Monthly Archives: November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Happy Belated Thanksgiving to all of you readers.  I hope your day was filled with good family, good friends, and good food.  We have so much to be thankful for this year!

This week is a busy one for me…as some of you might know, my side job is teaching ballet to 3 year olds for a local rec department.  This week is our dance company’s annual peformance of The Peanutcracker:  A Miniature Ballet.  Basically, we create a mini version of the Nutcracker for all the parents!  It’s adorable, but will keep me busy through Wednesday.  I’ll be back after that with some ring shots my sister took this weekend on her awesome camera and an update on my shoes!

Here’s a sampling of what we did on Thanksgiving:

Turkey Trot 2009 003

Turkey Trot 2009 005

A Turkey Trot!!!  5 Mile Run in the cold…not fun, despite my happy face.

And here’s a look back at last year’s Peanutcracker.  Aren’t they cute?!

Peanutcracker Pictures 006

 Peanutcracker Pictures 009

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The Tale of the Red Shoes

 

Once upon a time, there was a girl who didn’t love shoes.  Shocking, I know.  One day, while said girl was browsing the world wide interwebs, she came across a fabulous pair of shoes.  She immediately fell in love with them, but alas, they were not to be found in her size! 

Said girl was sad, but  moved on, quietly stalking her beloved shoes on a weekly basis.  One day, she stumbled across the website that sold her lovely shoes (yes, she was no referring to them as hers) and found that they were available in her size!  So she hemmed and hawed for a few, and then she bought them.  And when they came, they were everything she thought they would be…

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They looked wonderful on her feet…(please ignore my gross marathon toenail on my left foot!)

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…and they felt wonderful on her feet.  Except they didn’t quite fit:

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What was our poor girl to do?  She tweeted to her wonderful internet friends about her dilemma, phoned her lovely real-life friends about her dilemma, and tried to make an exchange with the company…but alas!  The shoes were not available in the next half size down, and the girl wasn’t sure that the next half size down would even fit.  Luckily, a nice internet friend came to the rescue and recommended a product called Heavenly Heelz from a company called Foot Petals. Would they work?  Could this really be the answer our girl was looking for?

Heavenly Heelz

(Source) 

Please note that the gap in the picture above looks admittedly MUCH larger than it really is (I zoomed in pretty big time when taking these shots).  The gap is LESS than half a size, and it is bigger on my left foot than it is on my right (makes sense, since most people have one dominant side of their body that’s a little bigger).  Thanks to Em, I ordered a pair of Heavenly Heelz to see if this would perhaps lessen the gap.  It is my last ditch effort on these shoes—I love them sooooo much and I want to wear them for the wedding so badly, but I also want them to fit correctly!  There’s no guarantee that Zappos will have any more 8s any time before the wedding, so I am really hoping the inserts will take care of the problem, since I am not even guaranteed to have the 8s fit.  So, will the Heavenly Heelz work?  They should be here in a few days, so stay tuned!

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A Wedding Planning Progress Report, II

In an effort to impress the hell out of you guys (HA! Just kidding) keep up with my planning, it’s time to update with a progress report on where we are in the wedding plans.  If you’ll remember, we’re getting married in early October of 2010. 

So far, we’ve:

Set our budget

Booked our ceremony venue

Booked our reception venue & caterer

Booked our photographer

Booked our DJ

Selected our color palette

Decided on some ceremony decor

Selected and asked our wedding party

Pretty much finished our guest list

Bought my dress!

Bought my shoes!

I am pretty happy with our progress so far.  In terms of wedding planning timelines, I have to say that we are pretty far ahead of schedule.  I am hoping to stay that way throughout the course of our engagement—I want to continue to feel as relaxed and happy and have as much FUN planning as I am right now!  

Up next on the list of things to take care of are engagement pictures, save-the-dates and invitations, florist, bakery, and transportation.  After that, it’ll be details, details, details!  And speaking of details, I am loving these right now:

Yay Flags(Source)

They’re DIY “Yay” flags from OffbeatBride.com for guests to wave after the wedding!  How cute are they?!  I would love to incorporate something like this—it’s just a little bit of fun mixed in to our glamorous day, and it would work perfectly for us as an exit to the church.  Since the Cathedral doesn’t allow any sort of tossing of materials (bird seed, rice, etc.), I think these flags would make for a fun alternative.  We could set them up in a bin just near the doors to the church for guests to grab as they exit…then we could make a grand exit with everyone waving their flags!  This project is definitely on my list of DIY maybes.

So, that’s the latest progress report. Now it’s your turn:  How are your wedding plans going?  Are you ahead of schedule?

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THE Dress, Part 2

Again, Dr. Groomy, with the warning:  Move it or lose it!  I know you don’t really read the blog anyway, but of all posts, this is another one that I really don’t want you to read!  I am about to post pictures of my wedding gown and I don’t want you to see me in it.  So go watch some Bucks basketball or play some Wii or something, ok?!  Love you!

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Where were we?  Ah yes, gown shopping!

