Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Okay, so I've been a little absent lately! Sorry, but I have been B-U-S-Y!

Seriously. In the last 10 days I;
  1. Got married at the courthouse
  2. Filed for my official "Adjustment Of Status" to Lawful Permanent resident (AKA Green Card)
  3. Bought a house
  4. Became an Aunt for the first time, Miss Ayla Sierra was born on April 27th!
I am not kidding! Busy fun-filled-ness!!

I think this pic totally sums up life at the moment

Promise to be back to regular posting now!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Civil ceremony

So, we are getting married tomorrow! Well, officially anyway...

We have spent the last 8 months negotiating the frustrating world of US Immigration, and now have to finalise the marriage so they don't turn around and kick the free-loading Aussie (that would be me) back out on her proverbial arse. I would really have preferred that the day we have the big ceremony & party in October to be the official wedding date, (we have decided that we will celebrate that date as our anniversary) but that is really the tiny romantic part of me talking. It really doesn't matter.

We will be exchanging rings - however this is at Brent's insistence. He thinks the clerk at the courthouse will think we are "fishy" and ONLY getting married for immigration purposes if we don't exchange rings! He's funny ;) So we went to the flea market on the weekend and picked up a couple of plain silver wedding bands to exchange temporarily. I honestly don't want to wear it on my finger (first of all it doesn't match my engagement ring at ALL!) so I may wear it on a chain. what to wear?!

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Whilst shopping online for Shepherds hooks to make my aisle look like this:
(yes, apparently this is what these metal post-y things are called - oh the education I'm getting whilst wedding planning!)

I stumbled over these beauties! How gorgeous would these look lining an aisle for a garden or beach wedding? A little over my decorating budget at $39.95 a piece, but so lovely!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Invite inspiration

(clockwise from top left: Eco-friendly wedding invitation, Vreeland Design ; next two are from Michelle Brusegaard; next one is from Fading Flowers; Wedding Paper Divas; A3 Designs invite; Pinklily notecards; next two = Fubabee notecard & invite; Gocco'ed card by Mwilson; unknown notecard; Fading Flowers notecard; centre invitiation is from Eva Paul

Mother's flowers

Now I've switched to carnations....these will be a cinch to put together for my Mum & Future Mother-in-law!

I never thought I would be one to say this...
but Yay for Martha Stewart!!

Wrist Corsage How-To

I love it!!

Now to shop for pretty ribbon!

Flowers, blowing the budget?

I spent some time yesterday pondering my flower situation.

I had the Flame callas all chosen, in fact they were the actual decision I made about the wedding, and from them came the orange colour scheme!

Well, I started pricing them again (having only taken a less than cursory glance at the price when finding suppliers) and it looks like they will end up costing somewhere between $2.50 and $4.50 a stem! Ouch!!

So, I started looking at some floral designers websites to get some alternative orange flower inspiration. What do I then stumble upon...this gorgeous bouquet!!

It's from Birch flowers in San Francisco. They do BEAUTIFUL flowers, but this one caught my eye with it's simple chic-ness! And carnations? Well, who knew they could be so gorgeous!

Okay, so I'm now on a mission - find orange-y carnations. I was thinking this might be tricky, as the only orange-y carnations I've ever seen are those peach coloured ones they inevitably end up in the bouquet you buy to take to the hospital for a friend to cheer them up... not exactly what I'm going for on my wedding day!

But, I hearing angel choirs?

So, they are still yellow and red (well, officially the first one is yellow & purple, but certainly looks red to me!), and come in between $0.55 and $0.73 a stem! What a deal!?

I swear I will come under budget for this wedding!!! :)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Jewellry ideas

I am in love with this bracelet - too cute! I may have to find someone on Etsy to make me one like it, as I cannot justify the $150 price tag on something so small :(

Friday, March 21, 2008


I WANT this fabric! God knows what I'd do with it, as I can't sew...but I LOVE it!! Hrmmm....maybe totes for the BM's?? Ooooooooo!!

(borrowed from the gorgeous site of Lotta Jansdotter)


So I have been planning for some time that we would incorporate Scrabble into the wedding somehow, and I had come up with making wineglass charms with the guest's initials in Scrabble tiles on them. I love this idea :)

However I am DYING to include something like these, lovingly borrowed from my favourite food blog, Bakerella (

I wonder how long it will take to make a hundred? Mmmmmm...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Today's orang-spiration

Enzo Angioini - Maylie @ Zappos; Aisle inspiration @The Knot; Martha Stewart weddings;
Orange Paper lanterns; Tie front dress @ J.Crew; Flame Callas; Bubble Necklace in 'Sweet Papaya' @ J. Crew; Cake inspiration @ Martha Stewart Weddings; Elum Designer Print @ Papermojo.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


We're tossing up two ideas for readings... Dr. Seuss' "Oh! The places you'll go!" and Sandol Stoddard's "I Like You".


Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.
About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you'll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you'll head straight out of town.

It's opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.


You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...

...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don't.
Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)


be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

---Dr. Seuss

I Like You by Sandol Stoddard

I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it's special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, Remember when you told me something special
And both of us remember

When I think something is important
you think it's important too
We have good ideas
When I say something funny, you laugh
I think I'm funny and you think I'm funny too
I like you because you know where I'm ticklish
And you don't tickle me there except just a little tiny bit sometimes
But if you do, then I know where to tickle you too
You know how to be silly
That's why I like you
Boy are you ever silly
I never met anybody sillier than me till I met you
I like you because you know when it's time to stop being silly
Maybe day after tomorrow
Maybe never
Too late, it's a quarter past silly
Sometimes we don't say a word
We snurkle under fences
We spy secret places
If I am a goofus on the roofus hollering my head off
You are one too
If I pretend I am drowning, you pretend you are saving me
If I am getting ready to pop a paper bag,
then you are getting ready to jump

That's because you really like me
You really like me, don't you
And I really like you back
And you like me back and I like you back
And that's the way we keep on going every day

If you go away, then I go away too
or if I stay home, you send me a postcard
You don't just say Well see you around sometime, bye
I like you a lot because of that
If I go away, I send you a postcard too
And I like you because if we go away together
And if we are in Grand Central Station
And if I get lost
Then you are the one that is yelling for me

And I like you because when I am feeling sad
You don't always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad
You can't stand the others being so googly and gaggly every single minute
You want to think about things
It takes time

I like you because if I am mad at you
Then you are mad at me too
It's awful when the other person isn't
They are so nice and hoo-hoo you could just about punch them in the nose

I like you because if I think I am going to throw up
then you are really sorry
You don't just pretend you are busy looking at the birdies and all that
You say, maybe it was something you ate
You say, the same thing happened to me one time
And the same thing did

If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one
If I find four, I give you two
If we only find three, we keep on looking
Sometimes we have good luck, and sometimes we don't

If I break my arm, and if you break your arm too
Then it's fun to have a broken arm
I tell you about mine, you tell me about yours
We are both sorry
We write our names and draw pictures
We show everybody and they wish they had a broken arm too

I like you because I don't know why but
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can't remember when I didn't like you
It must have been lonesome then

I like you because because because
I forget why I like you but I do
So many reasons
On the 4th of July I like you because it's the 4th of July
On the fifth of July, I like you too
If you and I had some drums and some horns and some horses
If we had some hats and some flags and some fire engines
We could be a HOLIDAY
We could be a CELEBRATION
We could be a WHOLE PARADE
See what I mean?

Even if it was the 999th of July
Even if it was August
Even if it was way down at the bottom of November
Even if it was no place particular in January
I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
That's how it would happen every time
I don't know why
I guess I don't know why I really like you
Why do I like you
I guess I just like you
I guess I just like you because I like you.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Day of wedding co-ordinator

Ok, I think I am almost as far away from the scary Style Network "Bridezilla" as you can possibly get. That being said, however, I am a little (ok, a LOT) nervous about having to co-ordinate all of the little details of the day, on the day.

I was never in the market for someone to do all the planning for me, no, I am having way too much fun doing it all myself! But, I would like to hand off the reins to someone else on the day, and have all my fabulous plans orchestrated by someone else! I know I have many, many hands I can delegate to on the day, but I really want everyone to be able to sit back and enjoy it with me - not be running around putting up chuppah's and arranging centrepieces :)

So, I shopped around a lot, and was horrified to find that some co-ordinators were charging upwards of US$1500.oo for the day of ONLY! Eek! Talk about totally blowing my budget out of the water! But after some serious searching I found Justine Rojas. She seems to be the answer to my prayers (well, if I prayed anyways...)!

