Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Polaroid Guestbook

Did I mention this already?

I love love love this idea.  You put a polaroid camera out by the guestbook and tell people to take pictures of themselves, stick it in the book and write a message.  It's somewhat complicated so one person who did it said they had a bridesmaid or someone walking around and assisting the processes during the party (haha).  However, I think it's a fantastic idea!

Of course, it's also kind of expensive to buy the book that is specifically designed for holding polaroids.  Another tactic would be to buy a bunch of scrapbook photo corners (those sticky corners) that are meant to hold photos onto flat paper like in a scrapbook, and people can just stick their pictures on that way... also complicated, though, maybe even moreso.  Like this:

Maybe we could, in advance, put squares on the pages so people just have to slide polaroids in...

Anyway, I would love to figure out how to make this happen.  I think it could be really fun!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Whew, haven't posted in a while because of Passover and whatnot, but I'm back now... although I might not do much posting until after my next exam (which is tomorrow, so whatever).

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Dress: When to buy?

I started thinking about this when a) I was looking at white evening gowns instead of wedding gowns this week; and b) I asked CankeyB to come with me shopping (which will have to be in June when I am visiting).

I am wondering if I should buy my dress in June or if I should wait until later. suggests buying it in June, which I guess is only 9 months away and then that would be out of my mind. And I was thinking June might be a good time because the springy/summery dresses will be on sale and the fall/winter dresses will be coming in - whereas if I wait until December to go shopping, I might have only a selection of wintery dresses and will end up having to go to - and depend on - a bridal shop. If I shop in June, I could go to both a bridal shop or two and some stores with white evening gowns.

The only real reason not to go shopping in June is I don't want to change my mind sometime between June and March!



Monday, April 14, 2008

Similar Pretty Dresses

On a similar vein as the jcrew dress in the previous post...

(click the images to see more about them on

I like these because they are simple and flowy and pretty and come down to the ankle (ie: don't touch the floor so hopefully I won't trip) with no train.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Wedding Dress

First, a pretty dress:

(click image for info on the dress from

JewishGuy keeps asking me why I don't want to have a regular wedding gown.  Like the poofy ones you see in the catalogues for the bridal shops.  Why, when I see a pretty white dress that isn't necessarily or even at all a wedding gown, I think (and say out loud), that would be pretty to wear as my wedding dress!

This is how it goes,

Me: Ooh! That is really pretty.  Really pretty.  I bet it would be really pretty as a wedding dress.
JewishGuy: Why don't you want a regular wedding gown?
Me: Because I don't want to look like a poofball.
JewishGuy: But [so-and-so] didn't look like a poofball.

To which I have no response, I guess.  Other than, [so-and-so] is much taller than me, has a much different body shape, and looks better in big white dresses!

Here is the bottom line for what I want to wear on my wedding day:
  1. I want it to be white.
  2. I want to be comfortable in it the entire time.  I want to be comfortable walking down the aisle, I want to be comfortable standing under the chuppah, and I want to be comfortable not only sitting at the table but also dancing.  I don't want to be fidgeting the whole time, pulling it up here or down there or holding up the skirt so I don't trip.  I don't want it to be heavy and weighed down by lace and shiny things and whatever.  I want it to fit, I want it to be light, I don't want to think about it, I just want to be comfortable.
  3. I don't want to feel exposed.  I don't want to feel like people are staring at my boobs, or that my top is going to fall down.  I don't want to feel like I'm dressed provocatively, I don't want to feel like at any minute something is going to pop out.
  4. I don't want it to be over-the-top.  That is not the kind of person I am.  Maybe someone who looks exactly like me could feel absolutely comfortable and feel fantastically beautiful in a dress with a massive poof that makes them look like a dollop of whipped cream with a human head and a train so long it takes four people to carry it and a million pins and folds to keep it off the ground later, but I won't.  And even if you think I'm exaggerating, and even if I am exaggerating, I don't even think that I would feel comfortable in many of the more simple wedding gowns I see on the many, many bridal websites I have been looking at.
  5. I don't want to feel like I was pushed into wearing something that fits the ideals of someone else, because this is my dress!  If there's anything I'm allowed to be a bridezilla about, it's my dress!
Before anyone says anything, obviously I am going to go try on a bunch of dresses before I discount the idea completely.  And I am only putting this in bold just in case anyone is scanning this entry and not reading the whole tantrum (LOL) and wants to tell me to try things on before I discount them.  But I can tell you right now, while I think many brides look beautiful in their gowns, I don't much like the gowns for myself.

