Some more sneaks.

I really have no idea when we'll be getting our full set of professional pictures, so I don't know if I can officially start my re-caps just yet; but here are the rest of the sneak peek photos that Sarah posted.

all images by Sarah Shreves.

Just look at those handsome boys. I absolutely adore the one with David and his brothers (second to last). These pictures just make me all the more anxious for the rest! I can't wait to see pictures with my bridesmaids, and of the ceremony... ahh!



I'm up super early this morning for an opening shift at work, and I'm so glad I am! Guess what Sarah Shreves surprised me with this morning!?

by the amazing Sarah Shreves.

More to come!


I'm so glad I'm already married...

...because if I wasn't, I'd be doubting my dress right now. Big time.

One of my college roommates is getting married, and I have been helping her a bit with the wedding. She is getting her dress made for her on etsy (awesome idea!), but wanted some more inspiration pictures to figure out certain elements of the dress. So, I was so kind to take on the awfully terrible job of perusing wedding dresses online for her (I'm a saint, I know!).

I ended up looking at all the new(est) Maggie Sottero dresses. When I bought my own dress, I knew her collection by heart, but I had never seen so many of these new ones. I loved loved loved my dress, and David told me it couldn't have been more perfect, but part of me really wishes I could go back in time and wear one of these lovlies - or at least try them on!

Ahh, I die. They're not even remotely my "style" from back when I was trying on dresses - who knows if I would have even tried them on.

Also, isn't this one a dreamy/floaty version of mine? I love that my dress was discontinued so it's unique, but I also love that there are still similar options out there.

For the sake of further satiating my new love of these dresses and keeping me from going and trying them on myself, I would love to see pictures of any of you in these (or any other beautiful and new styles) dresses!


The week of the wedding: Friday. (Wedding Practice)

I had not planned anything out for our rehearsal. I knew there was going to be one, and at what time it would be. I had also communicated said time to our wedding party and families. I had not, however, given an ounce of thought to what we would do once we got to said time and place. I guess I kinda assumed that was our officiant's job - and he assumed it was mine. No worries, though, we had talked out the ceremony details at a meeting days before, so we got things figured out pretty quickly.

Everyone stood around for a bit while we got things in order. Doesn't my momma look excited? Note the few chairs: the lodge set up a few chairs for us to be able to picture the aisle and space, but they wouldn't set up the rest until the next day.

I gave directions while one of my best high school friends, who became our impromptu dee-jay, got familiar with the ceremony playlist I'd created.

Our procession order was to be as follows:
David walks his parents to their seat and takes his place in front.
groomsmen walk with bridesmaids one-by-one and take their places.
I walk with both of my parents, my mom takes her spot in the front row, and my dad "gives me away".

I loved that I got to honor both my parents while still staying traditional enough so as to not offend my dad.

we were missing one groomsman, so my cousin stood in his place.

I think this was me showing my bridesmaids how not to hold their bouquets. Don't they look great with their lovely, invisible bouquets?

My parents and I looked down the aisle that would soon should have been (I'll get to that) the very one I would walk down only 24 hours later to marry my love.

My dad looks worried here. We were probably working through the logistics of linking arms with both parents while holding my bouquet.

We made it to the end of the aisle, and my daddy held on to me as our pastor/officiant got to the point of the ceremony where he would say a prayer for our union. He decided to take that moment to say an actual prayer - for the evening, for the following day, and for our lives being joined together - which added a special time to our rehearsal.

And then there we were, standing in the place where we would soon should have gotten married the next day. (And I apparently did some crazy twist / hair flip.)

Okay, so what you don't see in these pictures is how freezing we were. It was the exact same time in the evening as we were to be married the next day, and it. was. cold. Many wondered aloud if it would be too cold to have the wedding there, but I (in my insane sense of calm) pushed it aside and didn't worry about it. There was, after all, a back-up plan available...

So, we rehearsed, and then it was time for some pizza!


The week of the wedding: Friday. (At the lodge!)

