May 29, 2011
A little about me...
I'm 27 years old. I love weddings, I practically live for them, I work as a wedding planner at a great company. Reading the bio pages on PW is my absolute favor part of the website! I grew up in California, went to college in San Francisco, after graduating, I moved to Hawaii on a whim for a 6 month mental health break after finishing college. That leads us to...
How we met...
A friend I met quickly after I got there begged me to go this party on the beach with her, at the last minute i agreed and five seconds after walking up to the bonfire, Eric and I locked eyes... I guess you could say the rest is history! We lived in Hawaii for almost 3 great years, then finally decided to move back "the the mainland" and settle down. Crazy for leavng Hawaii you say, sometimes I agree, but at the time it was the right decision, Island Fever really does start to wear on you. On January 21st, 2010 Eric popped the question while at home and so the wedding planning fun began!!
The light of our life, our little princess Lola Bella
The Journey to our current plans
Living in San Francisco I visited Napa often, it was the place I'd go to unwind and relax after finals, if you haven't been there, close this page and book a flight, it's amazing, relaxing and breathtaking! So that was the obvious choice for me when it came time to find a wedding venue. I did a TON of research, my plan was to rent a vacation house and throw a "fancy backyard wedding". Can't be done. Apparently it's illegal in Napa and Sonoma. And I kept hearing over and over from various home owners that I should beware that if someone was willing to let me use there house, it was risky, they've heard of weddings getting shut down mid-party!! Can you imagine how devestating?!?! I decided I just couldn't risk it, I also didn't want to spend the next year of planning stressed at the worst case scenarios. So I decided to look at places like bed and breakfasts, same idea, but legal this time :) I also decided to look at a few "regular" venues. After a devestating weekend with my mom and my sister, we came to a few realizations.
- Only look at venues that regularly do weddings, all the bed and breakfasts that we looked at, didn't specialize in weddings, that meant for a bit to "quiant" of a setting, the grass was uneven, not suitable for a table and chairs. Also because they don't do weddings, they don't have the team, a couple of little old ladies that run a B&B don't make you feel overly confident! The decor of the places was old and not at all modern or cool, I couldn't picture wanting to send a night there, let alone a whole weekend. They also just aren't equipped, bathrooms, parking etc, all logistical nightmares! And I didn't have the energy to do it from 400 miles away.
- All the other weddings venues in Napa, at least the ones I found anyways and I did a lot of research, I felt you had to have at least a 30-40k budget to do it half way decent. Not an amount we were willing to spend.
So.... We decided California is a big state with ALOT of winery areas! I let go of my dream of Napa and started looking, after a super fun weekend to Temecula, an area we absolutely fell in love with we found an AMAZING venue!! Villa de Amore! It's gorgeous, a former private residence that specializes in weddings... just up my alley!! And the staff is awesome, Lauren, David and Eileen all fantastic and so supportive and fun!!
The Front Gates
The Alter- there's a huge gorgeous chandelier hanging from it!
The Dance Floor
My Surprise-ish Shower
I feel srry for my sister and mom, I am horrible to surprise and my fiance can't keep a secret to save his life! So I kinda new something was up, my in-laws were in town and my mom all of a sudden wanted to do a "girls lunch" at a restaurant downtown. I have no idea where I got my obsessive planning gene from, because I sure as heck didn't get it from my mom, so when she was planning a lunch and told me to dress nice... ding ding, something was off! However I will give them credit, I had NO IDEA what they had planned, and what they had planned was awesome! We were supposed to pick up a friend at her house on the way to "lunch"
It was so awesome! All but one of my bridesmaids were there, 2 had even traveled hundreds of miles <3. My sister had my favorite drink, champagne and catered by a local deli, I LOVE sandwiches, I'm like Joey from friends... mmmm sandwiches! Ha ha
My Best Friend from high school drove 6 hours to come!!
My awesome mom and sister put the whole thing together!!
Cute picture board and favors!
My mom directing the games, my pregnant cousin won the purse game because she was the only one with a gun in her purse!! She's a cop, so it's not weird but gosh darn it that totally tipped the scales! ha ha
So I had this idea, a good night out on the town, you're gonna spend like $200 bucks right? So why not take a 3 night cruise instead?? ha ha I can always find the logic to take a vacay! It was $269 plus tax, 4 days 3 nights! We had an absolute AMAZING time. It was the best vacation of my life! Sorry all those I've taken a vacation with before, it was the best, hopefully honeymoon will live up to it =P ha ha. So I got with a travel agent from AAA who was AMAZING and planned everything, it was so easy because she took care of the bookings and all the payments, so I didn't have to worry about paying for all of it myself and having everyone reimburse me (which would have been nuts!) We set sail Jan 21, 2010, obviously well before my wedding, ut I basically looked at the calendar for the cheapest dates to sail for everyone and thats when we went! 8 of us went, 5 of my bridesmaids and two other really good friends!!
Getting ready to set sail!
We loved the free robes!!
Making friends with one of the "fun patrol" guys Jeremy!
Our Wedding Plans
Our colors are red and slate, we're going for a sophisticated, yet fun theme with crystal and chandelier details! Our date is Sunday May 29, 2011
We're having a buffet dinner, a mostly open bar, beer, wine, champagne and two signature cocktails, a Mai Tai (cuz we met in Hawaii) and a Strawberry Mojito, the combination of two of my favorite drinks, (besides a Mai Tai) a Strawberry Margarita and a Mojito
A few details that I think are special...
- When our guests arrive to the ceremony, we're having tray passed champagne, thought this would be a fun greeting and a great way to start things off!
My DIY projects... be prepared... there's a lot of them!!
Got me a dress!!
I was dreading dress shopping, it was surprisingly easy! Took two hours and I walked out with a dress ordered!
It's a combination of like 4 different dresses, the bottom of one, top of another and the lace of a third, plus the bow and broach inspiration of a fourth! I decided to do a flower instead of a bow, I loved the flower details of a lot of dresses I saw, so I thought I'll just add it. The flower was another DIY project :) I'm also debating about a pewter sash instead of white...still mulling that over. The dress is a little snug, working to lose a few pounds, down by 8 so far, so should fit nice soon!