Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 31, 2011 | | 0 comments

Here's to a great 2012!

Wise Words

Thursday, December 29, 2011 | | 0 comments
"Remember what your wedding is: a celebration. It's a reason to rejoice. And it's as simple and as complicated as that."  — Meg Keene
I just started reading Meg's new book "A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration" and am already in love with it. Just the thing I need to get me through these last few months of wedding planning! 

Image via Kiss the Groom

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011 | | 0 comments

In Polish tradition, Christmas Eve is much more significant than Christmas Day so I wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Or Wesołych Świąt in Polish. I'm home for the holidays celebrating with my family (and for the last time as a Ms.) Crazy to think that next year I will be celebrating with my husband!

Tips For The Lazy, Unorganized Bride

So I'm not the most organized person. Sure, I like to keep things clean in my home but when it comes to organizing stuff like documents and bills, hmm not so much. Which probably explains why planning a wedding has been so damn hard for me. It's all about organizing. You have to remember which vendor you paid, which you didn't, who all your vendors are, contact info, timelines, etc, etc, etc. You get my drift. Needless to say here's a few tips I've gathered for my fellow lazy, unorganized, not talented at planning brides.

1) Set up a separate email to handle all wedding inquiries. I don't know what your inbox looks like, but mine is a hot mess. I made a lame attempt at folders on my gmail to try to separate things out but those only work if you remember to label them. Oops. Needless to say, now when I have to find a wedding-related email, I frantically search with keywords through my email. Not the best plan. Oh and to top it off, I started using my other email for wedding stuff thinking it would help to have some things separated. Umm, it does not. Now I have to search through two emails instead of one when trying to find something. Bottom line, if you suck at keeping your inbox clean, set up a new email. Yea, it's kind of cheesy but whatever, name it something easy and send all your wedding-related info there. You'll be thankful you did.

2) Try to do things right away. This may sound obvious but if remembering small details isn't one of your strong suits then make sure as soon as things come up, you take care of them in a fairly timely manner. Failing that, remind yourself in highlighted & bold font, email, text and maybe even set up a voice reminder for yourself to do these things. I spaced on following up with some vendors and they ended up falling through because they'd already booked with someone else. Not doing things fairly fast simply adds to the big pile of crap that you already have, therein, try to tackle the small & big stuff.

3) Pawn things off on the fiancé whenever possible. Enough said here. Simply bribe, sweet talk or simply force your partner to take care of crap when you can't take care of it or simply don't feel like doing it.

4) Hire a pro. If you can afford it, hire someone to do all this for you!! (Sigh) If that doesn't fit in your budget, make a beeline to the most organized person in your life. (Don't we all wish Monica from Friends existed in real life?) Beg and plead for their help. Then pray they accept your plea.

5) If all else fails, elope. No wedding to plan=nothing to organize. Get the deed done and you're off the hook. 

Photo Credit: William Eggleston, Untitled (1975) via Art Blart 

Bride Envy

The dress, the veil, the backdrop. Simply stunning. Then again, when you marry the son of a fashion icon (David Lauren, son of Ralph Lauren, married Lauren Bush), would you expect anything else?

Photo via The Bijou Bride from Vogue.com

Let's Talk Pinterest

A few months before I got engaged I discovered an amazing little website called Pinterest. I quickly became hooked. It's the digital equivalent to an enormous corkboard filled with all your favorite things you've found while searching the Web. And I cannot stress enough what a godsend it has been during the wedding planning process. I seriously wonder how brides did it before this website existed. Basically, the concept is you have "boards" that house all of the things that you've "pinned." On mine I have several categories, from home decor to food and of course a wedding pinboard! Instead of bookmarking all the wedding-related things you find on the internet, you "pin" them and house them all in one place. So if you want to share your wedding inspiration, ideas with family, friends or vendors simply send them a link to your board and voilà! If you're not a very organized person and have to keep a million tabs open while surfing the Web so you don't forget stuff (like me!) then I would highly suggest signing up before starting the wedding planning process. Each time you pin an image, it automatically saves the link where you found it, so it's easy to check back when you want to follow up on something. And if you're interested feel free to follow me on Pinterest. :) Happy Pinning!

P.S. Don't be surprised if you get hooked, this site is insanely addicting!

The Rising Cost Of Weddings

Monday, December 5, 2011 | | 0 comments

I stumbled upon this great infographic at WeddingRepublic.com about the crazy rise of the cost of weddings today. Check it out here!

Engagement Session Sneak Peak

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 | | 0 comments

Our awesome photographers, Jason + Anna Photography, just posted a blog with some of our engagement photos. Eek!! My excitement is through the roof right now! Already mentally planning how to frame and put them up. Did I mention I'm excited?? :)

Disco Polo Friday: A Classic

Friday, November 25, 2011 | | 0 comments
Here's one of the most popular contemporary Polish songs from the past several years. Definitely not in the techno disco polo genre but well-known enough to get highlighted.


