Category — Wedding Planning

I Can’t Seem to Catch a Break!

Posted by Asia A.

If Alanis Morissette wrote her song “Ironic” this past year, she should have definitely included a line about getting the Swine Flu right along with flies in your expensive wine. I’m not sure of the exact number, but something like 60% of the population caught the H1N1 virus this year and I was one of them. And all of this suffering (oh, how I suffered) happened right after I got all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. So, I didn’t even get to enjoy my post-op and drug induced floatiness. Boo. But enough about that, let’s talk weddings!


(photograph taken by Jessica Peterson)

This is totally how I feel right now, in regards to wedding planning. A bit overwhelmed, a bit over my head, a bit like I’m drowning. I’m suspended, not sure where up is, everything is going so slow and I just need a little air. While I was puffy and stuffy, which is such a terrible combination, I got absolutely no wedding planning done. None at all. So, now that we’re about 125 days away, we’re really pressed for time. We have to get everything done twice as fast which is a bit stressful.

Wedding planning has been fun of course, but now that we have to go into overdrive, everything seems to be falling apart. The person who was making my wedding dress? They completely bailed on me. Oh yeah, just dropped off the face of the earth. That is the thing wedding nightmares are made of. But, after a bit of soul searching and eBay searching, I found something else for a bargain. But, that was an ulcer I didn’t need, you know?

As if the Dress Mess and Swine Flu wasn’t enough, I’ve had even more aggravation  thrown my way in the form of  thinly veiled nuggets of anti-Semitism and ignorance. The kind that hurt you for a few days and you think to yourself “Ugh, I should have said such-and-such and that would have shown them”.

But, like any challenge you come across in life, you just have to put on your War Face and Stompin’ Boots. Wedding things are getting done and I still have my fiancé Matt by my side. That’s what really matters. Our wedding rings have been ordered, I hopefully just secured an officiant, I’ve been in regular contact with a photographer, I have all the doodads to send to one of my vendors (I can not wait to make a post about that!), I’ve found a ketubah I actually like, and all of the paper products are nearing their final design. So, things are happening. At just at a bit of a hectic pace.

Hopefully, my next post won’t have a huge gap like this one and the last one did. But, now that things seem to be coming at me at about five hundred miles an hour, I’ll have a lot more to post about!

December 30, 2009   1 Comment

More than ready!

Posted by Nina A-H.

I’m not sure where the time has gone, but seven months have passed since our engagement.  At the time, my mom was concerned that we may want a longer engagement. With a month until I Do’s, I can say with full confidence, we are ready!

jewish wedding invitation

Yes, there are still the details of the welcome bags, take home gifts, endless timelines, tastings and other things to complete, but for the most part, I would say I’m ready to be married!  The day after the wedding is looking pretty enticing right now.

The invitations and ketubah were the most exciting part of the process (other than the dress!)  I found an artist that I absolute love, Rachel Deitsch, who kindly helped my dreams become a reality.  She worked with me and my groom to ensure that the invite (which was the first that she had designed) was absolutely perfect.  It combines vibrant colors, Jewish texts, and an overall sense of who we are.  The inside also has the pomegranate theme, which is absolutely stunning. Rachel also converted one of her prints into a ketubah, which it has a similar feel.  Her work is incredible!

So with the invitations out, I’d say there’s no turning back!  The wedding tasting happened a few weeks ago when we went out to Boca. We decided to forgo the traditional wedding menu for something that is more of a representation of who we are and how we feel in love.   We’re doing stations during the reception with sliders, brisket sandwiches,  multiple varieties of french fries, tacos, dim sum, etc, etc etc.  It will be quite a kosher feast!  We wanted the focus to be on fun foods that will energize people to dance!

The dessert options are very similar. There will be a small cake for cutting, but the main desserts include donuts, little ice cream cones, popcorn, cookie sandwiches, etc etc etc!  I think we put more thought into the menu than anything else!

We’ll be back in Florida in a few weeks for the rehearsal dinner tasting, which I’m so excited for!  I just ordered personalized chocolate for the welcome bags, which I think are a cute touch (although probably one of my most unnecessary purchases.)  The Wedding Channel Store is having a huge sale right now, so I recommend picking these chocolates up soon if you like them.  They were on $50, now down to $20, with an extra discount on top of that!

Next up: How sample sales saved my wedding budget!

December 15, 2009   6 Comments

Wedding Planning: Lessons Learned

Posted by The Mrs.

Wedding planning is one heck of a learning experience! Nearly every newlywed I know has valuable advice to offer to those who are about to embark on the same journey. That is why I am introducing a new column on Jewish Wedding Network called Lessons Learned, so those who have “been there and done that” can impart their wisdom on others. I will start with my own lessons learned, and the advice I have to offer:

Hire Vendors Who Have Previously Worked at Your Venue
I got married at The Angel Orensanz Foundation, an event space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan that at one point had been a synagogue. The ketubah signing was at the basement level, the ceremony and reception on ground level, and cocktails on the upper balcony. There are no elevators at the venue, so the only way to get from one level to another is via the stairwell. Needless to say, it’s a tricky venue to navigate – particularly if you are the caterer and your waiters have to carry food and drinks from the basement level to the balcony, which is two flights up. We were about to sign a contract with a caterer we really liked, when all of this had been brought to our attention. The caterer had never worked at this venue before, so we would be his “learning experience” and there was potential for disaster. At the last moment we hired another caterer who had worked weddings at the venue on numerous occasions, and all worked out well. My advice is to stick with vendors who are familiar with your venue.

