Happy 2011!

My personal motto
Available at Etsy in KeepCalmShop's

Happy New Year!
Best wishes for a wonderful, blessed 2011 for you & yours!


No Place Like Home

106 Fourth Street is For Rent
For Rent sign available on etsy at anissadesigns' shop

After five and a half, wonderful years on charming Fourth Street, Koru Wedding Shoppe is moving home!

I'm sad & excited about this new venture for Koru. I've enjoyed my time on Fourth Street & I will miss the wonderful people that came through the doors on a regular basis. What won't I miss? The retail hours. Phone calls from customers wondering why I'm not open at 7am or 9pm or whatever time happens to be convenient for them. Emails from customers begging me to meet them on a Sunday afternoon, the only weekend day my fiance & I share. As 2010 comes to a close & my single days are numbered, it seemed like the perfect time for a fresh start for Koru Wedding Shoppe too.

It's time to get back to the basics: wedding planning. It is, after all, my first love. I will keep Shop Koru open to offer my best-selling products & I will keep selling wedding invitations to Brides & Grooms. But the focus is back on wedding planning. I couldn't be more thrilled!

I'll be packed & gone from Fourth Street by Friday afternoon. Then I'm taking a loooong break to fully enjoy our wedding & honeymoon. I'll be back in February: refreshed, recharged & ready to celebrate Koru Wedding Shoppe's new beginning!


Bands of Love

Fabulous ring shot of my brother & sister-in-laws' rings
Taken by our photographer, the talented Timothy Glenn Photography

RZ & I have our wedding bands!

The search started in August when we visited a few stores before settling on the store where RZ purchased my beautiful engagement ring. We narrowed it down quickly: RZ chose a classic platinum band while I chose a delicate, channel-setting band. Yet we were both torn between two bands of different thickness. Since we were in no rush, we agreed to come back another day.

Another day came in late November. We hooked up with the same, kind salesman & made our final selections within minutes. Then we were given the option of engraving our wedding bands. I was afraid another decision might set us back. The wedding date options was dismissed because we're good at remembering anniversaries (did we jinx ourselves?!). We picked our married monogram because it's personal & sweet.

A few weeks later, our engraved wedding bands were ready for pick-up. I was so excited! And the bands are beautiful, just perfect as a symbol of our wedding vows.

Only one question remains: how can I wait one month to wear my fabulous wedding band??!!


Merry Christmas!

Festive parols on display in NYC

Christmas Filipino-style

The parols are the Stars of Hope on Fifth

On Christmas eve, I bring you just a few simple, beautiful images of the Stars of Hope on Fifth from our holiday night. Our trip always includes passing the Consulate General of the Philippines to honor RZ's Filipino heritage & to admire their gorgeous holiday display. This year, the display included parols. The bright, merry parols are Christmas lanterns in the Philippines & there is no greater symbol of the Filipino Christmas spirit. RZ remembers that his parents used to hang one in the doorway of their home but they don't have one anymore. I thought they parols were so festive & I want one for our home asap.

I want to wish you & yours the joy, peace & hope of the holiday season!

Happy Holidays!


Christmastime in the City

RZ & I have a holiday tradition: we spend one winter night in New York City admiring the Christmas decorations. There is nothing like Manhattan during the holidays! The night includes dinner, holiday sightseeing & window shopping. Our wanderings include the Lord & Taylor windows, the Bryant Park shops & ice rink, the Fifth Avenue star, the Saks Fifth Avenue snowflakes & windows &, of course, the Rockefeller Center tree. Hands down, it's one of my favorite nights of the year.

Here are a few highlights from our 2010 Holiday Night:

Empire State Building in the Holiday Spirit

The Glorious Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink

Our holiday smiles

The Angels & Snowflakes are My Favorite Things

Happy Holidays!


O Christmas Tree

Our Christmas Tree decorated
with the sentimental bridal shower ornaments

Bailey takes a holiday nap by our Christmas tree

Our condo is decorated for the holidays & transformed into our personal winter wonderland. We hauled out the decorations, played Christmas tunes & made holiday memories. This year, we had the most fun decorating our Christmas tree with the new Christmas ornaments handpicked by our beloved family & friends. I don't think our tree has ever looked more beautiful or meant so much to us.
Happy Holidays!


We Are Family

Festive & Fun Foyer Decor

Our Family!

What is family? They are the crazy, lovable bunch I call my Mom, sister, Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, cousins, etc. Now my family is extended to include RZ's fun, sweet bunch of relatives. And, of course & perhaps most importantly, RZ is my family.

RZ & I started our family unofficially years ago. It was us, plus our sweet Gucci & spunky Kaydee. Now it's us, plus our goofy Bailey. Who knows what the future may bring our family. No matter what, our family is always & forever us. We're thrilled to make our family official on our wedding day!

