Disclaimer: I promise, under no circumstances, will this become a wedding blog. I know many of you come here, first and foremost, to see pictures of pretty exotic places and for a temporary escape from your cubicle jobs. Also, I’m going at this blindly—I have to say, I never really thought I’d get married and, therefore, have never so much as flipped through a wedding magazine or watched a wedding show (the horror, I know!)—so I’m sure I’ll commit more than a few faux pas along the way. (For example, at what point do you send out save-the-dates for a semi-location wedding when you already know of four other people getting married the same day?!) Thankfully, I have a couple friends who have tackled this minor task in the past year, and they’re already proving to be excellent sources. Since more than a few of you have e-mailed me asking me the status on the pending nuptials, I figure you deserve an update so…here goes.
A date: May 22, 2010. Yes, it seems like ages away (and is, really), but since, collectively, we were all so persuasive as to coax my sister into going on Semester at Sea come spring (which she is now more than stoked about, you’ll be happy to know!) that was the earliest possible date we could do it. She’s sailing around the world from Jan. 16 through May 6, and getting hitched before she goes would be pretty damn near impossible. Scott didn’t see why we couldn’t just throw something together this fall—“I mean, we could just rent out a barbeque truck and park it at the beach!” Boys, sigh—but we’re getting married in California, which means it’s pretty imperative to book a place nearly a year in advance, not to mention I already have quite a few travel commitments for the fall, plus the majority of guests will be coming from the South and East Coast, and you can’t really spring something like this on them with just three months to plan. So yeah, May 22 it is, which is exactly a year and two days after he proposed.
A location: The reception will take place at the Pelican Inn, no more than 100 feet off Muir Beach, just north of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a cutesy 16th-century English cottage and pub—coincidentally, built in the 1970’s, ha—and we’re renting out the entire place for the weekend. I can finally release this information, as we met with the wedding planner at the inn yesterday and it’s officially a go (well, as soon as we put down the deposit in two days’ time)! When I started Googling wedding locations in Marin, this was the first place that caught my eye. I’d never even been there and was already obsessed. It was the first place we stopped by on our Tour de Venues, and we both fell head-over-heels in love with the place. So quaint and rustic, so us. Our proposed date was free, and, voila, here we are.
Due to the size of the inn, we can only have 100 people max. If you hail from the South, or have ever been to a Southern wedding, you know this is a tiny fraction of how many people usually grace the guest list (I’ve even been to one where the attendance exceeded 1,000!). Thus, we’re having to be pretty picky about who makes the cut, which is proving harder than I thought. I guess we’ll just bank on a good portion of people not being able to make the cross-country trip. The following month, however, there will be a Tennessee reception at my parents’ house, so that pretty much gets us out of inviting the entire state to the San Francisco affair and not offending anyone. Crisis averted!
The ceremony will was set to be on Muir Beach itself. Call us cliche, but we’re total beach people. Considering I never thought I’d have a Big Day, I didn’t have any preconceived notions about what I wanted. As we live in Northern California, a beach wedding seemed pretty fitting. When we went to check it out, there was a playful otter sunbathing on the bank. We took that as a sign.
HOWEVER. Upon meeting with the wedding planner, we realized how logistically impossible this might be—especially considering you have to get a permit from the federal government and also can’t set up chairs on the sand—so instead, we might just settle on a lawn ceremony and incorporate the beach in some other way (like a late-night beach bonfire, for example, which we were told we could do without a permit).
The wedding party: My sister. Had I decided to have a full-blown bridal party, I would have five lovely ladies from each of our families, my BFF in New York and BFF in Nashville, not to mention a handful of close friends in all the places I’ve lived these past few years to take into consideration, and therefore would be looking at about 47 bridesmaids. I thought it easier to keep it simple and just have my sis up there by my side. Likewise, Scott will have his brother, Jim. I’ve already ordered Kari’s dress from the J. Crew weddings catalog (in the Mediterranean blue)—in fact, like the venue, it was the very first one I ever looked at. (What can I say? I’m an easy bride!) Let’s just hope she doesn’t gain (or lose!) a significant amount of weight while circumnavigating the globe next spring.
Also, I fully intend to have Scott’s (and now my!) niece and nephew—Kiva, 5; Jack, 3—as my flower girl and ring bearer. Shhh, just keep that on the DL until I have a chance to “formally” ask Kiva when I see her next week. Their Grammie, my mother-in-law, Joan, is the most talented seamstress this side of the Mississippi, so I have no doubt they’ll be dressed to the nines.
