Photo Session, Part One

RZ's family, now Our Family ♥

My family, now Our Family ♥

Our Siblings ♡

Outtake of our Flower Girls ☺

New Mr. and Mrs. ★
(All Photos by Friends)

Our photo session kicked off with family photos at the altar of the church immediately following our ceremony (tip: always check that the church is available afterwards). We chose this time & place because we knew the major players would be at our ceremony & we could capture them quickly & easily before they wandered off in different directions. We decided to include the flower girls in the first session too because we hoped to catch them before they got tired. Sounds easy, right?

Boy, did this require some logistics. RZ & I paraded up the aisle, bright, happy, shiny & freshly married with our bridal party on our heels. Planner extraordinaire Eileen directed us to the small bridal room at the back of the church where we could relax & wait until the rest of our guests boarded the wedding shuttle. We simply couldn't chance getting caught in a long conversation with Aunt Missy & throwing off our timing. It turned out to be a sweet few moments sharing our joy with our bridal party. When the coast was clear of guests, Eileen ushered us to the front of the church where Photographer extraordinaire Tim & the TGP team were set up &, thankfully, our families were waiting.

We'd told our families well in advance to stick around after our ceremony for family photos. We'd repeated this information time & time again as our wedding approached. We included this information on our wedding web site & our wedding day itinerary. Still, you never know who might miss the memo. I breathed a sigh of relief that everyone was present.

Now comes the fun part. RZ & I are positioned at the altar. Tim & his team call out family names from the portrait list we gave them (tip: keep this list as simple & short as possible). Said family members come up as called & pose for photos with us. Well, well. Be prepared for people not listening & coming up as they please &/or not coming up at all. Our families include about 50 people but it seemed like a zoo. One sweet flower girl just wasn't having it. Things get a bit chaotic. I wondered if this was the best idea for the first minutes of our new marriage. Just keep smiling, it will be over soon.

& the treasured family photos will be worth it!

I was a very happy Bride when the family photos were over & we could move on to bridal party photos!!


Photo Session: The Lowdown

Tim, of TGP, works his magic at our wedding
(Photo by Friend)

The mere mention of a photo session can send me into a tailspin. I've been around the photo session block a time or twenty as a wedding planner. "Grandma is missing!" someone shouts. I run off in search of sly Grandma, who I've laid eyes on exactly once. She could be anywhere in the packed crowd of 250 guests. You don't realize how many nooks & crannies a venue has until you're looking for Grandma. When I finally, triumphantly!, return with Grandma, it's only to learn a Groomsmen has gone MIA. Do you get my point?

Alas, the photo session was a necessary evil for us. How often are our family & friends dressed beautifully to celebrate a happy occasion with us? Not often enough. We were determined to capture them on this once-in-a-lifetime day.

I set out to plan a photo session that was easy, contained & stress-free as possible. We had the typical two hour gap between our church ceremony & ballroom reception & we dedicated this time to our photos. We broke up our session into three, main parts with different locations: family, bridal party & bride/groom.

The photo session started with family photos at the stunning church altar immediately following our ceremony. This session involved the most amount of people & had the highest potential stress factor. Family took the wedding shuttle back to the hotel while the limo took the bridal party to the historical Hoboken Train Station for bridal party photos. I hoped this would be easy enough with our small bridal party of nine. As soon as their photos were complete, they headed back to the hotel to relax before Cocktail Hour. We stayed behind for more photos at the train station. Then we went outdoors for photos with our vintage taxi & the NYC skyline on the cold, winter night.

That was the plan. We prayed to the photo session gods that everything would go smoothly. Stay tuned for the full story!!


Our Ceremony, Part Two

Take a formal ceremony in a beautiful church . . .

Add family & friends,
like our Sister of Honor, Best Man & Reader shown here

Add a dash of decoration,
like our flowers in memory of lost loved ones . . .

Stick with tradition, yet add a few personal touches . . .

And you will be happily married, like us!
(All Photos by Friends)

Read Our Ceremony, Part One HERE

Our church ceremony was the most beautiful, moving experience I've ever had. I didn't always have confidence I would feel this way. I was at odds with our church ceremony throughout much of the planning process.

I'm a casual, relaxed girl at heart. I'm most comfortable in a t-shirt, jeans & flip flops. Sunshine is my goddess. Think San Diego. Think beach.

