From Houston to Seattle to Vancouver Canada!

A Trip to remember: Houstonians getting to explore the best of Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada BC.

I wanted to share a few of the pictures I took while on our trip to Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, Canada BC. My husband and I both wanted to go out of the country somewhat last minute and we considered Canada, but international flights not booked in advance are a bit on the pricey side. We considered flying to Seattle, staying for a few nights, then traveling to Vancouver by bus. The price was significantly cheaper from Houston. We took a direct flight on Alaska Airlines. Thankfully if you have T-mobile ONE that gets you one hour of internet and texting free on any flight that has go-go Wi-Fi. What I love about T-Mobile is having signal anywhere we go in the world. I specifically got with T-mobile because I planned on traveling a lot. Alaska Airlines provided yummy snacks, and I’ve got to say my experience with them went well. Arriving to Seattle on the left of the plane was saw a beautiful snowcap mountain, even in August! It was probably the most beautiful thing I’ve seen on the entire trip.

(picture from AirBNB)

In looking at hotel prices staying in Seattle is VERY expensive. The cheapest hotel I could find (by the airport, far away from where we wanted to be.) was $75 per night, not including taxes or fees. And it was sketchy to say the least. I looked on AirBNB and found Roy Street Commons owned by Eric. He runs this place like an AirBNB hotel. We were provided with fresh muffins every morning, had our own code to the front door and our room, and he responded promptly to our messages. So, long story short, originally, we were going to only stay in Seattle one night but our Canada AirBNB canceled literally the day before! (DON’T BOOK THIS GUY)  I messaged Eric and he called me as soon as he had another room in his building open for another night. He saved us, and we got to enjoy another day in Seattle and a better AirBNB in Canada. The first night at Roy Street Commons we stayed in room 104 in a twin bed (we did it in college, so why not?). One thing we learned fast coming from Texas, was to expect no central air conditioning anywhere. But it’s not needed what’s so ever. It cost us about $100 and had everything we needed. It was small and brought back college dorm memories for us. It was walking distance from many shops and bars. Perfect location. We took  an Uber and the rail everywhere. The second night we moved our stuff upstairs to room 503 with a full bed.

The rooftop of this building is great, you get a romantic view of the Seattle skyline. Try looking for any AirBNB in Capital hill for that price. You won’t find it. I told my husband that I’d rather stay in a small clean AirBNB than any of the sketchy hotels we saw online.

We did some Pinterest research and already had a feel of what we wanted to do in this city. Of course, seeing the space needle was at the top of our list. It’s beautiful to see this amazing work of architecture constructed in the 1962.

 

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I got some great pics of the city up there! We also went to the Science Museum to kill some time before we could view the needle. (book your tickets for the space needle online before you go so that you don’t have to wait.) The museum was interesting, but seems to be more for kids so I would not recommend it. If you have children, I think you should go for sure!

Definitely ride the famous monorail to the mall.

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After the Space needle, we ended up at Mantra, which is a Thai Restaurant. You must EAT HERE! It was amazing. And they have the BEST Thai Tea! Diego got the Thai Tea Coffee that also was delicious! So good, that on the way back from Canada we stopped there again.

Who goes to Seattle without checking out Pike Place Market. We walked around for a bit, went to the gum wall that’s located there, and had some yummy donuts and honey. I had a margarita while on the Great Wheel.

The original Sarbucks is at Pike Place Market, and please don’t assume that Starbucks on Pike Street is the original one. The original Starbucks says Draft and it has mugs with the original logo. It’s a very small shop in front of Pike Place Market, and the line wasn’t bad at all. They’re fast at getting through the line of people. Be sure to buy a mug from there showing that you were at the OG Starbucks!

Check out this Dessert, Drink place called Blank Space Cafe. They serve yummy coffee, boba drinks, and ice-cream among other things. They’re known for their bubble waffle served with ice-cream! I ordered green tea ice-cream with the original bubble waffle, with cereal and mochi as my topping.

Yep they’re named Blank Space Cafe and even have T. Swifts lyrics on their wall. You think they have copy rights? Mhmm…maybe. We walked most places and took Uber for everything else.

We spent the night at local bars and walking around Capitol Hill. I got these cool pics from the rooftop of our AirBNB. In the morning we packed our bags and took a bus to Vancouver, Canada to another AirBNB located in Yaletown. The bus there on BOLT was about 3-3.5 hours with only one stop. I felt like we arrived fast! We took the subway to our AirBNB and walked everywhere in Vancouver. Another option would be taking the scenic train that goes along the west coast. We didn’t know about it at that time, but the bus was still cheaper than the train. I would not recommend taking any other bus except bolt bus because it made the least stops and got us there the fastest.

