Monday, August 31, 2009

Wedding Night Live

“Wedding Night Live”
Now Casting Couples in NYC, L.A., and Atlanta areas!

A Major Cable Network is producing an amazing night of weddings LIVE on television!
Lucky couples chosen will receive $10,000!!!
We are seeking couples with good back-stories who are marrying on 11/21/09 – OR- are willing to change the date/time to 11/21/09!

If you are getting married in NYC, Atlanta, or Los Angeles areas ONLY, and your ceremony and reception are in the same location, send us a brief paragraph, recent photo and contact information to:weddingnightlive@gmail.com
ATTN: Roberta
HURRY! DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 8, 2009 Couples may be asked to submit a short video. Friends, Family and Bridal Party must be willing to appear on camera.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

35 Days

I have 35 days left until I officially become a Mrs.


Well, as I prepare for what will undoubtedly be an incredibly busy month, I am hoping that my semi-slacker-attitude leading up to this month doesn't come back to bite me in the ....

Leading up to the wedding, at least in the last few months, I have done--not as much as I thought I would have. It was like having wedding senioritis. I just, didn't want to anything anymore. DC has been hot a sweaty and that has not been the most motivating thing for me these last few weeks. I hit a few snags along the way. First, one of my bridesmaids received her dress and it was two sizes too big. It wasn't too disastrous---what was awful was dealing with the Jim Hjelm customer service people and the bridal salon that I purchased the dresses from. To be fair, the salon did offer to do the alterations for nearly half of what they would have cost to have them done elsewhere--it was just a pain to have to play phone tag with the manufacturer, the bridal salon, and my bridesmaid. In the end, all was resolved, but it made for a very un-fun few days in July.

I did receive the necklaces that I ordered from Sianlw on etsy for my bridesmaids. She custom-made me pieces with the colors and necklace lengths that I wanted. I am so incredibly pleased with how they turned out and I cannot wait to add it to their bag of bridesmaid goodies which so far consists of ..... well, these necklaces. I can't figure out what else to get them as presents :-/

I also got my headband for my wedding. So excited about this amazing piece from JustLiv! She made it from the extra fabric that was cut off of my wedding dress when it was getting altered.

So I have 35 days to figure out all the last minute details---like getting a license, seating charts, and calling all the non-RSVPers to figure out if I will come in under my wedding budget:-P

Wish me luck and I hope your wedding plans are going well!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

tight pants

we decided against tuxes because our ceremony is outdoors and somehow the wedding has taken a turn for the more summer-y and casual. one of the wedding colors is grey and what better way to pull it in than with the suits? mr. uva will be wearing a three piece modern cut suit and the other three men will be wearing two piece suits.

on our trip to hong kong, we decided to check out the tailors in kow loon and get groomsmen suits made for the gents in the wedding. mr. uva is super skinny and has a lot of trouble finding suits that fit him so he was in definite need of a custom suit but the other men didn't want to be left out.

these things fit like a glove. mr. uva's suit is tiny (and i'm slightly nervous he will look thinner than i do!). the material is phenomenal and the quality is perfect. they really are awesome suits. the tailor we found has made sutis for several us presidents, prince charles, head of state, everyone. he apparently is the go-to-guy in hong kong. mr. uva had 3 different fittings to get the suit to fit just right. in other words he cannot gain a pound. we only had the measurements for the groomsmen so their suits will need some quick tweaking right before the wedding.

my mom was a little concerned that we were doing a flat front pant as pleating is more traditional. we also opted for no cuffs at the pant hem (apparently another break with tradition). i am an emily post fan but am opting for looks rather than tradition....i think the suits look awesome and hope that we wont offend any of our more traditional guests.

i love it!

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Bridal Open House

Join the wonderful staff of Tuscana West Restaurant this Saturday for their

Bridal Open House.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Complimentary Hors d’ Oeuvre and Champagne will be served
Come and See what they have to offer.

Tuscana West Restaurant is the perfect venue for your intimate rehearsal dinner, lavish wedding reception or a beautiful wedding ceremony!

Please R.S.V.P



Tuscana West Restaurant

1350 I Street NW.

Washington, D.C.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Why is this part so hard?

Actually, I have about 4 balls in the air that I am juggling that are causing me angst right now as we head into September. I am getting married on Halloween and my bridesmaids still don't have dresses. Well, 2 do not. After hearing about their chests and how large they are and how accommodations needed to be made for their ample bosoms we STILL have not met to go shopping. I was all for picking out a new dress with them and yet I cannot lock down a date to go shopping with them. I am getting annoyed- we have been angling on this since May it is now September. Work with me, people! We all busy people with tough jobs but give me a break. I am determined not to go Bridezilla but they are killing me! To be fair one is now in the midst of total relationship melt-down but the other one has no excuse! I am about to drop the hammer and tell them to smash their boobs into the dress I originally wanted and call it a day! We are supposed to go shopping next Wednesday but if the sun sets and we don't have a consensus they are wearing the J.Crew dress I wanted and I am moving on to my next issue. Which is....

Makeup! I have been looking for a good makeup artist for a while. I started looking for one fairly early and still can't find one I want. I am African American so I was hoping for an artist who has experience with brown skin. I have found a few and I saw their portfolios but I have not liked anyone's work so far. They have either been too heavy or gone too pale or too dark. And if any of you guys have started with makeup trials you know they are not cheap! You only need 2 or 3 failed trials at about $100 a pop to start reconsidering! And that is what I am doing now. I have one more trial at my house next week but I am thinking if she does not work out I am just doing my makeup myself. I literally just told a co-worker that very thing and she gasped in horror. No!! she cried, you can't do your own- that isn't done! I was thinking - well it is about to be done this time because I have paid out in trials alone what I had budgeted for payment for the makeup artist for the actual day.

I am torn. I want to look classic and pretty on my special day but I am also not trying to bankrupt myself. I hope this lady coming next week is The One. My piggy bank is crying here with check after check going to services I just don't even like!

