Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Giving Thanks

Mr. Spice and I went to Southern California for another whirlwind family holiday, and all weekend all I could think of is what a difference a year makes.

I have a ton of reasons to be thankful this year, but what I am really thankful for is my family. My old family, my pending in-laws, but mostly my new family. And by new family I mean Mr. Spice and our animals.

First, let me introduce the animals:

At 22 pounds, Huck the wonder dog: part Jack Russel, part Beagle, part personality:

Up next, at an ever increasing 16 pounds, Ferris: part Maine Coon, and part spit and vinegar:

Now back to giving thanks.

You see last Thanksgiving Mr. Spice and I weren't engaged yet. While we were totally committed to each other and well on our way to being engaged, something felt off.

Thanksgiving is all about family, friends and sharing a meal- the good, the bad, and of course, the crazy. It felt like we were in limbo- not quite family, not quite not.

I am thankful this year that I now I have my own family to thank. Since becoming engaged, it feels so wonderful to know that at the end of the day I have my own family to come home to.

So, I want to thank Mr. Spice, puppy Huck, and crazy kitty Ferris for greeting me everyday with a smile, a hug and a kiss. Now I am off to get those kisses.

Peeping in to to say Hi.

I can't believe that I have been chosen to blog on Weddingbee!! And I am even more excited to be Miss Peep Toe. Who doesn't love a fabulous peep toe shoe? I, for one, am addicted.

A bit about me: I grew up in the burbs of LA-LA-land and fled as soon as I could to Seattle. Go Huskies!! I left a piece of my heart and most of my best girlfriends in Seattle to find that I really am a California Girl. I moved to San Francisco almost three and a half years ago, and I have fallen in love, both with the area and Mr. Peep.

Just like Miss Deviled Egg, if the Pittsburg Steelers hadn't made it to the Superbowl in 2006, Mr. Peep and I would never have met. In a nut shell, we met at a Pittsburg Steelers bar watching football almost three years ago. And the best part is, neither one of us are Steelers fans.

When not wedding planning, you can find me at the Marin Farmer's Market, watching a ridiculous amount of bad television, at the beach with Huck the wonder dog, talking about all the great restaurants that we wish we could afford to go to, and every now and then, taking on an unsuccessful DIY project. Yep that's right, I am craft challenged. My goal on weddingbee is not only to successfully complete a few DIY projects, but let everyone else know that it's ok if you are challenged too!!

Mr. Peep and I have been engaged for over eleven months (where does the time go)!! Since that amazingly wonderful day, I have been falling down the wedding planning rabbit hole and hoping to hold on to what really matters- us!!

I hope you enjoy my adventure in planning a modern organic wedding without the sequins and puffiness. All on a budget; in one of the most expensive cities in the US.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The sweetest decision ever made.

When Mr. Spice and I got engaged we knew one thing we wanted at our wedding: cupcakes!!
While we love anything sweet, cupcakes get us both excited!! I am guessing it's because we each get our own and we don't have to share.

I know that cupcakes have become a bit cliche these days. Especially in San Francisco, but we can't resist.

About a year ago Cupcakes hit the scene big time in the Bay Area. New cupcake places sprouted up everywhere, so what was Mr. Spice and Sugar to do: go on a tasting bananza!!

1. Kara's Cupcakes were big hit. In fact, our friends served them at their wedding in June. I still think about the lemon cupcake.

2. Citizen Cake was surprisingly just ok, I think they do a much better job at everything else. And by everything else I mean they make the best chocolate french toast ever!!

3. That takes the cake was new and gave us a dozen free cupcakes to taste, but they didn't light our fire.

So finally we went to the old stand by:
4. Miette. Mr. Spice and I were introduced to Miette on our first anniversary at Hotel Vitale. Miettle is located in the ferry building across the street from our venue (and down the street from my office), so since our first introduction we have had Miette cupcakes numerous times for various special occasions.

We heart Miette Cupcakes, so really there was no competition (just a reason to eat a lot of cupcakes). We had a bunch of family in town last August so we did an impromptu tasting.

Here's everyone gathered around the platter (please note that I am on the floor to be as close to the tasting as possible):

And here are the cupcakes (a bit disheveled from the ride home):

Not only are they the best tasting cupcakes in town* but:

1. they are local and ORGANIC. Yes, eco-friendly can provide the very best!

2. they are giving us a small cake to cut!

