Wednesday, April 30, 2008
When I talk about my wedding plans, I’ve had people tell me that I’m soooo traditional. Other times, I have had people comment on how I’m so nontraditional.
And maybe I am reading too much into this, but I feel that the people that thing that I’m so non-traditional have only gone to cookie cutter weddings while the people that feel that I’m so traditional are my friends that are more much contemporary.
My Very Traditional Wedding
· We’re having a 1st Dance.
· We have a Head Table.
· We’re having a cake and doing a cake cutting.
· We’re getting married in a hotel.
My Very Non-Traditional Wedding
· We're having an Anniversary Dance.
· We’re having an After Party.
· I’m walking myself down the aisle.
· There will be no Bouquet or Garter Toss.
· We are having a friend marry us.
Really though, I didn't think about these things while wedding planning. I just went with the things that I wanted, regardless if it was considered avant garde or very traditional.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
The dresses above will be worn by Jenna's attendents -- she is only have one bridesmaid -- at her wedding. Designed by Lela Rose, the picture came from a recent USA Today article. The article also highlights recent trends in the bridal world.
Apparently, my black bridesmaid dresses are out of vogue. Oops! It's too late now.
One trend that is ending is strapless bridesmaid dresses. HURRAH! I am so tired of the look that is accompanied by the "fingers in your armpit as you hoist the dress back up" look.
What new trends are you loving right now?
Monday, April 28, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
I was very excited to go to the wedding gown mecca. The store is very beautiful. There is a large foyer where the book signing was taking place. Since it was such an informal event, I was able to chat with Mindy for a few minutes. I even asked her to take a picture with me!
Back in my hotel room and on the plane ride home, I read her book, The Wedding Book: The Big Book for your Big Day. I have to say, her book is one of the best wedding planning books that I have read. While the book follows the format of every other wedding book, it is told from the perspective of a wedding planner. I thoroughly enjoyed her opinions.
There are a ton of tricks and tips in the book! Although I didn’t agree with everything, I did love this book! If you have a chance, attend her event next Wednesday. It should be entertaining!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
But before my life became consumed with wedding plans, I had other interests. I loved to read. What do I read now? Wedding magazines. Etiquette books. Ceremony Planning.
I loved fashion. Now, I barely have time to read all of my fashion magazines that arrive each month in the mail. I don’t even bother to open the emails that I get regularly from Berghoff Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, or Intermix because I don’t even have the money to shop.
I do have one occasion that requires a new dress—my bachelorette party! It’s a surprise—which is exciting!—but I've been told that I need to wear a bright color. After a grueling class at Power Plate, I stopped into SHE on Saturday. When I told them what I was looking for, they found me the PERFECT dress in two seconds flat.
Is this not the most PERFECT bachelorette party dress?! It's by What Comes Around, Goes Around. I love it!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Whatever your look, let white CHICAGO & expert Lori London be your personal stylist!De-stress and have some fun (and wine)while you find the perfect veil, bling or flower flair for your hair.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Save 10% on your custom designed veil.
Save 15% on all Haute Bride designed accessories, including our B628 bracelet, chandelier earrings, our Spring 2009 Collection, during the trunk show.
Book your appointment early for the sample sale. Save 30-50% on in stock veils. Jennifer Leigh veils are custom designed, and start at $80. Choose from face veils, Alencon lace trim, satin ribbon edging, rhinestone or crystal sparkles and more. Please call for an appoinment. Trunk show ends on April 28, 2008.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I hope that this is my worst vendor. I ordered 120 stamps using various pictures. One sheet came out very poorly because it was a photo that we took at our engagement. Since Zazzle advertised a 100% exchange policy, I emailed them to exchange those pictures. Zazzle sent me a return number. A few weeks later, I have a credit on my credit card. I inquired about the status of the exchange. A different sales rep told me that they do not do exchanges on the custom stamps. Even after I sent him the emails from the other sales rep, he refused to allow me to exchange or allow me to replace my stamps. I was extremely disappointed with the customer service. I would NOT recommend.
I purchased 4 types of vintage stamps so that I could have the collage look on my envelopes. While putting them together, I emailed to inquire the size of the stamps. I received a quick reply. The stamps came in 1.5 weeks later in perfect condition. I would highly recommend. We purchased $.91 worth of stamps for 125 guests for $256.
Marilyn did a wonderful job on the calligrapher on my outer envelopes. She gets the + for putting up with our multiple trips to her home (last minute addition, change of last name, change of address, can you add my nephew's name to this inner envelope, etc.)
