Thursday, September 24, 2009

No more weddings

I was hoping for more opportunities to see other people’s weddings during my engagement. Unfortunately, my cousin Aaron’s wedding last Saturday was the only one, unless someone gets engaged NOW and married in less than a year! Possible, but not probable.

During the entire wedding, I compared theirs to what I have planned for mine. It was too different to even try though. Their ceremony was by the water, behind Scituate Lighthouse.

She wore a pretty, but plain, gown and had only two attendants on each side. The bridesmaids wore tea length, sleeveless, navy blue dresses. The bride’s hair was in a simple half-pony with a veil on a comb, which kept trying to fly away in the sea breeze.

Nothing like what I’m planning.

The reception was under a tent in the bride’s back yard. Children were all invited.

(Why yes, I do have the cutest nieces ever!)

There was an open bar with various alcohols and a signature drink, the Pratt-a-rita (cranberry juice, grapefruit juice, sour mix, and tequila, yum!). Dinner was a barbeque buffet prepared in advance by the groom, a chef and restaurant owner. There was a DJ and dancing, which Simon and I left directly after cake to avoid. We hate dancing.

Again, nothing like my wedding plans.

There was nothing similar enough to draw any ideas from, and most of the different things were stuff I would never do. All it did was make me worry about guests staying entertained, as I was so bored. Not their fault, I’m not very social and all everyone does after food is dance anyways.

See? She likes to dance!

But I realized for all its differences, it was a beautiful wedding. Everyone was happy. It was a wonderful day. And I hope, oh do I hope, that my wedding is just as beautiful in its own way.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stressing about decor

I have it all worked out. I know exactly how I want to decorate my wedding reception.
Or do I? Will all my homemade centerpieces look, well...homemade? Will it all fall flat once put in the actual room? Will it look cheesey or tacky or just plain ugly?
Breathe. This is why I blog...I love getting other people's opinions. So here we go, my reception d├ęcor plan. Please let me know what you think! The room is very very plain, but has two walls of windows overlooking Boston.
Each table will be a 60” round covered with a Bengaline linen tablecloth in Maple Sugar:

In the center of each table will be a 9” mirror:

In the center of each mirror will be a 7.5” tall bud vase:

The vase will be filled with red, orange, and yellow glass pebbles:

Each vase will also contain a single red or yellow silk poppy:

Surrounding the base of the vase, on the mirror, will be four votive holders; 2 red and 2 yellow:

I will use LED tealights in the votive holders:
Scattered on the table will be personalized Hershey kisses and silk fall leaves:

Around the room will be small stools covered in sheer brown fabric:

On top of each stool will be either a pre-filled basket:

Or a basket I will fill with Spanish moss, leaves, Chinese lantern fruits, cinnamon, and lights:

I also will be hiring someone to make brown, red, orange, and yellow balloon arrangements that will be weighted and sitting on the floor. We're looking into hiring someone to do some decorative uplights on the walls and columns.
So...what do you think? For more details on these items, you can visit my Amazon wishlist.

Any changes, suggestions, comments? The wedding is in 13 months!

Monday, September 14, 2009 and

I have to say, my greatest bridal discount discovery has to be Lily Wedding. I can't take full credit; my childhood friend Jen K. blogged about it when she bought her wedding dress, and I was very impressed. Here is the dress she bought online:

Dress link

Cost? $238.00, plus $30.00 shipping, made to her measurements for no extra charge, AND with a free veil and petticoat. Here's what she looked like in it:

Gorgeous! I had to try them out, so when I needed a formal dress for a wedding I was invited to, I checked them out. I found this beauty:

Dress link

I was a little worried about spending $198.00 on it, but I definitely didn't end up regretting it. I got it with a lace-up back (they'll switch it to that from zipper for free) and the cord they used had tons of extra length, and the top was a tiny bit baggy for strapless, so I had a seamstress turn the extra cord length into halter straps, for only $14. Here's the final result:

I've worn it two or three times now. Awesome investment!

Now I turn to Lily Wedding for my wedding gown. I know them, I trust them, and they are the best damn dress company selling inexpensive stuff from China. ;) I've changed my mind about a dozen times, and I still need to go to David's Bridal with my cousin Darcy and try some different styles on, but I have fallen in love with this one:

Dress link

I never thought I'd like a halter, and I still need to see one on me, but looking at Darcy's wedding photos again convinced me it can be flattering on our body type. But beyond that, look at the detail on the bodice!!!

It's $398.00, which is more than most of their dresses but definitely still reasonable. I'd be getting it in ivory, and it has champagne satin trim.

My other go-to wedding shop is I love handmade items, and I've already bought tons of jewelry and home decor from various sellers. I found this veil on Etsy:

Veil link

I know, suddenly I want a veil, when I had no interest in one before. It seems the more time I spend planning, the more traditional my wedding becomes! So that veil is $58.00, and she can make it in ivory with champagne satin trim. Perfect! I also found a headband to attach the veil to, since I want my hair down so a veil comb won't really work.

Headband link

The headband is $65.00. My friend Jenni suggested a thicker headband like this, as a simple, thin one may got lost in my thick, long hair.

