Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dear FedEx,

I just received this email from my wedding band designer (no, you did not miss a post, I haven't told you about it yet).

Hi Miss French Bulldog,

I just wanted to update you on your ring order. Right now I am waiting for the diamonds for you ring to arrive by fedex, which will be this afternoon. If I can get all of the stones set before 5pm, I will be shipping the ring today. Otherwise it will be tomorrow morning.

Ok, let me know if you have any questions!


If it goes out today, I will get it tomorrow! But if it goes out in the morning, I won't get it until Monday! The early I get it the early I can try it on and forget to take it off and the earlier I can tell you all about it...

Dear FedEx,

Please deliver my pretty little tiny diamonds to Justine early enough for her to get them set by 5pm.

Thank You,
Miss French Bulldog

P.S. Did I ever tell you you're my favorite express delivery service? *bats eyelashes*

What wedding item are you waiting on pins and needle to receive?

Bye, Bye Birdies *sniff*

Mama Frenchie received an email from My Wedding Favors on Tuesday saying that our adorable birdie favors were on backorder and wouldn't be available until the Monday before the wedding.

I immediately called and asked what that meant. Did that mean the birds would ship on thatMonday? Because, then we would get them by Tuesday, which could work. Or, did that mean they would process my order again on that Monday? Because then I most definitely wouldn't get them before Thursday, when I would no longer be in Orange County. Although, Michelle (with My Wedding Favors) was very helpful, understood my concern and apologized that it took them so long to notify me about the backorder. (I should have been notified 3 days after my order was placed, not 11, which is what happened), I still wasn't confident that the order would come in time so I cancelled.

Mama Frenchie immediately sniffed around for other options. We really liked the photo/memo clip place card doubling as a favor idea. It was really hard to find plain memo clips.

Some of those would be really cute for someone else's wedding, just not mine.

Luckily, Mama Frenchie found these on Displays2Go.

You may be thinking, "Bird clip! Miss Frenchie you should go with the bird clip!" Yeah, about that - I'm not a huge fan of the gold metal. I know I'm weird, it has a bird, it's perfect... ish. We're doing Birdie signs on all the table, coming out of the centerpieces, and the shaped of the those birdies don't match the bird clip. (Mama Frenchie and I are working on that this weekend so I promise to blog about it soon). Mama Frenchie really wanted them to have a color and I wanted them to be more than just a cube and a clip, so we ended up ordering the Aqua Base with Heart Clip.

Now for the best part - Each birdie from My Wedding Favors was about $3.45/bird, it was pricey, but we liked them so much we went with it. The new favors are costing us $0.71/clip! 71 CENTS per clip!

Did a disappointment end up saving you money?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

How I found our Photographer...

I recently received an email from a reader asking me about how I found our photographer and I realized I never shared the story with the Hive!

I started stalking photography blogs after the very talented Jessica Claire photographed my friend Tiffany's wedding 3 years ago.

Photo by Jessica Claire

This is when I discovered Photography blogs and teaser photos and all of that. So, when I began my search, I knew I wanted a wedding photographer with a photojournalistic style and, I would never had admitted this aloud, a blog. I wanted teaser photos and all of that!

My first stop in finding a photographer was the Weddingbee boards. I posted a thread in the Orange County Boards and the San Diego Boards and got a ton of great recommendations. I emailed everyone of the photographers that were suggested. Some were booked for our date, some were too expensive and some took too long to respond. I did find a couple possibilities, but none were local to San Diego, so I was also looking at a travel fee.

Then one day reader sal75 recommended her photographer, Melissa McClure. After looking around her blog I contacted her right away. Not only were her photos great, but I knew with her cherry watermark, we were kindred spirits.

Quick, where is the closest field to my venue?

Sadly, Melissa was alread booked for our date. (SAD FACE!) But, she offered to help us find a photographer. (HAPPY FACE!) She asked me to email her exactly what I wanted and what our budget was and she would email all her photography friends to see if anyone was interested. (SCORE!) So I did and she did. The next day I got an email with a list of everyone who had responded and a sentence (or two) of what she knew about them. As I was about to start looking at all their websites and blogs Melissa emailed me again with 2 more photographers. One of those photographers was Ohana Photography, who had done Melissa's engagement photos.

