Thursday, July 8, 2010

Shoes That Pop!

A few months ago I posted about finding the Ever After shoes and how I wanted to wear them for the wedding. Just in case you don't remember them, here they are again.

Beautiful, huh? Well, I'm not wearing them for the wedding anymore! Now, don't get me wrong, those shoes are absolutely gorgeous and I still love them. However, they didn't quite fit so I had to come up with a back up plan.

A few weeks back, my MOH and I went shopping for shoes and jewelry for the wedding. I also wanted to find undergarments for my dress, since I have an alterations appointment coming up, but more on that later.

We both had a rough idea of what kind of shoe we wanted. She was looking for cute silver heels while I decided I wanted to walk down the aisle in fuchsia shoes. Yes, you read that right. I went from white Cinderella shoes to fuchsia heels. Don't ask, my mind can be quite a mess sometimes! Anyways, my MOH didn't have to look long for her shoes. She found the perfect pair at the second store we visited.

I didn't have quite the same luck. There was not a single pair of fuchsia shoes in the entire mall. Several shades of light pink but no fuchsia. I was very disappointed but my MOH saved the day! She suggested a certain website called Zappos [seriously, hit it up if you haven't done so already] that had hundreds of shoes and free shipping.

I was a bit skeptical at first, but after browsing their selection I found the perfect pair of shoes. I just had to have them! I have never in my entire life spent so much money on a pair of shoes before [then again, most of my shoes are under $20] but these are so worth it. I mean, just look how pretty!

I was a little afraid that they might not go with the dress, but when I tried them on with the dress it looked absolutely fabulous! It's the perfect pop of color! I love these shoes so much I want to wear them already!

Did you change your mind about your wedding shoes? Did you choose white or a pop of color?


You might be wondering about the title, a bit random maybe? This is my blow-off-steam and venting song from college. My song of choice when I feel like punching something [and, dare I say, maybe even someone] and I’ve been repeatedly playing it these last few days. Keep on reading to find out why.

A wedding should be cause for joy and celebration. It is only too often that we forget about the not-so-pleasant situations that accompany a wedding [and yet are left out from most wedding magazines, blogs, etc].

Our wedding planning has been mostly smooth sailing, perhaps because we’re having a small affair. However, this past week has been something else. We are nearly at our two-month mark and one memory has been screaming at me.

It was this past December, and the Mister and I had gone back home to attend a good friend’s wedding. I was sitting at my mom’s kitchen island contemplating our current family situation. The words that came out of my mouth are, still, a little unexpected – both for me and the Mister.

“Let’s just run off to Vegas and elope. It’ll be so much easier.”

Three very unexpected situations have happened in just a four-day timeframe. I can’t help but laugh at the first one. Although annoying, it was still a pretty minor thing, and easily fixable. [Yes, we can pick up my uncles and grandmother at 4:00pm on a Thursday afternoon, at the airport that’s normally 45 minutes away from us, through rush hour traffic, and still make it to our 6:00pm wedding rehearsal – right!]

The other two, well, those are a little bit bigger [although completely unfounded, 8th-grade-drama type of issues] that can be hurtful and emotionally exhausting. The most disheartening thing is that one of them came out of left field from the least expected person. [Big “Vegas” neon flashing sign, anyone? No? Just me?]

It’s seven months after my random statement at my mom’s house and I’m still not sure if the Mister thought I was serious or not. I know I was, although I’m not sure I would have followed through on it. Would it have been worth it? Such a simple question probably deserves an equally simple answer.

No, it wouldn’t have been worth it.

This is our wedding. This is our day. Yes, it is important for my family and his, but, ultimately, it is ours. It’s our choice, our decision, and our prerogative to have the wedding and marriage of our dreams.

Although selfish, and maybe a little immature, sometimes the only way to go to retain some sanity is to just say “Screw it, this is our wedding, and we’ll do whatever the hell we want!”

Has your wedding planning been smooth sailing or have the big waves of drama crashed down on you? What’s your blow-off-steam song?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yummies in Our Tummies

Today's been one of those days. You know the ones I'm talking about, where things don't seem to go right or the day just feels plain weird. I woke up late, not feeling that great today, and, even though I had planned on staying a bit later today at work, I ended up leaving later than that. Don't get me started on the drive home. However, once I got home and checked my mail, I saw the latest issue of Brides Magazine and started to feel better already.

