The count down has begun....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Wedding challenges and beyond....

Although there are many challenges and setbacks when planning a wedding I always hold on to the fact that things can be so much worse and I try to stay optimistic. It's very similar to how I live my every day life.

Being upset, down and defeated is so much easier than thinking of another way to go about things, trying something different and admitting that perhaps it was not in the cards. Now that is the real challenge and there is nothing wrong with challenging yourself. In fact, the mind, body and soul needs that to stay fresh, vibrant, healthy and smart!

Challenges are especially hard when you beat yourself up over things you cannot control. So in essence, I've stopped stressing over things I can not control. After all, if it's not controlled by me, why should I own it... especially when it's negativity.

Right now things are relatively quiet with a little over 7 months to go but as we go about planning our special day in July there are things that still need to be thought about, decided and paid for (yikes!).

Today I came across a most interesting wedding and it just made me realize that our challenges are merely a speck on the wall that nobody notices as they pass through the halls of life....

Please check out:
A Wheelie Special Wedding

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Social Media & Gay-Wedding Planning

An interesting article (link below).

Family Meeting :  How social media has changed the face of gay-wedding planning.
Like with most things it really depends upon the type of person you are and whether or not having family support means the world to you, or very little to you since you are going to be you no matter what.

I tend to lean towards the later, and always have.....

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Traditions, from the untraditional....

As a couple who is nontraditional, having a nontraditional wedding, and wanting to make it unique in some nontraditional's hard to stay away from some of the traditions that come with weddings. Confused yet? are

If I were to sit here and type out the many ways this wedding has changed, I would be in front of my computer for at least 2 days. It's now December and we are a little more than 7 months out with several things still not confirmed. In a way it's been hard to narrow things down since the cruise line takes care a lot of the larger details, but the small ones are what's sticking me like thorns on a rose.

Although I know the bigger picture of the wedding with remain the same (we are 100% doing it on a cruise ship), I have a feeling the smaller details will go through another transformation and so I sit here with baited breath............

Love this site!     

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flowers, Take III

So with a change of venue comes, a change in vendors.

Back in May we found a florist out in CT where we were initially going to get married. Then when we changed our venue there was no way we could work with her since she was in CT and our new venue was on a cruise ship in the Manhattan port. At any rate, once we canceled with her in September (no contract had been signed) we got to see the true professional that she was -check out my 'How Rude!' entry in September-. Nevertheless, we had to go back to the drawing board with the flowers for two reasons: (1) there are restrictions on what you can bring on the ship and  (2) ordering from the cruise line was WAYYYY out of this world budget wise.

So off to searching we went and came across Angel's Accents. Always the skeptic, and never 100% sure I want to deal with a company that is online only, I've thrown caution to the wind and booked! Not only did I like what I saw (there are zillions of pictures), but she comes highly recommended on all three of the wedding forums I belong to.

Finally, I can smell the roses!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No Worries, Mon!

So we all know that the 'Carnival Splendor' has not been that splendid for the last few days, and that Sha and I will be getting married on a Norwegian cruise ship in about 8 months from now. So as I sit here watching the news for the last few days I am wondering what our invited guest who are cruising with us must be thinking. Most are first time cruisers so I imagine them in front of their own televisions shaking their heads and saying to themselves "oh oh, what am I getting myself into".

Although Sha and I do not consider ourselves experts on cruising with only two short cruises under our belts, we do know that what occurred is considered very rare in the cruising industry. After all there are hundreds of cruise ships out on the ocean every day and vacationers are having the opportunity to enjoy their trips without incident. In fact, cruising is safer than flying and heck even getting in your own or someone else's car.

I do feel for those who were on the Splendor though, after all the smell of feces and rotting food can not be pleasant for even 5 minutes let alone a few days. I just hope that those passengers take it with a grain of salt as they enjoy their first hot water shower in days, a full refund, and a free cruise in the future.

