Category Archives: People

Wedding Wednesdays – How to: Register for Wedding Gifts

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Let’s talk gifts. I LOVE gift giving and I especially love buying a wedding gift for a couple. I mean, how could you not? It’s legitimately the easiest gift you’ll ever buy, the couple chooses the exact gifts their hearts desire and all you have to do is click purchase and your gift is sent directly to their door! Wedding registries can be a very controversial topic for some and it’s a subject that people can get extremely judgey about so take a breath because as always, this is just simply one woman’s opinion and that woman, is me.

Eric and I went the old fashioned way and registered at three different stores, linking each registry through our website, but before I get into that we must talk about all of the hip new registries on the block. There are so many different ways to register these days, it’s really insane how many start ups have been created to tackle the “issue” of wedding registries. I’ll give one example because it’s the only alternative we ever looked into and that is, Blueprint Registry. Of course I’ve participated in purchasing gifts for friends through the Honeyfund and Zola sites as well. Blueprint Registry is a new way of looking at a wedding registry. It allows the couple to create a homepage and shop for a variety of items from a variety of stores all on one website. It also allows the couple to shop “room by room” in their integrated system, taking an overwhelming task of what one needs for their house and organizing it in a very systematic way. What drew me to Blueprint was the idea that it wouldn’t matter what store each item was from while also allowing guests to narrow their search by price. I decided to ultimately stick with tradition primarily due to the concern I had over return policies through Blueprint Registry. Things get complicated when the items are integrated into one system instead of using each store’s website and we ultimately decided to go with our gut and register at: Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, and Heath Ceramics.

I have to be honest, I love shopping and I love housewares and kitchen gadgets so registering for our wedding was basically my dream. My dream came crashing down pretty quickly after I realized stores no longer give you a barcode scanner to scan items in their store. First off, what’s with that? If you’ve watched enough rom-coms that involve weddings you know that you’re supposed to get a “gun” to scan items in a store when you get married and it looks fun and it looks easy! Well now we can all thank technology for allowing us to download a freaking registry app that allows one to roam the store freely, scanning barcodes like a crazy person. That might still sound fun to you, but let me tell you, if you’re registering at Crate & Barrel or Williams-Sonoma like we were, both of their apps are glitchy, slow, and not nearly as fun as what I can only imagine those scanning guns were in their hay day. I know, I know, first world problems, but bear with me.

A little backstory on Eric and my registry. We have been living together for three years in an adorable San Francisco, 500 square foot, apartment (or what Craigslist lovingly referred to as a “junior one bedroom”). Now, over these three years one would think we would have a well stocked apartment or kitchen, but not Eric and I, oh no. We have been waiting until we get married to actually buy things that don’t snap in half when you use them (like our Target knife, terrifying) and so our registry was a big deal. We needed everything under the sun you can think of, including the obvious, a KitchenAid Mixer (pistachio color obviously) and the not so obvious, a garlic press. One thing we did that I would highly recommend is to make a list of things as you notice them missing in your kitchen, things you wished you had or things that need replacing. Likely, the stores you register at will load you up with all sorts of helpful lists, tips, and tricks on how to best utilize their wedding registry. Not only that, but when you check-in at the stores in person, they’ll probably give you an adorable wedding gift. At Crate & Barrel for example, we got two free stemless wine glasses! The other thing is to consult the internet. I found great, comprehensive lists of recommended items that I brought with me to each store for registering in order to make the task less daunting. No matter how much preparation you have going into building and creating a wedding registry though, it’s going to overwhelm you at some point and don’t you worry, that’s normal. Trust me, you have no idea how big of an industry dish drying racks are until you begin your wedding registry.

The last thing I want to say about registering is to focus on creating a registry that speaks to you as a couple and your life together moving forward in your marriage. I think the main reason alternative registries are growing is due to the lack of personalization one can have in purchasing a wedding gift through a traditional wedding registry. For me, I get excited about buying someone new sheets or glassware, but that’s not for everyone. Some people want to participate in your honeymoon by buying you an adventure on your Croatian getaway or getting you a restaurant gift card to contribute to future date nights. Not everyone even has a wedding registry at all these days and that’s okay too. Just note, older family and friends may find it challenging to not have any ideas to go off of and many people frown upon asking for money to pay off your student loans after the wedding (trust me, we considered this). Eric and I chose Heath Ceramics as our sort of outlier store. Heath Ceramics is a gorgeous and incredible local ceramics shop started in Sausalito by Edith Heath where we registered for all of our dishes and serving platters/bowls. To us, shopping local is important and we fell in love with Heath Ceramics after moving to San Francisco. Their attention to detail and handmade craft makes their dishes special and unique and something we hope to keep forever. What’s the real adventure about registering for wedding gifts? Choosing to wait to open them all until after the wedding and allowing them to stack up until the big day. If there’s one thing I am, it’s impatient. The fact that I haven’t completely spoiled the entire registry is only due to the fact that Eric locked me out of our registries by changing all of the passwords.

