 Signs You Might Have Bride Brain

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1. You can’t sleep.  And when you do sleep, you dream about weird/crazy/horrible things happening at your wedding.

2. 90% of the things you say to your partner are wedding-related.  As soon as they open their eyes in the morning you’re asking “Have we called the rental company to tell them how many chairs we need?”

3. You decide it’s a great idea and totally necessary to work out 3 times a day.

4. You believe your wedding is a valid excuse for slacking at work.  When your boss asks you about a project you’re supposed to be finishing, you actually say, “You know, my wedding is in two weeks!”

5. Your “To Do” list has taken over your life.  Your response to most invitations is, “Maybe after the wedding.”

6. You thought of this entire blog entry during a yoga class, during which you were supposed to be relaxing and focusing on your breath.

Anyone else suffering from these symptoms?  What other crazy ways did “Bride Brain” manifest itself for you?  Well guys, my wedding is in 10 days and I will see ya on the flipside!

Honeymoon Dreamin’

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As you must have realized by now, Zach and I have a pretty hardcore love affair with travel going on. I started traveling internationally at age 16, when I went to Australia and New Zealand through a student exchange program. That experience was all it took to get me hooked on exploring and wandering the globe.  After that, I went on volunteer trips to the Bahamas and Kenya. If you remember all the way back to our “falling-in-love” story, you’ll remember that I left Zach in Ohio when I went to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tanzania. After I got back and things got more serious between us, Zach caught my wanderlust disease hardcore. For the last few years, we’ve basically worked to travel, working overtime and saving all we could and then taking off on epic road trips and adventures. We’ve done multiple road trips through North America, and our seven-month Latin American Odyssey was the biggest adventure yet.

Our wall map with pins where we’ve been!

Needless to say, one of the wedding traditions we’re most excited about is the HONEYMOON!!!  There are just a few small obstacles to overcome first…

  1. We have no money.
  2. Zach has a real job now.
  3. We can’t decide where to go!

Yep, the sad fact of the matter is that just paying for our broke-ass wedding is going to clean out most of our excess funds. Will it be totally worth it? I’m sure! Do I sometimes think we should just go to the courthouse and then book it to Thailand for a month? Hell yes!

There’s also this whole “growing up and getting a real job” issue.  It’s something we’ve somehow managed to avoid…until now! Actually, I still don’t have a “real job” but rather a seasonal internship AND four shifts a week at a bar/restaurant. Zach however, stumbled his way into an awesome job as a line cook in a 4-star restaurant, complete with salary and benefits and everything! It’s a great new phase for him in a lot of ways, but unfortunately ample vacation days are not part of the deal. In the past, we always just up and left our jobs to travel and found new ones wherever we ended up when we got back. Not something we want to do anymore!

Suffice it to say, we will not be able to go on a big honeymoon anytime soon after the wedding, probably not anytime this year.

While it is kind of sad, we’re going to make up for it in a couple ways.

#1. Vegas Friendy-moon!

Vegas baby!

A lot of our Ohio and east coast friends have never been out west at all. Because they’re a fun-loving bunch, a lot of them are planning to tack on some Las Vegas adventures to their trip when they come out and see us get married. Although Zach and I aren’t really “Vegas types”, we decided to join, realizing we’d never, ever again get a chance to party on “The Strip” with so many of our best friends.  Plus, I’m hoping the hotel will throw some perks our way if I tell them it’s our “honeymoon.”

#2. Real honeymoon in the future.

Despite our more settled, awesome life in San Diego, we can’t go very long without traveling abroad. We’re hoping to go somewhere, anywhere, for at least a few weeks as soon as we can swing it financially and job-wise.  The problem is, we have no idea where to go! Top contenders…

 Spain & Morocco

Gorgeous Spanish beaches…plus we could pop across the straits of Gibraltar to Africa!

Italy

I mean, PIZZA!!!

I mean, PIZZA!!!

Russia

Possibly the most hipster honeymoon destination ever…but Zach REALLY wants to go there for some reason.

Turkey

We’ve heard amazing things about Turkey…

Thailand or Indonesia

Southeast Asia would be a dream, but flights are so expensive!!!

Do you think planning two crazy nights in Vegas on the tail end of our wedding is a terrible idea?  And where should we go for the big trip?

 

#WEverb12: GROW

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Ruinas Tazumal, El Salvador

4. experiment [GROW]: What did you do in 2012 that you had never done before? Will you do it again?

