Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wed Recap: Videos and fun pages from our Guest Book

As I mentioned, I wanted to finish up the last 4 or so wedding recaps I had.  So you all know that the guest book was like one of the best parts of our wedding because it involved the photobooth.  I knew I wanted photos of every single guest (as many as we could collect) from our actual wedding day.  So we incorporated the idea of using a photobooth to offer a fun entertaining activity for the guests as well as an extra favor for them to remember our wedding by.  And the second set of photos that they took would be placed on a page from our guest book. 

Here's some video of some of the guests in the photobooth throughout the night:

Rather than using the typical scrapbook with blank pages for our guest book, I found a company called the Guestbook Store online and ordered a book and customized pages for our guests to complete.  The pages have a place for a 4 x 6 photo of the guests - perfect since that was the size our photobooth printed out.

Here are some of my favorite pages of our guest book.  (Please note that the pages are double sided but the photo only goes on one side)  :)

This couple color coded their answers so we would know which came from each of them :)

I love how Kristin even colored in the page in our wedding colors on this page:

I love how our neighbors mentioned the video from our ceremony with such enthusiasm:

I think the best 'real' advice I got from anyone was from Mr Fix It's mother who wrote the following:

I particularly liked that my aesthetician/masseuse wrote under "How do you know Stacey & John?" :  "I make Stacey feel good with my hands." 

And I thought it was pretty profound when one of Jordan's friends wrote under the 'advice' section 'Not to fight because it scares kids.'  :)
Share time:   What did/are you doing for your guest book?  Did you incorporate photos of the guests? 

TODAY'S WEDDING TIP:  If you incorporate a photobooth or guest book that may not be too self explanatory at your wedding, it's a good idea to put up a bunch of clear signs with instructions or even better, have an attendant to direct your guests on what to do and how to use the equipment. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

I threw another huge party!!!

So as if planning a wedding for 190 guests at a huge venue with lots of different vendors and aspects to deal with wasn't enough...I decided to throw a mini version of a wedding just 9 months later!

This past February 9th my daughter, Little Miss turned 16.  And just like getting married, turning 16 is a *BIG* of course we wanted to do something spectacular for her.  Alas, I came up with an idea to throw her a surprise Sweet 16 party with dinner, desserts, a DJ/dancing and a mock faux-to booth to entertain her.  It was quite a feat that took over two months of planning, shopping and conniving since we had to enlist a lot of help to pull off the surprise.  And of course, just like with a wedding, it wasn't easy either! :(  We ended up having a few hiccups that seriously stressed me out.

Here is the deets and the photos and video to show all that happened:

1)  Come up with the guest list.  I enlisted 5 of her best friends to create a guest list which ended up with 100 people on it:  17 family members and 83 friends.  Funny thing was, with 15/16 year old girls, the guest list ended up with over twice as many girls as boys.  In the end, we had about 55 people actually able to make it. 

Here are some of her friends from the night of the party:

The theme colors were black and white with touches of silver.

That crazy lady on the right is me with some of my daughter's besties who helped me pull off the surprise by coming up with a guest list and passing out invitations.

Some of the food we had set out.  We kept it to easy finger foods for teens. 

2)  Pick a date.  I wanted to throw the party the weekend before her actual birthday (which fell on Wednesday) so that she wouldn't be expecting anything.  I picked Friday the 4th because it turned out that was a minimum day and the last day of finals for the semester.  What a great way to celebrate ending your finals - a big party!  Unfortunately, I didn't think about the fact that several of her best friends are cheerleaders and athletes and Friday nights mean games for high school students.  So we probably would have had closer to 70 or 80 people show up if we would have held the party on Saturday.  :(  Oh well, live and learn.

3)  Pick a venue.  I called tons of recreation centers, club houses, even hotels to find a location big enough to hold a DJ, food, tables and about 70 people.  Most of them were either thousands of dollars (way out of our budget which was about $1500) or they had hugely ridiculous limitations due to the fact that it was a 'teen' party.  For example, one place told us we had to pay an extra $200 in security for the teenagers and we could only rent the place from 6 to 10 pm which included set up AND clean up time!  That's just silly.

