Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Transportation and Rehearsal Dinner

Courtesy http://www.bmwism.com
The goal of this week: Transportation!! I called Three Limosine companies yesterday: Royalty Limos, Camelot Limos, and Designer Limos. So far, Royalty gave me the best price, but Camelot wasn't able to give me pricing over the phone. They preferred we come in, look at the vehicles and sit down with a sales rep. However, they were extremely efficient and professional, so I'm not completely annoyed. We have an appointment with Camelot next Wednesday, September 8th. In addition, we are going to go see Designer Limos some night this week, and Royalty limos on Saturday.

Figuring out the logistics of the day has easily been the most complicated thing we've had to do so far! I realize that in general, I worry about everybody else all the time. I always want to make sure that everyone is accounted for, that rides are taken care of, and that nobody is left in the dark...and that's just on a normal basis! Add that to the fact that this is my own wedding day and I actually AM responsible for getting a large group of people from point A to point B (and to point C,D,E, and F in this case), and you have the makings of a panic attack!

I tried writing out the time-line of the day for you, but it was just too complicated and confusing. At the risk of losing you as readers forever, I'll spare you that for now. Part of the complication is that it is important to Chris and me that we include any dates of our bridal party in all the transportation. Most members of our bridal party are either married, engaged, or in long term relationships. Therefore, we are not only close with them, but with their significant others as well. We don't want them to be split up throughout such a large portion of the day. Though not all the kinks have been worked out with accommodating this, we are trying our hardest to make sure we can work it out, and I'm so hoping that we can. Here is a general idea of what we have had to figure out over the past few days:

a. Transporting our bridal party from the hotel, to our house, to get ready the morning of our wedding.
b. Transporting our bridal party, their dates, our parents, and us (separately), to the church.
c. Transporting our entire bridal party, their dates, our parents, and us, to the garden for pictures.
d. Transporting our entire bridal party, their dates, our parents, and us, to The Sandcastle.
e. Transporting our guests staying at the hotel to The Sandcastle.
f. Transporting all of our guests, and us, back to the hotel at the end of the night.

It might sound easy, but there are a lot of little logistical things that come with each item on the list that have made this overwhelming!
Courtesy citycafe.biz
But onto more fun things...we are going to check out the City Cafe on Friday as a possible Rehearsal dinner location!! They have bands perform there all the time, and a few different spaces within the restaurant for parties. Best of all, it's within walking distance from the hotel where most of our bridal party will be staying the night before the wedding.  I've never been there before, but Chris' parents suggested we check it out this weekend, and I'm very excited!

I finally posted my 2nd article to Examiner.com. (Only took me a month!) This is about the Long Island Bridal Extravaganza on September 20th, which I plan on attending. I'm hoping to get some good ideas, inspirations, and hopefully free swag! It's been a while since I've been to a Bridal Show, and while they can mostly be overwhelming, I feel ready to tackle another one, especially geared toward Long Island vendors. Let me know if any fellow Long Islanders, or Brides want to go with me!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Engagement Photos!

Our engagement photos came in the mail on Tuesday night and I'm so overwhelmed by how many there are. I have to admit, it took me awhile to warm up to these. Maybe it's because we received about 400 photos so believe me, there are some photos that are not so great and won't be seen by anyone other than us! However, once I looked through them all, I discovered there were quite a few that I liked.

Chris and I got our engagement pictures done at Wagner College on Staten Island which was where we went to college and obviously, where we met. I was nervous about getting our pictures done because Chris and I had never posed for professional pictures before. I was also nervous about the heat and humidity; it was the hottest day of the week, and probably one of the hottest days of August! Luckily, it wasn't too bad while we were there from about 10 to 12, and most of our pictures were in the shade.

It was great to be back on Wagner's Campus, which served as the perfect backdrop for us. Wagner is gorgeous and it's no surprise that a lot of movies and commercials are filmed there. School of Rock was filmed there, many Law and Order episodes, this Brooks Brothers ad was filmed entirely at Wagner, as well as a ton of other stuff.  I would recommend Wagner for anyone in that area who needs to get great pictures taken, whether they went there or not. Our photographer, Jose, was laid back but professional. It was awesome to get to know him and how he works, since he'll be our photographer on our wedding day. He made us feel very comfortable. At times, he asked us to just walk around and act natural, so Chris and I reminisced about certain things we remembered while at Wagner. Like, that night during Senior Week that we found Matt sulking near the gym because he was sad we were graduating! (Haha, he's going to killll me). We took pictures on the oval, near Main Hall, at the entrance for our senior year dorm, in the parking lot, in the Union Building, on the union steps, and near Trautman Square.

