The BRIDESMAID DRESSES – Part 1

21 08 2009

My search for the perfect bridesmaid dress is a prime example for over thinking! When I first started looking, I set guidelines: they had to be teal, tea length, we had to be able to see them in person since teal is such a different color, the bridesmaids needed to love them (I was going to let them pick them out), and they had to be affordable!

In a time of a poorly fairing economy; as well as a time with bridesmaids being laid off, college students, getting married, etc… I just couldn’t bear to ask them to pay over $80 for a dress!

Being the researcher I am, I set out on an internet exploration of all that would be wedding worthy! I have to be honest… within my price range, and within stores we could go to in person, there was a lot to be desired as far as teal dresses go! As far as something online goes, there were options, including this beauty from the rose dress.

CD070pic1However, I just didn’t feel comfortable ordering something off of the internet, and risking they not all being the same color, not fitting, having bad fabric… lots of negativity was going through my head about ordering online. I just wasn’t that brave! Being a plus sized girl myself, I know how hard it is to find something that fits right. Regardless if the website says it will fit in its measurement chart or not… sometimes they just don’t fit right! I wasn’t about to put my lovely bridesmaids through that!

My next thought was to enlist the help of my awesome aunt who has some major sewing machine wielding skills… This would have totally been an option but she lives pretty far from my bridesmaids, making fittings tough, therefore we didn’t take that route. While pondering this option, I did find some beautiful, classy dress patters at the craft store, though! Something I loved about the patterns was that most of them have several different options for the dresses, so I could still have that matched, but mismatched look for the BMs that I love! Maybe this could be an option for someone else! If you catch the right sale, you could get bridesmaid dresses for under $20 a piece! Aren’t these delicious?!

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After these ideas didn’t pan out, I decided to tweak my guidelines a bit. I had seen some gorgeous black bridesmaid dresses, and I love the idea of them being able to actually use the dress again, so I told the girls to go get a cocktail dress, knee/tea length and black were my only rules, oh, and not to let the boobs hang out too much since you know… this is a classy event, and all. 🙂

*enter waiting and non-response here*

Apparently the open ended option wasn’t working for the bridesmaids because I didn’t hear from them after I gave this option and when I called them, they all said, “Well, just let me know what you want me to wear!” or “Pick a dress for me and I’ll wear whatever you want!” Soooo… back to square one.

I hopped online again, how hard could it be to find a LBD? I was actually kind of excited since I knew I would have a lot more options. This time I was looking for a cute black number for my main ladies, and I struck GOLD!! Black gold that is… 😀 Having 2 bridesmaids who are plus size, and two bridesmaids who wear a L/XL, I looked at the Lane Bryant website and I found a beautiful, simple, affordable, perfect dress!

BMDressWho wouldn’t be able to wear this again? I almost want one myself. lol

So after visiting the dress in person, and confirming the quality, I sent off the info to all the BMs. They each purchased their dress and the bridesmaid dress search was complete! Why didn’t I just think of getting a LBD for a bridesmaid dress before!? Part two – Bringing It All Together, coming soon to a blog near you!

Have you had any details that you were over thinking?

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The DRESS

5 07 2009

Okay so as the title states this is about the dress. But, what does “the” dress mean?

The dress is the first thing a girl sees when imagining her wedding. The dress is something that conveys the style and personality of the bride. The dress is one of the most important material things to do with a wedding…..

So how does a girl choose– (nay!) discover this dream dress?

Research! Tons and tons of time consuming, weeks on the computer scouring bridal sites, hours of trying on dresses in pastel colored bridal dressing rooms with strange sales ladies asking if they can come in to help them lace it up and see them half dressed… research.

Some girls search for days.               Some search for weeks,      months even!                        Some girls search for… five minutes??? Yep, I’m the last one. 🙂 (Sorry, I know that was kinda anticlimactic.)