Is anyone else getting a professional artist? How many dang trials does it take to find the right one?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the veil

So I've finally got my hands on some french netting, and so farrrrr - birdcage veils are a lot more difficult than they look. It's kind of fun playing around with it but at the same time incredibly frustrating because I haven't yet been able to get it to do what I've been picturing in my head. Here are a couple pictures of my efforts.. just haven't quite got the hang of making it behave how I want. But, I've got several months to get it right so I'm not too worried yet.

Here's another piece I was playing with, thought I'd try working in these fabric flowers, they weave easily into the comb (one is weaved in already, looks promising). I'm thinking some of those little blue roses with some pearl and crystal accents? maybe a couple Feathers for good measure? we'll see.
For you DIYers, do you find it's hard to find Space for your projects? Mr. Fairfax and I are in a one-bedroom apartment and my "workshop" is basically the dining room, I've just taken over a wall and started stacking things. It's not easy to work up the motivation to go drag everything out to play with it, especially when I realize all the crazy ideas floating around in my head are well, crazy, and I don't have half the materials I'd need to accomplish everything I want to. Anyway here's a glimpse of my sad corner (sorry it's off kilter; on the left it looks like maybe the recycle bin but no! it's my growing collection of glass jars we'll be cleaning up and using as vases for the tables).

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Plus One

We didn't invite most guests with a plus one. We invited the ones who were in relationships, living together, married or whatever but many guests did not get a plus one status.

One friend did....despite my better judgement. He WAS dating a girl much younger, whom he had moved in with a few months ago so I figured if I invite most others with their significant other, then he should be too.

Apparently, she recently broke up with him.

The invite was not "Friend and Guest." It was "Friend and Girlfriend." Therefore, one would think that friend would not try to bring "and guest." Any guest.

Friend is now using facebook to find a date for my wedding because you see, friend and one of my bridesmaids dated back in college. They were both in my main posse back in college, he was roommates with my ex, her and I became close pals, along with her former roommate who became another good pal of mine and a bridesmaid.

So I'm a little peeved that friend is so worried about being uncomfortable around Bridesmaid and her boyfriend (that she began dating right after they broke up in 2005) that he's advertising a guest spot to my wedding on facebook.

I find this incredibly tacky, and rude. Emily Post would be rolling over in her grave if she only knew.

Granted, I told him the other night when he told me that his girlfriend left him that he could still bring someone - but not to bring a blind date (he was trying to get ex's former roommate bridesmaid to bring a pal of hers as she grew up in Baltimore) bring someone he'd have fun with but not to feel like he HAD to bring someone - mostly because he tends to get...a little emo when his heart is broken, don't we all, but I knew that telling him he couldn't bring someone so soon after being..dare I say...dumped might not go over well.

But, we're all adults no? I'm sure he can tolerate being around his ex for a few hours... they both went to a wedding of a mutual friend last year and survived.

Still though, I'm peeved. Advertising it on the facebook? Isn't that pushing the plus one limit??? I'm trying not to be super bitchy about this all, but I'm offended, especially by the fact that not everyone was invited with a guest as our policy was relationships only so should I tell him - hey I don't care if you bring someone but don't advertise it over the facebook? Or should I tell him he was invited with his girlfriend and while I'm so sorry that she broke his heart, he was invited with her not just "a guest."

What would you say? Am I over reacting??

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Start your day with some eye candy!

At long last, I get to brag about my amazingly talented photographer, Mary Kate McKenna. I've been trying to post these for a while, but we all know Blogger was being difficult. All images are from her blog - I suggest you check it out if you haven't chosen your photographer yet. She has a bunch of packages that you can tailor to your individual needs. I love the way she captures the joy of the moment. The couples all look so happy and beautiful! I'm banking on her skill, since the Chevy Chases are not particularly photogenic! The first three images are from Woodend (our venue) and really sold me on Mary Kate!

Well, hopefully I've brightened up your day!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

DIY Madness

I have been trying to get a lot of things done now while I have the time. We are reaching the 6 month mark (OMG!!!) and I do not want to be stressed with tackling projects towards the end. Come February, I want to concentrate on making sure everyone gets paid, not on assembling the programs.

I initially started working on this memorial candle project some time ago, but stopped when I did not like them. I finally went back and finished them a few days ago. We nixed the unity candle ceremony for our wedding and decided to switch it up a bit by doing a memory candle lighting. Basically, my cousin and his cousin will walk down the aisle and light the candles at the beginning of the ceremony. The candles will stay lit throughout the ceremony to represent our loved ones' spirit being with us as we join hands in wedding matrimony.

This was my inspiration for my candles.

(Sorry, I saved this image some time ago. Please comment if this is your image and I will credit you appropriately.)

I decided to use clear labels for the pictures in the hopes that they will be illuminated from the inside and appear a bit more "glowy." I am not sure now how that is going to work and I refuse to buy a candle just to check it out...so this will be a game day experiment. On the grand scheme of things, this is not a huge priority of mine considering that many folks won't even see the candles from where they are going to be sitting...I just wanted the candles made and marked off my list.

This is how they turned out.

I also did our table numbers. Technically I don't know how many tables I will have just yet, but I figured I will need at the very least 20. I got some picture frames from Wal-Mart, (against my normal political and personal objections with the store...this wedding has caused me to do many things I would not normally do for the sake of saving a dollar) added the table numbers and titles via Photoshop and then printed out the images on my home printer.

We originally wanted to use old Blue Note jazz covers as our table numbers, but they did not really go with our new vision for the wedding. I am a bit sad, however, that I cannot place people at the "Billy Holiday" table.

A recent visit to the National American History Museum gave me another idea that was just as awesome. The Scurlock Studio has an exhibit there based on the photography of the Scurlock family of affluent blacks from the early 1900s through the 60s-70s. I loved the idea of having really gorgeous, happy, vintage images as our table numbers, plus, it was totally an easy project. Mr. Glen Echo, however, is nervous about our potential unauthorized usage...but I cannot image anyone would mind.

