Thursday, March 31, 2011

When 'Just One More' Turns Into One Too Many

So the last time I mentioned my dress, I told you that I was unsure.  And then I described to you how I calmly put my dress order on hold and went back to Kleinfeld, remember?  

Well, I was fully planning on writing a follow up post to describe how wonderful my return shopping trip was and how we (my dress and I) were reunited and it felt soo good.

But, I can't say that because it wasn't so good--the reunion, that is.  It wasn't emotional, I didn't feel amazing but I did feel pretty in it.  Right about now you might be wondering, "she felt pretty in it?  Is that the best she's got?  Pretty?!"  Mmmyeah.  "Pretty," is all I had in me that day: the day I learned that I am officially over-shopped.  

(Oh, I can totally relate to this girl)

It's true.  Looking back, I've tried on an array of dresses--

First, I was smitten with simple and chic,

And then I was convinced that I would love something more classic and conservative.

But I pulled a complete one-eighty and tried something more glam, and a little va-va-voom, if you will.

(Right about now, I'm going to warn you the other thing I discovered on my dress journey. Apparently I love to keep my hands on my hips when being photographed in dresses.  Talk about self discovery!)

Then I decided that I wanted something soft and romantic.  

There was this beachy keen gown in breezy chiffon.

And a fit and flare lace dress with a sweetheart neckline.  

Interestingly enough, if you'd ask me what my wedding dress would look like before I actually started looking for a wedding dress, this would be it. But it wasn't for me.

I pressed on, looking for something more playful, like this organza number.

But I needed a little more oomph, so I picked this flirty and festive gown. 

And as flattering as some of those dresses were, I felt like there was still something missing.  So I looked for a dress that combined the sexy silhouette and the soft "bridal" fabrics that I loved.

So here I am in a dress that has both qualities: lace details with the mermaid silhouette.  But it was not a winner.  

And let's not forget my love of great big skirts (and pockets!)

These dresses where my soft spot.  Flattering tops, great big skirts (perfect for twirling and eating lots of food), and many of them had pockets.  To be honest, I almost purchased the gown on the left a few weeks ago.  But I couldn't quite pull the trigger on it, because I think deep down I know that my dress is IT for me. 

Sad to say, but this represents a tiny fraction of the dresses I tried on.  Most of the shops we visited didn't allow pictures, and that's fine, because I'm sure you get the point by now.  Finding a dress and being happy with my choice is still a challenge for me.   I'm waiting for my gown to come in next month, and I'm hoping that with some time and much needed perspective I'll get that feeling I'm looking for.  You know the feeling, it's "ohmygoshI'mgettingmarriedinthisgorgeousdress" and that's how I felt seven months ago when I chose it, I think.  

And I'm coming to terms with the fact that finding a dress is just going to be hard for some people, I'm one of them.  Not everyone has a dress epiphany.  I didn't, but I was close.  And my nearest and dearest have assured me time and time again that I've made the right choice.  These pictures are proof to me, that they're right.  Some dresses were great, some were not-so-great, but they all barely missed the mark.  Because maybe somewhere along this journey I hit the mark, bought a dress that is perfect for me, and then started to forget because 8 months is a long time to wait (for fashion)...

The wait will be over soon enough and I'll find out if my instincts are right!  Stay tuned!

Did you have trouble finding a dress?  Did you ever have dress doubts?  How did you come to terms with them? 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

All Paired Up!

I'm a shoe girl.  And when I saw this picture, I stopped in my tracks and the wheels started turning.  

And if you're curious, the wheels made a sound like "oooooh, I want those for my wedding party. How can I pull this off?"

Mighty talkative "wheels" I have.  I love TOMS, but I don't think the rest of our wedding party loves them as much as me.  So that got me thinking, how about some other matching footwear?

Cute cowboy boots for a rustic look.

Checkered Vans for the punk rock bride!  

How much do I wish we could do this too?  I still <3 my Vans.

And then my other favorite (are they all my favorite? what a shoe hussy I've become),  matching Chuck Taylors!

The last picture makes me smile.  It's so sweet.  And I would love to have a shot like this but I don't think the mister will go for it.   I allegedly have white Chucks in my collection, but they haven't resembled anything "white" in ages and spending more money on shoes at this point is a no no.  

Matching shoes have become so popular for wedding parties that TOMS has gotten in on the act with their own wedding collection.   

