Monday, July 26

Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions

When a bride-to-be is considering shopping for her wedding gown, it’s often assumed that she’ll have to visit a bridal shop in order to find that perfect dress. You hear about brand name stores like David’s Bridal or Alfred Angelo and will find designers such as Maggie Sottero and Sophia Tolli for sale in authorized boutiques. But what about the bride who wants the designer look at a wholesale price? Luckily, it’s no longer necessary that beautiful, quality fashion is sacrificed for a low-budget gown. You just need to know where to look!
Already popular for their trendy and sophisticated clothing, White House Black Market recently seized the opportunity to outfit the bridal party by creating a wedding fashion line for the bride-to-be and her bridesmaids. Not only do they carry sexy styles for fashion-forward bridesmaids and the bride who wants a sleek reception dress, but they also offer classy and elegant dresses for the ceremony. Complete the look with any of the gorgeous heels and jewelry that they are already known for, and the result is a one-stop shop for everything on your attire checklist. They even have a honeymoon collection and bridesmaid gifts!
WHBH LimitedEditionBridalGown 498 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
White House Black Market, Limited Edition Bridal Gown (Front); $498
WHBH LimitedEditionBridalGownBACK 498 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
White House Black Market, Limited Edition Bridal Gown (Rear); $498
WHBH IvorySatinRoseHeel 108 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
White House Black Market, Ivory Satin Rose Heel; $108
WHBH StraplessSatinDres 168 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
White House Black Market, Strapless Satin Dress; $168
WHBH CrinkleChiffonDress 168 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
White House Black Market, Crinkle Chiffon Dress; $168
Another retailer that just recently jumped into the wedding fashion craze is a popular store where you are likely already shopping for everyday clothing. Last month, The Limited introduced their new bridal party line of dresses at amazingly affordable prices, with styles that are formal enough for a wedding but also trendy enough to wear again after the big day. With a reputation of making women look chic and refined in their day-to-day lives, it’s no surprise that their wedding collection delivers on that same promise to make brides and their maids look absolutely stunning. I just love the look of their graceful, flowing gowns and the inexpensive accessories that look amazing with every dress!
Limited Romantic 298 600x800 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
The Limited, Romantic Wedding Gown; $298
Limited Elegant 298 600x800 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
The Limited, Elegant Wedding Gown; $298
TheLimited HairClip 2950 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
The Limited, Big Flower Pin & Hairclip; $29.50
Limited Ruffle Bridesmaid 8950 600x800 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
The Limited, Ruffle Front Halter Dress; $89.50
Limited Rosette 98 Unexpected (and Inexpensive!) Wedding Fashions
The Limited, Rosette Hem Strapless Dress; $89.50
At both of these stores, you’ll have to order most of the dresses from their online sites. However, many of the bridesmaid dresses and accessories are also offered in retail stores nationwide.
Do you know anyone who has purchased wedding attire from a store that primarily sells everyday clothing? Would you consider doing so?

Monday, July 12

DIY Project: 'Bride' and 'Groom' Chair Decor

Love these chair hang letters? Order your own by clicking here!

