Bo and Christa

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Choosing another dress

In Uncategorized on June 19, 2010 at 7:53 pm

Where were we? Oh yes, planning a wedding in a few weeks. Let’s resume.

When my mom asked if she should bring my *wedding gown* to me for our little ceremony coming up, my response was “eh.”

Believe me, I do love my dress and think it would be great to get some mileage from the dress, but…it just didn’t feel right for this small ceremony. With some of the activities planned for the day (that I can’t wait to tell you about!), I needed something a little less high maintenance.

Enter short white dress search. I envisioned this going so simply: My best maid and I would commence upon the city’s department and dress stores in the few days before the wedding. We would drowned in options and magically find the PERFECT dress.

Well (big sigh), I guess it’s not that easy. I got the tip when much of my preliminary online store shopping resulted in “dress only available online” disclaimers. Crap. So, at a week a half to the wedding, I went ahead and freaked out. I furiously started throwing dresses into the virtual shopping cart at Nordies, assuring myself I would have enough white frocks to select a back up and could return the rest. After a few more deep breaths, I settled on only ordering 3 to ease the charges on my credit card. Then I scoured ebay and bought another dress. I really knew what I wanted all along. She looked like this:

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Met her on an old Weddingbee classified ad as I searched for short  dresses. According to her owner, she was designed by ABS Allen Schwartz and was from Saks…last year. The owner didn’t reply to my pleads to buy her. And I never quite found anything that rubbed me quite the same way. After just a few anxious days, my packages arrived.

Here’s the damage: (All personal photos unless otherwise stated. Sorry about taking them in front of the window. My bad.)

From Adrianna Papell, this one-shoulder dress was the only one the followed the one-shoulder rule I had really wanted. However, they were out of my size, and this dress is one to two sizes bigger than my usual dress size. Even my 5-year-old noticed right away, after telling me I looked like a princess (which she always does :)). I really just ordered it because I wanted at least one dress that fit my initial vision for a one strap.

I ordered this Maggie London dress as a runner up to one that was similar, but backordered until September. I liked it, but it was a little low cut for comfort and I wasn’t as crazy about the fabric in this one compared to the one I traded it for.


Going in, I think I had highest hopes for this Calvin Klein petal appliqué dress. Reminded me of something you’d wear to a garden wedding. I did like it, but also wondered if it was too low cut and whether the hem was a bit short. My feeling was that it would make a fabulous flower girl dress, but not so sold about it on me.

Last, but not least, I present the BCBG strapless appliqué dress.  Sure, I could have gotten it from Nordstrom’s, but it was almost half price on Ebay, so I thought “why not?” It’s been very popular over the past year, a tried and true classic for rehearsals and small weddings like the one I was testing it for. It’s frequently made its way around bride classifieds and Ebay, so I knew if I waited a day or two, I could probably find it. Anyway, it does take a bit of effort to get the flowers to stand up 3D-like (see photo below) when it comes squished in a box, but I managed to get it closer than what I started with. This is how it is “supposed” to look:

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I’d like to know exactly how they get it to look that amazing.  I guess it looks good enough in the photo that girls want to buy it, which is ultimately the end goal.

Anyway, which do you think I chose? Which would you choose?

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Things will turn out just as they should

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 at 10:51 pm

Ohmygosh! Where have I been? Well, I was suffocating. Suffocating under homework. And now it is over. No more teachers, no more books. ‘Nuff said. Feel my heave of relief.

My new job? Full time wedding planner (for my wedding), stay at home mom (hwhat?!), and….you know, Betty Homemaker. The days are flying by….SLLOOOOWWWWW DOWWWNNNNN SUUUMMMMEERRRRRR! Summers are much, much too short in the Midwest. They say all we have here are two seasons: Winter and road construction. Ha. Back to the weddin’.

A LOT has been happening. Well, some days. Some days nothing happens except internet surfing, Etsy perusing, blog stalking…all things that lend hands to making beautiful weddings, but should probably be limited when there is less than 70 days to your wedding. Yikes.

