Monday, July 10, 2006

Professional Pictures

Wow, it's been over a month since I last made an entry. That's crazy! In my defense, Sam and I just moved to a new apartment, and I've been dealing with a nasty skin condition ever since late May, so between all of that and trying to find some time to relax and enjoy being newlyweds, the post-wedding stuff hasn't really been on my mind.

But, to make up for it, I come bearing professional pictures! They arrived on CD (or a DVD... I forget...) sometime in mid-June. You can view them in a slideshow here: My Wedding KodakGallery. (There are repeats, but they came to me that way. So I'm not sure if they just forgot which pictures they had already given me, or if they just took many multiples of the same thing...)

I'm really quite pleased with the pictures, especially for the price. All of them are beautiful, and some of them are even gorgeous, if I do say so myself. ^_^ I notice a quality difference between the pictures, though, so I'm wondering if it's because the better pictures were taken by Joannessa (my photographer) and the lesser quality (yet still very nice) pictures were taken by her assistant? Or maybe it's because they had various different cameras that were good for portrait shots and stills, and therefore could take better quality pictures, as opposed to action shots or candids, which would need a faster shutter, but thus came out in a lesser quality?

I still have yet to hear back from her about prints (which I'm quite positive came with my package), but since this is a major wedding season, I'm thinking it's probably because she's busy with many other weddings, all at the same time. I'll be sure to bug her periodically about it, though.

Other things in my post-wedding agenda:
  • Thank You Cards - We still haven't done this, and I'm a little afraid we'll forget who gave us what in all the moving mayhem. I'll try to track down all the cards and make notes as best I can...
  • Guestbook/Scrapbook - I plan on putting the pictures from the disposable cameras in here alongside the cards people filled out for our guestbook. I need to go to a craft store to get papers, a scrapbook, various decorative doodads... It'll be quite a project!
  • Wedding Album - Once I find out about the prints, I'll buy or make a nice album and put them in there. I've also been wondering about those coffeetable book albums that you create online and have sent to you. If I don't get one for me and Sam, I might get one for each set of our parents.
  • Sell Extra Wedding Supplies - I've got a ton of candles and lanterns and paper and envelopes and tulle that I didn't use. (Some of which I don't get... How didn't they get used?) Almost all of it is brand new. If anybody sees this and is interested, send me an email at hotaru888 [AT] yahoo . com (take out spaces, and use the @)
  • What to Do with a Wedding Dress - I really want to keep mine, but I'm a little concerned about it taking up too much space in our already packed closet. I should probably get it drycleaned, first and foremost.

Okay, back to work!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Top 6 Cost-Cutting Decisions

I feel bad that I haven't posted in a while. I really want to write a wedding and honeymoon recap, but every time I think about it, I get this feeling of dread. It seems so daunting! I'll see if I can write a little at a time at work, so I'll eventually get part of it posted.

Anyway, I posted this on IndieBride, and I thought this would be something good to post here too. I hope this is helpful to someone! (Or at least interesting...)

From thread titled: Your Top 5 (or more) Cost Cutting Decisions

Our end total (not including honeymoon) was $6300. For Southern California, I think we did really well! Here are our top 5 (okay, 6):

1) Having the reception at a restaurant - We only had around 50 people at the reception, so the back room of a local restaurant worked really well. I liked that I didn't have to go hunting for both a caterer and a location, but it wasn't a "wedding factory". The cost was only $18 per person, and there was no site fee! So including cake-cutting fees, taxes, gratuity, and $700 bar tab, the entire reception cost us just over $2200. (The manager wasn't as on top of things as I would've liked, but it all turned out okay)

2) Costco/DIY flowers - Since I didn't need gobs and gobs of flowers, I couldn't take advantage of some of the free shipping offers. I also wanted rose petals, so I either needed more roses (and then deal with their minimum quantities) or a package of petals. So I bought 14 dozen roses at Costco for $120 the day before the wedding, pulled off the petals of some, and arranged the rest into bouquets and bouts the morning of the wedding. I even had leftover flowers too!

3) No DJ/iPod - We don't like a lot of contemporary music, and don't like cheesy DJs, so we did the iPod thing. Since we received some wedding present money early, we used some of it to buy a refurbished Klipsch iGroove dock off of eBay. It cost just under $180, but it didn't actually cost us anything, since we used the gift money. Incredible sound, comes with a remote control, and we absolutely LOVE that we now have a cool iPod stereo for our own personal use.

4) eBay - I got the best deals on eBay. My dress, modeled after a $900 Maggie Sottero, cost only $264, including shipping. I received so many compliments! I got the iGroove, my crinoline, and lanterns for centerpieces (10 for $50) there too.

5) Having the wedding near Easter - My wedding was May 6, so our church was still decorated for the Easter season. There were tons of flowers and swags of white cloth draped from the rafters. I actually meant to make pew decorations, but I ran out of time. I don't think any of the guests felt anything was lacking, and the church looked gorgeous. And most of my guests thought that I had put up all those decorations myself, so I got lots of compliments!

6) Photographer through Craigslist - The most basic packages in our area are well over $1000, but we found a fantastic photographer who charged $750 for 6 hours of unlimited pics, a DVD of all pics, touch-ups and artistic things (black/white, sepia, etc.), a wedding album, and I think 500+ prints. We negotiated out the wedding album, so it only cost us $650.

Things that upped my costs:
~ Church fees - I ended up paying $805 in church fees. Because I wasn't a parishioner at my church, the "suggested" donation for using the church was $500. (But they wouldn't make you give that much if you didn't have much money) The church-provided ceremony coordinator and altar servers cost $155, and the pianist charged $150 for coordinating the music and playing at the wedding. Other musicians (instruments or vocalists) would've been an extra $100 or so, but I had my brother sing, so that was free. Our officiant doesn't accept monetary gifts, so we'll be giving him a gift basket and a thank-you card. And our ceremony was beautiful and perfect, so I think the $805 was well deserved.

~ Rings - DH's ring was purchased from a Zales outlet store here in town for about half the price ($430 instead of $800+), but that's still a lot of money. Mine was even more - $590 from Linda Clifford Celtic Jewelry online, including shipping from Ireland (Mine's the two-tone one with the sapphires). But they kinda match, they're gorgeous, and we absolutely love them, so we felt it was worth the splurge.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Vendor Review

We're back! Puerto Vallarta was gorgeous and so much fun! We were totally and utterly spoiled over the past 8 days. It was the best vacation I've ever had, and just the greatest honeymoon I could ever ask for. Recap to come later, since it will likely be long and involved... ;)

Lots of brides on wedding forums provide vendor reviews for the wedding, so that brides in the same area know who was great and who wasn't. Most of the brides reading this won't be in the area, but I found during my planning that reviews give good ideas on what to watch out for or ask about. So here are my thoughts on my vendors...

