Monday, December 19, 2011

pronovias my pronovias

i know, i know.... i did say i won't spend too much on gowns and pronovias isn't exactly cheap but i bought my gown during a holiday sale so it's still fact, combining the price of both my maggie sottero (civil wedding gown) and pronovias (for the church gown) are still cheaper than getting one gown from cecilio abad or veluz......actually almost half the price of what cecilio abad would ask and around 1/3 the price of veluz gowns...... which means i still have money for the surprise wedding gift i want to give the h2b and with that i'm really proud of myself! i mean, not only did i got them on sale but both gowns are fabulous too! can't wait to walk down the aisle and show them off, lol.....

anyway, so that picture there is where i bought my church wedding gown (van cleve wedding pavillon in paoli).... i have been going back and forth to that shop for three times and every time i would try different pronovias gowns...... but even after all those gowns, i keep coming back to the gown i tried on during my first visit, which is the gown i bought last saturday, december 18....on my birthday (it was their last day of sale last saturday)....

the other update i want to share is we finally have a wedding coordinator in the philippines.... we have officially booked them last december 13...... like i mentioned on my previous blogs, we need more than an OTD (on-the-day wedding coordination), we need partial coordination.... specially since i can't go home to the philippines next year anymore because i just switched jobs..... we need someone to run errands for us since the only time we can go home to the philippines is probably a week before the wedding.......

we also received the "yes" of all our entourage (got the last two just last saturday).... so it's going to be 5 from my side (1 bridesmaids, 1 maid of honor, 2 groomsmen & ring bearer..although 1 of my groomsmen is 50-50 *sad*) and 6 from the h2b's side (his best man, his 2 nephews, twin nieces & his nephew's 3-yr-old daughter) excited!

we also already applied for a wedding license in cape may last december 5.... we had to apply for wedding license in cape may because none of us lives in new jersey (we're both from PA).... it was surreal when we were inside Cape May's city hall, sitting infront of the registrar while we answer her questions for the wedding license..... its just different kind of happy feeling..... it's like, yes, this is it, i am getting married and i am not dreaming..... lol, sorry i'm being melodramatic again...

anyway, what else?oh, and last december 18 was my last birthday as m.c.....because on my next birthday i will be m.n..... nope, no dashing.... i have thought about that, and for practicality and my sanity's sake i decided to just change my name to my husband's..... i'll blog about that soon....

i guess that's it...for now...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

on ento gowns, emcee, photographers and coordinators

bridesmaids dresses
the first half of my female ento already had their fitting 2 weeks ago, that's november 19, saturday, the same date that i went to new york to watch the parokya ni edgar concert.... because im not around on that date and that's the only date my 2 bridesmaids are available and since it's the h2b's side of the family, it was the h2b who accompanied them to the store.... they survived, except for one slight confusion with the wedding dates, lol........the store needed to attach my bridesmaids' orders on my account but they can't find my record and it's because when i bought my gown with them we haven't formally booked our venue yet and what we know is  we're already sold on the may 19 date and that's what i put on my file at the gown store..... problem is when we were in the process of paying the deposit for our reception venue we had to change it to may 12 because we want to book rooms at peter shields too for the bridal entourage and some family members but all rooms for may 19 are already taken......

so that's one miscommunication...the other issue is i told the h2b not to tell the store the real wedding date and just tell them that it's one week before (may 5).... i have heard horror stories about bridesmaid gowns not being ready in time for the wedding (alterations are wrong, or there are missing pieces, etc) so i thought lying about the wedding date and having a week buffer isn't a big deal.... so anyway, the h2b forgot to give a heads-up to the bridesmaids that we'll lie about the wedding date so when they heard may 5th they all started to get worried.... only when they all came out from the store and are in the parking lot did the h2b explained what the real deal is, lol.....

now, for the other half of my ento, the fitting wasn't done until yesterday, dec 3.... in my ideal world i really want all my bridesmaids to have their gown fitting before thanksgiving because i was worried that since there are too many holidays coming, the store might need 4 months instead of 3.....  but hey, we're all busy and they can't just drop whatever plans they have just because of the gown fitting so dec 3 is fine with me... we were told the gowns might be ready by march and that still gives us plenty of time....

now, what i mentioned, so far, is just for the civil wedding..... i still haven't found a shop to order my female ento's gown for our church wedding in the philippines.... i really like to get ammon velasco because he has the styles i want but until now he hasn't replied to my emails yet....i've contacted zandra lim and shirly lustado too but gawd, they are just too expensive.... they are 4k and 5k per gown..... i really just want to get a divisoria gown for my entourage so it would be cheaper, the problem is i want someone that has online presence so we could just easily send photos of the design and how the gowns looks like and it would be easy to get  updates  too... i wish i can go home to the philippines to scout for bridesmaid gowns myself but i just switched jobs and i cant just take leaves off.....

i'm so happy we got her... no names for now, for privacy and because i still get paranoid whenever i would remember that horror story from another w@w about what someone did to their suppliers.... but anyway, so yeah, we already booked her and paid our deposit last nov 22....

