Monday, March 31, 2008

JewishGuy is Snubbed!

A local Jewish organization has sent out an announcement in the latest edition of their email newsletter:

"Congratulations to JewishGal on her engagement!"

What about JewishGuy?  What, am I marrying myself?  It's not like they don't know who I am - everyone there knows who he is, or if they don't they just have to ask someone else that works there (anyone else!) and they'll get his name.

He has been officially snubbed!  :-P

Engagement Partay!!!

JewishGuy and I decided to have an engagement party!  It's exciting because a lot of people from here probably aren't going to make it to the wedding, so we still wanted to celebrate with them somehow.  We don't have a ton of money to do this with, so we are going to go with a simple and cute dessert party :)

I've arranged to reserve the courtyard in our apartment complex that has nice shrubbery, trees and a pretty nice fountain.  It's lit up at night by small post lights in the shrubbery and lights in the fountain, and there are a few tables and chairs (and we can drag some chairs over from the pool in the other courtyard but I assume most people will be standing most of the time).

I am thinking of making little lights to put on the tables to add a little more light but to also be our decorations.  I want to do something simple, like really just going to the thrift store and picking up some old vases and then sticking candles in them.  I want the effect to look like a combination of these:

I think that could be really pretty.  Like not quite as polished as the top one (also not hanging), but not quite as childish as the bottom one.  And on the tables would be different (covered) bowls of cookies, cakes, and other desserts, plus wines and other drinks. 

That plus a little light music... I think that could be very nice!

I am going to hand-draw invitations and then take them to kinko's to be sent out to everyone as soon as I get all of the addresses I need.  We are going to invite a pretty large crowd, so I think it will be fun.  I am going to wear a dress :)

Offsetting Cynicism with Dresses!

I think a lot of my frustration came from trying to do something spectacularly unique.  Instead of that, I would just like to make it look pretty.

So to offset the cynicism of my previous post...

How pretty is this dress???  I loove it.

A lot of the prettiest dresses I am seeing are sleeveless, so one issue I am going to have is figuring out how to cover my shoulders (or whether I think it's even necessary to do that).  I would cover my shoulders for the ceremony if I would do it at all, but I haven't decided if I really have to do that.

I also like this dress:

I think it's very pretty, too.  I've really liked the bottom one for a long time (ie: the whole week I have been engaged), but the top one might look nicer on me - especially with flats.  Even though it's an evening wedding, whatever!

Unda Presha

I was feeling a lot of pressure, mostly internal, to make the wedding turn out to be this fantastically beautiful and magnificent affair, although free of opulence and over-design.  A semi-formal affair with simple-yet-elegant designs that everyone would appreciate.

To be honest, the best I think I can hope to do is pick the venue and the centerpieces and maybe some other small decorations around the perimeter.  And I think I had a crisis about that - I know I had a crisis about that - last night, when I was thinking too hard about how I wanted it to look and then looked online at party pictures and realized that everything was going to look the same except maybe the centerpieces.

It's like my apartment.  I live in an apartment complex with probably 200 other apartments that look almost exactly the same as mine.  They're all painted the same, with mostly the same carpet, and everyone has this weird stupid mirror somewhere in their dining area that they can't get rid of or cover up.  Everyone has the same overhead fans and the same blinds and the same doors and the same kitchens.  The best I could do was hang things on the wall, put up curtains and stick in my own furniture.  But even with these minor superficial changes, the apartment is still basically the same as all the other apartments, it just looks pretty.  So I guess that's closer to where I should set my aim, because there's nothing much I can really do about the standard white tablecloths and the standard ugly chairs with the ugly patterned cushions and the brassy gold frame and the overhead lighting and the huge tables where everyone feels so far away from everyone else.

And I realized, while thinking back to all the time I'd spent looking at recently, that they know this, too.  They know this!  But they really play up choosing your colors and your centerpieces and I really, really bought into it and put myself under pressure to make them all JUST RIGHT!

I'm a little mad at myself for getting caught up in it so easily, but I guess at least that wore off before it became too much and took over my life!  I don't think that I usually get so swept up in things like this, but I guess I really bought into it, especially looking at websites like theknot.  It's still helpful but it isn't my wedding-planning headquarters.

I'm still going to look into picking out little things like centerpieces and place markers, but I'm not going to fool myself into thinking that this will make the difference.  It's not going to happen where people will sit down and say, wow, this is a wedding unlike one I've ever been to before - I mean, look at that flower arrangement!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


One of the things that I'd really like is if we got married in a place with a lot of character, and if it has to be inside it would be in a place with lots of windows.

