Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Score! Bridesmaid dress for under $40

I spent hours surfing J. Crew's online sale section, Nordstrom Bridal and David's Bridal for bridesmaid dresses for my girls, and nothing fit my budget, color or style. Then I found these flirty ruffled dresses at a local boutique (sort of like a Charlotte Russo or Forever 21) called Sway in Alameda, CA.

J'adore! I bought one for each bridesmaid and an extra one for fabric/alterations at $36 each, plus tax. Our wedding day was the first time I had seen the dresses on any of my bridesmaids and I was delighted how pretty they looked! I gave each bridesmaid free reign for the color of their shoes and gave them a choice between a small coral colored hair accessory or the ivory rose with feathers. The girls decided to wear their hair in side chignons with the ivory hair clip. I gifted them vintage, custom made earrings by Esty seller, Chouettes (see photo).

Black diamond art noveau (custom) by Chouettes

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Our jam wedding favors

Our jam favors turned out so cute thanks to the many hands who not only helped to make it (Shakirah Simley, owner of Slow Jams took the lead in teaching me and my bridesmaids how it's done) but also to package it (thank you groomsmen and their significant others!). The flavors were strawberry lavender and bacon-onion relish.

I bought fabric from Jo Ann's Fabric for $4.99 a yard and elastic silver bands for $1.99 a yard. I used pinking shears to cut 5x5" squares and then cut the elastic cords (and also leftover lace) and tied them in loops. A tag that was handstamped with the phrase "Handmade because you're worth it" was threaded through the loop and slipped over the top of the jars. Each jar featured a custom label that read "Spread the Love, Vera + Fred, 10.10.10."

Here's how they turned out (thanks, Jason Chong, for the photos):

My bridal bouquet by Ideal Floral Art and Design

My bouquet was composed of white anemones, orange ranunculus, and green hydrangeas and accented with monkey tails, lemon geranium. black dahlias, orange dahlias, orange mums and eucalyptus berries. The bouquet was wrapped in lace and tied off with a vintage brooch from Mignonne Decor.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Honeymooning bliss.

View from our suite (Malia) at the Sheraton Waikiki

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Photo booth love

Here's a sneak peek at one of my favorite photo booth (thanks, Green Cheeze!!) with my girl friends, Marie and Jen. The scrapbook that our guests made were even awesomer...Will share when we get back from our honeymoon!

The font is Jane Austen downloaded from Dafont.com and the background was on sale at Joann Fabrics for $4.99 a yard.

Monday, October 11, 2010

We tied the knot!

The goal was to get married and it seemed like it might not happen...at least according to my well thought out plan. ;) Our wedding coordinator fell through and I kept telling myself, as long as we make it to the altar, the goal has been reached. Little did I know that the minister was an hour late (he was supposed to be there at 2pm) due to parade-related traffic in San Francisco. I had already had a stressful morning and everyone was walking around eggshells trying to protect me from the hiccups that always happen at a wedding until the very last five minutes before he actually showed up. But in the end, we tied the knot (Reverend Wilson outdid himself and delivered a truly meaningful sermon and our friend Jeremy wrote a personal "reading" for us that made me cry. What struck me was how there was so much love in the air from all our friends and family. We have a truly special community that surrounds us.

The photos by Davina + Daniel aren't in yet, but our friend, Jason Chong, took really awesome photos! He's got a great eye. :)

Photo by Jason Chong
Photo by Jason Chong

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Going to the chapel

Broken nails, sleepless nights, half-done favors, out-of-towners and more. After eighteen months of planning, our wedding converged and hit us like a hurricane. On top of that, my car was stolen two weeks ago and our wedding coordinator got sick and left us without a replacement yesterday, so it looked like my world was falling apart.

Noticed I said "my"? I was falling into the bridezilla trap where it's all about me. And it's not. Fred's birthday was this week. His friends and family from Florida flew in earlier this week and they have been so great and I wish we could've spent more quality time with them.

When I learned that we wouldn't have a coordinator for today early yesterday, I spent time scrambling to find a replacement instead of running the last couple errands I needed to. It was 9:00AM and we had to be at rehearsal 40 minutes away by 10:30AM. We still needed to take showers, buy our flowers from the Oakland flower mart and pick up additional table numbers (you'll see them in a future post).

My motto is "make it work" and in the height of the moment, it's easy to forget that.

I'm resistant to asking for help since I'm always the one helping or getting the job done, but when you're getting married, just let go. Don't forget how many people love you and want to make sure you get to enjoy your day.

I learned that the hard way. Thank God for Fred. He is always so relaxed and level-headed. That's why he's so awesome. He reminded me that we didn't have to do it all. And everything that needed to get done, did because we asked for helped or else let go.