Ceremony Location: Padre Serra Church - A
Firstly, I realize it's a little weird reviewing a church, but I did pay many of the people who worked with me there, and I gave them a rather large "donation", so I figure they're just as much a vendor as a country club. Anyway, they were fabulous! The church itself is gorgeous and I got so many compliments on how beautiful it is. What's more, it was decorated with tons of flowers and large swags of cloth for Easter, so I didn't need to decorate the church at all. (I had intended on adding pew decorations, but I didn't have time) Vivian, our church coordinator, made the ceremony flow smoothly and the procession (as far as I know) flawless, so everyone knew when to go and how to walk and everything. Dan, our music coordinator and pianist, worried me at first with how little he communicated with us, but he and my brother went over the music the day before, and it was utterly beautiful. I LOVED the music. The church office took care of the little details too, so I didn't have to worry about sending in my marriage license and kept track of our papers and everything. Just a great experience.

Presider: Deacon John - A+
Sam and I really and truly love this man. He is just the greatest and nicest old man you'll ever meet. All the sessions we had with him for our Pre-Cana process were comfortable and enriching. He was so patient and sweet, and helped me accept the things that were going on with my mother. And he put us at ease during the ceremony with how warm and friendly he was. He came up to us after I reached the altar, chatted and joked with us as the music finished playing, and really calmed our nerves. He gave us big hugs after the ceremony too. He was absolutely invaluable, and made our ceremony so meaningful and comfortable.

Reception Location/Caterer: The Sportsman Restaurant - B-
Admittedly, Sam and I kinda "settled" on this place after a very long and arduous search for a reception place that was close to the church and within our budget. The Sportsman is a nice restaurant, so even though it wasn't swanky, it was a good semi-formal place for just 50 people to party in. First, the good stuff: The food was incredibly delicious, and really filled us up. The waiters, at least, were pretty friendly and on top of things. And they weren't strict about anything. They didn't care if we had a lot of candles (which can be an issue with some indoor venues), and ordered the linens in several different colors. They didn't charge us a site fee, and it was so affordable at $18 per person. And even though we had a bar tab, we either didn't reach it (which seemed pretty unlikely because many guests got drunk) or they just stopped counting, so it was free all night. So that was pretty cool. That said, here's the bad stuff: I had asked for 8 tables - 6 for our guests, one for gifts, and one for placecards and guestbook pages. We got the tables for our guests, and that's pretty much it. My MOH and family put the gifts on a pool table in the corner (you can see it in the background of this pic, but they didn't have room for placecards, so they were put on the tables. The guestbook pages were placed on a small bar table in the back of the room, and I feel like some people didn't know about them. Thankfully, my friends alerted most people about them. Also, we had asked the manager for a dance floor, but when we got there, there wasn't any dancing space whatsoever. He had assumed that since we weren't having a DJ, that we weren't having any dancing, even though we had specifically asked for one, and we told him that we'd be bringing our own stereo. He said he'd clear some space near the bar for us by removing some tables, but it still wasn't done by the end of dinner, so I had to track him down AGAIN to get him to clear the space. Also, even though we were having a private party, he let other customers sit at and around the bar really close to us, and I heard the other people were pestering my guests. I don't mind that they were there, but I feel like he should have made more of an effort to close off at least part of the bar area for us. I also heard (since I didn't drink much) that the drinks were kinda bad, and the bartender wasn't very nice. I felt like the customer service there was really lacking. I regret not writing out everything I wanted in detail beforehand.

Cake: Siblings Bakery - A-
These people are really friendly. They were the ones I missed the first time around and had to reschedule with, and they were so cool about it. They gave nice-sized portions for the taste testing and even gave us a big hunk of cake to take home with us. The cake we got was DELICIOUS!! And huge! It was supposed to feed 60 people and we ended up with about 52. But at the end of the day, we had two whole tiers left over, and most people had second servings. Granted, the servers cut the cake slices small, but don't all wedding cake servers cut them small? And it's not like we were going to save the top tier, because they give us a free small cake on our first anniversary. So I gave my family the top tier, and we took the middle one. And it's still moist and delicious now, even after sitting in our fridge while we were on our honeymoon. Two disappointing things: 1) The cake wasn't decorated the way we had gone over it. It was kinda close, and had the right colors, but it wasn't what we had discussed. Don't get me wrong - it was still pretty and I got some compliments on it. And I feel like I'm being nitpicky, but it really was quite different from what I had shown them. If you remember what I posted as my model a couple months ago, the flowers were bigger and more prominent, right? But the cake did end up being very cute. Just not what I expected. 2) The cake was supposed to have fresh strawberries and Bavarian cream in the middle. We got the Bavarian cream, but there were VERY few strawberries. I think some of my guests ended up not having any. In fact, I'm glad we didn't end up serving the middle tier, because we've eaten nearly the entire thing, and we haven't found a single strawberry in it.

Photographer: Joannessa Clawson - A+ (so far - pictures not back yet)
So far, I really love her. She was so professional, and I felt like she acted as more than just a photographer, but kind of as an impromptu wedding "coach" or something too. She helped me relax before the wedding, set up a lot of fun and cute formal shots, guided me during the cake cutting (I didn't know what to do exactly...), and made sure her assistant stayed for a while after she had to leave so we could have candid dancing photos (we were running really late). I felt at ease with her around, though I did feel bad that she was sitting around for a while because dinner ran long. I feel pretty confident that the pictures she took will be gorgeous too.

Dress: Cinderella Bridal on Ebay - A-
As I said before, my dress was gorgeous, and almost exactly how I imagined it. The cloth was really high quality, but I got it about a week later than expected without much explanation or assurances as to when it would be done. Also, it was much longer than it should have been. I gave them the correct hollow to hem measurement, but about 5 inches had to be removed from the bottom by the tailor. That's a lot for a custom dress. And a seam ripped a little while I was putting it on at the tailor, but I'm not sure if that was bad sewing or my freakishly enormous ribs. I didn't fix it, but barely anyone noticed.

Tailor: Flavio's Tailoring & Alterations - B-
First, let me say that they really did do a good job with the alteration. They did have to take off a lot of material from the bottom, and - unless you looked really hard - you wouldn't be able to tell that it had been altered. However, as I mentioned before, they were really bad at getting the job done when they said it would. They said it'd be done by Friday, called to say it'd actually get done on Tuesday, and then actually got it done by Wednesday. It's not even like they did it to just me. My cousin got her bridesmaid dress altered there too, and it wasn't ready until the day before the wedding! And they barely made any apologies for their being late with my dress! Really unprofessional customer service.