The great thing about The Pine Hills Lodge is that it's small and they require that you book for the whole weekend. That all means that we essentially had the entire place to ourselves all weekend. Technically there was a random couple staying in the one cabin that none of our guests booked, but after I saw them come check in, they were never to be seen again. We were able to set almost everything up on Friday, making Saturday a possibility. (Honestly, I don't know how brides can swing the whole one hour before the wedding to set up thing. Lots of help, that's for sure.)

So, we checked in, unloaded my dress, many sleeping bags and air mattresses, and personal bags into the cabins, and started bringing loads of the wedding stuff I'd been making and hoarding for over a year into the lodge. More friends and family started arriving (these are some early birds, yo! The groom hadn't even arrived yet), and I greeted them while attempting to organize all the stuff being brought in.

My sisters rocked the table settings while I assembled the cake table and postcard guestbook.

I can't wait until I get professional photos of all these details - but here's an idea of the setup.

I honestly can't say it enough how grateful I am for all the friends and family who helped me at the lodge. I was able to leave big projects to some friends and move on to the next with no worries. In fact, when it was all said and done, so many details were removed from my control, and it all turned out wonderfully.

Once most of the set-up was finished, I tackled the flowers to make bouquets. The roses had gotten HUGE from the sunlight and heat of being in the car, but thankfully, most of the brown was gone. The oriental lilies were still not opened up, and few of the calas were useable, but I worked with what I could.

don't you love our assortment of vases? Juice pitchers for the win!

The baby's breath was first - I formed it, trimmed it, and threw it all over the room. And then I somehow ended up with five bridesmaids' bouquets. They were wrapped in floral tape and put back in a vase - I wrapped them in ribbon and trimmed the ends on Saturday morning.

My bouquet was a bit more complicated. I had mostly roses to work with and their stems are tough to cut. Also, who knew that cala lilies' stems were so dang thick? BM J helped me hold the flowers still while I wrapped them, and I ended up with a mediocre DIY bouquet - which was quite alright with me.

David and his family arrived at some point and started loading their own cabins. I greeted more people, joked around with friends, and fluttered around doing some more preparation, and soon enough it was time to rehearse!

*once again, all photos are by my hero, wedding lifesaver, college friend M.


The week of the wedding: Friday. (Oh, those flowers)

I woke up pretty early on Friday morning - in fact, I think my body trained myself to get by with only one cycle of sleep (4 hours), and I was wide awake after that every morning of the wedding weekend. A blessing and a curse, I tell ya. So, I woke up much earlier than any of the many other people camping around the house, giving me some much appreciated quiet time to reflect and prepare for the day. I tiptoed over sleeping friends, padded down the stairs, and sat down to write this post, which really only hints at the unbelievable calm I had suddenly been gifted with which lasted me throughout the weekend. Really, within this day and the next, there would be many times when I would normally snap at someone, break down, or yell (or at the least show some impatience), but I was blessed with this uncanny ability to stay calm, take it all in stride, speak in calm, kind tones, and smile. My mom turned to my sisters at one point and said, "Have you ever seen Laura this calm? Ever!?"

But yes, the flowers. My dad came in soon after I finished my post and I immediately sent him to the FedEx holding facility where I was told my flowers were being held. Since they were supposed to be delivered the day before, I was a little worried about their condition, being out of water all night - but, I kept calm and optimistic.

Once people started waking, I was encouraged to work some more on perfecting the dance playlist. It turned out that many of the songs my friends had suggested to me could be found on my sisters' computer, so I stuck a few on my thumb drive and moved them on over to my playlist. I burned cds and updated two iPods for backup and the music was ready to go.

Then, the flowers arrived - looking like this:

The roses were brown (even more than the picture shows), the oriental lilies were bent and brown, the callas were squished, and their stems looked like old, dry celery.

I, with my state of miraculous calm, proceeded to trim stems and get the best-looking flowers to water. My cousin, on the other hand, would not let this pass by. She called up Costco customer service and demanded a full refund. I was feeling really guilty about this at first - the baby's breath looked fine, after all - but, with a service that absolutely guarantees delivery on or before your set delivery date as well as absolute satisfaction, they probably should have been refunded just for being late. So, we proceeded with the day - this time with bucketloads of free flowers.

