Thursday, June 30, 2011

You like???

First attempt... Winning?
I forgot to mention the berries in my last post. They are burgundy tallow berries. That's Leo in the background planting ideas in people's minds. The wiley, handsome devil. The guinea hen feathers are there too!

This would be a small version of what I want for my hair, but it's a pretty decent start, yeah??


Very important details!

My mom made a comment a few weeks ago that she was once at a wedding where no one in the entire party matched as far as accessories/nails/shoes/jewelry etc... She said it was jarring, you wouldn't think it would matter, but it really stood out.

Mia gave all her girls really sweet necklaces and earrings as our gifts and they doubled as being the cohesive element that pulled us together. We also all had the same shoes, but that's because we just loved those shoes!

So I sometimes think about these things, but I really need help from my girls to figure out what you like, what you don't like, and what you don't care about;
  • Do you plan on wearing necklace/bracelet/earrings?
  • Do you want flats or heels or something in between?
  • Do you want a cover-up? What kind??
  • Do you want to have a nail salon day close to the wedding and all get the same color nail polish???
On jewelry, I'm stumped, I have no idea what anyone should wear because I never wear jewelry myself. I am wearing a very simple necklace that my parents got me for my 18th birthday as my only adornment (I might get a small chain to match for a bracelet, haven't looked for it yet). It looks very similar to Kate Middleton's engagement ring (not that I need to show you that, but here):
Does it match anything else? No, but I don't care, because it means something to me and I am certainly not going out and picking out all new jewelry that means nothing to me and that I'll never wear again. I encourage my girls to do the same, because if you trust me to buy you jewelry, you're probably going to hate it, so you might as well use your own, in which case, do not feel that you need to go out and buy new jewelry that you will never wear again.

I think, because I am so bad at jewelry, that that's one thing I am definitely not going to insist upon being the same. Moreover, this is a small, intimate party. If it was a classic ballroom wedding with sleek, long, satiny dresses and 10 bridesmaids and 500 guests, I think it would be much more noticeable, but as it is...

My mom mentioned statement necklaces, which I absolutely love:
If you've seen anything else on Etsy or elsewhere that you love, bring it to my attention!!

This actually brings to mind something that I just ordered and received and forgot to tell you about!

Guinea hen feathers and balsa wood flowers!!! I'm so excited!! I'm making an awesome hair accessory with them!! Like a statement piece for my head!

Imagine it about that size but with guinea hen feathers and balsa wood flowers (OK, maybe not that big, but c'mon, let me have a little fun)!

I can't wait to show you once I make it!!

I had a great idea too that to be cohesive, I could make miniature versions of my hair accessory for my girls (not that they have to wear it, they can decide once they see it). Maybe?? OK, we'll see.


I feel the same way about my shoes [as my 10 year old necklace], which are a little old, a little worn, but are awesome shoes (I don't have a picture, but I'll try to get one soon). They're deep wine-colored suede loafers from Payless. Yeah, that's right... loafers... from Payless. I love them, I love the color, I love how cute and comfy they are. End of story!

Shoes are only slightly tricky, I do not want to dictate shoes because I know that no matter what Keri and my sister pick, I am going to love them. The three of us do have similar tastes in shoes. I went to my trusty DSW and started poking around. Keri said she might want to wear low heels, but I was pretty disappointed with DSW's low heel selection. This is pretty much what you're stuck with:
Pretty much wherever you look, this is the standby.

But when you want flats, a whole new world opens up to you:

And from Nordstrom:

Check out the cute loafers!!! See, loafers can be adorable!

And even from Payless:

The only other cute pair of low heels I found, Keri.

I might be missing some stores though, send me links or images, I am open to anything!! I also haven't looked at the colors provided for these styles either, I just wanted to look at shoes!

I think, since the girls will be wearing short dresses, that the shoes should probably match. Now, you girls can also let me know if you just want to wear the standard wedding strappy sandal:
(I just picked a style, these are generic enough, you get the idea). But I see no need to deprive your feet of pretty little shoes just because you're in a wedding. I think they should be the same color, and that the color should be neutral (also no black or white, the wedding is more brown and cream) but other than that...

Moving on, I'm more than halfway done knitting my shrug:

Imagine that in burgundy. Mine's not as clean or professional-looking, but it cost me a heck of a lot less than what this etsy seller was charging and I made it :D.

So girls, would you want something knit for a cute, country feel or just fabric, like a bolero?

