Monday, March 29, 2010

The Sweet Stuff

Wheeeeee, we had our cake tasting yesterday! My sister has the cake connection in the family and always makes cakes her gifts to us. She orders from this amazing bakery ( E & L Bakery in the Bronx) for birthdays and all other celebrations. She even ordered ours for our engagement/announcement/celebration party. (I'll explain in a later post). Anyway, the cakes thus far have been really basic designs like just round with happy birthday or Elmo with edible pictures etc. I didn't know that they had more elaborate designs like these
and this one

You get the idea.
The best part though is how they taste. I swear this is the best cake i've ever tasted, hands down. Every single celebration we've served these cakes at, we never have any left over. I've found myself requesting bigger and bigger ones just to have a little piece left over after the party. We - my sister and I- went to the appointment since my son wasn't well and Daddy had to stay home with him. The bakery was so cute and nicely decorated that I further fell in love with it.
When I explained to the very nice owner that I wanted a tiffany style cake, he showed me this:
I thought it was ok but just a tad babyish. To me it looked like a little boy birthday cake or a christening cake. I tried to explain what I wanted but there was a slight communication problem with my sister, me and him talking all at once, so I whipped out the pictures in my arsenal/wedding binder:
That's more like it but since we're having a dessert buffet and not serving wedding cake, we needed a smaller cake. We settled on a smaller, 2-tier cake that will serve 65 people.
The ribbon will be more like the 3 - tier one above and not the gift type bow seen here.The bottom tier will be red velvet with cream cheese filling and the top tier will be yellow cake with vanilla filling. Yuuuuuum and since my sister is gifting us, double yum.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Evolution of Favor Presentation

My favors are very personal to me. They may be just coasters to everyone else but since I slaved over every single one of them, they're my labor of love. Getting inspiration from Style Me Pretty DIY coasters, I embarked on my own DIY coaster quest. I bought 3 boxes of 4"x4" tiles for 12.80 each from Home Depot and the other materials from Michael's, such things like glue, mod podge, scrapbook paper and felt for backing. I followed the instructions and came up with these. I've shown these before but just for a recap: I thought they needed a little sprucing up
I still wasn't altogether happy with them since they really didn't say tiffany and weren't aqua at all. Anyway for hosting the Paper and More giveaway, I was given a $25 gift certificate and I used it to purchase a pack of Tiffany Blue text paper for only $6.99. I had no idea what I was going to use them for at the time. After agonizing over it for a while, this is what I came up with.Now if this doesn't say Tiffany or Aqua, I don't know what will. I'm so proud of them. The paper is so smooth and pretty. I almost don't want to give them away. Siiigggghhhhh! but I will. These are just for the ladies though.

The gents will receive a bottle of this:
Miniature bottles of Appleton Jamaican Rum since Mr. Muscle has a Jamaican background.
I'll put them in an organza aqua bag with a few hershey's kisses. What's better than chocolates and rum?
Favors done- again.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Huge Mistake

Today I received an email form blogger advertising some new blog templates which I thought was really cool since I thought mine was a bit blah. Anyhow I went in there and there were lots of really cool templates but for some reason they just weren't working with my blog and how I wanted things to look. Needless to say I ended up with this template and i'm not a happy camper. I will keep working at it though because I want my aqua back. See sometimes, it's good to just stick to what you know and be happy with what you have. Oh well...

TTFN (ta ta for now).

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Ceremony Music and Procession


So in my last post, I gave you a little taste of my ceremony music. I'm getting married in a really beautiful park and I want my wedding party to be more involved in the ceremony than just looking great and standing there so I came up with this whole production. Let me know if it's silly or superb. Our venue, in case you forgot:

We will all be in the back of the monument. It's really wide and tall so our guests who will be seated on the landing below the stairs won't see us. Instead of having our guys and ladies walk down the aisle arm in arm, i've decided I want to put a little twist on it. It's a little hard to see, but the nicely- clad gentlemen will be coming in from the left side of the monument and walking in to this song They can do a little jig while coming in and knowing these guys, they probably will. The men will be carrying the parasols, closed of course. The guests can also get involved, singing or clapping or whatever.

