March 29, 2009

Worry Wart

That's me! I've been so stress free and not hard on myself at this point. I'm not stressing about the wedding actually coming together or whether things will be perfect. Mr. Swan and I will be married so the perfection will happen for sure. BUT I can't help shake some worries from my mind as we stare down the wedding.

1. Many of my friends and family won't make it. - A large chunk of my family and quite a few of my friends live very far away: Hawaii, Paris, London, the Caribbean. Right now, it's looking like most of our guest list will be primarily Mr. Swan's guests. That's not a bad thing, but I do want to be surrounded by the people that are particularly special to me as well. Plus, we're experiencing a baby boom amongst our friends. 

2. We won't make our minimum. -  (See above) WHAT?!! Usually people are worried that they'll have more guests than they can handle! Obviously we haven't sent out invitations yet, but I'm worried that a combination of newborn babies, extensive travel, etc., will keep people away. It's not like I am starting with a ton of people on our ever-changing guest list anyway. I have a very small group of people that I would call friends. Many of them are not married or have significant others so that adds some weird dynamics to the guest list (the whole plus one/"and guest" thing has been kind of confusing for me). Mr. Swan is the opposite; lots of friends all who are married or in long-term dating relationships. I'm not very close to my father's side of my family, many of whom live outside of the country. Most people have the exact opposite issue...yikes! I think we'll  be fine, but it's a worry. 

3. The wedding will be boring. I don't know where I'm getting this from, but I have this weird fear that people will sit around, not dance and stare at each other. Mr. Swan's friends are loud; mine will dance, so where this is coming from I don't know. Everyone coming will be so different from each other that I guess I fear that they won't mix. I've always been the world's most nervous host. Since this is probably the biggest party I'll ever throw, I guess I should not be surprised that I've got major nerves. 

4. Money, money, money. - Need I say more? We're fine but still...I feel like we've been pretty economical so far and this is still not turning out to be very cheap. Sigh....

5. My hair/make-up conundrum. I'll leave this for a separate posts. 

Do (Did) you have any fears/worries about the wedding?

March 25, 2009

Semper Ubi Sub Ubi

Translation: Always Wear Underwear

For those of you who are dorky like me, a former geek who studied six years of Latin, you'll know that that is the most incorrect Latin ever.  Don't ask me what actual Latin is 'cause I couldn't tell you at this point. 

Anyhoo....I started down the path to cheesiness so that I could talk about my undergarment shopping experience. Like many NYC brides I went to Bra*Tenders in Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan, and I have to say that what I've read about the store was correct. The lovely woman who helped me (I'm soo sorry that I am now blanking on her name, which is a shame because she was so knowledgeable). She looked at me and pretty much knew what size I was. No measuring tape, i.e. MAD SKILLZ, yo! Aaaahhhh my size...well let's just say that the statement that most women are not wearing their correct bra size is indeed correct! What size am I? That I will not reveal, BUT I will say that I never even knew that my size existed! 

I was told that while I am lucky to be relatively slender, I am what's called "full breasted" (I guess I can't deny that). Most American makers of bras assume that if you are "full breasted" that you are also full-figured or have a wider back. Au contraire...Apparently women in the UK and other parts of Europe have a wider range of bra size options than we do. Boo Victoria's Secret! (Hmmm...maybe the lack of size options is the secret.) Dear American bra makers, give us more choice! 

After all of these deep revelations, I splurged on two bras AND a bustier for my gown. I rationalized by reminding myself that when you find something that will help you look great you shouldn't hesitate too much if it's within your budget. Plus, Mr. Swan has been hearing me complaining about bra shopping way too much in the past year, and I knew he'd be pleased (he was). 

(not my bustier but still cute, look here for source)

Now the million dollar question is whether I should buy Spanx or something like that (I don't really think I have a pooch though). Hmm...

I'm not the only one who's had a good Bra*Tenders experience. 

By the way, ladies out there with fuller cup sizes, take a look at UK designer, Fantasie (please don't count it out based on the spelling).


Echo, Echo....

Hey there!

I thought I would do a bit of an experiment: If you're out there reading this blog, please say hello. If you have any suggestions of things or concepts you'd like to see discussed, things you are interested in knowing about my wedding or weddings in general, please let me know.  I like to think I have a readership... but I'm not sure if I do. Maybe it's me feeling a bit lonely as I sit here in my hotel room not sure when I'll be back home from another week of traveling for work (*&#^!* New York state budget talks!).


Miss CPF 

March 22, 2009

The Write Stuff

Let's put this next topic in the "I didn't think I would really care about this for my wedding" category: calligraphy.