I didn't mesh well with the grand church & its traditional ways. RZ's top priority was a ceremony held in the Catholic church so I tried my best to embrace our reality. But I worried. Would our church ceremony be too formal, too stuffy & too much for me? For us?

Thankfully, as we infused more & more of ourselves into the ceremony, it became more & more ours. Perfectly us.

A few tips/perks to a church ceremony that I wish I had known in advance:

1. Our gorgeous church is breathtaking. It required little or no decoration which equals savings on the floral budget. We ordered one altar arrangement in memory of our departed loved ones. Otherwise, we let the beautiful venue shine.

2. Our soloist, my godmother, helped me choose meaningful songs. No, I couldn't walk down the aisle to a Beatles song but I was pleasantly surprised by the options like Con Te Partiro, Ave Maria, etc. & she sang them like an angel!

3. We chose traditional vows & I took much comfort & hope from starting our marriage just as others have before us.

4. RZ is Filipino & we incorporated these three Filipino customs: veil, cord & coins. It was a respectful nod to his heritage & it personalized our ceremony.

5. I can't stress enough how honored we were by our family & friends who participated in our ceremony. Our parents, grandparents & bridal party who supported us & stood by our side at the altar. Our friends & family who recited readings & assisted with the Filipino customs. My godmother who sang. Our guests who witnessed our positive new beginning. Everyone warmed our hearts with their very presence & made the ceremony ours.

In the end, our church ceremony was perfect for us. I learned that if something doesn't feel right, there's hope. With a little thought & a lot of heart, you can make anything yours!


We've Been Framed!

Love, LOVE!

The first professional photograph we saw of our wedding instantly became our favorite. The cobblestone street, the vintage taxi, the tainted snow, the city lights . . . It's very dramatic & romantic. We fell in love.

Naturally, we were over the moon when Tim, of Timothy Glenn Photographers, kindly presented us with a print of that very photo. I wasted no time in taking it & a 60% off coupon to AC Moore to have it framed. I had no idea there were countless mat & frame options- it took me about one hour to choose the perfect combination! Last Wednesday, they called to say the framed print was ready. Yipee!

RZ & I are so pleased with the framed print. It looks awesome! We played with a few different spots to hang the print & finally decided on our dining room. It looks right at home on the Spanish Red wall. Plus our dining room, really more of a nook, is open to the rest of our condo so the print can be seen & enjoyed from the living room too.

We're very fortunate to have a visual reminder of our fabulous, winter wedding day!


It's A Wrap! 4th Edition

Just a Pretty Picture of Cheery Clementines

I skipped It's A Wrap! last week due to the good cause of For Japan With Love but I'm back this week with some fresh pretties for your enjoyment.

While none are as cute as my Gucci & Bailey, these furry friends are pretty adorable!

I need this, I want this! Please, please let it be MINE.

Flowers with serious spunk!

I admit it, I adore winter weddings- especially this stunner!

I welcome the opportunity to learn more about marriages that are different from mine.
And pleasantly surprised to learn we share some common threads!

Happy Weekend!


Our Ceremony, Part One

Ready to get married!

The Kiss

Just Married!!
(All Photos by Timothy Glenn Photographers
For more of our wedding, click HERE)

If you have met me or read my web site, you know I view marriage as a positive new beginning. This thought was never far from my mind during our marriage ceremony.

"Con Te Partiro" was chosen as the final Prelude song as a fond farewell to our past. As my godmother's angelic voice sang the last notes, I took a deep breath. I looked at our grandparents, our parents, my flower girls & my bridesmaids ahead of me. I felt my Uncle Denny & Uncle Frank beside me. I was ready. The time had come!

I walked down the aisle towards our positive new beginning with love & happiness in my heart. I truly believed that every little thing in my life, think "God Bless The Broken Road", had brought me to this moment. My Uncles, who have known & loved me always, were the best escorts from my old life to my new life & I wouldn't have made it down the aisle without them. Our friends & family who lined the aisle made the journey that much sweeter.

Then I saw RZ. He was the perfect combination of handsome, happy & nervous. My heart exploded in fireworks.

We joined hands, as we would soon join our hearts & lives forever. The traditional ceremony progressed, laced with readings, songs & traditions we had carefully chosen. The readings & traditions were done by family & friends- I was so honored that they supported us in this wonderful way. I was present & alert for every word, letting them sink in & taking them to heart.

