Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Buy Me Stuff

A personal wedding blogger’s dilemna- to talk about the registry or not. Since I’m already posting this with my tail between my legs after a lengthy update absence, I might as well jump back in with something mildly controversial.

I’ve been too busy planning this g-d wedding to blog about it. Also, life, and all that, busyness busyness everywhere. (Fake words also everywhere.) I tried to write a quick post a couple of times, but it always devolved into “Wah wah I’m so stressed outttttt!” And no one wants to hear that. I don’t even want to write it.

I do have some accomplishments to share, and this is the most recent (and easiest to post.) So let’s just proceed with one quick disclaimer: I DO NOT EXPECT ANYONE TO BUY ME STUFF. Seriously. It feels really weird, like a 31 year old woman writing a letter to Santa Claus. But do you know how many people have asked me where I’m registered? Well, several. It’s one thing to not ask for presents, and another to refuse to tell them what you want. That’s how you end up with 8 toasters. And I don’t even want one toaster.

So, I registered at Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, and MoMA Store. That’s  the Museum of Modern Art ‘gift shop’ online. They have my second favorite registry item- the coolest champagne glasses ever.

What’s the first favorite, you ask? Well if you insist- it’s a Le Creuset Dutch Oven (actually a French Oven). I have wanted one forever. There. I told you what I want. My true core of gimme gimme selfishness has been exposed. I pine for cookware and utensils.

I haven’t technically finished registering- apparently I’m supposed to add more stuff, but for the most part, I can cross this off the ever-growing list hanging over my head. (You didn’t think I’d get through this whole post without at least one complaint, did you?) Now I must finish this post because the icky “Give me stuff” factor is overwhelming me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Checklist Progress- Vendors Galore!

I’ve been a terrible wedding blogger lately, but it’s partly because I’ve been being a good bride. The first 9 months of what is destined to be an epic 20 month engagement was all about day dreaming and wedding porn and crunching numbers to determine our options. Now comes the actual work- and checking off boxes on The List.

In the last couple months we chose our venue and booked the church. Now, it’s all about the vendors. Progress to date:

- Confirmed our photographer, my friend and former tennis coach David Kenas. Dave does sports photography as well as art and, as luck would have it, weddings. He’s a fantastic photographer, and I’m so excited to be working with a friend. Check out some of his work at dkshots.com.

- Chose our DJ, another easy decision- Sounds to Go DJs is owned by old family friends. The current owner, having taken over when his father retired, is my old neighbor and MRHS ’98 classmate Mike, whom I used to ride bikes with in a huge pack of kids in the
Cloverdale Circle
neighborhood we grew up in. My brother worked as a DJ for them for years in his twenties, they're a Best of Weddings vendor by The Knot, and they have a fantastic reputation. Score!


- Contacted a hotel for a block of rooms for the wedding night. It’s none other than The Berkeley Hotel, the place we’d looked into previously for our wedding. We won’t be getting married there, but I’m quite happy that we’ll be staying there on our wedding night, and hope our guests enjoy it too! It's an oceanfront hotel on a summer weekend, so it's not cheap. I’ll probably investigate a back up, but this is where I and much of the bridal party will be staying, so it's good to nail one down. We'll be signing a contract in January. Check!

The pool at The Berkeley

The view from the rooms

And aside from vendors, there’s been some other progress:

- Dress shopping. Gah. I should’ve known this would be my Everest of wedding planning. I am really indecisive, picky about fashion, not a huge fan of wedding gowns, still feeling a little weird about this whole ‘bride’ business, and in the middle of a fitness journey- which all adds up to blerg. I’ve been sort of shopping, but not fully. I made the mistake of falling in love with a dress, dreaming about it for 4 months, then trying it on and discovering it looked totally different from the pictures online. (Duh.) But, alas, I have given in and booked an appointment at Kleinfeld’s in November- they have a huge selection, and I love Say Yes to the Dress, so I figure it’s a good plan. (Today’s Friday and I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that I’m really looking forward to coming home from my Strength from the Core class tonight to a SYTTD marathon. Living the fast life here in NYC.) The appointment is next week- fingers crossed!

My consultant, if I'm lucky ;)

- Centerpieces- the other bane of my bridal existence. I have made some progress there, though, and am currently getting quotes.

- Oh, and next week we get to pay another deposit to the venue. making it even harder to back out now. (JK, JK)

When I got engaged I signed up for The Knot to use their all encompassing checklist, and promptly became intimidated by the vast amount of work putting together a wedding can require. It feels really good to check things off now and have them disapear from view. To quote my Obama t-shirt, PROGRESS! Yes!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

We have a Church!

