Our wedding day was quite honestly the best day ever! I know brides say that all the time but I can't think of another day when I was happier, had more fun, or enjoyed myself more! Having all my closest friends and family around me, seeing all my hard work over the course of a year come together, and most importantly, marrying the best thing that has ever happened to me was so incredible! If I could, I would do it all over again exactly the same way! :) Here is our day, as seen through the eyes of our fantastically talented photographer, Kristi Klemens (KLK Photography). Enjoy the journey...I know I did!
(If you use any of these photos, please credit me and my photographer. Thanks!)
We were also very excited to recently be chosen as a Project Wedding "Real Wedding"! :)
The Venue (Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club):
DH and the guys before the ceremony:
Getting ready with the girls:
My MOH's delivering my Boudoir photo album to him moments before the ceremony:
Bride and Groom portraits:
On a random Wednesday evening on a random week in October 2007, he came over to go out to dinner for what I thought was a chance to celebrate his great week at work. After arriving at my house and having a glass of wine, he said that he had picked up something for me on his way over but that he hadn't had a chance to wrap it...so I had to close my eyes. When I opened my eyes, there he was, down on one knee, ring in hand, asking me to marry him! After several "Oh my God"'s and a big "YES", it was official...we were engaged! Later at dinner, celebrating the REAL reason we were going out, he said he had one more suprise for me. The reason he asked me on a random Wednesday night was because we were leaving for San Francisco the following morning for a celebratory weekend! He had already arranged things with my work to get the time off and everything! The flights were booked, the hotel room was booked, all I had to do was pack! It was a whirlwind, amazing way to start off our engaged life together! :) Below is a picture of the view from our SF hotel room and of us on our happy trip...
I LOVE my ring! I had absolutely no part in picking it. He wanted no input from me...and I think he did an amazing job! :) Below is a picture of my wedding band. My e-ring has a matching band that would make a set, however I wouldn't be able to wear my wedding band alone so I decided to go with the simple, straight eternity band below. I'm so happy with it!
My fiance and I went to pick out his ring the other day. He went with a more modern design with a bit of bling. His ring is the design below, however his will be in satin, or brushed, platinum rather than the polished design below. Hey, guys can have a little bling too, right?? :)
Here are our bands together...
Both the ceremony and the reception will be held at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo on October 11, 2008. We loved the feel of the venue as soon as we saw it. It makes you feel as if you're at a destination wedding at a winery, when really, you're just in OC!
Can't wait to walk through these gates...
Cocktail hour will also be at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club between the ceremony and the reception. This picture is of the patio where it will be held. We will have an acoustic guitarist, signature cocktails, and appetizer stations, as well as tray passed appetizers. Hope FI and I get to try at least some of them! :)
This is the outside view of the ballroom at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club.
This is a small view of the inside of the ballroom. It has a laid-back elegance with a bit of a rustic side. There are high, wood-beamed ceilings with giant iron chandeliers. We'll be doing all chocolate brown satin linens to off-set the brighter pinks and oranges of the flowers in our centerpieces. We will have brown chivari chairs as well, like in the left-hand picture above. We loved that this venue had very neutral colors on the walls and carpet...anything will go with it!
Chocolate Brown with Fuschia and Orange! :)
Love, love, love! I wanted a little bit of pizzazz under my gown...so fun!
I'm keeping the jewelry to a minimum. I bought these Nadri crystal earrings from Nordstrom. They go beautifully with the crystals on my dress. I'm just wearing the earrings and my ring...no necklace or bracelet.
So initially I was only going to wear my crystal drop earrings and my engagement ring on the wedding day, however....I fell in love! I saw this bracelet made by Mikan Designs on Etsy and the plan changed. I just purchased this as a b-day gift to myself. It's a bit of a splurge but it's so worth it. I can't wait to wear it!!
These are hair styles I'm loving right now. All of them have different qualities that I like but all have the same feel. Ultimately I want a low, off-center chignon with some height in the crown and softness around my face! :)
With only a week til the wedding, I'm rethinking my low side chignon. I'm now thinking more along the lines of a side ponytail. I bought some clip in extensions to use since my hair is fairly fine. Here is the look I might go for:
But since I'm wearing a veil for the ceremony, I'm not sure where it could be placed if I go with this style. So if my stylist doesn't think this look will work, I'll probably stick with something along these lines:
I love the look of this makeup. I'm hoping for a similar look...
