Monday, December 29, 2008

Best Wishes and Hearty Congratualtions...

...To everyone who became engaged over the holiday season! I'm sure many of you have noticed the trends in you own social circles of few weddings taking place in November and December, but many many engagements occurring! There's a great New York Times article from Christmas 2005 on the very topic of why it's so popular.

And if there something every new bride-to-be needs it's some unsolicited advice from a self-proclaimed expert, right? If I could share one piece of advice I could share with newly engaged couples it would be this:

Relax. Enjoy. Don't rush (or let others make you feel rushed) to make plans.
Friends and loved ones will immediately begin asking if you've set a date, where you'll get married, etc. etc. Learn this little phrase in response: Oh, we haven't discussed yet, we're just really enjoying the moment right now! Learn it and then live it!

We were on vacation clear across the country with no Internet access when we got engaged, so I was kind of forced to take it slow. Of course we called friends and family to share the wonderful news, but then we got to just bask in the glow of it all. Don't forget to savor the moment and what a unique time in your live this is before you jump into making a Knot page and picking the bridal party. :)

Just my two cents on the subject. What would your one piece of advice be?

Labels: , ,

It's Personal....

So first of all, I want to give a HUGE congratulations to my future brother in law and his brand new fiance, on their recent engagement! I am so excited to have them in my life, and wish them all the luck and happiness in the world!!! Congrats Drew and Dia! Congrats to all the other recently engaged couples too, I know at least 3 couples that got engaged last week, so love is in the air!!!

Anyways, I wanted so discuss personalizing your wedding. Its very difficult to make your wedding stand out, and to also make sure it represents you, your relationship and the your family. For our wedding, Mr. CP and I wanted to add some fun details.
The first, and possibly most exciting thing we did was rent a photobooth. We paid a bit extra for the guestbook, and attendants too, so the booth will print doubles and one copy will go to the guests. We used an affordable local vendor, Posh Booth. We worked with Neil, who was very helpful in explaining the options and a pleasure to work with. We can't wait to see all the fun people have with this extra! Best of all, the price for the photobooth is reasonable and totally worth it!


We also wanted to incorporate Mr. CP's love for baseball, which is almost equal to his love for me...seriously. Were thinking about having the bartenders wear SF Giants baseball hats to represent Eric's love, but at the same time, I am not totally sold on it. One baseball-theme we are definitely doing is our cake topper. I found a website that makes personalized bobblehead cake toppers! How fun is that! You actually send pictures in!


What ideas do you have for personalizing your wedding? Everyone needs ideas, so please share!

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Ok, so I may have previously mentioned a wedding tiara I was purchasing for a great price on Ebay. It arrived. It's beautiful, It would go well with my dress, but there's one problem. The decorated part of it is just not wide enough, not that I have a huge noggin or anything, but I just want anyone looking to be able to catch a bit of the tiara's bling from all angles. On my Ebay tiara, the bling is only in the front. Ah well! I knew what I was getting into when I decided to purchase from Ebay. That's 20 bucks I'll never see again! lol!

Recently, I found Tiara #2 on the web at a site called EverAfterBridalVeils.com. I really think it's gorgeous. The previous tiara is also pretty, the its detail is only about 6 inches wide. Tiara #2's detail is 8 inches wide, offering both front and side bling. I ordered it a few days ago, and I hope I love it as much as I think I will.

Labels: ,

Wedding Day Must!

There is one thing I absolutely know I will be doing on my wedding day (besides getting married) and it's not what you're thinking: getting make-up done, taking first look pictures, putting a garter on. Though I'll certainly be doing all of that. The one thing I really don't want to forget and is my wedding day must is...ordering in lunch!

If there's no time for a sit-down lunch the day of, eating seems to be one little detail that is forgotton on the wedding day! In fact, I just read on a friends recap on her wedding blog about running around in Safeway between her hair and make-up appointments "scavenging for food!" I can be a less than pleasant individual when I'm hungry...don't want to be a grumpy bride!

I think having some sandwiches and drinks delivered for the girls to the Hendry House about noon sounds delicious. Any suggestions for some good carry-out in Arlington?

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Music to our ears...