This is how they turned out.

Have you guys been working on any projects lately?

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Bed Bath and Beyond Discovery!

Just thought I'd share a very exciting find with everyone! My mom threw me a bridal shower in Florida. My mom is a social butterfly, and there were about 40 ladies at the shower, probably around 30 of whom I've never met (note: if ever in a situation like this, respectfully request that name tags are used - they'll be your only hope!).

The shower was awesome, the ladies were a RIOT - turns out that many ladies revert back to their high school/college gal pal days, they were SERIOUSLY the life of the party, after their kids graduate from college and leave the nest! This was an exciting revelation for me - something to look forward to!!

Anyway, everyone was SO super generous, and I ended up with way too many gifts to bring back with me on the plane (even though I brought a huge empty suitcase). I thought about shipping them via UPS, or having someone drive them up when they come for the wedding - but I figured it might be easiest to just take everything back to Bed Bath and Beyond, return it, and then re-buy everything the next day at BBB in Arlington.

So I rolled into the BBB in Florida with two shopping carts full of returns, and the nice lady at the store told me that she could basically return, and then I could "rebuy", and SHIP everything to myself for FREE!! I was over the moon - because this saved me a trip, and also, the lady told me that since it was off a registry, everything would be gift wrapped - SO Mr. OBX got to open everything and be surprised! (I've been telling him that he has to act like a bride - and get super excited (like I do naturally) over colanders, towels, canisters...its funny!). The one caveat is that if your guests used those 20% off coupons, you have to bring enough of them to apply to each gift...or you lose that money (but they did give me a break). EXTRA bonus: their gift packaging matches my wedding colors perfectly - LOVE it.

*I can't find any info about this on the BBB website, so I'm HOPING this isn't an anomaly and a one time instance where someone was just extra nice to me!

The only concern I've got is that - 30 days out from the wedding - our registries at Macy's, BBB, and Crate and Barrel are pretty barren - anyone have advice on new/different ideas for registering?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Getting in shape for the big day

I must admit, I've never been a skinny-minny. And while I've never had a problem with my weight, it was always in the back of my mind. Of course every bride wants to look gorgeous on her wedding day, and that's something I've worried about.

Which is problem, because I'm what you might call.....lazy when it comes to exercise. Me and exercise aren't the best of friends. In fact, I pretty must despise exercise. Which brings about my other problem.....food. I like food. Alot. Peanut butter and cheese are my favorite foods (not together of course), and I don't even need to get into how healthy they are. So if you do the math, a lack of exercise and an abundance of cheese = a not very gorgeous Miss National Mall.

I'm not photogenic in the first place, so the few extra pounds I have aren't helping me any. I don't want to look like this in my wedding pictures (and I can't believe i'm posting this)

So what's a girl to do? Well, I bought the 30 day shred that everyone raves about, now I just actually have to do it. And eating healthy might be a good idea too. Anyone have any good recipes to share? What are you doing to get in shape?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Logos Are Things Remembered

Wedding logos are the latest trend in the bridal world, offering couples a unique way to brand their destination wedding and personalize their look of love.

With the newest service from Things Remembered, it’s easier and more affordable than ever for brides to have a custom logo designed just for their special day -- http://tinyurl.com/ccm4fk.

The leading personalized gift retailer is now creating custom logos brides can use on virtually everything associated with their wedding. Each custom design builds in the couple’s names or monogram against contemporary, classic or casual styles.

Couples will receive a digital copy of the logo that can be used on websites, programs, invitations, seating cards, toasting flutes, cake servers, photo albums and other wedding staples.

The customized wedding logo creation is free with a Things Remembered purchase of $150 or more, and considering brides will be at Things Remembered to purchase toasting flutes, cake servers, bridal party gifts, etc, that’s quite a steal! It’s then $12.00 per product to have the logo engraved.

To begin the design process, the couple need only visit their local Things Remembered store or call Things Remembered customer service at 866-902-4438. They will receive their custom logo within seven days. Rush design services also are available.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You Got to Burn It, To Earn It!

I went to the gym today and I am afraid I am going to feel a bit like Claire Huxtable in this Cosby Show episode later on...

My body is feeling things it has not felt in a while. See, I went to a fertility doctor yesterday and he told me I am fat (just not in those words) and that if I want to have a better chance of conceiving when I am ready to, I should lose some weight. So, I have decided to change my life (well at least the part of my life that eats Chipotle everyday and is addicted to Lindt truffles).

I have a very real fear that after Mr. Glen Echo and I get married and we are ready to have kids, it will be difficult. I have condition called Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Its the leading cause of infertility among women and is generally associated with insulin resistance and diabetes. I have been diagnosed with this condition for a long time, however, "leading cause of infertility" did not truly hit home until now.

For most people, getting married is the first step in making a family. I know there are plenty of ways to have children these days; adoption and surrogacy come to mind. But, as much as I tell myself these options are out there if I need them, I cannot ignore the longing I have to carry my own children.

I have been overweight for most of my adult life, but in 2006 I decided I wanted to give myself a "make over." I decided to treat the side effects of my condition a bit more aggressively. During this time in my life, I went from almost 240 pounds to 180! I saw a lot of my symptoms go away, I gained a ridiculous amount of confidence and overall I just felt better.

But, you know what they say about happy relationships and gaining weight...and now I am back to around 200. I cannot blame it all on meeting Mr. Glen Echo. It is a combination of work, school, stress, happiness, sadness, fun times and the fact that I just hate moving my body in ways that require me to feel physical pain afterward. Right now, however, I think its time for for not just a make up, but permanent re-mastering (think the difference between having someone do your make up to tattooing shades of eye shadow on your lids...something that does not go away).

