Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dress Search: RK Bridal

RK Bridal
So over the weekend I went dress shopping again with my future sister in law and it was very successful.  I love shopping with her because she keeps it real, and she knows fashion (she's a designer).  This time we went to RK Bridal in NYC which was an equally good, but very different experience than Kleinfields.  We went early on Friday morning, which was a good thing since there were few people in the store and we pretty much got the attention we needed. Unlike the Kleinfeld's visit, I actually remembered to bring pictures so I got to try on those dresses plus my consultant got a better sense of the style that I wanted.

The benefit to RK was that their dresses were at a much lower price point than Kleinfield, so I had more options. And their alterations were cheaper (but still too much IMHO), I could search through gowns myself, and they had a huge selection of bridesmaids and MOB dresses at very reasonable prices. But I have to admit, Kleinfeld's made me feel more special and was definitely a more upscale place.

So I tried on about 7 more dresses but a few stood out.


The consultant picked out this Casablanca dress which looked fabulous on me.  The crystals were very nice and I loved the shape, but it had a zipper back with buttons and I really want a corset. And the top was not as much of a sweetheart as I wanted.

Destiny by Maggie Sottero

Mia Solano

I also tried on Destiny by Maggie Sottero. It had the corset back that I love and the trumpet shape was very dramatic. It only had beading and no crystals so it didn’t have the bling factor I was looking for but it was still gorgeous. Mia Solano makes a similar gown, so I'm going to try to find a store that carries it to try that one on. From the online photos it looks like it has more bling.


We really want to dance all night at our reception so my fiancĂ© and I decided that it would be a good idea to get a shorter dress to wear for the dance portion of the night, after all the other events are over. We both fell in love with this Allure dress online, so I was pleasantly surprised when my future sis in law found it at RK. On the hanger it looked really short, but once I got it on me I loved it.  They wanted $680 for it, which is kind of expensive for a dress I would only wear a couple hours, but the boy loves it and insists that we will find somewhere else for me to wear it. 

I also tried on the Adorae again, and I still loved it. Its still  my favorite but I have plenty of time to shop so I am staying open minded. Plus if the Mia Solano has more bling than the Destiny, there might be real competition.

I didn’t think I would be so into dress shopping but its so fun. Cant wait for the next trip…….

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Centerpiece Search: Floating Candles

Even though I loved the feather centerpieces I previously posted about, we decided it was not modern enough and way more than we wanted to spend. We wanted something simple, chic, elegant, and most importantly inexpensive. We would rather use the money in other areas of the  wedding.

So we settled on candles! We love candles and have them all over our apartment, so it makes sense that we would use them in our  wedding.  Plus they give the look we want at a price we love. We researched prices of supplies online and we can do something like this for about $350 including tax and shipping.  Plus, since we decided what we wanted so early in our planning, we can get the supplies  as we see them on sale so maybe it will end up cheaper.

Do you have any inexpensive centerpiece ideas?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dress Search: My First Visit to Kleinfelds

I went to Kleinfeld’s this weekend, and though I did not say yes to the dress, I did find a couple of potential dresses.  I didn’t plan on dress shopping this early but one of my best friends (hey Steph!) persuaded me to go and at least try some on. Plus she really wanted to go to Kleinfeld’s. I have to say it was a really great experience. I brought an entourage which included my two future sisters in law and another one of my friends along with Steph. And I am really glad they all came since it helped having different perspectives.
 I put up pictures of some of my favorites, which all happen to be by Maggie Sottero.  I really loved the mermaid silhouette and sweetheart necklines.  And I’m more confident that a birdcage veil is more me than long cathedral veil. I also tried on a beautiful and surprisingly affordable Pina Tornai, but i could not find pictures online.

Sottero & Midgley Adorae
My consultant, Jacqueline, was also pretty great because she gave honest feedback and told me how to get the best bang for my buck. I really expected her to try to sell me on dresses at the higher end of my budget but she showed me dresses on the lower end and encouraged me to choose the dress I loved based on how I felt in the dress and not just the price.

Maggi Sottero Miri

The biggest lesson I took away from the day was that you never know what’s going to look good on you until you try it on. The dresses I thought would look amazing on the hanger just looked ok on me and the dresses I was not sure about turned out to look amazing.

Sottero & Midgley Fantasia

There is one dress that I have been thinking about for the past few days (I wont say which, since the boy sometimes reads my blog). I knew I loved the dress as soon as I put it on, but to me the true test is time, and the more I think about it the more I see myself in it. But of course I can’t make that decision without my mom and my MOH’s at least seeing me in the dress first and I still have plenty of time to decide. At least now I have a dress to compare all the other dresses to.  Stay tuned, the dress hunt is to be continued………

Thursday, May 12, 2011

My Current Obsession: Fabric Flowers

Image via

I recently realized that I love the look of fabric flowers, but as I may have mentioned before, we dont want a lot of flowers in our wedding. Still, I think I'm going to figure out subtle way to incorporate them. Maybe have them line the aisle instead of petals?

