Wedding Planning 101

Saturday, February 28, 2009
I went to a little seminar (more like a get together) that a local wedding planner holds fairly regularly. Ten bucks & lots of ideas but what I really came away with was this - I suck at this planning thing, I'm not a "normal" bride" & I better get my ass moving on this thing!

April Whitney is the name of the planner & she went around & asked us all about our wedding & how far we were in the process. Here's a little of how it went~

AW: Have you set a date?
Me: First or second weekend in August. Probably a Sunday or Friday since it's cheaper.
AW: Booked a venue?
Me: No, we're considering a place up in West Hollywood but it's not exactly what I had in mind however we really like it.
AW: Booked a church?
Me: Not sure if we'll do a church ceremony. We'd prefer to do ceremony & reception in the same place.
AW: How many people?
Me: 75-125
AW: Sit down dinner or buffet?
Me: Whatever
AW: What kind of food do you want?
Me: Good food that appeals to many tastes
AW: What are your colors?
Me: Black & White with an accent color - probably deep burgundy or purple. May change based on the venue.
AW: How many bridesmaids?
Me: 2 or 3
AW: Have you picked the bridesmaid dresses?
Me: They can pick their own. They are all very different. I will just guide them in length & material choice. I don't want one shiny & the other matte.
AW: What about favors?
Me: I don't really think they are necessary. Maybe a big, fun candy bar.
AW: Band or DJ
Me: I'm thinking iPod

So as this conversation continued, I realized I don't really have concrete answers to most of her questions. Meanwhile, the bride next to me (who is getting married only 2 months before I am) pulls out her big ass formal wedding planner with handles - church & reception booked, food chosen, dress & bridesmaid dresses purchased, DJ AND 10 piece band already booked, flower girls & ring bearers being fitted....Well, you see where I'm going. I don't even know why she was there. As I listened to her talking about her wedding, I thought "Ugh! I hate it". I mean, I would hate it for me. So traditional, so thought out, so planned, so BORING - not to mention ridiculously expensive.

I guess the main thing I came away with is I just want a big, fun party with my friends - no bouquet or garter toss, no clinking glasses for us to kiss, minimal toasts, no formal dances with every parent. I just want it to be kinda retro glamorous cool as well as relaxed & fun. I want a dress I can dance in with out sweating like a pig. I want to wear black shoes. I want a simple bouquet. I don't give a crap about fancy dishes or linens or chairs or chair covers. I just want it to rock - in a retro glam kinda way!

Inspration Boards

Friday, February 27, 2009
Am I the only one that doesn't have one (or more) of these? I mean, is it necessary? Does it really help? I found a little tutorial on Weddingbee but honestly, I don't really see it happening for me. I have lots of images saved & many magazine pages to file but is it really helpful to put it into some kind of formal format? Help me out here ladies...

I just need to vent...

Thursday, February 26, 2009
Why is the expectation that just because you are in love & planning a wedding, that you will be happy all the time? I hate to be a downer here but my life kinda sucks right now. I lost my job & J's job is really slow. Financially, we are living day to day & trying to pay our bills. My father has said he will help with the wedding but he won't actually commit to a dollar value. We have to move because the owners of the unit have to sell it before the bank takes it over & I'm trying to plan this freakin' wedding. This. Is. Hard.

I am completely overwhelmed but it's not about the wedding, it's about my life. Now to be fair, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I will likely be going back to work for the same company in April & J is looking for more steady work as well. I know it will get better but occasionally, I just get mired in the bullshit & I need people to let me be sad sometimes. I mean, come on people, my life sucks, I'm having a very difficult time having fun right now even if I am planning a wedding!

Ok, I think I'm done. I hope everyone can appreciate the occasional bitch fest because I think I'll need to do it more than once....

The Hollywood Chapel

Sunday, February 22, 2009
In my search for a reasonable wedding/reception venue, I kept coming across The Hollywood Wedding Chapel. The subtitle of the site being "Where the hip get hitched". Well hell, I thought, we're hip, we should check it out. As I looked at the website, I knew it wasn't exactly what we were thinking but lately I've been more in a money saving mode so I'm exploring beyond my original vision.