Then came the best part: exchanging vows! We stood up in front of our family & friends, looking at each other & holding hands. RZ recited the traditional vows first, strong & confident as I knew he would be. I followed, a bit surprised by my matching strength & confidence as I tend to be quiet & soft-spoken. Our vows had been promised & followed by many before us, now it was our turn to honor them. This was our positive new beginning, the official start of our family!!!

Naturally, we sealed those vows with a kiss. Our priest joyfully announced as husband & wife for the first time & we floated back up the aisle. We were the happiest husband & wife!!


My Wedding March

Eileen & I walking to my marriage ceremony
(Friend's photo)

I walked the three blocks from our condo to our church. Yup, despite the chill of January & the protests of many.

This was my plan from the moment we booked our church for our ceremony. Walking was the natural choice. We live in a pedestrian-friendly (read: parking is a nightmare!) town & we walk to church. Always. My wedding day would be no different.

Still, I booked a limo. I didn't expect my bridesmaids & our Moms to walk, especially on a cold, winter day. Also, I needed a back-up plan in case of rain or snow. When word spread that I booked the limo, people assumed I'd changed my mind about walking. They were so very wrong.

Despite valid protests about slipping on ice or getting my dress dirty & among whispers of being crazy, I stuck with my plan & walked to church. The bridesmaids & Moms stayed behind to primp a bit more before the arrival of the limo while I grabbed my borrowed fur capelet & set off for our church. I'm glad I did because it was a peaceful, reflective walk. Eileen, my personal guard against ice, snow & dirt, & I chatted while Tim snapped photos but I barely noticed. The blue sky was beautiful, the crisp air was refreshing & the world was mine. I could see our stately church ahead & I could envision RZ waiting for me inside. Oh happy day!

It was definitely a walk to remember!!

The moral of my humble story? Brides-to-be, stick to your guns!!! Listen to other people & consider their advice but, ultimately, follow your heart. I would have regretted it so much if I didn't take my sweet wedding march!


For Japan With Love: Thank You!


Last Friday, 1200+ bloggers, including yours truly, participated in a Bloggers Day of Silence to raise awareness & donations for ShelterBox via For Japan With Love. The results? $53,000 raised for ShelterBox which provides 530 people with shelter, supplies & perhaps a dash of hope!! I'm simply amazed at your generosity & kindness towards the people of Japan who need it so much. Thank you, thank to everyone who donated, participated &/or said a prayer!!!

A BIG thank you to Lydia of Ever Ours & Henny & Lucia of Utterly Engaged for organizing & rallying For Japan With Love!

On Friday, I was completely silent on this blog, Facebook & Twitter. It was quite refreshing! I took the extra time in my day Friday to take Bailey for a long walk along the Hoboken waterfront while counting my blessings & saying a prayer for Japan. I need to make time to do this everyday.

The road to recovery will be long & hard for Japan. Keep the Japanese in your heart, thoughts & prayers!

Would you like to donate? Visit For Japan With Love!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Siobhan, featured here, & I wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Handmade St. Patrick's Day card of 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

On behalf of Koru Wedding Shoppe, I wish you . . .

Good luck
Good health
& Good cheer!


For Japan With Love

Koru Wedding Shoppe is participating in the Bloggers Day of Silence for Japan on Friday, March 18th. This blog will be silent- no posts in honor & respect for what has happened in Japan. It's a small but powerful gesture.

Another small but powerful gesture can be made by visiting & donating to For Japan With Love. All donations support ShelterBox, an organization with their volunteers already helping in Japan. ShelterBox provides emergency shelter & lifesaving supplies for families who are affected by disasters at the time when they need it the most. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster, typically containing a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage & purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, children’s activity pack & other vital items. Please be know that your donations are being put to good use!

Whatever you can contribute is appreciated. Every little bit helps!

Sending our love & prayers to Japan!!!


Ready, Set, GO!

Our sweet boy Bailey before he was sent to doggie day care

Red roses from my fiance!

My wedding dress: I wish I could wear it again & again!

