Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Not that kind of role-playing my fellow creepers. Budget role-playing.

Mr. Warbler and I are lazy by nature. So it's no surprise that we've never really sat down and made an official budget. I found a sample budget in a wedding planning book and adjusted it accordingly to what I thought we should spend on vendors and Mr. Warbler basically said, "That sounds good."

The one thing we did agree on was that we didn't want to start our marriage off in debt and that we would try to stick to the budget as closely as possible. For a while we were doing pretty well, I would fall in love with something we couldn't afford and Mr. Warbs would gently remind me of the budget. We had a nice good cop/bad cop situation working for us.

Then something began to change. Mr. Warbs started giving in. Out of nowhere we switched roles. "Remember the budget" turned into "Well, we're only getting married once." And instead of reminding him of the budget I said, "OK!". We had never really considered a videographer before, but after I fell in love with my boss's wedding video I felt like we had to have one too. But, the videographer was too expensive so I was ready to let it go. Mr. Warbs' "We're only getting married once" mantra kicked in and he decided there was no reason we couldn't up the budget a bit to include the videographer, a photo booth and a string quartet.

Non & Jessica's beautiful wedding trailer
(Source) Videography by Lighthouse Studios

To make matters worse Mr. Warbs decided our wedding video HAD to be on blu-ray. Freaking blu-ray. It was at that moment that I knew we had a problem. As much as I would love a video to remember the day, I think we'll just have to make due with photos. Even though I want a video. Badly. Very badly.

Sigh. Remember the budget. Is anyone else having a hard time sticking to the budget?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why Get Married?

A friend asked me this question last week. Why am I getting married? Mr. Warbler and I already live together (in sin), we share finances and we both are in agreement that we're not having any children. Getting married won't change anything in our lives, so why bother?

My friend makes a lot of sense. But marriage does change your relationship. I've seen it happen to my parents, my siblings and we've all seen it happen to celebrities. I don't know if being married adds pressure to a relationship or reminds you of your impending mortality, but there's a reason 50% of marriages end in divorce. I think being married forces couples to be openly honest about all of the things they might have been hiding while dating. And the truth isn't always pretty. It's often ugly and unwanted.

I believe there are plenty of reasons to get married. People get married for financial reasons, for security, because the condom broke (hey, it happens) and sometimes people even get married for love. Lucky for me I fall into that last category.

Why am I getting married? I never seriously thought about marriage before I met Mr. Warbler. Sure I imagined a wedding, flowers and a beautiful dress, but I never gave a second thought to a marriage. I have a handsome, caring, hilarious man in my life who gets me. He knows when I pretend like I don't want ice cream but am secretly DYING for a scoop. He knows when I need to cry and when I need to laugh. I couldn't really ask for anything more than that.

Getting married won't change any of that. But to me it's the final step in solidifying all of that. There's something beautiful about being able to look into his eyes and know that he belongs to me and I belong to him. Besides how could I not marry a man who will try this hard to make me laugh?

Personal Photo

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wedding Invitations Craze

I'm getting way ahead of myself, but lately I've been obsessing about wedding invitations. Why am I worrying about that when I haven't even booked a photographer yet? Because I've been following Jessica Claire's blog and it's pretty amazing. Jessica is a photographer who recently married and has been sharing her creative ideas. For her invitations she took a bunch of old hardcover books, hollowed them out and placed her invitations inside. The finished product looked like this:

Image via / Invitations by Kari Dyas

Image via / Invitations by Kari Dyas

Did I mention that these were hand-made?
Image via / Invitations by Kari Dyas

Image via / Invitations by Kari Dyas

Since I want to incorporate my love for books and overall nerdiness into the wedding, I desperrately wanted to copy her invitations. I went out and scoured used bookstores for cheap old hardcovers. But, when it came down to it, I couldn't bear the thought of slicing apart a book. Even if it is for an artsy project. I did want to do something with books so I hit Google and found these beauties:

Penguin Hardcover Classics!

