.the nearlywed report, volume 1.


Ladies And Gentlemen, allow me to introduce to my new labor of lobe: The Nearlywed Report. This is a quarterly column now appearing in Las Vegas Bride magazine. Summer 2009 was the debut piece and I am quite proud of it. Mark, the owner/publisher of LVB was kind enough to take a chance on my writing and give me some space in the column. I hope you all enjoy it, I hope that you Las Vegas Brides follow along and share your planning sagas along with me!

~The Nearlywed

Congratulations! You are engaged. You’ve gone from being a girlfriend to a fiancée in a matter of four words. In just a few quick months -or longer- you will transform from a fiancée into a wife, your new title from that day forward. There is a long path to take in the journey of “I will” to “I do”; the planning, the budgeting, the idea generating, the dress and how to make sense of it all without losing yourself. If you are like me or other nearlyweds who I’ve encountered, our burning question is not “when is the date?” but “where do I begin???”

You are now The Bride. It is time to dust off the bridal magazines that have been hibernating under your bed and rip out the dog-eared pages, the post-it flagged pages and the new pages that, all of the sudden catch your eye. Ideas run rampant through your head, you scribble on your hand while at work, you text yourself just so that you don’t forget. Color palettes? Yes, you’ve been to your local hardware store to pick up endless amounts of paint swatches. Call it crazy, beautiful bride, but you are not alone.

The mind of a bride endlessly overflows with images, ideas and visions of their special day. Where oh where should one house these contents of the complex bridal mind? Two words: The Binder. The organizational tool that is a must have for every bride. You know you want one, if you don’t already have one, your best friend had two and your matron of honor is willing to bequeath hers down to you. Whatever organizational tool you decide to use for wedding planning, keep it on your person at most times as you will find that inspiration for your wedding is going to come in many forms, at random places and times.

Wedding planning may take over your world, temporarily, but this one little tool will make it easier to take a breather and enjoy the ride! For more of The Nearylwed Report, visit www.thenearlywedsblog.com

.savor the countdown flavor.


Every day, Project Wedding sends me an email with a fabulous tip, read, discussion or all around good story. Today’s email brought on a whole new subject- 299 days to go. Last time I wrote about how many days left, we were at 366 and 365. That was a whopping 66 days ago. WOW! Time flies. We have broken the 300 day mark. Come Wednesday, we will have been engaged for six months. No matter how much I try to tell myself that “we have plenty of time, we are just under 10 months away!” I know that I am secretly kidding myself.

Flo and I met with our wedding planner yesterday, after about a 6 + week hiatus. Once we laid the structure for the event, there wasn’t much to cover until we hit the 10 month mark. Yesterday was quite productive- I updated him on my finds and some new ideas and we started talking timelines. This is when it hit me that it really is time to get a move on. Let’s pretty much consider it July. So we have July, August, September and October, four small months, until we hit the holidays. In all honesty, November and December aren’t going to be great planning months with all of the shopping to do, holiday parties, etc. While it may be a great time for me to finish any DIY Projects, it will be a rough time to nail down and details with vendors.

Then we welcome 2010 in January. We can celebrate our one year engagement anniversary and our birthdays. Yes, the both of us. Back to back. The 23rd and the 24th. Usually, I throw myself a rather large party to commemorate the day. Not in 2010, folks, sorry! In January is when the planning will pick back up full speed ahead! Tuxes, ice carvings, dance lessons, and honeymoon planning….

So on my birthday of January 24th, that will mark three months left. Less than 90 days (yay for February being short!). Essentially, then, that leaves with me with eight months to get effective planning complete. Stellar.

I have yet to break my tasks down by month but will shortly work on it. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy my laissez faire attitude for just a few more weeks and pretend that I have all the time in the world!

.checking things off of the list.


Whew! My, oh my…. Where have I been? Yikes! Well, I went on vacation, had my sister come out to visit me and just have not been able to catch up on blogging!

To update, my vacation was very productive, the following were accomplished:
1. My mother found an MOB dress, but just needs to order it. I wanted to go looking for dresses with her just to get an idea of what feels comfortable for her, what style looks good on her shape and what colors she likes. Well we more than accomplished that! Sweet… she lurves it, I lurve it and she is going to be one sassy MOB! No photos of this will post.

