My 2nd Stitch Fix!

Happy Friday everyone!

We are almost there.  In other exciting news my second stitch fix arrived yesterday!

IMG_7559

I don’t think I did the best job describing it last time (see my first stitch fix), so let me try again.

  • Stitch Fix is a company that will send you a box of clothes and accessories (5 pieces total) selected by your personal stylist.
  • In order to tailor to your needs, Stitch Fix asks you to complete a thorough survey about your style, budget, size, etc.
  • You can order boxes as frequently or as little as you like, there is no commitment beyond your first box!
  • There is a $20 styling fee per box, which is credited to your order, if you keep at least one item. (So it’s almost always worth it to keep something.) If you keep everything, you get 25% off the total cost of your box, plus the $20 styling credit.
  • Before you receive each box you let your stylist know what you’d like to see it that box, for example, evening wear, work attire, etc.
  • Finally, after you get your box, you have three days to decide what to keep and you ship back the other pieces in a prepaid envelope.  Then you give feedback on line!

So here is what was in my box:

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

 

It included a color block knit dress,  a v-neck blouse with gold buttons, a black and white stripped skirt, a black fit and flare dress with lots of texture and a clutch.

Plus, a style guide:

IMG_7565

 

Here’s what they looked like on (cue the awkward self-timed photos):

IMG_7571

The top had a lot of weight to it; it was high quality.  I could wear it to work with a blazer or dress it up with a necklace.  It’s easy and comfortable and I like the gold buttons on the neck and sleeves.  However, it’s pretty expense for a knit shirt.

IMG_7583

Striped skirt.  While this is light and easy, it may be a little long for me. I always feel a bit apprehensive about skirts that fall mid-calve.  #calfissues But I love that my stylist pulled it from a similar skirt on my pinterest board and the price is right, so it’s a keeper.

IMG_7587

I actually have a similar mod-style dress that I love, but this one might be a little too mod for me.  It’s also way too large, so back it goes. Next!

IMG_7593

Lastly the black fit and flare.  You can’t really see in the picture, but it has little color specks all over it, plus textured stripes.  I’m on the fence about this piece. It’s super comfy and I’m sure if I keep it, I’ll wear it a ton. However, it’s a bit heavy for summer and it feels a little young. It’s also a tiny smidge too big, so I think I’ll update my dress sizing.  Still not sure!

Also, I’m sending back the clutch, I got a nice black clutch for Christmas.

As always I’d love your thoughts!  Do I keep the dress? The blouse? Have you tried stitch fix?

All right, 11 hours and it is officially the weekend! I can’t wait!

Weekend in Vegas

Last weekend, I went to Vegas for the first time. I feel as though I’ve spent a lifetime (or, ya know, 10 years) speculating about what Vegas would be like, so it was great to finally see it for myself.

IMG_7526

We had a great weekend walking around checking out the hotels (we saw 14 different hotels, but who’s counting?), seeing shows, dining, gambling and laying out at the pool.

The first night we got in pretty late, so we  checked into our hotel, Aria, and then explored some other hotels along the strip. We ended the night with a drink at the Cosmopolitan hotel.

The next morning, we got up early to work out in Aria’s gorgeous gym.  It was one of the nicest hotel gyms I’ve head the opportunity to work up a sweat in. That said, I’ve never seen a hotel gym so busy.  After some more touring, we had some lunch on the strip and did some shopping.

We had dinner reservations at Koi, which was fabulous.  I think I liked it better than the one in New York.

vegas6

Tuna tartare with crispy rice

vegas5

Lobster tacos

vegas4

Sashimi roll

vegas2

Tiger roll

vegas1

Black cod

vegas

So much food!  But so delicious.

After dinner, we had tickets to Britney Spear’s Piece of Me show.  There were highs and there we lows, I think this  NYTimes article kind of sums up my thoughts. It was great to see Britney and the show itself was pretty impressive, but come on Britney, gimme more.

