Jun 25, 2012

The Day Before

The day before our wedding was a whirlwind. I was up early to get the world's slowest manicure and pedicure with BM Kelly and my MOH. Then it was back home to rehearse my dance with my dad (more on that later!), then back to the salon for an equally slow, but completely amazing, blowout. Then I met up with my MOH and BM Kelly to drive over to the hotel for the weekend.

Knowing that our wedding weekend was finally here made me incredibly happy and excited. I had planned so much and prayed a lot for things to go well and I just felt content and ready, feelings that were furthered by the appearance of lots of little fortuitous signs: Mr. B's hotel room was 602 (our wedding date), the Mets had some crazy no hitter (apparently this was legendary, I don't know, I don't do baseball), my hair and outfit were just as I'd always envisioned them.

Our rehearsal dinner was held at Mr. B and my favorite restaurant, called Due Mari. We had about 40 guests and served a buffet of appetizers, and delicious Italian entrees of pasta, branzino, steak, and chicken. It was laid back, with the guests just eating, drinking, and catching up for a few hours.

Couple of tips for your rehearsal dinner- if you plan to have speeches, make sure you know exactly how those will work. It was very difficult to hear on the mic we brought, so we wound up just listening to our friends' speeches in their hotel room later. They were so awesome and sweet that I do wish our families got to hear them too.

Also, take a little time to think about the structure of the party. We just figured everyone would show up at the restaurant and eat, but it got off to a slightly awkward start, since there were five huge tables and I don't think people knew where or when to sit. They waited for us and we were busy greeting everyone and running around.

Anyway neither of these were a big deal, and we had a wonderful time with our families and friends. I felt so loved by all the people who had traveled to be there, took the time to write thoughtful speeches, and spent the night with me.

Enough rambling, right? Here's some pics:

That's us at our table with the bridesmaids and groomsmen

Me and BM Kelly

Me with my MOH and BM Kaitlyn

With our groomsmen

With Mr. B's family

All photos by my dad. My awesome dress is from J. Crew.

Jun 20, 2012

Precap: Table Number DIY

We housed our table numbers in vintage looking, mismatched gold picture frames. Calling this project a DIY is kind of a stretch, but bear with me, this is an easy one:

Step 1: Go to Home Goods and TJ Maxx and immediately see large collections of gold frames.

Step 2: Estimate 20 tables. Find five differnet style frames you like, and buy multiples of each. (That's important! If you have 20 entirely different frames, it looks ghetto. If you have 4 of each of 5 kinds of frames, it looks cool and intentional).

Step 3: Buy frames. Get annoyed when you realize the 30 day return policy means you're stuck keeping all these after the wedding.

Step 4: Take shimmery cardstock and cut down to the size in the frames. Call calligrapher at last minute and feel relieved she only charges 30 cents to write a number on a piece of paper.

Step 5: Pop the numbers into the frames. Voila!

Extra Credit: Beg calligrapher to make signage for the bars as well:

(All frames were purchased at Home Goods and TJ Maxx. Cardstock was Opal Stardream from Cards and Pockets. Calligraphy was done by Carmela Mazzarulli).

(Also, my best friend and her cousin are using these for their weddings, so I feel better about spending $100 on picture frames).
What did you do for table numbers?

Jun 19, 2012

Precap: Menu DIY

Okay so before I get into the recaps, I want to finish my last DIY posts. My personal favorite DIY was the menus I created for our wedding:

Pic by Spark Photography

I used Microsoft Publisher to create this. I started with your standard 8.5 x 11 page, and split it into two columns. I copied and pasted our monograms off our invite proofs and placed that at the top. The text was all written in separate text boxes so that I could center it appropriately, and then I just copied and pasted from one column over to another. Very simple. I liked this because it allowed me to print two per page, which saved me about $80.

I had them printed on Opal Stardream cardstock from Cards and Pockets, like all my other DIYs.

Then, we had to cut down the middle of each page to separate them.
I used a corner rounder to round the corners, and then swiped the edges through a gold stamp pad.

