Saturday, November 28, 2009

Kristin & Phil's Wedding = Beautiful & Crazy Fun Weekend!

So in keeping up with the Blog Catch-Up Day I'm writing one more....

I realized that I never posted images or wrote about our friends' wedding on Captiva Island in Florida at the end of October!  This wedding was gorgeous!  Simple, lovely touches, a laid-back beach vibe and dolphins swimming by, can't beat it!  The stunning ceremony, officiated by our friend Dena, was followed by a completely fun and delicious reception!  Also, the place where both the ceremony and reception was held, South Seas Resort, was simply fantastic.  And we were transported around the island by practical and whimsical trolleys, bonus!  

Also at South Seas Resort there is so much wildlife (insert obvious joke about all of our silly wild friends at the end of a night of drinking and celebrating here).  We had manatees outside of our hotel room, little lizards scooting about, dolphins and grouper nearby and amazing birds perched about the resort.  

And to top it off, my Grandma and Papa joined us on Sunday for lunch which was so fantastic!  

Thank you Kristin & Phil for an amazing weekend!!

She Said Yes!

Last weekend was apparently "Let's Get Engaged" Weekend!  I had a feeling that one of my closest friends was going to be getting engaged and I was at the edge of my seat all day.  I've been hearing little hints about it happening from my own husband and from Krista herself.  I wasn't sure how it was going to happen but I knew it was supposed to happen before Thanksgiving.  When she told me Friday that her weekend plans included a trip to the Empire State Building my jaw dropped and I knew that I would have to have my phone glued to me all of Saturday!

Saturday was also the day that my mom was visiting and first stop was Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station.  I don't know the complete history of this place but my mom does and she's always wanted to stop in for a cocktail and last Saturday at 3pm she headed there to wait for me.  This place is beautiful and more people should spend there time here either before catching a train or as soon as they arrive in Manhattan, or at any other point.  It feels very Old New York.  It felt even more like that while I sat there sipping my Pimm's Cup and taking it all in.  Much to our surprise, this place was packed...with a surprise engagement party!  After we moved from the bar to our seats the happy newly engaged couple entered and all of Campbell Apartment, including my mom and I, started clapping and tearing up!  How amazing to be in a place with such history and such happiness.  Sure the couple would look around and see all of the people they love and then my mom and I, complete strangers, but we still had a fantastic time.  We were engagement party crashers!

We then traveled uptown to visit with one of my mom's friends from college and I continued to check my phone constantly, waiting for a sign that Krista too had gotten engaged.  It wasn't until later in the evening, around 9pm, that I got a text saying "U knew."  YES!  And he did it in a perfect way!  No, it ended up not being the Empire State Building.  Instead it was MOMA, Krista's favorite museum.  After I got to speak to her on the phone I proceeded to call our friend Nora so we could share our happiness.  And wouldn't you know it, one of Nora's friends from her home in Maine got engaged the very next day!

It's such a fantastic weekend when you get to share in the joy of a couple who are so excited to start their life together.  And an even better weekend when you get to share in several couples' joy.  I, of course, am also super excited about all of the planning that we're going to embark on soon.  Tony and I had Krista and Eddie over the next day for a bottle of champagne and we were the first people they had seen since the engagement.  That giddy happiness when the girl can't really stand still and just keeps smiling, and the guy looks so relieved because he's been planning this for such a long time and in the end...she said YES!

Congratulations Krista and Eddie!  I love you guys!!!

I give thanks for kitchen tools and butter…

…Because apparently those are the secrets to doing your own Thanksgiving!  This year my new hubby and I decided to stay in Brooklyn and host our very first Thanksgiving with wonderful friends and family.  I was determined to make as much as possible and to be the most able hostess, and make our home look picture perfect!  After all, when you’re beginning your own event planning business you should be able to host your own small dinner party as well, right?

But back to the tools and the butter….Butter is in just about EVERYTHING!  Milk makes quite the appearance at Thanksgiving as well.  And armed with my dairy aid pills, I was ready!  If you can’t let loose and eat whatever you want on Thanksgiving, what’s the point?  Now because we were just married a couple of months ago we suddenly have all of these amazing tools that make your life so much easier when preparing food!  The Kitchen Aid mixer….Beautiful!  And then there’s the Cuisinart Smart Stick which comes with a blender and a food chopper (and others), it’s what I call a time saver and brilliant!

I did my best in adding hints of sustainability to our Thanksgiving as well.  Sure there are those things that are just Thanksgiving Day staples, like jellied cranberry sauce and crescent rolls, that I had to make sure made their way to the table.  But our potatoes and sweet potatoes  and onions were from a local farmer’s market and our apples that went into the Apple Cobbler (along with the butter of course) were from Red Jacket Orchards from upstate (a staple of the Union Square farmer’s market).

