Wedding Invitations Are Family Heirlooms

When I was small, I remember moments where I or my sisters would ask my mom to tell the story of how she met my dad. Something about listening to their random meeting always seemed to intrigue us. You see, my dad actually saw my mom in traffic and proceeded to follow her home. He would pull up next to her and signal for her to pull over. Being the smart woman my mother is, she kept signaling him to follow her home knowing my grandfather and uncle would be home. Once they arrived to my grandparents house, my dad ended up meeting my mom's family and formally asked her for her phone number and to take her out. It was definitely a different time then, but always a fun story that would lead to how my dad proposed to my mom and finally when to the story of the day they got married.

So, needless to say that when we were clearing out a family storage locker recently, we found some of the most precious momentoes of our family's history. Things that have fabulously stood the test of time. These pieces are some of the only momentos they have from their wedding day..

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

It's an incredible feeling to have been able to see this piece of my parent's history together. Just to see how simple and yet how elegant the invitation was. And let's not forget the small reception card placed for guests to know where to go. Ack...it just makes my stationers heart go a flutter.

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Design + Print: Nuñez Printing & Invitations

And...let's be frank here, the fact that my parents actually have the polaroid photos from that day could almost be compared to the cell phone photos from today. Their invitations are truly family heirlooms that are an important piece to their beginning. 

Although their photo albums weren't found in the best condition (friends, take these and other important photos with you if you have to put stuff into storage), it was still a blessing to see these captured pieces of what was my parent's beginning.

The most important photos of the ceremony made it to this small album.

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography | Wedding Photo Credit: Louis Martinez

So in closing, I want to stress something to you that may make a little more sense now after seeing these small, irreplaceable treasures. Friends, don't let anyone tell you that you don't need invitations or a photographer, videographer...anything for that matter. I would encourage you to do your own homework, work out your budgets and see what is most important to you. I can tell you wholeheartedly that I'm so happy they have these pieces to not only share their story with my sisters and I but to the rest of the family to come.

My Parents at Our Wedding | Photo Credit: Baron's Visual Images

My Parents at Our Wedding | Photo Credit: Baron's Visual Images

Our Wedding - 11.11.11

Unless we are friends on Facebook, there is something I've never really shared with the world. You might have heard all of the funny stories, scares and precious moments during a meeting between sips from your coffee cup. But honestly, I can't believe it's taken this long to share it. 

Family, Friends, Blog Visitors - I give you some photos from our wedding.

Gus and Monique 11.11.11 Wedding

Yup. The day 10 years in the making, 7 years dating; November 11, 2011 was the day that Gus and I were married.

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According to Gus, his day got started with waking up at 5:30am. He was so excited, he couldn't sleep anymore. So instead, he ran laps around what would be our apartment complex to try to get tired but that didn't work. 😂  The rest of his day was spent hanging out with his friends at what would be our apartment, playing video games and hanging out. Once they were ready to go, he gave his groomsmen their gift (a flask with their favorite superhero on the front) and took a celebratory drink.

Back at my parent's house, I spent all day watching my favorite Disney Movies and spending time with my bridesmaids. My youngest sister even made a sign for the front of our house. Once we were all ready to go, we headed out to our venue.

Our wedding was themed after the movie Aladdin. We kept the main colors navy and gold with accents of other bold colors that reminded me of all the treasure found in the Cave of Wonders. We had place card holders that were small golden elephants, Moroccan lanterns centerpieces instead of flowers, and my favorite detail, a magic carpet that we would be married on. And another detail we decided upon was dressing up our ring bearer and flower girl as Aladdin and Jasmine. I'll let you keep scrolling to enjoy the magic that unfurled that night. 😉 ✨

One of the major snafoos but one of the funniest moments of our wedding was that unfortunately, the DJ could not play the song I had chosen to walk down the aisle to. When they tried to play it, a loud boom screeched over the sound system 💥  and my poor ring bearer ran back up the aisle screaming for his dad. Thankfully we had a backup song from some Disney themed instrumentals that we had playing prior to the ceremony. So a lesson for all: have a backup plan and don't stress if something goes wrong. It will just forever be part of your wedding day story. 😅

And WE GOT MARRIED!! The rest of our night was filled with lots of laughter, dancing, and more memorable moments. 

And there you have it...our big day in a nutshell. It was a day we will never forget.

