and today marks...

Just six short months left until our wedding! Every time we reach another milestone in the planning time frame I have an overwhelming flood of conflicting emotions - joy and panic. Joy wins today.
A few minutes ago, I sat down with my planner to write in holidays and such that are coming up through the end of the year and...SCORE!!! I have a LOT of time off during September and October. Days where I can concentrate fully on DIY projects and all things wedding related. At least, that's the plan. My office is closed for holidays or, I am taking vacation on:
  • September 1 - holiday
  • September 12 - vacation for florist appts and shopping with my mom for her dress
  • September 30 - holiday
  • October 1 - holiday
  • October 9 - holiday
  • October 14 - holiday
  • October 30 - vacation for engagement photos!

Now, I just need to really organize my thoughts (and supplies) about each of my DIY projects, schedule them out and make a plan. And, maybe, use one of those days to shop for BP gifts and Christmas gifts at the same time.

On another note entirely...I may have mentioned earlier that I have a cat. I adopted him 11 years ago as an adult rescue and, until I moved in with FI, he was my only roommate for all this time. My poor boy has not handled this move well at all. He's not acting like himself, is not using his litter consistently and doesn't seem to be bathing himself as well. He is an elderly cat but, these are not good signs. So, I'm taking him to the vet this afternoon and just hoping they have an easy solution for us.


where did THAT come from?

I'm a fan of television in general. Particularly, wedding shows right now (go figure) but during the regular season I'm addicted to Heroes, Grey's Anatomy, Lipstick Jungle, Chuck, Law and Order: SVU and a few others. When I moved into FI's house in June, we counted the televisions and just shook our heads. FOUR sets for TWO people. A 27", a 25" and two 13". Seriously a disgrace. We have one in the living area (open floor plan living/kitchen/dining), another in the bedroom, a third in the office and the last in the garage. All plugged in and functional.

On Saturday, FI called me me from work and had me write "Sunday 11:00 am West" on the fridge memo board, telling me he had to pick up a surprise and that I could not ask questions. Umm...okay? Later, he tells me that he will be picking up a pre-wedding gift and that he was asked not to tell me who it was from just yet. Fine. So, Sunday he went out to run his errand and came home with this: A 42" LCD HD-TV. Yes, shamefully, we now own FIVE televisions. Seriously. Conspicuous consumption is alive and well in the MrB and SoonToBeMrsB household!!! A lovely and unbelievably generous gift and one that will have at least one old set sitting out at the yard sale next weekend. FI was finally able to reveal the gift-giver last night - a long-time, close friend of the family who will be unable to make the wedding and wanted us to have the gift now.

Now, how exactly does one go about writing a thank you note for something of this magnitude?


you are seated at...

Table numbers. They are necessary so, why not make them cute! The standard numbers at our venue are a.w.f.u.l. I had already thought about making them but, after seeing those last weekend there was no doubt! Originally, I thought about incorporating some of our e-pics (once they are done, of course!) but, I figured I'd play around with other ideas too.

I have this little obsession with quotations and, after we were engaged, I started a file with love quotes figuring I could use them here and there. Here is a rough draft of a table number sign (would be 5x7" in a silver frame) using both our colors and a quote. Thoughts????
The fonts used in the quote (Copperplate Gothic Light and Edwardian Script ITC) are the same style we used on our save the dates and will be using for our programs and invites...see where I'm going here? As for the numbers, I'm not super happy with this one but, I'm having a tough time finding a swirly number font that isn't at a diagonal (this one is Scriptina). Any suggestions?


save the dates...

And, here it is! FI and I went through dozens of ampersand designs until we found one we liked for our monogram, several revisions to get the design of the card down and then order the magnets. In the end, this was the final result that was mailed out to family and friends a few weeks ago:
Every time we visit someone on our guest list, the first thing we do is check the fridge to see if the magnet is up! We just can't help being excited about seeing our plans in motion.

