Tuesday, May 25, 2010

wardrobe for my groom

the process of getting mike to look for and choose a suit was a huge struggle for me. i knew he wanted to wear a gray suit, and possibly a vest. after visiting men's warehouse over a year ago and being seriously unimpressed by the selection and even a little annoyed by the pushy demeanor of the sales associates (no, just because you don't have a modern cut gray suit does not mean we are going to change our minds and rent tuxes - thanks though!) mike lost interest and stamina in the hunt.

at first we were just so frustrated that no one rented suits since the modern man seems to be trending this way for special events -million dollar idea - why doesn't this exist?!

i found myself shopping for him online and holding onto my research until it had been long enough since the last suit nag (yes rationing my nagging - a great start to a marriage). we looked at zara, we looked at h&m, we looked at banana republic, express, and j.crew. the problem was this; we needed something affordable enough so that we could ask the guys to buy their own suits without putting them out too much. i was pushing express hard (they have these cute vested suits, and we still might go that route for the guys) and getting the guys their suits was one of the last giant check marks on our wedding to do list.

a little more than a week ago we went to express to try it in person - and it was cute - really cute - i thought we should walk out of the store with it and when we didn't mike finally said something that made me feel like an idiot and just embarrassed for not being more sensitive. he said that he wanted to marry me in something special. what a self absorbed bride? i have the balls to buy TWO dresses to feel and look good but i want him to settle so i can get it over with? how narrow minded of me. he wants to look like don draper. he wants to feel put together, sophisticated and sexy, and of course i want him to feel all of those things too.

the magic in this story is that the following day we went to check out j.press in harvard square - a coworker had recommended it to him after her husband found his suit there.

we enter j.press - a sea of ties, nautical themed belts, blazers with customizable harvard details and actual authentic nantucket reds. the boutique shop has been around for over a hundred years and dressed countless presidents while in office or still in their studies at the university. with very little information - color, time of year - the associate walks to a rack at the back of the store and pulls
out the perfect suit. modern, beautifully made, a gray that is not too dark and still not too summer for our september wedding, and trousers with a flat front. we finally feel like we are being taken care of by someone who knows what they are doing. as soon as the jacket went on, even over his green tootsie pop owl t-shirt i knew it was the one for him. i could tell he felt good in it and he felt like it was special enough to marry me in, a universe away from the others we had tried in the last year.

while the tailor fit him i checked out the accessories and found a tie that is just too perfect for our color scheme and overall aesthetic and mike loved it too. it has our orange, the blue to balance it, and even the cream to match my gown. we just bought one but i think we are going to go ahead and buy them for the other 3 guys as well. and now that my groom is squared away we are thinking that to save costs for the groomsmen we are going to have them just get a vest and slacks (possibly the express option above,) i think it will look cute for our rustic outdoor wedding - i love a guy in a vest with his shirt sleeves rolled up!

did any of you have a tough time finding the suiting for your grooms? if so how did you solve the problem?

summer of weddings, one down four to go

this weekend we attended the first of 4 weddings that are this summer besides our own. we actually have 3 in five weeks to attend or be a part of - pretty nutty. i'm sure you've all gone through some of this, being a bride-to-be attending a wedding is a very different experience.

First of all i find myself being overly emotional - seeing the bride for the first time pausing in the doorway on her father's arm the tears started flowing. not only was this bride incredibly beautiful but i couldn't help but think about being in her shoes since i am so close myself. the combination of emotion was overwhelming to me - i cried like a baby while mike laughed at me and jabbed me with his elbow (i secretly think he made fun because he was going through the same thing, with his eye on his childhood friend, the groom, as he paced around the church greeting his guests and awaiting his soon to be wife.)

