Friday, December 22, 2006

Still Smooth Sailing

I've been a touch concerned because I hadn't heard back from the officiant or the florist. Turns out the florist moved next door and her computers and phone were down for a week, and the officiant had the flu. Poor guy, I had that same flu a few weeks ago and it's a bad one! So everything's still smooth sailing at this point.

Tomorrow we meet with Ben to see about covering the walls. I'm hoping the price isn't hellacious or I might have to learn to live with those Warhol paintings. I guess we'll see. Ben certainly comes across as more creative than my florist so I'm excited about that as a start and wonder if I can switch florists - price depending, of course. I'm sure I'd lose my deposit, so I'll have to have the original florist do something - maybe my bouquet - to keep the cost in there reasonably.

The only matters still up in the air are: rehearsal dinner and hair and makeup.

Dave's mom is working on the rehearsal dinner. His parents have graciously offered to foot the tab for that but finding somewhere in Delray Beach that isn't over the top expensive is proving difficult. The places we have found generally don't allow kids, and we have 2 in the wedding party, so that's no good. It'll work out, I'm sure.

I found a salon in Delray Beach to do my hair and makeup but the costs were just ridiculous so I cancelled the appointments. I'm still figuring that part out. I'll have to get to work on it right after Xmas though.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Everything in Order

Everything's coming along in order for the wedding. I'm getting excited. I spoke with the officiant by phone this week. His name is Reverent Joe Rodriguez and he seemed to be nice, patient, sincere, and willing to change anything I like - even though I have no idea what I want. He had a great sense of humor and I thnk he'll be a great addition to the wedding. Reverend Rodriguez was referred to us by Seaside Weddings. They will also be providing our photographer, once we get them a deposit, which will be most likely today or tomorrow. We met the photographer, Mark, and looked at a bunch of his images. Dave liked his artistic style and Dave's the one to know these things so I left that decision to him. Mark also seemed really easy to work with and to know just what needs to be done and when, so we're comfortable hanging around with him all day. One image we saw in his sample books was puzzling to me. It was of the side of a bride's face, her forehead, cheek, earring, and a part of her hair. It was as if it was taken really close up. I said "I don't get it." Dave gave me an impatient glance. Mark explained it was "photojournalism" as if that was supposed to explain something to me. Perhaps I'll never understand, but that's fine. All I know is I don't need a big picture of the side of my face.

OH! And exciting news: we found someone to cover those hideous Andy Warhol paintings! We're meeting with Ben from Absolutely Fabulous Affairs next week. Anayda, our contact at Sundy House, said she had a bride plan her wedding in the Warhol room, and the day of her wedding, 2 hours before, she saw the paintings and had just assumed they'd be taken down. Can you imagine? Yikes! So she had been using Ben as her wedding planner and he whisked in and had them covered in no time. He must keep 200 feet of tulle in his trunk at all times. Anyhow, I'm confident it'll look great. I have no idea how much it'll cost me, but at least the pictures will be right.

We also picked out tuxes last weekend, so they guys are covered. Dave's going to look so sharp in a tux. He picked a jacket that I would not have picked for him, but looks great on. I hope everyone who has to wear them likes what we chose. Nothing girly or anything, but I want everyone happy and having a good time.

Invitations went out last week also. Every RSVP we've gotten back so far as been positive and no one has said they can't make it, so that's encouraging.

It seems, at this point, there's almost nothing left to do but decide on centerpieces and pay a bunch of bills.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Alright, so we registered for wedding gifts. Both Dave and I agreed that with an established household, we should not register. We would rather people gift us with checks that we plan to put toward our honeymoon (which we'd like to take on our first anniversary) but our friends have insisted that we register.

So, we registered for things that are either on our list of things that need replacing around the house (towels, sheets, can opener, dishes), things that sound really cool (a massage chair), and general things that just need to get done (planters for landscaping). Do we NEED any of that stuff? No. We're set. We hope no one who is invited will feel obligated in the least to bring a gift. But if people really want to bring a gift and want some direction, we're registered.

