Wednesday, November 26, 2008

An All-Time Thanksgiving Day Favorite!

One of my all time favorite things to do on Thanksgiving Day {besides eating} is to watch the marathon of A Christmas Story on TNT. I mean, I can literally sit there all day watching and will laugh at the various parts as if it were my first time seeing it. To me, it is a sure symbol that the holiday season is in high gear.

Go grab a glass of eggnog and check out a snippet of some funny moments from the movie!

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!


Fantastic Finds!

I love all aspects of shopping. Every store is a new opportunity to find some type of treasure. I even value window shopping. I have a different outlook on things when I shop. I will literally walk up and down every aisle for inspiration. I find the most unique items and best deals when I'm not even looking for anything in particular.

I bought a fantastic pair of candleabras with intentions to decorate the start of the aisle when I was thisclose to signing a contract at another reception venue a few months ago. That venue didn't provide any ceremony decoration and I wanted to spuce it up a bit. Although I've decided not to get married there, and my new reception venue provides ceremony decorations, I would still love to find a place to incorporate these candleabras. Check them out:

I have decided to put them on the sides of the sweetheart table and I'm guessing that they will look divine in my future dining room!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let's Talk DIY

I am the ultimate DIY bride- I think. So far my title has not been disputed. And let me just tell you, it is NOT to save money although I started out with those intentions. People usually take the DIY road to save but it is important to realize that DIY does not equal savings. The thing about DIY projects is that you have total control and creativity over the project, so you can make it as simple or elaborate as desired. I have a difficult time being simple so my DIY projects have gone over board and I seem to always find more thing to add to the list.

For my wedding I have decided to DIY my...

Save the Dates
Place Cards

Cry Packs
Unity Candle
Aisle Runner
Memorial Candles

Card Box
Guest Book
Table Numbers

Uhhh, you can say I have my work cut out for me. But I'm not worried, after all, I'm a professional! Pictures coming soon!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Ga-Ga Over Napkins

So after posting here about amazing napkin rings, I am dreaming about how lovely these would look at my wedding. The down side to being in the wedding business and planning your wedding at the same time is that you want EVERYTHING you see!

I almost died when I saw the peacock napkin ring! How freaking awesome would that be at my reception hall?!? Ok ok, I'm getting a bit besides myself with the peacocks. They don't even match my colors.

Long gone are the days of the fan napkin in the glass cup. I would love to score these napkin rings but they aren't cheap. Maybe I will just buy one set and use it for the napkins at our sweetheart table.

::pouting as I click the "publish post" button::

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Home for the Holidays

I haven't disclosed this yet, but Mr. Golden's career is in law enforcement. Anyone that has a loved one in law enforcement knows that there can be many lonely days and nights enduring the crazy shifts. So you can just imagine my excitement when I found out that Mr. Golden will have Thanksgiving day off!

On a slightly different note, we know how stressful splitting up the holidays can be once you are an item with someone else and there are various families involved. This Thanksgiving, Mr. Golden and I were invited to dinner at his best friend's family's house. His friend is one of his Best Men for the wedding and their family is so sweet. We have decided to spend the majority of the day at my house with my family, then we will go to his friend's family's house. Mr Golden's mother decided that she wants to cook the day after Thanksgiving (she has done this for the 5 1/2 years I've known her), so we usually spend that day with her. Whew, talk about spreading myself thin. They'll be lots of socializing in the next few days, but I am looking forward to it!

How will you spend your holiday?


A Time for Giving & Receiving!

Ya know, one of the joys of being a bride is meeting other brides and sharing the experience of wedding planning. I am apart of bridal forum and it's great because it allows me to take off my event planner hat at times and just indulge in the greatness that is being a bride to be. We participated in a secret santa ornament exchange and here is what I bought my secret bride:

She love all things pink and enjoys cheer leading:

And looky looky at what I got:

Get a load of that rock on my finger!

The bride who had me knows that there are live peacocks at my reception hall that roam around the grounds freely, so she got me a peacock ornament!!!

Last, but not least, the bride who had me knows that I like to collect elephants for good luck!

What an awesome way to kick off the holiday season!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Look: Putting it All Together

So I've told you about all my fabulous vendors. Now let's get to the heart of my wedding details. I've mentioned in another post that my colors are ivory, champagne, gold, and bronze. Here are two inspiration boards I created that encapsulate my wedding day look.

The bubbles, invitations, aisle runner, and photo cube are actually all things I created, but I will talk about that in a different post.

