Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bachelorette Shenanigans

am now literally weeks away from my wedding day! We are getting down to the wire and final preparations are under way. As I mentioned in the last post there is not much left to blog before the wedding. But I did want to write about my bachelorette party that happened this past weekend! 

I had no idea what I wanted to do for my bachelorette party.  I am a bride with a budget so a big extravagant bachelorette weekend away was a no go. Some lucky girls get to go to Vegas, Dominican Republic, Mexico and so forth but I only planned to be away for 1 night. I live so close to New York City but I have also been to NYC so many times that I just didn't feel excited about it anymore. Peter and his friends went to Atlantic City for his bachelor party 2 weeks before and  I didn't want to steal his idea. Instead, I chose the next best thing, Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. It is essentially the same thing as AC, only elsewhere. I had always wanted to go to MoSun but never got a chance to go. So that is where we ended up! 

I have the best Maid of Honor ever (my sister!) who made it all happen. She contacted my girls, booked the hotel rooms, set up rides and coordinated everything. I was so grateful and happy that everything went off without a problem. 

It ended up being 6 of us and we had a really great time!! The hotel, the food, the experience was awesome! I am so glad to have such awesome friends and family who came out for me. 

Above I posted just a few pictures taken from the night. Thank you everyone who was part of it and made it so memorable. 

This is most likely my final post before the big day! I can't wait to blog about the rest and share my actual day with everyone who reads. I will see you on the other side!

Michelle G

P.S. Only 22 days left! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

38 days left rant #boogsgetmarried

There is no real focus of this post aside from some venting on my part. With only 38 days left until the wedding we are finishing up most of the last minute details. So many things to remember! As we get closer I definitely am feeling the pressure to get things done within a little bit of time.

The best thing that I ever did was not rush this entire process. I have lots of respect for the couples who pull this all together in a year or under but I am so glad that we didn't go that route. I wanted to enjoy our engagement and not feel pressured for time. But at this point I am also just anxious for it all to be over! Am I the only one feeling like that? I am almost more excited about the honeymoon to be honest lol! I consider myself to be pretty good at managing stress but boy has this past year been stressful! Between planning wedding details, moving in with Pete, adjusting to our new life, dealing with finances and ever changing schedules, being on top of the bridal party and everything else in between it's a wonder I haven't had a nervous breakdown (although I have been close). 

So what's left at this point? This week we pick up my wedding ring from the jeweler on Saturday. I am so excited to see how it came out and I will be sure to post a picture. We also still need to apply for our marriage license, choose our ceremony music and finalize table placements since we are still receiving RSVPs. And of course all the balances owed to the florist, photographer/videographer and reception venue are all due on the same day ::sigh::. 

I feel so anxious though. Anxious for the day to come, anxious to go on my honeymoon and anxious to know what we are doing moving forward. For the past year and half we have been in full wedding planning mode and our future after the wedding has been a big question mark mainly because we are first trying to get through this whole thing before adding more stressful decision making to our plates. We are planning to use this next year to really map out our life, find a suitable place to settle down and figure out what our future will look like. But since I tend to be a control freak just winging things has been hard for me since I always try to be 10 steps ahead. My goal for the next 38 days is to just "chill out" and not freak. Everything will get done and everything will be great the day of the wedding. 

There is not much else to blog about before the big day although my bachelorette weekend is coming up next week. That will likely be my last post before the wedding day. Thank you everyone who has read my blog thus far and followed my little journey to the altar. I hope you will continue reading my blog. And if you leave me a link to your own blog I would love to read it too. Thanks again!

Til next post,
Michelle G

Monday, July 7, 2014

Our Wedding Rings

Time is flying by since June and my wedding is creeping up sooner and sooner as each day goes by. I sent out wedding invitations last week and have already started to get back RSVP's. I get so excited opening the mail to see those cute little response envelopes and guessing who it is from. But that is another post I will do soon. Today I am so happy to report that our wedding rings have been ordered/purchased. I really hoped to get this done last month but we just got done with it all yesterday.

