Friday, June 30, 2006


I cannot even believe this...as soon as I decided on my color palette, designed the new STDs -- the perfect bridal party outfits show RIGHT up...I mean bridemaids dresses in perfect style and color! When you gain clarity, it seems everything falls right in line...

Bridal Party Attire

Just call me Zen Bride right now....

Last Night It Occured To Me...

...that the main reason I was having so many problems with these damn Save The Dates is because I was trying to be someone and I am not and trying to create an event that did not truly reflect who I am, nor who Forever*Hubby and I are, as individuals and as a couple.

What I was trying to do was RE-CREATE the wedding we would have wanted to have when we first married; all the past few save the dates are true reflections of that -- I don't even LIKE beige anymore!!!

I awoke with a revelation.

A new plan, a new atttitude -- a whole new deal....

New color schemes, new ideas for centerpieces and bouquets and attire.

and a new Save The Date:

It's brand new day, folks...stay tuned.

Buttercream, Fondant, Ganache, The Passion of Wedding Cakes...

This weekend I have an appointment for my cake tasting...I'm totally overwhelmed.
I have no clue about what I want and even though I've found millions of photos and ideas on-line, I've yet to figure out exactly how to personalize them to fit my specific theme, personality, and event.

The baker (Creative Cakes), ladies if you haven't yet tried Creative Cakes, please let me offer the greatest recommendation. I discovered them while attending a bridal show and noticing women salivating at the table while biting into their samples. My florist came along with me and ate about 7 slices worth of cake, and they were more than happy to give it to her..lol

Either way, I can't imagine what it is I want...

Do I want a fabulous sleek round cake with intricate details and latticework and flavored filling or do I want a Monochromatic square cake with icing pearls and sugar bows and ruffles. Speaking of fillings, do I want raspberry-and-grenache filling, strawberry and cream cheese filling, or rather Grand Marnier buttercream filling...Decisions Decisions

I will be asked to fill out a questionnaire during the tasting highlighting the following, and so I've gotten a head start as of today in thinking about these things beforehand.
I'll be asked to rate:
-Shape (Round, Square, Hexagonal, Architectural (Topsy Turvy), etc)
-Decoration (Basket weave, Dragées, Piping, Satin bows and ribbons with pulled sugar, Gumpaste, Latticework or scrollwork, or Swiss Dots, and etc.)
-Frosting & Filling (Classic Buttercream, Fondant, Ganache, Royal Icing, Whipped Cream, Marzipan, etc.)

Either way, this seems to be one of the hardest decisions I've had making during this process...I'm at a total loss, I have no idea what I want...I do know however, that TASTE is important, I want my cake to ooze fresh and luscious icing so tasty that it brings a tear to the eye.

I'm open to suggestions, and I'm looking around for ideas...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Third Time MIGHT Be The Charm...

Okay, now I have been obsessed with this DIY Save the Date nonsense for faaaaaaaaaaar too long....and this is IT!!!

I liked the idea suggested by one of the Weddingbee readers who commented on my second try that the project might look even better in a circle; so I decided to give it a try.

I will take this template to Kinko's to be professionally cut -- no way in hades I am trying to circle punch on my own.

Well, I am pleased with the results, but this is it -- Forever*Hubby has gently suggested that if this one does not satisfy me, I might want to look into a service to provide me with these things -- or I may not make it to the ceremony....

Here we go folks...click image to see actual size...

Circle Save The Date cards

Also noted by Forever*Hubby -- "A circle? What the hell are we going to do, put cork on the back and turn it into a coaster for them?"

See why I just HAVE to marry him all over again?

Again -- feedback appreciated...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Recent Uncertainty

I'm glad to see that there are some new brides posting. It' s very encouraging to know that I'm not alone in trying to stay sane during this taxing planning process! I've had some health issues as of late which have put wedding planning on the backburner and have left me with little energy for the "fun stuff," but I'm hanging in there. I still have 11 months and even though I've gotten so little accomplished, there is time yet. In the meantime, I'm encouraged by how much progress the other brides are making. It's very inspiring.