Below, you can see how much that little edging added to the menus. (It also matched the gold edges on our invitation, though I cannot imagine a single person besides me would have realized that).


To make it easier, I ran stacks of about 20 menus at a time through the stamp pad. I had to do it twice to ensure everything got a bold enough gold color.

At the reception, we had these slipped into the fold in an ivory napkin. They looked beautiful and I felt this was a DIY well worth the effort.

Are you designing menus?

Jun 18, 2012


Well there hasn't been a post for a couple weeks now because Mr. B and I are MARRIED!

Our day was seriously amazing, we were so blessed to have perfect weather and literally a perfect wedding. Nothing went wrong and it was amazing to be surrounded by so many loving family members and friends. Easily the best day of our lives.

Stay tuned for some recaps!

May 30, 2012

Shower Gift Idea

Now that my friend Jenn's shower is over with, I can share with you guys the awesome gift that us bridesmaids gave her, because you might seriously want to copy it.

Jenn is not always much of a "stuff" person, so instead of getting her a registry gift, we opted for a more out of the box option: a date for each month of the year.

Basically, we each chose a few months of the year and purchased gift cards, tickets, and other related items that would allow the bride and groom to go on a date. We packaged everything in envelopes, one for each month, and stacked them in a pretty box from Target.

I took June, July, and August, and decorated my envelopes with scrapbook stickers:

For June, I got them a gift certificate to a winery in our state, and arranged it on colored cardstock to make it a little less boring looking. I wrote a little poem to explain what the date was:

For July, I got a gift certificate to the spa at their honeymoon resort. I included the menu of spa options and treatments.

For August, the date idea was "Jersey Shore." I got her a book to read on the beach (she loves reading), and a gift card for her favorite boardwalk lunch spot.

Other month's dates were as follows (most of these gifts are based around New York City, since we're all local):

September:   Mets tickets
October:       Gift certificate to apple picking orchard
November:   Central Park zoo tickets
December:   Mr. and Mrs. Ornament, trip to Union Square holiday bazaar and gift card to a fancy Union Square restaurant.
January:       Chelsea Piers gift cards 
February:     Valentine's Day "Stay in and cook" date- cookbook, candles, Whole Foods gift card
March:         Movie gift cards
April:            Walking tour of New York City
May:            Chili's gift card (I'll never know why, but she loves Chili's)

Other ideas we threw around included a couples' dance class, a horror movie Halloween (stack of cheesey movies + blanket), and an ice skating rink gift card (which the Chelsea Piers thing kind of covers).

She loved the gift and I think her fiance appreciated that it was for him as well.

This idea originally came from the blog Find Joy In the Journey, which I found via Pinterest. Check that link out, she has much better pictures and lots of other ideas!

What's your favorite shower gift that you've given?

May 29, 2012

Program DIY, Part 2

So last week I showed you guys the inside of the programs, and recently my mom, FMIL, and MOH came over to help me complete them, an easy but time consuming task, made a lot more fun by their company.

I had designed and printed the covers a few months prior at, where else, my beloved Cards and Pockets. I had 6 x 12 inch booklets made and scored so I could fold them into 6 x 6 inch booklets. I printed them on the Opal Stardream cardstock I've used for all my wedding tasks so far, and designed a fairly simple cover:

Just our names, wedding date, and wedding location.

A heads up if you go this route, it's not exactly budget friendly. 225 covers cost me $186, and that is before the cost of resume paper, embellishments, and tools used.

To keep up with our lace and pearls theme, I purchased a beautiful lace from MJ Trim here in New York City. Unfortunately, there was no name or style  number printed on it, but here's what it looked like:

Yes that's right, I set out a Christmas tablecloth in July...didn't want to wreck my mom's table with glue!

I cut 225 strips that were about 6 and 1/4 inches- I wanted the lace to be longer than the program.

We formed an assembly line. My mom attached the covers and the insides using a long reach stapler, which I think is a great way to make booklets. The long reach stapler allows you to set the size so that you can staple papers up to 12 inches long, rather than using a conventional stapler, which wouldn't have reached the binding.

