Monday, October 29, 2012

Miniature Moon

We're not taking our real honeymoon until December, but in the meantime, my amazing new in-laws treated us to a few days of minimoon in Palm Springs.

After all that wedding stress, what better way to unwind than luxuriate by a pool with my new spousal unit? Because we deserve it, dammit.

fancy bathroom stuff from C.O. Bigelow!

Garcon! Oh Garcon!

Who wrote the book of love? No, really. Who was the author?

At long last, I get my mojito.

Such excellent croquet form!

The eponymous palms of Palm Springs.
Mr. & Mrs.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Succulent Bites

Here's the only pic I have of our finished succulent centerpieces, which we used to decorate our dessert tables and the tables at cocktail hour.

The succulent plants were found for less than a buck each at the Rose Bowl, and you might recall these silver Indian goblets that I found at the Jewish Women's Council Thift Store for $1 each (along with the vintage books, which were also used to decorate our gift table).

Voila! I can't take credit for these...I left for a few hours to buy some candy, and by the time I came back my mom had planted all of these.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mad Props for the Booth

Last year, when my gal pal Meryl had her wedding, my friends and I had a blast hogging the photo booth.

Naturally, I wanted people to hog photo booth at my wedding! A look into the costs of renting a photo booth quickly ruled that out for our budget, so I decided to go the super DIY route and build one myself.

We borrowed a polaroid camera from our friends Sara and Tom, who'd bought one for their wedding as well, then hired our site owner's grandson to be our official booth photographer for the evening. Done and done. Now for props! A quick trip to the dollar store and into my own closet supplied some photo booth props...a princess tiara, some sunglasses procured from some film fest swag bag, a pirate's eye patch, a bunch of flowers, a hat from an acting class scene where I played Annie Hall, and some Mardi Gras beads. I also wanted a moustache, but the Howard Hughes in me needed to devise a germ-free way of pulling that off. Luckily, because of Halloween coming up, dollar stores and bodegas were awash in fake moustaches. I picked up this cheap one. Dumb thing didn't even have a sticky back. I guess kids were supposed to tape it to their skin?

Don't feel sad for me, I'm already dead.

I traced the moustache silhouette onto a piece of cardboard...

Then, using the hot glue gun, stuck a dowel rod to it, then glued the moustache to the cardboard.

Ta-da! I look like Terry Richardson, except germ-free.

I'm pretty much Tom Selleck.

As for building the booth itself, we borrowed a desk from the owner of Secluded Garden Estate to hold our props, and I bought a bunch of colored paper pom poms and crepe streamers on line, which Sara hung up between the branches of two trees to give us a backdrop. She also grabbed some flood lights from Home Depot to light up the background.
Thanks to Lynn from The Actor's Diet!
We also left our guest book at the desk so that people could snap one photo to take home, and one photo to leave with us.

At the end of the night, we got to momentarily slip away from our wedding duties (eating cake, drinking to toasts, dancing) to have a little fun with my homemade booth.

Please don't regrow that moustache.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Just Desserts

Besides wedding cake at our wedding (which was a 3-layer, chocolate/marble/vanilla cake with salted caramel and hazelnut cream), we offered our guests chocolate chip & sea salt toffee cookies, seasonal fruit pies (one of the biggest regrets of my life was not getting a slice!), chocolate pie, gummy peaches, marshmallows, chocolate balls, and homemade candy from our family friend, Susan. All of it was laid out on a big-ass table that we revealed about mid-way through dancing...which, in retrospect, was sort of a mistake, since the dance floor cleared out and everyone went to line up for dessert.

Thank you Lynn of The Actor's Diet for awesome dessert documentation!
Confucius say, "Wasting is totes bad," so I wanted to make little personalized goody bags so people could take some sweets to go. After our huge family-style meal, I knew people would be too stuffed to eat it all then and there.

I stamped each one of these pink glassine bags with black ink and a readymade stamp, plus gold ink and a stamp of a ginko leaf, which my bridesmaid Shianling had used when hand-making my bridal shower invitations. This was easy peasy.

I also wanted to make a pennant sign to label the table "desserts," in case people didn't, like, get it. Signs like these were costing up to $45 on Etsy, and honestly, it wasn't all that important to me, so I decided to take the DIY route. I started with some grey felt, and, using a piece of chalk, traced out the letters.

Next, using some leftover fabric from the honey jars, I cut out triangles with some pinking shears. A quick tap of the hot glue gun and it was glued to a long piece of twine. Using more hot glue, Shianling and I glued a long piece of ribbon across the top.

String? String!

A little more hot glue on the letters...

And a few minutes to dry...

Ta da...Signage! Since I had the glue gun, the fabric, the shears, and the twine already, it only cost me a whopping $1.50 for felt and $2 for ribbon. A little homemade, but it did the trick.

Here it is, doing its thang....

Photos courtesy Lynn Chen at The Actor's Diet
And here is Regret Pie.

Photos courtesy Lynn Chen at The Actor's Diet
 Now, time for the dentist.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Love Is Sweet

Since our wedding was fashioned after a fun, rustic, outdoor California family feast of locally farmed ingredients, I wanted our guest favors to fit in with that same vibe. A quick flip through those wedding catalogs that somehow tracked my mailbox down (eg, "Oriental Trading," which suggested personalized shot glasses, organza bags of Jordan almonds, or heart-shaped keychains) made me nauseous. I've rarely used wedding favors that I've brought home from other events, unless they're food-related (meaning, my stomach used them). So, naturally, I figured our take-home gifts should be delectable and in line with our fruits-of-California aesthetic.

