Wedding Week: Favorite Moments

wedding in Liberty State Park

If you’re not in wedding mode, I’m sure this week has been a total bore for you. But the good news for you, is that it’s back to regular posting next week (I’ve got lots of fall goodies coming up!) and the good news for me, is that I’m back to writing only one post a day (I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it’s hard enough putting together one post, forget about two). Thank you all so much for the sweet comments and compliments on our wedding. It was truly the best day of our lives and I’m so happy that I have been able to relive it by sharing these moments with all of you. It isn’t easy picking just a few favorite moments (can’t the whole day be my favorite moment?!), but I did my best. Enjoy and have a great weekend!

bride and mother-of-the-bride

{Sharing moments with my Mom- (L) helping me get into my dress, (R) right before she walked me down the aisle}

bride

{Drinking mimosas all morning doesn’t mix well with a corset and nerves…this is me running/sneaking into the church to use the bathroom prior to the ceremony, where I stumbled upon the Rockettes rehearsing…which technically means the Rockettes were at my wedding, right?!}

fall wedding {My Mom giving me away…right before she turned, stepped on my veil, and almost caused me to fall down! I wish I was joking…}

bride and groom in limo {Getting ready to ride off in the limo}

wedding {With my sister and my brother}

funny groomsmen picture

{Mr. RC is probably going to kill me for sharing this, but I mean how could I not?!}

wedding shoes

{Wedding feet and wedding date}

champagne toast {Sharing a private toast with my husband, before we joined the rest of the party}

first dance

{Our first dance}

bride and groom cutting cake {Being “scolded” after I smashed cake in Mr. RC’s face….by the way, smashing cake in someone’s face is really fun…for the smasher at least, probably not for the smashee}

NYC wedding {One of my favorite shots of the group walking through the 911 memorial in Liberty State Park}

Other favorites seen on past posts include pictures under the willow tree, eating sweet treats from our candy bar, snapping photos in our photo booth, the incredible food, saying our vows, watching our slideshow and definitely our sparkler entrance.

In case you missed any posts, you can see our looks here, the venues here, all our DIY details here, how we made our own photo booth and candy bar, and how I did my own wedding makeup and hair here.

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All pictures taken by our incredible wedding photographer Lesley of Kensington Blue

DIY Wedding Makeup and Hair

DIY Wedding Makeup and Hair

Full disclosure- I never set out with the intention of doing my own makeup or hair for our wedding. It just kind of happened. I was so busy getting all the other details in place, I completely forgot “Hey, I might want not want to scare people when I walk down the aisle!”. I went on a trial with a makeup artist (who should be renamed a make-up witch)…she was rude, condescending, frequently got annoyed with things I said or did, she poked me in the eye with an eyeliner pencil (which was somehow my fault, according to her), she asked me to buy several hundred dollars worth of makeup for her to use at my wedding, oh and to top it off, she wanted to charge me $700 dollars. Thanks, but no thanks! I quickly realized doing my own wedding makeup would be far more reasonable and a lot less painful.

DIY wedding makeup

Here are my DIY wedding makeup tips (with all product details listed at the very bottom)-

Prime- It should go without saying, but make sure that you are taking good care of your skin. Washing, toning, removing makeup, and lots of moisturizing are all key to having a great base for the rest of your makeup. One of my favorite moisturizing/get-even-toned-skin tricks is to simply rub a few drops of Vitamin E oil on my face. Facials, peels, masks, scrubs, etc are all great ways to get your skin in tip-top shape, but just be sure to do them at least 1 1/2-2 weeks out. If your skin reacts badly, you will still have enough time to heal up before your big day. And don’t forget about your lips when you’re prepping your face; get your wedding ready with a quick sugar and olive oil lip scrub or even a little brushing with your toothbrush.

