Etsy deserves it’s own post.

I have bragged and talked on and on about finding random things on Etsy.com and how amazing their vendors are. But SERIOUSLY, I’m dedicating an entire post to the website and each individual vendor that I have worked with on my journey to April 9th, 2011.

I was referred to this fabulous “store” by T. — turns out it is a plethora of people who want to make something special for someone else — and let me tell you what I’m buying there: invitations (well, ALL of my paper goods), a hairpiece I’ll wear to the rehearsal dinner, a necklace (for fun, but WORTHY for a story here), a suitcase, decoration for the venue (O.M.G.), and I’m sure a million more things. Literally.

So, I will start my bragging (and you can click on the names of the shops — I’ve attached the links to their pages!)… first with something not wedding-oriented.

One of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

A friend from work has a necklace that is bent wire/metal that is her name written out, completely. M. and I have been trying to find something comparable for a few months now, and I have found JUST the thing. I found a vendor on Etsy, PianoBenchDesigns, by way of a random search on the website … and I literally couldn’t be happier. This woman is the definition of amazing customer service, and she was a gem to work with! I messaged her asking if she took custom orders and I was so lucky to receive a “yes” reply. She originally made my necklace with a capital “E” and I wasn’t too keen on the way it looked. I asked her to try it with a lower case and that I would pay for the wire that she had originally used. She changed it up, I LOVED it, and she didn’t charge me extra for the wire she didn’t use!! It was sent promptly and the minute I opened it I couldn’t get over how perfect it was. I would recommend this amazing lady to ANYONE who was looking for a custom piece of jewelry …

An example, not mine.

Next: BurlapAndBlue. Now … here is another one that was excited for a custom order and loved every minute of the brainstorming! This shop was amazing as well … very helpful and never pushy. I found a couple of vintage plates in this shop that I adored, and noticed that she attaches candlesticks to the bottom and the piece functions as an antique stand for anything. I asked if she could coordinate to my wedding colors and she immediately went and bought the right colored paint. :] They’ve shipped to my father’s house so I haven’t seen them in person yet (but I have seen pictures!) — I swear it’ll be the first box I open when I’m there again.

Not ours ... but still beautiful.

Another:ModernMuseum. I literally can’t explain how much of a pain I have been when it comes to the design of the paper goods. Z. and I have picked and manipulated every aspect of these things, including RSVP cards and envelopes and address labels, and this woman is outstanding. I am NOT exaggerating … my email count back and forth with her is currently at 46 in the span of 1 month. Outrageous, especially because she hasn’t bitten my head off yet!!  But she has worked so hard to ensure that the tiniest of details match the vibe of the wedding, the color scheme we have chosen, and everything in between. We still aren’t finished, but we are damn close.

What a gorgeous color. hehe :)

To close out this post, one of my most favorites: funkiefinds. I can’t spoil one of my most favorite things about the entire wedding, but trust me — it’s incredible. This woman went out of her way to find “things” just for me and my order, customized them just for me, and all for what I would call an extremely reasonable price. Simply amazing to work with.

Needless to say, I’ve had more than a positive experience with all of the vendors that I have worked with on Etsy — rather than an online shopping tool, I view it as a community of people who really are doing what they love and really want to help you find the perfect item for any event. I’m sold. :]

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it’s ALL about “About Love.” today.

If you take a look at this photography company and you aren’t thinking “These are the people that MUST photograph every important moment of my life!”, then you probably don’t follow their work as closely as some. :] And once you check them out, you’ll be chanting the aforementioned line at the top of your lungs.

I am so lucky to have met one of the photographers in high school: T. has changed my life and I’m not sure even SHE understands how much she means to me as a friend, as a newly-wedded wife and role model, as a pseudo-wedding planner/best advice giver, and now (OFFICIALLY!!!!) as a my wedding photographer.

T. has become involved and enveloped in everything she has been passionate about since I’ve known her — I know she has impacted the lives of everyone she has touched, and I’m honored that we were close friends for the time that we were. There is not one person that has met T. that wishes they hadn’t — she is pure genius, full of love and ideas and never one to turn away a friend.

Looking at the photography work she has done with her sister and business partner K., I feel so lucky to have them officially be a part of our wedding day. Nothing else matters to me other than capturing the most perfect moments in the form of pictures, because that is ultimately what lasts the lifetime. I began the photography conversation with my father with this line: “Dad, I would pay any price out of my OWN pocket to have T. and her sister shoot the wedding. To me, photography is non-negotiable and something that shouldn’t be compromised. It is THE most important thing to me, hands down.” I’m not sure if at that moment he was comfortable with the situation or understood my stance on the subject, but he knew I wasn’t budging. :] And he will not regret a penny of the cost when we receive the final product.

Every shoot that I have seen via their BLOG has made me irritated that Z. and I haven’t gone to Arizona yet for our engagement shoot! :] I know, all in good time we’ll begin the capturing of our experience in photos … a media worth a million words. Check out some of my favorite photos of theirs — I’ve linked the blog entries to the pictures if you’d like to see more:

Grad. Shoot -- But could totally be an Engagement Pic.

Straight beautiful.

Recent wedding, with the same color scheme. Must have good taste. :)

Ad. Enough said. :)

I really can’t say enough good things about T. and I’m absolutely sure her sister is equally as kind and loving. If you are getting married, or want a fun collection of photographs with a best friend or pictures of your newborn,  there is no one else I would recommend for photography. The proof is right before your eyes — About Love is the epitome of pure artistry.

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Oh, Nights — You have stolen my life.

I’ve been on 3rd shift coming up on 3 weeks now, so my apologies for not updating so often — I can’t wait to have my afternoons back to work on some wedding details! I feel as though I have been depriving the wedding details of any and all of my attention … this weekend I’ll be sure to post some pictures [a lot]. Z. is gone to Virginia to visit his best friend, so Sergeant and I will have plenty of time to sunbathe and work on some DIY projects.

Although I haven’t been working on the details myself, there are definitely some people that I have found and have put to work. Let me tell you all once AGAIN, Etsy.com is my save haven, my saving grace … quite possibly my wedding planner. I have found the most amazing wedding “suppliers” (if you will), and in the process have purchased a couple of gems for myself. I have outstanding women working on personalized wedding invitations, cake/cupcake stands for the cake/sweets tables, and a gazillion empty picture frames that will be painted and antiqued to match my color scheme for the wedding. I also stumbled across a Tiffany-blue hair comb composed of crystals, old lace and satin — I’m looking for a dress that compliments it well to wear to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

My sister/MOH stumbled across a million more gems at the antique store in Cottonwood — I’ve got to make my way there ASAP! There are DOORS (AAHHHHHH!!!!!!!), windows, old bread boxes, furniture, and the list goes on and on. I’ve posted a few of my favorites below: no one get any ideas.

