Monday, June 23, 2008

Engagement Party!

I suck at taking pictures, is what it comes down to it.  The thing is, if you take pictures during your own party, you end up missing out on the party.  Since it was only 2 hours, I opted for only taking these pictures from a distance and then spent the time hanging out with everyone.

From a distance

One of the tables

I think it went really well!

The menu was cake, brownies, fruit, cookies, wine, soda and water.  The water was actually the most popular drink because it was quite hot.  I put out candles in my little pots I made in ceramics and flowers in the vases I made.  The candles worked out really well because they melted down and turned the pot into a candle!  So now I have useful little candles instead of stupid little useless pots.  I had my little ipod speakers playing in the background.

I think everyone had a nice time :)  It was laid back, mostly.  Someone asked if we were going to do toasts or something, but it's weird if we host a party and then make people toast us!  Someone else asked if we were going to have a cake, but again I thought it would be weird to have a party and buy our own cake so everyone could congratulate us.  SO... we had cake, but it was cut up and distributed around (I made the cake from a mix......... but I did make the icing myself, apparently I got a lot of compliments about it).

We started making a schedule for seeing people before we leave at the party.  I think we made 4 dates at the party!  Haha!  This was an engagement/going-away party so it was happy and sad at the same time.

It was only two hours but I think that was a good amount of time.  People came and went, a lot of people had apparently double-booked their evening!  But it was good, and I am glad we got to see everyone at least one more time before we head out.  Even my old roommate came by, and I haven't seen her in at least 7 or 8 months.

Yay :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Status Update!

Since we'll be interviewing our first (and hopefully only!) photographer tomorrow, I thought I may as well post a status update.  What has been done so far, and what does say we have to do soon?

  • Booked hotel, venue and caterer
  • Found an "officiant who suits [our] style and spirit" (JewishFIL)
  • Put together an engagement party (happening tonight!)
  • Begin working on wedding guest list
  • Choose color scheme
  • Start registering for gifts
  • Choose bridesmaids, etc
  • Begin looking at gowns
  • Gave the bridesmaids guidelines for the dresses (well, I still have to send the packet to HillelLady!)

  • Booking photographer
  • Looking for bands to interview/get sample mp3s from
  • Deciding where to go for honeymoon

  • Insure the engagement ring already!!! (it's going on our renter's insurance at our new place)
  • Interview/book a wedding consultant (a day-of coordinator)
  • Decide on a budget (haha)
  • Finalize the guest list
  • Book the band
  • Talk to a florist

We liked the photographer from our friends' wedding so much we are going to try to book him for ours.  We're meeting with him tomorrow to talk about his rates and travel stipulations, considering he will have to go all the way to DC for the weekend.  I'm hoping that he will be excited to be there for the Cherry Blossom Festival and won't charge us too much for his travel!  We'll see.  There are also photographers in the DC area that CankeyB is pointing us towards, also JewishGuy's cousin is sending us amazing photographers but some of them are super expensive and high profile.

Also, I think we need to add the invitations to things that need to be worked on this month.  I think once we finalize the out-of-towner guest list (which should be almost finalized?), we should send out save-the-dates.  There's also some controversy about whether or not to send RSVP cards, but I'll talk about that another time.

In any case, I think we're in good shape considering the wedding is still 279 days away!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Posting on Shabbat

I'm taking advantage of how I'm not shomer shabbat yet by posting on Shabbat to tell you...

I added some blogs to my link list so if you want to check them out, they're on the right column at the bottom.  Some of them have little snippets of their most recent entries and some are just listed, but all of them are neat!

Also, I want to mention that JewishGuy broke into the babka last night even though it was supposed to be for the party.  Babka just doesn't last long in this house.  Luckily he only took a small piece (and gave some to me) so we should have enough.

(We are planning to go shomer shabbat once we get to Chicago so just two weekends left! haha)

Friday, June 20, 2008


We are casually looking for a ketubah at the moment. We both really like the ketubah that our friends in Chicago have, although they were vague as to where they got it. So maybe we will pry the information out of them, or else we will just have to find our own.

Anyway, this one is pretty.

We wouldn't get it with English on it, though, so I don't know what the bottom would look like. We bookmarked the artist's website, though.

We also like...

But this artist has no website, which is not convenient.


This is what we know: we want the traditional Aramaic wording, we don't want it to be too bright and colorful, we don't want just text in a rectangle or oval with an intricate border, and we don't want English. We like trees and flowers but any nice design would be fine.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Engagement Party Planning......?

