Friday, August 31, 2007

Getting There is only 1/2 the Battle

Perhaps I am picky. And I by no means want to be mean, for that reason I am putting out a disclaimer. This is an actual verbatim quote written by a bride on the afterthoughts of her wedding. I am not going to put where I saw it or who wrote it but I thought it was a bit much. Maybe it's just me but if these were the thoughts AFTER a terrific wedding, what was it like for all those around during the planning. Hopefully, she takes it all in stride and we're just missing that emotion because it's in writing. Hopefully.

1. I got my eyebrows waxed the day before my wedding on a whim. Big no-no, as I conveniently forgot that I was using Retin-A micro for my acne, and I got a huge-ass burn/scar in between my eyes. Major freak out here - I had a huge ass red scar smack in the middle of my face! Well the upper-middle of my face anyhow. Anyway, I was saved by the miracle of makeup. You couldn’t see it unless you got super close to me and were looking for it.

2. Two bridesmaids left their bride-issued footwear in miscellaneous places, resulting in one wearing flip flops in many of the portraits and the other wearing chocolate brown satin heels instead of my regulatory gold-strappy sandals - no biggie - on the day of the wedding I miraculously became a go-with-the-flow kinda gal.

3. The limo incident - the limo was very late picking up the boys, following an incident with the law and breaking into the limo garage. The driver was dressed like a skank (for a limo driver professional anyhow) and rude.

4. My aunt didn’t follow my detailed step-by-step breakdown of the flowers. The centerpieces were not in accordance with the bloom to branch ratio that I had envisioned. Many-a-thing was improvised NOT according to my plan - I had a split-second bridezilla moment, but then made a conscious decision not to be pissed until after the wedding was long over.

5. The hubby forgot to get a guestbook as I had previously assigned to be one of his only duties - he had to run to get one before the ceremony.

6. The favors were left behind and someone had to be called to rush to get the favors during the ceremony, and our coordinator was rushing to set them up during the reception.

7. My uncle got into a motor vehicle accident while turning into the ceremony venue - it was his fault.

8. One of my cousins decided it would be a good idea to dress as a skank to come to my wedding.

9. It was hot! The hubs was sweating like a pig! The minister joked about it being due to nerves, so it ended up being kind of cute instead of plain gross.

10. The aisle runner was left out at the ceremony site during the reception and it decided to monsoon. I had to dry out the runner in my garage for several days before it was dry enough to send back to the linen company.

11. During the “interview” portion of the wedding video footage, my mind went blank! The hubs, however, managed to pull out some really romantic stuff out of his ass at the last moment, making me look really bad. Bastard!

12. We tried to cut the cake together unsuccessfully - we accidentally cut into the faux Styrofoam layer upon the advice of someone (I don’t remember who) - they thought it was the 4th tier, but it actually the 3rd tier, which we happened to attempt to cut into. Makes for a funny story I suppose.

13. I almost couldn’t zip up my cake dress during the 1st reception (the short ABS dress) - I ate too much during the reception and forgot about how form fitting my second dress was. The food was THAT good!

14. I got my period the day before the wedding. I knew I forgot something - to start taking BC to regulate when my period was gonna be. As such, I was forced to wear big ugly undergarments under my ivory gown - big ol’ sexy spanx and boyshorts - hot, huh?

That’s all I can remember for now. I can’t wait to see my wedding video, whenever that happens to come in!

Target for Wedding Wear

Head on over to Bride - O - Rama and see the post I did on purchasing all of your wedding weekend attire from Target for less than $350.00
It CAN be done.

Forget Dispoable Cameras

Thanks to Miss Lemon over at Weddingbee for this idea. I Love it!

So many digital cameras… so many ways to get them from your friends and family! There is an abundance of websites that make collecting photos from others online quite simple, and it can often be difficult to choose how you’re going to do it.

After weighing the alternatives, I opted to ask my guests to submit their photos to Flickr for quite a few reasons:

  • I wanted anyone (including myself) to be able to download the photos in the full resolution
  • Personalized web address for easy viewing
  • Organization tools that let me rearrange the photos into sets and groups as I’d like
  • “Privacy” function for photos — they’d still be uploaded and available to me, but not to everyone
  • Super easy and reliable uploading tools
  • Easy way to upload all of the professional photos for viewing

So, I created an account with an easy login and password for our guests, and quickly paid the $25 upgrade fee to make it a “pro” account to allow unlimited uploads. At the wedding reception, I included the following small business card in everyone’s menu/evening program:


While it took people about a week to start putting their photos online, slowly but surely we started collecting hundreds of pictures. Each person uploaded their photos into little sets online with their name, which made things really easy to organize. I created photo sets like “Rehearsal Dinner” and “Reception (non-pro)” within the Flickr group, and easily extracted the photos from each person’s set that matched the themes. Then… I made all of their uploads private, and all you can see as a guest are the organized little groups.

