Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Musical Chairs

Image via Lover.ly / Photo Creidt: Graceology Photgraphy
I thought the title was appropriate since each of our tables will be named after our favorite bands :) Putting together the seat chart surprisingly didn't stress me out nearly as much as I thought it would.  For the most part, it was actually not that difficult assigning people to tables.  I hate going to a wedding and being seated at a table where I don't know anyone (although I understand that sometimes it's unavoidable, but still), so it was really important to us that we sat people together who mostly knew each other.   In putting the tables together, we realized that my family alone makes up six tables, while his whole family only takes up one and a half tables.  Our Connecticut friends make up four tables, and the remaining three tables consists mostly of NYC friends, bridemaids and their SOs.

Then there was the vendor seating--at first we were thinking of a separate table but the 15 tables we currently have are the absolute maximum...so that was a no-go.  Putting them in another room wasn't an option, especially for our photographers since all the speeches are going to be in-between courses. So ultimately we decided to add a few additional seats to the tables closest to the dance floor. 

Here is how I'm visualizing the layout for the reception room--we want to seat our immediate family closest to our sweetheart table and the friends who are most likely to be dancing all night right by the dance floor (I still have to run this by the venue to make sure what I'm seeing in my head is actually possible.)

Further down shows the dance floor and DJ booth and past that is what I'm visualizing for the little lounge area, complete with couch, light up bar, photobooth, etc.

FYI, I made this chart on WeddingWire;

 Did you run in to issues while putting together your seating chart?  Did you also create a visual for how you envision the room set up?
Monday, April 29, 2013

The Tale of the Sleepless Bride-to-be

Once upon a time there was a girl who never had to think twice about sleep.  It was just that thing you did at night and nothing more.  But as she got older and life got more complex, her daytime thoughts and worries started to invade that nighttime dreamland until one night, the unexpected happened.  She laid in bed...and stayed awake the entire time.  'What kind of sorcery is this?!", she would ask herself.  And as this strange occurrence started happening more and more often, she started to realize that anytime something big were happening the next day, her brain refused to turn off at night.  Thus begins our tale...

That pretty much sums it up / Image via Joy Reactor
I'll let you in on a little secret...this tale is about me (I know, I know, shocker).  But seriously, like Miss Blue Whale I always have trouble sleeping the night before anything out of my ordinary schedule occurs.  Case in point--the night before my bachelorette party I couldn't sleep...nor could I sleep the next 3 nights I was in Vegas (which is why most of the trip was a blur--well aside from the booze-induced haze of course).  My insomnia spells also kick in when I'm stressed, anxious or oddly enough, with my monthly period (clearly hormone related).  So as you can see, my brain/hormones/sleep patterns are all sorts of effed up. 

With all these issues, I can say with 99.9% certainty that despite having Mr. M by my side, I will not get a wink of sleep the night before the wedding.  I know my self very well and I know I will be way too stressed out about everything that needs to happen the next day (even though I shouldn't be since our wedding planner will be running the show).  And yes I know, stressing about not sleeping is also a self-fulfilling prophecy--but I just can't help it.

So, anyone have advice on getting some shut eye the night before the wedding?  Prescription drugs are out of the question for me because I'm afraid they won't work and will only leave me extremely groggy.  Even natural supplements like Melatonin sometimes don't work when I'm going through a particularly bad spell.  Help me hive!
Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wedding Photo Must-Haves

With the wedding almost a month away, we've been emailing with our photographers for the past few weeks about the shooting schedule for the big day.  Our photogs are an awesome couple who offered us a pretty sweet deal--in addition to including our e-shoot within the cost, there is also no time limit for shooting on the wedding day.  They will come early for the getting-ready shots and they will stay until the party ends at 2am (unless we tell them they can leave earlier since we'll all probably be bombed and look like crap by that point!)

So while working out the shooting schedule and family portrait VIP list, I also wanted to send them my list of must-have shots that I've been hoarding pinning on Pinterest.  Here is a snippet of the images that make me swoon and that I hope they'll use as inspiration.

FYI, this will be a pretty pic-heavy post!

