Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Making the Invite: First Drafts

Having my Lil Sis/ MOH home for the holidays has been a real blessing for the wedding planning, Especially in the invitations and paper stuff department. Just hours after she landed in Puerto Rico (at 2 am) she pulled me into her room to show me the work she had done on the wedding invitations.


From the inspiration pictures I had sent her, she came up with these two variations for general shape/concept


*Design 1                                                   *Design 2


I instantly feel smitten with Design 1, so in her handy dandy laptop Lil Sis/MOH starting designing away the rest of the invite. She added the wording I had decided on, tweaked the colors a bit and searched for hours for the perfect fonts.


The next morning when I woke up she showed me the product of her hard work.




And I discovered there is such a thing as love as first sight! They were even better than what I had imagined! We still want to do some fine tuning especially since I had forgotten to show her the paper samples :$ and she wants to match the ink colors to the paper, but we are definitely on the right track.


Did you have a part in designing your wedding invitations? Was it a good experience or a  Semi-DIY nightmare?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Miss Boa's Hair Chronicles

I always imagined myself getting married with long, luscious curls but I HATE having long hair.  On a very humid tropical island like Puerto Rico long locks are no fun since they mean frizzy, sweaty hair all year long... For this reason I have always maintained a fairly short hairstyle ...until...I started dating FI.


I cut my hair really short right before we started officially dating and for some mysterious reason I have only gotten trims from then on (Apparently I might have foreseen the wedding bells in our future). 





It seems like I have been growing out my hair for the wedding for the last 4 years and I'm so thankful that I haven't had a real haircut in a while. Unfortunately it's still a couple of inches shorter than what I'd like it to be in order to achieve my wedding hair dream of an half updo with super long curls like these:


Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Jenna McKenzie Photography 


Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo by Studio Impressions Photography






I have 5 months until the wedding to grow my hair out as much as possible. Under the recommendations of the ladies on the WeddingBee boards, I have started using:
Mane n' Tails Shampoo

Aussie Moist Treatments Deeeeep 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner


New Chapter Perfect Prenatal

Hopefully by the time May  rolls around my hair will be longer and healthier!



Are you growing out your hair for the wedding or are you rocking out a short style?
Do you have any tricks or tips on how to make hair grow faster or healthier?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feeling Inspired

My inspiration board has been the single most important thing for getting my wedding day vision across to all my vendors, but before joining WeddingBee I had no idea what an inspiration board was or how to make one. I spent hours scrounging around the WWW in search for the perfect pictures to convey my wedding dream. And here she is: My lavender, purple and gray inspiration board.


{1. Invitations by Mrs.Macarons via Weddingbee 2. Image via The French Bouquet 3. Dress via J.Crew 4. Image via Kimvallee / via Hungry Girl por vida 5. Card Box by Ms.Cola via WeddingBee 6. Cupcakes by Crumbs and Doilies Cupcakes 7. Colors via Pantone 8. Cupcake tower by Pink Cake Box
9. Image via 
The Twinery on Etsy}
Did you make an inspiration board for your wedding?


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Making the Invite: Words



Wording my invitations was a challenge, the kind of challenge that takes 4 grown adults hours accomplish.

I was dead set on not using the traditional wedding lettering:

Mr and Mrs. Whoever
request the honour of your presence
at the marriage of their daughter

Blank However to Him No one

Son of Mr. and Mrs. No One

this day, in this month
this year
at this time
HERE

Though beautiful in its own way, it was too formal for my laid back morning wedding. I wanted something cute, informal and short. 

Since the invitations are in Spanish, the number of options online I could draw inspiration from were limited. We had to get our creative juices flowing and invent something ourselves. Off to the drawing board we went (we being Mr. Boa, Mami Boa and Papi Boa), everyone with a pad of paper in hand and a couple of markers. It took 2 hours of going back and forth on the different wordings we had come up with to finally get some contenders like:

Come share in the joy as
Blank Whoever & Him No one
Join their lives in marriage



Blank Whoever & Him No one
are tying the knot
Come celebrate the start of our new life together



Witness the beginning of the greatest love story ever told.
Blank Whoever & Him No one
Are getting married



After trials and tribulations we finally found one that stuck!

Blank Whoever & Him No one

Join their lives in the greatest of all adventures
Share with us the start of our new life together

It's cutesy, it different and it's PERFECT! I'm so happy that the the effort was well spent, we found words that really conveyed the vibe we are going for with the wedding and our new life.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Still Searching for a Song

After a couple of weeks of break, the search for "The Song" was back on


For this third batch of song links I sent Mr. Boa, I tried to find some (around 60)  “regular” songs that I liked.
Some of our top picks from that list were:

Songbird - Glee

Thats All - Micheal Buble

Everthing- Lifehouse

We really liked these songs but none of them felt like "The Song"


Then something wonderful happened! One evening as I lay in bed doing homework, my FI walked in.