Not too sure what I could use this for, but I love it.

These look a little short - I wish they were tall enough to be Bride and Groom chairs.

E

DOORS!!! Enough said.

WINDOWS!!!

Maybe I could paint this yellow?

<3

I do have a rather important update — haha, mainly for M., one of my bridesmaids. Z. and I have officially chosen our officiant (RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?!) :]. Some of you may remember the update: the decision to choose to have my priest from home perform the ceremony, a Justice of the Peace, or a friend of mine from Bakersfield that I met at Dreyer’s who actually just left the company to be a Preacher at his very own church. S. has officially offered, and I have graciously accepted; he will be the most perfect officiant, keeping the mood light and laid-back, while still meaningful and special and loving. I just can’t hold it in though — I’m stoked.

Things are slowly falling into place. Once Z. and I have another trip planned to AZ we’ll be booking tastings with caterers, the bakery and we’ll most likely meet with the florist (maybe). Even though I haven’t been working on this too terribly much, I’m pretty relaxed.

Simply enjoying the engagement — advice I’ve received from many brides. Well, that and practicing my new signature.

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Update: Wedding!!

Since it has been a while since I have posted about anything, I thought a little update for those of you who are curious is in order.

Not many things have changed — the biggie was the date, announced in the last post (Official date is now April 9th, 2011). Since then, not too many big things have been happening. I, of course, have managed to save about one hundred more pictures for ideas to both the desktops of my Mac at home and my Dell at work, and as much as I would love to share them all with you, I’d like there to be some element of surprise when you walk into Bentley on that fine, Saturday evening.

Slowly, but surely, everything is coming together. I am in contact with someone on Etsy.com (OMG … if you are not a fan and do not have an account, watch out. It’s addicting) with regards to some stunning and simple wedding invitation sets, which is my next big one to tackle. I’ve requested paper samples from a few vendors and have asked my bridesmaids what they like and believe captures the vision that I am yearning for, and with everyone’s feedback — it would be like me to fall in love, I mean L.O.V.E. with one that not very many of the ladies picked out. :] But it’s my day, right??

Another biggie is photography — in the process of knocking out the kinks, but my next post (hopefully we’ll have deposits down by then) will be all about one of the most amazing women I know and how her passion will capture every little detail of my wedding day. Although we have drifted apart over the last few years, the proof is in the pudding; there is no one else that I trust with such an important day in my life. Literally. I can’t say enough good … you just wait.

Flower proposals have been discussed and we are pretty much a “go” on that, other than the deposit — just needs to be run by Papa Hayes. I have had a recommendation for cupcakes, so hopefully my next weekend in Arizona I will be able to schedule the tasting, along with two caterers that I have been talking with. DJ is still in the air (hey, if you have any suggestions or referrals, please leave contact information!!), along with makeup, hair, bridesmaid dresses, as well as the possibility of a videographer.

Another fun detail — the officiant. I have been back and forth about who I would love to perform the ceremony, particularly between the priest from my hometown church that had been with us for a couple of years before I left for college, and a GREAT friend that I have made here in Bakersfield at work that is actually ordained and has just left Dreyer’s to move and preach at his very own church. To go with the theme and the feel that I want — fun, laid-back, celebrating all the family and friends that have been such an amazing part of our lives — my heart says that my friend is the key, the icing on the cake. As my officemate, he has been hilarious, passionate, and truly a friend that cares about my well being and happiness. I mean, I was engaged for a month before he left us — so he got a month full of wedding questions thrown at him :] . I’ll be asking him for a quote tomorrow.

The details are coming together, even from 500 miles away. But more importantly, I have been astounded by the amount of help that family and friends have offered to us. I feel so blessed to have so many people that are willing to spend their time and hard-earned cash to help me with such little things that in the end, won’t really matter. But it’s the love that is being shared, and their willingness to help make this the utmost perfect day for Z and me literally brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for being born into my most perfectly imperfect family that is full of love and faith, my friends that have been there for me every step of the way, and as equally important = the amazing family that I will soon be marrying into. H. (Z’s brother) was the most excited to be Z’s best man, more excited than anyone else in the wedding party. Z’s mother and father have graciously offered their help with my dream of some sort of yellow furniture “alter” for the ceremony — a vintage piece that they want to restore and give to us to keep as a part of our home thereafter.

As much as I was stressed in the beginning about everything being perfect, I know that it won’t be. And that is okay. :]

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Venue is Booked. Date is set.

It is official: the deposit has been placed on Bentley Projects for April 9th, 2011. No turning back now. :]

Exterior -- Click for Website

Inside!!

I had a sense of relief when I purchased my gown, but nothing like this.  I used to sit and watch tv with Z. and say to myself “Emma, there are so many little things you could be doing right now in regards to wedding planning” and feel guilty for not committing 100% and spending time not planning the day I’ve been dreaming about for years.

I am now ready to sit and relax and enjoy this planning with no enormous deadlines looming overhead (photographer has been unofficially booked, awaiting deposit time line). I can sit during our weekly “Hell’s Kitchen” episode and tie ribbon around jars and feel as though I am working on the little details that will make it so unique and whatnot — brainstorm new and fresh ideas and love doing it.

Tuesday I had one of my bridesmaids, Ji., visit both MonOrchid and Bentley Projects for another opinion. Let me tell you — she may have been more excited than I was. :] She completely fell in love and agrees that it captures everything that I told her I want April 9th to be — and it’s exactly what I wanted to hear, and Z. is probably glad that we’ve come to a decision. The reaffirmation was overwhelming as I drove home from work and held back tears, listening to her and her vision and ideas come to life after seeing the space.

I’ve let the photographer know that the date is set, so those ideas and contracts and details are in the works — be ready for a post about one of the most amazing females that I know and her photography business with her sister. There is no one else in the world that I’d rather have photograph my wedding.

I’m stoked. Right now, I wish April 9th was tomorrow (okay, maybe not literally). ;]

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Bridesmaids, Anyone?

I am awaiting cards to formally ask my ladies to be my bridesmaids — I cannot help but to update my opinion on their dresses.

For the sake of slightly/sort of matching aspects of my dress and the groomsmen, I’ve taken a liking to grey dresses. I know, grey isn’t necessarily your typical color for a bridesmaid dress … but check out some of the pictures below.

3-Toned in the top-right corner.

I am TOTALLY digging the 3-toned dress at the top of the inspiration board. The cream at the top should compliment the skin tones of all of my bridesmaids and would lessen the stress about specific shades being too harsh. The yellow at the waist will not only emphasize the natural waists of the girls, but also tie beautifully into the yellow accents that the boys will be sporting — and the grey is beautiful. The dress is elegant and sophisticated. And a bright yellow shoe would match perfectly.