Dang it, someone find me a field! (Source)

Confession, I started to tear up, Ohana Photography was exactly what I was looking for! And, the extra bonus was that I didn't have to email them and ask them if they were available the date of our wedding and get crushed when I found out they were booked because they already knew my date. AND, I didn't have to fall in love with their images only to find out they were out of my budget, because they already knew my budget. I called David Baxter with Ohana that night and spoke to the nicest most energetic guy on the phone and I was sold.

I later found out that Melisssa had done all this for me the week of her wedding! In between getting married and leaving for her honeymoon cruise she helped me find a photographer. Who does that? Apparenly, Melissa and girl who "Tweeted" her wedding...

Check out her bridal outfit! HOTNESS! (Source)

Now, Melissa is one of my Twitter friends and we've arrange an after wedding Bridal shoot. We're hoping to talk Mr Frenchie into coming with a 6-pack of beer and I think it may work.

How did you find your wedding photographer?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So Excited! (and I just can't hide it!)

Mr Frenchie has known since our first date that I am not a HUGE fan of Chinese Food. I'm surprised we went out again because Chinese is his favorite! Especially Chinese Buffets.

Mr Frenchie's dream! (Source)

Since I'm not an evil French Bulldog, I do go to Chinese with Mr Frenchie occasionally. However, I'm also not a dumb French Bulldog either, so we made a deal and we switch off between Sushi (my favorite) and Chinese. Currently, were on Sushi because Mr Frenchie foolishly suggested Pick-Up Stix for dinner last night. HA! That means I get to squeeze in one more Sushi dinner before our rehearsal dinner.

Yep, that's right, I agreed to have Chinese food for our rehearsal dinner. A couple months ago, Mr Frenchie and I were spending a weekend in San Diego. It was Chinese's food turn and Mr Frenchie wanted to take me to a restaurant he used to go with FMIL Frenchie, called China Camp. (For you San Diegians it's behind the pink Denny's on PCH).


"China Camp at Fat City is a theme restaurant, a re-creation of the 19th century camps where Chinese immigrants lived while building railroads, working in mines and working at other grueling jobs. So you'll see waterwheels, old photos, camp memorabilia, hanging abacuses and a huge Chinese dragon -- all meant to commemorate the immigrants' struggle while celebrating their contributions as culinary artists." - Kat Forcades signonsandiego

I wish I had a picture of the inside! China Camp was the most enjoyable Chinese restaurant experience I had ever had. In fact,
I was the one who suggested it as a rehearsal dinner spot. Shock and Surprise Mr Frenchie was in ;-)

Now, with our Wedding invitations off in the mail and our RSVPs rolling in, we needed to get crackin' on the rehearsal dinner invites. One reason I hadn't started yet was because I had NO CLUE what I was going to do. That was until I saw the illustration Mrs Gummi Bear did for The Toucan's first anniversary and I knew! I contacted Gummi and she drew this awesome picture of Mr Frenchie and me on a Chinese take-out box.

I was going to hold off and show these to you after my order from Vista Print had come in and I had already mailed them out. But, no-one in my family, except my awesome cousin Katie, reads WB and I know she won't spoil the surprise. (Hint, Hint Katie). So, with Gummi's adorable illustration I went to Vista Print and did a little magic with an oversized postcard.


How FREAKIN' ADORABLE is that illustration?!? I LOVE IT!


I seriously cannot wait to get these in the mail! A special thanks to Mrs Gummi for getting this to me while she was in the middle of moving! I heart you Gummi :)

Are you having a less than conventional rehearsal dinner?

**If you're intersted in a Super Cute illustration by Gummi, hop over to her etsy shop, franceslovesyou.**

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

OC County Bee Meet-up

Miss Duckling and I are trying to organize another Orange County Bee Meet-up before we're knee deep in last minute wedding maddness.

Check out the Orange County Board Thread here, for more information.