So, to update.... I still have not been able to find a place I can afford as a venue. I am not entirely sure what my budget will be but I'm trying to imagine it being around 10k which really doesn't leave that much room for creativity. I'm only planning on inviting 50-60 people and I just want it to be someplace beautiful and intimate that will have good food and room for dancing. Is that too much to ask? In my mind, I'm trying to keep dinner/venue under 100 per person but that's neearly impossible given how expensive Washington DC is. And I thought having the wedding here would be easier than in my hometown of New York! Who am I kidding? At this rate, I'll be opting for a small corner Italian restaurant in Brooklyn in no time!

As much as I love my roots, I wanted to have my wedding out here to show my family where I'm living and where I've chosen to spend my life. I've tried looking at places a little deeper into Northern Virginia, but it seems like everyplace has some absurd minimum. Isn't there one nice place anywhere that can accomodate a small group of people for a reasonable price without sacrificing quality?

With 11 months to go, I know there's time to iron all these uncertainties out. I just wish there was a little more cause for hope. I'd just like to get a handle on this one aspect (which to me is the most important, really). Anyone have any ideas? Mine are running out...

Monday, June 26, 2006

My First DIY: My Save The Date Cards

I have taken my first forays into DIYBride-dom and have designed my Save-The-Dates cards:

My Save The Dates

I am a graphic designer as well as web designer and developer by trade, so I design things all the time, but I am really scared! Is this the right format? Are they good enough? Is this what a Save The Date is supposed to look like? Is it elegant? Tacky? Accccccccccccck....

Would love some feedback.

So Postponement isn't so different- Still in Full Planning Mode!

I've just notified all my contracted vendors about my postponement. Luckily since we've already decided on a date, I was able to recontact them immediately for my new event date (July 7, 2007) - yes 7/7/2007) - Perhaps better known as the rumored Harry Potter Book 7 Release date (I'll be overshadowed in silence by a nerdy spectacled wizard and his infamous Quidditch team)

*No, I'm not bitter, I love little Harry and His mischevious little buddies, but uhhh, I'm just not insanely obsessive like some folks: (see proof)

Okay, wait, this isn't about H.Potter, this is about my darn wedding!

I'm hoping that that lovely group of sevens will bring me some much needed luck!

I'll certainly need it - having the wedding of one's dreams is quite the job...I began this journey wanting the full hoopla of dramatic decor and an overabundance of flowers and candles and a cake that would bleed buttercream when I cut into it...I learned along the way, that a wedding is about sacrifice and creative maneuvering...its the ultimate MAGIC TRICK

Yes, I said it!

Conjuring up the greatest mental illusion of all, the truth is you're trying to pull off an unprecedented grace and poise all the while, chewing your nails to the core debating about shades of pink and secretly choking (only in your head) your maid of honor for being hapless and quoting Clueless for no odd reason at all, other than she has no better dialog...

Okay now that I've vented and gotten that off my chest, again I say...these days I feel like Houdini, just waiting to pull a 15 pound rabbit out of my baseball cap...

Although, I must say!

I'm up to the challenge !!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Maid of Honor/Bridesmaid Gown Choices

Well my MOH and Bridesmaids picked their gown selections (we're early since I've now postponed, but its now given them more time to finalize their choices and take their time witht he purchasing process)...I'm ecstatic with their choices and love them, take a look:

Maid of Honor Gown:

The MOH gown is the first posted with the ruched waist and the brooch on the side
*My MOH is a lovel, statuesque beauty with the perfect figure, and yet she thought she needed a little help to minimize her flaws (sure that makes me feel better, lol)
Either way, she decided on this beautiful gown in Fuchsia/Azalea(c) D. Bridal

My Other 3 Bridesmaids will wear:

The Fuchsia/Azalea colored A-Line with the side slit above - They're all immensely gorgeous and each of them has a different look in the dress, one is wearing her hair up, the other down, and the other in a chic bun.

Seeing them all in line brought a tear to my eye...quite beautiful*

Friday, June 23, 2006

Vow Renewal: Celebrating A Life Of Love

An Eternal LoveVow Renewal Ceremonies.

I never thought something so innocent, so innocuous and so simple could cause so much controversy, interest and just plain discussion.

Many people have asked me why I wish to have this ceremony. I have been happily married for over five years already; what's the point?

Am I trying to relive former "bride" glory? Am I trying to have "my day" all over again? Was it because I was married in Vegas and never had a "proper" wedding?