Mr. B: What song are you listening too?
Me: I Belong to You by Eros Ramazzotti and Anastacia.  Why do you ask?
Mr. B: ‘Cause I think we just found our wedding song
Me: *Jumps off bed, hugs FI all while squealing like an excited piggy

So there you have it folks, after 7 months of intense wedding song searching, we finally picked one and it's perfect for us. It's the sappy love song type we wanted, it's partly in Spanish so our guests will understand at least half and the lyrics are really beautiful.

I present to you our First Dance, "I Belong to You" by Eros Ramazzotti and Anastacia! (and yes I do get all teary eyed every time I listen to it!)







Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Search for a Song

Choosing a first dance song has been a humongous wedding planning headache. We don’t have a song or artist we identified with before getting engaged, so we had to start the sappy song search from scratch. I must have sent my Mr. Boa about a gazillion youtube links over the last 7 months and he had something to say about each and every one.

The first batch of links I sent were all from Il Divo, one of our favorite musicians. They were very romantic, suit the mood and were in Spanish, which meant our guest would understand the lyrics.

Some of the Il Divo songs I liked:

Si Tu Me Amas 

Hasta Mi Final

With You I'm Born Again


These were immediately shot down by FI, for being to opera-ish and making us seem like we are trying to hard. Next.


Second batch of song links I sent, were Disney love songs, as I thought it would be nice to infuse a little Disney magic somewhere other than our cake topper.

Some of the contenders for our Disney first dance were:

So Close – from Enchanted

If I Never Knew You – from Pocahontas 10th Anniversary Edition DVD

So This Is Love – by James Ingram  from Cinderella


After some consideration, Mr. Boa decided Disney songs were a little too out there for his traditional self, but marked “So Close” as a possible contender. I had fallen totally in love with the Disney first dance idea so I was a little bummed he wasn't totally onboard. It took  a couple of weeks hiatus from wedding song searching to recover from the disappointment. 


Was your search for a first dance song a no-brainer or was it as complicated as mine? Do you have any song suggestions for us?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mami & Papi Boa's 24th Anniversary

This December 12, 2011 was my parents 24th Anniversary so 2012, the year I get married, will also host my parents 25th Anniversary (they are renewing vows!) This means the year I celebrate my 25th Anniversary they will be celebrating their 50th. Can anybody say double wedding!


My parents’ met my Mom’s first year at college, they got married 2 years later, both dropping out of college at the ages of 20 and 22 to start their new life together. They had me 2 years later and my sister was born 2 years after that. Being young parents cemented even more their relationship and their love made for a incredibly nurturing environment to be raised in.

One of their Post-Wedding Pics
They have had their share of hardships and troubles just like any couple, but it’s amazing the way they always thrive through any adversity, by relying and trusting each other completely. They have set such an incredible example of what marriage should be and what I aspire to have one day in my own.

My Mom's advice for a successful marriage is: A marriage should always be just about LOVE. Communication, trust and commitment are a given if you are truly in love with your spouse, and want the very best for them. In the love department my parents were straight A students,reminding each other every day that they love each other. They still hold hands all the time, they give each other quick kisses if they pull a red light and they still say “I love you” multiple times a day. They never shouted at, disrespected or ignored each other, always willing to talk out the situation peacefully. They remind me every day how wonderful it is to share your life with your best friend, someone whose company you enjoy and who brings you endless happiness into your life. Some people stay in a marriage for the routine, for the comfort but I can, without a doubt, say that my parents are in it because of love. 

Their great example of what a successful marriage should be set very high standards for what I aspire to in my own relationships. Mr. Boa, when first meeting them, remarked on, how in sync they were and how after 20 something years they still acted and felt like newlyweds. It’s like they have some magic surrounding them, fed by the bond they share. It's a beautiful and rare thing to find a couple so in love and enthralled by each other,24 years in a marriage. Mr. Boa and I, wish to capture some of their magic, mix it up with some of our own and follow in their marriage awesomeness in years to come.

My parents 24 years later - While visiting Lil Boa @ NYC




* All photos personal*

Friday, December 9, 2011

Making the Invite: Paper Samples are Here!



After working with my Lil Boa on a couple of drafts for the invites, I started hunting down the paper I would use for them.