So I sat back, enjoyed all the wedding-porn-filled-pages while sipping some Coke {a certain Puerto Rican rum may or may not have found its way into my Coke}, and just relaxed. Ah, feels so good!

Now, let's talk about the menu. A few weekends ago, the Mister, my MOH, and I went to our tasting. Oh. My. God. This has to be one of the best parts of wedding planning. I wish we had taken pictures, but we were so involved with the food that we just forgot about it!

The food was absolutely delicious. We tasted appetizers, salads, potatoes, vegetables, entrees, and even cakes! Here's what we had:

  1. Fresh Fruit Cocktail
  2. Minestrone Soup
  3. Cream of Chicken with Rice Soup
  4. Pasta with Marinara Sauce
  1. Fresh Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
  2. Chef's Tossed Salad with Creamy Cucumber
  3. Caesar Salad
  4. Mesclyn Mixed Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
  1. Twice Baked Potato
  2. Red Potatoes with Dill Butter
  3. Duchess Potato
  1. Glazed Carrots
  2. Green Beans Almondine
  3. Stuffed Tomato with Spinach Souffle
  4. Medley of Fresh Grilled Veggies
All this food is without even included the actual entrees. And we were supposed to pick one from each category. So many choices! We also tried three entrees: Broiled Filet Mignon, Chicken Piccata, and Chicken Kiev with Orange Sauce. We didn't like the Chicken Kiev, but the Chicken Piccata was to die for!

So, what did we pick? Our guests will enjoy
  1. Minestrone soup
  2. Fresh spinach salad with a choice of dressing (warm bacon dressing or Italian dressing)
  3. Twice baked potato
  4. Medley of fresh grilled veggies
  5. Their choice of entree: filet mignon or chicken piccata
We are thrilled about our menu. We think our guests will love the food, just as much as we loved it during the tasting.

Have you had your tasting yet? How many different items did you try? Was it easy to choose your menu?

Monday, April 26, 2010

DJ {Date} Night

Our booked DJ company Admit One DJs, hosts an event called Meet the DJ Night, where their clients can meet their DJs. It’s almost like Speed Dating, but with DJs: Speed DJing! I know, I’m a dork, anyways…

The Mister and I went to this event last week. I have to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. All we knew is that there would be food, drinks, and DJs, and we would pick our top three choices at the end of the night Other than that, we knew nothing. I had no idea what to ask, what I should ask, or even where to start!

The Mister and I walked around the place not really knowing what to do. I have to admit, it was a little overwhelming at first, but we were pros by the end of the night. The Mister spotted one DJ we had met when we booked them in January. He was one of the DJs who spoke Spanish, which was a must for me. We chatted with him for a while, and we really liked him, a lot. He was very professional, with plenty of experience, and a lot of knowledge of the Latin rhythms I know my family will be expecting.

We knew that there was another DJ who spoke Spanish but, after searching for a while and asking one of the managers, we found out he couldn’t make it that night. The manager said we could definitely do a phone interview with the DJ if we wanted to. Although bit disappointed, we decided to talk to other DJs anyways. And so we spoke with DJ #2. And DJ #3, and DJ #4, and DJ #5. Thank God I brought my little notebook; I was jotting down names like crazy.

At some point during the night, I realized why the company does this event, and why it’s important for us, as their clients. The DJ will be an important part of your event, whether it’s a wedding or something else. You want to have someone who you feel comfortable with; you want to have someone with a personality that doesn’t clash with your own.

I also realized that it would be okay if our DJ didn’t speak Spanish. I wouldn’t have been able to realize this if I hadn’t met and talked to the DJs. Many of them had experience in multi-cultural weddings, and their confidence of how to handle such unique weddings, even when they didn’t speak one of the languages, made me confident in their ability of making our wedding a great experience for our guests.

At the end of the night, the Mister and I picked our top three DJs and decided we didn’t need to do a phone interview. We were comfortable with the two DJs we picked that didn’t speak Spanish, and the one who did speak Spanish is our number one choice. I really hope we get him but, even if we don’t, I know any of our choices will make a great job at our wedding!

