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WordPress has a new wedding blog theme!

It was already very user friendly to use WordPress as a wedding website with it’s forms and pages (People RSVP’d on my blog and it sent me an email with the info!) So this theme makes it even easier! Too bad I don’t have to plan a wedding any more. Going… through… withdrawals…

Enjoy!

The WordPress.com Blog

One of the most important events of your life might just be your wedding. It also might be one of the craziest, disorganized, mixed-up times of your life too. We’d like to help with that a bit with a free wedding theme we call Forever. Along with a handful of cool features we’ll get to below, Forever makes it easy to wrap your wedding up in a neat little blog on WordPress.com. You can show off every one of your best photos and highlight every important detail leading up to the big day and beyond.

The Forever Theme

Forever makes it easy to welcome your family and friends to your blog with a dramatic personalized home page. The design is bold and clean with lots of room for large, colorful photos of the happy couple (that’s you!) in an optional featured post slider and home page excerpts.

You can also easily…

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Wedding Projects Completed.

Phillip and I bonded over projects. First major project was refinishing a pair of night stands that I got off of Craigslist (they are what we use to this day). We then created a cork board from an old frame that I was given for letting a couple friends have a garage sale at my house. The only reason they gave it to me was because it didn’t sell. No glass, no back, just gold painted frame. Sweet! I had a large bag of corks I’d been collecting over the years (roommates thought I was crazy) from the time I was a cocktail waitress. It took every last cork to complete this cork board, but it looks amazing and has been featured in two weddings so far. Needless to say more, Phillip and I thrive off of the next project. So naturally when it was time for us to plan a wedding, we created a list of projects that we could do. I’ve attempted to record the process and now present the finish product in two posts. If you are interested in tutorials of how we did any of these projects, just out our DIY Projects and Crafts tab. Most of these photos were taken by our wonderful photographer, Jon Upson.

Enjoy!

The Living Wall:

The Cork Board:

The Grapevine Wreaths:

The Centerpieces and Burlap Table Runners:

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The Bouquets and Boutonnieres:

For fear that I wouldn’t get a good picture of it, I took one in our hotel, still hanging on his jacket. FYI, these stayed beautiful… I still have them almost a month later and they look exactly the same as they did when I first made them. A very low maintenance option. We wrapped the stems in jute.

The Winebarrel belly tables:

OK, so these aren’t the finished product, but at least you can see how we used them and where. It’s really hard to get good shots of your own wedding. Remember that we purchased some barrels off of craigslist for rather cheap and we’ll be turning them into some fun projects soon.

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There are a few other projects that will come in another post, such as the cake plates, the signs, the guestbook, and much more!

I Left My Heart in San Francisco…Part 1

Neither of us had been to San Fran as adults, so we were both looking forward to this trip. More than anything, we were looking forward to sleeping in. We haven’t had a day off in quite a while.

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We bought cheap tickets through Southwest, they are sometimes as low as $50 from San Diego to San Fran. We did the whole Priceline deal for our hotel rooms, so they were around $100 a night or so. We stayed two nights in San Diego so that we didn’t actually have to do anything the day after the wedding. We flew out in the afternoon on Monday.

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We took Bart (I was told that there is no “the” before Bart, which I think is weird, but I’m a southern Californian who puts the definite article in front of everything) from the airport to Market Street in the heart of the Tenderloin. Our hotel was only supposed to be a few blocks away, but we started walking the wrong direction and ended up walking a mile in the wrong direction. Right when we got out of the train station, we were bombarded with street music (which was really good!), very animated homeless
We stayed at the Wyndam, which was a decently priced, nice hotel. It reminded me of a European city with its old style buildings and fashionable, yet cold passersby. If you don’t rent a car, you walk a lot. If you stay in the tenderloin, then you walk a lot in the tenderloin. Tenderloin = lots of homeless people. Walking a lot at night + lots of scary homeless people = scary and annoying. Typically I have a lot of sympathy, but they seem to have chosen that lifestyle in San Fran, it comes with the territory.

We walked, a lot. We got an app for my iPhone to help us navigate, but spent more time looking at a paper map than the app. It never really worked well, always losing us on the map and it ran the batteries down really fast if I always used it. I’d rather keep it handy for emergencies and for photo editing. We should have spent more time researching when we were in our hotel and plotting out where to go, rather than trying to be spontaneous and sometimes not eating breakfast until 12 PM because we were lost.