As for those who now maybe second guessing whether they still want to book or not, don't be too alarmed. If our engine happens to go out we'll be thankful it wasn't our plane engine and we'll have some interesting stories to tell as we gobble up free hot liquor and all you can eat SPAM, get our money back and plan a free cruise on the house!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mine, Mine, Mine! ~jumping up and down~

Many months ago Sha and I went wedding dress 'looking'. I don't want to call it shopping since we actually didn't purchase anything. However, in our 'looking' process we did have the opportunity to try on wedding gowns and get a feel for what we liked, what we didn't like, what worked for our bodies and what didn't work for our bodies. During this 'looking' process we both found something we could live with. There were no 'I found the gown of my dress tears' like you see in the movies or the many television shows, but we did leave the shop with some idea of what would work.

Although we continued to look, and tried on dresses at various places we both agreed that the dresses we found out David's Bridal were the best for our looks, and most certainly for our pockets. Now we are at the point in our wedding planning where we MUST purchase our dresses before the year ends so that we have plenty of time for the dresses to be shipped and for alterations.

Now this is where it starts to go down hill for me.....

When I first found the dress that I intended on purchasing there were not many pictures of it online and not many pictures of brides wearing it. Now, I am constantly seeing this gown on other real brides and it's losing it's luster for me. So now instead of just going back to the store to order the dress I already know that I am going to have to fight the urge to try on some different dresses. In the throw of wedding planning they always say once you find a dress, order it... if not you will be searching and searching and searching because now your expectations are harder to meet and sometimes become unrealistic.

I'm not at the unrealistic mark at all, in fact now I don't even want to spend as much as I would have with my original dress. Having a cruise ship wedding diminishes the number of hours you will have for your ceremony & reception and so the thought of spending so much money on something I will wear about 3 hours makes me want to regurgitate and the fact that I keep seeing pictures of brides wearing the same dress makes me want to poop!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I was feeling a little nervous for a while there. I mean, how can you plan a wedding that is also a group trip and no one but the couple and their kids show up. It's a scary thought, but in these hard economic times it is also a realistic thought. This is one of the reasons why we changed our original wedding date. We knew it would give everyone more time to plan and save if they not only wanted to attend the wedding but join us for a week of cruising and sightseeing.

At any rate, over the last few months no one had booked but us. We were beginning to get a little worried that our plans of vacation fun with family and friends was going to turn out to be a week of wondering 'why didn't anyone show'.....

I'm happy to say that the excitement is back in the air now that we have booked guest.

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((group hug everyone)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cruising & The Norwegian Jewel

Every man, woman and child has an opinion. So in essence what I may like, you may dislike and everything is subjective. With that said we LOVE cruising!

Now for some the thought of being on any kind of boat my not equal fun, and knowing that you are vacationing with thousands of others in a shared space may give you the hives. With cruising, although you are on a boat it is not a little canoe that would rock you into vomit-ville but instead a HUGE ship that is more like a floating city. The best part of it for those who think they may get sea sick is that unless you are sailing in a hurricane you don't even feel the movement. Plus, the bigger the ship the less likely you will even remember that you are on the ocean.

As for vacationing with many others, this is something that actually makes cruising fun. You are surrounded by people with smiles on their faces and most are warm, friendly and ready to share the experience. This also makes the entertainment (comedy shows, game nights, theatre shows etc..) on the ship more exciting and fun. Now on the flip side, cruising is not so crazy and loud that you can not find quieter activities to do if you so choose. There is usually a quiet area for lounging, a library, quieter dining options instead of a buffet, and viewing and/or participating in group activities is optional.

One of the best sites for everything cruise is Cruise Critic ( This site includes information about each cruise line, every cruise ship, photos, reviews by writers as well as reviews by travelers like ourselves. There is something for everyone while cruising!