After the men take their places on the stairs, starting with the best man on the top step and the other 4 groomsmen on a descending diagonal. The ladies will come in from the right side. I can't decide between this song, Shaggy's "Hey Sexy Lady"
and this one

When the first lady (MOH) gets to the first step, the best man will come down to her, open the parasol and escort her to her place on the top step across from him. The next groomsman will do the same and so on. The men will hang on to the parasols since the ladies will have their bouquets. I don't know how well that will go over yet although the parasols will be closed. They will then use them again to shield the ladies on their way out.

Then the officiant will announce the arrival of the "couple". Yes Mr. Muscle and I will be coming in together. As a matter of fact my son will also be coming in with us. He's a tad anti-social and instead of causing WWIII by having someone else keep him during the ceremony, we've decided he'll just be part of it. After all, our little family is getting married, not just Mr. Muscle and me.

Mr. Muscle will come from the left just like his guys and I from the right like my ladies but we will be coming all the way around from the first set of stairs (not shown in photo) making our walk longer than the bridal party. We will meet at the base of the stairs, take one of our son's hands each and walk up the stairs together. We'll subtly attempt to have our son sit at the front at this point and if that fails, just keep him standing next to his dad. This is our song

This is the ultimate wedding song and I know I'll be bawling. I absolutely adore this song and I tear up every time I think of myself walking to it. It's called the wedding song by Julie Rogers.

These are the lyrics:
You by my side, that's how I see us.
I close my eyes and I can see us.
We're on our way to say "I do".
My secret dreams have all come true.

I see the church, I see the people.
Your folks and mine, happy and smiling.
And I can hear sweet voices
singing "Ave Maria".

Oh my love, my love, this can really be.
That some day you'll walk down the aisle with me.
Let it be, make it be that I'm the one for you.
I'd be yours all yours now and forever.

I see us now, your hand in my hand.
This is the hour, this is the moment.
And I can hear sweet voices singing
"Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria, Ave Maria"

So what do you think about my song choices, cheesy or cool?

Please do tell ladies, TTFN (ta ta for now).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Let the Music Play!

What was that? Did you hear that? If you listen closely, you'll hear my new playlist that i've added to my blog. I found this on Sony's "Bridal Bliss" blog and thought it was such a great idea. When I read posts by other bloggers, I think it's nice to have a little background music. The songs heard here are some of the songs that i've chosen for our wedding so this is just a small taste.

My next post will be the music that is planned for our wedding so stay tuned. Till then let the music play!
TTFN (ta ta for now)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Earring giveaway by "I Do Budget Weddings"

Enter Here for a chance to win a lovely pair of gold and swarovski crystal drop earrings from Bellalu and Me on Etsy. Giveaway ends April 2nd. Good luck ladies and TTFN (ta ta for now).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let those waters flow

As usual, a lot and I mean a lot of my inspiration comes from you fellow bloggers. There are some things I had never even heard of like the little tissue packs for guests' tears. I had bought some little white paper bags from Michael's a while back hoping to put fruit in them for my guests during the ceremony but after putting in some strawberries, the bags simply wouldn't stand.

Since i'm determined not to let anything go to waste, I decided to repurpose these little cuties. Here's where you ladies came in.

I layered some aqua ribbon onto some teal ribbon and wrapped that around the middle of the bag like a belt and glued it in the front. I printed two labels onto a business card. Since I had 50 bags, I only needed 25 cards. The labels read , you guessed it "For your tears of Joy". I then cut them in half, framed them with a silver metallic marker and glued them in the center over the part where the ribbon met. I cut off the very top flap of the bags because they overlapped to much.

I then simply folded the tops over to close them. In keeping with my reusing and repurposing habit. I didn't want to throw them out so I came up with these.

