Wedding Time! Engagement, The Voice, and Planning the Big Day
A Wedding Post : Before the Big Day
So…Scott and I got married and had our wedding about a month ago and it was possibly the best day of my life (marriage is awesome you guys!), and I don’t want to forget a single thing. And so, I’m going to write about it, (following with a post with some tips for newly-soon-to-be brides!), and hopefully you’ll enjoy! I had the best time. Where to start.
Scott and I got engaged a few months ago, I think the 10th of July or something like that (doy- I could just go check Instagram, but that’s a good enough guess. Plus, I am so sick of getting distracted by Instagram, so I’m just going to make due with that date because in reality, it doesn’t matter for this story). We got engaged at the Los Angeles Temple (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Yes, we’re Mormon! Have I announced that yet? I don’t think I have. Well, there you have it! Just normal people that believe in a bigger power, God and Christ, and we believe in trying to be as good of people as we can. The Gospel of the church is based on love, family, and charity – and I know that some of you might roll your eyes, and think “psh yeah there are some Mormon hypocrites out there!” and I’m here to tell you that I agree with you, 1, but 2, that the nature of God or any spiritual higher power is to be loving – although man is not perfect. Let me say that again. Man is not perfect. The church is not perfect, in many ways. But God is and I do love this church for the many incredible facets and principles that it has put into my life – as my mom would say “take the good and leave the rest”. And before this turns into a post about spirituality, if you want to learn more, feel free to ask! It truly has made my life better in many ways, and Scott is one of those ways! We met through church, oddly enough.
ANYWAY- Scott proposed at the temple, which was so beautiful because this past year has been a rather difficult one, in a spiritual aspect. Being engaged here was a testament of where we’d like to be, and the direction that we’d like to go. Many may not know this, but Scott proposed the day after he got off of filming The Voice (yes, omg, The Voice with Gwen and Pharrell and Adam). Scott had been trapped inside of a hotel for months, filming scenes and prepping for the knockout rounds (where the judges turn their chairs). We were locked under agreement to not share anything about the show, but now that the show has aired, it’s OK. Towards the approaching battle rounds, The Voice brought me into Scott’s T.V. story. They kept asking me questions about why I loved him, why I thought that he deserved to win, etc. etc. You better bet that I was in tears every time, and the producers were probably very happy about this. Anyway- the plan, which I had no idea, was that if there was a chair turn, Scott would propose on national TV. I had no idea, and so it was a complete surprise to me when he did so the next day. It was the most beautiful moment, interrupted by a man telling us to “please get off the lawn”. LOL!
But in all seriousness, this was the beginning of a huge rollercoaster of incredible joy and anxiety.
In total, Scott and I had two months to plan – we’d picked the date in October because it signified our two years of dating, which seemed great. We hadn’t really thought about all of the prep and details that would have to happen from point A to point B, but, I’m here to tell you that you CAN do it – and it’s maybe even better to not drag it out. The little mistakes and flaws and “DIY” details make the wedding seem more intimate and cozy, in my opinion. Less robotic, less ‘perfect’ which is sometimes lacking in genuineness? That’s just my opinion.
After a 1 month trip to Morocco and New York, I flew back into Los Angeles (after two days of flying and airports). That very same night is when the roller coaster took off – my sweet mother called me into the kitchen and said “Alex just one second. I promise. We need to go over the color scheme!!!”. I had no idea. I was never one of those girls that had dreamt of my big wedding day, and my Pinterest really only consisted of inspirational quotes and how to fix things around the house. Anyway- it worked out. I knew that I wanted something elegant, natural, and warm. A garden wedding probably? Yeah probably. My mom called me within the next few days and said “we’re doing it at Clairbourn, it’s free”. Clairbourn is a private school that my mom went to when she was a little girl. It’s a really beautiful school, and at free, how could I do any better? Maybe a forest, but where? Desert? I don’t know. Plus, there were playgrounds and bathrooms and a kitchen and it came with tables and the most helpful crew. I trusted my mom on this one and gave her the OK. That was done. Next was finding a dress, which I honestly didn’t know where to start with either. Originally I thought that I wanted one of those classic victorian-esque modest all-lace dresses. But when I tried them on, or anything too big or structured or covered, it felt unnatural. It didn’t feel simple, it didn’t make me feel beautiful. So I had a dilemma (okay, a very first-world dilemma but STILL! one month away from the wedding, and I had absolutely no idea where to turn). And then, not only was I hung up on the dress choice, but I had a lot of anxiety and questions regarding what others would think of me in a non-modest dress. It sounds like nothing, but this anxiety pounded into my head every single second of the day – as a Mormon I already wasn’t marrying in the temple (which is seen as the ideal, and it is), and now I possibly wouldn’t even choose a modest dress. “Oh, the things they would think!” “What a shame, what a shame! I wonder how awful she must be!” – it’s a sad reality of my own internal devils and insecurities, mixed with the unfortunate reality of a sometimes judgmental society. Nevertheless, I will say this now, I wish I hadn’t worried so much. There was not ONE person that said a thing, and if they did, I’m sure they do not know me very well. It doesn’t matter anyhow because I found the dress of my dreams and felt so elegant and beautiful. Scott and my mom helped me during this time and said “you aren’t marrying in the temple right now, so now’s not the time to feel like you have to pretend. Be real and do what makes you happy”. And so I did.