Me & My Gorgeous Bridesmaids

I'm going to the chapel & I'm going to get married!
(Above photos were taken by friends)

The night before our wedding, my cousin/bridesmaid & I stayed up until 4am packing up the wedding items, cleaning the condo, finishing DIY projects & gossiping. It was a little crazy & I wouldn't recommend it to everyone but it enabled me to wake up on our wedding day without a single care or worry. Everything was done! I noted the sunshine & blue skies & immediately text RZ to say, "It is our beautiful wedding day!" From that moment on, I was on Cloud Nine.

My getting ready crew consisted of my fabulous bridesmaids, my lovely Mom & RZ's great Mom, plus the make-up artist, the hair stylist, the wedding planner & the photographers. Our condo quickly transformed into a dressing room. I had an open house policy so my crew showed up throughout the morning in various stages of hair, make-up & dress. My heart warmed at the sight of each girl's bright, happy, shiny face.

I have to say, I did little more than relax in the hours before our ceremony. My biggest task was walking Bailey & taking him to his doggie daycare/hotel. Then I was able to chill & eat (seriously, Brides-to-be- eating is important!!) while everyone buzzed around me. The hair stylist & make-up artist worked their magic. The beautiful flowers were delivered. Red roses & a sweet note from my fiance arrived. Candid photos were snapped. Girls dashed here & there. It was shaping up to be a wonderful wedding day!

Of course, I was the last lady to get ready. The bridesmaids & Moms were dressed & they looked stunning!! I had my "Classic Bride" make-up done, then had my side chignon styled & my chiffon flower placed. At last, it was time to put on my wedding dress!!! I had waited for this moment for so long & I savored every second. The gorgeous dress. The simple veil. The sparkly shoes. The pearl earrings & the pearl/rhinestone bracelet. The calla lily bouquet. I had carefully chosen every last detail to transform me into my ideal version of a Bride. I've never felt more beautiful!!

Before we left for the church, we had an almond champagne toast & it was my very favorite part of getting ready. Here I was with my favorite women in the world. We looked beautiful & we were pumped: we were on the brink of my marriage ceremony! It doesn't get more special than this (a true understatement). We huddled in the living room & cheered the wedding day. Cheers!


Me, The Bride

Me, The Bride
(Friend's Photograph)

I'm the behind-the-scenes girl at weddings, coordinating this, fixing that & managing the event. I wear black to fade into the background & I avoid the camera like it's the plague. I like it that way. It's where I belong, where I find true happiness.

So how did it feel to step into the spotlight, wear a white dress & be the Bride? I won't lie, I stressed about being the center of attention & about letting go of the control in the days leading to our wedding. I shouldn't have worried. On our wedding day, I was the Bride. And it felt fabulous!

I was so honored to walk down the aisle & marry RZ surrounded by our beloved family & friends. Nothing else, not one little thing, mattered. I could feel the love & happiness pulsing through me & I could see it everywhere I looked. I floated through our wedding on the high of marrying the love of my life. This was our wedding day, our new beginning. I wasn't just a Bride. I was RZ's Bride & that was a very, very special. More than I could ever hope to describe.

P.S. Being his wife is even better!


St. Patrick's Day Crafting #2

Green, green & more green!

A little green sparkle never hurt anyone!

Just like last year, I'm making my St. Patrick's Day cards for my family & friends. I may soon be losing my Irish last name but I will always be an Irish girl!! I love sending cards for the holidays & I love making the cards even more. Crafting is a time to unplug & unwind- I cherish every moment!

I had a clear design vision for my cards &, unlike last year, the cards turned out exactly as I'd planned. What didn't go as planned (there's always something!) was the actual crafting. Since I already had a shamrock punch & green pens, I only needed green paper & green ribbon. Yup, lots of green. I was excited to find sparkly, glitter green paper at AC Moore- jackpot! I came home & happily punched tons of cute, tiny shamrocks before taking a short break.

Beagle Bailey ate half of my shamrocks during this break!

Soooo . . . I had no green paper left & less shamrocks than I wanted. I soldiered on & I suppose the luck of the Irish was with me because I had the perfect amount of shamrocks for my cards & for Bailey's snack. The cards are so cute & I can't wait to show them to you!

Tune in on St. Patrick's Day to see my finished product!!


Last Night as a Bride-to-be

Bride & Groom Thank You Speech
The windows behind us overlook downtown NYC & Statue of Liberty

Me & My Bridesmaids
These ladies rock!

