Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Four Weddings, One Angry Blogger

*Spoiler Alert - many words in this post will probably be in CAPS*

Usually I like just about anything on TV. I watch everything from the critically acclaimed Emmy winners to the guilty pleasure reality shows (c'mon Rehab at the Hard Rock.. best show ever... anyone with me?). About 9 times out of 10 I can find something redeemable about any show I'm watching. I just love television.

That's how I felt until this last Saturday when Rebecca and I watched TLC's "Four Weddings". In-fucking-furiating! When I think about that show.... show.... make.... David.... ANGRY!!!!!!! MUST PUNCH SOMETHING. (breathing into paper bag so I can write the rest of this blog....)

For those of you that aren't familiar with this show, allow me to tell you about it. Actually let me give you an unbiased description of the show. According to TLC, "Four Weddings" is a show in which "Four brides have agreed to attend- and score- each other's weddings. They'll be judging the food, dresses, venues and overall experiences. The bride whose wedding rates the best wins a fabulous five-star honeymoon."

Wow, well reading the description this sounds pretty good, right? At one point or another we've all gone to weddings and silently judged them to ourselves... not for prizes, but sure, we've left and said, "Gosh, it was a beautiful day, but the prime rib was SO bad!". Even though not to one another's face like "Four Weddings", that is judging... so this show, in theory, should be great.

Then I watched it.

First of all the major flaw of the show is that they pitted a woman that had a $15k wedding against a woman that had an $80k wedding. Look, I'm not saying that the woman with a 15k wedding can't win and can't have the best wedding in the world because look, my wedding is WAY WAY WAY closer to that amount than to 80k and I think we could easily be planning the best wedding in the world, BUUUUUUUT come on, this is not a very level playing field. I'll get back to the monetary discrepancies in a bit because the other problem I had with this show were the women on it. Oh my god, did I DESPISE the women on this show and the terrible things they would say about one another's happiest day ever. Their fucking FAKE friendships they had with one another, their over the top judgements, their "I'm on TV I should wear my emotions on my sleeve, and their "if I'm not having fun I should look like I'm being tortured" attitudes. These women were so fake and so unfair I couldn't believe it. The woman that had a $45k wedding had a SPREAD for her cocktail hour: many different food selections, lobster, etc etc etc. But because the woman that had a $15k wedding had a much more modest cocktail hour she OBVIOUSLY didn't try hard enough. What bullshit. Look, I will say this, in defense of the women (I can't believe I'm defending them) the bride that had the cheapest wedding really could have stretched her dollar further. She had no entertainment for her guests, there was no dancing, the food didn't look very appetizing, the wedding looked bland. And if you're in a competition where I'm forced to judge you, then your wedding lacked. But you know what, when you go to this woman's wedding, you can look a little happier. It's a few effing hours, you don't need to sit there acting like it's dental work. Some people wear their emotions on their faces and can't fake excitement - it's so immature. A few women on this show fit that category. I wish I could have shaken these ladies and told them that the bride didn't REALLY want you at her wedding. She wanted the chance to win an awesome honeymoon (the episode I saw it was a great trip to Bora Bora). There were most likely guests the bride had to cut from her invite list....legitimate family and/or friends that were were on the bubble, so she could accommodate three absolute STRANGERS for a chance to win a great honeymoon. The least you could do is blend in instead of sticking out as a woman nobody else knows TEXTING AT A GOD DAMNED WEDDING CEREMONY. (counting backwards from 100 so I can complete this blog post)

If I've laid out reasons 1 and 1a why I hate this show, here is reason 1ab (because I hate everything about it EQUALLY): the women refuse to accept any cultural differences! Like I mentioned before one woman was TEXTING during another bride's ceremony because "the whole ceremony was in a different language and therefore completely boring and according to her, they should have hired someone to translate." Um, REALLY? You're an adult. You can't enjoy experiencing a wedding that is culturally different than yours? You can't take ANYTHING out of a new experience? Furthermore she bagged on the bride's religion saying that she would never set foot in that denomination's church again because the ceremony was too long and if she was ever invited to another wedding of that faith, she'd skip it and only attend the reception. The bride then gave her rival a low score for her "long, boring, different language" ceremony. Later in the show, at another bride's reception she surprised everyone with a huge band of bagpipers, drummers, and authentic Irish dancers. It was a great personal touch and an excellent surprise for wedding guests. It was a pretty awesome experience for everyone EXCEPT for one of the rival brides! This woman complained that the performance wasn't appropriate for a wedding and not everyone likes bagpipes. Oh REALLY? Hey fuckface, you had STEEL DRUMMERS at your wedding and everyone went with the flow. I know that it's still a competition so you want to diminish your rivals' accomplishments, but at the end of the day this is their WEDDING. It's personal. You are a guest. Temper your judgements.

