Thursday, October 29, 2009

NYC day 1

I arrived home last Tuesday, mom and I got mani/pedis and ran errands on Wednesday and by 10:30 am Thursday we were in the big apple. Here's a photo I took while en route (good thing mom was keeping her eyes on the road!).

My first appointment was at noon at a place called The Designer Loft. This place was pretty low key and they had a nice selection. Just like the first time I went dress shopping, however, everything I tried on just felt like a pretty dress. I wanted to have THE FEELING - the heart racing, tear inducing, choirs of angels singing feeling. So far, no such luck. My favorite from this store was a Pronovias design from a few years ago - Lydia. For the life of me I cannot find a picture. But even though Lydia was pretty, I knew in my heart it wasn't the one and at that point was getting discouraged that it would even happen at all.

Later that afternoon we went to my second appointment at a place called The Bridal Garden. Their website explains that they are a non-profit bridal boutique that benefits New York City school children. Dresses and veils are donated to them from top designers such as Vera Wang, Amsale, Monique Lhuillier, Melissa Sweet, Jim Hjelm and many others. We didn't have the best experience there, not to mention the fact that I didn't see any dresses by the designers above or any others I recognized. But I would still recommend The Bridal Garden to brides who are maybe a bit more flexible in what they are looking for.

Overall, it was a wonderful first day in the city, spending time with my mom, enjoying the sights and sounds. But what TRULY mattered was my appointment the next day. Up next - Kleinfeld's...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

say yes to the dress

What could possibly make me and my mom's wedding dress trip to the city even more enjoyable? We snagged an appointment at Kleinfeld's! Actually, mom tried to make an appointment but they were booked solid through the weekend. So mom decided to email the co-owner/CEO Ronald Rothstein. She figured that she would just get an automated response, but Mr. Rothstein emailed her back with his home phone number so he could speak to her directly. Monday I received a phone call from Mr. Rothstein as well as his personal assistant - they were able to fit us in on Friday. I am soooo excited! I love to catch episodes of Say Yes to the Dress whenever I can - so this will be quite the experience. Mr. Rothstein's assistant told me that if I end up wanting to purchase the dress that is currently at the top of my list (it's from 2006, so they no longer have the sample in their store), all I have to do is ask my consultant to order it for me. Looks like I'll have a dress by the end of the weekend. Yippee!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

dress inspiration

In just a few hours I will be boarding a plane to my hometown in order to spend the next seven days with my family. I am not currently employed, so why not travel home to receive some much needed hugs from my mama? We live fairly close to New York City, so we'll be heading there Thursday and Friday to go dress shopping! We started looking a few months ago when my mom came to visit. I'm pretty sure I've already found "the one", but we weren't quite ready for the experience to be over. This is the only time in my life that I get to go wedding dress shopping with my mom, so we plan on enjoying every last second.

Here are some of the dresses I have saved in my inspiration folder:

Amy Michelson - Grace

Did you want to continue dress shopping even after you thought you had found "the one"?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

finding the perfect venue (part 2)

One of the first things I did after the engagement was go out and buy TONS of wedding magazines. At that point, I was already an avid wedding blog reader (much to the future mister's chagrin). For months I had been making a mental list of any venues that fit our criteria. I'll start with the venues that were on my wish list, but didn't make the cut for some reason or another.

Neverland Farms - I think I first saw this wedding featured on one of the wedding blogs I read. It was also featured in The Knot - Georgia. It was perfectly rustic. I loved the ceremony site, as well as the barn used for the reception. Perfect. Except it was over 2 hours from where we live.

2. The Inn at Serenbe - I'm not sure how I first found out about this venue, but it appeared to match all of our criteria. Then I started looking at the pricing. And then I saw that once again it would be over 2 hours from our home. It sure is beautiful though.

3. McGuire's Millrace Farm - Mostly I liked this one because it will be my future last name (I was told that the owners might even be distant relatives). However, it is in North Carolina and kind of in the middle of nowhere - i.e. it wouldn't be very convenient for our guests. We'll have a lot of guests flying in and the two closest airports are both over 2 hours away. I do love that main staircase and can totally picture myself and my new husband walking down to make our grand entrance.