Getting Ready
A really good makeup shot
Image via The Bride's Cafe / Photo Credit: Renaissance Studios Photography
A getting help into the dress shot
Image via Lover.ly / Photo Credit: W Scott Chester
A dapper groom shot
Image via Lover.ly / Photo Credit: Christa Elyce
A candid of girls getting ready shot
Image via The Knot / Photo Credit: Greg Gibson Photography
An all the pretty dresses shot
Image via Lover.ly
A shoe shot (of course)
Image via The Bride's Cafe / Photo Credit: Krista Mason Photography
Bride & Groom
A pre-first look shot
Image via Melissa Young Photography
A groom kissing bride shot
Image via Bridal Musings / Photo Credit: Robert Sukrachand
A running around Old Montreal shot
Image via Raw Photo Design
A sexy shot
Image via Michael Segal Photography
A sweet shot
Image via Aphrodite's Wedding Blog/ Photo Credit: Cotton Candy Weddings
A mom and dad seeing bride shot
Image via Martha Stewart Weddings
An emotional groom shot
Image via Joie Lala
A walking down the aisle with parents shot
Image via One Wed / Photo Credit: Cory Parris
A jubilant bride and groom shot
Image & Photo Credit: Claire Eliza
A stunning first dance shot
Image via Kevin Mullins Photography
A first dance, from groom's perspective shot
Image via Style Me Pretty / Photo Credit: Out Labor of Love
Invitation suite shot
Image via Green Wedding Shoes
A tablescape shot
Image via Green Wedding Shoes
Guestbook Vinyl LPs shot
Image via Intimate Weddings
 What's on your list of must-have shots?
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Big Primpin' Part III

If you recall wayyy back (okay, just a few months ago) I detailed my pre-wedding primping in Big Primpin' Part I and Big Primpin' Part II.  I just wanted to give a quick update on how everything's been working so far and the new things I've added to my regimen.

First off, the best decision I've made was to get monthly facials.  My face has never looked as healthy and my skin tone as even as it has over the past twelve months. Since I don't spend a lot on beautifying (I rarely get mani/pedis, only go to the hair salon a few times a year for my perm/relaxer and I get my eyebrows threaded once a month for $9), it was well within my budget to splurge on a monthly facial--and it's been worth every single penny. 

And in addition to drinking a TON more water and getting more sleep, I've also been trying to take vitamins as regularly as possible.  I take a multi, vitamin D, biotin, folic acid and I'd like to think these have also contributed to fixing my skin as well.

Another thing that's worked wonders for my face has been my Olay ProX exfoliating face brush (which I use a few times a week).  So with exfoliating in mind, I was in Whole Foods recently and got drawn into the beauty section which features some great-smelling organic body salt scrubs.
Various Salt Scrubs by Woodspirits
For $13.99, I purchased the Tsunami Relief "flavor" which is made with safflower oil, lemon peel and essential oil of grapefruit.  It smells absolutely divine and I've been doing a weekly body scrub in the shower for the past few weeks (it's quick and easy--only takes about 3-5 minutes).  I also plan on bringing the jar up with me to Montreal so I can exfoliate the night before the wedding.

And last but not least, I started using Crest White Strips this week (and somehow convinced Mr. M to use them as well!)  The first time I used these was like 4 or 5 years ago and let me tell you friends, they work.  You just apply the upper and lower strips to your teeth for 30 minutes a day and voila!  Whitened teeth without paying insane amounts of $$ at the dentist.  One thing though--these make your teeth sensitive as HELL so I find that I need to take breaks every few days.  But the results are worth it.
Crest Advance Seal White Strips (20 Day Supply) / Image via Amazon
Anyone else as borderline OCD about their pre-wedding beauty routine as I am?  What things are you doing to beautify for the big day?
Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Registry Gifts Received (So Far)

With our wedding less than 40 days away (holy crap), it's felt like Christmas over at the Mongoose house for the past two months!  We've gotten boxes full of awesome registry gifts that have been sitting in the kitchen for awhile.  So this past weekend, we decided to do some spring cleaning around the apartment--which meant getting rid of house stuff we no longer want/use (for example, tons of old glassware that we'll be donating to the Salvation Army) and making room for all of our new fun presents.

The biggest surprises in terms of registry gifts (so far) have been the big ticket items that we were convinced no one would get us.  Turns out we were wrong!  In no particular order, here they are.
Wusthof makes the most amazing knives, and this is a set we've wanted for years!  Courtesy of Groomsmen K and his fiancee / Image via Amazon
This Cuisinart Juicer was a last minute addition to the registry, as we decided we'd like to start juicing (drinks, that is)  This gift was courtesy of my cousin and her husband who can't make it to the wedding / Image via Amazon

Our dreams of owning a KitchenAid Mixer have FINALLY come true, courtesy of Mr. M's aunt and uncle.  How gorg is the color?? / Image via Amazon
Some other gifts we were SUPER excited to receive (and have started to use!) are;
This automatic wine chiller cools down bottles or cans in 3 minutes.  It works like a charm!  Courtesy of two of my cousins / Image via Bed Bath and Beyond
Beautiful stemless Lenox wine glasses (white wine) which have now replaced our fragile Ikea glasses, courtesy of Bridesmaid K / Image via Macy's
Another set of awesome stemless Lenox wine glasses (red wine), courtesy of my mom's cousin / Image via Macy's
We received two sets of these fabulous Mikasa champagne flutes, courtesy of Groomsmen B.B. and his wife.  This was immediately added to the registry when Mr. M and I realized that we didn't own any champagne glasses / Image via Macy's

