Tag Archives: Bride’s Diary

December 20

Bride’s Diary: Don’t Panic!

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

You know when life is cruising along, things are somewhat perfect and bam! It stops you right in your track and reminds you that you are not as in control as you think? Well this happened to me in a major way last week.

I had gotten a voicemail from my venue that said, “Please call us back as soon as possible, it’s regarding your wedding date.” I knew it was not good. And it wasn’t. The venue, Ralston Hall, is an old mansion built in the 1800’s and when you live in California (earthquake zone) old buildings like this are inspected annually. These inspections lead to the closure of Ralston Hall due to seismic issues with the building. Once my coordinator said informed me of that, I bawled.  So many things were running through my head and I felt like I was having a panic attack. There are only four months until my wedding… what am I going to do? If this happens to you, DON’T PANIC!

It stinks, I know, but it’s a lot more common than you think. I found out that a lot of my friends went through the same thing—some with just three months until the big day. Thankfully the staff there was wonderful and called around to see what venues were still available on our date. Even the ones I called that weren’t on that list knew what was going on and offered their assistance.

So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?

  1. Don’t panic!
  2. It’s okay to cry and freak out, but once you have calmed down you need to move on and find an alternative venue.
  3. Check with your venue to see if they can assist in finding you other venues that are still open on your date.
  4. Notify your vendors of the situation. They might know of great places to look for a new venue—especially your caterer.
  5. Notify your guests ASAP, especially if the invites have already gone out (you can choose to do this after you have booked a new venue if you want).
  6. When you are looking for another venue, make sure to let them know your situation and also let them know you have booked all of your vendors (if you have). They hopefully will waive any fees associated with bringing in a vendor that is not on their list (hotels will be the hardest to do this with since they usually have their own catering).
  7. Start setting up appointments to look at places right away.
  8. Once you have found something, notify your vendors so they can adjust their schedule if needed.

You will find something, I promise! The wedding will go on and you must remember that the most important thing is you are marrying your best friend.

Thankfully, we ended up finding a venue much closer to home which is great! It’s called Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California and I cannot wait to host our wedding there!

Meet Ashley

Ashley and Adam met a little over three years ago when they were both out with friends at a bar. They spent the night talking about sports and dealing with other friends’ drama. A few days later they went on their first date and have been inseparable since. Three years later, Adam popped the question to a very surprised Ashley!

Ashley and Adam are getting married April 28, 2012 at Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California.

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December 14

Bride’s Diary: Two Months Married

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

Melissa here again…actually [clears throat] it’s Mrs. Melissa now! That’s right, I survived. I made it through the planning, the big day, the dreaded first day back at work and I’m happier than ever. No post wedding depression here. Now I’m not saying I didn’t love planning with my friends and my wedding day wasn’t the best day of my life (seriously the best.day.ever), but I was so ready to be done. I was exhausted! So exhausted in fact, I hibernated on my honeymoon.

With that said, here’s a few tips for the brides-to-be!

  • You know those teenie, tiny details you lose sleep over? Yeah, no one notices. And you’re even too busy to notice. Forget the bows you didn’t tie on the mason jars and the song that never played. No one knows they’re missing.
  • Save your money for the important things. Psst…want to know a secret? I got the most compliments on the easiest and cheapest details of my wedding. A couple examples: people told me they loved my shoes and I found them at Ross for $15. The popcorn at the candy table. I wanted more of a retro-feel so I bought a few bags of kettle corn and one pack of popcorn boxes. Total: $20 tops.
  • Schedule “first look” pictures before the ceremony, if possible. I felt so anxious all day and it all melted away once I finally saw Chris. It was truly the only alone time we had all day and after that I felt relieved and ready to walk down the aisle.

Here’s our wedding under 3 minutes for your enjoyment!

Our Wedding! from BF Chef on Vimeo.

So now onto the pictures! We had a Beatles-themed wedding full of Beatles song titled tables, Abbey Road photobooth, Beatles quotes in our programs, Yellow Submarine signature cocktail, etc. Thanks to Ashley Rose Photography for the fantastic photos!

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December 8

Bride’s Diary: Planning, Pictures and More

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

We’re right in the thick of all the final touches (pretty good for still having close to 6 months, right?). Since I last posted we decided on the honeymoon. We’ll be flying to Lisbon, Portugal and spending a few days exploring the neighboring cities. From there we will head to Seville, Spain and travel around the whitewashed towns by car. Next we’ll jet off to Barcelona to take a cruise to Palma De Mallorca, Malta, Sicily, Naples and Genoa. Then back to Barcelona to spend our remaining days exploring the architecture, experiencing the Spanish nightlife and dining on local delicacies! To say we can’t wait would be an understatement.

