weekend of productivity

…until about 9:00 Sunday night, when it came to a grinding halt. but, we’ll start with the beginning!

On Friday night BM E came over and we went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. O. M. G. Love me some Harry Potter. Everything about the books (and movies) is just so transportive and whimsical. It’s such a complete break from reality for a few hours into this believable, wonderful magical world. Yes, I agree that there were aspects of the book that should definitely have been more at the forefront of the movie… and some of the snogging could have been on the cutting room floor. But overall I was enchanted. It probably helps that I haven’t read the book since it was released in… 2005? So my memory on the details is not so keen. And I still believe that Alan Rickman as Snape is one of the most brilliant casting choices in modern cinematic history, up there with DDL as Daniel Plainview (I! DRINK! YOUR! MILKSHAAAKE!)

Anyway. On with my weekend. On Saturday morning we met two of the other BMs, K and A, at the bridal salon to pick up the bridesmaids dresses! Yes, they are in! And the not-so-helpful folks at the salon didn’t bother letting us know until I called to inquire about their whereabouts. But, neither here nor there. We have the dresses! Unfortunately, my sister/MOH was unable to make the trip up, so I picked up her dress. Therefore, we sadly do no have a photograph of her in her dress. But not to fear – she will be in town NEXT weekend for my FIRST SHOWER! And I will force her to do a fashion show at that time.

The dresses are absolutely gorgeous – the color is exactly what I wanted, and all of the ladies look fabulous in it and love their dress choices. A few minor alterations are needed for each, but thankfully nothing drastic. (BMs K and A need to have their dresses cut from floor length to tea length) Without futher ado, I present… the lovely bridesmaids:

BM K, lucky enough to have me take both front and rear photos, because she has an oh-so-lovely bow on the back of her dress!

BM E, it’s unfortunate you can’t see her face because she was SO happy about her dress. (She’s actually going to be wearing it again, for another wedding!)

And lastly, completing my trio of v-necked bridesmaids, BM A

I think this post has gotten long enough… you’ll just have to wait for the next one to find out what ELSE I did on my oh-so productive weekend… and the bummer ending!

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hi, my name is kate

…and I’m an Etsy addict. It’s gotten to the point where J doesn’t even ask me what’s in the boxes that get delivered anymore, he just leaves them on my desk. Most of the stuff I order is small, so our mailbox often has a bulky envelope or little wrapped box in it. The problem with Etsy is that it caters to all of my shopping weaknesses – crafts, accessories, supporting independent businesses and artists (particularly women), easy online ordering, and customization. Combined with the fact that I’m in the midst of planning a wedding, and thus have a need for lots of cute small crafty things… it’s just a big recipe for trouble.

Take for instance, my wedding day earrings. No, I can’t show them to you, because I don’t know which of the FOUR PAIRS I’ve purchased off of Etsy I’m actually going to wear.

But I CAN show you all four. 🙂

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This pair is the original set that I bought when I bought my necklace. They are beautiful and simple, and I got them because I wanted something that would let the necklace stand out. Unfortunately when I tried them on with everything… you didn’t even notice them.

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These two pairs are vintage clip-on earrings. I love them because my earring holes are really really sensitive, and wearing one of these would eliminate the chance that I’d infect them. I haven’t tried them on with the dress and my hair up yet, though, so I’m not sure if they’ll be too heavy around my face.

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This is a handmade pair with vintage elements (on the bottom). They look really nice with the vintage element on my necklace. The rhinestones on one of the elements are a little askew, but I actually think that gives them some interest. (And, by extention, would give ME some interest!)

Which pair do you think I should wear? Or should I go back to Etsy for some further earring shopping? Have you been indecisive about any wedding day accouterments?

the lovely ladies

All of my wonderful bridesmaids have picked out their dresses. In what might be record time, no less. We had an appointment at a bridal shop that carried After Six dresses at 10:00 a.m. a few Saturdays ago, and we were out of the shop, with all of the dresses ordered, by 11:15. Tell me that’s not amazing.

