Monday, May 20, 2013

venue brain dump :)

Brain dump!

Venues to visit - top choices so far

Oak Canyon Nature center in Anaheim (<1k)

(ceremony only) outdoor amphitheater  cheap, bring umbrellas if worried about rain, though they do offer a reschedule  No dogs.

Maxwell House

(ceremony + reception or just reception perhaps) ($2600 flat fee, some other fees if staying for reception - insurance)
 55 South Grand Avenue, Pasadena, CA

  1. Call or email to check on date availability: 626-356-8014 or 626-584-7494, ext. 10 or to Arrange a site visit.

LA Arboretrum (ceremony only) (<1k)

301 North Baldwin Avenue, Arcadia CA
(season limitations april - october) limited locations for ceremonies allowed - would want to check them out

Locations: Bauer Lawn (surrounding fountains), Baldwin Lake, Rose Garden, Special Event
Lawn/Wedding Garden, Waterfall/Meadowbrook, Queen Anne Cottage lawns, Zen Deck, and the
Sunset Celebration Garden. The capacity varies according to event type and location.

Highland Resort in Cherry Hills (north of Beaumont/Banning) (Mon-thurs wedding $1500 ceremony only - includes chairs and whatnot)

1100 year old oak for ceremony (or lawn)
site for possible reception, but exclusive catering on top of 3k reception fee
10600 Highland Springs Ave  Cherry Valley, CA 92223

Requested more info from/would go visit

Clark Estate (Santa Fe Springs) (<3k for reception venue rental + ceremony)

Courtyard ceremony and dance and dinner (venue approx 1k - potentially less - includes nothin, just space)
10211 PIoneer Blvd.

Wayfarers chapel 

5755 Palos Verdes Dr S  Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275

Monday Special - Monday weddings are now $1,500. (excludes Holiday weekends)
The cost of a wedding during the weekend is $2,900 (Friday – Sunday) and during the weekdays it is $2,200 (Tuesday – Thursday). Your wedding contribution includes the use of the Chapel for two hours, the Chapel Minister, wedding staff to guide your rehearsal, wedding music (played by the Chapel keyboardist), candles on the altar and your conferences
No extra decorations. Up to 100 ppl only
Creepy religious alter but otherwise STUNNING

Edward Dean Museum in Cherry Valley (<4k)

Includes tables chairs and dance floor, would need to inquire about ceremony site only fees
If had reception there, there is indoor banquet hall or outdoor pavillion.

Waiting on more info from:

Smog Shoppe - Culver City

this is clearly one of my favorites so far from pictures, but not only have they not gotten back to me with quotes, I get a sense they are going to be pretty expensive!!

/Marmivon (sister property to smog shoppe- looks even fancier)

Hidden Creek - emailed, waiting to hear back

Other considerations

Aquarium of the Pacific 

(1k, with tables and chairs, add-ons for other areas of the aquarium "cocktail hour")
Big tank is cold reef- not my favorite.. aaaand there is totally a giant whale invited :P
3 far too flowery examples of weddings at AoP

Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden

Nicer garden area $1200, no chairs, but tram service is included.
For ceremony only I imagine (restricted catering, etc)

What about Lucille's catering?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Altadena venue a no-go *darn!

Quick update- Deodar's declines

the private walled off secret garden feeling headquarters nearby cheap and full of family history has declined my hopes of being married there.

Thinking about state parks maybe?

What are the base requirements of a venue for a ceremony (if the reception is held there, that is different too!)

shelter (?)

things to consider anyway!