After Britney, DJ Pauly D was actually djing at our hotel, so we had to check that out.  He was actually pretty good and seemed really excited to be djing, which was refreshing.

vegas9

I woke up really early on Sunday to try and go to Yoga with Dolphins at the Mirage.

yoga with dolphin

 

At first I thought I would be doing some kind of aqua yoga with the dolphins.  Okay, pretty silly.  Then I wondered if both the dolphin and I would be instructed simultaneously–me being on land and the dolphin in the water of course.  Eventually, I realized that was probably a bit far fetched and that I would just be observing the dolphins while doing yoga from land.  After several unanswered phone calls to the spa to book a class, I decided to just show up and hope a spot was available.  No dice.  All sold out. At least I got a good walk out of it.  Frank and I ended up doing a nice run instead.

After the run and checking out the Wynn and the Encore, we were famished.

vegas8

I had some fish tacos to fuel the journey back to Aria.vegas7 

We spent the afternoon at the pool and grabbed some drinks on the strip right across from the famous Bellagio fountains.

For our final night, we had dinner at Michael Mina. So many Vegas restaurants are ones that we have in NY, so we were excited to go somewhere that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to try.  We had a huge meal, but  it was too dark to get good pictures, so I’ll just share my favorite course, which was a delicious cod.

vegas10

After Michael Mina we had tickets to “O,” which was great.  After some gambling and a nightcap, our Vegas vacay come to an end.

So how did Vegas compare to my assumptions? Here is what stood out to me…

The Weather: it was fantastic! It was 82 degrees (hello pool deck) in February! Basically the opposite of NYC winter weather, which leaves something to be desired.

Tacky or Opulent: I’d say opulent.  Vegas was far less tacky than I imagined. At least on most of the strip, things were way over the top, but more refined than I expected. I think all the flash added to the indulgent mood of the city.

Walking: We did so much walking. Probably 5-6 miles each day. This was awesome.  That said, walking in Vegas could be annoying.  The streets were packed and people sure do mosey in Vegas.  It was kind of like being in Times Square at all times. Also, I had never experienced anything like the elevated walkways that are used to allow pedestrians to cross the streets at major intersections.  I really think cars get an unfair advantage.

Overall, it was a really fun time and a welcome break from winter.

Bye Vegas, I’ll be back someday

IMG_7531

 

Monday Musings

It was a great weekend.  Lots of relaxing with a few actual activities.  Both aforementioned activities happened to be brunch.  Any double brunch weekend is a win in my book. In case you are wondering, one was at the Smith and one was at TBSP.

I committed myself fully to watching as much of the olympics as possible–particularly the figure skating.

I also managed to catch yet another new Bravo show, Southern Charm.  Does Whitney remind anyone else of Chuck Bass?

Ed Westwick seen filming Gossip Girl in New York City

SouthernCharm-Whitney-Smith

 

Just me?

In other weekend news, I decided I don’t like my gym. I find it depressing.  I joined NYSC because I got a good corporate rate and because it’s 1 block from my apartment.  However, I’m kind of regretting my decision now that I see that they could care less about maintaining the gym.  There are always numerous cardio machines broken and the weight equipment is all scraped up and rusty looking.  I don’t need a fancy gym, but it makes me sad when companies just don’t care about their facilities.  I’ve seen decent NYSC club locations, mine just isn’t one of them.  It’s definitely affecting my gym usage, that’s why I’ve been doing so many home workouts!

Back to positive, I made an epic kale salad last night.  I have really really struggled to enjoy raw kale salad and I’ve only found a few recipes that could keep me from throwing the salad in a pan and sautéing to my heart’s delight.  The recipe was from Smitten Kitchen.  SO GOOD.  It’s not 100% raw because there is cheese and the bread crumbs and walnuts are toasted, but baby steps folks.

IMG_7495 IMG_7498 IMG_7501 IMG_7502 IMG_7507 IMG_7508

 

Try it! I think you’ll like it.

 

My first Stitch Fix

My first stitch fix!

When I first heard of stitch fix, I was all like, I don’t think I would ever do that.  Then I saw blogger after blogger raving about it, and I came around.  This happens to me all the time.  As I mentioned a while back, I’m not exactly a fashion plate and I almost never buy clothes.  This year, I am hoping to get a little bit of my fashion spark back from wherever it’s been hiding for the last 6 years.  Stitch fix seemed like a good way to get new clothes on a semi-regular basis and also try things I wouldn’t necessarily pick out myself.

