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Breaking News: You’ve Got Mail

5 Sep

Now that the wedding is less than two months away (!!!!!!), it’s time to actually see who is coming to this thing!  Our invitations have been sent out and we are so thrilled with them.

As you know, The Mezzanine is an old bank and recently underwent a $30M restoration so it looks great, but also like you are stepping into a bank lobby in the 1930’s.  There are so many unique and interesting art deco details about the space that we love.  For example, the bars at the cocktail hour will be the old bank teller windows and there are original works of art on the walls that depict the history of life in New Jersey.  But our most favorite thing is the incredible chandelier that hangs in the middle of the main room.

We love it so much that we decided it to be the inspiration for our invitations. The lovely and talented Lillie M took our inspiration and turned it into a fabulous invitation suite.   Then we found an amazing printer (thanks Erica!) who brought them to life.  If anyone needs a great printer – go see Judy!!

You can get a sneak peek with our witty (yet elegant!) response cards, but we will leave the rest of you in suspense.  This is not the final product, but you get the idea.  We can’t wait to read what you have to say!  Be on the lookout for a follow up post with our favorite replies.

As you can imagine, assembling 100+ invitation suites required a team and here we are hard at work.  Thanks to my mom and Kate for being great helpers and picture takers.

Now go on and check the mailbox.  xoxo db2be



23 Aug

People often ask me what my wedding colors are.   I wasn’t entirely sure this was a “thing” but I accepted early on in the wedding planning process that I need to have an answer.

I knew  I wanted my bridesmaids to wear gray dresses, so I figured I was 50% there. Gray and yellow is a popular combination (just check out this wedding at The Mezz that does it perfectly), but it was definitely too spring-y for a November wedding. I saw pictures of orange dahlias and ranunculas, my favorite fall flowesr and thought this could be a pretty interesting and seasonally appropriate look. So there you have it  – my colors are gray and orange.

I told many people this without actually thinking about what gray and orange looked like together, but I’m still going with it.  For blog post inspiration, I logged into Pinterest, an online inspiration bulletin-board if you will, to see if this could really be a thing.  Luckily, with the wedding less than three months away, it is.  Here are a few of my favorites.

We made the save-the-dates these gray and orange and will hopefully incorporate those colors wherever we can, where appropriate. Stay tuned!  xoxo db2be

Breaking News: Weddings are expensive

6 Aug

Hey, guess what? Weddings are super expensive.

Don’t believe me? Well check out this nifty infographic I found.

Breaking News: We booked our honeymoon!

10 Jul

One of the last steps in the wedding planning process is finally complete. We have booked our honeymoon to … South Africa. While Danielle and I have been to lots of destinations all over the world, this will be the most exotic (and expensive) trip we’ve ever taken together.

After a grueling flight, our first destination will be Cape Town. I will inevitably spend the first day being extremely grumpy and tired from the flight. I will also probably smell. But after our first night’s sleep I will be my ever-chipper self. The sleep will be especially luxurious, as we will be staying at the ritzy Cape Grace Hotel, which was just named the 44th best hotel in the world (as an aside, check out how many of these hotels are in Africa; step it up America!). Other fun things we plan on doing in Cape Town include going to the Cape of Good Hope, climbing table mountain and laying by the beach.

This is our super luxurious hotel in Cape Town

Next, I will be driving (yes, I am extremely nervous about this) to South Africa’s wine country, where Danielle and I will spend a few days at the Franschhoek Country House and Villas. What interests me most about visiting Franschhoek is that it will be the first city I have ever visited with back-to-back “h’s” in its name.

This is the Franschhoek Country House

Our final stop in Africa will be at the Thornybush Game Reserve for a safari. I am super pumped for this and can’t wait to see lions, elephants and giraffes in the wild. I am also excited to see what crazy outfit Danielle schleps to Africa just to wear for these three days.

This is where we’re staying on the safari

Before the safari, this is the closest Danielle and I have gotten to wild animals on a vacation

So that’s it. I am sure Danielle will post pictures on Facebook with an album named after a Toto song or something like that when we get back. So stay tuned for all that!

Runaway Maids

22 May

Since many of my maids live in our nation’s capital, I took a field trip down the DC-area a few weeks ago to meet the ladies.  It was a great opportunity to get together and try on some bridemaid dresses.

To kick off the day , we had a picnic on the water.  Aren’t we just adorbs?

how many ladies can you fit on a fitted sheet?

to know us is to love us.

Since I am quite the organized bride, I had already virtually scouted the area and made an appointment at one store in Old Town Alexandria that carried our designer, fabric and style.  Our designer of choice is Bill Levkoff, but you’ll have to wait until the big day to what dress everyone picks!

Our gaggle of girls walked into the store and the associates smelled trouble.  They whisked us upstairs to our own secluded dressing room that is the size of my bedroom and the fashion show began.  The ladies tried on every style the store had to offer and we each gave our thoughts.  We really had way too much fun.

When it was time to go, we felt a little bad that we actually had zero intention of purchasing any dresses so we devised an exit strategy.  Put everything back neatly and exit the store as quickly as possible.  Leave it to us to be anything but smooth…

maids on the run

Thank you anonymous bridal store. See you never.  xoxo db2be

Breaking News: DB-to-Be has something to wear

7 Feb

I am very excited to let everyone know that I have a wedding dress!  It’s really great.

