Friday, May 28, 2010

The Goods: Love at first stein

I've been on a roller coaster of love with the idea of having personalized plastic beer steins as part of our OOT bag goodies. I couldn't find any website that would allow me to buy less than 150 of them. So I put my networking skills to use and remembered that we have a vendor at work that has created t-shirts, mugs, memory sticks for us with our logo. I figured it couldn't hurt to ask them if they can help me make this dream come true.

Our rep called me within a matter of minutes of me sending him an e-mail. He was really pleased with the request and mentioned some company have an "under minimum" fee and would get back to me with some answers in a day or two. My heart soared after that conversation!

Until I got an answer back and I'm not sure what to do....yet again! They have a company that can do a minimum of 50 (I need about 30) for $5.54 each. Do the math and that's $277 for one item in my OOT bag. I'm torn because honestly that's a lot for one single piece of plastic! Yet it's what I want and we have the money.

I need help people, what are your thoughts????

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Golden Girls!

"Thank you for being a friend, Traveled down the road and back again, Your heart is true your a pal and a confidant" (come on you know you're singing with me!) .

Oh I just love that show. Estelle Getty we miss you!

Ok so now that I got that out of my system I wanted to talk about a wonderful surprise I got last week. When I decided on a DW I understood and accepted the fact that most people, including my closest friends, might not be able to make it since it cost money. One of my best friends growing up had to decline since her wedding was only 3 weeks after mine and that was the start of the many "unfortunately we can't make it" responses. I thought at one point that we would be friendless (except the best man) on our wedding day and that really bummed me.

I have some great people in my life but there are only a few that have been my closest friends since I was young. And I just found out that two of them are coming to my wedding and I couldn't be happier! The ladies have been my friends for about 20 years now and to know they are going to be part of my special day makes this day even more special. I grew up swimming with "Jafar" and "Dimond in the Rough" (yes that's their real nicknames no joke and I'm "King of Thieves") and we have been through so much together.

Jafar (first on left), Me (next to her), and Dimond in the Rough (second from right in blue) at one of the many summer parties circa 2001 I think.

Me and Jafar - 2000

She will absolutely kill me for this pic but it's a classic! Dimond in the Rough (in red) and I with our friend Jules in 1994.

Dimond in the Rough and I in Sedona, AZ this past January.

They both live far away from me now but we are always still there for each other in a heart beat. Dimond in the Rough lives in Scottsdale, AZ now along with her family and Jafar lives in Maryland with her husband. I can only imagine the crazy stuff that will take place down in the Dominican!

I plan on incorporating them into the wedding since they are not in my bridal party but more to come on that!

Were there any unexpected surprises with guests RSVP's?

*all photos from personal camera*

Monday, May 24, 2010

Four Years Later...

....and I will get to marry my best friend, soul mate, and the man that makes me laugh my butt off every day!

Our first pic together - September 2006 - Hancock Tower, Chicago.

Funny story about this picture, I planned to tell him I loved him for the first time at the top of the tower. I chickened out because I could never find a time to be alone since a lot of people were visiting as well. I'm such a dork! So I ended up telling him randomly in our hotel room which clearly isn't as exciting but it still makes me smile at the thought!

Over the weekend we decided on a date to legally get married in New York State. As mentioned a few months ago , we are getting married legally in the US before we head to the Caribbean for our symbolic ceremony since we want to avoid waiting months for our marriage certificate to arrive after being translated.

Ok drum roll please......

August 18th!

I'm so happy that we are able to get married on our anniversary, the first date we had together. Isn't that awesome?!! Even though technically our wedding date is September 18th we will celebrate our anniversary on that date every year, but it is still wonderful to be able to still make our 'dating anniversary' special as well.

Another photo taken in front of Hancock Tower, Chicago. Although this picture was taken on our 4th date it's the first time we took pictures and the day.
Now I have to decide what to wear to city hall! More on that to come.
Are you getting married at city hall first? How did you come up with a date?
*all photos taken from personal camera*

Friday, May 21, 2010

Happy Friday!


