Sunday, October 21, 2012

it ain't over!

we're married, bitches!!

yep, that's right. and i've got so much to share from the wedding. but first, due to popular demand, i want to post the vows we exchanged. enjoy!

my vows....


On this day, I think of all the reasons
I am honored to become your wife:

In you I’ve found more than I could have ever hoped,
more than I dreamed a man could be.
In your arms, I am happy and safe.
You’re my hero, my protector, my love.

We are alike and different in many ways.
Our similarities bond us together,
and our differences are complements that make us stronger.
There is nothing we cannot do when we stand together.

No matter what,
you love me for who I am, 
and free me to sing my own song.
I am so grateful for that.

The many things that you do to make me happy
touch me more than you know.
You see and know me through and through,
and always make me feel beautiful.

I love you; I respect you; I trust you;
We’ve had many great memories together,
and as we start a new chapter in the story of our lives,
I know that we still have so much ahead:
a lifetime of love, more milestones, and more wonderful memories.
Continue to be no one else but yourself.
You are my partner, my friend, my love, my life.

Now and always, I promise to be faithful and supportive 
and to make your love and happiness my priority.
I promise to be honest and communicate fully and fearlessly.
I promise to have the patience that love demands. 
No matter what changes we go through,
we will grow together.
I will always be with you.

his vows...


I love you. When I found you, I found the part of me that I didn't know
was missing. You are my light when it's dark. When it's cold, you make
me warm. You make me happier than I knew I could be.

There are so many reasons I fell in love with you. Your joy is
contagious, and affects everyone around you. 
You have so much heart that there's room for everyone. 
But you keep a special place for me. You help
me see the best in this world and in myself. When I'm with you, I want
to be the best man I can be, so that I deserve someone as beautiful as
you by my side.

It's hard to explain the things you do for me. I feel I've found my best
friend, and I want to share everything with you. You keep me out of
trouble. You take care of me. You push me when I need to go forward, and
you pull me when I'm afraid I'll slide back. When we're together, we can
accomplish anything.

These years with you have been the happiest of my life. And when I look
ahead, I see even greater things. I see love and laughter and family.
But no matter where the road leads, I know I want you to be there with
me. I know wherever we are, it will feel like home. I take all of you as
you are. And I give you all of me.

Now and always, I promise to be faithful and supportive  and to make
your love and happiness my priority. I promise to be honest and
communicate fully and fearlessly. I promise to have the patience that
love demands. No matter what changes we go through, we will grow
together. I will always be with you.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

helping hands

with all the work and details that go into planning a wedding, a person get stressed, stressed and more stressed.

i've found that there is an ever-growing list of things to do and always tough decisions to make. for me, it has been absolutely essential and a consistent lifesaver to be able get help from friends and family.

having schniz as my wedding goddess along the way has been invaluable. she's been my wedding planner extraordinaire, she threw an unforgettable bachelorette party for this girl in the big apple, and even politely nudges me when the wedding blog gets a little dusty. or a lot dusty.

i am so grateful for awesome helping hands.

i want to give a shout out to schniz, les for helping get hotels in order, bebe for her help with caterer choices, shan for going on our caterer tasting, donna for getting us out and wedding dress shopping, my family who helped me find THE dress in atlanta, furrlo for help making our honeymoon dreams come true, michelle for throwing me a left coast bridal shower, polotek for being my rock above all else, and everyone else who chipped in their time (this goes for the past, present AND future), advice and words of wisdom. 

i love you all.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

the natural bride...part ii

i have so much info to share on the wedding front, but since i'm up at 6am thinking about it, i'm gonna start with a hair update. it's now been 7 months since i wrote this post about how i'll style my wedding mane, but i don't know how much progress i've made in coming to a decision.

womp, womp.

i have pretty solidly decided on natural style, but i haven't really established a special 'do that's really above and beyond how i wear my hair on a normal day.

maybe i'm making this too big of a thing? maybe i should just do something super simple and get a really cool headpiece? as it is, i've talked with schniz about putting orchids in my hair. {ooh! more info to come about orchidssss!} but no style has really settled in as THE thing.

i can't say that i've made no progress, though. i have managed to pull off two major successes that could play into the big (day) picture! both of them were inspired by videos i've watched by naptural85. i have to thank miss jericabella for the recommendation to start following her blog! naptural85 has been a great hairspiration for me!

ok, two successes (and i gots some photos!).