Honestly, the excitement and anticipation of the box arriving might have been worth the $20 styling fee alone. Of course, I left the house at 6:45AM yesterday and didn’t return until after midnight, so I didn’t get my box until 7AM this morning. I actually woke up early so I could get the box and try things on before work.

Here was what was in my first box:

A wrap skirt and light floral-esque skirt

IMG_7492

A gold, shimmery sweater with a keyhole back and a black shirtdress.

IMG_7493

Dear John black denim jeans with velour floral detail.

IMG_7494

I have to say, when I first opened the box, I wasn’t sure if I liked anything.  Things were lighter and more wrinkled than I expected.  But when I tried things on after work, it was like a whole new box. I guess the wrinkles had a chance to fall out over the course of the day.

I tried on the skirt and really liked it.  Done. I’ll keep the skirt.

I tried on the jeans and they were really flattering. I kind of like that they have style and they are definitely something I would never have tried on in the store.  They might look awesome with booties–which I don’t actually own.

But are they just two 80s?  I had similar jeans when I was 8.  Another factor is that at $98 they will be the most expensive jeans I own by far.  I was so indecisive that I hoped over to youtube to check out Rachhloves lastest fashion post.  Side note: I love Rachhloves! Anyways, what do ya’ll think?

The shirt dress was way too big and pretty thin, although in the perfect size, I might have felt differently.

While I love Kensie clothes, the gold sweater’s bottom was really unflattering on me.

The wrap top was really flattering, but a little on the expensive side.

Overall, I was surprised by how well most of the pieces fit. If they fit, they fit perfectly.

I’m decided to keep the black jeans and the skirt. I have a really flexible dress code at work, so any of these would work for office attire.

As far as price, they were completely honest in saying that the average cost of pieces was $68, that was dead on.  The prices of the pieces I liked were probably higher than I would pay in a store for something, but once you have something in your home, it’s a little easier to get over the price.   This is actually kind of the genius of stitch fix business in my mind!

But the prices certainly weren’t outrageous and I had a say in what I would spend on my survey.  So Stitch Fix box #1 was definitely a success in my book.

Are you itching for a stitch fix?  Check it out!  If you want to use me as your referral, use this link!

7 Minute Workout-Cardio Edition

So I am guessing I might be a little late on this train, but I just found out about the “Scientific 7-Minute Workout.” If you missed it too, the full explanation of the exercise science behind the workout can be found here, but in a nutshell, this is what he 7 Minute Workout aim to achieve, according to authors Chris Jordon and Brett Klika:

To address the limitations of traditional exercise protocols and provide an effective and efficient program for our clients, one of the exercise strategies we use is high-intensity circuit training (HICT) using body weight as resistance. Our approach combines aerobic and resistance training into a single exercise bout lasting approximately 7 minutes. Participants can repeat the 7-minute bout 2 to 3 times, depending on the amount of time they have. As body weight provides the only form of resistance, the program can be done anywhere. source

Basically it’s another win for high intensity interval training! The workout is 12 exercises done for 30 seconds with 10 seconds rest in between.

With the weather this winter, I have been doing a lot of home workouts lately. I absolutely love HIIT interval workouts, I really can’t get enough. I’ve been doing the Tone it Up Love Your Body HIIT Workout pretty regularly, often paired with another TIU workout.

When I read about the 7 Minute Workout, I had to try it immediately.  Doing it once is really not a workout, maybe it could be a good workout add on. However, I did it three times with a couple of minutes rest  in between and I definitely broke a sweat.  Was it the hardest workout I have ever done? Of course not. But it’s great for a living room or hotel room workout.

However, after doing the workout a few times, I still loved the concept, but I wanted something with a little more calorie blasting potential.  It’s pretty easy to ramp up, so I created a cardio edition of the workout:

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 8.58.42 PM

 

The trick is really to make sure you are really pushing to around 80% effort to get the most out of your 7 minutes.  Also, don’t forget to rest 10 seconds between exercises and a few minutes between rounds if you are doing the circuit more than once.

