Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Day

I am such a dunce. Really. We had a massive blizzard yesterday, which started as soon as we began our journey back from north country. Got home and promptly ran to the grocery store to pick up, well, everything because we live like frat boys and perpetually have nothing in the house, and snuggled in for a long winter's night (sans kerchief, I'm afraid).

This morning, I call the emergency service line at work, which announces that, despite blizzard warnings, the office is open. Defeated, I go about my morning routine foolishly thinking that if I leave a few minutes early, I'll be fine. Remind you, this is early morning and I am entirely sober: what the hell was I thinking? To make matters more ridiculous, I opine, "Don't forget to bust out your knee-high snow boots...oh, and you should wear a skirt to make sure your pants don't get wet." Right - we were beaten with snow and I think that the trusty "7" train, which ceases to run with the slightest hint of precipitation, will safely get me to work. And that a skirt (an article I rarely wear) is an excellent garment, ideal for hurdling snow drifts.

I head outside and *holy crap* there is snow everywhere. I manage to waddle down the street to see the "7" train creeping along the tracks. SWEET - the train is running! By the time I ascend the stairs, which incidentally have not been cleared, and learn from the 50+ people huddled together that there is no Manhattan-bound service and the Flushing-bound side is equally sketchy. So much for NY1 broadcasters, who announced all morning that the "7" was the only line not experiencing difficulty. Ah, the media: long on opinion, yet short on fact.

I waddle back down to ground level and walk headlong up Queens Blvd. (a.k.a. The Boulevard of Death), as the sidewalks are unnavigable. Waiting in the excessively long line yields no results: no buses and no cabs, just relentless wind. I abandon all heroics and stagger home, but not without neighborly assistance: a young man literally gives me a hand traversing the snow mound, and a neighboring Super braces herself on an iron fence while hurling me over the mound she is in the midst of shoveling. The Christmas spirit reigns in Sunnyside, Queens.

So, it's been a snow day. Or I'll be fired. We'll see.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Festivus...I mean, Christmas

Well, Christmas is here...again. I think I've proven by now that I favor Halloween, but I suppose I can rally the spirit of celebration.

Today we haul ass back up north to party with the fam. In preparation, I headed over to Grand Central Market yesterday afternoon (after being released from the Dark Tower (a.k.a. work) at 1pm). Upon arrival, I was pleasantly surprised to find few patrons; however, mere minutes later, the gates of hell opened and an innumerable number of bodies were swarming the premises.

It was so crowded that I lasted long enough to grab two focaccia breads from Zaro's bakery, dodge a near black eye from guy flailing his arms at Murray's Cheese, and avoid being trampled by some idiot wielding a SUV-style baby carriage (in the Market - really? This was a conscious choice?).

Paltry treats in hand, I abandon my mission and, after riding a monumentally full (and odoriferous) train home, I arrive at the Sunnyside Post Office. Again, I was pleasantly surprised to find only one person preceding me on line. However, by the time I was assisted, the line grew tenfold and people were winding out the door.

Packages retrieved, I journey next to a lovely pastry shop to see if can find some cannolis (or something equally delicious and fattening), but, alas, the pastries had been picked over until there was nothing, save a lone bran muffin.

Defeated, I stagger home. Plop on the couch. And refuse to move for the rest of the evening. Merry Christmas.

Today, we must now gather the items I failed to retrieve yesterday, get on a commuter train (damn you, Grand Central), and make our way north.

Dear baby Jesus, on this eve of your birth, please give me the strength.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar eclipse

As the sun is now peeping into our windows, I realize that our top-down shade in the living room is lowered. I know my husband slept poorly last night (hence laundry morning over gym morning), so perhaps he caught a glimpse? Alas, I am sad I missed it, but I am a grown-up and must suffer the consequences.

Zoning out

These days I feel like staring at a blank wall in total silence. There's been a little too much over-stimuli invading my senses these days: Christmas in New York is a wonderland of crowds, lights, crowds staring at lights, cloying music, cloying crowds chatting loudly over music...I could go on, but y'all get the drift. Hah - at least we don't have snow drifts...yet.

Right now I am relishing in the relative silence of my home at 7.05am. All I hear is the ticky-typing of keys and the howling wind outside. I am also perusing photos of last night's lunar eclipse. Part of me is kicking myself for not clambering outside to view it myself, but the other half of me - you know, the one that has to go to work today - is happy I stayed nestled in bed.

It's laundry day again (didn't I just do that?) and I am happy to report that I have not seen another soul wandering the building. It might be a good day, after all. God bless us, every one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I interrupt the lovefest for some needed bitching...

Okay, I'm going to divert my attentions from the wedding lovefest for a little needed bitching. It's currently 7.09am ET and I have slept poorly, so please forgive.

I generally avoid people like the plague. When one lives in NYC, as I do, one is chronically surrounded by...well, everyone. This being the case, I go out of my way to do most activities during off-peak hours. (Sadly, my M-F, 9-5 job precludes me from doing this all the time.)

Anyway, I slept terribly last night and still managed to rouse myself at 6am, so I could go downstairs *in peace* to do my laundry. At 6.15am, I manage to run into four of my neighbors. Three of whom are RETIRED. What the hell? Why can't you people stay tucked into your apartments until after rush hour? I mean, you have ALL DAY to do your laundry, recycle, grocery shop, holiday shop (I could go on), but NOOOOO, you feel the unbridled pull to do all of these chores when the rest of we office schleps are forced do ours.

Deep breaths - good thing it's Monday and I have another long week ahead of me.

Sincerely,
Ebenezer "the Grinch" Scrooge

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Bronx Zoo

Yesterday we drove to Poughkeepsie to collect the wedding presents my parents were kind enough to accept on our behalf (ah, the plight of those who live in NYC sans doorman).

En route we passed the Bronx Zoo and, despite the deepest desire to pull in and say hello to our wildlife friends, we soldiered on choosing instead to reminisce about our numerous visits whilst planning the wedding. We were so lucky to be able to host our wedding at such a unique and personally meaningful venue, and love the fact that when we do return we will always have such fond memories.

I have provided much commentary about our experience working with the zoo and it was, overall, fantastic. I definitely think that, as this is a new event space, the staff is experiencing "growing pains," but I can honestly say that they were attentive and flexed their creative muscles to ensure that we had a day that reflected us.

On the day, we were so touched by the effort made by the the staff. First, because they also loved our awesome invitations, they borrowed the design graphic and used it to create the menus. Second, when we entered the the Schiff Hall we were blown away by the decor; they embraced our Halloween overtones and decked the place out accordingly - everything looked elegant and festive. Finally, when the ceremony concluded a member of the catering staff came up to the bridal suite bearing us giant cups filled with our Unity Cocktail beverage (*) as well as a sampling of all the appetizers; we can blissfully say that we did not miss out on a single food item we selected.

We look back at our experience and are so grateful for the staff at the zoo. Tim, Keira, and Katherine are creative, flexible, and fun people, dedicated not only to ensuring that you have a wonderful time at your event, but also in the effort to preserve wildlife. What more could we ask for?

