DIY Flowers: Costco Style.

I have been putting off thinking about flowers for the longest time. In fact, whether or not I would actually end up with a bouquet by my wedding day has been hanging over my head to the point that it's funny to me. Sine I always knew I would be making our centerpeices, boutonnieres, and other decor, and that my bridesmaids would be carrying baby's breath, it seemed silly to hire a florist. I played with the idea of creating some DIY masterpiece for my bouquet, but at this point, there's not really time.

So, what's a girl to do with three weeks and no flowers? Enter Costco.com.
Costco sells flowers in bulk online which you can schedule to be delivered to your door or your closest store on the day and time of your choice. That sounds like a fantasy land where magical Costco elves deliver perfect flowers to happy brides, and I fear it just cannot be, but the many reviews on the site have confirmed the time, quality, and can't beat it price of the product, so here goes!

Costco even has full wedding package options available. If you're a simple bride who wants all white roses (above) or mixed garden flowers (below) for her wedding flowers, you can purchase packages that provide everything - bridal and toss bouquets, bridesmaid bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, centerpieces, and more - for a mere $400 or $430 respectively. Wow!

They also have Calla Lily, Hydrangea, and Sunflower collections for $750.

And if you're a true DIY bride who needs the whole floral package but can assemble it yourself, there's the Do-It-Yourself Bridal and Reception Kits. These kits come with the flowers, filler, floral tape, bout pins, ribbon, and everything else you would need to assemble the flowers yourself.

However, since I'm just looking to make a few nice bouquets and maybe create some ceremony decorations, these kits aren't for me. But never fear, Costco sells a fairly large selection of flowers in bulk. Here are some of the options I'm considering and deciding on ordering.

This Combo Box of Callas, Roses (which I would get in white as well), and Lilies would be a great way to get more than one flower on the cheap.

Then again, there's always Roses or Lilies on their own for a good bouquet base.

Then again, I love the look of the Star of Bethlehem and the Alstromeria.

and of course, I'd order the Baby's Breath for my girls, and I would love to have this Hypericum as filler for my own bouquet.

So what do you think? I can probably order two or three blooms plus the baby's breath. How much baby's breath will I need to order to make 5 bouquets? Which blooms should I get for my own bouquet? (anything left over from my bouquet will be ceremony/aisle decorations.) Any suggestions?


The shoe game: final round!

I know it's been awhile, but remember my shoe dilemmas? First, my burgundy shoe options were severely lacking, then you all helped me find some options, but nothing seemed to fit. Well, I am finally here to announce that the shoe game has ended - and I won!

If you remember, I had ordered two different sizes of the Nina Electra shoes from Zappos. One size was too small and one was too big (seriously, I must be Goldilocks or something). When I wrote that last post, I was convinced that squeezing my feet into the too-small pair was the only way to go. I figured I would have time before the wedding to stretch them out, and figured it was a better alternative to the big ones slipping and rubbing all day. Then, lo and behold, I got the following comment from the lovely Stephanie of love&lace:

"Can I be your fairy godmother?
Try a pair of shoe inserts. You could try the heel grabber type or even ones for the ball of your foot. It will add comfort & might help close the tiny gap. Being in between sizes myself, I frequently do this."

which was immediately followed by this comment from Margarita:

"buy these: http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=80644&catid=10310 - cut them to fit the back of that shoe. voila! no more heel rubbing and the 8s will fit. And as feet to tend to swell.....it's actually a good thing to have shoes a little bigger. I put those things onthe back of all my shoes! (any drugstore should carry some version of that) and they literally save my feet."

source. and source.

so, buy them I did. I headed off to Payless and picked up their version of the back heel cushions (top) as well as the kind for the ball of your foot (bottom).

The sales lady actually recommended the bottom of the foot kind, saying that the cushion would actually help push my whole foot back and make the shoe fit without filling in the gap with the heel ones. I bought both anyway, and tried them out with another pair of shoes that are way too big for me. They worked! The once too big shoes that I had previously done everything I could think of (yes, I had even stuffed the toes with tissue) to make fit were suddenly a perfect fit! Equipped with my new magic cushions, I was finally ready to buy my beautiful burgundy design your own Ninas!

personal photos.

Aren't they beautiful? I still need to decide whether I'll wear just one set of the cushions (and which one) or both, but I still have time to wear them around and test it. I also really need to practice walking in grass with them, but really, I'll take any excuse to wear these beauties as I can get.

Was finding the right shoes difficult for you? What advice or discovery became your saving grace?


Friday again.

It's hard to believe another week has flown by - our wedding really will come before I know it. I just wanted to wish you all a happy weekend and celebrate some of my recent productivity!

I'll post a tutorial for these lovelies next week. Hopefully I can continue to be productive and bang through my to-do list in record time. This weekend will be the test.


Welcome dinner - pizza buffet!