We also took engagement photos with our wedding phorographer, Gavin Holt. Despite the fact that this was our second engagement shoot, I wasn’t any less awkward. I am not exactly a camera ham, but we got some really great shots nonetheless. Here are our three favorites. (Ok, I know the middle one is a compilation of a bunch of photos but it was hard to pick just three.)

Meet Jessica

Jessica and Dan met nearly 7 years ago on Myspace. (Remember Myspace?) It took weeks of contemplation until they decided to finally meet… and I guess you could say the rest was history. After discovering their mutual shoe addiction, surviving countless Thanksgiving family meals together and three apartment/house moves later—they are officially ready to tie the knot.

Jessica and Dan are getting married May 27, 2012 at Malibou Lake Mountain Club in Los Angeles.

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November 26

Bride’s Diary: The Venue… It’s All About the Décor!

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

It’s been three months after the proposal and my mind has been consumed by the venue and its decor! David and I were lucky to have our dear family friends offer their gorgeous house and backyard in Atherton, CA for our wedding. We will be getting married in their front lawn at 5pm in the evening. Then, we will have dinner under a blanket of twinkly lights and chandeliers in their backyard, which has a gorgeous lawn, rose garden, and 100 year old oak tree!

I know that I want a dressier outdoor fete, so I picked out these beautiful dark mahogany chivari chairs. I also want to incorporate my favorite color pink into the décor as well, with pops of white and green. Although these chivari chairs are double the price of the white folding chairs (typical), I really think that it is worth the investment. I love how elegant they look in a backyard setting!

Another none-negotiable for the décor is an outdoor lounge area. I want to rent a white sofa, vintage white chairs and a coffee table with pink and white flowers to be placed right by the dance floor. I am seriously in love with the setup below—truly stunning!

Now that the venue and the décor inspiration has been picked, I am now searching for how to make this all happen! Where do I go to rent furniture for the lounge area? How about finding a fabulous florist? And those chandeliers that I want hung from the tree—where the heck do I find those?? Anyways, stay tuned for all these answers as well as many more decisions later! Can’t wait to see it all unfold…

Meet Alison

Alison met David over six years ago while attending the University of Oregon. Alison and David are grateful for everything that they have gone through together while dating, since it has made them stronger and molded them into the couple that they are today.

David proposed to Alison at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and they are excited to get married August 25, 2012 in Atherton, CA.

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November 14

Bride’s Diary: The Engagement Shoot

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

I have to first start off by saying, I don’t like to be photographed and I don’t like the spotlight. These two things I thought would make it difficult when it came time to take our engagement pictures, but to my surprise, it was a fun and special moment between my fiancé and me. We took the photos with the talented (and one of my very best friends) Eileen Roche who also helped make us comfortable during the shoot.

Here are some tips to consider when planning your engagement pictures:

  • Pick at least one place that has memories for the both of you (a park, city, train, etc.)
  • Make sure you coordinate your outfits so they blend nicely in the photos. I am not talking matching shirts, but keeping your dress in the same color palette as his shirt or contrasting colors that work (i.e. navy and gray)
  • Try your best to focus on him—it will help ease nerves and make for great candid shots
  • Laugh and kiss as much as you can… those are the cutest photos!

These are some of my favorite shots from our shoot. Our location was at Vasona Park in Los Gatos, California (which Adam and I frequent often on our bike rides) and the cute downtown of Willow Glen, California.

We used a large balloon as a prop for a couple of pictures and even though it didn’t cooperate most of the time, it was still fun! Will you be using any props for your engagement pictures?

Stealing a kiss while watching Sunday Night Football—we are huge football fans!

Meet Ashley

Ashley and Adam met a little over three years ago when they were both out with friends at a bar. They spent the night talking about sports and dealing with other friends’ drama. A few days later they went on their first date and have been inseparable since. Three years later, Adam popped the question to a very surprised Ashley!

Ashley and Adam are getting married April 28, 2012 at Ralston Hall in Belmont, CA.

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November 8

Bride’s Diary: We Did It!

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

All the fuss and craziness is now over and I can be myself again. I remember telling a lot of people how I no longer felt like myself the last month before the wedding. I remember very clearly how stressed I was the night before. It was raining a bit and very windy, and it was still windy when I left the hotel the next morning on my way to the Brazilian Room at Tilden Park. But when I got there, it was very peaceful and very sunny! Things do flow very nicely after all. Right before the wedding ceremony, fog started rolling in making the mood very romantic. My friends joked around and told me that it felt like a scene in Twilight!

The wedding was beautiful and I can’t thank everyone enough for all the help and support they have given me and Jacky. Now it’s time to get used to calling him my husband! Photos compliments of Shannon Paras Photography.

