Mo+Boy Tie the Knot: The First Look

We all made it to the venue, and the boy eventually got his tie. While everyone was setting up, we had our first look.

[One last check in the mirror before the first look]

A big thank you to everyone for your feedback on this post back in March. Without it, I don't think we would have a done a first look. Honestly, I thought that we would see each other, hug, kiss, and then think "ok, now what?" (Once, I got my hair cut up to my ears, and the boy didn't notice, so I didn't think seeing me for the first time in my wedding dress would be a big deal for him.)

But it was one of my favorite parts of the wedding, and also solved my anxiety about declaring our commitment in front of so many people because it gave us a small window of time in which it could just be the two of us.

Because Jessamyn and Sheri are rockstar photographers, their presence didn't phase me or the boy at all and we were completely comfortable with them there.

So if you're hemming and hawing about whether or not to do one, I highly recommend it.

...And if you can't tell from the pictures, the boy recommends it too!

[We did our first look under the grape arbor overlooking the vineyard. The boy waited for me, and then my friend came to fetch me once the photographers were in place.]

[I took a short walk on the sun drenched patio...]

[...made my way over to the arbor...]

[...tried to be reaallllly quiet...]

[...and put my hand on his shoulder.
And then Jessamyn and Sheri captured this magical sequence of images.]

We didn't say much to one another, but after hugging, I said "Ready to get married?" And through some sniffles, he nodded his head.

Go back in time to my first two posts!
My Mom is Hilarious
Getting Ready


Mo+Boy Tie the Knot: Conversations with my mother

My sisters were off to find the boy's tie, and my mother, mother-in-law, and I were quickly off to the venue.

I carefully got into the back seat, and had an uncomfortable realization--wow, it is really hard to breathe in my dress. To make things worse, I didn't want my hair to get messed up, so my upper body was hunched forward, and I was taking really deep breaths whenever I could because breathing normally just wasn't possible. Fun times.

My Mom noticed my weird position and my heaving.

Her: Hey, what are you doing? Why do you sound like that?
[heavy breathing]
Me: I can't really breathe, my dress is too tight. [heavy breathing]
Her: [Mom looking in rearview mirror] Why are you leaning forward?
[Me still keeled over looking at floor]
Me: I don't want my hair to come undone so I am not leaning back.
Mom: [big sigh, shaking head] Aiyah, young girls these days [turns to my mother-in-law] they need everything to be perfect. Me? I made my dress, everything else my mother chose, the church, the restaurant, I just showed up that day, whatever! These days, they need to have fancy dress with their hair done, me? I never cared, just, put on my dress, and ok! I'm ready! [Mother-in-law mumbles in agreement] Eh, so fussy, look, now, pretty dress, but she cannot even breathe on her wedding day---
Me: NOT HELPING THE SITUATION! NOT HELPING THE SITUATION! [deep breath, still keeled over]
[squeals of laughter from front seat]
Her: Aiyah, calm down little girl, [more squeals of laughter] we are almost there!

We got off the freeway, minutes from the venue, and I got a text message from my friend. "We're here, ready to help! Where are you?"

I'm still trying to breathe, 5 minutes away.

Miss a step?
Read about getting ready.



Mo+Boy Tie the Knot: Hours Before Showtime

When our photographer showed up at 2 PM sharp, my hair and makeup were already done and I was picking up trash from lunch while The Runaway Bride was airing continuously on TBS. I think "wedding" and see visions of white peonies, velvet furniture, a gaggle of bridesmaids, someone very official holding a clipboard and a headset, perhaps a harpist, and a large window streaming in light so that the bride can bask in its warmth before she goes and whispers those romantic two words: "I do".

I was running around without pants on trying to finish my tuna roll. The magic was seriously lacking, and in an attempt to lend some bridal magic to the room, I staged this shot of my shoes and jewelry. I find my attempt a little pathetic and a little funny, but hey, now I have this shot of my shoes and jewelry!

[You might recall that I bought these shoes first. And then I lusted after these shoes. And then I had to return the first pair of shoes...it was just shoe mayhem. Two weeks before the wedding, I tried these Kate Spade shoes on and it felt like walking in slippers. I wear them all the time now.]