So without further ado, I give you our engagement picture highlights!

Cause you know...this is what we do...run around on the oval holding hands....

This is easily one of my favorite pictures

WHY am I covering my ring here?!?!

Hello random man in background...photoshop time!

Hope you enjoyed them! From here, I need to pick a picture for our Save The Dates, and figure out what else to do with them. I'm thinking of creating our guest book with the pictures: any thoughts or suggestions on where to go to get that made?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Dining Detour Guest Post!

Firstly, Happy Birthday to my fiancĂ©!! Yesterday Chris turned 25, which I keep reminding him is the age he'll be when he gets married. Last night Chris's mom and I prepared some of his favorites for dinner: French Onion Soup, Meatloaf (my mom's recipe), and pierogies. Followed by an ice cream cake his dad brought home and chocolate chip cookies that I made from Mandy's top-secret recipe! I also got him (us) tickets to see Joel McHale at Carnegie Hall on November 5th! We're big The Soup fans, and have wanted to see him live for awhile, so hearing that he was going to be at Carnegie Hall, I jumped on getting him tickets for his birthday. I can't wait!

We got our engagement pictures yesterday!! There are a ton on the cd and I did a good job of weeding through them last night, but until I spend a little more time on the post, you probably won't see them until tonight or tomorrow! PROMISE! In the meantime, I am excited to announce that I guest blogged for the food blog Dining Detour this week! Be sure to add this blog to your list of regular blogs to follow. You can check out my post and recipe for my new favorite healthy cookies "Maple Nut Oaties" here:

Enjoy! Make some oaties, and stay tuned for our pictures really soon!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mandy and Billy's Wedding Recap 2

I've been extremely busy lately and as a result, my wedding planning, and blog, have suffered. I can't wait until I'm into the swing of my new job so I can get back to these other things I love, but for now, it's been hard to fit everything in. I also still have not seen our engagement pictures, which I was really hoping to be able to post today.

So, I'm referring to a post that I've had saved up for a few weeks now for instances like this. In light of the fact that Chris and I will be going to 3 weddings in a row the first three weekends in September, what better time to revisit Mandy and Billy's wedding to remind ourselves just how much fun weddings are?! I'm still discovering pictures and videos from their wedding either on Chris's phone, or friend's pictures, or Mandy's professional pictures which she finally got to preview!! Chris had a bunch of videos on his phone that I literally have not stopped bugging him about for months. FINALLLLY, he put them on my computer and I can FINALLLY post them for all of you!! Watching these videos makes me so excited to go to a wedding again.

To start, Mandy and Billy did kareoke for their rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. This is Billy, Eric, and Chris singing N'Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye". You have no idea how much I love this video. I realize watching this whole thing might be a little much for everyone to watch, but if you can...try and at least watch my crafty video work and Eric's solo part around 2 minutes in, it's classic.

This is Single Ladies, featuring Kyle in the beginning and Ben and I come in to rock out near the end, we love that song!! Haha, I'm kind of humiliating myself by posting this, but I think it's an accurate depiction of how much fun we're having.

I'm adding this one a few hours after my original post, so if you're visiting again, watch this. This was the last song of the night and kind of goes through the whole "cast" of characters at the wedding...it's hilarious. My favorite part is Ben at :27 [editor's note: This is the incorrect video!! I will repost with correct video as soon as I am able!]

Mandy finally got a slideshow of her professional pictures. They are AMAZZZZING!!! View them here!

And because animoto is my new obsession, and I just want you to look at slideshows all day, I created a slideshow of Mandy and Billy's Wedding! This kind of makes me cry every time I watch it....

I promise I'll get back to some hard core wedding planning next week!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Atlantic City Bachelorette Weekend Recap!

As you know, this past weekend was my dear friend Christina's bachelorette party in Atlantic City!