The pictures of the little chapel looked cute & they could do a small (70 people) reception on site with cocktails & appetizers only. I always liked the idea of a cocktail party reception anyway so I talked J into going over to look at it since we were going to be in the area looking at the other venue I mentioned in an earlier post.

First of all, it's not in Hollywood, it's in West Hollywood. As we are driving up, it literally looks like a retail business from the outside. Now, I knew going into this that they catered to gay & straight couples so it was by no means a traditional chapel but I still expected a little more. I was still willing to give it a chance (even though J was shaking his head) but then I noticed it was directly across the street from The Pleasure Chest - an adult super store where you enter into some kind of alternate sexual universe where it is common to see or talk about anything & everything sex related - and I do mean EVERYTHING. Now, I don't have any problem with the Pleasure Chest. I've been there a number of times & it definitely serves it's purpose however, I just don't think that's the feel I want for the wedding. It's also about half a block from the Pussycat Theater - home of the porn star walk of fame. Again, just not quite what we had in mind.

This one is off the list without even seeing the interior.

DIY Overload

Friday, February 20, 2009
Ok so I'm not really a do it yourself, crafty kind of girl. I mean, I like to think I am & I will get excited about a project & buy the stuff & start crafting like a fool. Finishing said project is a whole different story. My ADD kicks in & I completely lose interest - even if I think it will be awesome. That being said, I know that I need to incorporate some fabulous DIY projects to make this budget work. I am so impressed with all these projects I see from you other brides. I click from one to the next to the next and I am awed & inspired. Now, I know for a fact that some of this stuff is way beyond anything I can do myself but luckily, I have people that are far better at this than I am.

For now, I click through ideas & pictures & am saving them in their own little folder. Saved for the day I finally book a venue & have a better feel for what we need to do to the venue to create the feel we want. Right now, I am loving some of these ideas from bellcreation. I mean seriously - look at those invitations. Beautiful...

And the Centerpieces. I wish she had a better picture but there is a DIY tutorial at Style Me Pretty

Love it!

Today I'm obsessed with...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Vintage (or vintage looking) birdcage, French & hat type veils. I am not a big fan of veils in general & had pretty much decided against wearing one at all but lately I've been reconsidering. I mean, the fabulousness of these headpieces is almost irresistible.

The following are from an Batcakes! Couture on Esty. She is local & does custom work. Once I choose a dress, I am all over this!

I May Have Found Our Venue!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009
So, I've been furiously researching & emailing this week in the hopes of nailing down a few realistic venue options that we could then visit & hopefully get closer to a decision. Many of the responses congratulate me & give me some basic site info & then attach this huge menu. The food is listed by piece or per person with minimums required and many extras available ( all for an extra cost, of course). I don't know about the rest of you but I just think it's a huge pain in the ass. I just want someone to tell me the price including food, drinks, servers etc.

Today I got exactly that. No haggling over this appetizer is less than that one & if you choose chicken, it's less than steak. Nope, just one price that includes appetizers, dinner, desserts, coffee bar, open bar for an hour, ceremony & venue rental. Thank you Jesus! Not only that but the price was ridiculously reasonable - especially considering some of the other stuff we've looked at. I love L.A. but it can be stupid expensive.

Next step - we're going to look at it on Thursday & meet with the coordinator. I hope it is as fantastic as I think it is. I'll keep you all posted....

Sidebar: We Went to the Grammy's Last Night

Monday, February 9, 2009
My honey & I won tickets to the Grammy Awards last night. We entered a contest at LA Live & won tickets to an event at one of their venues as well as dinner at one of the restaurants (up to $75) every month for the next year. Yay us! It is fabulous - especially considering we have no extra money to do anything right now.

