Maid of Honor Dress

We are skipping the whole wedding party thing - no bridesmaids and groomsmen and no flowergirls and ring bearer. We’re keeping it simple and just having a maid of honor and best man. This has made it a lot easier to decide on 1 dress for Paula, my maid of honor. By keeping it small it also saves us a lot on the flowers too.

I first came across this dress when I headed for BCBG at the Carlsbad outlets. It was hanging in the window of the Barney’s New York outlet and I automatically jumped to the conclusion that a Barney’s gown would definitely be way out of our budgets. Still I couldn’t help but notice aside from its sleek elegance,  it was the exact shade of my wine color (which is a freakin’ hard ass color to find.) Out of curiosity I went to peek out the price tag on our way out. It’s a CO-OP dress that was dropped down to $249 from $385. Still I knew that would be too much for Paula to spend, but my bargain shopper instinct told me that eventually the price would have to drop lower and then the stalking began.

I seriously stalked this dress waiting for it to go on sale. Everytime JD and I drove to visit his parents in Oceanside, I would ask if we could stop by the outlets to check on the dress. For weeks the price stayed at $249. About 2 weeks ago we dropped by again and I grinned when I saw that the gowns were gone from the original rack. They had been moved to the clearance racks! I gleamed when I turned the price tag  reading “$189″ in red ink.  That fit into Paula’s $200 budget. I had a feeling there was a chance the price would get slashed even lower but didn’t want to risk it. Her she is………..

Yes Paula I’m wearing your brand new Barney’s dress. You said you wanted to see pics of it ;-) and because I fought the temptation to keep it for myself, I most likely will borrow it :-P

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Silk charmeuse with a ruffle layer detail at the waist

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I was wanting to post this yesterday, but got pretty sidetracked with the news of Michael Jackson’s death. I didn’t think it would affect me the way it did, but when I listened to the news and got into my car to hear the radio paying tribute, the waterworks started as the first tribute song to play was “Man in the Mirror.” I am really shocked and sad at the loss of an icon that was a special memory of my childhood. May he rest in peace. =*(

Invites are in!!

I just received some of our invitations in the mail and I was so excited to see the finished product that etsy seller Lindsey Ryan Design put together. She is one talented designer. I was in awe to open the package to find them even lovelier in person.

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Lindsey and I have been corresponding back and forth through e mail. It felt like lengthy weeks of collaborating on design changes but the finished product was totally worth it as Lindsey presented ideas, took my feedback, and worked her magic. For this main part of the invitation, I asked her to use that design at the top center with our initials, requested for hummingbirds instead of the original type of birds, was such a nit-pick about changing the flower colors, and asked her if she could add a graphic similar to our villa venue on the right bottom corner. Thank you Lindsey for all your patience with all my idiosyncrasies about having the exact shade of whatever color and welcoming my endless feedback. invitations4

With the directions and rsvp, I wasn’t as anal and allowed Lindsey the freedom to present her designs and I was not disappointed. I love the graphic she came up with of our venue and the peacock with all its brilliant colors was a stately touch. The style completely falls in to the old world/period piece look I was aiming for. invitations5

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With the map, I asked her if she could give it an aged, outdated, vintage finish. Thankfully, Lindsey exclaimed her affinity for old world maps so we were right on the same page. I even linked a couple of treasure/pirate maps to give her an idea. Ha!

Here’s a glimpse of the whole package in the pocketfolds.

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Here is my work station! Yes that is my ‘Twilight’  paraphernalia :-) I bought the pocketfolds and faux wax glue stick materials to assemble on my own. Having the wax seals were a must for me. I knew they would be the perfect old world touch. I recommend the ‘faux’ wax because supposedly there is more chance of breakage with the regular wax seals. The faux wax is suppose to be  more pliable. invitations8

That is my brass seal resting on a bag of frozen vegetables. Apparently I needed to ice it so it woudn’t stick when I embossed the faux wax with the design. invitations9

That’s what the faux wax glue sticks look like. Just load em up in the glue gun. invitations10

and squeeze the trigger. you wanna let it cool and set for a little while. the exact timing should be experimentedinvitations11

before you press down with this - A peek at the flourish designinvitations12

Seal that babyinvitations13

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Seal gilding paste highlights the design so it pops more and accents the seal with a nice metallic finish. just dab your finger and lightly brushinvitations16

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the last Ta Dah!! Easy and Fun!