Just a random photo that I thought was hilarious! It's Friday people. WOOHOO! I just love weekends although once the warmer weather arrives that means we get so busy that we just don't get any time to be couch potatos. This weekend is a prime example (and don't get me started on Memorial Day weekend!).

I have the privilege of being a bridesmaid in my friends wedding in August and since I am planning my own wedding I really haven't had much time to concentrate on hers. Her wedding is 12 weeks away and I haven't gotten a dress yet! Yikes! She has given us free reign on the style choice as long as its from David's Bridal and in the color "clover". This seems to be the trend in many weddings I've seen not only in person but also on TV. I think it's a great option since we have such a big wedding party and many different body types. So tonight I MUST go to DB and try on some dresses but I think I have it narrowed down to one.

This one

I tried the longer version on about 2 months ago and wasn't a fan of it but loved the top. It made me look like a balloon. So today is the day even though I've been dreading trying on dresses! Wish me luck!

Anybody else try this dress on? Do you dread trying on dresses too?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It was love at first sight...

You know how people say you'll find the right when you least expect it. Well it happened to me yesterday and I just loved how good it felt! Scratching your head yet? No I'm not talking about my FI (although we totally fell into each others laps that way) but I'm talking about the perfect favor for our guests. Something that represents are style/theme yet practical and something they can use! I hate going to weddings and getting a favor that collects dust and I never use.

I've known for a while that I wanted to give wine stoppers as favors to our guests but some of them are just so generic. Nothing wrong with that but I want to stand out from the crowd because that's clearly how I roll! How I roll? CLEARLY I need some coffee because I haven't used that term since HS.

I really liked the starfish wine stoppers since that goes along with our DW theme. And there isn't much out there for different styles of starfish wine stoppers.

This is whatcha get! Source

Or so I thought! I googled "starfish wine stoppers" and found most websites that supply the wine stopper shown above. And then I saw "Murano Glass Collection" and figured I would see how much those puppies would cost. Humoring myself (or so I thought) I clicked on the website and started to drool over this....

I can't take my eyes off you! (source)

"The intricate way the hand blown glass colors intertwine within the glass transform what is usually a common favor into a veritable original work of art." Reading the description just makes me swoon! And the best part? If I order 96 or more they are only (drum roll please!)...$2.99 each!!

(Dancing in my seat as we speak)

So I sent the link to my FI and of course I'm sure he wasn't as excited since his comment was, "those are great, get what you want babe." Wedding favors aren't exactly his top priority right now since he's been studying for his MIJ test since his apprenticeship is almost over. It's been a long time coming and I'm so proud of him but I also can't wait for the pay raise!! It couldn't come at a more perfect time.

Ok sorry I drifted off subject. So once we get the final headcount for our HR and DW, I will be ordering them faster than you can say "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

What piece of the wedding just clicked for you? Did you fall head over heels for something? Maybe it was your dress or the venue or even the cake! Love to hear what clicked for you!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This picture is absolutely amazing and I'm so excited that it's taken by our photographer! He just posted some pictures on his blog and it couldn't have come at a better time. In exactly 4 months from today, we will be getting married!

I couldn't be happier with our choice and he is worth every penny! His work continues to amaze me and I'm so happy with the way our e-pics came out, that I'm left with one less detail to stress about on the day of and that's such a great feeling!

How were you feeling at the 4 month mark?? Did you start to feel the stress?

Monday, May 17, 2010

First comes love....

....then comes marriage...then comes...

I know what you're thinking but no it's not mine. He is my new (and first!) nephew Ryan Anthony who was born late Wednesday night. I apologize for the delay in postings but I've been a tad busy, can you tell?

