Enough About Travel, Let’s Talk Weddings, Shall We?

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SVV says my little nook of the Internet, my beloved Camels & Chocolate, has been left relatively unattended these past few weeks months. He’s right (as usual). And for this, dear sweet blog, I apologize profusely. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s not that I want to break up in any way, shape or form, it’s just that I quite literally cannot find the time to visit you and give you the affection and attention you deserve. I’ve been traveling, shocker—three and a half of the past five weeks I’ve been elsewhere—and the next month it’s only going to get so much worse with back-to-back work trips to Israel and Macau (I literally land in SF from Tel Aviv at 3pm one day and have to be back at the airport at 9pm for my flight across the Pacific to Hong Kong), that I can’t really see the surface. Not to mention! I have my daily duties and my handful of stories due weekly and my regular celebrity reporting and friends in and out the last month and the next and the next after that, and on top of all of this, somehow have to find time to update one guidebook and write a first edition of another in another state entirely. Oh, and plan a wedding. So yeah, ZOMG, oy.

(The above forehead wrinkles + aforementioned stress could be why my derm suggested, at the ripe age of 26, that I might consider Botox prior to my wedding. Don’t worry, I’m not—not really my bag, you know—but just the mention sent me into a tizzy.)

It’s gotten so bad, in fact—or so hectic rather, as I’m thrilled to still be swimming in work when so many of my journalist pals have gotten the axe of late—that friends have e-mailed me to get together and I’ve had the nerve to propose a drinks date in early January. Because I have virtually no open days before then! Gah. So part of why I haven’t waxed poetic lately about this and that is that I’ve been run ragged, and to be honest, am a bit uninspired and frankly in need of 36 hours a day to git ‘er dun (who came up with the concept of a day only consisting of 24 hours anyway?). I’m sure my social media ubiquity—Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr (oh hello! I keep a secret blog, too), etc.—has caused Camels & Chocolate, my numero uno, to suffer. But no more! This is when it all turns around. And since I’m on a Virgin America flight back from NYC (yay, in-flight WiFi!) and finally have a few moments to cover my bases, let’s have an update on what I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your seats over—the fact that I’m marrying this boy, of course!—shall we? (I am averaging one wedding post per four months, after all. Not so excessive…yet.)

Amid all the other calamity going on in my life, I’ve somehow managed to pin down quite a few major things, as well as change others around. For example, remember how I bought the first MOH dress for my sister that I found and how easy a bride I claimed to be? HA! Once it came in, the color was all wrong (a note to all brides who contemplate J. Crew Bridal for their own nuptials: the colors on the site are not at all representative of what they look like in person), so I’ve spent the past month hunting down the perfect dress in the perfect shade of royal purple that not only goes with my color scheme but also flatters her figure and is something she really can wear again (every bride says that, but it’s so rarely true). Also, until I got that little detail worked out, I couldn’t move forward with other more pressing things. And behold, I stumbled into Lord & Taylor in NYC yesterday and out with this beaut:

(via Lord & Taylor)

Perfection. Exactly what I was looking for. And on sale, too—$100 off! Good thing we’re the same size; I very well may be borrowing this from her after the wedding’s over.

Speaking of my dress, I got it! Oh yes I did. Second dress I tried on in fact. Easy as pie! So perhaps I am a low-maintenance bride in that respect. Actually, the whole purpose of this four-day jaunt to New York was to dress shop at Kleinfeld with my bestie, Lemon, only there was no need! So instead we settled on eating our weight in mac and cheese and cupcakes (what else is new). I would tell you more about what I’ll be wearing my big day, but well, SVV paroles this space like the Web manager that he is, and as much as he’s trying to trick out details from me when I’m not on my A-game, he’s yet to do so. Who’s the master of trickery now, eh? I will say this (as none of it will mean a thing to a dude, after all): I bought The One at Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta (a store which I love, love, LOVE), and it’s strapless, A-line, from Carmela Sutera, a slight sweetheart neckline, duchess satin with a lovely sheen, sports layers of crinoline and has a beautiful sash. The color is “blush,” which is a bit of a pink-y champagne and so much more me than just pure white. And the kicker… it was a $4500 couture gown off the runway, but I got it for $500 thanks to the lovely surprise that I’m the bridal sample size and could walk out with the sample right off the rack! Only, I didn’t—I had them ship it to me instead so I wouldn’t have to cram it into my luggage. Now, if only it would arrive on my doorstep. I’ve been waiting so patiently for over a month, and that patience has an expiration date. I’m still in search of Gown #2 for my casual backyard Tennessee reception a month later, but am pretty sure I might go with this dress in white which I found at the Jenny Yoo flagship store (don’t mind the greasy hair and lack of makeup or the fact that this taken-from-below angle does nothing to flatter me, please).