In case you're reading this post just to see where we're registered, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Lowe's.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Not a girl

I'm so not a girlie girl. However, my friend wants me to have a bridal shower and has offered to throw one for me with the help of my best man (no maid of honor for me) and my mom. My mom said she was game. My best friend said "um, I don't know the first thing about this stuff." To which I told him he didn't have to, and he'd probably not even attend as it was a girl thing. He seemed relieved. So my mom was saying that if I'm not into the girlie parts of it, she didn't want to plan stuff I wouldn't like. And I appreciate that. But... If it were up to me, if I were planning everything for the wedding, I wouldn't bother with a bridal shower. It's something my friend wants to do, and wants to do for me, so how could I say no to such a sweet sentiment? And I'm sure I'll have a good time. It's just out of my normal realm of knowledge. I've only been to one of these and I think as far as bridal showers go, it wasn't "typical" so I have no idea what to expect. I'm going to keep an open mind and just see what it's like. I dig a party, so it'll be a good time either way.

Now I have to decide if I'm going to register. I don't want to register. To me, the idea of a registry when you have an established house is presumptious. Sure, there are things I need to replace, but that's my responsibility as a working adult. We've been in this house for over two years and we really don't need anything. The things we do need, we wouldn't know what brand or whatever until we shopped for it. I get the idea of registering if you're just moving out on your own, or just moving into a new place, something like that. But we're set. So it seems like a greedy thing to me. My friend who wants to throw the shower says that registering is necessary so you don't get wierd gifts. I understand her point, but if we don't register, maybe people will just throw a check in a card toward the honeymoon we're planning for next year. That's my hope. She disagrees with me and says I'll get strange candleholders and such that people like that I might not. I dunno. I really feel strongly against this whole registry thing at this point in my life, but she makes valid arguments. I'll have to get with Dave on it and see what he thinks. I'm pretty sure he's opposed to registering too though.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Last night Dave and I went to Sundy House for a tasting to choose what the menu items will be. OMG yummy!!! We tried two salads, both of which were delicious, and settled on one we thought was more of a crowd pleaser and had a crisper flavor. And we tried the two entrees that sounded best to us, both were terrific. I was nervous going in that we only got to try two things, and what if one or both was not good, we'd be stuck choosing something else without having tried it. But it all worked out great. We're serving: beef tenderloin with a cabernet sauvignon reduction, garlic mashed potatoes, wild mushrooms, and asparagus; and pan seared grouper, risotto with english pea and lime buerre blanc sauce, and carrots. I even liked the carrots, and I don't like carrots usually. We tried the beef with some kind of tomato risotto but it was not at all good and mashed potatoes sounded much better. We have no doubt they'll be delicious mashed potatoes since everything else was so tasty. Plus there'll be an open bar, cake, coffee, tea, the salads. We're hoping people will try the grouper. It's what I'll be having, although the beef was really good too. Dave said we'll have different things and share a few bites. It'll be a miracle if my dress isn't covered in food by the end of the meal.

The restraunt is the kind of place where, as Dave described it, they cater to "old money" and I've never been in that kind of place before. The waiters hovered a lot. They were always near to offer wine suggestions and refill your water and scrape the crumbs off the table. It was odd. I wouldn't eat there I don't think. And it's pretty expensive. Well, expensive for my budget anyhow. But the view is beautiful at the outdoor tables. And I'd guess they hover less outdoors than inside the restaurant proper.

Oh, we had a minor dilemma at the end of the meal. I was ready to leave and Dave asked if we should tip. We had great service, but I didn't think you tipped at a tasting. We sat around for a few minutes trying to figure it out. They'd brought us wine and coffee and dessert, things we weren't there for, so we wanted to tip, but neither of us had cash and they never brought a check. So we left after a little while. But we felt bad.


I know I've been a slacker lately and haven't updated the blog. Thanks to those of you who poked me and asked what was new.

Last week I went to Sundy House to see it all set up for a wedding. The room was set for 39 guests (almost 10 more than we're expecting) so it was not the same layout, but I got to see the staff working on things and how efficient everything seemed. I also got to see how it looked with the DJ set up by the pool for cocktail hour and decided I definitely didn't want to do that.

