Pregnant? One Month Until the Wedding!

After two clearblue easy tests, this one was conclusive: pregnant!

On July 2, 2010 we found out we were pregnant with a Little Pashmina.

Surprised? We were! Well, a little bit.

I went to the pool to clear my head. Here, I am on the elevator about to see my husband. Can you see the giddy excitement as I am trying to put on a straight face?

The next thirty days leading up to the wedding were a whirlwind. They say that when you are pregnant you become forgetful–absentminded, as your body’s way to simplify your life and focus on growing a baby. That pretty much sums my experience up. I left so much to do close to the date. And pregnant amnesia, that pretty much applies to the wedding. It was really like a daydream!!

You probably have noticed that I have been putting off my wedding day recaps. We got married way over a year ago, almost two! I can’t believe it has been so long! But now you know main reason. I just couldn’t explain my wedding experience without including this major fact. So how could I write my recaps? I was preggers and no one knew.

But before you offer your congratulations let me say that it isn’t good news. It wasn’t a successful pregnancy. I was absolutely thrilled about starting a family. But one week before we flew out to Catalina Island for our wedding we had our first baby appointment at seven weeks along. There, we found out that our little sesame seed wasn’t the blueberry it should have been. It was one week smaller than it should be. Then three days before we left, at a high-risk sonogram, the doctor noticed that the little one had a faint heart beat.

We left for the wedding knowing that there was more than a 50% chance that during our wedding I would most likely miscarry. And away from home, away from my doctor. I prayed and prayed nothing would happen. Each day went by and I still had terrible morning sickness…and that was a good sign. I thought things were developing. The wedding week went and passed. Then the next, our honeymoon week. Still no blood, no spotting, no miscarriage.  Two days after we returned from our honeymoon I had a follow-up appointment. I couldn’t wait to hear the great news: there was no need for concern and everything had worked itself out–the baby had caught up. But unfortunately, before the doctor spoke I read the news all over her face. There was no heartbeat.  No more baby. It had died as thought, sometime two weeks before. Maybe even on our wedding day. I was ten weeks.

And so…Little Pashmina no longer.

I had something called a “missed miscarriage.” My body thought everything was fine and carried on thinking it was pregnant–there were no signs for me to tell that it stopped developing. This became problematic because something was dead inside me and wasn’t gotten rid of by itself. And it was for longer than the doctors would like. Within 24 hours after my appointment finding out the bad news I went into surgery. I had a D&C to remove the tissue that my body still hadn’t expelled. It took me a month to feel okay. Two months to feel back to my old self physically.

My world crumbled. I went from so excited about getting married and about the next phase our lives to sadness. Trying to process all this in the pre-wedding days in a new location with all our extended families knowing nothing. Then having surgery after I was sure things were fine. Then the bad news got compounded at post-surgery check up. They thought that something was wrong. I had an “unidentified mass.” Either due to complications due to the miscarriage or that led to the miscarriage. For four months my life was filled with dozens of office visits, two months of reproductive specialists, and a visit to an oncologist. Our first half a year as a married couple was overrun by procedures and a strong possibility of major surgery. This would not allow me to carry another baby for two years.

My mind kept on racing, “would I ever even be able to have a baby?” Witnessing all the women at the reproductive endocrinologist made me think that it really doesn’t happen as easily as you are lead to believe. We try to protect ourselves from the chance of it happening for so long. But then what is unspoken for so many people is that it is hard to get pregnant, and even harder to keep it. I didn’t realize. It is just not talked about.

But then my luck changed. All of a sudden my body worked everything out! All tests started coming out normal!  No more mass. Everything was fine! It just took a couple of months!

Really, bodies are amazing.

So bear with me hive! It is my 2nd wedding anniversary on the 31st. Take my word for it. Yes, there are posts on the way. Posts showing our beautiful destination wedding on Catalina Island, really a magical isle. You must see how much fun we had. How beautiful it was. And how our planning really didn’t matter–what mattered was that we were getting married!

On a side note: I toyed with the idea of writing this post for a long time. Yeah, almost two years (so please be nice and don’t judge me). That is why I have really been dragging my feet. I finally decided that it would be better to write it then to pretend that everything has been okay.

In actuality we didn’t have the wedding we planned for 15 months. Things fell apart because I just couldn’t do it, because I didn’t feel well due to morning sickness, and because nothing was as important as what I was going through.  Right at the time that I had to do the most for the wedding I couldn’t. So many projects got left undone. Then I was so depressed because of impending miscarriage during the wedding week. Then the scare of surgery after the wedding didn’t allow me really reflect on the experience of the wedding itself. But that is life. Really, that is how things go. All the prep you do never means that things will go as expected. Life is unexpected. Life is full of challenges.

But I don’t want to be too much of a downer. We did have a great time at the wedding!! We both tried our hardest to forget about it, and at times we really did. The wedding was a blast! Much more fun then I could have ever imagined. Really, besides being super forgetful and sick I felt okay. I did think things were progressing with the pregnancy. It was right after the wedding that things got super sad! This was result of the miscarriage, and on top of that the complications. I never knew anyone that miscarried. Or I didn’t think I did. But they say 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage so it is something that you need to be prepared for. It was a very scary and a very sad time in my life. Pretty much one of the lowest.