Bride & Groom with my Uncles
They walked me down the aisle :-)

True story: we were one hour late to our rehearsal dinner. Only us! Minus that little detail, my last evening as a Bride-to-be was perfect.

RZ & I were greeted by the applause of our family & friends who had gathered to celebrate with us. Maybe they were simply glad we showed up but I prefer to think they were cheering for us, for our love, for our future. I could feel the love in the room & I will remember it forever.

The evening was fun & casual, just as we'd hoped. Everything was simple with hotel-supplied cocktail tables, black linens, votive candles & house music. The buffet & open seating allowed our guests to eat, mix & mingle as they pleased. Conversations & laughter floated in the air. I ate my fair share of funnel cake, I chatted with our guests & I posed for plenty of photos. Looking back now, I'm very grateful for this extra time to spend with our guests because the wedding went so quickly!

This was our golden opportunity to thank our bridal party, families & friends for their presence, support & love during our engagement, at our wedding & always. I'm not a good public speaker & RZ doesn't love it either. We kept the speech short & sweet, then handed out our thank you gifts. I'm not sure we could ever thank everyone enough but we tried.

The next thing I knew, it was time to say good-night after a wonderful rehearsal diner. RZ would be spending the night in the cushy hotel suite while I would be returning to the comforts of our home. Lots of couples talk about sad tears & heartfelt talks as they separate for the night. Not us! RZ was excited to watch tv & relax in the suite & I had a few things on my to-do list to tackle. But there was no mistaking our happiness: the next time we saw each other, I would be walking down the aisle!


Planning Nightmare

My exact sentiment about planning our rehearsal dinner
Print available on Etsy in breedingfancy's shop

Okay, I wanted to share the story of our rehearsal dinner with you today but I can hardly talk about the dinner without mentioning the planning of the dinner . . .

The planning of our rehearsal dinner was one of our biggest challenges. It took us five months, not to mention plenty of blood, sweat & tears. The premise seemed so simple: a casual dinner to celebrate with our bridal party, families & out-of-town guests. Sounds easy, right? Nope, not in Hoboken. I started out focusing on our favorite restaurants, then tried anything & everything. Most restaurants are too small for private parties & the few that can accommodate large parties charge a fortune. Frustrating.

After getting nowhere fast, we decided to host our rehearsal dinner at the Hyatt on the Hudson to keep things easy for ourselves & our guests. The Hyatt offered us the Harborside Room, a good-sized room with pretty views of the Statue of Liberty. We were on the right track! But it wasn't as easy as we hoped. We didn't like any of the plated or buffet dinner options because they were too formal, very similar to our wedding menu. We wanted the rehearsal dinner & wedding to be vastly different especially now that the venue was essentially the same. I began to wonder if McDonald's would mind a party of 50.

The Hyatt sent me their complete corporate & private catering menu in what I can only guess was sheer desperation. I stumbled upon a "themed snack break" of soft pretzels, french fries & funnel cake. My stomach growled at the mere thought of my favorite foods. We were on to something! With the easy additions of salads, 3 choices of pizza & 3 choices of sliders, we were set. We sent out easy, cute invitations from Pingg & called it a day. At last, we had managed to create the fun, casual rehearsal dinner of our dreams!

Check in tomorrow for the scoop on my last dinner as a Soon-to-Be Mrs.!

Dress Rehearsal

The Friday before our wedding was a flurry of activity: picking up the marriage license, dropping off our hotel welcome bags, finishing our escort cards, etc. Soon, way too soon, it was time to get ready for our ceremony rehearsal. More rushing, more craziness. We arrived at our church with only a shred of sanity & no time to spare.

RZ & I arrive at the church for our rehearsal

Thankfully, I checked my stress at the door & I took in the moment. Our beautiful church. Our wonderful families. Our fabulous bridal party. Our calming wedding planner. This was it. This was truly happening. We were getting married the very next day!!!

The action at our rehearsal

What followed was a basic ceremony rehearsal run by our priest. Nothing out of the ordinary. Practicing the Processional. Finding out where to stand & sit. Running through the ceremony. Marching the Recessional. I knew I had to simply follow the priest's cues & I didn't worry about one thing.

The excitement was building & building & building. We were on the brink of our fantastic wedding day!


One For One

Something Blue, Something New & Something Good
Image via TOMS

TOMS is known for its comfortable shoes & charitable work: for every pair of TOMS sold, the company donates one pair of shoes to a child in need. One for one.

Now Brides can rejoice because TOMS has launched its Brides & Bridesmaids Collection! You & your ladies can look stylish, feel good & support a great cause.
Seriously, check out this collection because there is everything from blue glitters to ivory grosgrain classics. They're much more fun than sneakers & more original than ballet flats. & did I mention the good cause? Rock these cuties all day long or wear those killer heels for saying "I Do!" & change into comfy TOMS for dancing the night away!

I searched long & hard for the perfect shoes (my fun choice will be featured soon!) & the TOMS Wedding collection would've made my choice easy: the silver glitters, please!


Dream Team

RZ & I have been happily married for one month & counting (quickly approaching two months!). Upon our return from our relaxing honeymoon, I began to struggle with the best way to share our wedding story. I want it to be perfect, much like the day itself. I finally came to the conclusion that, like anything in life, I just need to start the story.

One Happy Couple!
Image by Timothy Glenn Photographers (for more, click HERE)

Let's start with our vendors: our amazing, amazing vendors! I must thank our fabulous vendors for making our wedding dreams come true by their talent & efforts. They're simply the best!

Alterations/Veil: Ally Bridal & Tuxedo
Attire (Bride): Celestine by WToo at Lovely Bridal Shop
Attire (Bridesmaids): Cynthia Rowley at Bella Bridesmaid
Band: The Love Jones Band

Cake: Carlo's Bakery
Florist: Elizabeth Koleto Designs
Hair & Make-up: Ashimoto
Honeymoon: All About Honeymoons
Hotel: Hyatt on the Hudson
Invitations & other paper goods: Marsupial Invitations at Koru Wedding Shoppe
Jewelry (Bride): Bracelet by J.Crew & Earrings borrowed
Jewelry (Bridemaids): Earrings & Bracelet by Cookie Lee, Necklace by Chico's
Photography: Timothy Glenn Photography
Transportation (Limo): Santos VIP Limousine
Transportation (Vintage Checker Cab): Film Cars
Tux: Men's Wearhouse
Venue (Ceremony): Church of St. Ann
Venue (Reception, Rehearsal Dinner & Brunch):
Hyatt on the Hudson
Videography: document this! productions
Wedding Planner: An Affair to Remember

Some I had worked with before wearing my hat as a wedding planner, some I had been introduced to while planning my own wedding. RZ & I expected the best from them & they delivered. Without exception, our vendors exceeded our expectations. I can only wish & hope to work with each member of our dream team again!


It's A Wrap! 3rd Edition

My. Favorite. Wedding. Eye. Candy. EVER
Photo by
Nick Tucker via Snippet & Ink

Hello, hello! A big, hearty welcome to March & another edition of my favorite inspiration rounded up on the web this week. Enjoy!

Snowy Night + Abandoned Mansion + Firework Cake =
My Favorite Wedding (besides my own naturally!)

Buy shoes for your wedding & help a child in need! I'll take the silver glitters, please.

Artichokes? Who knew!

Are you changing your name when you get married? Thoughtful posts here, here & here! (p.s. whatever you decide, you've made the right decision for YOU!)

Have a fantastic weekend!


DIY Project: The Recap

A little DIY wisdom from little old me!
Print available on Etsy at NayArt's shop

All in all, I picked three DIY projects for our wedding: the hotel welcome bags, the ceremony poms & the K & R decorations. I've stressed the importance of choosing your DIY projects carefully. Looking back on mine now, I want to share some advice & wisdom on my projects.
Do I have regrets? Do I wish I had done things differently? Do I have any advice? Read on!!!

1. Hotel Welcome Bags: I'm glad we did the hotel welcome bags ourselves & I'd make the same decision again in a heartbeat. Because we only had to make 30 bags & deliver to one hotel, it was manageable. Even fun.

But I do have tons of advice. Due to our limited storage space & curious beagle, we didn't have the option to shop for our treats & supplies in advance. However, I could have written & printed our welcome letter & wedding itinerary long before I did. Start any & all tasks early!

We were fortunate to have 30 bags, one delivery & a Jeep. If you have 30+ bags, multiple hotel deliveries &/or a small car, I would seriously consider hiring a professional or delegating this task to willing friends.