Okay, so maybe I cheated… I used to be a bridal consultant. I worked with brides for a couple of years, and had an awesome boss. Mii, pronounced “my”, has been in the bridal business for many many years and really knows what she was doing. She has an amazing eye for fabric, color, style… and even has her own custom designs. What does this have to do with me, and why does this make me a cheater? Well, having a connection in the industry really helped out. I walked into the store. I told Mii that I was engaged. Mii told me she had my dress, and I started to look around until I realized what she said… wait, WHAT? No no no… I need to search for this; try on tons of dresses… stress out… this is supposed to take TIME! *cue in dramatic music*

*WARNING* If your name starts with Russell and ends with Miller, AVERT YOUR EYES!

In walks this… What’s this? Who is this sugary, ivory silk taffeta confection of simple, flowy, delicately placed lace, goodness? My dress, that’s who! Mii brought her out and it was love at first sight. The dress is so beautiful, timeless, perfect. I don’t need a lot of beads, embroidery, crystals and all of that. I love this dress. I feel beautiful in this dress. It is perfect. 🙂 I couldn’t imagine myself wearing anything else when I kiss my amazing husband for the first time, but this.

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So maybe I’m a dress cheater? Nah, I’d like to think of it as beating the system. In that case, I don’t mind. It was absolutely worth it. 🙂 I didn’t think I would find anything the first time I looked, so I actually went alone. Convinced that it was too easy, I went with one of my bridesmaids to another dress store to check out that dress’ competition. While pretty…

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Some just couldn’t measure up.

What to do?? Gather accomplices, that’s what!

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ArtsyMom

IMG_0982ArtsyGrams & ArtsySis (Photo from previous shenanigans.)

… and POOF!!

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The dress was ordered in all of this beatifully draped even on a plus sized girl glory!

Now the dress is in and I was lucky enough to have my first fitting with 2 bridesmaids and both of my moms! (Mine and FMIL)

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I was feeling the love!

dressy dress 7My $10 shoes matched perfectly! Don’t you just love how stuff like that works out?

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dressy dress 15dressy dress 19And with my veil!! Now I just have to find a fascinator!!

How did you find your dream dress? Was it an easy experience, or was it more like a quest for a lost treasure?





The TUXES

10 06 2009

Hi there internet! I hope if you’re in Texas like me you’re all safe and dry, there’s quite the awful storm going right now, and we’ve been hearing tornado sirens!

Today I wanted to give you guys the inside scoop on you guessed it, the tuxes! (Hey, cheater! Who said you could look at the title??) 😀

I actually started thinking about tuxes back in January (read: freakishly early) when we were at a bridal show and checked out the booth for Mens Wearhouse. They gave us a deal where we put a deposit (like $10) and we get $40 off of each tux, plus their normal offer of getting one free. I pocketed my receipt and haven’t thought much of it again until recently. Russell is in another wedding and was going to have to go up to MW to get measured so I thought we’d just make the trip a twofer and pick out what we’d be using for our wedding. I talked to Russell about tuxes and realized that he was pretty open to different styles so I got to researching. While there’s nothing like a classic black tux to make pretty much any man look hansome, we wanted something a liiiittle less formal than an all out tux because we’re more relaxed than all that. While searching online and seeing lots and lots of awesome suits online, I fell in love with gray. Gray suits are vintage and very appealing. Lots of stars are wearing them right now so I think they agree! I pitched the idea to Russell and he was game so when it came time to pick ours out we knew just what we wanted!

Mens Wearhouse was nice and not pushy, they didn’t try to up sell a bunch of stuff we didn’t need or want. We were in and out of there in no time. They really kept it simple and with so much stuff flying through my mind right now for this wedding, simple is good!

Here’s what we came up with:

For Russell

TuxRuss

For the Groomsmen (I LOVE the teal!!)

TuxGM

For the Dads and Ushers

TuxD&U

So after our tux experience we’re very pleased. We came up with something that was different and classic all at the same time. I love it!





