Professional Email Writer

I write a ton of emails at work. I could probably type some of them with my eyes closed because I've written so many similar messages hundreds, possibly thousands, of times. Well, that talent has seeped into wedding land. A lot of my wedding emails go something like this:

Dear So and So,
Thank you very much for your prompt response in regards to my request for more information. Unfortunately, [insert line about services being out of our budget but also mention that you still admire their work and would be super jealous of another couple that can afford them, but oh well there are plenty of other options--time to look for more vendors! Maybe I missed something on Project Wedding? Maybe I need to use more search terms on Yelp? Maybe I can post something on my blog and someone will miraculously stop by and see my cry for help! ...don't worry, I don't include most of that. I'm not that nuts.] Best wishes with the upcoming wedding season!

Anyone else hate having to write that email?

Jenny Yoo - Sample Sale

Calling all brides to be in the NY area--Jenny Yoo is having a sample sale, May 18-19th! Check it out on her website.
*Brandy was rockin' this dress here.


boygirlparty - Bookplates

[elephant bookplates and whale bookplates from boygirlparty]

How amazingly adorable are these bookplates by Susie of boygirlparty? I have a few items from Susie (who also lives in San Diego! Woohoo!) hanging up on my bedroom walls and they brighten up the whole place. Check out her Etsy store and her website, everything she makes is cute, fun, and creative.

Thoughtful Day - Melodie Collection

[The Melodie Collection, found via Oh So Beautiful Paper, images and design by Thoughtful Day]

I'm in love. Check out the entire collection at Thoughtful Day, it's amazing!


Hey, We're On Style Me Pretty!

Thanks to The Professional Bridesmaid for alerting me that our e-pics are on Style Me Pretty today!! SMP is one of my daily reads, so it was weird to see my name pop up in my reader this morning!

Thank you to Jessamyn again for her lovely work. We're so glad you'll be shooting at our wedding!


Prom, Updos and Makeup

I've only had one updo in my life:

[Me at Prom fiddling with my date's boutonniere, circa...1998?? I loved the hair. I told the hairdresser that I just wanted it up and she worked magic and made it look great. There were some flower arrangements in the salon and she stole some baby's breath from one of them for me. And the makeup...why didn't someone tell me it didn't match my skin tone???]

Since our wedding will be in San Diego in July, I'm pretty sure I want my hair up. I also love headbands and fascinators (no veil here) and have my eye on this pretty number from the fabulous Myra Callan.

[Pacific headband from Twigs & Honey]

I also like how this bride did her hair (I loved this wedding!)

[It looks like her hair is curled and pinned up--I think? Hard to tell. But, what I like is that it's soft, loose, and still off her face. Photo by Robert Sukrachand Photography]

And the makeup part of this post? Well, I'm thinking about diy'ing it! I hope after ten years I should know better than to pick a foundation too light for my skin. Thankfully all of this time I've got in my pocket makes it easy to play around with makeup.

I think my eyes are my biggest challenge. My eyes are almond shaped and I don't have the double-lid that makes putting on eye-liner and shadow the easiest thing to do. Every time someone else does my makeup it ends up a disaster because they try and "create" that illusion for me. Not pretty. BUT I do want to try false lashes and might splurge for some nice ones (I have puny lashes, booo.)

Wow that headband is sparkly. I really want it. Or if anything, maybe the hairdresser can steal some flowers from the floral arrangements again.


I Joined the Sarah Seven Fan Club

[Beautiful dress for a wedding.]

[I love this dress's mustard color and big fun bow! The glasses give it a librarian chic look.]

[All images from Sarah Seven's Etsy shop]

I know Sarah Seven has been news around the blogosphere, but I just can't stop looking at the photos on her blog and website to not give her a shout out! I'm a big fan of anything with ruffles and color, plus she uses recycled materials in her designs and donates 5% of her profits to charity. Sweet. Could Portland maybe move closer to San Diego?

In less exciting news, I will be in Dallas all weekend and won't be attached to my computer as usual.

Hope everyone has a very happy weekend, and I'll see y'all back online Monday!


