1 word...... MATCH.COM :)
No Kidding! I was on line (frankly to tic someone else off) and Steve WINKED at me...one thing led to another and here we are 5 years later.....
February 2, 2008, he came to my work to pick me up for lunch. As he strolled into my office (full of all men and me) with a 36 pack of diet pepsi and a dozen red roses, he starts spouting out PUBLICLY how much he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me, or something along those lines....because this is SOOO out of character for this man...I figured out what he was doing and started freaking out and crying.....therefore I didn't actually hear what he was saying....but on one knee and a 1.7 carat princess cut diamond ring blinding me... I figured out what he was saying!
Let me tell you a little about ourselves.
My name is Tonya. I am 47 and married once before to HS boyfriend. I have a gorgeous 27 year old son from that marriage. I didn't get to plan that wedding...mom had all the say....so being we are paying for this ourselves, I am having a blast with it.
My FI...an amazing man...is Steve. I'm a cradle robber...He's only 42. Steve has never been married and to our knowledge...no kids...heheheeee....
Because his mom has never planned a wedding or anything like this before, I am trying to involve her as much as possible. I have a great FMIL!!!!
Well.....we got the Church and the Reception venues secured right away...and then did nothing until now. All I can say is WOW....I can see why so many tame, sane and balanced brides go NUTS....I have made my girlfriends Lisa and Marlene promise to kick my behind if I came even close to being a bridezilla!
We chose St. Josephs Cathedral Basilica downtown San Jose along with the Corinthian Event Center just a couple of blocks over for the Reception. Both places are historical and elegant.
The toughest thing has been to decide on a theme or feeling of the wedding. After many plans and paths and thank goodness NO Major purchases....we have decided on FORMAL meets silly FUN......WHAAA????
Formal Black, White, Red and Silver.......
OK....picture this....3:00 pm everyone is seated, the candleabra's lining the isles are lit, the SF HANDBELL Ringers start playing songs TBD with their handbells, Jr bridesmaid hits the isle in a Black/Red long dress, the 4 bridesmaids all in a deep red, cocktail length dresses meet up with their groomsman in Black tux's with matching Red vests/ties. My MOH walks down in Black cocktail length, meets the Best Man in Black tux/vest/tie, all have white bouquets/boutonnieres with stems wrapped in opposing dress colors. Then everything goes silent....enter the ring bearer...my 6 year old nephew in Black tux, Platinum shirt/vest/tie walks down the isle ringing a single handbell...ding/ding, ding/ding, ding/ding.....then the handbell ringers start up with a wedding march song TBD while my brother in Black tux, Black vest/tie walks me down the isle to my groom in Black tux, Platinum shirt/vest/tie, Red boutonniere.....my dress is Platinum and I'll have Red rose/flowers bouquet.
Let's fast forward to the end of the ceremony.....as our guest leave down the stairs of the Cathedral, they will be greeted by the Dickens Christmas Carolers who will lead a processional down the street to the reception, all the while singing Christmas Carols.
As the carolers and guest ascend up the red carpeted stairs lined with luminaries, they will be directed to the lounge decked out in Full Christmas attire...fire burning in the fire place with the bridal parties Christmas Stockings in a small Damask print with Red/Silver trim hang from the fireplace. This will be accompanied with the carolers continuing to sing Christmas songs in the foyer while the cocktail party takes place. 2 signature martini's and champagne drinls will be served by servers.
Let's get this party started.....the Corinthian Event Center has 60 foot ceilings with hand carved details that could have only been crafted with the skills in the early 1900's. In one word.....BEAUTIFUL!.....the lights will be dimmed, the ambient light will be tinted in light reds and as the evening progresses, they will gradually switch to a darker color with stars cut out to reflect the night sky and the NORTHERN star. As you first enter the room the banisters will be covered in 2' - 4' FULL Poinsettia's. Small white lights will be woven through out the flowers. On the lower wall, over 150 votive candles will circle the room. Instead of table rounds, the floor will be set up with 12 - 8' tables making a large X in the middle of the floor. The tables will all have long BLACK tablecloth's with the TRADITIONS (or similar) Black/White DAMASK squares on the diagonal. There will be 2 diagonals per 8' table. Where the diagonals meet, a 3' wire wrapped tree adorned with 1/2" crystal balls at the end of each branch, hanging crystals on Red organza ribbon and several cut crystal tea light candle holders/candles throughout the branches. At the base of the trees will be small 6" Poinsettias with red rose petals covering the feet of the trees. Scattered down the length of the tables will be red rose petals and several various size and patterns of cut glass containers with lit votive candles. 1" small SILVER Christmas balls will be spread throughout the tables too. The white plates and Silver flatware. The napkins will be WHITE standing in wine glasses. The Chairs will be covered in white satin...OK...Poly Satin.... with Black satin sashes with our monogram embroidered on it.