for the civil wedding, i asked a friend of mine if she could be our on-the-day wedding coordinator.... i actually just need someone to oversee the decoration for the ceremony.... the decorations i have in mind involves shepherds hook and yards and yards of tulle and some other hanging decorations....and while i already have some guy friends and people from the rentals (where we rented chairs and arbor) to help in decorating i still need someone to ensure the proper execution, lol.... plus we're bringing in extra arbor and we also need to decorate that  and it would also be nice to have someone who could help us uncollapse and dispose that arbor into our car or someone's car after the photo formals....

as to the coordinator for the philippines, we want partial coordination....while im already 80% done booking the suppliers, we still need someone to book the hotel for preps, scout for shops for my female ento's gown and to help us with some other paper work so instead of just getting the OTD (on-the-day) coordinator package we decided to get the partial coordination package...... we already have one in mind but i decided to get the same coordinator my friend jefferly got because my first choice took a month to reply to my emails...... we contacted the 2nd choice and they reply to emails which is a biggie for me but we're still waiting for the contract and until we have the contract and until we paid the deposit i can't really claim that we already have a wedding coordinator....


we had to switch photographers because we want someone who's familiar and have already handled a wedding at peter shields.... we might still keep the old photographer, though, for our engagement shoots...we still have 3 seasons to go! (winter, spring, summer)....

we started having second thoughts about whether or not we should get a back-up photographer for the civil wedding when we found out about our back-up's preferred rate.... the cost of tiny things are just all piling up and it's starting to overwhelm us...... add the fact that we need to book our flights to the philippines soon so we could get better rates... and we're not just paying for both of us but for four other people as well! que horror! so we really need to start focusing on the needs and minimize the wants..... plus we still want to have money left for the honeymoon.... the h2b is big on honeymoon....he said married life is tough and a couple should have a very nice honeymoon so that when the going gets tough you have some very good memories to look back to to keep you going..... i agree....

images courtesy of: and

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

musician's booked

i am so very excited about our musicians!

 we saw/heard them play last May when we went to visit Cape May and we chanced upon a wedding by the beach, they were the musicians for that wedding....

we already paid the deposit and they will be playing for our civil wedding during the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception....... so why am i excited about them? one, they're a violin and guitar tandem...i love violin and i play guitar.... two, because they know the songs i want for the wedding  (Spring by Vivaldi and Cannon in D by Pachelbel)! well, actually, there's no surprise there, those two are typical wedding songs.

anyway, here are our choice of songs so far.

Cannon in D by Pachelbel - this is the song i made sure they can play before booking them....we'll have this for the wedding entourage procession
Minuet by Bach
Bridal March Chorus- (ofcourse) for the bride

When God made you - wishful thinking
I will be here - wishful thinking

Wedding March
Trumpet Voluntary by Clarke

cocktail hour and reception:
Cuando Caliente el Sol
Rondo by Beethoven
Minuet 1 by Bach
Minuet 3 by Bach
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach
Spring by Vivaldi
Magic is the Moonlight
You Belong to my art
Sabor a Mi

here's hoping they could learn or already know these songs:
Only Time by Enya
I will be here by Steven Curtis Chapman
Somewhere in time
any Carpenters love songs
Handel's La Rejouissance

if you want to hear what those songs are you can find it on my youtube Wedding Playlist:

Yet another DIY WYB

As much as I want to send out the same message in a bottle necklace to everyone who we want to be in our wedding party, culture and differences in chromosomes told me I can't.

Actually it was the H2b who pointed that out to me. He said that for the female entourage, American or not, would surely love receiving our message in a bottle necklace WYBs. The male species, on the other hand, probably won't. Atleast for the American men. So I had to give out two different WYBs.

This is easy to do too.

What you need:

1. black cardstock
2. white cardstock
3. small black buttons
4. glue
5. ribbon (i used tiffany blue)
6. sand
7. tiny shells


1. Cut black cardstock crosswise and fold in half.
2. "Dog ear" the top layer . Make sure the corner of the dog ear's won't go past the edge of the black cardstock. Lest it would be difficult to make an envelope to hold that card.

3. Practice printing the wordings. There should be enough space on top for the pseudo (extra long) half bow tie. In my experience one card stock is good for only one message.
4. Once your done practice-printing and you printed the messages for all your male ento into the white card stock it's time to cut.
5. The white cardstock should be, atleast, 1/8 inch smaller than the black cardstock on all sides.
6. Glue the white cardstock in place.
7. And the buttons.

8. Tie a knot on the ribbon of your choice.
9. Glue the inside part of the knot
10. Cut the ribbon to desired length. You can experiment on the length of the ribbon but it's supposed to mimic half the bow tie.
11. For the envelope just fold the white cardstock in half. It's up to you if you want to do it length-wise or cross-wise.
12. Before you cut the white cardstock put your finished WYB card inside so you would know how much you need to cut including the space you need for gluing the envelope together.

12. Since I have a beach theme I put sand on my envelope. I just put glue on the white cardstock and poured the sand in.
13. Then I glued shells at one side of the sand.

That's it! You're done!

By the way, make sure you wrap the card with bubble wrap before putting it in a bubble wrap envelope. Yes, better safe than sorry.
And here is our finished product.

And here are some other variations:

Monday, November 7, 2011

DIY Message in a Bottle necklace WYB

WYB means W-ill Y-ou B-e. I don't know who invented that concept but I sure do like that idea. I personally think it's more thoughtful than to just tell your wedding party verbally.

