LIKE / WANT / NEED
Bonjour! I’m Erin.
Categories & Series
Category Archives: wedding
I’m 90% done Christmas shopping. I know, I know, that’s insane, what’s wrong with me, aren’t you Jewish, etc etc. I got a really early head start on it this year (October) and stuck to detailed lists. We decided to give our parents a framed picture each from our engagement shoot as part of their Christmas presents, and in ordering prints I also ordered a few extras for us just to have. I ordered a 4×6 of the top photo, of us looking at my favorite Monet at the museum, for my desk, and a 5×7 of the second photo to hang in our room in the picture frame Jamal bought me in Paris for Valentine’s Day. We also used that photo for our save the date magnets, which my incredible friend and even more incredible designer Herbie made for us.
I know I’ve said this a million times already, but I love our engagement photos. Especially the ones in the museum. Inna, our photographer, captured us so perfectly that afternoon, and it still gives me goosebumps whenever I look at the photos. Not because I’m narcissistic, but because we’re surrounded by so much beautiful art. I love this museum (I’ve even done some Christmas shopping at the gift shop!), and it’s amazing that we get to go whenever we want. When we’re celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, that Monet will still be there, and we can go and sit on that bench again.
If you were a child of the 90s, the highlight of your week was invariably TGIF, the Friday night television programming on ABC, featuring such gems as Boy Meets World, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Family Matters (Urkel!), and Step by Step. All of these finely crafted shows filled 11 year old Erin with unrealistic expectations about the way the world worked; I could develop magical powers, suspenders and thick frame glasses would never be cool, and eventually I’d find the Cory to my Topanga while having a white-haired mentor follow me from middle school to college (Feeny!).
While I will gladly binge on any of these shows to this day and bask in the nostalgia, Boy Meets World in particular was always one of my favorites. I am beyond excited for the reboot, Girl Meets World, that’s airing next year with all of the original actors/characters. The show felt even more special because the Matthews family lived in Philadelphia, even though we all knew it was filmed in L.A. Even at 11 I was smart enough to know Topanga was too hot for Cory, and I secretly wanted her to be with Shawn, Cory’s orphaned bad-boy best friend (I realize now this is blasphemy). But alas, after dating basically their entire lives, Cory and Topanga get married. And because they hadn’t ever had sex (this was wholesome family fun, after all), Cory was ridiculously excited for the honeymoon, singing, and this has been stuck in my brain for the last 15 years, the word “honeymoon” in a goofy falsetto voice over and over. “HoneymooooOOOoooOOON.” See the clip below, around the 0:25s mark:
Also, the line, “We have been in a relationship for 17 years! LET ME TOUCH SOMETHING!” has me rolling on the floor.
All of this to say that Jamal and I booked our honeymoon and I’ve been walking around saying it like Cory Matthews ever since. After much (MUCH) deliberation, we’re going to…
One of the other perks of getting all of our engagement photos from Inna was the beautiful packaging it all came in. Everything came wrapped in tissue paper, our DVD customized with our smiling mugs and secured in a gorgeous, raw paper case. She graciously included a handful of free prints of some of her favorite shots, which I thought was an especially nice touch. I know I’ve complained before that weddings are expensive, but seriously, the one place I would never skimp is the photography. Feed me mac and cheese from a box at my wedding, I don’t care, but I want beautiful photographs. Inna has been worth it and then some.
I had forgotten, in all the excitement of that day, that Inna had also taken some solo portraits of both Jamal and me. It gave me an excuse to finally update my About page with a new, current photograph of me (I previously had a picture of me at 3 years old. Really.) as well as answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. I feel all official having an FAQ section! But that’s not my exciting news.
You’ll also notice, if you read that new bio, that I included an extra special bit of news: I am now a contributing writer for France Property Magazine! France Property a monthly digital magazine focusing on the French real estate market, from current market conditions, to all the beautiful views money can buy.
