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!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

In the Lists

To-Do List:

  • Follow up with uncle to get address, if he doesn't call me back.
  • Send witness forms to Sam's parents, and give mine to my aunt and brother.
  • Email church music guy with selections and with brother's phone number/email.
  • Order crinoline
  • Make veil
  • Order flowers (?)
  • Check when church/coordinator fees are due.
  • Schedule meeting for dad with deacon.
  • Have final meeting with deacon; choose readings.
  • Order tux for Sam (Sam - decide what the groomsmen/brothers are wearing!)
  • Buy iGroove for music
  • DIY projects (lanterns, paper flowers, placecards, programs, guestbook pages, possible cake topper)
  • Buy candles and tulle for decoration
  • Reserve hotel room
  • Make travel arrangements for honeymoon
  • March 25 - tasting at Siblings Bakery
  • April 1 or shortly after - touch base with reception restaurant as far as food, linens, decorations, set-up times, etc.
  • April 8 and after - follow up with people who haven't RSVP'd yet.
  • April 14 - Go to Ventura County Clerk's office for license
  • Before April 15 - send church photography guidelines, special requests, and balance to photographer.
  • April 29 - finalize details with reception restaurant, including final head count and entree choices.
  • April 29 - finalize details with bakery.
  • Make timeline based on details to give to coordinator, restaurant guy, bridesmaids, brothers, groomsmen, parents, dogs, aliens from outerspace, mental institution they'll be taking me to...
  • May 4 - start picking up guests at airports
  • May 4 - start organizing items for transport to ceremony & reception sites.
  • May 5 - arrange flowers; go to Costco early to get roses for petals (bouquets/bouts?)
  • May 5 - rehearsal at 4:30 (make sure everybody who needs to be there is there!)

Will add as needed. (I know I'm still forgetting stuff...)

Ich bin ein jelly donut!

I bought The Sims 2: Open for Business expansion pack on Saturday, so I have done barely anything productive over the past few days. o.O;; I spent hours upon hours playing it! I knew there was a reason why I had stopped playing the Sims for months... It's a highly addictive game.

Lately, when I space out at work, I've been having these daydreams (daynightmares? daymares?) where the wedding just goes completely wrong. Like those dreams you have in school just before a final exam where you go into the test, look at the questions, and suddenly realize that you haven't studied, haven't read the past 10 chapters, and didn't realize that the course was taught entirely in German, so if you actually did know the material on quantum physics (which, you don't, because you barely passed high school chemistry), you can't read the test cuz all the questions look like "Ich liebe dich! Wunderbar!".

So, like that, only about the wedding. =P I imagine guests milling around looking hopelessly confused, the food comes out and it's not what anybody expected and actually looks kinda like lumps of coal on a fancy plate, nobody's dancing, the restaurant didn't get set up so everything's a mess, and my dress never came so I'm not wearing much of anything. Which would be fine for a Betazoid wedding (nerd moment), but not for ours. Okay, the last part is an exaggeration for the sake of the nerdy reference, but the rest of it is stuff I really do imagine happening.

I think it's probably natural that when you prepare for something so long and so thoroughly that you get these irrational fears that all the planning actually never happened or that some little cog in the plan will come loose and the rest of the well-oiled machine of your plan just falls apart.

In other news, we have another cake tasting at Siblings Bakery in Ventura. Since fewer people are attending than were invited (about 60 people attending, which was our original estimate), we have a little more money in our budget to spend on a cake. They told me their cost was $3.75 per slice, regardless of what kind of filling, icing, or decoration I get. I like a flat fee. And I heard from several brides online that they have really delicious cake. I'm gonna prepare all my pictures and information beforehand, so if I really like them, I can place my order on the spot.

Finally, we're trying to decide on where to go for our honeymoon. We're seriously considering Hawaii! Waikiki, Honolulu, to be precise. I'm very excited. I've been looking at flight/hotel packages online, and there are some pretty good deals out there. Several fairly affordable hotels are right near the beach, a few blocks away from the zoo and shopping, and there are apparently hiking trips you can take. I hear there are a few free buses that go around the area, shuttles to and from the airport, and lots of stuff within walking distance, so I won't need to drive! (I hate driving, and I don't think I can rent a car yet.) It sounds very fun and romantic. I just have to find a good, affordable hotel...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Catching Up

I decided that this weekend would be relatively free from wedding stuff. Sometimes I think the wedding planning has taken on a life of its own, shoving aside everything else in my life. So I've been taking the time to catch up with a friend, clean the apartment, take brisk walks, and do some yoga. It's nice to take a little break.

