.2009 my best year yet.


When the countdown to 2009 began, it was like every other countdown 10…9…8… and then the clock struck midnight and the New Year started out normal and that lasted for about 18 seconds. Just enough time for a hug and a kiss to my boyfriend and my parents, who were there with us. And then, my boyfriend gave me a letter to read. While reading this letter, he was trying to gauge how far along I was so that he can time his proposal correctly. Yes, it was the moment I had been waiting 50 weeks for, the moment when he finally proposed. I say finally because when you know that someone is your lobster, it feels like forever until they ask you to share your life with them.

2009 was my best year, ever. It started off on a high note and is ending on a high note. The year didn’t kick off with resolutions of losing weight (at this point, I could have stood to gain back a lbs. actually); it didn’t kick off with a vow to travel or read more or to volunteer my time. It started off with me just being grateful to be alive and to be surrounded by so much love. Besides, when you have a wedding to plan, you life becomes all encompassed and you really don’t think about much else: wake up. Think about wedding colors. Eat breakfast. Think about wedding menu. Go to work. Sneak a few minute on line to browse photos. Drive home. Create your binder. You get the picture.

The year continued to go on the up and up….here, I share just a few highlights from the year:
January- started off great as you know. We then celebrated our birthdays with a weekend ski trip to Big Bear, CA. It was soooo much fun, if you missed it, then you really missed a grand old time. The weather was great, the wine was perfect, and the company was great. We had a blast and then followed up with my traditional birthday party at Caramel at Bellagio. That was the last year for the big birthday bash…. I am getting too old and am now too busy with life to focus on a big party. Although- they will probably resume in 2011. If you are wondering, Mr. Nearlywed celebrates his birthday on January 23 and me… I am the 24th. We are a few years and one day apart. It was January 22nd when I got the results back from my antibody test, confirming what we long knew: I am a Type 1 Diabetic. I was put on insulin that day and that was the last day of getting along with the scale. For the first few weeks, I was incessantly hungry. And it showed- within a month I had gained almost 10 lbs.

It was February 24th when we wrote out the first check for the wedding: we put a deposit on our venue that we later kicked to the curb. On that same February 24th, we had 14 months to go. It seemed like an eternity. We now have less than four months to go. Yes, it flies by.

In March, I had the pleasure of taking an icy cold, freezing trip back to NYC for my BFFs (A-Zilla) bridal shower and my sister’s baby shower. It was cold on the East Coast! Whew… but we still managed to trudge through NYC trying on bridal gowns. This is where my sister earned her Jackpot status—she was seven months pregnant and walked all over NYC and helped me to try on dresses. It was this time when I truly felt like there would never be the right dress for me. All of the dresses we liked were way more expensive than my budget would allow. In March, it also felt like A-Zilla’s wedding was still so far away. She is now married almost seven months and well…six-and-a-half months pregnant.

In April, most of the month is a blur, but we did manage to celebrate our “minus one” anniversary (marking the day when we will be married in one year). That was on the 24th and on the 28th we had our engagement photos. They turned out fabulous- I lurve them.

In May… The highlight of my year was getting engaged and then becoming an aunt. I will never forget the text, “Sue’s in labor. She thinks her water broke.” That text came from my dad. I was home alone and no one would answer their phones- my fiancé, my BFF, no one. I could barely contain my excitement and my desire to book a flight to New Jersey. But I waited through the nite with zero updates. So when I awoke at 5:30 am, I frantically called my dad. They were pulling up to my sister’s house and off to the hospital they were… within 90 minutes, no this is not a joke, my beautiful little angel was born. First baby. No drugs. Ninety minutes. Let’s all take a minute to hate on Ster. Ok, done. My angel was three weeks old before I got to meet her but holding her for the first time in unforgettable.

May turned into June, where I stayed for two weeks to enjoy my family and my niece. I also walked down the aisle for the first time in A-Zilla’s wedding. As soon as Trumpets Voluntary started, I looked at my dad who was in the back of the church and fought back the tears. All I could do was picture my own wedding and the emotion that went along with it. And I also was elated for my dear friend to marry the love of her life. Mr. Nearlywed and I also spent some time enjoying a little vacay time in NYC. We love NYC. Period, new line.