I have to do two sets of WYBs. One for our Philippines' church wedding and another one for the U.S. civil beach wedding. Since both of the weddings have different themes I decided to make two separate designs.

The picture below are some of the mock-ups I did but decided against it and went totally in different direction. There's one of those mock-ups though that I am planning to use.

I am very excited to share how our WYBs look like but I wanted my entourage to see them first so I waited until all my female entourage received theirs. Oh, and yes, they all said yes!

So first I'll walk you through the materials you would need. Read on:

1. sand (bought mine from Jo-ann's fabric )
2. shells - medium (bought it from walmart)
3. shells - tiny (bought it from micahel's )
4. vial bottles with cork with silver screw eyes...60mm tall by 12mm wide, with a 7mm opening (bought it from an etsy seller)
5. silver chains (a.c. moore )
6. rafia (jo-ann's fabric)
7. wooden boxes (bought for $1 each at michael's )
8. vellum paper (i used 2 colors, dirty ivory for female ento & light blue for the male ento)
9. silver ribbons (for tying up the scroll)
10. tiny trinkets of your choice (i used starfish for the female ento and fishes for the male)

Looking at my materials I'm sure you know already what I'm up to, lol and you might have already visualized the steps but I'll enumerate the steps anyway.

0. Get some old newspaper and cover your work area with it. Believe me you'll need it.It will make cleaning stray sand easier.
1. Make a fake funnel. See that white inverted triangle in that photo above? That's just a small piece of bond paper that i rolled and just made sure the end fits the mouth of the vial glass.
2. Get a used plastic spoon and start pouring the sand in. I suggest you just fill 1/8 of the glass so you'll have room for the tiny shells and your scroll.
3. Drop in 2-3 tiny shells. I try to combine the neutral colored shells with some colorful ones.
4. Put the cork in and screw in the loop screw eyes. Make sure its centered before you completely screw it in. And be careful, you dont want to break the delicate cork.
5. Insert the chain through the loop screw eyes.

Easy right? So we're done with the first step. Next is the message and packaging.

male ento WYB..i used cream for the female ento
  1. Do some mock printing for the scrolls. Try different font sizes and try different width sizes. You want to make sure the scrolls aren't too long that you won't be able to put the cork in. It's important that you do this first so you won't waste those expensive vellum paper.

2. Once you're done putting fake scrolls in your bottle necklace it's time to print the real ones!

3. Measure, measure, measure!  then cut. Again, we don't want to waste the vellum paper. What I do is I draw a line and made sure it's leveled. You want the scroll to be the same width on both sides.

4. Roll the scroll. Since we did Step #1 you probably know now how to roll the paper really thin so it would fit in your vial.

5. Put some tiny glue in the middle of the scroll. This is so it won't start unrolling while you put the silver ribbon on it. Dont put too much glue that it would be hard to remove. i use the tip of my pencil when I add the glue.

6. Put a dab of glue to where you'll be placing the ribbon (middle) then start looping the ribbon in (I just loop the ribbon twice) and knot it twice. You need to glue the ribbon before you loop it so it would be easy to squeeze in the scroll with the ribbon inside the vial without the scroll falling off from the ribbon. Again, don't put too much glue. Cut the ribbon to desired length but make sure it's long enough that you could tie in your trinkets.

7. Put the scroll inside the bottle with part of the silver ribbon hanging out. That is so it would be easy to take the scroll in and out the vial glass. Place the cork.

8. Tie in your choice of trinket on the other end of the silver ribbon. Your really don't need to add a trinket but we don't want a loose cord just hanging out of the bottle, that would look dreadful. The trinket is for added wow factor, lol.

9. Try taking the scroll in and out of the bottle atleast once to make sure everything is glued in perfectly. That ribbon is the only way your recipient can access the scroll easily so if that gets unattached even before they were able to pull the scroll out and, worst, the scroll started unrolling itself inside the bottle, they would never get to read the message. So it pays to be anal retentive once in a while, lol.

We're almost done!

Now, originally, I was just thinking of putting my message in a bottle necklace in a small white (or ivory) organza pouch but I chanced upon those cheap wooden boxes from Michael's so I used that instead. The other cool thing about those wooden boxes is it has a space on top and a glass cover to put in extra stuff. So here are the optional final steps.

1. Open the top part and put in a small shell then I closed it back.
2. Place some rafia inside the box as lining.
3. Then put in the Message in a Bottle necklace WYB and add a semi big shell right next to it for accent.
4. Put some rolls of bubble wrap on top to keep the contents from shaking and prevent them from breaking.
5. Close the box and wrap the outside with a bubble wrap. Remember the top of the box is glass.
6. Get a mailing envelope with a bubble wrap lining (we can't be too careful with breakable items like that) and put the box in.
7. Seal the envelope.

That's it!  Below are samples of the finished product both for the male and female wedding party.

I got this idea from Urban Outfitter's Message in a Bottle necklace. I just jazzed it up a bit.