We thought we had the perfect place when we found a clubhouse that was the perfect set up in a reasonably close neighboring town for only $100!  We had a friend who lived in the area and could rent the club house for us.  Due to stupid miscommunication on the part of the clubhouse representatives, the day we went down to reserve the room, they told me they had just rented it to someone else!  I was livid.  And desparate.  Then suddenly Mr Fix It suggested I look into the YMCA. 

We ended up booking a room they had there which was going to cost $540 for the night.  It had some downside:  1)  every single guest would need to bring a signed waiver from their parents (or self) to get into the party  2)  we had to have all of the food outside on a lawn/patio area instead of in the acutal room because it was an exercise/fitness room that they didn't allow food in.

It wasn't perfect, but it was somewhat close and it was somewhat affordable and it was better than all of the other options.

I booked it mid-December.  Cut to February 1st...3 days before the party.  I received a phone call from the YMCA profusely apologizing that they couldn't allow us to have the party there that night because they received a notice from the electric company that their power was being shut off that evening to have repairs done. 

Needless to say, I spent a huge amount of time on the phone with the YMCA and the electric company trying to think of other options but it was pointless.  I called Mr Fix It crying since we had mailed out 100 of these little pretty invitations designed by my sister:

Note they all have the YMCA address on them.  UGH!

But suddenly it came to me...I had a friend who lived in an apartment complex that had a clubhouse.  I called the apartment complex and by the grace of God they had an opening for Friday so I called my friend and asked her if she would reserve it for me and she met me there the next day.  In the end, it all worked out even better than we hoped because the location we ended up at gave us a cheaper rate, longer usage time, a mini bar area for the food - inside, better furniture, a patio area, a location for the photobooth and a great big room to dance and eat in!

So we took this place which was located like 5 minutes from the kid's school:
With this room we rented:

 And turned it into this:

Video first, then pics:

Cupcake table

My sister made all those little cupcake toppers (she sells them on Etsy by the way)

This picture doesn't do the toppers justice because they are actually super bright and colorful in real life.

The DJ set up right in front of the fireplace.  You can see the pink and black tablecloths and little balloon and decor centerpieces we used on the right. 

My sis made the signs that read Happy Birthday Jordan and Sweet Sixteen.

There was plenty of room for us to move furniture around and all the tables, chairs, and sofas were included in the rental fee.  We just rearranged them the way we needed to make a dance floor.

I bought bunches of decorations from a web site called Windy City Novelties...great stuff! 
Highly recommend.

We put silver fedoras and metallic pink beaded necklaces all around the tables for the kids to take home as favors and wear around.  Again, from Windy City...super inexpensive!

Here you ca see the set up of the tables, cupcake table and mini-bar food area.

The invitations came in an envelope with this graphic on the had the guest's name in pink across the top left corner area.  Loved it!

 The back of the invitation envelope had more graphics like this one that let the guests know there'd be a DJ, dancing and food!

And of course, we pulled off the super fun surprise part:

Did you notice on the left side of the video those flashing balloons?  Yeah, how cool are those?!?  Here's a clip of them in the room.  We had them all over:

Again, I got these from Windy City Novelties and rented a helium tank from a local party supply store.  They were a huge hit.  If you choose to try them, I suggest getting an extra pack or so from how many you'll need as there were a couple that were defective or didn't work :(

Mr Fix It ran around all night with a camera taking photos and helping run the photobooth area.  Here's some of the great shots he got:

My sis acting all gangsta...or tryin' to

Kids in the photobooth

Hangin' with guests

Little Miss as she walks in for the big SURPRISE!!!

Being silly with 2 of the only 7 boys that were there that night :)

Girls gettin' groovy on the dance floor!