The ring: While I was back in Tennessee, I went and had my grandmother’s ring divided; she had two diamonds—one was her engagement ring from my grandfather; the other, my great-grandmother’s, which will now go to Kari—and a diamond band. They fit like a glove; I didn’t even have to have them resized. The jeweler said it was best not to split her ring and band apart, as they’re melded together and antiques, so I’m just going to wear them as is. This probably isn’t proper etiquette, but I don’t really care. I’ve never been a traditional sort of gal in the first place. Besides, I’m using Scott’s grandmother’s ring from 1942 as my official band anyway.
Invitations, save-the-dates: I’m hoping my cousin Kelly, who designed this site, will be available for hire in this realm. She’s pretty in demand these days with lots of big-to-do clients, but hopefully I’ve now booked her well enough in advance!
The wedding cake: My best friend from Tennessee, Megan, just happens to be a very talented pastry chef, and she said she wouldn’t have it any other way than her making our cake. Score! Doesn’t mean Scott and I still won’t be out there playing the field and doing tastings in the meantime.
Hair, makeup, vendors, etc.: The heavens opened up and the Beauty Gods sent me an angel. I go to Glow, this most fabulous spa in San Mateo, for a monthly wax (hey, don’t judge…I spend a lot of time in a bikini!), and have the most spectacular waxer (waxist?), whom I adore. Coincidentally, she owns the place and is pretty amazing at hair and make-up, too, so she’ll likely be doing my sister and me. She also works with a whole lot of low-cost vendors, so I think she’s going to hook us up with everything else we may need.
The honeymoon: Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for, right? Well, after much debate—Samoa, Tonga, back to the Maldives, how do we even choose?—we’ve pretty much settled on two weeks in Fiji, sipping boat drinks, working on our tans and logging lots of spectacular dives. Possible contenders include here, here and here (or maybe a combo of two of them, depending on logistics). We really wanted to check out the new underwater resort, Poseidon, but alas, after talking to management, it’s not set to open to 2011. Guess we’ll just have to go back!
Whew, that was a lot accomplished in a short period of time, considering I’ve been in town maybe all of 10 days since getting engaged, no? (Self pat on back.) Now, I can relax for a couple months (haha, wishful thinking, right?) until I have to worry about minor details like seating charts, flowers and, I don’t know, a dress? In the meantime, anyone have any recs for a not-too-cheesy wedding template for our website? We want to throw something together to keep our out-of-towners informed, but are completely against using the Knot (at the same time, we don’t want to pay an arm and a leg either). Thoughts?
Hi there! Congrats on getting so much done, so quickly! It can get kind of overwhelming, trying to figure out so many things at once – but it looks like you’ve got a good start, and you should be in good shape.
I figured I’d finally delurk to offer up http://www.weddingwindow.com/ as a suggestion for a simple, easy, low-cost wedding website option. I think we paid something like $20 to set it up, and it’s totally customizable – you can choose which of the 30 or so pages you want to use (we just used the basics, like our dating story, accommodations, wedding day details, etc), and format them all however you’d like. You can format all the colors and the background images and patterns and all that jazz – so it can be as wedding-ish as you want/don’t want. If ours didn’t say the word “Wedding” on it, you’d never realize that was what it was for.
Best of luck with all your planning, and try to enjoy it!
Hurray for wedding plans. Where is this Poseidon Island anyway. i checked out their website (rather) quickly, but failed to see where in the world (sea) they are located. After I saw the US $15,000 price tag for a week, I just about threw up on my seat. However, it looks like a fabulous once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Good luck on the honeymoon planning, wherever it will be!
Those are beautiful rings! And you’ve gotten a lot done very quickly, likely because you’re so easy-going.
BTW, it’s totally odd that you can set the beach on fire without a permit but can’t exchange a few vows on the beach without a permit. (But a post-wedding bonfire sounds fantastic!)
Nice summary, you HAVE accomplished a lot! I have been eyeing the Pelican Inn for a weekend – it looks great! Wishing you the best and congrats!
I’m assuming you mean 2010…
One of my friends just got engaged and they set up a wedding website on weddingwire.com. It’s pretty non-cheesy, and it looks like it’s free to set it up. I don’t want to post a link to my friend’s wedding site publicly, but if you want to see it to get a sense of what you can do on weddingwire, email me and I’ll send you the URL 🙂
Wow! I’m impressed with all you have done. Looks like it will be a spectacular day! (and a fabulous honeymoon! Fiji was for a contender for ours, but we bought a house instead…and went to the more economical Costa Rica!) I’m excited to hear more as the planning continues.
