Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sorry, I needed a break!

There are so many more pictures to share and advice, advice, advice!

But after spending almost a year being focused on planning the wedding, I was pretty much over anything to do with wedding, so I've been avoiding blogging, reading blogs, etc. Some women go through wedding withdrawal--but I am super busy (trying to finish these thank you cards) finishing up my last semester in graduate school--no withdrawals here.

I am slowly coming back to the wedding world. My mom is getting married next year, so I've been enlisted to help since I am now an expert.

I'll be back with a budget breakdown and some other stuff soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

DIYing Was Worth the Hard Work!

photo by Nisha Sondhe

I cropped this one show bouquets

I wanted to share this picture of my bouquet and my bridesmaids' bouquets because I've been receiving lots of compliments from our guests about how they loved how personalized our wedding was. People left with a better sense of who Mr. & Mrs. J are as people and as a couple. In future blog entries I'll post our ceremony, our vows, and all the other unique Mr. & Mrs. J touches that we included. Having a wedding is not a competition, but I'll admit it does feel great when people tell us, "Best wedding I've ever been to," or "Top 3 of all the weddings I've been to." To me it says that all the hard work we did meant paid off.

My bouquet was very simple, dried lavender and artificial baby's breath, which I wrapped in purple ribbon and attached three quotes from love poems to. For the bridesmaid bouquet's I made all of the girls an initial bookmark, which I tied to the lavender stems. Lavender was great because the bouquets will actually last for a very long time. All the centerpieces that had lavender in them were taken by guests (in fact, the bamboo mats we used, donated books from our bookshelves, framed photos, and LED candles were taken by guests) which made break down after the reception easier.

During the planning process I was second-guessing myself all the time about decisions we made, "Is this too out there?" or "Will our guests like this?" when the reality is that almost everything we did that was "outside the box" and special to us, was what made our wedding so touching and memorable to people.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself, My Name is...

Mrs. J. Yup, that's right. My wonderfully talented friend Nisha Sondhe, photographer extraordinaire has given me some photos...and I'm sharing a few with you until I have them all.

Mr. J and I had an amazing time. It went by so fast, but it will remain in our memories forever! Our friends and family who supported us are AWESOME!

I promise there will be more to come soon!

All images were taken by Nisha Sondhe

Thursday, July 30, 2009

DIY thanks to Youtube

I've been told I should be updating my blog...please excuse me as I only have 9 days until I get married! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH! I'm excited, but also a bit stressed. No more triple or double digits.

I wanted to share one of my favorite websites of all time--Youtube! I watch videos from my childhood all the time on it--but it's also a great place for make-up and hair tutorials. I saw this tutorial when it was first posted. I am a lurking member of nappturality and saw a post for this video. Thanks for the tutorial, Dynamic Runner!

I have tried a number of intricate styles that looked beautiful--but hurt like hell. My scalp has become very tender since I don't have to use a comb anymore with locks. I do not want to be in pain on my wedding day, some of the hairstyles I tried didn't last for an hour--even with Advil. So I was looking for something that isn't too tight, simple to do, and pretty. Enter this Youtube video. I love doing a side ponytail, so I tried a side "Lobster tail." It took about five minutes to do and I like the look of it, and I wore it for the whole evening (could have worn it longer, but I wanted to take the bun out to sleep). I'm putting the photo below, but keep in mind that my hair is not freshly twisted (I'll get to that next Thursday) so this photo is not an accurate depiction of how my hair will actually look. Also, I plan to pin curl the front so that I will have a sort of side swept curled bang for the day of. And the look will be complete with my birdcage veil. I can't wait!

Oh, and please ignore the red dots on the back of my neck--this is a botched tattoo that I haven't gotten around to covering--NOT a rash. (Ha!)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kermit and Miss Piggy (Somebody's Getting Married!)

When my best friend was close to her wedding date I sent this video to her Facebook page and of course it made her cry. Even though Miss Piggy tricked Kermie into getting married, it's still really cute. I'm getting more and more excited and actually feeling less stressed as questions get answered (and as we come up with a rain plan).

