Aug 15, 2010
I only had 7 months before my wedding after I booked the venue, and had no idea that I was supposed to order my dress 8 months in advance. But this is how a tackled dress shopping.
1. Davids Bridal
My experience at davids bridal was just what I needed. I had a snow day and went in when the snow stopped enough for the plows to come out. It was empty. I was able to grab a bunch of different styles in all shapes and had my mother and BM grab whatever they thought would look good. I even grabed stuff that didn't look good. I think I tried on 10-15 dresses in less than a 2 hr period. This was great because I got to see the quality of the dress, the length of the dress and what color tone would look good on me. But most of all I narrowed down what I absolutely HATE. I also didn't feel as pressured to buy anything.
I had all my information entered, but the $50 charge if I missed the appointment & the prices of the dresses ($2000+) made me think to hold off until a see a cheaper dress shop.
2. Macy's Bridal
I didn't really know anything about this place, but just went because they had time open when I was available. The price range was still in the running and I did the same thing as I did with David's bridal, but this time I didn't bother with the stuff that I knew I hated after the DB trip. Again tried on 10-15 dresses, had the BM's try on a bunch of dresses too. Found one I like, and left without getting it. Yeah, I didn't get my dress that day. I waited for about 2 weeks thinking about the dress and making sure that was the one. And I kept looking online to try on other styles that might look better that I found on thier website. When I went back with my parents, I tried the one I loved first. Yup still love it. Then I proceeded to try on another 10 dresses and still liked that one the best. So that is how she became the one. I love my dress, and I still don't have any regrets with her :) Plus I made sure to go back duing the trunk show so I got 15% off my dress and another 20% off my veil.
Inspiration Board before buying
Find all the things you want and tally the cost up before actually buying! I wish I put all the images of what I wanted on a board to see how they would work together. I didn't really have time to do that, just bought as I saw stuff I wanted.
I didn't have a budget in mind, I just had the idea of "how little can I spend and make it look nice?" I paid for 80% of the wedding, and because I didn't have a budget I didn't think "well, I have $2000 more in the budget to spend on ***" I kept a tally of the total cost and was able to keep individual costs down. It also kept me from changing my mind from one thing to another.
DH(FI) is Useless
I absolutely love my DH, and I would never ever say my marriage was a mistake, but I totally thought how the hell is he going to be if he doesn't even help with the wedding stuff? Well, in my case the wedding planning was the part he wasn't interested in, and he still wouldn't be. But he does other stuff that needs to get done, and I have now learned wedding stuff is not going to be one of them.
The reception is really not about you (the bride)
It's about celebrating your marriage with others. Don't invite people you think wouldn't celebrate you being happy. Acknowledge those who come and give you a gift. I know there are a few guests who don't have manners, but usually someone picks up the slack for those who don't know proper etiquette. It may be your wedding, but what really matters is family and friends becoming part of your life through your marriage.
I love these!! My Aunts side in Japan was unable to come for the wedding but they sent me wonderful letters and my cousins sent me these!! They are so soft and cute and I can't believe they took the time to send them to me!! I love them so much. I think I am going to have them by the cake or our sweetheart table :) Yay!
These are my shoes! Miss Sixty on sale 3 years ago. I have had them before I got engaged, worn them (they have scuffs and stains) and love them!! They are leather which makes it comfy, and I can dance in them because of the leather sole and strap. for anyone that has a hard time wearing heels mary jane style straps and a nice thick heel is a lot more tolerable (also leather!) then wearing pumps with skinny heels. I got my FI approval on these before I bought them :)
Demetrios 4236! I wasn't sure about the dress but after trying on a few I ended with this one. I am hoping everything works out with this dress!
I couldn't find an image of my veil but it looks similar to this: it had some sparkle and a nice scalloped edge. My father pick this out and I had no saying in the matter...
All 4 of my BMs are wearing this dress. At first I was going to have a different dress for everyone and whatever stye they picked was going to be the dress (cocktail length and black) but after looking at many pics I decided I want color! They were going to buy a dress anyway, and they weren't going to wear them again anyway so I just went with what I wanted. I like how it has the same angle as my wedding dress :)
FI & Groomsmen tux
We went with a classic style with a black cumberbund and bowtie. I hope it looks good on all the guys! I am not really a vest lover so it made it easier to pick the cumberbund. I imagine it would be off before the reception stars.
