Why South Carolina?

The Beginning Story of our wedding journey Part 1 & Part 2

After announcing that we had booked our wedding venue in South Carolina. We got this question (and probably will continue to) get this question a lot. As I mentioned previously, we have zero ties to South Carolina. So how and why did South Carolina become our winning state is kind of a long winded explanation. (which I will explain) but the obvious answer.. It’s Cheaper and the boring answer. It just happened that way.

I talked about how we just began looking into other states because anywhere else was cheaper than California, but that’s a wide net to cast. I kept kind of leaning towards the south from the beginning. I am someone who likes traditions and the idea of southern traditions has always been something I was pulled towards.  One of my top favorite TV shows is Hart of Dixie. I love Sweet Home Alabama, Nicholas Sparks book (and of course the movie versions of The Notebook & A Walk to Remember) and any 90’s to early 2000’s rom-com with a wedding in front of a giant beautiful mansion like home. In otherwards, I had completely romanticized the South and a southern wedding. I mean plus the song I plan to walk down the aisle to even has a lyric “you were made to shine under southern stars…” so how literally perfect would that be.  So I was drawn to the south.. but I didn’t know where to even begin. Did that mean.. Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Mississippi… (definitely not Florida). Then I remembered that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds had a romantic southern wedding in the South.

So… I did what any rational social media millennial would do…. and I googled it.  Boone Hall Plantation just outside Charleston, SC.  Upon entering the website I had fallen in love. Specifically, with the entrance and behind that the beautiful avenue of oaks.

Plus! it was insanely affordable. Less than what a down payment to secure a venue in the Bay Area would cost! I was in love!!!! BUT Andrew wasn’t sold.  When I brought this up to Andrew at the end of 2018. He wasn’t too sure about a wedding in the South and especially one in August (our original wedding month). You see while I had romanticized the South. Andrew had this idea of it just being a bunch of hicks and hillbillies. He’s still not too convinced to be honest.

At this point you probably still aren’t sure how we chose South Carolina… cause Andrew put his foot down. Well, after the Super Bowl Incident. We decided the start looking all over again and we decided we were going to hire an event planner. So, I did research and sent inquires out to Event Planners all over and while I was doing that an event planner’s AD popped up on my feed on Instagram. Simply Southern Events. I looked at her work and saw she was based in Southern California and I shot her an email. Knowing full well Andrew wasn’t fully on board.. but he knew I was sending e-mails to planners all over the US.

Within a week,  I had talked to handful of planners… all were nice and most in California weren’t positive they could even plan in our budget (which we expected, but had to give it a shot) and then I had my phone call with Danielle of Simply Southern Events and within one minute of the conversation I thought to myself ” oh, I feel like I’m talking to a friend” and I kid you not right after she said pretty much the same thing to me on the phone and right there. I knew we were probably going to hire her. I mean I pretty much told Andrew, we were hiring her the second I got off the phone with her. He did like how she ran comps for us, before she even knew she was hired by us. And although, he was not sold on South Carolina, he was sold on South Carolina’s affordable-ness.

And that may be a boring, chaotic, sort of meaningless story.. but that is why/how we chose South Carolina.  It was just a the perfect storm of factors mixed together and now you might be saying… but Boone Hall Plantation isn’t even your venue?! Which to that I say you are correct! And maybe, that will be another story (unless I covered it in my last post).

Owen’s Little Italy 1st Birthday Party

 

 

One Week Ago. My Youngest Owen Turned 1! We celebrated his actual birthday with a little photoshoot on his side of the room, with some balloons, a few gifts from us and grandparents and his first cupcake.

 

The next day we went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant and on Sunday we had his birthday party! We did a Numero Uno – Little Italy Theme. I like choosing uncommon themes and knew I had to do it after seeing a similar themed party on Instagram. Now generally when I plan parties, I start planning and getting items and invites ready and sent out months before. But to be honest, even though I had researched the party theme ahead of time.. time got away from me and I didn’t start getting things ready until the week of. Thank god for Party City, Target, The Dollar Store and Michaels all being close by and really Amazon Prime.  I will say I ran out of time and didn’t get to decorate as much as I would have liked.. But I am pretty happy with the results regardless.

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I just realized I didn’t take pictures of the actual food or the Italian Soda Station I made! Oops!

Making the theme Little Italy really made the food options easy and honestly, I had to calm my self when it came to the food, cause if it were up to me, the budget and time.. there would have been SO Many more options.

The Menu was Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, GF Cheese Raviolis, three different pizzas, Lasagna, and Garlic Bread.