Enjoy the videos!

Monday, July 20, 2009

19 days!

Today was the day, the first day of "the nerves." I looked at my calendar and realized there were three weeks left. I e-mailed HR to find out about the whole name change process and referred to Mr. J as my husband. Wow.

Today we got a big shipment of supplies: our LED real wax candles for the tables (24 of them) and our bunches of lavender (26) to decorate the tables, bouquets, and we'll figure out what to do with the extra. I always order a bit extra and the bunches were larger than they appeared in the photos, score! Our whole apartment has the faint smell of lavender (we're keeping it sealed in the box in our closet). I wish I could show you pictures of the finished product--guess you'll have to wait until after the wedding.

We went to a wedding this weekend and spoke with a couple who have been married for 54 years. The husband asked to see my ring and when the couple looked at it the wife said, "Oh I can tell this is going to be a different affair." I took that as a compliment!

Eh, I don't really have much to much to do, so little time.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Marriage License Day!!!!!

*Bacon stands for Mr. J! Well, not really, but I really DO love bacon and this t-shirt was a gift I received yesterday from my lovely co-workers, including a bacon cookbook and three packs of bacon (they know me so well!).

Anyway, this post is not about bacon--but our marriage license. Hooray! It was a painless process, though there were some screaming babies. I highly recommend anyone in living in New York to make the trip to the new Marriage Bureau in Manhattan on Worth Street. We didn't go there (haha). We went to the Brooklyn location, which has not been renovated like the New York office. Despite the grimy yellow paint, it was a great experience for us and we have until September 6th to get married in the state of New York.

It was a little weird to fill out my new surname, I'm going to be Mrs. J in 29 days. Mrs. always sounds old to me. I think I'm going to feel like a "real" adult the first time someone calls me Mrs. J.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's the Little Things

I love Snapple Lemon Iced Tea. I came home from work yesterday after a long day, opened the fridge and there was my favorite drink staring back. I looked at Mr. J and said "Is this for me?" He said of course. I almost cried and this might seem like such a small thing--but it means he is genuinely invested in my happiness, in our happiness. Sometimes he'll buy me my favorite cereal, for me this is better than getting flowers! I can't wait to marry him.

Today he gave me some advice because I've been dealing with an issue (not being able to get in contact with my father) and what he said was so thoughtful and caring, and he made it an issue for us as a couple to tackle. I have a partner, a true partner in this world and I can't tell you in words how good it makes me feel. I get to marry him in a month! I can't wait. I was ready to go to the JP months ago, but I'm glad HE wanted a wedding, I'm glad to have the chance to stand before my closest friends and family and declare that I'm going to fight for love with this man.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What NOT to do!

Do not buy seven cases of wine from Trader Joe's months before the wedding because you are an uber organized planner and want to get as much as you can done before things get too crazy. Do not leave said cases of wine in your hot ass apartment, so hot that sometimes you have to turn off the heat in the winter. Do not leave said cases of wine in your hot ass apartment that retains all the heat from spring/summer time.


Because one day you will read about wine on Google and discover the reason behind people having wine cellars and wine fridges, because wine is supposed to be kept in a cool environment. DUH. Because you will realize that you have kept your wine in the opposite of a cool environment. Because you will test a couple bottles of wine and realize that they taste like crap. Because you will ask your fiance to test the wine out and he (who doesn't know much about wine either) will say that the wine is fine, "it tastes like beer!" Because wine is not supposed to taste like beer, wine is supposed to taste like wine!

Because you think you know so much about wine because you like to drink it, but in fact you are a wine idiot.

Luckily, we didn't spend an arm and a leg on the wine. And we have a new plan that is even better: beer, two signature drinks, and wine (we'll replace some of it).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

14 pounds!

Oh how I wish I could report that I lost 14 pounds. I really wish I could. My best friend keeps telling me that I'm going to lose weight as it gets closer to the wedding because of stress--and I keep telling her that I EAT when I'm stressed. I've gained 14 pounds since being the maid of honor in her wedding this past February.