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Wedding Wednesdays – Building a Wedding Website

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At brunch this weekend with Katie, we both realized it had been far too long since I’ve blogged about wedding planning. Time is flying by and all of a sudden the wedding is just over two months away, 73 days to be exact but who’s counting? It’s a weird thing when you’re engaged for a year and a half because for so much of the time it feels so far away and then all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye you are completely freaking out with excitement that it’s just around the corner! So with that, I’m back and anxious to discuss the importance of a wedding website.

A destination wedding can mean a couple of things. It can mean that most of your family and friends are coming in from various parts of the country therefore, for them, it’s a destination wedding. It can also mean that you chose a wedding venue that’s in a national park conveniently located a 3-4 hour drive from an airport…oh wait that’s what we did. Either way, having a destination wedding of sorts means there is a lot of pressure on a good wedding website. Not only am I having a destination wedding, but I’m having a wedding weekend, making the wedding website even more significant. Knowing the importance of a clear, well done wedding website and luckily marrying a software engineer, Eric and I set to work on building our wedding website from the ground up. That’s right, we did not use Squarespace (*gasp!)

The goal of a wedding website should be to exchange information with your guests without actually having to participate in a million different texts, calls, and emails asking the same questions. Your website should be clear and succinct, you don’t want to overwhelm your guests, but you’re covering a lot of ground so truly more information is better in this case. Your website should also be personal and unique to you as a couple. For example, Eric and I have been together for almost seven years and wanted to share our story for those who might not know it already or those who want to hear it again! We also shared a myriad of photos depicting us throughout our relationship, which we had a lot of fun picking out and putting together in a slideshow. Most importantly, our website has travel and lodging information so that our guests can feel at ease in booking their flights and accommodations. Lastly, guests want to know what to expect for the day or weekend so include information such as a schedule of events, anticipated weather, and requested guest attire.

Not everyone chooses to have a wedding website, but they are a nice thing to have and can be easily included on your save the date or on an invitation insert. Absolutely if you are planning a destination wedding a website should be considered and created prior to sending out save the dates. If you can’t code an entire website like my better half, then I would strongly encourage a predesigned/pre-built wedding website engine. Thankfully for me, I got to sit next to Eric and dictate all of my website desires while he did all of the hard work. We think it turned out pretty great, and we’re always working to update it and add additional information as the big day gets closer. The update we’re most excited about? Adding a road trip playlist, curated by my famous bridesmaid who is a big deal in the music industry, and road trip suggested stops for everyone on their drive from the Bay Area to Yosemite.

Interested in how ours turned out or want to just stalk our wedding plans? We don’t judge, check it out here: mandianderic2016.com

Yes, it does sound like we’re running for president, but vote for us and check out our labor of love for inspiration for your own website!

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Blog Roundup

  • 5 Things that are harder than registering to vote
  • Gay Marriage, A Year Later [New York Times]
  • Kevin Durant leaves OKC to join the Warriors. Just give them the trophy already. [ThePlayersTribune]
  • Lollapalooza Columbia cancels entire festival because headliner Rihanna pulls out for fear of Zika Virus [Nylon]
  • Photographing the real Barack Obama [The Guardian]
  • Productivity is about what you don’t do [Jocelyn Glei]
  • The one food you should never eat according to Anthony Bourdain [TIME]
  • JetBlue does something sweet for mothers on Mother’s Day [Travel + Leisure]
  • How awkward are you? (a quiz!) I got the “I’m not awkward, which is awkward.” Man, can’t win [Man Repeller]
  • How to say “Thank You” [James Clear]
  • A generator that guesses your age and status based on what apps you have on your phone. [Washington Post] This wasn’t entirelyyyy accurate for me.