So there I was, trying on dress after dress after dress.  Some were simple, some were beaded, a LOT of them were ball gowns.  Here’s an example of some I tried on:

Alternate Gown 

Lovely, right?  Simple A-line gown with one shoulder and minimal embellishment.  It was lovely, but it didn’t really scream at me, “I am your wedding dress!”  (Sorry that the picture is of my back—technically, we weren’t allowed to take photos until after I purchased my gown, so my sister had to sneak them, sometimes when I wasn’t looking or facing the right way!)

I also tried on a dress very similar to this one:

Maggie 2

(Source)
This is Cossette, by Maggie Sottero.  It was a very pretty dress, but it felt much much too Cinderella for me.  See the pleating in the skirt?  It was like that in the back as well and I remarked how it felt “very ugly step-sister.”  Not ugly step-sister as in the dress was ugly—because it wasn’t, it was very pretty!—but because it reminded me of an actual ballgown—like the kind the stepsisters and Cinderella would wear to the ball. 

I also tried on this exact dress:

Maggie 1

(Source)
This is Glorianna, also by Maggie Sottero.  This dress was BEAUTIFUL, but it was SO. HEAVY.   We’re talking, ohmygoshIamtiredjuststandinghere heavy.  However, this dress was still so lovely that it actually came down to this one or the one I eventually chose.  I think the moms preferred this dress (they both kept saying, “This is what I pictured you getting married in!”).   So what made me decide on my dress?

In a word, the veil.  Well, that’s not entirely true, but it definitely helped seal the deal!  The dress I chose was the first—do you hear me?  THE FIRST!—one I put on that day.  It was gorgeous, it made me feel gorgeous, and I could instantly picture myself walking down the aisle to marry Dr. Groomy in it.  I was pretty sold once I had it on, but wanted to try on other dresses.  Which I did, and had a lot of fun doing.  But I just kept going back to the first dress.  Finally, I put it back on and my friend KDoc added a cathedral length veil to top it all off.  With that, I was sold…and so were the moms.  They both sucked in their breaths and there was a lot of “wows” going on.   Even people in the store were saying, “Girl, that is YOUR dress.”  KDoc and my sister said to me, “It’s SO you.”  And it is!   So, without further ado…

**Dr. Groomy, if for some reason you’re still reading (NAUGHTY!), this is really, really, REALLY the time to go away.**

Front View

It’s designed by Jacquelin Bridal (for House of Wu) and it is style #5517.  Isn’t it just lovely?!  Really unique—I have not seen another bridal gown like it at any weddings I’ve seen or attended.  It is a softer style of a mermaid cut gown and the underside color is a light gold.  The overlay is SILVER and entirely embroidered lace, with a few beads and rhinestones for some added sparkle.  Evidence:

Close-Up    Close-up of Bodice

It is the perfect color and cut…I love love love love LOVE it.  I cannot wait to wear it.  I love the way I feel in it, I love the way I look in it and I love that I can picture myself prancing around in it on the day of our wedding already.  Some more dress porn for you:

Side view 2

Here you can see how the train looks, and get a more accurate idea of the color.  I love that it is not your standard bridal color.

Back View

And here’s a nice view from the back.  Sigh.  I just LOVE IT!!!  I am so obsessed, seriously.

So that’s the story of how I found my gown.  It was the first one I put on, and I was instantly in love.  Ironically enough, my mom’s wedding dress happened to be the first one she tried on, too!  I think that’s pretty fitting, and hopefully a sign that our marriage was be as long and happy as my mom and dad’s (30 years and counting!). 

How was your dress shopping experience?  Did you know right away that your dress was “the one”?

*all pictures by my sister or my mom, unless otherwise noted!

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THE Dress, Part 1

Dr. Groomy—move it or lose it.  Please.  I know you don’t read the blog anyway, but of all posts, this is one that I really don’t want you to read!  I am about to post pictures of my wedding gown and I don’t want you to see me in it.  So go watch some Bucks basketball or play some Wii or something, ok?!  Thanks—love you long time!

*****************************************************************

Well, as you guys know, I went dress shopping this weekend.  And I found a gown!  Woohoooooooooo!!!  I am so excited!

My dress shopping experience was great.  I went with my mom, Dr. Groomy’s mom, my sister, and my friend KDoc.  We got to the store a little after it opened at 10.  They gave us a rack and said “put whatever you want to try on on this rack.”  It was really fun walking around and pulling dresses off the various racks—that way, my mom could pick one, my sister could pick one, etc.  It was great!  I ended up with a rack of about 9 or 10 dresses.  My consultant then whisked me away to the dressing room to start putting them on!

So how did they look?  I tried on all styles but one dress stood out above the rest.  As I tried on dress after dress after dress (pictures of which you’ll see soon), I kept going back to this dress…

I am waiting for my lovely sister to send me some better pics, but for now, here’s a sneak peak:

Close-Up Cropped

Um, yeah.  Remember how I wanted plain, fabulous fabricSimple, clean lines?  This dress is NONE of those things—the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted.  And yet, it’s just perfect for me.  I can’t wait for you guys to see it…but you’ll have to stay tuned til tomorrow!! 

