Sunday, November 27, 2011

saving the date!

hey there! life has been busy in the bay area, but the save-the-dates have all gone out -- so it's time to share!

i guess i should probably spare you the story behind my late-night-evite-faux-pas that sent broken jpegs to more than 100 of my friends and family.... yeah. ok. i'll spare you.

yep. amazing.

you may remember me mentioning a design that i saw and liked back at the tilt wedding fair. well, that was my inspiration, and we decided to go with a similar look for our save-the-dates and invitations...

design by hello lucky

i'm so lucky to have schniz, my wedding goddess, because she hooked me up with a good friend of hers who is an amazing graphic designer that really nailed the idea i had in mind. having dara (designs) put it together saved us a LOT of money and we got to tweak it to be exactly how we wanted, like the colors, the formatting, and changing it into a postcard. check her out. she's fantastic!

polotek and i are fairly casual people, who want to have a fun and offbeat wedding, and we wanted to really set that tone through our STDs -- i know, "STDs" makes you think of the clap or crabs or something, but it's annoying to keep typing all those words -- with everyone, giving them that feeling. no pomp. no circumstance. just what promises to be a really awesome day. i wanted to stay as far away from script fonts and flourishes as possible. we are not trying to be extra fancy now or on our wedding day.

we are just trying to be us.

design by dara robin lustig

so, i hope we captured at least a little bit of that intention with our stationary. aaaand you can look for our actual invitation design to hit this blog in about 4 or 5 months. ha. we're not trying to be stuffy, but we do want to leave SOMETHING to the imagination!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

picture perfect.

last week was full of happy life gems, one of them being that polotek and i got to see our photos from our engagement session with ananda and bliss fotography. as i told you kids before, we hadn't planned on getting any engagement photos done at all, but then changed our minds after i won this free shoot from a wedding fair. and i'm really glad we decided to do it, because the photos are AWESOME.

awe. some.

i'm going to give you a little sneak preview, and you can go to the bliss fotography site to see more. we will also be sprucing up our currently-drab wedding site with some of the pictures, so you will see them there, too.
pure auss.
ananda was great to work with, she made us feel very comfortable and encouraged us to just be ourselves, and she captured some pretty fab moments between us. also, my day leading up to this shoot was completely batshit crazy, and i was totally flustered and all over the place when we showed up to the ferry building for the shoot.

the back story of that day:

i was tasked with trying to get polotek a nice shirt to wear (his wardrobe basically breaks down to 70% zombie and tech t-shirts, 20% lucky brand jeans, and 10% underwear). well, that morning i was farting around on pinterest and took my time to getting to the mall to get his shirt. i thought i could take my time because i already knew the specific shirt i was going to get, like others polotek has had, from express.

regardless of the fact that it was closer, i wanted to avoid the parking madness that is westfield mall in san francisco, and so i went to daly city in the 'burbs. i did this only to realize that there is no Express at that mall, and when i look up the store locator (ugh! why didn't i do this before i left the house?!) i see that the only one is in westfield mall. in sf. in the downtown yucky tourist cluster.

at this point, time is getting tight, but i'm determined and i think i can make it. so i run to westfield mall, making it in a record time of 15 minutes from daly city. i park the car and get to express in a snap to buy polotek's shirt and a shirt for me. in fact, i did this all in such record time that decide that i can make a pit stop in bloomie's to get a cover-up jacket for my ensemble, too.

well, that actually turned into me looking at a really cute dress that i HAD to try on. and i did. and i liked it. and i contemplated buying it despite it's WTF price tag because it looked really good on me. after a few minutes of twirling in the fitting room, i use my better judgement against it, and return it to the rack. i look at my watch and see i now have to be back at the house REALLY SOON.

i leave the mall, cross the street to pay parking...and realize that the parking ticket is no where to be found. i know i put it in my back pocket, so it must have fallen out in the dressing room. and i run all the way back into the store and into my fitting room to check for the ticket. no dice. so in addition to my waste of time, i end up having to pay $32 dollars for parking less than an hour at the mall i didn't even want to go to in the first place. i'm then annoyed, and running late.

so by the time i got back to the house, i just started throwing clothes, hair pins, makeup and other shit in boxes, and start scrambling to make myself look like a goddess in 15 minutes.

i manage to pick up polotek and my friend who volunteered to help out with the shoot, and make a b-line for the embarcadero.

by the time we show up (somehow only 10 minutes late), i'm a hot-ass-mess. polotek goes to change. then when he comes back, he is not even wearing the shirt i went through all that trouble to buy him because it turns out the shirt i got him didn't even fit.

muthafreakin' WOMP WOMP. after all of that mess i went through. and all the tags were already ripped off and everything. ugh.

luckily, in my box packing madness i threw in another shirt for him to sport. he put that on and it worked out just fine....buuut in the end, we could have saved ourselves a nice hundred plus dollars. oy.