Thursday, November 24, 2011 | | 0 comments

for this

Photo via the amazing Jason + Anna Photography. Much more to come! 

When Your Family Hates Your Venue...

So wedding planning is tricky. Yes, the wedding is about the couple that's getting married but there are also loads of family members that want to interject their opinions into everything. So what happens when your parents* dislike the venue you've chosen?? I know, I know, this is my fault for planning a big, fat Polish wedding, right? Well maybe or maybe not. Either way, it sucks to hear that the venue you and your man have booked and love isn't a fan favorite among the rentals. It was hard hearing their not-so-approving opinions but in the end it only brought me and my fiancé closer together. After some gentle negotiations and polite head nodding (alright I'll admit and tears shed) we came to a semi-peaceful truce. One that did not require a venue change. We explained our vision to them and helped them understand what we had in mind. In the end, I realize that our families only want the best for our wedding day (even though sometimes they have a funny way of showing it ahem) and I know it'll all work out. Sometimes you just need to go through some of this crappy stuff to be even more grateful for the awesomeness that awaits your future married life :) And c'mon it wouldn't be a wedding without some drama right?! haha

*Editor's Note:* My dad liked the venue from the start, he's pretty awesome.

Disco Polo Friday: Another Cheesy Dance Tune

Friday, November 18, 2011 | | 0 comments

So I realized that readers who aren't Polish may be a little confused about this type of music. Not to worry, check out this post for some background info on the topic :) It's kind of like our guilty pleasure, you hate that you like but you can't help that you do. Enjoy!

Dealin with the Details

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | | 0 comments
So I've heard that you shouldn't stress too much about the details of a wedding and just focus on the big stuff. Easy enough, except that all a wedding is, is a series of tiny, friggin details. So how am I supposed to not stress about them?? Impossible I say. My way of dealing with it is trying to break things down into manageable chunks, survey the scene and try to make sense of it all. Needless to say, if I could afford to hire someone to take care of it all for me, I would, but alas that's only wishful thinking. So I'm back to the drawing board and taking care of those pesky little details...

Disco Polo Friday

Friday, November 11, 2011 | | 0 comments

Polish Wedding Survival Guide

So I've previously written about what to expect at Polish weddings here, here and here. But alas there is always more to learn! During my research of Polish weddings, I've come across some other interesting points. While perusing the Polandian blog, I came across these gems :) 

The disappearing bride and groom
You’ve survived the sitting, standing and kneeling business. Everything seems to be over and the newlywed couple are advancing back up the aisle towards the doors. You’re already loosening your belt in anticipation of the coming revelries when suddenly the bride and groom take a sharp left turn and disappear into some hitherto unnoticed wing of the church. What to do? Is there some special exit for newlyweds? Is something else tedious and detrimental to your buttocks going on? Panic not. More than likely they’ve nipped into a side chapel or nook to pay their respects to the local holy painting or finger bone of Saint Tibulus. They wont be long.
And another great one:

The vodka situation
Vodka is a big deal at Polish weddings. Talk of who is going to buy the vodka and where they are going to get it begins at least six months before people start considering less significant details such as wedding dresses or who to marry. Presumably there was a time when vodka was in short supply or had to be manufactured in the woods because, as far as I can see, the entire problem can me solved in a ten minute trip to the local supermarket. However, I digress.
Assuming the vodka is there and, to be honest, the wedding would have been canceled if it wasn’t there are a few things you should know. Vodka is only drunk collectively. Glasses are filled, somebody proposes a toast, vodka is drunk, and glasses are refilled in readiness for the next toast. There’s no casual solitary sipping. It’s all or nothing every time. Sometimes it will be a special wedding vodka prepared according to a traditional recipe known only to 84-year-old uncle Bogdan. These are often sweet and pleasant tasting but can still kill an elephant at 20 paces. Do not be tempted to fill in the time between toasts with a beer or a glass of wine, that way lies very messy but dimly recalled madness.

Check out the whole post here:
15 things you need to know about Polish weddings – the survival guide 

Image via myopera.com 

Polish Wedding Date Myths

When we first started planning a wedding, choosing a date turned out to be a little tricky, for various reasons. Apparently the Polish culture has some urban myths regarding days and months that you should get married on.

It's said to be bad luck to get married in a month that does not include the letter "r" in it. For example, May in Polish is spelled Maj, hence it's one of those unlucky months.
Now clearly, these are pretty much old wives tales, my own parents were married in May and recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary so take that you myth believers!

