Friday, July 31, 2009

Ladies Night Out

I've always known I had a special bond with my family, especially my mom and grandmas. Back in April we decided to do a bachelorette cruise. It was just my bridesmaids and I, and my mom. Yes, MY MOM! It was such a fun weekend. A lot of people were confused by why I would bring my mother to what should be a crazy weekend with the girls. It's because she's just as crazy as the rest of us! She knows how to party!!!

That was the perfect weekend getaway. I couldn't have been happier. Although, as the wedding was drawing closer, and we had more of these small bachelorette weekends, I have been wanting to do a night out where anyone could come....young or old.

My amazing little sister, Lauren, planned the perfect Ladies Night Out. She contacted all the women in the families (mine and Ben's) and did all the work getting them there. Both my grandma's were there, almost all my Aunts on both sides, my mom, cousins, sisters, and soon-to-be sister-in-laws, and my 2 best girl friends, as well as Aunt Sharon from New Mexico.

We started at the Blue Cue downtown, where we had appetizers and drinks. It was absolutely perfect. (Lauren scoped everything out ahead of time). It was almost like a private party, there was no one else in the place. It was great to talk with people in a more laid back setting before the wedding.

After Blue Cue, we headed back to Strikes in Elk Grove for some bowling! We had a blast!! We were also joined at bowling by a few more cousins and Ben's cousin Kim from Wisconsin!

It was such a fun night! I felt really special, surrounding by fabulous women, just having a great time! I couldn't ask for a better family! Thank you to Lauren for all her hard work setting up the evening for success!

I've decided we need to find reasons to do this, other than weddings every year or so. I'll plan the next one! Thank you again to everyone who came out! I just can't get over it! It was a GREAT night!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

I have so many things to be thankful for this week!

1. I'm getting married to an amazing man, in less than 2 days! (yes, we are almost to the point of counting hours).

2. I have an incredible family, who has been nothing but supportive these last few weeks!

3. My Mom, for taking care of all the details of the wedding. She's stressing, so I don't have to. She's also taken care of all the beauty appointments leading up to the wedding.

4. My bridesmaids who took the week off of work, to be here for me!

5. My fabulous soon-to-be sister-in-laws, who came to party with us last night, as well as cousin kim!

6. All the beautiful women who came to Ladies Night Out to celebrate my last few days of single life!

7. My Grandmas, who join the Ladies Night Out crew and took care of much of the bill!!

8. My vendors, who are doing whatever they can to make sure our wedding day is perfect!

9. My bridesmaid Nicole, who has had the worst luck making the slide show for our wedding, but continues to remake it everytime it dies.

10. Can I repeat one?!?! I'm getting MARRIED on Saturday!! I can't wait!

Father/Daughter Dance

I'm really excited about my Dad and I dancing to "I Loved Her First" for our Bride and Father of the Bride Dance. But, I don't dance with my dad very often, and definitely don't know any of his fancy footwork.

My mom and dad have been taking some dance lessons for fun, with some of the family and were having some fun practicing for the wedding this weekend.They're all set for dancing the night away, although my mom was a little worried that my dad might step on my feet. So, she had us do some practicing. I also took the opportunity to break in my reception shoes.

Horrors of Fashion

My wedding planning has been almost completely stress-free. I'm a pretty laid back bride, in my opinion. My bridesmaids keep asking me about what shoes, what jewelry, nail polish, etc, that I want them to wear or do. My answer is always whatever you want or is most comfortable. I just want everyone to have a great time! Unfortunately, one thing that should have been super easy, turned into a ridiculous all-day process.

I purchased my dress at House of Fashion in Sacramento, because I didn't want to have to cart a dress back and forth from San Diego and worry about having it pressed here (EG). I bought the dress in December, and when they were measuring me, the woman was saying aloud the measurements and I knew I was not that big. So I told her I wanted her to measure me again. She did, and didn't repeat the measurements aloud this time.