About halfway through trimming the flowers, we ran out of vases. My sisters made an emergency trip to Wal-Mart to pick some more up while my cousin and friends made a trip to Trader Joes for some bridal suite day-of treats. This was not a trip I had even thought of, and I was ever-grateful for the juice, champagne, and carrot cake muffins they purchased.

By the time we were done getting all the flowers in water, it was past time to go. After all, the original plan didn't have us doing much of anything at the house before leaving:

Friday: leave early to arrive at venue for set-up, rehearsal at 6:00 pm, and dinner at 7:00 - and so the wedding weekend begins.

Ha! I apparently assumed we would have already had everything packed up at this point, too. Not so, my friends. The garage still looked like this:

which my dad very quickly and amazingly turned into this:

I rushed around to pack up my bags of personal belongings - for the day, the next morning, and the wedding night. College friend M helped and watched the whole time which became a major lifesaver throughout the weekend - she literally knew where everything was. at. all. times. She was seriously the best bridal helper I never would have thought I needed. Honestly, if you brides-to-be can have an attendant pack things with you and pay attention to where everything ends up, it will save your life.

We then hit the road - my sisters driving the big car with all the stuff, and college friend M and I in my car. We made a quick pit stop to pick up my freshly bustled and pressed dress (!!!), got some snacks for the road, and we were finally en route to Julian.

* all photos in this post were taken by yours truly.


The week of the wedding: Thursday. (Bacheloretting!)

Well, hello there! Remember me? My computer is finally back home looking all bright and shiny, and I'm ready to get back to re-capping the week of the wedding. When we left off, people were arriving, I'd finally gotten the rings back, friends were helping me re-vamp our song list, the flowers were MIA, and it was time to get ready for some partying - bachelorette style!

Bridesmaid B and MOH S had planned the evening for me - all I knew was that I was supposed to meet them at the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown San Diego's Gaslamp District. Since most of the guests of the event were already at my parent's house, we all got ready to go and drove together. After snapping a few photos on the way out, of course:

Once we got there, we, of course, had to take some more pictures.

As you can see, I was a tad over-dressed among my ladies, but I had purchased that BCBG dress on sale over a year ago with the hopes of wearing it to a wedding event. Besides, I was the bride, all's well, right?

I love Spaghetti with mizithra cheese and browned butter from the Old Spaghetti Factory. Add that to so many lovely ladies whom I love, a bottle of vino, and some awesome cheese bread, and I was a happy girl.

The rest of the plans for the night were revealed - we would be sent on an amazing race-style scavenger hunt throughout town. BM B and MOH S know that driving around town with friends is one of my favorite things, I love me a good scavenger hunt, and they found a way to incorporate many great places and fun memories into one night - good job, ladies. :)

BM B and MOH S worked out some final clues at dinner while the rest of us ordered another round of drinks and finished off our spumoni. Soon it was time for a final group photo and to head on out for the hunt!

from left to right: BM B, MOH S, Cousin D, BM J, me, college friend M, and my sisters (and BMs) L and S.

The clues for the hunt were witty poems that included memories and inside jokes that only I and a few others would know. As soon as I figured out the next location, we would head out to meet B or S for the next clue. I got to share the stories behind each clue to the other girls while we drove. It meant so much to me that my girls created something so specific to me.

I did a lot of driving early in the night, but after some drinks at dinner, my sister was kind enough to take the wheel and make me the navigator. We went to about five or six locations in all on the hunt.

I'm holding the clues in the photo above. M made sure to hang on to all of them for me for safe keeping through the night, but I'm not sure what happened to them. If I find them, I may type some of the clues out on here - they were pretty awesome little poems.

The very last clue brought us to a great little all-night coffee shop that my friends and I love hanging out at. I'm sure the orignal plan was to stay there awhile, but it was packed with people, so we decided to head down to a local pub instead. My sisters and BM J decided to use that time to call it a night, and the rest of us went and had one more drink before heading home.

I got a text message from David - he was finally back in San Diego. Relieved to have him nearby again, I told him we were at his favorite pub sipping one of his favorite beers. "Are you having MY Bachelor party?" he texted back. We certainly weren't having a typical Bachelorette party, after all, and that was perfectly okay with me. We headed back to my parents' house and called it a night - tomorrow was the day before my wedding!

