Friday, August 20, 2010

The Table "Numbers"

The big day has come and gone, but I am going to work my way up to it, as I was wonderfully overwhelmed.

Today we talk about the table numbers and escort cards. Instead of numbers, I, of course, wanted something a little different. Fitting the theme, I decided to split the tables between roses (mostly my side) and oranges (mostly his side).

I trolled the interwebs for gorgeous roses whose names would correlate to those guests I had at the table. The orange variations were limited, though, so I couldn't make those too personalized.

Now I have a bit of an advantage in that I have access to high quality printing and graphic artists I could bend to my will, but this could be done on a decent color printer as well.

Above you see the escort cards with guest names and pictures of roses or oranges. I ended up putting the rose/orange name on the card too. I wanted people to have to search for tables with only the picture to guide them originally. Why? Perhaps I have a cruel streak.

At the last minute I realized no tiny table number holders were given by the caterer like I thought (or should I say my lovely setup crew realized). But all was well! There are larger concerns in the grand scheme of things. And they still looked quite pretty leaning against the centerpieces.

This rose table was where my siblings and a younger crowd sat. Teasing Georgia was homage to my new little niece Georgia.

Other rose pairings were "Wild Rose" naturally for the children's table, "Carnation Rose" for a table of Gamma Phis, A "White Cathedral Rose" for a Sigma Chi table (their flower is the white rose), "Dolce Vita" rose for Italian side of the family, "Evelyn Rose" for where Uncle Mike and Aunt Evelyne sat with their family, "Bridal Pink" rose for my parent's table, "Grace Rose" for some lovely friends from Calvary, "Irish Fireflame Rose" for Irish folk, "Ebb Tide Rose" for a surfing family, "Fellowship Rose" for good friends and "Golden Wedding" rose for some bridesmaids, including the golden-haired blonterouge.

It's these kinds of details that keeps a girl up at night. (By the way, Chaz and I sat at our sweetheart table with the "Eden Rose" card.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Guestbook

Since the wedding is so close (Sunday!) I was asked to re-post where I am registered. Chaz and I have our little wishlists at:

Now onto the crux of the post!

So, the wedding is coming fast and I am poring over all the little detail elements. For starters we have:

  • The Guestbook
  • The Garter
  • The Favors
  • The Table "numbers"
  • The Escort Cards
  • The Program
I intend to do some backward looking blog posts on other aspects. I want the wedding to have some element of surprise. So even though I'll be hitched you won't be rid of me that easily, interwebs!

Originally, I wanted to have those guestbooks where you do one at each table and have people answer questions about the couple, like "Where should they go on their honeymoon?". However, the tables have enough going on.
Then I considered this great idea Rebs gave me. A pretty tree outline in a book and people add their fingerprints marked with their names as leaves. I thought adding some little oranges in the foliage would be sweet too. Or maybe my side of the family would make a big rose, with their finger prints as petals. This may all still be feasible, but it will be in addition to a traditional guestbook.
Another thought was to have old books with fancy bindings at each table, swiped from Friends of the Library. The books would be whited-out somehow, maybe new pages glued on with the text making a pretty border. Those could sit at each table and serve as fancy looking guestbooks too.

Bottom line, I had to do this all in 4 months, sans coordinator and watching my budget. You start asking what can I really do?

I'm going to try and combine two ideas by having one stationary guestbook, each page with a new question. So they sign their names and leave a thoughtful answer. I have oodles of colored pens leftover from invite addressing. Methinks this might do the job.

I have the guest book. One thing off the To Do List. I'm rather proud of how it complements the wedding scheme.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Rehearsal and Bachelorette

Ah, dear blog, it has been far too long.

For a quick recap, I had the rehearsal last Sunday. We were on location and then went to El Torito Grill for the dinner. Taco bar was great, as was the flan. I was stoked. It might have been even better if I wasn't suffering from the gnarliest stomach-ache ever. At occasions like these, 'tis best to suffer in silence.
It was nice to see my location again and be reminded of how lovely it is. I did notice however I am being married rather close to Nixon's grave. I missed the memo he is buried there. How many people do you know that had a president attend their wedding? Add 1 to that list.
Be prepared for a little grass and slightly uneven terrain, dear guest. It won't last for long. After that, it is air condition, stone and wood.

I brought schedules to the rehearsal for everyone, giving a breakdown of what to bring and who has to be where and when. I even made a last minute diagram of where everyone stands on the day of.