This particular artist (Tickledpinkknits) and another (Sweetknitting) are always tugging at my heartstrings:

How sweet, yes?? But I know that a lot of people may see these as old granny-ish, I think the general opinion is changing towards knits and shawls and shrugs but I get it, it's not for everyone.

How about something more along these lines?

Ignore the bridal gown, whatever color you want, but something in chiffon? instead of knit?

How about something simple:

With no bells or whistles? I personally think silk would be uncomfortable and constricting, but no other fabric is as smooth.

Again, girlies, let me know what you were thinking. I haven't thought about color or anything either.

Lastly, a quick note about nails, which I also haven't thought about too much. I picked up a few colors at a RiteAid a few months ago but never really did much else. I think I've painted my nails a whole one time since I bought them.

They looked something like this:

I got two, Revlon Devilish and Vixen (Vixen is slightly lighter than Devilish) but haven't decided between the two because I've only used one so far!

I rarely have the time or patience to do the base coat, two coats of color and then the top coat.

But I can say though, from my one run-through (while Kyle was away on business and I stayed up till ridiculously late to do it) that as dark as it was (it looks a little brown in the picture, it's more purple in real life) when I cleaned it off a few weeks later, it came off clean; no stains on my nails. I definitely stand behind this Revlon brand; unlike some very expensive, very popular brands out there that stain really badly.

But I digress, I was thinking, since the bridesmaid dresses will be burgundy, that a lighter color would be really nice on their nails:

Now, don't think of this as pink, think of it as light burgundy :D

Seriously though, I love the idea of the contrast; I'll be wearing ivory with dark burgundy polish, the ladies will be wearing burgundy with lighter [blush] polish.


Well, this has turned into a very very long post. In case I can't post tomorrow, I hope everyone has a wonderful July 4th holiday, I think I need to cap it off here for today.

Ladies, I know it's a lot to process... but what do you think?!?! Are you excited??? Tell me your thoughts/preferences/wishes, I want to know!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trying to gather ALL the thoughts

There is no Kyle, only Zul:

I know, this one is a little obscure. You knock on the door and she answers and says "Are you the keymaster?" And you say "No, not that I know of." and she slams the door in your face...

I know, not as funny when I have to explain it, but the point is, KYLE! GO AWAY!

I got an e-mail not too long ago from the consultant who helped me at Vera Wang's flagship store in NYC just to check on me and see if I was still considering throwing $7,000 at her for a gown that wasn't styled the way I would have wanted, and that they refused to alter...
So so pretty.

I had a little spaz out, then politely e-mailed her back that even though the Erica was what I wanted, I could not justify spending the money for a dress that wasn't perfect (I mean, it's different when you're talking a $1,000 gown that needs a few alterations, but this was much much more money and they wouldn't even change a neckline!)

There was also this weird tug-of-war going on in my head: While I was self-conscious about my little pooch showing in this very very figure-hugging gown, I loved how sexy I felt in it- again, not sexual, but sexy- and at the same time was just slightly trepidatious that there wasn't much going on in the bodice- I mean, besides a very interesting banding, fine, but no waistline, no belt/sash, no nothing in the whole middle of the gown. These two slight negatives outweighed the positive, and then of course the price further stomped the warm fuzzy feelings from my heart, and then I really really didn't like the neckline:

It's like a big flap of something, it needed to go away!

Anyway!! I know, I'm dwelling, but these thoughts made me remember that this was why I was so drawn to the Priscilla of Boston gown:
It made perfect sense why I was so obsessed with the Priscilla dress because it was sleeker-shaped like the Erica.

HOWEVER!! I am having a real real hard time letting go of the the amazing skirt detail that Vera does so well (damn her):

I'm sure this doesn't do it for everyone, but as I put this little jpeg together, I was swooning the whole time. I could barely work the mouse!

So the reason I am writing this post is to enunciate that I recognize that the David's Bridal gown is fantastic and I do love it for the skirt and the volume is not so bad, but I also do really love the sleekness of the Priscilla of Boston dress because it reminds me of a-Wang that got a-Way.

Hey, at least I've narrowed it down to two :)

To recap:

[Mostly] thee one............. The fix (shape)......... The other fix (style)

In my heart I keep telling myself that I should not sacrifice style for shape, so the edge is going to the DB dress right now, but the size and fit of the PB dress is still so appealing.

I'm seriously ready to flip a coin.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

OK, I'm ready to come clean

I want to start by saying that I want you all to know that I did my required penance before writing this post: I read all my past gown posts. I'll just get the apologies over and done with first...

