Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Farewell BSB Post: the Reveal!

Ashley + Matt
July 5, 2013
Brooklyn, NY  |  Brooklyn Navy Yard’s BLDG 92.

What was your budget?
Our budget was $20,000. While in most areas of the country this budget will go far and can even be a bit lavish, in New York City, $20k is practically peanuts.

Read more at the Budget Savvy Bride!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Remember that time we got married?

July 5th finally arrived! And then it was over. Now we're married. And happy. And that's super cool.

This is my favorite shot. Thanks, Adena!

A HUGE thank you to everyone who helped to make July 5th fun, memorable, unique and everything my new husband and I wanted! Those people include (but are certainly not limited to!)...

Our officiant, "Father Phil," without whom we would literally not be married
Our families - dads, moms, brothers and sister. We love you.  
Francesca and Marissa (literally the only two members of our bridal party not related to us), you two kept me sane. THANK YOU! 
Our incredible photographer, Adena of Studio A Images. Book her!  
BLDG 92 and the entire staff at Ted & Honey and Parker Red, especially the patient Joanne 
My wedding planner/day of savior, Meena and 5th Avenue Weddings 
Our friends and family who traveled from near and far to celebrate with us

Can you tell we had fun?

Now on to other big things!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

WedPics: Where Tech Meets Practical

I love candid photos. So much so that our wonderful photographer (and good friend from college!), Adena of Studio A Images, and I have discussed a minimum number of posed photos. Especially serious ones. Actually, unless they are faux serious. I definitely want a shot of the wedding party looking like secret agents or something.

I recently stumbled upon the WedPics app and it's going to be a great addition to the wedding. The app allows us to keep all of our guests' wedding photos in one place so everyone near and far can see the crazy fun we're having! So if you have an iPhone or Android, download the app (just search "WedPics" in the app store) before the wedding (I don't know the wifi availability at the venue) so you can get snappin' on July 5th!  Oh, and it's totally free to use.

You can connect via Facebook to the app, or create your own login with your email. Our wedding id to start viewing the "memory lane" photos the Binder clan has already started posting (little Matty is SO CUTE!) is gillenbinder.

A little preview:

Monday, June 10, 2013

I Wanna Rock!

Music has played an enormous part in the planning of this wedding. Matt and I are so excited to share our musical stylings with our friends and family (especially the surprises we have planned!) -- although our tastes could not be more different.



Both favorites of ours, and both not especially wedding-friendly. We have a great mix of other favorites already planned, but we need your help! What do you want to hear? Comment below!

25 days left!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Home Stretch -- Six Weeks!

If you can believe it (I certainly can't), we're in the home stretch here in the QB-BG household. There's less than SIX. WEEKS. LEFT.

Many people have asked me what is left to do and lately I have answered with a non-comittmital "not that much..." I'm not so sure I mean that, though. These next few weeks will be insanely busy, I know. I've braced myself. ... I think.

The countdown is on!

In other news, we got our wedding bands! Check out my post on BSB! http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/and-the-wedding-band-played-on-at-the-outlets/

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Showered with love

These past two weekends I've felt like an awfully lucky girl.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my maid of honor, Francesca, who hosted a lovely, low-key gathering of some of my favorite people to celebrate my upcoming nuptials.

Then, my mama hosted a ragin' party of games and bridal hats for me/us in my hometown. It was so nice for me and Matt to spend time with our families (who met for the very first time!) and remember why we're so grateful to have such wonderful, generous people in our lives. Thank you to my adorable mother and her BFF for making me feel so loved!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

That one time... when I DIY'd....

Well, I did it. I DIY’d. The bride who only planned to DIY her cake. But I didn’t do it alone! Oh, no! I enlisted the help of my maid of honor/BFF, and, eventually, my fiancĂ©.

A few weeks back, while looking for wedding decor inspiration in Pinterest, I came across this DIY tutorial for colorful Anthropologie-inspired scroll garland. The tutorial seemed really easy to follow, and after pricing out the colored card stock that I needed (recycled, of course!) at a few local stationery stores and online, trying this on my own seemed like a great budget-friendly decor option. 

Read more at http://thebudgetsavvybride.com/i-try-diy-paper-scroll-garland

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Where to Stay...

No Sleep 'Til... Brooklyn!

