Tag Archives: dream wedding

Dressed to Impress: the Second Go-Around

Our first dress excursion was during my summer break from school.  After not finding THE DRESS, I anticipated waiting until winter or spring break from school before I tried on any more dresses.  And then I got an email from The Knot about a “local” boutique, which was having a Maggie Sottero trunk show.  I hoped they’d have my dream dress, and made an appointment on short notice.

MOH PT came with me, and we checked out this small boutique, CK Bridal Boutique, which I think has since closed.  We met with Connie, who was very helpful and gave me some great advice, which was to ask about certain options offered by the designer.  For example, Casablanca had some gorgeous dress offerings, and they will do customization (ie., creating a sweetheart neckline, or adding straps, changing details, etc.), which was a huge draw for me, since I couldn’t seem to find anything that was perfect as-is.

Sorry for the blurry cell phone pics, ya’ll.  Super mega apologies, too, for not having any links to what these dress styles were!  I think they were older styles of Maggie Sottero and Casablanca and I couldn’t find similar ones online.

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This one is a little more of a mermaid than I tried on before, and we modified the neckline to be a little more of a sweetheart.  It didn’t woo me, though, so we moved on.

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Another satin gown, which was pretty much the only one that satisfied my love for bling, but not lace, and not at all what I wanted.

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I categorized this one with the tiers of lace into the “tablecloth lace” category, so it was quickly vetoed, even if it had some pretty characteristics, like the scalloped edge on top.  It just doesn’t say “wedding” for me.

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This one was probably the best option of this stop.  But it didn’t have bling and it didn’t have anything special for me.

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It may have had a little something to do with the fact that this sample was gigantic on me, but I thought this one was awful.  I think this is an old Maggie, but I could be wrong.

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To finish on a high note, this one had great beading, lace, sweetheart neckline.  Overall a really nice dress.  But I still didn’t love it.

It was really at this stop that I started realizing that I really just wanted what I wanted.   Connie asked me if I had picked a dress already, and I said “No, but I have a dream dress.”  and she said, “then you’re just going to keep comparing everything else to that dream dress.”  Such obvious words, but she was so right.  The reason why nothing was working for me was because I was trying to compare these dresses to what I had in mind… even though that idea was totally different from the dresses I was trying on.

It was time to quit trying on other dresses for the sake of trying on different styles, and time to buckle down and try on the dresses that I could see myself wearing!

I did a little more online searching, and loved this Maggie Sottero dress too.

Lorie by Maggie Sottero

This dress fit all my criteria – straps, lace, bling, a nice (small) train, slim fit.  Although, I don’t really have pronounced shoulders, which means that straps slip off my shoulders fairly easily.  Almost as annoying as strapless dresses.  I’m really just not made for dresses!

I even thought about something with sleeves, to help my straps/strapless issue.

Theda by Maggie Sottero

But for now, MOH PT and I packed it up, thanked Connie for her time, and with no plans for dress shopping ahead, went back to the drawing board.

Did you have someone point out an obvious truth to you while you were shopping?  Was your dress shopping a multiple day experience?  Did you have to go back to the drawing board?

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Finding a Venue, the Decision

Once we came to terms with our budget and ran more numbers on my ridiculous budget spreadsheet, we had some more long discussions about what we wanted to do with our wedding.

I was surprised to hear that Mister P had fallen for the Outdoor Garden at Phipps.  I always loved the idea of getting married outside, but weather in Pittsburgh is pretty unpredictable, and I didn’t want to stress about the weather, so I didn’t think getting married outside was a realistic option for me.  Though it is beautiful.

Outdoor garden AND a fall wedding! Photo via Panoramio by Suzana Lee Trapuzzano

 And after the ceremony, the new Mr. and Mrs. can take a “love walk” through the garden…

Outdoor garden / via Phipps

The more I thought about the wedding, though, I realized it really doesn’t matter to me whether the wedding is inside or outside – I’m going to stress about the weather regardless, because that’s just the way I am.  I might as well take my chances on a beautiful garden wedding, and potentially have to get married on a sidewalk under a tent as a plan B.  Obviously that option is less than ideal, but at the end of the day, I’ll be married to the love of  my life, and I’m trying to keep the whole thing in perspective as I stress about the details that don’t really matter. 😛

Continue reading Finding a Venue, the Decision

Finding a Venue, Part 2

So I narrowed it down to 3 choices, and made appointments to visit Phipps Conservatory and the Mayernik Center.  The North Park Boathouse didn’t have an email, so I would have to call to set up an appointment.  I’m not ashamed to say that actually having to call someone is a serious deterrent for me.  *shrug* Gen Y, lazy.  So  make that 2 choices.