My Ring

I knew right away that I wanted a ring that would match well with my engagement ring because I would like to wear both of them together. So I decided that an eternity band would work best. I decided against an eternity band with diamonds all around because 1) I am told by many people that the stones on the bottom tend to fall out and need repair from hitting it against tables, opening doors and just every day wear and tear.  2) because if it has stones all around it you cannot resize it. So you are stuck with one size which if you gain weight or lose weight could become a problem.  I chose to have my eternity band with half band of stones and bottom half just plain 14k white gold. I also wanted a very slim and tiny band that wouldn't take away from the engagement ring which is my bling bling ring (lol!).  I started looking for what I wanted online and comparing prices. We are definitely on a wedding budget and had a certain number in mind of what we wanted to spend for both rings.  As we looked in different jewelry stores it was pretty obvious I would either have to plunk out more money than expected or I had to choose something I wasn't crazy about. Enter my mother to the rescue! She has truly been amazing and came up with a wonderful solution. My parents have been divorced for some time now. However, on their 10 yr anniversary she got a beautiful diamond ring with lots of larger sized stones.  Since she is no longer married and doesn't wear the ring she was so kind and thoughtful enough to offer to give me half of the stones in the ring to have my jeweler create an eternity band for me. This saved me lots of money because I just had to pay for the gold and the work to make it. Aside from saving lots of money this way, I was touched by the sentimental value of those stones and how unselfishly my mother gave me them. She will save the rest of the stones for my sister if she wants them for her own wedding or for another piece of jewelry.  I love it. I am so excited to pick it up. I am so excited for my wedding!

This is exactly what I was looking for.  Something simple and very thin
This is essentially what my rings will look like once its completed only slightly larger stones (thanks momma!) :) 

Peter's Ring

Peter debated for a while about what he wanted for his ring but he knew right away he didn't want any stones in his and wanted it on the plainer side.  The first ring that we saw for him was a beautiful two tone ring with white gold inside lined with yellow gold and mil grain detail on the edges.  But then he started leaning toward a solid yellow gold band on our second trip to look at rings and decided against any type of mil grain or textured finish.  BUT THEN he saw a really nice white gold band with a brushed texture with polished white gold on the edges and I was sure he was going to go with that one.  BUT THEN he changed his mind again at the last minute and ultimately decided to go with a simple white gold band.  We pick it up in 2 weeks because it needs to be resized and polished. Once we pick it up I am planning to get it engraved with our first initials and our wedding date ♡

Pete's ring will look just like this one.. 14K WG
The wedding is so close. I will have so many things to discuss in the upcoming weeks as everything starts to really kick off. Thanks to everyone who has read my blog and followed my journey to the altar. I love blogging and hope to continue blogging about my life as a married woman! Only 68 days til that happens!! 

Til next time,

Thursday, June 12, 2014

My Bridal Shower

I just wanted to do a quick blog post on my lovely bridal shower that was held this past Sunday June 8th.  I had a great time with my friends and family.  It was a beautiful day.  Although it was supposed to be a total surprise, I managed to get my sister/MOH to let me know the date of the shower so that I could make sure I looked my absolute best! Everything else was a secret. I had no idea about the location, time or guests.  

Peter dropped me off at a really nice restaurant for lunch and I was so excited to see all of my guests when I walked in!  We mingled, we ate delicious food and cake and I opened some awesome gifts!  Below I've posted a few pictures from the bridal shower! Enjoy :) Only 94 days left!! 

Me walking into the bridal shower...Pete is behind
Me and Peter before he left me with the ladies
Thank you to my sister and mother for putting this whole day together for me! 

These were the lovely bridal shower favors! So cute! 
My two cousins, me and my sister <3
My cake...simply delicious!
Me!! <3 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Honeymoon Booked!

Happy Memorial Day!  I am very happy to have a day off from work today but still managed to wake up early.  So I thought I had some good quiet time to share the good news!  We booked our honeymoon!