Patterns and textures.

New idea: patterns. I LOVE the pictures and the way that the wedding party almost looks like a quilt — hand-sewn and just “patched” together. The different yellows and patterns create great contrast and would compliment any shade or texture used in decoration. And there would be less stress on all the ladies finding one dress that compliments all of their body types and personal styles, although I’d still prefer to have one thing that ties everyone together so we don’t look too hodge podge-y.

All grey.

This all-grey dress is gorgeous. I’m not too sure how I feel about the seams on the chest, and I was thinking of something a little less poofy.

I’m still loving my yellow picks from Dessy.com and C.  and the troops found some of the styles at a bridal boutique that we were at last weekend, but we aren’t too sure about the shades of yellow and what fabric options are available. Any suggestions??

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DIY Projects

And the DIY projects begin.

I am going to try my best to avoid flower centerpieces at all costs – I’ve never been too into flowers anyway, and usually would request chocolate from a boyfriend. I just can’t ever seem to justify spending so much money on something that dies rather quickly. Friends have been saving baby food jars and I have been soaking the labels off and will be wrapping them in lace and ribbon and twine this weekend to see if it will be perfect for holding tealights. Hopefully it doesn’t look too cheesy … :]

I’ve bookmarked so many websites and saved so many pictures of DIY projects that I want to try and replicate, so many that I think it’s a little much. Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to have an excuse for my creativity because my Bako friends know how crazy I get (wine bottles, garden signs?!? Really?!?).

But it’s an outlet, and what better time to really make something your own. And what better time for YOU to give some input – any DIY projects that you’ve seen that are new and fresh?? I need some guidance!!

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The Purpose

As Z. and I have busted budgets and worksheets and scribbled ideas down on notebook paper, I stop to think about what this wedding truly means to me.

We have mentioned the idea of a destination wedding, foregoing all the planning and the stresses of prepping for such an important event, a day that will be mine for forever. And I have come to realize that the food and the venue and the decorations are not what matters when it comes to planning a wedding — it’s about having the people that you love around you, celebrating the joining of two lives. And maybe throwing back a few in the process.

For me, the destination wedding kind of defeats that purpose. Yes, the people that are closest to us would still be there, we’d still be celebrating such a wonderful relationship, but it may be limiting on some guests that would be invited. And that is not something that I want to be concerned with. We have kept our guest list pretty light — family and the closest of friends — but I do think that leaving the state or country would knock our guest list considerably.

We’ve ex’d out the idea of favors; we’d rather donate that money to a great cause rather than buy all of you something that would probably be eaten or tossed after sitting on a shelf and collecting dust at home … and that’s assuming it makes it out of your car the night of the wedding. I’ve been contacting some of the caterers in regards to customizing a menu and making it more “home-y”, more comfort foods that we had when we were growing up to help emphasize our laid-back, enjoyable atmosphere (no Mom, I won’t ask if they will make Pokemon Macaroni & Cheese). We want to zero in on creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable, at home, and with the people that they love — rather than a stereotypical wedding with flower centerpieces and a plated dinner where butlers are placing napkins on your lap because you haven’t taken it out from under your silverware in a timely fashion.

So, maybe I should relax a little more and know that other things are a little more important: a venue that matches your ambiance, a photographer that will promise and deliver the utmost perfect memories captured on a day that can’t be matched or re-lived, and a memory that lays in the minds of every guest that won’t be forgotten as a wedding that highlighted the true meaning of the gathering, rather than worrying about minor details that do not matter in the end.

I still like black chairs better than white.

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Venues Unveiled.

The trip to Phoenix in search of the most perfect place to get married was much simpler than expected and what the previous venue post may have had you believe. No, we actually didn’t end up seeing every venue — schedule conflicts, lack of interest, pure tiredness.

Z. and I were non-stop; I worked Thursday night from 10:45pm until 3am, and when I got home I woke Z. up and said “We’re out”. The good things about this: I had caught my second wind and could drive while he woke up, he could then drive while I slept, we would for sure miss any and all traffic in the LA area, and we were sure we’d have enough time to drop the puppy off at my daddy’s and catch a nap before our appointment at Chase Field. I ended up with two hours of sleep in the car and one hour at my dad’s, so needless to say we were pooped.

Chase Field is an amazing venue — totally unique and inspirational, you are forced to make it your own because weddings there are SO rare and it is not set up to host that type of event. A few of the suites were out of this world with fabulous views of the field that would lend to some one-and-only photographs. Biggest downside and the closer for us: the Diamondback’s schedule isn’t finalized until October/November of this year and if a game falls on the day of your event, you MUST reschedule. Mind you, that would be only 4 months before our wedding. Bummer.

One of the suites.

View from the suite.

Tempe Center for the Arts — one of the biggest disappointments. My contact said that the venue would be open at 11am on Saturday for preparation for another wedding. Z. and I walked around and tried every door for about 25 minutes and had to leave to stay on schedule for our other obligations. The outside is astounding and funky and may have lent itself well to our vision, but Pops isn’t too keen on poor service.

The back of the building that faces Tempe Town Lake.

The room for rent: Lakeside.

Arizona Grand Resort, much too formal for our vision. It is a beautiful site, but reminded me slightly of the hotel that I helped host our 2004 High School Prom in.

You can rent the green for the ceremony.

Ballroom -- excuse the blurriness.

The Farm at South Mountain — looked quite lovely online, but the layout is pretty spread out and maybe a little too casual. I’m also hesitant on an outdoor venue even though our pending dates are during a promising time of the year. I’d rather be safe than sorry on this one. [Didn’t even snap a photo here … dang, that says something.]

Phoenix Art Museum. Beautiful, but I’m afraid the ballroom is a little too big for the number of guests that I am planning on inviting and expecting to show up. It’s definitely not as cozy as I would like, and I’m looking for more of an intimate space. If I were inviting more people, this would be a favorite … but I’m not, so it’s not.

Cool ball of lights at the entrance.

Right outside the gallery we'd rent -- supposedly I could walk down those stairs, but I think that's a little dramatic.

We canceled on Arizona Science Center and Tre Bella. AZ SC for the same reason as Phx Art Museum — I assumed their amenities would be similar and I know some friends that held their Senior Proms there. Tre Bella — it’s in Mesa, and we think that with our guests flying into Phoenix for the wedding, that it would be the easiest and most convenient to have the wedding in a more central location that is close to the airport and near hotels.

That leaves us with the contenders: MonOrchid and Bentley Projects. Both are amazing in their own ways and both have some unique characteristics that me and Z. both love. MonOrchid has a more modern vibe which doesn’t aligned with our vision as well as Bentley does, but Bentley is more expensive … so there will be plenty of number crunching and decisions to make this week.