Prep- In addition to caring for your skin, make sure you do other prep work before you’re big day. Get your brows plucked, shaped and groomed. If you choose to get a spray tan (I did), do so two days in advance, so the color has time to settle and look natural. Another huge trick that helped me in doing my own wedding make-up was getting eyelash extensions. I have naturally invisible eyelashes, not to mention mascara can be a pain (especially with all those tears of joy), and since I had gotten my lashes done in the past, I knew I would like the results. It was definitely worth it, both for the sake of my wedding and my honeymoon afterwards.

makeup

Base- Another important step is making sure you have a good foundation, one that stays in place, doesn’t look oily, covers evenly, and doesn’t look caked on. I don’t wear foundation, so finding one I liked wasn’t an easy task. Since I wasn’t paying to get my make-up done, I decided to splurge on a really good foundation, and I ended up getting Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere. That stuff is a total dream, and completely changed my foundation-hating heart. If you already have a foundation that you use, great! But if not, I recommend either going to a beauty store or a makeup counter and having a professional help you pick your shade and the type that is right for your skin.

Going along with foundation, I would also recommend having a good under eye concealer (I like bareMinerals), cover-upa primer, a make-up sponge, and a foundation brush. Once your foundation and concealer layer is on, set everything with a thin veil of translucent powder.

Eyes- Next, you’ll want to focus on your eyes. Because my ceremony was during the day and my reception wasn’t until later, I went for a lightened up smokey eye. I primed my eyelid with Lorac’s “Behind the Scenes” primer. Then I used a combination of the pink and light brown from Chanel’s “Mystic Eyes” as my base. I filled in the crease with the brown from Chanel’s “Lilium” topped off with Chanel’s “Illusoire”. Next I used an eyeliner brush to line my eyes in a combination of the dark brown from the “Mystic Eyes” and the black from Lorac’s “Movie Star” topped with a waterproof liner. I finished the look off Chanel’s “Emerveille“, focusing it on the corners and my brow bone. My biggest tip for eye make-up is to do what you normally do, then add just a touch more. You don’t want it to look like you have a ton of makeup on, but, keeping lighting and photography in mind, I would recommend things like accenting your crease more or lining your inner lid and corner with a shimmery, lighter shade. Also, this is not the time for experimenting; stick to neutral colors and use shadows that you already have and are familiar with. All the shadows I used were ones I use on a regular basis so I knew exactly how to work with them and exactly how they would look. Of course, don’t forget your eyebrows- brush them, fill in spots with a pencil (use an eyeliner pencil one shade lighter than your brows), and keep them in place with a coat of clear mascara.

Chanel No. 5

Face- I finished off my face with a pop of blush, a dusting of bronzer, and some highlighter to help contour my cheekbones. Again, use shades that you are familiar with and don’t put extreme amounts on. You want to look like you, not like a clown. As with my eyes, I used all products that I knew and had been using on regular basis.

Lips- Line your lips then gloss up those puckers with a neutral lipstick and gloss. I hadn’t previously been into lipstick, so this was another splurge for me, as I wanted to make sure I had a shade that matched my skin tone. It’s also kind of cool because now anytime I wear that lipstick it reminds me of my wedding day. A note about lips- if going bold and bright is your thing, do it, but just make sure to keep your eyes relatively neutral. Likewise, if you go big with the eyes, keep the lips toned down. If you aren’t sure what the heck you want to do, neutral will always be a safe choice.

DIY wedding beauty tips

Finish- Once you have your look exactly how you want it, spray it with hair spray. No, I didn’t just jump to talking about hair. Seriously set your face with hair spray. Of course, make sure you hold the can about 5 inches from your face and close your eyes (duh), but hair spray will ensure your makeup isn’t going anywhere (a trick I picked up from a runway make-up artist).

Don’t Leave Without- Lipstick and lipgloss, blush and brush, bronzer and blush, concealer, blotting papers, bobby pins, hair ties, mini hair spray bottle, perfume…whether you have them in a clutch, you leave them in the limo, or one of your bridesmaids holds onto them, these items will be your touch-up saviors.

how to do your own wedding makeup

Last Advice- Just remember to be you. You don’t want to walk down the aisle and have people only see your makeup or have your husband wondering if his bride got lost because he doesn’t recognize you. Like I mentioned already, this isn’t the time to buy all new makeup and try fancy new tricks, or trendy looks, or bright colors, or crazy highlighting. Stick to what you know and use colors, shades, and products that you’re familiar with. Splurge on things like foundation or eyelash extensions, not eyeshadows and powders (you can get such good quality ones at drugstores, no splurge is necessary). When you look back at your wedding pictures, you’ll be much happier with a classic, clean, neutral look that lets you shine through.