Because our family is my number one priority, I was absolutely over the moon to receive our "Corpuz Family" holiday wreath hanger as a bridal shower gift from my bridesmaids. They included a cheerful, red berry wreath. The festive wreath & personalized hanger were amoung one of the first bridal shower gifts to be placed in our home. I look forward to hanging it year after year during the holidays as our family grows & changes.


'Tis the Season

Our special Christmas ornament

Happy Holidays!

I love the holiday season, a blessed time of family, friends, cheer & hope. I'm taking a break from our wedding & dedicating the blog to holiday moments this week.

The first, new Christmas ornament we received this year is the monogrammed "C" glass ball above. Isn't it stunning? We received it as an early gift from my best friend in honor of our marriage. The "C" stands for our upcoming, shared last name. So sweet.

The ornament arrived long before Christmas but I couldn't stand to put it back in its box until the holiday. I hung it on our freestanding, iron candleholder as our first official Christmas decoration. Slowly, we began to decorate the rest of the condo until it was officially decked out for Christmas. This special ornament stands for the hope of the holidays & the hope for our future!


Shower of Love & Best Wishes

On my bridal party invitation (photo coming soon!), guests were invited to shower me with love & best wishes in honor of my upcoming marriage to RZ. And what a fabulous job they did!

I was touched by our nearest & dearest family & friends throughout my bridal shower. They traveled from near & far to celebrate with me. They put their hearts into participating during the shower from bringing me beautiful Christmas ornaments to sharing a delicious meal with me to playing fun games with me. They were far too generous in giving me gifts to make our home comfy & cozy. They make our lives special on a regular basis but on the day of my bridal shower, they trumped themselves.

Here is the incredible team that planned my bridal shower:

Sister of Honor Mary, Bride-to-be, Mom, Cousin Gabi & Aunt Tami

Here are the lovely ladies of my bridal party (minus one):

Sister of Honor Mary, Bridesmaid Erin & Bridesmaid Andrea
Flower Girl CJ, Bride-to-be, Flower Girl Charlotte

I wish I had a photo of all the bridal shower guests but I don't. I'll have to remember them in my heart!


Engaged Elf

Christmas is special this year because it's our one & only as an engaged couple. As such, I donned my Soon-to-Be Mrs. gear as we made like Christmas elves & decorated our condo. RZ snapped this quick photo of me placing the first ornament on our Christmas tree. We're enjoying every precious moment!


ONE Month and Counting

Beautiful Table Number Luminaries
Available on Etsy at MasonRabbitsPaperie's shop

One month from today, RZ & I will become husband & wife!

Everything, just everything, has been leading us to this upcoming, major moment in our lives when we celebrate our love & form our family. Every heartbreak. Every leap of faith. Every wrong turn. Every choice. We knew everything happened for a reason & someday that reason would become clear. We are the reason.

One month, one month, one month!


Bridal Shower Christmas Tree

RZ & I love decorating our home for Christmas & this year, it's extra-special because we have the bridal shower ornaments. Each guest brought a Christmas ornament to hang on our tree. I came home with two, large baskets of beautiful ornaments. We had the most fun sorting through the ornaments to see who brought us what ornament. We couldn't have picked better ornaments ourselves!

We won't decorate our Christmas tree until Sunday so, in the meantime, I placed our modern Christmas "tree" in its usual spot on the dining room table. I picked the first eleven ornaments from one basket & decorated our modern "tree." Not only does it look beautiful, we look at the ornaments & think of our family & friends. Love, love.

From left to right . . . First is the snowflake ornament from my sister Mary who knows how much I love decorating with snowflakes. Second is the angel ornament from dear family friends Laurie & Julie who know a thing or two about angels in our lives. Third is the Starbucks ornament from my Mom who drinks Starbucks lattes like water. Fourth is a classic Christmas tree ornament from my fun friends Teresa & Marisa. Fifth is the snowman & penguin ornament from our darling flower girl CJ. Sixth is the checker cab ornament- just like our wedding day transportation!- from our beagle Bailey. Seventh is a beagle ornament in honor of Bailey from three sweet kids in our family. Then we have another beagle ornament in Bailey's honor from my Aunt Tami's wild menagerie of cats & dogs. Ninth is a bling engagement ring ornament from my cousin Chloe to commemorate our engagement. Tenth is a framed engagement photo from my Aunt Tami. Last but not least is a cupcake ornament from my Aunt Dee who knows I love a good cupcake.

The rest of the ornaments from the bridal shower are saved for our Christmas tree. We are lucky & blessed to have Christmas decorations hand-picked by our family & friends to treasure forever!


Every Last Detail

When I arrived at my bridal shower at Trinity in Hoboken, the very first thing that struck me was how perfect & beautiful everything looked. Then I realized not only was every last detail fabulous, it was so personal.

The favors were handmade, crystal snowflake ornaments gorgeously presented in a purple organza bags with matching tags:

(I adore purple. I decorate our condo with snowflakes for Christmas.)

