Tag Archives: David’s Bridal

Being Life-Size Barbies

Being a bridesmaid means that you have a lot jobs to play.  You’re a friend, a cheerleader, a supporter, a pair of ears for listening, a computer to do research on any wedding topic, sometimes a dose of reality (though I really haven’t had to do that at all since C is pretty darn realistic and grounded), and a barbie doll.  Yes, a barbie doll.  What else do you think bridesmaids are when you have to pick out dresses?

When I had to pick out dresses for my wedding, I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes.  I looked at it through the life philosophy that these ladies were my friends and were doing me a huge honor by standing with me as I married Mr. Library.  Why on earth would I want to be a dictator about what they had to wear?  I decided to choose the length and the color and then let them have at it.  I did, however, want the dresses to come from the same store to make sure the colors were really the same color.  It worked out fine, and strangely, even though I was totally for everyone getting the dresses they wanted, they all decided to get the exact same one.  They even asked me if that was okay!  If it made them happy, I was happy.  I even found a way for my sister to match but stand out in her MOH dress.I don’t care how many times I see this picture; it always makes me laugh!

It was essentially the same for Mrs. Sox’s wedding.  She decided to put us in pink and what the length of our dresses was to be, and POOF!  We could do what we wanted.  I really like my dress from her wedding, and I am wearing it this May when I chaperon prom!I have to admit that I like being the one who is playing Barbie a lot more than being the one who has to make all of the decisions.  When you are the bride, people look to you for every little decision.  If you don’t like something, they want to know.  I honestly didn’t care if their dresses matched; I just wanted them to be happy and comfortable.  So when Miss C said it was time to go dress shopping, I was excited.  I had been working out some to get in better shape, so my self esteem was a little higher, which was good since I had to share one dressing room with the rest of her sisters.  Undressing in front of my husband?  Fine.  Undressing in front of people you only somewhat know?  A different story.

We began our search at our local David’s Bridal.  C had set up an appointment and had asked her sisters to meet us there.  Everyone was there on time and ready to try on dresses.  Though C had clearly told David’s Bridal that there were three of us, they only reserved one room, but we Tim Gunn’ed it and “made it work.”  Our attendant came over to get our sizes and what styles we had in mind.  We all tended to pick out the same styles, but we were certainly a broad range of sizes, anywhere from size 4 to 16.  When the attendant brought the dresses back, we had a hard time because he would give us the right styles in the wrong sizes.  If I wanted to try on style A in a size 10, he would bring it in a size 16.  It got a little frustrating.

One of the first dresses I tried on was this number:

{Source}

Sure, it looks cute on her, but you see that hand on her hip?  It’s hiding something.  It’s hiding the fact that this dress has awkward pockets that make even me – who has no hips at all – look like I am trying to smuggle a yard stick out of the store.  It just wasn’t happening.  Even though I could have worn a bra with straps with it, it was nixed.

The second dress turned out to be better, thankfully.

{Source}

This wasn’t one of my original picks, but when C’s sisters both tried it on and liked it, I figured it was worth a shot.  Thank goodness I did because it turned out to be the last dress I would put on.  For some reason, the attendant was very good at bringing Bridesmaid A’s requested dresses and sizes, but not mine.  I figured that the dress looked good enough on me, it was comfortable, and I wasn’t showcasing a ton of cleavage.  Win, win, win!  Plus, C had a coupon to allow all of us to take $20 off of the price tag because she bought her dress from David’s Bridal, so that dropped my dress to $79!  Score!

C’s sisters, after much deliberation and thinking about what would work best for C, decided to go with the same dress as well.  The other ones they had in mind, they decided, were too “party” or “club.”  I had to agree with their judgment.  It also made it easier to tell C’s other sister, who lives in California, what her dress has to look like.  For what I hear, this sister can be hard to reason with when it comes to clothes, so whatever makes it easier is great.

Before we could order our dresses, there was one final decision to be made.  What color?  C had already decided to put her sisters in cornflower blue: But she was still a little on the fence about me.  She had mentioned before that she might want me to stand out as Maid of Honor, and if that’s what she wanted, I was happy to do it.  Heck, she could have put me in a plastic bag and I would have been okay with it!  She finally decided to put me in a different color altogether, and asked me to wear clover to match the color scheme of their invitations.

{Source}

I love the look of these colors together.  I think they’re going to be perfect for an outdoor wedding in August!  Don’t you think so?