Guess its time to buy some fabric and see what I can do!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lessons From My Best Friends Wedding

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcalá

We just returned from my best friends beautiful wedding in San Diego, where I had the privilege of being her maid of Honor. She got married in this gorgeous historical mission, and her wedding was full of very heartwarming personal touches which really made it stand out from every other wedding I have been in. Since this is the first wedding we have been to since planning ours, Mr. Modern and I took away a lot of good tips and ideas from the experience to apply to our own wedding.
Lesson 1:  The DIY elements really make the day more special.  They had a lot of small personal touches that really made the ordinary more extraordinary. For example, the groom made the wedding cake and the wedding bands, and the mother of the bride made her veils. And I really loved the guestbook, which was small cards the guest got to sign and decorate, that they would later put into a book. The bride is very crafty, so it just made perfect sense.
Lesson 2:  Order the Dress as early as possible.  She ended up getting her dress about a week before the wedding, despite being promised it would arrive a month earlier. This also leads to the lesson to choose your bridal shop carefully, because hers gave her a really hard time and did not give great customer service after she paid for the dress. Luckily everything turned out well and her dress was beautiful and perfect for her.  I have the luxury of time, so I will be sure to start shopping early, and to check reviews before I put down a deposit at a store.
Lesson 3: I don’t think I want a train. Her train was perfect for the mission, and it even looked beautiful bustled, but I think they are just too much work. Her bustle was actually pretty easy to do, and did not break like I have heard so many brides complain about, but it did keep coming undone if she moved around too much. I also think it was really smart of her to have me with her when picking up her dress since I got to learn how to do the bustle, which would have been complicated if the seamstress had not shown me. If I do choose a dress with a train, I think I’m going to get a short reception dress so I don’t have to worry about it.
Lesson 4: We are not going to block rooms. We were recently discussing whether or not we were going to block rooms since we noticed that whenever we went to out of town weddings, we never booked the blocked rooms because we always found nearby hotels that were cheaper and/or had other amenities that we were looking for. So when my BFF told us that most of her guests didn’t stay at the hotels she blocked (including us), it kind of confirmed our decision to just put a list of hotels in a variety of price ranges on our wedding website.
Lesson 5: We are glad we hired our coordinator. I felt like the bride was dealing with way too many details and questions that she should not have had to worry about on her wedding day. And, though we didn’t mind helping run errands and setting up their reception, for our weddng we don’t want us, our guests, or our bridal party to have to do anything but show up to the party. But I’m glad I got the “behind the scenes” experience of really seeing what it takes to put a reception space together, it really gave us insight into all that needs to be done.
Lesson 6: No cell phones allowed for the bride and groom. I forced her to turn off the cell phone, since she kept answering the phone when people were calling her for directions and with problems. Again, this is where our coordinator will come in, so the boy and I will be cell phone free the day of. That being said, our maids of honor and best man will have their phones on in case of emergencies.
Lesson 7: Get a little bridal clutch to carry my makeup. Or, since my girls will be carrying clutches, put my stuff in one of my MOH’s bags.
Lesson 8: Hire a makeup artist for the bridesmaids. I have to say that all of her bridesmaids looked great since we all got our makeup done. It really was a big difference since I don’t think most of us wore make up regularly anyway and it lasted all day. I got mine done at 5am and was scrubbing it off at 1am the next morning.

Overall, it was an amazing wedding. I think what I loved the most was that every element reminded me of the couple. It really felt like THEIR day and not just some generic wedding where you could just insert any random bride and groom. We also noticed that they really put their guests first, and really made us all feel special. But that’s just the kind of people they are :)
Have you learned anything from weddings you’ve been to since you have been engaged?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Master DIY to Do List

As I may have said before, i am a huge planner. I thrive on lists, charts, and other means of organization. So of course I have a master list of all of the DIY projects I plan to do that i will later break down by month. I also have inspiration photos, with step by step instructions on how i plan to achieve each project. But for the sake of not having a super long post i will just give you a simple list (in no particular order):

  • Monogram- we have already started this and have it narrowed down to a few favorites. Well Mr. Modern knows which one he wants but im still working on it. I'll be sure to do a post on that soon.
  • Ring Bearer Pillow
  • OOTG bags - We are still not 100% sure we are going to do these. But if we do, im going to make them (with the help of family anf friends!)
  • Bling shoes- Whenever i find my perfect purple shoe, i plan to add a little bling to the heels.
  •  Invitations
  • Monogram cake topper - that is, if we have a cake topper since Mr. Modern does not like them.
  • Programs
  • Menu/place cards - two birds with one stone!
  • Guestbook- We have two ideas for this. One is a photo book with photos of us throughout our relationship. The other is something that my dad is making for us, that can double as a guestbook,  but i am forbidden to share this until after the wedding because we want it to be a surprise for our guests (some of whom read this blog).
  • Toss bouquet
  • Broom- I am super excited about us jumping the broom. Its going to be sooo cool. I will post more on that later.
  • Mr & Mrs signs
  • Escort card chart/ or escort cards- havent decided which ones we are going to do
  • Table names
  • Garter- This will be a tough one, but it can be done. There are some great ones on Etsy, but I dont want to spend $75 on something i plan to toss. But I also think i want something more than just a plain one. There are several tutorials online, but i may use my resources and ask my awesome fashion designer FSIL to help me out on this one.
  • Aisle Runner- I really really really want a monoramed aisle runner. We plan on using our monogram throughout the wedding so this really makes sense. However, I have to be difficult and insist on a real fabric aisle runner, not one of those paper thin "fabric" runners. Plus i want at least a 45 in wide runner since both of my parents will be walking me down the aisle. So this makes it hard to just buy one since i dont want to spent $150 on it. So Im buying a bolt of fabric and painting it myself. We will see how it turns out :/

Im sure I will have more to add later, but this is what I have so far. What DIY projects are you planning to work on?