Now some friends chose to publish their photos online with Picasa (aka. Google) Photo Albums, which was just as handy for me, since you can download the entire albums with a simple click. All I had to do to add them to Flickr was simply upload them from my computer… and I saved them the added task of doing it themselves.

In the end, I’m really happy I went with flickr and I’m sure I’ll be continuing to use their pro membership for years to come… mainly due to the unlimited storage and upload space!

If you’d like to see how well the album organization turned out, feel free to view our Flickr page.

My Calligraphy Obsession

I don't really need to say much more than that. I love paper, and this make pretty paper even prettier, it's like French buttercream icing....

Some Faves: Anne Elsner Atlanta GA

Crystal Kluge;

May+Belle Calligraphy San Francisco

Trash YOUR Dress???

We all love fads. Toss your beautiful bouquet, let a guy crawl under your dress, grab a garter and throw it at his boys, have cake smashed into your $250 makeup job etc. So why not Trash your dress??
For those of you who haven't heard, the latest greatest fad in weddings is to take the dress you spent four months looking for and several thousand dollars in wages on the day after your wedding and roll around in the water and mud.


Photographers have found a new line of business and for that I am not mad, I am all for new revenue streams, but I LOVE my wedding gown and to intentionally destroy it, to me, is like kicking the dog.

But c'est la vie.

Anyone living in Arizona check this out:

We have so much fun doing them that Darby Elizabeth Photography has teamed up with My Wedding Film to give away a FREE Trash The Dress session. Basically we are going to pick one lucky bride who will get a Trash The Dress mini-Film and Photo Session.

How do you enter? We want to hear some great ideas on how you would Trash The Dress. Send me an email at darby@darbyelizabethphotography.com with the subject line of "I want to Trash My Dress." The person with the coolest TTD idea wins.

For those of you that are local head over to the gals at Borrowed Blue they LOVE these sessions.

Candy Buffet Looking Shabby??

News Image

Candy from Best Buy Candy

BestBuyCandy.com (http://www.bestbuycandy.com/), launched in early 2007, offers discount candy and snacks to online candy shoppers who want variety and value. The business evolved from a family run candy store (Balboa Candy, Balboa Island, CA - (http://www.balboacandy.com/) when owner Steve Bodenhoefer decided launch an online discount candy warehouse business by offering larger quantities at significant savings to the consumer.

Best Buy Candy online candy store offers a range of quantities and selection. Customers can shop by categories (e.g. gum, mints, candy bars, novelty, sugar free, etc.) and by occasions (e.g. weddings, event planning, holidays, etc.).

BestBuyCandy.com categories include: bulk candy, candy bars, chocolates, gum, gum balls and gumball machines, jelly beans, lollipops and suckers, nostalgic, novelty, nuts and snacks, salt water taffy, sour candy and sugar free. You will find brand name candy such as: Hershey’s, Jelly Belly, Tootsie, Wrigley, Jolly Rancher, Clark, Nut Goodie, etc.

About Best Buy Candy
Best Buy Candy, Inc. (http://www.bestbuycandy.com/) is located in Costa Mesa, Ca. and ships anywhere in the U.S. via FedEx and UPS. Bestbuycandy.com also offers additional discounts based upon dollar amount.

Wedding Picture Contest Anyone?

PicturesOnGold.com is having a contest. The website specializes in custom laser engraving on high quality gold and silver jewelry is holding its first ever Hottest Wedding Picture Contest.

PicturesOnGold.com will be giving away 3 prizes in their newest contest, with an estimated combined value of over $1,000 to the top 3 people with the most popular wedding photos.

The contest is free to enter on PictureOnGold.com’s website, and is based on the viewer’s votes. Each visitor to the site can vote once per day on the photo they think is the hottest wedding picture of them all.

PicturesOnGold.com will be offering three prizes to the three wedding pictures that get the most votes. First place wins a 14k gold with diamonds laser engraved locket with their picture of choice engraved for free. The runner up will receive a sterling silver and diamonds locket with their picture of choice laser engraved for free. The third place finisher will receive a heart shaped pendent with diamond cut edges and their picture of choice laser engraved on it for life.

Visitors can submit new or old wedding pictures, the bride and groom can be young or old, this competition is open to anybody with a wedding picture that is interested in winning fabulous prizes.

The PicturesOnGold.com website will be the host of the contest for three and a half weeks, starting today and ending on September 27th 2007.