Plenty of women want to lose weight to fit into their wedding gown or use getting married as a kick start to a fitness and diet program because they want to look good on their special day. I think about that part as the cherry on top of my healthy sundae; an added treat. The wedding is one day...my marriage will last forever. I feel like I need to prepare my body for the labor the rest of our lives together will bring. I am just not looking forward to leg cramps in the middle of the night...


Update on how things look at 38 days till Wedding Day!!

I, too, have been an MIA blogger - I went through a period right after the invites got sent out where I was in a planning paralysis - I knew I had a LOT to do, but couldn't quite get myself to focus on any of it. I got really wrapped around the axle about some issues that my future mother in law and I were having around control and planning of the rehearsal dinner and brunch (good idea for another blog topic...future mother in law relationships...)

So I thought I should get organized and just start a list of things that popped into my head. I checked the knot.com , and I have 16 overdue items (with that cute little pink alarm clock reminding me that I am a slacker). Mr. OBX is in charge of all things rehearsal (including the slide show) and brunch related and all the wedding insurance needs (liability and weather). He is also in charge of music and RSVP tracking. By the way - an unanticipated highlight is that I really LOVE receiving RSVPs in the mail - it makes my day! Mom OBX is in charge of all things floral and decor related. Which leaves me in charge of:

1. Thank you cards - my system of not taking an item out of the box/leaving it on our kitchen table till I write the thank you is failing me, as the entire kitchen and dining room have been taken over with gifts and their boxes - people have been incredibly generous with us.

2. Budget - Figuring out where we stand and when our final payments have to be made

3. Ceremony details - Selecting and contacting our readers, finalizing the readings, finalizing the program, printing the programs, working with our officiant, talking to the musicians, and getting marriage licence requirements figured out

4. Reception details - The really frustrating thing here is that I have to wait till RSVPs are back (next Wednesday) to do all this, but: purchasing favors, sparklers, putting together kids bags, printing table numbers, assigning tables, figuring out how to showcase our buffet menu, buying the liquor, doing the tent layout, printing out our wedding day timeline, putting together out of town bags, figuring out transportation logistics.

All while working full time, trying to be dedicated to eating healthy (just realized as I typed that my lunch was 2 yogurt covered pretzels) and working out, attending pre-marital counseling sessions, dress fittings, and dance lessons - and of course all the demanding social commitments!

Funny enough, I'm much happier now that I'm starting to tackle it all and am not just avoiding things. I'm really glad that I'll be heading down to the beach the Sunday before the wedding and that I'll have so much help from friends and family to pull things together last minute. I just have to be organized enough to plan, purchase, print, etc. it all prior to going down there. Anyone else in planning paralysis/hiatus mode?

the return

i'm sorry i have been mia recently. my entire family just returned from a 2 week romp through southeast asia. with only one case of malaria and another case of the swine flu (seriously), we had a lot of fun and we're all back in one piece.

i spent 7 years of my childhood in remote places like liberia and the philippines and then later nigeria and indonesia and i guess, took advantage of it. mr. uva had never traveled anywhere that needed a passport. this had never really been an issue for me. i've sort of morphed into a home-body and gave up on thoughts that i too would be shipping my future children to the ends of the earth every three or four years.

my older sister has the travel bug and needed her husband to understand that piece of her. this meant that poor brother-in-law was to be headed for nigeria for summer vacation. i guess it didn't scare him away because since then, the two have lived in argentina, costa rica, and now hong kong.

mr. uva may be a changed man after this trip. he loved it. he also spent a serious stretch of time with my whole family - parents and siblings combined and has some new views on the serious craziness (i mean crazyyy) that runs through our genes.

i might not be able to lock away the passport again for a while. i may have created a monster - mr. uva is raring to go (as soon as we have some money) and the honeymoon plans may be getting a little more exciting.

what do you think:
a. beach for a relaxing week
b. backpacking around europe
c. safari in south africa

(maybe all three!)

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Bridal Shower

My Bridal Shower was this past weekend and I had a fabulous time! The events started on Friday night when my best friend (Alex) from High School drove all the way down to Maryland from Connecticut to spend the day with me.

On Saturday, Alex and I woke up early and headed down to my mom's house. My sister, and maid of honor, hosted my shower and she did a fabulous job. The event was a ladies luncheon and each of my bridesmaids provided an light lunch entree for the event. The decor was hysterical and as you can see below, they tried their best to dress me up.

The garter lasted all of five minutes.

Several of my friends could not make it to my shower, but we still had at least 30 people there! It was mostly my mom's friends, my soon to be husband's mom's friends, and my family rounded out the guest list.

Don't fret though, all of my bridesmaids were in attendance and my friend "true blue" (a.k.a. Kristin) came down as well.

Here's Mari, Noelle, Me, Alli, Alex and Kristin!

And here's a picture of me and the bridal party- including John's two sisters who were not in the previous picture.

I was blessed with some amazing gifts and I had the best time. Seriously, I wish we could get married everyday because what's not to love about a little ladies only time and some great food?

I wanted to include a picture of the shoes, since you ladies all weighed in on my options. Unfortunately, I forgot to get my toes in every picture. You can kind of see the shoes in this picture with my sister and cousins.

One of the highlights of the day-- this cake! My Bridesmaid and future sister-in-law Erin designed it for me. Do they know my interests or what?

RSVP conundrum - figured out!

So. I can't remember if I'd mentioned any of this before or not but, we are asking our guests to RSVP online (unless they're not computer savvy, we'll send them a reply card). Way back when, I found the WeddingWire.com wedding website, which allows you to add an RSVP page that pulls directly from the guest list you've uploaded to the site - so the guests go to that page and it asks them to enter their name, and if they're on the list they get prompted to RSVP for themselves and whatever guests we've specified, for ceremony/reception/shower/etc (whatever event(s) you want to add in there).

If they're not on the list.. They don't get to RSVP. I loved that because we're not planning to do inner envelopes and all that so I was worried there might be some confusion about who gets to bring a guest.

