Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I've been hoodwinked!

The dress came yesterday. Ahem. I said the DRESS came YESTERDAY. So why wasn't I all excited and rushing to make a post about it?

Because it FAILED.

Lol. I'm sorry I don't have more pictures, my camera died and no AA batteries in this house. But this dress failed to meet my expectations. Look at my back, you can see the beading is completely different than in the picture. Not only that, beading was hanging off of the sleeves.

The design was so simple, with these big plastic, rainbow reflecting beads. It looked like someone's reindition of the dress in the photo they advertised.

How could this have happened to me? I thought the plan was fool proof. The member on ebay has been selling dresses for years, and I read through the reviews. They all said "The dress was perfect! Exactly like the picture! I will buy from this person again!" Maybe my dress was the oddity?

I'm just glad that I made sure to go with a seller who guaranteed full money back. I wrote to the seller stating that I was not happy, and they were very cordial. They apologized and stood by their word of saying I can get a full refund. I'm shipping this baby back today.

(Sigh) The search for a dress is still on.

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Little Paint Goes a Long Way

I found blogging to be on the back burner of priorites the last couple of days. Reason being, I'm helping my parents re-do their house. This weekend, after weeks of agonizing over paint samples to find the perfect grey with my mom, our family chose a color and painted the whole house.

There's a picture of my fiance helping out.

His being there wasn't merely coincidence. It was planned, lol. This would be the outlet for him to discuss marrying me with my father. You see, my dad's a scary dude. So in our family, it's best to just do things and THEN tell him about it. Trust me; when I was 16 and he said I couldn't even date or talk to my FH, my mom was furious that I had almost messed up a good thing by even talking to my dad about it. She said to just date him, and if he turns out to be good for me, then mention him to my dad. Why get him riled up over a drop in the bucket if he wasn't The One?

Well, he turned out to be The One. My dad eventually found out and after about two years of dating invited him over for Thanksgiving dinner. The two met and while they aren't chummy, my dad is very nice to him and now accepts our relationship.

Fast-forward to now. He proposed. He didn't ask my Dad for my hand in marriage. My mom told him we were engaged. Then when I came home from school one weekend shortly after the proposal, he talked to me about it. The first thing out of his mouth was "Congratulations!" And he gave me a big smile and hug. Who was this man pretending to be my usually deranged father?

So we talked about marriage and he told me it was fine and he was proud of us. Then he said he wanted to talk to my FH. Because my dad is not the type to reach out and invite anyone to come sit down to chat over coffee, I knew this would be a huge undertaking because WE would have to plan when this would happen. So, I approached my fiance about talking to my dad. This wouldn't be the "Can I have your daughter's hand in marriage?" type of conversation. He already had my hand. It would be a conversation more along the lines of "I hope you approve...blah, blah, blah."

My FH thought it would be a good idea to take my dad out to lunch to talk about our marriage. I flat out refused. My dad is like a brick wall, the conversation might be so awkard, I could just see plenty of things wrong with the scenario. My mom agreed.

Then brilliance struck me.

In the traditional Ethiopian way (my dad is from Adis Ababa), the future son-in-law spends the engagement period helping out the bride's father with different tasks and chores whenever the dad needs it. The groom can pretty much be at his beck and call. Now, my dad's too Americanized, stubborn, and prideful to ask for help. But!! I realized that the plans my parents had for re-doing our house this summer would be a big job. And so, I decided and then coached FH that he should come out and help us paint this past weekend to break the ice. He quickly agreed. I said at the very least, if there were awkard silences then they could just rely on painting instead of staring at eachother across a table at lunch.

So we painted all day Saturday (as evidenced by my FH pictured above). My dad greeted him with a big smile and we all got to work. The whole day passed, and while we were finishing up I nudged him to go talk to my dad while my mom conveniently called me into another room. The poor thing was a little nervous. Of course, my mom and I tried to eavesdrop. He started out by saying "Well, I know it may be a little late for this, but I just wanted to make sure I had your blessing as far as marrying your daughter, blah, blah, blah."

Then the two got quiet and to our frustration we couldn't hear much. But then we heard laughing and all was well. My dad then called me out, and said jokingly, "Well, he asked and I told him no. Then he said he was just kidding, gave me a hug and congratulated us again. Yes! We officially got Daddy's permission. The kicker?

At the end of the night he joked to my mom: "I got (My FH's name) to call me Dad before he called you Mom!"