My Ring: Linda Clifford Celtic Jewelry - A
I love my ring! It's gorgeous, and it fits perfectly! Exactly as described. And the customer service was fantastic too. Very easy email communication, they were very quick to reply, and when I was having trouble with my bank card, they accomodated me really well with no fuss at all. They were really friendly too. Highly recommended.

Sam's Ring: Zales Outlet - A
This was a really easy purchase. We had gone in there a couple times to try out rings for him, he found one he really liked, and it was a great price. Beautiful ring! And the salespeople weren't very pushy, and were actually even pretty friendly.

Tuxedos: Men's Wearhouse - A
I was a little nervous ordering everything out of a binder with pictures and cloth samples. After all, you don't order a wedding dress without trying on a sample, right? But it all turned out so well. Sam looked so handsome! (His groomsmen looked good too.) What was even better was that the whole out of state groomsmen thing worked really well. I picked out styles and colors for them (Tim, the best man, in violet to match Nimalee's dress, and Miguel, the groomsman, in a silvery blue to match Ciara's dress), and Men's Wearhouse put that information in the computer. Then the groomsmen just had to go in to their local Men's Wearhouse in Chicago to get fitted, and they picked it up here at our Men's Wearhouse the day before the wedding. After the wedding, we returned them back here, so the groomsmen didn't have to mess with putting them in their luggage or anything. Very convenient. (Yes, that's Sam dancing with his brother. I'm comfortable with it!)

Bridesmaid Dresses: David's Bridal - A-
The first time we went in for a fitting, it was mostly for me, and we got great service. Our salesgirl was very prompt and helpful. But the second time we went, for the bridesmaids, they were distant and not very helpful at all, even though they weren't as busy. At any rate, they had a wide selection of dresses to look at on the catalogs, but their range of sizes and colors were a little lacking. If we liked a color, they didn't have it in stock. If we needed a particular size, it was really hard to find dresses that we liked in those sizes. In the end, I got the dresses during their clearance sale, and they thankfully had them in my bridesmaids' sizes (or very close). $50 each! I think David's Bridal is a good deal when they have a sale (which is quite often). And my girls looked beautiful!

Honeymoon hotel: Dreams Puerto Vallarta Resort - A
Absolutely the best vacation I have ever taken! Loved the all-inclusive package. Through Orbitz, we got a great deal - $850 per person for 7 nights stay including airfare, all meals, all drinks by the glass, 24-hour room service, mini-bar, and most activities. Unless we were tipping, we didn't have to take out any money at all. It's right on a secluded white sand beach, with 3 pools and hot tubs, 2 bars, 5 restaurants... The food was delicious, the drinks were great, the rooms and property were clean... We loved this place! Only complaints were the beds were pretty hard, and the restaurant service (especially during lunch) was very slow. But we probably saved $1000 on food and drinks alone, and we have never stayed anywhere so beautiful or been so pampered in our lives! I bet we would have spent easily as much on a "cheaper" room in Las Vegas after food and drinks.

I've been working on this for a while, so I'll go pay attention to my new husband now. ;)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Did I Dream All That?

I'm a married woman!! Woooooo Hoooooooo!!!!

Truthfully, it hasn't even hit me yet that Sam and I are married now. It really and truly feels like a dream, like my brain hasn't processed what just happened this weekend. I can recall everything that happened, but it still seems like a foreign concept to me. People keep asking me how it feels to be married, and I answer, "Right now, it feels like me and Sam... only with new rings on our fingers."

I'm not sure I'll go through an entire recap of the past few days, cuz that would be LONG, and I need to go shopping for our honeymoon (Puerto Vallarta, here we come!!), but here are some reflections and things I've learned about weddings:
  • Almost nothing went exactly as I planned it. Seriously! We had major problems printing the programs, I didn't end up making lots of things that I wanted to make, the guests all arrived at the reception place an hour early, the dance floor wasn't set up at the reception... But it still all turned out wonderfully! Sure, I noticed these things, and they bothered me a little, but we worked around them, and I doubt my guests cared or noticed a thing. And I'm hoping that I didn't look too bothered by them, because I really wasn't - I just went with the flow and was actually rather amused by it all.
  • Choose your maid of honor wisely. For me, the decision was a no-brainer, but boy am I glad Nimalee was my maid of honor! She stayed up nearly all night with me on Friday, when we were trying to finish all the projects that I didn't get to finish during the week. She coordinated the set up of all the decorations at the reception, pinned up my makeshift bustle, watched over the iPod, made announcements, stayed at the reception to coordinate clearing out all the presents and decorations and odds and ends, taxi-ed my friends around all over the place since Thursday night, and still managed to make the whole thing fun somehow. I really don't know what I would have done without her this weekend. She was amazing!
  • Speaking of projects, if you have the time in your planning, do as much as you can as far in advance as you can. And if you're planning your wedding in 4-5 months like I did, and don't really have the time or means to do them way in advance, make sure your out of town guests don't bug you during the week before your wedding. My in-laws came into town the Saturday before the wedding, and they wanted to do everything with us. They were frequently hanging out at the apartment, so I couldn't focus on the things I needed to do. Then the rest of the OOT guests started coming on Thursday. And I really wanted to hang out with all of them. So, eat meals with them, cuz you should remember to eat, but leave them to their own devices the rest of the time.
  • Personalize your wedding, your ceremony in particular. I feel like sometimes the point of the wedding day - the ceremony - gets forgotten in favor of the more fun reception. But I'm so glad that I actually put thought into the ceremony because I received so many compliments on how beautiful it was, how they all LOVED the Sand Ceremony (great decision!), and that my brother sang beautifully (which he did!). It was wonderful!
  • I think how a someone feels at their wedding really depends on the person. The emotional part of it only hit me about 15 minutes before the ceremony started, when I heard my brother singing, and all I had to do was wait for everything to start. I was trying not to cry! But the moment I stepped out to walk with my dad down the aisle, I had a huge smile plastered to my face, and grinned my way throughout the entire ceremony without a single tear. I was so excited and happy! I think I grinned through the entire reception too. Sam nearly cried during his vows. It was so adorable.

Okay, I'll stop there as I have to go shopping (for the honeymoon, yay!), and I have to finish eating my breakfast (leftover wedding cake, yay!). I'll have a fuller recap later, probably after we get back from the honeymoon (Puerto Vallarta, yay!).

