Thursday, February 25, 2010

Some Details

The following are templates of what we're thinking of using; feel free to use them for your own ceremonies :) The Madlibs I actually copied visually from a article image--with a few adjustments :) So I'm quite proud I was able to do that :) The vows I found from a book entitled "Joining Hands and Hearts" by Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb--again, with a little tweak here and there. :) Anyway, without further ado:


~*Wedding Advice for Jess and Therese*~

We are __(adjective)___ for Jess and Therese. They are the most ___(adjective)____ __(plural noun)__ and we wish them nothing less than __(adjective)____ __(noun)__ for the rest of their lives together. Our best advice? Don’t forget to ___(advice)___ before you __(verb)___ and __(advice)__ after the __(noun)__. Jess should always try to___(verb)___ Therese’s __(noun)___ and Therese should always try to ___(verb)____ Jess’ ___(noun)___ We wish you __(amount)___ years of happiness and __(adjective)___ ___(noun)___.

~*Do share your advice with us by filling in the blanks and handing this sheet to us before you leave. Thank you!*~



Illuminata by Marianne Williamson

With this ring, I give you my promise that from this day forward
you shall not walk alone.
May my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.
May we always be blessed.
May we walk together through all things.
May you feel deeply loved, for indeed you are.
May you always see your innocence in my eyes.
With this ring, I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give.
I promise I shall do my best.
I shall always try.
I feel so honored to call you my spouse.
I feel so blessed to call you mine.
May we feel this joy forever.


Selection 3 by Roy Croft

I love you, not only for what you are
But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself
But for what you are making of me.
I love you, for the parts of me that you bring out;
I love you, for putting your hand into my heart
and passing over all the foolish, weak things that you can’t help
dimly seeing there,
and for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings
that no one else had looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life
not a tavern but a temple; out of works of my every day
not a reproach but a song.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Progress List

Mahalo everyone!

Just in case I haven't told y'all yet, our wedding dates are:
Jan. 15, 2011 in Manila, Philippines
Sept. 10, 2011 in Austin, Texas (USA)

Well, so far, we have:
-cufflinks! (they were Papa's, Jess' maternal grandfather, are made of ivory and came from his stint in Japan)
-my veil
-my shoes
-my evening bag
-undies stuff, including hosiery
-Jess' grandmother's lace and her mother-in-law's tatting
-wax seal!

We have committed to:
-rings (in gold)
-a "headpiece"
-cake toppers
-my rehearsal dress
-shawls and ties for us and the entourage
-paper punches!
-rubber stamps!
-photography services--for Austin
-a "suit and dress" carry-on bag

We will borrow Jess' abuela's:
-Panamanian mosqueta brooch and earrings

We are more or less decided, but still ironing out
-my wedding dress with Morgan
-ceremony and reception location (the food comes with it) --for Austin; Mary the Queen Parish and Hotel Sofitel, respectively, for Manila
-cake-- for Austin (we're thinking berry chantilly/carrot cake/chocolate decadence)
-favors-- for Austin; honey-roasted peanuts for Manila
-flowers--for Austin
-hair and make-up--for Austin
-guest books
-post stamps
-photo booth app called PartyBooth
-MadLibs (and vows)!

No idea yet on
-music (though there are some songs I want to be played)
-invites (though there is a skeleton plan and sketch complete with tentative wording)
-registry/ies (though I heard of this)
-rehearsal dinner (maybe Salt Lick?)
-guest accommodations (maybe Verde Camp?)
-marriage license and name change ie legalese?
-Jess' shoes
-house (for September!)--with space for plants, and goats and chickens, and maybe a dog!
-my Montessori/teaching status
-honeymoon plans

So this is where we are right now. I hope it all works out. I hope we can do this, and that we are doing it well, and right.

Monday, February 22, 2010


....was baptized here, 25 years ago. She has since called them for an updated copy of her baptismal certificate to give to the religious powers in Manila for her wedding there next year. It will be coming in the mail very soon, yay!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Checklist

Taken from Ariel of

Finally, a checklist for offbeat brides! Obviously, no checklist can work for everyone, but this one is hopefully a bit more slanted toward offbeat concerns. That said, it assumes you're got about a seven month engagement — some of you are waaay longer, and some of you manage to do it all in three months. Your mileage may vary. So, now it's time to print this out and start checking the boxes!