3. since they are across the street- they are going to deliver them for FREE and provide free cupcake stands!!**

4. we are getting a discount on our order since it is a larger order than normal. Not to mention, cupcakes are SO much cheaper than cake.

This was the easiest and sweetest decision we have ever made.

Did you have an easy and sweet wedding planning decision??

*in my opinion at least.
** the first of many discounts for having a City wedding.

A Quote in the New York Times from little old me!!

My favorite flowers of all time are dahlias. I heart them. I mean just look at how pretty they look at this wedding:


One of the first things I did when we were trying to set a date was to find out when dahlia's would be available for our wedding. And not just any dahlias, organic dahlias. I knew that a very easy GREEN element would be to have local, seasonal, organic flowers.

So I started my hunt for an organic florist, and I found two contenders:

Bonny Doon Garden Company. Bonny Doon is a great farm/garden down near Santa Cruz, and I think we would have gone with them if we had gotten married in Carmel or Santa Cruz.
Unfortunately, they would not have organic dahlia's available until the end of summer and we were planning a spring wedding.

And California Organic Flowers. Mr. Spice's go to when he has flower's delivered to me at work. I highly recommend them. They hope to have organic dahlia's available the week of Memorial Day. But I was afraid once I got them, I would have no idea what to do with them.

In the mist of my searching for organic flowers, I got an email from the owner of Bonny Doon. The New York Times was doing an article on organic flowers and weddings. They wanted to interview me* to find out why I was in search of organic flowers. I was a little embarrassed since I was so new to the whole wedding planning thing, but I went with it.

So, on February 3, 2008, I was quoted in the NY Times! Probably a wedding highlight to date!

Have you found yourself in a surprising position while you have been wedding planning? Have you scheduled your wedding around a certain element?

*yes, little old me!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ditch Day

Well, I am sad to say a few weeks ago that I ditched my project to fix Mama Sugar's veil to have an amazing day with Mr. Spice.

As I have mentioned before, Mr. Spice makes Olive Oil for a living, and as of August, he has gone back to school. From October to about January is olive harvest, so Mr. Spice is incredibly busy. Now throw school on top of it all this year, and he has been crazy insane busy man.

SO when Mr. Spice found out that he didn't have to work on a Saturday, we jumped at the opportunity to spend the entire day with each other!! Such an amazing treat.

When Mr. Spice and I first met he lived in Napa and was making Sparkling Wine. On our first date we went and tasted a bit of the bubbly that he had helped produce- A-MAZE-ING. I still talk about how taken I was with him on our first date seeing him in his element talking about something he loved- and I still swoon over that afternoon!!

A tradition we started right before our first Thanksgiving together was to go wine tasting for Thanksgiving Day wine!! We thought we weren't going to make it this year, but lo and behold we did.

This year we decided to visit some of Mr. Spice's old haunts up in Healdsburg. If you are planning a trip to Northern California wine country this is where I would tell you to go. Healdsburg is Northwest of Sonoma and Napa. It's much better for red wine lovers, but we did find some amazing white wines and a few Roses. The town itself is adorable, and much better than downtown Napa or Sonoma (well, in my opinion). Here's a basic map:

Wine tasting for wine tasting sake is fun, but wine tasting with a purpose is MUCH better. Essentially, you choose a few types of wine that you like, and just taste those wines at each winery. It allows you to visit a lot more wineries in one day.

So one Saturday morning Mr. Spice and I headed up to the Dry Creek Valley with the two rules we always follow:
#1: Drink what you like and don't apologize for your choices. If you stick to rule #1, you will always be happy with what you are drinking.
#2: Anyone can make a good $100 bottle of wine, the fun part is finding a really good affordable wine!!
and a rule for Events:
#3 Try to match the wine to the meal. I won't even pretend to be a wine expert, I have Mr. Spice for that. But if you want a Rule of Thumb for wines to drink with a Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, I agree with the women who wrote both of these articles: here and here.

Mr. Spice and I were specifically looking for a combo of the following: Sauvignon Blancs, Dry Rieslings, Rose, and Pinot Noir or Petite Sirah's.

Without further ado, the best wines of the day:

Our first stop was Amphora. They only had one white wine, which was a Chardonnay that I VERY surprisingly liked, but the best of the group was a varietal blend called Seven Sisters.