I also had these ribbon bits left over from making the tears of joy bags so ta- da, they both came in handy. I love butterflies. The problem is I have no idea what to use them for. So ladies now that you know how heavily I really on your judgement, any ideas on where to use them?

Thanks and TTFN (ta ta for now).

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My BCBG babies.

So as you all know I'm getting married in a park so the shoes are a little issue. Although the actual ceremony will be on a concrete structure, we'll be taking our pre-ceremony pictures mostly on the grassy areas. I don't want to be sinking into the dirt at every step, but I didn't want to wear flip flops or anything like that. Well I went into a Payless shoe store a few weeks ago to find some shoes for my son. I have nothing against Payless but their shoes are not the most comfortable so I don't shop there. But they're really good for Blue's Clue's or Hulk or whatever shoes for kids.

Well after I picked up my son's Blue's Clue's sneakers and was making my way to pay, out of the corner of my eye I saw those cuties:

Haha, they're not BCBG. Far from it, they're American Eagle and they were $14. How could I not get them. They were the perfect aqua but a little blah. I thought I could easily get some shoe clips or even embellish them myself with some bling. So that was solved. I quickly bought them and my son wasn't the only one happy with Blue shoes that day.

Well I as good as they were for the park , I didn't think they were sexy party shoes. I plan on changing into a reception dress and these shoes just wouldn't do.

Enter my BCBG babies:

And they have the cutest brooch-like ornament in the front
They're not exactly aqua, more turquoise but I love, love, love em. They will be worn over and over and over again for sure. Anyone who knows me knows that my wardrobe is made up of predominantly aqua and turquoise attire. I'm a freak, I know.

They're uber cute and soooo comfortable. I mean I walked around the store in them for about a minute and there was no pinching or any kind of discomfort. And the greatest part is that I got them for free. I received a $182 gift card from Macy's for sharing in their "Thanks for Sharing" charity program last christmas and that was my reward. Cool huh? The shoes were only $63 so I still have some moolah left over. Score! Whadya say ladies, are they cool or what?

TTFN (ta ta for now).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

All the better to shelter you with

My parasols are here. I got one 32" peppermint green which is like Tiffany blue and I got (5) 20" white ones from Save-On-Crafts.

It looks more green in the picture than it really is.
Since we plan on doing a first look. I'm hoping that we can have our pictures taken with our wedding party about an hour before the ceremony. We will then use the white parasols to either line the aisles like this.
I'll have to get about 12 more to add to the ones I already have.

Or we can just give them to our guests to protect them from the sun. I really haven't decided how the aisle will be decorated but I love the idea of the parasols. I also have to finalize things with the parks and recreation department to know what is and isn't allowed. I'm just so happy that things are falling into place.
TTFN (ta ta for now).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This is where we say "I DO"

I mentioned before that our ceremony will be held in a park. Pelham Bay Park to be exact. It is 2766 acres making it New York City's largest park. It's more than 3 times the size of Manhattan's Central Park. Visitors to the park enjoy miles of bridle paths and hiking trails, Orchard Beach, the Bartow-Pell Mansion, two golf courses, and a breathtaking 13-mile saltwater shoreline that hugs Long Island Sound.

Our ceremony will be at the Victory Memorial which is a beautiful winged statue memorial to the fallen war veterans.
TTFN (ta ta for now).The Bronx Victory Column and Memorial Grove, along Crimi Road, honors servicemen from the Bronx who lost their lives defending their country. Built in 1933, the 75-foot-tall limestone column supports a bronze statue of Winged Victory.

The statue at the very top

I plan on having the chairs for guests on the lower platform on two sides forming an aisle. The wedding party will be on the stairs on a diagonal and we will be on the top step with the officiant at the very top.
This is my little man modeling for us.

it's kinda hard to see, but this is the side view I found on their website. This is where the wedding party will be walking in from. We will all be in the back of the monument (it's very, very large) and the guys will come out from the left and the ladies from the right. When spring starts and the grass and other plants are green and lush, I will really get some great pictures. I think we'll also do our engagement shoot there. These were taken a few days ago. I will tell you how we'll decorate in another post.