When I can back for my first fitting in June, the dress was way too big. The dress needed to be taken it in 3 inches. They kept asking me if I'd lost weight; the answer was no. I wish I had, but that wasn't the case. Then I wanted them to change the dress to a sweetheart neckline. They said they would make those alterations first, and then at the next fitting do the bustle and hem. I left there unhappy, because they made us pay to alter the dress from their mistakes.

The second time back at the shop, the neckline looked terrible and the seamstress said she would redo it. They also pinned for the bustle and hem. It was another unhappy day at House of Fashion.

I went in on Tuesday to what I hoped would be a fast appointment where I would trying on the dress, and then take it home. We arrived at 10:45am and the first round of trying on the dress was horrible. The neck line was completely off-center. There was also a gaping hole in the back of the dress where the corset came together (because they ordered a size too large). So they told us to come back in a half hour. When we came back and tried the dress on again, the neckline was just as bad as before, maybe worse. And there were other issues.

We went through the process again, and this time the seamstress and manager were arguing over the top of me on how to do the alterations. I was so frustrated, I just wanted to get the heck out of there.

They didn't end up getting the dress perfect, but I'm over it. It's just one day, and most people wouldn't notice the difference. I'm just upset we had to pay so much in alterations, that we really shouldn't have. A lot of people asked, "did the give you a discount on the price?" Nope. But they were acting like they did us a huge favor by pressing my veil for free.

Unfortunately, I've heard that this has happened to a lot of people. If you are getting married, do NOT get your dress at House of Fashion.....unless you have lots of time and money to waste with their staff!

Here's a pic of the neckline, that took them from 10:45am - 2pm to fix! Plus three previous fittings!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wedding Entrance!

In the last couple of days I received this link from about 20 people. It is amazing! I can't believe the Bride and Groom put this together. Something like this would be fun to do, but I would have a few hesitations.

*They did this in a church?!?! I'm amazed that any church would be okay with this.

*The Bride did not have her dad walk her down the aisle. I'm looking forward to that so much!

*Shouldn't the ceremony be a little more serious? Marriage is a huge commitment right? This would be hilarious at a reception though.

*My Attendants would never go for this!

I missed the couple's interview on TV, but would be curious to hear more of the details. Take a look, if nothing else, it's worth a laugh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thankful Thursdays

It's not officially Thursday anymore, but I haven't gone to bed yet, so I'm still going to claim it is. My cousin Tracy has started blogging each week for a thing called Thankful Thursdays. I've been following it, and think it would be fun. So here's ten random things I'm thankful for today.

10. Sleepytime tea to help me sleep, when I've got tons of wedding stuff on the brain.

9. My awesome mugs I got, as a shower gift, from a family that I will soon be a part of. *They fit 2 cups of tea, and they're one of my favorite colors (Green).

8. Packing for our honeymoon in our new luggage set from my awesome Zehnder Aunts & Uncles.

7. The fabulous ring Ben proposed with, and the amazing jeweler who he had design it. I just got my ring dipped and it looks like it's brand new.

6. My fiance, who may not understand all the wedding stuff, and had a freak out moment about it all, but wants to make sure that I have the wedding that I've always dreamed of.

5. A future mother-in-law, who has been supportive, understanding, and compassionate, in some tough times recently.

4. My little sister for planning a fun night out with family, and soon-to-be family, the week before the wedding. She's far away and doesn't always get to be a part of everything, but I know how much she cares.

3. My incredible friends/sisters who are the best bridesmaids anyone could ask for. They are there for anything I need, whether it be to brag about wedding stuff, or cry about wedding fears.

2. My mom, who has been extraordinarily helpful through all this wedding stuff. From favor boxes, to seating arrangements & place cards, to wedding venue plans, and appointments for tanning, pedicures, and such! She's done more than I could ever begin to thank her for.

