Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Being Green = Not Easy

[ - sorry about the quality]

Over the weekend, I made a little trip to Michaels. I needed some finishing touches for the card box I made (for the party Richie's parents are throwing us) and whatever other goodies I could find. I spent some time in the wedding aisle (Ha, aisle. Get it?), and was amazed that a DIY mecca such as Michaels only had two eco-friendly items in the wedding department (well, blatantly eco-friendly, but from looking around, there wasn't much else that could qualify-- so much packaging!).

They were both the same brand, I Do! Green. One was a pack of little favor boxes made out of recycled material, and the other was a pack of little favor baskets made out of recycled material, both perfect for little tiny candies or whatever your heart desires.

These are great ideas, and I'm happy to advertise them* here. But what I really want to point out is the lack of products available to brides, grooms and wedding (and party) planners to reduce waste. So, I'm going to start tackling that issue from time to time. Maybe weekly? I don't know. But I'll feature products and ideas to make your wedding (or life celebration) just a little greener.

No matter what colors you choose.

*This is completely unsolicited and uncompensated.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Photo Album

Does anyone have a favorite website for photo albums? Or any tips?

Here's what we're doing:
  1. Upload all of our pictures to Shutterfly (using this because my mom gave us a coupon code to get one album free!). We only have about 50, so we really don't have much editing to do.
  2. Our photographer sent all of the pictures to us (as digital files) in chronological order, so we're leaving them like that. I think it helps with the flow of the book. Ceremony...kissy faces by the pond...posing by a tree...kissy faces in the Shakespeare Garden...
  3. Rearrange however necessary. I'm keeping them in order, but because I chose the "Simple Path*" option where they dump the pictures into the book for you--instead of you placing each one in each slot--some pictures are oddly cropped and they require some love and attention.
As for stylistic details like the color of the pages, I selected one called "Versatile Classics" because, well, that sounds good, right? But I'm still going to play with other options like "Modern Portfolio" and "Dune." I'm trying to keep it classy, you know?

Once we're happy with our album, I think we'll just order a few and give identical ones to our parents. Because we're working with so few pictures, I think it's fine to give everyone all of them.

It definitely makes it easier.

*Also known as the Path of Least Resistance, which, I gotta say, if often underrated.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

57Grand, Part III

Over the summer, I won an awesome contest.

Project Wedding and 57Grand teamed up to give one lucky wannabe-stylist three bridesmaids dresses.

That wannabe was me.

Even though the wedding has come and gone and the ladies over at 57Grand knew (because they found this blog! How cool is that??), I'm still getting the dresses because I won fair and square.

All of the dresses had to be the same design, but they could be any color (offered in said design) and size (no bridesmaid diets here!). So I had the ladies browse around and get back to me with their top dress choices. Only one design made all three lists, so that's the one I selected.

[The Hudson in Peacock and Bordeaux-- two chose peacock and one chose Bordeaux]

I think everyone is going to be very pleased with their gift. The Hudson looks like it's casual enough to wear during the day, but probably can be dressed up easily, too.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Planning Our Elopement: The End (or Beginning, if you want to get cheesy)

And that's it! Eloping in seven simple steps! I'd be happy to answer questions or elaborate on things I did-- and didn't-- cover.


Coming soon:
  • Our PA reception hosted by Richie's parents
  • Our CA reception hosted by my parents
  • Nikki & Jeff's Boston, MA wedding

Planning Our Elopement: License to Wed

1. Pick a date/time/location for ceremony
2. Write our ceremony

3. Buy wedding rings
4. Find a wedding dress

5. Book a hotel room
6. Find accommodations for the cat

7. Get our marriage license

Going to Clerk's Office on Friday morning was when we realized that this was "meant to be." We got up early and went downstairs to enjoy our hotel's continental breakfast. The coffee was great and I discovered a new favorite cereal, so already the day was awesome.

We took the subway to the Clerk's Office, and even though we initially went to the wrong building, we were quickly pointed in the right direction and got there in no time. The line to get our number was really short and joyous. People were there with their families, all dressed up, waiting to get married! It was awesome. And there were also people like us, just there for paperwork.

