Category Archives: Planning

Week Five: Engagement Party Part 1 (and some other stuff)

This weekend, James and I hosted our Mass-based engagement party for friends. After a week of cooking, shopping, cleaning and preparing, I would say the event went on without a hitch! It was great to see everyone and celebrate with some of our closet friends.

Here’s the final spread (apologies for the blurry photo – it is the only one I have!):

(Missing: Homemade gluten free arancinis)

The signature drink was champagne with mango juice ice cubes – a twist on a Bellini / mimosa but oh so delicious. We ended up giving beer away as party favor since no one in the  household can drink it or will drink it. I can’t wait to see everyone in New York / New Jersey area in a few short weeks for Engagement Party Part 2!

Also this weekend, James and I went to visit our second wedding reception venue – The Arts for Humanity Epicenter in South Boston. While this is the complete opposite of the Waterworks Museum, we loved it just as much for different reasons. First, the Epicenter is a blank slate. Lights can transform it; art work on the wall changes and is provided by teens who participate in the organization’s programs. It’s amazing. Even better? They would let us pick the caterer.

We have a few more venues to check out in Boston, and this is going to be a tough decision!

Want to see pictures of the Epicenter? Check them out here:


Week Four: Snowstorm and party prep

James and I are planning our first of two engagement parties, and the goal was that this weekend I would do most of the shopping, cooking (and freezing) and cleaning for it. Well, Mother Nature had her own plans in mind, and dumped more than two feet of snow on us. So… shopping was out, which meant cooking what I wanted to was out, which meant, plan B because I was going to be stuck in side for at least 24 hours.

That would be my car…

I revised the menu, and got to it – making mini meatballs, arancinis, mini quiches and an octopus shaped bundt cake. Oh, and I had to accommodate a gluten free, dairy free and vegetarian diet. Proud to say I managed to do so quite successfully!

Of course, all this snow has sort of made a dent in the diet. I am limited to what is in my fridge and freezer, and not  able to go to the gym or yoga (they just lifted a driving ban! not to mention neither are open). It’s a good thing I determined I could not wear my dream party dress. Otherwise, I’d be quite hangry.

Today we’re focusing on cleaning, and hopefully digging our cars out. We have some grocery shopping to do!

Week 3: First Venue, Continued Diet Woes and Revelations

Dieting. Not my favorite thing. After a very aggressive target of five pounds in five weeks, I tried my party dress midway through. Guess what? Not an issue of back fat. An issue of my rib cage. That’s right, no matter how much weight I lose, this dress will never fit because my rib cage simply won’t allow it to. Upon this revelation, I immediately altered my diet to lose a comfortable 1/4 – 1/2 pound per week. And I have plenty of time to drop the fiver now while enjoying things such as Flatbread Pizza’s gluten free pie, ice cream and honey in my coffee.

Take that diet.

In other news, we looked at our first venue today: The Waterworks Museum. Oh, my, goodness. It’s so absolutely breath taking and everything we want in a venue. Of course, it’s still very early in the game, and we have a few more places to check out before making any final decisions (or deposits!), but it rates very highly.

Here’s a peek at the inside – courtesy of the Waterworks Museum:

Week Two: Expos and Diet Woes

Last Sunday, James and I went to our first ever wedding expo – LoveSick. The expo touted to be unlike any other wedding expo around. Given that I have absolutely nothing to compare it to, I can’t say if this is true, but there were trapeze artists, baton swirlers and a lot of women trying to get me to sign up for a boudoir book session (this is apparently a big thing! Who knew?!)

I was not impressed. Rather, I was overwhelmed. If you were looking for gluten cake, vintage wedding dresses, stationary for invites and vegan caterers, sign on up! I did glean one AMAZING idea, which I discovered I could implement for a mere $50 or so (vs. the $300+ the vendor wanted me to pay), so it didn’t go completely to waste. I also met a very nice bartender who’s mimosa gave me a headache, but I blame that on myself for drinking during the day. My “unconventional” wedding is going to have to rely on my brain and skills. Also, there is no way in hell am I going to pay $3,900 MINIMUM for a photographer.

Lesson learned: don’t go to a wedding expo hungry. It probably taints your views and when you try the only gluten free sample available (a curry macaroon), you will probably be sad.

Speaking of food, this brings me to my next wedding woe – dieting. I have to be really, really motivated to diet. I take a very long time to lose weight, because I adore cooking and baking, and quite frankly, I am not willing to give up things I love (except potato chips. There is definitely a direct correlation to potato chips and my weight).

Yesterday the dress I ordered for our New York engagement party arrived. It was a final sale item, and guess what? It wouldn’t zip in one certain area. Queue emotions. Over the last year, I’ve gained back about 5 of the 15 pounds I lost in 2011. This really isn’t a big deal – unless you’re trying to fit in a very pretty special dress. And I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have that special dress be my wedding dress so, officially, I am back to strict calorie counting, gym going and yoga classing.

Don’t worry, yesterday, I was still able to enjoy a glass of wine, a little bit of cheddar cheese and a bowl of nonfat frozen yogurt. My legs hurt from the serious elliptical session, but rest assured, I did not go deprived.

Week One: Getting My Bearings

The rush of getting engaged leaves you on cloud nine for the week. Seriously. But at the same time, you’re being inundated by the question “so what’s the date?” and “where are you having it” and (quite possibly the worst if it isn’t the case) “am I invited?”

Here is what I learned:

1. I know approximately when I’d like to get married. I’ve picked out the season, the year and set up a personal budget so I can save enough money for this giant party by then. I read somewhere, in my frantic day after “what do I do when I get engaged” internet reading, that giving an approximate time of the year is perfectly fine. That is something all women should know before they call their family and friends. Also, you can’t pick a date without knowing if your dream venue is available. Unless of course, if you have a dream date, then the venue part can be slightly pushed aside.

2. If you choose to share the news via social media (i.e. Facebook), your profile will receive a plethora of love for two or three days, then it drops off. Don’t worry, they all still love you.

3. Not asking the bridal party to be the bridal party on day one is THE BEST ADVICE I WAS EVER GIVEN. Hands down. I believe this came from a woman at my previous agency. It’s a life saver. You don’t want to be asking people to be your bridesmaids (or groomsman) only to realize you invited one too many in the spur of the moment.

4. Which brings me to my next point – because I held my tongue, now I get to propose to my bridal party! Which I will post about once I actually do it. James and I went to Michaels yesterday for me to pick up some supplies. I learned that crafts are really boring for me, and I better change my attitude, find a friend or start listening to some amazing music because crafts are going to be my life for the next 18 months.

5. You will receive a lot of information from a lot of people – venue fees, ceremony options, menus, approved vendors, etc. Create a folder on Google Drive and save all this information in here. You may also want to start some spreadsheets with guest lists, engagement party information, venue viewing dates and whatever else you can think of. Then share it with your fiance.

6. Your fiance just bought a very expensive ring and planned the proposal. Give him some time before you launch him into wedding planning. Unless you’re super excited about something. Sorry, James, I can’t help it. Even if I know your reaction will be “oh that’s nice” as you continue to watch TV or play on your iPad.

And without further adieu, I am finally posting a picture of my ring one week later.