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Not Part of the Solution

I suppose these last few days before the wedding wouldn't be nearly so interesting if it wasn't for some conflict. It's like TV or a book, where something has to go wrong towards the end in order for there to be a big climax. Then it all gets resolved, and the characters live happily ever after. Until the next story, when the wacky hijinks start all over again.

Quite possibly some of the most important details of the wedding are up in the air. I sent my dress in to a tailor to be shortened, and they said it would take one week, to be ready on Friday. The tailor shop calls Thursday to tell me that it won't be ready until the following Tuesday. Okay... whatever. I call Monday to make sure I can pick it up on Tuesday. No answer, so I leave a message. I suspected they were at one of the immigrant-rights rally or doing the nationwide boycott, because they're always there during store hours and they never called me back. Fine with me, so long as my dress is ready on time, right? So I call yesterday (Tuesday) to make sure everything's fine and dandy. It's not.

"It won't be ready until Wednesday morning," the lady says. "I remember because you were asking about whether you have time for dry cleaning."

"Right, except you told me it'd be ready by Tuesday morning. Tuesday. That's today," I say.

"Oh. I'm very sorry, " she replies lamely.

So Sam and his parents are picking it up today and bringing it to the dry cleaners for me to have it pressed, since we'll need all the time we can get to make sure it's done. But that tailor is so unprofessional! Sure, they should stand up for whatever rights and beliefs they hold dear. Prove their worth to the community. Or take a day off, if that's what they were doing. But they shouldn't shirk their responsibilities, especially when their reputation and livelihood is at stake. I'm a paying customer. Their worth to the community is highly questionable when they can't take care of their paying customers. Lord knows I will never take my business there again, and I'll make sure everybody I know doesn't either. So stay away from Flavio's Alterations, everybody! So frustrating... (Ciara, how'd your dress turn out, BTW? Did you get yours on time?)

The weather isn't cooperating either. It was supposed to be sunny on Saturday, but we've had about 5 straight days of cloudy, dreary weather. It might clear up a little, so I'm hoping for just enough sunshine for some good pictures. My ring isn't here yet either, but I looked at the tracking, and it's supposed to be delivering soon. I really can't wait to see it, cuz I have a feeling it'll be lovely.

I've kinda lost steam on this entry, so I'll end it here. Sorry for the rant!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Final Stretch

Phew! Boy, it's been busy! My future in-laws came into town on Saturday, so Sam and I have been running around, being good hosts and everything. And that's on top of everything that I failed to make in advance. And now I just remembered something I needed to do yesterday! Way to go, Kristine... *smacks forehead* I even have things to do at work, which is a shocker. I've been trying to make things easier on my colleague, who will be covering for me while I'm on vacation for 2 and a half weeks. There's so much to do and so little time left!

I spent much of yesterday evening making my veil. It took twice as long as it should have, mostly because I naturally started off trying to do it the hard way. Here are some lessons I've learned about veil-making.
  1. Cutting tulle cleanly and evenly is HARD. (Either that, or I suck at cutting, which is entirely possible.) For anybody who wants a neat and tidy veil, give yourself extra time to do some sort of edging, or you'll end up cross-eyed.
  2. Cut the tulle over something dark (if your veil is dark). It helps you to see it better.
  3. If you want nice edging (fake pearl string or a rolled edge or ribbon), don't make your veil at the last minute, especially if you have to do it by hand. I was gonna try the fake pearl strings and sew it all along the edge, but I realized how time consuming that was going to be and decided it wasn't important.
  4. Sew the tulle to a comb and not to a barrette. It's a million times easier. (Plus, you don't have to decorate the comb if you don't want to. Decorating the barrette is a must.)
  5. If you're making tiered layers, the shorter layer goes on the outside. (No, that's the inside, Kristine. Put it on the outside!)
  6. If you don't gather all of the middle, make sure the ends on either side of the comb are even, otherwise it looks lopsided.
  7. You can still create quite a lovely veil even if you messed up time and time again while you were making it.

I also finished making the guestbook cards. I made 4 different variations and printed each variation on a different color cardstock, with 2 cards to a sheet. They're very cute, and all I have to do now is cut them out. Yay! I wish I had time to post pictures from home, but maybe I'll take them and post them after the wedding, when I have a little more time. I also bought some stickers from the craft store, and Sam's mom bought us some pens that I wanted for people to sign with, so I'm hoping everybody has fun with them.

I still need to buy disposable cameras, and making the tags for them should be super easy. I can probably do most of the design work for the placecards and programs here at work, if I find the time. What's strange is that it looks like I procrastinated a lot in regards to all the projects I have to do, but it really doesn't feel like I put things off. I've been so consistently busy on the weekends. Maybe I could have done more during the weekdays... Ah, well. No sense in moping about it now. I should make a list of things to do, so I don't forget. I think I'll do that now.

Another To-Do List

  • Finish Sam's witness forms and bring it to Padre Serra ASAP!
  • Pick up dress from tailor (stupid tailor!) and run it over to dry cleaner to get pressed.
  • Make Thank-You list with names of people who sent gifts already and what they gave.
  • Gather up cards received already to put into scrapbook sometime later.
  • Design/print/assemble programs (buy extra long stapler?)
  • Design/print/assemble placecards and table names
  • Make decorations (paper flowers, butterflies)
  • Design/print/cut camera tags
  • Cut guestbook cards
  • Call Jay to see if he got a hold of church music guy
  • Create/Distribute timeline for wedding day
  • Book hotel for Friday and Saturday night
  • Arrange music list and load iPod
  • Pay rent (not wedding related, but it might get overlooked in all the madness)
  • Clean up apartment!!
  • Thursday - Go to Van Nuys to get birth certificate (hopefully...)
  • Thursday - Go to nail appointment with Ciara at 1pm
  • Thursday - Pick up Anne at airport
  • Thursday - Pick up some flowers at Costco; harvest and bag petals.
  • Thursday - Book honeymoon (based on success of certificate retrieval)
  • Friday - Pick up Tom and Judy at train station
  • Friday - Pick up remaining flowers at Costco
  • Friday - Assemble bouquets and boutonnierres
  • Friday - Go to rehearsal early (starts at 4:30)
  • Saturday - If anything's not finished, let it go. It's not gonna get done if it isn't done by then.

Gosh, I hope that's it. That's a lot for one week! Oh, and one thing I must mention - My Christmas tree is still up! It doesn't have anything to do with anything, but it amuses me to no end, and I hope our guests find it amusing too. :)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


The search for a nice honeymoon still continues. We found a great rate on an all-inclusive hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, but we still don't know if we can leave the country. Funnily enough, Sam actually does have his birth certificate here; it's mine we're not sure of. I asked my dad to see if he can find it for me. Otherwise, we'll try to find some last minute deal in the good ol' US.