Started out day with a cup of cofee topped with canadian maple syrup flakes. Be sure to get some coffee in both Seattle and Canada. As long as you have a Visa credit card you have no worries about having to exchange your money for some Canadian cash.

On our agenda was the famous Steam Clock in Gasstown. In Vancouver you walk everywhere! So please be sure to pick a location to stay that is where you want to be. They do not have Uber here. Gasstown was a 15-20 minute walk from out AirBNB. We reached a total of about 29K steps in just one day!

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Stanley Park was a 45 minute walk. So we cheated and rented a Car2Go. This app allowed us to rent a car only for the time we needed it. The price was the same as an Uber except we were the ones driving.

Be sure to check out the popular spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge! Free shuttles leave from Hyatt Regency Hotel every 10-15 minutes.

This beauty right here is what you see us taking pictures on previously. The trees are so tall that even from far away I am not able to get the top and bottom of the trees in the picture!

We checked out Granville Island, Which I found out isn’t really an Island. It’s a peninsula! Take an Aqua bus there instead! Super cheap!

The Market is well known for their yummy and unique treats! be sure to get some coffee from JJ Bean. Both Canada and Seattle are known for some of the best coffee!

One of our most memorable restaurant’s was Tuc Craft Kitchen. OMG, THIS PLACE WAS AMAZING! Definitely not cheap but you do get what you pay for! Yummy Canadian food!

My best pictures were of food. Future food photographer in the making? Haha. This place also had some of the most sophisticated best drinks we have ever had.

All in all, this trip went smoothly and we made memories of a lifetime! I’ve realized in the time I have taken for myself, that what matters most is experiences and the relationships that you have with people. Life is too short and I want to squeeze in as much traveling as I can into it. Our world is our playground! Let’s explore it! I’m thankful to god for having sent me the best partner to live it with!

Message me for questions and tips on planning a similar trip!

 

Sharing Our Wedding Video

I am so happy to share our wedding video! I highly recommend Eddie Spaghetti! He did an amazing job on our wedding video, as well as other couples videos! All the brides at Big Sky Barn seem to book him! I can’t wait to get the rest of our video! He made our wedding video feel like some epic movie! I enjoyed watching this at home on my big screen TV with the bass. Trust me, It gave me so many feelings and I must have watched it 100 times over and over! 5 stars for sure! It was worth the wait to get such amazing clear quality video!

Stephanie + Diego from Eddie Spaghetti on Vimeo.

 

 

XOXO,

A Hill Country Glam Wedding in Dripping Springs, Texas

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This beautiful bride Vanessa has been my friend for more than half of my life. When I got the invitation to her wedding, I was more than excited! Her marrying such a honorable loyal kind man like Luis made my heart just melt! What I thought was so unique about Vanessa’s wedding was that she had an outdoor ceremony! As a guest to her wedding, I experienced the shock of seeing her walk down those stairs as the sunset hit her beautiful dress, blonde locks, and just the overall beauty that she is! You have to see her wedding video! Her song walking down the isle gave me the absolute chills! Well, Here is a little snippet from her:

Our wedding day was truly a dream come true for us and our family. We were so detailed in every aspect of our wedding because we wanted it to be incredibly special. My favorite part was having an outdoor sunset ceremony. We knew we wanted a sunset wedding the day we booked our wedding venue (a year and a half in advance).

Therefore, we prayed for perfect weather (no rain) and planned for a hill country glam themed wedding. My top 3 favorite details about our outdoor ceremony were

1) the wine barrels at the altar with gold candelabras on top of them with huge flower arrangements

2) the festoon lights going from the top of the second building to the altar (these were a surprise from our venue’s owner)

 3) our blankets we had as favors. We chose to have blush throw blankets as our wedding favors and had them wrapped in gold sequin bows for our guests since it gets chilly at the end of November. We thought this was a great idea and that they would help our guests concentrate on the ceremony and not being cold! The blankets were a big hit and not one was left behind

Outdoor ceremonies are a lot of fun but sunsets will always be my favorite from now on. Every sunset reminds me of that special day and reminds me of how much Luis really does love me. It also takes me back to this very important verse:

Ephesians 4:26-27

26 “In your anger do not sin”[a]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,27 and do not give the devil a foothold.

