My Daily Life

I HATE WEDDING PLANNING

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I know, I know, that sounds super dramatic. But so far, wedding planning hasn’t exactly been fun for me, which, if you know me, is a little surprising. I LOVE this kind of stuff. (And if my wedding planner is reading this, NONE of this is a reflection of you. You are awesome, so patient and helpful, and I am so relieved to have you as part of my wedding planning team! xo!)

I got engaged in the end of February (read that story here) and have made what feels to ZERO progress wedding planning. We haven’t set a date, we have no venue, nada. I’m basically failing at it.

Well, that’s not completely true. In the past ten months (holy crap, I’VE BEEN ENGAGED FOR TEN MONTHS?!?! Get it together, Salaun! Plan that wedding!), I’ve chosen a wedding planner, set my budget, seen about a bazillion venues, done lots of pinning on Pinterest, and started the beginnings of the registry process (last weekend I registered for ONE thing on Amazon…progress!).

When it’s all written out like that, it feels like I’ve actually done SOMETHING, but for 10 months of being engaged, I definitely feel like I should have done a bit more. (We’ve always planned to get married in August/September of 2015, so we haven’t postponed the wedding or anything due to lack of planning, we’ve just shortened our allotted planning time).

But back to the hating wedding planning thing…I wouldn’t say that I currently hate wedding planning. I think I’ve finally reached the turning point where I’m excited about it again (don’t get me wrong, I was SO excited to get engaged, I have absolutely LOVED being engaged ever since, and I am so pumped to marry to Charlie… it’s just the planning an actual wedding part that is more the headache.) I went to a good friend’s wedding last weekend — Congrats to the Givens!!! — and it helped propel me out of the grumpy planning phase. BUT, before that turning point, every time I dove into wedding planning, I came out on the other end stressed, having a bridezilla-lite freak outs on the regular, and just not wanting to do it. At all. And also feeling extreme guilt every time I saw friends or acquaintances because the go-to conversation starter when you get engaged is “How’s wedding planning going?” My response was always, “Not any further than the last time we talked! Soooo, pretty much nothing.”

And here’s why…

Inside my head, and sometimes on the outside (*sheepish smirk*), I’m a princess. I don’t have one of those wedding binders with all the details already planned for my dream wedding, nothing like that. But, like probably every girl out there, I want to have a FANTASTIC wedding. In my head, I’d love to have a $100k wedding (imagine all you could do!!!), but practically speaking (and even if I had an extra $100-grand to throw at a wedding), that is a bit excessive. Frankly, as princessy as I can be, spending an astronomical amount of money on a wedding just doesn’t make sense to me. I think that amount of money can go a lot further on a number of other things (like buying a house, taking an epic vacation, paying off student loans, getting a new car, investing in something, etc.).

But let’s be honest, the princess in me is at odds with the financially practical side.

We’re planning to get married in the Santa Barbara area (right now, our top venue choice is in Camarillo). This area is one of the most expensive places to get married. It’s a destination wedding location for many people. The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $30k (excluding the honeymoon), while the average cost of a wedding in Santa Barbara is nearly $45k (minus the honeymoon). I just started my own business, so I want my wedding to be as economical as possible. Pretty tough when you’re planning a wedding in the 6th most expensive place in the country! And then, when I go to see venues that fit in my budget, they fall dramatically short of the wedding I’m picturing in my head. So, this beginning step, finding a venue, mostly ends in disappointment. None of the venues (aside from the one that was half my entire budget) feel like the right now. Oh, I also have a ginormous family and want all my family and friends to be able to come, which doesn’t alleviate the budget concerns at all.

I do think that choosing your venue is one of the toughest pieces of the wedding planning puzzle. The venue sets the stage for the entire wedding, so it has to feel just right. You have to be able to visualize your entire wedding there. And then it has to fit the price too.