Since our wedding is almost a destination wedding, we have invited all of our guests to be involved with the whole weekend's events. In addition to the wedding ceremony and reception, guests have been invited to the rehearsal/welcome dinner the night before and the brunch (taken care of completely by the lodge) the morning after. So far, about 30 guests are taking us up on this offer.

Since we're feeding more than the normal wedding party and immediate family for our rehearsal dinner (which, while right after the rehearsal, is being called a "Welcome Dinner" since some guests will attend only the dinner, not the rehearsal), we aren't able to book any kind of formal dinner. The plan? Pizza!

Just down the road from our venue, there happens to be the cutest little pizza place, called Wynola Pizza Express.

David and I stopped by for a bite for lunch on our way to a venue meeting and cake tasting and just loved the place. An impromptu meeting with their catering guy left us walking away with a quote of $10.95 per person for salad, soft drinks, and all the wonderful woodfired pizza we can eat!

all photos from Wynola's site.

I've let David in charge of communicating with Wynola and choosing the menu, and I can't wait for this pre-wedding party with so many good friends! I just wish all of our guests could come.

Which rehearsal dinner boat are you in - formal and intimate or casual and inclusive?


It'll happen, no matter what.

At this point, the wedding is a month away. As I tried on my dress yesterday at the seamstress shop, I was no longer just playing dress-up with a pretty dress wishing far into the future to the day I get to wear it for real. Now, the day I wear it for real is close. Super close. So close, in fact, that I am abandoning projects that aren't necessities, and drastically rethinking what needs to be done to pull off this wedding.

If the wedding was tomorrow, and I had no time left to complete a single project, there would still be a wedding.
We have a lovely ceremony written out.
We've gotten the necessary legal documents in order to actually get married.
There's a place for us to go, decorate, and celebrate in.
I have a fantastic dress to wear, complete with all the accessories.
There will be plenty of food for all of our guests.
We're sure to have fabulous photos of the whole event.
And, we get to spend time with many people we love.

Since I do have some time left, these remaining projects are pretty necessary:
It would be wonderful to complete the playlists, so people have something to dance to.
Finalizing a menu/plan for the rehearsal dinner would be nice, so we can feed the masses like we've promised.
David needs shoes - those are pretty important.
A run to Costco is necessary, so we can pick up the drinks.
And finally, there are some gifts for important players in the wedding that I would like to purchase.

Put that way, there's really not an unbearable amount of things left to do before out wedding becomes real. However, I would really also like to have:
Programs for the ceremony.
Aisle decorations.
Bouquets for my bridesmaids and myself.
Matching shirts for the groomsmen.
Signs for the cake table.
Out of town / welcome bags.
Bathroom essentials basket.
Signs for the guestbook.
A seating arrangement and escort cards.
Our photo clothesline.
etc. etc. etc.

I know not all of this will get done, and that's okay. But, I do really hope to get in gear and do a lot of it. Anyone with me?



We're officially legal to get married within the next 90 days in the state of California! It only took us a few unsuccessful tries first.

don't mind the squinty/closed eyes. The sun was bright out!

You see, the county clerk offices are only open on weekdays from 8-4. Since David and I both work jobs with hourly schedules that change every week, it is very rare for us to have a weekday off in common - and we don't know about it until the last minute. The San Diego county clerk offices (the "Assessor, Recorder, County Clerk" offices provide marriage licenses in San Diego county - not just any city courthouse like I've heard is the case in other states/counties) require an appointment for distributing a marriage license, so advance notice was preferable but very difficult.

[try #1] David and I both had Good Friday off, and it was the first mutual weekday we'd had off in awhile, so we decided to get our marriage certificate then. I didn't find out that they required appointments until that morning, and when I called, the lady baically laughed in my face. Apparently Fridays are already particularly busy days for them, and since it was a holiday and the beginning of the month (when many people are paid and have more spending money, apparently), they were booked solid. After explaining our tricky work schedules, the woman basically told us our only hope was to get a confidential marriage license which we could do through mail with a notary. No thank you.

[try #2] Thanks to my dwindling work schedule (I actually only have two days left at my current job), I have had the past few days off. We found out on Sunday that David and I had a day in common, so I jumped on scheduling an appointment. Thursdays, it turns out, are much less busy than first of the month, holiday Fridays, so we had our pick of many times in the day. We were ready.

Flash forward to the day of our appointment - I'm never one to get directions anywhere until the last minute as we're headed out the door. When it came time to leave, the county clerk's website was down, so I just got an adress from Google maps, and we were on our way. Well, Gmaps sent us to a location that no longer houses the county clerk offices. Thankfully, some nice people noticed our confused looks, and they sent us down the street to the "new" location. So, we arrive and apparently that location has been closed to the public since June 2009 due to budget cuts. note to San Diego brides: the Chula Vista and Kearny Mesa offices are closed to the public. Do not be fooled by Google maps! Great. It seemed like someone didn't want us to get married.