I am a bit proud of myself for being organized. I doubt everyone will hold onto their schedule, so I'll email blast it again.

The day before the rehearsal dinner was my bachelorette party. I didn't know what to expect. I'm a rather tame girl and didn't think the standard going out and getting sloshed would work. My sister managed a very nice party! We had the obligatory party crowns, "Girl's Night Out" banner, and my "Bride-to-Be" rhinestone shirt. I was ready for a shindig.

Rebel arranged for us to get a 21-footer (maybe bigger) Duffy boat that we could cruise around Balboa bay. They just give you the keys and a deadline to return the boat. It's great, but only concern to get the host's ID and credit card back keep you tethered to the area. We could have been free women, or a much prettier Gilligan's Island.
We sat on the boat and gnoshed on all the delicious snacks Rebs provided (strawberries, hummus, pita chips, veggies, fancy cheeses, Pirate Booty, etc) and imbibed girly drinks. Cassandra brought homemade guacamole and salsa, most impressive. I also opened my gifts on the boat which ranged from the lacy to the illicit and handed out what Bridesmaid's gifts Macy's managed to ship me:

For the Ladies to wear the day of, and well the ring, just because
it screamed Rebs to me. For the first time in my life, I couldn't get a picture of something off the internet. So the ring shown isn't exactly hers, but pretty close. (I like hers better).

After the little boat outing, with Jessica Sisco at the helm, we drove to one of my favorites: Muldoons. Where I feasted on soda bread and Gaelic chicken, and the other had foofy martinis or beer with their meals. I took it as a good omen that the table had orange colored roses in little vases on it. (Thus combining my wedding themes.) The band even gave me a shout out. All in all a pretty good evening.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Muñoz/ De Naranjo Shower

Last Sunday I attended a shower thrown for me by Chaz's Mom and his Aunt Mona, her sister. It was very sweet. There were lovely sandwiches, salad, lots of things dipped in chocolate, a *beautiful* fondant cake and pretty punches.

The patio was decorated in my wedding colors and had tissue flowers and spray roses on the
table. It was nice to actually see all the colors together! Thus far the color combos have only been in my head and the occasional collage. It was nice to see them in person.

We played a few bridal shower games, one of which was fun, but I was dreadful at. The game is everyone buys me a pair of undies that reflects their personality, and I am supposed to guess who got them for me. I got 2 right, one of which was my sister and the other was helped by process of elimination. I would often strike within families though, guessing the daughter when it was the mother or vice-versa. I find some consolation in that ;-)

Anyhoo, I have been "showered" twice over, and it's been good fun!

The Purse

I finally got my pop of color for my outfit in a bag I saw and just couldn't refuse, and I don't say that lightly. I can refuse a lot of things (clothes, advances, potato chips). Very rarely does the "MUST BUY" urge come over me. But I saw this bag and said to my self:

"Self, you must have this bag. It is a fabulous color, good size and a giant rose."

And I figure, who am I to argue with fate and my ever wise inner monologue? Another tidbit, I go back to snag a picture of it from the Nordies site, and guess what? All gone. I snatched one of the last ones Nordstroms had in that color.

Without much more ado, behold, the bag!

SQUEEEEE!!! Couldn't you just die?!... Or at least be really excited?

Now I have a place to stash gum, a tiny deodorant, lipstick, a mirror, a switchblade, safety pins, coverup, bandaids, aspirin, etc. For now, all is well in the world.

Thursday, July 8, 2010!

Believe it or no, the hunt for the perfect shoe has been long and arduous. At first I wanted something that would be a pop of color when you spotted them under the petticoat. I went mad looking for shoes in the wedding colors. Then I realized, I'm standing all day, I want some comfy kicks. Also, Chaz must look as tall as possible. Hence, the decision to look at flats.

Then Mumsy came along and said, well why not a heel? He'll still be taller than you. I pondered this and widened the net.

After, no lie, 7 plus shoes delivered to me via Nordstroms online and at least 4 outings to the mall, I have settled on these. They work, they're cute, fairly comfy and I don't think I can handle another sole-crushing trip to the shoe department.