The Italian Cream soda station was fun too.  We had 4 flavor syrups to choose from (thank you World Market!) Smores, Peach, Vanilla and Cherry. Regular San Pellegrino, and Half and Half.

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Dessert was simple, Chocolate & Vanilla Cupcakes, Cannolis and Italian Ice.  PS those Cannolis were bomb and I am so proud that I made them (super easy to do, and I bought mini pre-made shells on Amazon, best decision!)

However, the cake was my pride and joy. Probably the best cake I have made thus far.  It was lemon with vanilla frosting and topped with Cannolis and it looked like i got it at a bakery. Too bad Owen doesn’t have a sweet tooth like his big mother and Mama.

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Overall, the party was a success. If you have read my previous posts about how we have odd luck with weather. This party was no exception. Just like Owen’s Baby Shower we planned for rain. It had been a down pour the whole month and more leading up to the party and ran was forecasted for the day. Although, that wasn’t incorrect. The whole party was planned for inside our small, not open floor planned home and the weather was nice was the whole party. In fact thunderstorms begun minutes after all the guests left. Most importantly Owen seemed to enjoy is party and thats all that matters.

Up next is big brother Bennett’s golden 3rd birthday in April!“

When are You Getting Married?- Part Two

Read Part One Here

By Early July 2017 I found out I was pregnant with Baby Number 2 are our focus became on preparing for him and on March 8th, 2018 he was born.  Technically, we still could plan a wedding for our original August 11th, 2018 date but we would really have to compromise a lot and we only ever discussed it vaguely. From time to time looking at venues etc.

In June, we really started to talk about planning for a wedding in 2019, maybe and we really started considering looking at wedding venues out of state, or even out of the country, and weighing the pros and cons of each experience.

This is where I think it is a good time to confess something. An insecurity of mine, but not just an insecurity but almost a fact that had been proven and shown in ways to me time after time. Nobody cared/cares if Andrew and I got married. Nobody really ever asked when it was going to happen, nobody was super excited when we got engaged, nobody offered to throw us an engagement party and mostly, every time I even attempted to discuss wedding planning and discuss how it was hard for us to have a wedding due to our large party size and how expensive it was in this area.  I was met with disinterest, or straight up discouragement.

  • “Why don’t you just elope?”
  • “You can just have it at a park?”
  • “You don’t NEED to have a big party”
  • “Why don’t you just have it in your backyard”
  • “Just have a potluck”
  • “A Wedding is just about you two, getting married.. not a party”
  • “Oh, if you have it there/then. We definitely won’t go”

Hearing these things was not only frustrating but super saddening. Especially, since a lot of these people, were people who had big beautiful weddings themselves. I couldn’t help but hear ” you are not worth it, we do not care about you”, “we can have a nice wedding but YOU can’t” and “You are being unrealistic” every time someone said something to that affect. I mean honestly I can think of only 2, maybe 3 people who have spoken in a positive manner about our wedding. With all of this going on in my head wedding planning became a very sad experience for me (and I LOVE event planning) but every time I attempted to begin planning our wedding again, I would get severe anxiety and usually end up bawling my eyes out. On several occasions telling Andrew “I must have been a shitty person in my past life.” (I’m not saying I’m an amazing person, but i think i am overall a decently good person and friend) and yet, I felt like NOBODY… family or friends cared at all about me and kind of made me not want to have a wedding anymore, but Andrew still did. So keep all this in mind as I continue on with our story.

Come end of June/July one of my closest friends got engaged. And to make this very clear I am OVER THE MOON excited and happy for her and her fiance but I watched people who showed little interest in my wedding planning process become super excited and interested in hers and obviously, I felt a small pang of sadness and jealously again. Soon after she announced that they had books their wedding for Fall of 2019 out of state. (They live out of state though). And I watch people become super excited for an out of the state wedding. This gave me some hope that maybe Andrew and I could also have a “destination” wedding.  And obviously, I was a little sad that her wedding would be in 2019, because I knew that we couldn’t plan ours for 2019. I mean we could have (and she even said we could) but I didn’t want to take away from her time as a bride to be, and since our bridal party would be virtually the same, I didn’t want to also stress them out and honestly, I knew if they had to pick between us. They would choose her.