But before I go any further:


Heehee, seriously, go away.

Everyone else... I bought a new gown...

That's right, even animals are ashamed of me.

I spent a lot of time thinking about it though and I'm asking everyone to disregard the majority of my early gown posts. I'm only concerned with the gowns I actually purchased, especially because I still maintain that I still love them.

First, I identified what I thought I wanted at the beginning of my gown search:
  • Organza
  • Sweetheart neckline, criss-crossed
  • Ruching
  • Asymmetric drop waist
  • Movement/flow in the skirt:
(This is a great example, but I wasn't  impressed with the workmanship of the Demetrios, and somehow it's still a bit too boring for me... you can see that based on my own requirements, I was already making life very difficult for myself)

I had no inkling what type of shape I wanted; I didn't want gigantic poofy princess, and I didn't want sexy belongs-in-the-bedroom-only slip dress, but other than that, I said bring it on!

Some people are very happy and content finding a gown that has one or two elements that they wanted and they don't much mind what the rest of the dress looks like... Unfortunately, I'm much  more picky and had to find thee gown that had all the elements I wanted in just the right configuration... I know it was frustrating for my family and bridesmaids, especially when it was difficult for me to say what it was I didn't like, but I just never found that one.

First in the line of very real possibilities were a Martina Liana and a La Sposa:

I know, they seem crazy different, and they are, but they were both appealing in their own ways; the Martina Liana was more modest, it had a country feel to it, the color was awesome, the detailing was subtle, but there was enough going on to make it really interesting. I hate dupioni silk, taffeta, stiff satin/silk. I just couldn't get over hating the material. The La Sposa had a really cool bodice, interesting neckline, drop waist, it was awesomely-flattering (but still held the girls in), and I loved the exposed tulle. But I felt it was too classic ballgown, belonging to a classic ballroom in a classic wedding.

Finally, the Diana came along, well, the Diana and the Erica:

The Diana had this awesome detailing that I fell in love with instantly, a sweetheart neckline, ruching, (no dropped waist, but who would be looking at that anyway?!) and I thought I was sold. Then I saw the Erica and I loved her too; she was a little more figure flattering and still very interesting in the skirt. The Erica, now that I've spent so much time examining my thoughts, would have been the perfect wedding gown for me had it not been for the awful neckline and the $7,000 price tag. The sales consultant at Vera Wang in NYC would not budge on either the price or the design... yeah, that's right, they wouldn't even have modified the neckline for me because "Vera doesn't like it that way."

Are you kidding me?? Another salon was having a trunk sale and offered the Diana at half price... so I bought it of course! Looking back, I think I did it to purposefully drive the Erica from my brain, I couldn't have her the way I wanted her or for a price that was reasonable, so that was that.

Or so I thought.

Vera then deigned to stoop to our poor broke level and designed a line for David's Bridal. I realized that the Diana was way way too big for the event we were having, for the feel of the wedding. I bought my second gown at David's Bridal after selling the first via OnceWed.

This one seemed to make up for all the deficiencies in the first gown; it's more-drop-waisted and has a slight asymmetry to the waist, and it's smaller in the skirt.

I wasn't crazy about the straight neckline (but alterations didn't care about changing it to a sweetheart) and I still wasn't thrilled about the semi-severe shift from bodice to skirt:

But I bought it and happily strutted home having spent less than a third of the money I thought I was going to spend on a wedding gown when we started all this nonsense.

Then the dress came in... Then I took it home... It was so white! It was so poofy!! I panicked and covered it with a sheet as per DB suggestion and ignored it for a few months.

I went about my business convinced that I wasn't too unhappy with the David's Bridal dress, that it still had this awesome movement that  I had loved from the start.

My mistake was that I continued looking at wedding blogs- including the ones that sometimes do designer spotlights when new collections come out. And I found her.


Meet JL312 by Priscilla of Boston. Now, I know what you may be thinking, this is so wildly divergent from what I have heretofore thrown at you, that you're probably pretty confused right now. Allow me to explain. A less full skirt elongates me, no ruching is slimming (since ruching essentially means twice the fabric), and the detailing on the skirt is super sweet without being so... all-over. Also, recall the Martina Liana, this was like my long lost Martina but in organza; my favorite fabric! Remember at the beginning how I said I didn't know what kind of shape I wanted? Well every gown I bought seemed too big once I brought it home (I called the Diana the Fat Wh@re for pete's sake). It was decided: I wanted a true fit-n-flare.