For our wedding, we decided early on that we wanted to go with a band. Now, its kind of funny to those who know me, because nothing makes me happier then going out and dancing all night when the DJ is good. I love, love LOVE a good DJ, and I may even go so far as to say, I prefer and DJ as a guest 9 times out of 10.
However, I also feel that because we are doing the traditional Jewish dance of the Hora, a band is absolutely necessary for the full effect. Plus, as fun as a DJ is at a wedding, all ages go crazy for a good band. So my search began for a non-cheesy, really fun, Motown type band began.
I knew this would not be easy because I had some initial rules. My first rule of the band was No Gloria Estafan. Don't get me wrong, I love some Gloria Estafan, "The Rhythm is Gonna Get Ya" will get me out of my seat..... but when it goes wrong, it's SO wrong, and that's not a chance I can take. I also wanted a more Motown, soulful sound, and one that would really encourage everyone, of all ages, to want to dance. Oh, and I wanted horns. I know it's slightly over the top, but, hey, if were going to do this, lets do this!
It's probably important to know that Mr. CP and I, do not have the same musical taste. he likes rock...I mean, classic rock, alternative rock, country rock, hard rock, emo-rock, and whatever other "rocks" there are. Literally, his requirements are a "sweet guitarist" and some old rock and roll. You can see how this search will already be difficult!
The band search began! My parents really wanted me to consider a particular talent agency in the area, that have kind of cheesy bands. I have been to a few weddings and bar mitzvahs, and even company holiday parties with this agency, and they are just a little to cheese for me. I don't want you to be on the dance floor trying to groove. Ya know? Anyways, Despite my pleas, Mom and Dad CP ordered me a set of DVDs to watch. So, Mr. CP and I sat down and painfully watched the cheesiest bands ever.
Luckily we had another DVD to watch too. I found a a talent agency online, Bialeks Music, which was referred to me. I spoke with Robin and she was really helpful and responsive, and just a pleasure to talk too. There were about 4 bands Mr. CP and I agreed to pursue, but we didn't agree on our favorites. If he loved it, I liked it. If I loved it, he just liked it. We scheduled some days though, to go see a few bands.*
Also, my brother and sister-in-law had a really great band last November. REALLY GREAT. I mean, people still talk about how amazing their band was. I knew that band was out of my price range, but I thought I would call that talent agency and see. So I tell them, I want this band, or one like it, but for about $4K less. (4K!!!). They send us some DVDs of similar bands, playing similar music, and to our surprise, we BOTH loved one of the bands. I loved the vocals, and Mr. CP loved the musicians and the "jazzy beat." I scheduled a time to go see them with Linda, of Entertainment Exchange. Unfortunately, Mr. CP had to travel for work and the next time we could see them, we were supposed to be out of town. So I brought sister-in-law CP (bridesmaid)and my maid of honor. We get to the Holiday Inn where they were playing, (yes, they played in a cocktail lounge) and as soon as we walk in, the band leader comes over to me, introduces herself and makes us feel really welcomed. Then, who walks in, other then the most famous Mayor of DC, Mayor Marion Barry! Obviously I took a picture. Who wouldn't! (So fun right?)

The band starts, and I must say, they ARE AMAZING!! EVERYONE, (including the Mayor) is dancing! It's happy hour and people are dancing! I knew they were right. We stayed and listed and then I made some calls and booked them.
Check out this link and tell me what you think!

Are you considering a Band or DJ? Which do you prefer as a guest?

*Even though in the end, we did not choose Bialeks, they had some great bands, and a lot of variety. Mr. CP and I both LOVED at least 1 band...they unfortunately weren't the same bands.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Make It Work

The holidays seem to bring stress to everyone. Of course they also bring your weight in sweets and alcohol, good cheer from family and friends but as I'm experiencing this year more so than holidays past, lots of stress.

You see, Fiancé and I have been dating for two years but this year is our first year spending the holidays TOGETHER. Usually, it would be the day after or the days before and then meeting up to travel back here to DC from New England together. His family lives in CT and mine in VT and while it's nice that they're close, really, a five hour round trip drive is suddenly ten hours and an entire day in the car.

We negotiated staying here for Thanksgiving which was nice - really nice actually. Instead of fitting in two families that live five hours apart in four days, we relaxed. I ran the Turkey Trot, we hosted a couple friends with lots of food, and lots of good cheer. We shopped, and attended a couple parties - all in all - it was one of the best holidays I've had in recent years that was 200% (okay maybe 150%) stress free.

This year, we had Christmas cards to send, cookies to bake, packages to send, not one but TWO families to shop for (three actually since my parents are divorced), a house to clean (that is not yet clean I should note and we leave Saturday morning). We've gotta make sure the dog has enough food for the week, is up on her meds (flea prevention, etc...) before boarding her, and of course while juggling holiday parties.

Trying to manage two schedules, which nights we'll be home, who we need to send cards to is nothing but stressful. I've been counting down the days till we get out of this town since we got back from Thanksgiving break. I'm ready for snow, and cold temperatures and seeing my city lit up in all its Christmas glory (if you've ever seen Downtown Burlington, VT around the holidays you'll understand).