To enter the contest please visit https://www.picturesongold.com/contest/index.html

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Promise for the Savvy Bride

I've spent the last couple of weeks bridal gown shopping around the D.C. area. I've probably been to ten stores in all so I feel like I now know the D.C. market pretty well. I have two more stores to visit but I wanted to start blogging about some of the stores I liked the most.

I know that store recommendations are a highly personal thing and it all depends on the type of shopper you are and what your budget is - one girl's "attentive" is another girl's "annoying." Some don't like to be bothered while others want attention lavished on them during their "moment." So my loves might be your hates.

So far my favorite store hands down has been Promise for the Savvy Bride in Bethesda. They have a small but varied selection of gowns from unique designers ...I like the idea of wearing something from a designer that isn't all over the place (no offense Vera and Monique). On average their dresses are b/t $2,500-4,500.

I worked with Kori who was very down to earth. No snobbishness here. She was very comfortable to chit chat with. Most important to me, though, is a KNOWLEDGEABLE attendant. What colors does the dress come in? What fabric is this? Can this neckline be changed? Kori knew off the top of her head and she didn't have to look at the dress tag to know. I really appreciate attendants who know their merchandise.

They were on time for my appointment, I didn't feel rushed, I was allowed to browse through dresses myself and with Kori, and try on as many dresses as I wanted. Kori made suggestions and when I asked her opinion she gave it honestly.

So far my favorite dress was from this store (a Kori recommendation) and it is my front runner. Like all things weddings it is "a little more" then I wanted to spend on a dress which is why I've continued to look around. If I do find something I like this weekend at a better price I might have to forget getting my dress from Promise but I can honestly say if I buy someplace else I'll be disappointed I couldn't have bought from them.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Speaking of Venues...

D.C. based photographer Rodney Bailey has a gallery on his website for D.C. area wedding venues. He has pictures of almost FORTY different D.C. venues. I can't explain what a great resource this can be when you are looking at places. First it helps you think outside of the norm and consider places you may not have considered before but more importantly you can browse from the comfort of your living room. Narrow down your choices to the few you really like and THEN go do the visits. What a time saver... Just go to his website , click on "menu", then click on "gallery", and finally click on "Washington Venues."

Evermay ^

The Torpedo Factory ^

Halcyon House ^

National Museum of Women in the Arts ^
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Neiman Marcus...

First of all I have to thank Miss Capitol Hill for those marvelous pictures, they have me drooling at work!

Although I am waiting a few more months to start actively looking for wedding dresses, I have to admit I do manage to "peek" from time to time at different designers. One website that caught my eye was the Neiman Marcus's collection.

Personally, I am looking for something a little more classic ( full ball gown/A line). However, this collection would be great for women who are up to date on fashion and the latest trends.

One of my favorites :

Carmen Marc Valvo
Embroidered Wedding Dress

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Holland Photo Arts

In honor of Miss Alexandria finding a reception venue she likes I had to blog about my favorite photographers, Holland Photo Arts. Anne and Bill Holland are another husband and wife team who have won numerous awards for their photography. They are based out of Charlottesville but regularly travel to D.C. to photograph weddings. I love how they capture the everyday aspects of a wedding and make them look spectacular. I'm a sucker for vivid color in photos as well. Starting at $5,400 they are slightly out of my photography budget but when you consider that you are getting two very talented photographers I don't think that's a bad price at all. Many D.C. area photographers cost that much for just one shooter. They regularly update their blog and it is a great place to browse for wedding inspiration.

I know you are asking yourself "what the heck does this have to do with Miss Alexandria and her wedding reception location?" Well after I saw the pics of her place I remembered that Holland Photo Arts shot a wedding there last year. Check out this slideshow of Carrisa and Farrell's wedding at the Ronald Regan Building (International Trade Center) to see all the great pics you can get there.
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Crate and Barrel 60% Off Sale

Just a few neat things I came across at this little sale over at Crate and Barrel Outlet.
Stock up quickly. They are having a 60% off sale both online and at a Crate and Barrel near you.

Vases great for your sand ceremony or unity candle (thinking outside of the Style Box)

Ripley Hurricane $13.95 and Maxwell Votive $4.95

Emerson Hurricane $12.95

Mesh Candle Holders from $5.50

Jeanie Vase great for a centerpiece holder $9.95

Save The Date....

I am still not 100% sure of my wedding date yet, but I do know once i have that cemented down I want to send out a "Save the Date". There are so many different save the dates out there...

This place has Great Magnets

However we came up with the idea of sending out a post-card--Just go to one of the picture websites ( like snapfish) turn your photo into a postcard, inscribe on the back and ta-da!

