Saturday, February 26, 2011

35 days – content and blessed

We can hardly believe we are only 35 days away from the big day! We are both very excited, a bit nervous, anxious and just really ready for this. By the time we get married, we will have been engaged for about a year. A whole year to plan everything out very far in advance, pile on projects because I have "so much time" and have my whole life revolve around wedding stuff. I really have enjoyed it, but at this point we are entirely ready to get married, have the time of our lives and just BE married...finally.

Early in the planning process we came up with and were inspired by many different ideas from the wedding world that we decided to do at our wedding. But we did pick and choose. We chose things because we liked them and they felt special to us. For example, we are having a candy/dessert bar. We cannot wait and we know our guests will enjoy it. As part of the desserts my mom is baking Mexican wedding cakes my great-grandma's molasses crinkle cookies – my favorite! We are also not having a traditional guest book and are doing a fingerprint wedding tree. Mike is drawing it and we can't wait to hang it up in our house after the wedding and be reminded daily of all our friends and family that shared in our special day. We're also doing a sparkler send-off. I am so excited for this part of the night, it is sure to make some gorgeous pictures! We are also having multiple musicians play at our ceremony and a full 10-piece band at the reception along with a DJ to play all our favorite tunes (that's what you get for marrying a musician!). We are incorporating our family and cultural traditions in so many ways, that is so important to us. I also realized something this week as I was designing our programs – I really don't care if someone doesn't like something we are doing or have made. We love it, it is unique and new to us and has meaning, that's what matters.

I can truly say that we have spent the last year planning my dream wedding (because lets be honest, Mike hasn't thought much about his wedding until the past few months, and has certainly never dreamed about the details of his wedding), but what is most important is how we have grown over the past year as a couple and soon to be family. We are so grateful to have amazing parents who are completely supportive and are giving us our dream day. Not only are they hosting the wedding at a beautiful venue with outstanding vendors and delicious food, they have given us amazing examples of what a loving and lasting Christian marriage is. We can't even begin to describe how much we treasure that gift and how it will get us through the highs and lows in life. All four of them have shown us so much love throughout our lives and especially in the past year, we are truly blessed!

Ok, enough deep thoughts for now, more posts about projects to come. :) Oh and speaking of family and special meanings, I have all of my old, new, borrowed and blue items. Can't wait to do a post about them!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

music requests

Over the past few months, we have been keeping an ongoing list of music for the wedding. On our website we also were taking song requests. Well, we only got one, but it's a good one! Mike's sister-in-law requested that we play their song so they can dance bachata. This song is so beautiful, I'm looking forward to see them dance to it!

In keeping with the song requests, Mike's parent's asked that we play plenty of cumbia songs. Some of the more popular cumbia songs are by Selena. I lived in Albuquerque while Selena was really popular (she was VERY popular there!), so I am familiar with her music and I still love her songs. I still don't know how to dance cumbia, but I'll just follow what everyone else does. :)

We are also doing the Mexican wedding march at the reception. I have done it once and don't really remember exactly how it goes, but we don't have to be the ones leading it, whew! It should be fun to see his family doing the march who know how to do it and my family who has probably never seen it before. For those family members and friends of mine reading this, I couldn't find a decent video of it, but here is a description of how to do it. (We just won't be doing the coin tradition and this won't be happening before our first dance.)

Of course we will have a few German polka dances too. Mike's dad told me last week that his sisters went polka dancing recently and had a lot of fun with it. I know my family will really enjoy dancing to these cumbia dances and the Mexican march as well. Everyone is sure to have a great time!

bachelorette night out

Next weekend is my bachelorette party! My bridesmaids have been planning a very special night for me, I really cannot wait! We are all staying at the historic Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale. Since the renovation in 2005, I have wanted to stay there and recently attended a wedding at the hotel. It is very different from any hotel or resort I have ever been to. We are staying in the newer part in a two-bedroom suite – it looks like such a fun room!

