Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Traci's Brides + 2 Grooms

Just wanted to share this picture. It's been sitting on my desktop for weeks now with the hopes of, here we are. :-)

This was taken at the D23 Expo on Sept. 12th at the wedding booth...the day I missed meeting David Tutera... :( ...but got to meet my fellow Disney Brides I've been tweeting with the past few months! =D

(L to R) Keahon, Ashley, Lacey, Traci, moi, Andrew

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Invitations

Invitations were one aspect of our wedding that we were going to make our DIY project... yyyyeah... That was until I discovered that most places where we could get DIY kits would cost about as much as some invitation designers! Granted, we would have to go with a standard set that the designers have and do away with customization... and so, I left it up to Andrew. He would be designing our invitations (with me looking over his shoulder to pitch in my two cents), so, I felt it was ultimately up to him.

He chose to go with a designer. I'm a big fan of the Green Wedding Shoes blog ~ especially considering it's where we found our photographer. So, I suggested we check out her recommendations. After going through one designer after another, one stood out from them all, and drew an immediate "awwww!" from me. And that was TearDrop Weddings. Her artwork is cute, smart, and SO original! Not to mention that even going with her standard sets, she STILL adds a bit of customization by making the characters look like the bride and groom ~ no extra charge!

When we received the invitations, I couldn't help but make a bit of a DIY out of it by dressing them up a bit! We went to Michael's and bought packs of transparent white paper sheets to wrap around the invites and tie with a ribbon. It did added SO much to the presentation!

For our stamps, we customized them at with our proposal picture!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

After dinner treat 3

That's all the photos for now. Time for bed! Rise and shine at 6:45am
again tomorrow!

After dinner treat 2

After dinner treat

This was the view we had from the same spot we napped earlier. I
couldn't believe we were on level with the clouds!!!

Pre-marital counseling weekend

A statue of the Virgin Mary watched over us as we napped. Yeah, I felt
safe. :-)

Break time today!

= naptime. This is the loveliness we slept under. More pics on their

Friday, September 25, 2009

Heading to Santa Barbara for Pre-Marital Counseling Weekend!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Engagement Photos are HERE!!!

For those who haven't seen it, here's our photographer, Jill Thomas's blog on our engagement photo session (a sneak peek!). She sent this to us three days after the photo shoot, which was actually one week ago! Andrew and I were at Disney's D23 Expo (their answer to Comic-Con), and we had stepped aside to take a break from all the sensation-overload exhibits. My phone buzzed with a text from Jill, reading "You've been blogged!!!" Like kids on Christmas, we wanted to tear our "present" open and see how the pics came out! We were more than satisfied with the results... can't wait to see our wedding photos!

charlene+andrew : a malibu engagement

charlene and andrew first contaced me about their disneyland wedding back in the spring. i was living in utah so we set up ichat to talk and get to know eachother a bit (you have to love this technology right?!) but this last weekend was their engagement session and the first time we were able to meet face to face. i just love engagements session. one they are just so fun for me and two, it gives me such a good chance to get to know my clients before the wedding.

charlene + andrew are incredibly musical. they wanted to incorporate some of this into their session. when i heard charlene sing and andrew play the piano- it was incredible! i met them up in malibu at an incredible modern home. this was such a fun session! thank you charlene + andrew and enjoy!

the home

after we had fun at the house, we went down to the beach for some amazing lighting at sundown! charlene+andrew are getting married in disneyland in november. i am so excited to shoot their wedding there and they are just so fun, i know it wil be a good time. so charlene brought some mickey mouse lollipops as props.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Day of Play

Wednesday was perfect! The highlight of my week. Oh wait. ALMOST perfect. ;-)

7:30am ~ my alarm went off. I got up shortly after and took a shower before the sun had reached that peak to blind me through the bathroom windows. I checked on my package on UPS to see if had arrived ~ it came in 9 minutes after my alarm had gone off! Looking at traffic on google maps, it seemed the longer I waited, the better the traffic would be...and the great thing is that I would be taking the 405, headed north, which I never take, and NO ONE ever takes!!! Thus equaling NO TRAFFIC! Woohoo!!! Would not be the same headed back home,, of course, I stuck to surface streets on the way back... and ended up following a weird, older man, in an open convertible who refused to keep a constant speed, or actually GO when the light turned green...

But rewinding back to my trip to UPS in Van Nuys...I couldn't have asked for a more pleasant experience! Absolutely no line, a sweet man greeted me and helped me out; and also gave me the tip on how to address my label next time I hold my package for pick-up. Fantastic! Oh, and in case anyone was wondering *which* package was handed to *was* the one that I had ordered next-day delivery. The other one had gone out for delivery around 8am (again, not arriving till the evening, of course). The dress was great, and everyone who saw it, loved it!