Bentley:

The front door.

The largest gallery.

Back side of the previous picture, original brick work.

Here is MonOrchid:

To the left -- where the ceremony would take place.

To the right of the last picture -- where the reception tables would be set up.

The choices, the choices. :]

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What We Came Away With.

Because of my lack of blogging this weekend, I’m sure most of you are ready for some report about what Z. and I left Phoenix with and without. Luckily, some large stresses have been laid to rest, so I’m venturing to say that the rest of this wedding planning will be much more pleasant for both me and my groom.

We saw most of our venues this weekend, with the exception of a couple. My camera is loaded with pictures, so as soon as I am able to download them this evening, a post revealing our favorites will be written. Until then, I will let you know that we have driven away from the Valley with two favorites that stand apart from the rest, which allows my brain to relax just a little bit.

Phoenix, Arizona -- the city I miss.

Most importantly, I left with one of the most stressful pieces all figured out — and paid for. As some of you know, I did have two dress appointments scheduled, one at I Do! I Do! Bridal in Phoenix and another at Destiny’s Bride in Scottsdale. I must criticize, especially for all of you ladies who may be in the market for a wedding gown. I Do! I Do! Bridal had some fabulous designers and some fabulous prices, but the service was only mediocre (yes, I had been referred to Destiny’s by THREE brides, but I had to have some “trial runs” before I jumped into paradise). They gave me a quick tour of the facility, attached my information sheet to a rack and told me to start pulling dresses that I wanted to try on. I had invited the troops: the sister/MOH, my mother, my father, my aunt and one of my fabulous bridesmaids, C. We waded through what seemed like thousands of dresses, and I was rather unsure about what I really wanted. I had looked at pictures and what not, but I didn’t know what would look best on my shorter stature. I asked an employee, and she actually had no advice and just told me to keep pulling.

Once I had pulled approximately 8 dresses, they tossed me into a dressing room with a curtain and told me they’d hand me a dress through the crack when I was ready. Once the dress had been stepped into, I walked out onto a pedestal and they clamped me into the dress with construction-orange industrial strength clamps — no one could really tell what the back of the dress would really look like. I walked out to present the options to my friends and family, and there wasn’t one dress that I actually said that I “loved”, nor that I think any of them liked. I left with two favorites documented, and no true intention to return.

Sunday was a day that was jam-packed — five appointments for venues; another bridesmaid (Ja.) and her husband and my Godson drove down from Cottonwood to spend the day with my family. We toured two venues, grabbed lunch, saw one more and then ended up canceling the last two; by this point in time there were still two that really stood out and were favorites for myself and Z., so there was no point exhausting our guests. Instead, I knew that Ja. really had wished she’d be able to experience looking for a dress with me, so in desperation I called a David’s Bridal in Peoria and managed to squeeze my way in. The help was much more valuable, and I truly believed that the employees wanted to help me find the dress of my dreams (and I think she also realized when I hadn’t loved one that I tried on). It was fun and I managed to narrow my ideas of what I wanted even more, preparing myself for Monday’s appointment.

Destiny's Bride -- Click for website.

I went to Destiny’s Bride yesterday with my mom, one of her friends from home, C., and my MOH. I knew the moment that I walked in, aside from the wonderful referrals, that the service there would be outstanding and more personal, which is what I was looking for after being so discouraged. I know, maybe I had been overreacting because I had only been to two other stores, but I was hoping that I would find the dress that I would buy with my family — and I’m sure that my mom wanted the exact same thing.

We started by talking with Linda about what exactly I had been looking for, but that I wasn’t even 100% sure about that and would be willing to try on anything she wanted me to. We started by pulling some dresses off of the racks and running them back and forth between the floor and the dressing rooms. I’m tellin’ you what: LINDA is the bomb. She is sweet, honest, and you can truly tell that she loves what she is doing and that she cares about each woman that walks into that store. AND she calls her dresses by name … adorable. We slipped into a more simple one with some of the details that I had mentioned, and I knew immediately that it wasn’t the dress that I would wear, but that there was no doubt that Linda would find the ONE.

Off. Gown number two was just perfect — maybe a little too busy, but it was a beautiful shape and it felt so good. We definitely marked it as a favorite. Number three was unique and what I really wanted to love, but we ended up eliminating it because even though I wanted to love it, I just didn’t; it wasn’t me. I returned to the dressing room and Linda said, “Okay. I know this isn’t exactly what you have asked for, and she doesn’t get pulled out a lot because she is a newer dress, but just try her on.”

Gown number four. I walked out and stood on the raised pedestal and she fluffed the back of the dress. I saw my mom start to well up, and that was it. I lost it. I loved it. It was nothing that I ever dreamed I’d be getting married in, but there was a presence that I felt not only within the dress, but within the way it made me feel. I was asked if I loved it, and I said yes. I was asked if I loved it more than #2, and I said I wasn’t sure. So we went back into the dressing room and put #2 back on to see them back-to-back. I returned to show my family, and we just knew that it wasn’t it. It didn’t hold a candle to #4 … AT ALL. I actually couldn’t wait to put #4 back on.

When I returned is when it got real. Linda pulled my hair up and grabbed some jewelry and what not, and it just came together. She attempted to pin the back so we could see what it would look like bustled, and every person in the room knew that that was the dress. My mom kept crying … she said “In every other store we didn’t have this moment” — she was ecstatic. Geez, I even tear up now just thinking about how happy she looked. It was emotional and exhausting, but Destiny’s Bride (particularly Linda) made the experience worth the while and I found my dress, a dress that I wouldn’t have given a second glance online or in a magazine. The entire way home was spent dreaming about my gown.

Relief … in the fact that the dress is purchased and the venues are narrowed. All there is to do now before we sign with one of the favorites is to sit down and really work out the budget to see which one, if either, would be the better pick. Both compliment our style and personal view of where we want to commit ourselves to each other, so it’s just a matter of finally making a decision.

Be excited for photos and the venue blog — I’m so excited to be back!! <3

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Your Very Own Tour…

Here is an uber long post — your very own “Self-Guided Tour” to my weekend in the greater Phoenix area, in search for the perfect venue … Enjoy.

As this weekend has crept closer and closer, I started to sit back and truly think about what type of venue will capture the right essence that Z. and I are aiming for on our special day. In all reality, I won’t be totally sold on a theme until there is a venue — so if the venue encourages a different decor style, then so be it. I have come to terms with modifying everything that I have thought of to make sure that the tiniest details compliment the space we will be filling. I will try my best to be calm this weekend, and it will be made a little easier (I hope) by having some close friends and family there with us.

With 9 of the 10 venues that we wanted to visit booked for appointments between this afternoon and Sunday evening, we will have our weekend cut out for us — especially since the SUNS won Tuesday night and will be in PHX tomorrow evening (awesome that they made it, even more awesome that my venue appointments will be complete in downtown Phoenix before the game starts).