He is absolutely adorable, precious, angelic and a blessing. I was so happy for my sister and brother-in law. I have to admit though, I have baby fever now. Holding him against my chest for 45 minutes was such a bonding experience and made me so excited to start a family. The wedding can't come soon enough! LOL Although unlike the saying "First Comes Love..." we will go about it a little differently and more like "First comes love...then comes marriage...then comes a HOUSE...AND THEN comes baby!" :)
It was a monumental weekend not only for my sister but for me. I turned the big 2-8 (the big 2-8? What's so special about that? I don't know.) on Saturday and although most of us were consumed in babyland, I also celebrated my birthday. It was an absolute blessing to be able to spend it with my family, which I normally don't get to since my parents live in FL.

Now that the baby has arrived it's the start of many great things to come this year. I'm so excited (and a little anxious) for the next 4 months.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

You're going to trash what?? Think again!

This might be one of the most revealing posts I've written thus far but that's OK because I want others to know that wedding planning is NOT always about sunshine and cupcakes! Remember about a month ago I was so excited on my impulse purchase on EBay? If not, read here. I received the dress in a tiny box about 2 weeks ago and I couldn't wait to get home to try it on! The dress was the same size as my wedding dress so it was perfect and meant to be......or so I thought.

The dress is absolutely gorgeous and flowy.
Except it doesn't fit (cue loser music "wah waaah")

Let me explain how I got this dress on to begin with. Since it was only myself I put it on backwards so the zipper was in the front. The dress has a corset back and then you zipper up. So I was able to get ONE hook which clearly almost broke by the time I was done. THEN I had to suck it in for a good minute to try and turn the dress around right. Picture a dog chasing it's tail and that's what you got. No joke.

About 5 minutes later I finally got the dress on right. Notice the hook stretching in this picture?? Le sigh. Then I attempted to zip it up and that only got me half way until I decided to breathe and zipper went right back down to the start. ::insert pointing and laughing::

Um. yeah. The top is too big and pointy and CLEARLY a huge gap! I'm just a mess at this point.

Such a horrible picture but since it wasn't zipped up this is what I got. I look like a line backer to be honest! Bummer.

So ladies unfortunately I've decided to not use this dress and possibly resell it. My heart keeps telling me to use my own dress for the TTD session anyways and after this bump in the road I think its a sign. Luckily I didn't break the bank with this purchase but its still a disappointment not to mention my butt has to get to the gym because I cannot have this happen to my other dress!

What was your disappointment thus far in wedding planning?

Dead End Zone!

I have a secret to admit and its not a pretty one. This past winter I got lazy and I used my FI Head and Shoulders 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner for a good 2 months. What a mess! And THEN I read Miss Nachos blog about buying store brand products and what it does to your hair and I cringed!
I know using Head & Shoulder's was a HUGE mistake but at the time I got really lazy in the morning and would wait until the last second possible to get out of bed which didn't leave me much time to get ready. I also had to let you know that I haven't had my haircut since last September since I wanted to grow it out for the wedding. So you mix those two factors in you get this:
Isn't this scary looking??? Source
My hair had so many dead ends all over and they were also fried to crisp. LITERALLY they were crispy if I just let my hair dry naturally. I knew I had to do something about this so I took the first steps and sucked it up and bought quality salon products from Harmon Beauty Supply which is my savor when it comes to saving money!
I have been using these products for 2 1/2 months now and I notice a HUGE difference especially when I FINALLY got an appointment with my stylist and got my hair trimmed. I walked in and his eyes opened wide and I turned red. It was like I totally got caught with my hand in the cookie jar! His first reaction was, "WOW your hair got so long!" And then I saw down in the seat to discuss what we wanted to do and I instantly caved in and told him everything that has been going on! He just laughed thankfully and mentioned that he will take care of it but won't be able to get rid of ALL the dead ends since it would make my hair too short (aka - you waited too long!).