The upside to the scale going up these past months is that my dress (which my mom bought for me in December) was too big for me. I normally wear a size 12 dress if it's form-fitting and a size 8 dress if flares at the hips. These hips do not lie (ok that was cheesy). So the dress is a size 14. I had my first fitting three weeks ago and the seamstress pinned it a lot, thanks to me being a size 8 on top. So this means that my extra 14 pounds fits the dress, I just can't gain any more weight.

The downside is that I feel like crap. I've been avoiding the scale because I knew it would show me something I didn't want to see, but could feel when I'm walking up the stairs. So, no more! I am not going on a diet, but I am going to eat better, Mr. J and I have been slacking on grocery shopping which means we eat out a lot more than we should. When I cook at home, it's usually healthy. Must buy groceries. And I'm going back to my daily yoga routine. I'm not going to try to lose the 14 pounds until after the wedding, but I'll get started and maybe lose a few that won't affect the dress.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I should be writing thank you cards right now...

but all I want to do is procrastinate. Ugh. I am totally thankful. (Can a general thank you on my blog to everyone count?) But writing these thank you cards kind of makes me feel like Lauryn looks in this picture.

Ugh. Okay, okay.

So not looking forward to writing thank you cards for the wedding! That's more people!!!! And I'm a friggin writer!!!

Alright, I'm going to do at least do 5 tonight. (I really am thankful, just lazy.)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our Broom

I just finished decorating our broom for the ceremony. All supplies are courtesy of Michael's (I LOVE that place). It was a plain broom, I wrapped a shimmery lilac ribbon with a satiny blue ribbon up the broom, added some fake flowers in our colors, and tied a bow. I used corsage pins to keep everything in place, it's like practice for when I make all the bouquets. I can't wait to jump over it with my man!

34 days to go!

Mr. J and I have our color-coded to do list in Google Documents--his items in blue and mine in purple. Since he's on summer vacation, he'll be doing a lot of things for the wedding, it will be nice to have him doing stuff full force now.

I've been doing lots of the little projects for the wedding over this 4-day weekend. I cleaned all of our Starbuck's bottles that we are using for the centerpieces, got all the adhesive off the outside of the glasses. I stuffed half of our favors into the blue and purple favor bags (we decided to go with edibles). I tied purple ribbon around all 72 pairs of flip flops. I made boutonnieres for the groom, best woman, groomsmen, and our dads. At first I wasn't going to do bouts for the guys because we are using the lavender plant as our flowers and the place we are getting them from doesn't recommend them for bouts. Mr. J and I went to Michael's (we will probably make one more trip there before the wedding) and I bought some fake flowers, floral tape, and ribbon to make the bouts. We also got some small pebbles to put in the glass jars with the lavender, lots of ribbon for various projects, and favor bags.

You can't tell, but the larger one on the left is wrapped in purple ribbon (groom) and the rest are like the one on the right, wrapped in blue ribbon

Before the ribbon

After the ribbon!

Boy Met Girl (Our Invitations)

So, here's the outside of our invitation. We used kraft paper and printed the stick figure image I drew on that paper, then cut it in half because the invite opens in the middle. It says "Boy Met Girl" and on the inside is that stick-figure image of us as a bride and a groom and it says "To read the rest of our story, please join our families in a celebration of friendship, laughter, and love as Mr. J & Future Mrs. J are united in marriage on bla bla bla..." The inside is lined in the lilac paper and then the kraft paper.

Bridal Shower Photos

I was in LA for school for 10 days so I neglected the blog for a bit. We are at 34 days until the wedding, I can't believe it. There are still tons of little things to do which I'll talk about in another post.