On that note here comes reason 1abc I hated this show. The women took it beyond judging the wedding. They started judging one another. One woman didn't like another woman's dress because it still showed her tattoos. Look (expletive) the other bride is different than you are! She has tattoos and even if you don't like them, SHE does. If she had worn a gown that covered all of her tattoos you would have complained that she was wearing a burka. One of the women was a bit older than the other three and her wedding was shit on because "the guests seemed a little on the older side, so there wasn't much dancing". I'm blind with anger.

If this show's aspiration is to give an immediate gut punch to a bride who thought everyone enjoyed her wedding then it succeeded with flying colors. I know that the person with the lowest point total at the end of the day claims, "I wouldn't have changed a single thing about my wedding" but she's going home thinking that 3 people truly didn't enjoy her wedding, and if THOSE 3 didn't like her wedding at all, who else didn't? That's horrible! I know she signed up for that abuse.... but nobody deserves that. I've seen how hard this wedding planning is, and how time and energy consuming it is and that's not fair to do to anyone... well maybe to the woman who lost because her wedding WAS the worst. OH GOD! It's rubbing off on me... I'm becoming horrible.

At the end the show they crowned their victor and it just reinforced everything I absolutely knew I hated about it:

1st Place Winner budget: $80k
2nd Place Budget: $45k
3rd Place Budget: $30k
4th Place Budget: $15k

Fuck you TLC. If you're going to have such a large monetary disparity maybe go the extra mile and find women that don't think the only way to have a successful wedding is to have a culturally bland wedding with a raw bar, live band, and a princess ball gown. It's extremely possible to have a $10k wedding outshine a $75k wedding so maybe do some leg work and talk to brides who are doing work to make the day special despite having a small budget. I'm a firm believer in the fact that a backyard wedding can be as magnificent as a black tie formal ballroom wedding. How bout trying to enforce that TLC? Additionally I'm not casting judgement on people that can afford big budget weddings! I'm fine with a big budget grand wedding too! They are great, and I love to attend them. I just think they should maybe have women that all spent $60-$80k go against one another instead of continuously beating the small budget wedding every episode (Rebecca commented that she's seen the person that spent the most win the other times she's seen the show).

One last note before I hit "publish". This is something I don't usually do. When I talk about someone, I usually make it as anonymous as I possibly can. This time I've decided differently. Nadine, I sincerely hope that you are into googling yourself. I hope that you do a search for "Nadine, Four Weddings, Blog" just to see if anyone has commented on your wedding. You ragged on 3 other women who had only nice things to say about your wedding. You were terrible. I hope you read this.

Anyone else ever seen this show? Anyone else have as many issues with it as I do?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kudos, Ladies!

One thing I've learned the last year or so wedding planning is that this stuff is EXHAUSTING. It's all encompassing and completely consumes your life. As soon as one task is crossed off the list, the joke is on you because it only gives way to hundreds of other new tasks. It's the most wonderful exciting vicious cycle of to-do's that I've ever seen. Of course it culminates with a glorious day tailor made to everything you love, but for most, that day doesn't come easily.

It's for this reason that I really want to say thank you to all of you, and especially to the bride-to-be bloggers. I honestly don't know how you do it. Rebecca manages to look at EVERY single wedding item posted on the internet and then somehow also finds time to cross things off our wedding checklist. You all blog continuously and yet when I check my twitter feed you've managed to comment and retweet and joke amongst yourselves all while planning. Again, I don't know how you do it. You post new content when you can't find content about which you want to share your opinion. And you do this all while you're planning a WEDDING. It's unfathomable to me how you accomplish this.

