Introducing Our Newest Guest Blogger Carolyn Hsu

Real Weddings

What do real brides have to say about the wedding planning experience? Well, it's not all happy tears at the bridal boutique and indulgent cake tastings. Over the next two months, guest blogger Carolyn Hsu, Founder of The Hsu Closet and Managing Editor at Makeup.com, will share the ins and outs of planning a New York City wedding, picking the perfect venue, crafting a day-of beauty look and finding inspiration in the strangest of places.

When I got engaged last September, I didn't want to plan a wedding—I wanted to elope. It might seem unexpected coming from someone who lives the bulk of her life online (I'm a longtime blogger at The Daily Obsession and The Hsu Closet and current managing editor of Makeup.com), but I'm actually pretty shy when it comes to public attention and displays of affection. In fact, I kept our engagement secret for a few weeks (except to our families of course) before finally releasing a Facebook photo showcasing myself carrying a bag I had bought in Paris—and sporting some brand new bling. To this day, my Facebook relationship status still remains blank.

Carolyn Hsu Engagement Announcement

Photo: Courtesy of Carolyn Hsu

My engagement announcement, in all its glory.

As soon as the cat was out of the bag (or in my case, the bag was out on the Internet), the questions started coming in. When's the wedding? Where's the wedding? What color is your wedding? Have you set a date? Do you have a dress? And the answer to all those questions was either "no" or "I don't know." In fact all the inquiries swirling around my upcoming nuptials quickly became overwhelming when I hadn't even answered the most basic question of all: "would I have a wedding?"

The fact that I'm blogging about my journey to the aisle for Brides gives away that at the end I decided that I would—complete with a ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dancing, the whole shebang. The turning point came when one night over dinner, my fiance told me that despite my frequent proclamations that I was missing the "bride gene," he didn't want me to regret choosing to forgo a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would never have again. Plus, he said, everyone that we care about will be there and when else would we ever experience so much love in one room?

Once that was decided, the rest of the planning process actually turned out to be pretty fun! One of the perks of being an editor is getting to attend awesome events and launch parties put together by some of the best planners around. I started paying extra attention to the details at those events, taking note of what I liked and wanted to incorporate into my own party. I knew from the get-go that I didn't want a big traditional wedding with a lot of pomp and circumstance, but rather something that was more intimate, non-traditional, and reflected who we were as a couple—young professional New Yorkers who didn't take ourselves too seriously and liked to go out downtown and have a good time. I wanted something that was stylish, original, and most importantly, fun and memorable for our guests. I look forward to sharing my experiences and discoveries with you over the next few months.

A little more about my fiance and I: he (Derek) and I met at a random birthday party at the end of 2009. Neither of us knew the birthday girl. Derek had just moved to New York from San Francisco a few weeks prior while I was going on my fourth year living in Manhattan. We met, of all places, in line getting carded and struck up a conversation where I learned that he worked in the solar industry. I thought that was interesting, as I had never met anyone in renewable energy before. A few years and a couple solar conferences later (hey, I went too because those conventions are held in really warm, sunny places ok?) he proposed one evening while we were vacationing in Lake Como, Italy. The ring? A classic David Yurman Crossover, which he knew I liked because I had Instagrammed a photo of it from their press preview months prior. I told you there were some perks to this job!

—Carolyn Hsu

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