It's hard to resist them on their own, for every pair of TOMS you buy, a pair is donated to a child in need, and they're adorable to boot!  I'm feeling these Petal Grosgrain classics, they are perfectly pretty and remind me of ballet slippers (in the best way).  Lucky for me, 'Lil $is has threatened to shut me up by buying the Bear and me a matching pair of TOMS as a wedding present.  But something tells me they don't make these in his maybe she'll pick another style?  Or maybe she was just bluffing.  Either way, I'm a fan of matching shoes! 

Is your party wearing matching shoes?  Have you seen any other cute shoe ideas?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hot Mama!

I love my mama.  Yes, it's true.  

And because I love her so much, I want her to look gorgeous on my wedding day.  So imagine my horror when we started looking for a dress for her to wear, and we kept coming up with two piece numbers, like the one above.  

And I don't hate the dress pictured, it could work, but not for my mom.  She's petite, five feet tall on a good day, and that is just too much dress for her. The jacket would overwhelm her small frame.  And how could I ask my mom to wear something like that and sit through our July ceremony, in a church that has no air conditioning?

Did I also mention that I want my mom to look gorgeous?  She doesn't give herself credit, so I will: my mama is beautiful.  And she looks great!  So we quickly abandoned all "mother of the bride" dresses and made an appointment to check out bridesmaids gowns.  Okay, I made the appointments, my mom was hesitant. But she warmed up quickly once we set some ground rules--

1. No strapless dresses
2. Light and comfortable for Summer
3. Party appropriate (because my mama has to dance!)
4. Form flattering (Ok, that was my rule.  But she kept pulling loose and drape-y dresses and I knew she could do better!)

Here are our top picks:

Alvina Valenta AV9042 (with straps added for comfort)

This is similar to another Alvina Valenta dress that my mom loved.  But sadly, they stopped making the dress so the only way to get it was to buy the sample. That was not an option.  And I should mention that my mom wanted to wear it as a tea length dress, too informal for our wedding. 

Bill Levkoff 526

I loved this one, but she wasn't so sure.  It was very figure flattering but my mom was nervous that the satin would be too heavy.

Watters 3733

This was my favorite, and I could tell it was her favorite too.  The material is light, the ruching detail is flattering and the skirt is perfect for dancing.  She put it on and I could see her transform a little; she stood up straighter, posed for pictures, and smiled big.  We have a winner!

Here are some things I learned about shopping for a bridesmaids dress for the MOB:

- There is often a fee for ordering only one bridesmaid dress.  In our case that translated to $14 extra. Not a deal breaker. 

- Many stores we called had stopped carrying traditional MOB dresses altogether because fewer and fewer women were buying them.  Don't know why this surprised me--we were proving them right.  

What was your MOB dress shopping experience like?  Did you go the route of traditional MOB dresses or did you try something else? 

Friday, March 25, 2011



You know how when you got engaged like 15 months forever ago, and you felt like you had all the time in the world?  And then suddenly you check your registry--not to stalk it or anything--and you see that there are only 100 days left until your wedding?

You know, right?  Because it can't just be me.


So here I am going over the list of things to do and I'm noticing that what should a pretty short and straightforward list is really long and contains lots and lots of maybes.  Then I notice that I feel my hands start shaking and my chest gets a little tight and what the heck?  I don't even have a groom right now!  How could we be only 100 days away from our wedding?

I'm trying to relax (because you know, Frankie says. Did anyone else have one of those shirts?) and think of the good things.  The part where we are married.  The part when we celebrate no matter if I finish my table runners or not.  The part where he comes home and I can give him the biggest hug ever.  Those parts.  

And then I'm calm(ish).  But I'd be lying if I didn't say that I wish I could press fast forward right now to get to the good stuff.  

Is the countdown getting to you yet?  Do you wish you could just already get it over with sometimes?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vintage Inspired Adornments

Generally speaking, I am accesorily challenged.  I buy them whenever possible, and then I put them away where they collect dust until I figure out exactly how wear them.  And you know that rule of taking one accessory off before you walk out the door?  I tend to take them all off, then walk out the door.  Maybe it's because I'm afraid of looking too fancy, or too done up on any given day. 

Yet, when I think of accessories in terms of bridal garb I am drawn to vintage inspired hair adornments that sparkle.  Because, after all, there is no such thing as too fancy on your wedding day.  

My first pick is this vintage inspired comb by Jennifer Behr from Bhldn.  I love the curve--it almost looks like it is going to move with the next breeze.  So pretty.  