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I think I like this hairstyle...

Shout out to Buckeye Bride for the hair inspiration. I took this from her ideas section.

I'm rethinking the updo thing. I like the idea of soft curls to go with my dress, possibly to the side, and this side ponytail is cute. Maybe I could wear it down for the ceremony and as a ponytail like this picture at the reception.

I know I've been posting like crazy lately. It's because it's the summer! I justify it by saying it'll make up for when the school year starts back up and I have to post less.

Reception Dress- Little White Dress

So, I'm excited about the reception dress. Ooh, what will it be? These beauties were found at ardenb.com all for around $150 or less. I actually wanted a cocktail dress that was more fitted but I liked how 3 out of 4 of these actually matched the beading and bust style of my wedding dress. For some reason dress number two is my favorite (and the most expensive). Enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our -1 Anniversary!

Lol. My mom came up with that term to mark today's date-which is one year from our wedding date. So the countdown begins!

3-6-5. I'm not too excited because it sounds far away. Maybe I'll be more excited at the 100 day mark.

And come to think of it, with this new -1 anniversary thing, does that mean next year on June 12th marks our zero? LOL. I'm a nerd.

I guess I'll say something noteworthy in this blog. My mom and I have been scoping out the weather so we can estimate what it would be like next year. It will be hot (I mean, this is Arizona) but the evenings are nice. And we didn't realize that the sun sets so late-yesterday it set at around 7:30 p.m. So since I wanted a sunset ceremony I'll have to backtrack on a 6:30 p.m. starting time.

Things like this make me glad I had 1 year+ to plan the wedding.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


So, this post will be a little scatter-brained but will feature some note-worthy updates I think you all should know.

1) Remember the post where I stated I won't do a father-daughter dance? Well, forget the statement. I underestimated my dad's willingness and have found out to my surprise and excitement that he would love to do the dance! And so Chrisette Michele's "Your Joy" it is.

2) I will not be using the Lauryn Hill song "Tell Him" to walk down the aisle to. After some discussion with my mother, we thought it might not set the right tone. Instead, we're opting for my first choice, "No One Else" by Amel Larrieuex. I'm happy about the decision because it was my first choice, and the words really relate to my FH and I.

3) I started a wedding website! Yay! I'm so happy because it matches our invitations and I think will be an important aspect for our guests. I'm not giving the adress out to anyone yet because I want to finish the basics. But I love it!

And tomorrow marks the year countdown to our wedding! Thanks for keeping up with my blog! That's all, folks!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bridesmaid's Dress Numero Uno

As you know, all of my bridesmaids are based in different states. Not only that, but my bridal party of 5 (and then 3 flower girls) are all wonderfully diverse in size, shape, and color. So, how could we ever possibly decide on one dress, in one color? The task seemed impossible to me. I loved the growing trend of letting bridesmaids pick their own dress, as long as it met a few guidelines.
My guidelines? Black, and around knee length. And tada! Above you see the very first bridesmaid dress that has been chosen for my wedding. My bridesmaid Ivy found it yesterday while we were in Macy's in black. She also found another dress that was a viable option for the wedding, and since it was only $40 she decided to get both! Isn't the dress b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l?

The whole dress thing was on a spur of the moment. Ivy, my friend I met in high school, is in town for two weeks before she's back to being super-researcher-college student. So I wanted to spend time and catch up with one of my lovelies. We went to go get facials at the Macy's where my future MIL works at. On a whim, we went up to the second level to look at dresses. I actually had JUST told Ivy about my idea for the bridesmaids dresses, and I'll admit I was a little worried what she might think. I mean in theory, the idea could sound sketchy of letting everyone pick their own dress. But, being the supportive bridesmaid she is, she said it sounded good. And then she fell in love with two dresses and I think she is further sold on the idea, as am I.
It was a surprise to me that she made the purchase yesterday, but it made perfect sense. She just opened up a Macy's card and could get good use off of the 15 reward they offer for the first two days after you open a card.

She decided she liked the first dress better (pictured above) for the wedding and I agreed. She can use the other dress she bought for other special occasions.

The cashier was nice enough to print out a list of stores carrying them and the design number which I will be passing along to my other bridesmaids for inspiration. Hopefully their dress shopping is as successful! Who would have thought my bridesmaid would end up with two dresses she would love to wear again out of the deal?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cutting Costs (on Paper)

For you savvy pursuers of blogs, you may have noticed I added some new things to my blog, namely the Cutting Costs Lists and a Check off List. And a super cool countdown widget. We'll be a year away in a few days!

