Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wedding gives new meaning to 'Facebook invite'

The power of social networking giant Facebook seems to know no limits. Greg and I are pretty active on the site, and it gives us the chance to catch up with tons of people from people and places past.

And changing one's relationship status on Facebook is a biggie, as this article in Time summarizes nicely. I made sure that Greg and I contacted our families and closest friends before going public on Facebook, so we'd avoid the awkward "Oh, well, *I* had to find out from the Internet..." situation. Once the news was posted, there was an outpour of congratulations, and that filled me with warm fuzzies. :)

Yes, I was crazy enough to do a screen-grab of this before I confirmed. :)

Aww, yay!

Here's the biggie: I just came across an instance of Facebooking in the wedding world that I've never seen before: stationery! Found via Bridetide on Twitter, a man posted his Facebook-style save-the-date on his wedding blog, Temple of Groom. He acknowledges that he didn't take anything from the site, designing it in Adobe Illustrator. Reading his post, it's ingenious the way he integrated the parents' names, location and, of course, the changing of the relationship status!

From our recent attempt at being innovative with pop culture, it's easy to say we probably won't be doing something this offbeat, but I must give props to those who can.

Do you like this groom-to-be's design or is it too wild for your taste? What do you think of the role the Internet plays in sharing personal news? Share your opinions in the comments!

Mambo! This is how Sharon makes me feel after our morning goodbye

Ha ha! Now, this ain't like the bullshit they teach you in school... you know, stuff you ain't never going to need. This is something really important. I'm going to teach mambo!

A scene from one of my favorite movies all time, "My Family." I especially like how the little kid gets pulled away from the group by his mother, only to join in the fun from his window. Once you mambo, you just can't stop!

Monday, February 8, 2010

A very preliminary vision for The Big Day

Though Greg and I don't have anything set in stone yet, I've been toying with many ideas for the basics. I thought I'd be one of those "I've had everything planned since I was little" gals, but after seeing one of my favorite movies, I realize my tastes have definitely changed. While Greg posted early on about a couple of things, here's what we're really planning on.

We're shooting for the late spring/early summer of 2011. Greg should be done with his master's in December of this year, and we want to leave open the possibility of him continuing on for his Ph.D. Though California weather is ideal for late summer/fall weddings, starting his next round of school in fall 2011 is the most realistic schedule, so there you go. And the weather is an important aspect because...

... One thing that hasn't faltered since my childhood vision is that I'd get married outside. Greg and I are not tied down to the idea of a church wedding, and we love the open, organic feel of being outside. Though San Diego beaches make for beautiful events, we've decided on my hometown of San Francisco, mainly for logistical purposes (my family about doubles Greg's). The requirements are that it must have outdoor (ceremony) and indoor (reception) space, be somehow meaningful to me and Greg, show something cool about San Francisco and, most of all, not break the bank. I'll be posting shortly on options we're looking at, and feel free to comment or contact me with any places you think would fit the bill!


Red is symbolic of joy in Chinese culture, and it helps that it's our favorite color. The only wedding I've been in (flower girl, hehe) had red as a primary color, and my first taste of "grown-up" dress shopping (for junior prom) ended in picking a red gown from David's Bridal. For a neutral, I'm thinking a nice gray instead of black to give things more of a light-hearted feel.

Claret and Pebble Beach from the Pantone Wedding line. (source)


I am the kind of person who'd rather have a smaller amount of super-close friends than lots of semi-close ones. I should be able to have personal conversations with everyone who attends the wedding and know deep down that the celebration wouldn't have been the same without them. Though I understand how others like having big weddings with lots of generations of family members, business contacts and the like, we just want everything to be super personal, where people can be relaxed around each other and be ready to mingle and party! (Yes, the fun factor is also a big deal. Entertainment ideas are in the works...)

What do you think of our very early outline? Any suggestions to share?

Google's Super Bowl love story: From the girl's perspective

UPDATE 2/10: Okay. so some people are slightly better at this than we are.

Much has been said about Google's Super Bowl ad that follows a guy's searches as he falls in love with a girl in Paris.

A good sequel could consist of searches from the girl's perspective:

traduire i lost my phone number, can I have yours?

how to let a guy down easy

report a stalker

oh crap I'm having a baby

(Only kidding, Google! I use your Gmail, Maps, search, Reader, Blogger, and Calendar nearly every day.)

Sez Sharon: "It was the only commercial I actually liked ... though I did buy a bag of Doritos."

Saturday, February 6, 2010

An illustrated start of 2010

This past month or so has held so many great events and memories for us, so I set up this slideshow to give you a slice of our life.

We went to Mexico around New Year's, followed by heading to Phoenix for the proposal (!), flew to San Diego at the end of January for my friends' wedding and now are facing snow of epic proportions here in D.C.

Hope you enjoy! If you want to pause, there's a button in the lower left-hand corner.

Friday, February 5, 2010

JK wedding dance video; Greg is late to the party once again

Okay, so, I consider myself a pretty technologically savvy person. But I am about 8 years behind the blogging trend, 2 years behind the Twitter trend, and 6 months behind the JK Wedding Entrance Dance viral video featuring Chris Brown's "Forever" trend.

While I don't have any aspirations for making something that will generate 41 million hits on YouTube, I love how they've made the ceremony their own. A wedding is about uniting the bride and groom, but it's also slightly more than that. It's a show: our show, done our way. Modern couples shouldn't be afraid to break away from tradition and do something slightly zany.

Interestingly, the couple's Web site now accepts donations for domestic violence, after the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winter wonderland

I was born and raised in California, then I moved to Arizona. While both states have great snowy destinations, I'll take sunny skies any day. Having moved to D.C. just more than a year ago, I became fascinated by snow (read: I act like a squealing 5-year-old) and that feeling hasn't faded.

