Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bridesmaid dresses the final decision!

I am so happy to say that we have finally settled on bridesmaid dresses! If you didn't see all my options you can find that post here. It was actually really easy! Most of the girls liked the same dress and the others didn't have a strong opinion one way or the other. So I let the majority rule and the dress we picked is...
Image via Alfred Angelo

This is the first bridesmaid dress that I looked at and liked after getting engaged! I'm excited the girls ended up liking it too! It's fun, flirty, has pockets, and I think they will all look great in it! :)

With the dress chosen I then set out to find it at the best price. It retails for about $225 and I thought that was a little too expensive. I searched online and found it on houseofbrides.com for about 30% off. I thought I hit the jackpot, but something told me it was too good to be true. So I dug a little deeper and read some reviews... There were a lot of complaints. Posts were titled, "DO NOT use houseofbrides," or "Never got my dresses!!" People complained of not getting their dresses in time, not getting them at all, or getting only one dress when they ordered 4! With so many terrible reviews, I just didn't feel comfortable using them. I hope there are brides out there that used them and had a good experience! Every other site I checked had them priced in the $200-$225 range, but I pressed on hoping I could find it cheaper!

Then I came across RK Bridal, a bridal salon here in the city where I had tried on wedding dresses. You can order wedding and bridesmaid dresses online through their, "No frills program." Basically you get a huge discount, (just about as good as houseofbrides) by ordering them online and not purchasing them in the store. But the dresses are non-refundable, so if you order the wrong size you're kind of screwed. I believe (hope) that since we followed the size chart we will be fine. The price and the positive reviews were enough to calm any fears I had.

I ordered them in October and they arrived in January! I had them shipped to my MOH in California so I wouldn't have to worry about bringing them all out for the wedding, (and since I had them shipped to California I didn't have to pay the sales tax. Double score!) They are very lovely dresses and the shade of orange is great. My only complaint about them is that the zipper is not the greatest. It's one of those invisible zippers and its hard to zip up even if it fits perfects. So fingers crossed we don't have any problems with that!

It feels so great to have that taken care of. Have you chosen your bridesmaid dresses yet? Were you happy with were you purchased them from?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A word about Save the Dates

Things have been so crazy! My future in-laws were in town and we were showing them around the big city. It was a lot of fun but also very exhausting! I'm ready for a vacation of my own...

So last Friday our save the dates came in the mail! Yay! I'm not ready to reveal them just yet. I want it to be a surprise to those who receive it in the mail! But I would like to share a little bit about the process. Jeff designed them using photoshop, on our fabulous new computer. He did an amazing job and got it done super fast. Jeff is a major perfectionist when it comes to his graphic design work so he impressed me with his efficiency in this project. We decided to print them using VisaPrint and their free post card special.

I googled "free vista print postcards" and followed the link. Basically you get 100 free postcards and just have to pay for the shipping, and in our case an extra 5.99 for uploading your own design, which we did on both sides. We also opted for faster shipping so I think our save the dates cost about $25 or $30 total. Not to bad I think.

They came in the mail 4 days before they were scheduled to arrive! I was so excited to tear open that package. Unfortunately, my excitement quickly evaporated because the quality turned out to be just so/so. The edges aren't cleanly cut and the design is crooked and/or the spacing is off on some. It's not really that big a deal. I'm not too upset because after all, they were pretty much free. The image is clear, and the paper is a nice quality. I just think they look like we printed them at home and were lazy about cutting them.

Jeff seemed a little more annoyed about the quality than I was. I understand, he put all that work into designing them and the spacing is off and crooked. But he agrees that we got what we paid for, so we'll let it slide.

Even with the quality issue I would still recommend using VistaPrint for your save the date postcards. You really can't beat the price and I'm sure they will still look great up on the fridge at our friends and families houses. My advice if you are going to use them would be, if you upload your own image don't create a boarder around the outside because half of it might be cut off... You'll see what I mean when I post a picture.

Where did you get your save the dates? Did they turn out the way you wanted?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What makes love true

Alternate title: Our Tiffany love story

I've shared our proposal story, but I have not shared the story of my ring, and how it has given us an unforgettable experience.

My ring came from the famed Tiffany and Co. While shopping for rings Mr. Castle went to a couple different places but settled on a princess cut solitaire from Tiffany's. He wanted to get me an engagement ring that is timeless, and classic. My engagement ring style has been around since 1886 so he knew it would always be fashionable and could be something we pass down to our children one day.
Personal Photo / Sorry for the crummy phone photo

I love my ring. I'm not the kind of girl who had a ring style picked out before getting engaged. I wanted Mr. Castle to pick something that he thought I would like and boy did he do an amazing job. I couldn't stop looking at it for about a month after our engagement. It's so shiny and sparkly! 