And what's wrong with that?

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bouquets ... & Silliness

Sometimes when I am looking at wedding websites I am acutely aware of how silly I am caring about these little details.  However, I am allowing myself to indulge in these details because... well... why not?

I don't think I was ever aware as I was tonight as I began looking at bouquets.  Something about it made me think, wow this is a little silly.  And yet!

I like the small, monochromatic ones with interesting texture as you can see.

I kind of want to make my own bouquet, but I think it might be too hard.  I don't know.  I know it's hard to be in charge of the flowers instead of hiring a florist because you have to somehow keep them refrigerated.  BUT I feel like if I keep the flowers/number of flowers small-ish, it could be do-able.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Is that something I'm allowed to post about here, too? :-P

For my bat mitzvah, we had turquoise suede kippot.  I don't know that I want to use leather again, even though it's nice, and I definitely don't want to use satin or velvet (those never fit right).

So I thought to myself, do they make custom knit kippot?

And, well, they do!

Here are some nice ones:

I don't know if the second one would be too busy.  I really like it.  I think this would be something that JewishGuy would have final say on, though, since he would be the one wearing it.

But I like the idea of having knit kippot because I think it increases the chances of people wearing it on a regular basis, not just stuffing it into the kippah drawer in their dining room for guests to wear when they come over for Shabbat.  YOU KNOW YOU HAVE A KIPPAH DRAWER (or maybe it's a basket, but don't pretend you don't have one).

The knit ones aren't actually that expensive, either!  I think they might even be the same price as some of the velvet or satin ones.

It's just the same thing as the favors.  I don't want to give out favors and neither does JewishGuy, but if we did give out favors I wouldn't want it to be something people throw away as soon as they get home.  There is a good chance people will take the kippot home, that's just how it works.  So if we are going to spend money on something people are going to take home, I don't want them to just toss it in a drawer to pull out at some random time when Uncle Shmuely comes to town.

Monday, April 7, 2008

More Centerpiece Prettiness

More ideas...

I really like gerbera daisies (they're in two of these pictures I think - the bottom two). I think they are very simple but bright and happy and have enough stage presence to stand alone in a vase. I also like the idea of white flowers with colorful vases.

I was talking to my Maid of Honor, CankeyB, and she sent me some information from her sister about decorations and flowers. Apparently Costco sells flowers in bulk for pretty cheap! This is exciting, especially if I want to only use one or two different kinds of flowers. I can buy lots of interesting, colorful vases and use the same flowers in each and keep my costs down (this way we can justify splurging on the food a little, maybe?). I will also dress it up with some candles and what have you. Hooray, that's exciting. I think I've pretty much set my mind on finding vases at the thrift store and putting together the centerpieces myself.

And now, for the picture of the centerpiece that not only would I never use, I would be very upset to go to a wedding to find this:

Look, I know fish are bad pets. I hate fish. They're messy and require a lot of work to take care of (the cleaning and the filters and the blah blah carnivorous snails blah blah). I have had them as pets and I think they are the dumbest pets ever and are really more like living art than pets - I have no patience for pets that just sit and do their thing and don't really interact with me. However, messy living art they may be, I don't see how they are disposable like flowers for a wedding!

We Have a Venue!

Woo!  We have now put down a deposit on this place (the same one that I was talking about before) for March 29!

These pictures are from when my mom went to visit last week.  Very pretty.  Yay!