Staying the night in Brooklyn post-wedding celebration? Don't forget to book at the Sheraton or the Aloft! Book your room by May 20th to secure the wedding block discount!

Sheraton Brooklyn
Aloft Brooklyn

Friday, May 3, 2013

By Invite Only

What helps a couple set the stage for their wedding better than their invitations? For this reason, I was very excited to take on the task of creating an invitation for our nuptials that would give our guest a glimpse of what they would be in for on July 5th. As I’ve mentioned before here at BSB, Matt and I are all about bringin’ the fun. We want our friends and family to walk away from our wedding day saying, man, that was a great wedding! At T-10 weeks (eeeep!!), I’d say we’re well on our way to accomplishing that goal.

Read more here at BSB... 

A HUGE thanks to August Park Creative for designing us such incredible invitations!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gettin' Crafty with It

A sneak preview of my first wedding DIY project... Or, wherein Matt schools me and Francesca on making paper garland:

... stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

DIY for the Never Do It Yourself-er

I admit it — I’m not really one to do it herself. I am not a crafty person. I am in awe of crafty people. For instance, my almost mother-in-law. If she pins something to Pinterest, she will actually make it. And make it well. She’s like a MacGyver with a sewing machine. I made a pillow once in 7th grade. Other than the occasional button-to-shirt, which always looks a little bit off after, that’s all I can handle. Generally, I am of the mindset that if I have a choice between making pad thai and ordering it from a place down the street who makes it all day long and is essentially a pad thai expert, why would I risk putting the wrong amount of Sriracha in my food and potentially making it inedible. Being a New Yorker has spoiled me a bit in that way, I suppose — when literally anything can be steps from your door, you have to be pretty motivated to DIY.

Read more on The Budget Savvy Bride...

(not me)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A place to lay your head after partying the night away

Need or want a place to lay your pretty little heads after you've celebrated the marriage of two insanely awesome people madly in love? Well you're in luck!! I've secured room blocks at two lovely hotels in the Bk -- Sheraton Brooklyn and Aloft Brooklyn. The hotels happen to be next door to one another and less than one mile from the place where it's all goin' down, BLDG 92. 

If you're interested in booking, you can feel free to call either hotel (via the same number) to reserve a room -- 1.800.325.3535. Please let them know that you're with the Gillen/Binder wedding and you will be eligible for the (pretty significant) discount that I secured. 

A single king bed room is $179.00, and a two double bed room is $209. These rates are applicable on 7/4 and 7/5.

Or maybe you prefer a little less human interaction? Follow these links to reserve a room in our block directly from these exclusive Matt and Ashley are so cool urls!

More information on each hotel can be found on the links below too:

Friday, March 29, 2013

And then there are times when you remember why you're having a wedding

I won't lie, Matt and I weren't always on the same page about this wedding shindig. Over the last two years, I had really warmed to the idea of eloping. Primarily to avoid the stress of planning on a limited budget, but also because eloping seemed uniquely us. Matt, on the other side of this coin, saw us surrounded by family and our closest friends just enjoying ourselves and each other. When it's put like that, it was an easy decision.

A lot of elements about wedding planning have been challenging for me. Finding a dress was no fun. Finding a venue that we loved and could afford was even worse. But now that the biggest pieces of the puzzle are in place, it's easier for me to enjoy the process. I still find myself saying geez why can't we just be married already? often, but I've gotten excited about some things.

Our invitations, by August Park Creative. They're so obscenely cool that even Matt gave a reasonably enthusiastic yeah, I like those! If you know my fiancé, you know this is a big deal. He doesn't have an ounce of giddiness in him.

The music. Matt and I have had a great amount of entertainment in just tossing out ideas for our wedding playlist. References to 80's movies we grew up with? Obviously. The soundtrack we've chosen so far is pretty damn epic. It's pure fun. And maybe my new husband will even dance to some of it!

Alright, July 5th, let's do this.

Friday, March 15, 2013

A View from the Top

Our good friend Derek took this amazing photo from the top of BLDG 92. Do you see why I love Brooklyn?

Click to enlarge

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Venue: .... and the (lucky) winner is!


After a much longer process than either of us anticipated, Matt and I have finally found our wedding venue! In the end, it was ironically down to a space in Queens or in Brooklyn. And for as much as I might like to say that I'm the bride, so my borough won, that was not the case. We both like that the place where we'll get married has, overall, a unique New York feel. (And the menu will include Matt's all-time favorite food, cheese ravioli, so he was game.)