With those decisions made, we paid for our dresses and received our “will be here by” dates.  Mine actually came in about two months early, which was a good thing because it was the wrong size.  The attendant had measured me wrong, so I needed to order one size up.  It wasn’t because I had gained weight… unless I gained a rib somewhere I’m not aware of… But now, two dresses later, we’re in business!  Now I just need to get my dress altered… hmmm…

Advertisements

Volumes of Love: Vendor Recommendations

It has come down to it, dear readers.  We are nearing the end of my ramblings about the Library wedding!  SAD!  But don’t worry… this blog isn’t going anywhere.  It will be alive and well as I continue to think about, dream about, and help plan weddings.

Speaking of helping to plan weddings, I would like to give my totally honest reviews of our vendors from our wedding.  Sometimes I feel like the responses on websites like WeddingWire are a little suspicious because they contact the reviewed vendor to ask if it’s okay to post it.  Who is going to say okay when the review isn’t flattering?  That’s pretty much common sense, people!  I, however, am not going to run this by them… just by you!

Wedding Dress: The Running of the Brides, Boston, Massachusetts

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

I cannot tell you how much fun I had getting my dress.  I never planned on buying my dress that day, and while it did create a little drama within my family, I wouldn’t change the fact that I got it at such a cool event.  Because of the conditions of the warehouse where the event was held, the bottom of my dress was dirty when I purchased it, but after sending it to a certified dry cleaner, it was better than new.  I didn’t need any alterations besides some bead reinforcement and the addition of a bustle, so I scored on the price of this dress.

If you plan on attending, make sure to plan for the following:

  • Bring lots of friends and wear coordinated outfits to help find each other.
  • There is no such thing as organization, so know what shape of dress you would like and your approximate size going in.
  • Be open to different options.
  • Be open to stripping in front of other people… and some of them will be men!
  • Bring water and snacks, and don’t be afraid to throw some elbows!
  • Don’t forget the camera!

Wedding Dress Total (with alterations and dry cleaning):  $254 + $8 + $85 = $347

Bridesmaids’ Dresses, Flower Girl’s Dress, Veil, and Bride’s Shoes:  David’s Bridal, Portland, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

I loved my girls’ dresses and still do.  I went into planning knowing that I wanted a tea length dress in a cobalt blue, and while I didn’t think this was it the first time around, it grew on me.  The price was also far more reasonable than the Alfred Angelo counterparts I had my eyes on.  The cotton was light enough for July and the cut was flattering on all of my girls’ body types.  The addition of Sister Library’s dress created a wonderful way to set her apart without changing colors.

My veil was full price, and while the price still seems a bit high, I loved the piece itself.  Mr. Library also loved it and remarked how much he liked the tiny pearls scattered throughout it (he noticed it!).  My shoes, while lovely and on sale, were PAINFUL.  I lasted through pre-ceremony pictures, the ceremony, and the receiving line, but after that, I was on the flip flip train.  I can remember thinking during the ceremony that it felt like my toes were becoming painfully numb.  Not good.  I probably should have broken them in a lot more, but still.  I shouldn’t be in searing pain.

Working with David’s Bridal was pretty easy.  They were pleasant, while there was the problem with not being notified of the discontinuation of Sister Library’s dress, they remedied the situation quickly.  The manager, Megan, is wonderful and extremely cooperative.  The dresses came in early and were of pretty nice quality.  I would definitely use them again.

Total for Bride’s veil and shoes:  $79 + $30 = $109

Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Attire:  Mens Wearhouse, South Portland, Maine

RECOMMENDWhile the suits were great and they looked nice, trying to figure out how to get each groomsman’s payment in was a little bit of a headache.  You cannot pay over the phone if the amount is more than $20, and not all of their locations accept payments.  The bride is also the only person (read:  the ABSOLUTELY singular person) who can change anything on the order.  Mr. Library couldn’t even have called in to ask about anything if he had wanted to!

No one had any problems with ill-fitting pants or jackets, and the prices were pretty reasonable, so in the end, it was a good decision to go with this company.  But please be aware of what you are signing up for!

Total for Groom’s Tux:  Free with 5 other rentals

Ties for the Guys:  Cyberoptix.com

HIGHLY RECOMMENDThese ties were amazing!  Not only were they hit with the guys, but people commented on how great they looked in the wedding as well.  We got standard width, standard cloth ties for $30.  While it was a bit of a splurge for all of the guys, we decided it was completely worth it and went for it.  The service was accommodating, prompt, and informative.  I would buy ties or scarves from this website any week.

