Ostrichland

Sara and I were recently in California for a family vacation with my parents, my sister and my sister’s family. On our way out of Solvang and on our way up to Morro Bay, my parents suggested that we stop by a “small ostrich farm.” I scoffed at the idea, but they convinced me to pull over and check out the farm.

For a mere $6 per person, we got to see and feed the ostriches. Those dumb birds were surprisingly tall and strong!

If you’re ever in central California, I highly recommend the pit stop to see the ostriches. And don’t worry – they don’t raise these birds for meat, just for their eggs.

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Jeremiah was a bullfrog…

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Hudson Gardens has finally posted the line up for their summer concert series. I have never been to a concert at this venue, but they showed us the outdoor amphitheater on our tour and it was pretty impressive. A huge grassy field that looked perfect for a warm summer night.  The lineup includes mostly classic rock bands and if you have ever been around my mom’s side of the family, you know that they can hold their own when it comes to classic rock. So how about finishing off the wedding weekend extravaganza with some Three Dog Night?

“Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea. Joy to you and me.”

The time trap of wedding planning

It’s easy to get caught up in the hubbub of wedding planning. Between Pinterest giving me all sorts of wedding ideas (with unlimited budgets mind you!) and everyone who has gotten married giving me their two cents, wedding planning has taken over all dinner conversations and weekend plans. I send Phil lists to be updated, he lets me know where we are in our budget; we bicker, we discuss, we disagree, we agree, we get excited, and we make big decisions for our big day. We can see why people elope; wedding planning can be extremely stressful. Wedding planning has pretty much taken over every aspect our daily lives. I think of the wedding constantly: on my drive to work, in my free time I browse Pinterest and Etsy, whenever I talk to my mom I ask her about my new idea for the wedding.
It’s constant.
And why shouldn’t it be? It’s only going to happen once! I lived up my single life. I have filled up my passport visiting countries and learning about different cultures. I’ve earned a graduate degree, created a successful career for myself and I have discovered who I am, independently of anyone else. And so has Phil.
Sometimes we joke that we should’ve met each other five years sooner, but I do not regret not meeting Phil when I was younger…and I know he shares the same sentiment. I am proud of who we are an individuals and what that means for us as a couple. Being together didn’t make us happy, we were both happy before we met each other. But being together definitely makes us happier! And that’s what we’re so excited to plan a great wedding weekend for all of our friends and family that are coming to Denver.
Our wedding won’t make its way into any wedding magazines, but it will be a reflection of who we are as two individuals becoming one unit. And at the end of the day, that’s what is most important about the wedding. Not the place settings or the center piece or the song I walk down the aisle to. Our expression of our love for each other and vowing to love each other for the rest of our lives is what matters the most.
But still…I’ll keep checking out Pinterest for great ideas for the wedding

DIY Marquee Letters

Step 1. Cut out letters from plywood or particle board. We used particle board. We used a band saw to cut the wood. We got the particle board at Home Depot and the globe lights at Target. I ended up having to buy another strand of lights from amazon.com. I used my Promethian Board (a fancy projector) at school and butcher paper to make a paper template for the letters. I traced it on the wood and my dad helped cut them out. The P and S are about 2 feet tall and the & is about 1 foot tall.

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Step 2. Draw a line down the middle of the letter with pencil.

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Step 3. Decide of how far apart you would like the hole for the light bulbs. Based on the size of the light bulbs I had, I chose 1.5 in. Because of the curve of the letters. I had to use a 1.5 in piece of yarn to mark the spots to drill the hole.

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Step 4. Drill holes. Because the green base for each bulb angled and with a clip, it was difficult to find the right size of hole. Our holes are a little too big for the bulbs, but any smaller the they wouldn’t fit in.

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Step 5. Unscrew each light bulb and place the backside through the hole. Then screw in the bulb.

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Traditionally, marquee letters have a metal border to reflect the light. We toyed with this idea, but our letters have too many curves and we thought they look good without the metal lining. I painted the sides silver to give them a finishing touch. I painted the front an ivory white. Because of the length of cord between each light, I had to duct tape the cord down in the back of the letters.

The finished product!  I think these will look great on a mantle of one of the fireplaces in the venue or near the dance floor!

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What’s your vision?

What’s your colors? What’s your vision?

When people know you are planning a wedding, that is always their first question, “what are your colors?” I stumble through my answer, saying I don’t want to have a set color, I like garden tones (whatever that is), maybe pinks or oranges or coral…. Clearly I must be the worst bride ever. But in all honesty, I don’t like the look of a set color, where everything from the grooms vest, to the napkins, to the colors to the bridesmaids dresses are the same color. It looks generic and not natural and not my style. But when I try to formulate a response to that question. I sound like I don’t have anything at all planned out.
This past weekend, I spent time at my parents house. I brought home three large wedding projects that I was excited to start working on – the marquee letters, the map, and some chalkboard signs. About halfway through the evening, my mom stopped me and said “what’s your vision with all this?” I stumble through some response similar to above saying I just wanted a garden type atmosphere, formal but comfortable, etc. sounding again like the worst bride ever. The more we talked, the more I felt like my wedding was going to look like a mishmash of DIY projects that don’t go together at all.  But finally after talking specifically about how I wanted things to look and where things could go, my sister decided my vision was “Classy yet bohemian, muted colors with bright accents”. That, to some people, might again sound like I can’t make up my mind for the “vision”; but to me, it is exactly how I see the venue.

