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?

Friday, August 22, 2008

STD Update

This week has proven to be very productive, but very busy. Next week is the beginning of "OCI" or "On-Campus Interviews" at BUSL. Basically, OCI is the convoluted process of finding a job for NEXT summer. Law firms come onto campus and meet with anywhere from 20-50 students in 20 minute segments to determine if they want to offer them a "call-back interview." A call-back interview takes place a few weeks later at the firm and lasts much longer (usually around 4 hours), and you meet with 4-5 attorneys at the firm. If you pass this interview, then you're offered a summer internship ... for next year. While this seems premature (and probably is), it's nonetheless how things have worked for years. Plus, at the end of next summer, you're usually offered a permanent job at the firm for when you graduate. So, I guess everything works a year in advance in the legal world.

Therefore, I've been dutifully researching the firms I'm interviewing with, dusting off my resume, and bolstering my interviewing skills. On top of that, I finally ordered our SAVE THE DATES!

While I'm happy with the STDs, they're not what we'd originally planned to do. Up until about 2 days ago, we had the fabulous idea of sending out Italian cookies from Modern Pastry (here in Boston on Hanover Street) in their cute little boxes with the STD information inside. Modern is our favorite pastry shop (as any real North Ender would know, Mike's is only for the tourists!), and they are relatively inexpensive. A half-pound box of assorted cookies is $4.50. There are about 15-20 cookies in a half-pound box. So, we looked at our enormous guest list and decided to only send STDs to those people we thought may actually come, which equaled about 125 boxes (only sending 1 box per household). Figuring we'd put about 3-4 cookies per box, we decided to order 25 pounds of cookies and 125 half-pound boxes (at .75/box). Since 25 lbs equals 50 half-pounds, which would all come in half pound boxes, Modern was only going to charge us for 75 boxes. After checking with the post office, it would cost about $2.70 to mail each box. All told, it would probably be about $500-550 to send out these STDs.

A terribly cute idea, right? FI and I both loved it, and, as I mentioned, it was THE idea until about Wednesday. "What happened then?" you ask. Well, I came to my senses. There are a couple of major issues with this idea:

1. With all of my interviews next week, I don't really have time to make the cute little inserts for the boxes with all of our STD information, including travel and accommodation information.

2. It's outrageously expensive. And, I can think of about 5 other ways I'd rather spend that money.

So, yesterday, I went back to my very first, and cost effective, idea -- and no, it's not magnets. What is it? Well, you'll just have to wait a week to find out!

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Most brides start some kind of workout routine prior to the wedding, whether it's to shed a few pounds or tone up some flabby areas. Personally, I have some issues with my thighs and "armpit fat" that I'm trying to overcome. The entire wedding industry is geared towards making a bride feel like she needs to be at her absolute best for this one day, and many brides take this to the extreme (think liposuction, breast implants, etc). Brides to be are made to order a size smaller and then stress about fitting into it for a year. I don't know about you, but, when I'm stressed, Ben & Jerry are my best friends, so losing weight just ain't gonna happen. Add to this the fact that many popular dresses now are skin-tight mermaid styles that show off every dimple of the butt and thighs, strapless gowns that require a Madonna-esque upper body, or the silky wisp negligee style of Claire Pettibone that "real" women would only wear in a darkened bedroom on anniversary night. It's brutal on a woman's psyche... and physique.

Some brides get so caught up in perfection that they even require their bridesmaids to "better" themselves. The New York Times recently had an article on how some brides are demanding (although often also paying for) breast implants and botox ( This is in a different stratosphere than the normal mani/pedi with matching polish that many brides provide or even the more demanding requirement of spray tans. Oh no, this is life-altering, injecting yourself with poision and possibly fatal surgery. FOR A WEDDING! THAT'S NOT EVEN THERE'S!!!

While I'm sure there are some bridesmaids that may welcome the opportunity to do something they may have always wanted to do (especially if the bride is picking up the bill), I think I would be insulted. Being a bridesmaid is about the relationship between the bride and the girl; the friendship that bonds them together and makes the bride want her to be a part of her special day. While pictures obviously last forever, and you want everyone to look snazzy, the first thing you should notice about your wedding pictures is not the size of the bridesmaids' boobs. You should be able to look over your wedding portrait and see the natural, non-Botoxed smiles of your best girlfriends who are truly happy for you and don't resent you for the hell you've put them through the past year.

So, where do I fall in all of this? I admit that I've probably gone a little overboard in my own personal appearance "enhancements." I decided to get braces last year in anticipation of the wedding. I've always been somewhat embarrassed by my smile, and on a day when millions of pictures will be taken, I wanted to be able to smile with all the joy and happiness that I felt without worrying about my teeth. In this sense, the wedding was the catalyst for making me finally go to the orthodontist. I've also recently started seeing a dermatologist, and I still like to get a facial every now and then. Stress does crazy things to my skin (or maybe it's the Ben & Jerry's?), so I want to keep things in check well before the big day. As for that armpit fat and jiggly thighs, I recently went to the boxing gym with my fiance, and I'm even considering taking some yoga or ABT classes at school this fall. If I'm paying for a gym membership through my tuition, I might as well use it! Overall, though, nothing too crazy... right?

