Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Birthdays and Countdowns

This has been a really busy week! On Monday I celebrated the birth of one of the most amazing people I know! You guessed it, my fiance! We had a pretty low key celebration. I  make a yummy cake, ordered in food, and used his birthday as a reason to finally purchase...

A new computer!
Image via Apple.com

If you remember my post about his computer dying, if not you can find it here, this was a much needed present. I'm still figuring out how to use it... I've always had a PC. Jeff, being a designer, is a Mac pro. He's promised to give me some lessons as well as get started on our save the dates and invitation designs! Now that we have the computer I feel like we can finally kick the wedding planning into high gear, especially because...


How did this happen!? Well as they say, time flies... I got my "7 months to go!" email from project wedding this morning. It stated that I should be working on booking a florist, picking out bridesmaid dresses, and starting to research and plan our honeymoon. Well, our florist is booked, bridesmaid dresses are close to being picked and our honeymoon research has begun. So that makes me feel a little better. :-)

I'm looking forward to the next 7 months of planning. I'm sure it will be a thrilling adventure!

Just for fun, and since my last post was about our engagement photo outfit, here's a sneak peak of our engagement photos!

Always making me laugh
Photo by the amazing Aaron Lenhart

Did you freak out at 7 months or get excited?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finding the dress

No, not that dress, I'm talking about my engagement photo dress! We took our engagement photos back in June, and before I share those thrilling photos I want to talk about how I chose what to wear. I took the engagement photo shoot as an opportunity to splurge on a new dress. As I believe I stated in a previous post I'm pretty frugal and need an occasion to go shopping. So I took the occasion and went searching.

I was looking for something girly, spring-ish, whimsical and fun. I imagined a fancy sundress in a bright color. I looked at Macys, found a cute orange dress, but it didn't fit right. I went to Urban Outfitters, tried on some nice dresses but none of them had the right feel. I tried Forever 21 and didn't like what I was seeing. I even went to Anthropologie, which meant I was REALLY going to splurge on a dress, and came home empty handed.

My favorite stores were not bringing any results. While chatting with a girlfriend about my hunt, she lead me to a website which turned out to be a gold mine.

Image via Wikipedia

There were so many cute dresses! And the prices weren't bad! I think I spent about an hour just browsing the site. I finally needed to give myself a break so I put some dresses in my wish list and turned off the computer. The craziness of life kept me away from my search for about a week and when I came back I found that all of the items on my wish list were out of stock! What!? It had only been a week! I then learned that there are only a limited number of each dress available on the site and the good ones go fast. I then sort of stalked the site for the next couple of weeks looking for the perfect dress. And then one evening I found it.
Image via Modcloth.com

One of my fashionable friends happen to be staying with us and I quickly called him into the room for his opinion. He gave me his approval and I ordered it then and there. I didn't want it to be sold out the next time I checked. It came in the mail about 4 days later and it was perfect!

I think the dress worked out great and I can't wait to share the pictures! Did you have to hunt for the perfect engagement photo dress?

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Orange Shoes

I've been thinking a lot about whether or not I should go the colored shoe route. I love pictures of brides with a pop of color coming from their shoes. My cousin wore these beautiful purple shoes at her wedding, which unfortunately I think her dog chewed them up... but they were beautiful!

So naturally I began the search for orange shoes. I found some great inspiration pictures.

 Image via diy.weddingbee.com

But when it came to finding the shoes in the size and style I wanted, I was coming up short. Or tall. I don't want a super high heel, 2 1/2 inch max. It was hard to find my perfect orange shoes for a reasonable price.

Then I started looking at ivory shoes and saw how much selection I had....
 Image via Endless
Image via Endless
 Image via Amazon
Image via Amazon

I could always have the shoes I like dyed, but there is always a risk of it not being the right shade of orange. Or I could get a cute orange flower to clip onto my shoes like this...
Image via Etsy/Seller finkshop

Fast forward to this morning. I got to work a little early so I decided to do some window shopping at Urban Outfitters, always dangerous, and I came across these...

Orange Flats!

I wanted to get some flats to wear toward the end of the night. My feet are not used to wearing heels and I'm not enthusiastic about the idea of enduring blisters and pain just to wear shoes that will be covered by my dress anyway. These shoes could totally solve my problem. I can wear ivory heels maybe with the flower clip for the ceremony, first dance, etc, and put on my orange flats for the dancing.

But my frugal mind wasn't sure if I should buy the flats right then and there... Maybe I'll find something better, maybe I'll hate them in a month, maybe my feet will grow. I get buyers remorse before I even make the purchase. I will try and talk myself out of buying anything. I'm very frugal. But not this time...