After stapling, she handed the programs off to the rest of us, who used Mod Podge and paintbrushes to apply the lace. We applied it to the front cover and folded it over the spine to hide the staples and leave a border near the spine on the back cover.

Since the lace strips were longer than the program, once the glue dried we just cut the extra edges off, which gave us a nice straight cut. That way, you don't have to worry about cutting the lace straight at the beginning.

The finished product (also displayed on a heinous tablecloth, sorry!)

I'm very pleased with how they came out. They're definitely of a more formal and less trend-forward rustic look, and they were a heck of a lot of work, but I'm glad we did them.

If you're going to attempt a similar project my only advice would be to literally start four months in advance. By the time I got all our text together (and verified by our officiants), designed everything in Word, and ordered sample programs, it was already mid April, and I'd started the project in January.

What are you doing for programs?

May 22, 2012

The Ambush

On Cinco de Mayo, I was sitting on my couch with Mr. B, reading and thinking how strange it was that we had no wedding tasks planned for the day, when I heard a knock at our apartment door.

Since I live in a small building that you have to be buzzed in to, I pretty much expect a knife wielding killer anytime I hear an unexpected knock. Luckily, instead of a killer, the surprise guests were my MOH and BM Kelly, who ambushed the apartment with overnight bags, a videocamera, and lots of excitement.

My MOH immediately set to plugging in her iPhone our speakers, and told me I had a half hour to pack before I was being whisked away for my bachelorette party!!  The girls helped me toss 87 thousand different outfit and shoe combos into my overnight bag, and before I knew it, we were in a taxi headed to the Westin Times Square.

At the hotel, I was greeted by the rest of my bridal party, some cousins and friends. There were snacks set up (on zebra print plates), a bottle of Jack Daniels (my fave), and great decorations everywhere.
The girls handed me a few bags of bachelorette swag: a Lolita wine glass, a gigantic pink plastic "Bride" pimp cup, a crown, a veil, wedding day underwear, and a necklace, and immediately began fixing me a Jack and Coke in my pimp cup.

We got ready together, which was an awesome flashback to college, listening to MOH's amazing playlist (seriously, I am pretty sure she got every one of my favorite songs on there) and then headed in a huge Escalade  to a little unmarked East Village restaurant called In Vino. It was the perfect restaurant- delicious food, a Tuscan-cave like atmosphere, and regularly refilled glasses of wine. We feasted on a variety of appetizers, pasta, and dessert.

Posing in front of our gigantic Escalade cab

 At dinner

Then, we took a cab over to a top secret location for the best part of the night: karaoke!! I am not sure there is a human being that loves karaoke more than I do. The night was a blur of sake shots, more Jack Daniels, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, dance parties in a private room, and sake bombs in my pimp cup.  (Please prepare yourself for a LOT of pictures).

Everyone at karaoke

With my cousins- one is a BM and the other is reading at our ceremony

My best friends and roommates from college

BM Laura doing Faded, our favorite song

Lots of singing

After karaoke, my cousin Rebecca got us into some trendy Meatpacking District club called Gun Bar. She lives around there and apparently knows the bouncers. We managed to not spend a dime in the club, getting in free, getting free champagne, and getting handed free drinks from friendly nearby strangers sharing their bottle service. I may or may not have taken shots of vodka straight from their bottle. The club was fun and music good, although my scene is usually more of a grubby 30-beers-on-tap type of place.

At the club
 We broke for the night and BMs Kelly, Kait, and my MOH and I crashed back at the hotel room, where we stayed up chatting for a while. The next morning, we had a bridesmaids' brunch at our hotel, and then went back to our own homes, to crash and nap (or in my case, watch a billion hours of Real Housewives of NJ.)

My bachelorette was a perfect combination of my favorite things, and it was exactly what I would have imagined.  The older we get, the harder it is to have crazy nights out with my girlfriends, and I was so happy to be able to have this night. I really appreciated the surprise factor and all the planning the girls did. It was awesome!!

What did you do for your bachelorette?
Hailing cabs back