My best friend’s wedding

My bestie’s wedding was yesterday, and as maid of honor, I felt a lot of pressure for things to go smoothly. I’m taking some time now to breathe a huge sigh of relief. Everything went off without a hitch, the bride was radiant, and everyone (myself especially) had a blast. Now I can allot more time to think about my own upcoming wedding celebration. I’ve been to tons of weddings, but this was my first time being part of the bridal party. I got to see firsthand just how much work goes into planning such an event, but also tasted the sweetness that comes with its successful outcome.

In the early stages of wedding planning, my mom scolded me for considering a destination wedding. In typical mom fashion, she guilted me into getting her way. “At my age,” she said,  “there seem to be more reasons for grief than celebration. You attend more funerals than weddings. How can you take that away from your relatives?” After seeing my bestie burst into tears of joy multiple times in the presence of people who love her – and not feeling embarrassed about it at all – I think I get it now.

The following are photographs of the bridal shower, which took place a month ago, and some behind-the-scene moments from the Thai/Chinese/American-style wedding this past weekend.

 

#nedasbridalbash. (May 29, 2015)

 

The results of the “Kiss The Groom” game.

 

Bridesmaid Carrie serving sparkling apple cider for toasting.

Bridesmaid Carrie serves sparkling apple cider for toasting.

 

Neda and her mom cheesing it up at the photo wall.

Neda and her mom cheesing it up at the photo wall.

 

Photo board from the bridal shower.

Photo board from the bridal shower.

 

Getting ready for the big day. (June 20, 2015)

Getting ready for the big day. (June 20, 2015)

 

Under my umbrella (ella ella, eh eh eh eh, eh eh), at Gantry Plaza State Park.

 

At the famed Pepsi Cola sign in Long Island City.

At the famed Pepsi Cola sign in Long Island City.

 

Bridesmaid Carrie and myself hamming it up between takes.

Bridesmaid Carrie and myself hamming it up between takes.

 

Taking private photos in a public park is no easy task.

 

Adorable Totoro cake toppers made by our talented friend Candice!

 

Man and wife share a piece of the delicious wedding cake.

 

Photo booth pic of the bride + her maids.

 

Photo display of the bride and groom.

 

#nedahenryforever

 

Receiving blessings during the Thai ceremony portion of the wedding.

 

Bride and groom dressed in Thai wedding garb.

The groom and bride dressed in Thai wedding garb.

 

The first 31 days of forever

A month after getting hitched, I’m writing to share the details of our intimate City Hall ceremony with the friends and family members who couldn’t be there. I’ll try to keep the lovey dovey mush to a minimum. Many people have asked how we’re adjusting to married life, but it doesn’t feel all that different from before. Which means we were already pretty dang happy.

I finally have my engagement ring and wedding band! Because our engagement was so short, and because it took us some time to find a suitable center stone for the ring, I got married with a simple hammered sterling silver band I’ve owned for years. I received my engagement ring and wedding band 2 1/2 weeks after tying the knot, but it was worth the wait. I’ve lusted after the Anna Sheffield Hazeline Solitaire for years, and now it’s sitting on my left ring finger, daintily embraced by the Anna Sheffield tiara band.

Leibish & Co. diamond set in an Anna Sheffield Hazeline ring, worn with rose gold tiara band.

Back to the events of exactly one month ago. On the morning of May 7th, Eric and I arrived in high spirits at the Manhattan Office of the City Clerk, where we had visited 3 weeks prior to apply for a marriage license. (Side note: though everyone refers to it as getting married at City Hall, all marriage ceremonies are performed in the Office of the City Clerk.) We invited Eric’s parents and my mother to join us at the ceremony as our witnesses and guests. We also called on Andy Filimon of Filimon Photography to help us create a visual memory of the occasion.

For the ceremony, I made my own bouquet with flowers from my local grocery store, which only cost $15. I chose pink mums and yellow roses, because yellow symbolizes friendship, and I was marrying my best friend, after all. Making the bouquet turned out to be pretty easy. You just (1) trim the stems and leaves to the desired length; (2) arrange the blooms; (3) continuously bind the stems together with green floral tape as you add more flowers; (4) wrap the stems with a piece of ribbon or tulle and secure with pearl-headed pins like those used for corsages. It wasn’t perfect, but I was quite proud of the finished product. Colorful and kind of kitschy, kind of like me.

My bouquet of pink mums, yellow roses, and white tulle.

My bouquet of pink mums, yellow roses, and white tulle.

Since it was a Wednesday morning, everything moved relatively quick. The whole process is reminiscent of a trip to the DMV, with better dressed patrons and less grumpy employees. It’s literally a walk-in wedding. No prior appointments are given, so on the day you wish to get married, you just walk in, take a ticket, and watch the board for your number. Our party waited for about an hour, trying to act natural as the photographer shadowed our every awkward move. I’m so glad we hired Andy though. I originally brushed off the idea of having our City Hall date photographed since this wasn’t THE wedding, but I ultimately decided it was a small price to pay for a memento of the day we all became family.