There are quite a few 7 minute workout timers out there; I like this one:

I feel like doing this three times is a pretty good workout.  But let me know what you think!

Here is a  cheat sheet to the exercises:

Fly Jacks 

Wall Sit

Push Up with Clap

V-Up

Jump Squat

Jumping Lunge

Plank With Knee Jog (in a plank alternate touching your knees to the ground)

Push Up with Side Rotation

Burpees

Under Armour Workout with Natalie Uhling

The weekend just started and I feel like it’s already almost gone.  Do you every feel like that?  I hope not!  Don’t worry, there’s plenty of weekend left!

I really shouldn’t be complaining, I had Friday off–although boy did I need it.  It worked out pretty perfectly that I had already taken Friday off when Under Armour asked if I wanted to attend a workout with Natalie Uhling in their House of Innovation at Grand Central.   Of course, I said yes. UA was kind enough to send over a full outfit to wear to the event, including their new UA SpeedForm ™ shoe, which has gotten quite a bit of press for their new shoe “technology.”

IMG_7486

I’ve actually never owned any Under Armour, so it was fun to give it a try.  I loved the sports bra, especially as I desperately need some new ones. I’ve also been wearing the shoes pretty much non-stop since they arrive last week.

Before I talk about the workout, I want to tell you about what Under Armour’s got going on at Grand Central. They’ve completely transformed the Vanderbuilt wing; it’s absolutely worth checking out if you are in the area.  They have events going on all weekend! One of the coolest things is the models of their new Olympic speed skating uniform on display.

under armour

They are keeping it popping throughout the weekend with a robust schedule of booths and events, including more free workouts.

UA-e-mail

After  looking around, I headed to the workout with Natalie Uhling.  From her bio I learned that she’s taught at Barry’s Bootcamp and Soul Cycle among other well-known fitness meccas.  After the first five minutes  of the workout, I had a huge girl crush!  She is an amazing trainer! She said she has energy 24/7 and she wasn’t lying.  .We started out with a 20 minute “warm up” of intense cardio kickboxing.

ua5

Then we moved on to 25 minutes of partner boxing. under armour3

We rounded out the hour with toning and cardio intervals.  It was WAY more intense that I expected.  I was totally spent by the end.

ua4

 

I was so exhausted that I’m sure a whole lot of this was going on:

a planking how i look

 

Simply put, it was an awesome workout. I’ll definitely be looking out for the speedskating uniforms in Sochi next week! The Olympics countdown is on!

Circuit of Change

Last week, I had the awesome opportunity to join one of my very favorite health publications, Well and Good at an event featuring Circuit of Change and Mio’s new line of workout essential skin products.

I had heard about Circuit of Change from friends and even overheard people talking about it at the gym, so I was eager to try it.

I have to say, it was not what I expected. I thought it would be a circuit training workout, but it was really a fusion of yoga, martial arts and cardio.  The ambience was warm and glowy. The room was filled with orange yoga mats with windows all along the front and side and even a fireplace filled with candles.  Two live drummers set the soundtrack for the class.photo-18

We stayed on our mats the entire class, going through a fairly intense mix of jumping jacks, punches, kicks, push ups, ab work  and several boats of just shaking and jumping like crazy.  Throughout the class the instructor yelled motivation phrases about letting go and working hard.  My personal favorite was when he yelled BE ALIVE, BE ALIVE repeatedly.

The class is a really interesting mix of the intentionality and release of yoga mixed with a good cardio workout.  However, it has a decidedly hippie vibe.  The crazy shaking parts of the routine make you seem really silly and a little crazy, although, I think that’s the point.  I feel as though Mind, Body, Crazy really sums up how I felt about the overall experience.  While it was fun to try, I don’t think I’ll be going back regularly.

Mio’s line of products for pre and post workout, on the other hand, have me totally sold! I already love the workout wonder, which is an extremely refreshing, cooling cream for post workout.  It really invigorates the skin and it could be a game changer in the summer. I’m also super excited about the workout wipes they will be releasing soon.  I’m going to save a full review until I’ve had a chance to use them for a little longer!