It was quite the journey running around stores in NYC to look for dresses and I wanted to share my thoughts on each spot.  Thanks to everyone who made various stops along with way and provided their opinions including my mom, LB, Melissa, Loewy, Rachel and Kate!

J Crew Bridal Salon – 769 Madison Ave at 66th Street, NYC

We are lucky in NYC to have access to a lot of stores in NYC and J Crew’s  bridal boutiques is  no exception.  The store is lovely and I’m pretty sure we all had a big girl crush on the bridal consultant who helped us.  They have about 20 dresses in stock ranging from super casual to princess-like, as well as bridesmaid dresses.  The selection was nice and they quality of fabrics was outstanding, but I just wasn’t feeling any of the dresses.  I didn’t feel like they were unique enough for me.

The Sample Room NY  – 40 West 17th Street, NYC

According to their website, “The Sample Room is a unique bridal shopping experience.  We sell select designer bridal samples at prices up to 50%-75% off of retail in an appointment only style setting.  These are “one of” bridal gown samples that are either discontinued or overstock.”

In true New York style, you walk into an unassuming office building and on the second floor is a room with racks of dresses.  Stacie, the owner and the consultant who helped us, was easy going, respectful of our budget and overall a pleasure.  At TSR, we tried on about ten dresses ranging in styles.  There was one dress that our team loved, but we had to turn it down.  The store doesn’t  hold items and does not do their own alterations, so it was just too much of a risk.  I would definitely recommend checking this store out because there are great markdowns on designer dresses, but you need to be prepared to make a decision on the spot!

Lovely Bride – 313 West 4th Street, NYC

Hidden away in a West Village brownstone, Lovely Bride is like the Anthropologie of bridal shops, although on a small, homey scale.  The store is two floors – the gowns live on the below-ground level and the individual dressing areas are one flight up.  The consultant who worked with us was extremely knowledgeable on their interesting range of designers, respectful of our budget and quite punctual.  She kept reminding us how many minutes remained in our appointment.  I tried on several dresses that were, well, lovely,  and more importantly to me, unique.  I would definitely recommend this charming store as a stop on your search, especially for more casual brides.

The Bridal Garden – 54 West 21st Street, NYC

Like The Sample Room, Bridal Garden is in an unassuming office building.  Once inside, shoppers are free to graze the racks of dresses (there are definitely several hundred) and try on as many as you wish.  Bridal Garden is self-serve, as in no one helps you try on or clip up the dresses, although they do have on-site seamstresses.  One really interesting and unique fact about The Bridal Garden is that they are a non-profit and proceeds benefit local NYC charities.  The dresses are donated from top stores and designers in the city.  As for our experience, we were really hot and tired (this was pre-City Bakery cookie break), and our need for sugar got in the way of dealing with the dresses.  Additionally, you would need to make a decision on the spot, which was something we were not prepared to do.

Kleinfeld – 110 West 20th Street, NYC

Post cookie, our group was really looking forward to our appointment at the world-famous Kleinfeld, of  Say Yes to the Dress fame.   We met with Lisa (who I had requested and known from my old job) and the experience was everything I wanted it to be.  The store is chaotic but fun.  Lisa took our group into her room for a pow-wow, then sat everyone down in the main room while she and I went through the racks.  Lisa was extremely respectful of our budget, and we tried on some really beautiful gowns.  She actually encouraged me to try on dresses that I wouldn’t have normally picked out but looked really nice.  Kleinfeld is a well-oiled machine, so after we found a dress we like, the “headpiece” specialist came over to seal the deal with a gorgeous veil.   It gave me that “I’m a bride” feeling for the first time all day.

A highlight of our visit was when another bride-to-be said yes to her dress, but then saw how fabulous I looked in the one I had on at the time and ended up purchasing that instead.  If you plan to visit Kleinfeld (and I highly recommend that you do), definitely ask for Lisa!  Who knows, you could end up on tv.

RK Bridal – 318 W 39th St

A bridal warehouse near Port Authority, RK Bridal has the most selection I have ever seen!  You do not need an appointment so it was a great place to walk around and check out thousands of dresses.  You put your name on a list, select what you want to try on and wait your turn. The best part is after you’ve been once, you can come back with an appointment. After two visits, Roberta and I brought back Loewy, Rachel and Kate to see all of the finalists. RK even carried some of the dresses I had liked in other stores and I was ready to make a decision.  When I came out in THE dress, it was waterworks for the girls and we knew it was time to wrap it up.  I even got applause from the other ladies waiting for their turns.  Janice, our consultant, was a delight.  While I was waiting to fill out the forms, I cried too.  WE DID IT!  My dress will be here at the end of April.

See you at the gym… xoxo db2be

Breaking News: Someone will be documenting our wedding

1 Dec

You read that right, we have a photographer!  DB and I are so happy to announce that the fabulous Maggie McGill will be our wedding photographer!  We met her a few weeks ago at her sun-drenched studio in Rutherford, NJ (which by the way is the cutest town, who knew?) and had a great time.  At one point during our meeting when Maggie went to get something, DB and I looked at each other and knew it was the perfect fit!

I definitely think you should check out her website and blog, which I have been stalking for quite some time.  In addition to weddings, she also works with families and DB and I cannot stop laughing at this photo session (scroll down to the baby with the birthday cake).

Her photos are amazing and we can’t wait to work with her to capture this amazing moment in our lives.   xoxo db2be