Tag Archives: Z

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?

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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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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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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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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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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