Category Archives: Wedding

Post-Wedding Post-Honeymoon Post-Drama

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It’s been a while since I’ve made the time to sit down with my digital thoughts. Between working two jobs, planning our wedding, and honeymoon I tried to keep myself on schedule, and still make time for us to enjoy our lives. Which meant not being online, and hanging out with people, drinking, smoking, and most importantly living our lives together.

I’m not gonna lie, it was an emotional roller coaster dealing with family drama, and other people trying to impose their own definition of what our wedding meant to them. A lot of emotions come up; some that have been hidden for years, and others that you’re forced to answer because of the circumstances. I always knew our wedding wouldn’t make a few people happy for a million little reasons. I also knew that no matter what we would still be together whether or not the wedding happened according to our plans.

Turns out…everything was awesome! 😉

Our venue day-of contact, photographer, DJ, and our friends and family said it was a well oiled machine, and some even complimented us on how well organized all the decorations were kept. At one point, we were running ahead of schedule! That made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. One of my bridesmaids was so impressed she hired me to be her Day-Of Coordinator for her wedding at the end of October! AND my new Sister-in-Law would like my help planning her Baby Shower (free of course, for family)!!!

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One of my biggest fears was not being able to get back on my feet after the wedding and honeymoon. Now, I can’t even begin to say how excited I am to get back to work, start new adventures, and feel like I’m part of the world again. There were times when planning the wedding felt really isolating, and made it hard for people to relate (not everyone has to tackle a guest list and seating chart every week for over 2 months!). Luckily, I’ve had some practice from my previous line of work at a non-profit theatre company. I also had a few great friends and my Husband to thank for all their help and support over the last year and a half!

I just hope I can get back to hanging out with friends, playing board games, and eating burgers every week between all my new work. 🙂

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Epic Journey: Musical Chairs

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As any one who has had to plan a wedding of any size knows the first thing everyone freaks out about is the guest list. The cost, venue, or any other small number of things that can make you break out in hives. The guest list selection is one of the most humbling and nerve racking experiences every couple must face. It’s like a choice between cake or death* (see footnote).

When my fiance and I sat down and made a rough draft list it was daunting. We purposely had a long engagement so we could make a lot of decisions over time, and tried not to make snap decisions based on emotional knee jerk reactions. We both have large Catholic families…with lots of kids and other extended family. We had a hard time trying to figure out how to negotiate the scope of our list.

When we tell people how large our guest list is (only if they ask) their eyes get big. Then people begin to say, “Just elope!” Then we have to do a little dance and explanation of how that isn’t possible** (see below for short answer). Long answer: his family and our friends love to party and dance and they will make it feel like an awesome party. My personal reasons for not wanting, or ever imagining a large wedding, is due to my own family bringing drama to the table. Like our wedding favors, we had to adjust our settings every time we addressed the count of the guest list. Every few months the number and names changed, parents gave extended family members names, and we realized we left someone off the list by accident that we hadn’t seen in a while. Having a long engagement helped us deal with these small surprises over time.

Even after we made a final A and B guest list I had a few extra blank envelopes set aside just in case we had a few seats open up. Which they did, and not from friends or family we expected. Having a long engagement also opened up seats due to break-ups, travel arrangement issues for family and friends coming from out of town, and some life events in general. Sad to hear some are not able to attend, and happy I have the ability to strategically replace those empty seats with other people we love.

The dance of musical chairs has been an interesting aspect of wedding planning that I was afraid to tackle from the beginning. It was (literally) my worst nightmare. It is now over a year after our engagement and only two months away from the wedding. Planning and writing about this whole experience has been enlightening and an educational process. I would never wish this kind of societal torture on any of my friends, but maybe a few “frenemies.”

The latest development has been all the in-fighting happening in both our families. It’s gotten so dramatic we have a little over 3 tables worth of family, on both sides, who are requesting to be seated with their own group of people. To add to the complications I’ve also been instructed to seat them across the hall from each other for fear they will walk out and leave the reception. Drama.

