Friday, January 30, 2009

The Guest List

When we originally started to plan, we wanted to invite everyone who had been an important part of our lives and our families lives. Our guest list was enormous. As time went by, we started setting up our priorities. We both want the wedding to be about the joining of two families. We felt a more intimate wedding would allow us to really enjoy the special moments with our closest family and friends.

In the beginning we stressed about hurting people's feelings and didn't want to leave anyone out. But if we invited more people, it means less time with those who are the most important to us. Our guestlist began at over 350 people. We ended up getting it down to about 200 people. Not what some would call intimate, but when you come from a large family and Christmas includes about 100 people, this is quite a cozy wedding in my eyes.
A few cousins at a family wedding in 2006

1. Immediate family - yes
2. Extended family - aunts, uncles, cousins - yes, if over 18.
3. Friends I see multiple times in a month- yes
4. Friends I see less than once a year - no
5. Dates- no, unless married, engaged, living together, in a long term relationship, we are close friends with the significant other, or the person we are close with doesn't really know anyone else at the wedding

These are my guidelines for my friends and family. Mr. Newport's situation is different. He recently moved up here and works long hours, so he doesn't have the luxury of seeing his best friends as often as I do. We only got to visit his home a couple times this year. When we went we wanted to spend as much time with his family as we could, so visits with friends weren't as often as he'd like. He has made some great friends up in the New England area, but it isn't the same as your friends from home. So our rules are a bit different.

Has anyone else had to come up with a list of "rules" for the guest list? What was the worst part of making your guest list?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Will you be my Maid of Honor?

I took my mom and my sister in town Boston, under the premise that I wanted to thank them for the amazing engagement party. We started off walking through the Public Gardens. We went to see the 12:30 showing of Bride Wars. I took a cue from the movie and took her to Tea at the Boston Park Plaza (it is a significant part of the movie). I waited until she least suspected it and handed her a scrapbook.

My sister, I'm pretty sure, immediately knew what was going on. So my mom teased me and asked if I was going to say anything, but I said the scrapbook says it all. I'm not too good with words, but when I write, I can fully express myself. So here it is:

The title page: One of my favorite photographs from childhood. It may have been our first trip to Disney World.

A few more childhood memories: we used to go to the same Dance Studio.
A mix of pictures, past and close to the present, with a few quotes.

The letter that explains how much she means to me, why I want her as my maid of honor, and the actual question. She is a shoe fanatic, can't you tell?
The question:Top ten reasons to be my Maid of Honor: I found many lists by typing this into google, but they were too generic, so I made a personalized version. She laughed and cried, reading through it.
The end of the book has many pages left for the wedding activities to come, I started by doing the engagement party, but plan on having scrapbook nights with the girls to fill in the rest, including, a Will you be my Bridesmaid/Maid of Honor page, the Shower, The Bridesmaid Luncheon, Bachelorette Party, Rehearsal Dinner and Wedding.
What are some of the ways you have asked or been asked to be in a bridal party?

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Engagement Party

A few months after the proposal, a couple of friends threw us an amazing engagement party.

They held the party at The Estate, a fancy nightclub in Boston. The bachelorette scene from Bride Wars was filmed there. Apparently Kate Hudson is a huge fan of the club. I'm a new fan, too! It was the perfect setting for the party. My friends reserved a private room. It was actually two rooms, one had a bar and music, and the other side was a little more intimate. We were lucky that so many of our friends came. It ended up being a snowstorm on the night of the party. We were so grateful to have so many people there. It was so special. One of my favorite details was a slideshow BIL Newport created for us throughout our dating years set to music with quotes throughout. They had it playing on replay through out the night. The details were so awesome. Even the desserts fit the color sceme.The cupcakes: The one thing, I was allowed to do! My mom had said she would take care of them, but was sick before the party, so I made them so she wouldn't have to. I think they turned out great! All the supplies were bought through confectionery house. Except the rings, which were purchased through A.C. Moore.All of the food was amazing. Everything was home-made or purchased through Roche Brother's and everything was delicious!
Chocolate covered strawberries were a huge hit.
They had diamond details everywhere! It was dim in the place and everything was glowing from the candle light and sparkly diamonds.
A few of my mom's delicious homemade desserts.
They used the plate I made for Mr. Newport at a pottery studio, the week after he proposed. "Love is Life" is a quote written on an archway on the cliffwalk in Newport.

Did you have an engagement party?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Registry Time!

Our friends are throwing us an engagement party next weekend, so we thought we should probably start a registry. Last night, we went to one of our favorite stores. We were so excited to walk around the store and use the gun. Then we got there and reality set in. We live at home with my mom and are planning on being here until the wedding, to save money for the wedding and a home. We realized last night that picking out registry items, when you don't have a home yet, is pretty hard!

I am a visual person and I couldn't pick anything up and visualize it in our future home because I have no idea what that home will look like. What if the kitchen is tiled a certain color and we can't use plates we picked out? What if the bathroom has the same issue? I know the logical thing to do is buy basic colors, but that is no fun to me!

We thought this may be somewhat of a problem, but it was worse than we expected. When we get a home, we are going into it with pretty much nothing. We have always always lived in apartments fully furnished and equipped with everything from the TV, microwave, utensils, dishes, measuring cups, you name it. So we don't really have anything other than two beautiful bedroom sets given to us by Mr. Newport's parent's (they moved last year and gave us two Ethan Allen sets from their guest rooms).

We set one criteria only: It has to be something we really need that is practical.

That really didn't work last night.

We ended up with 8 items. A pizza cutter, a dough scrapper (real practical, huh?), 3 candle holders, pilsner glasses, a trivet, a napkin holder, a 2 tiered server and a pitcher (probably the most practical!).

They are all things we will use, but when you need a lot, they probably aren't the most practical options. We need to focus more on dinnerware, utensils, pots and pans, tools (Mr. Newport's favorite idea!), etc.

I found a few tips over at Yum Sugar . (The above picture is from there, as well). Most of these I have heard before, but here are some of the top tips:

  • Register at two or three different stores. This will give your guests options, especially if they do not live near one of your chosen stores.
  • Over register by requesting more items than the number of people on your guest list. Also, be sure to check up on your registry a few days before your event. Most people purchase gifts a few days before. If there's nothing left on your registry, you're going to end up with some random items.
  • Register for items in every budget. Don't shy away from big ticket items - a big trend is for guests to pool together for one large item. However, make sure there are enough affordable pieces on your registery too.
  • When registering, make sure you specify both of your names. Some guests may want to personalize your gift and may need to know how to spell your names.

See the rest of the list, by clicking the Yum Sugar, link above.

I like that they say it is ok to register for big ticket items. A lot of places we are looking at offer completion bonuses. So after the wedding we can buy items left at 10-15% off, depending on the store. We were thinking of registering for a couch and dining table and chairs at one of the stores, but we didn't want to look greedy. It is mainly for the completion bonus afterwards, but after reading this, if a large (extremely large), group wanted to go in on a big ticket item, that would be awesome too!

What were some of your experinces while registering? Did you enjoy your first time registering or did it leave you a little frustrated? Any other great tips?