There was a little bit of drama involving the times - they seemed to say to my mom that the 7 hours we were buying didn't include set-up or clean-up, but then the contract was pretty clear that not only did you have to subtract that time, but that you should only really count on 4 1/2 hours of event time!  That's really not enough for the ceremony AND the reception.  However, since it's a Sunday and we're the only event happening that day, we were able to buy some more hours to make it a more reasonable amount of time.

Also, the kosher caterer that's been recommended to us by many different people on separate occasions is on their list of preferred caterers.  That's great because they know the rules of this place and I'd say we could probably trust them not to do something crazy that would cost us our security deposit.  That's probably the next thing we have to get: the contract with the caterer.  

We have to do it soonish only because we are also going to need them all weekend, not just for Sunday afternoon.  We are planning Shabbat meals for the out of town guests in the hotel who are shomer shabbat and therefore have to come Friday and can't go out to dinner or anything.  So any caterer we get would (preferably) do Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday dinner.  That's a lot of catering.  However, my thoughts are (at least right now, just preliminary thinking) is that if we are able to block off rooms in a hotel in downtown DC, the Saturday dinner could be relatively small so that the guests would then go out on the town Saturday night... although the kashrut issue might prevent that from actually being possible.  Well, who knows, that's another discussion.

Anyway, phew, another major milestone in the wedding planning process complete!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Great Ideas

Here are some ideas I got (or things that I knew about before but saw in action) at the wedding this weekend to note for future reference.

  1. The bridesmaids didn't have the same dresses, not even the same dresses in different colors.  When I was looking at websites that do bridesmaids dresses, one of the places I liked the most was a place that made custom dresses.  They would all be similar in fabric and length but would have different tops to flatter my bridal party as best as possible.  I have seen sites where they talk about letting the bridesmaids choose their own dresses in a pre-determined palette.  I really wasn't sure how that would look because it would just be a hodgepodge of styles and colors.  However, even though all the bridesmaids wore different dresses, they were all green and knee-length - they also all wore white wraps in the chapel.  I think this looked just as nice as making them all wear the same dress, plus they all chose dresses that they liked and would wear again.  I think I could do this for my bridesmaids, but I would have to have a few stipulations like length, sexiness, boldness of pattern, and palette.  I would like them to be wearing relatively modest (ie: not boobalicious, but strapless is OK), knee-length dresses with either a subtle or no pattern in the color palette of the wedding.  I wouldn't want a really bold hibiscus print, halter-top dress on one of my bridesmaids, I think that would be just a little too distracting.  The unifying thing would be the length and maybe I would have them wear wraps during the ceremony like at the wedding this weekend.

  2. The centerpieces were simple, but pretty (and probably not very expensive!).  They didn't use any flowers anywhere in the decoration, except for using the bridesmaids' bouquets on the buffet table.  You really don't need a magnificent centerpiece to set the mood of the table.  Actually, one funny thing about having the limes was that some people took them from the centerpiece and cut them up to put in their drinks!  I thought this was perfect.  The only problem is now they have about 5lb of limes to get rid of.  I think I would still like to use flowers, maybe, but local, in-season ones (these are probably the cheapest).  Also, the vases they used only cost about $3/each, or so the groom told me.  So centerpieces can certainly be very inexpensive but still look very nice. 

  3. I really do like the long, skinny tables more than the big round ones.  I know it's probably not possible to have that at the venue JewishGuy and I like, but it really made a difference (I thought).  We were able to talk to people on the other side of the table, on all sides, etc.  We had a pretty big conversation going at one point.  This wouldn't have been possible at a giant round 8-12 seater, because you can really only talk to the people directly next to you - the people across the table are too far away and the people sitting two people down are also too far away!  Especially at a sit-down dinner (that we are hoping for), where people will be sitting in one place for a while as their food is served, I would really prefer that they be able to talk to more than just the people to their right and left.  It's not the end of the world if this doesn't happen, it's just my preference.  Also, despite what JewishGuy says, it wasn't that hard to get up and dance with the rectangle tables the way that these were set up.