Once I got back to Studio City, Andrew met me at the car wash at our Ralph's shopping center. We dropped off my MINI Cooper, as he was going to be a part of our photo shoot later that day! I grabbed a Jamba Juice, and Andrew drove me back to my apartment, so I could get ready for my hair and makeup artists from B.L.U.S.H.

Brenda, the hair stylist, arrived first, and what a doll she is! We had a fabulous chat about our love for New Kids on the Block. Unbelievably, she was also at the last Vegas show in July! An hour and a half later, Leona, the makeup artist, joined our little party. Not only was she also sweet (and an NK fan, as well), but a fabu makeup artist to boot! And I loooved what Brenda did with my hair. We started with a style that I didn't quite have in mind, but I thought was great! Then Leona suggested a variation to go along with my Disney princess idea. Yes, yes, yes! That was totally it!!! and I'm not going to give it away...let's keep it surprise for Andrew; not to mention, for our guests. If you happen to be on the same message boards as I am, be on the look out for posted pics! Anyway, after playing with my hair and makeup for the wedding... we had to play with my hair and makeup for our "Nod to Mod" engagement photo shoot! The pic to the right was the result.

By 3:45pm, we were on our way to Malibu for the shoot. We arrived to our friends home shortly after 5pm, unpacked my car, and set up in one of the guest rooms to change. Our photographer, Jill, came in about 10 minutes later. We showed her around, then talked about what shots we would be doing, and she gave her input on the clothes we could wear for each shot.

So, as I was getting ready, I peeked over at the mirror to check on my makeup, only to find that my curls had fallen!!! It was so hot in the house, and the sun was beating in on the guest's no wonder. :( Fortunately, I was able to steal our friend's curling iron...but I had to curl my hair every time I changed! So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my hair looks decent in our photos.

We did a whole lot in the almost 3 hours that we had with Jill, starting with some shots of me singing and Andrew playing the piano (mod style), shuffling around in our friends' ultra-modern home to snap pics by the marble encased fireplace, lounging around the sofa... then we went outside to take a few around the pool, and finally, it was off to the beach to catch the sunset! And boy, was it windy!!! Talk about my hair being IMPOSSIBLE! Keeping my fingers crossed... :-[] The most I got to see was this polaroid snapshot (and okay, one shot on her camera). To wrap up, we took shots on the putting green at the house and around the fire pit.

I can't wait to see the proofs, which I think should be coming in in the next week ~ it will be sneak peek...then, in the following week (I think), all 200 photos will be sent to us. From there, we get to pick 50 pics that we want to add to our photo album/guest book, which will have Jill's artistic touch.

Now that that's over, and I had a day to rest, ...and our customized stamps just came in over an hour ago, we'll back on the invitations this weekend!!! Can't wait to send them out!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Play Time!!!

Oh my goodness!!! TOMORROW!!! = Big Day!!! Okay, not THE "big day," but it's a "big day"!

Tomorrow morning, to start off, I will be driving to the UPS Customer Center in Van Nuys to pick up my dress for...tomorrow's engagement photo shoot!!! I can only hope and pray that that all goes smoothly! Because what follows that is a trial with my hair and makeup artists from B.L.U.S.H. at noon! I gotta be back here with plenty of time to spare before they get here.

Tight schedule, I know! But that's how I do it... ;-) No, really...the story is this: I ordered a FABU dress from ModCloth for our shoot. Really, the dress is perfect! Come Thursday of last week, I tracked my shipment, and it turns out that it's arriving *the day of the shoot*! Now, if UPS delivered my packages in the morning, there would be no problem... but UPS constantly delivers my packages in the evenings...anywhere between 5pm to 8pm. That's no good. Andrew and I will be heading out to our location spot at 3:30pm. What's a girl to do?

After discovering that I wouldn't be able to pick up my package from the center until after UPS's first delivery attempt (in which case, doesn't matter because the delivery guy always leaves the package at my door or on my patio), I re-ordered my dress (and had 3 lovely chats with ModCloth's online representative), shipped it Next Day Air and had it sent to the UPS Customer Center. Sadly, because of Labor Day, it's delayed my order... in fact, it's why my original order is also coming in tomorrow...and of course, I will be returning it.

Here's the kicker... I just checked in on my original's in Vernon, CA. 15 miles from here. Really??? Kills's so close, and STILL, the delivery time is for tomorrow. It would be a heavenly miracle if the dress happened to show up in the next hour!


Moving on! It's been non-stop. This past weekend, Andrew and I shopped for tons of accessories for our engagement shoot, then went back to his place to gussy up our invitations, and we browsed through the endless options of wedding stamps. This morning, I faxed off our Banquet Event Order (finally!) to Traci, and printed out my contract with B.L.U.S.H. This afternoon, after walking over to the Pack-n-Mail to weigh our stuffed invitation envelope, I came back home and ordered two sets of customized stamps. Then it was off for the most relaxing mani/pedi I've ever had in my life at Oasis Nail Spa on Magnolia in Burbank!