[try #3] So, we made a call to say we were running late and hurried off towards the real offices. We arrive 30 minutes after our appointment, but it didn't seem to be much of a problem. We were given a quick application to fill out - asking us our full birth names, birth date and location, parents full birth names and birth state, any previous marriages, and any potential name changes after our marriage - the latter part is due to California's Name Equality Act made active since 2009. Basically it gives both parties the right to change their name to any name given to either party at birth. So, unless we were somehow coming up with a new last name all together, it supposedly makes the name changing process easier, and technically makes the whole thing more "equal" by giving David just as much right to take my name as I have to take his.

David filled out most of the application (Isn't he cute?), stopping only at the point of listing my parents' birth information and address.

After finishing the application, we were told to sit and wait. We didn't wait long - just as soon as we sat, we were called to a cubicle where a woman asked for our driver's licenses, copied our information into the computer, printed the license to have us check the info, asked for a signature, and handed over our license. Easy as that. In fact, since we signed in the office, we do not need to sign anything else on our wedding day. We need a signature from our officiant and one to two witnesses, but other than that, we're done. I was kinda disappointed that we don't sign on our wedding day - I guess I had sort of romanticized the legal process of the wedding and wanted to make that part somewhat ceremonious - maybe we'll have to get some kind of Ketubah.

So, that's it - the third time's a charm! I feel a bit guilty for how easy it was after reading about the difficulties of international couples and other such processes.

and of course, we did the requisite task of asking a stranger to take our photo outside the building with the license in hand.

Did you have a few failed attempts at getting your marriage license, or was it smooth sailing from the beginning?


Motivate me.

I have under 40 days until the wedding and a mile-long list of things to do, but instead I sit here watching Netflix instant streaming on my computer in my new wonderful home. All I want right now is to be there at the wedding with the people we love dearly and then to be here, at home, with my new husband, enjoying normal life. I still love our wedding, I just can't bring myself to immerse myself in it like I should right now. How do I get motivated to donate the next thirty-some days to full on wedding world?



I'm officially moved in to the house that David and I will soon share. It's super cute and already feels like home, but we have a lot of work to do. We spent the evening yesterday assembling three of these:

from Ikea, of course.

which means I will be able to start unpacking boxes. As soon as I get rid of all the clutter and get more settled in, I promise I will share pictures and get back into full on wedding-mode. Ready, go!

Until then, have a great week, lovely readers.


Bachelorette photos.

If I could afford it, I would love to have a professional photographer follow me around every day. I just love a well-documented memory and a lovely and truly great photograph. Although it's not practical to have professional photos every day, I love how it's become more and more popular to hire a professional for more days than just the wedding. I've seen couples hire a professional to document their engagement, rehearsal dinner, and so much more. Recently, I've seen some ladies who have chartered some professional photos of their bachelorette parties. Just look at some of the awesome bachelorette goodness that Sarah, our photographer, has shot.

Gathering all of your best girl friends for a photo shoot? Gaining timeless memories and photos of some of the people you love most? Killing all these birds with one stone while celebrating your upcoming marriage and partying the time away with friends? Best. Idea. Ever.

The lovely bride above and her friends came out to San Diego for her bachelorette weekend, and planned a pro shoot while they were here. When their original photographer stood them up, Sarah came to the rescue and provided some awesome photos to boot.

The only thing better than hiring a pro to shoot your bachelorette photos, I suppose, would be to have a pro as a best friend and bridesmaid who was already coming along. Check these out:

Jennah, the bride of this bunch, has known Sarah for years, and included her as a bridesmaid in her wedding. These photos are from her bachelorette getaway in Palm Springs. Sarah was just a guest at this shindig, but of course she brought her camera along. I guess if you're good enough friends with a pro, you can have them along every day!

Sarah will be joining us for our entire wedding weekend - documenting the rehearsal dinner and day after brunch in addition to the wedding itself. Seeing as she's a friend and guest of the wedding (not just a hired pro), I'm hoping to get a little bachelorette goodness out of her as well.


Shower me the love - pictures!

Man, I can't believe I've been gaining new followers/readers lately - I've been such a bad blogger. Work is slowing down, but I still have a lot of hours - and I'm moving on Sunday (!! I'll be sure to post about my first house with David !! So excited!), so things are still crazy. But, I have so much to share, so I'll try my best to post regularly.

Anyway, my shower was wonderful. My bridesmaids pitched in to make a delicious meal, an activity or two, lovely favors, and a beautiful day. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the decor because I left my camera in the car and didn't start taking pictures until the room had been loved and partied in.

Most of the pictures I did get were of what mattered the most - the people. I got to spend some great time with some people I really love, and I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves - I mean, look at all the awesome ladies that love me!

lovely bridesmaids.

my beautiful momma.


Photographer: photographed.

Past roommate and her adoreable baby girl.

Aren't I lucky? My future mother in law and future brother in law's wife also attended, but I somehow missed snapping their photo. More details about my shower to come!