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Wedding Mondays

We have a lot of love in our hearts after being in Seattle for the last week. While I was home, I learned that one of my best friends from college just got engaged! Naturally, you all know that that always makes me a little bit emotional and that getting to share a wedding video for the following Monday makes this so much better. The video we’re sharing today is right up our alley because it’s totally non-traditional and we love it. Lately, I’ve been reading about a lot of weddings through blogs that are tossing out those old-aged and stale traditions. I have such a greater sense of appreciation for couples that can do things that aren’t always by the books and are most true to themselves.

Unrelated, but sort of related – I watched an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress” while I was home and this bride-to-be with electric blue hair just had to have color in her wedding dress, but her very traditional mother wanted her in a white dress. When she tried on a white dress at the request of her mother, she broke down in tears because she just didn’t feel like herself and of course, the mom (seeing her daughter sobbing) still couldn’t see it. SO (this was the best part!) the salespeople at Kleinfeld stepped in and were all “Mom, we’re not going to see a crying bride on our floor so you need to just take a step back and let your daughter do what she wants to do.” Those aren’t the exact words, but I’m pretty close! So whether you have a rainbow colored dress or you opt out of the cake cutting or don’t have a bridal party at all, you should just do what feels right for you and your partner.

Side note / Fun fact – while I was home, I caught up with Veronica who is also newly engaged and she had the chance to show me her amazing and stunning pearl earrings which her and fiance had chosen for her instead of just your standard engagement ring. I had actually never heard of anyone swapping out the engagement ring for another piece instead, but it was SO them to do it this way and it clearly held a lot of sentiment for the both of them.

To view the entire feature on Green Wedding Shoes, click here.

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Wedding Mondays

Every Sunday, I hold my breath a little bit just hoping that there’s going to be a wedding video from the previous week that we can share with everyone. Last Sunday, as I was going through my usual roundup, I was really disappointed to find that there wasn’t even one that I loved. In fact, they didn’t even come close. Luckily for me though, I stumbled upon one last night – and I really needed a good one because I was going to see Jennie today while in Seattle.

What I love about this video even though there’s no dialogue, it looks like you’re watching a perfect film. I love the shots that were captured and her two-part dress and the way they made this wedding very Mexican themed to highlight something that was special to them, but that it took place in Palm Springs! I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a wedding video from Max and Molly Films, but I am VERY excited about them.

Yup, I’m in love with her bridesmaids’ dresses as well. To view the rest of the feature, click here to visit Green Wedding Shoes!

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A Collection Part 45

Interestingly enough, we don’t have a lot of thoughts to share about this A Collection Part post. The last 3 months have been a blur, but a good one. I think we’ll have some thoughts that we can share tomorrow that we’re building up, but for now let’s just enjoy these.

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Wedding Mondays

It takes a special wedding video to make you start to tear up 7 seconds in and honestly, I didn’t think it was possible until now. Happy Wedding Mondays, everyone! What are all of you doing on your 3 day weekend? We feel pretty blessed today that we get an extra day to rest and relax before heading into what we hope will be a fantastic 4-day work week. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? So today, we’re dividing our time between work and Yow Yow!

I go back and forth a lot of the times between my ideal wedding video. Some videos are ALL fun – pure joy, completely upbeat and positive in every way. And then there are those that tug at the heart strings a little more. I think for the most part, this video balances a little bit of both. How gorgeous is Jean, the bride though? This reminds me a lot of Gelesia’s wedding dress and it just so happens that it was made by the same designer – Watters! We’re a fan, already!

To view the entire feature, trust – you’re going to want to, click here to visit Style Me Pretty!

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Wedding Mondays

Happy Wedding Mondays everyone! It’s been awhile since we’ve had one of these and I honestly was going to go to bed before scheduling one ahead of time, but then I remembered that every time I have said that on a Monday I usually end up too lazy after a long work day and just heading straight to bed. So we’re going to stick to commitment this time around. I was looking in my queues to see if I even had a wedding video when I saw this one by Lindsey and Saman. But wait – didn’t I already feature this?! Something made me think that I had because I had remembered telling Mandi all about this wedding video from this adorable couple in LA which took place at one amazing venue – Lombardi House. I dug through my archives, but couldn’t find it and then I remembered… this is the Grimace Films wedding video that I fell in love with and Mandi and Eric’s wedding video vendor!

For her most recent post, she had told me that to pick the video that I wanted to use and I seriously considered this one but thought – well I’ve already featured it (but I actually hadn’t!) and ended up choosing the one that I knew that she truly loved.

