Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Guess what?! As of Sunday, we were 6 MONTHS away from the wedding!! We have been engaged for 16 months now which back in July 2009 just seemed so...well, long...and now all of a sudden, it's officially countdown time, and I can't believe how fast the time has gone!!

My thoughts as I'm 6 months away from the wedding are first and foremost..."Wow, I still have a LOT to do" Secondly, I'm realizing that it's the beginning of the end of all this planning, dreaming, and constant wedding "to do" list. While that partly makes me sad, because I'm enjoying this, I know that it's all culminating in the beginning of our life together and that makes me so excited. Really this marks the beginning of the end....of the beginning!

I've gained quite a few new readers since my first post on this little blog so I'm going to take today to recap what's been done so far and assess what I have left to do.

Firstly, Chris and I got engaged at the Atlantis Hotel in the Bahamas on July 23, 2009. It was an incredibly romantic and amazing vacation and I wouldn't have had my proposal any other way, you can read about our trip here.

After about a month, we started work on searching for our venue. It was quite a process, and I think we visited at least 10 places. In the end, we booked a date with The Sandcastle Caterers on Long Island.

I worked through my youtube proposal video addiction, we secured our date with the church, and I picked my wedding dress. In February, we went to listen to a ton of different bands, while simultaneously looking at photographers. We finally settled on Déjà Vu Studios and the band, Arcadia.

This past Spring, we were fortunate enough to have an engagement party in New York, as well as one in Pennsylvania. I also picked my bridesmaids dresses, blocked off rooms at the hotel, secured limos and transportation for the day, and most recently had my hair and makeup trial.  We also mailed out our save-the-dates in the last month.

Basically, we have a LOT done and I think we are right on track. Last week I turned to Chris and said
"Do you realize that we're 6 months away from the wedding?!" He looked at me and said...
"....and you have nothing finished"

Haha...while Chris was joking, there still is LOTS more to do (in order of importance): 
Rehearsal Dinner
Plan Honeymoon!
Bridal Party Gifts- In the works
Out of Town Bags
Table Numbers
Seating Chart

I have another appointment with a florist next Monday. It is my hope to have flowers and the hotel/airfare for our honeymoon finished by the end of the year. Then, that leaves me 5 months to tackle any D-I-Y projects I decide to do, and take care of the smaller things that really can't be done any sooner than a few months before. I'm also finding myself extremely inspired when I see D-I-Y project ideas online, and then end up feeling completely overwhelmed and confused when it gets right down to it. But that's another story for another post.

Thanks for following me on this amazing journey so far, and the ridiculously accurate, down-to-the-second countown is ON!

Checklist Page

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ceremony Details



I wish this post was more exciting than it is in celebration of this occasion, but this one will have to do for today. Happy 100th Post "Saying 'I do'"!

Two weeks ago, we had our 2nd meeting at our church to discuss our ceremony a bit more and start picking out readings and prayers. We actually met with Father Delaney this time, who is different from the Priest we met with back in January and we both really liked him a lot. Chris's father actually grew up in the same neighborhood as Father Delaney, and so there were a lot of "what a small world" connections between him and Chris. We ended up talking to him for over an hour and a half! He encouraged us to sign up for our Pre-Cana classes as soon as possible to get it out of the way and not have to worry about it right before the wedding. I'm still waiting to hear about the dates they are holding those classes, but hopefully we will be starting that soon!

Father Delaney also gave us our booklet for planning the ceremony. This gives us all the reading and verses they recommend and I was really excited to dive in and start forming our ceremony.
I have to say, I actually found it extremely easy to pick my two favorite readings. I read all of them from the two reading sections, and found one from each part that I think relate to us best. I was actually a bit surprised how easy it was to pick! I haven't had a chance to sit down with Chris and have him look through them, too...but I feel confident that he'll be fine with the two I like ;)

I won't type out the actual readings, but I'll give the two titles:
"Allow us to live together to a happy old age"
"If I do not have love, I gain nothing"
We still have to chose the responsorial psalm, the Gospel, and the wedding vows, which has a lot of similar selections- just slightly different versions of each other.

I noticed in the back of the book, it gives me the option to chose walking down the aisle with both my parents! This actually surprised me, as I know that catholic services usually keep things strictly traditional, but I was happy to see that this was fine! This was the only thing my mother more or less demanded when it came to our wedding. I really don't mind...and honestly, I'd like to think that I would have chosen this option without her saying it from the start anyway. Really, I am very honored to have both my parents walk me down the aisle since they obviously both raised me, and have both had a significant influence on my life, and relationships in general.


