Monday, February 28, 2011

The dresses are in

Hi Everyone!

I hope your Monday is treating you well. Mine is full of the Bachelor annnnnnnnd (wait fooooooooooooor iiiiiiiiiiiiittttttttt) BRIDESMAID dresses.  After 1 month of making these beautiful dresses, they arrived in the mail today.  James took them out of the box for me and left them on the dining room table.  Of course, they were the first thing I saw when I got home from work, but I avoided them out of sheer dread and fear.  I made it 4 hours until I HAD to look at them.  I first...wasn't 100% sure about the color.  Were they purple? I tore into one.  I was pleasantly surprised by the material.  It's soft and light weight which are two very important qualities I wanted in a dress for my perfect four and the color it was really pretty.  So before shipping them off and having Erin try them on I wanted to see if the hype matched the dress.  About the designer,Hayley Star studied at FIT in NYC and now works out of Venice, California.  She believes in animal and earth friendly clothing AND  living.  She believes in sewing everything by hand and believes every piece will have it's own story, but what really sold me on her for my big day...ummmm...she had a "free hug" video on her blog. FREE HUGS video . Most know I am a sucker for "free hugs!" Sooo...back to the dresses...they were amazing.  I tried a few of the styles and decided this is a two man job to experiment and perhaps a bra! So don't judge the no bra approach and please don't mind the sleeping Golden Retriever in the background, both are out of sheer laziness...hers and MINE!  
Here goes...I picked this dress so the bridal party can pick the way they wear their dress to flatter their body types AND so they can possibly wear the dress again. 

This final attempt was with yellow flats...and now I am thinking...I don't like the look so much...<sigh> BUT I am not giving up on it until I can play dress up with Erin (one of the MOH) next Monday.  The other thing I noticed is need a tan! :)
Here is the link to the endless way to wear the dress... 

I also got a nice surprise in the mail. Ladies and Gentlemen, my bridal hanger...

Ah...decisions...decisions...Soooo...what do you think about the dresses? How the heck am I going to incorporate yellow and orange???

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where should we stay?

Wedding planning is like playing host to a Thanksgiving dinner with 75 friends and family staying at your house for the weekend.  You have to plan where people are sleeping? Who's coming? Who will get along best with who?  Activities to occupy everyone so no injuries or harsh words are spoken...everything...even dessert! :) All while smiling, kissing cheeks and posing for photos...this my friends is planning a wedding.  "Where should we stay?" is the most common question by far we get when we talk to friends and family about the wedding.  My answer is always this...

"We are staying on Center Street Wednesday, September 28th- Tuesday, October 4th, however we will be staying at the Southernmost Hotel on the night of the wedding.  Key West is a very small island; anywhere you stay, you will be close. Stay where you would feel the most comfortable and where you will enjoy your stay the most.  Our biggest concern is for all of our guests to have a great vacation and enjoy our celebration without stress!"

Guess what they say in response to that statement..."sooooooooo....where should we stay?"

Here are some ideas and wallet friendly options:

You can stay at the Southernmost Hotel and literrally stumble back to your room the night of the wedding. Remember to call the reservation line to book the hotel and say "Tobin."  Rooms start at $155 per night...Click below for the video of the property...
You can stay at a nearby house or villa rental through .
They have many options and price ranges begining at $110 a night.  Mention you are a guest of Barron-Tobin wedding for an extra discount.
You can stay at the Double Tree for $119 a night.  It is on the other side of the island but there is a free shuttle to Duval Street.  Mention Barron-Tobin
You can stay at the Best Western Hibiscus Court, but don't let the name fool you this hotel is steps away from the Southernmost and is newly renovated ( besides how much time are you going to be spending in that room?)!
Rates per night start at $108 and look  how nice the rooms are below!