Fast forward a month later

The bridesmaids dresses are picked out. So now I can actually say I have a “color” and that color is Coral, also known as “Firecracker” to the company who names the dress fabric.

Now I’m struggling with another aspect to our vision…how to incorporate the mix of cultures at the wedding. Now, we HAVE talked about this matter in the larger sense. We have thought about our life together with the mix of cultures. We have also planned out how to handle the mix of cultures in the ceremony and have some exciting plans. But we have not figured out how to handle the decoration/favors/centerpieces/etc. The venue is in Colorado in a log cabin and feels very “colorado-y”. However I want to incorporate as much of Phil’s culture as my own, but still make this day uniquely “us” as well. I’ve googled Rustic/Taiwanese weddings and come up with nothing…surprise surprise. Maybe if we would have had a wedding planner, this could be something we would have told her to handle. but we don’t. So it is all on us to figure out. I’m excited about the ideas people (mostly our mothers) have given us. This will not just be any “cookie-cutter” wedding for sure. And that makes me excited.

Caterer

Looking for a caterer was a big daunting task I put off doing for months. This is where the majority of our wedding costs will go and I knew it was a big decision that would take a lot of research and time. We filled out online requests for four different companies and got four different proposals. We read yelp reviews and made our own judgments based on their total costs, their promptness in emailing, and other nitpicky items. While most of the proposal requests were done online, I had to do one in person, at Rocky Mountain catering. As someone who does not always notice the “little details”, I DID NOT come to this meeting prepared. this is a sampling of how conversations went:

Caterer: now would you like to have spoons as part of your table setting.?they would be an extra cost.
Me: yeah, of course! why wouldn’t we want spoons at the table!
Caterer: no one ever gets spoons, no one ever uses them
Me: well then no, of course we don’t want spoons. Why would we do that?

I have never noticed if there are spoons at a wedding table settings, I don’t remember if the glasses were plastic or glass, if the napkins were linen or paper. And I hope for our wedding, people will not notice or judge the little details, but remember the overall theme and love of the evening.

After we got the proposal, we went to a tasting. Now that was fun! We really enjoyed our meal and have faith that it’ll be just as tasty on June 6.

The lady in changes of our catering team is honest, professional, and personable. She offers inside info on where/how to buy the linens instead of renting, and let’s us know what would work best when we have no idea what to choose. She has catered at our locations thousands of times and that in itself is a felling of relief. I never realized just how much the cater does during an event; her team will set up tables, chairs, decorations, and all the clean up after.

We are confident in this caterer and happy with our choice. We are looking forward to feeding our friends and family with good food!

Dress shopping

When I was a little girl and my grandma would babysit me, I remember a few special occasions at the grocery store when she would buy me a bridal magazine and a pack of orange bubblegum. I loved looking at the dresses, like most little girls. But as I got older and lived up my single life, I didn’t think much more about my wedding, much less the type and style of the dress I would wear. I don’t know bridal gown designers and just recently learned the difference between an “A-line” and a “fit and flare”

This past June, recently after we got engaged, I went dress shopping with my mom, sister Erin, and Grandma Bernice. I made an appointment at Little White Dress http://www.lwdbridal.com in the Highlands and another later appointment at Davids Bridal https://www.davidsbridal.com Little White Dress was a cute but crowded boutique. They offered a variety of styles, but mostly featured vintage dresses with lots of beads and crystals, and not many dresses in my budget. They didn’t rush us, but at the same the place felt stuffy. I wasn’t planning on buying nothing that day, and didn’t find anything there I was interested in buying that was in my budget.

Davids bridal was a completely different experience. I could tell quickly that I didn’t like the quality of their dresses, the a lady in charge of helping me, or the under garments they made me wear. I tried on a few dresses but was happy with none of them. We left the store with no plans of returning.

Needless to say, I was hesitant on going dress shopping again, but I knew I needed to pick out a dress soon. It’s difficult when stores never have your exact size and everything will need altered; it’s hard to get the vision of the dress with orange clamps holding everything in place. But I rounded up my mom, Aunt Brenda, and cousin Audra to go with me for round two. I had an appointment at D’Anelli’s http://www.coloradobridal.com and The Bridal Collection http://thebridalcollection.com.

I had heard very good things about D’Anelii’s and many people who found their dress there. My consultant was a lovely lady with a British accent who was knowledgable, friendly, and honest-exactly what I needed. Quickly I could trust her and we picked out 6 dresses to try. Right away the dresses fit better and were what I imagined. I narrowed it down to two very different and unique dresses.

The Bridal Collection was a newer shop near Park Meadows mall. They also had many choices. My consultant was friendly and showed me many different styles. Again I narrowed it down to two. Because it’s October, they are offering 10% off, so I need to decide quickly.

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It was such a fun day. At both places, I felt special and beautiful and was given undivided attention. I would recommend either place for future brides. I’m excited to return later this week to get THE dress! One more thing to check off our To-Do list…..

Save the dates!

Phil and I were so excited to get our Save the Dates, that we didn’t wait very long until we sent them out. So much our of wedding planning so far as been abstracts with just ideas and visions and Pinterest boards, this was the first thing we have planned that we could actually see and hold on to. And they turned out exactly like we pictured! We are very happy with the results.

Continue reading Save the dates!