  4. It's really a party, not a gallery!  You know what, I really thought the reception was beautiful in the little art gallery, but what made it fun wasn't the decoration or the place, but the people and the dancing.  So although I have a strong, strong, strong preference not to use a hotel ballroom (as anything in there will really feel like just a dressed up USY convention or bar mitzvah), I think anywhere we go will be fun.  For the music, they just used an ipod and made a few playlists, hooked it up to speakers and we had a blast.  One of their friends was the emcee and he did a good job.  I feel like if it's not possible to get a live band, an ipod playlist is way better than a DJ.

  5. You don't have to give out party favors.  We were talking about this after the party.  There weren't any favors this weekend - unless you count the limes - and nobody was like, man I wish I had some kind of thing to take home and throw away from this wedding!  In fact, I thought it was very nice - I never really know what to do with those things.  We just kept the program from the ceremony :)  We will already be spending a lot of money on making the party fun and the food delicious, not to mention the Shabbat we are planning for the out-of-towners, what's the point in giving everyone a little thing that they'll throw out as soon as they get home?  (Or maybe they will keep it in a drawer and throw it out later)  I think this is a good mindset because I really can't think of anything to give out that won't be silly.  Although I have seen some people give out bubbles at weddings, like little bubble bottles, and we were supposed to blow bubbles on them as they walked away or something.  So the bubbles were kind of like the favors.  I think that's the only kind of favor I would want to give out.

  6. After parties are the shiz!  We are definitely, definitely planning an after party!  It was really great because we got to continue the party, eat some more food and hang out in jeans.  I think this will be perfect because I know there will be people who will be tired at 10pm, but I also know there will be people who will want to keep on partying.  This will make it hard for us to wake up in the morning for the breakfast for the out-of-towners, but whatever!
That's all I can think of for now! (haha)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Yay wedding!

Today, JewishGuy and I went to the wedding of friends of ours.  The whole thing was beautiful, lasted about 10 hours (total) and was a ton of fun.  It started with a catholic mass - it was really interesting.  At one point they told people to turn to their neighbors and say "Christ be with you."  But I wasn't paying attention, so when this person turned to me, I thought she was saying hi so I said, "Nice to meet you!"  Well, who knows what she was saying, but I think she was probably saying the Christ-related line because she definitely was catholic.  The ceremony was in the chapel of the university near here, where they met, and it was really pretty.  I thought the priest was great, he had some good lines in his sermon, and the whole ceremony was beautiful.

Then we went to an art gallery for their reception.  It was fantastic!  First of all, it was very simple and pretty.  The downstairs had long white banquet tables with lots candles and vases filled with limes.  Everyone's name was placed at their seat - the name cards were sticking out of a wine bottle cork.  It was very cute. :)  There was also a small outside patio with a few tables and chairs, lit up by a lamp and christmas lights.

Upstairs we had hors d'oeuvres and, later, dancing.  This was a good space as well.  There was plenty of room for dancing and there were small white tables for sitting while eating.

A lot of the prettiness of the decor came from the space itself, being in an art gallery there were a lot of really nice paintings everywhere that really matched the feel of the whole wedding.  The dinner was cool, with an "open mic" kind of toasting that was really fun.  People stood up and said things about the bride and groom if they wanted once the official speeches were over.  It was very laid back and I really liked it.  The groom gave a very moving speech (JewishGuy told him he set the bar too high).

Also, they made their own wedding cake, which was especially delicious.  It was a chocolate cake with a kind of buttercream frosting (I think?).  The frosting was perfect because I hate sugary frosting.  This was just subtly sweet and creamy.  Very nice.

JewishGuy and I had an amazing time.  We even danced!  JewishGuy is a terrible dancer but so am I so I guess it worked out all right - this was the first time we had danced since when we met on the birthright trip 5 1/2 years ago!