First things first:
  • Sit down with your partner and figure out general vision for wedding. Indoors? Outdoors? Silly? Formal?
  • Decide on a budget and figure who might be helping. Choose wisely, grasshopper, and remember that if family pays, family may want to control.
  • If you're going for a potluck-style wedding, start talking to friends and family about who might want to help with different parts of the wedding.
  • Pick wedding date and time, and finalize after okaying with important guests, location, or officiant.
  • If you're hiring vendors, start doing your homework on what services you'll need, and who can provide it.
  • Buy a copy of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides :)
As soon as you know what you're doing:
  • Scout out venues and book one as soon as you can.
  • Make preliminary guest list and decide on your wedding's approximate size. Get lists from both sets of parents, too.
  • Start talking to caterers, if you're using one.
  • Start a notebook/file folder to house all your wedding-planning paperwork in one place.
  • If you're doing a wedding party, choose your peeps.
  • If you're doing a caterer, pick one and determine price per head and menu.
  • Start looking at dresses.
  • Start investigating any ethnic customs or cultural traditions you might want to incorporate into your ceremony or reception.
  • Decide on and meet with your officiant to discuss ceremony structure.
  • If you plan to use frequent flyer miles to travel to your honeymoon destination, book your flight now.
Six months before wedding (or something similar)
  • Finalize the guest list.
  • Find an officiant who suits your style and spirit.
  • Consider music at your reception. Even if you're not doing dancing, some background tunes are nice.
  • Narrow down your gown choices and make a final decision.
  • If you're doing a gift registry, start registering for gifts.
  • Think about how you might want to wear your hair.
  • Figure out who's making your cake, cupcakes, wedding pie, etc.
  • Lock down photography — even if it's a friend, get a solid commitment.
  • Figure out if you're doing bridesmaid dresses (color, style, etc).
  • Figure out flowers. If you're hiring someone, send a deposit to reserve their services.
  • Make sure everyone helping with the wedding knows what you're expecting of them.
  • Send Save the Dates (aka STD's) to guests via postcard or email or even just calling.
Several months before wedding
  • Confirm your cake (or non-cake, cupcake, etc) plans.
  • If you're doing a wedding party, figure out what everyone's wearing.
  • Lock down your wedding dress and your partner's attire
  • Book ceremony musicians and send deposit.
  • Work on invitation wording and design.
  • Finalize menu and service details with caterer.
  • Launch your wedsite, if you're doing one.
A couple months before your wedding
  • If you're doing flowers with a florist, lock it down with them.
  • If you're renting stuff (tables, chairs, tents, farm animals) confirm it with the vendors.
  • Book rehearsal-dinner site, if you're doing one.
  • Figure out where you're sleeping on your wedding night, and make reservations if necessary.
  • Compile packages for out-of-town guests with hotel reservation and city information, and send 'em out via snail mail or email.
  • Book your honeymoon flights (if not using frequent flyer miles) and make all your other travel reservations.
  • If you haven't registered yet, be sure to do so before any upcoming prewedding parties.
  • Consider specific ceremony and reception decoration needs like a huppah, aisle runner, etc.
  • Purchase or make your invitations.
  • Start addressing invitations — aim to send them out at the two-month mark.
  • Talk to people you’d want to do special performances or readings as part of the ceremony.
  • Get anything you need for an international honeymoon (passport, birth certificate, visas, vaccinations, etc.).
  • Send out invitations.
Two months before your wedding:
  • Work on vows, particularly if you're writing your own.
  • Research local marriage license requirements.
  • Make sure the wedding party has purchased their outfits and accessories.
  • Arrange wedding-day transportation for you, your wedding party, and guests (as needed).
  • Snag wedding bands.
  • If you're doing favors, buy them now or else get crafting!
Six weeks out
  • As you receive presents, be sure to update and/or add items to your registry list and record the gifts you get.
  • Confirm reservations for out-of-town guests.
  • Arrange parking for the reception.
  • Order liquor, wine and/or champagne if they're not included in the catering contract.
  • Make sure you've got all your accessories like veil and shoes.
  • Begin writing the ceremony program if you are having one.
  • Tell your partner you love them at least once a day as things get increasingly crazy.