I tried it on and felt incredibly sexy in it without it being sexual. It felt more fun and spunky, and the detailing was so soft and I love how it cascades over the shoulder and then discontinues for a bit and then flows in the same direction in the skirt! I bought it right there. It cost a little more than double what the David's bridal gown cost, and now I had two gowns.

I want to take a moment to say that it has been so supremely difficult not to have Kyle's opinion! I know that's the whole point, but everything else about the wedding (and about our lives in general) is a collaborative effort, including what he will wear on the wedding day, but I have to keep my attire a secret. I just wanted to put that out there, my life is so hard, I know.

I went home, told Kyle, and settled my brain into this decision. He was a little exasperated but after a few minutes, said the same thing he always says "Get whatever makes you happy."

I put the DB dress up on OnceWed and didn't hear anything for over a week... And something funny happened, I started feeling overprotective of my poor, unwanted gown. When Kyle went on a business trip, I pulled it out of it's hiding place again (as I always do when he goes away on business) and put it on. Storing it wrapped in a sheet had calmed the poof! I felt the way I originally felt in it; Romantic.

I have since started to have these nagging doubts about whether I want to be fun and spunky or romantic (and let's face it, still fun). I've started to worry also because compared to the David's Bridal gown, the Priscilla of Boston gown looks even whiter! And when I tried on the David's Bridal dress again, I fell in love with the ruching once more. I'm also super NOT psyched about the crystal detail on the Priscilla of Boston gown, but without it, the waist is a little boring and not as slimming.

BUUUUUTTT, I still love the detail in the PB dress. I really, truly love both of them for different reasons. I can promise you one thing, I am not looking at or buying ANY. MORE. DRESSES!!! I mean, come on, I don't have any time anyway ;)

I have determined that I go back and forth so much that it's just going to be a surprise for everyone (umm, including me)...

So, if it was your decision, which would you choose? Did anyone else have a similar [ridiculous and self-imposed] dilemma on their hands??

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Bridesmaids dresses continued

Hello again!! I am tired and achy but so glad to be back!!

I got back from my hike on Thursday night and spent some time with the fam. On Saturday, my mom, sister and I went to David's Bridal to try on bridesmaids dresses. If you'll recall, I really liked the cotton sateen dresses from DB, but was not too thrilled about the stiffness of the fabric. I was also concerned about the color. This bridesmaids dress color thing is so hard... Nothing is as it seems. This DB had large swatches of each fabric in each color... And here's the wine color!

The top is satin, the middle is cotton sateen, and the bottom is chiffon. Surprise surprise, the color doesn't come through too well in this picture, but suffice it to say, the satin is exactly the color I want (it looks a bit purple here, but it's a very good burgundy in real life), the cotton sateen has just a bit too much red, and the chiffon is really close in color to the satin.

I would not be upset with the cotton sateen, but the chiffon is actually a closer color match to what I would love to see at the wedding, and of course the fabric has better movement, so it makes the chiffon an even more desireable choice.

On to the actual dresses!

Jordan really liked this one (and of course Keri did too). It's a tad too big on her, she tried on one that fit, and it looked fantastic. I think that she also liked the support of the neckline; no pulling up the dress all night. Last but definitely not least, cotton is comfortable, isn't it?

However, just in case, and because I didn't want to miss out on any options, I asked her to try on some chiffon dresses too.

I also thought this dress was flattering and adorable on her. She liked the slight ruching on the top and the halter, but she didn't like the lack of detail in the skirt.

That's fine, but I was already more pleased with the flow and movement in the skirt.

I had one more up my sleeve...

I was so nervous about this dress because I thought it would look too cutesy with the ruffles on the bottom, but on the contrary! It's flattering in the waist, modestly detailed in the bust, and not at all too cutesy in the skirt.

My mom also liked this one (even though her face would suggest otherwise :)).

I was further sold after seeing pictures like this:
From Sparkle and Hay.

The bride's dress is ruffled, and so are the bridesmaids, but in this case, it's not overkill; I think this combo works really well together.

Anyway, point is, I don't want my girls to think I don't care about their opinion, but as of right now, I'm pretty much sold on this last dress. All that's left is for me to humbly ask Keri to make yet another trip to David's Bridal and try on the two chiffon dresses.

I wouldn't ask either of them to wear this dress if it was hideous, but let's not ignore the fact that Jordan also looks really great in the chiffon dresses. In the end, the fact is that a decision needs to be made; we hit the five month mark today!

So, any ideas? Comments? Did anyone else finally just decide that it would be easiest just to be the grown-up and take the plunge?