Last week someone text messaged me and asked if I was free to hang out.  I said that I was out of town so unfortunately no.  They replied, "Okay, well, see you on Sunday!"

I said to myself, "what's Sunday?"

Um... the engagement party!

Yes, with all of the craziness of traveling to Israel, Chicago and Maryland, trying to decide on how to move to Chicago, apartment silliness, and other things, I had totally forgotten about our engagement party.  I had all these plans for fun decorations and crazy whoseemawhatsises.  But instead I find myself somewhat scrambling at the last minute.  Not really scrambling.  I am cool and collected like a seasoned event planner (I did do event planning for 2 1/2 years).

Today I went to the grocery store and picked out some wine and cookies.  I did get a babka because I like babkas, but I am going to try to keep this from looking like a standard Jewish community event, which is what I did for my job for 2 1/2 years.  You may see a recurring theme in my wedding planning - I don't want this thing to look like a similar thing I did for my job, or that thing to look like that event I did, etc.

Our party is going to be in the courtyard of our apartment complex.  It's really cute with a nice fountain and little tables with chairs and some small lights hidden in the bushes.  I'm planning on putting the food on one table and the wine and water on the other, with candles as the decorations.  I was going to make little candles but it looks like a lot of work and I'm kind of busy/lazy.  I'm also planning on making a little guestbook so people can leave us a good-bye note or something.  I don't know if I'll do that, JewishGuy made a remark about it, it might be a little cheesy to do that.

More on plans later, if there are more plans!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bridal Hair Dos

I have short hair and that's not going to change.  I am not going to grow out my hair, suffer from the mid-length in-between hair-cut woes just so one day of my life I can have an updo.  And anyway, I don't like updos.  And I don't think I look great with long hair.

I was browsing Googleimages for pictures of short bridal hairdos and basically all I saw was "stick a headband in it" or "stick a tiara in it."  That's fine, I guess that is the only option.  I'd have my hair cut and styled and then I would stick a headband or a tiara in it.  Except, I don't want a regular bridal headband or tiara.

Both of these things are not exactly what I want, but both of these sellers custom-make bridal headpieces.

I don't know how these will fit in the picture re: the veil, but that's not so important in the brainstorming phase.  Also, since I don't have my dress yet, I can't really make serious decisions about accessories. But I wonder if one of these head pieces, when combined with a button bouquet, might make me look more hodge-podge than cute.  I may have to choose one or the other.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Custom Dress Part 1

Pictures from websites of places in Chicago that make custom dresses. This post is as much for the OOH PRETTY as it is for me to remember these places so I can bookmark them when I get back home (I'm out of town right now, yes, playing on the internet looking at dresses!).


I like this designer because she seems to do really simple lines. It seems like she mostly does not do wedding dresses, but that isn't really a problem. Her dresses look really fun to be in, like the dress above - very flowy, fun to spin around in, and comfortable.

dame couture

This designer looks excellent but expensive. I especially like this dress. They do have some dresses in their collection that I like, and will also custom-design dresses if you want to tweak some of their designs to your personality. I want to check them out, but may not end up there unless the less expensive options turn out to not be what I want.

simple silhouettes

I've looked at simple silhouettes before. I like the idea because it's custom-made, but from pre-chosen pieces. So you choose your top, bottom and middle from pre-designed pieces. You basically build your dress from dress legos. There is a location in Chicago, but that store only carries the pre-made dresses (I think). They will send swatches and other materials by mail, but I'm not sure how I feel about that without being able to try it on and meet with the seamstress. I think I will check out the shop that sells them, though, because it's a bridesmaid shop so I could also look at white bridesmaids dresses while I am there. The shop also carries Jenny Yoo, which was recommended to me by Kim :)

Still looking...

Monday, June 16, 2008

Button Bouquet!

I love this...

I think it's adorable! I want a button bouquet!

More pictures..

Click the bouquet above for the etsy page of Princess Lasertron (the woman in the top picture!) to see what else she makes.

I looooooooove this. I looked a lots of pictures from her wedding (not a stalker, I saw it on Offbeat Bride) and I just loved, loved, loved it. I want one! Either I will buy or make one myself, I think.

It's great because it's something different-ish - "ish" because obviously I am taking the idea from someone else - and also because I can keep it forever afterwards. I can take the button flowers off and sew them onto the guestbook, or around frames of pictures from our wedding, etc.