We hope you can make it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ball & Chain

Mr Frenchie and his dudes went to Palm Desert this past weekend for his Bachelor party. I've heard bit and pieces of what they did, most of which involved staying out of the heat as much as possible. It was only 117!

This picture cracked me up and reminded me of a story I heard from Papa Frenchie's bachelor party.

While Mr Frenchie only had to carry around a red cup, Papa Frenchie's friends made him a cement ball attached to a chain for him to carry around all night! I'd say Mr Frenchie got off easy!

What crazy Bachelor party stories have you heard?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

We love kids, but...

The topic of children at a wedding is a controversial one. Some people believe strongly that children should be part of the day, while other believe they should stay at home. Like us, I'm sure most peoples' opinions are a per wedding decision. We've been to weddings where we couldn't imagine what it would have been like not seeing the adorable flowers girl forget to line the aisle with petals, or the ring bearer swinging the pillow around by the ribbon tied tightly around the rings. However, we've also been to weddings were an uncomfortable baby has cried in the middle the vows or a bored toddler talked loudly throughout the ceremony.

Every couple decides what is best for their wedding based on their venue, their guests, the time of day etc. Mr Frenchie and I made the unpopular decision, early on, that we are not going to have children in our wedding and we we're not going to invite children under a certain age. As you know our wedding will take place at a winery and will take place completely outside. In our opinion, our venue does not lend itself to young children.

We have a few friends with babies (whom we absolutely adore) that are have shared with us how excited they are to have a night/weekend for just the two of them. However, we also have a few friends who really want to bring their children along. We understand that finding a sitter cannot always be easy, we've spent many nights hanging out with friends at their houses, instead of going out, so they didn't have to hire a sitter. We also understand that, for some, that means they will not be able to attend our wedding. But, if we bend our rule for one couple we have to do it for everyone, so we're standing our ground.

To get "the word" out we decided to approach any opposition on a case by case basis. We made sure to put the names of all the invited parties on the invitations and decided that if someone RSVP'd for more we would just explain to them "our policy". A couple guests have emailed us, before RSVP'ing, to ask and we've responded to each as diplomatically as possible. One couple has been less understanding than the others, but again we are standing our ground.

Have you decided not to invite children to your wedding? How did you get "the word" out?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bride Brain

Wait... what was I writing about again?

Oh, right, Bride Brain. I'm normally not a very forgetful person. I remember to call people back, I reply to an email almost immediately (if I know the answer) and I am rarely late (unless I'm going to work).
I am what some people might refer to as impatient. I also try to employ the "Golden Rule" whenever possible - you know? Treat others as you would like to be treated. Thus, I want responses right away, so I try to respond to others right away. I would like my "dates" to be prompt, so I aim to do the same for others. That is until lately. It isn't like I've become a flake on purpose, or I don't care all of a sudden. I am just really forgetful lately. Embarrassingly so.

I've been able to keep in contact with a sorority sister from college (Theta Love!) who lives near my office, through the wonder that is Facebook. I was supposed to meet her for lunch two weeks ago and I COMPLETELY forgot. She showed up with her new baby and I never did. I called her immediately after I realized my extreme faux pas (about an hour after I was supposed to meet her) to apologize, but I felt horrible. Who does that? Not me... or the non-overworked-too-much-on-her-plate me. I did something similar to our officiant this past Sunday!

A couple weeks ago I order 3 necklaces for my bridesmaids from Lara Leigh Designs on Etsy. She offered to let me write up a personal message to attached to each gift. She had to email me this week, to remind me to send the messages. D'oh!

Thank you notes for my showers? They're sitting on my desk all written out and all they need are addresses and stamps. I have forgotten for weeks to do that on my lunchbreak and they are sitting right next to my purse.

So, why am I acting so unlike myself? I blame it on work, school and planning a wedding. The Frenchie wedding is fast approaching and I simply have too much on my plate. Luckily, my finals are next week and then I one less thing to worry about.

Are you experiencing Bride Brain?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Thank You Auntie S

As you know Auntie S is hosting a Bridesmaids' Luncheon honoring my bridesmaids and me. Auntie S has been in my life since I met BM J in 4th grade so I wanted to get her something special as a Thank You.