Who is walking (or walked) you down the aisle?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NYC Flower District

My trip to the NYC Flower district this past Saturday was extremely educational. I did know that most of the places there were wholesale florists, but I also knew there were a small handful that were wholesale/retail: it was just a matter of finding them. Pretty much all the stores we went into for the first hour were only wholesale and could not sell to anyone without a tax id number. They told us they could even be fined if they were caught telling us prices!! However, we still looked around each place because there were some amazing selection of flowers available, and it was great to get a sense of what Kerry and I liked.

Of course, my two FAVORITE flowers are seasonal right now, and will therefore be challenging (and more expensive) to get in May. I'm getting married in the wrong month!

The Anemone: which is perfect for my color scheme

Believe it or not, this is kale, and I loooove it:

However, not all the flowers I liked were out of my Spring Season. Look at this gorgeous purple and green hydrangea!

I couldn't tell what these were called, but they were really cool!

After a while, Chris's mom started asking each store if they could direct us to someone who does arrangements for weddings. This led us to a small flower shop right off of 28th street. The owner, Maria, was a cute older lady and she allowed me to briefly discuss with her what I was looking for and what I needed for the wedding. There are two reasons, she will not work out. 1) She doesn't usually take wedding orders until a month before the actual wedding, because she won't know what flowers she'll have in her store until then. Ummmm no, that would make me have a panic attack! and 2) she also did not give me an estimate much different than what I had been given at the flower shop on Long Island we visited.

So we headed on down the other side of 28th Street going in and out of each shop because there was just so many cool things to look at! The owner of one place told us three names of companies on their block that rent studios above the florists and do arrangements for events. He introduced us to the owner of Celadon and Celery Events, Bess, who was awesome!! She gave me her card and told me to call and set up an appointment to discuss my wedding. I have no idea what to expect price wise, but I'll certainly check it out. We were also recommended to check out Ovando Floral and Event (which looks kind of pricey to me, but I'm merely speculating) and a place called Cherokee, which I cannot find the website for.

There were also just some amazing shops that were already filled with Christmas items that we couldn't help but go into!

Christmas is right upstairs?? We couldn't resist!! How cute is this little gumdrop wreath?? I want to try and make something like this for the holiday!

Of course, by the end of the morning...we got a little goofy:

Lastly, we visited a place called Starbright Floral Design which I knew did arrangements because I had called them last week. The owner was kind enough to sit down with us, but his prices were OUTRAGEOUS and honestly, I was DONE-ZO by the time we got there. We had been up since 6:30, I hadn't eaten anything, and was getting quite cranky-pants. So we asked him for a card and told him we'd be in touch (not).

We grabbed some lunch at a sandwich place called Toasties, and headed back home. All in all, it was a really fun, and very educational day. My Saturday felt soooo long because we were in and out of the city by noon, and that's usually when I just get my butt in gear on Saturdays! I kind of loved it, I wish I could wake up early every weekend! It was also great spending time with Kerry and our future mother-in-laws. I'm so upset I didn't get any pictures of the four of us ladies together on Saturday; Major Fail!

BUT, you SHOULD DEF. check out Mike and Kerry's engagement session teaser on their photographer, Betsi Ewing's, blog! They got them done in Central Park last week and I can't wait to see the rest of them! Click below!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Internet and Anemone Addiction

Sorry for my lack of posting this week. This wasn't a particularly busy week or anything. But, I realized something:
I'm starting to have a serious internet addiction. Luckily, it hasn't reached epic proportions...yet. It's just that sometimes that amount of blogs that I follow is so overwhelming that I just shut down. How can I possibly keep track of as many blogs as I do?? How do some of these people do it? Right now, I currently have 856 new unread items in my google reader. Overwhelming much??

I took this online Internet Addiction Test (yes...yes I did) and I scored a 55.
50 -79 points: You are experiencing occasional or frequent problems because of the Internet. You should consider their full impact on your life.
Good...this can be fixed...and I'm on the low end of this scale anyway so I'm fine! Right? This isn't really a huge problem except for the fact that at night when I go home, I sometimes neglect Chris because I feel I had so much blog catching up to do....and that just needed to stop. So, I took a little cool down from the internet this week which was very nice, but that's not to say that I didn't miss it! I do have one question though: How did people plan their weddings before the internet??? Seriously, it baffles my mind. I don't know how I would have gone about planning if I didn't have the internet as my trusty guide and resource. I certainly would not have been as inspired and motivated without seeing all the amazing things out there by other vendors and bloggers.