I’ll give you the down-low, since I won’t be posting at all while in Arizona (I know, please please PLEASE stay excited for Tuesday’s post, and don’t stop following!!). Below I will list all venues, in the order that we will be seeing them. If you’d like to visit the websites, all you have to do is click on the first picture for each venue. :]

1. Chase Field, formally known as The BOB. I’ve seen a few blogs on baseball-themed weddings that are pretty spectacular, and it’s a fresh idea that has true meaning to my relationship with Z. We have watched some games here together, not as many as we wish … But this was where our official First Date took place, tickets purchased by Z. We still have our stubs kept in a cozy drawer, so it would be extra special if the details worked out.

Chase Field

One of the MANY areas you can rent.

2. MonOrchid. Pure beauty, and a blank canvas. Anything would go at this venue — it’s clean and simple and just gorgeous. This is probably one of the venues that I am most excited to see. I just hope that I don’t fall in love with it with 7 more appointments to go.

MonOrchid. OMGosh, did I mention my love for the staircase?

Another great shot.

3. Bentley Projects. This venue is owned by the same people that own/manage MonOrchid. The tall ceilings with wooden beams gives the rustic feel (of maybe a barn?!?) that we may be looking for, matching many of the pictures that I have saved.

Bentley Projects

Ceremony Aisle

4. Tempe Center for the Arts. Tempe is where my heart still lies, and in a banquet room that is literally Lakeside, we would have a breathtaking view (maybe minus the 202 and traffic, haha). This would also allow for pictures prior to the wedding to be taken in Tempe, perhaps on campus, which was something that I’m really interested in since Z. and I have history @ ASU (if the event isn’t in Tempe or near campus, I’m going to maybe ask the photographer for a “day after” session and go to ASU for pictures, pending pricing). I think that this venue will have more potential than I’ve given it thus far.

Tempe Center for the Arts

Sorry about the quality -- from the website.

5. Arizona Grand Resort. Realistically, I think this will be too “in the box” for us — with all of the other amazing venues that we have appointments with, I think that this matches our style the least … but we’ve still left it on the list just in case. There is no doubt in my mind that it will be gorgeous, but it’s one of the venues that is not really “low-key” and casual.

Arizona Grand Resort

One of the ballrooms.

6. The Farm at South Mountain. Unfortunately there will be weddings going on at the site this weekend so we will be giving ourselves the “Self-Guided Tour”, complete with a package of details and a read-as-you-walk description of the venue. This is another top contender for me as of right now, so I’m hoping that despite how busy it will be there this weekend, that we will still be able to see everything we need to in order to make a decision.

The Farm at South Mountain (sorry about the logo, didn't want to crop too much of the photo)

The trees are gorgeous.

7. Phoenix Art Museum. I cannot wait to be here — some of the pictures for weddings that I have seen here are beautiful, and (I know I’ve said this a lot) this may be up on the list as well :]. Again, with many people going on vacation for the holiday weekend we won’t be given a guided tour, but the Events Coordinator has been so pleasant and will be leaving complimentary tickets for us to tour ourselves.

Phoenix Art Museum

One of the rooms for rent.

8. Arizona Science Center. This would be fun and fresh, and the building outside would be stunning as a background for many of the pictures — the clean lines and amazing architecture would be b-e-a-uuuutiful. This is the placement (in terms of order of venues) that I have set aside for this venue and have talked to the Events Coordinator about a tour, but we’re been playing phone tag and have semi-solidified plans, so I really hope this works out.

Arizona Science Center

One of the areas to rent.

9. Tre Bella. This is a venue that was built in Mesa solely for events such as weddings. With 7 venues already lined up, I’d love to fall in love before we got this far into the list, but we’ll still visit. It is really pretty, but maybe for a more formal wedding.

Tre Bella

(I can’t find a picture of the outside of the building … so I’ll be sure to take some and post later.) This is absolutely stunning, though.

And there you have it: the list, pictures and websites of all the venues that are scheduled for this weekend. I’m hoping I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. :] Ciao!

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Enough Teasing … Let’s talk Bridal Gowns

Now, there is no denying that I have been searching online and fallen in love with maybe 100+ gowns, but it is a totally different story when the dress isn’t placed on a 6 foot model who you could probably see through.

As stated before, a whopping 5’2″ won’t carry the length of the sample dress well but I am prepared to drag the excess fabric along the floor to any platform (lol, must be a platform) in front of a floor-length mirror. I have been reading plenty of articles and blogs in regards to “what dresses fit your body type?” and have developed favor for a specific type that is “supposed” to make me look a certain way. Despite the blogs that say drop-waists may elongate my ever-so-short torso and will shorten my legs and send me back to square one, it is still my top contender. Who really knows until you try some on, right? I swore that a ball gown would be too much … but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll reconsider since it will be my last chance to be a princess for a day.

**Please note: These are not dresses that I am considering — Z. will be reading the blog, so I can’t spoil anything. These are pictures that I quickly found online.

#1

My inkling is: drop-waist with a trumpet bottom, strapless … okay, maybe this picture isn’t the best, the bottom lacks the more defined structure that I’m searching for, but you get the point. I think the drop waist would help to elongate my short torso, but again, it may shorten my legs and I may look like a Munchkin. I’ve also been told that with curvy (nice way to say “wide”) hips that this drop waist accentuates that, haha. I’m not sure what I’d rather opt for — because of my height I’ve been told that a flowy dress would be more appropriate and would make me look taller in general, but it’s just not my style (and I’m not pregnant) :].

A-line

This gown is more of an A-line, which is flattering on almost any bride, so I guess it has to be a contender. I’m going for simple and elegant, so this is a match.

Ball Gown

If I do Ball Gown, I’m going all out and doing ball gown. Obviously this example isn’t a good one if you are going for a casual, low-key outdoor ceremony, but there are some indoor options that are still in the running. I love the idea of looking glamorous and more regal, but I also want to be sure to be different and unique and ME. Ugh, pictures don’t do any of these gowns justice, nor do they help me make any sort of decision.

Ultimately when the time comes, I will walk into a boutique and let the designer go wild, allowing her to first put me in anything she thinks would look best, and then we’ll go from there. Obviously, I’ll ask to try on my number one gown that I have fallen in love with online, and I just pray that it is flattering and is THE dress (my mother is pretty excited to play “Say Yes to the Dress” … adorable). I want to savor the moment and not fall in love with the first dress that I try on because it’s my time to be a bride, to have that bridal experience … but I’m 99% sure that if I tried on the dress that I am in love with FIRST, that I’d walk out with the dress of my dreams after only trying on one.