I bought this feather hair comb from Shelly Sheek. The one I purchased is not quite as long as this one. I'll wear it in my hair rather than a veil. Fun!
At first I thought I wanted a veil. Then I decided that I didn't. Now, I want one again! I know...typical bride. I think I'm finally set on wearing one now, though. I'll only wear it for the ceremony, along with the feather flower above, and then take it off for the reception. I guess it's the only time in my life that I can wear a veil and get away with it! :) I'll likely do a fingertip length veil with a plain, cut edge and no crystals, pearls, or beading. Simple and elegant. It is being made by my dress seamstress and will look much like this one without the beaded edging...
All the bridesmaids have ordered and received their dresses and they all love them! They are going to look stunning!
FI and I went to pick out tuxes finally. Here is what we think we're going with..
For the groom, he'll be in an ivory vest/long tie to match my dress:
And for the groomsmen, we're going with a subtle chocolate striped tie and vest:
We think we're going to do classic black for the dads:
My mom found her dress! It's this gorgeous dress by Tadashi. She's going to have it shortened to tea length since she's pretty short. The longer length would overwhelm her but a shorter length would be just perfect. She didn't want the typical boring jacket and long skirt that MOB's are expected to wear. She's going to look amazing! :)
For our centerpieces, we're going for something a bit contemporary and sleek, yet still soft and organic.
I had my floral trial with Green Leaf Designs recently. Shelby did a mock-up of both my tall and short centerpieces and of my bouquet. Here is a picture of what my actual bouquet will look like on the wedding day...
Here are pictures of my tall and short centerpieces from my recent trial. Both will be a bit fuller on the actual day and we talked about making some modications to them.
Tall - The actual ones will not have the stems of the curly willow showing in the vase...it will be just filled with water... and the vase will actually be square. And the curly willow coming out of the top will not have the greening leaves on them. The flowers will be more pinks and oranges and less green.
Short - The tulips on the actual wedding day will be parrot tulips. And all three vases will be more full. I'm not sure how I feel about the green spider mums but I don't know what I would replace them with.
We just had our cake tasting at It's All About the Cake...so good! We're doing this design but with only three tiers. The risers in between the tiers will be chocolate brown. We'll be doing flowers similar to this but more like the ones on our
invitations below in pink and orange. And they won't be in a straight line but more randomly placed on the tiers.
For flavors we choose:
Tier 1: chocolate cake with cappuccino flavored pastry cream and whipped cream.
Tier 2: chocolate cake with raspberries and whipped cream.
Tier 3: chocolate cake with chocolate bavarian cream.
We're also doing off-white buttercream frosting rather than the chewy fondant. Yum!
Also, as a cute little decoration for when the cake is served to our guests, a small little flag will be put in each piece. I found them on Etsy from seller Buttercreambee.
Our design will look like this with a dark brown crystal at the top:
I wasn't originally going to do a cake topper but I really liked the simplicity of this mirrored acrylic monogrammed topper that I found. It will coordinate well with the more sleek, modern aspects of our wedding and the font will match the monogrammed "C" on our menus as well.
So my FI and I went to a bridal show back in January and came across a booth that does cigar bars for weddings. Now, cigars had never been in the picture before that day but when FI learned of the concept, he fell in love. Hey, if he's excited about having a cigar bar at the wedding, then I want him to have it! :) So we decided to host a cigar bar out on the cocktail hour patio after dinner. We hired La Habana Cigar Co. to do the bar. They will also provide a "tobacconist" to cut and light the cigars and educate our guests on the art of tobacco. We'll also be offering our guests a glass of cognac to pair with their cigar. Fun! :)
Our invitations! I ordered the flat invitation cards online from Invitations by Dawn and then got the gatefolds from Paper Source. Then I bought some ribbon to tie it together and crystals for the middle of the flowers from Michael's to complete the DIY invitation! :) These were definitely a labor of love...glued a total of about 255 crystals by hand!