The day of the week that you get married on also supposedly has some significance. I found this interesting tidbit on a fellow Polish wedding blog:

Monday (Poniedziałek - p'ony'ej'aw'ek) - it is believed to bring to couple health.
Tuesday (Wtorek - ft'or'ek) - couples married on that day of the week will be wealthy.
Wednesday (środa - shr'od'a) - brings general luck in life.
Thursday (Czwartek - chv'art'ek) - financial trouble.
Friday (Piątek - p'eeo(n)t'ek) - worries and pain.
Saturday (Sobota - s'ob'ot'a)- general happiness with a little bit of trouble here and there.
Sunday (Niedziele - ny'ej'el'a) - happiness in marriage.

Hmm, too bad I didn't find out about this until after we'd chosen our Saturday date in June. (According to this info, we're pretty much in the clear with just a bit of trouble hehe) If all these myths were indeed true, I'd probably go with Tuesday or Wednesday, luck and wealth?! Not a bad combo jk ;)

When DIY isn't always better..

My original DIY wedding planning vision has been altered a bit
When I embarked on this whole wedding planning journey, I swore to myself that I would be different. I wouldn't cave to the wedding industry pressure and do things our way. I swore that I'd spend money only on the things that matter and put in the time and effort of doing the rest ourselves.

It was a pretty logical way of thinking, especially since DIY weddings are all the rage nowadays — and for good reason. Wedding costs are at astronomical heights and I totally get why there are entire websites and communities of dedicated DIY-ers who swear by this method. I think it's a great and sentimental way to truly make the wedding yours, but I also think that it depends on the bride and groom, wedding guest count and a whole slew of logistical, time-management and practical aspects that have to be considered.

So although I have a soft space in my heart for DIY weddings, the reality train hit me. I realized that sometimes it's better to spend money on the professional and sit back, relax and enjoy your day. Yea, that's right I said it. Cave into the industry and hire the pros, in the end it will be soo worth it. (At least this is what I've heard and what I've been repeating to myself.) In my case, that meant deciding to hire a professional florist in lieu of doing the flowers on our own. I realized that there literally wouldn't be enough time to get it all done and opting for a trusted professional really put my mind at ease.

Of course this doesn't mean you have to give up your vision of a wedding with a homemade touch, but prioritize what you realistically can accomplish. For me, it came down to wanting my guests to feel like guests and not workers. I definitely still plan on making a lot of items myself, but turns out sometimes leaving the big stuff to the people that do it daily is the way to go :)

Photo via www.diyweddingresource.com

Disco Polo Friday: Stachursky Edition

Friday, October 28, 2011 | | 0 comments
In honor of Stachursky hosting concerts on the West Coast here's one of my favorites (yes, I admit I like some of his songs ;)

When Eloping Starts to Look Very Tempting

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | | 0 comments
So I'm at that place in wedding planning when I'm starting to understand why people elope. Planning a wedding is tough, with a lot of emotions, money, family dynamics and decisions involved. Some brides may have a better knack for this stuff, but I'm definitely feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Then again, I think eloping wouldn't necessarily be the answer to our problems (just imagining our parents reactions terrifies me a bit) but when I see beautiful elopements like these I just can't help but wonder...

Images via the superbly talented Nick Radford

Time To Jam to Some More Recent Disco Polo

Friday, October 21, 2011 | | 0 comments

A Reminder of the True Meaning of Marriage

Monday, October 17, 2011 | | 0 comments
Copyright: Ginger Wiltbank @ The Amateur Writer

Said Yes to the Dress!

Thursday, October 13, 2011 | | 0 comments
Soo after many trials and tribulations with this whole wedding dress business, I finally said yes to a dress!! With the help of my sisters and mama of course :) There really is SO MUCH PRESSURE on a bride when it comes to choosing a dress. I never really felt that until it was finally time to pull the trigger and decide. That's when it dawned on me. Holy sh*t. This is the dress I'm gonna be married in. And that ladies and gentlemen is when things got real.

It wasn't an easy decision for me. Did I mention I hate making decisions?? So after several visits to various bridal salons, some persuasive opinions from my sisters and a firm desire to stick to a decision-making deadline, I finally got my dress! It's weird to describe how I feel exactly: excited, relieved yet also a bit nervous and anxious. The list goes on. All I know is that at the end of the day, the most important thing is I'm getting married! Holla!! My awesome fiancé will absolutely love whatever I'm wearing and I will rock my dress like nobody's business ;)

Are You Bored Yet?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 | | 0 comments
OK, let's be honest here. When you have more than a year to plan a wedding, you have several months of wedding-related discussions. From colors to music to flowers, etc, etc. Which leads me to my point: are you bored yet? As fascinating as your wedding sounds to you in your head (or at least mine does to me ha!) it really isn't that interesting to other people. My rational mind knows this and I try to keep the wedding talk at bay. So listen up brides and grooms, that is why you have each other: to vent and talk and talk and talk some more about your wedding till ya turn blue. But for your friends' and families' sakes, try to change the topic from time to time! (I am actively trying this advice myself :)

Image via

Disco Polo Friday!