Oh, and for my bridesmaids, I think I'll stick with the mani/pedis... after all, most of them already have bigger ta-tas than me!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Twist & Shout

To continue with the china and registry theme, I wanted to share another new obsession: the Nambe Twist Collection. Nambe, (pronounced na:m'bei), was named after an ancient village not far from Santa Fe. Today, Nambé is a company recognized worldwide for its award-winning designs and admired for its dedication to both artistic integrity and everyday functionality. They include both metal alloy and crystal pieces. Perhaps you'll recall "Nambe" from my previous "Bull Market" post -- it was a Nambe frame that MOH knocked over. The Nambe Twist Collection is very unique, and it blends contemporary and tradition in much the same way as our china pattern. From the Nambe website:

"The Twist Collection is poetry in motion, from airy wine glasses with twisty metal stems to heavy yet softly contoured metal bowls. Creations primarily of designer Fred Bould, these items of functional art take their design cue from his fascination with the spiraling helix. The sense of motion captured in the metal is palpable. Twist includes a fabulous cocktail shaker, votives, vases, candlesticks, napkin rings, and salt-and-pepper shakers, joined by a striking Neil Cohen tray, making this one of our most comprehensive collections. The flash of crystal and the warm wood on the salad servers add even more texture to this fluid metal tableware."

I think the entire collection is fabulous, and I've registered for many pieces, including the wine and martini glasses and flutes. Unfortunately, these crystal and alloy glasses are $75 a pop, so it's obviously going to be a collection that I have to build up over time. The collection includes a martini shaker, many vases, napkin rings, and several alloy and crystal bowls.

While there is no Nambe Twist silverware collection, I did find an amazingly similar collection by Oneida. The "Satin Aquarius" collection has intertwining "ropes" of satin and polished stainless steel. The result looks "twisted." Overall, I think it matches very well with the Nambe Twist pieces!

Do you think these pieces will go well with my china collection? Anyone want to make a bet on how long it will take me to actually get the whole Nambe Twist Collection? Maybe by the time I have grandkids...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All Roads Lead to China

Since I'm currently obsessed with the Olympics in Beijing, and given my registry post a few days ago, I thought I should share my china pattern with everyone. FI and I wanted something more contemporary, which actually proved quite difficult. It seems that everyone is content with the white-on-white, platinum rim, $145 per 5-piece setting type stuff. While there are a few outrageous patterns out there, we wanted something "contemporary" not "hideous," and we wanted something that would "age" well. It's a difficult marriage between contemporary and classic in china. And, while it would have been nice to have bone china, I didn't want the hefty price tag that came along with it. Oddly enough, many of the "big name" china settings, like Kate Spade and some Vera Wang, which are also $120+/setting, are NOT bone china, but rather just "fine china." Honestly?!? Why would you spend the same amount on "fine china" as you do on "bone china"? You must REALLY like the pattern...

Anyhoo, back to my own situation. At first, I thought I was doomed to settle for a more classic and less contemporary pattern. I liked the Mikasa "Parchment," which is only "fine china" but is also only $49.99/5-piece setting at Macy's. They also had a 52-piece dinnerware set on sale for $259.99 (regularly $600.00). Not bad. I still really like this pattern, and at that price, it's almost cheap enough to use as "everyday" dinnerware.

The next pattern that caught my eye was the Waterford "Ballet Ribbon." It's white with a platinum rim, but it has black ribbon swirls on the side. There are colored 9" accent plates in the collection, but they only come in 4 pastel colors. It is $125/5-piece setting at Macy's, which is a little more than I would have liked, but at least it's bone china. It also has a TON of matching pieces, including silverware and table linens.

Finally, during our epic trip to Macy's last week, I saw the Noritake "Platinum Wave" china set. It actually looks similar to the Waterford, with platinum and silver swirls, but it's porcelain instead of bone china, and only $80/5-piece setting. It's also a good blend of contemporary and traditional. I especially liked the option of square accent plates. In fact, they have large and small square accent plates, as well as square bowls, so it's like having 2 different sets of china in one! The classic colors make it easily adaptable to any decor, and Noritake makes several different holiday accent plates that will look great with this pattern. Fortunately, FI also liked this pattern, so the hunt was over!

What do you think? Is it the perfect blending of contemporary and classic?

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Bull Market

I apologize for the long absence, but the past week and a half have been crazy busy. It was my last week in NYC, and while I loved the city and my fabulous internship, I was more than ready to come home to FI and my puppies. Traveling back and forth between Boston and NYC every weekend is NOT fun! If I never see another Greyhound bus again, it'll be too soon.

I did manage to get a lot accomplished last week, though. MOH and I went to Macy's on Monday to set up my registry there. Two kids in a candy store, we were not. More like two bulls in a china shop. First, I somehow managed to knock over an entire row of silverware that was hanging on a display case. MOH thought this was hilarious, of course, but karma came back to bite her in the a** when she knocked over a Nambe crystal vase. As I was looking over the Nambe silverware, I saw the whole thing happen. It was like watching a movie in slow motion -- I saw her ginormous red bag brush by the vase, her turn around with a look of shock and panic on her face, then came the loud crash (followed by her GASP!) and millions of pieces went flying everywhere. While she frantically looked for someone to explain the situation too, I was trying really hard not to burst out laughing. Fortunately, no one was made to pay for the vase, and everyone was very understanding. Somewhat humiliated, we left shortly after that.

My other registry experience was much more tame. FI and I established our Bed, Bath & Beyond registry last weekend, and the most interesting thing that happened there was FI "shooting" everything with the laser. It was quite the shock to see just exactly how much stuff he "shot" when I got home and looked at the registry online. It took almost as long to delete everything as it did to originally add it to the list. Somehow his idea of what we "need" and mine are very different (no, goldfish-shaped cracker holders are NOT a necessity).

Despite all of this, and my tinkering with them over the past week, I think I'm finally satisfied with both registries. It was actually a really stressful process. It's tough trying to balance what you want with what you need with what you think is reasonable for people. There's definitely a lot of "wish" items on the lists, but perhaps some people will go in together to buy a gift. Overall, I think that I have a good mix of items and prices between the two registries. Hopefully, my guests will feel the same way. At this point, though, I'm definitely making all changes online -- it's much safer for everyone (and everything) involved.