You have gotten a lot done. The place for the reception is so pretty. One thing you may want to do soon is book a photographer. When I had my wedding in little ole T-Town, I booked a year in advance and she only had 2 days in June open at that time. I was surprised that she booked up so fast. Don’t worry about hurting anybody’s feelings if you don’t invite them to the ceremony or the big bash back in TN. It’s your day and you do as you please. Don’t try to please other people because it is virtually impossible to please everyone. I think having a small ceremony with just your siblings as attendants is wonderful and will be much more memorable than a wedding party of 10+.
um, wow! you’ve been busy!
this post makes me :).
Yay! Everything will be perfect! I love the blue dress.
Thanks for the update. I love the setting you’ve choosen for the wedding. And the honeymoon sounds devine. I’ll be you’ll be recelebrating this occasion all around the world.
I’m just so happy for you, K! Everything looks really lovely!
You’re my kind of bride… I have no idea where I’d begin if I got engaged!
Oh I am so excited for the two of you! You have accomplished wayyy more than I did at the same point in time. I am glad you know exactly what you want; makes it easier on both of you. Keep up posted; this site every bit about you and your life as it is about traveling. 🙂
I’m sooo excited for you girl! Can’t believe how much has changed since Cuba, wow. Love everything you’ve decided upon thus far. Have you picked a photographer yet? This guy is in SD and he’s incredible: http://bobbyearle.blogspot.com. You 2 are going to adore Fiji. XO
It sounds like everything’s coming together perfectly! That’s fabulous!
That dress from J.Crew is fantastic- I have it in yellow, but the color you got for your sister is my dream color. The wedding I was in last summer included J.Crew bridesmaids dresses and it worked out so well- they were comfortable, flattering and actually awesome to wear again (here’s a glimpse of them from a distance just in case you’re curious: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3161/3017073070_bae31959f7.jpg?v=0). Good job!
I am drooling over your location. It is perfect!!! Love the rings, glad you’re not splitting them!
Lovely, lovely, lovely!
We set our wedding for 6 months from our proposal date, but because we knew we would be spending 3 of those months working at a summer theatre we buckled down and planned probably 75% of our wedding in about 2 weeks. It made life a million times easier as the day came closer to have the big decisions made and out of the way.
As for a website, we actually just added a page to my husband’s personal website. Then we put something like “Check out vansandtdesigns.com/wedding for more information” in the invitations. We designed it to match our wedding invitations. It was simple, easy, (free!), and it ensured that our guests got all the information they could ever want, including directions, links to the hotels we’d reserved, and pictures along the way. Then after the wedding, we used it to direct friends and family to our on-line photo album. But most importantly, it wasn’t a cookie-cutter weddingbook website; it reflected US.
It all seems just fabulous! So excited for you!
Le sigh. Every little detail is dreamy. Now you’ve made me want to have another wedding all over again!
Wow, I can’t believe you’ve gotten so much done already. Impressive! Also, I think that idea for a beach bonfire at your wedding is GENIUS and you must do it.
My gosh, you are an easy bride – you will have a fabulous wedding!
As for the honeymoon, I wish I was going with you guys! Rene and I visited Fiji back in 2007, after my work exchange program in Melbourne ended. We mostly stayed in Nadi (pronounced Nan-di), which I don’t recommend, and a few days in this tiny island called Nanuya. I remember it fondly because that was when Britney Spears and K-Fed were on their honeymoon at Turtle Island next to us – literally next to us, 10 yards across shallow water – and they wouldn’t let the seaplane coming to take us back home use their dock. It was really lame, and we had to board the seaplane in open water, from a little boat, with all our luggage. I highly recommend Nanuya Island, although you might end up boarding a plane from open water if a celebrity with a huge ego is staying in the next island!
Just so you know, I would totally be okay with more wedding updates. I kinda love wedding blogs!
I love that you’re doing the reception at the Pelican Inn! I haven’t been there for years, but I pass it on my way to Muir Beach all the time and I remember that it’s really cute. I’m sure you guys will have a great time there. Also, even though I’ve definitely had some good bonfires on Muir Beach, I thought it wasn’t actually allowed? Because the beach is closed at night? Maybe they make exceptions for special events.