This is a favorite image:

We found this to be an economical yet personal way to inform our guests of our impending nuptials.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cider House Rules!

Recently little bottles of champagne have become popular either as wedding favors, gifts in your out-of-town bags, or just a cute way for you and your bridesmaids to relax before the ceremony. Well I'm actually not a huge drinker and the church we are using forbids having any alcohol on the premises so so much for taking the edge off before the ceremony. I think a great (and cheap) alternative to the pricey champagne bottles are miniature sparkling cider bottles!

Alpenglow is a Virginia based, family run, business that produces five different varieties of sparkling cider. They sell to the public and they sell their miniature bottles as pictured below in a case of 24 for only $25 . That's only a little bit over a dollar a bottle. These would make great "welcome to Virginia" gifts in an out-of-town bag or cute favors to send your guests home with at the end of the night. Not to mention you won't have to worry about any DUIs.

If your colors are pink then the cute little pink bottle below would be perfect.

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Reception Sights

The wedding reception, the main part of this huge puzzle. After much consideration and looking at five different places in one day, my heart is set on the Ronald Reagan Building.

If you are a bride looking for the same things that I am looking for, I recommend looking at the pavilion room. It's open, intimate and quite stunning

The ceiling in the center of the room is an open dome,right above the dance floor--

Keeping my fingers crossed that we hear back from them this week, I'm pretty sure this is the place...One step down only 1,000 more to go ....

If you are having a larger wedding the Ronald Reagan Building has many rooms to accommodate all types of parties.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Art Deco on a Budget

If you are planning a swank evening affair or an art deco/20's inspired wedding then this dress by ABS Allen Schwartz would be ideal.

The price is ideal too - $498.00 at Nordstrom.

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Fiance and I started looking for wedding bands on Saturday. The first place I knew I wanted to go was I-Gorman Jewelers on 20th St. If you are a modern bride or you have a groom that is a little more cutting edge then the average guy then you have to stop by I-Gorman. They have the traditional bands too but they have a very wide selection of contemporary designs. These aren't your parent's wedding bands ;) Many of them are made in Germany or by other European designers and they definitely have the clean modern look that I go for.

I also really like the staff at I-Gorman. They do not work on commission so you never feel like you are being pressured into a sale. They are very forthcoming about alternatives to expensive platinum and they have a wide range of metals including steel, palladium, titanium, etc.

If you go I recommend working with Venita...she's extremely knowledgeable and has a warm and welcoming attitude.

For Her:

For Him:

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Ann Taylor...

Priorities...That's the first thing my mom said to me when she arrived in D.C. on Saturday, ready to give her wonderful motherly advice.

I know she's probably right, my first priority should be finalizing a date/reception sight/church....but dresses are just so much more fun to look at :)

With that in mind, I am in love with the Ann Taylor Celebrations collection! I have been a bridesmaid more times than I can count ( 7).....What is that saying "Always a bridesmaid never a bride", guess that's not true! Anyways, from my experience as the bridesmaid, I know i want to get my maids dresses that are comfortable, semi-fashionable, and hopefully they are able to wear again, oh and not insanely expensive.

Although I am a JCREW fan, I have to agree with Miss Capitol Hill, for the price they are asking, they just did not appeal. However, Ann Taylor is great. Since I'm having a fall wedding I've decided on Burgundy for the Bridesmaids, I love this dress--

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Annika Soremstan Will Wed.

Photo by: Scott Halleran/ Getty

Golf Star Annika Sorenstam Gets Engaged
The 36-year-old Sorenstam is engaged to boyfriend of two years, Mike McGee.

No date is set for the wedding, which will be the second for Sorenstam. She filed for divorce from first husband David Esch in February 2005.

McGee, once a top college pitcher, now works as managing director of the "Annika" business brand, which includes clothing, golf course design and a golf academy.

Congratulation Miss Adams Morgan!!

Or should I say Mrs. Adams Morgan. In a fantastically beautiful wedding at the historic National City Christian Church in Washington, DC. Miss Adams Morgan was wed. Pics to follow. I am sure she is going to want to give you all the details herself.


If you are a D.C. area bride and you haven't heard about Regeti's then you haven't started looking for a photographer yet! This husband and wife team are known for their crisp, colorful photos and their reasonable prices. They have also perfected the art of the boudoir photo session....so much so that they now travel around the country to do marathon sessions for groups of brides. I love the vivid colors below from one of their recent weddings. 3 of my bridesmaids are South Asian so I have a soft spot for colorful South Asian weddings. If you want to see more photos check out their blog. If you are interested in Regeti's for your wedding call quickly because this popular duo books up fast! My guess is that in another year or so they will be priced at the more expensive range because of their popularity.

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