You can stay on a sailboat..I'm serious! Check out this site that finds the lowest rentals around!
Rates start at $60 a night
You can stay at one of Key West's many Bed and Breakfasts! Key West is known for their charming cottages and B&B's.  Here are a few:

The Jasmine House (on Center Street)rates start at $75 a night (remember October is considered Summer)
This B&B is so nice every time I check out the website, I start to rethink my own reservations!
A few steps away you can stay at the Lighthouse Court Hotel with rates starting at $109 a night.
Of course if you would like to stay in a haunted hotel you may want to check out these:
Well known for it's famous guests and more famous ghosts...
Rates start at $100 a night...but don't call us when you see a "friend" in the middle of the night trying to tuck you in or steal your covers!

So there you go...that's where you should stay! :) Happy Thursday everyone, and I'll talk to you soon.

Monday, February 21, 2011

222 more days to go...

Hit PLAY! Yes this post needs a soundtrack...

With 222 more days to go until our big day, these are the things I know for sure...

1. The dress...Priscila of Boston-Mallorca---one size too big but that's another day another blog...
2. Candy Buffet is purchased and going to be a nightmare to ship to Key West from New York...any Key West brides looking for a candy buffet after October me!

3. Milk Glass bud vases with mason jars are going to be our centerpieces...(still on the hunt for milk glass vases...I need 20 more...) We are going to fill the vases with daisies and place a candle and sand in the mason jars...

4 Bridesmaid Dresses and bridal party are ordered and chosen...we are patiently waiting for their both of them!

4. The location of course...the beautiful Southernmost Hotel Collection.

The Southernmost Hotel on the Beach

5. ummmmmm THE GROOM (aka my partner in crime)

6. My vendors rock...
Studio Julie for amazing photos... 
I am going to look amazing with the help of 
Our cake is going to be amazing with And last but not least our wedding planner is going to make me sane 

7. It is going to be one of heck of a party...ummm the whole weekend...With so many friends and family in town celebrating and visiting, I am hoping to learn how to freeze time!

8. WE have the most amazing friends and family EVER!  Everyone has been so supportive of our dream to get married and do it by ourselves. 

Weird facts about 222...some say it is a sign from heaven and others believe it has a warning from the heavens...check it out...what else are you doing? Tell me your thoughts...Sharing is caring.  (ummm they have a facebook must be legit)    For you rollers out there...

Peace, Love and Chicken Grease!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The girls

The bridesmaid dresses and looks are very exciting for me.  Here is a bit of inspiration for their looks...ohhh...and of course this post needs a soundtrack, hit play and enjoy...

First, I knew I wanted them to have yellow shoes...and then as you remember when I added navy blue to our color ...and then of course the dresses I ordered.

But the question is how am I going to bring orange into play? Flowers? A flower in the hair? An orange sash? What do you think?

Wedding shoes..and another dress?!

I have a confession.  My name is Elena and I am a shop-a-holic. It's not what you think...I don't actually spend money ( can you hear James rolling on the floor laughing), but I love to "window shop" for the perfect fix to my newest wedding obsession. My two newest obsessions are 1.) wedding shoes 2.) a reception dress (a.k.a. the dress I am changing into to meet our wedding guests after the wedding is over).

I know what you are saying..but already have wedding shoes. Yes, I know.  Believe it or not...the shoes are just as important to me as the dress.  Shriek...I know.  As you may recall, I was lucky to have a beautiful pair of Oscar De La Renta shoes donated given to me.  The girl who I replaced at my job had just gotten married and a previous patient worked for Oscar De La Renta Bridal.  Well, the patient sent over three pairs which she could chose one to wear on her big day and the patient never picked up the other two pairs.  When I started, she asked me what shoe size I was and to my excitement we are both 8 1/2's.  Done! Right? Umm no...may I remind you we are getting married on the beach.

