Thursday, July 31, 2014

Vendors Vendors Vendors! (Part One: Venue)

Wedding planning has been some of the most stressful fun I've ever had as the OCD organized crafter that I am. 

One of the most important/stressful/fun parts of wedding planning is carefully curating your vendors. 

At times it's very hard for me to make decisions while others I know exactly what I want and there is no swaying me. I've experienced both of these while wedding planning. 

It all began with the venue hunt. Like most unmarried women, I had a "Wedding Venue" pinterest board before I was even engaged. As time went on I'd cross some of the venues off my list because someone I knew got married there. Now, that's not to say I wanted to get married where no one else has ever gotten married before but, I definitely wanted some place special and unique. (And I didn't want my guests to be comparing my wedding to the last one they attended at the very same venue.)

After ruling out a few local venues I made the decision to move this party to the desert! For as long as I can remember my family has had property of some kind in the desert, most recently a family vacation home on a man-made lake in Indio. Some of my very favorite memories are out there including spending time at the country music festival Stagecoach with Sam. So, Palm Springs it was!

So the search had been narrowed down but the amount of amazing potential Palm Springs wedding venues is endless! We started by looking at some hotels both big luxury hotels and small boutique hotels. We also were open to the idea of a private estate. I made the "mistake" of touring The Parker way too early on and, like anyone would, I fell in love. It was beautiful and it's price reflected that. I was graciously given a very modest budget and at $245/person it just wasn't doable. I had a bit of a bridezilla moment of "If I can't have it, I don't want anything" and I even talked to Sam about eloping. Go ahead, laugh at me. But then something great happened. While on a visit to the desert to continue the venue hunt, we went back to The Parker to see if we still loved it as much as we originally did. It was during that visit that I realized how cookie cutter all the weddings there were and how hotel guests (in bathing suits no less) can involuntarily be part of your special day. And then the kicker... while walking the grounds I spotted a bride and groom about to have their first look. At first my heart melted realizing how special that moment was. Then I took a step back and realized oh my gosh, I'm a complete stranger and because their wedding is happening at this hotel, I just witnessed one of the most special moments they will ever share. I realized in that moment that's not what I wanted at all. So the hunt continued. 

I really began scouring the internet for private estates (I didn't want a stranger-first-look incident). Because Palm Springs was a hot spot for young Hollywood back in the day there are endless gorgeous estates, it just became a matter of finding the right one. And then.... I did. 

The Sand Acre Estate. It still had the amazing "secret garden" feel that The Parker had but with the privacy and elegance of a private estate. When we walked in we were still greeted with the "wow factor" that we were at The Parker. We had found the location for the O'Quinn Wedding!

Stay tuned for more on my vendor selection process and wedding plans!

Monday, July 28, 2014

110 Days!!

It has been TWO MONTHS since my last post! Today marks 110 days until the wedding and, as if I didn't feel like it was crunch time already, I REALLY do now!

Speaking of "crunch time", I'm proud to say that it has officially been a month since I joined a gym and have consistently been going FIVE days a week! This is shocking for me considering I'd say the last time I really worked out was Varsity Cheer in 2002. That being said, ALL my free time has now been taken up with either wedding DIY's or the gym. 

Here is a little of what I've been up to:
I used my Cricut Explore to make this tumbler for myself, somewhat crass but, so am I ;)
 I did a marquee light DIY. Still haven't decided if I'm going to use them or not at the wedding but it's definitely cool knowing that I can make them!
 Put together a last minute plan to go to a bridal expo and magically ALL of my bridesmaids were able to come! It was so great spending the day with all of them. 
I made a cute "Cheers" banner (with my Cricut Explore of course) for my home bar. I'm thinking it might make an appearance at the wedding as well. 
And HERE is where the majority of my free time has been. Spray painting and/or Mod Podge-ing every piece of glass that has been collected by myself, my maid of honor Danica, and my roommate. 
And, without giving TOO Much away, I made this ADORABLE mini canvas for a little project I've been working on for the wedding. It has all ready been coming together and, now that a lot of the bigger stuff is nailed down, I'm having SO much fun with all of the DIY stuff. My head is so full of ideas, we'll see how many of them actually come to fruition. 
And lastly, this isn't something that I created but rather my maid of honor for my Bachelorette Party! (Well, I actually DID help with the little corsets, of course cut out with my Cricut Explore).  Aren't they SO cute! She designed them herself! The back is even cuter but has a little bit too much information to be sharing on the internet. Haha. 

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