DIY wedding hairstyles

Here are my DIY Wedding Hair Tips-

I almost feeling silly saying this (because it’s so freaking easy), but the most affordable way to get your hair done for a wedding, is to get a blow out. Now, I know I’m lucky that I have several blow bars right where I live, but your local hair salon could just as easily give you a blow out. For my hair, I woke up very early Saturday morning and got a blow out at the Drybar. I contemplated getting one of their up-do’s (incredibly affordable as far as wedding up-do’s are concerned), but decided I liked my hair better down. Once I was back in my hotel room, I simply styled it how I liked, by pulling some of my hair back on one side and securing it with bobby pins. My bridesmaids all chose to do their own hair, but a place like the Drybar would be also be great for handling a bridal party group. Plus, you can’t really beat $40 for a wedding ‘do (or a regular ‘do, for that matter).

DIY wedding hair and makeup

All pictures taken by our incredible wedding photographer Lesley of Kensington Blue

DIY Candy Buffet

DIY wedding Candy Buffet When it came to deciding on the favors for our guests, we had several options that intrigued us, all for different reasons. We tossed around the idea of something NY, but we already had that covered with our table names. Something fall would have been appropriate with our wedding date, but that really limited our options. Homemade limoncello came up in the discussion (we love making it…and I’m Italian, so there’s that), but it seemed out-of-place with the rest of our wedding. The candy bar was, obviously, the choice we went with, not only because the hubs and I have a huge sweet tooth, but also because we though it would be fun for our guests, it added a festive corner to our reception room, it doubled as a name card and a favor, and as far as favors go, it was relatively affordable.

wedding candy bar

Like today’s earlier DIY photo booth, you do not need a wedding as an excuse to make this candy buffet. It would be great for any party, be it a bridal or baby shower, a birthday party, a kids party, a graduation party, etc.

DIY Candy Buffet

Here are the steps to making a DIY candy buffet-

Start by making a list of all the candies you want on your buffet. Include your favorites as well as things that are popular and anything that you think your guests will enjoy. Plan to have about 18-22 candy varieties and about 1/4-1/3 of a pound of candy per person, i.e. for 100 people plan to have at least 25 pounds of candy.  Tip: Write all the candies you decide to use in an Excel sheet along with a column saying how many bags you need, the price of each bag, where to buy them, and if they have been purchased yet.

how to set up a candy bar

Research prices on the candies you have decided on. Look on-line, in bulk stores, and, if you get married around a holiday (we were right around the corner from Halloween) chances are you’ll find a lot of candy on sale. Use the Excel sheet I mentioned above to track prices and find the best deal. We ended up buying our candy from CandyWarehouse, Nuts.com, Economy Candy, and Target.

The candies we used were- gum balls, caramels, taffy, rock candy, lollipops, champagne jellies, candy corn (since our wedding was in October), heath bars, flavored marshmallows shaped like cupcakes, candy sticks, candy straws, nonpareils, rolos, gummy grapefruit slices, gummy octopus, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered raisins, chocolate covered peanuts, wedding fortune cookies, skittles, jellybeans, and smartees.

Make sure you get your candy far enough in advance that you aren’t freaking out about it, but not so far that it can get stale. We ordered our candy about a month to three weeks out, and then refrigerated the chocolate and stored the rest in a dark closet. This should be a no-brainer, but keep everything sealed right until you set the buffet up to ensure maximum freshness.

rock candy

Next, you will need dishes to hold the candy. Things with wrappers will work in baskets, but unwrapped candy should be placed in bowls, plates or glass dishes. Do not be afraid to mix things up or have mismatched pieces, and definitely think outside the box. We used a variety of dishes from my Mom as well as ones we purchased at the Christmas Tree Shops and Michael’s.  We had plates, bowls, vases, trays, trifle dishes, margarita glasses and we even used a vase filled with sand to hold the lollipops. Don’t forget to have tongs and spoons (can be found on-line, at Sur La Table, or Target) to help your guests get the candy out of the containers.

candy bar display

Once you have all the candy and the dishes, I suggest doing a mock set-up. Lay a table cloth/blanket/sheet of fabric that is the size of your buffet table out on the floor (or a use a table, if you have one that is big enough). Begin setting out the dishes and playing around with them until you have a layout that you like. I recommend putting the highest things towards the back, but then mixing the other containers around to achieve variety and depth. Next, pair each of your (unopened) candy bags with a dish. Again, play around with this to get the right set-up of colors, shapes, and size. Once you have the “buffet” to your desired look, take pictures and draw a simple “map” marking where each dish and candy should go. This will help tremendously when the candy buffet is being set up at your wedding.

