Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dress Purchased!

Bought the dress! But you'll have to wait till the wedding day to find out which one I purchased! I don't want FI to accidentally see, sorry!

But I can at least tell you about the story, and the FINAL chapter of this journey.

When my mom decided that she wanted to come up for a weekend, I made sure that we scheduled it around the Watters Trunk Show at the boutique I bought the dress from.  I had finally decided that it was going to be a dress from the Watters collection, so I figured it would be really worthwhile to buy at a trunk sale, where not only were the dresses discounted, but the entire collection was available to try on, even the new Spring 2012 collection!

I have been stalking the Watters websites and all wedding-related blogs for months now, staring at the new collections, and they are gorgeous! I was so excited that I was going to be able to try on all these new dresses, and even better, that I could possibly be purchasing one.

So, with the longest list yet, my mom, FMIL, and I drove up to the little shop I once visited on my own to try on some dresses.  Turns out, we were supposed to get some serious snow, so the hour and a half drive took almost two and half hours, so we were a little late for the appointment, but they still let us in. Yay!

The first dress I tried on was from the new Spring 2012 Collection, WToo "Gwyneth."  Beautiful dress, with a stunning belt, but the fabric was kind of scratchy, and it didn't do all that much for my shape, so we decided to scratch it off the list.

Watters WToo "Gwyneth" / Personal Picture

The next dress was also from the new collection, Watters "Alexandra."  This was a beautiful dress, and I loved the skirt shape and layers. The only issue that we saw was that the raw edges of the fabric were fraying, and while the Watters Representative said that that would happen on the gown with a lot of handling, it was more severe on this one since it was a trunk show sample dress and has been tried on a lot and traveled a lot.  That still didn't really make me all that comfortable, so we decided to cross this one off the list too.

Watters "Alexandra" with Watters "Coco" belt in Vanilla Bean / Personal Picture

 Watters "Alexandra" with Watters "Coco" belt in Vanilla Bean / Personal Picture

The Watters "Chrissie" dress was one that really caught my eye during my Internet search. The shape of this dress was fabulous, and the look of the fabric flowers all over was gorgeous too. The downsides to this dress were that it was heavy, and almost fluffy, because the outer layer of fabric, where all the flowers were was very thick, so I felt that it made me look bigger than I actually was. Although, looking at the picture again, I am reminded of how stunning the shape of the skirt is!

Watters "Chrissie" / Personal Picture

Staying with that same shape, I tried on the one my mom and MOH E loved from Thanksgiving weekend, that way I could see it again and make a decision of whether or not I liked it enough to keep on the list, and FMIL hadn't seen it yet either, so this was an opportunity to get her opinion too.  I tried it on with the pickups rolled up again, but I also took pictures of it with the pickups down, since I didn't last time.  We also tried it with another belt, and that really made a difference in the way that the dress looked.  After trying this one on, it was still on the list.

Watters WToo "Yardleigh" with Watters "Coco" belt in Vanilla Bean / Personal Picture 

Watters WToo "Yardleigh" with Watters "Coco" belt in Vanilla Bean / Personal Picture 

Going back to the original dress I tried on when I first started my dress search, Watters had a similar one, called "Carmel."  I tried on this dress, and really liked it, especially with a belt with a little more detail in it, but ultimately, it really didn't do anything for my body in the behind shot, and I wanted something that flattered my shape.

Watters "Carmel" with unknown belt / Personal Picture

I told the consultant that I had also previously tried on Watters "Lasara" and liked that one, although it didn't have enough detail for me, so she brought out Watters "Malibu," which is very similar, except the flowers are three-dimensional and have small little beads in them that make them glitter.  I liked this one a lot, but felt it was missing something else. I couldn't pin-point it though. Also, like the "Carmel," it didn't do all that much for my backside.

Watters "Malibu" / Personal Picture

Since I liked that shape, the Watters Representative told me I should try on WToo "Desdemona" which was fitted a bit more through the hips, giving me a little more shape from behind.  I really liked the flower details on this one - it was similar to Watters "Lasara," except this one had flowers on the bust as well.  This was quickly brought to the top three on my list.

Watters WToo "Desdemona" / Personal Picture

Watters WToo "Desdemona" / Personal Picture

Another bride was in the shop with us, and came out with WToo "Camilla" on, and my mom immediately gasped at that dress. She asked the consultant to pull that for me once that bride was done, and so I tried that on after she was finished.  I liked the dress a lot, and had seen it online with the other new designs.  When I tried it on though, the fabric was very scratchy, and not soft, like it looked in pictures and in person.  Whenever I put my arms at my sides, the dress would scratch me, and you can actually see me in the picture trying to avoid that. So, even though it is a gorgeous design, it wasn't the one for me.