Cruise Critic Norwegian Jewel Review (Click for a 2008 review of the ship we will be on by a writer from cruise critic. Note* this was a different itinerary*)

Travelers NCL Jewel Reviews (Click to read recent travelers' reviews of the Norwegian Jewel, with our same itinerary- Florida & Bahamas)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10/10/10 ... Original Wedding Date

Back in August 2009 Sha and I sat down looking through our cell phone calendars for the perfect wedding date. In doing so Sha stumbled upon the date of October 10th, 2010 which would mean a wedding date of 10-10-10. We thought this date would not only be 'cool' but fitting since we would be in our 10th year together.

As we set off wedding planning we realized after visiting a few wedding venues that 10-10-10 would not be in the cards for us. For you see, this was a reality check of how expen$ive weddings could be. We really had no idea how much money was needed to have the kind of wedding we both wanted. Yes, you can get married for say $200 if you just wanted a quick ceremony and no add-ons including a reception. But for us this was not the wedding that matched our personal styles and us as a couple.

So once the financial realization of it sunk in we decided to cancel our 10-10-10 wedding and move towards a wedding in 2011. Eventually we would choose two more wedding date, May 14, 2011 & July 30, 2011 and settle on the later.

Click below for a little information about today's weddings:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On The Flip Side....

Ho hum.... as the wedding planning continues I've reached a level of 'boredom'. The days of colors, linens, room decor, flowers....are GONE. With a shipboard wedding there is really nothing much to do in advance. Yes, we still have to pick out invitations and still have to find attire for us and the kids, but that's pretty much it. Other items such as having music, floral decor, choice of linens are optional, and choosing the menu whether it's a cocktail or sit down reception doesn't have to be done until next May.

Sometimes I miss all the hoopla of having to nit pick over choices and running around town looking at things, but then I remember that that was a nerve wrecking process as it was just to many choices. So again, it's just another sign of one just never being satisfied. One complains when it's to much to do and one complains when it's to little to do! lol


A thumbs up award goes to.... Mark! (a DJ we were thinking of hiring)
Deposit refund, honored....

Now this is my kind of business!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How RUDE!!

I often find people amazing, especially those in the business of working with other people. Now maybe it's just me, but how can someone 'pretend' to be so nice, helpful, caring and understanding and then all of a sudden be so cold.

Here's what happened:

Sha and I were given a florist recommendation and with supposedly no obligation, we met with the woman to see her work and talk about our vision for the wedding. After this initial meeting we continued to corresponded via email with thoughts and ideas. It looked like this would be the florist for us and all we needed to do was finalize what we wanted. However, a turn of events took place and we decided not to have the wedding at our original location. This change also meant that we would not need a florist so we let our contact know this and thanked her for the correspondence.

Now mind you, no contract was signed, no deposit was made and we were a little less than a year away from our event. So why with no obligation in place hasn't the florist replied to our email (it's been almost a month now) even if just to say 'okay'. Ummmm.

She seemed to have had no trouble emailing us when she thought she was getting our business/MONEY. It was all professional then.

I don't know, I guess even if someone decided not to use my service I would still maintain professionalism and at least reply to their final email.

Again, I guess that's just me....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Biggest Obstacle

A lot of money...

Well with a change in our wedding plans comes the concerns that cruising would be to much money for guest. Now we will admit, anything these days would probably seem like a lot of money in this financial climate. However, if someone is planning to travel for a week already then it's really a bargain.

First and foremost the cost of a cruise includes ALL meals, entertainment, and on board activities. Most other vacations only include the cost of travel (flying, Amtrak, etc..) and the hotel stay. Unless your at an all inclusive resort, the meals are never included. Secondly, one of the best things a budget traveler like ourselves can have is something with a payment plan, and cruising allows that when you book so far in advance like we have. Lastly, cruising usually allows you to visit more than one place in a weeks time and that's not a bad a deal for those who don't have the opportunity to travel much.