The second thing unfortunately involved in attending a wedding as a bride-to-be is the critical eye. i couldnt help but critique the decisions the couple made and compare them to what i would do, the bridesmaids looked fantastic in grey gowns all wearing different fuchsia pumps to coordinate with the hot pink gerber daisy's and roses in the otherwise green bouquets; the traditional catholic ceremony, though long, was really nice and for a moment a questioned the sacrifice that may be the weight of the moment for our relaxed set up - will it loose some of the emotion that the seriousness of a church setting holds?

both the bride and groom come from big families and paid for the party themselves which meant a few sacrifices - the open bar ended very early, even knowing their situation it still becomes a topic of conversation when you are told you need to start paying for your drinks, especially if you arent prepared for it. the sit down dinner made me feel confident about our decision to go the buffet route. i personally feel like you get trapped at your table for a long time as you wait for the courses to come out and i felt like before we knew it the night was over and i was just tasting the dessert. one thing they did that i thought was smart though, was not have a cake! we all got a piece of delicious cheese cake (cinnamon graham cracker crust - yummm) and i never even noticed until i was eating it that there was no cake in the room for display and cutting - and i dont think anyone else noticed either - a great way to cut some corners and save some cash i thought.

the other big enlightenment came at the after party. a small number of friends went back to the suite of rooms that the bridal party had been staying in for some relaxed budlights while the girls changed out of their dresses, the guys took off their ties, and we all took our heels off. it's so nice to get to actually spend some time with the bride and groom when they are done being "on" and the major saving grace - foood! it doesnt seem possible after just eating a big meal that you would be hungry again but five hours of drinking and socializing brings out the munchies. the group had trays of italian food - meatball sandwiches, lasagna - left over from the rehearsal dinner and it was a life saver. since we are also planning an after party in the hotel pub after our reception we had thought of making sure there was food available, but we didnt realize how much we needed or how important it was. now we're planning on ordering some trays of sub sandwiches and a stack of pizzas to be safe (especially with the way mike's guy friends can eat!)

are you ladies attending other weddings this summer besides yours? how are you handling it? any revelations?

Friday, May 14, 2010

get up for my girls

we are having a small wedding party to keep a simple feel to the day, keep the organization of all the bodies simple, and in all honesty keep the choosing between friends simple. we decided to basically just have our siblings stand by our sides when we say i do. my sister, his sister, my sister in law, my brother, his brother, and his boyhood friend. pretty easy.

since we have such small parties i thought i would pick a color range on J.Crew for the girls and let them decide which dresses they want since i'm not into matchy-matchy so much and the hodgepodge look would support the relaxed feel we are trying to create for our day. well, turns out when everyone is trying to be polite no one makes a move or at least thats what happened with us, so we ordered a few dresses for my sister to try on (matron of honor) and decided we liked one - done. had the girls order, they all seem to be cool with it, they weren't a fortune, and they dont need alterations! hooray!

this is what they are wearing, the much fallen back upon by brides throughout the blogosphere - the silk chiffon juliette from j.crew.

so, now that they all have the same dress i decided i was going to use jewelry to add a pop of color to the blank palette and use it as an opportunity to give them each something a little different. through three separate vendors on etsy i found three necklaces that are all very similar, have a vintage and handmade feel, but are all different.

from esty vendors sora designs, botanical bird, and aphrodite888. nice huh? i am really happy with each of them, i think the one with the blue will go to my sister to set her apart a little. the overall image is starting to come together now isn't it? very exciting stuff.

now i need to decide what else to get them. i was thinking about different cardigans since it will be september, or wraps, and then there is purses, but maybe i shouldnt give them another "wedding thing" what do you think? what are you giving your girls for gifts? are you giving them wedding accessories as a part of their gift? is that mean? should i give them something completely for them? i feel like when i have participated in weddings in the past i have had a mix, undies/cami sets, jewelry, nips, eye masks and pj's - i guess i'm just kinda stuck. i'd love to hear what you all are doing for some ideas!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

selling the dress

well...it wasn't the easiest thing i've ever done, but i have put my original gown up for sale on preownedweddingdresses.com. though I'm over the moon about my new dress I did live with this gown for a long time and it IS beautiful, it will be bittersweet to see it go (but i hope it goes!)

if any onlookers know someone it might be fitting for please help pass the listing along! thanks!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

...and songs

can you tell i've been hashing out the ceremony details lately? i'm telling you it's from removing the dress remorse road block!

well, i knew what i wanted to walk down the aisle too for a long time, and mike chose what he wanted for the recessional months ago, but we didnt know what to do for when the girls and moms walked down the aisle. i thought we didnt need to pick anything at all and that our pre-processional mix could just fade into my song, but we've been thinking about having a bit more control lately (could just be another symptom of being engaged FOREVER.)