I will also say that right now, in my life, everything is huge and life-changing. I started my own business shortly after getting engaged, I’m remodeling (aka nearly completely rebuilding) my house in Santa Barbara, oh, and I’m planning a wedding. All, huge, things. If you didn’t already know, my fiancé and I don’t currently live in the same city either. I’m based in Santa Barbara, while he’s full-time based in Hollywood (my work does allow me to split my time about 50/50 between the two cities though). So, wedding planning also involves planning to move my life to a whole different city. Another HUGE thing. (Don’t worry, SB peeps, I’ll still be in Santa Barbara about 1-2 days a week, but will most likely be based in Hollywood, rather than based in Santa Barbara). So, as you can see, wedding planning has often been put on the back-burner, for obvious reasons.

Like I said above though, we’ve narrowed our venue options down to a top favorite, and I’m feeling good about it (I’m just seeing one more option this weekend before making my decision). And the wedding I went to last weekend really re-inspired me to get back into the wedding planning game, and I can tell I’ve rounded the corner out of “I hate wedding planning!” town, and it feels good. (Trust me, I know there will be more freak outs, but over all, I’m in a better place with it.)

If you’re feeling like you’re in a wedding planning rut or you just do not like it, it’ll change. It might take 10 months, but it will. And a good thing to keep in mind is that while yes, your wedding is a reflection of you and your fiancé and you want it to embody everything you both are in your love and fabulousness together, but it’s also a reflection of where you are right now, at this point in your lives. It doesn’t define you or dictate your worth as individuals or as a couple, and it doesn’t have to be the end-all celebration of your life together. Saying that out loud seems like an “oh duh” statement, but I think we get wrapped up in trying to make this day something more than it is. Don’t get me wrong, I think weddings are incredibly meaningful, precious, and wonderful, but it doesn’t define your relationship or your future as husband and wife. And that’s something to keep in mind (talking to myself here!).

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Major Food Coma from The Melting Pot! (Weekly Vlog 8.5.14)

Take a look at the above video for your weekly dose of Lauren randomness, including date night at The Melting Pot (keep reading for specifics on that), some car time chit chat, and a gut reaction review to Nicki Minaj, Ariana Grande, and Jessie J’s “Bang Bang” song.

SO, like I said, the other night, Charlie treated me to a fancy date night dinner at The Melting Pot in Pasadena. It. Was. Awesome. I’ve been to The Melting Pot (at different locations) a few times before, but it was Charlie’s first time there. It did not disappoint.

We were tucked away in a back booth, which was really nice…made for a very intimate dinner, like it was just the two of us in the whole place (until someone knocked over what sounded like a shelf containing every single plate stored at the restaurant and reminded us that there was indeed a bustling restaurant going on). But anyhow…I digress.

We went all out and did the 4-course special. I mean, you’re going to be forking over a bunch of moola anyway for dinner, you might as well go big, right?! Here’s what we got…

  • Course 1 (one cheese fondue to share): Quattro Formaggio Cheese Fondue (Butterkase and fontina cheeses, roasted garlic, basil and tomato pestos, fresh mozzarella, and Parmesean) with veggies and bread for dipping
  • Course 2 (one salad each): California Salad (mixed baby greens, Roma tomatoes, candied pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, and raspberry black walnut vinaigrette) and The Melting Pot House Salad (crisp romaine and iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, crispy croutons, and sliced egg, with ranch)
  • Course 3 (two entrees with one cooking style): We chose the Seasoned Court Bouillon as the cooking style and our entrees were The Classic (Angus beef sirloin, Memphis-style BBQ pork medallion, Pacific white shrimp, herb-crusted chicken breast, and teriyaki-marinated sirloin) and Land and Sea (filet mignon, herb-crusted chicken and Pacific white shrimp)
  • Course 4 (one dessert to share): I created a custom dessert by combining two of the desserts, the Turtle and the S’Mores, so it was dark chocolate, crush graham cracker, caramel, and marshmallow with a bunch of yummy goodies to dip (marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, brownies, goldies, pound cake, pineapple, etc.)

