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the dress.

27 Oct

I heard dresses take a LONG time, so when Ame’s gave me a wedding planner binder with a checklist when I got engaged, apparently I was already 6 months behind on ordering a dress if I wanted to get married in April! Crazy!

I remember walking into a bridal store with my mom and Ame’s when Jake and I were just ring shopping and I lasted about 2 minutes and then had a panic attack and had to walk out. So, needless to say, I was a bit nervous heading back there!

With both of Jake’s sisters home from their various cities (which is rare to have them both in town at the same time), we fully took advantage of their presence and booked an appointment at Ania in Portland with my mom and mom-in-law along for the experience as well!

The first dress I tried on, felt weird. Not weird as in fabric, but weird that this was all happening! Dress after dress, just wasn’t the one. Then came a dress that made me laugh inside just seeing it on the hanger. However, I claim to my motto (only as it refers to clothing and shoes) that you’ll never know until you try it on! Seriously! I have found that the ugliest pieces on the hanger have come to be my favorite pieces to wear! With that said, it wasn’t the case with this dress. If felt like a windbreaker and when I ran in place (yep, totally did that) it even sounded like one. It literally sounded like I had just ran out of an 80’s movie! And when the curtain opened to my audience of family, their laughter that accompanied mine, proved that this in fact, was not my dress!

The next dress i put on was pretty! It had a lace & bling top with a semi-fluffy skirt and I kind of loved it. The dress after that gave my family and soon to be family, ooo’s and awww’s. I liked it too, but was torn about the other one. Being the bargain shopper that I am, all that it took was a glance at the price tags and I quickly decided on the one that roughly cost $4000 less! I’m buying a dress here people, not a Honda! Holy smokes!!!

The consultant took us to the main mirror and “jacked me up” (proof that I’ve been watching far too much of “Say Yes to the Dress”). Let me just say, the veil really changes things. Loving the dress, but having no date set, I left the dress and figured it would be there when I came back if it was meant to be.

Later that night, the girls sent me the photo’s they “stole” of me in the dress and I was quickly reassured that I made the right choice by not buying that dress. Holy smokes that dress had a poofy skirt…kind of looked like big bird in that get-up!

Next, we ventured to Charlotte’s in Beaverton (which, if you’re in the hunt for a dress, start here!) You get your own little room with a very attentive employee and a HUGE selection of dresses! I tried on several dresses and then slipped into one that I loved, but I knew that a big part of why I loved it was that it was so dang comfortable (which apparently isn’t the main factor you should think about when buying your wedding dress! Jeez, people….it’s not like I’m choosing sweats or something!). Anyways, thought I should at least throw a picture of some of the experience in here and since it wasn’t my final dress, here you go:

This picture is proof that dying my hair darker was a good choice, phew! So we left, without a dress, but I still felt fine about! I did kind of think that we might go back and buy this one though.

Then, we gave Bridal Exclusives a shot and were instructed to pick out one of each style of dress to try on. As I went down the line of dresses and picked one of each, I noticed we walked by a rack of dresses and she didn’t have me choose one from it. I didn’t really think too much of it, but I spotted a dress that I just had to try on. It was different and unique and I kind of thought it was perfect! I tried on about 8-10 dresses and kind of loved two of them and then it was time to try on the dress that I snuck in the pile. Glancing at the dress, the lady informed me that the dress was off the runway and probably wouldn’t fit so I could just hold it up and see if I like it. I did, and I loved it, but I still needed to see it on someone. Thankfully, Ames was with me (who could frankly be on a runway!) and I asked if she could try it on for me. The lady quickly opposed. Stunned, I asked why and she answered that I shouldn’t let someone else have “my moment”. With a smirk, I thought to myself, “know your audience lady!” This whole “moment” thing that most girls apparently have when they find “their” dress, I have with finding the right photographer! Not trying to go against her wishes, I took her advice and tried on a similar style dress. Still not feeling like I got the whole picture of the “runway” dress, I couldn’t help but ask again. Thankfully, she let me and Ame’s threw the dress on.

It was stunning. (Not shocked though! Ames can make sweatpants look stunning!)

So there we stood, on our boxes, in front of a giant mirror, both in wedding dresses. We quickly were assured that that was my dress! I love it and hopefully I can wear it as effortlessly as Ame’s does when it comes in! I wish I could post it, but apparently there is some HUGE supersition about the groom seeing the dress before the wedding…


the planner.

24 Oct

When Jake and I got engaged, the only thing I knew in regards to our wedding was that it would be next to impossible without a planner (for me anyways). Thankfully, I know (and am related to) an army full of people who could easily and with excellence, help us “pull off” our wedding without a glitch, but we really wanted our friends and family to just enjoy the process with us and not feel forced to have to do anything, so we googled wedding planners in our area and picked our top 5.