The waiting area of the office is really nice, with couches and TVs showing the news. There's also a wall with a blown-up picture of the front of the building meant for taking pictures, and people sell bouquets of flowers right in the hallway, too.

The guy that processed our application was really pleasant. We couldn't believe it. We made it a point to tell him how shocked we were that the process was so smooth! Get in line, get a number, sit on a couch, get your license. Just like that.

Our license was issued at 10:35am on Friday, September 24th, so that meant that we could get married anytime after 10:36am on Saturday, September 25th, because NYC has a 24-hour waiting period (which you can get waived, in certain circumstances). The license is valid for 60 days (except for active military personnel).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Planning Our Elopement: Accommodations


1. Pick a date/time/location for ceremony
2. Write our ceremony

3. Buy wedding rings
4. Find a wedding dress

5. Book a hotel room
6. Find accommodations for the cat

7. Get our marriage license

There's really not much to say regarding finding accommodations for ourselves and our cat, Percy.* I left the hotel booking up to Richie because he knows more about NYC than I do (he did some of his undergrad there), and I was busy trying to find a dress. He picked Brooklyn because we both like it, and we could stay in a nicer place in Brooklyn than Manhattan. We ended up reserving a room (on Wednesday for Thursday-Sunday) at Hotel Le Jolie in Williamsburg, and you can check out my Yelp review here.

As for Percy's vacation, all we did was turn to Google for places in the area. There's one kennel next to my office, but their Sunday hours are impossible (and that's when we were returning), so that was a no-go. We found another one that was a bit more expensive, but their hours were much more convenient and they had really good reviews. Perhaps the hardest part of the entire weekend was getting Percy into his carrier on Thursday when I got home from work (I called Richie almost in tears because I just couldn't get him in the carrier, and the pet resort was closing in 20 minutes).

*Okay, so we were only gone for three nights, which I don't think warrants a kennel stay for a cat. But we recently rescued Percy, and he has some behavioral issues-- especially when we leave for long(ish) periods of time-- that we really didn't want to deal with on our wedding weekend. When I called the vet to have them fax his medical records to the pet resort, the woman was like, "People don't send their cats to kennels!!" And I said, "Oh, that's funny, because this kennel has a special rate and all sorts of amenities for cats. Do you think they meant to write 'dog'?"


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Planning Our Elopement: Rings and Dress

1. Pick a date/time/location for ceremony
2. Write our ceremony

3. Buy wedding rings
4. Find a wedding dress

5. Book a hotel room
6. Find accommodations for the cat
7. Get our marriage license

I was about to write that buying our rings was the easiest part, but almost everything was so easy, I honestly can't pick an easiest part!

We comparison shopped at Blue Nile, James Allen, and Brilliant Earth. We just wanted plain, white gold bands-- which simplified things A LOT-- so all three sites had similarly priced rings. Really, what it came down to was Blue Nile had ridiculously quick shipping times-- overnight, in fact. So that was that.

The dress was a little bit more difficult. Because of the time constraints, I actually set out to find a cute summery dress-- not necessarily white or all that "bridal" at all. After work on Tuesday, I went to a local vintage shop, a boutique, White House Black Market (click for my Yelp review), Loft, and Marshalls. I was so tired and hungry (and sad) by the time I came home...empty-handed.

Since I was really running out of time on Wednesday, I sped over to a bridal shop on my lunch break. I asked the ladies if they had anything I could buy off the rack, and one associate escorted me upstairs and started pulling gowns out. One of them stood out because it was flowy (perfect for a very warm day!) and not too embellished. I tried it on, and wouldn't you know, it was perfect!

...Well, except for the fact that it was long, and I really wanted a short dress (I love my legs). The associate said that they could alter it, no problem. I told the associate about our plans to head up to NYC on Thursday night and get married on Saturday...that meant that I needed the dress by Thursday evening (yes, the very next day!!!). She ran off to talk to the seamstress, and came back saying that I was in luck!

