Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wedding Day Role Reversal

October 1, 2011
4am: Woke-up freaked out and thought, where am I? Then, I remembered I was in my hotel suite the day of our wedding. Then, all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I never told our photographer, Jean-Marcus Strole, to be at my house at 8am. I decided to text Janel Ellefsen, our wedding planner, about it so she could figure it out and slept off and on.
6:00am: Took a shower and Salon Maison (hair and makeup) got to my suite to begin the transformation process of 9 women. 
7:00am: Chantelle, BM, arrived to make everyone happy with amazing breakfast of champions and my perfect and super special Starbucks order: N, WC, F, Stirred, WM, @140.

Post hair and pre makeup

Work in progress
Adding the finishing touches

At the direction of my mom and Heidi's expertise (Salon Maison's owner), I was extremely happy with the way I looked for the most important day of my life. It looked just perfect!
10:00am: All hair and makeup was done and we just had to stay put and wait... I am not great at that game. I was extremely anxious and nervous for what the day would bring.
10:30am: Lights, camera, action...

Mother and daughter

Bride with Chantelle (BM) and Vanessa  (MOH)

11:00am: Once I saw my groom, all my anxieties were gone, and the first look at the bottom of the escalator at The Westin Bellevue was magical. Although all our family and wedding party were present for that indescribable moment, it was as if it was only Mike and I there, and no one else.
After an extensive session of family photos, it was time to head to Holy Family Catholic Church for our wedding ceremony.
Sometime between 12 and 1pm: My dad and I had to get into our 1962 white Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II. It was a production to get me into the car with my dress. It was not the most comfortable task, but it was worth the struggle.

2:00pm: The ceremony began and walking down the aisle with my dad was surreal and gone in a blink of an eye. While walking down the aisle with my dad, I remember seeing familiar faces, but excited to be able to see my groom at the altar. Once I was able to see him, he was the only person I could lay eyes on.
The ceremony itself was wonderful and unforgettable. Father Nagel, Lauren (our jr. bm and cantor), LJ (first lector), Chantelle (second lector), Kelly (third lector), and the presence of the rest of our wedding party, family, and friends, made out ceremony better than what we could have ever asked for.

Around 3pm: Mike and I got into our Rolls-Royce to head to Sahalee Country Club. While Mike and I and the wedding party were having picture taken, our guests enjoyed cocktail hour. For cocktail hour, there was wine, beer, and Caipirinhas. Caipirinha was our signature drink, our favorite cocktail, which our guests enjoyed to the fullest and some were victims of their ninja effects (silent, but deadly).
Sometime around 5pm: It was interesting to see how roles had switched. After having planned our wedding for more than a year, I magically, did not care about the little details anymore. the only thing that mattered to me was that it was our wedding day and regardless of whether all the little details would be perfect or not, it was the happiest day of my life because I wad marrying my best friend. At that moment, no program, no cake, no centerpiece would take away from the perfection and the meaning of our wedding.
Surprisingly, Mike would be the one concerned about the little details and addressing them with our wedding planner.
Mike and I made our grand entrance to the reception. I had never been the focus of so many people and felt privileged to see that so many people who care about us where there to share with us, the most important day of our lives supporting "us".
When we sat down at our sweetheart table, we thought the decoration arranged by Janel was perfect! Merchant Designs, AA Party Rentals, Anna's Flowers, and BBJ Linen did an excellent job and it would not have looked as perfect without Janel.

As any other traditional wedding, we had a first dance (By your side - Sade), father and daughter dance (Daddy's Little Angel), son and mother dance (Para tu amor - Juanes), cake cutting (The Way You Are - Bruno Mars), bouquet (Put a Ring on It - Beyonce) and garter toss (Bottoms - Pussycat Dolls). Our DJ, Braden Landon was AMAZING! Without knowing the Latin music genre, he mastered it. Our Spanish-speaking guests complimented his natural talent. We had so much fun partying it up.