Total cost of Groom’s tie and gifts:  $150

Ceremony Site:  The Artist’s Covered Bridge, Newry, Maine (run through town office)

CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!I love our ceremony site for so many reasons.  It was gorgeous, it was unique, it was accessible, and it was free!  This ceremony site made our wedding stand out among others, something that was important to me when planning my wedding.  I wanted to be different from my cousins, and this helped us achieve that stance.  While the slits in the floor caused issues with wearing high heels, we overcame that obstacle and had a lovely ceremony.  The lighting was fantastic for photography.  While this is a public site and there is no controlling those who wish to visit the bridge while you are there, many people who were swimming were more than willing to move their cars and stay off of the bridge while we celebrated.

The town also put us in touch with Olson’s Tent Rental, a local company who rented, set up, and took down the chairs.  They were very much on top of their record keeping and called me in January to make sure their 2010 book was correct.  They were pleasant and very reasonably priced.

Total cost of ceremony:  $150 for 115 chairs with set up and take down

Reception: Sunday River Grand Summit Resort, Newry, Maine

CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!I cannot imagine working with better people.  Mr. Library and I were sold on Sunday River because of their affordable prices, their flexibility, and their availability in the summer.  Thanks to the fact that they are a ski resort, they had lower prices than a lot of other businesses who rely on weddings to bring in revenue during wedding season.  All of the personnel we worked with were courteous, welcoming, and positive.  Mr. Library and I loved Jessica, the long-term wedding coordinator at the resort, and had full faith in her abilities.  She was organized and would respond to emails in a couple of hours.  The same goes for Meredith, the day-of coordinator.  We were sad to hear that they had moved to different states, but we fully enjoyed our time with them.  The food was great, the staff knew who we were and kept asking what else they could get us, and everything was fixed immediately if need be.

Total cost of reception and catering$4970

Photographer:  G. L. Strom Photography, Portland, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMENDGreg was a stroke of luck.  When attending a bridal expo in January 2009, we bumped into him.  It turned out that he and Mr. Library had been in a play together through community theatre and hit it off.  We really liked his portfolio and booked him.  During our wedding, he was great.  He showed up when we asked and left at the end of the night.  There were never any hour restrictions or more money to have him stay longer.  He stayed through it all.  While I do wish that certain photos had come out a little differently, I love the ones that he captured, and boy, did he capture a lot!  Greg shot 1400 pictures at our wedding and gave them all to us on a CD with the rights to them.  We did have some communication problems, but I am willing to overlook the couple of times I couldn’t get ahold of him for the times he really pulled through.  We had our complete wedding photos a week after we returned from our honeymoon!

Total for photography for 12 hours:  $1500

Videographer:  Fat Sheamus Productions, Scarborough, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMEND

Shea and his wife were fantastic.  I found Shea after having our friend back out of being able to capture our wedding, and I had a very tight budget.  I went onto Craigslist and found an ad.  I contacted Shea, asked about availability and pricing, and away we went.  We were supposed to meet in person, but due to a timing goof on my part, we never did.  I ended up booking him from what I saw online and prayed for the best.  That’s what we got.  I love our video and will show it to anyone who will sit still.  His prices have gone up since I booked him, but they are still very reasonable in the video production world.

Total for videography for the ceremony only:  $265

DJ:  Long Island Larry, Biddeford, Maine

HIGHLY RECOMMENDLarry kept people on the dance floor as long as there were warm bodies present.  While some of our family members were older and weren’t as inclined to boogey, he made sure that the music was exactly what we wanted and generationally appealing.  As you can tell from the photos, he did a wonderful job.  He was organized, and though we had issues in the middle of planning with his email address working, he made up for it during the stressful stretch before the wedding.  He had lists of songs ready for when we couldn’t think of any good ones and helped us create an organized timeline for the day.  He was also ready to do music for our ceremony if need be.

Total for DJ:  $615 (thanks to a discount for booking early!)

Baker:  Nothing Bakes Like a Parrott, Portland, Maine

CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!
To say that Jessica’s cakes were delicious would be an understatement.  They were amazing!  I am counting down the months until we get to order our free one-year-anniversary cake!  Working with Jessica was easy for the most part, though I had trouble getting in touch with her during the last week, which caused some stress.  I wouldn’t have any qualms about wholeheartedly recommending her to anyone, though.  She was creative, willing to be as flexible as we wanted, and funny.  She even delivered!  The portions were huge and her prices were very well priced.  We were sold from bite number one.