1. We are so close to the wedding day! I can't wait to say "I DO" and then celebrate our love with friends and family.

It's great to remind yourself and others to be thankful for the things in their lives. I hope you've enjoyed mine and think about starting a Thankful Thursday of your own!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Our First Dance as Husband & Wife

It's been a bit of a struggle to find the time for dance lessons among the planning and vacations we've had this summer. We definitely waited until the last minute. Being a dance teacher, I think most people are expecting a great first dance out of us.

Unlike many of the things we've planned for the wedding, the first dance is going to be a little more traditional. We have decided to do a waltz to "At Last" by Etta James. We've taken a couple classes so far and are having a blast. Ben wouldn't admit it out loud, but he's having fun too.

Although, he has decided we are not going back to the Monday night class. Last time the instructor couldn't stop gushing about Ben's muscles, big chest, and gorgeousness. (Is that a word...spell check says it is) I think all those things too, but I think he felt a little uncomfortable. Not to mention, the instructor giving him a hard time, every time he did the wrong step.

We're going to give Thursday's couples only class a try this week and see if we can learn a little bit more before the wedding. Ben says he wants to learn a cool spin. The hardest part for me, is not leading. The instructor told me I needed to stop trying to take his job, and let him be the man!

I hope this goes well....it's a little hard to practice in our condo filled with wedding stuff and suitcases!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Last Night Out in San Diego



My bridesmaids decided I needed another opportunity to wear my veil and celebrate my last days as a single women. So last night we went out for a night of crazy bachelorette fun. We started our evening pretty tame with appetizers at Sara's, and a great dinner at Wine Steals. The pizza there is the best.....we finished a huge pizza between the 4 of us.

We hopped in a cab and headed out to Double Deuce. I'd never been there before.....but it was so much fun! We each took a turn riding the bull, with the exception of Nicole (metal rods in the back and bull riding is not a good combination). We did our fair share of drinking and laughing throughout the evening. There were 8 bachelorette parties at the place, including ours....lots of fun!

I love these girls!! I have the best bridesmaids/friends/sisters anyone could imagine. I feel so fortunate to have these girls in my life! It was a great night out, the only thing better would have been having Lauren there as well! We missed you!


video

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wedding Invitations!

The invitations went out on June 1st and they have all been returned.
We gave our final count and meal choices to the venue yesterday.

About 8 months ago I found wedding invitations I liked when a friend of ours was invited to a wedding. I asked every invitation store/bridal fair vendor I saw, if they made something like it. I had no luck. So, I talked to the print shop guy at our school. He said if I wanted to design something, he could probably print it.

About 6 months ago I started on the design. I knew I wanted it to be 3 pages, bound like a little flip book. The front page is the invitation, the second is the venue information with directions and our website, the third is the response card.

I knew I wanted to use our wedding colors in the invitation and make it very personal to us. One of the things I love about our invitations is the background image. The image is a G and a Z representing each of our last names, and I manipulated and rotated them so they fit together to create a swirling image. Most people don't see it unless you point it out. I think it's kind of clever if I do say so myself.

Being the frugal bride that I am, I thought it was a perfect way to save on postage by creating an invitation with a postcard response. The last page of the invitation has a perforation along the side so all you have to do is tear off the card and mail it in.

We ran into a few bumps along the way while creating our invitations. I shopped for the paper and matching envelops and got ready to print the design. In the middle of this, the print shop teacher ended up going on leave. We got lucky and a teacher friend of mine knows the owner of a print shop. North Shores Printery in Pacific Beach did an amazing job on our invitations. They took my exact design and did beautiful work. He knew we were in a little bit of a bind (we thought the guy from school would be back in time to print them, so we held off for longer than we should have), and got them printed in less than a week for next to nothing in cost!

We spent less on professionally printed, personally designed invitations, than what we could have ordered catalog ones for.

I couldn't have been happier with the final outcome. We also got a wonderful gift from my kindergarten teacher and calligrapher, Mrs. Veninga, who addressed all our invitations for us.

What do you think?


Only 2 weeks left until the wedding day!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Puppy!