But at the same time, I've been struggling this year as it's my first holiday without my family. I see cousins, and aunts and uncles (i have a larger family) two, maybe three, times per year. July at our annual Family Reunion (if I make it), and the holidays. But this year, since we bailed on Turkey Day, and we'll be in Connecticut for Christmas, I'm a bit saddened that I'm missing out.

I know, I know, I know that it's "our families" not just "my family" or "his family" but it's a huge compromise - I remember seeing my parents struggle with it - my father (according to my mother) forced us to spend each holiday with his family (which is preposterous since both families live in the same area) and well, my step-mother now "forces" my father to spend each holiday with HER family.

One thing I learned through our Pre-Cana classes is that there needs to be some compromise. He's promised that next year I get the holiday of my choice with my family. Thanksgiving this year was going to be too expensive to travel and board the dog and we were tired from the past two thanksgivings of fitting in too much and being exhausted for days after from all the traveling. From here on out, we agreed that thanksgiving is a one family holiday. Christmas on the other hand - is easy to break the week up and spend time with each family.

So we promised to alternate, each year, each holiday with a different family. I know it'll get easier, but it's still that whole becoming ONE couple not just with a "mine" or "yours" but with an "ours" now is...difficult when you already don't see much of your family.

But on the bright side, at least we get to spend it together which in the past two years of us being together, we have not yet done!

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 15, 2008

Videographer: YAY or NAY?

I am totally torn on a videographer. I just can't decide. I have really thought a lot about this and have made the following list of pros and cons.


  • documenting the speeches, party, and emotions of everyone there
  • my kids one day, being able to see this
  • capturing the gasps at my dress. (kidding...kind of)


  • Bright lights in every one's face
  • spending $2000.00 on videos, when you are already paying for pictures
  • possible cheesiness alert on the editing

What do you think about videographers? Do you think asking people who make speeches, to write them on nice paper is enough? Will I regret not having one?

Labels: ,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What to wear . . . for the Bridesmaids

Early last week I made myself check out J.Crew because of the bombardment of coupons and sales they had been sending to my inbox. At most times of the year I try to resist the temptation, but it was the holidays and I had felt bad about neglecting my bridesmaids and their search for dresses. Lo and behold, the dresses I had loved early this fall were on sale AND they had a lot of sizes AND they were in the colors I wanted!

So I refined my list of prospects and sent them quickly to my girls for comment. They have been so sweet and willing to wear whatever I asked the, but I still wanted them to have a choice in their dress cut and color so that they would have something that brought out their best features.

One of them said to me tonight online (while we waited for J. Crew.com to come back online . . . and we're still waiting): p.s. thank you thank you thank you for not making us get a certain kind of shoes (like a specific pair)...i appreciate that SO much! i think it looks silly when it is all matchy matchy. i knew you wouldn't do that but still!

I'm not saying my way is the only way to do it, but I really wanted the girls to be able to choose a dress style and color (they're picking between 2 colors and 3 dresses) that also made them happy to wear. Another one told me tonight that this is the first dress that she has bought as a bridesmaid that she'll actually get to wear again. Both of these comments meant so much to because they were exactly the end result I wanted to achieve.

I would show you their choices, but because J. Crew.com is being crappy, I'll have to update you with them later. However, knowing that they're all ordering their dresses and who's going to wear what makes me SO EXCITED all over again! It's one thing to pick them out, but to know they've ordered them and who's wearing what at the wedding in 9 months, it's completely different. I can't wait to see them on some of the girls when I go home next week!

Labels: ,

Zola Wine and Kitchen Now Open

Recently Star Restaurant Group, (one of D.C.'s leading restaurant development firms who also brought you Indigo Landing) Zola Wine and Kitchen. According to this Washington Business Journals article, it will be the site of a chef's test kitchen as well as a wine shop that will sell 6,000 wines. They will also be offering cooking classes during lunch!

I think this would be a really fun place to visit with out-of-town family or a fun activity for you and your bridal party. If you get to go, let me know how your visit went!

Labels: , ,

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bargaining for Bridesmaids? Who knew?

