Apr 18, 2009
My wedding day was more than I ever imagined! I married the man of my dreams and had a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends who were completely happy and excited for us! I could not have asked for more.
We were engaged in June 2008 and spent 10 months planning for our April 18 wedding. We are both originally from Ventura County but now live in Portland, Oregon (my job). So the planning was challenging from the start, trying to figure out which services could be completed in Portland and which required a trip to So Cal. We first secured the church date and venue, then proceeded with the other decisions. In Portland, I was able to take care of a lot, including my dress, registering, e-pics, invites, and DIY projects. All the other services were secured via phone, email, and during meetings while I was in town. I basically used the internet to narrow down vendors to 2-3, then checked them out in person, then made a decision. I am quite an analytic researcher by nature, so I felt that my decisions were sound.
A lot of issues guided our decisions, including budget (35k), my vision, time available, and our families. I'm not much for themes, but I would describe my style as "traditional with a modern twist". We both come from large Latino families with a range of diversity throughout. But what everyone had in common was utter happiness for our marriage and the joy of the day. Our guests were primarily family, friends, and a few friends and coworkers from Oregon, for a total of 200 people. Fifty of our guests were kids, which was fine by us. Some people don't include kids in their weddings and receptions, but we couldn't imagine it without them. In fact, I had 16 flower girls! We decided to have only two bridesmaids and groomsmen (I highly recommend this--no drama!), which made way for a memorable gaggle of flowergirls!
You can see my reviews for various vendors on this website. Overall, there isn't much I would change about our wedding day. We were very pleased with it all and I felt that I didn't have to compromise and I did get what I expected. I did DIY many of the details that made our day special--invitations, menus, table numbers, programs, seating cards, wrapped votives, photobook, family photo table, birdcage, kid's table activities, hair flower, monograms to hang on the reception doors, etc.
A few of my favorite things that I didn't review but would recommend: we used our e-pics to create a photobook using MyPublisher. It was so much better than an old-fashioned guest book and we will treasure it forever. We really wanted to buy our flowergirl dresses for them, but for 16, we had to be smart about spending. We went to the LA garment district and were able to find adorable dresses for $25 each, which was really reasonable for the type of dress I was looking for. I loved having the display of family photo tables of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparent's wedding pics. My mom took the time to make a carnation pillow to display the seating cards, which was gorgeous. She also made flower wands for some of the little flowergirls to provide an alternative to the traditional basket and petals. I also bought a few items from Etsy online, including my earrings (Dana Saylor Designs, Mari Collection) and hair flower (Sunnybrookfarmdesign). The earrings were custom made and perfect for my dress, for only $30. I bought a really inexpensive hair flower ($7) and then decorated it myself with pearls and swarovskis. So much better than spending $60+ for a big fluffy thing that wasn't quite me. We also used some good last-minute ideas, like cups with lids for the kids (no spills), personalized coasters, a pair of tennies with my college logo shoelaces (so glad I did--my heels would have been in pain!), and Vera Wang Wedgewood champagne flutes for $10 at Tuesday Morning.
I'm happy to provide additional reviews and info if you would like to contact me. I felt that I was able to have an incredibly nice, beautiful, traditional yet modern wedding with all the elements that were important to me and my fiance.