* all photos by college friend M.

Note: we used this night as a test for my wedding day makeup, but I was not satisfied with the result. My actual wedding makeup look was much more natural than this.


please excuse me.

Sorry I've been away - my computer's video card is fried, so it will be away being doctored by the apple store for at least another week. I promise to finish up the week of the wedding posts as soon as I get it back, though. Up next, the honeymoon!


The week of the wedding: Thursday. (Flowers, rings, and arrivals!)

By Thursday, we had entered full-blown wedding weekend craziness. Surprisingly enough, though, it was the day that stuck most closely to the plan. (In that there were more scheduled things that had to get done - you'd better bet there were tons more things added though.)

Thursday: Pick up a good friend from the airport, take dear friend to the beach "because her toes need sand", get home to await flower delivery, mom picks up aunt and cousin from airport (and brings them to the beach), arrange flowers and pack them in water for trip, commission someone to pick up the groomsmen's rental shirts, Bachelorette celebrations at 4:00pm - well into the night. David gets back around 10 pm.

As soon as I woke up in the morning, the flower drama began. It started out great - a phone call from FedEx informed us that our delivery would be arriving sometime that morning before 10:30 am. Great. I ate breakfast and started getting ready for the day. Soon enough, the doorbell rings, and a box of these was handed over to me:

Source - Costco.com

That's right - a box - one, single box - of baby's breath... we had ordered three plus a box of mixed flowers. I went back to my tracking e-mails and saw that I had only been given two tracking numbers - one for baby's breath, and one for mixed flowers. Where the heck were the other two boxes of baby's breath?

A call to FedEx customer service informed me that there were three more boxes (check! That's everything) being held at the San Diego sorting facility, that I should get them by tomorrow morning, and that they would make a note that we would like to go pick them up if possible. Um yeah, my options were to leave my boxes of flowers - extremely perishable, please place in water as soon as you receive them, flowers - in some warehouse all night and hopefully get them before we had to leave the next day, or I would have to go pick them up myself among all the many things planned for the day. I thanked the woman, and she told me that if I didn't get a call back from the San Diego facility within the hour about the pick-up, I should call customer service again.

Meanwhile, my sisters helped me cut the stems of the one box of flowers we'd received, and place them in water. We quickly realized that we would soon run out of vases and made plans for a Wal-Mart run to get more.

An hour passed and no word from FedEx. I called customer service again, and this time I was told that there were delays at the warehouse, my boxes had not yet been sorted, and I would not be able to pick them up that day. They said they would make sure they were ready for pick-up tomorrow. So now we had to wait until the last minute and pick them up ourselves - at least we knew we'd get them. I quickly tried to put the flowers out of my mind for the time being, and headed off to the airport to pick up a friend from college.

personal photo.

After taking her to see the ocean after being land-locked all year, we got some chick-fil-a, and headed off to pick up the rings. We had a moment of slight panic trying to contact David so Margaret could check my engraving - which I still had not seen - when the jewelers reminded us that they had it written down on the order form. The engravings checked out and we headed out - finally with the rings in hand.

By the time we got back to my parent's house, my mom had picked up my aunt, cousin, and cousin's son, so there were hellos and hugs all around. It was at this time that I realized I had not yet gotten a manicure/pedicure nor would I find the time to do so, so my friend began painting my toenails for me as I looked over our playlists and began uploading them to my iPod as backup. My friend and cousin both suggested that I did not have enough songs to appeal to all kinds of people, and they began making a list of some that I should download/import. We worked on songs for awhile and began thinking about using my upcoming Bachelorette party as a makeup trial. My room was littered with makeup, blank cds, iPods, and more as we enjoyed our time together and planned out all the last-minute work that needed to be done before we left for Julian the next day.

Up next - my bachelorette shindig and the craziness of the day before the wedding!


The week of the wedding: Wednesday. (Bustle time!)

After figuring out my makeup, and some other last minute errands, it was time for my appointment with the new seamstress. If you'll remember, I was left with no bustle and worries that an attractive bustle would be impossible to do with my dress.

personal photo.

It just seemed impossible to get all of those lovely layers (and SO MUCH tulle!) to do anything but bunch up into an awful explosion. But I was ready to give it one last shot, and my mom, sister, and I headed off to Rose Anderson Sews Bridal.