Our wonderful and tasty cake by Creme de la Creme had 2 flavors: Red Velvet cake (Bride's favorite) and Dark and White Chocolate Raspberry gateau - The Bottom And Top Layers Are White Cake, Filled With Belgian Dark Chocolate Mousse. Middle Layer Of Chocolate Cake And Belgian White Chocolate Mousse Sprinkled With Raspberries. The cake was so good that some of our guests HAD to try both flavors or have seconds. Mike and I were thrilled that all our guests enjoyed the cake.
11:00pm: Our last dance (At Last - Beyonce) had unfortunately come very fast.
11:30pm: We were saying goodbye to all our family and friends, who came from Chile, Peru, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Canada, California, and Oregon, for our wedding.
12:00am: We arrived to our hotel suite

In perspective: There are little details that come to the wedding day, are not perfect. There will be something that goes wrong or not as planned. However, in my experience, those little mistakes that only people who are involved in the wedding planning notice, do not matter. The only thing that matters or the only thing the bride and groom focus on, on the day of your wedding, is the overwhelming feeling of love for each other and joy.

Special thanks for all our family and friends who sincerely support us on our step of our evolution as individuals and as a couple.
Thank you to all our vendors and Janel for putting up with me :)

***Thanks to our wedding party, specially to Vanessa, Chantelle, and Ann for being there ;). Thanks for sharing my joy and frustrations with me. I love you girls very much!


New Mrs.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The goal

"She would  be prettier if she were thinner" is the phrase I have been hearing throughout my life, specially when I lived in Peru.
If your question is why I care so much to post about this is because the adversiting industry has shaped how our society feels and reacts toward body image and what society perceives as beautiful or ideal. Having been exposed to the Latin American (Peruvian) and American culture, I can say that the Latin American culture holds appearance to a higher regard than the American culture.
Even if we do not agree with society's view about beauty, as social beings, all we look for is: To Be Liked, To Be Right, and To Be Like Others. Even if we want to break the cycle, how far would you be willing to go? Would you be willing to give up shaving, tanning, getting your hair done, getting a hair cut, buying fashionable clothes, or watching your weight/start eating whatever you want whenever you want?

Some of you might know how difficult it has been for me to lose weight throughout the years or know from experience how hard it is to shed the unwanted pounds. Some of you might have been witnesses to different versions of me, I have been everything from 117 - 165 lbs.
Since we got engaged, I was determined to lose weight. Like most brides, I want to look my best for myself and for our wedding photos. So, I began my weight loss regimen on Jan. 1st, 2011 with the goal to reach of at least 120 lbs., which has been my goal weight for at least 4 years.
I am proud to say that today, July 16th, 2011, I have reached my goal. It was not easy, specially having my coworkers bring doughnuts and fanning the box at my desk and not having any! But, I was able to do it with my fiance's support and for those who are wondering how I did it....Nutrisystem. Now, the new goal is to maintain the weight.

Thank you for all your love and support.



Friday, June 24, 2011

What's up with that

Recently, my friend Carmel introduced me to my newest vice, www.etsy.com. Her preferred method of persuasion was to tag me on pictures of custom made Swarovski encrusted Christian Loboutin shoes. In other words,  I was attacked from all angles, ambushed, and was finally shot in the forehead...just plain cruel. Anyhow, it was great she introduced me to Etsy because I have been able to find unique and amazing custom made accessories for the wedding. 
Amongst my new findings, I came across a not-so-famous wedding planning website, weddingwire.com. In my opinion, weddingwire.com is less focused on wedding vendor marketing, has better planning tools for brides that can be customized, and overall, it is a better tool than theknot.com. However, I have found that although there are many wedding planning websites, they have different focuses and specialties. 
With the help of our GREAT and patient wedding planner, Janel Ellefsen, we have been able to book our transportation and the band that will play during dinner. 
Today, I spoke with Amy from Windsongs, our ceremony string trio, to begin discussing ceremony music. Once I got home, I was on my mission to research songs for our reception, specially for the important moments such as, music for our entrance, father and daughter dance, garter toss, bouquet toss, cake cutting... you get the point. 
Although the wedding planning process has been stressful, there have been many moments that have made me smile like a little school girl. One of these moments was tonight, when I was picking the song for the garter toss...top secret *grin*.