Are there any brides out there that are uber short and have any advice??!!?!? Any fashion-forward females up on the UP about this sort of thing that could steer me in A direction???

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The Unknown — The Z.

The relationship between Z. and I has been quite the mystery to some of you due to my subtle-ness and ways of not advertising all details so blatantly. Well, here is a post that will tell all — including the utmost perfect proposal.

I met Z. in April/May of 2007; he was slated to be my Co-Community Assistant in PV West at Arizona State University. I have never been bashful when it comes to giving hugs, so that’s what he got instead of a formal hand shake. He had come to the building to check out the room and to see what he was getting himself into, when in all reality he had no idea. I was one of the CAs that went all out — I absolutely, without a doubt, and PROUDLY loved being a Community Assistant. I was convinced that I could make this kid love it just as much.

The year went by and Z. and I had built a strong friendship — from the baseball-themed posters and door decs, to our playing of Guitar Hero on his mini TV and wrapping him in TP for Halloween. I believed that I could talk to him about anything and really valued our friendship. At the time, I was in a committed relationship, so nothing romantic came up between the two of us.

A famous door dec.

The next year I was placed in a residence hall on a different side of campus for yr. 2008-2009 and we split. Unfortunately, so did our friendship. We would try to schedule lunch at the one and only Manzy Dining Hall or the Student Union, but we were not hanging out as much or seeing too much of each other; the friendship dissolved to the point where we were acquaintances.

By December I had been given a couple of job offers and was in the midst of trying to decide where my calling was. I had been attending church with my father a little more than usual and I remember one Sunday rather clearly. I had just received the Holy Communion and had gone back to my pew and knelt down to pray, something that I did and still do every single day, even if I’m not attending church as much as I would like. I wasn’t praying for myself or anyone in particular, rather, I was speaking with God as if he were my best friend from grade school. And I realized at that moment that leaving Arizona was going to be one of the hardest things I would ever do — leaving my friends and family and loved ones and my life at ASU, I was leaving everything I knew. And I admitted then that there were some valuable relationships (yes, plural) that I let go by the wayside, that I didn’t focus on as much as I would have liked, and that I would have one more semester to correct that. And that’s what I did.

One relationship being my friendship with Z. I had let a 10 minute walk weaken our friendship, and that was unacceptable. Z. and I started hanging out more often and he sat me down one night and explicitly told me that all he ever wanted for me was happiness. There was no romanticism, no motives — just pure care for an individual.

And from there, the relationship became more than just a friendship. Next came first date, first kiss, graduation, etc. etc; all the goofy, newness of relationships took hold and never let go. He left shortly after this to go back to Virginia for the summer of 2009, and I couldn’t let that be the last time I saw him before I packed two cars and moved to California (yes, I only took two cars worth of crap to CA). I planned a week-long trip to Virginia to see him and meet his mother and then headed right back, only to turn around 2 or 3 days later and move. I wanted to move on my own and prove to myself that I could survive here all by my lonesome, and I did just that. Luckily, Z. was able to plan a few trips to CA during the summer and he was graduating in December. We made it extremely clear to each other that there should be no stress and expectations of our long-distance relationship, for we didn’t know what the future held for us.

August 2009 – December 2009 was probably one of the hardest times for me, Z., and our relationship. The distance put us to the test, along with other personal issues, and although we struggled and sometimes thought we wouldn’t make it, we endured. I can honestly say, and Z. would agree, that those months will hopefully be the worst that we have to deal with, because they were the worst. We are so much stronger because of them, we have learned so much about one another and were forced to do it with 500 miles separating us and in only 5 months. We were forced to grow up and mature in our relationship, but it has all been worth the while. And it has all worked out beautifully.

Mid-December 2009 Z. moved out to Bakersfield to live with me, promising that though he didn’t know what he wanted to do professionally, that he would work and strive to support me and our relationship in any way possible. His kind heart and giving nature has led him to realize that his calling is to help people, in any way. And for that I admire him. Even with as young as he is and the times he’s been doubted, he has succeeded and grown and I am so honored that he has chosen to marry me.

Haha, so NOW what you all have been waiting for … the proposal. As you can probably tell, we are not a flashy couple whatsoever, so Z. knew that popping the question on the Big Screen at Dodger’s Stadium would not be my idea of the perfect proposal (no offense … but I really don’t like the Dodgers :] ).

I am recently a new mother of a Yorkie Terrier, Sergeant.

My little boy, Sergeant.

On May 14th after work, Z. had suggested that we take Sergeant to a park that he had spotted on his way to work. Of course, I didn’t think twice about it — bright, sunny day in California at a park? Nothing could be better. We loaded the car with nothing but ourselves and a leash and went and just walked around. I laid in the grass with the puppy, constantly grabbing twigs and clumps of dirt out of his mouth. I stood up and Z. came over and wrapped his arms around me rather tightly, and I just stood there and soaked in the moment, quickly realizing how heavily he was breathing. I asked, and I quote: “Why are you breathing like a creeper?”. The laughter quickly consumed the both of us, and he shakily reached into his pocket, pulling out something wrapped in a small piece of cloth, and got down on one knee (yes, don’t worry … I haven’t let go of the leash). And Z. asked:

I was actually kinda wondering if you might be into the idea of marrying me?“, showing me the most simple and perfect engagement ring — the ring that I’ve always wanted — solely symbolizing how unique and simple and clean and perfect our relationship is and always will be: a solitaire round-cut diamond perched on a white gold band.

I always thought that I’d bawl hysterically when proposed to, but a sense of calmness and comfort overwhelmed me. I didn’t hear the puppy, the cars driving by on the highway, nothing. There was a man sitting on a picnic table reading a book who didn’t look up, wasn’t disturbed, and that was it. I said of course and hugged him ever so tightly, not even the slightest bit worried about fitting the ring on my tiny finger (ring size of 4.25, and my infatuation with how sparkly the ring is started once we were in the car). It was all about me and Z. in that moment, committing our lives in front of no one but the Lord, to each other for, ever.

My most perfect ring.

Through all the hustle and bustle of 1 1/2 weeks of wedding planning, I have reminded myself and Z. that this is about us, celebrating our relationship and what is to come. And although I am going nuts and blogging every day and already collecting decorations, there is a sense of true love at home and a sense of sanity in the fact that ultimately, if all my DIY projects don’t pull through and it rains and we are outside and the bridesmaids look like jelly beans and all that turns out are gorgeous photographs (oh, you just wait for that post), then that celebration with our family and closest friends has been a success.

With that said — ahhhhh, breathe — Z. has humbled me and made me realize what really matters in a relationship, thus my lack of advertisement (esp. on Facebook because Z. has a particular vendetta against it :] ).

But here is the long-winded version, the love story, and the soon-to-be most perfectly imperfect wedding.