Currently, the cheapest cabin rate for our wedding cruise requires a $250 per person deposit but when mapped out can be paid in full by the April 30th 2011 due date at just $99 a month if starting payments in October (or $49.50 every two weeks if you really want to break it down). Nevertheless, there is also the option of depositing now, and paying the full balance when the tax return comes rolling in! lol
Of course if you are paying for more than just yourself (ex: $198 a month for two) it can pricey, but that is with any 7 day vacation. Even going to visit granny down south for a week doesn't come cheap these days!
I guess we look at it this way, we can easily spend $99 on crap we have nothing to show for during a months time, so why not spend it on a vacation with lasting memories!

Saturday, September 4, 2010


We're Cruising Into Marriage!!

So I'm feeling all warm and tingly inside.

In the last two weeks we have gotten confirmation on our wedding booking, and we have booked our cabin with a deposit. It's all feeling real-er, than real!!!

Now this kind of wedding is not for the control freak, the gal that needs to have her hand in every pot, or the bride to be with her finger on speed dial. A cruise ship wedding is set up by the cruise lines' wedding company that they out source to and everything is taken care of by your wedding consultant prior to the day of your wedding. So over the next 11 months our job is just to fill out the forms, send the emails and call the consultants when we want to add features or cancel them all together. Then on the day of the wedding we will work with the ships wedding coordinator to finalize and then take that loving walk down the aisle to marriage.

Although Sha and I started out planning a more traditional affair we realize that even if we have to put our wedding in the hands of consultants & coordinators, ultimately a cruise ship wedding is the wedding that says:

' Dana & Sharine '

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Can I Get Confirmation On That!!

Waiting for someone else to give confirmation on something can be the start of one of those terrible mind games. It makes you contemplate, second guess, and even wonder if something has gone horribly wrong.

As this wedding planning saga continues we are in the process of waiting for full confirmation that our deposit for our new wedding venue has been received. Now mind you, I know banks have to clear and paperwork has to be processed but this doesn't calm the nerves when you are just so excited about a new adventure.

The funny thing is, I know this is only the beginning. 

When you plan the type of wedding that we are now working towards most of the details our out of your hands. Therefore, the whole process is full of waiting and confirmations. Now for a control freak such as myself, I am not sure how this is going to work but I know in the end I will get the best confirmation of all.

That I am married to my sweetheart Sharine.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wedding Websites

I think personal wedding websites are the coolest thing since slice bread. It's the easiest and fasted way to get information to guest  and there is so much information on the web that most questions can be answered, especially when planning a destination wedding. It also gives you an opportunity to get quick feedback and help in the entire planning process from start to finish.

With a change in our plans there also had to come a change to our site.

clicking away...

Friday, August 20, 2010 making me wait...well no more like making me crazy!

Don't you just hate when your all set to do something and your bubble is burst!!! That's how I felt yesterday.

We were all set to finalize our *new* wedding plans and the person we needed to see was out for the rest of the week. I had just spoken to him on Tuesday which was his first day back to work since he works Tuesday-Friday, so of course I was totally surprised when here we are two days later ready to plan and his colleague tells us he won't be back to work until next week. UGHH!!

And so we wait......

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bridesmaids Dresses

There are so many different ways to dress your bridesmaids now.

Long gone are the cookie-cutter bridesmaids that appeared to be more like Stepford Wives. Brides are allowing her girls to pick their own dresses so long as they are in a particular color, or they're wearing their favorite black dress already hanging in their closets and or even just wearing what they find most flattering on their own bodies. I feel bridesmaid's have come along way in terms of looking fashion forward, comfortable and feeling stunning.

Call me old fashion but one of my least favorite styles is the 'print' bridesmaids dresses. For some reason this is an awkward look; and please don't let it be red with any kind of lines on it for my brain immediately screams picnic table. My favorite style though (and again maybe I'm old fashion) is the matching bridesmaids. Now this doesn't mean all dresses, all shoes, and all accessories are matching, but matching in the sense that all the bridesmaids are wearing the same color. For me this is 'semi classic' and for a non traditional bride like myself it is probably the closest thing to traditional my wedding would be, that is if we were able to have bridesmaids.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wedding planning is a trip.