So here is one of my favorite places so far:

And this would be where the ceremony would have to be held if it were inside (I think):

And this would be where the party would be held:

How pretty is that?

I am not in love with this place because I haven't seen it in person so I don't know if it would realistically work for what we need to do for the ceremony and reception (I think we need 5 rooms, two large, two medium and one small I think).

It is a very nice place... something really pretty with lots of windows, relatively neutral decor that can go with many types of themes and colors and options for outside ceremonies.  Personally, I would love it if the whole thing were outdoors, in which case it wouldn't much matter the venue itself, rather the scenery.  If we were on the patio of a really nice house or small venue, that would be very nice, especially for an evening wedding (plenty of opportunities for fun lighting).  However, JewishGuy has stated his preference is to not depend on outside ceremonies and receptions because the weather is finicky.  Most people get around this by having tents but I don't know how I feel about a tent versus simply being in a pretty room.  I'd probably rather be in a pretty room with windows than a tent.

I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for, to be honest!  It keeps changing every day.  I know what I don't want, which is to be in a room with no windows at the bottom floor of a hotel - no matter how well it's decorated according to my theme, the back of my head will always ring with, "this looks like a dressed up USY convention." (USY is a Jewish youth group that I was involved in not only as a teenager but also as an advisor)

However, I would be all right with a very nice outside courtyard or patio at a hotel, but then come the issues with weather and all of that.  I just really like the idea of having something simple, without being too dressy or flamboyant.  I like the picture of the room but I don't much like the tables being all sparkly and meh.

I wish I had a clear picture of what I wanted to do so I could share it with JewishGuy and he could tell me what in that picture he likes and what we can actually pull off!

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Going with the Times

JewishGuy and I were talking about it and we decided that, for the sake of the out-of-towners, we should have a late afternoon/evening wedding rather than a morning/afternoon wedding.  The reason I wanted it to be earlier was because I wanted to wear a short dress and flats, and I wanted my bridesmaids to do the same.  However, I'm pretty sure we can manage this with a semi-formal evening wedding.  Also, it might be really pretty to have candles on the tables and little lanterns up around during the party!

It would be better for the out-of-towners for a few reasons:

1) They can get just as drunk as they want and then go back to the hotel and crash.
2) They won't be stuck after the wedding is over at 6pm going, ok, well, what do we do now?
3) They can go downtown in the morning before the ceremony and see the cherry blossoms and maybe tour a little. (Or they can just sleep in late.)

So, there you have it.  It's now a semi-formal evening wedding!

Real Updates

So much of this blog is me fantasizing about things I want to do and not necessarily about REAL UPDATES, but since there will be REAL UPDATES occasionally (increasing in frequency as the year goes on), I have created a new tag for posts with real updates called, surprisingly, real updates.  This tag will be located on the side column, along with other tags, such as "glee," "colors," etc.  So if you are someone who will be checking in periodically to find out what's up, feel free to only click "real updates" to see what's the real status.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

-1st Anniversary!

Today is our -1 Anniversary!  How exciting!  (We were alerted to this fact when JewishGuy's mom called wishing us a happy negative one anniversary haha!)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pretty Centerpieces: Green Pt1

I am not really into ridiculously elaborate (or expensive) decorations. When I had a garden party at my apartment that had a back yard - ah, to have a back yard again - my only decorations were Christmas lights strung around the perimeter and I think it looked very nice and cozy. It was also practical because we actually had no other lights back there.

So as I tour for reception ideas, I think it shouldn't be surprising that the things I like are the smallest, easiest, simplest things that I think would look very pretty. Here are a couple of green-centric center pieces.

I like the idea of using grass. First of all, using grass, it's possible that the florist reuses the centerpieces, which means we wouldn't be buying all of these expensive, fresh-cut flowers that we'd use once and then store in the apartment for a while and then eventually have to throw out. (I'm not saying I don't want fresh-cut flowers, I do! But maybe not all over the place)

I also like grass because it is incredibly spring-y! But it might be hard to pull off, I may need a professional to help with that.

This is just a really cute idea. I think I could one-up this photo if I just had each table with a different kind of funky vase and small flowers. And the nice thing is that afterwards, I can keep the nice little vases and actually reuse them!

This is a similar idea as the one above, except that along with little pretty flowers she also used rosemary! Well, in this picture it looks like sage, but in the description on theknot they talked about how they used different herbs in the centerpieces. I think that is a great idea! If you're going to have a small, simple centerpiece, why not have it be fragrant in a way that may not set off allergies? (Also, um, THEN I GET TO KEEP THE SPICES AND USE THEM!) I'm not suggesting using a ton of herbs, just as part of the little bouquet.