I did not like the floral arrangements they used. Rather, it would have been fine if you couldn't see all the floral foam in the glass bowls. But it gave me a sense of my florist's statement that the arrangements I wanted (tall vases with clouds of baby's breath blooming out of them) was going to be "too heavy" in that space. Once I saw all the tables in there, I knew she was right. Drat. So back to the drawing board (and up with the price) for the flowers. The florist had an idea and I'm going to ask her to mock up something for me to see. I don't have a distinctive idea at this point.

Here's some pictures of the site all set up for that wedding. I'm a little concerned about the tables for two reasons. First, I have crappy spatial skills and can't picture the room how it'll look without seeing it just like it'll be. I have to rearrange the furniture to see how the room will look. So I'm going to have to just trust that the site knows how to arrange things best and leave it alone from there. Second, if you notice the pictures of the tables, the tablecloths are not ironed. I will drop an email to the site coordinator and just ask that they make sure to iron them. It must have just gotten missed, but I don't want it to look shabby and I think those creases look crappy.

See the picture of those ugly Warhols? Damn I hate them! I took my friend with me to see the site and she's on the same page as me about the art. It's nice that the art is original and valuable, but if it was Picasso I'd feel the same. If it was Dali, I'd be thrilled. Sigh. We got a new number for a place that has covered them in the past. Hopefully it won't cost an arm and a leg. Even if it does, it might be worth it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dress, check.

Yesterday I went for my second dress fitting. I didn't know what to expect but they had my dress finished and pressed and said "take it home". So I made room in the closet and it's all finished. I'm glad to have that detail done. I figure as long as we have a place to hold it, something to wear, and something to either eat or drink, it'll all work out. And the dress, check.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Site Confirmation

We went last weekend to meet with Sundy House's coordinator Anayda and have her briefly show us around. One thing we've learned after a few trips there, we must leave well in advance of when we're supposed to arrive as we're always late. We think Anayda must hate us by now. We were 45 minutes late this time. Every time we drive there, this is a fatal accident on the highway in front of us. It's ridiculous.

So we went this weekend and decided that we will definitely use the pool site. It will give us the more formal feel that we want and will provide seating for everyone, where the gazebo site was more informal and everyone would have to stand and shuffle around for flow of traffic, which we didn't want. The pool is also a little more secluded as it is not near the restaurant and we like that also. See photos of the pool site under the post It's Official.

This week's tasks include: finding an officiant, picking a top several photographers to choose from, going to the second fitting for my dress, and meeting the florist at the site to work out final details. I'm very much hoping she (the florist) will be able to cover the art in the reception room and will have some ideas for me.

Other than that, I'm working on my friend's bridal shower which takes place in two weekends.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Site Revisited

We went last night to revisit the Sundy House and look at the gazebo space (shown here) and the pool space (shown in the post It's Official) and I think we're agreed on the pool space. Dave has won me over with logistics as it doesn't seem as if the gazebo site can fit everyone comfortably. We're going to have another meeting with the site coordinator and ask to see some photos of actual weddings in both spaces for a more realistic idea of the setup. But, at this point, it is looking like the pool space will win.

We got out contract in the email today. I saw a wedding show where the woman said "You will write checks and pass out as you finish signing your name." I think I understand where she's coming from. At least the deposit is reasonable and there's some time before the balance comes due.

Today we'll likely go to the tux place and pick out styles. Happily, this is one expense that we will not incur much of. I do get the impression that Dave and I are in different places with our idea of the tuxes, but ultimately the decision will fall on what looks best on the body and is comfortable. It'll be nice to see him dressed to the nines. It's rare so I'll enjoy that, even just to play at it for the afternoon.

And just to round out the post, here's a picture of the shoes that I went with, the champagne colored ones that are comfortable. They're still a 3 1/2 inch heel, but a chunkier heel (although you can't tell in the picture) so I can actually walk in them.