DIY candy buffet set-up

Make labels so your guests can clearly tell what each candy is. For our labels, my Mom used Crane place cards with pink flowers on them (to match our wedding colors) and then hand-wrote each candy name out. The cards were then placed in front their corresponding candy dish.

multi-colored gumballs

The candy may look pretty on its own, but your buffet will still need some decorating. The table, which was provided by our venue, was covered in a white table cloth (also provided by our venue). On top of the cloth, we then layered a variety of doilies. After the candy was set out, small votives were placed around sporadically, and the flowers from the altar at our ceremony were added to the back of the table. Our backdrop was a wall of balloons, including smaller pink, silver and gold ones (to match our wedding colors) and then several bigger ones that we made to match the ones next to our photo booth (seen here). We tied everything together with a sign that said “Sweet Treats”, which was made from letters cut out of gold poster board and then strung together with twine.

how to make a candy buffet

The jars that we provided for our guests were around a $1 each at Christmas Tree Shops. Finding the perfect jar wasn’t easy- there were a lot of options, in a lot of price ranges and we had even looked at getting mini boxes that resembled bulk candy containers, but we ultimately chose these jars based on how they looked, their size and the price. We then printed off tags that said “Thank you for joining us on our special day! After you eat, make sure to grab some sweet treats!” along with our initials and our wedding date. On the back side we wrote the guest’s name and the table they were sitting at. We then attached them to the jars using twine.

candy buffet wedding favors

All pictures taken by our incredible wedding photographer Lesley of Kensington Blue

DIY Photo Booth

diy wedding photo booth

I hope you guys are enjoying the wedding posts so far. And if you’re not…well that’s just too bad! Obviously kidding, and my sincerest apologizes if you’re getting sick of all the wedding stuff….after this week there will be no more, I promise!

I had briefly mentioned yesterday about the DIY photo booth that we had at our reception. While it doesn’t quite take the place of an original photo booth, it still provides a lot of fun for your guests at only a fraction of the cost to you (I’m talking less than $100!!). Side note- our wedding was the reason we made our own photo booth, but truly no reason is necessary for this affordable and easy DIY. This photo booth would be perfect for any type of party, a small gathering, a random Friday night in, when you’re bored and feel like snapping some funny shots, maybe even a Wednesday night pow-wow….basically you have no excuse not to get in on this photo booth action!

DIY Photo Booth Here are the steps we took to creating our own photo booth-

•We originally planned to make the photo backdrop against a wall, but our reception vendor suggested we use one of their extra screen room dividers. It worked perfectly, but a wall is a great back up option if no divider is available.

•Keeping in line with our cake, we decided to make the backdrop pink ombre as well. We purchased 2 packages of each color (white, light pink and dark pink) of wide crepe paper (similar to these; can also be found in some Michael’s, Hobby Lobby and Party City). The sheets of paper were then simply taped to the divider in order from lightest to darkest.

•Like our sign for the sparklers, our photo booth sign was simply made from a wooden sign bought at Michael’s and covered with chalkboard paint.

•Our props were a combination of stuff we had, stuff we made, and even a few dollar bin finds. There are no set rules for what kind of props you need or even how many you should have. Most of ours disappeared by the end of the night, so don’t spend a lot on these items. Most importantly, get things that are fun and colorful. Our props included- 2 giant bow ties (made from leftover crepe paper), a couple of packages of glow sticks (from the Target dollar section), 2 pairs of giant sunnies (Party City), a multi colored boa (Party City), a mini chalkboard and chalk (dollar section of Michael’s), a plastic trophy spray painted gold (dollar section of Target), wooden crown mask spray painted gold (less than a dollar at Michael’s), wooden star wand spray painted gold with gold and silver ribbon tied on the handle (less than a dollar at Michael’s; these are a similar option), and a handful of bright plastic beads (that may or may not have been hanging around from my college Mardi Gras days). We threw all the props in a basket from Christmas Tree Shop (they have a great selection of cheap baskets).