So, 2019 rolls around and Andrew and I finally had gotten to a good place with wedding planning again. I started to be a little more excited and Andrew and I decided on a possible date of August 2nd, 2020 (which is the day we started dating). We started looking around again for venues and keeping ALL options open. I had found several locations I was interested Beringer Vineyard in St.Helena, Castle Green In Pasadena, we were even considering Kohl Mansion again, Thornwood Castle in Washington and I had stumbled across Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina (That I became kind of obsessed with, but Andrew just wasn’t sure about). We looked at Italy, Scotland, and France.  But the problem looking out of state and even out of country is Andrew and I didn’t know where to start. We only lived in California so we really didn’t have any connection to anywhere else (besides Idaho and I didn’t find a venue I loved).  But we were open to looking.

Then came Superbowl Sunday. The day that changed everything really. Andrew and I went to Beringer Vineyard. The boys each went to a grandparents and Andrew and I drive the hour and half to Napa Valley. The day was magical.  We toured the venue, drank LOTS of wine, had lunch a fun restaurant (Which has the best fried potatoes EVER)  and even went and looked at investment properties. It was much needed couple time for us. We even got home just in time for a Super Bowl party.

I won’t go into details of what happened as it is still raw and personal. But is was pretty much very similar to the previous  discouraging sentiments above and ended with me running out of the party in tears. I spent most of that night bawling. I was completely deflated. Andrew tried to be supportive but I couldn’t see a silver lining. Again, I was proven correct. No one cared about us.

The next morning, I woke up with a new sense of self and I told Andrew. Screw it. We are going to have a wedding. We are going to find a location wherever it is and I don’t care anymore who decides to go. EVERYONE was being so negative about the experience and had ruined what was suppose to be a happy time for me. So, I’m done trying to plan around what will be most convenient for everyone else.  Andrew was hesitant but saw my point. With that I have one more condition. We are going to be hiring a wedding planner. Someone who will know my vision and work with me but essentially do it all, cause I couldn’t stand to look at one more venue, vendor, anything wedding related anymore.  Andrew, agreed and I began my research and I sent out several e-mails to wedding planners all over the US, scheduled interviews and began the wedding planning process for 2020 with a very renewed sense of hope.

 

 

 

You’ve Been Boo’d 2018

It’s the first of October. Which means a lot of exciting things for me.. Fall, My Birthday, Halloween and activities related to all those things!  Since having kids, one of my favorite things is to get my Pinterest Mom, crafting on! If you are in this world already then you have probably already heard of getting “Boo’d” and if you are not… it’s a fun little activity for parents, kids, neighbors, etc. Like last year, I am participating again and want to share that with you!

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This year I went a little “extra” and created felt treat bags (which are also for sale on my etsy shop) and I created my own instructions and signs that you can also print out and use!

In my bags I filled them with little inexpensive Halloween knicks knacks and treats and for the super little ones I found adorable Halloween themed sippy cups at Target. What’s also nice, is that you don’t have to go crazy or over the top either.

I would LOVE to see your Boo’d Treats! So please use the hashtag #alittlebitBOO if you particpate.

Bennett’s 2nd Birthday Party: Curious George Theme

So late last month we celebrated Bennett’s 2nd Birthday Party. We had it later in the month because Bennett’s actual birthday on the 3rd was just too close to Owen’s birth and I knew I wasn’t going to be up to planning a birthday party SO soon after giving birth. In fact, usually I start planning a party months in advance and although i had an IDEA of what i wanted for Bennett’s party; I didn’t begin until about a week before and most of the supplies I got were from the Dollar Store, some Target and Amazon too.

For the past few month before, I also debated between whether his theme should be Curious George, Cars or Baseball. He loves all 3 of those. However, I figured baseball & cars are things he will most likely still like as he gets older, but Curious George represents his current age very well. Since I love planning parties and have such bad luck with them (usually the weather) I decided to give myself slack this time around. I was going to keep it very simple and casual and not stress about it.  And that paid off. Cause just like every other party I have had before, the weather was my nemesis. The WHOLE Week, the weather had been perfect, but of course the day of the mainly outdoor party it had to be overcast weather with some light showers. Which led to  very anti-climatic decor as I couldn’t really decorate outside. BUT i didn’t panic and just accepted the day for what it was and what was accomplished looked nice.

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For food we kept it simple with Sloppy Joe’s I Made, pizza from Little Ceasar’s, Fresh Veggies, Pretzel Chips and for Dessert. Funfetti Cake w/ Lemon Icing, Banana Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Chocolate frosting all of which I made and decorated.

 

The weather did get better towards the end and the party overall was nice and Bennett had a bajillion cupcakes and enjoyed himself thoroughly which is all that really matters at the end of the day.

