Sunday, April 19, 2009

My Floral Favorite

Other than Daffodils there aren't too many specific flowers I really love, other than hydrangeas. I love flowers in general, I think they are all pretty much beautiful, but the only two I tend to really love and favor are daffodils and hydrangeas. I know excalty where my love has come for both.

Daffodils were always planted in my front yard. I grew up picking them and bringing them in for my mom. Then when I went to college and was homesick, I was so comforted the next Spring when daffodils were in bloom all over down town Newport.
Hydrangeas have long been a favorite starting with summers spent on the Cape. Every summer my aunt and my neighbors would rent houses on the Cape. My family always headed north to Maine and New Hampshire, but somehow I'd sneak in to their family vacations on the Cape, too.
We stayed in Dennisport most years and I had never seen hydrangeas in Boston. I only saw them on the Cape. I started to associate hydrangeas with Cape Cod. It happened to be my favorite place growing up. Cape Cod meant friends and fun, every summer. Whenever I see hydrangeas, I have fond memories of our summer trips to Cape Cod.

Cape Cod is some what of an inspiration in our wedding planning. Newport is the main inspiration, but the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod tend to sneak into our inspiration and ideas once in awhile. It is hard not too, when I see certain nautical elements, it brings back memories of our other favorite beach towns.
Picking our focal flower was easy. I had it narrowed down to two options- daffodils or hydrangeas. We went with hydrangeas because they truly match our color scheme and the feel we want for the day. Hydrangeas remind me of Cape Cod, New England, the beach and many other things I love.
All photos from Flowers by Semia's website. Who I am hoping to set up an appointment with! I have seen her work in different publications and she has been recommended by many vendors.

Did you pick your flowers for sentimental reasons or do you just think they are pretty?

Friday, April 17, 2009

No Cha-cha??

Our meeting with DJ number three was bitter sweet. I really liked him....ALOT. One thing though.....he won't play the Cha-Cha Slide. Why is this an issue? Well because I LOVE the cha-cha slide. I literally get excited whenever it comes on at weddings or family functions, heck I'm usually the one requesting it! I love dancing... I'm terrible, but I love it. My friends need encouragement to get on the floor, lots of begging on my part, and usually the cha cha slide. It is the one song I know I will get them on the floor. I haven't created our playlist yet, but if I had one ready, this would be on it.

So why doesn't DJ # 3 play the Cha-Cha slide? Well he said it isn't his style. He has been refusing brides of the Cha-Cha slide, the Electric Slide, the Hokey Pokey, Cotton Eyed Joe and the likes since 1996. With the one exception of a dear friend.

So just dump him right? Well, other than the Cha-cha slide, he is virtually perfect for us. He has a laid back style. He spins not only at weddings, but at a lot of our favorote Newport bars. When I say spin, yes, he does spin, which is so cool! He isn't your typical wedding DJ, he has more of an edge because he works the clubs fairly regularly, so he knows whats current and what people dance to. We have a young crowd, so this would set him apart. Since he also works weddings, he knows how to include songs from different genres to get all people dancing, not just our young friends, which is key. He isn't super chatty, which is a quality we want in a dj. We are paying for music, not a talk show. He also has a really nice voice. I never really considered voice quality in a dj, but he has a nice voice, Mr. Newport agreed. Apparently after the last DJ, he realized voice is key. He thought the last guy was a lousy speaker. So it is one of the things he noticed on this consultation.

So what to do now? We have one appointment to go, then comes the final decision. This is the toughest vendor decision yet. All the other ones, we just knew.

Did you have any bitter sweet experiences on a vendor search? Did you have to give up something you really want to get the overall experience you were/are looking for?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Engaging Outfits

About a month before our engagement shoot, we still don't know what to wear. We were hoping to use the pictures for a few different DIY projects related to the wedding, so the one thing we knew for sure is the color of our outfits. We wanted to stick with our white and navy color scheme to coordinate with the wedding.

My dream dress for the downtown pictures was the navy Betsey Dress from Lilly Pulitzer's Spring 2009 collection.

Another option was J.Crew's Pique V-Neck Ruffle Dress. I love it in Navy! It is cheaper than my dream Lilly dress, so I was leaning more towards the J. Crew option.
We were hoping for variety, so we each wanted 3-4 outfits. We came up with a plan for each outfit/area.

Downtown Shots: Something a little more sophisticated/classy, maybe a Navy Cocktail length dress
Beach: Something flowy, that will look pretty against the ocean, either a Maxi dress or white knee length dress
Campus/Cliffwalk: Something more casual, jeans, flats and a navy or white plain top
Beach or Campus addition: Jeans with sweatshirts from our alma mater! We want to include our love for Salve! We are already doing campus shots, but when we first met I lived in hoodies, so I think it will be fun to have a few pro shots with our alma mater hoodies.

