Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dress, check.

Yesterday I went for my second dress fitting. I didn't know what to expect but they had my dress finished and pressed and said "take it home". So I made room in the closet and it's all finished. I'm glad to have that detail done. I figure as long as we have a place to hold it, something to wear, and something to either eat or drink, it'll all work out. And the dress, check.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Site Confirmation

We went last weekend to meet with Sundy House's coordinator Anayda and have her briefly show us around. One thing we've learned after a few trips there, we must leave well in advance of when we're supposed to arrive as we're always late. We think Anayda must hate us by now. We were 45 minutes late this time. Every time we drive there, this is a fatal accident on the highway in front of us. It's ridiculous.

So we went this weekend and decided that we will definitely use the pool site. It will give us the more formal feel that we want and will provide seating for everyone, where the gazebo site was more informal and everyone would have to stand and shuffle around for flow of traffic, which we didn't want. The pool is also a little more secluded as it is not near the restaurant and we like that also. See photos of the pool site under the post It's Official.

This week's tasks include: finding an officiant, picking a top several photographers to choose from, going to the second fitting for my dress, and meeting the florist at the site to work out final details. I'm very much hoping she (the florist) will be able to cover the art in the reception room and will have some ideas for me.

Other than that, I'm working on my friend's bridal shower which takes place in two weekends.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Site Revisited

We went last night to revisit the Sundy House and look at the gazebo space (shown here) and the pool space (shown in the post It's Official) and I think we're agreed on the pool space. Dave has won me over with logistics as it doesn't seem as if the gazebo site can fit everyone comfortably. We're going to have another meeting with the site coordinator and ask to see some photos of actual weddings in both spaces for a more realistic idea of the setup. But, at this point, it is looking like the pool space will win.

We got out contract in the email today. I saw a wedding show where the woman said "You will write checks and pass out as you finish signing your name." I think I understand where she's coming from. At least the deposit is reasonable and there's some time before the balance comes due.

Today we'll likely go to the tux place and pick out styles. Happily, this is one expense that we will not incur much of. I do get the impression that Dave and I are in different places with our idea of the tuxes, but ultimately the decision will fall on what looks best on the body and is comfortable. It'll be nice to see him dressed to the nines. It's rare so I'll enjoy that, even just to play at it for the afternoon.

And just to round out the post, here's a picture of the shoes that I went with, the champagne colored ones that are comfortable. They're still a 3 1/2 inch heel, but a chunkier heel (although you can't tell in the picture) so I can actually walk in them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I had my first fitting today with the alterations people at David's Bridal. I figure since they sold me the dress and their store manufactured it, they should know how to alter it. I stood and stood and turned this way and that way and stood some more. Once the dress was all hemmed up, the train is a lot longer than I thought it would be. I saw it all as one dress and figured that if I lost over a foot off the length, they'd take up the back a foot also, but no can do based on the embroidery. So now the train is quite a bit longer than I had in my head but it'll be fine. It'll only be long for the ceremony then it'll be bustled up to move in. It's just fancier than I expected with the longer train. I also found shoes today that are comfortable and were a very close match to the embroidery in the dress. I got a fantastic deal on the shoes so it makes up in part for the alterations cost. I go back for a second fitting in two weeks. We'll have to start on a style for the tuxes soon so we can lock in the sale they're having next door at After Hours. Included is a picture of me trying on my "bling", sans makeup. I'd include a picture of the dress (as I had the shop get a picture of the length of the train so I can get used to it), but I don't want to ruin the surprise. I'm still debating wearing the veil but will probably wear it for the ceremony and pictures.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's Official

The Sundy House confirmed the date so we're all set for the 28th of January. Just 110 days from now. Crazy stuff! These photos are of the pool site at Sundy House. We're deciding whether to use the pool site or the gazebo site. I sent out email Save the Date information. I guess it's a little cheesy to do it by email, but the invitations will be printed and mailed, of course. But we have friends coming in from Norway that need advance notice for a flight and that kind of thing. I'm excited that they will probably be able to make it. I was actually pretty bummed out that we wouldn't be able to have them with us since we'd made the date so close and flights can be quite expensive. Their little daughter is going to be quite the world traveller.

DJ Gary is available and Honey Bunches florist is available so we're all set for the most part. I just have to get a company to put up screens in front of the art in the room and that's it. I guess I'll start booking them this week to make sure I can get that date available. Oh, and Dave's in charge of picking a photographer, but that should be easy for him since he has a keen eye for those things and knows what I like in photography and what doesn't do it for me. I think we have similar taste in that so I have no doubt it'll work out fine. Plus, I expect everyone will bring their cameras and we'll have tons of candids to choose from too.