There will be Fun NOVELTY items and small games all over the tables and the room. Where some people have candy jars, we will have fun games/toys. What doesn't get taken home by our guests will be donated to local families in need.
But let me tell you about the really cool thing.... we are bringing in 3-4 live Christmas trees that will be set up to be decorated by the guest. The lights will already be strung. But here is the deal...at the base of each tree will be an apple basket full of Christmas tree ornaments that the guest will make a small donation in a jar to decorate the trees. After the wedding, the trees and the money jars will also be donated to needy families.
We are also bringing in Zany Christmas trees...Upside down, the look of one falling through a large window (half inthe building/half out....small beautiful metal trees...my step dad's making these ones...
The DJ will play swing and funk and country and rock and wild silly music....except the chicken dance...I roasted the chicken last night to make sure it DOESN'T show up. :)
So for now, that's what we have....formal on the outside...goofy, silly & fun on the inside.
For NOW.....that's a scary thought...more changes, more money, more insanity... are we there yet?
Let me introduce you to Matthew Christopher's Roman Holiday.....
I came across a design of his in Martha Stewart's Wedding magazine and fell in love with the feminity if the lines. His dresses are not the cookie cutter styles of some other designers.
There is only 1 store in Northern California that carries his designs...Starlet Bridal in Santa Rosa....HIGHLY recommend - 5 out of 5 stars for me!
The dress in the magazine that brought me in "Lalique" was not available yet. But they had several others of his collections. I tried on 5 of them.
What they say is true...you don't find the dress, the dress finds you.
I am not a girly girl. I don't get overly emotional over things...especially a dress...until I put her on. From the lines of the dress to the hand beading and the feel of the satin....I was hooked!
It wasn't until my 2nd trip to try her on that the "Christmasy" detailing of the dress caught my attention...it was just a whole other reason it was meant to be mine.
From a website on me...backside (ignore the back fat...it's now gone!) =0)
bottom back of dress bottom front of dress
Bodice...it has a sweetheart neckline
I found this cootie catcher/fortune teller template on the internet. It's a power point template! Fun idea at the reception or as an icebreaker at the cocktail party! Fill it in with your own questions or comments about you and your honey.
I have the template if you would like it. Just send me your email address.
OK...where to start.....
Wrap Around Labels ......
BM Flowers - Red
My flowers - Red roses, white pin pearls
Mom's flowers - White
Mint Boxes .....DONE!.....
Cootie Catchers .....DONE!
Damask Table Cloths......DONE!
Guest Book/Photo Booth Book
Labels for Poinsettiea's (Favors)
Damask Table Clothes.....DONE!
Faux Cake...didn't work out... =0(
Bridal Party Christmas Stockings (to hang from Mantel)
Upside down Christmas Tree (decorate)
Signature Drink Menu
Wish Tree/ Guest Book (basket of ornaments to sign and hang on tree)
Decorate H for card box
Map of downtown
Things to do list
Discount Ice Skating tickets
For Starters...... :)
- Color Spot Nursery
- Flower MartPhotographer
- Art of Emotion - Aptos CA
- Soundwave Mobile DJ
- 1000 Fine Linens - Specialty tables
- Danny Thomas - Black Rounds
On June 11th we had the chance to meet with our Chef for the reception...and all I can say is OMG!!!!!
So let me say I am a foodie....love love love great food and layers of different flavors in your mouth at once. I have to say we were BLOWN away but his dishes.
Chef James Aptakin is the Exec. Chef at all places the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield CA. He has won many awards including Foodnetworks Challenge for Big Bash Catering last year.
He started us off with Lobster Bisque. This bisque had a caramel and butter undertones and really rich lobster flavor....I have NEVER tasted anything like this. He then added a serving of fried shrimp wonton layered with 2 slices of Ahi and an amazing sauce paired with a Ceviche salsa in the middle...WOW!!!!
Chef followed it up with his famous Paradise Salad that consisted of Cucumbers & Zucchini hollowed out and carved into a palm tree and a square holding a serving of marinated julienne vegies, Spiced/candied walnuts and cucumbers sliced super thin to form a cup holding an amazing spinach salad, Asian pears sauteed in red wine and cloves and sliced super thin then fanned out across the sald........and OH THERE IS MORE.
He then brings out the main course...keep in mind....these are NOT micro servings, these are full plate servings...he has plated a duet of boneless shortribs that fall apart in your mouth, a hawiian tropical white fish that started with a P..kind of like sea bass....grilled and covered in an amazing mango sauce. The two entrees were separated by a layering of white garlic mashed potatoes, yellow safronmashed potatoes and purple Peruvian mashed potatoes. The tators had a sprinkling of sauteed spinach, fresh grilled corn kernels and some other smaller chopped vegies..... It was ABSOLUTELY A...MAZ...ING!!!!!