And the wordings in the scroll are:

1. Peggy, if we promise not to make you wear an ugly dress, will you be our Bridesmaid? Our wedding will be perfect with you by our side – roxxxx &mxxxn
2. James, it would mean so much if you were by our side on our wedding day. Will you be our Groomsman? – Rxxxx &Mxxxxn

Feel free to share this or use it for your own WYB but please if you're using my photos just remember to mention that you got it from

I used a different design for our ring bearer and flower girl WYBs. That would be on the next post.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

second and last anniversary before the knot

a few days ago was our second and last anniversary as an unmarried couple...... yes, the h2b proposed just after a year which was a shocker for me because i'm used to a very long dating period in the philippines (i have friends who've been dating for 7 - 10 years before they decided to tie the knot)  but i guess that's western culture for you..... i'm not complaining, it just greatly amuses me and in fact, i'm greatly flattered about the early proposal because it gives me the impression that he knew right away i am the one.......... it's just too sweet beyond words..... i digress, pardon my being melodramatic, lol

anyway, enough of that......  it has been a busy october and it would be a busy november too...... here are some updates for the civil wedding preps, so far.....

1. on wedding gown (oct 22, sat) - as i have mentioned in my previous blog, i have already purchased my civil wedding gown and i'm officially a maggie sottero bride! i know, i know, i mentioned in my past blogs that i won't be like any other brides who would go over the top with their wedding gowns but again my gown is a phased out gown, which is on sale plus i got 20% off..... so it's still cheaper than getting a not-so-famous couturier (think jose abad, mark rancy, etc)  in the philippines.... i'm pretty pleased about that because i almost bought that other $1,300 gown....

2. wedding venue (oct 29, sat) - we finally went to our venue in cape may  which we have been putting off...... we decided against getting the
cheaper alternative because we went for our guests' convenience..... the cheaper one is 10-15 minutes walk from the beach and the parking is bad plus we might need to hand out quarters for our guests parking because parking is all metered....... we went for the slightly pricey one because it's closer to the beach, in fact, its super close to the beach, you just need to cross the street and you're there..... and there are ample parking spaces and most importantly it's free! 

so we went there last saturday and talked to the wedding coordinator and right then and there we made arrangements....... we told them what the date would be, May 19..... first they checked if its still available and it is but the problem is there are no rooms available for the night before and the night during the wedding........... we want the ceremony, reception and our hotel preps in one place for our wedding party's convenience  so we have to move our wedding date a week early to be able to reserve 4 rooms and have that included in the contract....... we also decided to have dinner there so we could try their food...... the food is delicious, well, they are zagat rated so that's kinda expected  but the best part is our dinner is free! our $120 dinner was complimentary because we're booking our wedding with them......

3. WYB (oct 31, mon & nov 2, wed) - the will-you-be's! i've been slacking off with this DIY project..... i stopped doing it because i want to finish it only if we already know what our wedding date would be..... and since we are pencil booked already (they just need to send us the actual contract with the breakdown of all costs) our wedding date is as good as booked...... so i finally started doing them again..... it wasn't that hard really since i've already done the prelimanary assembly and its just the actual "wordings" that's missing...... i bought paper from michael's only to realize it doesn't go well with the rest of the WYB so i decided to use the other paper i've ordered online 6 months ago....... and now, i'm proud to say they are on their way to their recipients...... i hope they all say yes! although two of them have prematurely found out about it already and had already said yes but i still decided to give them the formal WYB request......... i'll post here what my final WYB looked like once all my recipients received it......

*recipients = the female wedding party....

4. engagement photoshoot (nov 2, wed)  -  we had our first engagement photoshoot yesterday and i said first because i want a four-season themed engagement photos and yesterday was the autumn session...... so very happy with the photographer we got....... he is very pleasant, he has "an eye", and most importantly he's very affordable..... i mean, $85 for the first 2 hours? that is cheap, man!  i inquired with some other photographer including  filipino photographers my friends recommended and the cheapest i found was $300 for first 2 hours plus travel fee..... our photographer is from new jersey but he didn't ask for travel fee....and wait, there's more (lol), for wedding, it's only $85/hour..... how awesome is that?! and he's willing to go to cape may......... we just love our photographer so much we just give him bigger tip to cover the gas and to give him something extra because we're feeling guilty he's too cheap we feel like we're robbing him, lol...... oh and no, he's not some cheap photographer hobbyist, he actually is a graduate of Film & Media Arts from Temple University...... i'm really glad i have found him amidst the overwhelming google results when i searched for Cape May wedding photographers...... oh, and yes, he doesn't charge for out of town fees too, unlike those other photographer's i have inquired to who asks for a hotel accomodation and/or gas allowance per N number of miles they travel from where they live...... 

so anyway, yeah, we had our autumn engagement photoshoot at valley forge national park and we brought with us 2 sets of clothes because we're aiming for a casual autumn look and a formal sophisticated look (see pic above)...... and boy, it was a lot of fun and to top that the weather was nice and we had blue skies (well atleast for the first 1.5 hours)....... i forget how nice it feels to be on the other side of the lens, lol......  we picked a week day so we can have the place all to tourist, no joggers, no dog walkers....and we chose morning because i want some blue skies (atleast 1 hour before and 2 hours after nooon gives you blue skies)...... we started shooting from 10:30am til 1:30pm....its a good thing we have flexi hours at work so that's not a problem.....

i took them to places around valley forge national park that both h2b and our photographer aren't aware existed and it's so entertaining to watch the look on their faces when i showed them my "location finds", lol........ i drove to valley forge a few times both with the h2b and by myself not only to check if the trees have changed color already but also to look for other interesting locations.......... i mean, i shoot engagement photos too for my friends so i am always on the lookout for good locations........ i also have brought a lot of props and some "cheat sheets" for concept/creative shots and we had our photos taken on 11 plus locations around valley forge national park so now  i am really excited to see all of them....... currently we only got to see 5 and it might take 1-2 weeks before we get the thumbdrive of all the pix in the mail.....

