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My grandmother was a beautiful bride.

Doesn’t everyone look glamorous? I just love it. And she looked so happy.

This is what I looked like looking in the mirror when my dress came in.

I can’t wait for my wedding day.

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Last weekend I lay on my mom’s couch scanning through the guide on TV. Nothing seemed interesting until an old favorite caught my eye: Father of the Bride. I love this movie. I watch it every time it’s on, no matter what part I come in on. I’ve loved this movie since my 9th birthday party when along with my mom and a handful of friends, I stared up at the big screen and thought, someday.

The movie is like a grilled cheese sandwich. If I had it every day, it would lose its magic. But a dose of it every now and then brings comfort and happiness. And this movie, no matter how many times I see it, always makes me emotional.

There is one scene that gets me every time. When the daughter, Annie, is walking down the aisle to her future husband. The scene has always brought a tear to my eye, but now, now that come this October that scene will come to life for me, I can’t keep it together.

My mom turned around just in time to see my wiping my eyes with the back of my hand. “What is it?” she asked.

I sniffed and smiled. “I just love him so much!” I cried.

And I do. My god, I love him so much.

Last night we were up past one. We laughed about our first moments together. How nervous we had been. How completely smitten we were with each other. We talked about how with year six approaching, it’s just gotten better and better. And with many years ahead, we’re going to do just fine.

Sometimes within the craziness of wedding planning, it’s easy to forget what’s at the center of it. It’s not just a wedding, it’s a marriage. A marriage that will ultimately have it’s hard times, disagreements and potholes. But a marriage that I know will stand the test of time.

I looked at him, at the face I see in my dreams and kissed him to distract my eyes from tearing.

“Molly,” he said last night. “Mrs. Molly Michael.”

The future Mrs. Michael.

I cannot wait.

(Hi there, Molly readers. It’s Clink, filling in while our girl is in Vegas. )

One of the (many) things I love about Molly is that we can freely discuss our weddings without it turning into a competition. There is no trying to one-up each other, there is no jealousy. We support each other and give each other ideas and it’s all pretty much rainbows and sunshine and GAH I MISS HER MOLLY COME BACK.

Ahem.

So, one of my good friends – a bridesmaid, in fact – got engaged recently.

She’s the first of my close friends (that I have met in real life) to be engaged at the same time I am and?

I hate it.

And I don’t mean that in a (*stomps feet*) “But I want to be the ONLY BRIDE! I want ALL the attention! ME! ME! ME!” sort of way.

I hate it because she’s competitive and has thus turned our respective wedding planning into the Battle of the Brides.

It started a few weeks ago, when I met her downtown for manicures and dinner. Comparison of rings, talk of how the “diamond guy”‘ her fiance got the ring from is the personal jeweler to various celebrities and how it was designed just for her and you know what? La la la la don’t care, love my own ring la la la la.

The competition continued at dinner with talk of how she’s just going to buy a Monique Lhuillier gown because who cares about price when it’s your wedding gown? and how she and her fiance are thinking of getting married at one of the most expensive reception venues in all of already-expensive NYC because it’s “just so opulent!” She said that she “considered” my reception site (um, isn’t that breaking a cardinal rule of girlhood? Thou shalt not get married in the same place as your friend!) but she and her fiance thought it was “too much of a blank slate.” (Which is exactly what I love about it.) (Also, why the hell did she have to go and diss my place? Why even mention it?)

I just kept stuffing more bread into my mouth to keep from asking her, politely, to shut the hell up.

And this is someone I love! She’s not a faux-friend that I put up with because, like, she has access to exclusive restaurants or because our significant others are close. This is a true blue, has-hugged-me-while-I-sobbed-on-the-floor-after-a-break-up, very close friend.

Who, apparently, turned into Psycho Bridezilla the minute her 2.5-carat diamond with baguettes was slipped onto her ring finger.

I’m so naive sometimes. I was excited when she initially told me she got engaged because I thought great! Someone who can support me and knows what I’m going through and maybe we can even go dress shopping together, how awesome would that be?

