The Big Day: Lauren & Hank!

Happy Friday Beaus! We’re on a sugar high and can’t wait for Lauren & Hank’s sweet day tomorrow! If any couple deserves to be treated it’s these two; seriously they are the definition of sweet. It just so happens that they both are also suckers for sweet treats like pie and ice cream.

Lauren & Hank 2

This gorgeous tent wedding will have some fancy schmancy specialty cocktails, gilded flatware, to-die for florals (um flower chandeliers, what!?), an abundance of baked goods, and some Sweet Lucie’s!! Their guests will sure be spoiled. We also have plenty of eye candy going on, so be sure to stay up with our instagram feed tomorrow, but in the meantime here is the inspiration board for their lovely day.

Real Bride Blogger Jessica: After The Big Day

Now that everything is over and done with, I can look back and smile. The Big Day was all I dreamed of and more. I honestly cannot believe the little things I spent time worrying about that didn’t even matter and then there were some things I didn’t even think about at all until later. Fortunately, I was in good hands but for those of you who don’t have a coordinator as a good bye, I’ve put together a little list of things I learned looking back on the planning and the Big Day.

  • Make sure and eat. I cannot stress enough how important it is to eat on our wedding day. Don’t worry about if you’re going to bloat or if you have time. Make time to sit down and eat. You are going to need your energy.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. Or at least change into comfortable shoes for the reception portion of the wedding. I’m so glad I ended up wearing my Tom’s wedges. I was able to dance all night and I never stumbled. You don’t want to spend your whole day worrying about if you are going to trip or putting bandages on blisters. Stay true to who you are. If you are comfortable wearing stilettos, then I say go for it. If not, wear what feels right. 
  • Make arrangements for your dress and bouquet. At the end of the night, you won’t feel like tracking down your bouquet or you might not even remember it. Put someone in charge of taking it home for you or getting it preserved. Also, if you plan on changing dresses like I did, make sure you put it back in your garment bag and have someone in charge of grabbing it. Mine did not get left, but could easily see how this happens!
  • Take a piece of cake to go. During the festivities, you might not have a chance to sit and enjoy a slice of your wedding cake. Have your caterer or planners wrap you up a piece to take with you to your hotel. Trust me, you will be hungry later and that cake will taste so good late at night or even for breakfast the next day. So glad I got to enjoy our delicious red velvet cake even after the wedding was over : )
  • You can repurpose your wedding décor. I incorporated my wedding décor through our house. It’s a great reminder of the Big Day, plus you get to reuse lots of things you spent a chunk of money on. We have our arch banner hanging over our backboard to our bed. The glass bottles we used as vases are arranged on our dinning room table. 
  • Hire a planner. Trust me, it makes everything come together seamlessly and cohesively. Having a planner helped me find vendors that matched my style and tastes. We had a wedding that perfectly matched our personalities from the flowers to the escort cards. Yes, I’m lucky to have a sister who is a wedding planner. But, she was also my maid of honor- so it was great to have Ellen there on the day of to keep things flowing properly and deal with the vendors. I didn’t have to worry about a single thing all night. 
  • Don’t worry about things you can’t control. Ok, this one is easier said then done. But looking back, I spent way to much time and energy worrying about the weather (seriously, it hadn’t rained in 116 days and it was raining). It was out of my control the whole time anyway. Your energy is better spent living in the moment and focusing on things you can control. Plus, this is why you hire a planner to worry about those kinds of things!

I hope you lovely readers learned something from me along the way or at least had fun reading my posts. I’ve enjoyed chronicling my wedding adventures along the way and am going to miss posting here. If you’re worried about having Jessica withdrawls- good new for you, I’ve started my own blog where you can follow my adventures of married life and maybe catch a few sneaks of my wedding and honeymoon photos at Float On Blog. Hopefully, Kate and Ellen will have me back to guest post again soon!