(Note: It is my personal belief that anytime you sign the appropriate documents, fork over the requested fee, and speak the vows in front of any official licensed to wed people, it is a "proper" wedding, so, in that respect, I have had a "proper" wedding)

Has our married life become lackluster and I am looking for something to "spice it up" again? Have we been through a "rough patch" and now need to reaffirm ourselves to each other?

Actually, it's none of those things.

What I want is to celebrate LOVE. And it's a different kind of love than the first-blush-on-the-rose, starry-eyed, dreams-for-a-wonderful-future-as-you-walk-down-the-aisle type of love.

I am celebrating the love born of arguing over who hogs more of the bed at night.

Mature CoupleThe love that survives wondering how in the world you are going to make it the next week and a half to payday with twenty dollars in your account (or worse a negative twenty dollars in the account).

Celebrating a love that lasts through weekly fights with the washing machine, conflicting work schedules, differences of opinions, PMS (mine and his), tears, laughter, orgasms, snoring, illness, weight gain...

Celebrating a love of a life that has been shared together.

You are a bride for one day, but a wife for as long as the marriage lasts — and with all the ups and downs of just everyday life, staying together these days is a reason to really CELEBRATE.

I don't think in our society we celebrate LOVE enough -- we pooh-pooh sentimentality, snicker over people who show any true emotion, and wonder about the mental sanity of people who dare truly express positive emotions. We are almost gleeful as we read daily in tabloids of the break-ups and divorces of celebrities -- we snap up the negative like junkies in need of a fix.

But when Tom Cruise jumps for joy (literally all over Oprah's couch) over his love for Katie, we all want to see him checked into the nearest mental facitility.

Well, call me the last of the die-hard optimistic romantics...

For me, there is something very special about saying I do to the same person all over again -- because you KNOW what you are getting, and really WANT to do it all over again. It's not something a lot of people do, but I feel it's something that should be celebrated as well and with as much joy and excitement as the first time.

And why not?

I love my husband as much, if not more love, than I did the day I first said "I do."

So I don't feel the least bit guilty about doing the d*amn thing, having an elegant affair, a beautiful commeration of a life filled with love. Perhaps if more people did, perhaps there would be a lower divorce rate in this country.

And at least, this time I KNOW what I am getting...and I can't wait to get more.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Picture Perfect

OK, so maybe I've been stressing just a tiny bit lately. The wedding is months and months away - the date is not even firm yet - and still, I've needlessly burdened myself with trying to make every last decision NOW. I do this as if I'm naive to the probability that I will second guess myself at every avenue and probably make myself mad wondering what I'd do if I had it to do over again. And I haven't even done anything yet!

Well, fortunately for me, there is one aspect of planning that I do not face with doubt or uncertainty: choosing a wedding photographer.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When I first encountered the gorgeous spread by Face to Face Photography in InStyle Weddings a few months ago, I was rendered speechless. Gone were all notions that wedding photographs had to be posed and entirely traditional, or that they'd be only slightly better than those I could snap with a digital camera and doctor up myself. I saw possibilities that I hadn't imagined.

And I'm certain that any DC nearlywed will just as easily fall for the lush images on their site. Who wouldn't jump at the chance to have wedding photographs that look more like art than something Aunt Mabel could snap on her polaroid? I was looking for something that was truly unique.

I'm looking no further... :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wedding Dress!

So I finally bought a wedding dress. I don't know how I'm going to keep it a secret from my fiancee for a year and a half. I can't keep a secret like that from anyone. It's so sweet and so pretty. While it isn't the first one I picked out, it's a good one. My mom made me try on some pretty ornate ones that I thought were just too complicated for our wedding and for someone who isn't very tall. Now I feel like I can relax and just enjoy picking bridesmaid dresses, flowergirl dresses and things like that. Phew!

I spent a lot of time online looking at The Knot's website. Honestly, the more you have to choose from the harder it gets. There were dresses I liked on The Knot, but not every boutique carries that line, or if they carry the line, not that specific dress....it gets complicated. I found that going in person and seeing things and trying them on worked best for me. I did get it at David's Bridal. I didn't want to spend tons of money on a dress and I didn't. However, I don't think they have any bridesmaid dresses I want so far. They do have some cute flower girl ones though.

