Friday, November 28, 2008

what's next?

Supposedly we've gotten the hardest part down--the venue. Now everything else is supposed to fall into place. That's what people say. Yeah, right.
what colors should we pick?
who should we invite?
who should be in the wedding party?
how much can we spend on photography?
should we even bother with a videographer?

I wish there was a wheel of weddings I could spin that would tell me the answers to those questions like that little paper game we used to make when we were in grade school. You would make a little box that fit over your fingers and write some numbers and colors on each panel. Then it basically worked like a magic 8 ball. You would ask a question and get an answer.

One thing I know for sure, this is the guy I want to marry. Everything else is extras.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

so close and yet so far

The search for the perfect venue has taken us all over New York City and parts of Westchester too. It's been challenging, educational, tiresome, exciting--all those things. Needless to say we are both exhausted and I don't think I'd be stretching it to say neither of us likes the prospect of having to look at another place. I think we've seen 14 or 15 in all--and that's in person. Not to mention searching the internet and ruling out places we thought were in appropriate.

The wedding industry is big business and there are some industry standards. However, I have learned that you HAVE to get out of your house and look at the venue. You can't just look at their website and talk to them over the phone. Well you can but if you're picky (and we are picky) you'll be sorry in the end. One place that stated it had outdoor facilities available for the ceremony showed us a patio, which would have been fine, except it was about 100 feet away from a major street--exit off the interstate 87 North. I know people like to gawk at weddings, but I didn't want to be responsible for slow traffic off a highway exit. Another place had a little gazebo perched up on a hill that looked like a sheer drop into the Hudson River. Yet another place was trying to put 15 of our guests into a space that was the same size of my office cubicle. It's a large cubicle, but still.

One place we liked was about to start major construction that we couldn't be sure would have been finished by the time our date rolled around. They said May and we're saying August. But you know how contractors are. Still, that's where our friend Jelly, was working so we think maybe those contractors know what's good for them.

The prices mostly varied within 20 dollars of each other for the dates we looked at. But what you were getting for those prices made it necessary to sit down and do the math in order to have a good comparison. You could have 6 appetizers and three courses here for $55, vs. 5 appetizers three courses and a free cake over there for $75. Or you could have the whole shebang for $110 complete with ice sculptures, crudites (you know, veggies and dip), antipasto, and intermezzo (a small dish of something served in between courses such as sorbet before a heavy course of beef, fish, chicken--it cleanses the palate etc.) By the way, all our prices quotes were without alcohol. Don't think weddings in NYC are cheap.

All banquet and catering managers are not created equal. Some people were great on following up and paying attention to detail. Some were polished and very professional. One guy we were sure had just narrowly avoided a career as Jelly from Analyze This but we liked him. That was the thing. Some of these people, we just didn't like. Two guys in particular seemed to think their facility was too good for us. And in my mind I'm thinking, "hey, maybe you're right. How about I just take my cash somewhere it's appreciated". And other places where we just couldn't afford it, they were very polite, professional, understanding, never snooty, and even suggesting other places that we might want to look at. One guy, he should be teaching hospitality courses at the community college he was so good.

So we think we've finally settled on the place we were going to make our deposit at the other night. We took the contract home for closer inspection. We even showed it to uninvolved parties. But we weren't sure about dealing with a manager that seemed a little too snooty for our liking. At this point, I'm a little frustrated with looking but willing to look further. At the same time, I think this place is a good value, good location, and suits our style. So maybe I'll save up my patience and spread it out over the next 8 months rather than starting back at square one.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We had a date and now we have a new one!

The more and more I think about the wedding the more I would rather just elope. I have said this idea on a few occasions and she has done the same as well. When either of us mention it we both tell the other that let's go for the wedding. We are equal opposites at the right times. What have I learned so far in this process? Venues are always cheaper on the weekdays than the weekends. Some of the them provide three entrees others will allow our guests to choose from two. The wedding will be more expensive than going to City Hall. The most important thing that I've learned is that this is the first true test of the relationship where we both must compromise. Have we got into arguments over some of these decisions? Sure we have. Does that worry me? Absolutely not. It means we are both strong headed people and in the end we always talk about what's the most logical thing to do. There's one thing that I look forward to besides finally marrying my beautiful lady, that has to be the wedding cake. Throughout the last few weeks I think I've grown a healthy obsession with wedding cakes. Maybe I just love cakes in general. Oh maybe I should mention that we do have a date and finally a choice of a venue. Now to get the photographer, videographer and florist. The fun never ends.

Friday, November 7, 2008

it could all be so simple

This is a centerpiece I found on a website called save on crafts. They sell vases, and many many other craft supplies. I liked this centerpiece because it's so simple to put together. I think a little bear grass submerged inside the vase would really bring it off nicely. One could definitely get by with fewer flowers too.
I found a lot of great options at and their prices are the best so far from online flower companies I've looked at.
This is one part of the wedding planning I'm looking forward to (aside from the whole getting married part).

Next up are two pics of bouquets I found on the Martha Stewart website. Tulips and callas vs. delphiniums. Those are all beautiful.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

alternative to flowers

Visiting a botanical garden this weekend I saw an interesting idea. But I forgot to take a picture.
The location where we will likely have our wedding and reception has a lovely wedding gazebo if you will. It is preceded by a constructed wooden arch. I don't want to decorate with the usual tulle but with ribbons--lots and lots of ribbon. Sort of maypole meets Eastern Temple. None of those images are mine. the first image is mine--I finally went by, took a photo and uploaded it.