We will be doing escort cards to guide our guests to their assigned tables. I purchased tent-style place cards and put a flourish stamp and crystal on each. Then I attached each card to a floral pick. The guests' names and assigned tables will be calligraphied onto each card. The place cards will then be inserted into a bed of moss. They will look similar to the ones below, only in fuschia and brown...
I'm not the best at DIY so I ordered both our menus and our table numbers online...but for the life of me I can't remember from where! :) Anyway, I added a crystal to both to continue the theme...
So I just completed my favorite DIY project of all...our card box! It was really easy...box from TJ Maxx and other supplies like ribbon, silk flowers, and rhinestones from Michaels. Easy and inexpensive and pretty awesome if I do say so myself! I love it!
For our "guest book" we're doing a wish tree for our guest to write their good wishes, words of wisdom, and congratulations. Our florist is going to construct the tree using manzanita branches and place it in a square box with moss and flowers at the base. Here is the set-up that I put together to go along with it.
My mom put together a bathroom basket for the ladies room filled with all the necessities any guest could possibly need should something go wrong during the reception!
We have decided to have a small memorial table at the reception to remember those loved ones that have passed on. We have seven grandparents and two uncles that will be honored by displaying their picture. Our venue has a pretty side table on one side of the room that we'll use:
Our florist will put votive candles around the pictures and scatter some greenery around them. We're also using more vintage photos for the grandparents which will add a nice touch. Below are a few of the photos we'll use. The person's name and relation to us will be written on the cards in front of each frame:
Here is a photo of what our table looked like at our reception:
DH and I had both been to countless weddings where the favors were left behind by the guests. Knowing this, we didn't want our money to go to waste. We figured that since weddings are, in and of themselves, an extravagance, we would do something more meaningful in place of the traditional favors. Instead of giving our guests a small trinket as a token of our wedding, we made a donation in the name of our wedding and as a recognition of our guests. We both have family members that have either lost their lives or have been affected by cancer so we made the decision to make a donation to the American Cancer Society. We did this through the I DO Foundation. To inform our guests of the donation, we placed a tent card on each table explaining the donation and why it was made. Many guests commented that they were touched by the gesture...especially my aunt that was recovering from lung cancer.
Seating of the Parents: Harvest Moon by Neil Young
Bridesmaid Processional: Beloved One by Ben Harper
Processional: Canon in D by Pachelbel
Recessional: Better Together by Jack Johnson
Bridal Party Reception Entrance: Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band
Our Grand Entrance: Ball and Chain by Social Distortion
First Dance: Stolen by Dashboard Confessional (acoustic version)
Father/Daughter Dance: I Loved Her First by Heartland
Mother/Son Dance: In My Life by The Beatles
Cake Cutting: Sweetest Thing by U2
Last Dance: Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye or The Best Is Yet to Come by Frank Sinatra???
We've decided to stick with just beer and wine for the majority of the reception. However, for cocktail hour we're also doing two signature cocktails to be tray passed, one will be a cosmo martini and one will be a vodka tonic! Below is the menu:
Also, to accompany the cigars we'll be serving later in the evening, we'll be offering our guests a glass of cognac or port to complement their cigar.
I thought that doing the seating arrangements would be a total nightmare. But in order to keep things organized, I devised a good system. I drew out the layout of the room on a foam board and put each guest's name on a strip of sticky note. Then I grouped people by logical groups, like my friends, FI's friends, family, etc. Then I put each person's name around a table. I was able to better visualize the seating this way and it was easy to move people from one table to another. It only took me about two hours total to do the seating! Perfect!
My parents were married 40 years ago this year. Amazing! :) To honor their marriage and my mom, I've decided to alter my mom's wedding dress to knee length (with her blessing) and wear it to our wedding rehearsal. I can't wait!!
Here's what I've decided to do to satisfy each of these traditions:
Old - my mom has a box of antique lace that was hand stitched by women in my family many, many years ago. I'm going to have my florist wrap some of it around the handle of my bouquet.
New - my wedding dress! :) (Please ignore the weird, windblown model in the picture...)
Borrowed - I will have my florist attach the cross that both my mom and her mom wore at their wedding to the handle of my bouquet! You can see it in this picture of my mom on her wedding day.
Blue - cute panties! With a lucky horseshoe, thank you!
