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Friday, April 29, 2011

Bachelorette Party

Happy Royal Wedding Day!! I've been up since 4:50 am live tweeting my way through the wedding @lwoodsny. I'm so glad I got up to watch it, history in the making, and it was so beautiful!

However, this weekend also marks a very special occasion that hasn't gotten as much media attention:

  MY BACHELORETTE PARTY!!!!
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Melissa (MOH and sister) and my friends have done a fabulous job so far of planning my Bachelorette Party.
This weekend's players are (and you will see lots of on the blog next week):
                      Melissa, Mandy, Lauren, Ben, Kerry, Maria, Corinne, Christina, Kate, and me!

We are all carpooling or getting ourselves there on our own to meet in Atlantic City around 2:00. I'm driving with Kerry, Corinne, and Maria and I may or may not have been promised dirty car games. ;) When we arrive at the Borgata, we're going to walk around and grab some lunch. Then, when we're able to check into our room we have one giant suite at the Borgata for the ten of us!
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We are having dinner at Seablue Restaurant in the Borgata (This was where I saw Michael Phelps last year at Mandy's Bachelorette Party! That party was ridiculously awesome and hilarious so if you have a chance, read about it here)
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Then starting at 10:30, we have VIP bottle service set up at Mixx nightclub! We have our own designated area and don't have to fight to get drinks at the bar, a huge plus!
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I have a fabulous group of friends going and I cannot wait to dance the night away with them! I got my dress a few weeks ago at a place called Foxes on Long Island:
JessicaSimpson.com

I just have to figure out my accessories and shoes!!
I'll report back on Monday with how it all goes! Hope you all have great weekends!

Join in on the discussion!

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Happy Royal Wedding! Join in the discussion with me and others!We will be tweeting using the hashtag #royalweddingWZ. Right after the wedding Chris and I are off to get our marriage license!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Love Story

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of my maternal grandmother's passing. It's hard to believe it has been a year already. I put together this post last year, but for unexplained reasons, couldn't post it until now. My Grandma and Grandpa were just about the cutest grandparent married couple you'd ever find. I was fortunate enough to look through their wedding album when Chris and I were home last April to be with my Grandma, which sadly was the last time I got to see her before her passing a few days later on Thursday, April 29, 2010.
Being with my grandma those last two weeks of her life was extremely bittersweet for the whole family. We got to share some great times and memories with her. She was surrounded by an entire family of people who love her, and she had time to say her goodbyes and prepare for what was to come. This was a blessing...but it was surrounded by an incredibly sad inevitability. I called her in that last week to ask her what she could tell me about her wedding day and courtship with my grandpa.
Grandma and Grandpa were engaged on July 19th (Chris and I were engaged on July 23rd!) at the age of 26 (Grandma) and 25 (Grandpa) (same ages Chris and I will be when we get married!). They met through mutual friends at church, and soon Grandpa was coming to Buffalo, NY from Illinois to see her quite often. He would sit in on her weekend church group meetings waiting for her to be done, which Grandma said was nice because all of her friends got to know him. On July 23, 1950, Grandpa drove to Buffalo to take her to a Museum at Delaware Park. As they were parked in front of the museum, he took out a box with a ring in it and proposed to her. They were married 5 months later on December 30th (which was my birthday 34 years later) at my grandmother's church: St. Columba in Buffalo, NY. My Grandfather had converted from Lutheran to Catholic for the ceremony, which my grandmother was not aware he had done until that day! My grandmother's two sisters were her bridesmaids. After the ceremony, they had a brunch in the church basement with food that their family and friends had made, and that night went out to a restaurant for dinner with family and friends. They moved to Olean, NY for a few years before settling down in Allentown, PA. Together they had 6 children and 13 grandchildren!! 
My grandmother asked me if I felt confident in the fact that I will be marrying Chris to which I replied "Yes...I really do" She said "Yes...it is amazing, but you just know, and I hope that you and Chris have as long and happy a marriage as I've had with your grandfather" ...I really hope so, too.

She was also able to give me, my sister, and other cousins some of her jewelry that was given to her by my grandfather. She told us "That was one thing your grandfather never skimped on with me....this jewelry isn't from CVS you know. I always told him that he bought me too much nice jewelry but now I'm glad that he did, because I have all this great stuff to give to my children and grandchildren."