For my darling flower girl Kiva (vote for her in the Gap kids Casting Call here!), my talented seamstress MIL, Joan, is going to whip up something fabulous that will match Kari’s dress. We’re doing a run for samples next week during our craft days in Sac, but are envisioning something to this effect:

(via Priscilla of Boston)

What else? OH! The cake, yum, the cake. We had our first cupcake tasting at Sibby’s in San Mateo, and I’m 99 percent sure we’re going to seal the deal, as not only is the price more than reasonable, but the cupcakes are out of this world (and I’m a connoisseur and not easily pleased, I’ll tell you). And the best part: We can choose as many flavors as we want for no additional cost. Plus, Sibby did my friend Nancy’s wedding, and I really loved the outcome:

(via Style Me Pretty)

But we’re still going to shop around a bit, as—duh!—the wedding cake tasting is so the best part of the entire process. I don’t think any of you will disagree with me on that. Though I need a cake-tasting buddy—any takers?—as SVV claims to “not like cake” (I then claim to not know if I can marry him). Who doesn’t like cake, I ask?!

And while I don’t want to fully reveal my save-the-dates yet, as they’re not going out for another week (they require Joan and me hand-stitching them one-by-one, fun!), here’s a sneak peek of the final product. Kelly really outdid herself and designed EXACTLY what I envisioned. They’re so fun and informal and quirky and…well, so us. (And yes, Kelly and I have been writing back and forth for months now about said “STDs,” and SVV does not like those references at all. “It just makes me feel so dirty! Ew!” he says. Every party has a pooper…)

I found a florist who I adore, who has put together one kick-ass proposal including arrangements of “seasonal tulips, sweet peas, lilac, anemones, hydrangea, freesia, and scented geranium and silvery dusty miller for texture in the color palette of lavender, eggplant, and accenting green, blue, silvery-gray tones,” a floral arch, lavender rose petals down the aisle (the ceremony is outdoor), and other odds and ends I love. I’m nearly done designing and launching our wedding site (all on my own! progress!). We’ve pinned down the Hotel Adagio in Union Square for a stellar wedding rate ($119 a night!) on Wednesday and Thursday for those coming in early, and are still negotiating rates for a place in Sausalito, Mill Valley or Tiburon for the actual wedding weekend. Hopefully, that will all be resolved a week from Friday, as we’re meeting with some potential properties (helps to work in the industry).

Our catering tasting for the dinner is next week at the inn, and we’re in the process of hiring a string trio for the ceremony and cocktail hour (violin, mandolin and guitar; two violins and a guitar; or violin, cello and guitar? so many options!). The best part of all is that getting married in a recession kind of rocks, as I’m getting a steal of a deal on almost everything, i.e. we’re not scrimping on anything, having the dream day if you will, and still coming in at below the national average cost of a wedding…in CALIFORNIA (which ties New York for the most expensive state in which to tie the know). So yeah, I’m all ready to get hitched, it appears! Is May 22 here already?

(via lunaphoto.com)

  • October 28, 2009

    I’m exhausted just reading about it!

    Sounds like you’ve gotten a lot done, not that I would expect anything less from you!

  • October 28, 2009

    I love the idea for different flavored cupcakes. And the MOH dress is beautiful! So excited for you!

  • October 28, 2009

    Yay! for wedding details. I love! hearing/reading/talking about wedding details. Your dress sounds uh-mazing, and those cupcakes look fantastic.

  • October 28, 2009

    WOW! I’m impressed! You make me look like a slacker bride in comparison! 🙂

  • October 28, 2009

    All I heard was “secret blog” 🙂

    Really, all the details look fantastic! Love your sister’s dress, the save the dates and I checked out your dress designer’s site and saw some GORGEOUS things! I’m sure everything will be beautiful!

  • October 28, 2009

    You are a wonder, woman. Love your sister’s dress. Your’s also sounds marvelous. I’d certainly help test cake. Who doesn’t like cake? What’s wrong with this boy?

    Don’t burn out with all this travel and planning. Look forward to seeing you more here.

  • October 28, 2009

    I’m getting married July 24th and I haven’t done half as much! I’m super impressed!

  • October 28, 2009

    Awesome. I can’t wait to see pics when it’s all said and done! You know I love me a good wedding!

  • October 28, 2009

    Yeah, the thought of planning a wedding gives me hives. I shall live through you on this one, and then elope when the time comes. Done.