The D.C. metro area is bracing for a big blizzard tomorrow similar to one that we had right before Christmas, which was nicknamed the Snowpocalypse. (You can name tomorrow's, too.) All the typical newspaper stories have been written about crowded grocery stores, fighting for jugs of water and the like, especially with it endangering Super Bowl (and Puppy Bowl!) Sunday. I don't know if I'm just naive, but I don't see why someone like me needs to fuss: Greg and I don't have a car, our employers follow the government's lead with regards to postponing work and there's always tons of food in our house. And we're content to stay in and blog all weekend, haha. :)

If anything, it's an opportunity for a big kid like me to go enjoy myself in the beauty of nature. Yes, I still play in the snow.

Scenes from the December blizzard. Matt and I were unsuccessful
in building a snowman. (Photos via Greg's iPhone)

And since I am wedding-crazy, I've come across many winter weddings during my blog travels. Though I know I'd never get married anywhere that cold — boy, are they pretty.

From a Colorado photographer, mmm. (source)

Taken in the streets of D.C.! (source)

Imagine shots like that with all the beautiful monuments in the back. I definitely want to do an engagement photo shoot so we have material for save-the-dates, other paper goods and decor at the wedding, but part of me wonders if such seasonal photos would get old quick. We probably won't do this, but then again, there are six more weeks of winter.

A little cross-promotion never hurt anyone

I've been writing some wedding-related posts on my other blog. I explored the question of the best time of the year to get married, as well as the cost structure of all-inclusive wedding packages.

And now, I promise to shut up about it (at least on this blog)!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Growing out of 'Father of the Bride'

I've always been obsessed with wedding movies, and once I got engaged, I moved the 1991 version of "Father of the Bride" (starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton) to the top of my Netflix queue though I've seen it plenty. It's one of the first DVDs my family bought, and I'd watch it practically every time I was home from college in Chico or work in Arizona.

I persuaded Greg to watch it with me last night, and as I heard his questions about only brides' families paying, Annie Banks' dress with sleeves down to her wrists, the seemingly short five-month engagement and crazy Franck the wedding coordinator (played by Martin Short, and my fave character), I realized I'd grown out of the magic that the movie once sparked.

I got slightly irritated when Annie and her mother wouldn't even think of considering George's idea of holding the reception at a restaurant (though I wouldn't be thrilled with the Steak Pit, either, personally). The formal church wedding decorated with lush florals and candelabras stirred up only thoughts of how much the florist bill would be (lots) and if it was sustainable to cut all that greenery for only minutes of display (not in my mind). Greg even paused the movie to ask me if $1,200 was really what a wedding cake costs and I said, "Yeah, it happens, but probably not with us."

I got a little sadder as I repeated this to other questions. This movie used to be my wedding bible, a little girl's fantasy of a time when we didn't know what $250 a head meant. The power of this film permeated my subconscious: I realize now that my dream home in a San Francisco neighborhood close to where my parents live now is almost a twin of the home in Pasadena where the movie was filmed.

The home in the movie (source) and my dream mansion (screenshot from Google Maps)

While I'm not disappointed in leaving the traditional, formal, dated wedding vision behind, it's really hitting me that our wedding is going to be a big deal — a very personalized expression of our love for each other and our families — something that'll stick with us forever. This is a great revelation to have so early in the planning process so as to not lose perspective.

As with planning a wedding (and a marriage), you can't lose sight of what's important. Sure, this movie was full of sparkles, spending and swans, but what I'll really treasure it as is something that brought my family together, repeating our favorite George and Franck lines and constantly rewinding the supermarket hot dog scene. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Review: Anti-Bride Etiquette Guide

This past weekend, Greg and I flew to San Diego for the oh-so-awesome wedding of my Phoenix buddies Chelsea and Joey. I was lucky enough to snag sale nonstop flights (thanks Southwest!), giving me plenty of time to dive into the world of wedding-planning book.

First off, let me say that for this and future reviews on this site (not that it attracts much attention anyway), I have/will not receive compensation, nor have the materials been provided from the company of the product I review. The Federal Trade Commission updated its guidelines for endorsements in October, stirring up much attention in the blogging world, especially around the wedding sphere, in which giveaways and contests are a main draw. The call for transparency and disclosure is one I support. Anyways, to the fun stuff...

When describing how I live life, family and friends usually use "different," "her own way" or "well, that's just Sharon for ya." So when I saw "Anti-Bride" in the title, I was sold. Well, not literally. I borrowed it from the  D.C. public library. (Go libraries!)

The subtitle, The Rules and How to Bend Them, rang true. I knew most of the traditions, but what mattered to me most was just how far I could go without totally offending people. Chapters were split into parts of the wedding (engagement, guest list, ceremony, etc.) and within those, there were very helpful comparison charts and histories of most of the traditions.

The most essential aspect of this handbook is the Q&A sections, which address many modern-day situations (divorced parents, money woes) in actual rational paragraphs, not just "Hate your engagement ring? Yeah, just suck it up, sweetie."

Its conversational writing style makes for a very fun read and the page layouts are varied — so you don't get bored — and mindful to the reader — so the info's actually useful.

My only con is that the few pages on interacting with vendors (mostly on tipping) wasn't expansive enough. I get that interacting with family and friends should be a priority, but that's not to say you shouldn't be courteous to vendors. Sure, they're the ones getting the money, but you're the one ending up with the experience.

Even if you don't necessarily think of yourself as an Anti-Bride, grab this book if you're planning a wedding. If anything, it'll show you that there are other options you might not have considered but could save you time/money/your sanity.