My wedding dress was also picked out and purchased in June. After my weight got back down and before it went back up. UGH! I actually bought a size bigger than the sample and still have issues with it…more on that.

This is also when The Nearlywed Report made its debut in Las Vegas Bride Magazine. It was my first published piece and let tell you…. I was (still am) so proud. I gave my parents an autographed copy. In case I ever hit it big.

August- the only highlight I can remember is working with the JW Marriott on moving our wedding. We spent most of the month crossing our fingers and biting our nails. We weren’t sure if we could swing the $$ but in the end it worked out.

September rolled around and we signed our contract with the JW Marriott. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy.

As the year rolled on, so many more great things happened: I found out that A-Zilla is pregnant and expecting in late March, thus taking her out of the wedding, but this is much more fabu. I continued writing and discovered things like twitter and that people do enjoy my blogs and my writing!

As the year rolled on, I also continued to grow as a person and as a wife-to-be. While I didn’t try to start cooking, I did try to be more domestic and really enjoy the moments at home with my fiancé. It worked. Our house is still comfy and cozy and the quiet moments truly helped us to build a stronger bond and cherish our relationship. It is easy to get caught up in the grind of the wedding planning and the pressure of the planning. It is easy to forget about the goal of the day and that is to become a wife, not a princess (for me at least). I could see a difference in the depth of our relationship over the past year and few months.

Moving on…. In October, I interviewed for a position with Las Vegas Bride magazine to become their editor. I was offered and accepted the position. One step closer to my goal of being a writer. I love this job and I love the company! This year probably could not have been better. When December arrived, the holiday season was already flying by. Since I wasn’t at the mall this year, I didn’t get to enjoy the season as much, but that is OK- it helped to keep us from over spending. We pulled a Four Christmases and took off for the holiday weekend to our favorite get-a-way, Lake Las Vegas. It was glorious. Our last vacation as a single couple, the last vacation before we tie the knot. It was bittersweet. The next time we stay there will be as a mini-moon.

Christmas day didn’t pass us by without the wonderful news of becoming an Aunt and Uncle again! My sister in law is pregnant with a little boy and we can’t wait until he enters the world and we get to spoil the life out of him!

Life is good.

As 2010 knocks on my door, I am not trying to set more resolutions. I am not trying to become a super woman. I resolve to continue to be a good fiancé/wife, a good friend, a good daughter, sister, aunt. I resolve to surround my life with positivity and put myself, my husband (to be) and my health first. That will mean saying no once in a while and it will mean being tired because of hitting the gym so early, but in the end, it is my life and I love it.
So there ya have it folks…. 2009 was the best year yet and I can only hope that 2010 at least matches it but I have a feeling it will surpass it.

I wish you all a healthy year, a successful year and one that brings you all that yuo desire- without being greedy!

My wish for you all is good health, great happiness and much success- no matter what you set out to do, do it honestly and always be positive.


.professional roll call.


With just about 4 months to go until the wedding, I figured that a Professional Roll Call is in order…. These are the folks who we are using for our wedding and those who we have personally selected- or- have been matched up with by our planner. They are truly, utterly, seriously the DREAM TEAM.

This also gets a JACKPOT label.... for the reason that we truly are hitting the wedding JACKPOT by using these fine wedding professionals!
In no particular order:

Venue: JW Marriott Resort & Spa

Imagine Studios

Zillaz Dresses:
Bella Bridesmaid

Hair by Andeen

Make Up:
One Luv Bridal

Gimme Some Sugar

Lighten Films

Enchanted Floral


We are still working out a few other details.... and vendors...but for now, this is the solid dream team! Check them out- if you are in Vegas and getting married, these all come highly recommended by yours truly!

.i now pronounce you.


Something else that has been crossed off of the list: The Officiate. This was on my list to confirm and finalize back in June. Sure, that was a long time before our April nuptials, but it is something EVERYONE needs for a wedding so they do book up quickly. We were ready to meet with one and just as we were setting the appointment, another couple stole her away for the same date and almost the time. If we were willing to move our ceremony 30 minutes later, she was willing to perform the ceremony. Thanks but no thanks.