4. The Farmhouse Inn - If we would not have found something, this venue might have been next on our list of places to visit. It's not too far from where we live and not too far from the airport either. I like that it has room for up to 30 of your guests to stay on the property.

All of these places are definitely beautiful. Next, I'll show you the places we did end up visiting and of course the one that we ultimately decided on.

What criteria did you use to choose a venue?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

finding the perfect venue (part 1)

Shortly after our engagement we started the venue search. The future mister is currently in grad school to be a history professor. More specifically, southern and Appalachian history (during the Civil War and Reconstruction - if you want me to get even more specific). And I love all things vintage and antique - even better if it's distressed or shabby chic! Put that all together and you get a venue that's historic, rustic, and most definitely romantic. Let's look at some inspiration, shall we?

First up, barns. Beautiful, no?

(top: source, bottom: source)

Next up - isn't this ceremony site just dreamy?


I think this table under all the lighted mason jars looks rustic and romantic as well.

Now add to the mix the fact that we want a venue that is relatively close to where we are currently living. Let's see if we find something...

Did either your or your fiance's profession inspire your choice of venue?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

wedding bands

We found the future mister's wedding band this past weekend. The jewelry store that my e-ring was purchased from is in North Carolina and we went there this weekend to get my ring resized. Now that the weather is getting cooler, it has been slipping quite a lot. So while we were there, we looked at some bands. He already had one on his wish list - it was a simple, classic band with white and yellow gold. Sort of like the one below:

For some reason though, I just didn't care for the yellow gold. I guess maybe it was the way it looked with his skin tone. So he tried on a few others. We saw two in the case that looked like they had some copper in them - turns out it is rose gold (can you tell I'm not very jewelry literate?). He tried one on and it looked really nice. It was same look he was going for with the two-tone, but the rose gold looked much, much better against his skin. I can't find an exact picture but it looks like this one, except the rose gold is brushed instead of hammered.

Our plan was to put it on his wish list and leave it at that until closer to the wedding, but the saleswoman offered us a deal we couldn't refuse. First of all, the jeweler we are dealing with is amazing (Skatell's for anyone living near Charlotte, NC, Mt. Pleasant, SC or Charleston, SC). They are family owned and operated, specialize in custom work, and do ALL of their work in-house. That being said, we didn't feel that they were "just trying to make the sale." Apparently, a few days ago the price of gold hit an all time high - more than $1000 per ounce! So the saleswoman offered us the ring in the case. It was created when gold was less expensive and it was close enough to his ring size that they would be willing to resize it for him. If we were to wait until closer to the wedding to have this ring created it would be more than double the price. After much debating, we decided to go for it and put it on 90 day layaway. The deal cincher was that if he decides he wants a different ring after all, as long as we don't resize it yet, we can get store credit and pick out something else. Now we just have to figure out my band...

When ring shopping, did you find a deal that you just couldn't pass up?

Friday, October 9, 2009

my precious

First of all, the future mister refers to my e-ring as "my precious" since, as he was proposing, I tried to take it out of his hands before he had the chance to slip it onto my finger.


Anyway, some time after we started dating, I found the ring of my dreams on the Internet. Vintage inspired, delicate, simple when looking at it straight on, but much more complex when looking at it from the side. Here she is, in all her beauty:

Her name is Medora and she is from the website As soon as I felt that it was safe to send him hints, you better believe I sent this straight away. I looked at millions of other rings, many had similar features, but none could ever compare. Except ONE. Mine.

I always thought the idea of buying an antique ring was romantic, however, the future mister didn't like the idea of someone already owning and wearing the ring that his fiance would be wearing. It turns out he took those pictures I sent him to a jeweler that specializes in custom design. They made a few tweaks and my ring was created. Here she is, in even more beauty than Medora (okay, I might be a bit biased):

The biggest tweak they ended up making was designing it so that a wedding band could sit flush, instead of having a band that curved. Coincidentally, that was the one thing I didn't like about the Medora - curved bands just aren't my style. Problem solved! I think Sam did an amazing job (again, biased).

