Archive for the ‘Bridal Adventures’ Category

Save Yourself!

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My fiance and I have been dealing with the least pleasant wedding task that we’ve handled yet – our save-the-dates. According to wedding etiquette, save-the-dates are not required, but they can certainly help your guests – particularly if you have a lot of guests who are traveling or who are just busy people.

We decided we would design a simple flat card and magnet for these reminders. At first, I had a lot of fun playing with a design program (Draw) and making quite a pretty image of a floral arrangement. We used a similar font and look to our invitations – all in a purpley tone that matches our wedding colors. Both the card and magnet looked great. But then the fun ended.
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Flower power

I’m a pretty unfussy bride-to-be. I don’t really care about flowers, cakes, dances, etc. – I just want to have everyone I love share in our celebration. Nevertheless, planning a giant party for all of my friends and family is a huge undertaking. One of the things I want to make sure I do is minimize the wastefulness that seems to come along with big events, and make sure that everything is either rented, reused in some other way, or donated to a good cause.

While looking into that, I came across Flower Power. In NYC or L.A., they will come and pick up flowers from your event, rearrange them, and bring them to local hospitals to give to hospitalized patients. This is exactly the kind of thing I want to do – I don’t want to waste any of the extra food or flowers, and I’d love to give them to a place that will reuse them to help others.

You can contact Flower Power at info AT flowerpowerfoundation DOT org or call (212) 308-4930.

Elegant Invites

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Photo from Ephemera Website

We have been looking into invitation options for the wedding. According to most sites, you should order invitations 6 months before, so that’s next month for us. Plus, we wanted to send out the save-the-dates soon (we really need to get on that) and we wanted both them to have the same look as the invites.

While we wanted to do the design ourselves, we also wanted to have them letterpress printed. I just love how old this style of printing is and how beautiful it looks. We also wanted to have them printed on 100% recycled paper. After searching around online, I found it a bit difficult to meet these three requirements. It seems like more people buy designed invites and print them out themselves, than the reverse. I found plently of letterpress printing places, but most were either very expensive, did not allow for much input on design, or did not offer a 100% recycled paper option.

Then on a recommendation from theknot.com, I found Ephemera. I sent out an inquiry to this site and received a detailed, personal response from Tara Bliven, the designer. She does completely customized designs, based on what images, fonts, and colors you desire. They charge less than some letterpress sites that do no design. And they have an option for hand-made, 100% recycled paper (see image)! We received samples from them and will definitely be using them for our invites. Now we just need to get our save-the-dates done!

News flash: most things, including weddings, more expensive in NYC

I recently got engaged, and though we set a date fairly far into the future (April 2009), we have started idly looking at possible locations for the reception. This is partially due to general curiosity, as I have never had to plan a party for this many people before, and partially due to the fact that certain venues book out absurdly early in this city. What I’ve discovered so far: it’s ass-fuckingly expensive to have a large wedding reception in New York City.

If you’re having a reception with fewer than, say, 50 people, it’s not so bad – there are plenty of small, low cost venue options. If you have a larger reception, there are also ways to save, particularly if you are flexible on the day (Fridays and Sundays are cheaper than Saturdays) or the time (afternoons are cheaper than evenings). This is true elsewhere, of course, but in NYC, with limited facilities with enough capacity for larger receptions, it’s doubly true.

A good place to start for wedding planning is NY Magazine’s wedding section, and their current print issue has some awesome information, including itemized lists of four weddings from a “low” budget – $12,500 – to a high budget, topping out at $150k. They include great ideas on how to save, including specific total costs for photographers, caterers, etc. Very helpful. As one of the two brides-to-be here at MetroBlogging NYC, hopefully I’ll be able to pass on some tips for saving, as well as tips for non-traditional weddings. Because I sure as hell won’t be wearing white.

My Precious…

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Photo from brilliantearth.com

I recently experienced some trials in getting my engagement ring fitted. I was told it would be easy, since virtually any jewelry store does fittings. But you can’t take your most prized piece of jewelry (or rather the only piece of jewelry with any real value that I own) to any jewelry store. I’d heard horror stories of sketchy places replacing the stone with cubic zirconium or something. Since my lovely engagement ring was ordered online (from brilliantearth.com, a conflict-free jewelry company that specializes in Canadian diamonds), bringing it back to the place of purchase (usually the best choice) was not an option.

I first asked my married friends, most of whom also had to get their rings fitted. But they’d all gone to small jewelers in their suburban home towns and I thought the city must have ample good options.

I first decided to go with a big chain store – Macy’s. I figured they’d be cheaper than Tiffany’s, but still a known name that should do a reasonably good job. Unfortunately, their jewelry department does not do fittings for rings not purchased at the store. They do work with an independent jeweler, located on one of the top floors. I went up there and found a warehouse atmosphere with boxes everywhere. There was a small area off in a corner with a counter and glass case filled with watches, but I looked around and at the rather young, inexperienced person at the counter and I ran. My Precious!!!!
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Flowering Possibilities

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Photo from theknot.com

After making the big wedding plans (finding the place, the dress, the groom), I’ve started trying to get ahead on the rest of the planning.

So I recently had my first appointment with a florist. His name is Louis Guerra. We’d actually seen his work, since he did the flowers for a wedding that was being set up during our tour of the reception site. With an office located in Chelsea, it was very convenient to set up an appointment (though he was booked for two weeks beforehand). His office, more of a workspace as he said, was in a warehouse type building. We sat among shelves of vases and fake flowers to discuss the upcoming nuptials. I had come prepared with photos of bouquet examples, which was definitely helpful for our conversation. He totally understood what I wanted (which will be something involving irises) and seems to be a great choice for a florist.

When he asked me about center pieces, I told him how we had hoped to have low glass bowls of water with floating flowers as our center piece. Immediately, he got into the idea, getting out some bowls and vases, along with votive candles that he had in his workspace, showing me how it could look.

It was great to find someone who clicked with my flowery ideas for the wedding. Definitley a good vendor experience.

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