Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Since its Halloween, I figured I would propose another unconventional bouquet idea... 
Getting married in the fall??? Why not carry a bouquet of pumpkin trees?

Soooo, their not really pumpkins (they are technically ornamental eggplants) and not really a tree (but when dried the stems take on a brown wood like appearance) but they are fun and different. 

Another way to use them could be as part of your centerpieces surrounded by other orange and brown flowers and plants.

{Source for top image and for middle image and bottom image}

Venue: NYC Fire Museum

In honor of Mrs. in May's suggestion, I am featuring a venue that doesn't have their own caterer.  The New York City Fire Museum allows brides and grooms to rent out their entire space for 8 hours and bring in your own catering!

I got in touch with them as soon as I learned that they had rentals available...I know, I know, I am engaged but come on... firemen! Plus, Big Guy thinks its a great idea (what little boy doesn't dream about playing in an old firehouse at one point or another???)

They were very nice and sent me all of their rates and space specifications:

"Although most of your festivities would take place in our third floor loft, you and your guests will have access to the entire Museum. Your guests will be able to visit our two exhibition floors and view the beautiful antique fire apparatus and artifacts that are on display."

The good news: "Our fee is a flat rate- there are no additional taxes - included in the fee is a firefighter on duty for security and a handyman to assist with clean-up."
- No taxes! Firefighter! .... that might be favorite sentence ever.

The not as good (although not bad) news:  "The cost of rental is $3300 for 8 hours (2 hours to set-up, 5 hours for your party and 1 hour for clean-up)."
- The fee is very reasonable for Manhattan and using my guesstimated guest count would become approximately $20 per person
- But yet again we only get 5 hours to party hardy... which is ... sigh... short... especially if we do the ceremony there too

Still the thought of roaming around an old firehouse with our guests seems like it would be really fun...especially since no amount of self-control would stop me from sliding down the pole in my wedding dress!

I need to start looking into wedding caterers... I wonder if their are Russian wedding caterers independent of established Russian restos... if anyone knows, please shoot me an email!

{images from the NYC Fire Museum}

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sample Sale Alert!

If you are looking for a dress... I mean the dress, head over to 
any Priscilla of Boston salon on November 7th 
for their blowout sample sale. The best part is that you don't need an appointment (i.e. no pushy sales girl dedicated to pressuring you into buying a dress your not sure about). Just look up a salon in your neighborhood and head over there anytime between 8AM and 8PM. 

Their dresses are great and you can't beat a $200 gown!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Worth a thousand words? Try a million!

Hello folks, today I am going to feature a truly talented photographer,
Dina Litovsky of Stregoica Photography

Dina is (like me) a Ruskie who grew up in New York. She has dealt with far more than her fair share of bridechkas and their ... ummm ... unique families and demands.
I have been to a number of weddings where Dina has worked her magic and I could try to describe how she has a true gift to capture a moment and a modern editorial approach on photography but I will just let her photos do the talking ... enjoy!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Venue: Bridgewaters

If you want an urban wedding by the sea, then you should absolutely go check out Bridgewaters. It is located in the classic NY tourist spot, South Street Seaport, which means great pictures of you on cobblestone streets and the backdrop of the East River... on the other hand it also means that there will be hundreds of tourists staring at you during these pics (but that actually may be fun depending on your feelings about attention from ogling strangers...I'm kind of for it myself). 

The view from inside the venue is also amazing ... 
Huge windows + Brooklyn Bridge at night = gorgeous. 

I didn't get to see the whole place while I was there because there was another wedding going on. The room I did see had a distinctively nautical feel, but the event coordinator assured me the other room (the one being used at the time) was less boat-related and was very clean and modern (the pictures of that room showed hanging lanterns that I thought looked pretty rockin).

The prices quoted to me for a winter wedding were around $150 per person on a Sunday and closer to $200 on Saturday. 