Have you ever been to a Meet the DJ Night event? How did you choose your DJ?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love at First Sight

Tonight, the Mister and I will be going to an event hosted by our hired DJ company. Which has made me realize that I have not posted about our DJ!! Well, let me fix that right up.

We decided pretty early on in our planning that hiring a DJ would be the best way for us to go. Since we come from different backgrounds, our families' taste in music varies a lot. One of the key things we were looking for was to have some merengue and salsa to dance to. A DJ with a good variety in music could easily have something to please everyone.

Our search was extremely short. Back in July 2009, the Mister, my MOH, and I attended a Bridal Expo. We saw a lot of DJ companies back then, but only one of them blew us away. We loved them so much that, when we decided to look for a DJ last January, the Mister immediately suggested to go see them first.

We met with them in mid-January and booked them right away. Yep, you heard that right. We booked a vendor on our first meeting with them without meeting with any other vendors in their field. Trust me, I've already gone through my share of worrying about it. I'm the kind of person that needs to analyze every option, consider every pro and con, gather every bit of information possible, and make an informed decision. That's my blessing and my curse.

Why did I let us book a vendor without seeing anybody else? Well, this is something the Mister really, really wanted. And by this I mean this DJ company. He wanted this to be his splurge if you will. Did I keep worrying about it weeks after we booked them? Yes, definitely. Do I worry about it now? Not so much!

One of the things that I love about this company is that they host an event called "Meet the DJ Night". During these events, they invite their clients to come out and meet every single DJ the company has. After meeting the DJs, you select your top three DJs, which means you have two back up DJs in case anything comes up on the day of the event. Awesome, huh? I'll let you know how tonight goes!

Oh yeah, the DJ company is Admit One DJs, in case you were wondering ;-)

Have you ever booked the first vendor you met with without shopping around? Did you worry about it? Do you over-analyze everything like me?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Just wanted to let you know about a cool giveaway hosted over at A Chocolate Lover's Confession. Two lucky readers will win a pair of Delicate Soles. How great would those be for dancing on your wedding??? Go on over to check it out!

Good luck!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Photography Chronicles

We did it! We finally have a wedding photographer! Our last big-ticket item can be officially scratched off our list. Photography was one of the things we were really worry about, budget-wise, since we knew it could get pricey. How did we go about our search? Well, it was a team effort.

First, I put together a list of absolute must-haves:

1. High-resolution digital files (or digital negatives) with copyrights released to us

Okay, so not much of a list. That was my absolute requirement. Price range? Well, we were hoping no more than $1,500. A wedding album? For me, it wasn't a deal breaker. The Mister really wants one and, after talking about it, we decided that this was something we could add on later.

Then, I looked for possible candidates. I decided to use The Knot to find photographers in our area, and came up with a lot of results. I combed through them, looking at countless portfolios and packages, and selected those that met my requirement and our price range.

I put everything together in a spreadsheet and sent it to the Mister. The Mister was to go through the list, check out portfolios, select his favorites, and make appointments. Let me say, he did a great job! He even uploaded his edited spreadsheet into Google Docs without any prompting from me. After all these months of me trying to force Google Docs on him for wedding planning, he finally did it all on his own. But I digress. Let's talk about our appointments, as we had quite an interesting experience.

Appointment with Photography Studio #1

Our first appointment was at 11am, and we found the place easily. We were a little apprehensive of this place because of the $999 price. However, we went in with an open mind and knew that our budget wouldn't allow for a lot of fancy or extra things anyways.

Our consultant was a sweetheart! She was an absolute delight to work with and we hit it off right away! We looked at samples of their photographers' work and it was amazing. The Mister knew what he wanted with photography and, although neither of us knew the terms, she was able to narrow it down to two photographers who would be a perfect fit for us.

The package that they had to offer was extremely attractive. Some of the highlights are: ten hours of coverage, unlimited locations, high-resolution files, portable backdrop for the reception, an in-studio engagement session, and a 20-page album.

They have about ten photographers and, instead of assigning a photographer for us, we selected a photographer based on his work. Our consultant brought us two albums, each album containing the sample work of a photographer. She gave us some time so we could look through both albums and see if we liked what we saw. Let me tell you, we LOVED what we saw! We picked a photographer and we were both really excited.

