Posts tagged wedding
I wanted to take an opportunity to thank the vendors I used to supply me with things that I included in my wedding. One of my most popular posts on this blog is when I mentioned Lollipop Workshop, and wanted to show off my finished cake-topper and rave about the wonderful things I included in my wedding ceremony.
Rings — David Levy
David was the one who designed my sapphire engagement ring with Adam. When we went to get our wedding rings, he was of course our first choice and he was more than happy to help us. He even gave us free engraving on our rings. He is passionate about great customer service and we’ve already recommended him to a few of our family and friends.
Custom Wedding Celebration Writing — Jessie Blum from Eclectic Unions
Jesse Blum is an incredible attentive, creative woman passionate about her craft. When we decided to have a destination wedding, we knew we wanted it to speak uniquely about our relationship and be as personal as possible. Jesse worked with us to construct a personal ceremony based on our religious and cultural beliefs as well as including new and interesting ways of showing the symbolism of our relationship.
Cake Topper — Lollipop Workshop
This was the first thing I bought for our wedding which sounds a little ridiculous, but I knew from the moment I saw these cute little guys that I needed one for my own wedding cake. Our topper now proudly sits in our glass cabinet with our other wedding paraphernalia.
Sand Ceremony Etched Glasses — Designs by Etch Art
I would have gone with a candle lighting ceremony but since we were on a beach, the candles would get blown out but I still wanted to symbolize two families coming together. The sand ceremony was a perfect match, not only because it was on a beach, but it goes back to the old adage that the couple will stay together unless each grain of sand could be separated and placed back in its original container. I chose a dark blue and light blue sand to pour in by each of our mothers and then Adam & I poured in our sands together. My uncle, the officiant, then included sand collected from Aruba’s beach. We were able to successfully transfer it home by carrying it carefully with us on the plane.
Ketubah — Naomi Broudo
When I learned about the Jewish tradition of a Ketubah, I immediately fell in love. I then took a look at Etsy and saw all the lovely options that artists were creating for their couples. I had set aside a few options but Naomi’s beautiful works always stuck out. I was quite late in ordering my work, but I begged Naomi and she graciously agreed to do one for us and was excellent about sending to us in plenty of time for our ceremony. We now have it framed and posted above our family room couch for all to see.
Dress — Fontana Bridal Salon
When I was choosing my bridal gown, the ladies at Fontana had picked out a few for me to try on. But it was the first one I got in that was “the one.” I didn’t have a huge budget for my dress, but they were flexible with the price and helped me by giving me a discount if I paid in full and got the alterations done on premises.
Bridesmaid Dresses (Bill Levkoff) — RK Bridal
We had found our dresses from a separate bridal salon but received awful service (which is why I will not put their name or website here.) Instead, we got ordered our dresses from RK Bridal in Manhattan. What is great about them is that if you can find a cheaper price somewhere else, they will take 5% off your order. You need to know what you want before ordering because they will charge extra for reserving time at the place and getting proper measurements. It wasn’t such a problem because my bridesmaids went to tailors afterwards anyway to get the dress to fit properly on them.
Stationary/Invitations/Menus — Wedding Paper Divas
Even though their site is seems to take care of everything for you, I was confident that there was someone behind the scenes taking care of every little detail. When they noticed a possible problem with the way I had ordered something, they contacted me and my mother right away to make sure it was the way we wanted.
Civil Ceremony Accommodation in Aruba — Lissy Lampe
Lissy was a blessing. After I got sick on my wedding day, she was able to still keep everything on track and was highly organized and such a professional. Can’t speak highly enough of her.
Beach Blessing/Reception — The Westin Resort & Casino, Aruba
We got married on the beach in front of the Westin Resort and afterwards had our cocktail hour on the beach. We were so lucky with an amazing sunset as we took our photos on the beach with family and friends. Our reception was then located in the Sirocco lounge over-looking the resort and pool.
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.
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!
Last week we got back from a five-day trip down to Aruba to relax and, more importantly, scout out possible wedding sites! When I say “we” I mean me, Adam, my sister Jennifer, my mother, and Adam’s mom and dad. It was a whole family affair! After all the walking around and scouting, at the end of the week I swore that if my dad had come along on this trip too I would have seriously been tempted to just elope right then and there!