And now I have tomorrow to look forward to! I'm so excited to meet and work with the ladies of B.L.U.S.H. and with our photographer, Jill Thomas! Andrew and I have some fun ideas for the shoot, and I cannot wait to post the pictures!!!

P.S. It is now 12:12am...I just took another look at my two ModCloth packages... the one coming through via Standard Shipping was scanned in in Van Nuys at 8:18pm. My "next day air" one is in Louisville, KY ~ scanned in at 12:31am (9:31pm my time). Hmm...I wonder if they'll hand me my original order when I go there tomorrow morning...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My First Wedding Nightmare

It's finally happened. This morning I woke up in a panic over the dream I had just had. My first wedding nightmare. In fact, the nightmare affected me so much, that it evolved into TWO nightmares as soon as I went back to sleep! Scenarios that had never occurred to me popped right into dreamland. Thanks for that, subconscious.

Nightmare #1: It was the day of the wedding. Before the events started, we were going into what was supposed to be the Sleeping Beauty Pavilion. The room didn't quite look like how I remembered it, but I shrugged thinking that maybe I had exaggerated the look of it in my mind. There were three tables set up in the room, each of different size. There was a round table for 8, a small square table for 4, and a large rectangular table for 12-14. Apparently, how I had it set up was for Andrew and me to sit at the table for 8 with our parents (which would then make it a table of 6, of course). The table for 4 was for our wedding party. And the larger table was for the guests. Wow, talk about a small wedding!

It seemed to be just me and the wedding party as we came into the "Sleeping Beauty Pavilion," and midst my confusion, my matron of honor, Sharon jumped at her place setting and RE-placed it to the larger table. I was in shock!!! I know she's a very social person, but I thought she would be the first one to realize the work I put into this! I balked at her "You can't do that! Do you know how stupid this looks if you move over here???" She took a look back at the table for four and agreed.

I continued to look around, still knowing SOMETHING was off in the room...moving my line of sight down to the floor, it was definitely NOT the same carpet! No longer was it the beautiful deep blue rug with golden stars; it was now an almost quilted-pattern of a grey-blue. Not pretty.

Just then, Traci (our wedding planner) got my attention. She was standing at an archway of a semi-hallway/room, which then led into the Sleeping Beauty Pavilion that I remembered...and it was GORGEOUS!!! Our floral designer, Brian, had taken a bit of a spin on my ideas and created centerpieces (which were actually d├ęcor, not centerpieces) that I never even imagined. I was floored (in a good way)! The room was just magical... and it was the designated room for dancing.

Suddenly, it dawned on me...we were *not* ready. And I mean, we had not picked out music selection for the ceremony, we hadn't notified our readers... I thought to call our readers right then and there, but then realized we also didn't have any printouts for the readings! And what responsorial psalm were we doing???? What kind of ceremony was this going to be?!?

Nightmare #2: Wedding day continued...we were somehow able to take in a parade at Disneyland (which felt more like Disney World) and everyone was there ~ family, friends, and even old friends/acquaintances from high school who were also getting married. That part was actually kind of awkward since these were people I didn't really talk to in school. I was also quite anxious; I knew I had *other* things that I needed to be doing to get prepared for the wedding...

While this "hangout" lingered beyond the parade, I remained antsy. After some time, I finally headed to my dressing room. Again, some high school acquaintances were in there...this time to help me get ready. My head snapped up as I remembered one more thing...I FORGOT to book a hair and makeup artist!!! All I could think of was to call the Mandara Spa at The Grand Californian Hotel to see if they could possibly take me. I got word somehow that Traci would take care of that for me.

In the meantime, they were calling Andrew over...I *don't* know why! I was all ready in my wedding dress, so I was agitated that they would call him over, when I didn't want him to see me till the ceremony...or at least till our photo time before the ceremony. I grumpily said "fine!" and put on a cardigan over my dress to at least cover PART of it up. *sigh*

Andrew and I were brought to what was basically an atrium...a Disney atrium...use your imagination as to what they could with an atrium... We took in a private screening of a new Disney movie (hadn't been released yet!), and the moon and stars shown from the glass ceiling.

Okay great! But I still needed to get my hair and makeup done. I found Traci afterwards in this huge hotel suite...she was panicking over something, and I'm not really sure what it was...I let her vent and then asked her if she heard anything about my hair and makeup. I'm not sure if I ever really got an answer...