Speaking of weddings, anyone make some MAJOR changes shortly before the wedding? Theme? Location? Date?

Well, we did the latter two. I mean, it wasn’t an earth shattering change for most of the guests, but it was for us. Remember how we were going to do two weddings the same day?  Well, apparently that would be stressful. Huh, whowouldathought?

So, the ol’ fiance popped the question–Should we just get married here? “Here” means not at “home”–not my home, not his home, not our home state. Just our temporary state, where we got relocated due to my internship this year. And “married” means our Catholic wedding, which was always going to happen before our outdoor ceremony. The original plan was to have a small (immediate family, wedding party only) Catholic ceremony at 1 p.m. on our wedding day, take photos and then have a big outdoor ceremony around 5 p.m.

Well, things did not fall together. The priest (fiance’s cousin) had to back out due to obligations at his home parish, using my hometown priest was not so much an option and getting married only outside the church was not optional.On the flip side, we love our priest in our “temporary” city and state, we are here and the time is now (cheesy? yes. But seriously). So I agreed, and now I get to plan two weddings in two different months.  We’ll hold our Catholic wedding here next week with less than our whole family + a few and our outdoor ceremony will continue at 5 p.m. on an August day in South Dakota. Most of our guests will never know the difference.  Yes, I confess I will be yet one more bride that is married before her big wedding day.

So, how does it look when you plan a wedding in 3 weeks? I haven’t exactly figured it out myself, but I will divulge FULL imagery after I am wed next week. Don’t worry, I made sure to find an awesome photographer that will hopefully make me look like I did a better job.

Last week, I was shaking in my boots. Really, I was having naked dreams–you know, the ones where you go to the party naked because you forgot to put on clothes. I think they represent how apprehensive a person can be about not being prepared for something. That is my interpretation anyway. So I tried to pull it all together. And emailed one of my online wedding friends with the confession I was freaking out about getting married in less than two weeks (oh yes, the friends you make on wedding boards that you have never met but understand you better than all of your friends throughout your wedding planning=very important support system) .

Direct excerpt from her response: “It will happen the way it is supposed to and it will be wonderful.”

Sigh. That was exactly what I needed to hear from someone outside looking in. And it will. After that email, I think I relaxed. When we talked to the guitar player who will be furnishing his amazing talents, we just told him to pick whatever he felt like playing that day. Seriously. The priest said after our meeting with him today, “You’re just so laid back about this; you’re the calmest bride I’ve ever had.” Hahahaha. That made me laugh inside. I told him it’s because I get two weddings. What a lucky girl. And everything is going to be OK.

Make some noise!

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm

It has been quiet on this blog. I had to force a temporary hiatus on the blog to keep my head above water the past three weeks of the internship. I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel in student-ville. And I am -oh so happy- about it. Now, besides working on research, 12-page papers, starting another job, etc. there have been some more important landmarks that have passed in wedding land I need to pay tribute to before moving on:

1. Our 1-year engageaversary passed a couple weeks ago! Our actual engagement (story to come) went something like this:

Personal cell phone photo

Who said that more than a 12 month engagement was too long? Whatever. If you have stuff to do, you better dang well make your engagement a bit longer!  Ours is 15 months; at the time of venue booking, I hee-hawed around about being annoyed I couldn’t get the date I wanted, but now I am rejoicing I have a few more months to work on the ol’ slave bride list.

Which brings me to my next point:

2. There are 96 days left until the wedding day!

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Holy begeez, I’ve been so consumed I forgot to watch patiently as the ticker on my Facebook page went from 100 to 99. And here it is at 96 already; double digits baby! While I’m stoked, I might be in freak out mode when considering the To Dos. Especially when the FH brings up crazy ideas like changing wedding ceremony location. Story to come. Maybe.

3. Though not as meaningful in some wedding planner’s books, this little tidbit is going to make my recent milestone list: FH has awaken from some kind of deep wedding planning slumber.