Bennett’s Baby Shower

At the end of the month we will be having Owen’s Baby Shower. So, I thought I would share with you some photos, video and the story of my first sons baby shower.

I love a good party. For a long time growing up I wanted to be an Event Planner. I looked for any excuse to have a party. So, as expected I was pretty excited for the chance to have a baby shower.  Unfortunately, my dreams of the perfect paper shower were quickly lost.

A little background. For 25 years of my life I have been an only child and even though I have a now adopted 9 year old brother. I still consider myself an only child. So, I didn’t have sisters to plan the party for me, my Mom had recently moved to another state and wasn’t much of a party planner herself and no one else really offered to plan a shower. To be honest, I think a lot of people don’t think about the fact that I am an only child and how that factors in to events like this.  I had asked 4 of my closest friends if they could co-host my Baby Shower. 1- Lived in another state and would not be able to make and 2- declined for financial reasons. Which is fine and okay and I understand, but again since I had no other family or friends to do this and these 3 were the friends I had, had the longest… I was pretty bummed out that they all said “No, Thank You.” Personally, I think the fact that I was the first of my friends to get pregnant and they weren’t even thinking about that for several more years..Also, played a factor.  BUT thankfully, I had my one friend, a former co-worker who happily agreed to plan my shower.

Since, my friend worked in retail and the planning would take place during the holiday rush.. and okay, I’m a little bit of a control freak. Like I already stated I LOVED to plan parties. I decided to pick the date (I picked 3, so she could choose from them around her schedule) We settled on March 5th, 2016. I also picked the theme and the location. The theme being Beatrix Potter. A way for me to honor my Grandma Thomas, i would read and watch all the different Beatrix Potter stories at her home and it was a perfect unique spring book related shower theme for a boy.  And finding the venue was hard. We had a limited budget and most places were at min. $1K. After searching and searching, hours of stress and debating we settled on a local park, that was HUGE and super pretty.

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As I said before my friend planning the shower and I were former Co-Workers. We both worked together at a store called Paper Source. Which is like a high end stationary, crafting, party planning store. So, I was super super excited when I got to see the invitations she designed for my shower. They were super pretty and she had, had another one of our former co-workers who does AMAZING calligraphy, address them for me. ( Amore Paper and Ink) and after this is when things started to go a little downhill.

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Because my friend worked in retail, she was only able to get the invites out a couple short weeks before the shower. Cutting the amount of people able to come down, drastically.  Then I was made aware that the RSVP number was incorrect.

The Sunday before my shower. I caught a NASTY sinus infection. I would end up going to the ER that and then spending the night before my baby shower and of my baby shower in Labor and Delivery because I was so dehydrated that I was having severe contractions.  Eventually being discharged around 1AM.

I woke up the morning of my shower to a flood of people asking me, if my shower was still on and if we had a back-up location. Turns out the biggest storm of the year (I wish I was exaggerating) decided to fall on the same day as my very much outdoors shower. I have no info. for anyone, cause I am still feeling VERY sick and my friend throwing the shower has not updated me on any plans being changed. So, to be proactive I head to FB and message everyone that the location for my shower will be changing and to hold tight and i will update you as I find out the info.

Now, mind you we didn’t get A LOT of RSVP’s to my shower. Which I had assumed was due to the fact that the phone number on the invite had been incorrect. BUT then I found out that a majority of the people I had invited NEVER received their invites! So here I am about 10AM, a couple hours before my shower. Watching the rain pour down outside from our window, stressed cause I don’t know where our shower is going to take place, and feeling like absolute crap. Finding out that more than HALF my family and friends never knew they were even invited to a shower, until right then. So, needless to say at this point I sat in the middle of our apartment on the floor sobbing. I just want to cancel the whole shower. My dream shower, had been shattered.  To top that off because the storm was SO bad, several people who had RSVP’d were texting to cancel as well.

My poor friend Tim Gunn’d it and had a make it work moment. The party ended up being held in the corridor of her Mom’s apartment. Not IDEAL, since it was still cold, but it was partially covered and it with what she had to work with. It well worked. As stated before, I wanted to cancel and I was feeling terrible sick, while also having contractions. So, Andrew who was not scheduled to appear at the shower. Kindly, took me to the pharmacy to pick up medication and was pretty much attached at my hip for the whole party. A handful of family and friends attended and they made the best of a shitty situation and my friend did a great job with what she had to work with.

Here is a VLog from my Youtube Channel, showcasing the week leading up to the shower and bits of the shower.