Auntie S is a very classy and stylish lady, so what better place to find a present for her than Gilt Groupe? (For those of you who don't know about Gilt Groupe, it is an invite only website for discounts up to 70% on luxury brands).

The other day when I was checking the most recent Gilt Groupe sales I found this bracelet under Kenneth Jay Lane Jewelry. There were several beautiful pieces, but one particular bracelet stood out to me and screamed, "AUNTIE S!"

Originally priced as a $75 bracelet, I snatched this baby up for $50 total, including shipping. Not only did I get a great deal and find a bracelet I know Auntie S is sure to love, it is also one of our wedding colors. This may be cheesy, but I love that I found her a thank you gift for something wedding related that ties into the wedding without being something about the wedding.

Have you found any great deals for your Thank You gifts?

* If you would like to join Gilt Groupe, you can click this link for my invitation.

Things Seem to Sort Themselves Out

This past weekend was another hot one here in Southern California. The weather had been lovely all week. On my birthday, it was perfect - sunny with a nice breeze. Mama Frenchie bought be a coral 3/4 sweater to wear with my white skirt, for my second shower on Saturday, and it seemed like the perfect outfit. That was until I woke-up and Saturday morning and it.was.summer. I don't know why the heat surprises me every year, but it kinda sneaks up on me. Surprise! It's Summer! and!

There was no way I could go all afternoon in a sweater, no matter how pretty. I was already sweating in the shorts and t-shirt I had slept in. I went through my closet, but nothing felt appropriate for a bride to wear to her shower. It looks like something I would wear as a guest, not the guest of honor.

Sister Frenchie told me that White House/Black Market was having a big sale. Um Hello - I love White House/Black Market! And, Who doesn't love a sale? I figured I would drive over and try on every white dress in the store, if something didn't work I would wear and skirt/shirt combo I had managed to pull together.

White House/Black Market only had 2 white dresses in my size. TWO, those are not good odds! The first dress I tried on would have been great if I didn't have a short torso, or I had the time to have the shoulders taken in about an inch.

I loved how light the fabric was and that I would definitely wear a bra with straps. The second (or other) dress I tried on was strapless, luckily I thought ahead, and wore my strapless bra so I wouldn't have to guess if it would work.

I'm not gonna lie, it was a little tight in the boobal area (chestal region). I asked the sales lady if I could try it on in a bigger size, but she told me because of the fabric, most people bring this dress back because it stretches out. Ummm, but will is stretch out in the next 2 hours? I'm wearing this dress at 2pm. I took her advise and bought the dress. When I got home a put the dress on again without a bra, added the straps and it worked MUCH better, YAY!

Here I am at the shower with Mama Frenchie*, Auntie S and BM J.

A Special Thank you to Mrs Cupcake for letting my borrow her Twigs and Honey Flower! It was so pretty, I couldn't wait 'til the wedding to wear it :)

Okay, so here's the best part - I got so many compliments on my new white dress that I decided to bring it was a back-up on the day of the wedding. If the weekend of our wedding is another hot one, I know I can easily change into this dress.

Have you ever had to run to the mall for a wedding fashion emergency?

* Don't ask me how Mama Frenchi made it the whole day in that jacket... I think it was linen.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Our Invitations... ARE AWESOME!

First of all I KNOW our invites should have gone out much sooner than now. I cannot believe it didn't really hit me until this past week that HELLO our RSVP date is the end of this month and our guests have yet to receive the invitation! Bad Bride! Maybe, I was just too sad to part with them because I am so in love. Mr Frenchie is lucky I met him before these invitations (or I met these invites because of him) because it would be hard to choose between the two. (Honey, I am kidding, of course).

This Sunday Mr Frenchie, Mama Frenchie, Sister Frenchie and I sat around the Mama Frenchie's dinning room table and knocked these puppies out. (As a Bulldog I'm not sure I should be using that saying).
The assembly line started with me, I stuck all the liners in inside the envelopes and helped Mama Frenchie find names to cross off on the list.