And now, of course, it’s turned into My Wedding vs. Her Wedding, against my will. I’m really not in the mood to add “compete with close friend” on the list of things I have to do because my “to do” list is very long and complicated and WHO HAS THE TIME TO WORRY WHETHER MY FAVORS WILL BE BETTER THAN HERS? (Note: they will be, but still.)

She’s loaded, and thus prone to bragging about how she and her fiance are getting married in 2009 so that they’ll have an extra “bonus season” to pay for both the wedding and a McMansion in Connecticut that they will move into shortly after. Just yesterday she emailed me about whether or not I think 400 guests is “a bit much” because “we really don’t want to cut the guest list, you know? We want EVERYONE to be there!” This is someone who I had emotionally discussed my guest list with, someone I confided in and told that I was upset at having to keep it around 175 because I wished I could invite the entire world.

Oh and she’s “got to cancel dinner” with us girls because they “have an appointment with Sylvia Weinstock!” She “wants the cake to be the centerpiece – shock, awe, etc.!”

That sound you hear is me vomiting into my garbage can at work. Also, it is taking all my strength not to offhandedly comment that “if the Platinum Wedding taught me anything, it’s that money can’t buy a wonderful wedding.”

I miss my friend, I really do. I hope that after the initial rush of wedding-mania that comes with getting engaged she’ll simmer down and revert to her old, lovable self. I mean seriously, I cannot stress enough how surprising her behavior is. Before yesterday I would’ve put her at the top of a list of some of the funniest, most likable people I know.

So, in sum: thank you Molly for being nothing but supportive and helpful about my wedding; I hope I’ve been the same to you.

And I’m so glad that neither one of us turned into a psycho freak once we got the rings. Amen to that.

With the end of 2007 right around the corner, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite parts of the last year. In pictures, of course.

We rang in the new year by celebrating my 24th birthday. The evening deserved a major thumbs-up. The girls are also making fun of my super-straight thumbs, or finger thumbs, if you will.

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Midnight: the official start of 2007. We look like fools. 

In May, my beautiful sorority sister (hi, Big!) got married. It was the most fun wedding I’ve ever been to.

In July, it was time for Vegas, baby! This particular picture was taken in the bathroom at the Paris casino. After we drank a yard drink and ran through the main floor speaking French.

Our first night, at the Bar at Times Square. Note the jet lag and the weirdo behind us. I love this picture and have it framed on my desk.

September 24, 2007. The best day of my life. Engaged!

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Don’t think I don’t know how lucky I am. He hated  having these pictures taken. He did it because I wanted to. 10 months to go!

On top of all that, I also started a great new job. I think 2007 has been my best year yet. I can’t wait to see what 2008 brings.

I’m leaving early today to head home to NY for Thanksgiving. I’m really excited to see my family, especially my sister who is coming home from college tonight. I have no doubt she will be wearing a pair of ginormous corduroy hippy pants that I swear are big enough for a preschool class to play parachute under.

The downside is that Michael and I will not be spending the holiday together. Throughout the course of our relationship we’ve always split up on Thanksgiving. Christmas is with my family and Easter is with his. But we’re engaged now and next Thanksgiving we will be married so this is the last time we’ll celebrate separately.

I miss him already. This morning he was unusually quiet. We were doing our morning routine–he was in the shower and I was at the sink putting on my makeup. I keep watch on the clock (because that boy will shower for three days if you let him) and periodically call out the time. “It’s 7:45!” Michael always replies with the same thing: “You’re 7:45!”

It makes no sense, I know. It’s just something we always do. But today when I called out the time he said, “OK.”

We didn’t talk much the rest of the morning and I tried not to think about it as I was scurrying to find one last pair of shoes (what, I only brought four), my iPod and debating whether or not I really needed to bring my big pink fuzzy lounge around the house socks. (The answer is yes.)