Cute Idea: Flipbooks

[Image from Martha Stewart]

I think a flipbook as a save the date, thank you, or any occasion card is a super cute and creative idea. I had never heard about FlipClips, which turns 30 second videos into flipbooks, but now I really want to make one! Probably not for anything for the wedding, but maybe this is a project I can make my baby niece for her birthday.

While we're on the topic of Save the Dates--do you think guests appreciate them, or do you think it's just something they'll end up tossing in the recycler? The boy is arguing that they are completely and utterly useless since people will eventually receive an invitation.


Owly READ poster

[When I actually become a children's librarian, this READ poster is going right up on my wall! Owly READ poster by Andy Runton published by ALA Graphics]

[Poster by Andy Runton, given to me by my friend Brian]

Owly is a character created by Andy Runton and is the star of a wordless series of graphic novels for children. I highly recommend them for anyone: children, teens, adults, people going through quarter-life crises in need of some cuddliness. The illustrations are very expressive, and as you can tell by the poster, ADORABLE.

You can buy the poster here and learn more about Owly and Andy Runton here.


Handwritten Invitations: help me choose

In the 5th grade, I was awarded for having the best handwriting in the class. It brought lots of playground fame, like kids wanting me to forge their parents' signatures on fake notes (messed up 10-year-olds, no?)

Unfortunately I never became a calligrapher or a type designer, but I DO plan to handwrite our invites! To refresh your memory, I've got a while (14 months?) so I've got the time.

[Handwritten invitation in Martha Stewart Weddings, Number 45, Summer 2008. Notice the dog-ear in the right corner--I loved this idea from the start. This was a great issue, by the way.]

I've been playing around with my handwriting and scanned in these three samples. Our wedding will be a laid-back, summer vineyard wedding with a lot of handmade items and a bit of geeky quirkiness. Knowing that, which handwriting style do you like?

1. Roman: This is probably the closest thing to my actual handwriting. I have fun writing the "l's" and the "h's".

2. Funky: Reminds me of the Harry Potter font, but I like how it's a little fun and offbeat.

3. Cursive: This is the closest to the MS sample and looks the most "wedding" to me. My only concern is that people will have a hard time reading it.

I'm also toying around with a doodle of some sort to go along with the type--perhaps strawberries?


Meet My Publisher, Blurb

I made my first Blurb book! It was fun to fiddle with the layouts and I'm pretty happy with the finished product. We are having an engagement party with just family in July, so this will be a nice album to bring and show our relatives the pictures we took. We'll also probably display it at the wedding so people can have a gander if they like.

I chose the smallest option which is a 7x7 book. It is hardcover with a jacket cover, and the entire thing came out to $34 (with taxes and shipping). We opted out of an album in our photo package because of cost, but I think this will be a nice, cheap alternative! The largest size is 11 x 13, which is plenty big for our wedding photos. Anyone else using Blurb or another alternative to the heirloom wedding albums?

**Sorry for the poor lighting in these pictures, I had to sit them on my bed to get enough light! You can always click on any photo to make it larger if you want to see it more clearly.

[To give you an idea of how small it is, I've placed it next to my glasses and pig alarm clock. Yes, that's really my alarm clock.]

[The cover somehow was not difficult to choose. I really like this picture, and might even use it for our save the dates. But that's for another post.]

[This is the back cover.]

[All wobbly photos of the Blurb book taken by me. All the beautiful photos actually in the book are by Jessamyn Harris]


I like to press the boy's buttons with my supposedly "weird" ideas about our wedding. He's definitely the more traditional one. I mentioned that maybe pink or purple would be a fun wedding dress color, and he basically looked at me with wide eyes and said "you wouldn't" as if I had just threatened to release some deadly plague or tell him what happened in the episode of Lost he just missed. "You do remember my parents will be there, right?"

And then there was the discussion about how we would walk down the aisle, in which I suggested we walk down together instead of having him stand at the alter. That idea didn't fly either, BUT I'm slowly making progress (one annoying day at a time)! I think he just ignored me completely when I suggested I wait at the alter for him.

Changing our names? I asked if he wanted to combine our names. If you combine our last names, it ends up being an actual Chinese name (score!) Unfortunately he wasn't as excited about that as I was, so it's not happening. But what we might do as a compromise, since neither one of us has a middle name and does not want to give up our existing last names, is take the other's last name as our middle. Confusing, isn't it? So I would be Mo Hislastname Mylastname.