At the end of July, my wonderful bridesmaids threw me a fabulous bridal shower and bachelorette weekend. We combined the two into one weekend to make it easier for people traveling from out of town. First off was an awesome evening shower at an Italian restaurant. Good food, wine, and great friends made for such a great night for me!
The next day, my bridesmaids took me to South Coast Winery Resort and Spa in Temecula for an amazing scrub/massage and some lounging poolside. We also had a great lunch there with more friends that joined up with us and then did some wine tasting...
Later that evening, we headed out for some yummy Mexican food and bar-hopping, karaoke, and mixing with the locals in old town Temecula...
It was such a great time and I was overwhelmed with all the effort and love that my friends and family showed toward making my weekend special. I'm truly lucky! :)
In addition to the boudoir photo album I gave DH as a wedding gift, I also wanted to give him something that he could use more often and actually show other people! He loves music and plays guitar so I thought something related to that would be appropriate. He also likes to wear cufflinks...so I found the perfect combination of the two. I got him these sterling silver guitar pick cufflinks to wear on the wedding day. He absolutely LOVED them and he has worn them several times since the wedding!
We finally got to go to the Orange County Recorder's office to get our marriage license today! So quick and easy...strange to know that we can go get hitched tomorrow if we wanted to! :)
I had five great girls that I wanted to stand up with me when I got married. Three close friends, my cousin, and DH's sister. In order to ask them to a bridesmaid in our wedding, I bought these cookies from Weddingish.com. I wrote each girl a letter expressing how I felt about them and our relationship and then had them open the cookie. Three girls didn't live locally so I had to mail the cookie and letter to them. But I got excited phone calls from each of them after they opened them. It was so much fun! :)
I started out getting my bridesmaids a great Murval pink and brown large tote from Give Simple to carry all their necessities for the day of the wedding. It's also so cute and functional that they could definitely use it again:
Then I got each of the girls a zippered pink travel jewelry pouch from Blitz Inc:
To wear on the wedding day, I bought the girls each a pair of smokey topaz drop earrings from Overstock:
Theeeen, I got them each a bright pink pashmina from Peach Couture to use during the reception, should the weather turn chilly as the night goes on
Oh, and lastly, I wanted them to have some comfort for their feet with all the dancing they'll be doing so I got each of them some Foot Petals:
Hopefully they will like everything! :)
I wanted to personalize my bridesmaids' bouquets a bit and suprise them with something cute at the same time. I found these charms on Etsy from seller Bittyblock. They are made from actual Scrabble tiles. I had each girl's initial put on a tile and had half of them done in pink and the other half done in orange. My florist then attached them to the handles of the bouquets. They loved them!
My FI has received his fair share of flasks from being in weddings that he hasn't used since, so he didn't want to go the traditional route when picking a gift for his guys. He wanted to get them something they would use...something most guys would appreciate. He decided on getting each of them a stainless steel BBQ tool set in a great carrying case:
He's also giving them a great steak rub from Dean and Deluca to go with it:
We are lucky to have the two most adorable flower girls in our wedding. To show them our appreciation for participating in our special day, we're getting them a few gifts. For the rehearsal, they will be wearing these t-shirts:
And at the rehearsal dinner, we'll give them bags similar to these, although their's are little napsack-type backpacks. I'm going to fill it with things to keep them entertained during dinner, like coloring books, etc:
I also made each of them a matching crystal bracelet with their names on it:
I wanted to give my mom and my FMIL a keepsake from the wedding...something small but sentimental. I knew there would be tears that day (of joy of course!) so I decided to get them each an embroidered handkerchief from Felicia's Fancies. These are examples of the two that I got:
FI and I shot our engagement photos out at the Salton Sea with our photographer, Kristi Klemens. What an awesome experience! Kristi is SUCH an amazing photographer and the photos she did for us prove that! To top it off, her fiance Paul of Blue Sky Videos tagged along and videotaped our session. He sent us the video he shot of that day. Such a great keepsake to have! :) Follow the links below to check it out... www.blueskyvideos.com > Enter site > Movie Gallery > Engagement. And here is a link to our slide show: http://blueskyvideos.com/klkphotography/Michelle_Dave_ES/
FI and I will be staying at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott in Dana Point for our wedding night. We booked an ocean view room with a late check out. Our first night as husband and wife! :)
Here is the list of vendors that are booked at this point. I've had good experiences with them all thus far...