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Helloooooooooo Dresses.

For those of you who thought I meant the dress for ME, I’m sorry and hope you aren’t disappointed (a post with regards to the dress shopping experience will surface in the future, but no spilling the beans on dress details! Z. reads my blog!!). This post is dedicated to my ladies, who have not been named officially yet; to those ladies that will help with all my little details to make sure that the wedding goes off without a hitch; to those ladies who have been the best of friends through different stages of my life; to those ladies who I could never thank enough. And for that, here is a post to you:

I have been referred to the Dessy website by a friend, and another told me today that she bought a bridesmaid’s dress by the same designer just a few months ago. Luckily, they have a zillion different styles, as well as a couple of yellows that may match my color palette perfectly. I am thinking that I may just pick the color and allow the bridesmaids to pick their own styles, one that will flatter their own figure so they feel like a million bucks. And if they all end up picking the same style, well then I’ll have the girls all lookin’ fabulous in the same dress.

One thing is for certain: I will encourage all the girls to shoot for the same length dress, that being cocktail-length. Being that the wedding will be in the Spring, I want the girls to be comfortable and look “spring-y”, so that’s almost a definite, unless one of them persuades me.

I included a couple of the dresses on my own inspirational board, so some of them may look familiar:

Strapless with pockets.

This strapless is pretty simple, possibly allowing the bridesmaid to wear it again for either a cocktail party or on a cruise. One amazing detail: the POCKETS. I love the idea of being able to carry lip gloss or chapstick, but I think that anything too heavy may create a “pulled” look, so that is something to consider.

Scoop neck and back.

This is another look that is clean and crisp, and the scoop on both the neck and the back is stunning. The straps have obvious benefits — no pulling at the top of the dress all night.

Flower.

Now, I love this option, mainly because one can customize the outline of the flower, of which I could do a grey or a taupe. I can’t decide if the flower is too big or just right, so this is a sample that the bridesmaid would have to try on herself to see if it was flattering or if it attracted too much attention.

One shoulder.

Here is an option that is very different, and not your traditional bridesmaid dress, but I’m adoring this one. It is classy and sophisticated, yet one may think it is too formal for such an easy-going, relaxed event.

Halter top.

Another simple and clean look — and a style that could be worn again.

My one and only wish for my bridesmaids is that they are comfortable and they feel good — I don’t want them to be worrying about the way a dress fits for the duration of the ceremony and the reception. I hope that eventually, when it comes time to pick and order the dresses, the bridesmaids will have found something that they like … so if any of you out there have other websites to be looking at for bridesmaid dresses, please let me know! These are not my final decisions whatsoever … just want to start some conversation about styles and shapes and designers.

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A girl can never have too many shoes, right?

Calling ALL girls!! Especially those of you who LOVE shoes! I am most satisfied with a broken-in pair of Rainbows, so shoes are not my forte.

Now, I feel as though this is almost as important as choosing a dress. I’ve been back and forth on what type and color would be best for the venue that Z. and I choose, and if it’s outdoors, I’d hate to be sinking into the grass and hobbling around. In that case, a flat or a wedge sounds like the perfect solution, with a possibility of a cowboy boot (don’t cringe, look at how cute this is).

Yellow, Grey AND Boots?? What could be better?

However, a friend has noted that as I am from a small town and have a more “country” nature, my fiance Z. is not. It may fit the feeling of the venue, but perhaps not His character (Z. did say it was okay, for the record). If boots were to be a realistic option, I would have chosen grey for the sole purpose of carrying on the color palette, but these browns look more the part. I, of course, would be in a nice pair of mustard yellow or cream ones, of which I haven’t found a picture yet. Hehe :]

There is still the chance that a venue will make sense and will be indoors, thus allowing for heels. I’ve been referred to MyGlassSlipper’s gorgeous footwear. Here are a couple that I may be considering:

BM Raquel

I like the strap and the buckle around the back of the heel, giving me a stronger sense of security in terms of the heel slipping at all. The small flower on the front is feminine and shouldn’t take any of the focus off of the dress itself.

BM Xango

Because I am not graceful in heels, the back of this one makes me a little nervous, but I do believe that the open side of the shoe is gorgeous. The bow on the end of this heel looks slightly larger, so I’d have to try them on with the gown.

I’ve seen quite a few photos of bride’s that didn’t compromise comfort and sided with the Slipper/Ballet Shoe or a flip-flop — an ideal situation, for I am weary about a heel. I think that this look is perfectly paired with a ball gown, a dress that covers your feet; though, at a whopping 5’2″ I may drown in a huge, poofy ball gown … haha so many things to think about.

Any suggestions? More websites where I could find the perfect shoe??

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The boys can have some attention … :]

As the planning comes along, more and more questions arise. Z. asked me where my favor lies in regards to bow ties or neckties. I have no particular one that strikes me as better than the other but I can’t seem to make up my mind. I’m guilty for having concentrated on all of the “girly” details, so in all honesty I haven’t given the groomsmen any thought, yet. Oops!! Hopefully this entire post about the tie issue will buy me some forgiveness. :]

Yellow Necktie

This yellow necktie is fun, yet still more on the formal side. It looks clean and sophisticated, and I’m adoring the look. Z. has a couple of fair-skinned groomsmen that he had particularly been concerned about in regards to the yellow — will they look washed out? This option definitely keeps more of the yellow tucked away from the face. What fashionista came up with that color palette?? :]

Yellow and grey-striped bow tie.

On the fabulous board that M. created for me, she included a yellow and grey striped bow tie, which I ADORE. This would help to keep the atmosphere light and fun, which is exactly what I want. As I would be concerned with a solid yellow bow tie bringing more yellow closer to the face, this almost dilutes the yellow. This is a contender.

Without a doubt, the groomsmen will be in yellow suspenders, so I’m trying to picture which tie would look best — I think that the bow tie would almost be comical, and that’s a little too laid-back than what I’m aiming for.

Well, after this weekend Z. and I have appointments with 6 out of our 9 venue choices for Memorial Day weekend, where we will make our trek to the great state of Arizona in search for the perfect place to get married. After that I will then 100% confirm the feel and the color scheme and the style because who knows? I may show up somewhere and fall in love with a venue that strikes a different fancy, and everything may be flopped (then I’d really go nuts)! Once we return from Phoenix I will definitely let you in on all of my pictures and ideas and blog about each venue, but until then all I have to do is dream about more little details … I HAVE to keep busy. :]

If you have any blog requests, feel free to leave comments!! I have no doubt that I will eventually be out of crazy details and brilliant ideas …

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I’m Dreamin’ BIG.

Z. did not care much for the coral, as I suspected — I even tried to explain that it would add dimension and pop and that it was NOT pink, but it just didn’t click. I felt the urge to then make a grey, yellow, and peach inspiration board. Yes, even after I swore it off like a bad habit. Here is what I have come up with:

Oh, Peach.