Friday, September 30, 2011 | | 0 comments
This one is a little bit different. It's not exactly disco polo but it's definitely played at many Polish weddings and with good reason, it's awesome! :)

The Over-Budget Dress

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 | | 0 comments
The all-powerful wedding dress God — Randy of Say Yes to The Dress

So when you're getting married, the dress is a pretty big deal. So they say anyway. They also say not to try on dresses that are out of your price range. And now I know exactly why.  Damn you Randy (of Say Yes to The Dress fame) you are so freakin right!!
It all started out innocently enough. During an impromptu Los Angeles roadtrip I suggested to my friends that maybe we should check out wedding dresses, for fun of course. Since this was the only time I could shop with my friends I figured why the hell not? So off we went to a land of white, flowy creations. I instructed everyone to grab a dress they wanted me to try on, since this was just for fun, price point was not really discussed except "don't pick out some crazy dress for $10,000."

And so it began. Just like on the famed TV show, my friends sat outside my dressing room while I modeled our choices. Each dress received feedback from my judging panel, some bad, some good, and all around entertaining.

Disco Polo Friday!

Friday, September 23, 2011 | | 0 comments

It's Friday! Disco Polo Time

Friday, September 16, 2011 | | 0 comments
Here's another great selection, provided to me by a fellow disco polo connoisseur. This is a little different from the typical beats but still fantastically cheesy. Enjoy!

Wedding Dress Sizes Are Crazy

Thursday, September 15, 2011 | | 0 comments

As if wedding dress shopping isn't stressful enough, the evil wedding world people decided that making dresses absolutely tiny is a good idea. Say you're a size 6 in regular clothes, guess what? In the wedding dress world, you are more like a 10 maybe a 12. Now, I'm usually not one of those girls that fixates on a number but c'mon people! Couldn't they do the opposite and make me pretend I'm a smaller size??

And if you happen to be a curvier gal, choosing a dress is nearly impossible. It's pretty hard to imagine what a dress would look like on you if you can't even try on the sample for a sneak peek. Needless to say, it's frustrating. Wedding planning takes you on many emotional journeys. Some days you have it all together. And some days you want to curl up into a ball and cry. So, wedding world take note, let's try to make our lives easier why don't ya and make wedding dresses true to size! :)

Image via http://weddingdress-factoryoutlet.co.uk/

To Hire a Wedding Planner or Not?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 | | 0 comments

So when I first began this planning process I thought I could handle it all on my own. It seems easy enough right? Find venue, choose date, etc, etc. But then all of a sudden you realize all the details that are involved. There's the colors, the cake, the dress, the decorations, the flowers, accommodations, transportation...well you get my drift. There's simply an incredible amount of decisions you have to make, things you have to take care of and suddenly your head is spinning. Enter a wedding planner.

I'd never thought of myself as the type of bride that would ever hire one but damnit after several months of doing this wedding crap I started to consider the possibility. After all, even the most DIY, hippie-ish weddings I'd seen on wedding blogs all suggested that hiring someone is a smart move. So why not me, I thought?

Every situation is different. Some couples may have tons of friends and family willing to help with wedding stuff. But honestly, I'm sure even the most well-intentioned friends and family will get sick of talking about and doing things for your wedding. That's the beauty of a wedding planner/coordinator, they're paid to do it so you can blab to them about your wedding in painstaking detail and boss them around to your heart's content.

We're still not 100% decided, though I'm still dreaming of one. Either way, if you're thinking of hiring someone and you can afford it, I say go for it! They're truly there to help you and make sure the day goes by great. In my opinion, paying for that peace of mind is totally worth it.

Disco Polo Friday! A true gem

Friday, September 9, 2011 | | 0 comments
While searching for a pick for disco polo Friday, I came across this true gem. Words cannot describe.

Photographer Finalized!