I will say I am greatly disappointed to be given these types of requests and restrictions for what is suppose to be a day “about us,” and be made to feel like we’re the ones making it difficult for them to be able to attend in peace. You would think these “adults” would put their personal and petty feelings aside for one day to let us enjoy ourselves but I guess that was asking for too much.

*Eddie Izzard joke reference from Dressed to Kill

**Short Answer: His family and Mother would kill us.

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Don’t forget to watch me freak out on twitter and pretend I can accomplish all my Pinterests!

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Epic Journey: Wedding Favors Edition

One the cutest things we came up with for our upcoming wedding was our favor. For a while I didn’t like the idea of doing one because I’m cheap and lazy. I also didn’t want Jordan almonds anywhere near my wedding. Of course, upon hearing this my Mother was immediately annoyed and bewildered by my taste. Let me get back to my point…

The thing that gave me inspiration for our wedding theme was finding one thing to fall in love with: our wedding favor. Before I fell in love with the idea of planning our wedding I fell in love with our favor idea. The idea and inspiration came from a Save the Date I found on the website Offbeat Bride. It was then we decided on custom designed coffee mugs with a slightly altered design from our Save the Date. It sounded perfect.

Of course, all things planned around a wedding are never perfect. At first, I had an acquaintance from my old job who volunteered to help with creating the custom mugs. Then I left that job and the friendly acquaintance soon stopped communicating with me. I had actually assumed early on that this individual wasn’t going to come through on their promise and wasn’t too disappointed when they started to ignore my calls and emails. C’est la vie.

We continued to get estimates for this lovely idea and were disappointed to find out it was WAY outside of our original budget. Sad face. I continued to scour the Internet for other possible vendors that might be a little more within our price range. No dice. Second sad face.

I began browsing Pinterest for some more inspiration and less expensive alternatives. I then found this photo of coffee cups with pretty ribbon and stickers.

Paper Coffee Cup Idea of Inspiration

Paper Coffee Cup Idea of Inspiration

This became my awesome backup idea! Red ribbon and sleeves on small paper coffee cups with a sticker or our altered Save the Date image. Brilliant! Except, we can’t use lids because they’ll be filled with chocolate covered coffee/espresso beans…and the sleeves in the photo are really hard to find…or doesn’t exist…because the original link for the image doesn’t exist any more..DAMMIT!

Back to the drawing board, and the World Wide Web.

I spent a few exhaustive days rummaging through Google trying to find something that spoke to me. I was coming up short in the mugs arena, so I stuck with the paper coffee cups idea, but was looking for something different. Then I found something that was right up my sleeve (coffee pun)! I came across a website by the name of Custom Cup Sleeves and they were not only in our price range but they also had a gallery of other custom coffee sleeves they created for other weddings. It was a dream come true!

Test image of how our Wedding Favor will look on the small 8oz coffee cups. They're SO CUTE!

Test image of how our Wedding Favor will look on the small 8 oz coffee cups. They’re SO CUTE!

After ALL the months of changes and budgeting and stress it was finally coming together. Trying to decide on what our wedding favor was going to be was a struggle. However, it wasn’t any different from deciding on any other item for our wedding. Our expectations were lowered, our budget changed, we made accommodations and tried to moderate our reactions. It was a big lesson in flexibility.

Nothing is going to go smoothly or be perfect. There are other options out there. Yes, it’s not what you pictured in your head right after he proposed, (I’m speaking hypothetically of course, cause I had NO plans on a big wedding) but that isn’t what’s really important. What’s important is that you like it, and LOVE the idea of still getting married to whoever is standing in front of you on the Big Day. I’m really grateful we found something that goes with the paper/book theme, AND has something to do with how we met (at a coffee shop).

We still have a few things to iron out and a few more months to go. Lets hope there aren’t any more kinks to work out. 😉

Check our favors featured on OffbeatBride!

Check me out on Pinterest and Twitter for more crazy rants about my wedding.

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Epic Journey: 4 months and counting!

OMG.

As my lovely calendar keeps reminding me we have four months to go before the Big Day…and I am behind a few projects. Eeep!

