Monica & Daniel's Wedding

This must be the 3rd or 4th bio I've made...and this will be my last. Daniel and I met on Match.com in June of 2003, have been officially together since September of 2003, engaged since May 2006 and the rest is history. He's my best friend and everything I have ever wanted or dreamed of. :o)

I am planning a budget wedding for about 150 guests. Yes, I am crazy, but it's ONE day people! We want to spend our hard earned money on the honeymoon and our house down payment. My budget is about $10,000. I will make it work like Tim Gunn from Project Runway would say. I tried to include prices on almost everything to give you an idea of the cost and where to locate the items.

After being on the Knot for awhile you may wish you had loads more money, but I am here to assure you that a fabulous, budget friendly wedding IS possible if you simply do your research! Trust me, I would know! I have included where I got my items as well as how much they were just to give you an idea.

All items will be available for purchase after my wedding in May of 2009. If you are interested please e-mail me or page me on the San Antonio board.

If I used any of your pictures without giving you proper credit, please e-mail me at Monica20039@gmail.com or page me on the San Antonio board.

With that being said, if you use any of my pictures please credit Monica08. It's the proper thing to do!

The Proposal

May 19, 2006 at my college graduation party! Smokey Bones BBQ in Austin, Texas.

My ring! I love it...LOVE it!

The Venue

Ceremony- The Little Church at La Villita
Reception- The Crystal Room inside The Old San Francisco Steak House

Back to Top

Our ceremony venue- The Little Church at La Villita. $700 for 1.5 hour rental plus 0.5 hour rehearsal. It's gorgeous and it was built in 1879. Photo credits all go to ilovemycoastie3/Anne Marie Photography.

The church seats 80-90 people. Photo credit- ilovemycoastie3/Anne Marie Photography.

Steps outside the church. Photo credit- ilovemycoastie3/Anne Marie Photography.

Steps outside the church. Photo credit- ilovemycoastie3/Anne Marie Photography.

The Crystal Room inside the Old San Francisco Steakhouse in San Antonio, Texas. We will be serving their Tour of Italy menu which is beef lasagna, chicken breasts, pasta, marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, salad bar, bread station, grilled mediterranean veggies, and tea. Guests should NOT leave hungry with all that food. Only $16.99 per person.

I love the beautiful ceiling and chandeliers.

I love the floor to ceiling windows. Right outside the windows are 5 waterfalls that light up at night. Yay!!

Nice, big dance floor.

Table settings- we will have black satin linens without the pintucks.

Stage where our DJ will be set-up. The piano won't be there anymore, but the piano will be utilized as our gift table.

Engagement Pictures

We took our engagement pictures on Sunday, January 4th with the lovely Kate Lemmon of
Kate L. Photography. She did a fabulous job and we had a blast taking our pictures with her. We highly recommend her to anyone needing unique, artsy, and amazing photographs for their wedding day or family portraits.

My make-up was done by Vanessa, a MAC Artist at Dillard's North Star Mall. She did a fabulous job! More pictures from my make-up trial can be found further down the page or you can e-mail me at Monica20039@gmail.com.

Here are some of our favorite pictures from the shoot:



My colors are red with black & white damask

I plan to use this to hold up the autographed picture from Mickey & Minnie that they send you if you invite them to your wedding.. $4 at Tuesday Morning

Red/silver damask frame to be used on the cake table. I think I will put an engagement pic in it. $6.00 at Tuesday Morning

Damask frame I found at Target for $5.99.

Photo frames for table numbers. It doesn't hold a 5x7 it holds a 4x6. The overall frame
is about 5x7. I have 15 of these.

I have 3 of the easel type things for various signs such as Guestbook, Cake, and Programs.

Damask runners for the head table. Found on sale at Kohl's in their Christmas section.
2 total

Damask Runners for half of my tables. I have 11 of these total. They are 16" wide and 72" long- lined with damask on both sides. High quality linens!
Found at Hobby Lobby

The other half of my tables will have table squares like the one above. Photo credit goes to Knottie Jenerra.
I am buying the squares from Etsy Seller Darling Damask
Stephanie is FABULOUS!

While at Dollar Tree one day I found a rub-on of the "love is patient..." scripture and a nice vase, so I bought both for $2.00 total and made me this gorgeous vase to hold our unity candle inside. I put a sheet of white paper in the vase so you could see the writing better.

I will def make photo sharing cards so that our guests will share their pictures with everyone. Way more efficient than disposable cameras!

