Vows: In Your Own Words

Thursday, April 29, 2010

While writing comes naturally for some, the rest of us may want to write our own vows but haven't a clue where to start. Below are some tips from www.theknot.com
to give you a good start on making your ceremony that much more personal and will allow you to honor your spouse in a unique way only you can!

Prep Step A: Get clearance
Make sure your officiant will accept personalized vows. Catholic and Episcopal congregations, for instance, may require you to recite all or part of the traditional vows, though in most cases that’s left to the officiant’s discretion. Remember: Even the most accommodating officiant will want to review your words in advance.

Prep Step B: Make a plan
You need to tackle the logistics to make sure you and your fiance are both on the same page: Are you each going to write your own, or will you write them together? Will you show them to each other before the ceremony?

Knot Note: If you’re feeling shy, opt to write your vows together and even recite the exact same promises. If there’s more you wish to say, privately, say it in the cards you exchange on the day of your wedding or on your honeymoon.

Prep Step C: Create your outline
An outline can help to establish a structure that you both stick to. For example, plan to first talk about how great your fiance is, then about how great you are as a couple, then about what you’re vowing to each other.

Prep Step D: Find your voice
What overall tone do you want: Humorous and touching? Poetic and mushy? It’s your call — the most important thing is that your vows ring true and sound like they’re from your heart.

Prep Step E: Cut it down
Finally, pick a length and stick to it by keeping the mantra pithy and to the point in mind — anything longer than a minute or so, and no matter how gorgeous your prose, the audience will start to squirm.

Ready to Write!
What exactly do you say? To help you think of sentiments to include, take turns answering this list of questions. When you're done, look through your answers for the phrases that best capture your intended message and incorporate them into the structure of your vows.

What did you think when you first saw him/her? Start from the beginning -- you didn't want to go out and now you're grateful your friends dragged you out? How to use: When we met at __________, I knew __________.

When did you realize you were in love? The more specific you are able to be, the more touching the story. Was it when he helped you bring your sick puppy to the vet? How to use: I knew I was in love when ____________. Don't underestimate the power of humor. Throw in at least one more playful sentiment (When she recited Don Mattingly's RBI record...).

What do you have now that you didn't have before you met? Focus on the heart and head, not material possessions. Has she taught you to appreciate beauty differently? Has he helped you learn to savor creating a home-cooked meal? How to use: Before I met you, I ___________. Now I ___________.

How has your worldview changed? Life has likely gotten better since the two of you joined forces, so tell everyone about it. How to use: Because of you, I see the world __________. Having trouble? Think about the new things you've tried with your mate -- what have you experienced together that you never would have on your own?

What do you miss most when you're apart? This will probably be something mundane but powerful -- what about his smile first thing in the morning, or the way she puts out your lucky mug for your morning coffee? How to use: You are such a part of me that when you're gone, I __________.

Where do you see yourselves in 10 years? 20 years? 40 years? Go deeper than Happily married in a big house. What are your long-term hopes, dreams, and goals? How to use: I look forward to __________, laughing and __________ as we __________.

Is there a line from a movie, song, or poem that says it all? It's okay to borrow, as long as it's not too much of a cliche (we're sorry, but You complete me is suffering from overuse). Instead modify something familiar to personalize. How to use: Subtly. I watch you ________, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Do parts of the traditional vows resonate with you? Maybe you're not so sure about the obey part, but can you really go wrong with love, cherish, and...? How to use: Try I promise to cherish and honor you ____________, but add a time frame and funny reference for levity: ...all the days of my life, especially when curled up on the couch with takeout.

Can you think of a funny or touching experience that put your partner in a new light? The way he played with your little cousin or helped your grandmother up the stairs showed you that under his macho exterior is a wittle, bitty bunny wabbit and you love him for it. How to use: When you ____________, I saw you for the _____________ person you are. And that made me want to ____________.

Is there a harrowing experience that strengthened your bond? This one rides tandem with #9. How to use: See #9.

What goals and values do you both have? Stating your common bond may just expose your inner Wordsworth. These ties -- whether your shared faith or your mutual love of wine -- will also help demonstrate why you're a perfect pair. How to use: We share ___________, so together we can ___________.

What about him/her inspires you? What is it about your fiance that you'd like to improve in yourself? What do you most respect about your partner? How to use: Your ___________ has shown me how to be___________.

What promise can you make to codify your devotion? Here's an opportunity to personalize your vows -- many couples pledge their endless love, but how many promise to take the dog out in the morning, even in the snow? How to use: I promise to always ___________.

How will you change together? You know what your goals are -- think about the steps the two of you will need to take together to reach them. How to use: I look forward to ___________ as we __________.

What metaphor (or simile) would capture your love? Think of something that describes or defines your love: Is it strong like a castle? Peaceful like a mountain stream? How to use: Our love is like a ___________ because it ___________.

Why are you entering the bond of marriage? Think about why marrying your fiance is so special. You may be surprised how the answer leads you to the perfect words. How to use: To me, marriage is ___________. With you, it's ___________.