A bit too pricey for our taste so we moved on. Next up, a winery we knew we liked: Link

We were able to snag two of the last bottles of their Rose for $16, which I loved!! And two Dry Rieslings, again, under $20. If you haven't tried Rose in the past or haven't liked them, I urge you to revisit Rose's. So many more wineries are doing them these days, and doing them good!! If your local store isn't carrying a very big assortment- ask them to re-think their Rose selection. As for Rieslings, Dry Rieslings are a great compliment to T-day dinner.

Next recommendation, a new one to us, Forth. We loved their Sauvignon Blanc!!

A very close family friend works at Dutcher's Crossing, so we had to stop by and sample. Again, I liked their SB and Mr. Spice was into their Petite Sirah. Plus, there grounds are amazing!!

And finally, an acquaintance of Mr. Spice started a winery just as he was getting into the wine industry so we made one last stop:

Again, a fantastic Rose, Grenache, Petite Sirah and Cuvee Foundre (a fancy name for a blend).

All in all, we bought just over a case of wine for under $200. Not bad. Some of it we took to T-day dinner, and some of it is now on reserve for just the two of us.

We ended the day with a fantastic dinner in downtown Healdsburg. At the end of the day, we realized how long it had been since we had taken a day for US to do something we both enjoy. We spend a ton of time together doing other things, but it was amazing what one romantic day can do for your relationship.

Have you ever stopped to take a break from the hustle and bustle and found out that you can still take each other's breath away??

* Click on the labels for the Vineyard's websites.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Friday!!

Hope everyone is having a great Friday. The sun is out here, but the temperature has dropped. Mr. Spice has to work all weekend, so here's my semi-homemade project for Sunday:

Re-vamping Mama Sugar's 42 year old veil!! That's right, Poppy and Mama Sugar have been married for over 42 years!! I hope I do a good job, it'd be really cool to incorporate this into the wedding, and a big bummer if I can't.

Wish me luck.

Hunting for a Venue, Part 3

And finally, the wait is over.

For Mr. Spice and I's first anniversary Mr. Spice had FIL Spice pull in a favor, and we got to spend the night in a suite at the Hotel Vitale. It was fabulous to say the least!!! We had cupcakes and bubbly waiting for us in the room when we got there and the service was amazing!!! Mr. Spice didn't leave the room for a full 24 hours!!!

So while, I always knew that Vitale was an option, I didn't really pursue it that is until FIL Spice came to visit. We went to the Hotel for a drink so Mr. Spice's Step-Mom could check it out. As soon as we saw the outdoor terrace, she asked me why weren't looking into the Vitale as a venue?

Well, the minimum was out of our budget, and I didn't l-o-v-e the reception space. Fast forward three months later and we still weren't close to deciding on a venue. Finally, we called FIL Spice to call in another favor.

Asking favors for a wedding can be tricky. We had to figure out exactly what we were asking for, and then wait. The future of our wedding was in someone else's hands. Would the stars align and could we work out a deal???

After over a month of negotiations and five months of venue hunting, we signed on the bottom line and secured our wedding venue.

I couldn't be happier, and here are the reason this is the perfect venue for us:

1. While not a beach wedding, check out the view from the outdoor terrace. This is where the ceremony and 'cocktail' hour will be held. Can I say breath taking!! And so close to the water.

Here are Mama Sugar and Mama Spice standing where the Chuppah will be for the Ceremony! In the background is the SF Ferry Building, one of my VERY favorite places in SF.

Here is the view from the outdoor terrace that the guest will have from their seats.

2. Days before we sign our contract, Hotel Vitale released the following press statement:
"The Green Standard" Programs Incorporate Eco-Friendly Practices Throughout Every Aspect of Meetings and Events

Can we say perfect location for a GREEN WEDDING!!! Not to mention that we won't be able to decide our menu until right before the wedding so it will be local and seasonal. Another green element checked off the list!!

3. The hotel exudes Modern Organic Style. As you enter the hotel you step into a very natural and peaceful environment. Here's the lobby:

4. The Ceremony will be held on the fifth floor and the Reception on the first. No transportation needed!! Another eco- and guest-friendly element.

Here's part of the reception room, in the day-light, not set up. I know it's a dreaded Hotel Event space, but the good news is any decor I add will not be fighting with the carpet and walls.

Well, maybe I'll have to compete a bit with the carpet and walls. Here's the space set up for a meeting:


I don't love this room so I'll have to ask some advice for sprucing it up in the near future.

5. As of a few weeks ago, the Hotel hired a new event coordinator that has a background in wedding planning!! Score. She's already emailed me that she is there to help make my wedding AWESOME. Those are her words.

