Big fan of Project Wedding!

Let me take a moment to say what a fan I've become of Project Wedding. If you haven't been checking out this resource, you need to. DO IT.

I've found this to be a wonderful referral service for the last of my vendors. Currently, I'm searching for a Day of Coordinator, which I don't know if we will hire for sure yet, but I just want to explore my options. I'm also looking for a Hair and Make Up Artist that is reasonably priced. If I had an unlimited budget, I would hire Maria Chang of PMA - Professional Makeup Artistry in a heartbeat. However, she's out of my budget and she books up like six months in advance.

I like that there are ratings and reviews from brides and that it links up their website and/or blog. In today's technologically driven society, it's so important to have some kind of web presence, at least to me. If a vendor doesn't have some kind of online access, I skip over them. I prefer email correspondence first, then phone calls if I decide to proceed. Something to definitely think about. And I'm not even talking fancy, a blog is totally cool. I actually prefer going to see a blog first before hitting up a website! Blogs have all the most current work (if the vendor is a good blogger) and links to the website.

Anyway, check out Project Wedding for your wedding vendor referrals!


Wedding Countdown: Planning out the remaining 4 months!

Somehow, between today and the last 12 months, time has slipped away. When we got engaged last year in March and then decided on a July wedding the following year, I thought I had loads of time! Well, I'm down to the last four months. And time is ticking away...

Things accomplished:

  • booked venue (includes catering & bar service)
  • booked photographer, he rocks!
  • booked church & officiant
  • bought my wedding gown
  • booked DJ
  • booked florist
  • booked cake
Things left to accomplish in next four months (more like 2 months!)
  • book makeup artist and hair stylist
  • finalize invitations and make 200 of them
  • create table numbers and escort cards
  • decide on what to do for guest book
  • choose favor idea and make or order
  • book transportation
  • book rehearsal dinner restaurant
  • select food for reception
  • pay vendors when due
What do you have left to do?

I feel like I have so much and not enough time. Of course, it doesn't really help that I also have a full time job and a photography business I'm working on getting off the ground! Well, I'll never be bored.


Do you DIY? Here's contest for you!

 photo from Vintage Glam Blog
Amanda over at Vintage Glam Weddings is have a DIY contest! Check out the details here.


Martha Stewart-Inspired Details

So I've been loving Martha Stewart's Weddings, especially her "Good Things" feature for Summer Weddings. I really like the tissue paper pomanders, that are available ready to make at Michaels.  I'm definitely thinking about using these for my wedding. 

This is a super cute idea for Thank you notes!

I love these candle holders, simple, but dressed up!

These are really adorable ideas for favors and totally complement the pomanders above.

These little buckets are so cute with rock candies.

Nice use of bowls and awesome and vibrant flowers.

Nice boxes! Different use of a table number that works great!

Thanks Martha! :) www.marthastewartweddings.com


Traditions: Jumping the Broom

One tradition that we want to include in our wedding to celebrate the Mr.'s heritage is jumping the broom. When he first brought it up in a wedding related conversation, I didn't know what he was talking about. It was a tradition that I had never heard of and was really happy to have him suggest.

Here the is the description from theknot.com:
"This tradition most likely originated with an African ritual in which a broom is used to demonstrate that all past problems have been swept away. During slave days, African-Americans were forbidden to marry and live together, so jumping over a broom was a formal and public declaration of the couple's commitment. Today, it has become very popular for African-American couples to follow suit at the conclusion of their wedding ceremony. The broom, often handmade and beautifully decorated, can be displayed in the couple's home after the wedding."

Now that I know the significance of this tradition, I'm excited to incorporate it into our ceremony.

There's a great description here from Dana on Jumping the Broom blog.


Affordable Centerpiece Finds

I heart Ikea. I have since I was a kid living in France. My family used to go there every so often on the weekend to leisurely stroll through all the sections. That was in 1986. When Ikea finally made it up to the Bay Area (it had been in SoCal for a number of years) I was really excited. It reignited my love of the store. Even in college, if I had nothing better to do, I'd make the trek out to Ikea just because. The Swedes rock.

In terms of wedding planning, I've found some great deals if you're looking for affordable candle holders or vases.

Galej $1.99/3 pack
Glimma $1.99/6 pack 
Ikea PS $8.99 
Superfin $0.49 
Makta $2.99
Blomster $3.99
Farm $1.99 
Snartig  $0.79
Superfin  $2.99
Oh Ikea! So great. I can see lovely intimate table lit with tealights and simple budvases with single stem florals. Elegance does not have to mean it's expensive!