HOWever. I was not crazy about the look of the rest of the site as built by WeddingWire. So I went over to Google Sites and built one (we splurged and paid $10 for own domain), which I like a Lot better, but I couldn't recreate the fabulous RSVP function.

Well I just finally found the solution, which probably shouldn't have taken me this long to figure out. What I did was deactivated all the regular pages from the WeddingWire wedding site EXCEPT the Welcome screen and the RSVP page, and just renamed it our "online RSVP site." So then all it took was adding an RSVP page on our real website which links right over to the WeddingWire site.

Is this making any sense?? It might sound more complicated than it is - believe me, I am no tech junky! I do not know html or dreamweaver or any other kind of site building software (I don't even know if that's the right vocabulary). If you're not happy with your wedding website and think you might want to try to make your own - I highly recommend Google Sites!

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Local flowers

I stumbled upon a great local flower vendor last week at the Clarendon Farmer's Market (Wednesday evenings).

Wollam Gardens - Specialty Cut Flowers. Located in Jeffersonton, VA (kinda near Warrenton), they deliver to DC area farmer's markets and florists and they do special events too.

I had pretty much given up on the idea of getting locally grown flowers since our wedding is in early spring, and none of the flower vendors at farmers markets I've encountered so far start selling until May. So when I approached this vendor I didn't have much hope - but the woman I spoke to said for the first time this year they plan to grow through the winter! I'm still not sure what all will be available, but it sounds promising.

They sent me a packet of their services - they range from totally DIY, where you just put in your order and go pick it up, to full service, where they help you design your arrangements and they deliver and set up for you. The pricing seemed reasonable for the services, but I haven't seen their pricing for the flowers themselves.

I'm thinking since my mom works for a local florist, she will help me decide what to order and how much, and help set it all up correctly on the day. Anyone else know of other local flower farms that offer early spring flowers?

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Monday, August 17, 2009

DIY Thank You Notes

I've been a DIY queen. Well, a procrastinating queen but a DIY queen no less. I have half a dozen projects that need to get done in about 26 days and I'm starting to go a wee bit crazy.

But last night, I banged one project out right quick - some thank you notes! My shower was over a month ago and I've been procrastinating on the Thank You's but I finally created the thank you's last night.

What did I use? Some Folded cards from Paper Source, a "merci" stamp and a blue ink pad both from paper source as well. The whole project took about fifteen minutes. The end result?

and a close up....

They look kind of "plain" but I really like the simplicity of them. I saw a similar style at Paper Source but they didn't have them in navy blue so I decided to do them myself. Now I just need to find the time to actually...write them. Along with making favors, menus, programs, escort cards, and table numbers. *sigh* It will all get done...it has to.

Did you do anything special for your thank you notes???

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Obsessive UPS Tracking?

So I've never tracked anything from FedEx or UPS before. I always figured my orders would come when they come. Until now. Here is the status of my postcard STDs:

LocationDateLocal TimeDescription
08/14/200910:56 P.M.DEPARTURE SCAN
08/14/20097:04 P.M.ORIGIN SCAN

Tracking results provided by UPS: 08/17/2009 4:19 P.M. ET

They were printed and shipped much faster than I had expected, but all weekend they just sat in Louisville!!! Now they are so close (Greensboro is less than an hour from me) but I won't get them until tomorrow according to UPS. Maybe they'll be delivered by mid-morning, in which case I can look at them on my way back to lab from an off-campus meeting. Cross your fingers everyone!

I'm really excited because the STDs are the first concrete "thing" since my e-ring. The prospect of sending them out and officially publicizing the date make it all seem so much more real. Unlike my dress, which I've ordered but won't receive until next year some time, or the flowers which I won't see until wedding day, or the invitations which are a blur of ideas in my head, the STDs are complete (yay, I can finally check something off my to-do list. Almost.) and I will have them in hand by tomorrow. I just hope I didn't make some major typo that none of my proofers caught.

What one event/item made your marriage seem more of a reality, and less of a far-off dream? Was there something that made it hit home?

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almost save-the-date time!

Mr. Fairfax and I are getting ready to send save-the-dates and it's very exciting slash terrifying. Well not terrifying, but a little scary just because once we send that out, I feel like the drama will increase. We are still narrowing down the guest list and people are going to be left out no matter what we do. My mother's family is just so darn big! Even excluding my dad's entire side of the family (he's not going to be there and I'm not super close with any of his sisters sooo yeah), I'm still having trouble keeping down the numbers of my mom's family. I'm not sure how many will even show up, but there's a chance they all could so we're going to have to gamble a little (and of course if more are planning to come than not, that provides more incentive for the ones who would otherwise not bother).

Anyway the thing is ready to go as soon as we figure out who it's going to. We're just sending it via email to most people, but we'll turn it into a postcard for those few who don't really Do email.

Here it is - finally got Blogger to upload! Thank you Miss Gallery Place!

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Friday, August 14, 2009

The order is in ...

for the STDs. Finally. A seemingly small task, but one that has taken months. And, of course, blogger doesn't seem to want to let me upload the images to show you. Hmm ... has anyone else had problems uploading images? I'm at school where the internet connection is very fast, so I don't think that's the problem. Anyway, I've managed to upload one of the three images - the final back of the postcard (well, the final version didn't have the return address or website blurred out).

As I mentioned, this week I decided to totally redesign the back of the postcard. The front has essentially been finished since I first wrote about it in early July. I think the reason it took me so long to finish is that I never really liked my old design for the back. I showed the design to my friend, whom I've decided to call Oski (I suspect you'll be hearing a lot more of her) and we both loved the little pig I'd found to signify the BBQ rehearsal dinner, but didn't really like the rest of the old design. Then Oski had the brilliant idea of using the Metro Map and putting little icons on it for the different events/locations. I went to the DC Metro website, downloaded a PDF of the map, opened it in Illustrator, deleted most of the text, added my pig, cake, Doubletree icon, and text, and voila!
(click on the image for a readable version; the colors are all weird for some reason; on the actual image, the red line is actually red, not blue as it looks on my computer, and the Potomac is blue, not orange! but you get the idea)

Hopefully the postcards will come next week so I can get them in the mail!

