You might be thinking, “Gosh, Miss Blue Whale. Isn’t that an overused title for a post about shopping for your dress?” Well, it might be if this was just a post about shopping for my dress. But it’s not!!! This post is actually about the real Say Yes to the Dress! And it’s about my trip to Bridals by Lori in Atlanta!
Image from Say Yes to the Dress
If you’re not familiar with the show, then…I’m not sure what you do with your life. How did you find WeddingBee and not find Say Yes to the Dress? Anyway, what I should have said is that if you are familiar with the show, then you know that the Atlanta version takes place at Bridals by Lori. My favorite aunt (really, my only aunt…but she’d she be my favorite if there were more!) introduced me to Say Yes to the Dress a few years ago. I spent the night at her house during Thanksgiving, and we watched a SYTTD marathon. It was AWESOME! No one gets as excited about wedding dresses as me except for my aunt! And during that marathon, I promised her that when I got engaged, we would make a trip to Bridals by Lori. So, when Mr. Whale popped the question, I started keeping an eye on plane tickets to Atlanta!!
We eventually decided on a weekend during the summer. Now, as a side note, I just want to point out that knowing that I had a dress shopping trip planned for summer made dress shopping before that so much more fun and not at all stressful. Every time I tried on a dress I really liked, I just had to say to the consultant, “I’m not buying a dress until my mom and aunt see it,” and then the consultant didn’t push me to buy the dress. So, if you’ve got a pushy consultant, just make up some reason why you can’t buy the dress yet
Back to Atlanta. Bright and early Friday morning (Don’t go dress shopping on Saturday! Friday or Sunday are much better.), we pulled into the Bridal’s by Lori parking lot! I jumped out of the car, and started speed walking toward the door.
I was a bad bride. I ironed tulle.
I wanted a long, raw-edge veil that could be lifted up dramatically behind me by the wind:
A gorgeous, flowy veil…le sigh. Photo by Christian Oth Studio.
I researched my options: I could make my own veil, or I could order a used veil from another bride. Buying a new one from a bridal shop was out of the question—veils seem to fetch a pretty high price around here. Feeling overwhelmed by the process of making invitations and tissue paper garlands, I opted to purchase a used veil—besides, reduce, reuse, recycle, right?!
I found a beautiful Vera Wang walking length veil that another bee was re-selling. The price was great. I ordered her veil, and waited patiently for her wedding to pass so she could ship the veil to me. When the veil finally arrived, it was pretty wrinkled in the shipping envelope. I was really excited to try it on, but the wrinkles bugged me. So I began to iron out the wrinkles with my roommate’s regular old household iron.
We hadn’t planned on having a rehearsal, (our venue charges an extra $200 to have rehearsal the night before the wedding) but we wanted to do a very quick run through just to make sure everyone knew what order they were walking in/who they were walking with.
Once dinner had been cleared away, we rounded up everyone at the back of the room and Brother Scepter attempted to walk everyone through the order of the ceremony.
One little detail that I just had to incorporate into our wedding day was customized cocktail napkins! Over the months, I had seen so many cute images of how couples had made their day even more personal by including custom napkins, that I knew I wanted to do so as well!
We sent out our invitations early last week, and the RSVPs have been trickling in, so I think it’s time to share them with the hive! As you may recall, McGlovin talked me into a VistaPrint invitation suite while we were still over six months from our wedding and…it was an amazing decision. I would have loved to have had letterpress invites that were glorious and thick and lovely, but there was really no justification for it. I would much rather take the money we saved and throw it at our booze fund
Anyway, so, let’s walk through the invitation suite. You open your mailbox to find this super fun piece of mail:
You tear open the envelope in an excited frenzy, ruining all of my painstaking addressing, to find this pocket-fold envelope with all of the information you’ve ever wanted:
Day eight was another cold one, and we bundled up and set out for Oxford, which we had heard was a mighty quiet little town buried in the Choptank.