Materials:

Pocketfolds- cardsandpockets.com - great prices

faux wax, brass seal, and seal gilding paste - letterseals.com - great prices and customer service too!

More to come….

I got my Maid of Honor’s pretty dress!!

and my downtown LA garment district excursion to document

Wedding Budgets

Fiance and I are paying for our own wedding. I’ve never had to save so much money in my life - hahha! I still can’t believe we’re pulling this off on our own even with a recession going on. It’s been a hard knock life we’ve been living. We’ve had to postpone once because financially it was just too much to do on our own the first time around, but with the extra year we gave ourselves to save, I am so thankful we’ll be able to pull it off this year. Over the last weekend we met with our caterer and slashed out extra expenses we could do without. I did the math and so far it looks like we’ll be under about $1600 from what I budgeted for catering and about under $500 what I budgeted for rentals - YES!!! Thank you God! My advice is to over-estimate even just a little to give yourself room in case you do go over budget, because when you can find yourself under……. you’ll be very happy :-)

Bridal Ramblings

Our wedding is coming…… Fast! Recently after realizing we’re about 5 months out till the big day, I got a little panicked and immediately flipped out my planner to start on my to-do/checklist. Up until now, I’ve just been securing vendors and dreaming up ideas. I’ve woken up from my daydreaming with the understanding that I better start executing what until now have just been visions. No wonder brides go crazy. There’s so much pressure to get so much done and to get it right with just one chance. No do-overs - hopefully! It’s even more overwhelming to know as the bride, you’re pretty much solely responsible for the outcome of the most important event you’ll throw in your life. Even if you have a coordinator or planner, you’re still responsible for communicating all ideas, plans, and instructions which requires tons of brainstorming, organizing, thought, and lists. Most grooms could care less about details, so it’s completely your undertaking. An incredible undertaking of laundry lists of things to do that range from the most minute to essential that extends out the door. During the entire process, the bride is compressed in her strive for only 1 thing - PERFECTION and boy does mainstream American culture and media propagate this idea. Possibly this idea is a never-ending chase, possibly even non-existent. Perfection is possibly the demon that coaches every bride to second guess her every decision and change her mind.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not yet stressed. I am swallowing the truth of what lies ahead of me for the next 5 months. October here I come with my 50+ do-it-yourself projects. I have A LOT of stuff that I plan to make - escort cards, cupcake tower, a wedding sign painting, napkin rings, favor holders just to name a FEW! Why am I making all this stuff??? - Yes I want to save money, but I’m also doing it because I love opportunities to utilize creativity, I have an obsessive love for weddings (I started this blog for crying out loud), I think it’s SO MUCH FUN, and because I am a perfectionist, and it fulfills my idea of that PERFECTION.

Crunch time is creeping up. Forgive me for upcoming months of less frequent posts, but prepare for more posts about my wedding projects. I’ll close with a pic. of an invitation by our designer. This is what I’m currently working on with her. Our invitations will be something similar, but with more of our own personal touches and colors. I’ll be sure to blog about the process and final product .

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Real Wedding Part II

Here’s a part 2 continuation of Mike and Liana’s wedding at the Beverly Hills Greystone Mansion. As you can see, the mansion is a classic, stunning location with its perfectly manicured grounds. What an ideal setting of ample options for gorgeous photos. Photographer, Jessica Claire really captured the grandeur of this stately venue.

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Check out the grounds. I LOVE fountains!

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A sight of those yummy cotton candy pastels again

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I’m liking how the crinkled fabric gives her gown an antiquated feel

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Her bridal party is such a fashionable accent. I so much prefer when colors and styles are not too match- matchy

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Aren’t these ‘do-it-yourself’ flowers impressive?! So simple, fresh, and lovely!!

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Lastly, a teaser of the reception - can’t wait to see more!