So many questions, choices, and decisions to make and just when you thought you had it all figured out.......
.................... you don't.

We've recently come to the conclusion that this wedding should be about us; and that we need to stop making our plans based on what will make everyone else comfortable. Yes, we want it to be just as special for our guest, but when all is said and done no wedding guest will store 'our' wedding in the section of their memory bank marked 'best thing that has ever happened to me'; in fact a year later they may not even remember much about the day that was special for you. So we've had to seriously ask our selves the questions...

* In the long run who has to be completely happy with the wedding experience?!?!
* Who has to have a lasting memory that says 'I loved it'?!?!
* Who does the wedding really have to reflect!?!?

....and in our answers there was a reoccurring theme...


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Giving Thanks...

I would like to believe that even if I were as straight as an arrow I would believe in marriage equality for all.

In fact, I know I would and today I just found another hero;  Click Here.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's the Best/Geekiest Wedding Ever -- Bride and Groom Superheroes!

Now this is my kind of wedding.

Not that I am into super heroes like this, but just the thought of thinking so out of the box that you make your wedding fun and non cookie cutter. I am all for the non-traditional, do what you wanna do, I have no desire to be Cinderella weddings.

SUPER congrats are in order here!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A $5 million dollar wedding!?!?

While it is estimated that Chelsea Clinton has spent about 5 mil for her wedding I really don't see the point.
I mean even if I had money out the kazoo I do believe there is something called "going overboard".
Heck, I'd settle for a measly $50,000 wedding.
I'm not picky!

Monday, August 2, 2010

When Life Was Simple

I know technology is grand, and we've come a long, long way....
Honestly though, does EVERYTHING have to be so over the top!?!?
Can we still have the 'simple' things in life!?!!

These pictures tell me no, but...

I am fighting to keep it a YES!!!!!              

Sunday, July 25, 2010

If only...

As we get closer to our wedding date which is now now less than 10 months away, I wonder if we are 'settling'.

For you see, one of the things that Sharine and I have in common is our love of the ocean, the open sea, cruising, and just sitting by the calm nature of water. We often spend our time together gazing over the Hudson River when we are down by Christopher Street, or relaxing by Chelsea Piers. We have also spent plenty of relaxing moments by the East River at such places like the South Street Seaport; moments that have been both quiet, and full of energetic conversations.

If only all good dreams could come true.....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

She WAS a beautiful bride untilll...

As I began this little wedding planning journey I also began to enjoy looking at pictures of real weddings. From the decor, to the cake, from the bridesmaids dresses to the bouquets, there are just so many beautiful things to see. However, I have also come to realize that there is one little pet peeve, irritant or annoyance that I have and that is seeing a bride in her formal gown with nothing but these 'tats' not only making my eyes focus on them, but taking away from the beauty of it all!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shady Business

Where do I begin...

Back in October 09, Sha and I came across a quaint little tea house down on Irving Place in Manhattan. We had scheduled a visit, then a tasting, and then we began to plan a wedding there. Our first step was to fine tune all the details of what we wanted so that the general manager could put together our contract and we could then leave a deposit and 'seal the deal' so to speak. So after several emails back and forth  our choices were made and the general manager said he would have our contract ready in the following week after he came back from his travels. That was November 11, 2009.

A full month would go by with no contract, no email, no phone call, no nothing. So on Dec 10th I sent my own follow-up email and to my surprise I received a reply about 10 minutes later. In the response he stated that he was "just looking over a few weddings for 2010 and making myself a note to start the terms of agreement for you". Huh!!? what!?!?!? Now a month prior he was suppose to be starting the contract, so how was he JUST doing it now!??!

