Thursday, January 29, 2009

To Veil or Not to Veil?

I am not a fan of veils. They look great on other people, but not me. I just don't like them. One thing a lot of people say about wedding planning is "It's tradition," when I ask why something has to be done. You don't really have to do anything because it's a tradition if it's not true to your personality (unless someone is footing the bill and would like that done).

But then I started seeing pictures of brides with birdcage veils. And I think they are the cutest thing ever. I am a big fan of supporting independent and handmade crafts. I headed over to Etsy to see if I could find a unique birdcage veil and saw this beautiful one pictured below. I contacted the designer and asked her if she could make me a custom veil using the colors from the wedding and the color of my dress--lilac, navy blue, and ivory. She said yes! Woo hoo! How hot am I going to be on my wedding day?

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Most Awesomest Awesome Caterer Ever

I know the title of this particular blog is not grammatically correct but I am so friggin excited about our awesome caterer Mellanee Harvin of The Fork Goes On the Left. (Check out her site!) Mr. J, my mom, mom's boyfriend, and I visited with Mellanee on Saturday for a tasting of the menu we had agreed on.

For our cocktail hour we are having cheese, crackers, fruit, and a signature drink. After this the guests will go back out into the courtyard for an amazing cocktail reception. The passed h'or deurves are: buttermilk fried chicken skewers, catfish fingers with remoulade sauce, mini crab cakes with chipotle mayo, and caramelized onion and smoked gouda quesadillas. Mellanee began the tasting with the crab cakes and I ate most of them, I wish I could describe how they tasted in words...hmmm maybe orgasmic? Next were the fried chicken skewers. These were so good that Mr. J said that if I wanted to ensure that our relationship will last a lifetime then I need to learn how to make fried chicken like that. The quesadillas were also amazing. The only one we didn't taste were the catfish fingers, but believe me at the time we didn't miss them we were sooo stuffed.

Next came the salad, dinner rolls, and then the three different pastas we'll have available for the buffet dinner. Pasta with salmon in a cajun cream sauce, pasta bolognese, and pasta with pesto and summer vegetables. I loved them all but my favorite is the salmon, Mr. J's favorite is the the pasta with the meat sauce. Can I tell you the best part about all of this? She gave us tupperware with the remaining pasta to take home. We devoured that over the weekend.

Our guests are going to be nice and fed and in foodie heaven.

My mom asked us to move the wedding date up so that she can have Mellanee's food sooner. I wish.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tattoo Cover-ups?

At the beach displaying my ink

I love my tattoos. And for this reason I was a little offended when I was watching my weekly installment of We Go Bridal Night on WE-TV. It was the show "My Fair Wedding" with David Tutera. I'll admit I love this show and I love what David does, it's no wonder he's a celebrity event planner. BUT. I did not like the way he reacted when he saw Mandy's tattoos. He eventually had an airbrush artist come cover up her tattoos for the ceremony and then take the airbrush off for the reception.

If she wanted to cover up her tattoos, then so be it. But he acted like he never saw a bride with tattoos before and like it was the most horrible thing in the world for a bride to walk down the aisle with tattoos. I originally planned to have a strapless wedding dress, and though I do have that style dress, it also came with a little lace bolero jacket. I may or may not wear it to walk down the aisle...but only because it came with the whole ensemble. Though I may write the whole bit of lace off because the jacket is too big for me and that would mean more alterations on top of the wedding dress. So, my tattoos will most likely be displayed for all to see on my wedding day, just like they were the night of our engagement party. I'm trying to imagine the faces as they watch my back while I say my vows. Lots of people don't know about the large tattoos on my back, but they are a part of me and this bride is going to have her fair wedding with plenty of ink on display.

What do you think? Would you cover your tattoo on your wedding day? Would you make your bridesmaids cover their tattoos?

If you want to check out plenty of brides rocking their wedding days with tats, visit Offbeat Bride.

Are Diamonds a Black Girl’s Best Friend?

My ring (a little blurry)

You know the tagline, “a diamond is forever,” and I’ll admit the sparkle and shine puts a smile on this girl’s face. But then I think about blood diamonds. I’m sure everyone knows about this, maybe you’ve read an article or saw that movie with Leonardo DiCaprio and his fake accent. As a Black woman (just so you know I don’t call myself African American) there is a special place in my heart for mother Africa. It’s where life began and where so many of us can trace ancestry to. I’ve never been there, but it’s a trip I plan to take one day. I would never want to wear a rock that paid for civil war, torture, and the death of Africans just trying to make ends meet for their families.

