Friday, November 30, 2007

LJ and DeWayne Engaged

I love photography blogs for so many reasons. I love to see current glimpses of the photographers work and I love to see my couples. Here is a shot from Borrowed Blue of LJ and DeWayne one of my "other" Nearlyweds. The shots were taken in NY a few weeks ago. I really love this shot in particular. Can't wait for their wedding this summer. Borrowed Blue is of course shooting that too. You should check them out they are awesome!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wedding Fun from Stella Marrs

I love these slightly irreverent postcards from Stella Marrs. Just order and print your info on the back with your home computer. $1 for 1, $15 for 20, or $60 for 100.

^If I was having a more casual wedding I would totally use this one for my Save The Date.

^This one would work as well

^Bachelorette Party invitation anyone?

^This would be a great invite to a shower (your own or mixed) ...or even to a bachelor party if guys actually sent invitations to anything.
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Before or After?

I've always had the picture in my head, walking down the aisle, FI seeing me for the first time, the look on his face, it gives me goosebumps thinking about it!However, after talking with photographers and reading other web sites I am starting to see the appeal of taking pictures before hand. Not only do you save time after the wedding, so you can better enjoy the cocktail reception with your guests, but if you are having a late wedding, you might have better lighting if you take the pictures early on.

What are your thoughts on this? Personally I think we will still be taking pictures after the wedding, but I'm interested if this is a new trend? Below is a picture I found that I think shows a positive aspectof taking pictures before the wedding.

^ This picture provided from Flickr I feel shows the brides excitement at seeing her groom for the first time that day, it is a great shot! It also all owes a sort of spontaneity and excitement that wouldn't be able to be captured in a typical church setting.

Keeping it in the family

Husband2be and I have become "those people" who call their pets their children. I KNOW. I never thought I would become one of "them" but it's happened and I have no idea how. You know what? I've learned not to fight the flow. I'm going with it. But as with anything, you can't always take it too far.

For as much as we'd like to have our cat AND our dog in the wedding, it's not going to happen. It would be... interesting? But, I'm not so interested (or obsessed) with making such a statement that would inspire some serious chaos. The two of them can barely be in the same room together let alone walk down the aisle for something so serious as a WEDDING.So in an effort to include, we are planning to have their likenesses represented in the form of plush animals that the two littlest members of the wedding party shall "escort."

A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to find a plush cat on ebay right around the time of Halloween (so convenient) that looks just like our all black cat!!! Here is a picture from the ebay listing.

I'm not sure that I ever took/posted a picture of the actual plush cat that I got but it's very much like our lovely "little girl." My only complaint is that the tail is this weird shape like that of a beaver - wide and short. *shrug* It's a small thing that is not worth fussing about in my opinion.

And then there's our lovely "baby boy" who we just adopted a month or so ago. He's a German Shepherd and can I just tell you what a time I've had trying to find a good plush animal that represents his likeness accurately??? You'd think that German Shepherds were common enought that I wouldn't have such a problem. Well... think again.

But alas - Earlier this week I was finally successful!!! StuffedArk.com has an extensive inventory of all kinds of animals and even a couple of different variations of plush German Shepherds! It's down to these two for me:

The top one comes in only a 12" version but our little ring bearer who will be holding it might not look right with something larger. It's $15.50 plush S/H but from what I've seen, that's a pretty decent price.
The bottom one is a lot more accurate in the coloring to our "baby boy" but it doesn't come in 12" and rather 16" or "10". The cat that I got is 12" so that wouldn't make any sense since the dog is already bigger than the cat. The 16" version would be $18.50 plus S/H but that's the best one for us so far, I think.
Whatever we end up with, I think using the plush animals will work well for us. The littlest flower girl will be carrying the cat and she is only 1.5 and the littlest ring bearer will be 3.5 and he will be carrying the "puppy." The two older ones will be carrying the traditional ring bearer pillow and flower girl basket. I will at least be tying ribbons on the plush animals to make them a little more decorative/"wedding-y."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Subtle Fox

If the below designs from Foxy Originals are too bright for your taste make sure you check out her more subtle pieces. All available at Snazzy Girl.

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Foxy Bridesmaid Gifts

I love this colorful jewelry from Foxy Originals. They would make great bridesmaid gifts and they come in so many colors it would be easy to coordinate. You can buy them at Snazzy Girl and I haven't seen anything over $40 so they are very reasonable.

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No this is not an inappropriate blog, this is the name of my salon. Bang Salon and Spa . The reason why I am sharing this information with you , is of course in case you are interested in finding a salon to do wedding hair/manicures/pedicures. The people here are very friendly, and its reasonably priced. It is located across from Rosa Mexicana across from the Verizon center, so its easily metro accessible, and you can grab a great dinner afterwards!