Much better! *personal photo taken same day as haircut*

I won't ever make the mistake of going 7 months without another hair let alone wash my hair with such crappy shampoo! My FI is much happier as well since I'm not using up his shampoo/conditioner! LOL

I know as brides we want to grow our hair out for the wedding and we think that just by not cutting it that we are doing ourselves a favor but honestly we're not. The ends of our hair split for a number of reasons: heat, color, lack of vitamins or lack of protein. Then the end either breaks off or continues to split up further and keep breaking.

Another lesson learned for me! Are you even surprised at this point?? Did you make the switch to salon products and did you have results? Anybody else want to admit that they too have used H&S as well?

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Goods..Part 1

I still have yet to decide on our OOT bags but I have been deciding on what to put in them...sort of. How cool would it be to walk up to the bar at the resort and fill up a personalized plastic beer mug with a cold refreshing drink? Everyone loves plastic mugs! I searched high and low for a company to do just that and unfortunately I need to order at least 100 minimum. I only need about 40 so what would I do with the remaining 60!??

Custom Ink has an easy and resourceful website to personalize a bunch of stuff. This is the look I'm hoping for.

Remember we used this symbol on our invitations? Well we want to continue to incorporate this into our wedding in other ways as well and I think this would be perfect to put on the mug.

What do you think? I didn't want to put our names on the mugs because that seemed a bit cheesy and I figured people might not used them if they were too personalized, ya know? These mugs cost $1.25 each plus the set up fee which would cost a total of $185 for 100 mugs. I'm not worried about the price but I'm more worried about what to do with the remaining mugs! Maybe give them out at the home reception?
I can't tell you how AWESOME this would be to include in our OOT bags. Anyone have any suggestions on where I can find these mugs without having to buy 100 or more?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lesson Learned: RSVP cards UPDATE!

As if you couldn't top that subject with an update....BUT I actually can. First update, I received another no name response and just a "Y" next to the home reception.

So is that "Y" for YOURSELF? Or is that Yes I'll bring my entire extended family?? It came from NJ so at least I can narrow it down to a few choices.

SECONDLY I received another different kind of response today. I'm kind of lost for words yet its a little funny at this point because every day is new adventure in the Land of Response Cards!

*personal phone*

I was utterly shocked. I realize this person is on my Mother's side (I believe her aunt) and so I quickly called her and told her the news. It went something like this:

Me: Hi. Ummm did you know Emma died last year?

Mom: Oh yeah back in March I believe. Why?

Me: Well I sent her an invite to the wedding and she responded! Well more like someone in the family did. I thought you reviewed the list before I sent the invitations out?!

Mom: I did...I must have missed that.

HA! Ya think?! I am not sure how any other response is going to top that one.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The unveiling!

I've finally come to a decision..well...more like a step forward. I spoke earlier about whether I was going to wear a veil or not on the day of the wedding.

Well I found 2 smaller flower organza beaded hairpins from Etsy seller PowderBlueBijoux for $30 and I fell in love. I received them in a cute little box with Tiffany blue tissue paper. Although at first I wasn't overly excited about the quality of the flower, I got over that fast once I put it in my hair. I chose two small flowers because I didn't one big flower to consume my entire head.

In the center is a tiny pearl and rhinestone which fits well with my jewelry and dress theme.

Back of the hairpin

So I have naturally wavy/curly hair and in the summer time due to humidity I have NO choice but to leave it this way. I plan on leaving my hair like this in the Dominican and most likely the day of the wedding. I found inspiration from a very common picture found on the web.

So I decided to just pull my hair back lightly into a bun for now. Then strategically placed the two hairpins, one on top and the other on the side.
View from the front, not bad eh!

Another view trying to get the flower in more. At this point I'm wondering if I need to go bigger since you can't see the flower unless I turn my head. Hmm...

I was surprisingly happy with the way they looked. I was relieved to be honest. At this point I realized there was no way I was going to have a veil. This works very well with the back of my dress being open.

I suck at taking pictures on my own at an awkward angle but I wanted to get a close up of the flowers. You can't tell but my other hand is holding a hand mirror up to try and make sure the camera is position right. HA!

So what do you think? Should I go bigger?