So my advice is not to drive yourself too crazy by looking online at dresses. I think I found a happy medium by looking at individual boutiques and then going in person to check out dresses. It feels better than taking a risk by ordering one without seeing it in person first.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Halt those invitations! (Postponement Alert)

My fiance and I have recently run into some pitfalls and we must postpone the wedding, specifically due to time, convenience, and of course some financial implications. My fiance's family has had serious illness within the family and his brother (and best man) is off in Iraq (we expected him back this June, however his ship date has now been officially changed, not due to return until April of 2007). We haven't mailed invitations yet, we just prepared them and we were waiting for them to arrive in-store at Papyrus.

I've already talked with my vendors and notified them via phone and in writing of the change. My fiance and I have talked in-depth and chosen July 7, 2007 as our "new" date. We were luckily able to secure our original vendors for the date with the exception of our videographer, who is working to provide an alternate recommendation and has said they'll transfer our deposit to one of the recommended replacements.

We're going to send electronic Postponement announcements via our wedding web site, since we've only notified people electronically at this point, other than those invited whom we've told already, during our initial conversations, about this.

At this point, we're going to continue finalizing items so that things will be completed by 2007. It's wishful thinking, but certainly worth a try. I'll make future announcements here with regard to next steps and preparations from this point. Of course, I welcome everyone's input, suggestions and thoughts of how to make a seamless transition. Just for background, I'm going from a September 9, 2006 date to July 7, 2007, so its a significant amount of time. While my fiance and I are eager and anxious to tie the knot, we want to take our time and make sure that we don't rush to the altar and sacrifice the experience of the true meaning of this.
Again, Thanks to all for support and look forward to hearing more from me soon this week.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Greetings From North Carolina...!

Hello everyone!

I am the newest "bride" here at DC Nearlweds, and I am completely honored and excited to have been accepted to become a part of this wonderful group.

I am just a bit different from the other brides here, as will be the focus of my posts.

My name is Serenity, a 37-year-old child-free Army wife who has already been happily married to my partner in love and life for over 5 years now. Originally born and bred in Chicago, Il, I now call Fort Bragg, NC, where my husband is stationed, home.

We were married by a justice of the peace in Las Vegas, NV March 20, 2001 -- two days before he left for Fort Jackson, SC to begin Basic Training.

We have now decided we are at a point in our marriage where were would like to renew our vows, and have the wedding we were not able to have when we first married.

This presents some special etiquette siutations, (because experts say offically I am can only be a bride once) as well as military ones, because my husband's unit is slated to be deployed to Iraq July 2006.

So I am:
  • navigating my way through the world of a wife becoming a bride,
  • at the same time holding down my role as an Army wife keeping the home fires burning while her soldier is away,
  • discovering ways to cut wedding budget costs through DIY projects without getting tacky,
  • and basically trying to keep a level head and not get swept away by the romance, pomp and circumstance (and cost!) of it all.

Seems like it's going to be a wild ride, so stay tuned!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

True Colors...The Fun in Picking Your Wedding Palate

As my Future Husband proposed, I knew immediately after quickly accepting and shrieking with excitement that I "must have Fuchsia" incorporated into the overall theme.

*If you watch SNL at all, you'll understand the "must have Fuchsia" phrase as relating to the crazy homemaker character*

The color inspires me, its lively and energetic and yet softly muted and sensous like a long lasting kiss. At first impression it can be vibrant and LOUD, but to me, the color is a visual beauty anchored with passion and grace.

For a quick fact: Fuchsia is a part of the Windows VGA 16-color palette.

Now on to other thoughts (Yes, I can get carried away with fuchsia)...

Anyways, I decided upon that and then used an assembly of coordinating hues and tones to balance and enrich it, and ultimately make it POP as intended!

I choose platinum and blush pink as coordinating colors and black as a contrast color- and frankly seeing them together, made me teary with emotion!

I wanted to give a little option that I found along the way for helping to pick the color palette for your wedding:

Colors 101: How to choose
Remember ROY G BIV? It's the color wheel: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. Using this wheel as a tool will help you to strike a visual balance by selecting colors that blend or contrast. "Colors adjacent to each other work well together, and opposites always attract," notes Maria McBride-Mellinger, wedding stylist and author of The Perfect Wedding Reception, The Perfect Wedding, and The Wedding Dress and Bridal Flowers. "Even within a color there are always layers," she adds. "The easiest way to select a complementary color is to select another shade of the same color or to work across the color wheel."