Our wedding is now a little under 4 months away and we needed to get the ball rolling as far as our honeymoon planning.  I have 2 weeks off after the wedding that I already scheduled off from work.  I wanted to have a nice long break after all the prepping and planning was over.  Originally, we had thought we would be going on a cruise to Bermuda but decided against it because we wanted to just enjoy one place and stay on land.  Plus we were interested in going to an all-inclusive resort, where we would pay for everything upfront and not have to leave the resort or worry about food/beverage costs later on.  

I love to plan trips.  So as soon as we decided to do an all inclusive I immediately went online to find the best vacation package.  I was looking for something affordable and nice in a good location and directly on the beach.  We are on a budget as far as wedding savings so I had a certain price in mind that I knew we could not go over.  After searching different websites, comparing prices, tweaking dates, changing our minds completely, and then some more searching and comparing I finally found us the perfect place... Montego Bay, Jamaica!  I have only been to Jamaica once for a few hours during a cruise many years ago.  So this will be a nice time to really enjoy the island once again and experience the beautiful white sand beaches.  We will be staying for 6 nights at the Riu Montego Bay resort.  We have stayed at other Riu resorts in the past and found them to be a really nice value. 

Beautiful Jamaican beach

Dunn's River Falls- I hope Pete and I get to climb up it!

The resort! Right on the beach like I need!

The pools..I can't wait to be in them!

Some quick tips that I have for planning a honeymoon:

1. Check up on weather patterns! - We knew ahead of time that September in the Caribbean is rainy/hurricane season so we took that into consideration when choosing our location. We found that compared to some other places, Jamaica was less rainy and has experienced the least amount of hurricanes.  In reading other traveler reviews they mentioned that the little bit of rain experienced did not interfere with their vacation enjoyment.  If your concerned about the weather during your honeymoon make sure you look for locations that have good/tolerable weather for the time of year you want.  If the price seems too good to be true make sure it's not because of the season.  

2. Look at all the options - I used the help of 3 different websites when researching vacation packages.  I found that different websites have different deals and price points for the same hotels.  I used Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline websites.  I found that one of these sites offered better flights and accommodations for lower prices on the same exact vacation packages.  Take the time to look at all the options and choose the best site to purchase your package.

The wedding is starting to get close... I'm very excited and even more so now that our wonderful romantic honeymoon is booked.  I can't wait to share that in a future post!  


Michelle G

Only 111 days to go!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Planning Our Interfaith Ceremony

When Pete and I began our relationhip one ofis the f Roman Catholic (with communion and confirmation pics to prove it) and Pete is Jewish (converted, bar mitzvah'd and all). Throughout the years of our relationship we have worked together to keep balance between relationship and religion. We always try to be respectful of both faiths.  We spend most Jewish holidays with his family and Catholic ones with my family. So far it's worked out well for us.

When we got engaged we realized quickly that planning a ceremony would be a little different than what I had always imagined or expected.  Growing up I always thought I would be married in church by a priest. I never thought I would marry someone who was from a different religion and so I had to come to terms with the fact that we could not get married in church by a priest.  It bothered me a little bit at first but I got over it and now I am glad that we can do our ceremony at the same place as the reception. It makes it much easier for our guests who won't have to travel in between ceremony and reception.  It will be a nice easy transition from ceremony to cocktail hour and then reception. 

Finding a suitable wedding officiant proved to be a little tricky. This is a wedding so the most important aspect of it is the marriage ceremony. We wanted to find an officiant who would know how to blend both our faiths into one ceremony that reflected how we feel about eachother and reflects our religions without feeling too Catholic or too Jewish. We wanted a balance of the religions. The issue we found was finding an officiant who understood that.

Since I am pretty much the first in my group of friends to get married (same goes for Pete) we had no recommendations for an officiant so I had to scout one myself. I read reviews for officiants near me. I found a few officiants and scheduled appointments to meet with each of them in person. The issue I found with many of these interfaith officiants is that 1. They either knew more about one religion and not enough about the other OR 2. Everything was too general/generic sounding meaning they didn't really touch on any religion's aspect at all. 

Some tips for finding your officiant

1. Start early...the sooner the better. This allows for plenty of time to find the best fit and more likely the officiant still has that day open. This is a very personal and special moment. Make sure you find someone who takes the time to get to know you. Ask friends and family for recommendations if they have already gone down this route.