You are so organized! And your wedding is going to be amazing, I’m sure of it.
Not to undermine your sweet ass progress but I fainted after seeing the Poseidon resort! That place freaking rocks! Are they maybe taking applications for staff or something because I would apply to be a maid if it meant I could live there!
Heck yeah you’ve been busy since I saw you! It’s gonna be gorgeous!
Dude. I should hire you to plan MY wedding. You’re clearly a natural.
You’re like, Nine Million Years ahead of where I was at this point.
You are the most efficient person I know. Your wedding is going to be awesome!
Congrats!! The most important thing to remember is to be relaxed, and to enjoy your husband-to-be, not if the cocktail napkins are a certain shade of blue. Sounds like you’re well on your way to making that happen! I hope you have a great wedding day!
Wowze, you’ve done a lot in such a short span of time, and you make it sound so easy too.
I love the dress you’re wearing. The colour is so rich, and you look lovely in it.
Wow, holy organisation skills Batman!
Sounds like you’ve got everything more than under control, the rest will be a walk in the park!
I love the English Pub location, it actually looks very like my local back in the UK, very authentic!
I second the vote for more wedding updates too, I want to hear all about it, from what I’ve seen so far it will be fabulous!
Sounds like you’re well on your way to planning a fantastic event! I just found out that my sister is going to Fiji for her honeymoon at the end of August…I guess her fiance has good taste. Too bad it is a surprise for her and I can’t send her your links. But I will be sending them to her fiance.
Happy wedding planning…don’t wait too long on that dress…
I am trying to not let my feelings be hurt that you asked someone besides me to make the cake. Don’t forget, I can make a mean duck cake – grooms cake maybe?!? I will mark the date down on my calendar, as I better be one of the 100 people invited…..
I don’t have any advice re: wedding website (mine was terrible), but I just wanted to tell you that I think your ring and your venue are BEAUTIFUL. I also wouldn’t mind reading more about your wedding plans in addition to all your travels.
Yay for you! My fiance and I also have an engagement period of 1 year + 2 days … and even though our wedding is this December, it sounds as though you have more planned than I do at this point! 🙂 Best wishes as you continue to prepare for your wedding!
YESSSSSSSS… what I’d been waiting for. 🙂 Thanks for the update! So excited for you!
Congrats!!!!!! I am so happy for you 🙂 Everything sounds so idyllic–you are going to be a gorgeous bride!
Whoa you are so on top of things, I am really impressed! Ok, when you are in town for a spell lets get some drinkies and lunch to discuss even more deets! 🙂
Wow! I think you deserve more than a pat in the back. You are amazing to get so many things done in such a short time. Now go get yourself a drink and relax. 🙂 The ring looks so lovely! I don’t mind seeing your post here about your wedding once in a while. After all, it’s your blog. 🙂
i LOVE the pelican inn. AND muir beach. oh wow. it’s going to be amazing. plus in may the lupines will be out and your photos are going to look stunning.
and wow. you are super planned already! love it!
Dude! You’re getting married on my birthday! 🙂
I meant to send you a message a while ago but after I had read of your engagement, a few days afterwards, I had a dream that I was in your wedding! LMAO Totally funny.
Thanks for keeping those of us living vicariously through you updated on your nuptials.
LOVE that picture of you two!! And that is the PERFECT date. I think my cousin got married on that date. Any way, when thinking about a wedding date I wish we had thought more about the following anniversary celebrations and that date is perfect for following anniversary celebrations!!
Aw weddings! I love them so 🙂 I must say, you’ve gotten a lot accomplished already. The day sounds like it will be perfect. I can’t wait to hear more details…
May 22 is the perfect day to get married. It’s my birthday!
It all sounds divine! Please keep us posted on the details. It’s so fun to get to experience it with you!
I’m pretty sure that if/when it ever happens, I’ll elope. Even your simplicity and awesome attitude about all of this is giving me the sweats.
Also, an 1,000 person wedding?? WHAT?
You are so on the ball with the wedding planning! What about just creating a page off of this site with wedding info? Like camelsandchocolate.com/wedding? I’ve known plenty of couples that already own urls that have done this.
I’ve never heard of this underwater resort but it is so going on our list of places to vacation. What a bizarre and unique idea! Although I will probably obsess the whole time about the glass breaking like in that Jaws sequel.
Damn, you are organized! Everything sounds fabulous! Exactly like you!
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