The menu was great and mostly my mom’s (Thanks, Mom).  Christina, my sister-in-law and lover of cooking and baking, made several pies, provided the cheese platter and was an integral part of our mashed potatoes.  The images above show all of the other side dishes that I made, including stuffing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin gingerbread trifle, and apple cobbler!  I have never made this much food in less than 24 hours ever before!  And it was tasty!  I did however cheat on the turkey…that was pre-seasoned and from Whole Foods. 

So for all of those people out there who think that doing your own Thanksgiving is completely daunting and overwhelming….well, you’re kind of right.  But it’s so much fun and so rewarding as well!  Just get yourself some fantastic kitchen tools and plenty of butter and you’re set.  And I only cut myself once!  Success!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Design Elements + Wonderful Photographer = Happy

So after thinking about it a little bit more I couldn't just let the evening go and only post one picture!  So here are a few more to enjoy.  These were some of the personal touches...from the self-packaged favors in a wheel barrow (from my family's backyard) to our candy station on platforms of wood from my aunt and uncle's home in VT!

First Official Picture is up!  The first reason that this took so long is my own procrastination.  Well let's face it, it's the whole reason.  But procrastination of various forms.  The first being that it took some time for us to get our new office area up and running so before now I was without an accessible work space.  The second was my procrastination on learning how to upload images to my blog!  Did you know there was an icon and directions!  Crazy!  But here's the first pic!  And as soon as I get this re-sizing down, we're in business!  

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wedding Dress Blues

Quick post on my dress situation, which I will also be posting a picture of soon….maybe ordering online is not always the best idea. It seemed kind of perfect at the time but when it was a week before my wedding and I was just getting it and NOT how we had discussed…well let’s just say a different bride may have freaked out! But since this was a whirlwind of a wedding thus far and there was no time to worry about it I hurried it directly to the tailor and asked her to make what adjustments could be made. So perhaps there is a good reason for trying on dresses in stores and for fittings. But overall, things worked out, even if the train that I had not ordered is now destroyed by a good time!

Wonderful Wedding Weekend!!

Perfect wedding weekend, check! Amazingly relaxing honeymoon, check! So sad that it’s over, check! We had the best wedding ever and the fantastic connections that were made among the various groups that were there was so enjoyable to see! Pictures will be put up soon! We were so lucky for the whole weekend, the rain held off for the ceremony and then there was a perfect drizzle to cool off the overheated dancers who stepped outside for some fresh air. As for setting up, Saturday was such a beautiful day for the early parts of the afternoon and our wedding party and other helpful participants all pitched in to set up the entire event. The caterers arrived prior to the ceremony and continued with the preparations and by the time the pictures and cocktail hour were over and the guests were lead to the tent the food was out and looked amazing! I wish I could catalog each and every moment but as most brides recount the evening…it was kind of a blur! An amazing and fun blur! As soon as we receive our pictures from our photographers, the wonderful Mike and Jenny Wilson, they will be up and I will be more able to note each and every aspect.

Not only was it an amazing wedding and I’m so happy to be married to Tony now, it was also a success in terms of Green Plan-It! It was officially our first event and now I can’t wait to plan our next one! The thrill and excitement of creating the look of the event along with the satisfaction of organizing and planning felt great. I’ve told some people that I feel naked without my wedding binder and it’s true. I loved constantly touching base with vendors and creating inspiration boards for what we wanted the feel of the wedding to be. I can’t believe that it’s over….or rather, just beginning! Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Vendor Love

This ones a long ones folks! Get ready...

These days weddings on average take over a year to plan. Therefore you have already booked most of your vendors about a year out and have had meetings, tastings, listened to your potential dj or band, and maybe have had an engagement shoot with your photographer. For our wedding, vendors have been mostly shocked with our speedy engagement. They love the story..."Well we were going to do it next year but we figured...why wait!" But then they kind of laugh when I say that we'll be getting married in a few months/couple months/few weeks, depending on which vendor it is. "Oh! That's so nice...Oh...that soon...yeah, we're not available." It wasn't always that the time from proposal to wedding would be so long. We are in fact just getting married under a year but didn't start the planning until 9 months into it.

Onto the vendors...We have been so lucky with our vendors! And I really love them all! Some we were able to nail down as soon as we made the decision to move the date up and some we just booked in the last couple of days.

First one: Site. We thought outdoors, maybe barn maybe garden so I started calling around. I happened upon the Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden in Bethlehem, CT. Now I grew up one town over and never even knew of this magical place! I called them to see if they do weddings, they do! I then asked if they had any availability for September this year, they do! Done! Without ever even seeing the place it was booked. And we couldn't be happier. Keep checking back for post-wedding for pictures of it! (We have since seen it...not to worry!)

