Saturday, July 31, 2010

Last Minute Details

Time is going so fast these days! I leave 2 weeks from yesterday to go to Reston for the wedding. Aack!

The biggest worry on my mind in terms of time is that MJ and I haven't remotely practiced our first dance. We will only be in the same city 7 more evenings and we each have things planned on some of those nights. Oi! I suspect my mother and aunts will force me to get up at the sangeet and dance a little, so I need to practice something for that too.

We of course still have a bunch of details to iron out, but I think we're on top of most stuff. We've asked the various friends and family members if they will do dances, speeches, MC, etc.

I spent last night working on finalizing some key moment songs. I picked my bridal entrance song. That was fun, since most of them are about how beautiful the woman is and how she takes the guy's breath away. Hee hee But, I've also been looking for some ideas for the father/daughter dance. It's hard to find a Hindi one - most of them are extremely depressing and/or slow. Ideally, I'd like to find an old one, but I'm not picky at this point.

I'm also looking for gifts for the two friends who planned my bachelorette party and will be involved in the reception. It's hard to find the perfect gift to express my appreciation for them and their friendship, but I think I have some good ideas. Hopefully they'll like them!

I found out this morning that my favorite cousin in the whole world will not be coming to the wedding. She got turned down for a visa in India. I'm very upset, as we are like sisters and I never imagined I'd get married without her there. We've always talked about how her first trip to the US would be for my wedding. But there are some things that are out of our control I guess...

I'd love to write more, but my brother is on his way over! My family's coming to NY for about 24 hrs and I'm so excited to show them my new place!! MJ's also at his bachelor party in New Orleans this weekend, so it works out perfectly :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Check! Check! Check!

25 days to go! It's starting to feel a little more real after this past weekend. It was very productive and we got a lot done.

We found a hair and makeup artist we liked. I like her work and her personality meshed with our's. She's a bit pricier than we were looking for, but we feel more comfortable with her than we have with the others. In general, it seemed like there were two distinct categories of makeup and hair artists. One category was in the $500 range, their work was more traditional and less consistent, and they used lower grade brands of makeup. (One even asked me what airbrush makeup was!) The other category had a more contemporary look and used more expensive brands, but was also almost double the price and often had an attitude. (One asked me for a photo of myself before she'd accept a meeting!) Overall, searching for such an artist was not a pleasant experience. Hopefully this one will work out.

We also met with some people who will be providing food for our house guests and the boxes we will be giving to our wedding guests. One was a man who used to work in the temple and they asked him to start a restaurant with pure Hindu food. The restaurant's ambiance leaves much to be desired, but the food is fantastic. It tastes like the Indian food people make at home, not the type you get in restaurants. So we'll likely hire him to make the food for our house guests the entire week before the wedding. My parents are having a lady come to the house to start making snacks and sweets for everyone too. (Our guests will not go home hungry!)

The final thing we did was to do a walk through at the venue with the DJ. He gave us a good feeling of being on top of everything and knowing what to do when. We have been slacking on putting together lists of songs and not all the key moment songs are ready, so we need to start focusing on that.

We went out a communication to all our wedding guests today as well, so that they feel informed and can plan better. (And, hopefully book their hotels. The area we're getting married in is notorious for not having available hotels and we're afraid our guests won't have a place to stay!)

Probably the most important thing is that we were able to discuss a lot of the details for the wedding events and get some final pieces nailed down. We thought of some fun activities for our guests that they'll hopefully enjoy. I'm starting to think this would be an awesome wedding to attend if it weren't my own ;) (since I can't participate in all of the fun stuff!)

I took last week off from the gym, but somehow didn't gain weight. But I went to boot camp last night and hit the elliptical this morning, so I'm back on track!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Less than a Month Left!!

My friends are the best! I had an absolutely fantastic bachelorette party! I'm really glad we decided to move it to NYC so more people could join us for different events. We had a wonderful, jam-packed weekend with lots of quality time and fun. The organizers planned a very thoughtful itinerary. I couldn't have asked for a better bachelorette party and I'm so touched that so many people spent so much time & money on lil ole me!

We've finalized our cake order and are focused on getting my hair/makeup artist solidified by this weekend. It's been tough to find someone who's work we like and who does both hair and makeup. They also generally seem to be some of the least technologically advanced people I've met. Many use their husband's email accounts and/or don't have any pictures to show us. How can we sign up with you if we've never seen your work? But I think we're getting close.

As I mentioned before, I absolutely love my new apartment. It's gorgeous and comfortable... BUT I also now have a 45 min commute each way. I don't mind because I can read on the train, but it means I'm not getting home until 7:30 or 8 most nights, at which point I have 3.5 hrs to go to the gym, make & eat dinner, and do a few wedding things before bed. I feel behind on all the wedding details that need to be done and am constantly exhausted. I was going to the gym in the morning, but am too tired now.

MJ and I are scheduled to practice our first dance tonight for the first time! Exciting stuff!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Please Come!

37 days to go. It's crazy how close it is. It feels unreal that I'll be married in just over a month and all this planning will be over.

We have had a few issues with the invitations. Or, rather, the envelopes... We got the invitations custom made in India and they turned out pretty nice and very colorful. One side is in English and the other is in Hindi (something my mother really wanted). We also got matching thank you cards and gift bags made, all out of hand-made paper.

The one thing I didn't realize until I started getting ready to mail them was that the envelopes weren't self-adhesive! So, it wasn't a matter of just licking an envelope closed to get them ready. I had to use a q-tip to put rubber cement on the top and bottom, hold it closed, then put it under a book or box to seal it closed. After it dried, I put gold stickers on, which were also severely lacking in sufficient stickiness. The process took hours! MJ's also didn't have adhesive, but his envelope paper was thinner, so he could just use a glue stick.

Then, I found out last week that some people haven't been getting their invitations! They literally got lost in the mail. I'm so pissed! Fine, we decided, we'll just resend the ones that didn't make it. I looked through the invitations and we have plenty, so no problem, right? Wrong! They didn't give us enough envelopes! And, not only that, the invitations are a weird size, so we can't find any envelopes that fit! What a mess! I've had to hand-(re)deliver some invitations without an envelope because there's really no other solution...

The other somewhat humorous thing is that, in general, our Indian guests have not been RSVPing or booking hotels. Most of MJ's friends, who are not Indian, had RSVPd, booked their hotel, and already sent a gift within 2 days of getting their invitation! LOL

I've spent the past two nights looking through old pictures to find ones we could use in the slideshow my brother is putting together for the reception. It's making me a bit nostalgic though. I'm trying to pick funny ones too. There was a whole string of class pics where I literally looked like I was in costume - one year a sailor, the next a Victorian doll, then a 80's rocker... LOL MJ is one lucky guy!

But, honestly, the biggest thing I've been focused on in the past few weeks is losing weight. I started taking an herbal supplement, I joined a boot camp class, and my new apartment has a gym in the building. I've also been eating a lot healthier and stopped drinking alcohol. I was almost too big for my old size at the beginning of the year, but I've dropped down to at least the one below now. In some brands, I fit 2 sizes smaller now. I hit a frustrating point because the scale doesn't show any differences, but my clothes are fitting better. So, even though I still show as losing 25 lbs, my regular clothes look way too big on me. So my new goal is to fit into this somewhat tight pair of pants 2 sizes smaller than my old size. I can get into them, but they're not comfortable yet. So I'm fairly happy with my progress. I'm sure my mom will still think I look terrible and I'll get to hear it from all my aunts at the wedding, but I've done what I can and feel good about it.

My bachelorette party is this weekend! My lovely friends have planned it and I have no idea what we're doing! They've kept everything a secret, so hopefully they'll be nice to me ;) All I know is when/where to show up and what to pack... I'm really looking forward to it though. It'll be so nice to just have a fun weekend with my girlfriends and not have to think about all the things I should be doing. Time to let loose!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

And We're Back!

So I was informed last weekend that there are some anxious readers out there who were actually waiting for another post. I had kind of assumed no one read this and didn't feel bad not posting after I returned from India. But I'm not one to let a captive audience down! So I'm back :)
The India trip was brutal, but productive. We did nothing but shop every day for 2 weeks in the heat and crowds, using only the subway to get around. But we got everything on our list and brought back SEVEN suitcases. No, that's not a typo. We paid for overweight and an extra bag, plus we both had heavy carry-ons.

Things have been getting steadily busier since I returned from India. I went to San Francisco and Austin over the long weekends, we had our engagement pictures, and we moved all of our stuff into a new apartment (Maneesh himself can't officially move in until after the wedding). Moving is especially painful, especially when consolidating stuff and having to sell old furniture. Luckily the new place is absolutely amazing. We have this view that I still cannot believe. It's nice to live in a nice place for once. I've always sought out places with character in NY, which basically equates to old, but this place is so luxurious and comfortable. Definitely a step up!

I've also been going to DC every spare weekend, which has been good. We're doing pretty well on being on track for the wedding. We still have a few vendors to solidify. The decorator has been more than flaky, so we don't have a contract with her yet, but my parents think we're close. We don't have a hair & makeup artist for me, but we do for the rest of the family members. We don't have mehendi artists. MJ's family hasn't picked the caterer for their welcome dinner yet. And my mom said last week that her brother convinced her we need a videographer, so we're starting to look for someone now. All the other vendors are good to go, so it's pretty much the details and coordination that's left. Of course, the devil is always in the details...

The entertainment is another big thing that's left. MJ and I are still debating on first dance songs and steps. My dad has no interest in discussing the song for our father/daughter dance, though he still seems to want to do it. Other than my brother, no one in our families seems interested in picking their entrance songs. haha Fun times! My brother is putting together a slideshow for the reception, but we don't have enough pictures. So MJ and I brought back an entire suitcase and a box full of old pictures, and I'm going to start picking some out. He's going to do the same this weekend when he goes home.

Picking engagement photos for our guest book was fun, but picking a wedding band was even more fun. I'm excited about the one we got! It's so sparkly and pretty with or without my engagement ring :)

Stay tuned for the next post, which will regale you with the ups and downs of our wedding invitations...