My bridal shower was held at my friend's parents' home in Brooklyn. The menu was fried chicken (it went so fast it was so yummy), macaroni salad, rice and peas, mini-rolls, and regular salad. It was catered by a friend of my mother's. We played a couple of games, one where I filled out a questionnaire and whoever got the most correct answers for how well do you know me, won. My oldest friend--we went to elementary and high school together--won. The other was a quiz that Mr. J answered, all of the guests had to write down how many they thought I'd get right. I did horribly at that game and as you'll see from the picture below--I had to take a shot out of a cup shaped like a boob every time I got a question wrong. There was a "Book Fair" where books for different parts of my life were given, it was awesome! There was also a burlesque performance, lots of eating, jokes, and an all around good time had by all.

Here are some pics from my awesome bridal shower:

Me and my lovely bridesmaids

My beautiful cake!

My awesome bridal shower invitation!

They made me drink wine from a booby cup whenever I got answers wrong!

This was part of the Book Fair--my own personal Sex Bible :)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Most Awesome Cake Ever!

My bridal shower & pre-bachelorette party were AMAZING! I'll write more about this fabulous weekend, the greatest bridesmaids and mom ever, and all the details soon. Now to have another piece of cake!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ikea Has Everything

I love Ikea. The majority of the furniture in our apartment comes from Ikea because it's affordable and hip. I never thought about Ikea for wedding supplies though. That is, until I read a post on An Atlanta Bride, who recently married her Mr. Wonderful. Her blog is awesome, you should check it out. She bought tables from Ikea to use in her lounge area during cocktail hour.

My wedding is basically one long cocktail hour and originally we were going to rent coffee tables, but $125 each for 2 seemed extravagant. We are still getting the lovely white benches for our two lounge-like areas, but I knew we could get the tables for cheaper. Enter Ikea. Mr. J and I took the free Ikea shuttle to the Red Hook, Brooklyn location. I love walking around the showroom. We saw many coffee tables and wrote down a few we liked. Then we saw a display that had two tables pushed together to make one, and guess how much those tables were? $12.99! So, we picked up 4 white Lack tables for about 52 bucks, as opposed to $250. Yes, I was in heaven! I love a deal. (All images via Ikea) We were on our way to pay and had to go through the first floor with all the Home Decor. For anyone thinking about centerpieces, YOU MUST GO TO IKEA. So many ideas, so little time. We walked towards the paper lanterns and both fell in love. Instead of me slaving on the beautiful coffee filter garland I was going to make to hang over the tree branches, we're going to go with 4 paper lanterns dangling just above head range. Ikea had an example of a lantern painted blue (SCORE!) so we bought the blue paint as well. It will look great during the ceremony when the sun is out and beautiful at night after sunset when the lights can be turned on. So with the 4 Lack tables, 4 paper lanters, 5 cords (we bought one more just in case), 1 can of blue stain, 1 paintbrush, and one blue Ikea bag, we spent $107.

I can't wait until Mr. J and I move into our next apartment, I want the red kitchen in the showroom!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Awkward (RSVP)

Someone RSVP'd plus 3.



Is this a joke?

Thankfully, we've had a few people ask if they could bring guests first. Asking is good. Kudos to the askers.

But seriously.

We'd love to have everyone come and celebrate our love but unfortunately paying for a wedding & reception is expensive, and even though our wedding is way below the average cost of a New York wedding--it's still a lot of money to us. I know it's going to be a great day for everyone who attends, but I think it would be nice if people would ask first.

We also had someone RSVP for the wrong date. Haha, poor grandma needs to get a new pair of glasses.

I have to say that the invite list and the RSVP are my least favorite parts of this entire process. Not including people doesn't mean that they aren't important to me--but we had to make sure to invite our families (and I have a very large one) and our closest friends and to do this within our budget. If I had all the money in the world the guest list wouldn't be an issue--but I don't.

So Mr. J will be handling this latest RSVP issue (and I should call my grandmother to tell her the correct wedding date).

