Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dum dum dummmmmmmmmmmm

OK, well I just realized that tomorrow morning when I wake up, I will no longer be a twenty something. Wheeeeew. Its a lot to take in. I am heading to the beach and some good old family time this weekend which always helps make me feel fantastic. Maybe I'll even get a little wedding planning in.


So I was just doing my lunchtime check in with my favorite blogs and came across something pretty cool on Brooklyn Bride

Moo cards.

Its seems like there are so many fun things you can do with these Moo products. Stickers, greeting cards, mini cards, postcards. And the key- they are CHEAP!!! The other cool thing is that you are not limited to one image, you can have 90 different photos or images in one $9.99 sticker book. I'll have to let this marinate a bit and figure out the best use.

This is almost as exciting as when I came across the Print Gocco - which, I still haven't gotten but I haven't given up yet.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Power of Three

For me, the most successful method I have come up with when planning from out of town and working (a lot) is the power of three. I use it when I am ready to choose a vendor - or anything really.

Here's my motus operandi: after tons of Internet research (reading reviews, searching for pictures, etc) I narrow my choices down to three and choose from there. I probably do this because to get anything approved at work over a certain dollar amount we have to show we have looked at three different options. We put together an analysis of the costs, deliverables, and any other factor that would lead you to choose one thing over the other two. Or, maybe I learned this method from Goldilocks?

So far this Goldilocks method has worked with numerous items. It really just helps you pull the trigger and decide on something.

I did this with a reception halls. I scoured the Internet, read countless reviews, saw millions of pictures and made an astonishing amount of phone calls pleading for available dates but when it came time to visit - I only went to 3. I went with my Dad and Stepmom and 3 sheets of questions. There was one that stood out to me and I chose The Woodlands. It was actually the first we visited and I loved it from the get go but I just needed to get other prices and see what was out there.

I did this with bridal salons (not dresses but the salons). First, I went to one with my Maid of Honor (MOH)in Manhasset, then to Bergdorf Goodmans, then Saks - which was my final destination. Even there, I had tried on a multitude of dresses and then found three I loved. The one I chose was hands down my favorite but it wasn't what I had pictured so I had to think about it for a while. But in the end, narrowing down to three really helped and when I thought about all three I knew I found the one and it was time to stop looking.

I narrowed my choices of photographers down to three via Internet research. I contacted all three and heard back from two - and well, that narrowed me down to two right there. If you are planning from out of town or you are on the road a lot like I am, the number one priority is good communication via email and phone. I only met with one, the one I went with - Matthew Sowa - and he was great. I got a DVD and spoke with Gail Chetalain and really thought she was fantastic, I will totally recommend her to friends. She was also a great price for a photo journalist photog, I just felt like I really clicked with Matt and that FH would not be annoyed by him (and thus be a little more patient during picture taking - something he despises). Gail is a free spirit - she returned my calls while on the road from Cali to Florida "I normally fly but I needed to find myself" is what she told me! Works for me but that attitude is definitely not one for the hippie-hater FH!

Not so much the power of three but the power of two. We wanted to meet with the DJs and thought this was something we should both decide on - and given FH's limited patience for wedding planning- I needed to make this as painless as possible. Here we met with two, we loved the first one DJs Unlimited, our guy Dave met with us and totally pegged us within seconds of introduction. He knew we were a little older and didn't want to turn the beautiful 1920s mansion into a night club "I am guessing you are not a laser show or strobe light type couple," (Um, you got it) he actually suggested one of the least expensive packages. Our second visit - well- she tried to sell us an Andean Pan Flutist for the cocktail hour(I wish I was joking) at which point FH laughed in her face and I knew I was going to have an entertaining car ride home. We went with the first one.

Right now I am collecting florist quotes. I know which one I want but just don't know if I can justify her price quote. The second quote I got was SIGNIFICANTLY less but I really do not like their style. I am going to get a third quote this week to gauge how far off my preferred gal is. Just like Goldilocks, I am hoping to find the one that is juuuussst right.

Inspiration Boards

So one of the things I find as I go from wedding blog to wedding blog is the Inspiration Board. At first I was put off by this but the more I take a deep dive into planning (getting major logistics out of the way) I found that after I put one together it sort of helps ground you. There are so many options for everything that it is a good way to paste together things you like and create a vision for yourself.

Now, there is a picture of the Woodlands in here and some other things that are close to what I am actually going to have but mostly its about inspiration and theme.

Check out Polyvore its a really fun site for creating a collage or inspiration board, not just for weddings but maybe even for your own new fall wardrobe!

So much done, so much to do

Well as of today with 263 days to go I feel like I am in good shape.
Here's what I've gotten done so far:
Church -Check - St. Ignatius, Long Beach, NY
Reception Hall - Check - The Woodlands, Woodbury, NY
Dress - Check - You'd like to know, wouldn't you???
Bridesmaids Dresses - Check - Unfortunately no online pics are available
Photographer - Check -Matthew Sowa (One of my favorite vendors so far)
Hotel- Check - Allegria Hotel and Spa , Long Beach, NY
I have to tell you FH was really great about getting the hotel set up. We actually have 10 rooms already booked!
Save the Dates - OK, well these are done and are in my living room, they just have not yet been sent out yet!

What's left?
Well, I wish I could say not much but there really is a lot.
Flowers - I am pretty confident I found the one but just need to do a little more research.
I would like to take this moment to thank our favorite local Alexandria florist for helping me with some questions to ask and judging prices. So, thank you to Gwen from the Flower Market!
Limos -this is a tough one, they never seem to get back to me when I call or email, and not just one company, several!
Rehearsal Dinner -We may actually take care of that this weekend, that would be so great!
Pre-Cana - We have GOT to sign up for this and get moving on this one!
And lots and lots more... Those are just things that are top of mind right now!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Am I Really Starting a Blog? Will Anyone Really Read This?


I am still a little unsure about starting a blog but since all of my friends and family are scattered across the country and we are busy, busy, busy I decided this would be a good way to keep people posted.

My Future Husband (I'll go with FH in future posts) and I were engaged last October and are planning a wedding on Long Island in May 2009. Hopefully this blog will give me an outlet to share the joys, headaches, frustrations and exciting times that go along with planning.

Planning has been quite an adventure and I am stumbling across some of the most beautiful, unique and creative ideas some are budget breakers and some are budget makers. Something else I come across- some of the strangest, tackiest and whackiest stuff you have ever seen - I hope to share that as well!

Join me, as I vent and share the road to becoming a Mrs. in May!