Friday, June 17, 2011

more pictures

I'm still in California, but via one of my friends.... a handful of gorgeous pictures he took of our ceremony. Can you believe he's just a software engineer like me? I think he should go into wedding photography full time. ;)

My sister juggling two bouquets and my flyaway veil!

My best friend

Monday, June 13, 2011


We are married! Oh wow. I'm taking a few minutes to rest while my HUSBAND (wow!) takes his mom to the train station. One of my good friends told me to pretend to write a letter to a relative who couldn't make it to the wedding while the night was fresh in your mind, describing everything, so you could read it again in years later and remember all the details. I thought well, that's a great idea, but instead of pretending to write to a relative, I would write to all of you. ;)

I woke up super early from excitement and didn't know what to do with myself for the next four hours, so I baked a simple lemon yogurt cake and bounced around the apartment until my sister arrived.


We went and spent three nice hours getting our hair and makeup done and then came back. During that time the moms and some friends had turned all the flowers floating around our apartment into some GORGEOUS centerpieces of yellow roses, white carnations, greenery, and yellow stock. I was in awe of the amazing creations they put together. The white milk glass vases looked perfect, so sweet & simple!

After my mom left to drive over the centerpieces to our venue, a fire broke out in our apartment building a few stories down! OMG. Because it's a highrise, we were told to not evacuate our floor immediately, so we sat there, wedding dresses at hand, ready to run down thirty some flights of stairs. Thankfully the fire was put out quickly (we believe it was just a kitchen fire) without any serious damage.

After everyone finally got dressed, it was off to the ferry!

ready to ride the ferry!

We made a small procession through Paulus Hook four blocks over to the ferry dock and caught the little ferry across the canal to Liberty State Park, where we hung out and took pictures.


At this point, my mom called. She had gone back to the apartment to pick up some stuff and locked herself out! Thankfully we have doormen who rescued her.

I had a little point and shoot camera with me, so most of these pictures are from it. During the whole day the camera was in my dress pocket- my photographer kept laughing that I was shooting him back. The pockets were wonderful! I carried around the camera, my cellphone, and a few little things. The skirt on my dress was so poufy that you couldn't tell I'd stuffed the pockets as full as chipmunk cheeks.


We eventually decided to crash the marina and walk right out onto the docks for photos.



After that, we went inside to rest up as guests started arriving.



The sun had miraculously been shining all afternoon, but some clouds blew in for the evening and it got a little bit chilly before the ceremony.

Some of you may recall my mentioning here that the sailor wanted to wear a tux for the wedding. I was a bit sad that he didn't want to wear dress whites, which meant that we wouldn't have a sword arch at our wedding, but there you go.

Well. He certainly knows how to pull one over on me - I thought I'd had this wedding perfectly planned and all sorted out, and super under control, but apparently not. Behind my back he got in touch with the minister, my dad, and our wedding coordinator to pull a HUGE surprise on me!

I'd seen him earlier in the day in a tux, with his groomsman, all spiffed up in tuxes. They had picked them up, got dressed, and took pictures in them, then snuck away to change... at that point, the name of the game became "Keep the bride away from the groom", although I didn't catch on and couldn't figure out why all of a sudden people had pressing things to talk to me about and dragged me off to sit in a little room by the kitchen!

So ceremony time arrived and we assembled our little flower girls, my best friend, my sister, and Tom the ring bearer! Up we went to the deck where the guests were assembled.

So at this point, I thought Dan was up there in his tux. However, when we got upstairs to the deck, and the bagpipe started playing and my dad stepped out with me to walk down our aisle... my sailor was down there with his dress whites on. I don't even remember this, but my dad says I just stood there and said "OH.My.Goodness." for a full second before I (sort of) recovered.

It was incredibly windy during the ceremony and my looooooong veil kept whipping around, so my sister and best friend ended playing "capture the veil before it mummifies the minister" duty the whole time. It went by in a blur- I remember my brother in law doing his reading, our rings went on, and we were married!

At the end of the short ceremony we turned to walk back down the aisle, and all of a sudden out the doors came four of my sailors friends. All also Coast Guard lieutenants, all in perfect formation.

They stopped, drew their swords, and there was my sword arch! I could not believe my eyes that he had really pulled that off without my having ANY idea whatsoever that this would happen. Here I am in a picture taken by my friend, getting the biggest shock of my life!

Sword Arch

If you've ever seen a sword arch, you walk up to the first set, and they drop the crossed swords in front of you, and you must kiss to pass. You advance through each set of swords with a kiss and lots of cheering from the crowd, and after the last one, one of the guys taps the new bride with a sword and says "Welcome to the Coast Guard".

I was beaming the rest of the night... it was so magical, all our family and friends gathered together for an incredible dinner, lots of loud irish dancing music, and the NYC skyline sparkling in the background. Wow.

I even got to wear my coat out on the deck when it got chilly!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

t-1 days

Busy day today! We picked my best friend and his wife up at Newark airport late last night night, so this morning we decided to go into NYC.

They live in Seattle, and had somehow never had cannoli! So the three of us, along with my sailor's mother, went up to Bleecker St in Greenwich Village and went to Rocco's to acquire some sweets. It was a nice little distraction for the morning!

Here are the three of us on 7th Ave in the west village:

Here are a few shots I snapped inside Roccos:


Then it was back to Jersey City and go go go go! Family arrived in town, my mom had last minute wedding checklists, and we all walked two blocks up to our favorite restaurant for a huge family dinner. I'm off to an early bedtime... we are looking at a 70% chance of rain & thunderstorms tomorrow, so I hope that it will somehow clear up a little bit for us.