#1 is the two-strand flat twist. with a side puff. this is my new favorite hairstyle. even if i can only twist it well on the left side of my head....i've got that side mastered! i love the look though. it's super simple and classy. but maybe too casual for a bride? the verdict is still out on that one. here's a pic of the look -- this is me and schniz at my east coast bachelorette (!!!) party:

i heart my wedding goddess!

#2 is buying and trying curlformers. i have only attempted it once, and i mostly consider that time a success, but imperfect in a few key ways that i can improve for the future.
1. i need more curlformers (which sucks because those snitches ain't cheap) to really achieve the fuller curly look i want.
2. i need to trim my gross, knotty ends before my next solid attempt at this.
3. sleeping in those suckers is a NO NO. oh jeebus was that one of the worst nights of sleep! next time, the bonnet dryer will be in effect!
4. setting lotion / flaxseed gel or something with holding power is a must. and probably a solid spray of anti-humectant at the end, just to be on the safe side. i thought i could get away with only using a shea butter pomade on my hair. well, the finished product was cute for most of day one...but day two -- oh dear. well, the best way that i can describe how it looked was 'poop doodles'. not a fan! i hate poop.
check out the process in photos. first i had to put those puppies in, which was both easier and harder than i thought it would be, but still faster than my usual hand twisting.

yeah. SUPER attractive.
i'm smiling in that picture above because it's BEFORE i went to sleep. not so many smiles after that 'til i took 'em out the next morning. see pics below for the fresh unraveling! i was surprised i could achieve a curl like that with NO HEAT! and i did break the curls up for more volume after these pics, but would love to have to do that as little as possible next time...

later that day i was out and about with polotek. he loves to smile for the camera.

alright, peeps. tell me what you think! weigh in!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

wedding jetsetting.

a quick update here:

(1) looks like a honeymoon is happening for these two kids! we were happy to discover that we will be getting some money back from uncle sam this year, and are going to put it toward our honeymoon. more details to come on how the planning for that shakes out, but we have decided on the location....
we're going to tahiti! aaaaand moorea and also maybe bora bora. either way, we'll be in french polynesia enjoying post-nuptial bliss this september. ahhh...yes.

in case you were wondering....

paradise, anyone?
so. frickin' excited.

and speaking of excited....

(2) my east coast bachelorette party will be this weekend in new york city! i'm pumped. my wedding goddess has taken care of everything, and i can't wait to see my besties in the big apple for a night of mayhem classy celebration around town! many details are being kept top secret, but knowing schniz, this will be a night i'll never forget! i love all my ladies and am SOOO looking forward to toasting with you this weekend!

check out these amazing invites! so perfect.

Monday, February 6, 2012

in the beginning, there was...facebook.

this morning, in putting together a few plans to host a little birthday gathering for polotek's birthday at the end of the month, i forwarded him a message through facebook and stumbled across our FIRST message exchange!! funny that i have not seen this since we sent them, as i completely forgot that facebook even had the history stored, and he and i have not facebook messaged each other since april 2008!


if you remember, in my 'how we met' blog post, i describe that we were first introduced by my jewish aunt on facebook. these are THE messages that we first sent each other, little did we know we would be together forever after that.... <3

AWWW, sappy-love-stuffs!

enjoy, my friends!

perhaps i should have put a disclaimer at the beginning that i may be the only person on earth who cares about this. haha either way, i loooooove it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

st. francis hall.

oh, how i love thee.

polotek and i got to visit the site during our east coast tour with schniz.
 :::sings the song from top gun::: "take my breath awaaaaaay..."

i'm definitely excited about the venue. and things are really coming together -- the venue is beautiful. our caterer has a relationship with the venue. our minister is also familiar with the venue. happiness abounds.

they really don't do it justice, but here's a couple rough photos i took with my iphizzle....

view from the front
to the right of the hall is the franciscan monastery with drop dead gorgeous arches that we WILL be taking photos under!!! this photo was taken from the parking lot across the street. so there is accessible parking for people that want to drive and it's also metro accessible. 

first glance into the hall
the ceremony will happen on the lawn outside (unless the weather is no bueno), but when you walk into the hall (where the reception/party will be) you see this lovely open space! it may seem a bit lackluster with the empty tables and stacked chairs, but if you use a little bit of imagination, this can be reeeeeally cool once decorated. helloooo, tall centerpieces!