After we check in to the hotel, hang out by the pool and spend plenty of time getting ready, we will be meeting a few of my other friends and going to dinner at Marcella's Italian Restaurant just down the road. Brooke and I went in for a 'tasting' and it is delicious! After that we'll head out to some bars and clubs for dancing.

I rarely go out anymore (partly because I'm working on wedding stuff every night and partly because I am an old lady), so I am extremely excited about this night! I will be sure to post pictures (only the flattering ones though). :)

P.S. Brooke and I are getting massages earlier that morning – my treat to her for doing SO much for the wedding. This is really going to be a great day!

All images via Hotel Valley Ho

sparkler send-off

Something we are super excited about is the sparkler send-off we are having at the wedding. We can't wait to get some amazing pictures and video of our send-off through the front courtyard at the end of the night. We purchased the 36" sparklers from here, they should last a good four minutes so hopefully that is enough time to get them lit and to make our grand exit.

Our venue requires us to end the music at 10pm sharp. This worried me at first, but we have noticed that most people leave weddings around that time anyways. We are hoping since the end time is relatively early, people will stick around for the send-off. We have never been to a wedding with one, so we are hoping it goes smoothly and is as fun as it looks. :)

Image via WeddingBee

Thursday, February 17, 2011


In the past couple of weeks, the wedding blog world has been going crazy over a new online wedding shop called BHLDN. One look at the site and I totally see why! It's a branch of Anthropologie, so everything is very unique. I only wish this store was available a few months ago when I was picking out all of these items.

Don't get me wrong, I am in love with my dress, shoes, jewelry, accessories, bridesmaid dresses, etc, but finding all of those items was a huge challenge as there are so many cheesy things in the local bridal shops. Plus, this site is probably a bit out of my price range and I am not bold enough to pull off most of the looks anyways. Below are a few items I absolutely love and could see myself in...if I didn't already have all of those items that is.

The wedding dresses are not exactly my style, but they are gorgeous and would be perfect for a less formal event (beach wedding dress on the top left?). I am completely drooling over the short turquoise dress...this is the exact color that I have had in my mind for the entire time planning this wedding. I'm not sure if it would be right for the bridesmaids, but it would have made a fun shower, engagement or rehearsal dress (although mine are super cute too and I love them). And the shoes....ugh, those shoes! I searched for months for some dusty turquoise shoes for my something blue. I love these. But, I had decided against heels and that comfort is the number one I think mine are just as cute. They just aren't blue.

Really, I have no regrets on my decisions and prior purchases, these items are just so lovely, I couldn't resist sharing. :)

Images via BHLDN

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

invitation assembly

As I posted last week, our invitations went out last month and we have been receiving a steady stream of RSVP cards. As I was going through the pictures of the assembly process, it makes it look easy. Trust me, it was very intense and not the easiest invitations I have put together! If only I had pictures of the week long prepping before this day that we actually took pictures (and yes, it was the entire day!). In the week or so before finishing the invites, my mom stamped the wax seals, I cut and folded strips of paper, printed all the items, struggled with the printer and getting letterpress paper to go through it (I just loved the texture of that paper though!) and mounting the invite to the blue shimmer paper and then to the gold enclosures. Oh yes, and then remounting everything with super glue to be sure it would stay. I think there was something about the dry Arizona air that made the photo mounting squares not work so well this go-around.

I even got the family involved with this one. Leila of course was so excited to be helping, she did such a great job with that adhesive! And Brooke cut all the ribbons to the correct length (is that a fake smile?). :) My mom stamped the back of the envelopes with the return address and addressed all of them. She has beautiful handwriting, so they looked amazing!

I spent all day placing the inserts into the folders, and tying the ribbon around them. We had an extra insert for those who are invited to the rehearsal dinner and Sunday lunch along with a different RSVP card so they could respond to all three events rather than having to call or email for the other two. The other guests have a space at the bottom to leave the bride and groom a note. So far this has been working well and we are enjoying reading all the fun comments from our friends and family. We also included a space on our RSVP cards that informed guests how many seats we have reserved for them. This is very important! One other thing I completely forgot about but is very important is writing a small number on the card that correlates with their number on the guest list. That way, if the person forgets to write their name, you will still know who its from.