A few days later we had our first meeting at Starbucks (any excuse to indulge in coffee!). Misty walked in, all cute in her dress and heels and convinced me that she was a perfect fit for us when she engaged in our sarcasm and survived my dad! lol. I think we all left that meeting being pretty sold, that Luxe Productions was it, but we wanted to test the waters and see what others were all about.

I’ve got to be honest, there are a lot of great wedding and event planners out there, but if I’m going to spend a lot of my time conversing with my planner over these next few months, I want to be able to get along with her and trust in their creativity. Misty was a shoe-in! We can’t wait to sketch out all the plans in our head (okay, it might just be my head, but Jake seems to agree with them at least!) with her and her team!

10 engagment photo commandments.

23 Oct

Jake and I are getting ready to take our engagement photos soon and after partially going blind from pinning 1.5 billion photo’s that I love, I think our photographer might hate me and my “ideas”. In the efforts to go against the grain in our shoot; I figured I would make these 10 commandments to Jake:

#1. I promise to not make a heart shape with our hands…in anyway, any form.

#2. I promise to not make you reinact the Notebook, Titantic or any other overly romatic movie.

#3. I promise to not hold a book and make you pretend like we are reading it together.

#4. I promise to not cut your head out of the picture.

#5. I promise to not write our wedding date anywhere on you.

#6. I promise to make you laugh so that you wont have to pretend for a great picture.

#7. I promise to try and love at least one of the photos so you wont have to go through the whole thing again.

#8. I promise to let you wear whatever you want, within reason 😉

#9. I promise these pictures will be more about “us” and less about “me”.

#10. I promise I will love these pictures with you for the rest of my life.

Now, watch. I bet half of these photos will take place because him and I are both too nice to tell anybody no. 🙂

the maids and men.

22 Oct

Jake popped the question, which meant it was now my turn to pop the question! I’ve kind of always known what type of person I’ve wanted to be alongside me on my wedding day, I just didn’t know a few of them back then! The one thing I’ve long ago decided was that my bridesmaids were going to be the girls that have not only been there for me now, but who will be there for me 50 years from now. They will be the girls that I know I can count on if and when times get rough. Which, is one of the reason’s I chose all the girls in my family because they won’t have an option…becuase we’re family ;).

Having the modern-day Martha Stewart as my sister-law has set the stakes high for my wedding (and let’s be honest, everyday life). Being the creative minded person that I am, I hate doing anything plain or normal, but she up’s the bar incredibly high! When she asked me to be a bridesmaid, she did so about 3 days after her engagement with a box of fresh made cookies that spelt out LOVE. The cookies would have been more than enough, but the packaging it came it was adorable and the little tag that accompanied the box, oh so cleverly, conveyed her motives of wanting me to be a part of Team Love(lace). Yeah, I know…you should have seen her and brothers wedding!

So know you can catch a glimpse of the pressure (that I’ve added, not her) I felt to ask my friends/family to be my maids! Truth be told, before Ame’s wedding, I thought a simple phone call (or let’s be honest, now a days it would be a text or FB message) would suffice. I immediately enlisted Amy for help, but then felt bad because I knew I would ask her to be in the wedding and wanted it to be a surprise. She found a cute idea of sending each girl a headband (cutely packaged, of course) with an artsy note that asked “Would you head down the aisle with me?” I know, cute, huh?! Go ahead, steal the idea!

I was stuck. Couldn’t think of anything that would meet my standards. Then, when we realized our guest list reached 500+, we quickly realized we would need to stream the ceremony via live feed so we could invite the world (well, our world at least) even though we wouldn’t be able to physically have “our world” there with us on our special day. So then the revelation came! I immediately thought that the invites we would send to those being a part of our live feed would need to be “movie-esque” (yep, another word I’ve impended on the world)…which spurred along my idea for my maids (I officially hate that word and will now refer to them as my party…becuase they are!) Plus, Jake and I spend most of our date nights curled up in front of a movie, all the while hoping it won’t turn out as bad as our first movie together (Dinner for Schmucks!).

So…here’s what I came up with:

A popcorn box (from the dollar store), labeled with a movie poster I created that you can see better by clicking the link below:

movie poster

Then, filled in side, was popcorn (of course!), glitter tissue paper (hey, I like sparkle!) and an envelope, tied with cute ribbon, a “diamond ring” and each girls face on the label, asking the question, “Will you?”

And then, inside was a ticket, asking each of them to be my co-star! Seen here:


Here’s a close up picture of me and my party. I thought it was a neat idea so that they could all see who else would be a part of Jake and I’s day. Thankfully, they all graciously accepted (as long as the dresses in the picture weren’t their actual dresses!). We thought of a great idea for Jake to ask all of his guys, but he kept blurting it out to each friend he saw without the gift in hand so that idea quickly failed! LOL. Ah, well…he’s a guy!