* The Unity Cocktail has yet to be mentioned. Since several of our guests were following the blog, I kept certain "surprise" elements a secret. We mentioned this idea to Katherine months before the day, and she loved the idea. After weeks of sampling cocktails, Katherine was instrumental in narrowing down our options. The day before, we dropped in to taste several bourbon-based drinks before deciding on Chapel Hill:

1 1/2 oz. Bourbon
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1 tbsp. Lemon Juice

It was light, fresh, delicious, and a wonderful way for us to incorporate our parents in the ceremony, plus it served as our Specialty Cocktail for our guests, making it a wonderful way to tie the ceremony into the cocktail hour.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Milestone Images

I can't say enough about Angie Gaul, of Milestone Images. Let's just say she had me at fuckwittage.

Yes, this is the Offbeat Bride article where I first developed my crush on Angie. Upon reading, I knew she was the photographer for us and, so, I frantically checked her calendar to see if she was free on October 23, 2010. I immediately sent her a request and she responded within hours. How can a photographer resist shooting a wedding at the Bronx Zoo?

Anyway, after a few email exchanges, Angie gives me a call in the midst of a terrible blizzard - she was, at the time, working for an upstate paper and was en route to photograph an accident (speaking, of course, on her hands-free cell). Happily, the accident yielded no injuries, so we snuggled in for a breakdown of her wedding package.

Well, we ended up chatting for at least an hour and I fell in love with her whirlwind personality - she is chatty, personable, and generous of spirit. I hung up and wanted her to not only be my photographer, but my friend.

If you are EVER in need of a photographer, I wholeheartedly recommend Angie. She is absolutely the best.

(In keeping with my insistence of avoiding posting overtly personal information about myself or loved ones on this blog, I am not providing a link to the preview shots of my wedding - if you are interested, please comment on this post and I can get you the specifics!)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Nasty Little Cold

Man, this little cold of mine is taking on a life of its own. I've tried to kill it with wine, I've tried to pacify it with pizza, and I've tried denying it even exists (denial is a forté of mine; it's genetic, I think) - all to no avail.

In preparation for all the loot we received for the wedding, we are tackling the kitchen cabinets. Why on Earth do we have a meat dehydrator, anyway? We are getting rid of the old and making room for the new. I'll hack my way through the process and then it's time to begin the online Christmas shopping extravaganza!

Wow, this is a lame-ass post. I just felt the pressing obligation to write; however, my head is so cloudy and I am literally mouth-breathing, so perhaps I shouldn't have bothered? I'm thinking that is the case...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Giving Thanks

I know, I know...it's been ages since my last post. I have committed the cardinal sin of social media; however, between Thanksgiving and a nasty little cold, I've been otherwise engaged.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, my husband and I took the pilgrimage (get it? Pilgrims!) to my parent's house for the big event. Upon entering their home, I quickly became the unwilling cream to a proverbial Retriever cookie sandwich - a massive Golden Retriever sniffing my crotch and an equally massive Labrador Retriever sniffing my butt. Drink one.

After shooing away these beastly dogs, I am greeted by my father who says, "Love, I've been reading your blog and, I have to say, it's gotten really boring." Drink two.

Several drinks later (and a snuggle with my nieces), I am back on track and ready for the bird.

In all seriousness, though, we spent the greater part of last week compiling a honeymoon picture slideshow, so that we might include it in a special thank you posed to those that attended our wedding. Although I will not include said slideshow here, I will include the text (I was reminded last night during a lecture on social media that there really is no such thing as data privacy, so I choose not to advertise myself any more than necessary). I'll post some discrete pics on a later post, as well as review each city we visited.

*******************************

Dear friends and family ~

As we approach Thanksgiving we thought it appropriate to express our gratitude to all of you for being part of our lives and for sharing in our wedding day festivities.

We never thought we would host a wedding celebration and often found ourselves questioning why a couple would devote such time, energy, and money on a single day out of their whole lives. Well, now that we have experienced it, the answer is so clear that we are humbled: the love and good will we felt on that day, and in the days since, has reminded us of life’s importance. To sit in a room surrounded by those you love – eating, drinking, and laughing as we did – is so joyful that it is abundantly obvious to us why such celebrations exist.

Saturday night we sat down with a bottle of champagne to open a letter from the City Clerk containing our marriage certificate. We followed this momentous event by opening wedding cards, and we are not ashamed to admit that we were moved by the sentiments and overwhelming generosity bestowed upon us. Although some of you may blame the bubbly, we can honestly say that our emotions were solely driven by our happiness in knowing we have such wonderful friends and family.

We wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving and look forward to writing each of you personally in the weeks to come.

*******************************

God bless us, every one!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

High Voltage Sounds

Our DJ, Vinny from High Voltage Sounds, was recommended to us by some friends and we are so glad we took their advice, as we had a rockin' good time.

Prior to the event we were asked to provide a Music Request List and, as former musicians, we definitely went a little overboard, providing no less than four pages of popular and obscure tunes. Vinny unearthed most, producing one bizarre, yet awesome, set list! (We also encouraged our guests to suggest a song on their RSVP cards.)

I can't begin to tell you what it felt like to sit down and hear Ani DiFranco serenading me while I tucked into my dinner. This shocked me into the moment, thinking, "Wow! I love pumpkin ravioli and Leffe beer and...is that Ani DiFranco?!?!" That is a distinct benefit of hosting one's own party - one gets what one pays for!

The rave review:
  1. Vinny knew this was a crew of dancing fools and made sure the songs were balanced between upbeats and ballads.

  2. Brilliantly, Vinny withholds the microphone from the masses, making certain that all requests to speak are cleared by the bride and groom. All drunken sentiments are pre-screened!

  3. The price is right! I contacted roughly four DJs and HV Sounds was, by far, the most reasonably priced. We may have had to go the extra mile by producing a song list, but wouldn't one want to do that anyway?! I can't imagine hosting a party where the dreadful Taylor Swift is booming over the airwaves. I don't tolerate whiny prepubescent warbling and nor should you.
The so-so review:
  1. Vinny is sometimes difficult to reach by phone, which is usually fine with me, as I prefer e-mail; however, I was a little perturbed when I scheduled a call a few days before the event and Vinny didn't pick up his phone. I left a voice mail message, which he didn't return, but ended up reaching him via e-mail.

  2. The entrance song we requested was "The Circle of Life" from the Lion King Soundtrack. Now, had the aforementioned conversation occurred, he would have realized that we specifically wanted the wailing Broadway version, but we ended up with the mellow Elton John version. When we picked the song, we laughed hysterically. At the wedding, however, we sighed disappointingly.

  3. Vinny usually arrives an hour before the event, but I think he and his partner got lost coming to the zoo (an easy thing, given the multiple entrances). As I walked through the hall during the cocktail hour, I absentmindedly murmured aloud, "Hmmm...where's the DJ?" Little did I know this simple comment launched my MOH, Best Man, and Event Coordinator into panic mode. All three were on cell phones faster than a monkey can fling poop. Luckily Vinny was unloading his stuff outside at the moment and all was right in the animal kingdom.
All-in-all, we had an awesome time and I recommend HV Sounds to anyone looking to kick off their heels and dance the night away!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sal & Dom's - Lovefest Review

I learned of Sal & Dom's Pastry Shop by way of the trusty Internet, but the glories of their pastries were well-supported by my Bronx-dwelling co-workers.