I picked my Bridesmaid Dresses! Wooohhoo! I am so excited because a) I absolutely love them, b) I would totally wear them, and b) I got an amazing price for them.
I never thought of myself as a good bargainer. (which is ironic, because for some reason, people assume I am skilled at this) I get flustered and back away before they even have the chance to consider my price. However, bridesmaid Laura is a PRO! The dresses I chose were over $200.00 everywhere I could find. We went to one last place, Rosalin's in Falls Church, VA and found them at $145.00! That is a price I feel much less guilty about, asking these girls to shell out. Bridesmaid Laura mentioned that she found them online for $133.00 from a discount store. The owner at Rosalin's said she could do $135.00! I couldn't believe it! I never knew this was a negotiable item. After talking to more brides, I found this to be common. Have you ever considered bargaining the price of the dress? While I am discussing Rosalin's, I might add they they have been great to work with.
Now on to the dresses. It was important to me that my girls feel great in these dresses. I have been a bridesmaid 3 times and have been lucky enough to have a gorgeous dress each time. I liked that, even though it was obviously not MY day, I still felt beautiful and comfortable. I mean, spending $200.00 (Or $135.00 if you can bargain down, like we did!! YES!!!!) on a dress is a lot of money and I wanted the girls to feel great in them, and if possible, be able to wear them again. I was particularly concerned that the material was a wearable material, for this reason.
I am head over heels for these dresses. I loved how they looked in person even more then the way they look in these pictures.
For the 5 bridesmaids, I chose 3 styles to choose from. I am asking that they get them in ROYAL BLUE, even if the dress is 2 tones, it should be all blue for this occasion. I feel that with a lot of different body types, I would like the girls to feel good. I also selected a different style for Maid and Matron of honor, and have their detailing in black, and the dress in blue. My matron of honor allowed me to pick a dress with a train for her wedding (yes, you read correctly...don't judge..please..I am embarrassed enough), and I felt special, so I wanted my MOHs to feel the same.
They are all Barijay dresses. These dresses are not your typical bridesmaid dress and are just stunning and flowy, in person! Here are they are, drum roll please.....
These images are from the Barijay website. The first 3 are for the bridesmaids to choose from.

This one (below) will be worn by the Maid and Matron of Honor)

What do you think of different, but similar dresses? Have you ever considered bargaining for the price?

Labels: ,

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's being to look a lot like (a DC) Christmas

Cold and rainy! What more could a girl ask for!? Ah well, there are so many other ways other than the weather to feel holiday-ish.

One of my favorite Christmas things is sending out holiday cards. I have always loved receiving them and the first year I was out of college I got my act together and sent out hand-made cards along with a little typed up letter about what I was up too. I've kept up the tradition, usually buying the cards as soon as Target or Borders starts stocking them---so that's like Halloween now, right? And I always do my best to get my cards out by December 1.

So imagine my delight when Mr. Fairfax mentioned out the blue one day that since we're engaged and living together and all that we should really send a Christmas card together. YAY!

Since a number of my extended family members have either not met Mr. Fairfax or have only met him once (and vice versa) I thought sending a photo card would be an excellent idea. I selected some potential photos from our last ski trip (lots of snow, and also when we became engaged) and put together some mock-ups on different photo websites. Mr. Fairfax helped select the winning photo and card layout and came up with the holiday greeting. We ended up using Shutterfly because the prices were great and we found lots of coupon codes enabling us to purchase about 40 cards for less than $38 including shipping!

I now present to you, the first ever Fairfax family holiday card! Oops yes it's tiny, shockingly Shutterfly doesn't like you to steal pictures from their site ;) When did you first send a joint holiday greeting to friends and family? Peace Joy and Candy Canes to All!

Labels: ,

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bridal Shower on Top Chef

All of my friends know that I'm a big fan of wine, food, cooking, anything epicurean. So I'm sharing this passion with all of you by encouraging you to watch tonight's epi of Top Chef. Why? Why, Miss Keswick, would we want to watch Top Chef? How could it be relevant to our wedding planning lives? Because tonite the chefs are catering Gail Simmons' bridal shower party. What a great way to get some ideas for your menu - and who doesn't love a drama in the kitchen (as long as it's not between you and your mother or you and your betrothed).

Top Chef airs tonite at 10 PM, encore at 11 PM, on Bravo.

Bon appetit!


25% off at Lord and Taylor

Oh the economy. Oh the holidays. It seems like everyone's offering sales and specials to entice everyone to help out our limping economy. In addition to Macy's, Lord and Taylor is offering a 25% off Friends and Family Discount through Monday, December 15th. Not only can you get your holiday shopping done at reduced cost, you have another place to look for that holiday gift exchange party for which you've been avoiding buying a worthy present!

Please Meet My Venue!

Apologies again for the absence, between the computer and not having much wedding stuff to do until the last few weeks, there hasn't been much to report or a way to report it!

Anywhoo-it's about high time I introduced our venue! As many of us are quite familiar with, all the good [insert wedding vendor here] usually get snapped up pretty quick. Booking a year or more in advance seems to be recommended especially in DC, and especially for the months of September and October. Can't remember where, but I definitely read somewhere that those are the two most popular months for Washington area weddings. Between our small budget and being a general worrier, I had our venue booked in April '08. Yes, that's 3 months after we got engaged and 18 months before the wedding! What can I say, I'm a do-er.

I was sprucing up the wedding planning notebook the other night and found my list of potential venues. Boy was it long! I think I had every available space in Northern Virginia listed on there.
So how did we narrow it down? LOTS of Internet research to start with.