2. We found dresses for the Zillaz. Sort of. My sister, my niece and I trekked to several bridal stores in New Jersey. While Ster Zilla fed the lovely baby, I tried on the dresses! In all honesty… I think that I enjoy the dress shopping and trying experience so much that I offered to try them on! For S-Zilla and I to shop, we don’t mess around. In, put dress on, do you like –yes or no, circle one- ok, dress off and next. We fell in lurve with a matte jersey material from both Alfred Angelo and the Dessy Group. The matte jersey is light, flowy and comfy. So no fidgeting, no hugging or squeezing, these dresses should last comfortably all nite long! The Dessy dress is a wrap style that can be worn several ways. I like this idea the most because everyone can wear the dress in a style they like the most. For example, A-Zilla has awesome shoulders and upper body, so I pictured her wrapping to accentuate and I was right- she loves the one shoulder wrap. All we are doing is waiting for a sample to come into one store so that we can actually try that dress on and see how difficult (or easy, I hope) it is to wrap these dresses. I can only imagine us on the morning of trying to get this done and we end up Hollywood Taping everything together. Welcome to my world. The Zillaz lurved the dresses, too! That was most important. Wait, they said they lurved them…. Oh well. They truly can be re worn. The material can be dressed up for the wedding and worn with cute flats or strappy sandals and worn to brunch or church.

**NOTE: Another great wrap is is by twobirds bridesmaid...check it out. A little more expensive than the Dessy, but stunning.**

Dress by Alfred Angelo, Style 6588

Dress by The Dessy Group, Style Twist1

3. I bought a dress!!! YAYYYYYY! This is a HUGE relief. I haven’t quite yet posted all of dress debacle posts because I wasn’t sure how much attention I wanted to call to the negatives of dress shopping. Maybe I will forget all of that and just move forward. The dress is amazing, no, I won’t post photos. But it will knock your socks off! Now… I just have to get into a shape, something other than round. But don’t worry- I already started this process, I have a phone number to a trainer, who I will call while I gorge on Doritos. Ha-ha, take that healthy trainer lady! Just kidding…. My goal is to start a program around August or September. An actual training program, more than just my infrequent visits to the gym.

Here is a photo of a rejected dress... I have to be careful with what I post in case I change my mind! Ha!

4. We tasted our favors…. And sorry guests, there are none left for you! Just kidding. Spoiler Alert: I am going to talk about my wedding favors here. My dad makes wine as a hobby and it was only fitting to ask him to make wine for the wedding favors. He is making two flavors, which I will keep secret, and we were able to try one flavor and it was G-O-O-DDDDDDDD. YUM! I can’t wait for the guests to receive this favor and hopefully drink it. It is meaningful and made with love, for sure. We just need to commish Ellie Hey to do my labels. She has already agreed….so that part is checked off. We just need to come up with a design and a cute saying on the bottles so that everyone knows where they were made, etc. Any ideas? Please email them to me at TheNearlyweds@rocketmail.com

.ohhhh....what can it be hiding under than bag? the next step is to bottle and voila they are done.

.this is called a "wine thief" so that you can taste without contaminating the wine in progress.

.tasting the fruits of my dad's labor. yum is all i can say.

5. Save the Dates. Once again, the truly talented Ellie came through with a design that blew us away! I think that we went through only 3 revisions…but if you ask her, it was probably more like 33. Anyway, she sent us the approved design while we were in PA, sampling our favors. Blame it on the alcohol?? Anyway, they are two-sided, 5”x7” beauties. The personal information is blacked out, but this is what they look like:

They were printed on a glossy stock and we picked matching shadow grey envelopes. I am currently hand addressing them! UGH. My handwriting is mediocre, but I write faster than I think and have messed up three so far. Maybe the recipients of the STDs will become a shorter list and I continue writing. I can’t wait for them to be mailed, which means that I am finished with hand addressing envelopes.

**NOTE: We are only mailing to immediate family and far away friends (and bridal party!) so if you are a local friend…and don’t get one, you don’t necessarily have to be offended. We just speak to you on a regular basis and you know when the wedding will be and you should know if you will be invited or not!**

6. My insane checklist. I created a spreadsheet as my checklist. It is a crazillion tabs. Each tab is dedicated to a subject: Attire, Accessories, catering, Décor, DIY, Transportation, To Do, etc. It is helping to keep me organized, for now….

7. My binder. Is another out of control item. I am creating a secondary one for inspirational ideas since that is what is keeping my binder overflowing. And I guess that I can move the losing choices for a bridal gown and Zillaz dress to the older folder. I don’t want to get rid of anything because I think that in a few years I want to look back and see where my thoughts were and what I would have changed, etc.

So I leave you with this really long blog. We are just under 10 months now and the planning is going into full swing! We meet with our wedding planner today and I will be sure to blog again after that! Cheers!

.vacation recap.


Wow- two whole weeks away from home. I thought it would fly by; thought it was would drag and certainly thought that there would be enough time to blog. My last post was days before I left. Whoops.