How did you decide what to wear on your engagement shoot? Any great tips out there?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Booking the Church

I booked the church without ever actually stepping foot inside. A little out of character for me. I typically research up a storm on everything wedding related. The weekend after making it official, I just had to go and see it. Partially to ease my mind, so I'd have no worries. So, the following Sunday after booking, I had two of my bridesmaids come on a mini road trip to Newport..... to go to church.

I had seen bridesmaid 1, the week before and told her about it. The other bridesmaid, I sent a text asking if she wanted to go to Newport, she of course said yes. The night before leaving, I sent them both a text saying mass will be at 10:30, let's leave by 8:45. bridesmaid 2, sent a text back so confused... "mass?" Whooops! Forgot to give that detail. Luckily once I explained, she was happy to go. So the three of us headed to Newport, RI to attend Sunday mass. We figured it couldn't be more than an hour and we'd meet up with another friend in town.
Well, it seemed to have slipped my mind that we were going on Palm Sunday. As Catholics may know, this means there are more rituals during the mass, which means more time. So we sat through a lovely mass, which happend to be longer than expected. This makes me love my bridesmaids even more, they come to mass with me during the planning, not just the "fun" stuff, but the stuff that is really important to me.

We left mass and all agreed it was beautiful. The three of us went to the same Catholic school growing up and have pretty much attended the same church all of our lives. This church has a different set up than ours at home, but we all really liked it. There are multiple lights over the alter that give a beautiful glow. There are multiple aisles, which gives more access to each row, and more front row seats!

Mr. Newport asked me to take a picture, but I really didn't think it was appropriate to take photos during mass on Palm Sunday. So I did a little google search. Faith Dugan, from Rhode Island has a few amazing shots on her blog.

The church is very simple, but I think simplicity can be beautiful. I am so in love with our church! I can't wait to say I do to Mr. Newport. I sat through the mass amazed that this is where we were going to become husband and wife!

Have you had a momemt like this yet? Where you are overwhelmed by the significance of an element in planning that makes it seem so real?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Etsy Finds

I am a huge Etsy fan. I have never actually made a purchase, but I am pretty sure that will change over the course of wedding planning. One of my most recent finds is seller CaptureCapeMay. I am in love with their work!

We are going for classic New England - romantic beach elegance vibe for the wedding... that's a mouthful! I saw Capture Cape May's stationery and think it fits the theme! We really want to do photo or magnet save the dates, but I think these would perfectly set the tone for our wedding:

Such a cute Save The Date idea!

I also love the thank you notes, I love DIY, but these are so cute! They could be for guests, parents, readers, or the weddign party!
Another bridesmaid option:
A gift for the bride or groom.....
Notes for the bridesmaids as part of a thank you gift....
So many options! Do you have a favorite seller on Etsy?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

DJ Experience - Part 2

We had a great expereince on our first DJ meeting, the second one.....not so much. We drove to RI for the meeting and about 5 minutes in, we knew he was not the one.

He started the interview by asking what we are looking for, which kind of threw us off. We like to hear their style before saying what we are looking for because we fear they will just say what they think we want them to hear. So we gave a brief description on what we are looking for- lots of dancing and fun. Pretty basic. I explained we went to a wedding this past year, where they had guests dancing from right after the bride and groom's first dance through the end of the night, in a way that didn't interrupt dinner. He spoke about how this could be hard because of interrupting dinner, which we have seen it work and spoke to our first DJ about and he spoke about the flow of the evening and how to best incorporate dancing throughout the evening. Then he started talking...a lot.

We were there for about 2 hours and we hardly said a word. We did say that we did not want to do a garter toss or a chicken dance, not that there is anything wrong with's just not us. Instead of leaving it at that, he explaiend different ways he worked these into weddings in more unique ways, and explaiend them for about 15 minutes. He also spoke for a long time about anniversary dances, which we don't plan on doing. He spent a lot of time speaking of things we didn't want, which he would have known if he just asked. I felt like I couldn't interrupt him and say we don't want that, because I didn't want to be rude.

We asked a few questions, but not many. We knew we didn't want to use him early in, he was a little outdated and just didn't get what we were looking for. I didn't want to be rude, so we asked a few questions, but we got to the point where we were afraid to ask questions, ebcause we didn't want to prolong the meeting and get stuck there longer. We didn't want to waste his time.

I honestly have enjoyed every other vendor metting we have been on, other than our first videographer appointment, which was a little akward since I wasn't prepared. Even that one was enjoyable compared to this. By the end of this meeting my eyes were burning and I had a headache. Even when we thought we were done, he tried selling us other services including videography, which we told him we already have.