When I see a time-dependent task approaching on my wedding checklist I tend to take the "all hands on deck" approach to make sure that it gets done. Somehow you take the "all hand on deck" approach, but unbelievably another hand comes out from under your shirt and you blog about the task, multiple ideas for the task, ways you would maybe do the task differently next time, an eco-friendly way to do the task, a DIY way to do the task, a budget-friendly way to do the task, tweet it, follow people on follow friday, and then craft a 3-armed shirt for sale on etsy. I don't know how you do it. You somehow make blogging a full time job while you have full time jobs, and still find time to wedding plan which is absolutely a full time job. I don't even want to delve into doing guest posts on other sites, because that shit just isn't human.

At the end of a long day of wedding planning all I want to do is collapse on the couch with a beer that I'm "taste testing for the wedding" and turn off the wedding-planning thoughts in my head. I just want to tune out for an evening and relax. The next day, or at the end of the week, I'll come up with a cutesy tweet or post apologizing for my lack of posting and I'll let you know what I've been planning with Rebecca. In the time it took me to enjoy those first sips of my beer on my night off you gals have already found a new engagement session, commented on it, and then posted opinions on making your engagement session personal to you.

Look, I don't want to sell myself short. I've crafted a wedding blog that I hope is entertaining, and I like to think that where I lack in pure quantity I thrive in quality. I really have enjoyed planning the wedding with Rebecca. I am definitely more involved in wedding planning than anyone I know...but I haven't given her enough credit. I don't have the excel spreadsheets, and the crazy to-do lists like she does.... like most of you have... I just am here helping plan every step of the way which I think is pretty damn good. Comparatively.... it's a start.

I exist to give you all a fresh take on wedding planning, and I really do hope that my blog somehow inspires guys to lend a helping hand. It's not a "gay thing" (as I imagine guys see it) to want to help plan, and I hope that this blog helps them realize it. The last year has really just opened my eyes to the fact that WE should be that third arm poking out of the etsy shirt hole. There are more guys wedding blogging than ever before, which I think is really cool. A site like The Man Registry churns out wedding content daily and is something that never existed before. I'd like to think more men are getting involved because of sites like it and the grooms blogs like you see in my blog roll. I feel like we're revolutionizing the way wedding planning is going to happen in the future. I can only imagine more and more wedding blogs popping up soon. I'd love to think that the men in my blog role are the forefathers of bearing some of the wedding planning load.

Anyway, in the past few days that I've taken a breather from my blog it's just become completely apparent to me that you women are not human. It's unreal. As suck-up as this post sounds, something needed to be said. Thanks for the help - Rebecca, the wedding bloggers out there, and even to the countless women who just READ wedding blogs because I know you're reading them ALL and planning as well. If you take time to read groom blogs, you're helping the groom revolution thrive. Support us, and we'll support you! Your daughters will walk hand-in-hand with wedding planning grooms.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gocco for Sale!

I really hate to use my blog to sell something, but right now we could REALLY use the money for wedding budget help! A few weeks ago I told you about my experience with the Gocco and why I decided not to use this awesome looking Japanese screen printer. I finally took an inventory of everything I've got and I thought I would post it on the site.

SO... here we go. I bought this very lightly used Gocco PG-5 straight from Japan. It has not been used by me and is basically immaculate. I have a lot of extras to sell with the Gocco as well as everything that comes in the original box. I promise you won't find a complete package like this anywhere else on the internet right now as the Gocco and its accessories have become hard to find. Here's what I've got:

(1) Gocco PG-5 + original items that come with it in the package (Riso pen, manuals, template books, vhs instructional video, ink blocker, positioning sheet)
(6) Screens
(22) Bulbs
(32) Tubes of ink in various colors. As far as I can tell there are only a few that have been used. Nearly all of them are unused and in their original boxes. Many different colors. (email me if you want to know about a particular color)

I really want to sell this as a package and don't really want to sell off parts. I'm worried that I'll have a harder time selling off the odds & ends that you don't want.

Email me if you're interested and we can talk about pricing. To give you a heads up of what I'm thinking regarding price - the base model with a few extras sells for around $250 right now. I'm not looking to make money off any of you, I'm going to jack up the price on my craigslist listing, but if anyone in the wedding community wants this I'll just sell it to you for the amount I spent on it.

Email me if you're interested: templeofgroom [at] gmail dot com

Please forward along to anyone you think may be interested!