5. wedding venue contract (nov 3, thurs) - we received it in the mail today! so it's going to be 5 hors d'oeuvres, 3 entrees, 1 appetizer (but we're thinking of getting the soup instead), bar service and 4 rooms...... we're thinking of getting an extra stations/enhancers, choices are sushi bar, fruit medley, mini cakes, i forgot the rest but were thinking of getting the mini cakes since theres no dessert in their menu but the coordinator told us she could throw that in for us for free which is awesome! i just hope she will remember that and she'll include that on our revised contract..... anyway, so this weekend we're going back to cape may to personally hand them the signed contract and to give them our deposit.....

6. tiffany blue sash (nov 2, wed) - i finally found a supplier for my tiffany blue sash  but i ordered just one piece first to see if it's really tiffany blue and i received it yesterday and today i ordered 6 pcs...... 4 for my female wedding party and the rest is extra should i decide to add another bridesmaid or if one of the bridesmaids lost their sash..... it's $14.99 each so hopefully nobody loses their sash, lol...

so far so good! not stressed out yet (pwera gaba)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

semi-crunch time

since we'll be booking our venue soon that would mean i have to start to really get serious about:

-1. finishing the WYB (i got lazy)
-2. start buying materials for my bridesmaids' foot accesories
-3. start wedding invitation mock-up

i have all the materials i need for the WYBs minus the paper.... i'm still trying to look for the perfect paper for my theme..... i need the paper for both WYBs and invitations....... i do know what i'm looking for i just don't know where to get those paper i want....... i need to invade michael's or a.c. moore again to see if they have them.... my goal this week is to finish those WYBs so i could start with the invitation mock-ups..... the foot accesories can wait....... i can actually hold off doing those until after the holidays....

but i did accomplished something yesterday and today..... i have picked out the songs for the ceremony and reception.......... i finally decided on the foot accesories' design...... i also have decided on the invitation design and have listed down the steps and materials i need........  and! i have also decided on what to do with my hair! lol

i still have more stuff to think about like:

-1. how to decorate the isle for the ceremony
-2. whether or not i'll use pomanders
-3. if yes, should i buy those or make them myself
-4. should i just tie them on the side of the isle chairs or stick those on the sand...
-5. what color should i use, just white or tiffany blue or both
-6. if i should use sashes for the chairs or should i just save the sashes for the reception chairs
-7. should i use two arbors
-8. if i'm going to use two arbors where should i look for cheap white tulle or muslin or taffeta
-9. i still need to decide whether or not i need to look for someone to do my hair and makeup (preferably asian)
-10. or if i should just do my own hair and make-up
-11. where should i buy sashes for my bridesmaids
-12. should i use my DIY bouquet or use real flowers
-13. flowers for the bridesmaids or the "alternative"
-14. DIY butonniere or don't bother
-15. beach themed wedding favors

i also have some church wedding stuff to take care of:

-1. book wedding coordinator - the team im thinking of getting hasn't replied to my emails yet! bad sign....
-2. start scouting for couturier for church wedding bridesmaids

but again, those can wait...... the priorities now are:

-1. book venue (this saturday)
-2. book ceremony rentals (hopefully this saturday too)
-3. book photographer (next week)
-4. book musicians (next week)
-5. choose justice of peace (by end of november)
-6. do taste test  (saturday)
-7. apply for beach permit to have the ceremony by the beach
-8. buy jar and two sand colors for unity sand ceremony


-1. WYBs - deadline this sunday
-2. pronovias trunk show (yes, that's part of my priority, lol)  - nov 5
-3. send out invitations for the engagement dinner - around 2nd week of november
-4. autumn engagement photo shoot (the trees at valley forge national park is almost at its peak and they look pretty!) - 1st week of november

still lots of things that needs to be done but i just try to look at the "smaller" picture..... one teeny weeny To Do item at a time so i won't get overwhelmed......

Monday, October 24, 2011

and so i changed my mind...again..

i finally mustered enough courage to ask two of my girl friends if they can accompany me to this premium outlet for maggie sotteros....... i'm not being uber dramatic, ok? when i say mustered i mean it..... i am one for not being comfortable asking favors, i just don't want to be a bother and before you jump to conclusion, no, that's not two way, in fact i'm flattered when friends asks for favors, that means they trust me.... but in my case i'm just shy to ask favors..... so anyway, finally i did.......

i changed my mind about choosing a gown from our top 5 finalist..... the top 5 that the h2b chose...... we got yelled at by friends and family that we shouldn't be doing what we're doing..... that it's bad luck if the groom sees the bride's dress before the wedding...... i really don't believe too much on superstitions but i do like the idea of surprising my h2b......the h2b on the other hand got a teeny bit paranoid that he's now encouraging me to ask some girl friends to help me out on choosing gowns....... so last thursday (i can do it on a saturday, but i figured weekend is something that everyone looks forward to and i don't want to steal my friend's weekend) J and J and i went to feasterville so i could try on new wedding gowns and i could show them our finalists.....

