Archive for September, 2010

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Fairytale gowns

September 29, 2010

I know I found my dress, but I couldn’t stop the teensy bit of sadness (jealousy?) that ran through me when I read this:

Dreams do come true, especially for women who grew up dreaming of a fairy tale wedding modeled after their favorite Disney Princess character. Alfred Angelo and Disney will debut their first collection of bridal gowns, Disney Fairy Tale Weddings by Alfred Angelo, at the National Bridal Market in Chicago on October 2, 2010. Marking their first collaboration, the bridal gown collection is inspired by the essence, style and personality of seven iconic Disney Princess characters: Ariel, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Snow White and Tiana.

I’ve always been a Disney girl.

I think it all started when my parents decorated my nursery in Winnie the Pooh. At last count, I had over 25 different stuffed Poohs. Kinda ridiculous for a 30-year-old woman, huh?

I own almost every Disney movie ever released – some on VHS and DVD.

Having no clue what I wanted to do with my life, I spent six months after graduating college working for The Mouse (aka WDW College Program).

Fast forward seven years and, during my wedding dress search, I found Kirstie Kelly for Disney’s Fairytale Weddings. Inspired by popular princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and Jasmine, the high-end gowns were to die for.

From what I could gather, though, these dresses run between $2-4k.

Must.admire.from.a.distance

But the dresses in the new Alfred Angelo line will cost between $599-1,199 and come in sizes 0-30W.

Kudos to Disney (and Alfred Angelo) for catering to a larger segment of brides – those who dream of dressing like a Princess but don’t have thousands of dollars to spend. That’s smart business!

Can’t wait to see them on the runway Oct. 2!

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Dress found, game over

September 28, 2010

I found my dress last Saturday. 🙂

I’m going to tell you up front that you can’t see it (gotta keep something a secret!); however, if you remember the dresses I liked and compare them to the rejects below, you’ll know which is The One.

Let me begin the experience recap with some observations and reactions:

  • Trying on dresses was not as traumatic as I feared. People asked all week if I was excited and my answer was always, “Not yet.” It’s true I was extremely busy and didn’t have much time to think about it, but I was more nervous than anything. That leads me to …
  • It’s okay to try on dresses even if they’re too small. Unless the size difference is drastic, the dress will go on. It won’t zip up or button, but you’ll still be able to see the front. Half of the dresses I tried on (including The One) were two sizes too small. And it was okay.
  • David’s Bridal is not for meek and timid brides. The consultants work on commission so it’s all about making the sale – and not just on the dress. It’s the slips, the bras, the veils, the jewelry and any other wedding accessory you can think of. I was lucky enough to have an understanding consultant. Yes, she tried to get me to buy every little thing; however, she didn’t push when I said no.

And now what you really want to see … the dresses!

Style 9WG9854: Tank faille A-line gown with beaded waistband

The first dress of the day! Since the dress was too small, the beaded waistband was more of a beaded breast-band. Ha! It was nice, but more Roman goddess than I’d ever care to be. I also felt like I was wearing a night gown. Moving on …

Style 9T3090: Cap sleeved satin side-draped A-Line Gown

One of my top two while scoping out dresses. It gave me the most amazing shape – and even made my aunt cry – but all I could think about was taking off the damned cap sleeves and lace back. I even said to myself, “I’d pick this dress if I were getting married in a church.” But I’m not, so off it came.

Style 9V9263: Satin corset pick-up with beaded lace appliques

Bridesmaid Becky suggested I try this one one. It would never be anything I’d ever pick, but I figured you only try on wedding dresses once. The corset back on it was A-mazing! Lauren, my consultant (who also happens to be a Pitt and Notre Dame fan – boo!!), even took the time to lace it completely. Unfortunately for her fingers, I didn’t waste any time wearing it.

Style 9WG3153: Satin side-draped A-Line gown with beaded inset

Sorry for the ugly face! I was queen of the ugly and cheesy faces Saturday. This actually might have been after Lauren told me (for the umpteenth time) that I was about to fall off the pedestal. There isn’t much I can say about this dress. Too plain. Forgettable. It gave me a nice shape, though.

Style 9ES9808: Faile ball gown with V-neck and hidden pockets

I look at this picture and the only thing that comes to mind is … WTF was I thinking? It was not in the least bit flattering! I was really excited it had pockets though. I could have carried my phone and then updated my Facebook relationship status after saying “I do.” You know I would’ve too! 😉

Style 9T3060: Beaded tank taffeta pick-up gown with X-back

Ick. This dress puts the “girls” front and center – and I’m not all about that. Lauren’s manager tried to tell me they could sew a modesty piece into the top, but I didn’t think it would look right. Who wants to walk down the aisle wearing something that looks mis-matched?