I can't say enough about Sal & Dom's - their treats are scrumptious and moderately priced, and Millie, who designed our elegant Halloween-themed cake, was so helpful and lovely.

I know we live in Queens, but I assure you that we will travel to Sal & Dom's for all our future cake needs!

The only sad part is that the majority of this gorgeous cake ended up being tossed down the garbage shoot this morning. It broke my heart, but it had to be done.

You see, we ordered a decorative cake to feed approximately 40 people and a sheet cake to be sliced for the rest. Well, the sheet cake must have been HUGE, as it fed all 75 guests. Subsequently the decorated cake (minus a single slice used for the cake cutting ceremony) was boxed up and given to us at night's end.

So, what does one do with an extraordinarily delicious 2-tiered cake? Well, we loaded up 4 tupperware containers and froze them, force-fed vast quantities to our Matron of Honor and Best Man, and then had roughly 4 slices for breakfast on the morning we departed on our honeymoon (which was, perhaps, not the wisest decision, but it's not like we had to fit into formal wear, so what the hell?).

Then, driven by Irish guilt and desperation, we put the rest of it in a sealed cake container. And then left on a 2-week honeymoon...

Well, this morning I walked into the kitchen and was bitch-slapped with the strangest odor...the cake had melted in the cake container. It oozed chocolate all over the table and took on the odor of fermenting apples. It was so sad, but clearly the time had come to throw out the cake. I dribbled it into a bag, scrubbed the container, and said a parting thank you to the cake that served us well.

Then I went to the gym and cursed it for making my gut jiggle like Santa's whilst running on the treadmill.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Let the Lovefest Begin!

As promised, I feel compelled to praise the many vendors who made my wedding day nearly perfect!

First on the docket: Etsy. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to the craftspeople whose creativity far exceeds my own! I purchased the following and am humbled by their beauty...

Krystle with Feathers and Frills created a custom hair fascinator, shoe clips and boutonniere for the day. They are, in a word, stunning and made me feel so glamorous! I will surely keep these for the rest of my life and loan them (maybe!) to fulfill my future brides' requisite "Something Borrowed."




Next, Rock Star Hottie whipped up these saucy wrist clutches, which I gave to my Bridesmaids filled with makeups and hair accessories:











And, finally, Pam of Curran's of Vermont designed this delicate necklace, which perfectly matched the heirloom earrings I borrowed.













With the help of these artisans I looked and felt fierce. Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day; I not only looked my best, but did so at the hands of remarkable craftspeople, who share not only their talents, but a piece of themselves with everything they create.

Thank you, Etsy!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lotta wedding talk

Man, settling back in from a two week vacation is tedious enough, but answering a billion questions about a wedding makes it downright exhausting!

I swear I have told more people about the day and the honeymoon than I ever dreamed was possible. I think that is why I have not posted anything to this blog since our return!

Next steps for me here in my online world is to review each vendor with whom we worked. After all, one of the driving forces behind my writing this blog was to guide other non-brides down a less bumpy path.

Reviews to come...right now I have to get ready to go to work. The Dark Tower awaits...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We're ba-ack...

We got back from our honeymoon last night at 11pm ET. We proceeded to wake at 5am ET. Or was it 6am? Damn Daylight Saving (which, incidentally, we already experienced last week in Europe). I have no idea what time it is...

Anyway, we had a great time and, as I am hellaciously jet-lagged, I cannot muster the strength for humor; I can merely recall facts:
  • we drank a lot of beer
  • we took over 300 photos
  • in Glasgow I pet an owl (no, really, I PET an owl)
  • in Amsterdam we visited Dutch zoo animals
  • in Ghent, where torture was apparently a national pastime, we toured a medieval castle
It's a funny thing coming home after being away for 2 weeks. The simplicity of grabbing coins from one's pocket and rapidly knowing which value is applied to which is fantastically relaxing.
Moreover, there is a beauty knowing that one can leave one's home sans map and locate, well, everything. And, finally, television here is a revelation: outside of a BBC program (sorry, programme) Have I Got News For You and a show (name escapes me) featuring the sublime Noel Fielding, there was surprisingly little cheek. I need a hearty dose of sarcasm and irreverence to survive.

Speaking of, I just re-read my post from post-wedding and I must recant the bit about my hair, which I said looked "fine." Awesome Angie sent us some preview photos and, damn, that is some jacked-up hair. I could have done better if I just rolled out of bed and tacked it up myself. Further, the majority of photos show me with my semi-grown-out bangs dangling in my eye because they just aren't long enough to remain tucked behind my ear. Boots (my MOH) found a small bobby pin on the ground and we used it to pin them back for the ceremony.

That's right: I found a bobby pin on the ground at the zoo...and then stuck it in my own hair. Hey, that's how I roll. I didn't want to make a deal about the wedding and do a trial run for some hair, but now I completely see the benefit.

Pictures of the honeymoon to come...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Call theNYPD

So the wedding went off without a hitch!!

I was a little freaked out when the hair stylist admitted 3/4 of the way through the session that he is colorist and that the woman who usually does up-dos was on vacation. After 4 attempts at a French Twist, I told him just to pull it up and stick the awesome feather fascinator in it. He did, it was fine.

Then, after our first photo, I managed to leave my bouquet on a pillar - never to be seen again. The NYPD - I kid you not - was called in to look for it, but alas, it is gone forever. That is some bad mojo for whoever picked it up and didn't return it...

It was a great time and it has been described as "memorable" so I am happy.

We are packing for the honeymoon, so this will be unsatisfactory and brief...it was a great day, though - from the weather to the food to the company: we had a wonderful time!

More posts to come - there will be stories of Glasgow, Amsterdam, and Ghent! Wooooooot!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Aleny's Prima Tailor & Dressmaker needs to wash her hands

As a follow-up: I just tried on my dress and there is a stain on the right breast (this is in addition to the stain I saw by the buttons last week and called to her attention). Unbelievable. It looks like makeup? I am trying not to blow a gasket, but I paid this woman $240 for minimal - and it would seem - careless work.

I am by no means a Bridezilla, but I cannot let this slide. Now I have to call and leave a message (she is not there at 4.39pm on a Friday) and alert her to her incompetence. I don't want to be mean, but she has to know that I am unhappy and disappointed. This is ivory silk taffeta, one would expect utmost care. There is nothing she (or I, for that matter) can do except hope that no one notices...or that I am so radiant the streak can't be seen.

This woman came so well reviewed online and she was so nice when she took my measurements...little did I know she was secretly Nosferatu.

Tomorrow is the Big Day

Well I have to confess - I almost shit a diamond this week. I had absolutely no idea how stressful the week before a wedding can be.

On Wednesday alone I was: A) blind-sided with the last minute detail that I needed to get an insurance policy for $1,000,000.00 / $2,000,000.00 (yes, those are millions...and in US dollars) and B) finally received my finalized proposal and invoice.

On Thursday I had a migraine and was practically rendered useless.

Today I am feeling much better and have very little to accomplish - I dropped off stuff at the zoo, tasted some specialty cocktails, and got a manicure / pedicure (red polish, of course).

In 90 minutes we'll have our rehearsal and then it's off to dinner. First, I will take the time whilst alone to try on my dress for the final time to find out if I can have beer tonight (if that puppy is snug, it will be seltzer all night long)!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Not sleeping...no gym...PPT abounds

I have to confess that sometimes the early morning is wonderful. In New York City one doesn't get a great deal of A) quiet and B) time to be entirely alone. This morning I have both and I am grateful.

