A Few Changes

Images from Weddingbee.com

Some of you may run across one or two post with some changes. I might as well tell you why: I’ve become a Weddingbee blogger!! I’m so excited about it. Weddingbee, if you haven’t heard of it–is a blog dedicated to all-things weddings that features a couple dozen brides through their planning process. And I am one of the lucky girls! Come chat, get inspiration, give advice. It is a blog so it is fueled by us!

So check me out, Miss Pashmina on Weddingbee!


Maid of Honor and Sister of the Groom Bohemian Bridesmaid Dresses: Part 2

Sorry I didn’t post this a few day ago like I promised! The women will be wearing Bari Jay #910.

Yippy, the stress of girl attire is now over!

With less than three months left until the wedding there was no time for democracy. (Again, who am I??) I couldn’t wait for unanswered emails. We had to order fast! Only one store was left that would let me order at such a late date–it was time!

Earlier in the process the selected Bari Jay dress made it on to my MOH’s top likes–so that, coupled with the fact that it was romantic, whimsical, flowery, and comes in the perfect shade–made it a go!

Since both bridesmaids are not in the immediate area (one is 2,000 miles away, the other 50 miles), I took matters into my own hands. It was just too difficult to get a final nod from both ladies. Or have them try the dresses on. I waited a month already trying to do so and because of it missed the deadline of my store of choice–RK Bridal.

So back to the dress. Bari Jay #910 is an asymmetrical dress with ruffled flowers going down the strap towards the bust. See the pic of me trying it on above. Isn’t it really cute! It is made with a stretchy, biased cut fabric so it is really comfortable.

The only thing: I am a bit worried about how my ladies will look in it because they are busty. I really wished one of them could have tried it on! But, oh well, it was in the right color–a perfect peach/pink–and the perfect fanciness. So it would have to do! Sorry MOH, it doesn’t have sleeves like you were hoping.

After work I made my way to RK Bridal. Even though I couldn’t order from them it is really convenient to try things on there. No appointments necessary. And besides it was there that I first found it with my niece.

My sister is on the short side, about 5’2″, so my mom thought the shorter version of the dress would look better on her. And since the other bridesmaids are in short dresses too, it was the more sensible thing to do to order the short dress. Even though my heart really goes to the long one. Will the short one look too blocky?? There wasn’t a sample so I couldn’t really picture it.

RK Bridal requires just over three months to complete the transaction. We missed it by two weeks. So instead, we ordered from House of Brides. They offer rushed delivery for $40 extra so the dresses will come in early July. (Can you believe it, a 15 month engagement and I needed them rushed?) The best thing is that both places offer the dresses for a discounted price–basically half price –for $129 so it isn’t too bad economically. But then add $40 rush delivery to both, and $40 for plus size for my sister and it adds back up.

We ordered the color “Tulip” which is very similar to the other bridesmaids’ J-Crew Wild Chambray dresses in Papaya. I was contemplating Chanel which is a bit more pink so there would be really pretty variety of hues. Ultimately Tulip won!

So what do you think of the choice, Boho Brides? Will the MOH & SOG dresses go with the other dresses? Have you had a frustrating experience with your bridesmaid dresses?

Yeah, There is No Way

As soon as we entered the Men’s Warehouse I instantly knew it was going to be a complete and utter let down. It was like entering a hospital, I instantly knew this was a place I did not want to be. We opened the door and heard silence marked by forced laughter. Clerks standing around talking together, one clerk helping a father get his son his first suit. We did a quick scan of the floor and moved our way back to the Tuxedo Rentals.

Image from Men's Warehouse

With only two customers and six clerks, it took a solid 5-10 minutes of standing before the back counter before anyone came up to us to ask us if we needed help. This is Jersey, no one is going to welcome you and remark about how lovely the 80 degree spring day is!

A quick talking Jersey-girl explained to us how the rentals work: we decide on a style, guys come in and get measured, they pick up the rental the day of the event, and return it with 3 days. The rentals includes everything including the shoes, vest, shirt, suit. Since our men are having to fly to California, I asked if they could mail or extended for a few extra days. She said they could return to any Men’s Warehouse store, even in California.

There were only two tuxedo’s on display–one with a long tail (think Beethooven), and then the standard regular fit. The clerk proceeded to tell us that there are two types of fabric–a cheap one that is really heavy and stiff and won’t be comfortable at all for $89.99 or a suit fabric that is thin and breathes, what you would think of as suit material called Super 100, for $149 per rental. I asked it we could compare the fabrics and I have to say, it is a HUGE difference. But it was at that moment when my groom responded, “they are both really heavy!” that I new this was a no go. My groom is a sweater, he hates heat. I could see it in his eyes–“uh oh, this is going to be so uncomfortable.” Since our wedding is outside in July we would definitely have to get the more expensive rental.