However, we were not ready to sign the contract. We had another appointment that afternoon and, for my peace of mind, I needed to see what else was out there. The Mister did not want to lose the photographer that we picked, in case we did sign with this studio, so our consultant sweetened the deal. If we filled out the contract {filled out, but not signed}, she would hold the photographer for us for a week. No strings attached, if we decided to go with someone else, there would be no charge. Nothing. So we did! And then, we left for lunch.

Appointment with Photography Studio #2

After lunch, we headed off to our second appointment. We were very excited about our first appointment, but we went into this second one with an open mind. I wanted to see what they had to offer and, if they were a better fit for us, then we would have gone with them.

We were waiting out in their lobby area, just browsing at a wedding magazine, when the consultant came out to greet us. A nice and friendly greeting. We followed her to her office and it just went downhill from there.

As many of you know, when you're planning a wedding, you have to interact with a lot of vendors. We have been interacting with our fair share of vendors, and every single one of them have always been a delight to work with, whether we chose their services or not. Until now...

I'm not sure what happened, I'm not sure what was going on, but I don't think she was thrilled of having us there. She wasn't really friendly, she barely smiled, and she talked to us with a bit of a condescending manner. She wasn't very helpful at all and, when we asked her questions, she would respond almost like we were kids.

I'm not even going to bother to describe what they had to offer as she barely made an effort to sell their services to us. We just wanted to get the hell out of there.

Impromptu Non-Appointment with Photography Studio #1

After our second appointment, we drove straight back to the first photography studio. We decided to go with them, and were hoping to close the deal that day. We met with our consultant again, and she was such a refreshing delight. Needless to say, we signed the contract and our chosen photographer is officially ours.

How did you find your photographer? Did you have a strategy? Did you have any bad experiences with a wedding vendor?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

David and my Ladies: The Dress(es)

After trying on a lot of dresses, my girls made their decision. Even though I told them they didn't have to wear the same dress, they ended up choosing the same one. The dress is very flattering on both of them and they look amazing in it! Which one they chose? Well, dress #1!!

My MOH, doesn't she look gorgeous?

My BM, so pretty in pink!

The dress is so flowy, you can't help but twirl in it!

After choosing the dress, they got to pick which color they wanted their dress to be. My MOH originally chose truffle, but then had second thoughts. She was curious as to how the pink would look against her skin so she held up the dress against her.

We all loved it! It looked perfect! My BM decided to wear truffle, and it looked really great! Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of her with a truffle dress, but the color looked amazing on her!

Did your bridesmaids choose the same dress? Did they find the perfect dress on their first dress-hunting trip?

*All pictures are personal pictures.

Friday, April 9, 2010

David and my Ladies: Evidence

Early last month, we had an appointment at David's Bridal to look at dresses for my MOH and my BM. When we made the appointment for bridesmaids dresses, we made sure to book it with the same bridal consultant that helped me and she was great! I brought in pictures of eight dresses and she pulled seven for my girls to try. One dress was discontinued so we skipped it.

But enough explaining, let's see the goods!

Dress #1

Dress #2

Dress #3 and Dress #4

Dress #5

Dress #6

Dress #7

Don't they look lovely? At the beginning of the appointment, I told them that they didn't have to match. They could choose any dress they wanted in any of the wedding colors. After this first appointment, my girls did choose their dresses and, I must say, they look great in their dresses!!

How many dresses did your girls try on? Did they have matching dresses and colors? Did they find them at their first appointment?

*All pictures are personal pictures.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

An Entrance to Remember

Last summer, my lovely bridesmaid sent me a link to a wedding video with a very interesting offer:

From:    Bridesmaid
To:    Nina
Date:    07/24/2009 04:30 PM
Subject:    Walking down the aisle

Nina, I will pay for your entire wedding if you walk down the aisle like this:

On another note, this couple has a huge wedding party.

Bridesmaid :-)

While my dearest bridesmaid will not be shelling out big bucks to pay for my wedding, this was definitely a unique wedding entrance that won't be forgotten. Who knows? Maybe I'll make the bridal party dance their way into the reception, and I certainly have three or four uncles who would do this just for the heck of it.

Are you planning a unique entrance for your wedding? Or do you prefer the more traditional walk-down-the-aisle entrance like me?

Video Source

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Our {Cake} Crown Jewel

Our cake topper dilemma is no more!

