D is for Dad

daddad and i

It's Father's Day this weekend and I'm wishing that I could give this man a big hug and a kiss. My dad is the best and I miss him like crazy! Here we are the morning of Joe's and my wedding day, cutting bougainvillaea for the flower arrangements. There's nothing that my dad didn't do to make that week and day extra special.

Without the fam around to celebrate with, I'll keep busy prepping for our trip to LA next week and indulge in the fact that I'll at least get to be with my sister and nieces real soon. It's tough when the people you love are spread out all over the place so I'm definitely learning the art of quality over quantity ... buuutt ... I'll still always take as much quantity as I can get ;)

Have a great weekend!

the i do's + the fiesta

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We had seriously discussed eloping somewhere fabulous in South East Asia but as I sat in my parents' room, doing my hair and makeup and looking at family photos, I couldn't have felt happier to be getting ready to say "I do" at our finca with friends and family by our side.

The only thing we needed to make that happen was the groom and officiant (aka my dad). Joe and my dad had left for a quick errand and hotel guests pick-up when the car broke down with everyone in it. Meanwhile at the finca, it started to rain. Long story short, they made it back just half an hour late, the clouds parted, and the sun came out. Everything from then on was perfect.

Joe made his grand entrance with the donkey from next door and ponchos in tow (not traditional or symbolic in any way, he just wanted to feel like Juan Valdez). And I walked out wearing a dress that we bought while on holiday in Melbourne and my favorite Spanish espadrille wedges. I wasn't even going to try to top the donkey entrance.

We said our I do's, smiled, hugged, and kissed a whole bunch. For dinner we feasted on the best tamales in the world and enjoyed an impressive thundershower while sitting in candle light. Then finally, it was time to bring out the Aguardiente - Colombia's drink of choice. As the shots settled in and made us feel all warm and fuzzy, my aunts surprised us with a traditional Colombian musical group that brought everyone to their feet. Joe and I even had an impromptu "first dance" which involved a lot of jumping around and twisting and turning. It was pretty amazing considering I usually have to beg and plead with him to join me on the dance floor (how quickly marriage changed him).

The rest of the night was flat out fun. We had the best time. With our friends and family present, and of course, plenty of Aguardiente to keep the celebration going...we couldn't have asked for anything more. A simple I do accomplished.

the setting

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Happy Friday, guys! I hope you had a great week. I'm feeling all caught up with work and the home front so now I can start sharing more photos from Colombia. Woo hoo!

These are from the wedding reception setup in the corridor of our finca. Aside from the table and chair rentals, everything we used had a special and personal touch. And...it was all super simple and easy which is just our style.

For the tables, leftover bamboo from a separate house project was cut to create the centerpiece vases (thanks, grandpa!). Instead of buying flowers elsewhere, I opted to used the bougainvillea from the same cluster of plants where we said our vows. It felt right to bring them to the table and the colors really popped against the yellow walls with the mixed arrangements that my aunt Kristina created.

Another aunt brought the tea lights that we placed on remnant terra cotta tiles found in storage, complementing the natural bamboo and burlap already on the table. And to top off the setting, I wrapped biodegradable forks and knives in my favorite napkins that I felt would be perfect for re-using at the finca for future gatherings.

As much as I loved all of the above, my absolute favorite part of the setup was the cupcake table. My mom made the cupcakes and was also the genius behind the display stands that were made using bamboo, cut-to-size wood, thick twine, and burlap place mats. Nothing a glue gun couldn't handle! And of course, the gorgeous tropical arrangement with flowers from the property that brought the whole table to life.

Everything came together so well by using what we had on-hand and getting creative. It was all so fitting for the casual affair and spirited nature of the day, we couldn't have been happier. Gracias familia for pitching in and making it happen!

Wedding photos coming up next week. Have a good one!

(photos 2 and 3 by Katherine Apolinar)

a simple i do

Untitled I was sorting through my photo library when I stopped on this one of Joe and I in Palm Springs just before moving to London. It was one of our last So Cal hurrahs and I remember feeling so happy and at peace that weekend. From then on it was going to be just him and I and as difficult as it was to think of the things and people I was leaving behind, I knew that being anywhere with him was going to be home.

Now that we're settled into our new and second home, Joe and I can start thinking about where and how we want to get married. There hasn't been much time to think about details since he popped the question in February but the good thing is that there really won't be any details to think about. Why? Because we're keeping it simple.

In a world where the average wedding costs $27,000 and takes tons of energy and time to plan, we're going to opt for something more our style. I'm still amazed that there's anything to opt for since up until February I was convinced that we would never get married, at least in the technical sense. In every other sense of the word, we already were (and are). We share a home, share finances, share the same values, goals, hopes, and dreams, and most important we have a life-long commitment to each other. Getting married was something we spoke of should we one day want to do something symbolic or need to for legal purposes, it was never a goal for our relationship, a dealmaker or breaker. All we wanted was to be together and that's precisely what we were doing. In my mind I had officially said "I do" when I agreed to move to London with him.

I'm sharing this because in the blog world my way of thinking is not the norm and I want to offer a different perspective. I may be committing blog suicide by writing this but hey, it's my blog and it's my day! Like how I threw that classic Bridezilla in there? Yeah, those words will never actually come out of my mouth because it is just one day. We''ll still be the same people, we'll still feel the same way, and life will go on as usual.

The interesting thing is that I do drool over beautifully made wedding dresses and I do find inspiration in creative reception stylings. But, for some reason when it comes to me, to us, I just can't get into it…not like I used to. Before meeting Joe I fantasized about my dream wedding - the dress, the cake, the fireworks - yes, literal light up the sky fireworks. As little girls we're practically bred to want BIG on our wedding day, anything less is not worthy of our princess status. Well, I got a little older and realized that I had been dreaming about the wrong thing. Instead of dreaming about a healthy and loving relationship and a lifelong partner, I was planning an elaborate prom night with a faceless groom. My priority was on looking like a Hollywood starlet and partying like a rock star. Nothing wrong with either of those things  (I like both very much) but once I met the guy, the right life partner for me, all of a sudden the BIG one day event, and all of the expenses and energy that go along with creating it, didn't seem all that important to me.

As soon as we got engaged I knew that I was going to have to be quick in setting the expectations from my friends and family. I felt like I was expected to come out screaming "I'M GETTING MARRIED!", have a glow about me, and frantically start scouting locations and picking out linens. Remember that episode of Sex And The City when Miranda finds out that she's having a boy and everyone expects her to be all like "OMG I'm having a boy, YAY!" but she's actually really chill about the whole thing? That's how I felt. After the initial shock and dose of euphoria I felt totally normal and calm, I actually coded my blog that night (yep, very sexy). Nothing was different other than the fact that I had a gorgeous diamond ring on my finger. The man I love was still by my side as always, the man who made a grand gesture by giving me something pretty and symbolic of our time together - past, present, and future. I can't wait to say our vows and add that experience this chapter of our lives, however and wherever we choose to do it. And while it will be a very special day, the date that really counts in my book is the day that we met. That is what changed our lives, everything after that is just part of our story.



One down and eerrr...several more to go

The first of my girlfriends got married over the weekend and boy was it surreal. As I stood watching and listening to them say their written vows I couldn't help but cry a bit (out of joy of course) and also think "holy shit, this is the phase of life we are all in!"

I thankfully held it together and then relaxed enough to foolishly dance the night away like a good bridesmaid should.

Congrats to Vikki and Brian ... I couldn't be happier for the two of you, love you!!!

For a peek at the wedding, check out Vikki's company blog for All You Need is Love Events (yes, she plans weddings. Perfect right?)