White vase to be used at sign-in table. $5.00 at Ross.

I have 10 red eiffel tower vases for sale and 3 clear ones- $3.00 each. E-mail me at Monica20039@gmail.com or page me on the San Antonio board.
Red rose pomander I made for the pews at the church. Materials needed:
1- 5" moss covered styrofoam ball- $1.00 at Dollar Tree
3 bundles of red roses (25-30 total)- $3.00 at Dollar Tree
2 feet of ribbon, floral wire, beads/crystals
Total cost ~$5.00 each
White rose pomander for flower girls. Bought at Hobby Lobby for 50% off and added some damask ribbon.
$3.50 total.

I am selling the red eiffel tower vases because The Crystal Room provides these for FREE!!

I am doing a submerged rose trio like this for half the CPs. Credit for picture goes to Mocha Rose Designs

Here's a different view of the same centerpiece. Gorgeous!

And a miniature version of those centerpieces will be created for the cocktail hour centerpieces using vases from Dollar Tree. Credit again goes to Mocha Rose Designs.

Here's my mock-up of the Mocha Rose inspiration pic above. Half of the arrangements will be on the manzanita damask table
squares seen in the picture, the other half will be on the damask runners from hobby lobby (pic in bio somewhere on this page...)

Another angle. Ignore the fact that I haven't done my table numbers yet, but those are the frames.

Close up view of the 2 smaller vases.

Another angle...sorry for all the pics, but I love my centerpieces.

A lower view.

Upper view.

FAQ: How did you get the roses to NOT float?
Good question! If you pay me $5.00 I'll tell you. :-P
I'm kidding- so I tried yelling at the roses, I tried whispering to the roses, I tried taping them down, I tried fishing weights...none of that worked, so don't waste your time.
Erin McLarty of www.edensecho.com (who happens to be my florist and a friend) recommended I get floral foam (the kind for FRESH flowers- it can be wet).
So, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a 3-pack of floral foam rectangles for $3.57ish.
I did a lot of trial and error, but I am just gonna share what WORKED.
1.) I cut about a 2 inch cube of foam (used a butter knife) and soaked it with water- literally- SOAK IT!
2.) Then I trimmed the rose to my desired length (cut at an angle) and stuck it into said piece of floral foam.
Do this for EACH rose! Don't try and do a big square and stick 3 in- WILL NOT WORK! (trust me- I tried)
3.) Place each floral foam cube/rose contraption into vase. In my big cylinders I had 3 roses EACH in their own piece of foam. In the smaller side
cylinders, there's only one since there's only 1 rose.
4.) Use a whole bag of rocks/marbles/stones/gems from Dollar Tree. Yes, the whole bag. They're $1.00 don't be cheap. We used the black river stones. Place rocks
on/around/ the pieces of foam to cover the foam and to hold it all in place.
5.) Pour the water in slowly. Rose petals may come off during the process, but they float to the top, so just don't worry about it. Throw them out once
you're done with this step. The rose(s) may slightly move, put gently push it back down. If you used enough rocks/stones/marbles/gems, you should be okay.
6.) We added a floating candle to the top, and we poured water about 2" over the top of the tallest rose.

Hope this helps! Feel free to e-mail me with any questions at monica20039@gmail.com

And the other half of my centerpieces are inspired by this centerpiece. It'll be iced birch branches (from Hobby Lobby $2.50 a bunch) with crystals hanging down along side the various candles shown below. On the bottom of the vase will be clear glass gems. I am attaching mini white and red roses to the branches.

Here are some "crystals" (aka- acrylic faceted beads) I found at Hobby Lobby. 48 gems for $5.00ish
These are to hang from branches.

Here's what it looks like in the very beginning stages...crystals attached with fishing wire. Each string has 1 clear bead, 1 red bead, and 1 gem.

And here's how the branch centerpiece looked once we set-it up...we didn't like it at all, but figured I would post it anyway. It looks like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. :o(
We think it needs more branches, but we're too lazy to find more, so we're just going with the submerged rose centerpieces from above.
And now it's time for my version- here are my iced birch branches from Hobby Lobby. I bought 7 bundles for 7 centerpieces, $2.50 per bundle. They're regularly $4.99, but you can usually find them 50% off.

 Then I lined up all my red/white rose buds, also from Hobby Lobby. Each bunch had about 40 rose buds and cost $3 (again during their 50% off sale). Only red is shown, but I did this with white also.