But that’s because I couldn’t resist.
The dress ended up being from Bride Boutique in Echo Park. My good friend Jihan (this incredible, warm, generous, intelligent, funny, loving and loveable woman) took me to go dress shopping on one foggy day, and Bride Boutique was the first stop. In this boutique is a dress for possibly every woman – there are vintage dresses, bohemian-esque dresses, classy and sleek dresses, you name it. But they aren’t sold in bulk – they are beautiful and uniquely placed around the studio, like little special candies from all ends of the world. Which I love and absolutely fell in love with. I tried on a few dresses that I originally thought I would pick (like I said earlier, the longer sleeved vintage vibe) and eventually tried on the one that I chose. That was it! I didn’t want to take it off, ever. It was slinky and simple and silky. Every quality that I love. Jihan agreed that It was “the one”, and that was pretty much that. And while I’m talking about Bride Boutique, I also have to thank the owner, Maria, for who she is and all of the love and help that she gave me leading up to this special day. A few weeks after ordering the dress (because they aren’t made in bulk, the dress had to be made by the original designer), I came in for a second fitting. Only one disaster happened – I started my period while the dress was on me. Sorry if this is TMI, but I’m just going to go for it- I was standing in front of the mirror when suddenly, I felt something wet on my leg. OH HECK NO. NO NO NO NO NO WHAT IS THAT?! I ran over to the dressing room and with a deep breathe, quickly lifted up my dress. CRAP! NO! Yep, good old sneaky period. Chooses to start right when I’m in my silk wedding dress, without underwear because you can’t wear underwear with it (oops now you know), a week before the wedding. I remember saying something like “oh no….you guys….ah…the worst thing just happened”. Maria and her assistant came to the dressing room (to the rescue) and quickly understood what had happened. Maria cooley and collectively gathered herself so that I became calm too, and she said “OK OK let’s take it off, let’s rush to the sink”. So there we were, just us ladies, washing blood out of a wedding dress in a small tiny sink. It’s funny but that moment was actually a joyful one for me because I felt a very strong womanly connection. We are strong, fearless and nurturers! WOO! But really- thankfully then, Maria sent me to her favorite dry cleaner lady in Glendale. This dry cleaner lady is now my favorite dry cleaner lady, and so that is also a gift. Anyway you’ve probably heard enough but Bride Boutique and Maria were dreams to work with, and I am also so grateful for my friend Jihan who was gladly there for me amidst her busy life.
After having found THE dress, everything else pretty much fell into place (by grace, by luck, whatever you want to call it!). Scott found the most perfect blue suit at Paul Smith (finding a suit was actually pretty hard, because his build is tall and lanky. A lot of the suits were too big or wide). The Paul Smith suit not only was beautiful, but it was actually more expensive than my dress, which made me feel more down to Earth. Which sounds terrible, but it’s true (but also let’s be real – Scott will wear that suit many more times than I will wear my dress!). Anyhow – I want to say thank you to all of those that helped with the wedding and helped make it such a beautiful night. One of my favorite things about our wedding is that it was built by love, friends and family pitching in in their own ways. Thinking about it still makes me want to cry. Our wedding really was a testament of love and how much not only we love each other, but how much we are loved too. It meant the world.
Flowers were taken care of by our family friend Darlene, whom my mom immediately thought of (actually come to think of it, Darlene also did my mom’s wedding flowers! That’s crazy!). Darlene is such a sweet, sweet woman and did SUCH a beautiful job! I am a big flower lover but also, I am specific about what I like (refined, delicate, wild, natural, sleek, nothing too poofy or colorful) and Darlene made my flower dreams come true. She was always so warm and calmed my heart when I was feeling overwhelmed. The caterer (originally Scott and I only wanted desserts and fruit tarts, but because we had family flying in, I agreed with my sweet mama that maybe it would be more appropriate to have the wedding be a little more formal). Scott at Perfect Equation was in charge of the catering and although I wasn’t completely sure in the beginning (you’ve been to those weddings with frozen food – plus hey can we mention expensive!?), it turned out so beautiful and DELICIOUS. Scott knew what he was doing and served Scott and I as we sat down at our table, saving us the time. He was smooth and professional. I was so impressed! And so happy that everyone could enjoy a great meal. What a privilege and blessing. I say this because at some point I had to hand over a lot of decisions and put my faith in people, and, trust me – IT WAS WORTH MY SANITY. Towards the end of fiance life, I did not want to make another decision. It didn’t matter what candies were in the bowls, what photos were on a side table, what list of precise songs there were (of course, you should always give direction). At some point I realized that, well, I’ve done all that I could have done, and now, it’s faith and focusing on the MARRIAGE part. Because that’s all that ever matters. And so, I just had to hope that the rest would go smoothly and that our friends and family would be happy. (hint: IT ALL WORKED OUT SO BEAUTIFULLY AND BETTER THAN I COULD HAVE EVER IMAGINED AND I AM SO GRATEFUL!!!)
My Thank-You tribute to those that made it all possible: