Things I Love | My Family

This afternoon I’m driving down to Orange County to visit my sister Tara and her family. And… bonus! My parents are coming, plus my sister Kelly and her family! I’m super excited for a weekend with the whole fam, it’s been too long. So, I thought I’d share a little of my favorite people with you guys. We happen to be in weddings fairly regularly, so I chose mostly shots from weddings, in keeping with the theme of the blog. 😉

My sister Kelly, her husband Rob, their kiddos, my parents and your truly

Hello? How cute are they? I mean, I’m partial, but come on.

My beautiful sister Tara and her son, the dashing ring bearer. Plus – family dance party.

I didn’t have a wedding one of their whole family – Tara and Josh and their kids. Their daughter Ally was actually a very sweet flower girl when she was little, but unfortunately I couldn’t find a picture. It was back in the day when not everything gets posted online. Remember those days? 😉

So there you have it – my family! Aren’t they cute?

Alicia @CharityWedding - August 25, 2011 - 10:40 pm

Lovely family!! Those two little ones are the cutest!!

Guest Post | A Savvy Soundtrack

I am so happy to have Kristen from Savvy Deets Bridal here today sharing about her and her husband’s wedding soundtrack! She is such a sweet support to her fellow wedding bloggers like myself! Here she is:

I am so honored to be able to share our wedding soundtrack on Soundrack To I Do! A big thanks to Colleen for having me guest post on her blog! Here is our soundtrack!

I think out of all the planning that went into our wedding reception, creating the “reception playlist” was the most fun for me, and at times challenging. My husband and I do not share the same taste for music at all. Except for a few rare songs, we are on opposite sides of the spectrum. I am a lover of many varieties of music, from jazz to pop, oldies to classical, etc. He likes one music style, which is hard metal, however, he does appreciate other styles.

I didn’t want him to feel left out of music picks for our wedding, but hard rock didn’t really fit a Provençal garden venue, especially for a wedding reception. As couples should find compromise in many areas of life, we did, but it took a lot of back and forth on song choices. Luckily our DJ, Travis Brinkerhoff, was very flexible with us. He understood the importance of our “do not play” list and was the emcee of the night. He was amazing. I wanted each aspect of the reception to have different moods/vibes. I requested this of Travis, and he was totally for it. He appreciated that I gave him ample options, yet he bounced back with his style and it all worked! With no further adieu, our Soundtrack To I Do.

Cocktail Hour: We wanted our cocktail hour to have a chic lounge feel. An example of these songs would be by Dimitri from Paris-Not Quite Disco, Dzihan & Kamien-Stiff Jazz, Mono-Life in Mono, or on compilation CDs like Buddha Bar. The venue was an outdoor type of venue, and these choices made it very relaxing. People were gabbing, enjoying the cocktails & appetizers, I loved hearing our live playlist! Many people commented on the music during the cocktail hour.

Dining Hour: For the period when everyone was seated to dine, I wanted this portion to be really specific. I chose many love songs sung by the greats like Ella Fitzgerald-Misty, Frank Sinatra-Ain’t That a Kick in the Head , Dean Martin-Return to Me, Tony Bennett-The Way You Look Tonight. I also chose some French songs, by singers like Emilie Clair Barlow-Les Yeux Ouverts, Eartha Kitt-C’est Si Bon & Nat King Cole-L-O-V-E (French Version).

But let’s get down to business, what are THE songs we chose for those big moments? Well I’ll tell ya!

Grand Entrance: Miserlou by Dick Dale – We wanted something fun, funky and grand, which made a big splash for the entrance, and this song was perfect for that!

First Dance: Lucky by Colby Caillat & Jason Mraz – This choice fit us and our story. I was always traveling, and when I heard this song, why my maid of honor told me about, I felt it was perfect! Of course the line, “Lucky to be in love with my best friend”, it summed us up so beautifully.

Father-Daughter Dance: Unforgettable by Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole – My dad loved this song for us, and it went without question to have this be our dance. I credit him to my love for Nat King Cole, and maybe my old soul.