- Venue - Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club (www.arroyotrabuco.com)
- Dress (Mori Lee) - Jinny's Bridal (www.jinnysbridal.com)
- Tuxes - Friar Tux (www.friartux.com)
- Photographer - KLK Photography (www.klkphotography.com)
- Videographer - Sketch Images (www.sketchimages.com)
- Florist - Green Leaf Designs (www.greenleafdesigns.com)
- DJ/Lighting - Atmosphere Events (www.atmospheredj.com)
- Ceremony/Cocktail Musician (guitar) - Paul Lemire (www.twohatsentertainment.com)
- Cake - It's All About the Cake (www.itsallaboutthecake.com)
- Hair/Makeup - Natalie Buketov
- Officiant - Gregg Max (http://orangecountymarryingman.org)
- Cigar Bar - La Habana Cigar Co. (http://www.lahabanacigar.com)
- Transportation - ULC Limos (www.ulclimos.com)
We've decided to go to Thailand for our honeymoon! We wanted to go somewhere different from the norm...a little beach, a little adventure, a little culture! We absolutely can't wait! We booked through American Express Travel. So far, great
service!! Here's where we're staying:
Bangkok (2 nights) - Royal Orchid Sheraton
Koh Samui (4 nights) - Anantara Resort and Spa
Chiang Mai (3 nights) - Rachamankha Resort
Hong Kong - (2 nights) - Harbour Plaza
And the best part?? Our flights are free!! Gotta love frequent flyer miles!!
We had a great time at the wedding rehearsal. Everyone met at Arroyo Trabuco to run through the ceremony...it only took two run-throughs seeing as almost everyone in the bridal party had been married before! :) I wore my mom's wedding dress from 40 years ago that I had altered. It was a hit! Here are a few pictures from the day:
After a great rehearsal at the venue, everyone headed over to the Chart House in Dana Point for the rehearsal dinner. We had about 35 people attend the tropical buffet-style dinner. There were a lot of photos, laughs, fun speeches, and gifts handed out to the bridal party. It was a nice way to spend time with people in a relaxed setting before the wedding the next day.
The day of the wedding had finally arrived and I couldn't have been more excited, or strangely, more relaxed! :) My bridesmaids were coming to our hotel room at 11:00 and the hair/makeup people were coming shortly thereafter. My awesome parents had provided tons of food to snack on along with champagne for celebrating. We had a good time just hanging out in the room being girly, getting ready! Then, we hopped in the limo and made the short drive to the venue so that I could get into my dress! :)
Four weeks after the wedding and we still only have a few teaser photos from our awesome photographer. It takes her about two months to get all the images to her clients so in the meantime, we have to make do with non-pro photos from friends and family. We're so grateful for these images since they allow us to keep reliving the amazing day. Here are a few!
In addition to photos of the ceremony, our friends and family took tons of photos of the reception. Here are just a few of the amazingly fun evening...
Wow...the day has come and gone and I can honestly say I wouldn't have changed a thing! It really was the best day ever - surrounded by family and friends, marrying the love of my life...so awesome! Here are a few teaser photos from our awesome photographer, Kristi Klemens:
Our fantabulous photographer, Kristi Klemens, sent us our AMAZING slide show the other day...I am more in love with her than ever! :) She blogged about our wedding (http://klkphotography.blogspot.com/2008/12/dave-michelle-beautiful-wedding-day.html) and assembled a massive slide show (http://blueskyvideos.com/klkphotography/Michelle_Dave_WED/) that truly captures the emotions of our day! Love it!!
In the 15 months that I've been around PW, I've gotten to "know" many of the girls on the site. When you spend sometimes hours each day on the boards, you get to be familiar with brides and become online "friends". I've been fortunate enough to actually meet some of these lovely ladies in person. My husband laughs at me but I just tell him, "I met YOU online....why can't I meet new friends online?" :) Here are some of the great girls I've been lucky enough to meet in person...
October 2008 GTG at Javier's in Irvine:
(From left to right: me, Rach29, JustAnotherBridezilla, HMM - not pictured was Peanuthead24)
March 2009 GTG at Mosun in Laguna Beach:
(From left to right: Rach29, me, JackieG)