For the "streamlined, cut out everything not necessary" bride like me, I should be getting our computer printer ready for some lovely mailing labels. Yet there I was about a month ago looking and practically salivating over calligraphy options for invitations. 

"Is calligraphy necessary? Heck no! Will your invites be welcomed by open arms by your guests? But ofcourse!" This was my internal dialogue as I realized that I really wanted this item for our wedding, and I began the search for affordable calligraphy options.

I went to one of my new favorite sites, Etsy, and searched through pages and pages of lovely calligraphers. I knew that I wanted the look to not be too frilly and formal since that would not fit our daytime, bright-colored, modern wedding. I wanted something that was maybe a bit more whimsical or contemporary than something with a ton of scripty flourishes (nothing wrong with that by the way). 

I finally found Fran of Little Flower Calligraphy through Etsy. I feel in love with the quirky yet pretty Social Butterfly script below. I found her prices to be fair, and since we are not going crazy on the invitations I was pretty excited that we could afford her. 

Now I am the first to remind myself that I am probably the only one who will even care that we will have specially hand written envelopes, but come on. I should be allowed to have the bridal genes kick in sometimes, no? :)

For the marrieds and the planners out there, was there anything surprising that you realized you wanted for your wedding during the course of the planning? 

Does anyone have a favorite calligrapher? 

March 20, 2009

Meet the Parents

Uh oh! As you can see from the title, we are planning on having Mr. CPF's parents meet Mommy CPF this weekend for the first time. I am a bit nervous. Mr. CPF and I come from VERY different families not just culturally but also in the way we were raised. Mr. CPF's parents have been married for over 35 years, whereas I was raised by a very amazing single mother. Mr. CPF's upbringing was much less strict and mine much more.  FMIL CPF was able to have the opportunity to stay at home during portions of Mr. CPF's childhood while Mommy CPF worked. In short, we've had drastically different family experiences.  

Add to it all that we've got parents who have led very different lives. My mother spent most of her formative years in a small island in the Carribbean before moving to NYC. Mr. CPF's parents have spent most of their lives in New England save for a few years here and there in NYC (though not while together).   I'm a bit worried about them not having much in common to talk about. My mother immerses herself in her church activities and loves to bake and sing. Mr. CPF's parents hike and do other outdoor activities together. 

Plus Mommy CPF can be quite quiet and shy when she doesn't really know a person well. I hope she'll be able to open up this weekend. FMIL CPF is quite gregarious, so we'll see how the mixing goes. Then FFIL CPF also is another ingredient in the mix. He's a sweetie. 

I'm going to not think about whether things will go right or wrong and rather focus on some of this cleaning I've got to do before receiving our visitors. Yikes!

Were you nervous when you got your parents together for the first time?

March 17, 2009

Color Me Happy

I never thought I would be one of those brides that got into the idea of wedding colors...but I have! By the way, I have surprised myself with the things I've ended up caring and not caring about during this process, so I guess that I shouldn't be surprised again.

I knew that I wanted bold colors after deciding on our venue. Battery Gardens is a very stark white, light, airy place that uses all white linens. While I am sure that I could have brought in my own linens, I definitely wanted to have a bold color pop against all of that white. To me, bold became more important since we chose not to have a nightime wedding. It wouldn't make much sense getting lighting for a reception at 1pm, so I wanted our color choices to project brightness for us. I decided that whatever I chose I really wanted our colors to stand out.

Also at that time, one of the coolest weddings I'd ever seen online had a stark white with nice lime green accents that looked so simple and modern. I had even thought for second that I would use green or yellow and white as colors because I was seeing all of these inspiring weddings using them in such great ways. I was intrigued by contrasts (kinda like me and Mr. Swan, no?)

Then one day early on, I got inspiration from (of all places) a wedding magazine! It's probably the one thing that has inspired me from a wedding mag. What did I end up choosing? Drum roll......

Hot Pink & Orange

Okay, that text isn't really hot pink. I've actually had to train my eye to see that not all hot pinks are really hot pink (Yikes, I just wrote that, didn't I?) Some are more purple-ish and are closer to fuschia and some are like the pink above (Yes, I'm officially a weirdo). I knew that I wanted a deeper darker pink, which I have been able to find and distinguish (at least I'll finish this planning with some talents!).

Also just to let you know, I'm not a girly girl. I usually HATE pink, but not my rich, darker, bold pink that I'll be using. I guess the orange was not too much of a stretch since I've been incorporating it into our home decor. Needless to say, Mommy Swan gave me a look when I mentioned the colors, but she tends to do that. :) I definitely have had some reservations about my choice at some moments, especially since I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but I figure why not be bold?

If you can't visualize what these colors may look like together here's a great inspiration board incorporating them together courtesy of this here lovely blog.