An arduous search online finally turned up a local southern Californian bee farm called Newsom Honey Farms, which migrates their bees seasonally from wildflower fields to sage blooms to cherry blossoms, all depending on the time of year. The bees, depending on what they've been eating, will produce different shades and flavors of honey, from crystal clear to dark, deep amber. Who knew bees were such picky divas? Anyway, I caught the beginning of the summer season, which yielded me lots of wildflower honey, as well as a really delicious, light and fragrant orange blossom honey. I ordered 200 mini jars for our friends and family to take home something sweet. Someone from the farm even dropped off the boxes at our doorstep, overalls and all. Ok, no overalls, but wouldn't that have been quaint?

I wanted to personalize our honey jars, so I asked our good friend and wedding coordinator extraordinaire Sara to design little labels for us to commemorate our day. I struggled really hard to resist quoting Ralph Wiggum on there: "Bee Mine! And it has a picture of a bee on it!" But in the end, I figured not everyone would get the Simpsons reference.

The royal bee crest is an ancient symbol of the Chang family.

The wildflower honey variety was more amber than the orange blossom (second in line), which was a light gold.
Then, to country-fy these suckas, I got creative. Went to the dollar store and picked up these clear hair bands...

Ordered some cute fabric from Contemporary Cloth, my go-to online source for modern fabric for reupholstering, etc. Once it arrived, I sat in our garden and cut it into 2"x2" squares, under the watchful eyes of Twiggy...


I made sure to leave some time to humiliate some cats with the leftover fabric...

I'm a bohemian


Then, using the clear hairbands, affixed the cloth to the top of the honey.

Along with my bridesmaid Shianling, I painstakingly tied ribbons around them and trimmed the fabric.

Here was the final result on our guest table settings, photo courtesy of my friend Lynn's food blog, The Actor's Diet. The honey jar favors greeted each of our guests as they found their seats, on top of our place cards, then atop our dishcloth napkins, which were folded over the menu.

Did anyone really take home the honey and use it in their tea or on their toast? Who knows. But it's the thought that counts, right?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Love Stamps

In an effort to make up for my past few weeks of slacking, I'm doing some retrospecting blogging on some of the DIY projects I embarked upon for our wedding.

Today, let's revisit middle school block printing. I wanted our gift bags for guests staying at our hotel to have a more personal feel, but we couldn't afford to get custom-made gift bags (plus, I didn't love the mass-produced look). DIY to the rescue.

First, a trip to the Interwebs to get some plain brown kraft paper bags and a trip to Blick to grab some art supplies: some linoleum blocks, speedcutter tools, a roller, and some ink. I started by tracing our intials and a heart onto the linoleum block, then hollowing it out with the carving tool:

D'oh! I forgot printing goes backwards, so I'd have to write backwards on the block in order to get a normal-facing print.

OK, take 2. Luckily, I had bought an extra rubber block in case I messed up. Turned out rubber was much easier to carve (this is like the elementary school version as opposed to my middle school attempt).

Spread some turquoise ink on a paper plate and coat the roller...


Wet the block...

And voila!

A little punk, a little kindergarten. We had 142 guests, but since I couldn't keep track of where everyone was staying, I decided to make just enough to cover the people who had purchased their hotel rooms at the Ponte Vineyard Inn and the Springhill Suites Marriott through our wedding block discount.

My mom graciously filled them with stuff guests might need when traveling for a wedding: band-aids for high heels-wearers, tissues for ceremony criers, restaurant lists for the hungry, dental floss for post-meal hygiene, gum for making out, granola bars and water for snacks and dehydrationg, and aspirin for hangovers.

Yeah, yeah. I know it kind of looks like "aVe." 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wedding Day!

Friends, countrymen, I have been very remiss at updating this blog because as the big wedding day approached, I was unable to keep up with writing as I was busy glue gunning, painting, and creating all sorts of bloggable situations. No worries, my friends, I did document it all. But I haven't yet had a chance to write entries about it.

In the meantime, I got MAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRIED!

Here's a sneak peek at some of the unofficial wedding day pics that show some of the end results of a lot of my DIY work (with the help of my mom and bridesmaids) from these last few months. Updates on how and what soon, I promise.

We opted for long, supper-style tables rather than the traditional round wedding tables. This was better for the communal, casual vibe we were going for. I wanted people eating at our wedding to feel like they were at a rustic California feast of friends and family, like if the first Thanksgiving was on the West Coast. Our food was served family style, so plates were passed and everyone got to taste a bit of everything.

These pics were courtesy my friend Margot, who straightened her very curly hair for the wedding, so I almost didn't recognize her when I saw her. This was the view from our ceremony, which was held in an old, repurposed greenhouse, with vintage windows hanging from the wooden beams.

I can't take credit for our bouquets, as they were created by the very talented Jolene De Hoog Harris from The Dutch Flower. But I did talk extensively with her about what I wanted: something unique and gardeny, modern and more along the wildflower vibe than something upscale (no hydrangeas, lilies, or orchids). I wanted succulents, ranunculus, and billy buttons, and the rest was up to her. She added in seeded eucalyptus, garden roses, blue eryngium, red hypericum berries, tulips, and a host of other beautiful flowers and plants that made our flowers awesome.

And there are my blue shoes, ordered from Gilt from weeks ago! I had a moment of doubt a few days before the wedding...were they too casual? Too blue? I hurried to Nordstrom's and bought a pair of gold Michael Kors shoes that were very disco. But in the end, comfort won out, and I'm so very glad I wore the blue shoes for that pop of color!

For much more detail and great photos, check out my friend Lynn's wonderful food blog, The Actor's Diet. She did a food-focused, 3-part entry on our wedding: Part I, Part II, and Part III. Since the night was mostly a blur for me, I love the attention she paid to detail and the moments that I didn't get to enjoy since I was busy rushing around and helps me re-live the day as if I were a guest at my own wedding.