  • Do you want a guest book? 'Coz now's the time to get one.
  • Set aside some time to write thank-you notes for gifts received at the bridal shower.
  • Finalize vows.
  • Make sure your wedding outfits fit both of you.
One month out:
  • Do trial runs of various vanity routines (hair, make-up, henna, tattoos, whatever); schedule wedding-day appointments.
  • Finish and print ceremony programs, if you're doing 'em.
  • Get marriage license and make appointments for blood tests (if necessary). Check when the license expires.
  • If you're doing an iPod reception, work on your playlist. If not, work on a list of "must-play" (and "must-not play") songs for your DJ or band. Back up your music and the rest of your hard drive while you're at it.
  • Discuss music with ceremony musicians and agree on final choices.
  • Confirm wedding-night and honeymoon reservations.
  • Have a follow-up meeting or phone call with the officiant to go over ceremony timing and details.
  • Do paperwork for official documents if you and/or your partner are changing your name(s).
  • Work out wedding day timing and details (who will get the bride there, where the wedding party will dress, etc) and draw up a schedule.
  • Get final prewedding haircut, if necessary.
  • Call or email wedding party to relay critical info related to rehearsal and wedding (dates, times, directions, duties).
  • Get a head start on thank-you notes if you can.
  • Finalize any special preferences, readings, or other ceremony details with your officiant. Put it in writing if you can.
Two weeks out:
  • Harass guests who haven't RSVP'd for the wedding and rehearsal dinner.
  • Give final head count to the caterer. Confirm set-up instructions and menu items.
  • Call location manager and make sure your vendors all have access to the site when they need it.
  • Confirm head count, delivery time, and location with the cakemaker.
  • Make extra sure that everyone who's helping you with the wedding gets a special, pointed thank you.
  • Determine any wedding day assignments for members of the wedding party, and make lists/info sheets as needed.
  • If you're doing a seating chart, figure it out now.
  • Confirm all final payment amounts with your vendors.
  • Confirm location, date, and time with photographer; create your "must-take" photo list.
  • Touch base with your officiant and give him/her rehearsal details and wedding day schedule.
  • Confirm delivery locations, times, and final arrangement count with florist.
  • Make sure your partner has their wedding attire all ready to go and fitted.
  • Fax transportation providers a schedule and addresses for pickups on wedding day.
  • Prepare your toasts or thanks to friends and family.
  • Distribute wedding-day directions, schedule, and contact list to all parents, attendants, and vendors.
  • Designate who will meet, greet, and handle each vendor on the wedding day.
  • Procure sedatives for night before wedding. Give them a trial run.
The week before:
  • Put together an overnight bag for your wedding night (toothbrush, lube, condoms, meds, etc.) and designate someone to deliver it to the hotel for you.
  • If you're the froofy type, get a manicure and pedicure and confirm big-day beauty appointments.
  • Designate someone to collect the wedding gifts (and any cash) brought to the party.
  • Confirm date, location, time, and playlist with band/DJ and/or ceremony or cocktail hour musicians.
  • Leave a copy of your honeymoon itinerary with someone in case of emergency.
  • Put final payments and cash tips in marked envelopes and give to a designated family or friend to distribute on the wedding day.
  • Prepare a wedding day freakout kit (Tylenol, Claritin, makeup, safety pins, gum, Lara bar, etc.).
The day before
  • Rehearse the ceremony with officiant and wedding party.
  • Confirm all specific honeymoon travel plans (including transportation to airport, etc.).
  • Assemble both your and your partner's entire outfits.
  • Set your alarm and arrange for backup.
  • Make sure your vows are memorized/practiced/noted down
  • Take a sedative and/or any personal calming ritual. It will help you sleep.
Wedding day
  • Set aside special time during the day to step aside and breathe for a few seconds.
  • Confirm with people who you expect to give/lead toasts at the reception.
  • Take a moment to thank your parents and tell them you love them.
  • Relax, smile, and enjoy the day!
After the wedding
  • Mail special letters and/or gifts to your parents and other special helpers to thank them for their help and support.
  • Make sure all vendor bills have been paid in full.
  • Find out when you can expect wedding photos and/or video.
  • Within two months of your wedding, send all thank-you notes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Buy buy buy