When I see a sunset I’m always reminded to not let the sun go down on my anger and that Luis and I can get through anything with God first in our lives. God is the center of our relationship and that is why having had a sunset wedding is so special to me. 

Venue: The Terrace Club

Photo/Video: The Bird & The Bear
Flowers: Wild Bunches Floral
DJ: DJ Greenbelt
Cake: Sweet Treets Bakery
Bridal Robe: Le Rose
Maids of Honor Dresses: Amsale
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal

Link to Vanessa’s Wedding blog post:

Ever Changing Vane

Wedding Video:

Vanessa & Luis | The Terrace Club | Austin Wedding Videography from The Bird & The Bear on Vimeo.

Renting from Vow to be Chic

So I had a really good experience renting from vow to be chic.

I picked the dress Aiden that is convertible by Jenny Yoo. it was $95 to rent plus shipping I believe. I added the girls contact information and vow to be chic emailed them with my bridal suite. With my login I was able to track who ordered their try on, who paid for their rental and if they returned it. Kimberlee handled contacting the girls for me, so I did not have to be a bridezilla and stress about the girls, and their dresses. The reason I rented instead of bought is because the dresses already came according to the girls heights. With being a December wedding, I knew I wanted long dresses. Thinking about adding alterations on top of buying dresses would have really sucked! I designated the maid of honor to return the dresses and contact the girls. They are suppose to mail the dresses out 2 weeks before the wedding, but I got mine like a month before really! You keep the bag and hanger the dress came in, and you fold it up and drop it off at UPS in the packaging they provide within 4 days after the wedding. Super easy! Don’t forget to collect the reciept at UPS and save it until Vow to Be Chic shows they received the dress.

XOXO,

Rubalcava Wedding

Forever I do. #RubalcavaMeAma

I am so excited to share our  wedding photos! With the photos I also wanted to share specific details. Planning my own wedding, while helping other brides really sparked my interest and reason for starting this blog. I found great vendors, and yet stayed in my budget to have the wedding of our dreams. I am so lucky to have married my soulmate, Diego.

Diego bought me the prettiest rose gold ring from Coast. Shoes were decked out in rose gold glam  and sexy ankle ties of ribbon from Blue by Betsy Johnson. Diego Knows my love for rose gold, and I’m so glad he picked that for my ring. I never even thought to look at rose gold rings. It’s so unique! Diamonds are timeless! He had a high quality vintage diamond in a miners cut placed that was from his grandmother.

Being a very petite woman, I had my dress custom made from Winnie Couture! The style is called Mishka. I was the first person to purchase this design when it came out in December of 2015. It was a relief not having to alter the dress or its beautiful lace. Every inch of me was measured, and then the gown was made. Not even a manikin wore my dress first, I did. I had a 3 point under bustle made. I do not like the look of wedding dresses tucked under, so that’s what I chose instead. I didn’t think I would go with a gown that had sleeves, it actually didn’t appeal to me on the rack, but my mom insisted on sleeves. I did know that I wanted an A line with lace! It was the first dress I put on only for her, and mother is always right! This was the one for me! I love how modest it is, however it had an open back. My back for some reason is always toned. I knew I wanted to show it off along with a long train. Full of lace and some sparkles! Winnie couture also built in my bra into my dress, so I was comfortable all night!

My bestfriend and hairstylist Liana did my hair. I always knew I would  book her for our wedding. Plus, if I needed my hair adjusted she was there! She’s seriously the best!

Big Sky Barn had these cool poker cards personalized for our big day.

Someone had loads of fun breaking them in!

A little bit of whiskey to take the cold feet away? Mhmmm, don’t worry I did the same. Diego looks so handsome in the Groom shirt design he requested I make.

This was Diego’s gift to his groomsmen as well as a personalized pocket knife!

My Bridesmaid Oanh and I put together this personalized welcome sign with our Cricut. I was too excited about the barn decal. I used matte vinyl because Lord knows my handwriting can never be that great.

Diego and I both know the loss of a father, so on our wedding day in the chapel we placed photos of those who have passed. We decided to show a happy time in their lives, pictures of them on their own wedding days. It’s pure coincidence that Diego wore a red bow tie just like his dad.

My good friend from SFA Michele helped to decorate the chapel. She did an amazing job! Can we just give it up to my florist for the bomb arrangement she made on our wood cross. I was so thankful for my friends and vendors allowing me to lay on the couch and drink Mimosas instead.

