Friday, March 27, 2009

Elope Part II

Thanks to the J. Bride and God's Favorite Shoes for commenting on the first post titled Elope.

I decided to delete that entry because this blog is not as private as it should be. And I don't want to make a stressful situation even more stressful--but I needed to get that off my chest and DAMN it felt so good. Maybe I will start another blog, completely anonymous, where I just say everything I want to say with no consequences.

I'm feeling a little better now, thanks to my awesome friends. Also thanks to my shoes, which I picked up this evening from my friend. I had them shipped to her house and they are super comfortable and so sexy. I have to practice walking in them because I don't normally wear heels, but the shoes are awesome.

I still suggest eloping, or making sure to have the wedding you want and repeating the mantra "Thanks for sharing your opinion, and now back to the bride and groom" take everything people say, save the stuff you like and throw out the rest.

I'm also saying a couple of "Woosas," "Kumbayas," and "Nam Myoho Renge Kyos" to chillax. If I had to do all over again, I'd go get married on a beach somewhere, just Mr. J and I, have it recorded, come back home and show it to friends and family as a sort of "coming out" as Mr. & Mrs. J party. But I'm sure our wedding will be awesome, just as long as I can keep focused on OUR vision and not worry about anyone else's.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Veil is in the Mail!

These are pics of my custom order birdcage veil from Luminoussoul on Etsy. I can't wait to get it and try it on. This came out better than I expected and I love the addition of the pearls (I'll be wearing pearl earrings) and the ivory to match my dress, lilac and navy blue to match our wedding colors. When I got the email from her saying it was ready, I instantly told Mr. J. He said, "WHAT? You got a veil?!!!" He knows I don't like veils, he's not a big fan either. Mr. J doesn't have the best memory (which works in my favor a lot), so he forgot that I showed him a picture of the birdcage veil and told him that I was getting one custom made. When he saw the pics he said, "Oh, ok. This is definitely your style." Hooray!

After a long search for cute purple heels (Have you guessed? Purple is my favorite color), these are the ones below.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Do Me a Favor...

If you're reading this and you're one of my friends who's wedding I've been to--I apologize for what I'm about to say.

Does anyone really remember/keep wedding favors? Two weddings I've been to gave tasty snacks, so I remember where those went--in my belly. One wedding gave homemade honey, said honey is also in my belly (and I think I used some for my hair, too.) But other than that--the other favors are gone. Either shoved in a box somewhere or thrown out during one of my apartment moves when I was trying to lighten the load.

I do want to give my guests a favor, something nice to take home with them. But I don't want to spend a ton of money for something that could potentially be shoved inside a box. Mr. J and I already decided we didn't want to give food as a favor. At first he really wanted to do a CD, and burn them all himself, when I reminded him of how much work that would be, he was totally cool with my idea of doing a bookmark. Our invitation looks similar to a little book, I want our programs to look like a book, and we're using books on the cocktail tables, all to celebrate our mutual love of the English language and literature.

I googled photo bookmarks and this favor came up. Best friend liked it, so did Mr. J., and I was like okay--even though in the back of my mind I was thinking, "This is cheesy and these darn things are too small." Plus, the cost would be about $250.

via My Wedding Favors

Then I thought about how we print bookmarks at my job sometimes as marketing materials. BINGO! Why not get one of those nice heavy cardstock bookmark thingys from a printer, we can put more pictures of us on the front, use any colors we want, and I was thinking of putting a nice quote on the back. This way we can design it however the hell we want and it will be about $40 for 250 bookmarks. Hopefully people will actually use this bookmark, BUT if they don't, if they just stick it in a box and call it a day, it won't be such a big waste of money. I showed Mr. J this option and he loves it so much more. So now we have to work hard on designing the actual bookmark--this is where the geek of the relationship (Mr. J) comes in, because he knows how to do all that handy dandy fancy schmancy stuff on the computer.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 Month Freakout!!!

I got a message from The Knot this week informing me that I have 5 months until I tie that knot.


There's still so much to do!

Here's what we have done:
Ceremony and Reception Location (Akwaaba Mansion)
Caterer (The Fork Goes on the Left)
Ceremony and "Cocktail Hour" Music
Bridesmaids Dresses (except for one person)
Wedding Dress
Bought the paper for DIY Invitations
Guest list
Wedding website
Cupcakes for wedding cake (Wendy's Cake Art)
Picked out our favors
Picked out flowers for bouquets, bouts & decorations

What we need to do: (in no particular order)
Find a rehearsal dinner location
Put the invitations together
Purchase the wine
Order Groom and Groomsmen Attire
Ring bearer and Flower girls attire
Stuff our engagement photos into our favors
Pick out gifts for Bridal Party
Get engagement photo book made
Walk-through of space with caterer
Find an after-party location
Find an after-party dress!
Find purple shoes!!!! (this should be at the top of the list!)
Rent lounge furniture
Look into tents
Buy mason jars for centerpieces
Get photos of all our friends/family who are married for centerpiece frames
Buy LED lights
Make garland for tree we are getting married in front of
Hotels for guests
Buy wedding bands

WOW--so much to do, so little time. I also have all my stuff due for grad school and I'll be away for two weeks in June. BUT LUCKILY--Mr. J is a teacher, so when school is out at the end of June--he will be available to 24/7 during crunch time, which is awesome. Right after we got engaged he was still out on summer vacation so he did a lot of the initial legwork, scouting locations, etc. He'll also be home to receive all the packages I know we are sure to be getting because we will be ordering stuff online.