So I found an amazing pair of bright yellow flats which I fell in love with.  My plan is to have photos taken with both shoes and wear the yellow flats at the reception. I plan on kicking off my shoes right before I walk down the plank the aisle.  SO I should be done right? Ummm no...I keep dreaming of something I have always dreamt about under my wedding dress and with everyday clothing ----yellow platform high heels. I suppose I could wear them after the wedding, because honestly I am terrified to wear the $900 Oscar De La Renta heels longer than 5 mins ( I am a little bit of a klutz).  For someone who wears flip flops in the summer and uggs in the winter with high heels in the closet full of dust, most people are checking the web address to make sure they are reading my blog :).  But some of you know my obsession with yellow high heels started when Jessica Simpson was still hot and on MTV.   OH and when if I had a million dollars...I might have a sparkle pair for the rehearsal dinner too.

Now the dress...I have given this a lot of thought.  I want a short little white dress for the after party.   I want it to be a combination of what I originally wanted in a wedding dress.  Remember this dress I originally tried on...ummm..but my breasts didn't agree with.  I found a short little number that may work...however the $250 price tag does not work.

 Hmmm...then it was onto a search for a sweetheart neckline short jazzy number similar to this dress I also loved.  I want a fun dress that I can dance in and won't trip over.  I want it to be a little on the sexy side...but not over the top.  It's a family show after all and with blessings in the bust area many options are automatically ruled out! Damn no jeweled bikinis...

Decisions...decisions...what are your thoughts on shoes and dresses?  Unnecessary?  Or it's your day...your only day...spoil yourself!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Contests! Contests! Contests!

I  just found this amazing contest and I am in love!! The knotty bride which is one of my favorite blogs! Check it out! . My fingers and toes are crossed for this!!! Dreamy headpiece  Pixieland Hank is amazing.  Cross your fingers and toes for me!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To exercise or not to exercise is the question...

A lot of things come in our mailbox since we have become engaged.  Yesterday, I came home to a honeymoon magazine featuring Belize (we'll talk about that later), a photography post card, and the brand new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.   After ripping out a hot bikini babe for the fridge door for motivation, I began to think about what my goals are.  I know I need to follow up with my resolution. I have been looking forward to a healed toe (I broke it on New Year's Eve...don't ask) and warm weather so I can begin to run again. I made a promise to myself, this would be the year I would get into the best shape of my life and the last thing I want to do is look back at wedding pictures and wish I was thinner...tanner...or what have you.  While it may seem crazy to some, I want to be at my goal weight for me. So, I vow from this day forward to begin my exercise routine and to eat healthier to achieve my goal.  I have time on my side and it's now time to begin my New Year's Resolution. 

Another one of my biggest concerns is having white teeth.  My teeth have never been the whitest and my family is not known for their bright white teeth. :) Sorry, mom. I have tried a few at home techniques, but coffee is my enemy.  Soooooooooo..not only from this day forward will I be exercising I will also be "that girl" drinking every dark colored fluid from a straw!  I plan on blogging my experiences as well as my wedding plan, because I feel they go hand in hand for most brides!

Woohoo..Day one begins!! Any weight loss or bright smile advice?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day (a day late and a ...)

Hi Everyone! I hope your Valentine's Day was full of romance and passion..or at the least some much needed chocolate.  Last night, I had big plans to spend my Valentine's with my maid-of-honor and Daisy May watching the Bachelor and eating pizza only to fooled by my future husband and her. He surprised me with switching his shift so we could spend Valentine's together.  I came home to a beautiful arrangement of daisies in our wedding colors (he scored mucho points for that) and a bottle of wine.  We even cheated our strict budget and ordered in like when we first started dating.  It was nice to spend the night with him, and Daisy May even appreciated it. 
And now for some news...I am delighted to report Reid's procedure went well yesterday and he is recovering at home with his mom and dad.  We will know more in the next few weeks.  Thank you for your prayers. He is such a bundle of joy and we are so blessed to have him in our lives!

Please also remember Steve and Robin (Melissa's ( MOH) daughter's father) in your prayers.  They were in serious car accident in which they were both thrown from the vehicle.  They are both in ICU at Ruby General.