Mr Fix It acting like he doesn't enjoy himself hangin' with Little Miss' friends.  We truly love her group of girlfriends...they are really good girls and so fun to be around!

Every teen likes to get a piggy back ride!

The back patio area of the overlooked the pool and the kids could hang out there and get some fresh air after tearin' it up on the dance floor.

And shawty got low, low, low, low....

I love this one because I have no idea what I am doing and Little Miss has that typical 'You're an idiot' teen look on her face.  :)

Such a great shot of her being surprised.

And even more dancing!  My little one is just like me...she could dance all night regardless of what everyone else is doing.  I love it.

Ok, this one is kinda scary...those are 2 of her best girlfriends in the background.

Little Miss and her dad with the photobooth props.

You can't tell from this photo but those dreadlocks actually light up and flash! 

The pretty birthday girl

Toasting with cupcakes

This was a cute shot of my daughter with her dad's whole side of the family that was there.

So all in all, we had a great time.  She was totally surprised, we ate good food, danced all night, got silly and after cleaning up, I collapsed in bed exhausted! 

Share Time:  Have any of you thrown any other huge parties since or before your wedding took place? 

Monday, February 14, 2011

I missed out on the hot guy!

So this past weekend Mr Fix It and I went to Las Vegas to celebrate Valentine's Day and my belated birthday gift.  We had a nice relaxing weekend and I'll have some fun stories and pics to share with you later this week.

But today, I thought I'd share a little picture of my daughter, Little Miss.  She celebrated her 16th birthday this past Wednesday and her Aunt and Uncle invited her to come check out the Tonight Show that day since this guy happened to be a guest on the show that they were working with:

Yeah, that's Clay Matthews of the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers.  Ya know, the guy who caused the fumble that the Steelers lost so that Green Bay could win the game.  No biggie.  She's pretty blessed.  And he's pretty hot.  Bummer I couldn't take off work to go up with her but her dad took her (on the left) along with one of her best friends and her mom who are HUGE Packer fans and actually went to the game in Dallas!  REALLY lucky!

Are you football fans?  Us Beevers are HUGE NFL pretty much consumes our life in the fall and winter :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The things I don't want to forget...and a final highlight video

It has been quite a journey on this little blog.  For over 2 years I have been sharing my ideas and plans and the little ups and downs of planning and participating in a wedding from the bride's perspective.  It has been a blessed joy. 

I never would have imagined that I would have actual 'followers' who would care to read what I had to share much less provide me insight, feedback, encouragement and support throughout the emotional roller coaster.  Heck, half of my wedding was probably designed or carried out by ripping off ideas from fellow blogger brides! 

This site has been my opportunity to vent and brag and talk unrelentlessly about all things wedding - something my family and friends never would have allowed as all of you have.  And that's only because you are along for the ride as well with your own plans and dreams and big celebrations. 

From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you. 
As one of my final three wedding recaps, I wanted to share some last minute reflections and most excitedly the very last closing montage from our wedding video courtesy of Gary Freedline of Video Keepsakes of Bevelry Hills.  It has been so cool to share the actual 'live' events from our wedding day along with the photos and it is all because of Gary.  This last video is a favorite because it recaps our entire day for the bride and groom.  Have fun with it!

I do remember things from our wedding rehearsal and wedding day that I wanted to share so that I don't ever forget them. Here are a few of the sweet moments, funny things and just plain 'weird' things that I recall:

* Mr Fix It's dad (Pops) came up to me and my daughter, Little Miss at one point during the reception and hugged us and said "I am so happy that you two ladies are part of our family now and we love you so much!"

* At the rehearsal, Mr Fix It pulled me away from all the guests onto the deck and practiced 'dipping' me for our dance. We didn't actually do any dipping on the wedding day, but at least we had that moment together.

* At the rehearsal, Mr Fix It pulled me aside and we stared out over the venue and the ceremony where we would stand the next day and he said "Are you happy? Are you getting everything you ever wanted?" I just smiled and told him "Of course!"