(Also we took some limes from the centerpieces haha)

*EDIT* Plus then we went to the after party at the hotel, which was a great addition to the reception.  We wore jeans and drank wine and got yelled at by the hotel probably 8 times in 2 hours for being "too loud" even though we were just talking.  I love the idea of an after-party and JewishGuy and I were talking about how we should have something like this, too, like just for a few good friends and out-of-towners before they head out for their early morning flights the next day.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Centerpiece Inspiration: Submerged

More centerpiece inspiration, but this time the flowers are mostly or partially submerged in water.  Very pretty and looks great with candles!

I think doing this eliminates the problem of buying the vase.  I'm not sure if I like it more than the individual, unique vases with a small flower arrangement, but if we do something like this, we can borrow the vases from the florist.  Although I don't know if that is cheaper than buying lots of little vases, it might save us the problem of having a bunch of vases to take home after.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Centerpiece/Decoration Inspiration

Now this might be too expensive for centerpieces, although they would make wonderful gifts (and I would probably love to take them home, maybe I would go around stealing them before people could take them from me).

Dinosaur Designs makes really awesome jewelry, housewares, etc, from resin - not just resin, but that's the stuff I like - and I think it's beautiful.  I just love how each vase in this picture has a different shape and quality to the material.  And with vases like these, you really don't need anything more than these little flowers they've put in them to dress them up!  

Of course, each little vase costs at least $50, SO.... that's probably not going to happen realistically.  But they are certainly beautiful.

Their glasswork is also pretty amazing.

Wow, who knew I had such expensive taste...

I'd like to get a similar effect from vases from the thrift store or from clearance vase sales or something like that.

(I wish we could somehow put things like this on our registry!)

More Invitation Inspiration


(These designs are from WeddingPaperDivas.  Click the images to see the product info.)

I don't know what is a good price for invitations.  However, JewishGuy and I will be setting up a website with all the information, so we are hoping to only have an invitation and a card with a url and related text.  Maybe we could order fancy invitations and make an insert - I only say that because it seems the inserts cost more than twice as much as the invitations!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Funny Idea: Mojitos & Limes

We were talking about having special rooms during the party.  JewishGuy wants to have a Scotch bar, possibly in another room other than the main room with the food and dancing.  Well, if we have a Scotch bar, maybe we should make another signature drink.

I said, how funny would it be if our signature drink was mojitos, and in order to get a mojito you had to take a lime from a centerpiece to the bar!

Hilarious.  I am on a roll!

My Wedding IQ

You're getting there.

Not bad! Not bad at all. When it comes to bridal knowledge, you know enough to get by. But as with everything, there's always something new to learn. Weddings are deeply entrenched in etiquette and, like everything else, it’s better to know the rules before you decide to break them. So as you climb each step, lean on us for important information and you'll do just fine. And know that everyone makes wedding etiquette blunders here and there.

Quiz from

(I'm not sure how I feel about them telling me to lean on them for important information, though!)

Invitation Inspiration

I just love the way letterpress stationary looks. LOVE.

On one hand I really want to draw our own invitations and have them printed, but on the other hand... LOOK AT THE PRETTY.


(These designs are from White Aisle)

Just. So. Pretty.

I am wondering if they are a little too formal, though. It's so simple and white, plus our wedding will be in the evening, it might look so formal that people will dress up too much for the semi-formal dress code.

Of the above pictures, I especially like the one I gave the detail image on - those are cherry blossoms! I have some stationary with a similar design. :)

Friends of ours made their own invitations and they look very nice. They actually have a similar look to these invitations, but I am sure they were a lot cheaper (even factoring in the cost of the new printer, but a printer is useful not just for printing invitations, so I don't think it was a myopic investment). They printed their own invitations and then used stamps to add flourishes and I really like them! I would love to do the same thing, but I'm not sure if it's a good idea - we are inviting about twice the number of people as they did, and they said it took them hours and hours to do.

April Fools!

OK So we aren't actually changing the date... it's still March 29.  I thought I was hilarious.  I think I was!


We've decided to have the wedding August 24 instead.  We just don't want to wait!  I think we can probably get the planning done in time, we just have to step it up.  Plus I'll be free most of the summer so I can do a lot of traveling to help with preparations and whatever.