As promised, my weekend was filled with wedding planning and DIY projects galore. It all started when Saturday morning I arose at 7:30 am to drive 45 minutes to my first dress fitting. Why so early? If you recall my wedding gown mishap post from a few weeks ago, I was less than thrilled when my gown finally arrived after an agonizing three-month delay. At first impression, it seemed the dress was too large in the hips, not sewn to specifications on the front, and the train was horrifically long. However, I didn’t actually realize how unhappy I was with the dress until after I’d taken it home and looked at it a little closer. The next day I called the store owner regarding my concerns and she suggested I come in right away to have her look at the issues first-hand. It was imperative that we addressed the issues immediately just in case the dress needed to be sent back. But seeing as how I work throughout the week and went out of town for July Fourth weekend, the only time she could squeeze me in with the seamstress was before the store opened this past Saturday. So upon arriving at 9 am on the dot, the seamstress got to work right away and quickly assessed the “repairs” needing to be done. Of course I ened up paying for all the fixes that should have been done correctly in the first place, but she was kind enough to not charge excessively for the changes I requested. I was expecting the alterations to cost another few hundred dollars, but I ended up with a mere $150 bill for everything, including the hem! I was so ecstatic. Not only was she going to mend my dress to match my vision, but it was going to cost less than what I’d expected. Finally, I was thrilled! My second fitting will take place on July 31st. Cross your fingers for me!
The rest of Saturday and parts of Sunday we spent working on the invitations. After weeks of hand-embellishing each invitation, I finally finished all 60 of them, so now I’m only waiting for my Mom to mail the envelopes back to me. (To save on costs of hiring a calligrapher, I’d asked her to address each one using her beautiful cursive handwriting.) Once those arrive, my fiance and I will stuff the envelopes and stamp them with the photo postage my Dad paid for as a Christmas gift last year. Then hopefully next week we can mail them out, and I’ll finally be able to reveal the DIY invitation photos. Until then, my lips are sealed!
Much of Sunday was also spent working on the chair-hang letters I blogged about early in the planning process. Even though I’d been contemplating this DIY project ever since I bought the wooden letters over a year ago, I wasn’t entirely sure how I wanted to decorate them. Should I stay within our color scheme, or do something more generic? Should I make them vintage and artistic, or modern and glam? I’m so glad I held onto the idea for as long as I did because finally, without warning, inspiration for the project suddenly came to me! On Saturday while I was selecting tissue paper to hand-cut for our invitations, I randomly came across the cutest “Mr. and Mrs.” tissue paper that immediately gave me a vision for the letters! So after months and months of wondering what to do with these plain wooden “B” and “G” letters, at last I had a clear direction. So later that same day I stopped into a craft store to gather the rest of the supplies I needed, then immediately got to work. I absolutely love the way they turned out and can’t wait to hang them on our chairs at the reception! Honestly, the photos don’t even do them justice, so I tried taking close up photos of the rhinestone and damask detailing. Check them out:
BGletters 600x450 DIY Project: ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ Chair Decor
BDetail1 600x450 DIY Project: ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ Chair Decor
Gdetail 600x450 DIY Project: ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ Chair Decor
CrystalDetail 600x450 DIY Project: ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ Chair Decor
If you’d like to try this DIY project for yourself, just follow these easy steps!
Supplies You’ll Need:
  • Wooden Letters… You can find these at any Michaels or Joann’s craft store, and they come in a variety of sizes and fonts.
  • Acrylic Paint… I recommend using white if you are using a light colored tissue paper that is see-through.
  • Sponge Brushes… I like the multi-packs that come with a variety of different brush sizes.
  • Modge Podge… I used Matte, but you can also use Glossy if you’d prefer. A small bottle of this glue will be plenty.
  • Paper Plate… Modge podge glue dries quickly and is permanent, so you don’t want to get it on anything unintentionally. Pour a small amount on the plate and keep refilling the small amount as needed. If you pour too much, it will dry quickly and can easily be wasted since not much is needed to get the job done. NOTE: You will also want to lay down newspaper on your workspace to avoid getting glue on the table.
  • Tissue Paper… This is where you can get really creative and find paper with designs or words or solid colors that match your theme. You don’t want to use regular paper because it is too thick and will be difficult to shape to the letters. I find that tissue paper works best and I wouldn’t recommend anything else in it’s place.
  • Scissors
  • Embellishments… You can use things like fabric, ribbon, rhinestone crystals, or stickers. The possibilities are endless!
 Follow These Simple Steps:
  1. Use acrylic paint and a sponge brush to add a base to the letters in order cover the wooden-grain texture. One or two coats should be enough.
  2. Rinse the brush in running water until it runs clear to avoid the paint drying in the brush and ruining it. Set aside to dry.
  3. Once the paint on the letters has dried entirely, use a large sponge brush to brush a thin coat of modge podge glue on the entire TOP surface of the letter. Don’t paint the sides yet – only apply glue to the top.
  4. You’ll need to work quickly since the glue dries fast. Have your tissue paper ready and lay it on top of the letter, flattening it as much as possible. Don’t rub it too much though, or else the paper will tear. There will be tiny folds and crinkles no matter how much you try flattening it – this is unavoidable when using tissue paper with modge podge. I personally like how it gives it a texture!
  5. Use the scissors to cut strips along the sides of the paper so it will easily fold around the sides of the letter.
  6. Take a smaller brush, and in small sections, apply modge podge to the sides of the letter. Right after applying the glue, fold the smaller strips of paper around the sides before the glue dries. Go around the letter and repeat, section by section.
  7. Once it has dried, apply a thin coat of modge podge over the top of the tissue paper, painting the glue on the top and sides of the letter. This will give it a nice finish and seal the paper. Apply a THIN coat so it dries clear – if you apply too much glue, it will have spots of white area after it dries.
  8. Rinse the brush in running water until it runs clear to avoid the glue drying in the brush and ruining it. Set aside to dry.
  9. Once the letter has dried entirely, apply embellishments using a glue gun or elmers glue. And finally, attach string so it can he hung!
 Let me know if you try this DIY project based on my instructions. I would love to see the results!

