Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wedding Aftermath

First of all, thanks to everyone who made this day the most special in our life. Secondly, our honeymoon in Kauai was amazing. Never before have we felt that we left part of our hearts in another place.

We're also starting to get a lot of returns in photos. While we've gotten enough so far, we can never have too much. If you have any, please share them with us. We've received a lot of photos in emails, but if they are compiled into an online album, they are easier to link. Below are some photos along with a few links to more photos:

... and our honeymoon photos:

Tony & Deirdre's honeymoon album

Lastly, some of you asked about some of the bluegrass covers that was being played during the evening. I never knew I'd be a fan, but I really got turned on to this just a couple of months ago. If you want to check out some of the songs go to the myspace page at: Electric Bluegrass Collection

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wedding Day Tips for Guests

Hi, everyone! Here's a few guidelines that should help with your ease of maneuvering yourselves through next Saturday.

The dress code is business casual, but most important be comfortable. LADIES!! - The ceremony as well as reception will be on grass--please bring comfortable shoes to enjoy the whole evening.

Parking is free--the lot is located in the gate.You will congregate in a turnaround, and be shuttled to the ceremony site by professional drivers, so please, please, please don't be late.

PLEASE VISIT THE RESTROOM BEFORE THE CEREMONY. There are no restrooms up at the ceremony site, and we anticipate the drive up, ceremony, and drive down will take about 1 hour.

We anticipate the evening will get chilly despite the hot California summers we all love. Please bring a sweater or light jacket for the evening, so that you can stay out by the dance floor all night long with us!

We'll have a few Blue and Orange balloons at the entrance(hillside of PCH) to turn right in the nature preserve. The address again is 33905 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu CA. You can also check the Map link on the right hand side of this page for help.

A couple of things to know. Traffic clogs up along Zuma Beach which is just west of Kanan Road. As you see below in the red, traffic along PCH backs up here on the weekend and takes roughly 20-30 minutes just to get through this one mile stretch.

Here's a couple of traffic tips that can be helpful from getting to the Site if you're coming from the Valley or the South Bay.

The best way to get there if you're on the 101 is to exit Kanan and head south. After Six Miles, turn right on Mulhullond Hwy to AVOID the Kanan backup and stay left about a mile down as it forks into Encinal Canyon Rd. After 3 1/2 Miles, you'll hit a T in the road. Make a left turn. AVOID the 23! It looks shorter, but is very windy and it'll get you car sick. Once you hit PCH, turn right and you're less than 2 miles from the site:

This is a great little traffic tip I got from Dan Mack as the stretch of the 405 North is always packed up through the I-10. Stay in the right hand lane as you pass the airport up until you merge on to the Marina Fwy(90) west. Exit the first street, Centinela Ave., and continue North(it changes it name to Bundy along the way). Once you go under the I-10, there's an entrance to the Santa Monica Fwy West on your left.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Hotels FAQ

There are a wide variety of hotels in the Los Angeles area. Using a site like or will offer many choices with discounts. Unfortunately, there are only a few hotels located near the wedding site in Malibu and most are very expensive. 

The Santa Monica area is a good go between area with many activities in the area(Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, Venice Beach), but prices out at mainly above average. The Westlake Village area is another go between and has very modest prices, but is far from activities.

The Sherman Oaks/Studio City area is very close to the Rynew household and while situated in the San Fernando Valley, is still located less than twenty minutes from many attractions (Universal Studios, Hollywood, Getty Center). Lastly, there are a choice of hotels by the airport(LAX). While it is an area where you'll be driving at least fifteen minutes to the nearest attractions, it does provide convenience to the airport and car rentals.

As of July 9th, the best deals appear to be going through As it changes, we will update this page.

Below is our list of recommendations that are in the different regions:

Sportsman's Lodge

Located a 1/2 mile away from the Rynew house. Is only ten minutes away from Universal Studios, fifteen minutes to Hollywood, and thirty minutes to Santa Monica. Hotel rates average $175, but there is a special on currently at $105.

Courtyard Marriott - LAX

Located with easy access to the airport. It's about 75 minutes to the wedding site and 35 minutes to the Rynew house. There aren't any immediate attractions in the area, but you are within five miles of Marina Del Rey, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Currently rooms are going for $84.

Residence Inn - Westlake Village

Although isolated outside the Los Angeles area, it has easy access to the wedding site(30 minutes) and offers Suites for families at a reasonable price. It is also about ahalf hour away from the Rynew house and the Camarillo Outlet Mall. Currently rooms go for $114.

Malibu Accommodations(for the night of the wedding)

There is a somewhat limited supply of residences in the area and most are in the two to three star range. The nicest of the lot is Malibu Country Inn, which also happens to be the closest(6 miles) from the nature preserve. There are only about a dozen rooms left mostly at starting around $200. Another close alternative is Malibu Riviera Motel, but accommodations are most "quaint". About eleven miles away is the Malibu Motel which is also on the beach and rooms range from $119 - $219. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Engagement photos.

Barbara and I took our engagement photos a couple of weeks ago with Jimmy over at Will Rogers Park. It was an overcast day, as we were to expect May Haze out in the Palisades, but it actually turned out to be perfect for photos.

Jimmy's wife Sen was along too and they really know how to complement each other on recognizing light, setting up shots, and just being easy to be with. These are the first shots they sent us and they look great. Once again, you can check out his site at:

We chose this location not just because of our love of California History, but also my love of trail running. Will Rogers Park is the start of the Backbone Trail, which at 68 miles is the longest trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. I have run most of the trail at various stages and have even won a trail race on it. Okay, the men's 30k. The topping on the cake though is that the trail ends near our wedding site. I challenge anyone to make the entire trek on August 29th.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Our Music Arrangement.

