Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Here's someone who actually needs our help

Dear ESB,

I've been reading your blog for months and though I have no idea how I found you, I heart you dearly! Come join my crew in NY soon! We'll take you to tequila trivia on sunday night which is as fun as it sounds: lots.

Anyway, to the point: My fiance and are one of those couples who like the DIY aesthetic but work 100 hours a week combined so by the time we have a free minute the last thing we can muster is the energy to craft anything worthy enough to be involved in our wedding (except we made our own invites but that's only because I had a hookup through work so that was essentially part of the 100 hrs... I'm rambling but you get the point. We're spent). We are madly in love 4 years strong but I'm starting to worry about pulling this whole shebang together with only 1 month left (Sept 10 yay!) and so much left to do.

Part of the "we're so busy" is that we're in the throes of planning Dr's visits instead of the wedding because we found out a few months ago that he has a brain tumor. WTF right? Wtf. Total shock that definitely helps keep those "what should my bridesmaids' dresses color be" dilemmas in check but it also put all planning on hold for a few months. Weeks and weeks into this stuff and we are feeling good about his ability to kick this shiz, we're optimistic like that, and both agree the show will go on with the wedding on the date as planned. At last the point: because of the crazy medical issues that arose, and needing to put those at the forefront of our attention we have seriously slacked on planning the wedding and I'm now beyond stressed.

Biggest obstacle: help us find good tunes to make this party a celebration of LIFE! LOVE! JOY, and that we even get to HAVE this day together. We're in the market for:

- DJ to spin tunes at the reception, preferably for no more than $1000. Wedding is at 4ish on Montauk, reception follows 6-11 or so in Bridgehampton*

Also would LOVE recommendations on:

- cheapish rehearsal dinner ideas in Montauk for about 30 people ($50 a person ideally)

- hair/ makeup people for 3-8 people (still seeing who wants this but at least it would be 3 people) who would be willing to come to Montauk and would be ok with $100 for the bride and closer to $50 per bridesmaid/mother/etc.

- sexy but tasteful stark white dress I can dance in at the reception, ideal price is like $30 but I'd go up to $100 if it's awesome and re-wearable. My dude is into my arms so a halter would be good.

We're paying for the wedding and on a budget, everyone's favorite word. We are super creative fun people but feeling totally drained and not able to make this party the awesome shin-dig we'd love it to be, to celebrate the once-in-our-lives gathering of our favorite people with. The above are the broad strokes of what's missing to make this happen. Any other recommendations would be super too...

I'm attaching my dress which I got from Bridal Garden in NYC (which I highly recommend... it's a thrift store/ sample store all in one and I combined 2 dresses for half of the price of a retail dress) in case that helps? Or maybe just because I love it, despite how it is so traditional and far from what I thought I'd want, which is why I think I'm jonesing for a shorter-funkier party dress if I start tripping all over it.

Thank you thank you thank you...

*Oh and for the record I feel like I have to make a disclaimer: I have a very generous colleague who scored us a deal on our venue as a thanks for some of that hard work, as we are very far from "hamptons" types, which is part of why I'm having a hard time finding some of these elements that will make it "us" or "us on a sojourn in the hamptons...


FWIW, I don't think you need a second dress. You look so gorg in the first one, why not wear it for as long as you can??



  1. I think you should shorten that dress to tea or ankle length, then wear it all night! It will look a lot less traditional, and you won't trip over it.

  2. I have no help, but I LOVE that dress. Amazing.

  3. As far as the DIY stuff, you need to find people who love you to DELEGATE that shit to. Seriously. The best advice I heeded was to give folks projects. They won't stop asking until you do. So figure out what you want, and I bet you and some of your best people will find a way to make it happen.

    As someone who ended up with swankier wedding than originally planned, just embrace it. You guys will show through no matter what. I promise.

  4. I can work with these details.

    Rehearsal dinner idea:
    Growing up, I used to go beachcamping every year at the end of Montauk at a state park. At the end of the week we would venture into town to eat at Gosman's Dock, chowder and lobster rolls right on the waterfront. Maybe it was because we always ate there after a week of campfire food, but I have the fondest memories of that place. I have no idea if they would rent it out for private events, but they have a cute little roofdeck/bar called Topside. I would call up and see.

