Thursday, May 23, 2013

wedding flashback: reception

To round out this month's "wedding flashback" posts, I thought I would finish with a few pictures of our cocktail hour and reception.  Before our wedding, people warned us the day would go by in a flash and they were definitely right.  After all the planning and preparations, the actual wedding day almost went by in a blur so I am definitely glad that I have pictures to catch some of the best moments.  It sounds so cheesy but I cannot remember a day where I felt more joy and love.  It meant so much to share such a perfect day with our family and friends.

First Dance
The week of the wedding, we took a couple of lessons from Heather at Santa Barbara Wedding Dance to help us with our first dance.  Within two lessons, she was able to teach us a first dance that made us look a lot better than we ever thought we could.  The whole process was easy and fun...even for my husband!

My father actually knows ballroom dancing so our entire dance together, I just tried to keep up with him. I felt like I went from beginner to advanced level between the first dance and this one.

Bride & Father of the Bride
Groom & Mother of the Groom
I do not remember much from the speeches but as you can see, they were funny.

Best Man Speech.
We added the chocolate fountain a few days before the wedding since we had some extra food budget to meet our minimum.  The fountain was something fun for all of our guests and was definitely a hit!

Chocolate Fountain
The cake cutting got a little messy after this...

Heading out for the night...

That's it for this month's "wedding flashbacks".  Hope you liked it!

Here is a list of our vendors...
Location / Food / Cake: Four Seasons Biltmore
Day of Coordinator: Debbie Hews
Flowers: Grass Roots
DJ: Gavin Roy
First Dance: SB Wedding Dance

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

wedding flashback: ceremony

This week, I wanted to finish up this month's "wedding flashback" posts with some pictures of the ceremony and reception.  As I mentioned in my first "wedding flashback" post {here}, our ceremony and reception were both at the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara.  The ceremony was in the Mariposa Garden which has a view of the Pacific Ocean and was a good size for our wedding (about 90 people).

Here are some of my favorites from the ceremony...

Thursday, May 16, 2013

wedding flashback: the dress

And finally to round out the wedding party attire {discussed {here} and {here}}...on to my favorite part, my dress.  My dress was a Melissa Sweet "Dora" gown.  I found the dress at a sample sale at a Santa Barbara bridal shop that was going out of business.  I liked the dress because it was a little different with the swiss dots and I loved the cut of the pleated top.

Here is the dress hanging before I got ready...

Here is the dress on...

Close-up of the front...

Sash and bow in the back...


As I discussed earlier this week {here}, Mercedes Trump from Santa Barbara did my dress alterations.  She also made some removable straps out of the extra dress material for me to wear at the reception.  The straps were a great idea so I wouldn't have to worry about my dress while I was moving around during the reception or the first dance.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

wedding flashback: bridal accessories

To continue on with my posts from the other day, here are a few details on the bridal accessories.

I was unfortunately much shorter than the rest of the bridal party so I could not wear sandals like the girls {here}. I definitely needed some heels to wear on the big day and I ended up picking these Badgley Mischka Costa heels in off-white.  The shoes were surprisingly comfortable and I loved the bow detail on the front!

In my hair, I wore a clay gardenia flower that I ordered from DK Designs on Etsy.  The clay flower was a great option so I would not have to worry about the flower being too delicate or wilting throughout the day.  

My dress was altered by the talented Mercedes Trump in Santa Barbara.  Mercedes was also kind enough to make me a custom veil.  

The pearl necklace was borrowed from my mom and the earrings, bracelet, and our wedding bands were custom from Inta Gems & Diamonds in the jewelry district in Los Angeles.  I cannot recommend these jewelers enough.  They do great custom jewelry for a lot cheaper than your typical jewelry store.  

Friday, May 10, 2013

wedding flashback: wedding party

To continue on with this month's wedding posts, I thought I would share some pictures today of what the wedding party wore.  

The guys were pretty easy (as they usually are).  We got the tuxedos from King Tux in Santa Barbara with a cream vest for the groom and blue vests for the groomsmen. 

I think I actually spent more time looking for the bridesmaid dresses than I did looking for my own wedding gown.  In my head, I had a specific blue that I wanted for my main wedding color and finding dresses in that particular color turned out to be tougher than I expected.  Lucky for me, a few months before the wedding, Ann Taylor had silk dupioni dresses in the exact blue I was looking for ("Pacific Blue").  Ann Taylor provided 25% off and free shipping so the price was also not too bad compared to other options.  

The girls wore silver flip flops with rhinestones from Aldo.  They were a great price, super cute, and comfortable!  

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

wedding flashback: flowers

Today I wanted to share some pictures of the flowers from our wedding.  Our vendor was Grass Roots and I cannot recommend them enough.  My husband and I know very little about flowers and had little ideas on what we wanted for wedding flowers other than that we liked hydrangeas and wanted flowers in blues, greens, and whites.  With little direction, the talented ladies at Grass Roots made beautiful arrangements that were perfect for our wedding.

One of best things they did was provide us with a proposal that included a low, middle, and high price for each item with different size or floral combinations so that we could combine or modify our choices to fit within our budget.  They also recommended that we go to the LA flower district to get the glass containers for the tables.  Although they had these containers for us to rent, they gave us a tip that buying these containers ourselves would be cheaper than renting them.  I appreciated them looking out for us and our budget!

Here are the main ceremony flowers that were at the front and center of our ceremony.  We later moved these into the reception area at both sides of the fireplace in the dining room.

My favorite flowers were the bride and bridesmaid bouquets.  They were beautiful and matched the dresses perfectly.