The ACCESSORIES: Bridesmaid Edition

5 06 2009

Hey everybody! I hope all of you are having a good week so far and if you’re planning a wedding I hope that is going smoothly for you!

As the title states, today’s blog is about bridesmaid accessories! You may or may not remember this image from my inspiration posts, but I absolutely love this look!

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I’ll start with the shoes. If you remember my shoe post you will know that I have strict guidelines for shoes. They have to be super cute, but still affordable. When faced with the task of finding shoes for four girls the stakes were risen for one already picky bride!

The Criteria

The girls will all be wearing knee length black dresses, so I wanted the accessories to offer a pop of teal, my other color to break it up and add a little something extra.

So my first task was to find some teal shoes for my girls. I found out that Payless offers some dyable shoes now, but they cost more than I wanted my girls to spend, and I thought the dye jobs they did on them looked AWFUL so that was out. While at Payless to check out those dyable shoes, I found these pretties.

shoes

They are really cute peep toe mary jane wedges in the perfect teal/peacock blue color. I was a little hesitant because they were patent and I wasn’t sure if my bridesmaids would like it. I kept looking but my mind kept drifting back to those peep toed beauties back at Payless. They were a gorgeous color and at $24.99 they were the perfect price, so I picked up a pair for Muriel to try on and see if she liked them. I got a call that night and she loved them, so I knew at least one bridesmaid had shoes but I still wasn’t sure if everyone would like them. Welllll three more bridesmaids later, they ALL liked them! It just goes to show I shouldn’t discount something before asking my lovely bridesladies!

Nextly, while searching for a feather fascinator to go with my veil I found some beautiful fascinators that were very bridesmaid friendly, so I knew I had to get these for the ladies… but not after I originally thought they wouldn’t wear them and then got proven wrong when I showed them pics and they all loved the idea. 🙂 The one I found that I liked for them was $90, so that was out of the question, my next thought was to DIY it. I bought the feathers I could find but had trouble finding all the feathers I needed and in the process I stumbled upon these beauties at this lovely new boutique that I frequent; Targét.

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I got 3 for the bridesmaids and found a slightly fancier one for the Maid of Honor at a convention of all places. I might add something to the 3 bridesmaid ones, I’m not sure yet, but I love both of the fascinators regardless!

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Now I just have to find my fascinator! I would also like do do a cute necklace/bracelet or cocktail ring for the ladies too.

Next Up: The TUXES!





The WEDDING NIGHT PRETTIES

4 05 2009

Hey there, girlies.

As a plus size bride, I don’t know about you, but I have had trouble finding pretty lingerie for the wedding night/honeymoon in regular stores. Cacique has some cute stuff but not much worthy for our special day, so I set my sights online to find some things for the wedding night.
I found a few different sites, but my favorite items seemed to be Fredericks and S&S. While a lot of the places I found online were chock full of tacky… trashy… gross stuff, what part of wedding lingerie translates to lady of the night for some of these people? And when they’re not totally gross, they look like grandma bras! Isn’t there a common ground between classy, plus sized and flirty? Relieved when I found a few pretty things on S&S, I ordered a bra/undies set and the customer service was great, the packaging was plain so it wasn’t obvious that it was underwear I was receiving… and it wasn’t even slightly old ladyish haha! When I got my them, it was even better than the picture and of suprisingly great quality. So I want to recommend them to any other curvy ladies on the lookout for a bra/underthings that wont get mixed up with something your grandma would wear. 🙂

While they do have a couple of raunchy items that I wouldn’t go for, they do have some cute things that I would. I was looking for something flirty-sexy and found some really nice goodies that were just what I was looking for.

Here are a some of my favorites:

ss1This one is very cute, I like it a lot, but I wonder if the fabric will be clingy and look weird on me since I have a less than flat tummy.

underthingsThis one is pretty and saucy! I like it. It isn’t old lady like, that’s for sure!

