Update: Finally starting to feel like a #BRIDE

So, it's been 6 months since I wrote anything about wedding planning and here's where I'm at with things (without giving too much away!): 

  • Venue: Booked. Since I'm an event planner I didn't want to go with the usual venue plan: Example: load in at 2, ceremony at 5, reception at 7, done by midnight or so. I wanted it to feel different than my usual Saturday plan. So we're going with a private estate in Carmel Valley, California. It sleeps a bunch of people and we'll be able to have a home base and guests can have a nice spacious place to pop in and say hello as they arrive. Major plus: all my friendors can have all the time they need to set up + style the weekend. 
  • Vendors: Obviously I am surrounded by some of the best talent in the industry and I can't even begin to express my absolute gratitude for those who are bringing the best to my wedding day. From flowers, to rentals, to photography... I'm SO covered it's not even funny. 
  • Wedding Papers: DONE! Everyone knows I adore my friends at minted.com, and with their new customization options I was able to create a custom design that I really love, that suits the venue, my own style and the style my wedding day is taking on.  (PS you guys - Minted's customer service is wow. They have made the process super easy, and we all know I'm not easy to particularly easy to please-especially when it comes to stationary.)
  • DRESS: OH yea. Done. This was one of the first thing I checked off my list actually. I agonized over what to try on and to be honest was not looking forward to the dress trying on experience-not to mention the expense.  Long ago, I always thought I would say I DO in a Claire Pettibone, but then of course, I fell in love with Monique Lhullier (haven't we all!). But I was really stumbling over a serious problem with every dress I looked at: they all reminded me of one of my brides, or one of my client's brides. I'm not delusional. I KNOW I'm not going to have the most unique wedding there ever was, but I wanted my dress to really be mine.  So after months of researching online, I gave up. But one day, I got a wild hair and decided to head to this place in SF that sells sample dresses, Glamour Closet. It was seriously a free for all. BUT guess what. I stumbled across a beautiful and pristine and perfect dress by Peter Langner and IT FIT PERFECTLY.  No alterations needed. I'm pretty sure this never happens. And now it's MINE. 
  • Shoes: If there is a scale of shoe obsession I rate alongside the highest. So the shoe shopping for the wedding has been a real struggle-how do you pick just ONE pair?! I have a few promising options...but we'll see what I land on. For now, I'm going to keep this internal struggle to myself.
  • The Workout: Fact about me: I HATE TO SWEAT. Like on purpose. If I'm at the beach and it's hot and I can take a dip in the water, sure. I don't mind it. But this whole #sweatingforthewedding thing is for the birds. But not really because I want to look (and feel!) amazing when I walk down the aisle. So I signed back up for my trusty ass kicking workout: Pure Barre. They have a fantastic studio in Walnut Creek and the girls are so nice and the classes are efficient and rad. I'm working on going five times a week, realistically right now it's been about three times a week (I'm real busy guys). 
  • Skincare: I have a dream: to have flawless, blemish-free skin that I only have to wear mascara and little tiny bit of powder with. I know it's not realistic to expect that for every day of my whole life, but on my wedding day....I feel like it's something to work up to.  I went and had an amazing facial at a local spa and while it left me feeling great, I would definitely need to fork out the cash every 6 weeks or so. And I still was not sure what products I should be using at home in between. So I wandered through Nordstrom one day and discovered this amazing lady at the Kate Somerville counter who is not only incredibly nice, she knows so much about skincare!  I also discovered that you can get free mini oxygen facials at the Kate Somerville counter here in WC! We had a nice little chat and she set me on the straight and narrow of skincare. MY SKIN IS NOW AMAZING! I have to admit, I've been a wedding planner for all this time, but I never really understood the struggle brides go through to sort out the skincare thing. More on that here. 

Next on my list: Registering on Zola and Bridal Shower / Bachelorette plans.... stay tuned! 

Working out the DEETS.

To be honest, since wedding planning is my schtick, I really haven't been all that gung ho about planning my own wedding-It's just not on the radar of things that add to my stress. My closest friends are some really talented wed pros, so I'm not worried about all that. What's been on my mind mostly, are the parts of wedding planning that I normally don't do as the wedding planner... things like:

-Who's invited (and how to deal with who's not)! How big can we deal with this guest list getting... (it's growing like a weed.)

-What type of wedding day experience do I want for these guests?! (AND ahem, also for me and my groom!?)

-Where is all the family going to stay?! 

-Family + Friend Dynamics: Fun fact: Our parents have never met each other. Our families are from totally different parts of the country. Our friends are all SO different. My biggest challenge yet might be bringing all these people together, and making sure that we have something planned that will work for everyone on the spectrum of varying taste, backgrounds, activity levels and interest. 

-Skin care + fitness. If I'm going to be able to make it to the wedding day with good skin and a "fit looking" bod, I have GOT to find: 1) a work out plan that I'll actually do consistently and 2) a facialist that isn't going to ruin my sensitive skin or my bank account. 

Stay tuned for the rest of the wedding planning updates... J and I are in discussions about venue choices, and what type of wedding weekend we might want. 

 

I Said YES.

It was my birthday weekend, and he took me to a place that was the dream combination of all my favorite things: wine-oysters-fancy history-and live music. NAPA! 

Going away for a surprise weekend on my birthday isn't out of the ordinary, so I was NOT suspect of being proposed to, though I definitely  told a few of my closest friends that if he didn't propose this weekend that it would be so completely LAME because I really didn't want to be cliche and be a holiday proposal, and the foreseeable future was full of holidays (It was November). 

Every element was a surprise, we stayed at the Churchill Manor, lunched at the Oxbow Market, and had an afternoon appointment somewhere that was naturally a surprise. 

It was mid-afternoon, and it had been pouring rain all weekend and as we were leaving to go outside all of a sudden Hotel California was playing on the house speakers (which was weird because it had been classical music the whole time), and we walked outside and he wouldn't let me grab an umbrella. Ok, weird. Then he told me to walk with him down the path to the fountain and to look in it, and there was so totally nothing there, but when I turned around there he was, down on one knee with a stunning rose gold ring in a blue box. And all I could say was "you're doing this NOW?!".  

I started crying, and he did too, and we were both kind of speechless. And finally he asked, I said yes, and he put the ring on my finger and then I realized, a close friend and wedding photographer from Utah, Logan Walker was there-and had captured the whole thing. And I started crying all over again! It was so amazing, and then BOOM. It hit me, I finally knew what it was like to be the bride.

 

There's all this stuff, that as a professional, you kind of know people do once they get engaged, but you don't really know unless you've been engaged and married before. So all of a sudden, we found ourselves posing for engagement photos, taking ring selfies, and facetiming our parents. We decided to just share our news quietly to our close friends first and wait until the morning to make a social media announcement. Turns out, a lot more people knew it was going to happen than I did and keeping it a secret was quite the project. 

We went to dinner and live music at the then new to Napa Blue Note Jazz Club and watched two sets of the incredible Dee Dee Bridgewater. We even got to meet her in between sets and she held our hands and personally congratulated us. It was the most surreal and precious day ever.