Is anybody familiar with this park? Tell me what you think...

Monday, March 8, 2010

So we signed the contract (PT 2)

So where was I? Oh yes, so Mr. Muscle told me not to worry because he was certain the man would call me back as he seriously doubted that there was any "other couple willing to pay full price". Of course he was right because about 10 minutes later the man called back, still trying to explain "his situation". I told him to put himself in our shoes and even if he had meant to say $1750, he had actually said $1650 and it just wasn't in our budget to go any higher.

Would you believe what the man who is also a Bishop said to me? He said that my guests would be bringing us money so we could cover the cost. After I picked my jaw off the floor, I said what?!!! "Sir this is certainly not why we're inviting people to our wedding, we want our family and friends to come and celebrate with us". The SOB said, "weddings are big business , maybe you should have different friends". Among many other things like God will provide the money. I told him that God could also provide us another place to have our reception. Can you believe that? This is a bishop who leads a congregation and whom people look up to. I was done. I said there was no way in hell I would do business with this guy. Well he kept calling me back and even offered to give us the price we had first told us, (even if he still denied it).

Mr. Muscle said we should just take it since he knew how stressed I was about not having a venue at 5 months before our wedding. To be honest, we really love the place. It's exactly what I wanted our event venue to look like, but just dealing with this guy who was so unchristianlike was so - for lack of a better word 'disheartening'. In the end, we took the place but I let Mr. Muscle handle the contract and deal with this guy. I still don't feel 100% good about it but I am relieved that we got a venue, since everything else can now be decided.

Just thought I would share my story with you. I'm exhausted now.

TTFN (ta ta for now).

Friday, March 5, 2010

So we signed the contract...

for our venue. As you can see from my post title, I'm not as happy as I had expected I would be and that's all because of the negotiation process. I swear it left me with a dirty feeling. First of all, I prepared a list of questions and called the "man in charge" yesterday. Most of my questions were answered as I was hoping he even said that we could have wine, just no 'hard' liquor like whisky or vodka etc. so I told him we would come to make our first deposit today.

Lo and behold, when we called him to tell him we were on our way, he asked me what price he had quoted me. I told him it was $1650. That does not include anything but the banquet hall, and tables and chairs, no linens or anything else. We also get to use the kitchen for heating things up and organizing food service etc. We thought that was initially high considering our budget but we kinda moved things around to accommodate it because we really loved the place. It doesn't need any decorating except for our table decor. Well the esteemed gentleman said that he didn't remember telling us that and the price he remembered was $2000. You can imagine how stunned I was, here we had tried so hard to move things around to make this happen and this swindler was changing things on us.

Anyway I told him there was no way we could make that. He tried all kinds of tricks saying that it was costing him XYZ and he had to provide us with AC for the entire time and that he had another couple come to see the place the day before who were willing to pay full price. I was so mad, Mr. Muscle was even more pissed. So we told him to let the other couple have it since weren't going to pay a penny more than $1650 and hung up on him. I was seriously distressed at this point. I'm sorry to leave you hanging at this point but my DOC is here now and we have to go over a few things. I promise I will continue this story later.

TTFN (ta ta for now).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Venue Part 1

I FOUND A PLACE! I FOUND A PLACE! well, sort of (ha ha). My FH works with the health department and as part of his job, he goes out counseling and testing for stuff (eeww) no not really just like diabetes and high blood pressure and stuff like that.

Anyway, to make a really long story short, on Valentine's day, yes Valentine's Day, they went to this church for testing and he texts saying "I FOUND A PLACE". Of course I immediately went into question mode, texting back all kinds of questions until he had to turn his phone off cause he really couldn't get any work done. Well he initiated it, so...