    Gosman's site: http://www.gosmans.com/?id=TOPSIDE&doc=descriptions.htm

    360' view (!): http://www.gosmans.com/virtual_tour_topside.htm

  5. Hey!

    First of all, congrats on your upcoming nuptuals. It will truly be a day of life and love :)

    We know plenty of vendors that will fit within your budget.

    Email us at contact@labellaplanners.com- we'd be happy to help you out.

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  6. @ La Bella Planners - are you offering generous free expertise or are you trying to solicit business?

  7. We'd love to help you with your bridal accessories if you need some! Considering your story we'll give you a RIDICULOUS discount if you're interested in anything! Feel free to contact us at contact@somethingborrowedny.com and check out the site to pick out some pieces:


    Best wishes!


  8. Dang, this story puts things in perspective. Re: hair and makeup: ask a skilled girlfriend to do it as her wedding present to you. This means you and your gals will need to bring your own stuff, but it will still feel out of the ordinary, in a good way. Heck, if you gave me 100 bones I'd be out there in a heartbeat!

  9. While we would love to generate new business out of this, I oroginally put it up as a free offer. Sounds like this beautiful bride has had a rough couple of months.

    Just shoot us an email and we have some great connects within her budget.

  10. Melissa is right, DELEGATE.

    If you can't find a DJ in your price range, consider hiring one for part of your reception (say 6-9 pm) and using an iPod for the rest of the time. Or use an iPod during dinner and have the DJ play music from 8-11.

    RE the hair/makeup people: do you have any talented friends who can do your makeup? None of my friends are makeup artists but I know a few girls are good enough to do my wedding makeup in a pinch.

    I don't know Montauk, but I'd love to go to picnic rehearsal dinner. You could do it almost anywhere: in a park, in someone's backyard, on the beach. Word of warning: it will involve some work, so again, DELEGATE.

    If a picnic is too much work, maybe your colleague who got you the deal on your venue knows some cheap/fun places for the dinner? The people at your venue may also be able to recommend some places.

    I totally agree that you don't need another dress, cuz that one is gorgeous.

    But just in case you REALLY want one, here's some options. I included some petite dresses because you look pretty small.







  11. Make a "wedding playlist" of songs that you and your guy love, that definitely personalises things without being super time-consuming. That way you can give it to the DJ/make an iPod playlist and have that part sorted.

    I LOVE your dress, and agree that you should wear it as long as possible (on the day, don't start getting creepy..) But if you want to change:

    This is fun and I really love the neckline.


  12. Oh, and I agree with delegation. Isn't it pretty common sometimes for people to ask for 'favours' rather than gifts? Someone's gift to you could be doing the cake, someone else's to do your hair.. If you don't find a professional, a talented friend may be able to recreate the style you want by watching 'how to' videos.


  13. oh pleeease don't get a second dress...that one is GORGEOUS.

  14. I agree with the idea to shorten the dress- soooo gorgeous.

    Here's an idea to help with both budget and delegation - do you have a friend who always puts the best, most appropriate music on at parties? Ask said friend to make you a playlist, get them to play it on an iPad or iPod. What an awesome wedding gift for said friend to give you!

  15. You have got your HANDS FULL! And maybe your feet and toes too! You are one strong beauty to push through all of your happenings and to persevere with your wedding! I just know you'll come out on top!

    My two cents: that dress is GORG-eous!! Maybe switch the accessories up and take down your hair (if you're wearing it up) for the reception to give it a funkier flair. Could also bustle or pin it in a decorative/funky way - I'm sure YouTube can help with options for fun pinning! As for the rehearsal dinner, do you have any friends or family members who'd be willing to host it? You could make it a kind of classy potluck event or hire an inexpensive caterer. :) If you have good tunes on your iPod then I'm loving the "be your own dj" concept. As for hair and makeup, I'D actually love to help you out!

    I own Blushing Brides, the traveling hair and makeup company, and I have a super soft spot for brides with those extra special circumstances. A vendor friend of mine directed me to your plea for help and I knew instantly that you're the exact kind of bride I love striking an extraordinary, life-saving deal with! Check us out at www.blushingbridesboston.com (dont be fooled, we started in Boston but service all of New England and New York!) or www.Facebook.com/blushingbrides for our fanpage but disregard our pricing since I'll be working with you directly to fit your budget! Email me at beautifulblushingbrides@gmail.com or call me directly at (508)-769-1091 and we'll take care of your worries! I'll also hunt around and see what tips and/or deals with vendors I can find for you! The very best of luck to you regardless! You are going to LOVE your wedding. Hope we get to see a follow up!