*all photos are personal unless otherwise stated*

DIY: Bedazzler gone wrong!

Remember how I wanted to bedazzle my flip flops for the wedding instead of paying $60 for the real deal? Well I visited Michaels today and was totally stoked to use my 40% coupon too!! I couldn't wait to get home to start another project.

I have my crystals, tweezers, hot fix crystal tool, and flip flops!

I bought 5mm swarovski crystal flat backs, 4 packages of 22 pieces.

I even went on YouTube to see how to use the hot fix tool properly. Sounds so easy but it isn't! You heat up the hot fix tool for 5 minutes, then place your crystal on the surface of the object you want and hold down for 30 seconds. Then VOILA!

Unfortunately my DIY project didn't work the way I wanted and started melting the flip flops!
As you can see I tried 3 times and still no luck.

No bueno! I was frustrated and bummed.

So here is the breakdown of my unsucessful DIY project:

Old Navy flip flops: $2.50

5mm flat back crystals: $3.49 each 30% off (22 pieces) x 4

Jolees Hot Fix Crystal Tool: $11.99 ( with 40% coupon)

Tweezers: $3.49

Total: $34.10

So I will be returning the crystals and the tweezers since I won't be using them now. And it's now on to Plan B. I discovered these bad boys in J.Crew the other day for $36.


So in the long run I spent almost the amount I didn't want to spend. Oh well. You win some and you learn some.

Anyone have luck using the hot fix tool on flip flops? Ever have a DIY project gone wrong? If so, I'd love to hear!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let's change things up a bit....

So I thought I would change things up and talk about why we chose to have a destination wedding (DW). I've gotten this question a lot lately when I mention where we are getting married.

"So what made you want to have a destination wedding?"


"So were a lot of people mad when they found out you were getting married in the Caribbean?"

Honestly I've never imagined myself getting married anywhere else except the catholic church I grew up going to but it wasn't until I met my FI that something just clicked. It was so weird but literally like a switch turned on at the first thought of getting married to him. I mean I literally planned out my wedding before (in my head) and pictured the big Cinderella traditional sha-bang!

My FI and I went on vacation back in May 2008 in the Dominican Republic at a resort in Punta Cana called Majestic Colonial.

My FI and I waiting for our room to be ready. I swear my cheesy smile is not alcohol induced...I'm just that cheesy.

We absolutely had a blast and fell in love with the resort. The resorts grounds were lush and tropical and always well maintained. The staff was extremely friendly and always said, "Hola!"

One of the many bars available to your enjoyment.

We witnessed several weddings taking place while we were there and it hit us....let's have a destination wedding! It's totally our style, laid back, relaxed and honestly we just want to go away with our friends and family and celebrate our love for a couple days while boozing and eating our hearts out! Who wouldn't want that?! I know it's not for everyone but I couldn't picture getting married anywhere else.

We vacationed at many other all-inclusive resorts over the last two years but none of them exceeded our expectations like this resort and we knew this was were we wanted to get married. PLUS we know what to expect since we've already been there!

This is one of the many reasons why I love my FI..he is such a goof ball and makes me laugh all the time!

We love our beverages =)

One of the best features is the never ending pool that starts up by reception and ends by the beach! This is the view from our room. There was quieter parts (which we didn't go near) and then there was the rowdy loud music section which we always try to stay towards.

This is the grand staircase in the main lobby. THIS is what sold me on having my wedding here. Can you imagine the amazing pictures I will get???

And so to answer the question earlier about if people got mad because we were having a DW...NOPE! Luckily my family supports our decision and although they've never been to one they are extremely excited for the new experience! I'm really thankful they were on board from the start because that's whose opinion would have mattered most. and if anybody is mad or upset I don't really care because at the end of the day this is OUR wedding.

So there you have it! Anybody else decide to go against tradition and have a wedding that represents their style whether it's outdoors, at a museum or even on a mountain top? Was everyone accepting?

*all picture were taken from personal camera*