The Invitation That Started It All

Isn't it funny that for most of us, the one thing that holds the highest significance why we start our businesses or new life chapters isn't something that everyone gets to see? Funny enough, I was made aware some time ago that I've never shared an actual image of our wedding invitation. This was just a part of our story that I hadn't thought about before. Of course, I've told our story of how our business started to clients and vendors. It's been one of the bits of information that remained after our rebrand back in August. But this is the first time our invitation will be seen (unless you were a recipient of the invitation of course). 😉

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography

Something I would like point out is that this wasn't the first invitation I had made before. In fact, I had been creating invitations for some very important family celebrations such as both of my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversaries and helping a one of my dearest friends with her bridal shower and wedding invitations. These weren't elaborate invitations at all, not like what you've see from me today. But...our wedding invitation was the first real moment I got to create something that reflected the people behind the event. It was a lot more personal and meant so much more.

You see when it came time to decide on our invitations, I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted to let guests know exactly how magical this moment in our lives was going to be. While we visited a few invitation shops, they just didn't have what I was looking for. Needless to say that the more "Nos" I received, the smaller I felt. If it hadn't been for Gus' encouragement, we would have probably gone with some plain, mundane invite that everyone else was using. 

Don't get me wrong...it was a ton of hard work. I bought shimmer paper to really give the "shining, shimmering, splendid" feeling I desperately wanted to glow from the invitations. My mom found invitation packs at Target 🎯 on a clearance rack that had similar, delicate design that my wedding dress also had. I looked up through countless rules of invitation etiquette while adding some new twists to personalize our invitation suite a little more. We may have also sent them out a little later than we should have 😅 , but the results were worth it. 

So what would be my one bit of advice if you choose the same route that I did for my wedding day? PLAN AHEAD.🗓  Do your research and see if the cost and time spent (because it will take a lot of time) is really worth it for your time frame and budget. I have had cases where brides have come to me either having experience with DIY projects or know how design, but just didn't have the time to create their invitation suite. Designing them yourself can also bring extra purchases like paper cutters, extra paper and envelopes for "just in case" boo boos. 😱 🤕 

Well, that's that. Now you can't say you haven't seen our wedding invitations. 😜 😁  And maybe...just maybe...I'll be sharing some of our wedding photos too. 

The Power of Powersheets

How many times have you actually set a goal for the New Year and given up after a month? If you are anything like me, it only took me like two days and it was back to the "norm".  Well, that all changed about two years ago. That is when I caught a webinar about making things happen by a woman named Lara Casey. I ended up purchasing her book called Make It Happen and actually blogged about it here. In her book, she talked about taking small steps towards your goals instead of being overwhelmed by one HUGE goal. At that time, life felt upside down. I was working in both my business and working for someone else full time , trying to buy a house, and tons of other crazy things I won't get into. So needless to say, I was in need of making a change that would turn my world right side up.

After reading Make It Happen, it was like a lightbulb finally flickered on.  At the end of the book, she mentioned practical ways to start prioritizing what was important. #Powersheets was one of the tools she mentioned. As timing would have it, #Powersheets were about to go on sale for the next year. I knew I had to get my hands on them. So, I purchased a 6 month set of #Powersheets and waited anxiously for the mailman to deliver them. I purchased a binder (that year's #Powersheets had a 3 ring hole punch), pens and markers that would help me get messy while I began to goal set. Those sheets lasted a year. Why? Because I didn't prioritize my goal setting...but it was progress. Progress that I would not have made if I had not purchased this goal-setting tool. To be honest, it wasn't until this year that I finally began really dedicating time weekly to my #Powersheets. And, oh, how I saw things cultivate and finally bloom.

PHOTO CREDIT: DIPP PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO CREDIT: DIPP PHOTOGRAPHY

Since the time I began using #Powersheets, I've been able to jump full time into the work I love, prioritize time with family and friends, and begin planning for other exciting chapters in my life. Ultimately, thinking about how your goals will affect you when you are 80 in your favorite rocking chair while sipping some cafecito really puts things into perspective. I don't know about you, but I want to enjoy that time in what's truly important.

Are you looking to make a change? Transition to work that you are passionate about, lose weight, or something else you wish you could change? Why don't you start today? It just so happens the 2018 #Powersheets are available now and it would be a great time to take a step towards making intentional, positive change. You won't regret it.

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Life In My Thirties - Year One

As my birthday slowly creeps up on me this weekend,it's still crazy to think that I'm about to complete to complete my first year in my 30's. Gunna keep this blog post short and sweet by telling you what I learned in my 30th year.