Anyway, here's where I get to the part about that unforgettable experience. Mr. Castle came across a listing on an acting website looking for "Tiffany Love Stories." Love stories that involved a piece of Tiffany jewelry. He submitted our engagement story and they picked us to share it on their website! What this entailed was eleven people coming to our apartment to do a photo shoot and record audio of us telling our story. The result is amazing.

Unfortunately I can't post the video here directly so you'll have to follow the link to see our story. And please do because its pretty cool!


Taking part in this was such and amazing experience. The people who came to our apartment were so wonderful, and the photographer John Dolan was awesome and took the most beautiful pictures. Not only did we get to be featured on the website and have this awesome experience, but they gave us a Tiffany gift card! I'm thinking Wedding Band???? And we got copies of all the pictures :)

But the best part was getting to share our story in a unique way with our family and friends. We live so far away from some of the most important people in our lives and for them to be able to hear us tell our story was priceless. I'm so happy that we will always have this video to look back on and remember our engagement. I can't wait show to our children someday so they can see how romantic their daddy was :)

Image via Whatmakeslovetrue.com / Photography by John Dolan

I hope you liked our video!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Honeymoon anyone?

I am sooo looking forward to going on our Honeymoon. I have never been out of the country, well that's not true I've been to Mexico but when you're from Southern California Mexico doesn't really count... I didn't need a passport to get across the border. I've had my passport for about a year and I can't wait to get my first stamp!

So where to? Well we both didn't want a beach location. I love the beach, but it's not what we envisioned for our honeymoon. I enjoy sitting, relaxing, reading a good book and sunbathing on the beach, but Mr. Castle is not a huge fan and likes to do none of those things. We both decided we want more of an experience, a chance to explore a new place together, our own little adventure if you will.

We had two locations on our brains... both in Europe, both full of Art and history, and both awesome. The first...
Image via Travelista

Italy has always been a place I wanted to visit. I am dying to go to Vatican City. (That's the Catholic upbringing in me) Rome, Venice, Florence and the Amalfi Coast are all on my list of places to visit someday. My father is strongly encouraging it. He's been twice and had amazing experiences. It was looking like this was our pick but then my Dad went on another trip that sparked a new idea in our brains.

Paris... Le sigh, the city of romance. My Dad raved about his trip to Paris. He was pleasantly surprised with how much he enjoyed the city, and made it very appealing to Jeff and I. And just like that Paris was now on the table.

There are pros and cons to each. In Italy we could visit different cities, most likely Rome, Florence, and Venice. But that also brings up a con, having to plan the travel between cities and make itineraries for each. We also might feel rushed in each city we visit. In Paris we can stick to one place which will probably makes planning easier. But then I think about the amazing food in Italy, and seeing different parts of one country would be amazing.... But Paris is so romantic, I mean Paris on your Honeymoon!!! C'est magnifique!

Mr. Castle was really liking the Paris idea because we could visit Disneyland Paris... Because as I have said before we a huge Disney nerds...

After a lot of research, talking to friends, family, seeing what we could afford we decided.... to do both! I don't know what we are getting ourselves into but we have two weeks to explore two countries  and possibly five cities. We fly into Rome and out of Paris. At first I thought it might be too stressful to figure out the logistics of this trip, but it actually hasn't been that bad. Plus Mr. Castle has been mostly in charge of things.

Have you decided on a honeymoon? Would you chose one location over trying to visit as many as your could? Do you think we're crazy? Lol

Saturday, October 1, 2011

WARNING: Cute photo content!

Otherwise known as Engagement photos! One of my awesome bridesmaids hooked us up with her friend who is starting his engagement/wedding photo business here in NYC. Since he is just starting out he offered to take our photos for free! He was amazing and spent the afternoon with us in Central Park and other various locations around the city. He was a blast to work with and really let us do our own thing, which we appreciated. Ok I'll stop blabbing and show you the photos!
 I like making faces...
Good shot of our outfits. I got my dress from modcloth.com
 I really like this picture but I'm also blinded by my white legs
Being coy 


 My favorite of the day 
 I'm pretty strong...


Here are some captions to explain what is happening in this picture sequence
Photo#1 Yum, ice cream!
Photo# 2 Mr. Castle steals a HUGE bite of MY ice cream, without asking first! 
Photo #3 He offers me a bite of his...to try and even things out and I'm not interested. My ice cream was clearly better...             
All Photos by the amazing Aaron Lenhart      

We are very happy with our photos and I can't wait for you all to see how we used them in our save the dates! Did you have a good experience taking your engagement photos?