Just as I was about to leave, he commented that he felt out of it today. “Is that why you didn’t talk to me all morning?” I asked.

“I’m sorry!” he said pulling me into a hug. “I didn’t even realize it.”

Annnnnd then I started to tear up. Because a) I’m hormonal and b) I won’t see him until Sunday night and c) I’m so, so, so thankful for him that I didn’t want to let him go.

I left and headed off to work listening to Christmas music (yes, already. XM has FIVE Christmas stations) and thought about how lucky I am. Good man, good family, good friends.

I’ll try and post tomorrow, but if I don’t, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Back in July I went to Vegas. Remember that? It was everything Vegas should be, including a front row, VIP ticket to the Thunder From Down Under. What’s that? You haven’t heard of the Australian all-male review? Well, my friends, I suggest you Google it immediately. Go ahead, I’ll wait…

Everyone up to date now? Good. Not sorry you looked, are you?

Over drinks on Thursday, Jen told me that the touring Thunder was coming to Rhode Island and tickets were only $25. Only $25 for the number-one male review in Vegas? Oh, I was so in.

Michael was not pleased, but I explained to him how the first time I went I sat in the back with my eyes closed and I was pretty sure they wore wetsuits the whole time.

Saturday night arrived and Jen and I met up with her sister at the arena. We were a little early, so we went to the bar, then settled in to do some good old people watching.

Oh, the people watching. Not as good as Vegas, but still. The women that came to the show ranged from 20-somethings in jeans and heels like us, to 70-somethings (I kid you not) in sweat pants. There was also the middle-aged women wearing very inappropriate clothing. Clothing even I wouldn’t wear. Ever. Like, ever. Yikes.

The show started and the crowd went wild. Jen and I were excited to see some of the original Vegas cast and were pleased to see they brought some new routines with them. I won’t go into too much detail, but let’s just say there were some tushies. Lots of tushies.

As soon as the show started, everyone abandoned their seats and were on their feet clapping and cheering.

Want to know how you can always remember you’re engaged, even when at a Thunder From Down Under show?

Clap your hands while wearing your engagement ring. You should see the bruise that appeared on the inside of my right ring finger from banging against my engagement ring. It was dark purple!

Michael said it serves me right.

I think he’s just jealous I got to see some Australian tushies.

I started crying on my way to work today. Not an all out, snotty bawl, but a slow tear running down the cheek type cry. I wasn’t sad, I was happy. And sappy. As usual.

The Big & Rich song “Lost In This Moment” came on and I was imagining myself walking down the aisle towards Michael. I can’t believe I get to do that next year!

Lost in this moment with you/I am completely consumed/My feeling’s so absolute/There’s no doubt/Sealing our love with a kiss/Waited my whole life for this/Watching all my dreams come true/Lost in this moment with you.

Alright, alright. Enough sap. Moving on…

I need to pick bridesmaid dresses. And a photographer. And a caterer. And a color scheme. Gah. But let’s just focus on the bridesmaid dresses for a minute. Finding my dress was easy, but bridesmaids? Booo.

Here are some options. Disregard the colors because like I said, color scheme what? (I’m open to suggestions, by the way.)

This one is from J Crew. I like it because it’s simple and can be worn again. Plus, it’s under $200 and the girls could just order it online instead of having to get fitted. (Any former brides–how the hell did you get all your bridesmaids fitted for dresses??) But don’t let that influence your choice. I’m just saying.

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This one is very similar to the first, but comes in lots of different colors and is in a heavier fabric. Good for cooler weather, or girls who want a less clingy fabric.

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Maybe I want them to wear long dresses! I think this one is simple and classy. I’m also kind of liking the black…

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Again, a long dress. This time strapless. I like the gathering on the side and if I remember correctly, this is what the bridesmaids wore in my Big’s wedding and they looked great. What is your take on strapless, though? Not everyone looks good in strapless dresses.

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Help, help, help!!!

