Tag Archives: ceremony

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/

“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)!

Pondering programs.

1 Apr

My parents recently attended a gorgeous wedding in Palm Beach, Florida. From what I could see, my favorite detail was the big bow that cascaded down the back of the bride’s dress. I adore a bold bow! Since mom was both a guest and a wedding planner on a mission, I received a full recap of the dreamy affair with plenty of pictures. Visuals are key when planning.

With three months left until the big day, there’s not much time to spare for new inspiration. With that said, we are still debating the necessity of programs for our short, yet very sweet ceremony. The question of the week is as follows: Are programs just another piece of paper to bejewel before being tossed, or will guests be puzzled without paper?

Below is an image taken by mom just minutes before the ceremony commenced…

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Gaze across the aisle…

At first glance the romantic floating candles consumed my attention. If you look closely, however, you will spot a guest in a seafoam gown studying the program rather carefully.

Since our wedding will include an interfaith ceremony, it might be helpful to provide an explanation of blessings and rituals, both Jewish and Protestant.

The Jewish tradition of breaking the glass can definitely alarm guests if caught off guard!

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(My cousin Bryan and his beautiful bride Jamie are pictured above)

The program also included a list of people who walked down the aisle. It’s nice to introduce the entire entourage from the proud grandmas to the rambunctious best man. Stella, my two-pound Chihuahua, just might make an appearance down the aisle (escorted by the ring bearer) should I decide to include friends with paws.

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Bridesmaids come in all shapes and sizes.

The program concluded with a small note of love and gratitude from the elated couple. It expressed appreciation for those who watched the ceremony with love from either side of the aisle.

After considering the information guests may wish to know, I am excited to map out a program for our wedding.

Below I have summarized my main reasons to push a program. Hopefully, some of these thoughts resonate with other brides-to-be:

  • If guests arrive early they will have engaging reading material
  • Religious blessings/traditions can be explained
  • Honorable members of the wedding party can be properly introduced
  • Guests will feel included in the intimate moments of the ceremony such as the vows

I am no longer indecisive when it comes to pondering a program.

~Dedicated to Bryan Drew. Thank you for breaking the glass which welcomed a true beauty (inside and out) to the family!~

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.

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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 😉