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We visited most of the tourist traps, like Haight and Ashbury Street. I took a class on the 60s in my undergrad and we both love the music of the 60s, so this stop was a must. Unfortunately, its lined with tourist oriented shops and long gone are the hippies. As to be expected I guess. What do you know, there was a Ben and Jerry’s on the corner…

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One of Phillip’s favorite novels is Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, a seemingly autobiographical novel about a beat on a hitchhiking journey across America, set in the late 40s, early 50s. San Francisco is the promise land for a freewheeln’ character named Jack. Much of his focus is upon the feelings and experiences of his friends that he meets up with during his travels. A colorful story, Phillip and I enjoyed reading about his his spirited life as we tootled around San Fran. We made a point to swing by Jack Kerouac street in Chinatown and visit one of his old haunts–Vesuvios. We gandered at the array of old photographs on the wall of the like of Bob Dylan and his friends. They all hung out here. We enjoyed a cocktail early in the afternoon and headed next door to the City Lights Bookstore. Left as you can get, this bookstore published beat literature and was the mecca at which traveling beats would replace their old copies of On The Road. We bought Darma Bums, another Kerouac classic, and went on our way. We felt like free spirits for a few hours, then ended up back in the busy downtown of our hotel.

Stay tuned for our next honeymoon post: Adventures in coffee, continuing your education…San Francisco’s single cup revolution.

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And We’re Back!

I apologize for leaving the blog hanging for a little while, but with the stress of last minute wedding craziness and the honeymoon, we decided to take a little break. We thought we’d share a little about the wedding day,  some finished snap shots of all the projects we’ve been updating you on over the past couple months and update you on our next big project for the blog. These will come in three blog posts over the next week. To give a little sample of the upcoming pictures, here’s a teaser from our photographer.

For starters, the wedding went so well! The week before was one of the most stressful weeks of our lives, right up there with finishing and defending a masters thesis and taking the CPA exam. It was an emotional roller-coaster ride. We planned this wedding in less than 4 months and the only thing we formally rented or service we received was the flatware/silverware/market lights, photography and the catering. Everything else was homegrown, rounded up, hand painted, salvaged, thrifted or purchased in bulk and assembled or made into something usable. The venue for the reception was a car garage (shop) that hadn’t been cleaned in 10 years and was full to doors with collected goodies. In addition to transforming the venue, we also finished our apartment attached to the venue. BTW, we both work full-time and the wedding was planned for right after Christmas. Crazy? Yes, why yes we are. To make things really interesting, we switched venues for the ceremony the week before! We went from a chapel to an open field!  The wedding ceremony itself consisted of borrowed benches, reception chairs, a few trees and some last minute touches that turned a dirt patch into a beautiful ceremony with a fantastic view. A little fun fact: This was the original venue. We had originally planned to rent a tent and have the reception at the top of the hill and the ceremony right next to it. For fear that the weather would take a turn for the worse and to save money, we changed the reception to the shop.

The shop before…

One week before the wedding… if that…

After!

We both had the week off of work and had way more planned for the week than was possible to actually accomplish. The venue was still being cleaned and cleared until Friday, the day before the wedding. The final day before, we rushed to make the bouquets, set the tables and get the decorations up and out. The night before the wedding I was up until 1 AM setting up the reception hall. I then left a detailed list of tasks still to be completed and washed my hands of it all. To my surprise, a few friends came to the rescue and completed every last detail. I was continually surprised throughout the reception when I’d see a detail that they had completed, it made me unbelievably happy. We received complements all night long and long after the wedding. That’s what we did all of this for, so that our friends and family could experience and would enjoy it! It’s hard to describe, but it’s similar to when you decorate your home–you do it to bless your guests. It’s not all for you. They always tell the bride that it’s her day. When in reality, we spent every waking moment of the past three months so our guests too would have this day to remember our marriage as a day of celebration, hand crafted by us. Turns out that we are surrounded by people who are willing to get their hands a little dirty and help us pull it all together.  Needless to say, it was a mad dash and we didn’t do it alone. Phillip’s family came in droves to assist us. They offered their hands and went to work. Phillip’s sister Amy and her husband Gabriel worked day and night on any random and outlandish tasks we asked of them.

They painted the side of Phillip’s truck (which held the beer kegs) in the most creative way…

They painted signs for the cake table…

and did a make-over of the signs by the road, adding one with our new address on it…

 They scraped oil stains off of the floor of the shop… We are so thankful for their help. Not to mention a few others who stepped in to help wherever help was needed: Aaron, Greg, Tatiana, Diana and Chris.

