Thursday, October 9, 2014

Saying "Yes" to the Dress!

Like most girls, I spent a good chunk of my childhood dreaming about being a bride, one year I even was one for Halloween! (Still trying to dig up that photo.) There is so much pressure to find "THE DRESS", there are even shows completely dedicated to it!

Speaking of wedding dress shows, I actually applied to be on one before my dress hunt began. If you know me or have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that a little less than a year and a half ago, I lost my grandmother. She was such an integral part of my life and I never imagined I'd be planning a wedding without her. In fact, my engagement itself had its bittersweet moments realizing I wouldn't be able to call her and tell her the good news. One of my first thoughts in the wedding planning process was, that I needed to try on her wedding gown. Not only did my grandmother wear it, my mother wore it as well! (Talk about a Throwback Thursday!)
My Beautiful Grandmother in the dress in 1954
And my Mother in the dress in 1985!
After trying it on, I realized that, it needed a lot of work. While it looked stunning on both of them, it was definitely not my style and needed an update. So, that's when I contacted Something Borrowed, Something New. I figured, if there was anyone who could turn this dress into something absolutely perfect, it would be them, so I applied.

I thought that maybe they could put a modern take on the gorgeous lace gown, perhaps something like this dress that I found while looking at all the lovely wedding dresses on Lover.ly.
Much to my surprise, shortly after applying, they scheduled me an on camera interview! Before we had even left the building after our interview, we were already told we made it to the next round of casting! This might actually be happening! The next step was to make an at home video with your whole "entourage". My mom, Sam's mom and Danica were all there. We filmed a great video and then, it disappeared. Half way through the video, it just cuts out. We had to re-do it. Unfortunately the second one was nowhere near as good as the first and, to this day, I still am fairly certain that is why we weren't cast for the show. After what felt like an eternity of waiting to hear back I received this e-mail:

"Hi Shea, we finally have our cast set and unfortunately you didn't end up making the final cut.  I know this generally doesn't make anyone feel much better, but you ended up just outside our final group and were in the conversation up til the very end.  We wish you all the best with your wedding and hope you're able to find your dream wedding dress!  It was a pleasure working with you, thank you for being on top of it!

Sincerely,
SBSN Casting"

To be honest, I was somewhat relieved. I had a terrible fear that maybe they would turn the dress into something I didn't love and a family heirloom would be destroyed for nothing. However, not gunna lie, the rejection e-mail did sting a little, but, it was the first step in my dress finding journey! After not making it on the show, I took that as a sign to leave well enough alone and to find a dress of my own, despite my feelings of sentiment towards my grandmothers gown. Although I'm sure my grandma would have loved for me to be in her dress, I think she also knows how much of an individual I am (after all, I get that from her) and she would have also adored the idea of me being in something that was uniquely me.

The days leading up to my first (and only!) bridal salon appointment were nerve wracking. There is so much pressure to find THE dress. And years of watching TV shows puts in your mind that it is going to be impossible to please everybody. I chose a core group of women to come along to my appointment, my mom, my grandma, my best friend (and Maid of Honor) Danica, my cousin and Sams mom.

As I perused the racks I got more and more nervous. Was I going to find one? I started picking out a handful of ones I'd like to try, figuring out what I liked and didn't like. And then... as if out of a movie, (though we didn't realize it at the time) something amazing happened... The hanger of one of the dresses we were looking at broke and completely fell into our arms. Danica held onto it while I continued looking. We decided it would go in the "try on" group. When I got in the fitting room, the only dress that I could remember was the one that fell off the hanger, even though it was nothing like what I had imagined getting. So I tried it on first. Everyone thought it was beautiful but were quick to send me back to the dressing room, it was the first dress after all. I tried on dress after dress and none really compared to the first one. I ended up finding a couple others that I liked but just kept wanting to put that first one back on. Once I did, I think that a unanimous decision had been made. We all loved the dress, its uniqueness, but most of all, the way that it made me feel. Once I got home and was reliving the day I realized, I didn't chose that dress, that dress chose me! Of all the dresses in the store, it jumped right off it's hanger and said "Choose me!". I can't help but think that my grandma played a role in that. It still gets me emotional just thinking about it.

With the wedding just over a month away, I can't share photos of the dress just yet but I can't wait to have my guests and most of all, Sam, see it knowing that it is the most special dress I could have ever imagined.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Showered with Love

This past weekend my future Mother in Law threw me my first (of two) bridal showers. She grew up with all brothers and has two boys of her own so she tends to feel she is challenged when it comes to all things girly. This shower, however, proved otherwise! This was the first time that I had the pleasure of meeting much of Sam's extended family and his mothers friends. My mom and I can't stop talking about how blessed we are to be receiving so many wonder women into our lives!