So, where else will we use the monogram? A few places:
  • programs
  • runners for the cake and sweetheart tables
  • menus
  • favor boxes

The only difference will be changing the "&" to a "B" for the runners, favors and menus. We chose not to use our married last initial until we are officially married so, the programs will have the design as shown above. As for the use, three or four key places seem right to me. We don't want to over-do it but, I think it will add a nice personal touch. None of the weddings I have been to have used a monogram design so, I'm hoping it will stand out a bit with our crowd.

Also, I have a small CHECK from yesterday. Remember this post? Well, horchow.com e-mailed me a 20% off coupon yesterday so, I went online right away and ordered my "B" embosser for the Wish Jar cards. With the coupon it came in under $30, including shipping and should be here by early October. Score! Want one of your own? The sale was extended through today - Code: ONEDAY20


so much closer, so very excited...

This weekend has been a whirlwind of all things wedding - from start to finish. FI and I ended up getting a lot accomplished and, though we didn't think it was possible, are even more excited about our wedding.

1. On Saturday, we met with our amazing photographer. Each time we speak with him it is so clear why we chose his company - we get along so well and he immediately puts us at ease. And, of course, his work is stunning! During our meeting, we booked our engagement session for late October and decided on the locations: starting in Central Park, the steps of the Met, Grand Central Station, the Brooklyn Bridge and ending up in DUMBO. He shared some photos from a recent engagement session and we were just amazed at the emotional in the pictures...can't wait for ours!

2. Another visit to our venue. It was to be a quick trip to drop off another payment but, then we were told that due to another smaller booking of an event (a bar mitzvah that starts an hour after our reception begins) on our wedding day, they bumped us up into the larger, gorgeous Grand Ballroom. Check it out...

Our Sweetheart table will be set-up directly in front of the huge arched window. No photo can do this room justice. The entire wall of windows overlooks the water and will be lit up during the cocktail hour by the sun setting over the water. We were lucky enough see it set-up for a wedding of approximately our size and it really looked wonderful. Also made up my mind on a few DIY things - I will definitely be making my own place cards and table numbers (I do not like the venue defaults).

3. Saturday night was dinner with Jess, my best friend from college. I asked her to be a bridesmaid, working it in to part of her birthday gift and she said "yes!" My bridal party is now complete...let the dress shopping begin!

4. Sunday morning - We got to Macy's just after opening to set-up our registry (our first is at BB&B). I started a collection of Fiestaware several years ago and love it so, we registered for more. Also, some bakeware and picture frames. Macy's gives a nice registry incentive of a red Victorinox bag which made hauling all of the wedding mags out of the mall a lot easier! 5. We decided on our centerpieces!!! We knew we wanted something low and with candles for a romantic glow - perfect for a nighttime reception in February in New York. After shopping around for a while and using a table display to try out different combinations, we hit on one that we loved and jumped on the main components - vases, silver leafed chargers and clear and ice blue glass pieces - enough for 18 tables. We also picked up a couple packages of crystals to scatter on the chargers to refract the light. We'll pick up more over the next couple of months, after deciding how many we'll need. A little later in the year I'll order the pillar and votive candles and votive holders and we'll be set! MAJOR CHECK!!!!

Whew...I am tired, excited, optimistic and so relieved to have gotten so much done in just a few hours.


w.r. weekend...

As I was looking though a few knottie bios this week, I found a Wish Jar idea that I love (pics courtesy of knottie mauiluv). This would be in addition to our signature mat. I love the idea of having these little advice/wish cards after the wedding and placing them in an album to reflect on through the years. Her particular idea may have pulled me in more because we share the same married initial. I love that the embosser (from horchow) is something that I can order and then use forever:

The frame will have the following poem (from knottie danigirl715):

From each of your experiences come a very precious gift, a piece of well earned knowledge that we didn’t know exists…
Please share with us your wisdom about marriage, love & life, how to be a caring husband and what makes the perfect wife…
Please write down your reflections and your valuable insights, for the greatest gift of all to us is the gift of your advice.
We look forward to reading your warm thoughts and good wishes.
With sincere thanks from the new Mr. and Mrs.

or this one - short and sweet:

Please leave us a note, please drop us a line, add advice on marriage, to stand the test of time.