"Why do you insist on being different?"
Um, I'm sorry, I thought that's why you loved me? And, because I'm cute and don't hog the blankets?

BUT out of all of the wedding traditions the one that I really really want is to cut the cake. All the others I'm a little iffy about (ok I know that I don't want the bouquet or garter toss, unless someone can convince me otherwise!)

I think I really like it because of its symbolism. You're slicing into something sweet, a commemorative nod to sweet beginnings and your new married life together.

Or maybe it's because I just really like cake.

Beautiful Ring Pillow

If there really was one thing that I haven't thought about at all for our wedding, it's a ring pillow. I'm not even sure we're having a ring bearer, do people even walk down the aisle with a ring pillow without a ring bearer? Anyway, this loveliness caught my eye on Creature Comforts. It's by Etsy seller 5eizen and is so pretty! Gah, I can't get over it, so pretty!
*Jotting down on want list. Think about who will walk down aisle with gorgeous pillow*

[Images and ring pillow by Etsy seller 5eizen]


60% Off at Whimsy Press

[I have my eye on this wrapping paper, I think it'd be really useful for our wedding, maybe even for our invites! The bonus is that it is printed on recycled paper with soy ink. You can check it out, along with other eco-friendly wrapping paper, here]

[How adorable would this be for a wedding gift or valentine or anniversary or I love you lots gift? You can see all of the love wrapping paper here.]

I'm a fan of Whimsy Press, a really creative design studio that makes all sorts of goodies, from wrapping paper printed with soy ink, to onesies with "Organically Cute" written across the tummy. Now you can receive 60% off every item on their website! Go check them out, maybe you'll see something fun for your next birthday, holiday, or wedding.

Dallas, anyone?

[Photo of downtown Dallas from UrbanCyclop]

I'll be in Dallas next week for two nights--anyone know where to get really good pulled pork or bbq in general? Unfortunately I won't be able to explore much since I'll be working, but my nights will be free. So if anyone out there has been to Dallas and knows any good restaurants, please leave me a comment, because my stomach loves pulled pork. A lot. I've only had it once and the first bite made me realize why people heart southern cooking so much.

Also, I've started a list of vendors/friendors/wedding elves/cool people contributing to our wedding on the sidebar for easy navigation and your viewing enjoyment. Yay!


Dreamy Self-Portrait Station

[Photos found via Snippet and Ink, unfortunately I couldn't find a photo credit, but you can view the entire Flickr set of K and B's wedding here]

I am in love with this wedding, found via Snippet and Ink. It just looks like such a cozy, genuine wedding with a lot of love and fun, creative people.

I'm especially in love with their self-portrait booth!
We will be having a self-portrait photo booth, and right now I feel like marrying the twinkle lights+vintage fabric backdrop so that I can have them at my wedding. Swoon!
I'm adding this to my "want" list.

Anyone else having a photo station with a fabric backdrop?

HEMA's Website

[Screenshot from HEMA]

Two summers ago the boy and I took a vacation to Europe as a big 'hurrah!' before he started school. We went to Paris, London, and to Holland to visit a good friend. She took us to HEMA, a store sort of like Target and IKEA with a lot of neat (and CHEAP) pretty items. I bought some decorative moving tape (I was just about to pack my bags for San Diego at the time,) and a lot of Miffy stickers.

Anyway, check out their home site! Keep it onscreen for about 3-5 seconds. Not sure if it's the most useful navigational design, but it sure does catch your attention.


Drop Everything And Read.

Thank you to Abby for reminding me that today is Drop Everything And Read day.
I think I'm going to do just that. By the pool. With this book.

[The Adoration of Jenna Fox, by Mary E. Pearson]

Mary E Pearson will be signing books at the San Diego Children's Book Festival on Saturday, May 9th along with a whole group of incredible authors and illustrators.

Also, if you're in Southern California, I highly recommend the LA Times Festival of Books on April 25th-26th. I will unfortunately be out of town, but I had a lot of fun last year!