I love this wedding video for so many reasons. Ugh, the bride! The groom! The venue! The first look! Seriously, what’s not to love? We could go on and on shouting each aspect that we love, but you should probably just watch for yourself.

You can view the rest of the feature at Green Wedding Shoes here.

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Blog Roundup

  • 4 men and their different incomes and lifestyles [Esquire]
  • What do you do the night before you travel? [Fathom]
  • How long your work breaks should be [A Life of Productivity]
  • 25 songs that tell us the direction of music [New York Times]
  • The food you relate to the most according to your birthday [Refinery29] YES! of course mine is chocolate covered raisins <3
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Wedding Wednesdays – Hiring a Videographer

I’m not sure when the obsession started. Thinking back, I know I was not always one of those girls who had their entire dream wedding planned by the age of 13, but somehow the obsession began. The obsession with wedding videos that is.

Hiring a videographer was the most “no-brainer” decision I have had to make throughout the wedding planning process so far. Other decisions have been debated at length and pro/con lists have been made, but a wedding video for me was an obvious yes, no questions asked and no debate to be had. I speak for myself in this blog because I’ll be honest, Eric definitely could have left a wedding video behind. But because he’s been sitting next to me as I silently cry through countless strangers’ wedding videos and because he loves me and is a perfect human, he obliged to my big ticket wedding desire.

First, the hunt for the perfect videographer was not easy. I had very specific ideas in mind as to what makes the perfect wedding video. I did not want a “music video”. Instead I wanted a video that includes the toasts and the vows, a video that captures moments throughout the day that photos simply cannot.

Second, it’s important to know going into the hunt for a videographer how crucial a video even is to you. Wedding videographers are not cheap, in fact, they are ridiculously expensive and if you think you can live without a wedding video then it is probably not worth it to you to splurge. Eric and I met a couple at a catering tasting that said it was the easiest thing for them to cut once they went down this road and found the cost to be prohibitive. You do you, this is your big day and prioritizing what’s important to you and your fiancé is all that matters.

Third, if you’re on a budget like we are, I would highly recommend finding a videographer who is more “up and coming”. What’s fun about our videographers, for example, is that they are a group of guys who honed their skills after years of filming skateboarders. The famous and flashy videographers are great, but it’s so much more fun to work with a bunch of hardworking and talented vendors who are on the verge of making it big, saving you some money while still getting the high quality product you’re after.

Lastly, there are some ways to make your video more affordable. Most videographers offer several different packages based on the amount of time you are requesting them for, the film used, and whether or not you want toasts or vows included. As much as I would love to have Super 8 film strewn throughout our video, it is extremely expensive and for our budget was just simply not worth the cost. For us, we were able to choose the middle package and squeeze it in our budget.

The best part about the process of hiring a videographer was getting to work with the wonderful creator behind Yow Yow! who understands my wedding video obsession better than anyone else. Each time I found a new videographer who I thought might be right I would text Katie immediately to give me a second opinion, trusting her judgment and eye for talent and quality completely. When we landed on Grimace Films, Katie and I celebrated because we were mutually in love with everything about their videos. We decided it would be fitting to post one of their sample videos below for those who appreciate a well-done wedding video. Obviously stay tuned for our wedding video, which we will undoubtedly post after our wedding this fall!
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Southside with You

How cute is this?! Someone made a movie about the love story between Barack and Michelle Obama and it’s pretty much adorable.

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Wedding Wednesdays – Engagement Shoot Adventure

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Part I: The Photographer

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s so important to figure out you and your fiance’s priorities from the beginning of the wedding planning roller coaster. If your fiance’s priority is beer and yours is music then those are the two things you should focus your time, energy, and money on. Photography has always been top of our priority list for our wedding so finding the perfect photographer was crucial. First and foremost we knew posed portrait style photos were not our thing. Eric and I have never taken professional photos together and are pretty silly people generally so imagining ourselves standing together like we’re going back to high school prom doesn’t suit us. Based on our preference, documentary style photography is what we were looking for. It was also important for us to take into account our venue, Yosemite National Park. We wanted to choose someone who is no stranger to photographing the outdoors and not just any outdoors, basically the most magical and dreamy outdoor space imaginable. Having these qualifications we set out, with our amazing wedding planner, to find the perfect match.

Greg Balkin of Brightwood Photography is a genius. He is one of the most talented photographers I’ve ever seen and that’s just taking into account his outdoor photography. The emotions and love he is able to capture between the couples he shoots is even more extraordinary. It took us all of ten minutes to decide we had to have him photograph our special day. Finding out Greg recently relocated from Southern California to Seattle was just the icing on the cake. For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, my fiance and I met in Seattle therefore making this a match made in photography heaven.