*  Just before the walk down the aisle while waiting in the bridal cottage, my dad took my hand and knelt down beside me and said "Just breathe."

*  The dance floor seemed full enough and definitely was not too small. Though a lot of guests didn't dance I don't think.  One of Mr Fix It's good friends was acting all crazy jumping up on the fireplace hearth and shaking his bum at the dance floor. Then he began bouncing his girlfriend off of his knee.  And I of course had a blast dancing with my small group to You Shook Me All Night Long while the youngest kids loved dancing to Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA. 

Share time:  If you have already taken the plunge, what are the things you don't want to forget from your special day?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Seriously Saturdays: Being Single Again

So about 15 months ago I started this thing called Seriously Saturdays where I said that each Saturday I'd post about something that just makes me say 'Seriously?!?'  Well, I did it for about 12 weeks and then I forgot about it somehow.  I remembered the idea though and decided to revive it.  So today's post is all about why I feel single again.

We got married in April...we're closing in on about 10 months of marriage which is roughly 40-45 weeks that we've been husband and wife.  And do you know that in that 45 weeks, Mr Fix It has been gone for about 6 of those weeks which is 13% of our short marriage.  And now he is leaving next month for another two weeks!  I mean, seriously?!? 

I might as well have stayed single! 

About a month after we got married, Mr Fix It drove up north to work on his parent's rental property for three weeks.  Oh man...that was hard.  We didn't have our new puppy at that time and my daughter stays with her dad for 3-4 nights each week so it was strange being in a house all by myself that I had just moved into. 

In November, he went up to his parents house for about a week to visit his family and spend the holiday up there...which I had already told you all about how I stayed home without him because my own family had our first Thanksgiving without my Grandmother who had just passed.

Then in January I mentioned that he went back up to his parents house yet again for another two weeks to work on a new rental property they just bought.  And now in March, he's going up to Sacramento to remodel a bathroom for his sister so he'll be gone yet again.

As much as I'm glad his family is giving him so much work, and they do take care of him well financially for what he does, it's very hard to have him gone for such long periods of time.  I really don't know how these military wives handle themselves when they have to watch their hubbys leave them...and possibly leave them for a dangerous job!

Anyway, I am definitely one who enjoys my time to myself and some peace and quiet and not having to answer to anyone.  But as a newlywed, it's not easy being by myself for over 15% of the first year we've been living together.

Seriously...can't my hubby find work here in our own county?!?  :D

What about you, ladies?  How do you do when you have to be apart from your hubby?  Have you had any long stretches of time apart?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Wed Recap: Overheard at our wedding...

I think it's funny that it's probably been five or six months since I did a wedding recap but I still had about 3 or 4 in my scheduled posts that I never did publish.   So I thought I would share some of the little things and conversations I heard from some guests at our wedding with you all. 
A conversation between my cousin, Mike & my sister and I:

Mike:  Stacey, you hit a grand slam!  I swear, this is like *THE* best wedding I've ever been to.  All of it - so much fun!
My sister:  And what the heck was my wedding?  Chopped liver?!?

An e-mail from my friend Shelley about her husband, Pat:

Pat was just telling our friend about your wedding yesterday and he said, “It was the best wedding I’ve ever been to.”  Wow, you’d think his own wedding would have been the best…right?

From my mother-in-law:

Stacey, you outdid yourself.  Everything is just beautiful.  It's so wonderful.  We are having such a great time.

And just for fun, though I am not usually a huge fan of this, our videographer went around to the guests' tables asking them if they'd like to say anything on camera to the bride and groom.  Here's a little video sharing some of the more personal and specific messages:

Thanks to Gary of Video Keepsakes of Beverly Hills for this footage!

Share time:  What was one (or some) of the best things you heard or that was said to you at your wedding?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Quick and easy

Here's a few more updates I thought I'd share with you to keep me consistent in trying to blog more lately :)

In July, we went to a concert called Jack's Fifth Concert held by a local radio station.  It was AH-MAZING!  The bands were:
Night Ranger
Skid Row
Modern English
The Fixx
The Cult
Steve Miller Band
Young MC
Vanilla Ice
and a couple more I don't remember. 