Personal photo

I bought them and I'm pleased to say I'm happy with my purchase. For $30 I got some cute orange flats. Hopefully my buyers remorse won't set in, but I don't think it will. I've worn them around the house a bit and they are nice and comfy. Now to continue the search for the heels!

Are you also getting flats for your big day?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Very Superstitious

There are a lot of superstitions when it comes to weddings. You can't see the bride before the ceremony, rain on your wedding day is supposed to be bad luck, and of course the whole, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Someone once told me that if your Mothers cry during your wedding you will have a rough first year of marriage. That one sounded a little crazy to me, pretty much all mothers are going to cry!
 Image via  artisanphotography.com / Photography by Artisan Photography

So I was wondering where did all these superstitions come from? In researching this I came across some superstitions I had never heard of! One having to do with changing your last name. Apparently it is unlucky for the bride to marry a man whose last name begins with the same letter as hers. There is even a rhyme that goes along with this one, "To change the name and not the letter; is to change for the worst and not the better."

I also read one that says it is good luck for the bride to cry on the wedding day because she will have cried all her tears away leaving none for the marriage. I'm sure I'm going to cry, and if that means no tears during the marriage, I'm on board. As far as rain on the wedding day I found more on it being good luck than bad. It is said that rain is a symbol of children in their future. It actually rained on my parents wedding day and they ended up having four kids! So maybe there's some truth to that one.
To be honest I'm not a very superstitious person. After all, I do have a black cat and you better believe he crosses my path a million times everyday. I have no issues with seeing Mr. Castle before the ceremony, but he has been very adamant on not seeing me until I walk down the aisle. If it means that much to him it's fine with me.  I read some articles stating that tradition was started with arranged marriages. They didn't want the groom to see the bride and try to back out of the wedding if he didn't find her attractive.
 Personal Photo / My black kitty Artemis...in my path.

One of the most outlandish superstitions I came across was this: If you can persuade a cat to eat out of your left shoe one week before the wedding good luck will bless your married life. I'm pretty sure I could make this one happen. Come over here Artemis! But what shoe? Your wedding shoes, your everyday shoes? I would guess the wedding shoes. If I pull this off I'll be sure to take a picture. :)
Image via redbubble.com

Have you heard of any weird wedding superstitions? I think they are all so funny :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

A place for cards

I love all the ideas there are out there for card boxes. I love the bird cages, present boxes, rustic wooden boxes, ugh I love them all. We were very excited to find the one that feels the best for us! We had two ideas running through our minds and the decision was a hard one indeed.

Since we are trying to run with the vintage, theatrical thing, I thought a trunk or suitcase would be a great idea.
Image via Etsy / Seller DuryeaPlaceDesigns


Image via Etsy / Seller thevintagehideaway

We could make it look like it was a prop box from backstage, or a makeup case. Mr. Castle had the idea of using a suitcase and putting clothes at the bottom with a sign on the side that says, "Honeymoon bound." He wanted it to look like we were going to close up the suitcase and whisk away on our honeymoon with our cards in tow. I thought this was a very cute and clever idea, until I came across this and showed it to Mr. Castle
Image via Etsy / seller onehipstickerchic
 Image via pixar.wikia.com

Not the most original idea, I know. Some other bees have also used the Up mailbox. Mrs. Lioness, Mrs. Snow Cone, and I'm sure there are others I am forgetting. UP is one of our favorite movies. We didn't want to put to much Disney into our wedding and seem like nerds. But with this it's a nice touch of Disney without doing something over the top. We are also using some music from UP during our ceremony so I think it would tie in nicely...

So our dilemma was should we go with the one that matches our "theme", or the one that gives a nod to our love for Disney Pixar and the movie UP? Well, we decided to stick with our love for Disney and make our own UP mailbox. We have put our hand prints on a mailbox and left it in California for FMIL Castle to add our names before the big day. Can't wait to see how it turns out! 

Which would you have picked? And what are you using for your card box?? 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bridesmaids: indecisiveness in the search for an orange dress

During the same trip out to California that I met with florists I also went to look at more dresses with my MOH. It was one of my favorite days on my trip. We have known each other since we were in 4th grade, and were attached at the hip from 6th grade summer on. Our lives and goals have made it difficult to see each other as often as we would like so days like this are always thrilling. :-)

So MOH N and I went out in search of the perfect orange dress. We started at Alfred Angelo to look at some of my favorite possible orange dresses.
The first dress is the color I would want. She looked amazing in this dress and we both agreed it would look great on all the girls.
This second dress was the one I fell in love with early on in my planning. It is super cute, but MOH N was saying it was a little long for her taste. Side note, she's 5' so everything is a little long on her. I agreed, but the sales women showed us how easy it would be to alter by lifting it at the waist as to not ruin the details at the bottom.
The last Alfred Angelo dress she tried on was a pleasant surprise. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did. It is a little different in feel and style than the first two. It's more classy and elegant in my opinion. I wonder how it would look in Orange though...