 

Wedding: Details and Decor

Alert, this is a wedding post! And it’s a long one.  If wedding posts aren’t your thing, go ahead and skip it.  It’s actually my last wedding post for the main page of the.  I’ll add all my vendors to the wedding page eventually.

Details and Decor

It is so hard to know where to begin when talking about wedding details and decor.  There are just so many details, there is no way you could possible capture or even remember all of them.

Our wedding was defined by its location, Saratoga Springs.  We figured if we were going to make so many people travel upstate, we’d stay true to what is special about the location itself.   We embraced the vintage, historical feel of Saratoga. I liked the vintage romantic vibe and loved the Gatsby-inspiration that was so popular around the time I was getting married.  However, I didn’t get too concerned with keeping everything themed, I mostly picked what I liked, but stayed away from anything too modern or contemporary.

Paper

The Save-the-Date was the first detail we picked out.  We worked with One Lonely Apricot on Etsy to create a map that connected the events of our wedding and major attractions in the area.

Giovinazzo_0031

While the save the dates were pretty whimsical, we went pretty formal with the invitations, picking out a simple, but sleek William Arthur design. We had them addressed by the amazing Dani Writes–highly recommended, she did over 200 invitations in 1 week and was by far the most affordable calligrapher I contacted.

IMG_6443 IMG_6617

We DIYed the program ceremonies, which ended up being about 20+ hours of our life that we could never get back.  While I love paper source, not all of their materials are printer friendly.  We bought a slightly shimmery sturdy paper for the programs.  The inserts that matched were a light weight plain paper in a slightly smaller and extremely odd size.  After we went to about 4 different printing places and none of them could print on  our programs and paper presentation wanted some astronomical price per program, we printed them one by one.  It was so incredibly tedious I can’t even tell you.  Then we assembled them tying the cover and the insert with a peach ribbon. Fun note, while the Catholic Church is pretty strict with almost everything, they did let me put one of my favorite quotes on the back of the program, “When you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” When Harry Met Sally

Giovinazzo_0029

Hotel Gift Bags

I love getting gift bags at hotels. It makes you feel so special. I still remember the first wedding  gift bag I ever received.  Anyways, this was one of the things that I was most excited to do for my wedding. It turned out to be a lot of man power, and I really have to hand it to my family for actually doing the lion’s share of the work ordering supplies, assembling and delivering over 100 bags.   I wanted to stick with a Saratoga theme, but I was finding that the themed gift bag ideas in wedding magazines typically cost hundreds of dollars each. EACH. I’m not sure who actually gives their guests $25 hand cream and $60 pashminas–sometimes wedding magazines aren’t very practical.  But with ideas from my family we pulled together bags with 2 bottles of Saratoga water, Saratoga chocolate bars from Saratoga Sweets, and boxes of Saratoga chips.  In addition, we added a map of Saratoga and a little visitors guide. I rounded out the bags with advil, mints, maple candy, personalized lip balm and a granola bar.  Sadly, I don’t have a goodphoto of the finished bag, but I have some of the work in progress bags.

IMG_6604 IMG_6603 IMG_6602

I also put in a schedule for the guests. (I made similar ones for the bridal party as well.)

timeline

My great family assembled the bags with lots of tissue paper and raffia…they took over our garage.

gift bags

For the actual wedding, I knew I wanted a blush, peach, coral and gold color scheme. I knew I wanted black bridesmaids dresses. From there I really just looked at lots of wedding magazines, style me pretty and pinterest.

We met with our florist, David Michael Schmidt from Renaissance, way back in July. He  is one of those amazing visionary people who you just want to tell to do whatever they want.  However, he really did want our input and we discussed every little detail over the course of about 4 conversations.  This was this list of things that were important to Frank and I:

  • lots candles
  • a warm feeling
  • big fluffy flowers (I love me a peony)
  • a dramatic escort card tree
  • a dramatic head table.

Personal Flowers

Giovinazzo_0068 Giovinazzo_0071

The bridesmaids each had a unique bouquet with brighter shades of the colors in my bouquet.  I love the large mix in type of flowers used in the bouquets.