For the past 10 months I’ve spoken almost exclusively about the reception, and neglected the part where we actually, you know, get married. So not long after we finally chose our reception venue, I called up my church and booked the date.

Michael and I don’t think this blog is an appropriate place to talk about our religious views, but one of the few things I had always envisioned about my wedding as a girl was getting married at First Presbyterian Church- Tower Hill, in Red Bank, NJ. Known to many in the area as ‘the church on the hill’, Tower Hill is a beautiful church- my mother always called it a Christmas card church. I wish I could find more pictures of the sanctuary- as far as churches go, it’s very pretty!

The grounds are lovely too and should make a beautiful back drop for family photos after the ceremony. Speaking of the ceremony, that’s probably the most nerve-wracking part- it’s a pretty long aisle I’ll be walking down! The sanctuary was renovated a few years ago and also has air conditioning- good news for my summer weddding! Also, the church in Red Bank is less than half an hour away from the reception at the Supper Club in Asbury Park.

My father and brother left the church years ago, but my mother, sister and I stayed members. My mother worked there for about 20 years, cooking the dinners for all the church’s weekly youth groups. I still think of that kitchen as hers. I practically grew up there- I was in choir, youth groups, handbells, attended and then taught Vacation Bible School and Summer Music camp 4 weeks out of the summer, and even taught Sunday school as a teenager. Even though I know longer attend, when I tried to envision our ceremony on the beach or in a garden or a room at a venue, it just didn’t feel like my ‘real’ wedding.

I live out of state now, but I still feel the sense of community I had there. When my mother passed away last year, her service was held at Tower Hill and I was astounded by the number of church members who came, people I hadn’t seen in a decade. My mom was a fixture in that church, and it’s the main reason we’re getting married there. I remember her telling me when I was young that couples usually got married in the bride’s church, and so the vision has stuck with me this whole time, walking down that long, red-carpeted aisle with the sun streaming through the huge windows. I can picture my mom in the front row.

So we’ve got a ceremony site, we’ve got a reception venue, I’ve already made inroads with our DJ and photographer- it looks like we’re really getting married! Let’s do this thing! Is it June 29th yet??

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fitness Update- Summer 2011

Okay people! I’m here today with an ACTUAL update, not a list of excuses. Last week I joined the gym, and I’ve been there every day since. I’m really excited about it. I jumped right in to taking classes too- I took a ‘Strength for your core’ class with this hottie hot hot instructor and made it through with only minimal breaks (using a ten pound dumbbell and 3 pound weights, mind you, but still!). The class is taught in a big room with a wall of windows so we got to watch a huge storm blow in while we worked out.

The hardest parts of that class wasn’t when we were using weights or a balance ball but just moving our bodies, like holding yourself up with one arm and one foot and keeping the other arm over your head for a minute. Um, does that not sound like the easiest thing in the world? It was ridonkulous. I’m so ridiculously out of shape it’s painful.

My body feels different already. I feel loose and find myself occasionally bumping into things. I’m sure once my fitness level improves, I’ll have the opposite experience, but right now I feel like a Tin man rediscovering oiled joints.

On days I don’t take classes, I work on my ‘Couch to 5k” program, then hit the machines, and then follow up with some elliptical cardio- my little ‘routine’. I try to concentrate on one area some days, or get a little bit of everything on others. I’m making it up as I go along, I guess. Eventually I might hook up with a personal trainer to really maximize my time, but for now the goal is to just get over there and be active. I can feel the difference it’s making in my life- I’m more interested in taking a walk then sitting on the couch, and I’m not attracted to crappy snacks either.

I’m trying not to focus on the scale too much in the beginning because I’m too easily discouraged when I don’t see immediate progress, like much of the rest of the world. But I’ll update again when I finally see some real results!

Shout out to Green Fitness Studio, that place totally kicks ass. I highly recommend it to fellow Brooklyners. The place is really laid back with decent music and a total lack of meatheads. You can use their Netflix and Hulu accounts on the treadmills, and the yoga room has a glass ceiling. They have a living roof and windows everywhere. There’s also an attached spa with a discount for members.

Speaking of, I will have to write about my first yoga experience separately as it was… intense.

On Thursday I’m taking my first Pilates class, and tonight I’m taking a class called “Abs Express’ that sounds innocent enough, but will surely leave me breathless and sore. Cheers!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We Have A Date and Venue!

