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andrew + lauren

randy and i are off to a wedding today for our friends andrew and lauren!

i think it's going to be such a blast - andrew's family sure knows how to throw a good party!


so cute sunday

hahahaha this kind of looks like a little baby randy, but i think it might be a girl!

sorry babe!


wedding wednesday

i've got something fun this week:
what's in my wedding box
what is a wedding box?

my wedding box is where i store all the wedding crap i have. after randy and i got engaged, i bought planning books and binders and magazines and practically anything that had the word "wedding" on it. i needed some place to store all of my planning materials so that they weren't all over the apartment, so i got a "wedding box."

ready to see what's in my box? (dirty..)

first is my coveted wedding binder. yes, it's pink, because that's just who i am! i keep all important paperwork in here such as our budget outline, vendor contracts and contacts, the guest list and preliminary seating charts. i also have extra loose-leaf paper for any notes i need to take, and a little pad for easily jotting down things when the binder is too big to carry. what can i say, i'm just an organized person by nature, so this isn't that crazy for me.

i got this engaged girl's wedding planner really cheap from some website i think. it's just a little calendar with stickers you can use. to be honest, i mostly just use my phone and some printed monthly calendars for wedding-related events, but i did jot some notes about things i need to accomplish each month. i might phase this planner out of the box, though.

wedding books. the one on the right, the wedding book by mindy weiss is honestly the best wedding planning book i've ever seen! it's so helpful to reference when i think to myself at night "i wonder when i need to order my invitations" or "what is the etiquette on ceremony seating?" honestly it has answers to the most random wedding questions you wouldn't even think to ask about. it's a huge book and it's fairly cheap on amazon usually. i do have other books because it's good not to limit yourself to one source of literature.

pens of all sorts; pencil, eraser, highlighter, sharpie. i forgot to take a picture of my white-out pen, which has been my savior on more than one occasion!

amounts blurred to protect the innocent..
this is probably the most important thing in the wedding box second to the binder. this is what we call "the envelope." if you read carmella's wedding wednesday, you'll see that one of the things she did to plan for her wedding was to put cash into specified envelops for balances due to vendors for the wedding. this really resonated with randy and i, so we decided to start one for ourselves. i got this cheapy filo-fax type thing in the target dollar bin and it comes with these nifty little labels. whenever randy gets a cash bonus from work, he slips it into one of the little slots, and we are slowly (but surely!) saving for our wedding!

i hope you enjoyed the tour of my wedding box. how do you store and organize your wedding planning materials??


wedding wednesday

venue: check
date: check
coordinator: check
caterer: check
officiant: check
photographer: check
florist: check
random crap like lighting and security: check

not to be a bragger, but there are 11 months minus one day until our wedding, and i've already gotten so much done! i want to have plenty of time to save up for this wedding, so knowing the exact amount of the above expenses is soooo helpful. there are still a few things that need to be booked (and have been appointed to randy.... hmmmmm...) but i think i've pretty much earned a wedding planning vacation for at least a little bit.

so because i've worked so hard, i've been letting myself look at fun little things like... wedding hair!

all soooo pretty!

*all photos from pinterest


wedding wednesday

i'm quickly finding out that the most invaluable thing i've done while trying to plan my own wedding is talking to people who have recently gotten married. luckily, i know a good handful of people who have just walked down the aisle.

and of course, what kind of blogger would i be if i didn't share all the fun things i'm learning with my fabulous readers??!!

i've learned so much from the wedding of matt & carmella adams! i've mentioned carmella before, and she's extra special to me because she's my maid of honor <3

bride & groom: carmella and matthew adams
wedding date: july 30, 2011
wedding location: doubletree hotel, san pedro, california
number of guests: 130

how long did you have to plan your wedding? would you have preferred more time, less time, or do you think you got it just right?
we got engaged August 28, 2009 and we were married July 30, 2011. it was just shy of two years. i was happy to have that much time to plan and save money. we were also able to enjoy our engagement which is such a special time.

how did you and your partner finance your wedding? did your family (or families) help with any expenses?
we paid for all vendors except flowers. my parents paid for the flowers and the venue. matt's family gave us money to go towards whatever was needed. my parents bought my wedding dress and veil too. we wanted to buy the flower girl's and ring bearer's outfits to thank them for being part of our special day. we also paid for the bridesmaids dresses that lived out of town. we did a lot of diy projects to help keep the cost down. that included our invitations. we only spent $20 on our invitations. it cost more to buy the stamps for them! we used an envelope system in order to save money for each vendor. our goal was to have no debt when the wedding day came. we had an envelope for everything, from the DJ to my mani/pedi. also had an envelope for our honeymoon. 

which vendor was your favorite to work with and why? which vendor was your least favorite to work with and why?
my favorite vendor was my DJ. he was amazing!!!! he did everything i asked and was on time for every appointment. his name is Marcus and he owns IDJ services. i totally recommend him. he was a little expensive but worth every penny.
the vendor i would never recommend using was Petals by Xavi. i first met with Kevin who is very nice. listened to everything i said and stayed in my budget. we put down the nonrefundable deposit but i felt very happy with my choice. when the time came for the final approval and to pay the rest of the balance we had to meet with Xavi (the owner). she was 20 minutes late for our appointment and tried to blame it on us saying we were early. then tried to up sell and change my centerpiece ideas. then wanted to add flowers here, there and everywhere. she wasn't listening to me and it was obvious she just looked at my mom and i as a dollar sign. after we paid our balance and stuck with our original plan, we get a phone saying we owe more money due to something else. she was just so unprofessional about it on the phone. i informed her that i will be sure to NOT recommend her. 

is there anything you had to compromise on or sacrifice? how do you feel about your compromise in hindsight?
i really wanted to photobooth at our reception, but matt wasn't too crazy about it. 

 i know it’s probably impossible to pick just one, but what is a top 5 favorite moment from your wedding?
the wedding day was kind of a blur haha but my top 5 moments are:
1. seeing matt tear up as i walked down the aisle
2. my nephew interrupting the best man's speech to show him a dinosaur book.
3. the surprise dance off for my bridal party
4. trevor falling down the stairs during pictures
5. our first dance

what is the best piece of advice you received while planning your wedding? what is the best piece of advice you can offer brides who are currently planning their weddings?
everyone kept telling me that its just one day out of your life and it to enjoy every minute of it because it will go by fast. i would tell other brides that most likely something will go wrong on your day and to remember that no one will notice but you, so who cares! just enjoy your day. and to not let other people get in the way of your happiness as you plan it.

thank you so much, carmella, for sharing your special day!

*i have to mention that all the photos you see were taken by austin adams photography. and i'm so happy because austin and his team are shooting our wedding!


blog vacation

hello my precious readers!

as you may have been noticing, i have not been posting here every day lately :( i can't tell you how unbelievably busy i've been, and while it's been a good sort of busy, it's muddled up my mind a bit and taken over my blogging capabilities.

so instead of coming up with lame space-filler posts every day, i've decided to take a small break from my blog. it was always my intention for this blog to be something enjoyable for both the writer and the reader, and if i'm not into it right now, you all won't be either after a while.

so until further notice, the posts on this blog will not be as frequent as once a day. i still intend to continue wedding wednesdays, as lord knows i have enough material to keep that going for a while, as well as some other things i've already put into place for the future. and of course if i have any big news or if anything strikes my fancy and i need to share, this is the first place i will come.

i deeply thank all of you - friends, family, and strangers alike - for your continued support and interest in my little ol' blog, and i'm sure i'll be back up to speed after a while.

in the mean time, i hope this new month of april is wonderful and successful for you all!