Curious Epicurean

Archive for the ‘Wedding’ Category

Our fabulous photographers selected some of their favorite photos from our wedding and made a beautiful video with it. It was a wonderful surprise! We’re so happy to be able to look back on some of our favorite moments from our day!


With 54 days to go, the bridesmaids dresses are here, shoes have arrived and I just picked out jewelry today! Having a casual Hawaiian wedding means I wanted my bridesmaids’ look to appear fun and effortless. In all reality, it takes a lot of work to plan a casual, laid back look and event.

The beach-ready sandals:

Steve Madden flat sandals for the North Shore beach.

The dress we picked out at J’aime Bridal as modeled by my MOH and baby sister:

The Bill Levkoff not-so-ugly bridesmaid dress.

Completing the look with accessories proved to be a challenge, until coral became the color of the season!

Coral drop earrings to match the bright orange hues of the flowers.

The bracelet that matches the earrings.

My sister and mom threw us a great couples shower last weekend. Instead of the standard ladies-only event, we invited all the family and friends and had a great late-afternoon party. After reading countless wedding websites and blogs for content ideas for my other Twitter and wedding blog, I always have really great visions of what I want and no idea how to get there. Luckily for me, my baby sister is endlessly creative and could translate my aimless wish list of decor elements into beautiful arrangements.

My creative team and bridesmaids.

Flowers are a big part of any wedding-related event. In fact, some professionals say that floral elements should account for 10% of your overall budget. Looking for a way to stretch our floral budget, we decided to try the Oakland Flower Mart, a wholesale distributor of flowers in the East Bay. We arrived early in the morning and I was almost overwhelmed by the options! For great prices, we found exactly what we needed and more–for way under the budget.

The before:

Our selection of hhydrangeas, daisies dyed hot pink and orange, chrysanthemums, orange roses, and funny little green things

And after, with some creativity:

Roses and hydrangeas after some creativity.

We found a way to incorporate delicate hydrangeas into the hot pink and bright orange color scheme.

I ordered my dress last August. I found it on the first day of trying on dresses, and it was the fifth dress I tried on. It was so easy! And I was shocked. I am usually picky, non-committal and indecisive. I fully anticipated driving to every dress store in Northern California and trying on dozens–if not hundreds–of dresses. Luckily, the awesome little boutique down the street from my work in Pleasanton had just the dress I wanted. It was that easy!

So, in August my dress was ordered and  waited and waited and waited. The seven months it took to make the dress seemed like a lifetime passed. I tried to avoid every image of another bridal gown in magazines, in stores and online. Let me tell you, that wasn’t easy! I tried really hard not to fall out of love with my dress, but I was worried that I wouldn’t love it just as much when it finally arrived. This would be the worst time to get buyer’s remorse because of a purchase.

When my dress finally arrived this month, I gathered my bridesmaids, mom and fiancé’s mom and adorable flower girl to see me try it on. I still had this sinking feeling that, after all those months, I wasn’t going to LOVE it.

Just a preview of my dress.

Luckily, when I tried it on, the feeling and all the emotions that I had felt in August came rushing back, and I knew this was still the dress. I never want to take it off! I’m counting down the days until I’m wearing it at our wedding at Turtle Bay.

For so many people who think of a destination wedding, wine country is a natural choice. I thought it was for me too. Aside from the fact that my fiancée and I both have a pretty healthy little wine habit, we also live in what is argued to be California’s oldest wine country and I work to promote the more than 50 area wineries.

Really, what could be more romantic than rolling hills of lush vines? What about the perfectly paired local varietals and wine country cuisine? What about the sheer variety of  hospitable venues to reflect any style or theme and accommodate a group of any size?

The size of the group certainly proved to be the issue. Before I could blink, the intimate late-summer winery wedding I had envisioned more than double in guest count. The price tag followed accordingly.

Inevitably, it was too much to deal with. I’m used to planning events. I’m comfortable with the ins and outs, deadlines, contracts and stress. But that’s when I’m paid to stress.

This was our wedding and I refused to stress. The solution: a destination wedding. Next August, as the suns sets on the North Shore of Oahu, we’re having our intimate wedding surrounded by close family and friends.

I’ve learned that a destination wedding can mean different things to different brides- and grooms-to-be. The location holds such value and is so meaningful. Wine country can be  the perfect, relaxing fit for many couples’ dream wedding. Wine country is our favorite go-to weekend escape, but I guess we just got spoiled having wine country at our fingertips whenever we choose. For us, we needed somewhere a little different with an oceanfront sunset and our toes in the sand.