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He has engaged in the wedding planning! Either he really enjoyed pre-marrital counseling this weekend and/or he also felt the crunchtime bug. He’s even getting his groomsmen selected (did I just admit that he doesn’t even have that done yet? Oh good gravy!)
Anyway, with my new planning sidekick in tow, we’re back and better than ever. Talk soon!

Shoes with my name on them (wink)

In Uncategorized on April 29, 2010 at 10:25 am

So, just doing a little browsing and can you believe…that Kate Spade named some shoes after me?

Behold:

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The “Christa”

And in my dreams, Kate Spade would also send me a pair for free.

I wish.

Shoes to know about

In Uncategorized on April 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm

As a service to any brides that might be reading (or shoe snobs, whichever), I need you to know about Butter, if you don’t already. Mmm, not the butter on bread, although that’s good stuff too. Especially scampi butter on sauteed veggies…but yes, back to the shoes.

I know colored shoes are all the rage for brides these days, and I get that because it’s the route I went, but bear with me for a sec…because these are pretty hot:

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And maybe something blue?

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This classic number is my personal fav of the three, because of the truffle color:

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Even though Butter claims to fill the need of designer shoes for girls that still need to pay rent, they continue to be out of my student budget…for now anyway. So why do I even care enough to post about them?

Well, I ordered a couple pairs of these babies hoping to squeeze my feet into them several months ago (they were on sale!).

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Sigh, if every shoe site had not been out of my size in these beautiful brown and green Butter Clementines, they would have been mine. After that disappointment, I ordered at least 6 more pairs of shoes just to compare comfort of brands.

Despite my lack of success, I do have to tell you about my love for this particular pair. Receiving them was like getting a Tiffany’s box. I gingerly opened the baby blue lid to find a note from Butter about how the beautiful shoes I had in my lap had been handcrafted in a small Italian shop and how each pair was a little different. I was smitten. The leather and craftsmanship were amazing, the bottom so soft. I had a friend come over to try them on and she actually rubbed the bottoms against her face they were so amazing.

And this is where my love affair with pretty shoes began.

But atlas, even after 6 more rounds of shoe ordering, I grew desperate that I may never find perfection like Butter (or at least something I could afford). So I settled for something in one of my other colors–brown. Yeah, brown. I got sick of looking for green shoes. Have you seen the classifieds section on WeddingBee for the past 5+ months? There is madness for satin, apple green shoes. Someone should notify a manufacturer already. I needed to get past the shoes, so I went ahead and ordered some brown satin shoes on clearance (there I go again with my sales). Why brown? It is functional. I can wear them again and again. White satin? I don’t know if I have anything that goes with that. In retrospect, I would have went with purple, but I didn’t know until last week I’d be adding a color to palette. Whatever, I’m over it. I’ll be dressing them up with some nice shoe brooches and maybe a rhinestone message on the bottom. But this post is not about my shoes, it’s about the shoes I wish for.

I still flirt with shoe racks, hoping there’ll be a beautiful apple green shoe flirting back at me one of these days. But I know better…I’m just a girl that loves to dream.

Good things come to those who wait…for the sale

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm

I admit, I have trouble paying full price for anything. My mom told me growing up to never buy things that weren’t on sale. Like many know-it-all adolescents, I brushed her advice aside and probably ignored it for a number of years. However, 6 years as a student kind of wears on your spending habits, and I’ve recently realized my mother is always right. For example, we didn’t pay retail for my wedding dress, engagement ring, flower girl dress, bridesmaids dresses and the list goes on. That doesn’t mean we didn’t get them brand new; I just found ways to save a few bucks here and there.

I searched for the best photographer for the money, shopped around for best decor prices–something we probably all try to do before making big purchases. It’s the practical thing to do, and I like to consider myself an exceptionally practical bride.

Well, I’ve struck again and let me just say, I’m glad I waited!