This past Saturday was a pretty crazy but really fun day. I had suspected something fishy was going on cuz Sam and my bridesmaids had been acting very strangely over the past week and a half. Ciara (my BM/cousin) was talking in code, and Sam kept receiving phone calls from a girl who I presumed was Nimalee (my MOH/best friend). Despite my suspicions, I was still really surprised when I opened my door Saturday afternoon to a very loud "Surprise! Happy Bachelorette Party!". Nimalee and Ciara had white hats on; Nimalee's said "Maid of Honor" and Ciara's said "Bridesmaid". :) Then they dressed me up in a mini-veil, a large sash with "Bride To Be" on it, and a "Bride To Be" pin - complete with flashing lights. o.O;; They quickly blindfolded me and led me out the door to Nimalee's car, as I called out an uncertain "Um... bye, Honey!" to Sam. Apparently people were kinda staring as we walked through the parking lot... (LOL)

They drove me around for a while, and I overheard Ciara say the word "massage" (Nimalee glared at her a little, I later learned). They led me out of the car, and I heard a man chuckle and say "You dressed her up like that? Awesome!". As I walked in, sure enough, I smelled the familiar scent of massage lotion. They took off the blindfold and we were at this cool massage place called Massage Envy! It was really very clean and modern-looking. We filled out some paperwork and ate candy while we waited for our massage. They even offered us tea and water while we waited! Nice! We looked through some of the massage therapists' bios, and I was pleased to see that a few of the people went to the same massage school as Sam did. My massage therapist for the day was one of them.

My therapist, Laura, then came to get me, and I followed her to a really large massage room. She left as I took off my clothes and wriggled under the sheets. The bed was heated! Cozy! The sheets were really soft too. She came back and began my massage. It was very relaxing. Even though I've gotten lots of massages now from Sam, it was my first time getting a massage in an official place, so it was really cool, and I was a little nervous. I'm used to firm to deep pressure when I get massages from Sam (it helps get the kinks out!), so I opted for firm pressure on the paperwork. The therapist was kinda gentle, though, and that was great too. I kinda wish she had used some harder pressure, but that often hurts, so the painless massage was very relaxing. We chatted as she massaged me (I giggled a little when she massaged my feet), and it turns out that she knows Sam! So we talked about wedding plans and the massage school. When she was done, she left the room so I could get back into my clothes, and she was waiting outside with a cup of water for me. How nice! I gave her a tip and wandered back to the lobby. I had had a slight headache when I went there and, after the massage, the headache was gone! Yay! I found Ciara in the lobby feeling lightheaded and a little dizzy from the massage (it can do that to you).

After Nimalee came out, they paid the receptionist (and scolded me for tipping my therapist cuz they were gonna do it) and we were on our way again. They wanted to pick up a few snacks, and I needed to buy me and Sam (who said he was hungry when I called him) some sandwiches, so they brought me to the supermarket across the street from my apartment. They dressed me up in my mini-veil, sash, and button, then paraded me through the supermarket. And everybody at that supermarket knows me because Sam and I go there so often. So the employees and shoppers stared at me. After a while, they wandered away to find their own food, so they abandoned me at the deli with the giggling sandwich lady and middle-aged shopper lady also buying sandwiches. "You're getting married??" Shopper Lady said with wide eyes. "But you're so young! You're just a baby still!" Thanks, Shopper Lady. :P

We went back to my apartment with our food and while I ate my sandwich, Nimalee and Ciara prepared champagne with sliced strawberries in it. None of us were too big on champagne by itself, but we added sparkling apple cider to it and it was suddenly very good! Yum! Nimalee was the designated driver for the day, and they had more plans for the evening, so she didn't drink much of hers. So I finished my glass and drank the rest of hers. :) Nimalee left to do something mysterious, and Ciara started putting makeup on me in the pretense of practicing my wedding day makeup, and she did really very well, considering she was kinda drunk. (Oh, don't deny it!) She's underage, so she hasn't really built up a tolerance yet. And this probably isn't an entry she should ever show her mom... Anyway, after she was done with my makeup, she started practicing my wedding day hair-do. I want it to look like this:
I think with a little hairspray (we didn't have any) we could easily pull it off. My hair is straight with curly-wannabe tendencies, which ends up looking frizzy most of the time. So she straightened it with a straightening iron, put it up into a couple ponytails, and curled it with a curling iron. The curls fell out without the hairspray, but it still looked pretty cool. Nimalee had come back but she hid in our messy bedroom, so I didn't see her for a while cuz I wasn't allowed in there. My good friend Paige came (yay!) and we chatted for a while, as Ciara hid away with Nimalee. Then Paige hid away too. During all this, Sam was napping on the couch. :) I talked with him for a while as I danced around in our living room, and after a bit, Nimalee came out again and told me to change into one of two halter tops. I had to change my bra and I was very embarrassed with the state of our bedroom, which was the only place in the entire apartment that wasn't clean and guest-worthy. I put on a simple, purple halter top, but Paige made me change it again, cuz she said I needed more sparkles, so I put on the sparkly green one instead. They instructed me to put on heels and get a small purse. By then, I was feeling very much unlike myself, what with the makeup (which I never wear), the done up hair (which I never do), and the slightly revealing halter and heels (which I also never wear - I borrowed Nimalee's shirt!). It was good, though! I never dress up, so it was a nice change of pace. I felt very girly and shy. I presented myself to Sam, who seemed to enjoy the change as well. :P Then off we went again!

They were still very secretive in the car as we drove to wherever we were going, which apparently required reservations. They had a big trash bag with them, filled with boxes. Very suspicious. We finally reached Encino, and circled around to find parking. We arrived at Benihana's! I love teppanyaki! We were a little early for our reservation, so we ordered drinks and sat around the bar area. I had a very pretty strawberry daquiri. Ciara sampled all our drinks and got progressively loopier as the night went on.

We were shown to our seats, and soon afterward, the cook came. He started off by preparing our appetizers, in which he made a volcano out of onion slices by stacking the rings of onion on top of each other and pouring water down the middle so it steamed. Cool! He also cut and cooked shrimp, and formed them into tiny hearts. He then served it up. I declined the shrimp because I'm allergic, and he scolded me for not telling him earlier. Nimalee and I talked and often pretended to be a lesbian couple (cuz we're dorks and weird like that). The cook made some very impressive fried rice, putting it into bowls and making them do backflips on his spatula before serving them to everybody. Cool! I had hibachi steak, which was very good. And we ate and talked and had a good time.