Here's me working away....and how I felt after working on these things for a week! I think every bride has that moment where they wonder why they didn't just plan a small destination wedding. For a few minutes, this was that moment for me.

But once the final product was done and ready to be mailed, I was so proud and so excited for everyone to receive their invites. We couldn't be happier with the way they turned out!

welcome bags

Now I don't want to give too much away to our out of town guests (I know some of you read this blog), but this week we are starting to get the welcome bags together and I am so excited about what is going in them! One of the things that I know my family will love is the Four Peaks beer (be sure to check out their website, its pretty fun). I am crossing my fingers we can find bottles of the Arizona peach beer, but I haven't seen it yet. We are aiming to include a few local items along with some necessities, maps, information guides and itinerary for the weekend. Ideally we'd be including some peaches from Schnepf farms and oranges from my grandmother's backyard, but those items could spoil...and we're not sure if we'll have time last minute to include them.

So to all of you out of town friends and family that are making the trip out here in less than 50 days, you're in for a small treat from us. :)

Image via Four Peaks

Monday, February 7, 2011

my bridal shower

This past weekend was my bridal shower hosted by my mom, Brooke and the bridesmaids. They sure did throw a beautiful shower, I feel so loved!

My mom and Brooke put a ton of time and energy into making everything look just right. Brooke shopped for months for vases and other containers. It really made everything look extra special! My mom made homemade jam for the favors and the table runners - see, I told you she is talented!

The food was amazing! They ordered bruschetta from my one of my favorite restaurants, Postino's. My mom, grandma and the bridesmaids made the rest of the food.

After we ate lunch, we played games. The first one was so difficult! We had to match up the wedding tradition with the original meaning. I had no idea what some of those things meant!

The other game started when people arrived. Each person got a ring pop and if they said the word "wedding", they had to give their ring pop to the person that caught them. These girls played the game well and ended up winning!

And the last game was Brooke getting back at me, ha! We played the game where I had to answer questions about Mike and if I got one wrong, I had to chew a piece of gum...I ended up getting six wrong! I will never chew watermelon gum again!

We also had a gift opening. We got so many fun kitchen things that I can't wait to try out. I also got a beautiful hanger from Brooke and Leila to use for my dress for the day of the wedding. Its going to look amazing in pictures. My mom also gave me the garter she made for the big day. It is beautiful and has a piece of my dress on it and also some lace from her dress. I love it!

I had such a wonderful time, it went by so fast! This is probably a small preview of how the wedding will be. Just have to enjoy every moment!

our wedding invitations

These are our wedding invitations that went out a few weeks ago. Mike and I both spent quite a bit of time on them and are so proud of them. He drew the flower flourish on the top and I designed them. My mom, Brooke and Leila helped assemble. I will post more details on assembly later.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

blessed beyond words

In less than two months, I will be Mrs. B and today I really felt like a bride. I was wearing white, had close friends and family around me and couldn't stop smiling. I can't even begin to describe how loved and blessed I felt today. Brooke, my mom and my bridesmaids really went all out to create such a gorgeous afternoon, I can't thank them enough! I don't have all the pictures yet, but they will be coming in a blog post in the next few days.

It seems like not long ago Brooke and I started coming up with ideas for the shower and searching through paper swatches for colors (but it does seem like her and my mom have been keeping secrets from me about this forever). Brooke had been shopping around for things for this party for a long time and had so much fun coming up with little creative things to do – I loved everything her and my mom came up with from using a wine bottle as a guest book to making homemade jam as favors to the delicious food we had. Brooke did such a wonderful job organizing the party and my mom showed us all once again how talented she really is. She made the table runners, most of the food, the jam for the favors, flower arrangements and an amazing gift for the wedding...she made me my garter that has a piece of my dress on it and lace from her own wedding dress. It is absolutely gorgeous! Yes, my mom is amazing. :)