Waking from a Daydream

28 Apr

I’ve lost track of how many flights I have taken home for wedding planning. At this point, I’m floating in the clouds between Savannah and New Jersey at least once a month, if not more. The sky has become a place of temporary peace. For just about two hours, texts, e-mails and social media are entirely cut off. It’s a relief to be just another passenger on a express jet instead of the bride.

When I stepped off the plane, yet again, last week, I was frightened to switch my phone off of airplane mode. I had suddenly become a bombarded bride.

Within two days of mailing the invites, our guests had transformed from names on an excel spreadsheet to the beloved family and friends we know so well with sweet comments, important questions and overwhelming expressions of excitement.

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The invitations are OUT!

Although I have felt the reality of my wedding since my engagement, the invites are a tangible reminder of how fast the big day is approaching. They push the envelope on our big day quite literally.

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My favorite part of the invitations- custom stamps.

Brides should be forewarned- once the invitations are received, guests are ready to rumble. Hotels need to be reserved, flights arranged, tuxedos tailored and gowns purchased. Although it’s only been a few days, I have already entertained one question like a broken record: how will the spa at the hotel possibly accommodate so many women in need of hair care for the evening? Book appointments early ladies!

To put it mildly- the invitations have surely shaken me from a bridal daydream.

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Wakeup Sarah- the guests are ready!

Truthfully, I am ecstatic that the people who will fill our lives with the most joy and love are ready to celebrate. In between what feels like nonstop buzzing of my phone, I sometimes wonder what will happen when the big day comes and goes. Will I experience wedding withdrawal? Is it possible to miss the madness?

I’ll let readers know when I tackle this topic post-wedding.

Posh Petals

24 Apr

Aside from dress fittings, the majority of my wedding appointments have taken place at the florist. I am thrilled that the talented Jerry Rose of Maplewood, New Jersey will bedazzle our ceremony and reception with elegant flowers. From consecutive months of planning I have learned that selecting the perfect petals requires patience.

Nothing spectacular blooms overnight.

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So far, I’ve attended four florist appointments with my wedding planner (mom).

This picture was snapped just outside the flower shop back in July!

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A rosy peak into the studio of Jerry Rose.

Even if you have a favorite flower… 

be an open-minded Bride!

Much to my surprise, my ideal petal did not make the final cut. I’ve realized that pink roses sitting in a pretty vase, on my kitchen table, do not serve the same purpose as those in the center of a ballroom!

A wedding is an occasion that demands something completely different.

At our venue, there will be multiple tables of twelve. A small, charming arrangement would be easily swallowed in such an impressive room. On the other hand, any flower that is too tall might overshadow other elements of the wedding (lights, band, dance floor) while prohibiting guests from easily taking to one another.

I recommend taking a field trip to the venue with your florist for a brainstorm. It’s helpful to discuss the vision for your flowers in the actual space as opposed to the shop. There’s always a precise number of petals.

Go bananas…

with the bridal bouquet!

Before visiting Jerry’s palace of petals, I assumed that I would have the same bouquet as my bridesmaids- something sweet, small and sophisticated. Jerry quickly changed the tune of my walk down the aisle. Not only did he create an elaborate plan for the big walk, but he also showed me a potential bouquet that would be made on the spot, just for the bride.

Picking the right type, number and color of flowers is a process. Brides are used to receiving flowers from the groom without much thought. We admire the final product. As much as I adore a blooming surprise, every once in a while, I have a newfound appreciation for the work that is behind each petal.

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a garden mirror shot with the MOTB.

~Dedicated to the flower king, Jerry Rose– planting the petals for the wedding with you has been a ball!~xox

The Rehearsal Dinner

20 Apr

The night before my cousin Lisa’s gorgeous wedding, the bridesmaids and groomsmen took a joyful walk down a flowerless aisle.

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practice makes perfect!

We spent about forty-five minutes reviewing the ceremony. People were everywhere, decorations were nowhere and the excitement for the upcoming day was palpable.

The next evening, when my cousin Jason and I received the cue, we walked arm in arm to our assigned spots just beside the beautiful chuppah. We were paving the way for a magnificent bride.

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What a difference from the night before!

Nearly four years later, and two months closer to walking down my own aisle, another rehearsal dinner is coming together. Much to my surprise, our dinner will not make use of a rehearsal. The wedding party will review all details of the aisle on the big day, rather than the night before. Apparently, I’m excused from the madness.

Our rehearsal dinner will take place at the hotel where our guests will stay, as opposed to the chateau. The short yet sweet evening will be filled with food, laughter and toasts. There will be no learning to line up. Leaving all instructions until an hour or so before the ceremony is a bit risky, right? I thought so too.

A couple things for brides to consider when planning a pre-wedding dinner:

Don’t make your wedding party rehearse speeches. 

I’ve learned that the rehearsal dinner is purposefully casual. However, the menu certainly requires careful selection. Perhaps there will be small flower arrangements on each table. When all planning is done, don’t be the bride who bosses the bridal party. They’ve been through enough. You’ve probably picked their dresses, hairstyles and seating arrangements. Let them live a little at this dinner. It’s their time to spill embarrassing stories without remorse. Essentially, the rehearsal dinner is a free pass.