[Time to get into THE dress!]

[I'm carefully trying to take the tags off. You can also see the strap that the seamstress added to keep the dress up so that I could hug people. So...while I was playing with my dress...]

[My Mom was putting some makeup on. This gallery of lipsticks belong to her, and she tried each one on before committing.]

[My sisters were gabbing in the room next door while putting their makeup on.]

[And then they got a phone call from the boy. Note the very serious look on my sister's face, which can only mean one thing--uh-oh.
He forgot his tie. The tie that we found on clearance at Bloomingdale's, the tie he was so picky about that I had to return another one, the tie that he unfortunately left in the top dresser drawer at our apartment. Noooooooooooooooo! My sisters were supposed to help me into my dress and drive me to the venue, but instead they had to go back to La Jolla and grab that tie.]

[In the meantime, my mother and mother-in-law helped me into my dress, which was not easy since it had to go over my head, and the newly added back strap made it extra difficult. They knew I was disappointed my sisters were not there for this moment, but were in such a good mood and were sweet about it. My Mom just said to me with a big smile, "Well, guess we get to help you!"]

[And help they did. I was in my dress, my hair and makeup were intact, and all I needed were my shoes.]

I checked myself out one last time before we headed out, buttoning the rest of the lace from my bustle.

And then I very carefully shuffled to my car, 5 minutes behind schedule.



Mo+Boy Tie the Knot: The Day Before

[The boy and I didn't have a rehearsal dinner. We had dim sum in the morning with our families and had drinks later with our friends. We did this for two reasons: it was difficult to decide who to invite to the rehearsal dinner, and we were worried about the cost. The dim sum worked out fine and was comfortable for our families, and the drink night let us chat with our friends before The Big Day.
Above is a picture of The Veranda where we had dinner the night before, just the two of us, watching bunnies run around on the golf course!]

The day before the wedding was a mix of nerves, relief, and joy, and all of these emotions combined made me forget one little thing: my camera. So, there's so much to tell, that I'm just going to do a quick itemized list so we can get to the good stuff: recaps with PICTURES. I know, I'm excited too. So, let's blast through my memory, shall we? Here we go, a rapid fire recap of Friday, July 2nd, 2010:

[insert flashback music here]

+ I woke up at 7 in the morning with no problems, packed the car up with things to bring to the venue, and drove over to Home Depot by 7:55 AM where I found the flowers waiting for me in neat boxes. When the cashier rang me up I told her "They're for my wedding...TOMORROW! Aren't they beautiful??"

+ When I got to the venue for rehearsal, I had a nice surprise. Most of the boy's family, plus our awesome officiant friend, were waiting there, ready to pot those 90 flower pots I was dreading. What would have taken a few hours with just me and my sister took 30 minutes with 12 people, and we still had time to spare before rehearsal started.
Do you remember this post? My lonesome planning went away once my sisters arrived a few days earlier, and hit me again when my new family had on gloves and were transferring 90 flowers at 10 in the morning after most of them had just driven 9 hours the day before.

+The rehearsal went well (and was quick,) and we celebrated by having dim sum at Pearl Chinese Restaurant before everyone went off on their own to see the sights (only about 25 people out of 140 were from San Diego).

The boy and I? We dragged our officiant along and spent the afternoon at our hotel to go over the ceremony and chillax. It was so dead during the day that we got an entire pool (!!) to ourselves.

+The boy and I wrote our vows (yes, we seriously wrote them the night before) while eating dinner on the patio at The Veranda Restaurant (above). It was super romantic, and we ate paella while looking over the golf course.

+We ended the night with drinks with our friends, and this is the only point during our wedding weekend that I teared up. I saw my good friend coming towards me with a huge grin on her face, and I almost lost it. Needless to say, I really enjoyed hanging out with people, most of them flew in from out of town.

+I spent the night before alone at our amazing hotel room. I took a bubble bath, watched Food Network, and wrote a blog post. Perfect Mo night.

I went to sleep happy, and didn't have any trouble dozing off.

Next up...the morning of the wedding!



Post-Wedding Chop!

[Before and after! Cut by the uber cool and talented Christine at Luco Hair]

In other news...the pro pics are back!!! Stay tuned.