 Then I started hot glueing the rose onto random parts of the branches.
To end up with something like this. I love it. My biggest tip is to not be afraid of breaking the branches. They're more flexible than you think and it is good to just break off any super thin/flimsy branches.
Then I wrap up the bundle using 3 sheets of tissue paper...
 And store until ready! :o)

Here's the candles that will be beside the tall, rose filled cylinder.

Wrapped with damask packing tape from Organize.com

Here's all 44 of them wrapped with damask packing tape

Candles for the holders above

I'll also use these votives from Wal-Mart to add even MORE candles. $5 for a box of 12 and it comes with votives.

The votives from Wal-Mart will be wrapped with red vintage damask wraps. You can buy these on Etsy- search for "damask candles".

I like these "In memory of" candles. I'll be doing 3 of them.

I'll be painting/decorating these for the cake table like the picture below...

Damask Letters

Damask like ribbon...

I'll use these beautiful damask hat boxes that my friends Lauren, Erin, & Ashley bought for me to hold programs or something...so pretty! You can find these at Hobby Lobby.

The beautiful damask cardbox I created using 2 random cardboard boxes, damask wrapping paper, Dollar Tree ribbon, and a brooch from Wal-Mart.
Total Cost: $7.00

2 random boxes likes I mentioned above...

Damask Wrapping Paper from Hobby Lobby

Leave an opening

Wrap the boxes, hot glue them together

Leave an opening up top

Add ribbon, etc. You're done!

Since our furbaby Pee Wee will not be at the wedding, we want to put this frame up.

These candles will be at the sign-in table. I have 7 from Dollar Tree.

This frame is also from Dollar Tree and will be used on the cake table

Candles to use somewhere...

Seating Chart & Place Cards


I like this type of thing rather than place cards

Love this one since it has a layout of the tables

Another one I love from Knottie LaurenRachel

I wish I could figure out a way to put the placecards on this french memo board from Hobby Lobby.

This is the frame for the seating chart. I bought it at Dollar Tree...notice a trend here?

 My seating chart template. Love it. 
All Things Paper!


I want to create a photo guestbook with our engagement pictures for people to sign. I'll put quotes, questions, lyrics, and poems on the pages. I love the one Knottie Thechesirekat designed- gorgeous! I got a free 30-page photobook from

I am using this damask stamp everywhere!

And these stamps as well. Left, from Joann's; right, from Michael's.

I LOVE Photoshop and am pretty good at using it, so I will be creating my own monograms.

Mock-up of my wedding invite and inserts. Inspired by Etsy seller
Invite contents: 1 black linen sheet of cardstock cut to 8x9 inches
1 white linen sheet of cardstock to fit the 4 inserts
1 white linen sheet of cardstock to fit 3 panel invites
Flocked red ribbon from Wal-Mart
More information to come soon- all paper was purchased from paperandmore.com

 My menu. Designed by me in Publisher, and I will have them printed as rack cards for free at VistaPrint.com


 My inspiration for rehearsal dinner or bachelorette party invitations.
Picture/invite is from the uber talented http://beaupapier.com

Bride's Attire & Wedding Party Stuff


This dress embodies everything I want in a gown...slight trumpet skirt, mild beading, lace, corset back, unique, non-poofy. Time and time again I have been told this style wouldn't look good on me because of my size, asymmetrical styles make girls look fatter...blah, blah, blah. I felt that might be true, so I looked at various styles as illustrated below. This gown above is Alfred Angelo #1151

This is a tester style from David's Bridal...it's alright, but not worth the $499.00 price tag- it's too plain!

Here's a view of the same dress as above, but from the side. It's alright, but rather plain.

Here's Alfred Angelo style #1640. The sample is 2 sizes too big, but overall I love this dress!

Here's the side view...ignore all the clips. It's very slimming!

Here's the Alfred Angelo #1151- you know, the one that would look heinous on me? I think it looks good.

Here it is again. It's unlaced so I am trying to hold it up and make it look right. I forgot to take pics while it was laced. Needless to say, this is the dress I am going to buy. It retails for $799 at Alfred Angelo, Lee Philip Bridal offered it to me for $492 shipped, but ultimately I went with Chrissy O Designs because they're an authorized retailer and gave it to me for $433 shipped!

For sale- black satin sash-$5.00 plus $1.50 shipping

View of my dress on me. When it first came in, it didn't fit at all...not even close. 20.8 pounds of weight loss...and it FITS!!