...Makes your heart melt right? I am extremely happy that the pearl necklace she gave to my sister looks amazing with my wedding gown. That will be my "something old" and/or "something borrowed" for the wedding day.
It could not look more perfect with my dress. I am so happy that my grandmother can be a part of my wedding day even though she cannot be there. I know that this means a lot to my mom, and especially to my grandfather as well.
Grandma and Grandpa's Wedding day
I've always loved pictures, as most of you probably already know. But when I look through albums of my grandparents and my parents, it makes me appreciate the value of pictures even more. I have so many great memories of things that are sparked when looking through them, and I can't wait to go through pictures of my life with my children and grandchildren one day.

Missing you Grandma ~ 1929-2010

    "Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. 
What you have caught on film is captured forever...
it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything." 
-Aaron Siskind.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday's "Royal" Wedding Poll

In honor of the royal wedding being just TWO DAYS away, I feel I simply MUST say something about it. By now, you've probably seen just about every crazy Royal Wedding paraphernalia that you could possibly ever think of. Over the past month, I've tried to cull as many "not so common" royal wedding themed products that maybe you haven't yet seen.

Ridiculous royal wedding items you've "GOT TO" Have:

1. Royal Wedding Garden Gnomes:
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2. Royal Wedding Barf Bags:
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3. Royal Wedding nails:
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4. Royal Wedding Refrigerator:
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5. Knit your Own Royal Wedding Kit!
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6. Royal Wedding Cellphone:
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7. Royal Wedding Pizza from Papa Johns: 
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8. Kate Middleton Jelly Bean
This wasn't manufactured this way...this just happened to be in somebody's jelly bean bag and noticed it looked like her!
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9. Royal Wedding Toilet Seat Cover
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10. Yankee Candle "A Royal Wedding"
 This I actually DO WANT! I'm going to buy this!

Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married within a month of my parents getting married! Now, 30 years later William and Catherine are getting married within a month of Chris and Me. 5:00am seems realllly early, but I am definitely making a plan to get up and watch the royal wedding live. How often does this happen? Be sure to get in on the fun over at weddzilla.com where a bunch of us will be contributing our thoughts and follow my tweets @lwoodsny

What about you? 



This Royal Wedding spoof T-mobile ad is genius:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bridal Shower Hostess Gifts

I'm still reeling from my Bridal Shower last week and now, I can't even believvve it's the weekend of my Bachelorette Party!! There is so.much.to.do, but thank goodness I have an understanding (and traveling) boss right now!

I still have to share with you what I got my mother and sister for hostess gifts at my Bridal Shower! I got them each Philosophy Field of Flowers from Sephora.
For my sister, I got her this cute "M" stationary set I found at Dafffy's
And for my mom I added a little bride and groom tissue pack for her to carry at the wedding.

I put them each in a gift bag with a tag that said "Thanks for 'showering' me with love" Love, Laura

My mom also had a special surprise gift for me at the shower. A "Bridal Emergency Kit" bag that she made from a bunch of music fabric she had leftover from various things she made me in High School. We still have to fill it with some more essentials that I'll share with you in a later post, but this is what my sister will carry around with her on the wedding day in case of any "emergency". We will fill it with band-aids, needle and thread, granola bars, pads, deodorant, etc. etc.  I love it!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Productive Weekend

Happy Royal Wedding Week! Not only is the Royal Wedding this Friday, but my bachelorette party is THIS WEEKEND and I am SO EXCITED!!

I had an extremely productive weekend at my parent's house. This was potentially the last time I will be home before the wedding so it was go-time to get stuff done with them. Also on Saturday, both my mom and I picked up our dresses from the bridal salon!! My dress is officially in my pocession and fits to a tee!
Saturday afternoon, bridesmaid Mal came over to help me with some projects. she took a break from her crazy law-school studying to come help me and catch up.
And after dinner that night, I put my family to work:
And this is how my car looked coming back to New York last night. I had to bring a LOT of stuff that I've been storing at my parent's place back so they don't have to bring it all in a few weeks themselves. My back seat is full too!
I got a ton of stuff done, most of which I will tell you about after the wedding, or while I'm on my honeymoon. One project that I added to this mix while I was at Michaels was creating a unity candle for our ceremony. I really just wanted it to be a simple, 2 second project and it was! The hardest part was finding things to decorate the candle with. I bought a tall white candle at Michaels, and a simple scrapbooking ribbon with charm to add to it. It was a little too bare with just the ribbon, so I found green ribbon that my mom had lying around and added it to either side. I'm pretty happy with the result. It's simply decorated and will be a nice touch to our ceremony.
What do you think?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Giveaway Winner and Housekeeping

Hey guys! This is somewhat of a dis-jointed post, but there is a ton of housekeeping stuff that I need to address to you all today!