Did you send your fiance any hints before being engaged? Would you consider a vintage or custom made ring?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

the proposal (part 2)

So the day was Thursday, July 9. That morning, the future mister and my dad left to play golf while Mom and I went about our day - I was working from home at the time. Sometime in the afternoon my dad called my mom and told her that they were going to grab a drink from one of the bars downtown because the club at the golf course didn't have a bar. Nothing out of the ordinary - they usually enjoy a glass of bourbon when they're together. He said they'd be home for dinner - which was my dad's wonderful, homemade chili. When they got home, my dad suggested we all take a ride to the botanical gardens after dinner to walk around. Despite only being in town for a few weeks, it was already one of our favorite places, and actually the place we were visiting when we made the decision to move from Kentucky to Georgia (*very important tidbit). I thought it was a great idea, of course.

So we got there and my parents quickly found some reason to split off from us. Now we're alone. The future mister turned to me and said, "I love you." Now, I probably should have caught on at this point, but I'm obviously dense. Why? Because 1. He never randomly says "I love you" and 2. It was in the weirdest tone of voice I have ever heard come out of his mouth. Anyway, we ended up under this pergola covered with beautiful wisteria vines. He told me that he and my dad were talking about me while golfing. I asked what they were talking about, but he wouldn't say. Then a bunch of kids showed up riding their bikes and I announced that we should find mom and dad. Poor guy - attempt number 1 turned into a big fat fail. I was not the easiest girl to propose to.

We found my parents and walked around some
more until they wandered off again. At the point when we were nearing the bench where we made the decision to move to this town the future mister grabbed my hand and said, "let's go to our bench." On the way, he started talking. He said "I love you" again, in the same weird tone of voice. We got to the bench and I proclaimed that it was dirty (lucky for him since I wasn't supposed to sit anyway), so he told me to just stand. More beautiful words followed, most of which I cannot remember. Something about me moving twice to be with him, starting a new chapter of our lives together, wanting to be with me forever... I'm told that during all this I asked "are you serious?" at least twice. I finally realized what was happening and the tears began to fill my eyes. I remember nodding yes over and over again as he got down on one knee, before he even asked, and then of course saying yes, once he did. Then he took the ring out, and never having been engaged before, I tried to grab it out of his fingers to get a closer look. Oops, I guess I'm supposed to wait until it's actually on my finger first!

So that's the story. It was meaningful and just perfect. Mom and dad were thrilled (and honored to be included) and we celebrated with champagne later that evening.

Was anyone else out there difficult to propose to?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the proposal (part 1)

It happened the week my parents were visiting and only a few weeks after the future mister and I had just moved states into our first apartment together. Let's backtrack a few weeks and I'll explain all the reasons why I SHOULD have known it was coming.

1. Once my parents decided they were coming to visit the future mister was VERY adamant about setting up a golf outing with my dad. However, my dad had just thrown his back out, so I said no. But you can't keep dad from golf and the outing was planned.

2. Over the July 4th weekend we stayed at his parents' house. While I was "napping"/only half asleep, I could hear him talking with his parents. All of a sudden it got eerily quiet and i could have sworn I heard the words "ask", "dad", "golf." Hmmm.

3. Weeks earlier I received an email from him asking "do you like these?". Attached were photographs of engagement rings. He was constantly telling me that a proposal wouldn't happen for "like 5 more years," so of course I thought he was just teasing (read: torturing) me. Except for the fact that the photos were named "lastname1.jpg", "lastname2.jpg", and so on. I don't know about you, but if I took the photos myself or found them on the internet there's no way I would name them with my own last name. Which led me to suspect they were sent from a jeweler...

But despite all this, I still had no freakin clue. None. The rents showed up and I told my mom what I overheard and asked what she thought. In so many words she told me not to think anything of it - just in case nothing happened.

Engaged or married girls, did you know your proposal was coming? Or did you only see the clues AFTER the fact, like me?


On July 9, 2009 he asked and I said yes. Which brings me here. My fiance and I are planning a May 2011 wedding. To some (and me!), that may seem soooo far away, but I'm sure it will fly quickly by, and I'm looking forward to every. single. second. In the coming months I will be posting about everything that inspires me in addition to my planning and crafting successes and failures.

Thanks for joining me in my journey!