Well, it turns out that the church owns a building that is just for hosting affairs. So we called them up on Tuesday and made an appointment for Wednesday of that week. We went to see the place and I was not overly optimistic but I just really wanted to get the venue booked. Any venue at this point to get the ball really rolling. Only 5 months to go. I'm rambling, aren't I.

It turns out the place is gorgeous. Gorgeous I tell ya. I mean there's a ginormous chandelier in the center over the dance floor, and some amazing light sconces on the walls. This place has something like a 20ft ceiling or something with fantastic drapery.

I found one picture on their website but if we decide to take it, i'll take some and post them for you guys to see.

But here comes the downside.
1. Because it's a church building, there's to be no alcohol at all. Bummer cause I know most of my guests like to throw back a little sum sum.

2. The other thing is that now the ceremony is 11 minutes away by car.

3.Again because it's a church building I feel that my guests will somehow be restricted or limited in their dancing. Since I guess our DJ won't be able to play certain songs, not dirty songs but just real dance songs.

4. It's a lot more than I would have wanted to pay.

We are yet to sign a contract since the price kinda threw us a bit, so we'll see. For now our date is still open. Wish us luck.

We have to see just one more place and and if that doesn't do it, we're going to have to bite the bullet and go for it.

TTFN (ta ta for now).

Happy Birthday Giveaway!

No, i'm not having another birthday so soon. Bee over at BP Wedding is having a birthday today and is nice enough to host a giveaway in celebration. Click here to enter for a chance to win a 16x20 photo canvas with your choice of photo. Good luck ladies and TTFN (ta ta for now).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Almighty Dollar - (A somewhat longish post)

Planning this wedding for us, and by us I mean us ladies, us brides, because let's face it, most to-be-grooms aren't as involved in the planning process as us. For us, the planning process is so exciting and in some cases (like mine) awe- inspiring, that sometimes we get pretty carried away and not always consider the financial hole we are digging ourselves into for a lot of things that we go ga-ga over. A wedding really lasts 5-6 hours (but our marriage lasts a lifetime) and in spite of us wanting it to be the greatest day of our lives, it should still be done reasonably). Don't get me wrong, if you've got the Benjamins or your wedding is being paid for by someone else, then by all means you go girl, but I would implore you not to put yourselves in debt before you've even started your lives together.

We've been going to premarital counseling and very important subjects are addressed but financial issues are never brought up. Why is that ? I mean we're told not to go to bed angry and to share our feelings with each other etc., why not don't spend what you can't afford? Considering the high rate of divorce in this country with money (finances) being one of the stronger causes, it's such a shame to see such once great couples lives collapse. For some of us (both Mr. Muscle and I) with student loans, not assessing our financial condition would just put us further into debt which can place a serious strain on our lives. Imagine worrying about every little financial decision: what toothpaste brand is cheapest as opposed to what's better; not being able to go out occasionally to have a nice dinner; putting your baby-making plans on hold because the finances just aren't in order.

I hate to be so morbid but when I watch shows like "Rich Bride, Poor Bride", "Bridezilla" and the like, I can't help but realize how petty and spoilt and unreasonable some of those women are and no matter the cost of something and regardless of how much pleading the groom does, the more irrational these bries become. Is that all posturing for TV or are people really like that? The reason for my post is that all these blogs that I read and follow, all you lovely ladies seem to be so nice and so in love with your partners and not just the idea of the wedding, that I would hate for anyone of us to fall in this trap, myself included.

I find myself getting carried away sometimes and I'm happy to have Mr. Muscle to rein me in. And out of respect for him, I would never go over his head after we've made a decision about not spending too much. We all want our weddings to be beautiful and I know they will be. Thanks to a lot of your posts, i've been able to do so many DIY projects and save myself so much money that I know we don't have to break the bank to have an unforgettable day. Thanks ladies and keep inspiring myself and others the way you do. I just hope that I can be someones inspiration even if it's a little bit.

Please tell me what you think ladies.

TTFN (ta ta for now).