Our friendor Joe had our birdie design printed on contact paper. I would take the backing off the top inch (which was scored), put the still backed part in the envelope and then stick down the sticky side right below the glue part of the envelope. I was super easy!

I would then hand the envelopes off to Mama Frenchie who would number the backs of all the RSVP cards with each guest corresponding number from our spread sheet. This way if anyone forgets to put their name on the reply card we can figure out who they are.

Next, Mama Frenchie would hand them off to Sister Frenchie who would put a Queen Stamp on all the reply envelopes and stuff the whole suite inside.

Early in the week I had printed our address on all the reply envelopes using my trusty (knock-on-wood) HP work printer.

As you can see I had to tape every envelope to a piece of paper because it was too tiny to feed through my envelope slot. This is how the Pros do it, right?

After everything was inside the envelope, Mr Frenchie would seal the outer envelope with a wet sponge and aflix the SUPER CUTE wrap-around return address sticker. He would then pass it back to me and I would put the King Stamp on the outside.

Here is what they look like as you open them (it pains be to cover up the info, it is so pretty)...
Didn't BM F do a beautiful job?

The sticker isn't completely stuck down on this one because it is the back of Sister Frenchie's invite. On the rest of the invites the wrap-around label lays flat.

The Reception and Morning After Breakfast RSVP cards tear off to be mailed back, so the guest can keep the directions and accomodations cards.

So there you have it Hive, the French Bulldog invitations! My DOC loves them so much she wants me to send on to her so she can spend time with it. She wanted to know if that was weird, but I saw nothing wrong with it because, as you know, I wanted to marry them.

Did you cut it close mailing out your invites?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cougar *rawr*

Confession: Another reason I wanted to get married on July 4th was, I wanted to be the same age as Mr Frenchie when we got married.

Back when I used to plan out my life, I planned to get married when I was 26. That way, Sister Frenchie would 21 and able to participate in all the bachloretter activities. Good reason, right? Well, at 26 I broke up with my a$$hole ex-boyfriend and met the love of my life, Mr Frenchie. I knew I wasn't getting married at 26, but I knew he was the man I was going to marry.

Now 3 years later, I'm turning 29 (today) and getting married next month. Mr Frenchie, however, won't be turning 29 until the end of August, while we are on our honeymoon. How silly is it that this bothers me? I don't mind being 29. Heck, I'm not even freaking out about almost being 30. But, I'm still a little hung up on having our wedding in the 6 weeks between our birthdays. It's not like your age goes on your marriage certificate. (Right?) No one will know and the ones that do, I sure, wont even think about it.

So, there you have it. I'm the cougar *rawr*, robbing the cradle etc.

Am I alone? Anyone else crazy like me?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Jonathan Adler, What Are You Doing To Me?

Remember way back when I told you guys about how hard it was for Mr Frenchie and I to nail down our everyday plates.

Now, Jonathan Adler has threatened to add another plate into the debate! I would LOVE to "try white on white for an uptown vibe with graphic zing" pleeeease.

Sadly the price is a little steep and I don't know how I would register for Jonathan Adler. If price wasn't an issue, what would your dream plates be?

Nesting: Part 1, Finding a Place

As you know Mr Frenchie and I are waiting until after we're married to live together. Since our wedding is less than 2 short monthes away (Holy Cwrap!) I'm really happy we nailed down where that would be last weekend.

I would like to tell you we sat down and looked at all the apartment complexs on a map between his work (A) and my work (B). Contemplated drive times and proximaties to grocery stores etc. But we didn't.

See Dana Point on that map? See Newport Beach (B)? That is my commute. I'm used to it, I've driven it everyday (work) day for the past 7 years and it's not bad at all. Especially if I have enough time to drive up the coast. The funny thing is from Dana Point to where Mr Frenchie works (A) it takes about the same amoun go time to get to his office. It doesn't make any sense, I know. Anyway, so we just looked for an apartment close to where we already live. Stick with what you know, right?
About 5 monthes ago Mr Frenchie and I were to our Sunday Starbucks place (What you don't have a Starbucks for different days of the week?) and decided to go look at apartments. There is a great complex right next to the shopping center with the Starbucks, we headed there first. Turns out of first stop was our last stop, we LOVED the place.