  16. WOW as an upcoming bride myself, my heart truly goes out to this bride. I never usually write back on these things but I thought I might be of some help since I know Montauk pretty well. One my favorite restaurant is The Harvest on Oyster Pond. Food is spectacular and family style, Im sure they would work with you on a amount per head. As for your second dress, I LOVE your first one but if you really want a another to get down and dance in...check out H&M, you will for sure find something cute and cheap!

  17. All I can do is wish the OP and future husband nothing but the best. So much love to you <333

    But seriously all these comments are making me tear up b/c everyone is so wonderful. What A+ people you all are.

  18. You look amazing, and what a story. My heart goes out to you, with hugs on and all sorts of sappy stuff like that.

    That dress looks like it's got great swishablity btw, if I were you I'd twirl it around on the dancefloor like anything.

    Pls do a followup! xo

  19. So someone has to have some medical trauma for us to be helpful? I see. That's not hypocritical in the least.

  20. I got my dress at the Bridal Garden too! Loved it!

  21. My heart goes out to you two!

    My fella and I used this great dj, Pierce, and he was super affordable. I want to say under $1000 for the whole afternoon/ night? Everyone loved the tunes and he worked with us to inlcude anything we wanted. Here's his info:
    Pierce Jackson

    Your dress looks fantastic and I agree with the other comments about switching up hair and accessories. However, if you are dying for a second dress...

    I know ESB doesn't favor the chains when shopping, but White House/ Black Market has some pretty great sale dresses right now, like this one:

    (helpless at shortening links, obviously)

    Also, this anthro one is soo very pretty:

    You guys have the love, so everything else will fall into place.

  22. Beware of delegating to unpaid friends - delegating is work, too. Given the pressure you're under, try to find some affordable professionals. Best wishes!!

  23. I love the dress! Change if you must, but it is gorgeous. I loved my dress and it took everything I had to change out if it on my wedding day.

    If you can't figure out the dj, or the playlist idea try pandora. Not kidding. Our computer crashed the day before our wedding and our wedding playlist was gone. We decided to do Pandora one the morning of our wedding when many, many ideas did not work. It was one of the best decisions! $36 for Pandora One = No commercials.

    Another money saving tip, do your own nails. Or have a friend do them for you. You have to know someone who does a pretty decent job at that.

    Also, delegate that shit. There is so much stuff that comes up last minute. Regardless, you will feel SO MUCH love! Joy will overflow. People brought us hand written notes and little presents the day of. They just wanted to share in the excitement. Times are hard and people truly want to experience joy. If I were in your part of the world, I would be there in a second to help out. Your friends probably feel the same way. Give them something to do and they will be happy to be a part of the day.

    Anything I can do from South Carolina?

  24. @Finn Really? I don't remember any of these ladies (myself included) getting dragged into the negativity of the last post. Why would you bring it over here?

  25. Oh, and PS lady, I have no fucking clue what your situation is like, but my best friend's mom had a brain tumor and is doing amazingly well! Its been 4 years, and she runs her own design business, paddle boards every day, and still kicks her sons' asses with out breaking a sweat. The best of luck to you!

  26. I will reach out to some friend's of mine that are make-up and hair artists in NY, I am here in California, but I will def put out the bat signal to all my friends out there, including dj's. Can we chat off line? My email is lisamarie72@gmail.com. Anything else I can help with from California I will try and do. Even if you need someone to vent to or just bounce ideas off of. I have been scouring the DIY sites for months.

    Much love to you and your Fiance!!


  27. I'm with Fenn. I was annoyed with the last post, but after this I'm fucking done with ESB.

  28. @Fenn are you kidding me? sit down

  29. wow ! that gown is spectacular. i don't see why you should get a second. you look incredible in it -- why change into something cheap that won't be as flattering ?

    do you REALLY need a make up artist and hair stylist ? they would be the first cut if i were in your shoes. then again, i was a ballerina as a kid and teen, and am fairly skillful when it comes to that sort of thing.

    best wishes to you and your future husband !

  30. a ps. to fenn -- yes, medical trauma DOES make a difference. when the one you love is devastatingly ill, it has a way of sucking everything out of you -- joy, energy, MONEY ... it overwhelms, like a sponge that just keeps swelling.

    and to the bride-to-be ... i hope this too shall pass, and that the experience will fortify your love and ultimately enrich your relationship. again, best wishes.