My future Mother in Law knows me well, the food was burgers and hot dogs (pretty much my favorite foods) and there were NO GAMES! I know that games are traditionally played at all showers but I hate them. It's so forced and no one really likes it. It's like on the first day of school going around the room and everyone saying their name and something "interesting" about themselves. No one really wants to do or cares what anyone else is saying, but since everyone else is doing it, they go along with it. It was funny, after she mentioned there would be no games there was a resounding "Oh thank god, I hate shower games". But of course, there was one in the crowd that said "What? I love shower games!". There's one in every group.

We had such a wonderful time and Sam and I received some wonderful and generous gifts. We all got up and learned the cupid shuffle and the electric slide. My Mother in Law to-be is so much fun and this shower really proved to be as well. A small group of us stayed chatting and sipping champagne until long after dark. It really was the perfect day and I couldn't have asked for anything more.
Danica & I
Stefana & I
My two leading ladies: My Mother & Grandmother
 Mom & Mom-to-Be
 My boo showed up with flowers. 

Some of the Bridal Party

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

That's What Shea Said

A couple of weeks ago now I was overwhelmed by my amazing friends who gave me the most perfect Bachelorette party that I could have possibly asked for.

As I've mentioned before, my maid of honor Danica and I have been planning my wedding since before I had a ring on my finger and yes, that includes the Bachelorette party. A few years ago now, my family's company (who has had Angel's season tickets for about 30 years now) decided to buy into a suite with a few other companies. As soon as I went for the first time my wheels began to turn... this would be a great place for a Bachelorette party... more specifically, MINE!

I've grown up watching Angel's baseball and, now that we have the suite, I spend the majority of my time during baseball season at the games. So, needless to say, once Sam finally put a ring on it, Danica and I got to making this plan a reality! Because of the way the season works, we knew we would have to have the party a pretty good chunk of time before the actual wedding. We went ahead and chose one of the last Saturday night home games and Danica did the rest!

I really do have a wonderful group of friends and they all made the night so special. I would say it was good practice for the wedding because, everyone always tells me it flies by and when it's over you can't believe it. That's exactly how I felt about my Bachelorette party! I can't thank everyone enough who made it out and made the night oh-so-special. Especially the lady in charge, Danica :)

We started with a suite at Hotel Menage, a hotel in Anaheim near the stadium. When I got there everyone had decorated the suite and put their custom baseball tee's on. I was so overwhelmed! We played a fun game where every guest brought a pair of undies that represented them. I had to guess whose was whose and I got 9 out of 13 right! It was a fun game (and a great way to score some new skivvies!) After opening all of the wonderful gifts, taking some photos (and popping some bottles of course) we headed to the stadium. The Angels won and it was a night I will never forget.
Danica's Handiwork
How Adorable are the Custom Shirts & Favors??
Homemade Cupcakes & Custom Wedding Paper Divas Coasters
A Closer Look at the Favors
"it's time to drink champagne and dance on the table" Shirts
Everything Came Together so Nicely! Check out those Custom Napkins & Coasters from Wedding Paper Divas!
Most of the Group
Whose Idea were the Tequila shots??
Love these Girls
The one that Made it all Happen!!




And Finally we ended up back at the Bar at Hotel Menage


I am so incredibly lucky to have so many wonder ladies in my life. I don't know what I would do without them. Thank you to each and every one of you that made me feel so special. I can't wait to boogie with you all again at the wedding! :)





Thursday, September 25, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Five: INVITATIONS!!)

One of the things I was most looking forward to about the wedding process was the paper goods. I have always loved ALL. THINGS. PAPER. I have a drawer full of thank you notes and notebooks because I can't get enough. 

When planning my imaginary wedding (long before I was engaged) via my Pinterest, my "paper goods" board was one of the first ones I had and loved pinning to. Once I got engaged it was time to get more serious about WHAT paper goods I actually wanted to have/buy/potentially create. I searched high and low on every wedding paper goods website and etsy alike. While most of them had absolutely adorable invites, there wasn't anything that just screamed "Shea". So that's when I made the decision to create something. After messing around on my computer for far longer than I should have I realized that, even though I made (and was very happy with) my Save the Dates, wedding invitations were not something I was going to be able to tackle on my own. So the hunt began. 