FI and I have lots of things on the wedding related to-do list this weekend starting with someone else's wedding tonight! I haven't been to a wedding in just over two years (and those friends are now expecting their first child!). So, I'm looking forward to tonight's Vow Renewal/At-Home Reception for once of FI's co-workers and his new wife.

Saturday morning we have a meeting with our photographer to book our E-pics (sometime in October). We decided to have them taken on and around the Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO and in Central Park. On the way home, we'll stop at our venue to make another payment (one of mannnnyyy, of course!). I'm planning to look at linens and chairs while we are there and confirm that we can use candles in our centerpieces. Later, I'm meeting up with a long-time friend of mine to ask her to be a bridesmaid. She's been traveling all summer and I haven't seen her to ask in person (I'm a bit of a hopeless bride, I suppose!).

Sunday, we'll be shopping around for centerpiece ideas and plan to scoop up a few things to bring home and do mock-ups (I'll post pics, of course!). We also need to get into Macy's to register for some Fiestaware - our everyday dishes - and bedding.


the search...

My bridal party is made up of four amazing women - Corine (my sister and MOH), Aurie (my cousin), Diane and Jess. Three of them have been married and all of them have been in several wedding parties (so have I). Knowing this, I decided to go easy on all of us in terms of their attire. I'm asking them to choose any black dress that they like at David's as long as it is between knee and tea length. Since they can choose the style that they are comfortable in, I'm fairly certain they'll be able to wear it again. Who can't use a black cocktail dress, right?

I mentioned that last week, my sister and I went shopping for her MOH dress. She ended up finding two that she absolutely loves and looks beautiful them. Two very different styles and fabrics but, totally up to her. And, here they are...

#1 - Jim Hjelm #5850T. The material is silk and it is absolutely beautiful on her. Plus, MOH will be the only one flying in and this dress is very packable. The salesperson scrunched it up in her fist and when she let go, all it needed was a hand smoothing and it was perfect again. (No, it's not a David's dress but, she loves it and she IS the MOH after all). The downfall: $$$
#2 - David's #F12723. So flattering on her and she felt very comfortable moving around it. Since my nephew will be just over 2 at the wedding, picking him up might be a bit easier in this one. The downfall: Would have to be steam pressed after her flight.


and we're off...

See that? Right there in the pic? Yup, exactly 200 days left until our wedding. Seems like this time is going by very quickly. I feel like we have accomplished a lot of planing in a short amount of time. And then, I look at my to-do list:
  • Book Limo
  • Book florist/choose flowers
  • Ask (1) more bridesmaid (cutting it close, I know!)
  • Shop with BP for their dresses (MOH done)
  • Find RD Dress
  • Book RD (September - FMIL will do)
  • Finalize church/reception times (September)
  • Order invites (October)
  • Reserve hotel blocks (this month)
  • Centerpieces
  • Paint table runners (have fabric)
  • Make favors (January)
  • Book E-pics (for October)
  • Book Boudoir pics (?)
  • Shoes/Undergarments/Jewelry
  • Gifts for BP and parents
  • Photo guest book (after E-pics)
  • Music for ceremony
  • Choose cake design
  • Final tasting/choose menu (November)
  • Book plane tickets for honeymoon
  • Order sash for dress (already chose style)
  • Find buttons for dress (to add to zipper placket - this week)
  • Alterations
  • Table numbers (after E-pics)
  • Photo sharing cards
  • Place cards/Escort cards
  • Menus (after final tasting)
  • Make pomanders for flower girl(s)
  • Order wedding bands
  • Groom and BP tuxes

Deep breaths. I just have to keep reminding myself to take lots of deep breaths! I have an ambitious plan for getting a lot of the DIY projects started in the coming month. I know it will all come together in the end and, some of the list is just details. Still... Any tips to help make this easier would be welcome!


domestication of a feminist...

