Friday, April 29, 2011


The Princess Bride, the Duchess of Cambridge, Her Royal Highness Catherine wowed millions across the globe this morning with an elegant, chic and timeless wedding dress. Designed by the creative director at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton, Kate's dress was reminiscent of Grace Kelly's royal wedding dress from 1956, and accompanied with a 9 foot train-- a humble homage to her late mother-in-law's 25 foot train.

Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco

Kate & her train

She accessorized the dress simply with a pair of diamond earrings (a gift from her parents) and a Cartier halo tiara. I'm normally opposed to wedding tiaras in any way, shape or form, but this is a rare instance where it is actually acceptable and appropriate, not to mention meaningful as the tiara was lent to Kate from the Queen herself.

I didn't know I cared that much about the Royal Wedding, but as soon as I woke up this morning, I found myself fast forwarding through my dvr'd recording of it to see the procession and ceremony, giddy through the entire thing. I honestly don't think Kate could've picked a better dress. The strong sleeves and shoulders and incredibly narrow waist were really flattering to her frame. The dress screamed "Princess" in a regal and elegant manner; not in the bedazzled, bejeweled, blinged out way that seems so common on Platinum Weddings. This was traditional and stylish all at once. Simply stunning!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pick a Card, Any Card

So, I finally managed to compromise on invitations and have found a wonderful letterpress company, Bella Figura! After sifting through dozens of invitation companies via a google search, I came across Bella Figura and instantly fell in love with their designs (as well as their awesome flickr page full of detailed shots of each invitation suite). I ordered 6 samples after business hours that night and the following morning, I already had an email from one of their consultants answering all the questions in the order I submitted, as well as suggestions for other suites he thought might work with my wedding colors (information required on the order form).

This beautiful box of samples arrived today. Check out the presentation!

The main invite samples

Different ink samples

The reply cards

Here are the 2 samples my mom and I are in between, Cartoccio & Nantucket:

The pricing is as affordable as I can find for letterpress, but I really like their simple and chic designs as well as the great customer service (a huge must for pretty much anything we're investing in for the wedding, and shopping in general), so after I show the samples to a few other family members this weekend, we are definitely going to place an order with Bella Figura!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Canopy of Lights

I found some more photo inspiration (although some are crappy quality):

Some fishing line, a big ladder, lots of white christmas lights...I'm beginning to wonder if this is something we could do ourselves...

And just for fun, I love how everything is on yahoo answers.

(No, I did not post that question lol)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mendhi Motifs

My mom came in with these flowers she clipped from our backyard that happen to match my Mendhi color palette.

I was never that into hot pink but I feel like going the pink route rather than red (plus the minor color accents on my mendhi outfit are hot pink and royal purple). While walking around Artesia a few weeks ago, my mom and I randomly stopped in at Cottage Art, a store that sells Indian novelties, cushions, furnishings, decorations, scarves, etc. We were enticed by the window display (pictured below) and thought we would find some great treasures for my mendhi.

My mendhi, which we decided would be held at home, has hopped around from inside to outside, our large entry hall vs. the living room, or a tented backyard vs. a canopy. As of now, it will definitely be in the backyard, but we haven't decided if we need a canopy or not. We ended up buying the draped-miniature canopy from the window display to use for the stage, so I think a large canopy on top would be redundant. On top of that, I'm thinking of lots of lanterns, throw pillows, large cushions and lights. I was at South Coast Plaza the other day, and passed underneath this blanket of lights they have, and thought something like this would be a beautiful and festive solution to decorating our backyard.

(South coast pictures via flickr)

I love twinkle lights!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Invitations are hard. Well, they aren't hard if you feel no remorse spending thousands of dollars on a piece of paper 90% of your guests are going to toss the day after the wedding.

Invitations haven't been my main concern in the wedding process. For me, the dress and venue are my chosen battlegrounds, and the rest I can just get by with as it comes. Or so I thought. Once you begin devoting so much time to planning a wedding, you really don't want even one little aspect of it to be below standards. In reality, how my invitation looks isn't nearly as important as how my dress looks, but do I really want to have a beautiful wedding with just an okay invitation? Probably not. Even if more effort is put into some aspects, everything has to be cohesive and complimentary to one another. You can't have a Victorian ballroom with huge chandeliers and gilded candelabra centerpieces, and then opt for a rustic invitation. Since the invitations are sent earlier, guests may not notice this, but the theme-clashing doesn't sit well with me.