So always being one to try and give people the benefit of the doubt (thanks to my lovely soon to be wife lol), I sent a thank you reply and waited as the days on the calendar rolled by.....

December 2009...
January 2009...
February 2010.. (umm, Houston? do we have a problem?!?!?)
March 2010... (so of course we are looking into OTHER venues by this time)
April 2010... (booked a different venue)
May 2010...
June 2010...
July 2010...

.......................July 16th, 2010 WTF!?!??!! You gotta be kidding me?!?!? where's the hidden camera!?!?!?

Greetings again from The Inn,

I hope you are both having a wonderful summer. I wanted to check back in and see if you wish to confirm your hold on October 10th. I am starting to get additional inquiries for other events and it is now time to proceed forward with the "terms of agreement." I look forward to hearing from you.




So I'm sitting at my computer, mouth gaping open, eyes wide, and clicking forward so that I can send this madness to Sharine. The brain is trying to register this mess and at the same time I'm wondering how should I respond, if I should respond, if I do respond should I let him have it, should I tell him where to stick it! I am at a loss for words initially but a few days later it flows easily....


This email has certainly come as a total shock. After never receiving the terms of agreement from you and then no response to our emails we quite frankly were very disappointed and wrote you and this establishment off. We will admit we loved the quaintness of the inn, the tasting, and the staff that we met but the turn of events left a bitter taste in our mouths and we moved on.

Below is the very last email we received from you which was in December. Please fell free to go forth with new inquires for our date.

We wish you well.

Dana & Sharine


Monday, July 12, 2010

Am I A Color Whore!?!?


I know weddings are suppose to be romantic, and sweet, and sentimental...but does that have to equal bland? We are getting married in the spring and usually you see lots of pinks, yellows, light greens, and a variety of pastels; bland, bland, bland....

I see myself running in the total opposite direction. Can you say 'POP'!?!?!?!? That's what I think wedding colors should represent. I mean it's a festive occasion with lots of smiles, laughter and hopefully a whopping good time. So even though we are having a hard time finding what we we want in our colors of purple, orange & fuchsia... I know that when we do our wedding decor will read WOW!...and that's alright with me!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wedding Planning Blues

Things have slowed down tremendously in the world of wedding planning. I remember when Sha and I seemed to be caught up in the world wind of planning and every time we turned around there was a venue to visit, some food to taste, inquiry emails to send and wedding vendors to meet. Now a days it's just quiet.

Now don't get me wrong I am so glad we found our venue which took us months to do, however it seems that once that was completed everything else just feel right into place. So now at the 10 month mark most of the big things are done:

Booked Venue/Catering
Booked Photography
Booked DJ
Booked Officiant
Found wedding gowns; didn't order yet
Purchased both our wedding bands
Booked Make-Up Artist
Found Florist; haven't finalized order yet

So now we focus on the smaller items and for some reason this is what has caused our turtle like movements. Things like selecting invites, choosing centerpieces, deciding on favors, etc... have become a big bore. Actually no, it has become more like a big chore.
I didn't like chores as a kid so of course I a not too thrilled about them now!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bridal Diapers: A New Trend?

                                        Please say it isn't so!!!!

Now ladies. There are a lot of things I would do for my wedding, but this!?!?

How do you spell GROSS?.... bridal diapers!

Bridal Diapers: A New Trend?  <-----click link for details

Sunday, June 20, 2010

That Ohhh So Frightening Make-Up Trial

BEFORE                                                                       BEFORE

On Friday Sha and I had our first make-up trial with a make-up artist who normally works with clients for their head shots that her photographer husband shoots. One of the reasons why we chose to give her a try was because we just fell in love with her husbands personality during our consultation with him back in April when we hired him as our photographer. We also had an opportunity to see her work via the head shot photos on their website and we loved how 'natural' her clients still looked. Our goal was to not look alien, but enhanced. So here we are....

... enhanced.