Thankfully, I had the good sense to schedule both visits pretty close together so that, if we loved the first venue, we wouldn’t have long to wait before we could see the second, and then we could make a decision!  It was definitely a good choice, because all of the details were fresh in our minds, and it made October “wedding month” for us!  Somewhat coincidentally, it also marked the 2-year mark from our intended wedding date.  I say “intended” because, well, things change. 🙂

First up was Phipps.  We had an appointment to visit Phipps’ Garden Center first, which is a smaller, more casual area that only holds 100 people.  I thought that would be okay for us, since Phipps was pricey anyway, and we would be limiting our guest list already.  Once I saw the Garden Center, though, it was immediately ruled out.  We visited on a Sunday when it was set up for an event, which just so happened to be the brunch of a wedding held at the Conservatory the night before.  The set-up wasn’t a deterrent, but the overall look of the Garden Center was just NOT what I wanted.  It was too casual for what we want our reception to be (ironic, since I think we’re having a casual wedding, but this was more “jeans” casual), and it was just too small.  They say it holds 100, but it looked to me like over 60 would be pushing it, and there wouldn’t be room for a dance floor with that many people there.

Continue reading Finding a Venue, Part 2

Finding a Venue, Part 1

The first wedding-related research I started was for our venue.  I knew that finding and booking a venue would mold the rest of our decisions – the date, the guest list (kind of), the vendors, but most of all, the feeling of our wedding.  I never really considered our wedding to have a “theme” other than “our wedding,” so finding the right venue with the right feeling was of the utmost importance.

When I started researching venues, I used all of the online tools I could find… in a few minutes.  You see, I don’t have the most patience, despite my obsessive need desire to make sure that I do thorough research before making a decision.  I googled wedding venues in the area, scoured recent weddings of friends on facebook, and looked at all of the local venues on the Knot, WeddingWire, and WeddingBee.  Nothing really stood out to me.  But there was one place in which I always dreamed of getting married…

This has been my dream since long before a wedding was on the horizon, since before I met Mister P (Master P?), and probably even before I thought about anything else wedding-related.  I just knew it was a gorgeous place, and a wedding there would be to. die. for.

Needless to say, it’s a pretty pricey option, and one that I was pretty sure was out of the budget.  So I put it on the back burner, chalked it up to being  just a dream and moved on with my research.

Continue reading Finding a Venue, Part 1

We’re having a wedding!

I might as well get this out of the way fairly early on.  Most of my free time (which is severely limited) these days is spent thinking about weddings*.  After nearly 5 years together, we are engaged and planning a wedding.  Because of my current status as a part-time grad student, full-time employee, part-time employee, and all around busy bee, we’ve had a longer-than-average engagement.  We got engaged in March 2012 (nearly 2 years ago already!?!), and are getting married September 20, 2014.  I’ve always wanted to get married in the fall.  Fall is my favorite season – the weather, the smell, the colors, the pumpkin-flavored-everything (not gonna lie, I just baked some pumpkin cookies), cozy sweaters, comfortable slippers and warm blankets!  I’ve always liked the idea of getting married in the fall, and anticipated incorporating my favorite flower into the wedding.  I have loved tiger lilies since I was in high school, and dreamed of having tiger lilies and orange dresses in my wedding.  As the wedding draws nearer, many of those dream ideas have gone by the wayside, as so many are wont to do.  If you’re interested, stay tuned to find out how things change when life gets in the way!

*  Many of my future posts will probably focus more on wedding details, because I don’t want to bore my fiance, friends & family with the minutiae, but need a place to vent.  Hopefully doing this will help me sort through my thoughts and even keep track of details over such a long planning period.  I also want to use this as a place to display my trials (and errors) on all the little things that I intend to DIY for the wedding, without posting it all to my facebook. 🙂