While growing up, my sister and I were raised to be independent, well-educated and strong women. Not surprisingly, we both chose to attend women's colleges (NOT girls schools). Might as well have tattooed "FEMINIST" on our foreheads at birth. I moved out of my parent's home at 17, when I left for college, and never returned to live with them. I have lived alone (with the exception of my cat) for the past 14 years - bringing me to present day and the ripe, young-ish age of 33. This July, FI and I merged households and I moved in to his condo.

Fast forward to 2 weeks after the move: I came home from work, brought groceries into the house, ran downstairs to switch over the laundry, returned to the kitchen to prep ingredients for dinner, went back downstairs to get the dry clothes and...stopped. When had I become so damn domesticated? It's as if some deeply buried, 50's housewife switch was flipped. My younger self marched in feminist rallies and swore she would never be slave to the stove or housework. Yet, without a thought, I automatically fell into the role. And, most puzzling? I. am. content. Holy crap!

One of the things that probably keeps me happy in all of this is simple cooking. I have found that I don't mind cooking but, elaborate meals are reserved for special occasions and dinner parties. Regular weeknights? No thanks. I work full-time and quick and easy, yet healthy, meals are the order. This one has been a huge favorite of mine for years and now, FI asks for it regularly. The best part? It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish:

Raspberry Balsamic Chicken
(adapted from Cooking Light magazine)

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt, divided
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion; saute 5 minutes. Sprinkle rosemary, salt and pepper over chicken. Add chicken to pan; saute 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Add preserves, vinegar and pepper to pan, stirring constantly until preserves melt. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings, 4 WW points per serving


Check, check, nearly a check...

I've been away with family for the last few days and was able to make some wedding related progress with the help of my mom and sister (MOH).

Check #1: I found my veil! Originally my mom was going to make one but, her job is taking her out of town more and more so, I decided to take the pressure off her by trying some already made veils. I found one that we all loved that had a light scatter of square Swarovski crystals (my headband is made of Swarovski squares and cubes). Since my gown has no embellishments, I liked that the veil had a little sparkle. Today, my mom came home from work and surprised me with an order receipt for the veil - she had gone after work to purchase it for me....thank you, Mom! Here is a photo:

Check #2: I had been a little concerned that the back of my gown is just a lot of white, with no detail. I talked it through with my sister and we came up with a great plan - to add covered buttons to the zipper placket and a wide sash that will knot at the small of my back (with a brooch), the ends trailing down the back to the hemline. I ended up finding the exact sash I need online for only $35. It will be cut in half and each half then sewn into the side seams of the dress, so the front details (gathered bodice) will be unaffected. Thank goodness for brainstorming! I am even more thrilled with my dress with this addition!!!

Nearly a check: We went to the bridal shop on Monday so that my sister could start looking for a dress. Since she is the MOH, I wanted her to have first choice of dress style. Whichever style she chooses will be taken out of the running for the rest of my bridal party. She found one she loves, and another today at a different shop. I'll be thrilled with either and am happy she loves both and would be able to wear them again (she attends black-tie functions for her line of work).


a funny thing happened on the way to the altar...

Last night, I was tossing and turning, unable to wake up from my very first wedding nightmare. I have Murphy blood in my veins and his 'law' reared up in every little aspect of the dream. Funny in hindsight though:

  • My gorgeous dress was replaced with some 80's puff ball monstrosity (check out the one above...OMG!)
  • The flowers didn't arrive on time and the DOC thought substitutes of $1 store silks and fiber optic lights would be appropriate...I tossed them
  • FI and GM's tuxes were never ordered by the shop so, one of the GM ran out to Target and bought black suits for them all. They were all too big and looked ridiculous!
  • The beautiful veil my mom promised to make turned out for be a nest of polka dot tulle
  • My headpiece was replaced with a plastic princess tiara
  • The up-do my stylist took hours to put together fell and we had to try and fix it with hot pink hair ties and two bobby pins
  • The back hallway to the rear of the aisle was blocked, so I had to run down the side aisle in front of all of my guests to get to the back of the church
  • To top it all off, the errors caused such a delay that my 3:00 ceremony didn't begin until 8:50 pm!

A dose of perspective: At the end, FI and I did exchange our vows and were married. That's what it's all about!

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