It just launched yesterday, and if you’d like to download it you can do so at the iTunes App store (currently only available for the iPad/iPhone). In this month’s launch issue, I’m sharing a gorgeous apartment for sale on the left bank. I am so happy to be a part of this publication; it feels like a natural extension of what I already do. Go check it out!
Remember when I said Inna, our wedding photographer, was magic? I’d like to upgrade that to be something along the lines of “Super-Talented Genius Fairy Princess.” Not only did she deliver preview photos the day after our engagement shoot, she had our online gallery up within a week, and mailed all of our high-res photos along with a few free prints this past Friday. I got them in the mail Saturday, and all my big plans for spending the day doing nothing but writing went out the window. I sent a few to Jamal (he landed safely in India late Saturday afternoon, and emailed me a photo of the Ladurée inside Charles de Gaulle airport, haha) but this is the first look!
Since we got engaged in Paris in the Musée Rodin gardens, it was important to us to include both our love of art and Paris into the shoot. The Art Museum and Parc, two of our favorite places in the entire city, felt like the obvious choices when it came to location ideas. I wanted something timeless and not trendy; we have precisely one photo of the two of us that we didn’t take ourselves, with one of our arms outstretched, holding the camera. We’re going to use a photo from this shoot for our Save the Dates, but we also wanted to have a nice selection of photos of us, at this moment in our lives, just for posterity. I am so in love with what Inna was able to capture that afternoon.
Herewith, a small sampling of our engagement photos. Damn, Jamal is a hottie. (I’ve watermarked them with ‘like / want / need’ in case they end up elsewhere, but obviously all credit/copyright goes to Peach Plum Pear Photography.)
The first thing I did after we got engaged was to email Inna, of Peach Plum Pear Photography, and book her immediately. Inna and I went to college together, only she actually put her Photojournalism degree to use after graduating and started her own wedding photography business. Her work is beautiful. No, it’s more than beautiful; it’s perfection. And I knew I wanted her to work her magic on us, so Jamal & I signed on the dotted line and then I proceeded to panic for the next 6 months leading up to our engagement shoot, because I’m awkward in front of a camera, and oh my god what would I wear, and ahh what if it rained.
We shot this past Tuesday in the late afternoon, and the weather could not have been more perfect (and I figured out what to wear, obviously). Somehow, Inna managed to send us a few preview shots by Wednesday afternoon. And we don’t look awkward at all! In fact, we actually look pretty good. See? Magic! Here are just a couple to whet your appetite:
You’ll have to wait a bit longer to see the rest of them (that includes me), but from what she sent so far I am SO, SO happy. Thank you, Inna!!
Have a good weekend, kiddos! What are you up to?
As if I needed another reason to want to elope to Paris, these photos of a couple’s recent wedding in my favorite city are doing the trick. Having the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop for your nuptials? Oui, merci. The groom’s name is Jeff! That’s a sign, right? His suit is the perfect shade of blue, I’m going to have to remember this when Jamal goes to pick his. I love the bride’s dress and the vintage green car they had for the day. See more here.
If you know me at all, you know I love a good bargain. Also that I’m insane. So it should be no shock to you when I tell you I already bought my wedding dress (…um, before we were engaged) and for under $150.
Allow me to explain. You see, I’d lusted after a specific J.Crew bridesmaid dress for years. Probably close to five, but since I wasn’t close to having a need for a wedding dress, it didn’t make sense to buy it. The dress, the since-discontinued Evie in silk chiffon, was a floor-length beauty, in a pale gray, and was so simple and elegant that it actually brought tears to my eyes every time I looked at it. Which was frequently, since I was (rightfully) panicked about it being discontinued or selling out before I’d ever have a chance to need it. I mean, LOOK AT IT:
I just can’t even.
So at the end of last summer, on one of my many checks to see if Evie was still on sale in all of her wonderful, flow-y chiffon goodness, I discovered that all that anxiety I’d had about it being discontinued was actually valid and J.Crew had marked it down to get rid of it. It was originally $350, but had been marked down to $249.99, final sale. A small price to pay for perfection. But could I really buy my future wedding dress before I was engaged?