Colors 411: What to choose and how to use
"You know what your favorite color is you've known since kindergarten. So go with what you love, even if it’s Pepto-pink. There is a way to tastefully incorporate any color by combining it with other hues of the one dominant shade. Bridesmaid dresses may range from bright fuchsia to light strawberry to dusty rose, and the spectrum of the colors in the pink family carried out in the flowers, invitations, linens, favors will create a fresh and feminine pink paradise reception."

Hopefully these tips will help you along as you decide on your palette

-Excerpts from Colors 101 and Colors 411 posted from The Knot Inc.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Kate Spade Sample Sale Ends Tomorrow

What are you waiting for head over there NOW, savings up to 65%.

Design Your Bridesmaid Dresses

If you are really a picky bride or maybe I should be nice and say, if you have really picky bridesmaids or bridesmaids with dramtically differing body types take a trip over to Dress by Design.
Here at this site you can design each dress, choosing the perfect neckline, sleeve, length etc for each bridesmaid and then have them all sewn fromt the same fabric. I think it's a very novel concept and one ups the bridesmaids designers. For it never fails that you can pick two dresses from a designer and find that they aren't offered in either the same color or fabric.

There are some testimonials available on the site, before you head over there though beware, I only think one of the dresses looks flattering on it's designer. But hey they are happy so who am I?
Pricing appears to be comparable to most middle of the road bridesmaid dress designers.

Win $5,000 Towards Your Wedding

It's a contest Ladies.
Head on over to Mirassou Wines and enter their "I Do Mirassou" Contest
Just them in 150 words or less how you would use the $5,000 Grand Prize to create your dream wedding and how Mirassou wine will complement your wedding reception. Entries will be judged based on the originality of your dream wedding, appropriateness to the dream wedding theme, how Mirassou wine complements the dream wedding, and grammar. Limit one entry per person, household, or email address.
So get to it. Get your brains working and Get That Money!

Make Each Guest Feel Special

I Love This. Picture your wedding reception, tons of people milling around in friendly groups or Your Family and His Family. Of course every great hostess wants the families to mingle and here is the perfect ice breaker. These pins can be found at Cafepress.com/makemmingle .

The badges have titles on them for your guests to wear ranging from “Guest of honor” to “Single” to “Travelled the furthest”! Cafepress.com’s claim is that by having your wedding guests wear their badges you will “make every guest feel special, and transform a room full of strangers into a room full of relationships and fun stories”. I think attaching these little beauties to your placecards or having them stuck in a board during your cocktail hour would really get the party started. What a natural ice breaker!

Not For Amateurs

Gail Watson has long been a favorite baker of mine. I have adored her custom candy, mini groom's cakes and cookie favors for years. Long before the cookie wedding favor became popular. But she is offering wedding cake kits that are truly incredible.

The cake kits featured have all been published in various bridal magazines and are designed for the savvy baker to complete either on their own, or to give to your professional baker.
Detailed instructions, and all the tools you need, are included to guide you through the simple process of completing the perfect cake.

Head on over and give it a whirl. If you or a friend really has some skill, you could work wonders with this head start.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Great Finds

All the other nearly-weds out there who are as obsessed with weddings as I am most likely spent the bulk of their weekend as I did. After a long day with my fiance’s 6 year-old daughter, we retreated to the living room where we had a romantic night curled up on the couch… watching Style Networks’ “21 Day Wedding Party” until all hours of the night.

Yes, it’s true. I do subject my man to quite a bit and like the dutiful spouse-to-be he is, he willingly complies. Needless to say, somewhere between “Whose Wedding is it Anyway?” and the second or third episode of “The Modern Girls Guide to Life: Wedding Edition,” I had to raise the volume a little to hear above his soft snoring. When he woke to find me at 4:00AM still watching someone else’s wedding-gone-wrong, he turned to me and said “You’re sick, you know that? You’re worse than that Bridezilla cartoon.”

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Yes, he said it. But I have to admit that I felt a little proud knowing he paid so much attention to my bridal obsession that he remembered the cartoon. For those of you who don’t know about her, there is a wedding blog for the show –YouMayNowKissTheBlog.com - and it is hilarious!

My soon-to-be step-daughter had a ball this weekend watching all the little video/cartoon clips of Bridezilla attacking her bridesmaids with ugly dresses for being so picky as well as taking out her bridal stress on the florist, the caterer and the mailman.

