Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Perfection II - The Big Day (7.17.10)

Me the morning of...
Super excited!!
I woke up at 6:30 the morning of my wedding.  I set my alarm for 8:00 a.m., but my body was clearly too excited to sleep any longer!  I called my mom's room - she sounded awake...don't know if she was!  I needed to go and get some tums (my stomach was going bananas...) and some stuff for snacking for my girls!  We walked across the street to Safeway, and picked up some pastries and of course, OJ and champagne.  What is a good wedding morning without a mimosa?  That's my theory at least!

Wedding day massage?  Yes please!
Once the girls got up and got some breakfast, we had about an hour before the first hair appointment.  We headed up to the pool (with our OJ and champagne) and set out to relax for a bit. I am super lucky, because one of my bridesmaids, Mira, is a masseuse and gave me some heavenly back rubbing by the pool.  It was very relaxing, and just what I needed.  We sat by the pool, me snacking on tums, playing a question game and chatting, for about an hour.  The perfect way to start the perfect day!

Then the hair appointments started!  I have a regular stylist who does wedding day hair, so I was glad to have someone I knew pretty well with me on the big day.  We were in the styling process for 3 hours - 2 girls each hour.  Thank goodness we had a big bathroom with plenty of room!!  Everyone of my girls looked so amazing - they look that way every day.  But they looked especially amazing on our wedding day!

The flowers also arrived at the hotel and looked AMAZING!!  Our "reverend" Brian flew his cousin in from LA, and she did our bouquets for us, so that Jack didn't overdo it!  They were exactly what I wanted and looked amazing.  So bright and simple - just what I had envisioned!  Thank you Megan!!!

Then, it was all easy breezy from there!  All of the girls were there, getting ready and beautified, and we were having a great time!  Here are some random pics from our getting ready!!
Kristin is a secret professional at doing my makeup - it looked perfect!
Love you Boog!

Me with my MOH!!  
The hair!
The most amazing helper!!!
After our hair was done, the photographer arrived and we started with that!  I had such a great time, and adore our photographer, Frederick, a fellow Gaucho.  He was very easy to work with, and had some fun ideas for fun shots.  The hotel we stayed at was beautiful and had some great settings - a cool retro mirror, metallic beads, couches, stairs, balconies, etc.  It was funny while I was posing for some of the photos, I was right in front of the main elevators.  About five people got off the elevators and freaked out - thinking they were somehow on the wrong floor and had invaded this private moment.  Pretty funny!  Some of them were friends, and it was fun to see them before the big stroll! I will be sure to post the link to our photos once he is finished touching them up!
I am going to love this one!  Love all the colors!

We hopped in Mike's car (driven by my sister) and headed toward the venue.  We were early (just my style) and so we hung out for a bit in the bridal salon, waiting for people to arrive, and for five o' clock to come!  Kristin D. arrived with an assortment of random snacks for us (deli meat, potato chips, Funyuns, you name it!)  We hung out and told stories and laughed for about an hour and a half.  Many great girly moments.  It seemed like forever, but finally Marcia came in and told us to get ready.  The maids walked out first, and then she came back with my dad for our grand entrance.  It is hard to describe the feeling of that moment.  Excitement, disbelief, bliss - all of it, all at once.  It is surreal - beyond surreal.  I mean, I have been imagining that moment for such a long time, and it was happening.  It was unreal, and wonderful.

We walked out of the salon, and waited under the carport for the musician to play my song.  I think it took a little long and I was standing there awkwardly waiting for him to have his grand finale - looking at Mike, everyone looking at me - it was weird.  I was so ready to go!!  I tried to remember what the planner had told me, walk slowly, take your time, hold your bouquet here...It all went out the window. I was trying to take everything in, but who wants to be thinking about all of that stuff when you are walking down the aisle?  I had my eyes on the prize, and was just trying not to trip.  The ceremony was awesome, and short and sweet.  Brian did a great job of making it personal, and special for us.  I was trying to stay "present" in the moment - take it all in.  The sake ceremony was interesting - Mike and I forgot to pre-soak the sake cups (made of wood) and so there were quite a few gaps - hence, sake shower.  Oh well. That was a special touch, and Steven did a great job, especially considering he emailed us the day before, wondering what he was supposed to say!!  Here are some of my favorite shots so far...

Then, it was time to party!!  Well, after taking photos that is...Frederick was blessedly quick with our family shots - we wanted people to be able to get to the food and drink (it was really hot!!)  We had some couples shots in the vineyard, and out by the beautiful gate - all with a waiter following us around with a tray of appetizers!  Between poses we would stuff our face quickly, take a sip of champagne, and then smile!  Hopefully Frederick can photoshop any food in our teeth!!  Then, Mike and I had about 20 minutes of private time in the bridal salon.  He had bought a special bottle of champagne for us, and we sat and talked and enjoyed a private selection of appetizers - they were SO good!!!

From there, the speeches, the dances, the photo booth, the partying - everything was a dream.  We couldn't have asked for anything better, anything different, any more of an exceptional night than we had.  
Mike and Mom!
The In-Laws!!
Apparently everyone was enjoying the cigar station!
Do guys get anymore handsome? Nope!

This picture so perfectly captures my mother :)
Our specialty bottle of wine - straight from the vines on the property!

One of our table names - they were names of important Santa Barbara streets!
Hope you were able to read some!


Perfection - Leading up to the big day!

This is coming from the new Mrs. Fujii!!  I am writing this after our honeymoon, but wanted to take the time to chronicle all of the perfection of our wedding and the days leading up to it.  For those of you who were there, Mike and I felt so blessed by your love, support, laughter, drinking, dancing and celebrating.  It truly was a night to remember, which is why I want to take the time to write about it, while it is still (relatively) fresh in my memory!