{All photos captured by Sunday Romance}

The Big Day: Jessica & Nick

Thrilled that today is wedding day would be an understatement!! Our real bride blogger Jessica is getting married and it is a very special wedding for us!! Seems like just yesterday she and Nick got engaged. We’ve been there throughout the entire process and are so elated to see this day come to fruition and to share some sneak peeks behind their beachside celebration.

Jess & Nick love blues & greens, the colors of the ocean. Inspired by beach glass the whole color palette is made up of refreshing & calming shades (seafoam, mint, turquoise) with touches of white and silver. There are some definite nods to Nick’s favorite past time, surfing, and to the places Jess & Nick have traveled together. We didn’t forget about where they each came from though, so there will also be some fun elements that represent their roots. That’s all we can share now, but stay glued to our twitter and instagram and we’re sure you’ll see some more goodies!

Congrats Jess & Nick! We’re so excited for you to start this part of your lives together!!

Monday Morning Mix: Going to the Chapel

We have a very special wedding that we’re working on this week and are excited and proud to be able to play such a huge part in this couple’s big day. Our real bride blogger, Jessica is getting married on Friday and you can bet we have every single detail thought of– even the getting ready playlist! Below is just a fraction of the songs we’ve got cued for the dolling up process….

A good getting ready playlist should have songs that are significant to the couple, some up beat and light hearted songs to keep the mood fun, and of course a few oldies for the MOB because this is a very special day for her as well!

 

Tell us in the comments what songs you have to have on your wedding day playlist!

The Big Day: Wendy & Nathan!

Do you recall this super cute couple’s engagements we posted just a few days ago? Well, the wedding day is almost  here (so close, we can taste it!) and we’re bringing out all the bells & whistles for the fantastic party! Check out the inspiration behind Wendy & Nathan’s big day tomorrow!

Yep. Pretty Rad. The bubbly will be flowing and lights will be glowing at this Pearl  soiree! Can’t wait to share more details and the pictures from Luna Photo, so stay tuned!

Snapshot Love: Wendy & Nathan

Can’t tell you how much we have been looking forward to this rad couple’s wedding. So excited that it is going down this upcoming Saturday at The Pearl!! Did we mention Luna Photo captured all of these lovely photos and will be there to capture the day’s events! Now that’s the icing on the cake for this already awesome wedding! We’ll be sharing more details that are in store for Wendy & Nathan‘s big day this week so stay tuned.

Thanks so much to Mike for sharing these pretty pics!

California Dreaming

Still beaming after our beautiful feature on 100 Layer Cake yesterday!! Thanks so much to everyone who left us a sweet little comment. We wanted to share more of our favorite images and all of the wonderful talents involved on our blog as well. Just wanna give everyone who collaborated with us a BIG hug! Hope you enjoy our take on California Dreaming….

{Photography: Swoon by Katie, Florals:Root 75, Paper Elements: Pitbulls & Posies, Tabletop decor: Casa de Perrin, Cake & donuts: VG Bakery, Popsicles: Viva Pops, Table/Chairs/Cake plates: Moss Vintage Rentals, Make up: Brides by Brittany, Hair: Jillian Rae, Bride’s dresses: Stone Cold Fox, Ties: Speak Louder on Etsy, Skateboard calligraphy: Wendy Ware,  Venue: Bandy Canyon Ranch}

California Dreaming Featured on 100 Layer Cake!

We’re over the moon excited to be featured on one of absolute most favorite wedding blogs this morning! Remember these California inspired boards we posted a couple of months back? Well, head over to 100 Layer Cake to see them come to life and check out all of the gorgeous images and amazing creative minds who collaborated on the shoot! Big thanks to Katie from Swoon by Katie for capturing all of lovely images!

Check back right here tomorrow to see more of our favorite details & all of the crazy talented vendors who were involved!

Real Bride Blogger Jessica: Pump up the Jam!

Since it’s Music Monday and because I haven’t updated everyone in awhile, I’m going to share my experiences on selecting a DJ and picking music for the big day. I think the importance of picking a DJ is an often over-looked process. A DJ actually can play an integral part in the wedding. The DJ has to make sure to play the right songs at the right time (how awkward would it be if they played the wrong father/daughter song? or worse first dance song!?) and of course they have to be an excellent MC. Don’t want someone droning on in the background the whole night!