I am totally freaking out. My best friend is telling me not to. But, yes...I am TOTALLY freaking out. So happy to be marrying Mr. J, but AAAAAAAAAAAHHH, there is so much to do.

Okay, time for a late night brownie.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's a Family Affair: Part Two

Mr. J and I in hats as part of Nisha's Hat Series

Me and my girls for Nisha's Hat Series

Is it vain to love all these different pictures of Mr. J and I together? (And this picture of my back, I think my arms look deceptively toned.)

The photo above was taken by another lovely and talented lady I love, Nisha Sondhe. She has been shooting a series of photos of her friends in hats on Polaroid film. She's also been advising me on a poetry and photography exhibition I've been working on for what seems like forever called Scar Stories. Nisha took some beautiful photos of me and a number of other people for the project. And can I talk to you about her Bombay v New York series? Beautiful shots, it's as close as I'll get to seeing Bombay for now. Just go look at her site and see for yourself!

YES, Nisha is our wedding photographer. Score! Um, and did I mention that she's shooting for $Free.99 as in this is our wedding gift from her. The pictures are going to be amazing because she's an amazing photographer. I heart her photos.

Do I have the coolest friends in the world or do I have the coolest friends in the world?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's a Family Affair

Check this video out!

Brazz Tree is amazing. I love this video, I've loved their music since I first started going to see them and Mr. J loves them, too. But not only do we love their music, we love them! One half of Brazz Tree is our lovely and talented friend Mazz. Mazz will be playing our ceremony music and I've left her with creative control for the music, the only instructions I've given her is I want different and more dramatic music played for me. I trust her, seriously, this woman has skills on the violin. Her husband is our officiant! Brazz Tree will be playing a few selections during our "cocktail hour" (it's not really a cocktail hour since our whole reception is a cocktail reception, but we need time to reset the outside after the ceremony). Mr. J and I want to take our pictures before the ceremony because we don't want to miss their performance! We'll probably take a few right after, but we're going to make it snappy.

The lovely belly dancer in the video is Oya aka Allisyn (Mazz's sister) and the man behind the camera who shot the video is Jake. Allisyn and Jake are introducing Mr. J and I for the first time as a couple during the reception. So you see--we like to keep it in the family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

La-La-Lavender Love

Anyone who knows me in real life, knows that I love myself some purple. Any shade is fine with me. The bridesmaid gals and best woman are wearing lilac dresses and I've been trying to figure out my bouquet and decorating scheme for awhile, going back and forth between different ideas until I saw this board at Snippet & Ink. Not only is the lavender plant my favorite color, it smells good, too! Score!

Look at the mason jar with lavender in it. Check, that's going on the tables. Look at the little bit of lavender on the napkin, check, that's going to be the boutonnieres for the guys. Look at the lavender bouquet, CHECK!

I've been scouring online and found the site Lavender Fanatic (sounds like me!) So here are a few things I've found that I totally want to order for the wedding AND it's within budget. (All photos below come from the Lavender Fanatic website.)

This is the bouquet above is supposed to be for bridesmaids, but I don't like the bigger one they have for the bride, I'm not a fan of big bouquets. One thing I want to do (and I'm borrowing this idea from my best friend) is to make my bouquet a little different from the bridesmaids by sticking in some blue feathers (our colors are blue and purple). My birdcage veil will have feathers in it, too, so it all will be pulled together. My dress also comes with a bolero jacket that I'm not going to wear, so I was thinking of taking some of that lace and wrapping it around the bottom of the bouquet.

This bouquet above is what I'd want for the bridesmaids. Lavender Fanatic has the option of different bows, so I'd go with the blue bow for the bridesmaids so that both of the colors are represented.

Lavender Fanatic sells these mini bouquets by 10, so that takes care of the groom (I'll probably add a feather to the groom's bout to match my bouquet) and the groomsmen and both our fathers. I'll wrap the bottom of the bouquets in floral tape and ribbon (don't like those little bows for the guys.)

They even have loose lavender, which I may even get for the flower girls to throw to keep the whole flower theme together. I'm going to get some lavender bunches to go in the centerpieces.

We are having cocktail tables, so I don't want a grand centerpiece. Our centerpieces will be the mason jar with lavender in it, a couple of books of poetry (which people can take with them once the night ends) wrapped in kraft paper, and a framed photo of some of our friends and family who are married. Still trying to figure out what I will do in terms of light on the tables, I'm thinking a short cream colored candle that we'll burn prior to the reception so that there is some wax dripping down. I love the way that looks, very romantic.