I've seen the button bouquets before but I think I really want one now!

Entertaining Thoughts (re: dress)

I am beginning to seriously entertain the thought of a custom-made dress. I have a feeling I am going to be too picky to find something in a salon or too weary to go to many, many department stores looking for the right evening gown that happens to be in stock when I am there. JewishGuy's cousin suggested this to me a while ago and now I am reading about it on various blogs.

My thoughts:
  • PRO: I would be able to get the exact dress I want; CON: I don't know exactly what I want (I assume if I come in with pictures and drawings we would be able to work something out, if I find a good seamstress)
  • PRO: I can take my time working on the dress because the wedding isn't until March - getting a custom-made dress means I won't be tied to the fashion "seasons;" CON: it will be a lot more involved than simply trying on a dress and going, this is it! Although, that is also a PRO, I think.
  • PRO: I would be supporting a local businessperson, rather than a large company, which I like. CON: I probably will have to pick someone based entirely on their portfolio rather than ratings I find on the internet, which I have come to depend on.
  • PRO: It may not be as expensive as most bridal salons, and I will get exactly what I want. CON: It will still be more expensive than an evening gown.
I think the PROs outweigh the CONs, so maybe I will start looking into this after we move to Chicago. This also takes a lot of stress off of me to find something while the summer/spring dresses are still out.

I don't know yet, but this is sounding like a better and better option. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dress Shopping Attempt #1

Well, I wish I could say I found the dress.

Remember all those pretty white evening gowns I posted constantly? Well, they exist on the website, but not in the stores, so I couldn't try any of them on. There were NO white gowns in the stores. We went to a bridal shop and I tried on some expensive gowns, but wasn't overly thrilled even without the knowledge of each of them being $3300 minimum. (I know, my parents say, do not think about the money, but I am thinking about $3300 and how at least $2300 of that could be spent on something more fun)

It didn't help that I was put on some medications the night before that made me ridiculously drowsy, and I think we only made it to about 5 stores (in 3 hours) before I really had to go home. I probably shouldn't have been driving. Luckily, I am over that now, but unluckily it was the day when I wanted to be awake and excited and shopping. I am doing fine now, I was on some strong anti-nausea medicines that knocked me out and some strong antibiotics that weren't helping with the nausea, but now it's OK :)

Anyway, I am going to keep looking, but I am very annoyed at the stores for advertising these beautiful white dresses on their websites and then not putting them in their stores. People have suggested ordering them and then returning them, but I really have no idea what is going to look good on me, so this sounds like an unnecessarily expensive way to go about this.

L'sigh (dramatically).

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bridesmaids Kits

For the past couple of days I have been assembling/creating a Bridesmaid Kit. I am kind of dorky so I got really excited about putting together a packet for my bridesmaids. I'm giving one to YoungerJew (my Man of Honor), even though most of it is about dresses. Ha!

Here is what is included in the kit:

- A little thank-you note for being my bridesmaid!
- An information packet about the dresses, dates for the wedding events, and a Jewish wedding crash course.
- A color palette to use as a guide when picking out dresses (or for future reference, like if they have an idea for decorating or whatever). I didn't give YoungerJew a color palette for two reasons: 1) he isn't picking out a dress, I will just give him a matching tie/boutonniere; and 2) he can't see colors, so it wouldn't mean much. :-P He said I should have slipped him a grayscale palette... ah! that would have been funny, but I am not that clever apparently. We keep joking about how I'm going to put him in a pink suit or something and tell him it's gray.

Anyway, I also kept a color palette for myself. I just went and got paint samples and cut them up and then tied the colors together - it's pocket-sized so they can take it in their purse when they go dress shopping... YES I am a super nerd!

Here is the palette:

You know I can't have a simple color theme as to have two colors... of COURSE I must be more difficult. But I think these colors are related to each other enough that it will make sense when everything is said and done. The main colors are the yellow, brown and green, with highlights of pink and blue. It's very springy :) Ideally, CankeyB would be in yellow, DesignerChick would be in green, and HillelLady would be in brown. Then I'd want to accessorize in blue and light pink, like have one accessory tie everyone together.

Making decisions, moving along, woowoo.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The dress I'm not getting

Here are pictures of the dress I saw in Israel that I am now 100% sure I don't want to get. It looks amazing on the mannequin, and even though it fits me perfectly it still doesn't look amazing in pictures. Therefore, it is Rejected, but fondly Remembered.