Dinner was amazing. A great thing about The Melting Pot, though, is that not only are you getting really awesome food, but it’s a super fun experience too. I’d definitely recommend it for your next special night out. Or, if you don’t wanna fork over all the dough for a big spendy meal, you can go in with some friends and share a cheese fondue or dessert. However, if you do go for the FULL meal, just know you will surely end up with a pretty major food coma. But it’ll be well worth it.

Epic Meal Empire Premiere at YouTube Space LA (Weekly Vlog 7.29.14)

Last week I got to see the premiere of Epic Meal Empire (brought to you by the dudes at Epic Meal Time) – it was great! These guys are hilarious, and they have a pretty awesome show. They started everything on YouTube four years ago, and now they have a deal with a network – pretty amazing to see what’s can happen all through YouTube!

The premiere was at YouTube Space LA, and it was my first time going there. It’s a really rad space and I can’t wait to go back for more events!

Oh, we also did tons of wedding planning…or rather, venue scouting. I’d say it was pretty successful. We didn’t settle on a space just yet, but we have quite a few good options to think about.

Broke Down in the Middle of Nowhere

Last weekend, my cousin Kelsey got married!!! The wedding was in Monterey, and it just so turned out that my friend, Kaitlin, had a wedding to go to in San Francisco. So, we carpooled…which turned into quite an adventure. About 3 hours into the drive, our car broke down! And of course, as luck would have it, we broke down on the one-hour stretch of the 101 between Santa Barbara and Salinas where there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. No gas stations, no rest stops, no stores, NADA. Thankfully, we only had to wait in the car for about an hour before getting picked up by Triple A. We were towed to Salinas, and then my mom picked me up and took me to my Aunt’s and a friend of Kaitlin’s also happened to be passing through on their way to SF. So it all worked out.

The weekend was really fun. Lots of work prepping for the wedding, lots of running around from place to place, and lots and lots of family time. It was awesome. The wedding was beautiful, and it was SO fun. Hope you guys all had a great week!

Weekly Uncut Blog: World Cup Final!

 

Last weekend, Germany won the World Cup Final against Argentina. It was a really good game, going into extra time, with Germany securing the win with an amazing goal by Mario Goetze. Honestly, his shot was GORGEOUS. The game was competitive, and fun to watch, but it would have been really nice to see an Argentine (specifically a Messi) goal and a bit more high stakes game-play. But like I said, very good game. Did you guys watch the World Cup? How about the Final?

Also, if you’re interested in any of the outfit items in my video, here are a few! Unfortunately, I bought some of these things a little while ago, so they’re not longer available, but I’ve posted similar ones below.
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Weekly Uncut Vlog: Fourth of July Weekend!

Fourth of July is one of my absolute favorite holidays!!! I love everything about it…BBQs with friends and family, being outside, fireworks, and being able to wear an inordinate amount of flag clothing without having to explain myself. 🙂 Obviously the most important part is the reason WHY we’re celebrating. For me, the Fourth of July is not only always filled with heaps of fun, but also profound appreciation and reflection on all the amazing things that make this country such a wonderful place to live, and I’m grateful to call it home. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.

VidCon 2014!

I went to VidCon again this year — and had a blast!

Last year, I went with a Community Pass, which was a great way to do it the first year. This year, I went big and did the Industry Pass. As a YouTube creator, and someone who works in the industry, the Industry Pass was definitely the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, the Community Pass was a great way to see what VidCon is all about, but there just such rich content available for the Industry Pass holders, not to mention some great networking opportunities.

I seriously love VidCon. Not only do you learn a lot, but it is so much fun! Plus, the YouTube community is a really neat thing, so it’s awesome to be a part of that in real life, not just via the Internet.

Here’s a few pics from VidCon 2014!