Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finding my Dress Part 2!

First thing first:

Around May I decided I needed to get serious about my dress search. I made appointments at three different salons. The first was Pronovias in NYC. I loved their lace dresses and I had heard that it was the best quality of lace I could get in my price range. This was probably the fanciest salon I visited. The dress samples were also the nicest. They weren't ripped or stained, they were beautiful! Here are some highlights from that trip.
 A very flattering fit.
  It's hard to see but there is a bow at the top of the train. I loved the back of this dress. 
But wasn't to crazy about the front

Spoiler Alert! I didn't chose any of these dresses. And you didn't see any pictures of lace dresses did you? I tried on a couple but they weren't worth photographing. They were beautiful dresses but none of them were "the one." So I moved on! Next I went to the famous Kleinfeids.

It was a very pleasant experience. I had one of the first appointments of the day which was probably the best choice. I heard it gets crazier as the day goes on. My consultant was very sweet and she introduced me to a designer I had never heard of....
Image via Marisa Bridal / Photography by Phindy Studios

I tried to do some research on this designer but they don't really have a website. Well, they do have a website where you can find retailers, but the only photo's of their dresses are ones that real brides have submitted. You can't find the style number of a dress, or even a picture of the dress in some cases. In my research I read that they cut costs by not advertising... which kind of makes sense. Their prices are great and the dresses are gorgeous. I tried on two Marisa's that I loved! Of course they don't allow pictures at Kleinfeilds, and since it's hard to find pictures of Marisa dresses, I have no pictures to represent this trip. But I did find out about a new awesome designer!

My next appointment was at Bridal Reflections. This was a very nice Salon, but there were some weird things that happened... My consultant was showing me dresses that were way out of my price range... Then when I finally told her this she said that I had written my budget was 12,000! She wasn't very nice about it and seemed rather annoyed. I told her my actual budget, and added, "Why would I have written an amount I couldn't afford?" She then told me they didn't have many dresses in my budget in their store. So this trip was kind of a bust, BUT I did get to get some shots of me in two of my favorite dresses thus far that I had tried on at previous salons. The Marisa dress I had discovered at Klinfeilds and the Paloma Blanca I tried on at RK Bridal.
Sorry for the cell phone pictures
The Marisa dress. They pinned the top to show I could make it a sweet heart neck line if I wanted.
Close up of the Paloma Blanca
Full shot of the Paloma. I felt pretty in this dress...

At this point in the search I decided I wanted to go back to RK Bridal because they had both of the above dresses and the Watters dress I liked. I was hoping I would be able to narrow it down to at least my top two...

How many salons did you visit? Did you find yourself drifting back to the same dress at different salons?
All Photos Personal unless otherwise stated 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Finding my Dress

Since I'm talking about my dress I need to start with this:

Ok, I think that scared him away. I began the search for my dress in early March of 2011. Bridesmaid J, C and I headed to RK Bridal in New York City. I read reviews online and they had all said that this was a great place to try on dresses and get a feel for what you liked. The reviews also warned to come prepared. The place looks like a little like a warehouse. It's huge and there are racks and racks of dresses all around. I had a list all ready of style numbers and designers that I wanted to try on. We arrived, (early, no appointments) and I was assigned a room and a consultant. I showed her my list and she pointed us in the direction where the dresses were located. It was then up to us to search the racks for the dresses I was looking for. It was a little overwhelming, but the girls are I were ready for the challenge! And since we came prepared we found the dresses I was looking for rather quickly. The first dress I tried on I had been internet stalking for a while....

It did not look good on me... I mean it was waaayyy too big and hard to clip up in the back, so it just didn't look right. I also felt way to much like a cupcake in this dress. I had a feeling I wouldn't be into the ball gown silhouette and trying dresses like this solidified my feelings about big dresses. They weren't for me. I tried on a lot more and got a feel for what I liked and definitely did not like. I didn't like dresses with "bling," flowers, or ones that had a lot of beading. I was leaning towards something simple and then I came across this lovely Watters dress.
Image via Watters.com

My consultant, Ulga, said my whole deminer changed when I put on this dress. She pointed out that I had a huge smile on my face. The girls loved this dress and I loved the way I looked in it. The sweetheart neckline was sooo very flattering. I have a feeling in their mind the search was over, but I wasn't planning on making a decision just yet! Then bridesmaid C told me she wanted me to try on a dress she pulled. I put it on and it was stunning.