Ta da! The great dilemma has been solved so I can finally hem my dress. Or so I thought. I am now reconsidering under-stuffs, as the previous set made me look a little too tartish. So now I wait for Nordstroms to ship me a new corset-thingy, and then, I pray, the dress can begin the alteration process. The tailor asked for a month to do it in, he's getting maybe 3 weeks. Here's hoping. Worse case scenario, the hem drags a little and I find a creative way to bustle the train.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Adventures in Weddingland!

A picture is worth a thousand words! So here are a handful of my beautiful Alice in Wonderland themed shower. My Mom, Rebel, Bridget, Britt, Yvonne, Janae, Jessica and Chelsea were an amazing team that carried out my ideas and flourished them. They went above and beyond. :-)

Guests had little cards telling them what order to visit each table. Thanks to some computer genius friends, I was able to get a program that accomplished what I was trying to do manually. Everyone got to visit all the different tables and meet (mostly) all new people each round.

The tables and hostesses, were as follows:

The Alice Table : Me! (featuring Tea Sandwiches, water with orange slices, and "Eat Me" sugar cookies) I opened the guests presents here.
The Red Queen: Julie, my Mom (Red Velvet Cupcakes, red and milk Chocolates in heart and crown shapes, marshmellows dipped in red chocolate, etc)

The White Queen: Rebel, my sister and Maid of Honor (scones, cheesebread, merengues, white popcorn, all kinds of stuff!)

The Mad Hatter: Britt, my sister-in-law and bridesmaid (fun punches, teas and drinks with mini un-birthday cakes and candy)

The Rabbit Room: Chelsea, bridesmaid (fruits, veggies, dips, hot teas, and scones with dried fruit in them)

The Caterpillar Corner: Jessica (two different kinds of fancy salads)

The Cheshire Lounge: People just relaxed here for a breather

It was great fun! I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Breather

I'm getting to the point where some wedding things are slowing down. Not because they're coming to an end, but because I'm waiting on other parties and forces to get going again. It's like the "click-click" moments of a roller-coaster when you're being pulled up hill. Something is going to happen, but everything needs to gather new momentum first.

The showers are in capable hands, I've made the payment deadlines with the big players to secure their services: photographer, caterer, location, etc., and the invitations just have a few more things to go. I think I will hand address the invites with Chaz, he has much nicer handwriting than I do. Maybe get a fancy metallic pen.

I'm hardwired to be a little anxious when things slow down. I almost don't trust the feeling. My head tells me I've certainly I've left a flat-iron on somewhere that needs to be turned off, or something is undone.

My engagement is so short I have to enjoy these things. I'm only a fiancee for so long. And really, the wedding is what? Five hours? That's it and then it's over. Having a honeymoon right after is wise, my wheels will be spinning too much to immerse into normal life again.

Right now, the only imperative I can think of is picking out my wedding shoes. I'm looking for a pair of fancy flats in a wedding color, suggestions are welcome.

Deep breath, life is good and beautiful.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Invites Pt 2

(An incomplete draft. Ignore the pink post-it on the bottom behind the envelope)

After much labor, designing, drafts, paper shopping and ink mixing, I'm getting closer to having actual invites out. Because my father does direct mail, the invitations are a bit of a showcase. I have done my best to make his modern, perfectionists attempts into a garish celebration of all that is Heatherly. I've truly outdone myself this time. ;-)

Follow me on a little, scratch that, long- Lord of the Rings- status, journey called "Making Custom Invitations".

  • Step 1: Ponder designs and wedding colors. Think about having a heart shaped invite and envelope.
  • Step 2: Re-ponder designs after looking at more pictures online. Decide you want a antique bookplate feel.
  • Step 3: Go through over 50 paper sample books in father's office. Grow cranky when asked to look at more.
  • Step 4: Pick out paper. (In this case, Francis Orr provided a company where I picked out the bones of the invite because I couldn't find any colors I liked in our sample books.) I was presented with a bajillion swatches and went from there, mixing, matching and figuring which paper would comprise each piece of the invite-extravaganza.
  • Step 5: Write the verbage!

There is a lot more to this than one would think. An invite not only gives the gory details of the wedding, but it is also a tiny advertisement for who is really paying for the shindig. I think that's more than fair. If you don't contribute significantly, or aren't the ones getting hitched, your name isn't on the invite.

Also there's an order to things. Turns out, I don't request "the honor of your presence" unless the ceremony is in a church. Otherwise it's "the pleasure of your company". Also it's Heatherly Rose to Chaz-Eric Denaranjo. "And" is straight out and "with" is only for Jewish ceremonies (La chaim!). Dress code is to be on the bottom right of the card, if relevant. (Turns out "white tie" is infinitely fancier than "black tie").