the great thing that turned this exasperating day around was ananda and her overall amazingness.

despite my being totally flustered and polotek not knowing what was going on, she made the photo shoot one of our best experiences. by the time that shoot was over, we were floating on cloud nine. she was very easy to talk to, give my corny ideas to, and ask questions. i think she did a wonderful job of capturing the "essence" of us.

this was my corny idea, but i love it!
ananda is based in the bay area, and won't be traveling to DC to shoot our wedding (we have the wonderful abe landes for that!), but if you are a nor-cal local, and looking for a photographer for something special...i highly recommend her.

check out the photos, tell me what you think!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

flower me with love.

ummm, operaqueenie creative / wedding-related obsession #4573: handmade paper flowers...

so schniz has been throwing ideas like this at me for the last few weeks about flower and centerpiece alternatives -- it saves money, and also lets me flex my DIY muscle -- but you know, sometimes it takes a catalyst or some a-ha! moment for these things to click. well, yesterday lil' ape pinned the picture above to our collective wedding board, and BING! yahtzeeeee!

well, first i clicked the link to the etsy shop listing it...and saw the price...and laughed. trust me, i am in no way trying to knock this lady's hustle. in fact, i was really, really impressed with her shop. but there is no way i'm paying that for flowers that aren't even real! then i thought, someone has got to have instructions on how to make these! and, of course, google swoops in for the win... i found this handy little post about kusudama flowers!

all of a sudden i got really excited about it, thinking about pretty paper flowers and using pretty papers. some of you may know that i am a recovering paper addict, i was flying high off of making cards for people for a good while. and i do still love it, but now that i have more time to get into my other crafts and sewing, cardmaking has taken a back seat.

so i went into my paper stash yesterday, and pulled out a couple sheets and my hot glue gun.

here is my first attempt at making one from last night...

not bad, for a rookie, right?!

aaaand, now i'm obsessed.

the etsy shop i mentioned is doing all sorts of cool things with the kusudama flowers. i think could work with this idea for bouquets and boutonnieres!

schniz also posted another cool idea....i think i'm gonna have to test this one out, too.

maybe for centerpieces?

and oh, the papers....sooooo many i can imagine playing around with. i love the lotka papers. LOVE them. and i have a few scraps of lotka at the house i'm going to test out first. then i think a trip to paper source is needed. expect more photos on this.

now, don't get me wrong, i love real flowers. i buy flowers for my house all the time, and they make me soooo happy. but as the wedding goes, i told y'all i want different. i want unique. i want offbeat.

so feel free to send me your opinions on paper vs. real flowers -- awesomesauce or tacktastic?

Monday, November 7, 2011

how low can you go...?

apparently, not low enough.

by the way, sorry it took this girl so long to post -- last week was a busy week. and this one looks like more of the same. i'll try to not leave y'all hangin', though.

now i'd like to shout out to my fellow non-kardashians who can't throw ten-million-dollar weddings. what the crap, man?! i was especially irritated to hear about this last week because i spent that day working through catering estimates, all of which are BEYOND the $5,000 number we had hoped for...

oh, frustration!!! i mean, one way to look at it is that we were able to cut out about $3,000 from some estimates -- thanks to some great cost-saving ideas suggested by schniz -- but really, we are looking at roughly $8,000 for our total catering line. and with our budget already being as low as it is for many of the other line items, we know that this wedding is not happening for $15K. it could be more like $20K.


here's some rough info about the breakdown of our leading estimate, for those of you wondering how it could possibly cost this much:
 - we are budgeting for 150 guests (our original budget number was based on 120 or less)
 - there are a number of incidentals that really add up, and makes up approximately $3K of the $8K total
 - the food and beverage price per person is actually $35 -- this really is a low number because that includes a dinner buffet (all you can eat!), four hours of beer and wine open bar (all you can drink!), and cocktail hour nosh and after-dinner coffee bar
 - some of the incidentals really are things we must have -- table cloths, dinnerware, and servers for 150 people
- the caterer is also responsible for the set up and breakdown of the ceremony in addition to the reception parts

we are still waiting for some revisions to other estimates that could come in a little bit lower, but at best my guess is that the number will still be in the range of $8,000.

to be honest, the more i look at the number, the less frustrated i am by it, because i know that this arguably the most important line item of the event. and we are working with great companies, so we are sure to get great quality and service for our money.

also, being able to rest assured that the caterer will take care of things is not something you can give a price value. unless it's eight thousand dollars.

in other news, the save-the-dates have started to go out! we are sending them in waves, but as soon as they are all en route to their destinations, i'll be sure to post the goods here.

oh, and i have a meeting with ananda from bliss fotography tomorrow! that means engagement shoot photos will be coming soon!!! yayayayaya!