I’ve been a little sick the past week, Bridal Shower preparations are underway, shopping for accessories, and trying to stay focused. Deep breaths. I’m working on a great post about our wedding favors, which are ADORABLE by the way. If the week goes well I should have it up by Friday. If not…I’ll definitely have it up by Monday, as usual. I also had a few friends over last night to help me out with a few wedding craft projects that I’ve been slacking off on doing myself. I try and try to plan craft nights and something always goes wrong, or conflicts arise and I end up not making the invite. I have found that by just talking to people about when they have free time and making a commitment right then and there has been far more effective in getting me off my ass to do stuff with friends, and wedding stuff.

My friends giving a helping hand with some decorations.

My friends giving a helping hand with some decorations.

I’m doing my best to stay motivated and not get too bogged down by the stresses of last-minute preparations. Writing about everything as it happens helps give me perspective, laugh in retrospect, and gives me something to look forward to. Writing, journals, and blogging have always been my form of therapy (cause regular therapy is expensive!). I’ve had a journal almost my whole life. My friends and I were on LiveJournal all the time. Okay, mostly I was on there all the time. I’ve made a lot of friends through online forums, chat rooms, and other online communities and it’s always been inspirational to see how many of them I’ve kept in touch with over the years. Even if I’m writing to myself it doesn’t make a difference to me. I write because I want to, not for others, and definitely not to get others to like me more. I’m a little abrasive for some. 😉

Hope everyone is having a great week. I’m gonna try get over this nasty cold that’s taken my voice and made me sound like a 60 year-old chain smoker! Oh, and go see the new Star Trek: Into Darkness movie! 😉

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Epic Journey: HAIR-ible Decision

I ran into some technical difficulties attempting to post this entry earlier this week. 😦 What I thought was a finished piece with no photos ended up not being saved. Technology fail. It took me a little extra time to get all the kinks worked out and show everyone all the awesome pictures of me…with crazy hair! Enjoy!! 😉

Long, long ago, in the land of East L.A. there was a girl who was constantly ridiculed about her hair. Her hair was thick, wavy, and had volume most women would kill for. It was the bane of my existence.

Evolution of Hair (Not the Musical)
In middle school my choir nickname was Puffy. Long before Puffy Daddy existed. Puff ball. Afro puff. There are more lovely nicknames I went by, but they’re mostly lame. I have an Uncle who was more like an older brother to me growing up, and he once drew a picture of me. With an afro. After swimming my hair looked a little flat, and then turned into a giant Chia Pet.

As a wee babe I had a lot of hair. In retrospect I look adorable!

As a wee babe I had a lot of hair. In retrospect I look adorable!

After years of trying to tame, tie down, and mangle my hair I tried one thing at the start of high school that I finally felt comfortable with: braids. Since my follicles were surprisingly thick and perfect for being twisted and tied in to over a hundred little braids. They were all done by my Mother, for FREE. Cause let’s face it, I’m a tomboy and I ain’t paying to get my hair did. I kept my hair braided all through high school, and even dyed some of them red. I loved not having to style my hair, or really do anything other then try to keep it out of my face. Even when I had short hair during my Junior year of High School, it was still braided.

Circa 1995 my hair in the early years of being braided. Check out my hip style and funny faces.

Circa 1995 my hair in the early years of being braided. Check out my hip style and funny faces.

Once I started college I felt I needed a look. A new me. Plus, I didn’t want to have to explain my parents are of Mexican heritage, and no, sadly I am not of mixed race. However, I did rock those braids for four years. Sadly, my lazy ass couldn’t be bothered with styling my hair so I revisited the pony-tail and felt annoyed at having to figure something out. It continued to grow, despite me tying it up all the time, and eventually my hair was long enough for me to rock a hairstyle dubbed “Punk Rock Leia” by some of my fellow college newspaper peeps. I wore a bandanna with two buns at the back of my head because I decided it was easier than styling it. It took me at least half an hour to do. Everyday. Hair style irony.

Circa 1999-2000 in my Punk Rock Leia phase of hair styles.

Circa 1999-2000 in my Punk Rock Leia phase of hair styles.