  • Step 6: Design!

This is the fun part. Well fun when I wasn't frustrated by my lack of clarity. The graphic artistof our company had me look at vector art stock, which is basically drawing stock as opposed to photos. I could pick out pieces and then have her edit them to my heart's delight.

In a stroke of genius (or vanity) I had her make silhouettes of Chaz and I in profile from photos. I had done a version of Chaz myself with just photo-bucket to test out the theory. turns out this is a pretty popular motif at weddings lately. I think it's charming, so I'm all for it. If it's good enough for the Victorian era, it's good enough for me.

So we have vector stock, our silhouettes, a graphic artist and me over-seeing the whole thing. At first, you have designer's zeal and a burning vision. Everything will be perfect. After 20+ hours (literally) thinking about it and 5 drafts, you get to a "yeah, yeah, great just stick it on there" mindset. I think I only lost the vision for the flourishes around my address. Something tells me the design will survive.

  • Step 7: The Printing Process

Printing is a serious and complicated business. If you want the ultimate in swank, it's all
about letterpress.

Letterpress is a form of printing where you make a metal stamp or "die" with wood backing of your text and images. Each color requires a different die. Using a massive machine, ink is literally pressed into the paper giving an elegant "debossing" effect. If you're really posh in the printing world (and I am! ;-) ) you press it once, let it dry, then press it again for an even deeper imprint.

Foiling is another foofy effect that can be done. This stuff that looks like shiny wrapping
paper is heated to kinda melt onto the paper in the design you want. This creates an "ooo shiny" image. The dies for these are all metal.

So first you have the design, then you have a company make dies from them, then you send these dies to the guys with the letterpress and foiling machines with all your paper. You pick out ink and foil colors and, voici! Custom invites.

Now I just have to assemble the pieces, address and stamp them all.... They're a work in progress, but I hope this little printing lesson taught you something. Or at least explains my few days tardiness ;-)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Registry!

Everything has gone digital it seems. Even Registries! So if you are curious as to what Chaz and I are populating our future nest with, please visit this site:

Registry360 - View My Registry

(This site can be a little squirrelly. It doesn't always include everything you've registered for and pay no mind to the styleboards.)

Officially, we are registered at:

A Little Illustration of Preferences!

And in the Kitchen!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Bridal Shower

This whole wedding thing is happening a lot faster than I imagined. A short engagement has its plusses and minuses. Right now I am stunned that it is almost time for my shower. It's staggering when you think that you only get one. One in your whole life. If I overthink it, I get a little dazed.

The other day I was staying at my parent's house and my mom came into my bedroom in the early morning to get Bon-Bon. She found me just laying in bed, staring open-eyed at the wall. The dialogue went a little like this:

Mom: "Oh!... Are you thinking about wedding stuff?"

Me: "Yes."

Mom: "How long have you been awake?"

Me: "An hour."

The latest thing to ponder has been my bridal shower! Exciting stuff. In my usual fervor for themed parties, I have asked for a tea party luncheon for the shower hosted by my side of the family. No ordinary tea, though, a Mad Tea Party. The trick with a theme like this is to not just feature movie memorabilia or commercial versions of it. My motto is decorate as if you are the

What I mean by this is don't have a picture of a notable Disney Alice serve as decor, easy as it may be. Instead implement looking glasses, tea cups, pocket watches, artful topiary's, etc. As the guest, you are in the place as opposed to looking at a version thereof.

I think I just want an excuse to make myself sick with those little cucumber sandwiches and scones. That and I have a modest teacup collection, the world will see and enjoy them if it kills me.

Also, I have a crazy (mad even?) idea to make everyone mingle. Each course is at a themed table with a stationary hostess and new kind of tea. Everyone starts at a different table/course, so you might eat dessert or finger sandwiches first. Guests are obligated to rotate tables/courses every 10 mins or so, meeting new people and eating new food.
What this idea has taught me is math is really hard. When you want people to not sit together more than once AND not be at the same table, things get confoosing. Chaz tried mapping it out with a long equation of double unknown variables, while I did the infinitely harder task of pondering sandwich filling.

After the party (June 27th) I will hopefully have oodles of pictures to share.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Feeling "Crafty"

To save some dough and appease my control freak ways, I have opted to do and plan a lot of the wedding myself. I'm at a place in my life where I have both the will and the time to plan this little gala.