two of the finalists were kicked out.... one looks old fashioned and the other one looks like i have a buoy under my belly on certain angles.... but there's one finalist that made it though.... and then there's this one gown that's on sale that my friends think look absolutely gorgeous on me...... unfortunately, i didnt share their excitement about that dress because i somehow managed to have gown myopia, lol...... i like the other finalist better......

an hour and a half later what's left on the rack are the two gowns.....the gown on sale and the finalist from my previous fitting...... the lady who was waiting on me told me she could hold the gown on sale for a few days and after that she jokingly uttered SOL (sh*t out of luck), lol........... so i told the lady that i have to sleep on it and then i'll call her again to set up an appointment once i made my decision...

so i went home and watched all the videos my friend  took of me wearing different gowns, specially the "final" finalists ............. i also looked at all the pictures of the two gowns on all angles....... that's when i had a gown epiphany, lol........... there's one gown that i look nice on every angle..... on every single angle......  i knew then that that's the gown i'll be wearing for my civil wedding by the beach.....

to give you a clue i only have a few criterias when looking for a beach wedding gown.......... (1) flowy, (2) it has to be a "certain" neckline, (4) ruched/corset, (5) my bilbil isnt showing on whatever angle (front view, side view, sitting down, etc) ....... the gown i chose exactly has all those......

and the nicest part? i can wear a maggie sottero without breaking the bank.........i will be wearing a maggie sottero gown with a divisoria tag price! how awesome is that!  that's because that gown's design is 2 years old and have been phased out so it's on sale plus i got 20% off...... oh, and did i mention the h2b hasn't seen that gown yet? so it's like 4, not 2, but 4 birds in one stone! -- it's cheap, has all the elements i want in a gown, the h2b hasn't seen it and it's a maggie sottero...... so very glad i asked for J and J to come with me because i almost dismissed that gown (it looked too simple for my taste when i first saw it, lol)........

i went to the shop yesterday and bought the gown........ i just have some changes on the gown so i could put my "stamp" on it and had to adjust some other stuff........... so excited to see the finished product!  my first fitting is going to be on march next year, 2 months before the civil wedding..........

next stop would be a pronovias trunk show at paoli......... that is for the church wedding gown hunting..... the h2b and i went there a week ago and we love their gowns.......... i have enough money for the church wedding gown now that i bought my beach wedding gown cheap so i think i can afford a pronovias gown without hurting my budget..... plus on trunk shows, you get a discount if you buy your gown from those kind of events so i'm crossing my fingers!

no, that gown on the photo is not the gown i'll be wearing...
that's a vera wang gown from davids bridal

Thursday, October 13, 2011

wedding gown shopping with the h2b? why not chocnut!

i can see eyes as big as saucers right now, lol........ i know what you're thinking, that there should be an element of surprise........ or that it's bad luck.... or that i just used that title to catch your attention......

welllllllll, yes, the subject is there to catch your attention but its the truth too....

remember what we did with the second engagement ring? the h2b wants me to choose my own ring because he wants to make sure i like and that i'm happy with my engagement ring..... so we shopped together, chose the finalists and then i made the h2b choose from the finalists  and told him not to tell me until he's ready to give the second ring to me (ofcourse i still want to be surprised!).

anyway, so i thought of doing the same thing for my wedding gown..... i figured since he's the primary person i want to impress i want to make sure he'll like how i look when i walk down the aisle.....

we went to two bridal shops, coronet (a maggie sottero premium outlet) and david's bridal (because i want to try on all the gowns in my favorites list even if i know i can't wear some of them anymore)..... i want him to decide too which silhouette looks good on me..... actually it was still kinda early to shop for a wedding gown, early for our church wedding atleast but i want to see how i look like now in a wedding gown so i'll get inspired to lose weight (ie: now i know i need to make my arms to look thinner, masculado eh!)

so far i have tried on 8 maggie sottero, 1 allure and 12 from davids bridal (2 of which is from vera wang & 1 olleg cassini)...... and since i have tried on 21 gowns total on that single day (october 1, 2011) and plus because i tend to try on the same gowns 2-3 more times before we leave the shop, it overwhelms the h2b and he tends to forget which is which and i could use that to my advantage......i'm counting on him to forget what the gowns looked like and i just make sure i ask him right away if the gown i currently have on is something that he would want to see me wearing and if he said yes i include that in the "finalists"......... we still have 3 bridal shops to go to.....

he's a very good shopping buddy........... he's very patient and he actually enjoys shopping with me, (which is really a rare thing to happen to me, lol)............ he's a very good, in-your-face-no-sugar-coating critic and boy, you should hear him say stuff like "you look like a sack of potato there" or "that's an awful design" or "you can throw that out", lol ....... and mind you, some of those gowns he didn't like, i actually like so im really glad i took him with me.........  so far we have 5 finalists and the pictures below aren't one of them...... i displayed only those gowns that i'm 100% sure i won't be wearing because it would be inappropriate (there's 3 of them here & i'm sure some of you knows what i'm talking about) or simply because it just doesn't look good on me.........

anyway, come decision time, i'm hoping to find some girl friends who'll be willing to come with me and help me decide...... yes, that's when, ofcourse, i should have the h2b out of the loop......