By far the toughest thing in this whole process has been choosing a photographer. Instead of poring over bridal magazines looking at dresses and colors, I have been obsessed with finding the right photographer. After all, this is the person that captures the most important day of your life! I couldn't stop searching. Every pretty photo I saw, I frantically emailed the photographer asking them for their pricing. *Sidenote: Really wish they would just list their prices on their websites!
Early on, my heart was crushed. I found out that the photographer that I had dreamed about was way out of our price range. As in about $8,000 over it. Bar none, photography has been THE most important to me when it came to wedding planning. But realistically, I couldn't blow that much on the pictures or else there wouldn't be much left over in the budget for the rest of the wedding. That's when reality hit me and I realized that I would need to narrow down my search and focus on great, talented photogs that were still within our budget. That's the great thing about photos, they're completely subjective. Everyone chooses a photographer that features a style that they like with a budget they're comfortable with. For us, (and by us I mean me because I was the one obsessing over this not the patient fiancé but hey) it was about finding someone with a unique vision that connected with us and would be able to capture the memories of our day.
I'm happy to report that we finally found them! The extremely talented Delbarr Moradi will be taking our photos and we couldn't be more excited! (Again, my excitement is probably just a touch bigger than fiancé haha but he's still happy that I'm happy.) In an interesting turn of events, Delbarr's own wedding was photographed by my first choice, the very talented but very expensive Jose Villa. Her wedding was a few years ago and his prices have gone up since his popularity has skyrocketed but I kind of took it as a sign that it was all meant to be :)

Photo courtesy of my new iPhone :)

Love sweet Love

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 | | 0 comments

So we're a few months into our wedding planning now and things have been moving along (fairly) smoothly. However, it was another couple that had some big news to share this past weekend. Labor Day festivities brought a pleasant surprise when I found out another one of my friends had gotten engaged!!
I'm so excited for her and her fiancé and wish them all the best on their journey together! This upcoming year will be a really exciting time for all of us and it's great that we can go through this craziness together. Love certainly is a powerful thing and I think happy married couples will be the greatest end result you can ask for :)

Image via layoutsparks.com

Disco Polo Friday

Friday, September 2, 2011 | | 0 comments
The latest, enjoy!

Wedding Drama

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | | 0 comments

So far into our wedding planning we've had to make a few big decisions — venue, date and we're thisclose to finalizing our photographer (finally!) And I've had a couple months of experience to deal with all these wedding shenanigans.
What I didn't plan for was the drama. I know, I know. Who am I to think that a wedding would be drama-free? Clearly not realistic I suppose. Because simply put it's impossible. Unless you elope — but then again with that comes potential drama from the aftermath. What it comes down to is that a wedding is a BIG deal. And with a big event, inevitably comes drama. Friends and family that love you and want the best for you won't always see to eye to eye. This is why it's extremely important for the bride and groom to speak up and be vocal about what they want! This is tough when you're more mellow and laidback, but when it comes to weddings, especially yours, speak up and let those around you know what you need/want.
The same goes for delegating tasks that you can't handle to do on your own. Planning a wedding is hard and you can use all the help that you can get. After all, you want to look back on your engagement as a happy time in your life and not a period of stress and anxiety. Well maybe just a little bit of stress ;)

Disco Polo Friday!

Friday, August 26, 2011 | | 0 comments
Feeling a little uninspired today and wasn't sure which disco polo sensation to post, but luckily a quick YouTube search pulled out this gem :) Enjoy!

Big Fat Polish Wedding Number 2

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 | | 0 comments
So the first wedding was fantastic and the second one was equally great! The wedding also began with a traditional Roman Catholic church ceremony, followed by a rockin' reception.
the beautiful church

But before the newlyweds could leave the church, they were showered with coins! Traditionally, this was seen as a way for the couple to have a prosperous marriage.

Newlyweds picking up their dough ;)

This wedding also featured the "gate" that prevented the newlyweds from leaving the church area. This time though, it was a human chain! And those that assisted with the chain received a special treat, a bottle of what else...vodka!

The beginning of the reception was marked by the bride and groom's official entrance and immediately followed by the bread and salt ceremony. After a celebratory toast, the couple threw their glasses over their shoulders, shattering them in the process. (Not sure what this symbolizes exactly but I'm guessing for good luck?) Either way, the guests cheered and clapped the newlyweds as the reception officially got underway.

An element of the reception that was present at both weddings was a special dedication to the parents of the couple, thanking them for their support and guidance and featuring a special gift for them. Both sets of parents received an album that featured photographs of the newlyweds from the time they were babies right up to just before their wedding. It was a touching, visual display of their lives — perfect for a parent to reminisce over and look back on the fond memories.

At around midnight, it was time for the oczepiny. The bride sat on the dance floor, facing her guests and the maid of honor removed her veil, officially marking the bride's entrance into the married club! Then all the single ladies danced around the bride until she threw her veil and a lucky gal caught it. And then it's the grooms turn! In this case, he threw a tie over his shoulders as the single guys behind him scrambled to catch it!

The ladies waiting to catch the veil!  

And now it's time for the guys!

Another fun part of Polish weddings is the money dance and this wedding was no different. The bride danced with guests who generously donated money to the newlywed couple for the privilege of dancing with the beautiful bride!

Of course there was plenty of food and drinks at this celebration as well! And a dance floor that was packed the whole night. Once again, a fantastic time was had by all and the night ended all too quickly. All in all, I was thrilled to attend these weddings and see what a true Polish wedding was like in the Motherland. Needless to say, my head is filled with amazing ideas and traditions that I will try to incorporate into our own celebration :)

Disco Polo Friday!