Robot Presides Over Japanese Wedding

This is a tad too on the nose... I mean even though I've never seen a robot presiding over a Japanese wedding, I feel like it's already been done a thousand times. On a monday morning I can't even come up with a good "Japanese people getting married by a robot" joke because I feel like this is already a caricature of itself. I've got nothing - leave your best robot priest jokes in the comments.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ben Folds plays my wedding! (3 months early)

Rebecca and I went to a Ben Folds concert on Wednesday night here in LA. It was AWESOME. We shouted "Temple of Groom" several times, but I don't think Ben heard us. It was such a fun show.

Even though for the first part of the show a 6'5" guy decided to barrel through the crowd and camp out nearly in front of us, we had a blast. Look, total side note to that guy, I KNOW that it's not your fault you're so damn tall. We get it... you were born that way. But at least realize that if you're that effing tall, people are going to get a little upset when you push your way to the middle of a general admission show. The 5'4" girl next to me had a right to say something nasty to you because you pushed her out of the way so you could stand in front of her while your drunk girlfriend didn't even watch the show. She literally had her back to the show the entire time. You have a right to stand where you want, but at least get to the show a bit earlier so the shorter people can plan accordingly. And while I'm at it (sorry for the rant guys)... a quick shout out to the guy that pretends he spots a friend towards the front of the venue so he can push his way forward. Your acting is going to have to get a little better than that. We knew there was no "Adrienne!" 30 feet in front of us. It's a great idea though, people were parting left and right, but try to end up in a spot that is physically capable of human occupancy. Don't wedge yourself in between two people less than a foot apart. You seemed like a pretty good guy but I didn't love the taste of your shampoo!

ANYWAY... It's always great to see a Ben Folds show. If we didn't have such a great DJ booked for our wedding, then I probably would have printed Temple of Groom cards to hand out at the show, and would have thought out some way to let Ben know about the campaign I launched a few months ago. He may not be at our wedding, but his music will be there at some point.

Well, to wrap things up, at the end of the night Ben took a picture of the audience so he could tweet it later... check it out!!!!!!!!!!

Click the pic to enlarge!

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Battle to Please: Birthday vs Wedding

On my way to work this morning I was thinking about weddings in general and the desire to try to please as many people as you can. I know it's an age old wedding cliche "you can't please everyone, remember, it's your day... worry about pleasing yourself" but I've really yet to meet anyone that hasn't considered his/her guests at all. There absolutely is a desire to make everyone happy during planning.

So I'm on my way to work this morning and it occurs to me, why do we constantly try to make everyone happy on your wedding day but tend to focus solely on ourselves for our birthdays? It seems like we're very much more selfish with our desires when we plan birthday parties rather than wedding receptions. Both days are referred to as "your day" yet when wedding planning I find that we always straddle the fence thinking about what you want vs. thinking about what you think your guests want.

For instance when planning a birthday party if you decide to do everything in a mexican theme - you do it. You don't consider a slew of guests that you know don't love mexican food. And you know what? They show up anyway, and they have a good time. A few years ago (admittedly only 1 year removed from college) I decided I wanted a beer pong birthday party. So you know what I did? I scheduled a beer pong birthday party. I'm absolutely positively sure that the majority of girls AND germaphobic friends I invited to this party did not like beer pong and most likely didn't play beer pong that night. But you know what... I didn't even consider that at the time. It didn't even occur to me.... because it was my birthday. Additionally that birthday was a BLAST. Long story short, Rebecca got so drunk she fell out of a cab in front of my Dad after meeting him for the first time. It was hilarious and will go down in history as one of the best birthday parties ever..... and it was planned by someone who only took his necessities into consideration.

Now nearly 5 years later I'm helping plan our wedding. I can unequivocally say that we've put way more consideration into pleasing our guests than I have planning any other event. Even though we loved our venue the moment we saw it, we agonized putting our deposit down for weeks because it may not be the most convenient option for our guests. If this was a birthday party, we would would have put our deposit down on the spot told our friends to come, and not thought twice about it.

The good news is that looking back at our wedding plans and details there's really nothing I would change. At the end of the day we've spent the majority of our time assessing what WE want and I feel like we've done a beautiful job conjuring up a wedding that is very "us". The only thing that I think we would have gained had we viewed our wedding as a birthday is peace of mind. We maybe would have made a decision, stuck to it, and never looked back. Instead of thinking about our menu, rethinking our menu, triple thinking about our menu, saying, "Hmm, do you think people at the wedding will eat duck at the wedding, we REALLY love it but do you think others eat duck?", we would have said "It's our birthday and we know we love duck! Tell everyone we're having duck! If they don't like duck they can pick around it and eat salad and whatever else they can get full on - or they can fill up on alcohol!".