Friday, September 16, 2011

on wedding gown hunting

i'm still scouring the world wide web for wedding gowns.... and since i need to look for two wedding gowns, one for the beach wedding and one for the church wedding it's twice as difficult...... well, it shouldn't really be difficult but i just can't make up my mind...... but i know what i want.....when i look for designs the first thing i look for is that it has to be one-shoulder.

one shoulder.

yep, i love anything one closet is full of those...... if it's asymmetric the better..... i've seen  tons of one-shoulder wedding gowns from different designers and the three that i've been lusting over are rosa clara, pronovias and maggie whether or not i am actually buying from these suppliers is a big question mark.....i really don't want to spend too much on something i would only wear once so i just keep looking until i find a gown that i like and something that my conscience agrees to, lol.....

the beach wedding gown hunting.....

so you already know i want a one-shoulder gown.....

the other thing i need to consider is the type of fabric.......... like for the beach wedding i'm looking for something "flowy" layered fabric, no heavy drape-like or comforter-pretending-to-be-a-wedding-gown fabric........ i want to feel my gown flowing freely with the wind..... i want to feel like a grecian princess, lol....... anyway, with that being said layered and comforter-like gowns are out...... atleast for the beach wedding gown......

see that gown on the right....that's my kind of flowy gown.... chiffon or lace would be very ideal.......

church wedding gown

now, for the church wedding gown, i'm fine with something heavy........ in fact the more puffy it is the better....... it should be A-line though or something resembling an A-line....... i mean, i would looooove to wear a trumpet gown but man, i really don't think i can pull that off...... i don't have the right abs for

that, lol..... i need something that would hide my bulging muffin top and not flaunt it......... and i also don't want to look like an oversized tadpole....... so, no.....

ofcourse i still want it to be one-shoulder but i'm considering something that would hide my arms too..... i mean, i'm lucky to have thin legs but i wasn't as lucky in the arms department......i've seen some pretty off-shoulders and stunning 3/4 sleeves from allure, pronovias and rosa clara.........

the other thing i'm considering is the halter top....... i've learned that when i show my neck and shoulders and cleavage (haha, as if i have one) it draws attention to that part of my body and my arms wouldn't look as big anymore...... so i don't know..... we'll see...... who knows i might lose weight by then and would be able to pull off a trumpet gown...... so help me batman, lol

photo credits: and

Thursday, September 15, 2011

checklist added

site update:

added the CheckList page ... you can see the physical link on top, right next to "Who is TwoSqrtOfThree?"

Sunday, September 4, 2011

when is too early too early?

when i got proposed at (which is January 1, 2011, for those who just recently found this site), we immediately started researching for venues, suppliers, etc.... well, not really "immediately" as in immediately but sort of 2 weeks after the proposal....

since our wedding is not until 2 years at that time when we started inquiring (january 2011)  the most common reply was that we were too early....... i remember this one couturier who was so tactless and said something like "wow! aren't you excited. why are you starting sooo early?"(hmpf!)..... but there are some suppliers who were really honest and told us upfront that due to economic reasons they can't open their calendar for us until late this year or early next year........ you know what that means, right? they're planning to increase their rates some time between now and next year and they don't want to give me their current rates when they can ask for more money later...... i understand that ofcourse, business is business...... in fact i'd prefer that answer anytime than that snotty answer from that snotty couturier........ there are a few other suppliers, however, who weren't as surprised and who sounded like they're used to my kind of situation on a daily basis..... they weren't bullying me, they didnt sound condescending and with that im truly thankful to have found them...... who are they? they're our church, reception venue, videographer, photographer and HMUA....... we booked them right away (between jan - feb 2011)

so why did we start too early?

(1) because we want to get the suppliers we want and we don't want anyone to beat us into booking in point, our reception venue is sort of in demand and we want a saturday wedding so we really have to book fast if we want that to happen....
(2) we want to lock the rates... if we decide to book late this year or early next year i bet you, they have all increased their rates atleast once by then.....
(3) because we're planning two weddings (civil in the U.S. and church in the Philippines) and the sooner we got done booking the suppliers for one of the weddings the better
(4) because december-january is peak season for weddings so its advisable to book 1-2 years in advance.

and now for the million dollar question....why wait that long?

(1) no, it's not because im pregnant and have to wait til i give birth first
(2) it's so that we'll have enough time to save and we can have the kind of wedding we quote my h2b :
           "you're already 34, you've waited long deserve your dream wedding"
            (original post here: "On Being a Budget-zilla" )
(3) due to some apartment/living apartment rent ends december this year (i live alone) and when the h2b proposed i have just renewed my contract and pre-terminating it would mean i have to pay for the remaining months in the contract lease agreement......that's a lot of money..that's $950 x 11 months....
(4) because i want a beach wedding and we have to do it either spring or summer and doing it this year is just too soon.... we need longer preparation time.... and again, we would waste a lot of money because of my apartment lease if we get married this year
(5) i need to switch jobs first (why? cant explain it here..PM me if you really want to know)

and why wait til january 19 2013 for the church wedding?