Happy Friday! Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend :-)

Engagement Shoot

I just spotted this engagement pic. session on our photographer’s blog that I loyally stalk. It was shot at Sony Pictures Studios - talk about having an awesome and original location! I think this spot takes the prize and how lucky were they to shoot there? A unique, dream backdrop +  Jason Q. Tran skills = *magic* Brace yourself for some stunning amazingness :-)

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So ‘old hollywood’ and crisp and a little reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde no?

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I spy an Anthropologie dress!

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I’m a firm believer that goofy photos with some personality are a must

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Sale Finds!

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Free People twisted floral dress. Originally $168. On sale for $69.95. Also comes in teal.

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Free People Embroidered Thermal Hoodie. Originally $148. On sale for $29.95blog3

Steve Madden ‘Bliz’ Sandal. Originally $148.95. On sale for $88.90

Fringe Fashion

The fringe craze is still going strong and can be found on anything from shoes, clothing, handbags, and jewelry. Fringe accents can evoke that Western, ethnic, or Roaring 20s style. Tip: 1 piece of fringe will make the statement. 2 at the most. You don’t want fringe overkill.

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Fringe necklaces on Etsy. How hip are these necklaces?! Aren’t they a great accessory to dress up a plain top or tank?

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Fringe tops: Forever 21

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Fringe shoes

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$34.65 Express

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$39.99 Piperlime

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$39.99 Piperlime

Real Wedding

Liana and Mike’s wedding at  Greystone Manor was photographed by Jessica Claire. I’m intrigued most by the color palette and can’t wait to see how the reception materialized in Jessica’s upcoming blogs on this fab wedding. I’ve always been drawn to pastels that remind me of bubble gum, cupcakes, and cotton candy colors a la Marie Antoinette and Hairspray but wouldn’t dare know how to pull it off myself. Here’s a preview:

Can’t believe this bride’s mom, sister, and bridesmaids did all the flowers!

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Gorgeous bouquet!

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Some signature Santa Monica Viceroy decor

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Aren’t you curious to see how the tablescapes turned out? I am!

Good Times

Vegas weekend during the Pacquiao/Hatton fight. I drove down with my cousin Mylee after promising my brother I’d come down since he was ordering the fight and having a party/bbq at the house. JD couldn’t come cause he had to work on Sat. - BOO! We cooked SO much food and good thing we did cause there were SO many people, mostly my brother’s friends.

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Here’s some pancit (noodles), shrimp cocktail, and no that’s not just a big heap of cheese in the bottom right corner. There’s actually bread under there - Yeah I know

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There’s my cousin Mylee with Lumpia (eggrolls)- yum!

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Me and my good buddy Paula/Maid of Honor

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Our packed living room. We weren’t in our seats too long before we all roared and jumped to our feet like a crazy mob when Pacquiao knocked down Hatton twice in the 1st round.  Pacquiao then ended the match with a left hook to the side of the head sending Hatton to sleep in the 2nd round. What an unbelievable fight!!

APTOPIX Pacquiao Hatton Boxing

Later that night our friend Anthony invited us to club XS at the Encore. Wow what a club and definitely worth it if you’re looking for the hot spot of Vegas nightlife. Be prepared to dress up and wait in long lines patroled by bouncers that are more like Nazis, but once you get in there’s definitely a wow factor.

Me, Paula, Mylee, and some girl I don’t know. Bottle service is always nice ;-)

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Me and Mylee

This weekend JD and I went to his friend Alan’s birthday party at Prospect in La Jolla. More fun cause my buddy Jasmine was there.  That night Jasmine and I made a pledge to outdance Mikie and his girlfriend Janice. Those 2 seriously dance FOREVER so it was a real challenge. It was a fun mission and Jasmine and I persevered. Determined, we continued to dance and dance and sweat and sweat and laugh and laugh. I can’t remember the last time I danced that long, but it was so much fun and I think I got a pretty good workout too. Finally after Mikie and Janice left the dance floor, Jasmine and I joyfully celebrated our win.

Pretending I’m kissing my championship trophy

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Our competition on the left

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Not too long afterwards, drunken birthday boy was asked to leave and our large party cleared the club to escort our friend out. Here’s Alan gone wild in the streets of La Jolla. I proudly take credit for this idea to ride the bull.

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Good times Good times!