Barbara and I went to Las Vegas to secure a musical act for our wedding. The Flight of the Conchords bill themselves as New Zealand's fourth most popular novelty band, but they are number one in our hearts.

After wait x amount of time after the show, Jemaine was gracious enough to talk to EVERYBODY who was waiting. After I introduced ourselves, I told Jemaine that we have been telling people that they would be playing at our wedding. He laughed and asked, "So then are you looking for more or less people to come to your wedding then?" Barb joked, "Less!" That is what is behind his stern look in the photo. 

Of course, if you haven't heard their music or watched their how on HBO, here's a clip that I think was written about Barbara:

In all seriousness, we started looking for DJ's a couple of months ago and contacted one that was recommended by the Nature Preserve. When I first called Mick, he was on a trip to San Francisco. Even though he was on vacation, we talked about a number of things, both wedding and non-wedding related.

We met him a couple of weeks later at a Coffee Bean and we were sold with his real pragmatic approach. Music is real important to us and we want it to be a big part of the wedding, but not the whole thing. We're very comfortable the Mick will give us the proper balance. You can check out his website at: 

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cake Tasting!

Barb and I went cake tasting on saturday to make the BIG DECISION!!! We went to one of our favorite desserteries(I'm taking credit for the invention of that word), Sweet Lady Jane on Melrose. I took Barbara there first for her 29th birthday and she reciprocated the next night after for my birthday buy getting me a cake from there as well.

We first looked through a handfull of designs, but wanted to stay away from something too frilly. Next we went into our cake tasting. Now, I love desserts, but there was only so much I could handle. First we tried the White Chocolate Lemon, Triple Berry Shortcake and Chocolate Mocha Praline. Each were very distinguishable, but having to pick your favorite was like picking with child you love most(if we had more than one children theoretically).

We then got a taste of the Seven Layer Chocolate and the Raspberry Lemon. Both were very savory, but still hard to make a decision. They offered us more to try, but we had enough sweets for one morning. We knew we had a few winners there, but weren't too sure which one. Barb was on call that day, so we didn't have time to make a final decision, but I suspect it's going to be a combo of two that we mentioned.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Save the Date Postcards!

Last Saturday, I picked up our save the date postcards and they look really good. I even got a comment from the printer. Below is just a small slice of the whole card, but it is a picture taken from our future wedding site with Barb's camera.

Just to throw some props out here, I got the cards printed at Prints Charm'n. They mainly print up headshots, but I thought it'd be very resourceful to get the postcards printed there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Jimmy Cheng - Painter with Light..

Picking Jimmy was one of our easiest choices so far. When Helen and Dave first raved about the first pictures they had seen from Steve and Kathy's wedding, they were really hooked. A few months later, when we got a first look at their engagement photos we were pretty much sold. I was really impressed on how he coupled a variety of compositions with a shallow depth of field that really captured the essence of Helen and Dave.

The picture included above is from Helen and Dave's rehearsal dinner. We were already sold on Jimmy, but we were interested in seeing him shoot indoors even though our wedding is outdoors. The space seemed real miserable for a photographer. It was tight space along with low greenish light that normally makes people look pale in their photos. When he emailed us this photo, we were really floored with what he was able to do.

Lastly, this is a shot from Dave and Helen's wedding. If you scroll through his website(, you'll know that his work is not an aberration. This type of work is impossible to teach and we're very excited to have him being a part of our wedding.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Engagement Party

Last night, we were treated by Ana and Trevor to an engagement party at their house. Although our idea was to keep this to just the wedding party, we've been so busy the last two months that we never would have been able to pull this off. So for the Belden's to organize this all on their own, we are extremely grateful. For them to go even further and make such an exceptional meal, provide a wide variety of delicious libations and to sinfully top it off with a red velvet cake, we were faberglasted.

I'd say after the fact that it made us appreciate what a special day our actual wedding day. Also, with all that they put in, that we still have a long way to go. But we're getting there..

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Helen and Dave's Wedding

Last night, we had the pleasure of going to Barbara's former roommate Helen's wedding. It was the first we've been to since our engagement, so it was hard not to look at the details to see what we are missing. Short answer, a lot!!

Me, Barb and Helen.
A few drinks in..

I could go on about how lovely the wedding was and the food was exceptional, but the most important part was that they made it their own. Having their best friend, Veronica, officiate the wedding, holding the reception at their favorite restaraunt, even having some of their favorite wines, made it a whole event that was unique to them. Needless to say, Barb and I have been working on wedding things all day. Between a few naps here and there. We had a great time last night.

Friday, March 27, 2009

We have a Wedding Blog!! The first of it's kind!!

First of all, welcome to our wedding blog. We are only five months away. It seems like a long time away, but at the same time sooner than we think. Anyways, the purpose of this is to give updates where we are with the process as well as some insight into the wedding.

Today's entry, we got a lot done. Barb, my mom and I went to Friar Tux to check out mensware. I think it's safe to say that we're worried about how hot it will be. We haven't picked an exact suit yet, but as a small hit, I'm probably not wearing black.

We also went to Paper Source in Beverly Hills. The staff there was very helpful and we came up with the paper we're going to be using for the invites. That doesn't include "Save the Dates". That's something I'm going to be working on now. Cheers.