(1) we want to get married civilly here first so it would be less paper work..
(2) we're looking for a date closest to a US holiday in january (which is martin luther king) so it would be easier for our U.S. guests to take vacation leaves.....
(3) we want it in january so it would be a little colder....

i know i've been sounding like a broken record and as entertaining as it is to hear people's assumptions, i'd rather explain this over and over before the assumptions reached my parents ears and get them upset....

anyway, for the fellow bride-to-bes who are just starting their preps and who's wedding is still 2 or 3 years in the future don't be intimidated by those other suppliers who tells you you're planning way too early...... if a supplier tells you that scratch them off your wouldn't want an unfriendly supplier who might just be a cause of stress for you, right? you have nothing to lose if you book/inquire early, you do however have a lot of discounts and savings to lose if you book later....... just go ahead and inquire..... "excel sheet" the would help you and your h2b to decide which supplier to get if you have them all laid out in "columns" and "rows"..... and most importantly have fun while doing the preps......  you would learn a lot of things about yourself and your significant other while you're doing your wedding plan/preps......

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

january nineteen

our philippines church wedding would be on January 19  and the U.S. civil wedding is tentatively on May 19.....

i've mentioned this before  but it might be worth reiterating, we're pretty much done with booking our philippines suppliers.... we have booked the venue, church, photographer, videographer, caterer, string quartet, flowers, HMUA starting january 2011.... we had to move quick because January is one of the peak months for wedding in the philippines and because our wedding venue is in demand....... and ofcourse to LOCK the rates! you know how the suppliers are, they increase their price every year! anyway, what's left is the OTD (on-the-day coordinator).... but we might need more than an OTD.... we need a partial wedding planner because i would really need someone to run errands for me since we are an overseas couple....

May 19 is the tentative date for our civil wedding.... i said tentative because we haven't booked our venue yet and unless that is booked we can't claim May 19.... we're still busy with other stuff but hopefully we'll be able to start booking the major suppliers on September til October....i'm actually anxious to book the civil wedding venue because all my project is on halt mode unless we booked the venue....but we try not to get too overwhelmed....i try not to look at the "bigger picture" so i won't panic or get stressed..... one step at a time.... one "To Do" item at a time....

right now i'm just busy doing our mock-up WYB DIYs..... and last week i have just decided which design to use..... so excited to give them to our entourage....hopefully they'll all say yes...

the next thing on my plate is to start doing the barefoot sandals mock-ups.....
*WYB - will you be my ...  bridesmaid/maid of honor  groomsman/best man
*DIY - do-it-youself

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Funny Cake Toppers

i was browsing through cake toppers a few weeks ago and chanced upon a funny cake topper..... i showed that to the h2b and after laughing too hard he announced he wants that for our cake..... i thought he was kidding but then last night while we were having dinner with his dad he brought that up again and he tried to look it up online to show his dad..... incidentally we saw a few more funny ones.....just click the image for bigger view...


need-to-loose-weight cake toppers

the runaway bride/broom

now, the best for last.....
can you guess which one of these my h2b wants to get for our cake and which one i'd prefer?


     bride still shopping

     bride pinching groom's butt

        stop playing!

   cake shoved on groom's face


          blotto couple

    mr & mrs smith & wesson

answer: mr & mrs smith & wesson, blotto couple
which ones do you like?

image sources: &

Monday, August 22, 2011

marrying for U.S. citizenship

a-ha! got you there did i?

im sorry to disappoint you but my story isn't as juicy as you hope it to be (lol),  because i can actually get my U.S. citizenship without the help of my h2b...

i came here in the U.S. as an H1B visa holder..... for those who doesn't know what that means, it's a type of working visa the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue for specialty skills worker, like scientists, physicists and in my case software engineers (here's a link from USCIS explaining it and who are eligible to get that visa)........ then on 2009 my employer applied for my greencard via EB2 category (here's a link on what EB2 means) and on May of 2010 i was granted permanent residency and got my greencard....

now, if you have a greencard  its as good as being a US Citizen....example, you are not tied to any employer anymore and you can switch employers anytime (as H1b you can only work for the employer who sponsored your H1B), you can work at some government offices, you are free to go in an out of the U.S, you share the same line with the U.S. citizens at the airport immigration and immigration people would actually say "welcome home" to you when you left the U.S and came back........ the only thing you don't have as greencard holder is a U.S. passport (which is good if you love travelling-no more VISA applications to most countries) and the right to vote (which really doesn't concern me that much)......

now, if i really want to be a U.S. citizen which i wont deny i do because travelling is just so much convenient (i dont want to go thru that horrible experience i had with the Italian embassy again like when i was applying for my schengen visa ), here are the immigration rules.....

you can apply for citizenship if you:

(1) have been a greencard holder for 5 years.... or
(2) if you have been married to an american citizen for 3 years....

now let's put some numbers here to make it easier to understand and i'll use my situation as an example.... i got my greencard thru my employer year 2010....if we apply the first rule on my situation i can only apply for citizenship year 2015....

2010 + 5 years = 2015


now, let's apply the second rule.... we already know my h2b is an american citizen.... we'll get married year 2012....

2012 + 3 years = 2015

so did you notice anything? yep, marrying my US citizen h2b won't buy me anything....either way i still need to wait til 2015 before i can apply for US citizenship....

how did i learn about this? the immigration lawyer who handled my greencard processing explained this to me....

and because i pride myself as an independent, self-sufficient woman (lol), i'm applying my citizenship thru my employer and not thru my marriage....

for a more detailed rules to acquire citizenship click the links below:

- Path to U.S. Citizenship

- Naturalization for Spouses of U.S. Citizens