Special thanks to Carmel who has been helping me with wedding ideas and given me suggestions.



P.S.: In case you where wondering about the title of this post, it is a song from Kenan Thompson's SNL sketch, which happens to be my fiance's favorite. 

Monday, June 13, 2011


Today, I received an e-mail from my lovely MOH about good dates to have the Bachelorette party and the Bridal shower. The subject line of her e-mail read: Getting close to the BIG DAY. I do not know what word would describe the reaction best... perhaps, hyperventilation. Time has gone extremely fast and we have less than 4 months before THE day. I mean, it feels like it was yesterday when we got engaged and began planning our wedding and we have 4 months to plan the perfect day. As I have mentioned before, it has been a fantastic, emotional, and positively life changing time in our lives.

So far, we have accomplished:
Reserving the venue
Found a Catholic church and priest willing to marry us!!!
Have a great planner
Have an awesome photographer
Have the DJ
Have the florist
Have the musicians
Have makeup artist for hair and makeup
Got the wedding dress
Ordered the veil and headpiece
Got THE shoes
Ordered all bridesmaid dresses
Ordered jr. bridesmaid dresses
Got the wedding bands
Purchased bridesmaid gifts
Invitations ordered and received
Mother of the bride dress ordered
Hotel block and bridal suites reserved
Pre-marital counseling
Food tasting
Engagement picture session done
Scheduled hair and make-up trial
Scheduled 1st wedding dress fitting
Lost 17 pounds
Chairs reserved
Music for cocktail hour
Signature drink selected
Honeymoon to Tahiti booked!!!!!!!

To do:
Cake tasting, choosing, and ordering
Get another dress for a mom
Choose the flower girl dress
Choose and order jr. bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts
Gather list of music for wedding and meeting with DJ
Schedule and have the decor mock-up
Meet and discuss music with ceremony musicians
Have the make-up and hair trial
Wedding dress fittings
Engrave and solder engagement ring and wedding insert
3 pounds to lose
Resume going to the gym and get toned
Choose and order wedding programs
Choose and order menus and frames
Choose and print escort cards
Choose and reserve linens
Get my passport
Get guestbook
Get outfit for rehearsal
Plan and hold rehearsal
Music for dinner
Go shopping for honeymoon....

I have to thank my dear friends, family, planner, and fiance.

Nonetheless, I am extremely excited about our wedding day, all the intricate detail planning and energy that has and will go into the planning of our most unforgettable day.  Most importantly, I am looking forward to the most special and important moment during our great day when I will marry my wonderful fiance.



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wedding Movies - The Poll

I have finally chosen the shoes I will be wearing on our big day and I am very excited about the choice. I truly appreciate your input, so thank you for your help.

Since you have been so helpful, I thought it would be fun to poll on what you think is the best wedding movie:
1. The Proposal
2. Wedding Crashers
3. Wedding Date
4. 27 Dresses
5. Made of Honor
6. Sweet Home Alabama
7. The Wedding Singer
8. My Best Friend's Wedding
9. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
10. Bride Wars

I am sure I have missed quite few movies. Please, feel free to pitch in!



Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Everyone who knows me knows how much I love shoes. Fortunately, one of the items on my to-do list for the wedding is to find THE shoes. I did not think finding shoes for my wedding would be challenging at all. However, so far, I have not been successful. What I am looking for in wedding shoes is height, comfort, and ideally to be able to wear them in the future.

Here are the shoes I have tried on and my opinion about them. I am excited to read what you guys think about these:

Badgley Mischka, Humbie II
Nice, but poor quality for the price

RSVP, Carol
Did not like the flowers
RSVP, Lovely
Nice, but hard and the quality not very high
Jimmy Choo, Crown
Great looking, but $$$. I will need to try them on once again to make sure I am not taller than groom

Enzo Angiolini, Sully
Extremely similar to the Badgley Mischka shoes, more affordable and much higher quality.
However, I am taller than the groom.

