Monday, November 06, 2006 

Rehearsal Dinner

Buca di Beppo Rehearsal Dinner Shindig

Dad has no more responsibilities tonight, signed the Boss (Mom)

Nana, Papa, and Lauren

Lauren, Uncle Terry, Suzi and Jeff

Conor, John and Gail

Mike, Liz, and Danna

Cathy, Reri, Carrie and John, Yuan, and Tom

Crazy, crazy parents!!

Yuan and Tom

Good party! I like Chianti!

Little by little I will get these pictures posted! Maybe not all 900, but at least the good ones. :) If you have any pictures of the rehearsal dinner, picnic, wedding, or reception, PLEASE send them on!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006 

Time Flies...

I can't believe it's been 6 weeks since I last blogged!! Everything is happening so quickly I barely have time to catch my breath.

Since early June, either Tom or I have:
  • met with the florist, who lives almost 2 hours from my house (but much closer to SF) and picked out stunning flowers for the wedding party and the reception.
  • tasted much yummy cake, and settled on a fabulous bakery in SF that will deliver for free. Each layer will be different, and all delicious!
  • spent many many hours, with much trial and error, to put together all the invitations and get them in the mail. They turned out even better than I had hoped, but they were the cause of much frustration while working on them. I can't thank Liz, Cathy, and Julia enough for their help in putting them together and keeping me sane.
  • had my hair and makeup trial. The beautician is Liz's sister-in-law Lisa's, who was flown to Florida for Lisa's wedding - and her name is Amy, so I knew I'd like her immediately! I absolutely love what she tried out for my hair.
  • had our engagement photos taken at Baker Beach in SF. The day was very foggy, but our photographer really captured who we are as a couple and got some very attractive shots of the 2 of us. I was a bit worried because the pictures we took at Second Chance Prom (we went in RED - Tom in a red suit and me in a red dress) were atrocious!!
  • ordered my ring. I hope it gets here soon.
  • applied for new passports. Tom had to start from the beginning because his last passport was when he was 15, and he expedited his and has it already. I did the "regular" process and am a little anxous, I should get mine in about 4 weeks, but we are less than 7 weeks from leaving for the honeymoon! eek!
  • looked at tuxes. Tom and Alex had figured them all out, until Tom realized my dress is white, not ivory, which means he needs to change his vest and tie. It's okay though, we have a solution.
  • planned the Saturday picnic. Cathy is a gem for taking it on, and now that's one less thing to stress about.
  • started to get RSVPs back! That's the most exciting part - we've planned a big party, and people are actually coming!

In the coming weeks, we still need to:

  • buy Tom's ring. We're planning to look on Saturday.
  • decide on the rest of the menu. We picked some of the menu on what sounded good, because it needed to go in the invitations, but on Sunday we are tasting the rest of it to make a final decision. We will also go over room layout.
  • check out the rehearsal dinner site. We're doing that on Sunday night with Tom's mom. Should be fun!
  • pick the rest of the music and give it to the DJ, and meet with the music director at the church. We also need to work out with Allen whether he's singing at the wedding, and if the band is doing a set at the reception.
  • get the bridesmaid dresses! Hopefully they will be in next week and I can get them sent in plenty of time to have them altered.
  • get MY dress altered - I'm a bit nervous but I'm sure it will be beautiful.
  • finalize the RSVPs.
  • get a marriage license.
  • reserve our hotel for the weekend.
  • reserve a hotel for one of the honeymoon nights, and decide what we're doing on the cruise.
  • work out the final details with all the vendors to make sure everyone's on the same page.
  • do lots of little stuff like seating, programs, favors, etc.
  • oh yeah... little thing called our JOBS...

Please bear with me if I'm not good about posting in the next 41 days, I've got a lot on my plate.

Friday, June 09, 2006 

Leaps and Bounds

Seems like I get stalled out for awhile, and then the wedding planning just takes off. This was one of those weeks! I made a list of all the things I need to be working on right now and another list of the big things that need to be done. With everything written down I don't feel as anxious about everything that remains.

My cousin Christa, who works for Holland America cruise lines, worked her connections and helped me get a shuttle bus for all the guests for the wedding at a reasonable price. Good news! This means that shuttle service is definitely going to be available - more info to come in the invitations.