Me, Mr Fix It and my sis and bro-in-law spent a good 6 to 7 hours there taking in all the amazing acts.  Vanilla Ice and Young MC were the two that totally got the entire crowd up and dancing.  Here's a fun shot of my sis being silly dancing behind some chicks shakin' it in the aisle at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater in Irvine:

FUN WEDDING FACT:  If you ever watch WE TV's My Fair Wedding With David Tutera, this past Sunday's episode featured our wedding venue, Rancho Las Lomas!!!  Check your local listings to see when it reruns and look for the episode with the Zebra bride who wanted a Passport to Africa wedding :)

Did your wedding have some vendor, venue, or other aspect that made it 'famous' somehow?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Should I stay or should I go?

Considering it has been over two months since my last blog post, I am struggling with the inevitable question of whether or not I should just give up blogging all together?  Deep down, I know that I do not want to do that.  But with our wedding now over and moving on into a new year, I have decided that it would be good for me to journal about what's been going on in my life on at least a weekly basis.  So for now, I am going to try to start again by committing to weekly posts...regardless of whether anyone reads them or not.

In the past years, I have often loved going back and reading journals I wrote out to see what was going on and how I felt at that point of my life.  It is really encouraging and causes you to re-evaluate yourself internally.

Anyway, for now, here's a recap of what's been going on with us Beevers during the last several months...some good, some bad...but life nonetheless.


We travelled up north to Redding, CA to visit Mr Fix It's brother and his in-laws for the celebration of a family member's 60th birthday party.  It was a quick, pop in/pop out weekend trip but it was super fun to see Mr Fix It's parents and the other family members that live up in Northern Cali.  The party was a costume event and so being the weekend before Halloween, it was the perfect opportunity for us to test out our costumes:

(I apologize for the quality as most of these photos were taken on my cell phone camera)
Oh and did I mention that Mr Fix It won best costume?!?

We finished out October at a Halloween party at a neighbor's house.  This was the first time for me to really hang out and get to know all the neighbors on our cul de sac since I had just moved into Mr Fix It's home 5 months earlier.  Needless to say, I was a bit concerned when I was served the following Deviled eggs:

After that, I took a tour of their house since Mr Fix It had done a lot of work on it for them.  I really flipped out when I walked into the bathroom to find this waiting for me:

In their defense, our neighbors are HUGE holiday freaks.  They love to decorate and go all out in their yard and their house.  It was actually quite fun to see all that they did around the entire place.


Of course November ushered in the holidays.  And as you may remember from one of my last posts, I had my first Thanksgiving ever (without my hubby with me) in our home.  We had about 20 family members there and I mostly did everything myself.  I forgot to take pictures when everything was first set out so here are a few I snapped after people had started chowing down.  The lighting's not great cuz I took them on my cell phone:

I was so excited to use all of our brand new serving platters and casserole dishes.

All of these items were wedding gifts!!!

My brother-in-law did a fabulous job of carving up the 20 lb bird!

Again, I got to use a new wedding gift:  a 3 pot crock pot/slow cooker!  This thing was so cool!


December of course meant Christmas.  Christmas was a little hard for me since I was usually really into it the day after Thanksgiving.  I would put all of my decorations out and get so excited to decorate my fake tree.  Had to be fake because I liked to leave it up from the day after Thanksgiving until the day after New Year's and we all know real trees don't last that long. 

But Mr Fix It is all about a real tree so I opted to wait until about 2 weeks before Christmas to put out all the decorations.  Especially because with our new puppy in the house I was petrified he was going to destroy everything!  Surprisingly, he did well and didn't really go after anything at all...not even the stockings that I hung from our fireplace mantle. 