Then we got down to business....oh yeh, I hit'em with the Ruskie requirements:
1. "NO! We definitely cannot put vodka bottles on the table, but we provide an open bar...."
2. The wedding will be the usual 5-6 hours long so only about 4 hours for the reception itself... to extend it you have to pay extra...per person... per hour... like every other place so far.

The hunt continues...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shake, shake ... shake, shake... a shake it!

The super smart bloggerinas over at iDiY have found a program called Poladroid that can turn your digital pictures into digital polaroids! Here is one that I made of me and the Big Guy on a hike a few weeks ago.

So go check it out and start shake, shake, a-shakin... Shake It Like A Poladroid Picture

Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Favors that are hard and sweet... what more could a girl ask for?

I was walking through a store today when I saw that they were selling rock candy on small wooden sticks (I believe the fancy, and by fancy I mean appropriate, name for these is "demitasse rock candy"). It occurred to me that this could be a great wedding favor.

They come in every color, they are pretty reasonably priced, they are fun to serve with dessert (your guests can stir their coffee or tea with them to sweeten the drinks). You can buy them in bulk and wrap them up or tie a ribbon around the wooden stem or add a little note for your guests...

I did a quick Google search for rock candy and found a great selection here. Or for you adventurous DIY brides try making it yourself.

{top image from and bottom image from

Friday, October 24, 2008

Venue: The Boathouse

The Boathouse in Central Park is a classic New York wedding venue. I got in touch with them out of curiosity and it turns out that since my wedding will very likely be in the winter and on a Sunday, the prices were actually more reasonable than I had anticipated for such a quintessential "wedding" place.

For a Sunday in January the price quoted to me was $150/person + service charge and tax.

Here is what is included in that:
       "Our event space is called the Lake Room, which is located adjacent to the restaurant. It is surrounded by the Central Park Lake and opens up to an English Garden. We are a single room facility therefore we do one event at a time. We have the capability of accommodating the ceremony, reception, dinner and dancing. We don’t charge a site fee or a room rental for the facility, therefore we work off of a minimum of guests per event. On Saturday evenings we require a minimum of 165 guests. All other times on the weekend outside of a Saturday evening is a minimum of 125 guests. Our maximum capacity for the space is 220 guests with dancing.
       All weddings are approximately five hours which consists of a cocktail hour with butlered hors d’oeuvres followed by a 4-course dinner with choice of entrée. That includes wine service with dinner and a premium liquor open bar for the duration of the event."

It is higher than I would like to pay, however for NYC, the price is pretty good. 

On the two Russian wedding questions, the responses where not in my favor:
     - They definitely can NOT put vodka bottles on each table.
     - The party will be the regular 5-6 hours which is fine but not 
      enough to satisfy the Ruskies who will be expecting the party 
      to go into the wee hours of the morning (my family parties       
      hard like rock starts... if rock stars had thick Russian accents
      and questionable clothing choices).

Wedding motto #1

Last year my best friend got married. The wedding was lovely and full of heart and held at the stunning Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in Brooklyn, New York (I might post some pics of it in the future). One of the best things about her wedding was a motto that her father thought up and would occasionally make us repeat (he eventually got a little drunk on the power of getting us to say the line anytime he wanted but we forgave him because of the wisdom of the motto).

I figured I would share, anytime people say to you, "but you have to have blah blah blah!" or "the guest will expect blooh blooh blooh" and you start feeling a little wedding- bonkers just repeat:

"It's NOT a production! It's a CELEBRATION!"

It seems obvious but trust repeating this every now and then can chase (at least some of) the crazies away.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Venue: Pratt Mansion

In my search for a wedding venue I have been in touch with a lot...A LOT of venues in NYC. The first venue I got in touch with was The Harold Pratt House which can be found on NY's posh Upper East Side.

This is one venue that I haven't visited myself but below is the information that I got from their special events director:

"Our rental fee varies from $5,500 to $8,500 depending upon the date you choose and the space you select for your wedding. Our rental fee is based upon an eight hour time frame inclusive of set-up and break-down and includes the use of any in-house tables, chairs and audio-visual equipment. "

The mansion is slightly above my budget (and its not exactly the "modern" look I am going for) but if you like a more antique look I would definitely recommend checking it out, especially since they have in house tables and chairs which will save you bundles in rental fees.