After the waitress brought my girls the check, she took our picture with a Polaroid. Then the girls opened up the trash bag with the boxes and presented me with various gifts. The first one was Something Old. It was the puffy blue flower girl dress that I had worn when I was six for my cousin's wedding! How sweet! Apparently Nimalee had asked my dad to find it for me, which was a big task, considering she's a little scared of my dad. (My dad can be kinda intimidating) The next was Something New, which was a very cute, lacy corset lingerie thing from Victoria's Secret. I had peeked at it in the bag, since I was too embarrassed to take it out in the middle of the restaurant. Something Borrowed was an old ring that once belonged to Ciara's and my grandmother. It was yellow gold with a delicate golden butterfly on top. I'd like to try to wear it during the wedding ceremony, but I have tiny fingers, so I hope it stays. I have to return it to my aunt (Ciara's mom) after I'm done with it. We all joked that my entire wedding could be my Something Blue, but they gave me an adorable garter set that had blue ribbons on it. Then they gave me the Penny in My Shoe, which was a newly minted 2006 penny. Nimalee had called several banks asking for one. I also had a card with sweet messages from all of them in it. I really loved and appreciated that they had worked really hard to get such meaningful and thoughtful presents for me.

They had intended on taking me out clubbing, but everybody was pretty full and tired, so we wanted to go to TGIFriday's for drinks. But on the way, we had to stop at Denny's twice, due to some bowel issues (I won't say whose). We were also on the wrong freeway, so we had to turn around. By the time we made it back to the Friday's we wanted to go to, they were likely already closing, so we decided it'd be best to go home. Paige and Ciara left, but Nimalee stuck around for a while to get changed and gather her things, since she had a long drive ahead of her. (I offered to let her spend the night, but she had things to do the next morning.) So we talked for a good long while and then she went home. I plopped into bed shortly afterwards.

Wow! Long entry! But I had a great time on Saturday, and it'd be a shame to forget the details if I didn't write them all down. I'm really busy at home, but bored silly at work, so I imagine I'll still have time to update fairly regularly. There's still so much I have to do! There's only a week and a half to go! That's insane! Honestly, it doesn't even feel like it's happening. Like it's still months away. (Which kinda worries me, cuz it makes me feel like I have time to procrastinate. Must not waste time!) I can't believe I'm getting married! I wonder when it'll finally hit me?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

They've Spiked the Drink!

This is certainly not the time to procrastinate. But here I am, not having done a lot of the things I should have done by now. I have my excuses, of course, (and some of them are fairly legitimate!) but it's really time I put my nose to the grindstone. Is that how the expression goes? I find myself getting expressions wrong, then I sound like a loony.

Right now, I'm frantically searching for other honeymoon options. Hawaii isn't going to work out, it seems. Oh, we still have the means to get that hotel in Honolulu, but I'm very reluctant to go to Honolulu right now. See, they had a huge storm at the end of March, and the sewage main or something was going to break, so the city decided to flush it out into the ocean. It was about 50 million gallons of sewage. So the waters were really contaminated. A guy fell into the water not too long afterward, and he had cuts on him, and the cuts got really infected and he died. (SO gross!!) Even though the city has been cleaning up steadily since it happened nearly a month ago, I don't think I'd trust the water enough to go in it. And I think it'd kinda suck to go to Hawaii and not go to the beach, you know?

So I tried to search the other Hawaiian islands to see if I could find something affordable and suitable to our needs. Maui sounded very nice, but it was more expensive, and we might have been stuck in one area for lack of a car. Oahu's the only island that has a good public transportation system, so you really need a rental car to get around when you're in Maui or Kauai or the Big Island. Which I can't do, since I'm not 25 yet. It just sucks that I didn't know about the spill sooner, cuz I was getting really excited about going there. Since Honolulu's the biggest tourist spot in Hawaii, I guess it's all been kept very hush-hush. We still might decide to go to one of the islands for the honeymoon, but it seems unlikely now. Sam says maybe we could go to Hawaii next year for our first anniversary. I would like that very much. Still, I can't help but feel disappointed.

One place we're considering now is Lake Tahoe. It was an idea Sam and I both liked when we were first batting around honeymoon ideas, since I remember it being a lovely place when I vacationed there as a kid. I'm just not sure what we'd end up doing out there. There are casinos and the lake (which I remember being very beautiful), but I'm trying to find out if there are any places to sightsee, like museums or a zoo or something. We're also thinking about Las Vegas. Sam's never been there before, it's easy to find stuff to do without the need for a car, and since it's really close, it's cheaper too. We could probably even stay at a pretty swanky hotel. We could do nerdy stuff too, like go to the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton. But would it be romantic, I wonder? And relaxing? The only particularly romantic thing I can think of is the gondola ride at the Venetian (maybe my imagination isn't working too well right now). And I've been there about 10 times with my parents, so it doesn't seem that exciting to me anymore. Still cool, but not as exciting.

I really like the idea of going on a cruise to the Bahamas or the Mexican Riviera, but Sam's not so into it. Most of the cruises we're looking at leave the weekend after we get married (5/13 or /514), so they get back the weekend before we go to back to work (5/20 or 5/21). Sam wants us to have time to rest at home before we go back to work. Sam also has a fear of flying, so he's really wary about flying to the cruise departure cities, like New York or Orlando. He says he will fly there if we do end up going on a cruise, but he'd rather leave from California or somewhere close, so the flight isn't too long. Cruises are a little expensive, but they do include entertainment, most meals, some beverages, and room service. And I've found some pretty great deals on Priceline and Travelocity. We'd also get to go someplace really different and new. I've never been on a cruise before, or to the Bahamas or Mexico. I think it'd be a lot of fun.

Let's see, what else could we do? Disneyworld? It might be fun, but I should probably take a break from Disney for a while. The Caribbean or Mexico without a cruise? Would I need a passport? How long does that take? Sam wouldn't like an even longer flight... This honeymoon thing is mind-boggling.

Monday, April 10, 2006

26 Days and Counting

We had our final meeting with our deacon on Saturday, so pretty much all of the major stuff is finished. We picked our readings, sent in our ceremony music request to the music guy, and turned in our Baptism/Communion/Confirmation records. Just need to turn in those pesky witness forms and our marriage license, and we can officially get married.