Cue Cards & Pockets – I loved their large selection of colors and immediately ordered a couple of free samples to get to see the colors up close.

When I arrived home today they had arrived!

* Personal Pic


I ordered 6 samples in White, Light purple and Dark purple in both the shimmer and matte type of paper. My actual selections were: Matte (Snow White, Grape and Purple) and Shimmer (Crystal, Amethyst and Violette). I would like to pick 1 white shade, 1 light purple shade and 1 deep purple shade.


                                                 Matte                                        Shimmer

 vs

 vs

vs
* All pictures by Cards & Pockets unless noted

I really liked all the colors I had chosen but LOVED the Violette Shimmer sample! I’m definitely including it on the invites, either as an invitation mat or in the envelope. I’m unsure of whether to print the invite on the shimmer or matte white. And have yet to pick the other purple colored paper (It would be the Grape or Amethyst).

Should I go all shimmer or all matte on the invites or should I mix it up using matte invites & envelopes with a shimmer mat or shimmer invites & envelopes but a matte backer or  …etc. etc.

Have any of you used Cards & Pockets supplies for your invites?

Did you use matte or shimmer paper? A combination of both?

Help?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Miss Boa has a Photographer Crush



Once upon a time, in pre-engagement land, I fell in love with a photographer, Gio Camacho at Enjoi Photo (His work not him). He has an incredible eye for capturing those wedding “moments”, those facial expression that give meaning to such a special day, making me long for some of his pictures of my very own. He just so happens to be married to one of my close friends, so I often get to salivate over pictures like this:




 Photos by Giomar Camacho at Enjoi Wedding Media Specialists

I love his photography style and how he manages to capture so much emotion in one snapshot. When wedding planning began, I was beyond excited to finally get the opportunity to work with him. Then the budget demons reared their heads, making even his most affordable wedding packages almost too expensive for me to be able to justify it to my measly budget.

After a couple of days in the budget blues, I sadly started the hunt for a photographer that could fulfill my snapshot dreams. Enter my photographer crush’s wedding pictures to my friend. Obviously being a photographer himself, he has good judgment when it comes to artistic talent. So I started researching the shutterbugs he chose to photograph his special day. Even though they have slightly different styles, I was really impressed with Keli Art Photography. Turns out she is still a photography student, trying to get her business off the ground before graduating. We got in contact and turns out we could squeeze her into our budget and get beautiful pictures like these:



 Photos by Keli Art Photography

Now a difficult decision was upon us…Should I go with my budget-blowing photography crush or take a leap of faith with an affordable and extremely promising photography student ?

What would you guys do?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Honeymoon Musings

You guys may remember that all our wedding talk stemmed from my planning of a trip to Europe. Though we are now planning a wedding, my dream of going to Europe after graduation is hopefully still going to come true. In my eyes, the trip( being it my lifelong dream) was almost as important as the wedding, even if it meant scrimping and saving every last penny.

After the “formal” proposal we opened discussions about the possibility of having a European honeymoon. For me, this meant backpacking through little towns and sleeping on park benches, while Mr. Boa was thinking more along the lines of high-end hotels in strategic tourist locations. I wanted the adventure, while he wanted rest and relaxation. There was no way a backpacking trip on a shoestring budget would be relaxing, so other options had to be explored.

I researched guided tours of Europe like Contiki, Trafalgar and Globus. This last one had really promising packages and fostered the adult environment we were craving. They had a lot of itinerary options to choose from and where you got to see many places in detail. Unfortunately for me, Idea #2 was shot down by Mr. Boa, stating he didn’t want to spend his honeymoon on a bus with a dozen strangers. So it was back to the drawing board.

Since backpacking was out because of the not-so-regal accommodations, guided group tours were out because of the long bus travel time between sites, I considered cruising. Cruises were not my initial idea because you only get a couple of hours at each port and you are limited to the cities already established in the itinerary but I thought it could turn out to be perfect for us. I got on Expedia and researched a couple of different cruise line and itinerary options before presenting Idea #3 to Mr. Boa. He was instantly sold and having been on cruises before, he loved the idea of not having to travel with luggage all around Europe, getting to visit a variety of places and having the ease of travel. I was a bit apprehensive at first, but quickly warmed up to the idea of having it as an appetizer of sorts, getting to taste a little bit of each city, before committing to a long stay. So it was finally decided we would go on a European cruise for our honeymoon. Now we just had to pick the date, the ship and the ports …no biggie right?