I also booked our limo. I thought I was getting a steal of a rate, but then you add on fees for the chauffeur, gas, etc. and it's suddenly $100 extra. I just needed it to be DONE though. Transportation? Check it off the list!

I found the crinoline on eBay - regularly these go for $65 and up - I'm getting mine for less than $30 including shipping, and I should get it next week! Another thing crossed off my list!

Sunday Tom and I are going to Oakland to taste cakes. We have appointments at 2 bakeries that I found references for online. I also have a couple SF references and the plan is to try them out next weekend.

Meanwhile, tomorrow night is the "Second Chance Prom" put on by a local radio station and featuring Rick Springfield for the entertainment. Tom's co-worker won tickets and gave them to us. We're tempted to go all out 80's style, when Tom was in high school, with the help of the local costume shop. Hopefully I'll have some cute pictures to share.

Hmmm, I never blogged about the Engaged Encounter weekend - 3 weeks ago! I'll go back through my workbook and pick out my favorite parts and fill you in soon. Now I have to go to bed...

Thursday, June 01, 2006 


I'm not a "shoe girl" but I'm very excited that I found the right pair of shoes for my wedding dress. I have big wide feet, and have a hard time finding comfortable dress shoes, so Naturalizer is one of my favorite manufacturers. was having a shoe sale, so I bought a total of 4 pair of shoes to try 2 different styles and 2 different sizes. The contestants were:



Yes, they are BLUE!! :)

None of the Zappos shoes fit, but from what I could tell I really liked the Gazebo more than the Prissy. Feeling like the ugly stepsister who can't cram her foot in the glass slipper, I sent them all back to Zappos (free shipping both ways!) and called the local Naturalizer stores to see if they had the Gazebo in my size. No such luck. So I ordered 2 pair from, in my size and 1/2 size larger, figuring the 1/2 size up might be a better option after being on my feet the whole wedding day.

The smaller shoes arrived on Friday afternoon - just slightly too small for me. Sigh... At least I can return them at the local store instead of paying for return shipment. I waited all week, and finally the larger pair came today - and they fit just right! Cinderella moment!


And won't they look great against the detailing on my dress? Some girlfriends are coming over tomorrow for a "Makeover Party" I "won" at a recent bridal faire (I think it's really just a Mary Kay party and I didn't "win" anything but 2 free eyeshadows), and I will have Reri put me in my dress and I'll model the shoes and dress together. Yay!

Oh... I don't have a crinoline yet. Guess I'll have to improvise.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 

Crafty Bride

I've decided to create all of our invitations by hand. I've had a vision in mind for months now, and spent a Saturday creating mock-ups to get Tom's opinion on what he likes best.

We settled on a design similar to this, but square rather than rectangular:

Last weekend on our way up to Santa Rosa we stopped at Paper Source in Berkeley so I could see the paper from their website in person. I purchased some of the paper then, and ordered the rest online, which should arrive in the next couple days.

The 'envelopment' that creates the invitation, and the envelopes themselves are in this color, called Pool:

The invitation and enclosures are all in this color, called Luxe Cream(if you can see it at all!):

while the invitation will have this color mat, called Sage:

I also have stickers in Sage that can be used to close the invitation, if we decide to. I also have paper in all 3 colors to be used for the place cards and any other accents to the invitation.

Here's what they look like all together:

I liked the look of the multiple colors for the inserts, but I was concerned they wouldn't be readable, so they will all be Cream.

I haven't decided yet what kind of edge to do on the flap and envelope - straight across, a V or half-circle, or a wave.

A good friend is allowing me to use her color laser printer, so I will try to match the Pool color for at least part of the invite to bring it all together.

Invites aren't going out until Independence Day, but it's going to take some time to assemble them all so I want to get started now.

Sunday, May 07, 2006 


Friday afternoon I stopped by the dress shop to place the order for the bridesmaids' dresses. It took a little driving around because the dress shop is no longer at the mall - if you followed the link about the scary dress story, you read that a crane crashed through the ceiling of the dress shop about a week after I ordered my dress, so they were forced to relocate while their store is renovated.