Aaand that's about the time I woke up.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Online Ordering FOOL!!! (and other updates)

It's hard to believe that in 2 months, 1 week, and 5 days our magickal wedding day will be here! I am SO excited for it. :-)

In the meantime, I'm getting the "smaller" details checked off the list! "Smaller details," but details that have been running through my head since we were engaged. As I sit here and run through that checklist, I realize that I can't go into too much detail about it, or share pictures by chance any of our guests or my MOHs read this blog! I promise I will show-and-tell AFTER the wedding! :-) But I CAN announce that favors, bridal shower hostesses gifts, and centerpiece items were purchased! I've received everything but one part of the shower hostesses gifts and the centerpiece items. AND we officially approved our invitations today!!! So, they'll be going into print and delivered SOON!!!

Several weeks ago, we picked up Andrew's wedding band!!! Here's a pic of our wedding rings set!
Andrew and I finally went through Disney's Banquet Event Order. Did I call it Budget Event Order at some point (or more)? I meant "banquet." We signed off on everything and started to contemplate other possibilities for our wedding. I'm excited to say that we will now be having a Catholic mass incorporated into our wedding! I know the non-Catholics (and maybe a few Catholics) will groan at this, as Catholic weddings are known to be super long (meaning, 1 hour). However! our officiant, Father Brian is able to shorten the mass by 15 minutes, thus making it a 45 minute ceremony. Without the mass, it would've been a 30 minute ceremony. So, 15 minutes extra...who's really counting? So what if I want to relish in the wedding ceremony? ;-) It's important to me, it's meaningful to me, and I know it will also make my parents very happy!

Another option we're looking into (cost dependent) is using a colored dance floor. Not too long ago, our wedding planner, Traci updated one of her statuses (Twitter? Facebook?) raving about a white dance floor one of her couples used. If we do decide on a dance floor, I believe it will be the chocolate dance floor... Look at the deliciousness of it!!! (yes, I know I can't eat it...)Finally, Andrew is trying to find the answer for us of "To use a DJ...or not to use a DJ? That IS the question." We realize the benefits of using a DJ...and our only "con" is that we could save that money by using our iTunes playlist and have a friend man it and MC when need be.

We're checking things off, one by one...I now wonder: is this the quiet before the storm? Or has my diligency of staying on top of things going to make things smooth sailing?

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Steps Between & Getting Closer

I feel that anytime someone asks me how wedding planning is going, I'm always stumped and seeking for an answer. I really don't know if this where I'm supposed to be...there's no progress being made if I'm not doing anything... but what is there TO do? Guess I could check the checklist in Mindy Weiss's book, since there's not much I can do from The Knot checklist. Most things have been done...or we have nothing to do BUT wait. For example...

Andrew and I decided on an invitation design. As soon as we did that, I contacted the designer only to receive an "Out of Office" reply. FANtastic! Okay, so I patiently wait one week (I heard back from her today, and it will be soon be underway!).

Wedding planning started to pick up again this past weekend. For one, I bought Andrew's wedding band!!! It will arrive next week. He picked a tungsten ring, plain, straight-up design. Tungsten is known not to knick, scratch, or dull. Lucky guy!!! This isn't THE ring he got, but it's very similar.

Second, our parents met for the first time! My parents drove to his parents' house in Baltimore for a grand lunch. On the menu was - what I heard - a delicious roasted lamb, and the parents got along very well!

My MOHs have started their dress hunt ~ woohoo!!! On Wednesday, I'll be joining Andrew's sister, Linette to see her in her two final dress choices, and I will make my decision. Sharon, being on the east coast, will hopefully be able to sneak some pics of the dresses she tries on. (saving the pics till decisions are made ;-))

On a beyond-marriage note, Andrew and I went townhouse/condo shopping yesterday! We were originally going to just drive by these places, see what the exterior looks like, and get a feel of the neighborhood. Now, I don't think I mentioned several months ago that we did visit one condo down the street from him ~ of the units available, one was out of our price range, the other was IN our price range, but the condo layout wasn't really for us.

So, as we were driving around, we passed by two buildings on one street that were having open houses. The first building we entered was completely renovated and was beautiful! Wooden floors on the first floor, carpeted on the second. Our two favorite units had a balcony off of the master bedroom ~ one balcony being bigger than the other. Our #1 unit choice had a huge patio outside of the dining room area. Going in and out of units and talking to the realtor, we spent almost an hour there! The price is in our budget, and yes, I could picture us living there. :-) (sorry, couldn't find pics)

Our next stop wasn't quite as long. It was another beautifully renovated building...and the views of the Santa Monica Mountains from the loft-designed condos were BREATHTAKING! Sadly, we couldn't get attached with what they were asking for. Their least expensive unit, which the realtor urged us to look at *just in case* the price went down, was still gorgeous, but for me, not the same after seeing the views from the loft units. Besides that, roaming around their model unit on the bottom floor, we heard the obnoxious foot STOMPS of others viewing the units above us. So, thanks, but no thanks!

The hunt will continue after Andrew talks to a lender!

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