Did you have a cruise honeymoon? Did you explore any other options?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Making the Invite: Invitation Inspiration



I’m lucky enough to have the very talented Lil Boa for a sister, since she happens to be studying Advertising and has to take graphic design classes as part of her degree. This wonderful human being graciously offered to do our wedding invitations and all other paper related stuff. We worked on the invites long distance, me being in Puerto Rico and she all the way in NYC, but by using Skype share screen we managed to rock it out. Our first step in invitation creation was finding a starting point, pictures of invites I liked, so she could have an idea of what to do. I sent her these:
By Mrs.Duckling - WeddingBee


By Ivandy27 - Etsy
By ampersandstudios - Etsy


By Mrs. Macarons - WeddingBee


You might have noticed a pattern; I really wanted a swirly scroll thingy framing my invite, making it whimsically and fun. Throughout our emails back and forth, I decided officially incorporate a candy stripe pattern as the invitation background and as an accent to the wedding scheme, since I seemed to like it so much on the inspiration pic. She laid out a couple of drafts for the invitations and the information card for me to see how they tied in with my wedding vision. So far so good ...Wait until you see the results! 

Did you have DIY or Semi-DIY invitations for your wedding?

  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Topper on the Cake



In the months of being engaged, I haven’t actually “bought” anything for the wedding. I have paid deposits but those deposits aren’t unnecessarily taking space in my apartment.  I need things unnecessarily taking space in my apartment!  For the sake of this argument and eliminating small stuff from my to-do list, I set upon the quest for the perfect cake topper.

I knew I wanted a figurine cake topper, rather than a monogram or flowers (When else can you have cute people on top a cake). And so began the great interweb search for the great cake topper.

True Romance via weddingstar


Cheeky Couple via weddingstar

Whimsical Sitting Bride & Groom via weddingstar 

One problem, we are an interracial couple. Well not really, but really… we, like most other puertorricans, are racially undefined. Thanks to historical events, the population of Puerto Rico is a mix of African, Spanish and Taino, and we are no exception. I knew I wanted to reflect ourselves, so there is no way I could use a Caucasian couple figurine or an African American figurine.

After feeling inadequately represented in cake toppers, I come up with a great idea. We would have cartoon figurines, so that the racial issue isn’t present.  I narrowed down the world of cartoon figurines to Disney. We have a great love for animated Disney movies and Disneyland, so it seems like a perfect choice. After searching online for a bit, we decided to go with one of the designs of Disney Traditions by Jim Shore we found on Amazon.
# 1 via Amazon
#2 via Amazon
#3 via Amazon

In the end we decided to go with #1 because it went better with our color scheme and is sooooo cute. Mr. Boa got really excited about the cake topper choosing and bought it for me as a no-particular-reason gift. I love that it makes us share our fun, childish hobby of weekend binges of Disney cartoon movies, with our guests in a cute way. We are hoping to display it in our home after the wedding and passing it along to our future children as a our first family heirloom.

What did you choose for you cake topper?

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Tiny but Huge Boa Bridal Party

Choosing our wedding party was a really easy decision for us. We both have one same-sex younger sibling and have decided to only have them standing next to us on our wedding day. Although we love our friends, our siblings are closest to us and have had the most opportunity to share with us as a couple. FBIL Boa will be his Best Man while Lil Boa will be my Maid of Honor.

This decision left me yearning for color coordinated bridal party pictures and the awesome wedding party jumping photos I would miss out on. 

Image via Mrs. Hyena on Weddingbee / Photo by Danny Boy Photography I

Stemming from my desire for these kinds of pictures and wanting to include our guests (which are 90% close family) more, we decided to do something a little unconventional. We will implement a wacky dress code; all guests will be asked to wear our wedding colors, shades of purple, green and gray. 

Some people might be against it; some people might not follow it but in the end it will make for wonderful pictures. We will not be strictly enforcing it or being inflexible (People will not be kicked out or denied entrance), we just think having all our guest wear same colors will make for wonderful pictures. It will probably make everyone feel more a part of the wedding, since it will look as if they are all part of the bridal party. To date all the guest we have notified LOVE the idea, they think it's different and fun and makes it easier for them to pick what to wear, so hopefully no problems will arise in the future.

Photo via Mrs. Socks on Weddingbee / Photo by Georgi Anastasov 
I’m giddy thinking about all the wonderful pictures we will have with our 90+ wedding guests all color coordinated!

How would you respond as a guest if a bride requested you to wear certain colors?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Mangagement" Ring


To celebrate 6 months of our engagement/ 6 months left till the wedding, back in November I planned on a romantic dinner to surprise Mr. Boa with. Even more surprising would be the gift I had decided to give him. You see, I find it unfair that girls receive an engagement ring and all the hoopla our SO’s go through to make a proposal perfect and the guys get... nada. I really wanted to gift my Mr. Boa a “mangagement ring” because if I get to wear a sign of his love and commitment (and the fact that I’m taken) on my left hand, then so does he.