2. Ceremony Poms: I loved the poms so much & I adored having my personal touch on our wedding ceremony. I noticed them as I walked down the aisle, I spot them in our wedding guests' photos & I'm proud of them.

There are no regrets here, not even that I didn't finish eight poms. Remember it's okay to let go if a project doesn't go as planned. Well, one regret: the ceremony poms are the only things that did not get collected & returned to us at the end of our wedding. I wanted to keep one as a memento in our home. Luckily, I do have the extra pom that never made it to our ceremony. Make sure you take the time to check & account for everything at the end of your wedding!

3. K & R Decor: This project was quick, easy, inexpensive & personal. Plus we can enjoy the painted initials in our home for years to come. Love, love this project!

However, the K & R didn't look quite right at our reception because I didn't double-check the placement of the guest book table. I did my due diligence by taking a site tour & noting the set-up for our wedding. I wish I had asked again, then I would've bought freestanding letters. But the real lesson? Things may not go or look as planned & just go with it. As long as you keep smiling, nobody will notice anything is amiss!

Are you tackling DIY projects for your wedding? Happy crafting!!


DIY Project #3: K & R

Painted K, Naked R

My final DIY wedding project was our initials, K & R. Because RZ & I branded everything from the spot in the sand where he proposed to our wedding invitations with our initials, I wanted to continue the theme at our wedding reception. I picked out the perfect spot for our initials on a site visit at Hyatt on the Hudson: our guest book table. The guest book table would be against the wall & the letters would add a bit of height & personality. After the wedding, we could hang the letters in our home as a wedding memento. Now all I needed was to complete the project!

K & R in Progress

This DIY project was the quickest & easiest. I bought two wooden letters, one ampersand, two bottles of ivory paint & one bottle of mocha paint at AC Moore. I briefly considered painting the ampersand purple because I had added touches of purple, like the bridesmaid dresses, throughout the celebration. In the end, I went with mocha for the simple reason that it would look best in our living room when the wedding was said & done. I took my supplies home & painted the K & R with about five coats of paint over a period of a few days. I applied the final coat of paint the night before the wedding :-)

The snag was the guest book table wasn't placed against the wall as the catering manager had told me. I went through three catering managers at Hyatt on the Hudson &, unfortunately, the second one who led me on a site tour may not have known everything about the cocktail hour set-up. It never occurred to me to confirm the guest book table placement with my third, final & best Hyatt contact. At our wedding, the guest book table was placed in an excellent position near the ballroom entrance- just not against a wall. I hadn't bought letters that could stand on their own so the initials were awkwardly propped up somehow on the table. For a fleeting moment as I entered the ballroom & noticed the table, I considered putting on my wedding planner hat & trying to fix the problem, then realized it wasn't a big deal. At all.

K & R in our home today

For the record, as you can see above, our initials look just right on our living room wall!


DIY Project #2: Ceremony Poms

The final look of our ceremony poms

White poms with ivory ribbon for our winter white wedding
& swirls, my favorite!, on the ribbon!!!!

My longest-running DIY project was the fabric poms for our ceremony. After making the sample in September, I ran into two problems. One, the sample had taken forever. It was an easy fix: I used 4-inch styrofoam balls instead of 6-inch styrofoam balls. Two, I had no fabric. It wasn't an easy fix. A failed attempt for a NYC fabric hunt. An overload of Internet sources for fabric. Lots & lots of procrastination. About two weeks before the wedding, I finally purchased small balls, swirl ribbon & white organza from an excellent source, Save on Crafts.

My supplies arrived six days before the wedding. I was really determined to finish this DIY project but I had many tasks & little time. In between gift bag assembly, dress appointments, airport pick-ups, table assignments & more, I found scraps of time here & there to cut circles & glue petals to create poms. I cherished those moments because I could free my mind of the wedding to-do list & just relax. However, those freeing moments were few & far between!

At our ceremony rehearsal, I handed over four poms to our wedding planner to place on the church pews the next day. My goal was eight poms. After our rehearsal dinner, my cousin/bridesmaid kindly helped me finish another pom & started the sixth pom when she burned her hand with the hot glue gun. I officially called off the project.

So I had four pretty poms at our wedding ceremony, four shy of my goal. Two poms decorated the first two pews by the altar & the other two poms hung near the last two pews by the church entrance. & you know what? It was just fine, nobody missed those four poms- including me!!
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