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?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dress Shopping in NYC: Part Dos

After a nice time at Designer Loft I decided to walk a couple of blocks to David's Bridal to continue on the dress hunt. I arrived without an appointment at around 2, and waited about half hour before seeing the inside of a changing room, no so bad. My attendent was from Santo Domingo, and after a quick bonding over our shared Caribbean heritage, she asked me to pick out dresses from the catalog to try on, as many as I wanted. You should never say that to a bride, I went a little crazy and asked to  try on about a dozen or so... Some are real contenders, others are real nightmares...  On to Pictures...

Dress#1 - Was my favorite in catalog pictures
Too Matronly

Dress #2 - One Top Contender
 But No train, looks like Sweet 16 Dress

Dress # 3 - NOOOOOOOO

Dress #4 - Nice, but tried it on in Size 16, way too big 

Dress#5 - Felt like I was wrapped in toilet paper, not happening

Dress#6 - Apparently Vera is not for me, to serious for morning wedding

Dress #7 - Does nothing good for my body shape

ADORED the back!

Dress #8 - Another top contender
Liked the shape, the top,
but hated the stiff skirt fabric
LOVED that it was a removable skirt!

 I left NYC with even more set on my wedding day bridal vision, and feeling as if I still hadn't found "The One". I liked some of the dresses I tried on but none of them was my wedding dress... time to keep looking.

Did you ever get frustrated while wedding gown shopping?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dress shopping in NYC: Part Uno

I spent 2 weeks of my summer vacation visiting Lil Boa (MOH), who lives in the NYC as an Advertising student (She’s the artsy one in the family) to do some sisterly bonding. After a couple of days of staying home while she went out to work, I decided to be productive. My version of productiveness is bridal gown shopping by myself. I hunted down the nearest bridal shop, which turned out to be Designer Loft. Luckily I could drop in without an appointment that day because they were having an Open House (Thank you dress gods!)

After arriving I quickly explained my bridal vision to the attendant, who in turn became very committed to help me achieve it and was so helpful during the afternoon. She picked out about 8 dresses for me (all Jenny Packham), 4 of which I deemed decent enough to photograph. 

Dress #1 - This one was the attendants  favorite.. hence the reason there is a photo of it because I really didn't like it. It made me feel matronly and old.
Dress #1 front

Dress #1 Back

Dress #2- I liked how it moved and how light it felt and LOVED the illusion back but was to simple for my liking
Dress #2 Front

Dress #2 Back

Dress #3 - Everybody's Favorite... All my girlfriends and my sister are obsessed with how I look in this dress ( I do look kind of sexy right?). Even though I like how tiny it makes my waist and how cute my bum looks, I think it looks a little too much like a prom dress and is too sexy for a Catholic Wedding
Dress #3 Front

Dress # 3 Back

Dress #4 - This is Mami Boa's  and FMIL Boa's favorite - I loved the fabric, it felt like a cloud and the dress was super comfy. I was digging the off the shoulder look and I loved feeling like a wood nymph... buuuttt I felt the dress didn't give me any shape, it just hung on my body.
Dress #4 Front

Dress #4 Back

It was a great wedding dress shopping experience, even though I didn't find the one. The shop was very well organized and the attendant's very helpful. 

Which dress do you guy's like the best?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

How Do You Want To Look On Your Wedding Day?

In my wedding warped world, a nightmare consists of SYTTD streaming 24/7, and the consultants in my mind asking “How do you want to look on your wedding day?” over and over and over...

Who would have thought a simple question could be so terrifying!

My bridal attire will be forever immortalized in wedding pictures, video and memories and I will be standing up in front of a 100 people all looking straight at me, so I better look good. The definition of looking good can vary from bride to bride, some brides say they want to look sexy, some want to look hot, some want to be a princess for a day. For my wedding I want to go in a different direction, not particularly sexy (I’m leaving sexy for the LBD hanging unworn in the closet) or hot (that’s what I feel like in sweaty exercise clothing) and definitely not like a princess.

I want to walk down the aisle and have heads turn … and gasp as they see me. I want them to feel like the heavens have opened up and dropped me on the chapel floor. I want to float down the aisle in a happy light bliss and have my dress reflect that exact feeling. That feeling that all is right in the world and you could just float off into the sunset, hand in hand with the love of your life.  

With that incredibly cheesy picture in mind, I have poured over magazines, websites and blogs in search of the perfect light, airy dress that moves beautifully and will give me the ethereal, angelic look I’m going for.