The Mister did warm up to the idea of the crown topper after my initial trip to Hobby Lobby last week and gave me the green light to proceed. Since I had already checked my nearest Hobby Lobby, the mister went with me to another Hobby Lobby. A much bigger Hobby Lobby, an I-wish-I-could-trade-with-my-nearest-Hobby-Lobby Hobby Lobby {making you crazy yet?}.

We visited the store armed with last week's 40% off coupon and with a back up plan {me to the Mister: "If they don't have the topper, we'll just buy two sets of three pillar candles for our centerpieces"}. After grabbing a set of pillar candles {What? You thought I was kidding?} we went to the bridal section, scanning the aisle for the crown.

And I'm proud to say, we found it! Along with its $24.99 price tag... and two pearls had fallen off. I was ready to put it right back where I found it, but the Mister insisted otherwise. "I can glue them, it's not big deal," he insisted, so off to the register we went.

After using my coupon, I paid $15 for it, plus tax. Not bad! And the Mister was right, the fallen pearls were quickly fixed by a hot glue gun. However, since I wanted pictures, I glued them instead of the Mister. Please excuse the bad quality of the picture, I'll definitely have the Mister be the official photographer for this blog {and everything else!}.

Have you gone to multiple locations of the same store searching for a particular item? Are store coupons part of your arsenal? How much fun is it to say 'back up plan'?

Monday, April 5, 2010

David and my Ladies: Inspiration

Since we had set up an appointment at David's Bridal to look for bridesmaids dresses, I decided to revisit the My Favorites section at their website. I had looked at every bridesmaid dress in their website a month or two before we actually set up the appointment and had saved my favorite dresses to my account. Since it had been helpful to bring my top dresses to my  bridal appointment, I wanted to bring examples of bridesmaids dresses that reflected the style I was looking for.

I wanted my girls to have options to choose from, so I found eight different dresses that I thought could work.

All images from the David's Bridal website

I couldn't wait to see my girls try the dresses on. I wanted them to find their own perfect dress! At our appointment, I think they tried on about four or five of these dresses, and I have the pictures to prove it ;-)

How many dresses did you look at for your bridal party? How far in advance did you start researching?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fit for a Cake

I remember a wedding-related conversation I had a long time ago with my MOH. I was just beginning to explore all the details that go into wedding planning and I said, "I don't want one of those bride-and-groom cake topper figurines." As any good MOH would do, she agreed with me, "Absolutely, that is so dated."

Of course, back then, I thought that cake toppers only looked like this

It's amazing all the things that I've learned about weddings since then, including cake toppers. I'm still not 100% into having the bride and groom on top of the cake, even if it's with something as cute as this

I'm sure you must be rolling your eyes at me, asking, "Nina, then, what the heck do you want??"

I want a crown fit for a queen a cake. Since I saw that picture, I've been obsessed with the idea of having a crown for a cake topper. Me being, well, me, went into research mode to find that exact crown that you see above. I did find the crown, along with its price. A whooping $625 - that's more than what my wedding dress cost!

I haven't given up on having a crown cake topper, even if the Mister looks at me like I'm crazy. He isn't completely on board with the idea, in fact, he didn't really care for the idea at all. I've been continuing my hunt for cute crown toppers, but haven't found too many. I just found these two yesterday.

I showed them to the Mister, to see if I could warm him up to the idea a bit more, and he seemed to like these better than the first one. In particular, he really liked the third one.

During my research, I was also looking for tutorials on how to make a wire crown. Yes, I am indeed crazy, I have been considering making the crown myself. Mind you, I have no experience making jewelry and using wire, let alone constructing a crown! I haven't completely given up on the idea, and I got some wire at home to play around with.

I visited my local Hobby Lobby yesterday (yay for having one a mere 10 minutes away from home and on the way home from work!) and as luck would have it, I found that third crown in the bridal section of the store. It was the last one left and the price was $24.99, much more reasonable than the $600+ price tag. I didn't buy it because it looked a bit banged up, and the Mister hasn't confirmed he wants to go with the crown topper. I'm also still considering giving DIY a try, even if it's just to see if I can (or can't) do it.