6. The venue is right down the street from where I work, which has been a fabulous godsend. I never understood how wonderful it is to get married locally until I hopped over to the hotel on lunch for a meeting. And if you can believe it, a few vendors have given us discounts since we are located in the City. Who would have thought that a City wedding could be cheaper??

Who knew!??

Has anyone else called in a favor to get the venue they want??

*Unless noted, pictures by me or Mama Sugar.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hunting for a Venue, Part Two

Mr. Spice and I weren't feeling too great about getting married in Carmel. When we got home we were wet and tired. To top it off, after a bit of research, I found out that the City of Carmel does not allow weddings at their parks and beaches. So while we had a Plan B ceremony site, we didn't have a Plan A. Unless we went to a State Beach 15 miles away.

Humm. This easy breezy beach, organic wedding that I pictured was starting to not feel easy or breezy.

So venue shopping quickly became an all hands on deck search. With the number of people we were having (60), renting out an event space and renting everything wouldn't be cost efficient. So it became a numbers game- we were looking for a venue that provided everything with a low enough minimum that we could hit it with 60 people. I am good with math so I hit the ground running.

I can't tell you how many venues we looked at! A couple dozen or more?? In order to spare you the bad and the ugly. Here are the top three that we didn't choose and why:

1. The Cliff House. Located on Ocean Beach in SF, it's such an old restaurant that my Dad use to go there as a kid with his Mom and order Shirley Temples.

Here's what the place use to look like!! WOWZA:

And here it is today:

If Mama Sugar didn't want us married at the beach, I'd bring the venue to the beach. Here's the Ceremony site over looking the beach:

And the reception would be just indoors:

The room didn't exactly go with my color theme. BUT the Coordinator was willing to work with us to drop the minimum for the off season- through the month of April. And they were working on becoming a Green Restaurant and starting to serve a local sustainable menu. Perfect.

Well, kinda, while we never actually ate here- we hadn't heard great things about the food.

2. The Historic Sand Rock Farm located in Santa Cruz. I don't know how I found this place, but the pictures left me totally intrigued. So one Sat in the mist of all the venue hunting, Mr. Spice and I drove down to Santa Cruz for the day to check it out. We loved it; well, parts of it. It wouldn't be on the beach, but who cared. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

The Inn. Amazing from the outside, a bit too old school on the inside.

The Redwood Grove. One possible Ceremony Site.

The old Wine Cellar. This is what made us fall in love. We would have either had the ceremony or reception here.

A path on the property.

And finally, the back up reception site, the old historic barn. I can still picture it all set up in my head.

In the end, it was just a bit too pricey (although I swear the owner would have worked with us to make it work), and again it would require our guests to fly and drive over an hour and half from the nearest airport.

3. Epic Roasthouse. Located on the SF Waterfront, this is a brand new restaurant that has an amazing view of the Bay Bridge. We went for a dinner and loved it. Even got to talk to the Chef.

They have a private event room that connects to a terrace:

Here's the outside of the restaurant at night:


While we loved the location, the room would fit 60 folks with no dance floor. That is something we could live with, but there would be no ceremony site. Humm. Where to get married? This venue is still in the running for the rehearsal dinner.

Up next, the hunt is over!!

Did anyone else go on a massive hunt in over four counties to figure out where you wanted to get married??

*Unless noted all pics by myself or Mama Sugar.

Foot Note

To interrupt the regularly scheduled program, I am going to ask you to skip ahead nine months to my latest obsession: SHOES. What a shock!?

So what you don't know is that I have a dress, and it's ivory and satin. More on that later. What you kinda know is that our colors are kelly green and chocolate brown with a touch of light pink mainly for flowers.

That said, I have reached a shoe dilemma. I HEART the latest trend of colored shoes. So much so, I stalked these shoes on from December to July when I bought them for 69.99 on final sale!! Oh yeah, baby!!

I originally thought that they would go fabulous with my dress, but now that I have THE dress. Umm, not so much. But don't you worry, I wear these all the time, and get the very best compliments every time I wear them.

Since buying them, I am having a hard time deciding if I should go with the latest color fashion trend or more traditional. Here are the current shoes I HEART:

Source: J. Crew.

Similar to my original loves, but I think the heal is going to be too high for the wedding. Not to mention, I can no longer find them on the j.crew website. UGGG.


These are just BEAUTIFUL!! But again too high and maybe be too pricey. The number looks so good in pounds I couldn't break my hear to convert the price to dollars.