What projects have tripped you up and taken much longer than you'd expected?

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

In Recent News...

I promised Mr. Glen Echo that I would hold off on wedding activities for a while. That has proven to be difficult for me. So, I compromised with him. Instead of looking for new ideas (which means spending more money), I decided to finalize a few lingering projects.
I went home this past weekend to Ashland, Va to work on the attire for my ladies. I went home because 4 out of my 7 bridesmaids are down there (and are related to me...love having family as your best friends!). Our visit to the bridal salon was a waste of time to say the least. They had only one of the styles the Ladies liked, the consultant gave us the most ridiculous advice (according to her, no one has the right body to fit any of their dresses...) and the prices for the gowns were all $30 more there than they are on-line.
The worse part about my visit to Va, however, was losing a bridesmaid all together! My cousin calls me, as I am driving the wrong way on the interstate and already pissed from being on the road all day, and asks me not to be upset with her. She tells me that she is pregnant! She and her husband were not trying and she skipped her period back in June (hmm...why am I finding out now...) which means she would be ready to pop around the date of our wedding. I gave my cousin the option of staying in the wedding, but she felt nervous about it.
This was not good...but I had an already built in solution. I had designated my half-sister to be a part of the ceremony, but not a bridesmaid (she is a single mother and I did not want to put any financial burdens on her). I called her, discussed it with her and she guaranteed me that everything would be okay, plus I will help her out as much as I can. So, I just switched their roles and crossed my fingers.
On a positive note, I did find out that the flower girl dress I purchased in January actually does fit my flower girl! My mother found the cutest and perfect flower girl dress while we were shopping for my wedding dress in Richmond. As I was signing my contract with Bella Rosa, my mother ran up to me with the dress and showed me the magnificent price tag, $25! I figured, what the hell...if it doesn't fit, I only spent $25. My little cousin was a size 6 when I purchased the dress and I was nervous because the dress was a size 6...and she is 6...the wedding was over a year away and kids tend to grow...
But! Here she is in the dress (do not mind the sad look...it was her birthday and she wanted to get to her party)

(Please note, I am having blogger.com issues, please disregard the center alignment in this post..)




We just got our engagement photo pics back today. The photographer was great! She is sweet and understanding since I had to reschedule on her twice. She takes great pictures and has original ideas too.

My fiance looks great in them too. He is smiling nicely even though he was super nervous. He was sweet and agreed to my request NOT to cut his hair until after the photo shoot... just in case a disaster struck at the hair salon. I liked our outfits, the sun was out-- all was well.

EXCEPT my giant hamhock arms!! It is incredible- I see my arms in the mirror every single morning and every single night. I actually thought to myself two days ago- hmmm my arms are slimming up quite nicely. WRONG. Seeing those pics sent me off the deep end.

I am already doing a workout called Chalean Extreme to get some nice muscle tone in time for the wedding in October and I am eating properly now and keeping a food diary but after these pics-- oh it is on! I immediately went out and bought a new series of exercise dvds I had been eyeing but talked myself out of because I thought they would kill me... and they probably will but I just bought them anyway. The dvd set is called: Insanity. Yes- that is the real name.

This is the description off the website: The secret to these mind-blowing results: MAX Interval Training. Shaun T took traditional interval training and flipped it on its head—you perform long bursts of maximum-intensity exercises with short periods of rest. Each workout keeps you constantly challenged as you alternate between aerobic and anaerobic intervals performed at your MAX. The result: burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour and get the most insane body in 60 days.

I have about 75 days until my wedding. I can do this. However, if you never hear from me on this blog again it is probably because my quest for toned arms and glutes did me in.....

My question to you guys: anyone else going crazy in their quest to look fab in their dress and awesome in pictures? I thought I was doing good. I had remained calm until I saw those pictures this morning and then BAM- craziness hit. Anyone else?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Deal or No Deal!

**********NOW CASTING********* ****** NEWLYWEDS!!! ******

Deal or No Deal is now casting newlyweds to be contestants on the next season of the show now taping in Connecticut. Do you have what it takes to beat the banker as a newly married couple and win up to $500,000???
Casting is being held THIS THURSDAY, 8/13 in NYC.

Please come to either our 10am or 3pm session!

Please email
dondnewlywedcasting@gmail.com ASAP with your name, how long you have been married, and which time you prefer!

I might have a ring bearer!

Originally Mr. Fairfax and I weren't going to have flower girls or a ring bearer. I have some small cousins but I'm not even sure if they're going to make it to the wedding and I just didn't really want to mess with it.

There is, however, a very special little dude in my maid of honor's family who I love to itty bitty pieces and I just found out I might actually get to have him as my ring bearer!

He had some teeth problems so they pulled his front teeth out - so now sometimes his tongue just sticks out randomly!! So frickin cute.

I asked my contact at Old Town Hall if they would allow this little guy in the building and she said generally they only allow service dogs but they have made exceptions for this kind of thing as long as he doesn't stay for the reception. So someone would need to take him back to the hotel, which may or may not work out. So it's still up in the air! But I'm excited it's actually possible, I kind of just assumed they wouldn't allow dogs at all. :) :)

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm BACK!!!! Night terrors and STDs and All

Hi ladies! Remember me? The delinquent Nearlywed who hasn't posted in a few weeks? I've been away at two conferences the past two weeks, but I'm home now and nearly caught up on life, and I have a whole bunch of posts coming your way. To start out, in response to Miss Fairfax's post on wedding dreams and nightmares, I thought I'd share a NIGHT TERROR I had on Monday morning, in between alarms.