Don’t overthink your glam plan.

Rehearsal dinners are intimate and calm. The wedding day is grand and pleasantly chaotic. Therefore, I have reconsidered wearing heels to the gathering. I may have my hair (professionally) thrown up with minimal makeup. While I still want to look like the bride, there is something special about saving the glitz for the white dress. The wow factor should be reserved for the wedding day.

Lastly, the bride has a bedtime.

When the final bite of dessert has been consumed, it’s the bride’s cue to say goodnight. Most likely, the groomsmen will just be beginning their night. It’s almost like a second bachelor party for the men. The bride, however, needs to prioritize beauty sleep over anything else remotely tempting.

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Rehearsal dinner = rest for the bride.

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/479422322805352490/

Showering Sarah

18 Apr

A few months back, if readers remember, I mentioned the idea of a couple’s bachelor(ette). After attending my own parties this past weekend, I will admit that I have grown immeasurably from the mindset of that post. I have transformed from a young (22), naïve fiancé to a still quite young (24) yet capable bride. My bridesmaids proved that although I will make a perfect Peterman, the solo Sarah will never lose her spunk:

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Since I am still pre-wedding, I can freely shout my feelings from the rooftops of Trump Soho (where I slumbered with my bridesmaids): I had the best two days of a bride-to-be’s life!

Here’s a peek into the festivities that taught me why every bride needs bridesmaids, both before and well after the wedding:

There’s no man who can replace the bond between women!

Every moment of this past weekend was filled with constant love and laughter (far too much to capture in words and pictures alone). Below, I have attempted to summarize a few of the most unforgettable highlights. These memories may serve as a guide for bridesmaids who are in the process of planning a celebratory weekend for their beloved bride. With that said, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the mother of the bride, the bridesmaids or the bride-to-be herself- the bachelorette and shower are happy occasions for all.

Here’s what you should do to make the most of each moment…

Laugh harder than you ever thought possible.

After checking into our chic downtown hotel, I was escorted to a workout class of sorts. Since I live in leggings, I was appropriately dressed for my first surprise adventure. I assumed I was attending a girly tuck session known as Pure Barre or perhaps a trendy hour of Bikram yoga. Truth be told, I was actually enrolled in a “twerk” class more commonly known as pole dancing.

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Posing amongst the poles with my girls during an incredibly silly hour of nonstop laughter and quite a bit of blushing!

The giggles were clearly contagious. One day later, at my shower, I found myself plucking undies off a clothing line right in front of my mother-in-law. Based on style and rhyming clues I was asked to guess the giver.

 

This game is a must for every bride at her shower! I love all my panties and the clever clues!

Make new memories and savor the old.

At the start of my shower I was presented with a gift that made my mascara run. One of my bridesmaids, Shonna, had asked each friend and family member to submit photos and a letter or note of love via e-mail. She spent countless hours creating a masterpiece.

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Each page was carefully crafted.

(surrounded by two of my bridesmaids, Mallory and Alexa)

The book of memories is titled, “Showering Sarah with Love,” and is unquestionably my favorite treasure from the weekend.

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The gorgeous heart behind my book of love- Shonna, my bridesmaid.

Take a moment to pause and look around.

Nearly one week later I can be found floating around my apartment in Savannah wearing my bridal sash and tiara. I can still very vividly feel the warmth and see the smiles from the women who shared in my happiness. Although I was absolutely showered in gifts, I have yet to start cooking with my food processor, blender, roasting dish and baking pan. Despite inching two months closer to the big day, I remain the same Sarah that my family and friends know too well; I’d rather use the kitchen for storage than cooking!

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Embrace the truth.

Dedicated to three incredible women who fill my life with beauty.

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Aunt Diane– Thank you from the bottom of my heart for planning the most magnificent bridal shower. Every detail was sparkling with love. I will never forget the pretzels you put on each table from the location of my engagement, Reading Terminal Market…wow!

Shonna– Thank you for putting so much time, affection and energy into a book I will adore forever.

Lisa– Thank you for showering me with sweetness, tiara’s and activities throughout the weekend. We shared some of our best laughs during these two days.

I love you all, endlessly!

The Value of a Veil

14 Apr

The majority of my second dress fitting was spent selecting a veil for the ceremony. The options were plentiful. Aside from choosing the length, I also considered design, fit and sparkle. I ended up ordering a medium length veil with rhinestones that will be woven into the fabric to compliment my dress. Kleinfeld Bridal is the queen of custom.

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Lace? Pearls? Sparkles? Kleinfeld has just as many veils as dresses!

The very next day, I had the pleasure of visiting Cantor Lee Coopersmith who will officiate our wedding alongside a Pastor. I have known the Cantor of my congregation for most of my life. In fact, Cantor Lee was my teacher and mentor in preparation for my Bat Mitzvah (the ceremony where I officially entered adulthood).