See you at BLDG 92!

Until July 5th rolls around, feel free to browse the site and see all of the history that the Brooklyn Navy Yard has to offer. While it may not have exposed brick walls, it's the perfect place for a couple of New Yorkers to drop anchor (yes, I intend to use a lot of maritime metaphors in the next few months...)!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dressy Dressiness Story Time of Dresses!

My second guest post with The Budget Savvy Bride is up! Read, comment, shower me with compliments! Or at least tell me I'm not crazy for buying my wedding dress online...

The best part of this whole wedding dress experience has been that my wonderful brother purchased it for me! So kind, and so much more special. Thanks, Skidoo!!

And now.... how I said yes to the dress!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tales of Wedding Planning: The Exposed Brick Edition

I love exposed brick. LOVE. IT. When I close my eyes and picture the place where Matt and I tie the proverbial knot, I see beautiful, rustic exposed brick all around us. There are a bunch of people there, too, of course, but that's a given.

One of the many reasons, other than aesthetics (a word, by the way, that I've used more in the two months since I started planning a wedding than I have since I first learned the word), is that exposed brick oozes history. I love the idea that we're saying "I do" where other things have happened. That we're a part of something bigger. Cosmically. Or something.

It also marries (get it?!) masculine and feminine. It's kind of dark and brooding, while also being dramatic. And very un-wedding-ish. No tiara required.

When I show Matt a new potential venue online, our conversation sounds something like this:

Me: Oooh, check this place out! It looks great!
Him: [stares at me blankly] Offff course it does, it has exposed brick!
Me: Your point being? I LIKE IT!
Him: Really? Couldn't tell.
So while we may be thismuchcloser to finding a venue (I will not let this break me!)... exposed brick it will have. Maybe I will kiss it after I kiss my groom.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My first guest post!

I'm so proud to tell everyone who follows QBBG that I'll be guest blogging with The Budget Savvy Bride through the wedding! I'm eager to share my experiences of planning a limited budget wedding in New York style with a larger audience.

Check out my first guest blog post, which went up today! I'll be blogging there about once a week through July, so be sure to check back. Help me achieve my goal of becoming their most popular blogger in history (or, ya know, just this month... I'm not picky!).


Friday, January 25, 2013

The cart-before-the-horse bride

It's not much of a secret that I'm not a big fancypants kind of wedding gal. I'm just not. Will the chairs match the napkins that match the invitations that match the paper towels in the restrooms? This bores me. Although, I totally get why some people love it. There are probably only a handful of days in one's life that you ever really have control of, and a wedding day is probably one of them. I may be a Type-A personality in many, many other things, this ain't it.

What I have done, however, is taken my Type-A budgeting skills and rocked out on some dollars and cents/sense for the big day. Budgeting moy importante when you're aiming to pay for most of your wedding yourself. In New York. The most expensive place in the universe.

After I mastered that budget, though, I found myself getting a little distracted. Like, I may have starting emailing creative geniuses I found on Etsy to create bridal party gifts. Before I have a venue for the bridal party to stand in. I'm THAT bride. The "oh, wouldn't it be amazing if I had yellow tulips in my bouquet because I loooove yellow tulips" chick who, as I mentioned, doesn't even have an aisle to walk down yet. I can check a good five things off my list that were scheduled for May right now. But where I'm going to host these 90 wedding guests? No idea.

Okay, so that's not true. I have an idea. Mostly. I've narrowed it down from a zillion places to, like, ten. 160 days to go!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Eco-Conscious Registries

As just about everyone who knows me knows, I am a bit of an environmentalist. And while making less of a negative impact on the planet is incredibly important to me, I've also been pretty excited to register for fun kitchen tools, fluffy bedding and the occassional "I'll probably never use that, but hey, I might and it looks super cool!" item. Other than marrying my best friend, registering may be the most important part of this wedding. Gifts, obviously, come a very distant second to that, though. Matt's awesome.

When I asked Matt if he'd like to help with the registries, our conversation went something like this:

Me: "I'm going to start our registries. Would you like to help, or do you not really care?"

Matt: "Well, I don't know what we need."

Me: "We need some things and we can upgrade on some others."

Matt: "Can we register for a bigger TV?"