I used TheKnot, WeddingWire, and blogs like DCNearlyweds just to come up with places. I also bought a few local bridal mags--I remember buying Virginia Bride because it featured a real wedding at a location I liked in our same wedding colors. So after I came up with this huge list, I started to get down to the nitty gritty. How much is the rental fee? Is it cheaper on Fridays? Sundays? Can we use our own caterer? Was it pretty? (yes this was a criteria!). I eventually narrowed the list to five locations to actually visit and made appointments across several weekends. Mr. Fairfax and I traipsed from one side of Nova to the other visiting venues along with the very knowledgeable Big Sister and her husband. In fact, I recall the first two places we visited I essentially walked around in stunned silence, while she asked all the questions! Thank goodness someone was there to ask the questions!

A lot of bridal resources recommend selecting between three and five vendors to meet with (or in this case venues), any more than that and it gets confusing. I whole-heartedly agree! Even the five we visited had me a bit overwhelmed. My main worry was that we wouldn't find a place we both liked that fell comfortably in out budget. We had plans to buy a house in 2008 (which we did! Closed on it back in October!) so the wedding was really coming second and we needed to be very careful with our spending. I promise I'm not bride-zilla, but visiting venues I definitely had a few feeling sorry for myself bad moods because I felt we didn't have the budget to get exactly what I wanted. One visit I was so down, it actually prompted to the Big Sister to blurt our her wedding gift to us: Our cake! Which we'd previously decided to forgo for pies to save money.

So what happened in the end...well, as many wedding dress shopping stories end, we went with the very first one! The Hendry House at Fort C.F. Smith.

From 2007wife's Bio

I first found the Hendry House on the DC Knottie Review Board in 2007wife's Knottie Bio. I initially dismissed it as too small, but since it's right in our neighborhood we decided to take a look anyway. When I e-mailed the county (it's an Arlington County Park) to set up an appointment, they told me it was the last weekend they were showing the house ALL SPRING AND SUMMER due to event bookings. So if I wanted to see it, I better be there tomorrow at 10:30 am sharp.

It was a chilly March morning when we showed up to take a look. I wasn't initially swept off my feet, but I liked it, and equally important, Mr. Fairfax did too.

After a few successive weekends of looking at places and a few tearful conversations about how to stretch our budget to get what we wanted, we realized the Hendry House really was the best place for us. We'd get a discount as country residents, we'd could keep the guest list small and have good reason for it and thus have the little intimate wedding we really wanted. Plus, it was right in our neighborhood (we ruled out a destination wedding early on because of the the challenges of planning from afar). We ended up booking the house by the end of the April.

Finding the venue was by far the most stressful part of the wedding planning so far for me. Trying to find a place that fit our needs (right place, right size, right location) especially on our small budget (we allotted a maximum of $3,000 for venue rental) was HARD. And as I'm sure many of your know. Until you have the venue nailed down, you can't really make too many other decisions! Needless to say I was glad when it was over!

What were your criteria for your venue? What challenges did you come across in finding and booking the right place? What sold you on the place you eventually booked?

PS--if anyone is interested in where else we looked, just e-mail me, I'm happy to share!

Labels: ,

20% off at Macy's GET IT QUICK!

Hey Nearlyweds!!
Macy's has extended our readers access to their Friends and Family discount of 20% You have got to love this!

My suggestion use for attendant gifts or parent gifts while the getting is good and the sales are abundant.
Macy's also has terrific undergarments so if you need the proper foundation for your gown GET IT AT MACY'S! Need lovely lingerie for the wedding night?? Wedding Jewelry?
Looking for a special gift for your Groom?? Head to Macy's!!
You will feel great being able to check that off of your never ending list of things to do!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cake at Bloomingdales!!

Join local cake expert Lara Stuckey of Fluffy Thoughts for a wedding cake tasting and decorating demonstration this Saturday, December 13th from 12pm-3pm at Bloomingdale’s at Chevy Chase, Bridal Registry, 3rd floor. A question and answer session will also take place for brides to learn the details of ordering a cake for their big day. For more information contact Fluffy Thoughts at 571-213-1513 or visit their web site at www.fluffythoughts.com.


Hey New Yorkers 4 Tickets FREE!

We have been gifted in this holiday season with 4 tickets to a fantastic event in NY. Our sources say it's going to be worth the trip so get in the mindset of ROAD TRIP! First 2 brides to send me an email on Tuesday December 9, 2008 nab the tix. just that simple no contest or essay, just quick fingers.!

