SVV says my little nook of the Internet, my beloved Camels & Chocolate, has been left relatively unattended these past few weeks months. He’s right (as usual). And for this, dear sweet blog, I apologize profusely. It’s not that I don’t love you, it’s not that I want to break up in any way, shape or form, it’s just that I quite literally cannot find the time to visit you and give you the affection and attention you deserve. I’ve been traveling, shocker—three and a half of the past five weeks I’ve been elsewhere—and the next month it’s only going to get so much worse with back-to-back work trips to Israel and Macau (I literally land in SF from Tel Aviv at 3pm one day and have to be back at the airport at 9pm for my flight across the Pacific to Hong Kong), that I can’t really see the surface. Not to mention! I have my daily duties and my handful of stories due weekly and my regular celebrity reporting and friends in and out the last month and the next and the next after that, and on top of all of this, somehow have to find time to update one guidebook and write a first edition of another in another state entirely. Oh, and plan a wedding. So yeah, ZOMG, oy.
(The above forehead wrinkles + aforementioned stress could be why my derm suggested, at the ripe age of 26, that I might consider Botox prior to my wedding. Don’t worry, I’m not—not really my bag, you know—but just the mention sent me into a tizzy.)
It’s gotten so bad, in fact—or so hectic rather, as I’m thrilled to still be swimming in work when so many of my journalist pals have gotten the axe of late—that friends have e-mailed me to get together and I’ve had the nerve to propose a drinks date in early January. Because I have virtually no open days before then! Gah. So part of why I haven’t waxed poetic lately about this and that is that I’ve been run ragged, and to be honest, am a bit uninspired and frankly in need of 36 hours a day to git ‘er dun (who came up with the concept of a day only consisting of 24 hours anyway?). I’m sure my social media ubiquity—Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr (oh hello! I keep a secret blog, too), etc.—has caused Camels & Chocolate, my numero uno, to suffer. But no more! This is when it all turns around. And since I’m on a Virgin America flight back from NYC (yay, in-flight WiFi!) and finally have a few moments to cover my bases, let’s have an update on what I’m sure you’ve all been on the edge of your seats over—the fact that I’m marrying this boy, of course!—shall we? (I am averaging one wedding post per four months, after all. Not so excessive…yet.)
Amid all the other calamity going on in my life, I’ve somehow managed to pin down quite a few major things, as well as change others around. For example, remember how I bought the first MOH dress for my sister that I found and how easy a bride I claimed to be? HA! Once it came in, the color was all wrong (a note to all brides who contemplate J. Crew Bridal for their own nuptials: the colors on the site are not at all representative of what they look like in person), so I’ve spent the past month hunting down the perfect dress in the perfect shade of royal purple that not only goes with my color scheme but also flatters her figure and is something she really can wear again (every bride says that, but it’s so rarely true). Also, until I got that little detail worked out, I couldn’t move forward with other more pressing things. And behold, I stumbled into Lord & Taylor in NYC yesterday and out with this beaut:
Perfection. Exactly what I was looking for. And on sale, too—$100 off! Good thing we’re the same size; I very well may be borrowing this from her after the wedding’s over.
Speaking of my dress, I got it! Oh yes I did. Second dress I tried on in fact. Easy as pie! So perhaps I am a low-maintenance bride in that respect. Actually, the whole purpose of this four-day jaunt to New York was to dress shop at Kleinfeld with my bestie, Lemon, only there was no need! So instead we settled on eating our weight in mac and cheese and cupcakes (what else is new). I would tell you more about what I’ll be wearing my big day, but well, SVV paroles this space like the Web manager that he is, and as much as he’s trying to trick out details from me when I’m not on my A-game, he’s yet to do so. Who’s the master of trickery now, eh? I will say this (as none of it will mean a thing to a dude, after all): I bought The One at Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta (a store which I love, love, LOVE), and it’s strapless, A-line, from Carmela Sutera, a slight sweetheart neckline, duchess satin with a lovely sheen, sports layers of crinoline and has a beautiful sash. The color is “blush,” which is a bit of a pink-y champagne and so much more me than just pure white. And the kicker… it was a $4500 couture gown off the runway, but I got it for $500 thanks to the lovely surprise that I’m the bridal sample size and could walk out with the sample right off the rack! Only, I didn’t—I had them ship it to me instead so I wouldn’t have to cram it into my luggage. Now, if only it would arrive on my doorstep. I’ve been waiting so patiently for over a month, and that patience has an expiration date. I’m still in search of Gown #2 for my casual backyard Tennessee reception a month later, but am pretty sure I might go with this dress in white which I found at the Jenny Yoo flagship store (don’t mind the greasy hair and lack of makeup or the fact that this taken-from-below angle does nothing to flatter me, please).
For my darling flower girl Kiva (vote for her in the Gap kids Casting Call here!), my talented seamstress MIL, Joan, is going to whip up something fabulous that will match Kari’s dress. We’re doing a run for samples next week during our craft days in Sac, but are envisioning something to this effect:
What else? OH! The cake, yum, the cake. We had our first cupcake tasting at Sibby’s in San Mateo, and I’m 99 percent sure we’re going to seal the deal, as not only is the price more than reasonable, but the cupcakes are out of this world (and I’m a connoisseur and not easily pleased, I’ll tell you). And the best part: We can choose as many flavors as we want for no additional cost. Plus, Sibby did my friend Nancy’s wedding, and I really loved the outcome:
But we’re still going to shop around a bit, as—duh!—the wedding cake tasting is so the best part of the entire process. I don’t think any of you will disagree with me on that. Though I need a cake-tasting buddy—any takers?—as SVV claims to “not like cake” (I then claim to not know if I can marry him). Who doesn’t like cake, I ask?!
And while I don’t want to fully reveal my save-the-dates yet, as they’re not going out for another week (they require Joan and me hand-stitching them one-by-one, fun!), here’s a sneak peek of the final product. Kelly really outdid herself and designed EXACTLY what I envisioned. They’re so fun and informal and quirky and…well, so us. (And yes, Kelly and I have been writing back and forth for months now about said “STDs,” and SVV does not like those references at all. “It just makes me feel so dirty! Ew!” he says. Every party has a pooper…)
I found a florist who I adore, who has put together one kick-ass proposal including arrangements of “seasonal tulips, sweet peas, lilac, anemones, hydrangea, freesia, and scented geranium and silvery dusty miller for texture in the color palette of lavender, eggplant, and accenting green, blue, silvery-gray tones,” a floral arch, lavender rose petals down the aisle (the ceremony is outdoor), and other odds and ends I love. I’m nearly done designing and launching our wedding site (all on my own! progress!). We’ve pinned down the Hotel Adagio in Union Square for a stellar wedding rate ($119 a night!) on Wednesday and Thursday for those coming in early, and are still negotiating rates for a place in Sausalito, Mill Valley or Tiburon for the actual wedding weekend. Hopefully, that will all be resolved a week from Friday, as we’re meeting with some potential properties (helps to work in the industry).
Our catering tasting for the dinner is next week at the inn, and we’re in the process of hiring a string trio for the ceremony and cocktail hour (violin, mandolin and guitar; two violins and a guitar; or violin, cello and guitar? so many options!). The best part of all is that getting married in a recession kind of rocks, as I’m getting a steal of a deal on almost everything, i.e. we’re not scrimping on anything, having the dream day if you will, and still coming in at below the national average cost of a wedding…in CALIFORNIA (which ties New York for the most expensive state in which to tie the know). So yeah, I’m all ready to get hitched, it appears! Is May 22 here already?