Wedding Wednesday: June Update

Wow. In less than two months {eek!} I'm getting married. Where has the time gone?! I guess it helps that I've always kept busy with things to really notice how quickly life moves around me lol. So here's where we're at with the wedding planning...

formal invitations have been mailed

Finally, the moment to make it real. Our formal invitations have been mailed out so there's no turning back now lol. Initially we didn't plan for a big wedding {read - less than 50 invitations}... but as it turns out, we ended up sending nearly 75 invitations to family and friends from all over. We chose to create our own invitations via Zazzle, using the colorful birds of paradise flower as our motif. It's my favorite flower and I love how unique and colorful it is. Besides, seeing this flower definitely puts you into a tropical feel... which is exactly what I'd like our guests to feel right off the bat! We created the main invitation, rsvp card, along with matching postage. Also included in our invitation is a postcard invite to the Pre-Wedding picnic that will be hosted the night before the wedding. I also came across the idea of mailing an invitation to the President and First Lady! I sent them an invitation as well, but I certainly won't hold my breath lol.

engagement photo session

We also recently had our engagement photo session. It was so much fun and I loved that we were able to include Joel in our pictures. My cousin BJ of BJ Aguado Photography, took our photos at a nearby forest preserve and in a local downtown area. It was an afternoon full of laughs, smiles and lots of great photos. I'm awaiting the final shots and can't wait to put a few on canvas and in frames!


My wedding shoes arrived and I started to break them in. I definitely needed to go the wedge route since we'll be in the park so I'm happy I found these to wear. Surprisingly they are more comfortable that I originally thought at the bridal shop! I love them and how they really work perfectly for my dress. 

wedding dress alterations

Yesterday I had my dress alterations. When I purchased my dress in January, it fit well, maybe even a little snug. But when I tried on the dress yesterday, I had quite a bit taken in and had to get a smaller size in undergarments! YAY for unexpected weight loss! I've contemplated changing my dress over the past few months but every time I attempted looking for another dress, I can't help but remember when I looked in the mirror and cried wearing the dress. I hope Patrick will like it when he sees me in it. It's been quite an emotional thing for me since this is my first official wedding dress. I didn't wear a wedding dress the first time around and instead, I wore a spring dress off a rack at the store. So this dress and everything around it is a bit emotional for me. It's like I'm getting married for the first time... and this time I know without any doubt in my mind and body that this was the marriage and partnership I've longed for. And to be honest, it was worth the wait and journey to have Patrick enter my life the way and time he did. I would do it all over again.

 bridal party attire

Our bridal party attire has been received and we're all ready to go! We should be receiving the floral pieces later this month to put the final finishing touches.

extended bridal party attire

All our extended bridal party have their attire set and everything fits too! I love how everything looks so cohesive together...

Wedding bands & ring box

Patrick and I also purchased our wedding bands. We went with classic bands with no frills and will be engraved with our wedding date. They have been sent off for sizing and engraving and we'll get them soon. For the wedding, the rings will be placed in a round bamboo box rather than the common ring pillow. It's more our style and the box can be used for safekeeping after the wedding. It also fits more appropriately in our overall Hawaiian theme where we will have natural woods like bamboo and acacia used in our decor.

Bridal florals

Speaking of decor, we have our wedding flowers ordered and they will be arriving later this month. Instead of fresh flowers for my bouquet, my maid of honor's bouquet, Patrick's boutonniere and our cake topper, I opted for 'real touch' flowers so that I can keep them as a keepsake after the wedding. The wedding flowers are in line with the Hawaiian theme and include the birds of paradise flowers that I love so much. I can't wait!

Ukelele guest 'book'

Another twist on the traditional... instead of a guest book, we're purchased a ukelele for our guests to sign. It will be something we can display as an art piece to remember the memories of the day and the friends and family who celebrated with us. A traditional guest book in our house would merely end up on a shelf and be forgotten.

tropical Wishing well

One of the most special trips we took together was our trip to Philippines last fall. We had the opportunity to visit the city of Baguio and we decided it was one of our favorite cities we spent time in. While there, I picked up a native woven bag and I thought it would be a great idea to use it as our wishing well since it not only goes with our theme, but it makes for nice way to collect wedding cards the day of the wedding. So here's another twist on the traditional wishing well...


Next week we have tastings with our caterer. We decided on one last week... only to have another one provide a pretty good proposal that we couldn't ignore. Our tastings are scheduled on Tuesday and Wednesday, both providing a good idea of not only what the food will taste but how it will be presented. Our reception means quite a bit to us and we have a very specific vision of what we're looking for. I'm anxious to see how the caterers will execute our vision! And if you missed last month's update, our reception will feature food 'islands' in keeping with our theme. Each island offers something different, allowing our guests to move to different places and customize their eating experience. We will be setting up 8 different islands:

Passed Sushi Appetizers: Because our very first date was at a sushi restaurant, we knew that we had to incorporate sushi into our wedding reception menu somehow. We decided to start off our reception with sushi, just as our first date kicked things off for us. These will be passed butler style by staff.

Tropical Drink Island: featuring sparkling tropical fruit punches and our signature drink, The tropical fruit punches are from Philippines, bringing a flavor of the islands that include mango, pineapple, and four seasons. Our signature Mai Tai station will be complete with fruit garnishes and umbrellas for that added tropical touch. We will have an assortment of beers and wines as well.