If you are having bridal angst of your own, tune into Style Network this week to watch some brides who have REAL problems – such as their man being in charge of every detail of the wedding or their fiance wanting to throw a Halloween wedding at a campground and taking the reigns on every detail! And if you’re stuck at work all day like me, a little peek each morning at Bridezilla will make you feel far more rational and in control -- at least by comparison!

Happy Planning!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Choosing a Ceremony/Reception Location

Since this seems to be a popular reoccuring theme on the site, I decided to post some tips I've found along the way from various sources:

In addition to your personal taste and desires, the location you select will be determined by availability on your date, the number of people to be accommodated, and the price. Because all these factors don't always line up exactly right, it helps to have a few sites in mind. As you research your location choices, remember to find out precisely what is, or is not, included in the price. Unexpected extras can add up quickly. Don't delay in reserving the location once you've made your decision; popular places book early. The following are some things to keep in mind when selecting a location.

SPACE- Either wide open or cozy and intimate, whichever works best with the wedding you envision for yourself.

PARKING OPTIONS-This is more of a factor if you're inviting two hundred guests rather than fifty, but either way, remember they'll need to park their cars somewhere. In DC this is a HUGE consideration. Does the venue have suggestions or exisiting relationships with are parking facilities?

PRIVACY-Do you want anyone out walking his or her dog to be able to look over and see your wedding? Usually, hotels and banquet facilities have more than one function going on at a time, so there's a possibility of Lookey Loos.

LIGHTING-This can be a terrific mood enhancer or mood breaker. Try to view the location around the same time of day you are planning your ceremony or reception. If you're having a daytime wedding, the facility should be bright and cheerful, not dim and gloomy. If you're planning an evening wedding, try to envision your different lighting options, whether special effects or merely soft and romantic. Are there a lot of, or extremely large windows that will spoil your candelight effect if you're having an early evening wedding in the middle of the summer?

COLOR AND DECOR-If the room has lots of personality in this regard, that's great! Just make sure it jives with your desired colors and decorating themes. If the room is a Plain Jane of a room, how much work (and money) will be required to bring it up to par.

SURROUNDINGS-What type of neighborhood is it in? Does it have a spectacular view of the ocean or mountains? Or does it look out over a chain link fence and narrow alley?

USAGE OF SPACE-Does the room lend itself well to all the facets of the wedding you're planning? Does it have a nice focal point for your ceremony? Or there adequate room for setting up dining tables, mingling with cocktails, and dancing?

TECHNICAL SUPPORT-Can the location support all of the various electronics that you'll be plugging in? Amplifiers, speakers, special lighting, etc?

ACOUSTICS-If music is going to be an important part of your reception, do the room acoustics help or hinder this goal?

Wait there's more...
Before you sign the bottom line, check and see that there is a kitchen available for your use and how functional is the kitchen? Is it capable of preparing a full meal or merely warming pre-prepared fare?. Is there an ice maker? What a bout a dishwasher? At times there is a fee for the use of a kitchen in a hall. Remember, if your if your caterer needs to rent an oven or other equipment the charges will most likely be passed on to you.
The items to look for:

* Tables and Chairs: Check size of tables, most halls don`t have linens and you will need the table sizes (including all banquet, cake and sweetheart tables) when asked by rental company or caterer. Do the chairs clash with your color palette? Will you rent chairs? Can the chairs for dining be used outside if you are having an outdoor ceremony?

* Parking: is it adequate? Is it free? Can you bring in a valet?

* Alcohol: Are you required to provide your own liquor license? Can you supplement specific varieties to standing wine and champagne lists? Is their a corking fee?

* Facilities: Check the bathrooms, are they clean. How many are available? Will they be inspected before your party. In the middle of your event you don`t want to be making a 7-11 run for toilet tissue!

* Staff: Will the staff be appropriately dressed for your event? What is their attire? Are you required to pay a fee for them?

I hope this helps some folks in their planning -

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Trying to Pick a Place: The Search Begins

“How hard could it be to pick a place?” my fiancé asked a few weeks ago in a way that was more encouraging than condescending. After agreeing to spend the weekend scouting out a few local venues, he quickly found out.

Multiple cab rides, several bad meals, and 2 packages of Tums later and he seemed as downhearted as me – though it may have been the indigestion -- but who’s to say?