All of a sudden, it was time to get married, I hadn't finished getting everything done, there wasn't enough time, and I had only minutes to get ready for my wedding.  I had wanted this day to be so perfect, and all of a sudden it was upon me and it was all wrong and I would never have the chance to do it again.  I was getting ready for the ceremony, and I had no one to do hair or makeup, had to throw on a dress that wasn't right, and rushed down the aisle. Only a few people were there, and the wedding must have been at 4 pm on a weekday or something because a few people had rushed from work and were in casual clothes. The ceremony was all wrong - I realized as I was walking down the aisle that we had never had time to discuss with the officiant/my FFIL what we wanted in the ceremony, and none of the Jewish elements were incorporated. I realized AFTER the ceremony that we hadn't taken any pictures, and then I realized the photographer wasn't even there and that maybe she didn't know about the wedding (even though we've already paid the deposit and everything). I wondered how I had made it through the ceremony without even realizing we weren't taking any pictures!  So I called her and left a voicemail saying that I hoped if she wasn't busy she could come take some pictures at the reception the NEXT DAY (weird, huh?). Then at the reception, there was a buffet instead of a plated dinner, all these people showed up who weren't invited like it was a college party or something, and the colors and decor were nothing I had chosen. They were generic hotel decorations or something. Then,  my dad announces that he's gotten a special guest to stop by and sing a song in between sets at the concert next door (or something equally strange). And out walks Kenny Chesney! (I think one of his songs was playing on the radio and permeated my dream). Except he was old and ugly! Mercifully, the radio then pulled me out of my dream and the night terror was over. I woke up, tense, sweating, and maybe even crying a little about the disaster that I thought my wedding was. And Mr. Chevy Chase had already left for the hospital, so he couldn't comfort me. I had to shake it off and get through a day of work, although images of the nightmare kept coming back to me all through the day. And still haunt me.

In retrospect, I think the nightmare was a reflection of how worried I am about getting out the STDs, since that's the only thing I'm working on right now, and I had planned to have them out in June. Remember my first STD post on July 9th? Well, I'm STILL working on the back of the postcard. In fact, I just totally redesigned it today. I'm being a bit anal-retentive and can't seem to let myself just be satisfied with them and place the order. But I have a coupon that expires in a few days, and so I'm absolutely-positively-without-a-doubt going to place the order before then. I'll share with you the various versions later this week.


wedding dreams (and nightmares)

Seems early for this to be happening but I am definitely at the point where I am having dreams about the wedding. I mean I've been having dreams about the wedding since before we got engaged! But until a month ago they were always very happy dreams.

Now I've gotten into new territory. At least once a week, sometimes more often, I've been having dreams that are never the same exactly but always follow the same theme: the wedding happens before everything is in order. I lose track of time on the day of and all of a sudden it's go time so I end up walking down the aisle in jeans and a t-shirt. Or we've forgotten to let the officiant know what day the wedding is so there's nobody there to marry us. Or we haven't set a schedule for the day at all so we end up walking into the crowded room together, not even in our formal attire (for some random dream reason), and our officiant starts the ceremony but people are just milling around and not paying attention.

Luckily for now, the dreams for the most part have a light tone, even when things are obviously not going as planned we still end up married at the end of them and we're happy. I'm pretty sure if I'm having these kinds of dreams this far in advance, 7 months from now they will be full-blown nightmares haha.

How about you ladies? Does the wedding planning creep into your dreams? Does it get worse closer to your wedding??


Save the Dates!

I ended up doing an etsy Alchemy request for our Save the Dates and really liked it. You post some information about what you want to have done, and then vendors can view your request and place bids. I had over 20 bids and most of them would have been great.

I decided to go with the vendor I chose for two reasons. First, I really liked the look of most of the things in her shop, even though they weren't exactly what I was looking for. I just really liked her taste and style. Second, she was local! I was so excited to find a vendor in the DC area who is also an independent small business.

Using etsy to create a custom save the date was a bit challenging. It's hard to be clear about what you like and don't like in emails, especially with multiple proofs being sent back and forth. At one point she mailed me some samples so I could see the background color, and they ended up being the wrong design. I went back and saw that one of my emails was very unclear, which led to the confusion. Fortunately, she only printed two in the wrong design before we caught the mistake.

My vendor resent the final proof last night and I just confirmed my order. Our save the dates are on the way to us! I'll take photos once I get them, since they'll be printed on a linen cardstock for a more vintage feel, but here is our design!

In two weeks we'll be seven months out and it already seems like the day is coming up quickly!


Sunday, August 09, 2009

Make Up Solution

Per a friend's recommendation on Twitter, I ixnayed the idea of using Sephora to do my own make up. I couldn't justify spending almost $300 on make up alone.

So yesterday, per her recommendation, and the recommendation of a couple of other friends, I trekked down to Woodbridge to try out Ulta. Now, it wasn't that I had to go that far, they have a location in Downtown Silver Spring, but we were heading down to Ikea and Michaels anyhow, and made an afternoon of it.

After 30 minutes I was sold. Ulta, as a store has pretty much everything that has to do with make up, hair care, body care, you name it. Not to mention, they have a salon in there! I didn't check out the salon, however it might be worth my while in the future.

The person I spoke with, immediately after I mentioned bridal make up recommended me to this product:
The 7 in 7 kit - a $155 value for $55!!! She demo'ed it for me, it was light, easy, and comes with SEVEN full size products. It also comes in a few different shades for different skin tones! I bought the foundation and powder (that doesn't come with it) so all in all, with a couple brushes that I didn't have, I spent $130.

But! Ulta has an amazing rewards program that gives you 4 points for ever $1 you spend - and you get amazing rewards at various levels. I signed up for it and could already get $4 off my next purchase or I can wait till I spend more.

While I might not exactly live so conveniently to an Ulta, it's definitely worth going out of my way for.

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Wedding Day Gifts

Credit: www.sanddunebooks.com

I know that a lot of couples give each other gifts before walking down the aisle. Well, the fiance and I just bought a house and do not have a lot of extra funding at the moment, so we wracked our brains trying to find something both meaningful and cost efficient.

The fiance and I purchased two of the Between Me and You, Honey journals to fill out between now and our wedding day.

