Sunday, July 25, 2010

Two Months To Go!

Today marks two months until our wedding day. And to be honest we haven't done too much in the last month! We have just started giving out invitations, met with some videographers, and had a meeting with the Food and Beverage Manager at the hotel. But this week I am planning on going to some hairstylists, beauticians, will try to finalize favors (yes still), and the cake. And there's all the paperwork and church bureaucracy that is a little prehistoric if you ask me, but still something we need to get done. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have much more to report.  

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Need Your Advice

Lately I have been thinking about making my blog private. I've found out that some people who know us read it, and I'd rather they not. It takes away from the anonymity of it all (even though I feel like I've gotten to know some of you very well too, its different).

So I have questions for those of you who have gone down this route. For example, what happens to your followers? Do they still get blog updates in their dashboard and are "they able to read along like before? I guess if someone isn't a follower they would need to become one in order to read, right? Is there something I need to do (like send you all an email) to enable you to continue to read? I know I can always go back to making it public, so it might be worth a shot. 

Those of you who have thought about it but have not made your blogs private, what has prevented you from doing so? All your thoughts at this point would help me out. Thanks ladies!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Ladies Loved Their Dresses!

Since I picked out and bought the bridesmaid's dresses in Canada, my ladies had only seen them in pics and online. They had liked them and approved of the colors, but it's still not the same as seeing them for real and trying them on. I had ordered the dresses based on bust, waist, and hip measurements that the girls gave me. And luckily the dresses are all big on the girls. I say luckily cause it's so much easier to take dresses in than it is to make them bigger!

So to recap here are the dresses. Unfortunately I don't have any pics of the girls trying on their dresses, so you'll have to wait for the pro pics after the wedding :)

In the order the ladies will stand

How did your bridesmaids react to their dresses?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Greek-Orthodox Weddings

Both Mr. Milk and I are Greek-Orthodox. Neither of us can say that we actively practice our religion, but we both believe in a higher power and want to be married in a church. While having a discussion with a close friend of mine, who is also getting married in Cyprus in a few weeks, I realized that I should have some information on the marriage ceremony and traditions for our international friends, particularly since the ceremony will be in Greek. While searching for some information online, it occurred to me that I don't actually know a lot about why the ceremony is the way it is! So I though I would share with you what I found out about our wedding ceremony :)

The Beginning of the Wedding

The groom waits for the bride at the entrance to the church, holding her floral bouquet. He hands it to her as they meet and they then go inside together followed by the guests. There is no separation of the guests into guests of the bride and guests of the groom, everyone sits together and in the case of small churches, many people prefer to stand in a spot where they can get a good view of the proceedings. The wedding ceremony itself is in two parts: the Service of Betrothal and the Ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage, and last approximately 45 minutes.

Service of Betrothal

The exchanging of rings is the focus of the Service of Betrothal. The priest blesses the rings by holding them in his right hand and making the sign of the cross in front of the bride and groom. The rings are then placed on the third fingers of their right hands. The "Koumbaro" (best man) and “Koumera” (Maid of Honor), then swaps the rings over between the bride and groom's fingers, three times. A number of rituals in the ceremony are repeated three times and this symbolizes the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage

This ceremony consists of several key parts. First, several prayers are said and then as they come to an end, the priest joins the right hands of the bride and groom. Their hands remain joined until the end of the wedding ceremony, which symbolizes the couple's union.

The bride and groom are crowned with thin crowns, or "stefana", which are joined by a white ribbon and have been blessed by the priest. The crowns symbolise the glory and honour that is being bestowed on them by God, and the ribbon symbolises their unity. The best man and maid of honor then exchange the crowns between the heads of the couple three times.

The "stefana" or crowns

The crowning is followed by a reading of the Gospel, which tells of the marriage of Cana at Galilee. It was at this wedding that Jesus performed his first miracle, changing water into wine, which was then given to the married couple. Wine is given to the couple and they each drink from it three times.

The priest then leads the couple, who are still wearing their "stefana", three times around the altar, taking their first steps as a married couple. The best man and maid of honor follow close behind the couple holding the crowns in place. At this point the couple (and anyone standing nearby) is usually showered with rice, which was earlier handed out to the wedding guests.