I'm really pleased with the way the bridesmaid dresses have turned out. Yuan and Reri, my Maid and Matron of Honor respectively, will be wearing the same dress but in different colors. Carrie and Suzi, my bridesmaids, will be wearing the the same dress, but in different colors that match Yuan and Carrie's dress. So 2 dress styles, 2 dress colors, 4 unique dresses!

Maid/Matron of Honor dress:

Bridesmaid dress:

2 of the dresses are the same color as the Maid/Matron of Honor dress, and 2 of the dresses will be this color:

I also ordered a dress identical to Carrie's to wear at her wedding next summer, so Suzi and I will have the same dress in different colors and Suzi can wear her dress twice.

I asked them to pull my file because they had my measurements, and the gal said that my dress was in! It had been in since early April! They didn't call me - probably because I wasn't expecting it to come in until at least June. I was so excited - I haven't even seen the colored embroidery in person and my dress was right there for me to gush over. I asked if I could try it on, but I'd have to pay the amount owing on my dress and take it home.

I called Tom to see if we could put the rest of the amount on our wedding credit card and he agreed, so I tried it on and it is GORGEOUS. I can't believe it! We were rushing because the shop closed in 10 minutes, so I didn't take any pictures, but I also need to lose about 1 1/2 inches so the dress will close properly in the back. I brought it home and took a ton of pictures so I'd have them for reference, and here's a little teeny sneak peek (you have to click the link).

It's now hanging in its dress bag in my closet, which is a huge incentive to get to the gym and lose those few pounds so the dress fits perfectly. Tom promised not to peek!

So now I guess we're really getting married - I have my wedding dress already! So much for fudging the wedding date to the dress shop... I used the same date for the bridesmaid dresses though, so I will get them in time to send them to the girls so they can get their own fittings.


Honeymoon plans!

We have been busy! My goal for the month of April was to figure out our honeymoon and start our registry, which are somewhat related. Since we have almost everything we need to make a home, we're creating a honeymoon registry, so our guests can gift us with parts of our honeymoon.

First we needed to figure out where we wanted to go on honeymoon. I've been dreaming of a European trip, while Tom was leaning more toward Hawaii, and we both really enjoyed our Mexican cruise and thought we should try to encorporate a cruise into our honeymoon. I've never been to Hawaii so I was excited about that possibility, and Tom has never been to Italy, and it's been over 20 years since he's been to Europe, so that was appealing to him as well.

I found an amazing deal on a cruise to Hawaii, and we went through some friend connections to research the cruise. As it turns out, that cruise has a really bad reputation (it's not Holland America, so don't worry Christa) and the deal I'd found was not with a reputable agency, so we were back to square one.

I then found my dream cruise on Royal Caribbean in the Mediterranean, the same cruiseline we'd taken to Mexico. We talked and decided that it would be much easier for us to go to Hawaii in the next few years (and with kids) than it would be to gt to Europe anytime in the next ~20 years.

I'd also done some research on honeymoon registries, and found a site called which allows you to create a registry website. If you also use them as your travel agency above a certain amount, they waive any fees they may collect from the gifts.

Our travel agent was amazing! I sent her a basic itinerary after Tom and I had mapped out our plans, and she has sent me lots of emails with choices and ideas, and she is very responsive to our suggestions and questions. At one point she and I were instant messaging for an hour back and forth about hotel options. It's great to have someone who is a partner in finding our honeymoon, rather than someone who just takes an itinerary and processes it.

This is our itinerary, and we are both just thrilled about it:
Tues, Sept 5 - fly to Rome via Heathrow
Wed, Sept 6 - arrive in Rome
Thurs, Sept 7 - Rome
Fri, Sept 8 - Rome, train to Venice
Sat, Sept 9 - Venice
Sun, Sept 10 - Venice, board cruise ship
Mon, Sept 11 - at sea (4 year anniversary of our first date!)
Tues, Sept 12 - Athens, Greece
Wed, Sept 13 - Ephesus, Turkey
Thurs, Sept 14 - Heraklion, Crete
Fri, Sept 15 - Corfu, Greece
Sat, Sept 16 - at sea
Sun, Sept 17 - disembark in Venice, train back to Rome
Mon, Sept 18 - fly back to SFO via Heathrow

I've updated our official wedding website at with more information on our picnic, mass the night before the wedding, and have started to add our registry information. Later today Tom and I are off to the mall to start our registry for the basics we do need.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 

Booking plane tickets on

You can now get the 10% discount on your plane tickets through the Alaska Air website:

Your Meeting has been set-up for immediate use via the Internet.