Where to Begin: Bridesmaids Dresses

I was talking to a friend over the weekend and she mentioned that she is going to be in a wedding in August. And she's a bridesmaid. She also talked/complained about the trials and tribulations of being a bridesmaid and how it has turned into a nightmare. She was just talking about the dress. She is going to be a bridesmaid for a friend she has known since second grade. Her friend, thinking that she'd make it easy by choosing a black dress, decided on a certain two-piece style from David's Bridal. My friend said that she's never going to wear the dress again because it's so "not her style" and the dress is a waste of money to her. She even said that she's going to suck in her gut in the smaller size dress so she doesn't have to pay for alterations. Oh dear.

So how do you prevent this type of dilemma?

I found my friend's anecdote highly entertaining, although she did have a point. Personally, I'd like to choose a dress that can be reworn by my bridesmaids. Something that they won't want to throw away and think that they wasted a ton of money on. I want them to have a dress that they'll like (at least a little). I've become a big fan of choosing a dress line and color and letting the bridesmaids have at it.

At first, I thought that I would be one of those brides who wanted the matchy-matchy bridesmaids dresses. Then I came to my senses and realized that not everyone looked spectacular in the same cut of dress. I'm thinking that I'll choose a color and let my bridesmaids pick something that they will feel good in. (As much as possible in a bridesmaid dress)
Why not try something like these?
photo from ariadress.com

photo from Aria Dress

 Photo from TheKnot

Bridesmaids dresses don't have to be "bridesmaid-y". Check out the collection at J.Crew too.


Wedding Planning: Picking Color Palettes

Oh man, I've been such a slacker! Having a real world job gets in the way sometimes.


Anyway, I was cruising one of my favorite wedding blogs, Janie Medley's awesome The Bride's Cafe, and she has a whole section showcasing color palettes.

Some of my favorites:

I love color! But I'm stuck on what to do in terms of flowers with a color palette of chocolate brown and pool blue...


Take the Cake Thursday: Margaret's French Bakery

Here we are, it's Thursday again, and that means cake time!

Margaret's French Bakery has been delighting customers since 1983 out of the South Bay. It's owned and operated by Margaret and Joe Novak and their current operation is out of Campbell and you can also find them at local farmer's markets and festivals around the Bay Area. Although they specialize in wedding cakes and custom designed desserts, Margaret's French Bakery does just about anything for your occasion of choice!

They also have an awesome Cake Blog to showcase their work!

I love these cakes:

I've never seen a cake with this kind of texture. It's cool in a very funky way!

I really like the hexagonal shape on this cake, and yet it's so simple. Lovely!

This simple cake looks gorgeous and delicious!

I'm totally into the simple cake + florals.

I think the little symbols on this one represent windmills. The color totally works.

This one has so much color, even if the base is white. Nice!

Simple and understated, but with oompf.

Visit Margaret's French Bakery!

Photos courtesy of Margaret's French Bakery.


Mission: Organization

I like to be organized. I have good intentions when I start getting organized. Then entropy sets in, and all efforts go down the drain. However, with planning a wedding, I knew that organization just to stay sane was key.

There were so many blogs to sift through, pictures to save, articles to clip, and so forth. I knew that if I were to actually cut things out of magazines, I would end up with a stack up to the ceiling, easy. I love magazines. How do I take care of this madness?! Without going mad?!

I'm online all the time at work, so the most logical and useful things to me have been web-based. My new best friend has been Google Reader. I've subscribed to a ton of feeds from wedding blogs to photography blogs and even my friends' blogs. Every morning, I log in and catch up on all the blogging that has gone one. Everything neat and tidy thanks to Google Reader.

Next, I've started using Google Notebook for pages that I like or have been inspired by, but don't have a blog or feed. I've kept potential vendors including florists, bakeries, and DJs. It makes it easier to organize since I can create multiple notebooks and sections and not crowd my regular bookmarks.

I'm also a heavy Firefox user. I think the option of having multiple tabs is awesome. I always have at least 10 tabs open and I hate to close them because I don't want to lose the page that I was on. Thank goodness for a history window!

Finally, to synchronize appointments and visits with the fiance, we've employed Google Calendar. Google Calendar allows us to share our appointments with each other easily and instantly. When I was making appointments to visit reception venues, I would key it into my calendar and then he knew what was coming up. I also shared these with my mom since she came along for the visit as well. So great!

Simply said, Google has been a lifesaver in keeping me sane. (No, I'm not a paid Google endorser, and I do think they are taking over the world.) You do what you gotta do.


Sweet Treats!

I found these sweet cupcake pops on the Bakerella blog. If you're a lover of all things cupcake, this is definitely worth a click. It makes you want to run out and make some for yourself. In addition, I thought that these would make for some wonderful favors or after reception treats. Either way, they'd make a delicious and super cute snack!

Thanks Bakerella for your awesomely cute and delicious creations!