Gorgeous hardcover classics from one of my favorite publishers? Yes. Penguin is releasing more every day, but so far the titles include Sense and Sensibility (above), Little Women, The Divine Comedy, A Christmas Carol, The Odyssey, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Great Expectations, Treasure Island and more. I have an idea of how I want to use them, but I'm not telling yet. I will say that I am definitely NOT slicing these babies up.

More on that later! Right now I want to share a wedding invitation video I came across on Vimeo. It was super cute and almost swayed me away from my book idea. I also want to use the song in the ceremony somehow, it's so beautiful.


Josh+Amy - Wedding Invitation Video from Matt E on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Years ago, before I was ever serious about geting married, I thought about where I would get married. Somewhere magical. Somewhere awesome. Cinderella castle seemed pretty cool. There would be plenty of room for my chariot, 300 guests and my groom to ride in on his white horse.

Unfortunately Disney World does NOT accept Monopoly money.

In the present day, my idea for the perfect venue has changed drastically (thank God). Mr. Warbler and I are dead set on keeping everything small and intimate. Initially we thought, "Hey, how about a small intimate wedding overlooking the ocean?" We found a few places that we fell in love with. Most of them kind of blended into each other, so here are a few that stood out to me:

Venue choice #1:

The Redondo Beach Historic Library

We really, really REALLY loved this venue. It fit our taste and was all (mostly) inclusive. But for the amount of time they offered and the price, it wasn't the best option for us.

As I mentioned in my last post, the problem with planning a wedding in LA is that everything is overpiced, even during the off season. So I looked towards other locations, namely Santa Barbara. Even though it's two hour away which would be inconvenient for guests, I looked at a couple of venues. I fell in love (I know I'm love a lot) with Elings Park:

  Elings Park, Singleton Pavilion

Photo by Mi Belle, Inc. / Elings Park, Godric Grove

This place has amazing ocean and mountain views in addition to being dirt cheap. The only problem is that we would need to bring in everything: catering, tables, chairs, tents, linens etc. So while we would be saving money on the venue, the extra costs would have added up considerably.

Lastly, we looked at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu. Heeeeey Mrs. Spaniel!

That's a waterfall in the background!
(Personal Photo)

A freakin' waterfall.
(Personal Photo)

The venue is all inclusive (including alcohol) and they offer a reasonable amount of party time. They have six different sites for you to choose from and they're so spread out you won't bump into any other weddings being held. We're having the ceremony and cocktail hour in the Secret Garden above. The reception will take place in the Ranch House:

(Personal Photo)

We can hold it inside or out on the patio above. I think we've pretty much agreed on the patio, but its nice to have a contingency plan in case of rain. Now that we have our venue and I'm no longer plagued with worry I can sleep again! More importantly I can eat again. And now in the spirit of eating, I leave you with the newest wedding trend. You love lasagna. You love cupcakes.

Meet their child: lasagna cupckaes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I'm engaged. Happiness, sugar plums and chocolate cake! When he popped the question, I was ecstatic, running around all pumped up about all the fun planning that lay ahead.

Until I started planning.

I read a book that basically said, "You're an idiot. Weddings are expensive, exhausting and will cause your face to melt off in frustration. It's also the MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE. Enjoy!"

My dreams of horse drawn carriages and chocolate fountains quickly deflated. Planning a wedding in Los Angeles was not looking exciting or cheap. My fiancee (who will be referred to as Mr. Adventure) and I decided that if we wanted to have a nice wedding without starting our marriage in the red, some compromises would have to be made. Like forget about training a dove to place the ring of my finger. (10 points if you recognize that reference!)

We both decided to only invite close friends and family with no more than 50 guests. Having the wedding during the off season would also help to cut costs. But even those factors didn't help much.

And so it begins, our eye opening, face melting challenge! Plan an affordable wedding without sacrificing too much quality.

Step one: Find an affordable and somehow gorgeous venue.

Step two: Have everything else magically fall into place? Or tackle every task one at a time, whatever.

Thirteen months to go!