Friday, May 10, 2013


Just jotting down more ideas - organization of them will come later I am sure *taps nose knowingly
Some are repetitive and refining of previously mentioned ideas. But this is brainstorming, I get to repeat myself and be disorganized and exited and dream and imagine :D

* Game night/reception - board games, word games, lawn games, sack races - get people to interact- that's the kind of stuff we will remember
* Food ideas - huge bowls of fresh salad, fruit, nuts cheese, and how about some HAAAAM (I am on a ham kick right now- may fav meal of the year is thanksgiving- I looOooove turkey and ham! :D this could still have the tea party/sit at picnic blankets, eat whenever you want effect
* Avoid awkwardness- no name tags, no designated seating, no everyone has to do this or that at this time. Minimize requirements to the essentials (ie photo shoots!)
* Maybe not have Pops do photography, as I want him to be able to mingle and be involved! will have to ask what he would prefer
* Plant succulent cuttings months and months ahead to be used
* Have some kind of stamp or signature on invites - not just printouts - give a personal touch (something cheap, easy and fun to do with prep-crew!
* Would love to get tasteful pin-up boudoir photos made for John
* I am so much more attracted to ivy, greenery, bark, stumps, branches, and leaves than flowers
* Simple and elegant decor- dried/paper leaves in a clear vase. Amber glass with branches and leaves.   (don't get me wrong, there are PLENTY of more complex decorations that I am attracted to, but I want to under-plan rather than over-plan - focus on the important stuff!

I am going to do some re-organizing of my gathered ideas- stuff I can already put together with what I have/pull off almost free, stuff that is overboard but inspirational, boquet ideas, reception ideas, etc etc

*excited and happy :D

Thursday, May 9, 2013

5/5/13 "I want you to have this book" (and the ring in it too)

Huzzah I am engaged! Now to revitalize and work the shit out of this blog MWAHAHAHA!

I shall forever remember our May the Fourth Be With you/Cinco de Mayo weekend of celebration and joy- a four day weekend for me in fact, starting and ending with relaxation and joy.

Firstly, for ease of gathering images/sites, I have a pinterest with many things gathered on it. I intend to keep trying to find and record the things I find most meaningful and desirable.

I got a pretty good list going in the posts below, so I will work form that. :) I have a google doc of potential invites- core family and friends, with the count at about 80 with all those random plus ones.

Have come to some good conclusions about wedding ideas:

* Interested right now in having the ceremony/tea party at Deodars (Altadena CA)

there are little to no public photos of the heqadquarters around, and I know they are protective about photos of some of their art and whatnot, but I will need to check with them. From what my grandmother has said, weddings have been held there before. It has big grassy lawns surrounded by huge trees, a beautiful garden, a nice big house we could crowd into if the weather doesn't cooperate, and even a big kitchen for the tea party stuff.

* no alcohol
* no dancefloor - instead have games (board games) or when outside, have lawn games - croquet, horseshoes, bocci etc
* Meal will be had at a venue/restaurant for "rehearsal dinner" (must come up with a better name for that), but at the actual reception there will be a tea party! cheese and fruit and nuts and olives and whatnot AND tea LOTS OF TEA hooray! I think I like the idea of a "cheeese cake" made of delicious cheese

* Would love a gathering/initiation for a bbq meat at Spa Morgan (leftovers could be provided to keep us fed during the next few days
* Would love to gather some core peoples (to come and go as they pleased) for a few days/week before to hang out, make crafts, prep food, have good fun and celebrate
* No tables with designated seats- everyone will be able to grab food and wander and sit with whoever they want whenever they want - currently very much liking the picnic blankets with occasional seating for people who can't sit on the ground (maybe ask people to bring beach towels or sarongs/umbrellas/blankets - mismatched and personalized is more fun!) Could have throw blankets and umbrellas (shade and warmth) for whatever the weather happens to be
* I want to work hard to stay away from over theme/over decorating/over detailing- I don't need too much stuff (even though it is so exciting) and the stuff isnt' what we'll all remember anyway!
* Could knit scarves or print zentangle stuff or use John's photos for favors/decor/thank yous
* I have a ceremony under the stars in my head- maybe just a few people, maybe just John and I - and hopefully with a fire. No idea where this would occur :P Little corona del mar beach? Hawaii on honeymoon I spose!
* Flowers- MEH! Not a big deal. If there are to be decorative flowers, I like funky weird flowers and succulents. I much prefer seedpods and branches to flowers
* Some time outside- depending on weather and location- hopefully barefoot. Maybe a prayer wheel? I like incorporating barefeet- obviously this would be otpional

* Yoga taught by Sandy
* Paintball in thrift shop dresses (heart not totally set on this, but it sounds fun)
* Board games night, brunch in pajamas morning (spa morgan?)
* No gift registry- instead pay for our honeymoon!