I then reached out to the father (dad) of one of my friends. He is a Rabbi here in town and while neither of us is Jewish, he performs a great Civil Ceremony. I could already see the uproar from the in-laws, who still think that somewhere, someway and somehow we will be married in a Catholic Church. Not only are we not, but we were almost married by a Rabbi. While not being completely ignorant to the wishes of the in-laws, I did try to find someone of the Catholic faith who would perform our ceremony. While most of us know, a Priest is forbidden to perform any Catholic wedding outside of a church. Well, we did hit a jackpot- we found someone of the Catholic faith who would marry us come April.

Immediately upon meeting him, we were won over by his calming demeanor and ability to crack jokes, which is important to me as someone who cried tears of laughter on a daily basis. A sigh of relief could not be loud enough once we left his office, it was fabulous to agree on an Officiate and have someone we think will make the ceremony memorable and touching.

As you know, I am a BIG proponent of planning for marriage as you plan your wedding. So we enlisted his help to pre-marital counsel us. No- there are NOT any underlying issues, as my dad was under the impression of, but we are smart- this is going to be our one and only marriage. This is going to be through better and worse…richer and poorer…and through my sickness which we hope turns to health. Anyway, he will be going through the Catholic pre-marital program without having to actually go through it! Double score.

And here we are, along with my niece. That couch was so swanky.

.where i've been part 2.


Ok- Where I have been, part 2…

What a few months it has been, as you already know.

During a shaky economy, nothing can be more wonderful than being slammed at work, right? Sure- if you aren’t planning a wedding, writing for four blogs and a magazine. My life in August-October flew by. At my Event Planning job, we were slammed with events, especially in the month of September. I find that on days when you are on your feet, physically and mentally, all day long it leaves you with zero motivation for your own life once you get home.
So you all know that in addition to this blog, I write for Tweet My Wedding (catch me every Monday), Weddzilla and Bridal Buds… I tired to give each new content, but it became too much and I slacked as evidenced by this blog. I still write my column, The Nearlywed Report for Las Vegas Bride and one day…. I just happened to stumble upon the publisher on the right day. A long story short, I am now the Editor-in-Chief of Las Vegas Bride and another fabulous publication, Dine Out Las Vegas.

Whew… so needless to say, I am no longer an event planner, but planning is in my veins and will never go away. Being in the wedding industry does not grant any additional time for my own wedding, as I am trying to put my heart and soul into this publication- for several reasons: my loyalty to the publisher, my loyalty to myself and my desire to spend the rest of my life at the mercy of a keyboard, writing.

If I thought that there was an extreme amount of wedding planning pressure when I was just an event planner, imagine the pressure of being the editor of a bridal mag and throwing a wedding. Can you say yikes with me?

I am so excited to be embarking on this career path, which is now in its fifth week and my first publication is at the printers and I await it with great excitement…mostly to see how many typos were missed, but hey, we all live and lean. I've been blessed with an amazing opportunity and am thankful for it each day.

So there you have it folks, my life has been flipped and turned upside down and right side up all within the five months leading up to the wedding. Maybe all of this change will turn into a wedding novel someday. Hey- if anyone wants to publish it, let me know. I’d be cool with that! (Yes, wouldn’t we all?!?)

.with these rings.

The checklist is still overflowing with tons of to-do’s….but one thing that can be checked off:

We ordered them on the 5th and they came in on the 12th. When I say “they”, I mean Mr. Nearlywed’s bands. Yes, he ordered two. One for the ring exchange, the one that is his formal, good band. And one for his recreational time, like snowboarding and hiking.

As I think about the rings, I am also challenged with engraving. Yes, we do have little silly isms that are just “us”, but they change constantly. He did use an ism in my proposal letter so that may be the winner. But readers, what are YOU having engraved into hubby’s band?? Or what did you engrave, if you are willing to share?

.favors: almost finished.


In late November, my dad sent me photos of him bottling my favors. They are just about complete- the last piece, which is the label, is waiting on me. My only concern now is having enough. Since we compiled our final tally, there have been some adjustments to the guest list; however, I believe that we were always shooting for 200 bottles.

