It’s Been A Month Since Eoghan and I Got Married…

wedding

A month ago to the day, Eoghan and I got married. [Insert standing ovation here.]

We had a really amazing and small family wedding in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Eoghan grew up. It was an overcast Valentine’s Day, a chill 40 something degrees out, and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

Like, here’s my handsome husband. Who wouldn’t marry this guy?!

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We had a fantastic photographer, Lissa Chandler, who captured some truly fun moments, like when I opened a gift basket my friends put together. It was stuffed with Cat Cookies from Trader Joe’s (damnit, I love those so much), gummy bears, whiskey, and cards wishing me a happy wedding day. It also included this BuzzFeed list from my friend Tom, which was amazing and made me cry and laugh.
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She also snagged a shot of me getting my makeup done while eating a burger and drinking champagne at 10 a.m. Naturally.Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.17.52 AM

My dress was from Rent The Runway. It was a Badgley Mishka gown and I’m obsessed with it.

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Here were our programs, which weren’t totally traditional, but exceptionally more fun.Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.23.36 AM

And our amazing wedding party that included my BFF4Lyfe, Elisa, Eoghan’s BFF, Jim, and his other BFF, Trevor, who served as our officiant. His wedding speech for us was hysterical. And he’s available for weddings now… for a price.

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I love this photo of me looking at my Dad right before he walks me down the aisle. I was so nervous, and he seemed oddly calm. He calmed me right down.Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.27.33 AM

I’d be remiss if I didn’t show our dessert table. We had two cakes: one chocolate, and the other lemon. They both had cream cheese frosting, so hard to go wrong there.

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Eoghan’s mom, Gayle, gave a really touching speech. She made me cry, and I love this photo of Eoghan hugging her afterward. (My dad also gave a speech, and he and I were both sobbing by the end of it. La Rosas are nothing if not a family who cries together.)

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And as a gift to our friends and family, we wrote everyone Valentine’s Day cards expressing why we were happy to have them with us. This photo is of my grandparents reading their cards. It’s such a sweet one.

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A Conversation About Wedding Dress Shopping

Friend: Did you find your wedding dress?

Me: I did!

Friend: Did you cry when you tried it on? Because you knew it was *the one*?

Me: LOL, no.

Here’s the thing: Say Yes to the Dress is a wonderful show that I often binge-watch while shoveling Skinny Pop into my mouth, but it’s also a web of lies.

In fact, there were a number of lies I was told leading up to the actual act of shopping for my wedding dress. Like…

  • “You’ll get champagne while you shop!” I wish this were true. I probably would’ve bought a dress a lot faster than I did if it were. But 4/4 stores gave us water in a disposable cup, not a glass of champs in sight.
  • “You’ll find your dress at the first store.” This was 100% untrue for me. It took a solid four stores, and a minor anxiety attack at the third store because I was convinced I wouldn’t find anything. Finding the right dress can often be hard, and that’s OK! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • “Wedding dress shopping is fun!!!” I’m not saying that buying a fancy dress isn’t fun, but it’s also really stressful. As someone who had no idea what I wanted, dress shopping was more of a task to be checked off than anything else.
  • “You’re gonna bawl your eyes out.” OK, to be fair I did cry at one point. I walked out in what I thought was a truly hideous gown, and my mom began to cry, which led me to say, “Why are you crying?!” And then I cried. I cry easily. I was also really hungry that day. Don’t shop while hungry.
  • “When you find *the one,* you’ll just know it.” I definitely knew that I liked the dress I ended up buying, but did I “just know it”? Not really. And I’ve had to unfollow most of the wedding sites on Instagram that I used to enjoy so that I stop having buyers remorse about my dress. There are so many options out there, but you’ll know you’ve found *the one* when you can see yourself getting married in it, which I did.

What they should really tell you before dress shopping, and the one piece of advice I’ll give is this: Don’t feel badly if you don’t cry, or don’t have a *this is THE ONE* moment. All you need to feel is that this is a dress you can get married in — find that dress, buy that dress, and then pour yourself some champagne afterward (because the store won’t be pouring one for you, but you deserve it).

4 Important Things I’ve Learned About Wedding Planning (So Far)

I have been engaged for all of three months, but I’m already feeling like an expert on this wedding planning thing. Maybe it’s because I’m completely Type-A, and therefore all of my big wedding decisions were made within a month, or… Yeah, no, it’s because I’m Type-A.