It's interesting to plan a very small wedding. I think I'm more involved in making sure that everyone is catered to than I would be in a larger wedding. I can make sure that dietary needs are met and that the space is comfortable and has smoking areas and that kind of thing. If it were 100 people or 200 people, I wouldn't be as concerned about it and would expect people to fend for themselves. Also, I can take the time to personalize everything and really make it special, which then makes it special for us. Everyone that is to be invited is everyone we really want to be there, so it's like an exclusive party with just our closest friends and family. I think that's the perfect way to do a wedding, at least my wedding.

Today I figured out how I want the favors and I'm really happy with the way they came out. I need to get back to work on the scrapbook before I run out of creative steam.


Today I'm working on two projects for the wedding. One is a scrapbook that I'm putting together that will be on display at the wedding if I have it finished in time. The other is the favors. I have the ideas, it's just a matter of translating what's in my head to what will actually be. Here's a similar thought to what I have in mind.

And here's your photo for no reason at all. This is actually some koi at Morikami.


I forgot to include alterations in my wedding costs list. Ah well, it has to be done. Darned tall people and their extra material! I called the shop where I bought the dress to ask how far in advance I need to make an appointment for alterations and she said three months. Yikes! That's now. So I set an appointment for later this week. Unfortunately, payment is also due the same date. Drat. The one problem is I don't have shoes that I want to wear with the dress yet, but need to have them decided on by the fitting date so I can get the right height in them. I did buy a pair I really liked that are kind of a champagne color, which I thought would be a good match, but are much darker than the dress. Not that anyone will really see the shoes as the dress is floor length. I'm just not sure they'll be comfortable to wear all day as I only wore them once. I guess I have some time to break them in a bit more. Dave says there's no need to wear heels as everyone already knows I'm short. I told him it's not about fooling anyone, it's about being 3 1/2 inches taller.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Can you be too organized? I suppose so.

My friend Billie (who I mentioned is marrying in November) has this kind of wedding philosophy that eveything will work out perfectly with little or no intervention on her part. I told her, after her menu tasting, that I did not share that philosophy but that I enjoyed it. I told her that I was her bitchy friend at these wedding things and didn't mind being the one to say "What can you throw in for free?" or "But you said it was going to cost less last time" because at the end, the wedding coordinator will forget me as the obnoxious friend and Billie still gets to be the shining bride - but at the same time, she gets what she needs out of the deal. I said I would likely be completely anal-rententive about the entire thing to the last detail to make sure it all came off well. She replied "Noooooooo!" I think that was sarcasm, haha. But I figure if everything's all planned out to the T, there's little margin for things to go wrong. And by the time they do, nothing I can do about it anyhow.

I find the planning process fun, which is good because otherwise it would be a chore, and there's a lot to plan, so it'd be a lot of chores.

One thing I like about this site is they include the cake by Sweet Arts, which is a real cake bakery, not just the site's on-site cake maker - although I'm sure there are some fantastic and undiscovered on-site cake makers, but it's comforting to see a portfolio of cool cakes. I like the idea of flowers on the cake although I don't have a clear idea of what I want. I'm sure there will be a book to flip through at some point and one will say "eat me" to us.

We get to do a cake tasting in addition to the menu tasting. Yum!


I'd like to have guests dedicate a song to us. We'd make these into CDs that would have a nice custom made cover (I love my Photo Printer) and give them as favors. We'd also play that list during the cocktail hour to make it kind of personalized. I think that'd be cute if enough people respond.

The song Unforgettable by Natalie and Nat King Cole will be our first dance song. I think it's just beautiful and says what I need it to say.

I'm trying to come up with ideas for a father/daughter and/or mother/son dance song. I was thinking Billie Joel's Tell Her About It, but it's not quite the right mood.

Oh, and our processional (walking down the aisle) song will be the theme from the Princess Bride, Storybook Love by Mark Knopff. Why the theme from Princess Bride? Several reasons.
1- It it one of the best movies ever made. Don't argue with me. It is. Top five.
2- The scene where the woman boos Buttercup always makes Dave think of my mom, which cracks us up. No, not because my mom is some kind of hag or anything, but because she believes in love and she'd speak out like that.
3- I told my friend I'd cry during the wedding and she said to think of the scene where Peter Cook does the ceremony and I'd just laugh. Everytime I think of "mawage" it makes me laugh.

I've got no image to give you here, so here's a completely random one. Orchids will be our flowers. But not this flat kind, the bigger ones and the tiny ones.

Coming Along Quickly

It's all coming along quickly now. It's nearly hilarious that we were dating for so long - longer than many people are married - and once we get engaged, we jump right into it. As I stated in an email to a friend, I feel like a snowball down a hill, or rather, like a toddler on a sled, for a happier image.

I called the florist and the DJ and booked them for the 28th. We wanted to look into getting some Shoji screens (Japanese changing screens) to cover the art with, which will keep an Asian flair to the room that I prefer and cover the wall art. Oh, I didn't tell you about the wall art. We're to be in the Warhol Room, which is their smallest room. Fantastic, but I don't think much of Andy Warhol's art. It certainly doesn't say "wedding" in that room. This image is of the left wall. The right wall has another two large square images of maybe Lennon or someone. The colors are bright and it's nice that they have original art, but I have something different in mind. We can't take the images down, but we can cover them. Now to find a company that can cover them tastefully.