Mr. C making sure we stay in the channel leaving the anchorage. No running aground for these Cauldrons!
Lost222 is selling her Pronovias/La Sposa “Laurel” wedding gown. She is asking $700 for the size 6 dress.
Have a wedding item for sale? Post it with pictures in the Weddingbee Classifieds, and you might see it featured on the blog!
Other great items for sale:
After my bridal party finished getting ready and Mr. Warbs’ crew finished lacing up their Chuck Taylors, we all headed to the venue. The bridal party rode in a shuttle provided by the hotel and Mr. Warbs and his groomsmen piled into his dad’s car. During the short drive, two things happened simultaneously in both vehicles.
We both freaked the f#*@ out.
As we rounded a curve climbing up into the hill, I yelled “OH MY GOD! I forgot the marriage license!” The license had been left behind in the hotel room. I guess I freaked everyone out, including the driver who hit the brakes for dramatic effect.
A little ways down the road behind us, Mr. Warbs said, “Sh@#, I forgot my vows!” His dad said, “Well, we’re not going back, we’re already running late. So you better start writing!” Ha!
After I finished kicking myself, I asked the bridal party which one of our friends was still at the hotel. We were able to get ahold of two of our friends who talked the hotel into letting them into my room to grab the license and meet us at the venue. Thanks for saving the day, Jazzy and Jo!
Meanwhile, Mr. Warbs frantically rewrote his vows on his cell phone. When he finally arrived at the venue, he emailed the vows to our coordinator who printed them out for him. How freaking crazy is it that we both forgot something major on the day of our wedding? Crisis averted, but we were both feeling pretty frazzled heading into our first look. Especially me.
When I found out Mr. Whale was going to be leaving me for an entire weekend, I decided I was going to let loose! And there’s nothing crazier than beer and beads. No, I’m not going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Not those beads. I’m talking about the beads you buy at a craft store. Weekends without the fiance are great for crafts, because I can totally trash the apartment for an entire day while I drag out all my crafting stuff, and then I still have a day to try and get everything back in order so he doesn’t know how bad it got.
There are several items that have been on my DIY wishlist. For this particular weekend, I decided to tackle a necklace. I’ve been browsing necklaces online for ages. I don’t think I’m going to wear a necklace to the wedding ceremony, but I think putting one on for the reception would be totally awesome. I already showed you a few of my inspiration pictures. I want something colorful, preferably with some turquoise and bright coral in it. If I can’t find the perfect necklace, then I’ll just have to make it myself. And there’s not much I love more than getting my craft on.
Lucky for me, Michaels was having a 50% off sale on ALL of their beads on this particular weekend! I seriously stocked up. (Seriously. I had so many beads in my baskets that other customers kept asking me for tips on how to make jewelry, what I thought looked best, where I could find other stuff in the store. I must have looked like a real expert.) In reality, I’m just lazy. I knew I could return the beads, but I didn’t want to have to get out of my pajamas on Saturday and make another trip to Michaels just because I didn’t get enough beads. So…I totally splurged and spent about $100 on beads.
If you’re going to be making jewelry, there are a few other crucial items you’d want to pick up. All the stuff I’m showing could be found at any Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics (or similar store). I’ve already got all that stuff, but you’ll need:
Hive, aren’t surprises the best? One Wednesday in September my mom surprised me by booking a last-minute ticket to Houston. I hadn’t seen her in a couple months, and she hadn’t been here since our engagement party in February, so it was about time that she paid us a visit! Just kidding! But really, she’s been traveling a lot for work this year, and with her crazy workload, she hadn’t had much time to stay abreast of wedding planning details. So you can imagine how happy I was to pick her up from the airport!
My mom works 75% of the time in Anchorage, Alaska and 25% in Seattle. There’s not much shopping in Alaska, and she works fairly long hours, so she didn’t have any opportunities to search for a mother of the bride dress. Shopping is a major pastime in Houston, so Mama Wallaby knew she could find something pretty here.