Next we tried out David's Bridal. The appeal of their dresses is that every girl could pick what style they wanted but all in the same orange color.
This one was cute, but way too big on her.
This one was N's favorite. It was also way too big. I tied the ribbon around it to define her waist a little more.
This one was nice as well. It would be really easy to hem, and it has pockets!

Here's pictures of the orange color the dresses would come in. I do really like this color. It's very bright and fun.
Image via Style Me Pretty / Photography by Bikini Bride

The last place we went was a little overwhelming. I was on the hunt for the dress my other bridesmaids had tried on in NY and this store was listed as carrying it. But when we got there, a) no one helped us and b) it was a salon that took all the tags out of the dresses so you wouldn't know who the designer was. Ugh! So we had to dig through the dresses. Eventually, (thankfully) we found the needle in the haystack.Well, almost...
This isn't the exact dress that the girls in NY tried on, but it is similar. The only difference is the one N has on above has a pleated skirt and the one the other ladies tried on did not. 
It's the same top but different bottom. I think I like the non pleated skirt better. 

Whew, we had a busy day. So at the end of it all did we have a clear winner? The answer is a resounding no... I just wasn't sure! There are pros and cons to them all. This is where my indecisiveness kicks in. Which to pick? Which would look best? Which will the girls like?

The final decision coming up! Which dress do you like? Which would you want to wear?
All Photos are personal unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flower Power

During a trip to California back in September, I decided to visit two florists. The first was our venues preferred florist, Carols Secret Garden. They are super close to our venue so that was a plus. The woman helping us was very nice and seriously had the nicest hand writing I had ever seen. She was patient as I showed her pictures on my iPad and told her what I had in mind. She showed us pictures and wrote us up an estimate. I felt like the estimate she gave us was a little higher than I would like to spend. On the other hand their work is beautiful and they do weddings at our location pretty much every weekend. I left feeling a little bummed that we might have to pay twice what I wanted to for flowers, but at least they would be beautiful.

I liked them but I still felt like maybe I could find a florist for a price I was more comfortable with. The next florist we met with was Cupid's arrow. I found them listed as a vendor on our photographers blog. They are a little further away from our venue, but not much. The woman we met with was very organized. She had photo books that were organized with specific floral photos. One was for bouquets, one was ceremony decor, and one for centerpieces all organized by price. She was also really laid back, she didn't pressure me or lead me in a certain direction with flowers. The price was also a lot more doable than our first estimate. By the end of our meeting I had a good feeling about her.

I went home and talked with Mr. Castle, he came to the first appointment but not the second. He could tell I liked the second florist better and encouraged me to make the decision! Since flowers are not my top priority I wasn't going to stress over who I should pick. I felt good after my meeting with Cupids Arrow, so that's who we went with. I know they will make our flowers beautiful and I have nothing to worry about in that department.

This is the photo that lead me to Cupids Arrow in the first place.
 Image via PalosStudioblog.com/ Photography by Palos Studio

 This is something they did for a wedding at our venue that I LOVE
 Image via Cupids Arrow 

And here's a beautiful orange and green centerpiece!
Image via Cupids Arrow 

Was your decision for a florist easy or difficult?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back to life

Back to reality.


 video via youtube
This video is  a nice throwback to my childhood

I'm not sure why that song always comes to mind when I get back to New York from a trip to California, but it always does. We flew into JFK this afternoon, and I don't think I've ever been so tired. Our trip was busy and jam packed with visiting family and friends, as well as working on some wedding plans.

I can't wait to share how our visits with florists went, looking at bridesmaid dresses with my Matron of Honor and our discussions with our family and friends about the wedding, There is lots to share but for now I'll leave you with some highlight photos from our trip.

Jeff on a ride at the fair, being very dramatic for the camera

 My brothers and I, love spending time with them

A "wedding" charm bracelet my Matron of Honor made me!

A closer look at the bracelet. Jeff said it was "me in a nutshell" It includes a cat, cross, ring, guitar, best friends charm, bride and groom, paw print, treble clef, ballet shoes and a turtle!

My bracelet is so cute and it was so sweet of my Matron of Honor to make it for me. It's another thing that will always remind me of this thrilling time of my life.

Like I said before there is lots to share, but for now it's back to work and back to our life in NYC.

Do you ever feel totally drained after a trip somewhere? I sure do, this time more than ever!