Jimmy Choo, Clue
To try on, but $$$

I am excited to read what you guys think about these shoes and any recommendations that you might have. 



Monday, May 30, 2011

To Hire or Not to Hire a Wedding Planner?

Wedding planning, time for decisions!
When I began planning our wedding, I had zero wedding planning experience and unlike many women, I have not been planning my wedding day since I was 5 years old. My (and my closest family and friends') lack of time and knowledge of planning a wedding, made us determine we needed to hire a wedding coordinator.
Our first task to find a wedding coordinator forced us into entering the world of the wedding industry. For us, it was difficult to narrow down our selection of wedding coordinators with the overwhelming number of people and companies who provide the same service. As an alien to the wedding planning world, how do you know you are hiring the right company and avoid the hassle of having to fire a vendor, like we had to do with our first weeding coordinator?

  • Click: See if your personality, style, and vision, clicks with the vendor's. Do not ignore your gut feeling.
  • Patience: Do not make rush decisions because you are desperate. Think decisions through.
  • Joint effort: When bride and groom meet with the vendor, you get different perspectives of the meeting.
In the process of hiring vendors, I have realized it is crucial to acknowledge and accept the type of person you are. If you are like me, a woman who likes being in control, you might enjoy planning your wedding better if you hire a coordinator for the Day Of instead.
I think that the key to a joyful wedding planning process is to Know Yourself.

Vendors (thus far) helping us make our wedding, a dream come true:
Wedding  Planner - Occasion, LLC. with Janel Ellefsen            
Photographer - Jean Marcus Strole                                   
Florist and Decor - Anna's Flowers        
DJ - Braden Landon                                 
Printed Goods - Silberman Brown                                       
Hair and Make-up - Salon Maison                                             
Bridal Gown and Jr. Bridesmaid's dresses - Princess Bride
Bridesmaid dresses - Moms, Maids, and More
Musicians - Windsong Trio


Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Until about a month ago, I had been worrying about all the items theknot.com and my wedding planner have been telling me to worry about, i.e. the venue, church, decor, photographer, wedding dress, bridal accessories, honeymoon, etc. To my surprise, I came to the realization that Walt Disney had taught me that one day, I would meet Prince Charming and get married wearing a white long dress. However, W.D. had not prepared me for all the thing that can happen between the "and they fell in love", "they got married", and "they lived happily ever after."
When planning a wedding, it is extremely easy to get caught up in little details, trying to make everyone happy, family drama, and to forget what really matters. During this time, I have found that checklists lack a very important element that is not found on any checklist, and that is, to Remember. It is crucial to remember to ask yourself, what is truly important? And most importantly, why one is planning the wedding.
Thus far, the wedding planning process has been a journey that has taught me life lessons.

What I have learned:
  • There is only one person responsible for a person's happiness, one's self.
  • Have faith
  • To give my fiance more credit. I never thought how many opinions and great ideas he had that have made it easier. The best part is that the final product would be a reflection of both, it will be Our Wedding.
  • There will be drama! There are two options: to be mad or to embrace the process. Use the bumps on the road to lean on each other and to learn about each other.
  • Choose your battles.
  • Remember what the moment is truly about, no matter what.
  • Turn the page onto a new chapter in life, a new chapter written by the bride and groom.


Special thanks to: My fiance, my future in-laws, my grandma, and Chantelle

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why A Bride Like You?

It has been 8 months since I began planning my wedding and still have 5 months to go. Since I began planning my dream wedding, I have found an overwhelming amount of information about "how a wedding should be planned" written by people working in the wedding industry. However, I was not able to find many blogs or sites created from and to brides-to-be. This inspired me to create this blog from a contemporary bride to other contemporary brides and everyone who wants to read it.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog!