Friday, April 30, 2010

Wedding Elves and Programs

While we were having our paparazzi moment and I was pretending that Edward Cullen was watching us from the treetops, guests began to gather at the ceremony site.

Naturally, they would be poring over our ceremony programs, killing time before the big show began.  And where did these programs come from? The Pug wedding elves.  

Let me come clean and say that I did not physically make the paper goodies for our wedding.  I designed and typed them in Microsoft Word, but then promptly shipped the materials to my sister and brother-in-law (a.k.a. elves) out in California for assembly.

The Pug wedding elves swooped down on my wedding prep and with a wriggling of their magic fingers (and hours of hard work), they turned my ideas and blank paper into wedding reality. They were hands-down unbelievable and we absolutely would not have had the weekend that we did without their incredible help and generosity (with the paper products and far far beyond).

Personal photo

Cute, huh? They make the best team, and their loving, respectful marriage is an inspiration to me. So is their love for pugs.

I wanted to have programs because I think people appreciate knowing what's going to happen--i.e. how much more of this ceremony until I can start drinking and eating?  At least, that's why I like ceremony programs.

I didn't want to create anything complicated or fancy, and turned to Paper Presentation, my trusty friend.  They have a large selection of paper in all different colors and shapes--this last part was crucial, because I'm not cutting me no paper on my own.

For example, Paper Presentation has these nifty program booklet sets, which include a cover and insert:


When folded over, the programs would be a 4.75" square.  I bought the covers in Metallic Caramel cardstock and the inserts in Natural White. I designed and created the text in good ol' Microsoft Word.

And then guess what the Pug wedding elves did? You'll never guess.  They printed the ceremony text on the insert. Then my brother in law meticulously tied the inserts and covers together by looping gold grosgrain ribbon through the pre-punched holes. 

Personal photo

My bro in law ties such a good bow. 

The covers had our names and the date (printed on inkjet), and my sister Gocco'd and embossed an artichoke image that matched the invitations.  I had something that was embossed at my wedding! Me!! Get outta town!

The Pug wedding elves did a great job, huh? Because we did not have many guests, they did not have to make that many programs. Otherwise I would have been pissed--you know, on their behalf.

And here are some of the guests waiting with what I'm positive was breathless anticipation...

Wait a second, why are they NOT reading the programs? Ingrates.

As a guest, do you appreciate having a program?

Photos courtesy of CK Hwang/39 East Photography unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


After the first look and family portraits, we were whisked away on a golf cart (woohoo! speedsters!) courtesy of the hotel for some portraits with our very own personal paparazzo, CK Hwang. I swear I heard him mutter something about being our biggest fan and following us until we loved him, but I can't be sure.

So there we were, with our big fan base (population: 1, our hired photographer), striking a pose on a bridge...

Then CK insisted I risk breaking my neck by walking in a little patch of wood (kidding, it was totally fine), which upon seeing I exclaimed, "It looks just like Twilight and New Moon!" We *totally* had to get pictures in these environs, you know, because I want to show Edward that I was thinking of him on my wedding day...

And just because I know you can't get enough of me and Kevin...

And just because you know I can't get enough of myself...

Ah, to have paparazzi for a day--totally worth getting married.

I have to admit, it's pretty awesome having these lovely photos of me and Kevin. Much better than when I hold out the camera with my arm and take a severely off-center, close-up picture of us.

How do you feel about having close-up time with your photographer the day of?

All photos courtesy of CK Hwang/39 East Photography

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I Tease You No Longer

So after all that excitement...

The wedding day, as well as the weekend, was wonderful. It's difficult to say that it met or exceeded my expectations, because truthfully it's difficult to form expectations of the warmth, love and laughter that will surround you on your wedding day.

We can plan certain details, like who will give the second toast, and determine whether things went according to plan, like did that toast happen at 7:45 p.m. or 8:02 p.m., but as cliche as it sounds, there were more important things afoot.

While the details and logistics certainly contributed to the wedding, what stands out to me the most about our wedding weekend was the feel of it--that very loving, happy feeling intertwined with the smiling faces of our family and friends.

I was pleasantly taken off guard by how much of the happy momentum of the wedding came from our guests--not from whether I had left out enough ceremony programs or picked the right hors d'oeuvres, but rather from the sincere joy, love and good wishes that truly made the weekend what it was.

I am so thrilled that we have the lovely images below, taken by our photographer CK Hwang of 39 East Photography (talented and genuinely kind, to boot) unless otherwise noted, to help capture and remember the feel of that day.

Warning: this is long, more so than it has already been

It started with bustling preparations in the bridal suite with makeup, hairdos, bubbly and friends galore. I had invited my friends to come by for "open hours" during the morning so that we could spend some time together...

personal photo

personal photo

Some of us kept cool and calm...

Personal photo

Then things got kind of quiet as the people filtered out and I put on the clothes that would make me a bride...

Kevin put on his final touches...

I showed him what an embarrassing amount of money and effort can do for my appearance...

And then we took some very, very important family photos...

That's quite enough for now, yes? To be continued...

Note: As you can tell, our professional photos are in--yipee!  I wanted to give you an overview of what the day was like in a few posts, and then use an innumerable number of subsequent posts to go into some of the details. Does that sound like a plan? I love asking questions of a silent audience.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Enthusiasm is Overwhelming

I came across some pictures that were taken in the few days leading up to the wedding that, as a montage, I entitle, "No Really Honey, I'm So Excited to Marry You".

As I mentioned, we went to San Francisco City Hall the Thursday before the wedding.  It's a gorgeous building.

And where was the happy couple, taking that monumental step to become yet one step closer to wedded bliss?  We were swearing that their names on the license were correct, and looking ever so thrilled about it.

After arriving at the hotel the day before the wedding, we had our rehearsal. How exciting, right? We get to walk in the steps that we will take the next day in a solemn ceremony before our loved ones!

Then very importantly, we had to have our walk-through and sit-down with the site coordinator, Lesli, to go over final details.

Ah, the anticipation of it all.  Anyone else a victim of less than ideal photos with your spouse-to-be?

All personal and family photos

Friday, April 23, 2010

Preparation. Oh How Exciting. Not Really.

The Pug family (me, Kevin and two pugs) flew from NYC to San Francisco on the Tuesday night before the wedding to finish preparations and spend quality time with the families.  

My awesome sister and her husband had taken care of making many of the paper details (i.e. programs and menus, which I will post about later), but we had to make the OOT bags and take care of the crapload of other stuff that crops up before a wedding.  

Like getting our marriage license on Thursday from San Francisco City Hall...

And afterwards gathered the families for dinner and good times, which necessarily involved cake (from Emporio Rulli, for anyone interested because it was lemme eat the whole thing get your hands off my cake kinda good)...

Kevin looks sad. Too bad.

On Friday, the day before the wedding, it was time to pack the cars and drive down to Half Moon Bay.  The following is a partial list:

-Paper goods (menus, programs, table numbers, guestbook sign, drink menu, etc.)
-Three gallons of lavender honey syrup for our signature cocktail
-Guestbook and pens
-Rose petals for random decorations
-70 LED votives and votive holders
-Ceremony binder
-Planning binder
-Dress, shoes, earrings, rings, etc.
-Backup music CD's
-Cake topper
-Crochet hook (for looping all those attractive but pesky buttons on the back of my dress)
-Emergency kit
-Vendor contracts and checks
-Five pugs (must not forget the pugs!!)

And I'm not even a DIY bride, so I'm sure this list is paltry in comparison to others.  My parents left first, and then my sister, brother in law and I finished packing their station wagon and were ready to hit the road!

Or maybe not. When my sister turned the key in the ignition, an unholy sound screeched and sputtered out of the car. After several attempts of waiting and trying again, and even trying to jump start the car multiple times to no avail, my sister was on the phone to roadside assistance and I began to contemplate whether having to rent another car for the weekend would really be that bad.