That's not to say there isn't tons left to do. All the little details are gonna drive me crazy, I can tell. I've finally got fed up with the table decorations, thought "To hell with this!", and have decided that I'll just go with the simplest possible route. Much like the other Kristine suggested, I'll have the lantern in the middle with rose petals and votive candles down a line on either side of it. I had wanted to do this anyway, but somehow thought that just the petals, candles, and the lanterns would look small on the tables. Most people assure me that it won't. So it'll look like this, but with a lantern:

So I bought 7 dozen votive candles in glass containers for $4.97 per dozen this weekend (Yay Michaels!). And then I can buy 6 bunches of roses from Costco a day or two before the wedding, just to harvest the petals. (I think I'll ask a florist if they'd be willing to give them for me for cheap or free, considering it's like taking out their trash for them.) I'm sure it'll look very nice. I asked my brother (who's now an interior designer), what he thinks, and he says it'll look okay. He started going off on adding bamboo or eucalyptus too. I'd rather not bother with it. Eucalyptus would be easy enough to get for free - my work is swarming with eucalyptus trees - but if my coworkers didn't think I was a weirdo before, they'll certainly think so once they see me picking up leaves with my butt waggling in the air (waggling cuz I'm bending over; I wouldn't just be randomly waggling my butt). Anyway, I'm gonna try to back away from the table decorations and stop obsessing about them. Let it go, Kristine. Let it go.

And damn it, Martha Stewart! I bought your wedding magazine for the sole purpose of learning how to do those tissue paper doohickeys, then you go off and provide the instructions for free on your website! Just for that, I will make your magazine into beads or a bowl sometime in the future! So there! ...Anyway, I think it'd be cool if there were hooks at my reception site so I could make those hanging pom-poms. They look really impressive, and I made the little ones, and they were easy as pie! Easier, even! I could make them in pink, green, purple, and blue in all different sizes, and hang them from the ceiling with fishing wire, so it'll be like they're floating. Of course, this is all dependent upon visiting the reception site and seeing if they have hooks.

But I'm also wondering if some of the craftsy projects I wanted to do will even be worth the effort. My idea for the placecards was to have a tissue paper flower coming out of a tiny, 1 inch terra cotta pot, with the leaf as the nametag. Then the color of the flower would show what they wanted for dinner. It'd be cute, for sure. But would it be appreciated? I'm sure our guests would say, "Oh, how cute!", but they'd eventually just get thrown out or left behind, especially by out of town guests, who can't realistically put mini flowers in suitcases. They'd be smushed. So for a lot of my projects, I've been having a debate in my head: Practicality/Appreciation vs. Time/Money/Effort Spent. With less than 4 weeks to go, I can't really afford to get hung up on things that won't make a difference if they're not there. So maybe just little tent placecards in different colors, with a mini paper flower glued to it.

Finally, I figure I should start a weekly To-Do list, since it's really getting close to the wedding date, and there's tons left to do.


  • Send check for balance and guidelines to photographer; ask her what entrees they want
  • Visit Sportsman Restaurant to scope out the place for details and ask questions
  • Follow up with people who haven't RSVP'd yet.
  • Call uncle! (Maybe email?)
  • Give witness forms to brother and dad (or aunt), get them back before Friday
  • Finish witness forms from Sam's parents
  • Appointment at County Clerk's office on Friday (Was that at 10am, Sam?)
  • Order crinoline & any other bridal accessories
  • Drop off dress at tailor
  • Start designing guestbook cards, camera cards, table numbers, and programs

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Sand Ceremony

I've never liked the whole Unity Candle ceremony. I think it's because the flame that's supposed to represent the couple's coming together as a family and as a whole is so easily extinguished. Possibly also because I've got a slight pyrophobia. (I'd probably worry about dropping my candle and lighting my wedding dress on fire...)

Anyway, I heard about the Sand Ceremony, and the more I read up on it, the more I like it. Basically, you have two containers, each filled with a different color of sand. The bride and groom each take a container, and pour the sand into a vase or bottle at the same time. The lovely piece of sand art you've just created is a symbol of your coming together as one, and how you can never be separated into what you once were. Then you close the vase/bottle, which you later save, seal with wax, and place on your mantle as a constant reminder of your unity. Cute, huh?

So I'll talk with Sam and our deacon about maybe doing that. It shouldn't cost that much either, with like $5-6 for all the containers/bottles and maybe another $4 for colored sand. (I suppose I could just go to the beach, get some sand, and color it myself, but I'd probably spend $4 in gas driving to the beach and back anyway.) It might be nice. What do you think?

Monday, April 03, 2006

More About Cake & Centerpieces

Yesterday was our 3rd anniversary! It's a little hard to believe that Sam and I have been going out for 3 years. Sometimes it feels like we've been together for much longer than that, sometimes it feels like it hasn't been that much time at all. I took Sam out for a swanky dinner at a fondue restaurant called The Melting Pot. I've been wanting to take him there for about a year now. Fondue is fun! And delicious. We had a great time!

On Saturday, we had our 8:30 appointment with Siblings Bakery. And everybody was totally right, cuz they didn't really care that we were a no-show the previous weekend, and they were super nice. What's more, their cakes were delicious! Sam ate everything on his plate, uttering many "Mmm" noises in the process. The cake ladies said that if they stuck him in a corner and fed him cake while customers came in, he'd be good for business. (LOL) And when I showed Shirley (the owner) pictures of the cakes I liked, she was immediately spouting off ideas and showing me samples of similar things she made, and mixing together icing colors so the cake would be just the right shade of blue. Awesome! So we booked them on the spot. And for $250, I'm getting a 3 tier square marble cake (so yummy!) with fresh strawberry and bavarian cream filling. The cake will be iced in pale blue (I can't help it! I'm obsessed!) buttercream, decorated with chocolate branches and pink cherry blossoms with violet centers. So, it'll look like this picture (which I've posted before), only square, blue, and without the cute Japanese cake topper. I'm having a "decorative pile" of the blossoms on top instead.

(This part gets a little rambly, so I apologize in advance... )

I've also been debating about what else to put on the tables besides the oriental lanterns I bought a while back. I had thought about making flower-shaped jar lanterns, but I'm pretty sure they'd clash. And they're likely to be a little time consuming. So I guess I'll just have to make them for some other occasion.

I had always wanted flowers on the table, since we won't be able to have our reception at a garden. So, you know, if I had plants or flowers everywhere, I could bring the garden to the reception. I thought about using paper flowers, but there's the problem of candles on the table and paper being highly flammable. So I'd have to figure out if getting LED candles would really save me any money in the long run. Anyway, I broke down and bought the recent Martha Stewart Wedding magazine, featuring tissue paper flowers. Look how cute they are!I tried making some this weekend, and some turned out better than others. A couple of them weren't too hard to make, so I might make some for placecards, but I'm not sure if I should do them for centerpieces. Again, they'd be pretty time consuming. Cut flowers in vases or jars would be pretty, but fairly expensive. And they'd be hard to care for in amongst all the wedding week craziness. So I went hunting for plants at the garden section of the Do-It Center. I found several types of flowering plants for under $4. Not bad! The most promising ones seemed to be the mini-rose plants. They weren't the cheapest at $3.99, but not expensive, I don't think. They'd also be really easy to care for. I could just go buy them the day before, give them a little water, and plunk them in cheap terra cotta pots. So that's looking like the most likely option.