Watters WToo "Camilla" / Personal Picture

When making this appointment, I made sure to try on the dress I had been obsessing about for months, that way my mom could see it in person. And I did just that. I tried it on, still loved it and showed it to my mom and FMIL, since she hadn't seen it either.  My mom was finally able to see the potential that the dress had and how much I loved it. I mean, can you see in my face how much I love that dress?

Watters "Sterling" with modified waistband / Personal Picture

That's it for the dresses that I tried on, but I will tell you - the dress that I chose is in the pictures above. One of the top three that I narrowed it down to, but you will have to wait for after the wedding to find out which one it is!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Today is our sixth dating anniversary!  FI was working all day, and I took the day off to spend it with my mom since she came into town yesterday afternoon. We had dinner with my mom and FI's parents tonight, so it wasn't all that special, but we never really celebrate much more than a nice dinner anyway. It was still great though, AND it was the last dating anniversary we will have before we get married! That's crazy to think.

Anyway, today was a very productive day. Since my mom is in town this weekend, we have decided to do more dress shopping.  So, today, just she and I went to a few dress shops to see what we could find, and we found a lot.  The store that we went to had so many different dresses, and the nice thing about it was that you could look on your own through all the racks, and the consultant was there only if you wanted help.

We ended up pulling about twelve dresses, and some were immediate no's, so those didn't get pictures. The rest got pictures though. And I know what you're thinking...more dress pictures? I've tried on so many, and because of that, I've wanted to make sure I could get pictures of all the ones I thought looked good.  And I thought that I could share them, because, you know, what else am I going to use the pictures for?

So, let's get to the dresses.

First I tried on a beautiful ball gown that had gorgeous flowers all over the skirt, and a great pleated/ruched bodice with a sweetheart neckline.

 Allure 8866 / Personal Picture *Sorry about the timestamps - Mom forgot to turn that setting off on her new camera

The dress had some beading on the left hip that I wasn't really liking, so I tried it on with a belt and my hand covering it and it looked much better in my opinion.

Allure 8866 with unknown belt / Personal Picture

After deciding we liked this one better with the belt, we moved on to the other dresses.  This next dress looked really nice on the hanger, but really did not look nice on me.  It was an immediate no, as you can see I didn't even make it to the pedestal.  

Rina Di Montella 406 / Personal Picture *Sorry about the TERRIBLE face. I had no idea the picture was being taken

The next dress I tried on had the ruched bodice, a sweetheart neckline and a simple skirt, with some little beading under the bust line. It was very light, but the material seemed to be very thin and there wasn't enough oomph in the skirt for me, and it had a corset back, which again, I am not really a huge fan of.

Mori Lee 6725 / Personal Picture

Mori Lee 6725 / Personal Picture

This next one was my mom's favorite from the day, and while it had a lot of components that I wanted, the primary one that acted against it was the fabric - satin. I loved the shape of the dress and the ruching and sweetheart neckline, but the fabric choice was a big deal breaker for me.  I also didn't really care for the big bow on the back, but that could have been removed.

Allure 8919 / Personal Picture

Next, I tried on a dress that was waaaay too small for me, but I will post the somewhat embarrassing picture anyway.  This dress was a no mainly because of the shape, but also because it was a little too plain.  The skirt shape was somewhere between a column dress and an a-line, but it just didn't open enough at the bottom to look right.  

Venus Bridals 6705 / Personal Picture

We're going to call this next dress the booty dress. It was a liiiitttle too tight, but man, it made my booty look pretty nice.  I originally liked it because of the one shoulder and the little details on the strap, but, like the last dress, the skirt just didn't open up enough at the bottom.

Venus Bridals 6673 / Personal Picture

Venus Bridals 6673 / Personal Picture *Check out that booty! Yikes!

The last dress I tried on today was another mixed column/a-line not-enough-opening dress, and it was just ok. I didn't really care for the shape, as you know from the other dresses I tried on, but this one in particular had pleats in random places throughout the length of the dress, and I felt like they just seemed like mistakes and that the dress hadn't been pressed correctly. It also had a corset back, which I'm not going to show you, because the panel was missing, and so it's really open. In the end, that dress was removed from the list.