Today we went to the mall to exchange some wedding gifts (I can't believe the crappy packaging of macy's dishes. We had quite a few with chips in them). We were on our way back to the car, when we stopped in "pup-parazzi".

I will never buy a dog from a pet store; I feel so bad for the puppies in there. I couldn't believe how many adorable English and French Bulldog puppies they had. We asked to see a cute female English Bulldog puppy. She had the sweetest puppy breath, and was really lovey.

Isn't she adorable?? I think so, but Ben said she didn't have enough wrinkles.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beach Cruiser!

I haven't had a bike since I was about 12 years old. I love riding bikes, and rent one whenever we vacation someplace that has bike trails. My favorite is riding along the strand by the beach!

Ben has a beach cruiser and has for some time. So the day after we got back from the East Coast, we bought me a bike! I absolutely love it!! I've been riding it all around the neighborhood since I got it. I can't wait to test it out down by the beach!

The only thing I need to do is get my basket installed on the front so Lola can go on bike rides too!
Check it out!

Diva-licious Hair!!

I am so lucky to have a best friend who is a hair stylist. And even more lucky that she's isn't just an average hair stylist, but a fantastic one!

She also loves me bunches! She has done my hair for my engagement photos, bridal shower, bachelorette party, and will now be doing my hair for my wedding day!

I bought a couple of hair pins on ebay, and my veil as well......This is totally the way to go. I'm so happy I didn't pay hundreds of dollars for a veil at a salon.

So today we did a quick trial run with my hair. I had purchased 2 hair things so we would have some options, but we like them so much, we decided to use both. We will be using one, with my veil, for the ceremony, and then changing to another for the reception. I'm just adding to the Diva Bride in me. A shoe change AND a hair change?!?! Yep, guilty. Did I say how lucky I am to have a hair stylist for a best friend?

Here's a couple pics of what we were playing with today. We haven't made any final decision yet about my hair for the Big Day, but am enjoying what we've tried out so far! I'm so excited to see what it will look like, on my wedding day!

Thank you Sara! You're the Best! Love you!

Wedding Accessories!

Ben convinced me to go ahead a be a little bit of a diva on our wedding day. I was looking for the perfect wedding shoe for a long time. When I say perfect, I mean absolutely comfortable and cute as well. I found a cute & comfortable pair of Nina shoes, in silver, I thought would go with my dress. I loved the Nina brand shoes, because they are padded at the ball of the foot, and comfy as heels can be to wear. As it turns out, silver ended up clashing with the color of my dress. My dress is white, but made of silk, which means it's not that stark, florescent white, but a softer white. Silver just doesn't look good with it. I was super bummed (and of course I bought them so long ago, I can't take them back).

I searched online and finally found a perfect pair of shoes for my wedding day. They are also by Nina and are white satin, which all the reviews say are a perfect match for white silk dresses. I knew I had to have them.......unfortunately not one website (and I have searched more than I care to name) has them. They have them in almost every size except for mine. I put in to be notified when they have them in stock. Even the manufacturer didn't have them in my size at that time.


My dress fitting was 3 days away, and I was required to have a pair of shoes so they could do my final hem on the dress. I hadn't heard back about the white Nina's so I did a little more searching on the website, with Ben looking over my shoulder. I came across this blue pair of shoes, and he said, "Those are sweet!!" I'd previously thought about getting blue shoes as my "something blue", like my best friend Nicole did on her wedding day 2 years ago. She had the most adorable baby blue peep toe shoes, peeking out from under her white dress.

I told Ben I kind of had my heart set on the white ones I'd found. But he convinced me to get them. I got them just in time for my dress fitting, and they are perfect! I received lots of compliments at the bridal salon about my cute shoes! I've decided to wear the Nina Vasek (white shoes) for the ceremony, and then change into my fun Nina Fleur (blue shoes) for the reception.

I think I'm turning into a little bit of a diva bride.....but I'm blaming this one on Ben!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dogs! Dogs! Dogs!