After my sophomore or junior year of college (I can’t remember which, I was probably stoned at the time) I finally had enough and decided to chop it off. My Mother, being the talented Barber that she is (she owns one of the two the Professional Barber Shop’s in East L.A. on Cesar E. Chavez) helped me chop off most of my hair, in our kitchen. We had a large basin sink in our kitchen which I used to rinse out my hair after having it cut short in to what I like to call a tomboy pixie (see definition for Lesbian haircut). I lifted my head back up and almost fell on my ass because I wasn’t accustomed to having this (literal) weight lifted from my neck and shoulders. I felt light as a feather and excited for my hair style adventures. Of course, history repeated itself and I began to get a lot of Lesbian jokes from my family and a few friends who weren’t too pleased by my dramatic shift in style. In their defense I did own a patch on my backup that had a pink and rainbow women’s symbol which I thought was a symbol of women empowerment at the time and coincidentally made everyone in college think I was a lesbian. Oh well.

My College Rebellion of purple hair, punk rock band t-shirt, coffee, and henna tattoos. While making a funny face.

My College Rebellion of purple hair, punk rock band t-shirt, coffee, and henna tattoos. While making a funny face.

I kept my hair short for quite some time and attempted at growing it out only to freak out and go running to my Mom to chop it all off again. The main reasons for keeping it so short are simple:

  1. No more heat rash.
  2. Less hair product to use.
  3. (Almost) No brushing needed.
  4. Don’t have to pay for expensive haircuts.
  5. I’m Lazy!

Obviously number 5 is a big factor. I still don’t own very much makeup or hair care products. I usually make an emergency run to the local drug store to buy beauty essentials if I have to attend a Wedding, Bridal Shower, or some other girl-centric event in my life. I still don’t feel 100% wearing dresses or skirts because I’m always afraid I’ll accidentally flash someone because I don’t sit like a lady should. I DO own a ton of shoes, cause I try to be comfortable when I’m on my feet all the time, even if it’s in heels.

When my fiance and I started dating I had been growing out my hair because I was, again, lazy and too poor to go get a haircut. I’ve since realized boys love longer hair. Know why? They love crazy after-sex bed hair! 😉 Which I can get behind, until it’s Summer. Then I have to go get an emergency haircut because the heat rash and sweaty neck are not sexy. Ever. Suffice it to say that my fiance was not as excited as I was when I showed up with short hair once the heat wave started.

College circa 2001 of me trying to study while a friend gets my attention and captures this amazing photo. This stare continues to put fear in many friends and family.

College circa 2001 of me trying to study while a friend gets my attention and captures this amazing photo. This stare continues to put fear in many friends and family.

Trying to figure out how I want to style my hair for the wedding is another BIG decision that I’m having trouble with, and it’s obviously due to my own hangups about my self-image tied to my hair. I’ve always admitted to friends over the years that I have a Love/Hate relationship with my hair. I love that I can easily style it into a Mohawk or braids because it has the volume to sustain crazy styles. I hate that I have to shampoo it 2-3 more times than everyone else to get rid of all the crappy hair product I have to use. Last Fall I begrudgingly started growing my hair out to help give me some perspective, and more options, on how I could style my hair for the Big Day. Every month I threw a giant fit about how much I hated growing out my hair because I didn’t like wearing it down, or I was having trouble getting my hair to cooperate that day. Eventually my fiance gave in and said, “Look, you can chop it off if you really want. I don’t care how you wear your hair for the wedding. Just know that I love your hair no matter how it looks.” Awwwww. Isn’t he the best?

Sticking my tongue out for the camera while I rock the blond short hair.

Sticking my tongue out for the camera while I rock the blond short hair.

Since then he’s shown me a lot of pixie cuts and other hair styles in magazines to encourage me to do what I want. He has always been loving and encouraging when it’s comes to me and my hair issues. At the end of the Big Day I know that how my hair looks will only matter when I look back at all the pictures, and I have to learn how to live and love my hair for what it is, and who I am. I’ve still been growing it out, and have started to wear it down, without a headband or hair clips. Which is…kind of a big deal, for me. And my hair. However, chances are good that it will be cut shorter for the Wedding because….SUMMER IS COMING and I ain’t gonna be dealing with heat rash. Ever.