Mo+Boy Tie the Knot: Four Days Before

[This post officially kicks off my wedding recaps as I believe the photos will be coming within the next weeks (yippee!) Since I have no photos leading up to The Big Day, you'll have to rely on my words and memory. Hope you enjoy reading them! xo Mo]

Four days before the wedding, I was pacing around the garden center at Home Depot. If you follow the blog, you would have noticed I spent very little time talking about flowers. In fact, I think I spent about ten times more energy cupcake tasting and worrying about what I would look like than the flowers. We all have our priorities.

Two weeks before the wedding, I placed a potted plants order at Home Depot. I should have been tipped off by how easy it was to order 90 potted plants, but if I remember correctly, 2 weeks before the wedding anything that supposedly made my life easier was welcomed with open arms. That's all you need from me for my 90 potted plant order? My name and phone number? Sweet. I'll be on my way thankyouverymuch.

Four days before the wedding, I got bad news. They lost my order. It had never been processed. So the 90 potted plants expected on July 1st (in time for our wedding on July 3rd) were not being expected at all because no one processed the request. So there I was, pacing around the garden center for 45 minutes, clutching my cell phone with my sister on the other end, and manically looking at my options. "Our flowers don't have to match do they? What's the worst that can happen, they can't ship them to us, we can just randomly buy pots and stick them on the tables--right? Right?? How do you feel about small trees?"

18 months of planning, and this was what it came down to. Grabbing some plants from the garden center at Home Depot. I needed a DIY Fairy to make it all go away. I needed Martha Stewart.

While I was calculating how much it would cost to buy some succulents for the centerpieces, I got some promising news. The potted flowers I originally ordered could arrive on July 2nd at 8 AM. This would have been good and dandy, but our rehearsal and dim sum lunch was the morning of July 2nd, and I wanted to sleep a little that morning before facing all of our relatives for the first time. But I had no other options.

So I said yes, and called my sister back.

"Hi...how do you feel about potting 90 plants at 8 in the morning?"

You're Keeping Your Name? What About Your Kids?

I am still Mo Mylastname. He is still Boy Hislastname. There were no problems about keeping both our last names, and very little discussion, so three cheers for an easy decision and no drama!

But the problem arises when we talk about our future children.

Me: What if we switch off, the first kid gets my last name, and the second one gets yours.
Him: Whaaaaaat. No, I really want them to have my name.
Me: Why?
Him: Because the family name has to live on.
Me: Oh...well ok how about all the boys can get your name, but all the girls have mine.
Him: What?! What if we only have girls??
Me: Then the family name won't be passed on anyway!
Him: I really really want them to have my last name.
Me: Ok if they get your last name you have no say whatsoever in the first name.
Him: I get veto power.
Me: Uh, no. No veto power. If I want to name the kid Seven, the kid is going to be named Seven, no questions asked. Or I could just name them all Mo.
[Boy writhing in pain]
Me: Y'know the cat has my last name on the vet bill, and you didn't protest that.

The secret (that I already told the boy, and no, I won't name our kid after a name made up by George Costanza or my own name, I just like torturing him,) is that I like his name better. It's sweeter. Easier to say. Goes with a lot of first names. It comes earlier in the alphabet. It also sounds like the name of an animal, so, hello! toys and decorations of that animal galore. So here I am admitting on my blog that for purely shallow reasons and because my last name does not sound like a cute animal...I would not mind if my children had Hislastname.

(But we have time and things can change, so I'll keep you posted.)

Did you or your partner change (or plan to change) your name? If you have kids, whose last name do they have, or what do you plan on doing for your future children?


Post-Wedding Chop-Ideas?

[My hair from last year...it's around the same length now]

It seems that getting married entails purging your apartment and getting your hair cut, and while I'm in the process of sorting through files from 2007, I have yet to tackle my hair.

I would really like to be able to pull this off:

But this would require effort on my part, like curling it, and I'm really lazy and barely comb my hair in the morning. My stylist already frowned when I asked about a digital perm because of the damage it would inflict on my locks.

What's a girl with straight dark hair to do? Pull a Knives Chau and try to look like Ramona Flowers?

Naw. Although I do like purple. And bangs.