The Fan Dance

No, not that fan dance. (But if you want to know more about the Burlesque Fan Dance I can help you out with that one. Oh, that's a story for another blog :)

My biceps hurt. Not just from the Samba/Pole dancing classes I am taking. From lugging around heavy cardstock I bought from Staples. Mr. J and I decided that we wanted each guest to have a fan, seeing as how we're getting married outside in August. Our ceremony & reception space is shaded by two beautiful trees, but that doesn't mean it's not going to be hot. At first we were going to do fans and programs, then fans and no programs, and now we are at the fan program idea. I purchased blue cardstock for about $15 from staples (250 sheets, bought 2 packs). We are making 140 fans, possibly more and wanted to have enough paper to do a trial and in case there are any mistakes. I will also buy some purple ribbon to tie around the fan sticks. I had purchased fan sticks previously online (can't remember the website, but I got more than enough for very cheap).

If you're thinking about doing the fan program, either the paddle version like the photo above or the panel fan, visit this DIY website which has great directions and templates! I'm going with the rectangle program because it's the easiest and we can use our paper cutter. I'm also going to use the image I drew of Mr. J and I as a stick-figure bride and groom and mimic our invitations. Our invitation cover has the stick figure drawing of the two of us at the spot we met and underneath it says "Boy Met Girl." The invitation opens up and to a picture of the two of us (yes, I drew myself with locks and bigger boobs than I actually have) dressed as a bride and groom and says, "To read the rest of our story..." and continues with the rest of the text. We are going with a book/literature theme, so I want to continue the invitation drawings onto our fans and have it say "Boy & Girl Marry" (rather than boy marries girl because hey, we're both marrying each other!).

My best friend is coming into town next week from Florida so I'll make sure to put her to work getting started on the fans :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm a Flip-Flopper

via dollar days

Our dance floor is concrete. I know that I have danced through the pain when I've been at weddings. Instead of having my guests be in pain, I wanted to do the flip-flop basket and I wanted to do it cheap. I found a number of places on-line that were way too expensive, though very beautiful, you could get flip-flops in your wedding colors, with your date printed on them, etc. Old Navy had a $1 flip-flop sale, but customers are limited to 5 per purchase. I did not want to travel around to all the Old Navy's in the City to get flip-flops. I found a wholesale store online and ordered women's flip flops in assorted sizes and colors, about 75 pairs of flip-flops. It will probably be more than enough, but I wanted to make sure that all the ladies are covered and can dance the night away. And all our guests who are coming to the after party can continue to dance well into the night in comfort.

Monday, May 25, 2009

75 days...

And I am way ahead of The Knot's check list.

More to come soon. Working on the guest book/box. Will take pictures and show you guys soon. We've been getting RSVPs and we're getting pretty excited (and a bit stressed). On Saturday morning I sat Mr. J down and showed him our wedding expenses in an Excel spreadsheet and it was a total downer for him...but he needs to know how much we are spending!

My bridal shower is in three weeks! I'm excited to see my best friend from college and my best friend from high school who will be in town for the weekend. I scheduled my first fitting for the day after the shower so that they could come with me and do some weddingy stuff together. I don't know how we'll make the noon appointment since they are taking me out for a bachelorette party that night, too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Frog Prince :)

I've been wanting cute, non-blurry pics of my ring--and thanks to a tutorial by Anne Ruthmann titled "How to Take Amazing Engagement and Wedding Ring Photos" on Wedding Bee. Here are my first attempts with some of my little figurines that normally reside on our bookcases. The frog prince I've had since college so he's got a few scuff marks and the troll was a gift from my mom from a year or two ago.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rehearsal Dinner Location, Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Today Mr. J secured our spot for the rehearsal dinner. I'm excited. It's not a traditional space for a rehearsal dinner--but then again, we're not traditional. We are having it at the South Oxford Space in Fort Greene (just blocks away from where we first met). I've been to the space for dance/musical performances, they also host a number of creative events, luncheons, and cocktail parties, as well as rehearsal space for the art world.