WSJ: Keeping a Wedding Cheap

This article was published last month in the Wall Street Journal about the author's own wedding in which his family transported chicken from Tijuana to keep costs down. The wedding cost $2k back in 1981. It's a good read, I enjoyed it, even though it gives me immense guilt about our future vineyard wedding for roughly 150 people.

Unfortunately bringing in chicken from TJ is not an option for us, since we have to pick from a catering list from our venue. So, while we're at it, we can cross Phil's BBQ (mmm), our local Chinese restaurant, picnic baskets and a pizza buffet off of it too.

We're going to try and save in other places. I'm doing all of the design for the paper products, my sister (yay sistah!) is going to do the flowers, we're not hiring a coordinator, and I think Vera Wang has officially been crossed off being a possibility.

In the end, I hope we're married, and that our family and friends had a good time, and leave full and happy from good food and wine and dancing and conversation.

How are you cutting back, if in fact you are cutting back? And, would you transport chicken from Tijuana to save some cash?


I Got Into Grad School!

My first reaction was...

Woohoo!!!! Let's celebrate!

My second reaction was...

to contact everyone I know and tell them

And then my third reaction was...

When will I have time to DIY my flowers??
Wait, HOW much is tuition? Are you sure you didn't accidentally add a zero to that figure?

Nevertheless...woohoo!!! I really missed school, le sigh.


Playing Dress Up: Part III

Today I went to Nicole Miller La Jolla in search of the dress again. It was such a nice day, my friend Tiffany accompanied me and we had really yummy sweet crepes before going. Mmmm...crepes!

Let's see what I tried on, shall we?
{I'm wearing ginormously high heels in these photos--wouldn't it be great if I were actually this tall??}

[The train was so pretty on this dress. I thought for the quality of the lace and fit it was a good deal at $1150. Yay for cheaper bridal gowns!!!]

[I felt sassy in this dress, can you tell by my hand on my hip? It was nice, but wasn't for me]

[I almost didn't get to try this on. I went in specifically asking for it, and then the consultant told me that it had been discontinued. Nooooooo! But then I assured her that it was still on the website, so she looked it up, and voila! They in fact had a size 8 sample in the back room! Because it's the last one, instead of $1400, she reduced it to $980. I have until tomorrow to decide. I'm not sure what to do yet, but I'm pretty excited that it was reduced!]

[Image from brides.com -- kinda funky photo direction, no? It just kinda makes me laugh to look at the topiary bunnies. Do you see the bunnies? Do you see 'em?!!]

[Details of the pretty embellished fabric. Unfortunately you can't really see it from far away.]

[My friend Tiffany was so awesome and patient today. She helped me in and out of the dresses AND took pictures AND bought me Ben and Jerry's later. Seriously grateful, thank you Tiffany!]

Out of all of the dresses I tried on, I can honestly see myself wearing the daisy embroidered dress and another I tried on (I didn't take pictures, sorry) a long time ago on my trip to New York. Now I just have to make a decision, because I think at this point I've tried on...30-40 dresses? That's a lot of dresses.

I just feel like I'm done trying things on. I'm getting bridal research fatigue, even though I have so much time until the party. I'm sort of tired of searching and want to have it crossed off the list. What I really don't want to do is be a 2-dress bride, so once I make the decision, no other dresses!

But maybe I could spend money on those bunnies. They'd be good accessories in our portraits. We'd just have to make the collars red, cause y'know, that shade of pink---totally not in our wedding colors.



Red and Green without Christmas

Ah, wedding colors. It's quite possibly the second most popular question people ask me, right after "where are you getting married?" and before "how many guests are you having?" I definitely don't think "colors" are necessary, but I think I've been swooning over Kathyrn's inspiration boards for too long not to have some sort of color theme. This is what I'm aiming for:

I love the red because it's so vibrant, and it's actually the only color the boy requested (since it's a lucky color in Chinese culture). And I love the green because it makes everything feel so rustic and organic. We could have strawberries and pie and lemonade and those globe lanterns everyone loves so much. But what if my wedding ends up looking like Christmas in July?

Well, Kathryn managed to make it not look like Christmas. And the entire film Amelie managed to look incredibly gorgeous using red and green without a sense of holiday cheer lingering. Good thing I have 15 months, right?


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