This board shows the dresses I have in mind for the bridesmaids. The dress that has the trail in the back will be for my maid of honor, but she will not have a sweetheart neckline like the other ladies because she has cleavage for DAYS! She will need a straight across strapless style. The dark dress is the style I have in mind the junior bridesmaid (who is also my little sister). She will be carrying the pomander (kissing ball) that you see. I love the flower girl dresses. My flower girls will carry baskets but I don't think I want them throwing petals. I just want them to walk and look pretty. I also love the parasols for my bridesmaids. I will be carrying one for myself as well, but it will different.

I will be making more inspiration boards as the time progresses, stayed tuned!


Pimp My Ride!

Like flowers, limousines and I had a love-hate relationship in the beginning. I couldn't fathom paying close to what I pay five months in car notes for something I didn't partially own or would ride in for less than 3 hours. But boy oh boy, the joys of being a bride! When we want something, we have to have it!

I researched limo companies high and low because I heard some horror stories about wedding day limo mishaps. I originally thought about a Rolls Royce for myself but I was a little concerned about vintage cars because although they're refurbished with A.C., I've heard that they can still be hot. With my wedding being in July, the last thing I need is to have beads of sweat pouring down my body in a limo before I see Mr. Golden.

To keep the cost of limos down I had a conversation with Mr Golden, and it went something like this:

Me: "Ya know babe, all we really need are two stretch Lincolns to get us to the reception hall. I don't mind riding in the limo with the bridal party."

Mr. Golden: "A LINCOLN! I'm not riding in no stinkin' Lincoln."

Me: "What! Are you serious?"

Mr. Golden: "Yeah I'm serious. That's so generic, you always see Lincolns. I want something different."

Ugh! Men. Why are they so difficult? So since Mr. Groomzilla, I mean Mr. Golden wanted an upgrade, I decided I wanted one too. When I thought about it, I really don't want to be in the limo with my bridal party on the way to the reception. I know that I will be really nervous and if someone were to ask me if I felt excited or nervous on my wedding day before seeing Mr. Golden, I think I might turn bridezilla on them. I love when I see a bridal party limo processional and catch a glimpse of the bride in a grand limo with her parents. What I envision is a quiet, intimate ride with my parents in something spectacular!

My heart skipped a beat when I seen the Bentley Flying Spur.

I'll go one step further to say that it totally stopped beating when I seen the price. :-O

But not to fret because my limo company was very accommodating with me. We were able to come to a price that made me feel as though I had stole something as I walked out of the show room! I can't wait to ride in that beautiful Bentley on my wedding day. And for only two hours of my life, I'll get to see how Jay Z and Beyonce feel on an everyday basis!

For the bridal party we settled on the Cadillac DTS for Mr. Golden and his guys, and I booked the "stinkin" Lincoln for my bridesmaids since I don't find it so "stinkin" and they will only ride in it for all of an hour. We also have a limo to pick us up at the end of the night.

This is the look that I think will capture my emotions before seeing Mr. Golden. Dontcha just want to know what she's thinking about at this very moment?

And my photographer HAS to get a shot of me and my dad like this:

My advice to others in search of limos: Don't be discouraged by the prices you see on the sheet of paper they give you when you walk in. Most of the time, they're just "suggested" prices. Most places will be willing to work with you and give you a deal. Weigh your options. If you're a bride like me that is getting married at the reception hall and only need one pick up and drop off, see if you can negotiate the time of the rental. Some places base their limo packages on a 3 hr. time constraint. If you know you will only need two hours, talk to them to see if they can work around that. Most importantly, make sure the limo company actually owns their limos and doesn't outsource cars from other places. When you are in the midst of limo shopping, be sure to actually see the inventory of cars and sit in them to check the quality of the inside.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I was planning on making some posts about Thanksgiving Day, but I didn't expect to write a post like this.

I am thankful that I am alive and that I made it home safe today. Earlier I was involved in a car accident with an 18-wheeler truck (I have a nissan sentra compact car). I was in the left lane making a left hand turn. Meanwhile the truck was in the right lane. Now I understand that trucks need room to make turns and that they can't make sharp turns, but this driver did not have his blinkers on. Naturally, I assumed he was going straight. Instead, he made a left turn as I was making mine and the side of his truck basically took control of my passenger side and knocked me into a pole. I didn't knock into the pole hard so I have very minor damage to the front, but my passenger door is a little dented in and scratched up.

Although I am upset about the damage and the unexpected costs of this accident, I have my life and that is all that matters. Material things can be replaced. There will be people that will get into car accidents today and they will be going to the morgue. I made it home with only a slight pain in my shoulder so who am I to complain?

