It’s been one year since D. and I got married. I’ve had some time to enjoy married life and reflect on the whole chaotic wedding planning process.

Here’s a couple of lessons I learned:

1. Don’t make friends with your vendors. Be clear in what you expect from them. If you are afraid of being perceived as a bridezilla, hire a coordinator or designate someone as your “heavy”. Your contract outlines your expected deliverables. Don’t be afraid to cite it.

Yeah, I wanted to support small businesses and artists. However, I have to admit I was disappointed by a few of my vendors.  My florist worked out of her home, didn’t have access to the high-end flowers I really wanted, and wouldn’t listen when I told her that I didn’t care that she was saving me money by suggesting gerbera daisies. (I don’t like daisies, at all. They were on my Do Not Use These Flowers list.)

I still have outstanding deliverables from another vendor. I must say I’m disappointed about the delay and lack of communication.

2. Don’t get wrapped up in making your wedding unique or offbeat.

Of course, you want your wedding to express the personalities of you and your fiance. I know you don’t want a cookie-cutter wedding. However, it’s not a contest. Offbeat weddings are trending towards this bigger than life, let’s make it weirder than the last couple, reality tv show-esque mess. Do you really want guests walking away from your wedding with memories of how much it reminded them of the Jim Rose Circus, or do you want your guests remembering how much your wedding showcased your love for each other, quirks and all? All those quirky little details need to be tied together somehow, and due to the lack of time, you may end up scrapping or forgetting them at the last minute. You don’t want to be up at 1:30 am the night before (well, technically, the day of) your wedding, burning CDs of your wedding soundtrack as favors.

3. Don’t let your family (or friends) affect, dictate, or ruin your big day.

If you’re paying for your wedding, like D. and I did, don’t let people who aren’t paying make demands. It doesn’t hurt to be flexible where you are willing to be, to avoid big blowups over small things, but don’t back down on the things that mean the most to you, or would cause you to incur crazy debt. Speaking from experience, if your mother bought an inappropriate dress from a thrift store to wear at the wedding (without a bra), be prepared to drag her kicking and screaming to the department store and buy her a bra and a dress. I’m all about creative and unique clothing, but wearing a yellowed slip with no bra is not appropriate attire in which to meet my future-in-laws, let alone to wear to a wedding.

Are there things I would change if I could go back in time and do it again? Yes.

Am I happy with the way it all came out in the end? Absolutely.

Do I secretly want to wear my wedding dress around the house? Yup, the only thing that stops me is that the dress requires another person to lace me up.

D. and I love staying in and cooking for each other just as much as we enjoy going out. In our old apartment in Campbell, I felt cooped up, so I always had this need to be out. It sucked because we had this big kitchen with brand new appliances just begging to be used.

You see? Super nice, with a pot rack and everything. Unfortunately, the old apartment had this dark cave-like feel that was depressing. Our new apartment has a very open floor plan with lots of light, but an extremely tiny kitchen with boring standard appliances.

Anyway, tonight we decided to stay in and have a tribute to our honeymoon. (I still need to post about the honeymoon, I know.) We’re going to eat cake, drink wine, and watch Superbad like we did on our honeymoon. In addition, I’m making my version of a dish I had in Prague many years ago, chicken with camembert and pears. I stuff the chicken with camembert, pan cook it, toss the pears in some cinnamon, throw the pears in the pan with the left over camembert when the chicken is almost done, and enjoy. It’s terribly decadent, super easy, and is a nice dish to enjoy with a glass of wine and the windows open to the crisp autumnal air.

Cooking at home is awesome. It’s fun to experiment with flavors and techniques. (It also doesn’t hurt that we live within walking distance to a Whole Foods.) This is why I strongly urge couples to register for kitchen gear. You won’t use your fancy candlesticks or fine china as much as you will a good chef’s knife. If you want to see what we put on our Amazon registry, you can check it out here. Heck, if you’re really feeling generous, we’re still accepting gifts. 😉

Because I’m a workaholic, I only took off Wednesday and Thursday before my Friday wedding. Not only did I just take three days off, I also scheduled a job interview for that Thursday morning. Yes, somehow I managed to drive from San Jose to San Francisco in time for an interview starting at 9:00 am, interview from 9 to 12, drive back from San Francisco to San Jose, change clothes, drive to the nail salon in Los Gatos, get lost in the process, cry just a little bit, find the nail salon, have a manicure and a pedicure, pick up D., and get to the ceremony location at 3:30 pm. Phew.

(I got the job, btw.)

Tomorrow will be four months. I know I’ve been a terrible blogger, leaving you all hanging like that.

The wedding was lovely. It was a lot hotter than I expected, but my stellar wedding coordinator made sure we had umbrellas and water for our guests.

I was so nervous. I recited the Shema before starting my trek up the hill. My maid of honor was my awesome friend Alyson. Doesn’t she look great?

This is the secret path up the hill to the processional stairs. I was wearing flip flops instead of my crazy heels and Alyson was a great help with my dress.

I’m too excited/nervous to get married.

Alyson processing.

My processional.

David waiting for me to make it to the bridge in one piece. (With the heels I was wearing, there was a very high chance of me busting my ass on the way down.)

There are many many more pictures. I’ll post some more soon.

Here is the video of our ceremony. It’s compressed all to hell, but I hope you enjoy it.

My processional was Cat Power’s cover of “Sea of Love”. The recessional was “PM’s Love Theme” from the Love Actually soundtrack. (Remember the scene where Liam Neeson’s son, Sam, was running through the airport? Yes, that song.)

I’m going to do my full review once I receive some decent pictures from the photographer. We’re also going to post the ceremony video on YouTube or Google Video. I’ll post a link here.

But to tide you over….

Yes, I now have two wedding dresses.

As I’ve already mentioned, I really dislike my wedding dress. I didn’t feel like it was “The” dress. Even after the alterations, I didn’t feel pretty.

Today, I was in the mall with D. looking for a reception dress. I wanted something that I could change into after the ceremony that was more “me”. Well, after trying on many unsuccessful dresses, on a whim, I walked in into Blossom’s Formal at the Valley Fair Mall. I spoke with a very understanding saleswoman, Melissa, and she pulled several evening gowns. Unfortunately, they really didn’t work. They were either too much like nightgowns or pageant dresses. I wandered into their bridal section, and I tried on a light gold, almost a light peach, wedding gown. IT WAS SO WONDERFUL. For some reason, the dress reminded me of Lorraine’s dress from the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance from Back to the Future. Don’t ask me why. It just does, and that makes me happy.

**EDIT: I found the website for the bridal designer of my dress, Raylia Designs, and here’s my dress! It looks much better in person, I swear.

What about my other dress you ask? It’s going up on Craigslist.

Since D. saw the new dress while I was trying it on in the store, I’ll post pictures as soon as I take them.

The first wedding presents have arrived:

Our friend Allez and The Smit got us these pretties from Crate and Barrel:

Bamboo Salt Keeper
Oxo Mixing Bowls: Large and Medium

Our friend RavenRose sent us a set of Riedel O Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling Wine Tumblers.

We really wanted practical kitchen items for gifts, and you wouldn’t believe how nice those bowls are. I know they don’t sound exciting, but they are.

Thank you, guys!