AMAZING set of Charter Club 400 TC Sheets (in Wheat).  We've owned sheets that were 800 - 1000 TC and they absolutely do not compare to how soft and comfortable these sheets are.  I highly recommend adding to your registry if you are looking for a great sheet set!  This was courtesy of an aunt and uncle who can't make it to the wedding / Image via Macy's

Two sets of great Charter Club Damaks Stripe 500 TC Sheets (in Seaglass and Palmetto).  The color of each set is beautiful and the sheets have gotten softer with every wash.  Each set was courtesy of my dad's cousins / Image via Macy's

We still have a decent amount of items currently available on our registry, but as I mentioned in my previous registry post, there just isn't that much else that we need.  And I think we may start running out of items within the next month.

What have you guys done in that situation?  Did you keep adding things (even items you didn't need) to ensure you have enough options for your guests?  Or did you have an alternative solution?  We've already included a charity registry as an option but no one has donated yet.
Monday, April 15, 2013

My Journey to the Dress: 2nd Fitting

I had my second dress fitting recently and so far, all is good!  Bridesmaid A came along with me for squeeing, moral support and photo-taking (thanks boo!)  It had been nearly 3 months since my first fitting, so it was exciting to see the dress again and what changes had been made.  Because I'm on the shorter side, the seamstress had previously cut a lot from the bottom of the dress during the 1st fitting.  This time around, the bottom had been hemmed and looked brand new.  As for the bodice, there still needs to be a few inches taken in on both sides as well as right above my hips (thank you MyFitnessPal and P90X!) which I think will be finished in time for my 3rd fitting next week.

For this second fitting I had all the same accessories I brought along the first time, with the addition of my wedding day jewelry from Etsy (delivered one day before the fitting).  I had this necklace and these earrings favorited on Etsy for MONTHS--I knew I had to have them when I initially read the words "vintage" and "peacock" in the description.  So I finally decided to pull the trigger a few weeks ago...and I absolutely love them!!
via Etsy Shop Azure Treasures
via Etsy Shop Azure Treasures
As you guys know, I'm not sharing actual pics of the dress until the wedding, but here are some teasers from the fitting--I can't wait to share the final look with you all :)
I feel like I'm doing something naughty behind the pixelation! / Personal Photo
The jewelry and Kate Spades make their debut!  / Personal Photo
Anyone else having a pretty good experience so far with your dress fitting?
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Viva Las Vegas! - A Recap

Wearing my "Bride to Be" sash! / Personal Photo
 I'm backkkk!! Okay well I've been back for a few days now but have been trying to catch up on sleep and get my voice back after my bachelorette party weekend.  We did pretty much what we set out to do which was party, drink and paint the town red.  Overall it was a good time (other than a little bit of $$ drama, but that tends to happen when you have a huge group of 17 people).

The best part was that all these different groups of ladies I'm friends/family with all got to meet and spend time with each other--and it seemed like everyone got along really well :)  Oh and the other best part was that my room was upgraded to a SWEET junior suite--thanks Cosmo!!

Some other highlights were;
Marquee Dayclub: This was probably my favorite part of the trip.  The sun was shining, the DJ was awesome and everyone had such a great time.  I love day parties!
14 of us (3 of the girls were on their way) / Personal Photo

Me and my sister (and MOH) / Personal Photo
 Chandelier Bar: One of the most unique bars I've ever seen (it's built into a ginormous chandelier).  The drinks were a little sweet, but the ambience was great and this was also the only place where we got a picture taken of all 17 of us.
Chandelier Bar / Personal Photo
Wet Republic:  The pool party at MGM Grand.  Cray cray is all I have to say :)
From L to R: Bridesmaid K, Bridesmaid M, Me, Bridesmaid A.M., Bridesmaid T / Personal Photo
Custom T-Shirts: So the shirt below was custom ordered by Bridesmaid A.I.  The front says "The Future Mrs. (Mr. Mongoose)" and the back says "Buy me a shot, I'm tying the knot!" 
Breakfast at Wicked Spoon in the Cosmo--yum!! / Personal Photo
Sweet picture of me and Bridesmaid R / Personal Photo
 Additionally, she ordered shirts for all the girls who came--the front said "Mongoose's Entourage" (and by Mongoose I mean my first name) and the back of the shirt had each girls name on it.  SO freaking cute!!!
I think some of the other girls were getting dressed! / Personal Photo
Pizza & Naughty Cupcake Night:  The last night, all the girls came to my suite for drinks, games, music, pizza and naughty cupcakes.  A nice chill way to end a crazy trip :)
Ordered from Secret Pizza in the Cosmo.  So good / Personal Photo
Hehehehe!! / Personal Photo
Last photo of the trip--my red pumps and crown in the closet.  I was trying to be artistic by Instagramming it. / Personal Photo