Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Gracias Fail

It's been four months since our wedding and we still haven't had a chance to do our thank you cards yet. We've gotten thank you's from two other weddings we went to after ours...one like three days later!!! I looked for cards online last night and of course all the ones I like are a flipping fortune. And people will keep this for even less time than the invite! I have to buckle down and get something soon so that we can send them out before people start silently thinking we are rude. I know you technically have a year, but I'd like to come in under 6 months.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Thank you, Thank you...

We need to start sending out our Thank You notes...and soon!

How much more fun would it be if we won our own custom thank you notes? A TON, that's how much!!!

I came across this give away from Pretty Lovely and ABCD Designs today.

The winner will receive a completely bespoke personal stationery design by
ABC Dragoo. You'll get 100 thick, creamy and luxurious folded and
channel scored custom designed cards. The package will also be finished
off with perfectly coordinating envelopes, of course! Want to know the
very best part? The winner gets to choose between holiday cards,
personal stationery cards, or thank you notes!

My fingers and toes are crossed...who wouldn't want to receive something like one of these lovely designs in the mail from us???

You can find more details at Pretty Lovely and see more awesome designs here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The anatomy of a dress...

Picking my dress was not an easy task by any means. I had a specific idea of what I wanted all along and while I did try on some other styles, I never really swayed away from what I wanted: a strapless, sweetheart, lace, form fitting, non-poofy, amazing dress.

When all was said and done, it came down to two contenders. The "Romona" as I lovingly called it was the first dress I ever tried on at Macy's and I later came back to at a Veiled in Elegance in Geneva. It fit perfectly and it was all lace and well, as you remember, it made my behind look really nice. (Since I've already tied the knot, I thought I'd share some pictures of me from the dress shopping days gone by...)

Looking back on this dress, I don't think I ever really liked the front as much as I did the back:

Obviously, I did not buy this dress. But, it was the one in the back of my mind the whole time I was trying to decide whether or not to get the dress that I did end up getting. In the end, I decided that this dress just didn't have that something special that I was looking for.

So, MY dress. I found my dress at the last shop I went to and it was the last dress I tried on. It was my 27th birthday, and aside from closing on our house (which I also did on one of my birthdays) this was the biggest birthday gift I've ever gotten. Thanks, Mom!

Our last appointment was with Vanessa at Vanessa's Modern Bride in Arlington Heights. The shop is really cute. Very girly, it smells really nice, and Vanessa is awesome. I tried on a few dresses here but I ended up choosing a Melissa Sweet dress called the Hallie. I had never seen this dress online or in magazines and the sample that I tried on in the shop was not in the best of conditions, but I really liked it. It seemed to have everything I wanted, besides the sweetheart neckline...but that could be fixed. I spent about an hour in this dress and hemmed and hawed over it with my Mom and my Aunt. They both LOVED it but they didn't want to influence my decision so they downplayed their enthusiasm. I'm thankful for that because I know I chose the dress because I liked it, not because other people did. I'm not a crier and I never had one of those "OMG THIS IS THEEEEEE DRESS" moments. I just knew that I liked it the best out of everything I had tried on. (I can't find the photos from the actual day that I bought the dress. But if I do, I'll put them in here eventually. )

So, I bought this dress on Aug. 12, 2008. I then waited nine months until it came in and when it did I was seriously nervous that I wouldn't like it anymore. It's a long time to wait to see something that you can't return!

I have to admit that when I tried it on again for the first time, I wasn't totally thrilled. In fact, I started thinking that I made the wrong decision. I thought the drop waist was totally wrong on me and that it made me look dumpy.

Here is my definition of dumpy:

Yeah, not exactly dumpy...but still, I just didn't feel 100 percent great in it. It looks a little bit better from further away, ha!

A few things that I didn't realize were going to help out...a lot. A) some spanxx. Because no matter how skinny I am, I will always have a stomach bulge. B) A "long line" strapless bra to put everything in the right places. C) A dress that actually fits like a glove. I would eventually get all these things, but after my first fitting, I felt very nervous. Not about the shop, or Vanessa, or the seamstress. I knew I was in great hands. I just wasn't sure if I had really picked THE dress.

When I came back for my second fitting, everything just came into place. I didn't remember to take any pictures because I was so excited at how good the dress was coming along. But, just imagine it looked better than above, but not as great as below.

The last appointment was right before my wedding and when I tried on the dress the last time, I knew I made the right choice. Not only on the dress, but where I bought it. Vanessa and her seamstress knew exactly what I was looking for and they made sure that the dress looked perfect on my body. Which, it did. These are from my last fitting:

I like the last one because you can see the back of the dress fully spread out. For some reason I don't have any pictures of the back like this on the day of. I think I was just moving too much!