All images are personal, unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Awkward Moments

I'm sure you've all heard of the amazing website awkward family photos?

I've been thinking a lot lately about possibilities for awkward moments at weddings. Not that my fiance and I are awkward people, there are just certain wedding traditions that can go terribly wrong, or be really weird if they are not executed correctly.

I think I suffer from what I will call, "fear of feeling awkward," That's probably why I like to have everything planned. The wedding rehearsal will be an important event for us, I don't want anyone not knowing where they're supposed to be or what they're supposed to do. And to make sure there are no awkward moments, I'm taking action and making a plan! Here's some wedding events that, in my mind, could go terribly wrong...

 The Kiss
 Image via www.missindianbride.com/ Photography by Sarah Bussey

It's a special moment. Your first kiss as a married couple. But you don't want to make out in front of your closest friends and family! But you also don't want it to be a simple peck. You need to be on the same page as your fiance. What if he wants to be dramatic and try to dip you and you're not ready!? The result: AWKWARD!
My solution: Practice. No you probably don't want your first kiss to look practiced. But I'd like to have an idea of what we both are thinking would be appropriate. I would rather practice than freak out right before hoping it is perfect, and who wouldn't want to spend some quality time practicing kisses? :)

First Dance

I used to work at a dance studio in the city. The couple that owned the studio did private wedding dance lessons. I was always surprised by how much wedding dance business they got. I thought to myself, it must be for people who are really nervous and don't dance. But now that I'm engaged I think about it differently. It's a little nerve racking to be the center of attention on the dance floor, and in the moment it could turn into back and fourth junior high school dancing.
Image via bestmovieproms

My solution is not to take dance lessons, because Mr. Castle and I already have! Well kind of... we had to do a lot of partner dancing in college so I know we will both feel somewhat comfortable on the dance floor. Still, when we pick our first dance song I plan to practice dancing to our selected music. That way we'll feel comfortable with our selection and the awkward factor will be kept to a minimum, or better yet, replaced by a cute factor!

 Garter Toss

Mr Castle is not looking forward to the garter toss at all, and has thought about cutting it completely. I'm still on the fence about it. It can be very awkward. If you think about it, it's so weird! Your groom is reaching up his now wife's dress to get her garter to throw to his buddies...? Pulling it off with your teeth!? Where did this tradition come from? My cousin made her garter toss fun by but putting things under her dress, a feather boa, granny undies, and even a rubber chicken. She went the comical route, but running out to stuff things under my dress is not something I am interested in doing....

Solution: Either to not do it at all or do something else for the guys instead. We were thinking of getting movie tickets to attach to the bouquet toss, so maybe we can do that for the garter toss as well. It would be great to find a non-awkward substitution for the garter toss that would get guys involved in the competitive fun that the women will experience diving for the bouquet. Last one to add to the list:

Cake Cutting
 Image via mikeanddarlyn.com

To smash or not to smash, that is the question... Well my answer is a big heck no! I hate when grooms smash cake in their brides face. A playful frosting on the nose I'm OK with, but a full on cake fight, NO WAY. To prevent any cake from getting in my face I have been FULLY upfront with the Mr. Castle about this. But I think he is only taking me semi-seriously... I'm just saying if I get cake in my face it'll be a sad wedding night for him. I guess the point I'm trying to make is be clear what you want and make sure you discuss your plan of action with you groom. If you are a cake smashing person then you should probably make sure your groom is one too. Either way you should discuss. On the day of after nerves and drinks you don't want to rely and letting things happen "in the moment."

Are you worried about any awkward moments? Have you seen any awkward moments at weddings?

Friday, September 2, 2011

California here I come!

Right back where I started from...

This week has gone by so fast and I haven't gotten anything done, but who cares because tomorrow I'm heading out west! I can't wait to see my family, friends, and Jeff's family. I know my time with them will go by quickly, it always does, but I will try and enjoy every moment of it.

Throughout the wedding planning mayhem I have missed my family and friends in California so much. This will be my first time visiting in which we will be doing some actual planning. I'm looking forward to dress shopping with my Mom and Matron of honor, visiting florists, talking to Jeff's Mom about a special wedding dress project...more on that later, and finalizing our guest list. On top of that packed itinerary (and Jeff's family reunion, plus my grandmothers 90th birthday which I didn't even mention), I'm hoping to work in a visit to our venue!

So much to do so little time, but I'm sure it's going to be a thrilling trip!

Here's a little video that came to mind as Jeff and I were packing our stuff for the trek (Jeff's self-professed nerdiness includes a love for Lucy). Fast forward about a 1:20 secs to see the best part!

 Video via YouTube 

Doesn't this video make you want to go to California! They all are so happy!