First of all: WE'RE OFFICIALLY UNDER THE ONE MONTH MARK!! Phew! I never thought I'd see the day! We are less than a month away and stuff is getting K-R-A-Z-Y!! It's sooo exciting!!

These were from my various countdowns yesterday....cause I'll never be 30 days away from my wedding again! (hopefully!)

Secondly: The winner of Saying "I do's" first ever giveaway is #27 Jennybusybee!

Congratulations Jenny! You are now the proud winner of a handmade makeup bag and handcrafted soap from Dragonfly Soaps. Email me at info@lauraandchristopher.com so I can get your information. Jenny is a fellow blogging bride who is getting married this coming October. Be sure to check out her blog at Jenny Busy Bee!

Thirdly: Have you been reading my posts at Weddzilla? If not, catch up here. This week I wrote on "The Grand Exit: What to Toss?" and reflected on what we've accomplished so far with wedding planning in our "One Month Countdown" 
Fourth: The results of Wednesday's Wedding Poll: 71% of you did or plan to send out save the dates and 29% did not plan to or did not. This was pretty much what I suspected as it seems sending out save-the-dates has grown more and more popular in the past few years. I think save-the-dates are a great way to show your creative side and wedding style.

Fifth: I realized that I never revealed the results of last week's GUEST BOOK Poll! I received an unprecedented response from you guys regarding the guest book options, and I'm happy to report that this week I purchased the custom-made book from Modern Shabby on Etsy. I can't wait to show you how it comes out!

Lastly: I'm sure I don't need to remind you all of this, but NEXT WEEK IS THE ROYAL WEDDING! I have a few special posts lined up for next week tying into the Royal Wedding Theme and will be participating in a "Blog Party" next Friday beginning at 5am! Along with other fellow Weddzilla bloggers, we will be live-tweeting and blogging our way through the royal wedding. So grab your British Flag and join in with us! Be sure to follow me on twitter @lwoodsny if you want to join in on the fun!
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That's all for today, have a fabulous weekend, and congratulations Jenny!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Proposal Story: Ashley and Greg

Today is the last day to enter my first EVER Giveaway! Be sure to leave me a comment on Tuesday's post to enter to win a handmade makeup bag (made by my mother) and a handcrafted pear soap favor (from Dragonfly Soaps) from my bridal shower! Click here to enter!

Now on to the good stuff...
 
About a month ago, two of my friend from college, Ashley and Greg, got engaged. This was no ordinary engagement and the proposal story was too fabulous NOT to share! Greg proposed on stage at the Gershwin Theatre after a performance of WICKED on Broadway! Ashley is a fabulous actress, singer, and dancer who loves Broadway, and this proposal could not have been more perfect for her. Here's her story!

I have always been a dreamer. My passion has always been theatre and performing. I have dreamed of the day when I would perform on a Broadway stage. Recently a new love has come into my life, my boyfriend Greg and as we have grown closer in our relationship and talked of marriage, for some reason, the dreamer in me never imagined how my proposal would go. Yet on Tuesday March 22nd, my two loves joined forces and gave me just what I would have imagined.

A week before this big event a coworker of mine offered me two tickets to see WICKED, including a backstage tour. My coworker is a good friend with someone who plays in the orchestra pit and he had two house seats available. Free tickets floating around my office is nothing out of the ordinary. I work at a prestigious Musical Theatre Conservatory and Theatre Company in NYC, but the opportunity to get a backstage tour is not very common, so I could not pass this opportunity up.

I decided to take Greg since he had never seen it before and he actually agreed to go, not being a very loving theatre patron himself, but he knew how much I loved WICKED, so he agreed to go.