Anyway. I must say, I'm pretty proud of the ways we are deciding to save money. Some things didn't take much thought. Actually, most things didn't. I love paper products (stationery, journals, etc.) but it seems that paper is where we're skimping the most. For instance:

We won't have Save the Dates. All 20 or less of my family members that would attend the wedding know the wedding date because I have personally told them. I also have access to communicating with them over the internet to remind them. My fiance does not feel the desire to send save the dates to his side of the family (he even said he'd resort to phone calls if he really had to. I laughed). So, since he doesn't want to send them, and I don't need to send them, I honestly don't feel compelled to stress out over sending save the dates to people that are going to come anyway. He's the first of the "grandkids" of his enormous family to have a wedding, so I'm sure they'll show up anyway. They all live in Arizona or California, so transportation would be simple. Plus, what are invitations for, anyway?

Another thing we've decided to forego (well, I did- I doubt he really knows they exist) is programs. As much as I would love them, I know no one is really going to be interested in reading them. I don't feel like going through the headache. We're having a simple ceremony. I will probably make one as a keepsake for my scrapbook, though.

Menues. Again, maybe I'll make one for my scrapbook. But we're not having servers. The food will be buffet style, you can see it right in front of your face. No menu. Easy as that.

No Guest Book. My fiance went to his uncle's wedding two weeks ago and said NO ONE signed the guest book. That means they probably won't feel compelled to sign ours. I may leave some pretty paper out for people to write well wishes and drop them in the card-box, but no guest book for us.

Maybe hearing some of our reasoning behind cutting costs will help you re-consider or reaffirm some of your own decisions on what to include in your wedding.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In Lieu of Table Numbers...

These little beauties were purchased at the $1 section at Michael's. They are notecards, and I totally bought them on a whim.

I LOVE the idea of table numbers, but considering our informal but formal wedding, they just didn't make sense for us. I don't feel like assigning grown ass people seats.

When I saw these notecards, I thought they would be cute to adorn the tables with, as both my fiance's first name and mine starts with "N." $1 for a pack of 8 cards, so there's more than enough to go on every table.

Floral Decoration Idea

I've made a lot of purchases for the wedding already. The $1 section at Michael's and Dollar Tree have become my best friends, lol. I'll post them as we go along. Pictured here is a little beauty made from love. I really want to hang things and I saw this in the window of a floral shop and decided to recreate it.

It's a foam block with the heads of fake flowers in our wedding colors cut off and stuck inside. I also made holes to put the ribbon through. We will hang them using the ribbon by tying a knot, and I strung the ribbon through the bottom for a hanging streamer effect.

My camera doesn't do it justice, the colors are much more vibrant in person. I plan on making a few to hang amongst a sea of white lanterns for the reception. I'm excited! The whole piece cost around $4.

Some tips if you decide to make it is find a good way to secure the flowers. I would use a hot glue gun or cut the stems long enough to securely stick them in the foam. And make sure you arrange properly to avoid gaps between the flowers!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Horse & Carriage

A business in the area of our venue offers horse-drawn carriages for special occasions. Pictured above is a bride and groom who actually used the service on their wedding day. I think the idea is SO cute.

If we were to use it, I would have to figure out how to time it. The ceremony and reception are in the same place, so where would we travel to? I could use it riding up to the ceremony, but that would mean I would get ready in the bride's dressing room, attempt to sneak out of the back and into the carriage and ride around to the front to make my entrance. The problem with that is the guests seating has a perfect view of the door I would sneak out of. Awkward. Lol.

Maybe we'll use it at night, after the reception, to go away. I just thought it might look better to have a daylight backdrop for the picture of us in a horse carriage. It sure would make me feel Cinderella-ish.

I checked out the prices, and there are only two categories for pricing. Weddings which cost $300 and Birthdays which cost $150. Lame! My birthday is five days before my wedding, so if I DO use the service, I'll be damned if I'm charged the $300, lol.

On a side note, I'm even MORE glad that I decided to order my dress online instead of going with David's Bridal. I instantly recognized the dress of the bride in the picture above from the catalog AND in-store. Not knocking any ladies who do go with David's Bridal, because it makes sense, but it really seems to be the go-to place for Arizona brides (especially in the west valley).