So many things!  What did I do that I HAD done in the past?  Not much!

I traveled through 10 different countries, met countless new people, sailed on a sailboat, hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, got engaged, lived in Toledo (yuck, not doing that again), moved to California, and bought a surfboard!  I also started my own business and it is continuing to GROW.  Not too bad, if you ask me.  I’d love to go back to Latin America again but there are so many other countries in the world that I have to see first!

Ugly Duckling Syndrome

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Confession: Wedding planning has turned me into a way more superficial brat than I used to be.

There’s nothing like imagining walking down the aisle with all those eyes on me, plus getting professional photographs taken of myself, to make me worry like crazy about how I will look.

Yes, I know everyone says brides ALWAYS look beautiful.  I know I have dreadlocks so I won’t seem like a traditionally-styled bride no matter what, not that I want to.  But I still feel tons of pressure to look my best!  This pressure is mostly self-inflicted, and lately I’m just feeling like an ugly duckling!

Pardon the bitchfest for a moment, but my two main complaints are my weight and my skin.  In a way, the weight is the easy one.  Too many desserts and cervezas have taken their toll on my midsection, but if I really commit to healthier choices I know I can shed a few pounds by June.  I don’t want to be unrealistic and go on a torturous diet, just lose the beer belly and get more fit!  I know if I can pull it off I’ll feel much more confident on my wedding day!

My skin has always confused me.  First of all, my skin tone is very uneven, freckly, and red.  I blame the Irish in me.  I’ve tried several different makeup regimens over the years but I always end up looking shiny by the end of the day.  With an outdoor summer wedding, I’m really worried about looking like a sweaty beast in all the pictures!  Secondly, I have really dark under-eye circles.  No matter how much sleep I get or how little caffeine/alcohol I drink, they remain.  I’ve even tried this:

The concealers I’ve tried never really hide my circles as much as I’d like, and they too end up melting down my face after several hours.  I’m really worried about how I’m going to DIY my wedding makeup when I’m not even satisfied with my day-to-day look!  I’m terrified I won’t feel confident and I won’t like how I look in the photos.  I know these concerns are totally stupid and conceited, but I can’t help feeling stressed about the beauty aspects of the big day!

Has anyone else been infected with Ugly Duckling Syndrome while planning “the most important day of your life”?  Anyone have advice on longer-lasting makeup brands?

A Very Simple Save the Date

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When it came to STDs, (insert sixth grade level laugh here), Zach and I didn’t feel the need to be fancy.  While I certainly appreciate the beautiful, ornate paper STDs and invites out there, they just didn’t strike me as a must-have item.  Plus, we loved the idea of going paperless!  Sending the majority of our STDs and invites via email will save trees and save us money!  I know it’s not the best thing to do etiquette-wise, but as you’ve probably realized by now, we don’t really bow to tradition very much.

To make our STD, all I did was use GIMP photo editing software (Photoshop’s free, downloadable twin) to add text to a cool picture of us taken at the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia.  I downloaded the awesome fonts for free too!  I’m no photo-editing wizard, but I think they turned out pretty well for the amazingly low price tag of $0!

To send these out, we just attached the photo to an email titled “Save the Date!” and then wrote a short personal note to the invitee in the body of each email.  I think it added a nice intimate touch!

Did anyone else send out e-STDs or e-vites?  Would you like receiving an e-vite for a wedding or think it was tacky?

The Quest for the Dress and ALL THE FEELINGS!

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Ok, let me be really, really honest for a second here.  Most of the time, when I look at wedding dresses, I think “Wow!  Why would anyone wear that? It looks like a cupcake!”  So when envisioning what I would wear on my wedding day, I was really at a loss.  First I wasn’t even sure I wanted to wear white.  Eventually, I decided I did want a white dress but I wanted it to be short!  A casual, barefoot, short-dress, groom-in-suspenders-and-no-jacket outdoor wedding seemed pretty us.  So I started looking at white cocktail and reception dresses online.

The first one I ordered and tried on didn’t wow me.