My friends Christine and Maurin, who will forever be my scapegoats when someone invariably tells me I’m crazy for buying a wedding dress before I had a ring (which, duh, I’m aware of my own insanity enough to know), told me to just buy it. Lauren said to buy it. So I bought it. It wasn’t even technically a wedding dress, so I wasn’t breaking any rules. I figured I’d hide it in a dress bag at the back of my closet and never tell Jamal about it, because nothing makes a man want to propose faster than having his girlfriend of two years tell him, “I already have the dress, LET’S DO THIS.”
The day it arrived I got an email from J.Crew announcing a 40% off sale, including already reduced items. After doing the math and realizing if I’d waited a few days I could’ve saved an extra $105, I bitched to Maurin who, god bless her, told me most every store will honor a price reduction on previously purchased merchandise up to 7-14 days. She said I should call and ask them to give me back the additional 40% off. I did. They gave it to me. Which meant my $350 dress ended up costing me $144. I am so proud of myself.
I haven’t tried it on yet because I thought it would be bad luck to do so before we got engaged (even I have limits!). I sized-up when I ordered, opting for a 4, since the dress was final sale and I figured it would be easier to have it taken in than magically create extra fabric if the 2 was too small. I have a year before I have to worry about tailoring, though. I also have a beautiful J.Crew gray silk belt with pale pink, cream, and gray chiffon flowers on it that I’m planning on wearing.
I am in love. Man? Check. Venue? Check. Dress? Check. (But not in that order or anything.)
PS. Have you entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway yet? $50 gift card to the winner! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post!
As promised, here is where we are getting married:
It’s the first place we saw, when we got back from Paris and started the hunt. Immediately when I walked in, I knew. This was the place. There is a courtyard and garden and a gorgeous Victorian house, and we get full reign over all of them for the day. It’s a few blocks from our house, my nail salon, my hair salon, a stone’s throw from the park, and down the block from a hotel. It’s perfect. I cried. Jamal, on the other hand, needed to see other options. Not because he didn’t love the place (he did), but because the man is incapable of making a decision without exhausting every other option. And making a spreadsheet. My future husband, ladies and gents. I don’t doubt he had a spreadsheet about me.
So we saw five or six other options, and I was mostly doing it to humor him. My heart was stuck on the first place. And wouldn’t you know it, I was right! We have well over a year and a half to get everything else in order, though, so I’m not sweating the details at this point. We have the freedom to pick our own caterer and buy our own alcohol, which is preferable to being locked into an exclusive caterer (those of you who have gotten married understand how much they can gouge you on price simply because they’re your only option).
So, yeah! Step one: pick a venue, accomplished! I already have my dress, so I guess I can cross of step two? I’ll show it to you another time. What a tease.
I’m home! It’s definitely nice to see Fitz again, but the view out my window doesn’t include the top of Sacre Coeur, and that’s taking some getting used to. First and foremost, I want to thank my incredibly generous guest posters, Niki, Santa, Christine, and Sue, for picking up the slack for me while I was in Paris. Aren’t their homes just beautiful? You can tell each of them has a great eye for design (they each made me want to fully redecorate my entire house). Thanks again, ladies!
I have tons of pictures to share with you from the trip and lots of stories to tell (it was 63° and sunny on Saturday and 32° and snowing on Tuesday!) but first, and this may seem out of left field, I think it’s necessary to write a letter to my Number 1 Celebrity Crush to End All Crushes: Gary Oldman.
Dear Gary Oldman,
It is with a heavy heart that I feel I must tell you it’s time we moved on. Stop that, don’t cry. This isn’t easy for me. You know how much I’ve obsessed over you. Look, we had a really good thing going, and that time I met you and totally scared you with my creepiness was special for both of us. It’s something I’ll never forget. But it’s time we faced reality: you’re married, you don’t know I exist, and while I think I could be happy photoshopping you into Parisian scenes for a while, this wasn’t built to last, Gary Oldman.
There’s someone I love more. And last Friday in Paris…