What do you guys think? Should I just go ahead and buy this topper, if I find it in better conditions at another Hobby Lobby store? Should I still attempt to DIY, just to appease my 'what if's'?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dresses for my Ladies: Inspiration

When I first started thinking about dresses for my lovely ladies, I knew from the beginning I didn't want to choose a dress and a color for them. I didn't want to force them into a particular dress or just because I'm the bride. No, I wanted them to be able to choose a dress that they'd feel comfortable and beautiful in. Unlike Alice Cullen, I don't really enjoy playing dress-up with other people.

Instead, I wanted to give them an overall idea of what my vision for them was, and let them choose a dress that fit within that vision. And what is my vision, you ask? Well, something elegant, simple, and with a vintage feel to it (detecting a pattern here?). Definitely a full-length dress, maybe a tea-length dress. As for the colors, it could be any color within our wedding colors.

For more inspiration, I turned to the interwebs. I wanted to see what was out there that could fit within the wedding's theme. I came across The Dessy Group website, where I found a lot of inspiration!

All images from The Dessy Group website

The problem? Well, the website doesn't really give you the price tag of each dress, but it does let you find a store near you that carries their dresses. Although I decided not to pursue these particular dresses unless we really had to (read: David's Bridal didn't have anything that we liked), finding them really helped me form a clearer vision for my girls.

How did you begin the dress search for your bridal party? Did you choose a dress and/or color, or did you let them choose it?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wedding Muse

Since I first got engaged, over a year ago, I've been browsing countless magazines, websites, blogs, and forums to find inspiration and ideas for our wedding. I've also looked at many inspiration boards put together by other brides to reflect their wedding vision, and saved a few favorite ones.

When our color scheme changed, it was one of these inspiration boards that helped me decide on a new color scheme (and also reassured the Mister that I would not be using hot pink in our wedding).

I loved how the soft pink and gold went together. It just feels elegant and romantic, with a touch of vintage. Even though I have numerous images collected, links bookmarked, and online documents collecting ideas (Google Docs rocks, just ask my lovely bridesmaid), I never created my own inspiration board. I wanted to, but didn't know how to begin. I tried using Polyvore and Style Me Pretty, but it wasn't fun... until now.

I'm proud to present to you my very own inspiration board! Isn't it lovely?

While our wedding is not going to be a themed wedding, I do want it to have a certain feel. I think I was able to capture it with this inspiration board: romantic, elegant, simple, and vintage. As a side note, I love the idea of having a candy buffet, but the Mister vetoed it right away. Doesn't it look lovely though? Isn't that chocolate brown a lovely accent color? Oh, and that colorful, little rectangle on the top left corner is our color scheme.

Have you created your own inspiration board? What is your vision for your wedding?

Image Credits:  Sunday Suppers, Silpada, Green Wedding Shoes, Style Me Pretty, Johanna Hehir, Sarah Beth Designs, Wedding Art, Country Living, A Field Journal, Always A Blogsmaid

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Fairy Tale Shoes

I was never the girl who had her whole wedding planned out. No floating fairies showering me and my prince with pixie dust as we kissed for the first time as prince and princess. However, I did dream of one thing: the dress. I know, I know. I recently shared with you my beautiful wedding dress, but there was one dress that had been my dream dress for over a decade. The one dress I knew I couldn't have.

I first laid my eyes on it back in 1998, and have found myself looking at it periodically through out the years. You see, one of my very favorite movies is Ever After. Ever since I first saw it at the movie theater, I was captivated by refreshing take on such a classic fairy tale. A wonderful Cinderella that needs no Prince Charming to rescue her! The costumes designed for the movie were gorgeous, and I was in love with one of them.

The "Just Breathe" dress. Isn't it breath-taking? It's the gown that Danielle de Barbarac (played by Drew Barrymore) wears when she goes to the ball, risking everything to tell Prince Henry the truth about herself.

When I first got engaged, I started researching the possibility of having it made for me. It was not meant to be. I simply could not afford it and had to let the dress go. It is still my dream to own one like it one day, even if I have to make it myself!

In the last few weeks, my thoughts have returned to the movie and the dress, and something occurred to me. While I won't be walking down the aisle in this gown, I still need shoes to walk in. I thought that I could maybe find Danielle's slipper.