My mother tied my grandparent's wedding rings to my bouquet as my "something borrowed."  It was a lovely personal touch and I was happy to have a piece of them there in my wedding.

The groom and groomsmen boutonierres were made of green and blue hydrangeas.

The tables arrangements were a mix of roses and hydrangeas.

Finally, the cake!  For the cake, we chose simple roses as decoration for the top.  The cake was made by the Four Seasons hotel baker with a simple fondant icing, ribbon to match our wedding invitations and bridesmaid dresses, and swiss dots in icing to match my dress.

Monday, May 6, 2013

wedding flashback: sign-in table and place cards

To continue on with this month's wedding posts, I wanted to share another couple of projects from our wedding.

Our wedding location did not have a set-up for a slideshow but I still wanted to somehow incorporate pictures in the wedding.  Therefore, I instead opted to make a sign-in book for our wedding guests and included the pictures I would have put in our slideshow.  I made the book using Blurb, an online site that allows you to make your own custom books.  The site has easy to use templates and layouts that make the process simple.

Here are some pictures of the sign-in table and book...

The guest sign-in book ended being one of my favorite keepsakes from the wedding as it provided a way for our guests to leave comments and well wishes for us and is also a good coffee table book in our living room.

For the table cards, I printed all the guest names on the 8 1/2 by 11 card stock paper that I used for our wedding menus {here}.  I then simply cut the table cards and placed them in three wood jewelry display trays with sand and seashell place card holders.  I bought the jewelry display trays and seashell place card holders on eBay.

The place card holders fit in with the overall them of the wedding and were also a cute item for our guests to take home.

Friday, May 3, 2013

wedding flashback: wedding favors & menus...

To continue on from my post earlier this week, today I wanted to share our DIY wedding favors.  When brainstorming on what to do for the wedding favors, I knew I wanted to pick a wedding favor that (1) was edible, (2) had some meaning to both my husband and I and our respective families, and (3) I could make myself.

My husband is Taiwanese so when I came across these mini dim sum steamers, I thought they would be great to hold the wedding favors.  I was able to find these guys at for about $1.40 each.

My mother's family is from the Netherlands so we picked Stroopwafels for the wedding favor to stick inside.  Stroopwafels originated in the Netherlands and are made of two thin waffles with a thin layer of caramel syrup in between.  They were a favorite treat in our household growing up so were a perfect goodie to give out as a wedding favor.  My husband and I found these mini Stroopwafels at Trader Joe's and on one trip bought their entire stock of these bags (which I'm sure looked really odd to everyone else at the checkout line).

In order to keep the caramel from hardening, I had to wait until right before the wedding to open up the bags and split them into smaller packets.  Lucky for me, I have some awesome friends and family that helped me with all the favors a couple nights before the wedding.  Here is our little assembly line...

We tied paper ribbon around the steamers to keep them shut and decorated them with a basic shipping tag which we stamped on both sides.  The wedding favors cost approximately $3 a piece including the stroopwafels, containers, and materials.

Here is what the wedding favors looked like on the big day...

I also made our dinner reception menus using the same font, color, and stamp that I used on our wedding decorations.  I simply printed two menus on 8 1/2 x 11 card stock paper that I had around the house and cut in half.  Here is what they looked like on the tables...

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

wedding flashback: save the dates & invitations...

Happy May 1st everyone!  May is a special month for me because it is the month of my wedding anniversary. Therefore, I thought this month would be the perfect time to share some photos and DIY projects from our wedding.  I thought I would kick it off with our "save the date" cards and invitations.

My husband and I picked Santa Barbara for our wedding location not only because of its beauty and charm, but also because it was a great vacation spot for our of town guests and within a reasonable driving distance for our Los Angeles friends and family.  After visiting a few reception locations, we visited the Four Seasons Biltmore on a whim and fell in love with the location.  The grounds, architecture, and feel were everything I could have ever wanted for this special day.  

After we locked down the date and booked the location, I simply asked the hotel's event coordinator if we could have some of the complimentary postcards that are in the guest rooms.  I then printed our wedding information on the back of the postcard and added a postmark stamp to the top right corner to make it look like a used postcard.  All in all, the save the date cards cost me about $15 ($5 for the stamp and $10 for envelopes).

After making our save the date cards, I figured I would take a stab at making our wedding invitations as well.  By this time, I had picked an ocean blue as our primary wedding color.  When I saw this decorative paper at Paper Source, it matched perfectly with our wedding colors and I knew I wanted to incorporate it somehow into our wedding invitations.  The paper is "Yuzen Pool Lake Waves" and is about $8 for one 25" x 19" sheet.

For the outside of the invitation, I bought blank 5 1/2" square folded cards from Paper Source in their "Lake" color.  I cut the decorative paper into strips and glued it on the front of the folded card with a glue stick and then added blue and cream ribbon for extra decoration.

For the RSVP cards on the inside of the invitation, I used Paper Source's 4 bar note cards and envelopes in cream and fastened them down to the folded card using more ribbon.  I printed the invitation on Paper Source's 5" enclosure cards and fastened to the folding card using photo mounting corners.

I don't have any pictures of the outside envelopes but basically used 5 3/4" envelopes for the inner envelope and 6 1/2" envelopes for the outer envelope.  I simply printed the names and addresses on the envelopes using similar font as the invitation.  All in all, the wedding invitations cost approximately $4 per invitation.

After the wedding, I framed the front and inside of our wedding invitations using Ikea's Ribba frame.  The frames are hanging in our home office.