We were married on October 11, 2008 at the Pacific Athletic Club in Redwood City, CA. I never got around to doing a blog during the planning stages... always meant to, but my laziness got the better of me. Now that all is said and done, I realized that I enjoyed reading other's people's biographies to get inspiration, ideas, and to just, plain admire, so why not do one for myself, in the hopes that I inspire a future bride.
** All photos currently posted are non-pro pics.
All photos in this post by Todd Rafalovich.
Both the ceremony and the reception were held at Pacific Athletic Club in Redwood City, CA. The ceremony was held at the outdoor lawn.
We loved the floor to ceiling windows and the high vaulted ceiling. We also wanted an intimate feeling, where we could see all our guests. Once we saw the venue, we knew immediatly that we wanted to book. This was the set-up the day we visited.
RECEPTION/CEREMONY/CATERING: Pacific Athletic Club &n bsp; www.pacclub.com
CATERING: Le's Kitchen Catering - we orginally wanted to book this caterer b/c they specialize in Asian cuisine (and their food is yummy), but unfortunately, our dates did not mesh. I highly recommend if you are looking for contemporary Asian food. &n bsp; http://www.leskitchen.com/
PHOTOGRAPHER: Todd Rafalovich   ; www.toddrafalovich.com
FLORIST: Nicole Ha &nbs p; & nbsp; www.nicoleha.com
LINENS: Classic Party Rental www.classicpartyrentals.com
CAKE: American Cupcake www.americancupcake.com
WEDDING DRESS: Amy Kuschel &n bsp; www.amykuschel.com
HAIR & MAKE-UP: Sherrie Long &n bsp; www.sherrielong.com
VIDEOGRAPHER: MvideoM Productions & nbsp; www.mvideom.com
DJ: John Jow
OFFICIANT: Heartfelt Weddings   ; www.heartfeltweddings.com
We sent STDs about 6 months prior to the wedding date. Most of our family are local, so these weren't absoultely necessary, but I was set on doing these as my first DIY project. We chose to do a simple magnet that we printed on our inkjet printer and designed in Adobe Illustrator.
My Bridesmaid! I had the honor of having five great girls stand next to me as I took my vows. I gave each girl these cute cookies that I purchased from weddingish.com.
I wanted my bridesmaids to wear a dress they could re-use for the future, so I purchased the J.Crew Beach Embossed Dress in Espresso. To dress it up, I sewed baby blue ribbon as a sash and added a bow-shaped brooch. The bow was inspired by the ribbon bows on my wedding dress.
We went with standard black tuxes at the Men's Warehouse (rent 5, get 1 free). My DH wore a white tie with a white vest. We thought it might get washed out in pictures, but overall, we were satisfied with the look. The groomsmen wore baby blue ties (to match the BMs blue sashes) with black vests. I loved the combination of baby blue/black!
My DH and his GMs also wore matching blue/brown argyle socks that we purchased from Banana Republic. Makes a fantastic picture op.
I admit that I had the most difficult time choosing a dress, and I always wondered if I would get that "this is the one" feeling. Ironically enough, the last dress I tried on at Amy Kuschel, I knew it was THE ONE. I chose the style "Marion".
I'm a petite person, and Amy Kuschel was a perfect fit for me. They custom make the dress from the ground up to fit you, which means they begin with a pattern, and after they determine the pattern fits, they cut the fabric, and tailor the dress. The proportions are spot on and being petite, I definitely appreciate the precise fit. I also love the Ribbon Bow Belt!
View of my bustle: View of ribbon belt:
My veil was purchased from Forget Me Knots Bridal, and this was a very affodable place. I was able to customize my veil, so that it was a shorter length and not as puffy on top. I chose one with ribbon-edged trim to match the ribbon on my dress.
I purchased these hair pins from Paris Connection. I absolutely adored the subtlety of these pins.
I'm a sucker for shoes, so I knew from day 1 that I wanted colored shoes, more specifically, I was looking for baby blue shoes. Not an easy feat for a fall wedding, though. My DH wanted to buy me shoes as a wedding gift, and he was looking to purchase these beautiful Louboutin shoes for me! Alas, the release date for these shoes was October 17th (6 days too late). But as luck would have it, I found these great Manolo Blahniks that turn different shades of blue and brown depending on the light it's in! Can't lose with either of these.
After searching high and low for the perfect invite (and within the perfect price range), I gave up and decided to DIY my invites. I read about so many brides doing this and gaining so much satisfaction from it, I told my DH that we can take on this project!
I decided on Perfetto coffee bean pocketfolds from cards & pockets and baby blue linen square envelopes from envelopemall.com. I also purchased baby blue panel cards from cards & pockets to mount the invite on.