Long story short, I fell in love with some jewelry (in Etsy shop #1) with an unpractical price tag–a particular pair of earrings to be exact. So, I looked though the jewelry sections of every store I went to and shopped online bridal galleries for hours to find something that struck my fancy just as much. Sigh. No cigar.

But I did find (almost) the exact  same earrings at another shop while browsing Etsy (shop #2) one day and they were almost 20% cheaper…score!

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Giving a courtesy nod to the original seller’s shop where I had fallen in love, I asked if the seller (shop #1) would price match their competitor (shop #2) with the same design. I don’t know if I’ve ever asked anyone to do that, but apparently it doesn’t always work. I got shut down!

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The worst they could say was no and they courteously did. No problem.

I would have just gone with the less expensive seller (#2), but I waited…And the story took a turn for the worse. Shop #2 shut down her store!


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Crap. Was I going to be faced with spending more money to get what I wanted? I decided to avoid thinking about, for surely this problem would resolve itself. 😉

I instead moved to scoping out bracelets. For this, the criteria was simple: Multiple strand cream pearls with a large brooch. No big deal. I even thought about having my mom just make one for me, but I had a bit of trouble finding an appropriate brooch for DIY.

So, browsing Etsy again, I found this bracelet in shop #3:

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…which was an exact replicate of a bracelet that was also at shop #1, except this one was 30% cheaper. I decided not to wait another moment to purchase. But wait! My natural wedding detective  instincts kicked in.

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If shop #3 had access to the same hardware as shop #1, maybe shop #3 would also have the earring centerpieces I had fallen for. So I asked. And this time, I did not get shut down. 🙂 Shop #3 would not only make the earrings AND the bracelet, she would make them at more than a 40% total cost savings compared to the original shop. Who can say no to that?
I’m in, and both pieces should be on my doorstep before I know it! Super excited!

Where did you find your favorite deal?

What are you wearing under there?

In Uncategorized on April 21, 2010 at 7:31 am

I’m in the market for some fab bra cups. Anyone have a good lead?

I know some people go the full corset thingy route…

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…but I don’t think I’m interested. Just make it simple and give me some ‘oomph (believe me, I need it!!!).  I wanna be hooked in tight, with no chance of falling down, if you know what I mean.

And other bras? I don’t know that they’ll work with this:

Personal photo

Ha, I hid the pictures of me in my *real* dress so well, that I couldn’t even find them for this post! Whoops. Anyway, you get the idea.

Meanwhile, as I ponder how to hold up the top shelf, my mind wandered down here:

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Super fun, huh? I think I am having someone do a custom rhinestone transfer that is a little twist on this, just because I haven’t found a seller that does single orders for graphic transfer. And I want to PMOP for comfort (pick my own panties, for those out of the know). 😉

But, back to cleavage. Meow.

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How do we get the biggest bang for our buck, so to speak?
I’ll need you to spill it ladies, because I couldn’t find what I needed here.  I know someone is wise beyond their womb here.

Decor to die for

In Uncategorized on April 20, 2010 at 10:42 pm

You know those photos that make you want to start over with your decor?

Yeah, I’ve seen some too. In fact, this website was saved as “holy awesome green and brown wedding” in one of my “wedding” folders. Feel free to drool; I did.

Wait for it….

Orchid and ti leaf bouquet…

Placecards in a bed of wheatgrass

Adorable succulent bout:

And there it is. Tall vases line the aisles with green ti leaves wrapped at the bottom with a chocolate (they come in that or you make them that way??) manzanita and a cymbidium orchid, topped with a ball of kermit mums. Sigh…

Little more detail of the altar area:

7 vase (courtesy of Ikea) centerpiece with parrot tulips, cymbidium orchids,  “rustic hydrangeas”, spider mums, bells of Ireland and succulents.  And the table numbers? Michaels–it was a mom project.

(little squeal) Apple shot! (Yep, stealing it)

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That wedding is pure apple green and brown ecstasy for me.  I am definitely “borrowing” another component of it, besides the ring shot. Can you guess?