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The night of the show I was running late, as usual, to meet him for a quick bite to eat and he was already on his second beer and dressed up in a suit.

“Why the fancy suit today?”

"It's suit day at work, we have to wear them every Tuesday.”

“Oh, ok.”

This should have been my first hint that something fishy was going on, but I was oblivious. It might have been the Long Island Iced Tea I was sipping on.

Immediately upon sitting down in the theatre, my boyfriend stands back up and is half way down the aisle saying he needs a water bottle.

“But I have one right here.”

“I want my own.”

He came back with no water bottle. This should have been hint number two, but the lights began to dim and the show started before I could question him any further. 


Once the show was over, we met our tour guide at the Stage Left lobby. I was so nervous; of course little did I know it was Greg who was really nervous! Going backstage at a Broadway show was breathtaking, not to mention the fact that I might actually get to stand on a Broadway stage.

We got the first class tour. I saw TONY award winning costumes, amazing set pieces, props, the complete inner workings of a Broadway musical and I was seeing it all.

There was a talk-back session with some students and cast mates in the theatre, so I was nervous we wouldn’t get to go onstage, but my tour guide did not let me down.

When I stepped on that stage, it was unreal. Looking out into the audience from the Broadway stage of WICKED was a dream coming true. It felt so great to be there on that stage rather than sitting in the audience.

Our tour guide suggested taking a photo to commemorate the tour and I was all for it.


“Thank you so much for the tour and the tickets!” I said.

“Ashley, he didn’t get you the tickets.” Greg said.

“What?”

“I bought the tickets Ashley.”

“You did what?”

That’s when it all became a blur. The next thing I knew, Greg was explaining something about buying the tickets, but all I saw was him was getting down on one knee, on the stage, of the Broadway theatre, and a ring box was coming out of his pocket!

I froze; I thought it was a joke. This couldn’t really be happening. I looked to Greg and then to the tour guide and then back to Greg.

“Ashley, I made your dream came true tonight by being on a Broadway stage. Will you now make my dream come true? Ashley, will you marry me?”



I had no idea going into that night that I would be proposed to. I was completely shocked. I could never have dreamed that I would be proposed to on a Broadway stage. Greg went above and beyond, not leaving a single detail out and showed me what a romantic he is. Wearing the suit that I thought was for work was for the proposal, wanting a water bottle at the theatre, was to switch the ring box to the opposite pocket so I wouldn't see or feel it sitting next to him, and the tickets were in fact not from work but from Greg who had bought them and planned this whole event out with my family and coworkers back in January. I could not have imagined anything more perfect and I never picked up on a thing. I made my Broadway debut that night, with the man I love right beside me directing the show.


Congratulations and best wishes to you two and thank you so much for sharing your romantic proposal!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mike and Kerry's Save The Date

Please DON'T MISS OUT on my first EVER Giveaway! Be sure to leave me a comment on yesterday's post to enter to win a handmade makeup bag (made by my mother) and a handcrafted pear soap favor from my bridal shower! Click here to enter!

I got a very special Save The Date in the mail last week!! It was for our friends, Mike and Kerry's wedding this coming September! Chris and I are both in the bridal party and to say I'm excited for this wedding would be an understatement.

Kerry made two different  postcards from WeddingPaperDivas.com. Wedding Paper Divas has a huge array of templates for all kinds of cards, invitations, stationary, etc. They let you draft projects and save them right to your account, which is something Kerry took complete advantage of. She tried out a bunch of different designs and said there were so many great ones to choose from, the hardest part was deciding which design she wanted! This was why she opted for two different postcard designs (Plus it was a great way to use two of the fantastic photos she had from their engagement session.)

On the back, she put a short description of how Mike and Kerry met which reads:

Michael and Kerry were introduced during their freshman year of college. Mike was playing football for Marist, and Kerry was at Adelphi beginning her education program. Eight months later, they began a devoted relationship across the miles. After six years of dating, Mike proposed to Kerry in their apartment on Christmas Eve. This fall, they will be married.

 

Aren't they the cutest?? I love the look of them, it sets the scene perfectly for their Fall barn wedding, they're classy, functional, and look great on our fridge! You are definitely going to be seeing a lot more of Kerry and Mike's wonderful wedding touches and events as we get closer!

Did/Will you send out Save-the-Dates?

 
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