Unfortunately, my dress is not that fabulous :) I'm completely feelin' those shoes (too bad I'm wearing flats).

Anyone else color-obsessed?

March 16, 2009

Hair Idea

My hair is much longer than this, but I love curly locs. I need to do a more extensive hair post. Hmm...I might even need to actually think about how I'm going to wear my about that? More to do.

March 14, 2009

Just In Case You Were Wondering

I realized that after all of this time I've never written about our venue, Battery Gardens. We'll be having our ceremony outside (at least it's the plan...please pray to the weather gods for us) with the restaurant facing the New York harbor. While I love the water view (Mr. Swan and I are really coastal people), it does not have the "Va VaVoom" view of the River Cafe in Brooklyn (we looked there too), but I think it's pretty nonetheless.

Above are some photos courtesy of Mrs. Firefly. (Thank you, Mrs. Firefly!!) If you look really hard in the photo on the left, you can see the Statue of Liberty.

In case of rain, we'll have the ceremony upstairs. I'm still thinking nice dry warm thoughts. The upstairs portion of the restaurant will also serve as our reception space. Since we're having a summer wedding, I wanted our guests to have the option to be able to have access to outdoor space to enjoy the sunshine, which they can enjoy on its lovely balcony. Here's the reception area set up for Mrs. Firefly's reception. It's my understanding that you might get them to budge with the setup and be a bit more creative. We'll see....

We ended up picking Battery Gardens for many reasons:

1) We loved its sleek, modern look (Mr. Swan and I are definitely lovers of modern, clean lines).

2) The easy to access (The Staten Island Ferry and two subway lines are right next door) and very pretty location.

3) We didn't need to look at multiple places for a ceremony and reception, and we didn't need to look for a caterer (if you haven't realized I can be pretty lazy on the wedding planning front).

4) We didn't have to rent or bring in items (see above re: laziness).

5) The size of the space was right for the price (although we did compromise on a daytime wedding).

Were there any features that you were looking for your venue search?

By the way, here is a link to another beautiful Battery Gardens wedding and another.

March 12, 2009

Let's Get Physical

I am a bride, which means like many other brides I am thinking about how I will look on the big day. I will say that I eat pretty healthful foods. We eat/keep wholesome nutritious food around the houses.  When I don't eat well, my body starts getting angry at me (and I can feel it). The hardest thing for me has always been incorporating exercise into my daily life. While paying for the gym is usually a motivator, I have been known to go extended periods of time letting my membership go. 

This year I've got even more challenges to staying on the healthy food and fitness track. Starting in January I have been travelling every week for work and I am away about 2-3 nights per week. I travel with my co-workers who are two dudes who definitely don't need to fit into a mermaid-esque wedding dress in several months. Try attempting to figure out what's healthy on a McDonald's menu (apparently the Sausage Egg McMuffin isn't that bad) or eating way too much bar food. 

I'm still struggling to figure out how to stay on sort of system. I've been illicting the help of my friend, Jillian.

I've been doing the 30 Day Shred like so many other people off and on for the past month or so. I even was working out with a trainer for a few sessions (the gym had a sale so, why not?).  I'm still struggling though between the traveling each week and stuffing what little free time and errand running into the weekend with some exercise thrown in. 

At this point, I'm not going to be obsessed about weight loss, but just maintaining what I've got. I think the best way to think about this is not to think about losing weight for the wedding, but rather learning healthy habits and better life balance as I enter a new phase. Yeah, okay...looking great wouldn't be so bad either.  

Any suggestions for how to stay in shape during this busy, demanding time?

March 10, 2009

I'm Thinking Flat


Nine West

Steve Madden

J. Crew

How about these?

I knew I wanted flat shoes because Mr. Swan is my shorty...literally..Hee hee! :) I didn't want to be super taller than him on the Big Day. 

My feet get hot in the summer, so sandals were definitely the way to go. 

The bling..well..hey, everybody got to get the bling on somehow. :)

Anybody else wearing flats?

First Two Image sources

March 7, 2009

Stag(ette) or Forget About It!

In the U.K., they call them stag (men) and hen (ladies) parties. I think it's similar in Canada, eh? What I am referring to is a bachelor/bachelorette party. The ever on the ball Mr. Swan already has his planned...sigh. I, on the other hand, am struggling with whether or not to even have one.

I am not sure if I'd like to have the tradtional wild night on the town. I'm in my early 30's and now start to get crabby at around 1am (yes, I!). Also being me, I just have to have some standards:

1) No stripper - I did it once, and it was fun. I'm not sure if I'm ready for repeat performances.

2) I do want to be able to remember the evening the next day.

3) Since I love food, I'd love to have a meal thrown in there somewhere.