We waited for about an hour before our number was up. Once called, we stood in front of a podium as the officiant went through his little spiel. We went in as boyfriend and girlfriend, and out we walked 2 minutes later as man and wife. Our express wedding was a bit impersonal, so I’m going to enjoy planning a simple wedding for late 2015. After all this, we took photographs in and around the famed City Hall Park. It was a gorgeous day for being outdoors. My mom had insisted we select one of the “lucky” dates suggested by my aunt, who used mine and Eric’s birth years, coupled with the unerring wisdom of the Chinese calendar, to determine the best days to get hitched. I had no preference for a date, so I obliged, if only so I wouldn’t have to hear it for years to come! I scoff at these silly superstitions, but my mom was pretty smug when May 7th happened to be the only day out of that entire week it wasn’t pouring rain.

After looking back at the photographs from that day, I realized a few things: I wish I’d kept my arms more toned, had my dress altered for a better fit, and that I’d never chopped off my long locks in the first place! But all that becomes irrelevant when I look at the bigger picture. I’m so grateful for the things that matter – I’m happy, our families are happy, and I get to spend my life with the guy I’ve loved since we were 18. If the rest of our days could be as good as these first 31 have been,  I should never want for anything. As the hubby told me last night, “We’re not normal people. We’re rich – in love!”

I have the best mom a girl could ask for. I’m so glad she was there! (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

Next in the marriage queue: ticket # C689. (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

Next in the marriage queue: ticket # C689. (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

The actual “getting married” part lasted all of 2 minutes! (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

We got hitched at City Hall (sort of), and all we got was this piece of paper! (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

From now on, we’re all going to be one big, happy family. (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

Poor fool, he makes me laugh. (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

The quintessential couple’s pic – we’re part of one family tree now! (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

He always supports me, even when it feels like my world’s upside down. (Photo credit: Andy Filimon)

A final word from the fair maiden

weddingclipart

I chose to write today, for this is my last day as a “single lady.” Tomorrow, my guy and I are taking the subway over the Williamsburg Bridge to finally tie the knot after 8 years together. Long overdue, for sure, yet it still feels surreal. We’ve chosen to do it at this particular time for the very unromantic reason of spousal health insurance, but a wedding is happening…probably in a little over a year. We were very quiet about the engagement, only sharing the news with close friends and family. Writing about it on this blog won’t make a difference, since no one even reads it! But I still wanted to document this transition, because the next time I write, I will be a married woman.

I am planning a simple reception for 2015, so expect a lot of wedding-centric posts in the upcoming year. No bridezilla will you find here, though; just a girl who’s taking everything in stride. I started this blog as a girl who was aimlessly floating through her early 20s, and 3 years later, I feel like everything’s finally coming together. I’ve seen so much positive change over the past year: I got the job, the guy, and the ring I wanted. I may not be the richest, smartest, or most beautiful person out there, but it feels like I could compete for the title of luckiest girl, at least in my little corner of the universe.

Details and photos to come on my City Hall nuptials.

New season, new weddings to look forward to

Autumn isn’t officially here yet, but it certainly feels like it is! I attended my friend’s wedding this past weekend, on a particularly cool day. It was unlike any other wedding I’ve been to thus far. It took place in a little town upstate called Wallkill, two hours outside of New York City. This would have been my first time attending an outdoor ceremony, but it was a rainy day, so the ceremony was held in the reception area. I’ve never been to a wedding inside of a tent, but apparently celebrities do it all the time. It was beautiful, all white curtains and green grass. I love weddings, but most of all I like seeing personal touches the couple adds to make the occasion their own. I have two more weddings coming up in the next six months; really looking forward to them!

I had a really difficult time picking out something to wear. I don’t have very many special occasion dresses, and as it turns out, most of them are black! I decided to wear an old cotton dress that hasn’t seen the light of day in quite some time. In hindsight, maybe it was a bit casual, as it wrinkled way too easily. I didn’t even have an appropriate cardigan to wear over it, but on the way to the wedding we stopped at a supermarket to buy a drink/use the bathroom, and there happened to be a Marshall’s in the same shopping center. We went in and I found a sweater that not only kept me warm through the rest of the chilly evening, but is proper enough to be a special occasion staple for future events. Hooray for unexpected finds!

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The bride and groom exchanged their vows at an indoor/outdoor ceremony…in a tent!

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Wedding arch, string lights, sunflowers, candles, and interracial cake toppers.

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Speechless bubble hem dress, Monteau cardigan, Nine West faux python platform mary jane, Forever 21 bag and bracelet, Tiffany heart ribbon necklace, Maui Rainbow Jewelry glass earrings, No Name Sunglasses (which were photoshopped from a Google image because my eyes look crazy)