Thursday, November 6, 2008

DC Bridal Bash

A few weeks ago, my wonderful MOH and bridesmaids threw me my very first bridal shower! As I used to live in DC, and many of my friends (and bridesmaids) still live there, they had the shower there. My MOH's mother lives in DC and was gracious enough to allow us to hold the shower there. Instead of a typical shower, this was a "recipe" shower, where all the girls baked something, then decorated a recipe page for a book that I was given. It was very yummy, and such a cute idea! I now have a book full of recipes, and many of the baking utensils and accessories off my registry.

We also played the toilet paper wedding dress game, but, in true DC fashion, we decorated cardboard cut-outs of the presidential candidates (and Bush) instead of each other! Everyone divided into teams, chose a candidate and had 5 minutes to create a wedding dress out of toilet paper. As the bride, I was the judge (although apparently there were claims of impartiality given my choice of Hillary).

The rest of the weekend consistent of eating at La Mad (my FAVORITE place!) and going out at night. Saturday night was so much fun, as we headed to the "old hangout" of Front Page. Oh, the memories! :)

Thanks, ladies! It was so much fun, and I love ya'll!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy Engage-iversary!

Monday was my and FI's one year "engage-iversary." Yep, that's right -- we've already been engaged one year! I have to say, though, that this is one time in life when it actually has FELT like a year... or more. I can totally understand now why most brides get married within one year of getting engaged. For example, here's a rough timeline of emotions over the past year:

From "Yes" - 4 months: Ecstatic, excited to jump right in and begin planning everything, go wedding dress shopping, book a venue and maybe a vendor or two, pick a color scheme.

4 months - 8 months: Still very into planning, reading every wedding magazine and blog out there, buy a wedding dress, reach the "one year until the wedding" date, finish booking most of the vendors, pick out bridesmaids dresses (but don't purchase).

8 months - 10 months: Dead zone. Nothing to do since we've already booked everything that most brides do during this time, become a little bored with the situation. Start to second guess everything we previously decided.

10 months - 12 months: Send out the STDs! Then, completely redo the color scheme, meet with the florist to inform her of this, and pick new bridesmaids dresses to go with the new scheme.

You see, the problem with giving a bride such as me too much time to plan is that I'm always looking for "new" and "creative" elements to add to my wedding, which basically means that I change my mind a lot. While I'm happy that we were able to basically have our pick of vendors since we booked so far in advance, that really has been the only positive to having a long engagement. If I had it to do all over again, and law school wasn't a factor, I would definitely not wait a year and a half to get married.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A New Image

A couple of weekends ago, FMIL and I met with my florist, Laurel Lane Florals, and had our first cake tasting. Unfortunately, both were sub-par.

First, the florist. As you may recall, I love the idea of having bright, colorful flowers -- blues, purples, and hints of magenta -- for the centerpieces at the reception. Everyone else, though, thinks white flowers are best give our extensive lighting and blue sheers. I can see their point; white flowers may reflect the specialty lighting better and "absorb" the colors. And I definitely don't want our wedding to be a "sensory overload" of colors. At the time, I agreed with the florist, FMIL and FI (who had expressed his opinion before the meeting), and we worked on coming up with centerpieces based on white. I love orchids, so we went with dendrobium orchids for the tall centerpieces and "miscellaneous" white flowers for the lower centerpieces. The more I think about it, though, the more I wish I'd stayed with my original idea. Since nothing is written in stone, yet, I have time to change my mind. But what do I want to change it to?

I think some kind of combination of white and colorful flowers will look good. Perhaps having the orchids hang down and encircle the colored flowers? With white pin-lighting on each centerpiece, I feel that the blues and purples of the flowers will show up more than everyone thinks. Regardless of what I ended up choosing for the centerpieces, the bouquets will definitely still be in the original color scheme. These are just such "happy" colors!

Next up, we went to Scrumptions, which is a cake shop in East Greenwich, RI. Many of the wedding websites I frequent list Scrumptions as a "top" cake shop, and many of the weddings posted on my photographer's website used Scrumptions for their cake. However, I wasn't overly impressed. The tasting included several different kinds of cake as well as small samplings of their fillings. The cake, however, tasted stale. I realize that you can't make a cake for every tasting, but I do think they should serve "fresh" cake. They are trying to sell it to me, after all.

I looked through their books and chose a very simple design -- 3 tier (smallest available) square cake with ribbon trimming (real ribbon provided by me) and real flowers on top (so no fancy sugar flowers or anything. I also decided to go with butter cream icing instead of fondant. We picked out different flavors and fillings for the cake, too. So, the cost of this small, simple cake? Over $1000!! I understand that wedding cakes are expensive, but if we're paying $1K for a cake, then it should at least be good. Needless to say, Scrumptions is off the list.

Next up, we're spending the weekend in RI for FFIL's birthday celebration on Saturday, and we're visiting Belle Mer on Sunday. We're also going to try the whole cake thing again on Sunday -- this time trying the Creative Cake Company. Finally, we're hoping to go aboard and tour the Majestic, which is the boat where we're hosting the rehearsal dinner. Wish us luck!