I got my bag, my shoes, and my rehearsal dinner dress, and am hoping to borrow Jess' maternal grandmother's Panamanian "mosqueta" pearls, so YAY! We also tasted cake at Whole Foods and are hoping to have them as our cake people--it actually is a bit cheaper with them than at a cake shop, who woulda thought :) I'm also hoping to get other reception-related things like photo mats and guest books and cake topper and invites, as well as a burro pinata and pecan favors, the latter two probably by next year...and maybe a fun "mad" surprise ;) All the pashmina shawls and ties for the entourage are ready; we just need them to get here, but yeah :) Man, we are almost ready! Thank you, God :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Creativity or Overboard?

While I am already scrambling to get stuff into place (like royal blue neckties and shawls, a wedding pinata, wedding favors, dress measurements, my veil, a potential cake topper and wedding headpiece, cake, floral and make-up people, firming up a photographer and the venue, not to mention house-hunting for September and still looking for size 9.5/10 royal blue shoes--anyone?) I was thinking of guest book ideas, or shower ideas, and music. Speaking of wedding traditions, if I have royal blue shoes and a shawl, that'd take care of something blue, right? :)

As much as I am not the biggest fan of the knot, I saw an idea of theirs that I liked: making a Mad Libs for the wedding, or wedding shower (I am thinking a joint one would be better--price-wise and trying to coordinate things)

I was also thinking of getting a big honkin' journal and having guests write down
1) what they think love and marriage are
2) what their advice would be to us (the potential newlyweds)

For the guest book, what about a wide photo mat for guests to write well-wishes/names, etc on it? It would be an alternative to the usual guest book and a memento, as well. For more ideas, try this site.

Music, ah, music. Maybe a DJ? 'Coz I'm already thinking of the following songs:

-Your Arms Around Me by Jens Lekman
-You Remind Me of Home by Benjamin Gibbard
-One Sweet Love by Sara Bareilles
-Ave Maria by Beyonce
-Stick With Me by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
-I Gotta Feeling by BEP
-Say Hey I Love You by Michael Franti
-You and Me by DMB
-Jai Ho by AR Rahman
-Are You Gonna Be My Girl by JET
-All I Want is You by Barry Louis Polisar
-When U Love Somebody by Fruit Bats
-The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
-Love of My Life by Santana
-Love Shack by B-52's
-Let's Stick Together by Al Green
-I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
-Wedding Song by Tracy Chapman
-At Last by Etta James
-Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
-The Prettiest Thing by Norah Jones
-She Is So Beautiful by The Waterboys
-Stand By Me by Ben E. King
-Heartbeats by The Knife
-When She Believes by Ben Harper
-Must Have Done Something Right by Relient K
-Head Over Heels by The Go-Go's
-I Don't Feel Like Dancin' by the Scissor Sisters
-All You Need is Love by The Beatles
-Kiss by Prince
-You Are My Sunshine by Norman Blake
-La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong
-The Very Thought of You by Nat King Cole
-I've Got You Under My Skin
-Karma Yoga by The Yoga Specialists

Ok, I had no idea I already had a lot I liked! Alrighty then.

For a gift registry, between the two of us, Jess and I have most of the stuff we need (who cares if it doesn't all match-- kitsch is the new cool!), but I read in a book of creating a bank account? What about PayPal? Or what about an Amazon registry?

I probably should ease up, but I *really* like my ducks lined up in a row, so we'll see. A lot of things to think about. Jess says we've gotten a lot of stuff done already, but eh. That's what I say. I say carry on.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More plans

While I am planning my wedding dress, and the rings are in progress, I got my veil from Etsy, and I'm thinking of getting this headband, in ivory or gold.

Maybe attach the veil to that???? Hmmmm. And what about (royal blue) shoes??? Thinking of getting a royal blue shawl too to my dress here, and maybe a bridesmaid gift too (or something else for the gift)? :) Looking at royal blue neckties for the groomsmen on eBay, and maybe wedding favors from Berdoll's or even better, someone still local but cheaper. Nuts are supposedly the traditional wedding favor, especially sugared almonds, as almonds are bitter and sugar is sweet, representing weddings' bittersweet quality. Pecans are more southern and Texan, so maybe sweetened pecans, instead. Speaking of wedding traditions, I found a website that has Filipino customs, though I think some of it's a bit much. Jess and I are also thinking of having a wedding reception pinata in Austin, maybe a donkey in our wedding colors of royal blue and ivory. In Texas, surely we can find someone who'll do it! ;)

We also looked at a wedding place and it might be The Winfield Inn south of Austin in Kyle, TX. They do catering on-site and I think at an added cost, can do the cake too. Otherwise maybe Michelle's Patisserie?
I would like a dark chocolate zucchini cake for a groom's cake, and a hummingbird/carrot cake for the bridal/wedding cake. Or key lime pie for the groom's cake as Jess likes key lime pie, and flan. Come to think of it, those cakes would be good for Manila, too....

(Austin) photographer will hopefully be the McKinneys of Red Letter Photos. For hair and make-up, I do not know who to go to yet.

For flowers, we're thinking Petals, Ink. per Julia (Jess' sister)'s suggestion, and as with our ethic, we'd prefer it be local and seasonal, and a local vendor.

We're still trying to figure out the logistics of music, and the rules of a second wedding. For reception music, it definitely has to be music we can dance and relate to. In Manila, Nikki is suggesting the choir of the church I grew up in, but I think Mom's wanting Lolo Billy's students/orchestra. Then for the wedding, maybe legal stuff will be in Texas and religious will be in the Philippines? Er. I don't know.

Ok, this is most of things from our end right now. Jess is telling me to relax, but I really feel I should be on the ball here. Thus the search continues...