Sam Says Yes To The Dress

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 22, 2013

Hello and happy Tuesday!

I’m back in Arizona after a wonderful whirlwind weekend in New York and New Jersey. It was packed with beautiful views, not only of the city skyline but also of my best friend looking the part of perfection in a series of potential wedding dresses.

The bridal bonanza weekend began on Friday morning with a trip to meet a potential caterer. Once we had finished salivating over his menu selection (and, I’ll admit, the beverage options) we headed into Manhattan for appointments with several bridal shops and designers. I also was able to try on my future matron of honor ensemble from Little Borrowed Dress. The woman who helped us try on the dresses was wonderful and although we didn’t get to meet the owner, Corie Hardee, we heard her business story and were all so impressed.

Once we had finished our shopping for the day, Sam and I parted ways with the rest of the group for a night on Broadway. As we were hailing a cab to get us there, I looked up. It’s always fun to “look up” in New York City. You’re bound to see something pretty.


My bestie definitely knows how to go wedding dress shopping. A flash of lace, a hint of red…a dinner at Shake Shack and Newsies. We had a blast!


This was my third trip to Shake Shack and if possible, it just keeps getting better and better. This time I went with the single ShackBurger, a cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato and ShackSauce. I also had a side of fries and glass of ShackMeister Ale, which is made just for them by Brooklyn Brewery. Everything was amazing, and although it was tempting to get a shake, I’m glad I went with the beer. It hit the spot after a busy day in the city!


But the best part was our dessert: front row seats at Newsies! I was a huge fan of the movie (and Christian Bale’s portrayal of Jack Kelly) in high school. My friend Alexandra and I used to watch it constantly and listened to the music on repeat. I had no idea it had been turned into a Broadway show, but it was absolutely spectacular. There are a few plot deviations and some new songs, but if you ask me they made the story even stronger.


I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Jack Kelly, but he did an incredible job and, as it turns out, it is also his Broadway debut. Several of the other characters were also first-timers. Sam and I were blown away by everyone. The singing, the dancing, the acting…it was all a huge hit. The audience seemed to think so, too, because it was one of the craziest and loudest theaters I have ever been in.


I would highly recommend seeing Newsies if you are ever in New York! After the show, Sam and I headed back to New Jersey for the evening. We needed to rest up for the big day ahead of us on Saturday, which began with a trip to Kleinfeld Bridal of Say Yes to the Dress fame.

IMG_3523We had a large group, but the Kleinfeld staff was extremely accommodating. The six supporters waited in the large showroom while Sam was brought back to the private dressing rooms to begin her modeling session.



And truly, what a model she was. Sam was stunning in every dress she tried on. The group ended up liking two of the options best, and combined with her choices from the day before, Sam was left with some tough decisions to make. She decided that we should all go to lunch to talk everything over, but not before we snapped a photo in front of the iconic glass doors!

From left to right: Sam’s sister Kylah, me, Sam, Sam’s mom Leticia, Alex’s (the groom’s) mom Ann, Sam’s sister Kianna and Sam’s friend Reci.


We also had to take one of just the bridal party, which includes Lauren. She unfortunately couldn’t be in New York this weekend but was there in spirit thanks to the wonders of FaceTime.


After our photo shoot, we all headed over to Cafeteria for lunch.


It was my first time visiting, but it was quickly apparent that the macaroni and cheese on the menu was an absolute must. We started the table off with three different varieties to share: smoked gouda and bacon, cheddar and fontina, and truffle oil. Each one was bursting with flavor and was melt-in-your-mouth good.


I also started off with a blackberry lemonade. I would love to recreate this drink at home!


For my meal, I chose the fish tacos, which were comprised of grilled mahi mahi, crispy tortilla salad, salsa fresca and serrano salsa verde. I loved how light and fresh they tasted. It was the perfect complement to the mac and cheese.


While we savored every bite of our dining experience, Sam was beginning to come to the conclusion that the very last dress she tried on might just have been the one. Everyone in the group agreed, but it was decided that we should return to Kleinfeld for one more look before she decided.

Fortunately, the friendly staff was once again extremely accommodating, fitting us all into a small private dressing room so that we could see the bride-to-be’s reaction upon trying the dress on for a second time. The smell in the room was that of bacon grease – we all had to laugh at the lack of ventilation in the basement of Cafeteria, which left us wearing our meals in our shirts and hair for the rest of the day. But we were too amped up on anticipation to care.

In true television fashion, there were tears shed by several people in the room – myself included – once Sam had stepped onto the pedestal in the dress – her dress. And so, amidst the smell of grill smoke, Sam said YES!


We celebrated that night with pizza from Grimaldi’s. Alex was happy to see Sam so happy, but won’t be getting a clue as to what the dress looks like until the big day. :)

The next morning, we woke up bright and early to drive out to the church and reception venue. It was really fun to see them in person after looking at so many pictures. The atmosphere and the location really is perfect for the two of them. October can’t come soon enough!