Second Vendor: Rentals. Having a wedding at a Connecticut Landmark garden does mean that you must provide all of your own rentals. Not a problem when that's what your brother does! Check!

Third Vendor: Caterer....hmmmm. This is where it started getting a little bit trickier. It was one of the first things that we started looking for and one of the last booked. With the style of the wedding being a fun party, not your most traditional or conventional, we had a specific idea for the food. Something fun and different. Comfort food done in a special way. The items on the menu would be ones that wouldn't be new and difficult for a vendor but as weddings are not always done like this it was hard to convey the message. I would call a caterer and if they were even available (which many were not) then I would explain what we wanted to see on the menu. They would then prepare the proposal and get it back to me. Seemed easy enough until the proposals didn't include the key items we had asked for. It appeared that they wanted to "spice it up" thinking that maybe I wasn't sure if what I had requested was really what I meant. No, really....let's see some mac & cheese...but fancy. I didn't ever want to seem like a crazy bride...just really wanted yummy foods! As luck would have it one of the original caterers I had contacted but never got to touch base with got in touch with me. We discussed the menu ideas and she totally got it and tah-dah!, like magic, we have a menu that is hearty and whimsical! Jordan Caterers to the rescue!

Vendor Four: DJ...easy as pie. We met with Bobby at a local restaurant and knew right away that we liked him. Done!

Vendor Five: I love love an amazing wedding picture. I love when there is just something a little different than your regular wedding portrait. From combing through all of these amazing blogs the last few months I have found so many unbelievable photographers out there! I have also found that most of them are way out of our budget! Unsure of what to do....we did nothing. We kept researching, kept discussing. We were close a few times but they fell through. Then like the light breaking through the clouds came my mom and her amazing connection. A friend is starting a wedding photography biz as he just got married himself. And they're trying to build a portfolio and both he and his wife have great experience with photography. And we'll be the first clients! As someone who is also starting a business I think it's only right to allow others the opportunity to get started!

So there you have it readers! With a mix of risk and perseverance we have ourselves a bunch of awesome vendors! Now these are the biggie vendors for the wedding, I will of course be writing about all of the other amazing people that we've been working with who have provided such items as dress, rings, flowers, invites...all amazingly talented it's crazy!

I'm off to another wedding this weekend so some of the next few posts will include even more real wedding love!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The "Un-Bride"

So for the first day of blogging we're going to keep the ball rolling...another post it is!

I have found that this short time frame has made me quite "un-bride" like. Per the usual checklists, guidebooks, etc. you are given a timeline. This timeline can include when to really kick your workouts and diets into high gear...when to have your dress by so it's all set for the many fittings you may get the picture. I have been doing mostly the opposite of these tasks.

It began with the dress, which mind you readers, I still have not seen in person. But before I continue I think I must first note the Importance of Shopping Etsy! For those of you who don't know not read the rest of this post, go directly there: I have found the most amazing items through this site! But back to the dress. It's being made by Etsy designer Sarah Seven. She has the most beautiful, etheral pieces and I knew one of them had to be my gown. I won't mention what it is or put a link to it as the soon-to-be-groom does check this from time to time and I have promised to not disclose anything about it! But yay! I had found my dress! Snag! The designer usually needs 6 months to make it and my wedding is only 3 months away! Long story a little shorter. She did it and it will be here next week (2 weeks before wedding - yikes!)

The other "un-bride" like activity is my diet. I read over and over on said checklists about when to give up vices, snacks, sweets...carbs! Like hell! I looked down at my tex-mex leftovers and apple crumb pie with ice cream two nights ago, turned to Tony and just laughed. I felt I was the picture of "What NOT to do Three Weeks Before Your Wedding!!" But our timeline has shifted from the norm and therefore all things that you're "supposed" to do are out the window!

I wanted to share this with all you other soon-to-be-brides out's okay to throw the checklist and guidelines out every now and then and just enjoy the fun of getting married! It's a crazy and hectic time if you've decided to take it all on yourself (or even if you haven't). With all of the planning and calling and visiting and worrying it's easy to get caught up in everything. But the goal of these weddings is to be married and that's it. Everything else will fall into place. And in the meantime it's totally okay to be "un-bride" like.


We are but three and half weeks away from the big day and I could not be more excited! So excited in fact that I decided that I would join the great blogosphere that has been so inspiring these past couple of months and keep you all posted.

This is what happens when you decide to bump your wedding up an entire year and cram all of the planning that would have been reserved for taking your time on deciding on a venue...color schemes...a dress! into three blissfully crazed months!