Post Picture Here

I know everyone's waiting with baited breath to see the STDs, but unfortunately our camera is broken! FI and I both have cameras and both are not in working order. :( To those of you who haven't received one, I decided to go with the postcard idea using Vista Print. I was particularly happy to use the heart in the sand picture with our initials (the one to the right of the posts). On the front glossy side was the picture and "Save the Date" at the top with the numerical date on the bottom. On the reverse side was " the Ocean State!" (yes, I'm a rhyming fiend!) and the details (names, dates, venue and our website). Overall, I was very happy with how they came out, and even more happy with the price. We mailed out about 200 of these babies and total cost for 250 STDs and postage was a little under $100. Not too bad considering the other much costlier ideas!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Please Mr. Postman

We did it! After a week of sitting dormant in our living room, our STD's are finally in the hands of the United States Postal Service. Although I don't have a firm count, I think we sent out a little less than 200 of these babies! Clearly, we're not expecting everyone to attend, otherwise we'd have 400 people at our wedding. . . and FI would have a heart attack when the final bill came.

Most of my family from North Carolina will be unable to attend, but we still wanted them to feel included. In fact, my parents will be hosting an engagement party/reception/shower for us in January, so that many of my NC family and friends will be able to meet FI (and his parents and grandmother, who will be traveling down for the weekend) and celebrate with us. We had to schedule it during my winter break, but I didn't want it to be too close to Christmas or over New Year's because so many people will be out of town. Thus, we scheduled it for January 10, which is my last weekend off before starting the spring semester.

After I receive word that some of the STD's have been received, I'll post pictures and "the making of" story. Let's hope the USPS comes through in the clutch!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time Flies

Wow, it's been forever since my last post. I apologize for the absence, but it's been a crazy time in the Legal Beagle household. As I mentioned previously, I had interviews the week before classes started, and those actually continue through next week. So, in addition to all the craziness of beginning my 2L year, I've had to conquer it all in a suit (since my interviews would often be immediately before, during or after class). Things have somewhat settled down now, though, so I can get back to the wedding grind!


The Save-the-Dates have all been addressed, and they have been sitting nicely on my living room table for the past week. Yep, I've been so busy that I haven't even had time to go to the post office to mail them! It is first on my list for tomorrow, though. Once they're out, I'll put up pictures of them.

Next weekend, FI and I are going to Newport, ostensibly to meet with the florist and find a cake baker. We may also swing by Belle Mer. We have been planning this trip for weeks now, though, and something always comes up to divert our plans. However, it is DEFINTELY happening next weekend. We're almost 8 months out, and I have yet to meet with my florist outside the initial meeting before we hired her. I'm excited to show her my table sheers and explain our color "scheme" (if you can call it that).

We have also found our ceremony musicians, which is a relief since we didn't really think about needing them initially. The only problem has been in actually getting a contract. The first one they mailed took forever to get to us (even though they mailed it from Somerset, MA), and then it didn't include the vocalist (only the trio musicians). So, in order to save some time, I emailed them FI's fax number, and they assured me they would fax the new contract today. Apparently, though, no fax has arrived (as of 4pm EST). If I hadn't heard great things about this group, I might be worried... ok, I am worried period. But, I really love their sound and the vocalist is amazing. They've also performed at St. Mary's in Bristol, so they're aware of the acoustics and protocol with the church. If we ever actually sign an agreement with them, I'm sure they'll perform beautifully for the ceremony.

Ok, that's the update for now, but check back soon for the STD pictures!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

To Hire or Not to Hire

FI and I have been fortunate enough to find and book most of our vendors well in advance. However, there are a few loose ends that we have to tie up.

For example, while we've booked the guest shuttle bus, we haven't booked the wedding party's transportation. Since our wedding happens to be on a popular prom night, the limo companies book up fast. Of course, we're not sure if we want to get a limo since most aren't large enough to carry everyone. Since the entire wedding party will be traveling around Newport to take pictures after the ceremony, it's important that we have something that will allow us to ride together. So, we've also thought about renting a limo bus, which holds up to about 30 people. However, there's the question of how I (as the bride) will get to the church. Obviously, I wouldn't be able to ride with the groomsmen and groom. So, we're back to possibly needing 2 vehicles or having to make 2 trips. It's a dilemma. While I've always thought it would be nice to arrive in a white Bentley or Rolls Royce, they are unfortunately very expensive. And, there's only room for me and my dad (prior to the ceremony). There is FI's car, "Vivian," a silver Mercedes. I could possibly just ride in it and have my dad drive. This is the first "to hire or not to hire" question we're facing... and one that needs to be decided soon.

Our second questionable hire is a videographer. Personally, I think we should hire one. Every bride I've spoken with said it was one of their best "purchases," as the day goes by so quickly and it's great to have a video to see everything that you missed. Unfortunately, FI doesn't think it's necessary. He says that we'll never watch the video, and it's just a waste of money. This is a valid concern. We probably won't watch it all that often, but it would be nice to have it to watch after the wedding. To be able to come back from our honeymoon, pop it in, and relive the day. Especially as the bride, I'll miss so much of the ceremony, such as the little flower girl and ring bearer, and the bridesmaids, walking down the aisle, and even FI's debut. However, the average cost of all day coverage is about $2000, which is definitely not cheap. So, is it worth it? Hopefully, this is a battle I'll win. I definitely think this is a "to hire."

Finally, and a most definite "to hire," we have to find a cake baker. There are several places in and around Newport, but we haven't had an opportunity to go cake tasting yet. Personally, I don't want to spend a lot of money on the cake. I just don't think it's going to be the focal point of our wedding that it is in many weddings. So, as long as it looks good, and tastes great, it's good enough for us!

Thoughts? Suggestions?