Let me say, I love this stuff: decorating, planning, drafting a look. Believe it or not, after a stint as MVP in my sorority, I feel adequately prepared. Being in charge of recruitment entailed decorating a house, picking attire, training 80+ girls, delegating, throwing a "mini wedding" for pref night, and a host of other things. For just pref night, I designed centerpieces, wall hangings, plating of desserts, mantel decor, etc. It was so much fun even when it was overwhelming. You
learn how far you will go for the perfect silk carnation and the wonders of velcro. I couldn't have done it without my A-Team of helpful alums, day chairs and my lovely Pres Heather. So I mean it when I say I feel ok when taking on my own bridal shindig, especially when I still have people willing to help out.

As part of my DIY trend, I'm making my own boutonnieres and wrist corsages for the bridesmaids. Mommy and I have made a handful of the main elements, pictured above and to the right. I
also intend on making "reception flags" via Martha Stewart.

These will be fun for the bridal party (or whoever) to wave and keep everyone updated. I may make one that says "kiss" because waving that will be a lot less potentially destructive than the traditional tapping on the crystal glasses.

Also there is the matter of decorating the tree where I want to get married and the aisles. While I don't care for paper lanterns (everyone and their mother has them) I do like some of the creative twists on them pictured below. I wonder how long it will take to hang them? I only have so much time to do all this and a rather limited pool of helpers. I've recruited two sorority sisters Connie and Lindsay and my family friend Yvonne is being immensely helpful making centerpieces and such. I don't doubt my mom and my bridal retinue will help too. This is the benefit of having 7 bridesmaids, odds are better that someone will rise to the occasion ;-)

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Invitations

After being stuck in a parking garage for 45 minutes with nothing but a bridal magazine and my thoughts, I think I have a clearer vision of the vibe I want for my wedding. I'm returning to my original conceptions but keeping the dashes of what I've picked up since the wee hours of my bridal brainstorming.

The next big task on my plate is the invitations. I need to get them designed, printed and mailed, stat. I want them to look like an old fashioned bookplate with a male and female silhouette.

The invites also are a prelude to the wedding's color scheme, so I want to bring in raspberry, persimmon and pinky coral elements. Thus far the aesthetic vision is Pride and Prejudice meets a whimsical garden of orange blossoms and roses. Not the most succinct tagline, but it fits.

There is also the challenge of fitting everything in the invitation. Who, what, where, when and I want to ask guests to wear some aspect of the wedding colors if possible. Perhaps in a tie or dress shirt for the men. The women have a dozen ways to incorporate it. How lovely would it be to look out at a sea of candy colors.

I'm also pondering custom made stamps. What says "Maiwage" more than smarmy photos of Chaz and I? There are various websites for this, the most legit seems to be here.

Additionally, I am told I can get a good deal on Carlson Craft invitations through a printer my Dad works with. Maybe I can find a fairly plain one and have my design printed on them? I've been browsing the designs, and plan on ordering at least some fancy envelopes. I love it when they have color inside, it reminds me of this cereal from back in the day. It had a yellow pseudo wheat color on the outside and inside a pop of bright frosting that was certainly not a color found in nature. Needless to say, it was delicious.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Lights! Camera! Wedding!

A wedding is a bit of a production. There are costumes, sets, props, directors, producers and a cast of characters. A familiar plot runs through it and the boy (almost always) gets the girl.

I intend to make a bit of fun by turning my wedding program into a script of sorts. Not a micro-managed you-say-this-now, sort of thing, but a whimsical guide to help everyone get involved. Think of the possible structure and tropes I could use.

I could start with the prelude of how boy met girl, and set the scene thus far. Imagine it something like this:

Bride Enters Downstage
(Theme Music: "Liz on Top of the World" Plays)

Guests: "Oooh, Aaaaw"

Bride Joins Ecstatic Groom

Brother: "Let's have a moment to pray..."

Godfather: "A reading from..."

Officiant: "MAIWWAGE, maiwwage is what bwings us togeder today. When wuv, twue wuv..."


~ Cast ~

Brother: Played by Sean Coyne. Previous projects include starring roles in "Surfers at San-O",
"I Just Had a Baby", and "Street Carnage"

Officiant: Josh Sisco in his debut role. A friend of the couple and cousin to sister-in-law. Before the wedding, Josh plied his talents as a youth pastor.