My DH designed the invite in Adobe Illustrator. I wanted to add some depth and texture to the invite, so I stamped and embossed cherry blossoms on the branches and glued crystal embelishments. We also created inserts for RSVP, the map, and the accomodations. We then tied ribbon around the invite to close it and stuck our monogram on the front cover.
We choose to address our invites as shown in Martha Stewart. However, we got several of our invites mailed to us b/c the post office thought we were the receiver.
Also, the size of our invites (6x6) were considered "large"; one post office quoted us $0.79, while another quoted us $1/piece. We didn't want our invites returned, so to be on the safe side, we opted for the $1 postage.
My florist, Nicole Ha, totally turned my vision into reality. I absolutely LOVED my flowers and the work she did! I wanted really bright, vibrant, and lush-looking arrangements. Since my BMs were wearing brown, I wanted the color of thier bouquets to pop. For the ceremony, Nicole made two tall flower arrangements for the front and pomanders on shepard hooks to line the aisle.
For the reception, I decided to use brown tableclothes, so the flowers would have the same affect as the BM dresses. Nicole did a mixture of high and low centerpieces. She re-used the pomanders from the ceremony for the low centerpieces.
The two large arrangements from the ceremony flanked the sweetheart table. My bouquet and the BM bouquets also served as the decoration for the sweetheart table.
I wanted to personalize each of my BM's bouquets, so I purchased these cute initial charms from etsy seller oliviamoon. The backside of the chamr is a mirror, perfect for checking lipstick!
My MOH also surprised me with a day-of-wedding charm that I stuck on my bouquet. The beauty of this charm is that it turns into a neckace that I can wear afterwards! She bought it from etsy; I'll need to find out where.
Wedding cakes are so beautiful, and no doubt, this was going to be an important part of the day. My DH is not a big fan of desserts/cakes, so he was not very enthusiastic about cake tasting. However, we are both avid cupcake eaters. So, we decided, why not, let's do cupcakes as our wedding cake. We tried several cupcake companies, but ultimately decided on American Cupcake. After one bite of her samples, we knew this was it. We choose vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting. Yummy!!
I really like Swarovski monogram cake toppers but, I could not justify the price of one, so I decided to take the DIY route.
I purchased silver-mirrored monogram cake toppers from Wedding Cuts website and I purchased 12ss Swarovski crystal flat backs from Tami's Place (highly recommend - free shipping and affordable prices) in light sapphire.
I then glued the individual crystals onto the monogram. Ta-da, finished product!
I decided to crystallize only one side of the letters. However, if I had to do it all over again, I would do both sides only because my "cake" had a 360 degree view and the backside of the topper could be viewed.
Overall, I was very happy w/the results. I worked on it for about two days. The task, itself, is extremely tedious, your back starts to ache afterawhile, and your eyes go crossed-eyed. But if you have the patience, it's a fun project!
This was by far one of my favorite DIY projects. I originally wanted to do mini pin-back buttons on the escort cards. Each button would have a picture that represented that individual, but my DH and I got lazy and never looked for images.
Since I had a semi-Asian theme happening, I found asian-inspired cardstock. I decided to deviate from my color scheme for this project, since I thought the multitude fo colors would give the escort cards a really nice touch. Ta da... finished product! My dad was also kind enough to make trays to hold the fortune cookies.
I placed the name on the left hand side and their table name (we used this instead of table numbers) on the right side.
For the table names, we chose to name them after our favorite restaurants or ones that had an occasion associated with it. We drove around the city taking pictures of the signs; not an easy job, and then realized that we could probably google these images! On one side of the sign, we placed the picture we took and on the other side, we printed out the name, just in case, people couldn't read the image.
We choose to do brown linens and baby blue napkins. I don't have any pics of the table from my reception (maybe my photog will have), but this is what the sample looked liked. We rented from Classic Party Rentals. From the 200 napkins we rented, we lost 13 of them... who would steal napkins? So, we ended up paying a small fee for those.
While browsing my usual blogs and websites, I found these great lotus baby blue votive holders. I knew that I had to have them, plus they'd incorporate a little Asian flair to the reception! Our venue did not allow us to use real candles, so we had to opt for the battery-operated tealights. We found a great deal on flickering tealights at ledtealights.net. They came out to about a $1/piece.
I also wanted to incorporate votives with the low centerpieces, so I purchased square votives and baby blue ribbon. I stamped the ribbon using a cherry blossom stamp from Papersouce. The ink dried nicely and didn't smudge. I also had leftover paper from another project and used that for a few of the votives.
My MOH made these wonderful Initial Letters for me. She purchased the initials from craftcuts.com and flowers from Beverly's. Bonus: flowers were 1/2 off, so the bulk of the cost came from the wooden letters. Here is the finished product. We hung them on these branch-like doors at the reception.