For Internet/Web use your participants would need to access, and input the eCert Code, ECCMR8702, in the eCert Code box when they are filling out the Flights Quick Search box. The discount would be applied to any flights that meet
the criteria of the prearranged meeting code.

After inputting the eCert Code, clicking on the question mark will pull up
a screen giving general advisories regarding the use of eCerts. Clicking
on View on this screen will bring up a detailed description of what is
allowed on this particular meeting code.


4 1/2 months. 20 weeks. 138 days.

No matter how you say it, time is ticking away...

2 weekends ago I was talking with Danna, my MIL-to-be, about random wedding plans, and she encouraged me to book the picnic site in Golden Gate Park which we're planning for Saturday, the day before the wedding, so I jumped right on it. We have a great picnic site in Laidley Meadow, at approximately 30th Avenue and Fulton. Booking the site only cost $25 - what a deal, and you don't have to be a San Franciscan to reserve the site. This is so much easier than the municipal parks on the peninsula, which I was looking into for my MBA graduation. The plan is to have an open picnic in the park, with BBQ, salads and snackies, beer and wine, and get some softball/volleyball/water balloons/you name it going. It's an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other and relax before the big day. Of course, since it's open, we hope people will stop by when they can, but our out of town guests will have time to see the sights in SF if they like. For those without a car that weekend, Muni runs from 2 blocks from the hotel to right next to the park, so its an easy way to get around the City.

I've picked out the bridesmaid dresses, and am just waiting on some sizes so I can get the dresses ordered. Since each of the ladies is unique, their dresses will each be different, but all coordinating. My sisters will each wear the same dress design, in different colors, and my Maid and Matron of Honor will each wear the same dress design, in the same colors as my sisters. So 4 different dresses - 2 styles, 2 colors, mixy-matchy. I think it's really going to look nice.

We're now in the midst of looking at honeymoon plans. We had talked about Hawaii as an option, but the more we think about it, we could potentially take kids to Hawaii, it's not that far from CA, and it's not too expensive, so instead we're looking at Europe. Tom went to Europe on a school trip when he was 15 and I spent 6 months there when I was a Jr. in college, but we'd love to experience it together and see new sights. We're focusing on Italy, and I would like to go to Greece but we may end up going to Spain and the South of France instead. Our plan is to take a cruise for most of the honeymoon, and spend a couple days traveling beforehand. I'm getting pretty excited about a big trip like this, and can't wait to experience Europe with my honey when the weather's nice (most of my time in Europe was in the cold, rainy winter by myself).

I ordered one of our wedding favors last week and they came in yesterday, so that's one less thing to worry about. I also got a Name Change Kit - for $20 it came with a CD and a book of forms to fill out and who to send to and in what order - which is the biggest pain, I've heard! I know I'll be travelling on our honeymoon under my maiden name, since getting a new passport, changing SSN, drivers license, etc. will take a few weeks. I'm definitely changing my name. I tried to sell Tom on both of us changing our name to McKay but he would have none of it. :)

We're off to meet with Fr. D'Angelo again on Sunday. He never remembers who I am when I talk to him on the phone. Last time we met with him we reviewed the FOCCUS test, and I thought we were supposed to get the results but we got distracted by fixing the copier. He asked us to call him back in a couple weeks, but I can't remember why. When I called, he said he just had a couple FOCCUS come in, but we've already done ours. He asked if he gave us the copy, and I said no, so he said there must still be more to talk about (uh oh), so we're going to meet with him on Sunday afternoon. If we can get out of bed early enough we'll meet Mike and Liz and the boys for Mass first. I've only ever been to Holy Name for baptisms and a funeral, so it will be nice to go for a regular service.

The sun is finally out, which has improved everyone's mood. The hills are green and the trees are blooming, and with the longer days I can enjoy the sunshine on the way home from work. Just one more reminder that Spring is finally here, which means Summer is fast approaching, and then it will be no time at all before the wedding. eek!