And if you're looking for a lively "something blue," this vintage brooch, re-purposed as a comb by Bel Canto Designs certainly fits the bill.  I love the feminine bow and I think it would look adorable paired with a sleek top knot or a short 'do.  

And for the classic bride these vintage inspired combs feature lovely pearls in the center, by Untamed Petals. Mix it up by wearing one for the ceremony and adding the second for the reception.

And for the fashion forward bride, this comb by Twigs & Honey is a beautiful way to add sparkle and whimsy to your bridal coif.  

So there you have it.  I've been searching for a vintage brooch for some time now to try my hand at a DIY, and I think I found a winner!  I'll keep you posted. 

Have you decided on any adornments for your hair? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Just Desserts

After a long night of dancing, I am always up for a treat--especially when that treat is a sugary confection.  Truth be told, I have a major sweet tooth and any excuse for pretty dessert (because dessert should be pretty whenever possible) is good enough for me. 

And so, I've started to dream of a little dessert spread to thank our guests for spending the day with us, a little take home/late night snack, if you will.  Something like this:

I want to fill the table with a spread of some our favorite miniaturized desserts, like mini whoopie pies:

 And speaking of pies, I love these petite pies (cherry of course):

Fluffy meringues:

Simply sugared doughnuts, or mini beignets as a nod to one of our favorite places in the world, New Orleans:

Marshmallows to encourage spontaneous roasting (over the firepits that will be set up after dark), perhaps?

And lastly, some gorgeous Turkish delights, or "Loukoumia," as my mom calls them. 

Sounds delicious!  Now the question is, do I have the energy for another DIY project?  I'm sure I can easily make some of these treats and buy others.  Then there are my packaging options, though I'm drawn to a simple doggy bag, like this one from Martha Stewart Weddings:


Have you considered any late night treats for your guests?  Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sweet Deals!

Our goal is to have the wedding of our dreams while staying in budget.  But now that we are approaching the three month mark, the little unexpected purchases (and let's face it, splurges) are hitting me left and right. 

One thing I've learned: being a bride is expensive!  I've been getting regular haircuts instead of pushing them off for a few months weeks.  I'm booking appointments for facials at the spa for a glowing complexion.  I'm minding my cuticles.  And all these little and necessary treats are adding up!

And then I came across the best cost saving idea for brides to be:

Social shopping!

Sites like Groupon and Living Social (and BuyWithMe for NYC folks) have been key to snagging deals for those little unexpected wedding expenses.  

So far, I've boosted my fitness routine by taking advantage of a month of unlimited boxing classes, thanks to Living Social.  And I snagged a facial at a nearby spa too!  And today, I purchased a deal for a private dance lesson!  Just in time too, because while I love shakin' it on the dance floor, I really have the grace of Frankenstein so I need some tips to help me avoid the middle-school sway for our first dance.  Here's hoping our lesson is the most informative of my life!

To keep from crowding my inbox, I downloaded the Groupon and Living Social apps onto my iPhone.  I also made sure to use my junk mail account so I won't be too tempted to buy deals I don't actually need (like half off pizza and pasta--delicious but unnecessary).  So far it's worked great!  

Have you used social shopping sites to score wedding deals?  

PS-- There's another great deal site called Yipit that filters through all daily deal sites, to help keep your inbox from getting cluttered.  It's available in over 20 cities, with more to come.  It's not available for my city, but it could be for yours!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This Wedding is Not a Game

But sometimes it certainly feels like a competition, doesn't it?

For the past 13 months, I've floated along on a cloud of naivety.  "Bridal La La Land," if you will.  I called vendors well in advance, they were available. La la problem.  

But last week I came face to face with the reality that I am not the only person getting married on my wedding day. Let me rephrase that: I am sharing my wedding day with three other brides  and we've all blocked rooms at the same hotel.

I would be lying to you if I didn't admit that a knot formed in my stomach the moment the I got the news.  Every time I tried to talk, my throat tightened and I could hear the pitch of my voice rising with every attempt I made to speak.  The feeling of panic began to sink in.  

There are other brides looking for the same vendors, on the same day, at the same time as me?!  Oh no.  This can't happen.

Suddenly, I feel like there's a race to get everything booked before someone else books my vendors.  It's already started, a couple vendors I've called have been booked by other brides.  Meanwhile, my inner competitor has just laced up and is stretching.  


Who knew wedding planning was a competitive sport?  Did/do you feel competitive with other brides when it comes to booking your vendors?