Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Labels: Miss Mitchellville
Friday, June 27, 2008
As if planning my wedding was'nt enough...
Photos courtesy of Wardrobe Stationary
Labels: Miss Mitchellville
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Money, Money, Money!
My new favorite Michelle book is "Your Money and Your Man: How You and Prince Charming Can Spend Well and Live Rich." Michelle covers the many aspects of personal finance with a view to helping the reader (and her man) deal with one of the most common topics of couple disagreement: money. I've actually started making this my standard shower gifts for my close girlfriends because I found it so helpful for Mr. Fairfax and I. So, if you're looking for good advice on combining your finances this is a great read!
Michelle ran a wedding related column today with some great links to articles on how to talk about your finances with your intended and what topics to cover. Check it out!
Making a List and Checking It Twice
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
The Hunt for the Dress: The End (Seriously)
Since I was headed that direction anyway to visit my mom, I made an appointment to stop and see Holly and see some of the dresses at Blush. As I mentioned in my last dress post, sometimes you just have to find the salon that is the right fit for you, and Blush was the perfect fit for me.
Blush has set policies on the types of dresses they accept, so the gowns in the shop are currently in style and in excellent condition. Many of the dresses haven't even been worn (ever hear of the two dress bride?? Blush is familiar with quite a few). According to the website, there are generally about 400+ dresses in stock in sizes ranging from 2 to 24.
I started off my appointment discussing with Holly my budget and style of dress I wanted. We pulled about 10 dresses off the rack in several styles, most of them in my budget, a few above and even one below! I tried on all the dresses and ended up going back to the very first one I tried. After dancing about the store a bit (yes, I knew I had found a great dress and I had to celebrate), I put the dress on hold to think it over and be sure. I called back the next day knowing I had found my perfect dress (good looking dress+great price=Miss Fairfax's perfect dress).
I had a great shopping experience at Blush and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great dress at a great price, while still getting the bridal salon experience. I have not personally shopped at I Do~ Do, but if you don't want to drive down to Newport News, I would check it out. I Do~I Do also carry some retail gowns (Blush is exclusively consignment).
I plan to return to Blush after my wedding to hopefully consign my dress back. It would certainly be great to recoup some of the costs and also hopefully help out another bride!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
New Song for the List of "First Dance" Possiblities
I was driving down 395 yesterday afternoon (yes, in the crazy storm) and I heard the most charming new song from Jason Mraz, called "I'm Yours." I'm definitely adding it to my list of "Possible First Dance Songs" and at the very least I think it will make an appearance on our play list. If you like Ingrid Michaelson's "The Way I Am" or the Bill Frisell version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" (from Finding Forrester) you will probably enjoy this song.
Monday, June 23, 2008
The Hunt for the Dress: The Trilogy is Complete (Maybe)
When we left off in Part Dos I had come across a number of great inexpensive dresses at Macy's, Nordstrom, Nicole Miller, etc. However, I didn't want to completely discount traditional bridal salons. Even though I was 99% sure I would find my dress elsewhere, I kind of wanted the experience of going into a salon and trying on dresses (how many times in your life do you get to shop for a wedding dress anyway??). Plus, I thought it would be a really fun mother/daughter bonding activity.
I visited two salons in Northern Virginia--a friend and I kind of went on a whim, no appointments. Making an appointment is nearly always recommended though!! I also visited two salons in Southern Virginia with my mom. Both times it was a great experience. Trying dresses on turned out to be much more fun than I ever thought, especially with my mom there!
So here are some thoughts I have on salons:
- Just because you're on a smaller budget doesn't mean you have to avoid salons (this is what I thought at the start of my search). Different salons carry inventory in different price ranges. Some salons do carry inventory starting at $3,000, but others carry dresses beginning under $1,000! Do your research and find a salon that fits you. Price ranges are often listed on salon websites (check The Knot too). If you can't find it there, call the salon and ask!
- In my humble opinion, one of the top advantages of salons if having a LOT of dresses in one place. Sometimes the convenience factor can trump the cost factor.
- Depending on the salon, the owners or management may have the ability to drop the price a little. I fell in love with a dress at one of the NoVa salons I visited, but I knew it was out of my budget. At the end of my visit, I let the sales associate know I really liked the dress, but it was a little out of my budget. She spoke with the owner and they were able to offer me a 10% discount if I decided to come back and order the dress. I can't say if this is common, but it can't hurt to let the shop know you love the dress, it's just a little out of your reach.
- Don't discount sample sales (haha, just a little shopping humor). If your budget allows for the purchase of a pricier dress (say in the $3,000), a sample sale with discounts of 60% can be an excellent way to save on your gown. That'd be a $3,000 dress for $1,200! Also if you really have your heart set on a specific designer, and you've made the dress a priority in your wedding budget, sample sales can make it more do-able.
- Ask to see the destination wedding dresses! At one salon I visited in Richmond, I saw a wedding dress I just had to try on! It was super glamorous, lots of pleats, these gorgeous roses along the neck line. It was a dress from the destination wedding line of a very expensive designer. The price? $489! Many designers these days are making lines especially for destination weddings. The fabric usually travels a little better than say, a big taffeta ball gown, but that's the main difference. Most destination gowns I've seen are perfectly at home in a garden, a church, or a beach front resort!
Ok, this tale of the dress is quickly becoming quite the epic. Check back tomorrow for the final installment!
You have the ring on....now it won't come off!!
Saving on Centerpieces
The first is from the wedding of Anna and Jere as photographed by Millie Holloman
Vases such as these can be found deeply discounted at Save-On-Crafts, and Starfish, Sand Dollars, and other assorted shells can be found cheaply at sites like Sea Shell Co. and Quality Shells .
The other centerpiece was from the wedding of Vicki and Mike as photographed by Jennifer Dery
^ I have no doubt that this centerpiece was probably pricey if done through a florist, but it seems like something that would be simple to re-create as the use of actual florals is pretty minimal.
I think the key to this look is quantity....the more bowls used, the luxer the look. Your big cost will be the bowls ...but you can find similar styles at Save-on-Crafts, Ikea, and even some pretty nice (but more expensive) ones at target.
Cute but Comfy
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The Perfect DC Guy's/Girl's Weekend
Don't worry it's more then just monuments and museums. Each day is pretty jam packed and I think both lists will leave your out-of-town friends and locals alike with a good experience of DC. Don't be afraid to mix things up...personally I preferred most of the things on the "Guys" list to the "Girls" list!
The lists would also be good for your younger out-of-town guests looking for something to do during the rest of your wedding weekend.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Dresses, Designers, Oh My! How to Decide??
It's pretty nice being treated like a real princess, but after about 30 or so dresses I'd narrowed it to three and rank ordered them. I was more than ready to plunk down a pile of cash at Hitched on the very first dress I tried on, but Mrs. Rehoboth (aka Mom) insisted that I take some time to think things over and make the right decision.... A wise idea - or so I thought.
So, now I am left in a state of complete indecision... Help Fairy Godmother - and fellow blog readers!! Which is the right dress for me?!?!
Adrienne at LYC is just fabulous to work with and the club is BEAUTIFUL, it totally personifies me, us and what I want our wedding to be about. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a beach setting. It has parking, great facilities (indoor & outdoor) and a fantastic staff, including their hot-shot new 24 year old chef! His menu selections look DIVINE!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Cue the Mission Impossible Theme Song...
I'm off tonight for my first recon mission...I mean wedding! wedding, since getting engaged. It's kind of a big deal because:
a) it's the marriage of two dear college friends
b) it's the first cocktail wedding reception I'll have ever attended!
c) first wedding at The College
So safe to say I'm be taking TONS of pictures, probably shedding a few tears, and taking lots of notes.
Also, a little UPDATE on my flower experiment: I purchased the flowers around 11am Sunday, had them in water around noon and they looked GREAT! when I went to work yesterday morning, but by the time I got home last night the hydrangeas were definitely done. The peonies are holding strong ( I did pick 3 brown petals of one of the blooms, but with no detriment to the arrangement) and the daisies and roses look like they are in it for the long haul. The roses blooms were about half open when I bought them Sunday, and were full on open by Tuesday evening. Full disclosure: we keep our house at 70 degrees (Mr. Fairfax is my lil' space heater).
Thanks to Gary on Picasa for the picture of Wren
Cute Bridesmaids Gifts
A Clash of Cultures (and Colors)
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Going to The Chapel...
The invite is actually a tri-fold (see below), which I love because it's quite original. The design, as well as the wording inside is very J & S, warm and inviting! It's a truly personal invitation.
Here's a good view of the tri-fold. The extra "page" in the invite allowed them to skip the reception card and simply add the reception information directly to the invite. What a great idea!