It was incredibly meaningful to sit down with my Cantor, ten years later, as I prepare to take the vows of marriage. Our meeting was spent exchanging memories, reviewing the program, and discussing the progression of blessings. At one point, Cantor Lee mentioned the veiling ceremony known in the Judaism as Bedeken. Before I walk down the aisle, JB will cover me with the veil as a confirmation that I am the right bride!

In the Biblical story, Jacob unintentionally marries his bride’s sister, Leah, who was wearing a veil. Only after the wedding ceremony was performed, did Jacob notice the gravity of his mistake.

I will gladly participate in the veiling ceremony…

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After all, I am the one and only bride for JB. No tricks please!

Photo credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/216735800791124568/

After meeting with the Cantor, I assigned a new value to my veil that had everything to do with marriage and nothing to do with sparkles.

~Dedicated to Cantor Lee Coopersmith. Thank you for always providing an important perspective to major milestones. Your kind words, vast knowledge of religion, open mind and heart have filled me with a profound appreciation for Judaism and Christianity. I am confident that both faiths will unite us as one.~

Birthday Bride!

10 Apr

Yesterday, I spent my twenty-fourth birthday wearing two tiaras. After all, birthday hats never go out of style.

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a timeless accessory and a forever friend.

Bridal tiaras, however, are treasured because they are ephemeral. This was my last birthday as a single Sarah.

Aside from waking up to two-dozen pink roses on my doorstep, I opened a very special wedding themed birthday gift; My Pnina Tornai gown arrived in the mail just in time for fitting two.

My birthday was celebrated at Kleinfeld Bridal with my amazing mom and happy grandmother. Although I felt honored to return to the beloved home of Say Yes to the Dress, my appointment took more time and work than expected. Every bride-to-be approaches their second fitting with high hopes and expectations: will the dress fit a little better? How close to perfect will everything fall? Is there enough time to make dramatic changes such as adding or removing straps?

I advise brides to bring mom, bridesmaid, grandma or friend(s) to the fitting. A support team helps suppress bridezilla.

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my team.

Truthfully, ever since I stepped off the plane from Savannah to New York City, this past weekend, I have been glued to mom. Thankfully, the MOTB keeps me organized, focused and seriously busy! Although I continue to smile in every bridal picture, posh readers should be forewarned: the steps leading to the dreamy walk down the aisle are far from glamorous. Planning takes patience. Patience takes practice for every bride.

This weekend, however, I will be excused from all wedding duties; Saturday and Sunday are solely dedicated to bachelorette and shower festivities planned by my thoughtful bridesmaids. For the very first Saturday since my engagement, I will have zero decisions to contemplate.

But the pins always precede the party. My team spotted a few minor details that still require tweaking.

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Don’t peak behind the curtain…my dress is there!

(extra perk: I was placed in room 9- a lucky coincidence on my birthday, April 9th!)

Here’s my advice for fellow brides who may fear their next fitting:

  • Bring wedding shoes (make sure they are the right heel length before the tailor starts to hem!)
  • Wear Commando (visible panty lines do not flatter brides.)
  • Contemplate face coverage (finalize the length and design of your veil/headpiece, if you decide to wear one at all!)
  • Back away from the dress (after fitting two, remove everything bridal. Take a stroll around the boutique before leaving. Brides should avoid rash decisions regarding alterations.)

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Inside the box: a jeweled memory from my second fitting.

“Happiness (is) only real when shared.”

8 Apr

Christopher McCandless from Into the Wild

Last Saturday, I spent two hours in traffic devoted to wedding planning instead of reflecting on the purpose of my destination: to celebrate Passover in the company of fifty plus family members.

Passover commemorates the liberation of Israelites from Egyptian slavery…

In other words, it’s not the appropriate time or place for wedding worries.

Apparently, the swatch for the bridesmaid dresses went missing. After giving the green light to send our invitation list to print, the mother of the bride caught several mistakes. Lastly, a specific flower that I have been admiring for the ballroom will be out of season come June. Three strikes?

And so, regretfully, I entered my annual Seder with wedding woes on the mind. Thankfully, hours later, with a full belly and a restored appreciation for the holiday, my exit appeared far less dramatic.

Since this past weekend was devoted to Passover and Easter celebrations, I thought it fitting to shift the focus from the bride to her family. Color coordination is ideal when walking down the aisle. Flawless invitations are well received. Beautiful flowers are picturesque. But what’s the wedding without the family?

Fortunately, religious gatherings serve as a reality check for every bride who has been distracted by wedding planning. This past Saturday was a sincere reminder that despite months of endless preparation, the wedding day will come and go. Family is forever.

Snapped on Saturday night:

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Four Generations of Drew’s- we are happiest when together.

Wedding traditions such as wearing “something blue” are exciting to embrace. Family traditions, however, are invaluable. I urge every bride to stop overthinking trivial details and instead, treasure those who will share in the happiness of the big day.

~Dedicated to my amazing Aunt Zindy. Thank you for always cooking the most delicious egg noodles and soup on Passover. Your warm heart and commitment to family traditions is admirable.~

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Aunt Zindy:

Queen of family feasts and fashion (what a fabulous combo)!

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