A recent photo of me posing for the camera.

A recent photo of me posing for the camera.

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Epic Journey: Intermission

Sorry for the late posting today. I’ve run into a few projects that are taking up more of my time than I anticipated (true of ANY DIY wedding adventure). I’m trying to finish some things, start some things, and looking forward to non-wedding related socializing. 🙂

If you’re in absolute need of something to read or listen to on your lunch break hour head over to the Defective Geeks website and give them some love. Below is a picture of the project I’m trying to start/finish.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and I’ll be back on Monday with more juicy wedding details.

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Epic Journey: Social Media Fiasco

Oh the joys of social media interaction with family!! And the follies that come with it.

About a week ago my bridesmaids and I got together to design and organize the Bridal Shower invitations with the help of my talented fiance. After we hashed out all the details I spoke with my Maid of Honor about sending family and friends a quick note on Facebook so they can save the date for the shower. I put together three different group messages: one for my family, one for his family, and one to friends. I kept it simple, gave them all a link to the wedding website, and a sneak peek image of the invite. I finished it up on a Monday night and didn’t think anything of it.

A screen shot and cropped image of the Bridal Shower invite designed by my Fiance, Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid.

A screen shot and cropped image of the Bridal Shower invite designed by my Fiance, Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid.

The following morning was…a bit hectic. Apparently, one of my Aunts on my Father’s side of the family replied to the message and began to have (what she thought) was a private conversation with me about my Dad’s reservations about helping with the wedding…and child support…and other awkward stuff. For everyone to see. *face palm* Then another Aunt replied (all) and informed her of the mistake she had made. They both began to fumble and continued to talk to each other in the group message. By then quite a few of my relatives had seen the embarrassing mistake, a few cousins made a few jokes, they laughed, and I began to methodically delete some stuff. I removed the accidental message and added a note telling family that if they would like to ask me a question privately they are more than welcome to create a separate message and ask me questions. The Aunts apologized BUT continued to try to message each other…in the same group message…asking if either of them had “spoken” to me about the mistake. GAH! *second face palm* Finally, I politely asked the group to stop messaging each other in the group message with “Ladies….please stop replying to this message.” Luckily, this time they got the hint and stopped messaging everyone inadvertently. Another extended family member said it best: “The ‘real’ of families is what makes them special.”

The final word.

The worst part of this is that my Step-Mother (my Dad’s wife) witnessed the FB message and all the shenanigans. The best part was deciding to NOT include my Mother in any of the FB messages. I then started to laugh and realize why I hate using Facebook for general conversations with family most of the time. Obviously my family uses FB mostly on their smart phones…which they barely know how to use.

It’s also difficult to navigate the FB app when they change their settings every six months! Their latest update gave me this weird bubble image in the corner of my app when I first used it to send a message to a friend. It took my about half an hour to figure out how to remove the message bubble. Lame. Despite all the drama, everything else is moving along smoothly…mostly. Trying to (not) manage my Mom’s anxiety about the Bridal Shower, my Grandmother’s nervousness over her home being invaded by strangers, and juggling appointments with my Bridesmaids has been a BIG adventure in the last few weeks. I just keep taking a deep breath and trying to laugh about it all. What else is there to do? Laughter is the best medicine. 🙂

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Wedding Gag Gift | 100 Reasons to Panic About Getting Married | KNOCK KNOCK

How is this NOT awesome!?!

Wedding Gag Gift | 100 Reasons to Panic About Getting Married | KNOCK KNOCK.

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Epic Journey: Bridesmaid Dress Double-Take

Over a year ago, once all my bridesmaids were chosen, I made the decision to have the girls chose their own dress within our color palette for the wedding: red, black and white. Of course, the goal is to have them buy a dress they would like to own and possibly wear again, and make it easy on their own pocket books. I would hate to have to spend over $100 on a dress I think makes me look like a tulip or giant puff-ball. Salmon is the worst color for either of those situations, by the way.