So my question to everyone out there, why is there a difference between birthday party planning and wedding planning in terms of desire to please everyone? I know that a wedding is a celebration that is shared by our parents so a lot of times we take them and their friends into consideration as well. In our case both sets of parents have constantly said "Do what you two want! We'll love it". At the end of the day, we have... we've stressed and rethought things 100 different ways, but at the end of the day we definitely have crafted a day that's uniquely ours. I know that in a lot of scenarios you're asking people to fly cross country or travel to your wedding and you're asking them to spend their hard earned money to come to your wedding...I completely get that. Is it because we're so concerned with presenting ourselves perfectly? Is it the competition and the constant one game of outdoing someone else? So what is the the real reason? Is it because we have a birthday every year? If we completely fuck one year up, it doesn't matter... we always have next year to make it better. 50% of the time this is the only wedding you're going to plan. So there's more stress to not just screw the pooch... is that why there's more stress and more desire to please everyone?!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Gocco-a-No No

I mentioned last week in my post about string lights that some things are just going to defeat me when it comes to wedding planning. We took the smarter route with our string lights, and at the end of the day it will prove to be an excellent decision. Some things I guess are just going to be FDDIY (fucking don't do it yourself!) projects for me. I'd love to tell you the next chapter in the story of getting completely OWNED by one of our wedding ideas.

Pretty much EXACTLY a year ago I somehow got it in my head that not only was I going to design the save-the-dates, the wedding invitations, the programs (if we had them), and the thank you cards, but I was also going to do the printing all by myself as well. Then in a stupid fucking game of one-ups-manship with MYSELF I raised the stakes and decided to screen print the invitations as well. "Oh, computer printers are for chumps. When people get our screen printed invitations and can feel the ink on the paper, they'll be so impressed." So, like a naive little idiot I packed my bag and began trekking through the internet to far and distant lands to buy a Gocco machine. (cue the Japanese gong) The little machine looks incredible. To this day, I'm still very very intrigued by it. It's like an easy bake oven meets a serious screen printer. I did my research... I read that I needed lots of bulbs, I read that I needed lots of screens, I read that I needed lots of inks.... so I found them all.... from a nice man in Japan. I was prepared. Nobody was going to pry that Gocco ebay auction from this groomzilla. I woke up at 3am to outbid people at the last possible second. After my win, too giddy to go back to sleep.

I got the machine a few weeks later, and even took pictures unpacking the highly coveted printer from the cardboard boxes with text in a different language. I held off on posting said pictures because I figured it would make more sense to post a big huge "these are my gocco-ed wedding invites" post. The Gocco was our first wedding related purchase. In many ways it kicked off wedding planning. It summoned the beginning of the wedding planning chapter of my life (cue the gong).

Months passed and I continued to do research about Gocco tips. Before using screens, put them in the fridge or the freezer, make carbon/photo copies of what you want to print - computer print outs won't work. I was preparing myself while Goco-zilla silently slept in his cardboard box in the linen closet. When it was time to start thinking about printing the save-the-date Rebecca and I finally decided on an idea that proved to be much too intricate and complex to screen print. It was much too graphic (see our STD here). Rather than setting ourselves up for inevitable failure we let Goco continue to sleep in his lair and got the STDs printed at an eco-friendly printing company.

So the STDs went out and I immediately began preparing for the wedding invitations. I designed our invitation with the Gocco in mind simpler design with only 2-3 colors needed. Here is where the problem beings to occur. I don't know the first thing about actually printing anything (screen printing). I guess I'm the equivalent of an armchair quarterback for photoshopping invitations... sure I know the ins and outs of photoshop/illustrator and I get by with what I believe to be an above average knowledge of photoshop & illustrator, but I could never go pro. I don't know enough about graphic design. Going into the design phase of the invitation here's what I believed would happen. We'd use grey paper purchased at a store, I would print black, white, and purple onto the invitation.

I finished the design for the main invitation card and figured we should buy paper asap because I knew the actual printing would be a arduous trial-and-error project that would take time to perfect. So we made our way to Paper Source with a computer print out of our invitation - sooo ahead of the ball, nearly 2 months before invitations needed to be sent.