At first, I tried to go the bargain route (definitely learned you get what you pay for!) on DJs and met a couple of duds before I found the perfect one. My first DJ meeting the guy didn’t even show up. Hmm- can’t hire someone that can’t even make it to the meeting. What if he doesn’t show up on the Big Day?! The second DJ was just not my style- too corny and not really enthusiastic about playing songs I want to hear. He actually said- “Yeah, you can, like, pick a couple songs you want me to play.” Are you kidding me? I want the music at our wedding to reflect us, not just a couple random songs thrown in.

{Can’t go wrong with The Flashdance!}

When we met Chad from Injoy Entertainment, I knew we would be in good hands. He showed me a couple videos of him DJing at different weddings. He talked about how he would handle certain situations, such as cutting off too many people from toasting and getting the crowd to watch the cake cutting. I also love that Injoy has an interactive web portal set up where you can update your music and put in must play songs for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner time, and dancing. Now I know all our songs will be played- not just a couple!

Now on to the playlist! Music selection is a huge part of our wedding; it’s not only going to set the mood for the whole occasion, but also really resonates with us as a couple. Honestly, picking the music has been one of our favorite parts of the wedding process!

Selecting the ceremony music has been the easiest so far. I knew right away what song I wanted to walk down the aisle to and was certain of our recessional song too. I want to leave some of the songs a surprise for everyone. But here’s one of the processional songs- Band of Horses- “On My Way Back Home”

Picking a first dance song was a little tricky, since I feel like we have so many songs that are “our” songs. Again, I’m not going to tell which song we picked but here’s some that we had a hard time deciding between:

Brad Paisley – She’s Everything

Garret Hedlund & Leighton Meester- Give into Me

Jeffrey Gaines- Your Eyes

Picking a father/daughter song has been rough too. Sorry Dad, but we both know you’re not the greatest dancer and I’m dancing with you to Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark or Rocky’s Eye of the Tiger. Definitely don’t want to go the corny route either (think Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlise or I Loved Her First by Heartland).  But I do think I’ve finally decided on the perfect song that will easily transition to a nice mother/son dance as well. Sorry keeping it a secret for now!

I’m really looking forward to cocktail hour and dinnertime music selections. We aren’t huge dancers so most of our favorite songs are more upbeat mellow music. Guests are going to be playing cornhole and sipping signature drinks to the sounds of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Sublime, Tom Petty, and Alan Jackson. Dinner music will include songs form Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Mumford & Sons, Bob Marley, & the Eagles. Our music is definitely a mix of old school songs, country, rock, and indie.

 I’ve also nailed the perfect cake cutting song, in my opinion! Everyone told me that it has to do with sweets or sugar, So I’ve decided on “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Def Leppard. And yes, I think Grandma will love it!

For dance music, we are actually taking requests! We have a song request line on our RSVP cards, because we really want to make sure that guests are grooving to their favorite jams (please no Call Me, Maybe). Nothing is worse than a bunch of people just milling around at the edge of the dance floor (not that Chad would ever let that happen!). Not going to lie, I expect to see some great moves to “Low” by Flo Rida- as much as the boys sing this song ( you know who you are).

I leave you with a couple more songs that will be in the big day somewhere. Enjoy!

“This is How We Do It”- Montell Jordan

“Forever Young”- Youth Group

“Gravity Rides Everything”- Modest Mouse

 

 

A Few Notes from B &A: As much fun as it is to select all of the specialty songs (cake cutting, father/daughter, first dance, etc.) it is also really important to discuss with your DJ songs that you do not want played during the wedding. Some couples “Call Me Maybe”, could be another couple’s “Macarena!” If certain songs irk you, don’t assume your DJ will know this- make a list of DO NOT PLAY songs and pass it over to your DJ a couple of weeks before the wedding to ensure a non-stop perfect playlist! Don’t forget to also find out what attire your DJ plans on donning and if it will fit with your vibe. You can give them some guidelines so don’t feel bad for double checking!