Did you get a post-wedding chop? What do you think I should do?


Thoughts of a Pack Rat

My grandmother collects jars, y'know, just in case someone might need a lot of...jars. My uncle had a car that was not functional that sat in his garage for years. My mother has been known to sift through our garbage and take things out that we have already thrown away because she thinks we are being wasteful.

Ah yes. I come from one of those families. And it's become apparent from cleaning our apartment recently to make room for registry gifts (yay!) that the boy also comes from the school of "don't throw anything away even if you do not use it because you never know when you might need it".

Le sigh.

In purging out apartment, here are a few items we found:

+8 empty shoe boxes

+an entire trash can filled with coins. Seriously. Would I lie to you about that? I'm not even that creative to come up with that one.

+one figurine from Titan Quest
Me: What is this? (holds up figurine, with trash bag in other hand)
Him: That's Titan Quest! (grabs at figurine) Here, she can be the protector of the living room. (puts figurine on top of television)

+an entire shoe box filled with receipts from 2003

+a big pile of socks under the bed that the cat has taken over as her bed

+a photo of us on our 1-year dating anniversary in San Francisco. Awwwwwwwwww

We took quite a few bags to Salvation Army so we could welcome a few new items into our home:

[We have a new duvet cover and two new poodle lamps that give a soft glow in our bedroom.]

[We made this dresser this weekend, and it was a big pain in the butt and some of the drawers are not the best, but it looks cute! That's our cat sniffing at my camera bag.]

[We also brought these home yesterday. They have a new home in my desk drawer.]

Are you a pack rat or are you good about throwing things out/donating them?


Guest Post at Chic n' Cheap Living

[noon designs in Ocean Beach, San Diego, photo by Mo]

I'm so happy to have my guest post up at Chic n' Cheap Living today! Chic n' Cheap has been such a supportive blogger friend from the get-go, and in September I get to finally meet her when she visits San Diego. I can't wait! :)

If you don't know her, her stylish finds, and her jet setting adventures already, go check out her blog and read my guest post where I take a tour of super cute noon designs in the Ocean Beach neighborhood in San Diego. I bought all of my bridesmaids' gifts there, and all of the goods I purchased were local and handmade by talented artists in San Diego. Sweet.

[Thanks so much to the ladies at noon designs for letting me take a gazillion photos in their amazing little shop!]

Mo Needs a Brand New Bag (Help Her Choose One)

I've been carrying around a yellow shoulder bag from Target (yay Target!) for a year now, and it's getting pretty worn and needs a replacement. I like how it is roomy enough to carry my netbook, has pockets, and goes with most of my wardrobe, including my yellow flats. But I need a change!

I saw both of these on Piperlime and am considering getting one of them in time for our trip to Japan. Which one do you like?



Vegas in 4 inch heels

[Congratulations Rosanna!]

Dear Jessica Simpson,
I used to watch your short-lived newlywed show with my roommates (they're the cuties above, the glowing bride is wearing the crown!) and we all thought you were hilariously stupid. I honestly would never think to entrust you with anything except to give me a good laugh, but I bought your Jessica pumps for one of my bestest friend's bachelorette party last weekend and I actually managed to walk in them and not kill myself for not one, but two nights in Vegas. And I'm not even talking about sitting around with my feet out of them 90% of the time, I mean actual walking and dancing. The bride-to-be even told me that they made me walk very sexily, and her opinion is gold because this girl knows sexy.
To prove just how much fun I had celebrating, here are some snippets from the weekend. Unfortunately your pumps won't make an appearance at her wedding. I hope you will understand.

[We started off the weekend at The Buffet at the Wynn. As luck would have it, the day before I left I was super sick from some bad pesto. My stomach was doing somersaults, so I didn't eat to my full potential, like I didn't even have any of that gelato up there, ha! The torture! I did manage to eat a crab leg that everyone else was devouring. It was tasty.]

[We washed it down with some Asti.]

[And then we got pretty and Rosanna put her sash and crown on!]

[Our party moved to XS at Encore where Rosanna's FSIL's connection got us a spot right next to the pool! We were able to kick off our shoes and dance in the water, which was like heaven after walking in 100 degree temperatures and walking in heels.]

