Friday, August 7, 2009

One Year From Today...

Brian and I will be getting married! 12 more months to go. I can't believe we finally hit the one year mark of our wedding countdown. It seems like just yesterday we got engaged.

This is the only picture we have from the night of our engagement. Look at our big cheesy smiles.

Getting to the one year mark makes it even more real. We got a few of the big things out of the way (still need to find a dress though!) and now we can start looking into the details as well. I should probably consult the checklist and see what Martha says I should be doing right now. Don't want to fall behind!

This year Brian and I have been to 5 weddings so far with one more to go at the end of the month. I have loved going to each one and seeing how unique it is to the couple. I think that is what I love most about weddings. There aren't any that are exactly alike and every wedding is just perfect for that couple. It also allows you to get to know them better as a couple. After attending all these weddings, it has just made me so much more excited for our special day when we can share that moment with those closest to us. I hope the next 12 months go by fast because I can't wait to marry Brian and call him my husband.

Friday, July 31, 2009

To Look or Not to Look?

Look at me posting two days in a row. Woo hoo!

There has been a lot of discussion on the wedding sites/blogs that I read regarding "the first look". For those who don't stalk wedding blogs everyday and aren't hip on the lingo, "the first look" refers to the photo session some couples do with their photographers just an hour or so before the start of the ceremony. Usually it is just an intimate moment between the bride and groom that the photographers help set up. It can be done many different ways. One of the ways I've seen is where the groom will have his back to the direction of the bride. The bride will come up and tap the groom and let him know when he can turn around. As the groom turns around to see his beautiful bride for the first time, the photographers are right there to capture that special moment. It also allows the couple to share some time alone together before all the wedding events go down.
I have seen a few of these First Look sequences from photographers' blogs and friends' weddings. Those sequences just are filled with so much love and emotion. Almost always guaranteed to make my eyes tear up.

Links below are from Wedding Bee.

Mrs. Sushi's First Look

Wedding Bee Pro's Take On It

Mrs. Powder Puff's Wise Words Re: First Looks

Couples do the First Look for many reasons. For some they just want to have that moment together. Some think more logistically in that there might not be enough time in between the ceremony and reception to get all the shots they want including Bridal Party and family group pictures. Whether it be tradition or superstition, some couples opt not to do it and have the bride and groom see each other for the first time as she walks down the aisle.
Brian and I haven't discussed whether or not we'll do the First Look. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. Seeing as we're having such a small wedding, I'm not that worried about running out of time for pictures in between the ceremony and reception. I think the First Look would be a great opportunity for us to take some photos around Orcas and not just at the venue.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I've been MIA

I have been such a bad blogger lately. I can't believe our last post was over a month ago! Summer is such a busy time up here in Seattle. There is just so much always going on on the weekends. In fact, I think we've been busy every weekend since the Solstice. My only day "off" was when I was sick last weekend and stayed home on Saturday and had to back out of a few events I had planned for that day. Luckily it was one of those 24-48 hour bugs so I was able to rebound a little and make it to the Ballard Seafood Fest. If you love seafood, especially salmon, this is one festival you don't want to miss!
In regards to wedding planning. I have taken the approach of staggered planning. I'll do a little wedding planning and then take a few weeks off. Having a 17 month engagement allows us this luxury. Since I last blogged, we've had two big "checks" off our wedding to-do list.

We booked our photographer and our DJ! The wonderful Kristoffer Sabio (I just realized I don't know his DJ name) will be spinning some tunes to get us all dancing! I know he will do a great job. We found our photographers through Craigslist and I'm so excited about our find. They are such a nice couple and I know they will capture some lovely shots of our special day.
That's pretty much it on the wedding front - oh except that this record breaking heat is causing both Brian and me to have some crazy wedding related dreams.
I hope to try on more wedding dresses this month so maybe I'll have more to update and it'll be less than a month until my next post.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fremont Solstice Parade!

Saturday was nuts! Stephanie and I walked down the hill from our place to the Fremont Solstice Parade. This is the first year that we have attended as Stephanie was moving up to Seattle last year during the parade.

Waiting for the start of the parade

I waited at a spot in front of Roxy's Diner and saved a spot for Stephanie, as she waited nearly 40 minutes for them to prepare our egg on bagel breakfast sandwiches... (THE BOMB and totally worth the wait). There were so many people down there! We also lucked out and got to stand next to this insanely drunk guy that fell on me halfway through the parade, but he was nice other than that.

"Party Boy"

Before the actual parade starts, there is this group call the The Painted Cyclists, that bike the parade route. The Painted cyclists join in an artistic, non-political, clothing-optional bike ridecelebrating the spirit of the Summer Solstice. All I can say about it is wow...

These people are only wearing paint!



There were HUNDREDS of them. This went on for about 45 minutes before the actual parade starts.

There was this really funny older gentleman (I use this term very lightly) walking around and dancing for people.

Shaking what his mama gave him...

Once the actual parade started it was really cool. This kid from the crowd kept doing all of these flips right in front of us.