It's official! We're getting married on June 29th, 2012, at the Supper Club in Asbury Park. (I will be officially nailing down the ceremony venue next week and I'll announce it then.)

I've already posted about the place, so I'll just link to that and reiterate a few of our favorite things- the lovely 1930s/1940s Manhattan supper club decor, the gorgeous ocean front views, the awesome location right on the boardwalk in the heart of Asbury, the fact that it's a place that means something to our families- Mike's parents LOVE the place, and my mom always loved going to shows there.

The only drawback is the size, but we'll be careful with the guest list and creative with the layout. I have a million decor ideas that I'm beginning to narrow down and fitting to our location, which I'll be sharing later.  For now I'll just share a few of my favorite pictures- and raise a glass to Friday, June 29th, 2012, the night I get to marry Michael. I can't wait!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Bridal Style Icon - Lady Gaga

Lately I've been asked a lot of questions about my wedding dress ideas. White or ivory? Ballgown or mermaid? Sweetheart or halter? What about a veil? Well, I'm not stuck on any particular styles yet. All I know is I want something a little.... different.

My close friends know to ask slightly different questions, like: Long- or short? Pink or rainbow? Stilettos or boots? Which elements of previous Lady Gaga outfits should we be expecting? My own grandma whispered to my future mother in law at my engagement party, "I just hope she doesn't pick a leather bustier and crazy color mini skirt!"

Well, grandma, I promise, while there will be a LOT of Lagy Gaga's music at my wedding, unfortunately, in the name of compromise, not as much of her style as I might like. Which is a shame, though, because a lot of her clothes look perfect for an (avant garde) wedding.

This would be a straight up gorgeous wedding dress! Part ball gown, part Glinda the Good Witch- ALL Gaga

I mean, this basically IS a wedding gown! Big, white and poufy.

Your wedding dress should be a one of a kind outfit after all...

And she's also worn some totally legit reception dresses! Seriously! Check it:

I'm not even kidding about this one! I could so rock this!

And let's not forget some memorable hairstyles, sure to make you stand out on the big day:

(Um, I have this on image on a t-shirt dress)

Folks, I know I can't pull most of this off on my wedding day. My grandma is frail enough as it is. And it's not like I try to emulate Gaga in real life anyway....

Oh yeah.... Well, anyway, so listen. There is one Gaga inspired piece of fashion I REALLY want for my wedding. I want it bad. It's not just Gaga, it's not just bridal, it's a fashion statement I've been rocking for YEARS, and it just happened to combine with my favorite singer and the fashion industry a few years ago, and it seems too perfect to ignore:

Animal Ear Veils!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, just like Gaga wore

The thing is, it wouldn't just be a Gaga knockoff. I LOVE wearing cat and bear ears around the house as a regular headband. I have since I lived in Jersey. The furry headband keeps my hair in place better than anything else, so I started wearing an old pair of cat ears from a Halloween costume for utility's sake only. But I couldn't help noticing how cute they are. Not everyone agrees. I accidentally wore them through the drive thru of my old bank and got some very long looks.

Also, I tend to be rather zoomorphic, it's true. My nickname for Michael is Puppy and I've already christened my friend's son as our Ring Bear.

But these babies are Reem Acra, okay? It's not just some kooky Suzanne idea or crazy Lady Gaga whimsy. They're for reals, and high fashion! And they're extremely similar to birdcage veils- just a different, erm, animal.

So can I have them? Please please please? I promise to keep it to the Bear ears, not the Bunny, if that helps.

Listen, if I just wanted to emulate Lady Gaga's headpieces, it could get a lot crazier, okay?

So come on, I promise to at least wear pants to my wedding- can I get some love for the bear ear veil??

Real Wedding- Brian and Jackie

A few weeks ago Michale and I were honored to attend the wedding of his old friend Brian to his lovely fiance Jackie.

All dolled up

Having previously been married in Texas, they were able to provide us a short but meanngful ceremony, then open up the night for lots of Jersey-style celebrating and fun!

Brian and his brother Jon, along with thier friends Dennis and Ryan, have been friends with Michael and each other since high school. They clearly enjoyed spending time together- and at the bar.

I LOVED that Jackie went with a short, adorable reception dress for her spring wedding. I snuck a shot in while she was busy chatting up her guests:

She looked gorgeous!

The reception was held at Jacques Recpetion Center in Middletown. The toasts were especially poignant and everyone had a great time. We can't wait to see so many of them again soon- first at Jon's destination wedding in Florida in November, and then at our wedding next June!

Congrats again Brian and Jackie!