I wanted to make this cute Martha Stewart Banner, but didn't know where to hang it. Maybe for another event.
I LOVE candy, so when I first saw a candy buffet, I was like, gotta have that! Who cares if it's played out... people love candy!!
Over the course of planning, I scoured places like Ikea, Michaels, Ross, Pottery Barn, etc for vases. On average, I spent about $6-7 a vase. My fav is the tall vase to the left.
I had about 13 vases and several different types of candy. We decided to do a mix of nostolgia candy and our favorite candy (M&Ms, old-fashioned candy sticks, jelly bellys, taffy, hersey kisses, luv pops, etc.). We purchased a majority of our candy from bulkfoods.com and Costco. Bulkfoods is quick, sells candy in bulk, has very affordable prices, and has free shipping over $75. The only downside is that if you want chocolate, they won't ship if the temperature exceeds a certain amount.
I used the ribbon from the votives to decorate the vases.
We bought white glassine paper bags from Papermart and stuck our logo on them (you can sort of see the bags in the pictures below). We also made the sign below, but it got lost in transit, so it didn't get displayed with the candy buffet. :0(
The on-site manager at my venue put together the buffet for me, and I didn't have to provide directions for placement or anything. I was surprised how well it turned out!
For 157 guests, here is the amount we bought (w/no candy leftover!):
M&Ms: 2 - 3lb 8oz bags
Very Cherry Jelly Bellys: 1 - 5lb bag
Hershey Kisses: 2 - 60oz bags
Taffy: 1 - 5lb bag (approx 265 pieces)
Root Beer, Apple, Strawberry, Grape Sticks: 4 boxes (80 pieces each)
Mini Gummi Burgers: 3 boxes (60 pieces each)
Gummi Bears: 1 - 5lb bag
Pillow Mints: 1 - 3lb bag
Licorace: 1 - 5lb tub (330 pieces)
Luv Pops: 2 tubs (40 pieces each)
I was very happy with the way my programs turned out, but it was a lot of work! My DH, MOH and I pulled an all-nighter cutting and assembling the fans. Snacks, soda, and coffee couldn't even keep us awake. The repetition of the same task was a killer.
I found the template on this site: http://www.gnyc.net/senseless/2006/06/10/diy-fan-programs/. But my DH modified it a bit to make the panels smaller and fit more on one sheet.
An assembly line was the best way to do this! My DH cut the straight edges with a paper cutter, I cut the curved portions (with a circle cutter for the top curve and by hand for the bottom curve), and my MOH assembled the panels and placed a brad to hold them together. We found jeweled brads at Michaels and flower brads at Joann's. Both very cute!
We didn't really know what to include in the program, so we worked off programs that we received from other weddings. Our final program included:
* The Proposal
* Ceremony Agenda (Processional, Seating of Parents, Recessional, etc)
* Our Wedding Entourage and Parents - if we had more room, we would have included mini-bios of our wedding party
* Thank Yous
I remember seeing this picture of rose petals being thrown when the bride and groom walked down the aisle, and I totally wanted to do that for our wedding, but when we priced it out, it was quite costly. So we opted for bubbles instead. The Knot was having one of their sales, and I got 48ct. bubbles for 4.99, and they were light blue! We tied brown ribbon around, and my MOH attached a tag w/instructions.
I was afraid that people wouldn't know to blow the bubbles even with the instructions, so I asked a couple of my friends to be "bubble blower" starters. It worked, well at least, on one side!
SEATING OF PARENTS/GRANDPARENTS: Ballade Pour Adeline
BRIDESMAIDS PROCESSIONAL: How Beautiful (by Twila Paris)
PROCESSIONAL: Here, There, Everywhere (by The Beatles) - I remember listening to the Beatles as a kid; my dad was a huge fan, so I knew this was the perfect song to be escorted down the aisle by my father.
RECESSIONAL: Love Song (by Ronan Hardiman)
WEDDING PARTY ENTRANCE: Stronger (by Kanye West, instrumental version)
OUR GRAND ENTRANCE: Remember The Name (by Fort Minor, instrumental version)
FIRST DANCE: Slow Dance (by John Legend)
CAKE CUTTING: How Sweet It Is (by James Taylor)
BOUQUET TOSS: Family Affair (by Mary J. Blige, instrumental version)
GARTER TOSS: Damn, Girl (by Justin Timberlake)
LAST DANCE: Saving Forever For You (by Shanice)
Union by Robert Fulghum
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.”
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
We wanted to recognize our extended family members, and one way to do that is by giving them a bout/corsage to wear. Unfortunately, the cost of a simple bout/corsage added up very quickly for 30 or so relatives, so my mom offered to make ribbon rose bouts/corsages. I think they turned out beautifully and are even more special b/c they were handmade with love!