We can't rehearse at Akwaaba because there is a wedding the evening before ours--so we needed to find a space with enough room to do a full rehearsal, but also sit down to have dinner. As you all know, New York City can be very expensive, especially to have 30 people for drinks and dinner. We looked at restaurants and it was a bit pricey--and we wouldn't be able to rehearse. Mr. J's mother is graciously paying for the rental of the space. We can go in and set up for an hour to make things look pretty, they've got tables and chairs, we'll bring in our own food and probably use sternos to keep it warm. We'll also bring in our own drinks. We'll do set-up from 6-6:45 p.m., rehearsal from 7-8 p.m., dinner, toasts, bridal party gifts from 8;10:30 p.m., and clean-up until 11 p.m.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Lounge Lizards

Originally I didn't want a wedding. I wanted to go to the courthouse and then throw a big party for our family and friends...but Mr. J wasn't hearing that. He wanted the wedding. Of course it didn't take much convincing, I said let's go for it. But I didn't want to have tables with assigned seating--I wanted a party. So, we have our cocktail reception. We're having 12 cocktail tables and two small lounge areas, much like the first picture I posted. We're renting with Taylor Creative Props in New York City and are setting it up very similarly, though instead of the square coffee table they have in the photo with the two white benches, we'll be using the round coffee tables from the bottom photo. I love how classy and simplistic this looks. Each coffee table will also have the same centerpiece as the cocktail tables. I like the idea of the bamboo rug below, it would totally match the bamboo mats that are part of our centerpieces, but it's not that serious and that is not in the budget.

The furniture rentals were more than we thought they'd be--but Taylor Creative was the least expensive place I found with the furniture we wanted. I can't wait to see it all put together!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Invitations are out!

Hooray! We got our invites out before the increase in stamps. The increase wouldn't make that much of a difference in our budget, but saving money is saving money. A couple of issues came up with the invitations:
  • We printed them ourselves. Letterpress would have been much better for our invites because the ink would have stayed on the paper better. Ours didn't--don't worry everyone got invites they can read, haha--we just had to be really careful when making them so as not to rub the ink off. They still look cute, not awesome, but cute. I have pictures but I have to figure out to put a little black bar over our contact information. Once I figure that out, I will post them.
  • Sealing our envelopes was a little weird. I didn't want to lick them all, but I tried the sponge method and it practically wiped off the adhesive. So, licking it was. I left a Facebook comment to all my friends saying I hope I don't die like Susan, George Costanza's fiancee who died from licking her invitation envelopes. Classic Seinfeld. We worked it out.
  • We wrote the addresses out with a silver glitter pen. So, some of the envelopes got a little smudged. I even smudged the President's envelope a little.
And you know what? I don't even care. I'm just so excited that they are finally done and in the mail! It's all coming together. Hooray!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Last 100 Days

There's all this talk about President Obama's first 100 days, but can we talk about ME and my last (less than 100 days)?

I feel like I should make some promises:
  • I vow not to become a bridezilla as things get a bit more hectic in these coming months (like being in LA for two weeks for school at the end of June--hello that is vital wedding planning time!)
  • I vow to exercise daily (for my 31st bday I promised myself to do an hour of cardio a day)
  • I vow to eat right, but give myself rewards every now and again
  • I vow to ask for help!!!!
Invitations go out this week before the post office raises the rates. Mr. J has to finish addressing his invites (we did it separately, even though I offered to address them all because I've got skillz). He says he'll finish them tonight. He better.

I found out three people from my side can't come--my cousins who live in Atlanta and my bridesmaid's girlfriend--these are all people we want to be there on that day, but understand the circumstances. I've had to switch out some envelopes, so it's a good thing we bought an extra box.

I'm curious as to how many people will actually be there to witness our day. I'm getting more excited about it, especially now that we are in the two-digit numbers.

Friday was my birthday! Hooray! Mr. J surprised me with sapphire earrings and a matching necklace :) Very pretty and they complement my engagement ring. Which reminds me I need to buy his wedding band. We're also going to a day spa for a full day of pampering. He said he had to step up his gifts from boyfriend gifts to husband gifts. I like his way of thinking :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Black Love in the New York Times

I had to post this article here--not only is it a sweet story about a couple falling madly in love, it also features my friend/former co-worker. Ain't love grand?


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wedding Day Waxing...