[After a night of very responsible dancing and laughing, we had brunch at Bouchon. Here is my Croque Madame, which was really good but gave me food coma. Brunch gave us the energy for our pole dancing class later that day!]

[We took a private class at Pole Fitness Studio and it was so much fun but so hard! My hands hurt after because I was gripping the pole for dear life. Sexy, right? It was a great work out and we laughed a lot while getting schooled on being sexxy.]

[And if pole dancing wasn't sexy enough, we went to the Chippendales show after which was quite possibly one of the funniest shows I have ever seen. Seeing one of your nearest dearest get man handled on stage by muscle-rrific men to really cheesy choreography and music? Priceless.]

[Good bye Vegas! We had fun. October 16th (Rosanna's wedding day!) is going to be here before we know it!]



Girls' Weekend! Happy Friday!

[Trust me, totally hot. By Tokyo Milk]

I'm off to Vegas this weekend for a bachelorette party for one of my dearest friends!

Here's a cute self-portrait of us right before I walked down the aisle last month:

Happy Friday!


My Fear of Bicycles and Our Honeymoon in Kyoto

I’m scared of riding a bicycle. And I’m not even talking about mountain biking or biking in traffic, I’m talking about anxiety over biking on the boardwalk or on flat surfaces in neighborhoods where birds are singing and people say “hello!” to you on the street. It’s really a pity, because bicycles are so friendly. It’s a shame that I should be scared of something so seemingly innocent. It's like saying you're scared of being licked by kittens or eating ice cream cones or drive-in movie theaters. I mean, who could possibly be afraid of this?

[Photo from Kyoto Cycling Tour Project]

Part of my fear is motivated by a bad incident I had a long time ago. It wasn’t anything life threatening, I wasn’t hurt and I didn’t break any bones or fall over, but it was emotionally crushing. Without going into too many details, let’s just say it involved a break-up and some yelling on the side of the road because of my lack of biking skills. Yikes. It was a long time ago, and I’ve clearly evolved into a different person since then, but because I hated that day so much and would replay it in my head, I haven’t attempted to ride a bicycle since.

This long personal confession is just to say that it looks like a lot of fun to explore Kyoto by bicycle and I want to. Plus, this video just looks amazing. We'll see what the weather is like (it's supposed to rain a lot) but I'd love to replace my association with bicycles to something really happy instead of keeping my depressing memory forever tied to riding a bike.

And if for some reason I get scared of falling and being hit by a car, I'll be on my honeymoon with someone who won't yell at me because of it.

Do you have a fear of something that is supposed to be fun? Ever explore a new city by bicycle?



Post-Wedding Weight Gain

Leftover Sprinkles cupcakes
Godiva Chocolates
Ben and Jerry's pints

6 pounds, one month. I'm pretty squishy and huggable right now.



The Last Owl Cookie

[Berry smoothie a la Mo and owl cookie from TS Cookies]

I'm finally snapping out of PWB (post wedding blues, they're real and they make you mope and look at wedding blogs 24/7 like a sad, sad post bride) and trying to make our apartment less graduate student housing, more home. I took a few steps this weekend to really lock in the idea that the wedding is over.

First, I ate the last owl cookie. I love these owl cookies, as did our guests. We froze two of them for our year anniversary, but we had one just lying around crying out to me..."Mo...the wedding is over...I'm really sugary and I'm starting to get stale..." So I bit its head off. I also made the berry smoothie next to the cookie with our brand new Kitchenaid blender from our registry. Mmmmm.

Second, I busted out some of our registry gifts, including this food processor for pesto pasta and this adorable duvet cover that just immediately brightens the room. We also got new nightstands, and so I went shopping for two lamps to go with the set and ended up ordering poodle lamps.
Yes, you read that correctly. Lamps. In the shapes of poodles.

[Poodle lamps from Urban Outfitters]

We finished our registry purchases at Target and have a new dresser among other goodies on their way!

Third, the thank you cards I made arrived, and so starting tomorrow I'll be sending gratitude all over the country.

Fourth, we booked our tickets to the Studio Ghibli Museum and our last hotel stays in preparation for Japan in a month!!

The wedding is over, but who needs it when you've got poodle lamps and trips to Japan?

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