Friday, June 10, 2011

t-2 days

Today is Floral Friday - our bulk ordered flowers arrived and flooded my kitchen! It took about two hours to unbox all of them and get them into big vases & pots. Tomorrow we will actually make the arangements, although I did make two little ones:


You might recall I originally wanted to do hydrangeas... well, I did a trial run with them, and they all wilted far too quickly. So I decided I could either pay a florist $$$ to do the original idea of hydrangeas, so switch flowers. I talked to one of the online floral places & decided to go with white carnations, yellow roses, and yellow stock, since they are all very sturdy.

Here's my dining room table:

That's only a small portion of the flowers! Here's another view of a few more sitting in vases, waiting to be trimmed. The pot in the picture is a FIVE GALLON POT. Just to give you a hint of the size of all this nonsense. ;)


It feels like our apartment is a florists shop today. ;)

Buying good floral shears was key. I also bought bulk flower preservative, and collected lots of vases and vintage glass frogs to hold the flowers in the vases. Some of the vases won't work with frogs, so I bought a few blocks of floral foam as well. The key with bulk shipped flowers is to be there when they arrive and rush them into water as quickly as you can so that they can re-hydrate and rest from their long trip.

Here is my dress on the hanger, waiting...

in the bag

Thursday, June 9, 2011

t-3 days

Quiet day today because I'm still sick.

In the morning, we scoped out potential picture taking spots over at Liberty State Park. Then I went and got my haircut, and we dropped off a few more things at our venue like the cake topper and our sailboat shaped tealights.

Liberty State park
railroad museum

And I finally pulled pictures from Tuesday - we had dinner at South St Seaport that night. Here's the deck we ate on:

dinner at south st seaport

And here is the view of the Brooklyn Bridge we had as we ate!

Brooklyn Bridge

So, while we're eating dinner, several ships went by in the east river. At one point, a motor boat went RACING down the river, revving its engines. I turned to the sailor and said "that can't be legal" -just as he said "where is one of the small boats when you need one?" Very funny, little did he know that his racing along was right under the watchful eye of a coast guard captain. ;)

Tonight the boys are at the Yankees - Red Sox game, which I'm guessing is in a bit of a rain delay due to the huge thunderstorms rolling through here. Hopefully they're staying dry! They are all Coasties, so they're very blasé about huge rainstorms. ;o)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

t-4 days

Today we discussed the cake with our venue. We'd already picked out our flavors (chocolate cake with mocha frosting) and today the pastry chef is starting the decorations! This is what it should come out looking like, mocha cake with cream frosting - just an example we found online & liked.

Lunch was Shake Shack:
Shake shack

And I got my nails done:
nail polish


Then we got home, and I got really sick. Argh! I'm curled up on the sofa thinking positive thoughts & hoping that this is just a 24 hour stomach flu.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

t -5 days

Today I printed menus:

And discovered our guest count was two too low, ie we had forgotten to include ourselves in the count. Ingenious!

And I went swimming (aaaah.... so nice!), and I read some more of the WWII history book I've been working on for a while, Winston's War by Max Hastings

Lindsay commented that I seemed extra calm. She should have been in the living room when I discovered the guest count issue!

Monday, June 6, 2011

t -6 days

6 days to go.

Today I wrote escort cards:
escort card sailboats!

And printed our programs (the paper is pre-folded & pre-gilt printed, from Wilton):
diy wedding program

They have a crossword puzzle in them, so as to get the various guests talking to each other:

(the font we used is Alana)

And I ate lunch over at WFC in NYC. Lunch was a mozarella and tomato salad from le pain quotidien, one of my favorite NYC chains for lunch. It came with a slice of bread and a little container of the freshest, tastiest pesto I've had in ages. It was the kind of pesto that just explodes summer in your mouth. Mmmm yum. I sat near the koi pond with my kindle & lunch and just enjoyed the sunshine for a while....


In the evening we walked through the venue with our Day of Coordinator and scoped out the setup.

Tomorrow, I'm making our menu cards, so I need to go to Michael's in the morning & have a look at their cardstock options. So far we're thinking 8.5" x 11.5 inch cardstock, then trimmed (paper cutter may be the best DIY wedding tool I've bought so far!) so they're tall and skinny, maybe 4 x 10?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Navy Blue

Are you guys going to laugh at me if I confess that I am in serious silk sewing overload? Couture exhaustion? Dreaming of sewing Kate a very simple cotton sundress -itis?

When we first got engaged I had this vision of wearing a floor length navy blue silk evening coat over my dress on the way home... and I kept coming back to remembering that idea and decided I'd bite the bullet and make it. So I woke up EARLY this morning, fished out some navy blue duchess satin and pulled out the coat pieces from Simplicity 6192.

I will admit at grumbling at marking and sewing YET MORE DARTS. And seriously getting frustrated at the shifty organza. But I guess it ended up OK, I have my evening coat! The pattern was pretty straightward, actually. It has front and back french darts, and as a nice touch, darts in the back shoulders and two elbow darts on the sleeves.

Here we are on my dressform:


I found some navy velvet ribbon in a drawer and used that to fasten it. The pattern originally called for you to sew a sash, but I think the ribbon is not too bad.

Front pinned shut so that I could position it:


And after sewing:

Can you see how the front french darts are curved? Kind of neat! But a big pain to pin and then press, especially because this satin does NOT like steam.

Back with the ribbon belt

Are you guys in wedding dress overload yet? I put it on to make sure all the pieces were all set, and my mom took a few pictures.



Not a great picture, but the dress under my coat:

Next, here's a better picture of my sister in her dress. It needs pressing, but you can get the general idea. She had to get into the "let's play dressup!" action too. ;)


And finally, Anabear being cute:


We have one week to go. Yikes!