A little cheese, but see what I mean? I think it's fun for everyone to feel a part of and be familiar with who is who. What I dread about weddings is either being bored to tears or feeling completely isolated because I know nothing about most the people around me. (That and the marathon ceremony, by the time they bring out the unity candle I want to kill someone. This is also due to the fact I usually haven't eaten yet.) Maybe a little guidebook with some light reading and an acknowledgment of your role in the wedding would help bring a sense of participation.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Photos

(Photo credit to Stephanie Tracy)

Okay, I fibbed. I said this post would be about wedding schedules and day of coordinators, but what's really been on my mind lately is photographers.

I've scoured the net, looking at photos from makeup artists sites, knot reviews, venue recommendations, etc. To be honest the makeup sites were the best resource. They often have a gallery of past faces they've done and usually credit the photographer. With venues I never know if the venue is getting a kickback or a favor for recommending the vendor.

So, here's my approach to wedding photographers.

1. Look at their website

2. Ask for pricing and availability

3. If a larger company, ask who will be your photographer on the day

4. Ask said photographer (and assistant if applicable) for a complete wedding album they have done. You don't want to judge them from their "best of" highlights. I prefer if they have a wedding they shot at my location so I can see how they approached the venue.

5. Read lots of customer reviews from more than one site. Business are not above having friends rate them highly or offering a discount for a review.

6. Meet with your photographer in person. They will be around all day and you will be spending lots of time with them. If they're annoying, attention stealers, tortured artists or plan to treat your wedding like an avant garde project, you want to know before you make a booking.

There, my recipe for picking a photographer. Thus far I have mine narrowed down to a few people.

1. Stephanie Tracy at Portray Life: Wedding 1, Wedding 2 and Wedding 3.

2. Shawn Kloster: His Photo Blog

3. Lori and Keith Anderson. A website collage. They did my free engagment shoot and *update* I have all the charming pics from it. I'm looking forward to sharing a few.

4. Memories by Michael: A Nixon Library Wedding

I'm not going to mention pricing or goodies, but purely on visuals who do you guys like best? Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, May 3, 2010



If you know me at all, you know I'm a bit of a nerd, and the queen of random facts. Before Wikipedia this talent was a lot more impressive, and before the internet, I was a marvel. I'm still a decent source for word etymology and "why do they do that?" inquiries. So in true Heatherly fashion, I bring you today's post of interesting wedding traditions.

Why Brides Carry Bouquets

For the same reason we have them at funerals: to fight the stink. Or as Nacho would say, "They are eh stinkeh."
Back in the day, people didn't bathe all that much. Cram them in a little space for a long, sweat inducing ceremony with layers of clothes and the wedding party's ripeness can overwhelm their loveliness. Solution: include some nice smelling flowers to mask it.
I also would wager that some cultures had them for the fertility symbolism that flowers represent, but this is more speculation.

Why the Groomsman Stand Where They Do

It seems that the secret Vegas run wedding isn't a new tradition. Save when you ran off with a lady in days of yore, there were consequences. Some weddings included such dialogue as:

"I challenge you to a duel for that lady!"

"What ho, knave! She is mine."

"Nay I say! You absconded her and I will not let her be taken!"

"Then prepared to be run through by my best man while yon priest finishes my hasty nuptials!"

[Best man draws sword and proceeds to defend groom]

Hence the groomsmen stand on a side where it is easier to draw a sword from their left hip and begin to battle for their mate's right to keep the lady. Talk about wingmen.

Why Brides Throw the Bouquet and Garter

A bride's clothes and bouquet were considered good luck, so after a wedding people would be eager to tear off a piece of the bride's outfit. To distract the dress-mongers, the brides began throwing bouquets and garters. The luck seeking guests would now have something else to gather without taking the bride's gown apart.

For the record, if anyone tries to tear a piece of my gown off after the ceremony, I will distract them with a punch to the face instead of a group of posies or lace.

Why We Have Honeymoons

Much like our duel situation, sometimes the bride's family and friends weren't real big on the marriage. After couples married in secret, the bride would be absconded for a month (a moon) to a hidden location. The honey part might be from the tradition of drinking honeyed mead during this time to celebrate and increase fertility.

Why We Wear the Ring on the 4th Left Finger

This one has a little more debate. The explanation I like best is Ancient Egyptians believed this finger/vein was the one that ran directly to the heart.