4) I do struggle with how relaxing I want the outing to be because I do want to chill out a bit with my homegirls.

One day while reading Daily Candy, which I hardly read enough, I came across what I would love for bachelorette party:

Soho House NY's Pretty Party. The evening is for up to ten people and includes cocktails, dinner (with wine), two half-hour spa treatments for each person and our own exclusive space from 6pm-12am. Sounds like a plan to me! The only problem is well..this is Soho House, which is a very exclusive place in NYC's Meatpacking District (it's actually members' only club except for certain opportunities to rent out its space such as this one), and it will not come for cheap. I just can't ask my friends to drop a couple benjamins on a night out even though this sounds absolutely fabulous.

I'm still thinking about trying to find a way to incorporate food, maybe a spa thing, maybe some dancing, maybe something else (like a mechanical bull !!) into a nice evening with my friends. I'm also open to the idea of not having a bachelorette party at all. I'll live. I know I'm being a bad bride again, but sue me.

Any suggestions out there? What was the most fun bachelor(ette) party you've ever been to?

Image sources

March 6, 2009

I Think We've Got It

I think we've got the suit down!

I promise, Mr. CPF, that I will not blog anymore about your outfit...okay, Mr. CPF? :) Well..okay..maybe not. :)  Shhh.....

March 2, 2009

Please Don't Stop...


A big shout out to Rihanna, a fellow (beautiful) Caribbean woman, who is currently battling her own personal issues. I hope things work out...

Anyway, speaking of music, I've been putting this aspect of the wedding (particularly the reception) off because it's so dang daunting. I'm going to keep doing it some more too because there's so much to think about. We've got so many different tastes, ages and personalities of people coming to our wedding that it's going to be a whopper of a task to make sure to include all the types of music that will appeal to as many people as possible. Right now off the top of my head I can think of the following musical styles being played during the reception alone:

soca - a very fast Caribbean music that's fun to dance (and jump up) to primarily for me, my Caribbean friends and family

(the picture above is of Machel Montano a huge soca star. This man sold out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row..a rare feat, but island folks love their soca)

 Motown- for the older crowd

Who doesn't love the Four Tops and other Motown artists? With songs like "Reach Out/I'll Be There" and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honeybunch)"  you're bound to want to at least hum some of these songs.
 What I like to call old school Italian wedding hits  for the New England Italian portion of Mr. Swan's family

Maybe some Dean Martin singing "Volare" or "Luna Mezzo Mare?" 

  80's hits - for our friends to reminisce

You have not lived until you've screamed "Living on a Prayer" at the top of your lungs...seriously....

Hip Hop and R&B - For me to get down on the dance floor!!

Ms. "I'm Sasha Fierce" aka Beyonce Knowles. Mr. Swan likes the "Single Ladies" song, but don't tell him I told you or he'll be a bit embarassed.

All I can say is that our DJ will have a lot on his hands trying to do all of this, but he has assured us that they can mix a good set of music to keep everyone on the dancefloor even with our daytime wedding. I've warned some people already that I will be shaking my groove thing, but I hope they will too. I hope that they'll hear something new from a different genre of music or realize that they liked something they least expected. Our wedding is about mixing experiences, personalities and cultures (and that's just Mr. Swan and me!). I foresee this happening with the music too. 

Will you be playing various styles of music at your wedding, or are you more lucky than me and have guests with similar tastes? How are you planning on handling various musical preferences? Has anyone been to a wedding where the DJ did not play a variety of music? Was it more or less fun for you? 

March 1, 2009

Nitty Gritty

Hey there!

I'm back in my old chipper blogging mood :) Sometimes I think you just gotta let things out, so I am so glad that you all indulged me yesterday. Thanks for your support and kind words. ;)

I feel like there has definitely been a shift in the planning right now. It's time to figure out the nitty gritty. It's time to think about things like underwear, first dance songs, vows...oh my! I'm a bit...scared, worried, excited..really everything. I'm worried that there will be more than I can handle despite my lists and people ready to give a helping hand (that is..if I ask them. I love doing things myself..I'm a bad girl). I've got a crazy month ahead at work and lots of non-wedding related plans on the weekends. I think the details are also scary because they're ultimately what sets your wedding apart whether they be a beautiful DIY invitation or a gorgeous centerpiece.  Will my ideas workout? Will they be...good enough? When you spend so much time thinking and planning about this one day there's bound to be some of that doubt/crazy talk or whatever you want to call it. 

I've got the checklists and other documents, and I'm ready to go. I'm the "Little Wedding Train that Could." I think I can; I think I can; I think I can. :) 

How are you handling or did you handle the nitty gritty of wedding planning? Do you foresee anything getting in the way? Are you intimidated by the details of wedding planning?