Site 2 - Sundy House

I went online to The Knot and looked for local vendors that had some indication that they were gardens. That same site is where I searched for the florist that Billie chose and I'll most likely use. It's a good resource. Anyhow, I found a few and started calling around. I made an appointment to see the Sundy House, a historcal house with garden space that also does weddings and other events. We nearly drove past it at first. It looks like an out of place old house in a modern downtown area. When we got inside the lobby, it was nothing to look at and we kept giving each other the "you're sure this is the place?" look. The coordinator arrived and showed us around and it had charm and the kind of understated wow-factor that we've been talking about. I think it's perefect. Dave wanted to see one more place just so we aren't settling.

There were only two other places on my list. One was Zen House in Miami. Strike one is that it's in Miami, and South Miami to boot. Driving in Miami is hectic and I want to avoid hectic on the wedding day, for everyone including us and guests. The second strike is I filled out their online inquiry form and instead of calling me back to set an appointment or give me information, the emailed me saying "call for more information". Well, if I'd wanted to do that, I'd have just called in the first place. I thought that was snotty and I crossed them off. The other place is Bonnett House, another historical house with a huge garden to the tune of they give tours of it. Billie said it's beautiful and I'm inclined to believe her, but I'd have to see it, of course. I called for an appointment and the coordinator offered me only one date from January to April and then emailed me the price list. It was Morikami expensive, so that's out without even having seen it.

Honestly, I loved Sundy House. Not the house part, but the garden and how everything is done on site. It's the feel I've been looking for and I'm pleased. Now to see when the florist and DJ and location are available and start booking it. Hopefully they're available on the same date. We're looking at a Sunday night, around sunset, probably. We're planning to stay the night there in the guest rooms. There are only 11 rooms and each is decorated in a different theme. We didn't get to see the insides during the tour, but this is a picture of one of them from the outside.

Site 1 - Morikami

Dave and I both share a fondness for Asian culture, specifically Japanese. I'd twice visited the Morikami Gardens and had my heart set on there as the place to host our wedding. I hadn't been there in many years, and Dave had never been there at all, but we both felt the atmosphere would be serene and not stuffy or pretentious. We both wanted something small and outdoors so we thought it sounded good. Last week we went for a tour and found out it wasn't going to work for us. For an evening reception, the price of the site alone was our entire budget and that didn't include any catering or table and chair rentals.

For a daytime reception, the event would be reasonably priced, but we were severely limited in ambiance and it seemed like a no-big-deal kind of a thing which isn't my idea of wedding. I plan to do this only once, so I'd like to do it right and not feel that we had to make it work just to do it in a certain location. I went home feeling grumpy that the place I'd thought of all along wasn't going to fit for us.

My friend, Billie, is having a wedding in November on the beach. I'm sure it'll be beautiful and a good time. There are no shortage of beach locations in South Florida, and it would be no problem to find a similar venue to host a wedding at, or even at the same site she's using as the event coordinator has been pretty good to her so far. But to me, I grew up on the beaches of California and have lived on the beaches of Florida since then and the beach doesn't do it for me. I had a garden setting in my head since before I chose the dress and I feel the want to keep a garden setting. So Morikami is out. But I'll keep looking.

Oh, and I did find a florist. Billie decided to use this one and, having met Carol, the florist, I think I'll end up using her too. We also have a DJ who is a friend of a friend and does my friends' Halloween party every year. Two vendors down. None paid yet, but two secured.


Dave and I have been together for eight or nine years. Nothing to sneeze at. He proposed in July (the 22nd if you're keeping score) of this year. We set a date in the first few months of 2008, but it turned out neither of us were very happy having to wait a whole year out for it. So we changed our date to this coming year. That didn't leave us a lot of time, but since I already have the dress and some basic ideas, it seems like there's not a lot to do after that. I hear you laughing. We'll see.

So yeah, I bought the dress before we got engaged. I know it's crazy, but it was only a few months before we got engaged, and the engagement was something we'd been talking about for several years, so I knew it was coming. I bought the dress on sale at David's Bridal. The image here is a close up of the pattern on my dress in ivory (not white like in the link). Just wait till you see the back. The bustle is the selling point. I love the dress and it fits like a glove. I never knew something that took up so much closet space could be so comfortable. It even motivated me to clean out my closet just to have room to fit it in there. I'll have to have it altered to make it shorter, though. Apparently they made it for persons of "normal" height.

The wedding party will consist of the bride and groom (you had that part figured out, though, didn't you?), two best men (my best friend Eric and Dave's brother Rob), and two ringbearers (my son Charlie who is 14 and Dave's nephew Robbie who is 15). That's it. No dresses to buy, no extra flowers, just rented tuxes. No mess, no fuss, no drama queens.

Next comes the site.