Wednesday, July 7

Wedding Day Nightmares

It’s less than three months before the Big Day is here! I’m feeling very relaxed and well-prepared, but also a bit anxious for it to finally happen. Even though I’m not the type of girl who had “dreamt about this day her whole life”, I HAVE been dreaming about it for the past year and a half, and that’s long enough for me! As a matter of fact, I’ve had so many dreams about the wedding already that I’m sure I’ve experienced every wedding-day nightmare imaginable. Scenarios like the photographer not showing up, or the DJ totally botching the reception music… my dress being ruined with stains, or forgetting to sign up for a marriage license in advance. These dreams come from out of nowhere! When I’m awake I know I’m way ahead of schedule and on top of things, so I don’t know what inspires these anxiety attacks in the middle of the night. And it’s not just me… my fiance will have a wedding nightmare occasionally too! His last dream left him in a panic after finding out the videographer never showed up. When Joe finally took notice during the reception that the videographer was missing, I was very nonchalant about the ordeal and just said “Oh, he never came”. (Haha, as if!) It’s definitely comforting to be able to laugh it all off together in the morning after realizing it was all just a dream. In retrospect, I wish I’d been keeping a journal of all the crazy, horrific circumstances I’ve dreamt up!

bridalbuds 300x272 Wedding Day Nightmares
(Photo by
Last month I polled 15 brides on what their absolute worst wedding day nightmare would be. It really came as no surprise that nearly three-fourths of all respondents said the photographer’s memory card being erased would be the worst scenario, proving that brides definitely value those photo memories! Another 20% of brides would dread having a huge obvious stain on the front of their gown. (How embarrassing!) However, just 6% said their worst nightmare is for the wedding bands to get lost right before the ceremony began. (Those are pretty important, after all!) But not a single bride claimed that the wedding cake being totally ruined would be the worst thing to happen. What’s a wedding reception without dessert?! And who’s ever seen a wedding without any floral d├ęcor or bouquets whatsoever? Interestingly, problems with the floral order doesn’t top the list of bride’s biggest fears. Not one respondent said their worst nightmare would be if the flowers never showed up. Guess they have more important things to worry about!

Thursday, July 1

My (Serious) Addiction to Bridal Mags

I still remember my first bridal magazine, gifted to me from my mom just days after becoming engaged. It was Modern Bride with Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson on the cover for “Bride Wars”. Is it weird that a year and half later, I still refuse to get rid of it?

From there, collecting bridal magazines quickly turned into an addiction. Once I got the local mags for free from a Bridal Show, my list of subscriptions soon expanded to include Brides MagazineGet MarriedMartha Stewart WeddingsThe Knot national and regional mags, Bridal Guide, and a few more that I can’t even remember the names of. Initially, I kept ALL of them… I literally had a massive stack piled against our dining room wall that was taller than I am at 5’-7”. My Fi finally intervened and said I had to come to my senses and recycle them. “NO!” I cried, “Someone else could use these!” They were still practically brand new considering I’d read each magazine in its entirety within a single day after getting it in the mail. And even though they had all been thoroughly explored, each one had seemingly remained untouched! (I’m sure I had subconsciously been extra careful to not wrinkle each glistening page as it was turned.) In my mind, I just couldn’t destroy perfectly useful bridal magazines.

Luckily, a girl at my work eventually became engaged and fell for my trap when I asked her if she wanted to inherit my bridal magazine collection. I tried forewarning her about the size of the lot, but you should have seen how big her eyes were when I plopped about 5 bags full of bridal magazines onto her desk; I KNOW she thought I was psychotic. Just a month or two after that, I’d already acquired a new stack that was growing by the week, so I brought them to work once again in hopes that my coworker would take them. “No thanks, I still need to read the first ones you brought me,” she quickly refused. So, to this day, I still have a stack of about ten wedding magazines sitting on my desk at work. One day I’ll find the courage to recycle them!

magazineaddiction My (Serious) Addiction to Bridal Mags