Back to the favors. Ok, so we are giving away homemade wine (which is my dad’s retirement hobby) and there will also be a candy buffet and another little fun thing, which is remaining nameless, for now. The one time I received wine as a favor, I kept it in the bottle as decoration- mostly because I was only 17 when the wedding took place. I want people to enjoy the wine, it is homemade, it has been about 9 months in the making now and it is a labor of love. I want guests to DRINK the wine, ENJOY it. And, if you want, save the bottle as your souvenir because the labels are going to be fabu.

So what I am asking for is some help—I need something catchy to put on the labels. I have wine & love quotes, but I want a cute saying that we can use to let guests know to drink the wine now and save the bottle. It can be about friends, aging fine wine, enjoying now, etc.
Anyone have any ideas? Yes, I am a writer and I am asking for writing help. The irony.

.one zilla down.


Yes, folks, that is right. I am down a Zilla. Not because I am a Zilla….although I was called one TWICE last week. TWICE! Me?!!? Psh.

It was in early August when I sent out an email to my Zillaz asking them some things about the wedding. Shortly thereafter, I get a BBM from A-Zilla: “Hey- we need to have a phone date soon!” I was one of those things you just know—like when your man is the one and when your wedding dress is perfect for you. I just knew that she was calling to tell me some fabulous news. It couldn’t wait- on my end- until the weekend. I told her that I’d call her right after my meeting. Not that I could concentrate on that meeting, but I tried. Before jumping to too many conclusions, although I texted what I knew it to be…

Giving away no clues, I had to suffer through a meeting while dreaming of the call that awaited me. When I was able to finally call her, I just waited for her to spew it out, “You are going to be an auntie!” YAY!!! One of my Bffs was pregnant!!! And can’t come to the wedding! Yippee…. What is so yippee about that? Well….we are in our 30s, there are never any guarantees when you are eager to start your family.

When I asked A-Zilla to be in my wedding, she had asked if I’d be upset if she was pregnant at my wedding. Maybe if I were under the age of 25 and thought the world truly did revolve around me, I would have been, but after 30 eh….you are just happy to be alive. I didn’t care if she would be preggo! She didn’t expect it to happen so quickly…turns out she is due 3 weeks before the wedding. Whether the baby arrives early or late, she won’t be flying 2,500 miles with a new born, a husband and a bridesmaid dress. I almost wished she found out after we ordered the dresses because I kind of want one for myself now.

Anyway, we don’t know the baby’s gender or a name…. so don’t ask. And I will say this again: Flo and I could not be any happier for our dear friends. We will truly miss them and the fun that they bring to any gathering. I can’t wait to meet baby Zilla one day and be there for his/her wedding too!

So what does this mean for The Nearlyweds wedding? Well, we are four on one side and five on the other. One of the lucky ladies will be escorted by two gents.

.where i've been, part 1.

Whew….quite a few months it has been in the world of wedding planning. It feels like I took a nap back in July and woke up to now December. So let me start back with where I feel I’ve left off. I told you that we changed our venue and I updated you with both photos and stories and reasons why.

Then, I’ve almost decided upon flowers. Almost. I just need to pare down a few things to fit within my budget. We decided on a fabu four tiered cake. Invites are approved and the check has been sent. We booked a DJ and an officiate. We solidified a date & location for my bridal shower in Las Vegas. Mr. Nearlywed has almost planned his entire bachelor party while mine….well…. I don’t know where or if mine stands yet. I spoke with someone regarding music for the ceremony and we have a menu tasting next month. We don’t have songs picked out and my do not play list still lives in my head.

I almost have shoes, still need accessories, jewels and undergarments….le sigh.
Today, we are 136 days out from the wedding. Remember my 365 blog?? Over 200 days ago?!?! Yea, me too.

So what do I owe you for blogs? Well I need to blog about my experience with my florist. Show you pics of the cake. Talk about finding out minister. How awesome our DJ will be. That should give me a good start. Are you ready, readers? Stay tuned, I am going to hammer these out and post them ASAP.