Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Engagement Celebration Dinner # 2- Brooklyn Brides & Wine

I went with 4 friends the other night, to celebrate all of our engagements. Okay, that’s a rather misleading sentence. The ‘friends’ were girls I’d met through Offbeat Bride’s Tribe forum, a private online community of brides (and grooms) run by Offbeat Bride. We met through a group defined by geographic locations. Noticing several girls in Brooklyn, someone suggested we all meet up in our home borough to discuss our weddings over wine.

Let’s take a minute to go over how much awesomeness is contained in that last sentence.

A night out in Brooklyn, after being bullied by weather into staying indoors for weeks? YES.
Discussing weddings? Oh, yes please.
Wine? Hell yes!
Meeting other brides? Hallelujah! (Almost as good as wine!)

The weather in New York (as well as many other parts of the country) has been atrocious. I believe we have had 5 snow storms in the past 30 days (and a sixth starts today.) Michael is already a homebody. Throw a few flakes into the equation, and he’s got an excuse to hunker down with a six pack and a PS3 controller until April. On the other hand, my favorite thing to do in a blizzard is bundle up and walk the mile to our favorite restaurant for dinner. So what if the subway lets off directly in front of the entrance? Braving the elements and slogging through fresh powder is half the fun! I usually reward Michael for humoring this weird impulse by lobbing snowballs at his head the whole way home in a (now slightly tipsy) effort to start a snowball fight. He’s so lucky to be marrying me.

January 2010 outside Moto

Anyway, so I was thrilled to be going out without having to coerce Michael with offers to pay for his drinks or fight over whether it’s appropriate to wear the sweatpants his mother bought him from a Jersey mall (that’s he’s been sleeping in for 2 days) out to dinner on Saturday night. And I was especially thrilled to be able to talk freely about weddings. My friends have mostly been indulgent of my constant wedding related chatter, but I am self-conscious of the fact that it seems to always be the #1 thing on my mind. I feel like the self-obsessed ‘my wedding is the event of a lifetime’ Bridezilla I’ve loathed for so long. It’s just that there is so much to think about! So many elements to consider, review, strategize, submit; so many people to contend with; plus budget, and dates, and personal style, and ‘couple style’ (ugh what an awful phrase), and food and drink and fashion and paper and flowers and favors and decorations part 1, 2 and 3 and vendors and venues and photo shoots and jewelry and honeymoons and hotels and lions and tigers and bears. Oh no. It’s hard to explain the exquisite pleasure and pain that goes hand in hand with planning. Very hard to explain. The same people that tell you, “It’s your day! Do what makes you happy!” will 5 minutes later say, “It’s just one day. Don’t go crazy” and both sentiments are true but often mutually exclusive.

Right. So, I am lucky not to have a ton of people telling me I need to do things a certain (traditional) way, but it was still great to sit with a group of girls, ask “How are you dealing with dressing your bridesmaids?” and have two of the four shrug and say, “I’m not having any”, then hear a third girl say, “I’ve just got one, and it’s a dude.”  It was awesome to reveal my wedding cake ‘surprise’ and hear squeals of “oh cute!’ and “great idea” rather than the silence and blank stares I got when I let it slip at work. Hurray for Offbeat Brides!

We met at Olivino's wine bar, recommended by one of the girls, and it was lovely. On Fulton Street in Clinton Hill, two doors down from the wine shop, it’s tiny and cozy with eclectic music, a super friendly bartender and a great wine list. For once I didn't try the champagne but had a nice Malbec instead. I will definitely go back. And I will definitely try to plan another night out. I can’t say enough times how fun it was to meet girls whose weddings were all a little ‘different’ though each in their own way. One is getting married in a gallery in Brooklyn, another in a restaurant in Vermont. Two girls are self catering. One’s wedding guest list is approaching 300, while another is well under 100. One girl had just come from trying on Vera Wang dresses; another will be gathering all her foodie friends for a group cooking experiment on the day of the wedding.

To reiterate, wine + offbeat Brooklyn brides + wedding talk + more wine = a lovely time had by all.


  1. That's awesome! I met so many wonderful girls online while wedding planning and have some new amazing friends in my life!

  2. "I usually reward Michael for humoring this weird impulse by lobbing snowballs at his head the whole way home in a (now slightly tipsy) effort to start a snowball fight. He’s so lucky to be marrying me."

    Haha! You sound like me, the troublemaker in the relationship. It makes things interesting, right?

    The Offbeat Brides outing sounds like so much fun!

  3. Hurray for troublemaker wives and new bride-friends!