Sunday, October 30, 2011

Decor Decisions

The beauty of Jamaica will be our main 'decor' for our day. The ceremony will be outside on the rocks and the restaurant is open air with plenty of natural beauty surrounding it as well so any decor we do will be minimal.
I want our ceremony to be 'in the round' as pros like to call it. Basically, I want everyone surrounding us in a circle during the ceremony.

Thus there will be no aisle to decorate and any decor that we do to mark the ceremony space can't hinder anyone's view. So if I get my way and get to have that ceremony set-up there will be no decor needed. Scattering something like the pictured couple did wouldn't really work with the nice sea breeze we'll hopefully be experiencing.
While I haven't received more detailed pictures of the restaurant space we'll be using for our reception to get any further ideas about decor for that, I do figure I'll want to do centerpieces. However, they won't be what most people imagine when they hear the word centerpiece. There will be NO FLOWERS.
Having no flowers is very important to me for multiple reasons. First of all, the commercial flower industry is full of human rights and environmental abuses. If we wanted organic flowers they would have to be flown in from a fair distance at a huge price. Flying organic flowers from further away than conventional flowers kind of defeats the purpose. My mom is also allergic to a TON of flowers. Like seriously almost every flower. I also think they're wasteful and expensive, so no flowers here.
So now that I've squashed your idea of centerpieces here's some inspiration photos I've gathered for our centerpieces:

(all from google search of non-floral centerpieces)

So the common element is candles. The candles will either be on top of mirrors or driftwood and there may or may not be shells present. The shells bring up another contentious point for me - I don't want to be staring at the shell of an endangered species (conch) while I'm trying to enjoy my reception. Even if they are shells of abundant species, I want to know that they are sustainably harvested. So this once again may be difficult to make happen so they may not make an appearance at our wedding.
I sent these photos to a florist that works with Tensing Pen a few weeks ago with a description of what I was imagining and making sure all of my wants were clear and never heard back. I figure they will charge way to much money for some candles anyway so I'm soon going to start getting things together myself with a plan of how to get it down there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quick update

So I've been yelled at for not updating my blog but the truth is there isn't much to update on right now. But here's a quick rundown!

- We've basically received all of our RSVPs (we're still waiting on 1) and we need to send out invites to fill 3 more rooms based on the responses we've gotten.

- I'm waiting to hear back from a florist for a mockup and quote for our non-floral centerpieces. I'll do a full post on this soon I promise!

- Kenya is in the middle of some violence right now. Already talking to our safari company about that if it continues into the next year.

-People are starting to book rooms! YAY!

But that's about it. I'll start making some more definite plans with Tensing Pen in the new year. This will include our menu, cake/dessert, and timeline for the evening as well as events on Friday and Sunday.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Budget Update

So one of the fun things about getting legally married already was finally combining our finances and coming up with a budge for our combined finances. (Can you hear the sarcasm there?!?) Well anyway September was our first month on our budget.
Things we learned: (1) it actually doesn't take that long to enter our expenses (15 minutes last night for the first half of this month). (2) We don't spend as much on food as we thought - or we did really good on cutting down our eating out when we consciously tried. (3) our pets are expensive (still underbudgeting that so far this month!). (4) a lot more unplanned expenses come up than we thought.
Overall we were $150 over budget (this includes attempting to save around $1100). Not bad for our first attempt. It looks like we're not going to do as good this month thanks to me planning last minute trip to Tampa.
The software is really easy to use. We don't try to have it automatically enter anything using our banking data because there is so many things on our cards that go on other expenses (Ben's business, things for work that I get reimbursed for) so I can't judge how good it is at that but I would recommend it! (YNAB)

Friday, October 14, 2011

6 months!

Today I got a wonderful e-mail from The Knot letting me know that we are 6 months away from our wedding! YAY! Also, it gave me a new list of things to accomplish! BOO!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Honeymoon Reveal

So last I spoke of our honeymoon, I gave you the list of options we came up with. So are you ready to know what we decided??!