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I had my first fitting today with the alterations people at David's Bridal. I figure since they sold me the dress and their store manufactured it, they should know how to alter it. I stood and stood and turned this way and that way and stood some more. Once the dress was all hemmed up, the train is a lot longer than I thought it would be. I saw it all as one dress and figured that if I lost over a foot off the length, they'd take up the back a foot also, but no can do based on the embroidery. So now the train is quite a bit longer than I had in my head but it'll be fine. It'll only be long for the ceremony then it'll be bustled up to move in. It's just fancier than I expected with the longer train. I also found shoes today that are comfortable and were a very close match to the embroidery in the dress. I got a fantastic deal on the shoes so it makes up in part for the alterations cost. I go back for a second fitting in two weeks. We'll have to start on a style for the tuxes soon so we can lock in the sale they're having next door at After Hours. Included is a picture of me trying on my "bling", sans makeup. I'd include a picture of the dress (as I had the shop get a picture of the length of the train so I can get used to it), but I don't want to ruin the surprise. I'm still debating wearing the veil but will probably wear it for the ceremony and pictures.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

It's Official

The Sundy House confirmed the date so we're all set for the 28th of January. Just 110 days from now. Crazy stuff! These photos are of the pool site at Sundy House. We're deciding whether to use the pool site or the gazebo site. I sent out email Save the Date information. I guess it's a little cheesy to do it by email, but the invitations will be printed and mailed, of course. But we have friends coming in from Norway that need advance notice for a flight and that kind of thing. I'm excited that they will probably be able to make it. I was actually pretty bummed out that we wouldn't be able to have them with us since we'd made the date so close and flights can be quite expensive. Their little daughter is going to be quite the world traveller.

DJ Gary is available and Honey Bunches florist is available so we're all set for the most part. I just have to get a company to put up screens in front of the art in the room and that's it. I guess I'll start booking them this week to make sure I can get that date available. Oh, and Dave's in charge of picking a photographer, but that should be easy for him since he has a keen eye for those things and knows what I like in photography and what doesn't do it for me. I think we have similar taste in that so I have no doubt it'll work out fine. Plus, I expect everyone will bring their cameras and we'll have tons of candids to choose from too.

It's interesting to plan a very small wedding. I think I'm more involved in making sure that everyone is catered to than I would be in a larger wedding. I can make sure that dietary needs are met and that the space is comfortable and has smoking areas and that kind of thing. If it were 100 people or 200 people, I wouldn't be as concerned about it and would expect people to fend for themselves. Also, I can take the time to personalize everything and really make it special, which then makes it special for us. Everyone that is to be invited is everyone we really want to be there, so it's like an exclusive party with just our closest friends and family. I think that's the perfect way to do a wedding, at least my wedding.

Today I figured out how I want the favors and I'm really happy with the way they came out. I need to get back to work on the scrapbook before I run out of creative steam.


Today I'm working on two projects for the wedding. One is a scrapbook that I'm putting together that will be on display at the wedding if I have it finished in time. The other is the favors. I have the ideas, it's just a matter of translating what's in my head to what will actually be. Here's a similar thought to what I have in mind.

And here's your photo for no reason at all. This is actually some koi at Morikami.


I forgot to include alterations in my wedding costs list. Ah well, it has to be done. Darned tall people and their extra material! I called the shop where I bought the dress to ask how far in advance I need to make an appointment for alterations and she said three months. Yikes! That's now. So I set an appointment for later this week. Unfortunately, payment is also due the same date. Drat. The one problem is I don't have shoes that I want to wear with the dress yet, but need to have them decided on by the fitting date so I can get the right height in them. I did buy a pair I really liked that are kind of a champagne color, which I thought would be a good match, but are much darker than the dress. Not that anyone will really see the shoes as the dress is floor length. I'm just not sure they'll be comfortable to wear all day as I only wore them once. I guess I have some time to break them in a bit more. Dave says there's no need to wear heels as everyone already knows I'm short. I told him it's not about fooling anyone, it's about being 3 1/2 inches taller.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Can you be too organized? I suppose so.

