I have been waiting to write this for over a year! Having read everyone else's planning journals and reviews, I have just been in awe since the moment I found this site. I have not always been active, but have appreciated very much all the advice, ideas and inspiration that this message forum has provided!
So, without further adieu, I bring you my wedding planning process! (Please do not mind some of these pictures - I took them on my bed in the midst of packing!)
Chantra and I live in San Antonio, and we highly, highly recommend our photographer. If we were having our wedding here, I would have her shoot our wedding hands down.
We originally wanted to get married on the beach, but unfortunately that was not within our budget unless we wanted everyone to stand around us. We wouldn't have minded this but neither my mom nor Chantra's mom would be capable of doing this.
Haleiwa Joe's Restaurant
This restaurant looks over the ceremony site, and the rental cost was included in our wedding package.
destinationweddings.com agent Elizabeth "Cookie" Randall
Cookie is pretty awesome. She managed to get us a good deal, and never hesitated to work with me on my many demands.
Jennifer Pulsifer is a lovely woman. She has been so helpful to me!
Hotel Renew - Wedding week
Turtle Bay Resort - Honeymoon week
These guys take some amazing pictures! I knew I had to have them!
These went more with an earlier theme I had going on when I figured that we would be getting married on a beach. It's hard to tell by the picture, but they have sea turtles and they say: "Aloha" and then our wedding date.
What a MESS this was. Ok, I bought a dress originally from David's Bridal website for $200. I thought it looked great until I had my picture taken in it at the shop for my fitting. I looked like a truck with 6 asses, so I ended up leaving, selling the dress on ebay and coming back later to find a new one.
I tried on a million dresses I think until I came to this one which was $399 on sale. Now, to be honest, I never had that whole "OMG, THIS IS MY DRESS" moment at the time. I ended up having this nagging feeling for months about whether or not I should be searching for a new dress. I knew it wasn't in our budget and with alterations, this dress ended up costing about $900. But let me just tell you that when I finally put it on after all the alterations, there was NO DOUBT that this was my dress. None! I love it! I wish I had a picture of the final product!
Purchased by etsy seller: http://www.etsy.com/...DawnsCraftStore
Manjarrez by Aldo. I saw another bride on here post these as her wedding shoes, too!
I do not have a picture of my jewelry. It is going to be borrowed from my step-mother and consists of a necklace and bracelet made of fresh water pearls that she got in the Caribbean last year. My earrings will be my grandmother's.
I have gone back and forth about what I want in my hair. However, being that it is a week before we leave, I think I will go with the original plan of wearing a fresh flower in my hair since it is a little too late for anything else at this point. Seriously, where did the time go?
The color looks black, but it is actually a beautiful eggplant color. I had a seriously HORRIBLE, NIGHTMARISH experience with the woman who sold us the bridesmaid dresses. Ugh, just thinking about it irritates me.
If anyone is in need of a dress in the NW Pennsylvania area, stay FAR, FAR away from this place: http://www.bridalboutiqueandtux.com/
We are filing a complaint with the better business bureau over the way the owner treated us.
White Aloha shirt we bought at Penner's in San Antonio on the recommendation of a fellow bride here. Unfortunately, we did not have a great experience at this store, and the shirt was altered very strangely in the beginning. They forced us to wait there while they finished it in the store, which was another hour. They also altered his $97 pants to an unwearable mess which they would not refund for me. Not a good experience. We ended up getting linen drawstring pants from Island Importer.
BTW, a word of warning about Island Importer:
If your guy is inbetween sizes and you are struggling to decide to go up or go down, go DOWN. Chantra's pants are HUGE on him.
Sandals are by Reef
I do not have a picture of this, but my step mother is making shirts for the guys. They will be light green cotton button down shirts with coconut buttons.
We also bought them each a pair of dark brown leather Reef sandals and linen pants from Island Importers as their groomsmen gifts.
Father of the Groom:
Chantra's dad is a funny guy with an interesting sense of style, so for his Christmas & wedding gift combined, we bought him his wedding attire.
The shirt is a Tommy Bahama shirt and the pants are just khakis from JcPenney. Shoes are by Reef.
We got the shirt from a seller on ebay: http://myworld.ebay.com/casciere6xzs/
Mother of the Bride:
My mother had such a hard time finding a dress in my hometown in Pennsylvania, so I found this on sale for her. She still hasn't decided to wear it for certain, but I loved the colors, so I took a picture!
Dad and Step mother of the Bride:
My step mother is making her dress and my dad's shirt. I have not seen them yet, but she is a fantastic seamstress, so I know it will be awesome!
Ohhhhh, what an adventure. We had a certain amount included in our wedding package, but I always seemed to go over. In the long run, we ended up with a $600 flower bill.
My bouquet inspiration:
Maile lei for groom:
We could have opted for outdoors but chose the chapel because this side of the island is notorious for rainshowers.
Bought from Oriental Trading for $9.99 per dozen. They do come in varying sizes which is a bit disappointing, but they will do just fine.
I don't think we will use these in the long run. I kind of don't like them and think that the purple ribbon will end up looking too dark in the pictures.
We did these last minute. I am so SICK of DIY projects.
Do not mind my ridiculous drawing. I couldn't find anything that really matched my vision, so I drew it out myself. I wanted to tie in the recurring theme of the wedding which was the flower petal that was featured on my invites and also most of the paper crafts in the wedding.
I waited until the last minute to buy this because it seemed really unimportant until I realized I had nothing to put on this cake. So, I purchased this off of Amazon. It was pretty inexpensive ($14), but it also feels like it. My mom bought me one also, but I have not seen it.
Chantra is Cambodian, and we wanted to incorporate elements of a traditional Khmer wedding into our ceremony. However, it is very difficult to do so as the traditional Cambodian wedding lasts for hours. So we decided to take this element from the final part of the ceremony and incorporate it into our reception.
I also felt that this was a great way to make sure I met and mingled with all of our guests.
This was another DIY project - one that was a huge pain. However, of all the things I did by hand, this is the only one that I am happy I accomplished myself.
Yet another DIY project.
My step mother was awesome enough to make these for me. She did such a great job!
We purchased vintage postcards (from amazon.com) and addressed and stamped them with custom stamps (from zazzle). My MOH is going to collect them at the end of the night and slipping them into the mail for us so we have them when we get back from the honeymoon. The chalkboard is from a seller on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/braggingbags
We are planning to purchase cookies in Hawaii for the favors.
Ugh, another adventure. I ended up sending these out for Christmas because there was no way we could bring all this with us since we are the only ones traveling from Texas to the wedding.
The large travel bags were purchased from vista print and the smaller ones were handmade by an etsy seller who made me a custom order for a VERY reasonable price.
I have always loved the Tiffany style palm tree necklace. Of course I couldn't afford the real ones, and these hardly do it justice. However, they are still cute and I think the girls will like them a lot.
I purchased them on amazon.com.
Gosia Designs on Etsy provided us with these hankies. They are GORGEOUS and I love how they came out!
Chantra and I first met while playing a game online, so I bought him some memorabilia from the game. They were purchased from amazon.com.
Made on vistaprint.
Ok, I think that is it! Now to get to packing!