What will keep your marriage strong? Find the bedrock of your relationship. What makes your relationship tick? Is it your resilience? Your shared sense of humor? How to use: Even when ___________, we will have ___________.

What are you most looking forward to about married life? The wedding is just the beginning. How to use: I look forward to ___________ as we embark on ___________.

What do you expect out of married life? Defining your expectations will help you make and keep promises. Think about your dreams, and what you'll have to vow to do to make them come true. How to use: I know our marriage will ___________ and I vow to ___________.

What words do you associate with love? Make a list of romantic terms so you can avoid overusing love -- too many repetitions dilute its power. How to use: My devotion/adoration/ passion is ___________.

Journey to THE DRESS

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I knew what I had in mind and as simple as it seemed, the more dresses I saw online, the more I got confused. I liked a little bit of this, the back of that, but not the beading on that dress. I soon decided I would get my wedding gown custom made. It seemed like the perfect idea to have creative control. However that notion didn't last too long because I eventually freaked myself out by thinking "what if it doesn't come out right?" I pictured myself walking down the aisle looking and feeling less than beautiful, with a frown on my soon-to-be-husband's face. Oh heck no. That was not happening to me! The online search continued and I found a dress I liked.




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Then I started looking at more dresses (bad move). I fell in love w/ other styles....




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Could I wear 2 dresses- one for the ceremony, one for the reception? that would be wonderful!
However, we didn't have the budget for that :( One evening I was at my then fiance's basketball game and saw one of our friend's wives there. She asked "have you found your dress?" I said "yeah..."
I showed her the pic on my phone. She agreed, it was pretty. Then she asked "did you try it on?" "No" I said, "I haven't tried any dresses on." She was shocked. "What!? That's the beauty of being a bride, the only time in your life when you can feel like a princess and try on six thousand dollar dresses and admire how great you look in them even if you can't buy them." Then it dawned on me. She was right. How could I pass this opportunity up? I made a few appointments that weekend for local bridal salons. At the 1st salon, I tried on 7 different dresses, all varying in style, from foo foo, to boring, to blinged out. I felt kinda wierd trying on things that were way out of my range and personal taste (they didn't have to know that), but like my friend said, it was for the experience. Of course the one that melted my heart was the $4000 one.




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I went to 2 more boutiques. My daughter accompanied me and by that time she was over it. I was however able to narrow it down to a certain designer- Pronovias out of Barcelona, Spain. (What a coincidence, that's where we decided to go on our honeymoon ;) I didn't find my dress that day but I did find out 1 important thing- the original dress I had in mind did not flatter me like I thought it would. As somewhat simple of a style as I thought I would like, made me feel like I was going to prom; I didn't feel like I was a bride.. and I very much wanted to feel like a bride! After sifting through all of Pronovias' collections, I found a dress I liked. I googled images on real women wearing the dress and liked it even more. I could definitely see myself in that dress, I just hoped it actually looked good on me.




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I found out the dress new was $1400. Still out of my price range but maybe I could rent it? I called around to see if anyone had any samples I could try on in my size. I found a boutique, scheduled an appointment and my (reluctant) daughter went with me again. As soon as I put on the dress I smiled. It fit like a glove! My daughter's face lit up too, she said "Mom, I am not letting you leave this place until you buy that dress!" I laughed and said "Are you sure?" In the back of my mind I kept thinking "of all the dresses in the world, is this really the one!?" It was flattering, my exact size AND it was $750- score!!!
After this find, I told myself I would stop looking at other dresses.. but even after being married, I still drive by wedding boutiques and wonder how I'd look in that dress :)




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...by the way, he LOVED it!!



photo credit: www.arielcorderophoto.com

The Non-Stiletto Bride

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It wasn't too long ago that I remember scouring the internet for the perfect wedges for my garden wedding. I couldn't believe that there were hardly any brands that successfully fulfilled this niche (to my satisfaction at least). Not every bride wants to wear stilettos on their wedding day, especially if you are worried about sinking your heels in the grass. And who likes a boring pair of heels? There's always a way to have comfort without sacraficing style! Using www.bridalcanvas.com I put together a few alternatives, including some adorable flats in fun colors~




Red Flats: Pour La Victoire Jill $152
Blue Wedge: Pour La Victoire Divia $170
White Rhinestone Wedge: Lily Ann $116
Pink Flats: Romantic Soles Geneva $65
White T-Strap Wedge: David's Bridal Willow $59

1 Thing You Would Change About Your Wedding Day

We dream of our perfect wedding day. The day finally comes and the little things you spent hours obsessing over turn out not to mean so much afterall (I know it's hard to imagine but hindsight is sooo 20/20) I wanted to do this post so future brides could hear from past brides and their experiences. I compiled a list, in no specific order, of what brides have expressed could have been more at the top of their priority list. Perhaps you may want to consider these things too. I hope it helps!
  • specific music play list/do not play list to band/dj
  • detailed shot list for photographer
  • spent $ on a videographer
  • grandparents/pregnant guests got served dinner first
  • put a # on invitations so I could figure out who the guests were that sent them back blank
  • splurged on what I really wanted to wear
  • wasn't pressured into inviting someone I wasn't close to
  • hire a "day of" coordinator so me and my people wouldn't be bothered and just enjoy the day
  • got married different time of day so it wouldn't be super hot
  • didn't leave for our honeymoon right away
  • didn't spend so much effort on programs that were thrown away
  • planned better timeline so things wouldn't be rushed or dragging
We'd love to hear from you. What's one thing you would change about your wedding day?