Our ring box I made with a wood burner, that Kristian wouldn’t let go of. That’s why I trusted him with the rings.

Kevin,  the best man, Helping Diego look handsome for me. 😀 This picture is so deep.

My make up artist deep into her work and passion. She was one of my favorite vendors. I wish we could be friends and hang out. That’s how much I loved her personality!

My Something borrowed: I borrowed my best-friend Vanessa’s wedding robe by Le Rose Lace. Her grandmother altered it to have a train, which made it even more beautiful. We’re the exact height so it worked out!

I gave my mom this mug, and a custom frame for her to place our photo in.

“To my Wife on our wedding day…”

My Veil was also from Winnie Couture it had three tiers and a beaded edge of Swarovski crystals.

I went with rose gold jewelry from the Kendra Scott Bridal collection.

  • Kapri drop earrings in rose gold
  • Cole Bracelet in rose gold (Wedding gift from my husband the day of!) My Something New
  • Elisa Pendant necklace in rose gold

Diego and I completely avoided each other on the wedding day, I didn’t see him at all that day until I walked out into the chapel. I wanted the ultimate feeling of suspense. But I did have a first look with my grandpa. He’s not an emotional man but you can see it in his eyes.

I got him a monogrammed genuine leather notebook. He loves taking notes, so it was perfect.

I know she’s super cute and pretty Kristian, but did you have to kiss her first? Anyways, I wanted a braid in Jayden’s hair and Alyx did a great job of showing it off even though she had a huge  beautiful flower crown! I didn’t want your typical flower crown, I wanted different and Maryann did just that!

AWWWW! Jayden gracefully put up with him.

Just before it was time to get in line to walk down the isle, my veil fell. I had Stevie run to go get Liana from the chapel to put it back in. (Pro’s to having your hair stylist at your wedding) She even hair sprayed my veil to get it some volume! Great wedding tip.

As I was walking down I was saying “oh my god, oh my god”. Because I was in total shock that the chapel was completely full! I was completely calm the entire time until I walked in. Then my eye’s met Diego’s and everyone disappeared.

This picture shows so much emotion, my grandpa giving me away, Diego’s reaction to seeing me up close, and Chris (Diego’s stepdad) watching probably thinking “yes, finally. I’ve bugged them so long about getting married!”

We always knew that we wanted the church feel to our wedding, and our venue’s chapel was pure perfection! It was always my dream to get married in a cute little chapel  with big windows like this!

Putting together this cross with my husband meant so much to us and our marriage and what it means. We want to keep God at the center of our relationship and this was the perfect symbolism of it and our promise and duty to one another.

The Groom places the outer Cross in the beautiful wood base as the Pastor explains how God created man- Bold, Strong, the Defender of the Family yet how he is empty and incomplete without the woman. The Bride then places the more delicate cross inside of the Grooms cross as the Pastor explains how God created Woman- Delicate, multi-faceted, taking care of all of the little things that completes the man, and the -Two become One. The Bride and Groom then use the 3 golden pegs to lock the union(cross) together in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the pastor exclaims that: What God has brought together let no man take apart. “

Finally “You may kiss your bride”. Such an intimate and personal moment. Pastor Gary from our church, Northside Christian Church Married us!

We are MARRIED! Meet the Rubalcava’s!

Thank you to Megan and Alyx for amazing make up done on my girls! Just look at those amazing Claret red dresses and Navy suites with brown dress shoes! Our bridal party was super stylish. With My bouquet, and the girls, I knew I wanted seeded Eucalyptus and Magnolia leaves. My florist did amazing job of doing exactly what I wanted even though I couldn’t show her any pictures even close to what I wanted. I described it in great detail, and she made it come true! Better than anything I ever imagined. All I said was that I wanted messy, unorganized flowers that incorporated December in it as well as our wedding colors. The closest thing I had in comparison to what I wanted was her own daughters wedding. In her daughters wedding, her daughter had long ribbon tied around the bouquets. I knew this was a must for us in order to incorporate all our wedding colors. It just adds elegance to the unorganized bouquets. That is how I knew I wanted to book her. Each bridesmaids bouquet was different and unique than the other. I absolutely adore her. I told Diego I want a bouquet from her every year for our anniversary.

I love that the dresses were the exact same but were convert-able! So each girl could wear them differently and they looked amazing from the back.

Our second photography SprArt Photography took this beauty! I recommend having one male and one female photographer the day of your wedding!