We are 2 days to the wedding and yesterday I thought my head was going to explode. The Zoo can't seem to get its act together...we have yet to pay them because until last night at roughly 7.46pm we didn't have a corrected proposal. Yup, 2 families descending on me whom I have promised food and booze and I have not yet paid for food and booze. For those of you that know me, I am extremely organized and firmly believe in preparedness, so this turn of events has my lower intestine crying and my right eye relentlessly twitching. Oh, and they failed to mention over the past 10 months that we are required to provide a certificate of insurance for the event to the tune of $1,000,000 policy and $2,000,000 aggregate. We learned that yesterday at 2.53pm...3 days before the wedding.

Then on the work front, a project I have been trying to complete since June may once again be pushed off owing to petty decisions. And I stunned myself when I pulled some Quantitative Research Analysis lingo out of my butt during a meeting. My skin crawled (see posts from May for a gentle reminder has to how much I loathed that course).

Anyway, I am up now working on a PPT slide for use at the rehearsal. One can always use visual supplements. Have I mentioned I am extremely organized and firmly believe in preparedness?

Yes, I did.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

No purkin' patch for us this year

Because we are under the weather, we are sadly not going to the pumpkin patch this year. We specifically set aside this weekend to gather pumpkins and gourds for decorations, but, alas, it is not to be. Instead I went to the local grocery store and was gouged for some gourds (paid by the pound).

Anyway, this will be a short post as I need to get ready for the gym: have to keep my immune system cranking.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It's not a tumor

I guess there has been too much excitement...we are both sick. Antibiotics abound and I have a swollen gland on the back of my neck the size of a golf ball (it's not a tumor). As a former singer, I am well acquainted with my lymph nodes and this one is ANGRY.

In the hopes of curtailing the spread, we slept separately last night. I think it's old-school romantic...you know, because we are not yet married.

I think I need someone to lance this thing...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stood Up

I am having the kind of week where I might punch someone in the throat. Day after day I am met with blatant incompetence, laziness, or indifference either from various contractors with whom I am dealing at work or from the various vendors I have contracted for this wedding.

Today, I was stood up for a fitting at the tailor's. You know, the one that charged me a $100 deposit. Now I have to go back to see her on Tuesday, 10/19 and she guarantees me that the work will be done on Wednesday, 10/20.

I am taking deep breaths before I have to continue with my work day. I am spending the remainder of my lunch hour (while scarfing down some stress-reducing, this-will-come-back-later-to-bite-me McDonald's) and venting on this blog. There is no need for an unsuspecting colleague to suffer the wrath - they didn't do anything wrong.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm exhausted

Well, I think it's finally happened: I am really, genuinely over planning this wedding. I just want to eat and drink and have a good time.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Haunted...House...Crawl

So we had our fun Bachelor / Bachelorette party last night. And instead of a pub crawl, we all decided to just stay in. Sadly our neighborhood pubs have yet to decorate for Halloween, so that makes for a lame Haunted Pub Crawl. Since the house was decorated and the booze and food flowing, we opted to stay in.

I'm sure there will be yet more photos of me asleep in the midst of all the festivities, but that's how I roll. I nap and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A little dispirited

Remember when I commented that as soon as one mentions "Wedding" the cost gets jacked up? Well, I came from Aleny's and am a little shell-shocked.

She is adding a few buttons, tacking the front of the dress where it overlaps (so I don't over expose myself), and putting in some snaps to conceal bra straps. And the deposit was $100. This is dispiriting. I could have lied and told her it was a costume, but it's a hard sell when you are standing there holding an ivory taffeta dress with lace.

Every couple will tell you that they were nickle and dimed just before their wedding, but it does kind of weigh on the soul.

M&J Trimming

I have to confess: I have been blogging less frequently mainly because I am overwhelmed with planning, work, and life. However, my lack of postings is also owing to the fact that I generally access the link to the blog via our wedding website, which counts down the days until the wedding, which causes me to panic a little bit...we are at 14 days. That's 2 weeks.

Well, I got through the momentary panic long enough to give a shout-out to M&J Trimming. This place is nothing short of magical: buttons, beads, ribbons, lace — it's enough to make anyone positively girlie. I bought a few accessories that I may or may not use, but that's okay as the trip was so entertaining that it's worth the minimal cost.

I also relished a tiny bit in "being the bride." There was a trio of women there shopping for bridal details and they adopted me into their fold: the wedding tribe. Jenna, an artist, was very helpful and I am always grateful for a second opinion (especially from those so visually inclined).

Anyway, I'm off now. I have to visit the seamstress this morning. I'll leave the blog site up so to be sure to post consistently over the weekend...I have to tell all about my work bridal shower and will recap tonight's Haunted Pub Crawl event!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The BusBank

Every time I think of renting this bus, I recall the expression, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."

Part of me thinks that we are so clever, offering transportation for 75% of our guest list. I mean, so many are traveling in for our event and driving in New York City is not for the faint of heart.

The other part chastises myself for foolishly putting nearly all of guests in the hands of a bus company that will - if the Better Business Bureau can be trusted - get them there on time and in one piece.

I'm not a gambling person by nature, but the dice are on the table and I have my fingers crossed.

PS - Tony from the BusBank is a very affable guy and the company gives the impression of being highly capable. If they turn out to be otherwise, our honeymoon will take a diversion to Chicago so I can kick some Butt(Bank).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's a mystery to me

In this post I ask a simple question: How hard is it to place a check mark next to a box and throw a pre-stamped RSVP postcard into a mailbox?

Well, if you ask the 26 people who have yet to RSVP to our wedding, I'm sure they would say it's exceptionally hard.

And the thing that really kills me is that we sent a Save the Date in April...let's not act like the wedding is a surprise, folks, you've had 5 months to figure out babysitter plans, transportation plans, kennel plans, etc. But, no, you'd rather wait until AFTER the response deadline to contact the bride directly with your numerous problems, which have precluded your prompt response. I expected this to happen, but it baffles me nonetheless.

PS - should you ever find yourself beginning a conversation with:
  • "I know this this isn't your problem, but...";
  • "I hate to bother you because I know you are really stressed and busy..."; or
  • "I know you have a lot going on right now, but..."

...stop speaking. No, really, shut the hell up.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Bus

Okay, so one of the last major pieces of the puzzle is renting a bus to transport 50 guests from Sunnyside, Queens to the Bronx Zoo. A challenge, I assure you.

I have contacted several transportation companies today and my favorite has to be from CitiVans. I call and speak to Jenny, who grapples with English and sounds as if she is under water. I explain what I am looking for:

2 buses that seat 24-28 people each to transport 50 passengers from Sunnyside, Queens to the Bronx Zoo on October 23rd from 3.30pm-11.30pm.

She emails me a quote for 2 buses: one on September 29th and one on October 23rd for one hour a piece. This woman is their sales representative?!

I am trying really hard to find the humor in this so that I might properly entertain my readers, but I can't. Today I have lost my sense of humor.