Grandfather-Grandfather Dance: Thank Heaven For Little Girls by Maurice Chevallier – Of course, the other hero that gave me away had to have a dance! And this song choice was so perfect for my grandfather, given I’m the sole girl in this family, and my love for French, the two went hand in hand. Our wedding had such a sentimental touch, due to the loss of my grandmother shortly after our engagement, I had to pick a somewhat upbeat and sweet song. It is such a fun song to dance to, especially with a grandfather that has a bit of spunk, as you can see below.

Mother-Daughter Dance: Que Sera by Doris Day – Not everyone might go for the Mother-Daughter dance, but I had to with my mom. This song references the mom, for one, and the other charmer, the whole crowd sang along, which my mom loved!

Bouquet Toss: Single Ladies by Beyoncé – This song just won me over. Me, tossing my bouquet, to my single friends, it fit for the lively bunch of lovely single ladies. I enjoyed tossing the bouquet from the upper section of the venue, to the awaiting ladies below. My Maid of Honor caught it by the way, and an impending engagement is around the corner!

Garter Toss: Mojo by Peeping Tom – This song I hadn’t ever heard of, this was the groom’s choice! It made so much sense, though, and was really fun to see my husband strut like he had never ever before-seriously!

And that’s it, really. We had so much fun at our reception, when it came to the music, especially when all were dancing! Two dances I had to incorporate were the conga line & the dollar dance. If I can say, having a conga line is very fun! The dollar dance was not on the list – I remember saying “I do not want this at all”. Yet, in the heat of the moment, I had a few men in the crowd, a cousin I hadn’t seen in years for one, and others that I didn’t have a chance to speak with. We grabbed our DJ on a whim and asked if he could do this for us, I didn’t care the music he chose, he went for it, and I felt better to have had a few sweet moments with those I danced with.

The Conga Dance: Jump In The Line (Shake Senora) by Harry Belafonte

With the right music played by an amazing DJ, and the best of friends, it was an amazing night! A big thanks again to Colleen for featuring our wedding soundtrack on the blog!!


Veune: The Wright House, Mesa, AZ (DJ as well) Hair: Wish Salon, Scottsdale AZ Dress: Oleg Cassini, David’s Bridal

Thanks Kristen!! Great to have you!

Kristen - August 25, 2011 - 5:05 am

Thank you, Colleen, for letting me guest post today! Such an honor to be featured on here!

Erika {Borrowed&Bleu} - August 25, 2011 - 12:17 pm

I love that you chose Miserlou for the grand entrance – epic! :)

Sarah {A Paper Proposal} - August 26, 2011 - 12:24 am

Coming up with the reception playlist was one of my favorite wedding tasks, too! Ha, the “Single Ladies” song seems to be THE bouquet toss song now. I didn’t have a toss, but I def would have used it if I had!


I just need some encouraging words today. And a cookie. Join me if you’d like.

Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined.


Jenna @ Heartcarry Press - August 24, 2011 - 1:19 am

Hope you enjoyed your cookie :) I love this quote. Keep doing what you’re doing Colleen- you ARE all of those things!

Cris of Kiss My Tulle - August 24, 2011 - 2:00 am

How’s this? DO IT (or no cookies for you!). 😉

Laurel G - August 24, 2011 - 2:26 am

hope your cookie was yummy!

Bree [capitolromance] - August 24, 2011 - 3:15 pm

i really hope the cookie you had looked just like that … yum … and i TOTALLY had a cookie this morning too – so feeling your mood :) whatever is on your mind – know you can conquer it!

The Perfect Palette - August 24, 2011 - 3:23 pm

mmm, that cookie looks like it’s full of oooy gooey goodness :)

jacin {lovely little details} - August 24, 2011 - 7:44 pm

love this. and that cookie is not helping my “healthy eating” kick :)

Real Wedding | Chrisalen & Saul

I have another beautiful wedding for you guys today, from Jessica Velarde, the talent behind the contest for free wedding photography that you can still enter! I happen to know today’s lovely couple in real life, and they are sweet as pie, and very clearly crazy about each other. Chrisalen shared with me a bit about their love story, and about the music they chose for their wedding day. Very sweet stuff.