  • October 28, 2009

    Glad to hear the update! We got married May 20th; it’s a great time of year. 🙂

    And now I want a cupcake…

  • October 28, 2009

    Gorgeous, all of it! You’re really pulling it all together so well and so quickly. I hope you’re having fun with it, too.
    (Oh, and how about those sample sales? I got a great deal at a sample sale for my reception dress, for which I never could have paid full price.)

  • October 28, 2009

    Absolutely fantastic–all of it, especially the cupcakes, haha!!! I’m sooo excited for you and SVV. That’s great about your upcoming trips to Israel and Macau. Can’t wait to hear all about them. BIG HUGS! 🙂

  • October 28, 2009

    I got tired just reading this post! But I love, love, love all the wedding details you’ve settled on so far! It’s going to be stunning. Yet another wedding that puts ours to shame.

  • October 28, 2009

    Wow – Type-A or what 🙂 You got it all nailed! Everything sounds perfect. Have great trips – can’t wait to read about them! Thanks to the link to the celebrity post which I missed the first time around hubba-hubba!

  • October 28, 2009

    I absolutely love your sister’s dress. Stunning! I can’t wait to see yours.

  • October 28, 2009

    LOVE the dresses! And that close up photo of you is awesome.

  • October 28, 2009

    When are you getting married again? I am trying to decide if you are WAY ahead or right on target. Well, what I’m really trying to decide is if I am being a slacker 🙂

    I love that purple by the way and those save the dates are perfect!

  • October 28, 2009

    Oh how I love Jenny Yoo dresses! But uh, yeah, I don’t envy having that to plan. It was exhausting!

  • October 28, 2009

    Love all the purple, and wow, you really do get a lot done in barely any time. Can’t wait to see The One, but sniff, I’ll hang in there till May 22nd. 🙂

  • October 28, 2009

    Those photos are so cute! Love reading about wedding details – it’ll be amazing!

  • October 28, 2009

    Sooo… No to the botox, but maybe some Preparation H? I’ve heard it works miracles, and much safer.

  • October 29, 2009

    Wow! And you still have time to update the blog. 🙂 You are amazing wonder woman.

    Love your sister’s dress. Oh! and the cupcake looks so yummy. But I agree you can’t settle yet. Cake tasting is one fun process during wedding planning.

    And.. who is your derm? What is he talking about botox? You don’t need any!!

  • October 29, 2009

    Save the date: May 22. Will you blogging that day? 🙂 Ok, you can get a break. BUT, make sure you report on your honeymoon. Have you decided already? Bora-Bora? That underwater hotel thing? Keep us posted!

  • October 29, 2009

    You’re so organized and you’ve gotten so much done that I just want to cry. (But, all your choices are LOVELY!)

    Bring on the cake (and bubbly!) tasting!

  • October 29, 2009

    No, no, no — the best part isn’t the cake tasting, the best part is the CHAMPAGNE tasting. I didn’t even choose our champagne until four weeks before the wedding because I had to do about fifteen tastings beforehand. I’m not even kidding. The wine tastings are pretty fun too.

  • October 29, 2009

    Wow, looks like you’ve got it all under control. I’m sure you already have contacts in Israel, but if you need help with anything, shoot me an email.

  • October 29, 2009

    Your description of the dress alone is to die for! And $500?! Why not get two, eh? 🙂

  • October 29, 2009

    I really love the cut of the turquoise dress. It’s simple but the small details make it really pretty!

  • October 29, 2009

    Impressive! I planned 80% of my wedding in 11 days, but you seem to have kicked your own wedding’s ass. Just promise me there will continue being pictures along the process, I’m excited to see how all the pictures come together.

  • October 30, 2009

    Wow super impressed.
    Oh and cake tasting buddy….RIGHT HERE GIRLFRIEND!!!!!

  • October 31, 2009

    1) Love that blue dress, and I’m sure I will love it in the white. Pockets all the way!! Just be sure that whatever you keep in those pockets is as charming as the dress. Maybe a set of jacks, marshmallows..ooo, cupcakes! Wait, white dress…maybe cupcakes are not such a great idea.

    2) I just re-read this post in order to forgive you for not contacting me while you were in New York City. Kristin, Kristin, don’t beat yourself up! You’re busy! I forgive you;-)

    3) I cannot wait to see your STDs. Your friend Kelly is definitely talented.


  • November 1, 2009

    I love it!!! Your STD was, by far, the most fun wedding announcement I’ve ever done. Can’t wait to see your handy-work with the stitching is complete!

  • November 4, 2009

    Maybe I missed it, but who is going to be your photographer?! Maybe you don’t know yet, but I’m so excited to see who you pick. California is overflowing with photographic talent, so I’m CERTAIN that they will be amazing 😀

    Don’t forget to have fun while you’re doing all this work!

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