Archive for September, 2010
Yes, it’s true, we’ve been engaged since May and we originally had the party planned for August but it had to be moved. We finally were able to celebrate it with many friends and family this weekend in Island Park, NY at The Coyote restaurant down by the waterfront.
Luckily for me, Adam’s mom did the majority of the planning and logistical decisions. Since she was paying for it, mostly my job was just to show up. A couple of the tasks I had to do was invite any friends I wanted to attend, come up with a music playlist (the restaurant had an iPod hookup) and come up with a scrapbook for people to sign while they were there.
I was conflicted about my guest list since Adam’s mother’s family is absolutely huge and she has many, many close friends that she already invited. After the invites were all sent out, our guest list was well past 80 invitees. I was so overjoyed at the amount of people and just general love that we got this weekend. All but two of my friends from high school and college from Boston were able to make the long trip from Massachusetts to Long Island, many of them driving in that day!
I must admit, where I’m from, we’ve never heard of engagement parties and my parents and siblings were confused as to the purpose. After Ventz & Erica were engaged last fall they had a small one in Boston but I wasn’t sure what to expect from a Long Island, NY engagement party!
When I was tasked with coming up with a music playlist for the party, I wasn’t sure what to pick. Though my favorite music, I’m sure the older attendees wouldn’t appreciate hard rock, alternative and metal. I also couldn’t fit an entire playlist of Lady Gaga. After looking through my library of music, I realized that I’ve been sitting on a couple great Mashup albums organized by BootieMashup.com that I was saving just for the day I’d have a house party. After listening to the playlist for a few weeks and removed anything that would make Grandma blush, I had a pretty good set list prepared! I ended up getting a lot of compliments from my friends who said they really enjoyed the new twist on music. Of course, a few of them were pretty surprised I didn’t throw in some Nine Inch Nails for good measure.
My final task was to prepare a sign in book for the guests. I subscribe to the OffBeatBride newsfeed and was very impressed with some bride’s take on the photo booth idea (I will also admit that I originally thought of this in the winter when Trent Reznor married his wife and they had an old time-y photo booth at their wedding and had people put it on paper.)
I’m also quite into scrapbooking and Adam’s mom picked up a white beaded album a couple months ago for me to use as I wish. I put together a packet of wedding themed stickers, brought my photo-friendly pens and a little Polaroid instant printer that I picked up the day before at the RadioShack. I was a little anxious wondering if people would be able to figure out how to print from my digital camera, but after demonstrating it to enough people, I think the rest were able to catch on. If I could do one thing over, it would be to get a different album. Unfortunately, all the pages were in plastic which meant people had to pull the paper out of the plastic wrapping before sticking their picture on and signing the paper. Some people didn’t take pictures and instead signed the plastic. The markers weren’t meant for plastic so the ink wiped away as soon as the page rubbed up against something else (usually the page right next to it.) I think I’ll try to do something like this again for the wedding reception in Pittsburgh next June but try to make it much more streamlined and maybe even get props!
One of my least favorite tasks was opening all of the wonderful gifts we got from our attendees. By the end of the day I was absolutely beat from running around meeting people and being generally sociable that I just wanted to pass out. Adam’s sister Stacey and the rest of our family prodded us to open the gifts we received and write down everyone’s names so we could get thank yous out by the end of the week. I had been watching our wedding registry for the past few weeks so I had a good idea about what we would potentially be getting but I was delightfully surprised by some of the off-the-cuff gifts we got. I hadn’t yet decided on when/if I’d change my name and one of the reasons I gave was that everything about me online is “Rachel Ober.” Ventz managed to bid on new domains for Adam and me! We are now the owners of RachelAKaplan.com, RachelAKaplan.net, and AdamJKaplan.net, hah! With a very Jewish name like “Rachel Kaplan” and “Adam Kaplan,” it is damn near impossible to get a domain! Another gift we are really excited about getting is from my high school friends Scott and Pat. Scott usually brews his own beer in his basement and they gave us Cabernet and we are looking forward to opening it once we get all moved into our new house!
I finally spent some time last night putting together our “Wedsite” (yeah, I know, barf.) I probably would have liked to put it together myself, but considering some of our guests are probably more familiar with The Wedding Channel than they are with trying to navigate the Internet, I took the advice from my FMIL (future mother in law) and did a quick free website with WeddingChannel.com
Here we go…!
Still don’t know what we are going to do about a reception back here in New York City but at least the ceremony and reception in Pennsylvania are pretty much nailed down.