Gorgeous, right? Check out the entire photo gallery of Tammy and Jacky’s wedding!

Meet Tammy
Tammy and Jacky met on an online dating website about three years ago. Tammy was Jacky’s 30th birthday present, and Jacky was her trial after her cousin recommended that she check the website out. After long emails and text messages, they met and have been inseparable ever since. He arranged a surprise getaway for her and took her to Disney World, where he proposed. They married on September 10th in Berkeley, California.

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October 10

Bride’s Diary: Meet Alison

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

I met David through mutual friends while attending the University of Oregon. I will never forget my first impression of him—his kind green eyes, his adorable dimples and magnetic smile. Even though we were close friends for six months before we started dating, I always had a major crush on him! His personality was also infectious, with his wicked sense of humor, and his easygoing charm. Once we started dating, we were inseparable. I just had so much fun around him and we had a level of comfort which was unmatched. It literally felt like I had known him forever. Even though we were incredibly different in many ways (me being an extrovert, him being more introverted or me being artistic and him being more analytical) we both brought out the best in each other and balanced each other out perfectly. I know it sounds crazy, but I knew from the second that we started dating that he was The One. I had no idea of the future to come, but I knew in my heart that I wanted him to be part of it.

At the University of Oregon, 2005

However, the gloom of Oregon was getting to me more and more and told David that I was thinking about moving back to California. He thought for a second and said with a smile, “I hate the rain too, and I wouldn’t mind a change—let’s do it!” A couple months later, we had moved out of our apartments in Oregon and into a new apartment in Santa Barbara where we happily lived in the California sunshine for a year while attending college.

Santa Barbara, 2006

Amidst my current life of classes, friends and the beach, I received a call from my mom which would change my life forever. She told me that my dad was sick. He was diagnosed with a rare brain disease—Pick’s disease—and that he would survive anywhere from two to five years. She told me that the process of him dying would be difficult and slow progression—since his brain was affected, there would be behavioral changes, his speech and thoughts would deteriorate, and he would eventually need 24/7 care. I told David that I needed to move back up to San Francisco where my parents lived to be with my family. David, as truly amazing as he is, said that he would move up with me and help take care of my dad. We both ended up moving into my parents’ house and taking care of my father for three years until the day he passed. I won’t go into specifics of this experience, but I will say that I can’t imagine going through all of that without David’s love, support and strength. He was the rock not only for me, but for my mom and two younger sisters—I also know that my Dad adored him and was grateful to have him there as well. The day that my dad took his last breath, David grabbed my dad’s hands and firmly expressed that he would always take care of me and be there for my family. David thanked him for letting him be a part of our lives. Through my dad’s painful last breaths, my dad squeezed his hands, as though he was telling him thank you.

My mom and David, Christmas 2008

Fast forward to a month ago—David told me that he wanted to take my mom, my sister (who was visiting that weekend) and myself to the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. That Saturday, we all headed over to the stunning Palace of Fine Arts, which is one of my favorite places on earth. We were all walking around the lake in the pure sunshine and admiring the scenery, when I looked around and asked David where my mom and sister went. He told me that we would meet up with them in a second, but to keep walking. He started to talk about how much I meant to him and how incredibly special my family was to him. He said that we had grown so much together and admired my courage, and that he couldn’t imagine life without me. All of a sudden, he knelt down on one knee and said, “Babe, will you marry me?!” I screamed in complete shock and started shaking, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Yes—of course!” Meanwhile my mom and sisters were in the bushes snapping pictures of the entire proposal. They ran over to us and started crying and hugging us. It was the most special and happy experience of my entire life! From that moment on, I knew that a beautiful new chapter of my life was about to take hold!

I share with you our entire story since it truly molded us into who we as a couple. We both eagerly embrace the next year of planning our wedding as a breath of fresh air and celebration—soaking in each happy moment with loved ones. Stay tuned for my diary of planning over the next nine months! Thanks for listening to our story so far!

Meet Alison

Alison met David over six years ago while attending the University of Oregon. Alison and David are grateful for everything that they have gone through together while dating, since it has made them stronger and molded them into the couple that they are today.

David proposed to Alison at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and they are excited to get married August 25, 2012 in Atherton, CA.

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October 3

Let the Registry Begin: Bride’s Diary

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms- and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

Over the weekend Adam and I devoted an afternoon to start our registry. I don’t know why, but I was very anxious to do this. I was already overwhelmed way before we started. That’s when I started researching and asking my social networks what advice they had for completing the registry.

I first researched where the best places were to register and found a very helpful article on Brides.com that broke down the top 25 places to register, to the type of people that should register at a certain place—and even listed out the perks you get for going with their store. We decided to go with Crate & Barrel because they had a lot of pieces and kitchen accessories we really liked at a reasonable price.