I then contact BusBank and the very helpful (and English-speaking native) Tony offers me a decent quote and kindly suggests that one large charter bus that seats 55 people is the best option. I have a couple of feelers out there, but Tony might be the winner.

With my luck I can envision two thirds of my guests hanging out at a hotel waiting for a bus that never shows. This will be my recurring nightmare as we lead up to the wedding. I just know it. May Tony save the day...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Accessories


Now that I know people are actively reading this blog, I am screening a few aspects of the wedding; there are a few things that are so dear to me that I don't want to ruin the surprise. I'll give a hint about one of these elements: Accessories.

I am a big fan of a site called Etsy, which my sister introduced me to a few years ago. Etsy is an online community of artisans, designers, craftspeople, etc. who sell their wares on this online repository. Etsy is craft porn and I am an addict.

I am a minimally crafty person, but these people are extraordinary. I suppose these are the folks that when watching House Hunters on HGTV talk about how some room (that's bigger than my bedroom here in NYC) would be "just darling for a craft room!" And I always think, "Who the hell needs a room dedicated to crafts?!" These people do.

Anyway, I have been in conversations with Rock Star Hottie and Feathers and Frills, ordering custom accessories and bridal party gifts. I'm going to cruise shortly for a necklace - I need something to match the beautiful earrings my mother is lending me...the earrings she wore on her wedding day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I want to be a boy...and eat at Floresta every day

Last night we ventured into Men's Wearhouse to pick out tuxes. Originally, I figured the gents would just wear suits, but it was decided that tux rentals would be cheaper and easier. And we all know I'm all for cheap and easy.

Anyway, we get over there and the street is barricaded - President Obama was in town, so all of Manhattan was at a stand-still. You know: if they are going to close the streets every time the man hits the island, the least they can do is drive him around waving for photo-ops. I mean, how rude.

I digress: we finally get into Men's Wearhouse where it takes a whopping 20 minutes to pick out the style, color, shoes, and accessories for 4 grown men. Simply brilliant. I know what you are thinking: I can't complain, seeing as all I did was perform an online search, have my measurements taken, and sit back for a custom dress to arrive at my doorstep, but, man, Men's Wearhouse makes me want to be a boy.

By the way, for those of you coming to Sunnyside for the Big Event: we went to a new restaurant (post-Wearhouse) called Floresta and it was phenomenal. Because they just opened they do not yet have their liquor license, but the food was so good that we didn't miss the beer and wine. The house salad was towering and delectable, and the Churrasco steak I ordered rivaled Delaware in size. We are sharing the leftovers tonight for dinner (yes, sharing the LEFTOVERS - that's how big this thing is). Try it!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Must Have Photos

When last we visited the Bronx Zoo it was suggested that we consult the interactive planner to create a photo itinerary for "must have" zoo shots. (How cool is this: we will be driven around in a golf cart taking pictures with our favorite zoo animals!)

This led me to do some online research regarding general "must have" shots. The results are nothing less than pathetically hysterical:
  • Close-up of groom's adorably nervous mug waiting for his other half
  • The buffet or, if having table service, a dinner serving
  • Intimate shots of bride and groom chatting with/crying with/hugging parents and siblings pre-ceremony
Some of these lists have hundreds of suggestions: and they are mostly lame, or so painfully obvious that I am curious as to how they even warrant mentioning (e.g., "Picture of bride and groom together"...really? Thanks, The Knot, I never would have thought of that on my own).

Naturally, I'll have to inform our ultra cool photographer, Angie Gaul from Milestone Images, that our list will likely look more like:
  • Bride dodging lemur throwing its own poo
  • Bride and groom laughing their heads off at monkey masturbating as it stands on the back of a tapir*
  • Bride and groom snapping pictures of the chinchilla humping the glass of its display case*
  • Close-up of bride and groom drinking Stella out of plastic cups while cursing people for not parenting their ill-behaved, sticky children*

*these events have actually taken place during past visit to national zoos. Now you can see why we love them; you never know what will happen

I am sure that in the long run we will have some fantastic photos that really reflect our day and our spirit. For that, I am grateful.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Millie is a goddess!

So we went to the Bronx yesterday to meet with Millie of Sal & Dom's bakery. She, like their pastries, is heavenly.

First, there was absolutely no judgment when I said I don't want a traditional wedding cake; Millie didn't bat an eye when she saw the wedding cake topper. Instead, she quickly whipped up a pencil drawing of what she had in mind, which was awesome and totally on-theme.

Second, we tasted two fillings: Bavarian Cream and Chocolate Mousse, both of which were superb. I could have eaten a bowl of the Bavarian Cream. I need to take a moment now, close my eyes and relive the experience...

Third, her presence was just so calming - I felt completely and utterly relaxed speaking with her. She is the kind of person that makes you think, "Everything will be okay." Her adorable grand kids came in and, I swear, I was jealous of those children. I want Millie to be my grandma.

Finally, and this (hah) takes the cake: we bought 3 cake-lets and one mini cannoli for the trip for the absurdly reasonable sum $3!

Three dollars.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Non-Shower


As much as I appreciate that folks want to throw me a bridal shower, I simply cannot stomach the notion. Sitting around eating overly sweet cake while opening cookwear sounds like an atrocious way to spend an afternoon. So, I've decided to throw myself a non-shower!

In a nutshell, I will email all of my female guests this weekend and ask them to set aside 3 hours on October 2nd to do something THEY enjoy doing!

As much as I really do need a zester, I would rather they tell their significant other / family / employer, “Damn, I have to go to Danielle’s stupid bridal shower!” …and then sneak out to do something they like, guilt-free!

Besides, a toilet paper veil would not improve my appearance, or my mood.

Look at this poor soul (thanks, Google Images!)...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I WON!!!!

So I found this fabu wedding cake topper online to the tune of $62. Upon further Internet searching, however, I was lucky enough to find it on eBay for $15.99.

I bid and WON! It's all mine!






I'm Giving a Concert ;)

In my quest to tick items off my Wedding To Do List, I have booked my hair and makeup appointment, as well as placed an order for flowers...only the vendors of these establishments do not know it is for my wedding. They think I am doing a concert on the Upper East Side.

I find it a supreme rip-off that make-up application costs $70; however, if it's WEDDING makeup, it costs $150. I'm sorry, what are they possibly going to achieve with the extra $80? Will I suddenly look like Giselle? I highly doubt it. Besides, I do not need the pomp and circumstance of Being The Bride. I am sure that makeup application is a lot easier when one doesn't feel obligated to drink champagne and have a photographer snapping photos.

I'm fairly confident the florist wouldn't pull the "wedding" fee on me, but I couldn't risk it.

This Saturday we go to Sal & Dom's bakery. Even though we do not plan on having a traditional wedding cake, I can't very well tell these folks it's a concert. Darn!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Signature Cocktail

So I had fun this week researching autumn-themed cocktails (heck, my beloved found one while we were vacationing at the Shore and insisted that he and our gracious host try it).

I learned that black vodka exists. Looks weird, but likely tastes A-okay!

I found a million and one apple cider recipes, some sites proving better than others.

Now, I'm not saying we'll try all of them, but I'm not averse to the challenge!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Death of Me

These invitations may be the death of me.

