Wedding Planning: April/May Update

Well, it's better late than never! I missed sharing the April update because things have been hectic to say the least. Since my March wedding update, here's what's been done:

Save the dates

My Save the Dates have been mailed finally! I've gotten some sweet compliments on how they turned out and I'm glad I came across SweetSights on Etsy. Now that they are out, my future Mother in Law and Sister in Law jumped right in and hosted my first bridal shower!

My First Bridal Shower

Because this is my second wedding (as well as Patrick's too), many assume we'd both be going through the same usual festivities leading up to our wedding. The truth is, both of us are going through a lot of the typical wedding "firsts" this time around simply because we didn't necessarily experience these things during our initial weddings. One of those things include a bridal shower. Before my first wedding, we didn't have a registry and had no one to offer or throw me a bridal shower. It was a rush wedding to begin with so perhaps many didn't think it was necessary. Because I never experienced a bridal shower of my own and never really had a registry to build together with a fiance, I was so overwhelmed by the generosity and love Patrick's mom, sister, extended family and friends showered me with on my first bridal shower. I can't even tell you how thoughtful it was for my future mother in law, Marnee, and sister in law, Jen, to host a party in my honor. Thinking about it still brings me to tears because they cared so much to make it such a special event for me. My favorite color is a turquoise or aqua blue and Marnee and Jen incorporated my favorite color into their own decor. Beautifully folded aqua napkins were placed at each setting along with handmade cards made from Aunt Kathie, Marnee's sister who came in from Iowa. Each card had a lovely quote written in her calligraphy and real pressed flowers that were laminated in. So many gorgeous spring flowers were used as table centerpieces which really made it a bright a spring tablescape!

The bridal shower luncheon was also prepared by Marnee and Jen. They had the perfect menu of chicken & cranberry tea sandwiches, caprese tea sandwiches, balsamic vegetable & feta pasta salad, champagne tangerine supremes, a refreshing cranberry mimosa punch and for dessert, raspberry sherbet with champagne. We also had coffee and tea served too, along with assorted shortbread cookies and mini toffee almond chocolate bars.

I'm so very thankful to have such amazing future in-laws and extended family to be a part of. All the time and effort they put into hosting my bridal shower is so heavily appreciated. I also am so thankful for my friends who attended and showered me with their love and friendship. It all became more real to me that the wedding is coming up after attending the bridal shower. I'm even more excited for our big day to arrive!

Bridal Party Attire

The day before the bridal shower, my future mother in law and sister in law visited the local bridal shop to find a dress to wear to the wedding. It was pretty easy for them to find something to wear! Both of them will be wearing a champagne chiffon dress made by the same designer, yet different in style. Their dresses will coordinate in the Hawaiian print we've chosen for our wedding. The guys in our wedding party include my future father in law, my brother in law and my brother, along with 2 of our ushers/greeters. Each of them will wear the same Hawaiian printed shirt with khaki pants. I've also asked 2 close friends who are the mothers of our flower girls to wear halter dresses with the same Hawaiian print.

Speaking of our flower girls, these cutie pies are family friends who are close friends of ours, especially Joel. Rather than the traditional flower girl duties, our flower girls will be greeting our wedding guests with fresh Hawaiian floral leis along side of their moms as our guests arrive. The girls will be wearing an all white Hawaiian printed summer dress and a floral clip in their hair. I'll also have a solid colored sash or ribbon around their waist in complimentary colors to match our wedding Hawaiian print. Patrick will be wearing an all white Hawaiian printed shirt with khahis and will also have a birds of paradise/orchid boutonniere. Joel will be wearing an all white Hawaiian printed shirt and shorts as the best boy, while carrying a round bamboo box with our rings. And my Maid of Honor, Melissa, will we wearing this rose colored chiffon dress while carrying a small bouquet of birds of paradise/orchids.

Wedding Ceremony & Flowers

We recently met up with our officiant to discuss our wedding ceremony and how we want to customize it as our own. For us, we want a very heartfelt and sincere ceremony where we can share our vows with our family and friends as witnesses. We will be incorporating the Filipino wedding customs of cord, coin and veil, symbolizing our intentions as we become one. There will also be a blessing of our hands, and some words from our officiant about us as a couple. In Hawaii, marriages are often done in the center of a circle of flowers. Although we are not in Hawaii, our ceremony will take place in a circle of flowers similar to the above picture. We love the way birds of paradise, orchids and tropical foliage made it a unique yet very fitting decor for our ceremony. 

Wedding Reception Flowers

I recently went to our wedding ceremony & reception venue now that the weather got warmer. Since it's at a local forest preserve, it can be tricky to transform the space from a regular park shelter into a more elegant, upscale wedding environment. The picnic tables on site are going to be used as some of the guest tables. Since they are not that big to add elaborate centerpieces as I initially thought, I'm going for much more simply stated centerpieces, similar to the photo above. I picked up some short square vases in which an orchid stem will be placed in some water, along with a bamboo stalk. I also plan on doing a larger version of these centerpieces for some of the round banquet tables and head tables we will be renting.

Reception Caterer

Probably the biggest challenge we have right now is finding a full service caterer. We have a handful of caterers we are awaiting their final proposals for. Each of them were given the same requests or as similar as possible. Ideally, we envision our reception to be quite an event. A lot of our focus is on the food and drink, especially since that is such an important part of who I am and what I do. My mom and dad offered to cater our wedding, but I prefer they don't simply because they should beable to relax and enjoy the wedding festivities - not go into work mode or treat our special day as a job. To fully immerse our guests in a full on Hawaiian reception experience, we want various food/drink islands available including:

passed sushi during cocktail hour
tropical sparkling cocktail & mai tai island
skewer island with a couple different chicken/beef/seafood skewers
stir fry island with 2 chefs preparing made to order stir fries
tempura island with 1 chef preparing various shrimp & vegetable tempura
luau lechon island with a whole roasted pig & various accompanying side dishes
tropical fruit island with seasonal exotic tropical fruits
Hawaiian & Filipino sweets table with a variety of island sweet treats
wedding cake/cupcake island of tropical flavors and fillings

We chose to do 'islands' in keeping with our theme, in which each island offers something different. Also, by offering islands as opposed to a large buffet table with all the dishes, our guests can move to different places and customize their eating experience. Once we receive proposals from the potential caterers and have reviewed their final quote given our specific requests, we'll be able to move forward in the specific menu and execution of a smooth and flawless event. We're anxious to make our decision but we have to practice a bit of patience so all proposals can be reviewed. I'm crossing fingers that by the next wedding update, we'll have our caterer and will be able to share our specific menu!

 Hawaiian Entertainment

After our luau reception, we have some Hawaiian entertainment offered by a local company. Initially I requested for 2 dancers but thought the ladies would enjoy a male dancer in the mix. Some island eye candy never hurt anyone, right?! The same company we hired for our wedding will be performing at the local waterpark resort near us this coming weekend. I can't wait to check it out with my family so they can get a taste of what to expect at our wedding.

Well that's it for now. It's been pretty busy with work so I'm glad I had a chance to squeeze in some free time to share how things are on the wedding front. It's crazy that the big day will be here in less than 3 months!

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