Sitting on the couch and planning my wedding hasn’t been all hearts and bonbons. First, pending reconstructive knee surgery this Wednesday, I’m barely mobile enough to go to the bathroom, much less meet with vendors; and second, now that I’ve had time to read every bridal magazine on the market, plus celebrity planner Mindy Weiss’s new how-to guide, The Wedding Book, I’m sufficiently confused. Band versus DJ? Roses versus stephanotis? Sushi station versus passed apps? No wonder men don’t get involved.
Most men, that is. The one good thing about being laid up is that The Fiancé is forced to help. So we—as in my mom and me—gave him the task of picking the band. TF recently met with Larry King of the Larry King Orchestra (no relation to the other Larry King), who understood the vibe we’re going for: a mix of old songs and new to appease both the older and younger folks. Plus, he brings along a 24-year-old turntablist who plays hip-hop by the likes of Kanye with the 12- to 15-piece band (the DJ also spins during breaks and while the band breaks down at the end of the night, and he would be available to play our afterparty, should we decide to have one). It’s the best of both worlds—and a nice compromise with my mom, who wasn’t a big fan of the DJ-only idea, especially for a 300-person wedding at a fancy-schmancy hotel.
Speaking of hotels, despite some readers’ warnings, we’ve signed a contract with The Drake—both due to and in spite of those beautiful gold pillars. I’ve seen enough photos from other Drake weddings to know there are ways to work around them. In part I was convinced by photographer Jai Girard, who does some pretty amazing things with Photoshop and puts together beautiful coffee table-style albums. More importantly, she lets her clients keep all of the photo proofs and assembles online photo galleries (these are important points, I’ve learned, when considering photographers). And Girard met her now-husband, a videographer, when they were both shooting a wedding at The Drake. “There’s magic in those pillars,” she says.
Band and photographer down; flowers and food to go. We just got the contract back from Danziger, the kosher caterer we’re planning on using, and the recommended sushi station with four sushi chefs equals $1,600, not including $25 a head for the actual food. Do we really need four sushi chefs hand-rolling maki? Other options include a hot dog and slider station, and a Mediterranean station with falafel, hummus, et cetera. And then there are the passed appetizers. This is not the actual reception, mind you—just the cocktail hour. Will anyone even be hungry for dinner? Please advise.
As for the flowers, I’ve come across a variety that would make for the perfect bouquet: the stephanotis, from the orchid family. I e-mailed a picture to both my mom and my wedding coordinator, Sue Primer. Sue wrote back: “This should absolutely be in your bouquet. You are such a classic woman, which is reflected in your choice of hotels.” Just what a bride wants to hear.
My mom’s response was a little different: “This one is $500!” OK, so maybe we only use it for my bouquet and let the bridesmaids carry roses.
But just wait until my mom sees my guest list.