It's so easy to get consumed by the small things and often time we forget the basics. I am going to take the day off from blogging to spend some time with my family and thank the Lord for watching over me today. I will bring you more Golden Moments tomorrow. Have a safe evening to everyone out there in blog world.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doing the "Do"!

My intent was to talk about limos today since it was the next big thing in line that Mr.Golden and I booked after the venue, photo/video, florist and DJ. But to be honest, I am on my laptop and don't have access to my limo inspiration pictures! lol.

So not to disappoint, I want to talk about how to do the do. And when I say "do" I mean hairstyles! I dream about my wedding day hairstyle. I mean, it is like the one day in my life when I'll need my hair to cooperate with me and be nice for once!

When I started thinking of hairstyles, I really tried to take into consideration how Mr. Golden likes my hair. He loves when my hair is down and in spiral or drop curls. I love spiral and drop curls too, I just hate sleeping pretty with my head propped up and waking up with a crick in my neck the next day just to avoid the curls from getting flat. Now of course I will be getting my hair styled on the actual day of my wedding, but through my thought process, I ran into some other obstacles.

My first obstacle was my hair stylist! I approached her with the idea that I should have two wedding hairstyles: All down for the ceremony and then up for the reception. While she didn't say no, she wasn't too thrilled at the idea. When I thought about getting my hair re-styled while cocktail hour food was being served, I became less than thrilled at the idea, too. I have to mention that I have a fantastic relationship with my hair stylist since she has been doing my hair since I was a teenager and while we keep things professional when neccessary, she is basically family and will be a guest at my wedding as well.

My second option was to do a half up-half down style with spiral curls. Imagine how lovely a veil would look with wavy curls framing my face as I walk down the aisle:

One day out the blue reality hit me and I thought, "Whoa nelly, hold your horses. You're getting married JULY! One of the hottest, humid, months of the year!" And then my dream was crushed. I realized having any little piece of my hair down in the summer could potentially prove to be lethal. We'll be taking pictures outside, our ceremony is outside, and I will be partying like a rock star at my reception! Curls wouldn't stand a chance, and I refuse to look like this lady on my wedding day: (no offense lady!)

So I got to thinking and I decided that an updo is my best bet. And besides, Mr. Golden loves my hair no matter how I wear it -so long as I don't chop it off. I guess a part of me had been avoiding updos because I look back with embarrassment at my high school prom updo with the ultra stiff hair piled high on the top of my head. But that was indeed years ago, and updos can be elegant without being prom-ish. These hairstyles are what I have in mind:

I really love the second and third photos. I will not be wearing a tiara on my head because it is just not my type. But to spruce up my hair, I would love to add some swarovski hair pins inside the pin curls. Crises adverted!

Oh, and if you're wondering if I totally ditched the idea of my half up-half down hairstyle, the answer is: Not At All! I will be using that style for our engagement pictures and my secret boudoir photo shoot!

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Monday, November 17, 2008

40 is the new 20 and Thursday is the new Saturday

Well I guess the title says it best. New trends are created everyday whether it's in the world of the stars or the wedding world. Today's stars look more youthful with age and have the metabolism of a person in their 20's. And in the world of weddings, well, the trend seems to be that any day is a good day to get married.

More and more couples are opting for non traditional days to get hitched. Saturday evenings used to be the "it" day for weddings. A few years ago we started seeing Sunday and Friday weddings emerge and dominate the wedding scene. Those alternative days used to be a way to cut costs and get discounts on various vendors. Nowadays, Friday's and Sunday's are just as popular as Saturday's. The reality is that most vendors have caught on, and the savings are not as much as they used to be.

I was in the hair salon earlier this year when a fellow bride was talking about her upcoming nuptials. When I asked her what day she was getting married on, she replied "A Thursday."

"A Thursday?" I exclaimed.

"Yeah, a Thursday." She said.

Honestly at the time, I thought to myself, "who gets married on a Thursday?"

Guess who blog world?..............................

If you guessed me, then you're right!

As a bride you have to make sacrifices along the way. When I first started my search in reception halls, I wanted three very specific things:

1) A summer wedding
2) An evening wedding
3) A Saturday wedding

Numbers one and two I was not willing to budge. But as Mr. Golden and I talked, we began to reconsider what day of the week we wanted to get married on. Now, I have to admit that Thursday weddings are more easier on the pockets of a budget conscious couple. But I have met other fellow Thursday brides whom I have talked with who have said that their reason for doing a Thursday night wedding was due to not being able to make the high guarantee minimum at their dream location on the other days.