From Chrisalen: Saul and I first met each other as Junior in High School and really became great friends. Due to Calvary Chapel High School being so small (our class was twenty students total), it was kind of hard not to know each other. As we got closer as friends, we realized that there was something more to us then friendship so we began a year of courting that included countless family dinners, birthday parties, and movie nights. Eventually, after we graduated, we began to start dating outside of the family events on our own.
Bridal Entrance Song: Clair De Lune  The importance of it is that while in high school, the girls and I would talk about Saul with a code name “Ocean” from “Ocean’s 11” Saul and I hung out a lot as friends before courting so when I started having more feelings for him, I had to figure out how to talk about him with others without him suspecting. Since there was a Saul as part of the casino heist team, we dubbed him “Ocean” because of the movie. At the end of “Ocean’s 11”, the song that is playing in the background as they are watching the fountain show is Clair De Lune. After Saul figured out his code name, it was only natural that Clair De Lune became our song.
The proposal: Two years after  we began dating seriously, on New Year’s Eve 2008, Saul flew out to Germany to spend New Year’s Eve with my family and me. My parents had planned to take us to Paris for the New Year’s Eiffel Tower light show that occurred at Midnight. Ever since I was two, it had been my dream to visit Paris, France and to see the Eiffel Tower. I had huge posters all over my room of the Tower and countless tourist books on what to see in France in my room. So when we arrived we caught the last elevator ride to the second landing for the night on the Tower and two minutes before the clock struck midnight, Saul got down on one knee and purposed and as the lights began to twinkle in the background, I said “yes”. Fast forward to December 2010 and we were saying our “I do’s”
Mr & Mrs. Exit from the Church: “Love Story” by Taylor Swift This song really exemplifies our relationship from the very beginning. We started off young in high school and ended up getting married five years later with a baby on the way.
Reception Party Entrance: “Let’s Get It Started” by Black Eyed Peas – One of my favorite party songs of all time
Cake Cutting Song: “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler Probably one of the sweetest songs that Saul and I both still sing to each other.
First Dance Song: “Marry Me” by Train
Send Off Song: “At Last” by Etta Jones – After dating all through high school, beginning as Juniors and now into our adulthood, we both found this song very fitting as we left the reception as finally saying “at last” we are now married as husband and wife in front of our friends, family and God.
Church- Sanctuary Bible Church (Pastor Grant Bridges)
Flowers – Saul’s Aunt Karen
Make-Up – Lisa Marie Griggs, Mary Kay
Hair – Venus Salon, Monterey CA
Dress – Aria Bridal, San Diego CA
Reception Area – Officer’s Ballroom, La Mesa Community Center Monterey, CA
Photographer – Jessica Valarde
DJ – John Upshaw, DJ Mix N’ Spin Co.
Congratulations Chrisalen and Saul on your lovely wedding day and your beautiful baby girl!!
Krissy - Make Believe'N - August 23, 2011 - 12:49 am

Great choices!! I’m a softy for Train’s song….sigh.

Melina - August 23, 2011 - 2:38 am

I love the lighting of the photos done in the church! So soft and pretty!

Jessica@TWB - August 23, 2011 - 8:18 pm

Yay! After finding Jessica through your blog, I’ve become a big fan of hers.

Laura - August 24, 2011 - 12:37 am

Beautiful photos! A very lovely wedding :)

Bree [capitolromance] - August 24, 2011 - 3:40 pm

you had me at bridesmaids in chucks! what a fun wedding and LOVE all the song choices! the couple obviously had “big-time party” in mind when planning this wedding!

Giveaway Winner!

Drumroll please…

The winner of the giveaway for 100 postcards from is….

Entry #26! Kimberly D!!! (Who, I’m excited to share, will be using them for her save the dates!) Congratulations Kimberly! We will be in contact soon.

Thank you to everyone who entered! We will hopefully have more great giveaways soon!

And, of course, if you haven’t already, check out our contest for free wedding photography!!

Kimberley D - August 20, 2011 - 9:02 pm

Once again, thank you so much!

Stephanie Elizabeth {Fab You Bliss} - August 22, 2011 - 4:33 pm

Congratulations Kimberly D!