Samantha, my matron of honor, helped me to keep mentally stable while I faced the possibility that things wouldn’t get done in time. I’d spent so much time on every detail, my biggest fear was that I’d have to let it all go and have the place be thrown together any which way or worse, that it wouldn’t get done in time at all. We’d spent hours, days, months laboring over every detail. Would it really all be for nothing? These were the threatening thoughts that raced through my mind. Samantha held me together and labored with me. I haven’t even gotten to the part about how much work Phillip’s father put into this. I don’t even know where to start there… there are no words to describe how grateful we are. Not to mention Phillip’s mom who provided and washed a zillion mason jars and helped Phillip taste-test the Kahlua to perfection. My family as well rolled up their sleeves and helped out the day before. My mom, stressed out to the max, helped me every step of the way and looked beautiful on my wedding day, btw.

Let me tell you, I’ve got some talented friends. Diana grabbed my bouquet that I had thrown together and turned it into the most beautiful bouquet I’ve ever seen. She wouldn’t even let me see it until she was done because she knew how stressed out I was. Bless you Diana… I love you. She mentioned in passing, “Oh, I took a flower arranging class once.” She doesn’t realize how talented she is.

Many friends contributed to our beautiful selection of home made cakes of all shapes, kinds, and sizes! Phillip’s brother-in-law brewed fantastic beer. All three kegs were dry as a bone. The Barleywine was to die for and everyone loved it. Michelle came to the rescue on Saturday. Unfortunately, I was not there to witness it, but she pulled that reception together until the last glass was picked up that night. I am continually told that Michelle needs a medal. Her husband does catering for a living and had I been thinking, I would have hired them to set up the reception and do the apps from the beginning. Also, Katie swooped in on Friday and took charge. She’d been there before and knew exactly what needed to be done. Dr. Kim and the band rocked the house! The band was a hit! Aly, Kayla and Alexander played beautifully for the ceremony… I’m so sad that I didn’t get to hear it all.

The kegs in the back of Phil’s 54 Chevy panel truck in a tub.

One thing I learned in the process of event planning is delegate and reiterate exactly what you need from people and when you need them. I wont say anything more than, don’t assume.

Here are some snap shots of some of the work crew…

De-nenge putting down the wood laminate flooring for the dance floor. We later used this same flooring for the kitchen of our apartment.

Phillip’s brother Andy, the architect, planned the design for the market lights using CAD. Others joined to help us put them up.

Chuck, a friend of the Howerzyls, let us borrow heaters and many other items for the reception. He brought some of the Buckheart boys to help.


Ceremony Venue Change

It’s 74 degrees outside in December. This calls for an outdoor ceremony! :D I know it’s crazy, but we’ve been keeping this on the back burner with the hope that the weather would be beautiful enough to have the wedding outside. The forecast looks great so we will be having the ceremony at the Howerzyl Ranch at 4:20 PM to accommodate any guests who show up at Westminster and have to make their way over to the Ranch. The directions are located here on the blog under the wedding page>directions.

Keep in mind that the ceremony will now be in an open field (hard dirt really) so dress appropriately. You can still wear your heels, but it just might be a little harder to walk around. :) Bring a coat and wear your nylons! The ceremony will only be 30 minutes long, so it will be short and sweet.

Copy Cat

I’m not much of a royal stalker, but I did catch a glimpse of the royal wedding. I thought the live trees in the chapel were a brilliant touch. With that said, we’ve been searching high and low for the perfect trees. We’ve looked at olive, citrus and some others, but we couldn’t seem to find the right tree shape until this weekend. We stopped by a nursery in Fallbrook and found two giant cypress trees in 15 gallon pots which were very inexpensive. They kinda looked like christmas trees, but also reminded us of the trees we hike near all the time. They are tall and well shaped so they will make an impression, but they are also in small buckets so they will be super easy to transport. We got a couple of Italian cypress, the long pointy trees, and lavender for the ceremony as well. The best part is that we are not only decorating our ceremony, but we are also landscaping our new home! We also purchased a few fruit trees for good measure, so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor soon.

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The Bachelorette

For my bachelorette party my friends took me on a cruise around San Diego Bay. They rented a sail boat for a few hours (along with it’s captain) and treated me to champagne and a cheese plate. We relaxed as we sailed around the bay on an almost glassy calm sea. Then we headed over to a super swanky movie theater in Del Mar called Cinapolis. It’s complete with a bar, reclining leather chairs and a wait staff. Amazing!


A sneak peak into the movie theater… crazy! I’m never watching movies at a regular theater again!