At the last minute, DH and I decided that we wanted to display wedding pictures of our close friends and family. But we were on a budget and since this was a last minute DIY, we didn't have enough frames for all the pictures.
We ran out to IKEA and picked up these wooden 5x7 frames (2 per packet at $5). DH stained each frame; we, then, hot-glued 4 of the frames together to create a photo box. The photoboxes were displayed as centerpieces during the cocktail hour.
Our guests really enjoyed looking at the pictures, especially the ones of the elder generation!
DH and I used the Vera Wang Love Knots Toasting Flutes, Cake Cutter, and Frame during our reception. Our friends bought us these for an engagment gift. I loved this set b/c it matched the bows on my dress and the BMs dresses!
My MOH made my cardbox for me. She used supplies from the Container Store and Beverly's. I don't know what I would have done w/o all her help! I still have it and don't want to throw it away b/c it's so pretty! Pls. disregard the backing of our chair! :0)
Cherry Blossom Trees:
I also made cherry blossom trees to flank the guest sign-in tables. The cherry blossoms were made using this tutorial from the Flirty Guide. Excuse the mess in the background!
DH and I did not take engagment photos... he's camera shy, so instead we got a caricature done and displayed in the lobby. I think it looks like me, but it only resembles DH slightly. Vendor: Jon Casey: http://www.joncaseycaricatures.com/. I'm not sure why, but we have a ton of pics w/people posing next to it!
Ring Bearer Pillow:
My mom also made a ring bearer pillow for us. She made this right after we got engaged (from Martha Stewart), and at that time, we were unsure if we'd have a ringbearer. Unfortunately, we didn't have one, but I gotta give my mom props and post it here. It's beautiful... I wish I could use it for something!
We also made flower pens for the guests to use when signing the guest book. Super easy to make.... we bought flowers from Michaels (bigger ones look better since they're more full). Cut the stem, attach it to the pen, and wrap the pen and stem together with floral tape. Make sure the head of the flower is at the opposite end of the pen tip.
Even though our guests selected their entrees when they sent in thier RSVP, we still decided to make menu cards. Our venue didn't use chargers so there was an empty space when our guests sat down. I didn't like the way that looked, so we asked the venue to place our menus to fill the void.
I LOVE my BMs... they did an awesome job with the bachelorette party, bridal shower, and other wedding-related tasks! I decided from the beginning that I would purchase their BM dress. I also provided one service for day-of, either hair or make-up, and I also got them manis/pedis.
I love opening presents, so naturally, I wanted to give my BMs something they could open the day before the wedding.
I bought them a jewelry box from Pottery Barn, monogramed note cards from Target, monogramed baby blue napkins from Michaels, monogramed mirror from etsy seller Balasadesign (the mirror is the one w/zebra print), and a blue topaz sterling silver necklace to wear day of wedding from etsy seller blue tulip designs.
GMs gifts... not as interesting, well at least to me :0). They all love computers, fantasy football, and techie stuff. So, my DH bought them 22" LCD monitors.
And last, but not least, our PARENTS. What do you get people that have everything already? We went the non-conventional route and bought them bobble heads made to look like them! I only have a pic of my parents.
I went through a ton of favor ideas before finally settling on one. My DH really likes tea, so I found this company that sells individual tea favors, Adagio Teas. They personalize the tea favor with your names, date of wedding, how long to steep the tea, and at what temperature.
I tied ribbon around the tea and added a "thank you" charm. It's a cute favor and very usable (if you like tea), with about 10 servings. We chose black mango tea. They offer bulk quantity discount, so the more you purchase, the cheaper per favor. Also, they sell samples at a very affordable price (with flat shipping), so we were able to sample a bunch w/o breaking the bank.
My BMs are best girls in the world. They threw a "kitchen" themed bridal shower with yellow accents (b/c yellow is my fav color!). There were good games and good company, and presents! They also had all my fav food there. Yummy!
I loved the creativity and the details they inlcuded. Each station had a recipe card that doubled as instructions, with, of course, a 4-umbrella (star) rating. The favors were ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. Games included Jeopardy (trivia about me and my DH), how well do you know the groom, guess my age, and a few others.
I've finally got around to selling some stuff from my wedding...
Peacock Feather Hair Clip:
- Never worn
- Measures 3.5" wide
Beautiful Peacock Feather Hairpiece: SOLD
- Worn once, approx 2 hours
- Measures 3.5" wide
Aqua/Gold Flower Brooch/Hair Pin
- Never Worn
- Measures appox. 3” wide
Blue Flower Hair Pins:
- Never worn
- Set of 3
Baby Blue Organza Favor Bags
- 199 Available
- Measures approx 4.5 x 5.5 inches (useable space is approx 4 x 4.5 inches)
- $0.10 each + shipping