The weather was surprisingly perfect for December! it was cool, not hot or cold! It sprinkled a bit in the morning of but that was it!

At last, a picture of us in front of Big Sky Barn!

As wedding favors, Diego and I personally made wood ornaments for people to hang on their tree with pictures from our engagement shoot.

We also made our guestbook from solid wood, to later hang in our home.

It was very important to use to incorporate our culture into our wedding so we had Mexican pastries at the wedding called Conchas and my favorite Marranitos! My cousin Valeria brought these for me on our wedding day so that we didn’t have to stress about anything. It meant so much to me that she did this for me. Te Amo Vale!

I told Diego “We have to have the grooms cake be an SFA logo cake, but the OLD logo when we first started there.” Good thing he agreed and wanted the same thing! Not like he had an option though! We had to show some SFA pride at our wedding, where our love story began!

My grandfather put together this cake stand and I painted it and I placed our wedding date on it.

Of course we got our cake serving set in rose gold!

One of my fave things, now hanging over my bed is that massive R!

Lanterns were placed on the wood slabs Diego and I made along with some greenery. We decided on ivory linen to go with the drapes in the venue, and to contrast against the dark wood walls.

My grandma grew a bunch of succulents for the wedding. She did a great job!

our Rehearsal was well worth it. Everyone was such a pro! Lined up for us and all.

The number one item I asked my florist for was this beautiful wild garland! And it had Christmas greenery!

We would like to thank Erik at Ballroom X for helping me get over my fear of dancing, and for teaching us this wonderful first dance to our song “Forever I do” by Ruelle.

We did things a little bit different and went straight into our first dance when we walked into the reception!

Before we ate our awesome BarBQ, Bryan, one of Diego’s groomsman and super close nursing school friend of mine, gave such a beautiful prayer. It was important to us to pray before we ate, especially with it being our first dinner as a married couple.

Shelby and I enjoying our photo-booth that matched perfectly with the barn theme! Unlimited photos with Live prints, and GIFs is the way to go!  check them out at itsphotobomb.com , click here to view our gallery.

I knew I wanted a simple white cake with flowers! But the flavors were anything but simple. Pumpkin spice was that perfect taste of winter, strawberries and cream, and then Nutella!

My Aunt and Uncle preformed a few original country songs that they wrote. But our favorite song was Sweet Southern Sugar. The inspiration for my blog name. My aunt sang at my parents wedding, and here she is now jamming it out at mine!

Then of course we had to throw a little Mexican in it with some surprise Mariachi’s for our guests to request songs!

My sweet Mila in the beautiful outfit i bought her! I wish she could have thrown petals! You have to be the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.

My something old/used: On my left hand I am wearing a white gold ring that is totally different from my rose gold metals. It was the grandmothers original wedding ring. It was my way of holding them on my special day. They are my inspiration for a long happy marriage.

Something Blue: My beautiful lace garter was navy and the bottom of my shoes. Congrats to Mychal for catching it! Better take good care of it! I cant wait to start helping Asia plan her wedding! WINK WINK!

It was crazy but Diego and I realized a lot of people wore our wedding colors, we loved it! all the red made me happy!

Diego’s Wedding band is Tungsten. That metal is one of the strongest of metals. Also it was the only metal we could find that was dark enough that he liked. He loved the brushed look to it. In the inner part of the ring its rose gold, and it goes perfectly with my ring!

That truck turned into a bar with kegs during our cocktail hour!

Send off with amazing sparklers we got from Superior Celebrations!

We then acted like we were leaving for the sake of pictures. But this is my grandparents Lincoln town car that my Aunt decorated for the send off pictures!

Venue: Big sky barn

Dress: Winnie Couture Houston

Make up : Alyx Wright at Salons at the Lake

Photography: Alexander Cross Photography

Second photographer: Spryart Photography

photo booth: Its Photobomb

Videographer: Eddie Spaghetti Studios

Wedding planner: ME!

Day of coordinator: Sweet memories and events by Jenn

Caterer: Uncle Bob’s BarBQ

Cake: Mrs. Weber Bakes

Florist: Houston Flower Girls AKA Westside Flower Exchange by Maryann

Mariachi: Mariachi Monumental

Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo – Aiden on Vowtobechic.com

Men’s suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Wedding Website: DiegoAndStephanie.com by the knot

The Knot

Floor Plan & timeline: All Seated

Dance class: Erika at Ballroom X

invitations: Elegant Wedding Invites

Discounts: Groupon