We stayed at the Occidental that is an all-inclusive hotel. That gave us all our meals for free as well as access to a bunch of water sports. We were able to finally get some kayaking that I’ve been dying to do since I first did it on a river up in New Hampshire a few years ago on a camping trip the first summer I met Adam. He wasn’t able to do it with me that time because his Grandfather passed away right before we were scheduled to make the trip, so it was really nice to finally be able to kayak with him.
Jennifer also snagged us a couple of hours of dedicated boat time Sunday morning at 9am which had to have been the perfect time to do it. It was still quite cool before the sun began to soak the beach and because it was Sunday morning, the boats and water skiers weren’t in the port yet to cause wakes.
We rode on the boat from Palm Beach to the light house and passed the bed and breakfast we stayed at last February. I definitely prefer the calmer, non-touristy side of the island. The beach sand isn’t as “nice” and curated but I think that is what makes it special.
After breakfast, Adam and I ran away and rented a Jeep for a day to off-road to visit some of the places on the island that we missed the last time we were in Aruba. Our main objectives were the Natural Bridge (or what’s left of it,) the Arikok National Park, and Baby Beach. It would have been nice to go to the Natural Pools but you would have had to really go off-road in that part of the park and our vehicle wasn’t up to the challenge.
We spent most of the afternoon going down to the Natural Bridge and snapping pictures too close to the edge of the cliffs. We then took the Jeep to maximum potential and rode around off-road to visit a few places in the park. One of them was a beach with a deadly rip-tide. We got our feet wet and were entranced by the almost translucent crabs that were desperately trying to shovel sand out of their hole-homes. (Very cute by the way!)
We stopped by the caverns just before exiting the park and were able to walk all the way in due to the holes open to the outside to let sunlight in. It was deathly stuffy in there due to no air flow which had been keeping me relatively comfortable while walking around outside in the blazing sun.
To finish off the trip, we managed to twist around and find our way down to Baby Beach. The thing about Baby Beach is that it is incredibly still, and has an extremely gradual slope so you are able to walk all the way out to the edge of the cove and still have your head above water. It was here were we took our second try at snorkeling. Last year I had a less than desirable experience snorkeling at the bed and breakfast due to the abnormally harsh waves and I basically froze and had a panic attack in the water thinking I was going to drown. Adam had to physically drag me back to shore. Suffice it to say, I was quite anxious about trying to snorkel again!
I’m very glad to report that I was able to get over my phobia of snorkeling and enjoy the colorful aquatic life that swam under the currents. I took it bit by bit and was able to putter around under the water without freaking out and impressed Adam when I was able to catch up with him after telling him to go ahead and enjoy without me while I went at my own pace.
We spent the rest of the afternoon wading in the water and decided that we should head back because our mothers were probably having fits wondering where on the island we were. On our ride back we enjoyed taking the top off the Jeep, listened to some local dance radio, and watched the sun slowly creep towards the horizon.
Of course our main assignment was to find out where we wanted our wedding to take place. During the day we visited the different hotels along the coast at the high-rise hotels and met with the wedding planners and directors to get more information on what they offer. We narrowed it down to the Marriot, Hyatt and Westin. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, my mom and me or Adam’s mom and me scouted the beaches to watch people get married and to check out how their receptions looked. I was pretty set on going with the Marriot until my mom and I caught a ceremony and saw that they had placed the ceremony right next to the water sports equipment hut. Now, maybe it’s just me, but that would be a pretty ridiculous and ugly photo backdrop. We also took note of the beach traffic from onlookers since Aruba’s beaches are all public and the noise from nearby restaurants. After taking everything into consideration, I definitely think the Westin is the way to go. We even had a chance to talk to the mother-of-the-bride the day of her daughter’s wedding and got the low-down on their take on the whole ordeal.
Now I must do the hard part and try to figure out what exactly I want at our wedding. The wedding planner gave me a check list to fill out of my “wishes” but I can’t even begin to think what it is I want! I was never a girl who dreamed from a young age about my wedding and planned everything down to the tiniest detail. I think I would be happy if someone else just decided it for me and just made it classy and to our personalities after talking to us for a bit.
I better figure out soon, otherwise I’m going to keep getting nagged by the respective families and settle on the final date!