Take a peak for yourselves:

*All photos from

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Venues.... aka it begins!

Ok so the big first step for me and the Big Guy is to find a wedding venue. The venue incorporates a lot of different things, its not only where you will be for nearly your whole wedding day but it also (often) decides the food since most places have an in-house caterer and it will influence your decision regarding flowers, dresses, and a bunch of other details that I have no intention on worrying about until after the venue is booked.

Now, since I am a Bridechka, I am trying to find a venue that will allow me to incorporate some Russian traditions into the day. This includes having vodka bottles on every table (it seems cliche but trust me the Ruskies expect this at every wedding because heavens forbid you might actually have to ask a waiter to pour you a shot every ten minutes, they just want to do it themselves.) Another aspect of Russian weddings is that they are long (as in party all night long) and there are a lot of (generally drunken but very heartfelt) toasts, which may be one of the reasons Russian weddings are so long!

The easy alternative here would be to just have my wedding at a Russian Restaurant/Catering Hall in Brooklyn but I have never been one to go for the obvious answers to life's problems. Big guy is completely American and comes from a family which is half American Jews and half American Protestants who go back all the way to the Mayflower! He is an incredible warm and understanding man who has frequently told me that he would be fine with having the wedding at a Russian place BUT still I refuse. Here is why:

1. My family has had every single big birthday at a Russian Restaurant in
Brooklyn (my 25th at Tatiana on Brighton Beach, my Dad's 50th at Rasputin,
my grandma's 65th at Atlantic Grill, my sister's Bat Mitzvah at Passage
Palace...not to mention all of the weddings we have been to at Baku,
National, etc....)
I know that it sounds childish but I want something different! I don't
want to revisit my wedding venue every single time I have cousin that
turns 20, or 30, or 40, etc... and let me tell you, Russians, we have
got A LOT of cousins... seriously a lot.
2. I love a crazy Russian Resto birthday party just as much as the
next girl but for my wedding I want something that reflects me and the Big
Guy and our relationship... and tacky carpets, half naked dancing girls,
long winding staircases, and ridiculous chandeliers AIN'T IT.
I am a city kid and Big Guy is country boy we either want to get
married in huge loft or a beautiful farm but definately not in faux
palace - trust me there is nothing "princess" about me!

So I basically want the impossible: a cool urban or rural chic setting with a Russian vibe that will let me put vodka bottles on each table and party all night long...oh and have I mentioned I want this impossible dream for a bargain basement price? Oh yeh, I am a beggar but I am choosy!

Feather for your cap ...

I know that I promised to start off today with some talk about wedding venues (which will be forthcoming) but I stumbled across a wedding accessory yesterday while walking through the East Village. I happened to go into a small shop called Apt. 141 while browsing through their collection of clothes meant for girls much cooler than me (I am generally a jeans and tank top kind of girl... don't worry they're cute jeans!) and the collection of jewelry from local designers when I happened upon this head piece...

The feathers are soft and the pearls that line the bottom add a touch of elegance. There is a small comb on its back which keeps it in your hair. The price was great, it was well under fifty dollars which is not something that you could say for anything that you would find in "wedding" specific shop.

All you cool NY brides should absolutely go snatch it up! Remember: the early birdy gets the worm (sorry couldn't resist the bird related cliche).

The little shop in the village: Apt 141, 141 East 13th Street, NYC 10003
Hours: Mon. - Sat. 12 - 8pm and Sunday 12 - 7pm

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Hello all and welcome to the begining of my brand new adventure...blogging. I am a complete newbie when it comes to the world of blogs so any and all advice is welcome.

I will start officially blogging tomorrow with some info on venues that I have visited with prices, pictures, and general impressions. For today I will leave you with what I have been thinking about all day... I know its not original but I just cant help loving the cotton bouquet! Especially for winter wedding, the thought of holding fluffly white balls of cotton makes me feel giddy.