Invitations - White Aisle A
Our invitations arrived about 5.5 weeks after ordering. A few days later-- as I was assembling them to mail out-- I noticed that some of the response cards had a printing flaw. It wasn't very noticeable but it was nonetheless a flaw. After emailing Rebecca, she responded within minutes.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I am getting married in a month. I am so excited!! Actually though, I am really calm. It's happening. I'm ready (ok, not completely ready but I'm close). All of the small details don't really matter though, at the end of the day.
Writing my vows helped me calm down. I spent a few hours focusing on what I wanted to say when I committed to spend the rest of my life with Denton. It was a really great feeling.
Since we’re keeping our vows a surprise, I won’t be able to share them until after our wedding. However, here are some vows that I’ve found and collected. They helped me create mine.
I, John, take you Sally, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.
John, I love you. You are my best friend and today I take you as my husband. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.
vow # 3
From this day on, I choose you, my beloved (Name), to be my (husband/wife). To live with you and laugh with you; to stand by your side, and sleep in your arms; to be joy to your heart, and food for your soul; to bring out the best in you always, and, for you, to be the most that I can. I promise to laugh with you in good times, to struggle with you in bad; to solace you when you are downhearted; to wipe your tears with my hands; to comfort you with my body; to mirror you with my soul; to share with you all my riches and honors; to play with you as much as I can until we grow old; and, still loving each other sweetly and gladly, our lives shall come to an end.
What can I say to you that I haven’t already said,What can I give you that I haven’t already given,Is there anything of me that isn’t yours already,My body, my mind, my heart, even my soul,Everything that is me belonged to you long before this,And it shall be yours long after this,I will follow you anywhere and everywhere you lead,Hand in hand and heart in heart.
I Julie, choose you Gary as my best friend, my love for life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, my tenderest care, through the pressures of the present and the uncertainties of the future, I promise to be faithful to you. I promise to love you, to commit to you, and support you. I pledge to respect your unique talents and abilities, to lend you strength for all of your dreams. You have shown me what love feels like and for that I thank you. You are everything I need and at this moment I know all of my prayers have been answered and that all of my dreams have come true for all of your love and constant friendship. I know that our love is heaven sent and I promise to be here for ever and always. From this day forward, you shall not walk alone. My heart will be your shelter and my arms will be your home. As I have given you my hand to hold, I give you my life to keep.
I, Jordan, take you, Christopher to be my husband, my partner, my confidant, my best friend and my soul mate. I promise to be always open and honest with you, to listen to you and to laugh with you. I will love you, honor you, respect you and cherish you in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow for all time.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Vintage Postage Montage
Outer envelope with vintage postage stamps + calligraphy
The inner envelope with the calligraphy done by Marilyn
Opening the inner envelope, our lined envelopes (that caused me much pain + distress)
I love how my name is framed when you open the inner envelope
Our beautiful invitations from White Aisle website
Response Cards- we left them blank so that guests could write us heartfelt notes
The response card with the postage stamp from Zazzle.
As you can see, the horiztonal stamps barely fit.
Tomorrow, I am going to post vendor reviews for my invitations.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
…were truly a labor love.
That is what went into my invitations. Incase you don’t want to read this long entry, please walk away with some simple advice: order your invitations in advance.
Martha Stewart’s Timeline
- Order Invitations
- Receive invitations
- Purchase postage for invitation and response card.
- Take an envelope to the post office for it to be weighed.
- Hand address invitations or take to a calligrapher.
- Mark each response card incase your guests forgets to write their names.
- Assemble invites.
- Collect RSVPs.
- Call guests that have not responded.
My Overly Complicated Timeline
- Order my invitations. We were about two weeks behind schedule but for some reason, I wanted to be sure. Huge sigh of relief.
- Ordered photo postage stamps for the response cards from Zazzle. Problem #1.
- Ordered vintage postage stamps. Spent hours trying to create an aesthetically pleasing montage.
- Took invitations to get weighed. Problem #2: Found out that I needed $.97 cents worth of postage. Cried. Spent another few hours trying to create another aesthetically pleasing montage.
- Received invitations. Did a happy dance!
- Promptly drop off invitations to our calligrapher for her to address the inner and outer envelopes.
- Receive back our outer envelopes from our wonderful calligrapher. Since we purchased vintage stamps for the outer envelope, the postage stamp process took a few hours. I didn’t plan for the amount of time that it would take to get the stamps on nice and neat.