2. Meeting in person is a must. We met with 3 different officiants before choosing one. Make sure you feel comfortable and that they understand exactly what you want. If you don't feel a connection keep looking until you find someone who "gets you." Someone can look great on paper and on their website but then seem very different in person. Meet them, discuss your vision and make sure they know how to deliver.

3. Come prepared and know what you want (or at least an idea). The first officiant we met asked us what we wanted in our ceremony and we drew a total blank. We wanted an interfaith ceremony but had no idea how much or how little of each we wanted to include, did we want a unity ceremony?, did we want everyone to wear a yarmulke? , did we want to include hebrew prayers?, etc. So needless to say we came a little ill prepared for our first officiant meeting. Before you meet with anyone make sure you are first meeting with eachother and discussing these details.

4. Shop around for the right fit. This kind of goes hand in hand with meeting in person. Do not feel pressured to make a decision and book the first officiant you meet unless you feel absolutely sure this is the perfect officiant for you. We waited til we found someone who we felt comfortable with and who understood our vision.

When we met with the third officiant we were very happy that we found someone who understood what we were looking for and could easily piece together an outline of our ceremony that we thought worked well.  This is what we came up with: 

Rough Outline of The Ceremony 

1. Groom walks down with both parents (Jewish tradition)
2. Bridal party walks down 
3. Bride walks down with father only (Catholic tradition)
4. Opening remarks
5. Blessing of wine and hebrew prayers (Jewish)
6. Bible verse new testament (Catholic)
7. Unity ceremony (either sand or candle lighting)
8. Vows
9. Presentation of married couple
10. Break the glass (Jewish)

*We will also be marrying under a chuppah 

I am really happy with what we came up with and it is a pretty well balanced ceremony without it being "too Catholic" or "too Jewish" for lack of better terms. Hopefully if you are reading this and planning your own interfaith wedding you can take use this as a starting point! :) But remember at the end of the day this is YOUR wedding ceremony...make sure it feels right and reflects your love. 

Til my next post,


p.s. only 150 days left!!! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Beginnings + Engagement Pics!

Happy 2014!! It is hard to believe it is already January and another year is here.  I have so many things to look forward to this year.  It is exciting, stressful, overwhelming and a little surreal sometimes to think I am planning my wedding but I am loving the ride.  We took a break from doing any serious planning but now that the new year is here we are ready to get back into full gear!  More on that soon...!  

I have been wanting to do a blog post months ago but due to my moving to a new apartment and holiday stuff I had to push it back. Our engagement photos have officially been in for awhile but we are just recently starting to share them. We had such a nice time taking the photos and we got to meet and work with the photographer doing our wedding photos.  It was a great time and we were lucky to get a picture perfect day.  The weather, the sky, the breeze was just perfect.  I can only hope we get an equally beautiful wedding day. 

What we wore

For engagement photos our photography company suggested that we dress in complimenting outfits as if from the same catalogue without being too matchy matchy. In order to do that we bought clothes from the same store so that the colors and style would mesh well. Pete and I love the store Express and since they carry both men and women's clothes we picked outfits from this store for the photos.
Here is a photo of our outfits! We chose classic fall colors like gray, black and camel.
Michelle: Black Dress (H&M-old but Express literally had the exact same dress this season) , Cardigan (Express-old), Belt (Express), Bandolino boots (Macy's)

Pete: Black sweater (Express), Gray pants (Express), Black loafers (Journeys)

Our Favorite Shots

I expected to wait a few weeks before we got our proofs back but I was surprised that we got them back only 1 week later!! They came out beautiful and we are very happy with them!! Below I have posted a few of our favorite shots!! I'm planning to order a few prints to hang up around our apartment and we will also choose an image from the shoot to use on our save the date announcement.
One of the first shots of the day!

My favorite shot of us walking. 

Just you and me <3

Modeling like pros!

Love <3

The Cloisters

Perfect end to a  beautiful day <3

Michelle G

P.S. Only 255 days til the big day!