The tables were decorated with pretty, white poinsettias, felt snowflakes, Crumbs Bake Shop cupcakes & ornament place card holders displaying photos of me & RZ:

(Winter Wedding = Winter Bridal Shower)

The delicious vanilla or chocolate Crumbs cupcake favors were nested in a white basket with a delicate "Thank You" charm & every photo was from a special day or event like this St. Patrick's Day party photo:

(I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm addicted to Crumbs Bake Shop cupcakes!
And I enjoyed reliving our memories through our photos!!)

Each bridal shower guest was asked to bring us a Christmas ornament for our Christmas tree:

(I love, LOVE decorating our Christmas tree, always have.)

Each guest tagged their ornament & hung it on the Christmas tree as they arrived:

(Guests put thought into the ornaments, like the framed engagement photo above, two beagle ornaments for Bailey,
a NY taxi cab similar to our wedding day transportation, etc, etc)

The bridal shower looked like a photo shoot for Martha Stewart Weddings, yet it was clearly designed with love for me. I'm one blessed Bride-to-be!


Busy Bride!

Snowy Winter Wedding
Available at Etsy in LoveNaturally's shop

I have a fun, exciting weekend planned as a Bride-to-be. My Mom flew in from California to join the festivities. Fabulous times ahead!

First, I have my hair & make-up trial with Ashimoto tomorrow.
After the trial, we head to Ally's Bridal & Tuxedo for my first dress fitting. Time will tell if I ate too much for Thanksgiving! I'm crossing my fingers!! Glam hair & make-up + my wedding dress + my accessories = a preview of my bridal look. Does it get any better?

Well, believe it or not, it does. On Saturday, I'm attending my bridal shower at local, waterfront restaurant in Hoboken. Other than that, my bridesmaids & Mom have kept me in the dark about the details. Some of my favorite ladies are coming to celebrate with me & that's all I need to know. I'm so honored!

I will fill you in on the juicy details soon enough. Have a wonderful weekend!


Tasting Delight

Our Wedding Tasting: YUM! I loved our cake tasting & I was blown away by our wedding tasting at Hyatt on the Hudson. We had the golden opportunity to sample our four-course wedding feast complete with wine pairings. The Hyatt was kind enough to work with me & my very picky eating habits to create a tasting menu that I would enjoy. On the night of our tasting, RZ, RZ's parents & I arrived at the Hyatt with a healthy appetite.

Our job for the evening was to choose one appetizer, one salad & one dessert. Also, we needed to confirm we liked the entree selections available for our guests to choose from at our wedding. Sounds like a tough job, right?!

We sampled & chose from these three, yummy appetizers: Lobster Bisque, Lamp Chop & Crab Cake:

Then we ate & chose from these three, delicious salads: Apple, Endive & Feta Salad, Organic Green Salad & Caprese Salad:

Finally, we enjoyed these three, savory entrees: Filet of Beef, Pork Medallions & Salmon:

In addition to our wedding cake, we're offering a dessert & we tasted two, incredible options. Unfortunately, we inhaled the selected dessert before I could snag a photograph.

The Official Tasting Crew included me, RZ & RZ's parents:

The evening was very special, full of good food & good cheer. RZ & I are growing more & more excited for our wedding every day!!


My Wedding Planner

Wedding Gown Print
Available on Etsy in trulyvera's shop

Way back when, I worked in Manhattan as a wedding planner. I worked with wonderful Brides & learned much about weddings. I had the pleasure of working with fabulous co-workers, most of whom taught me a lot. Eventually, all of us moved on to bigger & better things. I spent the next ten years moving to California & working with a special event company, then moving back to Hoboken & starting my own company, Koru Wedding Shoppe. Through it all, I kept in touch with one former co-worker, Eileen Kaden Dean.

I thank my lucky stars we stayed in contact because as a wedding planner, I can only trust our wedding day to the very best wedding planner. And the very best is Eileen of An Affair to Remember Wedding & Event Planning. Eileen is low-key & calm, yet she knows how to get things done- just the kind of girl you need on your side for your wedding! And she is talented!! I have witnessed her do anything & everything necessary for a smooth, stress-free wedding from making last-minute, emergency alterations on a wedding dress to clearing up confusion with another vendor.

After knowing & admiring Eileen for so long, you may think I'm a bit biased but I'm not the only one who sings her praises. Her company was voted "Best of" Wedding Planners in The Knot 2010 & was selected as 2010 Bride's Choice for Wedding Planning by Wedding Wire & Martha Stewart Weddings. Impressive!

RZ & I hired Eileen as our day-of wedding coordinator, a service that I think is absolutely essential for every wedding. It is worth every penny! Eileen & her staff will facilitate the wedding day schedule, coordinate the Bridal Party, cue events, set-up & breakdown ceremony & reception items, solve unexpected surprises, calm nerves, relieve stress, etc, etc. All while RZ & I eat, drink & be married without a worry or care!
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