If you hadn't guessed it already, we love dogs! We need another dog, like we need a hole in the head. Lola is my baby, and has been for the last 6, almost 7 years. She has gone everywhere with me. She's my dog. Ben has had Deuce for 4 years. He's a big teddy bear, but he's Ben's baby.

Then we got suckered into OUR baby, DUI. He was going to be put down if we didn't take him. He'd been at the Vet for almost 2 months when Ben went in for Deuce's annual check-up. The breeder who brought him in said to put him down or take him. Although DUI was so cute, the Vet had gotten to the point that they could no longer keep him, since they had yet to find him a home.

DUI is not your average dog. When we got him, he couldn't stand up. He has a neurological disorder that affects his coordination, depth perception, and also gives him the shakes. He got his name DUI, because when he moves around he looks like he's drunk. He is a sweet dog, but definitely a lot of work. He still runs into things, can't climb stairs, and hits his head more often that we would like, but he's is so much better than we could have asked for.

We've had DUI for over a year now, and love him to death. We went to New York, and have been without our dogs for almost 2 weeks now and miss them terribly. We saw dogs everywhere, and super cute ones at that.

We love smooshy faced dogs, and have been admiring bulldogs for a while now. Always saying that down the road, when we have less pups we might like to get one. I about died when Ben said today, "We should get a bulldog....I mean, we already have 3 dogs, what's one more?"

My response was, "Of course we can, when we have a huge yard and somewhere for all of these dogs to run around."

We can't get another dog, as much as I love them, we would have to be insane.......although they are sooooo cute!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Love on the East Coast

We just got back from an amazing week on the East Coast. It was a little pre-wedding vacation, and something we both needed. We decided to do this little vacation back in March, when I bought the airline tickets for Ben's birthday, so we could go see a Met's game in their new stadium. Then for my Birthday, he got me tickets to a Broadway play. About a week before we left, I was wondering if I had made the wrong decision, being so close to our wedding.

Except for not being able to stick to our wedding diet and workout plan, this was the perfect escape before our wedding day! We had time to really focus on US, to focus on how much we love being together, and why we really want to get married. When you're planning for a wedding, it is sometimes easy to get wrapped up in all the crazy things that need to get done and not focus on the reasons why you decided to get married in the first place. (Like how much you enjoy doing things together and spend all your time together doing some fun, some not so fun things (seating charts & thank you notes).

Our week on the East Coast started with a flight to Philadelphia where we stayed in a perfect location, in a beautiful hotel (thank you priceline). We saw a Mets vs. Phillies game on July Fourth, and then walked down Benjamin Franklin Parkway where we saw Sheryl Crow in concert, and then fireworks! We'd also been to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall and many more of the Philly sights. It was an awesome day!

We spent 2 days in Philadelphia and then took the Bolt Bus (best way to travel and cheap too) to New York! We had 5 days in New York City and loved *almost* every minute of it. I could have done without all the blisters on my feet. But that's what happens when you try and walk a minimum of 5 miles a day in cute shoes. We had a great time doing all the touristy things like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Times Square, Central Park, etc. We also got to do some things not everyone has the opportunity to.

Cousin Matt is an intern for MTV this summer in New York, working on the "It's On Live with Alexa Chung" show. Matt showed us around the MTV offices and studio the day we were seeing Chicago on Broadway. The following day he invited us to be audience members on the show. We were able to see Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe, and tattoo star Kat Von D. We had so much fun, even though I think we were about 10 years older than most of the other audience members.

By the time we left NYC we were subway pros and had walked most of Manhattan. We didn't do a whole lot of wedding talk, except for the count day to the wedding day.... 24 days, 23 days, 22 days! When we got back we had 20 days until our wedding day!

We hit the ground running and haven't stopped yet. There is so much to do before we say "I do"; You might ask, "Do we regret taking a week vacation so close to the wedding?" Not a chance, our little break to focus on US was exactly what everyone should do before their wedding.

Only 18 days to go!!