I also decided, if I get this fancier dress, that the original jewelry I wanted (and already bought) would not work. I can definitely wear it for something else, so it's fine that I already bought it, but I had liked how it had both our birthstones in it:

Now that I'm looking at a fancier dress, I feel like this set would work better:

I don't have a particular vendor in mind, but I put it up on my WishList with the note that if people want to go in on this together for my birthday, that would be awesome. =) Diamonds would be amazing, but the more affordable created white sapphire version works just fine.

So that's my new plan, which always seems to be changing. But hey, I have just under 13 months left, plenty of time! I'm hoping to go try on some dresses with Darcy on October 3, so if that works out, there will definitely be pics for you all to comment on.

What do you all think of the dresses and accessories above?

And on a final note, how do you think these three dresses look together?

Bridesmaids dress link

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Engagement photos are done!

Our engagement pics are up...and I cried watching the slideshow.

From the second Simon and I got engaged, I knew I wanted some sort of engagement photos. I didn’t care if we did them at Wal-Mart, I just wanted some sort of nice picture of us, as we have very few of both of us. When I booked my wedding photographer, Lisa Rigby, she told me about her engagement photo sessions and it was such a reasonable price, I asked her to do those too. It would also give us an opportunity to work with her before the wedding so we’d be more comfortable.

She’ll do the shoot wherever you want (within reason), and we decided on doing them in our own backyard, as our new home together is very meaningful to us. We were supposed to do them August 13, but it rained. We rescheduled for August 26, and thankfully it was a gorgeous day.

It was an absolute blast; I felt like a supermodel, being followed around our yard and house with a camera. She thought up all kinds of things for us to do in the pictures, like sit on Simon’s motorcycle, play Scrabble and chess, and walk around the yard hand-in-hand.

When I got the pictures yesterday, I just cried. They were so beautiful; you could see the love between us. You could see how happy we are in our new home together. It just reinforced all the reasons I’m marrying this man; I love him more than anything.

Photography by Lisa Rigby

Bracelet and garnet drop earrings by Moody&Sanguine

Feather necklace and earrings by ChinaCherie

Clothing by Old Navy

Sarah's engagement ring by Barmakian Jewelers

Simon's engagement ring by Ethan Lord Jewelers

Thursday, September 3, 2009

So I may have unnecessarily worried my FMIL

I thought it would be nice to buy a “mother of the groom” book for my FMIL for her birthday last month. She’s really excited about this wedding, as Simon’s older brother eloped. I chose “The Mother of the Groom: Everything You Need to Know to Enjoy the Best Wedding Ever” by Sharon Naylor on Amazon. When I gave it to her, I told her it may tell her stuff like how much she has to pay for our wedding and a list of stuff she’s supposed to do. I told her to ignore that stuff. Simon HEARD me tell her to ignore that stuff. So…of course she didn’t.

I love my FMIL. She is quirky and sweet and I’m super lucky. She loves me. It’s good. She’s starting to fill the motherless void in my life. The last thing I want to do is worry her. See, Simon and I came into some money after my mother’s death (life insurance, selling the house, etc.). The wedding is paid for, no problem. Simon’s parents do not have a lot of money. I do NOT need or want them to contribute. I’d like to even pay for their hotel while they’re here. So what happened Monday night?

I hear Simon on the phone saying stuff like, “No, she told you not to take it seriously. No, you don’t have to do that. We don’t need it. No, really.” I got worried. He got off the phone and asked him who it was and he just laughed. He finally explained that it was his mother, who just sat down to read the book. She called him in a panic asking how much we needed them to contribute. I could only slap my forehead and sigh.

I hope she believed him. I hope she really doesn’t think I gave her that book as a way to say, “Give us money! The book says so!” I need to call her and explain before she hates me or something. My advice: read a book before you give it to someone. I need to make sure the “maid of honor” book I gave my sister isn’t giving her a heart attack too!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dresses dresses dresses

Okay, so...

This is me:

I'm heavy. I'm trying to lose weight for the wedding, but with the way it's going, it probably won't be a huge amount. I need to find a wedding dress that will cover the problem areas, like my upper arms and tummy. I am NOT wearing a strapless or sleeveless dress. Not happening.

Here is the bridesmaid dress we picked out:

I think I want to go with a short-sleeved dress for me, since they're in straps. If I go with long-sleeved, I may find a shrug for them to wear.

So these are the dresses I like!

I'm looking for other opinions. I know mine is what matters, but I like outside perspectives. Comments, suggestions? Keep in mind my shape, and the color and style of the bridesmaids dresses. My wedding gown will be ivory.

I am not going to try them on in stores. This website has $200 dresses and I love them (bought the dress I'm wearing in the top picture from them), and they are based in China, with no physical stores. I also HATE trying on clothes. So yes, while I know it is smart to try stuff on to see what looks right, I'm not doing it. I hate bridal stores, I hate trying stuff on, and I'm too big for most samples to fit me anyways. It wouldn't help much.

So that's that. Thoughts? =)

EDIT: It's important to add that this site makes the dresses custom-fitted, so I make any part of it as loose as I need. Sleeves, torso, etc. They make a perfect fit. It's by the way.