Thursday, January 29, 2009
Don't they just make you swoon? I just wish they weren't over $1 each. :(
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
And so, after all of that, I come back to the first dress that I ever fell in love with - Joan Shum's Lady Catherine. Swoon. It has the band across the waist (not rouched, but still defining), a natural waist with a fairly high flare, gorgeous, dramatic details (hand-painted roses and a brooch), and lace. It definitely fits the bill for dramatic. The neckline and the lack of a train are the only drawback - it may qualify as pornographic on me (since I'm above an a cup). Oh yeah, and that $5K price tag.
And so, I'm faced with the dilemma. I have had two places recommended - one that is a seamstress who creates dresses from photos of designer dresses (an obviously, can adjust things) for significantly less, and the other who sources knock-offs for you. I love the idea of actually being able to afford a dress like this, but I feel a little skeezy about it. I do know artists, and I'm very protective of them, and think that they absolutely deserve every cent that they charge. So is the knock-off route really the way I want to go? Doesn't Joan Shum deserve to be compensated for her amazing creativity and time designing the dress? (Not that I can afford to do so, no matter how I shift the numbers around.)
Friday, January 9, 2009
- Avoid weekends when possible. This makes sense. Of course the salons are busier on weekends, and the attendants just don't have as much time to devote attention to you.
- Go in with some ideas, but be open. Now, I am in no way certain about the style I want. I love lace, but I'm pretty sure that I look better in something much more structured. And I think I like a long train, but all of my inspiration pictures are train-less or have only a short train. So, I'm taking in all the pictures I've collected - and collecting them helped me see that they do have a lot in common, and to place really see what those commonalities were. It'll give the attendant a chance to see what's in my head (because I'm not so good with the describing), and hopefully, it'll get me to the pretties more quickly! However, many of these people (I dare not say all) know something about what looks good on people. They have seen the dresses on women with all shapes, not just the magazine models that I've been looking at, and they may have some very valid suggestions. What does it hurt to try on a few extra big, expensive dresses with an open mind?
- Pay attention to your undies. Wear a white or nude strapless (and backless, if you have one) bra, and make sure that you're wearing panties that provide some coverage but don't scream "this is my last pair before I really have to do laundry". The bra, so that you can better visualize what the dress will actually look like, and the panties because at least one salesperson that you've never met is going to see you in your skivvies. On a crowded weekend or sample sale, it's possible that you won't even get your own dressing room, and other customers will see you. Never mind the embarrassment of having your mom with you, helping with a zipper, while you sport those panties with "Dive in" across the butt.
- Assume that you will run late. Seriously, these are back-to-back appointments. Don't plan on getting out at the exact time that your hour ends. Think about it, this is an industry that runs on bridezillas. Do you want to be the one who has to take off the dress that you think might be the one right now because there is another bride in 5 minutes?
- Shop around. There was a recent post on WeddingBee that really drove this one home for me. I know that I'm bigger than all the samples. I learned that much when I went shopping with my much thinner, much taller friend, and everything fit her perfectly. That will not be me. I accept that. But I am resolved to not let the horror of squeezing into little dresses and not zipping them up distract from the fact that this is probably the most I will ever spend on an outfit, and I think I should feel pretty. I don't want to pick something that I'll regret. Especially since most bridal dresses are 100% not-returnable! That doesn't leave a lot of room for buyer's remorse.
Any other tips from those of you that have been through this before (as a bride or with a bride)?
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Since my mom, Mr. L, and I will be there anyway, I plan to make the most of the time. I'm planning to head down on Saturday, and spend a weekend doing wedding scouting. Here are the highlights of the plan:
Head up to DC Friday, and hit up the sample sale at Hitched in Georgetown. It's not really that far out of the way, and it's an excuse to look at pretty dresses. in the "big city". that are on sale. with a great law school friend!
Then, Saturday morning, it's off to Richmond. Saturday is reserved for trying on dresses with RichFriend*. The plan is to do David's Bridal first, and then I have an appointment at Bella Rosa. Bella Rosa doesn't inspire the best reviews by friends of friends and knotties, but they too are having a sample sale, and, frankly, there aren't that many choices unless I want to spend a lot more time in DC. And although I'm a little wary of facing David's on a Saturday, I'm so eager to go dress trying-on that I think it may be worth at least trying. I feel like it'll all be easier to take since I don't actually plan on finding anything - just getting ideas. I'll let you know if I end up eating my words.
Sunday, my mom arrives in Richmond, and it's off to the bridal show! I wondered at first if these shows were really all that helpful, or if they are really more of an excuse to be around a bunch of other women who are just as wedding crazed as I am, but after looking at the list of vendors, I think there is a good chance to actual productivity.
It looks like there will be a ton of caterers and photographers there, and those are two of my big question marks - and two vendors that I really want to be able to meet with in person. So hopefully, with my uber-focused mom's guidance, we'll be able to maximize time by speaking with the vendors we need to speak with anyway and getting prices and ideas all in one place. At least, that's the goal. This may be another case of me eating my words.
After the bridal show, the plan is dinner, and then a few important stops that are less goal-driven. We're heading to the Jefferson so that I can show my mom where Mr. L proposed; and to the chapel, so that mom and I can both see it in person, get ideas of how much and what kind of decoration it might need, and generally reassure ourselves that it is going to be a great location.
Monday is swearing in in the morning, and then lunch with the moms! I love both our moms, and I think they'll get along nicely. Since our families live in different cities, I wanted to grab this chance to introduce them. I'm also looking forward to getting a chance to talk to his mom about some of the planning, since she's local. She knows everyone and everything around Richmond, so I suspect that she has some great ideas!
And sometime in there, I'm hoping to squeeze in scouting trips to four reception venues. One is almost next door to the Jefferson, so that'll be the easiest to squeeze in - I have no idea when we'll fit in the others. Details on them to come!
*RichFriend because she actually lives in Rich-mond.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
See the little alcove just to the right of the tree, one floor up? That's where it happened!!!
I started to think that this must be it because his hands were shaking, and we were both being kinda quiet, and looking around at the beautiful architecture. We finally started walking back up the grand staircase, and he stopped us on a landing and asked if I wanted to sit down. We sat, and he took my hand. By this point, my heart was pounding! He said nice things, but I have no idea what he said! My heart was racing, and I could barely think. He said something about wanting to "do it right", and got down on one knee, pulled out the ring, and put it on my finger, while asking if I'd marry him!
Well, the actual camera phone picture I sent was much poorer quality, but this is pretty similar.
I may have posed my ring on everything at our table and taken lots of pictures while Mr. L was at the buffet. This is the flower on our table at brunch.
We're about the same height, and have the same basic build, and if I meet my goals, I'll be close to her size by the time of my wedding. And she has offered her dress if I want it!
She's bringing it up when she comes to visit this weekend (to see me get sworn in - yay!). It'll give me a chance to try it on and to see just how much weight I'd have to lose for it to fit. Obviously, no matter what, there would be some alterations needed, but it would be soooo much cheaper than buying a new dress.
But I like dressing up. And I love trying on pretty things. Is it bad that I want to go dress shopping? And then, what if I find something I like? I don't think my mom has her heart set on me wearing her dress, but I do think it would be awkward to back out of using it if it turns out to work out.