And my mommy loves the idea! It's a good thing because she's paying for the flowers! Originally I was ready to go to the market on the day before and get whatever purple flowers there and make the bouquets. I don't want to spend a lot of money on flowers, and even though my mom offered to pay for the flowers (she offered to pay for a few things: my dress, flowers, and our cupcakes) I don't want her to spend a lot of money on flowers either. With lavender, the problem is solved AND we can save the lavender after the wedding to make potpourri--it lasts for a long time.

You can't go wrong with purple (lavender).

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Best Friend's Wedding

Me and the Mrs.

My best friend is officially married! Her and her husband tied the knot on Saturday, February 21st in Puerto Rico. Yup, best friends getting married the same year. We didn't plan it that way. She met her man first. She was engaged first. We're both dating men who are four years younger than us! We both lived with our men before tying the knot. There are a lot of similarities and parallels in our lives and I'm so thankful that she has planned her wedding first so that now she can help me, haha. She should've had a blog for all those Latina brides to be out there. She had a lot of wonderful cultural aspects to her wedding--the food was authentic Puerto Rican food, right down to the pig on the spit (yummy pig!), the plena band, the coquito (an alcoholic drink that looks like pina colada), the yummy merengue favors, and the garter belt with the Puerto Rican flag on it.

The wedding was beautiful and there were many tears shed. And now she is officially my Matron of Honor. The word "matron" sounds so old. I was her maid of honor, along with her sister who was the Madrina of the wedding (they don't really do the whole "maid of honor" in PR). I'm doing the same thing--my sister is also my maid of honor.

But back to the wedding--it was awesome! I was so tired, though. The bridesmaid dress wasn't too tight (I gained a little weight since I bought it in April), but the shoes hurt something awful. Thank the Lord I brought flip flops with me for later.

Boricua, Morena (okay reverse that)

The wedding ceremony was in Spanish, so thankfully we rehearsed the day before so that I had my cues when to sit and stand. I have a basic comprehension of Spanish, and am used to people speaking Spanish around me. I can usually get the gist of conversations, but speeches and sermons are a different story. At the reception, the best man did his speech in Spanish and although I couldn't understand it, it was so touching to watch him cry while giving the speech. I didn't cry when I gave my speech! Which is surprising to me because every time I sat down to write it, I got teary-eyed. Is this what happens when you get older? I never used to get so teary-eyed and now I could be watching a touching commercial and the water works start. I thought I would cry, but I didn't--probably because of the nerves. But she cried! Woohoo! Yes, I am happy that I made her cry. That means I've got skillz, y'all!

I wanted to share my speech with you--maybe you'll cry, who knows?

"Hello everyone. For those of you who don’t know, Mrs. C and I met in our freshman year at college. Over these past 13 years we’ve shared the laughter, tears, and growing pains of becoming women. We’ve become more than friends, Mrs. C is my sister, my heart, and I’d do anything for her.

It’s because Mrs. C is the most caring person I know, always ready to put the needs of those she loves before herself. It’s because Mrs. C is passionate, when she loves something or someone she gives all of her heart. It’s because Mrs. C is strong, like her mother. And don’t let the little package she comes in fool you. Mrs. C is definitely someone you want to have in your corner.

Over the years I’ve hoped and wished for Mrs. C to be blessed with a man with these three qualities, someone caring, someone passionate, and someone strong. It takes a very special man to be with a woman like Mrs. C. Mr. C is the man I’d been hoping would come along. In Mr. C she’s found someone who’s not afraid of her strength, she’s found someone who, when she’s tired of being strong, is there as her rock. In Mr. C she’s found someone just as passionate and caring. When I first met Mr. C it was so obvious to me how much he loves Mrs. C, I’ve never seen a man love her the way that Mr. C does.

For Valentine’s day last year Mr. C bought me a plane ticket to take a trip with Mrs. C here to Puerto Rico to do some girly wedding planning. Mrs. C and I don’t get to see each other too often and he wanted her to have some bonding time with her best friend. In my book, any man who gives such thoughtful and heartfelt gifts, especially gifts that include me, is a keeper. And Mr. C, just remember that Mrs. C and I were supposed to take a trip together this year to celebrate our 30th birthdays—but we couldn’t because you guys were getting married. So start saving up for our 35th!

I know that Mrs. C and I, our friendship will continue to grow and last a lifetime. I know that Mr. and Mrs. C are going to grow old and gray together. You guys faced many obstacles to get to this day, including the flooding of your condo, but all of these things were a test: there’s nothing that the two of you can’t get through together. Remember the vows that have united you today and remember to never let anything come between the unit that has been formed today. And remember that you are both loved, Mr. C for loving Mrs. C the way you do, I love you. And Mrs. C, my best friend, I love you. Congratulations!"

Well, the roles will soon be reversed. I will probably cry when she gives her speech to me, but I'm willing to bet that she's going to cry, too. Bring on the waterproof mascara!