While Lauren was helping me out of the last dress, she said the only dress they had for The One was on a mannequin at the front of the store – and it was two sizes too small. When I asked if I could try it on anyway, she told me they were “stripping the mannequin” as we spoke.

Ten minutes later I was stepping on the pedestal wearing my future dress. I took one look in the mirror and turned to my entourage saying, “Guys, I really like it!” As I turned to look again, I heard my aunt say, “Good. That’s the most excitement we’ve gotten out of you yet.”

Then I started to cry.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

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It’s here!

September 25, 2010

Shoes? Check.

Potential veil? Check.

Strapless bra? Check.

Dresses pictures? Check.

Three friends, one mom, and one aunt? Check.

That list can only mean one thing … Wedding dress shopping day has arrived!

Wish me luck! 😀

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Let them eat cake!

September 21, 2010

Randy and I had cake for lunch today.

Not just any cake, but sinfully delicious cake.

Yummmm!

Our first stop was Almost Heaven Desserts in Clarksburg. I sampled their carrot cake at Lakeview’s Fall Bridal Show last year and fell in love. For good measure, I tried it again at this year’s show.

Yep. Still in love. 😉

The bakery got bonus points for displaying an almost exact replica of what I want for our cake. Although I didn’t snap a picture, it was just like this (minus the flowers):

Armed with that picture and sensitive sweet taste buds, Randy and I drove 40 minutes down 1-79  to the bakery which, oddly enough, looked like it was in a converted basement of a house. I’m not sure what I was expecting – display cases full of cakes, cookies and pies, maybe? What I got was a small lobby with an empty display case and a view of their workspace.

We were greeted by Deeanna, who left us with basic paper work (name, address, wedding date, etc.) while she prepared our samples:

Clockwise from top right: White cake with buttercream icing, raspberry filling, carrot cake with buttercream icing, white cake with buttercream icing, chocolate cake with buttercream icing.

After Deeanna left us alone, we both went straight for the carrot cake. Somehow, though, I don’t think Randy was as impressed as I was.

Me: Mmm … Isn’t that awesome?

Randy: It’s good.

Haha!

Next, we tasted the white with a bit of raspberry filling. It was by far our least favorite of the three. The cake seemed dry and the raspberry filling didn’t complement it very well. I’ve never been a big fan of white cake, so I wasn’t surprised I didn’t like it.

The chocolate cake, however, was super moist and had great flavor! Although I was hesitant to pair it with the raspberry filling (the combo is pass/fail in my book), it was delish. In fact, I ate more of it than I did the carrot cake.

Randy is a laid back, non-froo-froo guy whose one wedding request was to have a plain (aka no special fruit or cream filling) wedding cake. Unfortunately, I’m the exact opposite. So I offered a compromise:

We’ll have carrot cake for our top tier (saved for our anniversary), chocolate cake with raspberry filling for the middle, and white cake with buttercream for the bottom. Something for everyone!

In agreement and with full bellies …

we talked business money with Deeanna.

The numbers weren’t as bad as I’d anticipated – $442 for a three-tiered cake (saving top tier for us), a 10-inch side cake, taxes and delivery – but still over the budget I’d set. Clearly I had no idea how much cake costs when I set my budget.

Not completely deflated but a little sad, we thanked her for her time and began the trek back to Motown. During the car ride Randy asked if there were other places I had in mind. I told him about Myers Creative Cakes (MCC) and mentioned Giant Eagle.

I called MCC and chatted with the owner about prices. For buttercream cakes, it’s $2.25 a slice. She also offers fondant for $3.25/slice, or a faux fondant cake for half the price. On the surface, that’s cheaper than Almost Heaven; however, I’m waiting on a contract to see about delivery fees, etc.

On a whim, we swung by Giant Eagle. I had a friend who used round cakes from Giant Eagle as her table centerpieces and raved about how good they were.

I asked the baker about wedding cakes and she immediately said, “We do wedding cakes, but we don’t deliver or set them up.”

I figured as much. Blah! Who’s going to be in charge of that on the day of the wedding? Not this girl.

Even though I was secretly writing it off in my brain, I continued to listen to the information.

“I’ll bake it ahead of time and freeze it. It’ll thaw out by the time you need it.”

Hmmm…

“We stack the tiers on top of each other.”

Great!

“They’ll be 14, 10 and 6-inch cakes,” as she points to the tiniest cake I’ve ever seen in the display case.