I picked up my friend, Abby, in Astoria on Saturday morning literally allotting myself just enough time to get to the pole dancing class in Philly. I tried so hard to leave early so I wouldn't have to rush, but I inevitably always cut things down to the wire, allowing no room for error and honestly, 9 times out of 10...it works out for me. However, this was not one of those times. We hit a TON of traffic in New Jersey and it added about 40 minutes onto our trip, and were late to the pole dancing class! I didn't think it would be a huge deal...I figured we'd go in, learn the steps we missed..badda bing badda boom we're pole dancers! Unfortunately, this was not the case. We get there, learn one move and then the teacher says "Ok..let's do the whole routine". The entire class then proceeds to launch into an entire routine with forward spins, back spins, climbing...you name it, they did it. Abby and I looked at each other like "OMG!! How did we miss all of this in just half an hour??" After that, it was free time to practice the moves.
The Bride shows us her moves!
Christina showed us some moves, and I tried to watch the other girls and pick up on things, but I have to say....POLE DANCING IS HARD!!! I like to think of myself as up for anything, and I usually go into things with a great attitude, but I was sort of discouraged. Also, I couldn't stop watching the teacher do her moves....DAMN could she move! The other girls were pretty good, too..and BRIDE Christina did the whole routine for us and was fantastic! Finally, the teacher said she could also teach us a chair dance, which we were all game for and it was MUCH simpler and fun for weak little me!
Abby, Bride Christina, and me!
The Girls
After the class, we got back in our cars and took the hour drive to Atlantic City. Christina had booked us two really great rooms at Bally's which was right on the boardwalk! We also had a great view from our windows!
Our View

Then we had 2 hours to get ourselves glammed up for our dinner at Carmine's followed by a night of dancing. We had a fun time catching up, getting to know each other, talking, drinking champagne, and getting ready.
Emily and Elizabeth getting all pretty!
Abby and Me..together, we'd make purple!
Then, it was time for Christina to open her gifts! She got some great lingerie and undergarments. 

Kenny calls her Gorgeous!
Then we headed out to dinner at Carmine's where we ordered salads, penne alla vodka, spaghetti bolognese and shrimp fra diavolo. Everything was DE-lish! We really wanted to try that ice bar, called Red Square, that sounded so neat. It was right outside the restaurant, so we walked over there after dinner...let me tell you, Biggest. Rip-off. Ever!!
We went into the place expecting this:
Instead, we got literally a small ice "locker" that probably fit about 2 people at a time. You can wear coats in it, take as many pictures as you want, but it's bottle service only, and the bottles start at $250.00 each!! That 600 foot bar made of ice? It was just a bar, with wood panels that apparently had ice on the top. I was wondering why I couldn't find a SINGLE picture online of this ice-bar! So we promptly left, and took some pictures around the Tropicana before we headed upstairs to a club called Providence.
Emily, Elizabeth, Stephanie and Christina
It was early when we arrived at Providence, so it was pretty empty and we were the only large crowd there. However, it very quickly became way more packed and crowded. Of course, Christina drew attention everywhere she went because a) she's gorgeous, and wearing a pretty yellow dress and b) She was wearing her bachelorette sash!
Too much fun!
I ADORE this picture
Me and the BRIDE!
Providence had these cool screens where you could text a message to them and they'll show up throughout the night. So Abby and I sent a message for Christina:

We then had to go back to our rooms because most of us couldn't walk anymore in our shoes, and desperately wanted to put on flip flops and flats. So, we took cabs back to Bally's and freshened up for a few in our rooms. 
Back at Bally's
All the girls in the elevator. How cool is this??
We then made our way out to the beach bar right outside our hotel. It was a GORGEOUS night out and it was really nice to be outside and along the water.
A lot of us were starting to get tired by this point, and our biggest mistake was actually sitting down, because sleep hit us like a ton of bricks. Some of the girls went to bed and some of us stayed out longer. We hung out for a little bit more, then rounded the night out at good old Johnny Rockets.
Allison, BRIDE Christina, and Amy
Me and my carpool buddy Abby
All she wanted was a hot-dog...she finally got it!
We were finally ready to call it a night, (and a successful one at that), and headed up to our rooms to go to bed. I remember looking at my phone at 4:03am before passing out. We got up at 11:00 the next morning, and the first thing all 4 of us in our room did was wince and howl in pain. We were SO SORE from our class the day before. Actually, Abby and I were probably the least sore out of the whole bunch because we missed so much of the class. We were quite the site for sore eyes...walking around wincing in pain like we were 100 years old. I think a few "I'm getting too old for this" phrases were muttered here and there. Christina had her hair and makeup trial back at home that afternoon, so we got dressed and all went our separate ways. Of course, we hit a ton of traffic heading home again. It was to be expected, and it was totally worth it to be able to celebrate Christina's Bachelorette Weekend with her. 3 weeks and counting!!!