The top contenders for fulfilling my bridal gown dream are:

San Patrick - Calais 

Pronovias 2011 - Farnes

Alfred Angelo Disney - Snow White

I tried on Calais and Farnes on my very first bridal gown shopping trip while in "Engagement Limbo" and LOVED how I felt in the dresses. Apart from the fact that they fit beautifully, the fabric was light, soft and weightless, almost like feeling naked but in a non-creepy way. They completely fit in with my bridal vision but I'm not sold on the feather thingies... so neither of them turned out to be my dress. Unfortunately I have no pictures of this gown shopping trip (where I also tried on Isadora & Isadora Marie… both of which were very heavy) because Lil Sis slacked on her MOH camera duties. 

Did you ever try on a dress that you LOVED but it just wasn't the one?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

And Now It's Official!

Thursday, May 19, 2010 was the Closing Ceremony of the leadership program where we met 5 years ago and of which we have been active members ever since. We decided it would be a great way to celebrate our Pre-Anniversary (We had set May 19, 2012 as the wedding date) in full circle. We sat down to chat with old friends and he was invited to say a few words on behalf of the College of Engineering Student Council, of which he is president. So at the beginning of the opening presentation, up he goes to the podium to speak and proceeds to tell everyone he is going to propose!

He explained the reasons why he chose that particular date (Pre- Wedding Anniversary), place (Surrounded by all our friends and the program that watched our relationship grow) and that he was complying with the things I really wanted in a proposal, lots of people and lots of pictures (If there aren’t any witnesses or photographic proof it didn’t happen or at least I can’t prove that it happened).

He then asked me to join him up in front while, proceeding to talk about my engagement ring. I had made a huge deal beforehand of the fact that I wanted to choose the most important piece of jewelry I will ever wear. With that in everybody’s mind, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him in the most adorable way ever (Ketchup to my fries, salt to my pepper, PB to my J, Will you marry me?) with his mother’s engagement ring in his hand, so I could pick my own later on. After that all you could hear was my really loud “Finally” and the claps and cheers of the crowd.

We knew everyone at the ceremony so afterwards they all came over to congratulate us, lots of hugs and kisses were passed around. The rest of the night followed as if it were our personal engagement party, we were the stars of night all would up in a lovely blissful cloud. We had an awesome time enjoying the moment with our friends, there was loads of food, drinks and even a band.

It was exactly what I wanted in a proposal and it ended up being even better than I imagined! I am so grateful for the effort he put in coordinating it with the program’s managers and so grateful that they allowed him to give me such a meaningful surprise.

It was a night I’ll never ever forget and a wonderful story to tell our children.

*All Personal Pictures

Did your FiancĂ© fulfill your proposal dreams or was it a total surprise?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time Well Spent in Limbo

While deciding whether or not I was actually engaged, I jumped full force into wedding planning (better safe than sorry right?) So about a month after our trip Vieques, I planned a  fun day with the girls, we would eat some free cake samples and take silly pictures at a big bridal show in San Juan. But things did not go as planned, I was overwhelmed by all the detail that goes into weddings and got a real bad case of “sticker shock”. Wedding stuff is `effin expensive! $5-8 per slice of cake, $800 for 4hr photobooth, $3,000 for decorations.. There was no way I could afford that on a 0 dollar budget. 

Yes, you read right ...0. Some might think we are doing the impossible or something just plain unhealthy to the psychotic bridal brain but planning a no-budget wedding happens to work for me. You see, I was basically the anti-bridezilla, I never dreamed about my wedding as a little girl (Who in their right mind would be crazy enough to marry me?). I had no pre-conceived notions of what I wanted, something that has turned out to be a blessing in my wedding planning journey.

My Plan A (aka eloping), meant minimal money spent and a great vacation for just the two of us, which to me sounded perfect but it was shot down as soon as I proposed it to my parents. They wanted my large puertorrican family to be present at this once in a lifetime event, so they offered to pay for the wedding. The problem with that being, they have 0 savings and I really don’t want to spend a lot my parents hard earned cash. So against all bee advice, I will be planning my wedding without a budget but using the philosophy of finding the cheapest thing that I like and in the words of the wise Tim Gunn “Make it work”. In a way, bargain hunting for the wedding has turned out to be a somewhat fun and really eye-opening experience. We have come up with lots of different ways to cut costs, which have ended up being details that make our wedding unique. One of these cost cutting ideas was having an early morning ceremony followed by breakfast reception. This alone has significantly lowered costs, as breakfast food is much cheaper than dinner and early morning for us means no alcohol or dancing.  

Deciding on having early morning wedding, a breakfast reception and a set-in-stone guest list of 100 really early in the wedding planning helped shape the “feel” of what our big day would be like and how to pull it off on a shoestring budget

What big decisions did you make really early in the wedding planning?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Beach Getaway turned Semi-Proposal

Having a 4 year relationship gave us lots of time to think/obsess/discuss marriage. We talked about getting married after college graduation but the first time we seriously discussed marriage was while on vacation in Vieques.