My friend Billie (who I mentioned is marrying in November) has this kind of wedding philosophy that eveything will work out perfectly with little or no intervention on her part. I told her, after her menu tasting, that I did not share that philosophy but that I enjoyed it. I told her that I was her bitchy friend at these wedding things and didn't mind being the one to say "What can you throw in for free?" or "But you said it was going to cost less last time" because at the end, the wedding coordinator will forget me as the obnoxious friend and Billie still gets to be the shining bride - but at the same time, she gets what she needs out of the deal. I said I would likely be completely anal-rententive about the entire thing to the last detail to make sure it all came off well. She replied "Noooooooo!" I think that was sarcasm, haha. But I figure if everything's all planned out to the T, there's little margin for things to go wrong. And by the time they do, nothing I can do about it anyhow.

I find the planning process fun, which is good because otherwise it would be a chore, and there's a lot to plan, so it'd be a lot of chores.

One thing I like about this site is they include the cake by Sweet Arts, which is a real cake bakery, not just the site's on-site cake maker - although I'm sure there are some fantastic and undiscovered on-site cake makers, but it's comforting to see a portfolio of cool cakes. I like the idea of flowers on the cake although I don't have a clear idea of what I want. I'm sure there will be a book to flip through at some point and one will say "eat me" to us.

We get to do a cake tasting in addition to the menu tasting. Yum!


I'd like to have guests dedicate a song to us. We'd make these into CDs that would have a nice custom made cover (I love my Photo Printer) and give them as favors. We'd also play that list during the cocktail hour to make it kind of personalized. I think that'd be cute if enough people respond.

The song Unforgettable by Natalie and Nat King Cole will be our first dance song. I think it's just beautiful and says what I need it to say.

I'm trying to come up with ideas for a father/daughter and/or mother/son dance song. I was thinking Billie Joel's Tell Her About It, but it's not quite the right mood.

Oh, and our processional (walking down the aisle) song will be the theme from the Princess Bride, Storybook Love by Mark Knopff. Why the theme from Princess Bride? Several reasons.
1- It it one of the best movies ever made. Don't argue with me. It is. Top five.
2- The scene where the woman boos Buttercup always makes Dave think of my mom, which cracks us up. No, not because my mom is some kind of hag or anything, but because she believes in love and she'd speak out like that.
3- I told my friend I'd cry during the wedding and she said to think of the scene where Peter Cook does the ceremony and I'd just laugh. Everytime I think of "mawage" it makes me laugh.

I've got no image to give you here, so here's a completely random one. Orchids will be our flowers. But not this flat kind, the bigger ones and the tiny ones.

Coming Along Quickly

It's all coming along quickly now. It's nearly hilarious that we were dating for so long - longer than many people are married - and once we get engaged, we jump right into it. As I stated in an email to a friend, I feel like a snowball down a hill, or rather, like a toddler on a sled, for a happier image.

I called the florist and the DJ and booked them for the 28th. We wanted to look into getting some Shoji screens (Japanese changing screens) to cover the art with, which will keep an Asian flair to the room that I prefer and cover the wall art. Oh, I didn't tell you about the wall art. We're to be in the Warhol Room, which is their smallest room. Fantastic, but I don't think much of Andy Warhol's art. It certainly doesn't say "wedding" in that room. This image is of the left wall. The right wall has another two large square images of maybe Lennon or someone. The colors are bright and it's nice that they have original art, but I have something different in mind. We can't take the images down, but we can cover them. Now to find a company that can cover them tastefully.

Site 2 - Sundy House

I went online to The Knot and looked for local vendors that had some indication that they were gardens. That same site is where I searched for the florist that Billie chose and I'll most likely use. It's a good resource. Anyhow, I found a few and started calling around. I made an appointment to see the Sundy House, a historcal house with garden space that also does weddings and other events. We nearly drove past it at first. It looks like an out of place old house in a modern downtown area. When we got inside the lobby, it was nothing to look at and we kept giving each other the "you're sure this is the place?" look. The coordinator arrived and showed us around and it had charm and the kind of understated wow-factor that we've been talking about. I think it's perefect. Dave wanted to see one more place just so we aren't settling.

