At Here Comes The Guide, we love recommending alternative wedding registries to supplement or even replace the traditional china, towel, and linens. These days, the Internet makes it possible to register for anything under the sun, including donations to worthy causes, or even photos of your beloved pet.
Add this to the list of “why didn’t I think of that?” wedding registry ideas: Registering for experiences instead of things. After The Wedding Day was founded on the idea that relationships are made stronger not by what you have but by the time you spend together as a couple. Brides and grooms can register for tickets to a Dodger’s game or a performance at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, or even a Palm Springs getaway. It’s a perfect way to supplement your honeymoon or plan ahead for a special first anniversary.
While California is undeniably a wedding venue paradise, this state also doubles as a wildly popular honeymoon destination. And given the current state of the economy, how lucky are we to live in a place where a quick day trip can make us feel like we’re thousands of miles away from our daily lives?
For our 5th wedding anniversary, my husband Jaya and I decided to take a short trip from our hometown of Auburn to places we had each frequented separately in our early adulthood—but this time, we’d be together! The journey started in San Francisco, at the California Academy of Sciences. Since the new building was recently completed, this was not the Academy we remembered. Some elements are still there, though, like the massive pendulum that shows the movement of the earth, and the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton that once served as greeter to the scads of schoolchildren and other visitors.
Steinhart Aquarium was always my favorite part of the Academy. Jaya once worked here, donning a diving suit to take care of the tanks. The new facility didn’t disappoint us. Jaya and I wandered through exhibits of living jellyfish, coral reefs and tide pools with as much excitement as in our youth. Several exhibits amazed me with their sheer artistic composition. The animals showed off their vibrant colors and energy, like living paintings.
As we explored the aquarium, I couldn’t help but imagine the space as the backdrop to a fabulous event. Then we came to a glass tunnel, where we stood UNDER the water, looking up at the fish swimming above. I decided it would be the perfect spot to set up the bar! This was the lowest level of the four-story rain forest dome, which is just like stepping into that ecosystem, complete with colorful amphibians, as well as free-flying birds and butterflies.
Next, we drove down the coast to stay at the Davenport Roadhouse in the tiny town of Davenport, just 10 minutes from Santa Cruz. Our room was very comfortable, with rustic wooden love seats outside the door to let us take full advantage of the ocean view. We ate in the Roadhouse Restaurant, a large room with brick walls and a cheery fireplace, where I had the best risotto I’ve ever tasted. We’ll definitely return here in the future.
The next day we visited Año Nuevo State Reserve. I once gave elephant seal tours here as part of a course at UCSC. If you want to go, you need to get tickets in advance, but it’s easy to do. Visit their website and you can book months ahead. The tours take place rain or shine, as Jaya and I found out, getting more than a little wet on the three-mile trek! However, the animals were more active in the rain, so we thought it was well worth it.
Next on the agenda was a trip to Half Moon Bay, but more on that in my next post…
To get you in the wedding mood, here’s a little inspiration from her own blog, Brown Bag:
Sure, I’m a floral designer, but sometimes, I’m a seamstress, other times a floral engineer, and more important, a decorator. I like to think outside the scope of flowers. To be ahead of the times, one must embrace and craft her way through the craze of DIY, eco-green, and shabby chic movements.
Here’s my project for the week that is affordable, great for DIY, but also something exceptionally charming to show that floral designers aren’t necessarily wedded to flowers.
3 Dainty floral buttons
2 Medium floral buttons
1 Bolt of matching ribbon
1 Roll floral tape
1 Box of pins
Medium gauge green wire
Step 1. Loop green wire through button holes, then cover wire with floral tape.
Step 2. Once all buttons are individually secured, place them accordingly.
Step 3. To keep the button boutonniere together, pinch the 5 wires tightly and secure with green floral tape from the top to the button.
Step 4. Cut off any remaining wire so the stem measures no longer than 2.5 inches.
Step 5. Wrap your choice of ribbon from bottom to top, and secure with a straight pin. Make sure the pin does not poke through the front! You don’t want to accidentally poke someone when you pin this on them.