Why are table decorations the most difficult decision in planning this wedding? Ridiculous!

Friday, March 31, 2006

Guestbook Questions

I'm creating a repository of questions I might use for the guestbook pages. I figure I'll put 2 or 3 questions on each page, with about 3 or 4 variations, so everybody doesn't get the same questions. Anyway, here we go:
  • Where did you travel from?
  • What was your favorite part of the wedding so far?
  • How did you meet Sam and/or Kristine?
  • How long have you known Sam and/or Kristine?
  • What is one of your favorite memories of Sam and/or Kristine?
  • What is your advice on how to be the perfect husband?
  • What is your advice on how to be the perfect wife?
  • What is your advice on how to have a strong, happy marriage?
  • What are your wishes for Sam and Kristine as they start their married life together?
  • What do you see Sam and Kristine doing ten years from now?

If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to comment with them. :)

Monday, March 27, 2006

Finally... "The Dress"

It finally came! After nearly two months of mild worry, my wedding dress finally came!

When I came home from work, I found a small yellow DHL bag on our doorstep. I was pretty confused as to how they fit a big ol' wedding dress in a square foot of packaging, but it was all there, neatly folded, so it was barely wrinkled. Amazing! (I'm easily impressed)

First, the very good news. The color of the embroidery, the look of the colored lacing down the back, the quality of the fabric - all perfect! Honestly, I don't know how it would look more like what I had wanted. And this makes me especially happy since I wasn't sure if the people I got it from could possibly get the right color from my description: "pale pastel blue embroidery with matching pale pastel blue lacing..." I'm very pleased with the quality. Absolutely luxurious fabric that's much nicer than the stuff they made the David's Bridal wedding dresses from. Very heavy, very soft, and very warm! I was tromping around my apartment with the wedding dress on, and I got hot already. (Note to self: put on extra deodorant on wedding day! =P)

Next, the nitpicky news. The dress is really hard to put on over my enormous shoulders. I needed to unlace the entire thing to get in it. Also, I kinda wish the dress part was a little bigger so the laces could form a much smaller and tighter V. I wasn't laced up very tightly (just enough that I could see what it looks like), but the laces seemed very wide to me. And I kinda wish the color of the lacing was paler, to match the embroidery, but I do like how it looks , so I'm just being anal. Also, even though the dress makes my stomach look flat, it really isn't and the "privacy panel" kept snapping out of place when I bent over. It's not really the dressmaker's fault that I love pasta and bread and potatoes, so I'm gonna have to work harder to lose a couple inches around the waist before May.

Also, Sam saw me in the dress. I was so eager to try it on, but no one but Sam was around to help me get in it, and I couldn't lace myself up, so he laced me up in it. So much for not seeing the dress before the wedding. He loves it, though.

Anyway, here's a whole barrage of pictures for everyone to enjoy.

Please excuse my messed up hair. I had just gotten home from work. Oh, and please excuse the towels too. We haven't had time to tidy up.

The back! I think for the wedding, I'll just have the laces tied in a knot instead of a bow, so the tails fall lower down the back. Also, you can't see it, but the train seems really long! It goes back about 4 feet behind me!

Back closeup.

Side front.


Front detail.

Embroidery detail. I think this picture shows it very true to color.

Side closeup.

Honestly, though, these pictures don't really do it justice. I'm so happy with how well it turned out! Even though it came late, I think I'll give the seller a positive feedback anyway. I mean, I got a $800+ dress for $264 including shipping and delivery insurance. I certainly feel like I came out ahead with this one.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


It's starting out to be a pretty crappy day, unfortunately. We missed our appointment with the bakery.

It's our own fault, for a good part of it. We stayed up way past when we should have last night. Sam had felt like having wine, and he gets very inquisitive and talkative when he's drunk. So while I was downloading songs for the wedding, Sam was asking me questions and discussing things with me, and we ended up going to bed at around 4am. And we were still talking for a while afterward.

Since the appointment was for 10am, I had set my alarm for 8:30, but I have a horrible tendency to hit the snooze button while I'm still half asleep, so it wasn't until 9am that I woke up. I took a shower and nudged Sam to get up. He had/has a bad hangover, so it took him half an hour to get out of bed and get dressed. I called the bakery to tell them we'd be late, and they told me to hurry. We went out the door, into the car, and onto the freeway.

I've never driven to Ventura before. I don't know how to get around there, and the streets confused me even when I was only a passenger, much less when I was driving. So I was REALLY looking hard for a sign for my exit. But as more and more of Ventura came and went, I didn't see my exit and I began to worry. And as I recognized that I had passed Ventura, I couldn't find a freeway exit so I could drive back the way I came. So I had to keep driving for a long while, until I found an exit that led to tiny seaside roads with no signs. After wandering around for 5 minutes, I finally found the entrance to the freeway going South. But it was already 10:30, and even though I found the ever-elusive exit at around 10:40, I was too ashamed and angry and frustrated to show my face at the bakery, so I just drove us home. What sucks is that, if I had known where the exit was, we could've been there in 10 minutes. Instead, I just drove around for an hour, wasting gas and time.

Now I don't know what I'm gonna do about the cake. I had been looking forward to this appointment since last week, and I had a really good feeling about this bakery. I don't think I wanna reschedule since, to them, I totally flaked on our appointment. There's a bakery in Oxnard we could try, but it's getting really very close to our wedding date. And I'm not sure I feel so into Plusko's anymore. I was really getting into the idea that I'd have an amazingly awesome cake. So... I don't know. Maybe I'll discuss option with Bread Basket some more and see if I can get a less expensive cake? I feel like I'm being a brat about this, but I also feel like I've compromised so much already that I should at least be able to have the cake I want.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Songs Please!

I had a fairly foolproof plan to get at least some music that everybody likes at the wedding. So not working. You'd think that people would say to themselves, "What a neat idea! I have a whole bunch of songs that'd be great at the wedding. I've gotta email them to Kristine immediately!" But not a single email yet, and invitations have been out for at least 3 or 4 weeks. This is highly disappointing.

So anyway, if any of you people out there in cyberspace have some songs that you think would be great at our wedding, comment with the song title and artist here. We're especially looking for good, upbeat dance songs, but slow songs or dinner music would be good too. Oh, and if you have an MP3 of the song, feel free to email it to me at KCSNwedding [AT]

Thanks in advance!