The Paper Source girl ruined everything. Well she saved everything too, just depending which side you're rooting for. If you were rooting for the DIY miracle Goco win, as I was, tough luck. This is where my lack of experience came to bite me in the ass. She started throwing out terms like bleed, negative bleed, offset this and that jibber jabber that. I was clearly overmatched. I was so proud of myself when I told her that I made the image larger than it should be to compensate for borderless printing. But then she asked what I was planning to do for the white text if the paper is gray. Um... just use white ink? I was then informed that there's no such thing as white ink. Is that true? I mean, it makes sense I guess. I just assumed that the ink was like paint. There's white paint. So then we got schooled in the ways of screen printing. To do my design we'd have to get a white piece of paper Gocco it gray leaving the white text un-Gocco-ed. Holy shit... seriously? That would never work. I kind of went dead behind the eyes. The rest of her telling me how difficult my design (that took me about 2 weeks) would take was falling on deaf ears. It was like listening to someone underwater....just plain ol' screwed.

Then Ms. Paper Source came to the rescue. She said that my design was so nice, why don't I just have it professionally printed at her friend's printing company for less than I ever imagined it would cost to have something printed professionally. Granted, we went for the cheaper laser printer method instead of having them screen printed by a professional. It was a good idea to do this, but I was so so dejected. Just felt like I was beaten despite the fact that it was pretty much a win - a win meaning less work/stress for us and not TOO much more expensive.

Over the next week or so I finished all of our designs - sent them to the printer and got a proof. The Gocco watched silently from afar judging me. We decided to buy a nice paper that had a shimmer to it, and have our invitations printed on that instead of just plain white paper. When printed on plain nice heavy stock - the invitation looked a little dead. With the shimmer paper it gave it a pop and made it feel a little less "home printer-y". Seriously, like two days after approving the proof and letting the company know they should commence printing I left the shop with our invitations. It would have taken me months to screen print them.

So, in the end it all worked out. Our invitations are BEAUTIFUL. I really and truly effing love them. I'm so proud that I designed them, Rebecca tied them with ribbon, we printed our envelopes, stuffed em up, and mailed them out. I'm REALLY really pleased, and I still have that sense of DIY accomplishment. There's just a slight part of me that died the day my hopes of Gocco-ing were exterminated, but it was for the best. I guess the real moral of the story is: Sure DIY, but be realistic... and if you can PDIY (partly do it yourself) that's not such a bad thing either. We still saved a boatload of money!

SO my Gocco is going up for sale (cue the Japanese gong)! I know I didn't exactly paint a great picture of it with this post, but it's right for SOMEONE - just not me. I bought a package with a bunch of bulbs and screens and like 30 inks. I've got it all. If you're interested, email me. Look the things are popular for a reason. They're supposedly awesome - I just can't vouch for them!

LASTLY, I wanted to post some quick low quality pics of our invitations. When we take actual nice pictures I'll post them too, but for now I wanted to show them to you all!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vendor Love - Enter my happy place.

I haven't really gotten burnt out wedding planning lately. One thing that's certainly helped is that things are coming together pretty well, and the high-stress stuff is done. Most recently, we got our invitations back from the printer and they look great. All that's left to do is print the envelopes tie ribbons around our cards and mail them. Things are really coming together. Right now we're trying to figure out our centerpieces and that's kind of driving me up the wall. I mean why on Earth should we have to spend so much thought about something so insignificant?! Nobody remembers the centerpieces unless they suck so much or are overly awesome. We don't have "overly awesome" money, so we just have to spend enough to make them not suck. It's a CROCK that we have to spend just enough money on them so they don't suck so they are forgettable. Thinking about this makes my blood begin to...not boil cause I'm not really THAT mad or concerned that it won't get done... but let's say simmer. My blood is simmering.

Whenever I start to get in one of these moods, I've figured out the remedy to get my blood back down to tepid: think about the vendors that we've committed to. I happen to LOVE our vendors and think that they are so passionate about what they do and they do what they love, that the excitement can't help but to rub off on me. Thinking about my vendors ultimately makes me happy about the wedding and makes me wish the wedding was less than 100 days away (can you believe it, 100 days!!!!). I've blogged about each of our vendors in the past but today as I was trying for a 4th time to complete a blog post about something else and kept getting frustrated, thinking about them put me in a happy place. SO, I just want to take a second to talk about them out loud.