Chef James came out with each course, told us how he made it and why, paired it with great wines and then served us Cuban Flan...Never had anything like it before...Yuuummmmeeeee! We decided to go with everything we tried as a plated meal. Can't wait to share this amazing food with our family and friends.
One of the waiters who was top 40 American Idol contestant (didn't make the cut) sang me a great version of Happy Birthday.... (oh it was my Birthday too)
We walked out of there speechless. It so surpassed our expectations and Chef James is awesome.
If you are ever in Fairfield/Sacramento area You HAVE to go to Hilton Garden Inn and eat at Ahi's. Tell Chef James I sent you!!! :)
2 Tier Scalloped Petal Edge Ivory Wedding Bridal Veil Fingertip length flowing Plain Cut European Edge
Purchased from Etsy Bella Bridal for $35. Asking $25
Davids Bridal A-Line slip Size 10 white with top layer of under tulle removed for less fullness higher up. $30
David's Bridal longline bra from Felina has a smooth seam free foam bodice for shape and support; seamless
Never worn. Size 38B. 4 rows of eye hooks for perfect fit. Paid $79. Asking $50
Pearl, Crystal hair comb $20
34 votive candle holders - $20 plus shipping or local pick up
4 - Tombo permanent Adhesive REFILL cartridges $2.00 ea
22 piece Jolee Red 5mm Hotfix flatback crystals $4.00
5 rolls - Black 3/8" - 3yds eacg roll VELVET ribbon $1.00 ea
3 rolls - White 1/8" - 10 yds each SATIN ribbon $.50 each
1 Black Dresses, size Large from Davids Bridal. Never worn. New with tags. Changed our mind and Davids has a no return policy... =0(
Illusion Halter dress with Charmeuse trim and Beaded Brooch. Stretch fabric in solid black with a sheer black overlay.
Original price $89.00...selling each for $50.00. You pay for shipping.
Pillow Boxes - 175+...$25 including shipping.
Ordered from Uline. 3 1/2 X 3 X 1 White. This picture is how I used them. We will have Andes Mints inside of ours and placed on the place settings.
16 - 50" fully hemmed Damask square table clothes. Available AFTER December 6. $8.00 each.
I am using them on the diagonal over black table linens.
Marciano Tiania Size 6.5 Dark Red Metallic Leather Jeweled shoe.
4" heel. New in box. Bought them from Rue La La for $89. Selling for $50. I'll pay shipping.
Black Satin Sashes
120 Fully finished. 9.5" x 108" . Available after Dec 6th. $.95 ea.
30 EACH- BRIGHT WHITE SQUARE ENVELOPES
6.5" and 7" envelopes from paper and more. $12 including shipping for all 60
(BUT IN WHITE...wouldn't show up well)
I have to say I am really happy with our invitations. I had never used Illustrator prior to this project. I am still a SUPER novice, but I am learning how to use it more and more!
I LOVE how the pocket folds came out. I used a Canon copier that has CLEAR toner and scanned then printed my Damask pattern on the back.
I saved these in to PUBLISHER for use in copy/paste.....But you need publisher.....
PM me if you want them!
Saw this on funnee951's Bio, who saw it on Lupe77's Bio, that made it to MY Bio
....it is exactly what we want but with a Black Velvet Ribbon with Crystal pendant and this cake topper 5".
We finally made it to City Hall so we can make it legal!
Today I became excited!
22 1/2 months of planning came and went in a flash.
Here is the final week and day of recap as well as words of advice that I am sooo glad I listened to from other PW Brides and planning moms....I hope I can add to their wise words.
The week of was really busy with all the little last minute stuff that you can't do until the final week....like flowers, stuffing chocolate mints in favor boxes...oh did I say flowers???
On Sunday, 1 week before the wedding, I bought 132 Poinsettia's from Lowes....They gave me a great price because I bought so many. They came in the shipping boxes and me not having any color thumb, including green....I do the right thing and ask for care instructions. He tells me to water them about 1/2 cup of water about ever 2 days or so.....We painstakingly pulled down the plastic wrapper, water the dirt...being very careful to not get water on the petals....pulled the wrappers back up and put them back in their boxes. Tuesday, some of the leaves aren't looking so great. They aren't going black and dropping off, so I know I'm not over watering them...but somethin' is up! Wednesday I made a trip to San Francisco Flower Mart to buy flowers for BM bouquets, mine and corsages for the mom's...... I have a few stops to make on my way home home so I hurry through the flower mart and hit the road again. By the time I get home...6 hours have past with no water to the pretty petals. We cut them back and pray for the best...My mom is making the bouquets on Friday. Thursday I did everything right...except I was suppose to remove the wrappers, but that was not part of the instructions....98 out of 132 were replaced...Oh and by Friday night....the flower mart flowers bit the dust....off to Costco in the morning.