In the process of booking a venue, finding a day-of coordinator, and making reservations at six bridal stores to find a dress, I feel like I now have some newfound knowledge. The problem with my knowledge is that after I get married it’ll be completely useless. So for anyone planning a wedding, or thinking about a wedding, or just wanting practical event planning tips, I have some sharing-is-caring tips for you:

Wedding Advice

  • Take people’s advice, and ask for it early on. I actually wish I’d done this a bit sooner, because people have been through this circus before you, and they’re more than happy to impart this otherwise useless knowledge that they’ve absorbed. So ask, and you will receive a lot of gems. (FWIW, A Practical Wedding has been life changing for me.)
  • Become friends with Google docs. I’ve heard and seen on Pinterest that lots of women make binders (binders FILLED with weddings!), but you’ll want the digital version of the binder. I have a wedding folder that has spreadsheets for our guest list, venue options, cake options, DJ options… so many goddamn options. And if you actually want a physical binder, just print out your Google docs. They come in handy when you get a random call from a vendor at 11 on a Tuesday and need to remember what you discussed previously.
  • Weddings can be so expensive. All of the little details and things you must have for the day of… But basically, you can just say “eff it” to a lot of these. No one will hold it against you if you decide not to spend $500 on guest favors. No one loves Jordan almonds THAT much.
  • When you feel stressed about planning, it’s time to take a “let’s celebrate!” break with your partner. People will tell you, “This is supposed to be fun! Relax!” and they have all the best intentions in the world when they say this, but it’s also ignoring the fact that planning a big event comes with stresses. So, take breaks. For us, this has meant a few things. Sometimes we’ll open a bottle of champagne that we were given as an engagement gift and have a Netflix date. And one night we went to the restaurant where we had our first date and told them we were getting married. (Which led to free appetizers, and a free bottle of champagne to take home.) Basically, relax and drink when you need to. And you will need to.

Any advice I missed, marrieds or people planning things? Please share in the comments!

How Our Cat Helped My Fiance Propose

Fiance? Fiancee? I never know, but I think the man gets one “e,” right?

Anyhow, I’m engaged. To be married. It’s so freaking exciting that sometimes I just smile to myself in a super creepy way while alone in my living room. There we go, I’m doing it right now. Creepy smile time.

Engaged

If you don’t give a flying monkey’s butt about gushy proposal stories, then tag yourself out of this post, because here comes the sappy…. I’ll give you a moment to decide… Done? Cool! Let’s talk about the proposal, because it was awesome, and adorable, and totally perfect.

OK, so for our 3-year-anniversary, E and I went to Ojai, which is about an hour and a half drive from our house. It’s all beautiful mountains, and quaint little country stores, and I heard Reese Witherspoon has a house there, so… so…

Yeah, so we went! And we stayed at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (if you’re into all-inclusive things, then this is the place for you!). The first day we were there, we had some massages scheduled, and we decided to grab some food and celebratory cocktails before those happened. See that drink in the photo below? It was lavender lemonade with vodka or something, and it was glorious.

EngagedCocktail

It was so glorious, in fact, that promptly after drinking it we got in our spa robes, and I proceeded to fall asleep on one of the chaise lounges at the spa. (Note: While I was sleeping the drink off, E later told me that he was running through his proposal speech over and over again, so he’d get it right when he finally did propose. I was so day drunk! And blissfully unaware!)

So we get these massages, which were epic, and then hobble back to our hotel room. It was about 6 p.m., and we had dinner reservations at the hotel for 8 p.m. As I showered and blowdry’d the old hair, apparently E was busy tucking the ring inside his coat pocket, and having a mini panic attack (probably).

Something you discover about Ojai pretty quickly is that the people take great pride in their sunsets. They call it the “pink moment,” and our hotel even had a sign out front that predicted when the moment would happen. So we decided to try and go see it, because it was our anniversary, and sunsets are so romantical, and we’re cheesy as hell, OK?

My feet hurt, though. And it was a long walk up the hill to see that pink moment. So I flagged down a golf cart (yes, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is all about golfing, and you can do things like hitchhike with one).

This probably disturbed E for two reasons:

  1. He had a plan, and this random golf cart driver didn’t know about that plan, and…
  2. Wow, it’s probably going to happen very quickly.

Luckily, this driver was a pro. Like, he knew exactly where to find that pink moment. When he first tried to drop us off, it was in a super crowded spot, and when E said, “Is there anywhere more private?” that probably should’ve tipped me off. But it didn’t. La di da, blissfully unaware still.

We eventually got to the top of a hill, where there was an enormous gazebo with floor-to-ceiling windows that offered a panoramic view of the mountains, about to be dusted in pink. We were alone, inside the gazebo, staring off into the sunset, when E turned me around so he could give me his proposal speech.