Me: "Yes."

Matt: "Awesome. I've contributed."

Since we got engaged, I've devoured The Green Bride Guide. There are a lot of great suggestions for brides like me to avoid getting sucked into the $120 million a year wedding industry (I Googled that... that number is for real. Also, the average cost of a wedding in Manhattan is $72,000... yeah, I'll pass), and keep their weddings as eco-friendly as possible, regardless of budget.

Putting on my environmentalist hat first, and my "oooooh, that's pretty!" hat second, I've chosen three major retailers that have many eco-friendly/recycled/organic options. I love the items that I've chosen, and, if one of our guests chooses to get us a gift, I hope that they'll notice the green theme. I like that they have some options as well.

Crate & Barrel

Target (I even got to add a cute picture of us!)

West Elm wishlist

That was fun!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Setting the stage for July 2013, New York City

The wedding planning has begun. Rather than creating a new "wedding site" for our family, friends and foes to stay up to date on all things Gillen-Binder, the bride (that's me!) will be utilizing this blog as a landing spot for the G-B nuptuals.

Plus, I will occasionally post on my trials and tribulations of planning a New York wedding on a studio-apartment-sized budget. It will be fun! It will be challenging! I will get through it!

In the meantime...

July 2013 (that's six months from now! Weeee!)
New York, NY

It's going to be legen... wait for it!... dary.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Proposal

Alternate title: Spoiler alert! I say yes

Second alternate title: Didn't I tell you two years ago I was going to marry this guy?

Matt declared his eternal love for me and asked me to marry him on Christmas morning. I'm sure you can guess that I squealed a little bit. Or maybe a lot.

You want the story? Of course you do because it's adorable!

Rewind a few days to before the start of the holiday craziness, Matt texts me to say that one of my gifts hasn't arrived yet, and is in fact delayed until Christmas Eve day. No problem, I say. It's not his fault. He says that he was really looking forward to giving this gift to me at my mom's, where we were headed later that evening, and he's incredibly pissed that it's not here. Getting pissed at seemingly inconcequential things is decidedly un-Matt. I suspected something was up.

Christmas Eve day, as we're returning to New York after a visit in Pennsylvania (world travelers, we are), I casually ask why we're not stopping at his coworker's house (who agreed to sign for the package -- and wanted to verify earlier in the day that she was not, in fact, becoming a drug mule) first, so we could just park the car at our apartment after for the evening. He gave me an excuse about wanting to sit down at home for a few minutes and he'd get it later. Mentally I called BS.

He returns to our apartment later carrying a typically UPS box horizontally. He remarks that I may NOT touch the box because it has to be held only THIS way and especially carefully. At this point, I'm wondering if I was off-base and it's actually food of some kind. Not that I don't love food. He places the box on the far end of our couch and intends to go about our evening.

Obviously the first time he leaves the room, I take the opportunity to casually glance over to the box to see where it was shipped from. NO SUCH LUCK! Clearly my future husband knows me well.

On Christmas morning there's the box, wrapped in festive paper, STARING AT ME. Naturally, I want to rip it open first, but I do not. I wait. I am an incredibly patient person when I have to be. Or when I think my boyfriend may be proposing to me.

I unwrap the box last. He says that he needs to open the UPS box, as he wants to make sure everything is there. He does, and then opens the box within away from my line of sight. I'm trying to gauge his face but he's got that p-p-p-p-poker face. He reaches into the new box and pulls out....

A box of Godiva chocolates. Yum, but also, not QUITE what I was hoping Santa would bring me.

I say, thank you and smile. Because, really, what else can ya do, ya know?

Then he hands me a card. I ask if I can open it. Duh, yes, I can open it. On the inside of the envelope, I read,

"Love you very much. Will you be mine for all time?"

Then I start squealing. And then out comes the ring box.

I wait.

I wait some more.

A solid minute goes by and I am not speaking. I am not answering the question. In my defense, I didn't want to speak too soon and ruin whatever else he may be planning. I've been known to do this. I wanted to give him ample time to get full-on high school literary magazine mushy if he wanted to.

He stared back at me, quietly, and finally widens his eyes to indicate that he's actually waiting for an answer to the most important question he'll probably ever ask anyone.

And then I say yes. And I tear up. And I tell my future husband that I love him.

And that's the best Christmas present I've ever gotten.