Yesterday, our friends and family banged out the finishing touches of our reception setup and it is looking great!! They did such a great job. Our friend, Stephanie (bless her heart) volunteered to step in and take care of coordinating our wedding. Afterwards, the wedding party and families headed to the Marin Headlands near Point Bonita for our rehearsal picnic. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge was stunning and we had a bonus: the Blue Angels! :)

So I admit, I'm up at 6:30AM blogging to you all when I should be sleeping considering I've only had 4 hours of sleep every night for the last two weeks. But I got at least 6.5 this time. I had to sketch a little diagram -- last thing I swear I'll do (haha) -- and drink some water. I had a couple glasses of wine (finally) last night and I have a tinge of a hangover. But that's okay. It was worth it.

Today, my goal is to get married to Fred. Not to make sure escort cards are in place, or that the programs are out. They won't affect the goal. They're just a bonus.

Signing off the last time as a single lady. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Inspiration #87: Rainbow Cupcakes

It happens to be my boo's birthday today! Momentum towards our big day is starting to build since his family gets into town (in just 3 hours from now) and his friends from Florida arrived yesterday. Tonight, we're celebrating at Everett and Jones, a local BBQ fave, and he and the boys are hitting up the Pacific Coast Pinball Museum for a low-key bachelor party.

To kick off the celebration, I'm baking rainbow cupcakes but in our wedding colors -- so not so rainbow-y but fun to eat nonetheless. I got the recipe from my friend Britt Piehl (of Appeale via Living Eventfully).

Rainbow cupcake - Photo by Brittany Piehl

Mini Rainbow Cupcakes

  • 1 box of white cake mix and all the needed ingredients
  • Food gels
  • Mini Baking Cups
  • Ziploc Sandwich Bags
  • 6 drinking cups
  • Frosting: Premade, store bought, homemade or whipped cream

  1. Line a mini cupcake pan with paper cups and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Prepare the cake as directed on the box.
  4. Line 6 drinking cups with one Ziploc bag each.
  5. Pour a scant cup of the cake mix into each bag.
  6. Add one color of food gel to each bag.
  7. Zip the bag closed and gently massage the bag of food gel and cake mix until there are no streaks left.
  8. You can also place the cake mix into 6 small bowls, mix together with the food gels then place into the individual Ziploc bags.Whatever works for you.
  9. Snip off one end of the Ziploc bag.
  10. Squeeze about a dimes (or more for full size) worth plus a little more of the cake batter into each cupcake well.
  11. Don't go crazy, remember you have 6 colors that need to fit into that tiny cup.
  12. Use the drinking cup to place the bag of cake mix in upside down while not in use.
  13. Upside down so the cake mix doesn't ooze out while your working with the other colors.
  14. After each color goes into all of the wells, gently tap the cupcake pan against the counter top to help even out the layer of batter.
  15. Once you have all of the colors in the wells, place pan in preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  16. Allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  17. Frost with your favorite white frosting or top with whipped cream.
    Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops
    Blue 12 drops
    Green 12 drops
    Yellow 12 drops
    Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops
    Red 18 drops

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

We're on Style Unveiled SF today!

Our engagement shoot with Steve Hughes at Piedmont Community Park was fabulous! Check out our e-session at Style Unveiled: Bride in the City, including vendor highlights and how our planning process has been going.

Vera and Fred - photo by Steve Hughes Photography

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome!

I worked on our welcome bags last night. I printed our Welcome sheets outlining the schedule for the weekend's activities as well as places to go and eat in Oakland, San Francisco and Marin/San Rafael. Goodies include flip flops, pack of gum, toiletries, scented candle, bottles of water and snacks in the Bird Blossom tote below. I put the toiletries in Paula Deen cookie tins ($1.50 at Michael's) that they can reuse again but also so the liquids can be contained in their luggage.

$1.95 Bird Blosson Reusable Totes - Pier 1 Imports
Welcome sheet using Budmo Jiggler font and Bauhaus

Sunday, October 3, 2010

7 days and counting...

Both Guitar Fred and I had early mornings: I had a doubles tennis match and he had a gig at an old folks home. We both napped for about five hours before waking up around 7:00PM to run errands. It was an unusually serene and uneventful day for us -- which is a relief considering how busy we will be for the next few days.

We can't believe we are just one week away! It feels a little unreal now. My last day of work is tomorrow and I just wrapped my last wedding before ours last night. Here's a photo from the venue, it was GORGEOUS. I'm looking forward to a similar scene at ours next week. AHHHH...

Sunset at Diablo Ranch, Walnut Creek - photo by Vera Devera
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