Sunday, April 25, 2010

Why couldn't I be more like my college roommate?

And preplan my entire wedding?

I can honestly say that I was never the girl who dreamed of her big day. I have no idea what the different diamond cuts are (still, to this day, am clueless on this one), couldn't care less about which dress designer I wear, and never put everything together in a neat little book outlining what the big day should look like. This is precisely what my college roommate did. She had a scrapbook filled with different wedding ideas and when push came to shove, she got married in Disneyworld which probably made most of the decisions for her.

Why couldn't that be me? Why couldn't I have had a vision that would make all of this planning so much easier?

Bobby and I are having difficulty deciding what exactly it is we want. Do we hop a plane to Jamaica and only those who can make it share in our day? Or do we plan out a wedding that breaks the bank at a place that has the look that we want but can't really accommodate our guest list? Or, perhaps, we say F*CK it and get married in his parents backyard.

This is where we stand right now. What do I really want? marry the man I love and live happily ever after.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Harlan Coben is my hero

As if he hasn't played enough of a part in our relationship....Harlan Coben strikes again!

On Friday, Bobby had decided to finally send Harlan an email letting him know that outcome of the wonderfully devised proposal (per his request). Bobby was a little disappointed to get a bounce back saying that Harlan Coben's inbox was full. Much to our surprise, 5 minutes later he received an email back from Harlan asking if he could post our blog on his twitter and facebook.

And there ya have it folks! Once again Harlan Coben proves that he truly is my hero (If you remember back to the post about how Bobby and I met....this has significance).

I decided to leave you all with a passage from the book of Coben, Chapter 28, verse 284:
"The most important decision you'll ever make is who you marry...You have to love her more than anything in the world. But she has to love you just as much. Your priority should be her happiness, and her priority should be yours...Picture every day with the person. Picture paying bills with that person, raising children with that person, being stuck in a hot room with no air-conditioning and a screaming baby with that person...

And this is why Bobby's my person :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The biggest secret of far

Sometime towards the end of February we booked our trip down to Sarasota for my Spring Break. Bobby's Aunt Kathy has a condo down there and he had accumulated enough points through Continental so we barely paid anything to fly down. The game plan was for AK to pick us up from the airport late Friday night and we'd stay down there until Wednesday night. We'd drive AK to the airport on Tuesday and take the rental car back with us when our flight left on Wednesday. Seemed like a solid plan and I was more than excited to spend 5 days relaxing on the beach and coming back to school with a lovely tan.

Friday night my parents dropped us off at the airport and we were ready to spend a week relaxing....but of course our plane had to sit on the tarmac for an extra hour first, just for reality to get one more swift kick in. We got down to Sarasota a little after 10pm and began our drive back to AK's condo. At this point all I really wanted to do was crawl into bed and pass out.

And that's when we were greeted in the hallway by our friends with champagne glasses. AK had arranged for 3 of my friends from college, Bobby's soon to be best man and his gf, and the Liz's (Bobby's sister and sister's bff who is practically a part of the Olson family) to fly down for the weekend to surprise us and surprise us they did!

After the initial shock and excitement wore off, we headed into downtown to hit up a bar and get in a little dancing. Seeing everyone down there with us was like a shot of Red Bull and our initial groggyness had dissipated. The next day we all headed out to spend the day on the beach. It was a gorgeous day and we had a great time chatting it up while getting some sun. The water was warm, the beach wasn't too crowded, and the beverages were flowing.

Once everyone reached their optimal tomato-y color, we headed back to wash up and get ready for dinner. AK had booked a reservation at a great little Italian place right around the corner. It was a beautiful night and we sat outside to share in conversation and delicious food. The initial plan was to head to Siesta Key to go to some bars down there but we were enjoying the more mellow atmosphere and decided to head back to AK's for some more wine and good conversation.

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend having everyone down there to celebrate with us and a great surprise. AK did a fabulous job orchestrating an engagement weekend for us and I can't thank her enough for inviting our friends to share in the celebration. When the excitement died down, I realized we still had three more days on the beach :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Aruba, Jamaica, oooo I wanna take ya

The past couple of nights have left my mind whirling with ideas. As much as we absolutely LOVE reBar and the hospitality that they've shown's a logistical nightmare. People would be seated in all different rooms, it's in Brooklyn and our wedding would be at peak rush hour time in the city, and they don't have the kitchen to do a plated sit down dinner. Regardless of the fact that the food is amazing and the people are so wonderful, I'm having my doubts.

Monday was Bobby's birthday. We drove up to his parents for the traditional birthday dinner and Bobby shared a little quip about one of his clients that he had met with that day. This fellow is about 8 weeks from tying the Aruba. The whole shindig plus a 12 day honeymoon and a wedding planner is costing them about $13,000. $13000?!?!?! That's like....a third of our wedding budget. This got the wheels turning.