The New York Wedding Workshop


A Bridal “How To” Series Event

How To Get the Most for Your Money

Saturday, December 13th

10 AM – 12:30 PM

The Yale Club of New York City

50 Vanderbilt Avenue at 44th Street

Workshop Description: Whether your wedding budget is $25,000 or $500,000, this economic climate demands that you get the best value for your dollar. Learn expert planner Lindsay Landman’s tricks of the trade starting with making a realistic budget, deciphering vendor pricing and negotiating a favorable contract. This is a workshop for every bride on every budget as great value always translates to getting more of what you want. Walk away with specific vendor referrals and bridal shopping tips to save you serious cash. Light brunch will be served.

Flowers and décor presented by Elegant Affairs.

The New York Wedding Workshop

147 West 35th Street, Suite 707 New York, New York 10001

Phone: 212.206.9201 Fax: 775.898.7098

www.nyweddingworkshop.com www.lindsaylandmanevents.com

Monday, December 08, 2008

10% off at One80 Salon

This summer, I visited One80 Salon on K Street for a free Phyto Deep Conditioning Treatment. They were doing a special because they were recently featured in Allure and wanted to celebrate. I reasoned that maintaining good hair should start as soon as possible if I wanted to have long, healthy, happy hair for all the pictures we would be taking to celebrate our engagement, our engagement session, any possible engagement parties, and of course, the wedding.

My hair is kinda coarse, which lends itself to being dry. It's also very thick - like each strand individually is thicker than some types of dental floss (or almost). Thus, I've always maintained a very strict hair regimen, but I thought it was worth it to try something new. That's when I discovered the Phyto line. Basically, the premise of these products is that normal hair products "moisturize" your hair on the outside by leaving silicates so that it feels smoother, never really remedying the problem, kinda like what makeup does your face. Phyto (pronounced fee-toh), however, moisturizes your hair from the inside, actually helping each strand to become healthier.

The reason I share my hair history with you is One80 Salon is offering $10 off Phyto Deep Conditioning treatments through the end of December! Reasons why you should:
  1. You've been meaning to try something different with your hair, but didn't know what.
  2. It's never too late to take good care of your hair (oooh, you can almost feel them massaging your scalp, can't you?)
  3. It's the holidays and you have a lot of holiday parties coming up and New Year's Even is just around the corner!



It's been a while

Again, I'm sorry to say this again, but I apologize for my lack of posting in the last couple of weeks. I've had a really hard time staying engaged with all the wedding planning (absolutely no pun intended). Every time I think about tasks I need to do for the wedding, I've been saddened by the fact that I don't have a single bridesmaid to go along with me. My girls are spread far and wide, from a little town in Southwest Virginia, to my sister cum maid of honor in London. I have girls in Pittsburgh, Rochester, and New York City. I have friends here in the area, but I feel bad asking them to take time out of their busy schedules to do cheesy wedding stuff - I'd feel less bad if they were in my bridal party because it's kind of their unofficial duty, you know? Thinking about wedding stuff made me so sad and feel so lonely sometimes that I wanted to cry, so I just started avoiding it. But I knew it wasn't supposed to be like that, so it saddened me even more.

I'm not blaming the girls. It's so easy to become involved in your own life when a wedding in 9 months...in another city - heck, in another state - is so far away. If anything, it's my fault for not reaching out to them more (although, I was kind of disappointed that some of them didn't even respond to my email about our engagement pictures, but I wasn't actually surprised). Also, I'm not blaming my fiance, either (probably some of you were asking where has he been during all this). He has been very supportive and has even offered to go shoe shopping with me. It's just not the same, you know? He won't want to spend a night perusing bridal magazines to drool over the stationery and centerpieces the way I know (at least some) of my bridesmaids would. For a while, I thought I was depressed, and that really worried him. But really, I think it was just loneliness.

Yesterday, I had a good long talk with my sister. She's been wonderful, but she's also in London, so sometimes I don't hear from her for a week or two, and again that makes me sad and just not want to think about all the wedding planning. Note that I say "planning" because I'm completely not scared of getting married. In fact, sometimes my fiance and I kid around about just getting married "this weekend." Of course, I would never do that. I love event planning too much - and there's the logistics of it (Pre-Cana has to be finished, we've paid for the venue, photographer, etc.). Anyways, during my talk with my sister, I was able to come out of my mini-depression. If my girls are less than responsive, then that's their problem. I will email them all I want and forget about pestering them. The least they could do is not respond. And if they don't respond, then their loss and I'll just keep on planning the wedding.

Has anyone felt anything like this? A sort of reversal of all the pomp and circumstance that comes after the engagement announcement? Anyways, I promise to do better. For all of you ladies at least.

On with the show!

What would you do?