So, taking it back to Wednesday, July 14.  Mike and I agreed that it was really important for us to have a "final" date night - a night where we could connect and just be together before all of the madness started - keep things in perspective.  We went on on Wednesday night for drinks/appetizers/sushi.  Here we are - relaxed, and ready for the party!

It was such a relaxing night, and it was really fun to just hang out, talk about last minute things, laugh and connect - after all, that is why we are getting married, right?

After that nigh of R&R, the fun began!!  People started arriving Thursday morning, and kept on coming all the way through Saturday morning!  Thank goodness, too, because we really ended up needing a LOT of help!!

My two Kristin Fashionista Bridesmaids Hot Gluein'!!
We were able to rally many of our wonderful friends Thursday afternoon - we needed help with the flowers, bubbles and crane arrangements!  We seriously underestimated how long everything would take and really didn't see the full scope of what had to get done until Thursday!  We gathered at the Fujii's house, and garage, and got to work!  We mostly focused on those cranes - 1,000 is a LOT of cranes to figure out what to do with!  Mike and I had worked on stringing them (basically sewing the cranes onto fishing line with a needle) earlier in the week.  With our flower plan changing a bit late in the game, we thought it would be a great idea to string them behind where we would stand for the ceremony, and then to have them strung across where people would be sitting.  So, our little helpers had to fluff them out (pull the wings out so that it looked like an actual bird and not a squashed piece of paper!), and then to put small dabs of hot glue under each one so that it looked like it was floating! A lot of work, even for all of those worker bees!  We also had to cut up watermelon, into perfect squares (according to Mike), for our signature watermelon based cocktail.  All of this had to happen between 12:00 (when most of the bridal party had arrived), and 6:00 when we were leaving for the cocktail hour!  We go so much done, which definitely would have been impossible, if it weren't for our wonderful friends. Here are some photos of everyone working!

Our "Reverend" and Crane Master - Brian

Erik - Melon Cutting Master!
Seriously - an amazing guy.  Met him the morning this was taken, and he helped us SO much!!!
E-Dogg - supervising crane production lines

Monica - fluffing cranes

This is Jack, in "recovery" - what a trooper!
The centerpieces - just waiting for those roses to be placed!!
The doggies were helping too!

Many people told me that nobody would remember those details, so I was torn about how much time we were spending.  But I really think that those cranes made the wedding.  They were so bright and simple - I loved them.  If you don't remember cranes being at the wedding, don't tell me that.  Let me live on with the fantasy that they were amazing :)

After all of that hard, and HOT work (no A/C in the garage!), we were off for cocktails.  Mike and I wanted to try and reconnect and get good energy going before Saturday's event!  It was a fun little meet and greet with good food, drinks and company!!  We went to one of Mike's and my favorite cocktail places - they have great drinks, calamari and pizza!  Yum!
Dad and sisters
Seriously - I have the hottest friends around.
Nick and Rev. B - plus 1/2 of Erik's head!
Back at our house for champagne and red velvet cake (from Costco of course!)
We then had a MASSIVE sleepover at the house - 9 people in all!  It was crazy getting up and ready in the morning, but fun having everyone under the same roof.  Craziness is par for the course with a wedding, so why not ensure complete mayhem!

Friday, the girls went for some coffee and a quick breakfast before treating ourselves to a manicure and pedicure.  It was very fun and relaxing girl time - one of my very favorite things in the world!  My other bridesmaid, Brittney, and dear friend Jen drove in that morning and met us at the nail salon, so our group was complete!

After our nails were all gussied up, we grabbed lunch and checked into our hotel so that we could get ready for the rehearsal dinner!!  We met back at our house, where my friend Mira treated us to Kukui necklaces - a Hawaiian wedding tradition.  She is so thoughtful, and even managed to get one of our wedding colors in there!  We rallied the troops at our house and then caravaned to the location - we wanted to make sure everyone arrived (it is, as you found, a bit out there!).
My rehearsal bouquet - courtesy of all of my lovely gifts, crafted by my MOH - Emily
(As cheesy as it is, I love this tradition!)
Mike in his necklace!  Thank you Mir!!

Crane fluffing!
Our lovely necklaces, from a lovely
When we arrived at the location, it just took my breath away.  The chairs were set up, and that was it.  But my heart just sailed looking at how beautiful it all was, and knowing that Mike and I would be getting married in that very place in just a few short hours.  During the rehearsal, we strung some of the cranes, and did some prep work, and practiced walking down the aisle (who went at what time, etc.).  For all of the practicing, I did forget to do a few things...guess I should have paid better attention!  Walking down the aisle with my parents that first time, my dad gave me the longest hug I think he has ever given me.  I started crying, lost it actually - and so did some of the groomsmen!!  Wouldn't you know it, I forgot to huge him on the actual day!

Walking with the parents!
Two of my favorite ladies
From there, after a successful run through and approval from our planner, Marcia, we headed to our rehearsal dinner at Bucca di Beppo.  Mike's parents picked out this venue, and I have to say, it was absolutely perfect.  It totally fit with the vibe of our entire wedding, and was such a fun and low key gathering - just our style!  This was the first time I got to see all of my family who had come in from the east coast, which is always fun as I don't get to see them very often.  The food was delish, and we had two wonderful toasts from our amazing friends, Kristin and Nick.  Kristin, who I met in college, cracked us up (as usual), and Nick almost outed my plans for Mike if he didn't propose!  It was a great evening, made better by the presence of all of our family and friends.
Love this guy!!
Didn't I say Kristin made us laugh?
Our toast masters <3

Even after all of that action, we still weren't done!!  One of our good friends, Paul, has a brother who works for a wine bar by the hotel where we were staying.  We went to the bar, and enjoyed a few glasses of wine and champagne together before turning in. 


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