Speaking of the day of, here is a sneak peek at what the final product looked like! It fit like a glove and it was super comfortable. I only wish I had another occasion to wear it to!
(photo by Kris Kasperek)

So that's how my dress went from being the right dress to the perfect dress. If I could give any advice to those who are shopping for dresses it would be to

  • Try on every single dress you want to until you find the right dress. Don't feel like it's not the right dress because you don't turn on the waterworks and hyperventilate over finding THE DRESS! It didn't happen to me and it might not happen to you.
  • If you are going to make major alterations to the dress, talk to the salesperson and seamstress to see if they can even accomplish what you are looking for. If you don't feel confident, maybe this isn't the dress or shop for you.
  • Don't feel pressured to make a purchase by your salesperson or the people you have with you. Remember--most likely, you can't return this purchase.
  • Make sure you bring people with you who are supportive of you and honest, but not mean or judgmental. It's a tough decision but it comes down to the fact that it is YOUR day and you should wear exactly what you want to wear, not what your Maid of Honor, Sister, Mother, or Mother in Law wants you to wear. Even if they are paying for it--it's not worth a dime if you don't feel like a million bucks!
  • Most importantly, have so much fun with the process! Enjoy every minute of wearing your dress, even in the fittings!

    That's all for now! We have all of our professional photos now, so I'll be starting to recap the day and all the details! Take a sneak peek at the pro-pics here: http://iklikphoto.blogspot.com/2009/07/k-s-wedding.html

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Big Ben...Parliment...

I'm trying to stay calm, I am...but I am very excited.

Our honeymoon has finally arrived! In just about 8 hours we will be en route to Europe! Stopping first in London, then hitting up Paris, and finishing up in Barcelona. I'm a little nervous and anxious, but mostly excited...very, very excited.

I'm trying really hard not to pack everything I own. I think I have a good mix of things. And hell, if I don't have it, I'll just do what I do best...BUY IT! I don't think I'll mind doing a little shopping in London and Paris.

What am I most looking forward to, you ask? In one simple visual, this:

Macarons, mother effer! More specifically, lovely Laduree I simply can't wait.

Alright, before I can eat Macarons, I have to actually finish packing. Farewell for now. Or should I say Au Revoir!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Shaking the glitter off...

Editor's Note: This post should not be taken as complaining, bitching, etc. I really just need to get some things out of my head and on to the internet.

When you spend 18+ months of your life paying attention to every detail of your wedding day, do not let the last two days prior to the wedding wear you down.

Otherwise you may end up telling your reception coordinator that fanning the dinner napkins in the water glasses is completely fine--something you would never do! Which in turn will make you miserable every time you look at your photos and all you see is napkins. Not the flowers you paid for, not the table numbers your parents worked so hard on, and not the fabric centerpieces that your aunt hand sewed. Only a sea of tables, chairs, and napkins. Sigh.

Its been a little over a month since the wedding and try as I might, I can't help but focus on the things I wish had been different. Don't get me wrong, this was absolutely the best day of my life and also the best wedding I've ever been to--although I am a bit biased. But, there are a few things that I KEEP dwelling on, and I wonder how long it will take me to get over them. I realize these things don't matter in the grand scheme of things, because everything else was perfect. The weather could not have been better, the DJ gave us the best dance party ever, our guests had the time of their lives, and we were both just so elated the whole day. So I wonder, why can't I stop thinking about them? I think perhaps if I get them out into the universe, I might feel better about it?

This is a little backwards, usually people talk about the great stuff first. But I think I need to get past these pesky "regrets," I guess you could call them, first.

So, we covered the napkins. That sucked and I feel like it totally changed the feeling of the room from more whimsical and fun to more "old school banquet hall." Of any mistakes they could have made, they didn't make the mistake of not putting the napkins in the glasses.

I guess I can start from the beginning for the rest.

1) From the very beginning, I was pretty set of not seeing Sean before the ceremony. We didn't have too many really traditional things throughout the day, but this was one that I wanted to keep. I feel like it was a big mistake. I thought that it would be cool to wait to see each other and I also felt like I was going to be "rushed" to get ready if we took photos beforehand. I was wrong. Although I did enjoy the time spent with my bridesmaids, etc. in the suite while we were all getting our makeup done, etc., I feel like the time that I could have spent taking photos with Sean and even taking photos outside with my bridesmaids would have been well worth while. The time after the ceremony FLEW by and I feel like these moments would have been nice to have. The only pictures I have of my bridesmaids and single photos of me are in the hotel suite and while my photographer did an amazing job...I think I should have thrown tradition to the side and seen Sean before the big walk down the aisle. I didn't really think about this ahead of time, but there was such a long walk from the hotel to the ceremony aisle, that it wasn't like I had this huge, grand entrance or anything. So, if you're thinking about seeing eachother before, I would say to definitely do so.

2) When you are getting your dress fitted for the bussell, make sure you are wearing the shoes that you will be wearing when the dress gets busselled on the day of. I did not do this, and unfortunately, my feet were KILLING me by cocktail hour so I wanted to wear my flipflops. In hindsight, I should have sucked it up and wore my heels for a little big longer, but I didn't and I spent A LOT of time trying to get my dress bussell pinned up so that it wasn't dragging on the ground. So, lesson here is remember to wear your flats at your fitting if you think your going to change right away and also don't spend too much time caring about things like your dress dragging on the ground when you have a room full of people who you want to talk to. You'll never wear the dress again, but more importantly, you'll never have that hour back in your life.