They have some GREAT packages I recommend trying out--one in particular that appeals to me and will probably appeal to you is the Bridal Bliss Package-this package consists of a 10 minute soak in one of the Japanese soaking tubs, an HOUR massage ( what bride could not use this :) ), a 30 minute facial, and then full attention from one of there wonderful hairstylist to find a style that works for you!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My kind of "glass slipper" - Part two

Converse have come such a long way since my days of being stuck with only high tops in the neutral shade!!! Some people have expressed distaste/disapproval up my choice to wear them but I think that they will be a lovely little surprise underneath my rather tradtional dress. And as a wedding photographer myself, I can tell you that they will help make for some lovely and memorable pictures. My photographers were THRILLED when they heard that I was doing this instead of something more traditional. Why by super classy when you can be super sassy??? One can never have enough sass! And don't even get me started on my inability to wear anything but "sensible shoes" these days. I have no idea how I wore stilettos for as long as I did in my younger years.

Anyway, it's come down to these last two pair. They are both completely different in style but I could see both working for me and my dress. The first pair was found on Zappos and the second on Ebay.

Now, I just LOVE these!!! In a crazy way, Converse has put a sweet little spin on their design that almost could make these look "dressy." They are the lace-less/slip-on kind but I would actually take some satin off-white ribbons to tie them up anyway. The stitching that they've used to detail them is just amazing! And, of course, as it goes - you pay for it!!! These babies are about $100!!!!! *raises eyebrow* Uhmm... I like them. But I don't know that I could justify paying that much money for Converse no matter how pretty they are.

Then there's these...

Not to kill the anticipation or anything, but I'm probably going for these. I found them on ebay and they will be somewhere around $40 with shipping/handling. But aside even from the price, I really love them. Why? Follow me...

  1. They are elephant themed. I have a secret thing for elephants. The only thing I can say about it is that I love them because they have incredible memories that are proven even by Science! Elephants mean a lot to me so to "wear" them on my feet on one of the biggest and most memorable days of my life? It's a big deal.
  2. The color combination is bright and happy!!! I liked the sheep ones but there's something about these that seem a little cheerier to me. And the brightness would work a lot better overall for the Spring wedding that we are having. Also - look at the additional laces they come with! Not sure that I would change them out but you gotta love the option of pink laces. Seriously!
  3. They remind me of something that I totally would have worn when I was six. Six was a very special age to me. It was also a time when I wore little pink satin Roos. These would have been my other sneakers that I would have worn on the days I didn't wear my Roos.

I have not placed my order yet but they are "buy-it-now" from a seller with a well established ebay store and I will likely take care of getting these within the next few weeks.

I'm still not a "shoe girl" by a long shot but I can tell you that I have really enjoyed looking at and choosing these. Have fun finding Your "glass slippers"!

Leah C. Couture Millenery

If you liked Jackpot76's wedding hair flower posted below make sure you check out the site of its designer Leah C. She has some beautiful wedding accessories. I won't lie...they are pricey (flowers will set you back a few hundred dollars) but they sure are lovely.

^ Style B18- $395

^Style B17 - $375

^Style PBM - $250

^ She also makes unique Boutonnieres for the guys. At $50 this is pricey compared to your average $10 boutonniere from a flower shop...but I see no reason why you couldn't pin this into your hair, which makes it a steal compared to the other hair accessories.
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Real D.C. Weddings

Another great Real D.C. Wedding popped up on the D.C. Knot board last night. Knottie Jackpot76 had a blue hued wedding at Woodend Sanctuary with subtle Asian accents. Check out her bio for all her great vendors and wedding advice, and check out her photo slideshow for some bigger images from her photographer Mark Bettinger at Rodney Bailey -Picture Perfect Wedding.

All Photos Below Credited to Mark Bettinger at Rodney Bailey -Picture Perfect Wedding

^Veil from MyWeddingVeil.com ; Hair Flower from Leah C in NYC

^Flowers from Petal's Edge

Hair Flower from Leah C in NYC

^Flowers from Petal's Edge
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Monday, November 26, 2007

My kind of "glass slipper" - Part one

I am not a shoe kind of gal. I'm much more a purse gal. But every time someone finds out that I'm getting married the third question that they usually ask me after what the date is and if I've found my dress is what shoes I'm gonna wear. Call me crazy but this isn't what I think about when someone tells me they are going to get married.

Anyway, I'm wearing sneakers. Yeah - you read that right! But actually, I'm not wearing just any sneakers. I'm wearing Converse. As it so happens, my brothers and I have grown up with a real "thing" for Converse. When they were still in their junior high and high school years they had a crazy wardrobe of any kind of Converse that were sold. And I, being the classic little sister, HAD TO HAVE Converse like them. Unfortunately, they only ever sold them in my size in the neutral/white color. But I wore them proudly just the same.

Over the years as my feet finally grew, I built my own lovely wardrobe of Converse stylings. My best/favorite pair so far is actually a pair that is made of bright red corduroy. *swoon* They are just about on their last legs but I still wear them and WILL. NOT. Pitch them!

So, naturally, on my wedding day... I'm wearing Converse! And my ring bearers (my brother's sons) will also be wearing Converse. :)

For myself, I have a few options (all are in the neighborhood of $45 from Zappos) :

There's also the possibility of getting some custom-made direct from Converse. They would be about $70 and I've already played around with the shoe designer online and come up with something that is a blue/green/yellow colorblock-type design. Could be cool but there's still a few more designs that I'm very seriously considering more than any of these.

Stay tuned...

Erin Condren Design

I really like the mailing labels over at Erin Condren Design. All her stationery is personalized, but don't think you have to limit yourself to just your own name you can put in whatever name or phrase you want and they will print them up. You could design a label with "Your Name & His Name" or "Your Last Name & His Last Name" and send them out on your wedding invites. Shipping labels are $30 for 23 so it would be an easy way to jazz up a boring outer envelope.

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The Dress...

So while Home last time I found a dress I loved it was at a boutique in Rochester, NY Julianas Bridal , if anybody is from the area or ever visits I HIGHLY recommend it, it is personable, unique and they have an amazing selection of dresses.

I found a dress there that I really think is going to be the one. I know I have said this before, but now I have tried on many dresses, and this is a feeling I have not felt before. The way it fits is amazing, the fabric is to die for, I literally felt like I was wearing silk pajamas, it is the softest fabric I have ever felt. I also just felt like a princess, but not so much that I wouldn't be able to dance or sit...anyways without further ado..here are pictures of the dress I think I will be purchasing in a month, My Mom and Aunt are coming to DC this weekend and we are going to make the rounds at the different bridal boutiques ( I will report back of course) but if I don't find anything comparable, this is the dress..


^It is very elegant and I am not sure if you can tell in this picture, but the buttons go all the way down the back of the dress. Also, the sash does not come with the dress, I tried on one with a sparkly brooch that looked amazing!

This Dress is a Monique Lhuillier

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Looks can be deceiving

As far as I know, cameras don't lie...

About an hour ago I did my (just about) weekly squeeze into my wedding gown. I do this actually not because I enjoy so trying on my dress but more so I can gauge my weight/size. I used to be the type of gal who could eat whatever I wanted without gaining an ounce but in the past couple of years I've lost the "girlish" figure I've always been known for and developed a shape a little more swervy and curvy. Honestly, I can't complain because I've always wished to be fuller figure than what my body seemed to allow me to be. And so it's worked out that way.

This past Thanksgiving meant two big meals for me - because that's what husband2Be's family does. The amazing thing is I'm not even a desserts kind of gal and so all I ate was just the main course stuff! But when you do that twice, well, it can get outright painful!!! I'm serious! After the second night of feasting, husband2Be and I laid down to sleep and were actually so full that we could barely breathe and get comfortable. It was not a restful night of sleep.

Anyway, today we're back home and my body is STILL recovering from being so ridiculously stuffed. Now, some people say that they don't expect to eat at their weddings but I am the opposite because we happen to be having a major feast planned of our very favorite foods ever for our reception. Granted I won't be stuffing my face but I do plan on enjoying the food! So this is why I've made it regular practice to try on my dress with a full stomach.

The crazy thing is that for as much as I thought I would be uncomfortable in/with my dress, it's actually still quite comfy. And however it's happened, the five or so pounds that I've managed to gain over the past month or so has made me more of an hour glass figure than going to the places that would make me look more like a pretty and lacy human sausage! There IS a God!!!

The right picture above is one I took in a mirror in my bedroom just a bit ago and the left is one my dad took months ago when my dress first came in the mail. The difference in how I look in the picture could be attributed to a myriad of reasons - angle of the mirror, him using a wide angle lens instead. Whatever the case, I recommend you try on your dress on a regular basis if you are one who is gaining or losing weight. Scales can tell you one thing but the cut/fit of clothing can tell you something completely different.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The verdict is in

"But the veil would look so much prettier with your hair up!" "I'uhm wearin' mah hair down 'cuz Jackson likes mah hair down!"

- Steel Magnolias

Hair debates finally ended last night for me. A couple of days ago I mentioned my recent indecision about what to do with my hair (so I can start looking for a stylist and do tests) and so I asked husband2Be what he prefers. "It really doesn't matter. You look beautiful however your hair is!!!" Won't he be just a terrific husband??? He's awesome! But in this case, opinions that feed my ego just don't cut it. I need to make some kind of a decision.