Here is what she includes in her US$450.00 fee:

  • Unlimited meetings and email/phone contact prior to wedding, as requested by bride.
  • Gathering and reviewing all your vendor contracts. Assuming responsibility for all vendor contact as requested per bride.
  • Assisting with suggesting vendors, details and keeping up with brides personal checklist to ensure all is done. 􀁹 Calling all vendors to confirm details and times of arrival/delivery.
  • Designing floor plan layouts if necessary. 􀁹 Creating a detailed time-line of entire wedding day schedule for bride and bridal party. (as prepared by bride and consultant)
  • Organizing the processional and recessional.
  • Rehearsal Coordination. If Justine Rojas is not available for a particular date, wedding responsibility cards will be handed out to bridal party, this does not constitute a reduction in price.
  • Assuming responsibility for all vendor contact for 1 week leading up to wedding day.
  • Wedding Day Coordination:
o Meet w/ bride to review last-minute direction, questions, or concerns.
o Greet vendors upon arrival and receive deliveries . o Assist wedding party, family members, guests as needed .
o Ensure all vendors are doing their job according to contracts. Ensure set up is desired by the bride and groom.
o Light candles, place all party favors, assist in decorating if reception is not in charge of doing so.
o Gather anything remaining at the end of the night such as gifts, cake servers and toasting glasses, unless otherwise instructed by the bride.
o Ensure that everything at the venue is cleaned according to the contract; However, Justine Rojas will not be responsible for cleaning the reception hall, even if prior arrangements had not been scheduled by the bride.
o Provide 1 assistant coordinator if necessary.
o Distribute final payments and tips to vendors on behalf of couple.

So I think I am getting a great deal (I believe my sanity is worth the cost!).

Here is her blog if you want to check her out:


So we finally decided on a photographer!

Her name is Chelsey Boatwright and she is great. She came in with the best quote, and the most "us" style out of the photgraphers we looked at. Here is a sneak peek of her style (copyrights all back to Chelsey of course - in case anyone but my friends and family stumble across my blog!)

Here is a link to her website and her blog if you want a look at her stuff:

I am so happy with our choice! I also came in US$1100.oo
UNDER budget, THANKYOU! I can now afford that Day-of-Coordinator I have been so desperately wanting! :)

249 days out!

Oops, missed the 250! (well it was the weekend after all!)

Bridesmaids colour scheme (better version!)

Clockwise from top left: Flowers will be "Flame" Calla lillies; my hairpiece/fascinator made by Myra Kim (; my current design inspiration for my save the dates; my dress, by J.Crew :)

Clockwise from top left: the kind of shirts the guys will wear - Cuban Guayaberas; The ceremony location on Dania Beach, FL; My thank you cards which I DIY'd with my trusty Gocco screening gizmo; The reception venue, Beach Watch restaurant on Dania Pier;

We aren't having the traditional "sit-down" dinner, we are having passed hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, a salad station and a cheese station. Dessert will be cake...mmmm :)

Clockwise from top left: Our aisle will be marked with smaller versions of these orange paper lanterns, hanging from the hooks in the pic directly below. They will also decorate the reception venue - bang for buck!! Our guests will sit on picnic blankets on either side of the aisle; Still deciding on cake design, although thanks to I hopefully have found a baker!

Shoe shortlist:

My wedding band - my engagement ring will move to my right hand after the wedding day. Still to be purchased from Shade Jewelry (

Decided, but no pics:
- Favours = wine glass charms with recycled Scrabble tiles with the owners initial on them - Scrabble is sort of a sub theme - my FH proposed on a Scrabble board!

Still to do:
- Invites, I think they will just be a larger version of the STDs...
- Pick a photographer; I just have one more to meet and I think they'll be the one!
- Hotel block for Out of Towners
- Music - no clue ! Will use an iPod and have a friend to control it, but no idea of what to play yet!
- Plan rehearsal dinner with FMIL
- Honeymoon
- Find make up artist/hair person
- Find Tailor/Alteration person to take the dress in (it's a little big)

Phew!! I'm tired now !! :)

The dress!

None of me in it yet, but we'll get to it!

My stunner here came from J.Crew and priced out at hust over $300 with tax and shipping (bought online). I am in love!


Apparently I'm supposed to have lots of flowers at my's tradition after all!

Well, we're not.

One type of flower only. "Flame" Calla Lillies.

I love them, and have found them for very reasonable prices through a flower wholesaler :)

They are also dictating the colour of the bridesmaids/bridesman's outfits, inspiation board coming :)

Offbeat bride

I consider us pretty "offbeat" and more so lately.

I have been looking at website after website (i'm talking THOUSANDS!) dedicated to weddings, and really, I'm just so tired of having the world dictate what I "must do" regarding our wedding.

Neither Brent or I are particularly religious, despite his growing up in a Jewish household and my attending a Church of England school, we fairly much sit firmly near the agnostic/atheist belief border. Also, as we will already have had a civil ceremony to satisfy those evil f*^$ers at USCIS (United States Customs & Immigration Service), we will not actually be "getting married" on our wedding day. What I am finding cool about this, is that we can have ANYONE "marry" us. This is also the uncool thing. Too many choices. The wedding magazines say I should have an officiant. I disagree. Shouldn't I have someone who means something to us do the honours? I just need to think who would do the best job... any votes??