Well, that's all I have thus far, but I hope you enjoyed today's little history lesson. Especially you, Kappa Katie, my homegirl who has been reading my blog religiously. And Kaitlynn, the only soul who comments and makes me feel special.

If you feel you deserve a shout out for being a devotee, let me know why ;) .

Next entry is going to be about my day of planners and schedules, so stay tuned.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Flowers

"Fame is the scentless sunflower,
with gaudy crown of gold;
but friendship is the breathing rose,
with sweets in every fold."

-- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

(Father of the illustrious judge and a known poet)

When it comes to weddings, little else make me giddy like flowers (save maybe dresses). Due to a rather organic name change as a little kid, I got to choose my middle name. While wandering Roger's Gardens, it dawned on me. Why not my favorite flower: the Rose.

Hence today we have, Heatherly Rose. Together my first and middle name mean "a field of heather and roses". I don't care if their soil and climate is incompatible, they're in a field and it's awesome. Taking on Chaz's name "DeNaranjo", of the oranges, makes the field a bit more crowded, but all the more fragrant. So what flower and fruit I'm going to favor in my decor will be no surprise. (Hint: it's not daisies).

I also have a love for peonies. Candy colored, full petaled, sweet and en vogue all at once. They remind me of a fluffy petticoat. With this and my scrumptious color palette in mind, I have been fixated on wedding flowers lately.

I have ideas for the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets, drawing from an old centerpiece I did where I put in feathers for filler. I made a little photo collage (surprise, surprise) of ones I liked. I'm sorely tempted to have corsages instead of bouquets, because you put the bouquet down anyway.

As for tables, my approach thus far is to treat each table uniquely. The room is my garden and each plot will be a little different. I want people to want to look around to move through the room a bit. Different arrangements might encourage ladies to do so.

So here we have centerpiece brainstorming: illustrated.

I love the goldfish here, but I can only thing of them dying mid ceremony. Floating lifelessly and milky-eyed instead of swimming about happily. I appreciate the lesson in life and death they offer, but my wedding isn't the place for it.
Worse yet, what if five beers in, swallowing a goldfish seems like the BEST DARE EVER or if the kids "want to pet it" ?

This illustrates one idea I had to copy the style of one of my favorite art styles: flemish vanitas. However, vanitas tend to have skulls and hourglasses with the flowers to show the brevity of life and its riches. Once again, I appreciate the lesson but may save that for a different party. Anyhoo, note the loose elegance of some of the arrangements. I love that. Like they were gathered by a genteel woman from her garden and thrown together.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Bridesmaid's Dresses

I am trying to post this from my phone. It has been an exercise in fine motor skills, patience and knowing the limits of my technological savy. Nonetheless, lack of a computer will not hold me back!


Ok, I continue this later. Evidently lack of a laptop, did hold me back. I couldn't get the text right and the photo couldn't be cropped to a manageable size. Plus, I had to go to church, so immediate bathing was required (it is Sunday after all) putting my blog post on hold.

This is a shot of one of my lovely bridesmaids (Chelsea) after a whirlwind session of trying on styles and colors. I tried to get something most of them would like and would complement their figures. Post wedding wearability was also a consideration. Better yet, it has pockets!

It was fun, Rebel, Cassandra and Chelsea were my little barbies as I threw stuff at them. They were all helpful and I am glad they got a say in things. It's silly to completely ignore ladies you are professing a special affection for when deciding how they will be displayed. If I liked it and they didn't or it would fit one but not the other, it was out.

Having said that I won't please everyone but if I get 5 or 6 out of seven unique girls, I think I should get some kudos.

At the end of the outing, we all had coffee and brainstormed. I was flattered when they said they admired my speed and decisiveness thus far. I'm pushing it a little time wise, no need to agonize over stuff. I figure the differences would be slight even if I had oodles of time. My time in the sorority as MVP was a perfect training ground for this.

All in all, this wedding stuff is fun!

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Colors

After much consideration and image browsing, I have decided on colors: persimmon, raspberry, coral, pink and orange with a touch of gold.

I love the exuberance and edible quality of the shades. Perfect for a hot summer wedding. Also, this is a nod to my middle name (Rose) and my new one (DeNaranjo = of the oranges).

I made the photo collage below (all by myself!) to show what I mean. Enjoy!