 
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Do the things that scare you. 😱 

There are tons of things that quite frankly I'm scared of. One of those things was dying my hair. I went twenty-eight years on this earth without having even tried putting color into my hair at least once...even in that highlight phase everyone went through during their teenage years. At age 29, I marinated on the idea of dying my hair, but the damaging effects scared the crud out of me. I tried to use the semi-permanent dye, but with my naturally brown locks, it just wasn't possible to get the red I wanted. I came to the conclusion there was only one way to really get the look I wanted. So, I did it. 😁  And somehow in what felt like a natural flow of occurrences, Purple also showed up in my color palette. And you know what...I couldn't be happier. 🦄  #mylittleponystatus #redandpurplehairdontcare

God's plan on your life holds supreme over the opinions of others. 🙌🏻 👏🏻

At my age and seemingly in my culture, if you aren't married or have children yet, something is wrong with you. Although I have been happily married for some time, "The Great Baby Debate" has been a seemingly key topic amongst some family and friends. While I'm not going to divulge anything in this post about our plans on having wee ones, I'll say this: The topic is old and you need to find new conversations to have with those who fall into either category - Unwed or Childless.  You as the reader may think I'm being harsh, but I am speaking for myself and others in this life stage. I'm going to channel six-year-old Monique, who would quote the best characters of all 90's sitcoms and say that this topic, quite frankly, is none of your beeswax and quite frankly how rude it is to bring it up (while flipping her ponytail and sassily walking out of the room). By continually questioning folks about this, you are stealing their joy in the season they are in. Yes...essentially telling your loved ones that their lives are completely unfulfilled unless they have these life stages checked off on their list. God has a plan for all of our lives already written. Whether it includes these life stages in them or not, it is not for you to instigate and continually question someone on something that may be completely out of their own control or just not in their current season in life.  

Live your life in the now. Later may not happen. ✨

By no means do I mean that you should rush to your nearest tattoo shop and get some fresh, insensible ink. I mean if there is something in life you want to do badly enough, try for it. If you have felt called to sing, go for it. If you feel like you are unhappy at your 9 to 5 and have a dream of having another career, set plans and steps to make it happen. If you want to travel the world and no magic carpet to take you there, remember we use airplanes, trains, and automobiles to get there too. 🌎 We only have one life to live, friends. Let's make that dash on our tombstone be more than just a simple grammatical punctuation.

Ok, I'm jumping off of my seemingly small soapbox in hopes that you've been encouraged or been able to take away something from my experience in this new life chapter. I'm going to, hopefully, enjoy as much Carvel Ice Cream Cake and time with the peeps I love. Happy, Happy Birthday to Me. 🎂 ✨

Why Sharing Is Not Always Caring - Invites + Disneyland

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography  (And before you say anything...don't fret. This is a sample.)

Photo Credit: Dipp Photography  (And before you say anything...don't fret. This is a sample.)

I've always been surprised at the countless photos on Instagram or Facebook that have invitations to weddings and parties that haven't happened yet. It makes me cringe. I begin to panic and have terrible images floating in my head of wedding crashers, uninvited family, friends or coworkers appearing at the event expecting a seat and a meal to boot. OR EVEN WORSE... EX's and ILL WISHERS (aka Haters) who want only to ruin one of the most important days in a couple's life. 

This is such a concern to couples. So much so that I was having a conversation about it with a group of vendors the other day and, surprisingly, some didn't think it was such a big deal. This is when I brought up something that I'm going to tell you about and it all has to do with Walt Disney and Disneyland's Opening Day. 

Photo Credit: Loomis Dean / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Pictures

Photo Credit: Loomis Dean / Time & Life Pictures / Getty Pictures

Yup, you would think even back in the 50's, Walt Disney would have crossed his i's and dotted his t's when it came to the opening of his brand new park, Disneyland. Truth be told, no one had ever created a park like this. There were no guidelines, just a guy making one big dream come true (literally). Needless to say, there was a ton of buzz about the opening and 6,000 private invitations were sent out to people of the press, studio workers, sponsors, construction workers and their families.

On July 17, 1955, more than 30,000 guests walked through the gates of Disneyland to encounter more than just a food shortage problem. Counterfeit tickets had been sold and there was even a story about a newspaper reporter printing the invitation to the event on the front page of their paper a few days before the event. Needless to say that the extra influx of uninvited guests amongst other issues that occurred that day made for a disastrous moment in Disney history. As we can now see today, they were able to make it through that day, but not without it's pitfalls. 

Hence, this is why I don't post invitations prior to our client's events. I may post a small sneak peek or process photos, but I try my best not to let the cat out of the bag by posting specific details. By doing so, I am able to keep my social media fresh while also showing you all the hard work that goes into creating these important pieces to your big day.