Before I go to bed at night and when I wake up, I thank God for the amazing family ( including my soon to be family) and friends I have and ask God to watch over them.  We are so truly blessed to have the wedding of our dreams, but the wedding wouldn't mean half as much to us if we couldn't share our joy with them (and YOU).

I hope your week is off to a good start! I added a poll on the bottom of the page for YOU to help us pick our wedding song! If you have any suggestions for songs that suit us, feel free to shout them out...or you could just comment b/c I doubt I can hear you. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shall we dance? what?!?!

James and I picked our wedding song when we first started talking about getting married 2 years ago.  I love Jack Johnson, and we have seen him perform twice. Our ringtones for each other have always been "Better Together" and we even contemplated on tattoos with the lyrics " With only two, Just me and you."  Well...Jack has become awfully popular since I began listening to him.  It seems like everyone has "Better Together" as their first dance song.  While we both know what it means to us, we weren't excited about sharing "our song" with thousands of other couples.  So the search has begun for "our song"...Here are a few top favorites of mine, his, and both of us.

"You and Me"

                                                        "Marry Me"
                                                 "We are man and wife"
                                                     "Into the Mystic"
Those are just a few we have considered, and we have a top runner but what do you guys think? Any suggestions or favorites?  

Of course if I could really get him drunk we could do this...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Is everything out of control?

Sometimes I feel like the wedding has become a Godzilla type monster who stomps on buildings, taking prisoners, and destroying cities.  I often find it takes control of my life and what's the most important about the wedding and to us, and holds it prisoner.  Following me?

 Last night Godzilla took aim at my soon-to-be husband in the form of a "bridezilla" (I swear I was possessed for a moment). Even I was shocked at how business like I had become about the wedding,and how I forgot what was the most important and our goal for our big day and that weekend.  After being stressed out with the budget monster (I think he is the brother of bridezilla...) and the guest list monster, my head was spinning, and I was starting to not recognize myself.

I quickly apologized shedding a few needed tears, and realized it's only a wedding and I am still that fun loving girl who wants her close friends and family to share in our experience.  That and everyone already has booked their trips and it's too late to elope.  Hee'm kidding.  This is our dream to share our celebration surrounded by close ones with our toes in the sand underneath the stars with the ocean crashing in the background.  While the wedding may drive me to'm all will be worth every moment of stress in the end and I know I wouldn't want to change a thing.

When we first got engaged everyone used to warn us about the guest list and how many fights we would have about it.  Boy...were they right.  If we won the lottery tomorrow, I can honestly say our guest list would be 125/150 tops, and cutting the list to 75 seemed impossible and cruel.  Truth is weddings  are expensive...I won't tell you the price per head ( too tacky...and I live in NY not Jersey or the big island which isn't short), but I could buy a nice pair of Manolo Blahnick's per couple.   How?!? Why?!? I know I ask myself the same thing, BUT the food and liq are only $130 per could it be that much more...ladies and gentlemen...the things that add up quick that no one warns you about...let me introduce you to the children monsters of Bridezilla and the Guest List Monster....photographer-zilla,tent-zilla, dj-killa, centerpiece-illa, and the evil add ons dancefloor, lights, favors.  We can't forget the even worst red headed step child of them all FLORAL-zilla.  I think they are all monsters, but how can I imagine having a wedding without even one of them...I just can't.  And while we are doing almost everything ourselves, these little monster are expensive just as children usually are. BUT I wouldn't change a thing...  I plan on sending out simple wedding announcements after the wedding and letters to my 9 Aunts and Uncles and all of my cousins who we just didn't win the lottery in time to invite, saying we love them and they are important, but we chose to have an intimate celebration with immediate family and a select number of friends.  To those friends who I couldn't invite...I am so sorry.  I really am.  I have so many of them that mean so much to me and I wouldn't be the person I am today without them, but we just didn't have it in our budget to invite them. :(  I pray and hope you or they are not offended, and I promise it's no reflection of how much you or they mean to me.

Is it October 2nd yet?  :)