Giovinazzo_0159

Reception

This particular pin really helped me develop my overall vision for the reception.

pinterest

I had pinned a bunch of trees on pinterest and Renaissance was able to create a gorgeous one-of-a-kind escort tree.  It was definitely the focal point of the ballroom.

tree escort card

We discussed a kind of moving hedge of flowers with different  colors and levels and taper candles for the head table.  That was the only thing that didn’t come out the way we had pictured, but everything else was so far beyond what we had imagined, it didn’t matter.

Giovinazzo_0845

We had three types of arrangements for the tables, a low full arrangement..

Giovinazzo_0841

A tall pillar arrangement with hanging crystals.  The table numbers were actually places we love in NYC.  We went around and took the pictures ourselves and then  printed them in black and white and put them in gold frames.

Giovinazzo_0843

And an arrangement that was a mix of floating candles and three smaller flower arrangements.

Giovinazzo_0847

For the place settings, I made our menus. I found the shaped paper at Paper Source and then printed them one by one.

Giovinazzo_0839

My venue already had the perfect peach napkin. I debated getting overlays, but I never found any I liked–the damask in my inspiration photo was too fussy, so I stuck with plain ivory table clothes.While I loved the gold beaded charger, they were $4.50 each and with 240 guests, that wasn’t happening.  Fortunately, the awesome event planner at the Hall of Springs,  Kevin Sykes, suggested we upgrade to gold rimmed china and order 1 extra plate to use as a charger.  This was a great happy medium–it gave me the effect I wanted and saved me the cost of upgrading both the plates and the charger.    Excuse the messy napkin in the photo, a guest took this one!

table

By the way, I found that both our contact at the venue and our florist were willing to do absolutely anything they could to help us create our vision.  No request was too great.  Moral of the story, it never hurts to ask.  Truly great professionals care as much about your wedding as you do.

Lighting was a large part of the decor at our reception.  Our venue has a tendency to look very austere without lighting.  At first, I was pretty worried about our venue looking like a night club, but in the end I was so happy Frank convinced me to get the lighting.  The colors changed throughout the night, We started with a warm umber color, then we went to a fuchsia pink for the bridal party entrance, back to umber for the first dance through dinner and then the colors kind of changed from pink to purple to blue throughout the night.

Giovinazzo_0936

While I relied a lot of vendors, we did have a few DIY projects.   Here’s what we did ourselves or mostly ourselves…

  • Programs
  • Schedules for guests and bridal party
  • NYC themed table numbers/table places
  • Escort cards (although our florist made the tree and strung the cards)
  • Menus
  • Signature Cocktail Menus (ordered on etsy and printed and mounted ourselves)
  • Bride and Groom signs for chairs
  • Baskets for the bathrooms
  • “Dancing Shoes” Flip flop basket

The end!

Review: Uplift Sculpt Fusion

Wow, I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve done a workout review.  First off, you probably know I love Uplift.  I love what the represent, I love what they are trying to do, I love their overall philosophy–and I love their workouts.

Given all this, it will come as no surprise that I was beyond thrilled when I learned that they had added a new class–Sculpt Fusion.  I’m still hoping workit circuit will come back, a girl can dream.

I’ve now tried Cardio Sculpt twice, which (btws) is the minimum amount of times that I typically try something before writing a review.

The class offers itself as a low impact alternative to the popular Uplift Cardio and Uplift Strength classes.  So popular that I’ve been waitlisted all week long for strength and cardio classes. I’m happy for uplift, sad for me!

You start out with a little yoga flow and then go into a full body strength routine using 3-5 pound weights.  There are lunges, squats, mountain climbers, push ups and planks intermixed with some standard yoga poses like downward dog and warrior 1.  There is also a good ab workout at the end, involving side planks and those killer reach under and lift rotations.  Throughout the workout are a few bursts that are aimed at getting your heart rate up, but no crazy burpees or intense jumping moves.