Also, I’ve always loved color and diamonds, no matter how sparkly, well, they’re clear. So I decided I wanted a sapphire, as my jeweler sang to me, “Sapphires are eternal” (he was trying to do a remake of the “Diamonds are forever” song for me). I wanted a ring that looked antique, an art deco style. The setting I chose included space for small diamonds. And the small diamonds looked awesome! Ugh, pulling at my heart strings. Africans or Diamonds? Our wonderful jeweler is a longtime friend of a family member and assured us that the diamonds used in my ring are conflict-free, blood free. I’m going to believe him. They’re small (Ok, that’s what I tell myself).

I’ve read about the Kimberley Process, which countries join to certify that the diamonds they are selling are conflict free. But this is not a law, it’s an agreement. I’ll admit I don’t know all the facts, but I know that I don’t trust DeBeers. It sounds like the Kimberley Process is a start, but won’t really solve the issue at hand, there needs to be law and tough consequences, not just being removed as a member from the process, sure it means you can’t trade with other members, but there’s always someone willing to do something underhanded and get those diamonds.

I just wonder if anyone else thinks about things like this. I stare at my hand sometimes and hope that whoever mined these diamonds was not at war, was not harmed, and the money they made helped put food on their table and clothes on their children.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

THE Poster Couple...

via the telegraph

Man, this should have been my first post. I remember the first time I saw Michelle Obama on stage, I thought, "Damn, there's gonna be a sister with a booty in the White House." That may not seem like a big thing, but as a sister with a booty, this is a BIG thing :)

I voted for Barack Obama, but here's why I really love this man: he stands up for fatherhood, especially black fathers being in their children's lives (Go hide in a corner now, Jesse Jackson) and always gives Michelle a shout out. I love watching them together. I'm sure there are so many Black women out there who look at this couple and don't just see the change for the country, they see hope for themselves. "Hmmm let me go find my Barry-boo right now!" they're thinking.

Mr. J is my President and I'm his First Lady.

199 Days...

according to, that's how many days there are left until the big day, August 8, 2009. We're getting married in Brooklyn because I'm from BK, it's Mr. J's second home (originally Georgia), and we live here.

We are holding our ceremony and reception at the same venue, Akwaaba Mansion located in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Holla!). This is a beautiful bed and breakfast, that is owned by a married black couple (score, that is 4 B's) that we've rented out, including the 4 bedrooms, inside, and courtyard, for a reasonable price. We're staying in the "Jumping the Broom" room for our first night as husband and wife. And yes, we will be jumping the broom.

This is the only link online I've been able to find of a wedding held at our location. They have a smaller guest list and used the ballroom for their ceremony and courtyard for their reception, but you'll get the gist.

The ceremony will take place outside in the courtyard (there are two large trees in the courtyard that shade the entire area), we'd like to get married right in front of the largest tree. After the ceremony guests will go inside to the ballroom for a musical performance by our friends and some cheese, crackers, and fruit and our signature drink. The guests can also mill about in the dining area, parlor, and the sun porch. After the performance (and the outside has been reset) the guests will go back to the courtyard for dinner, drinks, and dancing.

NO ASSIGNED SEATING. Nope, I want people to mingle like they're at a chill lounge. There'll be cocktail tables and enough seating for all the guests, but I want people milling about. We're going to have hors d'ourves and a pasta station with three different types of pasta, an open wine bar, and cupcakes, yummy.

Working on a spot for the afterparty.

Here I am, bridal blogging world!

Yes. I've decided put myself out here on the world wide web to talk about planning one of the most important days of my life; my wedding to Mr. J.

I started this blog for a few reasons 1) I love writing 2) Ever since becoming engaged, I love reading and looking at wedding porn 3) There aren't that many black chicks blogging about planning their weddings (though to the ones that are, you go, girls) and 4) So that I can talk about all my wedding planning craziness without making my friends and family crazy.

Mr. J and I plan on doing a cross between traditional and non-traditional. There will be lots of DIY projects, for instance I designed our invitations and we'll be making them ourselves. We don't have an insane budget, but we plan to have the greatest day ever.

Mr. J is a teacher and I'm a publicist, we're both graduate students: he's getting his in English Literature and I'm getting an MFA in Creative Writing. He had me at English. We live together in a humble abode in Brooklyn. Oh, and we're both black, hence the reason the url for this blog is idoblacklove, hooray for black love and marriage! The statistics on black marriage are, well, even more depressing than the statistics on the divorce rate in this country. We plan to be like Will and Jada: divorce is not an option.

I'll keep this blog updated with my adventures as I plan our wedding our way.