Tag Archives: celebrate

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/

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…

© Casey Fatchett Photography - www.fatchett.com

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)!

Wedding Season is Upon Us

6 Apr

The Huffington Post began a recent article with a bold warning: Ladies and Gents, “Run for your (social) lives. Wedding season is here.”

Unfortunately for the ladies in the wedding party, no matter how fast they run, the bride will surely catch every one of them!

Here comes the bride…

As a bride-to-be, I am thrilled to learn that wedding season is approaching. There are less than eighty days before I walk down the aisle! Apparently guests are joining the countdown for dramatically different reasons. They are savoring the days before:

  • Forfeiting their social lives for an entire weekend
  • Arranging outfits, transportation and a hotel
  • Memorizing a corny wedding hashtag such as #meetthepetermans
  • Acknowledging that Sarah’s Pure Barre routine is working wonders!
  • Considering their own timeline (Is the engagement clock ticking?)

Truth be told: until June 20th has come and gone, my friends, family and even strangers will most likely refer to me as the bride-to-be, before Sarah. As if the title wasn’t enough, I document every bridal appointment and wedding decision with enthusiasm, not once, but twice a week.

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How my friends most likely feel.

Lucky for my guests, the day after the wedding, I’ll be off the radar for a week. Apparently, the honeymoon suite we’ve booked does not include Wi-Fi. When I return as Sarah Peterman, I will no longer be able to perch on a bridal pedestal.

Today, I’ve swapped my sparkly bridal slippers for ones that my guests might wear. The two-minute video below helps the bride understand how it feels to be in the shoes of those in the audience rather than at the altar.

Press play… it’s worth it!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/30/wedding-season-is-coming-video_n_6971082.html?utm_hp_ref=weddings&ir=Weddings

After watching, I sympathize with guests who wonder whether or not they will have to do the Macarena at the reception? Dancing in front of big groups can be intimidating.

BuzzFeed makes an interesting point: for the bride-to-be, wedding planning is pure bliss mixed with moments of self-induced stress. From the perspective of guests, however, tying the knot is frightening and potentially contagious should you be the one friend to catch the bouquet.

So, how will you prepare to handle wedding season?

Embrace the Mistakes?

24 Mar

…maybe.

On my most recent flight home I spent much of the ride confiding in Leslie, a fellow bride who tied the knot a few months ago. She entertained my to-do list for the takeoff, before providing a piece of advice that no bride ever wants to hear. Apparently, the best thing a bride can do on the big day is maintain a smile, look pretty and “embrace the mistakes.” As my facial expressions suddenly shifted from happiness to horrified, Leslie chuckled and said, “You will thank me come June.”

Hold on posh brides-to-be. I’m the exception, right? I have spent countless hours carefully planning with the mother of the bride to ensure that every plan has a thoughtful back up. The stylists will be on call in case my hair wilts and my eye makeup runs. Even waterproof mascara has its flaws. Also, if the clouds do not cooperate, the ceremony will be moved into the ballroom. I’ve heard that exchanging “I do’s” on a rainy day is lucky. I’d prefer a charm bracelet or something.

Here’s what really happened to my plane buddy. On the day of Leslie’s wedding, one of her bubbly bridesmaids commented on the interesting choice of flower arrangements. A clash was evident. Unfortunately another wedding on the same day, which was already in progress, had swapped flowers. Leslie’s bridesmaids wore  red dresses while carrying bright yellow roses down the aisle. On the upside, the mishap was a conversation starter for guests during the reception!

Flash-forward about one hour: after the big reveal, as the groom approached the bride for intimate pictures, he caught his finger on the corner of a rustic, antique chair. A speck of red landed on the train of Leslie’s dress. Luckily the groom had nine other fingers. The bride made a semi-valid point: there’s just one dress.

As the flight attendants prepared the cabin for landing, I gazed across the aisle with envy. A part of me wished I had been seated one row up, next to an adorable elderly lady. I bet she would have loved the video of my proposal and the pictures from my most recent dress fitting. (I find myself sharing photos of gown with complete strangers. Do other brides-to-be do the same?) #bridalproblems

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Since I can’t show readers my dress (yet), here’s a picture from the shopping excursion.

Although Leslie had no filter, it was slightly refreshing to hear a dose of bridal reality. Here’s the moral: before, during and after the wedding there will be curveballs thrown at the bride. Imperfections are inevitable. Hopefully my florist will take note of multiple weddings on the same day. Since I am marrying my love on the longest the year, hopefully the sun will shine at its brightest and longest. However, if certain things do not go as planned, I will take Leslie’s advice and embrace the “mistakes.” Despite the trivial flower mishap and barely stained dress, Leslie is happily married and still feels as if she is on her honeymoon.

As I walked off the plane, my new acquaintance bid me farewell with the following thought, “Don’t worry, Sarah. Things could always be worse. Remember when Big left Carrie at the altar?”

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I’ll take yellow flowers over this disaster.

https://oneika30.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/sex3.jpg

The Big Day Before the Big Moment

15 Mar

When I was newly engaged, I used to dream about two specific moments at my future wedding:

  1. Walking down the aisle
  2. Waltzing into the ballroom as Mr. and Mrs. Peterman

Big reality check: there is an entire DAY before the MOMENT of exchanging “I Do’s.”

My mom called me yesterday to chat after she had met with Andrew, the head of the wedding venue. They gathered in New Jersey to discuss a general timeline for the day. There are appropriate time slots for everything and anything bridal: hair, makeup, snacking, pictures, the huge reveal and so forth. Actually, when all is said and done, there is an entire day before the wedding even begins. Timing is key.

Don’t stress, brides-to-be. Luckily, the wedding planner will handle each chapter of the day in collaboration with the venue. I just heard some unexpected news: apparently, in my case, the bride does not need to attend the rehearsal before the ceremony! Please refer to the ALL CAPS line in the e-mail I have copied below:

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Evidence of my pardon (reading this feels even better than being excused from jury duty!)

The best part of this e-mail, aside from the use of caps, is the following line: “It is her time to rest and a get a snack and fix makeup or whatever.” Clearly only the mother of the bride understands that her daughter will need a break to refresh and refuel before the ceremony. She may also need time to upload her very first wedding instagram with the appropriate hashtag: #meetthepetermans.

At first, I was slightly jealous that my groom and his groomsmen will have the morning off. They will most likely stay up late after the rehearsal dinner, sleep in, and hide away in the man cave at the venue. About one hour before pictures begin they will shower, shave and appear promptly looking better than ever.

After attending my makeup trial, however, I realized that the preparations for the big day are where most memories are made. Brides shouldn’t waste one minute of the day! I can already imagine wearing my silk robe with the crystal bride logo on the morning of the wedding. All my bridesmaids will be giggling in the bridal suite, listening to music, snapping pictures of our glowing faces and basking in the beauty of the BIG day.

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Doing my duties as a bridesmaid for Lisa, the beautiful bride.

(Lisa, now that you’re my bridesmaid, I’ll ask you to secure my jewels in the bridal suite 😉