Overall, I liked the workout. It reminded me a bit of Core Fusion Energy Flow. It’s toning work with a yoga slant. As a fan of barre-esque classes, I think this a great addition to the Uplift schedule. A few friends that I’ve brought to uplift, felt like the strength and cardio classes were too intense, so this is the perfect solution. It’s a good workout, but it’s not a high impact, high sweat, balls-to-the-wall workout.

My favorite class is still Uplift Strength; I love how it absolutely kills me.  However, I’d take Sculpt Fusion on days where I needed an easier workout. I can see it being a great option once I start marathon training. I’ve never been able to successfully do lots of strength training and lots of running simultaneously.

For more Sculpt Fusion Reviews, check out Preppy Runner, WerkitinNYC , Jen’s Best Life and Pawsitively Delightful and Rate Your Burn.

Another awesome thing about Sculpt Fusion is that it’s almost always a blogger party–if you’re into that kind of thing.  Probably because bloggers love 6:30AM workouts so much :).

Wedding: Ceremony and Reception

After the first look and photos, it was time to actually get married.  It all goes incredibly fast the week leading up to the wedding and you really just want everything to go in slow motion so you can savor every moment.  But that wasn’t an option, after our final pictures at Congress Park, it was a mad dash  to the church for the trolley with all the bridesmaids, groomsman, ushers, and my brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  We had three buses that were picking up guests at four different hotels on the way to the church.

Giovinazzo_0639

I, on the other hand, had a little time on my hands.  It was fun to hang with my parents in the limo in the moments leading up to the ceremony.

Giovinazzo_0641

And then it was time, things proceeded as you might imagine they would…

Giovinazzo_0659

For some reason, I didn’t expect the church to look so packed. It was a big church.  When I stepped in and saw so many people there for us, I was so thankful for all the great friends and family in our lives.

Giovinazzo_0661

I was extremely emotional going up the aisle.

Giovinazzo_0665

Giovinazzo_0669

Giovinazzo_0681

Giovinazzo_0670 Giovinazzo_0674 Giovinazzo_0683 Giovinazzo_0712 Giovinazzo_0731

And then, it was time to PARTY!

Our reception was at the of Hall of Springs, which turned out to be everything I’d ever dreamed of and more.

The Hall of Springs turned out to be the perfect venue for so many reasons, for one, it is the only place we looked at that could have fit our 240 guests.   Giovinazzo_0820Second, the food was insane.  We only had one choice of caterers, Mazzone, but they killed it.  The tasting was nothing special, but boy did the more than deliver the day of.  I  wish I had pictures of the food–especially at cocktail hour! There was about 60 different items at the cocktail hour, which was a mix of things they automatically include, in addition to many things that we got to select, such as lobster rolls, filet mignon bites, shrimp mac and cheese, mini philly cheese steaks, tuna tartare cones, and our favorite, a full mexican taqueria station with margarita shooters and sangria to boot.  I managed to grab a lobster roll from the bridal suite, but I was too excited to greet everyone at cocktail hour to spend much time in the suite.

We took a second to check out the ballroom. It’s amazing to see all your ideas come together.Giovinazzo_0822

Giovinazzo_0823

Giovinazzo_0824

Giovinazzo_0839

We also took a moment to practice the first dance. I’m pretty sure I could have taken 20 lessons and not felt 100% ready. Fortunately, our 2 minute rehearsal went well, which as a much-needed confidence boost.

Giovinazzo_0849

I also got to show Frank his groom cake, which I had managed to keep a secret for 8 months.

Giovinazzo_0862

Yankee Stadium and Derek Jeter on the jumbotran.Giovinazzo_0828

Since we did the first look and Mazzone was kind enough to extend our cocktail hour to an hour and a half, we actually had a fair amount of time to say hello to people at cocktail hour.

Giovinazzo_0909

After the first dance, we went right into salad and speeches.

Giovinazzo_0966

After the entrees were served, it was time to dance!

Giovinazzo_1204

My gorgeous girls…

Giovinazzo_1124

Jewish or not, the hora is important!

Giovinazzo_1381

And all too soon, it was the last song of the night…

Giovinazzo_1375

Giovinazzo_1106

Happily ever after.

Photography By JoeyG Memories.