A close-up should show the design on the fabric better, even though the picture was taken through the store window...


Dress Hunt Prep

We are preparing for the Great Dress Hunt of 08. CankeyB and DesignerChick are coming with me for a shopping extravaganza. It's going to be all afternoon + dinner, I think, because CankeyB has a photoshoot in the morning (yes! I am friends with someone who does photography for magazines! I feel so cool by association).

Since I don't want to spend most of my time in bridal shops that seem overpriced and not really what I want, we're going to go to two massive malls in the DC area while I am visiting next weekend. These malls should have enough stores that sell evening wear to have white evening gowns to choose from, as well as maybe some bridal shops. There are also bridal shops right near the malls just in case.

I was looking at the websites for these bridal shops near those malls and they are pretty pricey. One website had a ranking system for how expensive dresses were, and the lowest category was "Under $2,000." Eep! I do want to go to bridal stores but I just can't see myself buying a dress for more than $2,000, one that I'm only going to wear once in my life. It just doesn't make sense. I am going to focus on the white evening gowns, I think.

Also my goal is to give CankeyB and DesignerChick their color palettes to work from so they can shop for bridesmaids dresses at the same time, if they want. If only HillelLady could come! But it's a complicated weekend and she is way, way up North now. For the palettes, I am thinking of going to a paint store and picking up some paint samples so they can have real colors that they can keep with them for future reference. This means I'll have to decide on a palette in the next couple of days so they have time to buy their dresses while spring dresses are still in style. Otherwise they will have to wait until the last minute and hope they can find something at the beginning of the season.

...Maybe I will put together some kind of bridesmaid "kit" that I will also send to HillelLady in the great white North (I'm going to have to give her another name now that she doesn't work for Hillel). Color samples, dress suggestions, lists of important information (like dates, events I hope they can come to, etc), information on Jewish weddings, and other things. HillelLady is probably the only one of them to have been to a Jewish wedding before, and I've only been to three small ones so I also don't have much experience with it. Oh that would be cute. Maybe I will try to do that in the next couple of days, too...

Okay, well, I am making more work for myself so I'd better get moving!

Friday, June 6, 2008

The dress, no longer

I decided I don't want to get that dress from Israel. When I got home and looked at the pictures, I don't look very good in the dress - at least in pictures. And we're going to have a TON of pictures from the day, I assume, so I don't want to wear something that's going to make me look wider than I am.

Oh well!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Yay Tallit! & Dress stuff

I bought the tallit for JewishGuy! I happened to be walking around Jerusalem and stumble on this little shop for an artist who hand-weaves tallitot in Rehovot. She said she could make a custom one if I wanted, but I saw one in the shop that I think is perfect. I had my friend try it on so I could see what it looked like on someone, and I think it's good. He won't get to see it for a while, though! I'm not going to describe it here but it's nice, not crazy colorful, understated but I think he will like it. And if he doesn't like it, the lady said as long as it's clean and new we can bring it back next time we're in Israel (honeymoon?? :P). So that is nice to know.

In other news, I am glad I didn't spontaneously buy the dress. I showed my friend pictures of it on my camera last night and she seemed unenthused. Granted, she didn't know what I was looking for, but it doesn't matter, if she didn't think it looked good then maybe I was just caught up in the moment. Really, it's good I didn't buy it, because it was at the upper limit of what I wanted to spend on a dress! Plus I would have to carefully transport it back.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I may have found The Dress!!!!! Yes, in Israel. I passed it on the street, fell in love, it happens to be EXACTLY my size in every area so no alterations needed - I'm not even exaggerating!!!!!!!! The guy in the store let me take tons of pictures, he said I could email him from home and he would ship it to me if I wanted so I didn't have to make any decision without consultation...

It is knee-length, has a very modrn pattern of squares that are slightly transparent to another swirly pattern underneath, it has a v-neck with beading (not a halter top, no crazy boobage) and the skirt is a-line with a tied-on belt.

He said (this could just be the sales talk) that this was the only one of this dress he had right now and if it didn't fit perfectly then I would have to be in Israel for a lot of time so they could alter it because it is difficult to alter.

Anyway, I'm not going to ppst pictures because JewishGuy reads this but I was very excited. I'm going to shop around of course but.... YAY.