About 6 months ago, when I first got engaged, I was feeling very "in the spirit." I came up with this idea to email talk shows about having a bridal competition to lose weight. Ya know, 3 brides competing and you win things for your wedding, type thing. Well to my surprise, one of the shows called on Saturday! I couldn't believe it! I never expected to hear back. So now, I have to decide if I really want to do this!? I mean....advertising your weight to the world? I don't think so. Standing in a bikini on TV? Um not so much. Winning prizes, OH YEAH!I only have about 20 lbs, maybe 25, to lose, but I don't know if I really want to do this? Needing adivce, ladies! What would you do? Realisitically?

(Right now I asked for information regarding possible prizes and details on what is required from me, so more info to come)

Labels: ,

Friday, December 05, 2008

National Harbor Engagement Pics

FI and I recently took our engagement pics, and we love them! FI's dad is an awesome photographer, and since the family was visiting with us for Thanksgiving, he did our photo shoot at the National Harbor. These are a couple of the pictures.

We are in love with our pics, and have posted them on our wedding website already. The National Harbor is a wonderfully scenic place, and great to take pics. They've got the fountain, and stream (drained now for the winter), the water, docks, and well-landscaped grounds. As we were on the dock, the former presidential yacht sailed up, and make a great backdrop to some of our pics. You may need to call ahead and make arrangements if you want to take pictures near the beautiful holiday displays inside the Gaylord Resort.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Freaked out over the dress....

Is it me, or is the first question everyone asks is, "So have you gotten your dress?" UGH. The dress. I think every bride gets super excited to go try on dresses. I was not. First of all, I don't look like I want to look at my wedding. I have gained about 25 lbs since I met Mr. CP and the last thing I want is to be disappointed and mad at myself, after seeing a dress on. I seriously put this day off as long as I could. In addition, I invited all 7 of my bridesmaids and Mom CP. She calls me and tells me this is a day for mother and daughter and can I not bring these "people." (She has a Brooklyn attitude, which I have a love at times, but not at this particular moment) So I call my ladies and tell them I am just going with my mom, but I did bring MOH CP, because Mom CP has a history of talking me into things that fit me well but are totally out of style. So the entire process started a little stressful. To top it off, I had NO idea what I liked or wanted. I spent a lot of time online and just couldn't picture myself in anything. At this point, I was convinced I needed something out of the ordinary. Stripes, polka dots, something a little crazy. I made my first appointment at Distinctive Designs, in Maryland. You may know of this shop, because one of the owners, Sandy, was on The Apprentice a few seasons ago. She even made it to the top 3! Also, my matron of honor got her dress there and I loved my bridesmaid dress (also from there).
As I get there at 10:00 I am totally freaked out. What if they don't have any that fit me? What if I cant find one I like? What if they make me look like an elephant? What if this takes 10 trips to 10 stores and I still can not find one I like? I walk in and Sandy comes over right away. She is warm and has a genuineness about her that I liked immediately. She says I look like a deer in headlights. I say. "I have no clue what I want or like..." She gives me a drink and sits me down. She asks if I want to look princess-y. I reply with, "More Red Carpet, Less Princess" With that, Sandy is off! She loads a dressing room with dresses. I take a deep breath and go in.

The very first one I try on makes me feel like royalty. When I see myself, I gasp! My waist looks teeny! WHO KNEW they did that!???! i sure didn't. If I had known that I would try on wedding dresses every day! I feel gorgeous. I am in love. HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE! Unfortunately, I feel like I still have to try on more, none of which even hold a match to the first one. Understand, they do not allow pictures until its been purchased.
So we are off to appointment #2. Right away I am not a fan. They had dresses there that totally did not match my style. They also lost my appointment. I had to wait over an hour to be seen, for a rack of dresses I didn't even like. I was so bummed. I still tried on a few. There was literally one dress I liked, mostly because it made me look skinny. My mom loved this dress. It had a gorgeous delicate beading. It just didn't feel like the other one. It looked somewhat like this.



After this, I knew I loved the other dress. So, I go back to Distinctive Designs and try on dress #1 again. I have always been decisive. So I went for it. I bought it! The first dress I ever tried on! What do you think? Isn't so glam!! I love this dress. I love how chic it is and how it will hide armpit fat. I love it in white and I love it on me. I can honestly say, I am THRILLED, despite all my worries, with my dress.


Did you have any fears about trying on dresses?

Labels: , , ,

Little Treasures

One of my favorite jewelry designers in the world, Deb from Bonbon Oiseau, is offering her holiday collection at 35% off until December 10.

They're perfect for bridesmaid's gifts or or something to drop your partner a hint about or even something lovely to get yourself for Christmas, Hanukkah, or winter solstice (scroll all the way down to the end of the post for details).