Oddly, we all stayed really calm. I was kind of like, meh, we'll get there somehow. At least the wedding wasn't that day, right? And karma repaid us with a very nice roadside assistance operator who, upon hearing that we needed to get to a wedding, dispatched someone ASAP, who came in 20 minutes and restarted the dead battery in 2 seconds. (Naturally karma didn't have to kill the battery in the first place, but who's keeping track?)

And for reals, this time, off we went. When we arrived at the hotel, our site coordinator treated us to a lovely lunch while the members of my family frantically ran around dropping of OOT bags, unpacking, and walking the dogs. I am so selfish.

Anyone experience some last minute snags before the wedding?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Little Totes of Love

After selecting the goodies for our out of town bags (OOT bags), we had to package them.  This happened in overwhelming part due to my sister, brother in law, mom and dad. Where me and Kevin were, I have no idea. Useless.

We placed the homemade spiced peanuts and granola in clear cello bags (*premium*, no less) in the 2.5 x 2 x 6 size.  The bags were not long enough on top to tie with a ribbon (planning doh!), so we folded them down, punched in a few staples, and hot glued some hand-tied ribbons made with purdy gold ribbon.

Turgid, roly poly granola bags pre-ribbon

And when I say "we", like I said, I mean my sister, mom, dad, and brother in law.  I am simultaneously proud and embarrassed to say that I did not touch a hot glue gun, and was promptly dismissed from tying bows after my family saw the first mangled product of my labor.

Here are some of the poor but apparently happy fools I suckered into this operation, aka my parents:


As for the bags that would hold all this yummy goodness and bows, I purchased these:

Source (in the 8 x 4.75 x 10.25 inch size, Sage color)

Remember the artichoke image I bought from an illustrator?  Well, I was going to milk the $50 licensing fee for all it was worth.  So my sister Gocco'd the artichoke image we had burned for the invitations onto each bag.

So what you can't see it that well--it's an "aura of artichoke" effect

In each bag, we included a welcome note, and on the back had a description of the  contents (notes were lovingly made by none other than my fabulous sister).

And away they went. Um, I lost the photos of the completed bags. Or never took one. Or I don't know.  But I hurt. GAH.

What kind of special touches did you add to the packaging of your OOT bag goodies(if you had them)?

Note: I purchased most of my supplies from Paper Mart.  I had also looked at Nashville Wraps and other sites, but Paper Mart happened to have the products that best suited by needs at good prices.

Monday, April 19, 2010

I'm Magnanimous

Before I share pics from the wedding, I wanted to go back and share some details that I didn't get to blog about before the wedding. 

While out-of-town (OOT) guest bags are totally unnecessary, it's a nice surprise for guests to receive this little goodie bag of welcome treats. It's yet one more unnecessary wedding detail to which I was fully committed. Because I am Pug the Magnanimous.  Or because I was looking for ways to use up my time instead of doing real work.

Here's what I chose for the bags:
A little nod to our current city.  Kevin thinks they're gross, but what does he know.  These were great because they take up space--this was key, because I kinda ran out of ideas/energy to fill these OOT bag suckers to the brim.

A nod to the Bay Area. Kevin and I love See's chocolate, and the Krispys have convenient individual wrapping.  These are kind of pricey, so people only got 2 or 3 measly bits. 

My sister cooked up a massive batch of peanuts with Old Bay Seasoning (recipe was retooled by my sister to add tons more Old Bay), as a nod to my home state of Maryland.  I salivate at the thought of just dunking a finger in a tin of Old Bay and licking it. Hehe, not that I do that--I mean who does that? Gross, not me.

A nod to Pittsburgh.  Apparently Sarris Candies is a Pittsburgh institution--but I'm just relying on Kevin for that information. Have not checked my source.  Anyway, it was kind of like pitting Pittsburgh (ha!) Sarris against Bay Area See's. As with the See's, these were a little pricey so only one for you!  

We included granola for no particular reason except that granola is good to snack on and my sister makes a mean, mean chocolate granola.  She made about 5 other types before settling on this one. I love her.  

Do you like OOT bags? What have been some of your favorite items (either ones given or received)?