So we chose South Africa and I quickly began doing some research on where we wanted to go and do. We knew we wanted to go to Cape Town and we also wanted to do a safari so I spent a lot of time looking at safari companies and options. We also contacted a travel agent to help us out. Within a month of our decision, I was very anxious. Everyone was telling us our budget wouldn't work with a trip to South Africa & a safari. I became overwhelmed and pass the job of planning our honeymoon onto Ben (he's traditionally supposed to do it anyway!).
Well, our plans changed slightly because we got an AMAZING deal on a safari from LivingSocial Escapes. We booked a 7-day, 6 night Kenyan Safari! We will be staying at 4 different lodges in total and going to multiple reserves. From LivingSocial Escapes:

"Get a taste of royal treatment on your first night in Nairobi's Safari Park Hotel & Casino, a five-star property fit for those who Just Can't Wait to Be King. The following day, you'll travel to the Samburu and Buffalo Springs Reserves.

"Samburu National Reserve showcases arid specialists such as the Beisa oryx and Somali ostrich," says BBC Travel. "Field guides depict the flora and fauna of a specific area alongside photos, identification pointers, and distribution maps."

Trade advisor Zazu for a naturalist guide, who will drive the minibus and introduce you to rare and sometimes endangered species you won't find anywhere else. You'll also meet Samburu village tribespeople and donate supplies to local school children. For both nights, you'll sleep in a luxurious en suite tent at Ashnil Samburu Camp.

Wise Rafiki says to put the past behind you, so take his advice and move on to the Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for the millions of flamingos that flock to its waters. Embrace Hakuna Matata along with the no worries philosophy of napping leopards camouflaged in the yellow Acacia trees.

After a day of rhino spotting, retire to Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge to watch the sun set over the pink-plumed lake from your private veranda.

At last, arrive in the real Pride Lands—The Maasai Mara National Reserve—to behold awe-inspiring scenes of the Serengeti. Millions of wildebeests cross these perilous grasslands each year during The Great Migration.

"The plains are full of zebra, impala, topi, giraffe, [and] Thomson's gazelle," promises "Also regularly seen are leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetah, jackal, and bat-eared foxes. Black rhino are a little shy and hard to spot, but are often seen at a distance. Hippos are abundant in the Mara River as are very large Nile crocodiles, who lay in wait for a meal."

Though outnumbered, Simba's living counterparts are the true monarchs of the Maasai Mara, fittingly called the Kingdom of Lions. Spend two nights in one ofAshnil Mara Camp's lavish tents, complete with walk-in closets.

We couldn't pass this deal up. It was a longer safari than we were originally thinking we could afford and the timing of it works perfectly for us. I can't wait to see hopefully see some amazing and endangered animals in the wild. Staying in luxury tents sounds amazing as well! We'll have time to come back to NYC for a night and change out our bags, and still spend 4 days in Cape Town before our safari.

We have a contact in Cape Town who's guest house we will be staying in and he will be showing us around the city. We will be spending one day north of Cape Town cage diving with great white sharks. We might spend one day in South Africa's version of Napa Valley as well. We are SUPER excited about this opportunity. I'm NOT looking forward to the LONG flights though!

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I've been a bad blogger and know I will continue to be a bad blogger next week as well. I apologize now but work is taking over my life currently. Hopefully I'll catch up next week and get back to regular updates.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Whoop there it went!

Our first RSVP deadline has come and gone and I have to say I'm VERY disappointed in our guests. We sent out 22 invitations and have only received 13 of those back. That's 9 missing RSVPs. Everyone of those 13 were yeses. These 9 RSVPs equal 21 people of the 41 we invited. So it looks like next week we'll be calling and e-mailing people to figure out why we haven't received these. A little frustrating because we have to go through this process all over again with a new group of people. I do have to give a big high 5 to our friends because they have done a much better job than our families at returning RSVPs!