My sister also had her wedding invitation done at The Write Place (I might have passed along the sis's recommendation to S...). My sister and her now husband went for a much more traditional invitation. I like seeing the two invitations together though because it really shows the range of options available.
Do you plan to go the DIY route on invitations or work with a printer? I think since I have a lot of time I may investigate making my own, but I'm still day-dreaming on that, I'll let you know when I decide!
Help Me Find Some Shoes!
I bought the below dress to wear to the reception and now I'm trying to find some shoes. I'd love to find some really fun blue shoes that go with the dress, but as that may be hard to find I'll probably have to go with silver. I'm looking for something that is 3 inches or less, has no ankle strap (i'm short, don't want to cut my legs off), and is the $100 or less range (give or take a few) has anyone seen something lately that they think would go well?
^Maggy London Cutaway Silk Chiffon Halter Dress
For the same wedding, I got this next dress for the rehearsal party the night before (OOT guests are invited). I'm kind of stumped for shoes for this one as well. What color do you think would go well and what style?
^BCBGMaxazria Cap Sleeve Jersey Dress
I've checked all the usual online places (Zappos, Endless, Nordstrom, Piperlime etc.) but still haven't really struck gold. Or maybe I missed something great?
Something From Cincinnati ( where my FI is from)
--We are thinking either a packet of Skyline Seasoning or Perhaps a Graeters Candy
Something From Upstate NY (where I am from)
--We are thinking home made small jelly from a local farm in our area or local home made candy
Something from New England ( where my dad grew up and his whole family is from)
Why Salt Water Taffy of course!
Than hopefully something from Ybor City ( Tampa, fl) where my grandmother and great grandmother grew up. I have to go to Tampa for work in August ( ONE MONTH before the wedding!) So my mom and I will look than on the exact idea.
We are then of course adding
--Water ( with custom labels we make)
--Treats packaged in our own individual bag ( closed with our own custom made sticker)
--- Visitor Guides ( we are already accumulating these)
--Maps ( already accumulating these)
--Other guides ( taking these as we can :) )
--List of wedding activities
--Personalized Thank you note
We are also thinking of including a small bottle of wine/sparkling wine from williamsburg, but that might be pushing the cost too much! Am I missing something blaringly obvious? We had wanted to purchase tote bags for everyone but the cost was escalating too quickly, so I believe we are going with these bags
They are only .50 each--and with 50 plus bags we have to be economical--We are still researching though-- but for now its this bag with our monogram sticker on it, of course :)
Monday, June 16, 2008
Center-Piece Test Drive
Our reception will be a small cocktail affair, so fewer people means fewer tables. The cocktail part means I'll have a few big 5 foot rounds, but I'll also have small cafe (2-seaters) tables and some cabaret (the tall bar type) tables. All this should give me some flexibility in the number and size of arrangements I'll need. So I've told you, now it's time to show!
All told, I spent $20 on flowers and I have a 18 blooms left over. I had the ribbon from previous crafty stages, but if I'd had to purchase it, I would've spent around $10-$12, mostly because I used two satin ribbons. It took me under an hour, start to finish, to put everything together. We're on day two and all the flowers are still looking good.
Thoughts? Does anyone else plan to try their hand at doing their own wedding flowers?
Our First Gocco Experiance...
So far we have the actual Invitation, which we got designed and letter pressed at Paper-Source ( which I will show you later) and we are in the process of working on the inserts--However, we decided that with my first shower coming up we should work on our Thank You notes--hence the first use of Gocco!
^ There she is looking Beautiful! We decided to do a simple Thank you note on Paper Source Luxe White A6 paper--We Photo-copied one of our invitations, cut out the design and turned it into our "master", along with a Simple "Thank You".
^ There is my handsome FI lining up the Gocco Screen--although I was nervous using the gocco for the first time, he was so good about helping :)
^ Here I am making the copy, do you see the excitement in my eyes ;)
-Thar she is all inked up, ready to be printed!
The First copy!! I loved loved LOVED how they turned out! The design is identical to our invitations---and I love the incorporation in the Thank You Notes! As I have said before, wedding planning has made me a DIY person, I do not consider myself crafty! However, if I can handle a gocco and make professional looking material, I believe anybody can do it!
^ As you can see they started taking over our kitchen! It was a great first Gocco experience, I look forward to using it more. Next up: Envelope Liners.