I know what you're thinking. I'm not talking about that kind of waxing. Although that kind of waxing will be taken care of...but I'm talking about my fingers. Yes, I have always been a hairy goonie goo goo. And I've always had hairy fingers, but they've never bothered me...and they still don't. However, when Mr. J and I went to pick out my wedding band, he took some extreme close up photos and when I showed the pictures around most of the comments were about my hairy fingers and how I should wax for the wedding. So, I've been peer pressured into it and I'm sure it will look way better in the photos. Here's my ring, please ignore the hairy fingers :P

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Akwaaba means "Welcome," Come on in!

This is more of Akwaaba, which means "Welcome" in the Akan language of Ghana. We had our walk-through with the caterer and I took some more pictures.

Sun porch, I'm expecting all the old folks to hang here.

This is the courtyard--now imagine it decorated, it's pretty raw
right now except for the wonderful trees.

This picture is from the summer, so you'll see
how the trees bloom with leaves
providing full shade.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bridesmaid Dresses/Best Woman Dress

Here's a preview of the dresses my bridesmaids will be wearing. I originally wanted them to each wear a different dress, but two of my bridesmaids ended up liking the same dress so things shifted. I LOVE purple, but originally I was going to have the girls wear Marine Blue (DB's Navy Blue) dresses with a Victorian Lilac sash, because I figured that's a color that could be worn again should they choose to wear the dresses again. They liked the Lilac better. So this is an example of the Victorian Lilac dress. (All images below from David's Bridal)

This dress below is what two of the bridesmaids will be wearing, with the Marine sash.

Here's the dress the other two picked out, also with Marine Sash:
I have two Maids of Honor, my sister and my best friend from college. One is wearing the halter and the other is wearing the scoopneck, but they will both have the Marine Blue underskirt that peeks out to set them slightly apart.

This dress below is the one Mr. J's Best Woman will be wearing. I love that it has the cummerbund look to it in the middle. Mr. J and I went with her to pick out dresses and this one looked awesome on her. Of course it will also be in Victorian Lilac.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

111 days to go!

We've come so far! And we've done a lot in the past two weeks:
  • We wrote our ceremony script and met with our officiant (friend) so that he could fill in the ad-libbed parts. It's going to be awesome and people are going to cry :)
  • We met with our caterer for a walk-through of our space and I feel more assured and less worried about how the actual day is going to go. (Still praying for no rain, I really don't want to have to get a tent).
  • All the paper is cut for our invitations thanks to Mr. J who spent 5 hours using the cutter, the next day he was sore!
  • Guest book is in the works--I'm using library pockets and cards glued into a nice album, it's going to be "The Book of Love" and we'll say something like "Check out The Book of Love," tee hee, get it? Check Out, get it? Because of the library, book thing...ok I think you get it.
  • We received the fan sticks to make the paper fans for every guest.
  • Invitation party is next Saturday and the invites will go out the first week of May to beat the postal hike.
  • OHHHH, Mr. J and I went to get my wedding band. Love it! Mr. J's ring is in the works, he likes simple things, so he's going with a Tungsten band--it's going to be pretty inexpensive.
  • All of my bridesmaids officially have their dresses! Well, 3 of them have them in hand and the other one, one of maids of honor, just bought hers this weekend.
  • Ordered the Cupcake Tree to hold our cupcakes
  • Ordered the bamboo mats from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that we are using underneath the centerpieces.
I need to post pics of my wedding band, the bridesmaid dresses, the cupcake tree, the guestbook...and I will just as soon as I stop being lazy about finding the USB cord for the camera.

This is totally NOT wedding related but I had a great day at my cousin's christening today, besides seeing his cute little butterball self in his little outfit, but David Dinkins was there and then at the steakhouse we went to afterwards, Harry Belafonte was there (although he looked really old and it made me a little sad) and someone told me I look like Kerry Washington. Good Sunday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Because Listening is an Act of Love

On Saturday, Mr. J and I did something wonderful. I don't know if you've heard about StoryCorps, but it is this great non-profit organization that is recording oral histories. They've been doing this since 2003 and it's nice to know that thousands of people have participated; future generations will be able to go to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian to look up their family members and hear their voices.