Pupu Island: featuring some of our favorite pupus, or finger foods, including different skewers - coconut shrimp, mahi mahi, and/or chicken teriyaki - vegetable eggrolls and vegetable potstickers with accompanying sauces. 

Stir Fry Island: featuring a couple of chefs to prepare made to order stir fry dishes. Guests will have their choice of customizing stir fries with beef, chicken, and/or shrimp with an assortment of fresh vegetables and sauces over steamed rice or Japanese noodles.

Tempura Island: featuring a chef to prepare some fresh & crisp shrimp and vegetable tempura with accompanying sauces. Patrick is a big fan of tempura and we definitely wanted to include this!

Lechon Island: featuring a Filipino roast pig, aka lechon, as a nod to Joelen's Filipino culture. This island will also have accompaniments such as steamed jasmine rice, fried rice, macaroni salad, salads, hawaiian bread, and a few Filipino dishes as well.

Tropical Fruit Island: featuring refreshing seasonal tropical fruit for a natural taste of the tropics. We can't pass up the opportunity to showcase fresh fruits not only because their refreshing but the color they provide when beautifully displayed!

Hawaiian & Filipino Sweets Island: featuring some of our favorite sweets including polvoron (Filipino shortbread cookies), mini caramel bars, chocolate covered macadamia nutsaloha chocolate Hershey kisses and cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company. I picked up quite a few of these Hawaiian treats while in Las Vegas and cannot wait to share them!

Cake & Cupcake Island: featuring our wedding cake and cupcakes. We've chosen some great filling and flavor combinations including white cake with passion fruit mousse, lemon cake with lemon berry mousse, chocolate cake with cherry filling, and red velvet cake with cream cheese filling.


So because our wedding venue is in a park... in the middle of a summer day, I know it's going to be hot. That said, I wanted to ensure our guests are comfortable. Aside from the Hawaiian attire, I found another way to make our guests even more comfortable. As luck would have it, there is a Hawaiian Shave Ice food truck company that is near our home. What does this mean? It means I came up with the idea of them coming out to our reception to offer some cool refreshments! The food truck will be coming out and offer Hawaiian shave ice after the luncheon and guests can come up and select from a few flavors (blue raspberry, cherry and pina colada). I can't wait to enjoy this!

Now with all this talk about our wedding, we haven't forgotten our pre-wedding picnic we are hosting the night before. It will be a great time to connect with friends and family before the wedding day and we're excited to kick off the wedding weekend with early festivities! The picnic will be a Southern picnic theme, as a nod to the first full family trip we took together to Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina last year. We loved the Southern hospitality, charm and food so it's a perfect theme for a laid back time with friends and family. Here's where we're at with our Southern Pre-Wedding Picnic plans, starting with our finalized menu:

Pimento Cheese: This is a must on our menu as one of our appetizers! We'll be serving this with crackers and assorted vegetable crudites...

Deviled Eggs: Another appetizer we're serving up are these deviled eggs. I have a feeling these won't last long on the table...

Country Fried Chicken: We love fried chicken and we're picking up a tray or two from one of our fave local places. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it lol...

BBQ Baby Back Ribs: We're encouraging some messy meals, especially with BBQ! Another local place will be providing several slabs of ribs for the picnic, complete with some bottles of sauce so we can have a BBQ sauce station for folks to dress up their ribs...

Mac & Cheese: For our vegetarian loving friends and family, we added this to the menu. Besides, Joel can probably eat his weight in mac and cheese alone...

Coleslaw: Creamy, tangy and a perfect accompaniment to fried chicken and ribs...

Potato Salad: If you ask Patrick, it's not a meal unless potatoes are involved lol. That said, we've got potato salad on the menu too...

Buttered Corn on the Cob: And if you ask Joel, he will dive into a corn cob before anything else on this menu...

Buttermilk Biscuits: We're also getting biscuits from a local place and we'll be serving them alongside a few assorted jams, jellies and butter. I considered a 'biscuit bar' which would include the sweet jams/jellies along with some savory items like sliced ham, cheeses and herb butters. I'm not sure if a full on biscuit bar is necessary but I do love the idea! We're serving the biscuits in this cute tiered box display for a more rustic look...

Fresh Watermelon Slices: Nothing is quite as refreshing as fresh sliced watermelon on a summer day... am I right?!

Lemonade and Iced Tea Bar: What would a southern picnic be without lemonade and iced tea?! We'll probably add a few mason jars of fresh fruit and mint to impart some additional flavor in their drinks too.

Classic Coke & Diet Coke: This will go perfectly with our menu for those guests that want a little carbonation. Besides, it will go great with our classic red and white gingham tablecloths!

Pie Buffet: Instead of cake and other treats, we thought it would be a nice change of pace to offer several types of pies on a buffet. My friends at Bakers Square will be helping us with this!
With the menu in place, we're giving the whole picnic a nice rustic feel with the use of galvanized servingware, red and white gingham tablecloths, wooden crates and chalkboard signage. I can't wait to see it all come together the day of the picnic!

our Wedding gift to each other

Although we didn't have to, we decided to give each other a wedding gift a bit early before the wedding. We're traveling to Denver, Colorado in a few weeks to visit friends. While there, we decided to gift each other a hot air balloon ride with the Rocky Mountains in view. Neither of us have ever been in a hot air balloon so we're especially excited to share the experience together! Stay tuned next month for pictures of our trip!

Well, that's all the updates for now. It really is all coming together and I cannot wait for our big wedding weekend to arrive... in less than 2 months! :)

No comments