there are so many sappy love songs we have on the long list to sort through, Forever from Ben Harper, Do You Remember from Jack Johnson, Grow Old Along with Me from John and Yoko, but this week it hit me (ok maybe it was on the drive home while on my dress high). i dont want a sappy tear jerker of a love song as an entrance to my marriage i want a celebration of love and happiness, because that is how i feel when i think about marrying mike. i think about shouting from the top of Mullholand Drive, spinning with my arms out looking at the stars and laughing so hard i end up in a ball on the floor, overflowing with joy. which is why i am starting to lean towards All You Need is Love rather than any in the current pile.

am i going overboard with the "special songs?" have you chosen all of your songs?


mike and i knew we were not going to have the most traditional wedding ceremony with it being in a field rather than a church, not to mention it just not being very us, we felt we were freed up from sticking to the Corinthians (though i do love it) for one of our readings. and really, after walking down the aisle to a whiter shade of pale a passage from John just didnt seem to fit.

that being said some of the moments i am most excited about are the readings we chose to include in our ceremony. the first one we knew we wanted right away, though we thought it was hair brained, but were so excited when our officiant supported us without hesitation.

since mike and i met in film school, are suckers for romantic comedies, and were friends for over 8 years before we started dating, we couldn't imagine not including that special passage from when harry met sally in our wedding.

Harry: I've been doing a lot of thinking. And the

thing is, I love you.

Sally: What?

Harry: I love you.

Sally: How do you expect me to respond to this?

Harry: How about you love me too?

Sally: How about I'm leaving.

Harry: Doesn't what I said mean anything to you?

Sally: I'm sorry Harry, I know it's New Years Eve, I know

you're feeling lonely, but you just can't show up here, tell me

you love me and expect that to make everything alright.

It doesn't work this way.

Harry: Well how does it work?

Sally: I don't know but not this way.

Harry: Well how about this way. I love that you get

cold when it's seventy one degrees out, I love that it takes you an hour

and a half to order a sandwich, I love that you get a little crinkle

above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts, I love that

after I spend a day with you I can still smell your perfume on my clothes

and I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go

to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because

it's New Years Eve. I came here tonight because when you realise you want

to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of the

life to start as soon as possible.

Sally: You see, that is just like you Harry. You say

things like that and you make it impossible for me to hate you.

And I hate you Harry... I really hate you. I hate you.

(They kiss and make up.)

the second reading came to us as the perfect solution to our first dance song debate. mike discovered through his own channels how played out the song he had been attached to was in the hipster community and let is go. the compromise that i had been mulling over for some time was that the song could work really well as a poem - as a song it's almost a love letter - and we could include it in our day as a part of our ceremony. it will be read by a friend who is very dear to us.

Bright Eyes "first day of my life"

This is the first day of my life

I swear I was born right in the doorway

I went out in the rain suddenly everything changed

They're spreading blankets on the beach

Yours is the first face that I saw

I think I was blind before I met you

Now I don’t know where I am

I don’t know where I’ve been

But I know where I want to go

And so I thought I’d let you know

That these things take forever

I especially am slow

But I realize that I need you

And I wondered if I could come home

Remember the time you drove all night

Just to meet me in the morning

And I thought it was strange you said everything changed

You felt as if you'd just woke up

And you said “this is the first day of my life

I’m glad I didn’t die before I met you

But now I don’t care I could go anywhere with you

And I’d probably be happy”

So if you want to be with me

With these things there’s no telling

We just have to wait and see

But I’d rather be working for a paycheck

Than waiting to win the lottery

Besides maybe this time is different

I mean I really think you like me

Monday, May 3, 2010

a tale of serendipity and persuasion

do I have a story to tell...

this weekend my girlfriend andrea who lives in LA was in New York and it happened to be her 30th birthday so i made the trip into the city to see her and attend her party saturday night.

well, saturday morning before i hopped in the car for the 4 hour drive i caught up on my wedding blogs and while doing so stopped by Green Wedding Shoes as I hadn't been there all week. well, when i saw this post about the new bridal boutique called Lovely in new york that carries some of the most drool worthy designers of the web and etsy i found myself back at designer Elizabeth Dye's blog longing for a dress i have been trying not to think about for months now.