BCBG Maxzaria Floral Applique Dress

So I sent it back.  Yay free returns!  Then I made a big mistake.  I ventured into the most (in)famous bridal store of all time.  You know the one I’m talking about.  David’s Bridal.  Honestly, I had no intention of buying a dress there.  I’d rather buy a used or independently-designed dress and feel better about where my money is going.  But my mom and best friend really wanted to be in on the dress shopping while I was still in Ohio.  I too wanted to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience with them.  So I repeatedly emphasized that we were only going “for fun” and to see what shapes looked good, not to buy.  Also, I really didn’t expect to find anything I liked.  I envisioned a whole store full of cupcake-dresses.  But off to the DB we went!

They hardly had any short dresses, of course.  I tried on a few tea-length gowns and they weren’t very flattering.

Don’t know the style of this dress. It’s kinda 50s but kinda meh.

I don’t even remember how I ended up trying on this next dress.  I wanted to try something long just for fun, even though I was pretty set on short.  So I put on this dress, and all of a sudden BAM!  Oh my God, it looked amazing!!!!!!!!!  (Not to toot my own horn, judge for yourselves, of course.)

David’s Bridal Allover Beaded Lace Trumpet Gown

I couldn’t stop smiling.  My mom and bestie were loving it.  I loved the classic, slightly-vintage elegance of the dress.  Here’s the kicker: I’m not the most body-confident person ever.  All I ever see when I look in the mirror are the improvements I need to make.  But as I looked at myself in that dress, I didn’t want to change a SINGLE THING about my body.  As cliche as it is to say it, I felt like a BRIDE!  “Nooooooooooooooo….” I started thinking, “You’ve got me, David’s Bridal!”

But don’t think the story’s over yet, because despite all the pros, there are several cons to this dress, and I am the world’s most indecisive bride.  First of all, it’s just SO DIFFERENT from what I had envisioned.  Not short, not casual; I don’t even know if I can legitimately rock this baby with my dreadlocks.  I definitely can’t get super jiggy with it on the dance floor.  I love it, but I worry it just isn’t ME enough.

Secondly, and this is a big one, my bestie and I are 99% sure that this is the EXACT SAME dress that a friend of ours wore about a year ago.  A friend that is probably coming to our wedding.  Uh oh.  That’s a big no-no, right?  I’m sure that she’d be cool with it if I explained the situation to her, but I don’t like the idea of people seeing me on my big day and thinking “that’s so-and-so’s dress!”  Argh, F U David’s Bridal and your massive popularity!

I ended up trying on one more long dress that day.

Forgot the name of this style too

I liked it and it was much more “me” but it just didn’t make me feel drop dead gorgeous like the last one did.

Conundrum!  We left the store empty-handed, despite my mom’s willingness to pull out her credit card at the slightest indication (she’s awesome, but as I’ve said before, we’re paying for this ourselves).  Since then, I’ve been stalking the dress all over the internet, looking for it used and in my size.  I still have the same reservations about about it not being “me” enough and being the same dress a friend wore.  But I feel like if I could find it used for a good price it would be a sign to go for it, as buying used would also allow the purchase to fit better with my consumer values and budget!  No luck with that so far though.

What do you think, my wonderful readers?  Should I go with the ooey-gooey gushy-mushy feeling in my gut and just buy it?  Or is the fact that a friend wore it a big no no?  Should I have faith and hold out for something that fits my original vision?  Was anyone else totally blindsided by ALL THE FEELINGS when dress shopping?

The Unity Sandwich

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Credit: Offbeat Bride

Today Offbeat Bride featured this hilarious and so-creative take on a wedding unity ceremony.  Click over to read it.  Seriously, how awesome is that?  This couple got the perfect blend of silly tongue-in-cheek creativity and making wedding  traditions their own.  I want our wedding to have this silliness to it too!

Weddings –> Emotional Depletion

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In the aftermath of Mark and Sally’s (future BIL/SIL) lovely wedding, I feel surprisingly emotionally drained.  Weddings are just so packed with heart-walloping meaning and jaw-dropping beauty that the downswing afterwards can be kind of melancholy.  So for the past two days I’ve just been feeling kind of blue about regular, non-wedding-land life.  At the same time I’m also feeling super-giddy head-over-heels in love with my Zach.  Probably had something to do with that sexy suit he wore!  Zach said he feels similarly drained but elated.

Does attending weddings of those you’re close to have the same effects on anyone else?  Or are we just extra-susceptible to emotion since we’re in that crazy strange phase called “engagement?”

If I feel like this now, I can’t imagine how I’ll feel once our day is done!  Thank goodness it’s still a ways off and we have lots of planning excitement ahead of us!