TIP #1....COSTCO flowers were only $4 more per 2 dozens and were better flowers than the flower mart!
TIP #2...bring a bucket with water with you just in case you are delayed.
Saturday night, the girls and I check in to our hotel....by the time I actually got there to go to bed it was 1 AM....but the wedding is at 3...all is good!
SUNDAY FUNDAY......OMG We are getting married. I start the day at the gym with a great work out and get my endorphins fired up to keep me going...oh...and a starbucks!
Our MUA gets there and starts going to town on the BM at 9.....I am last and the photog is coming at 1:30.....
Not to worry...We were done and ready to rock and roll to put on my dress and do our girl pics!
The BM's looked amazing! (3 of 5)
My sister, God Daughter and MOH/Best Friend
TIP #3....don't have more than just the necessary peeps in your suite.....it's way too hectic.
TIP #4....take a few minutes out for you in quit WITHOUT anyone present...other than your photog. It's a great way to catch your breath and re-group and your photog will also get some great shots of you during this.
TIP#5...block your photog out of your mind....forget they are there.
When I got my dress on, my veil on, my shoes on and my fur wrap, I stepped into the full length mirror with just me and my photog. I couldn't believe the reflection I saw....it was a dream reflection of what I hoped I would look like on my wedding day. I lost it. I never knew I could look that pretty.
Fortunately the Fairmont Hotel is one building over from the Church...the weather held out so we walked! It was wonderful watching everyone slow down or stop as the girls and I made our way up the street. I felt like a princess!......wait...un...no...I felt like the QUEEN!
In fact one little girl said "Look Mommy..it's the snow queen"...
The rest of our day is a whirl wind.....I have just a few picture memories in my head.
I remember the doors opening and seeing DH waiting for me. He looked amazing and truly had the biggest grin on his face I have ever seen. My brother walked me down the isle to San Francisco's "Bell Appeal" Handbell ringers playing Trumpet Tune. It was surreal!
TIP #6...don't let your emotions get the best of you. My mom, coming from a warm heart, started mentioning something about my dad being present. ( he died 1 1/2 years ago) I was already over emotional and having a hard time with him NOT being there and I snapped at her to not talk about him.....I really hurt her feelings and made her cry....check the emotions girls!
TIP#7...no one sees your shoes during the wedding so wear something comfy...especially if you are having a full mass! Change them afterwards!
I remember looking at our family and friends and seeing how BEAUTIFUL everyone looked. Our colors were Black, White, Red and silver and it seemed that everyone dressed with those colors in mind. It was wonderful. The BP was all in Black/Red...they looked fantastic!
My nephew, my son, my God Daughter
I knew I would miss the start of the wedding and I would also just see it through my tunnel vision and not the whole thing so I hired a videographer just for the wedding. Especially with the hadbell ringers. They started with Carol of the Bells. I can only imagine it was beautiful...hence the video
TIP#7...even if you can't afford a videographer...get one. Your head will be spinning and you won't be able to take everything in. If you can't afford it, get in touch with a student from your local college that is studying film....That's what we did...we traded his time for free food and booze at the reception. Even if it's not edited super professionally, we get to at least see our own wedding!
After the wedding it was non-stop...family pictures, BP pictures, our pictures.....not to mention all the wedding duties.....I know you have heard it from others and now you get to hear it from me......It passes you by in a flash....I remember walking it the reception and the next thing I knew, the DJ was announcing last dance of the night.....WHOLLY COW....WERE DID IT ALL GO!
TIP#8...have your engagement photo's done with your photographer you will be using for your wedding. It gives them a chance to know how to shot you and DH and how to coach you along the way.
TIP#9...Make sure your MOH keeps your wedding look in check....seriously...tell her to always keep an eye on your makeup and hair....blot your face, put on more lipstick, fix droopy hair. The last thing you want is pictures with a really shinny face
TIP #10....Good vendors make it good, GREAT vendors make it effortless. We had the best...Chef James Aptakin from Layers of Flavor in Fairfield served a 3 course meal complete with Lobster Bisque soup, Ahi Ceviche, Grilled Sea Bass and Braised Short Ribs.....
DJ David Gomez of SOUNDWAVE DJ not only kept us on time for the "WEDDING STUFF" but ROCKED THE HOUSE with a great playlist!
Becky from Art of Emotion Photography not only kept us all at ease with her style but helped build our timeline to make the night flow perfect. I can't wait to see our pictures. I know they will be amazing.
Have a day of coordinator at least. Someone who can see your image of your wedding as you do. Someone who can handle mega stress and other vendors. Someone who will make your day perfect.
TIP #11....Your day will be perfect even if things are forgotten. However it turns out is just perfect.....remember it's only a day in the life of....and has NOTHING to do with your marriage.
I'll post pics as soon as we get them!