I’m not going to recite the actual speech, because it was very personal, and made me cry, and I don’t want other people sobbing while reading, but I WILL share the most important part of that speech. Which is that at one point, E told me he’d been talking to Fish (our cat) about our future together, and they’d both come to an agreement. At this point, I had no idea what was going on, I thought he was just being gushy. But then he pulled out his phone, and showed me this picture…

CatRing

It was our baby kitty girl! And a ring! And she was next to it! And A RING.

I started sobbing. Just like, balling my eyes out. I cried so much that I didn’t even notice E get down on one knee and ask, “Will you marry me?” He had to ask me again, once I’d pulled myself a little more together. But I was so surprised, like, I don’t know how to explain the feeling of your heart exploding into other little hearts, but that’s what happened to me. I really was so overwhelmed with joy and love that it manifested in me sobbing through most of the proposal.

One of the first things I said AFTER the “yes!!” was “This is so weird, right?! I mean, how weird is this?!” Getting engaged is WEIRD. Like, why don’t more people talk about this? It’s probably one of the strangest moments of joy you’ll ever encounter. One minute your life is one way, and the next a ring on your finger means a total relationship shift.

I had no idea what to do.I called my mom. She was watching The Messengers, and tried to usher me off the phone so she could get back to it. Then when she realized what I was saying, I think she went into shock, as did my Dad. E said, “If you’re too emotional to eat, we can get room service,” to which I said, “Oh no, we’re eating!” I knew that I wanted to celebrate, and I knew that I wanted to remember the rest of that night. We got complimentary champagne and desserts — PRO TIP: TELL EVERYONE YOU JUST GOT ENGAGED, AND ALL THINGS ARE FREE — and watched the pink moment turn into a lovely, starry sky.

EngagementRing

OK, that’s the end of the sappy proposal story. We spent the rest of the weekend wine tasting, and eating, and telling our friends the good news. Oh, and we watched an episode of Game of Thrones when we got back, so that’s really just the icing to a perfect weekend, right?

11 Things I Learned While Wedding Dress Shopping

(Drumroll, please.) My friend Kristen is getting married next year, and I’m going to be a bridesmaid in her wedding. (Fin the drumroll.)

This was intensely exciting for me, because while I’ve been a bridesmaid before, this was going to be the very first wedding where I actually lived in the same state as the bride. Meaning that this time around, I’d get to participate in the wedding dress shopping, planning, and just general excitement, instead of doing all that the weekend of the wedding.

That is, until Kristen got an amazing job offer in New York that she absolutely had to take. We’d always planned to do things, like the bachelorette and dress shopping, on our home turf in Los Angeles. But since she’s now working on a film, we had to speed up the plans and get it done before she starts filming.

Kleinfeld's New York

 

This meant hopping on a plane and flying to New York with my fellow bridesmaid, Gabby, for the week so we could fulfill our bridesmaid duties. I missed the dress shopping and bachelorette of the last two weddings I was part of, and I didn’t want that to be the case again. Plus, Kristen, Gabby, and I have never all been in New York at the same time together. Needless to say, it was a lot of fun. Especially when we headed to Kleinfeld’s to try on wedding dresses. (And for those who aren’t familiar, it’s the Kleinfeld’s made famous by the TLC show, Say Yes To The Dress.)

Here are some of the important lessons I gleaned as a bridesmaid while shopping for my friend’s wedding dress:

  1. Come prepared with photos, or they’ll call you a hot mess. This is a real thing that happened to Kristen, who, like plenty of other brides, likes a couple of different styles. While showing her top picks to the dress liaisons, they called her a hot mess. (In a loving way… I think.)
  2. Someone will probably cry, and it will probably be your mom.
  3. You will get molested, just a little bit. Someone is going to have to help you hold your bits in place, or perk em up. Either way, plan on getting felt up.
  4. Bring snacks and water, it will take way longer than you think. Gabby and I were so thirsty… so very thirsty.
  5. Momma is always right. As was the case when it came to Kristen’s mother, who had a vision, and ended up being 100% on the mark with it.
  6. Consider the underwear in advance, and the bra situation. Kristen wore a strapless bra, which was good, because if you don’t wear a strapless, you’re going to be a little effed when you try things on.
  7. Everyone will see your naughty bits, no matter how hard you try to be a lady. (Long story short: You’ll be changing in front of people, things will slip out, and you’ll become even closer than ever.)
  8. Bigger is always better when it comes to accessories, especially veils.
  9. Even if you go in with a few ideas of what you want, chances are you’ll end up loving something completely different.
  10. There’s always room for negotiating when it comes to the price of a dress, so don’t be afraid to haggle.
  11. Perhaps the most important thing, though, is to bring people who you trust and love to give you honest feedback. It’s one of the most important days of your life, so it makes sense to have the most important people in your life there to enjoy it with you.