One thing our first DJ warned us about was DJ's who spend a lot of time talking about their sound systems. Most people don't know what is good or bad and this goes over their heads. Well, when we talked to DJ #2, he spent plenty of time on the equipment, like little detaisl about how the equipment is made and how it can break and on and on...I literally zoned out for awhile, I just couldn;t comprehend what he was speaking about. I left feeling really bad for bringing Mr. Newport and my Mom to this meeting, and I felt bad for wasting the DJ's time. We have no interest, but I always feel rude saying so. I know I have to send him an e-mail saying we are not interested, which I will do soon.

Has anyone else had a really bad vendor meeting? How did you handle it? Do you have any suggestions on how to cut down the time on a meeting without being rude?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

DJ Experience - Part 1

Wednesday, we met with the first DJ., Victor from Party Time. We were refered to him through David Bibeault, our wedding photographer. We had a great experience.

First off, we showed up really early due to my poor planning and waited in the car for about 15 minutes, since we had a late appointment and he was coming from his house back to the office to accomodate us. Well, sitting in the car for that time threw Mr. Newport off and when Victor showed up, Mr. Newport got out of the car and locked in the keys! Typical Mr. Newport, but I still love him.

So not a great start to the meeting, but Victor instantly turned it around, within 5 minutes, he had someone there and got the keys out of the car for us. Then the real meeting began. He started off by explaining that he would do a lot of talking, but assured me he wouldn't talk this much on the wedding day, if we choose to book. He saw my list and told me he would probably answer most of the questions on my three page list before I even ask.

He was right. He was so comprehensive and went over every detail you would need to know prior to booking a vendor. I was impressed. I am super detail oriented and appreciate that characteristic in others, especially others who may be working on my wedding.

He told us of past experiences and ways he has personalized weddings for others and as he spoke of one wedding, I literally had chills. This is the kind of guy you want representing you on your first day as an official family. I really would have loved to book him on the spot, but he is the highest in our price range, so I am forcing myself to look at others, although I think he'd be worth every penny.

We actually went in hoping we wouldn't like him as much because the others are little less and thought it would save some money. I'm pretty sure this won't be the case. We have three meetings to go and he has set the bar really high. I'm interested to see how the others compare.

Was anyone else really wowed by a wedding vendor during a meeting? What made him/her stand out above the rest?

Honeymoon Possibility 2

Awhile into our engagement, Mr. Newport's aunt had offered her tiem share in Disney World for our honeymoon. It was perfect because she has it in October, right after our wedding.

Growing up, I always thought I would honeymoon in Disney World. My parents took me there for the first time at three years old. It was magical. And somehow, after all these still is. I'm not sure the first time I saw them, but at one point I saw a couple with the Mickey and Minnie wedding ears and I remember thinking, that is going to be me one day.
Well, here we are on our Spring Break trip in 2007, I was sure he was going to propose, but it didn't happen. We ended up still having one of the best trips ever.

I think most people think kids when they think Disney, but I have grown to appreciate it more and more each time I go. It was magical at three because I thought all the characters were real. As a child, it's one big fantasy coming alive right in front of you.

As an adult, it brings back those happy childhood memories (even if you didn't go as a child). You get to be a kid again. I somehow feel pure happiness, everytime I walk through the gates of the Magic Kingdom. Who wouldn't want pure happiness on their honeymoon?
One of the fun things about Disney is their wish to make you have a "magical day". They do everything possible to make your stay better. Both times we have gone, it has been on our dating anniversary in March. When the hotel found out it was our anniversary, we were given an anniversary button by the concierge, and told to wear it everywhere for special perks.

Well on the day of our anniversary, we came back from the parks mid-day to an anniversary balloon and a card from Mickey and Minnie themselves, and yes, this made me very excited as a full grown adult.
When we went out to dinner at Tony's Town Square in the Magic Kingdom, we arrived at our table to Mickey confetti and streamers, when our dessert came we had a splendid rendition of Bella Notte from many restaraunt goers and staff. Mr. Newport was horrified and I soaked it all in. I love the special touches Disney provides to make your special day that much more special. There are also many opportunities to provide a special night for yourselves in a more private way.

We stayed at the Polynesian for our second trip together. It is a little smaller than the other hotels, which makes it more intimate. We spent a couple nights on the Polynesian's beach by ourselves overlooking the Magic Kingdom.

We found our own little spot and claimed it as ours each night. A little hammock out of the way from the rest of the hotel stayers. We sat in the dark, looking at the stars, until we noticed the water parade! I saw it as a kid and forgot all about it, until one night while we were star gazing and happend to be in the right place at the right time.
Laying on the hammock, we watched as the water parade strolled by and then stayed on to watch the fireworks. The Polynesian has a great view of the Magic Kingdom's firework shows, virtually unobstructed.

Mr. Newport gave the show a thumbs up!
We have been there two times together and they were both amazing trips filled with fun, entertainment and really great food.
Unfortunately, Mr. Newport will not have accrued enough time at work for us to take a honemyoon the month of our wedding, so we had to decline his aunt's generous gift.
Have you ever been to Disney? What is your favorite Disney memory?