But what can you do? Life goes on, and so must The Pashminas. And for those of you who follow my Twitter, I am sure you know that things have really, really, looked up! We got pregnant 5 months after our wedding, just a month after getting the green light. On September 28th our baby boy was born. We call him our miracle baby, but it wasn’t a miracle–it was meant to happen.

XXXOOO,
-Mrs. Pashmina / The Bohemian Bride

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Today I am in the Sky! Marriage Bound

(I wrote this post on July 27th–the night before I was going to leave for the wedding. I thought I was going to post it to the hive the day I left. But with so much to do I guess I forgot to do that part! Anyways I thought you might like to read how frazzled I was!!! So here it is….)

I am a mess you Bees! My apartment is a disaster. I already left one of my bridesmaid gowns at work (it was delivered there by the tailor but I forgot to bring it home. Thankfully my co-worker was thinking and called me). But by the time you read this I am going to be up in the sky somewhere between New Jersey and California. It is 10 p.m. the night before we leave. At this moment my fiance is doing laundry, I am printing out the Menu cards, and I am freaking out about leaving my cat for twelve whole days. I didn’t think there were so many things still to do last minute but then this month totally snuck by me. July has been crazy!

Image from US Weekly

Fourth of July weekend, then the Bachelorette Party in Vegas the next weekend, then The Bridal Shower the weekend after (more on this later). And then it was THIS weekend. Wedding weekend! Boom, boom, boom. Who knew I was gonna be so busy.

Saturday is the big day! And I am going to leave the comfort of my own home where there is crafting supplies, my computer files, my temperpedic bed. Just a few more hours till we leave. Can I complete all the things that MUST get done? Will I sleep tonight. OMG! I feel like that how Russell Brand looked in that photo that Katy Perry Tweeted. I think the caption was “Bridezilla much?”

So wish us luck these next hours!

Style Me Pretty Does Google Docs

Do I love Google Docs? Yes! Do I love Style Me Pretty? Yes! Why are these two things related? Well, because Style Me Pretty has collaborated with Google to put together a number of wedding templates to help you with your planning.

Need a spreadsheet to help you manage your budget? Coordinate your music selections? Track your invites? Now you got it covered! With the great design of Style Me Pretty–and their expertise with weddings–what could be better? I am not sure when these came into existence but it is brand new to me! Originally I was using TheKnot.com to track my budget and attendees but now with their new design I am entirely a Google Doc girl.

If you missed my post on how to use Google Docs to elevate your planning click here! There is nothing better than getting help (for free) with this crazy wedding stuff!

Building a Wedding Website

Early on I decided that I wanted to make a wedding website. For two main reasons: 1. I knew that I wanted to share a lot of information with my guests. Most of this could be found easily on the web (and primarily on the web). 2. This information could be provided to them quickly. Much earlier than when we would eventually send out our invitations.

Image from eWedding.com.

I started looking at the free websites provided by the big wedding sites, primarily TheKnot.com and Brides.com. But I just was not happy with their free designs, because, well, they looked cheap. I wanted a website that people could go to that didn’t look any different than any other website. I especially didn’t want it to look cheaper than any other website they would go to.

Next I looked at the website companies that catered to weddings. Eventually I decided to go with a provider that supplied a easy to use template for me to customize and load in my info. At first it was a hard decision. The decision to fork over some cash even though I technically could do the work myself. But I decide to go with the template instead of making a site from scratch because it would be just so much easier.

These were the items that were important to me: a custom domain name, option to place a password on the site to restrict viewers, ability to add music, option to post images, and it had to have a nice, pretty theme (something classy).

I decided on eWedding.com. I loaded all my material using their free trial at first, not realizing that the free trial was actually their most lavish package. So when I eventually decided to go with them, I purchased their lowest priced package and — poof — a lot of my content disappeared. I became disappointed. But it all worked out. I had to tweak some pages, but in the end I had all the features I really wanted for the cheaper price, with just a little extra work. At $4.00 a month it isn’t free, but it isn’t going to stop me in my tracks.

I figured that the website would be used by the more tech savvy guests and not even all of them would go to it. So it wouldn’t be used by more than half the guests. But if it would help to get everyone on board with the mini-destination wedding, it would be worth it. And some of the younger guests could help the older people using it or just sharing info that they might see on it. In my mind if it helps just one guests in their travels (emotionally, picking a hotel, deciding to come!) then it is worth it! Sometimes you don’t need fancy, but you need something that meets your standards. Then you could make it a bit more you, and have fun with it!

One Location: Ceremony & Reception

Botanical Garden. Image from brewbooks photostream on Flickr.

Yes, I had a plan! And yes, this is deliberately in past tense!!

Let me just tell you this, Boho brides. Having your ceremony and reception at two different venues is spendy! After talking to a wedding coordinator on Catalina Island we decided to eliminate one of our sites. She had a good point: guests coming out of town to the island don’t want to go back and forth from ceremony to reception site–they just want to stay put. So even though I LOVE the look of the garden, with its 1930s monumental architecture, locally produced glazed tiles and endemic plants, my guests may be indifferent to it. After all they will be spending a weekend there lounging at the beach.