So far only one has been returned to sender, claiming insufficient postage; however, my brother informs me that his arrived with the same notice (although his kindly postal carrier stamped it "paid by carrier"). What a pile of nonsense - I bought a birthday card today from Papyrus that I swear weighs 5 pounds (replete with googly eyes and an alien spacecraft design) and I'm sure that will sail through. There is simply no way these demand more than the standard $0.44 postage.

Plus, doesn't the USPS appreciate that I wrote an entire term paper on the merits of stamps, positing that they serve as badges of identification for a country (similar to what a logo does for a corporation), thus perpetuating the brand of its country of origin? Ungrateful bastards.

I'm going to calm myself by researching autumn cocktails.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

$950 or a Broken Hip?

So, the Zoo event planners have alerted us to the fact that:

a) they do not have a dance floor in the hall,
b) they do not intend on purchasing one, and
c) the vendor they contract charges $950 to temporarily lay one

WHAT?! Yeah, I've been in a real funk about that for awhile: it's not necessarily the money; it's the principle. My dress didn't cost $950. My wedding ring, which I will wear for the rest of my life, didn't cost $950. The DJ, without whom there would be no dancing, didn't cost $950. Are we detecting a pattern?

Sure we can forgo the floor, but I am a born worrier and fret that someone will slip on the tiled floor, breaking a hip. Hmmm...tough call.

No going back now...

We mailed our invitations on Thursday, September 2nd. We also stopped over at the Diamond District and bought our wedding rings from the lovely Herman and his wife, whose name escapes me. Then we stopped at St. Andrew's pub and drank some Scottish brew. (We were freaked out and needed a drink to calm down.)

46 days to go...and nowhere near done planning.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crying

Here's the thing: I am my father's daughter. What I mean is that I weep at virtually everything. My dad gives a speech and there isn't a dry eye within a 5 mile radius. So, when it comes to the father/daughter dance, we could be in big trouble.

So far, we have kicked around the following:

The Garden Song (very sweet, but as my mother aptly pointed out, "What does that have to do with a wedding?" - totally reminds me of Free to be You and Me...awesome)

Daughter of Mine (Irish tune, guaranteed to make me weep uncontrollably)

Father and Daughter (a kicky little Paul Simon tune I have always liked, but also a weeper)

This could be harder than I imagined. Who would have thought such a sarcastic chick would be such a sensitive mush...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Soup

Although, we did just get word back from the caterers that there is a distinct possibility that I will have soup shooters as an hor d'oevre.

I love soup and on a fall evening it is heavenly.

Glue

This weekend I am up to my eyeballs in glue. 80 invitations that must be glued together: mattes, pocketfolds, inserts.

I am sniffing glue.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Funk

I confess: I was in a bit of a funk this week. The wedding is starting to feel oppressive and I am disappointed in myself for allowing it to affect me.

Yes, I loved Cards & Pockets, until I learned that the invitation inserts wouldn't print (too narrow for the printer). I loved my dress, until I recalled that I can't lift my arms in it. I loved the cool idea we had for our first dance, until I realized how much work it would entail.

Yup, just a funk. Today I feel better, but am reassessing the entire event. People say it should be fun, so I am going to start doing things that I want and stop obsessing (a major character flaw):

  1. The enclosures ended up printing fine on an alternate printer
  2. I will change into jeans and/or fun pajamas after the cake cutting, so I can be comfortable and dance
  3. I have a back-up song in mind for the first dance that cracks us up - our guests won't 'get it,' but that's okay

My mantra: I am a lazy bride.

Our goal: It's just our chance to throw a kick-a$$ party

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cards & Pockets

I have mentioned them before, but I wanted to give special props to Cards & Pockets.

I called the other day because I am a little apprehensive about our time line and was assured by the super-casual, yet learned, representative that turnaround time is 1-3 days! We purchased a color swatch deck and the colors are so gorgeous we had a difficult time deciding.

Of course, we have not yet placed our final order, but if the invitations turn out anything like I imagine they will (and with such great service) you can bet I'll be incorporating more of their products into the wedding, not to mention future events!

Tuna Tartar

We went and visited our new events planner at the Zoo, Katherine, and she's kind of Midwest dreamy. She was very laid back and everything she suggested was pretty darn exciting. Tuna tartar on little rice crackers and wasabi: YES! Leftover Leffe from a previous event set aside for us: YES! Butternut squash ravioli appetizer: YES! Chocolate linen: YES! She got us and frequently said things that were even more pleasing, such as, "I won't charge you extra for that." Katherine: YES!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The dress fits!

I have tried on the dress and it fits. It is figure flattering, too. The lace is far prettier than I imagined. In fact, the fabric all around is just beautiful and it is very sturdily constructed. And the best part? I didn't have to set one foot in a bridal salon. God bless Dolly Couture.

I confess that I did not react the way that I am "supposed" to react. My first instinct was that it looked like a costume, which essentially it is: I am playing the role of the bride. Every now and then I feel the hot breath of society on my neck, pressuring me to behave in ways in which I am not programmed. Television shows and magazines are truly warping reality - was I supposed to see my wedding dress and begin to weep? Didn't happen. Was I supposed to daydream about how people will react when they see it? Didn't happen (although I admit that I heard my mother's voice in the back of my mind opining that it wasn't at all what she thought I would pick). In truth, I kept thinking about when I worked at Connecticut Rep doing "Pirates of Penzance" and had a costume built for me - it felt the same way, only that the fabric and design were much more elegant.

Being tomboy-ish, I admit that I will likely change into jeans midway through the reception. It is my party, dammit, and I want to have a good time! I will never last 8+ hours in a dress, pumps, makeup and hair.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My dress has arrived!

...and, no, I haven't tried it on yet.

There is a stomach bug going around my office. I'm lucky number 3. So, instead of having the "trying on the dress wine fest" last night, I came home and ate bland chicken. Today I'm not faring any better. So, Carol, Boots and I will have the aforementioned fest on Monday once I've had the chance to recuperate and Carol gets back from a business trip. In the meantime, she tells me she'll wear the dress around the apartment cleaning and such, just to break it in for me. So kind.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My dress has shipped!

Unbelievable! I just checked my email and my wedding dress has shipped already! It has been a mere 7 weeks since I placed my order.

Confession time: I celebrate no fewer than 11 birthdays in the month of July (seriously, I know October is chilly, but did EVERY couple need to jump in the sack to warm up? I mean, make some tea, thrown on a sweater, sit in a sauna!), so I have been eating and drinking far more than usual. And my standard intake of beer easily exceeds that of a normal human, who are we kidding?

I'm nervous. Really nervous. I don't know if I can pull off an honest-to-God real dress. What if I look fat? What if it doesn't button? What if I don't like it?

I'll go pour myself a drink to calm down. Luckily, I'll have my Maid of Honor, Boots, and my fabulous colleague and friend, Carol, there when I try it on. Carol can order wine from the liquor store around the corner and they deliver it. Score one for Manhattan.

I Do Foundation smackdown. Winner: Emmaus House

Okay. Being half hippie, I was researching a way to make my registries profitable for those less fortunate then myself and my fiance; after all, we have lived together for 13 years: if we don't have it, we likely don't need it. Thus, our mindset is that we should spread our good fortune and what better way than through the generosity of our family and friends?