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Play That Funky Music, White Boy…

Or, how we found our totally rocking DJ!

A long time ago, I wrote this wonderful post about interviewing DJs.  If you haven’t booked your DJ yet, go there now.  Go on, click it!  It’s got a lot of great info about what to ask when you are interviewing possible DJs.

For us, the DJ decision was a pretty simply.  We started by interviewing DJs that were recommended to us…namely, two specific companies in our area.  The first company came recommended to us by our venue.  The second company I interviewed was recommended by the fabulous White Box of Wedding Design, a Milwaukee wedding planning studio.

(Side note: sadly, The White Box is no longer open.  This was a seriously cool concept, however—brides visited the studio or called their “White Line” hotline number and were able to troll through listings of local vendors, get advice about planning, and ask obscure questions about weddings—for free!  They also did full service wedding planning and consulting.  I am so sad that this business closed its doors—it was chic and smart and stylish, something that I sometimes feel is lacking in the bridal industry here.  This is the land of cheese and beer, people—just sayin’!). 

ANYways…I interviewed the head DJ/owner for both of these companies.  While both had competitive rates, great personalities, and smart business practices, in the end, we went with the DJ recommended by our venue.  Dun dun dunnnn…we chose a company called Sound By Design to be our DJ.

So why did we choose them?  Well, there were lots of reasons, but mainly these:

If you’ll take a moment to remember, our venue has some seriously tall ceilings:

Wedding Venue 004       Wedding Venue 009

(Photos by me)

I was really concerned about the sound quality in here.  If you’re not using the right type of speaker or system, the sound is going to carry, carry, carry and be gone with the (proverbial) wind.  We chose our DJ not only based on his fun personality, but also because his company just happens to be the company that installed the sound system here.  Meaning, he already has all compatible equipment and he’s familiar with said sound system. 

This wasn’t the only reason we chose Sound by Design, though.  We also chose them because not only do we get the owner, Paul, as the DJ at our wedding, but he also plays weddings at our venue on a regular basis, and thus, he’s familiar with our wonderful venue manager, Maria.  They work together so often that they had already discussed our wedding by the time we decided to go with Paul.  It makes me feel a lot more comfortable entrusting the evening’s events to the two of them knowing that they enjoy working with each other and do so on a regular basis. 

And lastly, we chose Sound by Design because it eliminated the need for another vendor.  See those columns up there?  Well, they look fantastic all lit up with a pillar light, which Sound by Design just so happens to have available for rent.  Hooray for not having to go through a separate lighting company!  A little finagling on my part got those lights (we’ll need 6 of them) tossed into our DJ contract for free.  One less expense and one less vendor to go off and find.   Take this as a lesson learned, ladies—it never hurts to ask!  Most vendors are happy to throw in the little things if they truly want your business.

In the end, we are really happy we chose Sound by Design.  They are a young, fun, hip company with responsible-yet-still-cool management, and they have a pretty neat website system worked out as well.  We can go online, pick and choose songs, set the event schedule, and more, all on our own “private” website (each customer gets their own log-in and password for their wedding).  It’s neat because it makes the music an ongoing thing for us.  We can set some songs, change some songs, etc. all the way up until our wedding day!

You can find Sound by Design by visiting their website.  And check out their YouTube page:  http://www.youtube.com/soundbydesigndj 

Are you having a DJ or a band at your wedding?  How did you decide who to book?

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My First Major Purchase

Remember this inspiration board I made awhile back, when we were working out our color palette?

Red & Gold

Credits: Lisa Lefkowitz, Jeff & Julia Woods, Corbin Gurkin Photography, Our Labor of Love, Maria, Atrendy Wedding, Adeline and Grace Photography, Orchard Cove Photography, Sedona Bride, Sedona Bride

Can you guess what my favorite part about this inspiration board was?

…if you guessed those shoes, you guessed right!  If you’ll remember, I lamented about those shoes awhile back.  Oh how I loved them, but oh, how Zappos only had them in random sizes!

NOT SO, my friends, NOT SO!  I randomly checked the Zappos site yesterday (you know, just to check in on those beautiful shoes…) and guess what?!  They had my lovely Stuart Weitzman’s in the correct size I need. 

I hemmed and hawed for about an hour and then I bit the bullet.  I bought them!  Don’t laugh, but this is the most money I have ever spent on a pair of shoes, so I still sort of have some sticker shock.  (I told you I’m not a shoe girl, so don’t go holding that against me!)  However, I think they are worth it.  They are quality shoes that I am going to wear on my WEDDING DAY (!!)  and I know I will wear them beyond as well.  Even though they’re bright red, I think they will be quite versatile in my wardrobe (which consists of a lot of neutrals—mainly white, brown, gray and black.  As my sister would say, I could use a little color sometimes!).   Yay!  I am so excited and can’t wait to get them!!  They won’t be here in time for dress shopping on Saturday, but that’s ok…because soon enough I WILL have these lovelies in hand!

Shoes!
(Source)

So, I made my first major wedding related purchase.  Hooray!   Now it’s your turn:  what was your first big purchase for the big day?

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