Sunday, October 17, 2010

So This is REALLY Late, But Better Late Than Never!

Hi Everyone!

This posting is definitely well overdue! Since my last posting I got married and we actually just celebrated our 1 year anniversary in Jamaica! Yeah, so this is really late, but I always try to finish whatever I start, so here we go!

In my last posting, all the way in August 2009 I made note of the great help it is to have a strong support team and someone there for you on your special day. I have to admit that I had the best team around me, who were there to support me every step of the way! I definitely didn't want to turn into a "bridezilla" so I knew that I didn't want to overwhelm or stress myself as the big day drew closer.

My advice is to make sure you have a strong support team around you and remember to be gracious for all of their help. I was not planning on having a rehearsal and day of wedding coordinator, but I was soo happy I ended up having one. One of my best friend's mom's actually volunteered so I really lucked out! If you can't afford to have a professional coordinator (like me!) then I strongly suggest you find someone you trust to take the lead. This can be someone who has aspirations to become a wedding coordinator or is not afraid to step up and maintain order as an authority figure.

The important things that your coordinator should do are as follows:
-At the rehearsal make sure everyone knows where they have to walk, stand and line up.
-Do a run through more than once. We did a run through 3 times to ensure that everyone, including the little kiddies felt comfortable with what they were doing.
-Establish what everyone's responsibilities are. For example, I had my groomsmen seat guests as they arrived and my coordinator made sure they carried this out.
-Find out if there is anything last minute that needs to be tended to.

It helps to know that there is someone else there making things run smoothly the day of the wedding because you may have done all the planning beforehand, but you never know what snags may come up the day off, so best to be prepared! And remember this doesn't have to be a professional, just someone you trust who is not afraid to take charge.

Below are some pics from my rehearsal. At the urging of one of my besties, I decided to have all the ladies involved in the wedding wear a saris to represent part of my Indian/Arabic side. The same bestie, Ren ( ) also did all of our makeup, which was awesome!

Until next time, I'll discuss last minute details and show you some of the final pics of our wedding day!

Some of my fam

The lovely ladies

ATL besties

Duke besties

Some of the groomsmen with the groom

The hubby and I

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect So You Better Rehearse!

Hey Guys,
I haven't posted in a while because I've been extremely busy with wedding stuff lately! I finally got the invitations out this week so everyone should have them by week's end, whew! The ceremony and reception are coming underway thanks to all the help provided by my wonderful bridesmaids! I know I've said this a lot, but I honestly could not have done this without them!

We've been planning up a storm including the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner believe it or not. For those of you who don't know I have Indian and Arabic roots so we wanted to incorporate this during the rehearsal portion. Reason being it is not being included in the wedding ceremony or reception. I tried to get the guys involved in this, but they refused, so it's the ladies will be all decked out! Check out how pretty the sarees below are!

As part of their bridesmaid present I gave each girl a sari, which will be worn to the rehearsal and dinner following. One of my best friends, Ren (freelance makeup artist) is going to do the makeup super dramatic and it's going to be fabu! I can't wait! We're also going to straighten our hair to go along with the look. I know that we're definitely going to make a scene at the restaurant, yikes! The below looks are the kind of dramatic makeup we're going to about hot!

Speaking of the restaurant, my fiance and his mom have been on the hunt for months, trying to narrow down the perfect spot. They've gone to the restaurants, tasting and getting a feel for the place before booking. I highly recommend this because you'll often notice things you may or may not like. This is also a nice way to keep everyone involved and allow some bonding time between mother and son.
Some factors to consider when finding a rehearsal dinner spot: What's the space like? We have a rather large wedding party, so we'll need a space to fit around 30 people. This is why it's important to go to the location because they can sometimes be too small/crowded. What's the noise level? You don't want to have a dinner where you're yelling while giving speeches, talk about a strain! This should be a sentimental/reflective time for all to enjoy. What's the food like? Umm, why go to a restaurant if the food sucks? So please try out the food, it really does make for a better time! What's the budget? I don't care who you are, you need to consider the money that you're going to shell out for this. The mother of the groom is the one who takes care of the rehearsal dinner, so she makes the final say on this aspect, as she should.
Another important tip is if you have a wedding coordinator make sure you communicate everything with them post the rehearsal if you notice anything that needs to be focused on. They are a great help and alleviate a lot of stress! Thanks to one of my best friends Brooke for helping me find one of the best out there! More info on this to be posted in the next session!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Want Wedding Gifts, Then You Better Register!

Hey Guys,

After being reminded over and over by my bridesmaids (thanks girls!) we finally finished our wedding registry. I know that this probably should have been super exciting, but for some reason it was a rather tedious task for us. Reason being we already have a lot of household items needed in every room. However, after some exploring we found some needed items and registered at the fav Target!

We also registered at another site called A Great Affair.Com Gift Registry. I definitely recommend that any engaged couple register here because it is essentially a cash registry. With this registry guests can give away how ever much they choose to different categories. For instance, we have a category called "New Wheels." Both Jon and I will probably need to get new cars soon (hopefully not!), so if guests want to contribute to that fund then they can with an amount of their choosing. We like this because it doesn't put pressure on our guests to spend a certain amount and it is definitely something that will be used and not packed up on a closet shelf.

Some last points:
  • Remember that you can get what you want, but also remember to be considerate to your guests and give them choices.

  • Guests, you know who you are, don't show up to a wedding without a present.