But anyway, onto the post!
Flower Distirct
Tomorrow morning at 7 AM I am heading into the city with Kerry and both our future Mother-in-Laws to hit up the flower district! We were originally going to head in around 11:00, but I called a few places yesterday and many of these flower shops close by 11:00 on Saturdays! So, we had to adjust our plans accordingly.

We will pretty much go to 28th street and hit up as many flower shops as we can within the Flower District. I printed this article which has a great list of the shops we can expect to find. I don't really know what to expect tomorrow. I know that the flower district has significantly decreased in size the last couple of years, as many places have had to close down due to the recession. Many of the stores are hurting and are taking any business they can get, which hopefully will be good for us. I've read from many brides that getting your flowers wholesale in the flower district is cheaper, I just worry about all the other stuff that goes along with that (i.e. do they provide the pedestals? If not, will I have to purchase pedestals and therefore have it come out as more expensive? Do they do the arrangements for you? Do they deliver?) and the list goes on and on. Tomorrow will be a learning experience for us all, but I can't wait to check it out!! I also would really like to have flowers checked off my list of things to do.

I don't really know exactly what I want in my bouquet or flower arrangements. Of course, I love calla lillies, but also how great is this boutenniere? It fits perfectly with our colors. Thanks to Ashley for telling me about anemones!!! I'm officially obsessed with them!!

Did anyone else get their wedding flowers in the Flower District or suffer from an internet addiction? Haha...two verrry different questions.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dining Detour Guest Post

Hey guys...busy day at work today!! For the 2nd time, I am a guest blogger over at Dining Detour where I share my absolute FAVORITE fall cookie: Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!!  Check it out!

Also: Is this not one of the cutest engagement shoots you've EVER SEEN?? I found this over at The Wedding Chicks.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hair and Makeup Trial

I had my official hair and makeup trial yesterday! It seems a little early to have it, but I wanted to try them out and hopefully book (which I did!) these two women before anyone else snatched them up! Sandra Baldini comes highly recommended on many of the Long Island wedding message board and websites I read, not only for being great, but because her price is so unbelievably reasonable. I called and emailed a LOT of people regarding makeup and she gave me absolutely the best price out of everyone. She actually is going to be on My Big Friggin Wedding tonight at 9:00 on VH1. Haha, I know, I know...she was not immensly proud to be making her reality debut on such a show, but she happened to be booked for one of the weddings that was being featured (this is Long Island after all...) and the episode she filmed will air tonight! I had no intentions of watching this show, buuuuut I'm going to make an exception for tonight. So, if you watch: my makeup artist is Sandra Baldini, and she does makeup for the couple Sandra and Joey who I believe are featured first in the episode.

On to the day: My parents were visiting for the weekend so they could be there for my trial, which I'm so grateful for. Dad was a trooper with all the girly stuff, but as my resident photographer he was there to capture it all for me, (he's where I get my innate need to document everything). We arrived at Sandra's gorgeous house at noon. She JUST got a studio set up in her basement, and told me I was the first person to use her new space, which was still a work in progress but perfectly functional for our purposes of the day. 

I really enjoyed Sandra! She was super fun, suuuch a character, talked me through everything she did, listened to every question and concern I had, and I feel so confident leaving my makeup in her hands.

And here's me with finished makeup...and a funny expression...
We decided the eye makeup was a bit darker than I wanted, so on the day of, she's going to use a lighter color to line my under-eye so it's not as dark. I think that will be much better.

When I called Sandra to ask about makeup, I asked her if there was a hair stylist that she normally works with. She said she often works with a woman named Terri Valente who's been doing weddings for years. Once my makeup was done, Terri started work on a few hairstyles. I showed her my inspiration board and she tried a ton of hairstyles low and to the side, like I had asked for.

Hairstyle #1:

Hairstyle #2:
Hairstyle #3:

 Hairstyle #4:
Hairstyle #5:

I wasn't entirely feeling any of these hairstyles. When we tried the veil on with them, it didn't really work. I think the main problem is that I simply don't have enough hair to get most of the looks I was envisioning. My hair is very thin so a big curly up-do, turned into a puny, curly up-do, and it looked so small. She suggested adding a hair piece, but I really don't want to do that. So, I asked if I could keep the height of the hairstyle in #5, and try a french twist in the middle of my head.

Hairstyle #6:
This, I loved!! Now, we were getting somewhere. I really liked how elegant it looked in the back and even how it looked in the front. This was timeless and classic. And once we added the veil, it fit beautifully!