Anywho, back to the Grammys. When I first found out that we were going, my immediate thought was "what the hell am I going to wear?" See most of my nicer clothes were purchased when I was about 20lbs. thinner. So off I went to see what I could find under $100 (my Xmas money from my dad). After many hours of trying stuff on, I was getting depressed. It wasn't the clothes, but how I looked in them that was the issue. Seeings as I couldn't do anything about that is a week, I trudged ahead in my mission & finally found this:

I LOVE it! It's got that retro feel that I love, I 'll be able to wear it many times & I got it for $99! And I have a fabulous vintage, beaded sweater and bag to go with it. Love, love, love it!

The show? Well, it was fun but certainly not something I would pay to see. Our seats were fairly high (which we expected) and the security was ridiculous (which we also expected) however I was able to sneak in my new camera I got for Christmas. Unfortunately, our pictures weren't all that great because we were up so high.

Most of the show was really good. I didn't really think I'd know many of the songs but turns out, I did. I was dreading Coldplay as I really dislike them. I find them whiny & depressing but I actually don't hate their new song so that wasn't so bad. I was quite surprised by the Jonas brothers - they were great with Stevie Wonder. Kid Rock, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Justin Timberlake - all good. Not a big rap fan, so didn't like all that but I'm sure some did.

Now let's get to the real deal - why isn't anyone talking about the train wreck that is Whitney Houston? Don't get me wrong, I love a good comeback story & I'm a second chance kinda girl but let's be real; the lady is not ready for a comeback. She walked out looking fantastic & then she spoke. It was actually uncomfortable watching & listening to her. So I was thinking today everyone would be talking about it right? NO! Come on, she was a mess & no one is acknowledging it? What is going on?!

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled programing.....

A Legendary Affair

Saturday, February 7, 2009
Yesterday, my sister & I went into A Legendary Affair in Manhattan Beach. It is a little bit like going to a bridal show without all the people & the overwhelming urge to throw up. It is a free service with a showroom that showcases vendors, photographers, invitations - even a few dresses.

Cynthia, the nice lady that runs the place, put me at ease immediately. No charge to sit around & talk about the wedding, explore options, get recommendations and advice? I like it! I don't know that I'll use her vendors but I do know that I felt much better coming out of there. My indecisiveness & tendency to get overwhelmed, didn't seem to phase her. I came away feeling better & more focused. Not really accomplishing anything other than that but after my minor breakdown last week, that was exactly what I needed.

One of her vendors is a wedding & event planner offering a wedding planning seminar for $10. I can see from the photos that she is very creative so I plan to attend. It's only 2 hours & maybe I can soak in some of that creativity. What the hell? I can handle $10 - even in my temporarily unemployed state.

I am feeling so much better about this whole thing. I mean, don't get me wrong, I will never be Mary Sunshine. I love people with a positive attitude & I really do try but my natural talent for sarcasm often gets the better of me. You can only change so much.

Yay Brandy!!

Friday, February 6, 2009
Brandy was my first (comment on the blog, that is) & for some reason, it made me quite happy that someone was reading my little blog. Not just reading but sharing. Somehow I feel like if people read it then perhaps a little of the crazy leaves with them! I'm kidding of course, I'm sure we all have our own brand of crazy.

Back to Brandy - her idea was a good one. Happened to be the same thing my new book mentioned. Yes ok, I succumbed to the book store but did not come away with a $45 planner with pretty colored folders & sheet protectors. No, no - I came out of there with a handy little book called the "I have a Life" Brides Guide (subtitle: Plan the wedding you've always wanted without losing your mind). PERFECT!! That's what I want! And one of the first things in there is exactly what Brandy said - go to Staples, get a big ass binder, tabs, sheet protectors etc & create your own bridal planner. I haven't done it yet, but I will.

You know what else it said? Don't register for more then one of the big wedding sites. That is advice I could have used earlier. After a minor breakdown last Sunday, I have figured out that I am a mess because I am allowing myself to get caught up & then I don't know what to do, so I just don't do anything. Never going to get anything done that way. So, I am changing my internal dialog & dammit, this is going to be fun! Well, at least I have figured out how to stop making it a nightmare.