Tiles from the Wrigley Memorial Botanical Garden. Image from brewbooks photostream on Flickr.

This was the deal breaker: I didn’t calculate the cost of a shuttle bus transporting guests to the Wrigley Botanical Garden and to the reception site (it looked close to the reception site on the map!). To transport people just over a mile it would be an extra $400. And this is on top of the $1,200 site fee. As this wedding coordinator tells me: our wedding is a “budget wedding” and “this would be a very quick and painless way to cut a lot of money.” So snip: $1,600 is cut from my expenses.

Even though I am very disappointed about this decision.

Good bye beautiful tiles that I fell in love with. Good bye juicy succulents. Goodbye native flowers. A budget bride has to do what she has to do!

So now the ceremony and reception in one place–the restaurant courtyard. Will a courtyard ceremony be pretty? I really don’t know. Somehow my idea of a beach wedding, a garden wedding, or majestic cliffside wedding has translated into a courtyard wedding. The reception space is lovely, but it just is not exactly what I had in mind!

Hopefully this will all work out smoothly!

So, Boho brides, how did your initial wedding ideas change as you planned? Were there any choices you made because it just seemed more logical and budget friendly? How did it work out in the end?

A Traditional Hometown Wedding

The Old Mission Rose Garden. Personal photo.

Did I mention that my hometown is a resort town? Where all the stars from Los Angeles come to have a retreat? Whenever I mention that I come from Santa Barbara, California the person’s response is always, “Oh, it is beautiful there!”

…And it really is. I love it there, I miss it!

I was so excited to share my beautiful hometown with my fiance’s family (many of whom never have been to California).

There are so many sites that would make a beautiful ceremony site. Top on my list were a.) Chase Palm Park (it is on the waterfront and even has a vintage carousel!), b.) Manning Park, a woodland enclave in the midst of Montecito, c.) The Old Mission A.C. Postel Rose Garden–just across the street from the historic California Mission.

Chase Palm Park. Image from lotsafunmaps.com.

And did I mention the reception venues? The Bacara Resort & Spa and The Four Season’s Biltmore. These were the top two on my list.

So being the planner that I am, I researched all my top sites. Talked to the wedding coordinators at each facility. Then I figured out the best pricing, the best ambiance, the best food. Then proposed our pick to our parents.

A mid-morning ceremony at The Old Mission Rose Garden and a late lunch reception at The Bacara. It was all decided! It was going to be beautiful!!

The contract for the Rose Garden was signed. It was a public park so the fee was (somewhat) minimal at $650 with a security deposit of $150. The checkbook came out, everything was mailed, and I received confirmation for the venue. Then after negotiating the price with The Bacara and the final contract was drafted something just didn’t seem right. Why did the venue need 90% of the total food and beverage fee over 12 months in advance. Every other site only required 5-10-25-50%. I had never seen something more than that. Was The Bacara going through hard times? Were they going to go bankrupt before our wedding? Was I being swindled? So I gave the wedding coordinator a call. And that is when I found out that our site was secured for July 31st, 2009 not 2010!

After figuring out the SNAFU, the wedding coordinator was going to call me back and let me know the price increase for the 2010 date. I guess they were going to give us a good deal for the close 2009 date. But then after I left messages, and emailed he didn’t call me back. A week or two went by. Then second thoughts went through my head.

What about Catalina Island–the place we vacationed last year and had a blast at. The place where I attended my first wedding as a child. Should I switch our traditional hometown wedding for a (semi)destination wedding on Catalina Island?

Platinum Weddings – Mexico

I have transitioned from watching We’s “Bridezillas” to “Platinum Weddings.”  When I first got engaged I was obsessed with “Bridezillas.” It is a ridiculous show sold on the promising theme: brides-to-be who are self-centered and controlling will make for a fabulous reality show. I think this show appealed to me because it showed all my worst fears. It showed me how not to handle situations, how not to treat your family and friends, how not to be because, essentially, the brides ruin their own days. Now as I am closing in on the months until my wedding I am ditching the flurry of craziness for the calmness that is “Platinum Weddings.” I no longer want to think of the bad things that could happen, only the exciting things will happen on our day. Last night I watched Naomi & George’s platinum wedding in Mexico and loved the style of the wedding. It incorporated traditional Mexican culture and translated it to a glamourous affair. The bride could have been pulled directly out of a Frida Kahlo portrait: a steep peineta diamond comb sat perfectly on her head, her black hair parted and woven in braids, a row of red roses gradually decreasing in size wrapping from ear to ear around the nape of her neck. The ceremony was understated with logs acting as seats, traditional pillar candles at the ends of the rows. The guests followed the conch blowers down a path from the ceremony site into an amber lit cave for the reception dinner. Yes, a cave. How glorious it is to be a Platinum bride. No napkin out of place, no musician out of key, no bride running around screaming that it is her day. Check out more photos of the event on the website andreanaphoto.com. Tune in with me on Sundays at 9 pm!