They’ve had almost a year of research and window shopping under their belt and have just started to narrow down their choices for a dress. Then….stuff started to happen. My Maid of Honor made her selection, ordered the dress, and sent me pictures. It was awesome! Then a few weeks later one of my bridesmaids started to make her selection and sent me a link to the dress of her choice…It was very similar to my MOH’s dress. HI-larious. I couldn’t help but laugh. The three of us ended up in a long, and funny, text message conversation, which lead to emails being exchanged with pictures of both dresses, and all of us laughing, stressing, and coming to terms with the awkward situation.

The black Maid of Honor dress, and a red Bridesmaid dress.

The black Maid of Honor dress, and a red Bridesmaid dress.

I felt it was an ironic twist of fate that my MOH and one of my bridesmaids chose fairly similar dresses. They aren’t identical, and have different styles. The above picture shows each of their selections. The black lace dress is a little more formal, possibly longer, and has a short lace sleeve. The red dress is possibly shorter, sleeveless, and has a matching belt. I think they’re both amazing and adorable choices! I love them both. After our texting and emailing of photos and opinions back and forth I reassured them that both choices were perfect. Different and cute for each of them in their own way.

It was a fun afternoon chatting with them both about the whole thing; which is what made me happy to have chosen them both to be in the wedding and a part of my Epic Journey.

To good friends, and a good laugh. ❤

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Epic Journey: Bachlorette Conundrum

I’m stuck with a quandary that I can’t seem to shake.

When I started researching, buying books (yes, I still buy paper books), visiting venues,  and getting my head wrapped around this whole Epic Journey of planning our wedding I tried very hard to convince myself I didn’t need to do all the traditional wedding stuff to feel happy. We have made a few adjustments to a lot of our original ideas and as we get closer and closer to the Big Day I have one underlying feeling growing inside me.

A few months ago I attended my first birthday party at a Strip Club, with male strippers for the record. I have been to a female strip club in the past, but that story is for another time. I attended with a small group of friends, some new, some old, and got all gussied up for a night on the town and opportunity to tuck some dollar bills into a greasy guys thong. It. Was. Amazing. Mostly due to the strippers rubbing themselves all over my friends and steering clear of my nice clothes. I was busy taking pictures and used my iPhone as a shield against their greasy thrusts. It was hilarious. It was a nice lesson. A fun moment in time. I also appreciate the experience of attending an event such as this for someone else on their special and fun night. I now know I never want someone to get a stripper for my birthday, or any other event in my life. It’s a lot more fun to see it from the outside, watching it unfold before your very eyes…and laugh, and have fun with it.

Trying to stay under the radar after a stressful week of wedding shenanigans.

Trying to stay under the radar after a stressful week of wedding shenanigans.

I will admit, I’ve never been a bridesmaid, I haven’t been to many bridal showers, and only one bachelorette party in my life. I’m not quite sure what I want, or what to expect out of a party of this kind…for myself. If you’d asked me a few months ago I would have made simple requests: a spa weekend, a night of light drinking, combined with maybe watching crappy movies and lots of girl talk. However…the closer and closer it gets to the end of this Epic Journey the more I want to go all out and party like it’s my last day on earth. Maybe it’s the stress of planning the wedding. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to do much for my birthday this year. Maybe I’ve just lost my mind and I think drinking copious amounts of alcohol will bring my equilibrium back. Who knows. All I do know at this point is that I want to, no need to, get silly and drunk. Possibly double the amount of silly and drunk.

Am I the only person this has happened to? Am I losing my mind? I feel weird about the expectations for this kind of event, and instead am having a weird knee jerk reaction. I’m not sure if I’m excited, terrified, or ambivalent to the whole experience. At this point, I just wanna drink. A lot. While trying not to vomit on myself. And maybe not end up in jail for beating someone up. Just sayin’.

Maybe I need to try to do more everyday things, and try not to lose touch with my everyday life while this Epic Journey gets closer to consuming my life. Silver linings. Deep breath.

Photographic evidence that I'm trying to stay productive.

Photographic evidence that I’m trying to stay productive.

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