Although Randy swears it would be fine, I think the tiers would look out of proportion. I also worry our cake topper will overwhelm the top tier. Eek!

When the woman stopped to take a breath, I asked the all important question:

“Can you give me a price breakdown?”

She grabbed her calculator and punched in some numbers.

“$75.”

:-O

And it’s not like Giant Eagle has sucky cake. It’s great! The price alone is tempting, but I’m not completely sold on the idea. What if it doesn’t thaw out in time? What if it thaws out and the icing starts to sag? Who would be in charge of picking it up? What if the cake topper (it’s the focal point of the cake) is too big?

Decisions, decisions. Glad we started this process early!

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Dressing my mom

September 18, 2010

My mama is on the ball.

She bought a potential Mother of the Bride (MOB) dress Thursday night at JC Penney.

And, yes, I now understand from whom I inherited my “always plan ahead” gene. 😉

Although I haven’t seen it, she said it was black and very similar to the one she wore for my brother’s wedding.

Not the best picture, but you get the idea

It even got my dad’s stamp of approval and, let me tell you, that’s often difficult to get.

The best part? Buyer’s remorse is highly unlikely. Unlike many MOB dresses, this one was inexpensive. Likewise, it wasn’t custom ordered and can be returned without a hassle. Doesn’t mesh well with my dress? No biggie! Take it back.

Ahhh … If only everything wedding-related was that simple.

I did, for a moment, question telling her it was okay to buy it. Worried the black dresses and tuxes – even with the brightly colored flowers – would make it seem more like a funeral than a wedding, I Facebooked a friend (*wave* Stacy) who also had a black and white color scheme.

She assured me it would be fine – and all was right again in wedding world.

I just hope Randy’s mom is that easy to dress. 😉

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Farewell to bridal shows

September 14, 2010

Since I still need a cake baker, officiant and ceremony musician, I dragged Tania to the fall bridal show at Lakeview Sunday afternoon.

Although we had a nice time, I walked away knowing it would be the last time I’d attend as a bride.

We went last fall and had a blast! We talked to every vendor, ate lots of cake, shook our heads at some of the ridiculous fashion show dresses, and walked away with tons of information. Tania was even so kind as to carry my five-pound bag of literature.

She did the same this year and said, “Your bag isn’t as heavy. How come?”

Well, because I don’t need the information; I’ve already booked the majority of my vendors.

It was a bittersweet moment.

As excited as I am to marry my love, I’m really going to miss planning our wedding. Don’t get me wrong; I know there is still plenty to do. For the most part, though, the “fun” part is over.

We did, however,  sample lots of cake (the real reason we went :P) and I finally decided Almost Heaven Desserts (they have the best carrot cake!) needs to be our first cake appointment. We also got to chat with Amberlee for a bit (love her so). We ate loaded mashed potatoes from martini glasses. Played with props in a photo booth. And watched the fashion show, complete with male dancers modeling the latest in men’s formal wear.

At some point I’ll share the five-minute video of their dancing skillz with you, but I need to rotate it first.

Up Next: Through the years …

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Dress Dilemma (Part Two)

September 12, 2010

Part One

With Bonny dresses and Checker’s Bridal out of the picture, I needed to find somewhere else to make an appointment.

Since I didn’t (completely) listen to my mom the first time around, I decided to heed her advice and make an appointment at David’s Bridal.

I hadn’t looked at the store’s dresses in a long time, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many I liked.

Style 9WG9984

The best part of this dress? It has freaking pockets! For an Italian who talks with her hands, you’d think I’d have no need for pockets. But, I do. And to incorporate them into a wedding dress is genius.

Style 9WG3153

Style 9V9665

These two are very similar in shape. The first one might be too plain, while the second might have too much detail. Although I’m not wowed by either, I still want to give them a try.

These last two are at the top of the “Love” list right now …

Style 9T3090

Words cannot describe how much I love this dress  from the bust down. I think the lace on top would be okay if it were cap sleeves, but the back looks like this:

It makes the dress very romantic, almost Victorian – and that doesn’t mesh well with the modern feel I have in mind for the wedding. The lace looks like it could be removed, but I’m anxious to see the dress in person to find out.

Style 9WG3045

Oh so simple with a bit of flower flare. I had the pleasure of seeing this dress on a bride yesterday afternoon while helping Becky pick out a dress for her wedding. It’s even more beautiful in person! 😀 I must have said, “I love that” at least 10 times.

I think I’ve found my dress shopping excitement again. T-minus 13 days. 🙂