That Saturday afternoon, Mama Wallaby and I set out for the Houston Galleria, a local shopping mecca. We hit Nordstrom first—it’s a department store based out of Seattle, so she and I both play big-time favoritism with Nordstrom compared to other department stores. It was also the closest store to the parking garage, so hey, what’s a girl to do? I am so happy we started at Nordstrom, because soon after we started browsing dresses on the racks, the most amazing stylist began assisting us, and she turned out to be a total lifesaver. (We also had plenty of laughs—at one point I almost peed my pants from laughing so hard. That’s always a plus when you can have so much fun with a total stranger.)
My mom hadn’t thought much about what she wanted to wear, so she and I started by aimlessly looking for dresses in her favorite colors (which conveniently complement the wedding colors) in all kinds of different lengths and styles. My mom even grabbed a lime green floor-length jersey gown. When the stylist, Auriana, approached us, she began to quiz my mom about her favorite celebrity looks to get an idea of my mom’s taste. When my mom mentioned that she admires Michelle Obama’s style, Auriana pulled a number of understated, contemporary dresses in an array of colors.
One of our favorite dresses was a floor-length brocade dress with a beige underlay:
Mama Wallaby in a gorgeous navy brocade dress. Personal photo.
She also loved a teal satin dress with a v-neck cut and half-length sleeves. This dress did wonders for her figure, and is very wearable for other events like company Christmas parties:
When Mr. Dalmatian and I started planning our ceremony, Mr. Dalmatian had one request: keep it short and sweet. So we spent A LOT of time looking for the perfect readings to express what we wanted to express, and compiling the perfect vows to say exactly what we wanted to say, but in doing so we made strict edits to be sure it remained short and sweet. So, without further ado, here is the Dalmatian ceremony:
ArmyWifey8.23 shows off her beautiful updo and hairpin on her big day. Look at those gorgeous loose curls!
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I can’t really give an accurate idea of what our wedding cost. A lot of BIG aspects were donated to us-the food, the alcohol, the officiating, the flowers, the favours. Our families played a huge part in making our wedding affordable for us, and as a result, I don’t know the monetary value of a big chunk of our day. I would suspect, though, that at least few thousand dollars can be added to the grand total I give you.
I can, however, share what WE spent. Mr. Dragon and I didn’t set a budget to stay within; rather, we started putting money away every month into a fund we could draw on for wedding spending. Here’s how it all broke down (bearing in mind that some of the costs are rough estimates).
Attire, including rings— $1901.06
This includes all of my clothes and accessories, Mr. Dragon’s clothes and accessories, the flower girl dresses, and shirts for the groomsmen. All of my expenses, from garter to dress alterations, totaled $771.74. Mr. Dragon’s were way less expensive at $285.69.
Hive! I cannot believe it has been over a week since my last post. But in all truth, it has been a BUSY couple weeks in the Buffalo world. Two weekends ago MOH S got married! As her MOH, the days leading up to the BIG day were crazy for me! We had some weather scares (thankfully it was only windy and not rainy!) and I ended up whipping up her cake at the last minute. No wedding is without snags, and all things considered the wedding turned out beautifully, albeit a little bit cold!
The best view of the ceremony location! The wind was so strong at one point I had to hold onto the end of her veil to keep it from going crazy!
In my last post I described my wedding vision: Marie Antoinette at the Petit Trianon. But how exactly does that translate to wedding decor? I think it’s time for a montage. Yes, a wedding inspiration montage. (cue inspirational 80’s music)
|Sources: Cakes, Cupcake Toppers, Flowers, Art, Tablescape|
This is where I started, with some of the classic colors associated with Marie Antoinette: bright pinks and sky blues. Unfortunately, I think it would be way too easy to go over the top with pinks and blues, so I decided to find a way to tone these colors down and get back to my original inspiration. Here is the result: