Monday, August 22, 2011

A Little Update

Wedding planning has slowed down lately. I think I've gotten over that initial obsessive hype of constantly looking at wedding magazines/blogs/books/websites. My brain needs a little break when everything starts to look the same.

I've ordered a couple of fun rubber ink stamps from Green Garden Stamps on Etsy, including this one
It's so cute! I can't wait to do all kinds of fun little projects with it, such as our save-the-date cards, etc.

A few days ago Justin and I went to check out our beautiful venue, Arden Farms. It's going to be so insanely perfect, even better than I had remembered. And there is even a rope swing hanging from a big tree! A little about the farm: it belongs to my dad's boss and is sort of his retreat home (lucky guy!). My brother also works for him and has built a little cottage house on the edge of the farm and acts as sort of a caretaker. I'll be using his cottage as my getting-ready place on the big day!

Lastly, I've found a DJ that seems like a good fit, DJ Orlando Entertainment, based out of Parkville, MD. The main thing that drew me to them was that they had pretty much every song on my list on their online music catalog. I have a bunch of random stuff on there and didn't think it was possible that any DJ would even know who I was talking about. They even have Rammstein. Kudos.

I know there are probably plenty of people who cringe at the thought of wedding DJs but I really can't see Justin and I having fun and wanting to dance with a live band or musician, it's just not our style. We want to DANCE! I promise that the DJ won't be super cheesy though.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On Wedding Magazines

Here's how I've discovered I feel about wedding magazines: once you've looked through one, you've looked through all of them. Literally.

The day after Justin and I got engaged I insisted we make the rite-of-passage pilgrimage to Borders to stock up on wedding mags (they're going out of business so everything was 40% off, I bought like five). For years now I'd been wanting to buy these magazines, but knew that if I did, I would be what one calls a "loser". I couldn't WAIT to dive into these things. The next day I picked up a few more from the grocery store, and a couple free ones from bridal salons. I amassed an entire stack of these things, and I was THRILLED.

I tore through the first two or three. And then by the fourth, I started to notice a pattern. Each magazine literally contains the SAME recycled content. The same ads for bridal salons, caterers, swanky venues and fussy floral arrangements. None of them cater to the "quaint, country, rustic" bride, aka me. Everything is all about crystal chandeliers, huge floral arrangements sitting in those ugly three foot tall vases and little plates of weird food shaped in pretty designs that would feed maybe a couple of three year olds at most.

The ONLY magazine that I found informative and actually relevant to my wedding vision was Real Simple: Weddings. Everything else, Baltimore Bride, Brides Maryland, Brides DC, Engaged!, Bride and Groom Washingtonian...even the Knot MD...all the same magazine! I guess the only other one that was useful was What's Up Annapolis Wedding magazine because it was local. All of the other "local" magazines were too Baltimore & D.C. for me, and, as I'm centered around Annapolis, that stuff isn't really useful.

So now as I've found that magazines aren't really useful for sparking my inspiration, I'm sticking with wedding blogs. My favorite ever is Love & Lavender much pretty goodness! I think I've gone through and saved over a hundred images so far.

As far as planning is going right now, my mom and I recently went to an Annapolis antique mall and picked up several miscellaneous mason jars and oddball bottles and vases for my centerpieces. I plan on putting wildflowers in them and placing them on little stacks of antique books. Gahh I can't wait to keep fleshing this whole thing out!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Whirlwind of Dress Shopping

So I thought I'd talk a little more about my experience shopping for the perfect wedding dress. First of all, from what I have learned, START EARLY. It generally takes the bridal salon several months to get in the dress you ordered, and then you have to allot even more time for fittings and alterations. Because I have only been engaged for a couple of weeks and already have a dress, I worried that I was jumping the gun..but not really, since I won't be seeing my dress until January (which leaves about three months for fittings and alterations).

To start off, my mom and I headed up to David's Bridal in Glen Burnie. We mainly went there just for fun, to kick things off and just start trying on dresses. It was pretty much like shopping for clothes in a mall store. You pull whatever you want and try it on yourself. I did fall in love unexpectedly with an Oleg Cassini tea length dress, but ultimately left without it.

Later that day we visited Annapolis Formal and Tuxedo in west Annapolis. The shop was super duper tiny and their selection was pretty limited, BUT...that's where I first found and fell in love with THE dress. The next day we went to Bridals by Elena in Severna Park to try out some more options. This was the best one of the day (I tried it on in a darker sort of champagne color):

And then finally, we went to Betsy Robinson's. I tried on this dress: and wound up putting a deposit on it.
[enjoy this horrible cell phone photo]


Pump the breaks!!

Literally about two hours later, sitting around at Justin's waiting for him to get home, I was flipping through a wedding magazine and saw a picture of a dress that looked very similar to THE dress (the one I fell in love with at the Annapolis place). I crumbled. And totally panicked. I called my mom in a tizzy saying I was having second thoughts about the dress we had purchased today. So, then I called Betsy Robinson's and spoke to my amazing consultant Maria. She just happened to have the Annapolis dress (from here on out referred to as THE dress) for me to try on along with the one already purchased. It would be a final showdown of the dresses, if you will.
The next day I went back to Betsy Robinson's with a crew in tow- my mom, dad, Justin's mom, his sister Becky and her daughters Elise and Lyla (my flower girls, of course). I tried on both dresses for my entourage, pretty much knowing which one was for me already.

Obviously THE dress won, so we switched around my order and I walked away feeling content and happy. So moral of the story is- go with your gut, your first instinct. Don't get swept away in the moment when everyone is gushing over one thing, but your heart really lies elsewhere. From the moment I first tried on THE dress, I knew it was for me. So basically it was like all those episodes of Say Yes to the Dress, where everyone is always gushing about that "AH-HAH!" moment of revelation and joy when they find their dress. I guess that actually does happen in real life (except without all of the tears).

[p.s.- i won't be showing any pictures of my dress, talking about my dress, etc. on here. muahahahah!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

I can't believe i'm getting married!

Yay first post! I've decided to start my own little blog to document this whole engagement/wedding planning/getting married process. It's going to be a roller coaster. Like a really long, emotional, stressful and exciting roller coaster ride.
So, where to begin? I've been engaged for two weeks now. Still can't believe it. I'm so excited and so ready to marry my best friend in the whole world. Justin truly is my world.

Anyways, I'll try not to get too gushy here...

So, already in those two weeks I have secured my dream photographer (the insanely talented Lydia Jane - who just so happens to also be a good friend of mine!) and videographer, the wonderous Paul Lee, secured my dream dress (purchased from Betsy Robinson's Bridal Salon in Reisterstown, Md, and as of today, secured my dream venue!! (a private farm residence in Crownsville, Md).
I'm so excited to finally have the dress and venue nailed down, now I can actually start planning! I know that I'm going for a rustic, vintagey, country feel (as in countryside not country music ok). Mismatched mason jars and glass bottles filled with wildflowers sitting on top of stacks of old books. Warm vintage floral fabrics. Pink and orange paper lanterns glowing all around.

271 days to go!