Or these Stuart Weitzman. If only they didn't break the bank.

The perfect heel height, with a peep toe at a great price. But I can't pull the trigger.


These Kate Spades would also be perfect, but the price! UGG.

Obviously, I am looking for a peep toe shoe with a heel less than 3 inches in either green, ivory or brown. And apparently, I am going for something with a bow- who knew? At a reasonable price. Ask me in a few days to define reasonable.


Hunting for a Venue, Part 1

Once we decided on Spring, had a clearer idea of our budget, and crafted an approximately 60 person guest list, we were ready for some venue shopping!!!

As I mentioned before, Mr. Spice and I adore Carmel. We had been there a few times before and had the most amazingly romantic weekends. Determined to have a Carmel Wedding, Mr. Spice and I headed down to Carmel to celebrate our Two Year anniversary and to view as many venues as possible. We had our hearts set on Beach Ceremony in Carmel and the reception at Casanova, but being the over planner I am, I wanted to see it all.

First stop, Costanoa. Not in Carmel, but along the coast. Costanoa is an eco-adventure resort. Perfect for an Organic Wedding!! They have a lodge and spa for those who love amenities, but the also have upscale tents for the more adventuring. I have heard it called 'Banana Republic Camping,' and I really do think that sums it up best:
All images taken by me.

Well, it was a bit more rustic then Mr. Spice and I envisioned. Plus, the beautiful wedding tents we had seen on-line would not be included in the package. So the entire ceremony and reception would be outside.

Before I go on, I think I should tell you about the conversation Mamma Sugar and I had right before we left for our trip:

Me: so we want to do a beach outdoor wedding.

Mamma Sugar: What? I don't like beach weddings. What about the weather?

Me: But it will be spring!

Mamma Sugar: Make sure you have a back up plan!!!!

Well, Costanoa provided no back up plan, except a tent for a few couple extra thousand dollars more. Bummer #1.

Bummer #2. The weather. As soon as we left Coastanoa, the weather turned bad.

The skies turned gray and we found ourselves in a huge hail storm. By the time we reached Carmel, this is what the Beach looked like:

Despite the weather, Mr. Spice and I couldn't wait to step foot in Casanova to check out the Harvest Room. As I stated before, as Mr. Spice and I jetted off to Hawaii, I envisioned a wedding on the beach and the reception at Casanova. All in all, a VERY romantic weekend!!
Doesn't this room just exude romance????

Well, the room was great- small and cozy. Dancing could be a problem, but who needs that. Plus, we could hold both the ceremony and the reception there if it rained!! Perfect, back up plan solved. We sat down for a romantic late lunch and Mr. Spice surprised me with a Second Anniversary Cake. It always shocks me that he can still surprise me.

After lunch, we had an appointment to check out La Playa Hotel. Once we got there- we found that with amount of people we were having we would either have to shell out a few extra thousand dollars to meet the minimum, or we could only have an afternoon reception with no music. Next please.We moved on without even taking pictures.

The next day, the rain stopped, and the skies cleared (well not really), so we went to go explore Carmel to find an outdoor ceremony venue that Mamma Sugar would approve of.
First the Beach. I thought this spot would be perfect, and that Mamma Sugar would surely approve:

Just in case, we pressed on. Within walking distance of Casanova there were two parks, one grassy and one with a deck:

Both owned by the City. I loved the idea of both, but I was still struggling with not having a beach ceremony. How could we justify making all of our guests fly to California, drive at least an hour and half to Carmel, and then not have a beach wedding.

The rest of the day we explored Carmel to no end. Everything else was just not right. As we left Carmel, very soggy, we still had hopes of making Carmel work, but it wasn't clicking.

Do you have your heart on a location or venue that didn't withstand parent approval?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Timing is Everything.

Everyone knows that timing is everything in a relationship. When I met Mr. Spice I was ready to meet him, and he was ready to meet me. In fact, I had made a deal with myself to accept every invitation I received to go out in order to meet someone.

I had just moved to San Francisco, and I barely knew a soul other than Big Sister Sugar and all of her friends. And if I hadn't honored my own deal- there is no way that Mr. Spice and I would have met Watching football. At a Steelers bar. On a Sunday morning.

As I said before we met at a bar watching the Steelers in the playoffs. Mr. Spice's best friend is a HUGE Steelers fan, and my new roommate grew up in Pittsburg. So they both dragged us to the bar on a Sunday morning to watch the playoffs. These folks had been watching the entire season together and they were crazy excited that Pittsburg had made the playoffs- and then they won!! It was so much fun I found myself going back to watch each playoff game, and I didn't know it at the time, but Mr. Spice kept coming back to see me.