After some conversation he did end up picking an updo over leaving it all down. He knows little about my dress other than that it's very formal such that he can pull off a tux with tails! For this reason, he's said that it makes more sense for me to wear my hair up.

Makes sense.

So last night I holed up in our bedroom for the fifth time in probably the last two weeks to try on my veil with my hair down and then up.

I was happy with my hair down and the veil on. Definitely I would need some teasing at the crown and a really good blowout but it could work nicely. And I felt like my hair down framed my face a little nicer than when I have it up and it looks big.

Then I sort of pulled my hair back and piled it up. And I felt like it actually looked better. And considering the fact that my dress is strapless and has a sweetheart neckline and my veil is so full anyway (it actually has four layers if you include the blusher), the way it will come down around my face will frame my face similarly to the way my hair does when it's down.

Verdict: My hair will be up in some "classic and timeless" probably French twist-ish style.

One more thing down, and (what seems like) a million more still to go! *phew* Next up? Engagement pictures... I think.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Worth a Try?

Spotted on the Weddingbee Classified Board -
Free engagement/family portrait session in metro DC/Northern VA

I'm a loyal Weddingbee reader and a hobby photographer - my friends and I want to start building our portfolio for portraitures since one of them wants to move into wedding photography eventually and I'd like to do portrait sessions on the side. We recently started a blog, which includes a post on a portrait session for a co-worker, her boyfriend, and their dog http://www.withbigcameras.com/ You can also check out my flickr for my favorite pictures that I've taken http://www.flickr.com/photos/icygracy/sets/72157603020858232/ We are located in Northern Virginia and are willing to do a 2-hour engagement/regular portrait session somewhere outdoors in the metro DC area at a location of your choice. You just have to pay for our travel if it's more than 20 miles away from Tysons Corner. Please E-mail us at withbigcameras at gmail dot com if you're interested, thanks!

Edit: The listing will be closed after 3 couples/families have signed up. This is on a first come first serve basis!
posted by Gracers

Hey it might be worth a try. You can get a free e-pic session and they can get some experience. She posted the message on Tuesday, November 20 at 5 p.m.

Cyber Monday???.....!!!!!

I do believe I am feeling this. Now I must give the caveat that when I expressed interest in this to my techie-IT-husband, Mr. Nearlywed, he said "I would go for the drawings but not to shop online as some hacker is going to have a field day scooping up credit card information from everyone shopping on an open connection". He had a point, but I still think it would be much fun, even if you don't do as much shopping as schmoozing. I like it.

Monday, November 26th from 11am to 2pm

ESPN Zone at 12th and F Streets, NW

Shop.org is going to provide computers (or bring your laptop, they'll have wireless available), Internet access, a Catalog Center, and lunch! And every 30 minutes, they will raffle off more than $7,500 in gift cards from retailers like Barnes & Noble, Sierra Trading Post and Zappos.com.

So let's see... free lunch and all I have to do is shop online with the possiblity of winning stuff? See what I'm saying? Thanks to DC Concierge for the update.

With these rings... we do!

Last weekend we made a special trip down to my parents' neck of the woods to eat dinner with them and make payments on our wedding bands!

When we originally discussed wedding bands we decided that we wanted them to be a matching set. After a marathon "browsing" trip at several jewelry stores, we finally found exactly what we were looking for at Helzberg Diamonds. And as it turned out, we didn't get a matching set though we got bands that (closely enough) complement each other with their individual designs.

[top picture is courtesy of Helzberg, bottom was a random Google image search]

The top one is my band and it's actually a right-hand ring. My engagement ring is a completely original design (by us!) and so it was very difficult finding something that worked well with it. But we found the shape of the band to completely match the shape of my engagement ring. I'll wear my engagement ring on my right hand and my wedding band on my left - European style!

His ring is actually not the ring pictured but I couldn't find a picture of it exactly and the one pictured is close enough. It's two-toned and engraved with diamond-style cutting/engraving (see how it's shiny in some places? diamond cutting!) and the designs are likened to the filigree in my engagement ring/wedding band.

All together our rings were a little over $700 - his was actually six times the cost of mine!!! And mine was so "cheap" because it wasn't a wedding band. You know how it works with adding "wedding" to anything and the price gets hiked? Yeah! Be open-minded and consider right hand rings. *wink*

BTW - if I could offer a tip? Try on bands with your futureHusband!!! The styles you like in pictures might be far from what you like on your hands. Trust me - we completely were surprised by what we ended up getting but it turned out to be exactly the look that we were going for initially.