In the early afternoon, we made our way to Hoboken for Sam and Alex’s engagement party at Turtle Club. This establishment has a great story behind it. Founded in 1796, the Hoboken Turtle Club became the first organized social club in American history.


The food and drink was delicious, and included Mr. Cupcakes brought in to celebrate the occasion.


Of course, the speech given by Sam’s dad made me tear up again. I’m going to have to invest in some waterproof mascara and travel Kleenex packages if I’m going to make it through the big day. I love this lady so much and couldn’t be happier that she will be tying the knot with the love of her life.


I feel extremely blessed to have been a part of the excitement. There is much more to come.

Hope your week is off to a great start! How did you spend your long weekend?



1 Rose January 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Sounds like a wonderful weekend, Jenn. So happy you got to be there for your friend’s special day of dress shopping. Looks like you had a blast!

2 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Thanks, Rose! It was definitely a weekend to remember. I’m so excited for her!

3 Erica January 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

SO fun! Is the red dress your bridesmaid dress? It is GORGEOUS if it is. So happy she found the one! Those mac and cheeses look amazing! We just got a Grimaldi’s here. You know what I did this weekend!
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4 Jenn (eating bender) January 22, 2013 at 12:48 pm

It is indeed my bridesmaid dress – and I am so excited about it! :) We just got a Grimaldi’s in AZ, too. It’s really good. Congrats again on your amazing weekend!

5 Susan January 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Awesome trip and congrats again to Sam and Alex! I laugh when I think about Say Yes to the Dress… A few years back, I was on a girls’ trip with two of my best friends and we started watching a marathon of the show. At first I made fun of it – “Oh, this is so ridiculous; these girls are so over the top, etc.” – and before I knew it, we had watched like 5 episodes… haha. :)

6 Jenn (eating bender) January 25, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Thanks, Susan! I was the same way with Say Yes to the Dress – I still don’t watch it regularly but whenever Sam puts it on I find myself not being able to look away from the screen. :)

7 Cara (Twinthusiast) January 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

So so fun! I’m so glad Sam (and you) had such a great time. Can’t wait to see her wedding pics down the road! Two things: That mac and cheese looks pretty wow. And I used to love Newsies the movie…
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8 Jenn (eating bender) January 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I’m so glad you are a fellow Newsies fan! We will have to watch it and sing along next time we’re together. :)

9 a farmer in the dell January 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Looks like a wonderful weekend in nyc. I am jealous you got to see Newsies! The food looks fantastic as well. That burger sounds killer!
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10 Jenn (eating bender) January 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm

Shake Shack burgers are truly delicious!! And I highly recommend going to Newsies if you ever find yourself in NYC. :)

11 Caroline January 22, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Sounds like such a great weekend! I was actually in NYC, too, visiting my boyfriend! It was such gorgeous weather. Grimaldi’s is such good pizza and one of the few that have actually lived up for the hype for me!
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12 Jenn (eating bender) January 25, 2013 at 5:08 pm

Love that we were in NYC at the same time! Next time that happens, we should meet up. :) I totally agree with you on Grimaldi’s!

13 Melissa @TryingtoHeal January 22, 2013 at 9:52 pm

What a great weekend Jenn! All the great food, the atmosphere of the upcoming wedding and that you ladies were at the Say Yes to the Dress studio!!! I could only dream of doing that! So exciting! And I bet Sam was gorgeous!!! I can’t wait to see what she picked out!
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14 Jenn (eating bender) January 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm

She was definitely a gorgeous bride-to-be!! I can’t wait for you to see her dress!

15 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner January 23, 2013 at 6:00 am

“Let’s soak ’em for Crutchy!” Aaaah, I love the Newsies! I didn’t know it was made into a Broadway show either, but I also don’t know if I can picture anyone else as Jack Kelly besides Christian Bale.

Looks like you gals had a wonderful day.
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16 Jenn (eating bender) January 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Hahaha – love that quote! Honestly, I was the same way when the show first started re: Christian Bale. But the guy who plays Jack (Corey Cott) did a phenomenal job and by the second or third song I was over it! That said, I did watch the movie later that weekend… :)

17 Potatoes and Pilates January 24, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Holy busy weekend, Jenn! Looks like a wonderful and successful wedding weekend in NYC.

Your descriptions and pictures of the Mac & Cheese from Cafeteria just made me really hungry for something super cheesy and comforting and it is only 10am here!
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18 Jenn (eating bender) January 25, 2013 at 5:11 pm

It was definitely a jam-packed weekend. I could go for some more of that mac and cheese, now that you mention it! :) I’ll have to try to recreate it at some point!

19 Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) January 30, 2013 at 2:38 pm

So cool you went to Kleinfelds! Awesome she said yes to the dress! When I found mine, I totally said “I said yes to the dress!” because of the show. :)

All that food looks so good, too!
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