I began to search, and didn't have to go too far before striking gold. I found these:

Aren't they amazing?? After a quick chat with my bridesmaid, I placed an order for a pair of these shoes. I know there are some risks about buying shoes online. As with clothes, sizes and fit may vary by style, which is why I reviewed their return policy prior to making a decision. But, I have to say, I absolutely love the way they look and hope they fit! If they fit but for some reason don't go well with my dress, I still plan on keeping them. I can already see myself wearing these beauties to the Bristol Renaissance Faire.

Have you had to let go of an item or idea you had dreamed of for your wedding? Were you able to incorporate a piece of it somehow?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Color Confusion

Mister, if you're reading this post and haven't changed your mind about seeing my wedding dress before the wedding, I suggest you hit the back button of the browser!

As I mentioned before, during my appointment at David's Bridal, I was told that the dress I ended up purchasing only came in ivory. I didn't want to let the color prevent me from choosing my dream dress, after all, ivory is close enough to white (or, at least, that's what I kept telling myself the day after my purchase).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring, Are You Here Yet?

Oh, hi there. Remember me? I know I've been away for a few days, but I needed a small break. Kinda like the break the beautiful weather took last Saturday. After two days of wonderful blue skies and bright sun, I woke up Saturday to a blanket of snow, plus an all-day snowfall. But now that the snow melted (again), so did the boring, white background of the blog! Like the new look? The lovely pink does remind me of spring! Spring, are you here yet?

Let's get on with some wedding goodness, shall we? During the last few days, we have tackled a few items (which I'll be posting about individually soon):
  1. Wedding Dress - I've shown you the lovely dress that I picked, but what you don't know is my dress has arrived! A week ago actually! A mere two weeks after ordering it and changing the original order two days after placing it!
  2. Bridesmaids Dresses - My awesome girls picked out their dresses and, may I say, they look gorgeous in them!
  3. Music - While we selected a DJ company back in January, we finally have a date for their Meet the DJ Night. During this event, we can meet their 17 DJs and select our top three.
  4. Tasting - The mister set up an appointment with our venue for the tasting. The other night we went through the food options and made our selections for the tasting. I really can't wait for this! Not to mention, we want to get a glimpse at their wedding cake binder.
  5. Save the Dates - I'm still working on these, but we've made a lot of progress. I'm loving the way they're coming out. The mister has been helping me, and I can't wait to share them with you.
While we have kept busy, we also need to keep working with our to do list. To keep me honest (and motivated!), I'm sharing our big-ticket items with you.

Our (Big-Ticket Items) To Do List
  1. Find (and hire) photographer
  2. Research hotel accommodations for our out-of-town guests
  3. Book hotel+flight for honeymoon
So, enough about us, how have you been? Have you tackled many wedding-related items from your list? What are your big-ticket items to do this month?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Almost Spring

Happy Friday everyone! The week is almost over and the weekend's about to start! We're quickly nearing mid-March and I'm just in awe at how fast time is going by. It's still a bit winterish here in the Midwest, but temperatures are definitely going up. Spring is near!

I really hoped this week to be productive, wedding-projects wise, but it wasn't. I started getting a little sick, so my evenings were spent laying down instead of finishing our STDs. But, we did find dresses for my MOH and BM on Sunday (more on those later) so I feel happy to check something off my list.

As for this weekend, we'll be celebrating the mister's 29th birthday. His last birthday as a single man and, with six months to go, I hope he isn't getting cold feet on me! I'm planning on taking him to dinner tonight to our favorite sushi restaurant, Kawa. Then, for dessert, we'll be going to Chili's for some Molten Chocolate Cake goodness (boy, am I grateful I didn't give up chocolate for lent!). On Saturday, his actual birthday, he wants to go with his buddies for some go-karts racing action.

In between the festivities, I plan to work on the STDs and our wedding website, and maybe try my hand at making a tissue-paper pomander.

Has the week flown by for you as well? Any special plans for the weekend?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Tale of Two Dresses

WARNING: Mister, if you are looking at my blog, do NOT look at this post. I'm serious, move it along!

After trying on four dresses, I was between the Vintage Romance (aka Dress #1) and the Royal Engagement (aka Dress #3).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

T Minus Six Months

This morning, I open up Gmail for a quick scan of my inbox and there it was...

Hi Nina!
You've got 6 months to go!