StoryCorps is basically a conversation between two people. One person is the storyteller and one person is the interviewer and a 40-minute conversation is recorded. They provide a general list of questions, but the interviewer can ask anything. Lots of interesting things came out of that conversation with Mr. J and I, things I never knew about. I asked him questions like: What was the first thing he noticed about me when we met?, When did he know he loved me?, What is his favorite memory of me?, What do you think our lives will look like in 5 and 10 years?, and What are you most proud of me for?

I loved hearing his answer about what he's proud of me for. Throughout the whole 40 minutes we were laughing and kept smiling at each other, the kind of smile where your mouth hurts after awhile. While we were recording, there is a StoryCorps administrator who sits in the booth so that she can write down key words of the conversation to make it easier to find in the Library of Congress. You don't have to have your story go to the Library of Congress, but we loved that idea. For people of African descent, the Smithsonian is doing an oral history project, so we also released our story to go there.

I'm excited by the possibility of my children's children going to the Smithsonian to hear their grandparents talking about love.

I think it would be a good thing for couples to take a look at some of the questions on the StoryCorps website and ask that of each other. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the answers that come up, in fact Mr. J and I want to take time out of every month to ask each other questions like these.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sneak Peek at the Invitation Drawing

Yes, please admire my stick-figure skillz, y'all. If you've seen our engagement photos, then you know that this is the spot where Mr. J and I met. I was wearing boots and he was wearing Converse. I wasn't wearing a dress, but I thought I should look cute on the invitation. Check out my afro-puff. We loved the idea of stick figures on our invites, but none of the stick figure invitations we saw online were personalized.

I wanted a Gocco--but that was a no go (I couldn't help rhyming). I wasn't trying to spend a ton of money, but I am slightly jealous of what a Gocco can do. And we didn't want to spend a lot of money (105 invites) on all the beautiful invites we saw online and in stores. So we did DIY with what we could afford. This drawing appears on the front of the invitation which then opens to another stick-figure drawing of us as a bride and groom (and me with my current hairdo) and the invitation text. Mr. J printed out all the paper for the invites and created a prototype. It's so awesome! I can't wait until we can send them out (beginning of May).

I'll show you the finished invite after our invitation-making party.

You Betta Work!

Cue Ru-Paul, because I better be one fierce looking diva on my wedding day. But in order to look my best, there are things to be done. I joined a gym today! Woohoo! I don't like the gym--but this gym is close to my job (5 blocks away, right near the subway) and my problem in the past with gyms is that they've never been close to either home or work. And that's when the laziness sets in. This gym is so close I can go on my lunch break if I'm feeling really adventurous. No contract!

Yesterday at work a co-worker complimented me on my skin, she said it looked so clear. I've been getting those comments a lot lately. Sometimes it's hard, I thought my pimple days would be over at 30 (almost 31) but I get them. I've been using Neutrogena's SkinID for a few months and it's made a major difference. Thanks, Neutrogena!

The other thing I just started using is Clinique's Skin Tone Corrector, I saw an ad for it in Essence, read pages and pages of reviews and decided, this is the one for me. They say it takes 4 wks to notice a difference and I'm only on week two--but we'll see what happens in a couple of weeks. I have a few dark spots that I'm trying to get rid of, old acne scars, they've been fading slowly with time, but hopefully this will speed up the process.

Biore's Dual Fusion Moisturizer and Sunscreen with spf 30 is awesome. I started using sunscreen a while back as part of my daily routine. Yes, it's true that "black don't crack" and I'm trying to keep it that way. I used to use spf 15, but I decided to step it up to 30 because hmm, well I'm about to be over 30 and I want to take good care of my skin. I've also started taking my vitamins (regularly).

Hopefully I will have abs and arms of steel and skin as clear as a beautiful summer day on the day I marry my man. It's funny because I ask him if he noticed a difference...and he didn't notice any "issues" to begin with. He's a sweet liar :)