* Would love Steve and Erin to sing at some point
* I think I want dad and Catherine to dress up funny (and anyone else who enjoys that)
* I don't want to over-prepare for entertaining and comforting everyone, figuring out where htye will stay and what they will eat and blah blah blah- helpers can help with that part and generally- *gasp people can take care of themselves :)
* Some random ideas: pumpkin patch visit, pick pumpkins and have a carving party, use them for decor (sept 28-Oct 31 at tanaka farms)
* Music - would need speaker system - playlist is totally fine - jazzy tunes! (and a backup lawn games/dancefloor lawn mix)

Eventually I will get this down to things I want to have vs things I'd really like to try and have

Potential timeline
Have mom come out a few times - to help with announcements/crafts/dresses

Have pops take photos for announcements/at wedding(?)

about a week before ceremony:
Mom arrives, friends and locals come as they can
Camp out at spa morgan with the boys (or leave boys with John for the first few days)
Laugh and talk and make crafty things and puzzle and games and food
Help with people arriving, greet and eat with them
3-4 days before ceremony - John joins the fun at Spa morgan
events begin!
BBQ for people's arrival
Dog Park visit? Petting zoo? ZOO TRIP!? I love animals :D
Game and movie night
Make food for parents
See the sights (go touristy places with people if they want)
Yoga class

1-2 days before ceremony
Prep! Gather things to take to sight
Prepare snackums and decor
yoga class

day of/day before
Deliver everything to deodars
set up and enjoy!

things I need to check - how much can I take over spa morgan- especially with me and mom and friendvisitors when they might need to house their family that comes?
Money budgetses
Honeymoon schedules/ideas (does John even want to go to hawaii?)

nuff for now, much more to come :DDD

Monday, January 14, 2013

About time for some updates!

Rings have been narrowed down to two! Letting him select between them.

Have come to some good conclusions about wedding ideas:
* prefer the ceremony to be outside
* no alcohol
* no dancefloor - instead have a gaming floor with projected games - rock band, tetris, etc
* Meal will be had at a venue for rehearsal dinner, but at the actual reception there will be a tea party! cheese and fruit and tea LOTS OF TEA
* No tables with designated seats- everyone will be able to grab food and wander and sit with whoever they want whenever they want
* must have fire- fireplace or fire pit, either way
* funky flowers - some fake is fine - I like succulents and tropical beauties!
* Some time outside- depending on weather and location- hopefully barefoot. Maybe a prayer wheel?
* No gift registry- instead pay for our honeymoon!
* I think I like the idea of everyone bringing a funky plate/bowl/mug to provide the dishes :D
* I think I want dad and Catherine to dress up funny (and anyone else who enjoys that)

Things John and I absolutely love that are very "us" things
* snuggling up for movies/knitting/games - so perhaps games night can have snuggly beanbags and stuff
* Living Paleo and eating fabulous paelo food
* hanging out with Brutus/Logan etc - maybe a trip to a dog park that anyone can attend?
* Games and puzzles!
* being goofy (bouncy castle?)
* Jazz music (Billy Holiday/Louis Armstrong style)

Things I love that are very ME things
* art/creativity - an arts and crafts time? Might be plenty of opportunity for that in prep. Maybe a make a/add to a scrapbook page option for guestbook thing?
* Knitting - would be a fun gift for the wedding party - little key cozies or something quick and easy- matching would be adorable - scarves?
* Nuts! Nut cracking - bowls of nuts and crackers for sitting and cracking and chatting :D
* Talking about myself/showing off my art - maybe my artwork can decorate wherever we have the game day or something. Wouldn't mind having my scrapbooks out for people to browse through while we are all hanging out any of these times too :)