The Cake

My Cake In A Perfect World

As much as I love my Aliens/ Geiger style cake, something tells me the guests may be a little confused. You can't have crazy Uncle Charlie taking a swing at your cake with the misguided belief he has just saved the wedding party from alien impregnation.

Originally, I didn't want cake. I don't like cake, never have. I wanted pie or a cobbler bar or truffles. However when I expressed this to my father he gave me that look. The one people give when you've had way too many lattes and are on a crazy binge, saying almost believable things like: "I'm going to get a motorcycle/ take trapeze classes/ sell cupcakes for a living/ live in a yurt..."
The look is a theatric display of shock, amusement, doubt and dismay. My Uncle Mike nodded with my father as he explained he was paying for it and I was getting a big, fancy cake. Since I don't plan on having much booze, people will be expecting a significant dessert and like Marie said people want cake. When they didn't get it under Marie, heads started rolling.

Swayed by this logic, I have begun the hunt with a pair of twins from grade/high school who are living the dream as bakers. I'm going to set up an appt. soonish and bring Chaz and Mummy along. It's one thing I think the groom will be bummed to miss.

On a different note, I met with Lindsay from Gamma Phi Beta yesterday night. She has given
me some bridal loot (the magazines I have already devoured). Which brings me to the conclusion, I love this whole being engaged thing. People are helpful and old friends you miss have a reason to pop their heads into your life. So keep it coming.

Since I can't afford to invite everyone I am fond of, I am tempted to have a Gamma Phi only shower to celebrate my nuptials. More of a get-together than a bring me presents and bask in my awesomeness sort of thing. Meet at the beach here in Corona Del Mar, wear our letters, have a bonfire, make some s'mores, tell each other how good we look, etc. How's that sound ladies?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Dress

Looking in the mirror, after they put on the veil, you realize it's actually happening. And you have become the archetype of bride.

When the first dress went on it was surreal. I started getting flushed and nervous as I stood on the pedestal. My mom thought I looked beautiful in everything. For a rare hour or so, I got to feel all the lovely implications of the role.

Cloud like, cake like, marzipan, organza, satin, tulle, trains and silhouettes. All in white and ivory.
For me the iconic color means something. I've earned the dress and I'm going to be shameless in my enjoyment thereof.

All that to say, it's done. I have the dress, but I am keeping its particulars secret. This will be a private pleasure, only to be shared on August 1st. I want to keep one mystery at least. With all the planning and lists, I can't forget the dash of magic that makes this all sacred. So this time, I'm going to keep mum.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nixon Library

Thus far, I've visited 3 sites in person, and looked at dozens on the interwebs (which is a series of tubes). Today, I visit the Muckenthaler Mansion. Let us hope the grounds are more charming than the name.

As of now, I am in love with the Nixon Library and Gardens. I have a soft hold on August 1st for a Sunday wedding. Either then or wait until January. If the Muckity-muck mansion does't impress as much as Nixon in either grounds or pricing. I just might go full steam ahead and book it for August.

The place is stunning in a very manicured sense. The reception room is like something out of
Pemberly with an American flair: High ceilings, fabulous moulding, massive chandeliers. And the gardens are pretty but more manicured than I had hoped they would be. However, they are still beautiful and have the requisite rose garden and shade giving trees.

Pictures don't really give the full effect, but that's a good thing. I wouldn't want to entirely ruin the surprise for my guests.

So what do you all think?

Monday, April 19, 2010


So, I joined and was cruising the Orange County forums for info and whatnot. I came across an ad for a photographer couple who was looking for a couple for free engagement photos hoping to build their portfolio.

At first I was a little wary, no such thing as a free lunch, right? But hope springs eternal, so I figured, why not? If it's shady I can walk away or use everything I learned from that one summer I took Judo. (Those hip throws have served me well over the years).

Turns out, the couple was really sweet and spent over two hours taking shots of both us and Bon-Bon. The location they picked was perfect: UCI. Where Chaz and I met. The photographers, Lori and Keith Anderson are going through the shots and are going to make us a CD. They gave a sneak peek on their website/blog though: Lori Anderson Photography.

So here are some goobery photos of us, pay no mind to the fact I need to get my hair done.

This one, above, is my favorite thus far.

Super-nova couple!

I have to say I also love this one. It's Jane Austen and a Batman comic if you're wondering.

I finally let him kiss me after four long years ;-) .

Where the cool kids hang out.