Alfred Angelo 2034 / Personal Picture *Sorry for the blinking

So, that concludes today's shopping trip. It was pretty successful, but I can't say for sure how I feel about the Allure 8866 until after tomorrow's appointment.  I'm happy that my mom and I decided to go look at some dresses at the last minute, but I am even more excited about tomorrow's appointment and what it could bring to the table.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stop Overthinking

I finally just came to the conclusion that the Save the Date is not going to be practical or appeal to every person on our guest list. I've had enough overthinking about this project, and something needs to go out, because we have had lots of people asking us about the wedding and when it is.

So, I've decided that I'm just going to use one of our engagement pictures and put some text over it, have it printed, mount it to cardstock and mail them off.  Simple, easy, quick, and while it may get lost in a pile of paper somewhere, at least we're telling our guests to mark the date on the calendar. It will do it's job.

So, here's what I have done with some of our pictures.  I'm trying to come up with something creative, and I want it to stand out, but I'm torn on the design.

Engagement Picture by Matt Ferrara Photography / Text added by self / Personal Image

Engagement Picture by Matt Ferrara Photography / Text added by self / Personal Image

Engagement Picture by Matt Ferrara Photography / Text added by self / Personal Image

 I need input! Which style do you like best? The one with the words on the picture, or the one with the words separate? And of each of those styles, which one do you like best? Would you send out more than one, and split up who gets which one?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Bling

So, as a reminder, this is my engagement ring:

Engagement Ring / Personal Picture *Again, please ignore the foot

Now, my engagement ring was ordered from Blue Nile, and was not a custom design.  When you order "standard" engagement rings from chain stores or popular companies, they are likely to have a matching wedding band. And, luckily for me, this one has one too!  Since I love to be matchy-matchy, here is the wedding band that matches my ring:

Image via Blue Nile / Engraved Micropave Platinum Diamond Ring

Gorgeous! I cannot wait to try it on and wear it permanently!

Before ordering my ring, however, we started looking at rings for FI.  FI's ring, has been a bit more of a trouble.  I used to sell jewelry from one of those home-sale companies a few years ago, so I took out my ring sizer, and got the measurements - size 10.5.  I found a plain band, also from Blue Nile, as FI did not want something too ornate, and wanted something similar to his dad's ring, just not in yellow gold.  So, we ordered this ring, knowing that Blue Nile allows returns if it doesn't work out:

Image via Blue Nile / Comfort Fit 3mm Platinum Wedding Band *Yes, I know this is the women's band. They don't have the men's listed anymore.

FI tried this on, and it was way too big, to the point where if he put his hand with his fingers down, it slid right off.  Turns out, that FI had Chinese food for lunch that day, and so his hands were swollen from the sodium.  So, lesson learned - don't eat Chinese food around the time you have your finger sized for a wedding band.  

Also, I thought that the band was a little too thin for his hand, and made it look to dainty. So, we compared the thickness of that band with a few of my right-hand rings, and determined that his ring would look better if it was at least a 5mm.

I contacted Blue Nile and they accepted the return - seriously, they are awesome. We ordered another ring for FI to try on, this time in a size 10, since that is what my ring sizer said was his size sans Chinese food.

We got this in the mail the next day, literally:

Image via Blue Nile / Comfort Fit 5mm White Gold Wedding Band

This ring width was so much better, but the size was still too big.  So, FI remembered, conveniently, that Blue Nile had sent a plastic ring sizer with my engagement ring, so he went and found that, and figured out that he could go with either a 9 or a 9.5.  Now that we had his ACTUAL ring size, we could order this ring in the size he needed.  Problem: this ring was being discontinued, and all sizes other than 10's were special order, adding a couple of hundred dollars onto the cost.

So, we haven't ordered his wedding band yet, and are still trying to figure out what to do.  Since we have so much time, we're hoping that Blue Nile comes out with some new styles that won't end up costing us an arm and a leg to have made, i.e.: special order and extra costs.

Has anyone else ordered from Blue Nile? Did your engagement ring come with a matching wedding band? If not, how did you decide on what you wanted?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

This Year!

Happy New Year!!

2012 - The year I will be getting married. I can't believe that I can finally say, "I'm getting married THIS YEAR!"

I hope you all had a great holiday. I took some time off from blogging to spend some time with family and enjoy the holidays.  Now I'm back with more regular posts, and I hope you enjoy reading them.

Happy Holidays! / Personal Picture
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