Real Bride Blogger Jessica: Say Yes to the Dress!

To my surprise, finding “The Dress” has been one of the easier tasks in the wedding planning process so far. If I’m being honest,  I’ve always known in the back of my mind what type of wedding dress I wanted and conversely, the types of dresses I did not want to wear on the big day. It was finally a  part of the planning where not being flexible (I can sometimes be a little stubborn on things), paid off. It may have taken some serious hunting, but it was all over in a couple of short weeks!  See below for my likes and dislikes.

Likes

–  Lace

–  Very Fitted

-Sweetheart or cap-sleeves

Only after much Pintrest research, did I realize the Monique Lhullier Scarlet was the dress I had been coveting and had perfectly nailed all of the elements I was looking for in a dress.

{Scarlet Dress}

Dislikes

-Ball gown-style

-Too much embellishment- ie flowers, ruffles, etc

-Bright white

-Long train

To start off the dress hunt-my mom, sister, and I went to M Bride in La Jolla. The boutique was lovely, stocked with lots of fabulous jewelry and veils-pretty much what you would envision a dress shoppe to be like! Prior to going, I read such nice reviews of the boutique on yelp and saw online that they were having a sample sale, which was the type of thing I was looking for to score a dream dress within my budget.  Here’s what I learned though- sample sale means only the sample size is available, which is usually a size 8 and altering a size 8 to a size 0 can cost a lot of money. Thus, the sale really would not save me the ton of money I was hoping for. And unfortunately, I just wasn’t drawn to any of the sample dresses. I tried on about 5 dresses there and was smitten with a Modern Trousseau gown- it had a touch of lace and a gorgeous sweetheart neckline, but I wasn’t sold completely. I guess I was expecting a big “moment”. Michelle, the storeowner, said I could get a 15% discount if I bought the dress within 24 hours- which was very tempting…but ultimately I just could not make such a costly decision in that timeframe.

I just didn’t feel like I’d gotten the complete bridal experience yet (y’know trying on 20 dresses, maybe some crying!) so I wanted to see what else was out there. We headed over to The White Flower later that evening.  This boutique was a dream- luxurious and relaxing at the same time . Courtney, the owner, was so patient and sweet, even though we were the last appointment of the day at 7pm (she squeezed us in even).  Courtney made dress shopping fun and really listened to what I had to say. I tried on about 8 dresses this time, a couple I even tried on twice. I came really close to purchasing an Augusta Jones gown. It fit the bill- lace, sweet heart neckline, and fitted. However, I still just wasn’t sure. I kind of  thought that dress shopping was like finding the right guy- when you know, you just know. Since I didn’t have that feeling yet, I decided to wait.

After endless browsing, I ended up finding my dress online. It’s everything I was looking for. I’m bursting to share it with everyone but you’re going to have to wait until after the wedding to see it! But here are a couple of details to hold you over: it looks a lot like the Scarlett and it’s a Pnina Tornai creation.

I’m really glad I went dress shopping early, because it was eye-opening. Here are some things I learned:

1. Literally, there are millions of dresses out there. I feel like you always see the same ones online. I never would have known about certain designers without going into the boutiques.

2. Lace dresses are expensive.

3. Alterations are expensive too.

4. You may have to cut your budget in other places to get your dream dress.

Quick Tips from B & A:  If your budget dress shopping, it is a-okay to shop online. Try reliable sites like Oncewed and Preowned Wedding Dresses. Looking for a particular designer that no one local carries? Stay connected via facebook, twitter, and the web, to see when they are having a trunk show near you! October/November/December is the best time to shop for wedding dresses, because most brides are not thinking about dress shopping during the holidays, and boutique owners have to to make room for new spring dresses coming in, which equals bargaining and deals for you! Whether you’re buying online or in store never be afraid to ask for a discount- you won’t get it unless you ask!