I began scouring etsy for a paper goods designer that was willing to make something custom, just for me (yes, I realize I keep using myself singularly and not including myself in a "we", even though it's "our" wedding. Lucky for me my groom-to-be really just wants me to be happy so these invites really were a solo mission). I ended up finding Maile of PGH Papercraft. She was wonderful and so open to make changes and truly create something custom for me. Unfortunately (sort of) my friend Erin, who I had previously asked if she might be interested in helping me with my invites got back to me with what I can only describe as the most PERFECT. INVITES. EVER. She really got my vision, even using colors and fonts that I had used for my save the dates. I was over the moon thrilled with what she had come up with. It was a struggle letting Maile know because, as I said she was so wonderful and I know that we would have been able to come up with something extraordinary but I just couldn't pass up working with Erin. After a little over two months, lots of sample runs and dozens of e-mails, we finally came up with the most perfect invites for what I can only hope to be the most perfect day. Here is the final product (both assembled and disassembled for viewing) of the wedding invitation suite of my dreams. I have obviously blocked out some addresses and street names for privacy reasons, not that I expect anyone reading this to crash my wedding but hey... you never know. ;)

Erin really created something truly unique and just so perfectly me. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I used a company called Cards & Pockets for all of the paper products (like the envelopes and pocket invitations) and I also used their printing company for all of the printing. They are a wonderful company and I couldn't recommend them higher. The Shea & Sam sticker I had printed using a company called Print Runner and the gold ribbon was simply bought at Michael's. The map I actually made myself (and had Erin incorporate it into her design) using POWERPOINT of all programs! I used this tutorial and it was a lifesaver. PowerPoint... can you believe it? After some playing around with it, we decided on using a gorgeous black and white photo of the venue for the back of the RSVP post card. I think it's such a unique (and personal) touch that I really couldn't have gotten elsewhere. 

Well, there you have it. The long awaited labor of love that has been months in the making. They finally all went out this week and the response to them so far has been wonderful. Soon enough all the RSVP's will start trickling in and I'll have a smile on my face seeing them again. This whole wedding planning process has been, as I've said before, the most stressful fun I've ever had. Can't wait to share some more of what I've been up to for it! :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Four: Officiant)

Something very important to me is that everyone feels comfortable and relaxed at our wedding. Yes it is a very special day but it's also a day of celebration of who we are as individuals and of who we are as a couple.

If you didn't already know my best friend and Maid of Honor Danica was on a show called "My Fair Wedding" where she had literally a month to prepare for her nuptials, and most of the big details she wouldn't know until the day OF her wedding! While the show did take care of most of the planning, preparation and vendors, a few things were still left to the bride and groom, like the officiant. After a somewhat stressful debacle, Danica and her groom-to-be were left officiant-less. They took to the internet and found Terry Berrett of NW Vows. Without ever even meeting the couple face to face (until the "I do's"!) Terry agreed to officiate for the couple and it went off without a hitch! Not only did Terry do a wonderful job, he made it seem like he had known the couple for ages! His easy going nature and his kind tone made for a truly special ceremony.

When I began to think about officiants, Terry was the first that came to mind. After doing a little research I saw that he seemed to only really do weddings in the Pacific Northwest now. I figured it was a long shot but it was worth a try, so I e-mailed him. He got right back to me and, to my surprise, gladly accepted my request for him to officiate our wedding! I am so genuinely excited to have Terry be a part of our special day and our lives forever!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Three: Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Musician)

After choosing my venue and my photographer I began the hunt for a ceremony/cocktail hour musician. 

Sam and I are music lovers and especially enjoying seeing live music. I knew from the start that I wanted an acoustic guitarist. We're not a string quartet kind of couple. My search led me to a site I had never heard of, Gig Salad. It was there that I stumbled upon Trent Hancock. On his Gig Salad account he lists his influences and inspirations as "Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews, Bob Marley, Beatles, Ben Harper, Ray Lamontagne, Train, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Coldplay, Maroon 5, Sublime, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, John Mayer". Oh, you mean most of our favorites? DONE. Seeing the list of songs that he knows sealed the deal. Sam is a huge Beatles fan and his Beatles repertoire is incredible. He was also more than willing to learn any songs that I might like to hear that he doesn't already know. I can't even emphasize just how extensive his song list is and he mentioned to me that there are a lot not even listed! I can't wait for Trent to be a part of our big day!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part Two: Photographer)

After choosing my venue (well, actually, to be honest, probably even before that) I found my photographer.

When I began the wedding venue hunt, and more specifically when I moved the location hunt to Palm Springs I came across the wedding of Natalie (of Mint Love Social Club) whose Palm Springs Wedding I was obsessed with from the start. Not only was she one of the driving forces behind me even being open to the idea of an estate wedding, it was also her photos that lead me to the wonderful Roger of EPlove.

I decided early on that the photographer was going to be one of, if not THE most important part of the wedding. At the end of the day when the guests have left and the cake has been eaten, it's the photos that you have forever. Not only do I love all of Rogers photos, I also love his mellow and relaxed vibe and I knew that Sam would do.

In April we took a trip to Idyllwild (where Roger and his gorgeous family live) for a relaxing weekend and engagement shoot. From the moment we met, we were at ease. Our photos turned out amazing because we weren't posing. We were just being us.

(Fun Fact: the blanket we used was a family heirloom)
Roger captured real smiles, real laughs, and, most importantly, real love.

We ended our shoot over pizza, good conversation and goodbye hugs. I'm so excited to have Roger as a part of our special day and {through his photos} our lives forever.