The whole parade is quite an event. Many different floats with numerous people involved in building. There had to be at least 25,000 people down there.

"Moments" from the Parade

Eat your heart out Liza!

Get your programs


The Elephant Revolution


A musical float

Stephanie wants a train like this for her wedding dress...

Cat in the Hat

Naked bikeguy Cat in the Cat

After the parade we went to get something to eat, walked around some more and found an odd car show...

This was dust on the back of the car that the artist painted after. Very cool!


Denture Car

Nice Teeth!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Productive Sunday

This past Sunday Samantha and I had a date to try on wedding dresses. We started the day by fueling for the task at hand by having brunch at Tilth in Wallingford. Tilth is an organic restaurant that I had been wanting to try and was near the bridal store. Samm and I each enjoyed our entrees (breakfast mac and cheese for her; croque monsieur with a fried egg for me), mimosas, and coffee. What was really cool was how the interior design matched our wedding colors.

Color Palette

It was nice to see that the colors did in fact work together in real life. You can see a photo of the interior of the restaurant in the photo gallery

After brunch we were still a little early for our 1:30 appointment so we stopped in at Paper Delights which was just across the street. It is a stationery store with a lot of cute greeting cards as well. I didn't really have too much time to go through their paper and cardstock but I did see one that matched the blue and green from our color palette. I think I have to make an appointment to go over their catalogs and get pricing.

Our next stop was "I Do Bridal" in Wallingford.

We arrived for our appointment and met with our dress consultant, Bridget. Bridget was awesome. She was very easy going and wasn't pushy. She made me feel real comfortable and made the process less intimidating. After putting our purses in the fitting room (man, no sneak attack camera phone pics!) she put us to work. She told us to start going through the racks of dresses and pick out any that might interest me. In the meantime she was also bringing dresses for me that I might like. Let me tell you, there are a LOT of ugly dresses out there. Some of them look like they got into a fight with the bedazzler and the bedazzler won. Sparkles are nice, but not when it seems like the dress is just a vehicle for sparkles.

After going through all the racks, I ended up with 10 dresses in the fitting room. Since I didn't really have a concrete idea of what style of dress I wanted I tried on different necklines, material, and silhouettes. Trying on dresses is an interesting process of finding out what works for your body type as well as your venue. I knew I didn't want anything too formal because Orcas Hotel has a casual vibe.

Since we weren't allowed to take pictures, Samm stepped up to the plate and took copious notes and sketched(!) the dresses I tried on. She wrote down all the terminology that Bridget was throwing at us. I'm so glad she did this because everything was starting to just blur together.

Samm's lovely sketches

After trying on all 10 dresses - some I disliked immediately and some I only liked certain elements - I did find one I liked. It is really simple and elegant. Bridget was right. I did surprise myself in regards to what dress I would like.
I'm glad I took everyone's advice and just tried on dresses. It gave me an idea of what I like in a dress and now I'm not as intimidated. I'm looking forward to trying on more dresses at different stores.

On our way out Samm and I even saw a potential MOH dress for her to wear. It matched the green from our color palette perfectly and it had pockets! We didn't have time for Samm to try it on so hopefully it looks just as cute on as it did on the mannequin.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Queen Creek Arizona FOOD Trip!

Last month, Stephanie and I went down to Arizona to spend some time with her parents. This was my first time meeting her stepmom Leni, and it was wonderful getting to know her and Stephanie's dad Arnell a little more. A weekend filled with so much delicious food, sun, talking, singing and dog petting!

We celebrated our recent engagement with a fabulous meal at Fleming's Steakhouse in Chandler. Stephanie had the bone in ribeye steak and the rest of us had filet mignon. The steaks were paired with a Pinot. So GOOD!


Leni tried to get a cute picture of us feeding eachother lava cake, but we had to get a few practice pictures in first...

Diving in...

It tastes so good on my lips...


These were a gift from Fleming's MMM...

We were very spoiled on this evening. Thank you so much for taking us out and celebrating Leni and Arnel!

What do you do after a night of fabulous food and drink? Sing! We stayed up and sang on the magic microphone until 2am (Steph and I stayed up a little later for some duets). Both Leni and Arnel are magic mic ALLSTARS. Leni got the high score of the night. I can't wait for a rematch...

Other treats from the weekend...

Fried Tilapia w/ mango salsa

Leche Flan (the mango salsa in the background went with the tilapia)

And my favorite dish...

Sinigang is a tamarind based meaty and vegetable filled soup dish that you eat with rice. It has a sour flavor that is so addicting. Stephanie first cooked it for me last year when she moved up to Seattle from L.A. and I have been in love with it and her ever since! I was very excited to try Leni's and was not disappointed. I could eat this all day everyday...

These Dogs (Starsky (in front) and Benji (Seated) Love to get there bellies rubbed. But hey, who doesnt?

Thank you again for having us. We are excited for Ohio and Thanksgiving in Vegas!

Coco Says "Hi"