And here are some of the items we selected:

What are some must-have pieces for your registry?

We also wanted items that weren’t offered at Crate & Barrel so we decided to use MyRegistry.com where you can go to any website and select an item and it puts it all on one master list to make it easier for your family and friends to find and order.

Honeyfund.com is also a great registry to add things for your honeymoon that your guests can purchase for you. We added things such as tickets to museums and a car ride to the hotel from the airport, which will come in handy since we will be coming off of a long flight to Italy and won’t really want to find transportation once we land.

The best part about all these registries is that you can easily go in and add and remove items. There is no need to stress about this process, just do your research and come with a list of must-have items… but be open to adding other things that will help you as you become newlyweds!


Meet Ashley

Ashley and Adam met a little over three years ago when they were both out with friends at a bar. They spent the night talking about sports and dealing with other friends’ drama. A few days later they went on their first date and have been inseparable since. Three years later, Adam popped the question to a very surprised Ashley!

Ashley and Adam are getting married April 28, 2012 at Ralston Hall in Belmont, CA.

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September 12

Bride’s Diary: Two Bridal Showers and a Lot of Details Later

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

OK, it’s getting real now. We have 25 days till the wedding. I feel prepared and I’m very ready for it to be here!

Since my last post, I’ve had two wedding showers: one in LA and one in SF. My sister (MOH) and another bridesmaid hosted them for me and I’ve honestly never felt more loved. I know how easy it can be to get caught up in all the planning and details, but I’ve really tried to soak everything up.

Here’s a couple highlights!

My sister and me!

I’ll tell you what’s hard: writing 30+ thank you notes and making each one personal and meaningful. When I receive a thank you note, I can instantly tell if someone just wanted to cross it off their to-do list, which is why I took some serious time writing them. The long process was a little better with my adorable new stationery though! ;)

Retro Bloom from Tiny Prints

We also finalized our wedding programs, menus and favor gift tags in the last month.

Unfortunately, we took our engagement pictures too late for our save the date cards, so we decided to use one for our wedding programs. What did you do with your engagement pictures?

I was bummed these amazing chevron wedding invitations released after we ordered our wedding invites, so I decided to re-purpose them for our menus. We ordered these in orange and yellow to make the tables extra colorful!

And finally, here’s the personalized gift tag stickers that we put on our candy favor bags. I absolutely love these stickers—they instantly give my gift bags a cute, personal touch!

Can’t wait to share my big day with everyone! Anyone else getting married soon? How are your plans coming along?

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August 29

All About the Dress: Bride’s Diary

Wedding Paper Divas is bursting with staff grooms and brides-to-be who are currently planning their weddings. We’re happy to share their stories with you as a part of this fun feature!

Things have really been moving since my last post. We have booked almost all of our vendors… the last one is catering which we have our tasting soon. Now that all of the big things have been booked, it’s time to focus on the details of the big day. The dress is one of the most important purchases for your wedding, if not the most. Everyone’s eyes will be on you that day, you are the star, and your dress is the supporting roll. It will live in pictures and video forever and it will be one of the things your guests will remember and talk about.

The dress for me is and has been the most nerve-racking task I have taken thus far in my wedding planning journey. What if I don’t pick the right one? What if my fiancé hates it? Will everyone be saying, “Wow she looks stunning,” or “What was she thinking?” All of these thoughts were with me as I went to my first dress appointment. But I tried to push them aside and focused on the moment and how I felt in each dress.

I have always loved a-line dresses—I think they are romantic and look good on just about anyone, so I thought that the style would be the one for me. I fell in love with the dress above the moment I saw it in a magazine. It had a shoulder strap, belt and pockets (anyone who knows me knows my love for dresses with pockets), it looked like the perfect dress for me. But as I was browsing the bridal store I found myself leaning toward trumpet style and even though I said no lace, I liked a few with small lace detailing. Here are some of the dresses I tried on that didn’t quite make the cut.

While they were all beautiful, my heart is leaning toward one dress. Although I can’t share which one I am thinking of, I can tell you that it makes me feel beautiful. I am a little scared that it’s different from a traditional gown, but the feeling it gives me, I feel, cannot be replicated by another. This weekend I will make my decision and I know no matter what dress I choose, Adam will think I am beautiful and that is all that matters.

Brides-to-be, when you go into your first appointment keep an open mind. You will be surprised at what you just might find!

Meet Ashley

Ashley and Adam met a little over three years ago when they were both out with friends at a bar. They spent the night talking about sports and dealing with other friends’ drama. A few days later they went on their first date and have been inseparable since. Three years later, Adam popped the question to a very surprised Ashley!

Ashley and Adam are getting married April 28, 2012 at Ralston Hall in Belmont, CA.

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