I am pretty sure one of these is where I’ll get my wedding night pretties, but I don’t know which one I’ll pick. Votes? 🙂





The VEIL

8 04 2009

One of the best skills you can have as a DIYer … is aknowledging when something is beyond your skills, something is best left to professionals, you wont be able to meet the quality you desire, or when you just don’t have the time for it!

I am pretty darn crafty, and sometimes straight up MacGyver like… and then there are times when I try to make my veil 3 times and fail miserably each time. 🙂 hehe
Well, maybe not miserably, but it just wasn’t coming out right. I found lots of good birdcage veil tuts online, and yes they were easy, but for some reason I’m super picky about how it lays on me, and mine just weren’t meeting my standards.

So starts the search online for an affordable birdcage veil that I love. I quickly found the haute couture Laura veil at Castle Bride. Her name was even Laura! It was MEANT to be my veil!

Laura Veil

They make lots of lovely veils and accessories and whatnot. The problem? Waaaaaaay out of my price range. I mean by hundreds of dollars out of my price range. The solution? My dear friend ETSY! Since the veil I found is kind of uniquely shaped, I couldn’t find one just like it, so I contacted YJ Designs. She makes some of my faaavorite veils on etsy, and is uber talented, so I asked her to make it. She agreed to do it for $45! and even though she is out of *Australia* she responded super quickly, and had my veil out within a day or two! Shipping took a little bit because I’m a cheapie and chose the standard post shipping and she’s on the other side of the world from me. 😀 I started to worry a little bit because it was nearing the end of the time frame she told me it would be here, and then BOOM! Right on the day she said it would be here, it was. 😀 I hastily but carefully opened the little box and squealed with delight!

Just look at this little beauty!

veil1Seriously… I love this veil. It kinda sealed the deal of reality to me. When I put it on, I heard the wedding march, and suddenly missed Russell a bunch and had to go give him kisses. I can’t wait to marry this man!

Giving in to not being able to meet my own picky requirements with my veil, really turned out to be a positive experience for me. I’m glad I gave in and let someone else take care of it. One less thing for me to worry about, and a little more time for me to spend with the Mr. 🙂

Have you had a DIY gone wrong turn out oh so right? 🙂





The INSPIRATION TEASERS- Hair, Accessories & Make-Up

2 04 2009

Why hello there! Fancy meeting you here! … or … yeah… nevermind. 🙂 So I put together some inspiration boards… or one big one. 😀 I am breaking it into 3 parts for your blogging pleasure!

Today is my hair, accessories & make-up inspiration. 

Hair & Makeup

I love love love these photos.
For the hair inspiration, I tried to find hair that is the same length as mine. My main inspiration pic is the top left one. She has the same color/length of my hair and she is also wearing the same kind of veil I will be wearing. I found this picture while looking for a veil actually. While this GORGEOUS haute couture veil is way out of my price range, I would love to point you guys towards Castle Bride where I found it. By the way, that veil is also named Laura. Which for those of you who don’t know is my name. Let’s just say it’s fate that I would find that amazing little piece of bridal goodness! I will blog more on the veil soon so that you know what I did to get this veil though!
I love the teal peacock feathers in the middle of the board which are by portobello.   They are insanely out of my price range as well though but again, I will blog on that later! Wow, I didn’t realize how many teasers this would present. The beautiful shoe on there is my bridal shoe, and it has a lovely stunt double for the other foot, of course. The fans are to die for! I love the black dresses for the bridesmaids with the fans and teal shoes. *swoon* I plan on having some gorgeous bridesmaids, by the way! I love the clean, sexy make-up on these ladies… more glowy and less overdone. I like to play up my eyes, and I think there are some really great pics on here that I could go by! 
I found all of these lovely pictures online with the exception of a couple that I took myself, so I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to claim anyone’s photo skills or anything, these are just for idea purposes! 
What fashion inspires you for your wedding day look?
Next up: The FLOWERS