Friday, August 19, 2011 | | 0 comments
In honor of the Polish weddings I recently attended, today's disco polo pick is the famous: "Jedzie Pociąg Z Daleka" by Ryszard Rynkowski. 

Wedding Planning Confessions

Thursday, August 18, 2011 | | 0 comments
Trying not to be THIS kind of bridezilla bride! haha

So ever since I've entered this crazy world of wedding planning I've vowed to march to the beat of my own drum. To make decisions based on what my fiancé and I want and not what the rest of the wedding world dictates. To plan a day that will be about US. But alas, I've found that this is easier said than done.

And I have a confession to make. As much as I said wedding blogs are a big no-no, I look at them. Like constantly. Damnit I can't help it, the pictures are pretty and a part of me totally wants to steal all those girls' weddings but hey. Haha. So there, the secret is out! I look at wedding blogs and you know what sometimes they do give me some good ideas, sometimes they make me cry (like this wedding! seriously ladies grab your Kleenex) and sometimes I have to bring myself back to Earth and remind myself that I'm planning OUR wedding, which is totally unique to who we are as a couple. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to channel my inner bridezilla to make these pretty things come to life! ;)

Big Fat Polish Wedding Number One

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 | | 0 comments
Flying high on our way to Poland!

The gorgeous church where the weddings took place

As promised here is my full recap from wedding #1. So the fiancé and I really cut it close in terms of flight times, as in we flew in at 12:30 pm and the wedding started at 5 pm. But luckily for us we made it (by a hair) but we made it!
The wedding began with a traditional church service after which the newlyweds greeted all their guests outside the church. Then came an element I wasn't familiar with. Apparently, it's traditional to create a "gate" to block the exit of the bride and groom from the church. This gate can be made out of anything, a human chain, items or in this case interlocking umbrellas. Just a fun way to get the festive atmosphere started!

Blocking the newlyweds way with an umbrella "gate"
The happy couple made it through their umbrella gate fairly quickly and we headed to the reception to let the real fun begin! As I mentioned in my previous posts, Polish weddings feature lots of food and vodka. Naturally, this one was no different! The couple also personalized their vodka bottles with a sweet message for their guests, which I thought was a really cute way to communicate with everyone (not to mention an amazing attention to detail!)

Personalized vodka bottles
The reception continued with lots of dancing (and eating and drinking of course). And then came the games, an element of Polish weddings that I love! That's right during the reception, guests played several fun games that kept everyone entertained (also a great idea for people that maybe aren't too keen on the dancing) and there were prizes to boot! From a modified version of musical chairs (where participants had to grab items before trying to snag a seat) to other unique contests, the games really added a fun touch that you'd probably never find at weddings stateside. (Editor's note: I'm shamelessly stealing these ideas for our wedding!!)

Round and round the chairs we go..
All too quickly, at around 5 am, the night was over. It was awesome to see all my family members and take part in this beautiful wedding! And seeing this real Polish wedding gave me some great ideas for our own big day. An added bonus: this was the first time my entire immediate family was back in Poland since we emigrated 19 years ago. Great times all around :)

Polish Wedding Roundup: Things I Learned

Monday, August 15, 2011 | | 3 comments

Filled to the brim with pure Polish goodness: vodka
Here comes the party train!

After a whirlwind vacation in Poland and Spain, I'm finally back stateside and ready to reflect on all the Polish wedding goodness. I learned that I have a lot to learn about Polish weddings! Eesh here I was moonlighting as some wedding blogger when I was missing all these integral elements of a big, fat Polish wedding extravaganza. But rest assured I gathered the necessary knowledge from my born and bled Polish countrymen and am ready to share.

  • There is tons of food, no literally tons. During the course of a Polish wedding you will be served approximately 132049 courses, or at least this is what it feels like. In order to sustain wedding guests for an entire night of revelry, the bride and groom provide copious amounts of Polish delicacies from pierogi to bigos to galaretki, barszcz, krokiety and every other combination of szynki, salatki and everything in between. And of course bread. Lots and lots of bread.
  • Alcohol is simple. Vodka with a side of juice. Shot glasses and vodka bottles adorn the tables and there's no such thing as a mixed drink or beer. No, no my friend. During a Polish wedding you drink what the natives drink: czysta. Which means vodka in its purest form, straight up.
  • Prepare to dance. All. Night. Long. 
  • Prepare to sing "Sto Lat" All. Night. Long. Probably about eighteen million times and then one more time for good measure.
  • Each time the guests sing "Sto Lat" the bride and groom make out. Yep, each time. Happy smooching!
  • Dancing to "Jedzie Pociag z Daleka" in a train formation once isn't enough. Guests will make the train formation several times in the evening, while the head of the train twists and turns at incredible speeds trying to get the drunk wedding guests even drunker. 
  • If you survive this, you get to do it all again the next day! :) 
Both weddings I attended were fantastic and gave me tons of ideas for our own Polish wedding next year. There's so many fun and unique elements that a full recap of each wedding is coming up!