However, there have still been several wedding developments over the past week. This past Friday, Sam and I went to a ballroom dance class, focusing on the Foxtrot and Cha-cha. The class will go on every week for about 6 weeks. We're hoping that we can use what we learn to really impress our guests during our first dance. We were the youngest couple there by far; the youngest other couple was about 10 years older than us, and most couples were 20 years older! So we felt a little out of place. I think Sam was nervous too, because he was the only one there who had never had any experience with ballroom dance before (I had taken a class several years ago). Our female teacher (we had 2 teachers, who were married) took the time to help Sam learn the steps, which was really very kind of her. By the end of the class, Sam was dancing very nicely! I was impressed because he had learned almost everything the rest of the class had been taught, and they all had much more experience. I feel like we could probably come up with something very nice for our first dance if we can just perfect even just the things we learned on Friday.

Also, I've been getting compliments on our invitations! Only 3 people have RSVP'd so far - Nimalee, her dad, and one of my friends from college. I know other people are definitely coming, but we haven't heard from them yet. I can't wait till more people RSVP! I still have some more invitations to send out, but I need more ribbon and I haven't gotten some addresses yet... Yarg. I have to call some relatives again, cuz they never called me back from the first time. I hate calling people!

And I've finally decided on a wedding ring. It's a Celtic-style Trinity Knot ring from Linda Clifford: Scottish & Irish Merchant. It'll be a two-tone ring with a yellow gold main band and white gold knot detailing. There will be 3 clusters of a sapphire surrounded by diamonds. (It's the one pictured through the link above.) It'll be custom made in my size in Ireland, so I don't have to worry about resizing once it gets to me. It's not the antique style that I had originally wanted (and still would want, if I could find one I was happy with), but I'm choosing it because the colors are the same as Sam's ring, the style is complementary to the modern look of his ring, and the design is unique and "me" enough that I think I'll be really happy with it. I know, I'm by no means Irish. But I've loved Celtic knots and music and fantasy stuff for the longest time. (I'm having Japanese-y lanterns and hopefully a cherry blossom cake, but I'm not Japanese either. I guess I like borrowing cultures!)

Finally, the expected completion date of my wedding dress has come and gone, but it isn't done yet. The vendor tells me that they've been behind because of the extended Chinese New Year holiday, but they haven't given me an update on when I can expect it to complete. I'm probably gonna email them again soon to ask them when it'll be completed. I'm getting a little antsy to see what it looks like, and I need a lot of time to get it bustled and cleaned before the big day. In fact, I think I'll go email them now.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cake is Yummy

I had scheduled two cake tastings, one for Saturday and one for Tuesday. On Saturday, we tried Plusko's Valley Bakery in Thousand Oaks. Plusko's is small, and I remembered getting birthday cakes from there when I was younger. And their wedding cakes are amazingly inexpensive. When I had called there to make the appointment, the lady claimed that they probably had the least expensive wedding cakes in all of Southern California. And I believed her. At around $2 a slice, that definitely beat out most other places. So Sam and I went into it knowing that if we liked them at all, we would go with them.

They didn't have any yellow sponge cake available for us to try (which is normally our preference), so we tried white cake with raspberry custard topped with buttercream icing, white cake with fresh banana topped with whipped cream icing, and white and chocolate cake with fresh strawberry topped with buttercream icing. Sam and I really like fresh fruit fillings, but the lady had warned us that the layers of the cake tend to shift with the fresh fruit, because the fruit is slippery. So we're likely not going with that. The samples were very good. Not "cry for more" good, but still very good. Our favorites were the white and chocolate cake, the raspberry custard, and the whipped cream. (The whipped cream was perfectly sweet and airy!) But we're taking advantage of their free tastings, so we'll be scheduling another appointment to taste the yellow cake and put in our official order. The estimate for our cake? $146 for a 3 tiered cake that will feed 70-90 people! They also charge for delivery (everybody does) and for complicated designs, so it might end up costing us about $50 more, but that's still less than $200 for a beautiful, tasty cake!

Even though we knew we'd go with Plusko's, we still went to the tasting on Tuesday to the Bread Basket, a pretty posh bakery that is famous for their wedding cakes. (Cuz, you know, who are we to pass up free cake?) It just happens to be within walking distance, so after work, we jaunted over there. They gave us HUGE samples. While Plusko's gave us cupcake-sized samples, Bread Basket gave us actual whole big slices of cake. It added up to at least half a 10" round cake. If not more. In fact, we took half of it home with us in a box! And yum, they have good samples! They gave us white cake with mixed berry filling (our favorite), white cake with chocolatey raspberry filling, chocolate cake with raspberry jam, and lemon cake with lemon filling (our least favorite). All with fluffy buttercream icing. They were all very very good. Sadly to say, they were better than Plusko's. (Though, maybe if Plusko's gave us bigger samples, we could be persuaded otherwise...) But they were also going to charge us $5 a slice for what I would have wanted. They're good, but not good enough to justify $3 more per slice. Our total came out to $410 dollars, not including the extra $100 refundable deposit for the cake stand. Yikes! So, maybe for a small after-honeymoon cake, but not for the actual shebang. Too bad.

So, Plusko's it is! I have to make another appointment with them and gather some photos of cakes I like so I can show them. Maybe I should call other bakeries and take advantage of their free wedding cake tastings too... ;)