The book is full of questions and journaling prompts about me/him/us and we plan to give them to one another (completed of course) on our wedding day. I cannot wait to read what the fiance has to say.

I also purchased the Daughter and Sister books to complete for my parents and sister. I'm going to give my parents the Daughter book at our rehearsal dinner as a thank-you gift for our wedding. Buying my parents a gift that they can enjoy is difficult, but I think they would love receiving a journal from me about my relationship with them. I'm going to give my sister the Sister book as a maid of honor gift.

What are you going to do for your family/MOH on your wedding day?

Friday, August 07, 2009

RSVPs and the Internation Postage Update

I finally purchased the "International Reply Coupon" I mentioned a few posts back. I think that since DC is such a great mix of people from all over the US and the world, I bet there are some of you (I know one nearlywed blogger for sure!) who are sending invites overseas.

So, since some countries don't sell stamps that you can just attach to the RSVP postcard or envelopes (ex: the UK. The postage they sell online has an expiration date!), you can purchase for $2.15 the "International Reply Coupon." Essentially, so long as the country you are mailing the invitation to is part of the Universal Postal Union, the recipient of your invitation can take the international reply coupon to their post office and exchange it for the minimum postage needed to send the RSVP back. It's a lot of work, but unfortunately for me and my guests, this was my only option since I didn't want my guests to have to pay for their own postage to send my RSVPs back.

Here is what they look like (they were originally $1.85 so they had to add additional stamps to make it $2.15)

Here is my dog approving:

So I am sending instructions in the invitations for our overseas guests. I hope it works!

Miss Glen Echo: It's $1.40 to send a postcard/greeting card from Australia. You can get info and stamps here! Good luck!

Another option that I didn't think about is sending the invitations un-sealed to someone in that country and have them purchase the postage, stamp the RSVP, and then mail it out to the guests in that country. Still sounds like too much work !

But speaking of RSVPs, I got my first one in the mail this afternoon!

I think now the worse part will be waiting! What projects did you work on while waiting on RSVPs?

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Flower Girls

The fiance and I are having one ridiculously cute two-year-old in our wedding (the fiance's god-daughter).

Yes, we know that she may not be able to make it down the aisle, but she'll look cute trying.

So my question of the day--

What did you gift your flower girls? I'm having trouble determining the appropriate gift for a two-year-old.

It's official

I think I'm crazy.

I want to have an outdoor event, as we all know. But I don't want to rent a tent. I like tents. But I don't like what tents do to my wallet. No no no no. But I still want my wedding outdoors. Which presents a problem, since my lovely DC area ladies know that DC is no California. It rains here. Alot. It will thunderstorm when there's only a 10% chance, or it can be perfectly sunny when there's an 80% chance of rain.
But I don't care. I want an outdoor wedding under the stars. I want globe lights twinkling above my head as my husband and I have our first dance. I want paper lanterns hanging from the trees. And I don't want to look up and see a tent because honestly, I don't have the money to make a tent beautiful enough for my standards. Because I want this...

This event was held in Sandy Spring, MD. I didn't even know they ALLOWED you to have an outdoor event without a tent!!
Some more inspiration........

Now, be honest with me. Would I be absolutely insane to have an outdoor wedding and not rent a tent? I mean, what did the couple in Sandy Spring do? Just hope that it didn't rain?? Because there are some gorgeous locations that I can rent at a pretty inexpensive rate if I didn't need a tent.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Love me Some Boxes

Do you want to know what-- or who -- baffles me?

The wedding registry companies of the world of course.

The fiance and I have been blessed and have received a few things off of our registry (YAY) already! One common theme between all of our presents.....
....the ridiculously large packaging that they send your items in. Yesterday, we received a small vegetable bowl and a small platter. The box that they sent it in... no less than 3 feet by 3 feet. Seriously, talk about overworking the postal workers and wasting cardboard.
They could have easily sent both of these items in a large shirt box. I have a feeling that if someone buys me that kitchenaide mixer that I've been swooning over for so long, it's going to arrive on my doorstep in a refrigerator box.
The upside-- I have two cats that just love to play in the boxes.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


With a large bridal party and a borderline narcissist as a bride, the likelihood that I will be running late from beautifying on the day of is pretty pretty high. My two cousins (one of whom is also a bridesmaid) own Silk Hair Studio in Richmond, Va. They will be taking care of wedding beauti-fi-cating the day of.

So, I am searching for the PERFECT hairstyle to compliment my cathedral length veil (and flower hair pin :). Here are some of my favs...

This was my initial thought for the bridesmaids. I have this "thing" where I want to be the only person who gets to wear their hair down on the day of (yes, I know, borderline bridezilla-ish)...so I thought this was the perfect, vintage/modern up-do for my ladies. I have since changed my mind and they can wear any style they want...as long as its an up-do.

Initially, when I started saving hairstyle images, I was envisioning the "Great Gatsby/Stomping at the Savoy" garden party theme. I saw myself with a birdcage veil and the quintessential 1920s dry wave. Plus, I have a history with this style...

(Me at my cousin's wedding)
I love this look on me, but I don't think its going to work for the wedding. I am no longer wearing the birdcage veil and I am not planning the 1920s theme wedding. My hair is also much much longer now and I don't know how this look translates at a longer length.

Recently, I have been into this 1930s pin-up style. I am totally feeling something like this:
I have been playing around with my hair recently and saw a few tutorials on YouTube on how to do this style on your own. This is the result...all by myself...so with a professional doing it, you know its going to be H-O-T.
(me at a wedding this past weekend)
I also like the side sweep. I think this will go well with the flower hair pin I purchased on etsy.

All the other hairstyles are nice...but I think this last one...might be the winner. I feel like it combines all of the things I love about the other styles: it is down, it is wavy, sexy and vintage and I think if I swept it to the side, the flower pin would go perfect!

What do you all think? Which style do you like the best? Where do you guys find your hair-spiration?

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