Sunday, January 27, 2013

SNAP, CLICK, FLASH! Photographer interviews...

Val and I went and interviewed photographers this afternoon in Walnut Creek and Hayward. They were both great candidates and we still haven't made a final decision. Prices is important to us, but we also want to make sure we get someone experienced and trustworthy on the day of.

The first photographer we talked to was named Brian. He and his wife are a duo and they work shoots together. (I really like this rather than just a photographer and his/her random assistant or colleague.) He was very down to earth and seemed very knowledgeable. He answered a lot of our questions without even having to ask them. Their portfolio looked great and we liked their style. It seemed like they had different styles depending on what fit the bride and groom best--that made us feel like they were really in it for the best interest of the couple and not necessarily to do the things that they liked or felt comfortable with. Overall the value and the expertise were top notch; we really liked him.

The second photographer we talked to was Marge. She was fun and spunky; she seemed like someone that you would want to hang out with. We definitely liked her energy and enthusiasm. She offered payment plans which was really cool and forward thinking of her. She ended up having a higher price point for her services than the other photographer. What originally drew us to her was her website. She had a pretty straight forward and edgy website with a lot of information (which is so hard to find most of the time for wedding services.) We liked her style and her ability to cover a lot of angles with only one photographer.

We haven't decided who we are going with as of yet. We have one more photographer that we are planning on meeting with. It feels so good to start making progress on the big things. DJ and cake are next! (Well besides the wedding dress and bridesmaids dresses.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

The First Few Months

The first few months have gone by and the pressure of the wedding is finally starting to hit me. During November and December Val and I did a lot of research on venues and I started looking at dresses and color palettes. Unfortunately, since it was right smack dab in the middle of the holidays, we didn't get much done. In January I was on a mission. We got our venue and our date within the first week. We always pictured our wedding outside at a vineyard. Some of the venues we were looking into were Garre Winery, Fortino Winery and Hecker Pass Winery. While at a SCU basketball game my dad comes out of left field with a suggestion to do the wedding in Napa. First of all, we weren't even looking into a wedding in Napa because the few places we did check out online were RIDICULOUSLY expensive. I mean, we knew the wedding would be expensive, but Napa winery pricetags were just a bit too steep for our budget. My dad ends up suggesting his golf club in Yountville. Val and I look at the pictures online and fall in love with it. We were so excited about it that we made an appointment to meet with my dad's friend (who works there and runs wedding events) that very weekend. After our appointment we were sold. We originally picked the date of October 5th, 2013 but ended up going with September 14th, 2013.

** Side-tracked storytime **
So the story about how our date changed is kind of funny. It wasn't at the time, but now it is. So I was on my lunch at work and went to Safeway to grab some food. I was passing through the magazine aisle on my way ot the register and saw the Farmer's Almanac. (I didn't even know they sold those in the store.) I decided to look for my wedding date just to double check. It of course said that it was going to rain. I panicked. I looked up the other available weekend at my venue and it said sunny skies. WTH. I pay for my stuff, run to my car, and call my dad and mom. What should I do?? Should I move the date? Should I risk it? My mom suggested I look up the historical weather for those 2 dates. I was in my car still but I looked up 5 years of historical data for both weekends. I call Val who of course was not available to take my distressed call. Finally while I'm completing the research and texting my 2 sisters he calls back. He suggests that we talk about it when we get home over dinner. I reluctantly agreed (I wanted to just pick it already.) I emailed our wedding coordinator at our venue and let him know about my findings and double checked that the other date was still availble. He told me not to worry and that there was only a 10% chance that it would rain on Oct 5th. But he also said the other date was still available. That night I talked it through with Val and we decided to bump up the date due to historically warmer weather and less possibility of rain. I had already let some family members know and the bridal party, so I had to re-inform everyone about the new date. What a headache. But luckily it all worked out! :)

Now that we have the venue we are trying to book the photographer, DJ and cake. We have been doing a lot of research but need to set up appointments to meet with our candidates soon. I will also be trying on wedding dresses on February 9th with my mom and sisters. (Not really excited for it... just more anxious than anything.) My bridesmaids are going to try on dresses soon as well. Jessica is doing a really good job with her MOH duties and is organizing all of our big events leading up to the wedding. We also took some pictures for our Save the Date cards this past weekend in Livermore. Richard was there for moral support and to take some pictures for us. I think there are definitely some good ones to choose from when I start designing the cards. I am lucky that I have some design skills -- we are going to end up saving a lot of money on these announcements. We are also going to save some money on the flowers as we will put the bouquets and centerpieces together as well. We are having a "flower arranging" party the day before the wedding at my mom's house. So much to do, but I'm glad it's all coming together now that we have the date and the venue set.

He liked it... so he put a ring on it!

Growing up I never was one of those girls who played "wedding" or had colors, wedding dresses, venues or table settings picked out before I graduated high school. Although yes I liked the concept of having a boyfriend and then someday getting married and having kids, I never thought too much about it. I was very focused on going to college, getting my masters and becoming a business tycoon. I remember at one point my dad told me that I could pick between him paying for my college education at SCU or paying for a wedding someday. Without hesitation I picked college. I mean, who knew if I would get married? I did know I could get a degree.

After college I decided that I was ready for a serious boyfriend. Don't get me wrong, the single life was fun and all... but I was finally ready to be vulnerable and let someone in. It was when I decided this that I met Val. (If you want to hear our story, check out and click on "Our Story.") Before we got engaged we had been dating for 5 years. Like any couple, we had our ups and downs, but I had a feeling that he was the one. I don't really know how to explain it... I just knew I couldn't picture my future without him. I mean, when things got rough every now and then I had my doubts like any sensible person. But there was something about our chemistry and how we meshed so well together that I couldn't shake.

Long story short, after dealing with some serious committment issues (what guy hasn't had to deal with those?) he finally figured it out and knew he couldn't picture his life without me either. It's funny because I kind of knew when the lightbulb went off for him. He had always been such an awesome guy, but now it was different. He just seemed so "in love." We had had several talks about marriage and goals and the timeline I had in mind. I didn't know exactly when he was going to propose, but I knew that he would and that was enough peace of mind for me to wait it out. (If you want to hear about the engagement--or better yet, watch it--please check out and click on "Our Engagement.")

The whole engagement was a blur and very surreal. For the first week I had to keep waking up in the morning and looking at my bedstand to see if the ring was still there. Silly, I know, but it really was a dream come true. I am so excited to marry my best friend. :-D