Total for wedding cake, Groom’s cake, and birthday cupcakes:  $328 + $65 + $14 = $407

Florist:  Pooh Corner Farmhouse and Florist, West Bethel, Maine

SERIOUSLY CANNOT RECOMMEND HIGHLY ENOUGH!Carole is a miracle worker.  I love our flowers, and Carole made it happen.  When we began working with her, I had no idea what I wanted except that I had my heart set on peonies during a season when they just aren’t really available.  Somehow Carole found enough just for our wedding and made me a bouquet with my favorite dark pink peonies.  I cannot thank her enough for her patience and dedication when I kept changing my mind on what we needed.  Carole is simply amazing!

Total cost for florals:  FREE thanks to Mr. Library’s Aunt M (though I think it would have cost somewhere around $1100)

Accessories: Garter from The Green Hanger Shop.com, Laurens, SC

CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH!Judy was fantastic to work with, and I honestly believe that it was a true blessing to have a chance meeting online.  Thanks to my over-exuberance when it comes to weddings, she offered me a fantastic deal when I didn’t win her contest.  I jumped at the chance and created my own garter set.  It was simple, yet elegant, and Judy was a joy to work with.  She worked very hard on it, and I could tell it was created by a woman who loves what she does.

Total for all of bride’s accessories (including jewelry but not rings):  $80

TOTAL FOR ALL WEDDING (WITH MISCELLANEOUS ADDED IN):   ~ $9500

ORIGINAL BUDGET:  $11,000

So there you have it, our big vendors.  We had such a great time with everyone we worked with, and there were very few hang-ups with the process.  If you would like more information on any of them, please contact me through the comments.  I would be happy to elaborate more!

With just one last Library wedding post to go, I leave you with our nearly completed list:

Walk me through this:

Our bridal party began to come together!

We did as UPS does!

We’re cat-walking baby!

We practiced eating!

Our wedding gets Jewish!

The girls and I have a slumber party!

I fell in love with a poet.

Mr. Library runs around.

Wake up call!

Christmas in July

Hairscapades abound

Making us up as we go

The Groom Squad strikes back

Magical flowers

We get the deets.

What should I wear today?

Click click click flash

Ding ding ding goes the trolley

The Groom Squad activates

We hear the music.

The guests are coming!  The guests are coming!

Let’s have a parade!

A walk to remember

We do?  Yes!  We do!

Let’s have a hug

Documenting the love

Our friends get in on the act

We find a snack in a pretty field.

We keep it in the family.

We dance into the reception.

Ch-ch-ch-chow down!

You have a little something on your face…

Dancing in tune

Catch!

There’s so much to love about the reception.

The photo booth genius

We could have danced all night!

We can sleep when we’re older!

One last summer fling

The married bachelor and his party

Mrs. Library X 2

If we could go back in time…

Say Yes to the (Day Before) Dress

Wedding dress shopping was over before I knew it even started.  I had all the build up of waiting for the time when it was socially and retail-ly acceptable, and then, once I went to the Running of the Brides, it was done.  There was very little shopping done.  I love my dress, but no shopping around equals a sad face.

Enter the rehearsal dress shopping.  No one really told me about this little opportunity until I started reading WeddingBee.  It was like I was thrown into an African safari and I had to catch pictures of the rarest creatures.  I. Have. Gone. Nuts!  But what am I actually going to wear?

After going bridesmaid dress shopping with Miss Sox and the clan, I thought, “Awesome!  I love a couple of those dresses, so I’ll just buy one in white and call it a day!”  When I showed it to Mom Library, she put the kybosh on that one.

“Really?  No.  That’s too fancy.  You could just wear a nice blouse and shorts.”

“What?!  No!  This is my wedding and I want a dress!”

“Then find another fabric.”

Thus began my hunt for a more casual fabric AND a dress.  I also wanted to be able to bring this on the honeymoon for a nice dinner out.  You know how picky those Romans are about fashion!  Here are some options:

It’s cute, it’s chiffon, and it’s summery.  Unfortunately, it’s also not available in just white (something I think I might want), but it does come in two shade of blue.

I love love love the neckline on this one!  The flower detail is awesome, but I am a little worried about how the chestial ladies will look.  No uniboob on my last day as a single lady.

It’s short, it’s chic, and it will swoosh.  Love it!  It might not be the right option, but I’ll at least give it a try!

Super similar to the bridesmaid dresses, but with a different neckline.  I love the fabric and it’s definitely summery.  It doesn’t come in white, but a nice sangria color might work too.

Same sateen cotton as a nice strapless.  My wedding dress has straps (kind of) so maybe this would be something different?

This color makes me hungry for some homemade macaroni and cheese.  Mmmmm.  I know I look good in halters, the chest wouldn’t be an issue, and it’s light enough.  Sounds like a decent chance to me!