P.S. On a side note I also learned that trying to blog while having limited access to internet is not easy. It's even more difficult when you're constantly distracted by delicious food, beverages, scenic views and grandmas that won't stop feeding you. So my apologies, I will faithfully post from here on :)

Disco Polo Friday: Old School Jam

Friday, August 12, 2011 | | 0 comments
Another oldie but goodie. Not exactly disco polo but close enough to the genre to get a shoutout. Enjoy!

Disco Polo Friday: International Edition 2.0

Friday, August 5, 2011 | | 0 comments
Thanks to a great recommendation from my fellow disco-polo loving Polish friend, the latest pick:

Disco Polo Friday!! International Edition

Friday, July 29, 2011 | | 0 comments
In honor of our Ibiza trip, a disco polo-esque song, but not quite the traditional stuff :) 

Welcome to the Motherland!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | | 0 comments
One big, fat Polish wedding down, one to go! The wedding was awesome of course! Will have a full recap as soon as I can flush the vodka out of my system (haha I kid, I kid...well mostly!)

In the meantime, I'm enjoying our time here in the Motherland: exploring, sightseeing and eating and drinking to my heart's delight. :)

Disco Polo Fridays! :)

Friday, July 22, 2011 | | 0 comments
Today's pick came up on my iPod the other day, so I couldn't help but post! Enjoy!!

We're leaving for Poland today!! :)

A Real Polish Wedding in the Motherland

Thursday, July 21, 2011 | | 0 comments

I'm so excited to be going to Poland to attend not one, but two, big fat Polish weddings!! I can't wait to see two of my cousins get married (only two weeks apart!) and spend time with my family. It's going to be a great time for all and we will certainly be taking notes and hopefully getting inspired for our own big day :)

Just a few hours till we're leaving on a jet plane! 

Wedding date finalized!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 | | 0 comments

Whew!! Who knew that setting the wedding date would be so tough? After a couple glitches we have finally decided on the day that we are getting married! (Tip: if you want to get married in June, act fast!! lol) As a good friend told me, whether you had a specific date in mind or not, in the end it doesn't really matter. Your wedding date — whether it's decided based on availability of your venue, family or friends being able to make it, or simply a random day that you choose — will from that day forward be your anniversary and the day you reflect on the beginnings of your union.

Now that we finally have this out of the way everyone tells me wedding planning should be fairly smooth sailing. We'll see about that, but I am definitely excited and looking forward to the day that I become a Mrs :)

P.S. It's pretty obvious what the date is, right? :)

Image via Cafe Press

Post-wedding getaway vehicle?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | | 0 comments
Imagine riding out of your wedding in this?! haha

Image from Juri Zaech via Ruby Press

Love is in the air

Monday, July 18, 2011 | | 2 comments

When you're engaged, you seek advice from magazines, blogs, friends, family members, etc. But one place where you'll find a great source of support, inspiration and understanding is a fellow bride-to-be! It's so nice to have someone you know going through the planning process. Lucky for me, I have not one but two girls in my life who got engaged around the same time as we did. I'm so excited and happy for both of them and wish them all the best on their upcoming nuptials :)

I'm sure we each will have a unique way of approaching wedding planning (mine is venting through this blog lol) but it's a great feeling knowing that we're going through the same thing! Though styles, locations and guest counts may differ; the ups and downs of wedding planning are one and the same. We will have hiccups along the way as we work to put together meaningful celebrations for us and our loved ones, but at the end of the day we'll be marrying the men we love, the best part of it all. ♥

P.S. Can't wait to enjoy some nice strong cocktails and chat endlessly about wedding stuff with girls who hopefully aren't sick of hearing about it yet haha!

Disco Polo Fridays! An All-Time Favorite

Friday, July 15, 2011 | | 0 comments
Here is an all-time favorite disco polo jam - Jestes Szalona!


Solo Wedding Dress Shopping

Thursday, July 14, 2011 | | 0 comments

So apart from choosing a date and venue, most people will probably tell you that THE DRESS is the next most important aspect of a wedding. I've heard all sorts of crazy things like:
"Your dress will set the tone for the entire wedding!"

"You have to pick your dress to complement your venue."

 I mean really?? C'mon people it's just a dress. That you wear once. End of story.