My ceremony shoes...Well, not anymore. I found these shoes for $5 at Payless at the Houston Galleria.
I thought I could get used to walking in a tall, skinny heel, and I was wrong.
So I bought the following shoes instead:

 J. Renee Allure Pump in Gold from Endless.com
$75.90 with free overnight shipping
They are really pretty, IMO, and super comfy, but they give me extra height. :o) 

These shoes are purely for bridal pics. I love them! $5 at Bealls.

A close-up. Love these shoes!

A damask headband I bought specifically for bridal portraits. I bought it for $5.00 from Etsy seller Aim4U. I give her an A+! Super cute, super cheap, super fast shipping.

A damask garter given to me by Knottie DB2882 during the May 2009 board Elfster gift exchange. The garter can be bought from Etsy Seller Peterene Designs. I give her an A+ for quality- the garter is gorgeous. She even sewed a blue bow into it for my "something blue".

A cute parasol from Hobby Lobby $4, mainly to be used for fun photos.

I want all red roses for my bouquet like MrsPinkAJV

This bouquet is wrapped beautifully! I want it!

Another beautifully wrapped bouquet.

I will have something similar to this locket. Knottie SpringChic

Bouquet locket I found at Hallmark for $4. On one side will be a picture of my dad who passed away when I was 15, on the other side will be a baby pic of Daniel

Rhinestone "B" I found at Wal-Mart on clearance for $1.00 I will hang it on my bouquet.

Avon Lace Motif Bracelet from eBay. I love this bracelet.

Red satin dresses for my 3 Junior Bridesmaids. Ignore the ugly belt the model is wearing- it's a plain red dress. It fits the Jr. BMs at the mid-calf level and we're going to find a lace bolero in black for all of them to wear. Dresses are from New York & Company and with discounts/coupons only cost $40 each.

Satin damask ribbon I found at Michael's. This ribbon will be used as flower girl sashes. 



And stuff I didn't put in any other category...


Damask tissue packs will be given to moms and grandmas.

I found these pearl letters in the Michael's $1 bins- I will likely hang them on the door knobs of the doors that lead to the ballroom. I need to replace the organza ribbon with red or black ribbon.

However, this is the cake I chose. The background will be white with black damask. There will be 5 tiers, but one will be faux to give the cake some height. My fiance's Step-Aunt is making the cake for us for free! It will be yellow/butter cake with pineapple (to make it moist) with a cream cheese filling and traditional buttercream icing.

Mini sample that she made during the Christmas holidays...it was DELICIOUS! I also love that the black icing doesn't make your mouth black. She's a genius and we love her to pieces.

Love her hair & makeup

This is exactly how I want my hair/makeup to look. She looks so glam!

Picture from my make-up trial for my engagement pictures at MAC Dillard's North Star. LOVE IT! My MAC Artist was Vanessa and I give her an A+!

Close-up of my eyes. Love it. :o)

Our toasting flutes. $6 at Kohl's

Our cake serving set. $6.00 at Wal-Mart in their clearance section.


Damask napkins for cake table. Left, from JoAnns Crafts; Right, from Hobby Lobby

Damask frames/note cards. Frames $1 each from Target, note cards $1 pack from Michael's

Black/white ring pillow (shown with my fabulous garter from Peterene Designs) from Wal-Mart.

Our baby Pee Wee...bah hum bug huh?

When he was literally a baby

One happy family

My Completed/ In Progress DIY Projects-

Script "B" from Crafty Eddy to be used as a cake topper. I will be buying crystals in red/white to glue onto the "B" so it will be super sparkly and gorgeous! $13.00 including shipping.

Step 1- Arrange all flatback rhinestones to ensure it looks good. Once you glue it onto the wood, its there permanently, so I think this step is crucial!

Step 2- I painted it all black and then glued on the flatback rhinestones using tacky glue.

Here it is all done! I love it! Total cost was about $19.00 and 2 hours of my time.

Materials for my DIY unity candle.


Washington D.C.! Our total honeymoon cost for a week in DC is about $1500.
Hotel for 7 nights: $757
Flights: Free (earned through Southwest)
Misc food/expenses: $750

I think most of us know what this is...

Another familiar site...

King Room inside the Omni Shoreham Hotel. This hotel can be reserved via Hotwire.com or Priceline.com for about $70-$90 per night. That's a huge savings over Omni's rate of $209+ per night. We got this hotel on Priceline for $89 a night for 5 nights.

Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington D.C.


 For the last 2 nights of our stay, we're staying at Hotel Palomar in DC/Dupont Circle. We got this hotel via hotwire.com
for $109 per night instead of $289 on their website.
We plan on taking a 3-hour evening segway tour of DC. Fun!


We are so excited to eat at the famous Ben's Chili Bowl!! We love chili.

CoCo Sala- it's like a chocolate restaurant...can't wait! 
Vendor Information

Ceremony Location - The Crystal Room inside the Old San Francisco Steakhouse

Ask for Veronica (owner) or Anita (sales rep) and they will make sure to take care of ya. I love these ladies!

Reception Location - The Crystal Room

I love that we can have everything in one place. We will be serving the Tour Of Italy menu and it has TONS of food. Great value, great service, GORGEOUS location- what more could I want?


Cake Creator - Daniel's Step Aunt Amanda

Daniel's step-aunt is making both cakes for us in a damask design...for free!! Can't beat that. Her cakes are yummy...forget that, they're freakin' good!


Bridal Salon Reviews

David's Bridal, Corpus Christi: F
The consultant kept commenting on "my size" and how they have no dresses in "my size." Uh, thanks. Also, the dressing rooms are small and smell like B.O.

Vanessa's Bridal, Corpus Christi: D
Not very helpful, nor friendly, small selection, small fitting rooms, and same comments about how I am a cow.

After 5 Bridal Boutique, Corpus Christi: A
The owner was beyond nice and let me try on oodles of gowns and made me feel important. My future sister-in-laws went with me (ages 8 and 10) and she even let them try on bunches of Junior Bridesmaid gowns. We all had fun. Big dressing rooms, great service!

Alfred Angelo, San Antonio/North Star Location: A+
I have never had a bad experience here. They have lots of gowns in all different sizes, friendly staff. My only minor complaint is the dressing room size, and the fact that the consultant had me take off my shirt/bra in the fitting room so she could help put on the longline bra they provide. I am NOT comfy with that, but I think she was trying to be helpful.

Alfred Angelo, San Antonio/Colonnade Location: A+
Good service even without an appointment, and the consultant was helpful and not pushy. This location is far nicer than the North Star location in my opinion. Also, the fitting rooms are larger.

Eduardo's, San Antonio: C
Lots of really old fashioned dresses, no help getting in/out of the gowns, insanely small dressing rooms, high prices.

Debi's Bridal, San Antonio: B
No mirrors in dressing room, really small dressing rooms, and lack of selection. However, the lady who helped me was nice and attentive. They don't allow pictures to be taken when trying on gowns, FYI.

David's Bridal, San Antonio/North Star: B
The lady who helped me was really patient and seemed to offer honest opinions without being a kiss ass or pushy.Overall, a decent experience compared to the one I had in Corpus Christi.

Bridal Galleria, San Antonio: F-
Words cannot express how rude the owner and her clerk are. I walked in (without an appointment...but there was NO ONE in there), and she says to me. "Hun, we don't carry dresses in your size. There's an Alfred Angelo and David's Bridal across the street that do though." Thanks. I didn't realize I was the largest bride ever, but I guess she thought so..

Chrissy O Designs, Online: A+
I am ordering my Alfred Angelo #1151 gown from them and they are selling it to me for $433 shipped compared to the $799 retail price. The people on the phone have been nothing but nice, and I am confident that as an authorized retailer that my gown will be great! I ordered my gown on October 14th and had it by December 24th. My only slight issue was that I ordered the wrong size, so just be careful and measure yourself properly/correctly.

Florist - Eden's Echo!

You can visit her website at www.edensecho.com Erin is WONDERFUL!! A+++


Photographer - Kate L. Photography

She just graduated from high school, but she seems very capable and talented. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Disc Jockey - Music Connection

The owner, Jesse, has been great to work with. My DJ is costing $535 for 6 hours.


Jeweler - Gordon's Jewelers

Very friendly staff! They always are cheerful when I go get my ring cleaned or inspected. Highly recommend.


Honeymoon Destination - Washington D.C.

We are excited about going to our nation's capitol for our honeymoon. We have been using websites such as www.tripadvisor.com, www.urbanspoon.com, www.hotwire.com, www.betterbidding.com to get the most bang for our buck. I also want to thank the lovely D.C. Knotties for helping me out with recommendations!



webpage visitor statistics
E-mail me!