It looked way better on than it does in the photo. I do have a picture in it... but it was taken at a different salon so you'll just have to wait! As you can clearly see it is a completely different style and feel than the Watters dress. I didn't have stronger feelings for one or the other. I really liked them both! I could already tell this was going to be a challenge.

I left feeling like that was definitely a great start, but I wanted to see what else was out there in the big bridal world of wedding dresses...

How was your first experience trying on dresses? Did you find your dress on your first trip?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy to bee here!

Wow I can't believe I'm actually writing this! Hello Hive! When I got my email from Mrs. Penguin I literally started jumping up and down. My cats were looking at me like I was crazy and Mr. Castle brought me a celebratory Popsicle. I am sooo excited to be the newest bee in the hive! With our wedding just around the corner I'll be sharing as much as I can before our big day!

So with out further ado: introducing the Castles!
Personal Photo / Christmas with our two boys. Benjamin and Artemis.

We Castles hail from sunny Southern California. We met in College studying musical theater. We fell in love while playing opposite each other in the musical Baby. Shortly after graduating I moved to NYC, and thus began our 2 year and 8 month long distance relationship. We made it to the other side with Mr. Castle finally joining me in NYC. He proposed on January 1st 2011 on the rim of the grand canyon! Of course there is much more to be said about our story but I'll leave it at that for now!

Why Castle? Well there were/are soooo many great choices in the magic/fairy tale generation it was hard to choose! We decided on castle because it has to do with our love of a couple things:

Harry Potter.
We are both huge Harry Potter nerds and we can't wait to visit the wizarding world of Harry Potter someday.
Hogwarts Castle. (Source)
Disney.
We have both been enthralled by Disney since we were very young. The movies, the parks, the mouse, we love it all. We also have both worked for the company. Many of our first outings together involved trips to Disneyland and when we come home to Cali we always try to stop in for a visit. We may even be making a trip to see a Disney Castle on our honeymoon... 
Disneyland Paris Castle (Source)
Personal Photo / Disney World, Magic Kingdom Castle. 
Personal Photo / In front of the Disneyland Castle. This was a couple weeks before Mr. Castle proposed. 

I also loved the Castle icon because well, Princesses live in Castles! Being the only girl with three brothers I often feel like the princess of the family :)
Personal Photo / Wearing the Minnie Bride ears at Disneyland. It even has a little tiara on it!

I am so looking forward to sharing our story with you all. I am honored to be a part of this fabulous group of ladies and this amazing hive. Thanks for having me!!!

Miss Castle

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Changing the name but not the letters

A lot of family and friends have begun calling me the future Mrs. _______. (You know what I mean, Mr. Castles last name) In fact our RSVP postcards are addressed, "The future Mr and Mrs._______. I know there are some people out there who would hate this, a lot of women find it very annoying to be called, "Mrs. husbands full name." For me, I find it really cute. In my mind it's one of the things that makes it feel "real." It gives me a giddy feeling, like a little high pitched voice in my head says, "I'm getting marrriieed!!!!."
Image via Etsy.com

But it also brings to mind the name change debate. I have always assumed I would change my name. I've never re-thought my decision, I just really understand the reasons behind not changing your name. I love my name, I've had it for 26 years and I'm a little attached to it. I think my parents did a great job choosing my name. My first, middle and last name have the same amount of letters, and they sound pleasant to the ear if I do say so myself. I've also started my theatrical career out here in New York and I can't change my name as far as the business is concerned.

You see, I belong to the stage actors union, Actors Equity Association. The screen actors union is SAG, and like in SAG there can only be one "you." Meaning there can only be one person with your name. When you see actors that include their middle name, it's probably because their name was already taken. I have a very popular last name, and it was looking like my name was already going to be taken when I joined the union. I was fully prepared to add my middle name for my "stage name." Luckily my name was available! So as long as I am a member of this union I will always keep my maiden name.

So what does that mean for my legal married name? Well like I said I love my name, but I am planning on changing it. I am looking forward to starting my new married life with a new married name. But since my name will not change in my union I have decided to make my last name my middle name. I really love my middle name, but really who ever uses their middle name? Now that I'm a grown up my parents don't need to use it for disciplinary reasons. Although Mr. Castle still uses my middle name when he's exasperated with me. He will still use it at times I'm sure. It will always be my middle name, it just won't be legally.

The coolest part is that my initials will change but I keep the same letters! I just realized this the other day and I found it to be a sign that it is meant to be, changing my name that is. I already know Mr. Castle and I are meant to be :) Right now my initials are SLT and after getting married they will be STL. I love it!

What about you? Did you/are you changing your name? Do you like your new initials?