betterthanmama

WEDDING DATE:

Aug 15, 2010

betterthanmama
  • Last updated on July 18, 2011 at 2:09 pm
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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.

Trying on dresses photo 1Trying on dresses photo 2

 

1.5 Klienfeld

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.

Trying on dresses photo 3

  • Last updated on July 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm
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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.

No Budget!

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.

 

  • Last updated on April 2, 2011 at 5:16 pm
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This is from a post on the Forums.  I have edited some of my photos to increase the contrast and highlights on my pictures.  We "hired" my DH's father's friend, and I am doing the editing for our wedding book.  While being quite fun, it's annoying to be fixing other people's photographs... At least I like the pictures he took and the compositions are good so I'm not freaking out about fixing everything. 

Also having low contrast can be (somewhat) fixed in photoshop, but it's a lot harder to get the details back when a dress is completely white washed from too much light.  Blurriness can't be fixed.

Well here is an example of an image I edited.

before -> after

Editing Photos photo 1Editing Photos photo 2

Editing Photos photo 3Editing Photos photo 4

(hmm can't get it to look good when I upload it.  Looks a lot more crisp & not washed out when I printed it..)

The main this you are going to use in photoshop is contrast, levels, hue & saturation.  If you feel a little daring, you can curve things and also mask layers to have some things pop and others not.  Cropping can also bring a photo to life so don't forget to try and edit the image to have the best composition.

 

Here are some of the things I would reccomend for the best pictures.

1. Look at the photographer's pictures.  Some studios have multiple photographers.  Make sure you are getting the person you specified.  Also just in case the photographer can't make it for any reason, find out who they would call and look at that person's portfolio too.  Remember that a portfolio consists of the best work the photographer had taken.  Looking at an entire photoset of a recent wedding will give you a better idea of how your images are going to look.  Do you like photojournalistic style?  Do you like traditional posed style?  Country or bright contrast?  These are some of the things to keep in mind.  Photographers do not change thier style too much so stick to one that does what you want.  I mostly find younger photographer's do more journalistic styles, and the older ones (who didn't have digital camera's for most of thier career) do a traditional posed style.

2. If you want specific photographs, make a list (preferably with example pictures of how you would like it to look) and give it to the photographer a few months in advance.  He/she should ask you about time it may take to take these extra pictures.  If they don't, talk to them and make sure you allow enough time in your schedule to take all of the photographs.

3.  Family & Bridal party photographs are a pain in the butt.  Make sure you inform everyone where to be at what time.  If you know someone is cronnically late, make the time earlier for them.  I really don't reccomend trying to get more then 15 people into a photo session.  You will be hunting down that one person and waste your time.  It might be easier to go around each table and take a picture of the group, rather then have the people come to you. 

4. Get pitures from your friends and family.  A lot of people have a digital camera, and they will take pictures.  When you see them, have them copy the images onto a disk or flash drive.  You never know what beautiful pictures they might have!

5. Posture, posture posture!!! Every picture, every moment you should have your shoulders back (and slightly down).  Pull them back.  Trust me pull them, keep pulling them, until it's work to keep them there.  This will make you lose 10lb in every picture and you didn't even have to work out or cut calories.  Also arms slightly away from the body keeps your musles from being squished and make for a thinner arm.  This one I totally forgot to do, but I would reccomend it.

  • Last updated on August 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm
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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!

I got bean dogs from cousins in Japan photo 1I got bean dogs from cousins in Japan photo 2

  • Last updated on August 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm
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Shoes

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 :)

Wedding Attire photo 1

 

Dress

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!

Wedding Attire photo 2

 

Veil

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...

Wedding Attire photo 3

 

BM dresses

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 :)

Wedding Attire photo 4

 

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.

Wedding Attire photo 5

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 :)

Wedding Attire photo 6Wedding Attire photo 7

  • Last updated on July 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm
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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.
1. Date
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.
3. Money!!!
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.