On Saturday, I made the brave decision to bring Izzie on the Metro-North and travel down to Grand Central Station for her first trip into the city of New York.
I was nervous to bring her on the train even though I’ve seen other puppy parents do it, plus it was the weekend when there would be noticeably fewer people traveling. However, Izzie gets territorial and protective over me, and it was no different this time and she barked and whined and many people who approached me on the platform.
She turned into an angel though whenever we got on the train. She immediately shut up and huddled close to my legs and sat on my feet. She was nervous but seemed to take the same approach to traveling on the train as she does when she’s in the car.
We pulled into Grand Central Station and exited the train to the platform. Everything was going quite well but then for some reason Izzie suddenly planted all four paws on the cement and refused to move even with my urging and leash tugging. I resorted to picking the poor girl up and carrying her to the main concourse. She briefly met with a new beagle friend as we walked up the stair cases to the outside.
The day wasn’t without some messes from the nervous dog, but I think she did remarkably well considering she is more of a suburban, almost farm suited, dog. We will be eventually moving to Brooklyn so really it was a matter of time before she would need to be exposed to crowds of people.
We met my fiancé, Adam at the New York Times building and made a pit stop at a local cup cake shop for an early birthday present! Our little family trekked down to the piers next to the Intrepid where we knew there was a small dog park. About a dozen or so dogs were in and out of the compound through the afternoon while we were there, and while we were hoping Izzie would be more social, after we took her leash off she was apparently quite content just sitting next to us in the shade. I felt like a mommy trying to get her reluctant child to go off and play with other children on the first day of kindergarten!
Adam attempted to get her to play in the kiddie pool that the town had set up for the dogs to play in but she would have none of that! She immediately jumped out and went back to chilling out in the shade. I couldn’t blame her, she seemed to be relaxing and enjoying herself. After more coaxing and a little more playing, we decided to start to head back to Westchester, but first stopped at the Shake Shack in Midtown that we had heard so much about! Luckily the lines weren’t took long and we were able to snag a small cup of soft serve ice cream that we shared (Izzie was particularly fond of the treat!) The trip back home was otherwise, luckily, uneventful and again Izzie was a perfect little angel on the train.
Mommy and daddy wrapped up the night by having dinner at a local Italian restaurant that was down the street from my place but in the two years I’ve lived in Elmsford, I had no clue it existed! We joked that it was better that we didn’t know about it, otherwise we would have been poor and fat from going to it often. When we got the menus we picked out appetizer and main courses but entertained the server when he asked us if we wanted to hear the specials. We were immediately awestruck at the specials offered and changed everything we had planned on ordering. Adam ordered a delicious duck that was roasted in, of all things, strawberries and strawberry sauce! We started with the crab cake and for my main course I tried the lemony swordfish. The night wrapped up with a huge slide of tiramisu that we couldn’t finish.
All in all a great way to ring in my birthday!
I haven’t done a lot of planning for my wedding, but when I saw this, I just knew I had to have it!
While I haven’t chosen everything for the wedding yet, I was dead set on at least ordering this. It made me think about the colors I wanted for the bridal party, what I might wear, how I might do my hair and what Adam and the groomsmen might wear on the beach. All of this was going to be reflected on this tiny pair meant to represent us on top of our wedding cake.
I finally decided that I wanted at least one of our colors to be sapphire blue. It’s Adam’s favorite color and my engagement ring and birthstone is a sapphire so it makes a lot of sense. It will also go quite well with the beach and ocean theme of the wedding.
I also can’t see Adam, or anyone else for that matter, wearing a suit jacket. I envision everyone being very comfortable in khakis and a nice white shirt. I don’t even want to wear a veil, much to the chagrin of my mother. I’d rather just have my hair tastefully pulled back into a nice up-do. It’s quite windy on the island of Aruba and I don’t want my hair flying every which-way while I’m trying to speak my vows and take pictures.
You can find other Lollipop Workshop cake toppers on their Etsy store.
I’m also considering commissioning a friend of mine who has been making anklet/toe jewelry for my bridesmaids. We’re going to be married on the beach and I would think heels would be a nightmare! Of course, everyone is free to slip into shoes once we go to the reception but it would be a nice gift to give to the girls.
Within the next month, my mom and I will begin the arduous task of selecting a wedding dress. I’m pretty keen on having something offbeat and would love to have colors splashed all over the place but I may be complacent on just having sapphire blue accents decorating the dress.
At the very least, I have already decreed that I will be wearing a tiara!