Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Wedding Dresses I Didn't Choose

Hi All!

I am so happy that I can blog about these photos I have been holding onto for months! Be prepared to see a lot of posts in the next few weeks about the wedding setup, the BIG DAY and our honeymoon. I have so much to share! But first, let's start at the beginning.

When I was searching for a wedding dress I made the decision early on that I didn't want to look at more than 5 places. My thought was that if I didn't set a limit for myself, than I would always be wondering "well I wonder if the next place will have something I like better?" and I would never find anything. So, I set the limit at 3-5 visits and I found a lot of dresses to choose from. Some good. Some bad.

The first stop was with my bridesmaid Kat, friend Nicole and my now sister-in-laws to a bridal boutique in Uptown Charlotte called Hayden Olivia Boutique. I was a beautiful place that you needed an appointment to get into. I think every girl should have an opportunity to go to a place like this and get pampered every once in a while. Unfortunately, I realized that a lot of the dresses were out of my price range but that didn't stop me from trying them on! This boutique held one of a kind dresses but a lot of them were not for me.









We made a 2nd stop at David's Bridal but I did not like many of the things I found there at all! Not really even worth taking photos of.

The final place we visited was a place in Concord named Jillian's Bridal Loft. I loved it here. You were the only one in the store when you were trying on dresses and you had an individualized sales person who was lovely.

There were several beautiful dresses here but it wasn't until the final dress I tried on that I truly found my winner.

First the losers...










This is where I found the winner though! I was able to buy a Soterro and Midgley gown a few sizes to big but they helped me to work with their seamstresses to get it down to my size.





More to come later!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Things I Have Learned Planning a Wedding Explained in Internet Memes







As my wedding planning winds down, I am finding that I have learned quite a few things in the process. These are things that I wish someone would have told me when we started or things that people did tell me that completely rang true.




You will realize how many absolutely amazing, hilarious and supportive people you know

If there is one thing that I have realized over the past year and a half of planning this event, it's that
things like this make you realize how absolutely wonderful the people are that you know. I have had co-workers, friends and family members go out of their way to do such amazingly wonderful things for Dwayne and I. They have thrown parties, given support and kind words, as well as, helping tremendously in the planning process. Some times it was just as easy as listening to me talk and making me laugh uncontrollably at something like my bachelorette party.

At the end of the day, it's so important to remember how wonderful these people have been and let them know how much it is appreciated. Thank you cards, Thank you gifts, or even a simple phone call or text message can really make the difference.

Everyone will have their opinion so set your boundaries

A wedding is an exciting time for a lot of people in your life, not just you and your soon to be spouse. Your parents, his parents, friends - all are excited for you and will all have opinions on what your wedding should be. Its wonderful and a lot of times you will ask for and truly value the opinions of others but there are times you will feel aggravated at everyone's "2 cents". Sit down, just you and your fiancĂ©, and discuss EXACTLY what you want your day to be as a couple and don't let anyone's opinions change that. Remember that the day is for the two of you and it should be what you want. (Within reason of course.) Figure out a way to respectfully thank people for their insight but be true to yourselves.

Also, be firm in your decisions once you make them. If you said No Kids, than the answer is No Kids. If your budget is for 100 people, then Cousin John can't bring the girl he met at the movies last week and make it 101. (FYI, neither of us have a cousin John simply an example)  I know that it seems like you are being inflexible but #1 you don't want to feel out of control of your own event and #2 if you let one person bend the rules than you may get animosity from others who don't get the same treatment. This is especially important when you are paying for your own wedding because adding people means additional expense and work in an already stressful situation.

Remove yourself from the "Negative Nancy's"
 
When you are getting married 99.9% of the people you meet will be over the moon for you. (I am so lucky to have a ton of those people who I love!) However, there are the very few "Negative Nancy's" that you will encounter. Negative Nancy's can be a few different types of people. These are the people who have maybe been married and divorced and hold a deep animosity towards marriage, telling your future hubby to "run while he can" or even questioning "why do people even get married in the first place?!" It might be the person who tells you all the reasons your wedding plans won't work or your ideas are stupid or not feasible. These are the ones that eventually give up at your ignorance of wedding planning, throw up their hands and say "ugh, whatever, it's your wedding..." because you had the audacity to suggest you might want to have dark colors for a spring wedding.
 
Get away from these people because they will put a kink into a time that should otherwise be very fun and happy for you and your future spouse. Don't let anyone Negative Nancy's get in your way! 

 
Your vendors will assume you are 3 seconds away from erupting like a volcano
 
I have tried very hard to ensure I am respectful of all of our vendors and their time, even when they weren't always with me. However, the one thing I noticed was that all of our vendors were in, what seemed like, a constant state of "calming."  They were very quick to reassure me or use calming language like "Oh but please don't worry... we will make sure that everything is perfect" or " Take a breath, I know this is stressful but we will take care of it."

This happened when I wasn't showing signs of stress or hadn't even spoken with them for months. I even had to reassure a few people "I know everything is fine.. I was just calling to see how you would like to take our payment? Can I pay using Paypal?" After a few calls, most of my vendors relaxed and even made comments like "You don't seem stressed out at all, you are pretty calm for a bride."
 
It bothered me at first because I didn't like to be treated as though I was 3 seconds away from erupting when I was actually quite calm and trying very hard to be respectful and organized but then I realized something. These poor people probably deal with Bridezillas and Groomzillas EVERYDAY! They have been screamed at, cancelled on and probably are used to having to gush over people to ensure there are no meltdowns. I noticed that they were much happier to work with a Bride who was calm, organized and together. So, I would suggest keeping your phone calls, emails and contacts to the minimum that you need and making sure that you are efficient and organized with them. I think it helps all parties involved. 
 
It is 100% true that it will go fast
 
When we got engaged, everyone said to us "enjoy it, it will go so fast!" and they were 100% correct. I can't believe how quickly this time has gone and now we are only 10 days away from the main event. It seems like we just got engaged a few months ago and now all the planning is finished and it's time to take the plunge.
 
Take a minute to enjoy the process, enjoy your friends and allow yourself to indulge in the once in a lifetime opportunity. Of course, don't go overboard but allow yourself to have a fun weekend at the beach with your friends for your bachelorette or allow yourself a night on the town after a hard week of getting stuff done. 

So basically, make the type of wedding that your husband or wife will look back on with you and have nothing but fond memories.