Now, I also have been waiting to tell you all about my veil! I hadn't written about this because I didn't know if it was going to work with my chosen hairstyle. Around the beginning of September I was finishing up my piano lesson with my two Tuesday night students. I often talk to their mother for awhile after their lessons and they're a really great family.  So that night as we were talking, she asked me if I had already bought my veil for the wedding. I told her I had an idea of what I wanted, but I still  hadn't purchased it. She then pulled out of her closet a hand-cut Vera Wang veil from her wedding 10 years ago, still in mint condition...and said if I wanted it, it was mine. Let me repeat....if I wanted it, it was mine! I protested a few times, and of course offered to pay her for it,  but she told me that with her two sons, and no nieces, there was no one in the family that would ever take it. She insisted, and I walked out of there with a beautiful, and free, veil!!!

This veil is currently cathedral length, and the one that I liked at the bridal salon went to my fingertips. But, I can easily alter this veil to the length that I want and add a little trimming if I choose. However, it's a very plain, simple veil which I had wanted, and also the perfect off-white color to match my dress. I really don't think I will need to do anything to it other than alter the length!! I don't have a full picture of it, but here's what it looks like added to the hairstyle.

At that point, we had been there 3 hours and we were all getting a little restless. I liked this hairstyle and there was so much hairspray in my hair that I knew asking for a half up/half down style would just be rather difficult to do. So, I left there  feeling great, and booked these two women for the wedding. Now, I was all dressed up and nowhere to go!

When I got home, Chris said I looked like I was right out of Mad Men which, I'd say is pretty good! I looove that era (and show!) Chris loved how I looked, but he also said he loves my long hair down, too because that's usually how I wear it, and was curious if I had done any hairstyles with some of my hair down. This was a thought that had crossed my mind as well. I also thought about how my hair will be longer by May and therefore some of the styles might work very differently. If you've noticed, here's where my overanalyzing self begins to take over!!

All in all, at least I know that I like these two women, they are booked, and if I need to do another hair trial in May to make absolutely sure that I'm confident with my hairstyle, then so be it: I can decide that then. I do think ultimately, I'm going to stick with an up-do anyway.
But for now: Hair and makeup= Check!

We ordered in Chinese food for dinner with my Mom and Dad before they headed back to PA. Another successful weekend with the parents! Note: My arms are both out at the same height on either side, except my right arm is around my mom's shoulder and my left arm is around my dad's waist....FUNNY!

All pictures courtesy: DAD

Friday, November 5, 2010

Joel McHale & Wagner Homecoming

For Chris' Birthday back in August I bought two tickets to see Joel McHale open the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. We are BIG fans of The Soup and The Community, in which he stars in both. We only started watching The Soup this year, but now we DVR it every Friday and it's become somewhat of a tradition to watch before we go to bed on Fridays. It's just the kind of mindless comedy we need before bed after a long week. Anyway, tonight is the night: we are going to see Joel McHale at Carnegie Hall and we are seriously soooo excited!

I'll recap all about it next week. In the meantime, I completely forgot to mention that Chris and I went to our Alma Mater's Homecoming two weeks ago! We didn't have many friends attend this year, unfortunately it seems to become less and less every year. I was almost tempted to throw in the towel myself, but Chris insisted that it's tradition, and we had to go. I was fine with that...and we're only a 40 minute drive from the school anyway so we hopped in the car and headed to Wagner College on Staten Island. We ran into quite a few people we hadn't seen in awhile and had some great catch-up time with our friends Liz and Becca. We managed to get into the Alumni tent JUST as they were closing it up and grab some food without having registered (mwahahaha). We watched the tail end of the actual game (we lost), and then walked around the beautiful campus that is, Wagner. 

This was our first time back since our Engagement photos back in August. We got to tour the new dormitory, Foundation Hall. It was beautiful on the outside, and very neat on the inside...but I don't know if I would have chosen to live in that dorm had I still been at Wagner.
I still go through various pangs of missing college so very very much...much like I do with anything. I'm the type of person who misses everything. Even at the ripe old age of 25, I can sometimes pine for "the good old days". I miss High school, I miss my apartment for 2 1/2 years in Astoria, heck, sometimes I even miss Elementary School (life was so simple back then!) What can I say?...I'm a nostalgic person.