I'm DEFINITELY sending them a thank you card.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Planning Our Elopement: The Ceremony

1. Pick a date/time/location for ceremony
2. Write our ceremony

3. Buy wedding rings
4. Find a wedding dress
5. Book a hotel room
6. Find accommodations for the cat
7. Get our marriage license

Richie and I were planning to spend Saturday, September 25th in NYC anyway, so we said, "Hey! Let's get married then!" Our officiant, Judie, and I emailed back and forth about availability, and we determined that Saturday at 1pm was the time! (That meant that we needed our marriage licensed issued by 12:59pm on Friday, September 24th. More on this when I get to #7.)

But where?

Although we briefly discussed the Museum of Natural History, Central Park was the obvious answer. It was looking like the weather was going to be amazing, so we definitely wanted to be outside. I've always been drawn to ceremonies under trees, and Central Park has trees! So that was it. Richie used to live in NYC, so I asked him what his favorite part of Central Park was (I could only think of Bethesda Terrace), and he said the Turtle Pond. Yes! Perfect!

As for writing our ceremony, I asked Judie to send me her packet of sample ceremonies. It was pages and pages long, but we were drawn to her "Simple Civil Ceremony," but we wanted to personalize it with our own vows and a reading.

After searching the internet for vows that 1) don't say "God" in them; 2) don't make me sound like his property; and 3) mean what we what them to mean, we chose this, which we actually found on The Knot:

"I, ______, take you, ______, to be no other than yourself. Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, I will respect your integrity and have faith in your abiding love for me, through all our years, and in all that life may bring us."

And for the reading,  I scoured the comments of a few vow-specific posts on A Practical Wedding, and found a poem by Rives. It wasn't the one, but it led me to another Rives poem, entitled "Glaucoma." It was so perfect for who we are and how we imagine our life together...far into the future:

When you and I
are old and grey…

I’ll have a belly,
a hound dog named Shakespeare
and a pickup truck.

You will have
a pretty cotton dress
and glaucoma,
which will steal your sight.
And you’ll stand on our porch in the morning
with your face to the sky,
and I’ll come outside
with the birdseed or something, going:
“Whoa, whoa, baby–don’t stare
right into the sun like that!”

And you’ll say:
“Oh, you old poop!
I may be blind, but I’m not a dope…
I’m a heliotrope.
That’s a fancy word for sunflower,
if you don’t remember!”

And I’ll go:
“Awwwww–I know heliotrope, hell…
I invented it!”

And then I’ll whisper: “Hey.
The yonder is just as wild and blue
as people say it is today.
And you can’t see, but…
I haven’t done yard work for weeks.
The crabgrass is practically piggyback
on the buttercups, Buttercup,
but I love you. I love you.
And I’m gonna keep you mine
like a crow loved to hold
an old telephone line, remember those?”

And you’ll say:
“What, crows?”

And I’ll go:
“Nahhh–telephone lines.
Remember? Back in the days
when the bedding was yours
but the bed was mine.
You remember that, Sunshine?”

And then I’ll shuffle back indoors,
bent but still feisty,
and I’ll do what I always do.

I’ll lie on the floor
with a scrap, and a pen,
I’ll write a poem,
describe the rest of the day for you

you blind, old…


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Planning Our Elopement: A Series

Richie talked me into considering an elopement on Sunday, September 19th. After finding Judie and Liam of Guerrilla Weddings through Offbeat Bride, I was really warming up to the idea. Like a lot.

By the time I heard back from Judie (the civil officiant of Guerrilla Weddings), I was sold.

Our Wedding To-Do List looked a little something like this:

1. Pick a date/time/location for ceremony
2. Write our ceremony
3. Buy wedding rings
4. Find a wedding dress
5. Book a hotel room
6. Find accommodations for the cat
7. Get our marriage license

This list was SO TINY compared to the one we were previously working with for our June 2011 wedding for 60 people. Even though it's a lot to get done in 5 days, I had to laugh maniacally from time to time.

Next Up: How we tackled numbers 1 and 2.

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Richie and I got married last Saturday, September 25th!


I just sent my Wedding Graduate post off to Meg at A Practical Wedding, so hopefully that will up soon, but in the meantime, check out our officiant/photographer's blog, Civil Officiant, for an awesome slideshow of our pictures and the reading we selected!