From going to the website I knew which style I wanted. Classic and traditional, single breasted. Now we would need to decide on the color of the vest and tie. I asked if it was necessary to have a vest–maybe we could do without to lighten up the fabric even more. Her response was that we would pay for it anyways…so we took a look. There was every color you could imagine, but all in very off putting shades and fabrics. Just not my style. I really don’t want cotton candy pink or a emerald. I asked what the most classic color is, black? And she said shiny silver. Which totally wouldn’t work with my amber, gold, pinks and peaches. My fiance loved the idea of his groomsmen in bright pink bowties and vests, just because it was sheer humiliation. And I nixed that idea because: it is our wedding not a time for practical jokes!!

At the end, Mr. Cali Girl asked “Do you have any regular suit rentals? Like that? Or like a searsucker?” and pointed to the tan Calvin Klein linen suit we saw when we first entered. Her response was “No. But do you want to leave a deposit for the rental?” We said we would think about it.

We left Men’s Warehouse and I knew we would not be coming back. I didn’t say anything to my fiance because I wanted to know his summary on the outing, which was: “That is going to be terrible. Where else can we go? Do you think we can figure something out that is roughly the same price?”

Bringing Back the Tux

My groom has decided that he wants to “bring back the bowtie.” Now this may not be an OMG for you. For me, I have been resting on the assumption that he wanted the most relaxed outfit that he could get by with (well, me and his mom, would let him get away with!). So I was thinking an Italian Chino Suit or a Linen Suit. Making it comfortable with Clark Wallaby’s, Sperry boatshoes, Vans, or Chuck Taylors. All my girls are mismatched and some are even wearing cotton dresses with unfinished edges!Uh…can this work with a tux??? Will the ladies be too casual?? Here is the range of dresses from bridesmaid, junior bridesmaid with sash, and sister of the groom, now paired with a bowtie tux. We are off to Men’s Warehouse so bid us good luck.

Image from Style Me Pretty
Image from J-Crew
Image from J-Crew
Image from J-Crew
Image from J-Crew

How Big Is Your Wedding Party?

Mr. Cali Girl and I decided on our wedding party pretty easily. With somewhat disregard for the traditional number of attendants we should have.

Image from Katee's Wedding.

So, yeah, it was pretty easy deciding on who. My advice is to stick with your instincts.

I wanted to represent each stage of my life–from little kid to high school to college to present. My sister is my “Maid of Honor” and represents the little me, while my other bridesmaids represent high school college. I decided to have Mr. Cali Girl’s sister and nieces in the wedding, and they will represent the current stage of my life–my life in New Jersey! Mr. Cali Girl’s sister will be a bridesmaid but called “sister of the groom.” I just couldn’t make her another “Maid of Honor” thinking that would take away from my sister (and best friend). Mr. Cali Girl’s 3 nieces (my mini-BFFs!) are junior bridesmaids. While the other 2 nieces will be flower girls. And to top it off my nephew will be the ringbearer.

Mr. Cali Girl knew from the get-go that he wanted to include his longtime friends to be his groomsmen. He asked all six of them all the day he told them we were engaged. Only now (11 months later) he having second thoughts about not including some of his other family members in the wedding. Should he have instead included his half brother? Brother-in-law? My brother-in-law? I say keep with what his gut told him, but we will see if the wedding party grows!

But should we invite more groomsmen to equal out the girls?

So currently our count is 6 groomsmen, 1 ringbearer, 5 bridesmaids, 3 junior bridesmaids, 2 flowergirls. And a total of 17 in the wedding party and less than 100 guests. They say 2-4 attendants per 50 guests, and we have about three times this for a wedding roughly the same size!

I think I may need to invite more people! Hmm…

Aunties and Uncles and More…!

We are having an untraditional Filipino wedding. Untraditional in the sense that we are not having a huge 500 person wedding!! We are not inviting all the aunties and uncles (that are somehow related but I’m not quite sure how). I read some where that the tradition of a huge wedding is due to the legacy of the entire village celebrating the bride and groom’s union. This is a wonderful thing but in this economic recession–not feasible!

My fiance, who is the Filipino one, never wanted a large wedding. He didn’t really want it to be a huge ordeal. Just a natural evolution of our relationship. I didn’t even imagine this or think it was something to be considered because my family is so small. I think the largest party my family has ever thrown had about 40 people! My uncles and aunts are not married, and I have no cousins. I have never attended a marriage in my own family!

My fiance and I decided that 100 people would be our absolute max. Anything more we would be uncomfortable. Really we hope that the turn out would be more like 75. But 100 would be our cap. This was how we initially decided on our wedding size.