Whether it's due to funds or making the minumum guarantee requirements, Thursday weddings are the new rave. But it is equally important to think about your guest list when you make this decision. Will most of your guests be able to accomadate their schedules around your wedding?

I'm a firm believer that whoever wants to be present on your big day will find a way to be there if given the proper notification to make arrangements (i.e. Save the Dates). It's also fun to think that your guests can make your wedding into a long weekend event (i.e. more time spent with out-of-town guests, having a day or two to recuperate before going on your honeymoon). However, before saying yay or ney, it's still considerate to think about if it will work for your wedding and your guest. If you can answer yes to those questions, then hey- Thursday's the new Saturday!


Friday, November 14, 2008

Photo & Video: the two things that remain after the whole shabang!

Ok, all other vendors pertaining to my wedding were booked after signing the contract with my venue. No more confessions...I think!

Photography has come a long way since the days when my mother and father got married. Not to say that my parent's wedding album is bad, but it's just shocking to see that their regular album is now considered a proof album in today's photography. Videography has also evolved from just raw footage VHS to Hollywood cinematography DVD's with all the fixings. Today's brides and grooms have so many options when it comes to capturing the moments of their big day.

Choosing a photographer/videographer was stressful in the beginning as we first started researching and narrowing down companies. Many photographers have photojournalistic style, but I was also aware that not all photographers are created equal on the level of skill.

There are a lot of great photographers but we based our decision on quality and personality. On the day of the wedding we will have two photographers that will be with us for 11 hours and a videographer who will be there for 9 hours. That's a lot of time to be with anyone, let alone, a person who will see me in my most intimate and flustered moments.

Nevertheless, we feel confident in our decision and can't wait to get a preview of being in front of the camera lense for our engagement photo shoot.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Can you hear me now? Good!

My phone looks like a catastrophe. I mean, it's really bad. The paint is chipping, parts are coming off and I've dropped it so many times that you can see the insides from the side of the phone. I think it's time to lay my phone to rest in mobile heaven and move on to bigger and better things. Feast your eyes on Verizon's latest beauty, the blackberry storm. I need this phone like a bride needs a groom! It comes out next week and I'm so hoping to treat myself to this as a x-mas gift.


The life of the party!

Ok so we know that the vows will evoke tears, the food will make you roll your eyes to the back of your head, and the decorations will make you say wow. But lets get real- when your guests leave, one of the main things they will be raving about is the music!

Some brides hire bands, some hire DJ's, others do both. Music was a very important factor for me. My father is a DJ and he comes from the old school, so I know my stuff! While I'm sure he would be willing to bring out his one's and two's and spin his records on the turn tables, having my dad DJ at my wedding was NEVER an option. On that day his main priority is to just be my dad and watch his "little girl" become a wife.

Yesterday's confession was that I booked my florist before signing the venue contract.
Um, I have yet another confession! Yes...I booked my DJ before the venue as well! Of course, the venue was holding my date for me. But because of that, I got the ball rolling on booking vendors right away.

It was very important to find a DJ who had knowledge and experience in music from my culture. When researching, I came across Raphael Gordon from Music Mixed Intelligently. He does weddings, corporate events, and much more. We spent almost an hour on the phone when I first called to inquire about his services. When Mr.Golden and I met him to go over details and sign our contract, he gave us some of the best marriage advice I'd ever heard. He's truly a personable guy and an extremely talented DJ & MC.

Whether you're hiring a band, a DJ, or both, make sure that it is a company who you are compatible with. They should be able to play music that is authentic to your personality, culure, and even more- make your guests get up on their feet and dance like there's no tomorrow!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Confessions of a closet flower fanatic

I have a confession to make: During the early stages of my wedding planning, I was completely anti-flowers. Shocking, I know, but I just couldn't fathom spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on flowers that ultimately die.

I was even going to go as far as DIY'ing my centerpieces and boquets. I cringe at that thought as I type this now. In all seriousness, I was terrified to step foot in a florist and hear the price of flowers.

Here's a picture of the centerpiece I was going to attemp to DIY before I came to my senses. I still find it beautiful, but I no longer want to burden myself with a massive DIY project like that.

Ok, now I have a second confession to make (clutch the pearls): I booked my florist before I even signed the contract with my venue!!! Florist shopping was actually one of the most pleasurable wedding experiences thus far and I was able to recognize the flower fanatic living inside of me and I accepted her with open arms!

