Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wacky Wedding Ideas

I realized the other day when I was gleefully shopping away and not writing a blog post, that I really hadn’t explained any of my many themes for the wedding, and mind you this idea came around before the movie was released. I was driving home one day and I had the brilliant idea of having a wedding based off of the classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlands Madd Hatter tea party, based off the original book published in the late 1800 (which really isn't a lot to go on). So it’d be a Victorian era wedding party with dark plums, pinks, reds, silvers, blacks and many more colors (basically what ever I want).

The center pieces would be mismatched grouping of tea pots, cups, stacked cups, saucers and more. We’d have floating frames, hearts, mushrooms, keys, old door knobs with locks, curled twigs, clocks, rabbits, hearts, large cards, checkers and chess pieces/boards (basically try and make it an organized cluttered look). Note: If you’ve noticed, Mike and I have gotten away from the one event in the book and expanded it to both books, plus a bit of the movies.

I was planning on either buying flowers from the craft store and prearranging everything including the bouquets and boutonnieres or heading over to Pike Place Market and picking up flowers that morning just for the center pieces, which admittedly might be a bit much for that day. I still want to have the wedding around 1:30 and Mike would like a evening wedding.

Mike would wear a dark plum over coat (with tales), a vest, cufflinks, suit pants and maybe a hat (his request). I really don’t have any idea about my dress except lately I’ve been crazy drawn to lace. Mike has made the request for a short dress. Basically I plan to hit the dress stores up and tell them what I don’t like (I’m really not partial to halters tops or thick straps) and see what they come up with.

I hadn’t gotten too far into trying to figure out what the groomsmen or bridesmaids would like, but I’ve been given several ideas for what they could be. Best man- March Hair, two groomsmen- Tweetle Dee and Tweetle Dum. Still drawing blanks for maid of honor and bridesmaids, although the red queen and/or queen of hearts was thrown out as ideas. I’m mostly planning on trying to find/design an outfit, really a one time use thing, that is based off of those characters, but won’t look horribly out of place during the ceremony and consequent reception.

I’m thinking that I might find a color scheme that’s similar to Tweetle Dee and Tweetle Dum and screen print some designs on them to add texture, I really want half front jackets with long tails in the back for them, but that might look a little weird (as if the rest of the ceremony won’t, Ha!). I feel a bit like the designs in my head are leaning more towards steam punk then anything else, the only interesting parts is this is the era that its meant to originate from, so I think I’m safe.

I’ve already got my design down for the wedding invitations, a Madd Hatter hat with a picture of Mike and I on the cover where the 10/6’s price tag traditionally is (or maybe not, depends on what it looks like), and embossed lettering inside with some classic Alice art which may or may not be embossed. The original assembly with the only type of felted paper I could find helped me really cement what I wanted to do, at least for the outside of the invitations. I was afraid that the paper would be to thin for shipping and not fill out the envelope (size A6 or A4) enough so I was planning on placing post cards in there for RSVP’s and to ensure the invites where easier to mail/handle. The silver invite material I found ended up being a nice thick almost card stock material so the post cards aren’t a necessity but will be kept because they are cheaper to mail and easier to print (priced 200 post cards, sheets of 4 for $24).

Now the debate, to send announcements or not to send announcements, that is the question.

PS- Seriously slacking on any type of writing. Really need to work on that.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pike Place Market, Dragons and Tea Cups

Well this weekend was packed full of many fun activities. Saturday, after an unsuccessful look at apartments, my fiancé and I headed up to Seattle, but not before hitting up a yard sale in which I picked up my first tea set for the wedding. It's a plain white set and came with a tea pot and a milk pourer. After several attempts we finally managed to get it bagged and in the car.

Saturday was an unusual day, mostly because it was sunny and partially warm. We parked near the waterfront and meandered down the road, only really making a stop at the Old Curiosity Shop. The mermaid wasn’t hanging from the ceiling, but they still had the mummies, shrunken heads and other weird objects/animals in the back of the room.

Once reaching the end of the storefront portion of the Seattle waterfront, we made our way up a bunch of stairs (reminder: probably need to work out more) and ended up cruising through a portion of Pike Place Market. I had to take this picture, but it should be noted that I was almost left as the rest of the group made their way towards Pike Place Pub and Brewery. Lesson learned: don’t get in the way of people and their beer.

After having a couple of beers, well them not me, we headed towards Capitol Hill and my first experience with a place called Unicorn and the fried Twinkies they sell there. I’ve never had a fried Twinkie before and I think next time I go, I’ll have to tried their fried Snickers. It tasted a bit like a donut and the cream filling inside and melted into a delicious ooze. With the whip cream on the top, it only completed the complex and tasty features of the dessert. If you ever get the chance, I would recommend trying a fried Twinkie.

Sunday was filled with shopping, mostly not for me, and a tarnished serving platter and a painted rabbit for the wedding. We tried apartment shopping again, but most of the locations weren’t open on Sundays.