•As part of the props/background decor, we included two large balloons with fancy sparkly fringes. The balloons we purchased at Party City, then my husband and his father had them blown up at a local grocery store the morning of our wedding. We had pre-made the fringes earlier in the week following a method similar to this, but using gold and silver tissue paper, pink crepe paper, and gold and silver tinsel. The fringe was then tied onto the balloons at our venue and a weight was added to the bottom to keep the balloons in place.

•We finished our DIY photo booth by providing a basket filled with disposable cameras (we bought the wedding pack at Party City) so our guests could always have something to snap a photo with, whether it was one of our cameras, one of theirs, or even a cell phone.

DIY photo booth props how to make your own photobooth Photo Booth Props diy wedding photo booth

All pictures taken by our incredible wedding photographer Lesley of Kensington Blue

In case you missed it you can see our look here, the venue here and find out all the little details of our wedding here.

Wedding Week: The Details

wedding reception ideas Figuring out all the little details of our wedding was by far the most fun part of the process, but it was also the most strenuous. There are so many little details you never even think about until you start planning a wedding (Do you have special glasses for your toast? Are you bringing your own cake knife? Who’s setting up your favors? Are you aware that there is a cake cutting and plating fee? Who’s responsible for picking things up? Whaaaaat?!). I mean here I thought, I picked my dress, we found a venue, we chose a cake and that was that. Ha! Also, did I mention Mr. RC and I decided to be our own wedding planners? And Pinterest convinced me that I could DIY just about everything?!  Oh and I had to be hospitalized and have emergency surgery about a week and a half before the wedding?! Ay-yi-yi-yi! Talk about a nervous break down! Somehow everything managed to work out in one form or another….

DIY wedding ideas

Paper Details

Is it just me or are the prices of wedding invitations (a piece of paper with some writing on it, mind you) more expensive than a down payment on a house?! Mr. RC and I decided to design our own instead, so we came up with a simple “logo” that included a silhouette of the NYC skyline and the letter of each of our first names. We used that logo on our invitations, R.S.V.P cards, and our menu cards, all of which we got printed at Paper Presentation. Any other tags, signs, etc that needed to be made, we printed ourselves on nice paper that we had purchased from Paper Presentation as well.

DIY wedding invitations and menu cards

Ceremony Details

Because we chose to get married in a church (and the churches in Manhattan are old, ornately decorated and gorgeous), we didn’t need to do a lot as far as decorating or details. In fact we didn’t even plan to have flowers for the altar, until my Mom found out the day before the wedding and sent one of my friends to a Bodega Saturday morning in search of flowers. Embarrassing but true! I’m forever appreciative of my friend for stepping in to do this and my Mom for being a botanist and knowing how to make a killer flower display out of simple flowers from the street corner market. We had a few other things planned, but due to the afore-mentioned hospitalization, the ideas were quickly deemed as unnecessary and they were nixed.

Mr. RC and I had planned out our own wedding programs, with funny writing, printed on nice paper and being rolled up and tied with gold ribbon. Unfortunately, they somehow were forgotten about until Friday morning….right BEFORE the wedding, when I was dressing for my bridal shower, writing thank you notes, wrapping bridal party gifts and packing for the wedding and honeymoon. I mean, why not throw in typing up wedding programs, just for fun, right?! It was a disaster! They ended up still being the funny writing that we had planned on, but they didn’t get tied with ribbon or printed on nice paper. I know it wasn’t a crucial part of the wedding but it was one of the things I was most disappointed in. Now I can laugh at it, but looking back I probably should have gotten a giant chalkboard sign and just written everything on that. No one keeps programs anyways, right?!

We kept the music simple, hiring a violinist to play some of our favorite songs. Her car broke down and she wasn’t able to play prelude music, but thankfully she arrived just in time for our ceremony. Another disaster averted.