Things John loves that are very John
* fixing things
* Photography
* writing
* quiet John time
* games
* Being comfy and relaxed, especially with dogs in the lap
* enjoying scrumptious food
* not being the center of attention
* sarcasm/snark
* pretty ladies- legs :D
* peace and quiet
* references to clever and awesome shows/games/writers/media
* subtlety
* Tom Waits
* sleeping in his own bed
* setting up a good scene/atmosphere

I love carving pumpkins and I like autumn wedding and I like candles. Maybe there can be a pumpkin carving and chatting party!
I want activities the day before and after etc- I imagine brunch in jammies one morning, and sitting by a fire and a board game and puzzle time (that way people can come to whichever feels best whenever they like- no obligations, perhaps with xbox stations always set up as well :P) Still LOVE the idea of people getting goodwill dresses (even the boys who will participate) and then going out and paintballing in them!!!

nuff for now, more to come :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Brain's been chewing

Been thinking about a lot of things lately in regards to this. The biggest revelation was a friend asking John what the most important thing to him would be. He started by saying my experience and happiness, but she persisted- what was most important for HIM! He said that he doesn't like to be the center of attention. He doesn't want it too be too rigid and orchestrated- he would prefer for it to be casual and relaxed- people can just do their own thing. (Clearly the ceremony is generally planned and overall there is an outline of events and organization). This thought was so profound to me as it took me out of the mindset of planning every little detail and getting my heart set on things going a particular way in a particular order and how foolish that would be! Much better to continuously remind myself what it is all really about- celebrating our union. That this is about everyone having a good time, not forcing people to do certain things. I want to provide options- fire, a photo area, a place/way to leave us messages, a place to boogie, food, etc, but not need to have them used at a certain time, way or by certain people.

Thinking of John not wanting to be the center of attention will be something else I have to be mindful of- there are ways to muffle that sensation- for example- with the first dance, perhaps I could dance with my dad and he could dance with his mom and then everyone can join in and then we join together so it isn't everyone staring at him :P

My approach is to gather all the info that sounds exciting and inspirational to me. Even stuff I know I could never work out myself. Then from that I start weaning it down to some really meaningful things that I think I'd like to have involved. I want to keep in mind simplicity, eco-friendly, and casual and relaxed. I love knick-knacks and things in their right place and themes and random awesome decor and favors and presents, but I want to step back from all of that and consider two parts of that - 1) the less I spend on the wedding the more I have for the honeymoon and 2) those THINGS aren't what make the wedding memorable. Less can be more. The moments, the interactions, the laughter and the joy are the memories. Making it for me and mine and about me wouldn't necessarily require more than me showing up- I don't have to have a zillion themed decorations to emphasize and even take away from me.

This blog has served largely as a gathering for all that initial inspiration and I have done some categorizing and commenting to indicate the pieces that stand out. I have thought about the issue of most of my family being in NM and most of our friends and his parents being here in CA. I have thought about how it would be cool to have it at home, but perhaps not very realistic with probably a minimum of 75-100 people (all those spouses and kids- most of my 50ish people I listed out are family (and their guests), and not any aunts or cousins either!)

I have thought about the issue of kids- not sure why it gives me an ooky feeling to have children there. I suppose a mixture of worrying that they will disrupt and take the attention away during the spiritual and ceremonial parts. I guess I don't want them stealing the attention, but that is pretty ridiculously greedy- pretty sure I will have plenty of attention on my own wedding day :P Even if I didn't want children under a certain age to come, there is family that would have them and it seems unfair to request the kids not to come. I can of course provide kid-friendly activities and even super distracting kid activities to keep them occupied. It was suggested that I involve them, but I am pretty meh on that idea. As a kid I went to several weddings and mostly they were boring and stressful- had to be all dressed up on on my best behavior and yadda yadda.