                                         Now, lets take a break to drool over Vieques beach scenes....


                                                    ... and I'm back

I had planned a getaway for us at this small island off the coast of PR, as last years Christmas present for Mr. Boa. So here we are on a gorgeous white beach… and I start babbling about the wonderful eurotrip I wanted to take after graduation.  You could say my mister was less than amused by this idea; he stated that he wanted our first trip to Europe to be our honeymoon.  So the conversation shifted towards “let’s seriously talk about marriage” territory and happily ended by taking out an iPhone to select a date on the calendar. We left Vieques after a wonderful week in rosy love bubble with May 19, 2012 as our wedding date. Then reality hit, I was ecstatic of having a concrete future planned with the love of my life, but I felt kind of in limbo. Was I engaged or wasn't I?

* All personal pictures

Any other brides-to-be that had to wait to make it “officially” official? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Boas are Slithering into the Hive

It went down a little like this

*Ding*Ding*Ding - Flu stricken me is awoken from an afternoon nap by the annoying sound of my cellphone’s new email alert. I groggily open the email, it’s from Pengy and I immediately think “Finally my rejection email!” but once I start reading “ and think you'd be a great addition to the weddingbee


Jumps out of bed, (Completely ignoring the protesting joints and bones), runs down the stairs and screams “I’m a bee” into the kitchen to Mami Boa and Lil Boa (my mom and Lil Sis/MOH). Both being aware of my WeddingBee addiction and post- blogger application sending anxiety, they gave me big hugs and said their congratulations. I ran back upstairs to text everyone who knew I had applied (a grand total of 3 people) and got my FI’s reply back in 3 seconds “Awesome, who do I get to be?”

Well, you get to be Mr. Boa Constrictor (In desperate need of a nickname though…Mr. B, Mr.Boa, Mr. BC, Mr. Anaconda or Python… Any other ideas?)

Are we just the cutest?

And who exactly are the Boa Constrictors?

We’re fun loving college sweethearts who met at the start of freshman year, when we were both chosen to be part of leadership training program for freshman students. We spent quite a lot of time together working for the program and quickly became BFFs. Our freshman year passed in a flurry of activities, finals and late night study sessions. We spent the summer after freshman year apart, time during which I realized how much I missed him and how huge a part he had become of my life. Once sophomore year rolled along, we were spending every possible second together, soon pushing our friendship out into romance zone and it’s been Disney-movie-worthy bliss ever since!

The Boas their freshman year of college
We were born and raised in opposite sides of the island of Puerto Rico (I’m the country nut, he’s the city boy) about 3 hours from each other. For some strange reason I enjoy learning (about anything but especially psychology or genetics related stuff) most of all, food and eating following at a close second. Occasionally I geek out by watching Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter Extended Edition movie marathons or by spending hours playing God of War on the PS3. I watch way more TV than is healthy and have even enthused a non-TV watching Mr. Boa to share in my adoration of Spartacus, White Collar and Revenge. Mr. Boa prefers to spend his free time plotting world domination, building impossible Lego structures and being the incredible sweetie pie that he is. He's organized to a T, wicked smart and an old school gentlemen (He still opens the car door for me every single time, it kinda drives me nuts sometimes) while I’m known to family and friends as a semi-nerd who talks way too loud and must be kept away from anything breakable or uninsured.(My reputation as a klutz is EPIC).

We heart traveling :)

How did I choose Boa Constrictor? I knew I wanted an anthropomorphized icon (I just really wanted it to have eyes) so it would definitely be a woodland creature, but there were only a few left and none immediately spoke to me. I did what any organized Type A girl would do, I opened up a new Excel sheet to evaluate the designs (True story). Early in this process one icon really stuck out to me. It reminds me of my unexplainable love for all thing Britney Spears (2001 VMAs anyone?), it’s huge outlet for my Harry Potter obsession ( I HATE Slytherin) and while doing research on the scientific species of the remaining woodland creatures( HUGE NERD ALERT) I realized it’s only found in Latin America just like me! Fate I tell you!

The Boas are planning a super low budget morning wedding for close friends and family (I was raised across the street from 8 cousins, 4 aunts, 5 uncles and one set of grandparents, just a taste of my HUGE and close knit family) with some Latin flair and a lot of love. Along with all this wedding planning, we will also be in our last semester in college, planning our honeymoon, graduating college, starting new jobs and doing our first cross-country move. I'll be one busy little bee just the way I like it!

*All pictures personal*