The floor plan we liked has tons of light, a great patio and an island in the kitchen. There are also streams that run around the complex, we fell in love. The only problem was, at the time, we still had to wait MONTHES until we could live in it. We put our name on a list and this past weekend we secured our unit. Mr Frenchie will move in at the end of July and I'll move over my stuff that I don't need on a daily basis. (My parents are very excited to get my dinning table and hutch out of their garage). This way we don't have to do a ton of moving when we get back from our honeymoon.

I'm curious, if you're not living with each other until after the wedding, when did you start moving your stuff in together?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Maybe My Toesies Need These Instead

"You see how picky I am about my shoes and they only go on me feet." - Cher, Clueless

Like many brides before me (and I'm sure many brides after me), I cannot make up my mind when it comes to my shoes. Two weeks ago I showed you all these lovelies and I was determined to make them mine.

That was until I saw the shoes of this lovely bride, my friend, Alisa.

She got a great pair of pumps from Hey Lady.

Twins (and friend's of Alisa), Emily and Jessica Leung, created a line of bridal shoes after their own search for wedding shoes. They wanted something that was non-dyeable and actually danceable! I couldn't agree more. Now, if I could only agree with myself on which ones I should get.
I can't decide between Tiffany's...

or Princess Buttercup in the turquoise...

Tiffany's are more expensive, but I am more likely to wear them again. Where Princess Buttcup is a little less expensive, but I don't know what I would wear them with again. What would you do?

52 Xtra Long

I heard this nasty rumor when we first started planning our wedding, that you could rent suits at Men's Warehouse. I had this vision of Mr Frenchie in a charcoal gray suit and his dudes in a lighter gray. It all looked so pretty in my head. Guess what? You CANNOT rent suits from Men's Warehouse, it is NOT that easy. After looking around, it looked like if we were going to have all the groomsmen in matching suits, they were going to have to be purchased.
Why is it so unheard of for groomsmen to purchase their bridal party outfit? Bridesmaids don't rent their dresses, why should the groomsmen get off so easy?
As if finding gray suits for groomsmen wasn't hard enough, one of our groomsmen is a 52 extra long. Luckily for me however, my 52 XL made it his job to find a gray suit that everyone could wear. After searching high and low, and ordering a suit only to find out 2 weeks later it only comes in navy blue, we put the great gray suit search to bed this weekend. Thanks to my 52 XLs persistance and Men's Warehouse's Buy 1 Get 1 Free deal, 3 groomsmen and FFIL Frenchie, all purchased gray suits this past weekend. PHEW!

On Thursday night we were in a bit of a panic when we couldn't find a forth person to go in on the suit deal. Groomsman 52XL and Mr Frenchie were calling anyone who might need a suit. Luckily FFIL Frenchie hadn't purchased a suit in several years and was wondering what he was going to wear to the wedding. I'm so happy it all came together and that is one less thing I need to worry about.

Are/did your groomsmen purchase their outfit?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

My Dream Wedding

The 4th of July is may favorite holiday! Yep, more than Christmas and more than my birthday, I LOVE the 4th of July. Why? I really can't describe it, but I love BBQs and I LOVE LOVE LOVE fireworks. The 4th of July just makes me happy.
When Mr Frenchie proposed, I immediately told him I wanted to get married on the 4th of July. What luck, the year we're getting married my favorite day happens to fall on a Saturday, the most common wedding day of the week. I had already fallen in love with an inspiration board on Style Me Pretty.
As you know my wedding is not this weekend *le sigh*. Unfortunately, the 4th falls in the middle of my summer quarter at school. That meant, there was no way we could go on our honeymoon directly following the wedding, like we wanted. I aslo had no idea what would be instore for me with school projects and didn't want my grade to suffer. *Booo, hissss*

Was there a dream date you wanted to get married, but life got in the way? Make me jealous, are you getting married on the 4th?