That is until I realized that the Steelers were going to play Seattle in the Superbowl. My Seattle. So, I had to jump ship; I told everyone that I couldn't watch the Superbowl with them. And somehow without me even realizing it, I gave Mr. Spice my number- loser buys a round. I never bought that round of drinks I promised, but now you know that it IS possible to meet someone at a BAR.

Timing is also everything in deciding on a date for a wedding. When Mr. Spice and I got engaged we already had FIVE weddings to go to over Summer and Fall 2008. Including Sister Spice's wedding.

I heart fall. I still wish I were a fall bride. I mean check out these beautiful wedding details!!! I love the wheat details. Very modern and organic looking, just my style.

Pictures 2 and 6 are from Design*Sponge. The rest are from Project Wedding.

But unfortunately, Mr. Spice works 24/7 during Olive harvest season which falls from October to January. Total no go. He wouldn't be able to help with anything, and a honeymoon, forget about it. So then our engagement quickly spiraled from the 10 month affair that I envisioned to 17 months!!! Not only is Mr. Spice a slave to the season, Poppy Sugar is a Tax Accountant. Any daughter of an accountant knows- from about Feb. to April 15th- he's attached to his desk.

So Spring it is!! May to be exact!! And because Mr. Spice knows how to make a girl happy- we are getting married the end of May just so we can (cross your fingers) have Dahlias at our wedding.

So here is a sneak peak at the very first inspiration board I did when we decided to have a spring wedding!

I did this so long ago I don't have all the sources. Most are from Project Wedding. Pic 3 and 6 are from J. Crew. Pic 5 is from Real Simple Weddings. And Pic Sixteen is from Miette.

I can promise that at least one of the pictures above will be duplicated for our wedding.

Is your engagement longer than you want? Did you have a hard time figuring out what season to get married in? Was it all based on someone else's schedule??

Thursday, November 13, 2008

She said what?? A non-wedding, wedding.

Shortly after Mr. Spice and I were engaged we went to LA-LA land for the Holidays. Both Mr. Spice and I have family in LA, so our trips down there are often whirlwind adventures where we bounce from family to family, and if we are lucky we get to see our friends.

This holiday season was even more busy. We went to LA to celebrate Christmas with my folks and on the 26th we jetted off to Hawaii for an amazing trip with his fam.

Here I am enjoying the magic of Christmas with my niece:

And here we are relaxing a day later in Hawaii with a post engagement glow (I so wish I were on vacation right now):

In between these two pics, Mama Sugar asked me how I envisioned our wedding. While I hadn't really thought of what I wanted until a few days before, I had attended and participated in both my brother and sister's weddings six and five years previously, so I felt like I kinda knew what to expect. Nothing crazy elaborate, but a super fun day with all of our family and friends. I was envisioning something woodsy and organic with about 150 people in the Bay Area. And of course, a full bar (just because I love the environment doesn't mean I don't like to party)!!

Well, Mama Sugar had other ideas. She knew that Mr. Spice and I are on pretty tight budgets, so she suggested putting the money towards a down payment and then just throwing an afternoon open house.

She said what? While my head said, that's a great idea and that I should be oh so grateful for all of their generosity and support.

The little girl inside my heart said, wait- how would Poppy Sugar walk me down the aisle at an open house party? And does she know how much a down payment on a house is in the Bay Area0- let alone one big enough to host 150 people (remember this is before the housing bust)???

In the picture above I am wearing sunglasses because I had cried all night saying good-bye to the wedding dreams I had created in the ten days I had been engaged.

But as you can tell I am smiling ear to ear in the picture because early the next morning Mr. Spice reminded me why I was marrying him. Because he understands me, neurosis and all.

He found the perfect compromise, holding a small wedding with just those nearest and dearest to us. Allowing us to keep the cost to a minimum, save the rest for a house in the future, all the while creating a meaningful intimate affair. He even suggested our favorite restaurant in Carmel, Casanova. Who wouldn't want to marry here:

So we flew off to Hawaii with all our problems solved to enjoy a relaxing vacation.
And that's why we decided to throw an intimate wedding!! If only the location were that easy, up next: location, location, location.
How did you decide how many people you would have at your wedding? And did you have to re-vision your wedding once you started planning it??