NYC wedding violinist

For our rings, my brother carried them in a box that Mr. RC and my brother made. They started with a simple plain wooden box from Michael’s that cost only a couple of dollars. They then spray painted it a rose gold color and lined the inside with cream-colored felt. The circular portion of the lid was painted with chalkboard paint and my brother completed it with a chalk heart and the words “Mrs. and Mr.” (yes, it was supposed to say “Mr. and Mrs”, but it worked regardless). It was a simple project, that cost only a few dollars and it now sits on my office bookshelves holding a few treasures from our special day.

DIY ring bearer box

Reception Details

There was a lot going on at the reception, so brace yourself for the information that I’m about to dump on you right now.

I’ll start with the reception decor. The room we used at Maritime Parc was a perfectly clean slate that had the potential for endless decorating options. However, because of the big windows that boasted beautiful views of the skyline, we decided to emphasize that and keep the decor simple. Each table held a few small arrangements in mercury glass containers (from Flower Girl) along with several votives. We put one menu in the center of each table, held up by a small silver photo clip stand that said “Love” (thank you dollar section of Party Central).

Flower Girl wedding flowers pink and mercury glass wedding floral arrangements

As a way to commemorate where we live, each table had a NYC themed figure (i.e. a Statue of Liberty, a taxi car, an apple). Each guest’s place card then said whether they were sitting at the Flat Iron building, Times Square, etc.

NYC wedding table marker ideas

For the place cards, we used twine to tie a tag to a small jar which doubled, not only as the indicator of where you were sitting, but also as a place to stock up on candy from the candy bar and a yummy party favor (more on the candy bar coming tomorrow).

creative wedding place card ideas wedding favor ideas

We kept the linens neutral in white and gray.

white and gray wedding table decor

We loved the idea of sparklers, but we were unsure if all our guests would stay to the end of the reception. So instead of a sparkler exit we chose to have a sparkler entrance! We made a chalkboard sign with a piece of wood from Michael’s painted with chalkboard paint, we ordered long sparklers from on-line, and we presented them in tall mason jars that my Mom had.

wedding sparklers sign wedding sparkler entrance

Mr. RC and I are huge scrabble nerds so we knew we had to find a way to incorporate that into our wedding. Our guest book was a scrabble board game and we made a “Sign Here” sign out of some of the remaining letters and letter stand.

scrabble wedding ideas

While it didn’t end up getting much attention, we made a “Kissing Tree“, writing various things/dares on tags that people would have to do if they wanted to see us kiss. We tied the tags to a tree branch stuck into a clear vase full of glittery sand, and while I think only a few of the tags got used, it still made for a pretty decoration next to our guest book.

DIY wedding kissing tree

Mr. RC’s aunt kindly put together an incredible slideshow of pictures (mostly embarrassing ones) of us throughout our lives, which was highly entertaining for everyone to watch while they enjoyed their meal.

wedding food ideas wedding food at Maritime Parc

The cake, red velvet with cannoli cream filling, was a pretty ombre pink ruffled fondant one straight from a Pinterest picture. Our cake toppers were bride and groom felt octopus we found on Etsy, which again was a way for us to incorporate something with a special meaning to us.

pink ombre wedding cake felt octopus wedding cake toppers pink to gray ombre ruffled wedding cake wedding cake ideas

We also paid tribute to another special place, Barbados (where we got engaged), by having a rum punch cocktail as our signature drink.

rum punch

While a photo booth didn’t end up working into our budget, we still wanted to make sure people had fun taking pictures. We made a DIY photo booth corner complete with props and disposable cameras, which I will discuss in more detail tomorrow.

As far as music was concerned, we had the violinist from our ceremony play the cocktail hour and then we had a dj take over for the remainder of the reception.

bride and groom

My biggest tip for reception details is to make things personal. Find a way to include things that are handmade, personal items from family members, and things that are unique to you as a couple. Incorporate your hobbies, the place you got engaged, a nickname, your favorite board game, your favorite book, places you’ve lived, where your family is from, etc. It will really help put a nice touch on your wedding and create a more intimate atmosphere.

wedding first dance

All pictures taken by our incredible wedding photographer Lesley of Kensington Blue

Check out my other wedding posts here and here.