Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finding THE Dress

Good news everybody! I found my dress! And yes I do mean wedding dress! It is a beautiful, fitting and tear inducing dress that I would love to show here. However, Mr. Warbler reads my blog, so of course that can't happen. But, I do have a few pictures of the dresses that didn't make the cut. First, a warning...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Save the Dates Reveal

Our STDs. Sorry about the blurring!

Tada! Here are our finished Save the Dates! When I alluded to my love for Penguins Books and desire to use them for a large part in my wedding, I originally thought about postcards. I wanted to use the Penguin Books postcards because they all had different designs for each book. I thought it would be cool and tie into our book theme. My bride brain thought it would be totally doable to personalize 50 different Penguin Books postcards, with different designs, without going insane. Well, I soon realized that wasn't going to happen. So I basically decided to just create a simple replica of the classic book covers that wouldn't be a hassle to reproduce. Once the design was finished, we printed them out via Costco, (super cheap!) and MOH J5 came up with the brilliant idea to stick them on to magnets.


I bought a pack of 50 4x6 magnets from Amazon for $35. They had better deals, but they were for bulk orders of 75 magnets and up. I will probably never use that amount of magnets in my life, so I opted for the 50 pack. When the magnets arrived, I noticed when lined up with the save-the-dates they were a bit bigger. Ahhh! After ruling out using a paper cutter or having them cut professionally, Mr. Warbs and MOH J5 talked me into just cutting them with scissors. J5 tried one and it came out fine. So we began our STD assembly line.
MOH J5 carefully stuck the magnets on

Mr. Warbs and I cut the excess magnet edges

I don't know what's going on with my hair.

The finished result!

Mr. Warbs' cute face...

and his "confident guy" face

MOH J5's handiwork

Even though these babies are finished...I still haven't sent them out. Don't worry I'm not being a lazy bride. I'm waiting on the business cards I ordered from Vistaprint with all of our contact info (including our wedding website) to include in the envelopes. Since they won't arrive until Friday, I'm going to sit in agony for a few more days. But, I am definitely happy to check these off of my list!

All photos are personal

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dissecting the Bridal Party: My Man of Honor

I was going to write an in-depth post about our Save the Dates reveal, but instead I decided to postpone that even further :)  In all seriousness though, they are coming soon! Today, I want to take the time to devote a post to my very best friend and Man of Honor: Johnny 5.

Johnny 5, the super awesome robot from the 1987 film, Short Circuit
Image via

Not to be confused with WALL-E, the robot that ripped off Short Circuit.
Image via Screen Rant

Alright, as awesome as it would be to have a robot as my MOH, that is not the case. But my MOH is even better, because unlike a robot he can consume large amounts of cheesecake and Korean BBQ! I'd take that over a robot any day.

All photos are personal unless noted otherwise

My Johnny 5! We really do love cheesecake.

I make up fake names for everyone I mention in this blog. I have to remind myself to give code names for everyone else except for Johnny 5. This is because he is actually the only person that was given his nickname previously. Johnny 5, or J5 for short, is the same nickname I've called him for more than eleven years now. I refuse to call him by his real name which he used to hate but now embraces. One day I just looked at him and decided he would be J5. It caught on and soon everyone was calling him that. Even today, my family and our closest friends still call him J5. I win.

Us back in high school

I have a few girlfriends that I also consider my best friends, but J5 probably knows me the best. Sure girls have a special bond, but there's nothing like the bond between two friends and the last slice of cheesecake. Or pie. Or...well you get the point. Anyway, as soon as Mr. Warbler proposed and I was done jumping up and down, J5 was the first person I called (sorry Mom!). He rushed over that same night to celebrate with us and it was right then that I wished I could ask him to be my MOH. At that point the idea of having a man act as my MOH didn't occur to me. One, I assumed it was a role that naturally went to a woman and two, I honestly didn't think he would be up to it. 

At my Dave & Buster's graduation party

But when it came down to deciding, Mr. Warbs asked me to think of who I possibly couldn't get married without being there. I admitted that it was J5. Mr. Warbs smiled his smirky know-it-all smile that I hate (but secretly love) and told me to just ask him. Who cares about tradition or what other people might say?

J5 and I at his "Yes" Surprise Birthday Party

Let me tell you, asking him was one of the most nerve wrecking moments in my life. I tried to play it cool so he wouldn't feel pressured to say yes. But, really I was screaming "please, please!" I actually thought the "man" in him might say no, but he just smiled and said "Let's do it." Classic J5. 

I'm so happy to have him as my MOH. I've been trying to slowly ease him into things, a question about wedding colors here, a registry outing there. I don't want to overwhelm him with all of the inane inner workings of a bride's mind all at once. He's probably more likely to put up with me than anyone else though. Not only does he provide awesome, unbiased and un-girly feedback on everything, but he's also pretty crafty. In fact, his Save the Date suggestion that I...whoops that will have to wait until next time! :)  Is anyone else having an unconventional bridal party?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bridesmaid Dresses, Revisted

Dessy Twist Wrap Dress
Image via

Remember my previous post on bridesmaid dress post? The one where I played the part of the gracious bride who left the dress decisions up to the girls? Well, I kind of went back on that a teeny bit. OK, maybe more than a teeny bit, but I'm still being flexible!