I had my hair highlighted last night. Goodbye, roots! (Yeah, the picture is a little Cousin It. You don’t think you’d get a Molly Before Makeup shot, did you?)

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Best. Engagement. Gift. Ever. Black and White cookies (my FAVORITE) from Val. There were more. They go quick. Michael only likes the white side so I’ll eat the black for him. He says this is why we work so well.

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“Mom, stop taking my picture and let me outside. And don’t use the flash. It gives me devil eyes.”

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Friday means jeans with hot shoes! These are a few years old so I’d never find a picture for the “Wearing” section. So here you go, a live shot!

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Have a great weekend!

Friday

12:30 p.m. Meet Elle for lobster mac & cheese. It is delicious, but I’m still feeling stressed over venue/family/money stuff. I tell Elle about it as we eat.

1:15 p.m. Lunch is over and I’m feeling sick. Can’t tell if it’s the mac & cheese, the stress or a bug. Am annoyed.

2:25 p.m. Leave work early and head for the couch. Why am I feeling so sick? (And really, no. I’m not pregnant. Promise.)

7:15 p.m. Am feeling a little better. Val arrives and we head out to pick up dinner.

9:40 p.m. Am out cold on the couch. Apparently, I am old.

Saturday

10:30 a.m. Arrive in Newport for our first venue of the day. Fall in love. It’s THE place, we both think so.

11 a.m. Sit down to go over how much it would cost to host wedding at this venue.

11:30 a.m. Realize that this may be much more than we can afford, but hope for the best anyway.

1 p.m. See second venue of the day. It doesn’t compare to the first and the old mansion seems dark and musty.

3:30 p.m. Call mom to discuss finances. Am told what I already knew–we can’t afford that venue.

3:35 – 4:25 p.m. Meltdown. Feel overwhelmed and frustrated with planning. Feel disappointed and sad about venue.

4:30 – 6 p.m. Sit down with wonderful fiance and figure out how much we can swing. Come to conclusion that wherever we have our wedding it will be beautiful.

7 p.m. Still feeling stressed, but try to eat before going out for the night. Only manage a couple bites.

8:30 p.m. While getting ready to go out, Michael notices my back has broken out in hives. Excellent.

9 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. Meet up with friends and celebrate engagement with drinks and shots. Manage to forget about stress and have a good time.

Sunday

3 p.m. Look at another venue that I only booked an appointment with as an afterthought.

3:2o Fall in love with venue. Realize that it’s a beautiful, oceanfront venue that we can afford. Rejoice!

3:30 p.m. Pencil in date with wedding planner. Plan on finalizing date early this week.

Today

10:25 a.m. Feeling really, really happy. I’m getting married!

* I buy my gym clothes at Walmart. As long as they fit well (aka no camel toe or something equally as disturbing), I could care less that everything is under $10. They are workout clothes, after all. Clothes that get sweaty and gross and a brand name isn’t going to stop that from happening.

* I have serious issues with people who brush their teeth outside of the bathroom. Our bathroom is off our kitchen and sometimes Michael will walk out of the bathroom to look at something while he’s brushing his teeth. HATE. It just skeeves me out, thinking about all the little particles floating around and landing on stuff.

* I’m apparently really protective of my stuff. Last night Michael was reorganizing the second bedroom and made a comment about one of those plastic, three-drawer things that was filled with my stuff. He had already eliminated some of my piles and when I thought he was going to start sorting through it I got really upset. “That’s my stuff,” I said tearing up. “My stuff! Don’t. Touch. My. Stuff.” Ooooook.

* I bought my wedding dress five days into my engagement.

That wasn’t the plan, but my mom and I decided to “just browse” a bridal shop in New York and browsing became buying because when I stepped out in the fifth dress I knew it was THE one. And when a veil was placed on my head, we teared up. It felt very real. I purchased the dress I’m going to walk down the aisle in!

And no, I can’t show you pictures because, Hi Michael!!! But trust me, it’s beautiful and exactly how I imagined I would look on my wedding day.

Squeeee!!!