Communicate With Your Photographer
Our photographer took the most amazing photographs. So many friends have commented that they are the best wedding photos they’ve ever seen. We absolutely loved them, but were disappointed with one thing: many of our closest friends and relatives were omitted from the photos.  Photographers tend to be drawn to the most photogenic people. It’s only natural. In our case, we ended up with more photos of our neighbor who was sporting a mohawk, than our own immediate family and best friends.  It is always important to convey to the photographer who the most important people are at your wedding both prior to the wedding, and on your wedding day. Photographers who offer packages will most likely put together a shot list, but photojournalist style photographers like ours may not.  If you want a shot of you and your childhood best friend, be sure to pull the photographer over to take one of you, or that photo may be missing from your album like it was from mine!

Hire a Day Planner, If Need Be
Prior to my engagement, I never knew what a day planner was. Once I found out, it seemed to me like a needless expense and a great waste of money.  Boy, was I wrong.  A planner is much like the ringleader at a circus. He makes sure that the lions and tigers and bears come out on cue and that the circus starts and ends on time.  Many venues provide a point person like this for you. Our venue did not. We mistakenly thought that we would be able to coordinate our own rehearsal, and keep the timeline of our wedding going.  The result was that we ended up working really hard on our wedding day – we rounded everyone up for the rehearsal (it’s much harder than it sounds!) told the DJ when to stop playing the dance music and start playing the dinner music, and instructed the caterer when we should cut the cake.  We should have just been able to sit back and enjoy the experience, and you should too.  My advice – splurge on a day planner!

Newlyweds – do you have advice to share? Please post your advice in the comments section!

December 9, 2009   1 Comment

Smash, Pow, Mazel Tov!

Posted by Bevin M.

A wedding is all about the little things. It’s these little things that seem so insignificant, but once you get an idea in your head about this “little thing,” it becomes a huge deal.  You start to obsess about it, brood over it, and ultimately drive everyone around you crazy until you figure it out! Now I feel it is important to remind you (and myself) that I am not a bridezilla and refuse to be one.  Having said that, I still believe that a bride and groom should know what they like, what they want, and how they want it; which is why my fiancé and I flew 3,350 miles for a “little thing”… the glass that will be broken at the end of our wedding ceremony!


Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest Shop

Ok, before you think there is a picture of us in the dictionary next to the word crazy, let me explain. My fiancé was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington – 3,350 miles away from where I was raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  After years of being away from home (I think it was 3 years in case you were wondering) we planned a trip to the beautiful northwest to spend time with my future in-laws.  One day, while surfing the internet, I had an idea to use a glass ornament for the breaking of the glass in order to keep with my Winter Wonderland theme.  Plus, I figured if I could find a pretty one, I could always keep the shards of glass and have them made into a mezuzah for our first purchased house.

Well, I stumbled upon a website that had the most gorgeous glass ornaments (see caption above for the site) and I knew I had to have one.  After surfing the site, I learned that each ornament is handcrafted from the ash of the Mount St. Helens eruption on May 18, 1980 (my birthday is May 18th) and sold in Washington.  I screamed and my fiancé came running into the living room with a frighten look on his face.  Once I explained what I had found (and his heartrate was normal again), I began asking him if he knew where the store was and sure enough, the store is in Tacoma!  We decided to check it out and buy the ornament during our trip.

So on a chilly, rainy day in April, we headed out to the store.  It was so quaint and the owner was a sweetheart.  When she asked me what I plan to do with the ornament I was hesitant to tell her but finally did.  “He’s gonna step on it and break it!.” “Are you kidding me?” she shouted at me.  Once the initial shock of my answer had passed, she began to understand my explanation and thought it was the sweetest gesture.  She said that buying something that is made in his home town from a volcano that erupted on my birthday (several years earlier than my birth) warmed her heart.

And so we bought a pretty ornament in Tacoma, Washington and traveled the 3,350 miles home with it… bubble-wrapped.

September 21, 2009   2 Comments

Sunrise, Sunset

Posted by Mara O.


I’ve never been a girl with a million wedding fantasies. No, really! When my fiancé and I got engaged, I believe my first wedding venue idea was “picnic in the woods?” That didn’t fly… but once we started planning, I realized that what I did want was one heck of a party with everyone in our families in attendance. I never imagined  that a  matter of a few minutes could make the difference between my fiancé’s family attending our ceremony, or not.

See, Adam and I looked up what time sunset was on the day we booked our venue because we knew that his family wouldn’t ride/carry/travel/work etc. before the end of shabbat on Saturday night. Sunset is at 4:46 p.m. the day we’re getting married so we booked our ballroom for 4:30, which left just enough time for our relatives and guests to get from the hotel to the venue in time for the start of the ceremony at around 4:50. The contract got signed, and the time was set. But we forgot about one thing: havdalah.

Apparently, havdalah ends 15 minutes after sundown, and THAT marks the point at which riding/carrying/traveling/etc. is again “OK.” Adam and I are both reform, and neither of us have actively observed havdalah since we were small children.  My thoughts turned to “what ifs”… What if they’re late? What if they don’t make it? What if they get angry if we start without them? What if we HAVE to start without them?

Adam and I thought we were being observant enough by waiting until sunset for our ceremony… but now we realize that we weren’t and we can’t move the time of the ceremony. Now his entire family, including his 85 year old grandmother, are planning to walk over a mile from the hotel to our wedding venue to get there in time. I’m truly thankful that they’re willing to do that for us, because the day wouldn’t be the same without them.

September 18, 2009   No Comments