And if you're going to go into using edible centerpieces, why not go all the way and put out some fruit? I think this looks very nice and romantic. However, I think one problem might be that people will not take any apples home and we will be stuck with apples.

These are just the green ideas. I will also have yellow and brown ideas, as well as ideas on incorporating pink somehow.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Beautiful Colors

I am just in love with this cake. What can I do? It's so pretty, I must have it for my own.

It's just so pretty! I think looking at this picture was what made me decide on my colors - which, by the way, are now back to bright yellows, spring greens and chocolate brown with pink highlights. And March 29 means it will be during the Cherry Blossom Festival! Look at these pretty pictures of cherry blossoms!

(I took these pictures at the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2005)

How could you not want to incorporate that into a wedding?

The Bridezilla Quiz

I just took the quiz on to find out if I'm a bridezilla. Here is what it said:

Good news! You're perfectly normal.

Hey, wedding stress gets to all of us, and sometimes a little bridezilla peeks out -- luckily, you never let it get the best of you. Just remember: When you do feel like your behavior has gotten a little out of hand, take a step back and make the situation right. Call your bridesmaid and apologize, make a deelish dinner for your honey, or go for a manicure with your future mother-in-law. These people are going to be big parts of your life well after you say I do, and you don't want to alienate them.

So far so good... I've been engaged for 4 1/2 days and I'm not quite a bridezilla yet. I just know what I want!!!

OK, Juuuust kidding

We just now decided: March 29!

Oh, the Drama!

The date is still a big deal, still up in the air, however I have voiced very strong opinions against the only dates available to me in the next 12 months. These dates are:

Dec 7: Pearl Harbor day. No. I asked a bunch of random people if they would get married on Pearl Harbor day and they all said no.

March 15: Why would I want to get married on a day made famous by Shakespeare "Beware the Ides of March!!!" ...No thank you. Not to mention the high probability of disgustingly rainy and cold weather that is typical of early/mid-March where we want to get married.

May 24: This is during the Omer, which is a period when Jews don't get married. JewishGuy tried to convince me that May 24 would be all right because, even though it's during the Omer, it's after Lag B'Omer (a day during the omer where people party and weddings are permitted), and also it is Rosh Chodesh (celebrating a new month), so it should be doubly okay. I was not convinced. He emailed a rabbi in the area who agreed with me, so, that ended that!

We can't go later in December due to potential weather complications (keeping guests from snowy climates - about 40% of the guest list - from coming). We can't go earlier in March for similar reasons. So our only choices are June 21 or later, or maaaaybe November 2.

Also, I don't want to get married on a day associated with death. Aside from the obvious reason, look at the other celebrations in my life that are coincidentally related to death:

  1. The day I was born was the 45th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
  2. My bat mitzvah was also on my birthday, so refer to #1.
  3. My bat mitzvah parsha was Chayye Sarah, where we talk about the death of Sarah.
  4. JewishGuy and I celebrate our anniversary of becoming a couple on the day that he came to visit me for the first time, which was unfortunately 2 days after my grandfather died.

Also, my astrological sign is Scorpio, the sign associated with death and transitions... if you want to into it in that direction.

Therefore, I want to break that cycle. I will refuse the salmon mousse!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

So It Begins

There was a little bit of drama today. Now that the original excitement of the announcement has settled a little (it's only been 4 days, though!), we can focus on getting down to business.

The Date.

JewishGuy and I have been emailing The Imahot (the mothers) about the date. Originally, we were thinking June 2009. Then we thought, that is way too far away. So we wanted September. We were informed September was no good and too soon. Then we thought March. March 29. March 29 is only a week from Passover, so there is a significant number of people who won't be able to come.

So then I had a little frustrated moment and decided that, well, I am all right with a winter wedding after all and December might be all right. I would have to change my colors from yellow, green and chocolate brown with pink highlights to icy blue, green and chocolate brown with orange highlights. Don't freak out about the orange. This is the image (of the colors) in my head:

I took this picture in December 2002. So the green isn't here, but I think this shows you how nicely the orange goes with the light blue and the brown.

OK, so here's hoping the December date will work out. I might have to have a little tantrum, shaking my fists and stomping. Wah!

Jewish "Bridezilla" Gal

Since I can't stop blabbering on about my wedding plans, and I need to organize my thoughts anyway, I thought (and JewishGuy suggested), well, why not publicly out myself as the bridezilla that I already am?

And thus, was born.