Search Wedding Flower Photos
Choose Your Accessories
Order Your Invitations

Because I'm not starting to feel the pressure enough on my own, I get friendly reminders in my inbox about things I'm supposed to be doing for that extra dose of stress.

Okay, so I may not show that I'm feeling the pressure, I may seem like a relaxed bride, but my natural need to have every detail planned plagues me to no end (I absolutely hate to play it by ear, the mister is wonderful at this!).

Last night I was supposed to be relaxing. I've been feeling a little under the weather and decided to just rest (read: get home, take shower, crash on couch, eventually move to bed). When I finally moved to my bed to go to sleep for the night, I couldn't fall asleep. Thoughts of not having picked photographer yet haunted me and dollar signs for the dress alterations floated around in my head like the winged keys in Harry Potter (The Sorcerer's Stone? Anyone? No?).

It's difficult not to get stressed out and very easy to lose sight of the big picture. And it's really got me thinking about what's really important: the mister and I, taking a big step in our lives, surrounded by family and friends. As time continues to tick by (and still having big items on our list to complete), I can only hope not to get caught up in the stressful whirlwind of wedding planning and pause long enough to enjoy the ride with the mister.

To the mister, happy six-months-to-go!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

David and Me

WARNING: The following post is not appropriate for the Mister's eyes. Mister, if you do not want to see my wedding dress, LEAVE NOW!

As you may know, I was a complete procrastinator when it came to searching for a wedding dress. I knew I had to start my search soon since I had (at the time) seven months to go before the wedding. Still, in complete putting-it-off fashion, I didn't set foot in a bridal store until the end of February.

My girls and I went to David's Bridal to begin my dress search. I armed myself with pictures of the dresses I loved from their website (sneak peek) to give to my bridal consultant. The appointment was supposed to last 90 minutes but I do believe we took a bit longer than that.

Before I start with the dresses, I have to say that I had a wonderful experience. I was very apprehensive about this particular part of the wedding planning, and I am so glad I finally pushed through and did it. I had a wonderful bridal consultant, whom I'll call J, that helped me a lot, even though she was working with another bride at the same time. She looked for different veils and head pieces to match every dress that I tried on and, before my MOH could ask for anything, she'd already have it! So J, thank you very much for all your help and attention!

Okay, on with the goods!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Ceremony Compromise

I talked about the search for our venue, but never really touched on our ceremony venue. Even though I think getting married on a beach or a boat is extremely romantic, I always knew that I wanted a church wedding.

When the mister proposed, I immediately thought of getting married at my parish church, but the mister was not overly excited about the prospect. He's more open to the idea of an outside ceremony than I am. I've always wanted a Catholic wedding, which means we have to get married in a church. The reason why I wanted to get married at my parish, and not a random Catholic church, is because it means a lot to me.

See, when I first moved to Illinois, one of the things I wanted to do was find a Catholic church and (finally) get confirmed. In my first month here, I found St. Gilbert Parish. The wonderful people there immediately made me feel welcomed and I found a great sense of community, something that really helped me through the first few months of moving away from home. I felt like I belonged. I also really wanted the parish pastor to marry us, especially since he confirmed me a little less than a year ago.

Source - St. Gilbert Church

While the mister was open to a church ceremony, he wasn't thrilled with my church of choice. See, St. Gilbert's architecture is modern, and the mister really loves cathedral-style churches. He loves the stained-glass windows and beautiful marble arches and columns.

He suggested several Catholic churches, but they were too far away. I'm going to have family flying in and the last thing we need is for any of them to get lost while going from the ceremony to the reception. St. Gilbert was the top choice, being so close to my place and to our reception venue of choice.

As luck would have it, St. Gilbert doesn't only have a church, but also a small, cozy chapel. When I first walked in there, it was for one of the sessions I was attending for my confirmation. It was beautiful. I loved it! I mentioned it to the mister and he eagerly agreed! I was surprised to say the least. After all, wasn't he pushing for a cathedral? It turns out, not only does he love cathedrals, but he also loves small, cozy chapels. Who would have thought?

 Source - St. Gilbert Chapel

I know the picture is not the best but it's all I could find. I promise to take some nice shots of the chapel to share with you!

Where do you want to get married? Did you and your mister compromise on a ceremony location?