The sugar coated almonds (koufeta, also shown in the picture), which are placed on the tray with the crowns, and are later offered to the guests, are symbolic. The white symbolizes purity. The egg shape represents fertility and the new life which begins with marriage. The hardness of the almond represents the endurance of marriage and the sweetness of the sugar symbolizes the sweetness of future life. (Adapted from: source 1 and source 2)

So what do you ladies think? Did you find out anything you didn't know or interesting about your ceremonies?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Time To Reveal The Invitations!

Since we are in the process of giving out the invitations and those who are likely to read this blog have already received theirs, I think it's time to share them with you lovely gals. 

As you may recall, Mr. Milk designed our invites and we had them professionally printed by a friendor. They arrived in a box looking like this

Pretty overwhelming to look at initially!

A close-up of our RSVP card

Accommodations insert

And the thing Mr. Milk is most proud of (I think), the directions insert with his DIY map.

The belly-band (which I am most proud of)!

While this isn't the best picture, you get to see how shimmery the paper and lettering is.

The whole thing put together. Due to the picture quality, you can't see the glittery paper unfortunately, or how it makes the ink shimmer. I love how the D, A, & R align. 

And all wrapped up with the belly-band. We ordered regular pocketfolds and asked our printer to cut the flap of the envelope to move the point from the center to the right-hand side. 

A better, detailed shot.

And here you can see what the invitation says (click to enlarge). 

There you have it ladies, our invitations in full! So far we have gotten great feedback for them, which makes Mr. Milk very happy. A few important people didn't have anything in particular to say, but we've decided to just ignore them :) All in all I am super happy with how they turned out.

Were you happy with your invitations? Did you DIY, take the pro route, or a combo?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

One Reason We Moved Back...

Was to be closer to family...

And here we are goofing around while assembling wedding invitations with my mom and sister :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Food Glorious Food!

As you all probably know by now, I am a foodie! I love food, love cooking, baking, you name it! So I was both nervous and excited when we finally arranged to go for a tasting at our venue. As you already know, I had been trying to arrange a meeting with the DOC for a while with little success. This put me on edge and made me apprehensive about what we would encounter with the rest of the services at the hotel. Bridezilla was ready to show her claws at any moment! But luckily she went back into hibernation when we met the chef!

Let me just say, I love this man! He was hilarious and charming all at the same time. Mr. Milk and I clicked with him instantly! By the end of the tasting, which lasted 4 hours because we were having such a wonderful time, he and I became buddies! 

Just to backtrack a little, we will be having a buffer dinner. This is actually the way formal wedding dinners are done in Cyprus (very rarely is there even a sit down option) and it suits me perfectly! I love being able to try tons of different foods. Anyway, since there was a wedding going on that night, the hotel is smart about it and makes their buffet for the hotel guests more or less identical to that of the wedding. We went down to their restaurant and were able to sample most of the things that are on our menu. 

Our chef brought out our original menu and even gave me 3-4 more menus that he had created, so we could pick and choose items from there too. Here I was, thinking that our menu had been finalized, when he was giving me even more options! And not only that, but he kept throwing things in, without changing the cost! he was fantastic! And to top it all off, his food was wonderful! I think there was only one dish I tried that I thought the meat was on the dry side, but everything else tasted great. So without further ado, here are some pics we took that evening. They were all taken with iphone cameras, so some are a bit fuzzy.

Mozzarella, Tomato, Balsamic, and Arugula salad

Marinate mushrooms, grilled veggies, and charcuterie platter

Poached whole salmon (top left), greek salad, and humus 

One of my faves! Spinach, arugula, pomegranate, sundried tomato, walnut, and parmesan salad.


Salad Nicoise

Variety of sushi rolls, which I was hesitant about but Mr. Milk really liked

A close-up of the whole poached salmon

Dessert!!!! Mini panna cotta's at the front, hazelnut mousse cake at the back, brownies to the right.


Looking at all this food again makes me so overwhelmingly happy! I think our guests will definitely find something they will truly enjoy amongst all this food. For some reason, neither of us took pics of the hot food. I guess we were both just too eager to start trying! There will be some kind of chicken, pasta, rice pilaf, steamed veggies, beef, pork, lamb, and fish! Sounds so excessive when I write it down like that, but when we were there it didn't seem that way. 

Mr. Milk and I went for the tasting at 7pm on Saturday and we didn't leave till after 11pm! And the chef was with us the entire time! We left the hotel feeling like we were in very good hands!

How did your food tastings go? Were you happy with what was served on your big day?