There were only two other places on my list. One was Zen House in Miami. Strike one is that it's in Miami, and South Miami to boot. Driving in Miami is hectic and I want to avoid hectic on the wedding day, for everyone including us and guests. The second strike is I filled out their online inquiry form and instead of calling me back to set an appointment or give me information, the emailed me saying "call for more information". Well, if I'd wanted to do that, I'd have just called in the first place. I thought that was snotty and I crossed them off. The other place is Bonnett House, another historical house with a huge garden to the tune of they give tours of it. Billie said it's beautiful and I'm inclined to believe her, but I'd have to see it, of course. I called for an appointment and the coordinator offered me only one date from January to April and then emailed me the price list. It was Morikami expensive, so that's out without even having seen it.

Honestly, I loved Sundy House. Not the house part, but the garden and how everything is done on site. It's the feel I've been looking for and I'm pleased. Now to see when the florist and DJ and location are available and start booking it. Hopefully they're available on the same date. We're looking at a Sunday night, around sunset, probably. We're planning to stay the night there in the guest rooms. There are only 11 rooms and each is decorated in a different theme. We didn't get to see the insides during the tour, but this is a picture of one of them from the outside.

Site 1 - Morikami

Dave and I both share a fondness for Asian culture, specifically Japanese. I'd twice visited the Morikami Gardens and had my heart set on there as the place to host our wedding. I hadn't been there in many years, and Dave had never been there at all, but we both felt the atmosphere would be serene and not stuffy or pretentious. We both wanted something small and outdoors so we thought it sounded good. Last week we went for a tour and found out it wasn't going to work for us. For an evening reception, the price of the site alone was our entire budget and that didn't include any catering or table and chair rentals.

For a daytime reception, the event would be reasonably priced, but we were severely limited in ambiance and it seemed like a no-big-deal kind of a thing which isn't my idea of wedding. I plan to do this only once, so I'd like to do it right and not feel that we had to make it work just to do it in a certain location. I went home feeling grumpy that the place I'd thought of all along wasn't going to fit for us.

My friend, Billie, is having a wedding in November on the beach. I'm sure it'll be beautiful and a good time. There are no shortage of beach locations in South Florida, and it would be no problem to find a similar venue to host a wedding at, or even at the same site she's using as the event coordinator has been pretty good to her so far. But to me, I grew up on the beaches of California and have lived on the beaches of Florida since then and the beach doesn't do it for me. I had a garden setting in my head since before I chose the dress and I feel the want to keep a garden setting. So Morikami is out. But I'll keep looking.

Oh, and I did find a florist. Billie decided to use this one and, having met Carol, the florist, I think I'll end up using her too. We also have a DJ who is a friend of a friend and does my friends' Halloween party every year. Two vendors down. None paid yet, but two secured.


Dave and I have been together for eight or nine years. Nothing to sneeze at. He proposed in July (the 22nd if you're keeping score) of this year. We set a date in the first few months of 2008, but it turned out neither of us were very happy having to wait a whole year out for it. So we changed our date to this coming year. That didn't leave us a lot of time, but since I already have the dress and some basic ideas, it seems like there's not a lot to do after that. I hear you laughing. We'll see.

So yeah, I bought the dress before we got engaged. I know it's crazy, but it was only a few months before we got engaged, and the engagement was something we'd been talking about for several years, so I knew it was coming. I bought the dress on sale at David's Bridal. The image here is a close up of the pattern on my dress in ivory (not white like in the link). Just wait till you see the back. The bustle is the selling point. I love the dress and it fits like a glove. I never knew something that took up so much closet space could be so comfortable. It even motivated me to clean out my closet just to have room to fit it in there. I'll have to have it altered to make it shorter, though. Apparently they made it for persons of "normal" height.

The wedding party will consist of the bride and groom (you had that part figured out, though, didn't you?), two best men (my best friend Eric and Dave's brother Rob), and two ringbearers (my son Charlie who is 14 and Dave's nephew Robbie who is 15). That's it. No dresses to buy, no extra flowers, just rented tuxes. No mess, no fuss, no drama queens.

Next comes the site.