I reread the comment i posted in january on the persuasion dress (see link for photo, not posting to save mike from peeking!) while meditating on the fact that i still feel the same way about my gown and this dress.

cut to a 4 hour car ride alone to new york. i keep thinking about this dress. "forget it, i should just order it, i wont not like it will i? but no, it's a lot of money to send out over the internet because of a pretty picture and i already have a dress that is just fine. but wait, i am actually on my way to new york at the moment, new york where less than 3 weeks ago a boutique that might have the dress in the store opened."

i call mike. "sweetie, i think i might buy a new dress." i thought you have a dress. "i do but i've been thinking about this one dress and i really love it and it's simpler and more natural and more handmade feeling than the dress i have and there is a store in new york that might have it so i might be able to try it on tomorrow before i come home." can you afford it "well it's more than the dress i have but it's affordable" well go try it on and see honey, do what you want.

ok. im going to see where the store is, if it's in brooklyn or something that i can't get to easily i'll forget it but if it's close i'll stop by. i wonder what andrea is doing tomorrow?

when i get to the city and the place i am crashing in soho i break the news to andrea who is available to shop on sunday and helps me find out where the store is, is it open? is it near by? do they have the gown in store? can i walk in? it's only blocks away - holy cow. it's open - holy cow. i call and leave a message to see if they have the gown and i can walk in - no return phone call.

after an amazing roof top patio birthday celebration and a morning after hangover brunch in the meat packing district andrea and i walk the 4 blocks (yes only 4 blocks, in a city as big as new york how is it possible it's only 4 blocks away!) to Lovely.
we walk into the darling enchanted garden level storefront into an oasis of handmade bridal bliss and are greeted by Lanie, the owner. i tell her that i don't have an appointment but i'm only in town for the day and just want to try on one gown. she had received my message and tried to return my call but got the number wrong and with a smile brings me only feet to see my persuasion hanging peacefully from the exposed pipe fixture that is the quaint and stylish garment rack. in front of it hangs so many of the other beauties i had seen only on webpages, sarah seven gowns, oh my - they are even more beautiful in person.

with a smile Lanie brings us up to get me into the gown as i retell my story of the gown i've been questioning, the trip to new york and the notion of being compelled to try the dress to either get it out of my mind or confirm that it might be the one for me. vintage luggage and birch branches complete the perfect ambiance of the space and i'm glowing just being there.

the dress is on and its perfect. all of those opinions i had about "the one" not existing when it comes to a piece of clothing disappear, it was all because the dress i had already was not the one. i feel like myself but beautiful, i look tall and thin and pretty. my girlfriend karina is en route so Lanie lets us hang out while she measures me and i make a phone call to my mom. i was afraid of hurting her feelings, afraid she would think i'm nuts or spoiled - and she probably does - and afraid about spending the money, but she says all of the things i could only hope for - it's your day, you're the bride, you should have what you want, my feelings aren't hurt we got the other dress because you loved it not me. i tell her that the dress is similar to the one i have but without the embellishment and without the fullness in the skirt, i feel like myself in a beautiful dress and in the other one i feel like i am dressing up in a bride costume. i have the ok as karina walks into the room.

Lanie comes back and celebrates with me about the understanding of my mom - she is so genuine. dress comes back on, karina and andrea agree it's perfect. i mention a flower in my hair and Lanie magically produces beautiful accessories from lo boheme and ban.do for me to try - again - these puppies are more beautiful in person. the quality of each is really impressive - they are all over the web for a reason and i can't get over the concept of this magical place i'm in where all of these digital dreams materialize.

so that's it - long long long story short - i have a new dress. two of my closest girlfriends got to be there with me for the experience. and i am revitalized and so excited to get married again, i didnt realize it but the anxiety about my gown was wearing on my whole bridal experience - the anticipation had turned into anxiety and i had thoughts such as "oh well, if i dont look good at least no one will tell me to my face because i'm the bride" i feel like i've exhaled. and i can't help but RAVE about Lovely anyone in new england who has ever thought about one of the designers they have but was hesitant because of not being able to see it in person - pack up the car and make the journey it is absolutely worth seeing these beautiful pieces in person.

here she is for those who'd like to see MIKE NO PEEKING: http://elizabethdye.blogspot.com/2009/12/no-4-persuasion.html