In early December, I got together with the six girls I had led in a bible study for almost 5 years.  We don't meet regularly anymore since I got married because almost all of us are now married and we don't live as close anymore.  So we make it a point to get together once a month instead.  In December, one of the girls hosted a fabulous tea party and she was excited to use all of her brand new tea set.  I absolutely loved this mad hatter style table setting but with a Christmas feel to it.  She went so far as to put pictures of us girls at each place setting!  I loved it.

One of our favorite memories of our first Christmas together was driving to my sister's house on Christmas morning.  We decided to get up early to go see my niece and nephew open all of their gifts.  On our way down to South County we happened to come across this guy driving in a station wagon full of gifts on the 405 freeway!

I mean, come on!  Does it get any better than seeing Santa on Christmas day driving with a car full of presents?!?  We honked at him and he waved and gave us the peace sign with a big smile on his face.


January meant a new year.  As much as I was so thrilled with all of the exciting things that went on in 2010 (like oh, our wedding and honeymoon), I was really excited to say hello to 2011 and begin what will hopefully be a great start to our lives together.  But in January, Mr Fix It left me yet again for about 2 weeks to go up north to his parent's house to work on a rental property for them.  This picture of our puppy, Brody sums up how I felt during that time: 

We missed the man of the house and Brody is looking out our front window waiting for him to come home like me!  Thankfully, I had my daughter, Little Miss with me to keep me and Brody occupied.

We finished up January with me, Little Miss and my mom taking a quick flight up to Seattle for the last weekend to see my cousin star in a little musical play he wrote.  He attends college at Cornish school for the performing arts and I know he'll make it big some day.  It was so fun to see him act.

While we were there, we took in some of the the very first Starbucks ever!

My mom, Little Miss, my cousin (the future star), my aunt and me

We checked out this silly wall of grafiti near Pike's Market (a popular outdoor market).  While we were there, we went and had lunch at the restaurant where Tom Hanks and Rob Reiner filmed a scene for the movie Sleepless in Seattle.

We walked on the waterfront

They made us check out this stupid wall of gum. 
A dumb tourist site in my opinion where people stick their chewed gum. 

And of course we saw the Space Needle (as well as Qwest & Safeco Fields)


Of course, I don't have photos for February yet since today is the first day.  But this will be a super fun month.  And here's why:

Sunday is Super Bowl day.  Though I am not thrilled with the teams that are playing at all :( I do love me some good football!

The following Wednesday is my daughter's actual birthday and then that Friday Mr Fix It is taking me to Vegas for the weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day.

The weekend after that, an old friend from high school (who just happens to be the President of the World Poker Tour) got us tickets to a celebrity invitation reception and event that they are holding near our house.  Mr Fix It is a huge poker fan so we are super excited about that.

The last Friday of February, I am throwing yet ANOTHER surprise party for Mr Fix It's birthday!  His brother is flying in from Sacramento to surprise him along with 20 other friends who will be waiting for him at our local Lucky Strike Bowling Alley and Lounge.

Oh and Little Miss is taking her driving test in the middle of the month as well.  We bought her a car from a family member and she is dying to be able to have her own car and drive herself to and from school finally.  Scary stuff to see my little one growing up but I am excited about all the new changes coming.

Thus I am so thankful for February and all the celebration it is going to bring.  On the downside, Mr Fix It and I lost a very dear close friend of ours about a week and a half ago.  She went to Hawaii after our wedding (in July) and came back with a nasty cough that wouldn't go away.  The doctors soon found out it was lung cancer and once treatment began, it soon spread to her brain.  We were devastated when we found out they only gave her a month to live when it was determined that the treatment was not working whatsoever.  She lost her battle on Wednesday January 26th.  Mr Fix It and I cried and are trying to make sense of why someone so loving and genuine and beautiful was taken so soon.  But her boyfriend (our dear friend) summed it up best when he said "I guess God just wanted her back sooner than we had all hoped."

Audrey, you will be dearly missed and we love you so much!  Rest in peace lovely lady.

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