How realistic is it to have a destination wedding? So that got me thinking...this calls for a pro/con list.

Pros: Wedding on the beach, less expensive, intimate ceremony (the people we care about the most), complete package (flowers, cake, ceremony, reception, photographer, planner all included)

Cons: Not everyone can make it due to the added expense, legal red tape for marrying out of the country, planning a long distance wedding = little control

After surveying family members, it seems like they're all for it, but part of me is it fair to ask them to dish out the money to join us for a tropical wedding?

Bobby and I leave for Florida Friday evening and I'm hoping that this doesn't eat up my mind while we're relaxing on the beach for the week.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

It Better Be Good...

First, you find the girl. Check. Then you fall in love. Check again. Then you pick a ring…easy…another check. Then you ask the most important question you will ever ask in your life…

When trying to figure out how to pop the big Q I knew I needed to do two things – figure out a creative way of doing it as I was instructed “it better be good” – and the even harder part with my soon to be better half – making it a surprise.

The one thing that I knew for sure was that I wanted Melanie to be able to tell her friends the story of how I asked her to marry me, the appropriate “ooooos” and “awwws” would always follow. It was also important to me that the locations and such were all significant to us. After toying between the promenade in Edgewater and Fort Tryon I settled on the latter.

The next big question was when. Melanie’s sister, Heather, was pregnant and I wanted to ensure that they each had their time in the spotlight. Heather having her first child and Melanie getting engaged – so when CJ was supposed to be out by the end of the first weekend in March I narrowed it down to two days – March 27th with a rain date of April 3rd.

It was about two weeks before hand and I was still trying to figure out the perfect way to ask when Melanie informed me she was going to have a “girls night” on March 24th – the same day Harlan Coben was doing a book signing in Ridgewood. I look back on this idea hitting me like a cartoon where a light bulb goes on above the character’s head. A few months before while lying in bed Melanie had been joking around about how it would be nice if Harlan Coben had a good love story as he was the reason we had met. Two years before even meeting, while reading the book “The Final Detail” there was a section where the main character was talking with his dad about relationships and how choosing the woman you are going to marry is the most important decision of your life. It goes on for about two pages, and being the hopeless romantic I am, I dog-eared the page. So it hit me…why not see if I could somehow incorporate this book and our favorite author into the proposal. So Mel went out for girls night and I “went to Rotary” and secretly got the book signed.

I am fortunate enough to have most Fridays off from work and spent the day before the big one running around and getting things set. I bought six dozen roses and painstakingly pulled the petals off of each one. I premade our lunch and hid it in the vegetable drawer of the fridge and got Ralph to be my partner in crime.

The day had finally arrived, and though a bit chillier than I would have liked, the wheels were in motion. If I waited until the following week and it wound up raining, the proposal would have been pushed off until mid-May as the weekends get crazy from here on out. While Melanie got dressed I snuck the picnic blanket downstairs, packed the lunch and put everything in the back of the Jeep. We hit the road. My palms were sweaty but I managed to play it off. Melanie quickly figured out where we were heading and there was an unspoken sense of excitement in the air.

Sometimes Melanie is too smart for her own good so I had planned on making the day seem as much of a fake out as possible. We pulled into Fort Tryon and I grabbed the backpack…she knew I was up to something so as we strolled around the park I kept mentioning how we would probably be back a few times in the coming weeks and she should get use to it. We eventually settled under our tree and enjoyed our wraps and chocolate covered strawberries. After what seemed like an eternity to me, Melanie tired of waiting for me to just up and pull out the ring…or did she say it was too cold…we headed back to the car. Halfway back I realized I had “lost” my cell phone (which I had cleverly turned off right before we packed up). She immediately said lets call it – she was making this harder than it needed to be – but I convinced her we should retrace our steps. When we got back to our tree I got down on my knee and rummaged through the bag.

“I can’t find my phone but I found this book in here”…she opened it up…read the inscription and looked up in disbelief as I pulled out the ring. It took a few minutes of hugging and crying before I got enough of a head nod to know she was mine for life but it all went just as planned.

We drove home and while she went and got a spa manicure I had set up, I staged the champagne, candles and rose petals in the linen closet and went over the details one last time with Ralph. We had a great dinner at the Melting Pot in Westwood – our first date spot – and between dinner and desert I “went to the bathroom” to give Ralph the go ahead to set everything up. We arrived home to rose petals from the door to the bedroom and candles lighting the whole room.

I think its safe to say that it was better than good…it was perfect.

..and since all about the Final Detail…tonight we will be heading into dinner at rebar with both sets of parents and siblings to “officially” announce our engagement!