  31. love love love love the dress as it is. you shine.

    wishing you and your guy an amazing day and life together with your loved ones

  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

  33. I love that dress so hard I'd wear it to the grocery store.

  34. First of all, that dress is beautiful!

    Second, if you're still looking for a DJ, my boyfriend is a wedding DJ who is used to working with folks on a budget. If you're interested, his email is dyager@gmail.com.

    Best of wishes to you and your fiance!

  35. What Shayna said. I'd ditch the 2nd dress, personally, since the one you have is so fantastic. Other than that, I have no advice because everything I'd say has already been said.

    Huge thanks and virtual hugs to every single one of you people who have offered free assistance to this lovely lady & her fiance, because cancer sucks balls and really does drain you of everything you have. And hugs to the bride & groom, too, because wow, you've dealt with a LOT.

  36. A few things:
    - Sorry that you guys are going through this, but you seem to have the right attitude, and that does wonders

    - I actually help people with DIY projects - that's my specialty as a wedding planner/DOC/crafty best friend in NYC. If there is something that you would like made I would love to make it for you. It's what I do, and you can consider it a wedding present (from someone you don't actually know). Even just figuring out how to accomplish the projects you want to in a short amount of time is doable and having someone else to figure it out might reduce your stress. Just email/call me

    - I don't know her rates, but DJ Whitney Day is spinning at an event I am working on with APW and she seems super cool. http://whitneyday.com/DJ/HOME.html

    - The clambake/lobster roll options seems awesome. Maybe you don't even have to reserve the space, but just book a large group

    - Your dress is so f'ing gorgeous I would never get out of it (not for the rest of the week, at least) but if you must change - and I had two dresses at my wedding, so I understand - I think maybe vintage might be the way to go for your budget. some options:

    Very summery, with lots of arm 70s dress: http://etsy.me/qgNlTx

    Sexy halter: http://bit.ly/ohGy0j

    and this crazy 80s hot mess, but potentially fab for the right girl: http://etsy.me/mVh5O4

  37. Music: I would check out HiFi Weddings: http://hifiweddings.com/

    They have an excellent round-up of "Tunes To Play." And they have a "vendors list," worth browsing: http://hifiweddings.com/vendorlist/

    2nd Dress: I love this white summer dress:

    It mirrors the shape/style of THE DRESS, which is stunning, by the way. At $169, it's slightly over budget, but I think it's worth it.

    Best of luck! You and your fiance deserve a wonderful wedding day! I'm sure it will all come together beautifully. Good luck! xoxo.

  38. @ all the haters:

    Someone in the throes of a situation like this absolutely does deserve some help. It's nice to see this community of sometimes-snarky women (and that one guy) set the BS aside in favor of kindness and assistance. For the record, wedding planning n the face of shit like this is the roughest of the rough. My best friend was dealing with a recurrent brain tumor last fall when we began planning our wedding - just mustering the desire + energy to even address our invitations was emotionally taxing.

    To the bride, my heart goes out to you. My advice is to just axe anything that isn't as crucially important - on the day-of, it won't matter and no one will notice. Crafty stuff, programs, signage, appetizers, a signature cocktail, a hair stylist - nix them in favor of bare-bones elements of what makes a wedding a party: a good ceremony, food, drink, and music.

  39. MAN. I am the bride in this scenario and just wanted to say you all ROCK. Your kindness has touched me... I was overwhelmed and bumming and now I'm overwhelmed by your support. Thank you sincerely. I'm already following up on a few of these leads.

  40. If you happen to like soul and funk, I know Daptone Records in Brooklyn has a couple artists associated with them that DJ. Maybe they'll do a wedding?? I think you could probably call their office and ask to speak with Nydia...
    Tommy 'TNT' and Nydia Davis (don't know her DJ name) are friends with good "old school" musical taste. Best of luck!

  41. Oops. I meant Nydia Davila. Her office number is on the contact page if you're interested. Otherwise, hope it goes splendidly!

  42. Hey! I just saw this post, and I know you didn't say you were looking for a photographer but if you are I'd love to chat with you about doing the wedding gratis to ease the planning etc.


  43. Can we get a post wedding update? How did it go? How is Nicole's husband doing? Wishing you the best!