Actually I lucked out with the cost because:

1) I'm getting married in a garden with flowers and trees all around me

2) My venue provides the flower arrangements for the pews (even if the ceremony has to be moved inside)

3) They also provide the arrangements for the guestbook table and escort card table.

All I really had to worry about was centerpieces and personal flowers. Currently I have low centerpeices because the ceilings at my venue are low, but lately the flower fanatic in me is thinking about doing half tall and half low centerpieces (I'll keep you posted on that). The flowers in my arrangement consists of white hydrangeas, white roses, and cream roses. I wanted to keep the flowers light since I'm using a lot of champagne, gold, and bronze in other aspects of the wedding.
Here's an example of what they'll look like. (these aren't my actual samples)

And here's an example of how my bouquet will look. It will consist of white roses, cream roses, mini calla lillies, and stephanotis with swarovski crystals. Picture credit is from Flower Barn, which is also the florist that I booked with. For brides getting married in New York, be sure to catch the episode of "My Fair Wedding" on WE TV- November 16 @ 10pm. Flower Barn is going to be featured on there!

I'm curious to know if there are any brides out there that completely changed there views on something while in the midst of planning?


Hump-Day Honeymoons!

It's Wednesday blog world! We're half way across the hump. What's more refreshing than talking about an escape, a retreat, or a little R&R to help get us to the weekened? Starting next Wednesday and then continuing every Wednesday thereafter I will be taking you to different parts of the globe where you'll see some of the hot spots, and romantic hide-aways for honeymoons. Stay tuned!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Website Rave:

One of the things that brides anticipate for their wedding is looking and feeling great in their dress. Because of that, weight loss tends to be a prevalent thought on the minds of brides.

Recently I heard about a website where you can upload a picture of yourself, specify the amount of weight you'd like to lose, and then receive a picture making a projection of how you would look at your target weight loss. Talk about virtual motivation! I decided to give it a try because 1) it's free 2) I really want to loose 15 lbs. but have been lacking motivation & 3) I figured there was something to gain out of doing it (just not weight hopefully!).

So I encourage brides to be, wives that have slacked a little after the honeymoon, or just anyone who wants to achieve a more lean mean babe machine image to visit

I dream of being a buff bride. Here were my results. Go easy with the comments! lol.



Monday, November 10, 2008

Venues..I've kissed a few toads!

Most brides say that they automatically knew from the moment they walked into their venue that it was "the one." Unfortunately for me, finding the perfect venue was like finding Mr. Golden- I had my share of toads to kiss before finding "the one!"

Mr. Golden and I immediately set out to look at reception halls right after getting engaged. I had only been to a handful of weddings and Mr. Golden had been to a wedding and a half (and yes, I said half!). Honestly, we didn't really know what we were looking for in a venue. I just knew that I didn't want to be in a stuffy reception hall with no windows. The first few reception halls that we went to made me go coocoo for cocoa puffs.

Looking back now, I must have really been on cloud nine and blind to reality because many of the halls we saw did not reflect our personalities in any shape, fashion, or form. I refer to those reception halls as the guys in my past that were wrong for me in every way a.k.a. the "bad boys." Then we found another reception hall that was beautiful. We were dead set on it, but there were many things about it that just didn't feel right: 1) the sacarstic banquet manager 2) the lack of space & 3) the price. I refer to that reception hall as the guys in my past that were full of themselves. You know those guys that are fine and know it a.k.a. heart breakers a.k.a. get over yourself!

Alas, the last reception hall we went to was indeed the one. We went in there having no expectations because we had been let down before. We were definitely on point and had our poker faces on because we were tired of "playing the field." When finding your soulmate, you realize that they may not be perfect, but they're perfect for you; just the same, our ceremony/reception venue is perfect for us! Ladies & Gents, I present to you, Westbury Manor.

Enter the drive way...


And see the old victorian mansion set in the back...


Have valet take care of your car for you. After all, you are a guest!


Come through the front doors...


And into the foyer...


Where you will be escorted to a half hour of hospitality in the Polo Lounge.


Don't get too comfy, there's a wedding ceremony that's about to take place, and you need to get the best seat in the house! Let us go to the garden...


So I can make my grand appearance!


After witnessing me and Mr. Golden say I do and jump the broom, please enjoy cocktail hour in the 6 acres of garden!






Take in the scenery and the exotic animals. Don't worry, they don't bite!


What's that? There's been a change in forecast? Not to worry, the inside cocktail hour is just as beautiful...

Here's the solarium:



And the library:




When cocktail hour is over, make your way into the Manor room where the real fun begins. It's sure to be a Golden day!




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