I recognize, however, that some or our brethren may find this disconcerting; therefore, we have taken stock of our smallish NYC apartment (790 square feet) and have created a list of items that are in dire need of replacing (e.g., our poor blender whose base has been cracked for 2 months, the 4-year-old sheets that are paper thin, the colander that has melted on the left-hand side, etc.).

So, in our effort to "do good" for this event that will cost more that the down payment for our aforementioned smallish NYC apartment, I did a little online research and came across the "I Do Foundation." Although it does not get the strongest review from the Better Business Bureau, I decided to register with them anyway.

The premise is that they partner with popular retailers and a percentage of the base value of registry items are donated to charities of our choosing. Simple? Not as much as I had hoped. First, Bed Bath and Beyond is not a partner organization. What?! They are the holy grail of wedding registries! Second, higher-end stores (e.g. Crate and Barrel, Williams Sonoma, etc.) can only be accessed if one registers first with WeddingChannel.com. This boils down to registering to a minimum of 3 sites just to get some stupid sheets and a 3% donation (i.e., $30) to Global Fund for Women. I think I'll just write a check.

In their defense, I easily linked a Target registry (which, frankly, I set up solely for one item for which I have been pining for months) and then decided that I would direct my more philanthropic guests to Emmaus House in Albany, NY, which is NOT a non 501(c)3, but is near and dear to my heart.

Taking the tenets of Emmaus House to heart, I have been reminded of something today: a charitable organization DOES NOT have to be tax exempt to do good and that most times simplicity is at your fingertips, if you are willing to reach out and grab it.

For more information on Emmaus House, or (better still!) to donate, please visit:
http://www.catholicworker.org/communities/commlistall.cfm#NY

Monday, July 19, 2010

Zazzle Stamps

Wow, I have been remiss in posting - probably because I am actually busy planning! I found out, however, that a few of my guests are actually reading this blog, so I apologize for the lapse.

Okay - fun item today: Stamps! Through Zazzle, I was able to purchase (and, in some instances, customize) fun skeleton-themed stamps. There were so many fabulous images that I ended up buying 5 different designs.

The invitation is going well. We opted to design our own and are pleased with how it looks onscreen, but have run into challenges when it prints. Our adjustments thus far have proved promising, but there are a few more hurdles to jump before we declare them finished. We are excited about them, so I am not posting an image until after our guests receive them - sorry, no sneak peek on this one!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sal & Dom's Pastry Shop

Passing on the estimated $850 bill from the Pink Cake Box, we are opting to stay local.

After doing a quick Internet search, and receiving a glowing recommendation from a former bride and local Bronxian, I contacted Sal & Dom's Pastry Shop. They are as sweet as their name implies and are willing to meet with us to discuss a Halloween-themed non-traditional wedding cake.

Check out their adorable seasonal cakes (hover over the holiday for a snapshot).


Too cute!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Little Freaked Out

Okay, so today I am a little freaked out about the wedding planning. I'm just a little overwhelmed. I was looking up something on Offbeat Bride and stumbled upon this...which was funny until I realized that it ran on for 8 pages. Eight pages. What the hell?!

I also feel like a fat bastard - I've been celebrating my graduation for several weeks now and it's starting to show. Speaking of, I also had a panic attack today when I realized that I should really start looking for a new job. Good God.

Right now I'm just going to mourn the US loss to Ghana and drink a beer that I know I shouldn't drink...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Too Much?

I found these invitations online, which are customizable. The only question I have is: is it too much?

Granted, my beloved found an Edward Gorey image very similar to this, which we were gung-ho about using...naturally, this invite would be a whole lot easier. And who am I? A lazy bride.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Graduation Party

My dear friend and colleague threw me a graduation party last night. I drank a little too much champagne and, consequently, couldn't sleep. In about an hour I'll be on a subway headed to 28th and 5th for a friend's birthday brunch. Well, I now have a degree in higher education, but I still do some stupid things.

Maybe a little hair of the dog will cure me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My poor feet...

The Wildlife Conservation Society / New York and Company sponsored an event on Wednesday, June 2, whereby I foolishly wore shoes with a small heel. Not quite knowing where the event would be taking place, I felt I should up my game and dress up. I assumed we would be in an indoor event space; however, I was mistaken and was forced to walk around the Central Park Zoo open area in high(ish) heels.

We all know I am not a fan of heels (see 'Grannie Shoes' entry from 2/6/10) and, dammit, I won't succumb to the pressures of the Wedding Oversight Committee — I will wear flats. Perhaps something along the lines of:

http://www.zappos.com/gabriella-rocha-neve-leopard

http://www.zappos.com/vaneli-genie-red-smack-metallic-patent

http://www.zappos.com/gabriella-rocha-lolla-flat-dark-red-leather

http://www.zappos.com/circa-joan-david-badge-dark-red

http://www.zappos.com/romantic-soles-troi-red-patent

Okay, there were some little heels mixed in there, but...who knows? Being a chick is too much work.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Graduation!

I am proud to announce that I am attending my Graduation Champagne Reception tomorrow evening. After two long years, I can finally state that I hold my masters degree in Corporate Communications from Baruch College.

I can't begin to express how great this feels...going forward, I will be less neglectful of my duties to my blog.

As my father would say, Go Get 'Em.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vomit or Punch: you decide?

Oh, I completely forgot: one of my classmates has been recently engaged. She is very excited because she has been planning her wedding since birth and can now see it materialize.

The other night we are in class and I glance over to see what she is doodling in her notepad (she is an excellent doodler, unlike myself). She is practicing her signature with her soon-to-be husband's last name. I couldn't decide if I should vomit or punch her. I chose the latter.

I am considering buying her a Trapper Keeper to provide her the proper canvass...

Definitely Dolly

After weeks of emailing Nickie at Dolly Couture, I have decided that I am definitely going to purchase one of their custom dresses. I despise shopping; therefore, I think the best bet for a gal like me is to send along my measurements and hope for the best. I would rather take my chances on Dolly than spend a single minute trying on wedding dresses at a bridal store. Talk about the third ring of hell. Besides, what's my mantra? I am a lazy bride.

So, yesterday I visited Aleny to get my measurements taken. If you live in the New York City area and are in need of a really nice tailor/dressmaker, please check her out (57 West 57th Street, suite 602 - 212-317-5911). She's as sweet as pie (mmmm...pie). And she didn't charge me! This in New York, baby, where you get charged for blinking.

Okay, back to studying. I have my very last class this upcoming Thursday. Of course, I still need to finish an 18+ page group paper, create a presentation, and take a final, so I'm not celebrating yet...

Go Dolly!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Remiss

I have been remiss in updating this blog, I know. Terrible social media faux pas. (But seeing as I am currently the only reader, I can go a little easy on myself!)

I have less than 2 weeks before I graduate with my masters. I am, in a word, exhausted. Plus, there is a nice layer of dread hovering over my every thought.

In 2 weeks I fully plan on doing absolutely nothing. It will be my first Saturday since Christmas weekend where I haven't had some sort of reading, writing, or studying assignment.

5 deep breaths...in...out.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

We're a little behind...

We are a little behind on the Save the Dates. To be environmentally conscious, we are opting for an email Save the Date,which is queued up and ready to go. However, there are family members who do not have email addresses, so we are gathering snail mail addresses - we wanted to send it all out at the same time and call it DONE.