Favor Flavor

Friday, April 23, 2010


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We've all seen cheesy wedding favors at one time or another. When we got engaged, my fiance and I decided we would either cut our costs by skipping favors altogether, or do something practical. It was something like 90 degrees during our ceremony and we chose sandalwood fans as our favors. Not only were they 75 cents each, they were a hit with our guests (men too!) and made for a worthwhile investment.
If you're not heavily into flowers or want to do something modern/minimalistic, you can go for succulents (cactus) or "lucky" bamboo which can serve as your center pieces, favors and seating placement. Don't get me wrong, the mints in a tin that say "mint-to-be" are cute, the candied-apples and candy buffets are sweet, but please don't make your guests play a "win the centerpiece game" or send us home with a sachet of potpourri or a little porcelain figurine that's just gonna sit in your mom's curio cabinet and collect dust.

Remember, favors are an "extra", not a requirement. Don't stress on it too much if you're trying to keep a tight budget. As a guest, I don't think I'd lose any sleep over not being offered any keepsakes. After all, we're here to support the bride and groom on their day and the best keepsake of all are the memories... priceless!

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Love Never Goes Out of Style!

I love to see couples take the time to express their personal sense of style on their wedding day.

Non-traditional heels for the bride can be a refreshing splash of color and these days grooms aren't left out. Many are choosing to sport sneakers that compliment their personality as well.

A different "something blue" option are temporary tattoos from http://www.idotattoos.com/ How cute would that be to rock a tat on your ankle or lower back?

I adore the dyed crinoline/petticoats which from what I gather doesn't seem to be a hard DIY project to take on :)

Parasols are also a nice effect. Imagine a sea of color surrounding you. It makes for a lovely visual affect taking pics with your bridesmaids.

Whatever your style is, this day is YOURS, so own it! You'll enjoy looking through all your pictures and marveling at the personalized details for years to come.

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My Wedding

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I wish I started this blog to document my own wedding planning journey but it wasn't at the top of my mind at the time. Here are a few highlights I'd like to leave you with and in a future post, i'll share our story and how were able to actually have a wedding on a zero budget. Yes, I said zero!

Click on this link to view Our Engagement Pictures by Jessica Fajardo

Click on this link to view Our Wedding Pictures by Ariel Cordero

Video Credit: James (Schnaudt) Thomas

March 18, 2009


September 5, 2009

Do What You {LOVE} What You Do

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It all started when I had to plan my wedding on a zero budget. We had no savings and refused to take out loans and start our marriage off in debt. Thus began the journey of putting ideas together and finding a creative way to make it all work. Planning a wedding is a full-time job and as most brides, I was no exception to this. Although we were on a “miracle” budget, we didn’t believe excellent taste should be sacrificed. In 5 months, we pulled off a 300 guest Los Angeles wedding and our day of coordinator was largely responsible for helping us execute the wedding of our dreams.

I began offering help to other friend-brides with the most random tasks: finding inexpensive bridesmaid dresses, tracking down affordable venues, creating spreadsheets to itemize costs, advice on booking honeymoons- you name it. I found that taking all this on came natural to me and I excelled at it. I welcomed the challenge of hunting something down for the least possible price. It excited me to see a person's vision exceed their expectations. It was so fulfilling to know I was able to be a blessing and find out that every facet of wedding planning fell in line with my strong suits.

Shortly after being married, I found out I was about to be laid off. After years of helping support other people’s real estate dreams and knowing it wasn’t where I was supposed to be, I started asking myself what am I good at? What am I passionate about? Around that time, I came across this quote that in a nut shell basically said “Do what you love….” And that was when the dream of wedding consulting was awakened. I LOVE everything about weddings! The details, the commitment, seeing months of planning come to life! These moments are priceless. You deserve a confidant, someone who can anticipate your needs, be your sounding board, your negotiator, your organizer, your right hand, so you don’t have to sweat the small stuff and simply enjoy YOUR day!

When I’m not wedding planning, I enjoy good music, bike rides with my family, hiking, cooking and look forward to more travel opportunities whenever possible.

With love,

~Eileen T. de las Alas
Founder of Enamor Events

en•am•or
  [ih-nam-er]
transitive verb (used with object)
en•am•ored, en•am•or•ing, en•am•ors
To inspire with love; captivate: was enamored of the beautiful dancer.