Going home to see family is always a bevy of emotions. I am happy and excited to see them yet all I can think about is how dreadful it is to leave them. Even when I had 12 days with them, the thoughts of leaving would not escape my mind. This trip was different- I met my niece for the first time and saw my parents as grandparents and my sister as a mother.

I had a few days to myself at my parents where I visited with the family of now five and also spent time going through my childhood bedroom and cleaning it out to make room for the current grandbaby and any subsequent grandkids that may one day play red light/green light in the back yard just as my sister and I did as kids. This was an interesting trip down memory lane… there were boxes of things from my adolescence, my teens, my college years and post college life. While I wouldn’t change anything because I am happy with the woman I’ve become, the woman I’ve rescued my teen self from, some of the memories were less than pleasant to relive. I was an insecure kid, a teen with low self esteem who seems to have faked it though her years. It bothered me to remember how I felt about myself then but overjoyed me now to see how I’ve distanced myself from that. I made a mental promise to never let any young girls in my life look at themselves in a negative way. Daughters of friends, daughter of my sister, which is now my goal- to make sure that they are loving and strong.

When I began cleaning, I took one large garbage bag with me and when my dad asked if we would need to double bag it, I said no stating that there won’t be that much stuff and one bag is more than enough. Turns out that I had no only two bags full, but they both needed a double bagging! I got rid of every unpleasant memory, every pleasant memory that has no current place in my life. Yes, ex boyfriend, I loved your dog, but have no need to hold onto photos of him. Yes, former classmates, I enjoyed re-reading on your senior class photos, but they are in both the yearbook and now thanks to Facebook, I see you all the time. Gone are those photos. Yes, Europe when I was 17, I loved you more than any trip, but I really no longer need to hold onto the box which housed the Calvin Klein underwear I bought in Switzerland. Gone is the box. Yes, I remember when soda tabs were cool for something, but do not feel that at 31 there is any need for them right now. Gone are the soda tabs. Autograph books were fun, then. Notes were fun to write and read, then. All the stupid stuff that I could not picture taking into my home with my husband are gone. I did keep professional portraits from the dances; my niece will need something to laugh at in the future. I kept a few items to remind me of the good times, the good years and when I really was 22. Putting the bags out in the trash was a relief, even though the items still exist in a landfill somewhere, they no longer exist in my world.

On day #3 of my vacation, my fiancé flew in. And it was time to get our vacation started, we spent quality time with the family, showed him more of the area where I grew up, took him for lunch where it cost $11.75 for three people, took him to a restaurant where I ate as a single digit child, funny how the place hasn’t changed in 15 years! I like showing him this part of my world and life, thinking that he can picture a chubby, unibrowed little girl visiting these places.

On Thursday, we headed to NJ where we prepped for the wedding I was in on Saturday. He met one my BFFs and Zillaz for the first time, along with her now husband. While I knew that they would all get along, it was one of those “we’ve known each other forever” evenings and it was fabu. They were amazing hosts and we can’t wait to return the favor when they come out to Vegas.

Friday- the day before the wedding… we did girlie things like manicures, pedicures, drinking champagne and reminiscing about the years gone by. I was impressed by A-Zillaz ability to remain calm and collected. It was almost as if Saturday was an ordinary day.

And then Saturday it was. The Wedding Day. Up and at it by 6 am. Yup, well rested and ready to start the day. My mental notepad was ready to go! Things to blog about, things to remember for my wedding, things we forgot to remember and things we wish to forget. Luckily, we didn’t forget anything (I had a great e-kit checklist) and we didn’t wish to forget anything.
The morning started off like any other- in hair and makeup! I will admit to being nervous about having strangers work on the beauty aspect for me…. I asked for hair to do a “faux bob” and they looked at me like I said, “Bob Loblaw”. In the end, two painful hours in the chair later, the hair looked good. Make up was a-may-zing! The makeup was stellar and it lasted, all day. The only thing that mattered was how the bride looked. I don’t even know what word to use to describe her. I choose Grace Kelly-esque. She looked like classic royalty. I’m not sure that I have ever seen a woman look so stunning before. I don’t just say this because she is a BFF, I mean it. With her permission, I will one day post a photo!

I’ve never walked down an aisle before in a wedding and was terribly nervous. It showed, one of her other maids picked up on it. Let’s just say that I made it down the aisle without falling or crying like a gassy baby. I did cry. It was emotional to see someone so close to you marry and be so happy. Just a short hour later, it was party time! Woo!!!

But as the late afternoon approached, my body was starting to crash. After almost 12 waking hours, my nerves and anxiety going up and down, eating then not eating for a while, it was making my blood sugar go all over the charts. Being a diabetic is never conducive to all day long activities. I could slowly feel my body craving a break. This was where my mental notepad opened up and I made a note to be better rested and take a break and relax during the next big day.

The nite forged on and I spent most of it seated, enjoying the amazing band, the delectable foods and just all around great company. This wedding was five star, five diamond everything!! My hat is off to the amazing A-Zilla and her impeccable planning!
And in just a brief moment the day was over! It really does fly by and you really do need to savor each and every moment because in the blink of an eye, it will be over. The wedding is already 10 days ago….wow.

Flo and I continued our vacation for a few days longer. It was the perfect blend of R&R, travel, culture and time with my best friend.

.dress mess diaries, part 2.


This is Part 2 in a series of blogs about dress shopping.... this really should have been part 1. Oops.

Your dress. It becomes the focal point of any wedding and sets the tone for the entire event. Short, flowy cocktail dress equals a light, fun, casual affair. Cathedral length train, poufy skirt equals a more formal affair. The mothers shouldn’t even think about attire until you pick your dress. Bridesmaids? Nope, they have to wait too… it is all focused around the dress. It is no wonder we girls spends days, hours and up to thousands of dollars on The One. The dress becomes the new “The One”; your fiancé is no longer your number one “the one”. Ok, I don’t really mean that… but you know the feeling you had when you first realized that he was your “the one”….think, think….ok that is how you should feel in the dress.

I remember when I realized Flo was my “the one”… it was my birthday party, 2008. he stopped by my party before driving off to his birthday ski weekend. Yes, we almost share a birthday; his is a day before mine. I walked him out to his car and as I was smooching him and wishing him a great weekend it hit me. It hit me so hard that I almost said it out loud to him. Surely, it would have been forgiven… I had bottles of Perrier Jouet served at my party… Could you even imagine? We had been dating literally, a week…. Ask Flo this question and his answer will differ. He isn’t sure when it hit him, but as long as it hit him it is all good!

When dress shopping, I expected the same result- BAM! I am the ONE. THE dress. Here I am. Buy me. Unlike with finding the perfect man, finding the perfect dress is more of a challenge. One would think that living in Vegas would make for a more challenging obstacle in finding a man who fits, rather than a dress that fits.

I admit, I made a critical error when dress shopping. My heart fell in love with a dress before I ever had a dress budget. Oh and before I ever had an engagement ring. You see, one afternoon I was going to get fitted for a bridesmaid’s dress when curiosity got the best of me and convinced by friends and my lack of conscience, that it would be OK to try on dresses. I knew that my relationship was gliding down the path toward forever-dom, but still hadn’t been officially asked. And I am now paying the price, literally. It wasn’t what I pictured myself in. Ever. It wasn’t a halter, it wasn’t sheathy, and it was simply stunning. The dress spoke for itself. So did the price. Ouch. Let’s just say this: it was typical for a couture gown, I just wasn’t sure that I was ready for a couture wallet. I’m big on looking beautiful and feeling even more beautiful. What I am not big on is paying for that beauty. Unfortunately, no coupons will ever be accepted for this stunning gown.

I tried forgetting about it, but my fingers kept typing the designers name into google with a “comma sale” typed after it. My fingers even figured out how to type her name, sale into eBay! There it is! For a reasonable “BUY NOW!” price. The bustle on my dress came when my mom visited and I was proposed to and can now legally search for a dress. It was the last one I tried on for her. Adorned in the sample veil, the dressing room curtain peeled back, I lifted up my head, smiled and walked out onto the platform box. Grab the tissues because mom started to cry! Yup, tears. That must be a good sign. Tears never filled my eyes in this dress; just a breathless “wow” is all I could ever muster. Of course, I struck my best pose, head over the shoulder look in the mirror. Visualized myself with some fabulous shoes walking down the aisle. Visualized our first dance in this fabulous frock…I even pictured wearing it to a charity gala that Flo and I may one day attend when he takes over the world of weather in NYC. (that last part was all a dream.)

There was no way this dress could ever be knocked out of first place. Or could it? Fast forward to NYC, March 2009. I made some bridal appointments so that my mother, my sister and I could go into the City and try on some dresses. It was merely for the novelty- I had already found THE ONE and just wanted to give the three of us that experience of gown shopping, together. We walked into Kleinfeld and it was somewhat like buying a used vehicle. Or shopping at Target, except bigger, more elegant. Our sales phenom, Diane, pulled dresses as if she were my BFF for years—she ended pulling one that knocked miss first place off of her fitting pedestal. Price tag? Oh yea, it had one. It was even more than miss first place. Sigh.