I didn't give the dress any thought whatsoever, but inevitably when friends, acquaintances or co-workers asked about the wedding, the dress topic was always brought up. Now I have watched my fair share of Say Yes to the Dress (it's addicting don't judge!) so I know that the DRESS has this weird effect of making even the most normal girls go batsh*t crazy. But I'm determined that this won't be me! That is why, I've decided to tackle this problem head on.

Embracing the madness

Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | | 0 comments
Clearly we won't go this crazy but still...
As an engaged couple, everywhere you turn you will hear advice from people about the wedding planning process. Some of it is good, some of it bad, some may not apply to you, but you'll hear it anyway. But a good piece of advice I read recently is pretty simple: embrace the madness.

Let me back up a bit by saying that one of my biggest gripes with this whole wedding planning thing is accepting the fact that it's all about us! Is that weird? I mean yes, of course our families and friends are very happy and excited about us getting married, but it's us as a couple that are the main event! Being the center of attention is not something that I'm used to.

It's a strange concept to me that people we know are willing to go above and beyond, help plan, coordinate, etc., and fly thousands of miles just for us! I mean we're not that big a deal (aside from in our own heads of course ha!)

So I'm trying to embrace the madness, in a way at least, because I'm only planning on doing this once! And everyone tells me to soak it in and enjoy the moment! When else can you do such cool things like come up with your dream items and people will actually buy them for you?! (I'm looking at you registry!) So I'm doing my best, embracing the moment and seeing where this crazy ride takes us :) and a big thank you to everyone in advance! 

We're going to Ibiza!!

Monday, July 11, 2011 | | 0 comments
Ibiza!! We'll be there soon! :)
So today was kind of one of those blah days (then again what Monday isn't!?) and I wasn't feeling very inspired to blog. But then again this could be due to the fact that in just over a week, the fiancé and I will be departing to the Motherland for two big, fat Polish weddings!! (Two of my cousins are getting married within two weeks of each other.) I couldn't be more excited to see my family members getting married and will definitely be taking notes since they will be having true Polish weddings after all! In between the celebrations we're jetting of to Spain and will be soaking in the sun in Malaga, Barcelona and Ibiza!! Needless to say, I'm dreaming of the image above and trying to focus for the next few days... :) 

Photo via Travel Web Central 

Disco Polo Fridays!

Friday, July 8, 2011 | | 0 comments
The latest Euro trash selection for your enjoyment!

Flower men vs. Flower girls

Thursday, July 7, 2011 | | 0 comments

A flower man? Sure! Why not?? If you're scratching your head as to what the hell I'm talking about, read on to find out!

So far in the wedding planning process I've developed some fairly strong opinions about the wedding "traditions" you should follow. i.e. don't follow them. haha! But seriously, though I'm a big believer in many wedding practices, once I started reading/hearing about all the things you should and should not do at a wedding I found myself confused. What if some of these traditions simply don't apply to you? What if I don't know a 5-year-old girl that can serve as our flower girl? Or a cute little kid who can be the ring bearer? When I came across this article in the NY Times it was like a validation that no, I am not crazy. These aren't things you HAVE to do. Just things that some people do. 

Nowadays, more and more people are embracing their individuality and doing their weddings their way, which is a tradition I can definitely get behind. The article talks about the growing number of flower men or flower fellas, lovingly tossing the petals down the aisle. This is a sight that I'd definitely love to see. I mean who would forget a wedding where a grown man was walking down the aisle with a basket full of flower petals? (umm I think no one!) All in all though, I love reading about things like this because it confirms my belief that every wedding should be unique and tailored to the couple, not a cookie-cutter version of what "weddings should be."

*Now accepting flower man applications, for information please inquire within ;)

Image via Google

Must Read: Spousonomics

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | | 0 comments

While reading the hilarious anti-wedding, wedding blog East Side Bride I came across the author's review of this book. Since my Kindle was within arm's reach, I quickly purchased a copy and boy am I glad I did. I highly recommend it for any couple, married or not, as it offers some fantastic insight about how to manage the day-to-day issues that come up with any long-term relationship. As the title states, the book uses "economics to master love, marriage and dirty dishes" and it does all this and more. The authors took basic economic principles and applied them to real-life problems couples face; i.e. husband not helping out with housework, wife nagging husband to help more to no avail, work taking over your marriage, not having enough time as a couple, etc. (And yes it covers that topic that I will not mention here because my mom may read this blog.)

Now, I am not usually into reading books about economics (usually a little over my head) but this was such a great read and so hilarious that I think anyone about to get hitched will gain some great advice. It really reaffirmed my belief that marriage isn't all about the love, it's about hard work, compromise and meeting somewhere in the middle during the ups and downs your marriage will undergo. Now my next mission is to get the future hubz to read this (he's not a big fan of books, but a page a day till our wedding shouldn't be too bad hehe) and I'm all set :)

Read more about Spousonomics here.
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