As for the actual bridal party I have thought about that a bit. John's best man will definitely be a woman. He doesn't have many guy-friends. As for my maid of honor, at this point in my life I have a wonderful handful of very diverse lady friends, none of which is somehow massively closer to me than the rest. When I think about what the bridal party is for- a group of people close to me that I want to help me coordinate and help this wedding happen, I get a better idea. When I think of who I want as my point person, my #2, I think of my mom. But when I think of making her wear a bridesmaid dress and go to my bachelorette party, that seems all wrong- she will have her own unique role in the wedding without needing the title of maid of honor.

Also I don't have to conform to these pre-defined party-members. I can come up with whatever support team/group with whatever names I want. Mine. MWAHAHA! But as for not hurting anyone and not asking too much of anyone, that gets trickier. I want someone to be able to be close and easy to call in a heartbeat and creative and excited about the same things as me. I want someone who is comfortably able to drop other things and help me out in the week preceding. I guess a lot of these will again be filled by mom and I don't have to worry about all that :P For the actual day of the wedding, for who I feel really right and comfortable with as being separately recognized, I would say my sister Kiva. Otherwise I would just involve all of my ladies as equally as possible as they will each be a valued treasured presence in this event, just as they are precious friends in my life.

As for location, if it were in NM and not at my dad's house, there are many options. As I am quite interested in (at least part) outdoor, NM is a great choice for the stars and the rarely rainy weather. I would imagine there could be venues just as expensive in either state, and awesome deals as well. I want somewhere unique and special (who doesn't) and against the grain, but I do understand there are places designed to host and serve a pile of people and that will be a wise and efficient place to be :)

If it were in CA, I am not sold on a beach location really, though I remain open to it. I saw a beautiful area in the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Garden that would provide this out-of-the-city and in a secret garden feeling as well as a nature-y surrounding. I want trees and moonlight, dammit. If it were here in CA and I needed to bring all of my ladies together to help me get ready and do all the finishing touches, I would wish to do all of that at John's parent's house. When I think of getting ready and having my moms do my hair and make up, I can't imagine it in my 1 bedroom apt. :) I want them to be in PJs and have late night giggles and breakfast, and we would need a larger location for that, and a hotel doesn't look right in my head. My family would certainly not all fit there, but if my ladies and maybe my moms (?) stayed there, some of the less financially *wiggles fingers in search of words* well some people could crash at Mata's and some could get a hotel together. If we were in NM, I would want to do the sleepover/getting ready at my dad's house for the same reasons.

I don't need it to be big, but I have a huge family, so it's kinda all or nothing on that front. As for friends, together we do not have a huge massive group, so I think it would be under the 150 mark or close to it. 

I want it to span across more than one day and have some activities to contribute to the memories/celebration. Some examples I have seen that I liked are going to an orchard and gathering peaches or strawberries and then using them for a meal everyone shares. I like the idea of the bridal party/anyone who wants going paintballing in thrift store dresses. It isn't a cheap option but something a decent size group tends to have a blast with and really enjoy each other's company in that is memorable and unique that I know NM has to offer is white water rafting. I wouldn't mind a hike to gather wildflowers for some deco or just for fun. I would LOOOVE to somehow involve a trip to see saltwater fish tanks however that could be arranged, but that is something -I- love and I am not sure if it would be meaningful to anyone else- it is something I could do alone anytime :P
I like rollercoasters/disneyland so that could be an option, though again, mega expensive. I love zoos and a zoo trip would be a blast :) I wouldn't mind a board game night (or multiple nights!) and maybe a puzzle out for chilling out! I would LOOVE a fishing trip, but I would only want people to come if they would enjoy it :P

Anyway, that's quite enough for now. I will gather more of my thoughts and jot down some more of the results of all the chewing on these ideas :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Here are some rings I like :)

I don't want diamond
I don't want gold
Sapphire- yellow or green is preferred (yellow is probably more preferred than green, but either are lovely)

slightly too chunky- I prefer a slimmer band like my college ring

alllmonst too square, but I love it :)

should have gotten more shots of this one- it is hard to see the dimensions from this pic, but I also love this one

I seem to like Art Nuveau?

No diamond, but the setting is nice:

I don't like the gems held with big toothy prongs- I prefer a deeper setting

neither is quite right, but both hit on things I like :)