  • If you don't feel comfortable purchasing anything on a registry, give money, that's the safest bet.

  • When doing your registry research into the various ones out there because there's a lot and you can find one that suits you as a couple.
Next time we will discuss the Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner!

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Token to Remember Us By!

Hey Guys,

Sorry for the lag in posting! I have been a busy wedding bee lately so this will be a short posting. After wracking my brain on what to give our guests, I finally decided on something of significance. I think that's important and a good way to create that special touch.

When picking a wedding favor there's more to think of than you would expect. For instance I've been to weddings where donations were made to an organization of importance to the couple. Not only was this endearing, but it also created awareness among the guests. It honestly depends on what you as a couple what to portray.

Another tip is to make sure to purchase your favors close to your wedding so that you don't order too much or too little. Remember every little bit adds up!

Some cute ideas for wedding favors are: for those couples that love to read, bookmarks; the gaming couple can give a deck of cards; or if you want to be friendly to mother nature give away personalized plant seeds.

Next time we will explore the Wedding Registry!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Feel the Beat!

Hey Guys,

I finally booked all of our musicians for the big day! The DJ (Hal was the easiest to find because we ended up picking a DJ off of the vendor list for the Park Tavern. We had tea/coffee/desserts with him at Cafe Intermezzo and asked him tons of questions. Our first meeting lasted about 1.5 hours, so we made sure everything was covered. We told him the things most important to us are: appropriate music, timing, getting everyone on the dance floor, smooth transitions between songs and not only being a DJ, but also a MC or master of ceremony (he's gotta work the crowd!). There's also a surprise for the guests that he's involved in...I'll let you guys know that after it's been done. Just know it will definitely be hilarious and entertaining!

Okay, so finding ceremony musicians was a more stressful task. Being on a budget I shopped around to find the best deal and thought I booked this quartet from Emory, but they never called or emailed me back, talk about unprofessional :(, luckily I we had not paid anything. It seems like that's the risk you take when not booking certified professionals. I was bummed about this at first because I had to search again, but had to get over that quickly and find some replacements. Again, the vendor list for our wedding location came through and we booked Amadeus String Ensemble ( They have a contract so I know they won't run off with our money!

We hope the music in our wedding will create a sense of elegance and class for the ceremony and allow everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves at the reception.

Here are some tips that we learned on our hunt:
  • Interview/meet your musicians

  • Ask lots of questions

  • Get a time frame on when they will contact you, etc...

  • Make sure there is a contract

  • If it is difficult to get in contact with your musician they you may want to consider booking someone else

  • Bargain, bargain, bargain!
Next time we will explore wedding favors!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

It's Raining Men, Hallelujah!

Hey Guys,

We recently went to Savvi Formalwear to pick out the attire for all of the handsome men in our bridal party. I would recommend this store because they have a nifty online wedding manager that allows the guys to input their sizes, making it simple for pick-up upon their arrival to Atlanta! This is really helpful, especially since most of the men in our bridal party are out of towners. The guys were much easier than than the girls and we were really happy with the choices. I'm so excited to see everyone because they're going to look fabu!

Ok, so down to business, first let's start with the groom, Jon! My bridesmaid Tonya and I initially went looking for a black suit, but when we spotted the chocolate suit we were pleasantly surprised. We're pairing the suit with brown shoes, brown socks, white collared shirt and an orange striped tie that looks great! We finalized this as our choice after getting Jon's approval of course! If he's going to wear it then he must like it, especially since there will be pictures of him in this for the rest of our lives.

Check it out below. I purposefully put pictures of the chocolate and black suit so you can really see the difference in colors.

The groomsmen will be wearing the same color suit as Jon (chocolate), shoes, socks and collared shirt. However, their ties will be different; instead of the striped tie, theirs will be a plain orange that matches perfectly with Jon's tie. They're going to look so handsome!

The next little man we had to consider was my nephew, our ringer bearer Omar. He's going to be decked out in an ivory suit with ivory shoes, socks, shirt and the same tie as Jon. How adorable is that!
Finally, we had to consider the dads of course! They will be wearing the same suits as the groomsmen, but in black with ties that compliment the colors of our wedding. It will most likely be the copper tie you see below without the vest.

None of the men in our wedding party will be wearing vests, reason being we don't want a formal wedding look/feel. We also think this will be good for the guys since our wedding is outdoors and we don't want them to overheat.
I am already envisioning what everyone will look like walking down the aisle and can't wait! Next time we will explore another essential part of any wedding, the music!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Let's Get Our Grub On!

Hey Guys,

Jon and I recently went for our reception food tasting and loved it! We were a bit apprehensive because we did not hear the best about the chef at our reception location, but our tasting session definitely turned around any doubt! Luckily for us they hired a new chef whose style favors seasonings and flava.

Our foods are centered around a Mediterranean menu, which is one of our favorite cuisines! I'm not going to reveal much more in terms of the menu because we want our guests to be pleasantly surprised, but just know it's Greek inspired.

Speaking of eating, I can't forget about the cakes! We will be having 2 different flavors in the wedding cake because we just couldn't pick one (they were all so good!). Jon picked the flavor for his groom's cake, so that consists of some chocolate. They were quite yummy at our tasting, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will be a hit at our wedding. Check out a couple of cakes that I thought were beautiful. Again, I'm not going to show my actual cake because of the element of surprise.

Next time I will give the guys some time to shine! What will they be wearing???