- The next step was to stamp the response card envelopes. Problem #3: My photo postage stamps, which had already given me enough trouble, were way too large. They blocked the addressee’s name. I was seriously bummed. That is when my dear fiancé stepped into the rescue. He searched photo stamp sites until he found Your Stamps. The stamps wouldn’t be in for another week. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to delay the mailing. Then, we found a really big problem…
- Problem #4: Some of the response cards had a printing issue! There was a tiny flaw in the response card where the letterpress didn’t print deeply. That is when I REALLY lost it. Luckily, Rebecca from the White Aisle has planned to use our invitation as samples to mail out to potential clients. She mailed us the new response cards immediately.
- Marked the response cards with an invisible pen. If we get an invitation back without the couples name, we can find out who it is with a black light.
- Problem #5: Bought some gorgeous artisan paper to line my envelopes. This was my major mistake. I thought that hand lining the envelope would be a nice personal touch. Also, we would save a little money as calligraphers charge more for lined envelopes. After spending about six hours making the liners, I realize that they look terrible. Cry.
- Do a desperate search to find someone to line my envelopes. Cannot find anyone!
- Problem #6: Buy some new paper to line the envelopes. Enlist the help of my fiance. Spend three evenings in a row attempting to line. Try to use double sided tape. It doesn't hold the stick. Then, I try to use rubber cement. It creates grease spots. My envelopes are ruined.
- Cry again. Drop off a new batch of envelopes to our ever patient calligrapher. Start drinking heavily.
- Lightly glue the lining to the envelope.
- Assemble and Seal.
- Drive around to three post offices before finding someone that agrees to hand cancel. Agree is sort of an overstatement… the worker agreed that they would put them aside and request that they be hand cancelled.
- Receive calls from guests telling us how beautiful our invitations were!
- Debate if this worth it.
- Realize that you only have one set of the wedding invitations in your life. As a paper junkie, I really wanted them to be spectacular. However, if I had to do it all over again, I would have eliminated all of the DIY and ordered a good two months in advance.
Tomorrow, I'll post pictures of my invitations!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Actually, I should start this post by saying, Good morning from New York City! I am working in NYC for the next 5 weeks. Yes, my wedding is in 5 weeks.
My travel began on Friday. After picking up our license and having my second dress fitting, we headed to Lima, Ohio for our best man’s wedding. Denton drove me to Toledo that I could fly to NYC via Chicago. Then, I’m here until Thursday.
While I am a wee bit worried, I am trying to remain optimistic. I organized a list of tasks that I can do while I’m traveling back and forth (creating iPod play list for the after party, calling vendors) and things I can do while I’m in the city (buying a rehearsal dinner dress, buying bridal party gifts, buying invitations for my bridesmaid luncheon).
Finally, after talking things over, I have re-assigned a series of tasks to my fiancé. It was a bit of an issue (a control issue!) but I have to take a leap of faith that he will get them done. Some brides would have a problem… and to be honest, I am a little bit worried. But I have to have faith that he will take this seriously. It’s his wedding too.
I’d also like to take some time to say that I won’t be posting as regularly. As much as I love posting daily, it is a ton of work. With 33 days until the wedding, it is really hard to come up with blog posts without giving up too many details of our wedding.
I am a glass half full kind of girl. This will work out, right???
Friday, April 11, 2008
Saran Bridal & Boutique
Thursday, April 10, 2008
We had our cake tasting at Rolf's. Our cake is, in a sense, complimentary, as it is included in our hotel package. Here's what happened:
Despite having an appointment, arriving at the proper time and being quickly attended to, we spent most of the time at Rolf's by ourselves and away from any employee and unable to ask questions.
We were quickly seated and shown a book of cake designs. None of the designs really struck our fancy, so we started to inquire about custom cake designs. Most of our questions were greeted with a response of "no". After much prying, Rolf's reluctantly acknowledged they might be able to create a custom cake; it seemed they really had no desire to help us get the cake we really wanted.
After our lackluster "design session", our consultant, Joanne, left to get cake and filling samples for us. She dropped off the samples and quickly explained the four cake flavors in front of us. She mentioned that we had the choice of several more flavors, but that these are not available for tasting. We both found this very upsetting. If they only wanted to prepare four types of cake, shouldn't we at least be able to choose the flavors? It's impossible to choose the flavor of cake you want if you are unable to try it. It's also hard to ask questions when no one is there to ask.
Then, Joanne left the room for several minutes to get us our beverages. While she was gone, we started tasting. We were trying to find our preferred combination of cake and filling flavor. When Joanne returned, she was upset we had started on fillings without deciding on cake. We were quite surprised to be chastised for mixing and matching. How were we supposed to decide what we wanted if we couldn't mix them? Regardless of Joanne's opinion of how a cake tasting should be run-- which is different from any cake tasting that we have ever been to-- we are the customers. We should be able to mix the frosting and fillings with the cake.