When we got there and had a chance to look at the color swatches in person, it turned out that the moss was a much deeper green than we’d been expecting. However, the kiwi color was almost exactly what we’d thought the moss would look like! So we ended up ordering the dresses in kiwi. We are doing tea-length dresses, two girls (MOH and BM E) picked dresses that are already the right length. BM K and BM A both selected long dresses, but the lines are really simple and they will be able to get them hemmed easily. I am thinking about using some of the extra fabric then to make a pocket square for my bridesman, so he’ll “go” with my side of the party a little better! My sister (MOH) picked a strapless, sweetheart neckline, which will go great with my sweetheart neckline that I’m having put in my dress. She’ll also stand out from the other three, as they all picked v-neck dresses. The four look fantastic together.

And here they are!

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big day bling

Once the venue was selected and my dress was purchased, I turned my thoughts towards wedding day accessories. I love so many different styles of jewelry and bridal fashion, so I found it a bit difficult at first to pin down exactly how I wanted to fancy up my look. I realized that although my dress is beautiful, the something extra is what will really set my bridal image apart. In thinking over the decisions we’d made and the ideas we have for flowers and decor, I realized that while we don’t technically have a “theme”, we do have a “feel” that we’re going for. The three best words to describe it are classic, vintage, and rustic. So, I decided that I wanted the main feature of my accessories to be ivory pearls.

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Pearls are the ultimate classic bridal accessory, and ivory would complement my dress. But, I didn’t just want a regular strand of pearls. While classically beautiful, for me, too traditional. I wanted something that would really stand out. So I looked at multiple strand necklaces, pearls that were twisted together, different sizes of pearls. But they all seemed to be lacking something that made them pop.

So I did what I always do when I have a vague concept that I can’t quite visualize. I went to Etsy. I typed “bridal vintage pearl” into the search field and moments later… I had almost 40 pages of results! I noticed that I kept being drawn to the same couple of Etsy shops. I loved the variety and vintage style of the work at BelleNouvelleDesigns, especially her vintage combs, like this one:

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The pearl cascade earrings by JMGJewelDesign also made my heart skip a beat:

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But it was all over when I saw the multiple strand pearl necklaces adorned with vintage brooches by seller PenelliBelle. Before I show you the piece I picked, take a look at these beauties that she currently has for sale… (hurry over though, they won’t be there for long!)

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Okay, I’ll give you a moment to stop drooling.

Now, I realize I may be partial, but I think the most gorgeous necklace is the one that I landed. I realized when I could not stop staring at it that I had to have it. And yes, it is even more stunning in person. I present, my bridal necklace (made with not one, but TWO vintage brooches!):

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Your chin is on the floor, right? 🙂 I wanted to ensure that I had accessories to match it before I bought it, so I messaged the seller, Lindy, to see if she could make me some earrings to go. I wanted a pair that wouldn’t compete with the necklace, since it makes such a statement, but that also matched it. She was completely helpful and accommodating, and made me these fantastic rhinestone stud, drop-pearl earrings!

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She was even able to add a few inches of pearls to the necklace for me, for a very minimal charge. Everything showed up quickly, more lovely than in the photos, and I have no doubt that this gorgeous bridal set will become a family heirloom. I warned Lindy that I may very well be back for a bracelet and/or hairpiece! I cannot wait until October when I get to wear it!

men in tuxes

Moving along, as though I haven’t been MIA for the past three weeks. (Oops!) Last weekend J and I headed to our local Men’s Wearhouse to pick out tuxes for the fellas. We wanted something traditional but not too stuffy looking. We also knew that we wanted vests and Euro ties (neckties). I didn’t want to pick green vests, my concern being that it would be too matchy-matchy with the bridesmaids dresses.

We ended up picking a two-button, notched lapel black tux. J will wear an ivory vest/tie/shirt to match my dress. The groomsmen will wear “latte” colored vests, which is really a light brown/tan color, with ivory shirts. They had chocolate brown vests, which is our other color, but we didn’t like the way they looked with the black tuxes. Our fathers will wear black vests/ties with white shirts. I think the resulting look is pretty slick and matches our rustic/natural color scheme pretty well.