Friday, December 30, 2011

YES to the dress!

well, THIS GIRL has got a wedding dress. very exciting stuff. but this also means that i won't be sewing my own bridal masterpiece. aww. but no worries, i still have plenty to work on: table runners, paper flowers, table decor and other bits and pieces.

polotek and i have been on a little east coast tour for the last several days and have found ourselves in dc, philadelphia, new york city and now atlanta.

christmas at my folks' house in philly

nyc happened so we could make a day of dress shopping. well, the boys went to hang out and drink somewhere while the ladies searched for a dress. we had a couple appointments lined up with lovely bridal shop and nicole miller, and we dropped into rk bridal and david's bridal as walk-ins.
we did not leave new york with a dress, but i learned a very important lesson about searching for your wedding dress: you cannot judge a dress by its hanger. or the size 2 model wearing it in a picture.

yeah, what i had drooled over for weeks when searching online, and was so confident was going to be pure hotness when i got to try it on, was not at all what i expected when i put it on my body.

conversely, some dresses that i didn't expect to look good when looking at it on the hanger looked awesome on me. so basically all the "prep" work i had done in searching for what would be my perfect dress match online went out the window very quickly. though it wasn't a complete waste, it did help as a starting point.

how about a few visuals to compare?

these two dresses were in my top choices, but when i put them on, all i heard was...womp womp.

oleg cassini
vera wang

here are a couple of dresses i thought would not work for me...but when i put them on, angels started singing!

nicole miller
(what's with the model's stank face?)

fast forward to yesterday, now in atlanta. i did round two of shopping with three of my favorite atl ladies in buckhead, and we managed to walk through the selection at winnie couture and got some last minute appointments at brides by demetrios and le dress boutique.

when we went to le dress boutique, a "luxury dress consignment shop", we started by picking out several size 10 dresses but when i went to try them on, none of them fit except one! i'm not sure why gowns run so about killing a bride's spirit!

so my family was scrambling to find me gowns to try on in the next size up. my auntie and cousins picked out a few randoms, unsure about how they would look or if i would like them. ha! who knew one of those gowns would be the one....?

i had a feeling about the dress as it was being taken out of the plastic garment bag that it would be something special, and after i put it on my gut feeling was confirmed.

once i knew this one was a serious contender, i sent schniz a few pictures to get her thoughts. she sent me her buy in immediately, and my atl family agreed that i would be crazy to not walk out of the shop without the dress. i'm not gonna lie, there were a couple wet eyes in the parlor.

wanna see what i picked? check out this link. also look here and here for more photos. i'm not going to post the photo in this post -- that way polotek can choose to not look at it. i wouldn't be too worried about ruining the surprise for you though, because like i said before, you can't judge a dress by its model or hanger, and i'm also planning to make a few minor tweaks to add to the awesome. but still, if you can help yourself, try not to comment on the design of the dress on this post.

so i called my prince charming from the boutique and told him that i found the dress. he was a little surprised that i found it so soon. but the real shocker for me was that he didn't even ask me how much it cost! when i asked him about it, he said it didn't matter as long as it was the dress that made me happy. :::gush:::

reason #45873 why i am marrying this man.

my inital hope was to find a dress for less than $1,000. after shopping around i realized pretty quickly that the dresses i liked were not going to be in that price range. they seemed to all sit in the $2,000 area. however, the price i paid for dress and sash.....was....drumroll please....
$875 total! that includes the dress and a sash i bought to go with it. and i could take it with me since i bought it from a consignment shop!

to my other brides: as a newbie to all things wedding, it would have been helpful for me to know some things when considering my dress purchase.

  • making appointments is a must. some places will take walk-ins, but definitely plan ahead by scheduling a time with the shop. it's worth it to have the extra time with the consultants, who should be very knowledgeable and can find you more dresses you like with ease. note that a few places may require you to have a ring and a date already. 
  • give yourself 6-9 months before the wedding at the LEAST to start shopping. this was crazy to me when i first heard it, but it's true. most wedding shops have to order your gown and it can take 4 months or more to get it in. then you still have to have time for alterations.
  • know that pricing for the same dress can vary from shop to shop, and if you can, take the info of your favorite dress to the interwebs and see if you can find it on sale somewhere or buy it pre-owned if you are okay with that kind of thing. 
  • be ready to potentially pay tax and shipping on your dress. 
  • don't forget to budget in accessories such as a sash, fascinator or veil and jewelry and shoes -- i still don't have most of these items, but have it built into the budget.
  • alterations are what can take your dress from beautiful to jaw-dropping! get referrals from bridal shops you trust for a good seamstress. one that specializes in altering wedding gowns and not hemming pants. also, make sure you have the money set aside for the alterations, too.

i have more to share about a couple other events that happened in the last several days -- marriage counseling and seeing the venue....more on that later!