After explaining that they prefer to separate the two, Joanne explained the filling and frosting options and quickly left. Again, she was unavailable for questions. After several minutes, Joanne returned to record our selections and to wrap up the tasting.
All in all, we spent about 20 cold minutes at Rolf's. After spending one and half hours with the baker when doing the tasting for our groom's cake, we found this extremely disappointing. The reluctance to help us customize the cake, the lack of cake flavors at the tasting, the lack of availability for questioning and the generally rude demeanor of our consultant really left us with no confidence in Rolf's. In addition, the cake and frosting were mediocre. We are really disappointed with the experience.
In fact, we're torn with what to do next. Rolf's is the Allegro's preferred vendor, but we have little to no confidence in them and are having trouble booking anything with them. However, to go another route would see the wedding cake part of our package with the Allegro go unused.
What would you do?
a) Suck it up and use Rolf's. It's free.
b) Find a new fabulous bakery and bring in our own cake.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Mindy Weiss is one of the most sought after event planners & lifestyle experts in the United States. Known for her creative & unusual ideas, her unexpected décor accents and her exquisite attention to every last detail, Mindy Weiss’s bubbly personality and calm demeanor help her clients relax as she creates one-of-a kind parties of their dreams. Each of Mindy’s events are unique, whimsical and distinctive in design. At the same time, each event also exudes feeling of warmth and intimacy…no matter how big or small.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I feel incredibly ungrateful every time that I complain about my wedding. I’m extremely lucky that I get to plan my dream wedding. Yet this is really hard.
Monday, April 7, 2008
The shower was held at Between Boutique Cafe & Lounge in Wicker Park. There was lots of lounge type seating.
Here is a picture of me up close before everyone arrived! I was so happy!
The buffet was amazing. The highlights were the bacon and cheese bread pudding and the petite duck crossaint sandwiches.
My favorite gift of the day was the Kate Spade silver picture frame that I plan to use for our wedding photo.
My Maids: Nichole, me, Shena, Briana.
As I mentioned, one of the highlight was the Tomato Bacon Bread Pudding. One of my bridesmaids, Shena found out the recipe. I can assure you that this will be the first and last recipe on my blog.
Tomato Bacon Bread Pudding
Cube: 1 Loaf White Bread & 5 Large Croissants
Blend: 12 Eggs with 2 cups of Cream, 4 Tablespoons of Tomato Paste, 4 cloves of garlic
In a baking dish, pour blended eggs over bread. Saute 1 lb of bacon. Pour bacon over the top.
Bake at 375 for about 35 mins.
Since my shower was a surprise, I didn't receive a shower invitation. I was really curious since Nichole assured me that they turned out "hideous". Later, she revealed that she bought them from Wedding Paper Divas. Since I had just ordered the rehearsal dinner invitations from there, I was really curious!
Here they are:
Actually, I love them. I can see her point of view too- the red is more of a brick red than scarlet. But I do love them!
She also bought the matching thank-you cards, which is great after my recent problem
Being a total paper junkie, I bought photo stamps of us carring am umbrella. (Get it, shower?)
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I have wanted an embosser for a really long time. I held off buying one only because we're going to move this year. However, I have justified the $60 price tag because I really don't want to write my return address on every thank you card. (Some might suggest using labels but I really don't care for them!)
I puffy heart my embosser. I think that part of the reason is that, secretly, it makes me feel super crafty. It may actually be the EASIEST thing in the entire world but I feel like a total Martha when I use it.
I opted to get the desktop version from Wilshire Graphics. For $60, I bought the desktop embosser and a set of plates with our names and address. I can get a new plate for $30. Since our condo is on the market, I thought about waiting until it sold. Then, I thought about the eons of thank you cards that I am going to need to address! I also purchased some dull silver stickers that can be embossed as well.
Some of the patterns that we liked:
My fiancé loves the embosser. That is, until I told that he gets to emboss all of the thank you card envelopes. It’s only fair if I have to write all of the thank you notes!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Carnations. For some, it is a dirty word.
I agree with Martha Stewart, they can look stunning, if arranged correctly.
The trio centerpiece for the remaining seven tables.
We then discussed the rest of the proposal. One big thing had changed: my venue had remodeled and the color scheme had changed into the Music Room. Once Esther saw the new decor, she agreed that we need to change part of my color scheme.
Esther took us on quite the hunt! I was like a kid in a candy store. Check it out!
After we went through the supplies, we had a new vision. More on that tomorrow!