Given that our wedding is small on any scale (about 60 people), we were talked into the idea of visiting some smaller restaurant-type places and looking at their reception rooms. Seemed simple enough, right? The first place we went to was so off the map that the cab driver could barely find it. When we arrived, we were greeted by a bubbly hostess who enthusiastically showed us upstairs to the “ballroom” - a room that looked as if it had been outfitted in the 1980’s or used to film a scene in “The Wedding Singer.” Hubby-to-be just looked at me and widened his eyes and I smiled and thanked the hostess for her time. It was late in the day and so we decided to at least make the most of our 12 dollar cab ride and have something to eat. After all, we’d heard that this was a very “well-liked” NOVA restaurant. What did we have to lose?

Our lunch, I guess.

Aside from the fact that the walls were adorned with naked women throughout, the menu was like a to-do list of things you would never dream of ordering and so I opted for the green salad and M for the calamari, which – mind you – he has gotten a lot better at saying in Sicilian dialect. We tried to laugh it off after the waitress brought our food and I picked through my lettuce impatiently. My impatience soon turned to horror as I discovered rotten lettuce on my plate. At the same time, hubby-to-be announced that he had discovered his squid was not cooked. Wasn’t this the same place that had sent me that beautiful wedding package detailing the filet mignon (which wasn’t even on the menu)? Wasn’t this the place that my nearly-wed co-worker recommended as being a “great little restaurant?” I learned a valuable lesson: always visit the place yourself!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Welcome to our Newest Blogger

Yippee, Yea! Yahoo! We've got a new blogger from Northern VA, how excited am I? (hugely). I have been encouraging brides to hop on in and join us in the planning. I can't wait to see how our NoVA newbie's story unfolds...
For that matter I can't wait to see how all the weddings turn out. September is right around the corner Miss Foggy Bottom......

It's Wedding Week at WashingtonPost.com

For those of you who haven't heard it's Wedding Week over at WashingtonPost.com. It's pretty comprehensive and a great resource. What is truly fantastic about it is that Your's Truly, MrsNearlywed hosted an online chat this morning for brides. Head on over and check out the transcript. It's got lots of great questions answers and tips for brides. There were hundreds of questions pouring through, it was a great experience. I was typing my little fingers off trying to answer a wide array of questions. The most popular question of course was Where can I get married in DC that is ultra elegant and Cheap and oh yea can seat 250 people. After about 8 of those questions I have to move on.
Yea Me. (That's not too big headed is it????).

A NY Wedding... in NOVA

As much as I love New York, growing up I always imagined I would leave it. Yet even after having moved to work in Washington DC and set up camp in Northern Virginia, I still always pictured the major events in my life taking place back “home” in Brooklyn: where there’s a bakery, a fruit stand, and a butcher on nearly every corner, where no one pronounces calamari “Kall-Uh-MarrEEE,” and everyone knows what tartufo is. As accustomed as I’ve become to the ways of Northern Virginia, I was still a bit surprised when my Italian-American family made the suggestion that I host my upcoming nuptials in the hometown I chose to start my family in.

Sure, the thought of not having fresh cannolis from Villabella Bakery, authentic Italian food from Michael’s and sauce that would make anyone say, “fugghedaboutit,” was chilling, but in spite of it’s lack of amazing Italian cuisine (at least outside my kitchen) this strange place had become home to me and after a little prodding, it seemed like the logical choice. Granted, I’m starting law school in 2 months and it would be much easier to plan a summer wedding from where I stand than travel back and forth to try and work out details – none of which, mind you, will be left to chance as I am afflicted with the worst case of perfectionism known to man. But would it be easier? Would it even border on easy? I can see all those brides out there shaking their heads doubtfully. You feel my pain, don’t you?

I am in grave danger of becoming Bridezilla.

Well, I suppose law school will give me a lot more to think about in the coming months, but for now, I am focused. Every bridal magazine you can imagine: I own it. Every mailing list for bridal shows, invitations, and honeymoon vacations you can sign up for: I belong to. My fiancé calls me at least twice a day to ask me why he’s getting emails thanking him for signing up for a Wedding Sweepstakes.

It has begun. Yet the nagging question of where and when and how are all swirling in my head constantly and after visiting one venue after another that was too big or too small, I am starting to wonder when I will find one that is just right. Goldilocks never had such a dilemma as planning a wedding away from her native land.

Fortunately, I’m up for the challenge.