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bridesmaids (and their dresses!)

Now that I’ve finished asking all of my wonderful bridesmaids to be in the wedding (and they all said yes!) I figured an introductory post was in order. First, there’s my maid of honor. This was never a position that was in doubt, the obvious choice was my fabulous younger sister, A. A is easily one of my most favorite people in the world. She is funny, sweet, gorgeous, and not to mention, she’s one sharp cookie – she’s in her first year of law school AND being my MOH! 😉

Next we have BM K, who I went to college with. We pledged our sorority together and have been pretty much inseparable since then, miles apart be damned! K is smart, practical and gets my zany sense of humor. She’s also in the middle of planning her own wedding right now! Then there’s BM E. The only people I’m still in touch with that have known me longer than BM E are my family. We went to kindergarten together, and we’re just as close as ever almost 22 years later! She is super stylish, creative, outgoing and one of the most supportive people I know. She’s a graphic designer and will be designing our invitations! J’s sister, BM A, rounds out the lovely ladies. We actually went to college together, but didn’t realize it until J and I started dating. BM A is outgoing, fun and always up for an adventure – whether it’s going to Costa Rica for two years with the Peace Corps or checking out disco night at the local skating rink!

Last, but most certainly not least, I will be having a BridesMAN, as well, my dear friend K. J and I are actually sharing BMan K between our parties. He’ll be doing the pre-wedding fun with the guys (so, bachelor party, not bachelorette party) and then standing on my side the day of the wedding. BMan K and I met in college and hit it off right away. He’s wicked smart, creative, hilarious, and quite the mastermind in the kitchen! (BMan K and BM A are planning to have a cupcake bake-off!) Even though he now lives several states away, we are still in very close touch and he and J have become good friends as well.

We’re planning to go dress shopping for the ladies the second weekend in March, when MOH A will be home from law school on spring break. Thankfully, the rest of the girls are local! (Obviously, we’re not dragging BMan K dress shopping!) I’m planning on picking a designer, color, and length and then letting the girls pick their own dresses. They all have very different body types and styles, so I want them to select something they’ll be comfortable in. Right now, I’m leaning heavily towards Dessy’s After Six line, tea length, in moss green. The color is exactly what I’m looking for, and the collection is expansive enough that I think each of the ladies will be able to easily find something she likes. My plan is to look up bridal stores in the area that carry the After Six line, and make appointments at several of them, and we can keep our eyes open for any other designers that pique our interest while we’re shopping. I also like the European celadon color by Bill Levkoff, but he has a smaller, pricier selection.

Just to give you an idea, here are a few of the many dresses that they could select from the After Six collection…

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so…

I BOUGHT A WEDDING DRESS!!!! Wheeeee! (J, darling, if for some reason you’re reading this, please stop. Now. No, really. Stop.)

I’m so excited, and terribly sad that I have to wait 4-6 months for it to come in. I want to wear it noooow. It’s Demetrios style #GR 131. I don’t recommend looking it up on their website though, because the photo on the model doesn’t look anything like the actual dress. I tried the sample on in white, but then went back to look at the ivory and ended up ordering the that. It’s a gorgeous, really soft ivory color – almost off-white.  Unfortunately the ivory sample was itty-bitty and my boobs didn’t fit into it. They’re hoping to get in a larger ivory sample size this week, so I may go back and try that on, just for giggles.

Here’s a pic of me in the white sample (don’t mind my poor PhotoShop attempt to erase my bra straps…)
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…and here are a few of the ivory sample…
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We’re planning to make a few alterations… first of all, that flower thing (which you can see on the white dress) on the hip is going to come off. I’ll probably replace it with a brooch of some sort. Also, I’m going to have the neckline made into a sweetheart, and add some kind of off-the-shoulder sleeve. I just love the rouching on the bodice, and the organdy overlay, and the way the edges of it are sort of flowy and wavy (I’m told that the technical sewing term for that is “lettucing”.)

Sigh. Happy Kate!