By-the-by, I am currently reading "Off Beat Bride 'Taffeta-Free Alternatives for Independent Brides'". It's a great book that is working hard to remind me that all that's important is that the wedding is ours. Keep it as authentic to the two of us as possible. We plan on it :)

Thank you's

My trusty Gocco strikes again :)

Okay, so the photo is not fabulous, but you get the idea. We had started to get engagement gifts, so needed to do the proper thing and send out "thank you" cards.

It's so much more rewarding to do these myself! Wedding stationery is really obnoxiously expensive.

Mary (my roommate) had a friend of hers, Sarah, around on Sunday afternoon to bounce around ideas for Sarah and her fiance Jake's wedding. They aren't getting married until March 2009 - boy is she leaving me in the dust organisation-wise! Anyway, I showed her the invites and the cards I did on my Gocco and she flipped for them! She may want me to do hers for her too :) Maybe I can have a lucrative side business?

Location, location, location

So, our original plan was a stroke of genius on my part...well I thought so!!

We had hoped to keep the wedding to about 75 people max. My amazing idea was that seeing we had a lot of out of towners coming to the wedding, and that we really wanted to keep it pretty laid back and casual (so very us!) we would look at renting a house for the week surrounding the wedding. Prerequisites for the house were:

1. On or very close to the beach
2. Large outdoor space for cocktails/h'ordeuvres after the ceremony
3. Enough space to sleep at least 10-12 family and friends for the week

I really thought this was genius. There are so many amazing houses in South Florida that aren't occupied in Off Season (May - Nov) and I really thought it would be great to have a "wedding HQ" so to speak - location for the rehearsal dinner, somewhere for the girls to get ready, somewhere for the day after brunch, and a few days of R&R by a pool after the insanity. Brilliant right? Yeah, right...

Turns out we have about 140 people on the list at the moment...of course there ARE people on the list who will not come to FL for the event, they'll either wait for the Australia wedding, or send apologies. However, I can't bank on that, and really I can't imagine more than 20 people declining at this stage. So, we looked at much larger houses - and yes they do exist, however spending $8-12,000 for a week on the location...I don't think so!

I also had a brilliant idea for the catering which was not to be...using the local culinary schools! They all have to complete a certain number of practical credits in order to graduate, and you can often get chefs, servers etc for the cost of the food/beverages + tip. Would have been sweet ;)

Never mind. New idea time.

We still wanted to do the ceremony on the beach, and have a casual reception afterwards AND neither of us wanted the hotel type wedding reception. So. Casual, but nice restaurants on the water seemed like a good option. The problem was, this looked set to blow our budget completely out of the water. Restaurants that were asking a minimum of $70 a head for appetisers! And that would not even include the bar! OUCH...

But as chance would have it, I lucked out. Here is our perfect wedding location:

Vanessa turned DIY? will ever believe it, but it's true!

Unable to swallow spending insane amounts of money on purchased announcements, save-the- dates, invites, thank you cards (all in all it seems these can and do run well into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars!), i bought a Gocco. A Gocco you say?!?! Pray tell!


My Gocco PG-5 is a screen printing set! Made in Japan, this wonderful gizmo flash prints a copy of any image you place in it onto a mesh screen, ready for you to print cards, t-shirts or really anything you can think of! Wonderful! It cost only $100 + $35 shipping from JP, and once our save the dates have gone out, will have probably paid for itself twice over. Seeing I'm not working now, it feels like i'm doing something productive. This is how our engagement party invites came out:

Pretty darn good for a first try!

As far as the wedding itself goes, we have all but abandoned our original plan of renting a private home for the is turning out to be very difficult to locate a house that is

a) big enough for the 100+ guests

b) reasonably priced

c) easy to cater at

So, we are now looking at some of the more casual beachfront/waterfront restaurants in Palm Beach/ Broward county instead. We are going to look at a venue in Dania Beach on looks's hoping!

Let the wedding planning begin!

Weddings are crazy, somewhat uncontrollable beasts. I m beginning to realise this.

I thought that it was basic party planning, of which I have much experience. But, Oh NO! This is it's own beast, all consuming and turning even the most down to earth, sane couple into maniacs.

I have to document this. If only to look back once we're done, and agree that, "yes honey, you were right, no one noticed that the flowers and the invites were not the EXACT same shade of orange..."

N.B. I am back posting these (up till March 8th) from my other blog - I want to have people other than my family read this one, as there's some things, like dress pics etc, I want to blog, but not show the attendees before the big day!