My Mother's Dress
I had a hard time convincing my mother to wear something that didn't look too casual. She wouldn't go shopping with me (she didn't want to try things on) so I ordered a bunch of items knowing it wouldn't work. When I saw this dress I thought it would be perfect because her huge boobs (I didn't get any of that gene..stupid Japanese flat boobs..) were covered and the dress didn't make her look like a line backer. So happy I forced her top wear this :)
What is with weddings? There is so much that needs to be done, it costs tons of money and I work too hard for something that only lasts for one day. I love my FI and am happy he engaged me and can't wait to get married, but I am going out of my mind planning this event!! So things that I have learned about weddings...
1. Watch all the wedding shows to get an idea about what a wedding is.
I never watched wedding shows. I liked Say Yes to the Dress, but it was because I love pretty clothes. I was worried I would jinx myself if I planned a wedding before I got engaged. I think not having a clue before hand did keep my mind in check with reality (weddings can be anything you want it to be!) , but at the same time it did not prepare me for what is about to come. I think watching Bridezilla, and Rich Bride Poor Bride was quite informative. I learned that depending on what I want it will cost a little to a lot. It made me learn about what options I have for different things, with nice visuals and semi-informative price ranges. I also found out what I definitely didn't want or thought was ridiculous.
2. You need a lot a time to figure out stuff, and don't rush the wedding date.
My FI had a piece of paper with the dates his father couldn't work. The venue had an opening. I had 7 months to plan a wedding. I am no9t saying tis not possible, but be realistic. I looked at the venues first, and because we were only 7 months away and were not picky about the date we got a better price, but at this point the only thing I knew about weddings were "I need an officiant" and "Yum. Good food!". I didn't think about colors, people to invite, dress or anything else. These are the things I think one to consider before getting a venue.
Do you need to have a summer wedding? A special date? Then that should be the first thing you plan. Don't care? Ignore the date!!! Worry about it later!
2. Guest List
I honestly think this is the most important thing about a wedding. Make a mock up of the people you want there. Ask the parents the people they want. Be realistic. Think about who would travel and who might not. You will not get and exact number but this will help you in so many ways in the long run.
Who is paying for the wedding? How much can you spend? This will either expand or cut your guest list. Maybe a destination wedding? Open bar? Start budgeting your money to be under by 20%. Every guest is going to be a certain amount so if you have an idea for the guest list, this will help narrow some of that down.
4. Ceremony / Venue
If you budgeted, you can find out how much you can spend per person. The venue price will be the biggest out of everything. Make sure you have enough guests for the venue to accommodate. Make sure you can afford the price. If you love the venue be flexible on the date. Sunday afternoons are going to be cheaper then Saturday nights. If you are having a church ceremony think about if you can book the ceremony. In my case I couldn't find a church that would marry me on Sunday morning due to mass. (we are doing the ceremony at the venue). Also think about the cost difference if you have 2 locations. limo, flowers, officiant, dj etc is all going to change according to this. Remember what you want to compromise for the price.
5. What you are going to do vs. Hire someone to do
DIY is cheaper. But if you have a full time job and only have weekends, can you get it done in time? You know you can plan a great bash. But do you know the right people to get it done? Some things you can do on your own but may take a lot of time and learning before you can do it well and fast. Wedding planning, stationary, cake, favors, dress, can all be done DIY but are you going to be able to do them? Is it going to work out as well if you do them on your own? Please remember that somethings are worth hiring someone to do.
3. So now what? Get the date and send STDs!
STD are great. It gives people a heads up and makes them plan for your wedding. You get to find out which addresses do not work, and can casually contact people. I recommend some kind of STD's if your wedding is more then 4 months away, and if you are tight on money use postcards. E-mail can connect you with people and make sure they got the STDs. When come Invitation time, you will have a much easier time sending them out and I think this does (you will get a few odd balls) help with RSVPs.