Capital Wedding

Style Me Pretty featured this gorgeous wedding that took place last fall in Washington.  DC weddings sometimes just make me swoon.
The reception was held at the National Museum for Women in the Arts.
I love their monument save-the-dates--they took what could be a cheesy theme and made them so elegant.  Go take a look at how beautiful this whole wedding was.
(All images credited to Love Life Images)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Centerpieces, Schmenterpieces....

Ugh. Centerpieces. Should I be excited about this? I feel totally lost on what to do. At first, I was just so uninspired by anything I could find online. Nothing felt right to me, or represented my taste and sense of style. i wanted something chic and unique.Floral centerpieces are gorgeous. I see that, but I am not the biggest flower person and I think alternative ideas are an easy way to save money. But what? My original idea, to my Mother CP's dismay, was goldfish. I have this vision of various odd shaped vases with navy stones and goldfish. 3 or so on each table. How cute, right? I couldn't find a good picture but kind of like this.


The worry was the fish dying during dinner and then having to have someone on goldfish duty. I mean, can you imagine eating dinner, enjoying your dinner and seeing a dead fish floating in the centerpiece? There is also the problem of what to do with them afterwards. Would people take them? Should I supply goldfish food and baggies? I still love the idea though and am trying to think I fit would work for the cocktail hour centerpieces, but to have 20+ fish may not be the smartest idea.
So on to a new idea. What about odd shaped candle holders? I love this picture and it would look gorgeous in a room with no windows.

I have always loved floating candles. They are romantic and make the room glow. So maybe something like this?source
So I was flipping through a Pottery Barn catalog, I came across some lanterns. They were colorful and modern and were totally my style. Could they work for a wedding? A black tie wedding, specifically? I rushed over to the store to see them in person. And then I bought 18 of them. What do you think? They are much bigger than they appear. Imagine Pillar candles in them, and tea lights all around them.

Here are the ones I actually got, sitting on my window ledge. Aren't they unique and just so pretty? I plan on using a mirrored tile under and little tea lights all around it.

Have you thought of, or seen any unique ideas for non-traditional centerpieces?

Labels: , ,

The Magic of Excel

I'm sorry I've been out of commission for a few days; I've just moved house and you know how much havoc that wreaks with your life.

Making my life easier, though, is keeping the guest list on Microsoft Excel.  It's awesome.  We've created a guest database with all their names and addresses, but that's just the beginning.  We can keep track of who's coming and who's not, which hotel they're planning to stay in, what kind of food they want (lamb or vegetarian), the gifts they've given us, and whether or not we've sent a thank you note.  It's a godsend, and makes keeping track of everything really easy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Our first wedding as an Engaged Couple!

We went to a wedding in St. Michael's, MD (think Wedding Crashers) and it was gorgeous!! The wedding was at The Oaks in August. The couple are local, so this was a semi-destination wedding. The setting was outside and on the water. The bride wore the most perfect dress that I absolutely fell in love with, and the groom wore a tan suit, pink tie and flip flops! The bridesmaids wore navy dresses and had pink flowers, while the groomsmen wore tan suits, pink ties and flip flops. The color scheme was so pretty!

Isn't she gorgeous?

Mr. CP and I always love a sunglasses-appropriate wedding!

The scenery was breathtaking!!! This made me wish I had decided on an outdoor wedding. Isn't it gorgeous?

Something this reception site is known for is the Adirondack chairs along the water. Mr. CP and I definitely relaxed and watched the sunset, after dancing all night!

The reception was a lot of fun, just like the newly married couple. They had a beautiful cake. Have you ever seen a full on cake "wrestling" match? I have!

Have you thought about an outdoor wedding vs an indoor wedding? What special things did you do (or are you doing) to make it look gorgeous? Have you considered a semi-destination wedding?

Mr. CP and I enjoying crabs in St. Michaels. A great perk of a semi-destination wedding is a semi-vacation ;)

Labels: , , , ,

Getting The Groom Motivated

This gem ($12 - amazon.com)my friends, is a Godsend. A friend of ours gave it to Fiancé Saturday night at a party. Last night, after working on the Save the Dates (they're half way done!!! mission ready to be addressed before 12/20 is on a roll!!) Fiancé busted it out while I was still making envelope liners, and was smitten with the book.

It essentially fills the groom in on his role and clarifies the role of the bride along with a time line in layman's terms, and a who's who of who's paying for what.

If you gals want to get your groom something for the holidays, this book would make an excellent stocking stuffer or even just a "here you go honey" gift just to get the hint across. Whereas I have a shelf full of books that have been given to me since we got engaged, this is the only one he needs, and then when he's done, he'll pass it on to the next man getting hitched.

What books are on your bridal planning book shelf?? Any that you consider a must have?

[image from Amazon.com]

Labels: ,