Mike and I went and saw Dreamworks 'How to Train My Dragon' in 3D. It was an excellent movie. The graphics where amazing, one of the dragons acted surprisingly similar to one of my cats and the story line was enjoyable, heartwarming and at times a bit emotional. Mike new the exact moment I’d start crying, even reaching up and feeling my face to check, jerk. But I got him back, well I guess it would be the other way around. I ate almost all the chocolate I bought except for one piece about a third of the way through the movie. When he declined the second piece I offered him, I finished the bar off and as I placed the last chocolaty morsel in my mouth, he asked for another. Ha ha, too late.

Price to tea set consisting of 4 cups, tea pot, suger canister, and milk server, $5
Price of bunny and tarnished serving platter, $3.26

Wedding total so far: $8.26

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wow, my first Blog

This is my first ever blog, yeay! (and its a crazy long one)

There is so much to say and talk about that I hardly know where to begin. I work as an Engineering Liaison at a small aeronautical company, but my life doesn't end there. I fence, I create and I love finding new DIY projects. Currently I'm in the process of planning my wedding, which isn't till May 21st, 2011 (it feels like a long ways away). And I get the challenge of trying to spend about $6,000 on it. Pretty steep and I will say that I do have one cheat; my mother is buying my dress. I heard all those groans out there (which as of right now are in my head), but the dress boutique that I will be getting my dress from doesn't have any dresses over $2,000.

Now why would any reasonable person think that a nice or even gorgeous wedding gown (which they do have) would have a max price of $2,000? Location, location, location. I live in Washington State and if I went shopping for a dress in Seattle or Bellevue I'd be looking at spending $5,000 to $9,000 dollars on the same dress which could cost me $1200 at a Puyallup dress boutique. What I would recommend to anyone looking for a wedding dress is check out wedding boutiques that are further away from largely populated areas and give them a try first. See if there is something there that you like before shutting them out entirely because they aren't in the greatest location.

When I went with my sister to Lady Margret's, we found that the lady's there aren't paid on commission (no hard sells) which made the experience so much better and gave us the pleasurable experience of working with someone who was there to find the best dress for her without pushing the most expensive dress on us.

Another thing to look for is how much alterations cost and the price of bustling, which you may want. Lady Margret's had excellent pricing and since my sister bought her dress during a special feature month, she didn't have to pay to get her dress bustled. Which leads me to another point, be aware of what sales are available or are on the agenda for future months and if you have time, wait for them if they're worth it.

An additional interesting fact I found out while helping my sister look for dresses and looking for my own, is that almost all the wedding dresses, in one form or another, seem to come from China. That's not a bad thing. It just means that in most cases, when you're buying a dress you're paying for designer name, boutique location and how much the owner thinks they can get out of their customers (which is standard business practice).

Another item to be aware of when buying a dress is how transparent the fabric is. I've heard horror stories of how a bride wore blue underwear and you could see it through their dress because of the sheerness of the fabric and they had to shuck the panties and go bare butt through the whole evening. My suggestion for that is when trying on dresses, think of what underwear you’ll probably be wearing at during your wedding. You don’t have to wear it when initially trying on dresses, but if it’s down to a chosen few and you can’t decide come back another day and try the dresses on again, this time wearing underwear you’ll probably be wearing on your wedding day.

At some wedding boutique’s you may also need to buy a slip to go under the dress in order to fill it out. My sisters dress came with one built in and wasn’t an additional cost. This is something to be aware of. Some wedding boutique’s claim they have the lowest prices but when all is said and down with, after alterations, holding fees (which some places have), wedding slips and other miscellaneous items, the dress can cost more then if you had bought a nicer dress at a higher end boutique.

One problem my sister did have was during the final fitting, the owner came in wanting to check out the dress fitting (they had has some problems the last couple of fittings) and noticed that the dress wasn’t sitting right on her. The strapless dress was too high on her chest, causing the waist to sit wrong and the hips of the dress to be too high. After some adjusting, the dress finally sat right and it was discovered that it was a size to small and needed to be taken out. They ended up having the dress widened a ½ inch on either side of her chest then tapering smaller to her waist. A wider zipper was put on and on the wedding day, the dress fit perfectly. Now you ask, why you would want to go back to a wedding boutique where they fitted your sister wrong. I have to say because as soon as the dress was discover to be too small (Monday), it was fixed and picked up on Wednesday and ready for the wedding that Friday. They were fast, the alterations where beautiful and unnoticeable and the price wasn’t outrageous. The important fact is that even though she paid for last minute alterations they didn’t cost her an arm and a leg as some standard dress alteration’s can cost, even without the rush.

So over all, here is the wrap up on dress buying; shop around, visit out of the way locations to try and get the best price; be aware of the overall price of the dress, how much are alterations going to cost, do I need a bustle and what about a slip; check the sheerness of the fabric and most of all, ensure the dress is seated and fitting you right, go up a size and have them take it down if your unsure.

So with those wedding dress shopping facts, I leave you to your shopping! Have fun :)