I am up to my eyeballs in school work (only 18 days to go and I am woefully behind on a group term project), so my anxiety level is pretty high.

We are working with the hotel to get a block of rooms set aside for October, which is also holding up the Save the Dates.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. This is a rambling post if ever I've seen one!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

HSM and the La Quinta

I've been distracted lately. I just finished a term paper and project for my Media Analysis class and today I've moved on to my group project on the Heuristic-Systematic Model for my Quantitative Research Methods class. It's as exciting as it sounds.

Each semester I face a project that I swear I won't have the wherewithal to finish, but I do. May I find the strength to push through the next 4 weeks until graduation. We'll see.

Last weekend we visited one of the only hotels in our neighborhood - the La Quinta Inn. You know, I was pleasantly surprised - the staff was nice, the rooms were clean (and cozy - it is New York City), and it's close to our apartment. So, it looks like we'll book a block of rooms and solidify the rehearsal dinner space.

It's all coming together. Now if I could only find someone to write my final paper and take my final exam for me. Any takers? Yeah, I thought not.

Email 'Save the Date' goes out tomorrow.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Smokey Drinks!

We went to the Zoo on Monday to further discuss the wedding plans. We met Kiera who managed to rock my world with four little words: "Boo at the Zoo."

Since we go to the Zoo every April, I had no idea that they deck the joint out each October in honor of Halloween. We are now in discussion to (*spoiler alert for those invited*) have a private tour of the haunted mansion replete with a smokey drink of our choice.

Things are getting interesting...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Google is kind of awesome

So, in addition to this blog, I have also created a wedding website today using Google's free tools. How righteous is that?

Here's the link - start contributing to the massive overload on the Internet:
sites.google.com/

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Invitations

So my beloved has expressed a desire to design the wedding invitations himself. You see, he has a "vision" of the wedding - God bless him, because I don't. Said vision is "macabre elegance." I fully anticipate a lovely design including skeletons. Something along the lines of Edward Gorey, which is fine by me. If the wedding was in June it would be a bit weird, but since we'll wed in October, I say go for it.

As I am the more practical, I have once again turned to the trusty Internet to find an at-home paper printing source. I found this the other day and, once again, am profoundly humbled by the creativity of some people.

Aren't these simply beautiful? I'm in awe. I'd like to say I'm inspired, but really I'm intimidated.

The selection looks fantastic and it sure beats the quote I got from a local stationery store:
$285 for 75 invitations (flat printed w/return address on envelopes)
$80-152 for envelopes
$145 for 2-sided reply postcard

I will do my damndest to support small business for this event, but these people are high if they think I'm going to spend over $500 on paper products with I design I came up with myself.

Well, that's all I have to offer this evening. I just spent several hours preparing for a mid-term for my Quantitative Research Methodology class. I need a cocktail...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Winning Junior Bridesmaid Dress

So, frustrated, I turned to my aforementioned 10 year old niece and asked her (as she has a great sense of personal fashion) to select a dress for them to wear. Besides, it is her long gams that were bound to be the deciding factor.

I did a simple Google search for 'girls black dress' and came up with three options for her. She picked this little number. Stating - and I quote -

"Well my favoritest dress is the one from JCPenny's: Mesh baby doll dress. It is sooooooooooo cute!!!!"

To me, she is sooooooooooo cute!!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Little Leopard Bridesmaids

So I asked my sweet little nieces to be my bridesmaids. As you can imagine, this request was met with great enthusiasm, which melts my heart. My littlest niece has lamented on several occasions to her mother (my sister) that she has never been a flower girl. Well, kitten, now's your chance!

So, in looking for something fun for them to wear, I came across this saucy leopard number.

And as much as I love it, I'm afraid that my lovely, charming middle niece takes after her dad and uncles and is TALL. Something tells me this may expose too much leg.

Ah, to be young, blond, and leggy. (And good at math!)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Say Cheese!

My new favorite site is Offbeat Bride.

Not only is this site loaded with great ideas and reassurances that my wedding can be whatever I dream it to be, but it's a perfect distraction for those of us who should be writing a paper on Advertising Image Analysis and whipping up an annotated bibliography on The Heuristic-Systematic Model.

Anyway, I found this interview with Angie from Milestone Images and nearly plotzed. This woman sounded nuts (in the best possible way), so I called her and confirmed that she is certifiable. Just the kind of gal I want mingling with my family!

I think I'm going to roll with her - talent and snark combined. She's perfect!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Work?

Hmmm...this planning is starting feel suspiciously like work. I don't know how I feel about that, given that work and school already take up so much of my time.

I am a lazy bride. This is my mantra and I am sticking to it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm in love...with Dolly.

I just found Dolly and I am in love.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dress Dilemma

Can someone please tell me why brides must order their dresses so far in advance of the wedding? It seems absurd, but then I realize that for those women for whom "being the bride" has meant everything, they probably know exactly the style they want and have been appropriately dieting in preparation. I, on the other hand, a great lover of beer, am about 15 pounds away from zipping up anything suitable.

So, to begin my search, I have turned to the Internet. And subsequently, as I simply cannot bring myself to create an account on The Knot for myself, I snaked my soon-to-be sister-in-law's (henceforth to be known as "Boots") user name and password. There I found a charming little 1950s number by designer Justin Alexander (which I sadly cannot post for you as my fiance occasionally reads this blog) and was smitten. Until I realized: RK Bridal, for me, is akin to the third ring of hell and I would much rather purchase something from a local small business than feed the machine that is the bridal industry. I do have a hardcore crush on this dress, though. Is it cute enough for me to compromise my principles? Can't readily say...

So, turning to less obvious sources, I turned to trusty Google and found Kimera Design.

Located on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, this lovely store is high on my list to visit (yes, with Boots and another member of the Official Wedding Oversight Committee)...and after I lose a solid 10 pounds.

That said, I'm off to the gym!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Grannie Shoes


Yesterday I actually took a lunch break. I left the building and bought a pair of very comfortable shoes.

Upon returning to the office, I showed them to a male colleague who said, "I know they're comfortable, but didn't they have a cuter pair?" Ouch.

This comment immediately reminded me of another colleague, who, upon learning that I had an internal job interview, blurted out, "Well, you can't wear that!"

Needless to say, I believe in comfort over style, which is precisely why my fabulous work crew has created "The Wedding Oversight Committee." I apparently cannot be trusted to purchase a wedding dress; therefore, I must present all considerations to members of the committee. Sad, but true.

I will rely on the expertise of the fashion-able; however, I retain the right to wear sensible footwear. Hmmm...maybe my new pair will suffice?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Winner!

Yes, as you have likely deduced, we chose The Bronx Zoo!

They have a new event facility, The Schiff Family Great Hall, which at one point served as the Lion House. Built in 1903, the Hall is New York City's first 'green' renovated landmark building: I get my historical site fix while being environmentally conscious. PLUS, all proceeds from the event will go toward supporting the global conservation initiatives of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which thrills me beyond belief.

The ceremony will take place outdoors in front of the sea lion exhibit (sea lions!) and the cocktail hour will be in the new Madagascar! exhibit. Yes, we'll be toasting champagne among the lemurs and munching hors d'oeuvres with the crocodiles!

Check out the little video we took when we visited the space - bear cubs!


video