From a little blog-surfing, I found a really nice, small stationary company (via a photography blog) early on in the process. The designer was and has been incredibly helpful thus far. She created a custom suite based off which invitations from her online catalog I liked best. I was very set on my choice and style, even moreso when I received the digital proof. Fabulous. Too easy.

The physical proof arrived in the mail today. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the invitation. It looks exactly like the digital proof. I have zero complaints against the designer who has so kindly been responding to my mad-woman emails. But the invitation is so very un-exciting. I can't believe how off my mark I was with this one. To be fair, I've never ordered wedding invitations, but I can't believe how sold and satisfied with my choice I was up until the hard copy arrived! It's very disheartening. I'm always very sure of my choices and styles, even when no one else agrees. Big fat FAIL for invitations.

Then on top of my own miscalculation, there's my mom's little random quirks. "Why does it say 'You are invited to the Mendhi of SARA' so big? Your name shouldn't be centered, how will everyone know it's a mendhi??"


Yes, our poor guests who have to actually read an invitation instead of just skimming for the big, bold, centered word. This wasn't really a big deal, but I found the hangup hilarious. Then there's what I call simple and she calls boring. I know Pakistani and Indian weddings are extremely festive and colorful, but I'm not really a fan of the overly-cultural invitations. I like traditions and some eastern designs, but for the most part, the theme of our wedding is not "Hey everybody, WE'RE PAKISTANI and don't you forget it!" (Disclaimer: I am not avoiding or showing shame for my heritage. I'm glad cultural elements will be employed in the wedding. The dress, food, clothes, program, everything is Pakistani and Muslim, so I don't think something so small as the invitation needs to be designed as overkill. I'm a fan of subtly, if you haven't noticed.) Like I was saying, I like traditional designs, but a lot of invitations I've come across look like the Bride's lengha threw up all over the card. Superfluous colors and rhinestones doesn't go with my style. Luckily my mom has good taste, so she isn't trying to push the rainbow sherbet invitations on me, but I can tell she won't be pleased unless there's something "Pakistani" about the invitations. I know what she means by that, but the difficulty of finding Pakistani without tacky for a reasonable price is going to take a lot of work. And just like that, we're at the 6 month mark. I believe the protocol for invitations is 6-8 weeks in advance. I would give my people an extra 2-3 week window, just to play it safe, which means I should mail mine out early July, which means I should have my order placed by the end of April.

So I'm starting over today. Colors? Not sure, probably some kind of dull yet luxe gold and ivory. I also like browns, but I think they might be too dark for my mom. Pocketfold? Square? 4"x9"? 8"x8"? I have no freaking clue. I'm really over the online invitation method. What I need right now is a big mall of invitation stores, each stocked to the brim with samples. Has anyone seen that frozen pizza commercial (yes, I watch too much tv) where the mom is in the frozen foods aisle and steps back and starts saying "I need a pizza with real cheese" and all the fridges with fake cheese pizzas drop into the ground. Then she says she needs one with
x crust and x sauce and all the bad pizzas continue to drop into the floor. Someone needs to invent a method like this for future brides to sift through all crappy invitations, wedding dresses, flowers, etc. I realize Here Comes The Guide has a filter that works similarly to this, but I need an actual hands-on, physical filter. Maybe in another lifetime.

Weddings must be easier (and more fun!) when they are smaller and you have less people to please. If this blog is still around in 30 years and my future children somehow manage to find it: Kids, I promise not to invite 400 of my nearest and dearest friends to your weddings.

Oh, and to avoid future rant posts like this one, I might add that my dress was supposed to be ready this month, but looks like it's getting pushed back to mid-June. The things you can get away with when you're the only up to par Pakistani boutique in town...

Remember those Polaroid I-zone cameras? I found this old picture of a friend and I in high school trying on my bangles from Pakistan.