It's not to say that I don't love my life now, because I do. I just miss when so many of the people who were close to me in my life were in one place. There were friends to hang out with or vent to any time, any day. I miss practicing piano literally every.single.day! I miss singing in choir 3 or more days a week. I miss the amaaazing salad bar in the cafeteria and that I was just a 5 minute walk away from the caf. and from the gym. Also....I miss this view!
Lucky for me, I feel very fortunate that we have a great group of friends from Wagner who have all managed to stay in touch. Even though we don't see these people nearly as often as we used to, these are the friends we can get together with any time, and anywhere, and pick up right where we left off. I can't wait for these very important people to celebrate our wedding day with us...because after all: Wagner is where we met, and most of these people have been with us from the very beginning.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hair and Makeup

This weekend my parents are coming to New York again because I have my hair and makeup trial on Sunday!! I'm meeting with Sandra Baldini and Terri Valente (I thiiink that's how you spell her last name)  I'm pretty sure I know I want an up-do, and I tend to be leaning toward low and slightly to the side. I made an inspiration board at stylemepretty.com of some styles I like:

As far as makeup is concerned, the woman I'm meeting with does both airbrush and regular makeup. I just kind of assumed that airbrushing would look a little bit more....unnatural, I guess. But, I was talking to my friend Christina, of the famous Russian wedding recap part 1 and part 2, and she had her makeup airbrushed and I never would have guessed! She said it lasted the entire day, did not rub off on anything, and she highly recommends it. So, I guess if nothing else I'll try it for the trial and if I think it's too much or not needed, I can go with the regular makeup for the actual wedding day. Of course as any bride would say, I don't want to look overdone or not like me on my wedding day. I don't typically wear a ton of makeup, so if I have these ridiculously overdone eyes all of a sudden, I'm just going to look like a completely different person, and I really don't want that. I'm not too good at looking at makeup and saying "that's the look I want" so I had a considerably harder time choosing pictures for my makeup inspiration board:


Stayed tuned for photos from the trial next week!

Would you recommend airbrushed or regular makeup? What did you have done?

Monday, November 1, 2010


Now that all of our Save-the-Dates are out, I can finally share them with you! Maria Bisso, my former colleague, and graphic designer for the Metropolitan Opera, designed our save-the-dates and the ink stamp we used on the outer envelope. Maria was a joy to work with, very responsive, open to all of my many requests, and extremely reasonable.

Here's what our Save-the-Dates look like.

I was going off of a pic that inspired me at Marit Hanson's website. I loved these save the dates when I saw them, and would have loved to order from her site, but felt that with Maria's help, she could create something very similar and personal for me.
Once I had our "ticket" image from Maria, I ordered them as a "bookmark" on 4over4.com. They arrived 2 business days later! I had planned to order envelopes from the same website, but they only came in white standard #10 size and you had to order a minimum of 500!

That led me to find coin envelopes at staples. These were the perfect size for our sized Save-the-Date we purchased, and I felt that it was a little bit more authentic with the whole "ticket" concept. I showed them to Maria and she immediately suggested customizing a stamp to go on the outside. Well...blokay! So Maria sent me this image which I uploaded to rubberstamps.net and received my customized stamp in the mail the following week!     (Last names removed)
Our customized stamp

I also had planned to hand-write the addresses onto each one of these. A task that daunted me, but I was willing to do it. However, not only did I want these out sooner rather than later, I thought it would be really cool to print them out with a "typewriter" font. At this point, I was getting a little carried away with the whole look of these...which tends to happen with me. These bear no indication of the "theme" of our wedding, they were realy a fun project which I felt allowed me more freedom to be creative than I may have with our actual invitations. So, I downloaded a free font called "Traveling Typerwriter", which I thought looked perfect, and gave me the look that I wanted.

This is how the envelopes came out.

Adding the custom stamp on the side:

One thing about the stamp; I was worried that the stamp was going to run out of ink before we could even do all the envelopes. The ink was rather weak even after the first day of using it, and I didn't want to have to go out and buy another ink pad. If we rested it overnight and tried again the next day, it was usually fine and darker, but it was a little frustrating and nerve-wracking at the time.
Then we stuffed them with the "tickets"...

And these were ready to go!

Labor of love..but it was well worth it and I'm so glad they're done! I also have to say we got a few people tell  us "I  almost threw this out because I thought it was a direct mailing, but then I saw your name" which makes me wonder how many people actually did throw them out without even realizing??

There is nothing I can do about that now. I know that everyone who really should know our wedding date....does. I could have gone with a white or different color outer envelope and if I had to do it over again, I probably would have done that, and I probably would have handwritten the envelopes so it appeared more personal. I really wanted these to be more fun and not look so much like an "invitation", but I guess that's the risk I took for not having them be so formal. The important thing is I am so happy with how they came out and so thankful for all of Maria's hard work on them.

If you want to have Maria help you with any future design project or your own Save-the-Dates, she is seriously fantastic!

Maria Bisso
Kanopy Designs
Please put "Bisso Creative" in the Subject Line