Rose was amazing. She brought us right in and immediately got to work. And, within minutes, it was as if my train had disappeared. No really, she created an under-bustle for each individual tier in such a way that the top tier laid normally - it looked like the dress wasn't even bustled at all. I'm not one for bustles normally - I just don't like the look of a "bustly" bustle, but I honestly liked my dress better after Rose bustled it.

We didn't get any pictures that day in Rose's shop (it's actually a back room in her house - filled to the brim with wedding dresses that she was working on), but here's a sneak of my bustle during our first dance!

guest photo.

At the wedding, some of our guests came up and asked me if my train had been removable - they just couldn't believe everything was still in there somewhere.

After Rose pinned the bustle to show me, I just about jumped into her arms for joy - I had no idea exactly how stressed I was about the whole bustle ordeal until I felt the immense relief when my dress was in Rose's hands. My mom and sister took some mental notes on how to duplicate the process, and we left my dress with Rose to sew in the hooks. Then, on Friday, my sisters and I then picked up my dress - freshly pressed and ready to go - on our way out to Julian.

Now much more relieved than before, I was ready for the projects of the day. One of my bridesmaids came down and helped me finish cutting the last of my wine bottles, another bridesmaid ran down to my parents' house late in the night to pick up her dress, and I went to bed excited to see all the people who would be arriving the next day.


The week of the wedding: Wednesday. (The makeup)

Knowing David was going to be out of town and that most people weren't coming in until Thursday, I had asked my mom early on to take the day off work. After getting closer to the wedding, she worried there wouldn't be enough for her to do and that taking off work wouldn't be worth it.

Wednesday: Two bridesmaids will be in to help me with a full day of finalizing projects. Also, figure out time to get a manicure, pedicure, and possibly do something with my eyebrows.

The original plan put me at home - with help - all day. Well it turns out that those bridesmaids couldn't be available to help until much later in the evening, and there were so many more things to do than what the original plan could have imagined.

First thing in the morning, I started researching make-up possibilities. Figuring out what the heck I would do for makeup was left this late because I was waiting on an RSVP from a former roommate who I hoped would do my makeup for me. She was doing her best to move some things around at work and got back to me really late - she would, unfortunately, not be able to make it to the wedding. So, three days before the wedding, I figured I had better learn how to put on makeup. (Note: other than the pencil eyeliner and mascara that I put on occasionally, I pretty much go makeup free the majority of the time.)

I remembered some posts by Miss Rainbow on Weddingbee, so I clicked on over. Life. Saver.

I followed her "signature cocktail" for foundation exactly, got some blush and brush tips from her post on contouring, learned how to handle my own eyebrows, and re-visited her post on false lashes, which had already saved me for our e-pics.

I soaked in her posts, made a list of any and all supplies I may need, and headed off to do some shopping. I grabbed my momma and headed off to split the list between saving at Target and splurging at M.A.C. Once we got to M.A.C., I decided to sign up for a free makeover. Of course, the sales lady could show me the technique, I could buy some of the necessities from her, and try to match the rest with Target cheapies. With the eye makeup, the woman even did one eye, and coached me as I did the other to match.

We walked out of M.A.C. with Studio Fix Fluid foundadtion, Blacktrack Fluidline eyeliner, brush #210 to apply the eyeliner, Studio Finish concealer, and the Painterly Paint Pot eyeshadow base, and I looked like this:

personal photos.

Not bad, right? I was worried that M.A.C. would give me a heavier look like they tend to prefer, but I was pleased with the natural and flattering look here. It lasted forever too, so I was ready to comfortably duplicate this for the wedding.

We then headed to Target to finish off our supplies with Studio Tools wedges, Studio tools brushes, Physician's Formula Mineral Wear loose powder, Maybelline Expert Wear blush in gentle rose, Sonia Kashuk full eyelashes, a few eyeshadows to match the mac colors, and more.

Armed with my new army of cosmetics, I was ready to try to duplicate the M.A.C. look on my own - and he day had just begun. Stay tuned for the rest of Wednesday as the days of this week got crazier and crazier.