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Part II: Adventure Love Story

Instead of the usual engagement shoot, our photographer specializes in what he coined as “Adventure Love Stories”. Adventure Love Stories reframe engagement pictures as an excuse to get outside and explore together as a couple while getting to know Greg and documenting the entire weekend or “adventure”. The best part about our weekend was that Eric and I have already spent our last 7 years together exploring the outdoors, going on incredible camping/backpacking trips, and adventuring so this was a huge selling point in choosing Greg to be our photographer. I do have to be honest though, as much as I absolutely love camping and backpacking and as much fun as an adventure sounded I was somewhat anxious about how I was supposed to pull myself together for a weekend photo shoot after camping?! How’s a girl, who’s not that photogenic to begin with, supposed to be photographed with bedhead and after sleeping on the ground all night with day old makeup? It sounds ridiculous and vain, but if you had 200+ photos taken of you, you’d consider this a legitimate fear as well. I obviously decided to suck it up and trust Greg and also figured worst case, no one has to know these photos exist.

Eric and I chose to have our adventure with Greg in one of our favorite places in Washington State, the state that brought us together. And so, two weekends ago we hopped on a plane from San Francisco, drove several hours in the car, and took a ride on a ferry boat to Olympic National Park, and if you haven’t been, consider this your plug that you should immediately plan your trip. Olympic National Park has some seriously wonderful memories for Eric and I so choosing it for our engagement shoot was a no brainer. We have summited its mountains, hiked along its rivers, explored its rugged beaches, and watched the infamous Elwha Dam removal over the years all the while knowing it to be one of the best kept secrets in the country. Naturally, the camping trip turned into a spontaneous backpacking adventure leading us to one of the Olympic Coast’s most beautiful beaches near La Push. This spur of the moment decision also led to hilarious pictures of myself and Eric in formal clothes (including heels mind you) carrying our hiking boots, tent, sleeping bags, and REI backpacks. Note: should you choose to do your own outdoorsy photoshoot, keep in mind that heels, no matter how chunky, are a poor decision.

Lucky for you, I’m here to share a handful of my favorite photos from the weekend. While looking through them just remember we hadn’t showered, we slept on the beach overnight, and my naturally curly hair doesn’t tend to agree with that damn misty coastal climate. Also, huge thanks to Julia for the last minute Tyra Banks modeling tips, without them I would have looked like a limp noodle neck monster.

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Wedding Mondays

So we couldn’t figure out how to embed the video into this post. We’ll just lead you straight to it…here!

Just a few words about this video though…

I’ve always said this and I still believe it – the song you use for your video is sometimes all that makes it. You can’t tell me that you watched this video and didn’t feel like dancing along with it. Also, for years we loved up on Sharkpig. This is no different. They’ve really perfected something here and it makes watching their videos all the more enjoyable. With G’s grand California wedding just around the corner, we are getting so so excited for it. I can’t believe I’m seeing one of my favorite girls get married. It’s unreal.

To view the entire feature click here for Green Wedding Shoes.

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Blog Roundup

  • Cheese triggers same part of the brain as hard drugs [Standard]
  • The Dos and Don’ts of Instagramming your proposal [WhoWhatWear]
  • 30 Traditional Wedding Rules You Should Break [Style Me Pretty]

  • An adorable trip between a dad and his daughter [Upworthy]
  • How much should you spend on a wedding gift [WhoWhatWear]
  • 17 Reasons Why People Have a Mid-Life Crisis in Their 20’s [Thought Catalog]

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Wedding Mondays

It’s interesting sometimes to have Wedding Mondays on what is sometimes the hardest day of the week for me. Sometimes I come home, exhausted from work, and I can’t even think about opening up Yow Yow! for fear that I might end up writing something that comes across a little heated or a little frustrated. Today is kind of one of those days, but today is also a day when Wedding Mondays is reminding me to just get pass the Monday that sucks and that watching something so happy and romantic means that tomorrow is Tuesday and we can forget about that shitty Monday we just had.

I’ve been saving this one for awhile now though… and it’s kind of a favorite of mine. We also love it because Amber Stevens and her husband Andrew West are in the bridal party! But also, how could you not tear up at those vows? We did.

To view the rest of the wedding feature, visit Style Me Pretty.

 

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