3) Sometimes, you need to be a bridezilla. Seriously. There are things that I wish I had been WAY more hard nosed about. Mainly when I asked someone--a vendor--for something and then didn't take the time to enforce it. I blame the fact that I'm polite and laid back and also the fact that by the time you have to make all these final decisions you are SO utterly sick of talking to people that all you want to say is "that's fine" or "I really don't care." BUT DON'T DO IT! Do exactly what you want and make sure you get what you are plopping down your hard earned money for!

4) The cake cutting. What a disaster. We wanted to cut the cake right after we walked in to the reception room during our grand entrance. In my mind, I pictured us walking in and up to the front of the room to cut the cake. What really happened was...the cake was all the way in the back of the room about 50 paces after we walked in. In fact, I was so surprised that it was back there that I walked right past it! Our parents and VIP tables were up in the front of the room and they had no idea what was even going on. It felt very rushed and the woman who was the banquet manager kept standing next to us to "show" us how to cut the cake. Very, very bizarre. Also, there were no forks or napkins. The "helpful" woman kept trying to get me to wipe my frosting filled hands on one of the extra fabric squares that my aunt made for our table decorations. "That's not a napkin" were the words that repeatedly came out of my mouth. That and "there are no forks?!?" So, in hindsight, we should have just did our grand entrance and then cut the cake later. That way if I saw it in the back, I could have asked them to move it forward.

5) Last thing about the cake, I promise. We had a very small cake for cutting--6 inches--and yellow, pink and orange cupcakes for our guests. I asked the reception place to please place some cupcakes around the cake so that it didn't look so meager when we were cutting it. For some god awful reason, they chose the yellow and orange frosted chocolate cupcakes as opposed to the pretty yellow and pink frosted vanilla cupcakes! Not what I was looking forward to at all. Lesson in this one, again...make sure you say EXACTLY what you want. I didn't think I had to be that specific because my coordinator assured me that he was very detail oriented. But, your preference may not be the same, remember that.

6) Right after the "dance triology" as I like to call it, the DJ invited everyone to the dance floor to dance. Sean and I went our separate ways to each greet guests, etc. and I noticed that the DJ was playing a lot of slow songs all in a row. Well instead of asking him to spread them out, I figured he would play some more throughout the night. He did not. I know why he didn't, because we really wanted to have the "dance party" feel to the reception, but it turned out that my Mom and Dad never got to dance because when all the slow songs were playing, they were greeting guests after dinner, etc. Sean and I also never got another slowdance on the dance floor. We danced together a lot! But I wish I had said something to the DJ about the slow songs early in the night. If you see or feel something that you don't like, say something about it. Because even though people like to tell you that "you won't remember any of it" or "it won't matter after the day" but, most likely if you are reading wedding blogs, it will matter to you.

So, these are my main "I wish it had been different" regrets. Like I said, all things that are not really comparable in the grand scheme of things. But I had to get it off my chest and this is the best space to do so. And after listing them all, they still matter, but not as much...because I realize that even though these things all happened, the day actually was perfect.

Perfect because my life changed forever on that day and every single person I could have ever wished to be in one room together was.

Perfect because my Mom was there with me all day long and got to see all her hard work come together.

Perfect because my Dad walked me down the aisle.

Perfect because my bridesmaids were beautiful and our groomsmen looked extremely cool.

And lastly, perfect because I married the best dude I've ever known and all the perfect napkin folds, or frosting colors, or cake cuttings in the world couldn't ever top saying our vows and dancing under twinkle lights and paper lanterns to the only slow song that mattered.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

The dishes are done....

Well, I was a pretty terrible blogger, and I can't really apologize because planning a wedding is VERY time consuming! BUT the time I didn't spend blogging...I spent working on details, details, details.

I may be a bit biased, but I think it paid off because it was the best wedding I've ever been to!

I'll probably do the recap thing, because I think it will fill up some of my time.

For now, please take a peek into our wedding day, provided by our photographer Kris. To say that Kris is amazing is an understatement. She is the nicest person you will ever spend 12+ hours with, probably could moonlight as a ninja, and may or may not have cloned herself for this wedding because it seems she was able to get amazing shots of EVERYTHING! In short, we heart her, and we can't rave about her enough.

Okay, enough gushing. Please, go to her blog for photo-palooza!



Mrs. B

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rain Rain...and shoes

We're getting married in 8 days. The forecast has rain in it. I should stop looking at that...

Also, it took me about a year to find a pair of yellow shoes. This would have really come in handy. Even though mine were cheaper, eventually, after returning them to get the discount...

No time for pictures, but here is the link.

Nina, design your own shoes.