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.