But the closer and closer the wedding gets the more I have to explain why Auntie X or Uncle Z isn’t invited. I say “We are only inviting immediate family.” Or I try to divert the blame, “It’s not up to me, Mr. Cali Girl is in charge of his guests. If he thinks we should invite them then I will add them to the guest list” But I hate this. I don’t want to burn any bridges, I don’t know the ties of all his family’s relationships. I wish I wouldn’t have to be faced with this.

I wish I could have just had that 500 person event in a huge hall so I wouldn’t have to deal with it. I am a softie! I love people. But in reality my venue only fits 120 (and this would be with no dance floor). So reality is we WILL have a small wedding. Well, a small one for his family and a LARGE one for mine!

How did you decide on your wedding guest list size? Economics? Family size? Comfort level?

Deciding On a Guest List

My new extended family (circa 1985) * personal photo

My fiance, a second generation Filipino, has a lot more family members than me. A LOT more than me! All of my uncles and aunts do not have children. None of them are even married. I have no immediate cousins. I have one sister. She has one son. In my The Knot wedding guest tracker “The Bride’s Family” is only 14 guests. And this is when everyone who is single brings a date! In short, I have always wanted a huge extended family–now I will be getting one!

So it wasn’t so hard getting my guest list together. However, when you have a large family it is a bit trickier. Not so much his nuclear family (he is one of three)–it is hard to invite some people and not others.

How do you decide who comes and who stays? Well, for us, it is based on a.) budget, b.) relationship, and c.) space. We decided to invite his parents siblings (his aunts and uncles) and their children but no one beyond that. No second cousins or else it would be too huge.

Our venue fits 100 people, and originally we were aiming for 75. Right now our guest list is at 121. We haven’t yet sent out our invitations and I am sure when we start sending them out we will think of people we forgot about!

So brides, how did you decide on your guest list? Was it a hard decision?

“Have You Set a Date Yet?”

We LOVE Summer. So a Summer Wedding It Had to Be! Personal Photo.

Mr. Pashmina and I went on our first date on my birthday. This sucks because it is BOTH my birthday and our anniversary on one day. I don’t like this for two reasons: #1. I usually go see my family in California around this time. Since my sister’s birthday is the day before mine so we usually take the two days and celebrate together. If Mr. Pashmina goes with me then it is great, but it isn’t always just us. And if Mr. Pashmina doesn’t go then I am without him for our anniversary. And if I decide to stay in NYC to be with him I feel as if I am missing out, and always miss my family. #2. I get one holiday when it really is two. Call me spoiled.

So when planning our wedding date I knew that this would be a big day for the two of us. We were going to celebrate this day over our current anniversary. When picking the day I wanted to avoid all existing holidays and family member’s birthdays. If we could avoid it there wouldn’t be any double celebrations this time!!

The second factor that I considered, which was SUPER important was school holidays. Since one of our families would be coming from the opposite coast, we wanted to make sure it would be practical for all children and parents to attend. Spring break, winter break, and summer break were the best choses. Next best would be the smaller three day weekends–but again these are usually holidays.

The third factor, we had to have an outdoors ceremony. This was the only thing I was dead set about. So that meant we needed a date that would be suitable for an outdoor ceremony.

And a fourth related factor, we wanted it to be bright, sunny and cheery. I HATE winter on the East Coast and spring time is so finicky with all the rain. So that left fall and summer. Mr. Pashmina and I LOVE autumn but we are so busy in October selling pumpkins at his family’s farm.

So summer it was meant to be. School doesn’t get out until late June. My work’s busy season isn’t finished until July 23rd. So the THE EARLIEST Saturday we could get married would be July 31st.

This would be the day! There aren’t any family or national holidays around this time. The season is just right. Everyone would have ample time to vacation afterwards in August. I love the way the sun sets in late summer, the colors, the flowers, the smells! It was all set! We had our day!!

How did you decide on your date?

My Ring

The Engagement Ring

Ain’t she a beauty?! She was a surprise, but the look of her wasn’t a huge surprise. For about six months before Mr. Cali Girl popped the question he asked me to go online and show him pictures of what types of rings I liked. I came down to five that I really liked.

1.) The Tiffany Novo: A cushion diamond (like a pillow) with a bunch of smaller stones around it. Almost vintage looking, but very fresh.

2.) The Etoile: A bezel set diamond. Low set, it would never snag on anything! Very simple and unpretentious.

3.) Round Brilliant with Channel Set: A classic singular diamond with a bunch of smaller ones spaced apart on the band.

4.) Round Brilliant with Bead Set: A classic singular diamond with a bunch of smaller diamonds on the band fit snuggly close together.

5.) The Elsa Peretti Curved Band: A Modern bent ring with a small diamond stone.

What I got?

#4! It is a little bit different because on the band it alternates round and rectangular stones. Mr. Cali Girl has great taste. It is classic round engagement right, but has a little bit extra sparkle.

Which one is your favorite, Boho Brides?