I thought once I gave my ladies the freedom to go ahead and choose their own dresses the decision would be out of my hand. But BMs Coco and Gemini (made up names for sure) still wanted further instructions. "What kind of dresses? What fabric, what colors?" I soon realized that the cut and style of the dress was probably more important to the girls than the fabric or color. So much to my delight, I introduced the Dessy Twist Wrap Dress into the discussion. Oh, how I love this dress. It can be wrapped to form a multitude of styles from strapless to sleeves. Dessy has even added a helpful "How to Wear" section on their website which details how to make the different styles. Um, yes!

 Style Examples
Image via

Since all of the ladies have different body types and heights, I thought this would be the best option for everyone. However, I wasn't too sure about the fabric: Jersey Matte. In my experience Jersey fabric has come across as cheap looking and not really appropriate for formal events. So I called up a few stores to see if they had the dress in stock. I had the hardest time tracking this elusive dress down. I literally called over ten stores and everyone said they didn't have it, but could order it for me at a price and I could sell it back if I didn't like it. I wasn't too keen on this idea so I started looking around for different options. But, as luck would have it I found a store that had the dress in stock, just around the corner from my office! Was this Fate? I'd like to think so! So BM Coco and I went to check it out. I was so happy that they even had it in our color! Here are the photos from her fabulous photo shoot:

All photos are personal unless noted otherwise

We had a ton of fun learning how to wrap the dress. I think with no knowledge going into it, we did a decent job. But we'll definitely need to look at a few videos before the big day. Coco's favorite style was the second one pictured above. The saleslady who helped us informed us that the dresses tend to run big. She was right, the dress BM Coco is wearing is a small and she still had plenty of room. We only tried a few of the styles before we both agreed that this was the dress. With the Twist Wrap dress everyone can still look unique, but look uniform with the same shade of red and fabric. So there you have it!

Did anyone else have a change of heart regarding bridesmaid dresses?

Friday, July 8, 2011

The One Where I See a Woman About Some Flowers

If, like me, you're resolved to be a DIY bride chances are you get the same weird looks and questions that I do. Mainly frowns and "...but WHY?" I usually just laugh and say "I'd like to be involved in every aspect of my wedding.", or the more truthful "It will be WAY cheaper."

A few weeks ago I told Mother-in-Law Warbler that I was planning on going the DIY flower route via the LA Flower Mart in downtown. She got really excited and asked me about the kind of flowers I wanted to use and how her crafty sister could help out if I wanted. After getting my flower preferences she said, "OK, now we can call up a few florists to get some estimates."

Now it was my turn to frown. "Huh? No...we're getting our flowers from the flower mart...and arranging them ourselves."

She smiled politely and patted my hand. "Oh, I know. But a few phone calls won't hurt."

There's an old saying that goes something like, "Get used to being wrong, because your Mother-in-Law will always be right." You know what? It is so true!

At first I brushed it off and filed it away as part of the "unwanted wedding advice". But the truth is my DIY plans had major holes. The original plan was to buy the flowers the day before the wedding, assemble some helpers to arrange the centerpieces, bouquets and boutonnieres. And cart everything out to the wedding venue that same night before the rehearsal dinner.

Hole #1: Mr. Warbs and I live in Downtown Long Beach. Our wedding venue is in Malibu, an hour away when traffic is playing nice. The LA Flower Mart is in, well Downtown Los Angeles. For readers not familiar with the Southern California set up that's about 63 miles of driving. With boxes full of centerpieces, bouquets, dresses, shoes and other wedding paraphernalia. 

Hole #2: Once we carted all of the flowers out to Malibu, we would need to find a place to store them. If the hotel didn't have a special refrigerator or the venue didn't have any room, we would be in trouble for the night.

 Did I mention how HUGE the flower mart is? It stretches on for miles!

Other than the obvious problems with location and transporting the flowers, I was also starting to realize that I actually had no desire to DO any of that work. Or put my bridal party through it. So a funny thing happened over the Independence Day weekend. I went to see a florist nearby our venue, The Exotic Green Garden. We had e-mailed back and forth before and she was willing to work within my measly budget. And she did. And I BOOKED her! Not only did she work for our budget, she also gave me the name of some local bakers for our grooms cake. Swoon. It was pretty much love at first sight. Tiana asked for examples of the feel I wanted for the wedding. I showed her photos like this:

Image via The Knot / Flowers by Kristin Rockhill of Details of I Do / Photo by John Arcara Photography

And this:

Image via Mrs. Taco / Flowers by Amy Burke Designs / Photo by Ashley Forette and Gem Photo

She really loved this photo
Image via The Knot / Centerpieces by Annie's Garden, Corsicana, TX / Photo by Sara & Rocky Photography, Dallas TX

She immediately told me that with my budget it probably wouldn't be a good idea to model the tables after that last photo, because I would need two centerpieces per table. The first photo of the books was much more doable. Her suggestion to reuse the ceremony flowers for the centerpieces was right up my alley! She also advised me on where I should cut flowers and which flowers I could use to fill things out a bit. In no time she pulled up her past examples to show me what she could do. She pulled up these photos:

Please excuse those colors. Those are NOT our colors.

At the end of the meeting I felt like I was discussing the wedding with a friend instead of a friendly. Tiana really understood what I wanted and didn't try to oversell me. Doing it myself would have been fun, but just didn't seem worth it in my case. I'm so glad I listened to Mother-in-Law Warblers's advice and hired a professional. This is one time where I m happy to have been proven wrong!