And our last David’s Bridal contender:  another cotton sateen with a lovely V-neck.  It also has a cute little knot around the waist (because we’re tying the knot!  Hahah… no?  Okay.).

It sounds like I really need to show my face in David’s Bridal again.  The manager already knows my name and recognizes me every time.  It’s a little embarrassing…  But with February break coming up, why not have a trip during the week?

What are you wearing for your rehearsal dinner?

Source for all dress photos:  Hooray for shopping!

Celebrations Through Cell Phones

As you know, Bridesmaid Al lives far far away in the land of southeast Washington state.  Now, while this does make it hard to get together and meet up for different events, it doesn’t kill all chances of her being involved like it would have in, say, the 1980s.  Thanks to the goodness of technology, Al has been able to relive all of the glorious appointments the bridesmaids have had thus far… with pictures to boot!

Because I am super vigilant about giving people and companies plenty of time in case something goes wrong, I emailed Al to see when she might be able to go try on and order her bridesmaid’s dress.  Since she was the last one in, she unfortunately didn’t have a choice like the other girls, which I do feel bad about, but it would look really weird if she was the only one in a different dress.  Come on, I got over my symmetry OCD for people, let’s not push it into the dresses category, hokay?  Al emailed back that while she had a work engagement the weekend before (honestly, who works on the weekends?  Lame!), she would be able to go this weekend.  Awesome!  A week wouldn’t make a ton of difference, but she understands my level of organizational dependency.  This is one of the many reasons why we get along so well.

These beauties showed up in my inbox last night:

Credit to the wonderful, albeit unknown, woman holding the camera phone in the mirror

I love it!  The last picture makes me want to call her and sing “I’m a Little Teapot.”  Also, I think my bridesmaids are on to something.  They all wore socks with their dresses.  Should we replace the whole concept of shoes with just socks?  Hmmmm…  I also enjoy how they all tried on a different color the first time they had these dresses.  Miss Sox wore the actual blue color, Bridesmaid C wore an awful bubblegum pink, Bridesmaid As wore bright (and I mean searing to the eyeballs bright) orange, and now Bridesmaid Al has this lovely red color.  While they all end up in the same dress, the initial try-on colors are different just like them!

Are you working through spatial separation from any of your wedding party members?  How are you dealing with it?

Ladies’ (and a Few Males’) Night

After making out like a bandit at Eco-elegance, our crowd made it to our bridesmaids’ dress appointments.  Bridesmaid C and her boyfriend A (yeah yeah, A again) were already there, Bridesmaid/Cousin Library As was parking her car, and Miss Sox in the City was fighting to find a spot for her car.  Within a few minutes, we were all crowding David’s Bridal’s lobby with our hugs and introductions.  FMIL Library hadn’t met a couple of my bridesmaids, so she got to know everyone, and Boyfriend A hadn’t met most of the ladies.  Boyfriend A began dating Bridesmaid C during our college years, and he practically moved into our suite during our senior year, so he has been part of the family ever since.

The bridal consultant for the day greeted us and took down the names and possible sizes for each of the girls.  She loaded the (not my actual color) dresses into one room, and they each took turns finding the right size.  We also had a model shoot after each amazing dress.

Cousin/Bridesmaid As looking lovely

Miss Sox in the City looking very happy in her dress

Bridesmaid C just looovveesss having her picture taken!

Sister/MOH Library showing off a new bridal fashion?  I think not.

If you’ll remember, Sister/MOH Library already got her dress after we found it on the clearence rack a couple days after Thanksgiving.  On this trip, she got her shoes and was contented with being with the group.

The menfolk were super excited to be there and have their pictures taken.  Mr. Library somehow slipped out with the excuse of being hungry and needing food before catching his bus back to Boston.

And at the end of the day, we found a dress to make newest Bridesmaid Al stand out in the crowd.  This is going to be a show-stopper, don’t you think? 😉

After Miss Sox in the City left to travel back to tutor (what an excellent educator!), we drove over to Texas Roadhouse for a little lupper (not really lunch, not really supper).  They got us in quickly, and the laughs began almost immediately.  I had forgotten how much I missed Bridesmaid C and Boyfriend A.  I get to see her the least (apart from Bridesmaid Al) and need to get together with her a lot more.  The food was excellent, it felt strange to throw peanut shells on the floor, and we made far too many inappropriate remarks (in true Ms. Library/Sister Library/Cousin Library style).  What a wonderful evening!

Father Library, Mother Library, Cousin Library, and Sister/MOH Library

Bridesmaid C, Boyfriend A, me, and FMIL Library

What wedding events have turned into fabulous outings for you?