The Cass House Inn: My love for our venue is no secret. The town it's in, the aesthetics of the grounds/building, the food, it's the whole package. Unbelievably the Cass House worked in our budget. Though it's a small trek from LA, I'm looking FORWARD to that. I really like it here in Los Angeles, but I'm excited that the wedding will not take place somewhere in town. I'm not making a dig on anyone that chooses to get married here, because look, there are some INCREDIBLE spots in town, I'm just saying that Cass House is Rebecca and me incarnated into a bed and breakfast. The owners put so much attention into every detail at the Cass House. They couldn't be cooler with the wedding and forming the wedding menu. So far, they've just been awesome. We'll get married on their lawn in their flower garden, then have our reception in their herb garden. It's going to be awesome. A smile on my face.

Callaway Gable Photography: Brian and Allison are geniuses. How cliche would it be of me to say a picture is worth a thousand words.... super cliche?.... okay... but guys, seriously - their wedding pictures aren't just photographs, they are art. The first conversation I had with Brian we clicked. He said something that kind of stuck with me about his photography - he said that a good wedding photograph will make you remember the moment with all of your senses. It's such a cool thought. If you can remember the smells and the tastes of a moment by looking at a picture, then your photographer has really done his/her job. Brian and his wife Allie are a phenomenal duo. Brian's work has appeared in countless magazines and he has such an incredible eye for composition. Allison first appeared on the cover of Teen Magazine when she was 13 and went on to have a very lucrative modeling career. It's for this reason that she knows the do's and don'ts of posing and making a couple look the best they possibly can - she also knows the best angles to capture a moment. The two work flawlessly together. They can do it all. Lastly - I just want to show you some recent engagement sessions pictures that they just posted!

DJ Evoke: I've told you about Samantha aka DJ Evoke a few times already, but she's totally great and I just wanted to talk about her a little more again. Even though a while ago she was preparing for her move from the LA/Beach area to San Francisco she managed to make time to get a mix to me. She wasn't thrilled with her mix because of technology/time constraints so instead of just shelving the whole mix project until she got settled up north, she somehow found the time to make an entire playlist of music for Rebecca and me. We listened to over 2 hours worth of music she sent to us on a car trip up to our venue. At the end of the playlist Rebecca and I both realized that she totally gets us. It was exactly what we want for our reception. I'll fill you in about Evoke from time to time, but I can already see that this is going to be an awesome collaboration between two bloggers! (in case you've forgotten Samantha is a wedding blogger and you can follow her on twitter too! @teambride).

With Bells On Productions: I never thought we would have wedding planners/coordinators. I figured it was a luxury that was just never going to happen. That's when a friend/coworker/honorary family member named Sissy swooped in and made my dreams come true. I've worked with Sissy (co-founder of "With Bells On") on and off for the last 5 years. She hired me on my first Los Angeles job fresh from college. Here are a couple of things I know about her: she's SO meticulous and has an eye for detail like no other human I've ever met, she knows what needs to be done on a minute-by-minute basis, she's got mad skills at planning parties, she's got an unparalleled passion for party planning & coordinating, and she keeps in excellent company with Rachael (the other co-founder of "With Bells On"). I can't tell you how much weight is off our shoulders knowing that "With Bells On" has our backs on our our wedding day. Just the fact that they'll make sure everything is happening and set up, and... I know you get it, but just know that this is probably another entire post about how great this is going to be to have them there.

I'm sorry if some of you think this post is a little infomercial-ish. But look, the way I see it, I've done so much homework for any of you that need excellent vendors but don't know where to turn. I'm telling you, just thinking about any/each of these guys makes me feel so much less stressed because I know we're covered. One of the best parts of wedding planning is just knowing that you don't have to worry about something on your day. You can just trust that it's going to get done and you don't have to think twice about it. Each one of these vendors has done that for me. This weekend we had a slight centerpiece fiasco (I'll blog ya about it later.... that was such a stupid way to say I'll post about it later) and I could have easily lost my shit... instead I put myself in my happy place and thought about how great everything is going to be with our vendors.

Oh, and a beer while lounging on our new outdoor furniture (wedding present from Rebecca's grandparents) is also my other new happy place. Who's coming over for drinks this weekend?