 I knew he was interested in the black tungsten styles since he wears on one his right hand all the time, so I searched all over the internet for something like it. I was most impressed with the sellers on Amazon, where I found this beauty.

Picture by Amazon

A 8mm tungsten carbonide brushed black men’s ring that looked absolutely gorgeous. I ordered at the beginning of November and it arrived in perfect condition 5 days later. I had a tough time finding a place to hide it, choosing the inside of some pink socks I really doubted my Mr. Boa would want to wear.

After slaving in the kitchen all day preparing a scrumptious Puertorrican feast, I dolled up and got ready to great him home. We had a wonderful time talking over dinner and just before dessert I knelt down and said “I haven’t had the opportunity to ask you to share the rest of my life with me, so will you? Will you become my husband?”. We immediately cracked up, almost rolling on the floor laughing. He thought I had been incredibly cheesy but he loved having a ring of his very own. He now wears it all the time and proudly states it’s his engagement ring when people ask if he’s married.

Here he is rockin his ring ! *Personal Pic


Would your SO wear a “Mangagement ring? Would you like him to wear one or do you prefer he only wear a wedding ring?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Choosing My Colors

As soon as I got engaged I started thinking colors. I am purple obsessed (as in my phone, laptop, earphones, converse, umbrella, wallet, room walls etc.. are all in the color purple) so I knew it would be one of my wedding colors.


I jumped head first onto the peacock wedding train. All the purples, blues and greens ... the feathers… the classiness of the whole affair.... I was in love


Then my wedding began taking shape and I realized regal jewel tones might not be the best choice for an informal 9am May breakfast wedding on the tropical island of Puerto Rico.

My next color obsession was a lot lighter, mixing my favorite color with his, purple and blue.


Then I started thinking about tuxes and bridesmaid dresses... Black tuxes feel too stuffy for my morning wedding so we have decided to go with grey suits. Add in another color to the mix...Gray. Along the way I nixed the blue and added more shades of purple. And I fell in love…as soon as I saw the colors together something clicked in my mind.. these are my wedding colors!!! shades of purple and shades of gray...tiny hints of green!

* All palettes generated by Multiculor Search Lab
In a couple of months I went through 3 different color palettes, so finally choosing one was such a relief. I now have a clearer picture of what I want my wedding to look like. I also now have a point of reference for the cake, decoration and flowers and just overall piece of mind. 


Did you also have trouble choosing your wedding colors?

Friday, November 18, 2011

One Venue, One Love



Venue Wishlist:
1.      Breakfast Menu
2.      100 guests
3.      As cheap as possible

With these in mind I eliminated all hotel ballrooms ($$$, most have space for 250 guests), restaurants (can’t hold 100 ppl, no breakfast menu), a backyard (Too expensive to rent linens, tent, chairs etc.) and community centers (Those close by are in really bad shape). I basically worked myself into a corner with very limited options.

And then…. My mind shifted to think of the space where my sister’s prom was held a couple of years ago. It’s a convention center with a couple of different rooms, the big one where my sister’s prom was held (600 guests), another that hold 75 guests, an outdoor plaza for 100 guests and a room with floor to ceiling glass windows for 150 guests.

I made an appointment for that same week and as soon as I stepped into El Faro Convention Center and I loved it. Then I saw “The Glass Room”, the second floor room that has floor to ceiling windows with an incredible view and my heart dropped. I was sure it would be crazy expensive.

The door
The inside of "The Glass Room"
The balcony

The View

Surprise, Surprise… after talking to the venue coordinator I learned that the venue just charges per plate (they do the catering) with no extra cost for the room. The per plate charge includes: tables, chairs, waiters, glasses, china, silverware and cleanup. I dared ask what the price per guest was for a wedding…$40 which is not expensive compared to average weddings but way too high for me. She discussed that the price is for the hors d’oeuvres, a 5 course dinner and non-alcoholic drinks.

Wait a minute…$40 is the price for dinner. What would be the price for breakfast?... $9 and they have a established breakfast buffet menu! After learning the great price for breakfast, all that was included in the price and actually seeing the wonderful room that would be mine for 5 hours, I was sold.

Yes, I picked the first venue I researched and visited. We paid the deposit then and there, to secure the date, which thankfully was available. I’m so happy to have found a place that I love and fits in with my budget.

Was your venue hunting as easy as mine?