I doubt it will still catch, but at least it gave me something to do on this fine Saturday. I think I may sneak some peach flowers into the girl’s bouquets, so we’ll see. :]

As most of you who have built these inspiration boards know, it involves patience, especially thumbing through thousands … literally thousands, of photos and clips that may just fit your board just right (I hate to admit, but I was on Project Wedding last night searching, and I literally searched through all 7000+ images, off and on probably between the hours of 6pm and 11pm). I mean, I truly flip through every picture, never jumping pages, because there is no way I would chance skipping a whirlwind of yellow with some great ideas. As you can imagine, with as much WebSurfing I have done in the last 7 days, I’ve seen probably close to 20,000 images that have all been inspirational — my Mac desktop is flooded with saved pictures, and same goes for my work laptop. I’m going to pray that the farm venue (The Farm at South Mountain) works out, because it truly lends itself the best to my ideas and theme, being low-key and focusing on the people that have traveled to celebrate my relationship with Z. With that said, I imagine that there will be a ceremony space outdoors that will need to be transformed into an intimate setting. I’ve found a handful of ideas that seem like they enclose the guests and break up the horizon, so I will share with you my thoughts and ideas. PLEASE, if you are familiar with any of these weddings or have used the same ideas yourself, SHARE SHARE SHARE! If I can’t find these pieces to purchase (at a Bride-Friendly cost :) ), then I will be forced to turn it into a DIY project.

The Ultimate.

This is actually an outdoor setting that the bride’s mother built when the couple chose to have their wedding in her backyard. It was yet more inspiration to me, hence why it is my header for this blog (only cropped and slightly stretched). It is BRILLIANT, stunning … and now I am on the search for broken and trashed doors and windows to put my own twist on this. There is another photograph that I had found that will be more of what I am looking for — the couple hinged together three or four doors, accordion-style, and stood them up front to be a backdrop for the ceremony. It was creative and fun and (hopefully) cheap, so if any of you know someone who is changing out their doors either in Bakersfield, CA or the greater Phoenix or Cottonwood areas, GRAB THE DOORS! They’ll probably just want to throw them away anyway … If they still have the windows in tact, I will (or you can, if you need to release some anger) bust them out. It would be AWESOME to be able to see some of the scenery through the door. Ahhhhh, where do people take their old doors????? Below are some examples:

Perfect example.

Old doors that are perfect, too.

Any pieces of furniture that are bright yellow — I may ask to borrow or even rent. The yellow dresser that served as an altar in the picture above stands out and would be a great find.

Perfect for a table at the reception, with some hidden goodies inside.

And last, but not least … there is one piece that I will search for high and low not only because it may be comfortable for my guests after an hour of dancin’, but because it would make for some great pictures of the bridal party, as well as me and my groom.

Exceptional.

It is the glue for all of my random ideas. I may have to print this picture out and actually paste it into my soon-to-be Wedding Planning Moleskine (the trusty notepad is dwindling and may not be sturdy enough or have enough pages to last 10 months). A  couch out in the middle of a farm screams UNIQUE and FUN and free. In other words, too perfect. Keep your eyes peeled!!

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Day 7 — A Sigh of Relief, but More Options??

Little do you know, this last week has been incredibly stressful … up until yesterday. I’d like to thank everyone that looked at my blog and voted for venues because today was the first day that I woke up and felt as though I didn’t have a million things to do. This blog is what is going to keep me sane until the minutes before I walk down an aisle, somewhere … :]

I have a great amount of support pouring in, from friends and family alike, but I still felt disconnected as a bride planning an Arizona-based shindig from the beautiful state of CA. This blog has been my connection to all of the people that I hold dear to my heart: here in California, one in Colorado, and countless from my home, sweet home Arizona. I love being able to pour my heart and passion for perfection onto this website and have a single, simple way of communicating with the people that want to know every little detail. So I hope you all stay interested for the next 10 months.

I have taken the time to attempt an inspiration board — who knows if I will ever do this again. Placement of specific pictures, layering, palettes, blah; I’m in need of a nap, now. This board almost perfectly depicts what my original vision is/was. Please be kind, I’m not nearly as talented as M., who’s blog I was recently featured in @ http://jetsetmeg.blogspot.com (ahhhh-mazing, might I add).

My original scheme/feel/goal, the best that I can create.

So, not to confuse any of you … but (perhaps, unfortunately) I have now come across two additional colors that I am forcing myself not to adopt until I talk to you all (I haven’t even warned my fiance, Z., about this yet). I do not know if I would simply add one to the previously stated color scheme, or totally throw my favorite color out and opt for something that is new and fresh. I’ll fill you in:

1: Peach. It’s feminine and subtle, but not pink. Pink is not the color for me, nor one of Z.’s groomsmen who has fair, freckly skin and a head of Red. I think that the peach would pop with the mustard and grey and creams, presenting a color palette that is season-appropriate (looking for venues that are available any weekend in March or the first couple of April, so a spring-time wedding).

Peach and grey board ... imagine the yellow with this. Maybe I'll make one ... blah.

2: Mint or Seafoam. This is normally a color that wouldn’t top my list, but these inspiration boards are just that: inspirational. I think that if not careful, the light green may get lost in an outdoor setting, so I am leaning more towards this if my love lies with MonOrchid next weekend. Just imagine the black and stark white walls and architecture with a grey and seafoam or mint theme — I truly think the mint would create amazing contrast.

Seafoam = dreamy.

Please please please leave your comments!!

Oh yeah … yay for being engaged for a week!! (baaahh … hahahahaha)

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Evening of Day 6 (just for jill)

As the night lingers on and I become more and more inspired by the increasing view count on the dashboard, a text message enters @ stage right.

It’s Jill, of course. She’s requesting more blogging — ironically, right after I agreed with a friend that I need to balance my life and not let all this planning take over my thoughts and dreams.  I laughed.

I don’t really want to take my mind off of the idea: a (insert not-yet-chosen adjective) yellow and dark grey flood of pictures and DIY projects and suits and suspenders envelope me. I am so unbelievably excited and at the same time, the most stressed I have been for at least a year.

My trusty notepad is tucked tightly into my nude-toned purse, it’s permanent home until probably the wedding day. Every idea that comes to mind, every song that must be played, every ounce of inspiration gets jotted down or pseudo-sketched in hopes that I capture the ambiance it portrays.

A friend from school is in the midst of creating two inspiration boards for me — how adorable is she?!? She is one of the most creative writers and designers and I follow her blog rather religiously. Check her @ jetsetmeg.blogspot.com — I really cannot wait until she posts them. I’m honored to be featured  :]

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